Monday, October 19, 2020

Postcard #175: Inverted Speedbumps


There are two cars parked in my front yard, front to front. one car was changing was a tire while the other illuminated the workspace with its headlights. I went outside with a flashlight to help/investigate. The "assistant" noticed my flashlight and looked over, "Everything okay? Need another light?" The bearded onlooker was shining the light into the wheel well of a wide-rimmed grey luxury sedan. It seemed shiny. The mechanic/driver said, "Thank you but I'm almost done." He tightened a lug nut and moved the tire iron to another nut. "This is the second flat I've gotten on this road. One day I am going to come out here and patch up these potholes myself!" I did not say: 'Well if you were going the 25 mph speed this might not have happened' or 'l purposely do not call these potholes in so they might damage speeding cars and your labor serves as a reminder to all those currently speeding to slow down.'  Instead, I said: "You are welcome to change your tires here anytime." -TM

Mailed directly to my friend Drew.  I was so excited to get this one out that I forgot to put the zip code down.  I guess we will see how determined the postal service is to get people their mail.  I told him if he doesn't get it I will get him another postcard.  But at least I scanned it before this card was placed in the proverbial circular mailbox.  I think I am going to start calling my potholes: inverted speedbumps.  

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Postcard #174: Thank you Postcard


Postmarked: Miami, FLA
Jan 21st 1952

Miami Mon. AM.
Hello Sister. Thanks for 
remembering my birthday but
you should forget all about birth-
days. We are leaving now to 
go back to P.G.[?] We have
been here a week. It was 
78 here today. Hasn't rained 
since we got down here.
Goo Bye
Ezy [?]

Mr. Pubillones,
I never thanked you for the book "Havana 1900's" sent to me by my Godmother Aimee Davis. The postcards in that book were beautiful. What a collection! So rich with stories and history. Thank you very much. Here is a postcard from my collection just in case you ever write a book about Miami postcards!  Stay safe. Stay healthy! Keep postcarding!
Thomas Minor

Not much to say here.  I received a book as a gift from my godmother Aimee.  I was looking through it a few days ago.  He wrote a very nice note on the inside which was pretty nifty.  I don't have many books signed by the authors. I've had this postcard for a while. they say "Kill your darlings." So off to a better place.  
Admittedly I really like the previous text on it. Goo Bye? and  "Thanks for remembering my birthday but you should forget all about birth....days." God, there is something beautiful about that.

Postcard #173: OrPDX #1

Of the 150 cities sampled by US News and World reports Portland Oregon ranked #9 as one of the best places to live. (To retire only 64th go figure. I guess I' better go find a different place to die.) So... you want to visit Portland? Did you want truth or deceit? Come in the late Spring/Early Summer or Early winter/Late fall. Go to Voodoo Doughnut in Old Town or Delicious Doughnuts. Drive your car or use TriMet. Go to the PDX Saturday market on the weekend or a Tuesday. Check out the Pearl district/Old town Boutique shops or go to a Hoarder House estate sale. Go to a craft bar or get a distillery row passport and cut out the middleman. Stay in a hotel or rent a teepee or a tent from some hipster asshole on AirBNB for 2-3 times the cost. Either way, look me up if you are ever in town or don't.- TM

Sent via postcrossing to Luzi-Zuzi.  While reading the transcription I think I sound like an asshole.  Which is not what I was going for...I just wanted to present them with alternatives and choices.  Luzi-Zuzi if you are reading this...seriously look me up if you are ever in town.  I can give you a place to stay and steer you to a few places.  Even after sending this I have more "or" ideas.  Maybe I will make a whole series of them?  
I also need to work on my spelling and grammar before sending these out.  They are atrocious.  Maybe I should transcribe and draft them them before mailing them so I can proof them a little more.  Because.  Whoa.  These are bad and I sound like an asshole and an idiot.  

And yes you can seriously rent a Teepee in someones backyard on AirbnB and pay as much as you would or more if you were staying in a hotel room.  I saw several of them when I was looking for a place to stay as a travel nurse.  

Postcard #172: Review: Expanse and RPT


I made the mistake of re-reading "Ready Player One." I think with one reading you spend time waxing nostalgic about Ernest Cline 80's pop culture referencing that you do not realize how cringy, it actually is... class, women, minorities, what dumb shit Cline finds interesting. Eventually, you realize the only character he nails perfectly is the white male privilege. A solid case of white savior syndrome, with a touch of Deus ex Machina. I stupidly pre-ordered "Ready Player Two." because I am a self-loathing, masochist. BUT! I am also waiting for the last book of the Expanse series to come out. James SA Corey created a very deep, realistic, sci-fi universe. I can easily say that I thoroughly enjoy these books. The authors create antagonists so irritating that it makes you want to put the book in a closet and forget about it. Yet he also creates characters (read: grey protagonists) that you become very attached to and puts them in situations that make it impossible to put down.
My favorite book...
Goodnight moon... or Candide by Voltaire.

 Sent via postcrossing to Linderoos.  She requested my favorite book.  I should just put my favorite book down in my profile.  I think I will just mail a book review whenever someone requests to know my favorite book.  She also requested a card that had "sewing themes" in it.  I don't know if I have ever seen a sewing themed card...BUT did have a card that had sewn stuff in it.  I have some doubts she will receive it.  I feel like its going to get stuck in some conveyer belt or something.  We will see.  

Postcard #171: You forgot Snowflake.

"Hmm. "Meaningful Dialogue." Am I even capable of that any more? My departure from Facebook was over something pretty innocuous. Politics. As usual. Deep down I do not think it was a particular event. This was just the trigger. Someone was posting for us to put aside the anger and hate in light of the president's recent Covid diagnosis. I mentioned he has gone golfing 24 times while 200k people died. How much vacationing have you done during this crisis? A commenter said. "These comments about the president are disgusting". He was the former head of surgery for a hospital I work at. And it got me thinking I could get fired for speaking ill of the president if that person has the whim and the power to do it. I think Facebook has stolen more from me than anything else on the internets, so I deactivated my Facebook.  I guess I am nothing more than a privileged white European cisgender male left-leaning progressive married heterosexual libtard."

I sent aerobear a direct swap.  True story the up above.  There was a little more to me leaving AGAIN. I was was little blown away the guy said anything.  He had the privilege of retiring just before the pandemic.  He was a nice enough guy when I worked with him.  But the paranoid me...could picture this guy calling up the hospital and complaining about me FOR THINKING IT'S WRONG THAT A PRESIDENT PLAYS GOLF WHILE AMERICANS DIE OF RECORD NUMBERS. WTF?!? Oddly enough, I have not been back to that hospital since that post.  I wonder if there is any correlation? (On a side note I am so paranoid that I went back and edited out my address on this card so people do not come to my house...Fucking deranged.)

This postcard commemorated the inauguration of Woodrow Wilson the 28th president of the US.  This card is probably over 100 years old and I ruined it with my whining.  I think this card is his second inauguration. Holy crap! This is from his first inauguration in 1913.  (The wreaths on the podium are different in the second inauguration). I wonder if to make these historical postcard defacements I could find old stamps and mail them that way.  

Woodrow Wilson oversaw the segregation of the United States federal government and he thought the KKK and the confederacy were a great group of guys.  He turned a blind eye to the oppression of blacks through violence and the squelching of free speech. He was in office when the US signed the 18th Amendment (booo!) and the 19th Amendment (yay!).  He got us in and out of WW1.  He presided over the US during the Spanish Flu.  Which he eventually got this flu...had a stroke...and sort of stewed in the White House for a little while.  During this time his wife Edith did a little Weekend with Bernie's with him to keep up appearances.  

I have a few of these Woodrow Inauguration postcards.  I think I am going to send one to Pennsylvania Avenue and gently remind the current president that he is a sack of human excrement.  That's legal right? That is covered under free speech because I am not threatening to turn him into a sack of shit since he already is one.  I would merely be pointing that out.  I will probably have to used as few words as possible and use graphs and charts or something though.  

Friday, October 16, 2020

Postcard #170: Infector in Chief


Trump held what looked like a Twitter conference alone in a board room somewhere in Walter Reed medical center. There are images of him signing blank pieces of paper with Sharpie markers like he is hard at work... with Covid-19 serving like he should have been before the pandemic hit. He is maskless. Positive.  Outside his hospital room maskless. The work that had to be done to clean that room by environmental services after a patient with a positive airborne virus pretended to be president for a photo op is astounding.

I fucking hate that manchild. - TM

Sent via direct to my friend Erika Davis

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Postcard #169: "When I was 28..."


Sent via Postcrossing to Henna168 who requested a Unesco Word Heritage Site postcard.  So she got Independence Hall and a card that I think is actually older than UNESCO itself.   But she also had a whole list of writing ideas including:
4.If you are older than 27 years old:
What is the most important things you did when you were 28 years old?

This is the first time as long as I can remember that I have actually liked the suggested prompts that people give.  So kudos and a hats off to her.  

28 year old me was 12 years ago. 2008. I had a beard for a good part of it but at some point, I thought it would be a good idea to grow out a mustache. I was living in a house with my brother on the New Jersey shore. I was working as a med/surgical nurse overnights 40-60 hrs a week at an understaffed community hospital. I had a patient death that year that really shook me up. I was drinking quite a bit. I was not sleeping well. I was depressed. By fall my life was a lot different. I took a certification course in operating room medicine... a month or two later I quit my job and got a job working in the operating room. I started dating someone in an official capacity, (she eventually would be my wife) Did a little bit of traveling...We went to NYC, Philly, and Chicago. Since 2008... The house got destroyed, I've moved to the west coast of the US. I've married, had a kid, and grew my beard back.  -TM.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Postcard #168: Birdfood



I could sense she was waiting for me to move. She wasn't tapping her foot or clearing her throat.. but I saw in the corner of my eye that She rolled her head on her neck and gently inched her grocery cart toward me and casually "revving" the handle. I turned toward her and apologized. "Oh don't worry! Take your time!"  She said contraindicatively. I finished tying off my bag of raisins from the bulk dry good section. She quickly took my spot and opened the raisin bin and started scooping as I fumbled with another produce bag. ''I get these for my birds... " She said as she took another ample scoop. "Oh?" I said while scooping some dried cherries. "Yeah. They love them!", "Are they outside birds or caged birds?" I asked. Hoping to ascertain if I was essentially eating the same meals as wild or domesticated animals. She explained, "Oh, I don't keep my birds in cages." "Ah." I replied. And we both finished our scooping in a mixed blend of amusement and confusion for entirely different reasons. 


Sent via Postcrossing to werewegian.  So in making this card I was reminded of an episode of the Simpsons.

Because I technically ruined two postcards:
Some Bear cage one from Milwaukee Wis...
And this old "Wampole's Creo-Terpin Ad Card" which advertised a cough medicine that had as its ingredients Chloroform and Creosote.  Which kinda feels dangerous but is probably not as poisonous as it sounds.  But the back of the card was a soft sort of construction paper that apparently was used to absorb excess ink from fountain pens back in "the day".  The funny thing is this is a pretty neat ad card and by definition, many people on Postcrossing would not want it because it's an ad card.  Stupidly cleverly, I cut it to ribbons before checking about this card.  On eBay, in pretty incredibly crappy condition this card is being sold by someone for 17 fucking bucks.  My card WAS in perfect condition. Whoops. I guess I should have checked that out before destroying it.  I hope he likes it.  He says he has so many cards that I should not worry he will get doubles.  There is no way he has this card now.  

Postcard #167: Poor-nithologist


I once took a road trip with a friend of mine to help him move. I asked my girlfriend at the time, Amber to watch my finches. I had a large flight cage with about 10 birds. A few days into the trip I remember calling her from a gas station to see how things were. She said she and the finches were fine. Later I would get a frantic call from her telling me that a bunch of my finches had died. She was convinced something had gotten in the cage and killed them. Confused and concerned, I asked her: what could have done it? Was the cage open? 'No." Was there blood? Are the finches in parts or just dead in the cage? "No blood. Just finches and feathers all over." Is there food and water? There was a slight pause. "Yes, I gave them food and water?" I asked: Today? Did you give a cage full of dead finches food and water this morning? But instead what came out was: "When?" "Today," she reported. How about the last time before that? "I don't know."  Needless to say, we did not work out and I never forgave her. 


Sent via Postcrossing to Natalia0502.  She wants Owls.  Which I do not have.  I ought to take a picture of my workspace to show people what a fucking mess my room is right now searching for cards that will fulfill people's postcard wishes. The room is a fucking mess. Period. It is NOT her fault.  I am messy and I have a lot of cards.  So messy happens.  But explicit requests for things do not help me stay organized.   But she did say she would like animal birds and nature.  So a picture of a peacock and a story about animal and human nature.  True story. 

Postcard #166: Free as a Bird

I've always liked the sweetness and simplicity of finches. They can be a little messy but they have some personality and make sweet songs. When they pass on there usually is not much ceremony of fanfare or crying. Just before the pandemic started my last finch past away. I started with 4 when I moved to the West Coast from New Jersey. As time wore on the numbers dwindled. My wife and I shopped for finches several times but never found any we liked. We had a penchant for finches with ill-formed feather formations or a friar's tonsure. The last night I went to feed them the cage was silent. Up in the nest was the tiny bird. Cold, Fragile. Weightless. I tucked the little thing into a cardboard paper towel tube along with some nest bedding, some food, and a tiny bell. Then folded the ends of the tube and buried it outside my property along the fence. It seemed weird to bury it within the cage of my own property.

Sent Via postcrossing to MissMureena.  She said she was cool with homemade cards.  

Postcard #165: Cafe


People generally "tolerate" the coffee they serve at my work. It's Kobos brand which used a Portland brand but it got bought out by some company in Cali. I feel like it's easier to escape Starbucks on the west coast than it was on the east coast. I prefer light or medium roasts. At one time I had convinced myself I liked dark roasts. The same way I once convinced myself that IPA beers don't taste like cat piss. They do. I like regular drip coffee, or maybe a pour-over or americano. A little half and half or creamer. That's it. I spent a stupid amount of time broke in New Jersey Diners. So crappy / Burned coffee was common. And now that is my threshold. Is it watered down? Is it Starbucks? Is it burned? NO? Perfect! Do you have any creamer?

Sent via Postcrossing to YasmineBeiBei who wanted airline and transportation cards and said she liked coffee.  I made another coffee ring on a card.

Postcard #164: John Henry


When I was younger I never really liked the album "John Henry" by They Might be Giants. I had a friend who played the album for me and at the time I remember not liking many of the songs. I think that this album followed Apollo 18, Misc. T,  and Flood. 3 solid albums. The album after, my personal favorite was Factory Showroom. Followed by Severe Tire Damage. I listened to a ridiculous amount of Flood. But in my MP 3 / Lime wire / Napster years I lost ahold of what songs were on what albums, In my somewhat depressive funks I recall listening to "Self-called nowhere" and "End of the Tour" on repeat. "Destination Moon" always reminds me of one of my favorite shows Futurama. I love the horn sections of "Spy " and "Sleeping in the Flowers". Lately, I have been listening to "AKA Driver" and "Meet James Ensor." My album playing friend was Jesse. Whose friendship of ours was only severed by time and distance from what I remember. He was a good friend, who at the time had a better and more mature grasp of music than I did.

Thomas Minor

So I looked this guy up.  I hope it's him.  2020 is a crazy time and maybe he will get a kick out of getting a card out of nowhere.  Maybe I will come off as a weirdo...I am 99% sure it was the album John Henry.  My memory is not as wonderful as it used to be.  But if it's not him or his address maybe they might take a listen to They Might Be Giants.  You probably should too.

Monday, October 5, 2020

Interlude: Doing my Part


Yeah.  So I deactivated my Facebook account.  Its deactivation is hopefully just my first step to actually deleting it.  It became apparent I have absolutely no self-control.   I can't have shitty interactions with people and then pretend they are "meaningful" interactions.  Just because I know them doesn't mean I am having healthy conversations with them.  Just because I have "collected" their friendship doesn't mean I am a good friend for them or them for me.  

I am hoping this will help buoy my feelings of togetherness.  Facebook was destroying my insides.  People make me sad.  I think its worse to wish to that I did not have a connection to people because of the dumb shit they write (myself included) than to actually feel and be isolated or alone.

So if you want a postcard.  Comment here.  I will get in contact with you and we can trade addresses or something.  

Here is a first of many interludes...this is Postcrossing.  A website that enables you to safely trade a limited number of postcards with people all over the world.  It's a free service.  But you should donate.  You can donate money to them so they can run the site and put together programs for people.  I am hoping that deactivating Facebook might direct me to be a little more creative. Maybe be a better person in general.  

Postcard #163: "Doublespeak"


Original Card:
Stamp: United States White House with US Flag Postage Stamp 8¢ Scott: 1338f (I think)
Original Postmark: Libby, MT 59923 Jun 17th AM 1974 

Dear Janice,
Staying with Thora and Earl 'til Monday morning. Even Montana is Hot! Think it will be cool at Glacier. The "Hook's" say hello & so does David. Dad tried to get you on the phone, but no one answered! Lots of love. Mom, Dad

Text: Something I have learned working in healthcare for the past 8 months is what I am really hearing when a manager talks to me (not necessarily MY manager)

"I hear your concerns and they are important to me.  I am going to escalate these concerns up the chain of command in order for them to fall on the appropriate deaf ears."

Sent via postcrossing to MmeJarrell. She said she went to the World's fair in Portugal.  Which was in 1998 I suppose  I had a few of these 74 world's fair cards.  I think this is the second I have sent.  They all require editing to cover up the previous writing.  

Postcard #162: "The Big One (a 2020 reprisal)"




Oct 4, 2020

This was the first year that I can remember where I paid next to zero attention to hurricanes. My life has been altered several times by them Andrew (Miami Fl 1992) Katrina (NJ - 2005) Irene (NJ-2011), Sandy (NJ-2012). After Sandy, I was done with the East Coast. When I told my father I was going to move out west. "But what about the Big One ?" He warned. The belief that the Juan de Fuca plate or the Cascadia Subduction Zone will utterly annihilate Oregon. I dismissed the warnings "I'd rather deal with a hypothetical natural disaster than a definitive/actualized disaster uprooting my life every 4 years or destroying it every 10. I will be completely honest a pandemic, never factored in as a natural disaster. Couple with the Oregon wildfires and the rest of 2020 I feel I was missing a lot of calculations. The "Big One" seems awfully real now. Perhaps my idea of Big One " lacks vision. If wildfires and pandemics escaped my list of "what if's " along with months-long protests...Perhaps there are even more creative "Big Ones" that await.

Sent to cimplicius.  He likes photos.  And culture.  One out of 2 ain't bad.

Postcard #161: "Viral Load"


Text: US-1017630



It's 3 am. I awake to find my 2 1/2-year-old daughter had crawled up into arms at some point in the night.  I turned over in bed to look again at the clock. I begin to perform the calculations "if I fall asleep by 'X' I will get 'Y' amount of sleep before work."  1 hr 45 mins max. Then I realize I have called out already. My daughter was exposed to Covid-19 at school by her teacher. 3 days ago the teacher and all students were ejected from the class for 14 days. Quarantined. No daycare, besides my wife and I.  I am a nurse by trade, my wife also works in Healthcare. Who is to say I am any more or less exposed or positive than my daughter is right now? I become aware that I am holding my breath contemplating my daughter. I know this because the CPAP I am wearing, is violently trying to force air into my nostrils - a humidified pressurized high flow cloud of potentially aerosolized airborne-stable COVID -19. I am faced with a new calculation How long had my child been in my arms? How much of a viral load could she have received? I push her into the middle of the bed between my wife and I.  I turn off the CPAP and sit on the edge of the bed. I will get up. Knowing the chance of sleep is gone. The symptoms of non-illness now rival those of an illness.  -TM.

Sent to chanm.  She wanted a "Greetings from Postcard..." and something typical of my country.  I had the perfect card.  

I am actually back on postcrossing.  I finally deactivated my facebook account.  Maybe at some point I can actually delete it.  I will try and watch that Social Dilemma program everyone has been raving about.  Maybe that will finally get me to delete the account rather than treating it like a credit card I can not get rid of because its the credit card I have the most credit history with.  I am looking at you with your 20.99% self.