Friday, December 7, 2012

Missives from Mom

I always love highlighting postcards from My Awesome Sister, but I have to give credit to my mother - she's really stepped up her game this year. I think she enjoys sending postcards more than I do. Here are a couple that I've gotten recently (am I buying time to get back in the swing of things? why yes, thanks for noticing!)...

Received back in October:

Peace Sign, Missoula, Montana - Dismantled 2001
"Don't know why they took this down. 
Mission accomplished?

NOT

love you,
Mom"

And received last week:

"Blue Snow, The Battery" George Bellows (1910)
"This is Battery Park - way before the landfill. looks like a park, eh? Bellows exhibit blew me away. Amazing stuff - This is only one of favorites - M"

Short and sweet!

Monday, December 3, 2012

well that's embarrassing...

Geez, I knew I was a bit behind on things, and I was a little afraid to come and see just how long it'd been since I posted...but almost three months? Oy. I did manage to send out a few postcards here and there, but not as many as I'd like. But I need to get ready for holiday mailing (yes I should have started this already), and I just saw a post about the 2013 Month of Letters Challenge, so I'm back, and ready to write.

Because I'm already in the proverbial doghouse, here's a postcard that was given to me in 1992 by a customer to hand deliver to someone she knew who worked at my college. Obviously, that didn't happen.

"Dancer with Flat Hat" by Phillip Levine
"3-25-92

Hi Theresa ~
The person who's delivering this card to you for me makes the best espresso and I think "they" should get the espresso flowing in [my college town]!! <3 Bonnie

'THEY' = PEOPLE WITH $ TO INVEST"

Sigh...oh the guilt! When I found this card I vaguely remembered chatting with a customer about going to school, and her handing me a card to deliver. I can't imagine why I didn't, unless I lost it and it only resurfaced later. Also - in 1992, espresso was all the rage in Seattle, but it hadn't quite become the indispensable commodity across the country yet.

Ugh, I'm going to get a lump of coal in my stocking this year, I just know it.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Belated

I bought cards last week for two birthdays this weekend, and somehow managed to send both of them off late. This is, to my shame, not uncommon. I think I wouldn't feel so bad about sending things (cards, presents, financial aid forms) off late if I did not usually have them ready to go well in advance. Hopefully people have chalked this up to a delightful quirk and can enjoy the element of surprise, since you just never know when something will arrive from me, no matter what the occasion.

I didn't scan the birthday cards, but I realized that I have a couple of sent postcards that I never posted:

Mailed August (egads) 25:


I didn't mean to send so many of those cat postcards at once but 1) they're rad and 2) this one went to friends who had just completed an interstate cat adoption, thanks to My Awesome Sister. To celebrate the successful handoff of the Wee Nugget, one of the color cards.

Mailed September 7:


This is from another postcard book I bought - all covers of real romance comix from the '50s. Most of them involve our heroine shedding symbolic tears and making exclamations about choosing between two men, or making a man choose between her and another woman. I like this one because the lady in question seems more angry that her date has been thwarted than guilty about her evening hobby.

Besides, who can resist sending something that says "I Was An Army Camp Pick-Up" to their mother?

and finally, mailed today:

Kiki Smith, Flock, 1998
This one just sums up how I've been feeling the last while - shadowy, out of focus, and possibly not what you think I am at all.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Come see this show!

No postcard today, but an update about the flamenco show I talked about back in July - it's happening this Friday! At the Rendezvous Jewelbox Theater. Come see amazing dance and music! Yes!

http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/261376

Added bonus - there is a show on Thursday in Bellingham, and TWO shows in Portland, Saturday and Sunday nights.

And thank you Melinda for introducing me to an ongoing Tuesday night flamenco show that is happening in my very own neighborhood.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

MOMA moment from Mom

I am procrastinating. I have a new refrigerator that will be delivered tomorrow (my life is SO exciting!), and I should be defrosting the old one, throwing out items that have been lurking in there for far too long, cleaning the kitchen, moving the furniture to make it easier for the delivery, etc etc etc....sounds exhausting, non? Fortunately, my mailbox had a couple of interesting items today to distract me from such boring endeavors.

First up:
The Vegetabull, Jan Lewitt, 1943
"Read the fine print! xxx Mom"
                                                    is all she wrote.

I'm not really sure if that's a literal instruction or a figure of speech. There is one line of type so tiny it couldn't possibly say anything relevant - but I do know this image was part of a very groovy exhibit on kitchens that my mom and I went to in September 2009 at the Museum of Modern Art. It might be a surprise to see vegetarian propaganda from the mid-20th century, but the message - "a vegetable dish made with dried eggs or household milk is as good as a joint" - is not espousing an ethical, non-meat diet; it's a positive spin on wartime rationing.

I also got a card (not a postcard) from my friend who was in town last month, and in light of my last post I had to share one line:

"So many times I've wanted to return your fabulous postcards that you've sent with an extra cool one from me, but, no dice. Sorry!"

See? For some reason, correspondence creates pressure, even though it should just be fun. And no, I didn't pay her to say my postcards are fabulous. All I can say to any potential correspondent is: in this day and age of mostly electronic communication, anything other than bills or junk mail in the post box is a huge thrill! it's not so much what you write - it's that you write at all!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Back to School

It doesn't matter how long it's been since I was in the education cycle - the beginning of September always means both new beginnings - and time to get down to business. Before things get too serious, here are a couple of fall postcards from summer friends, both received in 1986.

Postmark 10/20/1986:
"Dear J, saw this card and thought of you. Sorry I have not written for so long. I got into a college in Iowa? Amanda is the girl who knows Jay B. You a senior? I don't know if I'm going back to the Chalfonte. Justin (of course) has not written did you write his sister? Hope to see you if I have a game at [my high school]"

This is a postcard from my INXS-groupie friend from this post. I'd love to tell you her name, but she didn't sign it. I don't remember why Goodnoe's reminded her of me, or who Amanda or Jay are, and while I also don't remember Justin or his sister, I'm guessing they worked at the hotel with us. Her handwriting is really spidery and almost runs off the card in places. I wonder if I even wrote her back.

Postmark 11/25/1986:

 "J-
I know - it's not my turn but I just thought I'd send this anyway to say hi + see how you are doing - though I suppose I can't see anything through this postcard anyway. I'm making up for it not being my turn by writing a postcard not a letter. Hope you're doing okay. Lynn"

Ah, the old 'whose turn to write' conundrum! Very sneaky to get extra credit by writing out of turn - especially sending a postcard that essentially says nothing. It didn't matter if what you received was meaningless - if you were caught having gotten extra (unearned!) correspondence, it meant your next letter had better be super awesome.

This was a girl I met at summer camp in either 1984 or 1985. She went to a rival school, so I got to see her a couple of times. I remember when she said she'd be coming to a basketball game at my school, because 1) it meant I had to attend the game and 2) her school had a varsity AND a JV team of cheerleaders with 12 students each, official uniforms, and complex cheers. My school had the only 5 or 6 students who were interested in cheerleading, wearing their own white sweaters with school letters tacked on the front, and they mostly just jumped around and yelled a lot. I secretly wanted to be a cheerleader (yelling is fun!), but it was considered so uncool in my school that I didn't do it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Dog Days part 2 - Cat's Revenge

Yesterday I went a-searchin' for some new postcards and I hit the jackpot - a collection of covers from 1950s romance comics and, even better, a set of cat comic postcards titled "The Cutest Sneeze in the World". There was only one set left and it was a bit dog-eared (no pun intended), but I had to have it. Each card is a tiny cartoon with little narrative that completely captures the randomness of cats. The artist is Jeffrey Brown - from his blog he clearly draws more than just cats, check him out!

It's hard to part with any of these because they're so great, but here are a couple I just dropped in the mail:

My Awesome Sister recently posted about her cats interfering with making the bed, so guess who's getting this one?

Daytime television for cats, my friends...


This one I didn't mail, it just depicts my life with Skosh the wonder kitten so well...


Substitute a foot for the hand and you've got the 6am daily Skosh show - the next panel would be her flying across the room as I kick her off the bed.


Seriously, this is up there with Simon's Cat for best artistic rendering of life with felines.  MEOW.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Dog Days of Summer

As my job has been winding down, I've had more time to write. I'm at home this week and hope to send out more, but I thought I'd get caught up...

Mailed August 14:

More Japanese toast people! Headed to the wilds of Canuckistan to my birthday twin.

Mailed August 19:





A few years ago, the organization where I worked was able to hold a fundraiser in Dale Chihuly's boathouse/studio, and they gave us a bunch of "Dale Chihuly Over Venice" postcard books. I sent one of the books to my mom at the time, because she really likes Pacific Northwest glass art. I do too, although I think Chihuly is overrated. His boathouse was amazing though - gotta admit, the guy has an amazing sense of style.

So, on my last day at work, I got piles of swag, including one of the postcard books. I immediately sent this one as a joke to a friend who is as irritated by the new Chihuly Museum at Seattle Center as I am....I chose it because the "portrait of the artist looking casual with his work" seems so pretentious. There are plenty of other images of his work that are truly stunning, but I had to start off with a laugh, right?

The postcards themselves are large and heavy, high-quality cardstock. And they take first class mail postage instead of postcard stamps. See what I mean? Pretentious.

Mailed August 20:


I walked on this bridge when visiting my friend Jojo last summer - she lives just a few blocks away from this park! I can't imagine having access to such lush woods practically in my back yard. The suspension bridge was very cool but kind of creepy too, as it moved quite a bit.

Sent to a good friend who was in town all last week, and because it was also my last week at work, I barely got to see her. Sadness.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

It's hot. And I got a postcard.

This week has been kind of brutal, in more ways than one. Adding insult to life's little injuries, it's been quite warm here in the Pacific Northwest. Oh, nothing compared to the outrageous heat waves suffered by the rest of the country this summer, but keep in mind that air conditioning is a rarity here, and buildings aren't generally built taking air flow into consideration, so when it gets hot (and I'd say mid-90s qualifies as hot), there's not a lot of relief.

The week was so busy (and HOT!), I don't even remember when it arrived, but I received this lovely postcard...

Earlier in the summer, a friend was running an online campaign to send her dance company to the Minneapolis Fringe Festival. Normally I opt out of thank you gifts, but I saw that one option was to receive a postcard from the company after the show, so of course I couldn't resist. And what a cool card! It makes me want to book a flight right now.

...especially looking at the 5-day forecast in Minneapolis, which is predicting breezy, mid-70s weather in the coming week.



Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday Motivation?

My wagon is draggin' this morning, I can't get going somehow. To abet my procrastination, here's one postcard sent and one from the vaults...

Mailed 8/12:


I forgot to write it down, but this is either an Henri Cartier-Bresson or an Édouard Boubat image...what can I say, their work makes for great postcards.

And now for an oldie, postmark Sept 2, 1986:

that white star is a cutout in the card




"8/29/86
YO!

How are ya? Hope that you are having a marvellous time.......how about an okay time. I'm fine. I moved. Now I'm exhausted but at least it's over, finally. I never want to move again (although I say that every year). Life with three fat cats isn't all it's cracked up to be. Hope I don't have a nervous breakdown - or get fleas. Hey, I miss you. Come home soon. I want to come see you on the 4th - O.K.?????

Love,
me :)"

Sent by a family friend while I was on my brief adventure as a chambermaid at a hotel in Cape May, NJ for a couple of weeks before my senior year in high school. I'm kind of surprised my mom let me go, I was one of the youngest people working there, and there wasn't exactly much in the way of supervision. My "room" was at the top of these stairs far away from the other staff (possibly because most of them were 20-something and there was a lot of partying in the staff housing), and it was a throughway to other parts of the hotel. I think it was usually used as a shortcut by staff, not as housing - a couple of times when I first arrived, someone would walk through in the morning and yelp when they saw someone sleeping there. I was reading Crime and Punishment during my stay - probably on the summer reading list for school - and the only other girl my age seemed soooooo cool because she had followed INXS on tour and claimed that Michael Hutchence was in love with her, which I both thought was complete BS and really wanted to believe, because what teenage girl doesn't want to believe their star crush will fall for them if only we could meet them??


The postcard is also notable in that it was typed.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Early morning musings

There are some days that I feel like I will never get a normal night's sleep again. This is one of those days. It should be against the law to naturally wake up at 6:45am on a Saturday. It's bad enough that I've started waking up that early during the week without an alarm. At least this gives me a chance to get somewhat caught up on things.

Here's some belated posting of thank you postcards I sent to a few folks who helped me get a new job (BTW - whee! New! Job! Starting soon!). Which makes me realize I've still got a couple more to write....er....

Mailed July 31:

Saul Steinberg, "Indians, Cyclists, Artists" 1968
I love, love, love this image - it probably doesn't read as well scanned, but it's a simple repeating-motif drawing that makes me smile every time I look at it. Probably one of my favorite postcards I've found this year. I might just have to go back and get another to keep.

Don Eddy, "Private Parking X", 1971
Not sure where I got this, but it's been kicking around for a few years. You can tell it's from the late '60s/early '70s - not only because of the subject, but the photo-realistic style of the painting and the way the colors pop, almost like the early days of Technicolor.

Going in the mail today:

because what better way to get around to lingering tasks than to post what's left to be done on the internet?

Dan May, "Dogs and Bones" 1985
I've had this postcard for decades. You can see it on my wall in many photos from college and when I first moved to Seattle. Hmm, I wonder if it's kind of déclassé to send someone a postcard with obvious tape marks on the back?


Rounding out the day's post, another great panel from Mutts. One of my favorites!

Monday, July 16, 2012

In the mail!

Hey! Check out this fab postcard that arrived this weekend from my favorite flamenco dancer, Melinda.


She's an artist living in Sevilla (of course), but she comes to teach and perform in the States and particularly the Pacific Northwest frequently. I'm looking forward to her upcoming show in September at the Rendezvous Jewelbox Theatre. If you're in the area, please come! In the meantime, here's a shameless plug for her awesome work;


Baile!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

random Wednesday morning

Up at 5:45am for no reason. Why not send a postcard?

"Smoking Kills"
It really does!

*yawn* now excuse me, I gotta get ready for work...

Monday, July 9, 2012

From the Vaults #7 - Collaborative Correspondence

Since I posted the group postcards from my trip last night, it only seems fair to post the inspiration...

(postmark April 23, 1991)

"Hello Miss J! Congratulations on a successful escape from the midwest! Do you realize how fat [My Awesome Sister aka MAS] is making your cat? If you don't send for her soon you'll have to pay extra for the shipping because of all that extra weight. We miss you! Love, AC
Your evil cat just attacked AC & AC attacked your cat. Whose blood is it? MAS is in the process of feeding us. I am happy. xxoo John.
I'm twenty nine, two days ago and still I don't understand the humor of this company or I still don't understand English. Anyway they look funny and I enjoy them. The strange and funny company and I miss you and your funny hair - Gio
Hey J!! We're having a quiche and chocolate cake dinner with some bizarre CDs brought by Gio + John. We are only missing you for a perfect meal! Write soon and tell us how you are... xo, A"

If only I had more font options to truly capture the wonder of this postcard.

In the fall of 1990, I house-sat (aka slacked) for my sister for 2 months while she was working on her graduate studies elsewhere. Her friends kindly adopted me (possibly because she made them), which was good because otherwise I may never have left the apartment. We went on a scavenger hunt, saw Social Distortion and Sonic Youth, frequented a great Irish pub, watched an opera on tv (don't remember which one, but I'm pretty sure it was Mozart), and had many dinners. Soon afterward, I made my big move to Seattle, and this card was a welcome reminder of friends before I'd had any time to make my own in a new city (besides Dang Ramona, who was already here).

I never did get my cat back. I decided to go back to college, and begged my sister to hang on to her for a little while longer, which ended up being until 2008, when the Meepster finally trilled her last song. This is one of the many reasons that My Awesome Sister has a fancy title.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Derailed by Derecho in DC

I was visiting our nation's capitol last week, aka The Swamp of It All, and in delightful anticipation, I sent a friendly little windstorm in an effort to expand the vocabularies of the people and spice things up a bit. Unfortunately, this was my first time working with one of these things, and I overdid it a leetle bit. Sorry, people of DC!

I did manage to ensure that our house was the only one in the neighborhood that didn't lose power (and thank goodness - it was 98F with a heat index of 110, y'all!!), but our small sacrifice was living without internet. On the positive side, it made for more conversation, reading, and most importantly: writing.

Sent July 1:
from the series "I grew up" - Keisha Scarville, 1997

I arrived in DC with an agenda: group postcards. Since I was visiting friends I've known since college, I figured we should write to a few of our other friends who could not join us (even though I offered to bring one of them along in my carry on bag). First up! A postcard to Dang Ramona, who kindly gave me a ride to the airport at an ungodly hour of the morning and hopefully had enough gas left to get to a station and make it back home. It should be noted that one of our party was a little unclear on the concept of postcards and wanted to write where the address goes. Or under the stamp.

I know I wrote down the text from this postcard before I sent it, because it was pretty cool and I knew it would be illegible on my crappy cell phone camera. Can I find this anywhere now? Non.

ETA: Found it!

"When I got my first set of keys I felt free. I thought I could leave the house whenever I wanted (which wasn't true). The first time I used them I couldn't figure out which keys went to which door. even though I had keys, I couldn't get in. Later my dad taped numbers to my keys. Each number represented a door."

Sent July 2:


Solo scribbling to My Awesome Sister (tm). It was cool enough in the morning (a mere 85 degrees) for me to sit out on the porch with my coffee and a borrowed cat, a perfect set up for sisterly correspondence. I could actually feel when it went over 90, which made me scurry back into the AC cave.

Sent July 5:

Another group effort, this one headed to the Motor City. There were more of us to write this time, and I was mean and wouldn't let anyone eat the mountains of Delicious Pork (and corn, and mashed potatoes, and grilled zucchini, and homemade guacamole, and...you get the picture) for our July 4th celebrations until we'd written this card. Because nothing says "independence!" like coercion, amiright?

All of these are just some postcards I bought about a month ago and stuffed in my bag at the last minute. I had hoped to find some cool DC ones, but it was so freakin hot we didn't leave the house much. The one afternoon we went exploring we tried to find a bookstore, but there was none. I half-heartedly looked for some DC cards in the airport on my way out, but the selection was lame.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pride posting...and where the hell did June go?

Blame the glorious transition from Spring to summer, blame a crazy work schedule, blame Mercury in retrograde - for whatever reason, I really just did not have anything to say this month. A couple times I sifted through postcards but wasn't feeling inspired. But! Last weekend was PRIDE weekend, so here's something new, something old, and a lot gay.

Mailed June 25:
I'm pretty sure I picked this us at the Hide/Seek exhibit at the Tacoma Art Museum a couple of months ago. I love this photo - it's really joyful and subversive. Plus - unironic saddle shoes! I don't, however, love how the photo looks all checkered when I upload it. It doesn't look that way in real life or on my computer.

As a bonus, a former girlfriend of mine from college was in town last week. Here's a postcard she sent me in November 1994 (I promise, it's not mushy!):

As always, everything is [sic]

Hey Sweet thang - Your card kixs ass over mine. I'm sitting here mourning over Liz Phair's new crap of an album. What a let down. So here's the thrilling news of the 1/4, I am going to Costa Rica! And so is V__, we will be in different parts of the country but we're planning on travelling together for the last 3 wks or so. I'm going to have to put my dykehood on the shelf for a while. I'm a little uncertain about working with two boys (from here) and my boss who will be ♂ too; I know I'm capable of putting up with it but it will be a different lifestyle. I'm going to try and find another woman here who might be interested just for my sanity. It will make my parents hopeful to know I'm with two boys "maybe she'll convert honey". Last night E__ showed some queer films in Kelly Hall, this one flick - 'It Wasn't Love' had that song you used in your senior piece, M__ told me, did you know this?It was a pretty good film. I can't believe it's 7th week - Ahhh save me! I've been talking to R_ + M_ about driving out with them - there not sure if they're going yet. either Seattle or Ohio for me. I would love it so much to see you. Write back and let me know what yer thinkin - I luv you
 
Ahh, memories... we really bonded over Liz Phair's first album, and let's get real, the follow up was a disappointment. I think the only people who really like that album are people who had never heard the first one, which still hold its position on my Desert Island Playlist.

When I read old postcards, one of the things I notice is whether the person uses traditional paragraphs or they just write one big run on block of text. I've done both, but it's kind of tricky - you have to gauge ahead of time how much you're going to say. Nothing like starting a postcard with tiny, compact writing, only to realize you've run out of things to say with several inches of blank space staring at you. Other times, you may start taking up lots of space with your writing and by the end you're curling your sentences around all the borders and your writing gets smaller and smaller and eventually the person can't ready what you're writing anyway. I admire people who know how much room they're going to need from the get go - or perhaps they just adjust what they say to how much room they've allotted themselves. I don't really know what I'm going to say until I'm saying it. I'm sure there's something terribly revealing about that factoid...

Monday, May 28, 2012

All Mixed Up

Confessions of a bloggy nerd: once February and the (self-imposed) pressure to mail something every day were over, I decided to scan all my blank postcards. The picture quality was vastly improved, plus I figured having them all in my computer would make writing more spontaneous and less of a process. Except that I keep discovering postcards that weren't scanned (invariably after I've written them, but usually before I drop them in the mail). And it's getting harder to remember what I sent if I don't post about it right away. And so it is that a mystery postcard was sent into the world last week without its proper documentation. A moment of silence for the unknown postcard.


----------

I went to Canada for the weekend, and managed to get a little old fashioned touristy correspondence going.

Written May 27 (mailed May 29):
"Smoke Rings (January 28, 1999)" by Donald Sultan
Written from a sunny deck in the lazy stretch of afternoon after a long bike ride. I love this photo - it reminds me of Laurie Anderson's epic Smoke Rings from her concert film "Home of the Brave". I didn't have time to go to the post office in Canada, so I brought it back to the US to mail.

Written and mailed May 28:

At the train station there were these postcards that had international postage already included. The cost was probably a ripoff, but what a thrill to just send it, eh? <---- note the Canadian slang  Of course, I then could not find a post box in the train station, and I would have felt a little silly having to mail my fancy Canadian postage postcard from the US (probably with US postage!), but I did find a mailbox outside the station. 

I always hated geography in school, but lately I am very interested in maps. People in the know have informed me that geography is actually not about maps at all, but I'm not letting that deter me in my newfound interest in Where Things Are.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

School Spirit aka Vaults #6

Last weekend was my 25th high school reunion (eex). I didn't go, but in honor, here is a postcard from my 11th grade roommate Abijah, whose postcard writing skillz rival My Awesome Sister's.

Summer 1985 [sic throughout]:

Don't Play With Your Food

J,
Hi! I hope your summer is getting better. I just got back from "Landhope" where I saw 2 of the people I least wanted to see from "Upland" - they are "popular" and trendy & they just got their hair cut so now they think the're "Punk" - OH WELL - I saw '16 Candles' last night - it was pretty good - MB called and said she is "sooo sorry" and "will I ever forgive her?" - HA - I talked to Susan & Missy & it was good to talk to Susan again - we're trying to get a party together for Fri. YOU SHOULD COME - the SMITHS concert is tomorrow night -> I almost got us a ride with MB's friend :( - you left your shoes here (I sure you know) I should get them to you somehow - I want to go to the beach - I want U to come! - My cat misses U! <- me too. This concert for Africa sounds good. but the one in London has the only good groups - ELVIS COSTELLO will be there! I won't :( why can't he come here? why can't I go there? - OH WELL. this is a boring note but it's something.

-Love, Abijah
summer - HA!

P.S. we should get together. W/B

the news guy said "the" "U2s"

The use of quotation marks really makes this postcard. It reads exactly the way she spoke. I have no idea who Susan and Missy are - they didn't go to our school. MB was Abijah's friend from home that I knew a lot about but I don't remember if I actually met her. I also have no idea what MB did that made her so sorry, but they're still friends, so they clearly managed to muddle through.

And that concert for Africa? That would be Live Aid, of course. It is to my eternal shame that I grew up in a suburb of Philadelphia and did NOT attend Live Aid. Even if ELVIS COSTELLO wasn't there.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

All of May is Mother's Day

It's been a chaotic couple of weeks, but I haven't abandoned correspondence entirely.

First: I got this sweet postcard in the mail a couple of weeks ago

"Are you my mother?"
So cute right? I immediately assumed this was a card from my friends M&J due to the cow content, but it was from my mom...reminding me that Mother's Day was approaching!

Then, I ran into a friend I hadn't seen in a while and we talked about going to Paris. I had already sent out the few postcards I bought in Paris, but I was able to appropriate one of the cards my mom sent me a while back.

Mailed May 6:


And finally, I just got back from a trip to New York where I got to spend Mother's Day with my mom (are you sensing a theme here yet?) and other family members. At least I had my senses about me and managed to mail at least one postcard.

Mailed May 15:
I didn't go to Times Square while I was in New York, but I walked just about every place else. I even got to ride the tram to Roosevelt Island!

ETA: how did I manage a post about Mother's Day without posting my card? I was happy to find another of the wooden cards - not made by the same company. I could have mailed it as a postcard, but I put it in an envelope so it would be a surprise. Plus, I arrived about 10 hours before the card did.


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Take this job and shove it

OK, I'm being a leetle dramatic, but this work week was just rude! To commemorate, this week's postcard is career-oriented.

Mailed April 28:

I love that the embodiment of "prestige" is wearing a snappy bowler hat and smirking so hard that rays of smugness emanate from your head.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Frankly my dear...(vaults #5)

I'm feeling lazy, so here's an old postcard:



(postmark 29 December 1985)

"J!
I LOVE the tape, especially the two songs by the Flying Lizards and Yello. (Believe it or not!) Chicago is very cold, but it has good chinese food. Everyone in this hotel is an English professor, seriously. I've never seen so many wire-rimmed glasses in all my born days. I purchased some red patent leather boots, but who knows whether or not I will wear them. Auf wiedersehn, MAGS"

I grew up in a small town where everyone pretty much knew everyone and anyone you went to school with could be described as a friend at some point. This girl and I had been sorta kinda friends in elementary school, but somehow reconnected for a brief time in high school, even though I was going to a school in a different town by then. We probably would have been good friends if I'd stayed in my original school, two awkward smartypants new wave freaks with a love of unknown music and an aversion to spritz and Jams(tm) and other '80s staples. I wonder what she is up to now.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sent on 4/20...if you know what I mean by 4/20

Salvador Dali's work is probably more associated with LSD than marijuana, but this was mailed Friday:

Dali Atomicus, Philippe Halsman, 1948
I was able to go to the Theatre-Museum Dali in Figueres, Spain in November - it was fantastic, as expected. Of course this photograph was not there, since it was not Dali's work, but I've always loved this picture and how it captures Dali so well.

In some ways I regret how accessible the answers to everything are these days...but that didn't keep me from looking up how this picture came to be. Here is a version where you can see some of the effects employed to get this shot....but the cats were really thrown!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dead Letter Office #1

Since I so narrowly avoided adding another half-written/never sent postcard to my pile, I thought I should do penance by posting one I wrote to my sister a lifetime ago that she never received.

Frida Kahlo, Self Portrait with Braid, 1941
"23 February 1992
Dear A -
Hola! After our talk last weekend, I've been very curious how your talk with your advisor went and if you solved the mystery of the missing cat vomit. I sent in my financial aid form but I am dreadfully afraid that it is too late, which means I can't go to school until Fall. How typically irresponsible of me, right? I am quite angry at myself over this, but oh well. What else is new? We will have a niece or nephew very soon! xo J

Hi MEEP + CINE!"

Oh dear.....I'd love to muse about the missing cat vomit (we've all been there, right?), but I am already imagining the reply my mom is going to leave about this. You see, in February 1992 I was preparing to return to college after an extended sabbatical, and as I feared, I had sent my financial aid form in too late to qualify for spring quarter aid. But I didn't wait until Fall quarter to return. I honestly don't remember if I knew when I flew back to Ohio in April that I had missed out on financial aid or maybe I was hoping they'd just give it to me if they saw I was serious about my education (this seems more likely), but let's just say there was an unpleasant conversation halfway through the quarter when a bill arrived at my mother's house. And that I never missed a financial aid deadline again.

Love you, mom!!! Sorry I was so flaky 20 years ago! xoxoxo

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bonus Post

My Awesome Sister (tm) sent me this link today. I added the Post Secret site to my list of links, but I love this presentation as well. It's a bit lengthy, but worth it.


Here's some truth: I've still got two voicemails that my grandmother left me over a decade ago. She's still alive, but she has never called me that much so I've kept them. One is her singing me happy birthday and relaying birthday wishes from her and my grandfather (who died in 2006). This made me go listen to them again. Good times.

I also have a voicemail from my neighbor circa 2002 letting me know that my cat had gotten locked outside by mistake. Said cat is freaking out in the background, which is pretty hilarious. That feisty grimalkin passed away last year, so I guess I do have a voicemail to remember the dead.

Tax day posting, part 2

Uncle Sam has all my precious financial data for the year, so let's see what I was doing this weekend besides filing my taxes.

Mailed April 14:

Two of my favorite activities: kittens and pinball! What's that? You say kittens are not an "activity"? Come to my house and you will understand the truth...

And now for a confession...


Gah! Falling back into bad habits...I started writing this postcard back on March 10. I wrote a sentence and addressed it, lost track, and it sat on my table until I shoved it into a pile for a few weeks. But I love this postcard - I've had it since high school - so I couldn't leave it sitting there, shaming me with inertia. I finally got it together and sent it off on Saturday. PHEW!

Mailed April 15:


It's another of the so-called "naughty" postcards. This one reminds me a bit of Lori Nix's work. I adore her photographs. Her earlier pieces are a bit more like this - an ordinary scene with something dark and wrong that you don't necessarily see at first glance. Her more recent work is larger scale and usually combines the gorgeous decay of abandoned civilization and the enduring power of nature.

So, did you get your taxes filed on time?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Ready for tax day?

It's April 15, but thanks to the wonder of Sundays and a wandering holiday called Emancipation Day*  celebrated on April 16 in Washington DC, US taxes aren't due until Tuesday April 17. Sounds like a great excuse to procrastinate a little more and get caught up. I've been busy writing while I've avoided posting, so this may end up as two posts.

Mailed April 6:


This is another wooden postcard, sent for a friend's birthday. I found a shop that has some more of these, but I didn't see any designs I liked. I then looked up the company, Spitfire Girl, and you can create your own design for wooden postcards. They're not cheap, but it's kind of cool.

Also mailed April 6:


I recently picked up a booklet of slightly naughty postcards involving little figurines. This is one of the more fun ones....it looks like they're part of some new dance craze, a flatulent watusi perhaps. Can you honestly say that wouldn't be a laugh riot? I can't....but then I'm very in touch with my inner 12 year old boy.

Mailed April 12:

Janet Flanner, photo by Berenice Abbott, 1927

Getting a bit more highbrow, this is a photograph from the Hide/Seek exhibit at the Tacoma Art Museum I went to two weeks ago. This is a great exhibit highlighting the evolution of sexual identity over a span of 150 years. There weren't postcards of many of my favorite pieces, but I liked this one a lot (and you'll note on the TAM page that it's the lead image). The show runs through June 10, so I encourage anyone in the area to go see it.

I've got a few more to post, but they will have to wait for the next post.....hopefully not such a long wait this time.

*read about Emancipation Day here...I never knew about it before this tax day business, although I know about Juneteenth (as it's called in Texas). Interesting that it is celebrated on different days in different areas - I wonder why it isn't a federal holiday for the whole country.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Life, it interferes.

ugh, I am so behind! Last week I figured that even if I wasn't posting, there was some mail happening, but I have to confess the post box has been boring this week. There's even a layer of dust on my postcard-scanning laptop. Adding insult to injury, my last posted correspondence went awry - those show postcards usually are full of info about the shows, rather than being meant for personal messages, so I tape a piece of paper over them with my message. I guess I didn't do a very good job on that one, because half of my message was missing upon delivery - and you just know it was probably the most poignant and awe-inspiring message a person has ever written to a friend. le sigh.

In better news, I got this postcard last week from my friend Sandra in London:

The Large Cat by Cornelis Visscher
"I promise this cat will behave", she writes, in reference to my kitten who is quite sweet but is currently a weapon of mass destruction about my house. J'adore!

Mailed March 28:


sent to a friend who attended a fundraiser for the local dance studio with me.


I also got some new postcards to send at a few art exhibits I've seen recently. Now, though, I need to write up a few to send before this week is over!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Lazy Sunday

It's a weekend meant to be spent outside instead of writing and posting, but I did manage to send out one postcard in the past few days:

A promo postcard from Rockhopper's King County Network tour. How could this be over a decade ago?!?

We did all our own marketing and promotion, even when we were being presented (like this tour). We felt very fancy with these cards by using colored font, and the cardstock is kind of lavender with a mother-of-pearl sheen on it. Very turn-of-the-century desktop publishing! This is still one of my favorite photos from the Rockhopper days. And I can never hear that particular piece of Gershwin music (which I tend to hear a lot because it's a popular selection for figure skating programs) without doing the toaster dance choreography in my head.

If I get motivated I might send another before the weekend is out, but right now the sun is calling. Cheers!