Elmore Leonard’s “Fire In the Hole”

Self checked out a collection of Elmore Leonard short stories from the Redwood City Public Library early this year. She hasn’t managed to get to it yet. COVID happened, and then self’s mind flew out the window.

This afternoon, while browsing through her stack of “To Read” books, she encountered the Elmore Leonard collection, and immediately turned to the title story.

Opening line:

  • They had dug coal together as young men and then lost touch over the years.




Timothy Olyphand and Walton Goggins! Those two actors were born to play Raylan Givens and Boyd Crowder. Did either of the two ever win an Emmy? Did the show itself ever win an Emmy? For the six years of its run, self doesn’t think she ever skipped an episode.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Elevator Scenes: Black-ish

Self watched The Emmys this year. Surely anyone watching would have heard about Black-ish.

She just stumbled on it tonight. There are two scenes in tonight’s episode that were so on-point, and both of them take place in an elevator.

Elevator Scene # 1:

There’s Anthony Anderson (She’ll insert his character name here as soon as she googles) about to step into an elevator. The elevator doors part, and here is a moment: there’s a little white kid in there, all alone. The kid has blonde ringlets. She looks like Shirley Temple. Her eyes are swollen from crying.

Anthony Anderson looks at her. He just looks at her. And in that moment, self knew exactly what he was thinking: He cannot, simply cannot, be laying his hands on a white child he doesn’t know.

While he stands there completely immobilized, the elevator doors close on the weeping child.

Elevator Scene No. 2:

Anthony Anderson and two colleagues stand in an elevator. The lone woman with them in the elevator car is white. She’s on her cell. She says, into her phone: My Visa Number is: xxxx-xxxx-xxxx, not giving a hoot about anyone else in the elevator. Anderson and his friends exchange looks behind her back.

White woman goes on to say: I’m single. And I live alone. Oh, don’t worry. The security cams don’t work. That’s just for show.

And by this time, the three men in the elevator are exchanging serious freak-out looks? Cause all three are African American.

Self was so LMAO! ROFL! LOL!

So good.

Stay tuned.

Fabulous Summer: Catching Up With The Missouri Review, Spring 2012

Farley's: such good coffee! 18th Street (Potrero Hill)

Farley’s: such good coffee! 18th Street (Potrero Hill)

Yesterday, self was whiling away the late afternoon in Farley’s, a coffee shop on Potrero Hill.  While reading Scientific American and the day’s Wall Street Journal, she tried the macchiato (excellent!) with a slice of zucchini bread (dee-lish!) and a scoop of caramel salt ice cream.

She was just musing about how fabulous this summer is.

Sole Fruit of Her Loins is home, and Jennie is arriving tonight.  Self loves the “Flying Kitty” birthday card that Jennie mailed to self last week.  Rawwrrrr!!!

Today, self feels energized enough to tackle her Pile of Stuff (a huge, disorganized, and ever-growing pile of unread magazines and unopened mail).  The first thing she happens to pull out is The Missouri Review of Spring 2012.

As everyone in the writing field knows, The Missouri Review is one of the top literary journals in the country.  Who wouldn’t want to be published in The Missouri Review?  Though self has never succeeded in breaking into the ranks of this magazine’s anointed, that has in no way dampened her enjoyment at reading it.

The theme of the Spring 2012 issue is “blood relations.”  Here’s how the editor, Speer Morgan (possibly the most fabulous editor’s name self has ever encountered:  It’s like the bastard offspring of a chewing gum company, Wrigley’s, and an investment bank, Morgan Stanley):

When one sets about doing harm, the people most likely to be hurt are the ones across the table, if only by reason of proximity.  Look up quotes on the word “family,” and much of what comes up is either sarcastic or humorous.  Hamlet’s stepfather says to him, “My cousin Hamlet, and my son,” and the young prince responds, “A little more than kin, and less than kind,” with both “kin” and “kind” carrying multiple levels of dark irony.  This is the norm even when your stepfather/ uncle didn’t murder your father and marry your mother.  Bring up the issue of relatives, and mockery soon follows.  “I had no blood relatives until I made some,” says comedian Andy Dick.  And yet of course the other feelings continue to survive alongside the sarcasm —  the fondness, love and hope that we associate with both our relatives and our origins.

Next, Morgan talks about the journal’s Jeffrey E. Smith winner in fiction, Yuko Sakata’s “Unintended,” which he calls “a story that shows the effects of parents’ problems on a child.”

There’s more, much more, but self has to at least make a serious attempt at cooking dinner.  And, all right, all right, just one more thing:

The Emmy Nominations were announced at 5:30 a.m. this morning.

And there were no nominations for Timothy Olyphant (“Justified”) or Nicolaj Coster-Waldau (“Game of Thrones”) or even Walton Goggins (“Justified”).  We got Peter Dinklage nominated again (for “Game of Thrones”), and Jon Hamm (for “Mad Men,” as per usual), and there were even nominations for “Downton Abbey.”

Oh, well. C’est la vie.  Life is indeed strange.

At least Diana Rigg got a nomination for playing Lady Olenna Tyrell (Her name reminds self of Crisco product, for some reason).  But why oh why are there nominations for “Homeland” and none for “The Americans”?  Go figure!

Is “The Killing” going to be renewed for a fourth season?  Oh pray it’s so!

Fingers and toes crossed.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Of Note Today, 4th Sunday of September (2012)

Self deserves pats on the back.  She went to Pamplemousse, got there just as they were closing, and bought this delicious chocolate with amaretto cake:

Pamplemousse Heart Attack Delight with Amaretto (Not Its Real Name, But There Really Is Amaretto In This Thing)

She offered first dibs to The Man, as is her wont as The Dutiful Martyr — er, Wife.  He demurred and said No, No, No.  After dinner, she lost herself (for three hours) in the thickets of grueling grant application.  When she emerged, quite famished, the first place she looked at was the kitchen counter.  No cake.  In the sink was the plate that she’d served the cake on, absolutely clean.  Not even a lick of chocolate left.  Bummer!

But, lest dear blog readers start feeling too depressed on self’s behalf, she also bought four of those salted caramel macarons, and ate them all in one go (while watching Jimmy Kimmel host the Emmy Awards, which were quite entertaining, though not because of Kimmel —  because of the acceptance speeches and the gorgeous gowns!  Among self’s favorites were the presenting duo of Ginnifer Goodwin and Emily van Camp).  And, to tell you the truth, self had absolutely no business buying anything from Pamplemousse, since she’d finished about 15 pieces of extremely oily chicharon bulaklak earlier, and accompanied that with beer, and fried rice.  Her backside is wide like a plank.  She will not send a picture of that.  Instead, here’s a picture of self yesterday:

BED-HEAD! This was the condition of self when she left the house rather early yesterday morning, to head to the San Francisco Palace of the Legion of Honor to catch the “Man Ray/ Lee Miller: Partners in Surrealism” exhibit, which was excellent!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Typhoon Pedring and “TV Patrol”

Last night, after two weeks of negligible rain, the heavens opened.

Today, it continued to pour, with a vengeance.

Self thanks her lucky stars she is in Bacolod, not Manila.  She watched “TV Patrol”:  Manila looked abysmal, miserable:  flooded streets and over two million people rendered homeless in the Greater Manila Metropolitan Area.  Here, while the streets are running, self is at least not ankle-deep in water when she steps out of a cab.

Whenever it rains, self finds herself in the New Museum Café.  No rum for her this time, however.  Instead, Dory with Chef Gemma’s special pesto sauce, green salad and thin slices of corn bread.  Also, fresh orange shake.  Also, Talisay ham.  The dish looked so beautiful self almost cried at having to eat it.

This evening, self belatedly learned that “TV Patrol” was nominated for an Emmy! For its coverage of the 2010 Philippine hostage crisis.

Apparently, it was nominated in a new category, The International Emmy Awards.

Yay!  Self loves “TV Patrol”!  She remembers when it first began (She even wrote about it in a short story, for heavens sake!):  there were all these intrepid (nosy) reporters, lifting the newspapers covering the faces of vagrants sleeping around the Caloocan monumento.  Such is the ability of the pinoy to rise to the occasion:  each homeless person who had been thus rudely awakened by having a microscope shoved in his/her face nevertheless gamely attempted to answer the reporters’ questions, if somewhat incoherently.

Reporters also showed no compunction about thrusting microphones into the grieving faces of murder victims’ families.  And the really astounding thing is:  People actually answered the reporters!  Even though wracked with grief!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Great “Alternative Emmys” Article on Salon.com!

The Reigning King of Lists (in Entertainment-Related Articles) is, in self’s humble opinion, Salon.com’s Matt Zoller Seitz.  She loves his slideshow, “Who Would Win at the Alternative Emmys?”

Self recommends going over to Salon.com, but for those extremely short of time, here’s an abbreviated version:

  • Best Monologue:  “Justified” Season 2, Episode 12:  “Reckoning” (Matt explains why —  self heartily agrees.  Not to mention the fact that this is an iconic role for Timothy Olyphant, who was stuck in mostly forgettable movies and is having a kind of hot streak in television)
  • Best Love Scene:  “The Good Wife” Season 2, Episode 23:  “Closing Arguments” (Watch the video —  self has never seen Julianna Margulies looking so hot)
  • Best Individual Episode, Unscripted Series:  “Deadliest Catch” Season 6, Episode 14:  “Redemption Day” (“The Season 6 finale in which Phil Harris, the captain of the Cornelia Marie, died in the hospital a few days after suffering a stroke . . .  it was a textbook example of how to wring maximum emotional power from a real-life tragedy without being crass or ghoulish.”)
  • Best Individual Episode, Comedy:  “Community” Season 2, Episode 19:  “Critical Film Studies” (Certifiably funny.  All hail, Danny Pudi)
  • Best Individual Episode, Drama:  “Mad Men” Season 4, Episode 7:  “The Suitcase” (” . . .  all things considered, the best all-around episode of any TV series to air during the 2010-2011 Emmy eligibility period.”)
  • Best Monster:  Snake-mouthed Anna on “V” (If you don’t want to get nightmares, dear blog readers, skip the visuals on this one.  Morena Baccarin, a real beauty, is the epitome of horrific)
  • Best Comedy Sequence:  “South Park” Season 15, Episode 3:  “Royal Pudding”  (Can you believe “South Park” is in its 15th season???  The writing keeps getting sharper.  All hail, Trey Parker and Matt Stone)
  • Best Death Scene:  “Game of Thrones” Season 1, Episode 9:  “Baelor” (The execution of Eddard “Ned” Stark, played by Sean Bean.  “Many major characters die each year on television; few passings have the impact of this one.”)
  • Best Action Sequence:  “Southland”  Season 3, Episode 10:  “Graduation Day”  (Seitz calls this series “brilliant and criminally underappreciated”)
  • Best Cameo:  Tom Noonan on “Louie”  Season 1, Episode 11:  “God”  (Noonan “appears in a childhood flashback as a priest brought in to talk to young Louie and his Catholic school classmates about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.  But he doesn’t tackle the subject from a theological angle.  He concentrates exclusively on Christ’s physical suffering, taking the children through his torture and death step-by-step using young Louie as a stand-in.”)

At one time, self loved the MTV Movie Awards because they were refreshingly “alternative.”  Now they are just lame (A “Twilight”movie  wins best picture every year.  YAAAWN!).

She’s been looking for true alternative categories for ages.  Thank you, Matt Zoller Seitz, for filling the gap.

(A Salon.com reader recommends another category:  Best Villain.  Excellent suggestion!  The Salon.com reader suggests either Ruth Wilson from “Luther” or Walton Goggins from “Justified.”  Self doesn’t think Goggins is actually a Bad Guy.  His role isn’t, anyway.  No, the true villain on “Justified” Season 2 was undoubtedly Mags Bennett, played by Margo Martindale.  The way Martindale played her, she was all matronly motherliness.  But with a venomous heart.  Her death scene?  Priceless.  That’ll be a hard role to top for anyone who steps in as Villain on “Justified” Season 3)

Stay tuned.

A Very Short Post About Nothing/Plus: Speculation About “Best Actress in a Drama” Emmy

Self was about to write a post about this putative novel of hers.  About the possibility that perhaps trying to write a novel is like tilting at windmills.  Especially for someone like her (Flashback, Berlin:  Pinoy writer comes sidling up to self, it’s the first day of an international conference.  Makes chit-chat and then says:  “If you haven’t made it by your age, you’ll never make it.”  Self didn’t react, because she is slow, slow, slow.  Where is that guy now, she wonders?  Hopefully, famous —  BWAH. HA. HAAA)

The phone rang.  Self checked:  402 area code.  So, even though she knew —  there goes her post! —  she picked up.  “Hello?” self said, with some anticipation (Perhaps the MacArthur gods are calling!  From a place with a 402 area code!)  But there is only a pregnant pause, which can only mean one thing:  a computer is getting ready to spew its sales pitch at her.


Oh, boo hoo hoo! Self, why can’t you just quit feeling sorry for yourself?

Switching gears, here are a few gambler’s odds from Read the rest of this entry »

Random: Summer 2010

Yesterday, self was on her way to deliver a bag of clothes to the Salvation Army, most of which she has never worn, because they happen to be size 2.  Dearest Mum gives these to self after various shopping trips, with the understanding that they will not fit, and so self must give them to her Aunt, who is a size 2, HAR HAR HAR!

On the side of a bus, self saw a huge picture of Tim Lincecum, Giants pitcher and half-Pinoy, at the very top of a pitch.  His legs were waaaay out to there, and the long hair under his Giants cap was flying.  Cool!  That ad alone was enough to make self’s day!

(Also, it occurred to self while she was driving that her car is very very dirty, that she hasn’t brought it to a car wash in six months, that a car like that trolling around Menlo Park would likely be pulled over by the police for some minor infraction, simply because it sticks out amidst all the sparkling SUVs and Infinitis.  But that’s neither here nor there)

Last night, in addition to bemoaning the fact that Timothy Olyphant did not receive an Emmy nomination, self watched The Daily Show.  And there was a very cute black-haired woman interviewing a jug-eared politician from Arizona, who was very very clearly dis-armed.  Way to go, Jon!  Fill your show with cute black-haired women, which will provide necessary counter-balance to all those blonde pundits on The O’Reilly Factor!  Now, trolling the web, self learns that this same cute woman is being referred to as “a faux feminist.” Self isn’t sure what that is, but “faux” anything isn’t what she first thought of when she saw the woman.  Self’s first thought was:  Whoaaa!  Whose idea was it to put a babe on The Daily Show?  Quelle fab idea!  Because, as we all know, not only O’Reilly but Hannity (on his Great American Panel) regularly stock their show with females who are well above and beyond the average in terms of looks.  And they are killing, just killing in the ratings.  And so self thinks the future of TV lies in ever more beauteous female newscasters/pundits.  Which of course is excellent for the men of America, especially the middle-aged ones, because they are the ones who stay home and actually watch the news.

Anyhoo, as a counter to the babe interviewer, Jon Stewart had Marilynne Robinson talk about her new book, a non-fiction book called Absence of Mind.  And though it was not an uproariously funny interview, it was a very thought-provoking interview.  Self just loves Jon Stewart.  She thinks he must be very intelligent.  He got Marilynne Robinson to laugh!  More than once!  And, as we all know, Marilynne Robinson is a person with great gravitas.  But it is really really nice to see her throw her head back and laugh.

Let’s see, what else about this summer?  Oh, son will be here in a few hours!  Fridge is stocked —  no, overflowing!  —  with all his favorite food!  Self really went to town with the fresh fruit yesterday!  And also bought French bread, salami from Draeger’s, veggies, you name it!  Naturally, as soon as he arrives, we will be off to see a movie, self hasn’t decided yet whether it will be “Predators” or “The Karate Kid.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Modesto, Self Feels Your Pain!

Modesto’s Timothy Olyphant, Star of “Justified,” Left Off Emmy Nominees

—  Headline in Today’s Modesto Bee (modbee.com)

Gnashing of Teeth!!!  His performance was perhaps all too urbane and laid-back, that’s the only reason self can think of to “justify” (Har har har!) his omission from today’s list of nominees.

Self finds it so touching, though, that Modesto roots for its hometown guys!

Here’s the sub-heading:

Beyer grad doesn’t get nominated; “Glee,” “The Pacific” take lead

Self doesn’t watch “Glee” because —  because they don’t have a Filipino in the cast!  Get this:  this is supposed to be a high school Glee Club, OK ???  And almost every ethnicity is represented, except Filipino?  Excuse me, have the producers ever been to a high school?  Have they even heard a Filipino student sing?  Do they know that Prince is a quarter Filipino?  That his lola is from Ilocos?

OK, self, before you get too exercised, “Glee” is supposedly set in Lima, OH.  And self just googled the Filipino population there:  According to City-Data.com, Filipinos are 0.9% of the population.  But, still

Stay tuned.

Another Weekend Bites the Dust

It is so fun to end the weekend with an Awards show. As soon as self could, she kicked hubby off the flat-screen HDTV so she could watch the Emmys. Neil Patrick Harris is the host, she missed his performance at the Tony Awards, which was said to be remarkable. Here, he is undeniably smooth, but self isn’t bowled over.

Nothing untoward has happened so far on the show (Unless you count a cartoon where a dog was being attacked, “Sopranos”-style, by some little creature who wanted the dog’s vote for an Emmy-nominated show. The dog was bleeding from its eyes, dear blog readers. It had its head stuck in a toilet. Self felt almost Read the rest of this entry »

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