Hello. I missed my self-imposed deadline and didn't send anything in April. I thought about it a couple times, but didn't follow through. Does that mean there will be two of these missives in May? Unknown. I wouldn't count on it.
I just started reading Duchamp Is My Lawyer by Kenneth Goldsmith. Among lots of other things, he is the founder and primary driver behind UbuWeb (https://ubu.com/) - which is a massive open archive of art from the fringes (and not so fringe). It exists on the margins of copyright/IP legality and permission. Everything is free and there are no restrictions on any of the content.
I'm only in the second chapter, but the first chapter already was supremely inspirational to me. It basically laid out the manifesto for UbuWeb and all of it aligned with my way of thinking about all this stuff. The netlabel I've run since 2008 or so, pan y rosas discos, has a similar philosophy - although everything on the pyr label is with the artist's explicit permission. The thing that impacted me immediately in the short term is Kenneth's requirement that UbuWeb be coded in simple html to prevent it from becoming dependent on new platforms that will inevitably be obsolete and fall apart at some point. When I started pyr I did everything with html in a text editor, which got kind of tedious after a few years and I migrated to wordpress and continue to use to this day. However, that commitment to basic html resilience and access jumped out at me when I read it. So, now I'm attempting to build a text only version of the pyr site with the least amount of code that I can. Boring you say? Fun, I say! For now.
April things. We went to Delaware and New Jersey for CPS' spring break and visited family, ate Wawa hoagies and Rita's water ice. We also went to Assateague Island National Seashore. We've been there a couple times years ago, but since we almost always go to Delaware in the summer it is oppressively hot to be out on the sand/dunes for a nature walk. So this was the first time we've gone and actually gotten to walk around for a decent amount of time. Did we see horses? Yes! Lots of them. They all came out to say hello to us. Did I take pictures of them? No! That is too trite.
We also got to go to Philadelphia and eat lunch at Reading Terminal, which for all the times I've gone to south Jersey to visit family over the years, this was the first time I've been able to go to Reading Terminal. My son and I both got food from a Georgian (the country) restaurant called Saami Somi. It was fucking amazing. We both got Khach’ap’uris, which their website describes as:
Hand kneaded from Lucile, our mother dough, each sourdough boat is stuffed with our mix of shredded Bulgarian feta and suluguni cheese. Once out of the oven the molten cheese is topped with a pad of butter & egg yolk.
Look at the pictures on their website. https://www.saamisomi.com/
April also saw the return of the music shows at the neighborhood library. This was the first one since December of 2019. We weren't able to do them at the library for a long time cuz of the ongoing pandemic, but just recently started to work on them again. We, is me and co-organizer Nathanael Jones who started helping out in the new year. Amanda Kraus performed with a gong, percussion and loops. And Helena Ford performed with a no-input mixer, pedals, and samples. Nerdocity! You can view them here if you're interested: https://vimeo.com/channels/1840714
That's the obviously fun stuff from April. There was a lot of routine/quotidian fun things too. And lots of boring quotidian nonsense as well. Oh, I just thought of a routine/quotidian fun thing that happened. My son is now twelve and a half years old and he invited a friend to go to the neighborhood comic store. I walked them over to the store and they looked around for a while and bought some comics and stuff. When we left I said I needed to pick up a record from the record store across the street and when we got there my son's friend asked if they could look around since we were there. I was like, go for it, and then they looked around for another twenty minutes or so. It felt like some sort of milestone in the growing up process where one of the fun activities for my son and his friends is now to go shopping/browsing at the comic and record stores. Boring and not boring.
It's finally a decent spring day today here in Chicago. Maybe I'll ride my bike to run an errand. Maybe. I'll leave you with some questions I'm frequently asking myself. What am I doing to prevent/fight fascism? What am I doing to protect trans people? And what am I doing to mitigate the human made climate catastrophe?