The theme for the week is YELLOW.


Self was cleaning out son’s room when she came upon a box of legos. Was fascinated by the little people and their yellow heads.


The box contains all of son’s Matchbox car collection. There’s a yellow car at the very top.


My Life of the Party Rose has two colors of blooms: pink and yellow

Stay tuned, dear blog reader. Stay tuned.

Poetry Sunday: Hilary Tham

At the last AWP Book Fair, self saw a familiar face at the Word Works table: Karen Alenier of Brooklyn. Self hung around and ended up buying a few books, one of which was Bad Names for Women, by Hilary Tham.

Tham is no longer with us, but her book is, and it is wonderful.

Mrs. Wei in Peking

All my life I’ve wanted to see
this Ten Thousand Li Great Wall,
Now I am sixty-five, too old for change

and Communism, the Malaysian Visa Office
permits I visit the land of my ancestors,
Oh, my arthritic knees! This wall was built

for mountain goats! The Emperor’s soldiers —
perched on the edge of the world, wanting
to sow rice and children, making do

with mulled wine against snow and ghost voices
wailing in the stones. Poor dead soldiers —
their breaths chill the stone, the summer wind,
I feel it. The Wall is haunted.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

#amwritingspacefantasy “This Is End”

“Space has a thousand milky eyes,” Fire Lizard says. “Each one a galaxy, waiting to be birthed.”

I think of Her’s eyes.

Calculate trajectory of Omega-H3823. How many light jumps?

Murakami, Greatness

  • This is my seventeenth straight day without sleep.

Sleep, Story # 5 in The Elephant Vanishes, by Haruki Murakami, translation by Jay Rubin

How many years ago did self first read this collection?

It left hardly any impression.

She loves it madly now.

Stay tuned.

More Cover Art, More Stories Yet to Be Written

For a story yet to be written, this:


Self’s working title for the story: “Offerings”

For yet another story to be written, with working title “Insomnia Diaries”:


Finally:  How does “The Red Room” sound for the title of a story yet to be written?  Self thinks this picture would do nicely as an accompanying illustration:

The Red Room in Café Paradiso, city of Cork

The Red Room in Café Paradiso, city of Cork

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: The World Through Your Eyes 2

Self was told not to number her Photo Challenge posts, but she just can’t help it. Different moods result in her selecting different pictures, it is simply impossible for her to decide all in one go. So, she will continue numbering her posts that have to do with the Weekly Photo Challenge; but to avoid any confusion, any subsequent posts she makes on the week’s theme (after the first one) will not be shared on The Daily Post website.

Dawn Breaks Beneath the Window Curtains (After Self's First Sleepless Night)

Dawn Breaks Beneath the Window Curtains (After Self’s First Sleepless Night)

This picture was taken in Bacolod.  Hometown of Dear Departed Dad.  The time difference from California is 15 hours.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

A Review of Books About Insomnia (The New Yorker, 11 March 2013)

Since it is a very long time until the next season of Game of Thrones, self has been watching Season 2.  Believe it or not, she has gotten into such a rhythm with watching this show (The Man wants to know why self is so obssessed.  Channeling Ygritte, self tells him:  “You know nuthin’, The Man!” In other words, he better keep his trap shut if he doesn’t want to get plugged with so many arrows he ends up looking like a hedgehog, which was the sight presented by Jon Snow when he dazedly arrived at Castle Black in the final episode of Season 3!)

Anyhoo, it seems she can’t get to sleep at night unless she watches one episode, just before bedtime.  Last night, The Man (who is a Great Tease), played two back-to-back episodes for self, and this was a little bit too much, as then self found that instead of falling asleep at midnight, she was very jacked up.

But, enough with the digressions!  While plowing through her once-again-humongous Pile of Stuff today, Friday, self happened to come across an essay called “Up All Night:  The Science of Sleeplessness,” in The New Yorker of 11 March 2013.  She read the article straight through, from beginning to end, with only one break:  to go to the Redwood City Library and pick up a copy of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall (It’s self’s first Hilary Mantel.  Isn’t that crrrrazy???)

One of the books reviewed, The Slumbering Masses, written by a UC Santa Cruz anthropology professor named Matthew J. Wolf-Meyer (What a fabulous name for a professor!), has this to say about our modern pattern of sleep:

Until a century and a half or so ago, Wolf-Meyer observes, “Americans, like other people around the world, used to sleep in an unconsolidated fashion, that is, in two or more periods throughout the day.”  They went to bed not long after the sun went down.  Four or five hours later, they woke from their “first sleep” and rattled around —  praying, chatting, smoking, or making love.  (Benjamin Franklin reportedly liked to spend this time reading naked in a chair).  Eventually, they went back to their “second sleep.”

As for self, she fell into the habit of wakefulness when she became a mother.  So that she would not waste a single minute of the nocturnal hours, she would read next to son’s crib.  When he woke, she would wake, and then read some more.  In this way, self managed to read many, many, many books, all the while son was an infant, and years and years beyond, up to today.

The Man is exactly the opposite:  he falls asleep instantaneously, and sleeps 10 hours at a stretch.  One minute he’s awake, the next —  Bang! —  he’s asleep.  Then he starts to snore.  Loud.  And this makes self so frustratingly envious that she is tempted to pinch The Man’s nose.  But she restrains herself.  She is not the type of person who pinches sleeping people’s noses.  Of course not!

She read somewhere that people who have insomnia live much shorter lifespans than other people.  Which means —  hello!  There is absolutely no time to waste, self!  Get cracking and finish your book!

Another book mentioned in the essay is Internal Time:  Chronotypes, Social Jet Lag, and Why You’re So Tired, by Till Roenneberg, of the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (Again, what a name.  Self can go years at a stretch without encountering one single outstandingly fabulous name, and suddenly, in one essay, she encounters two).  Here the professor categorizes people according to sleep habits.  Some people are larks, which means they are indefatigable early risers.  And other people are owls, which means they stay up all night.  According to the author of the essay, Elizabeth Kolbert (which has self wondering if it’s pronounced like Stephen Colbert’s name, but once again she digresses), “Teen-agers are owls, which is why high schools are filled with students who look (and act) like zombies.”  Self wonders how teen-agers graduate from being owls to being normal?  Or do some people stay owls for the rest of their lives?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

The Sleepwalker

Self wrote a story about a sleepwalker.  It’s a strange and quiet story.  But perhaps it needs more work, for there hasn’t been a nibble in a year of sending out.

Which leads self to the impulse that made her post:  there have been cities where her insomnia was almost overwhelming.  One of these cities was Hong Kong, which she last visited in 2006.  There was such a buzz in her head, but she forced herself to walk around.  That was the last trip she and Sole Fruit of Her Loins ever took together.

The five nights she spent in Berlin were not bad, by comparison.

In Scotland, last summer, self relaxed.  Something about the sunset coming so late, something about knowing there were other writers nearby, only a floor above.  Once, self went up there, to the top floor, and it felt like a dormitory:  everyone was still awake, at 2 a.m.  Self dragged her blanket with her, up the circular stairs.  “What’s the matter?  What’s the matter?” everyone asked.  She slept so peacefully in Scotland.

In Bacolod, she does not sleep peacefully.  Her nerves are jangly.  But it doesn’t matter, because the hotels have 24-hour masahistas.  Such a place!  She loves Bacolod.  Please, please give her masahe, right now!

When she was 11, she went to Europe as part of a Children’s International Summer Village delegation from the Philippines:  four children and an adult chaperone.  Self remembers vividly all the countries she visited:  the Netherlands, Austria, Italy, and her delegation’s final destination, England.  She was so thrilled by her first sight of the Roman coliseum, the Forum, and Venice!  She remembers going for a night-time gondola ride, and all the gondolas arranged around a circular floating stage, festooned with lights, and a woman singing into the sultry air, and self feeling she would never ever experience anything like it in her entire life (and she hasn’t).  She remembers the twisting alleyways, the laundry hanging from tall, narrow houses, the blur of pigeons in San Marco Square.  She even remembers the dress she always seems to be wearing, in her memories of Venice:  a short white shift, with a small red, white and blue anchored on a wee pocket, just below her right shoulder.

She’s decided to bring her Old Navy red pea coat (the one that she bought a few months ago, for $14.99!).  She loves red anything.  She bought a similar coat when she was in Edinburgh.  Margarita says it will still be cold.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Follow, Follow, Follow

A week or so from now, self is supposed to sleep in Sequoia Hospital, with electrodes fastened to her scalp, so that doctors could study her REM patterns — all in an effort to diagnose and perhaps treat her insomnia.

But now, self thinks all she needs to do is exercise more.  And stop drinking caffeinated products after lunch.

This morning, Stella and Tina took self for a hike along Edgewood Nature Preserve.  Amazing (Stella and Tina were sooo patient and waited while self paused, every couple of steps, to take pictures; This morning’s hike was probably the slowest in living memory, even though her friends were too polite to say so).


Self (wearing her favorite sweatshirt) and Tina B

Self (wearing her favorite sweatshirt) and Tina B


The landscape did remind her a wee bit of Scotland.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Personal Library 8

Dear blog readers, when you can’t sleep, because you have dreams that are confusing, it is a very good idea to get up and count books.

Shelf # 3, in the first bookcase in the dining room, has 72 books.

263 + 72 = 335 Total # of Books Counted So Far

Titles include:  The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey; Intelligent Quotes from ErapJulie Yap Daza:  The Best of MEDIUM RAREThe Wit and Wisdom of Cardinal S. Sin; Rizal in Spain:  An Essay in Biographical Context, by Miguel A. Bernad, S.J.;  Traps, by Sondra Spatt Olsen; The February Revolution:  And Other Reflections, by Miguel A. Bernad, S.J.;  Ermita, by F. Sionil Jose;  The Heinemann Book of South African Short Stories, edited by Dennis Hirson, with Martin Trump;  The Philippines:  A Past Revisited, by Renato Constantino; Nine Parts of Desire:  The Hidden World of Islamic Women, by Geraldine Brooks; Frida: A Novel Based on the Life of Frida Kahlo, by Barbara Mujica;  Matadora:  poems by Sarah Gambito;  Monogamy:  Stories by Marly Swick;  Goodnight, Cambodia:  a memoir written by Vibol Ouk, with Charles Martin Simon.

Here’s all self has time for this evening.  She’s supposed to be trying to put herself to sleep 🙂

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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