Four Days After New Year’s (2013)

Self has decided to post an excerpt from Don Alfredo & Jose Rizal, published in Sou’wester, 2007.

Much thanks to Valerie Vogrin for publishing the story. It’s still one of self’s favorites, one of those stories that come in a rush, one of those stories that need to stay inside for a long time while you search for either the courage or the recklessness to set the words down:

When I started to do research for the story, there were things I discovered about my great-grandfather that bothered me.  For instance, I discovered that he had more than one wife, the youngest a girl of 14.  And he was uncommonly cruel.  He tried his best to hide the fact that there was a strain of indio blood in his family, and he would beat his darker-colored servants mercilessly.  He died mysteriously, perhaps a victim of poisoning.

You see, my cousin said, we are related to the National Hero of the Philippines, Jose Rizal.  The one who was shot by a firing squad, at Luneta Park, in 1896.

As Jose Rizal stood before the Spanish firing squad, accused of being a renegade and an underground solidarity worker, George Dewey was entering Manila Bay.

Like what you’ve just read?  Go to Sou’wester!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Current Netflix: “Before Midnight”

Self was bummed she missed this one when it was showing in theaters.  Thank God for Netflix.  She watched Before Midnight today, and was so mesmerized she couldn’t even get up to get a drink of water.  It was like watching an action film where you know if you look away for even just a few seconds, you’re going to miss some kinetic bit that might knock your socks off.  When was the last time you felt this way about a movie that was ALL TALK?  What an achievement.  Congratulations to Hawke, Delpy and director Richard Linklater.  All the reviews keep describing Before Midnight as the final installment of a trilogy.  Noooo!  Self wants to check in again, 10 years from now, when Hawke and Delpy are in their 50s.  Let’s keep this thing going for a couple more decades?  Surely that’s not too much to ask?

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