I don’t know how I tricked myself into thinking that 2 weeks was enough time to get everything together. I should have known that the universe would find a way to thwart my efforts to be productive.
My dad recently bought a new computer for the house. It’s a Dell Inspiron desktop running Vista. Vista is the Devil. The computer is not even a month old and Vista has been giving me trouble since I started using it. When I saw that Apple commercial spoofing Vista’s tendency to ask you to allow it to do every little thing, I thought it was an exaggeration. It is actually the truth. I kinda feel bad about trashing Vista like this but honestly, I’d rather run XP any day.
To make matters worse, Daddy’s still got us using dial-up to access the internet (he’s a no-frills kind of guy, one might say). Nothing is more agonizing and pitiful than having Gmail tell you that it can’t open your mailbox because your connection is too slow. “Would you like to open the HTML version instead?” it asked me. I suppose even Daddy realized how pathetic that was because he tasked me with researching broadband providers in our area and preparing data on which was the best, most affordable package. This is how things work at my house, folks.
The biggest hindrance to my efficiency in preparing has been the trials I’ve had to endure to complete my visa application. I’d liken it to the twelve labours but after today, I think Hercules got off easy. After procuring a Letter of Good Conduct from the Somerville Police Department (to prove that I’m not a crazy ex-con or something), I thought I’d be able to put the application in the mail on Monday but of course, things weren’t that simple. First of all, I wasn’t able to have the six required medical forms completed because I couldn’t schedule a doctor’s appointment while I was in Boston. When I tried to schedule one with my general practitioner in Queens, I learned that my doctor was no longer practicing (which explained my inability to reach anyone who actually worked in his office for over a week. The answering service finally took pity on me). I scrambled to make an appointment with a new doctor and was able to get one on Monday afternoon but when I went to the office to check in, I discovered that my health insurance provider was listing my coverage as inactive because they’d entered the wrong date of birth! At this point, I was desperate enough to pay out of pocket for the appointment ($165!!) but after an hour of calling the insurance company, their data center and the doctor, I was finally given the okay by the billing station and thus proceeded to wait an hour to meet my new doctor.
Dr. New was pretty nice, if a touch impersonal, but he perked up when I mentioned that I too was about to join the brotherhood of healthcare providers. I showed him my ream of medical forms and gave a sheepish smile, saying that I’d probably be able to avoid this sort of ridiculous paperwork in my future speciality (because babies don’t go to school). Dr. New assured me that it was no trouble at all to fill out the forms, but that I’d have to go to the lab for all the blood work and vaccinations. “Oh, okay,” I said. “Where’s the lab?”
“Right at the other side of the office. But they’re closed for the day.”