Yesterday, at Blackwell’s Bookshop

Here they call it a bookshop; over there we call it a bookstore.

Oh, wait. Mendocino’s Gallery also refers to itself as a bookshop.

Self being too quick on the draw, as usual.

It is time for self to update her reading list. Yesterday, she found a thriller called Girl Waits With Gun, by Amy Stewart. (What is it with all the “Girl” titles now: Gone, Girl; Girl on the Train, etc). Sounded like it would be a perfect summer read.

Her reading list looks like this now:

  • My Brilliant Friend, translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein, by Elena Ferrante (currently reading)
  • The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins
  • Savage Park: A Meditation on Play, Space, and Risk for Americans Who Are Nervous, Distracted, and Afraid to Die, by Amy Fusselman (who must be a therapist)
  • Girl Waits With Gun, by Amy Stewart

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sometimes You Just Gotta Have That Chocolate Milkshake

Have dear blog readers ever tasted a lukewarm chocolate milkshake?

(Self knows, right?)

It is a hot day in Oxford, UK. Everyone strolling around, including three tourists who are attracting attention for a (fake) loud quarrel — self is pretty clued-in now to what’s fake and what’s real. All you have to do, really, is look at the person’s face. The woman who is allegedly being wronged by her two male companions has a huge, shit-eating grin on her face. She has cropped, dyed-platinum-blonde hair. She has deep brown, leathery skin. She’s wearing blue jeans and a white tank top. This makes her stand out because most of the women self sees around Oxford are of two, maybe three types: young Asian women who are extremely thin, very stylish, and very low-key; young white women who wear sneakers, cigarette jeans, and muted sweaters; older white women who dress a bit eccentrically, in floppy hats, or voluminous, bright sweaters. The strange woman keeps screaming, at the top of her voice, ruining a pleasant afternoon: LEAVE ME ALONE! ASSHOLE!

Really, self hates the drama. This is on a tiny street, where everyone’s so quiet, they all jerk their heads up and look alarmed. If self were to be truly cynical about it, which she isn’t, she might hug her purse closer to her body, just in case there is a point to this loud altercation.

Demonstrative fake quarrel aside, today self got to:

  • see a couple of Shakespeare folios
  • see the Harry Potter dining room
  • see an annotated map of Tolkien’s Middle Earth
  • check out Blackwell’s Crime & Thriller section, where she jotted down the titles of a couple of mysteries she wants to add to her reading list.
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An Amazing, Almost-Summer Day in Oxford, UK

Really, if a lukewarm chocolate milkshake is the worst part of self’s day, she’s had a pretty good day.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Faces 4: Women Celebrate

First: Women Celebrate in Oxford, UK. Jenny Lewis raises a toast in Jericho Tavern, 2014 Saboteur Awards

Second: Women Celebrate in Cork, Ireland. Geraldine O’Toole rocks red in front of the Café Paradiso, Lancaster Quay, Cork.

Third: Women Celebrate in Minneapolis, 2015 AWP Book Fair. Charlotte Pence is the Poetry Editor of Bluestem. The journal published self’s dystopian future story, “The Freeze.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Anjelica Huston’s Beautiful Life

Finished reading Paul Theroux’s Deep South a few days ago.

Currently reading Anjelica Houston’s second memoir, Watch Me.

Self doesn’t understand why readers on Amazon have bashed this book for being nothing but a collection of names. Names and Places. Names and Places and Things.

Self likes that it’s just a collection of Names and Places and Things.

Theroux’s book was so deep. If she had to read another deep book, she might end up with serious issues. Sometimes (like right now), she likes to indulge in superficiality.

So far (Chapter 3), Huston describes doing  the following:

  • seeing Milan from the back of a friend’s Harley-Davidson, while wearing a fetching “Missoni cloak”
  • visiting Britt Ekland in a hospital in Hampstead Heath (Britt’s just had a baby boy)
  • visiting iconic model Jean Shrimpton at her home in Berkshire
  • visiting a friend’s apartment in New York’s West End Avenue, an apartment that’s all “high-gloss black lacquered walls and blacked-out windows”

Huston writes this about LA:

Things happened at a leisurely pace. Unlike New York, where the pavements abounded with energy and purpose and everyone seemed to have an objective, Los Angeles was filled with friendly people who seemed content to hang out at home in tracksuits and kaftans, waiting for good things to come to them, or those who relied on whimsy for advancement.

Nice!

There is something corrosive in Anjelica Huston’s life, though, and that is the black hole of being the girlfriend of philandering Jack Nicholson. Already, Huston’s shed many, many tears  (and self’s only on p. 22). Self wants to comfort Huston by saying: “He’ll get old. Don’t worry.” Self is no fortune-teller, but she can’t help feeling smug about the fact that Jack Nicholson has indeed grown old.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

 

UNESCO City of Film and the Galway Film Fleadh

Here are the past city/designates:

  • 2009: Bradford, England
  • 2010: Sydney, Australia
  • 2014: Galway, Ireland

The only one self has been to is Galway.

At Tyrone Guthrie Centre this year, self met an artist named Ruth who was preparing her short film for showing at the Galway Film Fleadh, part of the Galway International Arts Festival in July. The documentary was filmed around a housing project, a wasteland of abandoned buildings and detritus. It was fascinating (not to mention, the filmmaker herself, Ruth, has so many stories to tell about the process of filming)

Best of luck, Ruth. Hope your film wins something.

Must make plans to visit the Galway International Arts Festival sometime!

Stay tuned.

Admiration 4: A List (Far From Complete)

OH NO! SELF ACCIDENTALLY DELETED HER OWN POST.

It happened while she was trying to expand on her reasons for assembling this particular mosaic of images to represent the week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge: ADMIRATION.

And she couldn’t find a previous saved version. Gaaaah! And in re-selecting images, she decided to stop at six instead of the eight she originally had. And she also substituted some images. Sorry for the confusion!

  1. Lady in Red: Ger, chef of Cork’s pre-eminent restaurant, Café Paradiso. Such a great chef, and also very direct and witty! Self loves Ger.
  2. Katniss Everdeen: Self-explanatory, really.
  3. Allison Joseph, co-editor with Jon Tribble of Crab Orchard Review. Fabulousness.
  4. The mother-daughter team who cook and manage Chez Mamie, 22 Hanway Street, London. They make London feel like home.
  5. SeaCity Museum, Southampton, England: Thank you to Joan McGavin, who took her here last year. What a great exhibit on the Titanic. While other cities lay claim to having the best exhibits on the tragedy, Southampton’s is so poignant because it focuses on the crew, most of whom were from this city. And therefore, the focus of the displays is on working-class people. Which makes this a much more layered story. In one gallery, there’s a map on the floor with red dots representing the houses of each of the victims. The dots are clustered around the poorer sections of the city.
  6. Last but not least: Nutschell Ann Windsor, Program Administrator for UCLA Extension’s on-line Writers Program. She is the best. She not only handles all requests with Zen calmness, she is a writer herself. And an editor. She’s holding an anthology she edited.

And now self will post before she accidentally deletes something again.

Stay tuned.

Admiration 3: Fort Bragg, CA

Self discovered Fort Bragg, California this year.

She stayed for a few weeks, and discovered:

  1. An excellent bakery, in the Depot Building. Just look at that sweet, blue nest confection!
  2. An excellent used bookstore called, in typical Fort Bragg self-deprecating manner, The Bookstore. The second floor had a wonderful seating area. And the day self visited, there was a hardbound copy of Cyrano de Bergerac, which she has fond memories of her Dear Departed Dad reciting to her at mealtimes (He was a frustrated actor. Played Hamlet in high school at the Ateneo)
  3. Writers, writers, writers abound in Fort Bragg. Self began reading Norma Watkins, whose beautiful memoir, The Last Resort: Taking the Mississippi Cure, was just published by University of Mississippi Press.

Other Takes on The Daily Post Photo Challenge “Abstract”

The Daily Post Photo Challenge ABSTRACT brings out all sorts of imagistic ideas and HOLY COW self has been having so much fun looking at other WordPress blogs on the same theme. Here are three that she looked at today that she particularly liked:

Enjoy!

Work-in-Progress: Various Fables

  1. Here hunger seized a hideous, stare-blind creature, speeding over a meadow. There was famine in the village. The grass was scant. The milk that streamed from the udders of the villagers’ cows was thin and poor.
  2. And from that day, the King of Spain was never troubled by visits from the lands of dark-skinned peoples.
  3. She said, “On the night of the next full moon, stand by the lake, and the door to the hillside will open.”
  4. The moonlight seemed to strike a path straight to his sorrowing heart.
  5. The King intoned: “As for your threats against my people, know that they do not want for courage.”
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The Lake at Annaghmakerrig

 

 

New York: Highline and Chelsea

Still looking for landscapes.

Here are pictures self took during a memorable walk on New York City’s Highline, December 2015:

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Near the Start of the Highline, on a cold December Day

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Still Near the Start of the Highline

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Near the Start of the Highline, on a cold December Day

And here are things she loved about New York during her Fall 2015 sojourn:

  • The Asian American Writers Workshop
  • The Whitney
  • The Highline
  • Therese Raquin with Keira Knightley
  • Seeing Penny
  • Seeing Luis and Midori
  • Seeing the Picasso exhibit in the MOMA
  • Catching a concert of Trio Solisti at Carnegie Hall
  • Watching Mamie Gummer’s scorching performan in Ugly to the Bone
  • Seeing nephew Chris Blackett and watching movies with him and reading his novel-in-progress
  • Eating Cuban in Hoboken, New Jersey
  • Walking around Central Park
  • Mockingjay 2 in the Lincoln Center Cinema
  • Losing self’s wallet twice and having it returned to her twice — nothing missing.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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