A Photo a Week Challenge: In the Neighborhood

Love this week’s Photo a Week Challenge.

Self is heading home soon. Here are three pictures she took just before she left on her latest trip:

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Kepler’s Books and Magazines, Menlo Park, California: Self read here when her first book came out, ages and ages and ages ago.

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Courthouse Square, Redwood City, California: This has been her home for almost as long as she’s lived in America. It’s one of the most vibrant, ethnically-mixed places on the Peninsula.

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Stanford University, which made of self a writer.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

The Overstory, p. 288

Hopefully, self will finish reading this book here, in Oxford. Then, she can lug it home to Redwood City, where it belongs. Even though Redwood City has NO actual redwoods any more.

Loggers to Nick Hoel and Olivia Vandergriff, into their second week of sitting on the crest of an ancient redwood:

  • “These trees are going to die and fall over. They should be harvested while they’re ripe, not wasted.”

Nick (or Olivia, it’s not all that clear in this passage):

  • “Great, let’s grind up your grandfather for dinner, while he still has some meat on him.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Happening to Neelay in Redwood City, California: The Overstory, p. 279

Really love these Redwood City scenes (where Neelay bases his electronic game company), just sayin’.

Below, a scene self has just finished reading (Neelay’s just had a telephone conversation with his mother, who’s misconstrued his reference to his female caregiver as a reference to a fiancĂ©e):

“Goodness. These things take time, Neelay.”

When they hang up, he raises his hand in the air and slams it down onto the desk’s front edge. There’s a very wrong sound, and a sharp white pain, and he knows he has broken at least one bone.

In blinding pain, he rides his private elevator down into the opulent lobby, the beautiful redwood trim paid for by millions of people’s desire to live anywhere else but here. His eyes stream with tears and rage. But quietly, politely, to the terrified receptionist, he holds up his swollen, snapped claw, and says, “I’m going to have to get to the hospital.”

He knows what’s waiting for him there, after they mend his hand. They will scold him. They’ll put him on a drip and make him swear to eat properly. As the receptionist makes her frantic calls, Neelay glances up at the wall where he has hung those words of Borges, still the guiding principle of his young life:

Every man should be capable of all ideas, and I believe in the future he shall be.

Note to dear blog readers: Never ever let your mother have this kind of an effect on you. Or you may end up like poor Neelay here!

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

Patricia Westerford’s Father Explains Trees: The Overstory, p. 118

Her father explains how the trick is done. “Think about it! They’ve figured out how to live trapped in place, with no other protection, whipped by winds at thirty below zero.”

These magnificent Monterey pines were planted by the original owner of Fowey Hall, in Cornwall. Self encountered them for the first time in May 2019.

She had always thought Monterey pines were found in only two places in the world: California, and Kilkenny Park in Northern Ireland (She contributed a piece about Northern Ireland’s Monterey Pine for a book on Trees of Kilkenny, edited by poet Csilla Toldy and published last year)

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Setting: Isla del Fuego

from self’s novel:

  • It has a circuit of nearly a hundred leagues and a length of about fifty leagues, for it is very narrow. At the two extremities it is, at the widest place, about twenty leagues wide. All along the coast are to be found bays that curve in different directions.

This, dear blog readers, is self’s mythical island in the central Philippines. The place where her ambitious MC (a priest!) lives out his life, in the 18th century.

Stay tuned.

Self’s MC Arrives in Manila, 1766

This scene used to be at the end of her novel, because she was going to have her MC recall it in flashback. But on second thought, she couldn’t think of a good enough reason for him to have a flashback at the end of the novel, there was no emotional pay-off. So istead she moved this section to the early pages.

There’s some quasi-mystic thing going on in self’s descriptions, it’s that way throughout.

The sails were lowered, the ship slowly nosed into the harbor. Looking down at the churning water, Matias saw it was viscous, almost metallic in aspect, as though, somewhere, silver had moltened and now lay floating on the surface. Closer and closer to the harbor the ship moved. The ship was now but one of a throng of sea vessels: galleons, tall three-masters, swiftly moving Chinese sampans, squat dinghies. There was a great tumult of activity all along the quay.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sentence of the Day: Butler’s Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs and Other Saints, vol. IV

  • If St. Callixtus was thrown into a pit, as his acts relate, it seems probable that he was put to death in some popular tumult.

(Self is just through reading this super-exciting section in which she tries to piece together exactly what earned St. Callixtus the designation ‘Martyr,’ when she hears KNOCK KNOCK!!! It’s someone from the Main House: The Goblin Emperor, which she ordered from Kenny’s Bookshop in Galway, has arrived! YAY!)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Andres de Urdaneta, Pilot

Born 1498 in Villafranca, Spain, died 1568 in Mexico City.

From the Encyclopedia Britannica:

As a young man, he spent eight adventurous years in the Spice Islands (the Moluccas). In 1553 (He was 55), he entered the Augustinian order and became a friar.

Philip II (of whom, self must interject, there are MANY MANY FAN FICTIONS WRITTEN, possibly by high school students bored out of their minds with World History class; some of these are quite salacious WTH PHILIP II??!!) asked him to guide an expedition to the Philippines and find a route home. Spain had sent five previous expeditions, all ending in disaster.

In April 1521 (He was 23), Urdaneta guided the Magellan expedition to Cebu. By 1st of June, Magellan was dead (Killed on Mactan by a native chief, who is remembered today in the name of a FISH, Lapu-Lapu).

Self would argue that the 1st of June 1521 was a truly significant date, in fact world-changing. Because that was the date when Urdaneta and the remnants of Magellan’s crew embarked from the Philippines and headed for home. By sailing at high latitudes, about 42 degrees N, Urdaneta was able to find a current. He reached the Isthmus of Panama in 123 days. He guided the survivors, all on one ship (out of the five they’d started out with) back to Spain, arriving in September 1522, thereby completing the first circumnavigation of the world. And why Magellan gets all the credit, self just doesn’t know. The second leg of the journey was clearly more important than the first: it was Spain’s sixth attempt to circumnavigate the globe, and the one that finally succeeded.

The Survivors: Sebastian Elcano, a Basque; 17 other Europeans (including Antonio de Pigafetta, a noble from Vicenza, who published his account of the journey); and four natives. All that remained of a crew of 270.

Writing this post made self exceedingly restless, so she walked down to the lake. She took her MacBook with her, which is what she used to take this picture.

Photo on 10-19-19 at 12.35 PM

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Work-in-Progress: Blue Water, Distant Shores

In which self’s MC, a feckless guy from Murcia named Matias, confesses to the local Abbott that he has suddenly been struck by “the call.” Year: 1764.

Abbott: You have never evinced interest.

Matias: Can one not be struck by the desire? It came to me suddenly.

Abbott: When?

Matias: After the recent flood.

Abbott: I see.

Matias: I was afraid. I promised Saint Anne I would enter the priesthood if she but stopped the wind from howling.

That is one of the passages self happens to really like, whether or not it is historically accurate.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

De la Lengua Bisaya (Concerning the Bisayan Language)

NOTE: The Bisayan Islands are in the central Philippines. There is not just one Bisayan language, there are several. The two major Bisayan languages are Hiligaynon (spoken in Dear Departed Dad’s home province) and Cebuano. After reading this chapter, self thinks that Alcina used Bisayan and Hiligaynon interchangeably.

from Alcina’s History of the Bisayan People in the Philippine Islands, Book III:

In good Spanish we use one word, lavar, to wash, to express one idea while in the Bisayan language many are utilized: so this language has a curious property, namely: that there is a different word for each thing that is washed. The Spaniard says ‘wash the clothes’ while the Bisayan conveys the idea of ‘washing clothes’ with one word and no more. We say ‘wash the plates or the pots’ etc. while they say hugas, this includes the entire idea. We speak of ‘washing fish’ or ‘washing meat’ while the natives say lawsaw, which signifies exactly the same. In this way, each thing that is washed has a different term. To wash or to clean the body is our way of expression; theirs parigus, and means the entire body. We say to ‘wash the feet’ and they say pamusa. We say ‘to wash the hands’ and they say hunay, and refer in similar manner about all the parts of the body.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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