It was freezing again today. Freezing!

What is wrong with this picture? First week of May in sunny California (NOT!) and self is going brrrr, brrr, brrrr inside under-insulated living room, fingers numb from pressing keyboard keys all afternoon (wish self could say she was blogging, but alas no. Next UCLA Extension writing class is about to begin, and as usual must “upload” all materials a few days before. Next few weeks will be spent responding weekly to 15 student manuscripts. Aaargh, aargh, aaargh, foresee painful neck turning into permanent condition)

Called hubby, taking care to sound cheerful, to project air of “je ne sais qua”: “Hon, what time do you think you’ll be home?”

Hubby yells back: I do not KNOW!

Geez, some people are touchy today! Subside to couch in front of flat screen HDTV, large piece of carrot cake balanced on self’s lap.

Hmmm, blog views astronomical today. Amazing. Must be because of BJ‘s comments! 🙂

And, in the mail, very fab announcement: PINAY STORIES is coming to you, denizens of the Bay Area!

In case you don’t know what that is yet, let self refresh your memory: Do you remember reading in this blog, way back in October, that self was doing a “writing workshop” at Bayanihan Community Center with an assortment of lovely young women? Well, after simply being blown away by their incredible talent (this is no tongue-in-cheek compliment, dear blog reader), and after getting caught in the middle of an anti-War march (down Mission) with people who looked slightly long-in-the-tooth to be still sporting the “hippy look”, was satisfied that self had gotten all to a GREAT start.

Next few weeks/ months, young women were passed on to the following other mentors: Amara Tabor * Ching Aran Valdes * Genny Lim * Joel Tan * Sean San Jose

And the result is this fab production, directed by the inimitable Alleluia Panis, and self wants to shout it to the whole world:
PLEASE WATCH !!! Puh – leeze!!!

A futuristic theatrical and poetic exploration

Featuring (with annoying asides from self):

* Irene Faye Duller
* Lolan Sevilla
* Tina Bartolome

The other women were all excellent: those Suzara sisters! And Aureen Almario! And Charity Ramillo! And Grace Burns! And Stephanie Sampang! How self wishes she had the wherewithal to start editing a new anthology of Filipino lit, but perhaps someone else can take on the challenge, feel sure it will be a blockbuster.

And now, without further ado, the specifics:

8 PM, Saturday, May 12
3 PM, Sunday, May 13
Tickets: $13

Preview: 8 PM Friday, May 11 (Tickets $7)

Where: SomArts Cultural Center
934 Brannan St. at 8th, San Francisco, CA 94103


Got that? All? K, see you there!

Reading for the Day: Hillary is “Optimistic”, Mitt Romney Likes L. Ron Hubbard

From The New York Times National Edition, Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Handicapping with Optimism, p. A21

Many factors can influence a political race, and every handicapper has an equation for predicting. Since the late 1980s, a group of psychologists at the University of Pennsylvania has had a system based on a single factor: optimism.

The researchers, by analyzing stump speeches, have found that the most optimistic candidate usually wins, taking more than 80 percent of the presidential elections since 1900.

This year, the analysis, led by Andrew Rosenthal, Prateek Sharma and Martin Seligman, found a clear front-runner, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. Rudolph W. Giuliani brought up the rear, and the other candidates bunched in the middle.

The research team evaluated 15 comments from each candidate, listed in random order and without naming the source. The optimism rating depended largely on how candidates characterized problems: as temporary and manageable, signalling optimism, or chronic and global.

“They’re at war with us,” said Mr. Giuliani of terrorists. “They want to kill us.”

Voters pick up these signals, consciously or not, and for good reason, Dr. Seligman said, addidng, “We know optimists tend to try harder under adversity, and that is a very important quality” in a leader.

* * * * * *

Separation of Church and a Book, p. A21

“What’s your favorite novel?” is a perennial campaign question, the answer to which presumably gives insight into leadership.

A Moby Dick lover may understand the perils of obssessively chasing a goal. A fan of To Kill a Mockingbird may well focus on racial justice.

When asked his favorite novel in an interview shown yesterday on the Fox News Channel, Mitt Romney pointed to Battlefield Earth, a novel by L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology. That book was turned into a film by John Travolta, a Scientologist.

The Thirteenth Most Gorgeous Day So Far . . .

Blog is mad at me.

I compared it to the maw of a gigantic whale, which — if I were a spouse whose significant other had said that about me, would definitely call out the troops.

Complain too much, self knows that. As if to corroborate that fact, horoscope for the day is:

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

OK, I take it back. Blog has been my companion through stressful times (fall, teaching, Princess of Los Altos, Dearest Mum, Jezus student at xxxx community college, rejections, what-have-you). Must not call it names (like shark looking for blood meal). Must be patient, enjoy solitary time spent in front of laptop (still pregnant with CD of Office 2004 for Mac, forceps delivery at nearest Apple Store imminent).

Let’s see, today it rained — poured — on my way to xxxxx community college, at 7:30 this morning. But, miraculously, half of class showed up, still eagerly awaiting my further shenanigans. Discussion of the day focused on whether or not journalist Barbara Ehrenreich was being “condescending” (several students thought so) when she mentioned so many times in Nickel and Dimed that she was from the “middle class” (whatever that means). No, self explained to dear students, on the contrary she was poking fun at herself, for not being able to stand the life of a 10-hour-shift waitress for more than a month. And, helpfully brought in to class this morning New York Times article about how Governor of Oregon and his wife decided to try an experiment and see whether they could limit food intake to whatever they could buy with only $21 for a week (average level of assistance to welfare families). Class, most of whom consist of self-supporting working students, murmured “That is hard.”

Yes, self assured them. But now he has a very very long entry in Wikipedia, and last week he only had two lines. (Whatever!)

Got home, and was so happy, so joyful not to have anywhere to go. Sat in front of flat screen HDTV and watched “Hollywood Access” and “Entertainment Tonight” and saw old footage of Anna Nicole Smith in 2003 and 2004 (also footage of her wearing her wedding dress to funeral of her octogenarian millionaire hubby — looked positively wacky, space-y, can imagine consternation of his children). Then, took a brief nap (as total number of hours slept in the last two days is six and a half– am so nervous that I will be late for my 8 AM class that I can hardly get to sleep at night).

After my nap, was filled with tremendous energy and decided to water — 12 buckets, front and back (Built up quite a sweat there, let me tell you). Clematis henryii still, apparently, alive. Saw more moving brown specks on Sunflare, apparently mites are Superman-like creatures, need to combat with kryptonite or some such.

Tonight, have plans not to cook — Lobster Shack on Veteran’s Boulevard, I’m on my way!

Oh, and unfortunately did not get to mail son the T-shirts I bought for him in Honolulu. And, let’s see, perhaps I don’t have to grade immediately.

Stay tuned, dear blog reader, stay tuned.

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