Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Let the countdown begin

A few things have happened since my last post so let’s start with Friday and move on from there.   Friday arrived with some rather upsetting news regarding my summons to serve jury duty.  It is the policy of my employer to pay an employee for the hours they would miss while serving jury duty, however, as a seasonal employee I am not entitled to this benefit.  We are talking about a loss of at least $400 in potential income for someone who barely survives paycheck to paycheck.  My first productive reaction to this was to ask my supervisor if I could get this in writing so I could attempt to get released from jury duty due to the financial hardship it would cause my family.  I didn’t anticipate that I would be successful getting released from my obligation, but it was worth a shot. 

Saturday saw the completion of the playhouse my parents bought at Menards last weekend.  We’re actually still missing a piece which, hopefully, will be sent to us posthaste.    Maybe I’ll find a picture of the playhouse online and post it on my blog.  It was incredibly satisfying to see Ashley move her little camp chairs into the house and play for an hour.  The playhouse even smells awesome since it is constructed of cedar!  Once we have the missing piece we’ll be able to attach the stove top so Ashley can run a play taquería out of her home.  Ashley and Josie should have a ball playing with the playhouse.

Friday, July 22, 2011

We have normality…

I wasn’t expecting the peace treaty to last this long, but discord has been restored to my life.  Forgive me for not jumping for joy and, might I add, it was not my fault!  I have deliberately avoiding talking about anything remotely connected to the case because Alberto gets upset when I have words with his madre querida.  I’m sorry Caro, but Gisela is so pessimistic about everything that I never walk away unaffected.  I am always enraged when she attempts to force her opinion down my throat with her incessant preaching.  Today it was about the criminal case again and I tried to end the conversation and leave several times but she just kept talking.  I tried telling her that I could not talk about the case with her anymore because it upsets me.  Her response was to tell me it upsets her too and to continue pontificating about it!  She kept saying I need to make sure I tell the attorney this is what happened and that she knows how it started.  She knows better than Alberto who was actually present, and all of the witnesses have got it all wrong.  She is adamant that the justice system here is just as crooked as Mexico and we will soon see her innocent son locked away for good.  Now do you see why I generally avoid her even though acknowledging that I do so makes me feel like a bad nuera?  Avoiding Gisela irritates my darling husband and I simply can’t bear it when he’s mad at me.

What in the bloody hell is she basing this opinion of our justice system on anyhow?  Is it the fact that her innocent son Caña was ‘falsely’ convicted and sentenced to 4 years in prison for assault?  Maybe she’s referring to the time Caña was ‘accused’ of hitting Roscio while she was holding their child, you know despite the fact we all witnessed that particular incident.  Then there was the time that Caña tried to hit his sister Liz with a beer bottle and had to be restrained by force until the police showed up to arrest him?  Four years ago Alberto showed me some papers because he wanted to know what they were.  It was a restraining order filed by Roscio against Caña during her smarter days.  I surely cannot comprehend how such a sterling example of honorability and manhood could have possibly done what he was locked up for.  My mother-in-law acknowledges that her son deserves to be in jail for the things he’s done in his life, just not for beating the hell out of Nemesio.  Someone once said that ‘logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence’.  If you use that definition, then Gisela is quite logical.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

And suddenly, nothing continued to happen...

It’s been really slow since my last post therefore I don’t have much if anything to write about.  There’s enough for a longish summary, so here we go!  The weather forecast states it will continue to be disgustingly humid in Minnesota until the flying monkeys arrive to attack the massive upper-level ridge that has us trapped this heat wave.  The humidity is so high that you sweat rolls down your face after being outside for 5 minutes!  You feel like you’re in sauna, only in verse since the only respite is an air-conditioned environment.  In the Fall, Winter, and Spring we complain about the snow, ice, and those idiots that forget how to drive every year.  During the Summer we complain about the humidity, road construction, and the rough sledding conditions.

One of the more interesting things that happened lately was on Wednesday last week when I got a phone call during the day.  I answered the phone in English for the first time in weeks only to listen to some guy stammer for several seconds.  I tried again in Spanish and this guy proceeded to talk a mile a minute.  The guy was calling regarding the visa application looking to speak with Alberto.  I informed him that Alberto was not available to take any calls at this time and I advised him to contact our attorney.  He read the attorney’s phone number to me for validation and then stated he would be contacting Lance immediately.  I was puzzled by this call, so I emailed Lance with the information I was given as well as the phone number from my caller ID.  I googled the phone number and it came back as a relay number for the National Visa Center, however I suspect he was actually working within the American Consulate of Ciudad Juarez since he evidently did not speak English.  Here is a clear example of why I find the immigration attorney so irritating at times.  Lance replied to my email, “This is odd indeed.  Let me call.  I suspect it is about scheduling and no more.”  He writes as those he were composing a telegram.  Maybe he was abducted and replaced by an android like Data from ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’.  Either way since we are not processing anything on the immigration front at this time, I found him to be more amusing than anything.  Later it occurred to me this could be the result of my latest email to the Senator’s office requesting assistance.  So far I haven’t heard anything back, but tomorrow or Thursday I will poke at Lance again.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Insert Title Here

I took a half day at work today since I have to work on Saturday.  I can only work 40 hours in a given week so when I neglect to plan ahead for just this occasion, I end up with a half day instead of a full day off during the week.  I had plans at one point to meet some people for lunch, but when that fell through I had a backup plan that took the cake.  I made myself an appointment at Massage Envy and found heaven in an hour for $39 plus tax and tip.  The majority of the time was spent on my upper back and Sarah managed to beat my knots into submission.  I felt good for the first time in about two weeks!    After my massage was over and the sales girl was giving me her spiel about their membership program and my recommended wellness schedule, I reluctantly declined membership since $49 per month is not feasible.  See how low I have sunk that a paltry $49 per month is undoable?  Maybe if I go every three months the $65 per hour long session will seem like a good investment.

My next stop was lunch, and there was a Chipotle just down the strip calling my name.  I entered the restaurant and stopped cold right inside the door.  What the hell was the music they were playing?  It sounded more like new age instead of Mexican.  I approached the counter with apprehension.  What is this?  Where are all the Hispanic men and women that could correctly pronounce ‘carnitas’ and ‘barbacoa’?  It was then I remembered the reason I had avoided Chipotle for so long; the mass firings in December 2010 of the Latino workers who made Chipotle one of my favorite restaurants.  Where is the Hispana who chatted with the hugely pregnant white girl that spoke Spanish?  I even showed her baby pictures since I was there so often since Alberto had cravings for Chipotle at least once a week.  She is gone now, replaced by new workers who have sucked the joy out of my burrito. I have officially scratched Chipotle off my list of desirable fast-food options, and I will now have a moment of silence for my loss. ***SILENCE***  Ok, I’m done now.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

To be continued

To be perfectly honest, I didn’t anticipate that the Omnibus Hearing on Friday would be quite so interesting.  I had dressed carefully in a suit and even styled my hair using a hairagami to make a bun.  I love those things by the way; super-fast and easy even for the fashion inept!  Well I managed to get out of the house on time (que milagro), and Ashley didn’t complain too much about being left with Gisela.  The hearing was scheduled to start at 9 am, and I was in the area by 8:30.  Since I had been unable to find any information regarding the location of the hearing, I stopped at the jail.  After the guards at the desk couldn’t help me, they told me to go through security to speak with the clerk of courts for that building as she would have that information.  As I waited in line, I quickly removed any items on my person containing metal parts and placed them in my purse to go through the x-ray machine.  I walked through and set off the detector which I had never done in all the time I had come to this same building to visit Alberto.  I removed my shoes thinking the buckles might be the issue and stepped through again. BEEP BEEP BEEP!  I took off my bracelets next to walk through again. BEEP BEEP BEEP!  ¡Chin!  I came back looking confused and the guard asked if I had anything in my hair or any other body jewelry that was not gold or silver.  I couldn’t think of what would be causing the detector to go off so the guard used the wand to discover the source.  It was my hair, more specifically it was the hairagami that was folded into my hair to create the bun that looked so nice.  After discovering the source, I pulled it out of my hair, set it down, and walked through without a hitch.  That was 10 minutes of my time out the window for trying to look nice. 

So after I got through security, I approached the clerk of court to get the information.  As I was talking to her I had pulled another hair binder from my purse and was securing my hair in a bun without the use of the dratted hairagami.  I had to spell out Alberto’s full name for her and was informed that court was being held in the Government Center across the street and that it would be on the 17th floor.  Great!  I rushed out of the jail and moved with surprising speed towards the Government Center.  I found where I needed to be and discovered I would have to go through security again which took up another 10 minutes because I had several people in front of me.  The guard on crowd control was surprisingly chipper, and I managed to get cleared without taking everything off again.  After getting into the elevator and cruising up to the 17th floor, I was greeted by emptiness.  There was not a single person to be found on this floor until an attorney emerged for another elevator.  I found the courtroom for the Judge assigned to the hearing and sat down to wait for Brian.  He said he was going to be late since he had another hearing in another building that had started at 8:30.  I did not speak to anyone, nor did anyone speak to me when the interesting portion of the hearing started.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Tiggers aren't the only things that bounce...

There is nothing more pleasant than when your attorney writes you an email to let you know your payment bounced.  Now I am no longer allowed to write checks for my bi-weekly payments and I owe the original amount of that check, plus a $25 fee charged by the attorney, and the returned check fee imposed by the bank.  Fantastic! Not only that but next pay day is not going to be pretty since I didn’t get paid for the Holiday and I have to take a few hours off to be at Alberto’s court on Friday morning.  What I really need is for Marcos to man up and pay me what he owe, and for Fabian to stop being a pendejo about the money he owes Alberto.  I am really tired of all of this financial terrorism inflicted by a depressed economy and a sadistic bank.  For once in my life I just want to be ok, and not have to count my pennies as they fly willy-nilly out of my wallet.  I think I really need to consider going to bed even though I can’t sleep since I actually used ‘willy-nilly’ in a sentence.

I decided to change the name of my blog today because ‘Light A Candle’ did not really describe why I am blogging.  As much as I would like to believe that what I say on here is helping reduce ignorance on a small scale, in reality I blog because I need an outlet.  It is driving me crazy that Alberto calls me maybe twice a week a most, but I know he’s doing it to try and save us money.  I wanted to try and get out to the jail early Wednesday morning, but who would have imagined that I would actually sleep on Tuesday night?  It seems that my body mutinies at the most inconvenient times possible. 

I guess I’m throwing in the towel for the night although I fear I won’t be able to sleep the moment I lie down.  I will have to take my chances I guess and write some more tomorrow!  Here’s my quote of the post:

Más vale morirse cagando que pasarse la vida comiendo mierda.
(Better to die shitting than to go through life eating shit)

It made me laugh when I saw it, so there it is!


Interesting Spanish words/phrases from this post:
Que Vida, La Mi:  What life of mine (it depends on your point of view as to what translation sounds best)
Pendejo:  Dumbass, Jackass, Stupid, Moron  (vulgar)
Más Vale:  It is better to
Cagar:  To Shit  (vulgar)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Independence Day

This weekend has been interesting to say the least.  On Saturday I got up extra early and hoofed it downtown to see Alberto in Jail.  I arrived at the Jail by 7:10 am and I was in the 3rd person in line.  By 7:30 am the line had grown to over 20 people so I was glad that I was down there early.  I felt guilty about going to visit Alberto without Ashley, but since I had to work afterwards I just couldn’t justify yanking her out of bed and driving an extra 20 miles.  He was so surprised to see me and I was worth it to see the smile wash over his face.  He picked up his phone and told me that when his name was called he was wondering who would be coming here to see him on a Saturday.  I told him that since I couldn’t see him on Monday, I had decided to see if I could get in to see him on Saturday.  We talked about a few different things, but the one topic that sticks in my mind was regarding Ashley. 

I think I mentioned it before that one of my in-laws had started telling Ashley that ‘Chucky’ was hiding in dark rooms waiting to get her.  We think it was little Maria because she seems to be the only one who believes in that still.  I think she is going to be five this year, but with so many nieces and nephews in Alberto’s family it’s amazing that I remember everyone’s name.  Anyway, Ashley finally stopped talking about ‘Chucky’ a few days ago although she still doesn’t want to go into dark rooms alone.  Instead now she talks to me every night about monsters.  Dios mio Ashley, you don’t want to go around thinking about monsters every night or you’ll end up just like your pobre Mamí. 

Friday, July 1, 2011

Wonderful things come in small packages

Yesterday the mailman brought me something wonderful, a letter from Alberto!  Well actually it was three letters in a single envelope, but I was happy to have gotten something from him at all.  When he called me just as we were sitting down to dinner I got to tell him how happy it made me to get letters from him.  He jokingly asked me if I could read what he wrote, and I informed him I was an experienced interpreter of his letters.  The reason he asked me this question is that Alberto never finished high school and I believe his education more or less ended by the time he was 14.  His handwriting is poor at best and his spelling is pretty bad as well so it can be difficult to determine what he is trying to say.  He attended school here in the US for a couple of months to a year, but due to circumstances his family pulled him from school and sent him to work.  He told me several years ago that the reason he stopped going to school is because his cousins were trying to initiate him into their gang, Los Sureños, and his sisters intervened to save their youngest brother.  Knowing what I do about that particular gang and about his cousins, I am truly grateful that Yesica and Rosa moved to protect Alberto for their bad influence.  It was several months later that I actually met Alberto while working at McDonalds and our story began.  Anyway, in his letters he refers to me as mujer mia and mi amor several times which is probably the most romantic he’s ever been that I can recall.  I will say that it is difficult loving a Mexican man because the majority of them are constipated when it comes to emotions; it takes a laxative (beer) and great pain (the threat of a hangover) for them to confess their love.  Watch a George Lopez special, he does a bit about this and it wouldn’t be that funny if it wasn’t true.

I'm miffed that I can't go and see Alberto on Monday as we usually do because of the Holiday.  At this I have to admit that being in jail has apparently been good for Alberto since he’s found faith again after being without it for so long.  He writes to me about trusting in God and how he is content with just being about to see us after so long.  This change is mostly amazing to me since for years Alberto would only go to church on holy holidays and even then it was grudgingly.  Ok, so I promised myself that I wouldn’t get preachy because I know how much it irritates me when someone tries to force their beliefs or lack thereof down my throat.  I am not saying that my beliefs are better, but they are my beliefs and shall stay that way.  The first amendment to the Constitution was the freedom of religion, press, and expression.  With that said if you happen to pray, please take a moment and pray that justice may be served for us this coming week.