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Strother
Chicago, IL
Designer, writer, woodworker, photographer
Recent Activity
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(Somehow the title of this essay reminds me of The Rutles song Living in Hope. They sound alike and pose equally absurd questions.) I don't think any human being can live without art. For that would mean to live without... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2020 at Mondaugen's Unknown Architect
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A thought experiment. What happens if we mashup Maslow's "Hierarchy of Needs" with a modern glass-and-steel skyscraper? Please, this is not a controlled scientific experiment, so let's have fun with it to find interesting questions. If you're unfamiliar, Maslow's core... Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2020 at Mondaugen's Unknown Architect
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Chances are that you live in an apartment or a house, and not a grass hut, right? Please tell me why. It must be a disgust with dirt floors. Or lack of screens on the windows. Maybe an issue of... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2020 at Mondaugen's Unknown Architect
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You live in a building or house. You work in another one (or maybe used to). You shop in others. I'll bet you have opinions about them. Maybe you like them. Maybe you don't. Maybe some things delight you. Maybe... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2020 at Mondaugen's Unknown Architect
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About a month ago, while lying in a tent in Montana, listening to wind through cottonwood and maple, a train rumbling in the distance, a particular thought wandered into my head and sat down. It said: “What are the things... Continue reading
Posted Aug 2, 2020 at Mondaugen's Unknown Architect
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30 Objects in 30 Essays From the objects that I have made, objects other people have made, objects that I live with, and what they have to say. The products of hands and brains. The obvious differences between things and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 25, 2020 at Mondaugen's Unknown Architect
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Sam Johnson was once asked how many books he had read. "What, through?" was his reply. Readers like him are very annoying to writers like me who like to go on and on and on and on about a favorite... Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2020 at Mondaugen's Unknown Architect
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About the 2019 Art-House Horror Movie Midsommar.... It's generally a bad sign if you fall asleep in the middle of a horror movie. I had to nudge my girlfriend awake once. Not that I felt she was missing much. Just... Continue reading
Posted May 25, 2020 at Mondaugen's Unknown Architect
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30 Objects in 30 Essays From the objects that I have made, objects other people have made, objects that I live with, and what they have to say. The products of hands and brains. The obvious differences between things and... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2020 at Mondaugen's Unknown Architect
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My advice on how to cope with Coronavirus? (self-interested, from the point of view of a handmade furniture designer, of course) Advice in a moment. FIRST, Let's listen to... The Predictions of Swami Semi-Seriousa Obviousa, Mystical Master of What is... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2020 at Mondaugen's Unknown Architect
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30 Objects in 30 Essays From the objects that I have made, objects other people have made, objects that I live with, and what they have to say. The products of hands and brains. The obvious differences between things and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2020 at Mondaugen's Unknown Architect
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30 Objects in 30 Essays From the objects that I have made, objects other people have made, objects that I live with, and what they have to say. The products of hands and brains. The obvious differences between things and... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2020 at Mondaugen's Unknown Architect
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30 Objects in 30 Essays From the objects that I have made, objects other people have made, objects that I live with, and what they have to say. The products of hands and brains. The obvious differences between things and... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2020 at Mondaugen's Unknown Architect
(a short interlude from the 30 Objects series) Friday, March 13, 2020, 7:41 am While I fry eggs on the stove, bright morning light streams in through the window over the alley below. I can see dust particles sharply defined,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2020 at Mondaugen's Unknown Architect
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30 Objects in 30 Essays From the objects that I have made, objects other people have made, objects that I live with, and what they have to say. The products of hands and brains. The obvious differences between things and... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2020 at Mondaugen's Unknown Architect
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"You've got City Hands, Mr. Hooper. You've been counting money all your life." - Quint Would you agree that the measure of a man is best had through the feel of his hands? Chances are good you do not. Hands... Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2020 at Mondaugen's Unknown Architect
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I watched Ad Astra the other day. It is now one of my favorite films. But not because it is a serious science fiction drama, but because it is an absurdist comic noir masterpiece. At first it seemed to be... Continue reading
Posted Dec 24, 2019 at Mondaugen's Unknown Architect
Can't think of another movie that has a stronger plea with modern society to drop media-based understandings of each other, and be generous on a personal level. Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2019 at Mondaugen's Unknown Architect
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We were nobodies making beautiful things. Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2019 at Mondaugen's Unknown Architect
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The email, sent to everyone in my building, was to the point: Sheriff's deputies were here yesterday to officially evict anyone who might have been living at XXXX-2. That was one more step that had to be taken so that... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2019 at Mondaugen's Unknown Architect
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It occurred to me, as an outgoing introvert, that Bartending might be an enjoyable, profitable sideline of work. I know how to make a good dry martini. I enjoy dispensing life advice to strangers, especially those too inebriated to realize... Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2019 at Mondaugen's Unknown Architect
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Tokyo at dawn, from the 27th floor, looking West towards Shinjuku, the sunrise reflected in the nearest office building. From the lights on several floors, it looks as if groups of workers are already at their desks, practicing karoshi (death... Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2019 at Mondaugen's Unknown Architect
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A block from my apartment, there is a place I go and sit to watch the lake. Depending on the time of day, the water changes color. I probably wouldn't notice unless I took a photo to remember. At night,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2019 at Mondaugen's Unknown Architect
Why, just yesterday, I asked the 20-something cashier if she liked working at Trader Joe's. It has such a festive atmosphere, I wondered if the good humor was commanded by management, or natural. "Sometimes," she said, with a slightly pained... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2019 at Mondaugen's Unknown Architect
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The camel asked the maker, ‘Why did you take away words from the dog?’ ‘Words are the devil’s maze, camel.’ And so, somewhere around page 402, a cat owner reads a children's story that explains how dogs became the best... Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2018 at Mondaugen's Unknown Architect