Optimistic 3: 2016 Daily Post Photo Challenge # 4

Cold, gloomy.

There is someone tromping on the roof.

Reminds self she hasn’t logged on to Twitter in a week or more.

When self has no time to play hashtag games, things are really getting serious.

In spite of all, she faces 2016 with optimism.

Here’s a necklace made by the sister of Mavee Park (BFF in kindergarten in Manila!)

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Necklace handmade in the Philippines; Red Sweater from Dublin

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Mavee throws a huge Thanksgiving party every year. Self was a guest at last year’s. Mavee scattered these paper stars (from the Philippines) all over her rec room.

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Thumbs Up! The Blog Mistress Herself, on a Fast Train to Venice, November 2015

It’s a crime not to feel optimistic in Italy. Seriously.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Circle: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

The Daily Post’s first Photo Challenge of 2016 is CIRCLE.

The New Year is “a time of endings and beginnings.” Either “go literal, and look for things around you with perfectly round shapes . . . ” or go the metaphorical route (circle of life, etc)

Self decided, for this post, to go literal:

These are pictures she took in New York City, mid-December 2015:

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Columbus Circle (Upper West Side), New York City: December 2015

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Horse-Drawn Carriages abound in New York’s Central Park. Look at those big wheels!

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Near Grand Central Station, New York, December 2015

Hard to believe it’s already 2016!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Brienne of Tarth!

For a while, self was waiting for the ball to drop in Times Square, but Justin Bieber wasn’t on the night’s list of performers so she got bored.

Self has spent the days leading up to New Year’s bingeing on Game of Thrones Season 5.

SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS

OMG Brienne! So good to see you! Hey, did you just chop off someone’s head with your mighty sword? And hey, did Vanity Fair really opine that maybe Stannis Baratheon isn’t really dead? And oh hey, what’s with Danaerys surrounded by a marauding pack of plains horsemen (If self were Danaerys, she’d pray for a quick execution. Which, this being GOT, will never happen)

Vanity Fair refers to Brienne’s path in Season 5 as totally off-book. What does that mean?

Also, one of self’s favorite moments in the finale of Season 5 was Theon and Sansa jumping off a wall together, holding hands. At last! These two most degraded of characters — go take a leap of faith! If only someone would go truly off-book and have Ramsay Bolton throw himself off a castle rampart, not into a snow bank but into a pit of sharpened stakes! That would be the only fitting end for such as he!

Also, she doesn’t understand what’s happening to Arya but possibly the young damsel is becoming bat-shit crazy as who wouldn’t be after living in a cold stone monastery-type place with a man who speaks in cryptic sentences and is constantly shifting faces. Not to mention the girl who keeps striking her.

Then of course self is in complete denial about Jon Snow.

Maybe he’s turning into a White Walker!

Maybe now that he’s been released from his physical incarnation, his true essence can flit about and become a true instigator!

Also, Stannis and to a lesser extent although maybe not to a lesser extent Mrs. Stannis: HOW COULD YOU?

Also, loving the Podrick/Brienne camaraderie.

Also, that was quite a long, lingering look at naked Cersei, even though it was for the purpose of showing the Queen’s absolute humiliation (Only Lena Headey could pull that one off so convincingly!)

Also, self knew without a doubt that when Ellaria gave Myrcella a full-on lip-to-lip kiss, she was up to no good, which was borne out about an hour or so later, when Myrcella started gushing blood from her nose. All in front of her dad, Jaime Lannister. Since Jaime’s ship didn’t look very far from land, self wondered if he would turn the ship around and slay Ellaria. Which — did self ever share with dear blog readers that she saw the actress who plays Ellaria in the Globe production of Titus Andronicus last year? And she was truly truly awesomely seductive. Anyway, of the three acolytes of Ellaria (who are very bad fighters, despite the showy whips, in self’s humble opinion), the smallest one has an impressive rack, and shows it off. Another looks like she could be Filipina. And as for Jaime, she thinks the metal hand is cool. But he should really go back to engaging in witty repartee with Brienne.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Now 3: December 2015

This one’s a no-brainer: Showing now at your local movie theater:

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Also, Christmas trees in all the restaurants, including this one in La Traviata on the Mission. The walls are lined with pictures of famous opera singers. The menu features “Pollo ala Beverly Sills.”

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La Traviata, Mission Street, San Francisco

And, one more holiday pic: from the Columbus Circle side of the Trump Center in Manhattan:

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The Trump Center, New York, December 2015

AND A BELATED MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!

Now: 2015 Final WordPress Photo Challenge

The Daily Post WordPress Photo Challenge is coming a wee bit early, as Christmas is in two days!

The final WordPress Photo Challenge for 2015 is NOW. As the prompt explains:

  • Sometimes, we get caught up in nostalgia, future fantasy, or both, and we don’t embrace the “now.” For this week’s challenge, take a moment to notice your present, and share a photo of it.

Here are three photos celebrating NOW:

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Chelsea Market, New York City: Hanging from the Rafters Near the Exits: December 2015

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New York City, a Place That Is All About NOW: Edge of Soho, November 2015

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Readings are such fleeting pleasures! InsideStorytime, El Amigo Bar on Mission St., San Francisco: November 2015

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

A Week Before Christmas! Photo of the Day

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On Sixth Avenue, One Week Before Christmas 2015

Crisis Time for Vampire Peeta!

Self knows, she knows. She should be thinking of Chrriiistmas! Especially since she’s in New York and the Christmas decorations are extremely ostentatious!

Today she walked around Central Park and it was SO warm.

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A Gorgeous Day: Central Park, December 2015

There’s a building off a little to the right that has a very distinctive (Art Deco?) design. She wonders: could that be the famous Dakota, the apartment where John Lennon lived?

Then she started reading more of Vampire Everlark.

Katniss, Peeta’s spinsterish secretary, seems to have gotten under Vampire Peeta’s skin somehow because he insists that she has to accompany him to a Christmas party.

(Good Lord! Sirens shrieking all over the Avenues, police cars and fire engines and what not! Self can’t help forming nightmare scenarios in her head! But, on to the task at hand!)

AS USUAL, SPOILERS!

Admiral Paylor is an important business contact of Peeta’s, but she doesn’t show up until hours in, by which time Peeta is ready to leave the party and go home. Katniss persuades him to stay, however, and just when Paylor and Peeta are about to retreat to a private room to discuss business, they hear:

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENT WAIT. AS PROMISED, HERE COMES THE EVENT OF THE NIGHT! PLEASE WELCOME SAINT MICHAEL’S CHURCH CHOIR!

Admiral Paylor says, “A choir! Oh, I just love choirs! Let’s wait and watch . . . “

Peeta being stiff-upper-lip and stoic, but Katniss (because she’s a very efficient secretary) is very attuned to the fact that every time Peeta hears church singing, he starts getting weaker and weaker!

Katniss’s Inner Monologue:

WAIT! PEETA! NO, DAMN! WE SHOULD HAVE LEFT!

The seconds and minutes are excruciating, every time they finish a song I just hope it’s the last one, but they go on for an hour and a half . . .

An hour and a half!

When self read that, she was just about to die, along with Vampire Peeta! Anyhoo, Peeta is very minimally upright by the end, as dear blog readers can well imagine!

Stay tuned.

Words Like a Scalpel (Still More From Story # 5 in BAD BEHAVIOR)

It seemed as though her friendship with Leisha had never been what she would now call a friendship at all, but a complex system of reassurance and support for self-involved fantasies that they had propped up between them and reflected back and forth.

— “Connection,” Story # 5 in Mary Gaitskill’s Bad Behavior

The Final Post on TRIOS: the New Whitney Museum, Cork, the Lake at Annaghmakerrig

It is the day after Thanksgiving. Snap out of your food comas, everyone!

Self must say, this year’s Thanksgiving was brilliant. Self ate more than she’s ever eaten in her life. Her friend was up at 6 a.m. because she and her daughter are going to the mall. But self has an on-line class to get caught up on, so she chose to stay behind.

Before delving into her student pieces, however, self peruses her archives so that she can make one last post on WordPress Photo Challenge this week:  TRIO.

Self took the first picture in a museum she considers one of the best in the entire world: The new Whitney Museum. On exhibit right now: a retrospective on Frank Stella.

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On the 6th Floor of the New Whitney Museum (Didn’t take down the name of the artist, boo)

The second picture is from one of self’s happy places: Café Paradiso in Cork, Ireland.

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From a Book on Dublin-born Artist Sean Scully, which was in Self’s Room in Café Paradiso, Cork

And finally, a picture of the Mother of All Happy Places, a place that signifies peace, happiness, mindfulness, inspiration: the lake in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig.

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3 Metal Bars Sticking out of the Lake in Annaghmakerrig, Ireland

Extra(ordinary): San Francisco, October 2015

Love the prompt this week: (Extra)ordinary, finding meaning in the ordinary.

Last week, self was in San Francisco. Only two more weeks till Halloween! Hence Halloween decorations in the laundromat she uses and an ice cream store, Xanath, on Valencia Street in the city:

Monday Afternoon at the Laundromat (2nd to Last Monday in October 2015)

Monday Afternoon at the Laundromat (2nd to Last Monday in October 2015)

Love the black cat above the white washing machines!

Love the black cat above the white washing machines!

Of course, no trip anywhere would be complete without a visit to an ice cream store! Here’s Xanath on Valencia Street:

Xanath, an Organic Fro-Yo and Ice Cream Place on Valencia Street. Sampled their wares during the Oct. 17 Litcrawl.

Xanath, an Organic Fro-Yo and Ice Cream Place on Valencia Street. Sampled their wares during the Oct. 17 Litcrawl.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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