Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Now, October.

Dear Seasonal,

I have two songs for you today.  I have been waiting to give them to you for months!  May you be overwhelmed by fabulous tricks and treats.


On second thought, just one more Eartha Kitt song; she has much to teach us about style and verve.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

A message from your radio.

Dear Pop Music,

Here's a woman with a song for today  after my own heart.  Let's close this computer now, and head outside to skate.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Lying Open to You.

Dear Students of the Universe,

Here is a penetrating look into what we are doing here:  What Are We Doing Here?  File it under Beware Your Robot Overlords, or, Money Is The Root Of All Evil, or Get Off Of My Cloud.  As in, yes, I want to be ravished by books and art and music. 

Please don't pass this article by because it is longer than your screen is tall!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

I love the sound of breaking glass.

Dear Radioheads,

Your song for today.  Do you remember that drizzling cold Elvis Costello concert we saw up North?  How we thought we'd die when Nick Lowe came onstage as a special guest?  Nothing new; I would still have his baby.

If you don't love the sound of breaking glass, you are probably wondering where's your everything?  Or, maybe one's too many, and a hundred ain't enough?

Until soon.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

South Dakota was my 49th state.














Friday, October 13, 2017

Production Managers vs. Knitters

Dearest Companions,

It's Fall for sure, now, and time to get your woolens out of the cedar chest.  I hope you have a nice scarf, something handmade.  I'm sure I have mentioned it before, but knitting a scarf is a very rewarding and pleasant task.  All the lovely yarn runs through your hands and over the needles into the scarf, and then around someone's shoulders. 

I traded a knitted scarf I'd made for a bag of raw wool at an art performance a short while back, which was a piece of good fortune as I have more scarves than necks.

Consider also, the fine scarf of Dr. Who:

You are going to want to study the scarf and the style of Tom Baker's Doctor- he really does a grand autumn ensemble.  How he came to have such an excessive scarf is a charming tale, excerpted from Wikipedia:

Baker himself suggested many aspects of his Doctor's personality, but the distinctive scarf was created by accident. James Acheson, the costume designer assigned to his first story, had provided far more wool than was necessary to the knitter, Begonia Pope, intending for her to choose a suitable color. However, due to miscommunication Pope knitted all the wool she was given. It was Baker who suggested that he wear the ridiculously long scarf, which he did once it had been shortened a bit to make it more manageable.[14]


Monday, October 9, 2017


Hello Loves,

Would you care to form a limited reading group?  A book club for just one book?  We haven't had a project in ages....

And I am thinking of reading Tortilla Flat.  Steinbeck Country, as they call it, is my side yard, and it is beautiful.  I have taken a long holiday from Steinbeck, because The Red Pony and The Pearl really killed me.  Before that, I was laid up for a decade from reading East of Eden.  I think I daren't ever read The Grapes of Wrath, but I do very much want to read The Log from the Sea of Cortez and Travels With Charley

I figure we can give ourselves until January 1st. to read it, and then let's meet at the Donut Shop in town, around midnight, because they are open all night now, and that is really something to celebrate.

See you there in a few months! 

Friday, October 6, 2017

No Answer.

Dear Choiristers,

We should sing this this one too, together. 

I was going to call you this morning, to tell you about a dream, and to ask you what the thing was without its story.  Was it then ready to receive a new story?  Did I make the page white and receptive again?  Or was I just adding mystery?  Another possibility:  Was losing the story making it less, was it taking away power? 

It just goes away, the story, when the people who tell it are separated by time, space, memory or death from the object.  The story stops, and the object goes on.  I have an object, an orange-red thing we bought from the neighbor when he got a divorce, and held a series of garage sales to help finance his struggle to keep making the payments on his ten acre spread. 

It hulls corn, for seed, once the ear has dried.  I don't even know that it has been used, and if it has been, by whom and when?  How many times and what did they do with the seed?  Did they plant it?  Or grind it up for pone or corn bread?  Perhaps it was a demonstration model that a saleswoman would bring round to show to potential corn cob de-kernalizers?  A further story, beyond where we got it, and how it came to the neighbor, might be what we have done with it for the three or four years of our stewardship.  It could be ended, all this wild surmising, by tossing it into the recycling bin, where it would go into town on a truck, and be sorted by the hands that sift our garbage into piles of possible grist for new materials.  I doubt very much that it would be reborn as another cast iron corn sheller.  I expect it would maybe become a bit of a steel girder for a dreadful new parking structure on a quiet, low 'underutilized' corner of your town.

But, you say to me, it's only because you watched La Dolce Vita that you feel this way- and I say to you "watched" is not even the word.  That movie puts you through it like Moby Dick takes you whaling on a ship captained by a madman and crewed by hopeless and hapless people like us, who see the edge approaching but keep on scurrying towards it.  No, 'watching' is not the word, and yet, I did not feel like the girl waving, or the man receding, or even the brutalized and dead fish, the object of curiosity.  The object.  I watched it all with a terrible knowing;  I have seen this before and often.

Everyone keeps on saying these things, saying 'look out,' and 'take care,' and 'beware.'  These are the stories, but what will the object be?

An object is what, exactly?  Take a manuscript-  what is that, exactly?  It's the first, the original, but what does that mean in the Robot Overlord Digital Age?  Everyone has a copy, right here on the gorgeously flat, story-filled and completely objectless, democratizing Internet.

If you got this far, reading all the way to the bottom of the glass, wondering where we might be going, you'll want to hear this again.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Creeping Animal

Dear Herpetologists,

Have a look at this!  The courtyard has been the site of a hatching!  We have been trying to measure and photograph this little thing for a few months-  it dashes over the stoop and hides under pots and stones.  When I tried to set the ruler next to it a few weeks ago, it was much smaller, and a lot less tolerant of me and my measuring!*  I have never seen such a small lizard- the parent has been around most of the summer.  She is about 8 to 10 inches long and a similar pattern and color.  I have often been startled by her running across the jamb as I open the door. 

*  To be sure, I have no idea if this is the same one I have tried to measure several times- are there a dozen infant lizards out there, or one?  We have not yet seen more than one at a time.