frenchtown fiber

Chris Mundy and Kate House try to make art while navigating the crap life throws at them.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Postcards from the World

from China


Sunday, July 17, 2011

At Least I am Getting Postcards

I'm sitting here on a beautiful summer morning, contemplating my life. Why would anyone do such a thing? I'm doing it to avoid doing my US History homework. I am such a jackass for taking a course during the summer, that I can't stand myself. I skipped a semester in the spring when I went to Italy, so I figured I had better take one now. I'm stuck in some terrible ruts in my life. I ask myself the same questions over and over and never come to any conclusions, I can see the way to make my life easier, but I'm loathe to take action. I just hate disappointing people. My husband has encouraged me to take these college classes, my boss is happy that I decided to go back to school, and the company I work for pays my way. The final clincher is that I ENJOY the learning experience. But, it's killing me. Am I being a baby? Should I just tough it out? I will get a degree, when?  I'm not even sure, but it is many years. I am 50 years old now. GROAN!  I have been over this so many times. It's horrible.

Meanwhile, I am having fun with Postcrossing. A great diversion. I find the group to be divided into 2 very general catagories: Those who are in it because they collect postcards, and this is a way to get more of them, and those who think it is neat to get postcards from any random place in the world. I think I might enjoy sending them slightly more than receiving them.

Postcrossing has what I consider a very sophisticated website.  It's an interesting combination of snail mail and current technology. Every participant is registered. You can supply an avatar and write yourself a profile where you let the community know what kinds of things you are interested in and what kind of postcards you will like to receive, You cannot make any demands and other Postcrossers are under no obligation to send you what you ask for. Despite that, I have seen many people write long lists of what they don't want. Most people seem to hate homemade cards. I guess home made could mean almost anything. I am imagining collaged and rubber stamped creations, but I have read on forums that some folks will cut a picture out of a magazine and glue it to a piece of card stock and send it. I actually find that idea interesting. To see what clipping they chose to use. Also, people hate ad cards. I think I mentioned this before, some of them are pretty interesting. As I have no expectations, I guess I m happy to have some anticipation of what will be in my mailbox when I get home. I do look at everyone's profile and see if I have anything that matches what they like. I came into this with a very big collection of cards. I just love postcards and would always end up with extra ones after a vacation. Sometimes I would buy them  jut because I thought the picture is cool. I seem to be having no trouble letting go of them now. Of course, I am also buying new ones. I am buying what ever local ones I can find. Frenchtown is not a big place. The local drug store has this one view of the Frenchtown Bridge over to Pennsylvania, that's it. Of course there are historical landmarks all over the place around here. I just sent someone a Washington's Crossing postcard.

Anyway, here is my favorite postcard so far. It is a handmade one from the Netherlands. This guy just cut the top of a candy box and used it as a card. On his profile he specifically asks for that kind of card. It is his way of being green, plus, again, I think it would be cool to see what people come up with.

Well, here is what this guy managed to get through the mail. It was in very good shape, too. Wouldn't you think that it would get bent or crushed or something? I requested his address so I can send him a similar card. Understand that your address is not just listed on your profile. When you are eligible to send a postcard, you are given a random address to send a card to. At this point in my membership I am allowed to have 5 postcards traveling at one time. When someone receives their card, I am "rewarded" by being allowed to send another. Each address comes with a number. You must put this number on your postcard. When the person gets your card, they go to the postcrossing website and they register it. At that point your address is in the pool to be given to someone else. Currently I have 5 postcards traveling. One of them has been on it's way to the Ukraine for 24 days!!!! for cryin' out loud!

Here is the question I am not answering right now:
Question #1: Slavery existed in North America for centuries before the founding of the United States, and for many most of a century afterwards.  Many of the "founding fathers" owned slaves.  The United States before the Civil War was truly a nation "half-slave" and "half-free."  How do you explain the longevity of slavery in America?  What were the forces that kept the system in place?  What events before 1861 signaled that the end of slavery might be coming, or that a serious national conflict over the issue was more and more a possibility?

I know the answer t this question, but I need to formulate it in to a coherent answer with citations by midnight tonight. Crap! I really think I am not going to take classes anymore after this. Maybe this would be somewhat feasible if I did not have a disabled child to deal with. Life is too short to be so frustrated all the time.