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.

2014 Mendocino Writers Conference, July 31 – Aug. 2

The Mendocino Writers Conference starts Thursday, July 31 and runs to Saturday, Aug. 2 at College of the Redwoods in Mendocino.

The conference is now in its 25th year, which is pretty amazing.

Kudos to the Mendocino Art Center folks, who work so tirelessly to Read the rest of this entry »

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 10: Still in Squaw Valley

Still mostly working on photographing the contrast between sunlight and shadow.

Squaw Valley is amazingly beautiful, even without snow.

The Village, Early Morning:  Sunlight and Shadow

The Village, Early Morning: Sunlight and Shadow

From My Balcony

View From the Balcony of Self’s Unit

And now for something completely different:  Self was fascinated by this woman’s hair (and also her striped knit cardigan).  The woman sat directly in front of self during the Tom Barbash/Christine Meldrum/Mark Childress/Amy Tan reading, a few nights ago:

A member of the audience during the Barbash, Meldrum, Childress, Tan Reading the Other Night

A member of the audience during the Barbash, Meldrum, Childress, Tan Reading the Other Night

Loving it here.  Every moment.

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.

Reading Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz in PANK No. 7

This is an excerpt from Cristin’s poem, “After Reading Your Poem About Hawaii,”  which was in PANK No. 7.  I bought four back copies of PANK from their Book Fair table at the last AWP, in Seattle, and am only now, four months later, finally settling down to read them!

I really liked Cristin’s poem — a lot!

Poems are phone calls you can eavesdrop on.
When you are a poet, poems are everywhere.
I still read your poetry. Sometimes I think
I still see me in there.

But other times I know that’s not the truth.
The truth is that we both know where we are,
and it’s not next to each other anymore.
So what am I to make of this poem?

Where you are the you I am speaking to,
when in real life we are not speaking at all.
Ring ring, my brain says. Or maybe, it can
just be my poem waving to your poem.

Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry and her work has been published in Conduit, Rattle, Barrelhouse, La Petite Zine, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendencies, among others.  For more information, visit http://www.aptowicz.com

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Contrasts: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

The theme for this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is CONTRASTS.

Red and yellow are contrasting colors, aren’t they?

The Optimists Club of Redwood City sells chips and franks at the weekly concerts that run all summer in Stafford Park, two blocks from self's humble abode.

The Optimists Club of Redwood City sells chips and franks at the weekly concerts that run all summer in Stafford Park, two blocks from self’s humble abode.

These were the back-up singers for one of the bands at Ozzfest, June 10, at the Button Factory in Dublin’s Temple Bar (held, appropriately enough, on what would have been Judy Garland’s 92nd birthday).  There are all sorts of contrasts in play here:  one signer is dark-haired, the other is a platinum blonde.  The women are illuminated, the stage behind them is shadowy.  While one woman sings, the other waits for her cue.

At the Button Factory in Dublin's Temple Bar:  June 10

At the Button Factory in Dublin’s Temple Bar: June 10

And another shot self took at the Button Factory.  The contrast lies in the use of red and green spotlights –

The Audience at Ozfest in the Button Factory, Temple Bar:  June 10, 2014

The Audience at Ozzfest in the Button Factory, Temple Bar: June 10, 2014

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

Between 2: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

BETWEEN is a very interesting photo challenge.

Thank you, Broken Light Collective, for coming up with the theme.

Below, three takes:

The Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig:  the hallway leading to the music studio on the top floor of the main house

The Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig: the hallway leading to the music studio on the top floor of the main house: Narrow Space Between Walls

The Pedestrian Walkway Spanning the Thames Just Behind the Globe Theatre in London's South End

Between Two Riverbanks:  The Pedestrian Walkway Spanning the Thames Just Behind the Globe Theatre in London’s South End

Extreme Close-up of a page of a story about an American Soldier in Iraq in the New Yorker

Between Two People:  Letter to a member of the Armed Forces serving in Iraq (Luke), showing what happens when it is almost 100% redacted (Letter was in a New Yorker short story)

More Reading From the Personal Bookshelf: VOICES OF WAR, A Library of Congress Veterans History Project

Self bought this book for The Man last year, but ended up reading it herself.  It’s made up of a lot of little remembrances, interviews with various former members of the armed forces, some of whom enlisted for reasons ranging from “I was kicked out of school and didn’t know what to do with myself” to “I was the fourth generation to serve in the United States Army.”

Here’s a memoir from Rod Hirsch, who served in the Army during the Vietnam War:

I heard the strains of Reveille.  I was very dismayed to find out that it was recorded.  I had always thought there was some guy standing out in front of the barracks, blowing Reveille on a bugle.  And that made me very disappointed.

You’re eighteen years old, you just got out of high school, and you go into a situation where you’re going to be disciplined heavily.  There’s going to be a lot expected of you, and this is something that most of us had not experienced.  And so we’re all confused, we all feel stupid, we all feel like we have left feet, we don’t do anything right.  It’s a traumatic experience.

Whoo!  What a lot of posts self has written on just one day!  She’s enjoyed herself thoroughly.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

K. M. Kaung’s BLACK RICE: Further Reading

So intense this year has been.  Self is just now picking up the threads of the various novels/novellas she began to read as long as a year ago.

Here’s an excerpt from Kyi May Kaung’s novella Black Rice.

She was a storyteller too, my mother, just like Uncle Kong and Aunt Anouk.  So I always knew that after her tenth failure at the Dufferin Hospital, she was so sad, she turned her face towards the wall, wishing she were dead, tears streaming from her eyes.  Even the jokes of my inebriated father, already tipsy at the afternoon visiting hour, could not make her smile.  Her tenth pregnancy had not ended in a miscarriage but in a live birth.  To keep the pregnancy, she lay in bed almost all the eight months, hardly moving.  On the advice of her doctor, she gave up sex with her husband.  She was so proud of carrying to term and of having a live birth.  And it was a boy, too, she told me.  She said his eyes and nose, and ears that stuck out, were just like mine.  Just like my father’s ears.

Kyi “has been writing fiction since she was a teenager in Rangoon, Burma, and her play Shaman was praised by Edward Albee.  She has won a Fulbright fellowship, a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Award, the William Carlos Williams Award of the Academy of American Poets, and was a Pew Finalist in Fiction twice.  K. M. Kaung’s fiction has appeared in the Wild River Review, the Northern Virginia Review, the Philadelphia Inquirer Sunday Magazine, and  in Himal Southasia.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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