Things started off so well. We made good time to Baltimore, got here to find an awesome apartment, a great landlord, and a neighborhood that has everything you would ever want within a few block radius. What could go wrong? Glad you asked. Please, let me whine for 3 paragraphs…
If I were more paranoid, I would think that the Maryland government hates me. That actually did cross my mind for a moment, but in reality, the events of the past 2 days have nothing at all to do with the fine state of Maryland. On Tuesday, Karen and I went to the DMV (aka MVA). On the first try, we didn’t realize that we needed 2 proofs of residency, so had to go back home and get them, then go back to the MVA. We registered our car, got our new plates, and Karen got her Maryland driver’s license. I was not so lucky.
24 years ago, I had my license revoked in New York due to getting 3 speeding tickets. Very shortly before it was revoked, I got a driver’s license in Florida. I paid my giant fine in NY and assumed everything was taken care of. 4 years later, I moved to California, got a driver’s license and renewed it 4 times with no problem. I have had that license for 20 years, and it is still valid today. Still, Maryland would not give me a driver’s license because the record from New York and Florida was never cleared from the system. In order to clear it, I must mail a $25 check and a letter requesting that they clear my record to NY. There is a 10-12 week wait time for processing it. When that is done, they or I must fax the clearance to Florida, and Florida must fax it to Maryland. Not exactly sure what the point of having the whole country hooked up online when you still have use snail mail and fax to get anything done. Thank goodness my California license is good until 2013!
“What else could go wrong?”, you may ask. Yesterday, I lost my SSI because I don’t live in my house any more, so now it is an asset. I have been trying very hard to get off of SSI for several years now, but was hoping to do it when I was making a more steady income and could afford health insurance (and rent). Luckily, Karen’s new workplace has benefits for domestic partners so I will still be able to get my medicine.
Yesterday, both me and K were in pretty bad spirits. Maybe it was all the red tape and rejection, or maybe it was because we went to both the DMV and Home Depot 2 times, but things were looking pretty bleak and we were completely exhausted. I think we are both in better spirits today. Our bed and furniture from IKEA is assembled and we can now start unpacking for real. Best of all, I can start to set up my office and hook up my big computer!
It will be good to start working again. Suddenly I feel the need to re-market my business to focus on things that bring in steady monthly income, like web hosting and website maintenance. I still have job requests coming in, so predictable income will have to wait. Hopefully I will hook up with the web development/geek communities here soon. Luckily, most of my business is done on the internet, so I will still be able to work with my current clients and colleagues. Karen will be starting work in a couple of weeks, and I am guessing that is when I will really find out what it is like to live and work in Baltimore day to day. Until then, I am hoping we can have some more fun times and adventures before we are both crazy busy again with work/life/etc!