Monday, December 16, 2002

i'm baaack... and dude, i got a dell...

well folks, i admit, it wasn't a very long hiatus.. but i found out that you can't really remove a blog manually.. it's something that gets removed after a certain period of inactivity. so with a new computer at hand, i couldn't help but get back into writing. anybody miss me? hehe.

so first things, first, i think it's gonna be a royal pain in the ass to reinvent this page with all the bells and whistles i previously had. so bear with me. in the meantime i'll post tid bits of what's been going on the past few weeks that i have been away from my blogspot:

i got a dell.. as the title implies. it's beautiful.. black, flatpanel, 8250 dimension, cd burner included.. and they were offering over $500 in rebates at the time so i just couldn't resist! and i love it. dearly. who would've thought i'd fall in love with a computer? c is jealous. hehe.. not really. though we both have been playing a LOT of 3D pinball that comes with windows xp. so far i have the highest score... over 6 million! i never thought pinball actually involved strategy.. i mean, i would just click the flippers and try to keep the ball from draining. no wonder i never really got a good score. but now i see the light and i can't get enough!

our trip to the dominican republic is kind of at a standstill until i find out whether or not they've approved my visa. costa rica denied me a visa once back in may 2001 when i wanted to go visit my friend T who lived there for a year to learn spanish. they gave me no reason, just that it was denied. i'm hoping that won't be the case with the DR. i'd be highly upset. c would be highly upset. this would be her first trip outside the US and i can't wait for that to happen for her. it would be a real shame. but we're keeping our fingers crossed and hopefully when i call them again tomorrow for a status check, they'll give me the answer i want to hear. the reason i'm apprehensive is because, simply put, i'm muslim. those of you thinking i'm overreacting, think again. as an alternative plan, in case i get rejected for a DR visa, i looked into going somewhere in mexico. i've been to puerto vallarta before and enjoyed it thoroughly. getting a visa for mexico was a cinch. i went in one day to submit my passport and all the other necessities and came back the next day with a month long visa. so, i figured mexico wouldn't be a problem. but lo and behold, as i visited the consulate website, i found out that as of september 14th, 2001, the rules have changed. certain nationals, and yes, bangladesh was on that list, are now required to submit their applications 2 months in advance if they want to visit mexico. so much for that. i never in my life thought being a muslim would place restrictions on my life besides the restrictions i chose for myself.

it's really quite sad to think that these are the days we live in. i'm horrified at the thought of how this impedes the progress of millions of people who simply want to travel, explore this great big world, immerse themselves in cultures other than their own. and all because of 9-11. all because of america's and other parts of the world's inability steer clear of stereotypes.

but i'm thinking positive. my glass is half full. tomorrow i will call the embassy and hope for the best. maybe the delay in giving me an answer is simply due to the fact that they are backlogged. or maybe it's because they do think i'm a possible threat (read: muslim terrorist) and as a result they're doing a background check on me. fine, go ahead.. do what you gotta do.. you ain't gonna find shit cuz there ain't nothin' to find. i pay my taxes, i file all my tax returns ethically and i've never been accused of a crime...

on a brighter note, we just got a memo from the big boss that we're getting new years eve off in addition to new years day. hallelujah.. that, my friends, means that i will only need to take 5 vacation days for our trip instead of 6. you have no idea how happy that makes me. time off is my biggest complaint at my job. but i'm feeling a lot better about it now because in late november i celebrated my 5th anniversary with the company which entitles me to three weeks of vacation next year instead of the usual and pitiful two weeks. plus, included in the memo was a list of holidays next year, and we were given two additional floating holidays! what a treat. if i sound sarcastic, i'm not. i can use every day, every hour that i can get. so this brings me to a grand total of 18 paid days off next year.. oooh.. the possibilities...

and once i get my greencard, or at least the "advance parole" portion which is supposed to come through in about three months (gee, they sure do make me sound like a prisoner) i'll be able to travel as a US resident alien (gee, they sure do make me sound like a creature from outer space) and i won't have to deal with visas or embassies or any of that crap. those of you that are US citizens or residents should realize how lucky you are in that the US has treaties with so many countries that allow you to travel freely almost anywhere. it really is a luxury.. take it from me.

well, it's nice to be back.. now for the hard part.. redesigning the page..