Rainbows, Lamps, and Watercolors Transmogrify and Delight

An ordinary day became great because there was this rainbow:

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The lamp below was in a down-home grocery store in Philo, California (Pop. 360 approx.)

The surprise of it being over Aisle # 3 is why self is including it in this post:

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Lemons Grocery, Philo, California

Lastly, self’s friend Mary-Ellen Campbell has been all over the world. She brings watercolors and sketchbooks wherever she goes and makes quick paintings of her surroundings. Look at this simple yet beautiful rendition of Angkor Wat, Cambodia:

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Angkor Wat, Watercolor by Artist/Traveler Mary-Ellen Campbell

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Interpretations, H20: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 7 October 2016

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge — H20 — is interesting. Self actually spent a good part of the day snapping pictures that she thought fit the theme, but in the end none of the pictures she took were particularly noteworthy.

Luckily, there are so many gorgeous posts from other WordPress bloggers. Here are a few:

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Other Edges

In which self pays homage to other WordPress blogs whose interpretations of The Daily Post Photo Challenge (EDGE) are inspiring:

  • Ain’t Mine No More, for her photograph of penguins in Prague
  • The Armchair Sommelier, for that shot of a stormy sky over the Brooklyn Bridge
  • Still Thinking, for that shot looking down at the Urubamba River from the heights of Machu Picchu
  • Roaming About, for the shots of The Precipice Trail and Champlain Mountain in Maine’s Acadia National Park
  • The Storyteller’s Abode, for her dramatic pictures of people on the edge of a cliff in Tintagel, Cornwall, United Kingdom (King Uther Pendragon — name sound familiar? If not, you need to brush up on your King Arthur lore!)
  • Netdancer’s Musings, for the photograph of London’s Tower Bridge on a rainy night

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Mirror: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 2 September 2016

  • This week’s challenge is all about reflections.

— Jen H., The Daily Post

Here is self’s first take:

Noelle Q. de Jesus reading from her first short story collection, Blood, at the San Francisco Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, 23 August 2016:

(The table is a reflective surface)

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Noelle Q. de Jesus (in red and black top) and Edwin Lozada, who organized the reading: August 23, 2016, San Francisco Main Library

A man is reflected in an Ed Ruscha work at the de Young Museum in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, about a month ago:

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An Ed Ruscha at the de Young Museum, August 2016

Final photo: the sculpture garden at the de Young Museum, August 2016. That refective ball is pretty fabulous!

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Sculpture Garden, outside the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park, August 2016

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Dance: The Narnia Trail, Rostrevor, Northern Ireland

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is DANCE.

And it just so happens that self was having a conversation with a member of her writer’s group, about Diary of a Wimpy Kid and other childhood classics, which led her to remember:

Rostrevor, July 2015.

She was a guest of Csilla Toldy, a poet she met in Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig. On her first day in Rostrevor, Csilla took self walking along The Narnia Trail, which led through a magical wood. At intervals along the trail were these strange twig creatures, each caught in the middle of doing a silent dance:

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Aren’t they fabulous?

C. S. Lewis was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He would have loved this trail.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

First Adventure: Mexico on Third-Class Bus with Roommate Sachiko

Self was a grad student at Stanford.

Her roommate was an Anthropology grad student named Sachiko Hayashida. (She has tried many times to find Sachiko. She has googled “Sachiko Hayashida” and found a few who teach in Japanese universities and fired off letters. The letters always come back with a note: I am not that Sachiko Hayashida)

Sachiko and self decided to spend two weeks traveling around Mexico.

Sachiko was responsible for drawing up the itinerary. Self’s only responsibility was to keep up.

Sachiko had undertaken many trips by herself. Not self. This was self’s first travel adventure.

We ended up fighting. A lot.

Sachiko had to be carried on the plane on a stretcher at the very end. She had Montezuma’s Revenge.

One of our most memorable trips was from Mexico City to Merida by third-class bus. Once we arrived in Merida, we searched all over the city for a vegan restaurant mentioned in Lonely Planet. The name was Sergeant Pepper’s.

We finally found someone who said, “Ah! You are looking for Sarhento Pimiento!”

Of course! Sarhento Pimiento! Why had we wandered all over Merida looking for SERGEANT PEPPER?

One of the most memorable excursions we made while in Merida was to the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza. We took a public bus, and it dropped us off at the side of the road at 4 a.m.

Self frankly thought Sachiko was crazy, but at 7 a.m., when Chichen Itza began to receive its swarm of tourists, self thought Sachiko was brilliant. Because no one else was in the ruins at 4 a.m. (Of course, it wasn’t safe. But we were 22. We weren’t thinking of safe) We were thrashing around, avoiding lizards — some extremely large — and what-not, when we suddenly came to a large clearing, raised our eyes and YOWZA! A temple!

Afterwards, self read to Sachiko from a book she’d picked up from the Stanford Bookstore: World of the Maya by Victor W. Von Hagen.

She has it with her now, in Mendocino.

P. 12:

The Maya have been characterized as “The Intellectuals of the New World” because of their highly developed calendrics, their glyph-writing, and the ornamental complexity of their architecture. They were unique in their culture; pacific, they fought few wars; they viewed life from their jungle fastness with Olympian detachment, working out complicated calendric inscriptions that could push their history back to 23,040,000,000 days.

You need a lot of undisturbed time (i.e. peace) to be that focused on a task that complicated, self figures.

The irony is not lost on self, that one of the first widely-read accounts of the Mayan civilization was William H. Prescott’s The Conquest of Peru, who made a hero out of Francisco Pizarro, “a man who couldn’t even read his own name . . . ”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Alphabet 3: 2016 WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge # 3

London is one of self’s faaaavorite cities in the entire world!

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London cab: Summer 2015

And Kepler’s Books is one of her favorite bookstores in the entire world!

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Kepler’s Books, Menlo Park: Still Around, After 30+ Years! Self has given a couple of readings in Kepler’s over the years.

And this man was very resourceful, she thinks dear blog readers will agree! She spotted him at the 53rd & Lexington Subway Station, New York City:

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53rd & Lexington, Just outside the subway station, New York City, March 2015

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Gathering: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

What is the holiday season if not a chance to get together with family and friends to over-indulge in great conversation, food, and maybe even a libation or two?

  • Prompt for GATHERING, The Daily Post Photo Challenge for the week before Christmas

Self’s first post on this theme shows:

(1) a crowd waiting to get in to the Santa Maria del Fiori in Florence:

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WAAAAH! These are the crowds in NOVEMBER? Don’t even want to imagine what they’re like in the spring and summer!

2) an outdoor yoga class in St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin:

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St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin, July 2015

3) pelicans and seagulls, Pillar Point Harbor, Half Moon Bay, CA

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Fall, Half Moon Bay, CA

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Transition 3: Further Adventures in Italy

First “transition”: a dish almost consumed

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A bowl of navy beans and pasta, which she was told was very “Venetian.” She had it for lunch at the Florian CafĂ© on San Marco Square.

The whole of Venice itself is in transition. The structures rest on pylons that are thousands of years old. They look as if they could sink into the sea at any moment:

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On the Venetian Lagoon, early November

And, finally, here is Pisa, as the sun sets across the Field of Miracles:

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Because self and her niece had so much fun, when her niece suggested another trip in 2016, self immediately said, “I’m there.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Treat 4: Still More Florence!

It was another beautiful day. Self explored the church of San Lorenzo, Florence’s first cathedral (consecrated in 393 by St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan) and the magnificent Palazzo Vecchio, on the Piazza della Signoria.

The Monument to Cosimo de Medici in the Piazza della Signoria

The Monument to Cosimo de Medici in the Piazza della Signoria

The dome of Santa Maria del Fiore was designed by Filippo Brunelleschi. Self took this picture from the second floor of the Palazzo Vecchio.

The dome of Santa Maria del Fiore was designed by Filippo Brunelleschi. Self took this picture from the second floor of the Palazzo Vecchio.

View from the Arnolfo Tower in the Palazzo Vecchio

View from the Arnolfo Tower in the Palazzo Vecchio

The weather forecast was for rain, but not a drop fell.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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