Saturday, June 27, 2015

Historic PRIDE

I set up a draft of this post a few days ago because I'm visiting family and will miss Pride weekend at home. I figured I'd just pull something from the vaults and call it good. But I'm in New York City, and after the Supreme Court ruling yesterday, guaranteeing gays and lesbians the right to marry in all 50 states, my mom, my sister and I hoofed it down to Christopher Street and the historic Stonewall Inn, where the modern gay rights movement began in the US.

It was a momentous afternoon, spent laughing with strangers as we passed around cameras and flags and stories. I think the only reason we could even get this close to the entrance is that it was Friday afternoon and many people were still at work.

I'm now a bit conflicted. My honeyboo is back at home, and I won't be attending Pride celebrations on either coast (for a good reason - check back next post). I hate to miss out on the massive celebrations about  to happen, but I remind myself that I was there - I am here - for a little slice of it. I'm sure the party will still be going by the time I return to the left coast.

In the meantime, here is my previously selected Pride postcard from 1995. From a college girlfriend - we were already exes by this time, and I had graduated.
"What is it you're looking for?" Rosa Ainley
"Hey sweetie-pie
honey bunch
punkin snatch
     (no offense intended, claro) ~
Wha's up?

Thought this postcard might give you some ideas for your new + improved dating game - any action yet? Good luck...

SO- here I am at [school]. Eek. I'm doing the LGBC fwsp [Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual Center work study]. Eek. I'm leaning towards a women's studies major with a queer emphasis. Eek. I love my little cubicle of a room, but feel rather alone on the outside. T. told me there are some cool 1st years. We'll see.

Love + back rubs to you...send me postcards! (I can't find all the shit i usually put on my walls.) SEV

¡Amo cafĂ©!"

Ugh - I just sat here deciding whether to redact this silly postcard, since my mom is in the other room and will likely be the first to read it. hell, we just went to see Fun Home together, I think she can deal.

My favorite part of the postcard is the silly doodle by the stamp:

(American flags make me want to spew ideological rhetoric. Excuse the dribble.)"

SEV and I exchanged correspondence for many years after college and I always loved her droll humor.

Happy Pride to all!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Clearing out the cobwebs

I feel so random this week. For the first time in months, I've got some space to focus on various projects that I've planned (and the state of my apartment, which is a fright), but I keep bouncing back and forth between wanting to do all of it, RIGHT NOW, and sinking into deep inertia.

Nevertheless, I managed to get a few postcards out the door this week:
I picked up this postcard of Ellen Degeneres (photographed by Annie Liebowitz) a few years back and every time I've thought of sending it, I put it back in the box. Why? Perhaps because the picture is so relentlessly '90s (taken in 1997), perhaps because the image is such a contrast from the Ellen of today: she's now America's Lesbian, the soft androgyne next door, safely quirky but still feminine enough to be a Cover Girl. That's not a knock on Ellen - disliking Ellen is like kicking a puppy - but it can be hard to remember when her very Ellen-ness was considered feral, dangerous even.

Anyway, it's Pride month so I thought it was time to send it OUT in the the world (see what I did there?).

This one, on the other hand, I've been holding on to because it's just so cool

I've been on a Mad Men kick - I know, who hasn't been? But I never watched the show until a few months ago and I've been tearing through the first 6.5 seasons, only to wait for the final episodes to be released on Netflix several more months down the road. I can't say this image quite matches up to anything I've seen on the show, but it looks like it could. Plus, this lady, in her fabulous dress that I would love to wear, looks like a distant predecessor to the sketched out guy above with his boom box.

Also: Alert! Alert! The new postcard stamps are out and appear to be of the forever variety. FINALLY!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Vaults #10, non-family edition

I am pretty informal about keeping up with this blog - pretty sure I skipped about a year and a half in there -  and occasionally I go back and realize with horror how frequently I repeat myself. I prefer to think of it as just having some strong themes in my life, but it's probably a sign I'm losing my marbles. I'd do well to peruse the last couple of posts before setting imaginary pen to paper.

It's come to my attention that the last several posts from the vaults have been from and about My Awesome Sister. It's true that she has been my most consistent correspondent through the years, and she had a flair for great cards and words - but it's time to mix it up. I do have postcards from other people. People with no family ties whatsoever, even.

Like this one, sent in July 1985, the summer between 10th and 11th grade, from my soon-to-be roommate (as always, everything is [sic]):

"Is tiger punchy?" is the title on the back

I hope your mom doesn't take this the wrong way, but just that I love sleep! I found a really good post card shop (I'm at the shore, not UNIONVILLE) you'll have to bring them to decorate our room. Yesterday I saw A.M., it was really strange, but she was really nice! She cut her hair and it looks really good. She said she's going to be in W. chester the rest of the summer. It's pretty nice here, but there are 10,000 surfers and their girlfriends. I saw a Circle Jerk record, I might get it but I've only heard 1 of the songs on the radio. If you want, we should go to the UB40 concert with MB & her friend Andy (I guess you might want to save your money for England. OH WELL.

I hope you can read this, it's a mess

If you've read through previous archives, you might recognize the writing style from this entry. Abijah was another one who always found great and interesting postcards and she always wrote in a way that I could actually hear her voice leap off the page.

The back of the postcard has some random text printed at the bottom: Mirrored in a serene canal, a venerable home appears as in a dream - a haunt of silence broken only by the whisper of water cradling a boat and the echo of a boy's footsteps on paving stones. Its shuttered windows seem to blink like eyes closing in sleep. (The word echo is underlined by Abijah because we were into Echo and the Bunnymen, of course).

This postcard was made by a California-based outfit called hold the mustard productions. I see that they are still around, which surprises me. I may have to order some from their site. You can even order today's featured postcard!

Ah! I just noticed that there is a little heart and name of a boy that I sort of had a crush on underneath the postmark. Brat.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

From the Vaults #9

It's TBT time! Earlier this week I saw a meme on Facebook claiming that it was "Back to the Future Day!!" - it wasn't, but in Marty McFly's honor, here's a postcard from My Awesome Sister dated March 1985:

Erastus Salisbury Field, The Garden of Eden ca. 1860
"Dear J,    Thanks so much for your letter! Glad to hear you're playing I.M. Tennis instead of track. It has been physiologically proven that some people are born sprinters and some are born long-distance runners. It has to do with the % of 2 types of muscle tissue that you have. I know I cannot run more than 2 miles max. Maybe you're a sprinter too.
      "I went to see a great exhibit at the Boston Art Museum last weekend. This was one of the paintings there. Go see 'Private Function' or 'Stranger Than Paradise' if you go to the movies soon. I saw both this past week. 'Amadeus' is pretty good too...I'll be seeing you on Long Island soon. Bring your jelly beans!
lots of love, A"

Fact: I am neither a sprinter nor a long-distance runner. I loathe running. My high school had no gym classes, so we were required to participate in after school sports. There were a certain number of quarters that you had to do competitive team sports, and others where you could be more casual about it. Sometimes you would have to try to be sporty and only after sucking very, very badly at everything were you allowed to go do what you wanted. That spring, I had to try out for the lacrosse team (long sticks and hard rubber balls constantly flying at your face = frightening!), then I had to try track and field, which made my teeth hurt after about 25 yards. Eventually I was released into the luxury of "Intramural Tennis", which involved carrying a tennis racquet and calling each other Muffy while chasing down all the balls that we let slip past.

This isn't to say that I dislike exercise, or being athletic. I mean, NOW I don't dislike it. As a teenager? Sports were supremely uncool. And running still sux.

I know I've seen Amadeus (impossible to avoid in the '80s), And I might have seen Stranger Than Paradise - although now that I think about it, I think I'm confusing it with Down By Law - but I am positive I never saw A Private Function.

Coincidentally, I'll be seeing My Awesome Sister on Long Island in just two weeks. Her note on the front of the postcard refers to the trip she was to take later that summer to Kenya to study rhinoceroseseses (rhinoceri?).