The Pleasures of Sourness

Does our taste for asim come from our sour green landscape? From the proliferation of sour-towards-sweet tastes in our fruits and vegetables? Certainly we Filipinos have a tongue, a taste, a temper for sour notes, which is one of our chief flavor principles. We not only sour our soups (sinigang) and cook sundry dishes in vinegar (paksiw, adobo); we also use vinegars (nipa, coconut) and citrus (calamansi, dayap) as dips and marinades.

—  Palayok: Philippine Food Through Time, On Site, In the Pot, by Doreen Fernandez

P.S. Señor Sigig, a Filipino food truck, was just featured on Bay Area food program Check, Please! Owner says everything is marinated for at least 48 hours. But the lines!

It’s Filipino/Mexican — there are burritos and nachos. Open every day for lunch and dinner. Average price of a meal: $12.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Quest: Daily Post Photo Challenge, 23 September 2016

We have a new Daily Post Photo Challenge, dropped today by Cheri Lucas Rowlands, QUEST:

  • What are you in search for? Capture your quest with your camera.

Here are some photos from self’s (huge) stash of photos that she thinks emblemize QUEST:

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An Ed Ruscha: Currently on Exhibit at the De Young Museum

And here’s from a handmade book self saw at the Legion of Honor:

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Illustrated Book at the Legion of Honor, Text is by San Francisco Poet Wallace Ting

Every new story is a quest. Here are two pages of her draft for “Ice” (forthcoming from Bellingham Review):

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Two Pages of Self’s Manuscript for “Ice,” One of Her Dystopian Fantasies

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Edgy de Young Museum

Several weeks ago, self spent a day at the de Young, to see an Ed Ruscha exhibit.

My goodness, it was amazing.

She took a break for coffee in the sculpture garden. Here’s the pedestrian walkway over the café’s outdoor seating. VERY edgy:

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Pedestrian Walkway, de Young Museum, Golden Gate Park

Entrance lobby of the de Young: Everything is edgy.

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Looking down at the Main Lobby from the second floor: You really see edges!

Finally, an “End” is an EDGE. Of sorts:

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Ed Ruscha’s “The End,” Viewed in the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park, August 2016

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

More Edges: The Daily Post Photo Challenge

Give me a wide-open landscape, and I feel unmoored (and my iPhone camera, inadequate). Throw in some demarcating line between me and what I see, and things start to fall into place.

— Ben Huberman, The Daily Post

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Front Courtyard, de Young Museum, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

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Returning to Bacolod on the Ferry From Iloilo, in the central Philippines

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Night descends on a Philippine Sea.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Poetry Sunday: Diane Kirsten Martin

The following appeared in Crab Orchard Review’s The West Coast & Beyond issue, Summer/Fall 2014:

Contiguous

— by Diane Kirsten Martin

Don’t you wonder about the panhandler
On Fremont and Market, sharing his day’s
proceeds with his pink-nosed pit? Or

Frank Chu, with his sign of 12 Galaxies?
What about the World-Famous Bushman,
hiding behind the branch he shakes

at passers-by, or the matching — from pumps
to pillbox hats — Marian and Vivian Brown.
Who are they and who are you, starting out

from the glass eyes of your apartment?
Do you wake in a sweat on an October
night with stars, the moon a fat orange

and the temperature pushing 90
and remember a silver filigree ring buried
under the azalea, the mute orphan who lived

with his uncle, your father who gave you
the back of his hand? Do you, like Frank,
dream of aliens? I’ll bet the man on Fremont

dreams about Thunderbird and wakes up
as if he drank a whole bottle of fortified wine.
Nights like this, with windows wide, you can

hear the rush of the freeway, like the sound
of whitewater Ronald Reagan had piped
into his bedroom for insomnia. Nights like this

we lie naked, contiguous in this warm
ocean that flows around our back and breasts
our arms our throats our lips, necks, thighs.

  • Diane Kirsten Martin won the Erskine J. Poetry Prize from Smartish Pace and was included in Best New Poets 205.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Poetry in the Galleries/ Legion of Honor

Participants in the Poetry in the Galleries project were 4th through 8th graders from the San Francisco Bay Area.

The students were invited to write a poem in response to an object in the Legion of Honor’s ancient art galleries.

Some of the results were published in a small pamphlet and distributed by the Fine Arts Museums.

Here’s one of self’s favorites:

Black-Glaze Mug, South Italian, mid-4th century BC

Small, insignificantly small.
Ancient people used me for reasons unknown.
I am a black mystery to the future of people.

— Matthew Gallelo, 8th Grade, Immaculate Heart of Mary School, Belmont

Stay tuned, dear blog readers Stay tuned.

Three More Takes on MIRROR

  • This week, show us a mirror. You can take this photo challenge literally, and find reflections in mirrors, or in the stillness of a natural body of water.

— Jen H., The Daily Post

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St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin: Spring 2015

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Dog-Eared Books, Valencia Street, San Francisco: LitCrawl, October 2015

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The Stanford Halo, near Green Library: September 2016

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Mirror: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 2 September 2016

  • This week’s challenge is all about reflections.

— Jen H., The Daily Post

Here is self’s first take:

Noelle Q. de Jesus reading from her first short story collection, Blood, at the San Francisco Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, 23 August 2016:

(The table is a reflective surface)

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Noelle Q. de Jesus (in red and black top) and Edwin Lozada, who organized the reading: August 23, 2016, San Francisco Main Library

A man is reflected in an Ed Ruscha work at the de Young Museum in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, about a month ago:

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An Ed Ruscha at the de Young Museum, August 2016

Final photo: the sculpture garden at the de Young Museum, August 2016. That refective ball is pretty fabulous!

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Sculpture Garden, outside the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park, August 2016

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

SWIMMING STUDIES: About Pools

Maybe because self is reading Swimming Studies, she starts looking up information on Land’s End and the Sutro Baths.

The magnate who developed Sutro Baths was named Sutro (Duh, but of course!).

Sutro Baths was the centerpiece of a resort bordering the Pacific. San Franciscans could get there by paying 5 cents for a trolley ride.

In a way, self understands what Sutro was aiming for, because her very own grandfather built a resort, right in the middle of sugar cane fields in Barangay Granada in Negros Occidental in the Philippines.

Self’s grandfather, like Sutro, was a populist. The most loyal patrons of Santa Fe Resort are workers. The entrance fee is still ridiculously low because self’s family understands the demographic: the patrons come from the surrounding fields, workers wanting a break. It was called Santa Fe because her grandfather loved American westerns. In addition, he had a huge crush on the American swimmer/film star Esther Williams, so there’s a statue of her in Santa Fe, in Barangay Granada.

Self’s grandfather built an Olympic-size pool which remains a major draw to this day: It was the first, and possibly still the only, Olympic-size pool in the Philippines.

Who does that? Who has such a crush on Esther Williams that he builds an Olympic-size pool in the middle of an island. Not only in the middle of an island, in the middle of sugar cane fields.

When journalists come to write about self’s island, they never mention Santa Fe Resort. It’s such an eccentric thing, the location. The fact is, it’s nowhere near a beach. Consequently, there is no tourist traffic. There are no Chinese, Japanese, South Korean, American or Europeans. In Santa Fe Resort, you will encounter Filipinos. Just Filipinos.

It is a resort built by a man who only got a high school education. A resort for the people who live within a few kilometers, who are from that place.

Self spent every summer of her childhood there.

Sometimes she wonders if those summers were the reason she is a writer now. Because, her grandfather showed her: you can do anything, if you use your imagination.

It is a terrible thing is to have no imagination, to have your dreams stay small.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

News, First Friday in August 2016

APPLE MAKES SLIGHT DIVERSITY GAINS (Wall Street Journal, Thursday, 4 August 2016)

And that’s news?

LOL LOL LOL LOL

Stay tuned.

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