The Hellhole

Monday, September 10, 2012

I returned to work today after my dental surgery. I'm still in a pretty fair amount of pain and find myself watching the clock until it's time for my next pain pill. I've remained on my mostly-liquid diet; my dentist told Alan that I could eat whatever I wanted although he wanted me to avoid strawberries because of the seeds, and that if I wanted a burger that was fine so long as it was not with a sesame-seed bun, but still chewing is quite painful so I haven't managed much beyond soup and yogurt.

Yesterday I ventured out for the first time since the surgery to hang out with my friends Matt and Tammy. Mindful of my condition, Tammy made her homemade chicken soup with dumplings from scratch - it was wonderful. I haven't had dumplings from scratch since my Gramma Helen died. I ate an-entirely-too-huge bowlful and savored every bite.

Returning to a previous topic, getting my driver's license renewed under new, more strict regulations: the three days off I was planning, which had been approved, were rescinded by The
Boss and changed to one and one-half days. On the half-day, I went to the Department of Driver Services and had one of the biggest shocks of my life: everything went well. Yes, I know - when The Boss heard the news, he advised that I go home, unplug the phone, turn out the lights and hide. I was tempted.

I was in and out in thirty minutes, tops, including the time to photograph me and print my temporary license. The computers weren't down, 6,000 people didn't decide to renew the same day I did, none of my documents were questioned - not that they should have been, as they were all legitimate and some were certified, but in my world this means I'd be accused of forgery, probably of my AT&T bill. Everyone was very nice although there were a couple of pages of additional paperwork to complete; I had to complete an application as though I were filing for a Georgia license for the first time. I paid $32 for an 8-year license, being in no hurry to visit them again.

While there, I overheard one of the workers explaining to one woman that each marriage constituted a name change and that she needed certified proof of each one, meaning that if the surname on the birth certificate didn't match the surname on the current marriage license, a woman would need certified proof of each marriage and each dissolution thereof. I understand this, it makes sense, I know why they're doing it, but it got me pondering. A certified copy of our marriage license was $5 and my certified birth certificate was $25 (which actually my mom paid because she picked it up for me, since she still lives in the county where I was born and I don't). So that was $30 for proof of identity plus $32 for the license itself, but if a woman had been married 2 or 3 times, which isn't unusual at all, it would be $67 - $72, not counting whatever cost, if any, might be involved in certified or notarized copies of divorce decrees, not counting what might be involved if some of these marriages/divorces took place in other states. That seems like a lot to me, especially given the current economic conditions, the high rate of unemployment, so many families living paycheck to paycheck...I can see that $67 - $72 could be some peoples' grocery budget for the week. I'm very lucky in that this whole endeavor simply amounted to hassle factor, and as I wrote I understand why they're doing it, I don't have any better suggestions - but that price doesn't seem right. ("The price is WRONG, Bob!")

To conclude on a positive note, Matt and I went to Bo & Sarah's show on opening night of DragonCon! They played a solid set and had a good crowd, around 400 people we think - which is awesome considering that lots of people didn't hit town until the next day for the long weekend. It was great to see them and hear some of the new tunes live. I think they were pleased, overall.


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