Observing Snail Mail

May 28, 2013 § 9 Comments

I stumbled across an article yesterday titled “My Teenage Son Does Not Know How To Mail A Letter – I Blame Technology“. It was quite mind-boggling to realize that there’s a younger generation that has never sent or received a physical letter. That they may have no idea how to write out the address on an envelope. Time really slips by fast when you aren’t paying attention.

Growing up with a father that works in foreign services meant a lot of moving around. Every few years we would get the notice to pack our bags, hug our friends and say goodbye to the life that we have grown to love. Before the internet and email became readily available, sending letters was the only way to keep in touch (or K*I*T* according to my yearbook) with friends. International calls was an option that my parents vetoed from the start as each minute cost a small fortune.

Snail mail is by far one of the most intimate forms of communication between two people. From picking out stationary, drawing doodles and choosing the right words; every step is a process that involves precious time and effort. Each letter is personalized and unique to the addressee, making the experience even more exciting and special. None of this mass email update and send-to-all contacts nonsense that we’ve grown accustomed to.

I keep all the letters and postcards I receive!

I keep all the letters and postcards I receive!

We live in a time where we thrive on instant gratifications. Whether it is from a like, a retweet or a reblog, the satisfaction comes quickly and leaves even faster. That shot of dopamine makes us want to post more, tweet more  just to feel that momentary happiness again. Like drinking soda while dehydrated, you’re left wanting more. When you receive an actual letter in your mailbox, you’re left with happiness that lingers longer than a quick Facebook wall post. Thanks to the internet, the effort and speed of maintaining relationships have both been drastically reduced. Thus receiving a letter has become especially meaningful as the time and effort to write something on a piece of paper have almost become extinct.

One of my close friends has sent a series of these beautiful side-by-side comparisons of different places and things

One of my close friends has sent a series of these beautiful side-by-side comparisons of different places and things

 

Awesome postcard from my friend Sean

Awesome postcard from my friend Sean

Snail mail may be a lost art form to the younger generation, but it is one that I cling even harder now (you’re welcome postal service.) Instead of sending out long-winded letters of all my day-to-day life updated (that’s what Twitter is for), I have turned to sending postcards. Lots and lots of postcards. The limited space for writing is a welcomed challenge for my creative brain. Sentences are replaced with haikus (as they are the only form of poetry I can manage) and doodles substituted with the  picture on the back.

Picking out unique postcards has become a lovely pastime. I never hesitate to buy a stack if I stumble across a good design as it gives me more motivation to send them out. If they don’t end up in someone’s mailbox, they usually end up on my wall:

My bedroom wall

My bedroom wall

Do you still send/receive snail mail? When was the last time you received mail?

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Draw Something…Anything!

March 31, 2012 § 5 Comments

Being completely and utterly swamped at work these past few weeks has left me exhausted and frustrated. With long hours, bitchy clients and unsympathetic bosses, it’s been hard to feel excited and inspired about anything lately. It’s like you develop tunnel vision when you’re stressed; all you can see are the things that bother and irritate you the most. Thus, it’s even important when you’re stressed out to take a step back, chillax and start appreciating the little things in life that are awesome. So despite being unbelievably bitter these days, I still want to share some of the more awesome things that life holds.

One thing that I have been getting ridiculously addicted to is that Draw Something game. I didn’t even know about it until my Taiwanese coworker ran over to my cubicle last week and asked me what “Tebow” was. I enthusiastically demonstrated what Tebowing was in the middle of the office, only to receive the most quizzical looks ever. Only one coworker (who’s from Boston) burst into a laughing fit that  could have been easily mistaken as a seizure. (Glad someone appreciated my Tebowing at least)

It’s amazing how differently people draw to convey a word. Some people are naturally great at drawing while others scrap by with just simple lines and shapes. Regardless of how good the drawing is, everyone seems to get their point across (usually). That’s probably why the game is so popular; everyone can play and it’s surprisingly fun to see what your friends draw.

 

I’ve decided to document several common trends that I’ve noticed during these past few days while playing.

1) The two-step: You draw something and you try so hard to make it look good the first time. However, the harder you try to draw within the lines, the more of a mess you make. Then you gotta start over and try something new.

Part 1 - Barber!

But sometimes the first drawing was actually better than your second one

Part 2 - ...Someone getting a head massage

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Wasteland Adventures

February 4, 2011 § 2 Comments

I went to visit my friend Will, who is out in Central Valley. We explored some abandoned boxcars and here is what we saw:

abandoned boxcars adorned with graffiti

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