1st Tuesday of September (2012): Paris Can Now Be Crossed Off Self’s Personal Bucket List

There was an exhibit self saw during her last visit to Bacolod in March, at the Orange Gallery in Mandalagan.  It was an interactive exhibit, in which visitors to the gallery were invited to post, on colorful stickies, a personal “bucket list.”  Some were really charming:

  • To be best friends with Mila Kunis
  • To learn how to skydive

Well, it occurs to self that now, sans-Labor Day, it is time for a personal assessment of her very own bucket list.

And self would just like to say:  HOLY COW!



Here are the things that can finally be crossed off:

  • Go to Paris
  • Have someone tell her she had a “Green Thumb”
  • Experience a writing residency in Europe (The one in southern Spain in 1996 doesn’t count because it was too long ago)
  • Have something she wrote about 9/11 published (In LITnIMAGE, go here)
  • Have some of her science fiction published
  • Have the greatest birthday ever

She IS doing it, isn’t she, dear blog readers?  She is!

In Paris, she stayed at Bonnie’s apartment.  Since Bonnie had Magic Jack, it was no problem calling California.  She finally, after over a month, put a call through to son.  He asked her to get him books, and souvenirs featuring the Eiffel Tower.  Wow!  Going to all those Paris bookstores in search of the perfect poetry collection for son really made the last two days of her stay super-exciting!  (Now, if self could only figure out a way to get these things to son, whose classes in Claremont have already started.  If the mountain will not go to Mohamet, Mohamet must go to the mountain!)

Then self landed in this cute little shop in Montmartre, directly across the street from —  a bookstore, of course (She bought books by Jean Genet here).  And ended up buying a lot of these cute plastic placemats.  She was going to give them to son, because he likes cooking now.  Aren’t these cute?

Paris Souvenir Placemat 1 (from a shop in Montmartre)

Paris Souvenir Placemat 2 (still at the same shop in Montmartre)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

And the Prize For the Worst Dish of Scallops Ever, In the History of Creation

As a fitting reward for having completed the Labor Day Weekend without killing each other, self and The Man went for a mid-afternoon snack of fried oysters, fries, and “sauteed scallops.”  Self puts the last item in quotation marks because it was not on the menu.  The Man simply decided that he would like the scallops prepared in a different way, even though the menu clearly said:  Fried Scallops/ Broiled Scallops.

The scallops came.  They were sauteed with green pepper, and looked tiny.  Teensy tiny.  Like what happens to brown mushrooms when you first see them looking enticing and gigantic spread out on a vendor’s table at the farmers market:  after you’ve taken them home and taken out the big frying pan and ladled a wee bit of extra-virgin olive oil over them, they shrink to the size of American quarters.

There simply isn’t anything worse than looking at a plate filled with shrunken scallops.  No, there IS something worse —  much worse!  And that is seeing limp french fries heaped next to a sad array of sauteed shrunken scallops.

Self was so aghast, she couldn’t speak.  So she decided to pretend that she thought the scallops were really delicious.  In the meantime, her plate of oyster appetizers now looked GIGANTIC next to The Man’s plate of sauteed scallops.  Self generously offered The Man a bite of her fried-to-perfection oysters, but he refused, too stunned, as it were, to cope.

Normally, in the course of things, The Man would have had an Explosion of World War III proportions, but this time he manned up and forced himself to consume the entire thing.  Every last icky awful scallop and icky limp french fry.  Self watched each chomp with great fascination (and horror), wondering to herself:  Is he really going to — ?  Is this really happening?

Why, self thought.  Why why why why?

Then it struck her:  The bill for self’s appetizer and The Man’s Wee Scallops was $42.


But it really wasn’t the money.  Self wouldn’t have minded ponying up $42 — for a delicious plate of delectable scallops!  And piping hot, oily french fries!

If only self had had the presence of mind to snap a picture!  Then she would have been able to present dear blog readers with physical evidence of the lame-ness of the scallops!

But alas, as always happens at the end of a three-day weekend, when self has been in continuous housewife mode, she doesn’t think fast on her feet.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

An Anthology on the Querida, Forthcoming from Anvil Press (Philippines)

Several months ago, self was contacted by the co-editors of this anthology, Caroline S. Hau and Katrina P. Tuvera.  They were requesting permission to use one of self’s earliest stories, “Ginseng” (included in self’s first collection, published by Calyx Press:  Ginseng and Other Tales From Manila).  Very honored, self was.

The contract for the anthology arrived when self was in Hawthornden, so she had to go to Bonnyrigg Library and download from there.

The Call for the Submissions, which she just stumbled upon an hour ago, contained this fascinating information:

Querida/kerida/kirida (feminine form derived from Spanish; literally, “loved one”):  mistress, kabit, Number 2, kalaguyo, other woman, girl friend, lover, live-in, inamorata, doxy, concubine, kaliwa, swe-i, kept woman, back-street, kulasisi, babayeng agalon.  Variants:  boylet, querido, boy-toy, take-home, lalaki, kulukadidang, loverboy, boy friend.

The anthology is in English and Filipino.  The editors’ stated purpose was to find “works that explore the multiple viewpoints as well as vicissitudes —  the pleasures and lacerations, the quotidian and eventful —  of what Lina Espina Moore calls ‘illicit, illegal loves.’ ”

Veeery interesting.  Self is curious about who the other contributors were.  She is sure this will be a bestseller, especially in Manila!

(Self became so enthused by the writing of this post that as soon as she had finished typing the words “Stay tuned,” she sat down and fired off an e-mail to one of the co-editors, inquiring about author copies and an expected publication date.  The co-editor replied extremely promptly, and said the anthology would hopefully be out “by the end of the year.”  Fabulous!)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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