We stepped out of the car, and one of the nice neighbors came over to greet us. Probably because he wondered why we were casing the joint, and looking in all the windows—just a hunch. We started talking, and he invited us over to view the inside of his unit (since my unit was supposed to be similar). We took him up on it, and upon entering he said, “We were friends with the people who lived in the unit you will be renting. The only thing different between your unit, and our unit, is that ours has vaulted ceilings, and yours does not.
K. Keep telling yourself that, buddy. Whatever floats your hallucinogenic boat.
Then I got a phone call—it was the realtor’s father. They work as a team in Anchorage, and I kid you not—their motto is, “Making your relocation to Alaska easy!”
Yeah, right. *Scoff*Gag*Hack*Splutter*
**Puts on boxing gloves**
What? Are you serious? Am I trying to get my power connected, or applying for a job?
Energy efficient light bulbs are on--pissed off blonde girl is home! Woot!
BUT WAIT!!! Don't forget about the gas company!
As if I hadn't had enough fun with the first utility company, I also had to get the gas hooked up to the house. I called the gas company, and they said, "We're going to need you to come in so we can get your customer profile started. Then we need you to bring in a signed copy of your lease, because if you don't, you will be responsible for the outstanding balance at this address.
Come again, say what?
Yes, the people who lived in my house before me BAILED on, not only their final gas bill, but I learned that they moved out in the middle of the night after not paying rent on the residence, and nobody had ever heard from them again. Hmmm. That sucks. However, how is this my problem?
So off to the gas company I went. There was a tiny little area in front of the girl at the front desk where we all had to wait. A line was in a giant, narrow little "U" shape, all the way to the door. I shook my head, and took my place in line.
While awaiting my turn at the cashier, a gentleman from "across the pond" started to talk to me. He was going off about how Alaska sucks, and what crap the gas company is, but he was popping off in a European accent using old English terminology, so it was exponentially cooler, and super easy to listen to.
He said to me, "Can you tell me why you are here?" I explained to him that I had just moved up here from the lower 48 to work. He said, "May I ask--why in the HELL would anyone do that?" Looking at that line, and remembering every fiasco I had endured since the move ensued, I was asking myself the exact same question.
Then he proceeded to pop off about how Alaska is filled with giant herds of people who live in the woods in colonies, they have a horrible drug problem, a high suicide rate, and how 50% of the population are child molesters. I think his estimate was a little on the high end, but nonetheless. By the time he finished popping off, I was super happy I moved here. NOT!
I finally made it up to the counter. It took about 30 minutes to get through the line. One thing I had forgotten about Alaska was how good people smell up here--especially when you are with a bunch of them in a small space (I'm totally lying--it smelled like dog/B.O./Marlboro, and Crown Royal. Showers are optional in these parts.).
So up to the cashier/counter person I went. She said, "Hi." I said, "Hi" back. Then she said, "What can I help you with?" I told her that I was new to the area, and I needed to establish my portfolio with the gas company. She looked at me and said, "Oh, ma'am?...can you step aside for a minute so the person behind you can pay?"
Are you kidding me? Did I not just wait in line for 30 minutes, only to step out of line so that you could help the person behind me first? What in the hell is the matter with this state?!!!!
I finally arranged to have my gas turned on. And as a bonus--I didn't have to pay the bill of the people who enjoyed the gas at my house before me. I did, however, get to pay a $65 unlock fee to restart the gas at the property because they shut it off due to non-payment. Yay me. My enthusiasm is almost too much to contain. I should make a YouTube video of my happy dance celebration.
THEN IT WAS OFF TO THE DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES...
After dealing with multiple shenanigans with the move, I still had to go to the Alaska DMV. I would've put it off longer if I could've, but my registration in Colorado was going to expire in August, so I had to get it done. The good news? It was $100 cheaper to register my car up here than it was in Colorado. The bad news? In order to get an Alaska state driver's license, you have to take a written driver's test.
I have not taken a driver's test since I was 16. I went over to the area where they had the driver's license test manuals, plucked one up, and took my seat at the DMV to study. Page-by-page I went through the booklet. I was looking very carefully over the driving laws, DUI penalties, etc. The secretary was watching me do this. I noticed that she kept looking at me, like, "Is she SERIOUSLY reading over every flipping page of that stupid manual--WHO DOES THAT?!" Well, yes, DMV Secretary Lady Person--I am reading through every page, because 16 years old was a long time ago, and I'm going to feel pretty stupid if I fail this friggin' test.
She made her move. She actually got up from behind the desk, walked over to me, asked me what I was doing, and after I told her that I was trying to learn everything for the test, she reached out, took my manual from my hands, and then said, "Oh honey--you don't need to know all that! Here is what they ask you."
She went over speed limits in school/residential zones. She told me about their DUI laws, and how long jail time was if you were caught drinking and driving. She told me about DUI fine amounts. Then she said, "And that's it! It should be a piece of cake!"
I set the manual down, because they had just called my number to register my car. As I got up to the counter, the guy told me I did not have the proper documentation (ie SS card, birth certificate, blood sample, donation of my first born child, etc.) to obtain such a document.
I had just driven 30 minutes from Wasilla, to Palmer, to get to the stupid DMV. Then I had to drive all the way back to Wasilla, find all that crap, and then head back over to Palmer to get my car registered.
They remembered me there, so they didn't make me wait in line again. I showed them my stuff, gave them a check, and they registered my car.
OFF TO TAKE THE DRIVER'S TEST!!!!
I went over to the driver's test area. I was feeling uneasy about the fact that I had not read through the manual, but trusted the secretary person, who had taken the manual out of my hands, and enlightened me with key details, that I had enough information to pass the stupid thing.Then went over to the computer to take my driver's test. Sounds easy enough, right?
You were only allowed to miss 5 questions. I went through each one. I read them. Re-read them. There were some questions that were worded so ridiculously that I couldn't even figure out what the question was asking. I was starting to panic. I had actually missed 4 questions. I was stunned. I was also cursing the lady who took my manual out of my hands and said, "Oh honey!...you don't need that old thing!" Ugh.
The last question on the test was it. I had one more frickin' question I had to answer in order to be a legal driver in the State of Alaska. It was a question that said, "What does this sign mean?"
Oh shit. For reals, oh shit. What DOES that sign mean????
I went over it in my head multiple times. I knew it wasn't one I saw often, but I had seen it before. I couldn't remember where I saw it. It was like one of those horrible moments where you have something in your brain, but you can't make that final connection to put it all together--you know...the kind you lose sleep over, and then wake up at 3:00 a.m. screaming, "NOW I REMEMBER WHERE I'VE SEEN THAT!!!!"
None of the answers rang any bells. It was annoying the crap out of me, and to boot, I was sweating, and starting to panic because I knew this was the final question on the stupid test, and it was going to either make me, or break me.
I answered it. I answered it WRONG.
Let's take a brief moment to review my life.
I have two degrees in science. I had a 3.5 GPA. I've taken chemistry. Physics. Calculus. I am a nurse in a specialty area. I am certified in telemetry. I am certified in Advance Cardiovascular Life Support. I am certified in Neonatal Resuscitation. I am certified in fetal monitoring. However, I failed the effing driver's test in the State of Alaska. Can I get a, "WTF!"? **HOLLA**
After wasting my day driving back and forth through the greater Palmer/Wasilla area, and humiliated/humbled by failing the first test I've failed in I don't know how many years, I went out to my car, said multiple sentences that included the F-bomb, and grabbed my stupid driver's manual.
I was trying to figure out what went wrong. I was pissed that the secretary took my manual out of my hands, and buttered me up with her crap about how I only had to know garbage about DUIs and speed limits. And then there it was on Page 41...
First of all--let me just say that the fact that they dedicated an entire page to this, likely meant that you would see it popping up on a test at some point--assuming the secretary didn't take your manual out of your hands, and not tell you about it. It also doesn't help that I live in the middle of Alaskan farming country, and this type of sign will likely pop up when a tractor cuts me off on the highway at some point.
I guess the good news is that I FINALLY FIGURED OUT WHERE I HAD SEEN THAT STUPID SIGN BEFORE!!!!
I used to live in Pennsylvania, and when I would visit Amish country, this is what the buggies looked like going down the road...
In a nutshell--this move has not been easy. I know that some of you have had to endure my relentless gripes on Facebook, but now maybe you have a better idea of where they were coming from. All of the above was taking place while I was simultaneously going through orientation at a new hospital. Stressful?...I'm lucky I have any hair left.
And I know you are dying to know whether or not I took my driver's license test again. The answer is NO. It doesn't need to be done right away, and the important thing was to get my car registered up here--which I was able to do. Hence my super cool license plates.
I think I'll take a little time off before I go for Round 2 at the DMV.
(and just be glad I spared you the story of how long it took to get my internet connected, and how a guy named Jim almost fell off my roof to get the job done. You're welcome. It's also why I haven't blogged in a long time. And please don't ask my why the font changed multiple times throughout this blog--ok, fine...it's because my internet went down, so I typed part of it up in Microsoft word. I'm too lazy to correct that detail so it all "matches".)
NORTH TO THE FUTURE!!!!!!