Rural Urbanites

This is the first of what is bound to be a frequent occurrence here: the Mount St. Helens postcard.

As a kid in the 80’s, I often found myself digging through the drawers at my grandparents’ house when I would visit them for the summer.  So many bizarre treasures to be found!   In the wide shallow drawer under the bookcases in the TV room, there were always the same few Mount St. Helens postcards that intrigued me.  I must have looked at them every summer.  Years later when my grandparents moved from that house, I snagged three of the postcards that I had looked at over and over during the years. I’ve got them in frames to this day (albeit cheap ones… time to upgrade).

I was admiring these framed postcards recently, wishing I could part with them to send to someone, and it occurred to me that I may be able to find copies of them on eBay. Of course, eBay had so many I’d never seen that I ended up buying a bunch of them.  Oops.  Apologies in advance; I’ll try to intersperse them with everything else I’ve got. I keep finding more postcards from my time in Southeast Asia, so this shouldn’t be a problem.

P.S. Something that I’m finding really difficult about this project is having to relive all of my typos. “On the track” was what I was thinking at the time, but I so wish I had written simply, “on track.” Sigh.


Testing the Waters

Wow, this was a lot of scanning. I’m not sure that any qualifying letters in the future will be as fully scanned.  The envelope was interesting, as were the image details that appeared on the back of this rather unfortunate card, so I just went for it. I’m not sure of the best order to present these in, but it’s all here.

A note on the policy… there isn’t one really, though part of the reason I feel ok with publishing sent and received postcards is that postcards are semi-public in nature. Sure, mail is supposed to be private, but a postcard is simply not. A mail carrier could read it (though I’m guessing they aren’t interested), as could neighbors in a front of the building mail slot situation. Nobody writes their secrets on a postcard… do they? I would typically consider a letter or card to be private, so I haven’t been posting these, but since Jam is obviously fine with this being posted it’s fair game. I think the policy will be one of asking permission, and also it is likely to be somewhat related to my spare time and level of laziness.

I don’t know if I’m ready to type out the contents of each correspondence, mostly because I don’t know if I want this stuff being quite that searchable, but Jam has succeeded in making me feel guilty about not doing so. This time at least, I will acquiesce.

Dear Rena,
Not sure what the policy on non-postcard correspondence is, so I thought I’d test the waters with this card. I picked it up at Boomerang in J.P., which is my favorite place in Boston to buy bags full of ultra-cheap cast-off cards & postcards. I wanted to send you some postal resources. Since you’re blogging, I thought you might want to check out, created by Shaun Usher. Shaun posts often topical and amazing letters, and he’s working on a book with some of the best entries. I like the idea sending URLs via post – it is both charming & perverted, like me. Shaun also has a sister site at that just displays blank letterhead. Design nerds will love it. One thing he does on Letters of Note, that I might suggest for you, is to transcribe the letters in text below the image. This would make the content of your correspondence searchable, and also your deaf blind fans could then use text readers. I guess your deaf fans can just read it. I’d also suggest checking out – a website whereby you send an international rando a postcard, then you get a postcard from a different rando. You might be too busy to get into random mailing, but your readership might enjoy it. For buying cards, I like a lot of the boxed sets at Chronicle Books – you can get some amazing, unique cards from different artists. If you’re a postcard freak like me, you can order a random assortment of cards from Pomegranate – 200 cards for $24.95. You can’t beat that, and they have some great images. I’m also a big fan of Boston-specific The owner licenses images from Boston photographers, and he also does some nice things for collectors, like including the print edition on all cards. Finally, you can always go print some of your own USPS postage at Zazzle – this might be the time to print up some Rena stamps.

I think that’s all I’ve got. It is well after 1am, and I need to get myself under some warm blankets. Good night, sleep tight.

❤ Jam

P.S. Just read Nick’s Fenway card. Your blog may be the easiest way for he & I to keep track of each other.

Wearing the Panté

1997. I don’t even remember who our favorite psycho was, but it sounds like somebody we didn’t want to see again. Been thinking a lot out these guys this week for other reasons, so I decided to pull one from the archives. I love that they sent us a postcard with one of Chuck’s adorable cats, and that I managed to hold onto it. People should draw on postcards more often! People other than me, of course… people who can draw.


For someone who is in love with the serial comma (aka the Oxford comma, aka the Harvard comma), I sure can change course mid sentence and screw up the punctuation. I was going to say that all I do is work and train, but I realized after writing it that it just isn’t true.  I also take a least one photo every day, and I’m pretty into cooking and eating (I even eat out with friends on occasion – shout out to GTSC!). I’m certainly living a simplified social life these days, but like I’m more balanced and happier for it.

The leftover custom stamps that I had made in 2006 are evidence of my prior postal suckage.  Here’s to less of that in the future.

In other suckage news, I seem to have encountered a new bug in WordPress that causes future scheduled posts to appear immediately.  This post may constitute my first spoiler.  I believe I put it in the mail on the 23rd which should be plenty of time to get across the city, but I’m not sure if Ryan’s even in town right now.  Sorry RyGuy!

3 Days at Mount Snow

This concept is kind of awesome. See how easy it is for all of you to just send me a postcard from your desk at work? So easy.

As much as I want to (because I love champagne), I do not like the champagne of beers. I have a brown promo t-shirt with tan ringer trim that is super soft (I wear it around the house mostly), but I don’t drink the stuff. Still, I miss Ryan and I would have suffered through to get to hang out with him at Mount Snow. I don’t even snowboard, I’d be happily cooking lunch or lounging.

I’m not sure whether it was the High Life or, but somebody got my floor number wrong, and Ryan’s borough. Heh.

Let’s Get Free

I didn’t go to the protest, but I hear a lot of people showed up. This pleases me, because every time I write one of my senators, I get a wishy washy response back that basically says they care for my vote but they’re interested in security and law enforcement, and we need to ensure that provisions for privacy and accountability don’t put us in harm’s way (I’m paraphrasing heavily). It’s nice to know that they’re receiving a little pressure in favor of what reasonable people want.

I do really love Dead Prez. Be Healthy and Mind Sex are good tracks too, sans the amazing dirty beat from the track referenced on this postcard, which is what endeared me to them in the first place. My BFF and I sometimes lapse into quoting Be Healthy or Mind Sex when we’re on the phone together.

True Luxury

I did in fact participate in pajama time when I finally came in out of the cold. 5pm Saturday until 2pm Sunday.  A third day off certainly helped, but when the weekend was over I actually felt as if I’d had one. I ought to lounge more often.

I spent Martin Luther King, Jr Day baking and subsequently eating a full sized apple tart, reading his I Have a Dream speech (as highlighted in the Santa Cruz Sentinel by my Pop in 1993), watching his speeches on YouTube, and listening to his speeches on Spotify (a lot of them are one there – who knew?!). What an incredible man, and an incredible loss.

As a side note, I realized after typing “pajama” that I’ve always before written PJs, and I wasn’t positive whether it was pajama or pyjama (which I have also seen written). Delightfully, there is a whole Wikipedia page about pajamas, complete with a perplexing reference to hostess pajamas. Apparently the spelling difference is one of British vs. American English (the British use the y). Also delightful: American and British English spelling differences. Really, UK? Orientated? Tut-tut.