WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Sea

Here, dear blog readers, various seas:

On the vaporetto en route to Burano, April 2013

On the vaporetto en route to Burano, April 2013

The Sea in the Netherlands near Amsterdam (Photo by self. On a wobbly bike)

The Sea in the Netherlands near Amsterdam (Photo by self. On a wobbly bike): July, 2012

Sunrise, Bantayan Beach, Dumaguete

Sunrise, Bantayan Beach, Dumaguete:  March 2012

Self loves the sea.  Or views of water of any kind.

That is what happens when you grow up on an archipelago!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Focus 5

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge was . . . something about depth of field and aperture.

The English cemetery just outside Dharamsala:  Most of the graves belong to soldiers.

The English cemetery just outside Dharamsala: Most of the graves belong to soldiers.

Self loves stripes and colors, especially in summer.

Self loves stripes and colors, especially in summer.

Cal Shakes' "Romeo and Juliet," Sunday July 14, 2013 (Self is returning this Sunday, to see "Lady Windermere's Fan")

Cal Shakes’ “Romeo and Juliet,” Sunday July 14, 2013 (Self is returning this Sunday, to see “Lady Windermere’s Fan”)

At this point, self doesn’t even know why she thought these three were examples of “Focus.”

Because the first and last photos have great depth of field?  Because the middle one is an example of creative blurring?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Back to Humongous Pile of Stuff

From the Briefly Noted section of The New Yorker of 27 May 2013 (Self doesn’t know why; this got pushed to the very top of her Pile of Stuff):

She skipped the featured book review because it was about Dan Brown’s latest.  She heard some fiddle-daddle that Manila was in there somewhere as the Gate of Hell.  Yawn.  The real Manila, as anyone who’s lived there knows, is too surreal to Read the rest of this entry »

Jose “Butch” Dalisay in MANILA NOIR

It is hawwwttt!  Hawwwttt as all get out!

Today was self’s day to meet Joanne H downtown.  Joanne H is the mother of Tom H, who has been friends with son since elementary school in St. Raymond’s.  There is a very funny story connected with today’s meet-up, which self will share with dear blog readers when she is a little less pressed for time.  Anyhoo, it is so hot today, unbelievable.  But The Ancient One has somehow survived the entire bristling afternoon on the deck, not moving.  Self thinks to herself:  She’s bought it!  But the minute The Ancient One hears the creak of the wood floors inside the house, self hears the rhythmic thump of her tail against the deck: Thump thump thump thump thump.  Tears spring to self’s eyes.  The Ancient One is the most enduring, most loyal pet — no, GIFT — ever.  To reward her for her unparalleled loyalty and spunk, self unwraps one of the rib-eye bones from last night’s dinner and heaves it onto Bella’s doggie dish.

The Ancient One

The Ancient One

Then, she resumes her reading.  Which, this afternoon, is Manila Noir.

The further self gets, the more riveted she is by the material.  She just finished F. H. Batacan’s marvelous “Comforter of the Afflicted” and has begun Jose “Butch” Dalisay’s “The Professor’s Wife.”  The setting of Dalisay’s story is Diliman, where the University of the Philippines is situated.  Self wanted to attend this university, she would have chosen Anthropology as her major.  It’s hard to get in, but she did make it.  She eventually opted to attend Dear Departed Dad’s alma mater, Ateneo de Manila, instead.

Back to the Butch Dalisay story.  It is excellent.  In addition, it is one of the drollest stories she has ever read.  Considering it’s in a book called Manila Noir, one would hardly expect that level of wit and drollery, but let’s not look a gift horse in the mouth, dear readers!

SPOILER ALERT!

Here’s the Backstory:  A professor in Diliman is fondly remembered by a witty narrator.  The narrator is very interested in analyzing how the professor ended up with his young and luscious wife, Lalaine.  The couple are fodder for salacious gossip all over the campus.

I can imagine Professor Sanvictores coming to UP as a young instructor, eager to make his mark in history.  Or was it economics that he first signed up for?  This was years before his stint as a teaching assistant and doctoral candidate in Minnesota, where he picked up and cultivated the American accent that many coeds found charming, if not irresistible.  Now, every two-bit club and radio deejay and call center agent has one, but none of them can come up with and use a word like “contumacious” the way the professor did to describe certain tribal chieftains in old New Zealand.

I was dying to ask either the professor or Lalaine herself how the two of them met, and more than that, how they ended up being man and wife.  I mean, what ever did they see in each other?  But of course, silly, I knew what he saw in her, I could see that even with my eyes shut.  But what about Lalaine?  I could understand her developing a schoolgirl crush on him, especially if he put on that Minnesota affect and gave his sophomore-class version of his lecture on Rizal’s women and free love in the nineteenth century.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Reflections, Prompted By Sunday, 11 August 2013 Issue of The New York Times Book Review

The review of Dossier K., Imre Kertesz’s latest book and his first nonfiction, is by Martin Riker, an English professor at Washington University in St. Louis.  His review begins:

Two of the great pessimistic proclamations of 20th-century literature —  Adorno’s “To write a poem after Auschwitz is barbaric” and Beckett’s “I can’t go on, I’ll go on” —  have at least one thing in common.  They both address the inadequacy of language to articulate reality.

At the end Read the rest of this entry »

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Focus 4

Fun times with Andrew, Jennie and Finissey in the backyard, last year

Fun times with Andrew, Jennie and Finnesey in the backyard, last year

More fun times, but now Bella wants to get some of the action

More fun times, but now Bella wants to get in on the action

P.S.  Finnesey is one of son’s most durable friends.  They met freshman year at Sacred Heart in Atherton.  He loves to sing and once even tried out for American Idol.

Is this a good example of the week’s WordPress Photo Challenge:  Focus?

Darn, why was this week’s theme so hard to think about?

Self’s style of photography is purely “point and shoot.”  Today, she is trying to work off this prompt from The Daily Post website:

Take multiple shots of the same scene or subject using different aperture settings and publishing the result.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Blown Away, This Week, By

Drum roll, please!

Self loves scrutinizing her fellow WordPress bloggers’ interpretations of the week’s photo challenge.

This week’s theme is FOCUS.

And self was blown away by the posts of these three in particular:

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Awesome Quote of The Last Tuesday of August 2013

It’s been a while since self has quoted anything from the grand, old New York Times Book Review.  These days, she tends to quote more from The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, and the San Francisco Chronicle.

But — hello?  Will wonders never cease?  Here she is, at the tail end of summer, ready to quote from The New York Times Book Review of Sunday, 11 August 2013.

The quote is from documentary filmmaker Errol Morris (He made The Thin Blue Line), and it comes to us courtesy of Tania James, in her review of Nikita Lalwani’s “powerful second novel,” The Village.

Morris, according to Ms. James, calls “the claims of cinéma vérité —  the style of documentary that privileges direct and unobtrusive observation — ‘spurious.’ “

She quotes Morris saying:  “Style does not guarantee truth.  The use of available light and a handheld camera does not mean that what you are doing is any more truthful than anything else.  Truth is a pursuit, it’s a quest.”

You’re so right, Errol!  She’ll be using your quote in her future creative writing classes, for sure!

Stay tuned.

Ephemera: Chalk Art, the Day After the 2013 Palo Alto Festival

All that was left on Tasso Street, today.

All that was left on Tasso Street, today.

But, yesterday was a completely different story:

DSCN1390

DSCN1381

DSCN1310

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

2013 Palo Alto Festival of the Arts, Day 2

It is STILL summer, YAY!

And self caught the tail-end of the Palo Alto Festival of the Arts & Crafts, Double YAY!

And she saw the man who made those incredible spinning glass mobiles — he was loading them into a van, helped by his young son.  Self went up close and took these photographs:

These glass sculptures spin, mounted on a metal base.

These glass sculptures spin, mounted on a metal base.

Another view of the fantastic, whimsical spinning glass art (while waiting to be loaded back onto a van at the close of the festival)

Another view of the fantastic, whimsical spinning glass art (while waiting to be loaded back onto a van at the close of the festival)

A big draw, of course, are the chalk paintings.  But for $5, anyone could fill in a little square with their own chalk art.  And here were some of the charming, spontaneous little artwork, most executed by children:

Bystander Chalk Drawing 1

Bystander Chalk Drawing 1

Bystander Chalk Art 2

Bystander Chalk Drawing 2

Bystander Chalk Drawing 3

Bystander Chalk Drawing 3

Bystander Chalk Drawing 4

Bystander Chalk Drawing 4

Self loved that she could see the street through these drawings.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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