Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Clipboard People Are Gone. Long Live the Clipboard People.

The clipboard people that have been at our station for the last three months are supposed to be gone as of tomorrow. They have been preparing our station for an audit that may begin tomorrow, when the uber clipboard people arrive. I feel like Nietzsche's mailman.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Yiddish Policeman's Ball

I shook hands with Michael Chabon last night. I was fawning so much that even Bambi had to look the other way.

Monday, May 28, 2007

"My Gay Dad"

I went for a long bike ride this morning with Ambre. After lunch we went for a short ride with the dogs in a trailer.I was wearing my dork bike pants that look like a leotard since they're too long and go into my shoes and of course, I had dogs in a trailer.
Ambre said it was like riding with her gay dad.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

But I Peaked in the Sixth Grade

My sister is helping to plan a 40th year reunion for her East Anchorage High School class. So far, after months of work, only two people have signed up. Here's a little background; by her own admission, her years at East were the best of her life. In contrast, I graduated a year early because I hated high school, and was apparently anxious to get started on my career; the morning after the graduation ceremony I started a new job washing dishes.

Last night we talked. She wanted me to call people in Anchorage to let them know about the reunion. "You've got a phone," I said. "They're not my returning my e-mails," she replied.
"So you want me call and say 'I'm the little brother of the girl nobody likes?"

When I told Leah that I had been a little harsh with my sister and might have hurt her feelings, she was fascinated. "Do you mean that you think that sometimes you don't hurt people's feelings?"

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Gone Fishin'

It's Saturday before Memorial Day so I thought I'd go fishing. Successful angling requires patience and persistence. Today as I did my route, I'd toss out lines like, "No barbecue for me, I still have a few pounds to lose," Sometimes I got a bite, "No way, you look fine," and sometimes, not, "Yeah, I see what you mean," so I'd just move on to the next house.
And by the way, we need a way to acknowledge that it is Memorial Day weekend. "Have a happy Memorial Day," sounds stupid, and, "Have a sad Memorial Day," sounds unAmerican.

Friday, May 25, 2007

"It is up to us to give ourselves recognition..." Spencer Tracy

My supervisor told me today that I was almost the only carrier that was "getting it right." This, after my most unproductive months ever. Somehow I always thought succeeding in my career would be more fulfilling.
When I got home today, though, I had a letter from "Selection, Evaluation and Recognition" in the Postal Service. I thought, hmm, I've worked there almost 30 years, and finally I'm going to be recognized.
"Dear Postal Employee," it began, "If you are a registered sex offender..."

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Euclid, Pythagorus and Me: an Odd Couple

I wonder if anybody ever noticed that perfect squares (4,9,16,25,36...) are separated by sequential odd numbers (5,7,9,11)?
I was thinking how odd it was that 81 (92) and 100 (102) were separated by 17. Then I realized they weren't, but it didn't seem any less odd that they were separated by 19. I thought about other squares and I saw the pattern. I'm not sure what the significance of this is other than I have a lot of time by myself walking down the street. I hope you appreciate what you're getting for your 41 cents.

This Really Isn't a Post.

I thought that was going to be a cute title for what was going to be a little inside joke, but it got so far inside that really wasn't a post, or even a joke.
Still I've already got a title, and it's the kind of title that doesn't demand very much, so it seems a shame to waste it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Is This Even A Post?

I really feel like I have a post in me somewhere, but I'm not sure I can find it. Maybe I'll just type for awhile and see if anything comes along: the 1000 monkey theory of creativity.
I was able to finish my book yesterday. I should probably stop talking about my book because I'm planning on giving it to Sarah for Christmas. I was able to finish it, though, because we spent several more hours in a room so Leah could be seen by a doctor. She still has vertigo, but it seems slightly better, at least when she's not standing up. I have a new appreciation for the perils to the middle class posed by uninsured daughters living at home.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Wreckless Wrider

I went for a ride with my friend, Art, last night. It was a heartbreakingly beautiful evening, although that may just be the generic Zoloft talking. As I'm sure you surmised from the title of this post we made it home safely. By the way, it's kind of a secret, but Art and his family are moving to Seattle. It's official; I will have to be cremated since I'm pretty sure I don't have anywhere near enough friends to carry a coffin, although as Chris Rock said after the Columbine shootings,
The Trenchcoat Mafia.
No one will play with us.'We have no friends.
We're the Trenchcoat Mafia.''
Hey, I saw the yearbook pictures.
It was six of them.
I didn't have six friends in high school.
I don't got six friends now.
So, I guess nothing's changed.

Today we spent 3 hours in the emergency room with Leah. She's vertiginous if that means suffering from vertigo, or if it means green, for that matter. They gave her some fluids and meds via IV and sent her reeling home. People complain about hospitals sometimes, but it was sort of pleasant. I had brought a book so I got a lot of reading done. I was doing the same as before we went to the hospital, but, hey, no guilt about the chores I wasn't doing.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Acme Bicycles

Part of what made me look so cartoon-like in the last post was that after sliding onto the sidewalk, on my side, at a busy intersection, I was anxious to ride away from the people that had just seen me fall. I hopped back up on my bike and began pedaling furiously, but the chain had slipped off and so, I wasn't actually moving.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Not Animated, And Yet...

It's kind of amazing that an inanimate object like a bike could make me look like a cartoon figure, but when I hit the curb last night and skidded up onto the sidewalk, I'm sure there were little birds circling my head, or my knee anyway.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

I Hear Sweden is Beautiful This Time of Year

Because of our perverse incentives (that's right, our incentives are depraved) I found myself practically taking my customers hostage to avoid returning to the post office early. With all you hear about Stockholm Syndrome, you'd think that they'd end up wanting me on their porches, but no, not so much. Well, I was talking to one lady about writing down the stories she's told me over the years. She said now that she's 85 her memory is starting to fail. "Eighty five," I said, "You don't have time to be out here talking to your mailman!"

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Data Mining Gone Horribly Awry

As the clipboard people continue to look ever deeper into the M-41 for more inefficient ways to deliver mail, I'm pretty sure that it won't be long before we're required to feed the horses ourselves.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Big Wild Update

It was a nice afternoon for a ride, but lately the most exercise I've gotten has been pushing back on the recliner. Today after work I was reading a book on the front porch and Leah's Pomeranian began to bark. I told him to stop (and he did!) then I heard a clop clop sound and a moose and her calf ran down the sidewalk across the street like they had a bus to catch. I mean I know they didn't because the bus stop has been moved over to the next street, but it was like that.

Take a metaphor, add some symbolism and a dash, no make that a quart of bitters

I have seen mixed metaphors; metaphors that looked like they went through a blender, a blender that carried coals to Newcastle. But fun as that as is, what's really good is a metaphor or maybe symbolism that's broadly applicable to different situations.
Back in the '60's I used to watch Star Trek. There was an episode about a man and his insane double that were trapped between two universes condemned to fight for all eternity.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

A New Take on Diner Food

We ate at City Diner today which promises a new take on diner food. Apparently the new idea is to charge $10.95 for a hamburger.
No report yet on whether Karen liked her present. The moment hasn't been quite right to give it to her. One bad sign: without knowing what it is she told me to take it back. Of course, she doesn't know it's really really blue.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

It's Mother's Day Eve; Call 'em if Ya Got'em

When you're as good at making up headlines as I am you hardly have to bother with actual posts. I once read about a lesbian comedian who always told a joke about the Amish because, hey, they'd never know. Even though Karen is sitting right next to me I could tell you what we got her for mother's day because she doesn't read this blog. I was going to tell you, too, but then I realized it's not that great a gift. She's going to think less of us, but why should you? I'll tell you this much, thought it's amazingly garishly blue.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

I Don't Want to Brag

I don't want to brag because that would be so inadequate. Triumphant yells, maybe. Last fall I tried to ride to Stuckagain Heights. I wrote, or really, tried way too hard to write, a post about the attempt. Tonight I tried again. I had some advantages this time. Instead of jeans I was wearing a pair of dorky bike pants. I was wearing a form fitting top that I got for Christmas last year. Actually, I don't know if the form fitting top was a help for the ride, but it did show off my bouncing flab to a nice advantage. Maybe most importantly I had my slick tires instead of the snow tires. Anyway, by now you've realized that I made it all the way to Stuckagain. Oh yeah!
I felt like a Titan with Anchorage spread out at my feet, a little city perched just above the ocean surrounded by wilderness. Of course, on the ride back down, I was a little girl squeezing the brakes and whimpering, "Slow down. Slow down."

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Freudian Geometry or Where Do Cold Hearted Orbs That Rule the Night Come From?

I inadvertently finished early today. When I got back to the post office there was some mail, but of course, I couldn't touch it. Slavish devotion to the flow chart makes us less efficient, which provokes more recourse to the flow chart. It's a vicious circle, which invites the question why are circles so vicious? There are golden triangles, magic squares, and even golden rectangles,
but only circles are vicious. In the old Freudian witchcraft days (and how Jung we all were back then), we would have talked about how closed off they are and how (unlike say, triangles) pointless their lives are. Now, it's all biochemistry and serotonin leaving me with no end to this post. Time to stop spinning my wheels and get back to work

Monday, May 07, 2007

Truth in Labeling

Sunday afternoon was a perfect day for a ride, but instead we spent time sprucing up the yard. That's sort of a funny phrase when you consider that one of the first things we did when we bought the house was cut down all the spruce trees. I cleaned the deck with the Oxyclean product we use in our laundry. It said on the label that it could be used on untreated wood. The reason, it turns out, that it says that is because, just like the label also says, it's a stain remover. So, as I hosed and swept, all the stain (and paint) came right off the deck.
Homer Simpson asked once, "Why does everything have to be so hard?" Why is it that I can stain my shirt, but not my deck?
Last summer, Leah bought a new bicycle. She hadn't ridden in a while so she was sort of tentative. They would bring out a bike for her to try and she'd say it was too big. She finally settled on one, and after they took the training wheels off we took it home. This summer, though, when we go for rides together, it turns out that the bike is too small for her. The good news in all this is that since I seem to be unable to get a better body for the Hardly Davidsons, I may give Leah mine and buy a better bike for myself. Or not, I really love my bike.

Friday, May 04, 2007

A Personal Record That's 56% of What I Need

I rode a Personal Record today of 35.46 miles. I'd feel great about that except I thought I was going to ride 40 miles and in less time. By next month I have to be able to ride 62 miles with the Hardly Davidsons.
Last fall the ADF&G gave salmon eggs to school children in Anchorage. Over the winter, they hatched the eggs and today they released the fry into Taku Lake. I was born here, but I didn't even know this beautiful little park existed until last summer when I began riding the trails in earnest. Apparently each child in Anchorage had their own fish to release and they were all standing on the trail I was riding on. Of course, any large crowd of children attracts an ass with a pit bull, and true to form, there was a man walking two. It seems that pit bulls are always friendly, until they're not, and then it's always a surprise when they pop someone's head like a grape. How is it, that it's always a surprise?
So, anyway, the salmon were dreaming of freedom, and now they're free. Today's Friday, the day my Weight Watchers points reset so, it's my own private jubilee, as well. All my points have been restored to me and I'm free to eat things I can only dream about on Thursdays.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Innovation in America

We are always hearing that elephantine government agencies like the Postal Service lumbering into the future while wallowing in the past, are no match for small companies where innovation abounds. Turns out it's true. While we've had clipboard people documenting every misstep, indeed, every step we take, Leah has had her own clipboard person where she works. The other day he was carrying a new clipboard. She looked over his shoulder and read the one entry on it, "Find old clipboard."
After an absence of one day, the clipboard people are back. By now they have collected more minutia in more detail than the FBI has about the terrorists. To be fair, while they've been there not one mail truck has been hijacked.