August in the Bay of Palermo

All over the water in the Bay of Palermo are hundreds of boats: gozzi, caiques, feluccas, each festooned with its array of lights, each with its seating for the nobility and places for the oarsmen. The sea is calm, the moon hidden behind small ragged clouds edged with violet, the boundaries between sky and water invisible in the dense blackness of a calm, still August night.

Soon the firework scaffold that rises imposingly on the shore will explode with Catherine wheels, rockets and fountains of light that will rain down over the sea. In the background Porta Felice seems like a Christmas crib all strewn with oil lights. To the right the Cassaro Morto, the dark outline of the Vicaria, the low houses of the Kalsa, the massive facade of the Steri Palace, the grey domes of Santa Maria della Catena, the square wall of the Castello by the sea, the long stark building of San Giovanni de’ Leprosi. Suddenly from a maze of dark crooked lanes thousands of people are pouring out towards the sea.

The Silent Duchess, by Dacia Maraini, pp. 118-119

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: WHITE

This week, Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge is WHITE.

Self loves having an excuse to go back through her photo archives. Here are her selections:

  • Greek antiquities, British Museum
  • Self’s Iceberg roses, last summer
  • a shell from the Philippines, in a wooden bowl from the Philippines

Love the prompt. Self doesn’t often think of white as a color.

Stay tuned.

2019: Grateful For

The Mars Room, by Rachel Kushner

p. 9:

  • I sometimes think San Francisco is cursed. I mostly think it’s a sad suckville of a place. People say it’s beautiful, but the beauty is only visible to newcomers, and invisible to those who had to grow up there. Like the glimpses of blue bay through the breezeways along the street that wraps around the back of Buena Vista Park.

There is something about the holidays. The books she reads stay and stay and stay with her. For example, she only read two books last December, but both were great: The Unwomanly Face of War, by Svetlana Alexievich; and Kudos, by Rachel Cusk.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Quote of the Day: Vanity Fair Hive

Good morning! We hope that all the tryptophan and Beaujolais provided a momentary respite from the reality that the world’s most vital democracy is now being run by a Twitter troll. But here we are!

*nods in agreement*

LOL!

Stay tuned.

It’s Not This Time Of Year Without

Dropping by a mall: Sorry, self is shallow.

hmsatafterblackfriday

T-Shirt Resolution: H & M, Black Friday

Dropping by a beach:

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Capitola, CA

Walking around the house in the snuggly-est slippers one can find:

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Self found these in Chinatown.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Two 1/2 Years Later, Nothing’s Changed

The Economist, 14 June 2014: Terror’s New Headquarters

  • Perhaps Iraq’s humiliated army will muster the resolve to make a stand, or even retake Mosul. But, with its symbolic victories and an endless supply of young men, that will be of little comfort. ISIS aims to withdraw the map of of the Middle East by creating a Sunni state, starting with Eastern Syria and the heart of Iraq. Its brand of militancy is spreading poison and terror across the Arab world. One day, if they have their way, ISIS’s suicide bombers will also target Europe and America. Without a change of heart in Baghdad and Washington, groups like it will continue to cause mayhem. Even with a new approach, it will be hard to stop the jihad.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sally Potter’s YES (Potter Wrote the Entire Thing In Iambic Pentameter)

Self’s favorite scene in the movie is when SHE (played by Joan Allen) goes to visit her dying aunt in a hospital in Belfast.

Aunt:

The thing is, no-one told
Me I’d have all this time, but far too late
To use it for the things I dreamed of. Fate
Delivers upside down and back to front.
I’ve more to say than ever, but they shunt
Me back and forth all day from bed to chair
And back to bed again; it isn’t fair.
All this experience I’d like to share.
Not that it all adds up. Not that you care.
I’d better stop — it’s time for you to go
Already, isn’t it? Five minutes — oh,
Well maybe ten . . . you see, I never know
When you’ll be here again. It’s such a blow
Each time you leave, it’s hardly worth your while
To come at all. I mean it! Don’t you smile
Like that! Oh, you’ll be sorry when I’m dead.
I’m only joking, dear. I only said
That for a laugh. Although of course it’s true.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Magic 5: Thanksgiving Edition

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Green Apple Books, 9th Avenue (by Golden Gate Park), San Francisco: This is an antique wall phone. I do really really want to call Ishmael!

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Charles Parsons’ Model Chinese Pole Junk (circa 500 B.C.) at the San Mateo County Historical Museum, Courthouse Square, Redwood City

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Model of a British Ship-of-the-Line, circa 1765 (in the Charles Parsons Exhibit at the San Mateo County Historical Museum

Entrance fee to the San Mateo County Historical Museum: $6.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Optimistic 3: 2016 Daily Post Photo Challenge # 4

Cold, gloomy.

There is someone tromping on the roof.

Reminds self she hasn’t logged on to Twitter in a week or more.

When self has no time to play hashtag games, things are really getting serious.

In spite of all, she faces 2016 with optimism.

Here’s a necklace made by the sister of Mavee Park (BFF in kindergarten in Manila!)

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Necklace handmade in the Philippines; Red Sweater from Dublin

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Mavee throws a huge Thanksgiving party every year. Self was a guest at last year’s. Mavee scattered these paper stars (from the Philippines) all over her rec room.

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Thumbs Up! The Blog Mistress Herself, on a Fast Train to Venice, November 2015

It’s a crime not to feel optimistic in Italy. Seriously.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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