Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day!

I can't believe this is it!! Even though there were a couple of days where I wasn't really in the mood to write anything or feeling creative, I've really enjoyed doing this. I'll post more about the project later, but here are the final postcards that went out today...

Mailed February 29:

First, I sent this little thank you postcard to Mary Robinette Kowal, the woman who created the Month of Letters Challenge. It was a cool project and it was nice to see all the different ways people participated (if you haven't checked out the Lettermo site, I encourage you to do so).

Since it's the last day and all, I decided to send another card too...

This is a promo postcard for another show I was in - again, Laura Curry's work. The piece was called "White Elephant", there were 9 dancers performing onstage with a 27-piece orchestra, at Seattle's Bumbershoot festival in September 1996. The month before the show I was between apartments, staying in a friend's spare bedroom. There was a skylight over the bathtub - I remember 9 hour rehearsals in the week before the show, and afterward dragging the speakers over to the door of the bathroom, cranking the music and soaking in the tub for over an hour pretty much every night.

I can't remember what the audience reception to the piece was. Performing at Bumbershoot is a strange gig. You can reach a huge audience, and a lot of people who wouldn't normally see modern dance, but because of the nature of the festival, people don't have any problem just walking out if it's not their cup of tea. This piece wasn't exactly accessible to a mainstream audience. Or maybe it was, who knows. But the music was gorgeous, the dance was challenging and there's nothing quite like the satisfied exhaustion (or exhausted satisfaction) of putting together work you are totally committed to.

Almost there...

Mailed February 28:

I decided to stay with the London theme. This is from a restaurant in London where we ate. I was a notoriously picky eater up until I was in college, so I can't believe I got talked into eating Japanese food. I have a vague memory of not loving it, but wanting to love it, which I suppose is the first step. I thought these postcards with recipes on them were incredibly cool. I got two - sent one that summer to my roommate, and kept this one until now. There's a recipe for a sauce on the back, as well.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Day 27

I mentioned in my first post that I found a bunch of postcards and letters I have written over the years and not sent. Even worse (or better, depending on your perspective), I bothered to save so many of them - probably because I liked the cards too much to toss. The time has come to excavate these little gems...many of the intended recipients have fallen to the social wayside, but I was looking for the right postcard to send a friend I've known since high school when I discovered one with her name already on it...

Mailed February 27:

I went to London in 1985 with my mom and sister - at the time I considered London to be THE aesthetic mecca of the world. Alas, I only got to spend 15 minutes on my own during the trip, when I had to run back to the hotel to use the loo. The rest of the time I was at the mercy of my more culturally minded family, wasting time* visiting Cambridge and taking high tea and overtipping cabs with those confusing pound coins. We did end up at some sort of flea market where I bought a favorite pair of earrings and a UK-only cassette of The The's Soul Mining album, which was awesome even though I already owned the US version.

I bought this card there (Punks in London!! Hanging out with a Bobby! SO AUTHENTIC!), and wrote it over the summer. We were moving from an apartment in what we all referred to as the "geriatric condo" to a house, and I hadn't seen the inside of my new home yet. I also mentioned going to Great Adventure, something I never did and don't even remember wanting to do.

My handwriting was atrocious.

Since this postcard was already written, I sent it in a groovy envelope with a note card inside for a more timely message as well.

The cat looks okay but I don't trust that bunny one bit

* By "wasting time", I mean having all sorts of interesting adventures that my snotty teenage brain couldn't fully appreciate until much later, of course.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

From the Vaults #1

No mail today, so here is a postcard from my sister, sent in October 1985.

"Dear J - I was in Connecticut last weekend w/my roommates at the beach. it's still warm enough to swim! What are you going to be for Halloween? I may bag out and just be a ghost.
The Cure is playing at [my] college this weekend but I didn't find out in time to get tickets. In the same hall from which I graduated!!
Give me a call sometime SOON!!! lots of love, A!"

I love love love postcards from my sister. I'm glad I kept so many of them.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Days 22-25

Gah, so behind this week!!

Mailed February 22:

Another Mutts card. I feel a little lazy sending these instead of something "new", even though they are all different drawings.

Mailed February 23 24

Diego Velazquez, "The Needlewoman", 16th century
Aaargh, so annoying - I had this one written and stamped Thursday morning and I left it at home when I went to work. I have no clue where I got this postcard, but it's another I've had for decades.

Mailed February 24 (for reals):

More '90s activism! ACT UP aka the AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power. Another organization that this project made me look up to see if they're still around. Answer: yes, although the site looks more archival than active. Kudos for having a site that looks like someone's thought about it this century (sorry Guerrilla Girls).

Now I really wish I had a Lesbian Avengers postcard to send. I used to have one of their fab posters and if I could find it, I could send that out. Sigh.

Mailed February 25:

A postcard from a show I was in, from November 1996. This was the (I think) first showing of Laura Curry's "You = Me". The theatre was barely heated, and had a concrete floor. The work called for us to be lying motionless on the floor, in leotards, for the 20+ minutes while the audience filtered in, and the piece was all slow, controlled, seamless movement. It was freaking COLD in there. One of the other dancers fainted during a performance. I can still see him go down, but not what happened next. I know we didn't stop the performance, I think he just got right back up. I think he even managed to faint in a sustained way so it wouldn't be disruptive.

Some of the other works on the bill - KT Niehoff's "4/4 Culture" (had to have been an excerpt, because that was an evening length piece), Kim Root's "Uncomfortable Cafe" and Maureen Whiting's "Huka Haka Luka"

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Day 21 and something from Mom

Monday was President's Day, and the post office was closed.

Mailed February 21:

Guerrilla Girls art activism!!!!!! So very '90s! And so inspiring to a young feminist studying and preparing to enter the art world (although in modern dance, not visual art). I bought a book of postcards in college, and this is the only one left, soon to make its way down the coast.

This made me wonder if the Guerrilla Girls were still around, and it looks like they are: Guerrilla Girls website, although that site seems to be stuck in the late '90s. I notice they do have those postcard books available for tempting.

And here's a little reminder that you're never too old to get a Valentine from your Mom

Thanks Mom!! <3

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Between getting caught up on work from a brief trip and fighting off a cold, it's been a little hard to stay focused this week. I'm also at the place where I am sending cards to people who not only didn't request to be a part of the project but don't know I'm doing it. That means they could be getting a nice surprise, but I may start sending new cards to people from the beginning of the month. Part of the thrill for me is matching which postcard I send to each person - I suspect this level of overthinking care and consideration may be a big part of why I stopped sending letters and postcards in the first place. I also find there are a few postcards that I'm reluctant to send at all. It's silly - but I can get sentimental over the smallest things. I just keep reminding myself that the more attachment I have to a postcard, the better it is to give to someone else. Plus, isn't this why I bothered starting a blog about the project? To record what I send and keep a little bit of it for myself as well?

On to the cards!

Mailed February 16:

I had forgotten all about this postcard and it sort of weirded me out when I found it. All those eyes! Just staring! What do they mean?! It seems like something you'd see in a palm reader's waiting room.

Mailed February 17:

Margaret Mitchell House
I picked this up when I was visiting my sister in Atlanta in 2007. I don't think we actually went into the house, but we did go by it. It was a great trip - my first time to Atlanta, I got to say goodbye to the Meepster (a kitten I adopted in 1989 and a year later asked my sister to take care of for "a while", aka the next 17 years), and every single bit of food I ate while I was there was unbelievably good. Even the local fast-ish food places were rockin'. And it turns out that I love grits - who knew?

 Mailed February 18 19:

I spent most of yesterday in bed, so while I intended for this to go out on time, it didn't.

From the pie shop near where I live. I'll confess - I don't looooove their pie crust. It's really...crusty. But I do love their coffee. It's damned good. And the people are super friendly. And they don't mock me for always bringing my own cup.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Halfway point

As I mentioned this morning, I had a minor stumble and didn't send out a postcard yesterday, so two went out today. I've been sending cards to new people every day so far, but I think I'll be dipping into the pool of people who've already received one pretty soon.

Mailed February 15:

Today was unintentionally a day of painting postcards...
Edward Hopper - "Morning Sun"
 Another international destination, a card I bought kinda recently and had forgotten, but I find this image so compelling. The colors, the perspective, the tension - all very evocative.

Frida Kahlo - "The Dream"

A favorite from my college years - Frida Kahlo. I learned of her in 1988 when I was involved in a puppetry musical performance extravaganza in college. The project was extremely cool, but also out there. I can still recall some of the lines, and especially the songs - notably a line from a brief aria I sang about Frida Kahlo's abortion. "It's a sexual thing! A lavender orchid from Diego...touched with the sentimental..." Good times!

From that time I have a couple of books about Kahlo, and I had a book of postcards. Alas, I only seem to have a couple of the cards left, and this one is making its way to the heartland right now.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day! Or, Interrupting Cow Day

In all the confusion of getting back to the daily grind excitement over the holiday, I spaced on sending out a postcard on the 14th. I blame sending out my Valentine-themed card early.

But! The day was not without postal thrills. I came home to a valentine of my very own, courtesy of my friends M&J:

Knock knock. Who's there? Interrupting cow. Interrupting cow wh- MOO!
Ever make some little gaffe among your friends that condemns you to a life of gag gifts reminding you of your inability to tell a joke that one time? No? I tell ya, you're missing out.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Vacation mail roundup

Seems like I was gone for quite a while, even though I only missed a couple of days of mail. I'm glad I brought along postcards to send, because I didn't see any to purchase at my hotel. It's been a long day of travel, so let's get right to it...

Mailed February 10:

Another card I've had for years, and used to hang on my wall. You can see that tape at the top had marred some of the lettering and at some point I had filled it back in. Classy! Sent to Dang Ramona* because of our shared love of cats. She hadn't said she wanted one but was glad to get one...this is why once I get through my list I'm just sending them to pretty much anyone whose address I know.

Mailed February 11:

I've never been to Winston-Salem, so I'm assuming I bought this at the Elliott Bay Book Store (it was with some other cards I know I got there). Sent to Katja Seven* because she lives in DC, home of the Big Chair, and because I generally associate her with drinking coffee and good times.

Mailed February 13:

An actual postcard from my trip! I did not make it to Garden of the Gods while I was in Colorado Springs, but some of the people I met went and they said it was amazing. All the other postcards at the airport were for Denver or Telluride or just really generic pictures of "Colorado". I thought I was going to have to mail this from home once I got back, but there was a postal drop at Denver International. Brilliant! I missed the mail pickup, but the point is I mailed it today, so I'm calling it good.

*I don't generally say who I'm mailing postcards to because I want it to be a surprise in case they're reading, but these will have already arrived so they've figured it out by now.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Day 9 Preview

Will be mailed February 9:

Another Mutts card - featuring Crabby!!
I'm also sending my brother a birthday card tonight ...he gets one with a real envelope and everything. Special!!

I'll be on the road for a few days - I'm taking postcards and will still write one every day, but I don't know if I'll be able to send them on schedule. Have a great weekend!

Day 8

Mailed February 8:

I probably got this in high school - I went through a big Degas phase when I was a senior. Heading overseas!

I also came across several more postcards, while looking for something completely else of course. I've always had the habit of stashing things in random places, which can be exciting (I never know where some stray cash might pop up) but also annoying if I'm actually trying to find something I once had. I must have been a magpie in a former life.

ETA: I'm also posting these on my FB page, without as much description. This postcard is definitely the most popular one I've sent so far.

Days 6 & 7

Mailed February 6:

aw, I wonder if Lawrence is still around!

I love figure skating. I love to watch skating live. I sometimes travel to skating competitions. I'm going to one this week. Figure skating competitions are beyond awesome. Even more beyond awesome is random swag, like this postcard from the 2002 Skate America competition held in Spokane WA. The newly crowned Olympic men's champion Alexei Yagudin was competing...unfortunately, he withdrew after the short program and it was his last competition before retiring. But the adventure will always be remembered by Jana gushing to Alexander Abt about his "soft knees", seeing Ludmila Nelidina and then Yukari Nakano land triple axels, and Camin yelling "we love you Brian!!" out the car window at the 18 year old future World champion Brian Joubert. Good times!

Mailed February 7:

I've had it for years, apparently it was on my wall for a while, but I don't remember where I got it. It's just a really cool retro postcard.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Day of rest

No mail service today, so no postcard sent. It feels like I've forgotten to do something.

Here's a little personal archive to tide everyone over - a postcard my mom sent me from Stockholm in 2006. This is hanging in my kitchen.
painting by Ivan Agueli

Happy Sunday!

Weekend roundup

Mailed February 3:

Des petits chats! Postcard I picked up on a recent trip to Paris France. Gotta love how that makes it sound like I jet over there all the time. Not!

Mailed February 4:

I made it to a different post office for stamps and found success, although the seller at this branch was neither impressed by my postcard nor the project. I may have detected some actual eye rolling when I said I needed some international stamps. Sigh.

Silent film star Jacqueline Logan
 I've had this postcard for over 20 years - I have no idea where I got it, but it used to hang on the wall over my bureau. Perhaps I should have waited until next week to send this, as Ms Logan was noted for having received "the most valentines on the lot" in her day, but this one is headed overseas, so I'm just hoping it might arrive in time.

I also took the opportunity to send my grandmother a belated thank you card today.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Catching up...

Mailed February 1:

It's a postcard made of wood! The lady at the post office thought it was cool. I'm a little worried that it will break in transit. I'm hoping to hear it arrived safely. (ETA - it did!)

BTW, despite knowing I was going to do this for the past few weeks, I really did not plan well. I didn't even know how much postcard stamps are now (32 cents so you can be better prepared than I), let alone have some on hand. So I went to the Post Office yesterday, asked for 30 postcard stamps, and they were out. Huh? OUT? I didn't think the post office was allowed to be out of stamps. I had a moment of panic where I thought I might have to cause a scene (do these people not know that it is National Mail Things Every Day Month? Do they want to go out of business??), but my gal set me up with a 30 cent stamp and two 1 cent stamps. Kind of a pity, because the back of the postcard is really cool and the stamps hid part of the design, but I couldn't start off the month by missing a deadline, could I? Fortunately I have some 28 cent stamps and 2 cent stamps at home so I can make it to Saturday when I can go to another post office that is hopefully better stocked.

Mailed February 2:

I love the comic strip Mutts. I love it so much that I apparently bought a whole box of postcards of Mutts panels about 10 years ago. Expect to see more of them as the month goes on - but they are all unique pictures. The cards are also large, lovely heavy cardstock - they feel like tarot cards.

The panels at the bottom read:

We're little snowflakes
From heaven
We are all unique
Just like you
We're here on earth
To become one.

It's deep.

A month (or more) of postcards

I've always been a fan of postcards. All through high school and college I would search out excellent postcards to send to friends or to hang on my wall. But time marched on, as it does, and I stopped being a good or even a mediocre correspondent. The wonder of email replaced the need for messages or cool pictures sent through post - and yet I never quite stopped buying postcards when I saw some that caught my eye.

A few months ago, as I was attempting to downsize the formidable mountain of old papers and miscellany in my closets, I thought it would be fun to start sending out postcards again. I mailed a couple here and there, but wasn't consistent. Then I discovered A Month of Letters - a challenge to send something through the mail every day in the month of February, and found my new project!

I was a little worried that I might not have enough postcards to send even in our shortest month without buying some new ones, but I just found the motherlode of randomness in a box, and I'm good to go! I'll be posting the postcards as I go, to be as navelgazing as possible (perhaps I should have chosen PoMoPost as my blog title?) I also found some old favorites that I've hung onto for decades, and have learned that I have a terrible habit of writing postcards (and letters) without mailing them. Perhaps those long lost recipients will finally get a chance to read my 16-year-old words of wisdom.

random old timey postcard from a place I've never been