And, Once More Unto the Breach

Benefits of being a lifetime member of the Stanford Alumni Association (A Message from the Director of the Association). This is rather a quaint little benefit that self has never had to avail of. Nevertheless, while cleaning out a drawer, she found this note and read it again:

Enclosed is your Stanford Alumni Association key tag, engraved with your life membership number. Please use your six digit life membership number whenever you correspond with the Stanford Alumni Association or use your member benefits.

Your specially coded tag can help you recover your keys, should you ever lose them. If someone finds your keys, all they have to do is drop them in any mailbox. The Alumni Association will guarantee postage and contact you for instructions on how to return them.

Your key tag is your lifetime gift from the Stanford Alumni Association. Please contact us if it becomes lost or damaged, and we’ll replace it free of charge! Let us know when you change your address or telephone number so we can contact you if your keys are returned.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Preparing for the New Year

An excerpt from Song Lyric # 43 by 12th century Chinese poet Li Qingzhao:

I’ve heard spring is still lovely at Twin Streams,
I’d like to go boating in a light skiff there
But fear the tiny grasshopper boats they have
Would not carry
Such a quantity of sorrow.

A book by Stanford Professor of Sinology Ronald Egan, The Burden of Female Talent: The Poet Li Qingzhao and Her History in China (Harvard Asia Center, 2013), analyzes her legacy.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Now: Other WordPress Blogs

It’s almost New Year’s. Self thinks 2015 was her most adventurous year. And that’s saying something. Because she has been traveling a lot since 2011. To Dharamsala. To Dublin, Cork, Galway and Northern Ireland. To Bacolod. To Venice. To Florence. To Edinburgh. To London. To York. To Boston. To New Hampshire. To Banff. To Calgary. To Minneapolis. To Culver City. To Venice Beach. To Virginia.

Funny, it is really ending with a bang. She got a piece picked up in December. And the week after, she began posting a new fan fic story that she thought would be a one-shot but has since turned into 30 chapters. Pure seat-of-the-pants writing. Everlark modern AU. But it starts off with Cheating Peeta. Self is the Mistress of Angst, for sure. It’s like she did her own personal NanoWriMo only in December rather than November. Who’d have thought?

2015 was the year she got her first tour of Carnegie Hall, the place where Dearest Mum gave a solo recital — when she was 14 years old. Which would make the year 1948.

She remembered Dearest Mum taking her to the Russian Tea Room, when she was 21 and a new grad student at Stanford. Self remembered she had French onion soup and cheese blintzes. She asked for the same, when she dropped by the Russian Tea Room earlier this month.

Self doesn’t have family over, she didn’t even get a tree this year, so she has no heartwarming holiday pictures to share. Instead, here are five other WordPress bloggers whose posts on the Photo Challenge — NOW — resonated the most with self:

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

AMERICAN RUST, p. 51

The most compelling point of view in this novel, in self’s humble opinion, is a woman’s (Grace):

Of course she could just keep going like this, being alone, but there was no point to it. You felt strong for about a week and then you were just alone. And Bud Harris, he was a good man, uncomfortable but what did it matter, the ones that had the easiest time talking also had the easiest time screwing around behind your back.

— p. 51, American Rust

Stay tuned, dear blog reader. Stay tuned.

 

The Guardian: 75 Films to Watch in 2016

Self enjoys reading The Guardian. In particular, their film blog.

Yesterday, she stumbled across a piece called: 75 movies to look forward to in 2016.

75??? Only The Guardian would have the temerity to post such a mind-boggling list of 2016 movies.

Well, self will attempt to take a gander.

Here are her conclusions, after one read-through:

  • Keanu Reeves is back! He’s in at least three 2016 movies.
  • Michael Fassbender is in everything. Michael Shannon is in everything. Ryan Gosling is in at least two upcoming.
  • Matt Damon is back as Bourne (triple somersault YAY!) and Paul Greengrass is directing (Wowowowowowow!!!)
  • Charlie Hunnam Is. In. A. Movie (Oh God. It’s been too long)
  • Casey Affleck is in a movie. Self likes Casey Affleck. More than she likes his brother.
  • They’re making a film of Shusako Endo’s Silence! They’re making a film of Shusako Endo’s Silence! And it’s starring Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield, and Adam Driver. Oh God.
  • Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool (And this one actually seems like it might work)
  • Jennifer Lawrence is mentioned as getting $20 million for the space movie she’s in with Chris Pratt. BTW, people? She’s worth every penny.
  • They’re making a movie (Neon Demon) about “beauty-obsessed women in L.A.” and self loves the cast: Keanu Reeves, Elle Fanning, and Christina Hendricks.
  • Star Wars spin-off Rogue One: Another Brit (Felicity Jones) stars.
  • Anthropoid, about the assassination of one of World War II’s most brutal concentration camp commanders: Reinhard Heydrich. This one stars Jamie Dornan and Cillian Murphy. These are two gorgeous men, dear blog readers. If self weren’t already cheering about the plot, she’d be cheering at the prospect of seeing these men’s gorgeous cheekbones in close-up on the big screen.

BTW, saw Joy and enjoyed it. It seemed rather muted for a David O. Russell film, especially one starring his muse Jennifer Lawrence. Self thinks Amy Adams could have handled that part. But Jennifer is truly a force. Self refuses to complain too much about a film that has her in it.

Stay tuned.

And, In Addition!

Self was strolling up Santa Cruz Avenue in Menlo Park today. It was a bee-yoo-ti-ful day. Not as beautiful as the weather when she was in Central Park a few weeks ago. But not as cold as it’s been here in the San Francisco Bay Area — hence, beautiful.

She passed old stand-by Village Stationers, where she has been purchasing Precise V5 Extra Fine Rolling Ball pens since the days when sole fruit of her loins was attending elementary school in St. Raymond’s. They were having a 50% off sale on all 2016 calendars and planners.

It’s been ages since self bothered to purchase a planner. Because the last four years have been absolutely impossible to plan. Nuts, they’ve been nuts. Self is amazed she is still ambulatory.

Anyhoo, today she actually walked out of Village Stationers with a 2016 Planner called: DO IT LATER! A 2016 NON-PLANNER FOR THE CREATIVE PROCRASTINATOR.

There is an Introduction:

Tired of feeling out of step with the deadline-driven masses? Ready to turn over a new leaf but feeling a tad overwhelmed? Relax. Let the drones of the world dart around with overloaded digital doodads and struggle with trendy time-management strategies.

We’re procrastinators — we get the important stuff done . . .  when we get around to it. To be productive and creative, we first need to engage in critical activities, such as organizing our organizational strategies, staring out the window, creating the perfect playlist, and refilling our coffee. If you specialize in such delay tactics, or know someone who does, take a leisurely browse through the tips, activities, and wisdom sprinkled throughout this planner — for instance: “If there is no time like the present, why would I want to spend it working?” or “Surround yourself with enough doers and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

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