Sunday, September 28, 2008
Meet one of my most talented musician friends, Omar Garaldo Arriaga, a genius of the keyboard, and muy hermoso too. He's just produced a video of Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata," some of it set on the shore at San Carlos with the sound of the waves as a backdrop, as well as scenes from the lavish lobby of the San Carlos Plaza Hotel.
Omar has generously backed me up a few times on Spanish songs at the Captain's Club, and he's a regular on Saturday nights and Sunday morning brunch at Evie's. His vid was very professionally produced by Steve Shmersh. A DVD is planned for December.
He takes his music very seriously. Recently he was heard to say that he practices "every day, all day."
Buena obra, caballeros! (or words to that effect)
Saturday, September 27, 2008
What I mutter in vexation after I have called certain people a dozen times because they said they want space in the book, but won't return calls, won't email me and won't tell me what they want. In a few days they're going to be consigned to oblivion because we'll be going to press (oh, joy!). Then there'll be great wailing, wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth on THEIR part.
My blogbuddy Steve posited the question today, 'why do you blog?' and I found myself going on and on, filling up his comment box. So I decided to carry the question onto this post.
Here's how I replied to Steve:
I live, therefore I blog. Can't help it, I've been a photo journalist for 30 years and blogging is just an extension of that pursuit. Good things happen in my life, lousy things happen, it's all grist for the blog. I get stuck with three months of drudgery a year when I'm producing our antique map guide, but I can vent and indulge my inner child with the blog.Also, I confess to enjoying having an audience, all five or six of you. I love you all. You are as much a part of my life as my face-to-face friends here in Mexico and everyone I'm close to back in the States. I have three friends living far away who read 1st Mate and care to keep up with my life. The rest drop in once in a while, but as Steve says, they don't really follow it (so he copies and pastes it into his emails, what a clever fellow!)
I used to keep journals, but when I moved to Mexico I had a two-foot stack of spiral-bound books, full of my life, that I couldn't take with me, couldn't burn, felt anxious about consigning to landfill...That's never a problem with a blog.
Besides, a blog is the perfect way to share images of astonishing and wonderful things, like this blue heron I met one day.
And I can pass along delights like this song (dedicated to JoMama). My friend Ale in Guaymas sent me this link: Chabuca Granda from Peru, singing "Fina Estampa." I love everything about it: the song, the singer's gentle, sweet voice, the way she moves and smiles with love of the music, the wonderful guitar licks. I'm not sure how the title translates but she is apparently singing about a caballero muy guapo.
Proof that fashion by definition is absurdity, here's an outfit for next summer by Agatha Ruiz De La Prada, unveiled this week in Milan. The model is thinking: "You may laugh, fools, but it is for these moments I am paid the beeg bucks."
Thursday, September 25, 2008
One habit I don't plan to relinquish is surfing. The chain of blogs, especially, takes me ever deeper into intriguing subjects. A topic I have been summoning courage to write about is US Immigration policies, because they are so volatile and people feel so passionate about them. It's as incendiary, these days, as abortion. I don't like to tick people off, because I'm so good at making nice. But immigration on my mind right now because I just finished the annual two-step with Mexican bureaucracy, which turned out to be a piece of cake considering all I had imagined could go wrong.
I can just imagine how he'd react to Donna Poisl, a gringa living in Tucson who wrote a book for Mexican immigrants on how to survive and prosper in the states. Here's what she says in her "Immigrants In USA Blog":
This country was built by immigrants, it will continue to attract and need immigrants. Some people think there are enough people here now and we don't need more. There have been people saying that since the 1700s and it is still not true. We need immigrants here and we need them to be successful in order to make this country safe and strong and a world leader. We also must help them to become Americans and not just people who live here and think of themselves as visitors.......or criminals? My mother's family came from England (one of the more approved sources of immigrants) and Ireland (one of the least-approved, at one point in our history). Most of them were here before Ellis Island and all it came to represent: the barrier that told the people of the world not all of them were welcome. Probably none of them ever had to stow away like a rat in a ship's bilge to get to the States, or spend months mired in paperwork for citizenship. My dad's family came from Holland in 1906, and though they had to run the gauntlet at Ellis Island their fair skin and blue eyes no doubt moved them ahead in the line. I've wondered about the hardships my ancestors faced that drove them to cross the ocean and come to the New World; economics probably played a bigger role than freedom of religion. But now economics as motivation is frowned upon, and even oppression is recognized as a valid reason only if the oppressors are currently out of favor with the government.
It's all a matter of timing, isn't it? Three hundred years ago, Spanish was the language spoken in most of the Southwest. Now, when you cross the border into Errorzona, your car is stopped while fully-armed official profilers get a good look at you. If you're blue-eyed and fair-skinned you're waved on. But what if you're not?
Here's the poem Emma Lazarus wrote for the Statue of Liberty. This was only her opinion, back in the latter half of the 19th century. Imagine how she would be reviled today for these sentiments.
The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
with silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-toss't to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
From the title you might guess much of the content is somewhat...um...bellicose. But the current post includes a YouTube vid of "The One-Semester-of-Spanish Love Song," which is a hoot.
What I'm wondering how many times they had to practice it before la senorita was able to sit there without cracking up.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
This morning I took a break from deadline, tucked all my immigration documents into a file folder and drove to Guaymas to renew my FM-3. I have talked to people who have lived here for years and have yet to do this by themselves; they hire a translator or facilitator who goes with them, shelling out more than 500 pesos. But, convinced this would be a good test of my Spanish and my courage, I decided to give it a try. What could happen? Would they arrest me for not having all my paperwork?
During the short drive to Guaymas, made longer when I realized I was out of gas and had to double back, I repeated my mantra: "Be calm, be optimistic, smile."
The whole enterprise was a bit anticlimactic, considering the froth of anxiety I had whipped up. After about a 10-minute wait at the check-in window in the immigration office, surrounded by uncommunicative gringo geezers, a muy guapa young woman signaled for me to come to her desk. She was impeccably turned out in a crisply ironed uniform shirt and beautifully tailored pants with stilleto heels. Her lips were carefully outlined in the Mexican style (which thankfully is fading from fashion), but at least she had been sparing with the eyeliner, and her eyebrows were her own. She had a commanding air about her...and she spoke English! Well, enough to get the idea across. She leafed through my documents with a critical eye while I held my breath, then pulled out a form, handed it to me and directed me to a bank. She didn't mention a particular bank. And she never smiled. Too bad, she probably has a dazzling smile. Serious stuff, immigration.
I drove down Serdan looking for an HSBC because I faintly remember that's where I paid my fees last year. I passed two, but both of them were closed down and appeared to be in some stage of demolition or construction, it's hard to tell which sometimes in Mexico. I stopped at a huge new Banjercito, hoping I could pay there since there was no line, only one other customer. But the manager said I had to go to HSBC which apparently has an exclusive on the FM-3 fee-paying market.
"Pero todos los HSBCs son cerrados!" I protested. Ah, but there's one left in operation, on the other end of Centro, across from Ley, he assured me.
And he was right. A teller with eyebrows that looked as though they'd been drawn by an architect looked at my form and sent me over to one of the managers, who entered my info on his computer, all the while peering out the blinds of his window and looking exasperated. Maybe he lent his car to someone unreliable and was watching for it to appear in the parking lot? Then he sent me back to Señora Eyebrows, who was obviously disappointed to have me back in her line, bringing her unfamiliar paperwork to deal with. Considering hers is the only bank in town taking FM-3 fees, I'd have thought she'd have had plenty of practice handling them by now.
Back at Inmigración I had only a little wait before Señora Guapa called me over, checked my form and told me I'd have my FM-3 in a month. But I could call earlier, just in case. Sometimes they go through in just a few days.
Enough fun stuff, now back to work.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Hey, anything to put off my workday...
Here's another one
...and one other one I'm trying to wrap my tongue around.
OK, now the phone is ringing. Time for a cup of coffee and then back to work.
This carol, "Los Peces en el Rio," sung by a children's group, is played over the sound system at the supermarket starting any day now. Today I'm going to take the lyrics to my maestra Lolita and get some help with them. I need an early start if I'm going to memorize it, so I can sing along at the supermarket (just kidding). Here it's sung by Cecilia Echenique and a flock of little niños in monk garb at a magnificent church. I saw a few other videos but they all involved delirious kids opening presents, ice skaters and Santa costumes...they might as well have been made in the States.
I've given up sugar, white flour, frantic foraging for gifts and killing trees for decorative purposes. So what's left? For me, the excitement is in Mexican Christmas traditions (before they're lost), especially learning new songs. So I'm starting early to learn this one, a traditional and very upbeat tune. I found a video teaching how to play it, but of course the vid is in Spanish and I'm struggling to translate it, or at least figure out the chords.
A rough translation: while the fish in the river are getting excited about God (literally) being born, the Virgin goes about her daily life, combing her golden (?) hair, washing diapers, washing her hands, waiting.
The waiting part, I remember well.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
"Sol Que Tu Eres" is a song I'm learning to play, sooooo easy with three chords, nice and slow, very sad and beautiful. Recording is by Grupo Urtica, video is entirely unrelated to what the song's about, which is the struggles of the campesinos, but makes me nostalgic for the boat.
Here's Los Mocedades (on TV), who have been around for decades...their harmonies sometimes take my breath away. I would LOVE to sing with a big group like that. This song is "Quien Te Cantara?"
One of my favorite male singers is Ruben Blades, who's actually Puerto Rican. Here's "Tiburon" (shark). Another one I love to listen to is "Jiri Son Bali" which features an African singing group, but I've been unable to obtain a video of it.
Honda for the American Motorcycle Rider
1. At the rise of the hand by Policeman, stop rapidly. Do not pass him by or otherwise disrespect him.
2. When a passenger of the foot, hooves in sight, tootel the horn trumpet melodiously at first. If he still obstacles your passage, tootel him with vigor and express by word of mouth, warning Hi, Hi.
3. Beware of the wandering horse that he shall not take fright as you pass him. Do not explode the exhaust box at him. Go smoothingly by.
4. Give big space to the festive dog that makes sport in roadway. Avoid entanglement of dog with wheel spokes.
5. Go soothingly on the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon. Press the brake foot as you roll around the corners, and save the collapse and tie up.
Dedicated to Maria, Cynthia, Richard and all the other English teachers who could use a good laugh.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Saturday, September 13, 2008
But this year I decided to get an early start. I began depositing $1k a month into my Mexican bank account in June, and carefully saved the receipts, plus I got a statement this month from my friendly banker Oscar. Three months of deposits. Lucky they don't demand 12 months, I don't always have that much lying around.
This morning Miguel stopped by to help me put together a checklist so I'll have all my paperwork ready when I apply. So I dug out my documents, even though my horoscope today said:
Avoid any tasks or chores that involve paperwork or numbers today...I still have our rental agreement, which I will scan so I don't have to worry about losing it. I have a rent receipt and a utility bill, which I will also scan, so that hopefully I can keep the originals and just hand over the copies. I already have my passport and original FM-3 book scanned, so all I have to do is re-scan the pages that have been stamped since last year, when I left and re-entered the country.
Miguel wrote a letter, or solicitud in Spanish requesting my renewal, which he sent me via email, so I can just update the document from now on. And there's a form called the Hoya de Ayuda I was given last year, which he said I should take along just in case. I looked up "hoya" and my software diccionario said it meant "sand trap" as in golf, while my hardcopy didn't even list the word. I know "ayuda" means "help." A sand trap of help?
Last year I paid Miguel $50 to assist me, but this year I gave him $10 for the letter and consultation. I'm going to try to do it alone. My Spanish is (somewhat) better, I'm not late, I have all the paperwork. Vamos a ver...
Now, if I could only do something about the photo in the FM-3...muy feo!
Friday, September 12, 2008
We won't even talk about the millions in taxpayer dollars that it'll cost to rescue even a small percentage of these diehards, if they need rescuing. I wonder how many of these people are Republicans?
This is a helicopter rescuing a stranded motorist who suddenly found herself and her two dogs in Galveston Bay.
Did I mention that Galveston is an island?
Ike is supposed to make landfall around midnight, according to the most recent news report. I would think waiting out a storm would be scary enough in the daytime, but in the middle of the night it doesn't bear thinking about. I saw one news reporter imploring the children of families who are staying put, to try to talk their folks into evacuating.
"Look, Dad, I don't feel comfortable with staying here..."
"Son, we don't want to go out there. The traffic would be murder! Why don't y'all have some Kool-Aid."
Nothing like a killer hurricane to put your own troubles in perspective. Here's Ike, barreling down on the Galveston/Houston area at 8am this morning, from the Stormpulse hurricane watch website. Windspeed 105mph.
Here's the dramatic warning issued for Galveston residents. This time the authorities aren't taking any chances they won't be taken seriously. Sorry about the all-caps, I guess they're appropriate when you're screaming at people to get the @%#& out or die.
ALL NEIGHBORHOODS…AND POSSIBLY ENTIRE COASTAL COMMUNITIES… WILL BE INUNDATED DURING THE PERIOD OF PEAK STORM TIDE. PERSONS NOT HEEDING EVACUATION ORDERS IN SINGLE FAMILY ONE OR TWO STORY HOMES WILL FACE CERTAIN DEATH. MANY RESIDENCES OF AVERAGE CONSTRUCTION DIRECTLY ON THE COAST WILL BE DESTROYED. WIDESPREAD AND DEVASTATING PERSONAL PROPERTY DAMAGE IS LIKELY ELSEWHERE. VEHICLES LEFT BEHIND WILL LIKELY BE SWEPT AWAY. NUMEROUS ROADS WILL BE SWAMPED…SOME MAY BE WASHED AWAY BY THE WATER. ENTIRE FLOOD PRONE COASTAL COMMUNITIES WILL BE CUTOFF. WATER LEVELS MAY EXCEED 9 FEET FOR MORE THAN A MILE INLAND. COASTAL RESIDENTS IN MULTI-STORY FACILITIES RISK BEING CUTOFF. CONDITIONS WILL BE WORSENED BY BATTERING WAVES. SUCH WAVES WILL EXACERBATE PROPERTY DAMAGE…WITH MASSIVE DESTRUCTION OF HOMES…INCLUDING THOSE OF BLOCK CONSTRUCTION. DAMAGE FROM BEACH EROSION COULD TAKE YEARS TO REPAIR.But it's not working as well as hoped. The last news report I saw said 58% of Galveston residents were making no effort to evacuate. The Galveston webcams were all down when I tried to get a look at current conditions, and the storm's not even expected until this afternoon. Maybe the internet people have all skedaddled.
I visited Galveston when I was little and was swept away by the looks of the place...the briney smell of the air, the carnival atmosphere and funky worldweary sophistication. The most popular tune that year, "How High the Moon." The town was already wiped out once, in 1900, by a hurricane. These days, it's casinoville, a magnet for seedy characters, users, losers and folks with vague get-rich-quick dreams. Whoever they are, I hope they get out in time.
Everybody's talkin' at meYesterday the US Post Offal threw a monkey wrench into the works by informing us, with 24 hours' notice, that they were no longer accepting Bound Printed Matter, which is how we have been distributing our antique map guides for the past few years. It's going to get a lot harder and costlier to do what we do. I'd love to find the #%&@ who made that decision and sprang it on us with no warning, and give them what for. But what do they care?
I can't hear a word they're sayin'
Only the echoes of my mind...Fred Neil
Fred Neil, probably his most famous after it became the sound track for "Midnight Cowboy" in 1969. It's a song about stress overload and dreams of escape.
I'm goin' where the sun keeps shinin'Fred Neil is on my shortlist of favorite songwriters and singers, a freckled redhead with a deep, mellow baritone. He was one of Bob Dylan's contemporaries in the Greenwich Village coffeehouses...I'd love to hear a recording of him and Dylan together. Clean Magazine's eulogy said "He loved the music, freestyle and rolling, not the discipline and not the spotlight."
Through the pourin' rain
Goin' where the weather suits my clothes...
Fred Neil (right) doing what he loved best, making music with his friends, Karen Dalton and Bob Dylan
Fred changed his life when he overcame heroin addiction, turned his back on the spotlight, and moved to southern Florida where he spent the last 25 years of his life working with the nonprofit Dolphin Project which opposes the capture of live dolphins to be used for human amusement. Dolphins are big business, especially in Florida, even featured in roadside attractions along the highways.
One of his lesser-known songs, and my favorite, is "The Dolphins." He died of cancer in 2001. I like to think he's somewhere still happily making music with his friends.
Now, time for another cup of coffee and some more phone calls.
Monday, September 08, 2008
Since my on-the-road adventures in the sixties, I've been sweet on VW minivans and campers. We've got two at the moment, one a creaky '71 that still has some life in it, the other an '86 Westfalia, watercooled, that seems to have a jinx on it though the Capt is still troubleshooting.
But now I've found the Westy of my dreams. It's solar! Hybrid! Unfolds like an origami toy into a full living space. "Target price: $69K." (sigh) See it with all its wonderful gadgets in a video here.
Who needs a big fancy RV with 7 mpg?
Friday, September 05, 2008
The good news is that at least temporarily, Mother has a real live cat. Judy will have to help with feeding and sandbox and check the cat's welfare frequently, but Mom's delighted as a little kid. The only problem is that she confuses the live cat with a stuffed cat I gave her, so at some point one or the other will probably have to go.
All week the water company has been shutting off the supply during the day, turning it back on in the evening. After it was turned on last night we had another couple hours' wait before there was any pressure. I was longing for a shower and the dishes sat unwashed and grody in the sink. There wasn't enough pressure to get any hot water. We had nuke-and-eat leftovers for dinner because I can't get inspired about cooking when I have no running water to rinse veggies and wash my hands and pots. I know, whatta wuss I am! Finally in desperation, I settled for a trickle instead of a shower. An hour late, deep into my book, I looked up to see the Capt doing the dishes with plenty of water pressure, and his reward was an excellent shower.
I've also learned to get up before dawn and do whatever cleaning that requires water and make sure the jugs and the mop bucket are filled. By nine the pressure is dwindling and by ten no hay agua. People throughout the world live this way all the time. In fact I once lived for two years in a place where we had to haul all our water, got quite used to it, but wouldn't want to do it again.
Every house has a tinaco, a kind of a rooftop cistern, and water failures such as we've been having can be avoided if there's sufficient storage in the tinaco. (Here's a picture of one, with a cutaway view to show the floater.) Our duplex, originally a vacation getaway but now housing two couples full-time, has only one tinaco, containing 600 liters...not enough. So, the Capt, being a man of action, stopped in at the local plumbing supply in Guaymas, where there was a sale on tinacos, and ordered one for us (about $140), to be delivered mañana en la mañana. We'll put it over the bodega (storage shed) but first we'll have to replace the flimsy corrugated asbestos roof (a good idea in any case). The more elegant houses put a Moorish dome, sometimes covered with mosaic tiles, over the tinaco, but we may not go that far. Elegant, we ain't.
At least this time we have the landlord's blessing to deduct all this from the rent.
Harkness had an interest in preserving the rare animal and providing proper care to the captives. But her contemporaries, the "gentleman explorers" of the era, were so beguiled by fame they couldn't care less whether they brought back live animals or pelts. Pandas were just too cute for their own good, and every zoo had to have at least a pair. Due to the effects of numerous live captures (back then they were easier to catch than to keep alive), war and forest depletion, the giant panda population was decimated.
Maria Bello starred in a film for iMax with the lackluster title "China: The Panda Adventure," based on the book, released in 2001. See the trailer here.
And I guess this is the perfect time to share a slideshow I made of photos my friend Janet sent me last year, of a Chinese panda farm -- these babies are being (hopefully) raised to be released back into the wild. There are only about 1,000 wild pandas left in the highlands of China.
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Expect little bumps in the road today, as your progress is hampered by tiny obstacles you couldn't have foreseen.Tiny, eh? It's been a day fraught with frustrations and hazards. Yesterday our water was shut off most of the afternoon, so that we finally gave up on having a shower and went to the hotel pool for a dip in the early evening, very grateful we had that option. Of course, when we got home, the water was back on. Murphy's Law in reverse. At least I could wash the dishes.
But today the water was off again and the weather was especially hot and humid. Before my Spanish class I took a change of clothes and a towel and went back to the hotel for another quick dip. Then I changed in the ladies baño and hurried off to Guaymas.
I was already in downtown Guaymas when I came to a stoplight, put my foot on the brake, and the pedal went all the way to the floor before the car stopped! Maldito*! No warning, no sound, suddenly the brakes were barely working. I drove veeeerrrry slooowly the rest of the way to Lolita's house. Brenda, a fellow blogger, who's been faithfully showing up every week for Conversations With Lolita, wisely advised me to check the brake fluid, and it turned out the reservoir had plenty of fluid. So it was some other malfunction.
I joined Brenda and the new English teacher, Richard from Scotland, for coffee and waited until after rush hour, then drove carefully home, noticing that the brakes had improved quite a bit though they were still softer than usual. A mystery...Meanwhile, the Capt had given up on dinner and was helping himself to a big bowl of ice cream. He's in a good mood, having accomplished a major triumph of automotive rehab today. But I'll let him tell it.
He showed me some photos he had taken just before I got home. Yikes! He found a rattlesnake crossing the road in the dark just around the corner from our house, went home and got his camera, came back and the snake was still there. He wasn't sure about the ones he saw Sunday night, but this one had rattles on its tail. One of Zorra's kittens was stalking it, and I was hoping he'd lose interest before the encounter got any closer.
I have to admit, we've been spoiled. I haven't seen a snake since I came to Mexico 2-1/2 years ago! But now the Capt is seeing them every time he goes out after nightfall. And I'm trying not to think about where the snake might have come from and how many hermanos he's got at home.
Maldito! My diccionario defines this word as either "damn!" or "tarnation!" I'll leave it to you to decide which translation is correct in this case.
Monday, September 01, 2008
Over the past week I've been plunking away somewhat half-heartedly at the guitar, doing scales (yawn), practicing chord progressions and building callouses on my fingers. Yesterday I went to the Captain's Club for Open Mike and to meet Jesse, who had said he could give me guitar lessons. He showed up, we did four Spanish songs, including one with another woman named Anna, and it felt great to be making music again with friends.
But then, que lastima! Jesse told me he was moving to Hermosillo this week. Jobs here are scarce and the hours he was working were cut back so he can't make a living here. Hermosillo is a bustling city full of opportunities, not dependent on the tourist and boater market, and he has hopes of being able to get a good job playing music. He has a son in Guaymas, Jesse Jr., age 17, who came with him last night and did several songs, gradually increasing in confidence. I'm sure Dad will want to come back regularly to spend time with him, since Hermosillo is only a couple of hours away by bus. So maybe I'll still get a lesson, now and then. And Steve, another Captain's Club regular, said he could teach me some "simple guitar riffs." I wonder if he knows how simple it will have to be...
The Capt brought the car to pick me up after sunset, because he'd seen two snakes on the road near our house, one looking a little aggressive) and was thinking that after the rains there might be a lot of them. Our friend Janet was bitten on her foot in the boatyard one night last year.
I told him my sad news, that I'd lost my guitar maestro before my first lesson. As consolation, he offered to wash the dishes so I could do some practice (dishwashing softens the callouses and makes it harder to play). Then he hooked up my guitar to his extra amp so I could hear my chords better. And now I'm a believer. Always sort of a purist about playing acoustically before, now I see why Bob Dylan plugged in, in spite of the scorn of his fans.
My practice last night consisted of figuring out the chords for a few songs I have on iTunes, and then playing along with them. "Leaving Louisiana" with Emmylou Harris, "Lighthouse" with The Waifs, "Let the Mystery Be" with Iris DeMent, and "Jolie Blon" with Zachary Richard (now that was fun, I have a soft spot for Cajun). I pretended I was sitting in with the bands, who were all most cooperative and even patiently stopped and repeated passages when I got stuck. They were all easy three-chord songs, and I was concentrating on playing them clear and sweet, and in tempo with the pros.
The chords I've learned are A, A-minor, B, C, D, D-minor, E, E-minor and G. I'll get to F but it's a little harder to play clearly. Eventually I want to be able to play barre chords (the ones where the forefinger frets several strings simultaneously) but my digits don't have the strength yet and it sounds dismal.
The Capt allowed that I was sounding better after a couple of hours of playing. And my fingertips are still tingling.
Adios, Jesse, y vaya con díos.