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.
Please form a caseophilic line to the right. Thank you.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016


My apartment mate is a geek. That is the only possible conclusion. Whereas I am perfectly normal. This is what I deduce after looking at the space in between our two computers on the table in the teevee room.

Here is what I found:

One bag of cookies (geek kibble, hers).
Half a bag of bbq chips closed with a binder clip (ours).
One box of chocolate covered marshmallows (geek kibble, hers).
Two small Japanese saucers; antique (mine).
A pottery item with a wrinkle-skin glaze (mine).
A pottery item with a pale blue powder glaze (mine).
A pottery item with a subtly spotty iron oxide glaze (mine).
A pottery item with a glaze showing fascinating variances (mine).
A translucent rubber egg-ball with a "yolk" inside (mine).
And a can of 'Man-Power' anti-bacterial deodorant, by Old Spice, that dates to the late sixties, which she came upon when cleaning out her mom's apartment a few years ago and promptly decided had either curiosity value or a practical application (hers).

[The deodorant was not the only thing she found, because old-country Cantonese women hold on to stuff way past any rational use-by date, and never throw anything away.
My apartment mate decided the selection of noodles and the five gallon can of soy sauce (cheaper that way!) were past their prime, and threw those out. But the medicated liniment with the smiling dark person on the label, the herbal digestive pills from a company in Foochow, and the Man-Power, among one or two other things, came home with her.]

Actually, almost everything in the teevee toom is mine. Books, ceramics, antiquities, and a large amount of pipe tobacco. But for a middle-aged white dude, that is almost certainly normal. Within the realm of normality.
Part of a broad and flexible definition of normalcy.
The quintessence of normalitude.

Middle-aged white dudes read, collect things, and smoke pipes.

There's a lacquered cock for pinang on a bookshelf, and a bird-shaped copper box for betel requisites on top of the television set, towering over a wooden sado-nurse xmas tree-ball we've never actually hung. That may not be quite normal. Betel is a habit that has fallen substantially by the wayside in the modern world. Once universally used as part of the South East Asian social setting, shared among princes and commoners, and even permitted to the clergy, the betel chewing habit is now seldom found in an urban environment except among one's very old female relatives from the hinterland.
Who expectorate crimson into handheld spittoons.
And smile with pitch black teeth.

I haven't a clue what normal women in their forties -- my apartment mate is of that age -- might stuff into a teevee room or collect. Many of them don't smoke pipes, I realize, nor have wayang puppets in the corner. Or go for pottery with interesting glazes. Many, probably most of them, no longer read much, unlike my apartment mate.
When I come home from Marin she's often in her room with a book.
Surrounded by stuffed animals with quirky personalities.
Reading - that's what geek females do.
It's kind of charming.

I am living with an eccentric.

PS: Marshmallows are nasty. Even with chocolate.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.


  • At 12:00 PM, Anonymous bemusedly amphibious said…

    "a lacquered cock for pinang": say what?

  • At 7:33 PM, Blogger The back of the hill said…

    A black cock or rooster, hollow inside, for storing pinang (betel nuts).


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