Passport Hell

The Minion leaves for Germany on Wednesday….we hope.

We applied for her passport in February. At the time, we were told it would take 6-8 weeks. Since then, the estimate has risen. Apparently, they were completely unprepared for the backlog of requests, given the new rules which require passports for travel to Canada and Mexico. The delays are so critical now, that Congressmen and Senators have tasked aides whose only job is to intervene with the passport office on behalf of constituents.

It’s fucking ridiculous. We’re 14 weeks since we applied, and they’re still telling us that it’s being “processed.”

We’ve gotten our Congressman (Dennis Moore) involved, and they *think* we might have it in time. Maybe.

Either way, the Minion is going, even if it ends up that I have to pay a charge to have her tickets moved to a flight on a later day.

But goddamn it, we did everything we were supposed to do.

My last vestiges of faith in my government are slowly trickling away. How the hell can they “keep us safe” or anything else they claim to do, when they can’t even process a fucking passport, with twice the allotted time?

It’s gotten to the point where I’m seriously considering expatriation. No kidding.

No Gaming This Weekend.

Tom is unable to make tomorrow’s game, and I really would prefer to have everybody.

So, just to be clear, the previously-scheduled Superhero game is a no-go.

Friday Music!

Here we go, kiddies — grab ’em, burn ’em to a CD, and play them at your Memorial Day cook-out this weekend.

First — I am big fan of Jay Chou’s “Huo Yuanjia” (the theme to Jet Li’s Fearless), which I first posted here last year, and more recently in one of my FAR WEST RPG design journal entries earlier this week. Thanks to , I’ve now heard another of his singles, which is also excellent. It’s about traditional Chinese medicine, and is titled after Li Shizhen‘s 1596 book, the Compedium of Materia Medica. So yeah, hip-hop-infused Chinese pop about Ming Dynasty pharmacology. What’s not to love? Jay Chou – “Ben Cao Gang Mu.”

also took the time to introduce me to some other tracks, one of which I’ll share here (the others are currently posted on his Livejournal, go check them out — they’re great). F.I.R. is a Taiwanese rock band, and I really love this track: F.I.R. – “Revolution.” Good stuff.

Moving along — Velvet Revolver’s second album, Libertad is coming out on July 3rd, and the first single was just released. Velvet Revolver – “She Builds Quick Machines.” In other news, Axl Rose still hasn’t released Chinese Democracy.

This is an amazing track– an acapella mix of bluegrass, hip-hop, gospel, blues, rock….hard to define, but equally hard to get out of your head. A Night In The Box – “The Hustle.”

I’ve been playing a lot of FIFA Footbal 2004 on the XBox recently — love that game. It’s got a great soundtrack, too — including this track by Tribalistas, a one-off collaboration of several Brazilian musicians. Tribalistas – “Je Sei Namorar.”

Strange Days is a fun little cyberpunk movie set in the OMGFUTURE!!11 of New Years Eve at the turn of the 21st Century. (Aw, bless.) Still, pretty nifty — Angela Bassett and Ralph Feinnes are cool, and the soundtrack was nifty as well. Here’s one of my favorite tracks — a nice little nugget of anger: Skunk Anansie – “Selling Jesus.”

Some ice-cold acid jazz — a collaboration between DJ Krush and trumpeter Toshinori Kondo. Not really a beginning-of-summer kinda track, but well worth the listening. Toshinori Kondo and DJ Krush – “Bu-Seki.”

Lastly, a track from a new group — Hadouken! are a UK grime/electro/dance/whatever group, named after the special maneuver in the Street Fighter game. They’ve recently gotten a record deal, purely by relying on MySpace and YouTube to push their music into the hands of club DJs all over the world. I’m impressed by that — the labels themselves are becoming more and more irrelevant. Hadouken! – “Tuning In (H! re-rub)”

There you go. Enjoy.