Discoveries of the Day

  1. Self discovered that she wasn’t dreaming when she thought she once watched a double bill in the balcony of an old moviehouse in Bacolod. Apparently, there really was a movie (or several) called “Maciste.”
  2. Self found a site called “classymommy.” And the mamas there are really hot. Cool, she bookmarked it.
  3. “Prince of Persia” got a 39% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Mebbe now hubby will stop wanting to see this movie?  (One reviewer, Tim Brayton of Antagony and Ecstasy, says:  “It’s like watching Pirates of the Caribbean with all the Jack Sparrow bits taken out.  Are you salivating yet?”)
  4. Virgil’s The Aeneid is a really wonderful book. Which makes self sound stupid. But, honestly, how many blog readers have actually read it? Book 1- Book 12, self means? At least now, self is making the effort.

The translation she’s reading is the one by Robert Fagles. And for the last three nights, she’s stayed up reading until 2 in the morning. And since the li’l crits always wake her up with their whining about 6 a.m., self yawns and yawns the whole day through. It just so happened that while self was a very good student and got mostly A’s in English and History, she wound up thinking that The Aeneid was another version of The Iliad. And only now does she discover that while The Iliad was about the Greeks, The Aeneid is about the Trojans. Duh.

Book Two, “The Final Hours of Troy,” has the Trojans dragging in the big wooden horse, then having to watch as the Greeks destroy their city and drag the vestal virgin Cassandra, Priam’s daughter, out of a temple by her hair. And then the Trojan hero Aeneas decides he’s had enough of the fighting and must go home to defend his family, and luckily he finds them all still alive and decides to walk with them to safety, only his father can’t walk and so Aeneas has to carry him on his back. And in all the confusion of carrying his father on his back and holding his young son by the hand, Aeneas gets separated from his wife. And he runs back to the burning Troy to find her. And he finds the city burned to ashes, and meets the ghost of his wife, who tells him she forgives him, but now he’s got to get out of there.

Oh my goodness, oh my goodness — this is probably the most exciting story self has ever read!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Daly City, My Heart

Self’s home away from home.

Self’s repository of nostalgia (Serramonte Mall, Goldilocks, Max’s of the Philippines, Ma Mon Luk, atbp.)

Site of the biggest visible Filipino community in the United States.

Now Barbara Jane sends a message via PAWA (Philippine American Writers and Artists): Daly City has now been officially recognized by The New York Times, via article/interview conducted with Benito Vergara, who wrote the recent Pinoy Capital: The Filipino Nation in Daly City.

The article is by Susan Sward. Check it out here.

Thanks for the heads-up, Barb!

A Record!

It took Prairie Schooner 69 days –  from March 20 to May 28 –  to reject self (as opposed to two years ago, when it took Read the rest of this entry »

Apocalypse Now, Part II: The Stage Is Set

Scene: Deepwater Horizon, April 20, 2010. Flames spreading rapidly, power out.

Dramatis personae:

  • Capt. Curt Kuchta, on the drilling platform. He reprimanded Andrea Fleytas (see next character) for issuing a Mayday.
  • Andrea Fleytas, 23, in charge of operating the oil rig’s sophisticated navigation instruments. She issued the first Mayday calls (Just looking at this young woman’s picture:  She looks like self’s niece, dear blog readers.  And she is roughly the same age)
  • Jimmy Wayne Harrell, the “top Transocean executive” on Deepwater Horizon: maintained at a hearing this week that “a split chain of command on the platform … didn’t hinder emergency response.”  Currently not returning calls.
  • Kevin Seagal, 45, tank cleaner: Shortly after power failed, about 9:47 pm, he said, “Everything started jumping up and down and rocking us.”
  • Heber Morales, 33, on the platform deck when the trouble erupted:  Said to himself,  “Oh, man. That’s not good.”
  • Donald Vidrine, BP’s “senior person on the rig”:  Once the trouble started, he was unable to “go to the drilling floor and evaluate the situation …  ”  Currently “unavailable to comment.”
  • Jason Anderson, 35, in charge of “supervising the crew on the oil platform’s drilling floor” :  He “tried to divert gas away from the rig by closing ‘the bag,’ a thick membrane that surrounds a key part of the drill mechanism.  That didn’t work.”
  • Stephen Curtis, 40-year-old assistant driller:  He informed the rig’s senior “tool-pusher” that “methane was surging into the well and workers were on the verge of losing control.”

All information courtesy of The Wall Street Journal, Friday, 28 May 2010 (article by Douglas A. Blackmon, Vanessa O’Connell, Alexandra Berzon, and Ana Campoy, page A6).

This is damn fine reporting, dear blog readers.  The whole reads like the most riveting piece of Greek drama.

Go and grab your copy of the paper. Grab it now.

*          *          *          *

Self was watching CBS News around 5 p.m., and a local resident took a reporter to a pelican nesting ground.  The birds were alive.  From a distance the scene looked undisturbed.  But, up close, oil was coating the birds’ feathers, and their bellies were distended from having ingested oil.  How long can they live like that?  Not, self thinks, very long, before the oil they’re ingesting starts to poison them.

Stay tuned.

Self Regrets That

Self regrets that she has never tried, not even once, drinking lambanog or tuba.

Self regrets that it’s been such a long time (maybe — gulp — even a decade?) since she has eaten a balut.

She regrets that she had to get to college before tasting her first kinilaw.

She regrets that she gnawed through her last stick of raw sugar cane the week she visited Bacolod for her father’s funeral.

It’s been at least a decade since she’s tasted langka, her faaaavorite fruit in the entire world.

When was the last time she ate a santol? She was probably still a teen-ager.

One thing she’s always had and will never give up are her bottles of bagoong (Salcedo Village Farmers Market) and Rufina patis (sold at Marina Mart in Foster City).  One of her brothers, who also has a stall in  the Salcedo Village Farmers Market, can sometimes send her bottles of rich, yummy, super-high-in-cholesterol talangka.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

NYTBR 23 May 2010: Books Self Is Interested in Reading

Here are the books self is interested in reading after perusing The New York Times Book Review of 23 May 2010:

    Deborah L. Rhode’s The Beauty Bias: The Injustice of Appearance in Life and Law
  • After reading Robin Romm’s review of A. L. Kennedy’s new book, What Becomes: Stories:
    A. L. Kennedy’s new book, What Becomes: Stories
  • After reading Marilyn Stasio’s “Crime” column:

“Justified”, Episode 11

All right, “Justified” is now a certified addiction. If self can watch a show for 11 straight weeks without a break, that is an addiction (Oh noooo! Self just realized she’ll be in Noo Yawk the week after next! On a Tuesday! Luckily, brother-in-law has a TV! She just has to figure out what channel F/X is in New York! Maybe self can organize a “Justified”-watching party with her New York friends! Or maybe they’ll laugh their heads off at self!)

Or, wait! Self just heard an announcement that next week’s episdoe is the “Season Finale”!  Oh, what a relief that self will still be home, in Read the rest of this entry »

Anthony Lane on “Iron Man 2″

The other day, hubby was watching “Aliens” on flat-screen HDTV, and self kept up an almost continuous ribbing, saying “That’s the worst sequel I’ve ever seen!” and “Shut up!” whenever the little girl, Newt, was screaming.

Hubby ignored self and continued watching.

Close to the end of “Aliens,” Sigourney dons the full-metal suit and … Wait a minute! That donning of a full-metal “body jacket” does remind self so much of “Iron Man”! And she hates that “Iron Man 2″ had two people suiting up (overkill, if you ask self), as Don Cheadle joins Robert Downey, Jr., though his suit is silver, to distinguish him from Iron Man.

Anyhoo, this evening, while waiting for “Justified” Episode 11 to come on (BWAH. HA. HA. HA! Let’s see if self can drag hubby away from post-game interviews on ESPN!), self is reading Anthony Lane’s review of “Iron Man 2.”

Lane professes to like the Iron Man Franchise. He even says, in Paragraph 1 of his review: “I like the Iron Man franchise.”

“In contrast to Bruce Wayne,” Lane writes, “who appears to have learned his public-relations technique from Thomas Pynchon, Tony relates to his public all too well.” (Wait — Thomas Pynchon ??? The only thing Thomas Pynchon has in common with Bruce Wayne is — the fact that they were both mentioned by Anthony Lane in the same sentence!)

In his review, Lane quotes one of self’s favorite moments from the movie: The moment when Tony Stark says that he has “successfully privatized world peace.” (Only someone with the charm of Robert Downey, Jr. can utter that line without sounding like — like a BP oil executive! Imagine Christian Bale saying such a line???)

Anyhoo, self’s personal take on the movie is that the first third was very good. She was so lost by the time Samuel Jackson (Fury) entered the picture, and then Scar-Jo was revealed to be actually working for him, and then self didn’t know why Scar-Jo (aka the Black Widow) was still getting along well with Gwynnie (aka Pepper Potts), and self felt she was missing whole chunks of exposition. But her biggest complaint was: why was Mickey Rourke only given two fight scenes? Who wants to spend all that time watching Mickey Rourke sit in front of a computer, sending in robots to fight Iron Man by remote control? Certainly not self!

She wanted to see the fabulous whips in action! She wanted to see Rourke’s glinting gold teeth! She wanted to see his scary machismo almost cream Robert Downey, Jr. and thin, pert Gwynnie and ever-faithful (and growing cuter with every film) bodyguard/driver Jon Favreau!

The rest of Lane’s review is full of references to such irrelevancies as Gregory Peck (Gregory Peck! Self can tell ya right now, Gregory Peck and Robert Downey, Jr. don’t even belong on the same PLA-net!)

Stay tuned.

Mendocino Coast Writers Conference: Aid for Older Writers

The Mendocino Coast Writers Conference is an intimate conference with a small group of committed writers as faculty, and a drop-dead gorgeous setting on the Mendocino Coast.   A few days ago, self received word that they are offering financial aid for an Read the rest of this entry »

On a Completely Unrelated Topic

Self thinks this place sells the coolest garden lanterns ever.

She has five of these lanterns in her garden. Solar powered, rain resistant, and gorgeous.

She loves the red ones.

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