Four Movies

Since the downtown Century 20 re-opened, self has seen four movies. The largest audience — 10 people — was for The New Mutants. The smallest — two people — for Yellow Rose. Here are the four, ranked:

  • Tenet
  • The New Mutants
  • Yellow Rose
  • Infidel

It is a real, real pleasure to see movies on a wide-screen. Self will keep going, as long as the Century 20 is open.

The Reading Year, So Far 2020

At the end of January, she landed on her first great read of 2020: Someone Who Will Love You In All Your Damaged Glory, by Raphael Bob-Waksberg.

February was TOTALLY GREAT! She spent the entire month reading two good books: The Goblin Emperor, by Katherine Addison, and I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith.

The end of March brought her to Brideshead Revisited.

The end of April brought her to Leviathan Wakes, by James. S. A. Corey.

Last half of May: Caliban’s War (Book 2 of The Expanse) and Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family, by Robert Kolker.

June: Abaddon’s Gate and Cibola Burn, Books 3 and 4 of The Expanse

July: The Snakes, by Sadie Jones

End of August: The Charterhouse of Parma, by Stendhal

September: Great, great month. Read In West Mills, by De’Shawn Charles Winslow, and Demagogue: The Life and Long Shadow of Sen. Joe McCarthy (totally absorbing, great biography) by Larry Tye.

Currently reading: Your House Will Pay, by Steph Cha.

To look forward to this month: the official launch of Caroline Kim’s collection, The Prince of Mournful Thoughts, the winner of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize!

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Rulings, 2020

1 March 2020: In a 55-page ruling, a Federal Judge declared that Ken Cuccinelli had been operating “unlawfully” as Director of Immigration.

14 August 2020: The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Sacramento lifted California’s ban on high-capacity magazines for firearms.

17 September 2020: A Federal judge in Washington State ruled that President Trump and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy are “involved in a politically motivated attack” on the agency that could disrupt the 2020 election.

25 September 2020: A Montana judge ruled that William Perry Pendley, a climate change denier and Trump appointee, be removed from his position as Acting Director of the Bureau of Land Management.

29 September 2020: A San Diego judge ruled that the last two Directors of Homeland Security were appointed “unlawfully.” Kevin McAleenan, Kirstjen Nielsen’s replacement in April 2019, and Chad Wolf, Acting Director of Homeland Security, were both “promoted out of order.” McAleenan, Nielsen’s replacement, was seventh in line of seniority within the agency.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: COLORFUL BUILDINGS

Happy to join Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week!

  • Colorful Building. Any size or type of building or structure is allowed as long as it is colorful. Be creative and mostly have a lot of fun.

Self loves color. Color in buildings, especially.

Starting with right in her own backyard: Below, a picture she took last week. The skies were still pretty murky. The closest fire, the CZU Lightning Complex Fire, the largest ever to hit San Mateo County, was 81% controlled. She painted the door to the shed herself. It’s not a very good job, but so what. She liked the color. Hanging next to the red door is a photograph son took when he was in high school.

Her front door is the same bright red:

Last, a bright red storefront on a corner of self’s favorite London street, Great Russell in Bloomsbury. She took the picture with the British Museum right behind her. The side streets have bookstores, antique booksellers, teashops, Korean take-out stores, fish’n chips. But when self took the picture (last April) it must have been a Sunday. Because everything appears closed.

Thanks once again to Cee Neuner for creating such interesting and FUN Foto Challenges.

Have fun looking at other bloggers’ take on this week’s Fun Foto Challenge:

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Beginning IN WEST MILLS, by De’Shawn Charles Winslow

The Charterhouse of Parma: Five Stars

In terms of her reading life, August was the bomb. All the books she read were library check-outs (YAY! Library’s back, it’s back, it’s back!)

She read, in addition to The Charterhouse of Parma: Colonel Chabert, by Balzac; First: Sandra Day O’Connor, by Evan Thomas; and The Shadow King, by Maaza Mengiste.

Excited to begin a new novel (and discover a new writer). Opening Sentence of In West Mills:

In October of ’41, Azalea Centre’s man told her that he was sick and tired of West Mills and of the love affair she was having with moonshine.

Well! That is some opening.

The author bio on the book jacket says that De’Shawn Charles Winslow is from North Carolina. He is a 2017 graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Political Reads for This Fall

These are exciting times. Self is reading The Charterhouse of Parma (Brilliant and funny and moving).

Five on her ‘To-Read’ List

  • The Nickel Boys, by Colson Whitehead
  • Surrender, White People! Our Unconditional Terms for Peace, by D. L. Hughley
  • Demagogue: The Life and Long Shadow of Senator Joe McCarthy, by Larry Tye
  • In West Mills, by De’Shawn Charles Wilson
  • The Prince of Mournful Thoughts and Other Stories, by Drue Heinz Literature Prize winner Caroline Kim

Sunday Read: American Rose (Magazine of the American Rose Society)

Self decided to join the American Rose Society this year, and was so happy to receive their magazine.

The July/August issue has a very interesting article about Memorable Rose Gardens by Mike and Angelina Chute.

“All great gardens are dynamic, constantly changing over time . . . “

She’s never heard of any of the gardens. There’s one called Roseraie de L’Hay, “in the municipality of Val-de-Marne, five miles south of Paris, and only 30 minutes by train.” From the train station, it’s “a short bus ride to the little rose garden.”

There’s one in Rome, Il Roseto, “located on the slopes of the Aventine Hill, a short walk from the Colosseum. Il Roseto is built on a site once home to a Jewish cemetery. In memory of the cemetery and those that had been buried there, the garden’s paths are laid out in the shape of a menorah.”

There’s Queen Mary’s Rose Garden in Regent’s Park in northwest London (also home of the London Zoo) and there are “approximately 12,000 roses on display.”

And there is Austin Roses in Shropshire, “an agricultural area in England’s West Midlands.”

Next time she’s in Europe, she’ll make it a point to see some of these fabulous rose gardens.

In the meantime, there’s a pretty fabulous rose garden in Filoli, less than 10 minutes’ drive away. And here are a few pictures self took of her own roses:

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #112: Self’s Word is ‘Growing’

The prompt from Ann-Christine:

Choose one (1) word or more – choose all of them if you like! The words available are the following:

  • Comfortable
  • Growing
  • Tangled
  • Crowded
  • Exuberant

The word self picked, which was easiest for her since she’s been gardening a lot, is GROWING. Here are a few pictures she took yesterday.

This is one of self’s newest additions to the front garden:

This plant just popped up on one side of her driveway. It seems to be a different kind of ivy from the others. Self finds it so pretty:

Finally, here are some geraniums growing in a huge pot that she bought years ago from Chinatown. Geraniums are very, very easy to grow, and she loves their bright, cheerful colors:

Thank you for the prompt, Ann-Christine!

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Self’s Favorite Books of 2020 (So Far) Have Been Novels

  • The Goblin Emperor, by Katherine Addison
  • I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith
  • Leviathan Wakes, by James S. A. Corey
  • Cibola Burn, by James S. A. Corey
  • The Snakes, by Sadie Jones

Just For Fun, 10 Latest Bookmarks

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