Distractions of a Monday: Last Night’s MTV Movie Awards, Among Other Things

Watched the MTV Movie Awards last night, and of course, self cannot keep from sharing a few of her thoughts, even though she hasn’t finished packing and cleaning the house and watering the garden and answering her mail and lavishing Bella The Ancient One with an excellent breakfast and planning for her next UCLA Extension class (which begins right after she gets back from Venice):

Rebel Wilson is a hoot!

Bradley Cooper got 10x more hot!

Tom Hiddleston was such a suave Brit!

Zach Quinto was in a powder-blue suit!

Chris Pine lost weight!

Logan Lerman looks like a girl!

Amanda Seyfried had on a wonderful dress!

Emma Watson had on a not-wonderful dress!

The best spoof was the one at the beginning, with James Franco!

The next-best spoof was the one featuring shaved-head Anne Hathaway singing in Les Miserables while Rebel Wilson did her funky bits behind her!

Kerry Washington was gorgeous!

And now, only 32 more pages to go of Don Quijote!  And self can finally return it to the library and pay her fine.

On p. 701, Don Quijote is sighing over having to give up being a knight errant, when he and Sancho encounter Doña Rodriguez’s footman, Tosilos.  After a short exchange, they part ways with the footman, and Don Quijote tells Sancho:

” . . .  do you still think he’s a real footman?  How can you?  It has slipped your mind, apparently, that you saw Dulcinea transformed into a peasant girl, and the Knight of the Mirrors turned into our friend Samson Carrasco, all accomplished by the magicians who keep hounding me.  But tell me:  did you ask this Tosilos, as you call him, what has happened with Altisidora?  Has she wept over my departure, or has she already forgotten all those loverlorn thoughts that, when I was there, so afflicted her?”

“What was on my mind,” replied Sancho, “kept me too busy to worry about nonsense.  My God, my lord!  Is this the time for your grace to start examining other people’s thoughts, especially the amorous kind?”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Frances Mayes on Italy

From “Etruscan Sunlight,” a piece about the town of Cortona, published in Traveler’s Tales:  Italy (Solas House, Inc., Palo Alto) with an Introduction by Jan Morris:

There are tombs from 800 to 200 B.C. near the train station in Camucia and on the road to Foiano, where the custodian never likes the tip.  Maybe he’s in a bad mood because he spends eerie nights.  His small farmhouse, with a bean patch and yard-roaming chickens, coexists with this tomba that would appear strangely primordial in the moonlight.  A little uphill, a rusted yellow sign is all that points to the so-called tomb of Pythagoras.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

The List

Old Navy pea coat (red).  Three pairs of jeans.  1 black cardigan.  1 black turtleneck.  1 very old elastic-waist skirt (mid-calf length, old lady-ish).  Favorite (loose) top:  green plaid with pintucks.  2 favorite sweaters (black and blush pink).  3 pairs of thick socks.  Thermal leggings.  Journal.  Diary.  2 Rolling Ball V5 black pens.  2 boxes of Thermacare Shoulder Wraps.  Toothbrush.  Dental Floss.  Toothpaste.  L’Fisher Chalet complimentary bar of soap.  Passport.  Grey sweatpants.  Nikon Coolpix.  MacBook Air.  1 library copy of Henry James’ The Portrait of a Lady.  1 library copy of Little Heathens:  Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression (Self knows not how she can focus on a book about Iowa while in La Serenissima, but she never, ever reads the books on her reading list out of order).  Moon Handbooks: Italy, by Alexei J. CohenDK Eyewitness Guide to Venice.  1 pair of REALLY OLD sneakers.  Print-out of directions to the apartment in Calle Whatever off Campo Where?  Reservation for Tour of the Doge’s Palace.  1 Scarf.  Benadryl.  Maybe a couple of New Yorkers.  Print-out of film locations used in the movie Don’t Look Now.  Shades.

Thank you.  Stay tuned.

First Reading Attended at Kepler’s Since Who-Knows-When

Self hasn’t attended a reading at Kepler’s in who-knows-how-long.

It’s been a Menlo Park mainstay for decades.  Self knew it first as a small purveyor of paperbacks, in a teensy shopping center off El Camino.

They moved to a much nicer space after son was born, right next to Cafe Borrone.  Self gave a reading there for her first book, Ginseng and Other Tales From Manila.

For a while, there were fears it might close.  But loyal patrons saved it.  Now, the store soldiers on.

There were so many things happening this weekend:  the ballet, Zack’s reading last night at the Bayanihan Community Center.  Self couldn’t make it to Zack’s reading because the ballet was happening —  So sorry, Zack!  But this afternoon, when she saw that Tremors (The University of Arkansas Press), the anthology of Iranian American writers that Anita Amirrezvani co-edited with Persis Karim, she dashed over, and was so glad she did.

  • Seven readers:  six women, one man.
  • One rude heckler (He tried everything to disrupt the event:  clapping loudly, muttering things under his breath, even belching), unfortunately seated directly behind self.
  • A fellow Stanford Creative Writing Fellow, Sharon May (whose story, “The Wizard of Kaho-I-Dang” was set in Cambodia, and told from the point of view of a man).
  • And the very charming Anita Amirrezvani herself, whose first novel, Blood of Flowers, self remembered being so enthralled by, and whose second novel, Equal of the Sun, has just been published by Scribner.

And here they all are, post-reading!

Anita Amirrezvani (the tall woman in the center), with the contributors to the Iranian American anthology, TREMORS, at Kepler's Books Sunday, Apr. 14, 2013

Anita Amirrezvani (the tall woman in the center), with the contributors to the Iranian American anthology, TREMORS, at Kepler’s Books Sunday, Apr. 14, 2013

Aren’t they all just radiant?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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