I love this place. Why are there so many chiropractors?

YES!!!!!! FINALLY! After my prolonged & totally unacceptable ABSENCE, I am BACK!!!

AND It’s official!!  My family & I are now MAINERS**.

**NOTE: We really are transplanted Philadelphians now living in the guise of MAINERS, but I’m giving it to us anyway.

SO HOW’S THINGSS??!  I KNOW.  It HAS BEEN A LONG TIME< HASN’T IT??  OOoh, I am sorry to hear that.  How awful.  My next-door neighbor’s dad got laid off too, but then they called him up a week later and offered him another job.  Yeah what a crap fest.  Good thing he decided not to jump. Huh?  ME??  Ohh. well you know how it’s been total craziness the past few months.  The whole “packing up the house and moving to a 2 bedroom apartment in a completely new city” thing.

I guess it’s to be expected, but this move is taking a little getting used to.  You can take the girl outta Philly, but you can’t take the Philly outta the girl. Right?  RIGHT. SO. The first night we arrived.  We’re outside unloading the U-Haul.  It’s really dark out – we didn’t get here until after 7 – so we’re unloading, and a car sloooowwwwly drives by.  Then another.  And of course we’re all thinking DAMN! They’re totally casing the joint – just waiting for us to be inside so they can help themselves to our stuff.  But then, another car drives by… slowly.. slowing.. to a virtual stop.  The driver looks at us.. we look at her.. and.. and.. then she smiles and WAVES!  Because people here aren’t thieves. They’re just NICE.

SO>As you can imagine. There’s a whole mental adjustment taking place. No one is trying to cart off our belongings.  No one is skulking in the bushes waiting to stick me up or show me his “thing.”  This Portland.  It’s a whole new world!  And, lest I forget to mention, after just one week here in Portland — (hold your breath) — we get OUR MAIL!!!!  Can you believe it?!  I KNOWOOOO.  We’ve only been here a week.  ONE HONKIN WEEK.  And we’re RENTERS!  No matter.  Our friendly mail carrier does her job like a PRO.  We actually had mail WAITING for us when we arrived.


Back in Philly – where we’ve owned a home for ALMOST EIGHT YEARS, we STILL DON’T GET OUR MAIL

PS: Thanks for that awesome card, Curly babe! Love ya! xoxo

BUT BESIDES THE MAIL, there are some other things I’ve noticed about Portland.

Number One: Portland is clean.

As long as you don’t mind cigarette butts and dog shit.  B/c BOY ARE THEY EVERYWHERE.  But other than that. This city is pretty clean, at least in comparison to Philly.  Seriously, the day before we moved, I had to go to Target to pick up a few things.  As I waded through ankle-deep trash in the parking lot, I noted the number of empty garbage cans just begging to be used.  Here in Portland, I can’t find a trash can.  Not even outside people’s homes.  I am convinced everyone here stuffs garbage inside their clothes to keep warm.  And this theory isn’t just crackpot.  NO, it’s backed up by HARD EVIDENCE.  You see, here in Portland you have to pay for special blue *CITY OF PORTLAND* trash bags to put your weekly garbage in for collection.  I KID YOU NOT.  AND. Not only are these designer bags expensive, but they are EXPENSIVE.  $7.50 for FIVE.  F-I-V-E.  YET, you don’t see dingbats dumping their garbage in random lots – or dropping chicken buckets out car windows while waiting for the lights to change.  Nuh-uh.  Garbage in Portland “appears” to be a dirty little secret no one wants to air.  People hide it away until trash day when they are FORCED to put it out on the street – B/C THEY HAVE TO.  THANK GOODNESS for those pretty blue bags.

Number Two: Portland is home to a population of roughly 65,000 – 3,893 of whom are Chiropractors.

On every corner in Philly, there’s either a pizza/take-out beer place or some sort of mini-mart bodega.  Here in Portland there is a chiropractor’s office.  Sometimes two.  On one stretch of Congress Street, I’ve actually counted 3 chiropractors in a row.  With another just a block or two away.  All this adjustment raises several questions.  First.  If you are working as a chiropractor in Portland, how can you possibly be making enough to buy trash bags?  And Two.  What the hell is happening up here that warrants so much manipulation?  I’m hazarding a guess with snow shoveling> but .  BUT?  ANYONE??  Can someone help me out here.  Please>??  I am stumped.

My beef with the US Postal Service.

Today I would like to address a significant cause of stress in my life. And It is called the United States Postal Service.

I will preface this rant by stating that I am a sane and rational person. As such, I recognize that the vast majority of USPS employees are decent, hard-working and law-abiding people. I have in fact befriended many lovely postal employees over the years, and have tremendous respect for the job that they do. It must be hard coping with ton after inescapable ton of mail, slogging through the Rain and snow, the sleet and unbearable heat, while having to wear those dorky postal uniforms and pith hats.

BUT since moving into our palatial West Philly estate 7+ years ago, my husband & I have endured what can only be described as the worst mail service this side of hell. Open mail. Mangled mail. No mail at all. Stolen? Lost? Who knows. AND DON’T BOTHER ASKING AT THE POST OFFICE B/C no one cares! While some folks get stacks of junk mail, circulars, loads of crap daily – we get other people’s mail or nothing at all. 4814 NEXT STREET, 4822 SOMEPLACE ELSE. it ALL WINDS UP HERE, B/c our postal carrier has difficulty distinguishing between our house and those surrounding it. In addition, we receive mountains of mail for former tenants, including school statements, retirement benefits, and other arguably important paperwork for one guy who – though obviously Very well educated, somehow missed the whole concept of a “change of address” form.

For the past 92 MONTHS (YES I HAVE CALCULATED) I have been dealing with this. Several years ago, we resorted to opening a PO Box at the central Philly post office hoping we’d finally improve our lot. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

Today is February 24th, as you know. WELL PAST Valentine’s Day, BUT – there is still one very special valentine I’ve yet to receive. Someone at the post office is banking on the fact that I did not know about this valentine, but they would be wrong. B/c it is from none other than my beloved parents. Said valentine contained not only a hand-chosen and doubt-less-ly beautiful card, but also 2 gift cards to Barnes & Noble for my husband & myself. I’m sure you can sense where this is going. When my father stuck the envelope into the post office mailbox on February 11th, he never suspected a thing. And why would he? Mailmen live by a code of honor, do they not? I don’t know why after all these years of INDESCRIBABLY PISS-POOR POSTAL SERVICE, this one event would leave me dry-heaving over all the others, but it does. Even more so than the $15,000 worth of loan checks that last year went -POOF! -into the postal ether. That one pretty much took the cake. But somehow, this is worse.

I have been considering how to address this. As my father scrambles with Barnes & Noble and American Express, trying to see what he can do on his end. I have been researching how to file a claim on mine. Unfortunately, since it was a simple card – without any insurance, there’s not much I can do. I can complain. But we all know that’s really not going to do anything, is it? I have my righteous indignation, but that only buoys one for so long. And it’s not like the USPS doesn’t warn against mail theft – b/c they do. They ever-so-kindly provide this handy list of anti-theft measures on their website, so that we all can guard against misfortune. Unfortunately, the list doesn’t warn you NOT TO PUT THE ENVELOPE IN THE MAIL SLOT B/C POSTAL WILLY’S UP TO NO GOOD. And that’s a shame, because it really really should.