Postmark Here

Postcards from Travel Near and Far by Jia-Rui

A Break from Our Regularly Scheduled Programming



Spreading love on the internet

So Cyndi, a friend from my grad school days in the UK, honored me with an Honest Scrap award. I tried to figure out via Google where this award comes from, but its origins are mysterious. I can’t even figure out where the sign comes from. Does anyone know?

No matter. There’s so much snark and bitterness on the internet that when an opportunity comes to share some love, I’m all for it. (Seems like a lot of the recipients are women. Are woman bloggers more likely to share the love?)
Here’s how it works:

1) Say thanks and give a link to the presenter of the award.
2) Share “10 Honest Things” about myself. (Is this the scrap part?)
3) Present this award to 7 others whose blogs I find brilliant in content and/or design, or those who have encouraged me.
4) Tell those 7 people they’ve been awarded HONEST SCRAP and inform them of these guidelines in receiving.

So, this will obviously take longer than the typical 150-190-word posts I’ve been doing here. I’ve taken care of #1 above. Cyndi’s blog Junius and Pippi Take the Cake is really fun and is even included in the blog network “Triangle Mamas.” I’d like to be part of a blog network some day. I guess I’ll just have to satisfy myself with being a blog solo artist for now.

10 Honest Things

1. I love bad TV. Don’t get me wrong, I love a lot of “good” TV. (I’m a devotee of Mad Men and Friday Night Lights.) But I have also watched a lot of episodes of the Real Housewives of [Fill in the Blank]. I am also addicted to MTV’s True Life documentaries. After trying to figure out how to describe the shape of our sun’s region of influence and eccentric orbits of moons during the day, I like to come home and switch my brain off.

2. I banged up my first new car within the first few days of getting it, scraping the corners on cement walls and the like. I never drove that much as a teenager, so when I got my first new car at the age of 25, I was a pretty gimpy driver. Of course, I was living in San Francisco at the time, so I blame all of the steep hills and tight parallel parking spots. I still hate driving.

3. I don’t like beer.

4. I don’t like sushi. I know everyone else likes it. But I find I swallow it about as fast as I can. If I’m doing that, I’m clearly not savoring it the way I should.

5. I leave cups all around the house. Some of them are partially full of water. I’m constantly trying to stay hydrated, but I forget about the cups afterward. This drives my husband a little crazy. I blame my mom. She does this, too.

6. I got really discouraged about writing sophomore year of high school. We had a really tough English teacher who had strict rules about what made good writing. The harder I tried to follow the rules, the more stilted my writing became. On one of my final papers, she literally wrote in the margin that she could not finish reading the essay. I still have a complex about this.

7. I like scrapbooking and paper crafts. I bought a Crop-A-Dile tool after I saw an infomercial. It’s probably not very hip to admit this. But there’s something about working all day on a computer that makes me want to cut out bird shapes, punch eyelets and add glitter to pieces of patterned paper.

8. I pronounce my name Jah-Ree, but if we’re sticking to the true Mandarin Chinese transliteration, it should be something like Jah-Ray. There were just too many years of grade school in which people had such a hard time with my name that I ended up going with Jah-Ree. It’s what I answer to now, though if you say Jah-Ray with a Chinese accent, I’ll answer.

9. Of course, if you’re speaking Chinese, you’re probably calling me Xiao Mao, which is the nickname my parents gave me. It means Little Fuzz Ball. I had a lot of hair as a baby.

10. When I turned 30, I started wearing loafers and gave up wearing impractical shoes. I think it’s just part of turning 30.

Now for the blog shout-outs:

1. That’s a Girl’s Car: Sarah inspired me to get my own blog in the first place.

2. A Million Moths: Esme takes beautiful pictures.

3. Run of Play: Brian attacks football/soccer with panache.

4. Spicy Salty Sweet: Leah’s food blog makes me drool.

5. Live from Los Angeles: I met Gretchen at a journalism conference in Florida and now she gives us her saucy Southerner’s take on Los Angeles.

6. Puck Boy Chronicles: Steve, a former LA Times colleague and sometime ski pal, tackles ice hockey.

7. Hsinchu Asked: Susannah, another former LA Times colleague, applies her wit to Taiwan.


Author: postmarkhere

I'm a journalist based in Los Angeles who has always said that writing postcards for a living would be a dream job. The posts -- short enough to fit on an actual postcard -- chronicle recent travels near and far. I could blab on about being inspired by epistolary novels, the short poems of Emily Dickinson, and the New Yorker's "Talk of the Town" pieces, but I'll just say that I'm aiming to give you a sense of flavor of a place without boring you to death. Wish you were here!

7 thoughts on “A Break from Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

  1. I shouldn’t be reading your blogposts at this hour (especially if I’m up to finish a lecture that I must give in 3 hrs), but this made me laugh. I, too, leave cups half full of water all around the house;) And oh, do I miss our craft sessions! We need to do something about the sushi thing though.

  2. Hey, thanks! I accept this award in the name of Honesty.

    I also do that with water glasses. Sometimes I walk through the living room with a spoon and it plays “Misty.”

  3. You guys are funny. This cup thing seems to have struck a chord. 🙂 And Julia, I miss our crafting sessions, too! And now I’ve got a whole bunch more tools. You should come to visit some time soon!!

  4. Jia-Rui, I have never been prouder of my (s)crappy little blog. It really inspired you to create your awesome series of digital postcards? I am genuinely touched and honored. Thank you so much–and keep sending the postcards!

    • Thanks! I was going to blog about our yummy trip to Shabu Shabu Ya, but the pictures were too dark. Wondering what to do when I have postcards without pictures … ?

  5. Thanks for playing along 🙂 I didn’t really understand it either, but I’m a big fan of sharing the love. Your list is great — and that baby nickname is beautiful!

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