Samara O'Shea

Archive for November, 2010

The Evolution of Stamps

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Look what Mike & Lynn (of Mike & Lynn’s awesome card designs) sent me. Stamps with my book cover on it. It’s such a unique gift—I was mighty flattered to receive it.

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You, too, can create your own stamps at Stamps.com. This is the USPS’s latest attempt to remain cool and relevant in the age of no more mail. I find it funny that their slogan is “Never Go to the Post Office Again!” I like going to the post office. Especially on a sunny Saturday morning. I’ll stop by my P.O. Box on my way to Dunkin Donuts. It’s a great way to start the day–especially if there’s mail waiting for me.

In other news, my latest Huffington Post blog went up today. It’s called Flash Your Undies for a Good Cause . . .

Can’t Think Straight

Monday, November 29th, 2010

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I did. I feel refreshed and ready to tackle the last month of the year . . . and then go on vacation early next year to recover fully.

The following video is rated NC-17:

In case you need something to wake you up this Monday morning, this is a video of my friend Kiri reading from her soon to be published memoir Can’t Think Straight. It is the tragic and somehow hilarious story of discovering her boyfriend of ten years is gay. There are some choice words in this reading, but if you aren’t squeamish about such things (and you have headphones at work) it is very funny.

Man After My Own Heart

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

Arthur Rosenfeld wrote an inspiring piece for The Huffington Post today called “Fmail Or Fountain Pen? The Imperative To Unplug And Slow Down” (Fmail = Facebook Mail). I don’t think we can have enough reminders to slow down every now and again. The last and most engaging paragraph of his essay is below:

“Which path is for you? Do you want to take control of your own life sometime before speed-and-greed eat you alive, or do you want to stay on the train and wait for a silicon brain and a titanium heart? Perhaps you think you know, perhaps you don’t. Either way, even though it’s easier, try using a fountain pen instead of Fmail every now and then. Take a moment, unscrew the cap, feel the nicely weighted barrel in your hand, run your fingers over a smooth, clean piece of piece of paper, and write down thoughts and feelings to share with a friend. Feel the fine grit of the surface of the paper as the nib runs over it, and appreciate the flow of the tiny, beautiful, blue river of ink. Carefully consider what you want to say, because there is no back button and no deleting the paragraph, either. Notice how your breathing slows and your muscles relax and your mind becomes aware of the buzzing of the refrigerator and the wailing of the cat outside and the chirp of birds and the sound of wind at the window and the dull thud of your heartbeat. When you’re done, post your letter in snail mail and go meet someone for tea.”

~ Arthur Rosenfeld

And with that, I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am going to gleefully ignore my computer for the next four days. Until Monday!

Christmas Card Confession

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

I cannot tell a lie: I didn’t send Christmas cards last year. I sent them dutifully and joyous the year before. I handwrote about eighty of them! But last year it just didn’t come together. It pretty much has to come together in my mind before December gets here. If it doesn’t then the month starts to spiral out of control, and I can’t get a grip on the card thing. Part of me wishes we could have Christmas every other year. It is a wonderful albeit exhausting holiday, and I think we’d appreciate it more if we got a break from it.

I hadn’t thought about whether or not I’d send cards this year. Then yesterday Habitat for Humanity sent me Christmas address labels. It’s such a simply, silly thing but it made me so excited for both Christmas and card sending that I officially know I will send at least 36 cards (that’s how many address labels I have).

Below are close ups of the label features. They look much more festive as a whole, but in the name of keeping my address off my website, I went with close ups.

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First, there’s this guy. Isn’t he cute? With his messed up buttons and crooked nose.

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Then there’s this sensual candle. The red is very deep on the label itself.

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And here’s the archetypal bell to ring it all in!

They started playing Christmas music on the radio this past weekend. I say, if you can’t beat, join em! Okay Christmas, just wait a few more days until Thanksgiving is over, and then I’ll give you my undivided attention.

Are you planning to send cards this year?

Finish Each Day

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

A Note from Someone Who Cares

Friday, November 19th, 2010

Because I have no wisdom of my own to impart today, I send you over to Letters of Note for a get-well thought from Michael Jackson. Have a great weekend!

The Award-Winning Waterford Essay

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am pleased to give you the winning essay of the 1988 Waterford Crystal “Reflections on my Mom” Contest. Reader Lark from Michigan told me about entering this essay as a young lass. She won a trip to Ireland out of it!

She told me the story over the summer as I was getting ready to go to the Emerald Island myself. She recently found the very faded essay at her mother’s house. She scanned and retraced it for all of us to enjoy. The prize is impressive:

“I was the younger-age-group “Grand Prize Winner” for the contest. My mother and I got a 2-week trip to Ireland out of it, and my dad and brother came along for the ride. We were given a LOT of Waterford crystal, including a tall vase with the emblem from the contest marked “Mother of the Year 1988″ and a glass walking cane that was handed to me *during* our tour of the Waterford factory.”

Please view the actual essay here: waterford_essay.pdf It’s precious! Transcription below:

My mother is special because she saved both my pet hamsters. My brother almost squeezed one of them to death but my mother put her on a heating pad, stroking her, and after they picked me up from school mama took her to the vets to have a shot that saved her. She was my first pet.

My cat would have eaten my other hamster if mama hadn’t listened for her. Mama went around the whole house looking for her at night and when she finally went to bed, she kept listening and soon heard my cat in Pat’s room and found my cat ready to sink her teeth into her. She found a play fireman’s hat and had my hamster jump into and saved her. That shows that she care about my feelings and pets.

A very belated congratulations Lark! What a memorable moment for you and your mother to relive again and again.