Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Giving the Finger (prints)
I don't even want to talk about the rigamarole that I have been through in order to get a simple set of my own fingerprints. The FBI requires that I send in a set of fingerprints in order for them to send back a card saying that I have no criminal record or sordid past.

So I call the Queensland police yesterday to find out where one goes to get that done. The very nice lady asked where I was located, and I stated that I pass the gigantic police headquarters in the city several times a week. She told me to go to the first counter on the left with two forms of ID, and they would take care of me.

Great. I called back later to make sure I knew what their hours are, and the man I spoke to treated me like an idiot and said that they only do crime scene fingerprints and the only time they fingerprint people is when they come from the morgue. Uhh... so this "counter" that the lady told me to go to with my two forms of ID? What?

Whatever. He told me to go to the local police station up the street from our house, and they would take care of me.

Fine. Now, keep in mind that I saw on the police website that you can get your fingerprints done for about $20. I just bring in the form that I already printed out from the FBI site. Pay the fee. Leave. Ta-da.

However, this morning we spent no less than an hour and a half at the police station trying to convince these ladies that all I want is someone to take my fingers, put them in some ink, rub it on my own freaking paper, and sign the thing. No, these ladies were trying to tell me that I had to get my fingerprints done, then they would KEEP them and enter them into their system, and send it over to the consulate in America... for $146. One HUNDRED and forty-six DOLLARS. That's like $110 US Dollars. (Just FYI, the FBI check costs $18 USD.)

Oh, no, no. I do not THINK so. I'm an AMERICAN. I need my record from THERE sent HERE. I want nothing to do with the Australian consulate in America. They don't care that I don't have a record here.

I had all these pages that I had printed out from both the immigration website, the QLD police website and from the FBI website to try to get it through their heads that I need to send my fingerprints to the FBI with the form off their website. Ugh.

I was somewhere between wanting to cry and wanting to throw things. But I've had breakfast and another coffee now, so I think I'll be okay. Tomorrow we're going to try that Counter #1 idea from the nice lady and make sure they need me to be dead first.

Weekend Pictures
The guys in their protective time-warp helmets. The entire group picture was on Lisa's camera, unfortunately.

Meet My Neigh-bor
Sometimes when I'm alone at the house at night, I freak out a little bit, because it sounds like someone is walking around outside. I don't know -- I grew up in the Safest Community in America, but then came the year or two that I lived in the ghetto. Is self-preservation a learned instinct?

Sunday afternoon, it was happening again. Turns out that it was my neighbor... the horse. He's a scraggly old thing, and he doesn't usually spend a lot of time along the driveway. Maybe this is the only place there's any semi-green grass at the moment.

Anyway, the picture is blurry because I shot it through the living room window without the flash. That bush thing is on the fence next to the driveway, and there he was just munching away.

Beauty vs. Budget
The Brisbane Festival starts this weekend. There are so many pretty shows that I would love to see! That's one thing I'm missing in my life. Not that I went to a tremendous amount of theatre and/or other cultural events in recent years, but I did see the Nashville Symphony before I left. And not to forget The Nutcracker in Auckland last December with Tash.


Post a comment