The Inexorable

Abaddon’s Gate, pp. 116 – 117:

  • The flotilla was coming to the last leg of its journey. They had passed the orbit of Uranus weeks ago, and the sun was a bright star in an overwhelming abyss of night sky. All the plumes of fire were pointed toward the Ring now, bleeding off their velocity with every passing minute.

Self is enjoying Abaddon’s Gate so much more than Caliban’s War. She would rather have space travel and adventure than any other kind of reading, at the moment.

Stay safe, dear blog readers.

The Sea, Our Mother

Self has many thoughts about the sea because … well, she comes from one of the 7,100 islands of the Philippines.

When she visited Venice, some years back, she encountered the Maritime Museum (off San Marco Plaza), and first encountered the Venetian expression “married to the sea.”

In the writings about the sea, the sea is referred to as feminine. Also, mercurial.

Perhaps this is why she chose to write her novel. It’s about the sea, of course. And she’s been reading about seafarers ever since.

Two years ago, she was teaching in Mendocino. One of her favorite hangouts was Gallery Bookshop, corner of Albion and Kasten in Mendocino Village (the most fabulous bookstore, with its own resident cat). She found a book written by a retired US Admiral.

She just started reading it (thank you, Corona Virus). Sea Power: The History and Geopolitics of the World’s Oceans

The Introductory Chapter is called The Sea Is One:

It is worth remembering that each of us is, essentially, largely made of water. When a human baby is born, it is composed of roughly 70 percent water. It has always fascinated me that roughly the same proportion of the globe is covered by water — just over 70 percent. Both our planet and our bodies are dominated by the liquid world, and anyone who has sailed extensively at sea will understand instinctively the primordial tug of the oceans upon each of us when we look upon the sea.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #98: Delicate Colors

As many countries are opening up a bit from lock-down, and I was inspired by the soft glory of spring nature in my part of the world, I thought we would indulge in some Delicate Colours! They are everywhere in nature, but also to be found anywhere you look, in for example fashion, art and architecture.Leya

Self is always happy to participate in a Photo Challenge. Anything to distract from Shelter-in-Place, entering the third month here in the San Francisco Bay Area.

First: HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY!

To everyone who has a loved one in this fight, or has lost a loved one, blessings.

DSCN0273

Hydrangeas on Front Porch: May 2020

DSCN0265

Iceberg Roses in Front Yard, May 2020

DSCN0284

Looking at the Garden from the Kitchen Window, 24 May 2020. The curtains were from World Market, which has since closed.

Look at these beautiful galleries:

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

A Lexicon of Filipino Fruits and Vegetables (Just Because)

  • Bamboo shoots – labong
  • Banana – saging
  • Bottle gourd – upo
  • Cabbage – repolyo
  • Calamansi – calamansi
  • Cashew nuts – Kasuy
  • Cauliflower – koliflor
  • Chickpeas – garbansos
  • Chico – chico
  • Chinese cabbage – pechay Baguio
  • “Chinese” peas – chicharo (one of self’s faaaavorite vegetables, growing up in Manila)
  • Coconut – niyog
  • Corn – mais
  • Cucumber – pipino
  • Custard apple – atis
  • Eggplant – talong
  • Fern leaves – pako
  • Ginger – luya
  • Green snap beans – habichuelas
  • Guava – bayabas
  • Lanzones – lansones
  • Lima bean – patani
  • Long cow pea – sitaw
  • Mango – mango
  • Mangosteen – mangostan
  • Melon – melon
  • Mung bean – mongo
  • Mustard – mustasa
  • Papaya – papaya
  • Peanut – mani
  • Pineapple – piña
  • Pomelo – suha
  • Potato – patatas
  • Santol – santol
  • Squash – kalabasa
  • Strawberry – stroberi (lol)
  • Swamp cabbage – kangkong
  • Sweet peppers – sili
  • Sweet potato – kamote
  • Taro – gabi
  • Tomato – kamatis
  • Turmeric – luyang dilaw
  • Watermelon – pakwan (Dear Departed Sister loved chewing pakwan seeds)
  • Yam – ubi (Ubi ice cream is the best!)

Have You No Decency, Sir

A widower is requesting Twitter to remove Donald Trump’s tweets suggesting his wife was murdered by prominent Trump critic Joe Scarborough.

Associated Press, 26 May 2020

“My request is simple: Please delete these tweets,” Timothy J. Klausutis wrote to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. The body of Lori Kaye Klausutis, 28, was found in Scarborough’s Fort Walton Beach, Florida, congressional office on July 20, 2001.

Klausutis said in the letter, sent last week, that his wife had an undiagnosed heart condition, fell and hit her head on her desk at work. He called her death “the single most painful thing that I have ever had to deal with” and said he feels a marital obligation to protect her memory amid “a constant barrage of falsehoods, half-truths, innuendo and conspiracy theories since the day she died.”

Klausitis said Trump is among the conspiracy theorists spreading “bile and misinformation” on Twitter “disparaging the memory” of his wife and their marriage. Trump’s tweets violate Twitter’s community rules and terms of service, he said.

“An ordinary user like me would be banished,” Klausitis wrote. In a statement, Twitter said it was “deeply sorry about the pain these statements, and the attention they are drawing, are causing the family.”

But the company did not say it would do anything about Trump’s tweets or mention them directly.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

The Generation Ship Nauvoo

Abaddon’s Gate, p. 53:

He passed through the transfer station and down towards his office. The rooms and corridors here were all built aslant, waiting for the spin gravity that would never come.

Must take a moment to thank the authors for giving ships names like Rocinante, the Somnambulist, and the Y Que. Even Nauvoo has something inexplicably romantic about it.

Unfortunately, the Nauvoo is re-named the Behemoth. And there’s nothing romantic about that.

What’s in a ship’s name? Something very, very important. Millenium Falcon is a dud. The Nostromo is fabulous.

Self is not above borrowing for her ship’s names: Kobayashi Maru (thank you, Star Trek training exercise) and Mohenjo Daro.

Self’s great-grandfather wrote for an underground newspaper in Manila. He used a pen name: Ang Kiukok.

In her next science fiction story, she’ll use Ang Kiukok as the name for a very wee ship. A racer, maybe. She’ll connect the two words and name her ship Angkiukok.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Abaddon’s Gate (Book #3 of The Expanse), p. 13

Last night, she read the last page of Hidden Valley Road, and was so moved. The family imploded, the strain was too much. But running through it all was the indomitable will of three women: the mother who produced six schizophrenic sons, the youngest daughter who endured sexual abuse, and the scientist who studied schizophrenia and kept such meticulous notes that even when her study was shelved, another set of researchers found her observations invaluable. It was such a perfect ending. Self cried!

Self is back to reading about the adventures of Jim Holden and his plucky crew. Must say, it was a relief to be back with the familiar characters of The Expanse. She can now see the absolute value of a fiction series. You get vested in the characters, of course you do. Even though she didn’t admire Caliban’s War as much as Leviathan Wakes, it had a truly thrilling back half.

Anyhoo, this installment begins with a jaw-dropping action prologue (of course) before re-uniting us with the crew of the Rocinante:

Amos had spent thirty grand during a stopover on Callisto, buying them some after-market engine upgrades. When Holden pointed out that the Roci was already capable of accelerating fast enough to kill her crew and asked why they’d need to upgrade her, Amos had replied, “Because this shit is awesome.”

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

A Wee Bit of Humor

There were a few Galvin children who did not develop schizophrenia, Michael being one of them. When his mother was in her 80s, he agreed to assume some of the responsibility for her day-to-day care.

Hidden Valley Road, p. 288:

He soon learned that however frail she might have been, Mimi was still in charge. He would offer her Kentucky Fried Chicken for dinner, knowing how much she loved it, and she would refuse, saying she’d had it the night before. He’d make spaghetti instead, and she’d say there was too much of it.

“It got a little confounding,” Michael said. “I almost dumped it on her head.”

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Sense of Smell

Let’s nose around in our archives or sniff out new photos that are related to the sense of Smelling. Be creative and have fun.

Cee Neuner

Self found this Foto Challenge more than usually, er, challenging. She’s trying to keep her mind off food — for the first six weeks of the shelter-in-place, that was all she thought about, with disastrous consequences. And her roses don’t give off scent — mebbe it’s the type of soil? Even her Sheila’s Perfume rose has no perfume!

Anyhoo, after some determined hunting, she managed to come up with three photos:

  • Fried chorizo for breakfast in the island of Negros, central Philippines:

20190913_080713

  • A fresh-cut Christmas tree makes all the difference. Self got hers from Wegman’s, a local nursery:

20191130_152042

  • Just before shelter-in-place, self had her front door and front porch painted. The smell of fresh paint is the memory of singular happiness:

20200302_111031

Stay safe, dear blog readers.

The Thirty-Sixth Hole

Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family is an extraordinary book. And she didn’t even pick it up because it was an Oprah Book Club selection. She was just working off a list. In between tearing through science fiction, she decided to read nonfiction.

She’s on Chapter 20, in which Margaret, the older Galvin girl, is whisked off, at just shy of 14, to live with a family she barely knows, a family of enormous wealth, who started off on the same economic plane as the Galvins but found luck, such enormous luck.

DSCN0250

Sam Gary was “a natural risk-taker. For years, he had been known around Denver as Dry Hole Sam … In the mid-1960s, when everyone in the oil exploration business was drilling in Wyoming, Sam started drilling just north of the state line in the southeastern corner of Montana. Sam drilled thirty-five dry holes.” — p. 158

  • On June 29, 1967, one of the new wells — Sam’s thirty-sixth try — struck oil in Bell Creek Field in Montana. Sam set up four-hundred new wells, hanging on to 30 percent ownership.

Sam Gary was “about the same age as” Margaret’s father. By the time Margaret moves in with the Garys, they have a house in Denver with a housekeeper, a cook, and various other servants. They own a condo in the main drag of Vail and spend every weekend on their hundred-acre ranch in Montana, just up against Flathead Lake.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Read more books.

 

« Older entries

John's Space .....

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost

nancy merrill photography

capturing memories one moment at a time

Asian Cultural Experience

Preserving the history and legacy of Salinas Chinatown

Rantings Of A Third Kind

The Blog about everything and nothing and it's all done in the best possible taste!

Sauce Box

Never get lost in the Sauce

GK Dutta

Be One... Make One...

Cee's Photo Challenges

Teaching the art of composition for photography.

Fashion Not Fear

Fueling fearlessness through style and inspiration.

Wanderlust and Wonderment

My writing and photo journey of inspiration and discovery

transcribingmemory

Decades of her words.

John Oliver Mason

Observations about my life and the world around me.

Insanity at its best!

Yousuf Bawany's Blog

litadoolan

Any old world uncovered by new writing

unbolt me

the literary asylum

CSP Archives

Archive of the CSP

The 100 Greatest Books Challenge

A journey from one end of the bookshelf to the other

Random Storyteller

A crazy quilt of poems, stories, and humor by Catherine Hamrick