Brain Cloud, Tuesday, 24 April: Economist, “Vacancy”, House Resolution 121

News last night incredible. In one day alone, the following happened :

    David Halberstam died, in a car crash in Menlo Park, not five miles from our house. In fact, right in front of Sun Microsystems, on a route hubby has taken hundreds of times on his way to work.
    Boris Yeltsin, who self forgot about for a decade, died. Watching evening news, suddenly remembered: Gorbachev, the Wall, the late 80s and early 90s. A memory from that era: Standing for hours on Palm Drive, waiting for motorcade bringing Gorby, hero of glasnost, to Stanford campus. Waving, seeing him lean out of car window, self could have touched his fingers.

On a lighter note:

    Sheriff and “Under-sheriff” of Redwood City were arrested in a sting operation conducted on a Las Vegas massage parlor (!!@@).
    Sheryl Crow urges all to combat global warming by using less toilet paper.

This morning, still feeling pretty sick, decide self would like to remain all day (if possible) ensconced on living room couch, watching TV. On Good Morning America appears Floyd Landis, the picture of wounded innocence, vowing to clear his name of dark cloud of suspicion that he used steroids to win last year’s Tour de France. Latest issue of Economist on self’s lap, read that reviewer thinks movie Vacancy is “stylish”, “flawless”, reminiscent of the work of “a young Roman Polanski.” Director Nimrod Antal (kudos for having such a stylish name, perfect for feature in Vanity Fair or People) “trained at the Hungarian Academy of Drama and Film”, has “learned the lessons of east European cinematic realism.” Suddenly recall that John Cougar Mellencamp, guest reviewer on Ebert & Roeper last Sunday, expressed liking for said film, which response met with exceeding scorn by Roeper. But perhaps John was right after all, and Roeper is a limp rag.

Open e-mail and find latest missive from Evelina Galang, who has, in the last few weeks/months been waging an utterly selfless, draining campaign on behalf of comfort women. Filled with admiration, as self cannot summon even the energy to grade papers. Evelina’s plea, which self is happy to repeat, over and over and as many times as need be :

To date, House Res. 121 has 80 co-sponsors in Congress. We need at least 100 to get House Res 121 to pass.

We need to let Congressman Tom Lantos, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi know that the Filipino American community of Northern California, their constituents, believe in House Resolution 121. Please write them. Determine who is your representative and then cut and paste the email message below, sign it and send it to them.

If you live in the following zip code areas — 94002, 94005, 94010, 94011, 94013, 94014, 94015, 94016, 94017, 94019, 94030, 94037, 94038, 94044, 94061, 94062, 94063, 94065, 94066, 94070, 94080, 94083, 94114, 94116, 94117, 94122, 94125, 94127, 94128, 94131, 94132, 94134, 94143, 94401, 94402, 94403, 94404, 94497 — your congressman is Lantos. Please follow the link and cut and paste the message below.

USE THIS LINK TO EMAIL LANTOS: http://lantos.house.gov/HoR/CA12/Contact+Tom/Contact+Tom+2.htm?zip5=94132&zip4=1722

Dear Representative Lantos,

I am a Filipino American citizen who lives in your district. It is time for the Japanese government to take responsibility for the systematic rape and enslavement of 200,000 women during WWII. Historians believe that 1000 of those women were Filipina and of that number 173 women have come forward. These women are old and dying and waiting for their formal apology. Please give them peace. Please support House Resolution 121. Be a co-sponsor and make your constituents of District 12 proud.

Sincerely,

(your name here)

All others in the Bay Area can email Nancy Pelosi directly: sf.nancy@mail.house.gov

Happy Monday

Cough marginally better, but had to teach over six hours today: two-and-a-half hours at xxxx community college, plus an extra hour and a half meeting with students after class; then further two-and-a-half hours at self’s other college in Belmont. Self almost lost it in morning class: that is, self felt imminent eruption of uncontrollable coughing fit, dropped to her knees and pawed around in purse for lozenges while students stared open-mouthed. Sorry, sorry, self muttered, and popped in cherry-flavored lozenge just before cough managed to escape . . .

Scare seemed to have galvanized self, because self then delivered absolutely incandescent lecture on Richard Rodriguez and the “outsider politics” he seems to espouse, and everyone was sitting up STRAIGHT (no mean feat at 8:30 in the morning) and staring at self bug-eyed (Was it because of self’s verbal verve, or merely the sight of teacher’s cheeks bulging out like a chipmunk’s?).

Then, collapsed at home for a few hours. Coughed up a storm in front of Bella and Gracie (beagles, for those of you new to this blog), who snoozed uninterrupted at self’s feet. Dragged self off to teach Women’s Lit class. Oh, hurray, student has decided to bring in tape of musical of “The Color Purple”, and for 15 minutes we listen to a deep-voiced woman singing how “Hell, no, she won’t go”, not for a husband “who rides her rough” and other such choice sentiments, at which point self stands up and says, “Thank you, that was excellent! Just excellent! Now on to the topic at hand . . . ” And everyone hems and haws and looks uncomfortable and self has no idea why, when we are discussing one of self’s absolutely fave stories, Bharati Mukherjee’s Management of Grief and, well, what can I say, it was a pretty lame class, and self stumbled out of there at 8 PM, lamely suggesting students bring snacks next week, in response to which everyone smiled wanly but kept their peace.

OK, self is home. Have decided to skip last three stories in O. Henry collection, Xu Xi’s “Famine” quite enough to last me a while, it was so fascinatingly perverse, and self discovers she lives in Hong Kong but is more like a citizen of the world, which self aspires to be someday (hopefully before self is 50).

Am now beginning non-fiction book about 18th century England, a place that feels familiar since self so loves writers of that place and era. This one’s called The Lunar Men: Five Friends Whose Curiosity Changed the World, and is by Jenny Uglow. Following is a quote, then self will be off to bed, dear reader:

This was the age of great scientific expeditions. When the naturalists Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander travelled with Captain Cook on his voyage to the South Seas from 1768 to 1771, they brought back 1,000 new species of plants, 500 fish, 500 bird skins, numberless insects and hundreds of drawings. It was against this background that Erasmus Darwin translated Linnaeus, wrote his epic poem The Botanic Garden and developed his own controversial theories of evolution.

In exploring such matters Darwin and his friends were part of the great spread of interest in science that extended from the King and the Royal to country clergymen and cotton-spinners. When people talk of eighteenth-century culture this is the swathe that is often missed out: the smart crowds thronging to electrical demonstrations; the squires fussing over rainfall gauges; the duchesses collecting shells and the boys making fire-balloons; the mothers teaching their children from the new encyclopaedias with their marvellous engraved plates of strange animals and birds and plants.

(April) Weekend Status Report

Horoscope for the day: Seek balance.

Which advice self actually managed to implement today, since self accompanied hubby in walking the dogs (Gracie absolutely ballistic at sight of other four-legged creatures, lunging and snarling as if she’d forgotten she was only knee-high). Thoroughly enjoyed looking at neighbors’ gardens, at this time of year a veritable palette of profusely blooming roses, azaleas, lilies, what-have-you.

Weather was gorgeous!

Had dimsum at China Village in Belmont, and overdid it by ordering two kinds of beef tripe (the white and the brown), various dumplings, AND a plate of combination chow mein.

Now, grading papers and wondering what sort of week awaits.

As far as self can discern, this early in the quarter, only two potentially troublesome students in English class at xxxx community college: One is a boy who seemed very nice during first two classes, who won my sympathy by informing self he had a full-time job in the Emergency Room at Stanford Hospital, but who has recently taken to chuckling in the back and talking to his seatmates while self is talking; another is Miss Bangkok with the British accent, who told me last week that class discussion went around and around in circles and seemed to accomplish nothing. Lied and told her self was so impressed with her perfect English upon which she softened, shook self’s hand (!!), and said her parents both spoke English with an American accent (Then why is hers British, self wondered?). No awful e-mail yet, except maybe for one from Asian student (it’s always the Asian student who asks) who says she simply must know what grade I predict she will get for the course. Self e-mails that she cannot possibly tell her until after the midterms. Student will probably drop.

Today, rented DVD Smokin’ Aces. Very amusing, got to see Alicia Keys playing hot hit-woman, and the girl who played that affecting hooker in Hustle and Flow, playing her hit-woman partner. Jeremy Piven very good as coked-up sad-sack FBI informant, Jason Bateman hilarious as man who hires trio (which included Ben Affleck) to apprehend Jeremy. Was longing to see Ben show off some of his acting chops (as self knows they are there somewhere, just under-utilized), but he got killed off after what felt like 15 minutes. Almost the best thing about movie was young Ryan Reynolds, who is tall and slim and looks good playing an FBI agent. Have only seen him in one previous movie, a (silly) romantic comedy. Think the guy ought to tell his manager to find another FBI agent role for him, pronto. Also, liked Lake Tahoe setting, had no idea there were so many wild characters in the vicinity.

Today, on Eberts & Roeper, guest reviewer was — John Cougar Mellencamp??? Who looked marginally better than he did in last photo self saw of him, in a People magazine of a few months ago. John gave thumbs-up to everything (even to Vacancy) and Roeper looked impatient. Also, John wants everyone to know that he thinks Ryan Gosling (in Fracture, which opened this weekend) is very handsome. Which self thought was sweet.

Let’s see, what else?

Hubby watched Lakers vs. Suns; Suns won, which was nice.

Now, flipping back and forth between Golden State vs. Dallas (Golden State leading — yay) and Yankees vs. Red Sox (Boston leading).

Have just finished dinner, feel quite satiated. Cough much improved. Weather forecast: no rain for at least the next couple of days.

Stay tuned, dear blog reader, stay tuned.

A Return To The Spaghetti Story

Having successfully negotiated the day without making a mess, coughing my lungs out, or expiring from lack of sleep, am now ensconced on sofa in living room, facing flat-screen HDTV, watching closing credits of Owen Wilson pic, one I’ve never heard of before: “The Big Bounce.” This one has quite a number of “name” actors (like Morgan Freeman and Bebe Neuwirth) mixed in with Butterscotch Stallion and various bimbettes.

Have decided I must now try to write (If can manage same without getting up from sofa). Naturally, have chosen Haruki Murakami‘s spaghetti story (only two pages long, but it’s taken me almost a year to get through, because I keep getting dis – trac – ted) to try and get creative juices flowing.

Here is a further interesting passage from said story (which I have now encased in plastic — no, actually laminated — since The New Yorker issue I lifted it from, the issue of Nov. 21, 2005, has long disappeared into recycling pur – ga – to – ree – o):

I always drank tea with my spaghetti and ate a simple lettuce-and-cucumber salad. I’d make sure I had plenty of both. I laid everything out neatly on the table and enjoyed a leisurely meal, glancing at the paper as I ate. From Sunday to Saturday, one Spaghetti Day followed another. And each new Sunday started a brand-new Spaghetti Week.

Every time I sat down to a plate of spaghetti — especially on a rainy afternoon — I had the distinct feeling that somebody was about to knock on my door. The person who I imagined was about to visit me was different each time. Sometimes it was a stranger, sometimes someone I knew. Once, it was a girl with slim legs whom I’d dated in high school, and once it was myself, from a few years back, come to pay a visit. Another time, it was William Holden, with Jennifer Jones on his arm.

I know you are just dying to find out how the story ends, dear blog reader. But if I could spend a year and a half hanging on to the darn thing without giving up hope that it would inspire me to write the truly great short story that I know I am fully capable of writing, then you can just hold your horses because first I have to figure out how a man writes a short story about sitting down to a spaghetti dinner week after week, how a man can write that, and make it interesting. If I figure that out, then I will be well on my way, and we can get to the end of the story.

Staring straight ahead now, with utmost concentration. (Really trying hard not to wrinkle my forehead, as self does not want to go the Botox route — not, at least, until I’m 70) Are thoughts coming to me yet? Spaghetti thoughts? Or any thoughts — any thoughts at all?

Stay tuned, dear blog reader, stay tuned.

NYTBR April 8, 2007

Books I Am Interested in Reading (After Perusing the April 8, 2007 Issue of The New York Times Book Review):

(1) After reading Alex Kuczynski’s review of Paulina Porizkova‘s novel, A Model Summer:

Paulina Porizkova’s A Model Summer

(2) After reading Elizabeth Royte’s review of Melanie McGrath‘s The Long Exile: A Tale of Inuit Betrayal and Survival in the High Arctic:

Melanie McGrath’s The Long Exile: A Tale of Inuit Betrayal and Survival in the High Arctic

(3) After reading Katie Roiphe’s review of A. M. Homes’ memoir, The Mistress’s Daughter:

A. M. Homes’ The Mistress’s Daughter

(4) After reading Charles Taylor’s review of Forrest DeVoe Jr.’s Eye of the Archangel: A Mallory and Morse Novel of Espionage:

Forrest DeVoe Jr.’s Eye of the Archangel: A Mallory and Morse Novel of Espionage

(5) After reading Liesl Schillinger’s review of Clive James’s collection of essays, Cultural Amnesia: Necessary Memories From History and the Arts:

Clive James’s Cultural Amnesia: Necessary Memories From History and the Arts

Quoting From THE O. HENRY PRIZE STORIES 2006

From the story “Girls I Know”, by Douglas Trevor. It makes brief mention of a place I passed through on my way to the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, in 1993 : Burlington, Vermont.

“We had been hanging out a lot over the past month or so, ever since she had moved into my building at the end of May and mentioned casually — in response to the bewildering description I offered of my intellectual interests — that her grandfather had known Lowell at Harvard. They had played tennis together a few times, hung out some socially in the Yard, before Lowell decided to transfer to study with John Crowe Ransom and Allen Tate, first at Vanderbilt and then at Kenyon. That made Ginger, so knobby-kneed and awkward, suddenly shimmer in my eyes; she was two degrees separated from a major American poet, even if he had died right before she had been born. Growing up in Burlington, Vermont, the only people my childhood friends were two degrees separated from were French Canadian prostitutes.”

Reading Susan Fromberg Schaeffer

This morning, I am reading a story by Susan Fromberg Schaeffer called “Wolves” that really is about wolves — that is, the main character, the female of a silent couple, has conjured the creature from a comment her husband of 40 years has made in passing one day, and now she keeps its existence a secret from him. The husband, of course, suspects its presence. When the woman goes to their bed at night, the husband says, “You smell of something wild.” Then it turns out the husband, too, has his own wolf, which he keeps a secret from his wife.

The wife makes preparations:

“In the house,” she said, “I have many bottles of yellow pills. I saved them up. I never wanted to die slowly. I never wanted people walking back and forth, with me planted like a bathtub in the middle of a kitchen, saying pitying things, washing me and holding their noses, asking themselves, ‘Why won’t she die?’ But this, this would be better. It’s a terrible thing to do to the ones who stay behind, ending your own life.”

Last night, hubby started coughing — his coughs were like little explosions, involving major aspirations of air and God-knows-what-else. He claims I made him sick. It’s so strange: the man was perfectly healthy when he walked in the door last night; wasn’t aware that you could catch a cold that quickly.

All of this reminds me of the time when I was pregnant with our son, and developed a craving for sushi. Three, four times a week, I would feel the craving. Strangely, my husband, too began to develop a similar craving. And when we saw our credit card bills over the months leading up to the birth of our son, it was amazing to see how many Japanese restaurants we had eaten in, both of us ordering the same things. I believe what my husband experienced has a name: sympathetic pregnancy.

When my son was six, he developed chicken pox. A few days later, I did too. A day after I came down with it, my husband began to develop itchy red splotches on his skin. Until then, I had hoped I could get him to do the groceries and help me cook. But no, his chicken pox was absolutely the worst of all us three. So there we were, stuck at home for two weeks, all three of us. And it wasn’t even like we could treat it as a holiday, because hubby was in a bad mood about having to be stuck at home (though I was happy, ecstatic even, to have an excuse to be off work, and if hubby hadn’t been home as well, griping, and still having to be fed breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I would have been in heaven).

At 3 AM, we were both still up: I reading my book, and he on a brand new laptop that his new bosses have given him. I despaired of ever getting to bed — so restless, and every time I’d be about to drop off, random images would pop into my head, such as the SWAT team member who cried and said that the worst thing about collecting the bodies of the murdered Virginia Tech students was how silent the classrooms were, the only noise the students’ cell phones going bzzzz, bzzzz, bzzzzz repeatedly — they’d been set on vibrate because the students had been in class, and he knew family and friends were desperately trying to reach them.

Early on Tuesday morning, a young pastor sat with Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America, being interviewed. He, like almost everyone from the university, was very calm. After the interview had gone on for some minutes, he suddenly said, “God can be found, even here.” When he said it, he stopped and I saw him suddenly look down. His lips were trembling. “Yes, He can be found even here,” he whispered again. A few days later, I read that this was the man who had to accompany the police when they took the families one by one into a private room to break the news that their children were dead.

I also remembered random bits and pieces of other news: the dog food re-call (and I had just picked up a 30-lb. bag of R/D dry dog food from San Carlos Pet Hospital yesterday — $49), widening and ever-widening.

All these disconnected bits of information, floating in some kind of ether in my brain, but finally I did fall asleep around 3:30. And when I awoke at 6:30, I had not forgotten everything I had read the night before, so was able to finish the story about the wolves.

Wonder what this weekend will be like, since it looks like both hubby and myself are sick?

Stay tuned, dear blog reader, stay tuned.

Sick, Must Indulge

I have no idea why someone googling “Sarah Jessica Parker’s grandfather filip” would end up on my blog, dear reader. Again, I digress.

Self is awaiting arrival of dear hubby with take-out food from Su Hong. Since hubby switched from office in Fremont to office in Mountain View this week, am practically discombobulated by all the possible places self can have him stop for take-out on his way home.

His previous office, in Fremont, was near the approach to Dumbarton Bridge, and he liked to get right on 84 and go straight on home without sidetrips. Since Goldilock’s and Red Ribbon were within 10-mile radius, could sometimes ask him to stop by for palabok or leche flan or anything else Filipino self happened to be desiring at that moment.

But, on to the new. Now, on his way home, hubby passes no Filipino restaurants. Will miss the chance to get sinigang (would be really good right now, with this nasty cough self has developed) or pansit.

Instead, there is Draeger’s. Could ask him to stop by for some of that yummy peach pie of theirs. There is also Whole Foods, but take-out there is expensive: a single lamb shank cost us nearly $20, last time we tried take-out (They charge by weight, and apparently the lamb shank bone is quite weighty). Hmmm, let’s see, what else? Mr. Chow’s CLOSED, we noticed a week or so ago. Too bad — cheap Chinese food is a rarity in these parts. I mean, in the Redwood City/ Menlo Park area. Not sure whether self likes new Vietnamese restaurant that opened in place of old fave Hong Kee Noodle House on Broadway. Almost at the last minute, remember SU HONG!!

Pick up the phone: luckily, hubby is still in office (or in a bar, self tactfully does not inquire). Ask in my sweetest voice: Could you possibly pass by for some food on the way home?

Amazing, hubby says he wants to take me out to dinner. Why does he never think of this when I am well?

Self protests that throat aches and cold air is not good for throat. (Yes, dear reader, it is still cold here, which is twice as bad as being cold if one were in New York. Somehow, since this is Ca- lee — for — nee — a, self takes any cold weather occurring after April 15 as personal affront, becomes whine-y and self-pitying. Must avoid conversation at all costs, am liable to snap/vent)

Let’s see, what can one do on a (probably) rainy, cold weekend when one is sick? Self could putter around in the garden, scattering Osmocote on the roses. Self could plant the small assortment of new varieties of heuchera self purchased almost a month ago. Self could watch a movie! (But hubby asserts he does not want to watch a movie with me if self is sick — as he fears self will transmit germs while sitting next to him, coughing, in movie theatre)

Self could prepare lesson plans and grade papers (!!@@##)

Or self could try writing a short story while hubby is watching a game on flat-screen HDTV . . . After all, am so inspired by the current reading matter, The O. Henry Prize Stories of 2006. Absolutely loved David Mean’s Sault Ste. Marie (liked the story he had in Best American Short Stories, too: that one was about a family disintegrating under the eyes of the watchful family pet, a goldfish)

Whatever happens, must be in absolutely tip-top shape by Monday, as Dean will not take kindly to self’s calling in sick, even though self is really is sick. If still coughing, must pack lozenges and perhaps tote cup of tea to classroom, and assign confusing groupwork (notice this class loves to have me talk, and talk, and talk — the better to pass notes to each other under the table).

Stay tuned, dear blog reader. Stay tuned.

Reading The New Yorker of March 26, 2007

Today I am going to try and finish a New Yorker that I began to read weeks ago.

I know it’s been weeks because the magazine is open to the movie review page and, on the very bottom, left hand corner, is the date: Mar. 26, 2007.

The movie reviews are of “Reign Over Me” and “Premonition.” I skip the review of “Reign Over Me”, but read first lines of “Premonition” review. Reviewer has written, about Sandra Bullock’s character: “She is married to Jim (Julian McMahon), she has two adoring daughters, but does she look happy? No, she looks like someone posing for Edvard Munch.” Never mind.

Now trying to recall whether I reached the reviews because I began reading from the back, which I sometimes do, or whether I began from the front and have read all the other articles. After some moments spent in focused contemplation, decide I probably began from the back.

There is an article on the late author Roberto Bolaño. Wonder whether this is something Jessica has read, as Zack told me (when self was in Honolulu) that Jessica had developed a real admiration for him. Article is accompanied by a watercolor rendition of the man, and he looks young and soulful. But, skip.

And then I come to a story, which in this issue is by Kate Walbert. The story is called “Playdate”, and I decide to read it because of the opening lines:

Matilda’s mother apologizes for calling so late, but she wonders whether Caroline might be free for a playdate? Like, tomorrow?

Self has never written about son’s childhood, not really, except for maybe the story “American Milk,” and a brief mention at the very end of “Rufino.”

Playdates are something I know, intimately.

You remember Tucker? Whose mother drove a red Jaguar? Son came home from a playdate at his house and said, “Mom, why don’t you get a red car? A jaguar, like Tucker’s mom?”

And I wished and wished that I had one, so that son could be proud of something, too.

OK, today seems like trip-down-memory-lane time; let’s see if I can’t fix on something nice.

Hubby was off in one of his various jobs, and I ran interference on everything from The Mother’s Club to Little League.

Really, life is so full of surprises. Who knew, thirty minutes ago, that when self settled on the couch (would have preferred blogging from the bed, since self is *quite* sick, but seem unable to get any type of wireless reception there and — Aha! dear blog reader will say: she has discovered wireless! Yes I have, dear blog reader, I have), she would be stuck reminiscing about that long-ago by-gone era?

But I would like to write something that I can send out. And so I sit here and rack my brains for a character.

In “American Milk”, son attends a birthday party. He has the croup, but we don’t know that yet. All the anxiety and tension of that day comes back to me. He was coughing so badly but it was his only birthday party invitation of first grade, and the year was nearly over. To say I was somewhat desperate would be an understatement. When I came to pick him up, the father of the birthday boy had a long talk with me, disapproval seeping from every pore.

Do you know what humiliation is, dear blog reader?

Everything about his school was so confusing. I’d volunteer to help out at the lunch counter, and the days I helped the counter would be complete chaos, all the children pushing and shoving and grabbing things, until finally the principal would come running and shout, WHAT IS GOING ON HERE? And I heard “Shit!” a couple of times, which thoroughly shocked me, since we’re talking about first – to – third graders here (But what am I talking about? In pre-school, just as son and I were walking through the gate to the Morgan Pre-School, a four-year-old boy named Brian kicked a ball right in front of us and yelled, “Fuck!” when it hit a window) and I could only stare helplessly, with my mouth open, and I’d go home after an hour with the mother of all headaches.

Ha, ha, ha! This is really funny! Must keep reading the story, as memories like these are so delicious, and are coming thick and fast this morning. It’s raining outside, and yesterday’s cold has developed into a nasty cough. Perhaps I’ll stay in my green velour pantsuit all day, dear blog readers.

Stay tuned.

Thursday Night: A Cold and CSI

Self is woefully sick. Nose dripping like a faucet. Supine on couch, watching CSI.

Greg Sanders is on trial. And the dollhouse serial killer has struck again.

And hubby is indeed very irritated by my lethargy, inquires how it is self came to be sick.

Self responds: “It was very hot in Hawaii” (In fact balmy, beautiful) “and it is very cold here, OKAAAAY?”

Yes, indeed-y, can’t get over this unseasonable cold, self wondering whether to cover budding roses with netting, anything to keep petals from shriveling up. Self walks around all day, dousing plants with buckets of water, because even though it is cold it hardly rains, and hands are stiff, frozen when self gets back inside. Hubby of course useless in watering department, is only good for going to work, disappearing for 10 hours, and coming home again to be fed.

(To think last week self was esconced in Abraham Lincoln Hall at University of Hawaii- Manoa which, in spite of not having air-conditioning, felt mighty balm-y, South Seas-like)

Earlier, watched Yau-Man absolutely trump the competition in Survivor: Fiji. In fact, am absolutely amazed that he is still in the game. Hubby rooting for him because, of course, they are in roughly the same age group.

Me? Don’t much care, though it would be fun to have African American win this time. Edgardo kicked off tonight, amidst much perturbation, and immunity idol wasted on Alex because no one voted for him anyway (Others were warned in advance by tattle-tale, think his name is Dre — ?)

OK, do you want to know how self is dressed tonight, dear blog reader? Now that self is back in sunny California — NOT!!

Self is wearing one of Dearest Mum’s old velour pantsuits. This one is turtle green (Turtle as in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle” — I mean that kind of green). Knit muffler (purple) securely wrapped around throat. Underneath green velour pantsuit, white thermal leggings. Nose is going drip, drip, drip.

Only good thing that has happened to self so far today is that self has read not one but three great stories in O. Henry Prize Stories 2006: one, by Neela Vaswani, about a friendship between a young woman and her subject chimp, Lola, with whom she likes to watch TV; another by David Lawrence Morse, about a village that lives on the back of a giant fish; and one by William Trevor, which self finished reading not 10 minutes ago, which is the creepiest tale self has encountered in many a year, a tale that involves a statue of the Virgin purported to cry real tears, and a car accident. Self absolutely loves reading and writing about car accidents — in fact, have just finished writing story about fatal crash that occurs — conveniently — in Redwood City, which allows self to describe neighborhood in an actual piece of literature, thrills galore! But self’s story does not have the metaphysical weight, the creepiness of Trevor’s. The man absolutely firing on all cylinders: way to gooo, William!

So, back to couch, to CSI (Oh, it’s ended. Now we’re watching Shark.)

Comes along a preview for Ghost Whisperer. My God, hasn’t that thing been canceled yet?

Wonder why self is being so nasty this evening?

Today’s horoscope says (quite facetiously): Sing! Dance! Emote!

Think Yahoo horoscope writer has become quite demented.

Back to couch and Shark. Stay tuned, dear blog reader, stay tuned.

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