Cee’s Midweek Madness Photo Challenge (CMMC) — Pick a Topic from Cee’s Photo

Here’s the link to Cee’s photo. Possible topics: mother, bigger than life, purple, cups, halloween, club, bricks, red, child, scarecrow, autumn, table, door, sign, brown, mask, water bottle, outdoors, etc.

Self’s photo is of a woman made out of coffee cans, riding on an exercise bicycle.

Isadore Weber’s “Can-Can”, at Baltimore’s Visionary Art Museum

Cyrano de Bergerac on the Moon!

Self is on p. 38 of Moon Palace (btw, what a book. Auster’s lonely narrator is such a fabulist, especially when he opens his mouth at a party):

  • Then I began to describe Cyrano’s voyage to the moon, and someone interrupted me. Cyrano de Bergerac wasn’t real, the person said, he was a character in a play, a make-believe man. I couldn’t let this error go uncorrected, and so I made a short digression to tell them the story of Cyrano’s life. I sketched out his early days as a soldier, discussed his career as a philosopher and poet, and then dwelled at some length on the various hardships he encountered over the years: financial troubles, an agonizing bout with syphilis, his battles with the authorities over his radical views. I told them how he had finally found a protector in the Duc d’Arpajon, and then, just three years later, how he had been killed on a Paris street when a building stone fell from a rooftop and landed on his head. I paused dramatically to allow the grotesqueness and humor of this tragedy to sink in. “He was only thirty-six at the time,” I said, “and to this day no one knows if it was an accident or not.”

Cellpic Sunday

Another photo challenge!

This one is loose: any picture taken with your cell. The host is Journeys with Johnbo.

Here are self’s fridge magnets. Shakespeare rules!

TSD Sentence of the Day

Still from the Colonel Novak point of view, but delving more into his family life, or lack thereof. Self really feels for the man, especially after she reads this, which is the TSD Sentence of the Day, this last Wednesday of September 2021:

  • After he had made a great effort to attend his elder son’s wedding, Ivan, the groom, had shaken his hand and said “Thank you very much for coming, sir,” as if he was just an ordinary guest.

What the — !!!! Holy — !!!!! That’s exactly what son said to self at HIS wedding! During a groom + mother dance during which even the wedding photographers disgustedly turned off their cameras because self, it turned out, was no dancer.

Quotes of the Day: The Winter’s Tale

“Go rot! Dost thou think I am so muddy?” — Leontes, The Winter’s Tale

Self grew to love Shakespeare only in middle age, and that was entirely because of Cal Shakes, which is in self’s humble opinion the Bay Area’s best theater company. Of course, it didn’t hurt that her first Cal Shakes play was Romeo and Juliet, where Romeo was played by ADAM SCOTT.

Since then, Cal Shakes has become firmly fixed as a rite of summer. Last year they were forced to cancel their entire season and lay off two-thirds of their full-time staff. This year, they came back with one play, The Winter’s Tale.

As soon as it was announced, self e-mailed son. She couldn’t believe it when he said right off that he would pass. Pass? How could he? He practically grew up with Cal Shakes! She used to bring carloads of his friends here! Of course, they’re all married now, but still!

She ended up seeing it with a friend, while it was still in previews. Before seeing it Sept. 12, self had never read the play, didn’t know anything about the play, would probably have gone through the rest of her life not giving a hoot about the play. Then, she saw it. Ummm. She sat stupefieadd and amazed for three hours. How stupefied and amazed? Exactly one week later she was back, by herself. By then, she’d already begun reading a hefty novel called The Slaughterman’s Daughter. She lugged it along, and remained in her seat through intermission, reading.

What’s really good about seeing a play alone is: you can eavesdrop. The person to her left (separated by two seats) was a woman perhaps a decade older than self, who’d come alone, and was wearing the cutest gold sandals. To her right was a family with teen-age girls, who were at Bruns for the first time, probably just to see what all the fuss was all about.

The parents were sitting immediately to self’s right, the daughters several rows behind. At intermission, the mother went to check on the girls. When she came back, the girls were trailing her. The mother told her husband:

“You know what, I just realized everyone thinks the King is an idiot.”

Daughter: “That’s cause he IS.”

Onward!

Self could remember so many more lines, after watching The Winter’s Tale a second time:

“Good Queen, my Lord. GOOD Queen.”

“Gross hag!”

“Oh! She is warm!”

But her favorite line is the last: Hermione tells a repentant Leontes, “Let’s from this place.” And with that, the play ends. If anyone had told self a week ago that she would end up shipping Hermione/Leontes, she would have said, Get out!

This adaptation of The Winter’s Tale was by Cal Shakes Director Eric Ting and Resident Dramaturg Philippa Kelly. Kudos.

Her love for Cal Shakes is undiminished.

Stay tuned.

The Slaughterman’s Daughter, pp. 84 – 85

When he saw Fanny, he tugged at his beard and said, “Everyone is leaving.”

“Who is leaving, Reb Halperin?” she asked.

“You might as well ask who is not leaving,” he said. “The Weissmans are leaving, and the Rosensteins and the Grossmans and the Alhermans.”

“Where are they going, Reb Halperin?”

“You’d better ask where they are not going. Some go to Ellis Island and some to Berlin and some to St. Petersburg and some to Palestine.”

“And what is wrong with that?” she asked.

“And what is good about that?” he said.

Razorblade Tears Quote of the Day

Three narrow-looking white kids sat behind a glass display case that served as the sales counter. A bearded guy, a clean-shaven guy who was sporting a monocle, and a girl who looked like she had just stopped wearing light-up shoes a week ago.

Razorblade Tears, p. 51

How Iceland Changed the World, pp. 139 – 140

Self is going deliciously slowly with this book. She does not know how the author does it. He’s managed to inject surprise, page after page. Nothing is inevitable, as those quirky Icelanders keep demonstrating. Bravo for nimble literary work, Author Egill Bjarnason!

World War II:

The Allies — Britain and France — had been ousted from Europe, and the Nazis occupied the entire coastline from Spain to Norwway. The only thing standing in the way of a Nazi invasion of the UK were twenty-one nautical miles, the width of the English Channel at its narrowest point. Knowing the German Kriegsmarine could not get past the Royal Navy, Hitler decided to use his sea forces strategically. Instead of attacking Britain directly, the plan was to strangle its cargo routes, depriving the island nation of everything from food and clothing to oil and iron.

Control of Iceland would help. Hitler — a villain who spent his political career yelling so much that he needed polyps removed from his vocal cords, twice — ordered his generals to put together a plan to snatch the foreign port.

Thursday Trios Challenge: 19 August 2021

Self loves this challenge. It is so much fun to look through her archives for trios.

Thank you to the host, Mama Cormier!

In July, self decided to Airbnb in Carmel for a few days. On all her drives around California, she somehow failed to hit up this place, which was one of the first places her Dear Departed Dad took her to when she was a wee little girl. We were on our first family vacation from the Philippines, and Dad decided to make of it a road trip. Somehow, he had always harbored a secret fantasy of having his entire family engage in that quintessential American family activity: the road trip. So he bundled all five of us kids and Dearest Mum on a plane, and rented a car after we landed in San Francisco, and took us on a road trip that included: Carmel, Las Vegas, and La Jolla. Oh, and Highway 1, which we drove all the way from San Francisco to La Jolla.

Anyhoo, last month, self decided to Airbnb in Carmel, and her host had a most interesting apartment, filled with original artwork, weights, records and turntables, hefty art books, and guitars (in case any of the guests wished to break out in song?). Here’s his guitar collection:

Self’s host was extremely cryptic. She notified him that she was vacating, and leaving the key in the apartment per his instructions, and got this response:

  • I am just down the coast a little, enjoying the vanlife.

She thought and thought about an appropriate response, and finally came up with: Have an excellent vanlife!

Stay cool, dear blog readers. Stay cool.

The Flat Prose and the Flashes of Humor

Mom and I sat quietly on the swaying train. She looked really tired. But aside from that, and the fact that we were on our way home from a funeral, it was a gorgeous afternoon.

Heaven, p. 81

If you were expecting a description of the gorgeous afternoon to follow the above, know that this author would never be that obvious. She just told you it was a gorgeous afternoon: a simple declaration is more potent than a whole page of descriptive detail. And, dammit, I have to agree!

Self finds that she really likes the MC, and hope he never finds “Heaven” with his classmate Kojima!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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