OK, I’m not really away. But I might as well be.
I’m doing one wacky story, in the middle of a big one, and on the cusp of a huge one for the Los Angeles Times. Am about to eat un chingo of tortillas for my KCRW #TortillaTournament. Just did a food tour of mariscos in SanTana through my wife’s Alta Baja Market. Went through some personal hilarity I might discuss someday.
And other random crap.
So this is the canto this week: a Grítale and links. BUT I’ll tell you what cantos I want to write soon:
*My Little League days
*About what happens when you get beat on a story
*The idea of presencia
And other random crap.
If only summertime could be one endless stream of mariscos…
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GRÍTALE A GUTI
This is the feature where I take your questions about ANYTHING. And away we go…
What is your teaching style, or how do you deliver your lessons in the classroom?
I don’t administer tests or quizzes — anyone can regurgitate information. Whatever the subject, I make it Wikipedia proof — the stuff I talk about, you ain’t going to find online. Participation (which includes attendance and whether you show up on time) is mandatory and can be the difference between a grade. 90 percent of the grade tends to be on one big project.
I reward students who ask questions, and who show that they hustle. I lecture off no real notes (unless it’s a history class, in which case I write an outline per class). I don’t bother with politics of the conservative or liberal persuasion, because that’s not why you’re in my class. And I make myself as available for students as they want me to be, telling them that the more they bug me, the more likely they’re going to get an A.
I give out few As.
Got a question for Guti? Email me here.
IMAGE OF THE WEEK: The one above: Callitos de lobina from El Yaqui, a great Sonora-style lonchera in SanTana. The above was a cold soup, kinda like a gazpacho except with flavor. You missed out on my food tour, fam. Next one will be in October or so, and I’ll only mention it once in my newsletter, so READ THEM ALL.
LISTENING: “Dejenme Si Estoy Llorando,” Los Ángeles Negros. Latin American ’60s pop standard rock en español-ed by El Gran Silencio — but the original is by this Chilean band. Muddy, whiny, synth-y — brilliant.
READING: “Our Guide to the Underworld”: I just subscribed to the print edition of the New York Review of Books, so this article is subscriber only. But it’s about the latest book of a British nature writer that turns into a meditation about what’s below us and what will happen when our world inevitably gets buried underneath the next world. Pay for journalism!
Gustavo in the News
“LA’s Franchise Version of Famous Pizzeria From ‘Eat Pray Love’ Is a Flop, Says Critic”: Eater LA plugs my (temporary) return to food criticism, but weirds out about me not offering a “traditional” review. Farley: There ain’t never been ANYTHING “traditional” about me.
“Confederate Monument in Santa Ana Cemetery Vandalized with ‘Racists’”: My old paper shouts out my work on OC’s racist past.
“Colorado and New Mexico Governors Spark Green Chile War”: Westword, Denver’s legendary alt-weekly, shouts me out on the great Colorado-New Mexico chile wars, of which I’m the only objective commentator.
“¡Emocionarán en familia!”: A Mexican newspaper shouts out my praise of Pepe Aguilar’s Jaripeo Sin Frontera show.
“Tajín, el ají mexicano que conquista Estados Unidos”: A Peruvian paper shouts out my praise of Tajín, and bizarrely calls it “ají” — that is, a chile pepper. Hmm…
“Massive earthquakes cracked the very foundations of the tiny but tough town of Trona”: My latest front-pager for the Los Angeles Times checks in on an unincorporated community severely affected by the July 4-5 earthquakes. KEY QUOTE: “And though it’s hard enough to live here even in the best of conditions, many Tronans say they now face a reckoning about their future.”
“Earthquakes hit the struggling town of Trona”: Instead of me doing my usual KCRW “Orange County Line,” I talked about my visit to Trona.
“Remember Naugles Tacos? Never heard of it? The cult Mexican fast-food chain is expanding”: My first full review for the Los Angeles Times takes on a legendary Mexican chain. KEY QUOTE: “The easy critique is to label Naugles a culinary retcon that deserves to stay in the graveyard of bad restaurant ideas, like Sambo’s and pupu platters. But it’s also the wrong critique.”