Sentence of the Day, 1st Sunday of October 2021

George Holliday, who recorded the beating of Rodney King, died on September 19th, aged 61.

Lead sentence, The man on the balcony,The Economist Obituary, 2 October 2021:

  • For near on nine minutes, George Holliday stood outside his second-floor windows with his three-pound Sony Handycam clamped to his eye.

It is quite an amazing article.

October Squares Challenge: Past-Squares

There are many ways to interpret this month’s Squares Challenge, Past-Squares. Self will confine herself to just one interpretation, this whole month of October:

  • Have fun with the word ‘past’ by sharing squares of history and heritage, and that includes past holidays!

Summer is over, but Cal Shakes came back with a vengeance, staging an adaptation of The Winter’s Tale that quite took self’s breath away. She went to see it three separate times in September: two Sunday matinees, and one Saturday night performance. The final performance is tomorrow night. WAAAAH! September moved by too quickly.

See you next year, Bruns Amphitheatre!

Quotes of the Day: The Winter’s Tale

“Go rot! Dost thou think I am so muddy?” — Leontes, The Winter’s Tale

Self grew to love Shakespeare only in middle age, and that was entirely because of Cal Shakes, which is in self’s humble opinion the Bay Area’s best theater company. Of course, it didn’t hurt that her first Cal Shakes play was Romeo and Juliet, where Romeo was played by ADAM SCOTT.

Since then, Cal Shakes has become firmly fixed as a rite of summer. Last year they were forced to cancel their entire season and lay off two-thirds of their full-time staff. This year, they came back with one play, The Winter’s Tale.

As soon as it was announced, self e-mailed son. She couldn’t believe it when he said right off that he would pass. Pass? How could he? He practically grew up with Cal Shakes! She used to bring carloads of his friends here! Of course, they’re all married now, but still!

She ended up seeing it with a friend, while it was still in previews. Before seeing it Sept. 12, self had never read the play, didn’t know anything about the play, would probably have gone through the rest of her life not giving a hoot about the play. Then, she saw it. Ummm. She sat stupefieadd and amazed for three hours. How stupefied and amazed? Exactly one week later she was back, by herself. By then, she’d already begun reading a hefty novel called The Slaughterman’s Daughter. She lugged it along, and remained in her seat through intermission, reading.

What’s really good about seeing a play alone is: you can eavesdrop. The person to her left (separated by two seats) was a woman perhaps a decade older than self, who’d come alone, and was wearing the cutest gold sandals. To her right was a family with teen-age girls, who were at Bruns for the first time, probably just to see what all the fuss was all about.

The parents were sitting immediately to self’s right, the daughters several rows behind. At intermission, the mother went to check on the girls. When she came back, the girls were trailing her. The mother told her husband:

“You know what, I just realized everyone thinks the King is an idiot.”

Daughter: “That’s cause he IS.”

Onward!

Self could remember so many more lines, after watching The Winter’s Tale a second time:

“Good Queen, my Lord. GOOD Queen.”

“Gross hag!”

“Oh! She is warm!”

But her favorite line is the last: Hermione tells a repentant Leontes, “Let’s from this place.” And with that, the play ends. If anyone had told self a week ago that she would end up shipping Hermione/Leontes, she would have said, Get out!

This adaptation of The Winter’s Tale was by Cal Shakes Director Eric Ting and Resident Dramaturg Philippa Kelly. Kudos.

Her love for Cal Shakes is undiminished.

Stay tuned.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #165: GOING WIDE

LOOOOVE this prompt. Simply love.

Thank you, P.A. Moed.

Yesterday, self was at Cal Shakes’ only production for 2021: The Winter’s Tale. Last year they were forced to cancel their entire season. Wanted to weep.

But whoa, what a way to make a comeback: The Winter’s Tale is ace.

Picnic Grove Next to Bruns Amphitheatre in Orinda

Cal Shakes’s Resident Dramaturg Philippa Kelly leading the post-play discussion.

The Thrill of Anticipation! Audience files into Bruns Amphitheatre to see Cal Shakes’s first production in two years!

Halfway, The End of Men

This is a really, really interesting book. It’s a first novel, too. WOW.

As the Plague has killed off most men, the US Army is circulating calls for volunteers.

Faith, whose husband (deceased) was a soldier, is one of the first to sign up.

Noir Sentence of the Day

His blonde hair was slicked back with so much product a fly would break its neck trying to land on it.

Razorblade Tears, p. 35

Now THAT’S noir.

How Iceland Changed the World, pp. 139 – 140

Self is going deliciously slowly with this book. She does not know how the author does it. He’s managed to inject surprise, page after page. Nothing is inevitable, as those quirky Icelanders keep demonstrating. Bravo for nimble literary work, Author Egill Bjarnason!

World War II:

The Allies — Britain and France — had been ousted from Europe, and the Nazis occupied the entire coastline from Spain to Norwway. The only thing standing in the way of a Nazi invasion of the UK were twenty-one nautical miles, the width of the English Channel at its narrowest point. Knowing the German Kriegsmarine could not get past the Royal Navy, Hitler decided to use his sea forces strategically. Instead of attacking Britain directly, the plan was to strangle its cargo routes, depriving the island nation of everything from food and clothing to oil and iron.

Control of Iceland would help. Hitler — a villain who spent his political career yelling so much that he needed polyps removed from his vocal cords, twice — ordered his generals to put together a plan to snatch the foreign port.

Sentence of the Day: Ayelet Tsabari

Yes, self is still reading The Art of Leaving because, dammit, self is concerned about this woman narrator, who puts herself in the path of danger whenever she can, seems completely heedless of her physical safety, and loves so many people. Sometimes Tsabari leaves them, and sometimes they leave her, but she is never, ever less than FULLY ENGAGED. So, points to her. MAJOR POINTS.

And self is fascinated by her descriptions of Tel Aviv.

It’s like I’m always waiting for something to happen, ready for a fight, wanting to wage war with the day, the world, or a person; as though a part of me longs for the risk, that shard of glass in the sand that catches your eye, a promise, an assurance that I am alive.

— “Tough Chick,” Essay # 11 in The Art of Leaving

Kudos to the Tokyo Olympics

It did not turn out to be the super-spreader event that we all feared it might be.

Today, CNN reported that the Olympic Village reported 358 positive corona cases. While not insignificant, when considering the thousands who congregated in Olympic Village, this is an achievement. Kudos to host Japan!

For two weeks, self watched in awe as athletes battled their personal demons and PUT ON A SHOW.

Will never forget:

  • Stanford’s Katie Ledecky, slaying all
  • the courage of the entire US women’s gymnastics team: Suni Lee, Simone Biles, Mykayla Skinner, Jade Carey, Grace McCallum, and Jordan Chiles
  • Bobby Finke’s amazing races
  • Hidilyn Diaz delivering the Philippines’ first Olympic medal ever, and it was GOLD
  • German swimmer Florian Wellbrock losing twice, in the 800 and 1500, then coming back to win the 10k
  • Ukrainian swimmer Mykhailo Romanchuk, losing to Finke in the 1500, still having a sense of humor (photo-bombing Finke during his interview with Michelle Tafoya)
  • Neeraj Chopra delivering India’s first Olympic gold in track, in the javelin

and so many, many other stories, impossible to list all here.

Hidilyn Diaz, Filipina weightlifting champion

AND they even got a Belarussian sprinter her freedom.

Can’t wait for Paris 2024.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

An Alexander Grin Sentence in “The Ratcatcher”

Even though he was carrying a very thick briefcase, he lacked the power to just house me wherever he pleased, but he did offer me the empty quarters of the Central Bank, where 260 rooms stood like pond water, quiet and empty.

— The Ratcatcher, The Big Book of Classic Fantasy

He just tosses these sentences off like they were so many bon-bons.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

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