Other Quests

Liking these WordPress bloggers’ takes on this week’s Photo Challenge:¬† QUEST

Check them out!

Stay tuned.

Still More Edges: Harvesting Sugarcane, Negros Occidental (Home/the Philippines)

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Edge of Family’s Fields: Negros Occidental, the Philippines

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Path cleared for a tractor.

And one more:

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Hinoba-an, Negros Occidental

Check out a few more WordPress bloggers who posted on EDGE:

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Other Edges

In which self pays homage to other WordPress blogs whose interpretations of The Daily Post Photo Challenge (EDGE) are inspiring:

  • Ain’t Mine No More, for her photograph of penguins in Prague
  • The Armchair Sommelier, for that shot of a stormy sky over the Brooklyn Bridge
  • Still Thinking, for that shot looking down at the Urubamba River from the heights of Machu Picchu
  • Roaming About, for the shots of The Precipice Trail and Champlain Mountain in Maine’s Acadia National Park
  • The Storyteller’s Abode, for her dramatic pictures of people on the edge of a cliff in Tintagel, Cornwall, United Kingdom (King Uther Pendragon — name sound familiar? If not, you need to brush up on your King Arthur lore!)
  • Netdancer’s Musings, for the photograph of London’s Tower Bridge on a rainy night

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Technology Product For the Traveling Woman

There’s a fascinating discussion going on in Facebook. Lisa Chekerylla asked for recommended laptops/tablets for travel, and self had no hesitation whatsoever in responding:

  • MacBook Air. The One. Self bought hers in 2011. When her suitcase disappeared in Venice, she didn’t care. Because she still had her MacBook Air. The cover is dented at the corners. The keyboard is sticky (because self eats as she types). It’s scratched up. But it works like a charm. Self’s MacBook Air is her life. She never leaves home without it (She probably needs to get another one because she will absolutely have a meltdown if anything happens to this one)
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Self’s MacBook Air. She bought it in 2011, from the Apple Store in downtown Palo Alto.

Products recommended by other writers:

  • iPad with Logitech keyboard
  • iPhone
  • MacBook Pro 13″ with retina
  • ASUS ZenBook
  • Lenovo laptop with new battery
  • Toshiba Portege Ultrabook (link is to a 2014 review in PC Mag)
  • Surface (Self was not familiar with this laptop, so she looked it up on-line: it sells at $1,349.99 from Best Buy)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

“The Forest” in Potomac Review 59

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Such a beautiful cover! POTOMAC REVIEW 59

There are seven fiction writers whose work appears in Potomac Review 59:

Ron Darian * Shane Jones * Meghan Kenny * Beth Konkoski * Cassandra Powers * Yours truly * Nouri Zarrugh

Self is reading Cassandra Powers’s story, Into the Bright Sun:

I look at my husband, watch him lift his shirt over his head. A kind man, gentle-handed. Five years ago I convinced him to marry me. I still don’t know how I’m so lucky.

Self’s story is The Forest. Here’s a sliver:

“I’m relocating,” George said. “To western Washington.”

“Why?” Thumper said.

“Because the forests are being threatened by Dick Cheney,” George said.

“Who’s Dick Cheney?” Spike said.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

If Self Had But World Enough and Time

She’d go here:

  • Antarctica, to follow in the foosteps of Ernest Shackleton
  • New Zealand, just because
  • Burma, because she’s always wanted to
  • Vietnam
  • the Nile River
  • Cuba
  • Varanasi
  • Patagonia
  • the Serengeti

It feels good to make a list, doesn’t it?

Stay tuned.

And On the Everlark Front

Self’s faaaavorite Everlark tags (for those readers who respect self’s reading choices: she goes high-brow and low-brow. Not that she’s calling Everlark low-brow. For all we know, Jane Austen might have been writing fan fiction if she were alive today. Shut up! Not sorry)

  • ¬†Cyborg Katniss
  • Cyborg Peeta
  • Junior Scientist Peeta
  • Dark Peeta
  • Killer Katniss
  • Vampire Peeta
  • Age Gap Everlark

Hmmm, let’s see. What else?

On the Northanger Abbey front, the dastardly brother-sister team of Isabella and John Thorpe try and twist Catherine’s arm into ditching a sort of “date” she has made with Mr. Tilney to go for a walk. Will they succeed? Stay tuned.

Hilarity

Self spent late last night combing the web for views (hopefully, conflicting) on the dramatis personae of Northanger Abbey. Principally, for those of the characters she is most interested in:

  • Catherine Morland
  • Mr. Tilney
  • John Thorpe
  • Isabella Thorpe

Her favorite (thus far) is this one, on Tor.com:

Not Born To Be a Heroine

  • Northanger Abbey is hilarious. It’s the story of a girl who wants to be the heroine of a Gothic novel, but who finds herself instead in a peaceful domestic novel.

It’s good to be reminded that the heroine of this book is 17. The same age as the characters in The Hunger Games.

Self just wanted to throw that in there.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

Self’s Life in Books

In 2013, she read a total of 30 books.

In 2014, to her great disappointment, she managed to read only 7.

Thus far, in 2016, she’s read 18 books. Oh happy happy joy joy.

2013 was a great year for her reading life.

She read:

  • Bicycle Diaries, by David Byrne
  • Anna Karenina
  • Don Quijote
  • Per Petterson’s Out Stealing Horses
  • Mildred Armstrong Kalish’s Litte Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression
  • Sister Carrie
  • The Leopard, by Giuseppe di Lampedusa
  • The Quiet American, by Graham Greene
  • Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel
  • The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin
  • City of Thieves, by David Benioff
  • The Lincoln Lawyer, by Michae Connelly
  • Henry M. Stanley’s How I Found Livingstone in Central Africa

In 2015, self’s great reads were:

  • Silas Marner
  • Brooklyn, by Colm Toibin
  • The Act of Love, by Howard Jacobson
  • Middlemarch, by George Eliot
  • Bad Behavior, by Mary Gaitskill

This year, self’s favorite books have been:

  • The Forever War, by Dexter Filkins (which she just realized she’d already read five years ago: She didn’t remember a thing!)
  • Anjelica Huston’s second memoir, Watch Me
  • The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins
  • The Narrow Road to the Deep North, by Matsuo Basho
  • Swimming Studies, by Leanne Shapton

She’s struggling through Northanger Abbey. Really struggling. But she is determined to finish it.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

“Indignation”: It Ends

SPOILER ALERT!!! SPOILER ALERT!!! MAAAAAJOR SPOILER ALERT!!!

Interesting, the way the characters in this movie spoke. No one sounded natural delivering the dialogue, but perhaps this was done deliberately, to reflect an “uptight” decade in American life (the 1950s)?

Everyone, that is, except for:

  • Logan Lerman
  • The actors who played Logan Lerman’s parents, especially the woman who played his mother
  • His childhood chums, discussing the death of one of their friends in Korea
  • His college roommates, one of whom (the phlegmatic big guy) was very, very good

This arch-ironic delivery, however, ends up being pure acting gold when it comes to the portrayal of a Dean of a University located in, of all places, Winesburg, Ohio (How very Sherwood Anderson!).

Nothing the Dean said (mainly a string of platitudes) made any sense. He was all about double-talk and veiled warnings, yet he delivered them with such a sense of conviction, as a man absolutely unshakeable in his moral beliefs, a man who’s been taken over so completely by his need to uphold the “right” standards that he doesn’t even know how to react when Logan’s character says (at least 5x): “I’m about to throw up. I have to go.” (Because self has seen Animal House at least 3x, she knew exactly how this scene was going to go down. How weird is it that Indignation and Animal House have a scene like this in common?)

The performances in this movie were really, really on point.

Lerman’s character, who hails from Newark, New Jersey, is completely out of his depth. Not only is he from Newark, New Jersey, he’s the son of a butcher. Not only is he the son of a butcher, he’s the son of a kosher butcher. Can you imagine? Oh the horrors of a guy like this attending university in Winesburg!

Lerman’s character is an atheist but unfortunately for him, he’s the only “out” atheist on campus. Everyone else — aside from 80 Jews — is Christian.

There’s a femme fatale. Okay, so she slit one wrist, was treated, she’s okay now. Self is so tired of these fragile college girls, these doomed Sylvia Plath iterations, who mess up the lives of innocents like our hero played by Logan Lerman. From the moment her character was introduced, self knew she would mess up the hero’s life. (Yes, Hero, You Should Listen to Your Overprotective Mother!)

And then the end. Let’s just say, not since that trendy woman’s novel where a woman kept going to bars and sleeping with strangers and ended up describing how she was killed, on the very last page, has self ever felt so cheated, cheated, cheated!

You cannot do first person when you’re dead at the end, all right?

If you’re dead — unless you’re an angel or a ghost or the second coming of Alice Sebold — you cannot tell a story like this, where everything is wrapped up so prettily in hindsight. Because the human being who lives the story will not tell it like this. He’ll be all: I cannot believe I’m going down like this! This sucks!

Total disintegration would be preferable to tragic story arc (In hindsight, everything can be made to seem tragic. It’s “spin.” It’s also a cheat. That is self’s humble opinion. You can get away with it but please, not in first person)

But, Holy Cow, LOGAN LERMAN. The only other movies self has seen him in are 3:10 to Yuma and Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. Her main objection to him was that he looked like a girl. She won’t be saying that again, after this movie.

When the movie ended, self had to turn to her seatmate and ask, What the heck just happened there? Is he really dead?

The woman’s countenance was completely shattered. Yes, she said. He is dead.

And with that, self left the theatre in a very bad mood. Practically stomped out. Like, she could not believe she just spent two hours listening to Logan Lerman’s poetic narration, only to have it end up like this. So, all that before, that was his disembodied dead self telling us the story? Nooooo!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

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