Eragon, For the Love of God

Several things self needs to get off her chest right now:

OH but FIRST: SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS

  • Eragon’s thighs are flayed to the bone. Yup, that’s right. His first dragon ride is excruciating hell.
  • Second, he allows his Read the rest of this entry »

Overheard Today: Last Friday of August 2015

Overheard at a coffee shop:

Customer to Server:  “Can you toast that three times?”

Server: ________

Another Server: “He means, toast that well.”

Lah-di-dah, oh lah-di-dah, it is such a fabulous day!

Stay tuned.

Today Was a Good Day: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

The WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is TODAY WAS A GOOD DAY.

SHOW US WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY.

Self responds:  QED!

Taho + Gulaman on a Hot Day: Fabulous!

Taho + Gulaman on a Hot Day: Fabulous!

Summer Reading: The Act of Love by Harold Jacobson; and Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Summer Reading: The Act of Love by Harold Jacobson; and Eragon by Christopher Paolini

DSCN0961

And here’s a very happy memory from when self visited Jenny Lewis at her home in Oxford in July. Jenny’s granddaughter Abigail is such a ray of sunshine, self loved seeing her. She also has a very beautiful voice.

Abigail !!!

Abigail !!!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Creepy: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

The Prompt: This week, share a post about something CREEPY. Unsettling. EERIE.

Dun Dun Dun!!!

Without further ado, here are a few examples of the unsettling and eerie:

Spookiness in the Winchester Mystery House Labyrinth

Spookiness in the Winchester Mystery House Labyrinth

Night View: Moon Through Filigree of Trees

Night View: Moon Through Filigree of Trees

Ah, the Moon: Bacolod, July 2011

Ah, the Moon: Bacolod, July 2011

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Beneath Your Feet: Weekly WordPress Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is BENEATH YOUR FEET.

  • Today, look down and document the world beneath your feet.
This grave in the cemetery next to the parsonage where the Brontes were raised: the deceased was 38 years old.

This grave in the cemetery next to the parsonage where the Brontes were raised: the deceased was 38 years old.

And here’s another one of self’s favorite subjects:  Pigeons enjoying a bath in leafy Russell Square, London:

Self-explanatory: Pigeons, London, July 2015

Self-explanatory: Pigeons, London, July 2015

These shoes were made for walking. Self dedicates this pic to the City of London. She bought this pair of sneakers in Sole Desire, on Santa Cruz Avenue in Menlo Park. She wears them almost every day.

Self's Go-To Pair, Her Best Shoe Investment EVER EVER EVER

Self’s Go-To Pair, Her Best Shoe Investment EVER EVER EVER

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

More Inspiration: London, June 2015

Self’s mind is restless, in constant need of stimulation.

And some of self’s most inspiring places are in London.

So, here are some inspiring places from London, Summer 2015. She didn’t visit any museums (except for the Wallace Collection: five stars!). For the most part, she walked. She is sorely disappointed she didn’t get to see the Serpentine.

No. 1: The Victoria & Albert Museum

The Victoria & Albert Museum in London, which self visited for the first time in June 2015

The Victoria & Albert Museum in London, which self visited for the first time in June 2015

No. 2: King’s Cross Station

English train stations are full of stimulating sights, such as this statue of Winston Churchill (Self thinks this is in King’s Cross. The day after arriving in London, she took the train to visit her friend Dodo in Cambridge and came upon this):

This appears to be a statue of Winston Churchill: London, June 2015

This appears to be a statue of Winston Churchill: London, June 2015

And, just next to Winston Churchill, this couple celebrating the end of World War II:

King's Cross Train Station, June 2015

King’s Cross Train Station, June 2015

Love London. Love, love, love.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Close Up: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is CLOSE UP.

Which is a prompt self finds quite easy to post about, because her camera is always on the macro setting. She loves examining detail.

So, here goes!

While on a “Jack the Ripper” walking tour of Whitechapel, self found herself getting distracted by, of all things, doors! Honestly, there were a number of times self found that the tour group had rounded a corner while she was taking random photos like the one below:

Door, Somewhere Around Whitechapel

Door Knocker, A Street Off Whitechapel

And here is a close-up of a fabulous dessert self had in the town of Rostrevor, in Northern Island. Irish cream (sigh), self could drink it by the bucket!

Dessert! Rostrevor, Northern Island (Self was with poet Csilla Toldy, who was performing at the Fiddlers Green Festival with Irish singer Fil Campbell)

Dessert! Rostrevor, Northern Island (Self was with poet Csilla Toldy, who was performing at the Fiddlers Green Festival with Irish singer Fil Campbell)

And here is a picture she took in St. Stephens Green, last week. She’s always amazed by the water in that lake. It has a very heavy, almost mineral quality. She thought it might have just been a trick of her imagination. But the ripples on that water are so clearly defined. Well, that’s Irish water for you!

It was a sunny day in Dublin (though you'd never know it from the photograph!)

It was a sunny day in Dublin (though you’d never know it from the photograph!)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sandra Bland, p. 17 of The (London) Guardian, 23 July 2015

Self is just going to post the excerpt without comment because the article speaks for itself.

(It’s just beneath an article about Jon Stewart and Obama exchanging FEELZ for Obama’s final appearance on The Daily Show)

Bland was arrested in Prairie View, Texas (near Houston). The article was filed from Prairie View by Tom Dart.

Video footage of the arrest of a black woman who died in Texas police custody shows a police officer threatening to “light her up” with a Taser, in an encounter that has sparked national outrage.

The Texas public safety department (DPS) released the footage amid questions surrounding the arrest and subsequent death in a county jail of Sandra Bland, a 28-year-old who had just moved to Texas from Chicago to start a new job but died three days after her arrest this month by trooper Brian Encinia.

The video shows an initially routine traffic stop for failing to signal a lane change turn into an aggressive encounter as Encinia, apparently furious that Bland refuses to stop smoking, repeatedly orders her to get out of her car, yells at her, says he will “yank” and “drag” her out, then appears to draw his Taser and shouts, “Get out of the car. I will light you up. Get out. Now.” Once out and restrained, Bland complains off-camera that she is in pain and has been “slammed” to the ground.

Stay tuned.

Gale or Peeta: Who Is a Better Dystopian Boyfriend?

This is a matter of grave import, dear blog readers, for the last Hunger Games movie (Mockingjay, Part 2) is coming out in November, and the fandom is just about to burst.

That now-familiar trope, the Dystopian Boyfriend, is going to have such a field day.

Dear blog readers already know where self lies on this gradient.

This discussion has to do with the movie version of The Hunger Games, not the books! For you lame ones who have never seen a Hunger Games movie, Gale Hawthorne is played by Liam Hemsworth, and Peeta Mellark is played by Josh Hutcherson.

Going in to movie # 1, self had no love for J-Hutch, as she’d only seen him in The Kids Are All Right and he struck her as — all right but he definitely was not her first choice for actor to play Peeta (Her all-time favorite HG character) Now, four years later, after reading the entire trilogy, watching 3 movies, and becoming a fan fiction writer of Everlark (??? Can you believe it ???), self is all like, WHO IS LIAM? WHO IS GALE? There can only be ONE Dystopian Boyfriend! Don’t even mention! Self can’t even!

Let the Decider.com analysis begin! (Ummm, the discussants are both men. Nevertheless. Posted March, 2015)

P.S. It is Friday. Please feel free to be super self-indulgent. No trigger warnings. Definitely the PG version.

Excerpts of choice:

  1. Pro-Liam: The chiseled Hemsworth jaw. The woodsy hunter look. The delicate, elderly aunt’s name. (Self didn’t know that Gale was an aunt’s name? Does Collins say this in the books?)
  2. Pro-Josh: I could probably carry him around on trips with a little Glad container of hummus.
  3. Pro-Liam: “Hey, babe, calm down. No one is thinking about this nearly as hard as you are. Let’s go hunting.”
  4. Pro-Josh: I’m very attracted to tiny boxes of feelings that are likely to explode like a pressure cooker.
  5. Pro-Liam: Peeta would come back after the seventh time I fake-break up with him, while Gale would call my bluff . . .
  6. Pro-Josh: I’m gonna snatch it/him right up! And then carry him around on my back, like a human Yoda.

Had enough, dear blog readers?

A long, loooong time ago, when self was still having meaningful discussions with Niece Georgina (who was at Stanford), she declared herself unable to see the attraction in J-Hutch and Georgina said “No. It’s Josh. Definitely. Hotter.”

And the rest is history.

How self could ever have considered Liam Hemsworth anything more than a limp dishrag when contrasted with the all-over hotness of J-Hutch (His miniscule height strangely adds, rather than detracts, from the appeal — people, don’t ask self to explain, it just IS) is simply confounding.

Self is also still reading Howard Jacobson’s hilarious and heartbreaking novel, The Act of Love (Set in London, today. His main character spends a lot of time on Great Russell Street)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Announcing: The First Annual Margarita Donnelly Prize for Prose Writing (Deadline for Entries: Sept. 30, 2015)

Margarita Donnelly's Last AWP, Seattle 2014. Pictured: Margarita and Brenna Crotty, Calyx Senior Editor

Margarita Donnelly’s Last AWP, Seattle 2014. Pictured: Margarita and Brenna Crotty, Calyx Senior Editor

She was indomitable, that is all.

Met her first at: Bookstore in the Mission

Self read her story “Ginseng.”

Margarita went up to self afterwards and asked, “You got more like those?”

(Yes, sitting in a file cabinet; Four years past the Stanford University Creative Writing Program, and self was such a coward that she never sent the manuscript out:  WHEEE!)

What better way to honor her legacy than a prose contest? Calyx, the press Margarita co-founded, launched the Prize on July 1. Here’s the link to their website. The contest is open to both fiction and nonfiction.

  • Deadline for Entries: Sept. 30, 2015
  • Reading Fee:  $20 (check payable to Calyx)
  • Maximum Length of piece:  10,000 words

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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