FREE ANNOTATION AND HOT LINKS:
#1. GREAT ESCAPE: The plan was for me to get up early and walk Moppit so Rose could take an online yoga class before the sun turned up the heat.
The internet was down.
Plan B, Rose headed out for a run. Moppit and I headed out for a walk. We met up on the edge of Parque Juarez and all walked together up and down beautifully empty back roads. Afternoons are unbearably hot, but early mornings? Close to perfection.
#2. PODCAST: “The Daily” has a wrenchingly beautiful and heartbreaking story titled “A New Way to Mourn.” In these times of isolation, how do you find closure when loved ones die? The same way you stay close to family and friends now: ZOOM.
When the public, ritualized part of mourning wasn’t possible, one man organized an entire funeral for his wife online — two ministers, singers, an organist, elegies, remarks from family, even a mingling of attendees before the service began. The result was surprisingly comforting for one and all. Almost 47 minutes and worth every second.
#2a WITH OR WITHOUT PANTS: ZOOM isn’t just for funerals. Today we had a rousing meetup with Steve & Sue in Merida on the Yucatan Peninsula and Marie in San Pedro, Belize. We were all chums on Ambergris Caye at one time. At the time we were talking, we were actually supposed to be in a limo in Mexico City, heading for a Michael Bublé concert (with backstage passes).
No matter. This was a grand time. We laughed, we gossiped, we caught up on Coronavirus impacts. Steve & Sue have a beautiful garden B&B, now empty. They spoke from their swimming pool. Marie has several businesses on the island, all effectively closed down.
It really is the next best thing to being together, in these times.
#3. Another great story. An English professor happened upon an ad in the back of the New York Review of Books (NYRB): “A CHARISMATIC, AGING FRENCH rock star will compose and record an original song for you …” $200 USD. For another $200, he will make a video. You supply key words, circumstances, context, and preferences and Imre Lodbrog will do the rest.
As Dan Chiasson found out, the ad was absolutely legit. What he got back for his $400 is shockingly good. Especially considering the prof wanted the names of his two classes in the lyrics: English 120 and English 357, and a little bit of an Emily Dickinson poem. Lodbrog threw in Cyrano de Bergerac for free.
Chiasson wrote his story for the NYRB Pandemic Journal, a blog filled with wonderful personal stories from poets and authors all over the world. Definitely worth exploring.
#4: BLOG ALERT: Parody is hard. Writing parody in the Time of Trump is almost impossible. I know. I tried to write something today. It was the only way I could respond to Disinfect-gate. Perhaps hiring Imre Lodbrog to write a song would have been better.
#5: BLOG ALERT, Part 2: A little later, I was scrolling through all the pictures I took on our morning walk. They made me think of San Miguel as a beautiful empty museum. And that made me think of a poem. I combined the images and words into a second blog post! Pretty productive day, for better or worse.
#6 GREAT JOB: In January, Alicia Keys sang a song of healing to a Los Angeles crowd at the Grammy Awards that had just learned of the passing of their beloved Lakers star, Kobe Bryant. It was a song that united the many different musical camps celebrated at the awards show.
She has done it again. Keys has written and performs a new song, called “Good Job,” that celebrates the “frontline” workers in the Coronavirus epidemic. It is achingly beautiful and the images that accompany her, provided by CNN, rip your heart out.
#7 MONEY LAUNDERING: Friday is laundry day — towels, bed sheets, clothing. (For somebody who dos not go out much, I seem to go through a lot of T-shirts.)
Oh, any my wallet.
It was in the back pocket of a pair of gray cargo shorts. Everything that was important was salvaged, some took a little glue. I now have an extremely clean 100 peso note.