1st Day in Chicago: “Smokefall”

Self embarked on this trip to see plays.

She’s always felt that Chicago is a much more exciting theater city than New York.

Every time she comes (this is only her 3rd time), she sees plays. Didn’t Second City originate here? Second City once did a play on Rod Blagojevich’s hair. It was called “Rod Blagojevich: Superstar.”  Second City is sort of like LA’s Upright Citizens Brigade.

Now Rahm Emmanuel’s in charge.

Last night, self and poet Angela Narciso Torres went to see “Smokefall.”

As in her last play at the Goodman, “Desire Under the Elms,” the set was a mix of realistic and symbolic elements. In “Desire,” there was a huge carcass of a butchered pig hanging above the stage (To give credit where credit is due, it was Angela who remembered about the pig carcass. Self is embarrassed to admit that the one memory that burns most brightly in her mind about “Desire Under the Elms” is Pablo Schreiber, Liev’s half-brother, appearing in the buff).  In last night’s “Smokefall” there was a 1950s kind of kitchen, yellow table and chairs, and a deep red sofa. At the very back of the stage was a slanted gray platform, which characters used to run up and down or to declaim inner monologues and so forth. Clever!

After the play, there was Q & A. Self must say, the first time she ever experienced this kind of after-performance discussion was at the Goodman. Now Cal Shakes has started doing this (at least, they did it last year, after the production of Wilde’s “Lady Windermere’s Fan”) It is wonderful to have discussion, right after, because everyone’s head is still popping with ideas.  There was a young man in the audience, sitting in the row directly in front of self and her friend, who looked like the Second Coming of Chris Blackett, even down to the voice (Chris is self’s nephew; he lives in New York City).

Someone asked why the play was called “Smokefall,” which was a very good question.  And the Goodman’s artistic director (who had said he would be joined by some of the actors, but wasn’t) said the word “Smokefall” was taken from a T. S. Eliot poem called “Burnt Norton.” Here’s an excerpt (which was printed on a bookmark inserted into the play’s programme):

Time past and time future
Allow but a little
consciousness.

To be conscious is not
to be in time

But only in time
can the moment in the
rose-garden

The moment in the arbour
where the rain beat,

The moment in the
draughty church at
smokefall

Be remembered; involved
with past and future.

Only through time
time is conquered.

– T. S. Eliot, “Burnt Norton” (1935)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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

Refraction: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Last year, some former college classmates took her to the Church of the Gesu, on the grounds of her alma mater, the Ateneo de Manila.

Since this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is REFRACTION, which has everything to do with light — light refracted, self presumes, as through a prism.

Here’s part of The Daily Post prompt:

  • For this photo challenge, show us what REFRACTION means to you.  It could be an image taken in a reflective surface, it could be light bent from behind an object . . .

The first picture is the interior of the Church of the Gesu in her old college, the Ateneo de Manila, in Diliman, Quezon City, Metro-Manila.

Church of the Gesu, Ateneo de Manila, Diliman, Quezon City

Church of the Gesu, Ateneo de Manila, Diliman, Quezon City

The next two pictures were taken from the back seat of a car. She’s not sure where she was going. But she loves taking pictures of the streets of Manila, especially from within a moving vehicle. She likes the reflections from the car window, the streaks of light and color and movement, the inevitable roughness and blur.

Streets of Manila, Refracted (Through a Car Window)

Streets of Manila, Refracted (Through a Car Window)

More of the Streets of Manila as Seen Through a Car Window

More of the Streets of Manila as Seen Through a Car Window

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

More and More Dreamy in Magalang, Pampanga

The Main Guest House on Abe's Farm

The Main Guest House on Abe’s Farm

DSCN2000

Capiz Shell Lamp Overlooking the Sala (Living Room) of the Main Guest House

DSCN2006

A View of the House Belonging to E. Aguilar “Abe” Cruz

More Dreamy in Magalang, Pampanga

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is “Dreamy” :

“A misty morning, your handsome spouse, your grandmother’s house . . . this week, show us something dreamy.”

No question, self’s ultimate dreamy dream is anywhere in the Philippines:

Self's Room on Abe's Farm, Magalang, Pampanga, 2013

Self’s Room on Abe’s Farm, Magalang, Pampanga, 2013

Abe's Farm is a working farm. Self's unit overlooked a small creek. Every day, self woke up thinking she was in Paradise.

Abe’s Farm is a working farm. Self’s unit overlooked a small creek. Every day, self woke up thinking she was in Paradise.

The home of E. Aguilar Cruz, writer and painter, born in Magalang, and the original owner of Abe's Farm. It now belongs to his son, restaurateur Larry J. Cruz.

The home of E. Aguilar “Abe” Cruz, writer and painter.  Abe Cruz was born and raised in Magalang. Abe’s Farm now belongs to his son, renowned restaurateur Larry J. Cruz.

Dreamy in Magalang, Pampanga: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Last year, self went on two major trips: one to Venice, the other to the Philippines.

When she was in the Philippines, she visited Pampanga Agricultural College in Magalang, Pampanga. Her friend Alawi Canlas suggested she stay in a place called Abe’s Farm.

Self never wanted to leave.

Which is why, in response to this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge — DREAMY — self decided to post three photographs she took while she was at Abe’s Farm.

Abe's Farm, Magalang, Pampanga:  September 2013

Abe’s Farm, Magalang, Pampanga: October 2013

Behind Self's Unit in Abe's Farm

Behind Self’s Unit in Abe’s Farm

Reading, Dreaming in Her Room in Abe's Farm

Reading, Dreaming in Her Room in Abe’s Farm

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Signs 4: Out and About in London, Spring 2014

Self stopped by London in April 2014. Her friend, poet Joan McGavin, accompanied her to Kensington Gardens. We looked for the new Serpentine Gallery but never found it. Instead, we stumbled across this:

Kensington Gardens, London:  April 2014

Kensington Gardens, London: April 2014

The Serpentine is a beautiful, meandering river. Signs alongside tell viewers what kind of water fowl to be on the lookout for.

Sign along the Serpentine: April 2014

Sign along the Serpentine: April 2014

The day after self arrived in London, there was a tube strike. This sign at the entrance to the Russell Square Station said it all:

London Underground, Russell Square Station: April 2014

London Underground, Russell Square Station: April 2014

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

Signs 3: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Today, all kinds of signs:

Graffiti on the stairs to the tower of Great Saint Mary’s Cathedral; Signs at a train station in Wales (Self was immensely fascinated by how different Welsh sounded from — English. DUH!); and book covers for discovered writers.

The Daily Post challenge for the week tells us to publish an image of a sign. So far this week, self has been interpreting the prompt very literally:

Graffiti: Sighted while climbing to the top of Great St. Mary's, Cambridge, UK:  May 2014

Graffit sighted on the climb to the top of Great St. Mary’s Cathedral in Cambridge, UK: May 2014

This is what "Welcome to Colwyn Bay" looks like in Welsh! Sighted on the train from Holyhood, Wales to Euston Station, London: May 2014

This is what “Welcome to Colwyn Bay” looks like in Welsh! Sighted on the train from Holyhead, Wales to Euston Station, London: May 2014

Fell in love with the poetry of Marcus Cumberlege when I ran across one of his collections at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig. Scoured all the bookstores in Dublin, but had to go to Kenny's in Galway to get their one used copy, a book called FIRELINES. Love.

Fell in love with the poetry of Marcus Cumberlege when she ran across one of his collections at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig. Scoured all the bookstores in Dublin, but had to go to Kenny’s in Galway to get their one used copy, a book called FIRELINES. Love.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Foreign Climes, Various Nighttimes: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge Post # 3

Ca' San Toma.  Self barely saw any tourist wandering the neighbordhood.

Near self’s apartment in Ca’ San Toma, Venice. Self barely saw any tourist wandering the neighbordhood.

Taking the Vaporetto Home to San Toma

Venice, April 2013: Taking the Vaporetto Home to San Toma

Sunset, June 2012:  In southern Scotland, that means 10 p.m.

Sunset, June 2012: In southern Scotland, that means 10 p.m.

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.”

 

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