Well, if you knew more about baseball, you wouldn’t get so bored at games (aburrido viendo los partidos).

The umpire crouches (agacha) behind the catcher who receives the ball from the pitcher, while eight defensive players anticipate that the ball will be hit to them (anticipar que la pelota será bateado a ellos). Meanwile, the mánager spits sunflower seed shells on the dugout floor (escupe cáscaras de semillas de girasol sobre el piso). Learn more about this quirky (peculiar) game, as well as how to pronounce “left fielder” here: BASEBALL HAS BEEN VERY GOOD TO ME

Speak UP!
The best way to learn English is to speak with an English speaker. I know it’s exhausting (sé que es agotador), but there is no better way to learn than by doing (aprender por hacer). And don’t let your limited vocabulary stop you (no deje que su limitado vocabulario deja). If you don’t know a word for sidewalk, just say “The part next to the street where people walk.” You will be understood and eventually you’ll know the word. (se le entiende y, finalmente, aprenderá). More advice here.

It’s the name of Pancho’s dog––a massive but gentle German Shepherd that lived behind the 101 Market in San Ysidro in the late 60s, early 70s. If Pancho told me why the name, I don’t recall.barcloaf1-1
Sloopy, I Don’t Care What Your Daddy Do


Some girls wore their hair like this

I expected to see Frank Sinatra on the cover of this week’s Time, and there he was, looking dapper with a sportcoat draped over his shoulder, tipping his snap-brim hat.

He died last week.

I can only imagine what impact his death is having on people of his generation. Old as they are, his passing must make them feel older, and during these days, sad.

Sinatra’s generation––the one that also included Walter Cronkite and Walter Winchell, Jackie Gleason and Jackie Robinson, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall––must’ve thought that American pop culture began and ended with them.

What got me thinking about this was when a young student of mine arrived for his lesson this week, and before saying hello, said, “Frank Sinatra died.” It took me a moment before I realized why he said it. Besides impressing me with his knowledge of current events, he evidently thought that Sinatra hailed from my generation.


This is Roy Orbison, not Elvis

Me, I claim allegiance to Elvis.

So the idea here is to write an essay about growing up during the supposed birth of rock and roll. Continue reading.


Nearly Lost My Lunch

I recall my mother taking me and a girl to Belmont Park on what I guess you could call a date. This was in junior high, probably during the summer of 1959. That’s where I discovered that I really admire roller coasters––but I don’t enjoy riding them.

When the stomach-turning adventure ended, this thrill-seeking girl said to me, “Let’s do it again,” to which I replied, “I’ll pay. And I’ll watch from the ground.

Fifty-plus years later, I gave it another go. Join me on THE GIANT DIPPER

California, Eastern Sierras, West of Bishop, Bishop Creek Recreation Area, Willow Creek Campground, Campsite #1