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

The Log for June 2: Binging on depressing podcasts, ‘Space Force,’ and my own House Hunters Int. drinking game. And your day?

IMG_1832LOOK UP IN THE AIR! IT’S CLUELESS MAN!: Took Moppit for her morning walk and I must say, there are far, far, more people with masks on than without. Are morning people more considerate of their own health and that of others?

I wouldn’t know since I usually take the evening walk but yesterday a woman was mugged two blocks over and I immediately went into Superman mode.

“I’ll walk Moppit in the morning,” I said. “It isn’t safe out there. You can go running if you like. You can outrun most anybody that would mug you. Can’t do it with a little dog on a leash.” Continue reading

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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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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

Come, walk with me, through the magical door and into the garden of stone angels

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Let’s enter the garden through this secret passageway.  You can only see it when you truly need to escape from the world to a place where you can be safe and relax while time around you stands still. The real magic is this: The more you need to get away, the easier it is to open this door. Right now it seems almost impossible, doesn’t it? That’s good. It means you are doing just fine.

You can’t call it a back yard. When I think of a back yard, I think of a decent swath of green grass — enough for a few kids to at least play catch or toss a football — and maybe a garden.

No, it has none of that. But it is quite beautiful. If you were to look for a retreat, a place to hang out for a day and just sit and think, this would suit you well.

Not quite a back yard but bigger than a typical patio. Not a piazza, but maybe a courtyard (If you don’t immediately think of a Motel 6 courtyard).  A courtyard that feels like an atrium. That will do. 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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