random daily thoughts. with some "i just beat cancer" stuff thrown in.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


After what I would refer to as the most infuriating weekend ever, John and I got up at the crack of dawn this morning to go wait in line at the regional passport office. The stories we heard there were echos of the same insanity we'd been feeling for the past week. "oh, yeah, they have my birth certificate, and I'm supposed to leave for equador in an hour!" or "have you TRIED calling that national passport line? what a joke!! everytime i get through to a human, they tell me something different!" "what? you actually got through to a HUMAN BEING??" :)

Everyone was very good natured and amazingly calm, considering we were all in travel crisis meltdown. The staff there was polite and that office was very well run.

At 11 am we walked out, passport in hand. Flight rebooked, and we are Mexico bound. The passport gods have smiled upon us. Today is a good day :) We'll only miss a few hours of vacation, really.

Now I'm going to pack, clean the kitchen and begin my vacation with a mojito. :) See you in a week.

Sunday, May 27, 2007


John applied for his passport FOURTEEN weeks ago. Post office guaranteed it would be here by May 10. It is now two days before we are supposed to leave on vacation and said passport is not here. We are obviously not leaving on Tuesday.

When you check status of said passport online, you are advised that if you are traveling in the next 7 days, you may contact the National Passport Information Center for emergency assistance. But when you call the NPIC, do you know what happens? "We're sorry, due to extreme call volume, your call cannot be taken at this time. Goodbye." And this is AFTER you've listened to their stupid blather for 30 minutes about how they cannot assist you unless you have a travel emergency. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGHHHHHH.

Lemme say it again. *&%^%$%$#!!!

And do a Google search for "passport hasn't arrived", "missing passport", "ridiculous-ness of the NPIC" and you get inundated with comments from people in the same situation.
Case in point: http://whirledview.typepad.com/whirledview/2007/05/the_erratic_sta.html#more

And when you MIRACULOUSLY are able to get through to a live human on the NPIC line, (after holding for an average of 40 minutes) you are told only that's it's being processed. No other helpful information. Actually, one lady did tell us that she showed it had been issued and that Express Mail would deliver on Sunday, but when we called back two hours later we were told, nope, still being processed and that NPIC doesn't use Express Mail.


It is the most infuriating experience I've ever had. Our trip is non refundable. Which basically means if this passport doesn't come in, John has lost thousands of dollars. It is so maddening, I just sit here and laugh. Pure insanity.

Obviously I could go without him, since I have a passport, but the reason I'm going on vacation is to spend time with my husband. Honestly, I'd be miserable without him. Even if I was laying on the beach with a pina colada in hand. :)

So. Where does that leave us? John is going to go to the regional passport office on Tuesday and wait in line for an estimated five hours to see if there is ANYTHING they can do for him. At this point anything is worth a shot. We don't know if they'll be able to help since his birth certificate is with the passport app in who-knows-where, USA. Even more frustrating is that you only need a passport for air travel, but without that birth certificate, you still can't go by sea, land or rail. It's like they're holding his birth certificate hostage.

And you know what we're told online? If it's a dire emergency, take a DUPLICATE ORIGINAL copy of your birth certificate (yeah, because everyone keeps multiple copies of their birth certificate lying around) to the regional passport office. Ugh. Or you may go to your county of birth to obtain said duplicate original. Which means John would be needing to go to Michigan. HAHAHAHAHAHA. Ha. Ha. Ha.

For a while I wanted to cry, then I got hopeful, then I wanted to cry again and now I just want to hold somebody under water. Volunteers please contact me immediately. :)