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!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy Equinox

I realized too late that I should have sent out a postcard with flowers on it today, to honor the beginning of spring. And by that I mean I realized too late that I don't have any floral postcards to send. Instead, I dispatched a very groovy and unequinox-y Japanese cartoon postcard to a friend that I fear I'm in the process of falling out of touch with.

I'm not sure if a bunch of late night thoughts jotted down on a postcard of animated toast people and snaggle-toothed squirrels are enough to affect the cyclical ebb and flow of friendships, but a girl's gotta try.

I still wanted to send something spring-like, so I found this card to send to another friend, whom I hardly ever see or talk to but when we do it's like no time has passed.

I just bought a box of these cards - they are old polaroid pictures - and I thought they were postcards even though the box clearly says notecards. That's what I get for not paying attention. No matter, I can mix it up from time to time, and no need to discriminate against envelopes.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Where Does the Time Go?

Eeex, I realized tonight that it's been almost a week since I sent any postcards out - this is why the once-a-day challenge was so good for me. It's too easy to let more and more days go by.

Mailed March 13:

Most of the postcards I have I bought because they appealed to me; this one was purchased with the recipient very much in mind - it was sent to a Seattle expatriate with a big love for his hometown and its sports teams. I tried to find a Sounders postcard, but no dice. Here's hoping this brought a little bit of Northwest flavor to the 'Ham.

Mailed March 18:

This one's a bit more my style, a photo by Henri Cartier-Bresson. I didn't even realize when I bought this a year or two ago that this was the Berlin Wall (in 1962). I just love the photo.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

From the Vaults #4

This weather is making me want to curl up in bed all day long. I feel like this painting.

September 1987:

Loren MacIver, "Morning Cart" 1960
"Hey J!! Sorry I wasn't home when you called! Next time leave a number where I can call you back if you have one. I love being in school again. I've been on lots of field trips - I even saw a copperhead snake once (these things are exciting to field biologists. Today is my 1st exam and I'm quite worried about it because I haven't studied enough. I hope you are happy there. let me know how things are going. Is your roommate ok? Mine are but they have bad taste in music. Write when you can! Can't wait to see you at T-giving! love, A"

This was my first quarter in college, and my sister's first semester in grad school. I ended up getting mono the week before Thanksgiving. I spent 4+ days in bed unable to function, and had cancelled my Thanksgiving plans...but the day before I started feeling human again, and I was able to score a ride in a tiny 1960s Volvo with three other students. They wouldn't confirm my passage until the last minute because they were hoping to get someone who could share driving time (I didn't and still don't have a driver's license, which makes me a very unattractive rideshare prospect). We left well after midnight. I remember waking up as the car was drifting off the road as our driver fell asleep at the wheel - no crash, we were all fine, and we pulled over so the driver could sleep for an hour or so. We arrived mid Thanksgiving morning to rain and crankiness, and an old hippie who looked like Santa Claus came out to greet us and to ask if any of us would like to partake in some vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner. I called my sister and said "I don't know where the hell I am, but come pick me up NOW".

Of course, by my second year in college I had turned into a vegetarian hippie, but it's amusing to remember what a culture shock it was at the time.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Behind the Times

I'm realizing that one of the benefits of the daily mail challenge was that it kept me on task. Now I forget about postcards for a few days or am really inspired and want to send like 10 all at once. Same problem with posting. I've got some catching up to do.

Mailed March 8:

Mutts - Lil Pink Sock!

My kitten could use a version of the lil pink sock. Right now she is intent on destroying anything that comes into her path.

Mailed March 10:

Sigh, the last of the postcards I bought on my trip last fall. Memories.....

Mailed March 11 (so really today):

Another postcard from the neighborhood pie shop. Why don't more businesses have postcards?This totally makes me want to go hang out and have some pie.

I've got a couple more that are going out tomorrow, including one that I started writing on Saturday. I'm determined to not fall into the old trap of writing-but-not-sending. Determined!!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

From the Vaults #3 and Happy Birthday!

My oldest niece's birthday this week. She will get a card (late - see yesterday's post) and a present (later, 'cause I can never get it together in time), but in the meantime, here's a bit of ancient history...

From some time in the mid-'90s. My niece has always been interested in science, which is pretty darned groovy. My mom must have taken her to the American Museum of Natural History and then sent me this card in a letter. How adorables, no?

And yes, I'm quite glad there was no internet for my relatives to post remnants of my childhood on when I was a young lady....

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Oh is THAT what you meant?

Over the weekend I was talking to my mom on the phone, she asked how the postcard project had gone, and said she would send me some postcards. "How nice," I thought, "my mom is going to write me". Today I opened my mailbox to find a large envelope full of blank postcards she had collected over the years. Oh. Then I looked at the cards and saw she had put a post-it one each one, which made them hilariously awesome.

My mom did in fact just go on a quick trip to Paris, so this is fresh from the City of Light. And apparently virgin!

"because I love you here is Rembrandt's dog"

well, I can't notice her face because there's a post-it on top

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Keep Going

Now that it's March, I went to go BUY MORE POSTCARDS. Only I didn't find very many that were interesting. I did pick up a couple of cool birthday cards, though.

Mailed March 3:

Echo and the Bunnymen, postcard form the mid-'80s. So cool and atmospheric. Love.

For the Month of Letters challenge, I took pictures of the notes I wrote to people. I had some notion of transcribing them, like I'm doing for the archive postcards, but I decided against it. When I look at the ones from the beginning of February, I can see how rusty I was at correspondence - the messages were brief, jokey, a bit awkward. I thought about that while writing this postcard, because I filled the whole space, curling the text around the address, and I could have written more if there was the space. I feel like the habit of writing is slowly returning to me.

Speaking of those birthday cards I bought yesterday, I need to send one of them this week. I wonder where I put them...... Ugh, this is why I find things years later shoved between cookbooks or under the stereo or at the bottom of a sweater drawer. Total magpie.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

From the Vaults #2

From a high school friend, summer or fall 1991:

see how much better they look scanned?

This is me, unemployed & living in NY. Okay - it's Janis Joplin, but I am living in NY & severely unemployed. My new address is [...]. Anne told me you love where you're living. So do I! It's in the village, prime location w/in close proximity to lots of bars & restaurants I can't yet afford. What are you doing now? I look for jobs and cook a lot b/c I'm bored. If nothing turns up, soon I will look for waitressing. No one wants to hire you unless you type 50 WPM which I don't! Do you know where Will is post-graduation?? Talked to Camille - she is going to be a PHD student in Psych. Will wonders never cease??? I hope you're happy and that everything is good there. Get in touch w/me! <3 C"

She and I kept in touch for a few years after this - I remember talking to her on the phone either right before or after our 10th high school reunion (I didn't go) - but I have no idea where she is now.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Post(card) Mortem

I made it. A postcard a day for a month. It doesn't sound very hard, does it? I mean, plenty of people who participated in the Month of Letters Challenge wrote real letters, and based on the comments on that site, many people sent a lot more than one a day. Scribbling a few lines on a postcard is nothing in comparison! But I wanted to make this project something I'd actually do (and quite frankly, I know I wouldn't have kept up with it if I'd been writing letters every day), and I wanted this to be something that I could carry forward beyond February 29.

I set a few goals for myself around this project - I didn't sign up to cultivate addresses of strangers, I wanted to be thoughtful and pick postcards that I could identify with the recipient. I asked for volunteers from my Facebook friends, and when I ran out of those, I just sent postcards to people whose addresses I already have. Which ended up being a fab decision - I've gotten some great responses from people who didn't even know I was doing this, and a few people knew about the project but missed my call for volunteers. I also didn't ask for or expect people to write me back. It's all about the sending, baby. I wrote all the postcards in real time, rather than writing them all on the weekends and mailing them daily, or missing a few days and then catching up. Part of this was practical: I just knew that if I allowed myself some "days off" I'd forget about it and get hopelessly behind. But I also wanted to really write to each person, and to keep the project alive for the whole month. That's not to say everything went perfectly - I missed three days and had to send the postcard late, and there were a couple where I just dashed off a quick note in order to make the deadline. But even on the days where it felt perhaps a bit burdensome, I looked forward to looking through my stash of postcards and planning who would get which one, and when. And I laughed every time I was sorting through papers and found EVEN MORE postcards.