At the back of the hill

Warning: If you stay here long enough you will gain weight! Grazing here strongly suggests that you are either omnivorous, or a glutton. And you might like cheese-doodles. BTW: I'm presently searching for another person who likes cheese-doodles. All cheese-doodling ended in 2010, and there hasn't been any in far too long. Please form a caseophilic line to the right. Thank you.

Friday, September 30, 2011

BITTER HERBS

This weekend, Savage Kitten and her boyfriend are going to have lunch with her siblings and their families. At a dim sum restaurant.
She's known him for less than a year.

I have met just one of her brothers. And that was only because she wanted to be fair, and wished her favourite brother to at least meet someone else who was (still) important to her.


I've known her since 1989.
We were lovers for over twenty years.
I've met ONE of her relatives. Just one, once.
It happened when our relationship was over, when I was just the good friend whom she had known for a long time.
I have not met the people whom her current beau - who has been with her for far less time - will see in a few hours.
Some of them have broken bread with Wheelie Boy four or five times already.
He's the 'boyfriend'. He has an important role in her life, and it is right and proper that her kin acknowledge all that.
I'm not, and I don't rank.
Never did.

Now that her dad is dead, and her mom is a vegetable, she finally has the courage to introduce her "boy friend" to her siblings.
But it ain't me. By the time she worked up the courage to tell everyone to f*(% off, she also decided that I wasn't it. Not any more. Not any longer.

I'm as much part of the discarded past as her dad's disapproval and her mom's sentience.

If things had been different, I might have had kids by now.
I wonder what they would have been like.


While the two of us were a couple, I was the filthy secret that her mom's Toishanese relatives, friends, and neighbors should never find out about.
We hid our relationship from them, and from any Chinese person who might know them. We never were together in Chinatown, we never kissed in public, we never held hands while walking - because nice Chinese girls do NOT have relationships with white guys.
Really, they don't. She knew that from growing up Chinese, I knew it from constant exposure to Chinatown and everyone I knew who spoke Cantonese.
Obviously, that rather destroyed any hopes of a normal family life.
But it's over now, and no one need ever find out about me.


I hope I discover which dim sum place they went to. So that I can boycott it for the rest of my life.
She and I went out for dim sum just ONCE.
In twenty years.

I expect that her family will make Wheelie boy welcome, and treat him well. He's kind of likable, and from what I hear they're decent people.
Besides, everybody has a kwailo in the family.
At least one. It's become "normal".

I'm feeling a little foul at present.
But I'll get over it.


You can't always get what you want.
What's gone is gone.


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MANY VEGANS DYING DAILY

This pig was raised specifically for my pleasure. If I cannot eat it, what do you propose I do with it? Not going to keep it as a pet - it's eight hundred pounds of sh*tting lard!

That isn't a conversation that actually took place. But it could have.
I was talking with some friends the other day, one of whom is involved in a passionate lust-relationship with a macro-biotic vegetarian. Which, it turns out, means that she has been subjected to brainwashing worse than the moonies were ever capable of.
She used to eat meat. Now, under his haranguing tutelage, she loves tofu.

Nothing wrong with tofu. But she's just as white as I am. What do white folks know about tofu?
I can remember very many years ago going on a first dinner date with an attractive vegetarian in Berkeley. She raved over the hardened beancurd lumps at the restaurant, why heavens they were delicious! Especially with the nearly flavourless all-natural hippie-made soy sauce substitute!
Mmmmmmm!

That was a relationship that didn't stand a chance. There was no second date.
Not after I informed the poor girl that the best thing to do with tofu was stuff thick wedges with ground pork and fish paste, wrap them in bacon, dip in egg-white and corn flour, and deep-fry golden.
Great as an hors d'oeuvre. Some hot sauce on the side. Yummy!

Just dumping thin slices of it into lukewarm safflower oil and turning it into mahogany jerky isn't cooking, but murder.

So when my friend started waxing poetic about the miracle that is tofu, I changed the subject.
There is no need to hear about more Caucasian torture of soy bean curd.
Let us talk of other things.
Why was she seeing the bio-loon? What had appealed to her about her current boyfriend?
Probably NOT his food preferences, but I didn't say that.
He never told her that thousands of vegans die every day.

Turns out he looked deliciously dangerous. So daring and risky, and she loved tattoos, they were such an individualistic expression.
Such a manly man! His ragged beard made him look romantic, like a pirate or a biker.

I've seen him. To me he looks halfway between a drugged-out juvenile delinquent and a pretendeur.
But I really shouldn't have asked the question in the first place, because she proceeded to compare me unfavourably.
Turns out I don't look dangerous. And my beard is far too clean.
A civilized appearance is not all that attractive.

Sweetie, have you ever seen pictures of the devil? Nice neat little beard, no? Just like mine.
And doesn't the standard illustration of Satan look precisely like a college professor? Well, except for the red face, the trident, and the nudity.
Dash, polish, poise.
I'll admit that I am NOT nude. Or red faced.
Other than that, the resemblance is striking.
I'm positively the riskiest man you can meet.

Both the devil and I are, apparently, too decent looking.
Something about good grooming is just evil.
Not very appealing at all.


And I don't have tattoos.


All in all, I consider myself lucky.
I have not sold my soul to the Macrobiotic One.
And I still get to eat all the fatty pork I need to make me happy.


At some point I'll make a nice pot of bacon - crab - sharkfin soup for a person who despises tattoos, has an intelligent sense of humour, and realizes that cleanliness can mask any amount of personal deviltude.
I'll throw in some tofu for texture.



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Thursday, September 29, 2011

THE BEST IN CHINATOWN

While scarfing down a chicken bun I heard the counterwoman vocalizing because her friend had left her umbrella, bag, and spectacles, on one of the tables, while going off to purchase something at a nearby store. Her lament more or less boiled down to "so crazy, lah, shouldn't leave them there someone will steal it you'll die if they take your nice umbrella how irresponsible!".
Grumble grumble grumble.
Often it seems that the longest and most complete sentences in a Cantonese woman's arsenal involve utter damnation and predictions of horrible bad things happening, frequently delivered with what can only be described as extremely happy premature gloating.
It's really very endearing.
Eloquent, evocative.
Very sweet.

A large Eastern European came in, examined what was in the steamers and hot trays, and asked what those things were. His problematic English and hers hit head on. He ended up ordering one of everything, despite not having a clue what it all was.
After finishing his plate of dim sum, he looked at the bakery display case speculatively.
Several more items utterly unfamiliar to him made their way into his life.
Very adventurous. He learned a lot while having a full meal.
And I'm pretty certain he enjoyed every moment.


JUST EAT IT!

I really have to give him credit for grabbing the bull by the horns and trying stuff. Many people are not nearly so brave.
The other day someone asked me for a good place to eat in Chinatown, then rejected every restaurant I offered for their consideration. Which did not surprise me, because often people think that the best Chinese food must surely be available somewhere in C'town, possibly a closely guarded secret.
Wouldn't a neighborhood that's overwhelmingly Chinese contain the finest delicacies?

No. It wouldn't.

There are indeed the finest ingredients for sale, and the greatest variety.
But the prepared food places cater primarily to people who live there. So most restaurants serve everyday food, regular items, nothing particularly fancy.
Yes, you can find sharkfin and birdsnest, as well as seacucumber and other fancy things, but only at a few restaurants, and you might have to order days in advance.
Most Chinatown people will look for convenience and familiar dishes.
They'll cook the good stuff at home for special occasions.
Such things aren't normal restaurant offerings.

And in any case, money is a serious issue for a lot of them, because Chinatown is a half-way house for people who are still working their way into the English language and have not yet attained a middle-class life-style.
So the restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries, and soup kitchens have decent food but nothing fancy, at affordable prices, for normal working people.


Still, if what you really want is stuff that the locals like, there are a few places to recommend.


New Fortune Dim Sum & Coffee Shop
815 Stockton Street, between Clay and Sacramento.
San Francisco, CA 94108
Telephone: 415-399-1511
富祥點心
[Fu Cheung Dim Sum: "abundant auspiciousness touch-heart"]

Right opposite Wonkow Food Products.
[環球海味食品公司 Wonkow Hoimei Sikpaan Kongsi: "worldwide sea-tastes food products company"]

Very good chicken buns, and their cheung fun is often exceptional - though tell the auntie not to pour the soy-sauce pot-liquor all over it, it's fine without. Both of the women who are most often behind the counter are our kind of people. One of them has a pleasant round face which betrays that she has a sense of humour and a keen interest in life. The other speaks excellent city Cantonese.
The charsiu so-peng, when fresh, are extremely good, but you have to hit it just right.
They also do fried rice of mixed flavours, and braised vegetables, as well as rice soup.


New Regent Café
638 Pacific Avenue, between Grant and Kearny
San Francisco, CA 94133.
Telephone: 415-392-6688
新麗晶西餐廳
[San Laitsing Sai Tsaan Teng: "new beautiful crystal western dining hall"]
港式西餐
[Gong sik sai tsaan: "harbour style western dining"]

Opposite Ping Yuen Housing East.
[東平園 Tung Ping Yuen: "east peace garden"]

Hong Kong style western food, good for breakfast, very good milk tea. Likely to scare super-westernized people, and white folks might not like it at all.
That, by itself, counts as a stellar recommendation.
It's an all-day diner. If you like diners, and you like Chinese food, and you like a bustling cheerful racket, you'll love this place. If you're a food snob or neurotically fastidious, you won't. But really, that's okay. We shan't miss you.


ABC Café Restaurant
650 Jackson Street, between Grant and Kearny
San Francisco, CA 94133.
Telephone: 415-981-0685
ABC大餐廳
[Ei Bi Si Taai Tsaan Teng: "ABC great dining hall"]

Facing the Great Eastern Restaurant.
[迎賓閣 Ying Pan Gok: "welcome honoured-guest pavilion"]

Chinese-American and Hong Kong altogether. Damned good milk tea, and good Chinese style buns of various types. An eclectic mix of Cantonese American dishes, Hong Kong western style restaurant dishes, and old-style Chinatown diner food. The interesting drinks are better than some of the food. It has good days and worse days, as do the staff. But it's the kind of place you used to go to when you lived nearby, and it still has that down-home feel. Their jook hits the spot, but for everything else, well, you may be risking it.
Even so, you probably can't beat the price, and if you know what you want, this is it.
They also produce the usual C'town baked goods, some of which are very good indeed.


Yummy Bakery & Cafe
607 Jackson Street, between Grant and Kearney
San Francisco, CA 94133.
415-989-8388
人仁
[Yan Yam: "humane benevolence"]
西餅麵包
[Sai Bing Min Bau: "western pastry wheat bread"]

Some extraordinary Chinese / Cantonese / Hong Kong style baked products, including probably the very best baked charsiu bao in the city. Three tables, of which one has the paperwork and proprietor's files stacked on it, so actually just two tables. Which is perfect if you wanted a nice quiet place for your white boy-friend to learn about stuff your people eat. He'll be pleasantly surprised, neither one of you will be disturbed, and you're not likely to be interrupted by your cousins or aunties and uncles, or even any of the home-town neighbors. Perfect for a discrete cup of coffee with a pal.
Clean and sweet. You could spend all afternoon here.


A-1 Restaurant
779 Clay Street, just below Grant
San Francisco, CA 94108
415-398-7918
華記小館
[Wah-Kee Siu Kwun: "elegance rising small establishment"]

Tablecloths, very clean, and friendly efficient service. The perfect place to take your boyfriend for exposure to your background and your food-culture. Nothing frightening, but it's all stuff that you know and he should learn. Small and not likely to get crowded, and the prices are low enough that it won't put you out much. Real Chinese food, but also a few things that white people like. Probably the best place for a quiet romantic meal, even if he doesn't know what he's eating.


Joy Hing Barbecue Noodle House
943 Stockton Street, between Clay and Washington
San Francisco, CA 94108.
再興黄毛雞粉
[Tzoi Hing Wong Mo Kai Fan: "again flourishing yellow fuzz chicken noodle"]

The menu is extensive enough that you can easily get lost, but what they really do well here is chicken-noodle soup, in the style of Northern Vietnam, but also very Chinese. Fresh chicken, good stock, thick rice-stick noodles, with fresh herbs. The chicken they use is a little tougher than normal birds, but a lot more flavourful. There are also several other choices on the menu, including many things that appeal primarily to non-Chinese, but exercising common sense and telling your companion to let you do all the ordering will prevent discord.
The staff is quiet, discrete, considerate. And they've seen enough diversity come through the door that their eyes no longer bug out at mixed race couples.


Gourmet Delight Barbecue
1045 Stockton Street, between Jackson and Washington
San Francisco, CA 94108.
新凱豐燒臘店
[San Hoi Fung Siu Lahp Diem: "new triumph surfeit roast meats shop"]

If not the best roast duck in Chinatown, very darn close. Buy it to go, then bury your face in it when you get home. Yes, they have other things, including squab, white poached chicken, and roast pork. All the usual siu-mei stuff.
But their duck is the bomb.
If the young gentleman courting you does not eat duck - let's say he's a vegan - you have made a mistake, and should probably consider dating a carnivore instead. Because this duck proves that vegans are limp pasty-faced wussies with no spunk and no zest for life.
Do not eat here, but take it home, and spread newspapers on the kitchen table.


For an overview of other establishments on Stockton Street, click here: 市德頓街.

For a selection of bakeries, this link: 'bing things'.


My personal choices are Joy Hing, because their quality and preparation is extremely impressive, and also most especially the A-1 on Clay Street, because at some point I would love to bring some nice young lady there. Tablecloths, small, good, and very nice.
I also like several other restaurants, because of dishes on the menu, but they tend to be bustlingly busy, and more suitable to a meeting with the relatives.
So not quite right for a comfortable private dinner and quiet togetherness.



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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

ROSH HASHANA

Sweetheart, you're off celebrating the new year with Wheelie Boy.
Until seven or eight years ago, you didn't even know what Rosh Hashana was.
If it weren't for me, you still wouldn't have a clue.
I'm willing to bet that till you told him, he didn't either.

You spent six hours yesterday cooking for his dinner tonight.

He's eating very well.


Wanna know what I had for dinner?

Four strong whiskeys and water. The sad tale of a friend who is seeing a man who is entirely wrong for her. A drag queen trying one three dresses with rhinestones.
And a bowl of icecream.


Whoopie.


Gmar chassima tovah, bitches.


Didn't celebrate the moon festival either.
Single men don't celebrate, period.
We just sit and sulk. Alone.
It's what we do best.


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FINE FLESHED CALVES

One of the more ridiculous pashkevils currently circulating in some areas of the Orthodox world is a screed against see-through stockings for women, and the use of the word "nude" in product descriptions for same. It has been endorsed by Rabbis Simcha B. Ehrenfeld, Shmuel Wozner, Shmuel Birnbaum, Moshe Stern, A. Shea Heshl Bick, Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, Nissim Karelitz, Arye Malkiel Kotler, D. Z. Shustal, and Avrohom Pam.

"In addition, inappropriate pictures on the packaging should be covered."

Apparently, stockings are obligatory, but stockings that allow innocent young bochurs to imagine what skin looks like are toevah.

[The pashkevil can be seen here: silly stocking shtuss. It was brought to my attention by a posting ("sub-literate barkings") on Dovbear's blog. ]


Methinks the Gedolei Yisroel mi Amsterdam hachadash are spending WAY too much time thinking about shapely calves of a pleasingly creamy hue.

And who can blame them?

Wonders of creation, Rabbosai, wonders of creation.


I'll be the first to admit that imagining lovely parts of the female body automatically makes me think of eating treif.
Pork, lobster, shellfish of many and several varieties.
Indeed, if it weren't for sexy gams in general, I would probably be a vegetarian, eating naught else but Protestant bowel cleansing cereal products every morning, noon, and night. It is because I have learned to enjoy life (see aforementioned charming bits of pulchritude) that I engage in such horrific practices as steaming chunks of bacon with shrimp-paste and ginger, poaching shrimp and mussels in a butter - sherry - chile guajillo reduction, braising eels with a green sauce a la mode de Flandres, and cooking fine cuts of wild game in a cream and caper gravy.
With some nice fromage to finish.

Yes.

See-through stockings.

Without them, I would probably study words of wisdom all day.


Ma rabu maasecha Hashem, kulam bechochma asita, mala ha-aretz kinyaneicha;
Baruch ata Adonoi Eloheinu Melech Haolam, shekachalo be olamo!



Amen.


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ARCADIA - MCCLELLAND

About two weeks ago I popped open a tin of McClelland's Arcadia.
I had been smoking some of their other blends which are medium-heavy on the Orientals - frequent readers will know that I have a thing about Orientals - and after experimenting with British Woods, 996, and Yenidje Highlander, I required another comparison.

You may have heard me rant about marketing departments, hype, poofle, and cutesy-poo images and ideas involved in separating the sucker from his money.
In the main, I believe a product should have a straightforward name, and rely on quality and word of mouth for converts.

For example, Bag balm is perfect in that regard. It is exactly what it says - an unguent for massaging the chafed and chapped udders of cows - and it is an altogether admirable product whose stellar reputation has won it aficionados among farmers, people who work with their hands, and any number of perverts who consider it a perfect topical lubricant.

Very good for users of erotic leather, sailor boots, as well as women who persist in wearing bras that are far too small for their chests.

[Note to women: ALWAYS have your chest measured for a bra, and buy the right size for your rib cage. Nothing is more upsetting than seeing a lady from behind, with her back trifurcated by an unsuitably garment. And frankly the sight of deep grooves cutting through back flesh, which painfully bulges on either side of the mammary control device, is traumatic. Support is NOT in tight constriction, but in sound construction. Bag balm will soothe those crimson wheals. Let me know if you need help.]


Bag balm. You know what've you got. Get it.


Evenso, most pipe smokers are easily won over by image presentation.
Romance, mystique, evocations of distant time and place.
We're easily enchanted by shiny things.
One could probably sell a product by advertising that it was the favourite weed of the last emperor of all the Russias, and was found in the best salons of Paris at the fin du siècle.


CRIMEAN GAVNIYOK
Exotic blend from Samarkand, by license from the household of his majesty in St. Petersburg


'This luxurious and robust mixture consists of rare small-tip Soukashtouka, traditionally harvested by trained gibbons in the poisoned jungles of Tashkent, and reserved for the highest nobles of the realm.
With a mere soupcon of matured Old Belt for an exquisite balance.
Available in fine hotels, and from purveyors to gentlemen.
'

Just put a picture of a cavalry officer on horseback outrunning wolves on the label, and watch the sales take off like a rocket. Sixty years later, grizzled coots will lament that it is no longer made, and sniff disparagingly at modern substitutes proffered by the young fellow at the local shop.
"Boy, you should have smoked Gavniyok! My heavens, that was good stuff, everything that tobacco should be. But they no longer grow Soukashtouka, damn' this modern world!"


Okay, enough of my own poofle, now to the product at hand.


ARCADIA
McClelland's 221B Series.

'An original pipe tobacco recipe worthy of offering to one's best friend.'

TIN POOFLE: "It was Dr. Watson's favorite smoke. It was said to be of such arresting character and delicacy that it stopped all conversation. Holmes recognized it by its characteristic fluffy, white ash. We hope that our formula, deduced after careful study of vintage examples of what was known as the original and made available to us by dedicated collectors, will please the most discriminating smokers."



Like almost all imitations of fabled mixtures, there is more magic in the memory than in the actual product. This is McClelland's attempt at reproducing Craven A, and while it is of excellent quality, it just isn't very exciting.
Craven A Mixture consisted of a broad spectrum of Virginias supporting an Oriental component, augmented by Latakia in the proportion that was considered high-end of the scale at the time it was originally compounded. So by our standards, a blend with a somewhat mild level of creosote, albeit having an assertive flue-cured character due to a fermented darkness.

Once McClelland's Arcadia has been allowed to air quite a bit and the vinegar stench has fled, this stuff has a lovely tin-aroma. The first several bowls were uninspiring, irritating even, but it has grown on me, and while I think it not likely to become a regular smoke, I gladly concede that it has a place. This tin dates from 2009.
A bit of age becomes it well.
It is particularly enjoyable, now that the reek of acetic acid has departed, to hold the container to my nose and sniff deeply. At such time it is the incense of Asia and the New World harmoniously combined.

Like many products by McClelland it must be smoked slowly. The Oriental will seemingly not dominate, and the Latakia is scarce noticeable to the English fanatic. Instead, the most prominent feature is the subtle sweetness of the Virginias. Do not overload your pipe, and choose a bowl of medium diameter. The taste will remind you in some ways of strong black tea. As will, remarkably, the appearance of the blend, which has a resemblance to golden tippy Yunnan.

I stress that it must be smoked slowly, and with attention.
It is not bold enough to excite you otherwise.
But it's rewarding, and quite pleasant.
Once you've got the hang of it.
Indeed, a very fine ash.


There are some McClelland products that are sheer dynamite, plus a very large number that are excellent, but rather boring when not exactly your cup of tea.
McClelland is, however, the Virginia smoker's co-conspirator in the United States. They do things that no other manufacturer still does, and without them the world would be a poorer, darker, and far drearier, place.
Arcadia Pipe Tobacco might suit you perfectly.
But if not, give the tin to someone else.
It will probably be appreciated.


'An original pipe tobacco recipe worthy of offering to one's best friend.'


That, of course, is sheer balderdash.
My best friend is Savage Kitten, the woman who until last year was my significant other and better half.
She cannot stand smoke. The last time I offered her a puff she damn' near floored me.
And tobacco preferences are so personal anyway that even if she did indulge, she would probably not like the same products.
I rather imagine her preferring Vapers (Virginia and Perique concoctions).
Possibly even dark twist.
Or Lakeland flakes.
She's perverse.

Quite.




TOBACCO INDEX


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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

SHENANIGANIC INSTRUCTIONS FROM OUR FRIENDS IN DELHI

On a whim I cruised into the website for the Times of India, and a fascinating article caught my eye.
So naturally I wish to share it with you.

[Actually it wasn't a whim. I was looking for stuff about Admiral Mullen's recent remark about India's despicable and thoroughly loathsome neighbors, that being Pakistan - a country that should be made to disappear, along with all of its degenerate population.]

It's a fascinating article. With valuable pointers.



What women don't want before sex
Sep 24, 2011, 12.00AM IST

Most women have a long list of 'don'ts' that they want their man to know. So, instead of second guessing, just read this list and read her mind the next time you both are getting intimate.

[source: Times of India - sex.]

Sloppy music
Music is the clincher as you get set to hit the sack. As you turn down the lights and turn on a little mood music, choose what you are making your gal listen to carefully. What you play may be an indication about where the night is headed. Avoid anything too girly ( Madonna, Avril Lavigne, Miley Cyrus) and do not play music with clear sexual overtones ("Let's Get It On," "Sexual Healing," "I Wanna Sex You Up").

Turn off the phone
Have you ever answered a call mid-way during sex and lived to regret it? Turn your phone off while getting intimate with your lady love. Interruptions can really put a damper on your sexual tempo, and if it is your mom calling, your girl is probably putting on her jacket and getting ready to leave.

Groping is out
Well, even though you might want to lay your hands on your gal, be recommend you exercise caution. Grabbing her boobs, pinching her ass or ripping open her clothes is a big turn off. Moving randomly from body part to body part is thoroughly confusing and never gives your girl a chance to get into the mood. Move slowly from one body part to the next -- lightly caressing first, then with increased passion.

Begging
Most women have clearly defined limits, before the date about just how how far she is willing to go, but men can change their minds. At the end of the evening, give her a passionate kiss to sweep her off her feet. This is when she may just reconsider going home with you. If she still isn't interested and expresses a clear discontent, do not whine or beg. If you beg, you will never get a second chance --ever.

Being in a hurry
Women take a lot of time to feel sexually into the moment. Most women loved being kissed, touched, caressed, and more than two minutes to reach the big O. So take time to focus on her. If you aren't satisfying her, she could get frustrated (or bored) and call it a night.

Don't keep looking at the watch
It takes time to get a woman going. She needs kissing, touching, caressing, and more than two minutes to reach orgasm. If you have moved past the make-out stage and the clothes are coming off, take time to focus on her. If you aren't satisfying her needs, your gal may just get frustrated and bored and call it a night.

Sloppy kissing
It doesn't matter how hot a dude is, if he can't kiss well, he ain't getting past first base. When you lean in for the first end-of-the-date smooch, remember to control your tongue. Don't unnecessarily lick her teeth, chin, cheeks, forehead, etc., and try not to stick it down her throat. It's a major turn off for women. Also, ensure you have pleasant breath, bad breath sucks!

Dull conversation
All women dig compliments, but too many "Oh babys" can mar her mood. Going over-the-top with banter is a clear sign that the conversation is fake and forced. Concentrate on being your natural self. If things are really becoming passionate, don't ask unnecessary questions: "Do you like it when I kiss you?" "Does my hand feel good on your body?" Her responses will tell you if you are impressing her enough.

Keep your hands off when she's not in the mood
Women get turned off by men who can't keep their hands off them. Do not hand her a glass of wine, turn on some music, lower the lights and then stick your hand in her pants. You'll just be regarded as a horny dude!

Asking for permission
Most girls like a man who loves taking charge, so when you ask for permission every step of the way you come across as a weak wimp. Asking her "May I please kiss you?" at the end of a date, or "Are you OK?" when kissing is a major dampner. Rather analyse the situation; if she's really into it, be a man and take the plunge.


[source: Times of India - sex.]


This is all excellent, but it does rather paint a picture of urban India as a kinder gentler place.
As I understand the sexual dynamic here in San Francisco, the process of seduction involves tattoos, scatology, massive ingestion of controlled substances, casual masochism, stimulants, and long lectures about recycling.

"Don't unnecessarily lick her teeth, chin, cheeks, forehead, etc."

Indeed! That right there is fine advice.
Assuming that there are times when licking her chin, cheeks, and forehead may be necessary, it is a good idea not to do so without having made damn sure of the desirability of that process first.
An excellent first step would be introducing yourself.
Most women will object to strangers suddenly starting to lick them.
In fact, I'm pretty sure that it can lead to the cops being called.
Police action is an unmistakable sign that things have gone wrong.


Only lick her chin, cheeks, and forehead if there is NO other choice.



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Monday, September 26, 2011

TWEEDY DEGENERATE

I wonder whether there's any point to the male-female dynamic. Other than sex-drive, do men and woman actually have a need for each other?
And given that the sex-drive doesn't do very much else than frustrate the individual, and complicate matters, it just doesn't seem all that impressive.

Certainly there are lots of people who function quite well by repressing all thoughts of romance. That, more than anything else, seems to determine social functionality.
And by that standard, people involved in relationships are clearly dysfunctional.

It's been well over a year since Savage Kitten dumped me. Since then, I have discovered that I am a dashing middle-aged man..... and, it turns out, sheer kryptonite.
Distinguished looking, decent, likeable.
Kryptonite.

She, on the other hand, now has a passionate relationship that veers on operatic.


"How", I ask, "can you stand a relationship that is clearly hurtful? He makes you completely miserable every few weeks, to the point that you are in despair, and I worry about you doing something stupid."

She then gets a silly smile on her face and responds "yes, but he also makes me ecstatic!"

It's quite sickening. And I just don't get it. She and I were lovers for over two decades - he's made her cry more often in these past several months than I did in twenty two years.
I know she was happy with me. She's too strong-minded and stubborn to have stayed in the relationship that long were it otherwise.

If I didn't know better I would assume that she's lost her marbles.
[See reference to dysfunctionality previously mentioned.]


She and I have continued living together for several reasons. Primary one being that the apartment is home to both of us. We've lived here since the early nineties. Neither of us would function very well living on our own.
Another good reason is that I would fear for her well-being and worry myself sick about her if she lived on her own.
Even though she ended our affair, I still care for her.
She's crazy, frustrating, and quite nauseating in her giddy romance, but she is still someone I value and for whom I wish happiness.


I just need to find someone for who will make me as crazy and giddily nauseating.
Specifically, I need to find someone who thinks that a middle-aged gentleman with a slight tobacco reek is the very epitome of perfection.
And who also likes my trim goatee.
Which is dashing.

Preferably someone half my age.
After all, I am a red-blooded pervert.
Full of beans, too.

And not particularly dysfunctional.


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Sunday, September 25, 2011

INDIAN SUMMER SLUTWEAR

This blogger is a prude. That may come as a bit of a surprise, given what you've read here in the past, but it's the truth.
I like the weather we're having now.
But I do not like the clothing.

Warm weather is wonderful, but revealing clothing can be an abomination.
Not, mind you, that I find it all entirely repulsive. But let's face it, most of us are not prime exhibit material.
Big freckled tits I do not want to see.
Even if the lower half of said BFT's is fully covered.
Especially if the only real reason for that coverage is stupendous engineering.
Prop up and push out has NO business in the financial district.
Or, for that matter, anywhere in public.
Please dress nicely.
Thanks.

If not for me, for the children. Do you really want your little nephews and nieces to innocently say to their classmates "my auntie flounces around nekkid like a ho"?
Do you honestly want them to emulate you?
That slutty strut with the heels, the unbecoming jiggling?
You are supposed to be an example, what's all this free spirit nonsense?

I understand that you are proud of your cleavage. As are we. We will always point it out as a victory of engineering science to passing strangers, much like the Golden Gate Bridge and the Hoover Dam.
"Oh geez, would ya look at them bongos!"
But we honestly would far rather not see it. Them. Most of us. Undoubtedly there are SOME people who think that ginormous mounds of bovinity are attractive, but not everyone has that fetish. And this IS San Francisco.
Which means that there are far too many excitable people for you to be radiating huge buckets of cow-like magnetism, because you never know what that will attract.
Point is, the public thoroughfare is not a meat rack.

Really, please show some discrimination about whom you share your abundance with.
There's a time and a place for haphazard advertising; it ain't the street.
I've damn near wrenched my neck from looking away.
Yeah, I like a freak show as much as the next man.
But it's getting far too repetitive.
All those big ones look alike.

MADAM, PLEASE CONTROL THOSE DOGS!

There's a difference between an all-you can eat buffet and fine dining.
Portions of really nice food are always smaller.
Bonbons versus Halloween candy.

Why does junk food always come in large servings?
Big as a friggin' bucket does NOT make it better!

And, frankly speaking, we men are jealous.
Most of us look doofus with that much flesh showing.
I promise I won't wear my extra-tight cut-off jeans if you don't.
With good taste and self-control we can both make this world a better place.



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Saturday, September 24, 2011

IT'S BEAUTIFUL!

Americans are already used to imitations of European architecture, lord knows we have at times specialized in such. One need not even think of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco - a prime example of mediaeval Gothic - or of the vile Danish monstrosities of Solvang.
Nope, we've got take-offs and rip-offs of old country styles all over the place.
We also do Greek and Roman.

The phenomenon is relatively new in China, however. Yet, in imitation of the Japanese, who started the trend over a hundred years ago, there are now "European" settlements in the Middle Kingdom.
Errrm, republic.
The Middle Peoples' Republic.

One of which is a village from North Brabant.

My ancestors came from North Brabant, and I myself lived there for a number of years when my family moved back to the old sod for a while after more than three centuries elsewhere.
So I'm rather tickled that the Chinese think it's a rather nice place.
Which, visually, it rather is.


WATERMILL

















The location of this mill and several other repro buildings is the ‘Van Gogh Friendship Park’ in Nanjing. There's also a windmill, a farmhouse of typical Brabantine pattern, and a chapel.


SOURCE: http://www.ed.nl/regio/eindhovenstad/9544668/Brabants-kloondorp-in-het-Verre-China.ece
[Brabants kloondorp in het Verre China]


All very picturesque.
I can imagine Chinese people happily strolling around the park, admiring the very old school ‘vernuft’ (cleverness) of country folk in distant Ouzhou (歐洲 Europe), and enjoying a pleasant afternoon in an otherwhere-otherplace.

For their sake, however, I hope that the concession stands do NOT serve the appropriate foods.

As Vincent van Gogh’s ‘The Potato Eaters’ makes abundantly clear, the local cuisine of North Brabant in olden days was nothing to write home about. Mostly tubers. A little vinegar or Apple molasses for flavouring. Once in a blue moon preserved meat and salt fish. Fresh pot greens occasionally.
Pearl barley, cooked as porridge or as a plate of grains with dried fruits and smoked meat.
The breads and baked goods were excellent, but those were for the middle classes at the time, that being approximately five percent of the village population. So not really representative.
And today’s modern snack foods, while enjoyable, are also truly frightening.

For a true simulacrum of what North Brabanders eat when they eat well, perhaps Chinese food would be best.
Every town and village in the province has at least one Chinese restaurant, and in the larger cities one can now get some stellar dim sum (點心).
I particularly remember the excellent cheung fan (腸粉) and wu gok (芋角) from that restaurant in Eindhoven on the Grote Markt, as well as the beautiful little siu mai (燒賣) at a place in Tilburg.


Chinese food, the more I think about it, is the most appropriate cuisine in an accurate facsimile of a North Brabant village in the middle of China.


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Friday, September 23, 2011

NO LUNCH PLANS

A few years ago we had a booth at the Folsom Street Fair. Perhaps it was sheer giddy optimism. Or maybe we thought that many of the attendees would either have sympathy with our cause, OR would have the sheer chutzpah to stand with us.

What we hadn't considered was that most of them would NOT have pockets.

[The Folsom Street Fair is on Sunday September 25 this year. Half a dozen blocks of educational booths and fun cultural events, plus handicrafts and social opportunities. Group "events" as well as one-on-one "stuff".]


The Folsom Street Fair, you see, is a mostly gay nudity and leather fest held every year. It is not like other street fairs.
Not everybody there was fully naked - some of them were wearing things.
You do not need me to tell you what they were wearing.
You can find the pictures on the internet.

[Dominance, and spanking. Lots of spanking.]

No pockets.

Where did they put our literature?

We handed out TONS of informational brochures, pamphlets, handouts.


One short plump naked man took ONE of everything. He was truly fascinated, and very sympathetic. He must have ended up with papercuts - where?
I don't think he's ever been to any of our events since, but I'm not at all sure I would recognize him.
As for the woman wearing a horsehead, an insertion device, and stirrups, there's no way in heck she could ever be recognized.
Yes, I know she was a woman.
I just know, okay?
Won't tell you where the clamps were.

My colleague was far more discomfited than I.
Orthodox. Middle-aged yet refreshingly innocent. And, at the time, somewhat mobility-impaired. Meaning that whereas I could stand and look people in the eye, he had to sit down and see.....
He absorbed things that day he hadn't ever wanted to imagine. After his relief came, he retired to the back of the booth with a bottle of Scotch and tried to wipe his mind clean.

When his wife came by later to help us pack up, she remarked with some wonderment about a lithe tanned specimen nearby wearing feathers. On his head. Only. Nothing else.
Well, nothing visible.
Their daughter made a snide remark about 'ugly Gollum' and insistently looked elsewhere. Having Zionist parents is educational.


I've often thought that the Folsom Street Fair would be perfect for the European tourists who visit San Francisco at this time of year.
It would give them something to talk about, and their vacation pictures would surprise the family rather than bore them to death.
Aunt Gertrude posing with the human pony, uncle Olaf with two large butch whatevers.
Cousin Wilhelm trying on a studded leather t-shirt.
And look, this is the ball-gag we bought!
A genuine San Francisco souvenir.


FUN FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY!

Despite my keen encouragement, we have every year since then decided not to take another booth.
There are limitations to our outreach. A very great pity.
I still want to know where those folks put our literature.

But I can understand why perhaps it's not an optimum reach-out event for us, even if the anti-Israel side and the Jihadis wouldn't be caught dead there.
There's a conflict of attention. An eye to eye conversation is not a discussion between equals when one of the parties is wearing painful clamps, an astounding device, and nothing else.
Personally, irrespective of the gender or sexual preferences of my interlocutors, I've always felt that they should be qualitatively as clothed as I am. Especially in public.
If they plan to remove their clothes in my presence, it should be in private.
Young ladies of either gender (preferably women), but only one person at most.
So, due to a certain hesitancy on my part, the only people who will get that secluded chance will be sane presentable intelligent females with nice personalities.
Not big flamboyant men who live at the gym.

I still haven't found any sane presentable intelligent females.
Not sure, but perhaps they need to be a bit loony to jump at the prospect.

There are lots of big flamboyant men who live at gyms in San Francisco.


Many of them will be on Folsom Street this Sunday.

I don't have any plans, though.
Don't know what I'll be doing most of the day.
There isn't anything else really going on in the city.
If some nice young lady (preferably female) wants someone to protect her from the big naked bears, no problem.
Otherwise I'm not at home.
E-mail me.



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Thursday, September 22, 2011

ANONYMOUS QUESTION REGARDING PERSONAL BLOG SITE CODING

Recently someone sent me a message via my letter box (which is linked under every post written since summer 2010), asking:


איך 'ווע מען שאַרף אויף די וועב טריינג צו געפֿינען אידעעס אויף ווי צו באַקומען מיין פערזענליכע בלאָג פּלאַץ קאָדעד, דיין פּרעזענט סטיל און טעמע זענען ווונדערלעך. צי האָט איר קאָד עס דיין זיך אָדער האט איר רעקרוט אַ קאָדער צו באַקומען עס געטאן פֿאַר איר פּערסאַנלי?


Actually I simply picked one of the layouts available from Blogger. It was the same one that Margavriel used, his blog being one of the first one's I started reading in 2005.
One of the reasons I liked it was the colour scheme - shades of pink are gentle to the eyes, and make elderly wrinkles disappear.
The current version of Blogger allows the user to adjust hues and fonts in their library of pre-set formats, and hardly any coding knowledge is needed. The older version did at times require codes, but trial and error were often a sure teacher.

So I can't really help you. Antshuldigs.

But thank you for saying the style and the theme are wunderlek.



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THE DEGENERATE ON PUBLIC TRANSIT

Every day I learn something new. Which is good, one should never stop learning.

This morning on the crowded bus, I had to edge in close to one of the seated females so that a large person could pass behind me on the way to the exit. The passenger whose space I only slightly invaded shrank away in terror, and made as if to turn herself and wriggle out the window. Her face said better than any words that I was a repulsive man, and she feared for her safety.

I feared for her sanity.
So I moved further down.

Next stop, nearly the same scenario, entirely different panicked woman.
We are gentlemen here in San Francisco, consequently more women are seated on crowded buses than men. The menfolk are usually standing.
Which, unfortunately, sometimes necessitates a bit of close-quartering.
People WILL keep trying to get out.

Moved again. This time a young woman started whimpering.
At this point I was truly baffled.
I'm not ugly, I bathe thoroughly every morning, my clothes are clean.
Remembering the reaction of the non-smoker who turned green several weeks ago, I hadn't even had a puff before getting on the bus.
I brushed my teeth ere leaving the house so that I didn't reek of tobacco.
Clean clean clean! And dammit all, I feel pretty today!
What on EARTH is wrong with you people?

It wasn't until nearly noon that I found out what it was.

.......

So, what did I learn today?

Always brush your teeth naked.
Or in any case, not while wearing outerwear.
See, if like me you brush with vim and vigour - nay, with energetic enthusiasm even - splatters of toothpaste may end up on your clothes.
As just a hypothetical example, some of it might even be right next to the zipper of your slacks, and there could be a drool of milky white down the inner thigh.

Hi. Yes, I am the pervert on your bus.
You knew there had to be at least one of us, didn't you?


Fortunately toothpaste sploodgum easily flakes off no-stain fabric.
You can just scratch it from the surface of the pants.
So I didn't look depraved at the meeting.
Well, at least not that way.


Tomorrow morning I brush in the nude!


In other news, one woman did say something very nice to me.

"Don’t be afraid of overweight after ridding of smoking! This way is harmless for your slim body!"

Slim body? Me? How did you know?
Sweet of you to notice!
Thank you!

I'm not flattering myself though, I know her e-mail account got hacked.
What I had written her about was an open invoice.
She's never met me in person.

And it just isn't likely that a lady from Texas would bring up my figure when we're talking about balances-due.

Can't help wondering, though.
Slim body. Yessirree.
That's me.

I feel pretty.

Gotta wash these pants. The crotch smells minty.



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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

QUALITATIVE DIFFERENCE OF FOCUS

The other day I got into a discussion with a colleague about a subject near and dear to the hearts of many young men: Pornography.
Aside from the natural variations of choice and style, as well as the degree of explicity, we discussed the remarkable differences between the three major world powers of smut.

Those being, in no particular order, Japan, the United States of America, and Holland.

Where American purveyors of nasty images all tend to be coroners assistants, whose lighting and close-ups serve to highlight every gross detail of the repulsive corpses miraculously animated, the Japanese pornographic cameraman is essentially a food-photographer manqué, capturing his subject with all the love and affection for a luscious graphic presentation, something that will make the viewer want to touch, or at least continue observing and taking notes.

American filth is just that: filth. Every pimple, bruise, tattoo, and piercing, and every imaginable monstrosity combined, force one to talk sports or politics to imaginary people, nay, even flee the sparsely populated theatre - unclean, unclean!
Japanese porn, on the other hand, frequently leaves one remarkably hungry - thinking perhaps of a nice bowl of ramen with roast pork and surimi.
Or perhaps a plate of sliced peaches.
Mmm, juicy.

Dutch porn, alas, is almost entirely perversion. They do bestiality.
One would've thought that with their tradition of fine painting, they would manage something better.
Still life with nude farm girl, perhaps, or peasants disporting themselves on a sloop near a windmill.
Blonde with a plate of herring.

Nope.
Large women and horses.

[Let me qualify at this point that this is all hearsay, or based on serious scientific papers published in reputable journals. This blogger has no personal experience with the subject at all, having spent the last three decades living in a cave. Nor would I watch such stuff.]



The French, Spanish, and Italians, as is well known, do not do pornography. They're far too busy chasing everything that moves to actually hold a camera.
The English aren't into sex, vastly preferring Facebook and other social networking sites, and the less said of German speakers, Slavs, and Scandinavians, the better.


Next up: Why the Animal Channel is banned in Holland, and the rise of Dutch dictionary sales in the Gulf.

Plus a helpful listing of Dutch words:
Kameel = Camel.
Geit = Goat.
Zeug = Sow.
Ooi = Ewe.
Teef = Bitch.

Final note: Avoid grill-rooms in Europe.


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RICE PORRIDGE AS GOOD AS MOM'S

The other day while having a snack in Chinatown I surreptitiously listened in on the conversation between the woman behind the counter and a gentleman having lunch. To fill up and finish off his meal, he had a small bowl of jook.
Which, he averred, was really excellent jook, why, it was better than what his mother made!

Given that the people that own the place are Toishanese, and the young gentleman was from Hong Kong, the common language between them was proper city Cantonese - not the thick dialect spoken out in the countryside, nor that slurry patois many youngsters affect, which is nearly impossible to understand due to slang, elided words, and unclear elocution.
It was a pleasure to hear them.

Especially as they were talking about jook.

Which is, properly speaking, both thick and slurry.




Jook, also called congee, is rice porridge. It is simple, but properly prepared, very satisfying. The casual approach to making it just does not work.
I can understand why the customer said that it was better than what his mom produced. Many home-cooks simply use the left-over rice from the previous meal, or worse yet combine the remaining rice from two or three meals, and dump in all manner of chicken scraps, then set the pot to simmer for a few hours before fishing out whatever bones were included in there.
That cannot possibly yield a decent rice porridge.
Jook is not a cocktail of left-overs.
Make it for its own sake.


For each generous serving (big bowl) measure out a quarter cup of rice.
To make jook on the thinnish side of medium, use a ratio of one part rice to eleven or twelve parts liquid.
Less liquid will make it thicker, but more likely to scorch if not attended.
And rather than using stock from the very beginning, parboil it first in just water. Rice cooks better that way.

Rinse the rice thoroughly, put it in a heavy pot on high with water to cover, and cook till the grains have swollen and look like roiling clouds.
Then place a heat diffuser between the bottom of the vessel and the flame, add clear stock, and turn the heat low.
Stir regularly to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom and burning.
The idea is to let the it cook till the grains have partially fallen apart and the porridge is smooth.
It will take a few hours.

Whatever else you are going to add should be added near the end.
While some combinations are traditional - pork slivers and preserved egg or dried oysters, for instance - there is no law that you have to do what is typical. Put in whatever you please, as long as it isn't too strong or messy.
Chunks of roasted chicken or duck are also appropriate, as is liver.
Fried onions, garlic, or chilipaste aren't, however, unless you're from one of "those" places.

Thinly sliced meat or fish can mixed into the bowl just before serving - jook retains heat extremely well, so you will have to wait a few minutes before eating in any case. The meat or fish will be perfectly cooked.

Garnish with a few drops of oil, preferably sesame (but chicken or duck fat also works), some thinly slivered ginger, and minced scallion or chive. Cilantro is good too.

[As a complete note of heresy, I often add a spoonful of finely grated carrot an hour before it's done, which gives a faint sweetness and a warm hue to the soup. But if you wanted to have a gefilte fish lump in there, it might be better to put the grated carrot in at the same time so that it softens instead of falling apart, for visual appeal. You can also add sliced mushroom.]



In places like Taiwan many people think of jook as breakfast food, because it's so easy to digest. Then they up the ante by serving it with a fried dough stick, just so that the stomach will have to struggle never-the-less, and dump fried peanuts and frazzled animal protein into their bowls. Given that they probably made congee by setting left-over rice in a claypot on the stove to become sludge overnight, dolling it up so fiendishly can only improve it.
But it doesn't seem right.
Jook is something you have for lunch, or an easy supper if you aren't up to a full meal, or even late at night after carousing and over-much drinking with friends.
And it should be properly made.


後感

Whenever I cook I usually prepare too much food. Some will go to waste.
I am not used to cooking minute quantities.
My roommate is seldom around, so I tend to eat alone nowadays, if I eat.
She prefers breakfast and lunch, I am a dinner person.
Both of us eat less than we used to.

When she comes home, however, she may want a little something to snack upon.
And if she sees a pot of jook she will always ask if she can have some.
There's a hopefulness to her voice at that point. It's very cute.

Jook comforts, and appeals to something deep within.


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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

WHAT SMELLS LIKE VICTORY?

The title of this post derives from the famous line by Colonel Kilgore in Apocalypse Now.
Remarkably, it is also the search criterium that drew a reader into this blog.
And no, I don't know what he was actually looking for.
He was from Pakistan, so it was probably something impossibly nasty.
Very likely involving sex.
There ain't no sex here.
But there are smells.

[Quote: "Napalm, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that. I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' dink body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell... The whole hill smelled like... victory."]



No, victory does not smell like cheese.

There are several movies that are, almost in their entirety, quotable.
Not only Apocalypse Now, which is one un-ending symphony of bat-shit crazy from beginning to end ("It smelled like slow death in there, malaria and nightmares; this was the end of the river, all right"), but also especially such classics as The Big Lebowski, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Life of Brian, and, of course, The Rocky Horror Picture Show. All of them are very San Francisco movies - our population largely consists of escapees from Lebowski and Rocky Horror.

Only the last film mentioned should really have any smells associated with it.


Though both of the Monty Python offerings might also have rich odours..... primarily the same smells as downtown San Francisco.
Which reeks differently vile on every intersection, depending on the age and composition of the effluvium in the storm drains.


There are two places where the funkum gives one a paranoid fear that one has befouled oneself, those being Drumm Street at Sacramento, and Sansome Street at California.
Obviously, I try not to get on the cablecar at Sansome Street, lest the German tourists suspect me of being responsible for the horrid stench.
Which is worse this year than ever before, or so it seems.
I can imagine them glaring at me (Germans are not very discrete), and talking among themselves "es schtinkt doch, ja", and "vielleicht is es dieser bartige mann.....". "Ganz schrekliche malodeur, nichtzo? Hmmph, der typische Amerikaner."
Someone else can take the blame of being a goose-frightening typical Yank in German noses.
I shall instead reek politely of small cigars.
Welcome you, tourist peoples!
We have aroma.


Ich liebe den geruch von zigarren am abend - es riecht so nach..... sieg!



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Monday, September 19, 2011

HIGH DEGREE OF BLIGHTERS

Sometimes you wonder what proportion of humanity is either certifiably insane or too darn stupid to matter.
Then some bunch of hosers (the BBC, in this case) conduct a poll, and provide answers.


PERCENTAGE OF MORONS AND PSYCHOPATHS:

Egypt: 90%
Turkey: 60%
Philippines: 56%
China: 56%
France: 54%
Germany: 53%
England: 53%
Pakistan: 52%
Indonesia: 51%
Australia: 50%
Canada: 46%
United States: 45%
Mexico: 45%
Brazil: 41%
Chile: 39%
Peru: 38%
Russia: 37%
India: 32%


Shan't mention what the poll was about. Regular readers of this blog will no doubt be able to figure it out.
What the results tell me is that Egypt is not worth visiting, ever. The people there are vicious bastards in addition to being murderous and depraved.
India, on the other hand, is looking more and more attractive.
No real surprise either way.



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Sunday, September 18, 2011

SOLITARY DINING

Often it’s the easy things that satisfy, like a bowl of noodles with char siu and fresh green vegetables eaten late at night, with only the lights from outside. You don’t need to see in very great detail, your chopstick co-ordination is fine. You know where your mouth is, right? Good.
Just imagine the red edge to the meat, the smooth ivory hue of the chopsticks, the sheeny glistening of the stock, speckled with chopped chives.
All still darkly visible in the half-light at the window.
Food is entirely about comfort.
And suggestion.

If there were someone else for company, there could be warm light.
But the same food. Just a bit more of it.

There is a useful elegance to holding chopsticks and a bowl, that merely shoveling with knife and fork cannot possibly duplicate.

Plucking the skeins of warm slithery noodles and lifting them to the mouth.
The airborne morsels carefully pinched, lifted upwards to the lips.
Slurp noodles, savour the juicy freshness of the bokchoi.
With both hands raise the bowl to drink the broth.
Enjoy the remaining heat of the porcelain.
Smooth comfort within the hands.
It was very nice soup.
One serving.

Darkness brings me memory-whisps of trees and rain.

The washed dishes are in the rack, near the kitchen window.
Pajama pants, loose shirt, drifting doze.
There should be crickets.
A far-off sound.
Sleep.


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TEXTUAL APPETITES

One gets used to the solitude, after a while it seems natural. Not, you understand, that it is desirable, but eventually it seems "standard".
Weekends are solitary. Time to read.

Years ago I would spend many hours a day browsing in the basement of City Lights Bookstore, but I now find that I do not like having too many people around while devouring someone else’s words. It interferes with the text.
Their ambulation in the corner of the eye distracts, as does their gerusimus at the edge of the ear.
I would like someone else around who was happy quietly studying.
A person pleased by comfortable company.
The warmth of a presence.


PERCH, ABOVE A DOWNTOWN CANYON

On weekends now I always go to the office. A little bit of work, a lot of internet browsing.
Spent several hours reading up on Thailand today. In great detail about their food, then a lot more about the history of the various Tai peoples, and some interesting stuff about honorifics and court languages.
Lanna Thai. Chiang Mai, the Mae Ping (‘Ping river’), which runs into the Maenam Chao Praya ('Grand Duke River', which flows through Bangkok (Krung Thep Maha Nakon), King Mangrai, the Mekong, the Tai Lue, Laos, Yunnan…..

Most scripts used to write the various Tai languages derive from the Old Khmer alphabet, a descendant of Pallava.
In turn, that led me to a re-review of Brahmi, from whence Mon (ancestral to Tai Tham script), Javanese, and of course Burmese et autres.
Unlike many languages in the area, Mon is not a tonal language, neither is its distant relative Khmer. Vietnamese, from an entirely different branch of the Austro-Asiatic language group, probably developed tonalism fairly late.
Whether Vietnamese belongs to the Mon-Khmer group, or is distantly related to Tai or even Indo-Malay, is as yet undetermined.

Most languages in South-East Asia have borrowed extensively from other languages, but bent the words to suit their tongues.

The same can be said of the food – much is borrowed, then bent to suit their tongues.
Whether I want it to or not, reading eventually leads to food.

And food tastes best shared.
Always.


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Saturday, September 17, 2011

PINK PANTY EMERGENCY!

A friend recently had a man-purse disaster. The can of carbonated energy drink in his satchel ruptured, and the liquid sloshed around happily without him noticing for several blocks. It's a sturdy waterproof bag so he didn't find out till he got to where he was going. Where I saw him disconsolately swabbing out the inside of the bag with glass cleaner, surrounded by the Essential Material Goods he carries with him every day.

Those E.M.G.s say a lot about the man.

Sunglasses. Toothbrush and two kinds of tooth paste. Stuffed bunny. Electronic gizmo that plays music upon demand. Cell phone. Address book. Fully loaded small handgun.
Boruch Hashem he only considers one can of energy drink per day essential.
I'd hate to see him tweaking on caffeinated corn syrup, then whipping out the toothbrush and clobbering someone with it.
He's not one hundred percent stable.
Excitable chap.

I am an entirely different person.
My man-purse is a standard issue back pack.
Just a notebook for writing down details of my plot to become emperor of the universe (beloved by my cringing subjects), three pipes and two pipe-tobaccos, pipe cleaners, pens, and a large packet of condoms.

You never know when you're going to need a large packet of condoms.
Printed on each wrapper is "Israel - it's still safe to come".
It's always time for some PR outreach.
Use it in the best of health!
Effective Hasbara.

One of the women I know, however, exemplifies the "too much baggage" phenomenon.
Lipsticks (hooker crimson, temptress tangerine), pepperspray, recording device.
Pens, pencils, pocket knife, spare keys, batteries (both AA and AAA).
Pain pills, vitamins, and a few hundred Euros from a trip.
Three phrase books and a harlequin romance.
Cleenex tissues and a handkerchief.
Scotch tape and sticky notes.
Hello Kitty wrist watch.
Box of latex gloves.
Topical creme
Steno pad.

And a very nice pair of panties.
Pink cotton, French cut.
With ruffled lace edging.
Just for an emergency.

I only know about the lovely pink French cut panties with lace edging because once, without looking, she reached in for her handkerchief to wipe her forehead.
It was a very hot day.
There is something absolutely charming about someone abstractedly wiping her face with a pair of panties.
I didn't say a thing. I should have, but who am I to spoil a golden moment?
I only regret not asking if I could 'borrow her handkerchief'.
Before she noticed what she was doing, that is.
After she got her lipstick on them.
My complete attention.
Respect, even.

We haven't had a hot day in San Francisco for ages! This has been a very cold summer, and the warm weather which we expected during September has not materialized. It's been rather miserable.
Perhaps by the end of the month we'll hit eighty or ninety degrees.

I'm looking forward to it.
I really like cotton.


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