Fortune Cookie of the Day

2016 Redux

Homeland Elegies brings self back to that time of innocence, pre-Former Guy, when we thought all he was good for was palaver.

Father: He’s not going to win . . . You’re smart enough to know that. He doesn’t even want to win. He’s trying to send a message.

Ayad Akhtar: I thought you said he was trying to start a channel.

Father: Same thing.

AA: He’s running for an election he doesn’t want to win so he can start a channel to send a message?

Father: The system is broken . . . I’m saying he won’t win, so you should calm down.

— pp. 18 – 19, Homeland Elegies

And then he did win.

Self still remembers how, on the evening of Election Day, she took Caltrain from Palo Alto to the City, and the packed train car was full of anxious buzz buzz buzz. She finally asked the young woman next to her what was going on.

The young woman said: “Trump’s winning. I’m scared.” The woman held up her cell. Polls on the East Coast had just closed, and the numbers were shocking.

The next morning, when self turned on her cell, the first message was: Your representation has changed. Then, a long long list of newly elected candidates ending with: The President of the United States: DT!

That night, the smell of pot was stronger than usual from the apartment above. Self remembers there were people hanging out on the fire escape, and she could distinctly hear their conversation: “Can you believe he WON? What’s going to happen NOW?”

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Quote of the Day: University Art Center

Today, self accomplished one of the things on her bucket list:

To have a painting she made for art class in Grade 6 (convent school, Manila) FRAMED.

The fact that she lugged it to grad school, and through every move thereafter, is deserving of the most fulsome praise!

Her go-to place is University Art Center on El Camino. The framer stretches it out flat: “It’s very wrinkled.”

Self: “Umm, yeah. I made it in grade school.”

Framer: “So how many years are we talking about here?”

Self: “Fifty years?”


Self: “Uh, okay. Maybe not fifty. Forty?”

In the space on the form for “estimated value of the art” she writes, in big block letters: SENTIMENTAL VALUE. And underlines it twice.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Master Shih-Cheng Yen Still Thought #54

An idle man gains no pleasures, a busy man affords no time for disputes.

(This sounds like something I have read before, so maybe it doesn’t belong on Master Shih-Cheng Yen’s list? Better make sure I stay busy!)

Sentence of the Day? No, Sentence(s) of the Day!

Puerile pleasures, that’s what Father was learning again — we all were — and Trump was our tutor. I really can’t imagine that my father, this man I know and love, whom I still admire in so many ways, I can’t imagine he didn’t sense something was amiss. But somehow, he just kept looking the other way, seeking some worthwhile reason for the widespread abasement.

pp. 16 – 17, Homeland Elegies

If you want to laugh, dear blog readers, especially after seeing hashtag JoeIsaPedo trending, then Homeland Elegies is the book for you!

When Daddy Is a Trump Supporter: A List

A breakfast place in Waukesha where we were the only nonwhites enjoying brunch for the weekend after Trump entered the race with those infamous remarks about Mexican immigrants being rapists and murders. “I don’t know what you’re so worked up about. He’s a showman. He’s drawing attention. He doesn’t really mean it.”

The mental contortions he performed to make sense of Trump’s nonsense, which made me wonder if he was going senile. “Everything he says about the media is right. It is rigged. Rigged to make money.”

For a thoughtful man — at least one who’d evidenced instances of thoughtfulness with reassuring frequency over the years — the man seemed to be turning into an imbecile, his hodgepodge views like mental flatulence, one fetid odor after another.

Homeland Elegies, by Ayad Akhtar, p. 16

Why did no one prepare self for the delight.

And to think she was reading such depressing books before! Homeland Elegies is exactly the mind-cleanse self needed, especially after the garbage of 35 GOP Senators blocking a bill that would have investigated why they were threatened by a mob on Jan. 6. (Keep threatening us, mob! We like you, we really, really like you!)

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

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