Thursday, January 30, 2020

Another rink and triple that.


Dear Ones,

This month I finally got to the World on Wheels rink in Los Angeles.  Skating there brings my total rinks skated to 39.  Look out number 40!

What can I tell you about this rink?  It was like so many I have been to, in Texas, in Utah, in Maine: It was filled with happy rolling people of great variety, and I hope you will join them soon. 

World on Wheels has a smooth and well maintained wood floor, and the rental skates looked well cared for also.  It has an unusual split level building, so you enter the rink at the bottom of two carpeted ramps.  The ramps are a wee bit intimidating, but there are hand rails on both walls, and everyone is sharing the space and the challenges of the slope, so there isn't any real difficulty.  It is interesting to watch the round and round of the rink from the higher vantage point.

One especial thing to note about WoW is that it is back from the beyond- it opened first in 1981, and was closed in 2013.  But happily, in 2017, re-opened under new ownership.  Still, just to be on the safe side, get to it soon.  They never re-opened my town's rink, and there isn't hardly a shred of evidence that it ever even existed.  It was just last year that I reluctantly threw away the flyer I had for our old rink with the phone number and the price for birthday parties.  And what does that mean, you ask?  Well, I guess it means that that is the end of that.

Saturday, January 25, 2020


Dear Days,

600 and counting....  Skating everyday is easy, and much more fun than brushing you teeth.  Doing the Iceberg, that is hard.  But why am I telling you this?  You already know it and you should be skating.  Do it for freedom, man, do it for love, do it because you can.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Not to worry.

Dear Worried,

Be thee of good cheer.  We don't know where we come from and we don't know what we are.  We do know that there is an awful, terrifying, and sublime amount of beauty, love, and truth.  Speak it, see it, feel it.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Face it.

Dear Grooved,

Here is a song my DJ played and I had never heard it before, but now, I can't really live without it.  My DJ was a real gentlemen about this song's dubious & dated descriptions of women, and maybe his acknowledgement of the canned and sexist language made it easy for me to forgive this song, and love love love its stone cold groove.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

His Shirt Said

Dear Whomever,

I have been thinking of you; a lot.  I haven't wanted to write, because I could only think of complaints.  I know you don't want to hear all that.  And you know I am committed to giving you the best of what I have here.

I enclose this poem- I hope you will read it, and know what I mean.

His Shirt Said

I was going to tell you about how it is here,
where I live,
about the beauty of it all;
the branches, the breeze,
even the chrome and the people; but
a man was walking across the road
and his shirt said
his chest read:
Because I Said So.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020


Dear Only a Few Minutes,

It's ten oh nine, and I have 6 minutes to send this to you!  It's important, it's inspirational, it's what my DJ just played for me:  Cocaine Cowboys, your song for today.   Ten oh twelve, done!

Monday, January 13, 2020


Dear Lo-Fi,

Here is a fine song for today; blown out and muffled, but just like the old days, when you wanted to keep a song to play again, you had to dupe it on your tape deck from the radio, and fidelity would be affected by the reproduction.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

The Sisters

Dear Harmonies,

Here is a film for you; a slow, languorous film, submitted for your approval:  The McGarrigles.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

The One Hundredth Anniversary

Alice Smith, S. J. de Crasse, and G. H. Halleran sell copies of The Suffragist in Boston, Mass.  Bettmann/Getty          
This image comes from The Atlantic.


Dear Worried,

I think where we might be getting into trouble is in thinking that we are somehow smarter than we were some time ago.  It's so nice to feel like we are getting somewhere and celebrate the schadenfreude of how much better it is now.  Of course, yes, it is much better now.  We have no plague and we can vote, and steel can be made into tools, and no one needs to grind acorns at the rock by the river. 

And yet.  We do all this on the backs of those that came before us and we will be the stepped upon of the future, so make sure you are good and sturdy. 

Here is a scholarly article on just what we are celebrating/complaining about, and to mark the 100th anniversary of a women's right to vote in the United States, I give you Girl, a poem by Olivia Gatwood.

i don't think i'll ever not be one
even when the dozen grays sprouting
from my temple take hold and spread
like a sterling fungus across my scalp,
even when the skin on my hands is loose
as a duvet, draped across my knuckles,
even when i know everything there is to know
about heartbreak or envy or the mortality
of my parents, i think, even then i'll want
to be called girl, no matter the mouth
it comes from or how they mean it,
girl, the curling smoke after a sparkler
spatters into the dark, girl, sweet spoon of crystal sugar
at the bottom of my coffee, girl, whole mouth
of whipped cream at the birthday party, say girl,
i think, i'll never die, i'll never stop running
through sprinklers or climbing out of open windows
i'll never pass up a jar of free dum dums
i'll never stop riping out the hangnail with my teeth
i'm a good girl, bad girl, dream girl, sad girl
girl next door sunbathing in the driveway
i wanna be them all at once, i wanna be
all the girls i've ever loved,
mean girls, shy girls, loud girls, my girls,
all of us angry on our porches,
rolled tobacco resting on our bottom lips
our bodies are the only things we own,
leave our kids with nothing when we die
we'll still be girls then too, we'll still be pretty,
still be loved, still be soft to the touch
pink lip and powdered nose in the casket
a dozen sobbing men in stiff suits
yes, even then, we are girls
especially then, we are girls
silent and dead and still
the life of the party.


And here is Ms Gatwood reading Girl, and more, from her terrific book, Life of the Party.