The Post Office

The time and materials necessary to create a zine are seldom matched by revenue from sale of zines.– taken directly from wikipedia.

With all this winter-wonder landing on you like dead weight, maybe you have more time to think.
Maybe you’re wondering about taco bell serving breakfast and what Michelle Obama thinks.
Maybe you’re still hung up on Bob Costas’s eye. (good sport, he is).
Maybe you’re wondering about my zine and if it’s still happen’n.

Probably not, but I filled you in on the other two, so… here goes.

The zine. I’ve been a bit distracted by some contract writing and political thoughts and trying to keep my last-living plant still with us. But though it’s slow going, it’s going, and as promised, I’ll share a little tid-bit of what I’m working on.

 

it's pretty beat up, but no weird smells yet-- so I think he's still kickin'
he’s pretty beat up, but no weird smells yet– so I think he’s still kickin’

As a reminder, most fiction/autobio snippets/reviews in the zine will  be loosely tied together because of their affiliation(s) with Prior Lake (P.L.)
Snarky comments, bogus suggestions, and all forms of criticism welcomed.

The Post Office

There  few things in life that I like to blame for my problems. If I have a bad day or something goes awry, I allow myself to blame A. no one, B. myself or C. one of my scapegoats.

My list of Scapegoats:
PT Cruisers
Post Offices

With PT Cruisers the answer is obvious, but post offices, you may ask… why?

A few stories to illustrate
{1st story removed from post but will be in zine}

The Scapegoat

With walls the color of dried spit and the scent of fast-food slip resistant sneakers, you can expect to enter the post office and see a long line of other peasants, clutching packages, walking toward immanent disappointment at the spurn of a post-worker’s scepter.

“You’ll have to purchase packing tape,” or “Stamps just went up in cost.” They say unflinchingly and motion with two long creaky fingers for the next person to fill your place in line.

You grab the tape and head back toward the front. You gaze toward the postal worker with pleading eyes.
Justice? Your spot back?
Your eyes are met with a look of such glazed indifference from the postal worker you imagine a dementor may be sucking out your soul. Slouching, you once again retreat to the rear of the line.

Redemption

It’s inevitable. I have to mail a package. I have to or we’ll be charged for a bunch of vitamins and other junk we didn’t order and need to return. And even though they’ll make us pay the shipping, frankly, I can’t let them have the satisfaction of forcing those pills (literally) down our throats.

I leave our condo. Leave the cool, and traverse in non-swimwear into the August heat to a place that I’ve successfully avoided for months.

Upon arriving, I pause outside the door and take a last gulp of real air. Post offices always smell like regurgitated breath. I enter. I am greeted with as suspected, yes, but also with the friendly (!)  tobacco-stainless-smile of a female postal worker. Suspicious, I kind of smile back and edge forward to enter the line.

Cardboard, hot glue and new paper smells come into focus as I creep toward the abnormally high counter. A few minutes pass. It’s my turn; I’m summoned forward and offer up my package, a flawed oblation. I”m told, of course, that I need packing tape and it’s no surprise; the box is badly beaten, having once already made it’s rounds from sender to recipient.

I take my time finding the tape, assuming the back of the line is my fate anyways and lackadaisically scan the bright assortment of birthday boxes and cheesy cards.  I find the tape, evaluate the price, and remember I have to buy it no matter what.

I look up. The postal worker is beckoning. Inviting me to the front?  I creep cautiously  forward… so far no death stares from those in line … and reclaim my place. I hand her the package and tape. Nimbly, she reinforces it, fixing up the rips, then weighs it,  pronounces the price (which was notably less than expected) scans my plastic.
“Keep your packing tape in the car,” she says, “Most people forget it and ended buying it new each time.”

She is handing me a receipt now, smiling, wishing me a good day.
It’s  over? That easy??
I am nearly floating toward the door—feeling light, fulfilled. Such simple acts of service and I find myself smiling. I exit through the glass vestibule and  into thick summer sun, into peace and with one less place on my scapegoat list.
(Since writing this, the DMV has replaced the post office for reasons that I have no space or time to go into.)

What about you–have any scapegoats??

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Politification Part II: Sugar with your tea,________ party?

2elephant-tea-pot

Oh the parties.

What a horrible name by the way– party?  There’s nothing partyish about a political group. Unless, of course, they win the election (the big one) and send their elephant/donkey confetti into the air, which is followed by  a bit of high-fiving and pompous strutting in ____ party’s respective offices,… then followed by the realization that gas prices went up again and the cafeteria food still sucks.

Tea Time

Let’s imagine I sit down to tea with Mr. Elephant and Senior Donkey and get to ask them/challenge them on anything I want.

Stay with me for a bit…

Hello Elephant, Donkey.
How are you, you old wrinkly mammal… And you! you silly  jackass—how’s life?

(chuckles and chortles exchanged; Donkey takes two large spoonfuls of sugar and Elephant says he prefers coffee anyway, so never mind.)

Okay gentlemen,
I’ve invited you here this afternoon to ask a few…tough questions.

First, what does Freedom and Democracy really mean to you?

Donkey, it seems that freedom to you, is leveling the playing field by reaching your hooves into pockets and forcing the “good” out of people.
But aren’t you, be forcing generosity, stealing the joy that humans naturally find in giving of themselves willingly? And don’t you trust the American people to take care of their neighbors friends? 

And democracy to you, Elephant, seems to be ignoring the ensuing problems of the middle-lower class to watch as a Darwinism-type effect weeds out the weak and leaves only the strong. When you choose ignorance, are you not going against your moral traditions of helping those who are in need?

(Neither creature comments.)

Okay… Let’s touch on a less offensive issue… 
Abortion. 

So Donkey, you stand for women’s rights, correct?—the freedom for women to choose?
(Donkey shakes mane up and down vigorously, hee-hawing in agreement, a few recently printed bills slip out of his mane.)

What of the unborn child’s freedom to live? Is this not a violation of that human freedom and will to survive? … blobs of tissue? C’mon… you and I both know that’s how you started too, that’s how a lot of 40-year-old men still look, and the high-dollar abortion industry is either duping you or doing something shady to keep you quiet.

(silence)

And you, Elephant. You believe abrotion wrong. Morally abase, inhumane and wrong.
(Elephant rears giant back, standing on 2 hind legs and lands, violently shaking  ground, …several old people nearby call into a local news station, report experiencing a mild earthquake.)

But what about funding programs for single mothers, funding educational programs for impoverished communities, standing up for not just the unborn babies, but the now living children?

(silence)

End scene.

http://romanticpoet.wordpress.com/2013/03/27/victims-of-government-intrusion-meet-the-illinois-man-who-has-been-fighting-washington-bureaucracy-for-nearly-25-years/american-eagle-with-donkey-and-elephant-head-in-sand/

In my own life, I’ve struggled with the hypocrisy within each political party; these blaring inconsistencies so often go unquestioned. With such little knowledge of what happens day to day on capitol hill, I know I’m not the right person to start a political revolution. But I hope to be part of a revolution of new thinking for those in our generation. From birth we’ve been fed the breast-milk of divisive intolerance which has led to our fully matured political division.
Before it becomes a national division, what can we do to re-unify?

If you could sit down to tea or coffee with Mr. Donkey or Senior Elephant, what would you ask?

If you’re a believer, how do we pull away from corrupted ties to political parties and truly represent our God?

V-day for real

This morning I wake up twice. Once, briefly as my husband dresses in partial light. The second time to the sound of my phone seizing on by bedside table.
8:00.
Love Calling.

I answer and E tells me Happy Valentines Day, tells me he’s on his way to the second meeting of the day.

 Valentines Day? Oh, yes. Valentines Day.
I was going to make brownies! Do I have ingredients?
I was going to blog about Saint Valentine. Nobody knows who he really was though…
I was going to do something super thoughtful for… for lots of people.

I stumble to the kitchen, to the bathroom, back to the kitchen. Hot coffee, my laptop, some really nasty/healthy oatmeal and the worst work out of my life, then I’m in the kitchen again. Powdered sugar is everywhere and I’m butchering the brownies into a cheesy heart-shaped one for E, some smaller ones for the office.

Why?
I don’t know. I really really don’t know.

Because if he comes home, and takes off his works socks in kitchen, draping them over one of the stools for me to pick up later, and I say nothing…
if I ask him how work was and really, really listen…
if I let my mind draw near to his victories & hardships
he’d be loved.

And if we really loved then all the other stuff, the 1.whatever billion Americans spend on candy and crappy toys, it would fall away. Swallowed up by real.

A valentine’s blessing…
For the singles feeling slightly anxious and the doubles feeling less-than satisfied– for us– may we cling to the real. May we cherish the memories when we felt love drape us, a silk-lined perfect fit; may we hold to the moments we hewed out little pieces of our own hearts and minds to fully love another. May we cling to the real.

And when we see Love calling in many forms, may we always, always let Real Love in.

Politification Part I: Lefties, Righties and Tighty Whities

I feel ya, Keanu.
I feel ya, Keanu.

About a month ago I started reading a little non-fiction book called Pastrix. The book cover boasted: the cranky, beautiful faith of a sinner and saint. I like reading about cranky people and faith is good, so giddy-up!

The more and I read, the more I began to pick up on the author’s associations with ______political party. Though the majority of the first-person narrative was both interesting and insightful, the stories were funny & challenging, and the writing was good, the associations with the political party really started to rub me the wrong way. She even began to identify herself as a “______ Christian.” And the more she did this, the less I read.

I wondered… why am I doing this? Why can’t I read this book anymore?

And then a very sudden thought came to me: true *Christianity is not associated with any political system.

I mixed this around in my head a bit, waited a good month, and then started to write. And as fair warning, these next few posts may come off as pretentious at times.  It’s more my writing style  than believing I’m some sort of political genius. Let’s just make one thing clear: I’m not.

(commercial break)

 Christianity is not associated with any political system.
(Right now I’m envisioning Bob Costas reiterating that in his amazing, liquidy man-voice and squinting that horribly red eye of his… poor soul.)
p.s. See E, I was right… there was something wrong with his eye and it’s like trendin’ big time on google. 

By what strange means do I make this claim??!!!

A story:
There once was a people group that God was really involved with. He brought them out of captivity, blessed the socks off ‘em and made (and kept) some pretty bold promises. (If you’re like, LOL I’m not a Christian, yo. just look up the historicity/# of copies of the bible compared to other ancient writings. It’s pretty wild.)….Back to the people. They became known for their strength and though nomads for many years, became famous for their God—a deity who actually showed up and did real stuff and wasn’t just a statue.

Over these people, God appointed judges and He also chose to speak through specific individuals, called prophets. He was active, ruling the people fairly & justly… but the people got bored. They didn’t like not having a person rule; a guy like the other nations had who wore a little tiara and stole their land and shit. So they asked God for a king. God, needless to say, wasn’t too happy. He was their King, the only fair, just, and all-knowing One out of the bunch. Though hurt, He conceded (He’s no bully)  and gave them what the wanted, a king.

 

image credit:  the brick testament
image credit: the brick testament

Time after time, even the good kings showed themselves to stink in one area or another—whether it was making poor decisions in war, or being a bad dad (which led to more bad kings), or having so many wives (which was often a political allegiance) the nation became over-run with perverse, unjust horrible things.

Fast forward a couple thousand years, annnndddd here we are…still led by people (who may not wear silly tiaras but, ultimately,  still stink at what they do at least somewhat). Even the really good ones– even the really moral, or intelligent, or well-spoken ones— they’re human too.

God never stunk at being a ruler.  He knew His people and still does. It’s pretty clear that God would’ve kept it His way: no kings, no political parties, just Him being the good ruler and perfect shepherd He is. So should we ever let ourselves fully associate as being liberal or conservative?

In my mind, being a liberal or conservative has about as much to do with Christianity as underwear models. (see, I finally tied in the tighty whities.)

Your thoughts?