London: December 29, 1940

From p. 271 of Nicholson Baker’s Human Smoke:  The Beginnings of World War II, The End of Civilization (Baker, an ardent pacifist, has been coming down rather hard on Winston Churchill:  “a few days before Christmas 1940,” the Royal Air Force bombed the cathedral in central Berlin.  The retaliation was terrible):

The Luftwaffe started 1500 fires in London.  It was December 29, 1940.  The medieval guildhall was destroyed.  The bells were melted in the steeple of Christopher Wren’s St. Bride’s Church, built after the 1666 Fire of London.  The raid was called the Second Great Fire of London.  Charles Portal, the chief of the air staff, and Bomber Harris, deputy chief of the air staff, stood on the roof of the Air Ministry, looking at the dome of St. Paul’s above the flames.  “They are sowing the wind,” said Bomber Harris.

(That a man who is deputy chief of the air staff should have a name like “Bomber” is a coincidence self thought she’d encounter only in fiction.  Not only that, that this man Bomber should utter something so poetic as “They are sowing the wind” is truly dumbfounding)

The next day, the war Cabinet met and came to a swift decision:

“Decided to advertise attack on City — quite rightly,” Under-Secretary Cadogan wrote in his diary.  “This may help us enormously in America at a most critical moment.  Thank God — for all their cunning and industry and efficiency — the Germans are fools.  Lunched at home.”

Here is how the poet Louis MacNiece described the sight of a burning building.  His poet’s eye drew beauty from the sight:

“a large shop-building that seemed to be merely a facade of windows and these windows were filled to the brim with continuous yellow flame, uniform as a liquid but bubbling a little at the top of the windows like aerated tanks in an aquarium.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

The Connectedness of Everything

It is nearing the end of Mother’s Day.  It was a beautiful Sunday.  Bella came in, out, in, out.  And the Iceberg rose that self planted in the front yard a couple of years ago chose today to go into sudden and spectacular bloom.  Perhaps if self has more time tomorrow, she will post a picture.

She is reading these three things simultaneously:

  • The AWP Writer’s Chronicle
  • The Women’s Review of Books  (She just renewed her yearly subscription)
  • The Economist

The husband put the TV on to the J. J. Abrams “Star Trek,” and then left the vicinity.  Declared he needed to water.  When self peeked out to see what he was doing in the backyard, he was having a smoke.  A glass of red wine was next to him.  Of course, he also had the sprinkler going.  Good one, husband!  He announced that the watering would take at least “an hour.”  Self went ahead and fed Bella, and then herself.

Self knows she has enough material for a fourth collection of stories.  But how to approach it?  Should she be joining contests?  She doesn’t think she’ll ever win, her stories are too strange, too hard to categorize.  She nearly got published by Grove/Black Cat.  That is, she spoke to an editor twice.  But all came to naught.

Perhaps she should be applying to more residencies.  The very last one she applied for (Hawthornden) is coming, and after that she has nothing for 2013 and 2014.  She deliberately stopped applying because she felt she had work to do in Bacolod.  She still feels she has work to do in Bacolod, but she also needs to get another book published.  What to do, what to do?

Mark Zuckerberg is turning 28.  28!  And Facebook is going public.  But self decides not to buy the stock.

She almost bought Apple stock, she is such a believer.  She still has her 1995 Apple laptop, which she had with her in Mojacar, Spain.  Though it weighs a ton, it is still running!

As of this moment, self has three working laptops, all Apple.  She worships at the Apple Store, yes.  Even though, when she was in DC last month, one of the trio of gals she got to know said, as they passed a bar:  “All white!  Looks like an Apple Store!”

When Steve Jobs passed away, she went right away to the Mother Ship, on University Avenue in downtown Palo Alto, and the plate glass windows were covered with post-it notes, in all colors of the rainbow.

Now, self hears that Eduardo Saverin, who was portrayed in “The Social Network” by a riveting Andrew Garfield (the new Spiderman), is renouncing his U.S. citizenship.  Purportedly, “for tax purposes.”  But self feels this news is connected to Facebook’s going public, in some way.  And perhaps also to Zuckerberg becoming a billionaire before he even turned 28.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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