Sally Potter’s YES (Potter Wrote the Entire Thing In Iambic Pentameter)

Self’s favorite scene in the movie is when SHE (played by Joan Allen) goes to visit her dying aunt in a hospital in Belfast.

Aunt:

The thing is, no-one told
Me I’d have all this time, but far too late
To use it for the things I dreamed of. Fate
Delivers upside down and back to front.
I’ve more to say than ever, but they shunt
Me back and forth all day from bed to chair
And back to bed again; it isn’t fair.
All this experience I’d like to share.
Not that it all adds up. Not that you care.
I’d better stop — it’s time for you to go
Already, isn’t it? Five minutes — oh,
Well maybe ten . . . you see, I never know
When you’ll be here again. It’s such a blow
Each time you leave, it’s hardly worth your while
To come at all. I mean it! Don’t you smile
Like that! Oh, you’ll be sorry when I’m dead.
I’m only joking, dear. I only said
That for a laugh. Although of course it’s true.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

WIT’S END: A Novel About a Novelist and Her At-Loose-Ends Niece

Self is on pp. 172 – 173 of Karen Joy Fowler’s Wit’s End.

She has been enjoying it, not least because the characters are Democrats (They wear their political affiliations on their sleeve. But of course they do: they live in Santa Cruz, CA).

A character owns a pair of dogs named Stanford and Berkeley. Self almost dropped the book because of that but she’s so glad she didn’t.

Anyhoo, the book makes her all sorts of nostalgic for Santa Cruz, CA. For its wooden roller coaster and its Boardwalk and its blue and pink cotton candy and the Ripley Believe It Or Not hall of funhouse mirrors.

Sample dinner conversation between a famous mystery writer and her niece, Rima:

“I remember once when you were about four years old. We went out to eat and you told the waitress you wanted a petite filet mignon. She just about dropped her pencil.”

“I was always saying something cute after you left. Hardly a day went by.”

“This puts the Democrats in very good shape for 2008.”

“There’s even corn in the toothpaste now. Did I mention that?”

Something wet landed on Rima’s ankle. Stanford was drooling; it brought her back to the moment.

Regarding that petite filet mignon: when self still lived in Manila, Dearest Mum’s youngest brother married a nineteen-year-old. The first time self met the prospective bride was at dinner in San Mig Pub in Greenbelt Park. And the teen-ager ordered — steak tartare. Dearest Mum was so impressed she couldn’t stop talking about it.

Until that moment, self had never laid eyes on a steak tartare. And she’s never had a yen to order it, either. That means self will probably end her days without ever tasting this singular delight, boo.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The Nostalgia of Others

Of course, nostalgia is something that affects everyone differently. We’d love to know what kinds of experiences you’ve had that stir these emotions for the past in you.

— Jeff Golenski, The Daily Post

Here are some WordPress blogs whose takes on this week’s photo challenge, NOSTALGIA, intrigued self:

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Nostalgia: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 30 September 2016

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is NOSTALGIA:

  • What kinds of experiences stir emotions for the past within you?

The Philippines, specifically Bacolod City, where her father grew up, is the locus of all of self’s nostalgia. And of course, Dearest Mum, who met self’s Dear Departed Dad when she was a young pianist in New York City, and Dear Departed Dad was in Georgetown Law School.

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The Daku Balay, Burgos Street, Negros Occidental: The Philippines. Self’s grandfather built this house, at the time the tallest structure in Bacolod City. Self’s father was born in this house.

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Dearest Mum, in Her Early 30s

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Bacolod City, Negros Occidental: June 2012

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. 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.

 

Quote of the Day: BRAZILLIONAIRES

Anyone with a little bit of money can buy a Louis Vuitton handbag, of which thousands are manufactured each year. Very few people can buy the new Jeff Koons, even if they do have the tens of millions of dollars required.

Brazillionaires, p. 29

Self’s question is: Why would anyone want to buy a Jeff Koons? A Koons was in front of the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence when self was there with her niece, Irene, last November. It was placed right next to a Michelangelo and it was ugly. Hope it was only a temporary installation.

(Side note: In Florence, on the road to the Santa Maria del Fiori, you will pass a McDonald’s. Which was always packed. Self just could not understand it. When all around were great, really great local restaurants. It must be the convenience.)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

BRAZILLIONAIRES: Rich People

Last year, in New York, self made it a point to visit Carnegie Hall, where Dearest Mum gave a piano concert when she was only 14. She had won a New York Times piano competition.

Because self wanted to be as close to Carnegie Hall as possible, she stayed in a hotel only a block away. She arrived with two suitcases filled with books and kept apologizing to the bell hop. She vividly remembers how, when she was in London, a bus driver who was attempting to help her with her bags said, after hefting one:  “I tell ya, it must be nice leaving home knowing you’ve brought all your books with you!”

The New York bellhop said: “Madame, this is nothing. A few days ago, I helped a Brazilian couple, and they had 17 suitcases.”

17 suitcases! Unbelievable!

But now that self is reading Brazillionaires, she believes it.

Because Brazillionaires is all about how Brazil’s richest people (what we in America might refer to as “the 1%) live.

And self now belatedly recalls that one time, when she was visiting a class in Skyline College, she just blurted out, completely unprompted: “I hate rich people.”

And unfortunately, she’ll be reading this book all week.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

MORE CHERRY ON TOP (Meaning: Hats)

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is about:

The cherry on top.

The icing on the cake

“a desirable feature perceived as the finishing touch to something that is already very good.” (Oxford English Dictionary)

Here are three “cherry on top” pictures.

  •  Karina (The cherry on top is that she is so sweet. And likes wearing baseball caps. She lives in Calgary)
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Karina is self’s guide to all things YA. Her latest book recommendation: Sarah J. Maas’s THRONE OF GLASS (Exciting read!)

  • The Calgary Stampede is fabulous. The “cherry on top” is that everywhere you look, you see people wearing cowboy hats:
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Don’t ask self what “Beaver Balls” are. She has no idea.

Self took this picture during the Annual Redwood City Fourth of July Parade. Look at the man’s fantastic sombrero! Definitely the “cherry on top.”

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2016 Annual Redwood City Fourth of July Parade

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

CHERRY ON TOP: MORE OF THE 2016 CALGARY STAMPEDE

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is: CHERRY ON TOP.

This week, share a photo of a detail that makes a good thing even better.

— Michelle W., The Daily Post

Self goes searching back over her photos. She takes her time about it because she has thousands.

She decides to post more from the 2016 Calgary Stampede.

That event is great fun. From the carnival prizes to the everyone-in-cowboy-boots-and-hats affect to the way-too-many food booths selling everything from Colossal Onions to Deep-Fried Cheesecake (Please, do not ever go to Calgary if you are attempting to lose weight). The weather cooperated, too: it was slightly overcast. Sometimes it rained. Nice walking weather.

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Prizes, Calgary Stampede, July 2016: Aren’t these adorable?

Self loves shortcake. But Deep Fried Shortcake? BLISS!

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Calgary Stampede: Sheer Bliss For Anyone Who Likes Deep Fried Anything

Calgary, what a fabulous city. The Cherry on Top is:

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Do you really think self wouldn’t post a picture of herself during the 2016 Calgary Stampede? This was taken towards the end of a very exciting day! Cherry on Top was the wearing of a cowboy hat! YEEEES YEEEEES YEEEEES !!! (Pixie, boo, where’s YOUR cowboy hat???)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Details 2: Spring and Summer 2016

Discover the intimate details of something unexpected.

— Jen H., The Daily Post

Self’s go-to summer sandal: low heel, super-comfy, and bright orange. Summer’s all about comfort and freedom: her feet are happy.

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This is New York City, May 2016, during an unexpected lull in a frantic week:

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Park Avenue Nocturne: Self only just noticed the little squares of lighted windows from the buildings across the street. The view is from her brother-in-law’s apartment in Manhattan.

Finally, self was able to visit Bletchley Park, just outside London, in early June. It was an overcast day, self got to the park early, before the crowds arrived. In fact, self was the only person walking from the train station that morning.

She hasn’t seen The Imitation Game, the movie about the codebreakers of Bletchley Park, but there’s an exhibit of costumes used during the filming, and Benedict Cumberbatch is on the audio guide.

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Whatever self expected when she visited Bletchley Park in June, she never expected the grounds to be so lovely. There was a lake full of ducks and very approachable swans.

Highly recommend a visit to Bletchley Park. The exhibits include an actual Enigma machine. The history is just palpable.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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