Twisted: Belmont, CA Farmer’s Market

Bought $11 worth of cherries.

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The Warriors won last night. All’s right in the world.

Stay tuned.

Further in The Odyssey, Book 10

Hermes to Odysseus:

Here, take this antidote to keep you safe
when you go into Circe’s house. Now I
will tell you all her lethal spells and tricks.
. . . She . . . will tell you
to sleep with her. Do not hold out against her —
she is a goddess.

Is Odysseus going to have to sleep his way home?

Faster than you can say “sexual harassment,” or #metoo . . .

Hermes:

Tell her to swear an oath by all the gods
that she will not plot further harm for you —
or while you have your clothes off, she may hurt you
unmanning you.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

“Blood, Romps, and Lashings”: The Guardian Review of VERSAILLES, Season 1

Self is watching Versailles Season 2. She is so happy the series was renewed! It has proved extremely addictive.

The Guardian: With ladies in milky baths, ocular torture and piles of flesh, Versailles returns for more pre-revolution rumbustiousness (Shouldn’t that be rambunctiousness? Whatever). But is there depth beneath the bling?

Where were we then in Versailles, which returns for a second series? The palace is still under construction, and 1,000 workers have died so far. Versailles was clearly the Qatar of its day, and those gold gates are very Gulf State chic, no?

The writer is Sam Wollaston.

Self bows to your wicked wit, Sir. She bows.

From her visit to Versailles, May 2017:

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Versailles, 28 May 2017: It was too bloody hot.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

#amreading The New Yorker, 26 March 2018: “California v. Trump”

In March, the Donald toured the border wall, and the Attorney General flew to places like Las Cruces, New Mexico. Thank God for Jerry Brown.

Addressing the U.S. Attorney General, Brown said: “I’ll cooperate, Jeff, if you can get off this current maneuver you’re on, because it’s unbecoming.”

“California v. Trump”, by Connie Bruck

Early this month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions declared war on the State of California. At least that’s the way many opponents of the Trump’s Administration saw it. Speaking to the California Peace Officers Association in Sacramento, Sessions announced that the Department of Justice was suing the state for passing three laws to protect undocumented immigrants — measures, Sessions said, that “intentionally obstruct the work of our sworn immigation-enforcement officers.”

Earlier, self had watched the AG on TV make a rhetorical device of “How dare you?” and finish up with, “California, we are coming to get you.”

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While 45 seems lost in his own alternate reality of The Apprentice (“You’re fired” seems to be his favorite slogan), Sessions is lost in his own version of a western, where the Good Guys (Whites, self presumes) battle it out with Bad Guys (Native Americans, self presumes — aka, Non-Whites). The “coming to get you” had her rolling on the floor, because Sessions in person is rather petite in stature. And moreover, has elf ears. The idea of him as a gunslinger is patently ridiculous. But, it must have been an image dear to his heart, his own private childhood fantasy. And now he gets to act it out! On behalf of a President who likes talking loud and waving a big stick! As if the whole country — nay, the whole world — could be reduced to black and white! Or, if you prefer, white and white!

It’s a ridiculous performance.

Some weeks ago, Brown hit back with a tweet of his own:

Thanks for the shout-out, @realDonaldTrump. But bridges are still better than walls. And California remains the 6th largest economy in the world and the most prosperous state in America. #Facts

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

The Alienist Ends

Self didn’t get to see the final episode. She’s here in Mendocino, reading tweets.

She didn’t get to watch last week’s episode either, but there were lots of tweets about CATS. Wait, what?

Then, there was almost a Twitter silence. For about five minutes. Which meant, everyone was watching and something was going down.

This evening, the tweet-storm began with something about coulottes. Sara?

  • Oh my GOD! THE CAT! I wanna unsee that so hard rn
  • I have anxiety.
  • I don’t understand why they had you go through with that charade. Laszlo could not have shaken them some other way? So what if they followed? They couldn’t be less conspicuous than Roosevelt and his horsemen.
  • Okay so that’s him.
  • I suspect there’s something about this opera specifically that mirrors the plot of this episode. If only I understood Italian opera . . .
  • Geez, does EVERYBODY carry around a chloroform-laden rag with them?
  • Nothing like going after a brutal serial killer in your opera’s finest.
  • Keep making noise!
  • Joseph!
  • HURRY!
  • This seems like a bad idea.
  • I’m barely breathing.
  • The suspense is killing me.
  • Laszlo, your ego might get you killed.
  • What?!
  • Heart is beating so frickin fast!
  • “It’s not only love that resides in the heart, it’s pain.
  • My nerves tho.
  • I can’t take it!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sweet(er) in Redwood City, California

After years of hectic traveling, it is sweet indeed to be back in Redwood City:

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Even sweeter: having The Alienist to look forward to every week.

New episodes air every Monday night on TNT.

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Dakota Fanning is just killing it in the role of Sara Howard, secretary to Teddy Roosevelt. In this incarnation, Roosevelt is the New York City Police Commissioner (circa 1896).

It is also grrrreat to see Brian Geraghty in the cast. Self lost track of him after The Hurt Locker. Geraghty plays Roosevelt! (When self watched Geraghty in The Hurt Locker, all those years ago, she never imagined that the next thing she saw him in would be The Alienist, portraying a future American president)

Also great are Daniel Bruhl (who self hasn’t seen on the big screen since Inglorious Basterds) and Luke Evans (who self has seen in the Lord of the Rings movies and in Immortals)

Stay tuned.

#amreading GRRM’s A CLASH OF KINGS

In preparation for Game of Thrones‘ final season, airing sometime 2019, self has set herself the task of reading the books. She’s read one so far; it was in her cottage in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig two years ago, and it was still there when she returned last year.

Writing dialogue is hard. Writing Game of Thrones fan fiction dialogue is even harder, especially when one hasn’t read the books. George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones dialogue is so on point!

Examples:

Maester Luwin to Bran Stark, p. 442, A Clash of Kings:

“We look at mountains and call them eternal, and so they seem . . . but in the course of time, mountains rise and fall, rivers change their courses, stars fall from the sky, and great cities sink beneath the sea. Even gods die, we think. Everything changes.

“Perhaps magic was once a mighty force in the world, but no longer. What little remains is no more than the wisp of smoke that lingers in the air after a great fire has burned out, and even that is fading. Valyria was the last ember, and Valyria is gone. The dragons are no more, the giants are dead, the children of the forest forgotten with all their lore.

“No, my prince. Jojen Reed may have had a dream or two that he believes came true, but he does not have the greensight. No living man has that power.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

The A.V. Club Explains Why Americans Might Experience SOTU Feelings of Dread

SOTU Tonight, 9 p.m., ABC

You could just do like self and not watch it. Self plans to wend her way north, to Fort Bragg, to watch Maze Runner: Death Cure. Which she’s 100% sure will prove more beneficial to her mental health. Or, you could just read The AV Club article, which begins thus:

  • At this point, we expect to see an official declaration of war on this or that country by the flaxen-haired pox on humanity who’s currently in the White House, so what’s Trump saving for his first State of the Union Address — or, as he’s already referred to it, “The State of MY Union Show”?

To 45’s credit, he has set the bar very low. So low that if he ends up NOT actually making an official declaration of war, Americans will fall all over themselves to praise his decorum and tact.

(Insert laughing-so-hard-I’m-crying emoji here)

Stay tuned.

#amreading THE TRESPASSER

When, a year or so ago, The New Yorker published a review of The Trespasser, by Tana French, self knew she had to read it.

Because of many, many distractions in the almost two years since, self is only getting around to reading The Trespasser now. In Paris.

Not that self thinks this is necessarily a bad choice of reading matter for Paris. It’s really cold outside, and the skies are grey. And the bathroom is enormous. The bathtub could sink a body. An entire body. The building opposite has a harp store, a beauty salon, and a wee grocery (open until 2 a.m.). To the right there is a five-star restaurant. To the left is a four-star restaurant. On one corner is a brasserie (packed to the gills with young Asian customers; self makes a note never to eat there. The only authentic brasserie, in self’s humble opinion, is one where most of the patrons look like they are locals), a block away is a pharmacy.

The last book she read before The Trespasser was also by Tana French: Broken Harbor.

Ms. French’s mysteries feature a constantly changing main narrator, but all are set in Dublin. Broken Harbor’s main protagonist was Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy. The Trespasser’s main protagonist is a woman whose name self can’t even remember, even though she’s on p. 154.

So far, one murder: a 26-year-old woman who “lived a boring life.” Nevertheless, she had “a true-crime library” and “read a lot of fan fiction. The sappy kind, not the sexy kind; my guy was sort of disappointed by that.” She didn’t even do “dating sites,” my God what is wrong with this murder victim? With a life so boring, self doesn’t know why she’s still reading. But reading she is. It’s p. 154, and all we’ve uncovered is a boring life.

Self misses the puck-ish irony of Muriel Spark, the twisted point-of-view of a Ruth Rendell.

Ms. French’s novels are dense with procedural detail. But, please. NOTHING HAS HAPPENED YET.

Yesterday (Christmas Day, lest one forget), self did absolutely nothing except watch CNN all day. The ticker tape at the bottom told of various Philippine disasters (It’s almost as if CNN knows the person watching is Filipino): flooding, a bus crash in northern Luzon, a fire in a call center that killed 38 people. Trump was at Mar-a-Lago (of course), posing for happy family pics with Melania, and trying to recover from the stress of holding public office (while being paid peanuts) by playing yet another round of golf.

On a more positive note, self was able to update one of her Gendrya. And today, she learned her story earned her six kudos. Not bad for one day.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

2018 SAG Awards Nominees: Personal Favorites

Some are very predictable to regular readers of this blog. Also, 2017 was really wonky since she didn’t get to see that many movies.

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture: Baby Driver

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role: Holly Hunter, The Big Sick

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries: Jeff Daniels, Godless

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Game of Thrones

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

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