Passport to the Annoying Zone

Telegram from Obvious Land: there’s a lot of work to do when you move.

I’m sure moving under any conditions is stressful and heartburn-causing, but a move supervised by the bureaucracy of the federal government? Takes a stomach lined with cast iron, my friends. Last week’s mission was full physicals for Tom and me; I am proud to report that years of being bad influences on each other have not resulted in visible damage. I did note that my blood pressure and resting heart rate dropped substantially from my appointment the week prior when I had my poor beleaguered nose examined. This is more than likely due to the fact that for my physical I had a babysitter for Maggie and thus did not have to listen to her howl.

The hoop for this week is new passport applications for Maggie and me. It seems ridiculous since we already have tourist passports and we aren’t doing anything in a diplomatic capacity. Indeed, I’ve looked into stroller aerobics, continuing Maggie’s Spanish lessons, and baby ballet…so, pretty much what we do here, except clad in cozy sweaters. Nothing at all that contributes to the economy or the betterment of society. But the government has spoken, so we had to go for new passport photos.

This time around I knew better and did my hair for these shots: washed, fluffed, and flat-ironed with liberal applications of shine lacquer serums and frizz-tamer. Maggie, for her part, submitted to a vigorous hair-brushing and obeyed my request to not get any visible head injuries while crashing around on the playground. Unfortunately she’s also at the height of her stranger-danger period, and a friendly woman with a huge camera asking her to smile was apparently just too much to bear. So I did what mothers have done since time immemorial: I went first and pretended that getting a passport photo taken was the absolute apex of my existence and I had not, in 27 years, known a purer or deeper joy than I was experiencing right now having my photo taken. When THAT didn’t work I told her that we all had jobs to do, and her job was to hold still and look at the camera. Between the two approaches we got a surly but usable shot. She’s going to look reeeeeeeal friendly at Customs.

The only other moderate crisis is that Bank of America sent our car title to the state of Maryland and after hashing it out with a woman who sounded like an extra from “The Wire,” we had to pay $20 and pray that the MVA would send it to us in a timely (re: in time to ship our car to the UK) fashion. Thankfully they did, but I still don’t understand why, when all of our other paperwork reflected our Hawaiian address, they sent the title to our old apartment in Maryland. But it all worked out, so there’s that…hon.

On the homefront, there were roughly 100 sugar ants crawling around Maggie’s bureau trying to get into the drawers. Turns out there was a bib that was put away that had been washed, but still had a trace of lunch on it. After I recovered from the initial horror, everything got emptied, rubbed down, and boiled.

The mouse is still around. We saw it last night and now we think we know it’s favored access points. If they weren’t in places Maggie could reach, I would snap that sucker with a Victory trap and have done with it (and by that I mean I would have Tom set the trap and dispose of it himself while I hid) but that doesn’t seem to be an option. We can make it work with sticky traps in the meantime, or so I fervently hope. This is completely disgusting.

Other than that…things are okay.

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