A Heartbreaking Day of Staggering Frustration*

*It wasn't really heartbreaking; do you get the literary reference? Trying to keep my brain smart, folks. In any case, although I am a fan of the post office, today I was reminded why they are not raking in the dough. I witnessed this for 40 minutes, all the while attempting to rein in a jumping-bean three year old, and still did not get my package mailed. Are you serious you might be asking? I am. As the minutes ticked by, I watched, in sauna-scale heat, as the wildly understaffed desk of clerks moved at a slower-than-glacial pace and the line of waiters grew north of twenty. The buffet of forms had been picked over, left only with the equivalent of soggy fries and a broken bun, so that when I finally did reach the slowest postal worker in history, I was told I'd completed the wrong customs form if I wanted to pay less than $40 to ship my sister a parcel weighing less than three pounds. Well OK, can I still insure the package if I use the smaller form? No. At a crossroads and nearing the time when I'd definitely be late to pick Jack up, Oliver and I left with more than we'd arrived with: an as-yet unmailed Christmas gift and two forms just daring me to try and save money.

On our way to get Jack, I checked on FedEx rates: $117 for international economy! Flabbergasted, I called it quits for the day on this checklist item.

Traffic was mind-bogglingly driver's ed-like, the entire city was covered by a grim white shroud that randomly spat sprinkles of rain down on us, the humidity was as if we were approaching mid-June, and if Oliver stepped on the tops of my shoes one more time, or pulled his literally-soggy hand from his mouth (he sticks the whole thing in between his teeth and a cheek and sucks; don't ask me why; it's gross) and slimed me with it one more time, I truly thought my head would leave my body in a dramatic burst of flames and fury.

Fortunately, my OCD-scale Lego organizing from Thanksgiving break has reignited Jack's full-scale passion for engineering. That and the coolest book I got him, The Lego Ideas Book, which is basically, what you can do with the googleplex of bricks you've accumulated but have not kept organized and the dog has eaten some and you couldn't rebuild what they originally were supposed to so hey, get psyched. It's been great although at times I have to force him to leave the house and get some air.

I made them a lovely and healthy Meatless Monday dinner with the advice that I'd better not hear any whining about it because that ship had sailed today. Oliver managed to lose story-privileges tonight and raised bloody-murder hell about it for perhaps 9 seconds until he passed out. At 5:49pm. Jack and I finished a Mercy Watson book he's been reading, studied the small hermit crab for a while (I think he's Jerry but I can't keep it straight; is he Max?) and then I allowed a story on tape as he heads into slumber which, by the size of his under-eye bags, he too desperately needs. As I sat down to write, a guitar pick dropped off the bottom of my foot and I spied toothpaste splatter all over the clean pair of jeans I risked wearing today.

I did manage to put together a comforting mash of roasted potatoes, leeks, celery root and thyme which I then blended with some buttermilk to a nicely chunky texture. Roasted some beets and thinking of serving them atop a coriander sugar sauteed fennel and orange salad. Then I'm going to watch Homeland with my honey and call this day a day.