Numbers: Daily Post Photo Challenge, 3 June 2016

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Dearest Mum Playing Solitaire: March 2016

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Self-explanatory, really

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Chinatown, San Francisco

Manhattan Stories 2

The line for Star Wars is incredible. Starts on 55th and 7th. Winds around 55th to 6th Avenue. Goes down 56th. Self can’t even.

Lucky for the faithful standing in line, it is a warm night in New York City.

Do you know that you can have a lamb falafel doused with yogurt and spicy sauce for only $7? And it will fill you up as much (if not more) as a fancy meal at wherever?

Also, sidewalk vendors sell cans of soda and ginger ale for $1 apiece. In the hotels, that same can of soda will cost you $3.

Sting is singing at Carnegie Hall. Average price for a ticket: $200.

A homeless woman walks into an Upper West Side Nail Salon and demands a pedicure (How does self know she isn’t just jumping to conclusions? How does self know that the woman is really homeless? Well, right. Self really doesn’t know. Just because the woman’s pushing a filthy shopping cart! She could be the Queen of Park Avenue for all self knows!) Self’s heart drops in empathy for the nail technician who’s been selected to perform this onerous task.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Traveling: Never Without These

Self's Favorite Footwear: Sneakers

Self’s Favorite Footwear: Sneakers

Jacket: Bought this in the Oxfam store in Cambridge, UK: 10 British Pounds

Jacket: Bought this in the Oxfam store in Cambridge, UK: 10 British Pounds (About $15)

About that jacket: it’s become a habit with self that the day after she arrives in London, she proceeds straight to Cambridge to visit her friend Dodo.

As usual, she left California in a flurry and didn’t bring a jacket. She arrived in Cambridge to rain. Dodo made her buy one because the plan was to go punting on the River Cam. And as anyone who has seen a punt can tell you, you are completely exposed to the elements.

The jacket has become indispensable. As indispensable as the sneakers.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

ROY G. BIV: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Self learns today that ROY G. BIV stands for the following colors:

  • Red
  • Orange
  • Yellow
  • Green
  • Blue
  • Indigo
  • Violet

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge involves sharing “an image that contains all the colors of the rainbow.”

Quite Easily Done!

Self has currently been partaking of the glories of the United Kingdom. Naturally, she’s been taking photos like crazy. London and Dublin are extremely colorful places.

Somewhere near Blackfriars Bridge, South Bank, London

Somewhere near Blackfriars Bridge, South Bank, London

A few days ago, self was invited by her friend, poet Joan McGavin, to participate in a demonstration for action on climate change. The gathering took place near Lambeth Bridge on Wednesday, 17 June 2015. Self noticed a young woman wearing the most beautiful jacket.  She asked where the woman had bought her jacket. The response: Camden Market. It only cost 20 pounds.

A Demonstration Calling for Action on Climate Change: Wednesday, 17 June 2015

A Demonstration Calling for Action on Climate Change: Wednesday, 17 June 2015

And finally, a shot from the day self spent in Cambridge, visiting ex-classmate Dodo Duterte Stanley:

Cambridge, UK: Punting boats waiting for passengers on the River Cam

Cambridge, UK: Punting boats waiting for passengers on the River Cam

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Minimalist: Food

Self so loves this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge:  MINIMALIST.

Here are a couple more photographs that self thinks relate to that theme (“Sometimes the simplest photographs make the boldest statements.”)

From Beijing Pie House in Monterey Park:  silken tofu with century egg in a light soy sauce, garnished with green onions

Beijing Pie House, Monterey Park:  November 2014

Beijing Pie House, Monterey Park: November 2014

Blaze Pizza in Pasadena: Doggie “Box”

Blaze Pizza, Pasadena:  November 2014

Blaze Pizza, Pasadena: November 2014

Another from Blaze Pizza.  Would you believe, two toppings, including sales tax = $8.34 ????

Still Blaze Pizza, Pasadena: November 2014

Still Blaze Pizza, Pasadena: November 2014

One can eat very cheaply, VERY WELL, in southern California. If one knows where to look.

Stay tuned.

Perspective: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Is it just self, or are the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenges becoming increasingly — challenging?

This week’s theme is PERSPECTIVE:

Post a photo which is not what it seems to be.

(Oh. Self doesn’t think her photos are anything other than what they seem to be: shots of a flower market)

But she’s not going to change her post now! Not after she spent so much time choosing the pictures!

Self thinks it’s the use of wide angle on her teensy Nikon Coolpix that makes all the difference:  she can move up close, but still get so much peripheral detail into a shot.  And in places like the ones she’s been to in the Philippines, the frame is just jammed with detail.

She likes to show people, too.  Not posing for the cameras, just getting on with it — work, their daily lives, whatever.

Flower Vendor's Stall, In front of San Sebastian Cathedral, Bacolod City

Flower Vendor’s Stall, In front of San Sebastian Cathedral, Bacolod City

Self went looking for a wreath of flesh flowers she could lay in front of her Dear Departed Dad’s grave.

The flowers were absolutely gorgeous!

The flowers were absolutely gorgeous!

Self doesn't really know what made her pick this vendor over another -- all the stalls were gorgeous, everyone had more or less the same prices.

Self doesn’t really know what made her pick this vendor over another — all the stalls were gorgeous, everyone had more or less the same prices.

Here are three other WordPress blogs whose interpretation of this week’s theme, Perspective, self found particularly thought-provoking:

The absolute fun of toy photography —  and why I got into it in the first place — is that creativity with perspective is a must.  Somehow, you have to make 1″ to 6″ plastic plastic men look like giants.

  • from Nola Roots, Texas Heart:  Look at the second photo. It is so poignant, especially after reading the accompanying quote, from Harper Lee.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

The Sugar Central at Barangay Dos Hermanas: First Farmers, Founded 1964

Today self did not expect to actually enter a sugar central.  But, having secured a taxi, she decided to test her adventurous spirit — to the max.

Do you know where First Famers is, she asked the driver.

Yes, ma’am! quoth he with alacrity.

Then take me there! 

After haggling over his fee (He’d never ever had to take anyone to a sugar central before), we were off!  But first we passed the Talisay ukay-ukay (open-air market), and self hit on a REALLY GOOD STRATEGY:  she made the taxi driver walk around with her, and when she wanted to buy something, she would hand the clothes to him and tell him to make tawad (haggle).  Obviously, this was a very good strategy, for she was able to secure a pair of rubber tsinelas (still in the wrapping, with very pristine soles) for 30 pesos (69 US cents).  Later, when she is back in her room (at the moment, she is availing of the free and extremely fast wi-fi in Café Uma) she will take a picture.

Anyhoo, at the entrance to First Farmers, self and the taxi were stopped at the gate by two extremely serious-looking security guards.  They simply would not believe self was a Villanueva.  Especially because she had arrived in a taxi.  A taxi from Bacolod.  Driven by a man who looked extremely tetch-y.  She had to whip out her Stanford Alumni Membership Card (She could have shown them her California drivers license, but that would have revealed her age.  Self, you are soooo vain!)

The guards immediately got on the phone and she had to wait in the taxi for almost half an hour.  She asked who the manager was, and they said it was “something something Montinola.”  Montinola!  Self immediately thought of her Assumption classmate, Gianna Montinola, and said:  “Let me talk to him.  He’s probably the brother of my dearest good friend since kindergarten, Ms. Gianna Montinola.”  Further blah blah blah on the phone.  Finally, they waved us through.  The driver, let self tell ya, was completely completely unmanned and wanted to go straight back to Bacolod, but self threatened not to pay him.

So, there was self, pulling up to the Assistant Manager’s Office.  Of all things, they insisted she be escorted around by someone, who turned out to be the Assistant Manager himself.  They gave her a hard hat to wear (blue).  As self looks extremely ugly in a hard hat, she refused to have her picture taken.  But here are a few of the pictures she did end up taking:

The First Farmers sugar central began operation in 1964.

The First Farmers sugar central began operation in 1964.

The processed sugar is packed into bags which are sewn shut and then stored in this cavernous warehouse.  Amazingly, there is not an ant problem.

The processed sugar is packed into bags which are sewn shut and then stored in this cavernous warehouse. Amazingly, there is not an ant problem.

The sugar before it's sewn into sacks.  It was WARM. Amazing. Self did not, of course, eat the whole glass. That would have added xxx pounds to her weight.

The sugar before it’s sewn into sacks. It was WARM. Amazing. Self did not, of course, eat the whole glass. That would have added xxx pounds to her weight.  And she’s supposedly on a diet.

This is the molasses before it's further processed into sugar. Amazing:  the engineer pulled a spigot and let the brown liquid seep onto a thin pane of glass, and that's how self tasted it -- by running a finger along the glass.

This is the molasses before it’s further processed into sugar. Amazing: the engineer pulled a spigot and let the brown liquid seep onto a thin pane of glass, and that’s how self tasted it — by running a finger along the glass.

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There’s so much more, but self will need to rest now.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

1st Friday of the Month: Talisay

The Reclining Christ in the Talisay cathedral had people lining up to touch His feet:  There's a small opening in the glass case for people to reach their hands through.

The Reclining Christ in the Talisay cathedral had people lining up to touch His feet: There’s a small opening in the glass case for people to reach their hands through.

The church in Talisay is very beautiful:  it was built by the Recollects, who arrived in the Islands in 1606.

The church in Talisay is very beautiful: it was built by the Recollects, who arrived in the Islands in 1606.

After visiting the Church, self went to the market.  The ukay-ukay here is tremendous.  She bought three tailored cotton shirts for a grand total of 75 pesos (just under $2).  She tried them on:  perfect fit!  Then she took the jeep back to Bacolod (Only one transfer:  each leg was 8 pesos, for a total of 16 pesos, about 35 US cents).  If only self had had the courage to take pictures while riding in the jeepney!  Incredible:  more and more people kept coming in, and self was squashed right between two schoolboys.  She was balancing her stash of five shirts from the hukay-hukay, and 1 kilo of lanzones (2.2 lbs, and she probably overpaid, judging from the way the lanzones vendor broke out into a big, toothless smile when self handed over her payment.  But the lanzones were huge, and very sweet.)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Bacolod 2013: National Bookstore, SM Citi, Reclamation Area

The mall rests on reclaimed land, just beyond the main plaza and San Sebastian Cathedral.  Yesterday was the first chance she had, since arriving, to see the blue walls of La Consolacion College, the old church, the plaza, the flower arrangers. She made the taxi driver stop, got down, and selected a huge standing bouquet of white lilies, foxgloves, and red anthurium. She’ll take it to Bacolod Memorial Park this morning, to put in front of the graves of her Dear Departed Grandfather and Dear Departed Dad.

And then she went to the Mall.  Destination:  National Bookstore, to see if they carried copies of some of her books.

She’s been there before, she knows where the Filipino Authors section is.  2nd Floor, in a corner.

She was gratified to see a group of young students, crowding this section.

Hopeful sign!

The books these young people were reading were thin little paperbacks, identical in size.  All had white spines.  Wonder what those could be, self wondered, edging closer.

These thin little buggers (little more than pamphlets) covered floor to ceiling of two book sections.  There didn’t seem to be any other types of books:  No books by Jessica Zafra, by Charlson Ong, by Butch Dalisay, by Dean Alfar, by Simeon Dumdum or Marne Kilates.  So, what were these books?

They were “chick lit”, homegrown.  Novels of about 50 pages, knocked out fast on newsprint.  Self is so gratified by this evidence that young people are still reading.  She wanted to take pictures of the shelves but couldn’t manage to squeeze in between students.  So instead she continued wandering around the store and selected a few of the more interesting books, books such as:

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and:

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and:

In the textbooks section, self found this. The book is in its 3rd edition.

In the textbooks section, self found this. The book is in its 3rd edition.

Self came away with two blank journals.  Journals are pretty expensive in the United States, but one of the journals she bought yesterday looks very similar to the Moleskin sketchbooks that sell there for $12 – $15, and all she paid for the journals were 159 pesos each (Just under $4).

Stay tuned for further peregrinations.

Nostalgic (Already) 4 Summer 2013

Concert # 4 in Stafford Park was today.

These concerts are held every Wednesday, throughout the summer.

The music this evening was Country.

Self, standing next to The Man, both of us chowing down hot dog with dill, felt already a kind of creeping nostalgia for this summer.  We are almost halfway through July!  How did we get here?

Stafford Park Today

Stafford Park Today, During the Concert

Oh how self loves these Wednesday evenings in the park!

Oh how self loves these Wednesday evenings in the park!

Quick where does one send a story about a castle?  Self wrote one this morning.  Big surprise!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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