Friday, October 28, 2016

Roadside Monument.

Dear Traveling,

Isn't this an unlikely monument?  It could easily be a candidate for the eyesore of the month;  I much prefer the usually stand-alone California Historical Marker plaque of bronze.  Still, I really loved visiting this little pilgrimage site, and I came upon it quite unexpectedly while searching for a rocket.

Here are two songs from the Beach Boys, because one is never enough:  Pet Sounds.  Heroes and Villains.

See you at the next roadside marker!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

3/4 Time

Dear Waltzing,

A song for you to sing today.  Stop there, if you want, and think of that band we are going to form.  If you feel a little fed up with the future and your lot in life, you can watch this.  I'll be out in the studio, painting a white suit and Ol' Blue with rainbows and stars.  See you in the garage at practice!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

hammering on


Photo by Scott Mann.
Dear Hammer-Handed,
These are the hammers of a sculptor who was the husband of a sculptor friend of mine.  I wanted you to see them, because they are so beautiful, and because of their inherent potential and also because I am wondering just what a hammer is without a hand.
While we wonder this together, we can consider also what we would do if we had a hammer.


A little piece of hammer theater for you.  Brought to us by the fine folks at Make Magazine.

Also, consider the Hammer Museum:


Sunday, October 16, 2016

What Month is This?

Dear October,

I thought this was National Doughnut Month, but here isn't a reasonable shred of evidence for it in all the wide web.  There is a National Doughnut Day, but the month long dedication to doughnuts must have been only in my head.  What a pity!

There is a guide map, though, to the doughnuts of NYC.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Paper Wings

Dear Flapping,
I saw a few works made by Arthur Ganson recently, at the MIT museum.  The flapping one above was there, slowly churning the air.  Of course, you can see how marvelous they are, and maybe you have even seen them in person.  They struck me as self-assured, and delightfully modest.  They aren't terribly loud, or showy, they just seem to bumble along like clockwork, like old machinery, or a mill wheel.  They really are just right, and I hope you spend some time on his website, watching the time flow.

Here is a song to go with the first film, and please also look at this wonderful one: 

Friday, October 7, 2016

a little bird told me

Dear Trying,

Today I take a lesson from the birds, specifically the flight of a bird- the White Breasted Nuthatch.  The nuthatch would easily be as featured on calendars and greeting cards as the chickadees had they such a lyrical and onomatopoeic name.   

It flies thus: first, a slight dive, a little dip, then it flaps forcefully, swiftly, into an upward climb,  reaches a point (who knows where this point is?) and then descends, falls, actually, in a graceful slope.  Then, up it flaps again.  Lots of birds fly like this - I am still observing just how many birds, give me another 20 years and I will give you a more complete list.

The message, I thought, from my porch on my skates, was to ascend and fall; not as you might have thought, to fly, so much as to dive, jump, leap up, and then fall in a bell curve.  Yes.  Flying is not so hard, but falling might be....

This led me to consider how small is small.  Just what is small?  How big are the details that the devil is in and we are not to sweat?  For me to do anything at all, I have often had to push hard against the awareness of details.   Details impinge ceaselessly.  I just don't seem to be able to get off the ground with them. 

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Litote Tart


Dear Bakerman and Bakerwoman,

It's a beautiful world, filled with marvels, and this mushroom, fennel, and scallion tart is one of them.  I believe this is the Dodo's first savory recipe-  it isn't that we only subsist on sugar here at the Dodo, it's more that I only want to send you the sweetest things.  I have had the recipe, torn from the magazine, for years, just waiting for the right time and place to make and serve it:  A small group of aesthetes on a late summer afternoon, looking at etchings, and sipping cocktails. 

Find Martha's recipe for it here, and explore what it might mean to invite someone to sit beside you on the divan and look at prints here.

Oh, yes, and while you sit there, on the chesterfield, shoulder to shoulder, play this.  Or this cover, or this one.