Sunday, March 22, 2015

March Madness

The only reason I know March Madness is upon us is that I went to watch The Amazing Race on Friday night, and instead there was basketball. I follow WNBA and figure skating, so I know the thrill of getting your non-traditional sport on the air, but still: meh.

March has been a bit mad. I've been trying to downsize my things (so painful), and getting organized generally means making a big fat mess first. Needless to say, I haven't managed to send anything in the mail in weeks. I've had more return correspondence from LetterMo this year than any other, which is fantastic but also makes me appreciate why we default to easier methods of communication (social media). My goal is to get at least two postcards out the door today.

In the meantime, here is the end of February so we can all move on...

Mailed Feb 20:

I think I sent this to my mom, who has been very nice about not getting as many postcards as when I first started doing this (and had fewer people to send mail to). In fact, she sends me great postcards herself.

 Mailed Feb 21
photo: Herb Ritts 1993
Last month there was internet chatter about unretouched photos of Cindy Crawford in a bikini, demonstrating her fitness but also very human-looking 47-year-old-2-kid-bearing stomach. I'm not sure those photos were real, but it did prompt a discussion with Tilly, and she recalled this image, which came out in the '90s and was quite famous (for the kids: that's k.d. lang in the chair). I actually already had this postcard. Of course.

Mailed Feb 24 (2):
The Two Fridas, 1939 Frida Kahlo
From the Frida Kahlo postcard book I bought in college. One of my favorite images. This postcard used to hang on my wall and has a lot of tape scarring.

Edward Gorey
In 2013 I hosted a couchsurfer from Montreal who'd been staying on a farm on Whidbey Island. She brought lavender and zucchini as host gifts, and also a pile postcards and told me to choose one. This was the winner, hands down. I didn't write down the title of this image - I believe it's from a postcard collection called Mysterious Messages.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Friday the 13th

It's the freakiest Friday, and I'm starting off with a postcard mailed a month ago. I blame having two Friday the 13thses in a row.

Sent Friday the 13th (of February):

This is a 3-D postcard, which doesn't really translate to digital format, but I dig the way you can kind of see what is going on there.

Sent Feb 14:

Valentine's Day! This was sent to the fabulous Katja 7, whose nuptials are right around the corner. I keep trying to goad her into some Bridezilla moments for my entertainment and she just won't do it. She's so hands off about this wedding I'm a little worried she'll forget to come. This attitude toward the bridal industrial complex speaks to our long lasting friendship, but I'm still hoping for a tiny meltdown somewhere along the way. Because I'm evillle.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Old School Cassette Night

In keeping with my last post, here is a letter I received at the end of February:

It's not a postcard, but a card, and check out the envelope...

It really is a pity that mixtapes are a thing of the past. They are such a marker of a specific time and place. I've made a couple of CDs for friends, and while it's a lot easier than recording cassettes, it's not as much fun. The flaws in homemade tapes - the scrap of the DJ's spiel from the radio, the abrupt cut when you don't push Record at just the right moment, the self-conscious soliloquies - often stand out even more than the music.

I still have a ton of cassettes from high school, college, and beyond. I break them out every once in a while to play on a Friday night when I've got nothing else going on. There's that moment when the music ends and you have to fast forward or just wait to reach the end of the tape before switching sides. Or you leave the room for a minute and when you come back you want to hear the song from the beginning and can't just hit a single button. Every time I play one of my precious, irreplaceable mixtapes I say a little prayer that this won't be the time that my boom box eats it. Dang Ramona got me a device that was supposed to convert cassettes to mp3s a few years ago - but the instructions were in Chinese and we could not get it to work, so I keep my boom box and I keep my fingers crossed.

a smattering of my cassette collection

So, this letter...
Like a new cassette from an old buddy, one who's been gone long enough that neither of you know where the other's musical tastes lie anymore, but somehow it all fits together, the familiar sprinkled with something totally new. This is what I have missed about correspondence.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

From the Vaults #8

I almost never get it together to post #TBT pictures on facebook, but here's a lovely postcard from My Awesome Sister back in the day- received April 1985:

"Like Father Like Sunglasses" (c) 1984 Card-ee-Yak Arrest, Inc.

As always, [sic]...

"Dear J,
    Remember Newbury Comics that record store with all the t-shirts? I went today and got U2: The Unforgettable Fire, Freur: Doot-Doot, Heaven 17: Fascist Groove Thang and Tears for Fears: Songs from the big Chair. Didn't get any homework done!
    It's great weather here - almost ready for sunglasses.
                                      Be cool!                               love, A"

Oh, the '80s. My Awesome Sister lived in Cambridge MA during this time. I went to visit her over the preceding New Year's Eve, and I came home with some records that I probably got in the shop she mentions. I bought Heaven 17: The Luxury Gap (and was thrilled that the super cool punk chick who worked there approved of my selection) and The Cure: The Top. The latter album was kind of a bummer other than "The Caterpillar", which had been making the rounds on Rock Over London. I still have that Heaven 17 album, but The Top did not make the cut when I went off to college - I only brought about half of my record collection, and the rest were lost to the world as my mom moved more often than I did during my college years and beyond.

In the summer of 1985 My Awesome Sister sent me a mixtape including songs from those albums and more. It's still in heavy rotation on Old School Cassette Nights at my house.

My Awesome Sister has awesome handwriting

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

What I Did in February

I'm totally jammed up and feel guilty that I did such a bad job of memorializing LetterMo. I just need to post this so we can all move on with our lives already. Here's a week (and then some) at a glance:

Mailed February 6:

Mailed February 7:
This one was from the HIDE/SEEK exhibit at the Tacoma Art Museum in 2012 - I regret to have not noted the artist.

Mailed February 9:
From the "Naughty Little People Postcards" collection - this one isn't so naughty

Mailed February 10:
Sent to a friend who now lives too far away for us to catch up like this.

Mailed February 11:
I love this postcard. No idea why, no idea where I got it.

Mailed February 12:

Forgive the paltry notes...3 weeks feels like a lifetime ago already. But one of the recipients from this batch sent me the Postcardly postcard.