Foolish Things

  • As a result of dropping by the Robert Frank exhibit at the Cantor Art Center on the Stanford Campus yesterday, self got it into her head that she would very much like to own a Leica.
  • After leaving the Robert Frank exhibit, self fully intended to go to Aquarius in Palo Alto and watch Rory Kennedy’s “Last Days in Vietnam.” But she did not.  Instead, after filling up with gas, she went home.  And today — alas! — that film is no longer showing.
  • Self hasn’t looked at her story “The Peacock.”  Not once.  Not since it was workshopped at Squaw. She has no idea what to do with that story. It just sits there, like a lump on a log. Taking up space in her computer. In her store of unfulfilled projects. She wanted it to be a memoir about her and Dear Departed Sister-in-Law Ying. She wanted it to be desperate and lonely, the voice of a soul lost in the Cambodian wilderness after failing to connect with the splendor that is Angkor Wat (Dear blog readers, do you know that there’s a RAFFLES HOTEL IN SIEM REAP???)
  • Self has wanted to replace the desert of the front lawn with trees — perhaps olive trees — to screen her house from the busy street. But she’s remained staring at that patch of bare, weed-choked dirt for 10 years. It sounds really lame to keep bringing up the drought.

Ugh, ugh, girl. Why can’t you just do? Why must you always be re-hashing the old, or rehearsing for the future? To what end?

How quickly you forget: just yesterday, you got word from Witness that a piece you sent them eight months ago is going to be in their Translation issue.

As for somehow missing “Last Days in Vietnam,” “Gone, Girl” is showing in the Redwood City Century 20 and she heard from a friend who read the book that it’s actually pretty good. Self is not a Ben Affleck fan — seems he is pretty much a control freak with his wife, and no doubt he took care to present himself in the best possible light in this new role — but what the heck? Maybe she just wasn’t in the mood for another hard-hitting documentary yesterday, maybe she should just try and ignite a new respect for Ben Affleck? She did like “Argo” a lot. He’s not a bad director.

And if she’d managed to watch “Last Days in Vietnam” yesterday, she would have missed seeing the San Francisco Giants’ nail-biting victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. She would have missed seeing the way the two teams went head to head all the way to the 9th inning. She would have missed that sweet, game-ending homer.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Today, Third Thursday of September (2012): Class Visit, Skyline College

It was very cold and foggy on the Skyline College Campus.  The last time self was here was almost a year ago, November, reading with Zack.

Now, she was visiting two of Prof. Liza Erpelo’s classes.  Liza is an Associate Professor in Skyline’s Language Arts Division, and Coordinator of the Kababayan Program.  She is absolutely tireless.  Self loves her vision, her energy, and her smarts.  Self learned today, from Liza’s introduction of her, that Liza credits Jaime Jacinto with inspiring her to bring Filipino writers into the classroom.  She said that one of the writers Jaime invited was self!  Oh, she remembers!  It was shortly after Calyx Press published her first book, Ginseng and Other Tales From Manila!  How wonderful Jaime was, and all the Filipino writers who welcomed her with wide open arms into their little community:  Lou Syquia, Virginia Cerenio, Oscar and Luisa Peñaranda.

As self is always fascinated by interiors, here’s a peek inside Liza’s office, for the benefit of dear blog readers:

Liza is an avid San Francisco Giants fan, as anyone can tell from this little arrangement:

The little green and white box contains a Posey figure! In the framed photograph: Liza’s husband Jeremy and their daughter Aubrey.

The Giants won again today!  The magic number is dwindling (Self believes it’s now 4).

Would you believe, after speaking to two classes and having a fabulous lunch at Tribu with Liza and her new Fulbright (who, of all things, turns out to be from Bacolod!), self dashed to her car, took a wrong turn somewhere, and ended up in Half Moon Bay.  But it was a beautiful day!  And the beaches were gorgeous, simply gorgeous.

Coda:  The book the students had to read and write a paper on was self’s Mayor of the Roses.  A young man (not Filipino —  interesting that they sign up for this Kababayan class anyway) asked self a question about “Extinction” (This is her one ZYZZYVA story.  Howard Junker sent it back to her with a scribbled note:  “Needs to be MORE wild!”) which, self was bemused to learn, was not one of the stories Liza had assigned.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Sean Maher Tights/ Marketman Makes an Omelette

It is just before 11 p.m.  Self is so happy because the San Francisco Giants finally won! (Thank you, Aubrey Huff and Chris Stewart, for hitting homers tonight!  Thank you, too, San Francisco Giants fans, for getting into the spirit of “Jerry Garcia Tribute Night” and wearing very convincing Jerry Garcia wigs!)

Self checks the blog just before she turns in for the night, and finds that views have spiked, mostly because of this search term:

Sean Maher tights

???

Self is completely befuddled until she remembers that last year, she watched an episode of “Warehouse 13” which featured Sean Maher (of Joss Whedon’s short-lived “Serenity” TV series and the movie “Firefly”) as a superhero who wore purple tights.

Next, self turns for relaxation to her Bookmarks, and reads all about Marketman’s adventures in the Cebu restaurant trade (This was Dear Sister-in-law Ying’s favorite blog.  In fact, she was the one who first brought Marketman to self’s attention.  For a while after Ying passed away, self avoided Marketman like the plague.  A year ago, however, self began reading it again, and now she finds it so ridiculously addictive).

A few posts down, she sees something about Marketman making an “Open Face” omelette and —  quelle coincidence!  This evening, self undertook to make a torta!  With ground beef and all the almost-mush tomatoes in her fridge!  After laboring over this magnificent dish, self was more than a little peeved when dear hubby pronounced the meat “off.”  (Really, if all someone does is sit and wait to be served, then they are not entitled to complain!)  Anyhoo, self had planned to skip dinner (in the interests of restraining her rapidly burgeoning belly), but ended up eating a few bites of the torta, in order to see for herself whether the meat really was off, and she found the torta so delicious that she ended up eating more.  And more.  And more.  And, somehow, she can’t help thinking that hubby knew she would do exactly what she ended up doing:  tasting the torta, in spite of her avowed intention to skip dinner (except for one polvoron).  The man is so sneaky.  He’s like a German U-boat.  Or a shark.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Filipino Heritage Night: San Francisco Giants vs Arizona Diamondbacks

Help the Filipina Women’s Network celebrate Filipino Heritage Night, May 11, 2011, 7:15 pm at AT & T Park, and receive a limited edition Filipino-themed Giants Tim Lincecum jersey-T, which can be redeemed the day of the game by presenting your ticket stub.

Tickets are dynamically priced, which means ticket prices will increase as the event moves closer.  Buy your tickets early and SAVE.

Ticket proceeds will benefit Filipina Women’s Network, Filipino American Arts Exposition, Manilatown Heritage Foundation, Manny Pacquiao Foundation, and 600 Hands.

Purchase tickets HERE.

The Utter Fabulousness of Liza E

Zack and self visited Liza E’s class at Skyline College today.

It was a beautiful day!

During the class (Students had drawn up a list of questions for self and Zack beforehand), self had occasion to recall that if it were not for Brian Roley, she would not have a book called Mayor of the Roses.

Self talked about the genesis of the title story. It was a nugget that remained in her consciousness for almost a decade before she sat down to write it. She originally hoped to turn it into a novel. But in the end, she hadn’t the nerve to live within the horror of its material for more than a couple of pages.

Brian just made an appearance at Pomona College. When self found out, she said: Why didn’t you tell me beforehand? Did you know son is at Claremont? He and his friends would have packed the reading!

Self delivered unto Liza (for The Bump) the incredible oinking pig. Self has to thank John Malkovich’s character in “Red” for giving her the idea.

Self feels so privileged: standing in Liza E’s office, Zack showed her the galleys for Leche. He told her a little about how the novel ends. Heads up, y’all: The book comes out in April.

Earlier, self had just stuffed her face with Lychee Shake, Lechon Kawali, Sinigang Bangus Belly and bibingka with ube ice cream at Tribu. Even though self kept protesting that she could not eat, she of course ended up eating. (She is definitely taking niece G here on Sunday, when she picks her up from the BART station! Before going to watch “Waiting for Superman” at Palo Alto Square!)

Liza E wore Giants wristbands on both wrists! Self found out that she and Jeremy are such fans they actually watch every single game! Compared to them, self is such a Johnny-come-lately! But self was happy to get into it with Liza on the time Brian Wilson had to color his orange fluorescent fabulous shoes with a black Sharpie because you are only allowed to have footwear that is half orange. Or some such ridiculous reason.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Ye Olde Stomping Grounds

Self to (hapless) Stanford student at Information Desk, Stanford Bookstore: I am a Stanford grad! Why don’t you carry my book in your “Stanford Authors” section!

(They used to carry it, you know. Way back when!)

Stanford student: Oh, sorry, Ma’am! I’ll let the Buyer know!

Oh, self, you are just so incorrigible! Why harass complete strangers, presenting them with your complete and stunning un-reknown?

Self noticed in her peregrinations around the Bookstore that there were T-shirts very prominently displayed next to the cashiers, proclaiming: FEAR THE TREE.

Oh my Goodness!

Later, when self made a shortcut through the Stanford Shopping Center to get home, she saw a huge crowd snaking out of one of the stores. She assumed it was Pinkberry, but when she was closer she took a good look and saw: The line was issuing forth from the Giants store.

BWAH. HA. HA!!!

If only self hadn’t been in so much of a rush to get home, she would have pulled over and taken a picture.

Anyhoo, here are some pictures self took at the Cantor Arts Center this afternoon:

Main Entrance, Cantor Arts Center

Cool. Sculpture in a Courtyard, Cantor Arts Center

Rodin Sculpture Garden, Stanford

The current exhibit is “Mami Wata:  Arts for Water Spirits in Africa and Its Diasporas” (Definitely got self’s creative juices flowing!)

On her way out, self picked up a flyer for “Ayiti Pap Mouri!”, a Haitian Dance, Music and Art Festival coming up Nov. 18 – 21 in San Francisco’s Dolores Park.  For more info:  djenane_saintjuste@hotmail.com

Stay tuned.

Giants, the Movie: Now Self Has Seen It All, Part 2

Possible casting choices (as suggested by Buzzsugar) to play our beloved San Francisco Giants pitchers in the sure-to-follow Hollywood movie !!!

  • For The Beard:  Ryan “The Notebook” Gosling (Buzzsugar :  “He has the eyes”)
  • For Lincecum:  Adrien “The Pianist” Brody (Buzzsugar:  Brody has “the right bone structure and slight frame” —  BWAH HA HAAA!)
  • For Madison Bumgarner:  John “The Office” Krasinski
  • For Matt Cain:  Justin “Needs No Introduction” Timberlake —  primarily, it seems, for the curly hair (???).  Self thinks a better choice would be John C. Reilly.  Reilly might be a tad old, however, to play the 26-year-old pitcher.

As for the rest of the Giants players:

  • For Cody Ross:  Eric “Grey’s Anatomy” Dane
  • For Buster Posey:   Eddie Redmayne (Lately of “Red”:  Buzzsugar says Redmayne is a “dead ringer” for baby-faced Posey)
  • For Edgar Renteria:   Robbie “One Tree Hill” Jones
  • For Freddie Sanchez:   Freddie “Six Feet Under” Rodriguez
  • For Aubrey Huff:  Steve Zahn (Oh boy, for this one self is in 100% agreement!)
  • For Juan Uribe:  Kenan “Saturday Night Live” Thompson (Also like this casting!)

What about dear blog readers?  Got any suggestions of your own!  Bring ’em on!

CHEERS!! JUBILATION !!!

Fireworks exploding from the neighboring houses!  Cars honking as they speed down the street!  Screams!  Yells!  It is noisy outside!

(Poor li’l Gracie hiding under the dining room table, her tail between her legs!)

Series MVP Renteria ??? YEEES !!!

Lincecum was magnificent!  Hats off as well to Matt Cain (pitched Game 2) and Madison Bumgarner (pitched Game 4)!  All these guys are in their early or mid-20s.  Hope they’ll remain Giants for a long, looong time!

Bittersweet moment:  the last time self will see Brian Wilson cross his arms and point to the sky.

2nd night in a row, self did not cook dinner!  Hubby surviving on beer, chips, and salsa!

Bruce Bochy, you are genius!  Sheer genius!

Bochy for Governor!

(Lincecum in the post-game interview:  Wow, take a look at those arms!  For a skinny guy, that is some major, major musculature!)

Stay tuned.

Painful

Oh, the absurdity.  The Giants are not known for their hitting.

Tonight’s game was actually painful.  How painful?

At one point in the 8th inning, self started to root for the Texas Rangers.

“Come on!” she found herself yelling at the screen.  “Just score one run.  Can’t you score just one run?”

Until that inning, the Texas Rangers pitcher had somehow managed to hold the Giants lead down to 2.

Then, with two out in the inning, the Rangers pitcher was pulled because he had developed a blister.

After that, one Giant after another hit.

And hit.

And hit.

To the point where watching became agony.  Absolute agony.

Self, looking at the Rangers pitchers’ faces, knew they were in hell.  There is absolutely nothing more excruciating than watching the self-immolation of a much-touted team.

Pitcher after pitcher came to the mound.  Someone threw 11 straight balls.  The Giants walked in one run, then another, and yet another.

Self found herself saying such things as:  “Will this inning never end?”

Self is now rooting for the Rangers.  Please.  She wants them to win at least one game.  So that the season will not be over.  Not, anyway, so soon.

Stay tuned.

Amazing! Wonderful!

Giants won tonight!  Self made it home in time (from tutoring at Notre Dame Writing Center) to catch the last two innings.  Lincecum pitched all the way to the end!  He threw 135 pitches!  Self will never complain about neck or shoulder pain again.  All she needs to do is think: 135 pitches in one night!  How that young man’s arm managed to remain still attached to his shoulder at the end of the game is something that simply defies comprehension.

Driving home, self was glad she’d had her brakes fixed today.  Because three deer suddenly materialized on Alameda, and if she’d still had the rotten brakes, she might have hit them.  What were three deer doing, wandering across Alameda de las Pulgas this evening?  There was one big deer and two little ones.  After that, self’s heart was racing.

Tonight, barely a month into the Fall semester, self’s dance card was full.  That is, she had student after student after student, one after the other, for over two hours.  She had to help out with someone who wanted to know the difference between a compound and a complex sentence (Why?  Self asked herself.  Why is it important to know?  Self went through her whole life not knowing the difference, and it hasn’t hindered her any!  Until now!)

Then there were three students who needed help deciding whether to write a paper on Bernard Malamud’s story, “Angel Levine,” or Raymond Carver’s “Cathedral.”  What a choice!  Self loves Malamud, but in the end all the students decided to write about Carver (In retrospect, self shouldn’t have been so surprised.  Malamud’s magical realism is altogether harder for students to comprehend than Carver’s seemingly straightforward —  but actually deeply mysterious —  story)

The last student was writing a paper on “The Marriage of Figaro,” an opera self knew absolutely nothing about.  But now she knows a lot!  For one thing, she now knows the opera dealt with the cultural and political relationships in a European country!  In the 18th century!  (Once again, self digresses)  The student left after an hour, professing to feel quite confident in his paper-writing abilities.

Today, as well, self managed to garden.  She watered, and did some light pruning of the apple and magnolia.  October is a wonderful time to be in the garden.  For one thing, it is cool, and self feels less manic about the watering.  Today, in the late afternoon, when self looked at her garden, and saw everything so fecund, and new buds starting to open on her Fourth of July, and the Japanese anemones covered with pretty white flowers, she was happy.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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