music student. singer. bookworm. paper aficionado. journaler. tea drinker. runner. Zumba! instructor. history buff. cat "meow-my" to Uling ("charcoal"), my curious, affectionate, owl-eyed black kitty. Wanderlust-stricken!
My username references one of my favorite novels, Donna Tartt's tapestry-like The Goldfinch, and one of my favorite songs, "Meadowlark," introduced by Patti LuPone in Stephen Schwartz's ill-fated musical, The Baker's Wife.
I would be a Ravenclaw (or Thunderbird at Ilvermorny), and my Amortentia would smell like a library, freshly sharpened pencils, English breakfast tea, two-by-fours and stage make-up, and Quelques Fleurs.
I aim to send swaps the day (or day after) partners are assigned and certainly by the send-by date. I hit "send" once I drop my mail in my personal box -- pick-up is anytime between 10 AM-4 PM on weekdays and around 4 PM CST on Saturdays.
There is also a local postbox whose contents are collected at 1 PM weekdays and 12 PM Saturdays, but this does not guarantee a postmark from that day (especially if a swap send-by date is on the weekend). "Last call" at my local post office is 5 PM weekdays. I am not a flake, and in the event of tardiness, I will communicate.
I will never rate someone down if he/she/they take/s the time to let me know that the swap they're sending me will be late before the send-by date, and I hope others will do the same for me!
If you do not receive something from me within a reasonable amount of time (please allow for seasonal delays and/or international transit, which, from my Postcrossing experience, can be between 1-3+ weeks), please let me know before giving me a poor rating; I would be happy to re-send. I seriously have had nightmares of receiving a 1. Thank you :)
I pride myself on taking time to ensure each swap has adequate (if not more, if I want to use a specific image/stamp) postage and hope my partners do the same.
If you have not been rated, I have not yet received your swap, and I look forward to reading/seeing/opening your happy mail!
Favorite artists include (I understand that the following musicians could fit under multiple categories, but in the interest of organization... :)
Popular: Vampire Weekend (seen twice, met once; they were generous and gentlemanly), HAIM, Ra Ra Riot, St. Vincent, The 1975, BĂËRNS, Grimes, Baio, Rostam, Flight of the Conchords (7/11/16 was one of the funniest, best concerts ever -- my face and throat hurt from smiling, laughing, and whooping so much!), Gotye, Kimbra, Clean Bandit, Lady Gaga, Nellie McKay, Jenny Lewis, Rilo Kiley, Goldfrapp, Jon Brion, Sara Bareilles, Ingrid Michaelson, Keane, Michelle Branch, Natalie Imbruglia, Garbage, Duncan Sheik, Lisa Loeb, Shania Twain, "Weird Al" Yankovic (one of the best concerts I've ever attended!), Kylie Minogue, Amy Grant, Kate Bush, David Bowie!!!, Olivia Newton John, The B-52s, SĂÂ©rgio Mendes + Brasil '66, Carpenters, The Beatles, Hall & Oates, Ella Fitzgerald, and anything that I could teach in my Zumba class!
Musical theatre: Judy Kuhn, Patti LuPone, Julie Andrews, Liz and Ann Callaway, Sutton Foster, Kelli O'Hara, Lea Salonga, Victoria Mallory, Karen Ziemba, Karen Mason, Emily Skinner and Alice Ripley, Laura Benanti, Laura Michelle Kelly, Kerry Butler, Krysta Rodriguez, Alison Luff, Lisa Howard, Anna Kendrick, Annaleigh Ashford, Jessie Mueller, Laura Osnes, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Lindsay Mendez, Phillipa Soo, DenĂÂ©e Benton, Doretta Morrow, Barbara Cook, Ruthie Henshall, Gavin Creel, Danny Burstein, James Matthew Thomas, Santino Fontana, Adam J. Kantor, Roger Bart, Seth Rudetsky, Zachary Levi, Daveed Diggs, and Christopher Jackson
Classical/opera/early music: Emma Kirkby (especially with Judith Nelson, wow!), Madeline Kahn, Ileana CotrubaĂâą, Kiri Te Kanawa, Arleen AugĂÂ©r, Kathleen Battle, Frederica von Stade, Susan Graham, Laura Claycomb, Joyce DiDonato, Diana Damrau, Isabel Bayrakdarian, Heidi Stober, Angela Mortellaro, Ava Pine, Judith Blegen, Judith Raskin, Lucia Popp, Fritz Wunderlich, Juan Diego FlĂÂłrez, Anonymous 4, The Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge (especially under Richard Marlow's direction)
Composers: early music in general, Biber, Lassus, Byrd, Tallis, Gibbons, Scarlatti (Alessandro and Domenico), Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Donizetti, Mendelssohn, Schumann (both Clara and Robert), Brahms, Gilbert & Sullivan, Victorian Anglican repertoire, FaurĂÂ©, Debussy, Ravel, Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, R. Strauss, Sibelius, Satie, Porter, Boulanger, Gershwin, Les Six, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Shostakovich, Bernstein, Rorem, Sondheim, Hamlisch, Schwartz, Ahrens & Flaherty, (Jason Robert) Brown, Pasek & Paul
I am usually into biography, history, and literary fiction, but I am making an effort to incorporate other genres, like short story, poetry, and drama. I do enjoy historical fiction, except I often find myself taking breaks to learn more about the real-life figures and/or eras as well as pick apart what is fact from dramatic license or speculation.
I usually like to read something completely different from my last book, but sometimes I read several books related to a specific period (like reading the intriguing Frederic Morton's Thunder at Twilight: Vienna 1913/1914 and Simon Winder's Danubia in succession when I was on a Habsburg empire kick last fall) or several works from one author's oeuvre, in (Jane Austen) or out of publication order (Zadie Smith).
Favorite authors include Donna Tartt, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Edith Wharton, Margaret Mitchell, Jane Austen, Anthony Doerr, Ray Bradbury, E.L. Konigsburg, Margaret Atwood, Aldous Huxley, Orson Scott Card, Evelyn Waugh, Erik Larson, Amor Towles, E.M. Forster, Zadie Smith, and Frederic Morton.
I am obsessed with the iconic Penguin Classic paperback covers and well-designed covers in general.
Anything Wes Anderson, especially Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, and The Grand Budapest Hotel; Lady Bird; The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected); Thor: Ragnarok; Wonder Woman; The Handmaiden (so artfully done, gripping, and surprising -- the 2.5 hours zipped past, and I was genuinely invested in both the titular handmaiden Tamako and her lady/mistress Hideko); The Lobster (wonderfully droll dystopian black comedy); Paterson; Carol (even though I was disappointed that certain details were altered/conflated/eliminated, it was a beautifully made, exquisite film that captured the spirit of Ms. Highsmith's The Price of Salt); Mistress America; Crimson Peak (more for the production/costume design and the cast than the plot); Populaire (I love the setting, colors, fashion, music, the chemistry between Romain Duris and DĂÂ©borah FranĂÂ§ois, and the dreamy vintage typewriters!); Mood Indigo; Only Lovers Left Alive (so dreamily languid and just plain cool; I wish I had Tilda/Eve's ability to speedread and likely retain many languages); Star Trek Into Darkness; Black Swan; The King's Speech; Enchanted; The Lake House; Bridget Jones's Diary: The Edge of Reason; Iron Jawed Angels; Bridget Jones's Diary; My Big Fat Greek Wedding; AmĂÂ©lie; Down With Love; Lost in Translation; Chicago; Center Stage; Zoolander (both of those two are guilty pleasures... I've seen them so many times I can recite the dialogue); You've Got Mail; The Parent Trap (1998 Nancy Meyers-directed remake); Home Alone 2: Lost in New York; Home Alone; Beauty and the Beast (the 1991 Oscar-nominated animated Disney version); When Harry Met Sally; Valmont; Moonstruck; Heathers; Labyrinth; 9 to 5; Star Wars (especially A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and Rogue One -- I hadn't expected that last one to be as heartrending and emotional, and I don't think I've cried as much during a Star Wars film!); The Slipper and the Rose; Young Frankenstein; The Sound of Music; Gypsy; Inside Daisy Clover; An Affair to Remember; An American in Paris; Singin' in the Rain; Gone With the Wind.
I also aspire to watch more of the Criterion Collection (and wish that more films came with such comprehensive extras :)
Favorite contemporary film actresses include Helen Mirren, Cate Blanchett, Meryl Streep, Sally Field, Anjelica Huston, Emma Thompson, Stockard Channing, Viola Davis, Alicia Vikander, Jessica Chastain, Rachel McAdams, Felicity Jones, RenĂÂ©e Zellweger, Rebecca Hall, Amy Ryan, Amy Adams, Elizabeth Marvel, Melissa McCarthy, LĂÂ©a Seydoux, Sarah Paulson, and Tilda Swinton.
Favorite actors include Tom Hiddleston, Oscar Isaac, Diego Luna, Idris Elba, Benedict Cumberbatch, Zachary Quinto, Matt Bomer, Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Ben Whishaw, Alan Tudyk (K-2SO!), Christian Bale, Colin Firth, Alan Rickman, and Gene Wilder (may they both rest in peace).
Comedy: Who's the Boss? (for the palpable love among the cast/family, Angela's amazing wardrobe and coifs in and out of the office, and of course, the sweet, sexy, smart dynamic between Tony Danza and Judith Light)
Drama: Mad Men (on the surface, it's design porn, but I like its melodrama and intersection with history and Peggy Olson's ascent)
Other favorites: Bob's Burgers, White Collar, Veep, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Flight of the Conchords, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, 30 Rock, Ugly Betty, The Office, Arrested Development, Crossing Jordan (excellent chemistry among the cast, and the re-enactments were mesmerizing), Legends of the Hidden Temple (bless Kirk Fogg's jokes and passive-aggressive shade-throwing and Dee Baker's voiceover work as Olmec and the historical figures in the legends), Clarissa Explains It All, The Magic School Bus (the beginning of my admiration of Lily Tomlin), Wishbone, Reading Rainbow, Designing Women (Julia "The Terminator" Sugarbaker forever! rest in peace, Ms. Carter), I Dream of Jeannie, Bewitched, I Love Lucy, Sherlock (BBC), Endeavour, Grantchester, Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, Mr. Selfridge, Law & Order: SVU (especially back when Stephanie March, Judith Light, Diane Neal, Christopher Meloni, Richard Belzer, and Dann Florek were still part of the cast :)
Musicals/operettas: Hamilton, Waitress, American Psycho (Broadway and London; I am still hoping for an Original Broadway Cast Recording), She Loves Me (2016 revival), Fun Home, Pippin (2013 revival), Nice Work If You Can Get it, Dogfight, Spring Awakening (although the plot is quite depressing, the music is addictive), The Light in the Piazza, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (I played Marcy Park in grad school :), Hairspray, Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Last Five Years, Nine, Evita, A Little Night Music, A Chorus Line, Company, Fiddler on the Roof, Kismet, Gypsy, Candide, The King and I, West Side Story, The Sound of Music, Kiss Me, Kate, Oklahoma!, Anything Goes
Plays: The Humans, The Assembled Parties, Other Desert Cities, Noises Off, Twelfth Night
Operas: Le nozze di Figaro (it was the first opera I saw in February 2001 at the Met, and it was magical -- I wanted to be Angelika Kirschlager's Cherubino or the elegant, statuesque Countess of Melanie Diener), Die ZauberflĂÂ¶te, Serse (Nicholas Hytner production but in original Italian ~HGO's impeccable 2010 revival), La Calisto, Rigoletto, Der Rosenkavalier
Ballet: Apollo (I am grateful to have seen it live at NYCB in the Fall 2013 season's Stravinsky & Balanchine Hear the Dance: Russia, which included Monumentum pro Gesualdo, Movements for Piano and Orchestra, Duo Concertant, and Agon, after having studied these ballets in seminar), Swan Lake, anything by Justin Peck
I would love if you'd write a few lines, especially since many of us are partnered more than once. I've picked up the habit of writing the temperature and drawing the little weather icon.
I especially like (in no particular order)
(and of course, anything listed above in my interests)
I also enjoy interesting, colorful postage stamps (I use stamps instead of automated postage machine labels, if possible). I prefer naked postcards but am not against envelopes -- I send my postcards naked or in an envelope depending on each recipient's preference.
English is my native language, but I wouldn't mind receiving postcards in French (fluent/studied for 6 years), German (2 years), Italian (1 year), or Tagalog.
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