August 27, 2005

Fridays are for the Prefuckture

It is Friday boys and girls we all know what Friday is for… it’s for Préfuckture visits. Where in Tink gets to use her silent and “free” time to think up catchy lyrics for her newest and greatest hit “If you want a carte de séjour- grab your ankles” (sung to the tune of “If your happy and you know it clap your hands” – yeah I am totally child safe and proof, like 40 proof vodka).

You would think having been on the inside and bent consistently over a barrel that the astonishment might wear off; bit it doesn’t. I know it works in THEIR way, but still it is at MY expense. Some how these lovely French bureaucrats can consistently schedule my interviews; they might take two months to get the next one, but lovingly they are always on a Friday. Great way to potentially fuck with the start of my weekends… the French bureaucrats, they think of everything.

So after the last experience, I recruited a local; someone who knows the way to work with them, and can say things in the French. In other words someone who doesn’t have a hot head, tourettes of the inconvenient nature and waving arms. For those of you not following the game- that would be not me. Besides, I needed all the support I could get. So I made my friend Jean come with me. I am sure he was happy about it, or at least as happy as I was.

Seemingly each one of these visits has the equivalent of 9 layer dip to go through so we start with parking hell. I have to go from work to the central and huge rat maze préfecture in the center of town. Unfortunately this means we have to go in and use the Notre Dame parking garage. We go in, and there is NO space… and they have conveniently shut down the second floor with no warning until you have taken your payment ticket and entered. Great! 15 minutes circling the one lap 50 meter roundabout with MORE cars coming in, in a BIG fambly-mobile. I manage to get out and hijack a parking spot for us, much to the annoyance of the other fambly-mobile.

Cue the special happy, happy, joy, joy dance I do for the préfuckture. Through the clearing gates and security checks I go. This would be where my necklace, the pretty blue box one… sets off the detectors. Thank god for small favors, the French might be bureaucratic but they aren’t security retentive. They look me up and down; they stare at the decolatage and let me and my necklace of mass destruction (destruction of my savings balance at least) into the préfuckture.

On your marks, get set; GO; there is a race to the titres de séjour room. I get us there in no time. Only after getting there, as I some how pleased the bureaucracy gods and have an afternoon rendez-vous right after the lunch break- meant things that go by in slow motion with three people sitting in front of you doing nothing. After an hour wait where Jean and I read the poster of court approved interpreters and make up discussions I get called.

We sit down with the lady from the French Antigues. Oh my god… the accent was thicker than the attitude and really that was up there. Even Jean had difficulty understanding her. So I played dumb Yankee and spoke to Jean in English. She got huffy asking what was I saying. Then I shut up and Jean negotiated with her.

First she tried to tell me I had to go meet with someone at the Foreign Ministry. No, No, No; I already tried to pull those strings, I am in the right place at the right time- go talk to your boss. I have survived the rounds again… I have a contract and if they deny me this time… breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out.

Jean the lovely man he is convinces the Antiguan lady to go and talk to her boss. When she does that we have to go and sit for another 45 minutes. Then she comes out and yells something that Jean catches, but I miss. Sometimes I am lucid and without paying intentional attention I can understand the French going on around me. It isn’t always just background noise. But that would not be the case when I am stressed the fuck out and sitting in the préfuckture. So Jean turns and says she just asked if you have your check book to pay the fees. I say umm yeah, with a grumbly feeling in my stomach. You know with the sound that the blades of a blender on the PULSE THE FUCK OUT OF HER INNERS speed makes.

You remember that great TV game show from the 80s. No Whammy, No Whammy, NO WHAMMY. Well I spun the dealie and I chanted No Whammy, No Whammy, No Whammy, but here came WHAMMY one. I was not clear on much and neither was Jean, but I was going to have to pay 198€ to go to the next interview.

I will pause while we all gather our knitting purses.

WHAT AM I PAYING FOR?? No one can tell me. I am crazy in that I like to know at least WHY I am paying when I am bent at the hips. It is just some made up name tax and it is some special thing for me. In other words SHUT UP AND PAY BITCH. Cause I am special, the short bus with a helmet, kneepads, shin guards and elbow protectors kind of special.

I become mute with the shock. After a while of Jean repeating “they are going to give you the carte de séjour, they are going to give it to you” I started to think to myself. Who needs to pay student loans… But the kicker that is on rinse, lather, repeat in my "must hold every thing against everything" mind … Whammy One had an added benefit that turns out I didn’t have to go back to the US back in March. That whole 3000€ I lost, there was no need, I just had to saddle up the money to pay some senseless tax that was 200€. And so the bitterness invades. I know I should let it go, but I haven’t had my special meeting with the Dalai Lama yet so I am pissy.

So we leave area one go back to the central inquiries desk to find out where to pay. I go over to cashier lady in another part of the rats maze and get my receipt to go to the other lady and pay up. She chats with me as she goes through the arcane fashion that they take care of things. The lady does not use a computer people… I get paper receipts that are hand written, with of course no info. Anyways after I have paid we learned about another step in the game. Yes whilst singing the latest and greatest hit "If you want a carte de séjour grab your ankles" I am expected to do a complicated waltz step too. Go ahead try waltzing while holding your ankles, I’ll wait.

Back to Antiguan lady who now magically comes up with a lighter accent and some English of all things. See the deal is… I have to go to a medical clearance appointment. The kind like what you went through in school only they take your xrays and administer a pregnancy test. Oh I have to do that… ok. HAHAHA you say- THAT is a WHAMMY?? No the WHAMMY is that I have to pay 220€ for that pleasure. So in a matter of three hours I have forked out WITHOUT warning FOUR HUNDRED and NINETEEN EUROS.

That is no small change, that was student loan payments, that has no guarantee of reimbursement, so yeah... I balked a bit. This is when that Antiguan accent disappeared and the lady had the audacity to say well you make enough money to pay for this. Sure this has to be one nasty bill for the Senegalese but hey… you think that shit, not say it out loud.

Jean grips my thigh to keep me quiet, I clench his to try and stay stable. I leave indentations. The level of astonishment is well beyond me. I don’t know what to do with all this. I mean on one side I am getting my carte de séjour. But any happiness is swiped right out but the whole blood letting and the righteous lady. Dude I can do righteous that doesn’t mean I want it coming back at me. And not when I am a fragile flower at the préfucture.

I know it is ironic that with a "good" outcome I am calling it the préfuckture. I guess it is the bitterness about all of this. The denial of my right to a carte spécial, the HELLACIOUS run around I went through to start the job and the whole 5 month adventure of doing it on my own (international organisatiosn "take care" of you). But this time next week after flashing the tatas to prove I don’t have tuberculosis and peeing in a cup, theoretically, I will do the holy dance with the préfecture people and have a carte de séjour.


Look back here next Friday to see if I managed to get it all together, or if someone else from the Third World pats my ... no let's hope not.

Posted by Stinkerbell at 01:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 26, 2005

Update on the Contract

I am not sure I ever appropriately answered this as I go through my umpteenth funk with the blog and what it should be or what I should talk about. Well funk that; here is the status.

Tink has a contract extended through the end of the year. She is gonna stay in Paris. This post has funding already secured for next year, therefore unless there is a great big Tink flop between now and November… Tink should have a bit more of a permanent/stable contract and 25% pay raise in January.

Unlike last time there was no jumping around and bouncing off the ceilings, which is odd all given. I mean I have been stretching out on the rack having esoterical discussions whilst hyperventilating with Torquemada himself through out this recent Inquisition, so you would think the world would come off my shoulders. Atlas shrugged if you like. Ikke so migge… To add misery to pain, there was no relief, because I still have to face down another layer of bureaucracy in the 9 layer dip of hell that working abroad can be. There is no glamourising life in Paris here people, not this is the raw and utter truth of the matter. That and I have laundry to do. I glitz with glamour in the eternal city :)

If there was no Lionel Ritchie fest where I did my own rendition of Dancing on the Ceiling, what was there? Well there was a whole whoop load of frustration for the process I went through (Tink says hand over the vodka and no more fucking interviews) and there was a very “Eh” feeling. All that inspite of the fact that Tink got what she “wanted” (Tink should know better by now to “want” anything…). Most of the "Eh" stems from the changes of one post to another. Funny even though the new post is great with a nice new team, potentially more work but also more rewarding and interesting; me- I want my old job, at my old desk, with my old team, and my old boss in particular. And I am mopeing around about that.

I am beyond resolution of the “Eh” feeling as I get to travel to China for work. Sure it’ll be in December, but I have always wanted to go and fuck the snow I am hiking the Great Wall people. But that alone has not been enough to stir out the “Eh” feeling. And that my friends is surprising because if there is anything that itches more than the ever so FUCKING annoying bug that invaded the walls of my flat, it is the travel bug I caught way back. And the cherry on this is that I don’t even have to pay the expensive parts of this trip, I’ll even get to fly business class… I mean for penny pincher me you would think that would take the "Eh" out of the building. Ikke so migge.

Anyways there you have it. 4 more months of stability, with a whoping dish of “EH”

Some one smack Tink the fuck out of the “Eh.”

Posted by Stinkerbell at 12:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 25, 2005

Happy Blog Birthday!

Yup that is right this sucker has been around for one whole year. I started this one year ago after some of my envy got the better of me and the SP3 swap drew me in. Who knew what it would have turned into and what it will turn into this year.

And with the contract finally secured through the end of the year (yup- that WOOOSH you heard Tuesday at about 12:00 Paris time... It was the sound of me stepping into the decompression chamber) and the blog birthday coming up I thought it was time to take task and look around.

First thing I have decided is that moving time is near and dear. Blogger is great for what you pay; and since you pay nada, you get your exact value worth. And while I am not at the point of hating it with the heat of many fiery suns, I don't want to wait until I get that "feeling" either. There are other features I want that I simply can't do with blogger- like create photo and project galleries, create post categories, create pages for FAQs (like where are all the Parisian yarn shops...) manage my comments, and much much more. So I am cutting loose while it is loose. I have decided to move the blog to its own and right URL, that I caved and bought. I am going to set it up using Movable Type/Typepad and possibly do a redesign. I am looking into the server/hosting and I think I have found a reasonable package. And even though I am probably going to hold off on internet in the flat for right now, I have a computer back that isn't locking up on me at all times so... there are no more excuses. So I will be setting that up, trying to implement a design, clean up and transfer all the posts + from here and delete the blog.

Next thing I have noticed that my first post of last year was saying about how this blog would be "all knitting all the time." Dude I think the blog has become all whining all the time. I have held up my end of the bargain from the previous post, I made my Oliver's Fund contribution (and so should you) as well as my MSF donation (again so should you). I haven't decided if I am going to cut myself down to the point of only posting about knitting and not about life, but I do know I want to get back to posting about life here in Paris (and not just the hyperventilation parts) and I want to post more pictures and the life. SO changes are a coming and in the Fall time air.

And third- Tink needs to not have so many random objects sitting around. She needs to FINISH her stuff even if she is a knitting as process over product kind of gal.

So what have been the highlights of the past year knitblogging:
1. I have made some LOVELY LOVELY LOVELY friends!
2. I have been the recipient of an astounding amount of kindness given my incessant whining!
3. I have finally knit something for myself that I ACTUALLY wear!!
4. I have kept track of my knitting
5. I have learned a bit about me

So this blogging thing not all that bad. Happy birthday blog.

Posted by Stinkerbell at 04:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 12, 2005

Where Did My Hair Go??

Well in all sorts of bloggery goodness Tink feels the need to post. This would be otherwise known as operation stop the Tink from stepping over the edge of the over-analysis paralysis chasm about the job she interviewed for last Friday and supposedly has, or so the gossip says- cause Tink hasn’t heard from them officially.

PUT ME OUT OF MY MISERY ALREADY!! Don’t you people know that the beginning of next week when you SAID YOU WOULD TELL ME; was officially past at 2pm (generous timing for the Frenchies) on Wednesday. Or alternately called keep the Tink from trying to think of the 1001 things that could be medically wrong with her and why she is feeling the dizzy and HURTY head (prequel the “Is it a tumor? It’s not a tumor” line), cause she is not feeling up to going to a Frenchie doctor in the middle of August, when all the real ones are on holiday. And not when she can’t access her social security (thanks to the two most hated words in French) to get her taxes deducted and paid for medical reimbursements.

Serious all when I was on the phone with world’s coolest boss EVER today and tried to make fun of my need to store a bevy of brown paper bags under my desk to hyperventilate with and go with my pile of hair that I have been pulling out. I told him since I didn’t think I could make it as a Sinead O’Connor look a like I might have to join a <READ THIS> Nudist Bunnery… yeah I was going for Buddhist Nunnery. Him he was laughing without oxygen for the next 5 minutes. So let’s distract the Tink and talk techie goods, cause the knitting is just a crazy colored sock and another almost done Daydream for another breeder friend who just reproduced- and it is not distracting enough.

Techie goods info here we come: Did you know that the computer that went comatose is now back in the hands of a certain boss person who happens to be in a warranty covered (make that the only warranty covered) country?? Yes the Tink she will have the technology in a PC at home with her photos, PHOTOSHOP and data one day soon. It was only a year of financial payments in the making… This may harken a shift of the blog as I also caved and bought the right URL. But hold on to your britches I have to get it all hosted and meld my way through and over, so it is not a done deal. So in the mean time if the hard drive cooperates with the *supposedly* fixed puter... there will be more photos!

And to entertain/distract me- for the first time in the history of Tinklet’s play a game called: check the spam and googles.

Starting with the spam, which as a side note before the side is started… (yeah I am antsy what of it??) I still cannot wrap my brain around the concept of spam… I mean there has to be some incentive for this action? Usually it is called marketing and people click-through. How many people click on spam? Ok I know there must be some but still…

Anyways, today I came into 36 filtered spam messages. I know that isn’t a lot, but it is enough. Especially given that all the ones about penis enlargement never fail to 1. make me look down in my pants with terror, cause people each time, there is nothing there to enlarge. I have a hard enough time finding a thong to carry the balls the size of Jupiter I on occasion take around the block… I have no space for a penis. And my need for one, wants it to be attached to someone else. 2. This barrage of penis enlargement spam gives me an identity complex. My friend Jeff (who owns more shoes than me, but is NOT gay) tries to tell me in “solidarity” that he gets spam for breast enlargements all the time. To which I respond at least you have breasts! Him of ultramarathon running fame stands up in outcry screeching “NO I DO NOT.” To which I kindly point out… hey buddy those nipples, the ones you like tweaked, what the fuck do you think they are attached to?? He continues to screech, but my logic it has won and we both know it.

So in today’s spam I became entertained noticing a correlation. I can’t take the glory for being the first here. Him, he is my hero and truth be told Chris does it better. But here we go on the names and the subject lines.

First and most importantly- Jack Rabbit wants to talk to me about the “Gift that keeps on giving.” I am not sure which gift this is and if Jack Rabbit is a carrier… I am not sure I want it to be honest.

Kim will sell me medicine for *(less*. I wonder which medicine… and how much *(less*.

Placing me on the verge of calling the psychiatrist back in the states- PERMANENTLENGTH (yes all caps- like I wasn’t aware that the length is non existent… but I am not male I will not succumb to your tiny wang remedies… ) is talking to me about my Benjamin. And really I want to ask PERMANENTLENGTH (before I crack into tears) how the fuck he knows what I have named my non-existent penis??

HerbalViagra is telling Sarah (so why send me the email, my name ain’t Sarah…) that it will be up in 19 minutes…

DietPills (who has VERY bad syntax and punctuation I might add…) wants me to loose weight for Ross… I don’t know any Ross. I am fragile and recovering from the “oh shit I am going to die alone and a spinster” freak out of this past week. I don’t need you to tell me about how I need to loose weight for some man I don’t know. I mean yeah I want to loose a few French cheese pounds but really to loose weight for Ross… he better be hott (you know the way Paris Hilton feels the need to write it…) and not need any emails from PERMANENTLENGTH if I am going to do that!

But just in case the Benjamin needs a *erm* relationship, Churchi is willing to share the wealth of how to request a discreet “business” relationship.

Pete Knaussen has sent me an email about how you can feed that relationship, a diet of pizza all year long. And for free. Though I am not sure what DietPills would think of that…

But before we do any of this talking… Visa is emailing me wanting to know why her account access is limited. Fuck if I know, I don’t have a Visa nor know a Visa.

Next we are going to go to the google searches. I don’t have any seriously insane ones… maybe one day. But for now I hope that the people who came here via searches for itchy ass and face of death are sufficiently serviced. Cause I am always the face of death, especially when I have an itchy ass.

And while we are at the google searches I noticed that I got 16 hits for my real life name. I don’t use it often. Not a hiding thing just eh… but the scary part is going through to the google search for just the first name. HOLY SHIT PEOPLE. ALL the porn stars and nudists are using my name!! Them and the NYC Naturist Nudists too (I wonder what they would think of a Nudist Bunnery??). But if that didn’t get you, the BDSM community in my name is willing to allow you to join in. In something that a different “Lady” using my name calls consensual reality. THAT was an eye opener. I am pretty damn sure that the person making the search that clicks through to here is going to be more disappointed than well any metaphor my linguistically challenged self can come up with. Luckily one of the sentences that people seem to be clamouring about (or at least clamouring in the second place) is fidgety person movie…

SHUT IT about the crossing veins in the previous paragraph… and shut it now!

Ok people I have a holiday weekend to sit and mull about not knowing about a job over. It is GREAT! Ascension where someone goes up a cloud, like POOF. Yes I am entertained that a country that prides themselves on a separation of church and state has 30% of their national holidays on religious dates. Then again I wouldn’t be making noise if I knew if I had the job or not, I'd be going to the south of France.

GAH. I will go be psychotic and see you all next week. Where in if they decide to tell me I don’t have this job… I will make Voodoo dolls of each of them and TORTURE THE FUCK out of them. I am sure that thought (and elaborated drawings I *may* make over the weekend) will get me through not only the pearly gates of heaven, but through the contract clauses too…

Send narcotics! And Rogaine...

*edited: Note I talk about spam... and I recieve my first spam comment. Dude a HUGE one too... life and technology- aint they grand*

Posted by Stinkerbell at 05:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack