Landscape: California

Hidden Valley Loop Trail, Joshua Tree National Park:

  • In the distance were giant boulders and, everywhere on the plain beneath them, Joshua trees. I had always loved the oaks and pines and redwoods of the Bay Area, with their long and leafy limbs, but I had missed the desert trees: stout, prickly, wild-armed, and yet utterly fragile.

The Other Americans, by Laila Lalami, p. 137

3 CALIFORNIA CITIES (Tuesday Photo Challenge)

Self loves whenever viveka of my guilty pleasures posts for a new photo challenge.

Yesterday she posted on Tuesday Photo Challenge’s prompt: CITY. She has pictures of Chicago, Seattle, Hong Kong, Stockholm, and several others.

Self took the picture below last Saturday, during the Palo Alto Art & Wine Festival.

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Here’s a picture of Courthouse Square in self’s very own Redwood City:

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Friday, Just before an evening concert, July 2019

Self gave a reading at Philippine Expressions in Long Beach in March 2018. The naval yards are huge. This is the marina at sunset. I have never seen so many boats gathered in one place, virtually stretching to the horizon. My feeling was awe:

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Long Beach, California, March 2018

Photo A Week Challenge: STILL LIFE

Self LOVES still life. Taking pictures of things are a lot of fun.

So happy to join the Photo A Week Challenge this week.

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Still Life with Reading Material: Home in Redwood City, August 2019 (Self brought that shell all the way from the Philippines)

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More Redwood City: Dining Room, July 2019

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And Still More Redwood City: Front Porch, July 2019

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Lens-Artists Challenge # 57: TAKING A BREAK

Self’s current book, Mihaly Czsikszentmihalyi’s FLOW: THE PSYCHOLOGY OF OPTIMAL EXPERIENCE is a very, very interesting book.

Her son and daughter-in-law were Psychology majors at Claremont, the school where the author taught. In fact, she read about him in the Claremont Graduate University alumni magazine, The Flame.

She is trying to practice Flow thinking (see graph below). She is trying to achieve “complexity” in her consciousness. This will be her project for the rest of the summer.

She thinks this goal is very much tied in with the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: TAKING A BREAK.

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Today, she walked downtown, which she hadn’t done in two weeks. Courthouse Square was empty. Nevertheless, the trip was not in vain, for she saw a movie: Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Is this a ‘Flow’ experience? Self thinks it is. Watching movies is one of self’s most enjoyable activities.

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Mid-Afternoon, Courthouse Square, Redwood City, CA

And, she spends A LOT of time in her garden, where her efforts are repaid with gorgeous blooms like this one, on her Sheila’s Perfume rose:

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Sheila’s Perfume, last week of July 2019

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

California: The Light

California light is harsh. There are no subtleties between light and dark.

You’re young and then you’re suddenly old. It just happens.

We’re at the very middle of summer. After tomorrow, the days will get shorter. Self is sorry that she didn’t enjoy the summer as much as she should have. The weather every day was so unsettling: some days cool, like early spring. And then, the very next day, intensely hot.

She loves watching CNN: that succession of animatronic talking heads. The best moments of the Democratic Campaign so far have been: 1) Pete Buttigieg being confronted by a crowd of angry black citizens of South Bend, asking him if he believed in Black Lives Matter (“Are you asking me if black lives matter?” Buttigieg asked. “Of course they do.” A woman yelled: SAY IT. WE WANT TO HEAR YOU SAY IT. High drama, self loved it. Buttigieg did not back down. 2) Michael Bennett’s speech highlights, shown this morning before he came on The View. Until this morning, she barely registered a thought about him. WOW, that speech they aired this morning was a scorcher.

Both Buttigieg and Bennet are long shots, but they each represent a uniquely American energy. Which is COMPLETELY LACKING in the GOP.

She watched both Democratic debates. She was not enthused by Kamala’s unleashing on Biden. Self means, someone had to go after Biden, and no one was doing it, good for Kamala for having the keenest ambition of all the candidates. But really, it felt almost too easy. She won’t find it that easy to go after POTUS the same way.

Self tries to imagine a presidential debate between Trump and Kamala. She doesn’t think he’ll go for creepily stalking her across the stage, as he did with Hillary (Or maybe he will. Who knows? He’s clearly used that tactic before. On someone. Alas, Hillary was completely unprepared for the grotesque gesture)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: 5+ Items

It’s always a good day when self can participate in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge. This week, it’s 5+ Items:

Simply make sure there are at least 5 items in your photo.

Without further ado:

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Backyard, Yesterday Evening Around 8 p.m.

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Front Porch: Self has about six potted hydrangeas.

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One More from the Front Porch

Love summer. Love flowers.

Stay tuned.

 

 

Reading on the Fourth of July, 2019

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HOME: 4 July 2019

Today self finished Stephen Westaby’s Open Heart and began a re-read of the Rosario Ferré collection The Youngest Doll (University of Nebraska Press, 1991). Some pieces are memoir, some are nonfiction, some are magical realist.

  • Being a writer . . . one has to learn to live by letting go, by renouncing the reaching of this or that shore, to let oneself become the meeting place of both . . . In a way, all writing is a translation, a struggle to interpret the meaning of life, and in this sense the translator can be said to be a shaman, a person said to be deciphering conflicting human texts, searching for the final unity of meaning in speech.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Today’s Mail: Last Wednesday of June 2019

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from Texafornia Dreaming, p. 7, The Economist:

One in five Americans calls Texas or California home. By 2050 one in four will. Over the past 20 years the two states have created a third of new jobs in America. Their economic heft rivals whole countries’. Were they nations, Texas would be the tenth-largest, ahead of Canada by GDP. California would be fifth, right behind Germany.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Carlos Bulosan, Filipino Migrant Worker

Excerpt, Chapter XXIII, America Is In the Heart, a memoir by Carlos Bulosan:

When I went to the kitchen to wash dishes to pay for my food, the woman threw her hands up and said: “That is enough! Go home! Come again!”

I went again and again. But I had no home that winter. One of my companions died of tuberculosis, so Mariano burned the cabin and left town. The nights were cold. Once in a while I could hear church bells ringing, and I would say to myself: “If you can listen long enough to those bells you will be safe. Try to listen again and be patient.” They were my only consolation, those bells. And I listened patiently, and that spring came with a green hope.

I went to Seattle to wait for the fishing season in Alaska.

And that was where Carlos Bulosan died, a victim of tuberculosis.

Stay tuned.

One Year Ago: Redwood City, California

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