Life in Colour: Pink

Another photo challenge!

Life in Colour: a different color for every month of the year. Hosted by Travel Words.

April’s color is PINK.

Here’s a night light self has had since she was a little girl. Inside the cottage (you can’t really see, sorry), a wolf in a bonnet lies under the bedcovers, waiting for little Red Riding Hood to approach. The roof is a bright, cheerful pink.

She brought this lamp with her to the States. The light broke and for many years it stayed broken. Then, a few years ago, in Mendocino, self met a wonderful woman named Jewel — an artist AND an electrician! — who fixed it for her.

Now it shines every night on what used to be son’s old desk.

“Oh, Grandmother, what big ears you have!”
“The better to hear you with.”
“Oh, Grandmother, what big eyes you have!”
“The better to see you with.”
“Oh, Grandmother, what big hands you have!”
“The better to grab you with!”

“Little Red Riding Hood,” from the Brothers Grimm

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

TransGenre: “I dreamt about my sister, dead these many years”

Another of my pieces. This one was published in Hotel Amerika, the TransGenre issue, 2010.

Copyright reverted to me after first publication. I’m not sure how many people read it the first time, which is why I’m re-publishing here. ALL THANKS TO HOTEL AMERIKA for giving this piece a home.

Ghosts

by Marianne Villanueva

I dreamt about my sister, dead these many years. It seemed she was in a place of ghosts. In my dream, I put my face up to hers and kissed her cheek and said, “I’ll always be your sister.” But she turned her face away and closed her eyes. Her cheek was cold.

I said, “Do you want me to take you away, dear? Come, come! Let us go!” But she only looked sad and didn’t speak.

My son was with me but in my dream he was a young boy. I mean, my son at seven, not the way he is now. He was impatient with my sighs and tears and wanted to get away from that place. He was bored.

I gave him a pencil and told him, “Draw!” He took the pencil obediently. He drew. But it seemed to cost him great effort.

Now and then I would peep at what he was drawing: a series of empty rectangles. I asked him, “Why don’t you put people in your drawings? See, here, and here, and here. They’re all around us!”

He looked up and slowly I saw understanding dawn on his face. He filled his drawings with the outlines of people. I understood then that he, too, could see them, these ghosts.

I told my sister: You are under a spell. You should never have gotten married. She nodded, but she didn’t seem to want to do anything about it. Eventually I left, I left my sister there in that cold white house in the middle of a barren plain. The landscape looked like that of a northern country, all bare brown fields as if struck by winter. All white trees.

In the back seat of my car was a white box. It made an angry buzz. I wanted to throw it away but I couldn’t because I knew somehow that there was something in that box that belonged to my sister.

When I got to my own house, after a journey of some distance, I took the box out but now I felt it contained something evil, I wanted to get away from the box but I felt some sense of loyalty, too, because in that box, possibly, were pictures of my sister.

Eventually I forced myself to open it. Inside was a collection of photographs. My sister was in all of them, but around her were people I didn’t recognize. They were on either side of her, staring straight at the camera. My legs felt numb. There was a terrible ache in my chest and my cheeks were cold.

A leaf had turned. A leaf had fallen. It was a Thursday in September, I saw from the calendar on my desk. The 23rd of September.

The X-Files: Squeezed, 3/1/94

On the eve of the last weekend before the momentous election of 2020 (when we either all stay Americans or become something worse, according to Thomas Friedman of The New York Times), self is giddy with excitement.

Cleaning out son’s room, a very laborious process, which so far has occupied her for months, she finds — WHOA! — a marked-up script from the set of The X-Files. She remembers that a friend of a friend was the Props Manager and sent this from Vancouver.

Yes, this is a real watershed moment: the moment when self holds, in her hot little hands, a copy of the script for the episode Squeezed.

We all remember that episode, do we not?

p. 54: INT. ESCALATOR SHAFT – NIGHT

Mulder crawls further, sweating, covered with dust and grease. He pauses, aims his flashlight at the end of the shaft.

MULDER’S POV – END OF SHAFT

A mound of papers and rags large enough for a human to be curled up inside. It is covered with a yellowish bile.

OOOH!!!!!!!

Friday Morning: Reading Luisa A. Igloria’s New Collection

Luisa A. Igloria, dear friend, is this year’s Virginia Poet Laureate. Her newest collection, Maps for Migrants and Ghosts (Crab Orchard Review & Southern Illinois University Press), is such a beauty.

Excerpt from Moving, Changing, Not Moving


In the brick-lined interior of a coffee shop, a man at the communal table closes his eyes, a pair of earphones plugged into his cell. Fanning themselves, people come in from the street; it’s the hottest summer & everyone wants iced coffees & teas, water & ice; & parents with little children fall in line outside

people come in from the street; it’s the hottest summer& everyone wants iced coffees & teas, water &

btw: Has anyone EVER tried to contact WordPress about their new Block Editors, and has one EVER received a response? This poem format is ALL OFF, and the code editor does not allow self to switch between single space (within a stanza) and double space (between stanzas). Literally, self has been trying to format since 10 a.m., an hour and a half ago. Even their Customer Service doesn’t work. That is all.


Take 2, Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 116: SYMMETRY

Saw Infidel at the Century 20. If you don’t take it too seriously (Christian blogger goes to Egypt — to try and convert Muslims? — guess what happens to him), it is entertaining. It was her first Jim Caveziel movie in forever, and at first she didn’t recognize him. His hair’s gone light, and he’s heavier. She thinks the last movie she saw him in was the one where he played the son of Dennis Quaid. Frequency, she thinks it was.

Self has loved movies since she was a little girl, she and her Dear Departed Dad shared this passion and would go often. Even here, when he had to have part of a foot amputated (He had very advanced diabetes and a small wound on his foot developed gangrene) at UCSF Medical Center on Parnassus, self would take him to movies. He needed to keep his foot elevated; she’d put his foot on her lap (it had a cast).

Century 20 shut down in March, but finally opened again last week. Her first post-opening movie was Tenet. Whoa! Mind-blowing.

No telling how long Century 20 will remain open, she noticed there aren’t any first-run movies on the schedule for the entire month of October. So, wanting to commemorate maybe her last movie in a theater for a while, she took along her camera and took these pictures.

The Lens-Artists Photo Challenge was SYMMETRY. She thinks her pictures are a good example of Horizontal Symmetry.

There were only four other people in the entire theater with her, more than adequate social distancing!

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Monday Read: THE FILIPINOS: PORTRAIT OF A PEOPLE, by Manuel D. Duldulao

p. 13: “the past comes rushing back . . . ”

  • On election day, in full view of more than 700 foreign and local journalists, and millions of concerned citizens, Marcos’s men ripped up ballots, bought others and muzzled voters. As many as three million names were stricken off the voters’ list.

p. 16 features a description of self’s favorite Filipino dessert, halo-halo (Literal Translation: mix-mix):

  • This delicacy, served in a tall sundae glass, contains diced bananas, sweet mango, chickpeas, kidney beans, strands of macapuno (the succulent meat of a variety of coconut) — all of these in syrup — plus pinipig (kernels of crisp and delectable rice), mongo beans, corn, langka (jackfruit), sweet potato, jello, ube (purple yam preserves), and leche flan.

HUNGRY.

A Big Entrance

He watched Dewy Crowe bring a pump shotgun out of the trunk and start back this way, all business now, his mind made up, his dumb pride taking him to a place it would be hard to back out of.

. . . Raylan in his shirtsleeves, Dewey Crowe taking careful steps now, holding the shotgun out in front of him.

“Mr. Crowe? Listen, you better hold on there while I tell you something.”

It stopped him about fifty feet away, his shoulders hunched.

“I want you to understand,” Raylan said, “I don’t pull my sidearm ‘less I’m gonna shoot to kill. That’s it’s purpose, huh, to kill. So it’s how I use it.”

Fire in the Hole

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A Fine Bromance

Since self is currently reading Fire in the Hole, she’s on a Justified nostalgia kick.

Lookit these two! The hottest dudes on TV for six glorious seasons:

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Timothy Olyphant as US Marshal Raylan Givens; Walton Goggins as Boyd Crowder

Chemistry between these two was high, every encounter struck sparks.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

“The Outpost”: Reviewed by Brian Tallerico

Self just saw the review on a site she checks pretty regularly: http://www.rogerebert.com

She normally doesn’t like watching ‘military’ movies. She feels like the high point was Platoon and The Hurt Locker and she hasn’t seen any good ones, not any straightforward (not Quentin Tarantino tongue-in-cheek) good ones, in a long time.

the-outpost-movie-review-2020.jpg

But darn, The Outpost sounds like a good movie! Brian Tallerico (who she hasn’t quoted before, she doesn’t think) begins his review with:

  • Director Rod Lurie’s first film in almost a decade is also one of his best, and the first movie since our national nightmare began in 2020 that I really regretted not being able to see in a theater.

That’s you and self, Brian!

If only they would open the Stanford Theater on University Avenue in downtown Palo Alto so that she could watch classic black-and-whites like Roman Holiday and enjoy with the $1 small bucket of popcorn.

Anyhoo, this is one of those VOD ones. The only other film she’s rented during the pandemic has been Ronald Emmerich’s 10,000 B.C. and that’s because she wanted to see how Captain Jim Holden of The Expanse looked when he was 21 and clad only in animal skins.

Read Brian Tallerico’s review here.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Doreen G. Fernandez, Food Writer, Queen

From Hometown Foods: Essays on Filipino Food:

Quiet, bucolic Silay used to have a lot of gambling for high stakes going on behind the walls of those gracious houses. Some, I was told (I never saw them) had sophisticated warning, hiding and escape systems built into them in case of an unlikely raid — unlikely because of pakikisama, because important officials were among the gamblers, because it was an important part of the community lifestyle. Tales were told and zarzuelas were written about jewelry, land titles and car registrations flung on the gambling table; of haciendas lost in a night of gaming; of marriages sacrificed at the mahjong, panguingue or monte tables, or at the cockpit.

For these gamblers, I was told, were developed for kalan-unon (kakanin) for which Silay is famous, and the accompanying institution, the manug-libud (accent on ug and ud). The kalan-unon are portable — they can be eaten without getting up from the gambling table, and they used to be made by the best cooks in Silay — maiden aunts, young wives, mothers, girls, many from the best families. The food was taken around by the manug-libud (“libud” means to take from place to place, usually to sell) to homes with or without gambling, to restaurants and schools, in large round baskets covered with cloth and carried on their heads.

Are there any chefs from Silay in the Bay Area? Are there any Filipino restaurants in Redwood City? How about Half Moon Bay? Just wondering.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

 

 

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