Samara O'Shea

Archive for August, 2010

Teacher’s Pet

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

I have two letters left from my great desktop clean out. This thank you note is from one of my high school English teachers, Mrs. Cummins. It’s the epitome of short and sweet. Mrs. Cummins definitely makes the cut into my top five teachers of all time. She was funny, understanding, and she made sure to point out all of Shakespeare’s sexual innuendos. What more could a room full of seniors ask? Transcription below the image:



It has been my utmost pleasure having you as a student this year. You are one of the finest young women I have had the joy to teach. You are a special person who always had the knack for making me feel like I make a difference in kids’ lives. For that, I thank you.

Mrs. Cummins

Tune in tomorrow. I’ve saved the best letter for last.

Butterflies on Paper and Dresses in Trees

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Check this out: Reader Mike from Virginia sent me a stack of cards with this adorable design on the front. His wife, Lynn, is learning Chinese brush art, so he scanned one of her images and made cards. I will send four of these (to very special people), and keep one for myself. Thank you Mike. Lynn, keep up the great work!


In other butterfly news: This past Saturday, my neighbor’s daughter got married. I snapped a few photos of her dress hanging in his tree—sided by some paper butterflies, of course. This is a wedding trend I’ve noticed—photographing the dress hanging by itself in an interesting place. (Perhaps it’s not a new trend, but I’ve only seen it recently). In June, I discovered the wedding blog StyleMePretty (planning a wedding or not, this blog is a feast for the eyes), and in pretty much every set of photos is a dress hanging somewhere. For example, here and here. I like the idea a lot. Plus it made my Saturday morning cup of tea more interesting.



Letters to the President

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Just when I thought I couldn’t love our left-handed president anymore, THIS came along:

Why Revenge is Pointless

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

This is my latest blog for The Huffington Post.

Blondes (Theoretically) Have More Fun

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

During my great computer clean up of this past weekend, I came across some photos of myself as a blonde. Between the ages of 18 and 26, I changed my hair color pretty much every year. When I was 25 I went platinum blonde, and it destroyed my hair. My once soft tresses felt like overcooked angel-hair pasta. I left my hair Harlow blonde for a while, since the damage had already been done. At the age of 27 I went brunette and have been that way ever since.

What’s my natural color? I was born with a full head of dark brown hair. Then it all fell out and turned blonde—naturally platinum. As I got older it got darker. I suppose these days brunette is my natural color, but if feels strange to say that.

If I’m up for changing to a crazy color again, it’ll be red. Blonde is fun, but no funner than any other color. (I find the fun is in the willingness to whimsically change colors). Plus Blonde is too hard on the hair—unless you can afford top-notch care, like Gwen Stefani and Lady Gaga.

In any case, this was a nice trip down goldie-locks lane.

I can stomach the platinum pics of myself in black and white. In color, all I see is super light hair contrasted with super dark eyebrows.

I love this photo and am so glad I found it. I’m small and Central Park is big and majestic.

This is an especially embarrassing piece of ephemera. It’s my comp card from my attempt to be a model at the age of 19. These were the golden-hair days. The top two photos are hideous and make me cringe at the thought of my trying to be a model. The bottom left isn’t bad, and the bottom right is good. Once again, black and white works its magic. I’m realizing now that three of these photos (not including the top right) were also taken in Central Park—a lifetime before the one above it.

Look What I Found

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

I’ll tell ya, the computer experience becomes more life like every day. Case in point: I’ve started cleaning my desktop, and it is as rewarding as cleaning any room in the house (minus the smell of Lysol). Going through, deleting old documents, and emptying the trash when finished makes me feel incredibly organized. As I electronically straighten up, I come across old letters and pictures—as if I were cleaning my office. I completely forgot I had scanned some of these—as my scanner sits in the corner collecting dust.

This week, I’ll share some of my weekend findings. First up is a letter from Nana. This isn’t my Nana but my ex-boyfriend’s Nana. She wrote me the sweetest card when I graduated college. Nana has since left this life, but she is alive and well in my memory and in her words (transcription below the image).


Dear Samara,

My heartfelt congratulations to you for not only completing the four years at Duquesne but for doing it with flying Kellars – as the kids say I say!

I not only give you my best wishes, but also my prayers for you – that you will find your niche and will enjoy many, many years of health and success in it.

Check in with me occasionally now that I have my modern contraption called an e-mail machine! It will be so nice to hear about your adventures and successes.

With love and prayers,
Nana Joyce

Back to School

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

I must confess, I’m not sad to see summer go. While I do plan to savor its final days and wear a bathing suit at least three more times over Labor Day weekend, I am so looking forward to fall. I anxiously await autumn’s crisp air and kaleidoscopic foliage.

This morning I spotted a neighborhood ingénue sporting a pink backpack and marching toward the high school. To be going back to school in August and on a Monday—that’s harsh. In any case, I hope she enjoys her first few days back as I always did. I’m not sure where beginning-of-the-school-year bliss comes from. I liken it New Year’s—fresh air, clean slate.

Speaking of school, the Center for Journal Therapy has posted the Fall Term classes. I’m teaching a class on Social Networking if anyone is interested. Consider the other classes, too. If you’re looking to take your journal practice to a deeper lever, this is a great way to do it.