After a wonderful dinner in a friend’s backyard last night, I felt the gentlemanly thing to do is walk Moppit this morning. It was a reunion of Casa de las Poetas former residents. John & Linda and Jimmy & Gina moved elsewhere in town.
Then the pandemic hit. It was good to sit around a table again, outside, and safely distanced.
I had my first fake-meat burger — whatever they are called. It was quite satisfactory and if I ever go vegetarian, I will order a case.
So, Rose usually walks Moppit in the morning and I take the early evening shift. Today, I hoped she would sleep in for once. Naturally, she was preparing her yoga mat before we even hit the street. Dedicated.
I caught up on my podcasts: THE DAILY — today’s episode, “One Hundred Thousand Lives” was a chilling reading of names and pertinent details of many who have died from the Covid 19. And echo of the recent NYT front page, marking the tragic landmark 100,000 lives lost.
Yesterday’s DAILY: “Space Travel, Privatized” was a run-up to the launch of the new SpaceX rocket with NASA astronauts aboard. It was delayed by weather until Saturday. Great background on this landmark event.
RABBIT HOLE: Episode 7 “Where We Are One” — the show looks at QAnon and its legion of followers who believe the world is ruled by dark forces arrayed against them. Creepy and paranoic. This weekly podcast is a revelation as it explores the dark corners of the internet and how they influence people. Can’t say often enough, listen to it from the beginning.
FRESH AIR: “Deep Breaths: How breathing affects sleep”Author/journalist James Nestor has taken a deep look at those 25,000 breaths we take every day and concludes less mouth and more nose will make us healthier, better sleepers.
REAL FRESH AIR: At 11 a.m. Rose and I went out for some focused shopping. We stopped by Narae Kim Ellis’s popup facemask shop on Zacatecas. She has been making masks since the whole pandemic began and turns all the money back into helping San Migulenses in need. We bought four.
Friends and fellow bloggers Glenn and Ria were there too and we caught up with each other. As we talked Kim took a photo — as my stretched out and worn out mask slipped off my nose. Naturally, somebody noticed the nose faux pax right away and commented on Facebook. We had fun with that.
Rose went off to the fish shop for tonight’s dinner and I went up the street to pick up a bag of fresh ground dark roast coffee. I picked up two New Yorkers at the post office (May 18 & 25). I just love the feel of paper, the turning of pages, the general brilliance of the writing. Made my day.
MUD, SWEAT & TEARS: Posted a piece about summer jobs to the “Memoir — Fact and Fiction” section of the blog. Spent a could of long, hot summers stacking fresh-cut lumber in a drying yard in northwest Pennsylvania. It was hard work, heavy lifting, and — secretly — a strength and weight training program for high school football. Man, I loved it. And it was hard enough to show me my future included a college education. It is called “We arrived at the Dam in tattered cut-off jeans — covered in sweat, sawdust, and dirt.”
JUST WOW: Luis Alberto Urrea is a wonderful author. Just try his most recent novel, “The House of Broken Angels.” He’s spoken here in San Miguel numerous times and we never miss his talks. He and I are friends on Facebook and since the pandemic sent us all homeward, Luis has been opening his page to readers, encouraging them to post pictures on themes that he announces every day. He calls it “Operation Uplift.”
Today’s theme was “Sanctuary.”
I’d recently gone on a photo safari in our backyard, photographing trees, plants, statues in intimate closeups. In a blog post, I turned the photos into an escapist tour of a magical garden (which it really is in a way). A place filled with wonder. It is called “Come, walk with me, through the magical door into the Garden of Stone Angels.”
Luis liked it! His words: “This is marvelous! More, man, more!” Sure, it is Facebook, but to hear anybody say they like what I do is manna. Thank you, Luis. (May I call you Luis?)
ONLINE SHOPPING: I ordered eight bottles of wine from our favorite shop, Cava Sautto, paid by Paypal and in less than two hours their motorcycle was parked in front of our house. Local shops are doing a great job with home delivery. We’ve had excellent experiences with dinners, wine, and supermarket orders.
I hope they are getting enough business to survive. And I wonder if the delivery model will survive past the Coronavirus pandemic?
LYLE AND JOHN TOGETHER AGAIN … IN SEPARATE HOUSES: About this time last week, John Hiatt and Lyle Lovett were supposed to be wrapping up a two-month tour together across the U.S. and Canada.
Well, we all know how these things turned out.
So, tonight the two legendary singer/songwriters spent an hour online performing an all-acoustic concert for fans. Include me in that group.
It was as awkward as it was delightful, as ZOOM casting is for the first time for so many artists — and parents, grandparents, and people of a certain age.
First off, they dressed up for the occasion. Both had on sports coats (Hiatt wore a tie) and pants. They bantered back and forth as best they could. Lovett first saw Hiatt perform on January 31, 1981, in Austin. Lovett was part of the band that opened for headliner Hiatt. And Hiatt was all set to record and tour with dobro master Jerry Douglas this summer but pffffft.
Lovett had fun with his 2018 song, newly relevant: “Pants Are Over-rated” and classics like “If I Had a Boat” and “This Old Porch,” co-written with the great Robert Earl Keen, among others.
Hiatt alternated with the classic “Have a Little Faith In Me,” the majestic “Lift Up Every Stone” and the all-out fun “Tennessee Plates” among others.
Lovett and Hiatt have toured together for many years and clearly enjoy each other’s company and music. The streaming concert ran a little more than an hour. And, yeah, I was ready for more.