Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Open letter to the Post Master General

Dear Sir or Madam,

In the 7 years I have lived here in Albuquerque(not counting the "dark year") I have had more than my fair share of postal mishaps. I love the post office. They bring me lovely packages from friends and family. They bring me wonderful circulars. I don't even mind the occasional bill. But really, my experiences here have SUCKED.

First, when I moved here I lived in an apartment, and changed units in the same complex. Now, my former married name was a common name with a different spelling. When we changed units, I did the change of address form that your office so courteously hands out. Wouldn't you know it, there was another guy in the complex with the same last name (different spelling) and the same first initial as dumb ass. So we started getting his mail. Now obviously, this isn't your fault, who am I to assume that if two guys have completely different FIRST names and same last names but different spellings that their mail would NOT be confused. So I straightened that out. Then we bought the house. Damn mail followed me there. So I went TO the post office and got it fixed. No more problem, right? Wrong, because some of his mail had "address correction requested" on it, the senders got our address. So we were getting his mail at our house. Then we moved to Chicago, fucking followed us there, too. Poor guy probably had his cell phone turned off and credit cards declined since in your infinite wisdom you decided that Bill Smith and Bob Smythe (not real names) were obviously the same person. I could see how you could be confused, what with the different spellings and all.

Then we move back and things seem to be ok.

Then I divorce. I very clearly fill out the INDIVIDUAL change of address form. I start getting my mail and dumbasses as the new place. Again, obviously, it is asking too much for me to assume that your fine devilvery people can tell the difference between Emilee FAMILYNAME TAKENBACK and Bob Smythe. So I write, "Forward order was for FIRSTNAME LASTNAME ONLY! Please read forward order and return this mail to dumbassesnameathisaddress." That seemed to get my point across.

Then I moved. Clearly, the problem is mine. For surely if I didn't move so often this wouldn't happen.

The previous tenants of our house did their forward order, and fortunately for them and us, there names are in no way similar to mine and KM's. Not even the same initials. This forward order worked great. Except on Fridays on Saturday when apparently your fine delivery person felt it was better to knock the route short in order to get home. So their mail NEVER forwarded on Fridays and Saturdays. Because of my great frustration, I chose NOT to go to the post office and inquire as to when you would be having the cranial rectal reversal you so desperately need. Instead, I wrote, "NO LONGER LIVES HERE, PLEASE READ FORWARD ORDER." Please note, this was all first class mail that should have been forwarded as it had not been a year since their departure.

Then we moved again and things seemed to be ok. Although often on Fridays and Saturdays we wouldn't get mail. But I thought that maybe the poor post man needed a break which is why he spent 3 hours at the corner convenience store reading the paper. It must be tiring riding around in a little jeep all day and taking 3 hour lunches. Yes, I timed it.

Then we moved. Again, I apologize because obviously me filling out new key requests TWICE and "PLEASE HOLD MAIL" requests THREE GOD DAMN FUCKING TIMES is not enough for you to get the point.

That's right sir (or madam). I called to find out what I needed to do. The nice person on the phone at the post office for my zip code assured me that HE would fill out the hold order and put in the key request. So I, silly me, trusted the USPS. Obviously, my mistake.

I went to pick up the mail last week and there were a few things. Apparently me picking up vital mail, like KM's unemployment check, threw the whole system off. So when I went this weekend, there was no mail. Or the package I am expecting that says on the USPS system is SITTING at the post office. The woman tells me to fill out another hold request. So I do.

I go there yesterday. Guess what. Your great staff has managed to lose not only my SECOND hold request, but also my new key request. So I fill out both, again.

So today I call to find out if these things are being taken care of. Your fine "Hi, thanks for calling the Postal Service Annex, where customer service comes first, this is xxxxx how can I help you??" person answers. I explain the situation. He tells me that the PERSON who changes the locks has been on vacation for 2 weeks. Now, I don't mean to tell you how to do your job, but have you considered having a back-up? I'm not allowed to leave for 2 weeks without a backup. But mister-customer-service-comes-first tells me he's not sure what the status is, but he'll call me back in 15 minutes. That was an hour ago.

So, now, you get to deal with my husband when he comes in to HOPEFULLY pick up his unemployment check. If it's not there and the delivery person is carrying it around for the hell of it, please know that we may not have gas or food. But hey, as long as you guys get your 3 hour lunch break and early days, no big deal, right?

I know this is all my fault, because after all, if I didn't move so much and make your post offices work so much harder, this wouldn't be happening. And who am I to expect the postman to be LITERATE and actually do their job.

And for this, you want to keep raising postal rates. Perhaps if you worked smarter and not make your customers do your job for you, you could save a few pennies.

That is all. Sincerely, Emilee, an extremely pissed off postal patron who is waiting for not only vital money to feed her family but also a fun secret pal box.

*Please note, I don't hate all postmen or even the postal service. I apologize to any readers who are or are related to postal people. But I've had it with the illiterate numb nuts out here.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Bad Blogger, No Doughnut

Hey Peeps, as my good friend Jenny would say. I've been bad. But it's been insane. Due to property mismanagement, being at our old place was miserable. The air conditioner was shot, and the property people weren't doing anything about it. So we need to find a place, and fast. So we found a place on the 15th and started moving on the 21st. We finally finished in the wee hours of Thursday the 26th.

So imagine this: We've been moving for days. Our stuff is breeding in the night. We finally have the last load, a few odds and ends, Isis in her terrarium, Lupin in the cat carrier and Gryffindork in my lap, it's 2:30 AM. We pull out of the drive and I hear a weird noise, but I figure it's my car hitting since my shocks are shot. But as we go to pull forward, we realize we have a flat. So we pull over and KM proceeds to remove everything from the trunk to get to the spare, and then fortunately the jack had been in the last load. I don't have the Honda jack since the fine Toyota dealership where I bought it didn't give it to me. Fortunately we had the tire iron. So KM proceeds to try and find a location to jack the car. I proceed to have an allergy attack. I'm allergic to cats. My cats don't bother me as long as I don't have them in my face a lot. But I'd been holding and loving on Gryffin for a while and it wasn't going well for me. My cat allergy is all contact, and all in my eyes. So my eyes are itching and burning and watering. I decide to take Gryffin back over to the house and lock her up while we change the tire. We change the tire and try to reload the trunk. But because the flat is bigger than the spare not everything will fit in the trunk now. So we use bungee cords to close it. There was a lot of cussing from KM. There was much sneezing and eye watering from me. I was ready to tear my eyes out. We go to the house to wash up and get Gryffin, get back to the car. Please note that in our infinite wisdom, we had the headlights on to aid in changing of said piece of shit tire.

Click.Click.Click.

Dead battery.

More cussing from KM, Gryffin and Lupin. More itching from me. I mainly just sat there and cried.

So we called my great brother-in-law Luke to come down and help. But he thought we were at the new place and went there first. Finally gets to us. It is 4:30 AM. It takes a bit to get the right cables on the right car parts and a while to get it jumped. Finally we're rolling. Luke follows us home to make sure we make it ok, because at this point, anything was possible. I was actually expecting another flat tire since the house of doom had lots of construction debris in the yard.

We got to the new place at 5:30. Luke helps KM unload while I shower and try to wash off 8 pounds of cat hair. Gryffin becomes porcupine cat when she's nervous and sheds A LOT. She also farts.

I took benadryl and I don't know what to stop it and fell in to bed at 6, where I barely slept, got up at 7 to go in to work for a bit.

Left work at 10 to go the Darth House and meet the mismanagement lady, who was a biotch. Look lady, not my fault the support beams in the crawl space are breaking and the walls of the house are separating from each other. Also not my fault your electrician couldn't fix the house. Also not my fault that your contractor smokes crack and did a quarter-ass (not even good enough for half-ass) job. They actually laid the carpet down over the existing flooring/construction debris/somebody's lunch. You could feel the lumps. But more upsetting was the occasional hole you discovered. Then there were the holes in the sheet rock that they actually painted AROUND! And don't get me started on the spider infestation. So we'll see how badly we get charged for cleaning or whatever.

After that came home for a bit of a laydown while KM got the last of the stuff from the little shed. Then I ran to work for more stuff to do, took KB to his grandparents and came home. KM had a meeting and I slept. Got up and made it to my knitting night with my good friend. It was good to finally work on something.

We did pick up our copy of Harry Potter 7 during the move. KM stayed up all night to read it, but I just didn't have it in me. Between Shithole Manor and then the move, the fibromyalgia has been flaring. DO NOT post about plot details, who dies, etc. I will curse you. I am a witch. Don't try it. KB hasn't read it but his grandma told him stuff. I told him if he uttered a peep I would cancel Christmas for the next 10 years.

KB's birthday was this last weekend, so we celebrated that and did lots of unpacking. We're still unpacking. We moved to a smaller place, but it's cheaper and the landlords take care of things.

Best news of all. I am retiring in 9 days. I will be full time at UNM this fall. I am so excited I can hardly stand it. I love back to school time. I think I am going to buy myself some crayons just so I can sniff them. What? They smell good.

Hopefully soon I will have knitting content. I'm on the second sock out of Trekking XXL for me. I didn't do so well on the Tour de France knit-a-long, what with the move and all, but I'm continuing to work on Amy's blanket.

That's all folks.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Independence Day

"We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home," Edward R. Murrow.

Happy 4th of July to the Americans. Today is the day we take a day off from work, blow things up and pretend to care about our Independence. I say pretend because in the last 6 years, Americans have looked the other way while the shrub has stomped on our civil rights repeatedly, all in the name of "national security." Do you feel more secure? I don't. I know how easy it would be for someone to take another plane. I was married to an air Marshall. We aren't any safer, it is an illusion. Look at the UK, they are fighting terrorist attacks that appear to be planned by people who were thoroughly background checked and were doctors. On September 11, 2001, we said it would never happen again. We would lock down our borders, secure our airlines and make sure that no one could do that again. We said something similar once before, I believe the date was December 7, 1941. We had lived nearly 60 years in relative safety. No one had attacked us, on our soil. We watched with indifference as the rest of the world continued to fight, Israel vs the Palestinians, the IRA vs England, the genocides in Rwanda, and Bosnia.

I have always considered myself a patriot. My family is very patriotic, my mother wears red, white and blue nearly every day. My grandfather served, as did my 3 uncles, my parents were to young to have served, having come of age just before the fall of Saigon. I nearly joined the Marines. But the events of the last 6 years have changed me. I love this country, I hate what it has become at the hands of the current regime. My ancestors were among the first whites to settle this land, my direct ancestor was a Quaker, perhaps that's where I get it.

I am so tired of being told by the conservatives and the religious wrong that I am unAmerican because I don't believe we are doing the right thing in Iraq. I would like to remind them that in the 1700's another group of "dissenters" stood up and said no more. Today we call them patriots and we call them our founding fathers.

Before we invaded Iraq, there was no tie between Hussein and Al Qaeda. Today, as a result of our activities over there, Al Qaeda has infiltrated the country. We have made that situation worse. They didn't want us over there. They didn't want our "help." Our help has created a civil war where thousands of Iraqis are dieing every week, along with our soldiers. Does any one remember that country called Afghanistan? You know, the one that actually DID harbor Al Qaeda. That's right, what are we doing there? Every so often the media throws us a little bone about some small victory. Perhaps so we don't question it too much.

So, what's my point today? I sort of have one. I love this country. I love what the Constitution stands for. I am appalled at what has happened. I am appalled that my fellow countrymen have stuck their heads in the sand while the current administration decides that it's perfectly OK to trample the Constitution, it's just a piece of paper, right? I am patriotic. Dissent is patriotic, it's been said before, ad nauseum, but love of this country and our freedoms have prompted this country to do amazing and brave things. "We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it," Edward R. Murrow. Invading a country with no ties to the people who attacked us is not brave or amazing. I encourage you all to pay attention. Don't let them think it is OK to remove our rights. By doing nothing, by saying nothing, we are allowing that to happen. Get involved. Their are a bunch of organizations, MoveOn is just one. Help support a candidate who believes what you believe. Join their campaign. Volunteer with a campaign or with an organization. Write your congress person. Don't sit idly by and watch our civil rights disappear. If we don't raise our voices, those in power think we're OK with it. I am NOT.

Happy 4th of July, defend this country against its own leaders. If you want to see the special commentary on the eve of the 4th, go check out Keith Olbermann. This country needs more journalist, both in print and broadcast, who are willing to speak the truths that no one really wants to hear. Edward R. Murrow would be proud.

Sorry for the kind of rambling post. Knitting content soon. Here's a small snippet, Tofutsies sock yarn ROCKS. It's even softer after washing. I am working on Yule presents. yes that's right, I'm attempting to get ahead for this holiday season. I'd prefer to NOT stay up until 4 in the morning. We'll see how it goes.