I went to Rocky Mountain National Park on Sunday and fell in love. When something gets the coveted National Park title, it's usually pretty spectacular. This land was amazing. Thank you, Theodore Roosevelt, for your vision of protecting our beautiful land! (Aud- Please correct my history here, if needed)

click on the link above to view a webcam on the park

I finally got myself to a legal status of driving again. I am not a speeder, nor a light-racer, but I was not quite sure if I was following all the laws of the state of Texas or not. I had lost my license with the correct address on it, and was using an older (unexpired) license--that happened to have a former address. In Texas, there is a great online service for address changes, renewals, and such, but if you happen to have lost your entire wallet and you don't have the secret numbers needed to order a new one, you're up the creek and have to go visit the actual Department of Transportation. No one likes this option.

At first I started to think, "What could be so bad about the Department of Transportation?"

I also have wondered many times why my past license picture is so atrocious. Why was my hair the size of Texas, and why was my face all shiny? I had forgotten. Sometimes with unpleasant events, specific details are omitted. Our brains are kind to us like that. But sometimes when placed into a similar situation again, the memories flood over with the force of a broken dam.

I got there early with my hair neat and my makeup a little darker than normal to look more flattering in the photo. When I drove up, my heart sank as I spotted a wrap-around line of people baking on the concrete and in the morning Houston sun. I stayed in my car a bit for signs that the line would move--trying to avoid the inevitable. Must this be the way to stay legal?

Luckily, I had an umbrella in my car to serve as a shield for the sun. I've seen many Asian women walk around town like this and it makes me always think they look bizarre. So, there I stood in line, looking bizarre holding my umbrella like a shield. I tried to think of another day I could do this. I pondered on the consequences of driving illegally. I would pay money not to stand in this line. To make it even a sweeter experience, the two men in front of me used the time to decide if the women ahead of them in line fit their weight preference and the guy behind me started smoking. I realized that I should have been specific with my prayers for the day.

My attempts at a better picture were going to be ruined. My straightened hair would not make it with the humidity levels. I knew that my makeup was guaranteed to be running off my face by the time I made it to the picture. No wonder my last picture looked like I had spent the afternoon hiking through the Amazon. Perhaps this is a secret way the government keeps us all looking our worst.

After what seemed like eternity, I finally snaked around the building and squeezed into the air conditioned portion of the wait. After going through a few more wrap arounds of the line, I realized that the next step was to get a number and wait for it to appear on screen. The room felt very claustrophobic as what looked like the United Nations was squeezed into a room. Children cried. Women waved documents like a fan. To some, it was purgatory; to others, hell.

As I've learned at the post office, always use your best manners and do NOT step up to the counter until the representative has given your permission. I'm surprised I didn't do a bow before preceding forward.

Then, perhaps the silent prayer I prayed was heard. As my number was handed to me, it appeared on the screen! I made it to the last step! I heard a series of "what??" from the peanut gallery around me. Just like in the Old Testament temple, you go to the back (kind of symbolic of the Holy of Holies). I rushed through my paperwork as I interacted with the woman behind the desk. I hadn't had lag time to fill out the questions.

All I could think of while we were exchanging documents was that I didn't know where my lip gloss and powder were. I didn't have time.

"Step in front of the blue curtain," she stated flatly.

I did a bewildered move that was a bit like chasing my tail.

She said a bit louder and flatter, "The blue curtain."

I stood and tried to pose with a smile. She said, "Not a bad picture."

"Grrrrrreat," I thought. "Not a bad picture, but not a good one either."

I look a bit crazy in it. Perhaps my bewilderment is showing. But whatever the case, horrible hair day picture is gone.

Before. And after.

Stop laughing. Thank you.