Conversations: Luisa Igloria on Juan Luna

Self missed Luisa Igloria’s reading with Karen Llagas, Joi Barrios and Barbara Jane Reyes, Dec. 6 at the San Francisco Main Library. Luisa’s book, Juan Luna’s Revolver, has just been published by the the University of Notre Dame Press, and self was absolutely ecstatic to get her copy signed, by the author herself, the day before Luisa left the Bay Area.

So there we were, sitting together in self’s humble living room, and self was telling Luisa how much she adored her poetry, and how she loved the collection’s title poem, and Luisa told self that there was another Juan Luna, apparently a mass murderer in Texas who’d had his killing spree at a McDonald’s, and when you google “Juan Luna,” more than likely the hits you get are all about the murderer. Which information self found extremely fascinating. (And, just to show why self can never, ever be a reporter, Luisa Igloria sends self a gentle correction this evening: “The other Juan Luna was a guy in Palatine, IL, who went on a shooting rampage with his high school buddy in a Brown’s Chicken fast food place there – I think this was sometime in 1993 — !!!)

Juan Luna, bless his heart, was apparently so dismayed by reports of his wife’s purported infidelity because he never considered her attractive. So, to make up for this really unforgivable oversight, he killed both his wife and his mother-in-law, but apparently did not serve time in jail (how fortunate for him), but didn’t live long, either, afterwards.

And, self perusing the latest issue of Filipinas Magazine this morning, sees that — whoa! — a newly discovered painting by aforementioned painter/cad/murderer was unearthed and auctioned off by Christie’s Hong Kong (painting is entitled “Las Damas Romanas” and features two European ladies languidly posed on some marble/stone steps, while one of the ladies restrains two very thin, whippet-like dogs on a leash). And this work, which was signed and dated “Luna Roman 1883” fetched over a million US dollars.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

Strybing Arboretum in the Rain

Self had been wanting to see the “Ancient Plant Garden” that had been touted in an article in the Chronicle from two months ago.  The article talked about tree ferns and gingkos, “ancient conifers,” and “hadrosaur footprints.”  Which was how she, hubby, and son ended up in Golden Gate Park yesterday afternoon, meandering along the (somewhat muddy) trails in Strybing Arboretum and looking at camellias and manzanitas and ferns and Japanese anemones.  Self couldn’t tell where the “Ancient Plant Garden” was, perhaps it was the area with the pond filled with plant scum?  It rained in the middle of their perambulations, but it was still a good afternoon.  Here are a few observations from the family’s first foray into the park since (gulp) son was in grade school !!@@##

Tree in Strybing Arboretum

Tree in Strybing Arboretum

Ohm Sweet Ohm

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