The Most Amazing Rant

Self has been wanting to blog about The Door all day. She’s been very busy. She considered several passages before deciding on this one.

Really, self doesn’t know if the narrator is for real, or whether Emerence the housekeeper is a total construct. Just read the following monologue/speech, which is apparently directed to the narrator, who has no objections:

  • What are you staring at? Didn’t you see Mrs. Boors granddaughter running along the other side of the street this morning, when I was sweeping — or were you paying attention only to yourself again? The child had come for me, and I went. Well, you can believe that if I’m holding someone’s hand in the hour of their death, it’s not difficult for them to die. I washed her, all very nicely, and prepared her for her journey. And I can tell you it wasn’t easy finding the time. In between, I had done that lunch for you, for which you have thanked me so graciously. Pay attention, because this is going to hurt, but it’s what you deserve. The master isn’t going to live very long, as you well know. Do you think he’s going to get stronger on plums? And what will he take to the other side as a memento?

Well, if that doesn’t just take the cake for speeches from a housekeeper!

Strangely, self hopes the relationship continues, because it is just so toxic, and it’s been a long time since self has read about a relationship like this — not even in Rebecca was Mrs. Danvers this verbally abusive. Self doesn’t think she’s read any novel where a woman is describes mistreating an animal as frequently as Emerence does the dog Viola. She beats Viola on numerous occasions, once so badly that Viola cracks a rib.

But, self has come this far. She’s not going to jump ship now!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Dog Training in THE DOOR

9/11 is almost over. Self is sick. She stayed in bed all day, reading The Door.

Magda and her husband find an abandoned puppy and take it home. Emerence, the housekeeper, becomes a completely different person with the dog: she is loving, she is affectionate.

Which reminds self of that long-ago time when her two beagles were still alive. She trained them to SIT.

Someone later told self that if she just raised a finger, the dogs would sit. She didn’t need to say the word. And that was when self realized that every time she said the word SIT, she raised her index finger.

lol

And that person was absolutely correct! Beagles would sit if she just raised her index finger!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

A Hanged Cat

This scene would never occur in an American novel, just sayin’ —

Emerence and her neighbor have a bit of a to-do over her cat killing his pigeons. She refuses to keep the cat confined to the house. So the neighbor

tracked the noble hunter down, grabbed hold of him and strung him up from the handle of Emerence’s front door. Returning home, the old woman had to stand there, under her own porch roof, while he gave her a formal lecture: he had been forced, regrettably, to defend his family’s only guaranteed livelihood, with the instruments of his choice.

Emerence said not a word. She released the cat from the wire, the ‘instrument’ the executioner had chosen over ordinary rope. The corpse was a shocking sight, its throat gaping wide.

What a creepy, horrifying scene! And in a novel whose voice is so quiet!

What other sly surprises are in store?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Solitude: The Daily Post Photo Challenge

“Show us what being alone means to you.”
— Jen H., The Daily Post

Self never feels more alone than when she’s on the train, surrounded by people listening to iPods:

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And there is something incredibly solitary about these people on a train platform:

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Cats are solitary creatures: Agree/disagree? The cat’s name is Chester. He lives in Calgary:

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Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The Nostalgia of Others

Of course, nostalgia is something that affects everyone differently. We’d love to know what kinds of experiences you’ve had that stir these emotions for the past in you.

— Jeff Golenski, The Daily Post

Here are some WordPress blogs whose takes on this week’s photo challenge, NOSTALGIA, intrigued self:

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Another Sentence of the Day: Self Getting Hungry!

Before school I would go for a run with my dog, Rambo, then make two large peanut butter cookies in the toaster oven and eat them, steaming hot, on the bus.

— Leanne Shapton, Swimming Studies

Really enjoying this book. Stay tuned.

Eye Spy 3: Gorgeous Orbs, Intense Gazes

# 1: Artur, whose acquaintance self made in Florence, early November:

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Self encountered Artur on the loggia in front of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, early November.

# 2: Joan Crawford’s eyes. Self-explanatory, really:

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The Intensity of Her Gaze!

# 3: Friend Annabelle Udo-O’Malley has the most gorgeous eyes. Took this pic in San Francisco, last year:

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Annabelle! It’s been so long! Time for more dress shopping!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Ornate 5: Siena’s Duomo; the Loggia of the Uffizi Gallery

Self’s niece was so organized that we got to see three small towns around Florence, all on the same day: Siena, San Gimignano, and Pisa.

Self’s favorite was Siena.

The beautiful Gothic cathedral has a magnificent interior (striped columns! Who would have thought!) but it’s the exterior self will focus on for further examples of the “ornate.”

For instance, all kinds of creatures proliferate, including a roaring lion sticking out of a buttress in the front:

Stone lion on the front of the Cathedral in Siena, built in the fourteenth century

Stone lion on the front of the Cathedral in Siena, built in the fourteenth century. The lion represents one of Siena’s 17 districts.

Here is the facade of the Cathedral, or as the Italians refer to it, the Duomo:

The Duomo of Siena is decorated with animals representing each of the city's 17 districts, which compete twice a year in horse races called the Palio.

The Duomo of Siena is decorated with animals representing each of the city’s 17 districts, which compete twice a year in horse races called the Palio.

For the third picture, self goes back to her archive of Florence photos. This is a shot of the loggia of the Uffizi Gallery. On Sunday afternoons, the stone benches are lined with people.

The Loggia of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence: a great spot to people-watch!

The Loggia of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence: a great spot to people-watch!

The last shot isn’t related to the Photo Challenge but is one of self’s favorite pictures from her trip.

On self’s last afternoon in Florence (a Sunday), she took a picture of this adorable creature, whose owners kept calling him “R2” which self thought was a kind of homage to R2D2 of Star Wars, until a young man told her that the dog’s name was “Artur.” Oh. How adorbs!

Artur, who self met on the stone benches in the loggia of the Uffizi Gallery

Artur, who self met on the stone benches in the loggia of the Uffizi Gallery

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Afloat 3: St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin; A Pet Turtle in Bacolod

More on the WordPress Photo Challenge, AFLOAT.

Self took the first two pictures when she was in Dublin, May 2014. It was her first time ever to Ireland. She walked along Grafton Street, met author Catherine Dunne for lunch at Bewley’s, then walked around St. Stephen’s Green.

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The water in the lake had a sort of mineral quality that self has never seen anywhere else.

And this is a picture of Manong Freddie’s pet turtle in Bacolod. Turtles bring good luck:

Manong Freddie's pet turtle

Manong Freddie’s pet turtle

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Express Yourself 3: Easy When You’re With Old Friends

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is EXPRESS YOURSELF. In posting on this theme, self has focused — twice — on artistic expression.

But here are two other kinds of expression: facial expression and doggie expression!

Having breakfast outside with Connie Ignacio Genato, best friends since grade school in Manila

Having breakfast outside with Connie Ignacio Genato, best friends since grade school in Manila

Looks like Connie's Li'l Crits are hungry! Her dogs' names are Bauer (after Jack Bauer of the TV show 24), Kobe, and Macho.

Looks like Connie’s Li’l Crits are hungry! Her dogs’ names are Bauer (after Jack Bauer of the TV show 24), Kobe, and Macho.

Angela Narciso Torres's son, Matthew, is an undergrad in a Fine Arts Program in USC. Here he is holding up a watercolor he made for the title poem of Angela's first book, BLOOD ORANGE.

Angela Narciso Torres’s son, Matthew, is an undergrad in a Fine Arts Program in USC. Here he is holding up a watercolor he made for the title poem of Angela’s first book, BLOOD ORANGE.

And here is the poem:

BLOOD ORANGES

At the river’s edge —
strewn seed, vermilion
petals from blood oranges

we ate. A branch
stoops from the weight
of phantom fruit. Falling,

the leaves exhale
the spice-heavy air,
its punishing sweet.

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