Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

The Log for May 17 –Hitchcock’s ‘The Lady Vanishes’ and supernatural TV show ‘One Step Beyond’

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Moppit has an opinion on a new statue erected in front of the new El Golpe de Vista, about a block off of the southwestern corner of Parque Juarez

Rose is off on her Sunday morning run (4.2 miles) so it is left for Moppit and me to walk the cobblestones streets of San Miguel. At 7 a.m. we feel like the only two creatures in the city.

Good time to catch up on podcasts.

The NYT Daily “A Bit of Relief: Reruns and Rituals”— NYT TV critic and California Food Writer talks about how they are filling their time during the self-isolation. Spoiler alert: Watching a lot of TV. Continue reading

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Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

The Log for May 16, 2020 — U2’s R&R Hall of Fame concert, the funniest TV sketch ever, and Barack Obama speaks to 2020 grads

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IT’S ONLY ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: Back when I wrote about rock ‘n’ roll for a living, I was sometimes able to take one or two of my sons “to work.”

As young high schoolers, Brendan and Ryan got to see Pink Floyd from the nosebleed seats at Jack Murphy/Qualcomm/San Diego stadium — but even up there, the band’s impact was powerful.

When U-2 played the same stadium, the experience was a bit different. A traffic jam made us miss the start of the show. Still, walking my sons down to 20th-row seats on the floor, next to the band’s runway proscenium — it was like landing in Oz. Continue reading

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Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

The Log for May 15: Deep dive into Muscle Shoals music and down the Rabbit Hole with Internet king ‘KewDiePie’

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Special birthday edition in honor of my first son, Brendan! All hot-linked for his special day!

#1   DEEP DIVE INTO MUSCLE SHOALS MUSIC:
A. Documentary: “Muscle Shoals” (Magnolia Pictures) 2013
Tucked into the northwest corner of Alabama, hard up against the Tennessee River, Colbert County is home to legendary musicians and recording studios known collectively under the name “Muscle Shoals.” Starting with Aretha Franklin, Percy Sledge, Arthur Alexander, Etta James, Clarance Carter, and Wilson Pickett in the 1960s, a stunning list of musicians have trekked to the area to tap into the funky soul sound that has birthed scores of hit records. Continue reading

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Memoirs -- fact and fiction, Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

The Log for May 13: Hey, brother, can you loan me a dime for a ride into the mystic?

IMG_1672Oh, this day has begun all right — an All-Music Morning for Wednesday.

#1  “The Girl In Byakkoya,” Susumu Hirasawa,  from the animated film “Paprika.” This is the music that gets you up and moving. Check out the movie, too — anime magical surrealism at its finest. A mad enormously ballooning parade that absorbs everybody, everything — all energy  — as it progresses. Who can stop it? And how?

#2  Delbert McClinton channels his inner-Tony Bennett and sings about “San Miguel”! (Even mentions San Francisco in the first line … (Thanks for the tip, Robert Cooksey.) Continue reading

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San Miguel de Allende, Writings

The Log for May 12, 2020: Good reads, good movies and something I can’t explain

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Look below for the annotated version with links dipped in fresh hot chocolate for the good homebody feeling:

Really good reads:

#1  “Fuck the Bread. The Bread is over.”  By Sabrina Orah Mark,  Paris Review,  May 7, 2020.   “In February, as a plague enters America, I am a finalist for a job I am not offered.

“I am brought to campus for a three-day interview. I am shown the library I’ll never have access to, and introduced to students I’ll never teach. I shake hands with faculty I’ll never see again. I describe in great detail the course on fairy tales I’ll never offer.” Continue reading

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Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

In the absence of art and pageantry by agile minds and clever hands, Nature fills the void

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Looking down Calle Correro from the intersection with Barranca toward the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel on a very quiet Sunday morning.

We don’t do fireworks in San Miguel de Allende any more.

The hot-air balloons drifting slowly over the city at dawn are gone.

Parades and processions are put on hold.

Concerts under the trees have been muted. Continue reading

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Memoirs -- fact and fiction, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Sequestration meditation: Walk among the trees, with the thoughts of Hermann Hesse

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Text by Hermann Hesse: “Trees,” from “Wandering: Notes and Sketches”
Photographs by Robert J. Hawkins

“For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves.

IMG_1628 And even more, I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs, the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfill themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. Continue reading

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Memoirs -- fact and fiction, Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

The Log for May 8: First Lady documentary ‘Becoming,’ Alice Walker, Dylan, Prokofiev

IMG_1617FARM-TO-TABLE LINKS & ANNOTATIONS, RAISED HUMANELY IN DIGITAL INCUBATOR:

#1 Dog walks are meant for podcasts. Longer walks mean even MORE podcasts:

a) Fresh Air: Chef Tom Colicchio talks about what it will take for restaurants to survive.

      b)  NYT The Daily: Arrival of the murder hornets and The Chinese Lab theory.

c)  NPR Up First: Unemployment numbers.

d) NYT Sugar Calling: Cheryl Strayed talks with Alice Walker. “Whatever we have, we have to work with it.” (Strayed’s weekly podcast has hosted writers Amy Tan, Judy Blume, Pico Iyer, Margaret Attwood,  and George Saunders.

#2 VISIT: The talk with Alice Walker sent me to her website. Filled with commentaries and poems and nods to essays of others. The first two lines of her poem “True Success” really got me: Continue reading

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Memoirs -- fact and fiction, Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

The Log for May 7: Full Moon & she goes full werewolf, 2 break-ins, (unrelated) 2 blog posts

IMG_1614#1  Full moon — Neighbor went into full werewolf until about 1:30 a.m. Howling, screaming, ranting. Somebody was trying to talk her down, not very successfully. At the same time she was smashing up a lot of stuff — sounded like wood slats — one after another, after another.

#2 Miguel and Mercedes at Rinconcito said the two businesses next to them on Refugio were broken into, possibly right after the werewolf crashed for the night. Miguel was helping the shop owners cut back the trees that were climbed to get inside. Continue reading

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Memoirs -- fact and fiction, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

That time Romeo proposed to Juliet? Well, yes, but it wasn’t quite as we remembered

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Davit Karapetyan’s proposal to Vanessa Zahorian came at the end of their performance in “Romeo and Juliet” with the San Francisco Ballet. We may or may not have been there to witness this amazing moment …

Last night, Rose and I watched the streaming performance of “Romeo and Juliet” by the English National Ballet. It was an exuberant performance of the Rudolf Nureyev production with the music of Sergei Prokofiev.

Alina Cojocaru and Isaac Hernández are the young lovers of Verona. The ballet was filmed in October 2015 at the Bristol Hippodrome.

Quite by coincidence, it was exactly 10 years ago — to the day — that we attended a performance of “Romeo and Juliet” by the San Francisco Ballet at the stately War Memorial Opera House.

Like I said, to the day. Continue reading

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