Thursday, August 16, 2007

cry for a town without bulls

So the running of the bulls, also known as the Pamplonada, or more recently the Sanmiguelada has been canceled. What a sad day for not only San Miguel de Allende, but for all of Mexico.
Ostensibly, this has to do with trying to reduce that ever-so-annoying debauchery that takes place during the weekend long festivities. One weekend out of the year. Look at what you get the rest of the time. There is plenty of tranquility to last a lifetime, even with the perpetual fireworks.
Also, the “powers that be” are vying for San Miguel to enter the privileged lexicon of world heritage sites. Whatever that means, it depends on the approval of UNESCO (United nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization) who apparently disapprove of such an event.
Personally, if I were the mayor, I would tell UNESCO to take a hike. They can either accept San Miguel for the town that it is or go about their merry way.
Debauchery? Mayor Jesus Correa has obviously never heard of Mardi Gras or Super Bowl weekend.
Okay, I am aware that there was a shooting last year.
I am also aware that two women were recently raped and murdered. One of these unfortunate and tragic incidents took place in Parque Juarez. Is the mayor going to declare the park to be closed?
Mayor Correa’s analogy comparing the running of the bulls with a wayward child is more than a little off base. Does a parent with a wayward child dispose of said child, or do they find a way to deal with the situation?
Why not make a few changes? How about this?
Take some tips from Pamplona. Instead of letting the bulls loose in the topsy-turvy fashion it is done these days, route them to the Plaza de Los Toros.
There are several routes that would work. Let them out in front of the Ignacio Allende museum and run them east toward San Francisco where they would have to turn right and head toward whatever the name of the street is that El Pegaso is on. They then could gallop down Correo until reaching Recreo when they could then make a straight sprint to the ring.
This could happen a time or two each day over a period of, oh, let’s say three days with a corrida scheduled for each afternoon. There. Is that so difficult?
By canceling this event, San Miguel de Allende, at least this year, has lost an integral piece of its charm and history.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Alice Cooper: Golf Monster - 12 steps to becoming a golf addict

Being the insomniac that I am, the other night found me pacing the living room and wondering exactly how many steps it takes to walk over to the beer store. I did not bother with this endeavor as it was too late to buy beer, at least legally.
On one of my carpeted laps I spied the stack of books my wife had picked up from the library earlier in the day.
I lifted it and gazed for a few seconds at the cover which consists of Alice Cooper holding up a blood dripping golf club. The title of the book?
Alice Cooper: Golf Monster. 12 steps to becoming a golf addict.
This struck me as a tad humorous, so why not give it a try? I mean, I have always been an Alice Cooper fan. (Who really deep down could not be?) Heck, that was one of the first concerts I ever witnessed way back in the mid 70s. I definitely remember the guillotine
Now, golf does not interest me as much as it, what’s the right word? Bores me. I can appreciate it and all, but do not care to watch it and do not possess the patience or skill to play it.
Opening the front page with some trepidation, I began reading. Then kept reading and then read even more. Surprise! This thing is fascinating. Very well written and very easy to read.
Cooper manages to intertwine the horrors of severe alcoholism, the life of a rock’n’roll star and the peace one can find if they can manage to trade in a deadly addiction for a healthy one. If nothing else, golf can be used by the reader as a metaphor.
However, if you happen to be into golf, you will find tips on swings, grips and course etiquette. He also lets us into his head a little in order to explain just exactly why he finds the game so appealing.
The people he’s hung out with over the years range from the ones you would expect such as Iggy Pop and Led Zeppelin as well as some surprises. The one that comes to mind there is Groucho Marx.
Also revealed are little tidbits of history such as how and why the name Alice Cooper came about.
So in closing, what we have here is a unique combination of an autobiography, a rock’n’roll history lesson, and an insider’s view into the game of golf.
An interesting read indeed. Open and enjoy.

Monday, August 13, 2007

the dog -eat-dog world of michael vick

The following is not a moral indictment, but rather one of observation. Hmmm. Let me start by giving an example. Years upon years ago, I went to see with some friends a movie called THE ROAD WARRIOR. Actually a very well made action thriller staring Mel Gibson, and cast of unknowns (I guess, unless maybe known if you lived in Australia at the time), but I digress.
The movie, while enjoyable, was quite violent. There was much death and mutilation. Now, one of these unknowns happened to be a dog that belonged to the protagonist.
There was also much humor in the flick. But to get to the point, people either giggled in some parts or simply remained quiet. There was silence in the theater through human suffering galore. Then came the scene in which the dog was harpooned to death.
A collective groan from the audience ensued. You can probably see where I am going here. Take any story and kill off as many people you care to, but abuse a dog and you will be met with rage.
Trust me. I once wrote an article for a publication extolling the virtues of bullfighting that generated weeks of hate mail referring to me with just about every legally printable skewering.
I admit to being fascinated by the bullfights and have actually covered them for a bilingual publication in Mexico. Now, there is a vast difference between the bullfights and the dogfights. First of all, the term “bullfight” does not translate very well into English. The Spanish term is ‘corrida.,” which roughly translates into “run.” For those unfamiliar with the concept, it is more like a death ritual in the form of a spontaneous ballet.
While I have never attended a dogfight, there is nothing to translate. These are animals bred to do exactly what they are doing. Whether it is morally right or wrong is not the point I am about to make.
If one is seated at a bullfight, they can pretty much be sure that they are in a Latin country where the practice is accepted. On the other hand, if attending a dogfight in the USA, one can be assured of being ostracized and cast into the nearest clinker. It is not socially accepted or anywhere near being legal.
Michael Vick, if found guilty, had better be prepared to spend a vast quantity of his football fortune on of group of lawyers that are a guaranteed victory in court, if such an entity exits. A group of sympathetic jurors will be a few and far between proposition.
More than the actual fighting events, it will probably be the horrendous methods of executing the animals that performed poorly that will be the proverbial last straw in the public mind.
If Vick is found guilty, he had better drop to his knees and beg forgiveness with tears in his eyes. If found innocent, he had better drop to his knees with tears in his eyes and scream thanks at the top of his lungs.
If found innocent, his main crime will been associating with the wrong people and being at the wrong place at the wrong time with an addendum of a lapse in personal judgment.
If guilty, his main crime will have been stupidity.
If he serves time, he will probably get to know first hand the meaning of dog-eat-dog.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

SceneShop: Lost and Found

The day begins. Candles are lighted and incense is burning. Cold beer at my side. I glance over at the program for SceneShop’s Lost and Found. Now I remember the resplendent evening spent at Arts 5th Avenue last Saturday night.
Lost and Found is a three-skit, two-part play that delivers a humorous view of life situations in a way that does not really hit you until the next day when it forces its way into the memory bank of your mind.
That is not to say that it is not very, very entertaining at the moment. It’s just the syndrome of waking up the next day and then thinking about it.
It is hard to break down the premise of this collaboration without giving away any of the intoxicating surprises that flow all around and about.
The first piece in Act 1 is titled “You Get What You Pray For,” which is a brilliant reminder to all of us that we have all been either teenagers or parents or dysfunctional families or all of the above.
The next piece is titled “The Hundred Dollar Hug,” and is probably my favorite entry into this show as it exposes the paranoia we as humans all have as far as motives and rewards.
At this time comes an intermission with music provided by the band known as Corneal Abrasion. By the way, just to save you from having to read an “If –You-Go,” they play a set before the show begins and the number to call to get reservations is as follows: 817-923-9500.
The address is 1628 5th Avenue, Fort Worth, Tx, 76104.
Okay. Act II is written and directed by Steven Alan McGaw and is not to be missed. The title for that thing is “How I Lost That Job,” and is worth seeing if not for the mispronunciation of the main character’s name and a verbal proclamation that I have actually repeated a few times after seeing the show, but just for the joy of knowing that you are not alone out there.
Bodegatrain says check it out. You’ll be glad you did.

Departure: Corpus Christi / Arrival: Fort Worth

Well, here we are, back in the panther city again. The relatively cool weather felt more than just a little merciful upon our arrival. Then again, it was almost impossible to see the highway due to the torrential rains encountered upon entering this county known as Tarrant.
I must admit to being fortunate to have arrived at all as the load in the gigantic rental truck I was driving shifted and had me weaving all across the road for a few horrifying seconds. My wife was following me and it damn near scared her speechless. It was not exactly a positive experience as far as blood pressure goes on my part either.
But, as I earlier stated, here we are.
I must admit that I will miss watching the shrimp boats head out to bay in the wee hours of the morning. I shall also miss feeding my gull friends and talking to the jellyfish. Okay, I know that last part seems a bit strange, but they listened and did not seem to mind my taking of their generous time. They are somewhat iridescent and being somewhat of an insomniac, they made for good company.
Okay, enough of that. First thing I did after getting somewhat settled was to call my years-long buddy Icicle and talk him into noodling around a bit on some songs we may not remember all that well. Hmmm. That was after I happened into a local bar called Sarah’s Place that features live music on Friday evenings. I booked Icicle and the Kid for a gig that will take place on October 5th. Van Eric Martin: AKA-Brian Oblivion will be drumming his heart out as usual.
Hopefully, I can land a last gig at the Wreck Room before the doors close for the last time. By the way, it is nice to be back in the land of really good Mexican food. One would think that Corpus Christi would be overrun with good joints as such. Alas, that is not the case.
New home. New computer. Old town and old friends. Good feeling and an old warm beer that needs to be replaced with a new cold one.
Adios por ahora.