Applying for a Passport

Captain’s Log  4,479

So I went to the county administrative office yesterday to apply for a new passport.  Wow!  It has certainly changed since the days of just waltzing into a post office with your paperwork and your money.  It’s now done by appointment only.  I called two post offices and the first appointment was two weeks away.  Pooh!  So I went down to the county where they have a walk-in service.

I got there 35 minutes after they opened and I was #83.  Holy crap!  So I sat on my beautiful plastic chair clutching my #83 paper tag and waited with all the other people who obviously want to flee the country.  Grey chairs, grey floor, grey walls.  A perfect palate for adding color.  Too bad nobody could see my hot pink bra.  At least I hope nobody saw it.

As usual, there was a guy holding up the registration process with tons of ridiculous questions.  When dealing with a government office, it’s best to just mask your inner smirk and agree to the rules.  After at least 10 minutes of harping and carrying on, it turned out he already HAD a valid passport!  Good for another two years!  He had it right in his hand!  We all tried to mask our inner eye rolling but that was really too difficult because we all wanted to see what was going on.  Some people had problems with their inner groans.  I almost typed “groins.”  That would have been hilarious.

After swearing that my birth certificate was authentic and that I had no intention of betraying the security of the United States, I was allowed to part with lots of money.  The fee for the convenience of the walk-up service was $35!  What was I going to do?  Take my stuff and go to the post office?  No, after spending almost 2 hours in the grey room, I deserved the service they were providing.  So I wrote a check.  See how I made myself feel good about that?

When I finally walked out of the handy-dandy passport office, the waiting people were lined up down the hall – almost to the elevators.  It was going to take at least 30 minutes for them to even get to the window so they could ask a ridiculous question!  I was so glad to leave.

I had to wait for EIGHT trains/trolleys before I could move through downtown and back to work.  It was like being in the passport office only you got to sit in your car and get in touch with your inner seething.  Every time one trolley would pass, the lights stayed dinging and the arm stayed down for another one to go through from the opposite direction.  Toss in Amtrak going each way.  Traffic was lined up all the way across town.  Dang!

After all I went through to get this damn passport, I better flash it around constantly when I am in the Netherlands next spring.  We better go to a lot of different countries to get a lot of stamps.  I want to get in touch with my inner philatelist (neener).  I know they aren’t like STAMP stamps, but I still want a lot of them.


Changing Gears


I just don’t get people sometimes.  I was hopping mad yesterday when I got home from work and opened up my Facebook.  Earlier in the afternoon, I had written about wanting to have spumoni for dinner.  Most of the comments were funny and the folks who left them were completely in the game with me.  Except for one person who decided to take the high road and let everyone know when she is 60 years old (like me), she will be hiring a private vegan chef and doing yoga every day to take good care of herself (no disrespect intended, of course, to my other friends who were enjoying the whole spumoni thing).  I don’t know why that bothered me so much.  Was it the 11-hour day with no lunch break that made me edgy?  Was it the fact that I had just been sitting through a 2-hour meeting in the east county where the temperatures were still well above 90 degrees at 8:00 PM?  Was it the fact that the restaurant didn’t even have spumoni and I settled for a lettuce salad without dressing (cuz I really DISLIKE salad dressing) and a glass of iced tea?  Was it because this person couldn’t let me have a child-like moment on my own Facebook page without throwing in a very judgmental statement?

Boy!  It certainly hit me the wrong way.  I really don’t understand why some people have to take a holier-than-thou attitude at someone else’s expense.  I say NOTHING when this woman makes personal choices I don’t agree with.  I certainly don’t snipe her OR her friends on a social networking site.  But for some reason, I am fair game.  This isn’t the first time it’s happened.

*finger poised over the unfriend button*

I feel so frustrated when I cannot find my Zen.  Why did I let this get under my skin?  I know I am bigger than this.  I also know I am extremely stressed out and not functioning at my peak.  I am WAY below my peak performance.  I also know I am a normal human being who is subject to these feelings when tired, hungry, stressed out, etc.   Forgiving myself for that is the first step.  And the hardest one.


Filed under Captain Poolie's observations

18 responses to “Applying for a Passport

  1. I’m sorry for the spumoni and the passport grief. Some people are incapable of empathy for others. Some of us simply wish you more goodies in life – be they Italian desserts or extended road trips!

  2. After going through all of that to get your passport, I hope you hang on to it better than i did. I had mine, my husband’s and the passport of a friend we were travelling with in a titty-pack that I wore around my neck together with our credit cards. I thought it looked bulky under my pretty dress one Sunday so I put the titty-pack into my purse until we had gone to church. Of course, that was for too long. A little gypsy lady who was standing alongside me in a bus and nursing a baby who was screaming bloody murder because it didn’t want to nurse — dumb me – why didn’t I figure out she was up to something other than taking care of that child – it was distracting me and I was begging people not to push and shove becauase there was a baby there — and that is when she must have had her hand in my purse sneaking out the pkg .of 3 passports and credit cards! Big Time Bummer. We had to spend another 2 days in Rome hanging around the US embassy before we got a new passport – didn’t realize until we got home that it was not for the 10 years the other one was for – it was for only one year. And I suppose there is someone with my name running a brothel in Africa or the slums of Rome – We reported the credit card as stolen an hour and a half after it was taken and the “new me” had already spent over $500 on clothing – hope she used some of it to clothe that screaming kidlet of hers!

  3. Joanie Benson

    Spumoni with an entire jar of chocolate fudge syrup. Tis my recommendation.

  4. I like that “turd heads.” 🙂 It”s the heat that’s grumpying you. It will do it every time. Cold storage lockers are wonderful places to restore sanity. 🙂 Or…try M&M’s. They work too.

  5. Poolie, as you gave reminded me in the past, some people are just turd-heads. It is as simple as that!

  6. I recommend that you have spumoni tonight and another dessert…NO wait, wait….Have a humungous grilled cheese sandwich, french fries and dessert. You deserve it. And I agree that she rained on your little slice of heaven with her comment but maybe…that is HER idea of a great way to spend the evening……

  7. Does that poor ex-friend even know that spumoni is good for you! It’s especially good for me, as a diabetic. And it will always remain in my memory that I ordered it on my first date with my husband. 8)

  8. jo


  9. Definitely forgive yourself!
    But then never let your passport lapse again – even if you’re sure you’ll never go outside the US. It’s SO much easier – and makes for a great ID, even for domestic flights.

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