Horoscope of the Day: 15 May 2007

Horoscope of the day says: You’ll adopt a tone that will make anyone desperate to buy your product or join your team.

Really? Then why is self home alone with a cricked neck, browsing chicken recipes on http://www.sunsetmagazine.com?

Well, suppose self shouldn’t take such things too much to heart.

After all, self certainly has accomplished much today. After getting two surprise return calls early this morning — one from Director of Daly City Public Library; the other from Ellen Gavin of Brava! — feel mighty proud that self was able to pitch cause of comfort women and secure 350-seat Brava theatre for tomorrow night (Ellen kindly waived rental fee) and Daly City Public Library for Thursday. If self could only make a living as a publicity agent, feel sure self could make other people very famous and happy, after all have had years and years of practice playing second banana to gorgeous Dearest Mum, three handsome brothers, older brilliant sister (valedictorian of her high school class at Assumption Convent — that’s the same alma mater as glorious Gloria, or GMA, as Filipinos so fondly, or perhaps not-so-fondly, refer to her).

But, oh well, self is not a publicity agent, as self very well knows. So will kindly disappear back into the oblivion of English 1C at xxxx community college, all those gorgeous students waiting for self in classroom at 8 AM, not to mention gorgeous students waiting for self on-line, at all hours of day and night, for on-line creative writing course.

Let’s see: efforts to find chicken recipe fruitless (ooh, self has a caller, as message light is blinking; hope it isn’t Petco again, suspect customer service guy of having crush on self, as he has called every day for the past three days to remind self about number of groomings self still needs to attain magic eighth — FREE — grooming), but, turning to book by Deng Ming-Dao self picked up in Honolulu, 365 Dao, let fingers wander to page marked “Confidence”, and there read the following wise dictum:

Truth perceived gives assurance.
Skill yields self-reliance.
With courage, we can defy danger.
To increase power, increase humility.

Amen.

By the way, here’s info about the event in BRAVA on Wednesday night. Please come! It’s for a good cause.

Wednesday May 16, 2007
Event: For the Dignity of Girls and Women Everywhere, Bear Witness…
Program: Reading of Testimonies of Japanese Military “Comfort Station” Survivors
Read by Actresses, Activists & Community Leaders
Time: 7:30pm-9:30pm
Location: BRAVA Theater
2781 24th Street • San Francisco, CA 94110 • (415) 641-7657

Power Plays: And the Yalies Keep Marching On

In my “in” box the other day, e-mail from Cal Shakespeare announcing 2007 season. Oooh, what a yummy selection: Richard III * Man and Superman * The Triumph of Love * King Lear.

Quick as a wink, get on phone to son, inquire when he is planning to come up. Cal Shakes season begins end of May, perhaps we could see Richard III?

Sounds good, son says.

The Cal Shakes newsletter has a letter from the director, Jonathan Moscone:

Politics. Philosophy. Romantic love. Family. We’re calling Cal Shakes’ 2007 season “The Power Plays,” but that power vibrates at multiple frequencies as it courses through many kinds of conduits–through the words of three playwrights, four different directors, and our usual slew of talented and charismatic players.

Everything, these days, is about Iraq. In class yesterday, was going through a section of the textbook on “Fallacious Arguments” and discussed such examples as the “slippery slope” and concomitant “domino theory.” Self asked class to provide example of domino theory. Miss-Bangkok-with-a-British-accent, quickly turning into one of self’s favorite students, says: “Fallacy that led to Vietnam War, yeah?” Yeah. “Which leads me to think about this war,” self said, and fell silent, could not speak further, emotion overwhelming.

Moscone, it turns out, is a Yalie. As is the man cast to play Richard III. (As are Edward Norton, Paul Giamatti, Neil Burger who directed The Illusionist — guess it really does matter, after all, where you went to school)

Our first Cal Shakes play: Romeo and Juliet. Picture this: son is in high school, has had a hard year, but it’s summer, so we’re sitting at a picnic table in the hot sun, eating and waiting for the play to begin. We got front row seats, something about seeing Shakespeare up close is thrilling, indescribable. Hubby and self share bottle of merlot. By the time play begins, self is feeling oh-so-mellow. The hot sun burns our faces and shoulders; upon returning home, all of us look as though we’ve been to the beach.

Our second Cal Shakes play: Henry V. This time, son’s a senior. He brings along a friend, Aubert, who acts in summer rep. The play is so good that afterwards Aubert can’t stop reciting lines, all the way back home.

So, now, Richard III. Still remember fave Ateneo teacher, Miguel A. Bernad, S.J., reciting soliloquies and turning over desks in attempt to communicate intensity of scene. Everyone in the classroom is startled, stares at Father Bernad open-mouthed. Self thinks that is when she began to love Shakespeare.

And Father Bernad — who is probably in his 80s now? — still writes self letters from Mindanao.

Worth A Look: Willa Schneberg’s STORYTELLING IN CAMBODIA (Calyx Books, 2006)

From a review by Lori Tsang in the Spring 2007 issue of The Multicultural Review:

(If you have time, dear blog readers, please click on each of the links below. What happened in Cambodia is a tragedy of epic proportions)

A strong narrative voice and authorial presence merge with the subjects of poems employing detailed sensory imagery to tell stories about Haing Ngor, the sensual and violent Ramayana, and the Jewish author’s lack of firsthand knowledge of holocaust — as well as stories of colonialism, like the “discovery” of Angkor Wat and André Malraux’s theft of artifacts. Next are wartime stories — spanning time and space from Nixon’s bombings to Pol Pot’s security prison and forced evacuation of Phnom Penh — about a painter, a reporter, a torture survivor, a refugee, a prison photographer, a torturer, a librarian, Prince Sihanouk, and Pol Pot’s wife.

Stories of the aftermath — about minefields, toxic waste, and the reconstruction of civil society, lives, bodies, relationships, family, culture, and colonialism — precede other survival stories, many about Burma. The last section reveals the indelible imprints of Cambodian culture, history, and people on the author through her meditations on everyday life and her parents back in Oregon. Notable for the breadth, depth, and structure of the volume as a whole as well as for the grace of writing in the individual poems, the book respects the specificity of Cambodian culture and history while capturing the universality of the human capacity for cruelty and violence, love and transformation.

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