Dystopia In Progress

Self is going to try, while she’s at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, pulling all her science fiction together into one collection.

What to call it?

She’s toying with the idea of making this the first story:

THE FREEZE (published in Bluestem)

Redwood, Oak, Laurel, Manzanita, Pine
Redwood, Oak, Laurel, Manzanita, Pine
Redwood, Oak, Laurel, Manzanita, Pine

Thanksgiving was just a week ago. I served brined turkey with oatmeal rolls and my special fig-and-rice stuffing.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The Most Amazing Rant

Self has been wanting to blog about The Door all day. She’s been very busy. She considered several passages before deciding on this one.

Really, self doesn’t know if the narrator is for real, or whether Emerence the housekeeper is a total construct. Just read the following monologue/speech, which is apparently directed to the narrator, who has no objections:

  • What are you staring at? Didn’t you see Mrs. Boors granddaughter running along the other side of the street this morning, when I was sweeping — or were you paying attention only to yourself again? The child had come for me, and I went. Well, you can believe that if I’m holding someone’s hand in the hour of their death, it’s not difficult for them to die. I washed her, all very nicely, and prepared her for her journey. And I can tell you it wasn’t easy finding the time. In between, I had done that lunch for you, for which you have thanked me so graciously. Pay attention, because this is going to hurt, but it’s what you deserve. The master isn’t going to live very long, as you well know. Do you think he’s going to get stronger on plums? And what will he take to the other side as a memento?

Well, if that doesn’t just take the cake for speeches from a housekeeper!

Strangely, self hopes the relationship continues, because it is just so toxic, and it’s been a long time since self has read about a relationship like this — not even in Rebecca was Mrs. Danvers this verbally abusive. Self doesn’t think she’s read any novel where a woman is describes mistreating an animal as frequently as Emerence does the dog Viola. She beats Viola on numerous occasions, once so badly that Viola cracks a rib.

But, self has come this far. She’s not going to jump ship now!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The Economist on Bourdain

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  • Food made him happiest if he experienced it in a purely emotional way. It might be the company, the moment, or some memory it evoked: of his mother’s grilled-cheese sandwiches, or his mother-in-law’s meatloaf. A plate of piss-poor peasant food could become something sublime, like feijoada in Brazil.

The Economist Obituary, 16 June 2018

Reticence

The husband of the narrator of The Door has been in hospital for about six or seven pages (which means a few weeks). Communication between the narrator and the housekeeper, Emerence, break down.

When the husband is finally allowed home, Emerence celebrates the occasion by bringing over a pot of chicken soup. The soup tureen is a fancy one. A real work of art.

“A present,” Emerence tells the narrator, from “one of her employers, Mrs. Grossman.”

“The one thing” the narrator doesn’t “need was the thought of her” housekeeper “helping herself to the contents of someone’s shattered and abandoned home.”

The narrator wants to refuse the gift but she doesn’t want to “upset” her husband: “At the time I was allowing him only carefully monitored doses of reality.” lol

“The thought of being fed from some knick-knack that had belonged to a destitute stranger bound for the gas chamber would have made him leap out of bed, half-dead as he was.”

This book is about wartime collaborators in a small village in Hungary. Who knew? Self is absolutely delighted by this surprising turn of events.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Sentence of the Day: THE DOOR

p. 12:

In the fridge I found a cold platter of rose-pink chicken breasts that had been cut into slices and then reassembled with the skill of a surgeon.

More Lime or Light Green (Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge)

Self really loves the Cee Neuner Fun Foto Challenge this week:

LIME or LIGHT GREEN

So, she had another go at it.

DSCN0140

At the Conservatory of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, July 2018

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Also from the Conservatory of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, July 2018

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Food Truck, Menlo Park Art & Wine Festival, July 2018

Summer 2018 was GREAT.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge Week 5: Coffee

“Coffee, you complete me.”

That pretty much sums up what self feels about coffee.

So glad she can participate in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week.

Self has two coffee makers: a red and a white.

The white is a 10-cup, and the red is a four-cup.

DSCN0209

She also has a favorite coffee mug, which she bought from a wee little store in North Beach.

DSCN0211

The other side of the mug has a picture of Han Solo.

Which reminds her: this time next week, son and his wife will be back in the Bay Area. He accepted an offer from a high-tech company in the area. Self is so happy to have them close by!

She only learned the news about two weeks ago.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

This Scene: Jamaica Inn, Ch. 2

Her aunt, who had not uttered a word since her husband entered the room, was frying bacon over the fire. No one spoke. Mary was aware of Joss Merlyn watching her across the table, and behind her she could hear her aunt fumbling with ineffectual fingers at the hot handle of the frying pan.

Some Thoughts:

  • The frying of the bacon in the middle of the night is a very interesting touch.
  • Joss Merlyn is an utter pig and Mary has certainly landed herself in a pickle, stuck with him and his cowed wife in an inn of uncertain repute in the middle of a nightmarishly stark and unfamiliar landscape.

So far, the novel reads like one of those dark fairy tales where a damsel in distress has to endure trial by fire before she encounters a) a prince; b) a fairy godmother; c) an inheritance.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Before I Was Your Slave, Now I Am Your Master: REBECCA, Ch. 21

SPOILER ALERT!

Having discovered that her husband is a murderer, the narrator is exhilarated because at last she has proof positive that he is not still in love with Rebecca!

Well-armoured with that knowledge, she goes calmly snipping roses in the rose-garden.

Then comes the moment of truth: the climactic confrontation with Mrs. Danvers.

It’s over that day’s menu.

The narrator finds it unsatisfactory, so she draws a pencil slash across the whole thing and sends it back to the kitchen. Shortly thereafter, Mrs. Danvers materializes to ask why the menu has been sent back.

“I don’t understand,” (Mrs. Danver says)

I looked at her, a rose in my hand.

“Those cutlets and that salmon were sent in yesterday,” I said. “I saw them on the side-board. I should prefer something hot today. If they won’t eat the cold (leftovers) in the kitchen, you had better throw the stuff away. So much waste goes on in this house anyway that a little more won’t make any difference.”

She stared at me. She did not say anything. I put the rose in the vase with the others.

Excellent shade, Narrator. Methinks you are moving from being Alice in Wonderland to becoming Joan of Arc.

Stay tuned.

Well, I Never, Mr. de Winter! Rebecca, Ch. 6

“What are you going to have?” he said.

“I’ve had mine already,” I told him, “and I can only stay four minutes anyway.”

“Bring me coffee, a boiled egg, toast, marmalade, and a tangerine,” he said to the waiter. And he took an emery board out of his pocket and began filing his nails.

lol

lol

lol

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