RIP Christopher Tolkien

It took self all of December to read one book, The Annotated Hobbit.

That book was the only copy in the San Mateo Public Library system, a label on the cover said: DO NOT RETURN IN THE BOOK DROP.

If only the library knew what far-flung places she had taken this copy to!

A few days ago, on 15 January, she heard that Christopher Tolkien, JRR Tolkien’s youngest, who was “a devoted curator of his father’s work,” had passed away. Amazingly, none of the nightly news remarked on it. Philistines!

Here’s a piece in The Guardian about Christopher Tolkien’s legacy.

Stay tuned.

Story #3 in Ted Chiang’s Stories of Your Life and Others

Self tried twice to finish Story # 2, Understand.

She finally gave up this evening, and moved on to Story # 3, Division By Zero.

  • Mrs. Rivas was the manipulator in the ward; everyone knew that her attempts were merely gestures, but the aides wearily paid attention to her lest she succeed accidentally.

That sentence is soooo funny. She has a feeling Division By Zero isn’t meant to be funny, though.

Stay tued.

 

A Young Priest Is Sent to the Philippines to Replace a Murdered Friar (Novel Excerpt)

Camarote de Marinero

 “Father, here you go. You have your own room.”

There was a narrow platform which he presumed was his bed. Beneath the platform was a small cabinet.

“Your things here,” the boy said.

Later, he overheard the men talking about him: they called him cochino. Even though Matias was not fat, not even close to, he knew the most well-fed men in the villages were usually the friars. It was new to him, the contempt, the disrespect, because usually men of the cloth were treated with deference. At least, this had been the case in Spain.

Another time, he heard the captain say, “sin experiencia del mundo” and assumed he was the one being referred to.

Recommended Reading: Kate Evans in Hakai Magazine, 6 January 2020

Six men set out from Iceland in a small rowboat. Their destination: Eldey, the nesting ground for the rare great auks.

Jumping ashore, they spotted a pair of the birds guarding an egg. In the ensuing chase, the two auks were killed and their egg was accidentally crushed. The men didn’t know it, but they had just killed the last great auks ever seen alive.

Read the article here.

 

Trigger Warning: Cruelty to Animals

Wall Street Journal, 24 December 2019, p. A6

U.S. HALTS BOMB-SNIFFER DOG PROGRAM AFTER DEATHS IN EGYPT, JORDAN

by Jessica Donati

The U.S. has stopped providing bomb-sniffing dogs to Egypt and Jordan after an investigation disclosed that several dogs in those countries died because of mistreatment and neglect, U.S. officials said Monday.

The report was triggered by a whistleblower complaint and published by the State Department Office of the Inspector General … prompting the department’s response.

The report found that two dogs died in Jordan of neglect and mistreatment this year, including one death caused by heat stroke and another by poisoning from an insecticide.

Three out of 10 dogs provided to Egypt in August 2018 have died, the report found. Egyptian authorities have refused to grant U.S. personnel access to the dogs or their kennels. The U.S. Embassy has requested medical reports for the dogs that died this year.

San Mateo Farmer’s Market: Meeting Fellow Warren Campaign Volunteers

The California primary is March 3!

Stay tuned.

Poetry Saturday: Angela Narciso Torres

If You Go to Bed Hungry

(an excerpt)

If you go to bed hungry, your soul will get up and steal cold rice from the pot.
Stop playing with fire before the moon rises or you’ll pee in your sleep.

Sweeping the floor after dark sweeps wealth and good fortune out the door.
Fork dropped: a gentleman will visit. Spoon: a bashful lady.


Torres_author-photo-1024x1024

The poem in its entirety can be found on the Poetry Foundation site.

About Angela: She is the author of Blood Orange (Willow Books, 2013). Her second collection, What Happens is Neither, is forthcoming in 2021 from Four Way Books.

Perhaps that is why good things never last long with self: she is always sweeping the floor just before she goes to bed!

Stay tuned.

Homelessness: The Economist Holiday Double Issue

“Roughly 5,000 people live on the streets of San Francisco, a 19% rise in just two years.”

The Economist

Black Christmas: A List of Things

  • There is one grand entrance that will have you on your feet and cheering. So unexpected, maybe cheesy, but self loved it. If you didn’t love it, you should not watch any horror movies set on campuses.
  • Props to any student attending Hawthorne College despite the creepy founder.
  • Never join a frat. Frats are bad.
  • Cary Elwes! Lookin’ good. Please be in more movies, Cary Elwes.
  • This is a gag movie. Therefore, as required by the genre, the heroine must be very, very, very dense.
  • There is this line: “We’ll split up.” Yes! It is always wise to split up when there is a murderer in the house.

Solid B.

 

While at Philz, Looking Through Old Photos: Self with Masako Sato, Dearest Mum

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