Saturday, July 12, 2014

Passport Photo Requirements

My passport expired recently. It saw very little use, with my only overseas trips being a short weekend jaunt to Canada and a deliriously hot, but wonderful, ten day stint in Venezuela. While my family leaves the country yearly, each time I board a plane, I somehow end up in Texas. All of my international travel takes place solely in my imagination, fueled by Rick Steves podcasts, travel blogs, pinterest boards, and harassing coworkers for all the details from their vacations to Israel or Italy.

When I mentioned to my father that my passport was no longer valid, he insisted I update it immediately. He knows I just sit in my cubicle year after year while the passport just chills in a desk drawer, but immigrant parents always want you to be prepared to flee the country. So I went online, printed out the necessary forms, read all the frequently asked questions like a good nerd, and did the required amount of grumbling about how much money it would cost. Still, I started to get excited. Even if it meant traveling solo, I was determined (determined!) that the new passport would be littered with stamps.

And if I'm being completely honest, I was also really looking forward to having an updated photo. With my brown skin and thick brows and non-smiling expression, I looked a little like a terrorist in the old photo (Note to the NSA: I am NOT a terrorist. Even when I simply think of spitting my gum out onto the sidewalk while walking because all the flavor is long gone and the toughness is causing my jaw to ache, I feel guilty and hold it until an appropriate receptacle is available. I am a rule follower and respect all authority figures, even the parking authority). Since the rules called for a neutral expression in the photo, I practiced different ways to smile without actually smiling (warm eyes and the slightest upturn of the corners of the mouth).

I brought the old passport to work and showed the photo to a few people, confident that I would return from lunch with fabulous new photos and that we would all be stunned by the before and after. My brows were did, the Bobbi Brown foundation was carefully applied that morning, and I wore my favorite sophisticated red lipstick (Afghan Red by Nars).

I marched on over to my favorite store of all time, CVS pharmacy, and there was thankfully no wait in the photo center. But from there it rapidly went downhill. The clerk had me take my glasses off. Remember that scene from She's All That when Rachel Leigh Cook's character walks down the stairs with her glasses finally off and is magically gorgeous? Now imagine the complete opposite and that was me. My glasses stay on my face at all times. I do not wear contacts. I do not simply wear them to read. They only come off once I go to bed at night or in the shower. I vaguely remembered the FAQ stating glasses could remain on, but because I was not certain and because of my aforementioned respect for even low level authority figures, I did as told.

Apparently it threw me off my game entirely because the photos were printed right then, and instead of smiling with my eyes, they went cross-eyed. CROSS-EYED! I forgot to turn the corners of my mouth upwards and managed to look stern, confused, and bloated. I didn't even think that combination was possible!

I am aware of how vain this all sounds. And I also know the best thing for the sake of this little story would be to attach the photo. But I'm still single y'all and I'm not that dumb. I need a lesson in photo fierceness from the hot felon.

Friday, July 11, 2014

I Shall Not Want - Audrey Assad

A quiet, contemplative song to end the week.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Gender Dominance in Conversation

It was interesting reading this article, especially after a recent conversation with a female friend who went through a very similar situation at a leadership development course.

I routinely find myself in mixed-gender environments (life) where men interrupt me. Now that I've decided to try and keep track, just out of curiosity, it's quite amazing how often it happens. It's particularly pronounced when other men are around. 
This irksome reality goes along with another -- men who make no eye contact. For example, a waiter who only directs information and questions to men at a table, or the man last week who simply pretended I wasn't part of a circle of five people (I was the only woman). We'd never met before and barely exchanged 10 words, so it couldn't have been my not-so-shrinking-violet opinions. 
These two ways of establishing dominance in conversation, frequently based on gender, go hand-in-hand with this last one: A woman, speaking clearly and out loud, can say something that no one appears to hear, only to have a man repeat it minutes, maybe seconds later, to accolades and group discussion.
Soraya Chemaly

Read the rest here

HT: Sayable | Lore Ferguson


Friday, February 17, 2012


At then end of an exhausting week, when I am weary, passages like the one below are a source of great comfort. Praise God, whose grip never wavers. May the Lord bless you and keep you.

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

Jude 1:24-25


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I want this kid's attitude

Above is Nemanja Vidic with a cute, chubby, awesome Asian kid. I want to walk through life with the energy and fierceness of that little boy. I already have the Asian and chubby part down, now it's time for me to work on the awesome factor. Below is a little clip of him in action.


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Child Beauty Pageant Buffoonery

My favorite lines:

A stick's a lot different because you have to do all the work and I think it's going to be a lot more tiring...than with a real horse.

Kylie Felter

I agree Kylie. It is much more work for you to skip and canter around the cones on your own legs. I hope you will be kinder to horses now that you've trotted a mile in their hooves. (And may I suggest you respectfully ask your parents to sit out any future competitions that are canceled due to horse herpes.)

If you happen to have a problem like this later in life you already have the experience of riding a stick horse!

Savanna Steed

Savanna, may you never have this problem again. I pray the solution to your future problems will never, ever, be riding around in a glittery outfit on a stick horse. (Also, with your last name, it would be sweet poetic justice if you ended up the winner.)

Let me make it clear, I think the girls made the best of the situation. My issue is with the parents and officials who thought this was an appropriate plan B. Testing their poise and adaptability?! More like lazy planning. Seriously, were there no other horses in the entire state of Utah available for this junior queen competition?! It's cowboy country out there! Surely there were some ponies or donkeys or mules or big-boned sheep or obese dogs that could have stood in as substitutes.

I'm not sure whether I should admire or be disturbed by everyone's ability to keep a straight face through that entire news segment.

Monday, March 28, 2011


This is how you can ensure I will not read your tweets, facebook status updates, or blog posts - simply post song lyrics. Snore. Boring. And yet, I'm about to engage in a little hypocrisy and post some lines from a song.

From this one place I can't see very far
In this one moment I'm square in the dark
These are the things I will trust in my heart
You can see something else
Something else

Sara Groves, From This One Moment

Remembering that God knows what my next steps are

Remembering that He sees me specifically

Remembering that He is good

Twenty eight is not quite looking like I expected. In the midst of my uncertain outlook, I will trust in my heart that He can see something else. And that His something else is better than my something else.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Hire These Guys

...the next time you need to keep order and establish peace.

HT: Tastefully Offensive

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Two of My Loves

I can make it pretty far in life if I have the below

HT: Tastefully Offensive

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Love Song for Valentine's Day

Axis of Awesome tell you how to write a love song. Occasional foul language, so keep younger ears away.

HT: The Daily What