Thursday Doors Challenge: Downtown Palo Alto

Posting this for the Thursday Doors Challenge hosted by No Facilities. It’s a lot of fun to participate.

A few days ago, self went strolling around downtown Palo Alto. This used to be one of her favorite places to while away the time. There were two downtown movie theaters: one on Emerson, another on University Avenue. There was a gelato place, and even a smoke shop. But, sadly, the movie theaters, even the gelato place, were closed.

Stanford Theatre has been closed since March 2020. It’s supposedly owned by a Silicon Valley billionaire who loves old movies. They used to have periodic film festivals: Hitchcock films, Satyajit Ray films, Truffaut films. The price of entry: $7. Fresh popcorn: $1.

It was very disheartening to see, a few days ago, that it was STILL closed. She had to content herself with walking around the ticket area, taking a picture of the old movie posters on display.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Last on the Card, September 2021

Thanks, bushboys world, for hosting the Last Photo on the Card photo challenge.

I’ve been taking more pics with my cell these days. The last pic I took with my Nikon coolpix on September 23, 2021:

“Pink Over Red”: Mark Rothko, American, born Latvia (1903 – 1970), Stanford’s Anderson Collection

Stanford’s Anderson Collection had re-opened to the public, the day before. It so happened that Sept. 22 was also Dear Departed Mum’s birthday; she would have been 86. So, I was full of FEELZ when I stumbled across this Rothko.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Life in Colour Challenge: September 2021

It is almost the end of September! What happened?

The Life in Colour Photo Challenge for this month is GOLD. Jude’s blog has so many striking photographs, wow.

A few days ago, the Anderson Collection on the Stanford Campus finally re-opened to the public (limited capacity: must register on-line first). I focused on pieces that had shades of GOLD:

“Approach” : Helen Frankenthaler, American (1928 – 2011)

“Burn and Glitter” : Jules Olitski, American, born Russia (1922-2007)

“Hostile Terrain 94” : a participatory art exhibition created by the Undocumented Migration Project (UMP)

Kudos to the Tokyo Olympics

It did not turn out to be the super-spreader event that we all feared it might be.

Today, CNN reported that the Olympic Village reported 358 positive corona cases. While not insignificant, when considering the thousands who congregated in Olympic Village, this is an achievement. Kudos to host Japan!

For two weeks, self watched in awe as athletes battled their personal demons and PUT ON A SHOW.

Will never forget:

  • Stanford’s Katie Ledecky, slaying all
  • the courage of the entire US women’s gymnastics team: Suni Lee, Simone Biles, Mykayla Skinner, Jade Carey, Grace McCallum, and Jordan Chiles
  • Bobby Finke’s amazing races
  • Hidilyn Diaz delivering the Philippines’ first Olympic medal ever, and it was GOLD
  • German swimmer Florian Wellbrock losing twice, in the 800 and 1500, then coming back to win the 10k
  • Ukrainian swimmer Mykhailo Romanchuk, losing to Finke in the 1500, still having a sense of humor (photo-bombing Finke during his interview with Michelle Tafoya)
  • Neeraj Chopra delivering India’s first Olympic gold in track, in the javelin

and so many, many other stories, impossible to list all here.

Hidilyn Diaz, Filipina weightlifting champion

AND they even got a Belarussian sprinter her freedom.

Can’t wait for Paris 2024.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC) # 2

For her second post on the PPAC Photo Challenge, co-hosted by Cee Neuner and Marsha Ingrao, self would like to focus on metal outdoor sculptures.

Here are three examples, from three different places:

  • Outside the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) in Dublin.
  • On the Stanford campus:
  • Outside the brand new Stanford Medical Center, in Redwood City:

April 6 BRIGHT SQUARES

Every day this April, a BRIGHT SQUARE.

Learn more about the challenge here.

Self took the pictures below in Afterwards, a vintage clothing and furniture store in Menlo Park. She was on her way to the Rodin Sculpture Garden at Stanford, but her attention was caught by the big globe hanging in the window. So she decided to investigate.

The store is huge! And full of one-of-a-kind pieces. So much more fun than shopping in a department store.

Self and the woman there had a nice conversation about Louise Penny.

Squares in Picture # 1: the McDonald’s awning? The shape of the building?

Squares in Picture # 2: The chair back is sort of — squar-ish?

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

The “Fishwife Call”

If Lamorna Ash had written about nothing else except the pubs of Newlyn and the eight days on a fish trawler with six (or was it seven) Cornish fishermen, this book would have been worth the read. But we are only on p. 40, so one can only imagine what other Cornish memories lie in store!

So far, on this eight-day fishing trip, Ash has made reference to Moby Dick and something by Conrad, this interspersed with anecdotes about the crew (Kevin, a flaming redhead and the youngest of the crew is, naturally, the cook. First night’s dinner is “chicken burgers and lovely fucking peas.”)

Speaking of Moby Dick, self read that book for the first time in her first quarter as a Creative Writing Fellow at Stanford. Everyone else was reading Raymond Carver but, self being so obstreperous, she read Moby Dick. It took her, she thinks, something like three months, and she was in pain the whole time.

The trawler’s name is the Filadelfia –why? Next thing self knows, she is trolling her archives for pictures of Philadelphia, her favorite American city next to her own, the city where Dearest Mum attended Curtis (Dearest Mum was only 11 when admitted, and became super-famous, a famous like Britney Spears! For winning the New York Times International Piano Competition, at 14. Her teacher at Curtis was a Madame Mengerva, who told Dearest Mum she should never get married, which is why, when Dearest Mum was 21, she eloped and ended up having five children with Dear Departed Dad)

On p. 40, self reads about the Fishwife Call, that lovely seafaring tradition where “whoever is on watch puts the kettle on, makes mugs of coffee and then heads down to wake the snoozing crew for the next haul” with a hearty ‘Alrightfuckers!’

So interesting.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Stanford Alumni Letter to SAA Board of Directors Regarding Senator Hawley

If you are a Stanford Alumna, you may sign your name here. Currently, 1244 former students have signed.

To: Board of Directors of the Stanford Alumni Association, Frances C. Arrillaga Alumni Center, 326 Galvez Street, Stanford, CA 94305 – 6105

January 7, 2021

Board of Directors:

We, the undersigned alumni of Stanford University, call upon the Stanford Alumni Association (“SAA”) to immediately expel United States Senator Josh Hawley ‘02 from SAA.

Senator Hawley’s words and actions on, and prior to, January 6, 2021 are a direct and unprecedented assault on our constitutional and democratic form of government. His baseless objection to the electoral results of Arizona and Pennsylvania, his overt support for the violent mob that swarmed the Capitol, and his relentless deceit in pursuit of power all demonstrate that Senator Hawley represents not merely a different political viewpoint, but a growing fascist threat to the United States. In light of such danger, SAA must deny Senator Hawley the privileges and benefits of SAA membership, and not allow Stanford alumni and resources to become complicit in advancing his harmful and unconscionable agenda.

Senator Hawley’s statements and conduct are also in direct violation of SAA’s Code of Conduct, which states in relevant part that “Stanford reserves the right to warn, suspend or ban any person from access to constituent resources and events whose behavior does not uphold the values of respect, integrity, honesty, and fairness.”

We, therefore, demand that the Board of Directors take action and expel Senator Hawley from the SAA without delay, including a ban on his attendance and participation in SAA events and activities.

Signed,

1,244 names as of January 7, 2021

Alcina: To Replace a Murdered Priest

From A History of the Bisayan People of the Philippine Islands, by Francisco Alcina, S.J.

De La Lengua Bisaya; Si Es, Acaso, Alguna de las 72 Primitivas y de la Primera Confusion; de su Elegancia, Abundancia, Propiedad Y Calidades Particulares

(Concerning the Bisayan Language; whether perhaps it is one of the seventy-two original ones after the confusion of tongues; about its elegance, richness, propriety and special characteristics)

When Alcina was sent to the central Philippines, he was very young. He was sent to replace a murdered priest. How he came to write a multi-volume work on the Bisayan people (in addition to finding ways to keep himself alive, and founding a mission, and harvesting souls) self has no idea.

They have Alcina’s seminal work (published 1668?) in Stanford’s Green Library, but the library’s been closed most of the year. A Stanford librarian looked it up and said the text was available on-line and gave self the link.

What’s truly amazing about Alcina is that the Bisayan (Hiligaynon — there’s more than one Bisayan language but Alcina studied the one that’s used in Dear Departed Dad’s home province) words are ones she knows: words for ugly, beautiful; hot and cold; brother and sister. The language stayed intact, uncorrupted, even after three centuries of Spanish colonization. Or perhaps it was the translator who chose the modern equivalents of early Bisayan language? At any rate the language is in full use today: all self’s relatives speak it and literature is still being written in that language.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

KUWENTO (Stories), Self’s First Book

A copy is in Green Library.

DSCN0099

 

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