Dialogue 5: Blur

Self thinks these three photographs are in dialogue with each other. Agree or disagree, dear blog readers? (Funny how she started this post thinking she was going to post a series of landscape shots! Self is so unpredictable — even to herself LOL)

Book Sale at Public Library, San Carlos, CA

Book Sale at Public Library, San Carlos, CA

Masskara Festival, Bacolod City: October 2012

Masskara Festival, Bacolod City: October 2012


ONE # 2: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

First, a digression:  Today, self and The Man went to see the first screening of American Hustle.

J-Law is just a-DO-rable!  Simply adorable!

Amy Adams was of course hot.

Bradley Cooper was the exact same speeded-up dude he played in Silver Linings Playbook.  Only this time, he was an FBI agent.  Many of the funniest scenes in the movie were his.

But Christian Bale.  CHRISTIAN BALE.  Since self had just seen him in Out of the Furnace, she couldn’t quite wrap her mind about this new Christian Bale iteration.  But — he was magnificent.  And also the only member of the cast whose Noo Joi-sey accent was firmly in place, from first to last.

The accent thing was quite a crucial thing in this movie.  Alas, self has finally spotted a chink in the J-Law persona:  Her accent was the messiest in the movie.  But self feels so chary in pointing this out.  For J-Law has the most hilarious scene with an exploding microwave.  Not to mention, she brings such vulnerability to her role.

And now to — the ONE!

Breakfast # 1 at Broiler Express in San Carlos: 1 egg, 1 pancake, and a strip of bacon.  All for $3.95!

Breakfast # 1 at Broiler Express in San Carlos: 1 egg, 1 pancake, and a strip of bacon. All for $3.95!

After the movie, we went to The Man’s favorite breakfast place:  Broiler Express on Laurel Street in San Carlos.

This time, when they brought her order, the pancake had mouse ears!


Self’s pancake never had mouse ears before!

This was the very first time!

Self’s face broke out in a huge grin, she just couldn’t help it.  And the waiter was grinning, too.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Bookends/ The Joy of a Quiet Afternoon

Two days since Thanksgiving ended.  Though self had no one over, the clatter in her head can be quite deafening, a clatter the sole other occupant in this house is always happy to add to.  Every day brings a new spurt of instructions, whether it’s when to mail bills or covering windows with cardboard.  Mother-in-law said it best:  “My son is such a character.”

Now he has stepped out, without any prior warning: A friend of his from Ateneo, Randy, came over.  Self imagined both would want to watch the games.  But suddenly, after she’d bought all manner of chips and snacks and drinks and ham and what-have-you, she arrived to find the two men preparing to go out.  What is self going to do with all this food?  She’ll send it home with Randy, probably.  It’s either that or scarf on chips for days on end.

Anyhoo, after self watered a bit, she settled down in the tiny room she calls her “Office.”  This has all her memorabilia, all her saved literary magazines, all her knick-knacks.  Through the French doors, she can look right into the backyard:

The View From Self's "Office": What a Gorgeous Day!

The View From Self’s “Office”: What a Gorgeous Day!

These bookends were from a consignment store in San Carlos, whose name is eluding self.  It's on Laurel Street.

These bookends were from a consignment store in San Carlos, whose name is eluding self. It’s on Laurel Street.

The Rabbit keeps her literary magazines upright.  One Story faces out.

The Rabbit keeps her literary magazines upright. One Story faces out.

Now self settles down to tackle a huge pile of back issues of The New York Times Book Review.  There’s a “Let’s Read About Sex” issue, and the October 20, 2013 issue, which has more than the usual number of “Women’s Literature” reviews.  Self is bored reading about sex in the staid NYTBR.  It would be much more fun reading books about sex if she were reading something like Rolling Stone.  So she goes for the October 20, 2013 issue.

A short story collection by T. C. Boyle is reviewed in this issue.  Self really loves T. C. Boyle so she is happy to read the review (and would read anything by him, regardless of whether the review was good or bad).  There’s a review of a novel about the forty-ish Bridget Jones, and a review of a Scandinavian novel in which a traumatized woman is plagued by the conviction that her husband is guilty of a heinous crime (Don’cha just love those traumatized women in Scandinavian novels who are so . . . so noir-ishly fragile in temperament!  After all, there can never be another Lisbeth Salander.  That’s over.  That’s done.  Now it’s back to the Scandinavian women of an Ingmar Bergman movie)

Of the four crime novels reviewed by Marilyn Stasio in this issue (Sunday, October 20, 2013), two are set in Florence.  How absolutely fabulous!  That’s Florence, Italy, in case you were wondering.  The third is set in Manhattan (It’s by Jeffery Deaver, who writes about Manhattan like nobody’s business).  And the last one is set in a small town in Connecticut — but in 1956.  Self likely won’t get to the Connecticut novel, as she is easily confused by mysteries that happen in the recent past (Mysteries about the way, waaaaay past are much easier on her nerves.  At least, everything’s different, not like the ones set in the 1950s, where self keeps forgetting the decade and then wonders why she is so confused)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

While Watching “The X Factor” : Self Feels Like Becoming a Woman Who Runs With Scissors

Self has come to a new appreciation of Simon!

The 55-year-old woman looked so great in her short black slinky dress, but the minute she opened her mouth — GADZOOKS!  The other judges looked non-plused, but the most real response was Simon’s: He started to laugh! Which was exactly what self felt like doing!  Though she would be too polite to do it in public!  And then he said, and then he said (Simon, you are such a card!):  “S___, 80 dogs are now trying to get into the theater.”

How fab! His insults are the only true thing about “The X Factor”!

In closing, self saw this sign in Dona’s Hallmark in downtown San Carlos today:


And it is a good thing.  To.  Feel.  Dangerous.


Stay tuned.

1st Thursday of August (2013): At the San Carlos Farmers Market

Self’s new favorite booth of the San Carlos Farmers Market is:


Namesake Cheesecake

Self tried the traditional cheesecake the very first Thursday the Farmers Market was open:

Namesake's Traditional Cheesecake is DIVINE!

Namesake’s Traditional Cheesecake is DIVINE!

Almost every Thursday since that first time, she’s dropped by Namesake Cheesecake.

The owner/chef is named Cherith.  She also makes a fabulous raspberry sauce.  Self usually buys the raspberry sauce to go along with her cheesecake, and OOOH MAMA that sauce is soooo fine.

Delightful Raspberry Sauce

Delightful Raspberry Sauce

The slices are $3 each.  A whole cheesecake (8 deep slices) is $16.  It makes more sense to buy a whole cheesecake, but self has never done this because she knows that the thing will disappear into her belly before two days have passed.  And that would be TERRIBLE — not only to self’s figure, but also to her self-esteem.

Here is the wonderful Cherith:

Cherith Spicer is one FABULOUS baker!

Cherith Spicer is one FABULOUS baker!

Today she had on the most fabulous gold earrings.  Self could not stop staring at them every time she moved her head.  Me want some of those!

She complimented self on her blue nail polish.  Ah yes, another of self’s indulgences:  a manicure at Belle Spa on Broadway in downtown RWC.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Weekly WordPress Photo Challenge: In the Background

Book Sale at Public Library, San Carlos, CA

Book Sale at Public Library, San Carlos, CA

Of Significance Today, the 1st Friday of December (2012)

None of the things in the list below have anything to do with each other, but here goes:

  • Today was the 41st Anniversary of Pearl Harbor.  On the radio this morning, she heard Pres. Roosevelt’s voice, tinny and full of static, addressing the American people.  Self, an incorrigible writer, grabbed a pen and pad and took notes.
  • Today self tried a Mixed Berry Pie from Gracie’s on Laurel Street in San Carlos.  She’s always had a fondness for Gracie’s, for this is a local fave.  Not to mention it has the same name as her Dear Departed Gracie, whose death in April 2011 broke self’s heart.  But — back to the Mixed Berry Pie.  That is, OMG, the BEST, absolutely the BEST Mixed Berry Pie self has ever tasted.  Absolutely bursting with berries, and just the right amount of tartness.  Perfect heated up, with a dollop of ice cream.
  • The Man was watching Predator 3.  The one with Adrien Brody.  He gets to bare his chest.  Thank God, he is very buff.  Self loves these Predator movies.  There’s no finesse about them at all.  This one even has a yakuza.  You know, that Last Stand Scene in the first Predator, when the Native American guy decides to stand and fight, and the Predator shreds him in something like two minutes?  The same thing happens here.  Guess who gets to be the sacrificial victim this time?  Come to think of it, Predator is sort of like Survivor, only of course one has aliens.  But the thinking is the same.  That is, they both encourage self to imagine herself in that place with those people, and she always ends up coming to the same conclusion:  She will be the first casualty.  The first one kicked off the island.  Indubitably.
  • In the commercial break, self learns that Justified Season 4 STARTS JANUARY 8!  OMG, there he is: Timothy Olyphant in the Stetson (only this time self isn’t sure if it’s still white).  OMG, OMG, OMG!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Tuesday Before Thanksgiving 2011: Gracie’s Delectables and “Valhalla Rising”

Self went into Gracie’s Delectables on Laurel Street in San Carlos and for the first time ordered a whole pie. A lemon meringue pie. Like she has room for even just one more thing in the fridge!

She was going to have prime rib for Thanksgiving, instead of turkey. Then hubby came home with a Safeway gift certificate from his office. So she went to Safeway yesterday and began feeling around in the frozen turkey bin. She found the smallest Butterball turkey, it was only around $17, and she hauled it into her cart, then saw a lot of people milling around another bin, and she saw that those turkeys were Safeway Select “Fresh, Never Frozen,” and when she pressed cold fingers against the turkey, the flesh did have lots of give. So she hauled the Butterball out of the cart and put the “Fresh, Never Frozen” turkey in. When she got home, she wondered how she was going to cook this turkey, when the prime rib and the turkey have completely different oven temperatures, and self has only one oven. Oh well!

Self wonders how she is going to get through four days of eating. Son is coming, but he will be out a lot, so it will most likely be just hubby and self eating an enormous prime rib and a turkey. And there’s that lemon meringue pie . . .

The house is cold. Actually, it’s been cold for weeks. Since self got back from Bacolod in October. It’s a different kind of cold: a chill. It will be The Ancient One’s last winter, she knows. She dresses the poor ol’ crit in tweed sweaters (Did dear blog readers know that Bow Wow Meow in San Carlos sells the most wonderful warm knit sweaters for dogs? Bella loooves hers. Since self put it on her a week ago, she’s been wagging her tail 50% more. Self will have to wash it, at some point. She should get a spare.)

When hubby came home from the office, he wasn’t as interested in Monday night football.  Instead, he switched to IFC which was showing a bloody epic called “Valhalla Rising” or “Raising Valhalla” or something like that, whose one-eyed hero is called “One Eye” (didn’t fool self one bit —  This is Mads Mikkelsen, a Scandinavian actor whose one milky eye shed blood, in the first Daniel Craig James Bond movie, “Casino Royale”).  In “Valhalla,” he doesn’t utter one word.  He wears his dirty blonde hair in a topknot and goes rampaging over the Icelandic (or are those Scottish) fjords on a revenge quest that involves many, many gruesome killings.  Hubby and self finished watching Part 1, but there was a Part 2 (“The Silent Warrior”) in which One Eye has apparently decided to join the Crusades.  Alas, on the voyage to Jersualem the ship is overtaken by a great, unholy mist, in which there are many signal opportunities for One Eye’s comrades-at-arms to kill him, but our hero is always too quick for them, even though he has only one friend, a blonde boy about 12 who, needless to say, is useless in a fight.

But now self decides she’d better get dressed because she needs paper towels (You have no idea how many paper towels you need when ministering to an incontinent dog, dear blog readers) and maybe she will drop by a nursery and buy some poinsettias.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Last Thursday of August 2011

These are a few of the things you observed today:

  • The man who was handing out $10 racks of pork baby back ribs at the San Carlos Farmers Market (in front of Biancini’s supermarket) had red eyes and looked exhausted.  He was being assisted by a young boy, taller than him, with clear eyes.  Hubby asked for extra barbecue sauce (He always asks for “extra” everything, as much as he can get away with, without actually having to pay anything extra).  The man who handed over the ribs was indulgent and handed over two plastic tubs of barbecue sauce, and he still managed a smile.
  • You managed to return to the Hoover Archives.  It’s been months.  The whole summer went by too fast, you missed going there.  You saw a flyer taped to the entrance:  something about an exhibit of memorabilia from China, in the Hoover Pavilion. And you thought:  This is why you graduated from Stanford, so that you could savor the pleasure of coming to the Archives and spending whole afternoons there, reading.

When you went down to the reading room, you didn’t even have to ask to be buzzed in, the staff waved you through the stile.  And then you started reading, and taking notes, and reading, and taking notes, and suddenly you were in Manila while Japanese planes were dropping tonnage on Clark Field, and you were reading letters by American soldiers who were watching the mayhem, and right next to you, sharing the table, was an Asian woman who was very smartly dressed:  black cardigan, white tailored shirt, grey pants, black pumps.  (She’s Japanese, you thought.  I’m sure of it.  What would this woman say if she knew what you were reading?)  The pages the woman was poring over were a pale green, filled with neat columns of heavy black calligraphy.  And the two of you stayed side by side, reading, for almost two hours.  You left first.

Let’s see, what else about today?  You were standing in line at the Menlo Park Post Office.  Naturally, you were mailing out a story.  A story set in Cambodia.  You really like this story.  It’s the only one you’ve written about Ying.  Your new Droid sent out its space-y ring (not really a ring so much as an echo.  Like an outer space vibrato or something).  You answered, and it was son.  Wow, you thought:  this is truly my lucky day!  He told you he’d found an apartment.  At the very very last moment.  And of course, since school was only days away, it was —  ahem!  — kinda expensive.  Sigh.  But what can you do?  He is the sole fruit of your loins.  OK, you said.  You agreed to send some more money.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Favorite People, Smart Car

Self is in love with Stella and Tina’s bright red Smart car!

Capable of reaching freeway speeds of 100 mph!

Is it not so adorable, dear blog readers?

This little thing ferried Stella and Tina all the way to San Carlos yesterday, where self met with them for coffee and pastries at the Zest Bakery on Arroyo Street.

Self must admit, there was something wee bit different about the appearance of her two friends, and finally, after two hours or so, she learned why:  they have each lost something like 20 lbs.!!!

Mama mia!  How did that happen?

They explained that it had something to do with sticking only to gluten-free food, and becoming vegan.

No, it wasn’t as easy as that.  To find out more, here’s a link that Stella sent.  (Self wishes Tina and Stella would sit down and write a book!  It should be called:  “The No-Exercise Way to Lose 20 lbs. in One Month”!  Self thinks such a book would be an instant best-seller!  Stella and Tina, e-books awaits!)

Anyhoo, Happy Monday to One and All!

Stay tuned.

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