Still More Faces in the Crowd: Backyard, Redwood City, California

Spring is just around the corner. Buds are beginning to open.

Here are a few of her flowers, just “faces in the crowd” :


In Bloom Today: Japanese Anemone

More on their way:


More Blooms Are on the Way

Plum tree’s covered with tiny white flowers:


Been Blooming for a Week Now: Plum Tree

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sweet(er) in Redwood City, California

After years of hectic traveling, it is sweet indeed to be back in Redwood City:



Even sweeter: having The Alienist to look forward to every week.

New episodes air every Monday night on TNT.


Dakota Fanning is just killing it in the role of Sara Howard, secretary to Teddy Roosevelt. In this incarnation, Roosevelt is the New York City Police Commissioner (circa 1896).

It is also grrrreat to see Brian Geraghty in the cast. Self lost track of him after The Hurt Locker. Geraghty plays Roosevelt! (When self watched Geraghty in The Hurt Locker, all those years ago, she never imagined that the next thing she saw him in would be The Alienist, portraying a future American president)

Also great are Daniel Bruhl (who self hasn’t seen on the big screen since Inglorious Basterds) and Luke Evans (who self has seen in the Lord of the Rings movies and in Immortals)

Stay tuned.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Needs To Have the Letters ‘O’ and ‘U’ in the Word

Another great Fun Foto Challenge from Cee Neuner: Needs to have the letters O and U in the word.

Self’s word is SOUP. Specifically, a delicious Philippine soup that originates in the central Philippine islands of the Visayas:


BATCHOY: Super Special Bowl of Heaven

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The Punisher: Season 1

A colleague on TV Series hub reviewed this show, which led self to give it a crack, she is so good at multi-tasking (while writing her #historicalfiction). She wasn’t focused on the screen the whole time, but while she was working, the sounds coming from her laptop let her know that something very violent was going down: grunts, gunshots, screams, things getting smashed or knocked over, on a recurring basis.

Gah, this show!

Anyhoo, a few days ago, someone tweeted that it was nice that Ben Barnes got to play against type.

Hold on . . . WHAT? Did someone just tweet BEN BARNES? In The Punisher?

Wasn’t he in the the Narnia movies? And wasn’t he also in the only other good movie Jessica Biehl has appeared in during her sadly truncated film career?

She tweeted the tweeter: Did you say Ben Barnes?

The response: Yes. Ben Barnes. How could you miss him? He’s in every episode!

So self went back to re-watch everything starting from S1:E1 and OMG it IS Ben Barnes! Only with facial hair!


Ben Barnes plays Billy Russo, who at first self thought was a good guy — until he murders his mother.

Mother is lying comatose in some nursing home (Kudos to the actress on playing comatoes so convincingly), when Ben Barnes (Billy Russo) comes in, looking dapper in a suit. He sends the nursing home attendant away, rips the blankets off his comatose mother (which self would think would be a very humiliating experience, just saying) and kills her.

Later in the same episode, Barnes tells his clandestine lover Dinah about how he grew up in a boarding house, he never got to know his mother, blah blah blah

And you simply cannot get the death scene that preceded out of your mind!

Worse, his GF’s partner, Sam, a mild-mannered agent who reminds self of Paul Giamatti, is murdered during a shoot-out. And he was the one who kept telling Dinah that Barnes/Russo is “pretty” (subtext: pretty = dastardly) And while he’s dying in GF’s arms, all self can think is:


Self never dreamed she would be rooting AGAINST a character played by BEN BARNES of all people but it is what it is.

Of course, this thread is not a MAJOR one: the major one is that The Punisher keeps visiting the wife of a colleague, even though every visit is viewed by his colleague (Surveillance satellites! They’re everywhere!) who is still in love with his wife (who is falling for The Punisher) but unfortunately for the husband, he can’t see his wife and family because he faked his own death.

Meanwhile, The Punisher kills again and again and again and again and never mind how many times but it’s a lot.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

More Rounded: Scythians at the British Museum and a Cake Decorated With Chocolate Flowers

So many grrreat examples of ROUNDED, everywhere self looks.

First, this from the Scythian Exhibit at the British Museum (The special exhibit is 16.50 GBP, but the rest of the museum is free. This beauty is just standing in the lobby, next to a concession stand):


The Scythians, self learned from the exhibit, were nomads who roamed the wild Russian steppes. Everything of value to them was either made of fur or minted of gold. There are the most intricate golden belt buckles, as well as gold appliqués on thick fur coats.

Moving on:

Last night, self watched a play at The Gielgud: The Ferryman. The play was three hours and 15 minutes, one proper intermission, and a three-minute break to allow the audience to get up and stretch. During the first intermission, they sold Haagen Dasz caramel salt ice cream bars in the stalls (3 GBP)

Searing. The women actors were amazing. As was a live baby, who got onstage to get a diaper change and whose part was very nicely done (Baby never cried)


Display Window, Caffé Concerto, Across from the Gielgud on Shaftesbury Ave.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Layered: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 20 September 2017

This week, let’s explore the interplay of texture and depth.

— Ben Huberman, The Daily Post

Self’s home is in Redwood City, California. She’s been exploring its nooks and crannies this summer.

She got this nifty display stand about 20 years ago, and every time she needs some validation, she looks at the stand, where most (if not all) of the journals that have published her work over the years are displayed.

On the lowest shelf are two programmes from the New Hampshire Symphony. The opera she collaborated on with Drew Hemenger got its world premiere in New Hampshire, March 2015:


And here’s the interior of a peanut butter & chocolate do-nut from an iconic doughnut shop in Westwood, which she visited in July:


Finally, a keepsake box filled with samples of son’s childhood artwork:


Layers of memory, layers of goodness.

Other examples of LAYERED from around WordPress:

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.


Trying, Not Succeeding

Self has moved on from Everlark.

She is still part of the fan fiction universe, only she’s switched allegiances to a new ship, Gendrya.

She is in complete awe of those fan fiction authors who drop Game of Thrones place names (Dragonstone, King’s Landing, Westeros, Highgarden, Casterly Rock, Stormsend, Braavos, The Red Keep, Winterfell, Volantis) as casually as bon bons.

She’s actually attempted doing a one-shot, but her lack of cred is immediately apparent because she’s only read one of GRRM’s books.

She doesn’t like AU Gendrya, it just doesn’t go well with the Bastard identity and Faceless Assassin plot lines. In the meantime, she lurks.

The number of Gendrya fics are about half the number of Everlark fics. But there are new ones appearing every day, because the ending of GoT Season 7 was so inconclusive.

Which brings us to:

The Books section of the Wall Street Journal, 12 – 13 August, 2017.

In Black Ships Before Troy, Rosemary Sutcliff (a rock star in her field) re-tells the Iliad. Now, the 1993 book has been re-issued and so it is with great pleasure that self adds the book to her reading list. It begins:

  • In the high and far-off days when men were heroes and walked with the gods, Peleus, king of the Myrmidons, took for his wife a sea-nymph called Thetis.

What. A. Fabulous. Opening. Sentence.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Fan Fiction: Arya the Assassin

All she had was hot vengeance running through her veins.

Self is pleasantly surprised at how good Arya Assassin fan fiction is.

Most (if not all) of it is rated G and just shows Arya being very ninja-like all over the place.

Revenge stories are the best.

Self would love to be able to write one of her own.

In her exploration of Game of Thrones fan fiction, she’s even stumbled across fan fiction written about Philip II of Spain. Granted, there are only two, but she’s surprised that there are ANY at all.

Are these, self wonders, written by a student who has to write something about Philip II for history class and decides the task will be easier if she can turn Philip II into a character in a fantasy world? If so: points student.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Still More Corners!

Merriam Webster: A corner is “the point where converging lines, edges, or sides meet.”

Here are more corners recently encountered by self:


View From a Friend’s Apartment, Downtown Pasadena: July 2017


Angela Narciso Torres in Pasadena: Love Those Shades!


A Square Donut: Chocolate Chip and Peanut-Butter Filled, from Westwood, CA (next to the UCLA Campus)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sentence of the Day:

  • In the final scene of tonight’s episode, all your Game of Thrones boyfriends (Jon! Jorah! Gendry! Tormund!) find themselves together in Eastwatch castle, and it’s like the angriest sitcom crossover episode you’ve ever seen.

Ha, ha! Good one Vulture writer Nina Shen Rastogi!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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