Two 1/2 Years Later, Nothing’s Changed

The Economist, 14 June 2014: Terror’s New Headquarters

  • Perhaps Iraq’s humiliated army will muster the resolve to make a stand, or even retake Mosul. But, with its symbolic victories and an endless supply of young men, that will be of little comfort. ISIS aims to withdraw the map of of the Middle East by creating a Sunni state, starting with Eastern Syria and the heart of Iraq. Its brand of militancy is spreading poison and terror across the Arab world. One day, if they have their way, ISIS’s suicide bombers will also target Europe and America. Without a change of heart in Baghdad and Washington, groups like it will continue to cause mayhem. Even with a new approach, it will be hard to stop the jihad.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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.

Magic 5: Thanksgiving Edition

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Green Apple Books, 9th Avenue (by Golden Gate Park), San Francisco: This is an antique wall phone. I do really really want to call Ishmael!

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Charles Parsons’ Model Chinese Pole Junk (circa 500 B.C.) at the San Mateo County Historical Museum, Courthouse Square, Redwood City

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Model of a British Ship-of-the-Line, circa 1765 (in the Charles Parsons Exhibit at the San Mateo County Historical Museum

Entrance fee to the San Mateo County Historical Museum: $6.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

#amwriting: The Hill of Storms

The ghost of Dolly the sheep and three dun-polled cows grazed the storm-torn bracken.

From that day the King of France was never troubled by visits from the lands of dark-skinned peoples.

__________________

This is one of those stories where every other line is italicized because there are two interlocking threads.

An experiment, for sure!

Stay tuned.

Magic 4: Look, Look, Look Everywhere

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Altar, Old Saint Mary’s, California Street, San Francisco

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Morning, Philadelphia, June 2016

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The Tate Modern, London: It used to be the Battersea power station, now it houses art.

Magic 3: Oh, the Places Self Has Been in 2016

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San Francisco’s Sutro Tower: Iconic

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Gallery of Assyrian Art, British Museum, Earlier This Year

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Twilight, Mendocino: Earlier This Year

Magic 2: Animé in Fort Bragg

This week, make some magic. — Jen H., The Daily Post

For two weeks in March, self stayed at an apartment in Fort Bragg, a place with wonderful deep orange walls, shelves of books, and a collection of animé figurines.

The collector was a lawyer. Next door was a carpentry shop. The books on the shelves were mostly about carpentry and wood finishes.

Here’s the apartment. The animé figurines were discovered at garage sales.

Staying in the apartment was MAGIC.

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The Godzilla piece was her favorite. Every day she’d wake up and perform the same morning ritual: swinging the javelin. For good luck.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Magic: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 18 November 2016

  • For this week’s challenge, find some magic and charm us with it.

— Jen H., The Daily Post

Quite Easily Done!

Art is magic.

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2nd Floor, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

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Keith Haring, Outside the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park

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Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London

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.

A Sweet Affair, in the Depot Building, Fort Bragg

The first three months of this year, self spent in Mendocino and Fort Bragg.

Below, a window display in the Fort Bragg bakery A Sweet Affair, in the Depot Building. Their cakes and pastries are exquisite, real works of art. Plus, not to mention, yummmy!

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Self wishes she were there. Right now.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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