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Thursday, December 18, 2003

This is a little frustrating only because it doesn't usually take a whole week for my online orders to get to me. I keep checking the Amazon tracking site and sticking virtual pushpins in my imaginary map. I'm now pretty sure my packages are going to get to me tomorrow. I would have liked them today, and I don't know why that couldn't have happened.

They were shipped from Coffeyville, Kansas, to Oklahoma City a week ago today, at 11:21 pm. I already find that hard to believe, but I guess the warehouses keep their people working extra hours this time of year. I'm sure there's a reason Oklahoma City is the distribution point, but maybe they should rethink that idea. The shipment got to Oklahoma City last Friday at 7:23 pm but didn't leave there until Monday at 7:40 am.

Then it disappeared for a while. I went a little nuts, checking back every few hours for two long, nervous days. The packages finally found their way to Richmond, California, yesterday at 1:37 pm. Richmond is less than an hour from here, even in heavy holiday traffic, so I fully expected a knock on my door some time today. That would have been good, since tomorrow is Mom's birthday.

We did celebrate yesterday, and I gave her part of her present, but I didn't want to have such a lag time. She doesn't know there's more coming. (Well, I guess she does now.) I knew, though, and I can feel it as a knot in my stomach. Things are not happening the way they should. I did what I thought I had to do, and the system failed me.

Obviously, the man in brown didn't show up here today. I kept opening the door and looking, but that didn't help, either. Just now I checked the tracking site again and found that UPS had done a "location scan" in Richmond at 12:37 pm this afternoon. To me, that sounds like my stuff has been sitting unattended on a loading dock for one full day. What's up with that?

If there are any more scans they have to do, I wish they'd do them tonight and get my packages on the truck. I can't start wrapping Christmas presents until I can sort everything out and see what I have. And I'd really like to be able to give Mom my special little extra surprise on her actual birthday, when it would mean more.

Mean more to me, that is. She couldn't care less one way or the other. That's how it is when you've had 76 birthdays already. This is just one more.

18 December 2003

Today's sky.

No, I'm not panicking, and I'm not upset and I'm not looking for someone to blame. If I were, I'd blame myself for waiting so long to get started on my shopping and for depending so much on the efficiency of strangers. This won't happen next year, when I start my shopping in January. I'll keep saying it until I convince myself. Maybe I'll even start on December 26.

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There's a big part of me that wishes I hadn't done any online shopping at all. That's because when I was out in the malls earlier this week, I saw some things I liked better than what I'd already ordered. I've had more than a few birthdays myself, so I should have learned this lesson by now.

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Pointless
"It's a long story, not long and gripping in the Homeric vein but just long, like a drum solo or a Henry James novel."

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