"Then let's look on the bright side: we're having an adventure. . . and most people live and die without being as lucky as we are"
-- The Princess Bride

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Services in Decline

While I don't take to politics well, and feel that conversations about money and ideology should be left alone in polite company.  I did have a startling revelation today.  The post office is going through a rapid decline.  A service that I would consider to be one of the most important has seen better days.

I dropped a package off at my friendly neighborhood USPS this morning and was the only person there minus the lovely woman working.  I mean, literally, the only person.  No cars in the parking lot, nobody buying stamps.  I felt like I was personally saving the post office from being one day closer to shutting down.

The dim lights, the defunct stamp machine in the corner, the ratty display of sad birthday and holiday wrappings.  It was all just a reminder of how much we as a country have switched to the world of the internet.  It's so easy to pop off an email, but really who doesn't love getting physical mail?  I got a postcard from Kim (who is off traveling in far away lands) and it made my day, no, my week a little brighter.

Amid the collections of catalogues and Bed Bath & Beyond 10% off coupons I receive, it is rare to actually get a piece of mail.  And that is worrisome because the postal service needs us.  So go do your part, send a real letter, mail a birthday gift (mine was for a 4 year old and was 2 months late), or go buy some damn stamps.  It is just so depressing to see a system collapse.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Ship Just Got Real. . . or a note on Passports

Back in 11th grade I visited Chelsea in Panama for a week.  During that Easter week I managed to watch Constantine 4 times, Anchorman 13 times, visit a fair 5 times, lose my passport 1 time, make out with a cute boy 1 time, visit the capital city 1 time and spend 11 days sweating my little adorable underage ass off while trying to get back into the US.

My luck with passports seems not to have changed much despite my best attempts.  When Kris and I went to France I quadruple checked the night before to make sure it was in my purse and then never let the damn thing leave my luggage while we were abroad.  But everything returned to normal last weekend. . .

Katie, my friend from college, invited me on a family cruise! We excitedly prepped our way through the packing stage and when Thursday rolled around I was stoked to get on the road at 7am.  I dropped off Kris at work and had a coffee before heading down to Camarillo.  Of course it wasn't until 2 hours in that I realized my passport was indeed missing from my purse.  So I turned about and returned to Berkeley.  

The rest of the weekend was amazingly spectacular. We danced, we sang, we mostly sang Carly Rae Jepsen, we ate delicious sea treats, we visited Mexico, we ate Churros and Fish Tacos, we even managed to accidently fall asleep at 9:30pm one night (no judging), and we Hot Tubbed the shit out of that cruise ship.  But the entire time I was worried about my passport.

Everyday, I woke up and checked to make sure that my ticket back into the US was still stowed away safely in my purses inside pocket, and everyday I was prepared for it to be lost to the depths of the sea like that blue diamond heart necklace in Titanic.  Her family made fun of me, but I refused to lose my passport another time in a foreign land.

And with that, I returned to America, not any worse for wear minus a killer headache.  Chelsea tended to my needs (this should be read as "Chelsea forced beer down my throat and then we watched a Channing Tatum marathon in the dark") and the weekend was a total success.