Archive | March, 2013

It’s spring break.

25 Mar

You can tell because there’s a bunch of teenagers loitering on the street corners in my neighborhood, doing fist bumps and other gang signs and listening to that rap music. 



Change Is Hard (duh, it’s made out of a blend of metals)

22 Mar

Ok, look, I know change is hard. Which is why I want to start preparing you guys now. Dear Mr. Postman is getting a facelift, an upgrade, a custom-made home. I’ve loved this site, and its look has gotten better over the years, mostly due to my friend Ashleigh’s totally unrecognized and uncompensated efforts– and she deserves a trophy for it–

but shit just got real. Since November I’ve been working on a design with rockstar developer/coder/cool-glasses-wearer Taylor Black from Fizzy Media (tagline: We make beautiful things) (testimonial: it’s true). And Taylor has promised me the new design is close, very close, so I wanted to start prepping you guys.

I know it’s hard when websites change. I usually have an adjustment period where I yell a lot and jam my fingers at buttons and accidentally end up reading comments, which send me into a sneaky hate spiral.

This is nothing, actually, compared to what I do when things in real life change. When I was four, I went into the backyard to play and discovered our picnic table was gone. My dad was just putting the finishing knots on the ropes securing it in the back of a truck– it was on its way to the dump. Now, this thing was old and battered and rotting and falling apart and gave me splinters every time I touched it. Ten minutes later, my dad was hauling the picnic table back up the stairs, around the back of the house, and into place in the backyard to give me a few minutes alone with it.

Unfortunately, my dad didn’t learn his lesson. He’s stubborn that way. Two years later, he made the serious and foolish mistake of dismantling and removing our incredibly heavy, solid oak round kitchen table from the dining nook and putting it in the basement while I was at a friend’s house. I came home to find a rectangular table in the nook. Are you kidding me? I had learned to color, and talk, and eat, at the other table. I had eaten my after-school snacks here! Told all my best stories! My face knew the comforting curve of the legs from napping under it with the cats. Who eats at a rectangular table? It was literally going to divide our family down the middle.

My dad, ever the tough negotiator, suggested perhaps I could go say good-bye to the other table where it was. He pointed out rather insistently that it wasn’t gone, it was just down the stairs in the basement. And this new table, like the old one, also weighed approximately 100 pounds and he’d just finished assembling it. Ha! Delusional man. I opened my negotiations with “get rid of this new one and keep the old one forever otherwise my childhood is ruined.” The old table came back up to its rightful place for me to say a proper farewell.

My mom, however, would not bring the old, ratty, and torn curtains back. She insisted that the new curtains were in fact almost identical. I knew better. This cream was entirely different than the light fawn of the old. It took weeks, but I gradually adjusted. Eventually I couldn’t remember what the old curtains looked like. Then I mourned the loss of that memory, feeling that I’d failed them.

Look, all I’m saying is, I’m really lucky we never moved houses when I was a kid. Or my parents are. Also, you may laugh if you know me at the idea that I’m now way more “flexible” but EVERYTHING IS RELATIVE.

And the new site looks amazing, and I’m so proud of it, and it really has been made exactly for Dear Mr. Postman. It’s tailored (taylored!) so well for this dumb, sweet, incredibly heavy, splintery blog that I’ve been writing for so many years now. So we’re doing it. We’re moving. If you’re anything like me, it’s time to start saying good-bye.

And I ask for your patience and fortitude when we do switch over– it’ll take some time to get used to the new layout, but I think it’ll be worth it. And hopefully it’s designed to last so you can settle in knowing that it’ll be around for a while– like this stupid-ass pine rectangular kitchen table I’m writing this post on right now. And of course, there might be kinks to work out, and I’m hoping you’ll let me know what’s working and not working, so I can try to help make the transition as smooth as possible. I may not be quite as terrified of your screams the superhero that my dad was, but I’ll do my best.

PS– I’m really sorry, Dad.

Spring Has Sprung

20 Mar

It’s the first day of spring, and things are crazy out there. There was an insane rainstorm this morning, and then it passed, and the sun came out, and the wind started up, and the clouds are scuttling across the sky and the lake is full of whitecaps. 

And everything feels wild and free out there. 

It’s almost my birthday, and I love my birthday. I don’t care how the day goes– I’ve had crappy birthdays, and amazing ones, and the last three years, they were pretty low-key, as I was in San Diego and didn’t exactly have designated birthday celebrants with me– I mean, my family wasn’t there, and friends are great but it was always sort of a question of a) will I have something to do b) who will I do it with c) what will it be and will anyone show up. I mean, there’s something magical about receiving packages from your family in the mail on the exact day of your birthday (my dad’s all about paying for great timing) but there’s something sort of lonely (but still sweet) about putting your sister on speakerphone as you unwrap them in your apartment by yourself. 

Whereas here, my sister’s obligated to show up for my birthday, so that makes one, and her boyfriend too in a less required but still necessitated way, so that’s 3 and that’s already a party. So then I get to just choose what to do and tell people and let them show up or not, and all of a sudden there are so many other people who are coming, and I really, really feel like I have people again. 

But my point is: it doesn’t matter how my birthday goes– it always feels like a day that belongs to me. I don’t know if it’s because we have to recite our birthday so many times in so many ways– to the doctor, and for taxes, and all those various forms that make up life– but that day, and even a little bit the whole month of March: it really really belongs to me. 

Also I freakin’ love presents. We’re present-givers in my family, which I actually love about us. It’s not one-sided; I like giving them too. I don’t think people who are bad present-givers realize how much it feels like thoughtlessness, like a lack of generosity of spirit, a lack of paying attention, to people who are good present-givers. I’ve heard that argument, “I’m just not a good present-giver,” the way that some people claim to be bad at remembering names. My jury’s out on both of those. I mean, ok, I suppose you could actually be bad at remembering names, but it sort of just feels like you don’t think I’m important enough to try to remember my name. And presents: sure, sometimes you have to guess, and you mis-hit, or you don’t have the time or money to get the gift you’d really like to give. 

And yes, it takes a little thought and effort. But if you’re paying attention to someone, it’s not usually that hard to find something that at least makes sense to give them. Right? Like, you don’t give a cat a tennis ball, unless you happen to know that cat is really, really into tennis balls. Don’t give a giraffe a stepladder. Don’t buy me bourbon. 

If it was apocalypse and I was tending to wounded who were stumbling into my house and the biological weapons had contaminated all the antiseptic soap and we’d run out of hydrogen peroxide days ago and the people were screaming and bleeding from giant gashes in their legs and begging for solace and comfort and I was desperate for some form of sanitizing their wounds as I ripped t-shirts and sheets into bandages and used sticks to create makeshift tourniquets….then bourbon would be a really, really thoughtful gift.

But other than that, probably not. Unless I accidentally time traveled and met a Scottish prince who spontaneously took me home to meet his father, the King of Scotland, and I happened to have your gift of bourbon on me, and I was able to present it as a host gift, and it gave him a great impression of me, saving him from killing me for being a witch. But that wouldn’t even be bourbon, would it, it would be scotch. So that would probably make things worse. So again: terrible gift. 

I’m going to go shake my presents and if I hear any sloshing, I’m probably going to cry about my imminent death. Thanks a lot. I just wanted to live to see another spring, you guys! There’s so much to live for! Can’t you hear the wind, pulling us out the door into the wild wild world?

Is that you, irony?

15 Mar

My dad hands me a rejection from a literary journal, addressed to me in my own handwriting (as SASE have a tendency to be, being self-addressed and all).

He says:

“You know, there are other ways to make yourself feel popular.”

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