Getting Through It

It’s been almost a year since the world stopped, plans got thrown out the window, and nothing will ever be the same.

Self thought she’d take a moment to celebrate the things that got her through the past year:

Of course, gardening. Her garden has never looked so great. Every day she watches the oxalis in her backyard get higher and higher. And she just loves it.

Second, books, and her fantastic local library and their curbside pick-up system. She’s been using it since June (Before that, she ordered many books from Gallery Bookshop in Mendocino, which is equally fantastic). Also, self would like to thank the AUTHORS of these wonderful books. When self needed to be transported to another place and time, these authors delivered:

Self would also like to thank FREE CONCERTS. The week after everything shut down, St. Bride’s in London began streaming everything. And so did St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco, which used to hold free noontime concerts every Tuesday.

She would also like to thank Cal Shakes, whose summertime Shakespeare was a high point of her summer, as long as she was home in the San Francisco Bay Area. (Her first Cal Shakes was Romeo and Juliet. ADAM SCOTT PLAYED ROMEO. Sold!!!) A few days ago, she got a message that they would mount ONE live production this summer (Dates to be announced), with appropriate social distancing, of course: Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale.

Also, FaceTime. Self has actually learned to FaceTime with Dearest Mum. It’s been so great.

And The Economist, which managed to come every week (every two weeks lately, since DeJoy destroyed the USPS)

Finally, she’d like to thank her favorite TV shows, because she’d never have gotten through without them: The Expanse (closing with Season 6), Peaky Blinders (closing with Season 6), The Crown.

A big hand also for Trader Joe’s, for being most sanitary of all the different supermarkets she’s shopped in.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Sentence of the Day, 3rd Thursday of 2021

Self is alive! (Confetti! Fireworks!)

Her favorite musical guests from last night’s Inauguration Concert: the original cast of Rent; The Foo Fighters; John Legend; Demi Lovato; Tim McGraw; Jon Bon Jovi.

The sentence of the day is as follows:

If you are promoting a culture of candor on your team, you have to get rid of the jerks.

No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention, by Reed Hastings and Erin Meyer, p. 34

Corollary, or Sentence # 2: Jerks are likely to rip your organization apart from the inside.

Good advice, that.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Currently Reading: Classic Opera

The Making of the Representative for Planet 8, An Opera in Three Acts

by Philip Glass and Doris Lessing

Act I, Scene 2

Doeg, you have been with me on other planets.
Life is different on them all.
You know what winter is.
You know how life can freeze.
You know how worlds can turn from green to white.

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Self took this picture while riding Caltrain to San Francisco: 20 February 2017

Tagged on Facebook: Your 10 Most Influential Albums

Here are self’s first five:

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Robert Louis Stevenson: TREASURE ISLAND, pp. 42 – 44

So far:

  • Two dead seamen
  • A close call for young Jim Hawkins and his mother
  • a blind beggar who turns out to be a pirate
  • a mysterious oilskin packet which contains “two things: a book and a sealed paper”
  • a Dr. Livesey
  • a discussion of whether Jim Hawkins deserves better than “a cold pie” (he does)
  • a mention of Flint, “the bloodthirstiest buccaneer that sailed . . . Blackbeard was a child to Flint.”
  • a mention of buried treasure

p. 44:

Perusing the papers contained in the “oilskin packet”: “This is the black-hearted hound’s account book. These crosses stand for the names of ships or towns that they sank or plundered.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Prolific 3: Today’s Walk

It was another beautiful day in Mendocino. One thing about being here, there is always something self can take a picture of.

Right now, it is spring. So there’s an unbelievable amount of action going on, even in the vacant lots, and even if it’s just grass.

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Hodder Field, One Block from the Mendocino Art Center

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Self’s attention was caught by the swaying grass in Hodder Field.

And there are many, many spring concerts abounding, such as this one advertised on a poster tacked up to a fence on Ukiah Street:

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Spring is a great time to be outdoors and just soaking up the sights in Mendocino.

Her friends are telling her to come back for the Mendocino Music Festival (July) but all accommodations are booked solid.

Never mind. She’s just happy to be here in April.

Other PROLIFIC:

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Libretto, MARIFE

Ten years ago, in VCCA (Virginia Center for the Creative Arts), self was working on a novella called Marife, loosely based on the events of the Oklahoma City bombing.

A composer named Drew Hemenger, who she met at VCCA, worked with her to turn it into a full-length opera.

The orchestral suite was performed by Hampshire Symphony two years ago. In her most woebegone moments, Drew would direct self to this or that opera (Porgy and Bess?) which took 20 years to be performed. And self would say, “Drew. I do not have 20 years.”

Dear blog readers, this is just to let you know that two people, if they are determined enough, even with no money, can create an opera. The problem has always been finding people who want to stage it. So self is doing this blog on the opera, for the first time. In case someone has any ideas to share?

Here’s how the libretto begins:

I.

MARIFE:

They were talking and talking and talking.

LAWYER:

About what?

MARIFE:

How do I know? What men talk about. Fishing, maybe.

LAWYER:

Fishing?

MARIFE:

Yes, fishing.


Self remembers when she first presented the libretto to Drew, he looked at the 80 pages and said, “That’s going to take three days to sing.”

So self chopped off all the lines to about half their length.

Is that how one writes a libretto? Self doesn’t know. She never wrote a libretto before.

“And just put in the word love, as many times as you can,” Drew said.

“I am not that kind of writer,” self declared.

“This is opera! Do it!”

Right after the Las Vegas shooting, self saw so many parallels with the Oklahoma City bombing. She asked Drew, “Didn’t it strike you as eerie? The ammonium nitrate? The Filipina?” Drew said: “I don’t know. I’ve been trying to stay away from all the Las Vegas shooting news.”

At  one point, Drew met someone who said we could have it staged in the CCP, the Cultural Center of the Philippines. He nearly flew over to Manila.

And self asked: Who was she? And then: Drew, this is one walk you’re going to have to take alone.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

PERSONAL HEROES: FIREFIGHTERS OF CALIFORNIA

Trump is rather disinterested in the raging wildfires that have wrought havoc on Northern California.

Fires started over a week ago.

Self’s flight to Albuquerque on Thursday, 12 October, was cancelled due to “weather.”

Self’s flight to Albuquerque on Friday, 13 October, was cancelled again due to “weather.”

Self learned from another passenger in the SFO United terminal that the cancellations began on Wednesday.

Son’s wedding was on Saturday, 14 October.

The only thing that saved her was: another of son’s friends, Alex Case, was in the United terminal, scheduled for the same 11 a.m. flight to Albuquerque. Somehow, we found each other (first sighting since son’s high school graduation and Alex had grown at least two feet), found an American Airlines flight to LAX, and then got another flight from there to Albuquerque, finally arriving 8:30 p.m., missing the rehearsal dinner.

But: she made her son’s wedding! She made her son’s wedding! She made her son’s wedding!

Last night, she flew back to the San Francisco Bay Area. Her seatmate said, “There’s still smoke.” We looked out at the darkness. Above the twinkling lights of the city was an area that was a different pall. And self thought: the firemen have been fighting since the fires started, over a week ago now. And the fires have only just started being contained.

Each fireman deserves a medal. A big fat gold medal.

Stay tuned.

Share Your World: 16 October 2017

How SYW (Share Your World) Works:

Create your post answering the four questions below, then post a link to Cee Neuner’s blog in the comment box.

  1. If you had to move to a country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?
  2. What color would you like your bedroom to be?
  3. What makes you Happy? Make a list of things in your life that bring you joy.
  4. What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?

Here are self’s answers:

If you had to move to a country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?

The Philippines, since I grew up there.

England, because I adore theatre and everything related to. And because it’s an easy hop from there to my other favorite country: Ireland.

What color would you like your bedroom to be?

A deep red. The kind I first saw in Edinburgh, in 2012.

What makes you happy? Make a list of things in your life that bring you joy.

  • Discovering new places
  • Visiting museums
  • Being with son, his wife Jennie, and their friends
  • Writing
  • Reading a good book
  • Looking at flowers

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?

Eating Bone Marrow Tapas at Mas Tapas y Vino on 2nd in downtown Albuquerque.

Haven’t had bone marrow in soooo long. Self loved it growing up in the Philippines.

 

 

 

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.

 

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