On this occasion, allow me to cherry-pick Pete Townshend’s tune “1921”:

“Got a feeling ’21
Is going to be a good year
Especially if you and me
See it in together
I had no reason to be over-optimistic
But somehow, when you smiled
I could brave bad weather”


Here’s a New Year’s card I whipped up I-can’t-remember-how-long-ago.

Once upon a time, when I was a practicing… well, practicing anything, I started ‘mining’ photographs and prints by macro-photographing tiny areas of them to generate graphics for screen printing — which I was in fact practicing at the time.

I’d photographed this sundial image from a dictionary, one of those microscopic illustrations next to the definition.  A device requiring sunlight representing the approach to New Year’s Eve midnight: I thought that was awfully clever…

I succeeded in finding an example of my ‘technique’ that I’d posted previously, entitled ‘F_ck Me!’.  Dated 12/17/2016, curiosity enough, its message is accidentally apropos at the present juncture in the American political morass.

Happy Christmas and a premature (but so sincere) Happy New Year!

You and I both know I’m incapable of going full-Thumper, but in the wake of the previous post, I’ve decided to either make good on my ongoing threat to shutter, or alternatively, abandon gloom.

The second option pictured is also attractive…

The eleventh anniversary of Domani Dave occurred last month.

I like ‘11’.  It’s not that metric ’10’ decimal prissiness, and it’s not a dozen ’12’ cookies, months-in-the-year, either.  A nice off-balance number.

The present post is actually before your eyes entirely so that I can claim at the last possible moment, anal retentively, that I have not missed posting a single month throughout those eleven years.

Here is my most recent ‘portrait’, taken to immortalize my sustained twelve-week COVID lockdown hair.  I turned 70 January 20, 2017, the day Donald Trump was inaugurated POTUS.

It’s been a tough four years.

Also included, your Domani Dave host at his fifth birthday party, January 20, 1952.  I recently extracted this image from a small clutch of prints I spirited away from the family trove.  Fain deny you have never seen a more precious child.

It’s been a tough 69 years.

I have a long history of being conflicted about Hollywood’s long history of using a Southern accent as shorthand for ‘stupid’.

The practice continued just this past week with a bouncy little video online entitled ‘This Song is Dedicated to the Last Undecided Voter’, modeled on the final 2020 Presidential ‘debate’.

You don’t have to watch the whole thing, as the titular last undecided voter appears about 25 seconds in, with requisite dimwitted drawl.

I myself spotted the liability of a Southern accent as early as high school and began then trying to at least tamp-down my own.  Half a century later, mission accomplished: I’m told that I have an ‘Atlanta accent’.  Not too hot, not too cold…

There are, mind you, beautiful natural Southern accents.  A boss of mine once, a gentleman (truly) from South Carolina, spoke in a sort of precise melody.  Not so much as a single sign of tinkering.

Unfortunately, the ‘other’ reputation of the Southern accent is kept alive by the likes of House of Representatives member from Georgia, Doug Collins.

If you followed the televised impeachment proceedings, you will recall Collins’ carnival barker/cattle auctioneer delivery, a perfectly realized redneck rat-a-tat-tat.

Some decades ago during four years sustained living outside the South, naïf-like I endeavored to be an ‘ambassador’ for ‘It’s not really like that’ in the South.  Shortly upon returning, I realized it was exactly ‘like that’.

Now, today, I realize the entire country is exactly ‘like that’.

Do NOT ask me to describe the terrain along the way through the rabbit hole that brought me to this online ‘review’ of Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye.

Also, please agree that naked cruelty could be the only reason you might suggest that the writing style herein is similar to my own.

Our house is situated on a maybe too public corner, with essentially a glorified courtyard in the front.  There is a point: what’s visible on the house is viewable from the sidewalk.

Our friend Pete L made a fairly extensive run of ‘non-traditional’ political yard signs.  For security, we flipped our copy, bending that poke-in-the-ground wire part into hooks, and suspended it on the street-facing trellis attached to the porch.

It would take a committed sign stealer to trespass to snatch it.

Our ‘traditional’ Biden/Harris sign is suspended similarly, but in a more-readily, yet still not-easily snatchable spot.  An attempt was made last evening, but craftily-fortified, the sign prevailed.

Our friend Roger B sent us this photo.  This sign would last about three minutes in our neighborhood.  Come to think of it, I might just go snatch it myself for a keepsake…

“To cross one’s fingers is a hand gesture commonly used to wish for luck. Occasionally it is interpreted as an attempt to implore God for protection. … The use of the gesture is often considered by children as an excuse for telling a white lie.  By extension, a similar belief is that crossing one’s fingers invalidates a promise being made.”

In the matter of POTUS’s health, fingers crossed!

I would appreciate your indulgence in considering this ‘prologue’ to be one of those ‘Your video will play after this ad’ flags.

Unfortunately, there is no ‘Skip ad’ button here.

That vast numbers of people will vote for Donald Trump this November brought me long ago to the realization that the human race is irredeemably flawed and we need that asteroid to go ahead and wipe us out.

On a personal level, we have two friends of decades duration whom we once effortlessly considered charming/bright/witty, who have been purged from our lives upon discovery of their Trump support.  Some would argue against such a course of action, but those advocates belong in a monastery.

Better off limiting relationships, so we never learn ‘the rest’…

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

An Ode to Small Talk

by James Parker — The Atlantic — October 2020

The correct answer to the question “How are you?” is Not too bad.

Why? Because it’s all-purpose. Whatever the circumstances, whatever the conditions, Not too bad will get you through. In good times it projects a decent pessimism, an Eeyore-ish reluctance to get carried away. On an average day it bespeaks a muddling-through modesty. And when things are rough, really rough, it becomes a heroic understatement. Best of all, with three equally stressed syllables, it gently forestalls further inquiry, because it is—basically—meaningless.

Small talk is rhetoric too. Americans in particular are small-talk artists. They have to be. This is a wild country. The most tenuous filaments of consensus and cooperation attach one person to the next. So the Have a nice days, the Hot enough for yous, the How ’bout those Metses—they serve a vital purpose. Without these emollient little going-nowhere phrases and the momentary social contract that they represent, the streets would be a free-for-all, a rodeo of disaster.

But that’s the negative view. Some of my most radiant interactions with other human beings have been fleeting, glancing moments of small talk. It’s an extraordinary thing. A person stands before you, unknown, a complete stranger—and the merest everyday speech-morsel can tip you headfirst into the blazing void of his or her soul.

I was out walking the other day when a UPS truck rumbled massively to the curb in front of me. As the driver leaped from his cab to make a delivery, I heard music coming out of the truck’s speakers—a familiar, weightless strain of blues-rock noodle. There was a certain spacey twinkle in the upper registers, a certain flimsiness in the rhythm section … Yes. It had to be. The Grateful Dead, in one of their zillion live recordings. And I knew the song. It’s my favorite Dead song.

“ ‘China Cat Sunflower’?” I said to the UPS guy as he charged back to his truck. A huge grin: “You got it, babe!”

The exchange of energy, the perfect understanding, the freemasonry of Deadhead-ness that flashed instantaneously between us, and most of all the honorific babe—I was high as a kite for the next 10 minutes, projected skyward on a pure beam of small talk.

Why am I telling you this?

I started blogging in 2009, but in October 2016, I ditched the previous posts in a fit of cyber housecleaning. Some of it was really nice writing, but alas, as my old friend Susan once said: ‘Compulsion is a cruel master’.

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