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Citizenship Update, Office and Whatnot

March 29, 2013

Yes, it is an off day to be in my office. My cleaning lady changed the day to Friday this week. So here I am, sitting, watching, blogging (finally). "Finally" because after teaching my Zumba class this morning, then practicing the routines I learned last Saturday, I headed to my office to blog about the progress on my Citizenship. Only I couldn't get started right a way because Nerd's web host (Yahoo Small Business) decided to only use secure FTP, which my version of Dreamweaver doesn't support, so I downloaded FileZilla, the client I installed on my PC Desktop, which didn't work on my MacBook, so I went shopping for a client in the App store and found Yummy FTP Lite for only $1.99, installed it, downloaded my current index file from the host and here I go....

Are your eyes glazed over and you quit listening? LOL. That's how I get when people start speaking in medical terms or about math. OK, so that was the Whatnot part of this post. I'm so backwards sometimes, aren't I?

Might as well continue backwards. So I'm in my office on a weird day and the regulars are different. There's this odd lady who took a table for 4, placed items in each of the other 3 chairs for her invisible friends, I guess, and proceeded to open her mail and eat her packed (not purchased at Starbucks) lunch.

Office Characters

She carefully placed a newspaper section on the chair just in front of me. Then my friend, Kami, came in and promptly sat on one of her invisible friends. She looked perturbed. I wonder what she would do if she knew I was sitting right in front of her blogging about her?

On to the Citizenship update. I got all my papers in order and took them down to the post office and paid $20 to send it faster/don't lose it mode. I mailed them on Monday, March 18th. I settled in for what was sure to be a several month long wait to hear anything. Lo and behold, I got an envelope from them the following Friday, March 22. Wow, I thought, how efficient. Then I thought, no this can't possibly be good. What if they did give me an interview date, WHEN WE'RE IN EUROPE? I didn't open it, afraid to. My Little Honey Bunch finally opened it for me a couple of days later and proclaimed in his best German accent, "YOUR PAPERS DO NOT APPEAR TO BE IN ORDER!"

Citizen Reject

So the reason for rejection? I DIDN'T SIGN THE FORM BUT THAT'S BECAUSE IT SAYS NOT TO SIGN THE FORM UNTIL I'M IN FRONT OF AN OFFICIAL!!! How much you wanna bet I sign it, send it back and they return it again because I signed it? Stay tuned! And this time, I'm not spending $20. It's going in the cattle car.

Anyway, have a great weekend! Apparently it's Easter Sunday. Hmmmm...maybe I'll go to a church in Oakland to watch all the colorful, wonderful hats, the beautiful singing and saving.


The Permit

March 14, 2013

So, I took Nat to her appointment to get her Driver's Permit, early for our scheduled 10:30 appointment, one day after she turned 15 1/2. She finally got called at almost 11:00. Good thing we had an appointment? In any case, it gave me time to post the Drivers and What Not (click here for post) post earlier. So here we are at the good old DM of V.

Permit

Nat gets all the paperwork filled out, gets her picture taken and goes to take the test. She finishes, just as I'm finishing my post. Drum roll.....did she pass?

Permit

Does that look like a 'passed' face? YES!

Permit

She decided to let me let her drive (even after our discussion last night). So now she's all Swaggin, appropriately so in a vehicle name, Klaus V. Swagen.

Permit

OK, serious now, the moment of truth!

Permit

She did great! Went around the parking lot a few times. Practiced taking off, stopping and generally getting a feel for the car. At the end she said, "This is kind of fun! Like Mario Kart!"

Well, here we go! Hanging on for the next 6 month ride!


The Incidents

March 10, 2013

If you are one of my children, stop reading now! If you continue reading, this story is actually about a friend of mine and I'm using my name to protect the innocent. Yeah, yeah, that's it!

Some of you have asked me about 'The Incidents' I always refer to when I'm freaking out about getting deported and what not. So, I think it's time to tell you about them.

The first one was that I got arrested for Assaulting a Police Officer. Sounds bad, right? That's why I wish there was an explanation page attachment permitted on these forms that ask you if you were ever arrested, convicted of a crime, committed a felony, etc.

Usually, I tell people the condensed version. I got arrested in Walnut Creek for being the wrong color.

So here's the long version.

You see, once upon a time in 1978, there were no people of color to speak of in Walnut Creek. This was back in the day when folks would go to the Mains to cruise. (To cruise back and forth slowly, in your customized car, spanning a few blocks on a main street in town.) There were Mains in Berkeley (University Avenue), Richmond (23rd Avenue), San Leandro (East 14th).

One day, our brown ass selves (wait, are Filipinos brown?) decided to go to The Main in Walnut Creek. Having grown up in Berkeley, and color blind, we just didn't think it would be a big deal. The details are sketchy (I should have started writing these things down before my dementia started setting in) but I think there were three car loads of us who caravanned out. Or maybe it was just us (P-Rez, Baby Daddy #1 and I) in the '65 Riviera and my brother, Nene, in his '66 Chevy Impala. I remember Melvin and my brother, Chacho, were also there. Donna, Julie, were you with us? Danny? If you three were with us, we would have been better off. We would have had our 'White Friend'. LOL. (Now I must the add link to Chris Rock's Police Training Video. Click here.)

'65 Riviera

So we're cruising up and down The Main, sticking out like sore thumbs in our lowriders. At one point, my brother had to pee. We pulled over and he whipped it out and peed between two buildings.

Let me stop for a moment here and tell you I have never understood boys who just whip it out and go pee wherever. Just because it's convenient, doesn't mean you shouldn't find a proper bathroom! My Little Honey Bunch has NEVER whipped it out and peed outside! Well, he might have on the mountain during a bike ride. Anyway, I think it's gross!

So back to my story...while we were waiting for my brother, a couple of Police Officers pull up. CLEARLY, racial profiling. We're all asked to step out of the cars, they search for liquor (there is none - I'm four months pregnant with Motsy and we're just not that stupid). I can't even tell you what prompted what happened next, but all of a sudden, one of the Police Officers takes a billy club and starts pounding on my brother, Chacho. I scream, "Stop! Stop! Leave him alone! He didn't do anything!"

The clubbing continues and I can't control myself, I have to protect my little brother (OH MY GOD, tears are coming to my eyes as I relive this)!! So I jump on the Police Officer, trying to grab his arm to make him quit hitting my brother. He grabs me and throws me against the wall. Now P-Rez gets upset because they just threw the mother of his first born and unborn child against a wall, so he jumps in and tries to stop the madness.

Everything after that is a blur. The next thing I know, I'm being patted down and put in a cell. The Police Officers are laughing. "Look at that drunk one....ha-ha-ha." Just because you made me go into a rage for clubbing my brother for no good reason doesn't mean I'm drunk, you asshole! I'm 4 months pregnant! I wouldn't be drunk! I remember trying to stick out my belly so they could clearly see I was pregnant. Oh, the hazards of being pregnant at 20. You stay teeny tiny.

Furious, when we got out, we found a lawyer and were going to charge them with Police Brutality and get them stripped of their badges. I remember our lawyer looked into the backgrounds of the Police Officers and they had a history of violence. This should be an easy win to get those assholes off the streets.

Not so easy, apparently. Months go by, back and forth to the Walnut Creek Court building, right there on Ygnacio Valley, trying to get those assholes fired.

Then my brother, Nene, died. (Story for another time. Or did I write that already? Dementia. I wrote a little about it. Click here.) Deflated, our 17 year old brother dead, the fight just wasn't in us anymore and we plead guilty to a lesser charge. Resisting Arrest or Disturbing the Peace. I can't remember. Dementia. I do remember our lawyer didn't charge us for the last couple of meetings to help us bury Nene.

That was actually my first encounter with Clayton. I drove P-Rez and Chacho out to the Detention Facility on Marsh Creek Road to do their two weekends. There was NOTHING out here! I, myself, did my two weekends at the county jail in Martinez. It was kind of scary. Motsy was only a couple of months old, my brother had just died and I just remember crying myself to sleep and longing for my babies and my brother.

Even after that incident, I never stopped having faith that our men in blue (except for a few assholes) are here to protect and to serve.

On to incident number two.

Well, there was going to a bar and seven kamikaze's involved. Need I say more? Can you say DUI?

A few of things I learned from that experience were 1) never TRY to say the alphabet backwards 2) don't get cocky when they're about to let you go and the most important, 3) NEVER DRINK AND DRIVE!

So, if any of my children are still reading, even though this is about my, um, friend, NEVER GET BEHIND THE WHEEL OF A CAR AFTER YOU HAVE BEEN DRINKING AND NEVER GET IN A CAR WITH SOMEONE WHO IS DRIVING AND HAS BEEN DRINKING. You have permission to phone home to get picked up if you ever find yourselves in this situation.

So there you have it. You can now stop wondering what 'The Incidents' were.


Passport

March 9, 2013

As you recall, I left off on my 'Mexican' post, on the WP Blog, with my still waiting to be called to submit my paperwork for my Mexican Passport (story here). It didn't take much longer. I was called up, the guy entered all my information into the computer and almost spelled Straka wrong. Luckily, he had me proof everything. My name read Rosa Maria Ayala Rodriguez de Straka. I said I don't go by that here and he said that's the way they do it in Mexico and since it was a Mexican passport, being issued by the Mexican Government, that's how it was going to be. Alrighty then. I hope the airlines know about these sorts of things when checking name on the ticket against name on passport. He also took my picture again even though they had me bring one in and he took one of them (?).

He sent me to the next window to pay the fee. I bought the six year plan, just in case the American Citizenship thing doesn't work out because of the, you know, incidents. I asked how long it was going to take and braced myself. The last time I got a passport was in 1980, or was it 1990? Anyway, it took some months to get. But he says to me, "About an hour." I was floored! Really? An hour from NOW? "Yes." That made my day except that I was starving but I wasn't going to go anywhere and take the chance of not getting it!

Only about 15 minutes went by and the guy who initially checked all our papers, the one I told I couldn't speak Spanish to, came in and started handing out the brand new passports. I told him, "Muchas gracias por ayudar me antes con mi birth certificate." He said, "Aren't you the one who couldn't speak Spanish?" I said, "Yes. Sorry, but my Spanish isn't very good looking."

Anyway, I'm delighted and getting all gloaty because my Little Honey Bunch and the kids were plotting who they would take to Europe in my place because they were sure I would procrastinate just long enough to not have my papers in order. MY PAPERS ARE IN ORDER BEFORE YOURS! NEENER, NEENER, NEENER!

passport

Then, I'm sitting there gloating and admiring the passport when all of a sudden I notice, my frickin name is wrong. It says ROSA MARIA AYALA RODRIGUEZ. Fuck. Big sigh. Oh well, I wanted to go back to The City anyway.

I decide to call first to see if I can just show up or if I need another appointment. The guy at the 877 number doesn't know what to tell me (he's only there to make appointments) so he tells me to call the San Francisco location directly and ask. I call and get into this Laurel and Hardy routine. Press 2 for English. Numero incorecto. So I press 1 for Spanish. There is no option for a live person after going around and around and pressing all sorts of combinations (back in the day, 0# used to always get you to a live person). The only option for anything related to passports was to call the 877 number. Not going there again.

Then I see that there's a link for email, so I put together my sob story in Spanish and ask them what to do. I post my woes on Facebook. There were several interesting suggestions (Mia!). One friend says in Spain and Italy they put the married name in some obscure place which prompts me to inspect the passport again.

Yup. There it is. In the teeniest, tiniest font I have ever seen: Spouse's Last Name: Straka

passport

Heh, heh. Is my face red. I send another email and apologize and say that I see that my married name is on the passport.

Never mind.

This reminds me of the time a funny, clunking noise was coming from the back of Silky. After it went on for a while, I decided I better take him in to the dealer. So when I picked him up, the Service Manager had written up, "Clunking noise in trunk is a set of 5 lb. weights." Boy, was my face red.


Bodega Bay

March 1, 2013

Happy March!

The girls are back to Bodega Bay for our Scrapbooking weekend. We ended up getting a bigger house so that all 12 of us could be here at once if we wanted to. So far, so good! What a gorgeous picture window!

Bodega 2013

Of course we had to walk down to the ocean and take pictures.

Bodega 2013

Such a beaturiful day!

Bodega 2013

The Birds!

Bodega 2013

6:02 p.m.

Bodega 2013

Shelly helping me with my camera settings.

Bodega 2013

More wine on the deck.

Bodega 2013

Out of order but I'm too lazy to fix it.

Bodega 2013

This was not a rock. (Sad Face)

Bodega 2013

I was dubbed Queen of Making Gin and Tonics.

Bodega 2013

Straws are good for gin and tonic and wine.

Bodega 2013

Such coordination!

Bodega 2013

Once Marcie gets here, it's all about whipping us into shape.

Bodega 2013

Marcia's beautiful breakfast!

Bodega 2013

And coffee on the deck.

Bodega 2013


Rosy Straka Facebook IconTwitter IconMailRosy Straka PinterestRosy Straka Rodan and FieldsRosy Straka Zumba

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My name is Rosy, Chacha, Meez, Mama, Mother...take your pick.


They need you.

Glide Memorial


They need you, too.

ASPCA


My loves are my Honey Bunch, my children, my family, friends and Zumba. My Zumba site:

Zumba Con Sabor

Rosy Straka Dot Com BN (Before Nerd):


One of my favorite sites and one I'll be stealing...um...borrowing ideas from. (Hmmm. I already see my Nerd font is similar to hers. Hers is Edwardian Script and Mine is Beautiful ES.)

The Pioneer Woman


This blogger introduced me to the above blogger and to the blogging bug in general. Love her!

That Girl Blogs

The website of a very talented artist who happens to be my son.

Bounce


This is my nieces blog. She's cute: http://temptationofliving.tumblr.com/rosystraka.com needs a facelift and makeover. I'll be working on that, too.


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Suburbia, California