Thursday, March 3, 2011

One Ringy Dingy and Onward to Our Next Adventure

ONE RINGY DINGY AND A GRACIOUS GOOD AFTERNOON.

Let's not believe in omens.  If we did, then I'd have to say that after nearly 30 years there's a chink in our marriage!  Well, as far as the USA is concerned... oops... as far as the State of Iowa is concerned, we've really been "married" less than 4 months.  (As far as the USA is concerned, we as a couple do not exist... although the times they are a changin'.)  Anyway, remember those indestructible tungsten steel wedding bands we purchased?  The ring I could wear and not dent if I slammed my finger in a car door?  Well, maybe the ring won't dent.  But, apparently, it will break into pieces.

THIS USED TO BE A SOLID BAND OF TUNGSTEN STEEL

On our way home from Spain, after we had gone through security at Sevilla's airport, Jerry was putting his ring back on his finger when he dropped it.  It fell a distance of approximately 3 feet from his hand to the marble floor.  As promised, it did not dent.  But it did break.  When Jerry retrieved the ring from the floor, he noticed that a quarter inch sliver had set itself free and shifted up about an eighth inch.  I forgot to take a picture before we went back to the jeweler.  And, when I remembered and pulled out my iPhone for a quick shot, the jeweler apologized.  He had dropped the ring on the counter and a huge piece had popped out.

WORSE AFTER THE JEWELER ACCIDENTALLY DROPPED IT TODAY

Nathan Alan Jewelers in South Coast Plaza could not have been nicer when we took the ring back.  They were as surprised as we were and immediately took down the info to replace the ring.  Not a moment of hesitation.  Great service.  So, let's hope the next ring lives up to its reputation.  Thing is, though, since people in Spain wear their wedding rings on the right hand, I was thinking maybe we should replace them both with a larger size that fits on the other hand (we did the American left-handed thing).  Well, never mind.

FBI'S LEAST WANTED
We learned that we had some [more] misinformation.  We couldn't get our FBI letters (the ones that confirmed our lack of criminal records) apostiled in Los Angeles.  So, we overnighted them to Washington, D.C. yesterday and will have them back within 15 days.  Then we'll overnight them to the translator.  We'll have them back two days later.  And, then, they'll be ready for our visa application package.

FIRST NATIONAL BANK

RETIREMENT AND SOCIAL SECURITY
Jerry's first official day as a retired person was yesterday, March 1.  We drove over to the Mission Viejo Social Security Office to confirm that the letter we need for our visa application will contain the correct information for the consulate.  Success.  We'll overnight the letter to the translator along with the apostiled FBI letters.  This was our second time at this Social Security office.  They are amazing.  The security guard also acts as the receptionist.  He knows his business; is warm, helpful, and charming; and takes seriously the safety, security, and comfort of staff and clients.  A slightly scary family (I'm being kind... they were loud, course, smelly, and aggressive) was there for about a half hour and he didn't hesitate to keep them in line.  Aside from the freaky family, it was another great experience.  Huge praise for Mission Viejo's Social Security Administration office.

AN EXOTIC LUNCH IN IRVINE
To celebrate our successes, we went to lunch today at Red Robin in Irvine/Tustin Marketplace.  We like the food, but we especially love "our" server, Michelle (aka "Nice Michelle").  She's not just nice, she's smart and funny... and more.  We know, no matter our moods when we walk in that door, if we spend our lunch with Michelle, we'll leave happy.  And we did.  She is filled with joy and loves to share it.  She's got a birthday coming up this month and we decided we're going to go to a casino to celebrate.  I'm a bit concerned, however.  It's obvious she and Jerry have similar gambling styles.  Borderline out of control.  OK, I exaggerate.  But Jerry's gambling style does give me indigestion.  And given what Michelle said today, I think I'll take the large bottle of TUMS Ultra when we go on our little spree.

IT'S HEALTHY; NOTE THE BUILT-IN SALAD... AND I DIDN'T EAT THE BUN.

If you're interested, I had the Royal Red Robin burger.  It's my favorite.  Burger, fried egg, bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato, mayo.  I did without the bun today... because I'm eating healthy.  Unfortunately, I didn't do without the bottomless basket of fries (and ranch dressing).

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