The Cranky Ol' Bat

Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death! - RuPaul


"The TSA Hurt My Widdle Feewings...."

I've bitched about the TSA on this blog numerous times, but at least I'm not dumb enough to make jokes about carrying on a bazooka in my luggage.

There's more at the above, courtesy of the Smoking Gun, including one woman's tribulations because of "magnetic breast implants". (Personally, I find that fascinating. I don't need that kind of help, thank you very much....but of all the adjectives I would use to describe fake ones surgically implanted in the chest, "magnetic" ain't one of them.)

Where Are the Cool People Heading on Vacation?

Apparently, not Cuba, which has experienced a 50% drop in American tourists since 2003.

The Treasury Department, under the Bush Administration, has decided to more strictly enforce the embargo against US citizens who want to crash at Fidel's. 307 people were fined the first quarter of 2005, vs 316 for all of 2004.

Overall, about 108,000 Americans visited the island last year, vs about 200,000 in 2003.

If you still want to smoke a genuine Havana stogie on the Malecon, be sure to budget an additional $7500. That's the average fine assessed on a first-time embargo violator if the Feds arrange the "welcome home" party for you after your trip.

Or you could just skip the whole idea, go to first class to Miami, and wear this shirt instead. Looks like traveling farther south is SO 2002......


Now Playing: "Too Much Time on My Hands"

Go ahead, click here to see the "latest" in the iPod family.

BTW, I dedicate that song to Martha Burke. Yes, I saw the controversial NHL commercial on the local morning news. I am happy that women all over the world have achieved legal equality with men, especially women in Saudi Arabia, so we can attend to the deep problem of depicting a woman wearing a see-through shirt over a tank top helping a guy suit up for a hockey game.

I admit, I was offended by the ad. That sucker is cheesy. Channeling "Gladiator" or "Braveheart" is so 2002.

Oh, wait, I'm supposed to be torked about the chick not being in a baggy sweater, or that the chick ain't the guy's granny, or that she's comfortably on the attractive side. And after she's done, the guy doesn't even say thank you or take out the trash on the way to the ice.

My bad!


"What a Wonderful World....."

I never ever thought that I would ever get married. In fact, I started out 2004 swearing that I wasn't going to do that.

That promise lasted until about, well, July 2004.

That was my first and last New Year's resolution.

Anyway, back on topic. Last year, the Tsar and I got married in Vegas. A couple of months after, the Tsar asked me if I wanted to renew our vows on our first anniversary. I asked him if he wanted to do that every year. He thought that was romantic, and I said that I would do it only if we did it in a different place every year (damn straight I'm going to arrange to have at least one vacation....)

Sunday was our first anniversary. Since the Tsar just started his new job, we couldn't exactly ask for vacation time to go anywhere but Florida. A few minutes on the Internet, and we found Affordable Weddings in Daytona Beach.

We went for the "Intimate Affair" package on the beach at sunrise. Since I promised the Tsar that the only time I would make him dress up in a tuxedo was on our weddding day, we got re-hitched barefoot, in our swimsuits.

The music we chose for the beginning of the ceremony was one of my all-time favorite songs, Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World". We recited our vows, listened to the Rev Ginny Holder recite the prayer of St Francis and the Apache Wedding Blessing, and enjoyed the beautiful sunrise and the waves coming in. I wrote "I still do..." in Russian in the wet sand, and we watched the ocean wash it away.

Finally, we ran off into the waves to take the plunge....literally. Some of the other guests in the hotel stood on their balconies and applauded as we came out of the ocean, holding hands.

It was sweet, it was romantic...and I don't know how we're going to top it next year. But we're going to have fun trying to do that, and we have a year to plan it, right?

I know the Tsar doesn't read this often, but if he does.....tebya lyublyu, seychas i vsegda, sladky moy.

P.S. Best wishes to my new favorite soon-to-be-newlyweds: eLarson and his lovely lady. Next month, right?


The Hurricane Aftermath Report from the Jet Set Chick......

So far, it's all good news!

I got in touch with my special "correspondent" Jim R yesterday morning. He rode out the hurricane in Houston. The only problem he had was a ton of leaves and pine needles in his yard that he had to clean up by today (trash pickup was still scheduled for the normal time). The only thing out was his cable. His parents didn't have power, but other than that they were ok, too.

Apparently his double-paned windows really paid off during the hurricane. His dogs spent the entire night munching on their rawhide bones and sleeping. He didn't hear a thing, and even peeked out his window to see if there was anything going on outside because it was so quiet in his home. He saw the branches whipping around violently in the wind, so he knew it hit. His friends and neighbors with single-pane windows were kept up by the howling and the chattering of the glass in the window frames.

My good buddy Paul also got good news from his brother and sister-in-law. They don't have a car, and his brother has severe diabetes, but they both came through just fine after riding out the storm.

And now from yours truly on the travel front......

After checking with that my flights weren't cancelled, I boarded the plane in Orlando. There was some turbulence over on the Florida side of the trip, but nothing out of the ordinary. The weird thing was seeing the remnants of Rita as we flew over the Gulf. I have never before seen clouds in rows. It reminded me of soldiers in formation. There were little puffs lined up and almost equally spaced apart. I was able on occasion to see the coast below once we got to what looked like the Louisiana bayous. Nothing out of the ordinary there, as far as I could tell.

The most striking thing was the abscence of traffic on the roads on the approach to Houston. It was just before sunset when we arrived, and it was strange to see only a handful of cars on the debris-free highways and streets. A few of the homes under construction looked a little messier than normal. Pool owners have new collections of the local flora mixed in with dirt at the bottom of their personal swimming holes. (Pool cleaners in East Texas are going to make a killing in the next few weeks....)

Bush Intercontinental looked to be in perfect condition. There were no missing windows, the runways were in excellent condition and well lit, and even though it seemed quiet and subdued, the airport was running along just fine. Continental Express had cancelled all their flights. About 1/4 of the stores and restaurants were still closed. Starbucks junkies were not happy in Terminal E.

The gate agent for my flight back home to Phoenix warned us that the jetway lights might not be working and told us to grip the handrails as we left the terminal for the plane. They worked just fine when I went through, however.

The rest of the flight was uneventful, except for the very loud flight attendant ("I'm not a stewardess!!" she said about, oh, ten times during a two hour flight) sitting across from me in the emergency exit row. If there was anyone on board the plane who didn't know that the weird, hyper woman in the aqua poncho wasn't a flight attendant flying at a deep discount off the stated fare, that was a person who conked out right after we pulled away from the gate. I guess the days of flying as a quiet, tastefully attired non-rev are over....

There is one thing that went very right on the plane......we got into Sky Harbor 15 minutes early. Way to go, Continental!!

Awwww.....How Cute!

Mucky at Freepers and Hippies and Trolls has been kicking my sorry butt with his robot fights, so I guess I'll just give up and be cute.

You Are A: Monkey!

monkeyMonkeys are intelligent and agile, well-adapted for jungle life as they swing happily from tree to tree. As a monkey, you are a social animal who prefers a warm climate, eats a wide range of food and is quick to learn new things. A monkey's tiny primate features are irresistable, as is her gregarious personality!

You were almost a: Pony or a Parakeet
You are least like a: Chipmunk or a GroundhogDiscover What Cute Animal You Are!

Tip o' the hat to Scone.


Hoping for the Best for Houston

One of the people I've known since...well, my first week at Arizona State, a damn long time making a crazy decision. He's going to try to ride the storm out in Houston.

Maybe he's going to be right, and he and his neighbors will come through with only a tree impaling someone's house. He's got a bunch of water, some canned foods, and his goofy dogs. The part of town he's in is about 30 feet above sea level.

Granted, I've never been through a hurricane, but that doesn't seem like enough to me.

I talked to him twice yesterday. The first time I was trying to bribe him to go to Bush Intercontinental and get on a plane, any plane, out of there. I offered to pay for first class seating, and he said he couldn't leave the dogs behind. The second time, when he mentioned heading off to El Paso, I offered to make a reservation right then at the best place in town if he would go.

He laughed, and said, What would that be? A place without roaches?

I told him he was probably right, but he promised me that he would start loading up his car. He thought he might be leaving on Friday. Maybe.

If you need a place to stay, I've got the apartment paid for until December, and dogs are ok at this complex, I told him. I won't need it after the beginning of October. He thanked me, and said he hoped he wouldn't need to take me up on it.

I had to hang up before I started crying. I wanted more than anything to go to Houston, grab him by the scruff of his neck and march him out of there at gunpoint, if necessary. What I really don't understand is that almost exactly one year ago, he willingly went to my wedding in Vegas, even though he couldn't afford it. When he really should get out of town, he's refusing to go.

I'll call him tomorrow. Hopefully all I'll get is his answering machine, with an outgoing message saying that he has left ahead of Rita.

Best of luck to anyone still left on the Gulf Coast. Here's hoping that Rita weakens some more. That would be the best anniversary present I could have.

(If he does make it to El Paso, you're damn straight I will shell out for a first-class room. Room service, too, even for the dogs.)


Also NOT a Cocktail of the Week

I'm sure many of you have heard about the fake "emergency" landing in Peru so that a bunch of soccer fans could watch some match featuring the Gambian national team.

But....did you catch the name of the charter airline responsible for this stupid stunt?

Air Rum.

They seem a touch farked up if you look at their website. I mean, they make a big deal about their logo, the supposed "National Rose of Jordan". Hmm....looks like a deep purple iris to me.

I think I'll stick to Tequila Airways.


Planning on Traveling This Weekend?

Well, expect a bunch of ugly snafus, courtesy of Hurricane Rita.

According to the Weather Channel, this sucka is the 3rd strongest on record for the Atlantic basin. It's strengthening, too, with the latest winds at 175 mph.

The Brits and Canadians are warning people about this storm on their websites.

Want to hear something really weird? NASA has bugged out of the Johnson Space Center.....for Moscow.

Continental Airlines will make a determination tomorrow at 2 pm Central time about their operational status for the weekend at Houston's Bush Intercontinental. Southwest is anticipating cancelling service to Corpus Christi and Houston on Friday 23 September until about mid-morning Sunday 25 September.

Other airlines are relaxing their policies on changing tickets to accommodate travelers who will be beginning/transferring/ending their flights in the affected areas.

Also according to the Weather Channel, people are having a hell of a time finding hotel rooms in Texas as the Gulf Coast evacuates to higher ground. People are going as far as Oklahoma to get a place to stay. (A lot of the rooms that would have been available are sheltering evacuees from Katrina). There's precious few rental cars to be found, too.

Just remember....if Jim Cantore from that network is hanging out on a nearby beach, maybe you should just get the hell out of there. I mean, damn, they're leaving tomorrow, fer Chrissakes!!!

Yes, Jim R & mucky, I'm talking to you.......

I hope you both will be ok.

But still, if anyone reading this is in the danger zone, please get out now. This is not something to mess with.

Definitely NOT the Cocktail of the Week

Oh, no. To be this unbelievably smarmy, it takes a couple of lawyers.

Two guys who really look like they need some strong liquor to score have decided that now is the time to cash in on the hurricane that hit New Orleans. They have trademarked the name "Katrina", a small picture of the storm at full strength, and the words "get blown away".

No word yet on what kind of alcoholic beverage they hope to market. The Smoking Gun thinks it may be some version of the Hurricane, the drink Pat O'Brien's made famous.

If all of this made your neck get out of joint, don't worry. One of these "studs" also moonlights as a chiropractor.


Straight From the "We're Just Making Trying to Fill Some Newspaper Space" Department @ Reuters.....

All I can say is, it must have been a slow news day for Reuters to spread some airline industry analysts' "What if Delta and Northwest merged?" crap.

Hell, why not merge it with the financially troubled Greek flag carrier, Olympic Airlines? It's pretty broke, too, relying on massive amounts of money from their government. Everyone has known about that for years....except, apparently, the EU and some journalists.

Way to go, media watchdogs.

But all is not lost on the strange airline news front, friends.

France has banned Cameroon Airlines flights for safety reasons on Friday, but then conveniently Air France began service today to....Cameroon.


I tell ya, it's a weird start for the week. Better break out the old DVD's to celebrate Fawlty Towers' 30th anniversary. (Hey, it's set in a it's sort of travel related.....)


Want to Win a Honeymoon in Niagara Falls?

Maybe I'm feeling mushy because my anniversary is coming up....or maybe it's because eLarson is going down the aisle soon....but my thoughts are turning to old school-style romance.

Click here to enter and maybe win a five night trip for two to Niagara Falls. (Unless you hail from Quebec, then you are outta luck, mon ami.) The contest ends 30 September.

Looks like they pay for everything but the rental car, because of the dreaded "liability reasons". Round trip air tranportation provided by JetBlue, and five nights accomodation in some ritzy-sounding hotels is included.

Now, I've got to get my sweetie from Sky Harbor. (Long distance marriages may sound glamorous, but not when you have to spend precious time together in the baggage claim area. Yuk! I really don't know how some couples do this for years. Fortunately this will be over soon.)

Have a terrific weekend, and will post more here on Monday!

P.S. Happy Birthday to the Jet Set Brother!! (Yes, you cheapskate, you still are getting a present. Sheesh!)

Got One in Tennessee

Hat tip to the article there, along with some of the poster's comments. Otherwise, try clicking here and use the login "" with password "jetsetchi", unless you really enjoy intrusive stupid marketing surveys just to get authorization to a freakin' article....

A University of Memphis student, here illegally since 1999, has been arrested and held without bond. Mahmoud Maawad had been using fraudulent Social Security numbers to attend school and open a bank account. He had previously been arrested for selling alcohol to a minor while working off-the-books at a North Memphis convenience store.

He also was very interested in flying. So much so that he had a pilot's uniform, a chart of Memphis International Airport, and a DVD entitled "How an Airline Captain Should Look and Act". Other items in his collection included the titles "Ups and Downs of Takeoffs and Landings" and "Airplane Talk".

Maawad stiffed Spotty's USA of San Diego for $2500 worth of aviation merchandise. Spotty's alerted the FBI, who started an investigation. Maawad was arrested on 9 September. The authorities are still downloading information from his computer to see if he had any links to terrorist organizations.

He is being held on wire fraud charges for the Spotty's USA merchandise and fraudulent use of a Social Security number.

It is not illegal to buy the items Maawad ordered, but Judge S. Thomas Anderson found it difficult to understand why he owned them and had no legitimate plans to stay in the area or nation.

The number of a "friend" who Maawad claimed was supporting him financially was disconnected.

Maawad would not be eligible to take flying lessons or get a pilot's license without a Social Security number.


Death to Spam!

I have had to delete some comments off of this blog, not because they are offensive, but because they are spammers trying to advertise on here.

So, if you have seen some "comments deleted", believe me, you haven't missed a thing, unless you wanted to check out some downloaded music sites. I just wanted to stop them before it got to advertisements for live nude midgets wrestling with Britney Spears, or something like that.

That would be disgusting.

But live nude midgets slapping the crap out of Michael Moore or Sean Penn....that is art.

Besides, I ain't making a dime doing this and don't see why some spammer should, either. So if you want to leave a comment, there will be word verification afterwards. You can still leave an anonymous comment if you choose. I do read every one, even if I don't respond for a while.

Halloween's Coming, But This is Just Scary

I know that some people like to dress up their pets, but this is just freakin' weird.

I feel sort of embarrassed for the pup. He doesn't look like he's enjoying it.

Dumb as it is, at least it's not like this stupid site. I'd be embarrassed to wear one of their t-shirts.

Gourmet Meals Over the Campfire, Anyone?

a tomato and summer squash saute that accompanied perfectly grilled quail stuffed with roasted fennel and sun-dried tomatoes, served on creamy polenta

And it all was prepared on a camp grill in the middle of an apple orchard from locally grown organic foods in California.

I've never done that in my own kitchen, much less out in the field. I don't even know if the Tsar would eat it if I did prepare something like that.

If the idea of lingering four hours over dinner sounds appealing to you, check out this article. Click there and find a way to go gourmet on your next vacation.

But I think I'll save my pennies for Coney Island's restoration, scheduled to be completed in 2009.


Now on Video, Sea Mammals Gone Wild!!!

College kids aren't the only ones to go nuts seaside. Oh, no!

A bunch of sea lions have invaded Los Angeles' Newport Harbor. They have piled on a boat and sunk it, puked on the docks, and refused to stop barking at each other all night long.

The 200 to 800 pound creatures have been "victimizing" other cities like Seattle and Monterey over the years. Tourists love them, but the local municipal workers don't appreciate it when the big beasts attack.

Newport Beach fears that it is, get your cameras and ear plugs and get ready for a photo safari, Jet Setters!!

No, That's Not a Terminal....It's a Courthouse!

This week, there's a lot of airlines hanging out in the judge's chambers.

Both Delta and Northwest have filed for bankruptcy in New York's Bankruptcy Court today. Delta claims to be a little under $7 billion in the hole, making it the ninth largest bankruptcy in American history. Northwest is facing $2.5 billion in payments to its underfunded pension plan, among other obligations.

Both airlines rushed to beat the 17 October deadline for filing under the old bankruptcy laws. (After all, it is very important to ensure financial rewards to the clowns who got them in financial difficulties, and that will be much harder to do under the new rules.)

One of the other airlines to file for bankruptcy will soon be back in court, too. This time, US Airways and America West hope to get a judge's approval for their merger. This is the final step to merging the companies as soon as 27 September.

Longtime shareholder (and nemesis to the America West board of directors) Seymour Licht described the merger at the shareholders meeting discussing the matter as a marriage of two weak sisters, one who was terminally ill (US Airways), and one who was in intensive care (America West).

So far, American and Continental are the only pre-deregulation major carriers to not have filed for bankruptcy this year.

New Orleans' Louis Armstrong Airport Back in Business!!

Hmm...first ones into the Big Easy were today's Bankruptcy Court stars, Northwest & Delta.

Northwest's flight 947 from Memphis was the first one in at 10:44 yesterday, followed at 11:00 by Delta's flight in from Atlanta. Continental and Southwest are expected to start service later this week.

(Keep in mind if you want to go that there are no rental cars available, and very limited hotel service. The City of New Orleans is also still under mandatory evacuation. Might want to start up the party later....)

Damn Our Router to Hell!

Sorry there was no post yesterday. After spending over an hour on the phone with my internet service, we determined the problem was with the router, not the cable.

I promise that I will post double tonight. But first, I have to go to work to finally get the training I begged for almost two months ago, and only so I can "tutor" some newbie who can't make the first week for some reason.

Yes, guvmint work can be just as silly as private sector.


Hmm, That Wasn't So Bad!

I was going to tell you guys about the immigration interview Tsar Charming and I had on the 1st, wasn't I?

Sorry, kept forgetting and got distracted. (Landlords tend to do that to you, but more on that some other time. I can't quite decide if ours is Satan's greedy little troll cousin, or just a pathetic shmo who really needs to get beaten for two minutes with a lead pipe.)

We showed up at the appointed time, and met with our lawyer in the lobby. The Tsar had stayed up all night, arranging the documents in his own careful system, and we brought all ten pounds of it with us into the immigration officer's little cramped suite.

We swore to tell the truth, and then the questions started.

Where did you meet?

Where are you from?

May I see your wife's birth certificate?

Have you met her family?

Did you bring a copy of last year's tax return?

How did you file?

Have you ever been separated?

How long have you lived at your current residence? Rent or own?

Do you have any children?

We're working on it.

(The officer remarked that the Jet Set Mutts would qualify as kids if it was up to her.)

Why did you get married in Vegas if you live in Phoenix?

I didn't want to spend 25k on a wedding....we had a bunch of people there, and my brother gave me away. Want to see the pictures?

(The officer declined.)

What is your husband's phone number?

I don't know.

You don't know?

(The young blonde officer looked at me funny, cocking an eyebrow....the Tsar started turning pale, thinking that I've blown it and we'll be back in a few months because I don't remember some basic info that any good wife should know. Our attorney gets nervous.)

Well,'s programmed into my cell phone and I was told I couldn't bring it in here. If I want to call him, I just press a button.

(The officer smiled, and the Tsar started breathing again. Our attorney just shrugs.)

You've got a family plan?

Yep. His number is pretty close to mine, though.

(The Tsar tells her his phone number and mine, since he memorized it. The officer just laughs, stamps some of the documentation, and tells us that the reason she can't officially grant him the card is because the FBI clearance hasn't been completed yet. It could happen any time, she says, and is not unusual for applicants from Eastern Europe or Asia who have names that were not originally written in the Latin alphabet.)

So, the Tsar is almost a green card holder. He will have a "conditional" one for two years, and it will be permanent if I apply within 18 months to have the conditional part removed. After that, he can apply for citizenship in a year.

For the first time that day, he said he wanted to apply for citizenship.

I'll keep you posted. ;)


Things That Make You Go the Airport

If you see any of the signs listed in this article, be prepared to spend a bit more time on your layover than you originally planned.

I hope I don't see any of them on my trek to Orlando this weekend. The Tsar has started his new job and become a hurricane veteran in only four days.

Take care, everyone, and see you again at the Jet Set Lounge on Monday evening!


Did This Guy Go to Arizona State?

Back when I was in college, I had an instructor in finance who made a lasting impression. He was trying to impress on us little yuppie-wannabes that what we really wanted to do with our lives was not to become the CEO. He said the real power was in being the CFO (nicer offices, less incoming crap when the company screwed up, control of the checkbook, etc.)

I wonder if the new finance minister of Chad was one of his former students. He has declared that none of his fellow ministers will be allowed to travel overseas on government business trips, and he will be reducing expense reimbursements.

He, of course, is exempt from the ban, along with four of the other ministers.

The story didn't say if the prime minister was one of the lucky four.

It's Going to be One Long Layover.....

The Norwegian foreign minister, who is acting as mediator in the long standing civil war negotiations between the Sri Lankan government and the rebel Tamil Tigers, has suggested a new location for the talks.

Colombo's Bandanaraike Airport, the capital city's gateway to the world.

The government has agreed to the location, but nothing so far from the rebels.

The UN has also declined to take over from Norway in the talks. (I guess that means the airport hotel is not five-star....yes, I'm cynical. Read Emergency Sex and Other Desperate Measures, and see if it doesn't turn you off, too.)


Airlines Doing Their Part to Help

I know I've been hard at times on the airlines, but I think they deserve some credit right about now.

Delta, Continental, United, American, JetBlue, Alaska, America West, ATA, Northwest, Southwest, US Airways and Air Canada have flown 140 flights to take Katrina evacuees out of New Orleans and supplies in....and haven't requested payment from anybody.

If any of those airlines' employees are reading this......thank you!


Lost Your Mind in Las Vegas, and You're Stone Cold Sober?

Well, then, the glitter city has plenty of insanely priced libations for you to rectify your sobriety problem.

When I say insane, I mean it. I'm talking margaritas that go for $69 each at N9NE Steakhouse at the Palms Resort and Casino. And that's one of the cheaper options, believe it or not.

Why so much? Most of these drinks use ultra-premium liquor, the kind usually reserved for sipping neat. This isn't the stuff you get at the local Osco. It's stuff that maybe you might find at the most expensive gourmet store in town.....if it's available. Only if the store's supplier can get it, too.

Very few of the drinks give you something to remember the experience. The Hard Rock Cafe has a $1000 martini with a diamond-studded gold olive pick. Mandalay Bay's Rumjungle offers a French 75 with a pair of 1.5 karat earrings for the bargain price of $8200 (drop the earrings and it's a mere $1200).

If you already have enough jewelry, consider a Vodka Locker Experience at Mandalay Bay's Red Square, where for between $3000 to $6000, you get to wear sables while trying out hooch from their selection of 170 different vodkas stored below freezing.

Enough of the cheap crap!

If you just can't be bothered with the bargains listed above, get thee to MGM Grand and order the High Limit Kir Royale at the Teatro Euro Bar. It combines Louis Roederer Cristal Rose Champagne, Hardy's Perfection Cognac, Grand Marnier Cent Cinquantenaire and fresh raspberries. $2200 per flute.

Now, for a relative bargain, try Liquid Gold from Mandalay Bay's Fleur de Lys.

1 cube brown sugar
3 drops Angostura bitters
1/4 oz Grand Marnier Cent Cinquantenaire
1/4 oz Hennessy Paradis
1/4 oz verbena syrup (for a lemon note)
5 oz Champagne Krug, Reims
1 fresh raspberry
Candied orange
sprinkle of 24 karat gold flakes

Drop one sugar cube soaked with the bitters into a chilled flute. Add the Grand Marnier, Hennessy and verbena syrup, fill up with the champagne. Garnish with a fresh raspberry and candied orange with a sprinkle of gold.

Just $75, not including tip.


The Jet Set Chick....Now in Evening Editions!!!

Good afternoon, everyone!

Got back from getting the Tsar sort-of settled in the new town and ready to start his first day with his new company. He's getting stuff together there, and I'm wrapping stuff up here.

From now on until I join him in October, I'm going to post here in the evenings. There's not going to be a post on some Mondays and Fridays, and I will let you know when that will happen.

A couple more weeks and I can turn in that resignation letter! (Thanks for the suggestions on what to include on it, by the way. I am seriously considering the martini tasting gig but might mention something about exciting opportunities in hazardous insect control in my final missive to my lovely and talented supervisors.)

Hope you all had a safe and fun Labor Day!


Vamos a La Migra!

Today's the big day. Tsar Charming and I have our interview with Immigration to prove to their satisfaction that a) we have a real marriage, b) I'm not getting paid to marry him and go through with this, and c) that the Tsar is worthy of a green card.

I keep telling the Tsar that they'll probably deport me and keep him. After all, my family has been kicked out of every other respectable country on Earth....with the exception of Australia. They're next.

The guvmint's been waiting for this chance for a long time, kids.

One of these days, I'll write something about all the involuntary expulsions. But, for now, back on topic.

We meet with our lawyer at the Immigration office and wait. Hopefully, the people ahead of us won't be too dodgy. If they are, we could be there hours while they separate the "loving couple" and interrogate them about the color of their kitchen towels, their "beloved's" middle name, and what kind of toothpaste they use.

My answer for the last one is "Whatever's on sale at Osco."

I never thought I'd be holding on to things like bills for dental surgery on my sweetie, old car insurance policies that have our names on them, and old magazines to prove that yes....we really do live where we say we do. And we live there together.

We also have to cart in every scrap of paper that Immigration has ever sent us, wedding photos, and old airline ticket stubs. (They say that letters written back and forth would be good evidence, too.....but since the love letters I've written him are in Russian, I don't think they will help much, unless our hearing officers speak the language. Even then, I don't want them to have them. That's too personal.)

The really funny thing is I have to prove I can support him, when he makes more money than I do, and probably always will. I have to bring the last three years of income tax returns, bank statements, and other evidence of "financial responsibility" to prove that if he should ever apply for government benefits any time within the next ten years, I can pay the government back for every dollar.

I've already signed a piece of paper saying I would do that. Think about that....have you ever loved someone enough to sign a piece of paper stating that you would support them financially for the next ten years no matter what happens to your marriage?

(Actually, that's a good question for anyone considering getting married. If we have kids, I'm going to tell them about that piece of paper and say if they didn't love someone enough to sign something like that, they have no damn business getting hitched in the first place. Well, that and my mom's advice to never marry a guy until you've seen him drunk and find out how he treats you. Pledges of undying devotion....good. Getting a baseball bat, swearing at you and threatening to kill you......not good. Passing out....that interpretation is up to you. Hopefully he didn't ignore you for hours first.)

It literally stands about three inches tall, and doesn't include the additional stuff we're bringing in a file carrying case. After pulling all this together, getting a mortgage should be a breeze.

If that's not enough evidence that I married this guy because I love him, I give up. No way are we going the extra mile and bringing in videotapes a la Pamela Anderson & Tommy Lee. (Not that there are any, you pervs!)

I'll post later on what happened. It should be interesting. Right now I've got to go find a couple library books, just in case we're there all day.