Hopetown, Harris County, Texas

Heaven, My Home, p. 90:

  • There were no streets in this part of Hopetown, at least none that hadn’t been overgrown by time and wild grass, so there was nothing separating neighbor from neighbor back here; it was as if they all shared the same plot of land, were all one big family. In fact, Ray’s grandmother, a short, compact woman with a face bronzed and freckled with moles, came out on her front porch to receive the bag of pecans and hollered out to Mr. Page, “Eggs is gone, Leroy, Lou and her girls got ’em first, but I got a tray of redcorn pudding in the oven. We serving at six-thirty if you want to eat with us tonight.”

YELLOW ROSE: Luminous Acting

Self cannot even begin to tell you how wonderful it was to watch the changing expressions on the face of the movie’s lead, Eva Noblezada (24 playing almost 18 — she pulls it off). And to see that most iconic of Filipino characters — the long-suffering mother — acted with such conviction by Princess Punzalan! Plus, the love story is soooo sweet. Shy glances, low-key companionship. Sold!

The director was Diane Paragas, who also wrote the screenplay, from a story by Andy Bienen.

When she gave her ticket to the ticket guy, he looked down at the ticket and, as he handed it back to self, said, “Good movie.”

See, this is what self loves so much about Century 20: it’s more like a neighborhood movie theater than a multi-plex. The staff here were the ones who told her to see Jojo Rabbit, when she was trying to decide which of the 12 movies showing she should see. What other multi-plex would have staff recommending an indie movie. She rests her case.

Field of Rocks

Yesterday, self dropped by Lyngso in San Carlos. It’s THE place for everything “natural” for your landscaping needs: pebbles, stones, rocks, flagstones — you name it.

She’s been hearing about Lyngso forever, since son was in primary school at St. Raymond’s in Menlo Park. Every single one of his classmates lived in the area, all of them had beautiful homes, and all of them got their stone from Lyngso.

It just so happened that when self dropped by yesterday, there was an abundance of boulders. She was so happy, it reminded her of the time her friend Helene took her to a field of rocks near Yorkshire (very Wuthering Heights).

She asked an employee about the different-colored rocks, and he told her that a customer had put in an order for 18 boulders, and hadn’t picked them up yet. “So this is a pretty special assortment,” he told self.

Wowowowowowow

Just lookit. Self wanted to use these rocks for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 115.2 (Inspiration) but she ended up using a different set of pictures. Still, she went bananas and took 20 pictures of rocks yesterday. Here are a few:

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Chapter Four: Returning to the “Canteen Woman”

Don’t worry, self will not be giving blow by blow of each chapter of The Charterhouse of Parma. But she just wanted to do a quick post on the illustrations, by Robert Andrew Parker.

She finds them utterly charming, almost fairy-tale like. She’ll hunt up a hard copy of this book for her personal bookshelf.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

The Pandemic Protocol (The New Yorker, 4 May 2020)

Ground Zero was Evergreen Health, a hospital in Kirkland, WA, just east of Seattle: Here was where the first diagnosis of corona virus in the United States was confirmed. That was back in January. Dr. Francis Riedo was the “medical director for infectious disease at Evergreen Health.”

  • “A national shortage of diagnostic kits for the new coronavirus meant that only people who had recently visited China were eligible for testing. Even as Evergreen Health’s beds began filling with cases of flu-like symptoms — including a patient from Life Care, a nursing home two miles away — the hospital’s doctors were unable to test them for the new disease, because none of these sufferers had been to China or been in contact with anyone who had.”

Testing finally began at the end of February, when “there had been only six detections of the corona virus in the U.S., and only one in Washington State.”

During the previous few weeks, “researchers, in quiet violation of CDC guidelines, had jury-rigged a corona virus test in their lab and had started using it on their samples. They had just found a positive hit: a high school student in a suburb twenty-eight miles from Seattle, with no recent history of foreign travel and no known interactions with anyone from China.”

Dr. Riedo sent two patient samples to the local department of health. “I was sure they’d be negative. “Riedo got a call from his friend at the public health lab. Both of the samples he had sent were positive. Riedo sent over swabs from nine other Evergreen Health patients. Eight were positive.” Riedo kept sending more samples, and “most of the patients tested positive.”

And so it began.

The article was written by Charles Duhigg.

Sentence of the Day: Thomas Candish

I navigated to the Islands of the Philippines, hard on the coast of China: of which country I have brought intelligence.

— Thomas Candish, 1588

The Philippines, 1601

An account by Pedro Chirino, S.J. (via Blair & Robertson: A History of the Philippine Islands, vol. 12):

He describes the customs of the natives in bathing, which is a universal and frequent practice among them. On the shore of the lagoon of Bai are hot springs, which have already become a noted health resort.

Francisco Alcina, Augustinian missionary, also describes the Filipino predilection for bathing in his book about the Visayan Islands, early 1600s.

There must have been a number of Spanish missionaries watching the natives bathe “every day.”

lol

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Currently Getting to Know

The enthralling voice of Maaza Mengiste

DSCN0093

Self’s copy is from the Redwood City Public Library.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

“Beyond the Waters of Death,” Joan Acocella’s New Yorker piece on the making of GILGAMESH (14 October 2019)

  • “A young Londoner, George Smith, who had left school at the age of fourteen and was employed as an engraver of bank notes,” was fascinated by artifacts. He spent lunch breaks at the British Museum and “studied the shards for around ten years . . . it was he who found the most famous passage inscribed on them, an account of a great flood wiping out almost all of humanity, with one man’s family surviving. When he read this, we are told, he became so excited that he jumped out of his chair and ran around the room, tearing off his clothes.”

George Smith died of dysentery in Aleppo, where he’d gone to do research, age 36. But not before he discovered the oldest long poem in the world, Gilgamesh.

Everywhere in the world has an ancient flood story. Even Mexico. Even the Philippines. Self thinks this means there must have been an actual climactic event whose effects were felt worldwide.

Stay safe dear blog readers. Stay safe.

 

#amreading: Rosebud 67, Spring 2020

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