Beloved: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 31 January 2018

Can you believe January 2018 is over? Self can’t.

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is BELOVED.

We’re asked to “share a photo of something that is dearly loved.”

Here are a couple:

Museums. Self loves museums. This one is a picture of the last museum she visited, in the University of Santo Tomas, the oldest university in Manila (founded 1611):

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The Art and Natural History Museum, University of Santo Tomas

Another thing self loves is history. And the University of Santo Tomas having been founded in 1611, there’s a lot of history there. Here’s the Main Building:

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Main Building, University of Santo Tomas

Last but not least, she loves her son. Here she is with him, in a picture taken about 10 years ago. He lives in southern California and last October married a wonderful girl, Jennie, who hails from New Mexico:

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Andrew and Self at the Beach Chalet off the Great Highway, in San Francisco. The picture was taken approximately 10 years ago.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Maze Runner: Death Cure

So excellent. Self can’t even. The best wrap-up to a YA series ever.

Three out of four stars.

Self knows of what she speaks: she’s a big fan of YA.

Just to show you this movie went beyond, self cried at the end. You’d think she was watching The Time-Traveler’s Wife, not Maze Runner.

There were a lot of high-powered actors in the cast: Patricia Clarkson, Aiden Gillen, Barry Pepper, Walton Goggins (sporting truly disgusting facial make-up: five stars!), Thomas Brodie-Sangster. Half the time self kept wondering when Woody Harrelson was going to show up. Self loves it when a YA action movie is way better than anyone has a reasonable right to expect.

The only thing that bothered self about the movie (Almost 2 1/2 hours long, and the time just flew by!) was that every time Aiden Gillen was on-screen, she kept thinking: Littlefinger! There is one scene in which Gillen stares creepily at Teresa (Kaya Scodelario) and it reminded her so much of all the times on Game of Thrones when Littlefinger is perv-ing on Sansa.

Movie’s best moment? In her humble opinion, when Min Ho gets up in Teresa’s face and yells: TRAITOR! So cathartic.

P.S. There was a preview for Jurassic World. Bryce Dallas Howard is truly growing into a Jessica Chastain-level beauty. In fact, for a moment that’s who self thought she was watching

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The A.V. Club Explains Why Americans Might Experience SOTU Feelings of Dread

SOTU Tonight, 9 p.m., ABC

You could just do like self and not watch it. Self plans to wend her way north, to Fort Bragg, to watch Maze Runner: Death Cure. Which she’s 100% sure will prove more beneficial to her mental health. Or, you could just read The AV Club article, which begins thus:

  • At this point, we expect to see an official declaration of war on this or that country by the flaxen-haired pox on humanity who’s currently in the White House, so what’s Trump saving for his first State of the Union Address — or, as he’s already referred to it, “The State of MY Union Show”?

To 45’s credit, he has set the bar very low. So low that if he ends up NOT actually making an official declaration of war, Americans will fall all over themselves to praise his decorum and tact.

(Insert laughing-so-hard-I’m-crying emoji here)

Stay tuned.

Variations on a Theme 4: More Mendocino

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1st Month Back, Fourth Movie: MAZE RUNNER, THE DEATH CURE

Self is all for action movies. She absolutely loves them.

If she doesn’t watch an action movie, it’s at least got to have Frances McDormand.

And now, woot hoot, the Maze Runner is back. For a few years, there was some doubt about whether star Dylan O’Brien was okay. He had a horrific accident while filming Movie # 2 of the Maze Runner, and filming shut down completely, which meant the accident was bad. But he made a thriller last year, and looked no different. And this year, he starts out with a bang, with the closing movie of the YA trilogy, and critics have been saying that it’s the best installment yet.

So, #pointsDylan.

From the way self got into 12 Strong, she knows she is ready for this.

Christy Lemire over on Roger Ebert, the review site, even compares the film to Mad Max: Fury Road. Of course, it’s not as good. Nothing can be as good as Mad Max: Fury Road. But to even earn that reference — that’s cool.

Tim Robey, writing for The Telegraph, has good fun classifying the series’ main characters into the following camps: Absolutely, Hell No, and I’ll Get Back to You on That.

On Team Hell No are the heroes. These are played by Dylan O’Brien, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, and Dexter Dardin. Let’s also throw in Rosa Salazar’s character, as self finds her so darn cute.

On Team Absolutely is a beauteous turncoat played by Kaya Scodelario.

And then Robey forgets who’s supposed to be on Team I’ll Get Back to You on That or maybe he just gets bored with his own review because he never says who.

But there are enough bits to convince self that she has to see this movie. Cinema’s just 10 miles north on 1, in Fort Bragg. And it’s not even raining.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Variations on a Theme 3: Mendocino

Self has arrived. She even managed to secure rock star parking right in front of the Mendocino Art Center! She’s teaching a weekend workshop on Landscapes of the Mind.

Just south of Mendocino are the giant redwoods. Self pulled over to take a couple of shots for this year’s Daily Post Photo Challenge: VARIATIONS ON A THEME.

And there was this vine-draped house, just south of the Village of Mendocino. Greenery and redwoods, that’s what Mendocino is all about.

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Private residence, just south of Mendocino, CA

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Mid-Afternoon in the Redwood Forest near Mendocino, CA

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It’s been a while since self has experienced the majesty of a redwood forest. Thankful these made it through the Northern California Wildfires, last October.

There was hardly any traffic, until the last 10 miles or so. That’s where you get the heartstopping views, but the narrow twists and turns demand maximum concentration (plus she is annoyed by the tailgaters, SUVs and jeeps mostly).

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Variations on a Theme 2: The Garden in Redwood City

Been so long since self took pictures of her garden.

Since this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is VARIATIONS ON A THEME, self wandered her backyard looking for appropriate subjects.

Here, her helleborus, having survived years of neglect (approx. three years) is nevertheless getting ready to bloom:

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Helleborus, Last Week of January 2018

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More Helleborus!

Just throwing this in: The deck is very weathered and obviously needs a lot of work. But — variations on a theme!

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Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

#amwritinghistoricalfiction: Manila, 1757

Self making this up as she goes along. From her novel-in-progress, Blue Water, Distant Shores, p. 135:

“Manila is a city of 50,000 souls,” Saturnino says, with an air of pride. “It is one of the largest cities in the Orient. A river, the Pasig, empties into the bay just below the Fort. Both sides of this river are built up with industry. You will find no want of commerce here.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

LANDSCAPES OF THE MIND: Mendocino Art Center, 27 & 28 January 2018

“You said on the phone the other day that you’re a teacher?”

“Yes.”

“What subject do you teach?”

“Everything, pretty much.”

Exotics, by Callan Wink (Granta 128, Summer 2014)

This coming weekend, self is teaching.

A two-day writing workshop on just one subject: Landscapes.

Students will try their hand at writing only one thing: landscapes, both real and invented.

You do not need to be a tested writer, only a writer who is willing to be tested.

Thank you, Mendocino Art Center, for allowing self this opportunity.

CLASS DESCRIPTION:

  • A journey is more than just a movement through physical space. It is also movement through an emotional landscape. This writing workshop will be about journeys, both real and imagined: journeys of retrieval and nostalgia, as well as journeys of discovery. We’ll map emotions, moods, as well as physical space. We’ll do it all by sitting in one physical space. I’ll share my process with you. I’ll show you how.
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Albion, California: January 2017

Stay tuned.

Variations on a Theme: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 24 January 2018

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is VARIATIONS ON A THEME.

For example:

“ducks in a pond, each swimming in a slightly different angle, or a wall of stained glass in a church, each panel echoing the other.” — Ben Huberman, The Daily Post

Below, the only copies of self’s third short fiction collection she was able to find (It’s only available in Manila), everywhere else was SOLD OUT!

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Found these copies of self’s third short story collection in the National Bookstore in Gateway Mall, Cubao, Metro-Manila! (January 2018)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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