Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

The Log: April 17 — Laundry, Chekov, and a new podcast to check out: ‘Rabbit Hole’

IMG_1390# 1 Friday is laundry day and the day to strip beds and do sheets. I actually like folding laundry, something I have been doing since I was a very little kid. We are a family of eight sons and a daughter. The division of labor was a means of survival.  My father was an engineer and a big fan of early efficiency-expert Frank Gilbreth, whose son Frank Jr. wrote  a memoir in 1948, titled  “Cheaper by the Dozen.”  I read the book several times before I was 12 years old.

#2 Chekov: Think your times are hard? Read some of his short stories. First, the one above is NOT “The Postman.”That was a 1997 dystopian movie starring Kevin Kostner. The correct title is “At the Post Office.”  It is silly … until the very last line, the implications of which, turn this light and slight tale into a potential novel.

But one Chekov tale is never enough!

#3 I found a PDF of a book with 30 Chekov short stories, spanning his whole career. It comes with an insightful introduction and hot-linked annotations. So far, I’ve read “The Huntsman,” “The Death of a Clerk,” and “Small Fry.”

#4 Podcast: While folding laundry, listened to “The Daily”  interview with Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Yes, she will vote for Joe Biden but it will taste like Castor Oil.

#5 Subscribed to a new podcast: “Rabbit Hole” from NYT. Series will explore how the Internet changes people. The first episode is absolutely fascinating as a programmer explains how Facebook and YouTube are programmed to capture your brain (basically). By the way, my search for “Rabbit Hole podcast”  came up with 21 possibilities. Think about that.

#6  Garrison Keillor laments the loss of baseball season and ponders the outcome if the Vikings had decided to settle on Manhattan island, rather than the European crowd. “We’d have universal health care and a highly developed system of state socialism. Vikings are a calm and reasonable people, they don’t go around yelling “Make Norway Great Again” …

#7 Heather Cox Richardson “Letters from an American”: Governors are organizing into bi-partisan scrums to tackle the decision-making responsibilities abdicated by Trump.  “We will make decisions based on facts, science, and recommendations from experts in health care, business, labor, and education.” (All of which must have totally confused the president.)

#8 Virtual Camino walk enters Day 8, from Torres del Rio to Logrono. The 39-day walk is now a closed group but more than 2200 people signed up to take the “walk” with a San Miguel de Allende woman who plans other “walks” in the future.  A nice meditative break in the day.

#9 Rolling Stones video interview with Roger Waters, estranged bassist, composer and singer for Pink Floyd. Who am I kidding, he was Pink Floyd. (Sorry, David Gilmour, you’ve always been shite without him.) Roger seems to have become a very cranky old man and I almost expected him to start singing “Hey, you kids, get offa my lawn …”  He would have toured this summer and the concept sounded intriguing. In 2021, perhaps.

#10  MOVIE: “Life With Father” (1947) comedy starring William Powell, Irene Dunne, and little Elizabeth Taylor. Proof once again that sons can always exact revenge on their fathers by writing a memoir. (See “Cheaper by the Dozen,” above.) This one ran over 400 nights as a Broadway play and the movie is much beloved, although the bombastic Powell gave me a headache.

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