Tag Archives: music

Music and whiskey

TWO HOURS after shooting the video above from the upstairs terraza, I was sitting on the Jesus Patio eating seedless green grapes and listening to the hog next door expressing displeasure with her situation, which she does often.

This is being written yesterday, Saturday. The previous night had seen a heavy downpour that lasted I don’t know how long because I went back to sleep after waking briefly to notice it.

Some things don’t change much in these parts, and the sounds of sunrise are one of those things. Roosters, tractor-trailer trucks on the highway up the mountain behind us, crickets, the loudspeakers of the house-delivery propane trucks.

However, some things do change, and they’re generally for the better. We got some great news recently. An international chain of movie theaters, Cinépolis, is opening here in our mountaintop town. Hooray! Now we won’t have to drive to the state capital for first-run flicks.

The changes that have occurred over the past 17 years that I’ve been here are considerable. There were no major supermarkets. Now there are two. There were no stoplights. Now there are many. There were few Gringos. Now there are way too many!

I wonder how they’ll react to the Cinépolis chain. Over a decade ago, the Mexican convenience store chain Oxxo opened its first store here, and the Gringos, many of whom are aging hippies, went bananas. Egad! Modernization!

We have numerous Oxxos now, including one directly on the major plaza. Another sits on the nearby smaller plaza. Their signs are subdued, not intrusive.

I’m praying for a full-blown Walmart and Costco.

Convenient shopping is a good thing, and it does not detract from the morning views I get from the upstairs terraza, something I love and that never changes.

* * * *

An old friend emailed me this week. I rarely hear from people above the border, so it was a welcomed event.

He and I worked together on newspapers for decades both in New Orleans and Houston. Like me, he is divorced more than once. Unlike me, he is not currently married. He’s three years older than I am, and he lives alone in a home he bought in Colorado after he retired from the Houston Chronicle.

I had sent him a note after seeing him briefly on a Netflix documentary of Janis Joplin who was a close friend of his in high school in Port Arthur, Texas, and later in her early years of fame and drug-addled degeneracy.

My friend is a much-published poet, but not in recent years. He said his life now is mostly whiskey and music. And that all his major life decisions were wrong ones. That last resonated with me because all my major decisions were wrong ones too. Till 1996 when my major life decisions did a 180.

What happened in 1996? I stopped drinking. My friend is 76 years old, and I doubt he will do that.

I didn’t even mention it.

Here’s to music and whiskey! And staying the course.

Sunday opera

SUNDAY AFTERNOON on the plaza. This fellow sings for tips that go into the glass he’s holding in his hand. His music comes from the blue box hanging from his neck.

I don’t know what’s up with the sunflowers.

After I shot the video, I looked in the other direction and saw the taco vendor sitting on the sidewalk with her two kids.

Years ago the vendor’s mother did the same in the same spot till she died. Her daughter took over, continuing the tradition.

A family enterprise spanning generations.

tacos
Tacos! Tacos! Get ’em right here!

Bagels and sausage

My child bride is at my side, but she didn’t have her feet up just then.

THE RAINY season changes everything hereabouts. The mood, the grass, the feel, the temperature.

The daily rain was reluctant to start this year, but I think it’s finally worked up some enthusiasm. It rained gently most of last night and, as I write this in late morning, it’s still falling quietly and steadily, the rain. Nice.

Speaking of mood, usually, after our morning bagels or croissants, we step from the dining room into the living room and sit on the sofa, which is nice and soft. I put my feet up.

Sometimes incense and/or music.

We finish our coffee and talk. Okay, truth be told, she talks. And I listen. She is female, after all. And I’m not.

God created them to talk. Us to listen.

That lasts 15-30 minutes till we get up and start chores. There are always chores. We have no maid.

Life’s been pretty slow since we got back from our anniversary trip to Mineral de Pozos about a week ago.

Last weekend we hopped into the Honda and headed around the lake to an eatery I simply call The German Restaurant even though the real name is Campestre Alemán.

The German Restaurant offers grub you won’t find anywhere else in these parts, this world of endless tacos and cheese.

There is Bavarian sausage, for instance, and goulash too. I always order the Bavarian sausage, which comes with sauerkraut, something else you rarely encounter locally.

I took this photo of my Bavarian sausage and sauerkraut. Just beyond is the bunny my wife ate. I consider eating bunny appalling, but she does it anyway.

It’s still raining as I wind this up, which means there will be no morning exercise walk around the neighborhood plaza. I guess I’ll  just shave, take a shower and put my jeans on.

It’s almost time for Breakfast #2. Cereal.

Moments in time

FOLLOWING MY afternoon café yesterday, I stepped across the street to sit a spell on a stone bench. I whipped out the Canon from my man bag and shot a brief video.

It was about 6 p.m., and nothing much was going on. Kids were playing. You can hear them. You can also hear music, which is coming from ground speakers installed around our plaza, part of a renovation about five years ago.

City Hall says it’s the largest main plaza in the country after the Zócalo in Mexico City. Maybe it is.

The rainy season is easing in. We got a good blow just last night, rain and wind colliding with the windows that face in that direction. The bedroom windows.

The Hacienda lawn got cut last Saturday, first of the year. Within three days it needed cutting again, but once a week is the limit. The rest of the time we’ll just wade through grass.

Things are getting cooler, which is the main advantage of the five-month rainy season. Cool summers! Who would have imagined it? I had no idea before I moved down here because I had done little research about anything at all.

I’m writing this at 8 a.m. It’s time to go downstairs for croissants and orange marmalade. Then I’ll sweep the veranda of the crap that storm last night blew into there.

It won’t take long.

(Post-croissant update: We played Pancho & Lefty on the music machine. A hummingbird flew into the veranda and looked directly at us through the dining room window screen.)

Chet Baker moments

JAZZ GREAT Chet Baker provided musical backdrop to this video of a living room corner on a recent morning.

The tick, tock, tick, tock you hear is coming from an off-camera antique wall clock that I inherited years ago from a great aunt. The clock was made in the 1880s.

It chimes on the hour and half-hour too.

Down the mountain

cafe
Are we in Paris?

WE DRIVE down the mountain every week to the state capital, mostly for shopping at Costco and Superama.

And to grab a lunch.

We rarely go directly into the center of town because traffic is snarly, and free parking is hard to find.

Yesterday, while my child bride was doing chores, I drove downtown for a look-see. That array of sidewalk tables sits across from a music conservatory called Las Rosas.

The Roses.

When I lived in the capital for seven months in 2000, I occasionally ate here. At the time there was only one establishment on this end, and another on the far end.

Those in the middle were not there.

cops
Cops, cops, cops.

Mexicans are fond of protesting in the streets and highways. More often than not, it’s teachers who want guaranteed jobs and the right to bequeath those jobs to unqualified relatives at retirement. Teachers also loath competence tests.

To counter these malcontents, police often take to the streets en masse. That’s what you see in the second photo. They were just standing there in body armor and shields.

I saw no impending strife nearby, so …

Being a cop must be very boring at times.

church
Scads of churches.

Sidewalk restaurants, cops and churches. The state capital is full of churches. That’s one just above. I snapped the photo while sitting on a bench in a plaza of yet another church directly behind me. Churches galore.

We sit at sidewalk eateries. We want guaranteed jobs. And we kneel and pray everywhere. All of those things happen in quantity down the mountain in the state capital.

It’s only 40 minutes away.

Thirty minutes if you really haul butt.

This is yuuuuuuge!

LET’S PRAY this will be the beginning of the end of the Flower Power nuttiness that erupted half a century ago.

R.I.P.: Kumbaya, globalism, organic food, unisex restrooms, safe spaces, ObamaCare, open borders, sanctuary cities …

… all that bunkum.

In brief: Yipeee!

Gray but cool

New Image

NAT KING COLE sings You Made Me Love You on the music machine as I sweep the veranda on this overcast day.

It’s cool, but it’s ever cool in our mornings.

After the brief trip to Mexico City, it’s nice to fall back into a routine, which is a very relaxed one. At least mine is. My child bride doesn’t understand relaxation.

I understand it all too well — and always have.

Check news on internet. Drink coffee, eat bagels — or sometimes croissants like today — chores, shower, dress — and, in the case of my child bride, wrestle with curly long hair forever — and on Sunday go somewhere, do something.

That something today will be a ride down the mountain to the state capital for shopping and eating. Sunday’s a good day to do this because perpetually unsettled socialist “teachers” normally take that day off. No highway obstructions.

With luck the overcast will clear soon, introducing blue skies. As I head to the shower, Julie London has replaced Nat King Cole on the music machine.

Chet Baker’s warming up in the bull pen.

I hear a train in the distance. And I think I spot the sun.