Thursday, December 31, 2015

Fast Away.




Dear The End,
I always hate to see you go, even in the hard times, and the difficult years.  Folks say to me, often, at the end, "I hope next year will be better."  I never see how it could be-  not because I expect them to suffer at the hand of fate, as they feel they did this year, but because I love each year as if it were a daughter of my own.  Like a potted plant that finally cannot continue in its confined corral, I hate to see the years succumb to the inevitable end.  Oh, yes, yes I know, it will be a good year also, and I will come to love it just as fiercely as the present year, but for now, I hate to see you go.
Here is a song, that might say what I mean, or might it?  Maybe I mean this: 

Monday, December 28, 2015

There Should Always Be A Cat.

Dear Ones in the Know and the Now,
Here is a lovely remembrance, which as you know is all we have, once we are out of the moment. 
I have just read another Terry Pratchett novel, Going Postal, and I dropped by my used bookshop to see if I could get a copy (the one I read belongs to all of  us- why not go and check it out of the library now I have returned it?).  I asked the book dealer* where the Terry Pratchett books were, and he gestured with his arm swiftly and grandly to the doorway, saying "Out there!"  They did have three copies, that he had just gotten in, of The Carpet People- another delightful book that I read a few months back.
*And isn't that the right name for them?  Addicts go to dealers, not sellers, stockists, or clerks, for pity's sake!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

plink, plank, plunk

Dear Darling Clementines,
Enjoy this fine film on how your music box works:


Now, if you are craving a little more spare, plunky, tinky music, try this.  Oh, and this is good, too!
Oh, yes, and Hannah Peel can plink as well as crank.
The eponymous and onomatopoeic pizzicato link, right here.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


Dear Skated,
I have added another roller rink to my list:  Epic Rollertainment.  The wonderfulness of the thing is that it is practically brand new- opened just two years ago!  Yes, it filled me with hope too.  Maybe the revolution is coming after all....
I have been expanding my notions of what a place to skate is-  Inspired by Chicks in Bowls, some pals and I tried the skatepark, with its terrifyingly fast skateboarders.  I was fortunate, there were only a few fast skateboarders, and they didn't even gawk at my clumsy, aged skating.  Those boys were real princes about keeping their opinions to themselves!  
Tennis courts I have skated on, at least when the Racketed and Serious Tennis Playing People are not in them, and basketball courts, too.  
A few days ago, I used a perversely large parking lot, at night, inspired by the notion of Dave Hickey's; that one is either a Pirate* or a Farmer.
What do I have on my wish list of places to skate?  Big Box Stores.  Have you seen those polished floors?!  Whoa nelly!  It's the season for wishing, and so I wish you well in your scofflawing schemes, your roller skating, and anything else you have an itch to try.

Enjoy this film featuring some of the Moxi Skate team skating all over the places we don't yet dare to try our wheels on! 
 * Pirates use parking lots at night, or anytime they want to, and they don't use them for parking cars. The security car drove right by me, did the vehicular equivalent of a double take, and then drove on, probably shaking their head in amazement.


Saturday, December 19, 2015



Dear Connoisseurs,
Take a look at these fine socks made by Antipast.  They are socks, but speak of  these delicate knits as stockings.  Hand washing them is a real pleasure, because they are so fine, and so well designed visually.  They are also luxurious, and by that I mean that springing for a 30 dollar pair of socks is a treat, but it isn't one you have to save up for years to indulge in.  I like to get a pair or two every year or so, and when I do, they really shame most of the rest of my sock drawer residents.  Find them here and there* and when you find a shop that has them, you will notice that they are a marker species:  You will like what these stockists have in their Hats, Coats, Gloves, Handbags, and Clothing departments as well.
PS  Another company that makes socks to dote on is Polder.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Dandy Candy Canes

Dear Tree-Trimmers,

Enjoy this film showing how the striped and ubiquitous candy cane is made:

Here is another video, of a more commercial supplier of candy cane.

Want to make your own?  It is fun, and it is daring and adventurous, so what would stop you?  Here is a link to a recipe to try.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Melons & Pots.




Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Crash Club

 Crashed Aeroplane,
John Singer Sargent, Gouache &Watercolor, 1918
Imperial War Museum, London.
Dear Troubled Mind, 
I was listening to some people I hardly know, strangers, chance encounters really.  They had all kinds of sorrows;  I wanted to pack them up for them, and I had only "oh!" and "I'm so sorry" as salve.  Which isn't much.
Laurie Anderson mentioned on the radio joining a crash club.  In this club you tell about your crash until it bores even you, until the story loses its power, its energy. 
Let's meet here anytime, it will be our own little virtual crash club, for the emotional accidents, for falling out of love, or falling out of favor, or landing hard any old place.  Bring your struggles, your mishaps, your heartbreaks, your deaths, and we will tell the story until our ears bleed together.


Saturday, December 5, 2015

Fond of Faux?


Dear Fashionable,
I overheard, a few years ago, some talk at a book release party, or I think that is what one would call it; when an author has people over to celebrate the publishing of their book.  In any case, a man, a man with style, a man known in my community as Chicago Joe (this is perhaps to distinguish him from other Joes in town?), was conversing with another stylish person, a woman we will call Mme. B.  They were both lamenting a loss of style-consciousness in our little burg- they thought that people used to care more about fashion, and they looked around, and they looked at me, because, just like you, I knew that this was a thing guests could really 'dress' for-  I had an all ivory ensemble:   Ivory shorts with dragonflies, a billowing ivory blouse, and a pair of ivory heeled oxfords to die for.  It was, if nothing else, very style-conscious.  
Chicago Joe has always distinguished himself with short-brimmed fedoras and smart, textured sports jackets.   Mme. B. won my undying devotion by wearing silver (silver!) clogs with a rose-printed scarf  tied at her waist to the opening of an art exhibit some several seasons before the book party in question.  To be perfectly clear, these two pillars of the community have spoken with me, now and then, but we really do not know each other by name.  They know each other, and they know friends of mine, and I know friends of theirs, but I wouldn't bet a fiver that they could give my name.  What we know about each other, and it is communicated by appreciative nods, and subtle stolen glances, is that we three care about style.  Still.  I reckon I have seen these two around my area for 3 decades, and I have noticed them entirely for the reasons they proffered:  they looked stylish.  They looked good.  They looked different, careful, and creative in their choices of cladding.  You might wonder why I am carrying on like this, but I know most of you know exactly what I am talking about.  There is a little wake of envy that follows people like Mme. B. and Chicago J:  People think to themselves:  I wish I could dress like that. 
If you haven't already seen through this little fallacy, now is a good time to say it out loud:  I wish I could dress like that.  Can you hear yourself?  Do you see where you have gone wrong?  Isn't it as plain as the nose on your face? 
Begin by putting your two favorite things together.  Tomorrow add another item.  Be sure these things do not match, be sure they do not go "together."  Be sure that you love them.  Add only things that you love- get them at the five and dime, the thrift shop, a friend's closet.  Make them yourself out of fabric you love.  Paint on them,  pin buttons to them, sew little stitches to the collars.  Cut off 5 inches.  Take the sleeves off.  Add five inches of another fabric.  You look marvelous!
Months have passed, you love to get dressed, and your friends have started to comment:  Gee, you look great today- it reminds me a bit of Mme. B.  I love your hat!  You look like Chicago Joe!
More time passes, you have given all your sweatshirts and fleece to the Goodwill.  Ripstop windbreakers seem too slithery to even touch, let alone wear.  You are ready, now, finally, for faux fur.  Get some here.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

¿Qué te pasa calabaza?


Nada, nada limonada.