Tuesday, April 16, 2024

obstimism & optinacy



Dear Peer(age),

Well, what do you think?  I think we aren't going to get our turn, and I am both things at once: mad and slightly heartened.  I am not so sure that we can sabotage from the inside, anyway.

Yes, mad that they never retired- okay, they retired at 80, leaving me at 50 plus, so, so what?  I am going to scramble to make a 'career' from age 50 to 80?  Or even 40 to 70?  Nope.  It just don't add up.  I am more mad that they never let any new ideas in than that they actually overstayed their welcome by 20 to 30 years.  I am mad that few of us will get a public voice, or any outloud voice at all.  I am mad that I labored under the training of canons that were never anything but interior decoration for the wealthy.  I am mad that all my friends have moved away because they had to have their minimansion in pleasant climes and their cheap cheese from Costco, too.  I am mad about that, and lots of other petits détails, but I am also slightly heartened, because, our dear Older Elders, seem a bit resentful about the widening world, the great inky spill of dis-obedience that keeps on seeping.  Nothing could please me more than to do nothing, to loaf, on their dime.  And I will be passing that along, to anyone who will listen: do nothing you do not like, do nothing that you think you 'should' and maybe, just maybe we can break the massive yoke of habit and conditioning that we have built so tirelessly.

Ah, but I am forgetting our motto: obstinacy & optimism.  This became our motto because there wasn't much else left, and the directive was to be seen and not heard; but, I think we can use it anyway.  I put a lot of trust in repair, in rebuilding.  I say we switch the first few letters, so it is properly muddled up, and then set about doing what we can.  It might mean only a very small change in your daily habits, and it might mean no change at all.  Either way, I am glad to have you with me in the fight.  Onward, in optinacy & obstimism!

Monday, April 15, 2024

urgent, exclamation mark


Dear Radio-Dodo Heads,

Ooh, this is so good!  My dj just played it for me, and you must have it right now; urgently!  There is no time to dress it up and present it to you, because that would only delay the loveliness!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

they are playing our song


Dear Malaise & Ennui,

Hey, hey;  It's bleak, and it's gray, it's low, but hey, they are playing our song, and they are playing it the best, and it is our song of the day.  

Sunday, March 31, 2024



Grabower Küsse.

Dear Chocolate-covered Marshmallow-filled,

There is so much out there!  I know, I have said it before, but, wonders never really do cease.  Last week, we made a trip to the beauty of the high desert, and en route, we love to stop for brötchen* at a bakery, and they sell other things German also.  For example, these amazing sugary clouds!  There is a small, extraneous little wafer base on these things, but basically it is 50 percent sweetened air, and I have never eaten anything like it.  The chocolate is very very thin, which is a large part of their charm. 

I hope you have the good fortune to encounter them one day; I just ate the last one without photographing it: c'est la vie.  In the meantime, maybe I will try making some.

* Which are also very airy: coincidence?  Oh, and here is your song for today.  

Thursday, March 28, 2024

feat: saw blade?


Dear Radio Dodo Listeners,

Check out this interesting bit o' music; your song for today!  Sounds like there is a saw being played, doesn't it?

Friday, March 22, 2024

more shoes


James Brown's shoes.

Dear Feet,

Another little shoe song for you, for today, for your feet!  Encore!  And, the original, too.  Because there are endless slices of pie on the internet; have another!*

PS  It's the my my my my my, isn't it?  Yep, everyone loves some my and mine.

* Wait, just what is a Fender Rhodes Piano anyway?

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

if the shoe fits


Dear Everyone on the Internet,

My goodness!  Have you seen this???  You probably have; and you should have told me about it!  It is endlessly pleasurable to configure your sneakers; over and over.  I made 6 different pairs, and didn't press 'buy' on a single pair.  Don't worry, I will, in a few months.  I read someplace, ages ago, that one way to unlink your addictive actions from wanton desire was to wait 30 days to see if you still felt that burning need to own a thing; a thing like this, or maybe this.  You can see how sobering up a bit might prevent an impulsive person like myself from ordering such a thing deep in the lonely hours of the night.

And, to be clear, I kind of like the anticipation:  Next month I will configure my pink Chuck 70's with red stitching again, and maybe, just maybe, even buy them!!!

Oh, and here is your song of the day; She's Wearing Shoes without Heels.  Elvis Costello has a shoe thing, you know; this song, oh!  I love this line: "Cheap white plastic shoes, that don't walk out and don't let in."  And, of course, there are the Red Shoes.  Can't you just imagine Declan the singing poet?  Taking Elvis's Blue Suede Shoes name, and then writing the song of Red Shoes?  Such a beautiful bit of instigated acausal connecting principle.  Of course, he could have called himself Carl, too....  

Thursday, March 14, 2024

gentrified crackers


Dear Curious,

Looking around, I found this recipe for fried saltines, and of course, I asked myself:  yes, but is it good?  And here at the Dodo Test Kitchens we work to answer that question for you, dear reader.  I could tell you, like many blog recipes seem to, in twelve pages of photos and dubious prose, gushing relentlessly.*  But no, I am going to tell you clearly and decisively in a very short sentence:  make them, eat them, they are great!  They transform your  workhorse, blue collar saltines to Boutique, Artisanal, Small Batch!

Fried Saltines with Cheddar and Onion:

1 pound Cheddar

1 small white onion

About a cup and a half of oil (I used light olive oil)

1 sleeve saltine crackers

Yellow or brown mustard, for serving

Slice the Cheddar in neat tablets slightly smaller than the saltines. Slice the onion into thin crescent moons (not half-moons), cutting from root to shoot ends so the ribs fall apart more easily, are shorter and, therefore, more manageable to chew and swallow.

Heat the oil in a deep-sided sauté pan over medium-high to 350 degrees. Stick a wooden chopstick in the oil to see if it sizzles. If it does, it’s ready. Fry the saltines in 3 quick batches, adjusting the heat as needed, using a spider or a slotted spoon to swirl them around a little and to make sure they cook evenly to golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per batch. Drain on a wire rack until cool. They keep for a week in an airtight container.

Set the crackers, cheese and onion on a platter to serve with mustard in a ramekin.

*  I sometimes wonder, when I read these kinds* of recipes, scrolling finally down to the actual nub of the thing- the ingredients and instructions- are they being paid by the word or page?  Is 'content provider' lucrative if you get over the ten page mark?  Right again.  Let X = X.

* Technically, more than one recipe, I know.  Also technically, barely a recipe in the first place.

Monday, March 11, 2024



Dear Looking for Love,

Here is your song for today, and here is your nest cam for Eagle watching.  Plenty of love in both of these things to keep you satisfied.

Wednesday, March 6, 2024



Dear Everyone,

It's time again for me to exhort you to roller skate!  Sometimes, just occasionally, I despair of convincing you; I feel even, a little resentful that I keep on asking & asking, and you just don't seem to respond.  I often blame myself:  I must not have asked correctly, I wasn't convincing, I wasn't firm enough, I wasn't enthusiastic enough, silver-tongued enough.  I have a thing here to try, though, and it is this:  you don't have to take my word for it.  

If Kia Miakka Natisse doesn't convince you, I'll try again, in another hundred days!  Meanwhile, I am going to try, and try, and try again to get adequate at the challenging 3 turn.  Here are some how tos, if you want to join me!   How one, how two, how three.  And, how it might really look, to work on it, if you aren't at the level of Video Skate Instructor!  

Monday, March 4, 2024

storied trees


Trees 1, watercolor on paper, 2002, Mats Gustafson.

Dear Reader,

I am back at my job; yes, I know, I don't know whether it is a funeral or cause for celebration either, but I am there in any event.  Thinking about light and paper, as I do at my job, I am also thinking of what makes a good watercolor painting.  You can make them a lot of ways, but some of the best ingredients might include:



love for the subject

Mats Gustafson has some paintings of trees and rocks that come to mind as good examples.  If you really want to nerd out on, or dive deep into Mats G., (taking care to ignore the fatuous title) watch this film.

On the topic of trees, I have been saving this old oak for you, The Shelton Oak.  And, these, The Trees of Mystery, and this, The Trees of Mystery, singing your song of the day.

Thursday, February 29, 2024



Dear String People,

These things* are the ne plus ultra of objects for me.  I am trying to make something like them (see above).  The One Cat likes to sleep on it, even partly finished.  The Two Cat likes to wrestle it into a snarled heap.  The three of us together are pretty chuffed with this project, which has been going on for months and months.

My other yarn projects include a sweater with the kind of skinny-slow-splitty yarn that I cyclically swear off.  I am in an ascendant phase of swearing, which might reach its peak in something wearable, and it might just languish in a cute knitting bag until death does us part.  I was betting on the sweater until recently, when I got to the point of the sleeves.  So many sweaters end there, I expect.  Still, maybe it could have a life as a short skirt?  It doesn't even have sleeves, but separating the 266 stitches into two sections of 131 has been a serious blow to morale.  Morale is everything in making.

Anyway, the whole silly sweater thing wouldn't have even been attempted if it weren't for the beauty of these yarns from La Bien Aimee.  So delicious!  I showed them to a friend who said: "My next cat is going to be a skein."

* I really love this artist's work; all of it, the yarn things, the watercolors, the photographs, the clay things.  I am in extreme awe and envy of Renilde de Peuter.  See more of her work here.  As usual, I am asking myself, Why Can't I Be You, Renilde? 

Sunday, February 18, 2024

rain; some rain; more rain; the rain


Sky Study with a Shaft of Sunlight, 1822, John Constable.


Dear Under-the-Clouds,

I have your song for today; it's a rainy one.  But, you know, with Marianne Faithfull, it's hard to stop at just one bite, so please, if you have time, take another.  Is there a message we can take from these two songs?  I think so, I think so.  And I think it is this: be gentle with the fragile things you know and love.

PS  Should you find yourself wanting more from fragile beauties, try this, and then, oooh, this!  If you don't have rain, you could have yourself an artificial cloud.  You could also look at this beautiful painting of a cloud-filled sky, by Johann Jakob Frey.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

the season


Chat Noir Dahlia

Dear Shovels and Spades,

Every so often, say 6, 7 years cyclically, I get a great notion to 'garden.'  It's a Mr. Toad mania, fueled by the enchantment of words (which actually, I believe were first invented to incant, to put a spell on), and the poetic promise of potential of growth.  This time, I ripped out a bunch of perfectly charming, thriving plants (from a previous 'episode' of gardening) to put in raised beds and do a 'cutting garden.'  Mostly based on expensive dahlia bulbs, which would perish (unlike the plants I removed!) in our clayey, gloppy, dark and fecund soil.  So, in a classic Colonialist move, I filled these land containers, these raised beds, with pricy, purchased, bagged dirt dripping with absurdity, privilege ,and hubris!  Drainage problem solved!  Maybe?  Do tubers grow well in hubris?

Anyway, it all has culminated in a beautiful little ditty I'd like to share with you now:

GAR-den-ning is a

suck-ee suck-ee job,

Where you murder the plants

 and you piss off the worms!

GAR-den-ning is a 

suck-ee suck-ee job, 

where you mud up your clothes

and you ruin your shoes! 

(Sorry about the lack of score; if I could remember my piano and guitar lessons well enough to write down the notes, I probably would also remember what happened last time I got the bug to garden.  Just make up your own tune.)

To garden, you must also, in the great tradition of gardeners everywhere, leave your tools out in the rain/sleet/snow to rust, possibly maiming you later, or causing you to just "buy another one."  

A few more words on shoes and women:  whenever I garden, I enjoy/despise the words of E. B. White when he tells us that his beatific wife would garden in her Ferragamo's. Put that down to "words; incantations" and file it under  X with "talking spider." Because, although I love these two instances of words, I don't really believe either of 'em!

And, Happy Mud Season to my fellow aflictees everywhere!  


Additional, interesting information on the madre of the modern dahlia, Acocotli or Chichipatli.  If time constrains you, read that, over the Chat Noir link.

Thursday, February 8, 2024

share bread with me


Dear Copine,

Here is a word from the French that I just recently learned: copine/copain.  The thing, that I know you already know about words, is that they are made often of other words, or bits of words, and so when you say them, when you write them, when you use them, you get the meaning of the word and the meaning of the bits, too!  So economical, so unfolding and expansive!  Meaning is like that, I guess.

Anyway, the word is made from two Latin pieces that mean "with" and "bread."  Copine/copain is the person you share bread with.  I made some recently, and shared it around with friends.  If you feel you'd like to make some bread, you need 3 days, starter, and a languorous outlook.  If you are busy, forget it, you shouldn't even watch the video!

But, you know, it was mighty good bread, and maybe you want that kind of busy-ness.

Friday, February 2, 2024

why doesn't anyone tell me these things?


Dear Know it Not,

Why, why doesn't anyone tell me these things?  Why doesn't anyone tell me about Lizzy Mercier Descloux?  Or Tove Jansson?  Or Eve Babitz, Helen DeWitt, Josephine Wiggs, Bikini Kill?  What about Lizzie Araminto?  Or Rebecca Solnit?  P J Harvey?  Lydia Lunch?  Wanda Jackson?  

Who did I have, as a role model in the mass media of television as a young person?  I had Wives (Mary Tyler Moore, Elizabeth Montgomery), I had Whores (Suzanne Somers, Loretta Swit), one single Worker (Mary Tyler Moore), and I had this one lone person, this outlaw, this woman with a gender challenging name, this one person that seemed like she might be writing her own rules.  I am grateful to her!  Suzi Quatro is our Girl Friday!

Check her out here, where I first met her; and here, here, and here, and now.

Bonus track!  And a nice website.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024



Night Chrysanthemums, Pat Steir, 1984.

Dear Beloved Recipient,

I send you flowers today.  These paper flowers, which you can make, and maybe even give, and also this, which is Snow, Moon, and Flowers, a piano piece composed by Peter Sculthrope, and played by Shoko Kuroe.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

for immediate viewing!


Dear All,

Oooh!  You are going to love this!  I was sent to India Rose Crawford by Make Magazine, and I sure feel lucky!

Thursday, January 18, 2024

roses to deaden the clods as they fall


Dear All,

I have seen some things these first few weeks of the new year;  it starts to form an image, a collage, a map?  Well, how we use it is maybe not all that important.  

Last year was the year of Take it All Away; and yes, there is still plenty to haul off, but it was a start, ending with speaking aloud the ugly shadow side of caring deeply, passionately for objects: beings often come second.  It happens slowly, I think.  The objects are so patient, so good, so reflective of our wishes, our selves.  They would never misbehave, they would never talk too much, or say the wrong thing, they are never too loud, their innocence is pure, their value is limitless, as long as we keep beings from damaging them, questioning them, toppling them.  Having them adds to our greatness, increasing our mass.

But back to this very tiny, very small, nearly formless object, that you can keep in your back pocket or say unto the winds, this collage of the present:

A beautiful copy of The Rings of Saturn on the table in the sunlight at a woman's home.  A blue filled with grey tree branches that climb the sky.  A greening under the old washed, worn stubble.  An ice sheet on the birdbath.  Pages that describe Sido, and the daughter, Colette.  Near perfect shortbread fingers.  Ruby Tandoh on Cadbury eggs.  Chicken leg confit, because duck is so dear.  Waves, both blue and brown.  A pelisse, whatever it might be, because I have forgotten it already.  Like the phrase for this year:  A concourse of events?  No; an accordance of occasions?  A surcease of importance?  A confluence of  concerns?  I look it up, again and again:

The year of the "acausal connecting principle."  Something Carl Jung wrote, and I read somewhere in the recent flurries of pages; maybe the book on Los Angeles architecture?  Inciting Joy?  Not the book about the Shaker boy and his pig, not Carrie Fisher... well, that connection is gone too, but connections are like that; here today, gone the next.  I still want them, if only to deaden the clods as they fall.

It's the all of a piece, you know?  The reading, the writing, the voices, the thinking, the seeing, the making, the wondering, the glimpsing, the listening, the stitching, the drawing, the remembering.  They all go together, joined for a time by the temporary glue of the acausal connecting principle.

Monday, January 15, 2024



Memory Den

Dear Radio Dodo Fans,

Get up and change the station if you don't want these two great songs:  One, two.  

PS  Another place you can go, while the two songs play.