Lockdown Day 39: Like Pulling Teeth / Encierro Día 39: Hay Que Sacarle las Palabras con Sacacorchos

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

I SPOKE WITH THE KID Brother last night. Some conversations are, surprisingly, pleasant. Some are, unfortunately, not so pleasant. And at other times, having a conversation with The Kid Brother is like pulling teeth. [NOTE: A literal translation of this is not used in Spanish. The eqiuvalent in Spanish might be que sacarle las palabras con sacacorchos (you have to get the words out with a corkscrew).]

Last night went like this. “How’s the weather today, Chuck?”


“Have you been outside?”


“Did you go shopping in your neighborhood?”

“Yeah. And then it rained!” That was the longest sentence he spoke.

“Did you already have dinner?” [it was 4 in the afternoon]

“I had it.”

“What did you have?”

“Something I had.”

I told him some stories about what we’ve been up to and how I also got caught in the rain. Everything I said received a grunt in response.

But he’s “fine.” Work is “fine.” The store is “busy.” (But that’s “fine.”) People in New York are “good.” And he’s up “early.”

So let’s look at some other things (mostly long before lockdown) that also have me shaking my head. Click and they get bigger.


ANOCHE HABLÉ CON EL HERMANITO. Algunas conversaciones son, sorprendentemente, agradables. Algunos, desafortunadamente, no son tan agradables. Y en otras ocasiones, tener una conversación con El Hermanito y puede ser que sacar las palabras con sacacorchos. [NOTA: Una traducción literal en inglés es como sacar las muelas.].

Anoche fue así. “¿Cómo está el clima hoy, Chuck?”


“¿Has estado afuera?”


“¿Fuiste de compras a tu vecindario?”

“Estaba fuera y luego llovió!” Esa fue la oración más larga que pronunció.

Luego le conté algunas historias sobre lo que hemos estado haciendo y cómo también me pilló bajo la lluvia. Todo lo que dije recibió un gruñido en respuesta.

Pero él está “bien”. El trabajo está “bien”. La tienda está “ocupada”. (Pero eso está “bien”). La gente en Nueva York está “bien”. Y se levanta “temprano”.

Así que echemos un vistazo a otras cosas (principalmente antes del encierro) que también me dejaron sacudiendo la cabeza. Haz clic y se hacen más grandes.

A Dowager Duchess Don’t

In 1987 when we were living in Southern Connecticut, San Geraldo had a business trip to San Francisco. I was going with him. It was three months after my father’s death and My Mother The Dowager Duchess was about to turn 60. So we invited her along.

My mother and I sat next to each other on the plane. San Geraldo was one row back. As boarding continued, a very attractive woman came through the door and walked down the aisle toward us. She had red hair and was dressed in teal blue from head to toe.

As the woman approached, The Duchess commented in a stage whisper, “How beautiful.”

We hadn’t noticed that behind her was a little boy. He also had red hair and was dressed entirely in teal blue.

The Duchess stage-whispered, “Cute.”

A moment later, an extremely large man came lumbering down the aisle. He had red hair and also wore teal blue, top to bottom. A matched set.

The Duchess harrumphed, “Well that’s just a bit too much!”


Because I’m tacky…

Costa Winter Fashion

Rational people are bundled up here on the Costa del Sol. It’s winter, you know. Today didn’t get above 15C (61F) with a low of 13C (55F) and that doesn’t account for the combination of high humidity and wind chill. San Geraldo’s cyclonic winds were out in force. It’s expected to go as low as 10C (50F) tonight. Fortunately, the wind has died down. So the real feel shouldn’t dip much lower than about 8C (46F).

You can always tell the tourists from the locals around here. I was kept just barely warm in my fleece-lined, hooded sweatshirt (and my scarf), while others walked by the cafe this morning in shorts and T-shirts.

Today’s fashionable photos were collected throughout November and December. The only one taken in today’s chill was the one at upper right. You’ll notice the guy had his hands in his pockets to keep warm, and the woman with him had goose bumps (well, she must have). (And that’s a walking stick reaching to the ground from the left leg of his shorts… or at least I think it is.)

We’re heading out for dinner shortly. Excuse me while I unpack my long underwear and down-filled parka.


In case my recent choices of music haven’t clued you in, this has been a season of melancholy and too much self-reflection at our house.

“Time, time, time, see what’s become of me.”

Big City Style

Living here in Fuengirola, a small-ish city (population 75,000) on the beach in Southern Spain, I sometimes miss out on the latest cool fashion trends of the big cities.

So, one nice thing about spending time in Brooklyn (at 2.6 million, the largest of the five boroughs of New York City) and seeing the style of the people who live along the beach there is that … well …

… I’m not really missing anything at all.

And While We’re On The Subject

I have no idea what subject we’re on, but, well, here’s something.

Yes, it was underwear.

And let’s not even talk about the stripes.

(Click for a closer look… if you dare.)