The Golden Oldies Are Alive Inside

11 12 2014

We’ve always known that music speaks to the heart. This winner of the Sundance Film Festival Audience Award shows us how.

If you don’t laugh or cry watching this check your vital signs.

I’ve watched Alive Inside 2x in the last 2 days. The second time I watched it with my girlfriend (novia is the word here in Merida). She sells cheese on the street and delivers it to her customers’ homes or restaurants. Recently she bought a Smartphone and listens to Spotify music on it as she works from the back of her car. As she watched the movie she started to laugh seeing how music affected the Golden Oldies in the movie. “It does the same to me as it does to them!” “Yo tambien!” (Me too!), I replied referring to how I feel listening to whatever music du jour I stream on my computer.

I don’t know where I’d be by now if it weren’t for ITunes and now Spotify. I connect to the outside world for the most part by computer, except when it comes to mi novia y mi amigos en Merida. Right now it’s Mercedes Sosa in Buenos Aires in 1982 when the Argentine military dictatorship was crumbling. Great music with such feeling – Gracias a La Vida.

Let’s take a minute to talk about streaming music. I’ve read 2 recent articles – one in the NYT, the other in The New Yorker. Both articles point out that musicians are being hurt by the lack of money when we stream their music. I pay Spotify a monthly fee but that money doesn’t find its way to the artist very much. A musician I recently listened to on Spotify told me how little she gets. In her case nothing. I don’t play CD’s so I gave her something on Paypal and she sent me some music to download.

Make sure you help the musicians who help the Golden Oldies stay ALIVE INSIDE.


I Remember Morgan

2 12 2014


I met her in Oakland, California at the animal shelter around 10 years ago. After a rottweiler pup almost died in my arms to parvo he died at the vet’s office. We couldn’t have a dog for 6 months until the environment was free of the disease. Liz, my significant other at the time, saw Morgana La Fey’s (she named the dog) adoption picture on the Internet so off we went to see this ‘big bad bully.’ After the Oakland SPCA vetted us as potential Rottie owners home she came.

I nicknamed her BDE – Best Dog Ever – after Lenny Dietz of the SPCA showed me how to treat her. We walked the streets of Oakland and the Mandela Parkway scaring half the heavily African-American community. A white man with a Rottweiler, sometimes 2? When they got to know us no more fear. A sweet dog with a guy who was colorblind. The trails of the Point Elizabeth dog sanctuary bordering the San Francisco Bay were our happiest moments – Morgan, Liz and me. The only ‘bad’ came when the owner of a Lab let his fear of a ‘bully breed’ ruin a sunny day for his dog, mine and me. Morgan went to play and the owner told me, “I’ll kick your ass if you let that dog near mine.” In my younger days that challenge would have been answered, instead I shook my head and walked away.

Next on our itenerary was walking Marina Del Rey and LA’s Westside. One night the door was left open and Morgan wandered out in the middle of the night. For some reason I awoke around 3 in the morning. For some reason? The BDE was gone. I drank scotch until it was dawn and I could look for her, post fliers, and visit animal shelters. She was “chipped” but I couldn’t find the papers. I called the Oakland SPCA and they gave me the info. I called the chip facility at 4PM. How’s this for luck? At that very moment the facility was on the phone with the person who found her.

I went to a vet’s office and there she was – happy as the proverbial other kind of other animal in shit. She had followed a neighborhood dog walker and his dog home. Morgan knew how to pick ’em. The dog walker worked in an upscale dog day care center in West LA. You can’t get more posh than that if you’re a dog. The guy had taken her to a vet in the morning and they couldn’t find the chip. Then they spent the afternoon in day care. Then Kevin (good Irish boy) went to another vet. There they found the chip before treating her chronically infected ears. I insisted on paying for the vet’s services. Kevin didn’t want my money. I prevailed. How many people in the dog world find a pure-bred Rottie and take her to 2 vets to find a chip? I still wonder why Morgan agreed to come home with me. .

Thanksgiving morning Liz let me know that Morgan had passed. She drove her to her favorite place (a cabin in the foothills of the Sierras) and put her to rest.

RIP Morgan – The BDE


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