Against the Odds 2: Books and City Councils

An unexpected victory? A snapshot of an unlikely moment? This week, show us something that defies the odds. 

— Michelle W., The Daily Post

How about books to help you achieve your dreams?

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Books to Straighten Your Thinking in 2017

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Daly City Vice Mayor Juslyn Manalo: Filipinos make up a sizable portion of the Daly City population. They struggle against many odds.

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At the Most Recent Daly City Council Meeting, Feb. 13, these signs were held by members of the audience.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Liu Xia: “June 2nd, 1989”

— Liu Xia dedicated “June 2nd, 1989” to her husband, Liu Xiaobo, imprisoned since 2009 on the charge of “inciting subversion of state power.” It’s in her collection Empty Chairs, translated from the Chinese by Ming Di and Jennifer Stern (Graywolf Press, 2015)

The poem begins:

This isn’t good weather
I said to myself
standing under the lush sun

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

#amwritingfantasy: More “Down”

So far in self’s story, the two characters (who are as yet unnamed) argue about anything and everything while Pinkie Pie (the name of the bathosphere) floats expectantly a few yards away.

It’s the end of the world, people. The sky’s all kinds of lurid colors, and what these two want to talk about is:

I haven’t seen cake in almost 30 years. Even forgot what it tastes like.

Are you serious? All right, let me refresh your memory: Cake is sand, rain, and seaweed, all mixed together.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

#amwritingfantasy: “Down”

Two men are getting ready to begin a new life on the ocean floor.

But first, they argue. About everything: from the name of the bathosphere (Pinkie Pie) to whether or not they should leave the girlfriend of one of them (Go Go):

We’ve never tested the ride. And we haven’t got any maps.

We don’t need maps. There’s only one way to go, and that’s down.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Against the Odds: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 15 February 2017

An unexpected victory? A snapshot of an unlikely moment? This week, show us something that defines the odds.

— Michelle W., The Daily Post

Last year, on the 2nd day of self’s trip to the UK, her camera shutter stopped opening all the way. Rather than buy a new camera, self decided to see how far she could push that old thing. And it lasted till the very end of her trip.

One of the last places she visited before returning home was Bletchley Park, about an hour train ride from London. Bletchley Park is where the World War II codebreakers did their work. According to the visitors’ brochure, “the Codebreakers’ efforts helped to shorten the war by up to two years, saving countless lives.” The codebreakers worked year-round in unheated wooden huts. “The first Enigma ciphers were broken in early 1940.”

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Bletchley Park: June 2016

Self took the picture below in Chinatown. She forgets which street it was on. It was either on Grant or on Stockton. Look closer at the words, and it turns out to be about Filipino immigration: the first immigrants faced discrimination. Caucasian women were not allowed to marry Asian immigrants, most of whom were single men. Yet, those early immigrants endured. Their descendants are all over California.

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Wall Mural, Chinatown, San Francisco

Anne-Adele Wight coordinates a monthly reading series at Head House Books in Philadelphia. She is a published poet. Just before June’s event, she hurt her knee and had to wear a brace. But — the show must go on!

She is fantastic.

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Anne-Adele Wight introducing speakers at the Head House reading series, which she coordinates: Philadelphia, June 2016

So there are self’s examples of “Against the Odds,” which is a very, very interesting photo challenge.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Anticipation: 2017

  • It is the Year of the Rooster. Kung Hei Fat Choy!
  • There will be a Trainspotting 2! Also a Baywatch movie! Also a Barbie movie! Also another Star Wars movie!
  • EU will abolish roaming charges for cell phones!
  • The world will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the death of Jane Austen, today’s most bestselling author!
  • Museum of the Bible becomes DC’s newest museum!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Debut Novel, University of Hawai’i Press

THE CHARM BUYERS, by Lillian Howan, is a novel that describes extraordinary beauty and turbulent change: Tahiti during the last years of French nuclear testing in the Pacific in the 1990s. Tahiti in the 1990s is a place where a supernatural, shamanistic reality exists together with the traditions of the Hakka Chinese, set against the background of the French colonial past and the Ma’ohi struggle for independence. It presents a world in transition and its people — black pearl cultivators, artists, taro farmers, politicians, smugglers, and shamans.

The Charm Buyers is a thought-provoking insight into a time of cultural change. It captures an essence of existing between reality and surreality, dreaming and wakefulness, the past and the future. (Foreword Reviews)

Book Launch!

Wednesday, 15 February 2017
5 p.m.
Maier Room, Fromm Hall
University of San Francisco

FREE AND OPEN TO ALL

Sponsored by the Master of Arts in Asia Pacific Studies, Asian Pacific American Studies, and the Center for Asia Pacific Studies.

Through a Gauze, Darkly: Washington DC, February 2017

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H Street NW, Washington DC: Night After the Reading at Sixth Engine

Sentence of the Day: AMERICAN GODS

Ideas are more difficult to kill than people, but they can be killed, in the end.

— p. 47, American Gods, by Neil Gaiman

Just starting to read American Gods, which she was drawn to because it seemed to be about hitchhiking. A kind of On the Road, with a twist of horror.

Finished Ape House a few minutes ago. Good job, Sara Gruen! The book succeeded in making self very curious about bonobos. She wonders if San Francisco Zoo has any?

A quick Google search revealed that:

  • Bonobos is the name of a men’s clothing chain based in San Francisco.
  • Bonobos is the name of a rock group.
  • They are endangered, they are found in only one country in the world: the Congo (Why only that one country?) According to the Bonobo Conservation Initiative, “they inhabit the heart of the Congo basin, the second largest rainforest on earth.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Another Sentence of the Day: APE HOUSE

p. 209:

  • She was going to expose him for what he was — anonymously, of course.

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