Good morning. With great pride and pleasure, we inform you that, at long last, my dear children and myself havereunited in the past few days, after several months of forced Social Distancing due to this terrible pandemic. We have enjoyed great moments together, catching up on family gossip, finding out about their latest study and work projects, watching some TV together and, of course, sitting down for a leisure meal in our shaded garden patio.
In the past few months, we have hardly ordered food and we never went out to a restaurant or bar for a snack. However, the recent vaccination with the Pfizer product and the presence of our dear daughter in Miami changed it.
Thank you God Almighty for allowing us to enjoy the company of our dear children for a little bit longer!!!!
Good morning. Yesterday, Monday January the 18th, 2020, we got the Pfizer vaccine in our left arm, as you can see in the picture below. It is still very difficult to get any vaccine in the USA, even though we qualify two-fold: we are a health care provider and we are over 65 years old. But our dear daughter Noël Marie aggressively researched how to get an appointment for us and, finally the tweeter account of Ms. Daniella Levine-Cava, newly elected Mayor ofMiami-Dade County, announced that there was a new batch of vaccines coming to Jackson South Medical Center.
The picture above shows the moment when the lovely Matika, a nurse at the facility, plunged the needle. Ouchhh!!! She was assisted by the equally lovely Sonia, who checked the paperwork to keep us honest (good luck with that) We were treated like a V.I.P. by all the concerned staff: Lorenzo and Nick, at the sign-in station on arrival, Andrés and Ursula, at the documentation station where they verify your true eligibility. Thank you very much for your service.
Thanks to their generous and committed work, we were finally able to get this so precious vaccination certificate.
It is funny that the vaccine they administered to us was produced in the Pfizer facility of Kalamazoo, Michigan. In fact it is located in Portage, a suburb of that city, where we spent our days as an Foreign Exchange Student in 1972, the first time we arrived at this generous country. At that time it was named The Upjohn Company and, being interested in going into Medical School after High School, we visited it for a full day, as an honored guest of the scientists and physicians that were running it. We had a great time. Now they prepared this life-saving vaccine. Thank you very much.
Thank you, Ms. Daniella Levine-Cava, Mayor of Miami-Dade County!
Thank you, Keith R. Tribble, CEO of the Jackson Health Foundation!
Thank you, all the marvelous staff of Jackson South Medical Center!
Thank you, Dr. Albert Bourla, CEO of the Pfizer Company!
Today is the Day of the Epiphany when millions of children everywhere will get up early at dawn to eagerly find out what the Three Magi Kings left in their shoes the previous night. We still remember our excitement, and the one of our children, when we discovered a toy, a jersey or a book in them. (we confess that we then preferred the toys)
In Western Christianity, this day celebrates the time when the Three Magi Kings arrived at the humble manger where the baby Jesus Christ was lying in his crib, surrounded by the reverent animals all around. Jesus Christ was born.
However, this religious feast has a parallel pagan counter-story in the Italian Peninsula where children are waiting for a dubious character called La Befana to show up with presents. Please visit our previous article on the subject.
Che cosa ti ha portato la Befana?
(What has the Befana brought you?)
Today we are all asking that same question. Moreover, we discreetly wish that, besides bringing toys and other presents on her way in, this feisty witch will take this terrible pandemic away on her way back flying on her broom to her isolated cave somewhere. We need all the help we can get to save us from this dire threat to Mankind’s survival.
Good afternoon. Do you remember that Mad Max was supposedly set in the year 2021? We did not, but we were just reminded by a news anchor in Radio Nacional de España who commented that there were funny memes of it. We have all enjoyed the adventures of that lone Justice Man, in the vein of the Lone Ranger and other similar heroes. Imagine the relief that those defenseless Outback Aussies felt when they saw his virile image coming down the road.
Note – This image from Mad Max, the Road Warrior was taken from Wikimedia Commons.
When we were younger, we all naively believed that the worst scenario for Mankind was that awful hot wasteland crisscrossed by disgustingly looking bandits in a frantic search of victims and petrol to satisfy their basest needs. Hardly did we fathom that there could be a worse scenario like we sadly have today. We have a world now that, due to the economic slowdown of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Social Distancing, has less need of oil and derivatives. The foe that is killing thousands and thousands of our kind is just a tiny microorganisn that likes to jump all around. And our most threatening enemies are the well-dressed politicians and bureaucrats that use a “langue de bois.” Instead of taking care of our urgent need for a massive vaccination campaign in the USA , funded and directed by the federal government, they are fighting about non-sensical issues in D.C,, but at the same time “jumping the line” to get the vaccine. Bunch of deadbeats!
May the Heavens above send us a providential Road Warrior to help us out in this most critical bifurcation from the road ahead of our precious Life.
If incoming President Joe Biden wants “to do it right” , he must similarly get mad at this incredibly inefficient, haphazardly usage of public resources.
And don’t forget to bring your little dog along as it can bite away at the Armani pant’s sleeves of all the useless-talkative-do-nothing D.C. politicians.
Good morning. We wish you all a Happy New Year 2021, in the company of your loved ones and the realization of your cherished professional and personal goals. May God Almighty grant you those wishes (and many, many more)
After almost a full year of a terrible pandemic, like we have never even fathomed we would go through in Life, we are ready for some glimmer of hope like a massive vaccination campaign to cut the viral transmission for good.
Let us raise our glasses to celebrate the young 2021 and wish good tidings for our families and friends everywhere.
Good afternoon. Today is the 125th anniversary of the first screening of a film in Human History, which took place in the Salon Indien, a small billiard room of the Grand Café in Paris (at the present time it is occupied by the Hotel Scribe) Louis and Auguste Lumière, inventors of the seventh artform, initially tried to rent space in the MuséeGrévin or the Folies Bergères but they were roundly rebuffed by the management of both prestigious places. Finally they convinced Mr. Vopini, owner of the 100 places-salon, to rent it for the sum of 35 francs per day; even though they offered him a cut of the profits, he politely declined to participate in the business (an incredibly silly decision)
That day the brothers Lumière held a small conference for notables and journalists earlier in the afternoon to advertise their nightly show; however, they could not convince a single one of them to attend it Saturday night. They could attract exactly 35 badauds (passers-by, which has a connotation of leisurely walking by in French) that paid one Franc each for a total 35 Francs at the box office. The anxious spectators were really expecting a show of marionettes or the Chinese style play with candles. When lights went out and an attendant started to tinkerwith a box illuminated from the inside, they knew it was different. Then images started to flicker on a white wall upfront.
Mesmerized, those lucky few watched the crude projection of a few sketches of poor technical quality, one after the other. According to an excellent commemorative article in Herodote.net, they saw La sortie des ouvrières de l’UsineLumière (the exit of the working women form the Lumière factory), Leçon de Voltige à Cheval ( a lesson of horse acrobatics), Pêche aux Poissons rouges, etc. Word of mouth produced a quick reaction of the Parisian public that started to throng the Grand Café to view the marvelous invention. The director of the Musée Grévin rushed to offer 20,000 Francs for the new invention (an exorbitant amount of money) but the Lumière brothers turned it down; the same happened when the owner of the Folies Bergères doubled that offer. It was not that they were waiting for a bigger cash-out with their invention. On the contrary, they honestly believed that it had no commercial potential and wanted to spare their rich friends from a bad investment. Auguste Lumière told the illusionist Georges Méliès:
“You should thank me, I am sparing you from financial ruin, because that contraption, simple scientific curiosity, does not have any commercial future.”
These two successful businessmen enjoyed the public success of their invention and started to open many cinemas all over Paris; their ultimate worldwide consecration came during the Expositiom Universelle de Paris in 1900. On a humongous screen of 336 square meters, they made 80,000 spectators dream awake simultaneously. Que c’est beau!
We have all, sometime in our lives, dreamt awake in the flickering darkness of a movie theater, with good company.
Let us hope that after this terrible pandemic finally passes away, we can recover that unique magical experience.
Today is not the day when you elbow your way through the maddening crowds to do your last minute shopping.
Today is not the day when you gobble all the leftovers (and more) from last night’s dinner to make you sick.
Today is not the day when you fight a ferocious war of words with your all too insufferable mother-in-law.
Toady we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, our Savior (for Christians) and a savvy teacher (for the rest of people)
In an excellent article in The New York Times, Peter Wehner said: “First-century Christians for what a radical and radically inclusive figure Jesus was, and neither are today’s Christians. We want to tame and domesticate who he was, but Jesus’ life and ministry don’t really allow for it. He shattered barrier after barrier.” He put the example of the famous parable of the Samaritan woman at the well (included in the fourth chapter of the Gospel of John) Even though he surely knew that this lady had a “disreputable reputation” (being married five times and living with the fifth without the blessing of a rabbi) Jesus Christ treats her with respect and dignity, without judging her a priori. Grateful with his kind and empathic attitude, she became the first woman preacher of the nascent Christianity.
Note – This picture of Carraci’s Christ and the Samaritan Woman at the well was taken from Wikimedia Commons.
The same author said: “For Christians, the incarnation is a story of God, in the person of Jesus, participating in the human drama. And in that drama, Jesus was most drawn to the forsaken and despised, the marginalized, those who had stumbled and fallen. He was beloved by them, even as he was targeted and eventually killed by the politically and religiously powerful, who viewed Jesus as s a threat to their dominance.”
In the United States of America there was a politician who followed Jesus Christ’s teachings: Abraham Lincoln. In a 1859 speech, he said: “Nothing stamped with the Divine image and likeness was sent into this world to be trodden on, and degraded, and imbruted by its fellows.” In these times of extreme political polarization, where half the country is “red” and the other one is “blue”, we need that inclusive discourse in our civic space more than ever. We must remember that the Founding Fathers created a nation for all the American citizens, not just for half of it. To emphasize the need to include each and every one of them in the great national project, they chose to speak in Latin.
Good morning and Merry Christmas to you all. As is our custom, we are having breakfast enjoying a big slice of a panettone. For those that do not know the legend behind this Italian specialty that was exported (and we honestly believe, bettered in the River Plate region) we are enclosing a link to a previous article on this treat. Buon appetito!
“La voix de la sagesse c’est de commencer à désirer ce qu’on a déjà”
Jean François Marie Arouet
Dear readers and fellow bloggers:
Good morning and Merry Christmas to you. Today we are awaiting the renewed birth of Jesus Christ, our Savior, with the hope that this terrible pandemic will eventually pass away and we will go back to a more benign environment. We just listened to the words of our dear Pope Francis admonishing us that unbridled consumerism has hijacked the significance of this festivity; he urged us all to give a charitable gift, instead of splurging on unnecessary objects.
As Arouet’s saying advises us: “the voice of wisdom is to start coveting what we already have.”
We have our health. We have our family. We have our friends. We have our work and studies. It is a lot already.
Sadly, we will not have a traditional family meal this time, as our daughter Noël Marie stays away for safety reasons. However, we will communicate via WhatsApp, sharing pictures and videos to feel “a little closer” momentarily. We will hope and pray that we will soon meet again in Saint Patrick’s Church for a mass and then go out for dinner. The picture we posted is of one such event in the summer of 2019. We are counting the days for a blessed reunion.
Good morning. Today marks the 40th anniversary of that terrible day when John Lennon was cowardly assassinated in the footsteps of the Dakota Apartments building in New York City. For all of us who were young and enjoying his music at the time, it was a sad day when we were overwhelmed by the deep angst of a missing familiar figure. The Nobel Literature Laureate García Márquez said that his career represented an “apotheosis for the losers.” We all have our own version of John Lennon, be the musician, be the rebel, be the unrepentant working class outsider.
His musical legacy remains, with many songs that are regularly played in the radio and other streaming devices. Perhaps if he would have survived, he would have given up music and started to write poetry for our spirit’s solace. He had a very sad childhood and a difficult teenage period but he could overcome them with the joy of creation. As we are writing these words, we are listening to his marvelous interpretation of Stand by Me. We’re standing by you.
Now more than ever, we need such a pleasant and positive public figure to pull us out of this pandemic’s morass. We strongly recommend that you listen to one of your favorite Beatles song to lift your spirits today. You (we) need it.
Thank you very much, dear John, May God Almighty keep you in his/her/ihr Eternal Grace.