Angela Carter: What Is a Fairy Tale?

Someone once asked Angela Carter what her idea of a fairy tale was. She responded:

“A fairy tale is a story where one king goes to another king to ask for a cup of sugar.”

The quote appears on the back cover of Angela Carter’s Book of Fairy Tales, a personal copy of which self purchased in Edinburgh, almost three years ago.

More to chew on: a link to a Salon.com interview conducted by Laura Miller on the publication of The Turnip Princess and Other Rediscovered Fairy Tales.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Rule of Thirds: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is Rule of Thirds.

“The Rule of Thirds is a photography concept that puts the subject of the photograph off-center, which usually results in blank space in the rest of the image.”

Wow! Self loves off-center photographs!

She hasn’t been taking too many pictures lately, so these pictures are from a few weeks ago.

Hopefully, they successfully illustrate the Rule of Thirds.

Port of Richmond: Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015

Port of Richmond: Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015

The laundry room at the Mendocino Art Center has proven to be a great source of inspiration for self!

Another shot of the laundry room at the Mendocino Art Center: Who knew that a room with such a utilitarian purpose would prove to be such a great source of inspiration!

There's a path that follows the bluffs of the Mendocino Headlands. One morning, self walked there with a steaming cup of hot chocolate, and it was just heaven to find this bench.

There’s a path that follows the bluffs of the Mendocino Headlands. One morning, self walked there with a steaming cup of hot chocolate, and it was just heaven to find this bench.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Symmetry: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Giving thanks for gardens all over the world.

Backyard: Self used to know the name of this perennial . . .

Since this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is SYMMETRY (Find a picture that is “balanced in its lines and shapes”), self took some pictures in her garden today, to see if she could find anything that fit the theme.

This is the torso of a wood and metal angel that self bought from Roger Reynolds Nursery a long, long time ago. Sadly, Roger Reynolds is no more . . .

This is the torso of a wood and metal angel that self bought from Roger Reynolds Nursery a long, long time ago. Sadly, Roger Reynolds is no more . . .

And here is a picture self took almost a week ago, right after a big storm hit Mendocino:

Old Wooden Bridge on the Navarro Ridge Road, near Mendocino

Old Wooden Bridge on the Navarro Ridge Road, near Mendocino

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

How Self Got to Fort Bragg to Watch “Jupiter Ascending” in the Middle of a Huge Storm

The storm hit in the wee hours. Self knows because she’s been up since 4 a.m. The wind was howling.

Then there were these periodic siren blasts.

What does that mean?

At about 4 p.m., self began having major claustrophobia FEELZ. She felt that if she did not get out of the apartment for some fresh air, she would Read the rest of this entry »

“Rapunzel”: in The Annotated Brothers Grimm, Edited by Maria Tatar

This fairy tale has always fascinated self because of: the tower; the maiden with the plait of hair; a wife’s insatiable cravings; and a devoted husband who, in attempting to satisfy his wife, brings down ruin upon his family.

In Tatar’s de-construction, the opening sentence — “Once upon a time there lived a man and a woman” — indicates “that the story will center on procreation.” (Always look for the Freudian meanings in fairy tales!)

An excerpt:

As night was falling, he climbed over the wall into the garden of the enchantress, hastily pulled up a handful of rapunzel, and brought it back to his wife. She made a salad out of it right away and devoured it with a ravenous appetite. The rapunzel tasted so good, so very good, that the next day her craving for it increased threefold. The only way the man could settle his wife down was to go back to the garden for more.

As night was falling, he returned, but after he climbed over the wall, he had an awful fright, for there was the enchantress, standing right in front of him.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Depth 2: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is “Depth” — The prompt suggests using a picture “that suggests volume, a distance between surface and bottom.”

Here are three more takes on that theme!

The first two are from a walk self took along Little Lake Street:

Love these overlapping leaves . . .

Love these overlapping leaves . . .

Still the same garden . . .

Still the same garden . . .

This last picture is of self’s own backyard, just before Christmas . . .

DSCN8129

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Colm Toibin Sentence of the Day

Self has now read almost 50 pages of Brooklyn and can state definitively that she has no idea — none — what those people are going on about, the ones who say Colm Toibin’s Brooklyn is flat, dull, slow, and that he fails utterly at catching the feminine point of view etc etc etc

Because she’s been entranced from the get-go.

It’s even been making inroads into her reading of Hunger Games fan fiction which, if you know how much fan fiction self usually reads daily is saying a lot, lol.

Eilis, who when we last encountered her on p. 29 was sent rudely packing when she informed her employer she was leaving for America, now has to endure everyone being happy that she is going away, while she herself feels sick with anxiety and trepidation. On p. 46, she’s in a tiny cabin “deep in the belly of” a ship, she vomited into the corridor, she has to share a bathroom with occupants of another cabin who appropriated it for themselves and never unlock the door that leads to her cabin, but the worst thing about all this is that Eilis realizes “that she would never be able to tell anyone how sick she felt.”

And with all this came the feeling that she had done something wrong, that it was somehow her fault that Georgina had gone elsewhere and that her neighbors had locked the bathroom door, and her fault that she had vomited all over the cabin and had not succeeded in cleaning up the mess.

What’s so brilliant about the writing is that self understands this woman perfectly. Self means, she understands how a woman who’s been deprived of the use of a bathroom during a trans-atlantic voyage, a woman who is never on the receiving end of any kindness whatsoever, assumes the burden for everything that goes wrong. And self does mean everything. Of course, the poor girl. Still, such women do exist.

BTW, that vomiting scene is written in such excruciating detail that self feels she ought to honor the fact that she spent half an hour reading about hurling by writing that scene into her fan fiction. She has to be very careful, however, which character does the vomit. Peeta? Nah. Katniss? Nah. Gale? Nah. Haymitch? Hmmm, now there’s a likely candidate!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Reading, on a Friday Night: Hunger Games Fan Fiction, What Else

Pretty soon, self is going to get up and boil herself a pot of pasta.

She was pretty certain she was the only one in, this Friday night. It was so quiet.

But a moment ago, she heard a bathroom vent in one of the other apartments.

The thing with fan fiction is, sometimes it can be terrible, and sometimes it can be beautiful. And often it’s both. In the same story.

She has no idea who these writers are. They could be high school students. Doctors. Lawyers. Waiters. Librarians. Who knows.

They flare and die out. No one has a long life writing fan fiction.

So, here’s the sentence that self found so moving tonight, perhaps because of her mood:

. . . the house is quiet, I feel my thoughts are loud, the rain is starting to get heavy outside as it bangs on our window with the wind howling outside like a shrieking ghost.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Serenity 3: Mendocino Walks

Everything about Mendocino is about serenity.

Masonic Temple, Lansing Street, Mendocino (The building was begun in 1866, finally completed 1873)

Masonic Temple, Lansing Street, Mendocino (The building was begun in 1866, finally completed 1873)

Ceramic Art by Mitch Iburg, Fellow Artist-in-Residence (He and Jessie occupy the apartment right next to self's)

Ceramic Art by Mitch Iburg, Fellow Artist-in-Residence (He and Jessie occupy the apartment right next to self’s)

Evening from Self's Apartment at the Mendocino Art Center

Evening from Self’s Apartment at the Mendocino Art Center

A Review of “The Interview”

For self to like a review enough for her to post bits of it on her blog, it’s got to be funny.

So, you all know about “The Interview,” right? The movie that ended up starting a Mexican stand-off between North Korea and the United States? The movie that had self making statements like: It is a God-given right that Americans watch what they want, when they want, and especially on holidays like Christmas, when all the shopping malls are shut!

Then “The Interview” came out, just as Chris Rock said (to Jon Stewart on The Daily Show) that it would, and judging from the remarks floating around the lobby of the Redwood City Century 20 on Christmas Day, the general consensus seemed to be: This is a stupid movie. Why the North Koreans ever felt it was so threatening — IDK (with shoulder-shrug emoji)

Finally, self lands on rogerebert.com (which she’s avoiding since coming to Mendocino because there are no movie theaters in the vicinity, and she’s too lazy to drive all the way to Fort Bragg, and anyway even if she did make it to Fort Bragg, they’re not showing it), and reads a wickedly entertaining review from Steven Boone. It’s so entertaining, self wonders why she never heard of Steven Boone before. So here goes (Note: The worst barbs are reserved for James Franco)

  • “The Interview” is nothing new, but it looks great.
  • You expect Kanye West and some X-Men to show up. It’s the visual approach filmmakers like Edgar Wright and various cohorts of this film’s star, Seth Rogen . . . spent the past decade indulging, to give their flouncy bromantic comedies the sizzle and swagger of a good romantic adventure.
  • Rogen’s co-lead, James Franco, takes a break from winking roughly one-third of the time . . . Early in the film, and for much of it, he is simply trying too hard. Imagine James Dean aiming for Will Ferrell speed and pitch. In Franco’s relentless hyperactivity I sense immense fear, of not supplying enough energy to this gargantuan film, of not giving Rogen enough to volley back.

There are several raunchy quotes from the movie, of which this one is the most tame:

“Welcome to the jungle, baby, welcome to the jungle. Na na na knees.”

Too, too hilarious!

Stay tuned.

 

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