Tag Archives: letters

Post’d: inbound treats from India, Lanka, Ukraine, Ireland, City Lights, Bowen, Germany etc

I mean, I know no one is really worrying about this or hardly paying attention, but I have a strange obsession with documenting all the inbound mail, as well as often making videos of me simply chatting whilst putting the treats into scrapbooks – which kind of misses the point and I should just spend the time scribbling more letters.

However, i recently sent out six glorious bundles of a book which combines fine art, exquisite paper craft, time travel, astral projection, interactivity, and story of love, love, love and friendship across time, zones, islands, continents, and fictions – and I did it all without taking a snapshot of the luscious stack (which also included inscriptions featuring my new inky stamps). It’s all very exciting to me.

*And* when I went to my local post office – where I used to be a regular visitor however this year I’ve slowed down significantly for various reasons – my favourite employee was there to greet me and help me with significant excitement and enjoyment as we chose the stamps for each one plus, I showed her the well-traveled 11 month journey postcard to India, and she in return, told me about new postal regulations for sending packages to all countries which go into affect September. (Oh great… More complications :(, fortunately does not affect letters and postcards, so I’ll stick with those standards (aerogrammes seem to go missing) so you’re out of luck on international packages friendo.

However, onwards the inbound pile, there’s been so many interesting arrivals so while I am restraining myself from documenting everything and saying to self its fine just documenting a few things. Cool with you? Great. Let’s make a start:

What do Fred Rogers, Andy Warhol, Albert Einstein and the Heinz family have in common? Thanks to Tim Tulloch & family in CT for the great card packed full of stories all interlinked in the most unlikely ways.

A talisman of friendship across continents, oceans – circumstances often running parallel across astral planes. We continue to create in solidarity, collaboration (accidental or otherwise), constant creativity, cross-medium communication and unabashed affection with and from Andrew McLuhan (who has faced significant personal challenges and started/completed/attempted so many multidisciplinary projects, while keeping the legacy of his father and grandfather even more relevant… All of the above for which I have massive admiration)

2 fortunate correspondents enjoying the correspondence from Bowen Island with usual enthusiasm (hooray for ice cream on the dock!)

Ichiro *reading* this dispatch from my birthday twin in Germany, in his words was mostly about “dinosaurs, water bikes and stanely park and the number 7” Danke Astrid-san.

Arriving miraculously timed directly on my birthday, although without that specific intention, came this beautiful envelope from someone who is a semi-professional letter/card writer, stamp creator, community builder, and always includes very enjoyable paper craft in her dispatches from Austin TX (a city I used to visit so often and loved so gently)

And another exceptionally thoughtful friend who’s family faced many challenges from operations to hurricanes over the last, while you took the time to send a birthday card, which hit all the marks with luscious paper, lovely quote, and a glorious tree. Thank you to the palmy desert.

this quirky artwork arrived from a friend. I haven’t met yet (thinking about it, many of my correspondence fall into this category) who also lives in Japan and it seems to have a very interesting variety of skills from sketching to music. {It’s a really fantastic painting and remind me of another, we saw during the van Gogh exhibit in an adjacent gallery… its around here somewhere… oh here it is}

sorry don’t know the artist’s name

These “Fantastic” stickers were included with a very heartfelt and private typed letter, on luscious letterhead, describing an experience at a regional burning man type event, in which the writer set up a “post office” and delivered analogue communication from various camps to camps… That part doesn’t sound very personal, but anyway, here’s related stickers as a placeholder for this tender letter.

A young –I guess he’s no longer that “young” – Sri Lankan correspondent made a trip to India, I believe his first international adventure about which he was understandabl excited, and from this journey came a postcard featuring the mystic Sai Baba, whose movement/commune/corp makes the exquisite Nag Champa incense.

The same un-young fella sent another card on his return to Sri Lanka, the stamps/cancellation are included for your enjoyment in comparison. Learn more about Rasika and his postcards.

Also, no longer particularly “young” but of course, still youthful and in my eyes always a keen speaker, comes a postcard from Ireland (on a honeymoon with an exceptional decision). {Funny, all the places I’ve rambled, Ireland, and Scotland, and Norway, which are the origin points of much of my heritage are still unvisited. The good news is, those can wait as they’re relatively “easy” compared to some of the places of my rambles.} ty J&V, come visit

From another place, I have yet to visit and probably one not on the usual “tourist trap” these days – comes a lovely message from a Canadian, usually living in Vietnam but at this time in Ukraine (and soon to be in Japan). Note to self: give him a call

This fantastically well-travelled postcard, was harvested somewhere from the internets (Twitter?), but I have forgotten whom to credit so… if this is you, ‘thank you for sharing your remarkable artifact’ which seems to have leapfrog continents and hopefully eventually found a recipient (hooray for the incredible neural net work of postal services!)

My friend Katherine in Vic BC passed along this very cool “4 Sen” stamp from a bundle picked up at Smithsonian Postal Museum – I know that somehow along the way, the yen was all re-valuated as now 4 Sen (which means ¥4000) is about $40 CAD and in the old-timey movies, the money denominations seem to be all juggled up anyway, I just like the stamp. TY

One of us is very cool and nonchalant, the other is may be too excited, but, regardless, this is a fantastic postbox located on the 6th floor courtyard of a department store next to a hidden post office. I don’t understand the story behind at all but I’m always unusually excited when I have a chance to drop something in here and take the obligatory snapshot (you’ll find others with the same cheesy pose elsewhere no doubt).

Bonus!

New inky stamps and visit from a pal led to a postcard making session at a coffee shop (yes, my favourite thing to do) and, since I love trams/trolleys, combined it all with a note from a friend mailed to my own house. Doesn’t everyone do this? {the kanji characters say – from top to bottom: Tsuchida, Okayama, Japan + the postbox might well be modelled on the one above.

Lit-ish Artifacts: from Writers Read Their early Sht pod w/ J. Emde

biographical notes (very important items to note)

In November 2022 I was very pleased to be a very lousy guest on the very gracious Jason Emde’s podcast (broadcast in Gifu rock city) in which writers share their “early, unripe… etc. etc.” work along with Jason’s curious questions, amusing banter and general graciousness.

Note: i riffed about Jason’s most excellent book in a Beat Sushi video dispatch “Curiously Punctuated” and we enjoy a prolific mostly-postcard-but-sometimes-passport correspondence.

very un-reliable account of King Tut’s life. this is not science (yet i won the ribbon)

We spoke for something like four hours which is a world record for me of late, yes I was a little spun out and it’s not my finest moment *but* gave me an opportunity to dig deep into the archive to find things from my legit early days. Of course about an hour makes it into the finished program but my goodness, is it a lot of action in an hour. Leaping wildly from topic to form, location to era, anecdote to musing. A bit rant-y sure so hold on to yer cap.

In this case I pulled items from: fourth grade King Tut mimeographed hand out from my (award winning :-)) science fair project at Prince Charles Elementary; newspaper editorials and chapbooks at the Orem (UT) high school; early stories at Utah Valley community college; and, the beginning of the *disgruntled with the literary establishment years* at University of Utah years.

(one of several fusillades fired in the Orem High School newspaper (under different surname), this one about student teachers from BYU

Yes there are many digressions, rapid speaking, a few shots fired, salvos really, a bit of sweetness and a bit of tenderness as I figured out who I thought I might be when I was already completely myself.

Find it all at:

Writers Read Their Early Sh*t S2/E5 – Dave Olson (aka Uncle Weed): priorities & bad decisions

my “notes to self” for assembling the materials

Blurb:

Jason welcomes under-qualified window-washer Dave Olson & his fantastic beard & beautiful hands for a natter about punching or hugging Dostoevsky, see-through loincloths, meeting REM, borrowing mustard from Allen Ginsberg, dodgy Greyhound stations, working out the writing life math, and how cheerleaders are people too.

There’s ropey Egyptian history, a savage polemic, the details of hippy teacher Mr Boris’s new motorized home, a few bits & Brother Bobs of Dave’s early poetry & prose, & Jason getting his Tutankhamun timeline wrong by only 3700 years. An unnerving—if not terrifying—time is guaranteed for all.

Check out Dave’s creative life archive at https://daveostory.com—much to enjoy there. Music by the outrageous DJ Max in Tokyo.

Join the early sh*t chat at https://www.facebook.com/WRTESpodcast & on Instagram @writersreadtheirearlyshit. You can also send an email to WritersReadTheirEarlyShit (at sign) gmail.com. Many thanks, wherever & whoever & however you are, for listening. 

Post’d: surface transport (distant lands)

Some countries still don’t have air mail connections with Japan at this time, so, sending a letter envelope by surface post… Wonder how long it will take to find its destination? Hope this envelope has it sea legs.

Avast ye envelope

All together dispatches today went to Sri Lanka, India, and the usual, Japan, USA and Canada.

Post’d: new year mail-outs / postal odds and ends (& what happens next)

A well decorated special new year dropbox at a post office on a quest with my buddy Mac

“Good news” is over 300 pieces of postal mail dispatched the last 4-5 weeks. Mostly postcards but also bunch of special packets (some were far overdue) + typed (poorly) a few long letters – still a few more on my list and then have to pause / slow down for a while.

One of the batches, heading out internationally with some fantastic (specially ordered) 70¥ stamps, celebrating an anniversary of Japan and France, postal relations, along with air mail seals (and a CD received from a friend in Fukushima)
On a drive to visit an arborist colleague, in another town, spotted a couple post boxes from the car, and just couldn’t resist myself since we were at a red light, seemed like fate
There was a lot of red ink, stamping, because well of course we have our own “year of the rabbit” stamps, so wore out the previous red ink pad (which I really really liked) and ordered a new one, yeah it’s really the big time
Have acquired at least a dozen free calendars and placed each appropriately throughout the house, and in this case, in the kura (to be clear, there’s also one in the carport/workshop)
Of course, this dude was helping out with the stamping
Along with the “usual” high volume of standard New Year’s cards, were a few special dossiers, sent to folks needing a little spark, due to being shut, ins, hospitalized, suffering, loss, or otherwise did something very special. an opportunity to share some of my little arts and crafts to maybe inspire others.
Though our dear rabbit Maru-chan is featured on the new year card – because of course it is “year of the rabbit” – sadly, my design skills squished him in and he was often covered by a stamp required for postal delivery. I attempted to apologize and explain the situation – he just wants to sit by the fire. I think we’ll both be all right.
Thank you to all our wonderful correspondents, both sending and receiving is a pleasure

The next “big project” is getting ready for a trip #BCInvasion in April/May. Focus is “family, friends, parks, and gardens” 1st time for my darlings, and I’m a little intimidated to deal with lack of public toilets, tax/tips and other social connections, but will get through it. And yes, of course I’ve made a Google doc plan and “poster art”.

Accordion-style Postcard Scrapbook hangout (with jazz and sage)

various beloved correspondence, mostly post cards, cards and whatnot, taped and glued with affection, maybe from you

Hangout in the Kura barn while i light sage, spin Ornette Coleman and fill up an accordion-style scrapbook with postcards and other postal treats using various sticky corners, washi tape, double-sided tape, envelopes and odds and ends. No chit-chat (not even my lovely beard), just ambient craft session.

Grab a chair if you want some company or otherwise have a notion.

Assembling Kerouac Dossiers and Poetic Letters, in the Kura #video

Assembling Jack Kerouac ephemera dossiers and stamping postcards, scribbling letters while chatting, grouching about misplacing things and listening to REM’s “Fables of the Reconstruction.”

many items, carefully curated, into envelopes (with splendid stamps of course)

Hang out, no big deal.

PS Wanna get some artifacts for your archive and amusement? Be sure to watch the “Kerouac in Kobe” video to the end.

Bonus from Simon Warner, author of “text, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll” and writer/curator of highly recommendedRock and the Beat Generation” newsletter, who says:

Thank you, Dave Olson, for sharing such a great selection of Kerouac in Kobe 2020/2021 exhibition artefacts: what a wonderful gathering of programmes and images, text, recordings and postcards!

Look out for an interview at Rock and the Beat Generation with the Canadian bodhisattva of Japanese Beat very soon
Simon Warner shares the assortment of Kerouac in Kobe artefacts / which arrived to UK in about a week from Japan, hooray for postal services!
it’s not always easy, but I keep on trying one way or another.

Postal Club Invitation

are you in the DaveO postal club?

You know i love writing postcards – all of which get mailed but only a random subset reach destination… I do struggle with keeping track of addresses, hidden in messages of all sorts: scraps of paper; biz cards; messenger; twitter dms; imessage; sms; email; random text files; notepad… you get the idea.

As such, i’ve crafted a wee form to reign the chaos in a bit. Consider filling out even if i already have your address (somewhere).

Please note: enter your address EXACTLY and as COMPLETELY as possible. Copy and pasteable, ya dig? No short-cuts, shortcodes, just Zip codes, abbreviations, and add your dang country(!) and so on.

https://daveostory.com/more-daveo/postal-club/

Still Life: writing letters at Sun Clinic

A sunny patch of grass, all necessary tools, everything is possible

Came across this photo, I suppose there’s a chance it’s elsewhere in this archive but its significant memory for me… ergo:

When we were pregnant, went to the lovely “and clinic” for our usual check-in but, in those early heady days of the “notable public health conundrum virus” this was the first time I was not allowed in to participate due to uncertainty and concern.

Certainly crestfallen so, as I do when feeling blue, I grabbed my postal kit and wrote a postcard or a letter, possibly to you.

These sorts of photos with pens, papers, address book, inky and postal stamps, aerograms, ephemera, postcards etc, all sort of spread around on a table, desk, blanket (or just the flap of a leather satchel purchased in Nepal), I called “postal still life” and yes, I have dozens of examples, 100s possibly.