The Most Intrepid Adventurers

ML is coming!  One of the writers self met at Hawthornden.

She’ll be here for a funeral.  But it coincides with the week of Thanksgiving.

Which means she’ll be here for Thanksgiving.  YAY! Read the rest of this entry »

“Root 425”: Sunday, Oct. 7 at the Asian Art Museum

October is Filipino American History Month.  As part of the month-long festivities, this Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, the San Francisco Asian Art Museum is hosting “Root 425,” a commemmoration of the 425-year timeline of recorded history of the Filipino presence in the United States.

“Root 425” is necessarily a work-in-progress.  It is the hope of the organizers that, as technology makes it easier to uncover histories that involve Filipinos in America, more and more Filipinos will be helped or inspired to seek their ancestry, their stories, and their roots, and to share them with the rest of the world.

Want to know more?  Here’s the link sent to self by Baylan Megino.

And here’s the link to events being held at the San Francisco Asian Art Museum for the month of October.

Stay tuned.

“The Seeker of Buried Treasure”

This story’s been out for several months now, but self loves it so much, it was one of her “experiments” and she thinks she pulled it off.  Originally, she called it “For the Seeker of Buried Treasure,” but decided it was stronger without the word “For.”

There IS graphic violence in this story —  how could there not be?  It’s about the destruction of Manila, at the end of World War II.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Seeker of Buried Treasure

Tell me where I can find it, the treasure that the Tiger of Malaya stole, the gold Buddha, the bullion.

You remember.

The necklaces of diamonds and jades, ripped from the necks of women.  One had a scar so deep it looked as though a new red mouth had opened there, at the base of her throat.

Tell me why Yamashita was happy when he received the orders to go to Luzon.  Go!  Go!  He was ordered.  Go lead the Imperial Army, salvage its honor, do not retreat, confront that marauding bear, the United States.  Wipe from memory the soldiers singing Yankee Doodle, the Filipinos singing White Christmas.  How those people love Ol’ Blue Eyes.  The Packard is the only car the rich will drive.  And the chauffeurs wear white gloves even in the heat.

Ladies’ Home Journal and Life and Redbook are the most popular magazines.  American hot dog can be had on a stick or on a bun.  You choose.

The young ladies wear bobby socks and pleated balloon skirts.  Some women are dark but they are still beautiful.  Flashing eyebrows, thin like scars, wrists thin as stalks of bamboo.

Self should mention that the woman who took this piece on behalf of Our Own Voice was Aileen Ibardaloza-Cassinetto, who is an editor of the magazine.  So great!  Self was proud to be published by them.  (She just really wishes they had reviewed her collections, Ginseng and Other Tales From Manila, Mayor of the Roses, and The Lost Language.  Or Going Home to a Landscape:  Writings by Filipinas, which Calyx Press published. Never mind!  It’s an excellent site to discover Filipino and Filipino American writers)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Several Things About “Looper”

Self doesn’t know why JGL had to wear prosthetics, because he didn’t look anything like the young Bruce Willis.  What was up with those heavy eyebrows!  Even when Bruce Willis was a young whippersnapper, in “Moonlighting,” with Cybill Shepherd, he never had those eyebrows!  They were so distracting!

Emily Blunt is great.  Whether she’s chopping up a tree trunk, gazing miserably at her blistered hands, wielding a rifle, mouthing cuss words, miming the smoking of an illusory cigarette, feeling wistful and hot for JGL, hiding in a safe, or protecting her weird kid from the entire world, she looks great doing it.  (Self also wishes she could say Ms. Blunt’s American accent seemed very authentic, but the memory of how convincing she found Tom Hardy’s supposedly backwoods accent in “Lawless” — an opinion apparently not shared by reviewers on Rotten Tomatoes — still reverberates)

The little kid was like something out of “The Omen.”  Seriously, he was like the Second Coming of Damien.

The whole time travel thing?  Self is so over it.  Having been present at the birth (with the first “Terminator”), she would like to preside over its demise.  The only time travel movie of relatively recent vintage that self enjoyed was the adaptation of Audrey Niffenegger’s “The Time-Traveler’s Wife.”  Self cried buckets after that one.  Well, technically “Midnight in Paris” is also a time travel movie.  But no, it wasn’t!  That was more like a Cinderella story!

Paul Dano, as a hapless looper, whose motorcycle is very integral to the plot (at least in the beginning) was also great.

Jeff Daniels, as an amiable Bad Guy, is wonderful.  Just flat-out wonderful.  His lines, even the silliest, were invested with so much droll wit.  Self remembers that he and JGL were in a movie together, some time back:  “The Lookout.”  Jeff Daniels played JGL’s blind mentor.  That was a really terrific movie.

Maybe it’s because self liked “Premium Rush” so much, she was disappointed by this one. JGL needs no special effects.  He is a good actor.  Please take the gun out of his hand.  Mebbe it’s time for him to do a comedy.

As for Emily Blunt, she and Jessica Chastain are now self’s favorite actresses, as of this moment.

Oh, before self forgets:  Piper Perabo is in this movie as well, and she is great!  Not only that, she must be one of the few dozen actresses in Hollywood today who do not feel it necessary to get a boob job.

(Thank God, today self did not have to sit through another preview of “Taken 2.”  How long can things keep going this way, with the family of Liam Neeson constantly being “taken” when they’re overseas?  In this one, the stakes are upped because it’s not just the daughter who’s taken, but apparently the entire family.  Well, at least in this one,  the daughter is apparently able to do some action scenes herself.  That is, the preview shows her driving a car during a high speed chase)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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