Denzel Bloody Denzel: Thoughts on “The Equalizer”

Isn’t Denzel getting too old for this kind of stuff?  Nope.  Assuredly not.  No one is too old to try becoming Charles “Il Bruto” Bronson.

Isn’t Chloe Moretz too young to be playing a hooker?  Nope. Because Jodie Foster showed the way. Next to play a hooker should be Abigail Breslin.

Was the movie theater full or not full? Self can always predict whether a movie has legs from the size of the audience of the first screening on opening weekend. The theater was 3/4 full.

Why did this movie remind her (sort of) of Training Day?  Because it had the same director, Anton Fuqua. (What a name. Self thinks it was inevitable that the boy born Anton Fuqua would turn into Movie Director Anton Fuqua)

How We Know Denzel’s Character is an Upstanding Citizen:  He never once tries to flirt with Chloe Moretz’s character. Even though she is pretty darn cute.  Instead, he talks to her about his ex-wife. And about Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea. Which clearly proves he is celibate. And noble. Has only the best interests of Chloe Moretz at heart when he engages her in light banter.

In addition, he helps a colleague during a hold-up — helpfully emptying her till for her and urging her to comply with the hold-upper’s demand for her ring.

When Denzel Makes His Intense Glare, we know that it is curtains for whoever is on the receiving end of said Glare.

Self only closed her eyes about four times. Not out of boredom but out of I-Can’t-Take-All-This-Gore responses.

The Hit Man in this movie was from Bourne 2. An elegant, dapper gent with a mournful countenance. It always helps when the Hit Man looks like he might have stumbled in from a GQ ad. This time, he did not have a British accent.

Note to Future Hit-Men:  Never pick on someone who works at Home Depot or places similar. Just think of the array of weapons the target will have at his/her disposal:  Hammers, all sizes; chainsaws, both battery-operated and not; screwdrivers, both electric and non-electric; nails. If the Bruce Willis in Pulp Fiction had been working in a Home Depot, he wouldn’t have been so limited in his choice of revenge weapons. If the Transporter’s Jason Stathan had Home Depot instead of a limo at his disposal, he’d have been prancing down the aisles with wild abandon.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

White Whale Review

This evening, self decides to re-visit some of the literary journals who’ve solicited and published her work.

There is a reason why, on this blog, self begins to list her publications only starting from 2007: that was the year when she began getting published again.

Yes indeed, dear blog readers:  Just because one has two books under one’s belt is no guarantee of your survival as a writer. And for a period of several years, self received not one single acceptance.

But she hung on.  For which, thank God.

In the meantime, while she was suffering through the acute discomfort of many-years-not-getting-published, she started a blog. This blog. She was writing, but purely for entertainment. Slowly, editors began to write her, leaving comments on the blog.

And that’s how she came to be published in White Whale Review. One of the editors contacted her.  Her story, “Dumaguete,” appeared in Issue 1.2

It’s been a while since she dropped by; she decides to visit this evening, and finds out, Holy Cow, they’re now on Issue 6.2.

So they did not fold.

It’s almost a miracle.

Nighttime 2: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is NIGHTTIME.

Self looooves taking nighttime shots. She was about to write that she *never* uses flash, but remembers that the picture she took of the giant puppet was taken with flash.  Otherwise, there would undoubtedly have been more blurring.

Karaoke Bar, Bacolod.  Self heard singing from there almost every night.

Karaoke Bar, Bacolod. Self heard singing from there almost every night.

Lacson Street, downtown Bacolod, during Masskara 2012

Lacson Street, downtown Bacolod, during Masskara 2012.  Local high schools compete to create the best giant puppets. Judging is on the last day of the Masskara Festival.

The Moon!  Looking white and ghostly through the French doors at the back of her house.

The Moon! Looking white and ghostly through the French doors at the back of self’s house in Redwood City, CA.

Books of The Economist, 22 February 2014 (Can Self Be Any More Behind in Reading

First, a novel. There is usually only one fiction review in each issue of The Economist. This one is in a box — the fact that it is means it must be special.

The Undertaking, by Audrey Magee (Atlantic Books) :

  • The best elements of this novel are intrusions of war into the domestic sphere.
  • A German soldier named Peter Ferber enlists the service of a marriage bureau and weds a girl he has never met in order to get home leave.

Next, a book about climate change:

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, by Elizabeth Kolbert (Henry Holt) :

  • As the climate warms, catastrophe looms. Yet it is oddly pleasurable to read Elizabeth Kolbert’s new book, which offers a ramble through mass extinctions, present and past.  Five such episodes in the past have 450 million years have wiped out plant and animal life on huge scales.

Finally, a biography of an American poet whose name seems to be popping up everywhere these days:

E. E. Cummings:  A Life, by Susan Cheever (Pantheon)

  • It was only in New York that he felt free. Surrounded by writers such as Marianne Moore and Edmund Wilson, and photographers such as Walker Evans, he spent over 40 years in Greenwich Village, living in the same apartment.
  • He wrote nearly 3,000 poems, two novels and four plays, as well as painting portraits.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

In Progress

Self worked on these stories today:

  • The Mountain Dog
  • The Hole

Why, she wonders, does she keep churning out short stories, when she really ought to be concentrating on a novel, since that is more liable to capture the attention of literary agents and/or big mainstream publishers?

Nevertheless, self is proud about today’s accomplishments.

Both stories were begun ages ago. Suddenly, today, self knew exactly what each story was missing. She had put up the framework, but she didn’t know the story. Not until today.

Go for it go for it go for it

Life is short, the journey long.

Stay tuned.

Humanity 3: More From Bacolod’s Masskara Festival, October 2012

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It’s all about the STREET.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Alan Furst’s Dark Star

Dark Star is the first Alan Furst book she’s ever read, and it’s a mighty good one.

By 1917, when he was 20 years old and had attended three years of university in Cracow, he was a confirmed writer of stories, one of many who came from Odessa — it had something to do with seaports: strange languages, exotic travelers, night bells in the harbor, waves pounding into foam on the rocks and always distance, horizon, the line where sky met water, and just beyond your vision people were doing things you couldn’t imagine.–  p. 56, Dark Star

Is there such a thing as a lyrical spy story? This must be a first. At least in self’s reading life.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Discoveries, First Saturday of September (2014)

Yesterday, while standing at the check-out line in Whole Foods on Jefferson, self saw a CD by Ed Sheeran. She was curious, as apparently he is a great favorite of the writers on fanfiction.net  So she bought his CD and listened to it at home and, you know, it reminds her of old rock. But it’s pleasant. Something new to listen to while driving!

Today was peaceful. She mostly watered.

She’s very much enjoying Dark Star, by Alan Furst. He writes ridiculously well, for someone who writes spy thrillers.

SPOILER ALERT!!!

On p. 52, the hero of the story, Szara, lands in Berlin (after a particularly nasty encounter with some hired assassins — he escapes by the skin of hist teeth). This is what he sees of the city from his hotel room:

Szara stared out a high window, watching umbrellas moving down the street like phantoms. It seemed to him the city’s very own, private weather, for Berliners lived deep inside themselves — it could be felt — where they nourished old insults and humiliated ambitions of every sort, all of it locked up within a courtesy like forged metal and an acid wit that never seemed meant to hurt — it just, apparently by accident, left a little bruise.

Lovely writing, isn’t it?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Dialogue 2: Looking Back at Redwood City’s Annual (2014) Fourth of July Parade

So many things to love about self’s current abode, Redwood City. The annual Fourth of July Parade is surely one of them.

And what would a Fourth of July Parade be without at least a couple of fresh-faced beauty queens?

Below, shots of the same float, from different points of the parade route, and from different angles (wide shot to close-up).

She’s still trying to come up with interpretations of this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge: DIALOGUE. Which to self means exploring a set of pictures for what they reveal about a photographer’s “sensitivity to certain content or visual elements.”

To self, the pictures below highlight self’s sensitivity to — people watching? Public display? Patriotic holidays? She can’t be quite sure.

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Watching the parade always sets off in self a powerful feeling of nostalgia.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Fray: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

December 2013

December 2013

Must confess self finds the theme of this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge a tad — shall we say — vague: FRAY.

She decided to think of the challenge as “fray” as in frayed material or frayed thread. Hence, the Christmas angel, whose skirt is made out of thin, frayed hemp.

Another from December 2013

Another from December 2013

Below is a detail of the Miami Holocaust Memorial in Miami’s South Beach, one of the most powerful holocaust memorials she’s ever seen. Self realizes it’s quite a contrast: Christmas decorations and concentration camps. But, this whole blog is about contrasts, isn’t it?

Miami Holocaust Memorial, South Beach, November 2013: Frayed Flesh

Miami Holocaust Memorial, South Beach, November 2013: Frayed Flesh

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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