Matamoros, Mexico: Washington, D.C.:

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Quick Status Update

Hey folks. Sorry it's been so long since my last post. I would attribute it to being so incredibly busy with work and having a jam-packed social life, but neither of those would be entirely accurate. Here we go.

I started ConGen (Consular General) training last week. Basically, this six-week training course will teach me the actual day-to-day things I will be doing when I get to CG (Consulate General) Monterrey. So far, I've learned all about passports, nationality, and citizenship. I can adjudicate your passport application with my eyes closed. (ok, maybe not with my eyes closed, but you get the picture.) I can also inform you on how you could possibly expatriate yourself (lose your U.S. citizenship...something I will not ever encourage you to do.) I could even document your child's birth overseas, though just because you're a U.S. citizen doesn't mean your child automatically will be, too. I found that to be very interesting. Before ConGen, I had just assumed that if you were a U.S. citizen, your children would be too, regardless of anything else. Today we started learning about Immigrant visas, and next week we'll start Non-immigrant visas. There is an incredible soup of letters and numbers that go along with each of those sections, but for now, I can tell you about IR1,2,3,4,5,6, F1,2,3,4,12,13,21,22,2A, E1,2,3,4,5, EW, SD, SR and a few other random immigrant visas. Yeah, it's a little ridiculous. Good thing we have a chart.

I was at the State Department on Monday morning taking care of some business during some downtime in my daily schedule. I was walking through the "inner sanctum," where all of the super important people work, of the State Department (with an escort, of course), when lo and behold, there is Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talking to someone in the hall. I was maybe two feet away from her, and she made eye contact with me. Yes, I was star struck by the former first lady, NY senator, and current cabinet-level official. Call me a nerd if you wish.

I'm going to Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert's Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear this Saturday on the National Mall. I'm not normally one for big quasi-political rallies like this, but honestly, I'm excited about it. First, I think Stewart and Colbert are hilarious comedians. In addition, Stewart is really a brilliant person, and is much more than "just a comedian." For reference, see this Youtube video in which he dominates Tucker Carlson in a CNN interview. His commentary on the daily news is witty and astute, not to mention absolutely hilarious.

But the point of his rally is one with which I fully agree: it's about time for some sanity around here. Mainly, in the media. Unfortunately, insanity, fear, and hype are what drives the news cycle these days, and I think a lot of the American public are tired of it. It's time for some rational, logical debate instead of fearmongering. I think it will be a hugely entertaining time out on the National Mall with tens of thousands (hundreds of thousands?) of people. It'll probably also be the last time I do something like this.

In other, completely unrelated news, I cooked a roast last weekend. It was my first attempt at cooking something that seemed so daunting. But in reality, it wasn't all that bad. After cooking in the oven for about three hours, I had a delicious roast with potatoes and carrots...which I then ate as leftovers for the next 5 days!

Speaking of seemingly daunting tasks... what's something you've done recently that you thought would be really difficult but ended up being a great thing to do? Let me know in the comments.

I think that's about it for this update of randomness. I'm going to the Rocky Horror Picture Show (first time ever!) tomorrow night, so I'm sure I'll do some kind of follow-up blog over the weekend about it!

Until next time... peace.


  1. When you are in the NIV unit of ConGen, be on the lookout for a student visa interview with a kid who wants to attend Arkansas State University. The interviewing officer is me!

  2. above comment should say "example video of a student visa interview..."