So, Downton Abbey fever has spread through my work and is always the topic of conversation on Monday mornings. The folks who weren't familiar with it are glued to their TVs trying to catch up and I think our copy of the DVD of Season One has been steadily circulating since before the Christmas holiday. It's a total melodrama, but I admit I have made sure all my chores are done well before the show begins so I can find a comfortable chair to curl up in and escape into the world of Downton for an hour or two. Whatever its faults, I am finding it hugely entertaining. It's worth watching for the delightful Maggie Smith alone (she has all the best lines!) and for the clothes. One more episode to go and then it's best not to think of how long a wait we'll have to see what happens next.
For those of you who might be part of the library world and are familiar with Artstor and their digital library of images, they have a blog and a recent post was dedicated to Downton Abbey. Check it out for some very cool visuals of clothes, architecture and gardens from the era.
The Durham Museum, a local museum housed in the former Omaha Union Station, has the coolest exhibit going on at the moment and I need to find an afternoon to check it out. Cut! is an exhibit of more than 40 period costumes from Cosprop, a London costumier for movies, theatre and TV. Some of the movies represented are Pirates of the Caribbean, The Duchess, Sherlock Holmes, Sense and Sensibility, The Phantom of the Opera and Mrs Pettigrew Lives for a Day. I can't wait to see it and will report back when I do.
Have you heard of Pinterest? It's a virtual pinboard where you can tack images from the web and then find like minded people who share your interests. I found out about it at my library as it's something the university may be making use of. I'm intrigued by it, but not sure it's something that would work for the things I like to read and chat about. Does anyone belong to it? It seems like one of those cool, trendy things that I would probably not be very good at!
However, I am good at, or very interested in at least, letter writing. I miss getting cool mail, which is in part why I was prompted to join Postcrossing. A little update--my first (of five) postcards arrived at its destination in France. The recipient logged my card and I was able to send out another postcard. So I currently have five postcards 'traveling'. Four of them have been en route for 12 days now and the fifth a mere five days. I had no idea that first class mail (for letters and such) was so slow. I have been told that mail to Russia and China (where two of my cards are going) is especially slow and may well take up to two months. Sigh. Send me patience, please.
I'm yet to get an official Postcrossing postcard, but I am hopeful that the one lone card I am now entitled to will show up in my mailbox soon. I've decided that mail is like a 'watched pot'. It won't boil if you are paying attention to it. I've decided that I want to collect map postcards from all fifty U.S. states (like this one). So I have a proposition. If anyone out there would be willing to send me a "Greetings from" map card of your state (so I can get my collection going), I would be happy to reciprocate in kind (or send you some other pretty or unusual postcard). No hurt feelings if I get no takers (I realize it is an unusual request), but on the off chance someone might be willing, please send me an email (link is under blog photo). And if you're not in the U.S. but are interested in trading a postcard, just let me know. Postcard mail and letters are cool wherever they're from.
Since a whole new world outside of books has been opened up to me I've found a couple of new places to visit. I'd never heard of The Rumpus. It is an online magazine focused on culture. And sticking to the letter writing theme, they've started something called Letters in the Mail. You can subscribe to it and get a letter every week from an author. It sounds like fun, so I'm contemplating trying it.
And one more letter writing resource that is well worth a visit: Letter Writers Alliance. Whoever said the art of letter writing was dead in this era of new electronic media hasn't been looking around too hard. I think I may have to become a member. Don't worry, books will always be my favorite thing, but letter writing seems to go nicely with books, don't you think?