Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tuesday Gripes

Something gave me a mild headache for much of the day, though it's gone now. What could it have been? The fact that a day from late November lodged itself somehow into mid-April? Though he was talking about Minnesota, Lileks put it well this morning for Illinois too: "This spring was off to such a promising start, but it was the usual cruel tease, the cozening look, the crooked finger, the flash of ankle, the stroll down the alley where we could be alone, and then bang: a pimp’s blackjack on the back of the head."

Or maybe it was the drip-drip-drip of being nickel-and-dimed constantly. The latest incident of being nickel-and-diming literally cost me four nickels, or two dimes, when I bought 20 postcard-rate stamps today and discovered -- guess I wasn't paying attention -- that the domestic postcard rate is now 29¢, up a penny from before. The clerk didn't have any new denomination stamps, so I got 20 polar bear 28¢ stamps plus 20 Tiffany Lamp 1¢ stamps.

Looks like the nominal postcard rate has caught up with the first-class rate of 29¢ back from 1991 to '95. I was out of the country when the 29-cent Elvis was issued in early 1993. In fact, I missed the nationwide voting to pick between Young Elvis and Elvis After He Discovered Carbohydrates, but I heard it was a landslide for the former anyway.

Or maybe it's our kitchen ants. They're very small. Each could fit between the very smallest subdivision lines on standard wooden ruler, I think. We've seen a few in the kitchen for a week or so now. But only a few, marching one by one. Today they were out in greater numbers: ten by ten, hurrah. So now I have to figure out a way to deal with them, besides on-the-counter summary executions.

But I'm just carping. In the late afternoon, even in the cold and drizzle, the day didn't seem so bad after I drove past two police cars, lights flashing, on a quiet suburban street. The cops were doing a sobriety check on a fellow they'd pulled over. I know this because I caught a glance of him, balding and pudgy and about my age, with one of his legs raised. I'm fairly certain I had a better day than he did.

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