Object: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

The first thing you see as you approach the Holocaust Memorial in Miami’s South Beach is the gigantic hand, fingers extended to the sky. As you get close, you pass through a covered walkway, one side of which has names etched into stone. Then you come out to a sort of circular space, and see a column made up entirely of writhing bodies. Around the column are human figures. The one self found most moving was this small one, set off to one side, all by istelf. Mute horror, that’s about all self can say to describe her emotions at the sight.

The Miami Beach Holocaust Memorial.  There is only one word for it:  OVERWHELMING

The Miami Beach Holocaust Memorial. There is only one word for it: OVERWHELMING

*          *          *          *

This is a table that has been in self’s possession for almost as many years as she’s been married. It is an extremely heavy object; it was shipped to California from Manila, via container.

The hollowed trunk of a Philippine tree . . . had it shipped from the Philippines

The hollowed trunk of a Philippine tree . . . had it shipped from the Philippines.

*          *          *          *

Bacolod City in the province of Negros Occidental, Philippines was Dear Departed Dad’s hometown.  From him, self inherited so many things:  her love of John Updike.  Her love of movies, all kinds of movies.  And his idealism.

Coffee Pot, L'Fisher Chalet, Bacolod.  There was a typhoon signal alert outside.

Coffee Pot, L’Fisher Chalet, Bacolod. There was a typhoon signal alert outside.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Fun Facts About Americans’ Love of Fresh-Cut Christmas Trees, Courtesy of The Economist (14 December 2013)

Is self barreling along, or what?  She only has about six week’s worth of back issues of The Economist left to read.

Wouldn’t it have been nice to read a post about Christmas trees BEFORE Christmas?  Yup.

Now she’s on the Dec. 14, 2013 issue of The Economist.

p. 71 has an article on Americans’ apparently insatiable love for fresh-cut Christmas trees.

  • Every December, a man named Francoise brings 500 fresh-cut trees from Quebec to New York’s Upper West Side.
  • The trees sell for anything from $20 to $300.
  • The National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA)  — Ever heard of it before?  Neither had self! — reports that “Americans spent more than $1 billion on 25m trees in 2012.”  The average price of a tree?  $40.
  • People on the East Coast prefer Fraser firs because of their “typical evergreen fragrance.”  Californians prefer Oregon’s Grand Fir, “which has an orange-like scent.”
  • Home Depot expected “to sell 2.8 million” fresh-cut trees in 2013.
  • Easton is “the Christmas-tree capital of Connecticut.  “Every second car leaving the area has a tree or two strapped to its roof.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

The Economist: Best Books of the Year 2013

Self is getting so specific about the books she is interested in reading.  Here she is with The Economist of 7 December 2013, the issue that contains its annual Best Books of the Year lists, and she’s completely ignored Politics and Current Affairs, Biography and Memoir, and History, which usually are the first sections she looks at.

Self, enough with the second guessing!  Here, without further ado, are the books self is adding to her (already humongous) reading list.

In Economics and Business

In Science and Technology

  • Empire Antarctica:  Ice, Silence & Emperor Penguins, by Gavin Francis (Counterpoint)

In Culture, Society and Travel

  • Bach:  Music in the Castle of Heaven, by John Eliot Gardiner (Knopf)
  • The Leonard Bernstein Letters, edited by Nigel Simeone (Yale University Press)

In Fiction

  • The Luminaries:  A Novel, by Eleanore Catton (Little, Brown)
  • Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson (Reagan Arthur Books)
  • Norwegian by Night, by Derek Miller (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Self is quite pleased with the progress she’s made through BLGF:  She’s presently on p. 468 (Belgrade I).  Still to come:  Belgrade II, Belgrade III, Belgrade IV, Belgrade V, Belgrade VI, Belgrade VII, Belgrade VIII, and Belgrade IX.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Juxtaposition 4: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Self has really enjoyed this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition.  Who knew that theme would resonate so much with her.  Below is an excerpt from The Daily Post site:

Juxtapositions are all around us.  Maybe there’s one bright yellow flower in your vase of pink daisies, or you have a shot of your kids, one smiling, one making a face.  Maybe you spied a vintage car parked outside a sleek, modern building, or a new car in front of a run-down house — or one of a thousand other things you wouldn’t think of until you see it.

Self is exceedingly fond of this particular set of juxtapositions: a jeepney in front of books; a friend from grade school days in Manila; skyscraper and sky in Miami.

Someone -- self doesn't remember who -- gave us this little jeepney a long time ago, and it's been on her bookshelf ever since.

Someone — self doesn’t remember who — gave us this little jeepney a long time ago, and it’s been on her bookshelf ever since, a potent reminder of home.

Selfie! The woman with self was one of her best friends in Manila.  Now she lives in San Gabriel.  She hasn't aged a day.

Selfie! The woman with self was one of her best friends in Manila. Now she lives in San Gabriel. She hasn’t aged a day.

Miami Sky  (Driving South on Brickell Ave.)  Self was there the week before Thanksgiving.  She found the city stunning in every aspect.

Miami Sky (Driving South on Brickell Ave.) Self was there the week before Thanksgiving. She found the city stunning in every aspect.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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