One year in the USA!

May is my birth month and also the month I moved here in the US from the Philippines. It’s been a full year although it doesn’t feel anything like it at all! What has happened since I first moved here?

  1. I got married.
  2. Experienced  my first winter (SNOW!) And all the other seasons.
  3. Moved to Maryland from Georgia.
  4. Turned a year older.
  5. Finally got a Kitchen Aid mixer! (Thanks, hubs!)
  6. Finally perfected chocolate chip cookies!!!
  7. Missed my family a lot.
  8. Became a volunteer for SPCA
  9. America has a new president.
  10. Got my permit to work.

There’s definitely a lot more things that happened, but what has not happened yet is for me to finally get my temporary green card. It’s been 9 months since we filed it and for whatever reason, USCIS still doesn’t want to properly handle cases. I am sure we are at no fault, they probably just want us to spend more money on a lawyer or just take their sweet time because they know we can’t do stuff about it anyway…or so they think. It’s not fun anymore, they’re messing with people’s lives.

Oh well, it’s been a year in this country. I guess I’m somehow settled and it’s now time to get off my ass and start looking for work!! It’s like being 21 again- don’t know what to do after graduating. Should I try corporate or something simpler? Where do I start??

 

Uprooted and confused.

 

Filipinos = FUN.

Let me tell you the ~GOOD~ feedback I get every time someone identifies me as a Filipino. To be honest I don’t know how they can tell; it amazes me! Yes I am Asian and I make jokes about it. You can, too. It’s’ fine.

So I was eating a Harris Teeter and I guy asked if I can look after his cart of goodies cos he forgot to buy one thing. I guess he didn’t want to put his groceries to the car and run back inside to get that one thing he forgot. He’s efficient. Doing small favors for random people is really not a big deal. However, depending on the situation we shouldn’t always say yes to strangers asking if they can leave their stuff with us for safekeeping. Tell yo kids! Anyway, when Mister Shopper came back he asked me if I’m from the Philippines. As usual I was surprised. He then proceeded to tell me about the Filipinos in his life and a Filipina his relative married and how her family is so nice to them, the kids are so polite, and all that feel good stuff. It made me proud.

Another guy at Harris Teeter, Mister Shopper 2, talked to me while I was waiting for my uBer ride on Valentine’s Day *hearts*. He asked me the weirdest ‘Are you Asian’ question. He said, “Are you a Filipina or just a general Asian?”

*What is a general Asian?*

Apparently Mister Shopper 2 has a thing for Filipinas because “You have fuller lips and you guys just have a pretty face.” Well I am very flattered. He wanted to take me out on a V Day date but then I’m married 🙂

Next up is Korean Bestie. She is so cute. Korean Bestie is an older lady who runs a dry cleaning business. Friendly Koreans are cute and I find it amusing that she adores Filipinas. Apparently she’s got some Filipina friends and she likes our eyes cos it’s round and “looks happy”. Hmmm, I visit her soon. I need some good vibes.

My favorite one is Mister uBer. He picked me up at a local SSA office. uBer put me in a weird location for pick up and I told Mister uBer that I can jsut walk to where he is so he won’t have to go around. In the car I can see him looking at me in the rear view mirror. After confirming that I am Filipina, he then said, “You people are so polite! You don’t want to be a hassle and even offered to walk!” Mister uBer once dated a Filipina. He adored her so much. No idea what happened but sounds like she is his “the one who got away”. He was all praise for this lady. She managed her money well, he took care of him, she cared for him, and he misses her. You can sense the regret in his voice but he’s also so happy recalling his memories of her. It was sweet!

I hope more people would have a positive experience with Filipinos. I know we are not doing so well in the news recently and that there are bad apples no matter what race or country it is.  Bottomline is we just have to respect each other as human beings and do our best to be kind even during times when it’s difficult to do so. At the end of the day, all we got in this world  is each other.

The struggle is real: Chocolate Chip Cookies!

 

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I found it! I’ve figured out the chocolate cookie recipe that works for me, and it is OH SO EASY TO MAKE. I’m still finding it difficult to accept that these babies have a ton of sugar. Sometimes it helps a lot to try to make a favorite food from scratch to know what’s in it. Sadly in my case it’s sugar. Anyhoo, cookies are for comfort so I try no to feel so bad.

I got this recipe from Anna Olson’s Youtube video but I reduced the sugar just by a bit. I wasn’t able to make 24 cookies like she did in the video but I think it’s probably because I used a cookie scoop. Interestingly enough this recipe includes cornstarch! Anna said it helps create the crunchy outside-chewy inside finish, and judging by the finish product, it does help. Continue reading “The struggle is real: Chocolate Chip Cookies!”

LIFE

Just saw the movie Life. Major spoiler alert!!! 
Oh dear heavens, intense. Death. Lots of death. And Ryan Reynolds, really, you killed him too!!! 

My K1 Visa: The journey so far.

Patience is a virtue. Patience is what I have although I don’t really have much choice :\ So like a good citizen, hubby and I followed this whole process diligently. Unfortunately though, they (you know who) are not making this easy for us.

The bad: It’s been 7 months and I still don’t have my AOS result. I have not done my ROM at the Philippine Embassy because without the finalized AOS, I don’t want to be without my IDs. We keep receiving letters asking for documents we have already provided.

The good: I have received my EAD and was able to get my SSN. With the SSN I can now move forward with several things like military ID, banks, etc. I can look for work!

I’ve been talking to a friend who moved to Washington state around December. She’s got hers all sorted out by February and here I am still waiting. I think luck is not on our side with this one. Looking at the brighter side, at least I got my life-changing SSN 🙂

Can I please walk?

This week I tagged along with Leo on his work trip to Suffolk, VA. As usual I am again at the mercy of Uber/Lyft and my walking power. I chose a hotel that seems to be pretty close to commercial areas just so I will have some places to explore and spend time in.

I have been walking around for three days now and have noticed how much walking seems to be discouraged in some places in the US. It all started when we lived in Georgia. In a highly residential area, there weren’t sidewalks. The ground wasn’t even paved or flattened to be ideal for walking. You really need to have a car. There’s a store that’s only a mile away, but you would have to drive to get there. Yes you can walk, but that would be putting yourself in harm’s way.

Here in Suffolk and where we live in Maryland, thankfully there are sidewalks but, somewhere along the way it just ends. Yesterday I was walking from the mall back to the hotel. I chose to walk on the side facing traffic but then  a few minutes into walking, the sidewalk just ended. I wanted to cross to the other side where there is sidewalk all the way but there isn’t any safe pedestrian crosswalks. So frustrating!!

So I hope local governments do something to encourage walking as much as public transport and healthier eating. When it is nice outside it’s just really good to walk. It will help traffic and also help the person have some kind of exercise.

So America, let’s walk?

Hibernation.

Okay, I haven’t written for ages, again! I feel like I hibernated like a bear during winter. This was the first winter of my life and husband feels like I’ve been cheated on because this year’s winter wasn’t really very winter-y. We didn’t get the usual heavy snowing but I really don’t mind since I am not friends with the cold anyway. I might have chased the winter away. I’m no Elsa. The cold bothers me!EARLY SPRING?

Continue reading “Hibernation.”

For Pinch of Yum: Help!

So as a stay at home wife (for now), I know I need to up my cooking and baking game. I rely on internet people, because if it’s on the internet then it must be legit and the best there is, right? Right.

You have no idea how many times I have tried and failed making BASIC chocolate chip cookies. I have finally found the recipe that I want to master and that is from Pinch of Yum. What made me decide to follow Lindsay’s recipe is that 1) she got photos of the dough. Oh dear god you have no idea how useful photos are!!! 2) They lived in the Philippines which is where I am from.

That’s basically it.

Continue reading “For Pinch of Yum: Help!”

Starbucks Stories: A different Friday.

So I go to our local Starbucks every Friday unless Leo and I are somewhere on a trip. This Friday feels different for several reasons: the usual people I see are not around, somebody else is in my usual spot, a new president will be inaugurated today.

The guy who took my usual spot is on his Surface Pro having which seems like a conference call (or some business video call). He’s trying to be as quiet as he can but he’s in Starbucks, probably has to speak louder. I guess he’s not from MD cos he keeps saying “I’m in MD” “My hotel blah blah”. And now he’s in boss man mode. Okay, enough snooping. You shouldn’t have stolen my spot!

Continue reading “Starbucks Stories: A different Friday.”