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.

1/16/12
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 http://www.lettersofnote.com, 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 http://www.letterheady.com 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 postcrossing.com – 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 kittiwakecards.com. 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.

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4 thoughts on “Testing the Waters

  1. Jam! Sorry I missed your call last night; I was working on my Fantasy Football/ Hitler video. Is anything important happening?

    P.S. The French seem to have a complicated relationship with blackness. There’s a lot going on there but it’s too much for me to parse.

    • agreed. this painting is definitely a mindfuck. i wish toulouse-lautrec was around to explain himself. if she’s a countess (and she’s very well dressed), why is she driving the carriage? when i was in france in 2000 there was a lot of racism still, so i can’t help but to see this through that lens. oh jam, always trying to make everyone uncomfortable.

      also, fantasy football/hitler video? this sounds like something i would hate.

  2. I don’t know if I view this card as a negative (entirely). Her passenger is pretty smug looking, but look at her. She’s well dressed, sitting with a straight proud back, but obviously HAULING ASS in that carriage. She’s not leaning forward, so I don’t think she’s in a rush to get anywhere – I just think she’s in control and racing that thing.

    • If she didn’t have a smug lazy white man as a passenger, it would be fine. Like I said to Nick, it’s a mindfuck. She’s well dressed, he calls her a Countess, but what’s going on here? I just read a little history on him and discovered that his mother, a Countess, committed him to a sanitarium at one point, maybe that has something to do with it? Also, I found a reference to his grandfather as “the so-called Black Prince.”

      I was too absorbed in trying to figure out what was up with her passenger to notice that she’s racing. True. Didn’t find any analysis of this painting online though. I hope we don’t become a source for anyone. Ha.

      Check out the study for this painting: http://www.yurope.com/zines/republika/arhiva/2000/250/250_25.html

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