Relic 2: Car Show, Fourth of July, Redwood City

Fourth of July is celebrated in a BIG — and self does mean big — way in Redwood City, California.

Aside from the parade (“the oldest on the Peninsula”), there is a car show.  FUN!

Annual Car Show, Redwood City, Fourth of July

Annual Car Show, Redwood City, Fourth of July

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is RELIC.

“Share a photo of what ‘relic’ means to you:  it could be a photograph of your still-running Honda Accord Hatchback, an historic building in your town, or an old, rusted farm implement poking up through the long grass in a field.”

Which had self thumbing back through the photos she took on the Fourth of July:

The Car Show is held in conjunction with the annual Fourth of July Parade, in downtown Redwood City.  A VERY fun tradition!

The Car Show is held in conjunction with the annual Fourth of July Parade, in downtown Redwood City. A VERY fun tradition!

DSCN6394

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Relic: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge Theme is RELIC (“Share a photo of what relic means to you . . . “)

These pictures aren’t of relics, per sé.  Self took them on the Fourth of July (just a week ago, hard to imagine!).

The Redwood City Fourth of July Parade is the oldest on the Peninsula.  It’ an annual tradition that self tries never to miss.

After the parade, she and The Man retreat to City Pub for beer and crab cakes.  It’s more of a tradition than a relic, come to think of it.

Is the flag a relic?  Is that what self means?

Or does she mean that parades are relics?

Anyhoo, self is in the middle of the final days of the Squaw Valley Writers Conference.  It is hectic, people.  Her brain is fried.  This is the best she can do, at least for now.

City Pub, Broadway Ave., Redwood City (After the Fourth of July Parade)

City Pub, Broadway Ave., Redwood City (After the Fourth of July Parade)

Another From City Pub, downtown Redwood City

Another From City Pub, downtown Redwood City

At the Redwood City Fourth of July Parade:  The parade always features a high contingent of military, navy, and veterans groups.

At the Redwood City Fourth of July Parade: The parade always features a high contingent of military, navy, and veterans groups.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

Contrasts 7: Light and Shadow, Annual Redwood City Fourth of July Parade (2014)

Citi Pub, Broadway Ave., downtown Redwood City:  We always go there for a beer after the Fourth of July Parade is over.

Citi Pub, Broadway Ave., downtown Redwood City: Self and The Man always wind up here after the Fourth of July Parade is over.

There’s more of the light-and-shadow thing going on in the next two shots.  In the one just below, self focused on the feet of the members of the Leland Stanford, Jr. University Marching Band.  They participate in the Redwood City Fourth of July Parade, every year.

The Leland Stanford, Jr. University Marching Band! Self loves that every year, they participate in the Redwood City Parade and play "All Right Now."

Self loves when the Stanford Band plays “All Right Now,”  their signature song.  Compared to the other bands, they sport VERY casual attire.  She once heard someone describe them as “a bunch of hooligans.”

Another parade regular are the horses.  These are city officials, self thinks.

Another parade regular are the horses. These are city officials, self thinks.

Self is having so much fun with “Contrasts.”  Turns out that’s what summer light is all about.  In summer, and particularly in mid-day, the difference between sunlight and shade is very dramatic.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Because July 4, 2014 Is Just Around the Corner

The Fourth of July is one of self’s faaaaavorite holidays, for many reasons:  the red, white and blue!  The parades!  The picnics!  The fireworks!  The summer heat (if a parade takes place in less than scorching weather, it’s not really a parade, in self’s humble opinion)! The crowds! The mood!  The retro rock music!

In honor of this year’s holiday (which falls on a Friday, thus making the weekend a three-day, which means everyone — those getting away as well those doing staycations — is in a mellow mood), the Wall Street Journal asked six Americans — a potter; a world-champion swimmer; a novelist; a fashion designer; a CEO; and a performance artist for their own particular takes on the concept of “Independence.”

Here’s what the novelist, Richard Ford, has to say:

Independence contains the seeds of drama — the very thing a novelist is looking for — because it always implies independence away from something.  It also confers consequence on a person and a complex sense of interiority, which are also things that novelists are interested in.  But does it confer strength or powerlessness?  That question is part of the American narrative.  A month before my novel Independence Day was published, I threw out the ending and wrote a new one, which we used, in which my protagonist, Frank, is standing beside a Fourth of July parade as it marches down the street and feeling the urge to join in.  Whether or not I knew it before I started the book, I knew then for certain that the real virtue of independence was the degree to which it allows you to join the human race, rather than stand apart.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Split-Second Story: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is Split-Second Story :

Capture an image that tells a full story.

First, a picture that always brings a smile to self’s face when she sees it, because it calls up all the joys of summer:  barbecues, being outdoors, evening concerts in Stafford Park, ease:

Summer 2013:  The Wednesday evening concerts in Stafford Park, just two blocks from self's house, are absolutely a delight.

Summer 2013: The Wednesday evening concerts in Stafford Park, just two blocks from self’s house, are absolutely a delight.  They are generally packed with people.  The concerts range from Motown to Country to Classic Rock.

Then, feet heading towards downtown Redwood City for the annual Fourth of July Parade.

Fourth of July, Redwood City, 2013

Fourth of July, Redwood City, 2013

Summer in San Francisco is sometimes more like winter:

Andrew and Jennie, at the Palace of the Legion of Honor.  June 2013.  Typical San Francisco summer weather:  They could be in Ireland.

Andrew and Jennie, at the Palace of the Legion of Honor. June 2013. Typical San Francisco summer weather: They could be in Ireland.

Oh does that longing for good ol’ Americana ever hit home — yes, despite the fact that self’s current trip has been a never-ending series of spectacular adventures.

For instance, she can’t wait to see a movie (Watching “Eastenders” is her only guilty passion.  That and reading fan fiction).  The X5 from Cambridge passed a movie theater showing “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”  Self practically salivated.  She also badly wants to see that new Emily Blunt movie, the one where she puts on her action-hero mojo.  Anyone who saw Blunt chop wood in that time-travel movie with Joseph Gordon-Levitt knows this woman can certainly pack it.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Work of Art 4: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Can you believe it will be summer soon? Summer is absolutely self’s FAVORITE time of the year!

A time to celebrate heat and being outdoors! In fact, summer would be absolutely perfect if she didn’t have to water!

Now to the WordPress Photo Challenge this weeek:  WORK OF ART.

A vintage car can be a work of art.  At least, it is treated as such by people in self’s corner of the world:

Annual Redwood City Fourth of July Extravaganza always includes an exhibit of vintage cars!

Annual Redwood City Fourth of July Extravaganza always includes an exhibit of vintage cars!

Last year, self spent a few weeks in Venice with Margarita Donnelly, long-time publisher of Calyx Press. She loved taking the vaporetto to the various outlying islands of the Venetian lagoon.  She visited Murano one evening, after all the tourists were gone.

Near the Vaporetto Stop in Murano

Near the Vaporetto Stop in Murano

Another example of outdoor art on Murano. This may be a Chihuly.

Another example of outdoor art on Murano. This may be a Chihuly.

Doors, Entrances: Thresholds 4, WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

One more door beyond this is the door to the backyard.

One more door beyond this is the door to the backyard.

Filoli, early December 2013.

Entering Filoli, early December 2013.

Invitation to Enter Self's Humble Abode

Invitation to Enter Self’s Humble Abode

For those dear blog readers who’ve never heard of Filoli before, here’s a link to the historic estate and gardens (just a mile or so from self’s humble abode).  Every December, the place gets decorated to the nines for the Holiday Bazaar, and it is just glorious.

Stay tuned.

Fun Facts About Americans’ Love of Fresh-Cut Christmas Trees, Courtesy of The Economist (14 December 2013)

Is self barreling along, or what?  She only has about six week’s worth of back issues of The Economist left to read.

Wouldn’t it have been nice to read a post about Christmas trees BEFORE Christmas?  Yup.

Now she’s on the Dec. 14, 2013 issue of The Economist.

p. 71 has an article on Americans’ apparently insatiable love for fresh-cut Christmas trees.

  • Every December, a man named Francoise brings 500 fresh-cut trees from Quebec to New York’s Upper West Side.
  • The trees sell for anything from $20 to $300.
  • The National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA)  — Ever heard of it before?  Neither had self! — reports that “Americans spent more than $1 billion on 25m trees in 2012.”  The average price of a tree?  $40.
  • People on the East Coast prefer Fraser firs because of their “typical evergreen fragrance.”  Californians prefer Oregon’s Grand Fir, “which has an orange-like scent.”
  • Home Depot expected “to sell 2.8 million” fresh-cut trees in 2013.
  • Easton is “the Christmas-tree capital of Connecticut.  “Every second car leaving the area has a tree or two strapped to its roof.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Pairings Battles: Who Will Win?

This is total fluff, but anyhoo, since self seems to be on a roll, she will just keep on posting (that is, until The Man gets home and imposes some order on self’s abysmally dis-ordered mental state):

Hypable’s Battleships Pairings Tournament is down to the semi-finals, so if you feel inclined to pitch your hat in favor of either of the following pairings:

  • Bella/Edward
  • Brienne/Jaime

Go HERE!

(An early round had Nick/Gatsby and Frodo/Sam.  At some point, did any blog readers wonder if Haymitch and Effie could possibly have some outside-of-the-games romance?  Honestly, the way Haymitch rolls his eyes at Effie leads self to think the man has got to be in love — BWAH. HA. HAAA!)

Apologies, dear blog readers.  Once again, self has gotten side-tracked from the original impulse which caused her to think of posting.  Which is that:  After much slogging, self has clawed her way to PAGE 214 of Henry M. Stanley’s 536-page How I Found Livingstone in Central Africa.  YEEESSS!  In between p. 1 and p. 214, self:

  • Ate a whole lemon meringue pie.
  • Watched her Netflix movie rental, Boy A, and developed admiration for Andrew Garfield.
  • Found out her short story “Sofia” will be in Philippine Speculative Fiction, vol. 9.
  • Got very, very sick.
  • Attended a New Year’s Eve lunch in Menlo Park.
  • Watched Stanford lose in the Rose Bowl.
  • Went to town on take-out from Sam’s Chowder House in downtown Palo Alto.
  • Saw “Frozen.”
  • Read five back issues of The Economist.
  • Discontinued her subscription to The New York Times Book Review.

There were also relaxing activities like:  watering, watching birds in the backyard, watching Dr. Oz, and watching Saturday Night Live re-runs.  Self just realized:  things are so much clearer when one is sick.  Self had no idea how beneficial forced home incarceration/rest can be for the mental faculties.  For one thing, she got to read everything about Mockingjay.  Now she knows that Katniss first mentions Peeta’s name on p. 5.  P. 5!  Holy cow, girl!  Can’cha get with the program already!

On p. 214 of How I Found Livingstone in Central Africa, Henry M. Stanley develops a severe case of malaria.  While he is feverish and thus incapacitated, his porters take the opportunity to abandon him.  All except for one, an “Arab” named Selim.

I asked Selim, “Why did you not also run away, and leave your master to die?”

“Oh, sir,” said the Arab boy, naively, “I was afraid you would whip me.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

What She’s Reading, New Year’s Eve (2013)

Henry M. Stanley:

“The ascent of the ridge was rugged and steep, thorns of the prickliest nature punished us severely, the acacia horrida was here more horrid than usual, the gums stretched out their branches, and entangled the loads, the mimosa with its umbrella-like top served to shade us from the sun, but impeded a rapid advance.  Steep outcrops of syenite and granite, worn smooth by many feet, had to be climbed over, rugged terraces of earth and rock had to be ascended, and distant shots resounding through the forest added to the alarm and general discontent, and had I not been immediately behind my caravan, watchful of every maneuver, my Wanyamwezi had deserted to a man.”

–  How I Found Livingstone in Central Africa, Chapter VII (“Through Marenga Mkali, Ugogo, and Uyanzi, to Unyanyembe”)

Why does self keep thinking of THE ARENA?  Is it Stanley or Peeta/Katniss traversing those rocks and . . .

Self, get a grip!

Ding Dong!  When is that Times Square ball really going to start coming down?  And is Miley part of the show?  And why did Britney Spears almost fall out of her dress during a concert in Vegas?  And what is this new animated show that uses the voices of Armie Hammer and Teri Hatcher?  And why is Jessica Lange so funny when she sings Banana Fana in that American Horror Story episode?  And how come self only seems to watch The Good Wife when she is in Bacolod? And why can The Man never manage to help self find a single episode of Sherlock Holmes, the one with Benedict Cumberbatch?  And will Peter Jackson ever find a new project that doesn’t involve dwarves, hobbits, elves, or orcs (not that self minds, really)?  And will Charlie Hunnam have cause to regret that he backed out of Fifty Shades of Grey because it interfered with the schedule, he said, of Sons of Anarchy?  And what will J-Law look like in 20 years?  And will self still be alive then?  And won’t it be depressing to see J-Law middle-aged? (It most definitely will).

Self never made it to the post office today, but she did make it to Costco (for that most important sleep aid, Benadryl).  There were many unruly carts going this way and that.  People, self felt like saying, what good does it do to rush about like that, when in the end you will still have to wait in line at the checkout?  But, the holidays seem to bring out the most aggressive Costco shoppers, self knows not why.  Well, at least self managed to replenish her supply of Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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