Help! Self Finds Herself Liking an Ashton Kutcher Movie!

This just in: Late last night, scheming Parvati (a k a “The Flirt”) won “Survivor: Favorites vs. Fans”, besting a wan and gorgeous (but very still) babe by the name of Amanda: Eeeeek!

Perhaps because yesterday was Mother’s Day, hubby was very amenable to seeing “What Happens in Vegas.” We saw it at the Redwood City downtown cinema. Self doesn’t know if it’s the recession or what, but these days, the restaurants surrounding the cinema — Citrine, Portobello Grill, Beard Papa — seem mighty empty, and even on a weekend, Theatre Row feels like a ghost town. (By way of contrast, at 1:30 p.m. the line at The Lobster Shack on Veterans Boulevard was out the door; hubby and self had to wait 30 minutes for a table) Self considered getting some ice cream, but she didn’t like any of the flavors available in the cinema lobby. For the first time in months, self and hubby seated themselves without any comestibles, not even a junior popcorn.

And there were seven previews, of such unmentionables as “The House Bunny” (27-year-old Playboy bunny seeks new career and finds her niche as “house mother” to a clue-less sorority of brainiacs) and “The Rocker.” There was also a preview of something by M. Night Shyamalan starring Mark Wahlberg, an actor self usually likes. Unfortunately, self thinks she has already seen this exact same movie, but with Mel Gibson, and in rural as opposed to urban areas: “Signs.”

But, once the feature movie got underway, self found herself actually laughing. Hey, Ashton and Cameron Diaz have good chemistry! And seeing these two play off each other was almost as pleasurable as watching the repartee between Gwyneth Paltrow and Robert Downey, Jr. in “Ironman”! And Cameron’s acerbic sidekick was very funny, as was Rob Corddry as Ashton’s sidekick. And Dennis Miller played a hoary not-so-old judge.

Summer is self’s favorite time of year (Bring on the heat!), and so much of it is bound up in anticipation of summer movies. This summer, self wants to see: Ed Norton as “Hulk,” Steve Carell as Maxwell Smart, and Mike Myers as “The Love Guru.” Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

Mother’s Day 2008: Wishes for Self

Last year, self wrote a post called “Belated Mother’s Day Wishes for Dearest Mum” (still very much viewed, even a year later!)

This year, having just put down the phone to Dearest Mum (and having just learned that self’s share from the family corporation, uncollected all these years, is more than double what she earned the past five years at Foothill Community College — ha ha ha ha!), self will draw up a list of Mother’s Day wishes, for herself.

But, first, self wants to talk about yesterday’s reading at the Redwood City Main Library. And then maybe she’ll talk a little about Dearest Mum’s visit to one of self’s favorite hang-outs in Tel Aviv (second favorite next to Bialik Street, that is), The Brunch on Gordon Street.

Yesterday’s reading was so fab. In the audience: smattering of Vangie Buell’s husband’s relatives. Also, a Redwood City mystery writer. Also, a co-teacher of Edwin Lozada’s at Woodside High School. Also, Roz Kutler, who works for the library and is the best-est, sweetest, most tireless event organizer self knows, who provided cookies and coffee and a display table for all of the assembled writers’ books.

And let’s not forget the presence of hubby, who was listening to self read for the first time in — well, maybe almost a decade. And who took lots of pictures of self while she was reading, which was one of the reasons self refused to look up.

And so, here’s who read, and in what order:

    Oscar PeƱaranda read his hilarious short story, “Prelude to a Gig.” Every time self hears this short story, she just wants to double over laughing, she can’t help it.
    Penelope Flores, fab teacher at San Francisco State, read a hilarious story about her mother, called “Far Above Cayuga’s Waters.” There is a prelude to this story, and it has to do with one of Penelope’s sons being in Cornell, and singing that school’s “theme song” on one of his visits home, only to find that his Lola knew it as well, but with different words — words inserted by her American teacher, who was one of the first wave of American teachers to arrive on Philippine shores, shortly after the end of the Filipino-American War.
    Next, Vangie Buell, who read “The Parol: A Bamboo Star of Hope,” which was just heartbreaking. Every time self listens to Vangie read, she wants to tear up, she can’t help it. Vangie had a horrendous childhood, but is alive and flourishing today, and self credits her remarkable fortitude and generosity of spirit for this feat.
    Next, Jennifer Almiron, self’s amazing student at UCLA Extension, who read her (funny and acerbic) story about her Catholic school education, “I Am She.” Self had not known that Jen studied at Amherst. And, after listening to Jen read a poem called “Hartford,” self learned that those Amherst students with significant others usually went to Hartford on dates. Which is where Jen set the poem which was, ironically, about her break-up with her first boyfriend — ha ha ha!
    Then, self read. A very short piece. Only five pages. Over in 10 minutes.
    Then, last, Edwin Lozada, editor of Field of Mirrors, who has such a mellifluous reading voice, and whose poetry is so lush and lyrical.

Anyhoo, it was a very good afternoon. And now this post is getting too long, so perhaps self will reserve the Tel Aviv story for another time.

Early this morning, self called Dearest Mum and woke her up (Self, after all these years, why are you unable to remember that Manila is 15 hours ahead of California ???). When self inquired how Dearest Mum had spent her Mother’s Day, Dearest Mum was quite happy to tell self that one of her closest friends had thrown her a dinner, complete with huge, fat lobsters “flown in from Maine.”

Whereupon self shared with Dearest Mum the news that hubby was taking her to Redwood City’s Lobster Shack for dinner.

And then self Read the rest of this entry »

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