Admiration 4: A List (Far From Complete)

OH NO! SELF ACCIDENTALLY DELETED HER OWN POST.

It happened while she was trying to expand on her reasons for assembling this particular mosaic of images to represent the week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge: ADMIRATION.

And she couldn’t find a previous saved version. Gaaaah! And in re-selecting images, she decided to stop at six instead of the eight she originally had. And she also substituted some images. Sorry for the confusion!

  1. Lady in Red: Ger, chef of Cork’s pre-eminent restaurant, Café Paradiso. Such a great chef, and also very direct and witty! Self loves Ger.
  2. Katniss Everdeen: Self-explanatory, really.
  3. Allison Joseph, co-editor with Jon Tribble of Crab Orchard Review. Fabulousness.
  4. The mother-daughter team who cook and manage Chez Mamie, 22 Hanway Street, London. They make London feel like home.
  5. SeaCity Museum, Southampton, England: Thank you to Joan McGavin, who took her here last year. What a great exhibit on the Titanic. While other cities lay claim to having the best exhibits on the tragedy, Southampton’s is so poignant because it focuses on the crew, most of whom were from this city. And therefore, the focus of the displays is on working-class people. Which makes this a much more layered story. In one gallery, there’s a map on the floor with red dots representing the houses of each of the victims. The dots are clustered around the poorer sections of the city.
  6. Last but not least: Nutschell Ann Windsor, Program Administrator for UCLA Extension’s on-line Writers Program. She is the best. She not only handles all requests with Zen calmness, she is a writer herself. And an editor. She’s holding an anthology she edited.

And now self will post before she accidentally deletes something again.

Stay tuned.

Admiration 3: Fort Bragg, CA

Self discovered Fort Bragg, California this year.

She stayed for a few weeks, and discovered:

  1. An excellent bakery, in the Depot Building. Just look at that sweet, blue nest confection!
  2. An excellent used bookstore called, in typical Fort Bragg self-deprecating manner, The Bookstore. The second floor had a wonderful seating area. And the day self visited, there was a hardbound copy of Cyrano de Bergerac, which she has fond memories of her Dear Departed Dad reciting to her at mealtimes (He was a frustrated actor. Played Hamlet in high school at the Ateneo)
  3. Writers, writers, writers abound in Fort Bragg. Self began reading Norma Watkins, whose beautiful memoir, The Last Resort: Taking the Mississippi Cure, was just published by University of Mississippi Press.

Work-in-Progress: Various Fables

  1. Here hunger seized a hideous, stare-blind creature, speeding over a meadow. There was famine in the village. The grass was scant. The milk that streamed from the udders of the villagers’ cows was thin and poor.
  2. And from that day, the King of Spain was never troubled by visits from the lands of dark-skinned peoples.
  3. She said, “On the night of the next full moon, stand by the lake, and the door to the hillside will open.”
  4. The moonlight seemed to strike a path straight to his sorrowing heart.
  5. The King intoned: “As for your threats against my people, know that they do not want for courage.”
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The Lake at Annaghmakerrig

 

 

Quotes of the Day: THE FOREVER WAR

“I am talking directly to the kidnappers.” (Ahmad, Shiite, Baghdad freelancer. “For eating, Sir!” was his answer when Filkins asked him why he kept a flock of twenty-five sheep on the roof of his home)

“The best sources are often people of marginal repute.” (Filkins) Ahmad’s fee: $250/day

“Sir, it is very complicated.” (Ahmad)

“Not good man.” (Waleed, Filkins’s driver, referring to Ahmad)

“Jill is at the racetrack.” (Ahmad, referring to American reporter Jill Carroll, kidnapped in the middle of the day, in the middle of the street; her translator, who was with her, had been killed)

“a brunette with a streak of pink dye in her hair” (Filkins, describing Jill Carroll)

“She wasn’t there.” (CIA section chief, two nights after Filkins gave him a tip that Carroll was being held at the racetrack.)

“I was afraid now, afraid of everything I didn’t know.” (Dexter Filkins)

“My dealings with Ahmad . . . had sunk to the level of farce.” (Filkins, after he and a fellow reporter end up pooling $6,000 of their own money to pay Ahmad for information on the whereabouts of kidnapped reporter Jill Carroll)

“Your buddy is just playing you.” (CIA section chief, to Filkins)

Self promises she will finish this book sometime today, then start on Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilyich.

Stay tuned.

Quote(s) For the First Sunday of March 2016

First, self started reading “The Wild Swans.”

Then she added a chapter to one of her four Hunger Games fan fics.

Then she began reading World of the Maya, by Victor W. von Hagen (the same copy which, as a 21-year-old, she brought with her to Chichen Itza)

p. 37, The Chapter on “The Lower Men”

Agricultural surplus provided time that was used in the building of temples, palaces, and roads.

Then she looked at how other WordPress bloggers were handling this week’s Photo Challenge, HARMONY.

Here’s one from girl astray:

“Waterfall Hunting in Putumayo”

When in Colombia, you must drink chicha.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Qualities of a Leader

  • Poise under pressure
  • Clarity of intention
  • Courage
  • Conviction
  • Charisma
  • The ability to motivate people

Self pulled the above traits from an article she is reading in Parabola (It’s the POWER issue, Fall 2013 — the last three years have been hectic, okay?), written by Linda Kohanov. It’s an article about horse taming. Or, what horse taming can teach a person.

Kohanov cites several powerful historical examples, including Alexander the Great and Gautama Siddhartha.

Here’s what she writes:

  • Horses embody many of the assets people access through more formal meditation techniques, including the ability to engage fully with reality. What seems so difficult for a grasping, hoarding, controlling, and competitive human being comes easily to these highly social, intensely aware, nomadic prey animals. Horses are actually hardwired for the state of nonattachment favored by the Buddha. In the wild they don’t defend territory, build nests, live in caves, or store nuts for the winter . . . While they react quickly in the face of danger, they also show remarkable resilience in recovering from traumatic events. They don’t ruminate over and over about the injustices of the past, or with ceaseless internal dialogues about how cruel it is that God invented predators.

She lists famous historical people (apart from the aforementioned Alexander the Great and Siddhartha) who have turned skill with horses into leadership skills: Genghis Khan, Joan of Arc, George Washington, Catherine the Great, Andrew Jackson, Elizabeth I, Teddy Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Ronald Reagan.

Fascinating, just fascinating.

 

Vibrant 2: New York City’s High Line

Whoever was responsible for bringing the High Line into existence, self thanks you. The most beautiful things about New York City last December were:

  • the weather (shirt-sleeve weather)
  • Carnegie Hall
  • Central Park
  • High Line

She has posted many pictures of the High Line in the last two months. Here are the most vibrant ones:

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The tables above are the outdoor seating for Terroir.

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On the High Line: A Message

And the same message, only in context:

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Chelsea (Former Meatpacking District), viewed from the High Line

P.S. Interesting, isn’t it, the predominance of vibrant yellow? Self almost thinks that was deliberate!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

Peeta and Johanna Mind-Swap (Fan Fic Of Course)

Do not read if you are squeamish at the thought of a Peeta/Katniss reunion, only with Peeta in Johanna’s body. Hey, if self can buy a tranny Peeta (who borrows Katniss’s clothes; it’s super-fine with Katniss), there can be a Peeta-in-Johanna’s body thing.

So, if you can, just imagine the whole “star-crossed lovers” plot with a body switch, then you will empathize with the below complications:

  • Johanna insists on taking her D-13 shower with the men.
  • Peeta can’t get used to having such small feet (They’re Johanna’s) and keeps stumbling.
  • Peeta to Katniss: “Having boobs is pretty weird.”
  • Katniss doesn’t feel comfortable kissing Peeta because he’s in Johanna’s body.
  • When Peeta is rescued, Katniss goes straight for him and hugs him fervently, not knowing that Peeta is now in Johnna and it’s now Johanna in Peeta. Katniss gets very confused when Peeta (who is actually Johanna now) just stands there without returning her embrace.
  • Gale doesn’t get jealous of all the time Katniss spends hanging out with Johanna, because he doesn’t know that it’s really Peeta inside Johanna’s body.
  • Plutarch asks Peeta to appear in a propo, Peeta just stands there looking bored (Of course Plutarch has no clue that Johanna is inside Peeta, and so forth. Self doesn’t know if she quite buys the Johanna-looking-bored-while-filming-a-propo thing. In self’s mind, a propo would be a perfect opportunity for Johanna to show off her antic nature)

Well, self could just go on and on and on and on and on, but she won’t.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Despite the Pouring Rain

When self left New York City, it was just beginning to get cold. The week before she left, she was still able to walk around Central Park in T-shirt, jeans, and sneakers!

She arrived in San Francisco to rain. Rain and rain and rain. And cold. Rain and cold. And now — storm coming! GAAAAAH!

Nevertheless —

Self dropped a new Everlark fan fic about Cheating Peeta/Stalker Delly in December. Over the past few weeks, it’s generated tremendous amount of discussion on the boards!

Gotten more comments than any fic that dropped in December!

The bare story is this: Peeta cheats on Katniss with Delly. Katniss files for divorce and decides to take time off from teaching to travel around Southeast Asia. And she cheats on Peeta. (The divorce takes a long time because, you know, California lawyers! It might be years!) The two meet in Siem Reap, Cambodia and — Kaboom! — Primal connection fireworks!

Who knew self would be getting comments like this!

  • When I get the new chapter alert in my office, I have to sneak to the comfort room so I can read. I’m very inefficient at work these days.
  • I’m addicted to Fallout 4, but yesterday when I got your story alert, I immediately dropped my controller and reached for my tablet.
  • Every chapter, I cry angry tears, it’s like you’re pounding a nail into my coffin.

Readers list possible ways to deal with the problem of Cheating Peeta:

  • Punch him in the face, Katniss!
  • Shoot him in the nuts with your bow and arrow!
  • Make Peeta grovel!
  • Find yourself some hot, sexy man!

Everlark is self’s be-all and end-all.

Stay tuned.

 

The Guardian: 75 Films to Watch in 2016

Self enjoys reading The Guardian. In particular, their film blog.

Yesterday, she stumbled across a piece called: 75 movies to look forward to in 2016.

75??? Only The Guardian would have the temerity to post such a mind-boggling list of 2016 movies.

Well, self will attempt to take a gander.

Here are her conclusions, after one read-through:

  • Keanu Reeves is back! He’s in at least three 2016 movies.
  • Michael Fassbender is in everything. Michael Shannon is in everything. Ryan Gosling is in at least two upcoming.
  • Matt Damon is back as Bourne (triple somersault YAY!) and Paul Greengrass is directing (Wowowowowowow!!!)
  • Charlie Hunnam Is. In. A. Movie (Oh God. It’s been too long)
  • Casey Affleck is in a movie. Self likes Casey Affleck. More than she likes his brother.
  • They’re making a film of Shusako Endo’s Silence! They’re making a film of Shusako Endo’s Silence! And it’s starring Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield, and Adam Driver. Oh God.
  • Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool (And this one actually seems like it might work)
  • Jennifer Lawrence is mentioned as getting $20 million for the space movie she’s in with Chris Pratt. BTW, people? She’s worth every penny.
  • They’re making a movie (Neon Demon) about “beauty-obsessed women in L.A.” and self loves the cast: Keanu Reeves, Elle Fanning, and Christina Hendricks.
  • Star Wars spin-off Rogue One: Another Brit (Felicity Jones) stars.
  • Anthropoid, about the assassination of one of World War II’s most brutal concentration camp commanders: Reinhard Heydrich. This one stars Jamie Dornan and Cillian Murphy. These are two gorgeous men, dear blog readers. If self weren’t already cheering about the plot, she’d be cheering at the prospect of seeing these men’s gorgeous cheekbones in close-up on the big screen.

BTW, saw Joy and enjoyed it. It seemed rather muted for a David O. Russell film, especially one starring his muse Jennifer Lawrence. Self thinks Amy Adams could have handled that part. But Jennifer is truly a force. Self refuses to complain too much about a film that has her in it.

Stay tuned.

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