Thursday, July 02, 2009

Knock on Wood

Yes, I've been quiet here. Quieter than I wanted to be. Now I feel it's OK to whisper.

I try not to be superstitious, but I'm forever appending hopeful sentences with "knock on wood." I think it's because I've seen what can happen, just when you think things are going swimmingly. Boom! Suddenly something happened, and it's all gone. Or never even was. (Added that last one for dramatic effect.) It's a balance not to walk around waiting for the other shoe to drop but also not to take anything for granted. I like my happy balance in between the two that I've carved out over all these years of all this Maggie-ness. It's me.

You may (or may not) remember that I had to do an FBI background check for this whole moving to Japan thing and that my fingerprints for said background check were rejected because they could not read the prints. Since then, while I was in Chicago, I had another couple of sets of fingerprints done there by a guy (in Niles, IL, in the mall) who seemed to know what he was doing since in Tulsa I have only one place that will do them, and theirs didn't work out so well.

I've got the FBI fingerprint people's number on speed-dial (no, really, I do - it's 304-625-5590 since I know a search engine will direct someone here looking for info, and I hate to disappoint... or be disappointed), and I've been calling daily for weeks (takes a week after they get them to even go to processing, then 7-10 business days to finish processing) trying to ascertain whether the prints were readable this time or whether I was screwed because time is running short. Meanwhile, the Chicago consulate was telling me that it might be OK to leave on time on July 25 without the fingerprints back to them, and that my chances were better having done the JET Program in the past, but that Tokyo was being more strict this year. Terror filled my thoughts wondering what happend if my fingerprints themselves are just not very printogntic (new word I just made up for whatever is like photogenic but for fingerprinting - the FBI should totally hire me to make new words), I may never have good ones to submit and might not get to go to Japan.

When I added the little countdown thingy here a week or so ago, I really wanted to post that it was less than a month until I leave for Japan and share all my excitement about all my preparation and what all I've learned about where I'm going (it's awesomeness) since I last allowed myself to talk about it on here, but I couldn't bring myself to say it in writing here on the blog due to my worry about my silly but potentially very un-funny fingerprint issue.

Today, the woman at the FBI fingerprints phone number (seems 99% are women, and about 99% of those are actually really delightful - no, really, they are mostly sweet) at first told me "nope, not processed," but since it's already 10 business days, I told her my predicament, and she looked in another database that said they'd been processed but just not updated in the database where they typically look.

And, my fingerprints were readable. Able to be processed.

I'll whisper it to y'all, folks, that I think I'm leaving for Japan in 23 days.

Unless something really screwy happens, like the original prints I was supposed to have sent back that are still on my desk actually being an issue. I think I'll call tomorrow, just to be sure. I think it's OK, though.

Knock on wood.

(And now I'm off to Dallas for a couple of days to see old friends I haven't seen in a million years - well including the one I saw a few weeks ago after a million years - because living in the middle completely rocks.)


  1. WOOT WOOT! I too am excited as shit about your upcoming 'move'! But I also know the tug you'll feel on your heart back to Tulsa and Tom (not to mention furballs). Sending you high fives AND hugs!

  2. Oh good grief, I come back after being gone for a month and you have me holding my breathe...I'm knocking on every wood surface I can around me in favor of you sweetie. (Hugs)Indigo

  3. Do I still get to meet you when I'm in town? 7/20-7/27?

    Maybe still your identity and go to Japan instead of you?

  4. Yay, that's great news! And ha! I think printogntic is a great new word :)

  5. God, how stressful! I hope everything goes smoothly now!

  6. Then I'll shout in a loud whisper "Yay!!!!!!!!!"

  7. I will try to remember to knock on wood when I find a wood surface to knock on! (im in a car-too bad it wasn't a woody that would have been supercool). but forr now i'll yell/whisper CONGRATS like in the scott tissue commercial! Weeeee!

  8. Hooray! And when you get there Flat Baloney wants a tour. :)

  9. Yay! Keeping my fingers crossed that all goes well!

  10. damn. i know how you feel. but the other shoe won't drop. i'm crossing my fingers for you. you must be way beyond excited by now...

  11. Allow me to whisper a sigh of relief.

    I'm so excited for you! I'm crossing my fingers it's smooth sailing from here.

  12. Maggie,
    I am so excited that you are going to be going back to Japan! When you get there, please start doing weekly winners again. I miss your Sunday post soooooooo much! It would be nice to see the weekly highlights of another country...especially of your new adventures.

    I am leaving for Portland and Depot Bay OR on Monday and could use your suggestions. What are the "must sees" in that area? I will be there for two weeks. One week on the coast and one in Portland...well, actually more like Beaverton. Also, I got right back on the wagon after the cigarillo slip.

    Hope all is well and congratulations on the fingerprints!

  13. I hope you have a great time visiting your friends!!! And I can't believe you leave for Japan in 23 days... Woohoo!!!!

  14. I had some funny stuff for this comment - but then - what if the FBI is monitoring your emails? What if they've flagged your blog? Obviously, jokes about toe jam and belly button lint aren't going to fly very well, and maybe, neither would you. So I'm not going to say anything.


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