Monday, July 24, 2006

Medieval Bitch


For those of you who don't like bad language - don't say I didn't warn ya...

I am SO mutherfucking pissed off at all fucking bureaucratic bullshit! And I fucking hate people who won't lift a fucking finger to do anything that's not on their goddam computer screen. If I get passed around to one more person for my goddam sonofabitch driver's license I'm gonna go fucking postal. Dicks.

Whew. Apparently there seems to be a few kinks in the system. So, I need driver's records for the past 2 US states that I had a license in. The second newest one is because I didn't have my last one for long enough to show that I have experience driving (you need it for more than 3 years here). Okay - it took writing a letter, sending a check, and waiting 2 weeks to get the driving record. I go in today and sludge around the craziest fucking people I've ever seen for 45 minutes until I get up to the window. Then they tell me they can't find any evidence that I had my most recent license (the one I got a couple of months before we left the US so we could by a car and insure/register it there). Even though I'm standing there with the new license in my hand! Apparently, State #1 never cancelled my old license so State #2's license that I've been going over national borders with and using to pay for beer for 3 months isn't valid! I have to get another driver's record from State #2 showing that I actually have the license that I'm holding in my hand. There's a form that must be mailed to me. Then I must fill out the form and send it back to them with more money. Then they will send me my driver's record for State #2. Then I can get my Ontario license. But they just sit and stare at the screen and whine: "But you're not in the system! I can't do anything about it." I feel hate....

On top of that, I've been feeling a little guilty about the fact that I have nothing of real substance to post. No deep thoughts. I'm starting to feel like my life is just "random bullet points of crap" - largely pleasant with some panic and annoyance mixed in. I guess that's what most people's lives are.

But, on the work front - I've been happily researching for the past week or so (although God knows, not today!); I'm chipping away at it. I'm submitting an article proposal to a very cool essay collection within the next couple of weeks, so fingers crossed on that one. I'm still stalking the journal I sent another article into for a decision almost 8 months after the fact. But I'm not ready to revise it (which it really would need) and send it out to another place, so they might as well sit on it.

Two questions to end this dismal post (and for that I apologize):

1) I should know this, but I don't. And it's a tad embarrassing. How does one become a book reviewer for a journal?

2) (potentially volatile question): Do you think that someone who doesn't seem to speak a single word of a language should be able to get a driver's license in the country where that language is spoken? I.e., during my trip to the seventh circle of hell (DMV) today, there was a 20s guy getting ready to take his driver's exam. The woman was asking him for his address, etc. and he just looked at her. She tried in English and French (two official languages of Canada!) and he had to call over the older man who had come up with him at first to translate (he'd gone off to talk to someone else they came in with). I dunno - does this seem right? Maybe I was mistaken about the situation, but he was going to take his driver's test and he couldn't understand any of the instructions (like signing his name, etc.) in English or French. All the signs around here are in English. Hmmmmm......thoughts blogosphere?

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7 Comments:

At 5:18 PM, Blogger Tiruncula said...

I'm SO sorry about the driver's license runaround. I was given such crap when I moved to Canada and tried to insure my car there. After trying numerous agents who refused to give me straight answers (or a policy), I finally called CAA and got someone who explained that - get this - the state in which I had been driving WASN"T COLD ENOUGH, so they weren't sure I'd be a safe winter driver. CAA was willing to insure me for many thousands of dollars a year, but the rate was so outrageous I ended up just keeping my registration and my whole identity in the state I came from for the five years I lived there.

Canada seems like a socialist paradise until you have to deal with a) Canada Post or b) anything motor-vehicles-related.

 
At 8:55 PM, Blogger KLee said...

Yeowch! Sorry. I hate having to deal with red tape. I can only imagine the hell of dealing with red tape in a foreign country. That would majorly, majorly suck rocks.

So sorry. I hope that you get it all sorted soon, and that you can just breeze through the Canadian DMV next time.

As for your dilemma about the non-language speaker -- that's a real stumper. Is it possible that ehy'd let him get a lisence? He wouldn't understand street signs, therefore, he'd be a hazard on the roads.

 
At 9:13 PM, Blogger Carrie K said...

Yuck! I hope the horror is over.

Oh nice question for a Californian where we're debating illegal immigrantion.

I understand why the language requirements can be considered class-ist and divisive, but honestly, I really think that it's in the best interests of everyone that they speak can communicate with each other.

 
At 10:53 AM, Blogger medieval woman said...

Thanks to all for your groans of commiseration! I'm sure it will work out and there's not much I can do about it anyway. I guess was more just irritated that I spent hours there yesterday. Hours that I will never get back - like being abducted by aliens!

I'm going to re-post about the last question...

 
At 12:56 PM, Blogger Flavia said...

As for the book review question: this is something that I'm wondering about as well. I'm supposedly writing a review for one journal, which assignment I got in the following manner:

I met the editor at a conference (not knowing he was an editor--I know his scholarship, though), and in the course of chatting about what I work on he said, "oh! we have this book on X that I think we still need a reviewer for! Would you be interested. . . ?"

It turns out they'd already found a reviewer, but he told me to contact him if I ever saw anything that I'd like to review for them, so I emailed him a month or two later to suggest two possible books, and he approved one of them. (Still haven't received the book, though.)

I'm not sure that it always takes personal contact, although journals sure don't make it clear, do they? Renaissance Quarterly--which is a huge journal filled with almost nothing BUT reviews--lists a breath-taking number of "books received" in the back of each issue. . . but it's unclear to me whether they do so for the benefit of the authors/publishers, or if they're advertising for reviewers. My plan there is to contact a junior scholar I know who reviews for them and say, "Dude. What's the deal?"

That might be the best strategy, particularly if you have a specific journal in mind.

 
At 7:50 PM, Blogger Tiruncula said...

MW - sorry to have neglected the review question. My answer isn't a lot clearer than Flavia's, but I've answered at a little more length over here.

 
At 1:02 AM, Blogger Hilaire said...

I am late on this...it is cathartic just to *read* this!

Re the book review issue, I just the other week contacted people at two journals about book reviewing. Offering to review specific (different) books. ONe was the reviews editor, and one the journal's general admin address. I just found the email for the book reviews guy by looking him up online. Anyway, both of these folks emailed me back within a day - accepting the offer. It was easy peasy. I think journals are hurtin' for reviewers...so give it a try...

Re the guy who can't speak French or English...I wouldn't worry since I'd guess he won't pass the written tests...

 

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