Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Ice Cube Drama Concludes (Part 2 of 3)

Oct 21, 94


Buon Giorno! Ciao! Thanks for the letter & cool postcard. Mail makes my day here cause it's a rare treat. It's funny cause everyday people are waiting patiently by the door for the mail to arrive so they can pounce on it. Italy and I are doing well. Italy is fantastic. Europe is cool. I've managed to venture off to Barcelona, Paris, Salzburg, Zurich & Innsbruck. I've seen bits and pieces of Italy (i.e. Florence, Amalfi, Rome, Pienza, Stromboli, Perugia, etc.) but I still have all of Nov to travel and see things here. School takes up a lot of time. For awhile I was frustrated because all I did was sit in class or in studio when there was a whole world to see outside. But the tide has turned and I'm planning on going and doing more things. We leave this sunday for a North trip that takes us to Venice and Verona. After the trip I'm taking off for Munich and Prague and possibly Vienna. It should be great! Like I said, Italy is fantastic, but I do miss ice cubes and food type (i.e. Mexican and Chinese). Ice cubes are hard to come by here unless you're at McDonalds. I figure it's cause of the expensive heating/cooling practices. Our school won't turn on the heat until Nov. Gotta start wearing layers. Ever feel like a marshmallow with so many laters on - huge and puffy? I bought a cool black hat here. It's from Benetton - which is an Italian store (I didn't know the before). I didn't bring any of my hate, so I had to buy one here - imagine me living without hats for an entire semester. wow! Hmmm, so you're gay, huh. :-) I've got these great guy friends who would love to meet you - just kidding! Gee, if I only I had more room on this thing (to write). Well, my dream is to pursue a career in computer animation and go into film. But I think you knew that already. You know it's funny how you can be thrown into a new situation where you don't know everyone and you have to live with them for four months with no escapes that you are used to. You find new ways to adapt. Reading, drawing, etc. And it's amazing how many people can actually get on your nerves. You learn a lot about yourself over here. I know I've changed as a person. And I know I won't be able to see the effects until I go back home and immerse myself in the life I knew before. It should be interesting. I'd love to say more but I've run outta room. Take care! Ciao!

Wendy ...


And that is the end of my correspondence with Wendy. She apparently thought I was gay. Weird, I don't recall that little highlight of our friendship. I do recall her fascination with hats.

I've got a few of Wendy's drawings that I will post separately once I get my scanner sorted out.

Are there no ice cubes in Italy? (Part 1 of 3)

Sept. 3, 94


Buon Giorno! I made it to Italy. And in one piece too! It's beautiful here - warm and clear. Looks a lot like Cali so I love it! hehe! We start classes Monday - hope they don't work us too hard. The food is wonderful, but I do miss ICE CUBES! I hope classes are ok & life is good in the 'ol USA. If you get bored, MAIL ME. I have no mail and pout. hehe! I'll email ya in December when I come home!

Wendy ...


A friend of a friend that briefly became a friend of mine. Didn't really have enough time before she left to really cement the friendship, so after a few letters, that was it. The postcard is Castiglion Fiorentino.

Monday, June 11, 2012

I'm sorry for what happened last night. (Part 2 of 2)

11:04 a.m. 42 sec
May 18, 1985


Hi. How are you? I'm not so good. Last night I got about 3 1/2 hours of sleep. I don't know why I couldn't sleep. Maybe I was just worried about everything. I'm sorry for what happened last night. I feel awful about what happened. Please don't be mad at me. When I told Mr. Schlatter about about my parents it felt good to finally tell somebody. I kept it all bottled up inside of me and I was really hurting. So then I thought I could tell Mr. Schlatter everything. Then came ..., then ..., then you. Even now I really feel like there is no one to turn to. At the dance last night I really needed someone to talk to and there was no one. I'm not saying to spend all your time with me or anything. It's just that I want to be friends forever.

I want you to know something. I don't know if you already know this but I still like you and if I ever find a guy as special as you I will still like you even if I'm going with him. I know I've said this before but you can't say a good thing too many times. I just want to say that I will always remember you wherever I go and the special relationship we have and the even more special we almost had. Well, I guess this hasn't been the best or most inspiring letter I've ever written. I just felt I had to tell you. Well, I gotta go. I'll see you at 1:00 on the dot at the park. I love you (I mean that, I'm not sure what the word love means when I say it but I mean it whether it's friendship or really love I'm not sure but I really do mean it)

Love you always,

P.S. The song "The Search is Over" by Survivor is how I feel about you

P.S.S. Write back SOON!!!

P.S.S.S. I'm really sorry about last night. It's just I didn't think last night was the right time.


I have no recollection at all about what happened "last night." Presumably I tried to kiss her. I don't remember any sort of romance between us at all. I don't even think back on her with romance or missed romantic opportunities at all. I just remember our great friendship. I remember being very close friends with her for awhile in the 8th grade. I would stop by her house in the morning and we would go to school together. I was the school's lunchtime DJ for awhile and I would play meaningful songs for her. I know we drifted apart. I guess because I wanted more than friendship, but I don't remember that. I don't think we ever spoke meaningfully after the 8th grade. My loss, I'm sure.

It's 11:32 p.m. April 29th and I can't sleep. (Part 1 of 2)


It's 11:32 p.m. April 29th (1985) and I can't sleep. I've been thinking since 10:00 p.m. (the time I went to bed) about me, my friends, my family and who I want to go with my mom or my dad. At the moment I've decided on my dad but I would probably move out of California and leave everyone and everything I love here in Los Al.

Right now I'm real confused about myself and my mind is constantly thinking about something and I just don't know what to do anymore. At rehearsals last night (monday) I just sat in Mr. Schlatter's room, by myself for about 45 minutes and thought about what has happened to me in the past year. I came up with, that this is the best year I've ever had. My grades are higher than ever, I was a part in "Our Town" which really meant a lot to me because I met a lot of new friends like ... and ... and brought me closer to my old ones like ... and you especially. Before the play you were just another guy. But now I feel closer than ever to you and I've never had a friend like you before. I feel like I can tell you everything like when I need someone to talk to your always there and that means a lot to me. When my dad moved out you were the only one who was really there. Also you can always tell the way I'm feeling like last night I was mad and depressed because I felt like so bad at what I was doing to my friends so I was mad at myself and I was depressed because I haven't seen my dad for over a week now and I really miss him. I will always know if I ever need anyone to turn to you'll always be there and I'll do the same for you! Your real special and I will always remember my years at Oak. Thanx for everything. i want you to know I will never forget you. I love you!

Frienz Alwaiz,


Yeah, this note seems a bit personal, so I've redacted her name (and her friends' names). I know there is almost no chance she or her family will stumble upon this silly little blog, but I don't want to upset anyone. This is the first time in this project where I felt the need to censor anything. I hope it doesn't happen to often. I've got one more note from the same author.

Postcard from Hawaii

March 30, 1986

Dear Mark,
Hi! We are having a really good time. The people on the postcard look like friends of yours. The sun is really hot & I'm sure you'd think the girls are good looking.

Miss you,


I always believed Jenny thought of me as a bit annoying. So, why did she go out of her way to send me a postcard? Probably because she was so nice that she even sent postcards to the annoying people in her group of friends. What a great person!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

French Penpal, Part Two!


Hello Mark,

How are you? I'm not in very good forme because I've god a cold since a few day. I want to wish you an happy birthday even I be late. My birthday is the 11 November. I was happy to know that you live near Los Angeles because as I told you in my first letter I practice Athletic and in July I might go to Los Angeles for a probationary period and a competition with the team of Gironde. (it's my department) But I'm not sure yet. Maybe we could meet up. In France the sports you told me about like Football American, Baseball and Hockey are very unusual except the football and the basketball. I would like to see that. Like you I don't know skating on ice and the last time I went to the skating rink I came back all black and blue. Me too I like dancing and the next Thursday I'll go to a party with some friends. I would like singing but in my school there is no chorus and I've never done theatre. There's a club of theatre in my school but I'm not very interested by that. But I admire people who do theatre. I think they're very good. I like movies and the last film I've seen is Le Grand Bleu. It's a film about a man who was only happy in the sea. It was fantastic. Can you tell me French singers or actors are famous in United States? I'm quite good at school particularly in Mathematics and Physical. Bruges is a little town at 5 kilometres of Bordeaux which is one of the biggest city in France. It's a district very famous for his wine.
Personally I hate wine.
I like dogs. I've got one. It's a beagle. He's always all what he can and now he's quite fat. He's very funny. Have you got some pets? In winter a lot of my friends go skiing to the mountains. I don't like very much that. Have you already go to ski? Your French is quite good but there's some mistakes who are not very important. Can you explain me what you have done when you worked at Disneyland in the parades. I didn't understand. Can you tell me something about the city where you live, about your family and your friends? I hope you have understood me.
Can you send me a photo of you like I've done please? Good bye.


Answer me please.


So, that is it. Clearly Christelle knew I would flake out on my duties. I'm sad about that. Finding these letters inspired me to look for her on Facebook. I found someone with the matching name, the correct age and city. I sent her a message saying I was 23 years late, but wanted to say hello. Then i read her notes again and saw that the birthdays did not match. So, there is now a Christelle in France that thinks I am a crazy person in addition to one that thinks I am a horrible penpal. Sorry about that France.

French Penpal, Part One!

Jeudi 22 D├ęcembre (1988)

Hello Mark!

My name is Christelle. I'm your new correspondent. I live in Bruges next to Bordeaux. I'm sixteen. I'm fond of dancing, listening to music, doing sports and particularly Athletic. I practice it in a club and I train me three times in a week.

For the moment I'm on Christmas holidays for two weeks. I hope you too, but I don't know if the holidays are at the same time in France and in the U.S.A. Can you tell me something about your hobbies? Are you good at school?

I would like to visit your country. I think it's formidable. Can you talk to me about it. I wish you a happy new year.

Best regards,


Let's get the correspondence blogging started with my French penpal. When I took French back in high school, they hooked us up with penpals in France. It was a great idea, but I probably didn't appreciate it. I received only two letters from Christelle, probably because I didn't reply to her. I don't really remember. So, this is the first of the two letters she sent me.