Monday, October 6, 2008

Hell, Weekend, Vista 64, Green Cards, Theft, Identity, Trauma, Drama, Sh*t

Today, I talk about happiness, joy and sudden pain. Probably in that order although the title is not quite appropriate.

Late last week I got confirmation that my house will sell on October 15! Woot! Huge celebrations and fireworks! To add to the oncoming celebration I booked a cruise on Carnival. My first ever cruise! Woot! Huge fireworks! Lots of celebration! But, what goes up, must come down. And sometimes it goes down in flames and you end up in a pit much deeper than the level playing field upon which you once tread.

On Friday night, to begin my weekend of celebrations, we went out with friends to a restaurant in Grapevine to be followed by much festivities and dancing at a bar. It's name is not important and I won't share to protect the innocent. We left the eatery all stuffed with Mexican food and some brew.

When we arrived at the bar, they asked for ID's because it was one of those places where they have to scan everyone's driver's license no matter how elderly you are. My wife's face went ashen as she searched through her purse looking for wallet which contained necessary ID. I knew something was amiss. Little did I know at the time I was on the downhill slippery slope of a very large cliff.

Today, I chat with you from a quiet lonely unhappy place I call, "my current state of mind". I never had that chat with my wife about identity theft. "Always leave what you don't need at home" is pointer numero uno.

You see someone had stolen my wife's wallet (presumable at the eatery on Friday night). In her wallet, she had her passport, her driver's license, her green card, her social security card and I can't talk about what else for fear of sliding further.

We can't go on our anniversary cruise because my wife is a German citizen and she can't leave the country without her green card. Well, technically she can leave, but they won't let her back in. The cruise was to Mexico.

On Saturday I got a letter from the Title Company that will sell my house for me. They had some papers for me to fill out. Page 2 talked about the fact that Texas is a "community property" state. What this means is that once you are married, your wife owns half. So, my wife has to sign for the house to sell. The documents must be notarized. A notary will not notarize anything without US Government issued Photo Identification.

6 AM Monday morning I find myself standing in the rain outside the USCIS in Dallas (United States Citizen and Immigration Service). They recommend against traveling until she receives her new green card. It should be here in February. If she has a passport, they can stamp it so that she can travel.

8 AM Monday morning I find myself at TXDPS in Dallas (Texas Department of Public Safety). Some crazy new law was passed last week that says, "Non-US citizens (or permanent residents) can not get a driver's license without a green card". The DPS thing in Texas needs some severe help in the customer service department. The first lady told us it would be no problem. We waited in line for an hour to be told things had changed. They should not do this to people who are traveling at a high rate of speed into a pit looking for something to grab hold to.

I've called lawyers, politicians, USCIS, German Consulates, etc. I feel slightly more stressed out than when I started.

Oh yeah, the 64 thing. Almost forgot my title. I decided to install Vista 64 Sunday to take my mind off other crap that I couldn't do anything about. The ironic thing about Vista 64 is that it allows you to access more than 3 gigs of RAM, but you can't install with 4 gigs of RAM. Go figure. I have 4 gigs of RAM on my computer. Every time it would start to install, I'd get the infamous blue screen of death. So, I removed 2 gigs, installed Vista 64, installed the infamous "4 gig patch" -- I kid you not, then put the other 2 gigs of memory back in. It's been running fine for a day now.


  1. That's truly awful to hear. I hope things resolve themselves soon. :(

  2. Oh, man, I'm sooo bummed to hear this. The cruise is a bummer, but you can always do that later. But what are you going to do about the house?

  3. Yikes. Well, on the bright side I can almost guarantee you that you would not like a cruise. Going to Mexico. Good thing. Doing so on a cruise ship. Not so good. Short boat ride, fun thing. Cruise ships were invented for the elderly and they should have stayed that way. Take the wife to Vegas instead, stay a couple days there, rent a car, drive to LA, then down to Mexico. Way more fun that a cruise ship. Oh. I forgot, you need I.D. to get into Mexico. Well, skip that part. Or drop the cruise and go to Hawaii. That keeps you in the states, but then you need that vexing I.D. thing to fly. I thought I remembered reading you'd worn yourself out already moving. No one's selling a house easily these days you know. My friends up in OK escaped back to WA, unable to sell their OK house. Your sad tale is just a harbinger of the Great Depression to come. It's just hit you first.

  4. I'll probably have to post another story to indicate the outcomes, but in case you miss it.

    I talked to a lawyer about the house. I'm 95% sure it'll be okay.

    Durango, I am elderly.

  5. You must reat David Foster Wallace's report on luxury cruises. The long form is called, "A supposedly fun thing I'll never do again."

    It's one of the funniest pieces of journalism I've read since "Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas"