As some of you know, my mom has been in the hospital since 2/20. She still has a long road ahead of her but things are looking a lot better. She's currently in a stroke rehab center as of last week. She's aware of what's going on for the most part although she is a bit confused about a few things. For example, she keeps insisting to my dad that she was recently a guest on Oprah and won me a house - a house that I have refused to move into. Damn, I'm an ungrateful cad!
(photo from my wedding day, 7/04)
I'm looking forward to her getting better so she can finally meet Double Trouble. Come on Mom, you can do it! And when you do, win me that house already! I'm waiting.
The blowhard secretary of the Continental Congress Charles Thomson, wanted the Senate gig for himself.
But ... "A group of those foes devised a scheme -- disguised as an honor -- to get him out of town during the crucial last-minute maneuvering leading to the Secretary's election. Congressional leaders asked Thomson to travel from the nation's temporary New York City capital to Virginia to "notify" George Washington of his election and accompany the president-elect back to New York. Washington needed no notification, but he accepted Thomson's companionship in good humor. With Thomson safely away from the Senate, Vice President-elect John Adams maneuvered for the election of his own candidate -- Samuel Allyne Otis."
Otis held the bible during Washington's first inauguration. He survived the electoral "Revolution of 1800" by some fast maneuvering to get all the Senate's printing done by an anti Adams leader. I'm a little unclear about how this went down but I'm too lazy to do further research.
"Through the considerable political turbulence between 1800 and 1814, Samuel Otis held on as Secretary. But with the passing years, Otis appeared to some as less vigorous in attending to his duties. Senators complained that the Senate Journal was not being kept up to date, official communications not recorded in a timely way, and records kept in a "blind confused manner" -- but no one actively moved to replace him."
He died in office having not missed a single day of his 25 year tenure.
Hooray for Samuel Otis!
You are the reason SHR and I named our boys Sam and Otis. Never mind Sam Cooke and Otis Redding - you were the inspiration!
Thanks to Jamie for letting me know about this guy. I don't know if I had ever heard of him until after the birth of Double Trouble. But now I love the guy.
I loved the whole "Let's not prosecute the perpetrators or those who enabled them" line for a few days.
From the moment the torture memos were leaked, it seemed to me that Obama had something up his sleeve. Like, um, maybe the fact that he was aware that the decision to prosecute this matter wasn't really his? Bam! Bring on the Justice Department!
It was different because it was my first seder since the 1980's! Or so I can recall. Regardless, it's been a long long time.
Sean was wearing a t-shirt that bore a remarkable likeness to a certain person we all know and love. Balgavy insisted, at first, that he did not look like the image on the shirt. I didn't know there was actually going to be a service part of the evening. I thought it was going to be all "Let's eat charosetand search for the Afikomen!" Don't get me wrong. There was plenty of charoset and Afikomen. And there really wasn't all that much religious reading. A little bit goes a long long long way for me.
Bitter herbs are stupid. What were Double Trouble up to? (photo by Rebecca)
A perfect seder: Wine, matzoh ball soup, and Similac. Chicken liver wrapped in bacon. (The last five photos by SHR)
Mooney and Yu said hello to Double Trouble. Kaci met Otis. Otis E Superstar The prize for finding the Afikomen After a bit of bourbon, Balgavy was willing to pose with Sean. Although to be honest - to get the full effect, I needed to find a picture of Balgavy with more gruff. This photo from last summer's baseball trip does the trick. Uncle Bethy and Yu gave Otis even more attention. Sam couldn't be bothered. Thanks Sean, Rebecca, and Beth.
There are the usual aggravations involving the mail carrier giving us our neighbors' mail on a regular basis. That's not that big of a deal. We also know that the useless security guys at our co-op refuse to receive packages. Fair enough. I usually have packages sent to my school because of this.
However, because of Double Trouble, we've been receiving many more packages than ever from friends and family.
So... this recent saga begins in early February.
We receive a notice in our mail that the post office tried to deliver a package to us but we were not home to receive it. The sender's name and zip code were left blank by our lazy mail carrier. On the notice, one of the options is to mark that you'd like the package redelivered on a specific day. SHR decides to take the post office at its word and leaves the slip in our mailbox the next day, requesting that the package be redelivered at the end of the week since she was working from home on Fridays by this point.
The following day, the slip remained in our mailbox. The carrier ignored it. The day after that, he took it. Wow, maybe we'll actually get our package on Friday! Um, no. In fact, he took the slip but never delivered the package.
Post Office Visit 1 (Saturday 2/14, Wait Time: Not long) They couldn't find a package with my name or SHR's name and tell me that I can't do anything since I don't have the slip. I'm advised never to leave a slip for the incompetent mail carriers. The worker takes my phone number and tells me that she'll call me. Of course, I don't receive a call.
That week, they try to redeliver the package but we are not home. This time, we have learned our lesson and we don't resubmit the slip.
Post Office Visit 2 (Saturday 2/21, Wait Time: 30 minutes) Slip in hand. But, um, no package at the post office. I'm a bit annoyed. They take my phone number and I'm told that I will be called. I never receive that call.
That week, we are left with another slip. The same package? Who knows? But at least, this time, the zip code of the sender is filled in by the mail carrier. From this, we figure out that the package is from Shawn in Olympia, WA.
Post Office Visit 3 (Saturday 2/28 Wait Time: 20 minutes before they open up a window just for packages and everyone in the back of the line gets in front of me since I was in a bad spot stuck in line. Another 15 minutes passes. The line is super slow. The regular line starts moving so I get back into it. Closing time is in 10 minutes so the workers are all of a sudden in a rush to do their jobs. One worker's job is simply to count down how much time is left before they can lock the door. 2 minutes before closing time, she has already locked the front door.
I hand the two package slips to the postal worker. She doesn't look up at me but states, "Didn't you hear that the package line is open?" This woman is more than capable of looking for packages but is too lazy to move. I respond that I had been in line for over 30 minutes and that I had gotten screwed when the announcement had been made to start the other line with no concern for people who had already been waiting. She rolls her eyes and saunters off to get the package.
She comes back and says, "You ain't got no packages here." I respond that this is already the 3rd time I've been here to pick up the packages that they keep losing. She doesn't like what she hears and retorts, "I didn't lose anything!" She advises me to talk to the manager on duty.
I go over to him and explain the situation. He basically says that the truck driver sucks and that he doesn't understand why they don't have the package in the post office. He takes my number and says he'll call me when he gets to the bottom of it. At this point, I figure that I will never get the package.
Lo and behold, a few days after the boys are born, the manager gives me a call and tells me that he has tracked down the package. Basically, the mail carrier neglected to actually take the package from the truck to the post office yet he kept leaving us slips to pick it up at the post office.
A few days later, I pick up the package and other than the packaging being completely torn to shreds, all is well.
A couple of weeks later, we receive another slip for a package. I neglect to notice that the name on the slip is SHR's name - not mine.
After waiting for only a few minutes, I cheerfully hand the slip to the teller. He states that he can't give me the package because my name isn't on the slip and my current address isn't on my driver's license. Fair enough. But then I see the "manager" who I thought was the manager. I tell the teller that the manager will vouch for me and that I'd like to see him. The teller walks away and brings back someone else -not the person I'm expecting to see. I miscalculated on my strategy.
The manager arrogantly states that I should have read the back of the slip that states that if a person can't pick up a package, they should sign the back to authorize someone else to pick up the package. I say, "Okay that's fine. I didn't realize that. But I've been picking up many packages for her for a month or so now." I point to the guy I know and say, "He knows me. He'll vouch for me." The manager looks at me and says in a you are a problem customer kind of way, "I bet he does." At this point, my pal happens to walk by and animatedly greets me with a hello. This does not faze the manager who has made his proclamation and was going to stick with it.
I mention to the manager that the teller asked me if I had any proof that I was related to SHR. I take out a dental insurance card and point out that her name is on it. He said that that isn't good enough and that he won't give me my package.
At this point, I'm pissed so I leave.
Two seconds out of the door though, I come back. I go back to the manager and state, "You know, you tell me that I should have just read the back of the slip. And you are right. I should have. But the one time that I did read it, I ended up not getting my package for a month because you guys messed up. It states on the back that I should mark it and leave it for the mail carrier if I want them to redeliver. I did that and you guys couldn't even do that! For a month, I tried to pick up a package that you kept telling me was here but then wasn't!"
The manager said, "Um, well, yeah, um, it shouldn't say that. That's wrong. We don't do that. Um yeah, you need to call the 1-800 national number about that to complain about the slip. Take that up with them."
At this point, I am incredulous. "So you are going to tell me that I should read the back of your slip even though parts of it are wrong? You then use that slip to show me how wrong I am but when I point to that very same slip, you wash your hands of the situation and blame the national office for putting incorrect information on it?"
I am enraged but I have a plan. The d-bag is gone. But my friend, the guy I thought was the manager but apparently isn't is still around. I walk over to his window, and without a word hand him the slip. He looks at it, smiles, and says, "This is you, right?" I reply in the affirmative. He walks back, looks through the packages, and comes back a moment later. I smile, lift the window, take the package, and walk out feeling like the final score of this day was Listmaker 1 and D-Bag Post Office Manager 0!
And the package in question that the manager was so damn protective of. Exciting, no?
Bottom line for people that know us: Get my work address to send us any future packages.
It's been quite exhausting but also incredibly exhilarating.
A few thoughts:
1. I don't understand how one boy can poop Grey Poupon and the other boy can poop pesto. They are eating the same thing and they share the same genetics. Shouldn't their poops look the same? Speaking of diapers, I still crack up thinking about the time when Otis peed right onto his face and then started to try to lick it up. Babies are disgusting.
2. It still amazes me that the little critters will scratch up their faces and rip out their eyeballs if you give them half a chance.
3. I'm looking forward to the day when they can hold up their own heads.
4. SHR and I spent too much time being afraid of bathing the guys.
5. I'm finally getting better at the art of swaddling.
6. Donovan told me that he read that you should play loud music for babies in the 1st 3 months. I decided to put together a playlist of some loud stuff, some atmospheric stuff, and some stuff that I think might emulate the sounds of the womb.
Current sleeping playlist includes Stereloab, Boards of Canada, David Bowie - Low, and Mogwai. Perhaps I should look into some of my classic playlists of yesteryear for inspiration for other loud jams.
7. Dr. Sears tells me to sing songs to babies while changing their diapers. I can't remember the words of songs unless I'm listening to them (and even then not so well) so I put together a playlist to sing along to.
Current diapering playlist includes Archers of Loaf - Web in Front and Plumb Line, VU - After Hours, Bratmobile - that song in Thai and Cool Schmool (once they understand the f bomb shouldn't be spoken, I'll have to take this one off the list), a couple of Buddy Holly songs, a couple of Searchers songs, an Ike and Tina song, plenty of Beatles, and plenty of The Coasters. The Coasters might be the perfect diapering band. I guess I should add some Otis Redding and Sam Cooke, huh?
8. Speaking of diapering, the velcro on the sides are so much better than the tape that used to be on diapers.
9. Not that we use them much, but I'm fascinated by the new pacifiers. You can see right through the suckers! You can see the whole sucking action as it happens! So bizarre.
10. Both boys are fascinated with this Howard Finster painting that we have on the wall. Sam started the fad but now Otis has joined in the fun.
11. This scene was always funny to me but now it's really really really funny.
In other Double Trouble news, I'll most likely be posting there a lot more regularly than I will in this space. I just posted the first Double Trouble movie. Hopefully, the audio won't be taken out by The Man in the way that some of my recent bocce movies scored to Rod jamz have been.