Mud House, Beso, Asian American Literary Review, McEwan’s ATONEMENT

Santorum won a recent primary, Romney must be feeling some desperation.  Self follows recent developments in American politics by checking, almost daily.

The Asian American Literary Review’s latest issue, “Generations,” is out.  The cover is grrrreat.  Here’s a preview of the Table of Contents:

  • Forum featuring contributors such as Eugene Gloria, Neelanjana Banerjee, self, Ravi Shankar, and David Mura
  • Poetry by Zack Linmark, Ed Bok Lee, Amy Uyematsu, and Afaa Michael Weaver
  • an Interview with Maxine Hong Kingston
  • an Interview with Miguel Syjuco, conducted by Brian Ascalon Roley
  • self’s short story “Homeopathy”

Last night, self was in Talisay and dropped by Nature’s Village Resort because she wanted to see the Mud House again.  It’s this cute little structure, built of straw and mud.  Unfortunately, the roof had sprung a leak in several places, so it was not available for guests at the moment.  There is no aircon, phone, or wi-fi.  The resort can provide a kulambo (mosquito net) and electric fan at the guest’s request.  Self inquired about security, as the Mud House is set off by itself, close to the organic farm.  “We have a gate which we keep locked at night!” the resort staffer said.  So reassuring, especially since, to get around the locked gate (the employee had not brought along a key), we merely went around the gate:  there is no fence.  A lot of little brown frogs were hop-hop-hopping all over the paths.

This evening, self dropped by Beso, the new restaurant her Sixth Street cousins operate.  She had two sticks of pork sate babi, and found them quite delicious.  There are a few tables set outside, and as it was a breezy evening, things were quite mellow —  until it began to rain.  Then we brought our food inside, to a small airconditioned room painted green, which was of course not as nice as sitting outside, but hey at least self was out of the rain.

Self is still in the beginning of Ian McEwan’s Atonement.  By coincidence, the movie adaptation was airing on TV two days ago.  Self watched the entire thing, from beginning to end —  even though it was painful to re-experience.

One thing about the copy she’s toted along from Redwood City is that someone has helpfully underlined (in pencil) certain passages.  Which is such a relief, since self can read without feeling like she might be missing something important, some vital clue.  For instance, on p. 53, the following passage is underlined:

“unstructured time oppressed them.”

So, since self can see very clearly where the pencil marks are on the page, she has plenty of time to slow down before arriving at the oppression of time.  Which makes her feel so prepared!

On p. 54, “It’s a divorce!” is circled.

At the end of the very next paragraph, the following sentence is underlined:

“Jackson himself looked distraught as the words left him, but no wishing could bring it back now, and for all he could tell, saying it out loud was as great a crime as the act itself, whatever that was.”

Oh my goodness!  Self is so enjoying being able to read the book and knowing what someone else found significant, so that she can compare her own response with that of the mystery reader, whose marks call him/her to life on almost every page.

(On TV at the moment, there is a very murky thriller about a dull bank heist, starring Matt Dillon and Laurence Fishburne, the heist crew rounded out with lesser known actors like Skeet Ulrich.  There’s probably more excitement occurring right here in Negros, as —  from The Visayan Daily Star of 7 March 2012, which self is taking forever to read through —  “Police ready charges vs. 12 in 3.6 million peso heist.” Trucks loaded with sugar cane still clog the road, and the centrals still puff white smoke.  In the meantime, self is trying something called a “Green Apple Cake,” from the Negros Museum Café)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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