After that I took the kids over to the daycare center. I realized on the way there I forgot my cell phone, so I dropped them both off and went back up to get it, and then went down and picked up J and I took him to his school. Then... I waited. And waited. I hate the buses, they take so damn long. Anyway it finally arrived, and I got to NYC at around 9:30. I hopped on the A downtown, got off at Chambers, and proceeded to nearly get run over, as I wasn't paying attention, and then decided to duck into a deli and get some water to drink. After that, I walked over to 125 Worth to get my birth certificate. Now that was a pleasure. I think the whole process took me maybe 10 minutes, including the time to fill out the forms and waiting in "line". I wish all government agencies worked like that.
After that, in a fairly cheery mood (I was expecting much worse, dunno why, I've done this before), I went and got my passport photos taken in some little photo store. 5 minutes, maybe 10, and I was off again. I got my birth certificate photocopied down the block and got the copy notarized, and then I hopped back on the A, heading uptown this time. I got off at Penn Station, and took the 11 am train down to Princeton Junction.
We arrived a little after noon, and my dad picked me up and drove me to the DMV (actually in NJ it's MVS, Motor Vehicle Services). I filled out the form to renew my non-driver's ID and then got in a fairly long line. At the end of the line, the woman looked at the form, took it, and told me to sit down. And boy did I sit. After over 30 minutes of sitting, my name was finally called and I went over to get my photo taken. The great thing? I was not only renewing but also getting a change of address, and the ass had typed in my old address. I pointed this out, and then waited another 15 minutes for him to retype it. After that, I finally got my picture taken and my ID made**. I got back to the train station at around 2 pm. I got a sandwich (ham and cheese, not a bad one overall) and a coke, and hopped on the 2:20 train back to NYC.
There were some track problems so the train was late arriving; I think we didn't get back until something like 3:45. Fortunately, the closest passport office was in the main midtown branch of the post office, which is right across the street from Penn Station. I ran across the street, went in, and re-filled out the form***. The woman trawling the line for idiots asked me if I had the form (showed it to her), asked me if it was for myself (I said yes) and then went through the checklist of ID. Birth certificate, check. Driver's license, check (non-driver's ID). Ok. State ID's are not allowed. (Insert picture of me looking very puzzled.) I looked at the back of the application. One of the listed forms of acceptable ID: state ID's. I showed her my non-driver's ID and asked if it was ok. She said no. I asked her why, since the form and every sign said state ID's are acceptable. "Not from that state they aren't." Oof, harsh. I knew NJ sucked, but I hadn't realized the Federal government had officially recognized that fact. She asked if I had any other photo ID. I said just one from work, and showed it to her, asking if it was ok. "Does it have your signature?" "No." "Then it's not acceptable." (Cue sinking feeling in my belly.) "You can try photocopying it and your state ID together, maybe they'll take that." "Um, ok." ... "Hey, where can I make a photocopy?" "Shoe store across the street." "Thanks."
I then ran across the street (and down the block, and across another street, stupid woman with her abbreviated directions) and made copies of them, and then ran back. I got back in line, and was called up to hand over my application. She then announced that anyone that was still in line that hadn't handed in their application were too late, as they were closed for the day. Yikes! It was around 4:10 at this point, and the official closing time was 4 pm.
I got back in line, fumbling with my papers, and started reading the requirements again. Wait a sec. Acceptable forms of payment. Cash isn't listed. CASH ISN'T LISTED.
Fortunately, the next line over was to a normal post office window - so I slid into that line, and got my money orders. Orders I say, because they require two separate ones - one for $15, one for $45. Trying to give in one for $60 is right out.
So I proceeded to trudge wearily back into the first line, and waited. A few minutes later, they called my name, I went in, handed in the rest of the paperwork and my ID and the money orders, and finally, finally, was done****.
So I ran up to the Port Authority and caught the next 163 bus going back to Hackensack, the 4:45 or something around there. I got back around 5:30, picked up my son from school, and headed straight for the hair salon in the building. Unfortunately - Abby was booked up. D'oh! And there were no other, um, hair-cutter-people available. D'oh! So I made a tentative appointment for tomorrow night, saying I might have to cancel, and took my son upstairs.
And that is more or less the story of my day. The rest just is sort of the usual taking care of kids and making dinner and feeding kids and putting kids to bed sort of stuff I do every night.
Damn I'm tired.
* - I think I need to find a way to turn a profit from this. Maybe a spree of bank robberies. I could stun the people and guards with my ultra-cute children, and then steal all of the money and run. No one would be able to move until I took my children out of their sight. It'd be like something you'd expect to see on the old Batman tv show. *POW*!!!
** - It's pretty interesting - and very low-tech, in NJ. They print out the text of the license/ID onto a paper, and then take a combo photo of the text and your face, which is then pressed onto a card and laminated. Sounds like something out of the 70's. Oh well, that's NJ for you.
*** - I first filled out the form on the train down into NJ, using my laptop as a desk, but I accidentally signed it. You aren't supposed to sign it until they're watching. Bastards.
**** - Incidentally, they took my birth certificate, saying it'd be returned with my passport when I got it in 4-6 weeks. "Uh... but I need it to go to Canada on Friday!" "Yes, you do." *stare* "Um, can you take this notarized copy instead?" "Nope." "Uhh.... ok... um.... I guess I can pick up another copy then." "Ok." (Damn you! Damn you to hell, accursed infidel passport-window-minder!) So tomorrow my lunch break will consist of me running downtown and getting a new copy as fast as humanly possible.