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

DSCN6580

DSCN6578

DSCN6571

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.

DSCN6510
DSCN6473
DSCN6471

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.

Silhouette 2: Westwood Village, Los Angeles/ Son’s Room in Redwood City, A Museum of Absence

Boba Loca, Westwood Village, Saturday Afternoon:  The window facing the street is lined with bookshelves.

Boba Loca, Westwood Village, Saturday Afternoon: The window facing the street is lined with bookshelves.

Still in Boba Loca: The laptop of the young woman sitting across from me had a cover adorned with a silhouette of the New York City skyline.

Still in Boba Loca: The laptop of the young woman sitting across from me had a cover adorned with a silhouette of the New York City skyline.

Son's Room in Redwood City is like a museum -- a museum of absence. He built this K'Nex structure when he was 9. Took him about an hour.

Son’s Room in Redwood City is like a museum — a museum of absence. He built this K’Nex structure when he was 9. Took him about an hour.

Virtual Blog Tour: 3rd Introduction

And now, the third of the three people self tagged for the Virtual Blog Tour:

STEEELLAAAAA KALAW!

Excuse the emo post. Self was introduced to Stella K almost 15 years ago, by the woman self considers her mentor, her icon, her 2nd mother:  Doreen Fernandez, who taught self Freshman English at the Ateneo de Manila, many many many oh too many years to count long ago.  Since that fateful meeting, right here in self’s home in Redwood City, California, she and Stella became friends for life.

Stella Kalaw, Photographer Just Blazing with Talent

Stella Kalaw, Photographer Just Blazing with Talent

Stella Kalaw is a photographer. An A-MA-ZING photographer.  You can find samples of her photography projects here.  And she writes a fantastic food blog on tumblr,  Shoots to Roots.

She was born and raised in Manila.  She earned a BA in Communications from De La Salle University and a BA in Photography from Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, CA.  Her work has been exhibited at the Singapore International Photography Festival, The Ayala Museum, and the Silverlens Gallery in Manila, Wall Space Gallery in Seattle, Rayko Gallery in San Francisco and at the UCR California Museum of Photography.  Her photographs explore narratives rooted from family, memory and places.  She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Miguel Hernandez Poem for the First Saturday of August (2014)

Went to visit Peggy King today. She is 96.

Self met Peggy’s sister, who works in a Los Altos art gallery.

Self was astonished to learn that Peggy has the same birthday as Dear Departed Dad: March 3. Which makes them both Pisces. Which is a sign that’s supposed to get on famously with Cancer (self’s sign)

Without further ado, the poem of the day, from Miguel Hernandez (NYRB/Poets), selected and translated by Don Share

Death, in a Bull’s Pelt

Death, in a bull’s pelt,
full of the holes and horns of its own
undoing, grazes and tramples
a bullfighter’s luminous field.

Volcanic roaring, ferocious snorting,
all from a general love for everything born –
Yes, the eruptions that flare
kill peaceful ranchers.

Now, ravenous, love-starved beast,
you may come graze my heart’s tragic grasses,
if you like its bitter aspect.

Like you, I am tormented by loving so much,
and my heart, dressed in a dead man’s clothes,
winds over it all.

Zigzag 2: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

The first two pictures are of self’s backyard:  She has one long hose that she uses to water, in a “zigzag” pattern around her yard.

Backyard Watering: Zigzag Hose

Backyard Watering: Zigzag Hose

And she has a few metal plant supports scattered around:

Twisting Metal Trellis, Side Yard

Twisting Metal Trellis, Side Yard

The final picture is from the Asian Art Museum.  The last time self visited, the lobby had a display of cards written by schoolchildren responding to an exhibit.  She likes that the cards are arranged in a rather “disorderly” pattern.  Gives the whole arrangement a feeling of spontaneity.

The cards were written by children responding to their favorite exhibits.

The cards were written by children responding to their favorite exhibits at the Asian Art Museum.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

 

Aimee Bender on Fairy Tales

These days, self’s reading is all over the map.  She’s tried so many times to finish reading Sebastian Barry’s The Secret Scriptures, but despite him being such a beautiful writer, she can manage only a page a day.

Aside from that book, she’s also perusing her personal bookshelf.  The books she consults most often are lined up on the shelves in son’s room. Here’s an excerpt from one of those, Conversations With American Women Writers (University Press of New England, 2004).

It’s from an interview with Aimee Bender, author of the (magical realist?) short story collection The Girl In the Flammable Skirt.  The interviewer (Sarah Anne Johnson, one of the best) asks her about fairy tales. Self thinks about fairy tales a lot because she’s thinking of sending yet another piece to Café Irreal. And she’s also reading a book of Oscar Wilde fairy tales she picked up in Dublin.

I’ve heard you say that fairy tales present plot as metaphor.  What do you mean by that?

Mainly that a fairy tale character has no internal world, so the entire plot is a reflection of their internal life.  Or at least it can be interpreted that way, to good effect.  So suddenly the plot becomes wildly meaningful.  Instead of the truth of regular life, where I don’t believe in signs and symbols in the same way, in fairy tales everything is a sign for something, and the world is this strange, blinking ordered universe of actions.

How else do fairy tales inform your writing?

I feel like somewhere along the line I ate fairy tales. I ingested and digested them, and now they’re part of my whole person.  The way they move plot, the settings, the imagery.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

« Older entries

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 632 other followers