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This Week In The Dream Antilles



[Note: Your Bloguero has rendered the following dialogue into common English. Originally, it was in the local, mumbled dialect of Limestone County, Alabama.]

“Look, the first thing we do is drink this moonshine. See how clear it is?  This whole mason jar.  It’s a quart. Wonderfully clear. Nothing in the bottom.  No twigs. I got it from Mr. Toney. And it’s good. We drink it first. And then we get the lights out and we let the dogs go. The dogs know where to go. They know what they’re supposed to do. They look for the coons and they tell us where they are. Then they chase them.  When they have the scent, they call. And they will chase them up a tree. And they call when they’re up the tree. It’s a special barking. We just run after them, see? With the guns.  And the lights. It’s very dark out there already.

“Now the most important thing about this hunt – I know you never did this before, right? – the most important thing is when the dogs get the coon treed, we have to get there. In a hurry. To that tree. Because very soon, that coon is not going to stay up in that tree with the dogs barking at it. Nope. He’s coming down, and he’s going to be mad, and when he does come down, he’s going to fuck these dogs up. You understand what I’m telling you? We don’t want that to happen.  Look at Old Lester over there.  See that he has no left ear? See that he’s got a scar across the top of his head? He’s a great coon hound. That’s what we’re talking about. We don’t want that to happen to these dogs. So when the dogs are barking the special bark, telling us that the coon is up in the tree, there’s no time for fooling around. Got to run and get there in a big hurry before the coon changes his mind about staying up in the tree.  And then you have to shoot him out of the tree.  That’s what the lights are for. You shine them up in the tree so you can see the coon.  That and making sure you don’t trip and break your head while you’re running.”

“But,” says your Bloguero. “It’s really dark now. There’s no moon yet. And the paths in these woods aren’t clear.  And if we drink all of this shine, how the hell are we going to get to some tree that’s far away in time to shoot the coon before he comes down from the tree? I mean, it sounds like we could be stumbling around drunk in the woods and tripping on things and getting all scratched up. And we could easily shoot ourselves while we’re running. And not get to the tree so fast.  In other words, this could be a disaster.”

“Oh you a city boy, aren’t you? I know you never did this before. That’s not bad. Look. We’re going to show you how to do it. We’ll get there. We might get a little scratched up by the bush, and we might trip on some roots, and we might take a while to run to the tree.  We might get pretty drunk. But don’t you worry. We will get there. These dogs need us to get there, and we will.  Matter of fact, we almost always do. I’ve been doing this since I was 10, and I’m 70 now. And Obie over there, he’s 72 now. We’ve been hunting together for 60 years or so. So we know how to do this.”

“But what about Lester’s ear? And how the hell can 70 year old men who are completely drunk and carrying loaded guns run through the woods without getting hurt? Are you sure this is safe?”

“Look, I told you before, we’re not perfect. Sometimes we fuck up. We try not to, but sometimes it can’t be helped. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t try to do this any more, right? We are not retiring from this. I mean: this is all that can happen when you go coon hunting. There can be problems.  Of course.  Like anything else. And we try to make sure they don’t happen. But we’re not stopping until we can’t do it any more. Right now, thank God, we can still do it.  So we do.”

This Week In The Dream Antilles is usually a weekly digest. Usually, it appears on Friday. It’s a digest of essays posted at The Dream Antilles in the previous week.  Sometimes, of course, like right now, it jumps the rails and doesn’t tell you anything about the past week.  Sometimes it gets all distracted and goes completely astray. To know what’s on the Dream Antilles you have to visit it.

This Week In The Dream Antilles


Your Bloguero hints you should buy his new novella

As you can see, your Bloguero has returned. He enjoyed his time away from the incessant yadda yadda and habla bla bla of the Blogosfera. He enjoyed his vacation away from his faithful keyboard. And from the odious task of promoting his latest book. He is now wearing conspicuous relaxation across his forehead. And he is so restored, believe this or don’t, that he’s not even going to complain, not even a little bit, that his return was not met by jazz bands, a parade, people throwing candy and beads and flowers. And pouring him drinks. He returned without any of that hoopla. Well, ok. He’s prepared to wait for that until February 21:

Actually, your Bloguero first returned on January 1, 2012, as originally scheduled. His first posting tried to focus on general gullibility. To your Bloguero, it seemed a trifle too easy, too comfortable to climb back into blogging. Oh well.

Then he wrote about nests that he found abiding in the fields, quoted two wonderful poems, and served up a Haiku.  If the weather in Eastern New York and Western New England were not unseasonably warm, your Bloguero would never have wandered the fields and would have had to climb through deep drifts of snow to find these abandoned nests.  

And your Bloguero got down to Three Kings, also called Epiphany, and the story of the Tres Reyes Magos.  Today, January 6th, is Epiphany. Your Bloguero wishes you Feliz dia de Reyes Magos!

The last post of the week was sad, the death of the author of the Bass Saxophone, Josef Skvorecky.

This Week In The Dream Antilles is usually, like this post, a weekly digest. Usually, it appears on Friday. It’s a digest of essays posted at The Dream Antilles in the previous week.  Sometimes, of course, it jumps the rails and doesn’t tell you anything about the past week.  Sometimes it gets all distracted and goes completely astray. Not toay. Your Bloguero is thankful that didn’t happen this week.

This Week In The Dream Antilles:The Polar Express



A gray December afternoon.  4:30 pm. Your Bloguero sits near the fire, and his eyes slowly close. The galaxy of bright dreams just under his eyelids begins to shimmer. He can hear his breathing deepen, his chest is rising and falling. Soon there will be bright lights, magical thinking. There will be dreams. Maybe it will be the Polar Express. But something’s wrong. He wonders what it could be. Something is not right. “Oh,” he thinks, “It’s Friday. You forgot the weekly digest, the one you’ve been writing for all these many months. This must be the one you don’t write.” This wakes your Bloguero up with a start. The dream journey is aborted. The Polar Express isn’t coming for him. Your Bloguero begins to ponder.

There ensues a debate. “Nobody reads it anyway, nobody cares, you see, virtually no one comments or recommends. It won’t even be missed. Let the dreams begin. Forget that post.”  This negative, critical, disparaging thought is of course opposed. Your Bloguero is adept at having contentious debates with himself. Especially if the choices are dreams or writing, his own sloth or productivity. “It’s not so hard, and it’s good to have a weeky practice, and who knows what you’ll write, it’ll be fun. And if you do it before Friday is over, you will have completed this task and will be able to pick it up again next week, when, hopefully you’ll feel more like writing.”  This chatter seesaws back and forth for a while. Yadda yadda yadda. Habla bla bla bla bla. It disrupts the incipient nap. Your Bloguero finds himself at the keyboard instead of the dreamy pullman. He just wants to check in, insert a place mark on Friday, December 16, 2011.

Chanukah is next week; Christmas, the week after. Solstice is next week; Kwanzaa, the week after. And Festivus is next week. ‘Tis the season. Your Bloguero dispenses with his usual remarks about the pernicious Festival of Capitalism and wishes each of you and your families and friends a very happy Holiday. May it be a day of comfort and joy. May you be happy and find delight.

Your Bloguero would be remiss if he didn’t repeat, given the season and its expected shopping behavior, that his new novella, Tulum, is now available, and you can should buy it at Barnes and Noble, Amazon and iUniverse.  This would make a perfect stocking or Kindle stuffer.  It would make a lovely gift. Your Bloguero thinks you would like to read it.  No stocking should be without one.  And lest he not admit it, it will profit your Bloguero.

This Week In The Dream Antilles is usually a weekly digest. Usually, it appears on Friday. Sometimes, like now and for several of the past weeks, it isn’t actually a digest of essays posted at The Dream Antilles. For the essays you have to visit The Dream Antilles


cross-posted from The Dream Antilles

This Week In The Dream Antilles


Your Bloguero And The Book

You probably didn’t know that your faithful Bloguero was interested in commerce. Actually, to tell the truth, he really isn’t. But he can’t lie. Even though he has neither real skill for commerce nor any interest in it, even though in general he could care less about it, he finds himself now personally involved in it. Namely, selling his book, Tulum. Your Bloguero can hear his faithful but somewhat intellectually snobbish readers (and his many wise-ass critics) saying, “Selling? Ewwww. How could you?” Your Bloguero agrees that selling is often crass, sometimes beyond distasteful, and frequently involves prevarication if not outright fraud. But this, your Bloguero assures himself and you, is a different matter. This is something else entirely.

After all, your Bloguero is not going door to soon-to-be-slammed door trying to sell encyclopedias or Bibles. He’s selling fiction.  Magical realist fiction. He’s selling a book he wrote. What, you might ask, is so hard about selling fiction? Isn’t most political speech in the US just selling fiction? Isn’t most advertising just selling fiction? My goodness, your Bloguero hears you saying, in this season, the season of vast capitalistic excess and unnecessary expenditures, isn’t the main activity selling fiction of various sorts? All right. You’ve got a point there, but your Bloguero will not be diverted by it. Your Bloguero is selling only his new novel, Tulum. And he’s not at all that committed to doing that in the tradition, shameless, well worn way.

There are obvious problems with your Bloguero’s selling this book. Your Bloguero thinks of himself as a writer (he hopes that is not offensive to you for him to say it).  And he thinks he is a terrible salesman. He doesn’t like selling.  At all.  He has little or no positive experience with it.  And to make matters worse, your Bloguero’s psyche screams vociferous objections to tooting his own schnozz.  In other words, your Bloguero doesn’t want to pimp his book. Or himself. Or his “abilities.” That seems unseemly. And as if that weren’t enough, there’s your Bloguero’s fabled and oft practiced sloth and indolence. These subvert selling and all other commercial activities. Put it this way to keep it simple: Your Bloguero thinks that if his book is any good at all, it should simply sell itself while your Bloguero returns to daydreaming and making up his third book. Your Bloguero shouldn’t have to occupy himself with the physical activity and mental exertions involved in selling his creation. Look. Your Bloguero writes magical realism. So if this book is going to sell, it’s logical, isn’t it, that it should only be sold magically.

Do you hear your Bloguero whining? Making excuses? Walking back the expectations? Your Bloguero is more worried that he sounds a lot like Ignatius Reilly. But no matter. Your Bloguero would like to sell many thousands of copies of his book through the magical reality of the Internet and through the magic of word of mouth. That is the sum and substance of your Bloguero’s sales business planning. Magic. When one writes magical realism, one doesn’t complete the book and then suddenly act like one just spent 5 years writing financial non-fiction. No. There has to be some consistency between what’s in the book and how it exists in the world, doesn’t there? So if the book is magical realism and fiction, it has to be sold magically. There. Your Bloguero said it. Your Bloguero doesn’t want to hear anyone criticize or analyze his motivations in making this assertion.

Anyway, that’s where you come in. This is really simple, and a solution beautifully fitting your Bloguero’s laziness and magical thinking.  It is not a linear solution. It is not logical. But, alas, it’s your Bloguero’s magical solution. And his magical solution is his only one.

Here it is:  your Bloguero wants you to buy a copy of the book (or more if you feel called to do so), read it, and write a short review at Barnes and Noble, or Amazon, or iUniverse, or on the Blogs or Facebook or wherever, and, whether you liked it or not, though the thought of the latter possibility disturbs your Bloguero’s feelings, tell your friends and family about it.  And soon it will be, as Arlo once sang, a movement. And then, after a very short while,Tulum  will magically be ubiquitous. Think of this: Your Bloguero will be lying on the floor with his faithful dog and staring at the ceiling and dreaming up something new, and as he does this, the book, this very book, will be selling effortlessly. Magically. Thousands and thousands of magical sales. An avalanche of books. And you dear reader will have made this possible.

One last thought. Your Bloguero would also like you to realize that no Christmas or Channukah or Solstice stocking is complete without a copy of this book in it.  Yes, yes, your Bloguero knows that there are no Channukah stockings. Not yet. But he thinks there should be.

This Week In The Dream Antilles is usually a weekly digest. Usually, it appears on Friday. Sometimes, like now and for several of the past weeks, it isn’t actually a digest of essays posted at The Dream Antilles.  And it’s not yet Friday. For the essays you have to visit The Dream Antilles.

This Week In The Dream Antilles: Lester Maddox Edition

Oh please forgive your Bloguero his excesses and tantrums.

Yesterday your Bloguero was vexed and found himself exploding when Noot Gingrich proposed yet again that poor children (read: poor, urban children of color) work as assistant janitors and that they mop floors and clean bathrooms. These children, Noot told us, don’t have good work habits, and neither do their parents. They need to learn them, he opined, and that dollars must be earned solely by the sweat of their brows and not from engaging in the illegal activities that are so very pervasive in their neighborhoods. Your Bloguero imagines that this “idea” will eventually emerge in Congress as the “Poor, Urban Children’s Mandatory Work Act of 2012,” and that it will void child labor laws and make degrading manual work a pre-requisite to receipt of school nutrition programs if not elementary school attendance itself.

When your Bloguero was a child in Newark, his school didn’t have a course in brooming so that he could be channeled into a life of required, permanent manual work, showing up on Monday mornings for inadequate pay, and submissive obedience to the straw boss. Your Bloguero wasn’t asked to trade his pens and pencils and crayons for brooms and mops. No. Back then, it was a world of upward mobility. For everyone.  And it was fervently asserted, everybody could become President, and the elementary school was everybody’s first station on the trip toward a good life. The good life, your Bloguero was always told, was built on merit. And education. And hard work. And desire. Your Bloguero notes that there could have been far worse things to tell him, including that he should start sweeping now because that was his station in life.

Noot is an experienced politician. He is far from congenitally tone deaf. And he knows how to whistle for the dogs. Let’s recall that he’s from Georgia. And let’s also recall that it wasn’t that long ago that Governor Lester Maddox was passing out ax handles in Atlanta. And so, dear reader, this ain’t no dog whistle. It’s blatant racism.  Just look at Noot’s characterization of the neighborhoods in which poor children are raised. This isn’t code; it’s Noot mashing the black keys on the electoral piano with his elbow.

These neighborhoods and their residents, Noot would have us believe, are dominated by shiftlessness, by drug dealing, by welfare queens, by benefits fraud, by crime, by illegal activities of all descriptions. Your Bloguero spares you a repetition of the litany of historic grievances against the urban poor encapsulated in Noot’s remarks. So Noot’s resurrecting the pre-integration Georgia of 1953. And he’s saying that the children who are raised in these ghetto neighborhoods need to be put in their place because their families won’t do it. And the rest of the populace shouldn’t have to pay for it. And the place where these children belong, less you forget it, is as assistant janitors while they are in elementary school. Who are they to aspire to be president?

Your Bloguero is enraged. He notes in passing that this isn’t the first, nor will it be the last time that a presidential candidate plays the race card before November, 2012. Your Bloguero just wonders why there is a storm about Herman Cain’s affair and his serial sex harassments, but so far blatant racism seems to be getting a hall pass.

This Week In The Dream Antilles is usually a weekly digest. Sometimes, like now and for several of the past weeks, it isn’t actually a digest of essays posted at The Dream Antilles. For that you have to visitThe Dream Antilles.

This Week In The Dream Antilles

A Friday that feels like Sunday. Unless you’re engaged in the widely hyped capitalist feeding frenzy called “Black Friday.” Or some of the many other activitie your Bloguero disdains. Today your Bloguero’s world is divided into only two parts, day and night, the 1% and the 99%, those who think today might be Sunday and those who think it’s for filling up the credit cards, those who are hung over from tryptophan and wine and those who are not. This way of experiencing the world, sharp, high contrast dualism, is disturbing to your Bloguero. But what can you expect when the first meal of the day is left over turkey and chocolate cake?

A day to make the crooked straight and the rough places plane.  And for this:

This Week In The Dream Antilles is usually a weekly digest. Sometimes, like now and for several of the past weeks, it isn’t actually a digest of essays posted at The Dream Antilles. For that you have to visit The Dream Antilles.

This Week In The Dream Antilles



The Old Fruteria, Tulum

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays this courier from the swift completion of his appointed rounds.

Right. But when it comes to the Weekly Digest and your Bloguero, things happen. Clumsy, annoying things. Things that could easily derail this essay. Things like somehow deleting every shred of the final draft of this post before it was saved. Stupid, aggravating things. Things that make this a painful, unnecessary re-write from scratch. Things that make your Bloguero wonder whether the All Knowing Universe is trying to tell him in a special secret code not to post this essay.  But even that paranoid wondering will not stop your Bloguero. No. Not now. Nor will it stop him from doing his crazy, eccentric, aerobic Happy Dance. Nothing can stop that. Not today. Not now.

What’s the dance all about?  Thank you for asking.

Your Bloguero received via email about an hour ago the proofs for his new novella, Tulum.  The cover.  The inside of the book.  The whole thing.  All of it. That started the Happy Dance.  Why?  Why indeed.  Because that means that the very last, the final step in evicting this book from its large, dusty, cluttered corner office in your Bloguero’s mind and sending it to live elsewhere, in your Kindle or bookcase, is finally at hand. After a long five years. Let your Bloguero repeat that for emphasis. Your Bloguero has arrived at the very last, the final step in the production of this novella. And very soon, to your Bloguero’s utter relief and delight, it will be out of his head and living elsewhere.

This weekend in a hyper-caffeinated, vigilant, extremely focused, narrow, tunnel vision way your Bloguero will read every single letter of the 197-page document with a blue pencil in his hand, ferreting out the problems, finding them all (he truly hopes) and fixing each of them.  Some problems, particularly the written evidence of your Bloguero’s infelicities and shortcomings as a writer, will, of course, have to remain. Your Bloguero’s limitations come with the territory. He’s the last one who can recognize or fix them. But the orthographic and typographical issues?  Those are much more visible to your Bloguero. Your Bloguero will root these out and mercilessly extirpate them. He hopes. Bring on the French Roast. Bring on the chamber music. Take the phone off the hook. Bring on the withering gaze and stare.

Maybe Tulum will be available before Christmas. Your Bloguero doesn’t know. He does know that the task at hand will be completed by the end of the weekend. No matter what. No excuses.

That having been said, is your Bloguero now going to turn today’s weekly digest into a crass, commercial plea filled with hype, distortions, and outright lies stating that you simply must buy this book? Or else? Hardly. Your Bloguero isn’t like that. Well, at least he’s not like that today. He’ll be satisfied today if you go to “Tulum: The Novella’s” Facebook page and click “like” so that you’ll be informed of when this book is finally available through the usual commercial channels. He’s not demanding your money today. Not today.

Yes, your Bloguero would love to sell thousands of copies of this novella, and yes, he’d like your help in making that happen. When it’s out and available there will be plenty of time for his sales spiel.It will likely come masquerading as a weekly digest. He can’t help that.

In the meanwhile, please join your Bloguero in the Happy Dance. Cue the loud music. Roll up that rug.

This Week In The Dream Antilles is usually a weekly digest. Sometimes, like now and for several of the past weeks, it isn’t actually a digest of essays posted at The Dream Antilles. For that you have to visit The Dream Antilles


cross-posted from The Dream Antilles

This Week In The Dream Antilles

Well, well, well.  And tut, tut, tut.  Your Bloguero feels ever so sweetly but wrongly chastened by a Maddow Blog article by Kent Jones on November 9.  A taste of this article about referring to one’s self in the third person, if you really insist on it:

That word is illeism. The act of referring to oneself (often habitually) in the third person.

According to Wikipedia, illeism has a variety of uses including self-promotion, to give the speaker lofty airs, to illustrate the feeling of being outside one’s body and watching things happen, as a form of sarcasm or as a way to show dim wittedness, such as when the Mongo in Blazing Saddles declares: “Mongo only pawn in game of life.”
So why does someone become an illeist? According to Yahoo answers:

Because when you do that it makes you feel like you’re not so alone. It’s a psychological way of making yourself feel like there’s someone with you, even if it is only yourself. He was probably picked on as a child, that usually being the cause for this behavior. On the other hand if he’s doing this in a joking fashion, its just that, a joke.

Aha! it could be a joke. That backs up Rachel’s Herman Cain is a Performance Artist theory.

Wait a second.  Wait one forking second.  On this pop psychologizing and its implicit fault finding of your Bloguero and negative judgments about him, your Bloguero, who almost always refers to himself in the third person in these Friday posts, calls, to adopt one of Maddow’s pet phrases, “Bull pucky.”  That’s right.  Bull. Forking. Pucky. Bull Pucky, you hear?  Bull pucky.  Bull pucky.  Bull pucky.  

Let’s look at the facts.

Is your Bloguero trying self promotion in this post?  Right, like your Bloguero is the Deion Saunders of the small blogs, on some of which his Friday posts get, oh wait for it, two, count them readers, count them, two reccs.  Or giving himself lofty airs?  Right, like your Bloguero is some kind of authority on something or claims to be?  Seriously.  The only thing your Bloguero is an authority on or has even claimed authority about are his own multifaceted idiosyncrasies.  And those, to his sincere regret, are many, but he knows them intimately.  Or, did you check this out?  Your Bloguero is outside his body?  As if he were Emanuel or some other channeled, discorporate being?  Not so.  Totally untrue.  Your Bloguero is living in his body as he types this out.  His fingers are cold.  One does not have cold fingers unless one has a body.  QED. And is your Bloguero sarcastic?  OK, ok, ok, ok.   Well, all right.  Sometimes he’s sarcastic even when he uses the first person.  If you grew up in Newark like your Bloguero and spent some of your waking hours at the local courthouses observing what passes for justice in America, you’d be sarcastic, too. You might even be more than sarcastic. You might be postal.  Not your Bloguero.  Your Bloguero is a pacifist of sorts.

Look, you don’t have to write in the third person to be disillusioned and to lash out in sarcasm or rolling eyes or making faces.  C’mon, admit it.  And is your Bloguero, heaven forefend, dimwitted?  One, even if that one is solely your Bloguero, hopes not.  What an insult.

And then there’s the hardest question.  How can you even ask it?  Is referring to one’s self some kind of joke?  Is this a joke?  Is your Bloguero making a joke? Your Bloguero takes umbrage at the suggestion.  And also a double martini.  With two olives.  It’s not a joke.  No joke.  It’s life itself.  If life’s a joke, it’s not your Bloguero’s fault.

No.  Why does your Bloguero have to explain himself to smart people like Rachel Maddow and Kent Jones?  Look.  Writing in the third person at its very worst is a pose taken by the eccentric (there’s that word again), offbeat narrator of these Friday post.  That’s who shows up every Friday.  The Bloguero. That’s who’s been showing up every single Friday since February with this digest.  If you were Deepak Chopra you’d note this bizarre, quantum equivalence:

weekly digest = the Bloguero


Anybody who thinks this is wrong, or a problem, or weak physics, or has some other wisecracks or criticism about it, just raise your hand.  Go right ahead.  Raise you hand.  Right now. Your Bloguero will now ignore all that snickering and the waving hand too.  Nobody, including especially your Bloguero, has to put up with these indiscreet, prying inquiries.  The idea of asking for an explanation. Humpf.

This Week In The Dream Antilles is usually a weekly digest. Sometimes, like now and for several of the past weeks, it isn’t actually a digest of essays posted at The Dream Antilles. For that you have to visit The Dream Antilles.

This Week In The Dream Antilles



Your Bloguero is embarrassed.  He was going to tell you that the dog ate his homework, so there was no “This Week” this week.  He even discussed it with the dog.  Would she be willing to take the blame for this week’s soon to be nonexistent post?  No, she would not.  Speaking as a 10-year old, experienced Golden Retriever owned by someone who claims to be a writer, the dog says only this: “Give cookies.  And, by the way, suck it up, hot shot.  You’re the one who’s supposed to be the writer.  Not me.  Stop complaining.  Just hammer it out.”  That is cold.  Very cold.  But good advice.  And to think that your Bloguero thought the dog was going to help.  And provide an excuse.  Alack.  What a disappointment. Your Bloguero also thought there was some drug he could ingest that would get him to write the post, but alack and alack, he confesses he can’t find it.  

Your Bloguero’s desperation runneth over.  Every Friday.  Without fail, your Bloguero has committed to post on four group blogs and his own blog.  Like clock work.  No matter what.  How, your Bloguero wonders, can he explain that this week there just is no “This Week.”  It’s just not there.  It wasn’t written.  It wasn’t posted.  Poof.  It’s gone.  Probably, he can’t.  Probably, you, dear reader, don’t want to hear the whining, excuses, lies, and assorted, inventive short fiction about your Bloguero’s lack of output and the claimed “reasons” for it.  Know what?  Your Bloguero is not exactly captivated by inventing excuses either.

So perhaps a confession will suffice.  This week your Bloguero was obsessed with something.  And he didn’t do much writing because he was totally obsessed with this and he doesn’t write when he’s obsessing.

A bit of probably unnecessary background: your  Bloguero has now reached a certain age.  It’s the age at which the Government is supposed to provide Medicare. But.  And this is a very big but, your Bloguero is so far from retiring that that “R” word is not a regular part of his regular internal discourse. No. So he’s not getting a gold watch.  And he’s not moving to Arizona.  Or Florida.  And he’s not departing on his Spiritual Journey to Benares.  Or even Benares on the Atlantic (Palm Beach).  Or buying an RV.  Or a boat.  Or a vineyard. Or a trophy wife. Or a set of golf clubs. Nope. Nada.  None of the above. Not one of them. Your Bloguero has other concerns, concerns that are more important to him.  Specifically, your Bloguero wants to know what he has to do so that he will be referred to by others as “Don David” or “Don davidseth” or “Don Bloguero.”  

Maybe that’s not a big deal to you, especially if you live in one of the many Gringo parts of the world where honorifics and polite address are utterly irrelevant.  But let your Bloguero assure you, this is a big deal to your Bloguero.  A very big deal.  One he has relentlessly been obsessing about for a week.  One that has become a consummate distraction.

Look.  Being called “Don [insert first name]” is a very big deal to your Bloguero:

Although originally a title reserved for royalty, select nobles, and church hierarchs, it is now often used as a mark of esteem for a person of personal, social or official distinction, such as a community leader of long standing, a person of significant wealth, or a noble, but may also be used ironically. As a style, rather than a title or rank, it is used with, and not instead of, a person’s name….

Today in Mexican-American communities, the Don or Doña is used in honorific form when addressing a senior citizen.


Right.  It’s an honorific.   For people of esteem.  For senior citizens.  Your Bloguero consulted with his usual, expert cultural consultants about this, and they each told him uniformly that he was old enough, yes, that he didn’t need to have any grandchildren to merit the title, yes, and because he was a nice guy and held in esteem generally, he could properly be called “Don Bloguero.”  Right.

But why then, your Bloguero wants to understand, is he NOT called “Don” anything?   Ever.  It has never ever happened. Surely, it is not your Bloguero’s obligation to tell other people that he has now assumed the rank of Don by virtue of his age and being an esteemed and great person, so, therefore they should now begin to address him as such.  No.  It is not your Bloguero’s function to demand this title. Instead, what is required, your Bloguero thinks, is for the large community spontaneously, without prompting, without coaching or wheedling or paying of mordidas, to confer the title, to begin to call him Don.  All on its own.  Spontaneously.

That is what your Bloguero has been obsessing about.  Can’t your Bloguero pick up this title?  And if he can’t, what exactly has your Bloguero done so that he does not merit being called “Don Bloguero?”  And what, pray tell, does your Bloguero have to do to be referred to by his important honorific.

If you know the answer, please write it on a $500 peso bill and mail it to your Bloguero immediately.

This Week In The Dream Antilles is usually a weekly digest. Sometimes, like now and for several of the past weeks, it isn’t actually a digest of essays posted in the past week at The Dream Antilles. For that you have to visit The Dream Antilles.

This Week In The Dream Antllles


These days your Bloguero isn’t much of a baseball fan.  His current team of choice, the Mets, flamed out early in the season.  They were so bad that your Bloguero pronounced their season over on April 21, 2011.  After that, your Bloguero treated the Mets with the revulsion he usually reserves for serious hangovers and the less benign forms of dentistry.  Something to be given a very wide berth. Something to be avoided at all cost. But tonight is the climactic Seventh Game of the World Series.  And last night’s Sixth Game, so the Trad Media inform, was a wonderful game.  So maybe tonight’s game might be worth watching.  Right.

It’s never that simple.  There’s always the past to consider.  And matters of the heart.  When your Bloguero was small boy, he was a Brooklyn Dodgers fan.  He loved the Dodgers.  He loved “dem Bums.”  He particularly loved Roy Campanella, Jackie Robinson, Carl Furillo, Pee Wee Reese, Gil Hodges and Duke Snyder.  And others. All the other baseball cards were meaningless; only the Dodgers counted.  The Giants and Yankees were obviously teams of spoiled patricians; the Dodgers were the people’s choice.  Hell, the Giants and Yankees were probably Republicans.  Or worse.  They certainly weren’t the lovable underdogs. How could any self respecting kid like teams that always won? Or pretended they did?

Yes, the Dodgers lost almost all of the important, big games back then.  To the Yankees.  To the Giants. It was a tradition. But that didn’t matter.  The Dodgers were great players, and they were a great team.  And there was always next year.  Your Bloguero loved that they might lose, but that they tried hard not to.  And he knew they were trying hard.  What else was there, other than to show up and try hard?  Your Bloguero liked the innocence and simplicity of that.

One morning your Bloguero awoke and learned that his beloved Dodgers had decided to abandon him.  They announced they were pulling up roots in Brooklyn and heading to Los Angeles for the next season.  Just like that.  Poof.  Here at Ebbets Field today, gone to LA tomorrow.  Loved today, leaving behind your Bloguero, heart broken and abandoned tomorrow.   And why?  There was no reason your Bloguero’s 10-year old brain could understand.   Ten year olds in love with a team don’t care about finances.  Or revenues.  Or anything else. They care about the game.  They care about balls and strikes.  Your Bloguero was stunned.  And hurt.  And perplexed.  Asked your Broguero to any who would listen, to any who might be able to explain it to him, “You mean that the team I love is leaving me and going to the West Coast, to California for reasons I don’t understand?”  Your Bloguero could not forgive that Sandy Koufax, the greatest pitcher ever, your Bloguero’s favorite pitcher, would not be throwing in Brooklyn but in LA.  And that the home games would begin because of time zones at 10 pm in New York, past his bed time.  He’d never see his first love again.  There was no justice in that.  At all.

So it’s the Seventh Game of the World Series tonight.  And it might be interesting baseball to watch.  But it’s also irritating the small, old scar your Bloguero has on his heart, the one that marks where the Dodgers were yanked away from him half a century ago.  And your Bloguero wonders whether like him, all of the men of a certain age who used to be Brooklyn Dodger fans when they were kids, have the same small scar that marks the very first betrayal of their most avid love.  And whether the World Series makes it ache.

This Week In The Dream Antilles is usually a weekly digest. Sometimes, like now, it isn’t actually a digest of essays posted in the past week at The Dream Antilles.  For that you have to visit The Dream Antilles.


cross-posted from The Dream Antilles

This Week In The Dream Antilles


Your Bloguero was awakened shortly before dawn this morning by the persistent dinging of his Blackberry.  About 24 dings in rapid succession indicating the receipt of emails.  Your Bloguero imagined that he had somehow, despite his best efforts to the contrary, achieved minor celebrity status.  He was not sure how that could be, or what he could have done, but what else could have him receive 24 emails one after the other?  Today, after all, is Friday.  Friday is auspicious, your Bloguero thought.  It’s a great day to open the floodgates of fame and adulation.  Why not?  No such luck.  Opening one eye, your Bloguero discovered to his annoyance that the 24 messages were emails from his automated friends at Yahoo telling your Bloguero that he had sent email to a bad address, and that the email had been rejected by the recipient’s ISP.  Your Bloguero opened his other eye.  There was obviously a problem.  Your Bloguero had not sent any emails to anybody on that account.  So, your Bloguero’s razor sharp wit figured, somebody else had sent them.  How very disappointing.  It wasn’t fame that was dinging so insistently. It wasn’t adulation, praise, recognition.  It wasn’t anything good. No. It was hackage. Plain and simple.

And who, your Bloguero wondered, might have decided to hack this account?  This was the account associated with your Bloguero’s postings on various group blogs.  Had your Bloguero so enraged someone with something he had recently written that he provoked such a hack?  Your Bloguero could only hope.  Was this pay back of some kind?  Your Bloguero should be so lucky.  Who would have done that?  What followed were the kind of pre-coffee conspiracy theories reserved for such abrupt, early wakings.  In two words, incipient paranoia.  But alas.  Even this was too puffed up, too egocentric, too self important.  Your Bloguero wasn’t being treated to well deserved, well earned attack.  No.  Nothing that good.  Nothing that heroic. The email had a link in it.  It was commercial spam from Romania for erection enhancement.  If you will pardon the pun, how very deflating.  How contracting.  What a lame way to start Friday: changing the password so it won’t happen again.

The next thing will doubtless be responding to the numerous emails – your Bloguero received one while writing this — telling him he has been hacked.   And telling the recipients, that yes, your Bloguero knows and he’s changed his password and he regrets any inconvenience.

How disappointing.  From web hero to complete sucker in a nanosecond.

This Week In The Dream Antilles is usually a weekly digest. Sometimes, like now, it isn’t actually a digest of essays posted in the past week at The Dream Antilles.  For that you have to visit The Dream Antilles.

This Week In The Dream Antilles



When I arrived in late afternoon, La Bahia was asleep.  I tiptoed up to her. She was only partially covered by the white and grey cotton blanket, frequently used, often washed and very soft. I could see her bare back as it rose and fell with her breath. I watched her sleep.  I listened to her breathing. I did not wake her.

As I think about this and try to write it down, I know that this is what love feels like when it is raining.

This Week In The Dream Antilles is usually a weekly digest. Sometimes, like now, it isn’t actually a digest of essays posted in the past week at The Dream Antilles.  It is something else.

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