Sunday, June 28, 2009


I JUST f0und out that a chapter of music retailing has been closed. For many
years it was the biggest record store in USA, with sales of fifty million bucks, before the recording industry fell in a slump that continues today.

It was a trip to enter, search in the bins for any kind of music one may think off,
from any country or period. The street level floor was mostly rock, first level down,
jazz, classical opera, world music. Last level, videos and books, coffee shop and entrance to some movie theater vaguely remembered.

The most expensive cd's I found were operas or early singers from
beginings of the century. Among opera interpreters, the most expensive single cd I saw was from Tito Schippa, a tenor.

Working as a cashier in the classical department for two winters, allowed me to learn a lot about opera, and classical music in general... Regarding voice, pitch and range. I was tutored by Scott, a pasty pale, probably of Irish descent, a bohemian, unkempt cashier, singer, and expert in the history of opera. A fanatic, similar to bible ones. His conversations were only about issues related and
relevant to understand what singing, technique is on one hand and its relation to how does all tenors and sopranos, are not created equal, nor they sound alike
in the same range.

Thus, I learned about Maria Callas, Joan Sutherland, Bidu Sayao, Franco Corelli,
and Boejerlin, perhaps my favorites in my limited tolerance for this music. I fell in love with the Bachianas Brasileras sung by Sayao, an obscure Brazilian soprano from
the thirties, a really impressive voice in a masterpiece composition.

Regarding tenors, Scott thought Pavarotti was the best ever, while I was into
Domingo at the time. But I could listen to the Sweedish and Corelli any time, I really
enjoy those voices.

This was circa 1996/97. Then there was a negro soprano with the MET, who got too
much of a diva with the orchestra and director....Soon afterwards she was fired
and that was that never herd of her again..

Anecdotes from those days...

Many Argentinians and Venezuelans came to buy cd's, vhs, and some lp's looking
devices used to record live operas, movies and such...Later substituted with dvd's.
They would spend hundred of dollars..Along with negros from Harlem and Brooklyn,
into the pirate underground economy.

These characters will spend up to a thousand bucks in salsa, classical, regue,
hip hop, music and film to later copy and sell for a third of the price of originals,
their products in every corner of some neighborhoods in New York City, placed on blankets on the sidewalks of the five boroughs.

There was a well educated employee, something rare in the store, I mean manners and academics. This Mexican, a supervisor, was a classical buff. A fanatic of Gorecki's 3rd Symphony, a really somber composition a la Grieg.. I bought it many years later and find surprising that in these circles, this composer and many others are never mentioned. People get used to the same common places...Easier to chew and digest.

To finish. Cash in/cash out were always the most frustrating aspects of the job, dealing with the ghettoish security guards, always the dumbells, village idiots, some
supervisors were really humourous and witty, while others bitter, dumb and sour.
Meeting people from many other countries was most of the time the exciting, stimulating part of being a cashier. Even for short periods of time. Argentinians
were the most receptive and open to respond to my inquiries. Puerto Rican islanders
the most foolish, always in a defensive attitude.

In essence, Virgin Megastore, will remain a nice memory regarding music, and the majority of people met, working for peanuts, in one of the most expensive cities. I would say without doubt that the majority of the people working in this huge store,
had two jobs, working sixty and more hours a week to be able to pay their way.

Time to go...

Saturday, June 13, 2009


DURING the nineties, in NYC, there was an uproar among NY citizens whose
parents were from Puerto Rico, second, third generation speaking mostly
some sort of English and very interested in voting in a referendum to determine if this banana republic without bananas or the republic, a territory of USA, should be a state or republic or what it is, a colony with
a perfumed name: commonwealth.

Here for your pleasure? The whole article/test. It was mailed to CHEO
DIAZ, a disc jockey with the best salsa music in WKCR, a college station
in NYC. Mr. Diaz is also a judge in that state. Here it goes..

To avoid the constant confusion among Puertorican islanders and those
who were raised or born in this culture, we have designed this superficial
test, to help you become aware if you really are, or just grew up thinking you were Puertorican, without really being.

1. Name two groups of local indians who used to hang out in the island
rivers and went surfing with their waterproof walkman.

2. Mention any of the crops they cultivated

3. Name at least three entrees of their daily menu.

4. Write at least five words of their vocabulary still in use.

5. Explain what a 'ceremonial park' was and some of its uses.

6. Who was the first european to arrive and surprised the indians
listening to the blues?

7. Who was the first governor? The first european murdered?

8. Name the kings of Spain and their provinces of origin then.

9. Mention at least two of the plants and trees introduced by the

10. What were the names of the three ships used by Columbus?

11. Name the war making this island a backyard farm or territory
of USA. Feel free to elaborate.

12. Name the town used by the troops to disembark.

13. What was the main crop of export during the stay by Spain and
what took its place under USA?

14. When and why were Puertoricans made USA citizens?

15. Which one arrived first to that batatarian isle: Burger King or
Mickey Dee? Name the city where this trascendental event in the diet
of the local islanders took place.

16. Name the first Puertorican governor.

17. Explain carefully the procedure to elaborate any of the following:
alcapurria, pasteles, sorullo, gandinga or mondongo.

18. The first soul brothers, when were they introduced to the island?
Name their contributions to the diet, music and dance.

19. When did Puerto Rico become a commonwealth?

20. Name the first governor under this era.

21. Name the most famous Puertorican astrologer/vedette. Bonus

This questions are part of the curriculum and text books in all schools
in Puerto Rico, USA. Therefore is common knowledge that everyone
sees since the first grade, until graduation from high school.

In the same manner foreigners who desire to become U.S. citizens, have
to pass a test, descendants from original Puertorican islanders with the
urge to take part in this referendum or in future, to determine the final
status of the territory, should be able to prove acquaintanceship with Puertorican issues and facts.

This test has a value of 100 points. To pass and vote you need above 60.

Note: If you are not from Puerto Rico, anyone can participate, you will become an honorary citizen. Send your response. Thanks for your interest.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


PERHAPS it was mentioned before. It does not matter, the name was coined by yours truly while
working for the Criminal Justice Agency in Manhattan, among many islanders, too many, of those
islands where other languages than Spanish is spoken. The dull, dirty, smelly working space in a jail, One Police Plaza, was made worse by the pain in the ass, arrogant fools... Some readers may have noticed that I tilt toward humility most of the time. At any rate. The original anglospanoreview was a typed magazine lasting for tree issues. From the first edition of 1990, here is Bwana Katunga, an environmental story with African animals and atmosphere exactly
as it appeared then. Some critical readers will notice a little difference in style and storytelling.
Is not original. I am really sorry I can not find the reference, author or whatever. I hope you
will enjoy it as I still do. Other issues from the archives will appear for your eyes only. Stay tuned.

he was a hunter; well respected by everyone. for twenty years he had been hunting in this torrid african region. all the animals loved him, thanks to his poor aiming skills with rifles, and other hunting weapons. the natives, with just cause, gave him
the rank of katunga, or muzzle. evidently, the hunter was not aware of the real meaning of his aboriginal last name and was very proud of it.

one day, many moons ago, bwana katunga, also known a heineken katunga, because of his fondness for imported beer, was hunting in land where the white men had never set up foot. trucks, jeeps, four wheel drive vehicles, yes, but foot never.
after a long while shooting at different prey, unable to hit any, our hero was getting
ready to return to the encampment, when suddenly, he heard a deep groan. as a result of his many years in the jungle, he recognized it as the desperate cry of a deer that had fell in a trap.

as it happened often, his ability to distinguish the noise of each animal, did not
dissapoint him. when he got closer to the point where the groan was coming from,
thinking it was a deer, he discovered to his amazement, that it was an elephant. katunga was capable to confuse a groan of a lion with the warbling of a mockingbird
at a distance of two meters. the multiple scars on his body were evidence of this.
getting closer, our hero observed that the elephant had an enormous scar on his
left ear and his cries were caused by a gigantic thorn in his leg.

immediately, his hunter's instinct told him that he was in danger. but, once again,
he was mistaken. the pachyderm looked at him with pity and enormous tears came
running down his trunk. katunga had a good heart; using his hunter's knife, carefully, extracted the thorn. later, he searched in his first aid kit, that he carried
always for emergencies, for an elephant band aid. delicatelly, he wrapped the leg
and gave the elephant an alka seltzer the size of a trailer truck tire, falling asleep
peacefully for many hours after the effect. during the period of convalescence, katunga never rested. after some time, they separated and the elephant, happy
and healthy went galloping back to the jungle, crying out of happiness.

many, many moons after this, katunga lived days of misery, in rags. the hunter
was totally entangled; unable to move. he had been captured by aboriginal savages
into human sacrifices. firmly tied up to the ground, waiting for the roya elephant, adored by the aborigins, that would arrive at any time. guided by the witch doctor, the pachyderm would arrive to squash his head, as a part of the sacred ritual. when the time was up, the hunter saw the elephant getting closer, slowly, with his heavy
steps. he recognized him immediately; the deep scar in the elephant's ear. it was
him, the same one he had saved in the jungle!

in the precise intant when the elephant raised his leg to kill him, their eyes met.
there was a flash in the pachyderm eyes. the legendary and fabulous memory of
the animal will work again; in one second he remembered his benefactor. he
stopped, static, his leg on the air. the impossible was taking place. katunga,
the hunter, would be saved and the superstitious aborigins will not dare to bother
him again; believing it was a signal from their gods.

the elephant stayed frozen, to the astonishment of the aborigins. the tension was
intense, time seemed to have stopped. thoughts were spinning in katunga's mind,
thinking of his luck. with a fast and agile movement, the leg came squashing his
head. he did all this remembering perfectly who the hunter was.

moral of the story: the elephant has a prodigious memory, however, that does not stop him from being a son of a bitch.

carmen rolon
roland lapierre
julia santiago
martin anderson
from moons ago


I AM NOT IN A GOOD MOOD. Last night Leo, the Michelin guy next door, whose house apears to the right of the blog (endemismo), and seems abandoned, was playing the damn video
games with machine guns and bombs, at TWELVE AM. Now fellow bloguers, if you have never
lived in a concrete house you have no idea of the amount of noise that constantly
feed your ears. Unless of course, you never leave for the yard with the air conditioning all
the way up.

Right now is the hammering from the jerk handyman/gardener across the street, fixing the house
to be rented by too big a family. Even worse, with adolescent children, that means these good for nothing species will be hanging out too close by, with their cell phones permanently on their ears and their similar friends.

Back to Leo, who is very quiet, and lately says hi, with a smile, something of an achievement,
since in that weird family, no ones goes to the back yard, says hi, or keep up the premises.
I have noticed a resemblance between them and the trailer trash beings portrayed in Hollywood films living in a concrete house with no paint left on the walls.

Squeaky, his partner, is shaped as a turtle. Her voice pierces my ears, her laugh drills my ear drums. She can not cook without banging the spoon against
the border of the metal pan loudly, or place the dishes without the glass clink-clank, or close the kitchen cabinet doors without slamming and banging.

That is next door. In the building next to this ADAMS family lot, there is a five story apartment
building with many unpleasant characters with too many children little or no education, and little or no money. Rent averages $600, for a two dormitories in concrete railroad wagon shaped housing.

The worst of them all is the little dwarf. Pardon. Little people if you may, even though she is not
a dwarf, is small, not too thin. Her body reminds one of pigmees and walks as if a plaintain or
foreing object is stuck in her sphincter, that kind of walk. I speculate that perhaps is consequence of having six multicolored children. A welfare single mother. Pays no rent, water,
electricity since the government does it for her.

The noises from her apartment on the third floor. Loud with the bass to the top shitty, vulgar,
REGUETON, a genre developed in the concrete-asphalt cement isle. It has been fifteen years
or more that this unmelodic, irritating music, without any social value has been around.

Like graffiti, it has become an pandemic. It is a joke. Most of the themes of this dull music
are sex, sex, drugs, gold, money, big ugly ESCALADES, Bentleys, Lanborghinis, swimming pools,
girls with b i g butts, huge b r e a s t s just like tumors. Also, lame criticism to the police, justice
system, high income families and so on. Maybe, just maybe, if there was some intelligent poetry/rhymes in their six grade written/sung poems with a loud annoying bass sound in the
foreground, one could attempt to listen to it.

Back to the noise from the little people. Her squeaky voice is similar to Squeaky, but is herd more frequently: I am going to get you, I am going to beat you, stay there, turn it down are
the most common screams herd down here forty feet away.

OTHER common noises in PUERTO RUIDO: Cars, motorcycles acelerating in this residential zone, car alarms, people beeping their horns to anounce their arrival. Others hollering names
as if they were in the neck of the woods. The air conditioner feeders, the air extractor from the
cafeteria, the swimming pool filters in COLEGIO SAGRADO CORAZON, who apparently bought
the right to pollute with all these noises, some of them 24/7.

The INTENSITY of all these noises become intolerable because all the yards in Santurce, at least
3/4 of any yard is covered by concrete. Thus every house becomes a resonance chamber. Considering how much noise wears one out, it is remarkable that we do not have more criminals,
suicides and such. SILENCE is really scarce in metro areas. It is like being in DEATH VALLEY,
in search for water.............

Friday, June 5, 2009


LIFE was going smoothly as a matter of writing. However, it could not last.
The stalker from GRAMAS LINDAS, alleged 'agronomist' you could check
my review on this
ENVIRONMENTAL CRIMINAL, on endemismotrasnochado,
16 April 2009, dropped by to leave one of his unsolicited opinions. One that is repeated. What have I done, is the question.

I believe I wrote in the past about the issue with the following argument; films, restaaurant, architecture, literature critics, make criticism. That is what they do. NO ONE has to direct movies, design buildings or write novels, or cook to express educated opinions on each of these subjects. What is it difficult to understand about

Check his concern from his unwelcome visit. The town, appearing in the post, is wrong! Who really cares if not many people in the isle of asphalt-concrete read
this poorly written blog. Another of his concerns.

Now this entrepeneur, making a bundle, if his alleged claims are correct, is also
critical of my abrasive, blunt, manner of writing. This also includes my manners.
To such a point that I, the little maggot, have become the point of reference to write
about the environment or anything that comes to his pathetic mind and likewise
blog. This masterpiece flows once a month, reactionary, productive as the soil in Haiti or Death Valley. Imaginative, sharp as a dull rusty knife. Always based on the ideas, concepts,
views appearing here once in a while.

Imagine if you had to live with that. An agronomist that should be planting boniato,
planting GRASS AND PALMS, stealing money from the lay person, destroying our environment directly, our resources, with irrigation, oil, gas, and selling TURF/PALMS to ignorant fools, just
like cigarette companies make their huge profits without losing any sleep.

Gonzalez Bauza, scum, stick to making money, its your decission. Please go away.
Drop dead. OR create a FOUNDATION. The endemismotrasnochado foundation. Fight for a fair treatment of the environment, habitats, and ecology. YOU are a pharisee, prostitute making money through out your operations, destroying it daily, aiding and deceit.

Pretend endemismo does not exist. YOU are an environmental CRIMINAL. All
those landscaping companies with your colleagues installing shitty landscapes such as Caribe Landscaping Contractors created in your image, feathers of the same bird.

further information
gramas lindas
gonzalez bauza
50% discount
when mentioning