All posts filed under: Feel

a connection–intimate, platonic, familial, human, empathetic

Book 13: The Taste of Salt-Martha Southgate

In essence, this novel is about flawed people with a flawed family, who try to do right, try and lead normal productive lives, and still find themselves in messy, difficult, overwhelming situations. What was refreshing about The Taste of Salt, was that it had atypical Black characters with both typical Black-life problems and typical life problems in equal measure, presented in that universally relatable way that most movies and stories with all white characters are. By that I mean, there’s this tendency to write and view the stories of predominately white characters as being the “everyman’s” story, where the scenario could have happened to anyone, and a white face is the essential blank canvas with which to ensure those scenarios relate to all audiences. When you get stories with predominately POC characters, even if their issues are just as relatable, they suddenly get framed as a niche market–a Black/Latinx/Indian/fill in the blank coming of age story; the same scenarios are presented but are eclipsed by cultural identifiers. And I’m not saying we should all strive to …

Book 12: The Bluest Eye-Toni Morrison

I’ve been hearing people talk about the importance of this work for years, and yet it was one of the few texts by Toni Morrison I wasn’t particularly interested in reading. I added it to my list because it seemed like it was time that I learned for myself what all the discussion was about. Overall, I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this book. It’s written in a way that makes it a bit hard to follow: it jumps from character to character, voice to voice, time period to time period. It wasn’t until midway through the book that I could follow the abrupt changes without having to re-read previous portions; checking character names so that I was clear about who was speaking and what time period we were in. I think this is one of those books that truly merits reading in the context of a classroom, where you can pause and discuss and reflect and have some guidance through digesting the material. In her foreword, Morrison writes: When I began writing …

My Real 90 Day Fiancé

WAIT–What’s a 90 Day Fiancé? If anyone has watched the TLC show, they have some notion of what a 90 day fiancé is. Except, if you’ve watched the show and know nothing else, your idea would be very skewed, melodramatic, and scripted since the way those couples were portrayed–their relationships and finances–wouldn’t pass the sniff test at the interview to even be granted the visa to enter the country. But I digress. A 90 day fiancé is the colloquialism for a K1 visa holder, who is an international fiancé(e) of an American citizen, who upon arriving in the US, has exactly 90 days to get married to said American citizen and file for an adjustment of status (AOS) to become a permanent resident (i.e. a Green Card holder). Essentially the 90 days is a deadline where if you do not get married and officially file an AOS before that date, which is the date the K1 visa expires, the visa holder essentially can be deported back to their home country, as he/she will no longer have …

Days 64 & 65: AOS Paperwork and Crazy Doctors

December 16-17, 2014 Besides the obvious requirement of getting married within 90 days, part of the K1 visa also requires you file for the Adjustment of Status (AOS) within that same period of time. After that, you’re good until the bureaucracy decides to get around to your application and grant you, first, an employment authorization, and then eventually the green card. Part of the stack of AOS paperwork to be sent is the medical exam and medical records. When most foreign fiancé(e)s enter the country, they’ve already completed their full medical exam and it’s just a matter of filling out the remaining paperwork and mailing it in with the (very high) fee. But sometimes, that person may be missing one or two vaccinations depending on whether they were in stock in the country where they did their exam, and whether or not it’s flu season at the time. When Efrem did his medical exam they were in their flu season (SA has seasons opposite ours), but they were out of the flu vaccination. So we thought that …

Day 49: I Now Pronounce You…

December 1, 2014 For it being the day that we legally became married, it was pretty uneventful and rather underwhelming. Not that we wanted it to be a big deal, it’s just funny to think about what we did on the day we got married. Everyone took their time getting up in the morning since we had just gotten back from Virginia Beach very late the previous night (or was it super early morning?). We could get married anytime during working hours so we decided to get married around 1 PM. At around noon, everyone went upstairs to shower and get dressed. Efrem put on his suit, I put on a short white dress I had purchased months before, hoping that I hadn’t gained too much weight (fortunately it still fit nicely). We took a bunch of “selfies” in our room before we went downstairs and took a bunch more. When my parents were ready we all loaded up in the car and drove to the county clerk’s office. Inside the clerk’s office we finished …