San Miguel de Allende, The Log, Writings

The Log for June 1: How did that happen? June already. Can we get a do-over on May?

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So, today was officially “Meatless Monday.”  You should be so lucky.

Rose made a delicious Moroccan carrot soup and a spinach salad with nuts, cranberries, egg and so much more goodness in it. I forgot what meat is. But the highlight was her homemade dinner rolls. I think I had three and a half, so I need not waste time explaining how good they were.

They were. See for yourself:

The rest of the day was taken up with a continuous series of non-starts. Nothing to write home about. Or in a blog.

WANTED – PIED PIPER: Two rats playing in the patio drain this morning. This I know because the screams from downstairs told me so. Imagine doing yoga when the soothing tones of your online guru are over-ridden by an incessant “Squeak! Squeak! Squeak!”

They were big — horror movie big — and shy. They ran down into the covered drain when I tried to photograph them. The grill on the drain kept them from getting into the yard.

I think.

I hope.

I dunno.

SUPERWOMAN: The late-blooming highlight of the day was listening to several videos of anti-racism activists and educator Jane Elliott. She is fierce. She is clear. She is plain-spoken. She speaks in absolutes, no ambiguity about her.

You will love it.

Do a search for “Jane Elliott” on YouTube and listen. You will be glad that you did.

Then spread the gospel of Jane Elliott. She just might save us all.

(The first of a three-part interview is above.)

SPACE BALLS: If you want a break from how badly everything sucks at the moment, I recommend “Space Force” on Netflix with Steve Carrell and John Malkovich.

It is more than a laugh-out-loud poke at one of Trump’s stupidest and most expensive ideas ever. It is just a funny, funny, series with well-envisioned characters and relationships that grow and blossom right in front of your eyes. Smart writing. Ten episodes that get stronger, the deeper into it you dive.

KNOCK KNOCK: And because you both have been so good to read this far, I give you some San Miguel doors. One thing we have here is lots and lots of very interesting doors, many deliberately so. Some not so deliberately.

Ever wonder what is behind them?

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Camino: Porto to Santiago, Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

J.K. Rowling wrote here, and here, and here, and over there … but apparently not here

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Yes, this may look like something you thought you saw in a Harry Potter movie but author J.K. Rowling says, “No way.” It is the interior of the Lello & Irmão bookstore in Porto, Portugal, which has its own Harry Potter Room in which Rowling neither wrote nor slept while creating the popular series.

By my unofficial and completely speculative count, J.K. Rowling launched the “Harry Potter” series in upwards from 234 bistros, flats, castles, coffee shops, libraries, phone booths, buses, trains, caves, back alleys, and pawn shops spread over 27 countries and a few former colonies.

I swear, for example, that she got the original idea while living in a flat just above mine in a funky old apartment building in Point Loma, a once-funky waterfront corner of San Diego, California. Continue reading

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

The Log for May 29: A podcast fest, shopping in-person & online, someone likes my blog, Lovett & Hiatt sing, and summer job memories

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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. Continue reading

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

‘We arrived at the Dam in tattered cut-off jeans — covered in sweat, sawdust, and dirt’

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The modern Matson Lumber Co. looks a lot more streamlined, automated, and efficient than in my day. But stacking lumber is still the name of the game. (Photo: Matson Lumber)

“What did you do on your summer vacation?” I bet the answers in 2020 are going to be a lot different from those in 1966. 

A newsletter for ex-newspaper folks (specifically those bred in the incubator known as The San Diego Union-Tribune) recently spooled out a thread on summer jobs. The question was neutral but the recollections quickly veered toward the worst, hardest, most humiliating.

Well, those are usually the most memorable, aren’t they? Continue reading

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Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende, The Log, Writings

The Log for May 27: A romance-comedy triple feature, origins of reality TV faux show ‘Dark Pastry,’ and the best crossword puzzle ever

IMG_1749Did you ever have one of those days when you wake up and a word or phrase is jammed into your brain sideways like a rusty shard of steel and you just can’t get it out?

Happened to me today. The phrase was “Dark Pastry.”

Now a normal person would have thought, “Yes! Substitute dark chocolate in all recipe instances in which chocolate is required.”

Me?

I thought, “that would be a great name for a baking/horror/reality TV show.” Continue reading

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

Read it first: Origins of ‘Dark Pastry,’ the most successful horror/baking reality TV show ever

imageedit_11_5838111086A lot of you have been asking me, “Bob” you say, “how did you come up with the award-winning and fabulously successful reality TV cooking show “Dark Pastry.”

To date, my natural gift for modesty has kept me from spilling the beans on the cooking/horror reality show but so many urban legends and out-and-out lies by a very jealous POTUS have forced my hand.

Is it my fault that my reality show has been so much more-fabulously successful than his ever was?

Yes.

Yes, it is my fault. Continue reading

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Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Time to step up and raise at-home fitness training to new levels with M.C. Escher-cise

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Well, this is the inspiration for M.C. Escher-cise — and it kind of looks like our house. Kind of. But you can see the concept and how it might work, right? Except for the optical illusions. Escher’s houses have lots of optical illusions — like infinite staircases — and mine sort of doesn’t.

You know, stuck here inside as we are, during these days of self-isolation, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to exercise.

A lot of thought.

You might say, thinking about exercise is inescapable. Seriously, I can’t get away from it.

Everywhere I look, there is Rose … exercising. She takes long walks or runs just before sunrise. She comes home and rolls out her yoga mat for one, two, even three different sessions with cream-and-sugar-voiced online instructors. Continue reading

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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 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

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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