Self Does Not Wish To Give the Wrong Impression

Yesterday was a good day! Yes, in spite of daunting excursion to Best Buy to look at bewilderingly pricey washing machines! Among the things that made yesterday a good day:

Self succeeded in making a reservation at Stelline, small Italian restaurant on Gough that self and hubby have been exceedingly curious about, ever since we started attending symphony concerts at Davies. In the past, every time self has tried to make a reservation, she’s told the restaurant’s already full. But yesterday, when self called (Self and hubby are going to the Yuja Wang concert on May 23: son will be back for a second conference, so he might be able to come with us!), she was able to make a reservation! Happy happy joy joy!

The other good thing about yesterday was: self was able to connect with composer Drew H, who she first met at VCCA two years ago, and we had a very lively conversation about our current project (which shall remain nameless because it’s still so new), and we exchanged news about residencies we are applying for, and he told me the shocking news that he’d been turned down by VCCA (!!!) to which self could only express shock/disbelief, for Drew is such a talented composer! Instead, he is going to Banff. Self then told Drew she’d probably be turned down if she applied again, which is why she’s so afraid to even try. It’s like — the first time was such a fluke! Anyhoo, she told Drew she was hoping to get a residency in Europe next year, and he on the other hand said he’d be very interested in getting a residency in the Philippines. And self said she had a friend who was a fabulous cook who owned an island and we could stay there. But then Drew asked if self’s friend had a piano, and self recalled that, at VCCA, Drew’s studio had not one but two pianos, both baby grands! Regretfully, she had to tell Drew that no, her friend had no piano. Not on the island, that is. She might have one in her house in Manila. But that’s not exactly what Drew had in mind.

Then, we began to talk about — what else? — “Star Trek,” the movie. And Drew said he’d seen it and really liked it. And then self asked him who his favorite character was, and he said “Spock,” (which is why self and Drew get along), and he said he’d seen “Wolverine” just the day before, and that one wasn’t any fun. And, just to impress dear blog readers, self will now reveal that at VCCA, Drew gave a little musical presentation: a song cycle that utilized the poetry of Anne Sexton. And self was so enthralled. Below is one of the Sexton poems that Drew set to music. After VCCA, self began to teach this particular poem at xxxx community college, and all her students loved it, without exception.

January 1st

    by Anne Sexton

My daddy played the market.
My mother cut her coupons.
The children ran in circles.
The maid announced, the soup’s on.

The guns were cleaned on Sun-day.
The family went to shoot.
We sat in the blind for hours.
The ducks fell down like fruit.

The big fat war was going on.
So profitable for daddy.
She drove a pea green Ford.
He drove a pearl gray Caddy.

In the end they used it up.
All that pale green dough.
The rest I spent on doctors
who took it like gigolos.

My finances are quite small.
Indeed they seem to shrink.
My heart is on a bud-get.
It keeps me on the brink.

I tell it stories now and then and feed it images like honey.
I will not speculate today with poems that think they’re money.

* * * *

Self thinks dear blog readers will agree: there’s something rather mordant about the tone, but that is why she likes it! Apologies if it doesn’t exactly put one into the “weekend frame of mind”, dear readers!

Stay tuned.

The Weekend Upcoming

Dear blog readers, self seems to be caught up in the “Twitter” craze — that is, with her multiple postings in one day, she is beginning perhaps to confuse this blog with a “Twitter” (whatever that is).

It was just ridiculous, when she was watching the San Francisco Giants first game of the season, it was announced that several of the Giants had “Twitters,” and then self was treated to excerpts of a few players wondering what they were going to wear, which lucky-talisman shirts would be most propitious, etc etc!

Hello! Stop Twittering and concentrate on your game!

Self was hardly surprised when Giants lost.

Now, self feels she must call son to impart some bit of bad news: the washing machine is broken. It went kaput last weekend, hubby pulled it out of the wall to examine the water hoses, got stymied, but forgot to push it back into place. Self has been demanding that we get a new washing machine, but hubby stubbornly insists he can still fix the darn thing. Self’s trip yesterday to Best Buy was supposed to be surreptitious. Best Buy salesman assured her that $599 was indeed a “steal” when it came to front-loading washing machines. Self left the premises feeling quite “down.”

Anyhoo, after imparting to son the bad news (and, as self foresaw, he was planning to bring loads and loads of laundry back home with him), she then inquired if son would like to watch “Star Trek” again with her. For son, being self’s progeny, is just about as movie-mad as herself. And he saw “Star Trek” last weekend. But he did express willingness to see it again, and self discovered that her local cinema has certain showings that are “Digital Projection.” Here’s the definition of “Digital Projection” on Fandango:

DLP™ shows are projected digitally rather than using conventional film. DLP™ technology is a revolutionary display solution that uses an optical semiconductor to manipulate light digitally. The result is maximum fidelity: a picture with impressive clarity, brilliance and color and a lack of scratches, fading and flutter.

Sounds absolutely amazing!

Self wants to get the tickets in advance, for she’d hate to show up at the theatre and be told that the shows were sold out. Son says he’ll get back to her.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

Some Errands, 2nd Tuesday of May 2009

Self worked hard all day.  In the morning, she uploaded lectures for her on-line class and answered e-mail.  In the afternoon, she went to Best Buy to scout out prices for new washing machines.  It’s been 16 years since she last had to buy one of these things, she can attest to the longevity of Kenmore!  The new washing machines are made by LG and Samsung, and top-loading is way cheaper than front-loading, though not as energy-efficient.  And the starting price is $599.  Hmmmm . . .

She went to the library.  Checked on status of her hold on Sebastian Barry’s A Long, Long Way.  Nope, none of the copies are back yet.  She checked out two books, both non-fiction:  one called Two Lives, by Vikram Seth.  She’s not sure why she was interested in this, probably something to do with the name of the author, who was from her department at Stanford, whose book A Suitable Boy she liked.

Self also found time to drop by Trader Joe’s, where she bought more of that yummy Cilantro dressing hubby likes so much.

Let’s see, what else?  Self better think of something interesting, quick, or dear blog readers will quit reading this post in disgust.

Eureka! She’s got it: while roaming the web today (and trying assiduously not to be sucked into reading any more reviews about new Spock or the “Star Trek” movie), she stumbled across an exceedingly interesting tidbit about Brad Pitt which made him out to be very woebegone:  apparently he’s become an alcoholic who sneaks into a closet to have long, self-pitying phone chats with Jen in which he claims Pax is his only friend (!!@@##).  Self will never understand why Jen takes those kinds of calls.  Unless —  oh my goodness!  She must still be holding a torch for Brad!  Angie’s said to be ready to kick him out. Self will quite understand if Angie feels she’s probably had enough of men for the time being. In fact, it will probably be good for her not to be with men — for the rest of her life. Otherwise, look what happens: she becomes either a sex machine (with Billy Bob, on the way to the Oscars) or a baby machine (Brad). And, in the meantime, she is getting just so thin.

Garden is woefully neglected.  Gardenia “First Love” is shockingly yellow, self feels it will not recover.  Camellia sasanqua, after growing vigorously all spring, suddenly expired from exhaustion.  And Gracie dug up and mangled three of the six Sumatra Lily bulbs self ordered from Dutch Gardens.  There simply aren’t enough hours in the day to read and write, read story proofs, and prepare for her classes.  Son comes this Friday, and says he’ll come with self to the Nona Caspers/Joel Tan reading at the gallery on California St. in Palo Alto.  He’s back again the following weekend, with a friend.  Then Dearest Mum comes.  Then self and hubby go to Cal Poly for son’s graduation.  Then self flies to New York.  Then self comes back for the Foothill Writers Conference (Barbara Jane Reyes also in that one), and then self has to hand in a book review for The Women’s Review of Books.  And then it will be Christmas.  And self will have gone through another year.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

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