Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Start With ‘P’ At Least Five Letters

Another Fun Foto Challenge from Cee Neuner!

  • Think of a word starting with the letter P that has at least five letters.

Self’s word for this Foto Challenge is

PRETTY

She took this picture at son’s wedding, this past October. His bride is Jennie. Self loves this shot.

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14 October 2017: A VERY VERY SPECIAL DAY

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

EXPERIMENTAL: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 15 November 2017

  • This is about “being experimental and choosing a new path.”

— Krista Stevens, The Daily Post

Last week, while wandering around Dublin, self stopped to gawk at the display window of a designer’s studio on Cow’s Lane:

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A Designer’s Shop Window on Cow’s Lane, Dublin: 9 November 2017

Unfortunately, the shop was closed. Self had to content herself with taking pictures.

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Display Window, Cow’s Lane, Dublin: 9 November 2017

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

2017 Highlights #1: To the Graduates of Bethune-Cookman

In a year of lowlights (“Rocket Man” and Fake News, the US pull-out from the Paris Climate Agreement, THAT DARN WALL, Charlottesville and “many sides,” the Las Vegas shooting, the Texas shooting, the dissembling of Sarah Huckabee Sanders), self would like to thank the graduates of Bethune-Cookman, for giving her one of the most stirring memories of 2017.

Betsy DeVos, the “woefully under-qualified Secretary of Education,” was invited to speak at the Bethune-Cookman commencement. This is the Secretary of Education who had not (yet) at that point announced that she would put an end to the loan assistance provided to those college students who intended to become teachers. But she had already said her piece about guns in schools: It would be appropriate #because grizzlies. Worst of all (This quote is taken from the open letter to the graduates of Bethune-Cookman, published in Cassius) was “her egregious framing of historically Black colleges and universities as pioneers in school choice.”

!!##@@ Put laughing-so-hard-its-painful emoji here.

The students stood and turned their backs. Literally.

The students defied the presence and rhetoric of DeVos.

Thank you.

#amreading: DO NO HARM, by Henry Marsh

Self is behind her Goodreads reading challenge: she set herself a challenge of reading 30 books in 2017. So far, she’s read 22.

Of the books she’s read so far in 2017, her favorites are:

  • Waterloo, the History of Four Days, Three Armies, and Three Battles, by Bernard Cornwall (read in August)
  • Barbarian Days, by New Yorker writer and avid ex-surfer William Finnegan (started mid-June, finished mid-July)
  • This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance! by Jonathan Evison (read this in the first half of June)
  • The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey, by Rinker Buck (read this in May, in — of all places — Paris)
  • Montcalm and Wolfe: The Decline and Fall of the French Empire in North America, by Francis Parkman (started mid-February, finished a month later)

The book she is currently reading, Do No Harm, by English neurosurgeon Henry Marsh, is pretty fascinating and may well move into her list of favorites by the time she’s finished. It’s her first medical memoir in a long time. She used to read nothing but: Atul Gawande, Jeremy Toobin, Oliver Sacks, Irwin Yalom, Abraham Verghese, Jerome Groopman. Her interest in this field started in 1991, when her only sister passed away suddenly in a New York hospital on the Upper East Side, Lenox Hill.

Marsh is very, very good at describing not just the technical aspects of brain surgery, but the emotional aspects as well:

“Anxiety might be contagious, but confidence is also contagious, and as I walked to the hospital car park I felt buoyed up by my patients’ trust.” — pp. 22 – 23

 

Old Selves

(Someone else in this place is awake, and it’s the wee hours. Strangely enough, she enjoys the sound of someone ascending and descending the narrow stairs outside her room — not barreling down but going up and down with light footsteps, and not once does she even think: banshees)

Self was looking for an old story, “Flight,” which appeared in Prism International years ago. She did a google search and landed on an old bio from Poets & Writers, dated 2012.

She is amazed because the list of publishing credits is a long one, and she didn’t realize, she never realizes until it’s too late or it’s over.

Cafe Irreal, Hotel Amerika, Hyphen, Isotope, New Orleans Review, Phoebe, Prism International, Sou’wester, The Chattahoochee Review, Wigleaf . . .

It surprises her, that list. How’d she do all that? And with her, of all people, not knowing.

Oh, she didn’t know because it was another person: someone who in everyday life wasn’t “a writer.” Just, you know, someone who lives in a house and gardens and is a poor driver and is something of a klutz. That’s her. The one who got all those stories out sounds like a person with a lot of nerve, a lot of determination and focus. And those two people couldn’t possibly be in this same body. Right? Right?

What has she done in the five years since? Crab Orchard Review. Witness. Quarterly West. Bellingham Review. decomP. Monkeybicycle.

Is she slowing down?

Don’t panic, self! You came close with Paris Review. Came close with another, and another, and another literary magazine. Got your first personal rejection from Missouri Review. Got to be in Wigleaf’s 50 Top Flash of 2016. Got to be a semi-finalist this year in American Short Fiction’s Short(er) Fiction Contest.

You started writing fantasy, remember? The stories in Prism International and New Orleans Review were the first. Only the first.

She’s thinking about the story in Hotel Amerika, Ghosts, which begins:

She dreamt about her sister, dead these many years. It seemed she was in a place of ghosts.

Stay tuned.

 

The Observer on Kenneth MacMillan’s Last Work, The Judas Tree

In June, self was soooo lucky: she got to watch the ballet Mayerling at the Royal Opera House, and loved it. She wasn’t feeling well (just like now; something about London, trying to do too much) and nearly went home after the first intermission. Then, while standing at the refreshments bar, she met an American woman who lives in New York and who gets annual subscriptions to the New York City Ballet. This woman flies to London to watch ballet, that is how big a deal it was for her. Upon finding out that self was planning to leave early, the woman said: “You can’t leave early. The pas de deux (or was it the gran jetés) in Act III are spectacular.” So self stayed. And she did get to watch that spectacular Act III.

This is a very, very long introduction to a review of Kenneth MacMillan’s final work, The Judas Tree, which is about gang rape. Gulp?

Anyhoo, the protagonists are a gang of construction workers at the Canary Wharf Tower. In the foreground, an East London construction site.

Several men enter. We understand them to be builders, although their muscle-mag appearance and narcissistic attitudes make them an unlikely labour force.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Needs To Have the Letter ‘K’ Anywhere In the Word

Self adores Cee Neuner’s Fun Foto Challenges: especially the ones on letters of the alphabet.

The current Fun Foto Challenge is for the Letter ‘K.’

Self’s word: SOCKS

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Self collects socks: These are from Albuquerque, New Mexico, where son Andrew and his fiancée Jennie were married, on Oct. 14.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

More Rounded: Still Albuquerque

More pictures from the fabulous Albuquerque trip self took, to attend son’s wedding, two weeks ago:

One of her first stops (post-wedding) was the Albuquerque Museum of Art.

Below, pieces by Jorge de Rivera (born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 1904, died New York City, 1985) and Paul Sarkisian, current Artist-in-Residence

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Jorge de Rivera, Albuquerque Museum of Art

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Paul Sarkisian, Artist in Residence, Albuquerque Museum of Art

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Garden Wedding (Son and Jennie’s) in Albuquerque Hotel, October 2017

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

ROUNDED: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 25 October 2017

Hello, curves.

— Ben Huberman, The Daily Post

Self’s son was married 14 October this year, in Albuquerque.

She nearly didn’t get to attend because the northern California wildfires grounded her United Airlines flight to Albuquerque from SF, two days in a row.

She finally flew to LAX, then got an American Airlines flight to Albuquerque. She arrived on the next-to-the-last day of the Hot Air Balloon Festival.

If she’d only managed to wake up at dawn, she’d have caught hundreds of balloons in the air, clearly visible from her hotel rooftop.

But she was exhausted. She was still able to catch a few stragglers:

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Albuquerque, New Mexico: October 2017

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Albuquerque, Still October 2017

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Albuquerque: Gorgeous, October 2017

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

GLOW: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 18 October 2017

In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary.

— Aaron Rose, The Daily Post

Other WordPress Glows:

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Koret Auditorium, San Francisco Main Library, a panel on OFW during the 4th annual Filipino-American International Book Fair, October 2017

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Approaching San Francisco’s Bay Bridge, September 2017

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MacBook Air, Palo Alto, CA, Summer 2017

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

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