Poetry Friday: Dorothea Lasky

Excerpt from The Green Lake (in The New Yorker, 9 December 2019):

What work will you leave behind
I ask the tailor
Who has sewn the button upon my shoe
I can walk again

Yesterday everything felt so hopeless
Now I have the energy to sit in the sun
All of the damned seething baths
Now I am finally on my own


Dorothea Lasky is the author of six books of poetry and prose, including, most recently, Animal

Kathryn Ferguson: The Haunting of the Mexican Border, A Woman’s Journey

Half the time, self is reading this book with deep anxiety. Why? Because the author is a woman and self’s background is conditioning her to expect an ‘incident.’ But, so far, Ferguson’s encounters have been refreshingly free of ‘Bad Hombres.’

p. 54:

One of my first faux pax in the Sierra is to tell Hiram, a Norogachic vaquero and friend of Santiago’s, that I like his horse while he is saddling up a mule. Politely but firmly he explains the difference. Mules and horses look alike. Except mules have long ears. I have since become a great observer of ears. I don’t want to call someone a jackass who isn’t.

Stay tuned.

Advice for Dealing with Dragons

“Every worm has his weak spot,” as my father used to say, though I am sure it was not from personal experience.

— Bilbo Baggins, The Annotated Hobbit, Ch. XII: Inside Information

Tee-Hee, Rachel Kushner

The Mars Room is so in-your-face, so sassy.

It mentions Carol Doda and there is indeed a San Francisco institution called Carol Doda. In fact, on self’s first family trip to the United States (She was 13), her father was super-excited to get to San Francisco to see a Carol Doda performance. But Carol Doda was already pretty old by then, so he was vastly disappointed. In fact, when self asked her father when he got back to the hotel later that night what he thought of Carol Doda he had this look on his face and said only one word: “Old.” (Come to think of it, it is pretty wild that she, a convent girl from the Philippines, was asking her father what he thought of San Francisco’s most famous stripper. Wilder is that he thought self had asked a perfectly legitimate question because he answered in all sincerity)

Since The Mars Room is set in San Francisco, self wondered if there was an actual — ehem! — establishment. She guesses not because the only place she could find after googling was a Mars Bar and Restaurant on Brennan.

In Rachel Kushner’s novel, the manager of the Mars Room is called D’ARTAGNAN.

RUDE!

Self loves it.

Stay tuned.

Convo, The Mars Room, p. 21

“In prison at least you know what’s going to happen. I mean, you don’t actually know. It’s unpredictable. But in a boring way. It’s not like something tragic and awful can happen. I mean, sure it can. Of course it can. But you can’t lose everything in prison, since that’s already taken place.”

Anne Glenconner on Mustique

Something about an island . . .

  • In the early evening we’d sit at Basil’s Bar, drinking sundowners and watching for the green flash, as we’d done ever since she had come alone for the first time.

She being Princess Margaret. There is something so melancholy about Anne Glenconner’s depiction of the Princess. First of all, she was lonely. But somehow so down-to-earth. A modern woman.

Stay tuned.

Everlark: The Great Bake-Off

The baking teams, final round:

  • Gale/Delly (???????)
  • Cato/Clove (stole Peeta’s cupcake recipe, BOO!)
  • Peeta/Katniss (Katniss can bake???)

The Judges: Effie, Haymitch and Cinna

Master of Ceremonies: Caesar Flickerman (but of course!)

First Person Point of View, Peeta

“So what do we have here?” Caesar bounces up to our table.

“It’s a dandelion and pear cupcake with a honey buttercream and walnut garnish.”

“This is lovely,” says Effie. “Such unusual flavors, and yet you balanced them nicely.”

Cinna nods at us. “Pear can be a delicate flavor. Speaking of which, nice job with the dandelion!”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Dear California Residents: Health Insurance is Now REQUIRED

Self receives an e-mail informing her that she has 84 days to sign up for a health plan if she wants to avoid an IRS penalty.

After providing the necessary information on yearly income, age, gender etc. here are the choices self was given: (If below $70,000 annual income, you may qualify for financial aid!!! Of course, everyone in California earns AT LEAST $70,000/yr. Because if you don’t, and you live here, you have got to be pretty stupid. Just sayin’. Plumbers and electricians start at $160/hour.)

Of course, you could always go the Do-It-Yourself/Home Depot route. And enroll in classes like Do-It-Yourself Drywall or How to Wield a Plumber’s Wrench and Do It With Confidence. Pray you never mess up.

Kaiser Permanente

  • Monthly Premium: $916.71
  • Yearly Deductible: $6,300.00

CCHP Health Plan

  • Monthly Premium: $1,085.67
  • Yearly Deductible: $6,300.00

Blue Shield

  • Monthly Premium: $1,229. 14
  • Yearly Deductible: $6,300.00

Health Net

  • Monthly Premium: 1,303.65
  • Yearly Deductible: $6,300.00

How exciting that self is being given an opportunity to sign up for $1,000/month medical insurance! Will you just look at that stellar array of choices, ranging from $1085.67 to 1,303.65. And she thought paying $500/month for COBRA was bad!

When’s the deadline to start paying $1,000/month? Dec. 15.

Whew! She’d rather put off paying $1,000/month to the last possible moment. That way, she has until Dec. 15 to feel not-so-poor.

Self wonders who came up with this genius plan to get all California residents on health insurance. Medical insurers?

Of course, now she feels very very embarrassed that she cares so little about her health that she even considered NOT getting health insurance.

But now the government is forcing her to action! No more prevaricating!

WAIT: The IRS penalty is only $700.

To avoid it, self was actually considering paying $1,000 a month.

lol lol lol

This is what self will do: She will CALL THE IRS and ask them what the worst thing they can do to her is.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Sentence of the Day: Penelope V. Flores

“Lately, my preoccupation with names has become an obsession.”

— Penelope V. Flores, Professor Emeritus at San Francisco State University

Read the rest of her interesting article, How Filipinos Got Their Surnames, in Filipinas Magazine, here.

AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE, by Tayari Jones

Self was going to read The Overstory after finishing The Parasites (five stars, five stars, six stars if that were even possible) but decided she needed a less angst-y read (!!!) So she decided to start An American Marriage, then she read reviews on goodreads which said it was about a love triangle, and she’d had enough of those for a while and was about to put the book aside when she decided to read the first page, and that first line was simply amazing:

  • There are two kinds of people in the world, those who leave home, and those who don’t.

Stay tuned.

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