Oscar Wilde’s “The Remarkable Rocket”: A Labor Day (2014) Post

“My good creature,” remarked the rocket in a very haughty tone of voice, “I see that you belong to the lower orders. A person of my position is never useful. We have certain accomplishments, and that is more than sufficient. I have no sympathy myself with industry of any kind, least of all with such industries as you seem to recommend. Indeed, I have always been of opinion that hard work is simply the refuge of people who have nothing whatever to do.”

– from “The Remarkable Rocket,” in The Happy Prince & Other Stories, by Oscar Wilde (London: Collector’s Library, 2008)

Fan Fiction of the Day: “No More Owed” by Arabella Gwen

Hunger Games Modern Day:

At the end of her second full week at the store, Katniss was beginning to think that she might actually enjoy working there. Archery had experienced a renaissance lately, after some big movie came out last Spring with a bow-wielding protagonist.

An Anatomy of Success: The Economist Profiles Lionsgate, 25 January 2014

Self knows. She knows.

It is September 2014. The article she just finished reading was in The Economist of 25 January 2014.

Nevertheless. Nevertheless.

When some of Hollywood’s biggest studios were pitched a film based on a book series in which young people fight Read the rest of this entry »

Dialogue 3: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

The WordPress Photo Challenge this week is DIALOGUE. The prompt says, “make pictures talk to each other.”

Here are two photographs of a couple of chairs in self’s backyard, some on the deck, one on the grass.

Is this dialogue?

2 Chairs, Backyard

2 Chairs, Backyard


Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.


Sharing the Love: Last Sunday of August (2014)

Today, while self was poking around in her closet, she came upon a binder where she lists all the literary magazines she’s submitted to, organized per year.

She’s decided to share the 2014 list right here, right now. Because it is so onerous keeping that information to herself.

It’s probably as amazing to self as it is to her readers that there are so many. In truth, in the last few years, she has become rather manic about submissions. Looking back at the long trajectory of her writing life, there were many years when she’d send out to just a handful of magazines. She must be making up for lost time.

And, let’s not kid ourselves, the internet has made a huge difference. Now, it’s so easy to just press a button that says “Submit.” Whereas when she first started sending stuff out, every piece had to be printed out, photocopied, slapped into an envelope, then metered at a post office. Frankly, who had the time?

Dialogue 2: Looking Back at Redwood City’s Annual (2014) Fourth of July Parade

So many things to love about self’s current abode, Redwood City. The annual Fourth of July Parade is surely one of them.

And what would a Fourth of July Parade be without at least a couple of fresh-faced beauty queens?

Below, shots of the same float, from different points of the parade route, and from different angles (wide shot to close-up).

She’s still trying to come up with interpretations of this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge: DIALOGUE. Which to self means exploring a set of pictures for what they reveal about a photographer’s “sensitivity to certain content or visual elements.”

To self, the pictures below highlight self’s sensitivity to — people watching? Public display? Patriotic holidays? She can’t be quite sure.


Watching the parade always sets off in self a powerful feeling of nostalgia.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Dialogue: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is another — ehem — challenging one.


They want you to post a pair of photographs that, “when placed next to each other,” open “up to meanings that weren’t there when viewed alone.”

So here’s self’s first attempt:  two photographs of the Blessed Virgin, both taken at Mission San Gabriel in southern California, Sunday Aug. 24. The only reason she was at the Mission was to meet an old high-school classmate from Manila, Connie Genato, who was singing at the 11:15 mass.

The Blessed Virgin Mary is iconic in Roman Catholicism, and an object of particular veneration in the Philippines (colony of Spain for 333 years!)

A statue of the Blessed Virgin In Mission San Gabriel

A statue of the Blessed Virgin In Mission San Gabriel, near Los Angeles

Another statue of the Blessed Virgin taken at Mission San Gabriel, this one just outside the church

Another statue of the Blessed Virgin taken at Mission San Gabriel, this one just outside the church

In and of themselves, these photographs are nothing much. Together, though, they seem to speak of a child-like simplicity that self finds particularly touching.

Self has tons of other Blessed Virgin pictures. She might look for those and add later, if she has time.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

California’s Drought, 2014

From the San Francisco Chronicle, Aug. 25, 2014:

California is pumping itself dry.  As the drought deepens, desperate farmers are turning to groundwater, using the supply at nearly double the normal rate. It’s a short-sighted practice that needs thought and planning, not the open-tap treatment groundwater now gets.

*     *     *

In ever-watchful California, groundwater is an oddity, unmetered and uncontrolled, with landowners free to pump without limit.  This is the only state to take such a laissez-faire attitude, a vestige of the Gold Rush era.

As the drought heads into its third year, the policy is a disaster. Groundwater now accounts for 60 percent of the water usage, up from 40 percent. Well drillers are among the busiest workers in farm country, as agriculture pushes ever deeper to supplemental supplies.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fray


It was hard for self to think of ways to capture this week’s theme, FRAY. But she thinks Ese’s Voice did spectaculary well!


Originally posted on Ese' s Voice:

View original

The Heat (August 2014)

Seven-hundred dead in Chicago in 1995.  Fifty-thousand across Europe in 2003. Eleven thousand in Russia in 2010. Heat waves have become hotter, longer and more frequent in recent decades, and scientists predict that climate change and the growth of cities — which trap heat — will boost body counts.

But what if we could see the heat coming ahead of time?

From “Red Alert”, by Ariel Sabar, Smithsonian Magazine, September 2014

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