Afloat 4: Walker Art Center, Minneapolis


Self went to the Walker Art Center today. It was a beautiful day — warm! When she was reaching for her wallet to pay the entrance fee, the woman stopped her and said people attending the AWP writing conference received free museum admission.


Unfortunately, she doesn’t know the name of the artist who was responsible for this particular installation. She’ll look through the Walker Art Center website when she has a little more time.


Look carefully: each bubble has a different design.

Robert Motherwell, "Untitled"

Robert Motherwell, “Untitled”

Self took a picture of this Motherwell painting because it really does seem to float out from the white wall. There is something so inscrutable about Motherwell’s paintings. It’s as if he’s constantly challenging the viewers to say: “What’s this about?” Motherwell cheekily left a corner of the painting white.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Orange 3: Various Settings

No matter how many times self watches the sunset here, she will never tire of it. It is always beautiful.

Mendocino Sunset

Mendocino Sunset


For a change of pace, something NOT Mendocino. In case dear blog readers are wondering: the tiles. Orange much? Kidding.

Cubberley, Stanford campus: the day self spoke to Valerie Miner's students

Cubberley, Stanford campus: the day self spoke to Valerie Miner’s students

She wore a red top that day (Because the Stanford color is Cardinal). And the first thing Prof. Valerie Miner told her when they met up at the Faculty Club was: “I know where you got that. Mendocino. The Great Put-On. I have one just like it.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

“The Lost Coast”: Sunset Magazine, September 2014

Self is re-reading an article that appeared in the September 2014 issue of Sunset Magazine, an article about “The Lost Coast” — “the remote 200-plus-mile stretch (80 miles of which is called the Lost Coast) between the Oregon border and the logging town of Fort Bragg.”

The Lost Coast is where you encounter (culling from the article):

  • rain-soaked forest
  • mysterious little towns
  • rogue marijuana farms
  • elk
  • campgrounds “hidden in the dense forest and brush”
  • estuaries
  • rocky headlands
  • long sandbars
  • Sitka spruces
  • good local Sangiovese
  • local Humboldt Fog cheese
  • Redwood National Park

Well, there is still time for self to cross off a few of the things on that list, starting with good, local Sangiovese.

Two days ago, she had to borrow 30 cents from a teen-ager working the concession stand at the Fort Bragg Coast Cinema. Yes, she has sunk so low.

She drove there to see “Focus” starring her Number 1 Male Chest of all time, Will Smith (Margot Robbie is in it, and also has a chest, for those of you who play on the other team). And when she got there, she found out she had just enough for the movie ticket, and $2. And she had left her credit card in her apartment.


And to think she had been anticipating stuffing her face with buttery popcorn, since any Will Smith movie these days is cause for celebration, but the smallest popcorn cost $4.50, and the girl said why not have a candy bar instead? Self could have a giant Kit Kat bar or Maltesers or M&Ms for $2.50.

So self emptied out the entire contents of her coin purse, right there on the counter. And she was only able to come up with 20 cents, even counting pennies. So she was still short 30 cents. And bless that young girl, for she said: “Oh, just choose a candy bar. Never mind the 30 cents.”


Self, You are despicable.

“Are you sure?” Self practically squealed. “I’ll come back tomorrow and pay you back! What’s your name? What time are you working?”

The girl just laughed and waved self off.

Damn! Self is going to go back there right now, newly armed with cash.

AND she’s going to post a glowing review of Coast Cinema, Fort Bragg, on Yelp.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.


“American Sniper”

Just saw American Sniper.

You know what? Just go ahead and nominate everybody: Bradley, Clint, even Sienna. Particularly Sienna. Honest, self did not recognize her at all. In the movie she’s thin and colt-ish and might even be a stand-in for Michelle Monaghan. It’s the best self has ever seen her.


Oh Clint. She hates your movies generally. They’ve been mostly “message” movies, in the past decade. This one was good, though. She’s so glad the movie included the manner of Kyle’s eventual demise. Mother of all ironies.

Self’s favorite line in the movie was uttered by a bit actor (The same tall dude who’s a colleague of Simon Baker in The Mentalist, the one who’s having a relationship with the sexy redhead. For the life of her, self can’t remember his name). Here’s the line (There is profanity — ha!)

Right side. Damn. Legend. FUCK.

That’s because Kyle just took out an enemy sniper and gave away the SEAL’s position, and the back-up units are still 20 minutes away. Can you imagine if the commander had instead said something like:

You gave away our position, meathead!


You’re going to be court-martialed for this! I don’t care if you’re a so-called ‘legend’.


You went against a direct order! You think you have all the answers?

And who is that guy who plays a buddy of Kyle’s in the SEAL unit? With his helmet on, he’s a dead ringer for a young Peter Sarsgaard. With his helmet off, not so much. But self loved his insouciant affect.

And Bradley. What can self say? He deserved that Oscar nomination, man! Self was skeptical when it was first announced he’d be playing the lead role, but — that focus! That intensity! That reluctance to “emote”!

She doesn’t have a TV in Mendocino. Alas, she wishes she could camp out in someone’s living room for the night.

BTW, self caught the preview for Mad Max: Fury Road. Hardy, Theron, Hoult. Oh, self can hardly wait.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.


How Self Got to Fort Bragg to Watch “Jupiter Ascending” in the Middle of a Huge Storm

The storm hit in the wee hours. Self knows because she’s been up since 4 a.m. The wind was howling.

Then there were these periodic siren blasts.

What does that mean?

At about 4 p.m., self began having major claustrophobia FEELZ. She felt that if she did not get out of the apartment for some fresh air, she would Read the rest of this entry »

Depth 4: Looking for Depth and Finding These

The etchings on the surface of the pot, and the open book = metaphors. For Depth. Right?

The etchings on the surface of the pot, and the open book = metaphors. For Depth. Right? Self took this picture in the laundry room of the Mendocino Art Center. Blustery day, perfect for doing laundry.

Strange Fish! Nestling in the garden in front of the Mendocino Art Center

Strange Fish! Nestling among the leaves in the garden in front of the Mendocino Art Center (In the green depths and so forth etc)

Depths of Depravity: Self has been known to eat a whole quart of ice cream in one sitting. As she did in Ojai.

Depths of Depravity: Self has been known to eat a whole quart of ice cream in one sitting. As she did in Ojai.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.




The Versatile Blogger Award!

This blog was nominated for The Versatile Blogger Award, thanks to Mélange of Musings.

Thanks much! Very honored.

The Rules for The Versatile Blogger Award:

Show the Read the rest of this entry »

Self Did Not Know This About Russell Crowe

The man knits! Honest! He knits!

Today, self went to the Fort Bragg Library to do some research on the northern California shipping industry.

A flyer above the check-out desk caught her eye:

The flyer in Fort Bragg's Public Library

She only noticed because Caroline, a member of her San Francisco writers group, is a fabulous knitter.

Her eyes traveled upwards, and her jaw dropped at this photograph:

Russell Crowe knits!

Russell Crowe knitting!

“Wait, that’s got to be a joke!” Self remarked. “Russell Crowe knits?”

“He does,” said one of the librarians. “He took it up as anger management therapy.”

OMG, will wonders never cease?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

This Great Novel: SILAS MARNER, p. 63 (Everyman’s Library Edition)

Silas Marner, where have you been hiding all of self’s life? You’d think self would have encountered this book in high school or something.

Never mind. It’s just as well she’s encountering it for the first time at her advanced age. If it were force-fed to her in high school, she might have developed a revulsion towards all things George Eliot.

She was under the misconception she could finish this book in a week or so (Only 205 pages! If she were operating up to snuff, she’d have polished this off in a matter of days!)

Here’s her great Silas Marner sentence of the day:

Our consciousness rarely registers the beginning of a growth within us any more than without us: there have been many circulations of the sap before we detect the smallest sign of the bud.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

“All networks are vulnerable.”

Today self resumed reading the Dec. 20 -21 Wall Street Journal Weekend Edition.  There’s an article on hacking, because of course Sony.

When self first started seeing the previews for “The Interview,” months ago, she’d already pegged it as one of her “must-see” movies for the holidays. Then there was the notice that it was being pulled from theaters. Why? Because it angered the North Koreans and they threatened retaliation.

Well, actually, after reading the Wall Street Journal article, she knows it isn’t that simple. Someone hacked into Sony’s e-mails and found very embarrassing information that they then used to blackmail Sony into pulling the picture. (But that still doesn’t answer the question: Why did pulling “The Interview” appease the hackers. OK, maybe the hackers really were from North Korea –?)

Some interesting tidbits self gleaned from the article:

  • The group that hacked Sony call themselves “Guardians of the Peace.”
  • The sensitive e-mails included racist remarks about Obama.
  • There are two kinds of hackings:  opportunistic and targeted.

Opportunistic attacks are “low-skill and low-focus” (Sort of like pickpocketing? Crimes of opportunity of that nature?)

At the opposite end of the spectrum are “sophisticated attacks seemingly run by national agence agencies,” using tools like Regin, Flame, STurla, and GhostNet (Apparently, this last was used to spy on the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama, folks). And then there is the hacker group known as Anonymous, which was responsible for stealing those racy celebrity photos from Apple’s iCloud.

And sophisticated hackers do frequently end up having political targets.

There exists now a job description called “penetration testing.” Regardless of how skilled a penetration tester is, an expert and determined hacker, especially one with skill, funding, and motivation, “always gets in.” (Analogies are everywhere!)

Sony was at fault for “leaving so much information exposed” (like leaving your valuables exposed to a beggar or something like), but also for being “so slow” to detect the breach that the attackers had “free rein to wander about and take so much stuff.”

The ideal, of course, would be if people stopped making racist jokes about Obama, or exchanging flirty e-mail messages with co-workers — but, failing that, one should never use e-mail to do them. Because, according to the Wall Street Journal, “hundreds of personal tragedies must be unfolding right now” in Sony.

Personal tragedies like — divorce?

Anyhoo, if you’re at the level of exchanging censored e-mail with office workers, perhaps it’s better to air everything instead of living in an airless room, joylessly doing data crunching. Perhaps you do need a different job, or maybe even a different spouse. So maybe, if the affected people are forced to confront whatever issues made them do or say this or that unmentionable, it might be good?

Apologies for this very, very long post, and stay tuned.

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