Past Squares 8: HATS

How much fun is it to join the Squares Challenge? Super super fun!

This month, the theme is the PAST (or Past Squares, your choice!)

Self has been looking back at the memorable exhibits she’s seen over the years.

In 2017, the Legion of Honor had an exhibit on Degas, Impressionism, and the Paris Millinery Trade. Self had a blast! Here are a few pictures from the exhibit:

Thursday Doors Challenge: Downtown Palo Alto

Posting this for the Thursday Doors Challenge hosted by No Facilities. It’s a lot of fun to participate.

A few days ago, self went strolling around downtown Palo Alto. This used to be one of her favorite places to while away the time. There were two downtown movie theaters: one on Emerson, another on University Avenue. There was a gelato place, and even a smoke shop. But, sadly, the movie theaters, even the gelato place, were closed.

Stanford Theatre has been closed since March 2020. It’s supposedly owned by a Silicon Valley billionaire who loves old movies. They used to have periodic film festivals: Hitchcock films, Satyajit Ray films, Truffaut films. The price of entry: $7. Fresh popcorn: $1.

It was very disheartening to see, a few days ago, that it was STILL closed. She had to content herself with walking around the ticket area, taking a picture of the old movie posters on display.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Past Squares 7: A Look Back at This Kickass Reading Year (2021)

This is also today’s post for Life of B’s Past Squares!

Past Squares 5: Monet’s Garden, Giverny, May 2017

The theme of this Squares Challenge is Past Squares. For all of October, you can either choose something you’ve used in a past Squares Challenge, or create an entirely new post that is connected to the theme of “Past.”

Self has been focusing on Option 2: something that has occurred in the past, or something historical/old. She has been on so many walks down memory lane, since the start of this month.

Self has been on several memorable trips to Paris. The ones below are from May 2017.

She took a day trip to Monet’s Garden. And though she took many, many pictures of flowers, the pictures she finds the most memorable were these two pictures of a young visitor and her mother.

Sentence of the Day: The Butcher’s Boy, p. 155

What is it about Las Vegas? It just seems to pull the best writing out of writers, especially writers of noir. Which Thomas Perry definitely is.

  • The dealer looked young, his carefully sculpted hair blond from the sun, but already he had the ageless look of detached competence they all seemed to have worn into them.

Past Squares 4: When Museums Re-Opened

For today’s Past Squares challenge, she’s posting a couple of photos from two big exhibits she saw this year: the Frida Kahlo and Judy Chicago exhibits, both in the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park.

Self had tickets to see the Frida Kahlo exhibit last year, but the week she was supposed to go, the whole city abruptly went into pandemic lockdown mode and stayed locked down into 2021. As soon as the de Young re-opened to the public, just this past spring, self rushed over. YAY!

The Frida Kahlo exhibit was followed by the Judy Chicago retrospective (which is still on; everyone within driving distance should go: it is FANTASTIC!)

2nd Michael Connelly Quote of the Day

Economy creates momentum. The story gathers speed and moves with an unalterable urgency. All characters, all action, relentlessly moving toward the same vanishing point on the horizon.

Michael Connolly’s Introduction to the 2003 Edition of Thomas Perry’s The Butcher’s Boy

Why has no one made this series into a movie? The chase is made for the big screen. Think The Terminator, only no robots and no time travel.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Quote of the Day: Michael Connelly

A book is like a car. It pulls up to the curb and the passenger door swings open to the reader. The engine revs. Do you want a ride?

Once you get in, the car takes off, the door slamming shut and the rubber burning in its wake. Behind the wheel the driver’s got to be highly skilled, heavy on the pedal, and most of all, oh man, most of all, somebody you want to be with. He’s got to drive near the edge of the cliff but never over. He’s got to turn sharply just as you think you know where you are going. He’s got to gun it on the final lap.

Introduction by Michael Connelly to the 2003 Edition of Thomas Perry’s The Butcher’s Boy

Self borrowed her copy from the library, and it is pretty beat up. Nevertheless.

She absolutely loved Eddie’s Boy. Which is what led her here, to the very first book of the series. What did she love so much about Eddie’s Boy? The main character was a professional hit man, married to a member of the British peerage. If that character description doesn’t grab you, self doesn’t know what will.

Past Squares 3: Sepia-Toned

If you’ve never heard of The Squares Challenge, you are missing something! The Challenge is hosted by Becky at Life of B, and the theme for this month is Past Squares.

Past Squares can be either your selection from a past round of squares, or something old, historical, etc

For the month, self decided she would focus on the “historical.” In the immortal words of William Faulkner, “The past is never dead. In fact, it’s not even past.”

For today’s Past Squares post, self is going back. WAAAAAY back. Back to the time when she and Dear Departed Sister were four and five-and-a-half years old, respectively (She and her sister were only 18 months apart).

Dearest Mum dressed us alike, all the time. We had the same haircuts, the same dresses, the same shoes. Everything the same. Except for our personalities. When self frowned, her sister smiled. When her sister frowned, self smiled. This was some weird form of sibling rivalry. Nevertheless.

In one picture, self and her sister are sitting in front of a memorial to her grandfather. (Yes, there are colonnades, yes there was a bust of her grandfather. We were in the family resort, in an island in the central Philippines)

The second picture, self and her sister are with her parents. In the exact center of the picture is her grandmother, her mother’s mother. She was a force! A piano teacher from Jaro, Iloilo, her grandmother propelled Dearest Mum all the way to Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher. Self has no recordings of those days, since Dearest Mum stubbornly refused to have ANY recordings made of her music. Self doesn’t even have the countless magazine covers that her mother appeared in.

Hello, Summer of 1969 (Moon Palace, p. 28)

The narrator’s uncle is dead, HOW IS THE NARRATOR GOING TO PUT HIMSELF THROUGH COLUMBIA? Self presumes this was an era before student loans? Narrator being a very resourceful sort, starts selling his uncle’s 1493 books. That buys him two months rent. But then:

  • I had come to my last hundred dollars, and the books had dwindled to three boxes. Paying rent was out of the question now, and though the security deposit would see me through another month, I was bound to be evicted after that. If the notices started in July, then the crunch would come in August, which meant that I would be out on the streets by September. From the vantage of June 1st, however, the end of the summer was light-years away. The problem was not so much what to do after that, but how to get there in the first place. The books would bring in approximately fifty dollars. Added to the ninety-six I already had, that meant there would be a hundred and forty-six dollars to see me through the next three months. It hardly seemed enough, but by restricting myself to one meal a day, by ignoring newspapers, buses, and every kind of frivolous expense, I figured I might make it. So began the summer of 1969.

The young narrator might not realize it, but he is over 50% of the way to being a bona fide writer. Self means: anyone who can live like that and make decisions about getting by, without thinking: I MUST FIND A JOB!

RESPECT.

Stay tuned.

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