Quote of the Day: On Trump’s No-Show in the Latest Televised Presidential Debate

It speaks volumes about the general disarray of the presidential campaign spectacle that it has now reached its highest pitch over the prospect of Donald Trump remaining silent over the course of a televised debate (OK, technically Trump intends to be absent for the debate — but one can argue that in his case, the only way to ensure silence is via complete physical isolation).

— Chris Lehmann in The Baffler

The reason the quote struck a chord: self firmly believes that the only way to ensure silence IS via complete physical isolation.

The (awfully) big question Lehmann asks is: Is Trump a “big feminized baby” or “a terrorist enabler”?

OMG. Dying.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Vibrant 2: New York City’s High Line

Whoever was responsible for bringing the High Line into existence, self thanks you. The most beautiful things about New York City last December were:

  • the weather (shirt-sleeve weather)
  • Carnegie Hall
  • Central Park
  • High Line

She has posted many pictures of the High Line in the last two months. Here are the most vibrant ones:

DSCN2286

The tables above are the outdoor seating for Terroir.

DSCN2292

On the High Line: A Message

And the same message, only in context:

DSCN2290

Chelsea (Former Meatpacking District), viewed from the High Line

P.S. Interesting, isn’t it, the predominance of vibrant yellow? Self almost thinks that was deliberate!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

Northern California News

The news is all about sinkholes and rain. About escaped convicts and sinkholes and rain and the Superbowl.

Seriously?

She went to downtown Palo Alto to see Anomalisa, which was showing in the Aquarius. It took two grown-ups 20 minutes to sort out who got what at Gelato Classico.

Monster truck parked right next to self in downtown Palo Alto and literally she could not get into the drivers seat. Who does that?

She’s so fed up now, she will never go to downtown Palo Alto.

Not to mention, the Aquarius has morphed into a high-end luxe theatre where the bargain matinee is $9.50 (Discounted from $12.50)

Self’s friend Emily recommended the movie she saw today: Anomalisa. She was fascinated by the cinematography and the screenplay. By how on point it is about all the random, meaningless conversations that make up our lives. Our lives!

We are going to die and all our lives are made up of random misconnections.

SPOILER ALERT!!!

Self doesn’t recall ever seeing a hook-up as raw before. It’s between a paunchy middle-aged man and a disfigured young woman in an anonymous hotel in Cincinnati and they achieve surprising intimacy in their dialogue, which then makes what follows seem really sweet. Then the next morning, OMG, the middle-aged man is annoyed by the way in which the young woman eats her omelet.

Unfortunately, she’s not sure if she missed some moments in the very beginning, because the Aquarius usher told her she had only missed the previews but when she walked into the theatre, the plane was landing in Cincinnati — she must have missed the opening credits. She briefly considered going outside and complaining. But since this is California she advised herself to let it go.

And then she walked outside after the movie and saw the monster truck (with rear bumper stickers saying something about never complaining about “Bitch” drivers) had given her six inches of room to squeeze into her seat. Honestly, she couldn’t do it. And if anyone has laid eyes on self in person, they would know she is quite petite. If self could not squeeze into her drivers seat in the space allotted between her and monster truck, then no one, absolutely no one, could have squeezed into that drivers seat.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Vibrant: 2016 Daily Post Photo Challenge # 5

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is VIBRANT.

And oh, how self loves any Photo Challenge that has to do with color.

DSCN2418

How green is the grass after much rain!

DSCN2415

This vibrant sunflower blooms year-round in front of the Mendocino Art Center Gallery.

DSCN2321

Art on New York City’s High Line: Self walked it on a gloomy December day; few people about. Colors really popped.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sentences of the Last Friday of January 2016

He looks so immeasurably worried and tragic.

(Referring to Peeta, of course)

I’ll take physical pain over emotional any day.

I don’t have time for your disingenuous bullshit.

#BadAss!Peeta, #HijackedPeeta, #Tattooed!Peeta, #Assassin!Peeta, #kindofcyberpunkifyousquint

— Fan Fiction writer heathenpesticide

Self decided to drive home for the weekend. This is what she found:

A front yard taken over by oxalys. Fungal flowers rotting in a vase of slimy water. Left-over Halloween candy on the piano.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

First Adventure: Mexico on Third-Class Bus with Roommate Sachiko

Self was a grad student at Stanford.

Her roommate was an Anthropology grad student named Sachiko Hayashida. (She has tried many times to find Sachiko. She has googled “Sachiko Hayashida” and found a few who teach in Japanese universities and fired off letters. The letters always come back with a note: I am not that Sachiko Hayashida)

Sachiko and self decided to spend two weeks traveling around Mexico.

Sachiko was responsible for drawing up the itinerary. Self’s only responsibility was to keep up.

Sachiko had undertaken many trips by herself. Not self. This was self’s first travel adventure.

We ended up fighting. A lot.

Sachiko had to be carried on the plane on a stretcher at the very end. She had Montezuma’s Revenge.

One of our most memorable trips was from Mexico City to Merida by third-class bus. Once we arrived in Merida, we searched all over the city for a vegan restaurant mentioned in Lonely Planet. The name was Sergeant Pepper’s.

We finally found someone who said, “Ah! You are looking for Sarhento Pimiento!”

Of course! Sarhento Pimiento! Why had we wandered all over Merida looking for SERGEANT PEPPER?

One of the most memorable excursions we made while in Merida was to the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza. We took a public bus, and it dropped us off at the side of the road at 4 a.m.

Self frankly thought Sachiko was crazy, but at 7 a.m., when Chichen Itza began to receive its swarm of tourists, self thought Sachiko was brilliant. Because no one else was in the ruins at 4 a.m. (Of course, it wasn’t safe. But we were 22. We weren’t thinking of safe) We were thrashing around, avoiding lizards — some extremely large — and what-not, when we suddenly came to a large clearing, raised our eyes and YOWZA! A temple!

Afterwards, self read to Sachiko from a book she’d picked up from the Stanford Bookstore: World of the Maya by Victor W. Von Hagen.

She has it with her now, in Mendocino.

P. 12:

The Maya have been characterized as “The Intellectuals of the New World” because of their highly developed calendrics, their glyph-writing, and the ornamental complexity of their architecture. They were unique in their culture; pacific, they fought few wars; they viewed life from their jungle fastness with Olympian detachment, working out complicated calendric inscriptions that could push their history back to 23,040,000,000 days.

You need a lot of undisturbed time (i.e. peace) to be that focused on a task that complicated, self figures.

The irony is not lost on self, that one of the first widely-read accounts of the Mayan civilization was William H. Prescott’s The Conquest of Peru, who made a hero out of Francisco Pizarro, “a man who couldn’t even read his own name . . . ”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Sylvain Landry Week 30 Photo Challenge

Self always has fun doing these.

This week’s Sylvain Landry Photo Challenge is ORANGE.

Maybe this little crit isn’t quite orange enough. Self encountered it on a walk yesterday. But it’s a cheerful sight, so here it is anyway:

DSCN2414

Garden Art, Mendocino Art Center, Yesterday (26 January 2016)

Thanks to Sylvain Landry for always thinking up such interesting prompts!

Stay tuned.

 

Regarding Travel Writing (And Self Sincerely Enjoyed Teaching It Last Weekend)

This past weekend, self taught her second travel writing workshop at the Mendocino Art Center, where she also taught last year.

It was an exciting weekend, with participants writing about Grenada, New Zealand, India, South Africa, Nepal, the Dominican Republic, New York City (just to name a few).

Self does really love teaching this workshop.

How else would she learn that Vegemite tastes like “dirty socks” or that New Zealand’s national candy is something called a chocolate fish? How else would she learn about Pascal’s pineapple lumps (in New Zealand) or about “contracepting elephants” or about “wild game sausage” or that there are hop-on/hop-off buses in Uganda? Or about the delayed reaction time to sand fly bites? Or about Burmese sunblocks made from ground tree bark?

Anyhoo, she used the Best American Travel Writing anthologies for prompts. The 2013 edition was edited by Elizabeth Gilbert and here’s what she says about travel writing in her introduction:

  1. There is no story in the world so marvelous that it cannot be told boringly.
  2. There is no story in the world so boring that it cannot be told marvelously.

Isn’t that such a neat quote?

Self’s next class at the Mendocino Art Center is:

ONE STORY SIX WAYS

Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 6 -7, 2016
9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Mendocino Art Center
Tuition: $200

To enroll online, go here.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The Personal Bookshelf in the Mendocino Apartment

Writers travel with a lot of books. Self is amazed at how many she ends up bringing with her.

She’s been in Mendocino most of January. Here’s her stash:

  • Of course, Miguel Hernandez, in the translation by Don Share
  • World of the Maya, by Victor W. Von Hagen, the copy she had with her at 21, when she and her roommate, Sachiko, an anthropology major, rode the third-class public bus from Mexico City to Chichen Itza
  • The Best American Travel Writing, 2013, edited by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Travel Writing, by Cynthia Dial
  • Secret London: An Unusual Guide, by Rachel Howard and Bill Nash
  • Fairy Tales From the Brothers Grimm, by Phil Pullman
  • Lost Between: Writings on Displacement, edited by Catherine Dunne and Federica Sgaggio
  • Travelers’ Tales Guides to Spain, edited by Lucy McCauley
  • Virtual Lotus: Modern Fiction of Southeast Asia, edited by Teri Shaffer Yamada
  • copies of her first collection, post-Stanford: Ginseng and Other Tales From Manila, as well as copies of the anthology she co-edited with Virginia Cerenio, Going Home to a Landscape
  • Conamara Blues, by John O’Donohue
  • Firelines, by Marcus Cumberlege
  • The Piano Tuner, by Daniel Mason
  • Writing the Memoir, by Judith Barrington
  • Diane Arbus: A Chronology, 1923 – 1971
  • Another Kind of Paradise: Short Stories From the New Asia-Pacific, edited by Trevor Carolan
  • Dead Season: A Story of Murder and Revenge on the Philippine Island of Negros, by Alan Berlow
  • Tonle Sap: The Heart of Cambodia’s Natural Heritage, by Colin Poole

Don’t even get self started on the journals!

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

One Story, Six Ways

This is a workshop self invented, and the Mendocino Art Center is letting her run with it.

ONE STORY, SIX WAYS

Two days of intensive experimentation at different ways to tell ONE event.

In the Mendocino Art Center.

Saturday & Sunday: Feb. 6 & 7, 2016

Instructor: Your Fabulous Blog Mistress Herself

Cost: $200

Such a steal. For $200 you get self for two whole days.

Not to mention, six versions of the same story.

Here’s where to enroll:

MendocinoArtCenter.org/Winter16/Villanueva2.html

Or call: (707) 937 – 5818 xt. 10

Or call: (800) 653 – 3328

 

« Older entries