On Father’s Day 2019, I performed an act my own late father might’ve considered sacrilegious. I attended a Dodgers game in Chavez Ravine.
To mitigate my baseball transgression I cheered for the visitors not the home nine.
Father was a Brooklyn Dodgers man through and through. The Los Angeles Dodgers could never have engaged his rooting interest. Continue reading Keeping True
Party people milled throughout Axman’s house. Then, he and an assemblage of housemates rented a structure only a cheery paint job saved from being judged Gothic.
This event occurred on a December 2009 night, in Quarropas. Our host had convened what we’d come to call “a gathering.” He scheduled “gatherings” once or twice a month.
From about the late 90s into the farthest aughts, how many party Friday and Saturday nights slid into late next morning inside his house? Looking back from June 2019? Too few and not damned near enough! Continue reading Antipodes: Aftermath and End
What follows occurred during the earliest years of last decade’s American-led incursion into Iraq. If any need judging, it’s not those who fought but the chickenhawks who sent them into unnecessary combat. Continue reading Antipodes: Before War
Annegreth and Lieslotte weren’t twins. An instant or two dedicated to closer inspection revealed this.
Yet thanks to same shaggy blonde manes, blue eyes, clear, sun-blessed complexions, and manners of smiling that made each tall though not lanky woman appear uncannily similar, clearer observations rescinded the quick judgment. Neither Uruguayan was truly indistinguishable from another. Yet that’s how most undiscerning strangers like MacDiarmid saw them. Continue reading Antipodes: The Amethyst Twins
Looking back on the months of March in 2004, 2005, and 2009, didn’t I spend an almost inordinate amount of time in Buenos Aires inside the Shamrock? Why, yes I did.
Spent properly, those hours could’ve been devoted to visiting vineyards west towards the Andes or even venturing south into Patagonia. There, I might’ve investigated cities along the South Atlantic coast and waited to witness whales breaching the ocean’s surface.
But urban creature as I most surely am, and one who traveled alone then, louche comforts lured and guided me.
Perhaps “louche” a harsh judgment for the Shamrock. Let’s direct that upon its clientele. Continue reading Antipodes: The Shamrock
Dissolute excursions inside the Shamrock or the Shannon did not fill my every waking evening hour in Argentina and Uruguay. The principal cities offered plenty of cosmopolitan attractions, particularly Buenos Aires.
Maybe having grown up in Metropolitan New York made it easy or easier. But setting out to investigate rumored addresses never unnerved me. Most of those places were merry and bright; a precious few turned out being among the darkest recesses imaginable. Continue reading Antipodes: Dark Places
In March 2009, I stood in the terraces of La Bombonera, a k a “The Chocolate Box,” in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is the home field of the Boca Juniors, one of the country’s most idolized teams. In the nearly vacant stadium, on my 50th birthday I hoisted a retired Copa Libertadores trophy.
The Copa is one of the most prestigious soccer tournaments encompassing Latin America.
Looking at the span which that particular piece of hardware had been bestowed, it had been raised by Pele and Diego Maradona, each a deity in short pants for his respective nation, Brazil and Argentina. Immodest of me as it was, I lifted that thing and preened as if I’d somehow contributed on the pitch towards its acquisition.
I wasn’t the only one there that sunny afternoon fantasizing. Plenty of aficionados, dyed-in-the-wool soccer fans, were in attendance summoning the echoes of past contests be they championship caliber or regularly scheduled Boca tilts.
The indulgent Porteña accompanying me looked on with pity and benevolence. She could’ve mocked me or rolled her eyes at my undeserved and unearned basking. But she understood the importance of futbol. Despite being a norteamericano, I at least displayed an appreciable measure of reverence for pursuits purists often believe holds no less meaning than life and death.
That demonstration hopefully also compensated for much of my lousy Spanish. Continue reading Antipodes
This February cool cats should’ve observed what would’ve been the 90th birthday of Bo Diddley. Burly, commanding, Diddley could not have been mistaken for one of the Golden Era of Rock’s cutesy teen idols.
As Bo Biddley himself would’ve proclaimed, “Bo Diddley was a man!”
A seminal rock ‘n’ roller, Diddley resides on a lower tier than, say, Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly, but Diddley contributed greatly to the genre nonetheless.
Way more than Elvis Presley. Continue reading Music as Menace
Higher evolved as humans claim themselves, maybe the lower primates, four-legged creatures, and fowl have the whole relationship matrix grasped better. For the most part they answer to instinct. A time of year triggers them to couple, copulate in order to assure continuance of the species, then diverge.
Easier than what Adair endured. Continue reading Living Art
Perhaps the man/woman parlays which follow were just as bald back in New York. There, though, unlike here in Las Vegas, the couples involved are more discreet.
The Mojave Mecca’s transient nature permits the sort of convention flouting which would make proper Easterners recoil. Of course Westerners could claim by their openness they’re unbound by rank hypocrisy. Continue reading People Who Parlay