Since being back here, I've really noticed how INSANELY difficult it is for a citizen of this country (me in this case) to get re-established AS a citizen. Let me explain.
I attempted to open up a bank account the other week. I was told I needed 100pts of ID, and given a long list about what I could choose from. MY passport was only worth 70pts. (D's was worth a full hundred right off the bat, and he's not even from here) So I needed an additional 30pts of ID. My U.S ID card was good enough, but none of my creditcards were since none of them are linked to any Australian credit lists. So I was short by 5pts. They told me to go and get on the electoral roll, since that would be the last remaining points needed for my 100pts of ID.
Okay, no worries, thought I. This shouldn't be too difficult. And, it wasn't. I went down to the roll office, submitted my app and was told it would take roughly a week (maybe 2) to get to me. Disgruntled, but mostly okay with that, I toddled off home, unable to open up any other accounts just at that moment.
When the THIRD week rolled around, and I still hadn't received my Electoral Roll card, we made a call down to the Office, and they told us to come in and they'd print something up for me to take down to the bank. So, we headed down there once again and picked up the letter, then headed over to the bank to open up the account. This was going smoothly until the moron at the bank said my U.S ID card wasn't acceptable, which of course made me argue with her that it was, and she should probably talk with the other girl who had given me this information. She hurried out of the room to talk to the other girl, and came back in WITH the bank manager AND the other girl, and together they searched through their lists on the computer and finally came to the conclusion that yes, my international ID card was an acceptable form of ID.
Hurrah, I got my bank account up and running.
Very happy with this, we then plodded across to the Medicare building, and I attempted to sign up with that. My attempt was feeble however, since even though I had my passport, and ID, and bank statement, and all the SHIPPING DOCUMENTS proving I had shipped all my crap back to this country for the purpose of living here, it seems that Customs no longer stamps your passport upon re-entry into your country of birth. Or, at least in Australia. I know this because there ARE NO stamps indicating I arrived back here in my passport. Apparently that's all done electronically now. So, because I didn't have a stamp in my passport, the lady at Medicare told me they needed proof that I'd arrived back into the country, NEVERMIND THAT I WAS STANDING THERE INFRONT OF HER. She informed me I'd need to bring in my boarding pass and my itinerary, proving I wasn't about to leave the country again. At this, I said, "Who the hell keeps their boarding pass!?" She then said I needed to bring in just the itinerary.
Annoyed, we walked over to the nearby Flight Centre office, and I gave them all my details, and asked if they could print out a copy of my itinerary. Lo and behold, there was no record of it! No record that I'd made a booking, much less flown on Air New Zealand to get home. You can well imagine how I wanted to strangle SOMEONE by this point.
The woman at Flight Centre says she's going to ring Air New Zealand (even though I'd already supplied her with my passport AND the name, address, email address and phone number of my travel agent who I booked with) to see if they had the itinerary. After numerous searching through their records, they could not find me either. There was no record of my ever having purchased tickets, nor having even flown with them. This meant, obviously, that I couldn't get my itinerary re-printed.
Now I'm MORE annoyed and pissed off, so we head back home (because I have all that information there) to get it. Unfortunately, it turns out I didn't have my itinerary, couldn't find it anywhere, BUT I did find my boarding pass! We then called the Medicare hotline, told the CSR the whole story (to which he remarked, "that's bloody stupid" and promptly called the office where I had been) and he told us that all I needed was my boarding pass. An itinerary was not necessary.
Okay, whew. So, I grab everything I need for Medicare (again) and head back down to the office. The moron I dealt with earlier was nowhere in sight, and thankfully I ended up getting a really sweet and lovely lady, who helped me out with everything, and I was allowed to sign in with Medicare once and for all. THANK CHRIST.
Then, I headed across to Centrelink to sign up with them, and was ever so relieved that I didn't have any more bullshit to deal with. Well, nothing too major, anyway. In order to get my Newstart, I need to bring 100pts of ID AND another document (either birth cert. or passport, preferably both) to prove who I am. Well, because I'd left the U.S in such a rush, I (somehow) left behind my birth cert. and had to reapply for a new one, which I was able to do today. That should be here just in time for my Newstart assessment interview which is in 2 weeks. If it isn't, my pay gets held up until I can bring that in for the ID point garbage.
What pissed me off more than anything, is that these places require a passport AND a birth certificate proving who I am, regardless that TO GET A PASSPORT YOU NEED A BIRTH CERTIFICATE! It's a government issued document for christ sake! It's perfectly legal, has my photo on it, and my date of birth! Interestingly enough, if I'd re-entered MY country on my U.S passport, that alone would be the 100pts I need to do anything and get anything I wanted, nevermind the fact that if I HAD re-entered on my U.S passport, I would only be allowed to stay here IN MY BIRTH COUNTRY for three months!!!! Does this strike anyone else as completely fucking ridiculous?
D's CANADIAN passport gives him more rights (as ID) than mine does, AND I WAS BORN HERE!!! It's insane. So of course this means I'll be writing a lovely letter to the local member of parliament, and telling her some things need to change. It's not right and it's not bloody fair that I (or any Aussie re-entering their OWN country) has to go through all this shit!
Anyway. Thankfully it's all done now and over with. I have my Newstart Assessment Interview in 2 weeks, and an interview with a local headhunter day after tomorrow to see if I can find some work. I'm not holding my breath, however.
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Since being back here, I've really noticed how INSANELY difficult it is for a citizen of this country (me in this case) to get re-established AS a citizen. Let me explain.
Monday, May 30, 2005
Friday, May 27, 2005
I dyed my hair tonight - RED! And it's such a bright, brilliant red too. It looks absolutely fantastic, though admittedly I was a little nervous in the beginning since I've never had such a "fiery intense red" before.
It's the new "LIVE" line by Schwarzkopf in the colour #37, Hypnotic Red. D absolutely loves it (bonus) and I'll post pictures in the next few days!
Thursday, May 26, 2005
So the dream started out with a bunch of people that I knew: myself, D, my Mum, my Aunty Sharron and her husband, my cousin Kerri, Nick & Jessica and The Ex.
We were in a rather large house, I've no idea where it was located, but it was a nice design; the front room was the lounge room, off to the left was a long hall way from the front door, and mine and D's room was off to the left of the hall. At some point I wandered into the room and saw my cousin Kerri making out with some guy, they were fairly well naked at this point, and I shouted at them to get the hell out.
It was at this point that I walked out into the dining room area, where everyone (except Nick and Jessica) was standing around chatting, and as I walked in, The Ex was there, sitting on my right. I screamed in surprise (and a little bit of terror) at seeing him, and by the look on his face, it was not the kind of "welcome" he'd been expecting.
I thought to myself that I needed to call D at work (in Canada, so I'm assuming we were all living there at this point in the dream) and tell him about it, so I told The Ex I'd be right back, and ran down to the bedroom, fishing through all my unpacked bags and boxes, looking for a sheet of information D had emailed me months before. I couldn't find it of course, and by that time, The Ex had followed me and was in my room - I shooed him out into the living room, and he sat down on a blue velvet lounge chair, and was about to tell me he still loved me and wanted me back, when I held up my hand to stop him, and said, "Don't tell me that. Just say what you came here to say."
He was clearly not happy with that response, hurt by it even. I have no idea what he said then - the following part of the dream is blank, and then suddenly I was out on the verandah with Jessica, and she was crying and sniffling about her most recent fight with Nick. (!!!!)
She then said to me, "I've never done this before" in regards to something she'd done or said to Nick, and suddenly she was kissing me. (!!!!!!) Even more amazing than that, apparently I really liked the whole kissing thing, and I remember she was a fantastic kisser, so we ended up making out for awhile.
And then I woke up. =\
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
So I got my machine. It's pretty sad, really. I have a dodgey stick of RAM (or it's a dodgey RAM bank, who knows) and every so often, for no reason whatsoever, I get a brief warning that my machine is doing a "physical memory dump" and reboots.
When you're in the midst of doing something, LIKE WRITING A POST, and it suddenly bleeps and reboots, you tend to get a little snippy.
My brother thought that since it's the RAM (or RAM bank) that I should just upgrade the three essential parts of this machine: Motherboard, CPU and RAM. So we made some calls, checked out a website, and came to find out it's only going to cost me $254 to upgrade those three essential parts. The only bad thing about that, is that I currently don't HAVE $254. Sigh.
At least I was able to play Sim City 4 last night for a good amount of time before it shit the bed on me. I really miss having the money to just go out and buy whatever I want, whenever I want it. Sigh.
Saturday, May 21, 2005
So tonight we're out on the balcony (and it's a pretty balmy night I must say) and chatting about upcoming games that are set for release in the next few months, because you know we're gamer geeks, and this is what we do.
So the Sims 2 is launching another expansion (a trumped up Hot Date but MUCH better - OMG you can drive CARS!), Black & White 2 and a myriad of other games as well. This conversation spurred rumours circulating about Blizzard creating Diablo 3, which is said to already be in the works, and that the soundtrack for the game has already been completed.
All I can say for this is: YAY!!!!!!!
So this, of course, prompted a conversation about Diablo 2, and as we were reminiscing about it, D decides he wants to reinstall it. And so does my brother. And so do I, because GOD DAMMIT I can't remember Act 5, and for some reason, that's akin to sinning something awful.
The only problem with this is that I don't have my own machine. My brother informs me they have a junk box downstairs, and he has a spare video card and soundcard, and all we're going to need is a monitor and keyboard. He makes a few calls, and voila! I have a keyboard and monitor, about half an hour away. He toddles off to get these pieces of equipment, leaving me home to munch on yummy flavoured popcorn and leaving D to load up, install, patch and play Diablo 2.
I'm watching over his shoulder, desperately wishing my brother to get home very quickly so that he can put together my machine so I can play.
WoW be damned, I'm going back to multiplayer via LAN.
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
I know I said I'd post last week and I didn't, and that was just laziness on my part. I actually did a heap of travelling in the end of last week, and didn't have computer access.
I managed to have a celebrity sighting on the 10th of May, actually, in LA. Of course, I didn't bother getting an autograph or a photo mainly because I thought Mr. David Hasselhoff probably wouldn't want to be bombarded by so many people, nevermind that at the time he was swarmed by them.
Of course, it was only after I was actually on the plane that I realized I SHOULD have gotten his autograph, because Mum is such a huge fan and it would have been such a lovely gift for her. Ho hum.
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
I'm not going to be posting for a couple days, and just wanted to post a quick note. I did a mass email a little while ago explaining why - if you didn't get it and you think you should have, please let me know; for some reason gMail has been a little sketchy in sending and retrieving mail for me.
I'll post again towards the end of the week!
Saturday, May 07, 2005
#1. Only a few things in life are better than having your wet hair meticulously brushed by the love of your life.
#2. As much as it's tiring (and it is) I absolutely love apartment hunting.
#3. I cannot WAIT until we have somewhere permenant to live.
#4. I cannot wait until I can DECORATE said permenant place to live.
#5. Blade Trinity was very, very, VERY disappointing and boring.
Friday, May 06, 2005
One must remember to apply sunscreen to one's shoulders and back area before one goes swimming lest one ends up looking like a lobster.
Translation: I was careless, went swimming without sunblock and got burned.
D and Al were laughing at me today. I wish I could say it was WITH me, but alas, it was AT me. It started out all innocently enough, as most things do, really.
You see, it was mid morning, and D and I decided to go for a swim. Our pre-swim routine is to take the long handled garbage-collecting-net-thing and skim it around the surface of the water, collecting debris: flower petals, flies, wasps, etc.
It was my turn this morning, since after a hearty breakfast of pancakes and orange juice, he took out the garbage and I figured it was the least I could do. Well, as I was skimming the garbage-collecting-net-thing along the surface of the water, I spied a spider a-float. And as I neared him, he leapt (yes LEAPT) onto the side of the pool wall.
Being the spider-fearing fanatic that I am, I jumped backward and nearly lost my footing which would have seen me fall ass-backward into the pool had I not regained my balance. It was smallish, probably the size of a quarter, and instantly I thought: you are probably poisonous and thus, I must kill you.
O, wouldn't that have been brave of me?
But no... You see, I couldn't kill it, try how I might. I kept trying to flick it back in the water, and as soon as the spider hit the water, he would LEAP right back out and onto the side of the pool. I even called D over to see my lame attempt at assassinating this vile creature, and he watched in amusement as the spider continued to leap to safety, despite my vainest efforts at drowning it.
Eventually I got it far enough into the pool that it could not longer leap to the safe edge of the pool, but then...THEN it swam! Yes it swam! All the way to the other side of the pool!
Given the size of the spider in comparison to the length of the pool, I'm sure it's the equivalent of swimming the english channel. Except the spider showed no signs of slowing down - ever.
D started to tell me to leave it alone, even using a pleading voice as though that might actually stop me from my task. I was nonplussed however, and declared that since we're in Arizona, this spider might very well be poisonous if not deadly and we certainly didn't want it alive incase it ate the dog, or the child of the friends we are staying with.
And I then shouted: "Kill it! Kill it!"
"You want me to kill it?" he asks.
"You want me to take life?"
He heaves a great sigh, and grabs the garbage-collecting-net-thingy and proceeds to place it ontop of the arachnid, submerging it. We assumed it wouldn't be very long before it died.
We were very, very wrong.
The spider, having previously swam the entire length of the pool, now proceeded to swim UNDER WATER and away from the net. After trying to keep it on the underside of the net for about 5 minutes, D grabbed the phone and called Al at work to find out what kind of demon spawn we were actually dealing with.
I was convinced, much like the freak-creation of hummingbird moths, this creature too was biologically altered and perfectly equipped with gills of some kind.
Al told D who told me to "Smush it."
Well I would do no such thing, of course! And besides, it was in the water, sitting on the bottom of the pool, bum in the air and Al promptly wanted to know if it had a "fiddle" mark on it's head.
"How the hell would I know?" I asked, aghast that he would think I would even get so close. "I'm not getting close to it!"
This, naturally, caused much laughter from the boys.
Let me assure you, this spider is not the spiders of yore - this spider WOULD NOT DROWN. It sat on the bottom of the pool for FIFTEEN minutes (and I am so not exaggerating) before I deduced that it had to be dead by now since it was no longer moving.
"Well scoop it out," says D, still chuckling in amusement and talking with Al on the phone. "See if it has a fiddle on its head."
Grumbling, I gingerly flipped the spider in the pool enough so I could scoop it out. I was elated! The spider was rather deflated by this time and not moving at all.
"It's dead!" I proclaim and all but do an irish jig.
I place the garbage-collecting-net-thing on the ground, and grab my trusty camera, confident the spider was now deceased. I was peering ever so closely at it, but not being able to see any type of "fiddle" mark on its head or body. It's body had white stripes on it though, and very fuzzy.
Having the sort of luck I have, I inched ever closer, my camera on a very tight zoom for a close-up shot, and it TWITCHED with life. Yelping, I jumped back, careful in keeping a tight grip on my camera so as not to drop it.
"It's alive?!" D asks, his voice incredulous.
"YES IT'S ALIVE!" I shriek, watching it slowly come to life before my very eyes. I scream his name as the spider wobbles up on it's 8 legs and I spring backward onto the nearest chair. "KILL IT! KILL IT! SMUSH IT!"
And so, my hero rises from his cushiony throne, takes the nearest object which happens to be the child's tiny basketball, and drops it on the spider. We both watch as the spider is flattened in less than a second, entrails spilling everywhere. We are both content it's dead, though we are both a little chagrined by the whole ordeal.
"I can't believe you're from Australia, where you have some of the deadliest spiders in the world, and you're afraid of that little one," says D, sitting back in his cushiony throne, wiggling his feet for me to massage them.
I slide across from him, taking his foot in my lap and shrug. "I don't like spiders, regardless of where I'm from."
Thursday, May 05, 2005
So you might recall a few months ago, I suggested that in the goal of trying to shed some unwanted pounds, I had taken up walking to help with cardio and all that. It was going very well for a few weeks up until the Big Move to where I am now, so in all the hustle and bustle, I hadn't been able to.
Since being here though, I've taken to nightly walks which have been really nice, albeit a little scarey with the mosquitos and their nefarious West Nile. It's like dodging little tiny virus bombs and makes for a very interesting walk. And because I like to err on the side of danger, I haven't bothered with repellant.
But, I digress.
So while walking last night, we discovered an interesting creature! It's big like a moth, but sucks out the pollen of a flower, like a hummingbird. It was suggested that perhaps these were biologically created beasts, taunting us to get a close enough look at them before they turned on us, unleashing their fury. This was, of course, negated as we saw the babies of the species and deduced that babies cannot possibly dangerous, and I vowed to get pictures of them on our next walk.
Upon getting home last night, we did some research, and came to find out these little creatures are actually called Hummingbird Moths. We were slightly disappointed in this, quite happy to believe they were actual Nocturnal Hummingbirds. I will still attempt to get pictures of them tonight, however.
Now after all that, I get to the point I had originally wanted to make: weight loss. I'm already doing the walking thing, and usually it's a brisk walk to get my heart-rate up, but after seeing my body-fat percent on the nifty scale yesterday (it's at a shocking 36%!) I have decided that I needed to do something drastic. This is where the famous eDiets comes in. Have any of you used this service? I'm not skeptical so much as I am wondering how well it works - I tend not to believe testimonials from complete strangers.
I'm most likely going to sign up for a plan and do it, figuring that it shouldn't take me too long to lose the 20lbs I want to lose, but I'd just like some feedback if anyone's done it. I'm also thinking about setting up yet another blog to monitor my progress.
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
I'm rather askew today and I feel like no matter what I do, I'm always going to be looking over my shoulder, waiting. After yesterday, I now know this to be true - at least for the length of time I have my online presence.
It seems I'm alot more easily found regardless of how careful I think I'm being. In the beginning I had to hide what I wrote because my Ex always came off badly in it, and he hated the fact that I kept a blog at all - including the times when I didn't even mention him.
When I broke up with him, and moved out and away from him, I thought I no longer needed to hide because this is MY life now and he was no longer apart of it. I kept to my word and rarely (if ever) mentioned him. I finally felt a sense of freedom with my writing and thought that now since we were no longer together, I could write whatever I wanted.
I was wrong.
So, I had some conversations with various people, and it was decided that I should just create a new blog and not tell anyone from my "old life" lest they accidentally say something to the Ex, thus giving him information about either my blog or my "new life" and I didn't want that. That's when the decision to snuff my old site, came into play. And snuff it I did, without word to anyone from my "old life" since it was just better (and safer for me) that I just disappear.
Evidently I can't just disappear.
Some of you know what the Ex had said about me. For the rest of you, he was threatening violence against me, should he ever see me again. Violence that would end up turning deadly. Knowing him the way I know him, meant I needed to leave behind all contacts with my old life - including mutual friends and my friends who know him - and start fresh. In a way, I felt like one of those battered women who have to go to a shelter to escape.
I was told, essentially, that I was blowing his remark way out of proportion and that he was just blowing off steam. Whether that is true or not, is irrelevant. My life was threatened and I felt justified in severing all ties with my past (and believe me, that hurt a great deal) and moving on into my new life. For days I was absolutely terrified that he was going to find me, that he was going to track me down and physically do harm to me. I was toying with the notion of alerting authorities in the area where I was staying, just in case.
I didn't have to do that - I moved away instead. I voiced the fears and frustrations I had; when I was with him I always felt like I was running away (internally) to do what I had to do to remain sane. Now that I'm no longer with him, I still feel like I'm running away. Now that I've been found I feel like I need to run away AGAIN.
It's like a nightmare where you're running and running and everytime you look over your shoulder, he's still there chasing you, almost touching you but not quite. It's like no matter how much ground you cover, you're not getting away fast enough.
When someone makes the threat of slitting your throat should he ever see you again, you tend to take that seriously enough that you go into hiding. Whether he's psycho enough to ever do it, is another story altogether, and while you think he probably wouldn't, you don't really know for SURE.
So, that's where I'm at right now. A little scared, a little confused and a lot upset. I no longer feel as safe as I did two days ago. I also feel like no matter where I am or how old I am, I'm never going to stop running, always watching over my shoulder to see how fast he's gaining on me.