CORNER: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 23 August 2017

Self finds this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge, CORNER, very interesting. It challenges us to think “about angles and intersections.”

She was watering on her front porch and decided to take pictures of some of the brick ledges. Threw in a picture of the Fox Theatre, a historic Redwood City landmark, right across the street from the San Mateo County Historical Museum:

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She found the ceramic turtle in a Salvation Army store, decades ago.

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Gardening’s always been her thing.

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Downtown Redwood City has this historic theatre (Would you believe, self’s never attended a performance?). Obama spoke here, a few years ago.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Elemental in Pasadena

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is ELEMENTAL. Erica V. on The Daily Post describes her response to experiencing the American Southwest for the first time: “I was both confused and in awe of this extreme landscape.”

Last month, self was in Pasadena. Her first visit south in three years. She Airbnb’ed in the Pasadena hills. The house was at the very top of a winding driveway. Behind it was nothing but steep, scrubby hillside.

Just inside the front door was a rock, a very heavy rock. Self should have asked her host about it, but she never did:

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There was a chameleon that kept trying to get into self’s unit. It was a beautiful thing. Every time self left the apartment, the chameleon would be clinging to the screen door. One day, self decided to photograph it:

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Finally, a slice of green matcha tiramisu from Urth Caffé, in downtown Pasadena, a block from legendary bookstore Vroman’s. It looks for all the world like moss!

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Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Texture: The Daily Post Photo Challenge 2 August 2017

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge (posted every Wednesday) is TEXTURE.

Photos have “a tactile element, too,” Ben Huberman says. As an example, he provides his shot of “tangles of seaweed . . .  across the wet sand at low tide.”

Here are three of self’s own examples of texture:

  • The lace on a ladies’ hat, circa 1900 – 1925, in the exhibit on Impressionism and the Milliner’s Trade at the CA Palace of the Legion of Honor:
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Maker identified only as “French, Madame Georgette”

  • Look at the wonderful texture in this salad arrangement!
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Le Pain Quotidien, Claremont, CA: July 2017

  • Discovered in the exploration of son’s room: a frog that squirts water. Self loves that the frog’s skin is so pebbled. It has a degree of realism you don’t often find in other toys.
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Plastic Frog! Found in Son’s Room in Redwood City, CA: This used to be one of his favorite toys.

 

 

 

The Verge on Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 2: “Stormborn”

Self had to sign up for Amazon Prime solely in order to be able to watch Game of Thrones Season 7. She got the first week of HBO free, but now she’s being charged $14.99/month. It’s all good because if she weren’t able to watch GoT Season 7, especially now with confirmation that Gendry would be returning (At last! My Gendry is in the House! Gendry is back, people!), she would just die.

Under the foolish assumption that having HBO deliver the show directly to her feed means she can watch Episode 3 about 12 hours ahead of anyone else, she keeps checking her Amazon link to make sure it is “good” and that the signal is strong. As of right now, there is nada.

So, here she is, all lonesome and frustrated and wondering how she is going to fill the next 12 hours. And then she stumbles on The Verge. Wow, whoever writes the show re-caps is so on point!

There’s this:

We’re back in King’s Landing before you can say “the feature-film debut of pop sensation Britney Spears,” and it seems to me like we could have just stayed here and held off on the 90-second greyscale explainer video until later, but it’s not my show. Cersei and Qyburn take a stroll through the Red Keep’s basement collection of skulls, where he unveils his dragon-slaying plan: a sinister-looking mechanical crossbow loaded with an enormous spear, which he claims “the finest artisan blacksmiths in King’s Landing” have been working on for months.”

  • Wait a minute: Did Qyburn actually use the words “finest artisan blacksmiths in King’s Landing?” Or did he just say “finest blacksmiths”? Because there is a difference. At this point, any mention of the word “blacksmith” has self going waaaay waaaay back in time, to Seasons 2 and 3. Because reasons. Anyhoo, end of digression.

I don’t know, I mean, it’s just a crossbow loaded with a spear. It looks to be only about 1.5 times larger than the one Joffrey was using to pick off prostitutes six years ago. But it successfully shoots a centuries-old dragon skull that is sitting perfectly still . . .  on the ground . . . about 15 feet away. Oh baby, here is a foolproof plan if I ever saw one. And artisanal!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

Wondering About Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 3

It is sweltering here up in the Pasadena Hills, and self feels no inclination to go outside. In the daytime, Pasadena is a sleepy city. At night, everyone drives with fury almost, zipping past slower cars and switching lanes with abandon. Self finds it very disconcerting. Especially as her GPS Navigator tells her where to turn only after she reaches an intersection, at which point she is usually in the wrong lane.

So, no going outside today. She’s re-reading a Calyx poetry anthology, A Fierce Brightness: Twenty-Five Years of Women’s Poetry, which she stumbled across in her house two weeks ago. Here’s the first half of a poem by Sheila Demetre:

A Woman Is Running For Her Life

Under my ribcage a live coal
is singing. It wheedles from its hutch
of bone, glows blue in every kindling breath.

I need these bright shoes to burn up centuries
of inertia, of sickness holding me limp
with forehead ground against my tangled knees.

Celestial now, I’m all brush and sweep.
My elbows scribble, quickening the air I slog.
Don’t touch my sparks, my hieroglyphs of heat.

She absolutely loves the “hieroglyphs of heat.”

Tomorrow is Episode 3 of Game of Thrones. Does Euron die? Does Yara die? Does Ellaria Sand die? Does Olenna Tyrell die? Does Grey Worm die? If Grey Worm dies, will Missandei go crazy? Does Meera Reed die? If Meera dies, does Bran get to have a wheelchair at last? Do we see Gendry (finally? Cause the tweets are getting ridiculous) Do Brienne and Podrick get to spar again? Does Ned Stark come back from the dead? Does Stannis Baratheon come back from the dead? Will we see more of Ser Jorah’s horrible greyscale? Will Sam be retching again? Will Dany continue to be her insufferable self? Will Sansa be more of her cryptic self? Will Jaime continue to be disconcerted? Will Cersei continue to be sarcastic? Will we ever find out which skilled blacksmiths created the Giant Crossbow aka Dragonkiller? Will Arya Stark continue to evolve? Will Wun Wun come back as a wight?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

For The Daily Post Photo Challenge COLLAGE: July 2017, So Vivid

Everything Summer 2017:

 

 

  • Discovered an old stash of photographs of Dearest Mum in her younger days.
  • Explored the inside of son’s closet in 2431 Hopkins Ave., Redwood City.
  • Rediscovered one of self’s most treasured books.
  • Had dinner with Jennie, son’s fiancée, at Himalayan Café in Old Town Pasadena.
  • Found artwork by son (when he was in grade school).
  • Got a Birthday present (for self) from son and Jennie: Nude Awakening (Self is so WOKE!).
  • Amused by a giant stag at the end of a driveway in the Pasadena hills.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Collage: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 13 July 2017

What is a collage? In the words of Michelle Weber over at The Daily Post, it is “an assortment, a collection, a hodgepodge.”

Here are a couple of shots that show a collage:

  • The printed dress. So fabulous. The wearer was self’s niece, Rina. We were having lunch at Boiling Crab:
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Rina Villanueva, July 2017

  • An assortment of reading matter: Everything from a Playbill to a book written by someone she used to know in college, Rick Manapat. The book, History of Negros, is about an island in the Philippines called Negros (The Spanish gave it the name, in the 16th century):
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What Self Found in Son’s Room: July 2017

  • A collection of roses on a hat at the recent exhibit “Degas, Impressionism and the Paris Millinery Trade” at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor:
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Woman’s Hat, circa 1910: The artist went by the name “Madame George”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Three Bridges

“. . .  capture any type or style of bridge where you are . . . ”

— Cheri Lucas Rowlands, The Daily Post

Bridge Over the Sacramento River (Self loves the vibrant yellow):

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Sacramento, July 2017

Another type of bridge: the stairs spanning the lobby of San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art:

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Stairs to Upper Level, SFMOMA, June 2017

Finally, Waterloo Bridge in London. The bridge is special to self because it’s the one she has to cross every time she watches a play at Shakespeare’s Globe.

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Waterloo Bridge, London, June 2017

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

#amreading: SURF CULTURE, THE ART HISTORY OF SURFING

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Surfing is . . . what? An act of cultural and religious significance for extinct societies that left us no written records? They were surfing in Africa before the Euros arrived. Spanish explorers commented on the plank canoes of the Chumash of Califas, and how they maneuvered in and out of the waves at places like Malibu Point and Rincon Point. Aboriginals all over the planet were being propelled by waves long before Tommy Tana came from the Solomon Islands to teach the convicts’ offspring the art of body whomping. Hand-hewn boards were sliding in the Maldives prior to the Euro intrusion.

— from the Introduction to Surf Culture, by C. R. Steyck

#amreading memoir: BARBARIAN DAYS by William Finnegan

Self loves that she is in California, that it is summer, that GoT Season 7 is about to begin (with Gendry, no less, lol — it’s been sooooo long!), and that she’s reading a book about a surfing life, William Finnegan’s Barbarian Days.

Aside from giving her lots and lots of beach feelz, the book has some pretty choice things to say about UC Santa Cruz:

UC Santa Cruz was an exciting place, but it was easy to leave. It was a new campus, a hotbed of academic experimentation. There were no grades, no organized sports. Professors weren’t authority figures but coconspirators. Maximum self-direction was encouraged. All of this suited me, but the place had no institutional gravity.

Funny to hear about a university’s lack of “institutional gravity” from a surfer boy, but anyhoo. It’s an interesting description.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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