Most Scintillating Quote (of Yesterday): Mick LaSalle, SF Chronicle

The past is always romantic because it’s gone, just as the future is always frightening because you‘re gone.

–  Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle movie critic, in a review of Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris”

Self read this sentence last night, but she only got around to quoting it today –  apologies, dear blog readers.  Self has had such a stimulating day:  Hubby was a veritable dynamo of energy, and took her to new dim sum place on site of erstwhile Joy Luck, on 4th Street in downtown San Mateo, where he had her get a succulent dish of crackling self-knows-not-what kind of animal deep-fried skin and self, never one to turn down crackling animal skin of any kind, accepted, whereupon the dish turned out to be “suckling pig,” and cost $16.95 for eight slices.

Nevertheless, we did not allow such a small thing to de-rail our good humor.  Following the most expensive dim sum meal self has ever ingested in at least 10 years, we went to Marina Mart in Foster City and bought a 25-lb. sack of long grain rice, which according to self’s rough calculations should last about six months — that is, unless son visits and invites his friends over for barbecue or for steak fondue, in which case the 25-lb. sack of rice will last about a month, but that is a small price to pay for the pleasure of son’s company.

Then hubby took self to the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos (There is a very interesting air show on June 17 -19, the “Vertical Challenge Helicopter Air Show”).

Then we passed by for some fro-yo at Harmony Frozen Yogurt on Laurel Street in San Carlos (which just happened to be having a sale:  small blueberry frozen yogurt with one topping, $1.95)

Anyhoo, self was still on some kind of high after watching Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris,” so she let her restless fingers wander over to Rotten Tomatoes, where she saw the film had a 92% freshness rating (Well deserved:  EVERYONE in the Menlo Park Guild was laughing, pretty much from the first to the last scene.  Self hasn’t enjoyed a movie performance as much as she enjoyed Owen Wilson’s, not in a long, long time  –  perhaps not since watching Zach Quinto in the “Star Trek” re-boot, and as dear blog readers are painfully aware, that movie was in a galaxy a long time ago and far far away …  J. J. Abrams, quit with the “Mission Impossible” sequels already and just make another Star Trek!)

While self is on the subject of movies, she thinks she’ll just go ahead and post a list of her favorite movies so far in 2011 (She doesn’t think the summer crop of movies will seriously impact this list of faves –  after all, summer = popcorn fare):

  1. “Biutiful” (Javier Bardem stars as a man trying heroically to be a good father and a good husband, in spite of having cancer.  In spite of having a drug-addicted wife who sleeps with his brother.  Need one say more?  Weeper, to the max)
  2. “The Lincoln Lawyer” (Starring the Matthew McConaughey mane, still perfect after 15 years!  With riveting cameo by one of self’s favorite actors, Michael Peña)
  3. “Win Win” (Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan, Melanie Lynskey as the most fresh-faced drug addict in the entire world, and a newcomer named Alex Shaffer)
  4. “Jane Eyre” (Michael Fassbender/Rochester + Mia Wasikowska/Jane Eyre who has the tiniest, teensiest waist in the whole world + Director Cary Fukunaga = instant Gothic Romance Classic)
  5. “Fast Five” (Paul Walker and his Converse sneakers; Vin Diesel and his cartoon-ish biceps; Jordana Brewster and her indeterminate ethnic beauty; hot young Asian American on the Fast Five team –  sorry, self does not have time to look up his actual name right at this moment = pure escapist fun)
  6. “Midnight in Paris” (See it for the performances:  Kathy Bates, Adrien Brody, Marion Cotillard, Rachel McAdams, Michael Sheen, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, and of course Owen Wilson!)

Self will close with yet another quote from aforementioned critic, Mick La Salle:

Tom Hiddleston is too tall for Scott Fitzgerald, who was just a little bigger than Woody Allen.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

NYTBR, May 15 & May 22, 2011: Biographies, New Story Collections from Barnes, Packer

6:10 pm on the last Sunday in May, Redwood City, California:

Self is perusing back issues of The New York Times Book Review.  After reading the 15 May 2011 issue, she decides she will keep the following reviews for future reference:

  1. Andrea Wulf’s review of Molly Peacock’s The Paper Garden:  An Artist (Begins Her Life Work) at 72.  The book is a biography of the flower painter Mary Delany.  Any book that focuses on an artist whose creative output began at Read the rest of this entry »

Owen Wilson Channels Woody Allen — Well

Self’s birthday is July 14 which self knows is Bastille Day in Paris, and from reading The Scarlet Pimpernel (which was her favorite novel for about three years –  she read it for the first time when she was 12, in Bacolod for the summer, nothing to do except read and hang out at Lopues and have merienda at Bob‘s) self learned that the Bastille was a fearsome prison, and that the day the prisoners were released from the Bastille marked the start of the French Revolution.  Which ended in the beheading of the King and Queen of France.

But now, it is an excuse for Frenchmen and anyone in Paris to go around planting kisses on each other.  Last year, Bonnie M who lives in Paris was visiting the Bay Area.  The day she picked to visit Redwood City was (what a coincidence!) July 14.  We ended up having lunch at one of self’s favorite restaurants, New Kapadokia, and Bonnie treated self to the most scrumptious lunch.  (Thanks loads, Bonnie!  Self is thinking of you today!)

This afternoon, self was successful in persuading hubby to forgo watching the fourth installment of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, in favor of watching the unlikely (but totally deserved) rejuvenation of Owen Wilson’s acting career.

Time was (in “Shanghai Noon”) when self thought Owen Wilson was the coolest, funniest guy on the planet.  All he had to say was:  “Hey, hey, hey, we’re men, not piñatas,” and he had self practically rolling on the floor with laughter (That picture is also what self thinks of as Jackie Chan’s last decent movie)

Self still liked him in “Wedding Crashers.”  Actually, she also liked him in his one action role, the one about the American fighter pilot who ends up crash-landing behind enemy lines in Serbia, then has to go scampering hither and thither to avoid capture.

Actually, she also liked him in “The Royal Tenenbaums.”

Wait, he was also good in “The Darjeeling Limited.”  The whole time self was watching “The Darjeeling Limited,” though, she kept remembering his suicide attempt.  And so the movie (though good) ended up being not funny.  At least, not to self.  And not at that point in time.

Today, self persuaded hubby to see “Midnight in Paris.”  The movie is pretty much one long joke, but it’s exquisite.  And you know what?  Owen Wilson turns out to be the perfect guy to channel Woody Allen’s nebbish-y dialogue.  It helps that he is charming and younger than recent Woody Allen prototypes have been:  really, watching him slouch around Paris is not an exercise in frustration, it is cathartic:  After all, who doesn’t wish they could go slouching around Paris like Owen Wilson?  By the way, Allen packs the city with the most gorgeous women:  Marion Cotillard, Carla Bruni (The First Lady of France is so tall!  And she has the most elegant-looking feet!).  Rachel McAdams (though not playing a Parisian) is absolutely HOT in tight jeans!  The young French girl at the very end looks a little like Kate Moss.

And you know what else?  LOKI IS IN THIS MOVIE!  Yes, Tom Hiddleston, the guy with the soulful eyes who played Loki in “Thor,” and who stole all his scenes from Chris Hemsworth, is in this movie, appearing with gorgeous marcelled hair, playing F. Scott Fitzgerald!  And Adrien Brody is in this movie as well, doing a hilarious impression of the painter Salvador Dali (Pretty much all he talks about are rhinoceros — rhinoceri?!)  And Kathy Bates is in it, too, playing Gertrude Stein!  Talk about genius casting!

But anyhoo, what self really wants to say is:  All of Owen Wilson’s comedic gifts are on full display in this movie.  All he has to do is look at the camera with those big blue or grey eyes, and the audience knows exactly what he is thinking.  In fact, some of the movie’s biggest laughs are produced when Wilson stares directly at the camera, not speaking.

Self’s favorite scenes, however, are the ones that show Wilson just walking.  These scenes are mostly full-body shots, to include as much of the city streets as possible.  Wise decision.  Wilson’s character is perfectly communicated by his somewhat stooped shoulders, his clothes, his aimless walk –  that’s Woody 2.0 (meaning:  much improved)

Self sincerely hopes Woody Allen decides to use Owen Wilson again.  In fact, Allen should stop looking around for other actors to play his comedic alter-ego:  every time he decides to direct a romantic comedy, he should just go for Wilson.  Because something about Allen channeling his romantic yearnings through Owen Wilson feels absolutely apt.

*     *     *     *

P.S.  Read somewhere that the next Woody Allen-alter ego, in a film to be set in Rome, is Jesse Eisenberg.  Oh, cool!  Not sure he is up to the comedic challenge, but self likes him as an actor.  For sure, he made “The Social Network” the great film that it is.  Jesse, you have big shoes to fill.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

New Yorker Cartoons of 23 May 2011

It’s nearing the end of a hectic day.  For one thing, self had another of those bouts where she finds herself hopelessly lost –  practically in her own backyard.  The last time this happened to her, she had her niece with her in the car.  Very conveniently niece fell asleep.  By the time she awoke, over an hour later –  exclaiming:  “Oh!  What happened?  It’s so late??!!” –  self had very luckily found her way to niece’s street.

Anyhoo, self is attempting to relax with some bibingka from Tribu (Thanks to Zack, self was there again yesterday) and The New Yorker.  Everything in this issue (23 May 2011) makes her laugh:  from “Shouts & Murmurs” (a series of purported interviews with members of the SEAL team that took down bin Laden:  “Took house.  Searched the three floors.  Engaged hundreds of enemy combatants, all of whom were firing, but we did this special dance move so they kept missing us.  Main target was on top floor and used female as shield, though maybe shield is the wrong word, as she just happened to be standing in front of him.”), to the captions:

Cartoon # 1:  Great-Great-Grandson of Godzilla, stepping on teensy people:  Next to him, two balloon captions, one saying Oh, GOD!  I’m so, so SORRY!! Another saying I’m such a KLUTZ!!

Cartoon # 2 depicts two suits talking to each other across a desk.  Caption:  Those who ignore history are entitled to repeat it.

Self doesn’t know why, but she finds herself giggling –  no, guffawing, in great big gusts –  at each of those.  She still has a couple of months to go on her subscription:  it expires January 2012.  She keeps reminding herself to renew it.  After all, she renewed The Economist, and the Women’s Review of Books.  And One Story.  And she started a subscription to The Utne Reader.  And she quotes more from The New Yorker than from any other publication.  Wherefore, then, this delay, this hesitation?  Alas, self knows not the reason why.

Back to bibingka and reading.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Hello, Hello, Hello Dearest Mother of Self

Dearest Mum went with brother on his boat and they docked at Bacolod and issued a dinner invitation to all the relatives. The invitation was to 21 Restaurant on Lacson Street which, as all dear blog readers from Bacolod know, is rather “high end.”

Then they sailed to Guimaras.

Then to Isla Naburot.

Dearest Mum went, Remember that place you told me about, in Isla Naburot?

Self wouldn’t know. She’s never been to Isla Naburot. She’s never been to Guimaras, either. What happened was, she told Dearest Mum about Isla Naburot because she learned about it from a book.

Dearest Mum suggests that self tell mother-in-law to sell her property in Boracay, it will make her really rich.

And then?

And then you can live in Boracay! Dearest Mum replies.

Why would self want to live in Boracay? Besides, she can’t tell mother-in-law what to do. That’s her own business, what her family wants to do with their land.

(Does self have some kind of speech impediment? Because she seems to be having real difficulty getting her family to understand her. It seems she’s been over this ground, countless times in the past six months):

Boracay is Make-Out Central. People go there to get laid. In D’Mall, you will see many old foreign men snogging with skinny young Filipinas. The last time self was in Boracay, son was nearly mobbed by a band of secretaries on holiday. Seriously, these women were nuts! They walked right through self as if she were invisible and made for her nephew (at that time, just 16) and son, standing immediately behind her! It was almost like being stampeded by a horde of elephants! After that, the only way self could relax was to down The Blue Boracay! Self’s face got really red, redder than it’s ever been, and nephew and son claimed self was drunk. Which self wasn’t. She was just — exploding. What was IN that thing? Top shelf tequila and what else? Now self thinks: More Blue Boracay! More! That is the only sure-fire way to ensure that self remains calm while conversing with Dearest Mum!

Dearest Mum says she is sending self some T-shirts.

T-shirts? I’m fat now, self says (especially after that corned beef hash in “Country Kitchen” yesterday. That one meal is the reason why there is now an extra inch of fat adorning self’s waist).

Well, then, would you like some pastillas? I’m sending your Uncle the extra-special kind, the tostada kind.

(What the hell are tostada pastillas?) But, in lieu of stating what is really on her mind, self sweetly answers: Oh, yes, Dearest Mum! I looove pastillas! Hubby is just crrrraazy about pastillas! Make sure you send three boxes! Remember, I WANT THREE.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Since Self is So Happy That the World Still Exists

Self is so happy:  She opened her eyes and she saw the garden.  Nothing had changed.  The Rapture, which was supposed to wipe out all, has no doubt been postponed.

For an inkling of what would happen if the world had entered the Apocalypse (version according to MV) check out Philippine Genre Stories, “The Departure”. (Self must confess, every time she glimpses the neighbor across the street, she can’t help feeling twinges of guilt for having used this kindly lady as the basis for a fictional character)

In the meantime, here’s self reading poetry:

Poem for Constructing a River

by Margarito Cuéllar (trans. by Steven J. Stewart, in Nimrod Spring/Summer 2009)

With the saliva spent by my enemies
to wound me
I built a river
in which I sail at night
with their fiancées or sisters.

With the stones they threw at me
I built a house
in which I live like a king.
If they keep stoning me
I’ll make a condominium, I’ll sell it and be rich
while they exercise their right
to stomp about in envy.

With the bullets they shot at me
I built a tree of gunpowder:
when lit it turns into the Milky Way.

With the words they hurled at me
I wrote several books.
When they realized
that instead of enemies
they were my best publicists
they demanded royalties.

When they finally ran out
of words, bullets, stones
they declared me poet laureate.

I keep on
writing poems on napkins,
like a pimp on the streets
in a city that’s not even mine.

Now that they’re dead
I feel like I’m missing something.

Country Kitchen, Vierra Canyon Road, Salinas, California

Today was the day self had been dreading for weeks and weeks:  Gracie’s cremation and the interment of her bones.

Hubby really really wanted to have a ceremony, and self was Oh all right whatever.

Self was afraid she’d be crying all the way to the place (Monterey Bay Loved Pet in Royal Oaks), but the sun was shining, it was a gorgeous day, and that reverend in Oakland said today was the last day for All Mankind (Is his name really “Camping”?  And what happens if we are all still alive tomorrow?).  In addition, self was very distracted by hubby’s constant assertions that his car had “engine knock” and we’d be stranded on 101 and have to catch a bus back home.  Self had asked him for weeks and weeks whether we shouldn’t just rent a car, and he said No, he’d much prefer taking his car and seeing if it really broke down on the freeway.  And self wondered why she had to put up with all the stress of wondering if we would make it to Gracie’s cremation, when the event itself was already so stressful, but apparently hubby enjoys the drama and excitement of not knowing whether we will get to our destination in one piece.  So self decided to go along and see whether we would:  a) die in the Rapture today, like the Oakland minister said we are all supposed to; or b) get stranded on 101.  And NEITHER OF THOSE THINGS HAPPENED.  So self considers herself lucky to be:  a) alive, and b) home safe, with Gracie’s ashes.  (Now self knows why son decided to major in Social Psychology.  But that is a long story which self must reserve for another post.)

When we got to the pet cemetery, Gracie was all laid out in a viewing parlor, but self could not bring herself to look at her dearly beloved.  She stayed outside the viewing parlor, and hubby and son (who had driven up from San Luis Obispo) discussed Gracie’s remarkable preservation, in spite  of having been in the freezer for so many weeks.  Self stood just outside the door and heard every word.  Then she heard much movement and “Oh!” this and “Oh!” that, and surmised hubby was posing son next to Gracie’s body, for pictures.

The actual cremation was going to take 1 1/2 hours, so hubby asked the pet cemetery guy if there was a restaurant in the area he could recommend.  And without any hesitation whatsoever, he said “Country Kitchen.”  So we trooped there, and –  self knows this is gross, posting about food on the day of Beloved Gracie’s interment, not to mention while self was worrying whether she would be stranded on the 101, or killed by the Rapture –  but this place

HAS THE MOST HEAVENLY CORNED BEEF HASH SELF HAS EVER TASTED.

This is a rather nondescript-looking restaurant, right across the street from a shopping center, but heck, with that kind of recommendation from Monterey Bay Loved Pet, it was full steam ahead.  The first thing self saw upon entering was a cartoon moose stuffed toy-thingie affixed to a wall of the dining room.  In another room, further in, self could see a rooster on some hay affixed to a wall.

All the patrons were a) white (with the exception, that is, of self, hubby, and son –  we are quite easily identifiable as Asian, not only because of the black hair but also because of –  Self!  Will you stop with the digressions already?!) and b) local, but no one glanced up when we entered, thank goodness.

The hash browns came on a foot-wide plate.  Self is not exaggerating:  the plate was actually A FOOT WIDE.  And it came with two eggs over easy, and a smaller plate containing white toast slathered with butter.  And even though self hates the fact that as soon as she returns to California, she instantly gains 10 lbs., she could not desist from eating.  And eating.  And eating.  Until there was nothing left on her plate.  Not even a scrap of egg.

AAARRRGH!

And then we returned to the Pet Cemetery, and by this time self could hardly walk, her pants were so tight.  And the Monterey Bay Loved Pet man handed self a small wooden box that had Gracie’s name engraved on it, and the dates 2000 – 2011, and self hugged the box and thought Oh Gracie, oh Gracie, oh Gracie.  But she did not cry.

And then we headed back home.  And even though hubby kept reminding self that we would probably break down any minute, we made it home in one piece.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Reading: Karl Taro Greenfeld in One Story

While self is reading Alan Moorehead’s The White Nile, she is constantly reaching into a huge pile of unread literary magazines.  And she is always coming up with –  many different issues of One Story. Which perhaps shouldn’t be so surprising, since a new story arrives every three weeks.

Self finds the quality of the stories uniformly good.  The issue she’s reading now is Issue Number 149 (Why are the letters so infinitesimally tiny, that’s the only complaint self really has about this publication.  Does One Story really want to limit its audience to people who are not yet required to use bi-focals or reading glasses?).

The story, “Partisans,” has a vaguely science fiction tone.  She knows it’s about a war, but the landscape is vague.  Quickly, self pages to the back of the story to read the Author Bio.  And there is none.  Is she dreaming?  Again and again she thumbs through Issue Number 149.  No, she is not dreaming!  There is no Author Bio for Karl Taro Greenfeld.  With a name like that:  he could either be a resident of New York, Tel Aviv, or South Africa.  How’s that for self’s powers of deduction?  (And then a reader will be sure to leave a comment along the lines of:  You are so stupid.  Don’t you know who Karl Taro Greenfeld is?  You Luddite!  Call yourself a sentient being!  Always bringing up the Stanford stuff, the UCLA Extension stuff, the fact that you are a published short story writer!  You’re nothing but a pretender!  A stinking pretender!  Now, where was she?)

Of course, she could always google Mr. Greenfeld.  Shouldn’t be that hard to establish who he is, what he’s written, and if he’s famous.  But, this evening, self resists the impulse.

Instead, she will share with dear blog readers a section that puts her greatly in mind of The White Nile:

I had rarely ventured far from the capital.  My family had gone on excursions to the coast, cloudy weeks, the sea saturated with medusae.  Yet we had never visited the south, as it was considered to be an uncivilized, harsh land suitable for goat herding and the subsistence agriculture practiced by aboriginals.

I had just retired from another uneventful watch –  more rocks, more fruitless dwarf olive trees, more cactus, more harsh scrub scraping the earth –  and had taken up position under the tarp with my fellows when I heard Orston, shout, “Riders!”

We roused ourselves and made a noisy scramble for our bolt-action rifles.  We lay down at the edge of our railcar and scanned the horizon in the direction Orston was pointing.  There, in the distance, silhouetted by taupe-colored hills, we saw a squadron in grey and brown robes galloping parallel to us.  Their steeds kicked up a thick cloud of yellow and orange dust that trailed behind them like dense smoke, as if they were ablaze.

“Aboriginals,” that’s a curious word.  Perhaps the author is Australian?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

The Three Kingdoms of Uganda: Moorehead’s “The Vales of Paradise”

Self is batting three for three in her current travel-book reading phase.  The previous two were Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (perfectly timed for her plane trips to and from New York, last week), and Laurence Bergreen’s Marco Polo:  From Venice to Xanadu (This one took her over a month to finish: she lavished attention on every page)

Several days ago she began reading her third travel book, Alan Moorehead’s The White Nile (He has a companion volume called The Blue Nile, but self is going to confine herself to The White Nile, because she has a whole lot of other travel writers to get to know:  Patrick Leigh Fermor, W. G. Sebald, Rory Stewart and many many others).

At least half a dozen times, self has itched to post something from the book on this blog.  But she always managed to restrain herself.  That is, until she got to this passage, on p. 49, about the “three kingdoms” of Uganda.  It’s in a chapter called “The Vales of Paradise.”

Apparently, Uganda in the 19th century was divided into three separate kingdoms:  Bunyoro in the north, Buganda in the center, and Karagwe to the south.  Karagwe was the weakest of the three, and so the King of Karagwe, who at the time was Rumanika, was the most polite, the most “hospitable to strangers,” the most conciliatory.  If historical accounts are to be believed, “Rumanika had his eccentricities” :

WARNING!  WARNING!  WARNING!  EXTREMELY GROSS IMAGES TO FOLLOW!  ABSOLUTELY DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE A LESS THAN IRON-CLAD STOMACH!

He kept an extraordinary harem of wives who were so fat they could not stand upright, and instead grovelled like seals about the floors of their huts.  Their diet was an uninterrupted flow of milk that was sucked from a gourd through a straw, and if the young girls resisted this treatment they were force-fed like the paté de foie gras ducks of Strasbourg:  a man stood over them with a whip.

A few paragraphs later, we are in another of the Ugandan kingdoms, this one Buganda.  The ruler is “a young king” named Mutesa.  With perfectly straight face, Morehead describes the king “sitting upon a platform of grass covered with a red blanket, and surrounded by his nobles, his pages, and his wives, who numbered a couple of hundred or so.” (Just now it occurs to self that the “couple of hundred” does not refer exclusively to the number of the king’s wives, but anyhoo).  Here is how Moorehead describes the king:  “At this time (1860) he was a slim, well-built young man in his early twenties with beautiful teeth and liquid, but rather striking eyes . . .  At his feet were his symbols of royalty, a spear, a shield and a white dog.”

Tall tales, some Amazon.com readers scoff.  Racist, say others.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Third Friday of May (2011): Sunny, Finally; Penny’s Play; Still Checking Submishmash

It is a spectacular day, dear blog readers.  Self spent some time watering, hauling around the old green bucket.  All (or nearly all) of her roses are profusely blooming.  Finally!  Last year, she was ready to give up.  She single-handedly dug holes for each of her almost 20 roses –  the Betty Boop, the Chihuly, the climbing New Dawn, the climbing Don Juan, the Fourth of July, the Sheila’s Perfume, the Sunflare, the Winsome, and so forth and so on  —   nursed them through their early stages with lavish applications of water and fertilizer, and still, her garden refused to reward her efforts.  This year, she decided that she would not worry about her garden any longer.  And as soon as she made that decision, everything bloomed, all at once.

Tonight is the start of the second (and closing) weekend of Penny’s play, “Booze in the Boroughs.”  Did self impart to dear blog readers how, as she sat in the audience exactly a week ago (the space was SRO), she relished every minute, and wished she’d succeeded in getting her nephew to come along?  (But, Friday night in New York, of course young men have plans!)  The action of the play begins in Central Park, winds through the Bronx, the Staten Island Ferry, Brooklyn, and Queens.  Various characters meet, share, ignite.  Here are the play particulars:  It is showing on Joria Mainstage, at 260 West 36th Street, on the 3rd Floor.  It is showing tonight, Saturday and Sunday.  Penny mentioned it might be taken to other places, one of these others being Seattle.

Self was sorry that, during her last trip, she did not get to see:

  • Drew
  • the Metropolitan Museum  (She only got as far as the front steps, where she sat and listened to a band sing “Under the Boardwalk.”  But the day was simply too beautiful, self thought, to spend inside a museum.  She remained outside, and indulged in a peanut butter and fudge cupcake from a vendor called “Cakes and Shakes” –  to die for.  That was her lunch)
  • Minette
  • the Whitney (She usually makes it a point to visit this museum, every time she is in New York.  She actually likes it better than the Metropolitan.  It feels less overwhelming.  They had a fantastic Cy Twombly retrospective, a couple of years ago)

She made an effort to contact Paolo Javier, who she read with years ago, at the Asian American Writers Workshop.  She e-mailed his publisher.  The man was so nice, he answered right away, and said he personally hadn’t seen Paolo in many years.  How do people lose each other?  Time is really a river …

But, here she is, and tomorrow she and hubby are meeting up with son in Monterey, at a pet cemetery where we will finally lay poor Gracie to rest.

Self decides she will e-mail that literary journal, the one that supposedly accepted her piece without a formal notification (She only found out when she logged into Submishmash and saw –  Green!  Her first green in a year!)

She sent out a novella this morning (Deep breath)

Zack is in New Orleans.  She promised him a lengua burrito from the place at the corner of Jefferson and El Camino, next time he is in her neck of the woods.  In the meantime, here’s something about his book from The Wily Filipino.  (Zack’s going to be in Europe and Morocco in June.  Self is of course dying of jealousy)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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