I used to blog rather frequently. I did it to pass time, for myself and obviously for those in the nebulous space we call the web. Practically strangers.
I remember a time before all this. I had pen pals. I waited anxiously for responses from them. I might have been 12-17 but there was nothing like a piece of paper once held in the hand of a friend actually scrawled on and including physical evidence that they thought something and cared to express it to me. I still collect cards and buy stationary almost uncontrollably. I like paper. I love stamps. Here is an invitation to email me and trade addresses. I do not want to email I want to be pen pals. Let me be clear about that.
If I have never met you in real life I'm ok with that too. I must admit I've been inspired by therumpus.net's "Letters in the Mail" but I don't really want brilliantly written form letters from semi famous people. I want one offs. I don't want the Postal Service to stop delivering on Saturdays either.
Please if you still have a dried up stamp somewhere or two and a postcard or ticket stub or any thoughts that facebook hasn't already drained from you leaving your creative mind dry and your instant gratification isn't all that is left of you. email me and let's trade: michelle dot cate at gmail dot com.
Her familiar voice is part of her claim to fame and lead to her being part of the Disney film "The Incredibles" as the Gothic-like daughter character, Violet. That all aside, her snarky, ironic fact finding mind amazes all. I found myself relating to her point of view right away, perhaps naturally because I was rared in a similar fashion, in a super Christian household in a neighboring state. Or perhaps, she's just that charming. The most obscure things of my childhood she seemed also to take for-granted as installations as well. Books, Church and strange bits of pop culture that somehow made their way to the mid-west-ish/south.
After the lecture I bought a book of her's and I must admit I've found myself reading the same 3 chapters of it over and over again, as I can't seem to find the time to really get going but they always make me laugh, and I always read with her voice in my head. I almost prefer to listen to her talk. She's now like a "touchtone" to me, of what makes sense, how sad and funny it is that history will always repeat itself. We think that things are always so bad now, worse than ever... but it's just not true. Life is always good and bad and Whatever.
If I could have a fair god mother (although lets just say "sister" because shes way wise beyond her years) it would be her. I took it as a sign that my current boyfriend on our first date offered me a scooter helmet that was autographed by her. It was like her saying "LOOK, this guy has a thinking mind, and he would like to live life to the fullest, but he keeps that noggin safe while doing so!" So, she might not know she was somewhat of a match maker, but I gotta love that Sarah Vowell.
P.s. Here's a video of her speaking on the day I saw her, which my bf took on the same day in the same room but I did not know him yet.
But there is a group trying to support the preservation and restoration of the this mid century gem. Please check out www.saveourpig.com for more info. We've already felt the ups and downs of many of the people who have worked on this project before now... but we ultimately feel that if the people of our community stand together... the logical and truly most profitable thing will be to save her.
I took these photos recently of the current state of her exterior and interiors.
What makes a gift right, though? Hopefully it's something beautiful and useful or at least to be enjoyed on a semi regular basis? While I won't claim to have it all figured out I did stumble upon the perfect gift that literally keeps giving.
It's a Kiva Loan from www.kiva.org
The concept is something I heard about a few years back but it seem to have really taken off in 2010. You choose an individual or group to recieve a small micro loan from you and they work to feed their family or improve their home or whatever it is they need it for. They then slowly but steadily pay you back. They have an extremely high pay back rate. Now, this is NOT a way to make money, this is humanitarian. But when they pay the entire say, $25 dollars back, you can then use that same 25 and loan it to another person, and ad infinitum. There is literally no end to the good you can do with a few 25 dollar loans floating around the world.
In November chose to support Beth Kabacwamba who lives in Uganda and has a brick making and laying business. She's already paid back 12% this month.
This year I will make one micro loan a month and try to gift my friends that "have everything" Kiva Loans. I think that many people doing little things like this will really what makes us realize we're all in this together and most certainly we're more similar than different.
Perhaps the most radical change that occurs this year will be in our hearts and minds in this our prophetic year of 2012.
And for those looking to keep it "local" or at least in USA I've discovered that Kiva will be working with more domestic orgs to give to individuals in the states as well.
For a while I had a small collection of Polaroids of VW vans forming. This one is pretty nice... Still being used and in working condition. From my experience, they can't go much faster than 55 but why would you want a small house on wheels to go any faster? You would break all your dishes.