Monument 2: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Hong Kong, monument to the Chinese money-making instinct:  Summer 2006 (Last Trip to Asia with Sole Fruit of Her Loins)

Hong Kong, monument to the Chinese money-making instinct: Summer 2006 (Last Trip to Asia with Sole Fruit of Her Loins)

The Golden Gate Bridge:  View From Land's End, San Francisco:  December 2008

The Golden Gate Bridge: View From Land’s End, San Francisco: December 2008

The Layout of Stonehenge: Diagram From SOLVING STONEHENGE, by Anthony Johnson. Self has always been fascinated by the abiding mystery of these stones.  She even used the monument in a short story that got published in Wigleaf ("Stonehenge/Pacifica")

The Layout of Stonehenge: Diagram From SOLVING STONEHENGE, by Anthony Johnson. Self has always been fascinated by the abiding mystery of these stones. She even used the monument in a short story that got published in Wigleaf in 2008:  “Stonehenge/Pacifica”

Excerpt, “Stonehenge/Pacifica” published in Wigleaf (1/11/2012):

It was a dream I had, some restless night.  One of those weeks or months or years when we were worried about money.

But when were we ever not worried?

First there was the mortgage, and then the two.

And then your mother got sick, and your father died.

You can read the story in its entirety, here.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

Threshold 2, WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: What Lies Beyond?

A Writer's Apartment in Paris.  The door leads to her bedroom.

July 2012:  A Writer’s Apartment in Paris. The door leads to her bedroom.

June 2012, Hawthornden:  Every day for one month, selfI passed through this portal.

June 2012, Hawthornden Writers Retreat, Scotland: Every day for one month, self passed through this portal.  Sometimes it felt like entering an enchanted kingdom.

The Red Door to the Shed:  It used to be dark brown. Self decided to paint it red over a decade ago.

The Red Door to the Shed: It used to be dark brown. Self decided to paint it red over a decade ago.

1st Saturday of April (2014) Reading

First, there is The New Yorker of January 16, 202 (Don’t ask.  Self just can’t explain), a short story by Said Sayrafiezadeh called “A Brief Encounter with the Enemy.”  This story is the first post-”Things They Carried” war short story self has ever read.  And since she first read Tim O’Brien ages and ages ago, she thinks it’s high time!

Here’s the narrator describing a mission:

To get to the hill you have to first take the path . . .  I was loaded down with fifty pounds of equipment that clanged and banged with every step.  I might as well have been carrying a refrigerator on my back.  But after the first month the fear dissipated and the path started to become fascinating, even charming.  I was able to appreciate the “beauty of the surroundings” . . .  even the trees that I was constantly bumping against.

Oh, that is fabulous writing, simply fabulous. Hilarious. She wonders (since she hasn’t yet finished reading the story) if it ends in tragedy.

The other thing self is reading is of course Hunger Games fan fiction.  She landed on this story just yesterday.  It’s no use hiding the fact from dear blog readers:  in the past few months (probably since last December), self has completely surrendered to the charms of Alternate Universe Narratives.  She reads one every night before she goes to bed.  Her filters are “Angst” and “Peeta.”

In the one she is currently reading, charming Miss Katniss Everdeen has been summoned home to America, a country she had not seen since the age of eight (Self is all too cognizant of the fact that the tone of the particular piece of fan fiction she is reading — it’s set in 1832 — is beginning to bleed into her blog post, but anyhoo), not since she was enrolled by her parents in a very ritzy London private school called Panem’s Better School for Girls.

The ship she books passage on is called the Mockingjay.  Her chaperone is a ditzy woman named Miss Effie Trinket.  Just as she boards, however, Katniss discovers that Ms. Trinket has to go, and there is no other female presence on this dastardly ship.  Worse, the captain’s name is CORIOLANUS SNOW. The first mate, a man with mutton chops and “dark, glittering eyes” is called SENECA CRANE.  Before you can say BOO, our heroine encounters yet another unsavory sort, a sailor named ROMULUS THREAD.  Sailor after sailor attempt to warn her that she would be best getting off the ship and embarking on another — say, The Virginian.  But our Miss Katniss is an extremely stubborn soul.  It appears she is more terrified of appearing weak than of actually experiencing any sort of physical (or moral, or emotional) harm.  The last doleful warning comes from a rheumy sort who begins addressing her as “Sweetheart.”  Still our plucky Miss Katniss refuses to budge.

Self’s heart was pounding a mile a minute — that is, until Miss K happens to make the acquaintance of the cook.  This man — or boy — happens to have eyes of cerulean blue and the longest eyelashes she has ever seen.  At which point, self felt like standing up and screaming:  KATNISS, STAY ON THAT SHIP!  YOU DON’T WANT ANYONE TAKING YOU OFF THAT SHIP!  BELIEVE ME!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Threshold: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Threshold: That point just before the action happens.

Any moment, someone is going to walk through that door. Or self will go to her garden. Or she’ll see something transcendent, like I. M. Pei’s glass pyramid,  just outside the Louvre.

A threshold is a transitional point:  in life as well as in physical space.

The room where self keeps all her files and magazines is just across the hallway from the bedroom.

Home in Redwood City:  the room where self keeps all her files and magazines is just across the hallway from the bedroom.

The front door opens directly onto the living room.  This is what the front door looks like when self is lolling on her couch.

Still Another Shot of Home:  The front door opens directly onto the living room. This is what self sees when she looks at the front door from the vantage point of her couch.

Approaching the Main Courtyard to the Louvre

Paris, July 2012:  Approaching the I. M. Pei Pyramid just Outside the Louvre

Street Life: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s photo challenge seems made expressly for self.  She is passionate about recording street life, wherever she roams.

Here’s her first set of photographs.

These were taken in Bacolod, Dear Departed Dad’s hometown:

Bacolod:  The Street Below

Bacolod: The Street Below Self’s Hotel Balcony

The Same Street:  Night

The Same Street: Night

Masskara Street Festival, October 2012

Masskara Festival, October 2012:  It’s celebrated every October in Bacolod.

Noah, Biblical Action Hero

Self loved the movie.

At least, the Read the rest of this entry »

Reflections 2: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Reflection: to lose oneself in thought.

Self has lost herself in thought in a couple of different places. Here are three:

Holocaust Memorial, South Beach, Miami

Holocaust Memorial, South Beach, Miami

Self's Garden in Fall

Self’s Garden in Fall

The Café at the de Young Museum, Golden Gate Park

The Café at the de Young Museum, Golden Gate Park

EKPHRASIS: Jean Vengua’s The Little Book of Haptic Drawings

The word epkphrasis is one of those words, like deconstruction or meta-fiction, that self has heard floating about, here and there, usually in the most erudite settings — like literary magazines.  Like university websites (She used to have “dystopian” on that short list, but ever since The Hunger Games, and its overwhelming popularity, self hears “dystopian” at least 10x a day and it may be moving from the realm of the esoteric to the realm of cliché)

Ekphrasis refers to poems inspired by another art form — visual arts, say, or music.

The Little Book of Haptic Drawings is about ekphrasis.  But you don’t even need to know that.

It’s available now online in pdf format.  You can read it for free online or download it.  Jean would welcome a small donation — anything you can afford.  (There’s a small donation button on the sidebar).   Just click on the link.  Explore.  Enjoy.

And if you fell in love with it, be sure and let Jean know.

Stay tuned.

 

Inside 3: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Self decided to re-read the prompt on The Daily Post site, to see if she could figure out other things to post (besides pictures of her house/museums/her garden).

She read this:

The crew here . . .  play a photo game called “blank-in-a-blank” when we get together.  We try to take photos of any of us inside anything else.  Sometimes it’s physical (a taxi, a mirror, an elevator, a silly hat) and sometimes it’s figurative (a state of confusion, a cone of silence, a joyous embrace).

So self found a picture of herself INSIDE her car!  Exciting!

Selfie!

Selfie!

And she found a picture of herself and one of her dearest friends in Bacolod, Gemma the chef at the Negros Museum Café, sitting INSIDE another car!

Gemma, chef at the Negros Museum Café, and Self, 2012. Whose car is that?  Self forgets.

Gemma, chef at the Negros Museum Café, and Self, 2012. Whose car is that? Self forgets.

And she found this picture of a picture of herself, taken years ago at the San Diego Zoo (when she was probably still just a grad student at Stanford) posing next to the statue of a mean-looking gorilla!

On one of self's bookshelves is a picture of her at the San Diego Zoo, standing next to a mean-looking gorilla.  She was a grad student in Stanford.

Photograph on a Bookshelf:  Self at the San Diego Zoo (When she was just a grad student at Stanford)

The time has come to thank fellow writer Jean Vengua.  For being the one to tell self about WordPress’s weekly photo challenge.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Ricky Gervais, Wall Street Journal Weekend Edition, March 1-2, 2014

Ricky Gervais was the subject of Alexandra Wolfe’s Weekend Confidential, two weeks ago.  He is as sharply witty on the page as he is while doing his stand-ups.  He plays Dominic Badguy in the upcoming “Muppets Most Wanted.” He’s probably most famous for creating The Office, which debuted on British television in 2001.

  • About Twitter:  “They worry about what someone on Twitter says about them . . .  You may as well walk around public toilets and look for graffiti about yourself, because it’s as relevant.”
  • About his humor:  “I enjoy deconstructing human behavior . . .  That’s my favorite thing:  social satire.”
  • About the criticism leveled at him for the way he roasted Hollywood stars while hosting the Golden Globes:  “You usually have to be a serial killer to get that many inches” in the press.
  • On his success:  “I’ve got a nicer house, and I travel comfortably, but . . .  I don’t do drugs, I don’t race cars, I don’t gamble, I don’t buy jewelry, and nothing I couldn’t do when I was poor have I started doing when I was rich.”

More:

He was in a band in college.  It was called Seona Dancing.

He got his start doing “a satirical alternative news show” called Meet Ricky Gervais.

Nice interview.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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