Thursday, February 20, 2020

She's Somethin' Kinda Fierce!

This postcard is from my friend, Craig, from his annual professional pilgrimage to Benin. I still haven't figured out what he does. But his Instagram exploded when he posted about the voodoo parade and the march of the sex organs through town. Work-related? Who knows...

As for this postcard of "a liberated American woman of the 70s" - it is indeed fabulous! The fact that Craig sent it from the embassy... less so. There's so much going on in this card, so let me draw your attention to the gender-bending heroine, her purple pumps, and straw hat. And the use of the picnic table pattern with so many other competing patterns is brave and bold. The use of negative space makes it an instant classic. I love this one, Craig! I got your postcard.

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Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Yo-se-mite at 40!

This stampless postcard from my roommate in Los Angeles, Erin. It would take me 18 years to get out to Yosemite from Washington, DC to celebrate my 40th birthday, but it was worth it. I was able to corral some of my oldest friends: Dove from high school; Ray from college; Bob from Los Angeles, Jon, whom I met in China but was living in New York at the time; and I rented a house from Scenic Wonders at Yosemite West - about 30 minutes from Yosemite Valley.

Notable missing were Hong Konger Lilian in London; Singaporean Juliana in Hong Kong; Taiwanese Enwei in Shanghai; and so many others. We'll need to work on that, but maybe before I turn 50!

All in all, it was a great trip with, and I'm pretty sure we did that hike that killed. The hike up the multiple switchbacks to Angel Falls is like 3 or so hours as the crow flies blah blah blah. But given the altitude and all the blasted switchbacks, we averaged just over an hour a mile up and down. It took all day, and we missed our dinner reservation at The Ahwahnee Hotel (formerly The Majestic Yosemite Hotel) because the dining room closes at 8:30 in the evening. That's ok, we had a lovely birthday dinner at the bar/lounge across the way with fake mustaches to tickle our noses while we ate. Oh, yes there are pictures. Thanks, Erin. I got your postcard! 

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Saturday, February 8, 2020

The Good Bummed Out

This is the cheekiest postcard I've ever received! Unfortunately, I don't know who sent it other than Deb. I have an idea and I'm pretty certain that it was from my time working in Hawaii. My friend, Katie Chin, was staring in her own cooking show for PBS. There were two "Debras" on set. One was a producer. When I asked her if this was her handwriting, she said, "No, too nice. LOL." The other Deb was the hair and makeup artist on set. But I can't remember her name or know how to get in touch with her. Granted, this was 19 years ago, so... yeah... um... I'm pretty bummed out. I guess I just need to get back to Hawaii! Until then. Thanks! I got your postcard.

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Thursday, February 6, 2020

Janky, but It's On Me

Yung-yi is one of the most prolific postcard senders I know, and by that, she's also one of the most well-traveled persons I know. I think her husband is more obsessive with a country count with three figures. This one tells of their travels, and they always seem so fulfilling and relaxing - which is something she deserves given how much she works... Turkish baths, Finnish saunas, fancy shows, and teated tile beds, indeed!

So, this postcard's story is one of a perilous international journey that ends in a happy ending, albeit a bit smeared and distorted. To start at the beginning, this postcard arrived in my hands three years after it was sent to me. YY had sent it from Mallorca to my parent's address as I was probably in the middle of moving from one charming Beijing hovel to another. It wasn't until June 2019 did I happen upon this postcard when I was visiting my parent's house in Georgia, and by that time I was already living in Washington, DC. I generally send postcards to my parents when I travel, and my mom brought out postcards that I had sent her over the decades, and I was going through them and found Mallorca! But I've never been to Mallorca!

I then turned it over and saw that it was addressed to me. If you've read my posts before, you'll know that I've mentioned that my mom probably doesn't read my postcards, and now I have proof. She simply took the postcard addressed to me and not, "Mom & Dad." When I found it, it was perfectly intact, and then I messed up. During a road trip from Georgia back to DC, I had slipped this postcard into a tote bag for "safekeeping," but some liquid from a tube of wet wipes leaked all over the postcard.

I take full responsibility for the damage, and I celebrate in the joy that YY was able to share her travels to Mallorca with me in a postcard. And the fact that the postcard made it to me eventually. So, it's taken some time with a bit more wear-and-tear (and character) than normal. So, thanks, YY! I got your postcard.

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Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Tales of the New York City

Twenty-three years ago, I met a New York University Residential Life graduate assistant, and for all intents and purposes, Franklin was the first person I ever met from San Francisco. I think I was a sophomore at the time, and I was honored to hang out with him and his friends in the City. Hanging out with them as a sophomore meant that I was at the big boy's table - literally.

Summers in New York City are especially hot, and the summer of 1998 was no exception. One of our weekly rituals was grilled chicken caesar salads at UNO Pizzeria & Grill. Maybe sometimes we would get a Chicago deep-dish pizza... but during the summer, it was all about that gigantic caesar salad with extra lemons, please. Nothing could be more refreshing as we dined alfresco under the mid-day broil.

Franklin was one of the main reasons I became an RA at NYU. He was cool and chill and relaxed and from San Francisco! My memories of him and hanging out are nothing but warm and fuzzy - tinted with all the beautiful colors from an Armistead Maupin novel. Unfortunately, we've lost touch, how much fun would it be to have a reunion over grilled chicken caesar salads - extra lemons, please. Until then... thanks, Franklin! I got your postcard.

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Sunday, February 2, 2020

Buff Aussies Boys Don't Hurt

It's been a few years, so this might not be entirely accurate... but I met Prie while he was on a world tour - a hiatus from that professional hampster wheel in New York City. We're actually friends of friends as I hosted him when he was in Beijing for his worldwide adventure. Prie is one of those guys that's always smiling, living, and loving life. He was the consummate guest, always took his shoes off, and was sightseeing and taking pictures... leaving rainbows in his wake. He even left me an illustrated thank you card of him and the world - as he does, just carelessly leaving rainbows all over the place for people to trip over them. Jerk. If you ask me, it's too much.

All joking aside, Prie has one of those smiles that radiates. Try as I may, I couldn't wish him a hair out of place. He's lovely. As for this postcard, it's nearly perfect, but it needs a date! La Boheme and fireworks, though - fabulous. Thank you, Prie. I got your postcard!

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Update [Mon, 2/3/2020]: It was Enwei that introduced us! Always the connector! Well done and thank you too.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Cheese Cubes in a Cone!

I love getting postcards with a die-cut, but they're a pain the ass to process. Gripe aside, this postcard from my dear friend, Brett in 2015. Hey, did you know this postcard was missent to Taipei? Those silly Italians!

Brett and I became friends in Beijing and hung out the year he was in China - something like 2011-2012.... must have been because I got my second dog, Norma-Jeane, the fall of 2012 I think. So, he wouldn't have met her - only Charlie. That said, Brett was a rather controversial friend as he's one of the most opinionated persons ever, which I found charming actually. That and his perfect hair and perfect smile, and perfect teeth. And if you know me, I have a thing for perfect teeth.

Brett also gives pretty good postcard. But where's the date, yo? I do however appreciate the account of all the sights, sounds, and tastes of his trip to Italy. Cheese cubes in a cone - Yasssss! And risotto, and gelato - appropriate because he's rail-thin and eats like he's running out of time (see what I did there?) - but that could also be the gift of youth. So Brett, it only took five years and a scenic route via Taiwan by way of China for me (in Washington, DC) to let you know... I got your postcard!

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Long Lost BFF in Sri Lanka?

I love everything about this postcard... but I haven't a clue as to who sent it. Unfortunately, the signature is illegible - and to be honest, how often do we see the handwriting of others. Sure, we know the handwriting of co-workers, but would you be able to recognize the handwriting of your neighbor, pilates instructor, Millenial-league kickball coach, or progressive lunch leader, or community compost coordinator? We do everything by text - and in 2014, it was definitely texting time.

So, whoever sent this postcard, have we lost touch? I love the handwriting. And from the looks of it, a native Chinese writer at least - beautiful. Traveled as a pair or a group - perhaps a honeymoon? And yes, I too miss Beijing (except for martial law to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus) and gossiping with you, too! Send more postcards and know this... I got your postcard!

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Friday, January 31, 2020

Partners in Lime

This from my university friend, Scott. I think I was a year ahead of him and he had just graduated. And according to this postcard, he was starting work on Monday. Accounting? And to be in New Orleans the day before - that's the way to do it! It was also a time when getting a job was all we could think about after graduating with an undergraduate business degree - which I'm constantly explaining to people why I don't need an MBA. Well, I'm back at the, "I need to get a job" stage in my life after the professional pivot to environmental sciences and policy. Some things ever change, but it was all worth it - I hope.

I haven't got a clue as to why I would be mad if I got a postcard from him... as for a partner in crime, I've got this memory that's probably fed by pictures of us at a bar across from our dorms. If memory serves, which it usually doesn't, Scott had never had tequila shots with salt and life before. The pictures gloriously capture the burning of blue agave, a sodium chloride gut-punch, and the reprive of a refreshing wedge of lime. It's a lot of wincing in pain with Scott triumphant at the end. Ok, I've got to go find those pictures. Until then... thanks, Scott. I got your postcard!

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Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Yes - One Way to Start the New Year

When I first saw this, I thought it was some overly designed Chinese New Year card. Instead, it's an overly designed Polish postcard. No complaints of course - just first impressions. Now, when I saw it was from Lilian, I felt it was a bit subdued - with good reason. There are no stickers, drawings, or crazy embellishments as I've come to expect. Her trip, a reunion of sorts with friends for the new year. But to Auschwitz though? I guess there's never a good time to go but always a good time to remember and reflect on one of humanity's darkest times and human suffering. But I'd rather ben on a beach reflecting, and remembering. Anyway. Thank you, Lilian - Happy New Year! I got your postcard.

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