Hello, Blog! 2:26 PM, Redwood City Main Library Reference Room

Here I am again, checking in for the day just to see how blog is doing, as laptop is still being operated on. This morning, self received message from “genius” at Apple Store in Stanford Shopping Center — loyal blog readers will know that self is not being sarcastic: when a customer service rep goes around in a blue T-shirt saying “genius” in block letters, you know that person is a genius — anyway, as self was saying, there was a message this morning from genius at Apple Store, who said they’d had to order yet another part (aside from the optical drive, that is, which was kaput ) — feel like writing Steve Jobs, or Consumer Reports, which declared Apple the “best laptop on the market today”. (Oops, the magazine was referring to the $2K version, not to the lowly $1,399 version that self purchased via loan from xxxx community college) So, since self had refused to pay the $99 that would have ensured moving to the front of the repair line — behind the five other people who had ponied up $99 for Procare yesterday, according to genius at Apple Store — do anticipate lengthy wait, daily trips to Redwood City Library, which (by the way, this keyboard is soooo loud that when self is typing fast, like now, have been receiving all sorts of annoyed looks from librarian/ library patrons etc. Self wants to explain: I can’t help it, all my synapses are firing away and since they so rarely do operate on that mode — adrenalin surge caused by typing in unfamiliar place certainly a boost to creativity, anticipate MUCH writing, then, to be accomplished at Virginia Center for the Creative Arts this August. Again, I digress) which — where was I?

Oh, mustn’t forget to confide that this morning, following 8 AM English 1C at xxxx community college, in which self did a positively inspired extemporaneous lecture, which had all remaining 12 students looking intently at self, but which caused self to leave premises shaky from exhaustion, bumped into fellow teacher who remarked, “Say, have you had a lot of students drop lately?” Since other teacher teaches another section of English 1C, we have been wont to chat and exchange reports on “how it’s going” — normal teacher talk.

Self was happy to confide that there seemed to have been precipitous decline in enrollment, which led self to anguish over shortcomings in teaching method, which led self to wake up at 4AM this morning, planning an absolutely brilliant, genius lecture, which self delivered at 8 AM this morning, which apparently worked because all students present left smiling.

“The ones who dropped just found out they were rejected by UC Berkeley and UCLA, so they don’t need the class anymore,” teacher confided.

@@##!!

What, you mean it wasn’t self’s teaching style? Oh, thank God! Nearly hugged fellow teacher, but as he is 50 years old, grey-haired and looks like he could be quite forbidding if annoyed, decided to confine myself to a non-commital “Really?”

Self confided that she had e-mailed absent students yesterday, but received no reply.

“I did, too,” fellow teacher confided. “But no one replied. This morning I happened to bump into one of them, and he had to tell me, kind of embarrassed, that they’d all received their rejection letters last week, and the private schools don’t require English 1C.”

All self can say now is: HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY !! HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY!!

Now, will certainly return to seat-of-the-pants, extemporaneous style of teaching.

Today, also, received wonderful news that fab Evelina Galang is winging over to SF Bay Area next week. What joy to see fab fellow writer who has the energy of two of self. She will be making herself available to all who want to help in the campaign for justice for comfort women. Please get in touch if you would like to know her schedule of appearances, self has all the low-down.

Also, Paolo Javier, thank you for teaching self’s story “Silence”, which is really really sweet of you, just make sure you tell students that no, self has never actually been the victim of spousal abuse.

Hmmm, let’s see, what else?

Oh, this morning, discovered that neighbor Claudio had gotten annoyed because self hooked a hanging planter box over the fence that divides our properties. Self knows Claudio was annoyed because she found the planter box tossed back to self’s side of the fence, where it waited patiently on the grass in the middle of the backyard until self discovered it, about an hour ago. Could not believe Claudio, who always seemed so neighborly, could stoop so low. Felt like marching over and having a word with him.

Instead, called hubby and he declared, without even looking at the evidence, that self was falsely accusing Claudio of something he didn’t do. “Was probably the wind,” dearest hubby said.

“The planter box is iron,” self told him.

“Still, it might have been a strong wind,” hubby said.

“I mean, it is cast iron,” self said.

Afterwards, went to backyard and looked at cast iron planter box. Tentatively, tried to lift and pitch. Ha! Self broke out in tremendous sweat. Definitely not the wind, hubby.

Then, took ladder. Did something self has never ever done in 15 years of living behind Claudio’s house: self peeked over the fence (feeling like Peter Rabbit looking at Mr. MacGregor’s garden). Saw, at far end of garden, ceramic shrine with stone statue of Virgin Mary in alcove within. Just as self was beginning to marvel at number and variety of flowers, heard Claudio’s missus’ voice and, since self has never found this woman particularly friendly, ducked quickly down to avoid being seen. Then, feeling utterly ridiculous, removed ladder and have sworn never to affix planter box (or anything else) on Claudio’s fence (though it is half mine, the half facing our house, of course). Tromped all over yard, trying to find suitable place for planter box. Affixed screws, with much effort. Got very red in the face, since it was hot (and sun is sooo bad for the skin around the eyes, this self knows from listening to Home Shopping Network expert yesterday, selling eye cream). But, finally, success.

So, after that, left for library. Which is why self is now here, annoying all and sundry with her furious typing.

Now to check e-mail from UCLA Extension students. Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

Tuesday Afternoon, Redwood City Main Library

Self is getting a cricked neck sitting here in the Reference section (trying to type ever-so-quietly, but am afraid that’s impossible, as synapses are firing away like pistons), but it’s blessedly cool (yes, day turned out to be another scorcher) and this is a very very nice library and self seems to be the only one who seems to know about this lone computer terminal in the Reference section (All the other terminals are upstairs, where it’s noisy now with kids doing their homework and playing computer games).

Since self has to blog here, decided to check how many copies of Mayor of the Roses have been checked out. The San Mateo County Library system has four copies, all in Daly City. Check reveals same status as last time: that is, all copies present and accounted for on the shelves, except for one that’s been missing since October (probably borrowed by a student in Liza Erpelo’s class in Skyline College — !)

So, back to the terminal and to my intended post of the afternoon: Books Self Is Interested in Reading (After Perusing the May 5 – May 11, 2007 Issue of The Economist)

(1) A book on the future of Europe, by Walter Laqueur: The Last Days of Europe: Epitaph for an Old Continent

(2) A book about flight attendants: Kathleen M. Barry’s Femininity in Flight: A History of Flight Attendants

(3) A new novel by Deborah Moggach, In the Dark, which is summarized thus:

    A young war widow runs a dingy lodging house of dysfunctional wartime leftovers, helped by her tender-hearted, disastrously plain maid-of-all-work.

    (Frankly, can’t wait to read this one)

(4) And, finally, a book about the making of Barbie, by Eric Clark: The Real Toy Story: Inside the Ruthless Battle for America’s Youngest Consumers

The review contains the below fascinating passage:

    Several decades ago, Barbie’s creator, Ruth Handler, saw a Swiss doll called Lilli, voluptuous and wearing heels. She was just what Ms. Handler wanted for a blockbuster new doll. Ignoring traditional marketeers — shocked by Barbie’s breasts — she began an uphill battle in California to manufacture this sexy creature, so unlike cuddly baby dolls. What she did not know was that Lilli was based on a prostitute in “a German adult cartoon aimed at men.”

@@!!##

And now, dear blog reader, adieu, as self has to rush home and cook dinner (No, wait — Safeway only a short block away, can purchase rotisserie chicken, very yummy and only $9.95) and check to see what UCLA students have checked in to Discussion Board. Only one this morning, who confessed to being “very nervous”. The poor dears, have decided that, this class, self will impose strict discipline and pretend to be “femi-Nazi”, so have toned down natural friendliness of manner — MUCH.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

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