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Sunday, May 31, 2015

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Branka-and-Ali-in-Moon's--San-Mateo








Branka and Ali in Moon's. Born in Croatia, Branka speaks five languages and worked for two years in Lisbon before coming to the US. Born and raised in Singapore, Ali carries an Indian passport. PhD candidates in Durham, NC, Branka and Ali are working in the Silicon Valley this summer. After two days in menacing Bayview then a couple weeks in snooty Los Gatos, they're now comfortably situated in the Mission District of San Francisco.



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7 comments:

Chuck Olroski said...

Good God -- What a beautiful & inspiring picture, Branka of Croatia, Ali of Singapore! I respect how the two of you settled in Mission District where you're sure to deliver more meaningful PhD hits to human hearts than 49ers, Sharks and Giants combined. Am sincerely happy for both of you -- and to Ali in particular, I regret we could not meet while you visited Linh in Philadelphia, but "the road goes on forever" and sometimes paths happen to unexpectedly intersect.

Speaking only one (1) tongue, 100 blessings and peace upon Branka and Ali!

Ali said...

Chuck, I was telling Linh that we should meet, hopefully much sooner rather than later! Thank you for your kind comments!

Chuck Olroski said...

One more thing here, Ali and Linh? Pictures like these are so welcome, one gets to see real people. Unlike how TV "Entertainment Tonight" weekly puts George & Amal Clooney in people's faces, Linh Dinh gives us yours and Branka's. What's more, monthly I get an A.A.R.P. Magazine, and typically, Glitterati like Springsteen and Bob Dylan are on the cover. Once they had gray-hair Jamie Lee Curtis on A.A.R.P cover, and being fucking programmed too, I preferred had they used her "pole dance" picture from one of Arnold Schwarznegger's "Terminator films."

Maybe a meeting is written in the Fallen stars?

Linh Dinh said...

Yo Chuck,

That day, we were talking about letting go and not trying to impress, and how rare it is to encounter people who are not guarded, paranoid and tense. In my hopped up excitement, I brought up Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, publisher and the owner of Italy's largest chain of bookstores. Though scion of a rich family and successful businessman, he died while trying to cut off electricity to Milan. I said that I wished the Bay Area would go dark, for without all the electronic distractions, we would be brought back to our senses and rediscover each other. Yes, yes, I know it's an irresponsible wish, and it is weird I find Feltrinelli's death so sublime.

Anyway, back to the photo, I think people are always beautiful when they're relaxed and not preening.

Linh

Chuck Olroski said...

Linh: Right now I am far from relaxed, except internally. Also, this past Saturday, I dressed-up (preened) for a wedding reception at the Hilton, the same banquet hall where we watched the "Geriatric Woodstock." With father-of-bride, a dear High School friend, I posed for a picture with about ten cell phone cameras snapping away. Upon departure, in Scranton drizzle and a couple whiskey shots in me, I ambled across Lackawanna Avenue, returned to our KIA and sincerely hoped my scrawny $100.00 gift would help the beautiful couple's family pay the Feltrinelli-chain size reception bill.

Your in darkness,
Chuck O.

Linh Dinh said...

Yo Chuck,

Here you're pointing out a new dread for an increasing number of people: to be invited to a wedding where you're expected to give money. In many communities, you're also expected to give money at funerals. More and more people are learning how to decline any sort of party invitation or just a social get together, since you must spend money any time you leave the house.


Linh

Chuck Olroski said...

Linh: Speaking of the funeral racket, I convey my sincere condolences to working people who spend almost $10,000 for an undertaker to 1.) stuff their loved ones; 2.) place corpse in luxurious caskets & vaults advertised as secure as Fall-Out shelters; 3.) encourage indulgence of expensive flower sprays at Wake; 4.) and afterward the cemetery gets a piece of the dead "action" and charges hefty fee for opening of the grave. Then comes charges for a stone/marble monument which costs as much as I paid for a Chevy Monte Carlo in the early 1970s and more!

Also, I've learned Churches exact a cost for funeral services, and mourning families are expected to tip Altar Boys and Girls.

Minus having a "pot to piss in or window-to-throw it out," I feel pretty bad when I go to Wakes and don't have spare money for purchasing at least a Mass Card, let alone a flower. Mass Cards for the deceased purchased at local Catholic Churches now cost $10.00.

The nut of this comment is that I truly appreciated how Steinbeck's Joad family buried Ma Joad after she kicked the bucket on way to California orchards, looking for work. They stopped heavily laden and beaten down truck, solemnly dug a hole and asked the Preacher to pray for her soul. Deal went down, Preacher prayed for free, and the family erected a wooden cross on Ma Joad's grave. In real 21st century American life, every single day, the E.P.A. allows natural gas drillers to pour millions of gallons of fracking fluid/mud into the earth, and in contrast, the U.S. government prohibits placement of non-mummified human corpses 6' into the ground for fear of groundwater pollution.

Life in America is getting more hard, expensive and ugly -- and Linh, as I admittedly live in a Small World, can you tell me of ANY institution/organization which has yet to become a malignant racket?

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About Me

Born in Vietnam in 1963, I came to the US in 1975, and have also lived in Italy, England and Germany. I'm the author of two books of stories, Fake House (2000) and Blood and Soap (2004), five of poems, All Around What Empties Out (2003), American Tatts (2005), Borderless Bodies (2006), Jam Alerts (2007) and Some Kind of Cheese Orgy (2009), and a novel, Love Like Hate (2010). I've been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2000, 2004, 2007, Great American Prose Poems from Poe to the Present, Postmodern American Poetry: a Norton Anthology (vol. 2) and Flash Fiction International: Very Short Stories From Around the World, etc. I'm also editor of Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (1996) and The Deluge: New Vietnamese Poetry (2013). Blood and Soap was chosen by Village Voice as one of the best books of 2004. My writing has been translated into Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Icelandic and Finnish, and I've been invited to read in London, Cambridge, Brighton, Paris, Berlin, Leipzig, Halle, Reykjavik, Toronto, Singapore and all over the US. I've also published widely in Vietnamese.