Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Ms. Smith.


Dear Dodo Fans,

Your song for today comes from one of our dedicated readers, who comb the internet for the good stuff you to come to expect on this channel!

Saturday, December 25, 2021

One thousand three hundred days.


Dear Readers & Rollers,

Guess what today is!  A very big day!  Today is day 1300 of consecutive roller skating!  To celebrate it, I hope you will roller skate.  If you can't do that, maybe watch this film of some damn fine skaters.

It is also time for my regularly scheduled enjoinder that you should roller skate too!  In 2007, when I got my first adult pair of roller skates, there was only one YouTube video on roller skating; made by a wonderful roller derby player named Cat.  Now, well, now you can take your pick of terrific and free video instruction.  It's a wonderful time to roller skate!   There are many shops, and a lot of skates to choose from, in a pretty large range of prices.  

If you are feeling shy about searching the internet, here are a few links for you to try:

A shop.

A tutorial.

Another shop.

Another tutorial.

A place you can rent skates.

A pop-up rink.

A manufacturer of skates.

Friday, December 24, 2021

Happy Nostalgia & Merry Tradition!


Ellsworth Kelly, "Green with Red," from "Suite of Twenty-Seven Color Lithographs," 1964-65.

Dear Culture Critics,

Here we are again, trying to parse this great lummox of a Christian Juggernaut Holiday, with our secret love for red and green wrapping paper, Las Posadas, and glittery gifts (remind me to tell you about the ne plus ultra of glittery gifts that I received this year).

Whatcha gonna say?  Happy Solstice?  Season's Greetings?  Merry Winter?  Who ya gonna call?  Elves?  Rudolph?  Frosty?  Zwarte Piet?  Kalle Anka?

Well, it may not seem kind of me to bring it up on this holiday eve, but be careful how much of that Tradition and Nostalgia that you drink: is it something you built, or something someone else receives power from your yoking yourself to it?  

Here's to a better world next year, filled with new traditions that you make yourself, from scratch.

Monday, December 20, 2021

barbed wire

Dear Observer,

The museum in my town has this beautiful collection of fence wire.  The museum, like all museums, might be considered boring: all these collections, all this saved rusty, dusty stuff that may have no meaning anymore.  Certainly, the meaning has changed.

I love this collection of wire because of its formal beauty- the lyrical lines, the punctuation of the bends and barbs.  It was on a painted plywood the last time I visited the museum, and of course, what did I want from my museum but frozen time.  I wanted to visit it and photograph the wire the way it had been formerly presented on the painted plywood, black marker detailing each wire segment.  But, the collection has been updated, and is now on some kind of plasticky board and these oversized tongue depressors hold the specifics.  The change has kept me from giving you these beautiful wires, but I am ready, now, after 2 years, to accept and embrace this change.

What we save, how we save it, and where and when we present it are all such fascinating things to ponder on a grey December day, in a collection of musings, in a virtual, visual format that is organized chronologically.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Red Shoes


Dear Chance,

Pink & red?!  Yes, sometimes we just get lucky.  I guess that's what keeps us going on; getting out of bed and trying again: the hope that we might get lucky today.  

There's a heap of unlucky chance, too, of course, and that thought can keep you in your bed, hoping that it will pass you by, just this once.  It seems an odd sort of razor's edge to live on, and mostly we don't notice it and believe we are on a flat, smooth, level, un-cracked, surface. 

Let's talk about it some more; meet me at the drugstore, bring a raincoat and a suitcase, bring your dark eyes.