Ambience 2: Mendocino, January 2017

  • Things like light, temperature, smell, sound, and sometimes taste, all work together to create ambience.

— Jeff Golenski, The Daily Post

Back in Mendocino for Second Saturday, which was last night. Self didn’t get much sleep the night before, so the last 60 miles to the coast were harrowing. But she made it!

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Mendocino Hotel, Main Street, Mendocino

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Winter Fog, Mendocino This Morning

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Water Tower, Albion Street, Mendocino Village

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

More Ambience: Albion, California

According to Jeff Golenski on The Daily Post:

I find that light is one of the most important factors that influence my conscious enjoyment of a place. The warmer the light I see, the more comfortable I tend to be.

Self spent all day looking at a solitary cow on a hillside.

She just wants to say: there’s nothing more hypnotic than watching a cow chew cud. Honestly.

The sky in the following photographs is translucent. Like a sheer piece of muslin. Perhaps that’s why self was so mesmerized.

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Steep Hillside, One Cow

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More Level: Still Only One Cow

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Finally, a Clear Silhouette of Cow

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Magellan Without Elcano

Ferdinand Magellan set out from Seville with five ships in 1519.

Two years later, he was dead on a Philippine island.

Why does he get credit for the “first circumnavigation of the globe”?

If it weren’t for Juan Sebastian Elcano, who completed the circle, there would be no circumnavigation.

Self thinks the return leg was just as important — no, more — than the first leg.

Magellan set out with five ships and 270 men. Stocked to the gills, supported by experienced crew. Two years later, it was left to Elcano to return a demoralized crew back to Spain. He did it in one year, with one ship, the Victoria, which sailed from the Philippines to Borneo, across the Indian Ocean, around the Cape of Good Hope, north along the west coast of Africa, finally reaching Spain on 6 September 1522, with 18 of the original 270 men.

Now, that’s a journey. That’s epic.

Three years later, Elcano went on another expedition, but this time he was not so lucky. According to Wikipedia, Elcano died while on the Loaisa expedition to claim the East Indies on behalf of Charles I of Spain.  The cause of death was malnutrition.

Stay tuned.

Ambience: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 13 January 2017

  • Ambience has the power to lift your mood. What have you photographed with exceptional ambience? — Jeff Golenski, The Daily Post Photo Challenge

Self presents two contrasting scenes of ambience:

First, the anonymity of the train, the pre-occupation of the passengers:

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Caltrain, Southbound, 2nd Friday in January, 2017

Next, the expansiveness of a California beach town, extraordinarily peaceful in winter:

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Capitola-by-the-Sea

Self chose to spend Christmas here: she had a hunch that she wouldn’t feel as lonely, even though she was alone. She was right. It was such a beautiful experience:

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There is a little inn with units facing the beach: she last visited 20 years ago. Magical.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

Phoebe Journal: Annual Spring Contest

Contest Deadline:  March 19, 2017

Prize:  $400 and publication in Phoebe 46.2 (online issue)

Entry Fee:  $9

Poetry submission: 3 to 5 poems per submission, up to a maximum of 10 pages

Prose submission: 1 piece per submission, maximum 5,000 words

Here’s the link to their submission page.

Fiction Judge is Patricia Park.

Poetry Judge is Monica Youn.

Nonfiction Judge is Elena Passarello.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

#amreading: Sally Potter’s Screenplay for YES

Last year, self saw Sally Potter’s Yes at the London Review Bookshop and the filmmaker herself was present to do Q & A afterwards. Self asked Potter if the screenplay had been published, and when Potter said yes, it was available in the U.S., self almost broke out into a Happy Happy Joy Joy dance.

Can she just tell dear blog readers how she adores this screenplay, the fact that it is written in iambic pentameter from first to last is glorious.


Scene: An Irish woman (played by a luminous Joan Allen) who’s moved to New York returns to Belfast to visit her dying aunt in a hospital. The following passage is the aunt’s interior monologue:

AUNT

No one explained to me when I was young
Why time only goes forward. Hold your tongue
Was what they said when I asked them about
The universe and such and why we can’t
Do all that much about it when we make
A mess of things. If only a mistake
Could be corrected. Wind life back and start
Again. The second time we’d know the art
Of living. But we only get one go;
No dress rehearsals, this one is the show,
And we don’t know it. I don’t see the rhyme
Or reason in this so-called grand design . . .

(A priest enters the ward quietly and rapidly gives the last rites, making the sign of the cross and softly muttering a prayer)

But then I don’t believe. There is no sign
Of him up there as far as I’m concerned.
See . . . if there’s one thing that I’ve truly learned
It’s this: it’s down to me.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

#amwriting: Invasion, Seamount, Antarctica

How self does love writing a good horror story. She started this one a few days ago:

She and the captain were the first to spot the Longnecks. A pod of them. Bulging foreheads cleaving the ink-dark sea. The creatures moved quickly, beaching on the ice shelf and shedding their fur with great, tearing sounds. At first she thought it was merely the ice cracking, separating from the mother glacier.

(When everyone else writes about global warming, self writes about global freezing. Go figure)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Quote of the Day: Anne Hidalgo

In the Talk of the Town of the 7 November 2016 issue of The New Yorker:

Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris:

“Paris will not stand by and do nothing while the Mediterranean becomes a graveyard.”

Matt Zoller Seitz Reviews “Love & Friendship” (Another of Self’s Favorite Movies of 2016)

Really nice review. Read it in http://www.rogerebert.com.

Kudos to Director Whit Stillman, lead Kate Beckinsale, and Xavier Samuel, who plays the man Beckinsale’s character sets her sights on.

  • “Love & Friendship feels like it was inevitable. The director Whit Stillman adapting Jane Austen is one of those ideas that sounds like it’s made up because it’s so perfect, like Wes Anderson announcing that he’s going to make an animated film about foxes based on a book by Roald Dahl.”
  • “Stillman’s films are comedies of manners . . .  the more brazen or ambitious characters run roughshod over people who have, well, manners.”
  • The main character, Susan, “is distinguished by her audacity, not just in her wants and desires but in the way she talks to other people, turning subtext into text in a way most people would not do unless the person they were talking about was in another room, or another state. But they’re standing right there! And they can’t get their minds around how staggeringly rude and entitled Susan is — most of all Reginald, who’s played with great precision by Samuel as a decent man who is so stunned by Susan’s nerve that he can barely bring himself to reprimand her: he’s too busy marveling at her existence.”

In addition, self is looking forward to seeing the following films, hopefully in the next few weeks:

  • Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson
  • Paul Verhoeven’s Elle
  • Denzel Washington’s adaptation of August Wilson’s Fences
  • Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea
  • Disney’s Moana

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

2016: Books That Rocked Self’s World

  • March 2016 (read in Mendocino & Fort Bragg): The Forever War, by Dexter Filkins
  • May 2016 (read in London): Watch Me, by Anjelica Huston
  • June 2016 (read in California, various stops on the central coast): The Girl On the Train, by Paula Hawkins
  • August 2016 (read in San Francisco): The Narrow Road to the Deep North, by Matsuo Basho
  • December 2016 (read in San Francisco): In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote

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