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!

SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT

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:

BILLY RUSSO YOU DIRTY RAT!

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):

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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)

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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:

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

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

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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:

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

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Angela Narciso Torres in Pasadena: Love Those Shades!

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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: Vulture.com

  • 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.

Elemental in Pasadena

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is ELEMENTAL. Erica V. on The Daily Post describes her response to experiencing the American Southwest for the first time: “I was both confused and in awe of this extreme landscape.”

Last month, self was in Pasadena. Her first visit south in three years. She Airbnb’ed in the Pasadena hills. The house was at the very top of a winding driveway. Behind it was nothing but steep, scrubby hillside.

Just inside the front door was a rock, a very heavy rock. Self should have asked her host about it, but she never did:

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There was a chameleon that kept trying to get into self’s unit. It was a beautiful thing. Every time self left the apartment, the chameleon would be clinging to the screen door. One day, self decided to photograph it:

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Finally, a slice of green matcha tiramisu from Urth Caffé, in downtown Pasadena, a block from legendary bookstore Vroman’s. It looks for all the world like moss!

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Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Wondering About Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 3

It is sweltering here up in the Pasadena Hills, and self feels no inclination to go outside. In the daytime, Pasadena is a sleepy city. At night, everyone drives with fury almost, zipping past slower cars and switching lanes with abandon. Self finds it very disconcerting. Especially as her GPS Navigator tells her where to turn only after she reaches an intersection, at which point she is usually in the wrong lane.

So, no going outside today. She’s re-reading a Calyx poetry anthology, A Fierce Brightness: Twenty-Five Years of Women’s Poetry, which she stumbled across in her house two weeks ago. Here’s the first half of a poem by Sheila Demetre:

A Woman Is Running For Her Life

Under my ribcage a live coal
is singing. It wheedles from its hutch
of bone, glows blue in every kindling breath.

I need these bright shoes to burn up centuries
of inertia, of sickness holding me limp
with forehead ground against my tangled knees.

Celestial now, I’m all brush and sweep.
My elbows scribble, quickening the air I slog.
Don’t touch my sparks, my hieroglyphs of heat.

She absolutely loves the “hieroglyphs of heat.”

Tomorrow is Episode 3 of Game of Thrones. Does Euron die? Does Yara die? Does Ellaria Sand die? Does Olenna Tyrell die? Does Grey Worm die? If Grey Worm dies, will Missandei go crazy? Does Meera Reed die? If Meera dies, does Bran get to have a wheelchair at last? Do we see Gendry (finally? Cause the tweets are getting ridiculous) Do Brienne and Podrick get to spar again? Does Ned Stark come back from the dead? Does Stannis Baratheon come back from the dead? Will we see more of Ser Jorah’s horrible greyscale? Will Sam be retching again? Will Dany continue to be her insufferable self? Will Sansa be more of her cryptic self? Will Jaime continue to be disconcerted? Will Cersei continue to be sarcastic? Will we ever find out which skilled blacksmiths created the Giant Crossbow aka Dragonkiller? Will Arya Stark continue to evolve? Will Wun Wun come back as a wight?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

#amreading: More from BARBARIAN DAYS: A SURFING LIFE, by William Finnegan

How has self spent this Fourth of July? Her first Fourth in Sacramento?

She’s spent most of the day (it’s past 5 p.m.! How did the time pass so quickly?) looking up Game of Thrones Season 7 spoilers (lol), perusing Twitter, and eating quarts of ice cream. That’s right, self said it: she’s eating quarts of ice cream. And an It’s-It (It is soooo hawtt here in Sacramento!)

She is on p. 132 of Barbarian Days, William Finnegan’s Pulitzer-Prizewinning memoir of his surfing days. Here he describes what it felt like to work in a bookstore in Maui:

The bookstore was three small rooms on a rickety old pier at the west end of the seawall. There was a bar next door. Ocean sloshed under the floorboards. The couple who owned the store trained me and, having picked up danger signals from local authorities, fled Hawaii for the Caribbean, leaving me to run the place along with the draft dodger, one of whose names was Dan.

Hilarious!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

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