May 27, 2008

Mike’s drawing

Originally uploaded by Duc N. Ly.

Drawing and text by Mike Abelson.
These are the pages scanned from Postalco library call Maps. Postalco produced a series ‘documenting the use of everyday stationary’. The small, about the size of a 4 x 6 index card book, pamphlet or manifesto has some wonderful drawings of maps people draw for each other. It makes me wish that I had kept some the drawings people drew for me in the past when I was lost.

“He says a single map for life is all you need. It’s a saying of his…” – Kobo Abe, ‘The Ruined Map.’ page 29

“When I ask people for directions they sometimes draw a map to explain which way to go.’ – Mike Abelson


May 27, 2008

postalco cover

Originally uploaded by Duc N. Ly.

Previously: postalco

This Postalco notebook arrived from Japan! My first impression is that it has the smallest grids I’ve ever seen! The Lines are super fine blue. Often, I’ve seen large grid with a line that is not so sharp. Here, the grids are so finely and clearly lay on a vellum like surface. So when it’s far away, the page appears to be blue. Perhaps a good analogy is the computer pixel. The grid can almost be covered by the point of a dull # 2 pencil. This is where the dpi or dots per inch can come in handy to measure the grids. This can be useful for a variety of grid size drawings on a page or a clear blue back ground for text.

The cover is dark indigo blue of denim texture.
pen test
It’s a fusion of textile and pulp, textile and text. I can see the potential of the cover fading like a nice pair of denim jeans.
Mike included a nice hand written note on a 3×5 index card. It’s nice to know that he also uses index cards. The card against the book gives you an idea of the size of this beautiful notebook. The paper size is slightly larger then a junior size journal.
The other nice design of this spiral notebook is that the cover wraps around to protect the bind edge of the spiral which tend to get bent. The spiral edge is minimally exposed on the front cover side.


The Boat

The Boat

The first story of the book. Father comes to visit son at creative writing school. Son gets ideas from friends to exploit the Vietnam experience from Father. Father tell son about story then later burns it after it is written. It is never shown or published. Seems to be a commentary there.

From The New Yourk Times artical by Patricia Cohen:
The last story, “The Boat,” describes a dire 13-day journey from Vietnam to a Malaysian camp, an experience not that different from one that Mr. Le, just a few months old, and his family went through after joining the legions of refugees trying to escape the Communist regime in 1979.

“One of the chief ambitions of the story was to play with that idea of what we consider to be authentic, how much autobiography is implied or assumed, how we read something differently if we think it’s been drawn from the author’s life,” Mr. Le said of “Love and Honor.”

His father spent three years in a re-education camp after the war, but unlike his fictional counterpart, who destroys one of his son’s stories, Mr. Le’s father made some suggestions and asked if he could translate the tales. His mother, he said, has not yet read them.

At work, we had a presentation on memory. I wanted to pass on a few bullet points.

  • The presenter Kristin gave us a few tips on remembering names of the person you met.
  • Slow down and listen when the other person say their name.
  • Humans can think seven times faster and we can listen.
  • Try to repeat their names back to them in a nonchalant way. Repetition retains the data.
  • Jotting down even bullet points improves or retains the data.
  • Learn the language of memory which is visual imagery.
  • Memory or data needs to be organized and file like the paper filing system. Most of the time our memory is jumble up. There’s no methods or organizing system for the data.
  • Access and retrieval at the time that is need is the key.  The analogy uses this imagery:  Imagine that our brain is a filing cabinet.  It’s easier to find what we are looking for if the data is filed.  It would take us longer to look for a file if all of the files have been dumped and mixed.
  • Stress impairs memories.  Stress in some ways mixes this system.
  • 70% of memory will be lost in the next 24 hours.

Goal Setting Worksheet.pdf

freedom blog


May 7, 2008

I came across this spiral Postalco notebook in the latest May 2008 issue of GQ American. At the bottom of the page, seemingly out of nowhere, the editors of GQ mentions this spiral notebook as their favorite. They carry them around and ‘beat them up’. Mike Abelson, the owner of Postalco, mentioned that the cover is made of cotton and wears like a nice pair of denim. Postalco has a shop in California, around LA I think. I’ll have to check the magazine for the address. A search on the web brings up an on-line order, however the language is in Japanese. The retailers carrying these products are extensive and re-known. I wrote an email, and to my surprise, Mike replied. I’m awaiting for the arrival and will be featuring the notebook in the near future.

There is the mysterious Map book: No. 10010

All maps show how we understand space, from directions drawn on napkins to maps of ancient Egypt. Having a unreliable sense of direction and getting lost often is how the authors gathered the collection of hand drawn maps featured. These hand-scrawled maps may reflect how we really understand the spaces around us. -Postalco

That quote really captures the way I feel about maps and visual thinking. I’ve gotten lost a number of times and I’m always fascinated as to how I reorient myself again.

Over the wonderful sunny weekend, I went on a hike with some friends to Angels Rest. While hiking we spoke about relationships. One person mentioned ‘The Five Love Languages’ by Gary Chapman. I did a quick search on my to add it to my ‘List of Candidates’ (Steve Leven of Levenger’s term from his Bookography concept.) Any how, Amazon has a package deal with includes a faux leather journal for writing to accompany the reading of the book. However, due to popular demands, it is currently not available on Amazon. Try Ebay.

How do you discover your spouse’s – and your own – love language? Chapman’s short questionnaires are one of several ways to find out. Throughout the book, he also includes application questions that can be answered more extensively in the beautifully detailed companion leather journal (an exclusive set). Each section of the journal corresponds with a chapter from the book, offering opportunities for deeper reflection on your marriage. – Cindy Crosby.

I think this is a great present for Mother’s Day idea.

Other books about relationships: Passionate Marriage