Week Before AWP Exhaustion and Self Is Already Exhausted

So, what better way to lose herself for a few minutes, or even an hour, than in reading Hunger Games fanfiction?  She found a really good one today.  Dear blog readers will probably laugh but it is no joke:  one of self’s bookmarked sites is Mockingjay.net.

No, self will not go there.

Instead, she continues with Divergent.  Because the movie — well, the movie stars Shailene Woodley.  And self loves Shailene Woodley.  She’s loved her ever since The Descendants.

These are the young actresses self particularly loves:  Jennifer Lawrence, Anna Kendrick, Emily Blunt (well, she’s a bit older; still, self loves her), Jena Malone and Shailene Woodley.  Oh!  She also likes Felicity Jones.  She liked Natalie Mendoza in The Descent.  She likes Lilly Collins. And Lupita Nyong’o who was absolutely incandescent in 12 Years a Slave.

Where were we?

Oh yes, Divergent.

On p. 33, self finds out a little bit more about the world of the book:

The narrator’s father has returned from a hard day at work.  He is some kind of political leader.

The narrator explains:

The city is ruled by a council of fifty people, composed entirely of representatives from Abnegation, because our faction is regarded as incorruptible, due to our commitment to selflessness.  Our leaders are selected by their peers for their impeccable character, moral fortitude, and leadership skills. Representatives from each of the other factions can speak in the meetings on behalf of a particular issue, but ultimately, the decision is the council’s . . .  It has been that way since the beginning of the great peace, when the factions were formed.  I think the system persists because we’re afraid of what might happen if it didn’t:  war.

Self loses herself in conjecture.  To tell the truth, self belongs in a faction like Abnegation.  But she longs to break out of it because it is just, so, so — limp. For instance, p. 34:  “We aren’t supposed to speak at the dinner table unless our parents ask us a direct question, and they usually don’t.”

Members of Abnegation must be humble and self-effacing all the time.  They must not take pride in their looks or in their character or in their intelligence or in their creativity.

What. A. Terrible. Way. To. Be.

Self knows, because she spent — oh, about 80% of her life doing all those self-abnegating things.  And it did her not. One. Bit. Of. Good.

Until self suddenly had this mind-blowing revelation, courtesy of Manang Marilou of Bacolod:  Nobody cares if you are miserable.  So you might as well be happy.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Claremont, Day 3: Yoganette Studio, West Covina

Niece, Llana, chatting with Andrew and Jennie after the yoga workshop at Yoganette, West Covina.

Niece, Llana, chatting with Andrew and Jennie after the yoga workshop at Yoganette, West Covina.

Attended 2-hour yoga workshop at Yoganette in West Covina.

Self had such a workout!  She sweat buckets.

One of the workshop leaders, Llana, is the daughter of her Bacolod cousins, Mae and Manong Eddie Villanueva.

Llana was a great teacher:  kind and patient and very helpful.  Plus, she has a great yoga voice.  Hypnotic.  Self could feel her neurosis spinning out of herself, slowly but surely.

How self would love to say she lost 5 lbs. in two hours.  Dream ON, self!

Llana chatting with us after the workshop.

Llana chatting with us after the workshop.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

More Selfies: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Self’s selfies — Bwah. Ha. Ha. — are sooo Read the rest of this entry »

Family 3: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

From the prompt on The Daily Post website:

“. . . family is something that most of us care deeply about and that we find around us every day. Photographing our family not only gives us the chance to share something close to our heart, but affords us the opportunities often required to capture an image in a very special way.”

Son and his cousins William and Chris Blackett, visiting from New York City

Son and his cousins William and Chris Blackett, visiting from New York City

Saw this duckling brood on the campus of the University of Miami, which self visited in November.

Saw this duckling brood on the campus of the University of Miami, which self visited in November.

Manong Junior, self's cousin, at his home in Bacolod.  It was his birthday.  He invited self to a lunch at the Daku Balay, but self had a flight to catch.

Manong Junior, self’s cousin, at his home in Bacolod. It was his birthday. He invited self to a lunch at the Daku Balay, but self had a flight to catch.

“Sleepy Hollow” Last Night (First Monday of November, 2013)

Self loves books.

Self loves books and movies.

She also loves “Game of Thrones” the TV series.  And “Justified.” And “Sleepy Hollow.”

So, let’s go to last night’s episode of the last item on the above list.

Before she spills about how she completely forgot what night of the week it was (The Man always comes to her rescue!), she would just like to say:

Where did the producers unearth this Tom Mison fellow?  He is absolutely the killer Ichabod Crane of all Ichabod Cranes, the ne-plus-ultra of Literary-Characters-Lurking-in-Early-America-Waiting-To-Be-Discovered-For-TV.  He had the British accent down pat, and self was applauding his elegant approximation of a British accent until — until she discovered he was actually British. Oh, so he is just sounding like himself, then?  Bring on more of those Brits!  Any more who look like him?  Lurking on the stage of the National Theater, perhaps?

Anyhoo, in last night’s episode, he was kidnapped.  Kidnapped, you say?

SPOILER ALERT!

Yes, kidnapped!  After being incapacitated with a paralyzing agent from a blow dart!  He was mourning at the foot of his wife’s grave in the cemetery!  Which was of course the logical place for the baddies to find him!  Always look in the cemetery if you want to find Our Man Ichabod!

Then, Nicole Beharie, who plays his trusty and loyal cop-friend, Abby Mills, goes into full-on attack mode, even springing her sister from the mental asylum where she’s been holed up for the last 20 years, just so the sister (who happens to have the most evil eyebrows this side of “Carrie”) can assist her in finding a “Sin Eater” to eat Ichabod’s “sin” and break his bond with the Headless Horseman of the Apocalypse so that said Horseman can rampage at will over present-day New York State and thereby ensure many, many seasons of mayhem that will throw our darling pair, Ichabod and Abby, into ever more perilous situations, which will require them of course to fall in love.

There!  That’s where it all ends up!

And if you, dear television viewer, were so dense as to believe that drinking poison would actually finish off Our Man Ichabod, then you have got to repeat Television Viewing 101, because you get an F!  The only purpose of the drinking-of-the-poison scene was so that Abby could fling herself at Ichabod and show him how much she really, really cares.

Self must confess:  the reason she started watching “Sleepy Hollow” was because one of her Bacolod cousins started posting on Facebook pictures of the handsome Mison.  There was some chatter about whether he could be related to the Bacolod Misons.  Because, after all, his last name and theirs are spelled exactly the same way.  And with his dark coloring, he might conceivably have some islander blood.  And this talk was making self’s head spin.  So one of the first things she did after getting back to the ol’ US of A was ask The Man to find an episode of “Sleepy Hollow,” which he very charmingly did, in something like five minutes, at which point self could not get over the fact that Tom Mison reminds her a bit of a young Keanu, though his eyes are of a somewhat lighter shade.

The Man noticed that Nicole Beharie/Abby Mills was “cute.”

And so, dear blog readers know where self will be, every Monday at 9 p.m., until the last episdoe of “Sleepy Hollow” Season 1!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Merienda Today, First Monday in October (2013)

Bumped into cousins at Bob’s in Robinsons. Fun. Cousins are fabulous.

Yannie, a coed in De La Salle.  She's the daughter of my Manong Monching.

Yannie, a coed in De La Salle. She’s the daughter of self’s first cousin, Manong Monching.

Yannie and self exchanged jeepney-riding stories.

Self had ordered a dish of palabok.  Yannie said the best palabok was at Roli’s in Lopue’s East, Mandalagan.

The sun set, way too fast . . .

DSCN2238

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

The Daku Balay, Burgos Street, Bacolod City

View From the Main Lobby, Balay Daku

View From the Main Lobby, Balay Daku

The Front Porch, Daku Balay, Bacolod City

The Front Porch, Daku Balay, Bacolod City

Self’s Dear Departed Dad grew up in the Daku Balay.

At the time of its construction (in the 1930s), it was the tallest building in Bacolod City.

It was four stories with a working elevator and a grand marble staircase.

The Japanese High Command occupied it during World War II.

Now, for the first time ever, it is being opened to the public.

Here’s a link to the announcement prepared by self’s cousins.

Stay tuned.

Inside 4: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

So happy to be in "The Nest."  There's a typhoon signal alert outside.

It is great to be in “The Nes,.” especially when there’s a typhoon signal alert outside.

A restaurant inside an art gallery in Bacolod

A restaurant inside an art gallery in Bacolod

When self still entertained dreams of doing something agricultural in her Dear Departed Dad’s hometown, she visited her little slice of earth in Barangay Granada, saw how the land sloped upwards from the National Highway, and wondered aloud whether she needed to get an irrigation pump.

It took her cousins less than 10 seconds to set her straight:  “A pump!  What for?  It’ll just get stolen.”

BWAH. HA. HA. HAAAAA!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Carefree 2

Self left Bacolod in November 2012 and hasn’t had a chance to return. So she was so happy to meet these cousins and two of their children, who are vacationing in California. YAY!

Relatives From Bacolod, After Dinner at Hotaru in San Mateo

Relatives From Bacolod, After Dinner at Hotaru in San Mateo

Bacolod changed self's life.

Bacolod changed self’s life.

So, what these pictures really show is Happiness!

So, what these pictures really show is Happiness!  Which is not all that different an emotional state from being Carefree!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Memory and Nostalgia: “Sutil” in The Threepenny Review

The Threepenny Review, Fall 1995

The Threepenny Review, Fall 1995

Still one of self’s favorite pieces.  It begins:

I was last home for my father’s funeral.  I say “home” even though I am an American citizen now, sworn in with a twenty-piece Navy band in the grand ballroom of the Marriott Hotel on Fourth and Mission in San Francisco.  Yet, “home” for me was always that other place, that city James Hamilton-Patterson describes as “a parody of the grimmer parts of Milwaukee.”

I’ve never been to Milwaukee, so I can’t tell whether this is true or not, whether Manila really is like a parody of a city in the far north of this country (or at least what I imagine to be the far north, in a general region of the country I associate with heavy snow and Laverne and Shirley).  But that it is different from here, of course.  It is the differences I loved.

When I was last home, which was for my father’s funeral, I slept with my mother in the big wooden four-poster in my parents’ bedroom.  This bed, handed down from my grandfather, was familiar and reassuring.  It was of heavy wood, a wood that doesn’t exist today in any Philippine forest, having been cut to extinction.  It may have been called “molave.”  I am not sure of this, as I am not sure of so many things about my culture, which I think I received very young, too young really to understand context or value.

DSCN1211

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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