Friday, January 20, 2012

One week down

So far I do not like working for the USPS. This comes as a surprise, because I am very good at enjoying things and I love the USPS. But the Hayward main post office is not like a club for philatelists and deltiologists (that's postcards) and artists who are together manifesting a mail art renaissance. It is much more like everyone is pushing carts around in a big hurry all day.

I am the youngest person there, and am one of five custodians. I sincerely and wholeheartedly expected to enjoy my stewardship of the Hayward USPS premises. I do not know why I spent the entire week counting minutes and clicks (the post office is on 24 hour time and each hour is marked in hundredths. I like thinking about clicks elapsed but minutes remaining, to make it seem faster. my arithmetic is improving a bit) until I could go and sit in traffic.

I like sweeping, and I like mopping, and I like wiping things down. I like not having any customers and I like wearing the polish off my boots. I like having coworkers. I have been trying to work out what I don't like, and I guess it is that I feel insecure and like I have no one to talk to. Everyone is busy, and no one is new, and no one is young. I don't want to go into some of the offices I am supposed to police because the doors are closed and I don't want to bother anyone.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

January Resolution Update

My January resolution was to focus on nutrition. I'm halfway through January, and have made half of the recipes I planned to try. But, I have not been buying the groceries that make me feel energetic, light, and healthy, like nutritional yeast and coconut oil and couscous. 

I gave blood the other day and my iron is high (this was a nice surprise, since I have had trouble keeping it up in the past) but so is my blood pressure. I am not going to worry about that since I didn't do any prep like skipping caffeine or calming down. Still, it is a good call for proper stewardship of my body. 

I was sooo excited when this arrived.
  It's my resolution postcard arrived from Hershey, PA. Every month I am going to make a postcard representing my resolution, and mail it to the postmaster of a town with a relevant name, so he or she can mail it back to me with their local postmark. 
The only reason for this is it gives me something fun to do at the start of the month to kick off the resolution, then it gives me something to look forward to for two weeks, and then when it arrives it reminds me to stick to my resolution.

This resolution is too gradual and easy for the short timeline of a month of focus, so I am changing it a bit. I will still make the remaining healthy recipes, but I will also eat a little bit of protein every morning and pack myself good & balanced bentos for work. I got my bento book out of my storage unit, and I am excited! 

New Artistamps

Artistamps are little works that mimic postage stamps. Sometimes they are issued for a nation of the artist's own design. This little set are experiments that explore US postage, informed by the USPS. 
The top left is from a stamp collecting catalog. I carefully cut out the printed perforation and the printed subject. Now they are a pair of frames, to suggest that anything they frame is a forever stamp. The top right is made from a business reply envelope. I like that the security houndstooth suggests perforations as well as the barcode that makes zazzle stamps (custom printed legal postage) usable. I love that barcode- if custom stamps didn't have a horrendous barcode I would have purchased hundreds by now. As for the rest of the artistamps, the blue ones are from a stamp I carved to plant as a letterbox. The mammoth is drawn on a gutter (blank square from the corner of a sheet of stamps) that is partly machine perforated and finished off with my hand perforations. The tin man is drawn on the back of a USPS forever stamp.

I am pretty excited about the tin man stamp. As far as I know, I have just invented using legal postage as a base for imaginary postage. On an envelope the artistamp becomes a secret, but  a clear postcard displays both the legal and the fictional postage.
 Here are both sides of the stamp, and here is the extremely awesome Kansas Statehood commemorative stamp. I just want to use these for everything. The colors are so fresh and bold.

These are for a swap, so I packaged them up safe in a glassine envelope taped to a clear postcard. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Portholes for the Sub

Today I worked a little on my car. I thought the next step was a second coat of gold, so I didn't want to spend the money until I found work. And then I got a gift certificate from Blick for Christmas. But I didn't spend anything after all, because when I was evaluating the car today I decided the next step was some portholes fashioned after the stained glass rose windows you get in cathedrals, and ended up making them with things I had on hand.  
 The silver one is sharpie, and the copper one is vinyl. I had never used a French curve before and it was easy to get the hang of.
Getting the copper one onto the glass was super hard. I started at the left corner and everything got all broken and tangled. I put it right but it's still wrinkly. I am afraid they just look like designs rather than like windows, because there is no light streaming through them. They look very much like windows from inside. 

I must have spent ten hours of my life just thinking of names for this thing. I think there might not be anything to call it. Some things are like that. I know it's a super-terra, but it has been since Nissan made the blank. (That is what plain action figures are called before you paint them, and I invented calling cars that before they get art on them, because I have the hang of words.)  And of course I've got to name it myself. Maybe this is why, against probability, boats have all got the worst name.