Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Throw-away views

This photo isn't new. Summer, 2013. I was looking for a photo of a chain of office for a discussion about the word "Whiffler," and ended up looking through photos I took in Chichester when I was there with Joyce Fetteroll, Julie Daniel and Adam Daniel. It's always hard for me to say what I love about England, but this is an example of it. This was the view from the window of the women's room in a restaurant, in Chichester.

The roof lines, the building materials, things added, clues to things having been chopped off, or repaired, or modernized, different kinds of roof tiles and panels and treatments... Candid, "back stage," not spruced up for tourists. :-)

Inside the room:

Monday, May 23, 2016

Nice description of the David Bowie letter

A Sean Kelley in London sweetly informed me about a post today at that describes the letter David Bowie sent me very nicely:
Great tales of David Bowie's good nature flooded out after his death too, but we've known about his letter to his first American fan since 2009, after it appeared on the excellent Letters of Note site.

It's a wonderful thing - a measured, charming, excited and poignant response, written in 1967, to a 14-year-old called Sandra Dodd from New Mexico, whose uncle had given her a promotional copy of Bowie's first album (he worked at a radio station).

"When I called in this, my manager's office, a few moments ago I was handed my very first American fan letter - and it was from you. I was so pleased that I had to sit down and type an immediate reply," Bowie begins, before answering questions Sandra had asked about his real name, birthday, height, and whether he'll ever visit America.

"Thank you for being so kind as to write to me and do please write again and let me know some more about yourself," the letter ends.
I love this: "measured, charming, excited and poignant."
It's the second item here, but I will point out again that he was not yet a famous musician when the letter was written.

The letter and notes on my site:

Monday, April 25, 2016

Tiny houses (rejection of)

I'm saving some things from facebook, from a discussion of a funny, well-written article on tiny houses. In case facebook is archived forever, here: blah blah Tiny Houses

It's my writing below:

I think what makes tiny living possible is MacBooks and iPads (or their equivalents). And cellphones and internet.

The reason our kids didn't fit better into the house we had before (where Marty is now) with its 1200+slightly more sq ft is because before they were born, Keith and I already had lots of music, books, projects.

Picture a 1990's computer and printer and telephone in a tiny house. And a VCR and some tapes and a 1990's TV. Where y'gonna sleep?

Camera, photos, albums, negative storage?

But these days my projects are on my website and blogs. Photos don't take space. Music is on the phone and the computer. Even letters from relatives aren't taking space.

So a tiny house can work beause people can read, watch movies, take photos, do research, communicate with relatives without owning books, magazines, videos or DVDs, photo-storage boxes/books/binders, dictionaries or other reference books, stationery, pens and stamps.

But what about sewing and woodworking? Keith and I still need a big house.

I keep my computer's back-up drive in an old VCR rental box, wrapped in a green linen napkin. There's some artsy/practical mixing of eras. smile emoticon I stick it on the shelf like a book, in my office, and it's safe to throw into a suitcase.

I've had a computer broken and one stolen when I was out of the country, so I keep the backup current, and never keep it in the same bag as the computer.

Oh, and when I visited India, in the Phoenix airport on the way home, the computer started dying. The next day it was gone. I did lose some notes, names and addresses, but I had been backing up the photos. So back up your computer whether your house is tiny or huge.

With a hot knife, I took out the post that held the video tape in place.

We live near where there was a large video rental store, and used to find boxes in the dumpster. I've used them to ship Thinking Sticks and other small things in the mail, and am nearly out of them now. I should have picked up hundreds of them; they're so strong and solid.

Where, in a tiny house, would one store valuable dumpster-diving finds?

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Hearthstone Magnet Frame

This isn't news, but for the record, to keep this in a cool place.... Once upon a time Kirby lived in Austin and had a photo of his parents, and a magnet that made a frame. So for a while, we were (on Kirby's fridge only) a Hearthstone card. He, Destiny and Devyn moved to Albuquerque in early 2015, and things were rearranged.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

New car

I'll want to know when we bought this car, so I'm bringing notes here for future-me.

Most of it happened Monday, but I didn't say much to anyone at all. I wanted a done deal and a photo before announcing it.

Here's what I posted on Facebook:
Extra key:

Extra car:

The size of a tumbleweed (and a bit more):

Here's what was on the Korean Drama discussion:
I sat in the driver's seat of a Hyundai Genesis sedan the other day, and looked all around and thought... Wow. I didn't want to own it, just to be in it and think about seeing them in dramas. :-)

It was very comfortable, and there seemed to be every automotive accessory and engineering improvement known to man in there. Beautifully arrayed. Solid.

I've had a crush on those little Fiats since they came to town, and Monday Keith took me to see them. We had been once very early, two years ago, to look without salesmen. Yesterday a nice young salesman showed us several models. The big ones were too big—nearly as long as my min-van, so what's the advantage!? The small ones were too small. The sporty one had a seat that only adjusted oddly, by tilting. Keith needs the seat leaned way back because he's over 6'1" and I need it to be nearly straight up to support my back. Some of their models won't do that.
But there were other things I didn't like, too. My crush dissipated. It was infatuation, not love.
So we went to Car Max. I sat in one Fiat I DID like—and was thinking about it. Then I sat in a Smart Car, there, and had a new crush. It was sold, though.
And I sat in that Hyundai, and had a dramatic Korean moment. :-)

Then we went to the Smart car dealer, with me thinking I would order one and let it take its time, but had it not been a banks-closed day (Presidents Day), we would've had one right then, Monday. So we had it Tuesday morning.

Sorry it's not about the dramas, but there's a tie-in.

I'm posting this Friday; we got the car Tuesday February 16.
Today I was feeling uncomfortble about having gotten a car when my van just got new keys (because of a recall), and it's running well. Twice in the past few weeks we've needed an extra car because one was in the shop (Keith's, and then Holly's, and they won't be the last), so though I thought we could really use an extra car, now they're all here.

Keith reminded me that the van is nearly to 100,000 miles. I looked: 99,730. So 270 miles to go. The smart car has 200 miles on it, and had 101 when we got it. Keith helped me feel better.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

City on the Edge podcast

On February 3 (2016) I was interviewed by Mike Smith and Ty Bannerman, for their City on the Edge podcast, which is fairly new. I'm episode #8! It was a realy fun conversation. It's out, but I haven't listened yet, as I write this. I heard the end of it.

It was put up today! Please listen. :-)

But here's where I want to put clarifying notes here, as I listen. I have one already—I didn't lose sleep over it, but I was sorry to have said something unfair.

Mo's my next door neighbor, I said, and it sounded like is, but it was a "was." She moved in next to us on Princess Jeanne, when my kids were little and she had her grown son and daughter, and two granddaughters my kids' age living with her. Currently she's Marty and Ashlee's next door neighbor. We've always stayed in touch, and I hope Mike and Ty will have us as guests on a podcast together someday. I love Mo's stories.

The room I grew up in Española had "just two steps down," I said. I didn't say that one was about 12" down, onto concrete, and then there was a 10" step or so. That top "step" was a hinged storage box, sort of. It was like a climb or a jump down.

And it was The Chelsea NEWS, not "Times." I should've had more notes with me. :-)

I said that James Daniel had been in a band, but I meant to say it was called Perfect Vision.

The links I said I would send are all in another blogpost of mine here—to the articles from January 11 and 12: [and links to some of the publications from 2009 when Letters of Note printed the letter are here: Bowie Letter]

I don't think my dad said "fire-proof paint." He probably said "heat-proof paint." The company was called M.I.C.A., Mineral Industrial Commodities of America, and the plant was in east of the highway, south of the businesses in Pojoaque, up against the sandhills, on Pueblo land, so at school each year when they checked how schools would be funded, one of the questions was whether a child lived on Indian land, or if the parents worked there. So my dad working there must have gotten some federal funding for the Española Public Schools.

Near the end there, I said that my friend's parents didn't want her to date Indians. That was never stated, and I shouldn't have said it. They didn't want her to date ANYbody. Another neighbor who lived between our houses, though, had specifically been forbidden to continue a relationship with a boyfriend from one of the pueblos, for that reason. He was in the same band as one of my boyfriends. [Yes, it IS a small world!!]

In Española, in those days, there were some Hispanic families (older local families who had or had had money, it seemed to me—"good families) whose prejudice against the local Indians was longstanding, inherited, not personal. Anglo families didn't have that. For whatever reason(s), I was allowed to hang out and socialize with any of the kids, and I often had a car, and time...


That ending was added later, elsewhere. I did not get a taco on a warm night, but I got to to Mike's house on a freezing night, and have a ton of fun.

[More notes might come.]

I did NOT end up telling two first impressions of Albuquerque. I told one, and then got to two concerts I went to. :=) Sorry, guys! But I can tell, next time, maybe, my early memories of the NEW Theatre at Winrock, and of the zoo, when there was only one modern enclosure. If there's another chance, I will tell more first impressions. OH! The businesses that were advertised on TV. And Keith says to mention the airplanes. I'll leave this here for notes for myself for next time.

And the part that I couldn't remember was the two incidents that gave me courage to read the letter aloud.
1. The letter had been read aloud by someone else at an event in London
2. I wrote the foreword to ta book and it was made an audio book, read by a man. I had passages of my writing read aloud by women, or quotes, but hearing it in a male voice was different. And there was one difficult phrase that he understood and read the way I would have.
That's "the best thing I was ever going to say." If I find the article about the London reading, I'll bring dates and the name of the reader. He's famous, but I didn't know who it was.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

"The Best Thing You've Done"

This was a writing prompt I responded to, on Live Journal, July 2008. It's still true in 2016.

Q: If you were to die now, at this moment, what would you think of as the best thing you've ever done in your life?

Sandra: Helped people think more clearly and to see their possibilities.