Ask Rachel

Ask Rachel

Email Rachel at telegraph@durangotelegraph.com

Dear Rachel,

There must be a use for all of the fur that comes off of my shedding dogs. It feels like such a waste to throw it all away. In this age of sustainability and up-cycling, isn’t there some hipster weaving dog fur into gloves for orphan children? Or fleece linings for jackets purchased by tourists? Something, anything at all to make the world a better place?

– Hair-Brain

Dear Furby,

As a kid, I justified all kinds of small-time littering by telling myself that the birds would use it. Threads from shirts, fur from my dogs, baby teeth from neighborhood brawls. I was certain some bird somewhere would put it in a nest. But the birds never touched it. It all just piled up where it blew against the backyard fence. So if someone invents dog-wool weaving, have I got the raw supplies for them. And, weirdly enough, some teeth to use as buttons.

– Your million-dollar idea, Rachel

 

Dear Rachel,

My parents recently purchased their retirement home in the desert. It’s pretty sweet, and the surrounding areas almost guarantee I’ll visit them more than ever before. But their rural water smells like hot rotten eggs. All the time.

Brushing my teeth is the pits. And when I’m showering and I accidentally get some in my mouth? Dear God. I’m wondering, how many times must I visit as a dutiful child before I start staying in the yard with my tent and my own water?

– Sulfur So Good

Dear Suckup,

Zero times. You have every right as a grown-ass adult not to smell like the ass end of a hot springs. The human nostril can acclimate to amazing levels of stank, and your parents’ old sniffers probably don’t notice anymore. But you don’t want to acclimate to stench like that. Think of the effect on your psyche. It’s time to stick up for yourself.

– She who smelt it, Rachel

 

Dear Rachel,

What is dry cleaning, exactly? I mean besides frigging magic, of course. I used to wash all my dress shirts in the washing machine, until one of my female friends insisted I take my nicer clothes to the cleaners. I have never felt nicer than wearing these shirts. Did you know that placket fronts can be re-flattened after you wear them? I, for one, did not know this. I had a question about the eco-friendliness of dry cleaning, but now I’m just happy that no one would guess I buy these clothes at the thrift store.

- Take Me to the Cleaners

Dear Eco-warrior,

Dry cleaning is probably the reason that fish are dying in our streams and parents think it’s a good idea to skip vaccinating their kids. There’s no way that a shirt coming out that clean, without the use of water, is anything but a deal with Satan himself. But I agree with you 100 percent that looking that fine is worth whatever price I have to pay. Besides, if I wash my dog-wool sweaters in the washing machine, the house will smell for a week.

– Pick up by Wednesday, Rachel

Top Shelf

Annual drinking of the green & festival season rundown
Annual drinking of the green & festival season rundown
By Chris Aaland
03/14/2019

All aboard the Shamrock Express! The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad hosts a St. Patty’s Day train to Cascade Canyon from 9:45 a.m. ‘til 3 p.m. Sunday. Irish beer and drink specials abound, with BREW Pub & Kitchen crafting a special Irish red beer for the occasion.

A special spot in tarp heaven
A special spot in tarp heaven
By Chris Aaland
03/07/2019

Scott Spencer was my festival brother. Back in the late ’90s, as Shelly and I had just started making an annual Telluride Bluegrass pilgrimage the centerpiece of our lives, we threw our sleeping bags down next to Scott and his wife, Sara, in the Front of the Line, and a lifelong friendship was born.

Local talent, son of Marley & the Cape Breton sound
Local talent, son of Marley & the Cape Breton sound
By Chris Aaland
02/28/2019

These are great times for local music. In recent weeks, new records by Afrobeatniks and StillHouse Junkies have dropped, and they’re not just keepsakes for friends and family members

Indie rock'n'roller, uptown jazz and math rock
Indie rock'n'roller, uptown jazz and math rock
By Chris Aaland
02/21/2019

When did you first discover Martha Scanlan? For me, it was around 2001, when her old-time bluegrass outfit, Reeltime Travelers, began appearing on the festival circuit, playing the old Silverton Jubilee, the Durango Bluegrass Meltdown, Telluride Bluegrass and RockyGrass.

Read All in Top Shelf

Day in the Life

Hope springs eternal
Hope springs eternal
By Stephen Eginoire
03/14/2019

Chlorophyll makes a triumphant return to the Animas Valley! Yes, green pigment never looks as green as when the first leaves emerge from the icy depths of winter.

Tierra Encantada
Tierra Encantada
By Stephen Eginoire
03/07/2019

It’s not difficult to find authentic culture here in the Southwest. Colored by Native, Hispanic and Spanish influence, the spectrum of people who are deeply connected to this region runs thicker than a muddy Rio Grande.

Sands of time
Sands of time
By Stephen Eginoire
02/28/2019

The erosional oddities of Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness located south of Farmington attract desert lovers from near and far to explore its desolate nooks and crannies.

Earth tones
Earth tones
By Stephen Eginoire
02/21/2019

Tired of looking at harsh, reflective white? Then feast your eyes on the gentler, subtler hues of winter. For most, winter brown is an acquired taste.

Read All in Day on the Life