Vodounon at the Cantor Arts Center

Self has now before her a copy of an article from The Stanford Daily about the Vodounon exhibit at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford.  Apparently, self missed it because she didn’t realize there were two separate exhibits and the one she saw was:

Mami Wata:  Arts for Water Spirits in Africa and Its Diasporas

The Stanford Daily article is about the photography exhibit

Vodoun/Vodounon:  Portraits of Initiates

Sample sentence:  “It is through one of these wall labels that we come to understand the significance of Mawu-Lisa as the god of the Vodoun religion, comprised of the Mawu female principle and Lisa male principle.”

Now, what the heck was that which self just read?  What is a Lisa male principle?

Self reads further:  “From these wall labels, we also learn about important figures of the Vodoun religion, such as Sakpata, Shango, Dan and Ogou.”

Hmmm.  Unfortunately, self didn’t realize the article continued on another page, and she’s already trashed the issue of the Daily that the article was from.  Not to be so easily deterred, however, self traipses to the Cantor Arts Center webpage and discovers that the exhibit continues through March 20.  Which means that self will have ample opportunity to visit it after she gets back from the Philippines.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

io9 Announces Environmental Writing Contest

io9 is going to pay $2000 each to two people who write the best stories about environmental disaster.  The contest is for science fiction and non-fiction.

Here’s an abbreviated version of the official announcement:

io9 is looking for stories that deal with environmental disaster, whether caused by random asteroid impacts or oil drilling accidents.  We believe that the first step to solving planet-scale problems is to assess, honestly and critically, what it would mean to experience such a disaster.  We need mental models that can help policy-makers, researchers, and individuals prepare for the kinds of cataclysmic events that have occurred regularly throughout Earth’s history.

*  *  *

Our awesome team of judges includes Elizabeth Kolbert (The New Yorker‘s environment reporter), Paolo Bacigalupi (author of Ship Breaker and Windup Girl) and Jonathan Strahan (editor of the Eclipse anthologies), as well as others to be announced.


  • Story should be between 3,000 to 5,000 words.  It must be an original story that has not been published elsewhere.
  • The contest has two categories:  science fiction and non-fiction.  There will be one winner in each category.
  • You may submit only one story.  E-mail your submission as a .doc or .rtf attachment:  environmentalwriting@io9.com

DEADLINE:   Dec. 11, 2010

For more information, go to io9.

Movies, The New Yorker and Self

It’s closing in on the end of the semester.  The Writing Center is filled with only the most dedicated students.  There’s a student who’s been coming every Monday since self started teaching the Writing Lab.  Her name is Brooklyn.  Self asked her today, “Aren’t you an athlete?”  There was a slight hesitation.  Then she said, “I’m a cheerleader.”  Self told her, “Then you’re an athlete.”

“You have really helped me,” the student said.

Others who came in today:  Brittany.  Rumaanah.  Janely.  Alexis.  Their papers were about Oates’ “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” (The Creepy Story to End All Creepy Stories) and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” (The Most Seriously Infuriating Story of All Time!)

This weekend, self and niece G have plans to see “Waiting for Superman.” The principal of Woodside High School is on the record as saying it is not an accurate rendition of his school.   Niece G has been teaching since she graduated from Stanford, last year, so she is very very interested in seeing this movie.  We’re watching it on Sunday.

In the meantime, self is sitting here wondering:  What the heck is wrong with her computer?  Hubby was on it for a couple of hours today (His laptop went ka-blooey and he doesn’t want to get a new one until the economy improves, which means most likely never) and she has to re-type every other line, and there are strange bookmarks and tabs and self simply has to endure.  A computer, especially a writer’s computer, is a very personal thing.  Perhaps she should just bite the bullet and buy hubby a laptop.  But her savings are miniscule.  Once again, self digresses.

She is looking at capsule reviews in The New Yorker and was going to post about those, but this re-typing of every other line is really wearing her down.  Well, let’s see how many capsule reviews she can get into this post before she loses it entirely.

Hereafter:  “It begins with a magnificent re-creation of the 2004 tsunami” (Self wholeheartedly agrees) but then DD calls the rest of what follows “pallid” and self most strenuously disagrees.  She thinks, in particular of the little boy whose sad story is at the heart of this movie and she can’t get his face out of her mind.  Self thinks, in fact, that “Hereafter” is her favorite Clint Eastwood-directed movie.

Secretariat:  “Disney’s middle-of-the-road horse-racing saga”  —  Stop right there!  BD’s just put his finger on why self has no interest in seeing this movie, even though she loves Diane Lane.  She hates “middle of the road” anything.  She only likes depressing, violent movies.  BD goes on to call this movie “honey-glazed” and “well-scrubbed.”

Wall Street:  Money Never Sleeps: ” …  tougher and less corny than that of the first film.”  Oh really?  Self doesn’t know why it is less corny.  Lately, self doesn’t know why, all Oliver Stone’s film have been exercises in “corny.”  Like that “World Trade Center” movie.  Which self saw the same month she saw “United 93.”  Oh, Oliver, what has happened to your film-making mojo?  Though, self is grateful to you for the excellent role for Carey Mulligan (Carey met and fell in love with Shia, who has recently dumped her.  Don’t worry, Carey!  Don’t let it get you all woebegone!).  Self also wants to thank Oliver for giving Michael Douglas the chance to show that there is no one in the entire world who can chomp with such glee on a big, fat cigar like Michael does.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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