Brain Cloud, 4th Thursday of July (2010): Clive, First San Carlos Farmers Market in AGES, No Pinkberry

8:27 pm, hubby’s just arrived home.

Self has left dinner (fried chicken and fresh corn) on the counter. She’s watching flat screen HDTV: there’s yummy-licious Clive Owen, in something called “The International” which was not, unfortunately, a very good movie, but did co-star Naomi Watts, and has the Guggenheim Museum in a very important starring role. Also, it has those very sexy-looking European bad guys. She loves it when Clive snarls at his partner (who’s been shot): “Don’t you fucking die!”

Let’s see: what happened today?

Self went to the San Carlos Farmers Market, the first time in perhaps two months. She bought a slab of ahi tuna, some really tender green beans, and two different kinds of chutney: green cilantro chutney and orange mango chutney. Apparently, they’ve changed their minds about allowing dogs there.

Self also made it back to the Hoover Archives, but this time decided to forgo Pinkberry on her way home.

She wrote a little — maybe two pages?

She contemplated joining a short story contest, decided to save her $20.

A pretty un-exciting day, but somehow strangely satisfying.

Stay tuned.

Burning Questions of the Day (2nd to Last Thursday of July 2010)

What does the “Ars” in “Ars Poetica” mean? (Self is reading a piece entitled thus in Crazyhorse)

How many times can one submit through a journal’s on-line submission manager before the editors start to think one is “batty”?

Is seven too much?

Should self go back to Hoover? Parking is a bear, there are never any spaces underneath trees, and self would much rather sit at home, reading.

Who has it worse: writers, or actors? Self is not referring to actors like Leo. She is referring to “little ones,” like xxxx, who must audition 50x a year and don’t land even one part. Do they then give up and go back to Read the rest of this entry »

Months Later, Self Finally Girds Her Courage

Dear blog readers may remember that last year, self had the temerity to apply for a Guggenheim.  Her thinking went something like this:

Boy, self could sure use $40,000.

If self had $40,000, she could buy a new car to replace her 1998 Altima.

If self had $40,000, she could pay off son’s college loan, in entirety.

If self had $40,000, she could install air-conditioning in her (boiling-hot-in-summer) cottage.

And, of course, the raison d’etre for applying for a Guggenheim:  If self had $40,000, she wouldn’t have to do anything except write, which would then lead to her producing xxx amount of books in the next couple of years.

So, of course self didn’t get the Guggenheim.  If she did, do dear blog readers actually think she’d be wasting all this time blogging ??@@##!!

But, she never actually perused the list of successful applicants.  That is, until an hour ago.  And here are a few of the reasons self did not get the Guggenheim:

Reason # 1:   Lorraine Adams (Her first novel, Harbor, is still one of self’s favorite novels)
Reason # 2:   Tom Bissell (No need to list his books, but dear blog readers can take self’s word for it:  he is fab)
Reason # 3:   Ethan Canin (Very famous writer:  Self is sure you have all heard of him.  From Iowa?)
Reason # 4:   Lav Diaz (Get excited:  He is Filipino!  Filipino!  Filipino!)
Reason # 5:   Anthony Doerr (Also famous; and quite a good writer, in self’s humble opinion —  and obviously also in the judges’)

(So far, # of male to female recipients is running 4 to 1, what’s up with that???)

Reason # 6: Nell Freudenberger (Famous.  Not only famous, hot)
Reason # 7: Philip Gourevitch (For writing the way he does about Rwanda —  one of self’s heroes!)
Reason # 8: Kimiko Hahn (Asian American!  Connected to Asian American Writers Workshop in New York!  YAY!)
Reason # 9: Colum McCann (Obeisance!  Obeisance, oh Distinguished Guggenheim Committee!)
Reason # 10: Monique Truong (Again, obeisance, oh Distinguished Guggenheim Committee!)

And, that’s it:  at least 10 reasons why self did not deserve to get the Guggenheim.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Oh Happy Day: “Inception” Rocks!

Great alternative titles for “Inception” :

Six Hot Men in a Plane and Ellen Page

or

Cillian Murphy Gets to Play Good Guy (For a Change), Makes Us Care!

or

Christopher Nolan Re-Imagines “Citizen Kane”!

or

Like “Ocean’s Twelve” only in Paris/Mombasa/Snow-Covered Mountains (The Alps? No! According to clothesonfilm, it is a mountain in Canada!)  With furious action!  And Joseph Gordon-Levitt!  Which makes it even better!

OK, enough with the quips.

Self’s not even gonna try and summarize this one.  All she can say is:  by the last half hour, it was pure edge-of-your-seat tension.  As in:  PUH-LEASE DON’T LET THAT GUY WHO REMINDS SELF OF KEANU REEVES DIE!!!  PUH-LEASE!

And:  Let’s see if Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character can tie one on with Ellen Page’s character!

And:  Can Christopher Nolan actually pull off this “Matrix”-like situation?

Answer: Yes, he can!

10 on a scale of 1 to 10.

Self will die:  she can’t think of enough superlatives.

The two young guys to her left got there by asking the couple next to her if they wouldn’t mind moving one seat over, so that they could sit there instead of in the very first row.  Then the two young men had to climb into their seats:  the theater was that crowded (First screening at RWC Century 20, which is to say 11:35 a.m.)

At the movie’s final shot, of xxxx (No spoilers here!), the boy sitting next to self gasped.  He actually gasped.  Or made a sharp intake of breath.  Or something of that sort.  Self doesn’t think she’s ever heard anyone have that kind of visceral reaction to the end of a movie (And these were not geek-y young men sitting next to self, dear blog readers.  These were tall, muscular young men!  About twice self’s size!  And wearing surfer shorts!)  It was exciting.

Of course, now, self realizes she cannot actually explain the plot.  It’s like “Memento,” only to the nth power.  She’ll have to see it again. Definitely.

Stay tuned.

“Inception” : To See Or Not to See

    Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer through another Sunday in self’s boiling hot cottage, or to go to downtown Century 20 and suffer through another mindless thriller …

— Kanlaon doing a bad paraphrase of Shakespeare

Self was excited when she first saw the trailers for “Inception” because, well — Leo is still hot! And the trailers were all Leo (well, maybe a minute of Ellen Page), all the time!

Then, she read terrible review on Salon.com and decided no, she would not see it.

Then she read a review on “clothesonfilm” and still didn’t get excited (though those pictures of Joseph Gordon-Levitt were trés cool!)

Then she read a review on ericsnider.com and — OK! She’ll see it, she’ll see it!

Partly because Eric brings up the fact that he became a Christopher Nolan fan, not because of the “Dark Knight” movies, but because of “Memento” (also one of self’s all-time faves)

And then, and then — self stumbled on this interview on Cinematical with Tom Hardy (who was Heathcliff in a recent TV version of “Wuthering Heights” which had self all swooning, like Cathy! If only there were moors around Redwood City!), and —  does not Tom Hardy look like Keanu Reeves, dear blog readers? Just take a look at this pose @@##!!  HOLY BUCKETFUL OF HOTNESS! It took all her self control not to run to the movie theater forthwith!

Stay tuned.

Summer of 2010 (So Far)

Summer of 2010 Is:

  • The summer of crazy Mel
  • The summer of heat and crazy hand-watering of the garden and much wringing of the hands over fuschia
  • The summer of soccer (Go, Spain!  Go, Octopus!)
  • The summer of Read the rest of this entry »

Very Very Very Very Hot Friday

Before self begins her usual list of the things she did today, self would just like to point out, for edification of dear blog readers, that it is very very very hawwwttt. Which is the only reason, swear to God, that self consented to go with hubby to the Menlo Park Guild to see “The Girl Who Played with Fire” (Hubby took the day off)

Because self’s tiny little cottage (not air-conditioned) is boiling, boiling. And anyway, the re-broadcast of “Warehouse 13” Season 2 Episode 2 (“Mild Mannered,” with apparently Sean Maher’s only appearance anywhere for the foreseeable future) wasn’t until 5.

Anyhoo, hubby loved “The Girl Who Played With Fire.” It had all the requisite attributes to be Hubby’s Favorite Movie, to wit:

  • Noomi Rapace
  • Noomi Rapace smoking. And smoking. And smoking. And smoking.
  • Noomi Rapace having sex. With another woman. A gorgeous woman. A gorgeous Asian woman (This is spectacular, considering there weren’t that many Asians wandering around the locations the movie was shot in: presumably Sweden)

Self heard somewhere that Carey Mulligan had been cast as Lisbeth Salander in the forthcoming American version of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” She mentioned this to hubby after the movie, whereupon he got very very exercised.

Well, self thinks Carey Mulligan is short, and that is just right, for she found out from watching “The Girl Who Played with Fire” that Lisbeth Salander is supposed to be five foot, and weigh “88 lbs.”

Afterwards, hubby declared the movie “8 1/2 out of 10.” Whereupon self opined that Noomi Rapace is the spawn of Steve Buscemi + Angelina Jolie.

Oooh, here comes Season 2 Episode 2 of “Warehouse 13”! Do you know, self thinks Sean Maher looks particularly hot in the first coffee shop scene. Never mind those purple spandex tights with the radioactive underwear (referred to as “trunks” in the episode. Articulated thus: “We’ve got to get those trunks off him!”) that endow him with super-hero powers.

Super-endowed trunks! Hoooly fab idea! Who does self have to thank for dreaming up such a thing? Must be a first in science fiction lore! It falls to intrepid Pete to tear them off Dear Simon Tam — Oops! Self means Sheldon (what a name!) The implications of such are simply too mind-boggling.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Today, Third Thursday of July (2010): Mostly Good

Today, self was in Bell’s Books in downtown Palo Alto. OMG, that place is like a museum! She loves it! They have beautiful antique wooden cabinets, and plenty of ornate wooden chairs to sit on, and real lamps. And self just loooves the smell of old books! Real books, with leather covers and gold lettering on the spines. As usual, she did not buy anything. As she walked out, she overheard the saleswoman talking on the phone to someone and saying, “It’s a slow day.”

She was also in Read the rest of this entry »

Reading for the Day: John Logan’s “Red”

The Rothko in the excerpt is the painter Mark Rothko, and Ken is his assistant, played by Eddie Redmayne, who garnered a Tony for his performance.

It was a very interesting performance. Self thinks Redmayne pulled it off primarily with his voice, which exhibited an endearing tendency to crack at moments of high tension (which, in this play, occurs every 10 minutes or so. It is a very intense play, dear blog readers!) And Alfred Molina as Rothko was absolutely GREAT.

Penny, self is forever grateful to you for getting the tickets and for taking her to see this play last month!  Self was one of the last two people admitted to the theater before the play started:  she had to catch the subway from Soho and practically flew, flew through Times Square!  Read the rest of this entry »

Such an Excellent Day!

For one thing, self spent five hours in the company of an excellent writer: Ms. Bonnie Melvin from Paris! Yes! This woman is so cool she makes self look like hot, melted butter! Self luuuved her pretty Parisian white eyelet blouse and leggings and straight black hair and deep green eyes and — Bonnie  looked spec-TA-cular!   It is always good for self to be in the company of the spectacular!

Next, Bonnie treated self to lunch. Which — self was an absolute pig and chose New Kapadokia in downtown Redwood City. And had eggplant stuffed with ground beef. And had rice pudding for dessert. And then had the temerity to suggest that Bonnie walk with her to Marble Slab Creamery which, self assured Bonnie, was just around the corner and had the best ice cream concoctions. Bonnie demurred because she was just too full.

And then self got to speak to an agent from L.A. She didn’t know who it was calling, and when she picked up the phone, she said: “Are you from the computer store?” And he replied, “No, I’m an agent from L.A.” Self thought she was being discovered, a la Lana Turner. Then he said self had called him a few days earlier. Oh. Self completely forgot! Yes, she did call him! Blush, blush.

Then, self heard from long-lost classmate in San Gabriel!  Her classmate didn’t know that today was self’s birthday, she just happened to call!

So it was a very, very good day. And, hey, what about that Sean Maher/Jewel Staite kiss on “Warehouse 13” last night? Self can almost forgive the producers putting Sean in purple spandex tights!

If self had any complaints at all about today, it would be that:

  1. Although self kept the TV on “General Hospital,” Bonnie and self still managed to miss the only scene where James Franco/aka character/serial killer “Franco” makes an appearance.  Darn it!
  2. Self did not get to fully explain to Bonnie why she loves science fiction and horror movies so much (Not that self didn’t make a valiant effort!  Still, one afternoon is definitely not enough time to delve adequately into the excellent of the Star Trek re-boot, Adrien Brody’s new geek career, Sean Maher, and so forth and so on.  Bonnie, it is imperative that you make a return visit to Redwood City, if only to gain a fuller comprehension of self’s late-flowering geek-dom!)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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