Friday, May 30, 2014

Unburdened Beasts

Dear Tinkerers and Marvelers,

Here are some things you will want to see:  Strandbeests.  After watching them, you can meet their charming Pater, Theo Jansen, on this Ted Talk.  Then, like the folks here at the Dodo, you can buy and build a teeny beest for your yard, bookshelf, or desk.

Tot Ziens!


Monday, May 19, 2014

Saturday, May 17, 2014

An Honest Love Song

Dear Loved Ones,

Here is a un-paralleled love song - a love song to measure all others from.  You may listen and you may say to yourself "this is not a love song."  To clarify my point of view, the honest lullaby I sang for my son was Old Paint.  So, listen to it again, maybe tomorrow, or later today, and make yourself available to it, because I know its beauty will find you.  It might take time.

You may feel as if you are watching Joesph Beuys, explaining pictures to a dead hare.  But I always think, who better to explain them to?  Who needs compassion more than a dead hare?  This is a performance that uses talismanic power, uses the forces of the unseen, to repair.  This may be too challenging at first, so just go back and listen to the Ballad of the Absent Mare again.  Before long, you will be able to imagine what Joseph Beuys might have told the hare.

While you are learning to hear this song, listen to this lovely Emmy Lou Harris cover, too.

At first you might be impatient, but try again;  See the mare's hoof pawing at the moon?  Feel the breath of the whispered "whither thou goest, I will go" on your own neck? 

PS  More Beuys?  Right here. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Long Goodbye

Dear All,

It pains me to talk to you of that which cannot be named, the Voldemort of earth's future:  Despair is so paralyzing.  I intended, here, at this small Museum of Anachronisms, (where there is always Plenty of on the Street FREE Parking!) to list, to show, to memorialize all the things that I love that are going or gone.  But, it was too sad.  I could not write to you only the story of loss.  So, instead, I have told you of the little slivers remaining, and I have tried to keep spirits up in the face of absolute annihilation.  Isn't that what we have all always done, really?

Because, I know, dear ones, that you cannot just blink yourselves out- you cannot will yourself to stop breathing.  Life, in its terrible sublime horror, just keeps on.  Growing up worse, and more mangled and deformed and pitiful and without hope each passing minute.  So, we agree.  We will go on.  For now.

That settled, you must again, as ever, make the difficult choice of what you will do with this last minute.  How will you make the long goodbye, the slow farewell?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Radiant Beings; Or, Is Your Piano Prepared?

Dear Neighbors,

What do you get when you live between the Klees and the Kandinskys?   You get the Alberses!  The crown jewel couple of the Bauhaus.  Lovely Anni Albers gives us the charming images in my letter to you today- both undated typewriter studies.  I encountered these type (pun intended) of delightful drawings last year, in a wonderful book from the library titled On Weaving, written by Anni Albers. 
Anni Albers tells us that something constructed from the manipulation of  materials "...results in a serviceable object, but also convey[s]  in its form thoughtfulness and purity- that is, beauty."  I know you will love her inspirational thoughts on working with materials- and while you are reading, play this.

See John Cage performing Water Walk;  Some tips on how to Prepare Your Piano; And, get the... App?


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Baker Abides

Dear Wondering,

I bet you are wondering what I did with the rest of the almond paste I made.  You will recall the first half went into the Napoleon Hats.  The second half of the almond paste went into a slight variation on a cookie that I made several years ago now, from the former crown of the magazine year, the December issue of Gourmet.  Why would they stop publishing such a terrific magazine?  I know it can't be that they hate me at Condé Nast, but it felt that way, when they abruptly pulled the plug on my subscription, and offered me the 'take a can of...." recipes in Bon Appétit.  Well, that's all water under the bridge now, but cookies continue.


These lovely layered almost-cakes are a small variation on Italian tricolore cookies.  Here is the Gourmet recipe I followed, with just a little bit of paste food coloring in red, and raspberry jam instead of the umpteen drops of red and green and the marmalade.  They are excellent with the marmalade, too.  The thing is, these take patience and the best chocolate you can get.  If you like chocolate and experimenting with patience, you will want to make these miniature Sean Scully slices.  They taste beautiful and look delicious. 

 Brown Mirror, 2002.

Cut Ground Grey Grey, 2011.

Rothafen, 2011.

Shenandoah, 2006.