Anthony Huber, 26, Skateboarder

Grew up in Kenosha, attended Lincoln Middle School.

“He loved skateboarding.” — Tim Kramer, ex-classmate

Became one of two men killed by Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Self is reading an article in the September 5 – 6 issue of wsj. The article, by Chris Kornelis, is about Tony Hawke, skateboarding icon (picture below, she cropped the wsj photo)

In the first reports of the Kenosha shooting, self read that Huber tried to hit Rittenhouse with his skateboard, but was otherwise unarmed. This detail is what fixed the image of Anthony Huber in her mind.

Last year (Self’s doing a lot of sighing over LAST YEAR), self watched an adaptation of Andrea Levy’s Small Island in London’s National Theatre with son, daughter-in-law, and Amy Toland of Miami University Press. After, as the four of us walked towards the Waterloo underground, we passed a skateboarding ramp. It was just before midnight. The skateboarders were out in force. After seeing a play, there is something so mysterious and gripping about the sound of people going up and down a skateboarding ramp — up, down. Up, down. Over and over. The skateboarders’ own private, wordless mantra.

Self remembers finding the sounds almost hypnotic — as expressive, in their own way, as the words she had just been listening to for three hours (It was a long play, she loved every moment)

So there were the four of us, walking. And self remembers being very, very happy in that moment. London is such a great city: who puts a skateboarding ramp next to the National Theatre? Londoners, that’s who!

So she is particularly saddened by the fact that Anthony Huber was a skateboarder. There was no reason for Anthony Huber to go toward the danger of Kyle Rittenhouse. Only something instinctive, maybe a skateboarder’s instinct.

Never forget.

Tony Hawk, 52, Skateboarding Icon (from wsj, Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 5-6, 2020)

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Big Daddy (Griff) Quote of the Day: The Snakes, p. 112

Dad tells his daughter Bea, certified sjw, that he thinks her husband might leave her because he’s: a) mixed race and Bea is white; b) he’s very good-looking, and Bea, unlike her mother, isn’t.

  • “The human need for justice can be exploited so easily, and waves of passion sweep over whole populations — the true belief that they are right — and then they’re liberated to do terrible things. The collective can turn either way.”

After dinner, Bea gets up to wash the dishes but her mother and Alex get to the kitchen ahead of her.

“We’re fine. We don’t need any help,” Bea’s mother says, and closes the kitchen door in Bea’s face.

Priceless, Priceless Quote of the Day, Self Can’t Even

The Snakes, p. 107

Griff (Bea’s Dad): You’re meant to flatter your kids, tell girls they’re beautiful. Whatever. I don’t care. You were never going to stop traffic. Not like your mum. Fighting them off, she was — still is, for all I know.

How come English writers can do this so well? Nothing like English melodrama. And they say the English are cold!

Remember how John Le Carré, not satisfied with his MC, George Smiley, being a spy, also had to make him a cuckold? And readers never complained or wound up thinking: this is taking away from the main story. It’s such a distraction!

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Quote of the Day: The Snakes, p. 87

  • Griff: “I can’t stand rented cars. They’re always completely disgusting, and collecting them is a nightmare.”

Well hello there, Father of Bea.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

3rd Thursday in July 2020: “Money Is the Root of All Evil”

Not a quote from The Snakes but since her progress is so slow, she may well be reading this novel for who knows how long. There are spoilers on goodreads but she has so far been successful in not reading them.

In the meantime, she has enormous sympathy for the couple because, well, they’re obviously trying to do right by each other. (But there’s that thread on goodreads discussing the ending, and self thinks if the ending is problematic, then she’ll feel really stupid for taking so long to get there)

In the meantime, HEY HO DIGRESSION! She’s watching Underworld and Kate Beckinsale has a sidekick who reminds her so much of Steven Strait in The Expanse iteration. But of course it’s not Steven Strait, it’s Theo James. Self really likes Kate Beckinsale as a vampire. The Underworld series was so under-rated.

Back to The Snakes and the potentially problematic ending (as well as self’s possible death from COVID, which could happen at any time, you never know). The ending can only be problematic if one of the main characters dies.

Does Bea die? No, she can’t die because hers is the only point of view. It would sort of be like the ending of Looking for Mr. Goodbar which was the WORST. Was that novel meant to be a cautionary tale about hooking up with complete strangers in bars? Or falling in love with a detective who looks like Mark Ruffalo? Do not bar hop, young people! And avoid Mark Ruffalo look-alikes. Oh wait, no one is bar hopping anymore. Because VIRUS!!!

Does Dan die? Possibly. He’s the husband and this early in the novel (p. 55) he’s already so stressed: “We’ve got less than three grand now.” He was upset and scared. “Altogether. In the world. That’s all we’ve got, Bea. When we get back to London, I need to find work. We can’t fall behind. We could lose the flat.”

Oh, Dan, don’t be such a worrywart. You’re the last person who self would choose to go on a grand adventure with. Haven’t you heard of declaring bankruptcy? All you have to do is fill out the paperwork.

She wonders if the difference is that the couple is English? So it’s harder to apply for bankruptcy in England?

But maybe Dan is too obvious a choice. Maybe he’s a RED HERRING.

Maybe it’s Alex, the brother, who dies. But self would be okay with that happening, since Alex is lazy and, not only that, he’s a recovering alcoholic, so maybe he falls off the wagon, becomes deeply depressed, and dies. He obviously doesn’t know how to run a hotel, so maybe he could have an accident. Like fall down a well. But it would not be a great loss if Alex died. So that would not be the problematic ending discussed on goodreads.

Got to keep reading.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

 

 

Novel As An Address to Self

“Black sheep of the family doesn’t begin to cover what I am . . . “

— Alex, brother of Bea, one of the main characters in The Snakes, who runs a terrible hotel in France

The Snakes, p. 30

It is truly unbelievable, how self can focus on anything when so much is going on in the world. Nevertheless, here she is!

She’s still enjoying The Snakes, by Sadie Jones. We meet Alex, the wife’s brother, who owns a hotel. The couple decide to drop by for a visit.

Beyond the narrow terrace a stone path led down through tangled grass, studded with dandelions. At the bottom of the garden was the barn and log pile. The heavy buds of roses lolled over cracked flower beds.

“What do you think of my garden furniture? It was dead cheap,” said Alex.

Several tables and chairs were scattered about, they were brand new, with brash, brown matching sunbeds dotted chaotically between.

“Is he taking the piss?” whispered Dan.

Between the strange brother, the moody husband (Yes, the husband, Dan, is moody), and the decrepit hotel, the stage is set for . . .  well, who knows what the stage is set for. Goodreads reviewers have expressed disappointment at the ending, but self is determined to carry on!

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

More Writing in a Pandemic

Further in self’s novel about the World War II occupation of the city of Bacolod in the central Philippines (72k words so far):

Don Geronimo entered Honorato’s room just as his eldest son was about to get dressed. It was eight o’clock.

“The Japanese are here,” he said.

Honorato said nothing.

There was a group of them, some in uniform, some in civilian clothing. They had told Don Geronimo they were there to put the Daku Balay under the protection of the Imperial Japanese Army. “We are forbidden to leave the premises without permission. Go through the kitchen. Moses is waiting for you by the side gate.”

20190908_170235

The Daku Balay, Burgos Street, Bacolod City: It was used by the Japanese High Command during World War II. Self’s grandfather sent her uncle to the mountains. Her father, only 12 at the time, stayed home.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: HATS

Bless Cee Neuner for keeping Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge so FUN!

For this week’s Fun Foto Challenge, HATS, self found a couple of pictures from her archives.

Self’s baseball-cap wearing niece, Angela, an undergrad at the University of Michigan, spent a summer as an intern at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park. Self had a lot of fun hanging with her:

DSCN0190

The Martian is son’s favorite novel (after the Dune novels; son is an avid science fiction reader). He met the cap-wearing author at SDCC 2018:

output-2

Finally, one of Magritte’s most iconic images, the man in the bowler hat, at an exhibit in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, July 2018:

DSCN0015

Other hats:

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

 

Process: Stonehenge/Pacifica

Self decided to look through her old MacBook Air (which, judging from the dates on there, had stories dating as far back as 2006) and found an early version of her flash, Stonehenge/Pacifica, which Wigleaf published in 2012.

It is fascinating to compare the two versions. It seems that, early on, Stonehenge/Pacifica was a poem. The line breaks are short:

STONEHENGE/PACIFICA

It was a dream I had, some restless night.
Perhaps one of those weeks/ months/ years
when we were worried about money.
But when were we ever not worried?
First, there was the mortgage,
and then the two.
Then your mother got sick,
and your fathe died.
And my mother I think developed
Alzheimer’s

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

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