Thursday, April 23, 2015

Alex Myers: the 'quiet revolution behind the word transgender'

Tonight PBS NewsHour aired an excellent segment that featured my beloved husband Alex Myers, entitled "the quiet revolution behind the word transgender." I like to think of Alex as a quiet revolution, and the video is a nice portrayal. I believe it is the first in a series entitled "Transgender in America." I hope you enjoy watching it. (Yes, they did include two photos of the two of us together - I'm still stunned by the idea of my photo on national television.)

NewsHour also filmed Alex speaking recently at Choate Rosemary Hall in Connecticut, and they have posted a video of his entire unedited 20-minute talk, which he wrote as a more in-depth exploration of his identity and how he has become who he is. Check out "How a label can empower the transgender community", which I think is a more thoughtful exploration... but of course, I'm biased because he wrote it.

And if you're really ambitious, you can watch the entire hour-long NewsHour episode with multiple stories from today.

In essence, I think Alex is a magnificent ambassador for the #trans community, and it is my hope (and I think his hope, too) that by submitting to this media exposure, he can open some minds and hearts, and perhaps provide a lifeline to other queer, #trans, and questioning people - particularly youth. If you know anyone who is questioning their gender identity, or wants to know more, I hope these videos and Alex's writings (and his speaking at schools - he does regular speaking engagements at schools and colleges and posts a lot about them on his Facebook author page and has contact information on his website, should you be interested) can serve as helpful resources.

Oh yeah - he also wrote a pretty amazing novel, "Revolutionary", so check that out, too!

There are some crazy people out there, so I have vowed not to read internet comments on the Facebook posts and YouTube video pages... but this is a more select and loving audience, and I would welcome your comments here. What did you think?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Alex Myers on PBS NewsHour April 23

My beloved husband of 12 years, author Alex Myers, will be featured in a "Transgender America" segment on PBS NewsHour on Thursday evening, April 23. You can watch it live on your local PBS station (it airs on the east coast at 6pm), stream it live at, or stream it later on the evening it airs at PBS NewsHour videos. I will be sure to provide a direct link once it is available!

While I was not filmed for this segment, they did ask for a photo of the two of us together, plus the correct pronunciation of my name, so hopefully I'll get mentioned (and hopefully they'll pronounce my name correctly)! This is really very big exciting news for us, and for Alex's amazing novel Revolutionary. And of course it is very exciting news to spread awareness and education about gender and gender identity.

I'll be streaming it live at 6pm on Thursday evening - tune in if you are interested!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Great stamps from China, with cat stamp

Stamps on Postcrossing thank-you letter from China

I received a wonderful thank-you letter from China recently, in response to US-3101799 that I sent on Postcrossing. The sender told me a truly beautiful pet story (in my Postcrossing profile, I ask for a beloved pet story if people are wondering what to write), which was heartwarming and sincere. He also sent me some great stickers from China, including some cute cat stickers like the one on the envlope -- and the postage stamps were a gift in and of themselves! Sometimes I get fairly boring stamps from China, but not this batch! Can you guess my favorite?

China Cat Stamp

The cat!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Happy Passover 2015!

Happy Passover!

It's almost seder time, and we're almost ready.

For all who celebrate Pesach, Chag Sameach!

Post-Seder update on April 4, 2015: that was the best gluten-free matzo AND the best kosher for Passover wine I've yet found. Highly recommended!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Russian wild cat stamp: Pallas's Cat

Russian Wild Cat Stamp

This is clearly the season for me to receive amazing cat stamps from Postcrossing! This stamp came this week from Russia, riding on RU-3503703. I was so, so excited to receive this: I love any feline stamp, any time, but there is something really wild and compelling about this illustration. Also, alas - a lot of stamps from Russia are fairly boring, so this one really stood out.

I couldn't find out much about this stamp issue (anyone? anyone?), but I did find some basic information indicating it is from a Fauna of Russia: Wild Cats series, and this is Pallas's Cat, which is a fairly rare subspecies native to Central Asia. The photos make it look very similar to this stamp illustration: a very unusual-looking and very fluffy feline.


It is fitting, of course, that the postcard image itself was a fun cat illustration, too. Thank you, Katia from Russia!

Hey U.S. Postal Service: how about a wild cats of the USA stamp issue?

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Canada Post black cat Choose Adoption stamp

Canada Black Cat Stamp

This lovely cat stamp came to me recently on a Postcrossing postcard from Canada. I can't recall what the postcard image was, and I neglected to photograph it at the time, but I was utterly charmed by this sweet kitty stamp. (US Postal Service, can we please get more stamps with cats on them??) It is from the 2013 Choose adoption / adopt a pet series, which shows photos of the animals surrounded by a line-drawing illustration of an imagined home life, once they are adopted. And look at the little kitty looking longingly at the cat furniture with a ball of string and a mouse toy! That is a great illustration of how I've loved and spoiled my own shelter-adopted kitties.

Of course this is a subject very close to my own heart: my beloved kitties Stella, Oberon, and Soda (of blessed memory) all came from adoption via animal shelters.

Canada Black Cat Stamp with Butterflies

The postcard also came with these bright and cheery monarch butterfly stamps, too. I've said it many times before, but I'll say it again: the joy from Postcrossing isn't just the postcards (or the lovely connections with mail-loving people), it's also the postage stamp treats, too!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Writing desk candid + washi tape storage


Well, I haven't done such a good job of blogging again this month, have I? The good news is that I've been spending a ton of time writing postcards and longer letters, which has been a pleasure. I took a photo in the middle of writing one of those longer letters recently, just to share the mood of my writing desk. I didn't really tidy it for this, so you can see the current semi-mess in action, complete with messy piles.

I didn't set out to talk about this, but as I look at the photo, I'd like to mention my new storage system for washi tape. I mention this in part because I've been really, really into washi tape especially lately, and my collection has grown... thereby increasing my need for a decent storage system. I like to use the tape outside of a dispenser and place it by hand, and I also need to be able to see all my tapes at once. You can see some of them hanging from my bulletin board on a system I've rigged with hanging them on a ribbon between two pushpins; this is nice for visibility, but a bit of a pain for retrieving the tape unless they're the ones on the end. So, the ones I use less frequently gravitate to the middle.

The new system about which I'm most excited is a little less apparent here, but you can see it under and to the left of the hanging tape rolls, next to the mug of fountain pens. They are Mark's Round Pen Cases which I got from the beloved JetPens. Yes, they are technically pen cases, but when I saw these recently added to the JetPens website, the description mentioned storage for decorative tapes, and I thought.... hmmmm.... First I bought the black case, and then I loved it so much I bought another one in white. The round shape perfectly holds the washi tape, and the clear window lets you see what's inside, and it's easy to retrieve the tapes in the middle. Now my favorite, most-used tapes live in the Mark's Round Pen Cases for fast and easy access. As you can see in the photo, they stand up nicely on their own (though they could be hung quite easily using the zipper ring), and if I need to expand, I'll get them in different colors to differentiate. They also feel very sturdy, and would stand up well to travel, I think.

You can see some of my washi tape use on the letter on the desk. I have more ideas for blog posts than I'm sure I will ever execute, but this makes me think I should review some of the utterly adorable tapes I've found recently; the designs available have exploded exponentially in the past few years, and it's pretty amazing what you can find on a tape now.

If you have any nice writing desk photos, or washi tape storage ideas, or any other thoughts, please share in the comments!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Snow day = mail day

Snow day view

Today we have yet another snow day here in Washington, DC. It's predicted to be a lot of snow, even by DC's very low standards (I will refrain from going on about how this city cannot handle snow), and I am enjoying yet another snow day at home. It's going to be kittens and mail, all day long!

Oberon, snow watcher

And of course, snow-watching.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Spacecat: The Case of the Empty Envelope

The case of the empty envelope

I recently received this phenomenal handmade envelope from Allison Anne, a mail enthusiast with whom I connected via Twitter. We'd exchanged a couple of postcards, and she sent me a letter... but alas, I only received the envelope! It appears the letter fell out en route somehow.

The envelope is so spectacular that I had to share it with you. She tells the full story on her blog, and we both blame the tape used to seal the edges. It wasn't too sticky, and on one edge the tape had come unstuck, giving the letter an escape route as it was squeezed through the mail sorting machines... or so we surmise. (I had to secure it with transparent tape for this photo.)

Space Cat Envelope

I'm sure it was a spectacular letter - how could it not be, transported by such a space cat? - and I'm so sorry to miss it, but nevertheless, I am delighted by this excellent envelope.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Mike says I don't write often enough

"You don't write often enough"

Yesterday I received another great Postcrossing postcard, and laughed out loud at what Mike wrote. Turns out he was already a regular reader of my blog when he was assigned to send me a Postcrossing postcard, and he tells me I don't write blog posts often enough. I think he's right.

I'm trying! I have a goal of at least 5 posts per month. I failed in January, but I'll manage (and maybe exceed?) that for February.

On my Postcrossing profile, I invite senders to share a beloved pet story. I really enjoyed Mike's story about how their cat Tiger came into their lives.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Cat with cherry blossoms postcard


Here is another delgihtful Postcrossing surprise: a fantastic cat among cherry blossoms postcard from Japan. It is hard to appreciate the loveliness of this card in a photo, because the postcard has textures; some of the cherry blossoms are raised in a textured, hard-tissue-paper-like fashion, as is the chop seal near the bottom by the kitty, and some of the blossoms are gold foil. That doesn't show up so well in this photo, but you can get a better sense of it on the JP-640891 Postcrossing postcard page, where the sender uploaded the photo of the postcard before she sent it.

JP-640891 back

I don't usually post the backs of postcards, but this one was so adorable I had to share.

  • a Hello Kitty airmail stamp
  • a drawing of her fluffy dog Moko
  • cat, bird, and mushroom stickers
  • cat washi tape
Yay Postcrossing surprises!