Here & Now, Leny Strobel, Teju Cole, Richard Mosse, Alt Text, Woon & Mom, Monica Galan, Bulik Gunner, Rambalac, Kwabs, Gershwin & Landesjugendorchester Hamburg
HERE & NOW
It is freakin’ cold and rainy today. And windy. I don’t know if the sunflower growing on our roof will hold up in this wind. I believe a crow dropped a sunflower seed in the duff from the wattle tree that tends to fill up our gutters.
We are technically carless. That is, “carless” unless we want to pay for repairs that cost way more than the car is worth.
My first car was a Chevy Corvair. Since then, I have had many, many cars in my life, including a British Crosley that looked like a tiny red taxi, a degenerate sportster convertible (Fiat? BMW? I can’t remember—didn’t last long), the first Honda Civic (awful), a Thunderbird sedan that drove like a boat, and various compacts, vans, trucks, car rentals, SUVs, and even a Jeep. These vehicles have given me all kinds of freedom, have gotten me to schools, jobs, hospital emergency rooms, Thanksgiving dinners, road trips through cities, and across the loneliest highway in America. They have also cost me probably hundreds of thousands of dollars in monthly payments, insurance, registration fees, tows, repairs, replacements for stolen parts, gas, car-accident recovery periods, and stress. So, at this point, the very thought of a car makes me feel tired. And bored. I might as well embrace being carless as a “lifestyle” change until I decide I want to own a car again. If that ever happens.
Occasionally I check in on the Twitter circus. I mention this now because Musk reportedly just said he is “open” to buying Substack (trigger ominous chords: dumm, da dum dum). Perhaps it’s just a lot of noise. We shall see.
Nothing at the moment.
ARTS & CULTURE LINKS
I work as a freelance editor. It’s not my “day” job, because I work whenever there’s work. I stare at the computer screen for hours at a time; I also have dry-eye syndrome, so staring at that screen is not the greatest thing for my eyes, and I sometimes wonder how long my eyesight will last. I just learned about writer/photographer Teju Cole’s book, Blind Spot, and the topic drew my attention because of its focus on seeing/not seeing. Speaking about his book, Cole notes that “in the postmodern age, we need the help that language can give us.” Cole experienced a disturbing episode on blindness; here he reads from and discusses Blind Spot, in “My Looking Became Sacred”:
Richard Mosse utilizes surveillance and infrared camera technology to turn the tables on how we look at the large-scale phenomena that humans create but have trouble perceiving. “What the camera cannot see”:
When you post images in social media, remember that some people use screen readers to “see” (and hear about) what you post. I knew you could write brief descriptions of images (alt text) when posting on Mastodon, because we occasionally get reminders. But I didn’t know you could do it in Facebook and Twitter. Here’s a definition and instructions on creating alt text in 60 seconds:
Woon (of Woon’s Kitchen) on working with his mom in their Chinese restaurant, located in historic Filipinotown in Los Angeles. To view more of Woon’s videos about the restaurant, his mom, and their friends, go to their YouTube page (click on “YouTube” below):
Monica Galan, on how she developed Salamat Ceramics (L.A.):
Bulik Gunner found this while hiking— kulintang stone music:
Count ‘em—fifty-seven hours of pre-recorded walks (no talking, no music, just “local” sounds) through the landscape of Japan—rural, suburban, and urban. I put it on while I’m working so when I take a break, instead of immediately going to social media sites or looking at upsetting news, I end up looking at rice fields, or at a row of houses as someone walks past them in the rain. From Rambalac:
Of course, I could just go for a walk. Here’s “Walk” by Kwabs:
This is fun: “Walking the Dog” by George Gershwin, performed on the streets by Landesjugendorchester Hamburg (with outtakes at the end).
Wow, I got this issue out before midnight! That may be because I’ve been invited to a session of mochi-making tomorrow. Happy Mochitsuki!
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