I’d Rather Be . . . In a Bookstore


Linda Nietes greeting a customer at the bookshop she owns, Philippine Expressions (Inside a 1920s building, 479 W. Sixth St., San Pedro, CA). Linda is 81 years old. She has been running bookstores all her life.

Last Saturday, 17 March, International Woman’s Day, Linda Nietes invited six Filipina authors to Philippine Expressions Bookshop in San Pedro to read from their work. The authors were: poets Angela Narciso Torres and Irene Suico Soriano, and prose writers Cecilia Manguerra Brainard, Prosy Abarquez-Delacruz, Tessie Jayme, and self. The reading was held in the beautiful lobby of a 1920s-era building on 479 W. Sixth Street:


Here’s son with Linda before the reading:


Beautiful Event. Self was honored to be a part of it.

Here’s Linda, in her own words, about why she does what she does:

  • It is a ministry, an advocacy, a labor of love, and the results cannot be counted in dollars and cents. It is fulfilling only to the person who accepts the responsibility of creating a greater awareness and a higher consciousness among members of our community. I have found the field, planted an orchard. Saplings are growing and some have already grown and are blooming and even fruiting. Lucky will be the generation that will just pick the fruits of my labor, but I do not mind that because I understand what the role of a trailblazer is! You blaze the trail so that people will find their way. I was inspired by a quote: “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

I’d Rather Be . . . On a Boat

San Pedro Marina, this morning. Just behind the forest of masts, the San Pedro Naval Shipyard, the largest shipyard self has ever seen.


San Pedro Marina, the Day After a Reading at Philippine Expressions Bookshop on W. Sixth Street, San Pedro

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

I’d Rather Be . . . : The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 14 March 2018



Backyard, Redwood City: 15 March 2018

STORY 2: Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore

The baby of James Rouse, grandfather of actor Ed Norton, the Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore is dedicated to “outsider art” — people from all walks of life who feel an inner urge to create and just do, without the benefit of formal training. There’s art by diagnosed schizophrenics and insomniacs, nurses and postal workers — all kinds of people. It is a great museum.

Stan Wright’s sculpture is made out of telephone wire. It’s called First Dance. He gifted it to the Visionary Art Museum, and it is amazing.

  • “It’s so hard to communicate with words, that’s why I do it with my hands . . . ” –Stan Wright

Stan Wright, First Dance (Material Used: Telephone Wire)


Stan Wright, First Dance: A Closer View


Another Close-Up: All Hail, Visionary Art Museum, Champion of ‘Outsider Art’

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.


STORY: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 7 March 2018

“Be a visual storyteller.” — Jen H., The Daily Post

  • Self’s seatmate on the plane from Manila to San Francisco hailed from San Pablo, Laguna. He was bringing back to the States five of a Laguna specialty: coconut pies.


  • On her most recent trip to Manila, in January, self dropped by the oldest university in the Philippines, the University of Santo Tomas, founded 1611. She dropped by the Creative Writing Department, and the faculty asked her to pose with them for a group shot. YAY!


  • Christmas 2016 was a devastatingly lonely experience, one self vowed never to repeat. Christmas 2017, self was in Paris. A woman from China agreed to take her picture standing in front of the Arc de Triomphe.


Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.




Out of This World 2: The Garden

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is OUT OF THIS WORLD.

Stepping into her garden is like stepping into another world.

There are six steps from the back door to the ground. Self took the first picture standing on the top step.

The garden is rectangular in shape. To the left is a small courtyard that she bricked over, about 20 years ago. She used to have an apple tree there. It died. She used to have geraniums and camellias. All gone. There is one wee clematis that she remembers planting three years ago. A few weeks ago, it started to put out green shoots. Every day since then, it has put out more and more leaves.


Backyard, 2 March 2018



Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Out of This World: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 28 February 2018


— Ben Huberman, The Daily Post

Three views of the Islamic Art Collection at the Louvre, which self visited for the first time on 1 June 2017:




The canvas roof of the Islamic Art Collection at the Louvre (viewed from the Galerie Donatello) looks like a desert-colored wave. Self thinks it is fabulous.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.


Edvard Munch: A Face in the Crowd

Last year, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art had an exhibit on Edvard Munch.

His portraits show faces erased of individual characteristics. THOSE PEOPLE ARE US.


Edvard Munch, The Dance of Life, 1925


Edvard Munch, Death Struggle, 1915


Edvard Munch, Night in Saint-Cloud, 1893

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Still More Faces in the Crowd: Backyard, Redwood City, California

Spring is just around the corner. Buds are beginning to open.

Here are a few of her flowers, just “faces in the crowd” :


In Bloom Today: Japanese Anemone

More on their way:


More Blooms Are on the Way

Plum tree’s covered with tiny white flowers:


Been Blooming for a Week Now: Plum Tree

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

More Faces in the Crowd

Love this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge. Self has tons of “faces in the crowd” pictures. TONS.

Here are three more:

  • Waterloo Bridge, June 2017


  • The Louvre, May 2017


  • The Crowd in Front of the Mona Lisa, May 2017: This has to be seen to be believed. As you probably can guess, the Mona Lisa is on the left.


Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.


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