Alyssa Sellers


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USPS: The First Five Months

I’ve worked for over five months as a Letter Carrier for the United States Postal Service.

I seriously never thought I’d see the day. People, delivering the mail is HARD. Way harder than you think. Well, at least harder that I thought, I really can’t speak for y’all as a whole, but I digress. What I can speak to is that I am much stronger physically, mentally and emotionally than I was on September 7.

For starters, I spent the week before Thanksgiving until the week after Christmas walking 13 miles in a hilly neighborhood carrying 20 to 40 pounds of holiday parcels and paper in snow, sleet, hail and 20 degree temperatures.

I spent the fall learning to parallel-park a right-side drive vehicle like a BOSS.

I have delivered mail on almost 40 different routes out of nine different stations in the Portland Metro and counting.  A few of those were on those super scary windy roads I was concerned about. I hit nothing and no one died, WIN! Continue reading

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Yelling with Strangers: The Magic of New Year’s Eve

New Year's EveI guess I could have stayed home last year/night and welcomed the New Year in solitude and contemplation; but that probably wouldn’t have been what happened.

I would have either A. fallen asleep before midnight because I worked nine hours at the USPS or B. watched the New Year’s Eve celebrations on TV and lamented my singleness. You know, because television and movies tell us something magical should happen on New Year’s Eve.

Instead I contacted my friend Jessica, we put on cute festive dresses and we went out; first to dinner at Zeus Cafe where my friend Lori was serving for the evening and then to the Boiler Room for Karaoke. And that’s when it got weird. Not the normal partying with Teletubbies, Care Bears, Elvis Impersonators and Nearly Nudes Portland weird, (which I’ve done and can totally handle) but frat party karaoke weird.

I’ve done a decent bit of karaoke in this town and never encountered a crowd such as this. I’ve also never been hit on with such frequent ferociousness, either. Continue reading


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Thanks For Being Lost

Sorry I haven’t written in a while, I’ve been lost.

When I started delivering mail for the USPS I spent a few weeks in a super hilly, sorta windy road, neighborhood. I was lost a lot. On the first day, in the middle of a neighborhood, around one in the afternoon, I stopped and yelled, “JESUS! I DON’T LIKE THIS!” And then, after a bit, “Help me. Please.”

I don’t like not knowing where I am. I don’t like not knowing where I’m going. I don’t like feeling like I’m not in control/charge of my life. Continue reading


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Remembering That I Forget

My Christmas Tree ~ Portland, Oregon 2012

I live in that magical land where Christmas trees grow. Oregon is the nation’s biggest producer of Christmas trees and harvested over 6 million in 2011 and , sadly, I did not purchase one of them. Last year, I thought I was broke and would be gone too long in December to purchase a tree. This year I have a whole new appreciation for broke-ness and will be away from my home for a week but I am not letting this deter me.  My friend Belinda, a graduate student at Portland State, offered to drive me to a Christmas tree farm just outside the city to pick up a tree and to celebrate the completion of her finals.

As soon as I stepped out of the vehicle and onto the parking lot, I knew I made the right decision. The smell of Fir trees enveloped me and I shouted, “I LOVE CHRISTMAS TREES!” Thankfully it was a rainy Tuesday afternoon and no one else was around.

Belinda and I set out in search of this year’s perfect tree. When I first saw my tree, I impulsively burst into, “O Tannenbaum!” However, not wanting to make a hasty choice, I tied a bright red bag to a branch and walked on. Eventually after much deliberation, I chose the tree that inspired my song.

I spent the better part of a day decorating this tree; mostly because I’m a perfectionist but also because I’m sentimental. As I unwrapped ornaments that had been unfairly confined for two years, vivid memories flooded my consciousness and I remembered the refrain from a song we sang during worship service on Sunday:

Though the world may see and soon forget
We will not forget who you are and what you’ve done for us.

But do we? Do we really remember? I believe that humanity as a whole is fairly forgetful and this is why God instructs us in all sorts of reminders like the celebration of Passover, hauling rocks from the dry bottom of the Jordan River to create an altar and participation in communion. These acts remind us of what God has done and reinforce for us the promises of what God will do.

This year, decorating my Christmas tree, was one of those reminders. As I hung up the lights, circled the tree with a garland made of old silver Mardi Gras beads and placed ornaments on branches, I could not help but to recall specific things God has done for me and as I remembered I began to feel joyful anticipation for all of the things God is going to do. This, my friends, is worshiping fully.


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Sing, Sing A Song

Elvis Thumb War ~ Nashville, Tenn. ~ September 2010

I often speak in sounds effects and song lyrics so for my first 12 months as a blogger all of my entry titles were song lyrics that continued to play in my head as I wrote my entries. To celebrate my success of one year of semi-consistently blogging, I’m listing out all of the songs and artists to which they refer.  Yep, I’m THAT kind of nerd.

Post Title: Song Title: Artist

  1. Express Yourself: Express Yourself: Madonna
  2. Ch-Ch-Changes: Changes: David Bowie
  3. The Shot Heard ‘Round the World: The Shot Heard ‘Round the World: Bob Dorough for School House Rocks 1976
  4. Dream On: Dream On: Areosmith
  5. Blame It On The Rain: Blame It On The Rain: Diane Warren for Millie Vanilli 1989
  6. Seasons Of Love: Seasons Of Love: Jonathan Larson for the musical Rent
  7. So This Is Christmas: So This Is Christmas: John Lenon
  8. Christmas Time Is Here: Christmas Time Is Here: Vince Guaraldi Trio for A Charlie Brown Christmas
  9. It’s Not Easy Being Green: Bein’ Green: Joe Raposo for Kermit the Frog (Jim Henson) 1970
  10. What You Waiting For: What You Waiting For: Gwen Stefani
  11. I Say A Little Prayer: I Say A Little Prayer: Burt Bacharach &Hal David for Dionne Warwick
  12. Would I Lie to You: Would I Lie to You: Eurythmics
  13. Let Your Colors Burst: Firework: Katy Perry. (You can judge me. I’m OK with it.)
  14. Fascinating Rhythm: Fascinating Rhythm: George Gershwin & Ira Gershwin
  15. Little Things: Little Things: Good Charlotte & Little Things: Bush. (My mind shuffled back and forth between the two.)
  16. A Time to Dance, A Time to Mourn: Turn! Turn! Turn!: The Byrds
  17. Time Is On Your Side: Time Is On My Side: Rolling Stones. (This is a testament to how I sometimes mishear and/or misquote lyrics. And how for the entry, I liked my version better.)
  18. Time Is Wastin’, Time Is Walking: Time: Hootie & The Blowfish
  19. They Say the Neon Lights are Bright on Broadway: On Broadway: George Benson
  20. Life is What Happens to You While You’re Busy Making Other Plans: Beautiful Boy: John Lenon
  21. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough: Ain’t No Mountain High Enough: Nickolas Ashford & Valerie Simpson for Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell 1966
  22. I Sing Because I’m Free: His Eye Is on the Sparrow: Charles H. Gabriel & Civilla D. Martin 1905
  23. Hazy Shade Of Winter: Hazy Shade Of Winter: Simon & Garfunkle
  24. Let The Sun Shine In: Curtain Call –Let The Sun Shine In: Cast of Hair
  25. All You Need Is Love: All You Need Is Love: The Beatles
  26. The Weather Outside Is Frightful: Let it Snow: Jule Styne  & Sammy Cahn

Going forward, some titles may be song lyrics it the description fits. Like today. The Carpenters.