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bumble bees
frazzled
amw
This last week has been a whirlwind of getting shit done. Actually the whole year so far has kinda been that way since i got out of that particularly bad dip of last year. Last week i sent off my application for Canadian citizenship, which is exciting. I applied for Australian citizenship years ago (and was granted it), but only did it so i could continue to qualify for the government student loan program - i never went to the ceremony and my status has long lapsed (as has my permanent residence). Although on the whole i'm a fairly live and let live person, there are a few things i've historically had a totally warped sense of morals with, and citizenship is one - i don't believe in collecting citizenships out of convenience; if you're not willing to die for a country then perhaps you should consider whether you really want to take that oath, you know? Maybe something's changed. I don't consider Canada my home, but right now it's the sole (very thin) thread i have. I've lost Australia, and although i'm technically a British citizen by birth, moving there would be as big of a hassle as anywhere else because i left as a child and have no accounts there. In Canada i'm established (somewhat), plus it's right next door to the US, and if things ever change with the immigration laws there then there isn't any better base to apply from. Also it's a nice enough country in its own right. So, yeah, i guess i did get a bit mercenary about the whole thing. We'll see if i go through with the ceremony, which according to the wait lists could be two years from now.

I also just found out tonight why i'm a non-person here. I've been fighting with my landlords and J's dad for the last six months trying to get this house in my own name. They still refused. Finally after a bunch of sweet-talking and stupid amounts of patience, they've approved a friend of mine to guarantor me, so J's dad is off the hook and i will finally get the second set of keys back he's been holding hostage (really!!) Anyway, i got so pissed at the whole thing back in January i decided to do a credit check on myself. And i couldn't. Like, i called them up, gave them all my information and they said "sorry, we can't do a credit check on you because we don't have you on file". Say what? After all the bullshit i went through to get my Australian AmEx converted to a Canadian one i still don't have any credit here? This is what i get for paying all my bills on time and not signing my life away to shitty cellphone or internet companies who only do contracts. So i figured why not apply for the cheapest, shittiest, lowest limit VISA card through my bank? They see just how much money is coming in every month, there's no way they can deny me a card whose limit is lower than what i'm banking in savings each payday. But then two weeks passed and i hadn't heard anything. Then three. So i called them and get passed through three different people till i finally get a sales guy who says the application never showed up and i can do it again over the phone. Give him all the details, and then he drops the bomb. "What's your immigration status here?" Erm. I just fucking applied for citizenship dude. Turns out my bank still has my temporary Social Insurance Number on file - the one you get with your temporary work permit. It seems it never occurred to them to contact me when it expired, or that any flags went off in their system when they saw i am a very high income earner who they should be milking for mortgages and credit and shit. Not only that, but they fucking bought the local branch of ING Direct too, so now they're raking in my chequing account fees PLUS all the interest from what i have in savings. Motherfuckers. Can't change Social Insurance Number over the phone. I have to go into "my" branch, way the fuck over the other side of town. Can't apply for any credit until then, it'll automatically be rejected. For fuck's fucking sake, i've been here 4 years! I fucking hate banks. The only one i liked was ING because you could do everything over the internet, and now they've been bought out too. Sigh.

Oh, i've also been trying to close my Australian bank account for months. I think i've been charged something like $300 in fees since i moved here, with no transactions whatsoever on the account. Honestly. And then i have to pay for a shit ton of international calls to close it. But that's finally done too. I'm not even going to bother trying to track down my superannuation (401k/pension) because that's just gonna be a whole nother shitstorm just to get paid out $20 a month when i'm 60.

In less frustrating news, i went to an audiologist today to get some musician's earplugs. Getting that mold done is one of the weirdest sensations. Apparently i've lost a bit of hearing in the 4-6KHz range but considering the abuse i've put my ears through at raves and clubs for most of my life, that's really good. Apparently it's genetics, so although i might get cancer at 40 at least i'll still be able to listen to music.

So yeah, boring updates. Work continues to frustrating as hell, but i'm just putting my head down and trying to make it through. I have my music now, it's my passion and i never, ever want to let it go again. I forget how many little things i've picked up over the years, things i just take for granted in spite of my lack of "real" musical training. I watched a fascinating documentary on YouTube the other day - "How Music Works With Howard Goodall". It's cringingly English and twee, but it was cool to see all that serious theory laid down in a way that made me think back to all the influences i've had. I've learned so much from my first few guitar teachers, from the ballets and operas my parents dragged me to as a kid, from fellow amateurs exchanging ideas on internet newsgroups and BBSes, my music history courses at university, hanging out with pro musicians and DJs, playing djembe and dumbek... And i continue to get that same thrill every time i hear something new, every time i learn something new. It just put it all in perspective. I might not be a rock star, or even much of a bedroom producer, but i've got something to live for, something that's there for me when nothing else is. All this other shit, fuck it, it doesn't matter.