Sentence of the Day: Barack Obama

As a general rule, I’m a slow walker — a Hawaiian walk, Michelle likes to say, sometimes with a hint of impatience.

— Chapter 1, A Promised Land

The words of 44 are very clear and precise. He was a great President. You can tell by the way he writes, which is also the way you can tell how a man thinks. And 44 is a very, very good writer.

America was so lucky to have him.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Sentence of the Day: Doreen G. Fernandez

Every year for the last seven years or so, I have written one piece in March or April — the beginning of its traditional season — on the mango, feeling that it is one of the best fruits in the world, and that all of the folklore, songs, sarswelas and recipes do not even begin to do it justice.

— from Fruits of Memory, the Introduction to Fruits of the Philippines, by Doreen G. Fernandez

Personal Bookshelf: Eman Lacaba

He was from my school.

A poet.

Took to the mountains, joined the rebels.

Was shot — “salvaged” is what they called it back then.

The military says they did it in self-defense.

I still remember the whispers: “Did you hear? Eman Lacaba was shot!”

His funeral mass was held in my school.

Legend.

Sentence of the Day: CAMAROTE DE MARINERO

  • If only our pilot had not found the current that led us to the shining archipelago! — p. 15, Camarote de Marinero, self’s (experimental, 16th century, mostly epistolary) novel of the Philippines

Quote of the Day: Isern-i-Phail

What is with these names?

MILD SPOILER MILD SPOILER MILD SPOILER

Isern-i-Phail is a healer. And the person who will judge the duel between the Young Lion (Leo dan Brock) and the Great Wolf (Stour Nightfall).

YAY, a DUEL! The armies of the North and the armies of Angland (representing the Union) have fought to a draw. A draw to be decided by man-to-man combat between the two sides’ greatest fighters: the Young Lion and the Great Wolf.

Since the Young Lion is VERY pretty (and his shield man seems to be in love with him, thus leading to the only fan fiction ship in this universe), and the Great Wolf is loathsomely ugly apart from being hairy, self reckons the Young Lion will lose. Because that is the way of Grimdark. Why bother to write someone as pretty if he doesn’t die?

Anyhoo, Isern-i-Phil is in the middle of her presentation when Scale Ironhand, King of the Northmen, uncle of the Great Wolf, says: “Get to it, woman.”

“That I will, you hill of lard.” Isern thrust her spear into the ground with a thud and snapped her fingers . . . “Lend me your shield, handsome.” He glanced over his shoulder like he thought she might be talking to someone else, then tossed it to her. She snatched it from the air, set it down on its rim. “Straps or paint?”

“Paint,” said Leo.

Isern set the shield spinning, and men started shouting and whooping and calling . . .

— p. 329, A Little Hatred: Book One of the Age of Madness

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Sentence of the Day: from a Letter by Don Pedro de Acuña, Governor General of the Philippines, Manila, 1608

Apologies, dear blog readers, self’s veering between the Philippines in 1600 and Grimdark must be causing whiplash!

Anyhoo, here is the Sentence of the Day, from Blair & Robertson’s A History of the Philippine Islands, vol. 14:

Letter from Governor General Don Pedro de Acuña to the Viceroy of Nueva España:

  • Since the Spaniards are a sensible and prudent people, we must therefore be grieved for having slain so many people, and repent thereof.

After reading which, self can only say, Hell’s Bells. The “so many people” slain — indios, right?

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

The Battle of Red Hill, cont. (Spoiler-Free)

Fell asleep before midnight, resumed reading A Little Hatred on first waking. The Battle of Red Hill is many pages, probably the longest section of the novel. Which means, when self resumes reading this morning, it is still undecided.

Point of view: Leo van Brock

He caught sight of his standard. The white field, the golden lion. Hanging sodden at the near end of the bridge. And there was Stour Nightfall’s. The slavering wolf on grey. Drooping in the rain at the far end. A lion fought a wolf in a circle of blood, and the lion won.

— p. 297, A Little Hatred: Book One of the Age of Madness, by Joe Abercrombie

A digression: Self was curious about ALH ships, so she went looking for fan fiction. She found only 3 (Pitiful: Everlark has 6000+), and all of them are between The Young Lion and . . . Jurand, his shield man (?)

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

A Trap! (Not a Spoiler)

The Battle of Red Hill is about to be joined.

Alas, valiant Finree is, self fears, about to be crushed while her son watches.

This is not a spoiler because it hasn’t happened yet.

But, all the pieces are in place. Leo van Brock (What names these are! Ugh, even having to type them!), The Young Lion, is told to stand back and let his mother Finree lure the army of Stour Nightfell into an ambush. Finree will do anything to keep her son safe, even if it means sacrificing herself, so it stands to reason that Finree will actually end up sacrificing herself. Of course, the Young Lion (who, despite being very brave and very handsome, is also not very smart) will follow Dearest Mum’s orders to a T, thereby ensuring that he will live to fight another day.

This is, self is sure dear blog readers will agree, Top Angst!

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Who Will Live? Who Will Die? A LITTLE HATRED, The Battle of Red Hill

Self has chosen her side. Grimdark is always more interesting when one has a dog in the fight. Apologies, dear blog readers, self lives for drama. Practically rolls in it.

Leo dan Brock and his mother, Finree dan Brock, all the way! (Really, couldn’t Abercrombie have thought up better names)

First of all, Leo dan Brock goes by the moniker The Young Lion. And his mother Finree is the fiercest general this side of Angland (That’s right: ANGLAND), and together they face an army of Invading Louts led by Scale Ironhand, Black Calder, and Stour Nightfall (Really, these names!). And no help is forthcoming from the Union, because that whoring Prince Orso has been tasked with putting down a rebellion in the very important mill regions, where his mistress, Savine de Glotka (UGH, even having to type that is making self’s tongue curl) has been forced into hiding by lout-ish Breakers and Burners.

It is almost time for dinner. Then, she’ll curl up in bed and try and see who wins the Battle of Red Hill.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Blair & Robertson: A History of the Philippine Islands, vol. 14 (1603 – 1609)

I pore over a list of Itemized Expenditures, 18 August 1608. Most of the items are salaries.

I mean.

No wonder the Fort in Manila was in ruins. No wonder there was never enough ammunition. Even the priests had salaries (“salaries for ecclesiastics”).

Salaried officials:

  • Government officials, alcaldes, and other local officials
  • Government workmen: pilots, sailors, and etc.
  • Ecclesiastics
  • Collectors of tribute
  • Soldiers and their officers
  • Wardens of forts

Meanwhile, the indios were paid nothing for their labor (Who built all those churches? Surely not the salaried officials!)

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

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