Friday, May 08, 2009

The Postcard

I want to apologize, because I didn’t rest, or I tried, but there was construction, and emergencies. Today for example I found an error I made and some rare books from Wolverine (Linda says April 1st - I count the sheets of time by the picture: Wolverine, Sheep now Deer) I didn't order correctly, so I was waiting in vain, and and I needed to order them from Be Nippon, and two had gone out of print; the price had gone up. Frustrating. Trying to get books BEFORE they go out of print AFTER I spend about 15 hours researching each book (since in Japan, books can go out of print in 8 hours, that is a common feeling and frustration - why they don't print twice, I don't know but to find a good book; then to find it at a store, is hard, to make a mistake and have to order it twice, which happens actually several times to me.....feeling pretty stupid), in order to have pretty pictures; because I like to tell a story. And with my memory, like many people with a damaged temporal, and memory part of the brain I remember images, and now use more images to tell stories. That is how I can communicate still when words don’t always work. That is how I remember things. That is how I am still a full human being, able to share my emotions. And since about two to seven people say they like the images each blog post, it is important for me to find very GOOD artists who can express those emotions; artists both I and you can understand as the same emotion. That is why I buy art books that is why Be Nippon is on the wishlist (where I get many out of print art books).

But I am here to talk about a Postcard, or rather two Postcards. Because Linda and Cheryl say I understand things like a child. And it is true that I don’t think I could write certain ways anymore, but I still keep trying to express how I feel and hope people feel that way or understand. Okay, to me, alone, in my apartment, trying, without any memory at all, except what I have written on the Brain board on the page “What I know” (Next post we will look at the brain board including pages of book research and which ones to get first along with where to buy them and how much they cost – but I don’t know when I did the research, nor does Linda, maybe a long time ago – same with “What I know”). Plus I have what is in the notes on the Postcard Project lists. That is all I have, unless there is a recent postcard I can look over and over to try and get a sense of what someone will like. Every time some tells me they got a postcard, I have not the slightest idea what I sent them. It is more than 48 hours, often it is more than twice that. I am glad they like it. I am sad because I don’t know, if they say it is ‘perfect’ how to find something else like that, because I have no idea what postcards or decorations I made.

Here is an oversized postcard, which I will send out this Sunday. I have put one of our ink pads next to it to give you an idea of the size of the postcards.

Oversized postcards are good because they allow for lots of decoration. The ink pads are in many colors, I spent my allowance getting them, first $55, then $78, then I think a little more. I did not have much allowance for some time, but I had the colours, and then I stole some wood backed block stamps off of Cheryl and bought some of my own (which took some more allowance) and I got five different ones as gifts. That was nice. Very nice. But I found out if you have this clear block, you can buy the rubber stamps for $3.95, and $4.95 and $5.95 and I found a place called Rubberneckers which has a deal where you buy $20 and you get a $5.95 stamp free. So I spent my allowance and Linda spent hers and we had some over Xmas, I remember, and Linda has been giving one a week and now we are out. The problem is that I DON’T REMEMBER what I sent out. I don’t want to stamp the exact same stamp onto someone’s postcard, but I cannot remember how I decorated EACH of the now 2,000+ postcards. I want each one to be special.

Here is a postcard I sent out recently, it is about half the size of the blank one. I am sorry if I have not sent you a postcard recently, I REALLY am going though the list as fast as I can. If you need or want a postcard and feel I might have missed you (I am HUMAN, with HUGE memory problems so very likely!), please, PLEASE let me know. Send me an email, okay? Now, Cheryl and Linda say I see things like a kid. And for me, I like the postcards and I like the decorations but I committed to the postcards, the decorations just sort of took off, you know? And it is a bit like a merry-go-round in the park for me. The rule of the playground is if you ride the merry go round, you are ‘friends’ (in the way kids are ‘friends for like five minutes) and you have to push eventually. And so every week, I work, with Cheryl literally until 6 a.m. to make sure that not one matched name and address to postcard is left. So I push and push the merry go round, and you know, inside it is holding on and screaming or going ‘faster!’, ‘faster.’ And then, the next time, some more people come on and I push and run, and run and run and it gets going so fast I fall backwards not to get hit by the arms of the people, the elbows sticking out. And I push again, and again. And after twenty times I think, “They are all my friends because they are on the merry go round,” and some people push, and push and some don’t and I know they can’t and some I don’t know. I don’t understand. I just know the rule of the playground. THIS postcard has a postage stamp from where you get to make your pictures into real stamps, and that was a gift and I chose one picture and Linda chose one picture. That was cool! And the Dr. Suess was a gift I think, as well as the frog. That was a gift, so that was a push. But the Zebra’s. That is Stamp Oasis or Rubberneckers, or one of the other top companies that are out of business that only this company seems to carry. Stamping is OUT, scrapbooking is IN! Then there are the stamps of the Zebra herd heading away from the cougar. I did this one, I liked it. I hope the person did too.

For me, two memory periods ago I put Rubbernecks on the wishlist because for only a $4 donation, we could get cool new stamps and use them for like weeks and send them to lots of people (see it took three different stamps to do the Zebra herd, bamboo/tall grass and cougar). And the thing is that ANY gift (like the Manga, THANKS!) is totally received with grateful thanks and used, if for the postcard project, as you can see on this postcard, it is half gifts and half stamps (plus the inks, the acrylic blocks, and the postcard itself). Cheryl and Linda don’t like me to stamp too much because I get very purple and I also fall over as sometimes I can’t get enough force so I have to use both hands on the floor against a book. And if I do four or five stamps each postcard and 35-45 postcards….that’s a lot of falling over. So they would sort of prefer that I limit myself. That I rest, and that I spend my time and funds on myself, and now that I have lots of postcards, I don’t need to go so crazy on them. And I see their point, except that if I DID that, if I didn’t take an hour matching the postcard, and then stamping, drying the postcard, doing the stickers, then writing the postcard. They would look like this.I dunno about you but I HAVE gotten postcards pretty similar to that in the post and not quite as exciting as the Zebra herd one, to be honest. People have sent me postcards from 4 continents to use in the Postcard Project, and I try to make sure the postcard is as good as possible on the back to match the front whether it is for a female or for a male. Males are harder, so here is a postcard for a MALE. Which has on it: the MONSTER versus the BUNNY. I don’t have to say which is more likely to win here do I? Anyway, we have the Dr. Suess which I was using up and the ‘Claw Stamp’ (one of the expensive ones, but really COOL, yeah?!), and the rabbit, which is one of the first stamps, as well as a new one, the ‘Fashionable Lady” (another expensive one, by Rubbernecker Standards, but I got this one, and some others and got the CLAW STAMP for FREE – see, how that works!). Also in the bottom there is another stamp, it is the handle of a stamp with my name, The postcard project and my email address, for anyone who needs or wants to email me. Linda bought that because I have a hard time writing, I can only use special pens now and that takes a lot longer. So back to the merry-go-round, I see Linda pushing a lot. I’d like her to be able to ride. A Rubbernecker stamp costs from $2.95 to $7.95 generally plus a bit of postage, I try to get as much back as I can (he put up an ad saying up to 20% off, 1% for each stamp in use – I gave him a bunch of postcard project links and got all 20% back on that order!). But as of a few hours ago, the grand total collected for buying a Rubbernecker Stamp to put on postcards was $00.00. This is the link to the Paypal Paypal button (it is just down on the right - the big one saying PAYPAL). You could say this is NOT a medical cost or need. I would say, FOR WHO? For me, the one working 36 hours because it is important but also sometime fun or for the people, the MAJORITY who get the postcard and who have a disability/disease or impairment? Because you think I REALLY need a lot of Rubber Stamps, where that hospital report said I am going? I think they would melt, don’t you?

Here is a gothy sticker stamp which has stickers which range from steam-punk goth, to goth loli, and just plain dark and gloomy goth (old style) with a gift postage stamp and a rubber stamp (and my name stamp). Okay, those stickers come from Singapore, Japan, and two places in the USA. I send out goth postcards and Yaoi postcards every week; try finding oh 80 NEW cute yaoi stickers each week. Try finding them at a price you can afford? We did get some from Hawaii, but they were too low quality and the majority of our order didn’t come, then we got some stickers from Singapore and they were okay but some are TOO sticky and they have to be cut out using scissors (which means I need Linda, our AB, to do it). There was one that sourced from Japan and Hong Kong which we got a batch from (40% defective) which went out of business shortly afterward and then we found one source in the US and another out of Guam I think. So yeah, lots of stickers. Cool stickers. I like them, I think they add to the postcard. Stickers, which cost from $2 a sticker to $2.95 a sheet (plus postage) and the Rubber stamp of the Ocean Goddess. Very nice.

The problem is that without the stickers and the searching and the stamps, the postcards look pretty plain. And between the stickers, the stamps, and the art books for the pictures for the blogs, even though I DO have people helping me get the postcards ($100-150 minimum a month), and sometimes the postage stamps ($91-$124 a month). And I try to make sure these people get a really good ride, and I push the merry-go-round as hard as I can because they are friends, they help push. Until a few hours ago, I was matching postcards in the bathroom (no not quite all better, thanks for asking! But still trying to multitask!), and I wondered why? Why? And some hero, someone none of us has heard of came along and made a donation (since I received no email and the amount was exactly right), for the Rubberstamps. Because until that donation came in, I was going to send out 50-75 postcards looking exactly like THIS: Because my feeling was, ‘I have pushed again and again, and it is long enough.’ Yes, the POSTCARD aspect goes on, but the LOVE, that isn’t something that is COMMANDED, that isn’t something that I and Cheryl and Linda have to be willing to lie and groan with pain pills while we try to sleep after working on the postcards to make. We like doing it, but……. see, I can’t remember what stamps I have sent people: I don't like that, it isn't fun, it is just a disability and trying to life the same life I used to (hence the Brain Board). And I can’t feel good about sending people the same things over and over again. I WON’T stay up for 12 hours with my arms shaking and on masked oxygen and have to be carried to bed for something I don’t feel good sending out.

Now I will, probably send out some postcards, but I would like, in case you missed the message up top (see, kids are focused in one way, when they want ice cream, they just keep saying, “Ice Cream?”), here is the Paypal button (it is just down on the right - the big one saying PAYPAL), and the stamps start at $3. There are $3 stamps, and $4 ones, and $5, and $6 and a very few up to $8 and after $20 combined we get a free stamp. Please say Rubberneck or ‘For Stamps’ in the message box or ‘You evil scheming blackmailer” – whatever. Or if you have sent postcards, or stickers or if you aren't able, then that is cool. I’m not asking for drinks or neck rubs to keep us going, I am asking for things to make someone who is at home while you may be out in the sun have a brighter day, and I need your help, please. And it costs less than most muffins (I don’t get out much, I assume Coffee House muffins are about $3.25?)


FridaWrites said...

Well, my postcards and the stamps on them are all very different, so no worries there. With that many sent out, I think even people without memory issues would have a lot of trouble remembering what they'd done on particular cards--that's a lot of cards!

We have some money on paypal from ebay auctions, so I'll make a small donation in a bit (when hubby comes back in with the password)--I think that will cover a few stamps. One manga plus shipping is more than I should spend right now, but this is just right.

wendryn said...

Xander loved the monster vs. bunny card, so at least you know where one of them went! Dr. Seuss is always good, too. :)

I'm amazed at how many notes you must have, considering how personalized the postcards are.

I will try to find stickers and stamps you might like that would be useful.

Do, please, try to get rest despite the noise and emergencies! I worry about you...

*HUGS* to you, Linda, and Cheryl.

Mira said...

I love the pictures that you post - they really do help tell the story. I have a little bit of brain problems myself and remember pictures more than words too.

I treasure each and every postcard that you have sent me and have a special album for them. I also show them off to everyone that comes to my house. I know how much work you put into each card.

Raccoon said...

Postcard! Lovely postcard! Not too many stickers at all!

And I'm still amazed at how neat you are able to print...

Can you tell I got a postcard today?

I'll see what I can do about getting you some postcards and stickers in two weeks -- Fanime is right around the corner!

Lene Andersen said...

You've yet to repeat yourself on the cards you send me - which are all lovely and perfect.

And that monster claw? Love. It! A little scary, but very cool.

I'll take a look at the wishlist and The Button. Might have a bit extra lying about that could be helpful.

Elizabeth McClung said...

People don't HAVE to donate to comment. They can talk about the postcards they like or what they like up there, I was sharing how I think. I KNOW that everyone, that maybe a giant majority of people can't help, and that even $3 is a lot sometimes or this is something that is a bonus in their life. If so, please let me know the good parts of the Bonus as I won't remember. Without the pictures, I don't remember anything. It is a blog post about disability, about my own struggle to keep going and how I think now.

SharonMV said...

Dear Beth,
All the postcards you've sent me have been so wonderful. I love the front with the beautiful pictures you have chosen & worked so hard to find. But the backs with the stamps & stickers telling their own story or adding to the message you have written are a special delight. You've got me making postcards now too. I sent one to my mother in law for Mother's Day & she liked it very much.

I've bought mostly unmounted stamps for some time. It really is a better deal and less weight also makes the shipping cheaper too.

I got a package from you (very special) & I sent you an e-mail about it. I hope you got the letter I sent. I included some stickers for the postcards. And there is a small package in the mail now. More stickers to send too as soon as I get some more postage stamps.


A. J. Luxton said...

I'm sorry that my postcards to you have not been nearly as creative and decorative as yours to me - I write them in little moments that I steal; I'm learning to do more things that way.

I hate to use the "inspiring" word, but I think it's safe, because the thing about you that inspires me has no more to do with your being disabled than it has to do with your being a woman, a lesbian, a redhead or a writer.

All of the postcards you send are so wonderful. They serve a great function in the world, and they remind me that everything we do, no matter how small or how large, CAN be a great act, if we choose to make it so.

And now? You should rest.

rachelcreative said...

I don't think you've ever repeated a stamp on my postcards but each is unique.

I made a small donation. I said for rubberneck - you can put it towards stamps or postage stamps or stickers or whatever.

I so admire your enthusiasm, love, drive and attention to detail for each card sent. Every one of them is unique and special.

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