Kanlaon’s Liebster Nominations (Travel Blogs That Take You There)

Two of the sites on her list — The Palladian Traveler and Ed Mooney — have already been nominated for Liebster Awards but self firmly believes that any site can never have too many Liebster nominations.

  1. The Palladian Traveler :  Elegant and inspiring
  2. Vela Magazine :  Awesome.  A blog that showcases women travel writers.  And boy did we ever need one.
  3. Ed Mooney Photography:  An examination of Irish places, via photography. Self was in Ireland for the first time, earlier this year. This blog was a splendid introduction.
  4. Lowestoft Chronicle:  An online literary magazine that self has been enjoying for a while now.  They publish humorous writing that has an “emphasis on travel.”
  5. Simbahan:  Not about travel per se.  Simbahan is the Tagalog word for “church.”  This blog is about “Philippine heritage churches and related structures.” That description sounds dry but this site is anything BUT.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Kanlaon Was Nominated for a Liebster Award!

Self learned of the nomination a month ago, but she was in the midst of returning from Ireland and then setting off for southern California and then setting off for the Squaw Valley Writers Conference.

Nevertheless, here she is now, expressing her appreciation!

Self blogs a lot while traveling.  Because she firmly believes that one of the greatest pleasures of travel is being able to share one’s experiences afterwards.  It’s like re-living the moment, only better because you know you’ve survived the whatever.

So, THANKS THANKS MUCH to the blog Unexpected Wanderlust for the nomination.  Self deeply appreciates the honor.

And here are self’s answers to the questions posed by UW:

What is the most foolish thing you’ve ever done while traveling?

Wow.  This entailed so much reflection because self has done many, many foolish things while traveling.  Two years ago, she decided to join her friends on a bike ride around one of Amsterdam’s outlying islands, even though she hadn’t ridden a bike in almost 20 years.  That day almost killed her.  What’s worse, it made her lose her temper.  And we all know that when one is traveling, losing one’s temper is almost the kiss of death.  Because one should never, ever lose one’s temper in a foreign country.  Self’s just saying.

Who is the person you’ve met while traveling that you wish you could see again?

Another hard one.  OK, this:  the two German girls who accompanied self on the bus ride from the Marco Polo airport in Venice, all the way to the vaporetto in the Rialto.  Self bumped into them again outside the Frari church in Ca’ San Toma.  We had dinner.  Self lost the little notebook where she’d written down the girls’ addresses and e-mails.  She’s pretty sure she’ll never hear from them again.  But she thinks of them pretty often.

Where are you planning on traveling next?

Southern California.

If you had to settle down in one place and never leave it again, where would it be?

Oh gosh, why are all of these questions so hard?  San Luis Obispo, California.  Cambridge, United Kingdom.  Now if self could only find a way to support herself while living in these places . . .

How would you describe the perfect travel companion?

No question:  Son.  He was great.  Always.  Even when self was dragging him through the back alleys of Boracay in a pouring rain, and visibility was just a little above zero, and the water was sloshing up to our knees, and strange unmentionable objects were floating in said water.  He did express disgust (occasionally), but he never once lost his temper.

If you could be fluent in a language other than your mother tongue, which would it be?

Cantonese so that self could bargain in the Hong Kong night markets.  Gaelic because she was just in Ireland.  Spanish because she could read all the archives pertaining to Spain’s colonization of the Philippines.

What is your best travel tip?

Always travel light.  Plan on picking up things you’ll need along the way.  And never tote around more than two books at a time.

Have you ever felt more at home in a place that is away from your actual home?  If so, where?

Yes:  Bacolod City, Negros Occidental (Dear Departed Dad’s hometown)

Where have you had the best meal of your life?

  • The home of Irene Lacson and Zia Islam in Glendale, CA:  a Villanueva reunion in December 2012
  • Tender Greens, Spectrum Centre, Irvine, CA.
  • Van’s, Belmont, CA last January, to celebrate The Man’s birthday

What is the one piece of technology that you can’t live without during your travels?

No question:  Self’s MacBook Air

She’ll list her nominations in a separate post.  Stay tuned.

 

 

 

Containers 3: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

What a good idea, Red Hen Press!

They promoted Type O Negative, Joel Tan’s poetry collection, by handing out these chocolate candy bars at the AWP Book Fair, several years ago.

Candy Bar Wrapper (designed after the cover of Joel Tan's new poetry collection!)

candy bar wrapper (designed after the cover of Joel Tan’s new poetry collection!)

Containers # 2 is a fresh coconut:

In the Philippines, there are roadside stands selling fresh coconuts with straws so you can sip the juice.  This was somewhere near Sum-ag, near Bacolod City.

In the Philippines, there are roadside stands selling fresh coconuts with straws so you can sip the juice. Self took this picture on a beach in Sum-ag, just outside Bacolod City.

In January 2012, self went to India for the first time.  She flew from San Francisco to New Delhi, and spent the next two weeks traversing Himachal Pradesh.  She made it to Dharamsala.  It was freezing cold.  These hot braziers were brought into the dining room of the Colonel’s Resort in the village of Bir.

It was so cold, self's last two days in Bir, that the Colonel had a fire brought in.

It was so cold, self’s last two days in Bir, that the Colonel had a fire brought in.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Relic 3: Vicenza, April 2013

The craziest things self has ever done, she’s done in the last three years.

Which just goes to show: aging is an adventure!

Last spring, self decided to share an apartment in Venice with Margarita Donnelly, retired managing editor of Calyx Press.

One of her side trips was to Vicenza. The birthplace of Antonio Pigafetta (chronicler of Ferdinand Magellan’s expedition to the Philippines), whose family home still stands.

She learned that Vicenza was also the birthplace of the architect Palladio.

And the whole city was like a de Chirico construct.

Until she dropped by the Teatro Olimpico, and found this little garden, full of tumbled statuary.  Which is so NOT de Chirico.

In self’s book, tumbled statuary = RELIC.

Herewith, the Garden of Found Objects, Just Before the Main Entrance to the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza:

The Garden of the Teatro Olimpico, Vicenza

The Garden of the Teatro Olimpico, Vicenza

Statuary by -- Who knows?  These sorts of objects litter every Italian garden.

Statuary by — Who knows? These sorts of objects litter every Italian garden.

Again, self knows nothing about the creator of this sculpture.  It is definitely OLD.

Again, self knows nothing about the creator of this sculpture. All she knows is, it is definitely OLD.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Reading About James Bond in the June 5, 2014 NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS

What treasures pack the pages of each copy of The New York Review of Books!

Self used to have a (20-year-old) subscription to the New York Times Book Review, but decided to discontinue it a few months ago.

To self, The NYRB is the far more interesting publication.

This evening, self is again plowing manfully through her ‘Pile of Stuff.’  She’s still experiencing Squaw Valley Writers Conference withdrawal symptoms (such as posting endlessly about it on her Facebook wall)

The Man is watching the 3rd or 4th Bourne (Matt Damon is the one and only, the né plus ultra of American action cool).

Self gamely tackles the June 5, 2014 issue of The New York Review of Books and stumbles across an article by James Walton, called “Bondage,” which might also be fittingly sub-titled:  “Everything You Wanted to Know About Ian Fleming and His Most Famous Literary Creation, James Bond 007.”

  • Here is how Casino Royale, the first-ever James Bond novel (published 1953), began:  “The scent and smoke and sweat of a casino are nauseating at three in the morning.”
  • Ian Fleming came up with the name for the world’s most famous spy “because he wanted something plain-sounding and James Bond was ‘the dullest name I’ve ever heard.’ “
  • Hard to imagine, perhaps, but there is a sentence in one of the Bond novels that goes:  “Bond . . .  lit his seventieth cigarette of the day.”
  • President Kennedy was instrumental to the development of James Bond’s popularity in the United States.  In an interview with Life magazine, he named From Russia With Love as “one of his ten favorite books.”
  • Ian Fleming’s wife, Anne, referred to her husband’s Bond books as “pornography.”

There is tons more interesting tidbits from the article, but self must go back to reading Sebastian Barry (who is the most beautiful writer imaginable).

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Contrasts 3: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Contrasts:  Light and Dark . . .

2nd floor, Farmyard Cottage, Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig

2nd floor, Farmyard Cottage, Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, May 2014

Son's Room. The painting was done for $20 by an artist in Great America, Santa Clara. Son was six or seven.

Son’s Room. The painting was done for $20 by an artist in Great America, Santa Clara. Son was six or seven.  He’s wearing a San Francisco Giants cap.

Contrasts:  Youth and Age . . .

A Bookshelf in the Main House at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, Ireland

A Bookshelf in the Main House at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, Ireland

The people in the photograph must long have passed away, but their image endures (Love the crease in the photograph itself:  makes the photograph seem very fragile).

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

On Secrets/ On Witchcraft

A few weeks ago, self announced that Café Irreal would be publishing her story “The Secret Room” on Aug. 1.

But when she wandered over to Café Irreal today, she saw that in fact, her story was already live, and had been live since May.

Here’s the link, dear blog readers.  Read, review.  Self adores feedback.

*     *    *     *

Here’s something else she encountered today.

While browsing through the British Museum blog, she stumbled upon an article on Witchcraft.

And here self found an answer to a question which has often nagged at her:  Why are witches usually women?

The piece makes clear that accusations of witchcraft were always personal, as evidenced by the fact that people most often brought up charges of accusation against people they knew well — i.e., their neighbors.  And the fact that many of the accused were old women, or widows, or orphaned women, or stepdaughters, makes very clear that the targets were “the most dependent members of the community.” The ones, in other words, who were least likely to fight back or defend themselves.

These female dependents (the preferred pool for witches) were the ones “whose names figure most frequently on the lists of people in receipt of poor relief, and they were the ones most likely to be caught up in the situation of begging for help and not getting it.”

Being perceived as powerless and being perceived as a threat — such a curious contradiction.  In both instances, these two have more in common with perception and have precious little to do with reality.

Which is what led self to write a very curious short story called “Toad.”  Which she will begin sending out shortly.

She finished it while sitting at a coffee shop on Lower Mount Street in Dublin.  Quite close, in fact, to Ballsbridge, where her B & B was.

OMG.  Witches.  Toads.  Lower Mounts.  Ballsbridge.  Self’s brain was filled with medieval imagery, almost the whole time she was in Ireland.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Contrasts 2: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Pictures taken on the bus from Dublin to Monaghan.  It was a very long bus ride.  Self had gone to Dublin to watch a friend’s play at The Cobalt Café, but she could only stay a night.

She posts these pictures because they are all of horizons.  This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is CONTRASTS and horizons — at least in self’s mind — always involve contrasts.

Correction:  the two shots of trees by the roadside aren’t horizons.  But there’s a clear demarcation between foliage and sky.  So it’s still a contrast.

Views From a Bus:  Ireland, May 2014

Views From a Bus: Ireland, May 2014

DSCN5398

DSCN5399

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 6: Stonehenge

Self has been fascinated by Stonehenge for a very long time.  Finally, in April this year, she got to make the trek to the site.

From the English Heritage Guidebook in the visitor centre, self learns about the alignment of the stones.

“Stonehenge has an axis — an alignment that runs north-east to south-west.” This axis is closely tied to “the way the sun moves through the sky during the course of the year; the sunset at the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, occurs on exactly the opposite side of the horizon from the midsummer sunrise.”

“So the alignment of Stonehenge works for both the summer solstice and for the one that happens in winter. But there is increasing evidence from other Neolithic sites such as Newgrange in Ireland and Maes Howe in Orkney, as well as closer by at Durrington Wells, that the winter was the more significant.  At Durrington, there is evidence for feasting and celebration at just this time of year.”

Stonehenge, April 2014:  What you see between the stones is of equal importance as the stones themselves.

Stonehenge, April 2014: What you see between the stones is of equal importance as the stones themselves.

Pat Shelley, who led the Stonehenge tour self took, standing between the stones to give a lecture on the significance of the stones and their positions.

Pat Shelley, who led the Stonehenge tour self took, standing between the stones to give a lecture on the significance of the stones and their positions.

Fascinating to think that the stones were positioned to control what one sees BETWEEN them.

Fascinating to think that the stones were positioned to control what one sees BETWEEN them.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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