One Thing’s For Sure

Gardening’s murder, murder on your nails.  Self has never had such ugly fingers as she has now.  No, wait a minute, there was the time she struggled to raise a stuck window in son’s bedroom, and just as she had gotten it all the way up, and rested both hands on the windowsill, panting from all her exertions, the wooden window sash came down like a guillotine and —  WHAM!  —  landed on all ten fingers.  After that, self had the wonderful experience of watching all her nails turn black, and then gradually fall off.  This whole process took almost six months.  No one —  neither hubby, son, various visiting relatives, nor any of the people self worked with at Stanford —  made one comment.  Were they all blind?  Or just too polite?  Maybe they thought she’d lost a fight with her (cat?  Dearest Mum?) and were too embarrassed to say anything?

Anyhoo, as self was saying, her fingers are really horrible now, and it’s so embarrassing to have to work at the Writing Center.  Because of course, students are constantly handing self their papers and self has to go over them, and write things on the margins with a pencil, and once a student asked her:  “What’s that on your palm?  Is that hair dye?”  And self looked and was on the point of saying, “No, manure.”  But instead she said, “Oh, just some compost.  I’ve been gardening.”  Self used to have a manicure, every other week, but ever since the warmer weather rolled around, and self got on the plant-buying craze, she realized it would really be a waste of money, getting a manicure.  When the weather turns so cold that self can no longer bear to be outside for longer than 15 minutes, then self will start getting manicures again.

Let’s see, what happened to self today?  After she got three hours sleep, that is?

She picked up crap in the backyard.

She gazed with deep appreciation at all of her flowering plants.

She thought of apologizing to niece G for not telling her about Mayor of the Roses.

She e-mailed son that if he would only consent to stay at home (instead of in a hotel) during the American Psychology Association conference next month, self promised —  no, swore —  that she would ferry him back and forth to the City, in time for all his panels.

And here, dear blog readers, are all the advantages to having insomnia :

  • In the middle of the night, it is very quiet.  Self can read without interruption.  If she didn’t feel so tired the next day, self would read 24/7.
  • Self has gotten some really inspired bits of writing done at 1 or 2 a.m.  Of course, none of these bits has added up yet to one whole story, but, hey, let’s not look a gift horse in the mouth!
  • Self ends up writing really inspired reviews on Amazon of the books she has just finished reading.  AND, it’s not until midnight or 1 a.m. that self can really be honest about a book.  Such as the one she returned to the library today:  Julie & JuliaThat is not a book, dear blog readers!  That is a series of blogs disguised as a memoir!  And that is why self will never collect any of her blogs to produce a book!  Because that’s just not how it works!  Blogs should never be enclosed between hard covers — never!  They should be ephemeral as the sun.  Nay, as the wind!  They belong to the moment, only to the moment.  And that’s why self never writes drafts to be up-loaded later.  She just loves it when a post explodes out of her —  explodes like the little purple lizard thing, when she tapped it with the point of her trowel.  That’s how a post should emerge!  Shrieking!  As out of the vast subconscious!

(If self remembers correctly, she also, at 2 a.m., submitted a short story to Contrary Magazine, using their online submissions manager.  Naturally, she can’t now remember which story she sent.  But it sounded pretty good, at 2 a.m.!)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

Quote of the Wee Hours

Tonight, self begins:

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows . . .

No, not quite right. Begin again:

Sleep, blessed sleep . . .

Self, what is up with all the Shakesperean language?

It is 2:30 a.m., dear blog readers. Self has been falling asleep between 2:30 and 3 a.m. every night since returning from her second trip to Chicago. (Manila was another sleep-destroyer.  Ditto, AWP Chicago, in February)  It’s a 2009 thing — self’s  thoughts are full of a year ago, when she was in Tel Aviv visiting Ying. And of son, who is graduating in less than two months’ time. And of the book she is trying to finish reading (it’s about Burma) so she can write a review for The Women’s Review of Books. And of the garden, where to plant what (Self is not kidding, every night she finds herself dreaming in landscape patterns: the lily bulbs go here, and the red salvia go there, and the little sedum “Dragon’s Blood” go under the roses, and the new clematis goes to the side fence, and so forth and so on. Since self does not have a gardener, she is doing everything herself which induces in her extreme restlessness, especially after night falls and she can no longer see her plants.  If she weren’t worried about looking absolutely crazy to hubby or to the neighbors, she’d be out in the backyard with a flashlight, hunting for snails).

Today, there was an interesting tidbit on the evening news about a spate of car burglaries in the Bay Area. The suspects are a couple “driving a late-model grey Mercedes.” Why anyone driving a late-model Mercedes would feel the need to burgle is a big mystery to self. Another thing: the couple operate in or near cemeteries. They’ve struck several times in Colma (the entire city is just one big cemetery, practically) and once in Holy Cross Cemetery (self not sure where that is), apparently because people who are visiting graves are careless and tend to leave their cars unlocked.

So, if any dear blog readers happen to be planning a visit to a Bay Area cemetery in the near future, don’t say you haven’t been forewarned . . .

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

Not Just Eye Candy

The Rogue Magazine April 2009 Issue

The Rogue Magazine April 2009 Issue

Nothwithstanding eye-catching girlie pictures included in every issue, this is no fluff magazine, dear blog readers.

In current (April 2009) issue, you will find many gems, among which is an interview with iconoclast director Peque Gallaga. Oh, how self adored his Oro, Plata Mata, which she saw in Berkeley, the year she was married. People walked out. Not, however, self. Self was riveted. (Dearest Mum’s good friend, Fides Asensio, was in it. Also, a very very young Cherie Gil.)

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