Tuesday, October 22, 2013

America... just a nation of two hundred million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.

Continuing my quest to transfer my life from New Jersey to New York....

So Progressive wouldn't give me car insurance when I tried to get it last week because I could not furnish enough proof that I live in New York. If you don't have a NY drivers license, then they need either a W2, proof of homeowner's or renter's insurance, at least two utility bills, or a paystub. 

I could furnish none of these things--my W2 doesn't have the new address; I only pay for electricity, so I only get one utility bill; and I write my own paychecks at work, so they're not like official paychecks that show all the tax deductions, and therefore Progressive said that's not good enough.

I shall use the World's Most Accurate Rage Scale to describe my feelings from this point on:

Today I purchased renter's insurance. I called Progressive and sent them the declaration page, and said okay can y'all please give me insurance now because my current policy kind of ends in 3 days.

A summary of my conversation with Progressive this morning:

Mich: So you have the renter's insurance policy now with my New York address, can I get the car insurance now?

Progressive Salesman: Hmmmm... yeah I'm looking at it now and it looks like your renter's insurance isn't enough proof of address. We're going to need a W2, a paystub, or maybe you could send us two utility bills?

Mich: ...but your list of stuff said renter's insurance was good enough proof of address.

Progressive Salesman: Yes, well it looks like we'll still need a W2, a paystub, two utility bills, or a copy of your New York driver's license.

Mich: I don't have any of those. And don't even get me f*cking started on the driver's license.

Progressive Salesman: ...you don't have any utility bills? Or a W2?

Mich: I only pay for one utility and therefore only have ONE bill. And since, as I have already told you and your associates, I JUST MOVED, my W2 has my old address on it.

Progressive Salesman: Okay then... Well I'll tell you what we can do. We'll sign you up for auto insurance using your New Jersey address, and then you can transfer it to New York as soon as you have the proof of address.

Mich: Ummmm.... okay, that works I guess. Sign me up for New Jersey insurance. 'Cause I kind of need car insurance like now.

Progressive Salesman: ...Oh I'm sorry, I just spoke to my supervisor and it looks like we can't sign you up for New Jersey insurance because you live in New York.

Mich: ....................what.

Progressive Salesman: Sorry ma'am*, but we can't give you New Jersey auto insurance because you live in New York. 

Mich: ...So you can't give me New York car insurance because I can't prove that I live in New York, and you can't give me New Jersey car insurance because I live in New York. 

Progressive Salesman: I'm sorry, ma'am.

Mich: You do realize how ridiculous that is. 

Progressive Salesman: Sorry ma'am. 

Mich: *facedesk*

Progressive Salesman: What I would do, ma'am, is go to another company like Allstate or Farmers and sign up for an auto insurance policy with them under your New Jersey address. And then switch to New York once you have proof of your new address.

Mich: So what you're telling me is that in order to obtain car insurance, I should commit insurance fraud. 

Progressive Salesman: I'm sorry ma'am. 

Mich: . . .

Progressive Salesman: Is there anything else I can help you with today?

aaaaaaaaaaaaaand so now I have just lied to my old insurance salesman and told him I moved back to New Jersey. 

To top it all off, the stress has been giving me near-constant headaches, which has forced me to actually wear my glasses. >:(

look how smart I am


*Can I just say that I really really really really really really really really really frigging hate being called "ma'am."

Friday, October 18, 2013

you think your family's disgraced now, well don't get me started!!!

I have now embarked upon what may well be one of the most infuriating tasks any American will ever experience.

Despite the fact that we are all Yanks, moving to another state is like moving to another country. Everything needs to be changed. Officially changing my address with the Postal Service was the first and easiest step--I filled out a form online, paid $1.00, and my address is now officially the new apartment.

Yesterday, I took the morning off work to go and get my New York drivers license. I had originally hoped to get the license and car registration out of the way on the same day, but in order to get NY car insurance, I need a NY drivers license first. And in order to get the car registered in NY, I need NY car insurance.

This country is just WINNING at efficiency.

So yesterday morning I drove to Port Jervis to the DMV, because the only other one nearby* is in the ghetto. The previous day, I had gotten all the necessary forms off the New York DMV website, and checked to make sure I had enough points of identification--according to their website on Wednesday, I would be okay with my NJ drivers license, my passport, and a bill with my name on it.

After a short wait at the DMV (a room in Port Jervis's municipal building, roughly the size of my living room), I was told that since the government had been switched back on that morning, the ID requirements had changed. My NJ license, passport, and bill were no longer satisfactory--I needed either my birth certificate, or my social security card.

(My mother lost my birth certificate shortly after she received it back in 1984. The last time I tried to get a new one issued, the New York Health Department informed me that they could not find it. We'll get back to that.)

Fuming, I raced back home and proceeded to search through my belongings for my social security card. I also texted Boss and explained the situation, and said I was just going to take the whole day off to get this over with. He said that's cool. I found my card after like an hour of searching, and drove back to Port Jervis.

I actually had a much shorter wait this time, but then when the nice lady behind the desk was entering all my info into the system, she seemed to hit some kind of road block. She called the manager over, who tried to help. The manager got on the phone with someone and was making that frowning face that says "This is not going to end well."

Manager, it turns out, was on the phone with the Social Security Administration, attempting to verify my information.

Long story short, I no longer exist.

The Social Security Administration accidentally erased me.

By then, it was around 2.30 in the afternoon. The ladies at the DMV said I should go to the Social Security office in Newton, NJ (because the other nearby one was in the ghetto) and have them sort it out there. If I could get back to Port Jervis before 5, they said they would bump me to the front of the line so I could get my license.

So I drove to Newton, to the Social Security office.

I got there at about 3.15. A sign on the door said that they had closed at 3.00.

I could do nothing but admit defeat and go home.

138 miles of driving. More than 3 hours in the car. A personal day off work.

And to top it off, I do not exist.

So I bought myself some cheap wine and went home. Dadum brought me pulled pork and fried onions from his work, which cheered me up some. Lil Bros #1 and 2 came over, too, which was nice.

This morning, after getting into work, I called the Social Security Administration to inquire as to WHY THE FUCK I am no longer in their system.

While on hold for half an hour, I thought I might try and create an account on their website, which apparently anyone can do. I entered all of my correct information (name, birth date, social security number, etc.) and received this message:

Just to make sure, I had the secretary next door create an account for herself. She did not have a problem.

 When I finally got someone on the phone, they managed to find me in their system, BUT they said the information I gave them did not match what was in said system.

Basically, because some imbecile made a typo at some point, I need to (1) get a copy of my birth certificate and (2) make an appointment to go to the Social Security office and sit down with someone so that I can (3) apply for and acquire a new social security card.

How exactly did I manage to go 29 years without running into this problem? How was I able to procure a driver's license in NJ at age 17, and then again at 21, and AGAIN at 25?? How did I manage to get multiple passports between 1984 and now?!? How did I manage to become employed, and PAY MF TAXES, and yet that magical number they use for all of those things does not match up with my info??!?!?!?!?

I just shelled out $30.00 to order a new birth certificate from the State of New York. I recall doing this several years ago, when I wanted to get an Irish passport. And I also recall being told that the State of New York could find no record of my birth. (And that $30.00 is of course non-refundable, even if they don't give you a birth certificate.)

If that happens again, the Social Security Administration will not meet with me to fix my information, which means no new social security card, and no NY drivers license, no NY insurance, and no NY car registration.

If that happens, I have a good mind to stop paying all my taxes, because why in holy hell should I be paying taxes to the government when, according to all relevant government agencies, I do not exist??

To be continued....

*Out here in the boonies "nearby" is a relative term. It generally takes an hour to get anywhere.

Monday, October 7, 2013

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.

So a proper update on the new home is in order I think.

Since moving in two weeks ago, I have more or less settled in. Here's some better photos of my decor:

The living room:

The kitchen:

and I got this wicked magnet for the fridge:

And the bedroom/office because it's huge and I'm making it 2 rooms:

I'm still waiting for the pull-out couch I'm stealing from Mumsy (there is an absurd total of SEVEN sofas in her house), which will go where the fainting couch is now, and then I can move the fainting couch into the bedroom. I'm getting another one of those room dividers as well (when I'm not so intensely poor with the expenses of moving and settling in), and possibly taking one of the desks from Mum's house.

I found this awesome little garden area down by the creek:

I'm setting up my archery target there. And the ground curves up to meet the hill in such a way that I can shoot my crossbow there without worrying about killing anyone by accident! :D

I should mention my neighbour.


I had met him when I first looked at the apartment, but I guess in my excitement at looking for my own place, his appearance failed to fully impress itself upon my vision. I was reminded on the day I moved in, and have been infatuated ever since.  (The move-in actually came to a complete standstill when me, Mum, Stepmom, Lil Sis, Big Sis#2, and my friends C. and M. came face to face with Adonis-Neighbour in the driveway. Dad, Lil Sis's boyfriend, Big Sis#2's hubby, and C.'s boyfriend could only stand back and feel inadequate).

Sadly, Adonis's girlfriend is just slightly prettier than the average supermodel, and she also lives upstairs.


last Friday, Adonis and I were chatting in the driveway and he informed me that his girlfriend is moving out at the end of the month.


I made some apple pie to share with him, you know because I'm neighbourly like that.

note how adorable and innocent she looks there at the shelter....

Poison Ivy is about 5 months old. I had originally planned to get a cat the same age as Harleyquinn, but when I went to visit the lady I got Harley from, I just fell in love.

They’re still fighting a bit. Also Ivy is just as demented as Harley.
here she is stalking Harleyquinn from the top of the closet door
And Ivy likes playing with the toy basket.

Not the toys. Just the basket.

.....In other news, I have turned into possibly the biggest loser ever gotten so involved in church things that it has more or less become my social life.

I hang out with the pastor and his wife on Tuesdays (it's like a book club/group therapy session and I'm actually amazed at how much I enjoy it). I spent most of yesterday outside the church painting children’s faces for free at Applefest. I also help with the girls ministry (it's basically like brownies and girl scouts) every Wednesday night--I have been assigned to the six and seven-year-olds.


I rarely had moments in my years of nannying wherein I lost control of my children. But that was because the children knew me, and knew to fear the Mich-Is-Getting-Pissed tone. A group of seven-year-old girls who barely know me? Not so much.

So last week, approximately 45 seconds into our lesson on kindness, one of the children declares that she has a mighty need to use the restroom. And obviously the other three girls also had to use the restroom. Since the group leader was still trying to set up and get organized, she sent me to take the girls to the loo.

I attempted to contain them. I attempted to keep them quiet.

They were LITERALLY scaling the f*cking walls.

They'd gotten so worked up after that, we couldn't keep them focused for the rest of the evening. I went home and prayed that the Lord please make me barren.

I joined the women's ministry as well, and we had our first get-together last Saturday. And now I am somehow in charge of planning the next outing. Pastor's Wife and I decided that horseback riding must happen in the near future, so I'm planning a trail ride. The two of us are possibly dangerous together, because we have also started organizing a "70's party," and instead of doing this, say, on a Saturday night,

we thought it would be best if it happened during a regular Sunday service.

Oh and we found these on Tumblr, to put on the windshields of the annoying people who park illegally in the church lot:

Mumsy is absolutely horrified that I'm getting so involved in church. She thinks I drank the koolaid and that I'm going to turn into some mindless Bible-thumping fool.

....so naturally, whenever she verbally pursues this notion, I put on this glazed expression with a manic smile and tell her she should really come to church and accept Jesus as her saviour, so she can be saved just like me.

Since Mumsy does not comprehend sarcasm in any shape or form, this usually freaks her out enough to change the subject.

She's not doing too well** with the whole living alone thing, but she’ll just have to get used to it because I ain’t moving back. I always thought I'd go crazy living on my own (like how I did when I was house sitting), but I FRIGGING LOVE IT. I guess technically I'm not alone--I have the cats, and it is nice knowing that there are people right upstairs. And my head is actually in a good place now. Learning to budget my money, however, is still a work in progress.........

**Mumsy claims she is not as scared at night as she was for the first few days, but whenever I see her or speak to her now and she mentions things like having dinner with friends, or needing help cleaning out the house to sell it, she throws out remarks like, "not that you'd bother coming down to help," or "I guess I'll just have to go on my own," etc. etc. I know this is just an evolved form of her usual strategies for ensuring compliance, but it's annoying. Especially since I have in fact gone to see her and help her out EVERY WEEKEND since I moved, and she has not so much as attempted to plan a visit to me.