You Old Buzzard / Tú, Viejo Ratonero

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

A WEEK BEFORE San Geraldo’s 40th birthday (yes, it WAS a long, loooooong time ago), his sister Linda phoned to say she had sent a very large, light, and fragile box and he should carefully open it from the top without using a knife. The box arrived. It weighed almost nothing. He followed instructions, tearing off the tapes, and carefully pulling back the top flaps. I stepped back in awe. A large black, helium-filled balloon floated out. It was imprinted with a certain kind of large bird of prey and it read, “Happy Birthday, You Old Buzzard.”

Today’s photos of the Chilean Blue Eagle (or the Black-Chested Buzzard-Eagle) brought that story to mind — because that’s how my mind works. Three audience members got to hold (be a perch for) this magnificent bird. I would have loved to, but then I wouldn’t have gotten these photos. (Don’t forget to click on the images for a closer look.)


UNA SEMANA ANTES del cumpleaños número 40 de San Geraldo (sí, FUE hace mucho, muuuuuucho tiempo), su hermana Linda llamó por teléfono para decirle que había enviado una caja muy grande, ligera, y frágil, y que debería abrirla con cuidado desde la parte superior sin usar un cuchillo. Llegó la caja. No pesaba casi nada. Siguió las instrucciones, arrancó las cintas y retiró con cuidado las solapas superiores. Di un paso atrás con asombro. Un gran globo negro lleno de helio flotaba. Estaba impresa con un cierto tipo de gran ave rapaz y decía: “Feliz cumpleaños, viejo ratonero”.

Las fotos de hoy del Águila Mora (en inglés, otro nombre significa ratonero de pecho negro) me lo recordar. Pero la historia no tiene sentido cuando la traduzco porque, en español, aunque la ave tiene varios nombres diferentes, ninguno de ellos incluye la palabra “ratonero”. De todas formas, tres miembros de la audiencia pudieron sostener (ser una percha para) esta magnífica ave. Me hubiera encantado, pero entonces no habría conseguido estas fotos. (No olvides hacer clic en las imágenes para verlas más de cerca).

The Dream, El Sueño, Le Reve

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

NO, MY BLOG has not now gone trilingual; I can barely do Bi. The title refers to the Las Vegas show, Le Reve (which is French for “The Dream”), at the Wynn Hotel and Casino. San Geraldo and I went one night with The Kid Sisters.

A beautiful show with an exceptional cast of actors, dancers, divers, swimmers, and acrobats; Le Reve is a story about a woman’s choice between idyllic love and the dark side of desire, spectacularly staged with some gasp-producing performances. Ah, if only it were a same-sex love story. I can dream, can’t I?

All photos that include performers are taken from promotional materials. I only took photos before and after the performance so as not to disturb others in the audience.


NO, MI BLOG no se ha vuelto trilingüe; apenas puedo hacer bi. El título hace referencia al espectáculo de Las Vegas, Le Reve (frances para “El Sueño”), en el Wynn Hotel y Casino. San Geraldo y yo fuimos una noche con Las Hermanitas.

Un hermoso espectáculo con un elenco excepcional de actores, bailarines, buceadores, nadadores, y acróbatas; Le Reve es una historia sobre la elección de una mujer entre el amor idílico y el lado oscuro del deseo, espectacularmente escenificada con algunas actuaciones que producen jadeo. Ah, si solo fuera una historia de amor del mismo sexo. Puedo soñar, ¿verdad?

Todas las fotos con las artistas están tomadas de materiales promocionales. Solo tomé fotos antes y después de la actuación para no molestar a otros en la audiencia.

Try doing THAT in heels! / ¡Intenta hacer ESO en tacones!

Bottoms Up / Fondos Hacia Arriba

While we were in Las Vegas (we got home late Sunday), I found a charming set of drinks coasters for our hosts, my sister-in-law (San Geraldo’s sister) and brother-in-law. This demonstrates that although I just spent ten days in Sin City, I haven’t lost one ounce of my sophistication (nor my fingering).

Mientras estábamos en Las Vegas (llegamos a casa el domingo por la noche), encontré un encantador juego de posavasos para nuestros anfitriones, mi cuñada (la hermana de San Geraldo) y mi cuñado. Esto demuestra que, aunque acabo de pasar diez días en Sin City (el ciudad del pecado), no he perdido ni una onza de mi sofisticación (ni mi digitación). Nota: El titulo es un brindis Americano.

Less Mess, More Memories

Since our return from New York late September, I’ve been trying to get the apartment more settled and organized. We finished most of our renovations months ago and never got around to putting things completely back together. Then My Mother The Dowager Duchess took her final bow and we returned with memories of her. What we carried home with us was followed months later by some furniture, art, and other things we didn’t have the heart to part with.

We also shipped back from South Dakota dozens of framed family photos we had left with Linda and Tom (Jerry’s sister and her husband) when we moved to Spain. About 10 boxes. They were supposed to go through the photos, keep what they wanted, share with the kids, and then get rid of the rest.

Somehow, in the emotions of our departure, Linda and Tom missed that point and thought they were simply storing boxes of papers! So, in September, we whittled the 10 boxes down to 4. We’ve now got a lot of framed photos and not a lot of wall space. I’m doing what I can, while turning what I had hoped would be a minimalist apartment into a Victorian-looking collection of clutter.

I’m trying to keep the clutter under control and, I must admit, we both love seeing so many family photos back on our walls (thanks, Linda and Tom) along with original artwork, including paintings and sculptures by The Dowager Duchess.

We used to have close to 200 photos lining a hallway or stairway in every one of our [more spacious] homes in the States, plus dozens displayed on tabletops. A few dozen is all this place can handle, I think. And each one requires me to drill a hole into the concrete wall. So, if I measure wrong, that’s where it stays! I still have to figure out permanent homes for all the additional sculptures and knick knacks that are strewn on most surfaces.

Mess makes me crazy.

(Click the images for a better look.)


The Inmates Are Running The Asylum

One day, our niece-in-law Emily emailed her daughter Alice’s teacher to let her know that Alice’s grandparents, Linda (San Geraldo’s sister) and Tom, would be picking her up from kindergarten the next afternoon.

Unnoticed by Emily as she typed, auto-correct changed “in-laws” to “inmates.” (Or at least that’s how Emily explained it to the teacher… and to Linda and Tom.)

Alice’s teacher believed Emily and didn’t call Social Services.

Linda was a second-grade teacher for more than 30 years. She loved her work and was exceptional at it. In addition to their granddaughter Alice (5), Linda and Tom have two other grandchildren, Eloise (8) and Bennett (11). They are the best grandparents, but Linda especially has the admiration of Tom and the rest of us. With her three grandchildren, she has unending love, patience, energy, and authority. If Grandma tells them once, they do it. (Alice is still training Grandpa.)


Linda and Tom drive into Sioux Falls quite often to take care of the kids when Ryan and Emily have to travel or need some help.


Important Note:
No matter how exceptional Linda is, she is also, as I mentioned earlier, San Geraldo’s sister.

The same week as the “inmates” email, Emily told Linda that she was having some window treatments fixed in the house. She asked if Linda could be there once it was scheduled. Linda said of course she could.

The next day, Emily asked Linda if she was available to be at the house that afternoon when the blind man came.

Perplexed, Linda asked, “Why is a blind man coming to the house and what do you want me to do with him?”


As Linda told us, “I guess it runs in the family.”

I am always aware that, in addition to the joy of having San Geraldo in my life, I have the added joy of Linda, Tom, and their loving family. Oh, and of course there’s their entertainment value.

Barry Manilow has a song called “Linda.”

Linda loves Barry Manilow.

But I just couldn’t bring myself to do it (even though Barry Manilow touched my shoulder in a restaurant in Palm Springs in 2001, and we had a run-in at Kennedy Airport in 1974.

(Click here for the run-in  — it’s a funny story — while you listen to “Jailhouse Rock” instead; Linda and Tom were two of the back-up dancers.)