2nd Weekend of February (2012)

This morning was chilly and overcast (although, after experiencing the frigid nights of Dharamsala in January, self thinks she will never complain about her unheated house, ever again), but now the sun’s come out.  It is Friday!  Oh happy happy joy joy.

The Grammys are this weekend, though self is not as excited as she was for the Golden Globes.  Adele will clean up, that’s all she knows.  Maybe Lady Gaga will delight with a particularly outré outfit.

They caught Madonna’s stalker.  Apparently, he was an escaped inmate from a mental asylum — ?

No rejections yet today (though she hasn’t checked all of her e-mail).

The husband thinks the Ancient One is on her last legs.  Self sees the deterioration.  Her pet doesn’t even react to a piece of bacon put right under her nose.  It seemed to have gotten worse while self was in India.  One more stretch of not seeing self, and Bella will keel over.  Self prays it doesn’t happen when she is home.  One dog’s expiring (April 2011, Gracie) was awful enough.  Perhaps the husband can do death duties this time.

One thing that always made self curious was why “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy” was nowhere in evidence in the last Golden Globes.  She thought Gary Oldman’s and Tom Hardy’s performances were very fine.  Did the omission have something to do with cut-off dates?

The Denzel Washington/ Ryan Reynolds thriller opened today.  Self still wants to see Liam Neeson punch out wolves in “The Grey.”

Want to know something?  Self is really, really, disproportionately happy today.  She has decided to finish The Best Philippine Short Stories of the Twentieth Century (in English), which she started reading years —  this is truly pathetic —  ago.  Currently, she is on p. 448, which means she is right in the middle of the Cirilo F. Bautista story, “Ritual” (Nice title, that!).  Here’s a short excerpt:

There was a knock on the door followed by the entrance of a dark-skinned man carrying several books.  His white trousers and white shirt were spotless; the electric bulb was reflected on his shoes.

“Carlos Dayleg, in charge of the fourth class,” Father Van Noort said to me by way of introducing the newcomer.

“I think we’ve already met,” Dayleg said, extending his hand.  It was only then that I realized he was the man I asked directions from a few hours ago.  He must have noticed my surprise.  “Yes, we met this morning.  In this place it is not uncommon for natives to change to more civilized attire.  As for me, I do it only on special occasions.”

Here are a few thoughts that occurred to self while she was reading the above:

  • It is very hard to keep a white shirt and white trousers clean, especially in the tropics.  But that’s what characters always seem to wear in the tropics, even the ones in Somerset Maugham.
  • Self has already completely forgotten where this story is supposed to be taking place (though the name “Dayleg” sounds vaguely Igorot — ?)
  • The presence of the word “native” is excusable because the “native” is calling himself “the native.”

Here’s yet another passage, from several pages later:

Three school terms I had worked with him but I knew nothing about him, except his preference for canned food, his indifference to women, his love for the rice terraces.  Not that he was reserved or aloof —  he was sociable — but his sociability revealed merely the outer encumbrances of his personality, much as the sphinx revealed merely the outer characteristics of its animalism, but the mystery that shrouded it amidst the burning desert sands few could untangle.  Perhaps the metaphor was far-fetched; perhaps he was enigmatic, not because I could not understand him, but because I was analyzing him from an irrelevant angle.  Luisa had told me that I was always inclined to be poetic.

Last night self attempted to inveigh sole fruit of her loins to visit Bacolod with his girlfriend.  An idea which son does not seem to find particularly attractive, self knows not why.  But one cannot have everything, in this world!  One can simply live, as best as one knows how to.  Back to her reading.

Stay tuned.

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