Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

The Log for May 18: Magic mushrooms, John Malkovich, a Pulitzer Prize podcast, a crossword blitz, and fresh-baked cookies

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Pulitzer Podcast:  Last week, the radio program/podcast “This American Life” won a Pulitzer Prize. It is the first-ever awarded to a radio program. The honored program, called “The Out Crowd” is steeped on original reporting, boots on the ground, at the U.S. Mexican border. It first aired in November 2019 and is rebroadcast now with critical updates.

Most dispiriting update of all — the atrocities first reported here are largely going on unchanged and unchecked. Continue reading

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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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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, 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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Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

The Log: May 5, 2020 — Listing all the tabs open on my computer (so I can close ’em)

IMG_1547An inventory of all the tabs still open at the end of the day, May 5, 2020, on my Acer Chromebook:

#1  “Flattening the Truth on Coronavirus,” by author Dave Eggers, New York Times | Opinion, May 3, 2020. “All your questions about the pandemic, answered. Sort of.”

#2  “Our message to the class of 2020”  by Bill and Melinda Gates, GatesNotes | The blog of Bill Gates, May 5, 2020. “This year’s graduates can help build a healthier, more equal world.” Continue reading

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Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende

The Log: May 3 — Media keep asking the rich & famous how they are ‘coping.’ Who cares?

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GET YER RED HOT COVID-FREE ANNOTATIONS!

# 1 WATCHED: “CBS Sunday Morning” — It must be crazy hard to put together a news/variety TV program in the Time of Pandemic but CBS does a very good job with “Sunday Morning.”

They tend to interview a lot of celebrities, artists, and actors which is fine. That’s probably what people want to see on Sunday mornings with their coffee and bagels.

But they — like a lot of other TV shows — have got to stop asking these people how they are getting on. It is obvious when you look at their surroundings that they are doing just fine — though they all miss the attention. But the answers are the ones you’d expect from a working class family in a single-room walkup with no electricity: Stuff like “making do” and “hunkering down.” Continue reading

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