Refraction 2: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is REFRACTION.

Self really likes the way this blogger (Matt von P) and this blogger (Enjoying Life Wherever We Are) interpreted the theme.

And here are some of her own takes.

Capiz Shell Ceiling Light, Café Uma, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental

Capiz Shell Ceiling Light, Café Uma, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental

Street Corner, Venice: April 2013

Street Corner, Venice: April 2013

Taken from a vaporetto crossing the Venetian Lagoon:  April 2013

Heading across the Venetian Lagoon on a vaporetto: April 2013

Further Dreaminess: Abe’s Farm in Magalang, Pampanga

Abe's Farm in Magalang, Pampanga is a working farm, but also a resort. Self took this picture in the resort's restaurant.

Abe’s Farm in Magalang, Pampanga is a working farm, but also a resort. Self took this picture in the resort’s restaurant.

Breakfast (Philippine mangoes are the BEST in the entire world)

Breakfast (Philippine mangoes are the BEST in the entire world)

Suman/Ibus for Breakfast: The sauce consists of melted brown sugar.

Suman/Ibus for Breakfast: The sauce consists of melted brown sugar.

Signs 2: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s Photo Challenge from The Daily Post is SIGNS.

“. . . signs are functional, but can also be decorative. Signs can direct us where to go, but they’re also pieces of art . . . “

Wholeheartedly agree!

Below are some signs that evoke sweet indulgence, or humor:

a chain in southern California: the best frozen yogurt self's tasted, by far

flavors in 21 Choices, a chain in southern California: the best frozen yogurt self’s tasted, by far.

Hamlet's advice to Ophelia on a bookmark! Self bought this at the Globe Theatre giftshop.

Hamlet’s advice to Ophelia on a bookmark! Self bought this at the Globe Theatre giftshop, on a visit to London earlier this year.

Book Cover, Sighted at Vroman's, in Pasadena

Book Cover, Sighted at Vroman’s, in Pasadena. The self-help section of Vroman’s is, like, an acre. Just kidding!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Haruki Murakami Food Hit List

Two days ago self had to return Alan Furst’s Dark Star to the local library. She was 3/4 of the way through, and two weeks overdue, and someone had put a hold on it, boo.

And self realized it was really a very good book.  Probably the best spy story about pre-World War II she’s ever read.

But she had to return the book. And she felt it would be disrespectful to rush through the last 50 or so pages. Or to take a peek at the end. So she simply returned it to the library, unfinished.

So, onward!

She’s reading Haruki Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.

Strangely, though this book is static where Furst’s was anything but, she feels much more tension in Murakami’s book.

(She’s also been reading Catherine Dunne’s The Things We Know Now. And re-reading Hunger Games: Catching Fire. And she’s wondering about that new Liam Neeson movie.)

Well, it’s been a long time since she’s read Murakami.  There was a year of her life when it seemed she read nothing but.

So it’s interesting that Murakami appeals to her once again.

And this time, she has a sure-fire way to make sure she remembers what she reads.  She’ll list down every single food Murakami mentions, and throw in page #s.

There are much worse games to play. Thank you, Katniss.

  • p. 1:  “boiling a potful of spaghetti”
  • bottom of p. 2: “a glass of water”
  • bottom of p. 9: the narrator’s wife is “picking out fish bones” from her dinner plate — so obviously they must have had fish for dinner.
  • p. 10: The narrator rips open “a plastic pack of tofu.”
  • p. 14: The narrator removes “a lemon drop” from his pocket and starts sucking on it. It fills his mouth with “sticky sweetness.”
  • p. 17: A girl about fifteen or sixteen offers the narrator “a cold drink”: beer
  • p. 18: The narrator has somehow managed to fill his mouth with another lemon drop, even though earlier he had spit the original lemon drop onto the ground, and in between then and p. 18, there’s been nary a mention of his retrieving another one from his pocket. But all is forgiven when the girl offers the narrator a Coke.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Endurance 3: Various Interpretations of This Week’s WordPress Photo Challenge

Again, self knows nothing about the creator of this. sculpture. It stands just outside the Olympic Theatre (the one designed by Palladio) in Vicenza.

Self knows nothing about the creator of this. sculpture. It stands just outside the Teatro Olimpico (designed by Palladio in the late 16th century) in Vicenza.

Backyard Watering: Takes Endurance, especially in the summer.

Backyard Watering: Takes Endurance, especially in the summer.

Spam was first introduced to the Philippines by the Americans. Now we Filipinos crave it -- it's become "comfort food."

Spam was first introduced to the Philippines by the Americans. Now we Filipinos crave it — it’s become “comfort food.”

 

Silhouette 4: 2014 Fillmore Jazz Festival, San Francisco and an Irish Book on Surfing

Fraiche, on Fillmore Street. The Fillmore Jazz Festival was happening just outside.

Fraiche, on Fillmore Street. The Fillmore Jazz Festival was happening just outside.

Poster for the 2014 Fillmore Jazz Festival

Poster for the 2014 Fillmore Jazz Festival

And here’s yet another of the thousands and thousands of pictures self took when she was in Ireland, earlier this year.  Self had gone to Sligo to attend a friend’s gallery opening.  The gallery had a very cute restaurant next door, which sold, in addition to tea and locally made chocolates and other gastronomic delights, coffee table books about surfing.  Sligo, self discovered, is at the heart of a surfing culture in Ireland. Who would have thought? (That day in Sligo also just happened to be William Butler Yeats Day).

A Book on Cooking AND Surfing; from a Coffee Shop in Sligo, Ireland

A Book on Cooking AND Surfing; from a Coffee Shop in Sligo, Ireland

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

More Summer Lovin’!

Self is just going to town on this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge:  SUMMER LOVIN’

There’s nothing so great as summer.

Summer = freedom.

Summer = heat.

Summer = all the ice cream you can ever eat.

Summer = going around in flip-flops all day.

Summer = really corny movies. (NOT! “Boyhood” wasn’t corny.  Neither was “Begin Again.”  Or “Chef,” which The Man finally dragged me to, two weeks ago)

More Summer Lovin’ inspiration below:

Mitchell's Ice Cream Parlor:  Pre-packed tubs of flavors like mango, ube, peanut butter indulgence, halo-halo

Mitchell’s Ice Cream Parlor: Pre-packed tubs of flavors like mango, ube, peanut butter indulgence, halo-halo (The owners of Mitchell’s must be Filipino)

El Camino Real, Menlo Park: This sign on a building just has "summer lovin' " all over it.

El Camino Real, Menlo Park: This sign on a building just has “summer lovin’ ” all over it.

An artist's booth in Menlo Park's annual (held every July) Connoisseurs' Marketplace

An artist’s booth in Menlo Park’s annual (held every July) Connoisseurs’ Marketplace

Summer!  Shiver, shiver.  It’s so thrilling to be in this season.

Already it feels like it’s slipping away.

Although September is still technically summer, self thinks summer always ends in August.  And August is just around the corner, which means:

SELF’S LIFE IS OVER.

Stay tuned.

Summer Lovin’ 2: Mitchell’s Ice Cream Parlor, San Francisco

Self had a writers group meeting (YAY!).  It is so much fun to talk about each other’s work; it’s been months.

Because self had a little time to kill before the meeting started, she decided to pop into Mitchell’s Ice Cream Parlor on San Jose Avenue.  The line was out the door.

She had to take a number:  Her number said 013.

The digital counter said:  088.

It took about half an hour for her number to come up, so she busied herself taking pictures.

For what could be more relevant to this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge theme — Summer Lovin’ — than ice cream?

The inside of Mitchell’s is covered with murals like this one:

DSCN6748

Self tried her best to be unobtrusive while taking pictures of the clientele:

DSCN6747

DSCN6746

She just can’t help it:  people are more interesting to her than almost any other subject.

Self means:  ordinary people.  Just standing around.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Summer Lovin’ : WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge — Summer Lovin’ — is a super-fun (and easy) one for self.  Summer is her faaaavorite time of year.  She has lots, LOTS, of Summer Lovin’ pictures!

Summer is when Cancer, self’s sign (also son’s), rules!  Both self and son are July babies.

Another reason self likes summer so much is that colors really pop.  Bright colors seem even brighter, and there’s a sharper contrast between sunlight and shade.  Which all adds up to:  MORE VISUAL DRAMA.

Stafford Park, Wednesday evening:  There are free concerts every week throughout the summer.

Stafford Park, Redwood City, Wednesday evening: There are free concerts every week throughout the summer.

Chalk Drawing is a big part of the Palo Alto Arts & Crafts Festival, held every August.

Chalk Drawing is a big part of the Palo Alto Arts & Crafts Festival, held every August.

Clasico Gelato, Emerson Street, downtown Palo Alto. Every time she's in downtown Palo Alto, she stops by for gelato.

Clasico Gelato, Emerson Street, downtown Palo Alto. Every time self is in downtown Palo Alto, she stops by for gelato.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Kanlaon Was Nominated for a Liebster Award!

Self learned of the nomination a month ago, but she was in the midst of returning from Ireland and then setting off for southern California and then setting off for the Squaw Valley Writers Conference.

Nevertheless, here she is now, expressing her appreciation!

Self blogs a lot while traveling.  Because she firmly believes that one of the greatest pleasures of travel is being able to share one’s experiences afterwards.  It’s like re-living the moment, only better because you know you’ve survived the whatever.

So, THANKS THANKS MUCH to the blog Unexpected Wanderlust for the nomination.  Self deeply appreciates the honor.

And here are self’s answers to the questions posed by UW:

What is the most foolish thing you’ve ever done while traveling?

Wow.  This entailed so much reflection because self has done many, many foolish things while traveling.  Two years ago, she decided to join her friends on a bike ride around one of Amsterdam’s outlying islands, even though she hadn’t ridden a bike in almost 20 years.  That day almost killed her.  What’s worse, it made her lose her temper.  And we all know that when one is traveling, losing one’s temper is almost the kiss of death.  Because one should never, ever lose one’s temper in a foreign country.  Self’s just saying.

Who is the person you’ve met while traveling that you wish you could see again?

Another hard one.  OK, this:  the two German girls who accompanied self on the bus ride from the Marco Polo airport in Venice, all the way to the vaporetto in the Rialto.  Self bumped into them again outside the Frari church in Ca’ San Toma.  We had dinner.  Self lost the little notebook where she’d written down the girls’ addresses and e-mails.  She’s pretty sure she’ll never hear from them again.  But she thinks of them pretty often.

Where are you planning on traveling next?

Southern California.

If you had to settle down in one place and never leave it again, where would it be?

Oh gosh, why are all of these questions so hard?  San Luis Obispo, California.  Cambridge, United Kingdom.  Now if self could only find a way to support herself while living in these places . . .

How would you describe the perfect travel companion?

No question:  Son.  He was great.  Always.  Even when self was dragging him through the back alleys of Boracay in a pouring rain, and visibility was just a little above zero, and the water was sloshing up to our knees, and strange unmentionable objects were floating in said water.  He did express disgust (occasionally), but he never once lost his temper.

If you could be fluent in a language other than your mother tongue, which would it be?

Cantonese so that self could bargain in the Hong Kong night markets.  Gaelic because she was just in Ireland.  Spanish because she could read all the archives pertaining to Spain’s colonization of the Philippines.

What is your best travel tip?

Always travel light.  Plan on picking up things you’ll need along the way.  And never tote around more than two books at a time.

Have you ever felt more at home in a place that is away from your actual home?  If so, where?

Yes:  Bacolod City, Negros Occidental (Dear Departed Dad’s hometown)

Where have you had the best meal of your life?

  • The home of Irene Lacson and Zia Islam in Glendale, CA:  a Villanueva reunion in December 2012
  • Tender Greens, Spectrum Centre, Irvine, CA.
  • Van’s, Belmont, CA last January, to celebrate The Man’s birthday

What is the one piece of technology that you can’t live without during your travels?

No question:  Self’s MacBook Air

She’ll list her nominations in a separate post.  Stay tuned.

 

 

 

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