Quote of the Day: On Trump’s No-Show in the Latest Televised Presidential Debate

It speaks volumes about the general disarray of the presidential campaign spectacle that it has now reached its highest pitch over the prospect of Donald Trump remaining silent over the course of a televised debate (OK, technically Trump intends to be absent for the debate — but one can argue that in his case, the only way to ensure silence is via complete physical isolation).

— Chris Lehmann in The Baffler

The reason the quote struck a chord: self firmly believes that the only way to ensure silence IS via complete physical isolation.

The (awfully) big question Lehmann asks is: Is Trump a “big feminized baby” or “a terrorist enabler”?

OMG. Dying.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Vibrant 2: New York City’s High Line

Whoever was responsible for bringing the High Line into existence, self thanks you. The most beautiful things about New York City last December were:

  • the weather (shirt-sleeve weather)
  • Carnegie Hall
  • Central Park
  • High Line

She has posted many pictures of the High Line in the last two months. Here are the most vibrant ones:

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The tables above are the outdoor seating for Terroir.

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On the High Line: A Message

And the same message, only in context:

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Chelsea (Former Meatpacking District), viewed from the High Line

P.S. Interesting, isn’t it, the predominance of vibrant yellow? Self almost thinks that was deliberate!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

The State of the Everlark Fan-dom

First of all, that was not cool, replacing J-Hutch with Theo James in the Ben Kingsley movie Backstabbing for Beginners, just when it was about to start filming (Was that a publicity stunt? Because that movie title is so, so — premonitory!)

Next, ever since Mockingjay Part 2 dropped last November, Hunger Games fan sites began shutting down one by one and there was a very dolorous feeling in the air.

But suddenly, out of nowhere, self got some kind of mighty wind because she started writing a new fan fic in December, her first in over a year, and it now stands at over 60,000 words. Wrote it in six weeks. Still going strong. Over 500 comments. That’s a lot of comments.

And there have been fabulous Everlark fan fics dropping every day. Like this one self is totally ga-ga over, which has Katniss and Peeta living in North Carolina when the Apocalypse happens. Everyone turns into a zombie (except them, of course. And Haymitch). Peeta is missing an entire leg and a wheelchair, and moreover there are no more pharmacies open to dispense his prescription painkillers, and all the druggies have made off with the world’s available supply of Oxycontin, and Peeta has to suffer the most acute withdrawal pangs while collapsed in the back of Haymitch’s car as they leave North Carolina and head for Atlanta (with self thinking — no, screaming — what the hell are you doing leaving North Carolina because that’s where Katniss is! How the heck is this going to end up Everlark if Peeta is in Atlanta and Katniss is in North Carolina?)

So fabulous, suspense galore.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Naomi Shihab Nye: First Saturday, Mendocino 2016

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Mendocino, 9 January 2016

Think of things that disappear.

Think of what you love best,
what brings tears into your eyes.

Something that said adios to you
Before you knew what it meant
or how long it was for.

— Naomi Shihab Nye

The $40 Burger in San Francisco

OK, you know what, dear blog readers? Self is suddenly so repulsed at the idea of a $40 burger anywhere in San Francisco that she won’t name the place. The San Francisco Chronicle says “it’s a good burger, if nothing life-changing.”

And self thought the $24 she ended up paying for a cheeseburger in Manhattan was outrageous!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

AMERICAN RUST, p. 80: Lee’s Point of View

Self is really enjoying this novel. It’s one of those with a chapter devoted to a different point of view. Usually, she is impatient with this method, as it seems to be a very convenient “out” for a writer who doesn’t want to be bothered with the intricacies of plot. But so far, she’s loving it. Especially the women’s point of view. She liked “Grace” and now she likes “Lee.”

Here’s a longer-than-usual excerpt from the “Lee” point of view:

To help her get to sleep she decided to read in front of a fire. She opened the flue and piled some logs on the grate and put newspaper under them and lit the paper but after the paper burned out the logs were just smoldering, no real heat or flame. The smell of smoke filled the house and she opened the windows so the smoke detectors wouldn’t go off. She was an idiot, really, how she’d managed to grow up in Pennsyltucky, for Christ’s sake, it was embarrassing. Maybe before she left she would ask her father to do that, teach her to shoot one of his handguns, tin cans in the backyard or something. That was something he’d be happy to do.

Looking through the books she’d brought, she picked up Ulysses, but couldn’t figure out where she’d stopped. She wondered if it was really such a great book if you could never remember what you’d just read. She liked Bloom but Stephen Dedalus bored the crap out of her. And Molly, she’d skipped ahead to read that part.

Self thinks it is so unusual to encounter a character who picks up Ulysses to read and continues reading simply for the parts about self-pleasuring?

And BTW self is really crushing the Cheating Peeta fan fic right now. She began three weeks ago, and has gotten it up to almost 30,000 words. It’s a very angst-y story that takes place on two continents. And for much of it, her Katniss and Peeta aren’t even together. Conveniently, she knows how to wield interior monologue. She wields it so often, in fact, that she has readers complaining about how self’s story has reduced them to “angry tears.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

Chance Meeting, Cebu Airport

In 2010, self gave a reading at a conference in Cebu (central Philippines). From there, she flew to her Dear Departed Dad’s hometown of Bacolod.

While she waited for her Bacolod flight, she decided to get a massage. The massage place was right next to the boarding area, how convenient. The customers are shielded from view (by screens?) of people in the boarding area (but not of fellow customers, there’s a row of beds placed side-by-side), and the strange thing is, there were men and women getting full-body massages right there, mere yards away from where a whole crowd of passengers were gathered. To preserve customers’ modesty, the masseuse draped a thin towel over one’s body.

Anyhoo, the story self wants to tell is: She was freshly massaged, and her hair was standing up on end (from a scalp massage), when a man walked up to her, introduced himself as a fellow writer, and said he had attended her reading.

Self asked him where he was from, and he said Cagayan de Oro. She found out he was a fellow writer. He signed a copy of his book and gave it to her (Self really wishes that she looked more orderly when she walked out of that massage place).

His book was in Bikolano (which self doesn’t speak). It was a collection of plays!

The writer’s name was Carlos A. Aréjola.

Here’s the production notes, setting, cast of characters etc. from his play Unang Yugto:

Tagpuan (Setting): Cottage sa isang resort (A cottage in a resort)

Panahon (Time): Kasalukuyan (The Present)

CHARACTERS:

Edwin – matangkad, guapo (tall, handsome)

Toledo – mestisuhin (mestizo), 18 taong gulang (18 years old)

Dagul – 21, moreno (dark-skinned), medyo pandak (somewhat short), may body piercings.

Falcon – mestisuhin (mestizo), ayos na ayos ang buhok (Hair fussed over; sorry, that’s the best she can come up with)

Dalawang Dalaga (2 girls): college girls, magaganda (beautiful), mapuputi (white-skinned)

Mga Pasahero Sa Airport (Passengers in the Airport)

How self loves that the characters have to be differentiated by whether they are light-skinned or dark-skinned, and that the two college girls are beautiful (magaganda) and mapuputi (white-skinned). To be white-skinned is to be beautiful?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

“Kingsman”

“Listen, boys, I’ve had a rather emotional day.” — Colin Firth to a gang of street thugs in a bar, in the movie “Kingsman.” Self saw it almost a year ago, in Fort Bragg of all places.

Firth’s character again: “Manners. Maketh. The. Man. You know what that means. No? Then let me teach you a lesson.”

*     *     *     *

Self found out yesterday that mop-headed cutie Ben Whishaw, who plays Q in the Daniel Craig Bond movies, and who is currently in “In the Heart of the Sea” (along with Cillian Murphy and — oh yes, Chris Hemsworth) is 35.

Holy smokes!

What is with these British actors looking like babies well into their 30s? Hollywood should try and guess their secret.

Stay tuned.

Gatskill Sentence of the Day (Story # 8, BAD BEHAVIOR)

“Connie, yo!” Franklin appeared with his hair in his eyes and his pores flowing magnanimously.

— “Other Factors” (Story #8 in Bad Behavior)

 

What if Self Had a BFF Who Said Things Like

“You have a way, you know, of shoving your vulnerability right into people’s faces. Or something that you call vulnerability, anyway. You sometimes do it immediately upon meeting them. You force people to deal with it.”

“Deana.”

“No, listen to me. You don’t do it as much as you did. But you used to do it a lot, and it’s kind of strange to be confronted so aggressively with somebody else’s frailty. Some people will want to protect you, as I did, but some people will want to hurt you.”

— “Other Factors,” Story # 8 in Mary Gaitskill’s Bad Behavior

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Yesterday on the High Line: A Message

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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