Self Said: “Bring in a story that changed your life.” Student Brings in CASANOVA

That should teach you, self! Next time, think before you open your big mouth!

Self’s lecture of yesterday was so rousing: she was quite taken by her own energy. Mind you, this was even before she learned she had just won the juked Fiction Contest.

Topic of the day was that bugaboo, Metafiction. Examples were taken from Margaret Atwood, Lorrie Moore (of course, that old chestnut: “How To Become a Writer”), and Tim O’Brien (“How To Tell a True War Story”). Self had the class read in pairs, in three-somes. It was quite exciting.

After the class, student named J sidled up to self’s desk and laid before her disbelieving eyes a thick tome entitled A History of My Life, by Giacomo Casanova.

“This is the book that has changed my life,” declared J, a student who has already been accepted to USC and is just taking English classes at xxxx community college so he can get them out of the way.

“Especially the preface,” said J. “I thought you might want to xerox it for the class.”

“Thank you, J!” self blubbers. “I will certainly do that!”

Then self whisks the book away, and tonight she opens it.

Alas, her eyes begin to droop before she has gone very far into the Preface. Flipping through the pages, she lands on Chapter 1:

In the year 1428 Don Jacobe Casanova, born at Saragossa, the capital of Aragon, natural son of Don Francisco, abducted Donna Anna Palafox from a convent on the day after she had taken her vows. He was secretary to King Alfonso. He fled with her to Rome, where, after a year of imprisonment, Pope Martin III gave Donna Anna a dispensation from her vows and the nuptial blessing, at the instance of Don Juan Casanova, master of the sacred palace and uncle to Don Jacobe. All the offspring of this marriage died in infancy except Don Juan, who in 1475 married Eleanora Albini, by whom he had a son named Marcantonio.

Hmmm, that’s much more like it.

Stay tuned, dear blog reader, stay tuned.

Why Today Is A Very Special Day

Today is a very special day, dear blog readers.

Why? Because of course it is the day after yesterday.

And today self has seen what her blog looks like in Arabic script (beautiful)

And self got the opportunity to leave very self-serving — even boastful — messages on various friends’ answering machines (The only one who called back was Zack; and she believes she woke Brian up — he was too polite to cuss — for which she is deeply sorry)

And self got mechanic to look at her car and drive around with her for 10 minutes to make sure the knock self swore she was hearing from under the hood was not a figment of her imagination. And of course noise never manifested itself while self had mechanic driving her car, so perhaps it is just self’s propensity to stop and start, stop and start (keeping sharp eye out for Redwood City police, who are just all over the place these days) that is creating the noise, and self had to drop mechanic off with profuse apologies.

In addition, self saw the dentist. And while dentist had self’s mouth absolutely crammed with implements of all kinds, she struck up a conversation with hygienist about how hungry she was, and how she had packed a lunch but hadn’t had time to eat it, and how it was already 3:30, and self felt like raising her hand and saying, “Well, I’m not exactly enjoying this so maybe we should just get on with it.” Anyhoo, afterwards dentist told self she had filled three cavities (“What did you do two weeks ago?” self inquired. Dentist informed her she had filled only one cavity. Self wanted to ask why dentist had to wait two weeks before filling the other three; might have saved her feeling sharp pain during dinner at Fuki Sushi with godson. But, once again, I digress). Dentist also made self promise she would visit an oral surgeon and have yet another tooth pulled. (“What?” self said, in shock. “Am I going to lose four teeth in total?” In answer to which, dentist threw self a glance of extreme exasperation)

Okey dokey! But anyway self is at home. She actually managed to get here without another ticket, despite the presence of three police cars at the boundary of Atherton and Redwood City. And she is starting to cook dinner. With cousin’s enthusiastic encouragement, self is continuing her exploration of her various Filipino cookbooks. Today she is using Eleanor Laquian and Irene Sobreviñas’ Filipino Cooking Here & Abroad (Publisher: National Bookstore), and she is following a recipe for “Sirloin Steak and Vegetable Barbecue,” which involves marinating the steak with finely chopped onions, juice of one lemon, 1/4 cup olive oil, 3 cloves crushed garlic, 1/4 tsp. celery salt, some soy sauce, and a sprinkle of sugar.

Stay tuned, dear blog reader, stay tuned.

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