Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Postcard #219: the Expendables

I sent this card to a friend of mine who has been under the weather. I am not posting the text of this card because...well yeah. HIPAA? IDFK. 

I'll probably borrow the themes of it and send it to someone else in the future.

Postcard #218: Bad Kitty

I lived in Miami, Florida for what I would define as my "formative years." My parent's house had a screen porch. Cats and dogs would be able to access it through a special "doggy" door. Having a lot of animals and food outside have the added "bonus" of attracting other animals. Possums. Raccoons. And of course, other cats. There was this BIG orange cat who spent months terrorizing my cats. One night the cat had come onto the porch and cornered my cats and was simply beating the hell out of them. Biting. Scratching. The commotion was terrible. My father went outside with a broom and cornered this massive Orange cat. My young childhood memories remember my father with a Marlboro cigarette in his mouth chasing this cat and all the vet bills he caused to my other cats. He lined up a shot and swung the back end of the broomstick so hard that when it came in contact it snapped in half. He missed. He hit the screen, ripped it, and broke the broom on the ledge. The cat never returned.

Sent via postcrossing to LauBrice.  She wanted cats.  I hope this cat will suffice.  I get the feeling she might not like the story.  Oh well.  

Postcard #217: Dumb


I had to run some errands with my daughter. Oregon has a mask mandate. As you pull further out from Portland proper… people get more… "red." Science becomes more of an opinion or a feeling. So it is amazing how quickly I get distracted when I see people maskless. They are looking for confrontation it seems. They make eye contact. They walk around with their chests out. My brain starts calculating how much of it is oppositional defiance disorder, antivax/provax, prayer warrior bullshit, libertarian/deep state/redstate, lumpenproletariat assery, or just general absent-mindedness.  I work in an operating room. I've worn masks all day every day for over a decade. So, while it's important to wear masks to reduce the spread of covid believe me when I say that part of me just doesn't wanna see anyone's dumb face with their dumb mouths and dumb teeth. I certainly don't want to engage in a debate with them to hear their dumb opinions.

Sent Via postcrossing to hooraybeltran.  I had to taper my desire to write a postcard about Star Trek Voyagers Robert Beltran...Commander Chakotay.  As though he gets that alot or something?  Somehow I doubt he gets asked if he is related to Robert Beltran.  He does have a good user name though.  
My wife said that when she is out with our daughter she has taught her to ask my wife loudly "Mommy, why does that person wear a mask?" or "Why does that person want to get sick mommy?" at anyone she walks by them.  What a perfectly passive-aggressive thing to wield in Portland.  I am going to have to try it.

The card itself is from the Portland Peculiarium.  I have spent waaaay too much money there.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Postcard #216: DUI

I've never driven drunk. I feel like I need to preface this card with this warning. But I have been in a car with people who probably should have been more sober when I was young and dumb. When I had an apartment in New Jersey I had an upstairs neighbor who definitely suffered from alcohol-induced dementia. One night while walking my dog he wandered around the property with me and offered me tips on how to drive drunk. First. Drive with your hands on the lower part of the wheel and push your elbows against your torso. This will reduce your chance of swaying or swerving.  Making a conscious effort will keep you awake. Which brought him to his next point. Keep your windows down…. take deep breaths. The cold air will keep you awake. If it's raining keep your window open some. So, if you do get pulled over the cop will not smell the alcohol in the car when you lower the window. -TM

Sent via postcrossing to Maltezer.  She wanted dog postcards.  Funny postcards.  I think I got this one at Wall Drug or maybe I got this in Bozeman MT when driving out west?  This is a true story.  He did volunteer all this information to me.  He offered a lot of reasoning and explanation for each point that seemed kinda grounded in measured, tested scientific methodology or maybe it was just secret drunk oral tradition. If only he taught me the secret handshake.  Or maybe that was just his tremors.  

Postcard #215: Recidivism

Original Text:
Beth Lot [?] or L ox [?]
Jefferson St
Oregon City, Oreg

Minnie Wane

New Text:
My daughter is quietly sitting in the car seat. I look up to the rearview mirror and lock eyes with her. I ask again, "Who did you push down at school today?" "Penelope." She answers. "Why?" "Because."  I sigh and she replies. "She was on the playground with her arms out like this." She held her arms out in a sort of crucifixion pose, head tilted back, pushed forward against the car seat restraints.  "You pushed her because her arms were out?"  I scoffed. "No, I pushed her because I wanted to be alone by myself." "Why didn't you just walk away then? Or tell her you did not want to play?" "No." "Why not?" "I don't know." The car came to a stop at a red light. "Why did you want to be alone?" I asked. "Because I wanted to read. Time out means you have to go inside and read. In the corner. So I pushed Penelope down and teacher gave me a time out." She was looking out the window watching a child in the back seat of the car next to us. I was looking at her in the rearview mirror. The light turned green and when I brought my attention back to the mirror her eyes were waiting for mine. I averted my eyes first.

I sent this to a family member.  A future one at least.  Reading over this...I wish I worked the grammar a little better.  Its hard to read when its a sort of stream of conciousness kinda format.  

Postcard #214: Go Fly a Kite

My family used to go down to Bill Bagg's State Park in Florida whenever we were going to go to the "beach".  Once we took a kite with us, and while flying it…its long red plastic tail fell off of it and fluttered away.  It flew over the sand dunes 40-50 feet off the ground. Carried by the warm ocean air it got caught in the boughs of some sand pine trees that stood far back from the shore. Every time we visited  Bill Bagg's park after that you could see the long twisty red plastic ribbon high up in the tree in stark contrast with the sparsely leafed tree. One time midweek on a school night my family drove out there with a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken. The mosquitoes were so bad you would breathe them in while running from the car to the shore.  We quickly learned you could not stay on the shore at all lest you be absolutely consumed by small flying bugs that may or may not carry malaria or some sort of viral encephalitis. Years later I returned to that beach after hurricane Andrew. The ribbon was gone along with nearly the entire tree line. Poof. -TM

Sent Via postcrossing to ned44440. She said used to be a mail carrier and she loves the ocean.  So i had two cards.  She reports having an intense fear of snakes.  Yeah.  It took a lot to not send a snake story or a snake card.  I think I have a card that has a recipe for fried rattlesnake.  It's like this weird innocuous sort of defiance disorder that sleeps just under the surface.  It's kinda like when someone says they do not want me to send them an AD card or a homemade card...[urge to send them an old MSN ad card intensifies].

Postcard #213: Gum Crumbs

Text:  Pilgrims going to church
   I lived near my school's - walking distance. In high school, we had an open campus lunch and I would walk home. My windowless school literally doubled as a hurricane shelter. So it was nice to get outside. Now, in an effort to familiarize today's youths with the dehumanizing effects of mass incarceration the school has closed lunches, uniforms, and metal detectors. On my way home I would put gum on a fence or on a signpost. In 1992, hurricane Andrew knocked the sign over and it had to be replaced. I had to replace the chewing gum. Slowly covering it with mottled green, blue, pink, and white blobs. I wonder if the post or the fences near my home or elementary schools playground I frequented in grade school still bear my gum signatures? I don't think I have ever left my gum under a table… but fences and posts are fair game. -TM

Sent via Postcrossing to Alterity.  I have had this card for a while.  There is even a chance I have already written it up on this blog.  I found about 5 of them while going through my stuff.  I don't know why I had so many written up yet unsent cards.  I guess I was in some sort of manic phase and I wrote up a bunch at once.  If I had about 5 cards that means I wrote 5 other cards and sent those instead.  I think I started drawing cards randomly and attempting to write a story on them inspired by what I saw on the card.  That seems like something I would do.  Trying to sort of astroturf inspiration.  I remember doing this and getting a bunch of postcrosser addressed from people demanding certain types of cards.  This postcrosser sort of left it blank what kind of cards they wanted.    

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Postcard #212: Brethren


Hello fellow RN. Operating room RN here. As much as I would like to dive into a tirade about covid/vaccination/layoffs/redeployment etc etc….I do not know how welcome it would be. So, I discovered post crossing on the trip to Spain when I was meeting up  at meetups and meets... And somebody told me about it when They learned I was buying and sending "weird" postcards. I get a lot of cards at antique shops, estate sales, eBay  (buying "lots" +400 cards). I really only want odd/weird ones. Estate sales are pretty good. You mentioned you were from Pennsylvania. I hope you like the card. I have family out in Murrysville PA. I worked at a summer camp out in Fort Hill PA. Anyway. Stay safe. -TM

Sent via postcrossing to bjw1220. She is a nurse. I kept myself from gushing and I guess I kept my conversation more grounded...

Monday, October 4, 2021

Postcard #211: Expired

 You are not my first expired card. You are however the first person I've ever sent a second card to because I'm so tired of seeing expired at the bottom of my list. You wanted an airplane… I sent you a postcard of the Spruce goose. I don't have any other jet fighters… the spruce goose wasn't even a jet fighter. But I'm going to be honest I don't have a lot of the cards that you request.  So here's some grapes. I want to plant some grape vines along one of my fences on my property. I have 2 peach trees… but they are so infected with leaf curl fungus. I've lived at this house since 2018 and I've yet to get a peach from them here. NOT A SINGLE PEACH.  We had such a bad heat wave this summer it was the 1st time the tree actually had a covering of leaves on them.  I am used to skeletonized trees with a carpet of foul smelling waxy leaves at their bases.  The heat wave killed off my blackberries and grassberries too.  I did get a few pumpkins though. Anyway bye.

Sent via postcrossing to Lario. This is my second card. You can see the first card here. I tried emailing this person 2 or 3 times. NOTHING. So now I am burning another card and another stamp to resend a whole new card. 

So here we are.

Postcard #210: Mandate

Original Text:
Monday  April 29th 1974. 
Postmark: US postal service Florida 327 may 2nd 1974 p.m.
STAMP: blue 10 cents United States We Hold These Truths Jefferson stamp

Original Text: 

Hi (?)
On our way to Key West. Then we'll go to DD Thursday. Having a great time seeing many interesting sights.  Saw this tree.


 October 1st is the 1st day of administrative leave for the unvaccinated staff at the hospital I work. It's unpaid. This is the 1st time I've ever witnessed a mass layoff. My feelings about it have changed numerous times in the past few months. I can distill them in a few different ways. I wish they would just get the vaccine. I am so tapped out of sympathy/empathy nowadays.  Yet I work with a lot of nurses. Last estimate there were about 12 staff members leaving.  If a few of them I'm close to… one of them I consider a very good friend.  Which then in turn makes me wonder… am I a good friend? I don't know anymore.

SENT Via Postcrossing to Flocke2010. Who wanted touristy cards. One weird touristy card...coming right up! So yeah. Nearly 800 people kindasortof lost their jobs this week at the hospital system that I work. I could fill a dozen postcards with different types of feelings that I have about this whole thing.

Postcard #209: Relics

A very good friend of my wife and I's went through a pretty crummy divorce mid pandemic. I guess all divorces are pretty crummy regardless of how you slice it. But I remember were talking to my father about it. My parents divorced maybe 7 years ago. My father listened, offered advice. He eventually offered one lesson to me, in particular, he told me… don't get too close. He explained that when the dust settles from this divorce she is going to see you as a relic of her past. When she talks to you you will be a reminder of her past life. TWO parts.  You will remind her of the time she spent with her ex-husband and you will remind her of the time she spent moving on. I scoffed at my father. Surely my wife and I  forged a friendship that would survive this. She has a boyfriend now. We barely speak.  I'm not sure what embitters me more.

Sent via postcrossing to ou. She wanted celebrities and royalty. Bang. I have since spoken to my friend. But...what my father said still lingers. I still feel pretty bittered. Admitting I am a relic or admitting my father might have been right.  Strangers bearly read this blog. I think I am pretty safe from her or my father reading it.

Postcard #208: Highlands

In New Jersey there is a town called "Highlands". There is an old lighthouse there which was built in 1828. There is also a bridge here that connects the Highlands to the town of Sea Bright. My grandfather used to dive off the bridge as a child. So that had to be in the 1930's at some point...  on one of those dives he injured his ear drums… permanently. Less than a decade later the country has been plunged into World War II. He is rejected from the military/draft because of the hearing damage. Years later after his death in 2013 my family found letters begging a recruiter to be accepted in order to join the war… A war that could have easily killed him and in turn erased my dad… me.

Sent via postcrossing to Dana_72. She wanted dolphins. She got dolphins. Bingobango.

Postcard 207: Jaywalker


In college (USF) I was convinced I would die from getting hit by a car as a pedestrian.  I would be pulled out of their windshield or off the asphalt then I would languish in a hospital bed. Ventilated. I would eventually expire after a few weeks of agonizing those I love.  For all intents and purposes, I died on that road, not in that hospital room. This translated to a fear of Jaywalking. No crossing the street without a signal… or at least voicing my displeasure at having to do it when friends pulled me into the street unexpectedly. Now that I'm older other deaths seem more likely… more inevitable. Heart disease. Cancer. Violence. General stupidity. I find myself Jaywalking more often… in a misguided attempt to balance the scales.

Sent via postcrossing to Lovozero.  I found this card.  I had written it exactly 5 years ago.  I never addressed it to anyone.  This gentleman did not have many requests so.  Winner Winner.