Monument 2: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Hong Kong, monument to the Chinese money-making instinct:  Summer 2006 (Last Trip to Asia with Sole Fruit of Her Loins)

Hong Kong, monument to the Chinese money-making instinct: Summer 2006 (Last Trip to Asia with Sole Fruit of Her Loins)

The Golden Gate Bridge:  View From Land's End, San Francisco:  December 2008

The Golden Gate Bridge: View From Land’s End, San Francisco: December 2008

The Layout of Stonehenge: Diagram From SOLVING STONEHENGE, by Anthony Johnson. Self has always been fascinated by the abiding mystery of these stones.  She even used the monument in a short story that got published in Wigleaf ("Stonehenge/Pacifica")

The Layout of Stonehenge: Diagram From SOLVING STONEHENGE, by Anthony Johnson. Self has always been fascinated by the abiding mystery of these stones. She even used the monument in a short story that got published in Wigleaf in 2008:  “Stonehenge/Pacifica”

Excerpt, “Stonehenge/Pacifica” published in Wigleaf (1/11/2012):

It was a dream I had, some restless night.  One of those weeks or months or years when we were worried about money.

But when were we ever not worried?

First there was the mortgage, and then the two.

And then your mother got sick, and your father died.

You can read the story in its entirety, here.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

Threshold 3: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Looking over this group of shots: they’re fairly recent, taken within the last month or so. She wanted to find DOORS, but not really. Hope son’s new hobby, a front porch greening up, and a bridge fit the bill.

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is THRESHOLD.

A threshold, says The Daily Post, is “a point of entering.”

Son and Jennie are starting to learn how to scuba dive.

Son and Jennie are starting to learn how to scuba dive.  They take  lessons from this place in Culver City.

The Front Porch. The pots of hydrangea have finally leafed out.  It's SPRING!

The Front Porch. The pots of hydrangea have finally leafed out. It’s SPRING!

Taking the Bay Bridge Home After a Writers Group Meeting in Walnut Creek

Taking the Bay Bridge Home After a Writers Group Meeting in Walnut Creek

Self has heard a lot of criticism about the construction of the new Bay Bridge:  apparently, so soon after its construction, it’s already starting to exhibit structural failings.

But, she thinks it is a thing of beauty.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Street Life 3: More Masskara Pics!

Really, it would be a shame not to share these pictures, all taken within the space of a few minutes, one day in October 2012, in her Dear Departed Dad’s home city of Bacolod, capital of the province of Negros Occidental, in an island in the central Philippines . . .

Masskara Street Festival 2012, somewhere in downtown Bacolod.  That's her cousin with her back to the camera, next to the street dancer.

Masskara Street Festival 2012, somewhere in downtown Bacolod. That’s her cousin with her back to the camera, next to the street dancer.

DSCN6587

It was a very long procession, dear blog readers.  Spectators were supposed to stay on the sidewalks. But self darted here and there among the dancers -- all for the sake of taking pictures! No one stopped her!

It was a very long procession, dear blog readers. Spectators were supposed to stay on the sidewalks. But self darted here and there among the dancers — all for the sake of taking pictures! No one stopped her!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

Inside 6: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Yet another post on the INSIDE theme.

Today self uses these particular words for inspiration:  PHOTOS OF ANY OF US INSIDE ANYTHING ELSE.

(Dear blog readers, if any of you are getting sick and tired of the almost daily posts on this week’s photo challenge, know that on Friday there will be a completely new post. So, the end is in sight!)

First, self inside a picture frame:

Self:  14 or 15. OK, so mebbe this isn't a selfie, but what the hoo.

Self: 14 or 15.  It was one of her Bacolod cousins who took the picture.

Apologies, this is self again.  Inside another picture frame.  This was probably taken in either Manila or New York City.  Self was in her early 20s:

Photo is Self, New York 1982:  Wearing one of Dear Departed Dad's white shirt.

Photo is Self, New York 1982: Wearing one of Dear Departed Dad’s white shirts.

Finally, a picture NOT of self!  This is son’s room.  It is self’s Museum of Absence. Hardly anything in it has changed since son was in elementary school.  The boy in the painting is son at 6 or 7.

Son's Room: The boy in the painting is son at 6 or 7.

Son’s Room: The boy in the painting is son at 6 or 7.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Inside 5: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Help, someone!  Anyone!  It’s too much!  Self can’t seem to stop posting on this week’s Photo Challenge: INSIDE!  She’s obviously in some kind of zone . . .

Speaking of zone: What. Ever. Happened. to. That. Malaysian. Plane???

Don’t get her started!

Anyhoo, here’s the part of The Daily Post prompt that self is trying to focus on today:  Finding images of a thing inside something else.

An umbrella suspended from the ceiling of a bookstore in Mendocino:  Self was there as part of the Mendocino Coast Writers Conference.

An umbrella suspended from the ceiling of a bookstore in Mendocino: Self was there to participate in the Mendocino Coast Writers Conference.

Inside a church in Bethlehem.  Self was there in 2008.

Inside a church in Bethlehem. Self was there in 2008.

A friend of Dearest Mum’s had let us stay in his apartment while Dear Departed Sister-in-Law Ying was being treated for leukemia at Ichilov Hospital.  This was in 2008, which turned out to be a watershed year for self, in so many different ways.  Self will never forget Tel Aviv.  Never, ever, ever.

painting in the apartment on Ruppin Street, Tel Aviv

Painting in the apartment on Ruppin Street, Tel Aviv:  Is that a gun inside the bird’s mouth?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Inside: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Self rarely sits at this table. Not even during dinner. It’s strictly grab-and-go here. She either brings her food to son’s room aka her office and eats while typing something on her computer or checks her e-mail, and The Man eats in front of the TV.

The Dining Room

The Dining Room

Our house faces directly on to a very busy avenue.  Thankfully, no one seems much interested in peering through our windows.

The View From the Picture Window in the Living Room

The View From the Picture Window in the Living Room

A Glimpse of the Bedroom.  The headboard was made to order in Manila and shipped over via container cargo.  Ying drew a picture of entwined atis leaves, and an artist in Manila executed her drawing.

A Glimpse of the Bedroom. The headboard was made to order in Manila and shipped over via container cargo. Ying drew a picture of entwined atis leaves, and an artist in Manila executed her drawing. (Atis is a native fruit with a juicy white flesh and numerous black seeds)

Homes really are our most evocative and revealing places.  At home, one drops the mask.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

 

Thus Far, 2014

  • There are times when self feels fanfiction may just save her life.
  • The Hunger Games cannot be called a rip-off of Japanese movie Battle Royale because the Japanese movie didn’t have a boy who bakes.
  • In late February, self attended her first AWP Conference since 2009.  It was really excellent, discovering the Pioneer Square area:  Davidson Galleries, Glass House, Grand Central Bakery, Occidental Park and chess board, the Globe bookstore.  She has got to return to Seattle.
  • The AWP Book Fair is the coolest thing to have happened to her so far this year
  • She loves the soundtrack of Frozen and has been listening to it over and over in her car.
  • Listening to Angela Narciso Torres read always makes self feel like crying.
  • The Man can still make a mean callos.
  • Her most visited local farmers market is the one in Belmont.  She loves Heidi’s Pies (in business for 47 years: the bakery’s on El Camino in San Mateo)
  • The members of her writing group are the most unheralded fabulous writers in the whole US of A.
  • The service in Ling Nam (South San Francisco) is still terrible.  But The Man adores their goto with tokwa’t baboy. And who can blame him.
The Goto (which The Man always orders with Tokwa't Baboy) from Ling Nam, South San Francisco

The Goto (which The Man always orders with Tokwa’t Baboy) from Ling Nam, South San Francisco

  • She sweats.  A lot.  Self is beginning to worry that the yoga is responsible for unleashing something unspeakable and mystifying.
  • She can’t stay up past 10 p.m. anymore.  That’s why she hasn’t posted about Justified and Saturday Night Live for so long.  But, if she gets to sleep by 10 p.m., she doesn’t suffer from insomnia.
  • The new Bay Bridge is soooo beautiful.
  • She can’t read anymore.  It is terrible.  She’s only on her third book –  The Hemingses of Monticello, by Annette Gordon-Reed — since the start of the year.  The other two she started this year were In the Shadow of Man, by Jane Goodall, and Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, by Rebecca West.  Strange, she used to be able to tear through at least 60 books a year.  At this rate, by the end of 2014, she’ll be lucky to finish 12.
  • Her 1998 Altima may be ready to give up the ghost.  After spending 1K at the mechanic, the engine sounds worse, and it has so far failed three smog tests.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Threes: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

The prompt this week from the WordPress Daily Post is THREES.

Threes meaning: “three-picture stories.” Meaning, narrative.

QED, self thinks. After all, self has often thought that most of her pictures function better as a sequence.  Each photo like a still of a silent film.

But when she finally sat down this afternoon to select her three-picture sequence, she ended up choosing three pictures she took of a site (the Bruns Amphitheater in Orinda) that don’t seem to tell much of a story. Shrug. Self will keep posting. Even when she’s in Seattle, attending the AWP annual conference for the first time in something like six years.

Below are pictures she took last summer, when she indulged in two Cal Shakes performancesRomeo and Juliet, on her birthday, with son and The Man and Jessika and Pepe and a small group of son’s high school classmates (Self still finds it hard to believe that Margarita Donnelly, who ended up publishing self’s first book, Ginseng and Other Tales From Manila, was a graduate of that same school, Sacred Heart in Atherton, CA.  Back when it used to be an all-girls school!)

She saw another Cal Shakes production in August, this time with just one other person, Jessika Remolona (who’s expecting a baby this June! Woot Woot!): Oscar Wilde’s Lady Windermere’s Fan. Jessika and self brought enough bottles of wine to carry us through almost three hours (They let you take the wine inside the theater. You can actually drink during the performance. Which makes self feel like she is in the Golden Globes or something)

Bruns Amphitheater, Orinda, July 2013

Bruns Amphitheater, Orinda, Summer 2013

Close-up of the Theater Lights

Close-up of the Theater Lights

The grounds outside the amphitheater have very unexpected artwork.  Part of the fun of the whole Cal Shakes experience is having a picnic just before the start of the performance.

The grounds outside the amphitheater have very unexpected artwork. Part of the fun of the whole Cal Shakes experience is having a picnic just before the start of the performance.

Self loves Shakespeare.  She loves Shakespeare outside.

After she saw her first Cal Shakes play (Romeo and Juliet with Adam Scott playing Romeo.  Adam Scott) she could never watch Shakespeare in any other guise than outdoors.  In the summer.  With a bottle of wine.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Treasure 3: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Let’s talk about how sweet it is to have a really, really good nail salon in the neighborhood.

Self decided to get a mani/pedi yesterday afternoon, at 5 p.m. (As parking fees don’t apply after 6 p.m., she ends up paying only 50 cents, for 1 hour)  When she walked in, the entire row of humongous massaging chairs was full, but she only had to wait a little while before they called self to a chair.

One of the women there is taking classes from a San Jose community college, and she and self began gabbing about our favorite books.  A few weeks ago, self dropped off a copy of her Ginseng and Other Tales From Manila.  Today, the woman gave her a copy of her favorite book, pictured below.  Which she will consider (Ta-ra!)

TREASURE # 3.1

Self's First Book Exchange: with a young woman from her favorite nail salon, Belle Nail Salon in her hometown Redwood City

Self’s First Book Exchange: with a young woman from her favorite nail salon, Belle Nail Salon in her hometown Redwood City

TREASURE # 3.2:  Memories of her last trip to visit son and Jennie in Claremont

Son and Jennie have a wee backyard. It was so sunny, her last day in Claremont, a week ago.

Son and Jennie have a backyard! It was so sunny, her last day in Claremont, a week ago.

TREASURE # 3.3:  Ocean Beach and The Great Highway.  No matter what the weather, there’s always something to see . . .  And the San Francisco Zoo’s right alongside.

We always take the Great Highway when we visit the Legion of Honor.

We always take the Great Highway when we visit the Legion of Honor.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

These Mentions (A Post Inspired by This Week’s WordPress Daily Post But Containing NO Photography)

What is the history of the term ‘Manila Envelope’?

Why is it always about Imelda’s shoes?

Who was that fiction writer who had a character think (in a novel):  At least no one expects me to wake up and be Corazon Aquino today!

What was that novel about Read the rest of this entry »

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