FRESHLY ANNOTATED WITH LOTS OF HOT LINKS!
#1 DREAMS COME TRUE: Buonforno’s coffee & pastry shop is one of our favorite places in San Miguel de Allende. Easily the best coffee and croissants you’ll find anywhere in town. And the breads! Exceptional. But the owners and staff are what put this shop over the top. It was understandable but sad when they closed.
This morning when I woke up, there on the stool beside my bed was a plate with a Buonforno almond croissant, a pistachio cinnamon bun, and a cup of their coffee.
How could this be?
The shop has re-opened in a limited fashion. You stand at the door and indicate what you want and it will be retrieved. All take-out, no cafe seating. Rose was out walking Moppit when she saw them open. After dropping the dog off at home — me still sleeping through all this — she bought coffee and treats and some bread.
Nothing could have started my day off better.
#2 ON A ROLL/ROLE: One good thing leads to another. Next thing you know, good things were piling up in front of me, so naturally, I started a blog post on all this goodness.
#3 THAT’S AN ORDER: We mix up our shopping — order some online, over the phone, or visit stores in person when necessary. The other day we placed an order online and early this morning the driver was knocking on our door. All but two items were fulfilled by Le Comer, which tells me the supply line is stabilizing. And the turnaround wasn’t bad — two days.
I think when this is all over, online orders and home delivery will remain a significant activity in the local economy.
#4 “WINE” PAIRING: Does isolation have you longing for the good old days? I didn’t think it was big on my list until I started reading “Dandelion Wine” by Ray Bradbury. It is a highly fictionalized memoir, set in the summer of 1928, in a little All American town where folks set out on the front porch and everyone knows everyone and kids roam free. Bradbury wrote it in 1957 when times really were simpler.
By coincidence one of my younger brothers, Chris, red the book three weeks ago and it has triggered some of his own summer memories, just as it has mine. I posted an excerpt on our family’s website hoping that it would stir memories in our other siblings.
While reading today, I put on a couple of albums that seemed to go quite well, the way a nice red wine goes with steak or a white with fish.
- The first was the soundtrack for the Ken Burns documentary “The Civil War,” especially “Ashokan Farewell.”
- The second is “Appalachia Waltz” with violinist Mark O’Connor, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and bassist Edgar Meyer.
As for “Dandelion Wine,” the writing is extraordinary. I wish I’d read it when I was about 12 years old. It’s the kind of writing that could hook a kid on reading for the rest of his or her life. I have a friend who picks up this book every few years. It is his gateway to childhood memories. It’s that good.
And it is the sort of book that will transport you far, far away from your daily incarceration. Even if just for a few hours, the escape is complete and rewarding.
#5 WATCHING: “The Front Page” (1931) I should be laughing at all the clever lines that Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur wrote into the mouths of Adolphe Menjou, Pat O’Brien and Mary Brian but somehow an old-fashioned newspaper just leaves me sad. I still mourn for my own career and those of scores of my colleagues and thousands of others from good and decent newspapers around the country.
The industry isn’t dying. It is being murdered by rightwing hate mongers, starting with the killer clown in the White House. Once the free press has been downsized to a small inside joke, the marauding politicians will drain this country dry and there will be no one left to tell the story. Sorry, sequestration is making me morbid.
#6 MY LIFE WITH THE 10 PERCENT: Our $1,200 inconvenience check showed up in our bank account today. I was joking about how I wished that I’d gotten $1.4 million in tax breaks and grants, like the other rich swells in the 10 percent wealth bracket.
That’s until I heard Terry Gross interview ‘New York Times’ investigative business reporter Jesse Drucker on the “Fresh Air” podcast today. Holy cripes! Have we been played for suckers. America’s wealthiest people and corporations — aka Mitch McConnell’s constituency — are poised to reap tens of billions of dollars in tax savings. Don’t listen unless you want to get mad as hell and not take it anymore.
#7 OH, LUCIDITY!: Yes, your dreams have grown more vivid and strange since you have been locked up in your home. Every news outlet in the world seems to have a story on how we’re all dreaming more and it is OK.
I just wanted you to know do you wouldn’t worry. Your dreams are your friends. They are the nice trashmen who clean out all the toxic buildup in your head.
Stress in, dream out.
As I’ve said before, the Devil came to composer Guiseppe Tartini in a dream and presented him with a beautiful composition, “The Devil’s Trill” which was and is a huge success. Want to program your dreams? The New York Times tells you how.
You never know. Grab your dreams by their fairy-dust tails and wrestle them into your notebook. Something good might come of it.
#8 DINNER & A MOVIE: Rose made lemon chicken with roasted Brussel sprouts and potato wedges for dinner. We watched “12 Strong” based on the true story of an Army special forces team sent into Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11 to kick some Taliban butt. Who else but cinematic hunk Chris Hemsworth could lead such a brave band of MEN?
Rose picked it out and kept insisting that I was the one who wanted to see a Chris Hemsworth movie … OK, sure. The buzz around Hemsworth’s “Extraction” got my interest, but only in passing. If we suddenly have a Hemsworth Film Festival lined up, I’m putting my foot down.
PS: “12 Strong” is okay. Hemsworth is good. OK, very good. Yada yada yada.
BONUS ROUND: My oldest grandson, Brody, called tonight to ask if I would edit his school paper. Like I used to do for his father and uncles when they were kids. (A dad who works for newspapers is of some use to his kids.)
Hell yes, Brody! I’d be honored.
Perfect assignment for nine-year-olds stuck at home: What is your favorite board game and why? Brody chose Sorry!, a 91-year-old game that even has seniority on Monopoly. His essay, while brief, sparkles and you can hear his “voice” when you read it aloud. Not an easy thing for a nine-year-old to capture. He likes the game because you can play it with family and he can send his Dad back to Start with a Sorry! card. Some things don’t change.
Now I’m waiting like an expectant father. If Brody doesn’t get an A-plus, I’m going to have words with his teacher! (Sad. I thought those days were behind me …)