Blogging every day like I did in 2013 was hard, but this blogging-whenever-I-want-to in 2014 thing is just as hard. It’s like having to catch up with a friend about my last few days and wanting to cover so many things that have happened, yet not wanting to sound like a lunatic. It’s been days since I last blogged and in that time I got a lot of shit done.
My U.S. passport expires this year, faithfully, after ten years with me. It was one of the best gifts I gave to myself in my lifetime, a fully-stamped passport. I could write a novel each about my travels to Aruba, The Bahamas, Belgium, China, Croatia, The Dominican Republic, England, France, Greece, Italy, Mexico, and some twice or more in those ten years. So with months still left before the expiration date, I took my U.S. passport and reported to the U.S. Embassy in Brussels this week to apply for a passport renewal. This morning, as a matter of fact…
Because I’m living Belgium I can’t apply online and so I must present myself by appointment at the Embassy. I don’t mind it at all. In fact, I realized this week that I’ve enjoyed all my trips to the U.S. Embassy here. Brussels is charming as a metropolis, and I feel a sense of pride as an American each time I approach that heavily guarded American flag along Boulevard Du Régent (in French) or Regentlaan (in Dutch). I never thought my heart would ever swell seeing the American flag and a huge portrait of Barack Obama on the wall inside the U.S. Embassy, but it swells! Plus, everything’s in English at the Embassy and the forms look soothingly familiar and I get to use my social security number which never happens in Belgium.
I never felt any kind of pride anytime I renewed or replaced my passport back in the States. I never knew this kind of pride. Back in New York it was just a huge hassle to have to “deal with” going to the passport agencies, and the costs and waiting involved.
My son Noah has both American and Belgian citizenship and he’s got his own U.S. Passport as well. He’s been inside the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Brussels. My husband Davy and I have talked about this before and how it’s the best gift we gave to Noah, dual citizenship. Perspective is a window and the more windows you’ve got, the more you get to see. I wish for Noah to travel when he’s old enough, and to fill all his passport pages too one day.
So after all this feel-good love for America, I came home today and felt the need to blog about so many different things. My love for America wasn’t actually one of them because I was still basking in the glow of social security number excitement. I actually started out writing hours ago about the new Survivor cast. But I couldn’t not address the recent Big Brother drama so I started writing about that. But as I was writing, I found myself sounding so “anti-American” that I trashed it and started this new blog with my whining about how hard it is to blog in 2014.
And this is how I end up sounding like a lunatic anyway, with a disclaimer.
In closing, here’s who I like from the new Survivor cast (knowing this means that they won’t win):
I find Alexis annoying but I her hair is entertaining in the wind.
As far as what’s going on in the Big Brother world?
I’ll just leave you with this PSA:
Attention: The Big Brother Cat Lady is evolving every day and joining online armies and mafias, sisterhoods and Big Brotherhoods of the internet, and you should be very afraid.
It’s almost impossible to explain to a layperson all that goes on between summer seasons of Big Brother, namely October through June, because there are things that go on during the season itself that never should have happened in the first place. Right now in January, Big Brother alum and their respective fans are socially slaughtering each other, with some even exposing their body parts on social media, in self-publicized scandals. It makes my rivalry with Alison and the rest of 2003 look wholesome and healthy. Not that’s scary.
I blame America and maybe some of Canada and England. I blame the internet. I blame Big Brother live feeds. To be clear, I’ve watched the feeds and I love the internet. I love America and Canada and England, but I’m not proud of Big Brother. All jokes aside, this is embarrassing!
Thank god I have the U.S. Embassy to remind me of all that’s good about freedom.