Birthday Resolutions, July 14, 2012

Resolution # 1:   Self will see “Magic Mike” today, and if she likes it, she will not apologize for seeing it again. (And, several hours later, on another hot Friday, self has only this to say:  Channing, he really has the moves!  And Alex Pettyfer has a very, well, pretty face.  Self caught a screening at the downtown Century 20, which had it in one of the smallest theaters.  What’s up with that??? The entire audience was female, including two white-haired ladies sitting right next to self, who about halfway through the movie began to lean forward in their seats)

Resolution # 2:   She will only let the finest food known to man to pass between her lips, for twenty-four hours, starting at 12 midnight tonight.  “Finest food” would include some type of champagne, perhaps some Crouching Tiger viands (like the extremely spicy lamb dish self tried a couple of months ago).  She will imbibe mojitos from sun-up to sunset.  She will eat in Barbara’s Fishtrap, for the first time in five years!!!

Self is not sure how many of these goals she will actually achieve, since she is scheduled to be on a panel of Filipino writers at the John Steinbeck Center in Salinas, tomorrow.  She might have to take a rain-check on some of them.  So perhaps self should set a new deadline.  Here goes:

By Tuesday, July 17, self should have:  1) drunk very fine expensive champagne; 2) imbibed many mojitos; 3) digested the spiciest lamb dishes on the Crouching Tiger menu; 4) eaten scallops at Barbara’s Fishtrap in Half Moon Bay.

Most important of all:  Sell will not allow even one iota of misery to creep into her day.

The best thing anyone could do for self on her birthday is to donate money to women’s publisher Calyx.  Even if it’s as little as $5.  Puh-leaze!  Self could write a whole separate post on how Calyx saved her life.  How they published Going Home to a Landscape, one year when the budget was so tight, all they could afford to publish was ONE BOOK!

Here’s a partial list of other notable books/women writers published by Calyx over the years:

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Reading Jesse Kellerman in Redwood City

Summer of 2012 will be the summer of the thriller.

Self knows this because the minute she got back from her travels — she read a fantastic thriller, Colin Harrison’s The Finder, while she was in Scotland.  And then the 9/11 Commission’s Final Report when she was in Paris, and that kinda read like a thriller, although we all know the tragic ending to that one.  BTW, self’s first ever attempt to express what she felt about 9/11 got picked up by the web-zine Lit’nImage.  The story, “Wavering,” will be appearing very soon — she rushed to the Redwood City Library and checked out three mysteries:  the book self is currently reading ( Jesse Kellerman’s Trouble), Alexander McCall Smith’s The Miracle at Speedy Motors, and Benjamin Black’s Christine Falls (Benjamin Black is the pseudonym of the Booker-nominated writer John Banville).  Today, self checked out one more, a book about a detective in 1902 Vienna, A Death in Vienna by Frank Tallis (recommended by The Economist)

Anyhoo, the hero of Trouble is a sleep-deprived intern who, after some mind-numbing days of no-sleep, happens to kill someone.  On his way home from a rotation.


(At least, self has never yet reached that epic level of no-sleep total breakdown)

Actually, he was saving a damsel in distress.

The section self reads now is a flashback to the intern’s one serious relationship, when his girlfriend became glassy-eyed with depression, sat around all day in their apartment “staring glassy-eyed at the classifieds or craigslist.  She did not call up friends.  She did not go to the gym.  She complained of fatigue.  She would read the same words over and over and over; they had lots of paperbacks dog-eared on page three.  She forgot things.  She did not brush her teeth for days, then a week, then weeks . . . ”

Self doesn’t know why, of all the passages she had to choose to blog about, it is this one, in which anyone can tell the hero is “building a case” or “stacking the deck against” the former girlfriend, to explain why he is lonely and therefore gets entangled with the Lady of the Night, the woman he thinks he saved from being assaulted.

But, the paragraph after the list of crazy behavior is well written:

Hindsight made him into a fool.  But there had been no breakpoint, no howling neon arrow; life provides few exclamation marks.

And BTW, this morning, self managed to send out two stories.  Thank God for Submittable (heretofore known as Submishmash)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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