Talked to Margarita, Happy Happy Joy Joy

Margarita Donnelly, founder of Calyx — nothing in the world sounds as good as hearing her laugh.  Self called her today, and found out that the memoir self and others have been urging Margarita to write, for years and years, has just gotten a tremendous boost by the discovery —  of course in an attic, probably even a mice-infested attic (Now why, self, would you think about mice just because you keyed in the word “attic” a few moments ago, and now where do you think you are going with this you started out writing about Margarita, remember???)

Oh yes, the memoir in the attic, very yellowed, nibbled at the edges, turns out to be about Margarita’s memories of her mother, who died too young.  And now an agent is interested in helping Margarita get her memoir published, and there is no doubt at all in self’s mind that Margarita’s memoir will be an instant feminist classic!

And then self found out that Margarita has a plan to go to Venice early next year, and before self had fully realized what she was doing she found herself blurting out:  “Venice is great!  Can I join you?”

And Margarita said, “Of course you can join me!”

And now self has to figure out how to break the news to the husband, but as usual self gets ahead of herself, Margarita might just have been thinking aloud.

So, hmmm, what else was important about this week?

Marc who cuts her hair was wondering aloud if he should invest in Facebook shares.  Until that moment, self had never thought of Marc as the investing type.  Shows you how easy it is to misconstrue people!  Just because a guy is 30 years old, good-looking, and works in a beauty salon does not mean he can’t be interested in Facebook!  Especially Facebook shares!

Yesterday, Tiffany, the woman who’s been applying this wonderful gel-like nail polish on self’s hands and feet for months, suddenly up and asked self if it was true that the Philippines was the best place to get sex change operations.  Picture this:  dear blog readers.  It was 2 p.m., on a warm day in Redwood City, California.  The sun was shining.  All sorts of people were passing by the nail salon:  teen-agers, women in yoga attire (There is a yoga studio right next door, in the Andrew Building —  self kids you not, the name of the building is on a sign, that’s how self knows the building has the same name as her son), business people out on lunch break, even firemen (There is a fire station nearby).  And suddenly, this gorgeous young woman who self has known for several years decides the time has come to ask self about —  sex change operations in the Philippines ???

“Hmmm,” self replied.  “I don’t know much about sex change operations in the Philippines, but I do know you can have plastic surgery for something like $3,000 US.”

“Really?” Tiffany exclaimed.  “How much does plastic surgery cost here?”

And self, really reaching now, said “$10,000 US!” (which is probably way off the mark, self’s never been interested in this particular form of surgery)

But OK, she can pretend to be an expert, for Tiffany’s benefit, that is.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Was Going to Post Again About World War II

Self was going to post again about World War II but decided it would be too overwhelming and depressing.  Especially since she was going to post about May 10, 1941, when, according to Nicholson Baker, “more than one hundred thousand books burned in the British Museum,” and more Christopher Wren churches succumbed — St. Stephen’s Walbrook, St. Mildred’s, St. Nicholas Cole Abbey, St. Mary-le-Bow.

Lighten up, self!

Today, she went for a mani/pedi, and the girl doing her pedicure offered to give self a half-hour foot massage which was so good that self actually fell asleep, but she knew she was wide awake when she was told the bill was $100.

Self was going to go for a bright orange shade for her nails, but the girl who co-manages the salon urged self to try a darker shade, especially when she learned self would be in Scotland in a few weeks.  “People in Scotland don’t see orange nails very often.  Why don’t you wait until you come back?  The orange can be your California nails!”

Sold!

Self really wished, though, she had stuck to the orange.

She keeps wondering what would happen if she had pink or purple streaks applied to her hair?  And arrived that way in Hawthornden?

Self finally got to see the picture of herself sitting on her Lolo Gener’s lap.  He was thin, frail-looking, in a wheelchair.  Self’s mom and sister were sitting next to her:  her sister was on Dearest Mum’s lap.

This, self understands, was the picture they used in the slide show which her cousins put together for her Tita Lily’s 93rd birthday party in Bacolod, two months ago.  Self got Bongbong of the Sum-ag church to design a nice bouquet, in which he used actual apples.  She was about to bring a cake, but at the last minute decided on the floral bouquet.  Zack arrived in the middle of the party and sat next to her, and no one knew who he was and everyone was very confused.  Anyhoo, it was a great party, with lechon that was simply to die for, an entertainment show with really energetic dancers, and a mass.  Also, a dessert which self learned is called “Black Sambo” because it consists of two colors of pudding!!!

In the photograph, Dearest Mom looked slim and gorgeous and amazing.  Self had a very round head that reminded her of a cabbage.

Now, in the interest of “keeping it light,” self is looking through Cannes fashion.

She doesn’t know what happened to a) Vanessa Hudgens (in nude-colored, one-shoulder Grecian style gown:  she looked 10 years older, and had a somewhat sullen look on her face)  b) Rosario Dawson actually looks good in neutral colors, but the real knockouts were Diane Kruger and Gemma Arterton.  Self knows because she wandered to a site called, she thinks, “Cannes Style.” On the InStyle magazine website.

BTW, dear blog readers, self thinks her posting from Scotland will be quite spotty.  There is no internet in the Castle.  It’s a bus ride (45 minutes) to Edinburgh.  First, she’ll have to walk to the bus stop from the Castle, and that’s a good 20 minutes walk if you’re in shape.  As self is NOT in shape, it’ll take her 40 minutes.  The next time she’ll have internet is probably when she gets to Amsterdam.  But she’ll be there with friend Bonnie, Bonnie’s daughter, and a grandfather.  So who’ll have time to blog?  It’ll be spotty for a while, but self promises to blog regularly in Paris!  Which she heads to after Amsterdam.

She’ll again miss Bastille Day in the City of Light because the husband wants her home as soon as possible, so she can start taking care of The Ancient One and the garden and the laundry.  But of course, she couldn’t go to England without seeing Paris!  Since the two countries are almost side by side, what’s a wee channel?

Here are a few things self has learned about Scotland:

  • It is thinking of breaking away from the United Kingdom.
  • They make some of the best artisanal chocolates in the world.
  • Talisker is made in the Isle of Skye.
  • They make pretty good cheddar in Edinburgh.

Also, it rains every day over there, and night temperatures sink down to 47 degrees.  Here, in the San Francisco Bay Area, night temperatures are in the high 60s, and already self feels so cold that she can’t go to sleep without thick socks and a head scarf.

But, self struggles to assure herself, surely nothing could be colder than Dharamsala!  And see how self endured that cold, with only one small portable heater standing between her and freezing to death?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Nicholson Baker’s HUMAN SMOKE, pp. 292 – 313

Somebody brought up the absurdity of Englishwomen who offered tea and cigarettes to downed German airmen.  Clementine Churchill said that English people cannot hate their enemies.  Churchill said:  Before the war is over, we shall be hating our enemies all right.

*     *     *     *

On p. 298, the Australian Ambassador to Great Britain, Menzies, decides to walk around “London after a bad raid.”  After noting the destruction, Menzies recorded in his diary:  “The Hun must be made to learn through his hide.”

*     *     *     *

April 25, 1941:  Charles Lindbergh . . .  was trying to decide whether he should resign from the army.  Roosevelt had obliquely charged him with treason.  “If only the United States could be on the right side of an intelligent war!”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

The New Yorker of 6 February 2012

The New Yorker of 6 February 2012 (which self just pulled out at random from her still-humongous pile of stuff) has a picture of the singer Laura Del Rey.

The young woman is looking at the photographer from behind a pair of heart-shaped glasses with brownish lenses.  She has long, flowing hair.  She is wearing a white top with scattered orange polka dots.  She is clutching something in one hand, and holding it up before her face:  It says “BAD.”  She wears a heavy, gold chain necklace and diamond-studded earrings.  The caption underneath her picture says:

Laura Del Rey’s music is theatrical, noncommittal, and better on recordings than in person.

At first, self began this post thinking she was going to say something about a book set in North Korea.

But self adores the writing of New Yorker music critic Sasha Frere-Jones.  She’s quoted her before, elsewhere in this blog.  Frere-Jones describes Del Rey’s music thus:

Del Rey has managed, like a slow car in the left lane, to make everyone around her angry and over-invested, despite doing relatively little.

BWAH.  HA.  HA.  HA!

She sang on Saturday Night Live and Juliette Lewis slammed her performance on Twitter (which is why self doesn’t tweet — it’s too easy to get lured into writing impulsively, without discretion).

Brian Williams (What would he know?) sent an e-mail to Gawker’s Nick Denton, saying, quote:  that Del Rey’s performance was “one of the worst things in SNL history.”

*     *     *     *

Since self has just renewed her New Yorker subscription to the year 2016 (Again, BWAH HA HA!) she is obviously enamored of their writers.

This issue has a short story by T. Coraghessan Boyle, who she has actually met in person.  At a reading he gave in Foothill.  During which he came off as very relaxed and friendly and cool.

The short story is called “Los Gigantes,” and it has a killer opening:

At first they kept us in cages like zoo animals, but that was too depressing.  After a while, we began to lose interest in what we’d been brought there to do.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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