A Very Brief Conversation with Son

Self decides to give son a call, just to see how his gig as security detail for the California Mid-State Fair is going.

He picks up after a number of rings.

“Say, didn’t Journey perform the other night?” self inquires.

Son confirms that this is indeed the case.

“That’s the group with the Filipino singer,” self says.

Again, son Read the rest of this entry »

A Writer and Her Books


Stella K took these pictures. Did self ever tell dear blog readers how moving she finds Stella’s photographs? There is such directness and yet ambiguity in them (much like most of the writing self admires). Check out Read the rest of this entry »

Fourth Friday of July 2009: A Status Report

It is a little past 2 p.m. in the Western hemisphere. In the little corner of earth self happens to occupy at this moment. This is turning out to be another good day, dear blog readers. Not because self has been Read the rest of this entry »

The Bad and the Waaay Good

Beard Papa in Redwood City closed, some months ago.

That’s the first bad thing.

Let’s see, what else?

    Lawn still looks lousy, even after hubby augmented with all kinds of fertilizer. Perhaps, dear blog readers, we were never meant to have a lawn?
    Now, this minute, self is huuungry!! But, in keeping with her resolutions for the day, self is refusing to poke her nose into the fridge to hunt up a snack. No! Instead, self will exercise extreme discipline and self control! By refusing to let any comestible, not even a crumb, not even a nibble, pass between her lips until hubby gets home! At 8 p.m.! Let’s just see if she can do it!

As for the good, here it is, and it is big:

    Self wrote today. Without interruption. And at the end of the day, she decided she might as well mail out what she’d written. And she managed to make it to the post office, 10 minutes before five.

Watching Obama

At some point, self wants to tune out.  His reassuring presence is somewhat less reassuring now.

Same goes for her Gavin-love, which was pretty strong until a few months ago.  Now, she listens to these two eminently photogenic personalities and their mouths move but the words just don’t sink in.

Meanwhile, self has just returned home from her latest excruciating visit to the dentist.  “I have a huge crater in the left side of my mouth,” she tells the hygienist, just as the procedure is about to commence.  “You could probably drive a VW bug into it.” (Ha, ha, ha!  Self must you constantly turn every situation into a sit-com?  Perhaps you should switch careers, try out for a gig writing TV scripts!)

The bad news is that the technician has to take four new X-rays of self’s mouth.  “Didn’t you just do those last year?” self inquires.  “We have to do them every year,” the technician responds.  And after perusing the X-rays, technician tells self that Read the rest of this entry »

Favorite Books So Far, 2009

Has self already drawn up a list of the books she’s enjoyed reading, so far this year? She might have, but perhaps self is experiencing another of her senior moments.  If dear blog readers remember similar post, can someone tell her?

Let’s see, since January 1, self has read:

  • 15 novels (including several that should rightly be called “mysteries”)
  • 12 non-fiction books (a few of which could probably more rightly be referred to as “memoirs”)
  • 1 short story collection (George Saunders’ CivilwarLand in Bad Decline —  excellent!) and 1 novella collection (Jim Harrison’s The Summer He Didn’t Die —  also excellent!)

Let’s see, of the 15 novels self has read so far this year, her favorites have been:

Of Mountain Lions, Katherine Heigl, and the Chess Federation

Last night, self and hubby had dinner with Kathleen, across the Bay in Newark. It was a “Noo Yawk” reunion of sorts: the last time any of us had seen each other was possibly at self’s older sister’s wedding, 1982. 1982!!! The wedding took place at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, and the reception was at some swank hotel, possibly the Waldorf.

This morning, self discovers there is a mountain lion loose in Redwood City. Yes, that is the news self is greeted with when she first stumbles to flat-screen HDTV this morning. Alas, self has no idea where “California Way” is, except that it is identified as the area in Redwood City where the mountain lion was last sighted.

Now, to Katherine Heigl: this actress has been all over the talk shows. Last night she was on Letterman, this morning she pops up on “Good Morning, America” and “Live with Regis & Kelly.” She is pretty, but her ambition is rather too naked for self.

Finally, here’s an exceedingly interesting article (at least, it was interesting to self when she read it a few minutes ago) about hi-jinks in the chess world. It’s from The New York Times of Saturday, 18 July:

A member of the (chess) federation was arraigned Friday in Federal District Court in San Jose, Calif., and charged with identity theft and breaking into the e-mail account of a federation board member.

According to the indictment, the accused, Gregory Alexander of Everett, Wash., accessed the e-mail account of the board secretary, Randall Hough, at least 34 times.

The federation has alleged in a lawsuit that Mr. Alexander read messages between Mr. Hough and an outside counsel hired by the federation, the governing body of chess. The counsel, Karl S. Kronenberger, had been hired to investigate accusations that two federation members posted thousands of obscene and defamatory messages on Internet bulletin boards under the name of a board member in order to get themselves elected to the board.

End of quote and the interesting part of the article. The rest is blah-blah-blah about someone declining to comment, lawsuits, and a certain chess federation board member named Paul Truong.

Apologies, dear blog readers, but self has no comment to make on the fate of Paula Abdul!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

Watching Oprah

Self wishes she could say that today, she got down to work and wrote a blue streak! Which she really should have done!

But, first, she spent an hour on Chowhound, reading replies to some of her posts (Someone disagreed with self about old-time Palo Alto hamburger joint Kirk’s Steakburgers, said their hamburgers were “greasy” — !!). Then, in the process of linking to Read the rest of this entry »

Also Reading About Burma

From No Time For Dreams:  Living in Burma Under Military Rule (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers), by San San Tin and Carolyn Wakeman.  San San Tin wrote this after spending several weeks in rural Burma as part of a national “literacy campaign”:

    We find
    coarse food
    broken rice with
    millet and beans

    they ask
    why do you come
    here we have
    only trouble

    we are
    a rutted cart path
    thatched roofs
    filtering moonlight

    they tell us
    life is hard

Musings on Last Night (Revolution Café in the Mission)

Kathleen was there! And all her six children! And her hubby, who was so tall!

Kathleen’s third daughter looks like Kathleen.

Mercy Bell is a wonder, a real wonder: that voice, that spirit.

Mercy Bell, 22nd and Mission, San Francisco

Mercy Bell, 22nd and Mission, San Francisco

Revolution Café was Read the rest of this entry »

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