Obama, Nazis, and Diana

Obama!

Interestingly, while you need proof of residency (not with a lease!) to get a license, you don’t need it to register to vote here. A few weeks ago, I registered to vote with some people from the Obama campaign. Since that got me on their list, they called to let me know about a new office opening near us.

Good Man really wanted to go.

After that DMV experience, I didn’t want to go. But he did, and I’d promised him we’d go.

We did go—walking to the office, because it’s only 1.2 miles straight down the street—and I’m so glad we did. After dealing with Queen of the DMV, it was nice to be around nice, like-minded people. We got to see our local representative give a speech, and we got to chat with a lot of people.

Plus, we got a picnic lunch for free and the weather was great.

Good Man and Obama

Nazis

Cantaloupe, Seasoned Red Potatoes, Spicy Roasted Chick Peas, Peanut Butter and Lignon Berry Jam Sandwiches, and Carrot Sticks

Sunday afternoon, Good Man and I headed into DC with a picnic lunch. After enjoying our lunch (he decided, very firmly, that he doesn’t like cantaloupe), we went to the Holocaust Museum to see an exhibit about the 1936 Berlin Olympics and the politics involved in it. It was rather odd seeing some photos of Dachau since I’ve been there. (I had that experience watching Dark Knight, too. I unintentionally whispered, “I’ve been there!” when Hong Kong popped up on the screen.)

The exhibit itself was rather interesting. I didn’t know that Berlin is when the torch relay started. How the Nazis “cleaned up” to appear friendly, and how the international community reacted, in hindsight makes me wonder how idiotic people were. (I wonder how idiotic people are now to moan about China and human rights violations while ignoring Gitmo. Or Darfur.) The way that African Americans were treated by the German press… It was a really good exhibit and had a lot of photography, so I enjoyed it, as much as you can enjoy anything about the systematic, mass extermination of millions of people.

We had tickets to see the main part of the museum, but after the Berlin exhibit, we were both a bit spent, emotionally, so we decided to just wander around DC a bit. I will go back to the Holocaust Museum. I remember when it opened, I was in seventh or eighth grade, and reading about the Holocaust was a pet interest. When I read an article in Newsweek about the display of shoes, I swore I’d go there one day. Well, I did, but the shoes will wait until another day, because just the Nazi Olympics exhibit wore me out.

Diana!

After that emotional morning, Good Man and I went way out on the subway line to meet Diana! She was in town and her lovely family invited us over for dinner. We have no photos, but what a lovely dinner and what a nice family. She was in town an extremely short time, and I was flattered that she wanted to hang out with us considering she’d seen us more recently than her non-Korean friends.

(Oh, and Diana gave us her vacuum as a housewarming gift! Diana made the mistake of telling me this beforehand, and I was rather excited. I love vacuuming.)

DeMogic (DMV Logic)

DeMogic DMV “Logic”

Whenever I am stuck at a government office, I know why communism doesn’t work.

So. I went to the DMV. I needed to tag and title my car (within 30 days of moving) and get a new license (within 60).

I could have gone to an express DMV and tag and titled the car Friday afternoon, but I thought, “No, I’ll go Saturday morning and get it all done at once.”

Yeah. Good luck with that.

I could not get a new license. Why? Because my lease is not proof of residency. Why? Because it’s with a private owner. If it were between us and a big old company, the lease would be proof. But it’s not.

How royally screwed up is that, first off, and second off, why doesn’t their website say that?

So the “Supervisor,” who was infected with an I Got This Job By Taking a Test Anyone Could Take, Getting in the Job Lottery, and Filling a Quota, and Hence Now I Will Rule Over All of You attitude, looked at me and said, “the website also says that we can deny any form. At any time. For any reason.”

And since she was Queen of the DMV, well, I guess that was reason enough. (I should mention that it took her 25 minutes to deal with the man in front of me and to actually even talk to me. She was taking her sweet time to walk anywhere, talk to anyone, get anything done. And she was doing it obviously, purposefully. I know she was doing it on purpose because I used to do the same thing when I was having a bad day working the returns desk at various retail jobs. Difference? I was 18. She was a bit long in the tooth.)

She told me to bring in a change of address card from USPS. Yeah, um, I moved from Korea, so there is no change of address form.

Then she told me to bring in a landline phone bill because a landline is a utility, but a cell is not. OK, no go there, as I haven’t had a landline (here or in Korea) since 2005.

So she told me to bring in a water or gas bill—utilities which are included in our rent, and listed on my Not Good Lease.

I need to bring in an electric bill…we haven’t gotten the first one because we haven’t had a file with the company for a month yet!

Or I could bring in a cable bill, but I can’t bring in a cable internet bill because the former is a utility and the latter is not.

What kind of out-of-whack “logic” is this? It’s DeMogic, I tell you. Maybe even DeMonogic, because this woman was being a demon.

OK, so I can bring in a bank statement. But I get electronic copies (and haven’t gotten paper copies of anything in years), can I print one? “No print-outs are acceptable.”

“Can I bring a letter from a bank that I just opened an account with?”

“No. It must be a statement.”

What the hell?

Now, Minnesota, it must be said, has something going for it. While I was in Korea, my parents listed me (and my brother while he was in Iraq) as able to get mail at their house. The DMV in Minnesota is hooked up with the post office somehow. When I applied for my license, I didn’t need to show proof of any address. They would mail it to where I said I lived, and if that was an address on file with the USPS, I would get it. If not, nope.

How freakin’ cool is that? What a great way to use technology.

In Virginia, however, a lease is apparently not proof of residency. Oh, but only if it’s with a private individual. Which Mega Conglomerate Company is running Virginia? Can I quit paying my rent in court and then say, “Oh, but it’s with a private individual, so what?”

People say it’s because “well, you know, some of those 9/11 terrorists trained here.” Hey, guess what? A SSN does not prevent you from being a terrorist; requiring untold numbers of paper to get an ID just makes terrorists better at forgery.

I was being so polite and so calm. I said, “I’m trying to do the right thing. I’m trying to title my car within 30 days of moving here.” I am quite lucky that she wasn’t actually willing to read the lease and consider that July had 31 days, because it was actually day 31. (Still, Mom didn’t sign the title of the Ford over to me until August 10th; that was our way of buying me some time.)

“Oh,” she said in this very snooty tone, “You can title the car in VA. We’ll just use your other address.”

“But how do I bring in proof of that address when I don’t live there?”

“You can use your other state’s license. Is the address the same?”

So apparently, in Virginia, you can title a car with any damn address you want—even an address you’ve admitted you no longer live at!—as long as it matches some old license. I even said, “Do I need to change the address on the title later then?”

“No.”

Well that sounded fishy, but I titled the car.

And left.

And came home and ranted to Good Man who said, “See, it is not only Korea that is stupid.”

Indeed, Good Man, indeed.