Yesterday, at Blackwell’s Bookshop

Here they call it a bookshop; over there we call it a bookstore.

Oh, wait. Mendocino’s Gallery also refers to itself as a bookshop.

Self being too quick on the draw, as usual.

It is time for self to update her reading list. Yesterday, she found a thriller called Girl Waits With Gun, by Amy Stewart. (What is it with all the “Girl” titles now: Gone, Girl; Girl on the Train, etc). Sounded like it would be a perfect summer read.

Her reading list looks like this now:

  • My Brilliant Friend, translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein, by Elena Ferrante (currently reading)
  • The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins
  • Savage Park: A Meditation on Play, Space, and Risk for Americans Who Are Nervous, Distracted, and Afraid to Die, by Amy Fusselman (who must be a therapist)
  • Girl Waits With Gun, by Amy Stewart

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The Dryness

There is something self is seriously loving about Anjelica Huston, and it’s her sense of humor. It is so tongue-in-cheek. Not that she mugs her way through this book. But there’s a lot of slyness going on there.

She only wishes Huston’s editor had made her restrain all the angst regarding Jack Nicholson, especially in the book’s first 50 or so pages. It does this great actress such a disservice, made self dread reading the rest of the book.

But, anyhoo, here’s Huston on her first movie with Woody Allen (who clearly was not attracted to her at all — self thinks that was why he cast her in Crimes and Misdemeanors. P.S. Another actress who Woody was not in love with was Naomi Watts. And he didn’t give her a good role, either).

There’s a lot of subtext going on here. Huston’s character is named Dolores:

. . .  he had chosen a seriously ugly argyle sweater for Dolores, and although I felt it was a deeply unflattering shape and pattern, I kept my mouth shut. I had heard that Woody had fired a famous actress when she refused to wear a jacket of his choice, so I was determined to love my wardrobe.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Sentence of the Day: Anjelica Huston

“He was as weak and transparent as lace.”

— Anjelica Huston describes her father, the legendary film director John Huston, on his 81st birthday. From Watch Me, her second memoir

The trouble with self is that she cannot stop at just the one sentence. Here’s another good one, describing John Huston, post-embalming: “a rather florid paint job. He looked benign, if a little pink and waxy.”

Halfway through Huston’s book. Next: E. L. James’s Grey. Which she expects to breeze through, lol.

Stay tuned.

British Museum, Lines

Today at the British Museum: for the first time, serious security check. Everyone had to line up outside and pass through a white tent (Why a white tent? Self has no idea) and have their bags inspected. First time ever (and self has been to the Museum many times). There was a police van parked right outside the main entrance to the Museum (Also a first; last summer, security was very discreet. Now, the British are flaunting it.)

Met an American pathologist from Seattle who, having wrapped up her conference, was sightseeing. This was her third visit to the museum in a week. Self told her about the “Sunken Cities” special exhibit, and the woman asked if self had seen the Rosetta Stone. Do you know, in how many visits to the British Museum, self has never actually laid eyes on the Rosetta Stone? Go figure. As soon as we got inside the museum, the woman led self straight to it. (There’s a 20-minute Rosetta Stone tour, free, every Friday)

Self was in London last July. All those weeks, and she never set foot inside the British Museum. Not once. Instead, she remembers just holing up in her room and writing. And writing. And writing. London was full of pigeons and tourists and ice cream trucks. It was incredibly hot and muggy. She went on a Jack the Ripper tour of Whitechapel.

Part of the reason she bought her ticket so far in advance this year is because she realizes she needs that push. The British Museum is overwhelming. In the last gallery of the “Sunken Cities” exhibit, a woman about self’s age seated herself on a bench and lowered her face in her hands. Self knew just how she felt.

The gallery of Greek antiquities has these colossal statues. They are completely stunning. A rider at full gallop on a gigantic horse. A running leopard. A mastiff. She hasn’t seen such massive things since the Olmec exhibit at the de Young, several years ago. You talk about Greek sculpture and you think: classical. You think: refinement. But these were from only one period (Hellenistic? 350 AD?) After that, Greek sculptural representations no longer have that gigantic, absolutely in-your-face, larger-than-life ethos (Why?)

There is a piece showing Aphrodite being surprised during a bath. Seeing the statue from the front, self walked right by. As she was leaving the gallery, she saw that same Aphrodite statue from the back. And, gosh, from the back, it is beautiful. Look at the dimples of her lower back! And the hips! OMG the hips!

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Aphrodite, Surprised at Her Bath: British Museum, Friday, 20 May

Self thinks she’ll walk around a bit more. Stay tuned.

2nd Fan Fiction Quote of the Day

The show at the British Museum is timed entry. She bought her ticket on-line, ages ago, and her entry time isn’t until 10:30 a.m., so she decides to wait up in her room.

Which is really just an excuse to continue reading a story she found early this morning. This one’s so good, self is temporarily ditching Watch Me in favor of. Even though, after googling a bit, self realizes this particular fan fic author has been off the grid for two years and isn’t likely coming back, which means the work is incomplete and likely will remain so.

  • I really did try to give the class a chance because I really do enjoy lit and poetry, but after listening to a group of self-proclaimed “intellects” wax on poetically about the beauty of Sylvia Plath’s multiple suicide attempts, I only go to class now to turn in assignments and take tests. I hate when people talk about the beauty in suicide or death, because if either is something you’ve experienced you know there isn’t any beauty. Death is dreadful.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

Sentence of the Day: Fan Fiction

You can smell the desperation in the air — and it smells like home baked goods and hair products, and it wears Lilly and pearls.

—  Katniss Everdeen

How about another?

Adderall burns when you snort it, and it tastes awful, but I can’t ignore my pre-library tradition.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Friday Everlark: Wyoming, 1870

Things are so wild and Godforsaken out there in the Wyoming Territory that Peeta has to resort to finding himself a mail-order bride.

The ad he puts in the local newspaper (For some reason, the author did not specify a city, maybe there were none in 1870? Self, you silly thing. Of course the ad was put in an Omaha, Nebraska paper! DUH!) says:

Mr. P. Mellark, age 26, Baker, Wants a Wife

Isn’t that just adorable? Peeta had self at . . .

Never mind.

Spinster Katniss (age 26) responds to the ad like so:

  • Several months ago I saw an advertisement in the local newspaper. Mr. P. Mellark, age 26, baker, wants a wife. She must be under 30, amiable, and a hard worker. The address was a town in Panem, Wyoming. No one has ever called me amiable but I am under 30 and a very hard worker.

Naturally, P. Mellark, baker, falls hard for the enticement buried in the letter (Subtext is all!) Katniss responds that she accepts his proposal and sets off for Wyoming.

But Peeta never gets that letter (LOL) so he doesn’t greet her at the train station and she has to ask for directions to the bakery from a drunken man who says he is Haymitch Abernethy and nearly has a cow when she introduces herself as “Peeta’s fiancée.”

“Does he know about it?” Haymitch asks Katniss.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Face: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 13 May 2016

FACE is the theme of this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge.

Gave self an excuse to go back over her thousands and thousands of archived photos and indulge in a nostalgia trip.

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Abigail !!! Oxford, England, July 2015

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Londis, Tyrconnell Road, Inchicore, Dublin, 2014, across the Street from the Church of the Oblates. When this woman learned self was a writer, she paid $2 on-line to read self’s novella, the one that became a finalist for the 2014 Saboteur Awards.

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Receptionist, L’Fisher Chalet, Bacolod City, Philippines: Self’s Dear Departed Dad was born and raised in Bacolod City. She hasn’t been back since 2013, and L’Fisher Chalet has been remodeled. Who knows when self can visit again.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Theroux: “I drove off the main road, Highway 71 . . . “

The day was dusk-dark but there was still no sign of a storm. I drove off the main road, Highway 71, and took a dirt road up a steep slope into the woods, past shacks and trailers. At the summit, where the road became a muddy track, I came to a ramshackle house — a spectacular ruin at the edge of a field littered with cast-off shoes, rags of clothes, old rubber tires, hubcaps embedded in the earth, children’s faded toys twisted apart, plastic bags tangled on bushes, areas strewn with bottles and jugs, and shards of broken glass — a hovel with junk heaped against it.

Deep South, by Paul Theroux

Two days in Cork, one afternoon on the train to Dublin, morning in the Irish National Portrait Gallery, and the end of Theroux’s Deep South is in sight.

In the intervening time, she’s learned about: Faulkner. Erskine Caldwell. Gun shows.  Clinton’s boyhood. Poverty. Segregation. Dying Towns. Activists. Meth labs. etc.

She read the reviews on Amazon. One woman says she wishes Theroux had focused on the “nicer” parts of the south. Instead, he stayed on back roads, and focused on talking to poor people.

That is who self wants to hear from! The poor people! The ones who make some parts of the South resemble a Third World country! Because — that is reality.

Keep going, Theroux.

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Reading DEEP SOUTH in the National Portrait Gallery, Dublin

Earlier, she was in Hodges Figgis and bought yet another book to weigh her down: My Brilliant Friend, by Elena Ferrante.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

EARTH: Daily Post Photo Challenge, 6 May 2016

My most vivid memories of childhood center around outdoor exploration: collecting unique rocks, seeking insects and spiders under fallen logs, cultivating a love and respect for the environment that is a major defining characteristic of who I am today.

— Jen H., The Daily Post

Here are three pictures that connect to “Earth.” Self is still in Annaghmakerrig, Ireland. The houses in the courtyard are made of grey stone and the interiors have walls of exposed brick. She loves it. Makes her feel connected to the outside landscape in ways totally unexpected:

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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