Friday, July 24, 2009
Suspicious or Not, you decide
Weirdness today at the post office.

It was Friday, so I was busy anyway. But, I really needed to get a package in the mail, so I left my desk shortly after 1 pm today.

I parked my car in the lot at the post office. The parking lot was completely empty, so I got a primo spot right in front of the door. Now, this isn't a huge post office. Just a small town one, so the parking lot holds 20 cars or so. Possibly fewer, but more than 15.

I grab my box and go inside. As I'm walking in the door, I notice a Hispanic man (18 to 24 years old) coming my way. I am only about five feet in the door, and he is about five feet from making his exit. I say "hello" and smile at him, but keep walking. I'm nice that way. I think people should greet one another pleasantly, even strangers. (Okay, not the creepy ones. If he/she maxes out your creep factor meter, feel free to scurry past and look away innocently.)

So, I turn the corner and head toward the window to post my package to New Braunfels, TX, but out of the corner of my eye, I notice that the young man has changed course and followed me back toward the desk. He doesn't follow me the entire way, of course. He stops a short way around the corner and turns to the wall to read a poster. Or should I say feigns reading a poster.

The gist of this poster could be gathered in two minutes by a slow reader. I got it in about 3 seconds. Look, it was mostly pictures. But this guy, he stood there pretending to read it for the entire 6 or 7 minutes it took me to complete my transaction.

And, before you start wondering if maybe English wasn't this guy's first language and he was using the poster as a study aid, let me point out two things.

First, a girl knows when she's being watched. She feels it.

Second (and third and fourth), if he was using the poster as some sort of self-quiz, then why did he suddenly decide to take this quiz after I walked by, and why did his quiz coincidentally end the moment I walked past him again on my way out the door. And, why did he react like he'd been caught stealing a cookie from my cookie sheet when I looked at him? (I'm a mother, I recognize this expression.)

Now, before you start to flatter me and say something to suggest that if he was observing me that he was probably just, you know, looking at something in the candy store, let me assure you that that can't be it. I was up at five a.m., this was eons after "fresh", ages past good hair, and an hour or two past "prime." I was tired, hungry, and in a hurry. These do not project "hottie" in any language I've ever heard of.

When I sensed that he was following me again, I quick unlocked my car and jumped in, locking the doors up tight before turning the key in the ignition. And then I chided myself as ridiculous. He was full daylight, the parking lot of a federal building...what the hell did I think was going to happen? And yet, I still can't shake the weirdness of it all. So I sat there in my car watching his retreat in my rearview mirror, my curiosity well piqued and my safety now assured.

I couldn't figure out where he was going at first. Remember, mine was the only car in the lot. Maybe he walked to the post office? Nope.

This post office is semi-attached to a sprawling strip mall. Maybe he was parked at a store and walked to the post office after concluding his business in the first shop? That would seem unlikely. You see, his car was parked outside of the post office property, but just across from it in the strip mall lot, nowhere close to a shop.

Imagine an empty shopping mall with four or five anchor department stores and hundreds of acres of empty parking spots. You know how employees park in the far away spots and leave the near spots for shoppers? It was like that. This is a strip mall, not Macy's. This is suburban Madison, not suburban Chicago. There just isn't a lot of demand for parking. Clearly, he was nowhere near any shop, inconvenient to any shopping. The only thing is spot was convenient to was the post office and only in a cop show stakeout sort of way. By that I mean, if you are going to stake out a post office, you probably don't do it from the parking lot.

I believe I was under surveillance. I don't know why. Maybe he's a wannabe spy nutter. Maybe he has a rich fantasy life as Double-Oh-My-Gawd. Maybe he's honing his skills to be a stalker.

The whole thing struck me as the height of bizarre.

What say you? Suspicious...or not?

This isn't the same as when I wake from a deep sleep suddenly, sure I heard something and check the house with my handgun in hand making plenty of noise so the bad guys will run. This was full daylight. Public building. I was fully conscious and not even on an antihistamine.

I did not imagine this.

So I ask again, suspicious...or not?
posted by Phoenix | 10:15 PM | 4 comments

Tuesday, July 21, 2009
I'm slowly turning to an old curmudgeon.

There is a grocery chain here in the area that has a slogan that makes me gnash my teeth everytime I hear it. The slogan basically boils down to...

"Better prices from Better People, because we're employee-owned."

The moral superiority of that, defines the experience of living in/near Madison, WI.

You should shop from Better People, afterall, and if you don't YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM.

It is the Cone of Shame for you, you vile user you.

My biggest problem with them is not the slogan, however. When we first moved to the area, I shopped at one of the stores once. Just once.

I decided that any place that hid the dairy case, in the Dairy State, was no place I had the time to shop. Seriously.

I went through the store in the normal fashion, following the prescribed layout and plan of traffic flow and never found the dairy. Where's the milk? Where's the yogurt? Where's the goddamn sour cream?

I was forced to ask one of the extremely unhelpful "better people" who pointed me in the right direction in a condescending manner that was extremely off-putting.

Haven't been back. Not even a little bit sorry.

I'm proud to be patronizing the Lesser People and propping up Corporate America.

Suck on that, Better People.
posted by Phoenix | 3:26 PM | 1 comments

Nationalized Healthcare, Explained

And, because I can't resist...

posted by Phoenix | 3:24 PM | 0 comments

Friday, July 17, 2009
For the Record...
1. I've never watched "John and Kate Plus Eight" and don't give a rat's ass about any of it.

2. Never a fan of Michael Jackson, though I did used to enjoy rollerskating to "Thriller." The whole thing there - totally overdone.

3. Why is it that it is so difficult to remove cherry stains? Egad! They are never going to come out of my favorite shirt...I soak and I soak, but all I've managed is a bit of fading.

4. Making sour cherry jam this weekend, hopefully. Ah, the taste of Summer!

5. The older I get, the grouchier I get. Gawd, I need some caffeine.
posted by Phoenix | 8:12 AM | 2 comments

Wednesday, July 15, 2009
It has been forever, I know.

I've been neglecting you terribly. Why, do you know that when I opened the door three moths flew out? Also, there are cobwebs and dustbunnies everywhere.

What can I say? I'm not great at virtual housekeeping.

Dear lord, Darth Obama is going to ram through his next rape of our children and grandchildren with this lunatic Obamacare program. Our government, who can't manage the US Postal Service in the black, or Amtrak, or Medicare/Medicaid, the VA, or even Social Security, wants to get into another business.

Next thing you know, Obama will want to personally see to feminine troubles as well. I could even see him putting Bill Clinton in charge.

The more time goes by, I am utterly convinced that at the end of Obama's term we will all be broke, homeless, unemployed, and bleeding to death.

Good times. Why, it will almost be worth it to watch the fools that voted for him suffer...
posted by Phoenix | 2:43 PM | 0 comments


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