Obama Addresses the Nation

Self is poised in front of her laptop while keeping one eye on flat-screen HDTV, where our Prez is addressing the nation on the deepening economic crisis. He says we are going to emerge stronger from this debacle! Yeah! Self, too, believes that with all her heart! Even though, on the car radio today, she heard the news that the San Francisco Chronicle lost 50 million dollars in 2008 alone and was struggling for its very existence (What is a world without a San Francisco Chronicle? For that matter, what would this blog be with no San Francisco Chronicle to quote from?  Can’t the Chron apply for a grant from some outfit like the Gates Foundation? )

But, Dear Prez says, “This is America! We don’t do what’s easy! We do what’s necessary!”


(Self thinks dull green is a horrible color for Nancy Pelosi, but unfortunately the woman is positioned directly behind Dear Prez so self can’t help but look at her, every time she lifts her eyes to flat-screen HDTV.  Camera cuts away for reaction shot from Hillary:  in contrast to Speaker of the House, Hillary looks absolutely fab in hot pink.)

Self has been sleeping so, so well since getting back from Manila (In Chicago, she never slept, but that’s another story). She thinks that this is due, in no small part, to the fact that she will hear no more from Dearest Mum until June (when aforementioned arrives to attend niece G’s Stanford commencement. Son is having his Cal Poly commencement the same day —  Dearest Mum curses the day, for now she cannot possibly attend son’s graduation. Son must be heaving deep sigh of relief!)

Yesterday, when self arrived home from the library, her phone’s message light was blinking. Message, which turned out to be from Dearest Mum, went:

“I’m meeting with Jimmy Bautista tomorrow and just wanted to check: Is this the book I’m supposed to give him?”

That was the entire message.

Self listened to it, and had two questions:

  1. Who is Jimmy Bautista, and why should Dearest Mum think that self had any interest in a meeting with him?  (Perhaps he is a writer? Ergo, Dearest Mum assumes self must know him?)
  2. What book is it that Dearest Mum wants to give to aforementioned? When she left Manila, self had asked Dearest Mum to give Fr. Miguel Bernad a copy of Field of Mirrors. Fr. Bernad was in Rockwell not too long ago, launching his new book. Self had asked Dearest Mum to attend on her behalf, but Dearest Mum forgot (even though DM had bought a huge monthly calendar, about as big as flat-screen HDTV, and ostentatiously written down, on the date for Feb. 18, “Fr. Bernad’s Book Launch,” in flourescent green. Self was there to witness the entire proceeding) Self was so chagrined to learn, when she called Dearest Mum a few days ago, that DM had missed the launch. Not to worry, Dearest Mum told self, she would drop by the Ateneo and apologize to Fr. Bernad in person for having missed his book launch. Self told Dearest Mum that Fr. Bernad was in Ateneo de Naga (many many miles away from Manila, dear blog readers). Self hopes Dearest Mum doesn’t show up in Ateneo Diliman, demanding to speak to Fr. Bernad.  Upon listening to Dearest Mum’s message a second time, self suddenly realizes that Dearest Mum has probably given Field of Mirrors to this Jimmy Bautista, and not to Fr. Bernad. But self had written “To Fr. Bernad, with affection, xxxxx” on the book’s title page. So if Jimmy Bautista opens the book (if he is a reader, that is; some people like getting books as presents for they look so nice on a shelf or on the coffee table), he will see the dedication and wonder who Fr. Bernad is. Or perhaps he won’t wonder, for Fr. Bernad is pretty famous in the Philippines. Maybe he’ll just wonder why Dearest Mum gave him a book inscribed to someone else —  ???

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.


  1. Kathleen said,

    February 25, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    I’m amazed. Simply amazed. 🙂

  2. philipb1961 said,

    February 28, 2009 at 5:28 am

    As a longtime journalist and somewhere who believes a free and robust press is vital to the survival of the democracy, I’d much rather see some of the bailout $$$ go to the San Francisco Chronicle (and the dear departed Rocky Mountain News) than to the poorly managed, over leveraged banks and auto companies.

    Not that bad management and a failure of vision haven’t had an awful lot to do with the troubles that newspapers are now facing. During those many years when newspapers were thriving on ginormous margins of profit, media companies treated their papers like short-term cash cows, milking them for all they were worth and not giving a whole lot of thought to issues like efficiency and long-term survival and how to deal with competition from television and the Internet. Newspapers and their owners figured the glory days would last forever, so they made some pretty short-sighted decisions (including, for example, giving away all of their content online – who’s going to care about the print product, several news cycles old anyway, when all the content is available for free at the click of a button?).

    And now, many, many newspapers, including the Seattle P.I. and the Tampa Tribune and the Tucson paper (among others) are poised to fail. Sad.

  3. philipb1961 said,

    February 28, 2009 at 5:29 am

    And by “somewhere” (first sentence) I mean “someone.” Sorry, it’s late and my brain is fogged.

  4. February 28, 2009 at 5:52 am

    I totally agree with you, about the value of newspapers. The San Francisco Chronicle is far from being one of the best written papers in the country, but it represents the community. I think, if it were to go down, it would do great harm to the civic spirit. Even if it managed to survive in some on-line version, it would not be the same . . . And no, the San Jose Mercury News would not be an adequate substitute — it’s a completely different type of paper.

    Can you believe the Rocky Mountain News went down? Didn’t it win the Pulitzer in 2005?

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