Tee-Hee, Rachel Kushner

The Mars Room is so in-your-face, so sassy.

It mentions Carol Doda and there is indeed a San Francisco institution called Carol Doda. In fact, on self’s first family trip to the United States (She was 13), her father was super-excited to get to San Francisco to see a Carol Doda performance. But Carol Doda was already pretty old by then, so he was vastly disappointed. In fact, when self asked her father when he got back to the hotel later that night what he thought of Carol Doda he had this look on his face and said only one word: “Old.” (Come to think of it, it is pretty wild that she, a convent girl from the Philippines, was asking her father what he thought of San Francisco’s most famous stripper. Wilder is that he thought self had asked a perfectly legitimate question because he answered in all sincerity)

Since The Mars Room is set in San Francisco, self wondered if there was an actual — ehem! — establishment. She guesses not because the only place she could find after googling was a Mars Bar and Restaurant on Brennan.

In Rachel Kushner’s novel, the manager of the Mars Room is called D’ARTAGNAN.

RUDE!

Self loves it.

Stay tuned.

Convo, The Mars Room, p. 21

“In prison at least you know what’s going to happen. I mean, you don’t actually know. It’s unpredictable. But in a boring way. It’s not like something tragic and awful can happen. I mean, sure it can. Of course it can. But you can’t lose everything in prison, since that’s already taken place.”

When Her Husband Left Everything to Kent, the Servant

As if things were not just getting absolutely awful for poor Anne Glenconner (Her two eldest sons dead, the third in a coma), her husband Colin flees to the Caribbean, and becomes close to a servant named Kent.

A Night at the Opera, p. 294

It was going well until halfway through the Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves in the opera’s third act when, to my absolute horror, Colin started to wail and scream beside me. “Colin, what is the matter?” I asked.

“I wish Kent was here,” he wailed.

“Honestly, I don’t think Kent would enjoy it, but I am here.”

But he continued to wail, “No, no, I want Kent!”

By this time, more and more of the audience were turning their heads in our direction. Seeing the rug over Colin’s knees, I grabbed it and threw it over his head, hoping it would shut him up. To my amazement, he didn’t tear it off and, with his wails now considerably muffled, the audience turned their attention back to the stage. Shrinking into my seat, I hoped the saga was over, but the worst embarrassment was yet to come. When the chorus finally ended, the conductor turned to the audience and announced, “Under the circumstances, I think we will have to have that again.” I was utterly mortified as the chorus began again.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Imelda Out-Colins Colin

Anne Glenconner pinch-hits for an ill Princess Margaret in Manila, where she and her husband are wined and dined by Imelda:

“The singing sprees continued until 3 a.m., when she would drop us off at the house, only to arrive again at eight the next day. Colin continued to be an asset, although after enduring a few days of Madame Marcos’s intense entertainment, he declared, “I simply can’t stand this anymore. This is the most exhausting thing I’ve ever done. I’m going home.” — Lady-in-Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown, p. 211

And Colin is no slouch, either: among other things, he single-handedly turned the island of Mustique into a playground for the wealthy.

The thing about Filipinos: their hospitality is relentless. And if you shun them, they do bear grudges.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Challenges of Being a LADY IN WAITING!

Anne Glenconner accompanies Princess Margaret on a tour of Australia. It rains very hard in Melbourne.

p. 194:

  • Princess Margaret’s shoes got terribly wet, so when we sat down for lunch, I took them to see if they could be dried, giving them to the lady in the cloakroom, who, some time later, gave me an almost unrecognizable pair of shoes back. They were horribly misshapen and completely stiff. When I asked what she had done, she proudly said, “I put them in the microwave.” Princess Margaret, who had no choice but to put them back on, hobbled around glaring at me for the rest of the day.

Everlark: The Great Bake-Off

The baking teams, final round:

  • Gale/Delly (???????)
  • Cato/Clove (stole Peeta’s cupcake recipe, BOO!)
  • Peeta/Katniss (Katniss can bake???)

The Judges: Effie, Haymitch and Cinna

Master of Ceremonies: Caesar Flickerman (but of course!)

First Person Point of View, Peeta

“So what do we have here?” Caesar bounces up to our table.

“It’s a dandelion and pear cupcake with a honey buttercream and walnut garnish.”

“This is lovely,” says Effie. “Such unusual flavors, and yet you balanced them nicely.”

Cinna nods at us. “Pear can be a delicate flavor. Speaking of which, nice job with the dandelion!”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Lady in Waiting, An Endless Can-You-Top-This

That time when Anne Glenconner’s husband, Colin, decided to drive a Winnebago across America (self’s father had this dream of doing similar) and stopped anywhere he felt like it, ignoring all parking signs, which predictably enough ended up with two policemen approaching the Winnebago while Colin was in a shop:

“Ma’am, you can’t park there, it’s a violation. You need to move.”

“I don’t know how to drive it, Officer,” I replied. “My husband’s just in the shop. He won’t be long.”

Sure enough, Colin soon appeared, dressed in a bright pink tutu, wearing plastic boobs, a tiara and carrying a wand.

Lest you think, dear blog readers, that this is the most sham marriage of all time, Glenconner and her husband endure and have five children together. Despite Princess Margaret telling the bride’s mother just before the official announcement of the engagement that the prospective husband is “a degenerate.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Covered California is a Scam

Every day, self gets a message in her in-box: You have until Dec. 15 to sign up for mandatory health insurance.

Then: GET HELP PICKING A PLAN BEFORE DECEMBER 15.

Then, a glorious array of plans starting at $871/month, and going up all the way to $3,000/month.

Then,

PLEASE CONTACT US. WE MAY CONNECT YOU TO A MARKETPLACE-REGISTERED AGENT OR BROER WHO WILL CONTACT YOU TO HELP YOU ENROLL, THROUGH A SERVICE WE’VE PARTNERED WITH, HELP ON-DEMAND. AGENTS AND BROKERS ARE TRAINED BY THE MARKETPLACE AND LICENSED IN THEIR RESPECTIVE STATE. THEY ARE USUALLY PAID BY THE INSURANCE COMPANIES WHOSE PLANS THEY SELL.

The above message is giving self all kinds of trills of alarm: “They are USUALLY PAID BY THE INSURANCE COMPANIES WHOSE PLANS THEY SELL.”

These ‘brokers of health’ will get all your vital information, and end up telling you the same thing you know already: Health insurance is mandatory, here are the plans: $871/month, $918/month, $1,001/month, $1,300/month.

When the IRS penalty is $700, doesn’t it make better financial sense to pay the penalty, which is less than even just one month’s premium?

Even on a plan, annual deductible is $6300, so you would be paying roughly $12,000 year and some, FOR ROUTINE CARE.

Self tried yesterday to enroll in a national health insurance plan. As soon as the rep learned self was a California resident, she said, “Sorry, can’t help you. You have to choose a plan from Covered California.”

The system of health care in the United States is in the hands of snake-oil salesmen.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

And Now For Something Completely Different

Finished The Overstory this morning (Found the ending very sad), and began Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown.

Never in a million years would she have imagined herself reading such a book, but self  happened to catch a hilarious interview with the author, Anne Glenconner, when she was in Dublin. The woman told the funniest stories! When she was on her honeymoon, a virgin bride, her husband booked them into a place called The Naughty Hotel.

Glenconner’s great-great-grandmother had to refer to her husband, the 2nd Earl of Leicester, as ‘Leicester,’ at all times. One day, passing a nurse with a baby in the corridor of his house, the Earl demanded of the nurse: “Whose child is that?” To which the nurse responded, “Yours, my lord!”

Summers were spent in “an old manner by the beach,” for a holiday known as No-Stays Week, when the women “quite literally let their hair down and “took off their corsets.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The Overstory, p. 288

Hopefully, self will finish reading this book here, in Oxford. Then, she can lug it home to Redwood City, where it belongs. Even though Redwood City has NO actual redwoods any more.

Loggers to Nick Hoel and Olivia Vandergriff, into their second week of sitting on the crest of an ancient redwood:

  • “These trees are going to die and fall over. They should be harvested while they’re ripe, not wasted.”

Nick (or Olivia, it’s not all that clear in this passage):

  • “Great, let’s grind up your grandfather for dinner, while he still has some meat on him.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

« Older entries

Ohm Sweet Ohm

Adventures in life from the Sunshine State to the Golden Gate

nancy merrill photography

capturing memories one moment at a time

Asian Cultural Experience

Preserving the history and legacy of Salinas Chinatown

Rantings Of A Third Kind

The Blog about everything and nothing and it's all done in the best possible taste!

Sauce Box

Never get lost in the Sauce

GK Dutta

Be One... Make One...

Cee's Photo Challenges

Teaching the art of composition for photography.

Fashion Not Fear

Fueling fearlessness through style and inspiration.

Wanderlust and Wonderment

My writing and photo journey of inspiration and discovery

transcribingmemory

Decades of her words.

John Oliver Mason

Observations about my life and the world around me.

Insanity at its best!

Yousuf Bawany's Blog

litadoolan

Any old world uncovered by new writing

unbolt me

the literary asylum

CSP Archives

Archive of the CSP

The 100 Greatest Books Challenge

A journey from one end of the bookshelf to the other

Random Storyteller

A crazy quilt of poems, stories, and humor