Vintage: Sylvain Landry Week 49

Self is tickled by the theme of this week’s Sylvain Landry Week 49 Challenge: VINTAGE.

She isn’t quite sure whether the photo she pulled out of her archive is “vintage.” It’s kitsch, for sure: animé figures, culled from Fort Bragg garage sales. She was completely charmed by the aesthetic of this apartment, which belongs to a lawyer who commutes between Miami and Fort Bragg.

It is definitely an idiosyncratic kind of collection, one built up by looking with focus.

Thanks to Sylvain Landry for always coming up with such interesting prompts. She adored this picture, but didn’t get a chance to share it with readers until now.


An Animé Collection in Fort Bragg, California

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.


#StarWarsDay is 4 May 2016

Here’s one of self’s new additions to her button collection (found it in Fort Bragg, CA, March 2016):


In Honor of #StarWarsDay, 4 May 2016

Set light sabers to ‘stun.’

See ya tomorrow!


Admiration 3: Fort Bragg, CA

Self discovered Fort Bragg, California this year.

She stayed for a few weeks, and discovered:

  1. An excellent bakery, in the Depot Building. Just look at that sweet, blue nest confection!
  2. An excellent used bookstore called, in typical Fort Bragg self-deprecating manner, The Bookstore. The second floor had a wonderful seating area. And the day self visited, there was a hardbound copy of Cyrano de Bergerac, which she has fond memories of her Dear Departed Dad reciting to her at mealtimes (He was a frustrated actor. Played Hamlet in high school at the Ateneo)
  3. Writers, writers, writers abound in Fort Bragg. Self began reading Norma Watkins, whose beautiful memoir, The Last Resort: Taking the Mississippi Cure, was just published by University of Mississippi Press.

A Break From Filkins: Norma Watkins’s THE LAST RESORT


THE LAST RESORT, by Norma Watkins: New From the University Press of Mississippi

The past two winters have been so great because she’s managed to spend them in Mendocino.

There are writers a-plenty here, and in Fort Bragg, just a few miles north.

She bought her copy of The Last Resort at Gallery Bookshop’s annual Spring Fling (when every book in the story is 15% off) and she got it signed by the author herself.

On the frontispiece is a quote from Vladimir Nabokov’s Speak, Memory:

Everything is as it should be, nothing will ever change, nobody will ever die.

The book begins in 1943. The narrator’s father, a naval officer, is leaving his family to go to war. The narrator is seven:

War had turned the clock back. We were poor again, and the Chevrolet, stuffed with boxes and suitcases, was all we had left. Two pet chickens rode in a crate in the trunk. Mother drove. Side by side in the backseat sat my sister, Mary Elizabeth, four, our nurse, Marie, and furious me.

Lovely narrative voice. And such a gripping opening scene.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Watching “10 Cloverfield Lane” in Fort Bragg

Self and five tweenies. Who were very restless and kept kicking the row of seats she was in. They’d stop whenever self turned her head. But they’d start again. Anyhoo.

GRRREAT movie.

The lead has an uncanny resemblance to the Sigourney Weaver of Alien. So uncanny is the resemblance that self thinks it must have been part of the reason why she was picked. So many little homages to that earlier (CLASSIC, GREAT) movie: especially, the heroine’s looks. The fact that her best scenes occur when she is barefoot and wearing a skimpy tank and very tight blue jeans. There’s a real American heroine for you. Gal can do anything, and she looks great in skinny jeans.

Who was that girl? She looked so like Dakota Johnson. And there were notes of Jena Malone in there as well.

Her male co-stars were playing against type: John Goodman (How that man can make dancing look creepy, self knows not. But he pulled it off) and the other one who looked like a shrimpy Ben Affleck (with a LOT of facial hair). She loved that the other man looked about half the size of Goodman. And was only up to the heroine’s shoulder. Clearly, not the type to inspire confidence.

Great, great movie to watch in Fort Bragg on a Sunday afternoon.

Stay tuned.

Quote of the Day: Fort Bragg Public Library

Self was looking up books on sailing and ships when she overheard one library patron saying to another:

  • “I don’t care if I die because this is my second incarnation.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.


Vonnegut Quote of the Day

Today, self wandered into a bookstore in Fort Bragg. She wandered in to look up some books on her reading list. She handed the young woman at the cashier’s desk a very old clipping from the Wall Street Journal with the following book titles underlined:

  • Ovid’s Metamorphosis
  • Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels
  • Voltaire’s Candide

It wasn’t until a couple of minutes later that she realized it was a used bookstore. With a pretty extensive collection of vinyl. The record player reminded her of the one she saw at her hotel in Trieste, 2013.

Anyhoo, back to the main topic: She’s still reading Kurt Vonnegut’s Player Piano. According to the nerds of a feather blog, Player Piano is ranked # 12 out of 15 Vonnegut novels. She really thinks it ought to be ranked much higher. Just saying.

It’s described as science fiction but self thinks it’s more AU (Alternate Universe). The AU comes so trippingly off her tongue now that she is so heavily into reading fan fiction.

p. 182:

  • In analyzing the magical quality of the afternoon during the cocktail hour, Paul realized what had happened: for the first time since he’d made up his mind to quit, he really hadn’t given a damn about the system, about the Meadows, about intramural politics. He’d tried not to give a damn before, but he hadn’t had much luck.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.


Last Night, Margo. This Afternoon, Claudia.

Self met a photographer named Margo yesterday. Say, want to have dinner tonight? Margo asks. Sure! self says. Self is always game for dinner!

Self knocked on her Unit at 6 p.m. sharp and was totally flummoxed when Margo said she wanted to eat in Fort Bragg.

Fort Bragg??? That’s, like, 10 miles away!!! The last time self drove from Fort Bragg, it was night, and there were headlights practically crawling up her bumper, and self was so traumatized that in the almost two weeks since that event, she has never again attempted to return to Fort Bragg.

Anyhoo, self thinks, what’s the harm? She’ll have Margo with her in the car. She can deal with those rude drivers who act as if she’s got the speed of a centipede.

We head for a restaurant called David’s that’s in a nondescript shopping mall. Whoa! It is closed! A sign says David’s is only open until 2 p.m. every day.

Anyhoo, it’s very exciting, self and Margo did get to eat in Fort Bragg, but we each spent $25, which was way more than the $3 for a hamburger Margo had estimated we would need. But that is why we all have credit cards. Right? Right?

This afternoon, self encounters Claudia, a textile artist who’s in the unit behind hers. Claudia recounts being an Artist-in-Residence also last year. A gear clicks in self’s brain. Textile artist. de Young Museum.

“You,” self says to Claudia, “are the woman who was in my unit last year!”

Claudia says she doubts it, but for some reason, self is convinced it was Claudia who was in her unit. When self latches onto an idea, it is very hard for her to let that idea go.

“No, you are!” self tells Claudia enthusiastically. “I’ve always meant to thank you! For leaving that Sunday New York Times magazine with Channing Tatum on the cover!”

Claudia looks at self and says, “Uh-uh. Wasn’t me. Even if I was in your unit just before you moved in, I don’t think I’d ever have left a copy of a magazine with Channing Tatum on the cover.”

Self gushes on: “It was so nice of you! To leave me that welcome gift! I felt so appreciated!”

By this time, self has the niggling suspicion that maybe Claudia is not a fan of Channing Tatum? Because the way she is looking at self . . .

Oh, anyhoo! It’s all good! Self scampers off to Mendosa’s on Lansing for her nightly feeding of clam chowder.

Such an interesting bunch of artists in the Mendocino Art Center this year! Plus some self remembers from last year, like Mary-Ellen Campbell, who showed her the most gorgeous photographs of a recent trip to Burma.

Mary-Ellen kayaks, she line dances, and she also teaches classes in book-making.

More on these fabulous and inspiring women as the residency unfolds. Stay tuned.




ALPHABET 4 (2016 Daily Post WordPress Photo Challenge # 3)


First Friday, Laurel Street, Fort Bragg: February 2015


Entrance to Buddhist Temple, Mendocino Village

“The Revenant” in Fort Bragg

Self has a particular fondness for Coast Cinema, a small, box-like multi-plex (four screens!) just a few blocks from the ocean in Fort Bragg. She is such a movie buff that she gets withdrawal symptoms if she can’t watch at least one movie a week, and  Mendocino itself doesn’t have a single movie theater.

She ended up seeing some really bad ones in Fort Bragg last year, including an awful science fiction movie starring Tatum Channing and Mila Kunis called “Jupiter Ascending” (One line she remembers from the movie is about how bees can spot royalty: they swarmed around Mila Kunis who was a housecleaner. Ergo, she was the next Queen or something to that effect. Channing sported frosted gold tips and elf ears, not his best look. Eddie Redmayne was in this movie as well, in full-on camp mode).

She saw “Kingsman” there, and that experience was memorable not only because it had a manic scene in which Colin Firth, in a dapper suit, takes out a whole church of Ku Klux Klansmen armed only with a tightly furled brolly. The audience cheered, actually cheered, while he was doing it. That’s how self knew she was sitting in an audience made up of dyed-in-the-wool maverick liberals — only they could be so vocal and enthusiastic about violence inflicted on Ku Klux Klansmen.

Anyhoo, “The Revenant.” Self knew nothing about it except that it starred Leo. And that he won a Golden Globe last night. So, she decided to see it today. And lo and behold, the audience had many Asian people, arriving in big groups in vans and SUVs. One group consisted of 18 people. She knows because the Asian man ahead of her bought 18 tickets. Is there some kind of Leo fixation in Asia, she wonders?

Self happened to be seated next to an Asian couple, and the female spent almost the entire movie practically in her mate’s lap, cowering and trembling and sighing and gasping and self wanted to tell her, Even if I was thoroughly repulsed by the sight of arrows as thick as hollow blocks entering and exiting someone’s head in close-up, you would never find me cowering to such a degree. It’s not even adorable. Not in the slightest.

Self is here to say, though, congratulations Alejandro Iñarritu! First of all, self likes this director. She was absolutely shattered, watching the movie he directed in which Naomi Watts plays a woman who cannot bear children because she has a rare medical condition that might kill her in the process of growing a child in her belly. Of course, Watts’ character decides to have a baby anyway. Self has never cried so hard in a movie theatre before.

Second, self is quite inured to violence, and likes all kinds of mind-blowing on-screen mayhem, like the kind in the Indonesian movie “The Raid: Redemption.” But this movie caused her to stop dipping her fingers into her hot, buttered popcorn. The violence was just that intense.

Ever seen a nekkid body covered in blood being dragged through a forest floor covered with branches, stones and what not? Want to see that scene in close-up? Watch this movie.

Ever wonder what it’s like to be attacked by a 300-lb. grizzly and have it step on your head while it munches on your abdominals? Watch this movie.

Ever wonder what a freshly-scalped head looks like, in close-up? Watch this movie.

Ever wonder what a person’s back looks like when it’s carved up by bear claws? Watch this movie.

Ever wonder how to get through a blizzard? Just cut open your horse’s belly, remove all its entrails, then snuggle inside. You’re welcome.

Also, Good Lord, was that Tom Hardy playing the most horrible, contemptible Bad Guy ever? Since self didn’t bother reading up on anything about this movie, it wasn’t until 3/4 of the way through that she finally realized who that magnetic Bad Guy was. Holy Cow, did he act the hell out of his role.

Also, the young boy in “We Are the Millers”, the Jen Aniston/Jason Sudeikis/ Emma Roberts comedy a few years back, the boy who gets bitten by a spider and whose privates balloon — he was in this movie. (And he was good!)

Also, the redhead in Harry Potter, who self has also seen in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” was in this movie, and he was pretty good.


Finally, self would just like to say, she loves mournful Westerns. There’s something so Kurosawa, so Nanook-of-the-North about them. Probably the last mournful Western she’s seen was “Ravenous,” the Vampire movie starring Robert Carlyle and Guy Pierce, that appeared in her local cine-plex for two days and then disappeared without a trace. But boy, it does have a new entry here. And Leo is so perfect for this role, just so perfect. Because even though we know it’s Leo, and he usually dies (Exhibit A: “Titanic”. Exhibit B: “The Departed”. Exhibit C: “Blood Diamond” etc etc), his dying here seems so random and so undeserved. She kept trying to imagine Matt Damon in the role (talk about another natural actor), and although it was a very close call, in the end self had to concede that he probably wouldn’t have wrenched at our heartstrings the way Leo does.

Great movie.


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