Supposedly a Post About Mokutanya

Last night, self’s friend Lowan (the mother of one of son’s best friends in high school) invited self for dinner at Mokutanya in Burlingame.

Lowan is self’s source for all things a) food-related; and b) car-related.

Her two boys are PhD students in UC Davis, her husband is out of town on a business trip, ergo:  Mokutanya on Sunday night.

Self was just about to describe the restaurant’s cute waitresses, the mod glasses one of the waitresses wore (black and red frames, self was dying to ask which store they were from), about the stylish hat worn by another waiter (This one male), and about the restaurant’s Wednesday/Thursday Exotic Meats Menu (Alligator, Wild Boar, Kangaroo, Cocoon, Swan, Buffalo, and various others self doesn’t remember) when she read through the comments left by Kyi on her Anna Karenina posts and just died laughing.  Kyi has read Anna Karenina and has been following self’s progress through the novel.  Because self posted about Anna K’s confession scene, Kyi was moved to comment:

brilliant Tolstoy – the only thing he did not mention was how we move our tongues at the space where a tooth used to be.

Kyi, you kill me!

Self wishes she could elaborate, but has to rush off to Fremont.  Miz Kathleen is here only until tomorrow.  WAAAAH!  But self already warned Miz Kathleen’s sister, Maria, that she would be back to take pictures of a) her collection of succulents; b) her huge wisteria; c) her four dachshunds and three cats; d) her collection of Eiffel Tower art; and her e) her kalachuchi and hibiscus.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Self on the First Monday of March (2013)

Oh, the rejections keep pouring in, just pouring in.  They’re a veritable avalanche.

Self was on a great, epic send-out binge for several months, at the end of 2012.  Every night, she’d stay up late, sending out.  Inwardly, she’d be thinking:  Come ON, people!  Don’t you know I’m just brilliant?  Yoo-Hoo, I’m over here!  Still in Redwood City, California!  Anxiously awaiting discovery!  Like the Native American tribes before Columbus!

But alas, self’s voice seems to have gotten lost in the great Slush Pile of First Round Submission Hell.

So, now, all her friends are talking about Boston.  AWP Boston.  What?  How did self let that one slip by her?  She loves Boston and furthermore hasn’t been there since her twenties.  What a travesty!  She completely missed all the advance announcements, registration deadlines, etc

Nice, though, she did just get a check from Akashic Books for the story that’s coming out in Manila Noir, sometime this summer.

So, tra-la, tra-la, tra-la:  Perhaps self will wend over to Bell’s Books in Palo Alto today.  She did notice that they had the most excellent, heavy book-ends.  The kind that look like they weigh a ton.  Made of brass.  Antique.  One-of-a-kind.  OK, OK, self is going.

Self is still perusing the San Francisco Chronicle of 27 February (last Wednesday).  On the very last page of the Datebook is a series of illustrations.  Just to show you how addled self’s brain has been lately, she actually thought such headlines as CNN:  VATICAN TOLD POPE HE COULDN’T WORK FROM HOME:  HE WATCHED HIS STORIES ALL DAY and RUSSIAN METEOR CONTAINED HORSE MEAT were true!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Following Anna K’s Confession (To Her Husband, in the Carriage)

Aleksey Aleksandrovich, having just heard the most cruel words issued forth by his wife (Yes, I love him, I am his mistress, and you, I hate you), manages to maintain his decorum and even assists her to get down from the carriage when they arrive home although his face wore “a strange expression of deathlike rigidity.”

After depositing Anna and continuing on in the carriage, Aleksey Aleksandrovich, “to his surprise and delight, felt complete relief both from this pity and from the doubts and agonies of jealousy.”

He feels he has “experienced the sensations of a man who has had a tooth out after suffering long from toothache.  After a fearful agony and a sense of something huge, bigger than the head itself, being torn out of his jaw, the sufferer, hardly able to believe in his good luck, feels all at once that what has long poisoned his existence and enslaved his attention exists no longer, and that he can think and live again.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Portrait of an Independent Woman: ANNA KARENINA’s Varenka

Even the minor characters who float serenely through the pages of this magnificent novel get their fifteen minutes of fame.  Here’s a young woman named Varenka, who Kitty meets while recovering her health at a German spa.  Kitty is accompanied at all times by her ever watchful mother, but Varenka is a completely different kind of woman:  independent and with a certain kind of inner serenity and strength:

This excerpt is from Chapter Thirty-Two.  Kitty and Varenka have been conversing when Kitty’s mother interrupts:

“Kitty, it’s cold!  Either get a shawl, or come indoors.”

“It really is time to go in!” said Varenka, getting up.  “I have to go on to Madame Berthe’s; she asked me to.”

Kitty held her by the hand, and with passionate curiosity and entreaty her eyes asked her:  “What is it, what is this of such importance that gives you such tranquility?  You know, tell me!”  But Varenka did not even know what Kitty’s eyes were asking her.  She merely thought that she had to go to see Madame Berthe too that evening, and to hurry home in time for maman’s tea at twelve o’clock.  She went indoors, collected her music, and, saying good-bye to everyone, prepared to leave.

“Allow me to see you home,” said the colonel.

“Yes, how can you go alone at night like this?” the princess chimed in.  “Anyway, I’ll send Parasha.”

Kitty saw that Varenka could hardly restrain a smile at the idea that she needed an escort.

“No, I always go about alone and nothing ever happens to me,” she said, taking her hat.  And kissing Kitty once more, without saying what was important, she stepped out vigorously with the music under her arm and vanished into the twilight of the summer night, bearing away with her her secret of what was important and what gave her the calm and dignity so much to be envied.

In the next chapter of Anna Karenina, Chapter Thirty-Three, Kitty learns from Varenka’s example “that one has but to forget oneself and love others, and one will be calm, happy, and noble.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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