pp. 86 – 87 SHUGGIE BAIN!!!! (Do Not Read Unless You Want to Know EXACTLY What Happens)

SPOILER ALERT * SPOILER ALERT

The way Agnes leaves:

She rouses her sleepy children, gets them dressed (in their Sunday best), flicks on the light in the bedroom where her husband is fast asleep. He wakes, mouth slack, and stares at the apparition of his wife and his two children staring at him from the foot of the bed. She’s wearing a mink, something he gave her in the hope it “would make her happy and hold her at peace from want, if just for a while.”

She: “Right. Thanks for everything, then. I’m away.”

This is really solid, over-the-top, a-hair-short-of-melodramatic writing.

A chapter or so ago, Agnes’s daddy gave her a solid thrashing. Self rather enjoyed how he did it, with a minimum of fuss. He waited until she was 39 and an outright lush, why couldn’t he have taken action sooner!

There have been other jaw-dropping scenes.

It may surprise dear blog readers to know that despite the rough scenes, highlighting the injustices of the world, self is finding this book enormously entertaining.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Friday Fun Challenge: Colours

The host of the Friday Fun Challenge is aroused. Her theme for the week is COLOURS.

Self’s gallery are mostly reds, and one blue:

  • 2 from London (a Beltane van and a close-up of the London Eye, May 2019)
  • 2 from Sacramento (the camera and the street sign)

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

A Bit Early: April 19 BRIGHT SQUARES

Becky’s post on BRIGHT SQUARES (She’s the host of this challenge, which is truly a lot of fun) is something really BRIGHT and really SPARKLY and it’s something Becky saw in the British Museum. Feel free to gape.

Self spent the weekend in Sacramento. It’s a city she’s always felt at home in, not sure why. Sometimes it feels like Bacolod (in the central Philippines), sometimes it feels like San Luis Obispo. Kids come whizzing down the street on skateboards, and they all go to the same boba place, which as luck would have it is on the same block as her Airbnb.

Her host acquired this 1920s building that used to be a FAMILY LAUNDRY and the neon sign is protected by the City as a historical landmark (though only the bottom half is lit).

Across the street is a Mexican restaurant (the street is otherwise mostly Asian) that’s open 24 hours. Sorry for the blur, self didn’t have a place to rest her elbow for the shot, which took long exposure. Next to the Mexican restaurant is a martial arts school.

Sacramento is an old city, but in the neighborhood she’s in, everyone is young. Not like back home, where you’re either old or pushing a stroller. Or driving a humongous SUV.

Her car is parked directly across the street. A handful of times in the last few hours, someone’s car alarm has been going off. At first, self wondered if it was her car. But it wasn’t.

Back home, she’s just started seeing, around the library, the teens wearing all-black: black T-s, black baggy pants. They were a regular sight before. Then, the library shut down and these teens seemed to disappear. A sure sign that we’re opening again is that self spotted a pair of these black-wearing teens, walking along Middlefield. What did they do with themselves when everything was shut down? Here they are again; feels like old times.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

April 18 BRIGHT SQUARES

For today’s BRIGHT SQUARES Challenge, self took pictures at the Crocker Museum of Art in Sacramento! Which is just as fabulous as she remembered it being, all those years ago (Then, she was lucky enough to catch a Norman Rockwell retrospective)

(Left to Right):

  • Dale Chihuly (almost identical to the one that hangs in the lobby of London’s V & A)
  • Portrait of the playwright, screenwriter and diarist Christopher Isherwood, by Don Bachardy, American (born 1934). Isherwood wrote the 1964 novel A Simple Man; the movie adaptation won Colin Firth an Oscar.
  • Pacific Ocean, a painting by Jennifer Bartlett, American (born 1941)

What a great museum. Self is so happy she returned to Sacramento for this brief visit. If only the café had been open, she’d happily have lingered the whole day.

For lunch, she stopped at this small pop-up on 16th. The metal chairs had been baking in the sun, which she did not think mattered until she actually sat down. A lady who was sitting at the same table smirked and said, “That’s why I avoided sitting on those.” I took a chair that was sitting in the shade, a bit closer to the lady, and she immediately said, “I’ve had my two shots, don’t worry.”

The lady also told self that there was a “Chinse supermarket” not half a block from where we were sitting, and self got very excited at the thought of loading up on goodies for back home.

In addition to tacos, the pop-up also sold, somewhat improbably, mac’n cheese, and since it’s been forever since she’s had mac’n cheese, she decided to try it. It was good!

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Just One Person from Around the World: San Mateo Farmers Market

The Just One Person from Around the World Photo Challenge is hosted by ThatTravelLadyInHerShoes. Read more about the challenge, think about participating, and look at the wonderful contributions.

During the California primaries, early last year, self campaigned for Elizabeth Warren. While she was tabling for Warren at the San Mateo Farmers Market, a young girl stopped by the table to chat. She was carrying a book, one of self’s favorites. Self just had to take her picture.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Flower of the Day (FOTD): Clematis Montana

Flower of the Day is the mighty clematis montana rubens. Self has had this plant 20 years. Never has it flowered the way it is flowering now. Guess all it needed was company.

Thank you to Cee Neuner for hosting this wonderful photo challenge.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

April 16 BRIGHT SQUARES

This is today’s BRIGHT SQUARE. Thanks to Becky at The Life of B for the challenge!

A few days ago, self met her friend Caroline at the de Young in Golden Gate Park. What a BRIGHT BRIGHT DAY. Museums are open again!

Lots of squares in the lines of the building, and on the pavement. The ferris wheel is a new thing. Wasn’t here last year! She likes it.

So HAPPYYYYYY!

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

The End of Life

I have a friend whose elderly mother lives with her and is driving her crazy. Her mother was once a talented artist, an intellectual with myriad interests. Now, my friend says, “she gets up in the morning and makes a cup of coffee and she’s so slow, doing it. I mean, I just watch her sometimes to see how she can possibly be so slow. Then she sits at the kitchen table and talks about what might be for lunch. I just can’t stand it! All she talks about is her cup of coffee in the morning and the weather and what her next meal will be. I really wonder . . . is there any meaning to the end of life?

I’ll Be Seeing You, p. 193

Gah. This is a depressing book. The author’s final reflections are “How young and strong and beautiful they were” and she remembers telling her mom, “I’ll miss you.” (To which self is tempted to say: HA. HA. HA.) To her readers, she says that her parents “belonged to each other more than they did to us.” (Imagine! Incredible!) The last page talks about love and blah blah.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

A Photo-a-Week Challenge: BACKLIT

Self loves backlit photos!

The host for the Photo-a-Week Challenge is Nancy Merrill.

Self took the photo below in September 2020.

Watching birds at her feeder is a source of constant delight. She rarely manages to capture birds in flight as her camera is a plain Nikon CoolPix and, moreover, she has very shaky fingers. So the fact that she was able to capture this is nothing short of miraculous.

Two Movies Back-to-Back

At the Century 20.

Self liked Voyagers more than Godzilla v. Kong.

Although, Godzilla v. Kong was the first time in forever — mebbe the first time since Road Warrior‘s Feral Kid — that she didn’t find the kid in an action movie annoying, i.e. not just a gratuitous presence. And who knew Rebecca Hall would be good in an action movie? Well, she is. Not that she’s required to do any action scenes, really. But in this type of movie, character takes a back seat to . . . scenario. And she’s able to calibrate her performance so that it’s just the right temperature for this kind of movie.

That is all.

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