On Books and Basketball Games: An Update

Self finished reading The Mapmaker’s Wife early this morning.

She lived, dear blog readers: Isabel Grameson Godin, intrepid wife of French explorer Jean Godin, actually made it through her ordeal in the Amazon rain forest. She was reunited with her husband, they moved to France, and she reached the ripe old age of 76. The sandals and dress that a native woman had given her to replace the tattered clothes she was wearing when she emerged from the jungle are still in the possession of her descendants today.

As for the game last night, Stanford was robbed! An official called a foul (for something that wasn’t), the game went into over-time and, as always happens in events of this nature, the momentum swung the other way and UCLA eventually won (gnashing of teeth)

But, no use crying over spilled milk. Now, self gets set to start the next book on her list, Tom Perrotta’s Little Children.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

First There Were the Collins Twins; Now There Are the Lopez Twins

Self had to stop reading The Mapmaker’s Wife when the Stanford (Ranked # 7 nationally) vs. UCLA (Ranked #3) basketball game started, around 7:30 PM. The last self read from the book (p. 273), poor Isabel Grameson Godin had just watched her two brothers and her nephew die from starvation in the wilds of the Amazonian jungle. For two days Isabel lay on the ground, “waiting for God to call her.” Ants crawled “relentlessly up her neck;” she had to listen, terrified, as poisonous snakes rustled through the bush, and she “dug her nails into her face to get at the botflies hatching there.”

Terrible as all this is to read, dear blog reader, self is confident that we would know nothing of her ordeals if she had not somehow survived. Like Hillary or the Energizer Bunny, she will live to tell her tale.

Now, to the score: Stanford, 14; UCLA, 4. Ah, excellent.

Self spoke to Dearest Mum today and found out that Dearest Mum, too, would be heading to Tel Aviv. With Ying’s baby daughter, Anita, and of course a maid (Dearest Mum cannot possibly be expected to handle the baby all by herself on the plane!) Thankfully, though, Dearest Mum cannot get to Tel Aviv until just two days before self returns to San Francisco, because first she has to play a concert at a convent in Japan (Self told Dearest Mum — apologies, niece G! — “Did you know that G will be in Japan for her spring break?” At which news Dearest Mum got so excited she immediately hung up so that she could call niece G directly and make all sorts of fab plans about traveling all over Japan together)

Self is trying to prepare herself by now and then conjuring images of an emaciated Ying. She just cannot quite imagine it, but she feels she must be prepared for Ying to look truly terrible. As dear brother Yoo-Hoo wouldn’t let anyone in Manila, except for Dearest Mum, see her in the hospital.

And self feels she must be ready for more of her hair to fall out (from stress — just last week, she was chatting with Evelina and she put a hand to her head and started twining some strands around her index finger and when she lowered her hand, about 100 hairs went with it) and perhaps to have a tooth fall out (Last week, one of her crowns popped out while she was munching on hubby’s secret stash of Cheerios. And she waited until today to see the dentist to have it re-fastened, and dentist was quite exercised to learn that the crown had popped out 10 days earlier. But, of course, why would self be in any hurry to see the dentist? Because those bills keep coming and they are never less than $100???)

So, OK, major stress coming: self leaves in two weeks, and she gets back the day before the start of spring quarter. And that same week, she reads at the Ferry Building with Nona (though that should be fun; self always loses herself in Nona’s voice, it’s so hypnotic). And two weeks later, she visits Valerie Miner’s Women’s Studies class at Stanford.

But, it’s all good, dear blog readers. It’s all good.

Iain Kelly

Fiction Writing

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