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.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

BOOK BOOK BOOK, SHELF; DISCUSSIONS AFTER THREE

Sometimes there are disturbing things on the walk home. Sometimes they are evident long before then. You should know that small groups of white people wandering around Grant Avenue near midnight harbinge chaos and misbehaviour. It's just something that happens, white people have this odd sense of entitlement which disables them from recognizing that people are trying to sleep upstairs.

On Waverly an angry white person was having a loud argument with several invisible people. The young Chinese fellows smoking outside the bubble tea lounge ignored him, probably because they are used to white people acting out their fantasy lives.
I strove not to make any eye-contact with that gentleman as I passed by, because I did not feel I could contribute much to the conversation.
Several voices, but only one person talking. Screeching, actually. Nothing substantive would come from any involvement; that's something of which I am sure, though I concede that I may be biased and judgmental.

Methamphetamine and a heroin habit are presently cheaper than cigars or actual medical treatment. Therapy for angry white people.
It's the future of affordable care.


Later, at Candy's place, we tolerantly endured business-Caucasians singing karaoke till they left. Which gave me a brilliant (!) idea for an enterprise: a karaoke club with luxurious shower facilities installed all over and in the private rooms, so that everybody can sound better.
I should not have eaten the pistachios.
That's something I realize now.

Afterwards the bookseller was disturbed by a very large ax sitting on a vegetable rack at Stockton Street. We talked about potted plants while we walked past the construction-squat outside Ping Yuen, but I could tell his heart wasn't in it. An ax cannot sit, it has no bottomy parts.
It isn't a logical enphrasement, it is very wrong.

At Hyde Street he cut short my disquisition on cigars.
I later Facebook-hounded him the information.
Presumably he voided his bladder.
More next week.

"Alec Bradley; that's the cigar above the Rocky Patels and the Arturo Fuente. Padron is in the upper right, Julius Caesar and Aging Room just below that."


At this very moment I'm thinking about wearing a Venetian mask & a thong to a Christmas party. Not me, you. Or leastwise everybody in upper management.

Guarantee: the office will never be the same.

Make the Holidays surreal again.



I have never taken a woman along on a Jameson evening. It's strictly boys' night out, that's just the way it is. Serious things get discussed. Pistachios. Axes. Cans. Triplication of graphic elements as a way of creating a written character that expresses an abstraction. Gibbous (the moon not full, but past the half). Art. Napoleon Bonaparte (this is MY armpit). Cheese.

Free examples: 品 'pan', commodity (three items or mouths). 森 'sam', forest (three trees). 磊 'leui', great; a big pile of rocks (three stones). 聶 'nip', whisper (three ears). 舙 'waa', speech, talk (three tongues). 蟲 'chung', bugs (three creepy-crawlies).贔 'pai', strong (three cowrie shells). 轟 'gwang', a deep rumbling sound (three carts). 鑫 'yam', wealth (three golds). 驫 'piu', horses (three horses).
口、木、石、耳、舌、虫、貝、車、金、馬。

Remarkably, both of us are out of cheese.
This is panicking him inordinately.
I take cheese for granted.


Sequitorial to absolutely nothing, a random quote from AAPS:

"Barack Obama may have won the presidency by hypnotizing voters, especially cohorts known to be susceptible to “neurolinguistic programming” -- young people, educated people, and possibly Jews."

I very much like to think that young people and educated people are possibly Jews too. This would seem a good thing.

Today I may buy cheese. Or not.
I know he will.





Another example: 雥 'jaap', mixed, mingled, miscellaneous.
It is a variant of 雜 showing three short-tailed birds.


This is probably the best representation of the class.
It is nearly useless, but good to know.





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ENJOY YOUR RIDE

One of the most memorable lines yesterday was "he's a slut, he wants to bang everything in sight". Which was uttered on a crowded bus by a girl speaking into a cellphone. Subsequent remarks made clear that she was speaking about her boyfriend, and that the marriage was still on.

I'll confess that I'm a little bit old-fashioned.

Had I been that woman, the marriage would not be on, but off. Really off.
A gentleman may be a right pervert, but should never be a cad.

Of course I wouldn't be talking about it on a cellphone surrounded by a hundred people either.


Or using the locution "Oh". "My". "Gawd".

Except possibly during sex.




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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

SMELLY SOCIAL ANIMALS

It is with considerable surprise that I've realized that I do not like many cigar smokers. Please consider the type: Male, mostly white, probably middle-aged and opinionated in a wrong way, not particularly thoughtful or open-minded, and often of firmly held simplistic beliefs which they are seldom capable of testing or examining. This is only natural, as many of them may have gotten to the point where they can afford expensive cheroots on a regular basis by being single-minded and fairly successful, more often than not almost by accident. This they ascribe to their own rightness.
A fair number (perhaps not all) are flaming assholes.

No, I'm not just talking about Marinites.


I prefer pipe smokers, OR the never-smoked crowd. Sir Bertrand Russell was a pipe smoker, so was Simenon, and please do not bring up Stalin or Saddam Hussein, as those two were natural cigar smokers faking it big time. Stalin, in fact, chainsmoked cigarettes in private, like very many despots and psychopaths.

[Turkish dictator Erdogan is a crazed anti-smoker, fyi.]


I wish I could say that the pipe smoker is by nature a thoughtful man, with carefully considered opinions and broad-ranging tastes, who reads a lot and considers life a voyage of discovery. But that is not quite the case.
Some of them are foul-tempered grumpusses.
Some of them are Gandalfian.
With tattoos.

Pipe smokers are just easier to have a conversation with. And, largely, are capable of grudgingly changing their mind. That is marginally more likely among smokers of decent tobacco -- unsauced ribbons, Balkan blends, Baai Tabak, flakes, and VaPers -- than folks who smoke BCA or 1-Q (we'll ignore the Captain Black smoker, because he's usually a fool, a retard, a vulgarian, or even an absolute degenerate - shan't say anything at all about Prince Albert and Mixture 79), and aficionados of Mango Cavendish, or Peaches 'n Cream, might have dreams of being mass-murderers.
But they are more likable than the cigar-huffing dickwad.

A minority of cigar smokers are betrayed as all-right kinda people by their lovable pets or children. Or queer hobbies like sculling in the coastal inlets of the Bay and dating unsuitable people.


I particularly like people who can just quietly shut up and read for hours at a stretch, and don't mind the fragrance of good tobacco, but those are distinctly a rarity. More than likely pipe smokers in any case.

If they drink tea and hate football, so much the better.




In case you were wondering, I am a considerate and thoughtful person, tolerant of a truly vast spectrum of humanity. At times I like having people around me, and can be quite gregarious, though often I prefer quiet.




TOBACCO INDEX


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NOT FIXATED ON THE CHEESE

Four days solid of Marin County. Two days off. I need to decompress.
Marin is a special kind of entitled asshole environment.

That attitude. Those voices.
A repulsive society.


Today's plan. Dim sum. Quiet stroll. Milk tea. Cantonese opera.
Late night weirdness involving a dive and whiskey.

Dodging the anti-smokers.

Maybe I'll eat cheese.

Or a pastry.




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WHAT YOU REMEMBER EATING

They say that the tastes you remember from your childhood remain with you throughout your life, they will be what you think of as the taste of home, of comfort, of happiness.
My childhood may have been someone else's.

I used to love potatoes. I cannot recall the last time I ate them.
Dinner was mustard, spicy pork cake, hot sauce, and noodles.


I did not eat mustard greens till I was in my thirties, I learned about pork cake at roughly the same time, and chilies weren't part of my life in any form till nearly the double digits.

Noodles? Other than spaghetti, and German ribbons when we were on vacation, noodles were NOT part of the programme until my twenties.

Honestly, it wasn't till I became single again that I started eating noodles regularly. A meal may mean rice, but noodles are much more convenient for a bachelor. Cook everything with plenty sauce, and dump it on the noodles. Rice stick, mostly.


For real comfort food, rice noodles, grilled pork beansprouts chives broth (燒猪肉河粉 'siu chü yiuk ho fan'). Plus chili vinegar and hot sauce.
All of which together is quintessentially Viet-Chinese.
There were no Viet-Chinese in my childhood.



Steamed fish with peanuts and chilies might, arguably, be one of those childhood tastes of iconic memory. Haven't had that for eons.

I lack the recipe. And the inclination.
Might have to wing it some day.




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Monday, November 28, 2016

THINKING ABOUT SALMON

What a man wants to do on a day like today, is burrow deep under the cover with a passionate little minx who just wants to sleep and a teddy bear who likes to cause trouble. But I cannot. The teddy bear will just have to cause trouble on his own. For one thing, there is no passionate little minx. For another, I shall be heading off to my place of employ.

Actually, the teddy bear who likes to cause trouble might be well advised to not stir up anything, because when the humans leave for the day the senior roomie is in charge, that being my apartment mate's bear (ms. Bruin), who though she lives in the other room has exceptionally good hearing, and is very stern.
Henry (the trouble-causer) is scared of ms. Bruin.
As well he should be.


If there were a passionate little minx, she too would no doubt raise ms. Bruin's eyebrow. That's a bridge I'll cross if I come to it. It might require bribing with honey. Or salmon. Yes, salmon I should think.

I can picture the scene. My apartment mate shall come home, and after a minute or two in her room will come out and ask "Toad, why is my best friend in the whole wide world in a salmon-coma? WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING?!?"

I shall feign innocence. Don't know what you mean.

Then I'll gently remind her that single middle-aged men are known for their sedentary habits, and I cannot possibly keep track of her various animals coming or going, why it's hard enough keeping an eye on my own rowdy bunch, what with reading the Bible and practicing yoga and all that.
I've had a busy day, and I'm training to be a saint.
Women are too suspicious by a mile.
And bears like salmon.


Fresh salmon? Or smoked?
Maybe I should ask.



I don't like frigid mornings.




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Sunday, November 27, 2016

REACHING OUT TO LATINOS AND OTHER CHRISTIANS AS BEST I CAN

It may come as a horrible surprise to you, but this blogger is all sweetness and light. Why, the milk of human kindness and fellow-feeling gushes forth abundantly, I am the veritable giant moo-udder of humanistic dairy!


On Facebook yesterday evening (7:18 PM), when I said "Now that Castro has passed on, can we send those Miami criminals back?" what I actually meant was 'oh joy, Castro is dead, you can all finally go home now, happy happy happy, even you Elián González you effing perv.'

I'm all about the happy happy happy.

[Contentotentotento. Tentotento.]


And when on November 22 I posted that the proper response to 'Merry Christmas' as wished me by any Christian who did not belong to my precise verkrampte self-righteous but ever so g-ddamned 100% correct version of Calvinism was "burn in hell, you heretic", what I should have said was
"why thank you, and to you as well my brother in Christ".
Or some such benign bushwa.

[See: The War On Christmas.]


Because we're all human, aren't we? Especially you.

I forgive all of my acquaintances who voted for Trump. Christian charity and all that. Blessed are the moronic sodding bastards, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven, as it says in the good book.

Which in some form of Cubanospanyolish may be "bienaventurados los malditos bastardos, porque el suyo es el reino de los cielos", or not.
I don't know, I don't speak Spanish. It's a personal failing.
I've always been rather envious of those that do.
Spanish is a beautiful language.


Consider these lovely words: burrito, taco, chile, queso, avocado, tortilla de harina, sopa de pollo, plato especial, and salsa de chiles rostado.
These are part of a vast and epic vocabulary of joy.
Everybody should understand such terms.
Enchilada! Quesadilla! Carnitas!
Sofrito. Tomatillo.
Puerco.


I wish there were a taco truck on every corner.




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THE DEATH OF FIDEL CASTRO

All over the country (but especially in Miami) Cuban exiles are celebrating the death of Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz, who rose to power in the late fifties and defied the United States ever since. They are overlooking the fact that if it weren't for him they wouldn't even be here, and there would be no Cuban American identity. Which seems rather ungracious of them.
As well as typical.

To borrow a phrase from Pudding Face:

"When Cuba sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you, they’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.
And some, I assume, are good people.

And it only makes common sense, it only makes common sense. They’re sending us not the right people."

Drug dealers, murderers, and rapists.

They all voted for Trump.

Marielistas.


And maybe a few good people.
Very effing few.



No, not planning to visit Miami anytime.
I absolutely hate Salsa music.
As well as Mambo.




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Saturday, November 26, 2016

HOT BAKED CHINESE

Upon returning from Marin the first order of business is making a strong cup of coffee, so that I don't waste my precious few hours at home by falling asleep before it is necessary. Years ago I would head to Ping Yuen bakery in Chinatown after work, but that fondly remembered place no longer exists, and pies are no longer a popular item anymore.

The Chinatown bakeries have gone all Chinese-y.

Sun Wah Kue was famous for their apple pies, and their orange pies were legendary. But Ping Yuen Bakery stayed open till nine, and I was addicted to their offerings.

So just plain strong coffee it is.

[Remarkably, there was a pastry waiting when I got home.]


The other great thing about old-school Chinatown bakeries was that unlike most of the places in North Beach, there were no artistic intellectuals and bohemians infesting them. Yeah, the coffee was only okay, but the ambiance was stellar.

Eastern Bakery tore out the lunch counter years ago, Uncle's changed hands several times and finally disappeared, Sun Wah Kue closed a long time back, and Ping Yuen is now a foot rubbery.

[Eastern's lunch counter was staffed by a very sweet petite old lady, spry and lively minded. She's retired now, and has visited Europe, New Orleans, and Alaska ... Uncle's was where Rose Pak hung out. Their pie was decent. Sun Wah Kue was a great place on an inclement day, rain clattering in the alleyway, warm pie and hot coffee in front of you, and a cheerful racket from the front. Ping Yuen, ah, well. Set dinners, lovely cream pies, and bold capable waitresses. A long counter, and booths along one side. I spent hours there, often heading to the Taai Ming Sing afterwards for a Hong Kong gangster movie.]


Contrariwise, in this day and age there are some wonderful freaky baked goods, and you can get Hong Kong style milk tea.

Plus at least one shop does a very lovely cheese cake, my heavens.

There is also 意大利蛋糕 ('yi daai lei daan-gou').

So it does have an up-side.


Today's Chinatown bakeries, like their ancestors, also are not popular among infestatious artistic intellectuals and bohemians, and still don't do fancy coffee concoctions. In fact, only rarely does one even encounter a Caucasian there, and after they have asked all there is to ask about the baked charsiu buns and egg tarts they always promptly leave.

You do not need to worry about them drinking all the milk tea.

It isn't something they've heard about.



A hot cup of yuen yeung (鴛鴦) and a fresh heung chong yiuk sung min baau kuen (香蔥肉鬆麵包捲); sheer bliss.
It ain't Starbucks.
It's better.




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Friday, November 25, 2016

RICE WITH A GRAVY

A few years ago, when I still worked in the downtown, I would get food to go from a nearby Chinese restaurant. Remarkably, their chicken curry was pretty darned good. Chinese people are not known for being talented curry masters, as long slow cooking with plenty spices and caramelized onion is best left to subcontinentals, Southeast Asians, and Dutchmen.
But this place did a darn fine job.

It was Chinese, but it was real curry.

Inspired cooking.


So I'll accept that the chef in the video below also produces something quite edible, indeed, the gaa lei chap could be ho tak bit ge le.

NONYA STYLE LAMB CURRY


[SOURCE: 娘惹咖喱羊腩.]


You will note that the sliced onion is first allowed to let off steam before any oil is added, some kind of curry paste is used, that's meat on the bone in there, sugar and fish sauce are employed, and both coconut milk and bok ho are put into play.

I am not a fan of recognizable onion pieces in my curry, so instead might recommend first slow-browning, followed by osterizing with a splash of broth. And I would saute the meat separately before adding the curry paste and the onion slurry.

Plus I'd be awfully tempted to include sliced jalapeño.
At the same time as the fresh bok ho.
And a star anise pod.


The best foil for such a dish is a pile of beautiful steamed white rice, and a lacy pancake to mop up the gravy.

Plus pickle. You must have pickle.




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Thursday, November 24, 2016

SHOVE THAT TURKEY!

In lieu of turkey (火雞 'fo kai') for dinner, it was curry lamb over rice (咖喱羊腩飯 'gaa lei yeung naam faan') for lunch. It would have been better if I had chosen what I usually get there -- pickled vegetables and porky bits over rice (榨菜肉絲飯 'jaa choi yiuk si faan') -- but I don't want to fall into a rut.
For some reason the Cantonese add way too much onion to their curries, and not enough good spicy stuff. But it was in any case far better than the frightful muck I had nearly a year ago at a place which won't be named.
I washed it down with two cups of milk-tea.

When I got home it was to discover that I had been mistaken. Rather than spending all day cooking and then shlepping food over to her brother's house, my apartment mate was heading out to a Chinese seafood restaurant with her kinfolk for the family feast.

Iz fabudis! Totally fabudis!

Fresh seafood!


Apparently I am not the only one not having turkey. But that's okay, I had roast duck yesterday, so I'm one bird ahead of the game.


All day long warm socially connected people with many friends and kin have been posting pictures of all the wunnerful stuff they are eating or going to eat. For that one day a year when all my facebook friends are as irritating as people on a Chinese social network.

My food. Our food. The food the next table over ordered. Random soup.
A waiter staggering under a tray of food. Mom with a lobster (all you can see is her hand at the edge of the frame). Dad at the buffet (corner of his shoulder visible). The buffet from a different angle. Another shot of the buffet. What we ate on the first day of the Alaskan cruise. Second day. Third, fourth, fifth day. Dessert selection. A red velvet cake in the shape of a lobster. Midnight snack (lobster thermidor). Fabulous frozen drinks.
An enormous alligator with an apple in its mouth.
Dingoes gloating all over Facebook.
Dammit. Dammit.


If I go to the smoking bar this evening, there will be almost nobody there because everybody I know is either out of town or at home stuffing their faces. Then around the middle of the evening drunkards will come in for a smoke, talking about how delicious and epicurean their Thanksgiving repast was, what fun, so ekswees, better than last year.
And they won't shut up.

Stay at home. I've already had my smoke for the day. One pipe while slowly ambling through Chinatown alleyways, another pipe down at Sue Bierman Park. A homeless person passed, screaming angrily. Another one near the bus stop laughed without reason, probably out of touch with reality.
There were no bums inside the park, and only a few parrots.
My apartment is quiet now. So is the neighborhood.
I should go to bed early. Around nine.
Gotta work tomorrow.




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YAY, DEAD BIRD, YAY!

It is traditional at Thanksgiving that a member of the group, entirely without prompting, bores everyone present with either a prayer before we tuck in, or some bushwa about how we should all be grateful for something, and he will now detail what it is that he can be grateful for this year.

Which is probably dreary as all git-out.


Here's what I am grateful for: My apartment mate is quite dysfunctional.
It's called Asperger's Syndrome, and it means that she is totally oblivious of certain things unless they are explained to her, forcefully and in detail.
This means that she is unaware of how dysfunctional I am.

She will spend the day cooking, then pack up stuff and go to her brother's house for Thanksgiving Dinner.


I will not celebrate, and will have no Thanksgiving Dinner.


I plan to wander around Chinatown for a few hours, eat a pastry or two, smoke a pipe, and be grumpy till evening. Then I will enjoy the peace and quiet in my own neighborhood for a while, when everyone else has headed somewhere for turkey-related revelry. Really, as usual dammit, I have no celebration on the schedule. I have never "done" Thanksgiving, and haven't participated for most of my adult life. I don't seem to be normal. Yes, for the first time in years someone actually extended an invitation, but I shall be content grumpily sulking up a storm, as I had already fully resolved to do.
I've been anticipating scowling and growling for weeks!
I am petulant, and good at sulking.

Bah, humbug. Thanksgiving is for patsies. Turkey is a miserable bird that puts you to sleep. Stuffing is nasty. Relatives are over-rated.
That game? A complete waste of time.

Fortunately she does not know any of this.
I wouldn't want her to worry.
Or feel hurt.



I am grateful for milk-tea.
I am grateful for pastries.
I am grateful for Sriracha.
I am grateful for Aspirin.
I am grateful for cheese.
I am grateful for pipe-tobacco.
I am grateful for apple wood smoked bacon.
I am particularly grateful for sausages, and ice cream.
I am grateful for cheddar and sour cream potato chips.


I am also immensely grateful for nitrates, nitrites, sugar, salt, saturated fats, cholesterol, alcohol, carbon monoxide, masturbation, the Arts Council, nuclear weapons, the Daily Telegraph, and not properly labeling fatal poisons, but, above all else, most of all, I am grateful for the ONE thing that can come out of people's mouths: vomit!



One of my favourite C'town restaurants closes for Thanksgiving, which is unfortunate but just as well, as I do not wish them to know that I am a social failure and do not participate in many celebrations.




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HUMSUP -- A CANTONESE LOCUTION

It pleases me no end that one of the criteria that brings readers to this page from all over the world is hamsap. Hamsap is the word that describes the secret life of the average male, in the eyes of the average female.

The average male appreciates female beauty. Which outrages the average female, who thinks that this is plenty disgusting of him. He's a pig, animalistic, a deviant, a brute, a hamsaplo (鹹濕佬).

To which his reaction is often "huh, what?"

He was staring, and didn't hear you.


鹹濕
HUM SUP

Haam (鹹) means savoury or salty, such as salt fish ('haam yu' 鹹魚) or a lovely steak, but also frowsty or sweaty, like perspiration, a white person, or unwashed clothes. Someone who is unwashed, moist, or greasy, has 'haam chau mei' (鹹臭味), meaning a "salt stink".
Haam also means randy.

Sap (濕) means moist, damp, wet, humid. A wet spot on the floor, rain puddles, gravy, and juices dripping from a roast duck; all of this is 'sap'.
Yam sap (陰濕 "dark and moist") eloquently describes wickedness.

Haamsap (鹹濕) expresses the greasy oily sweaty characteristic of perverts and degenerates. A haamsaplo (鹹濕佬) is the male person thus afflicted. The Northern expression 好色 ('hou sek'; "good colour", to love hues, lustfilled) does not quite convey the oomph.

Humsup is a males-only quality.


淫、陰、色膽

淫 ('yam') generally speaking describes licentiousness, wickedness, lewd behaviour, sexuality, and more or less some pretty nasty stuff.
Pronounced 'yin'/'yim' it is also a surname.
陰 ('yam') is the yin of yin and yang; the female principle, darkness, wetness, the shadow side of the hill.
色膽 ('sik daam') literally means colour and gall bladder.
Figuratively it indicates a bold sexual appetite.


鹹濕君子

The gentleman can find something admirable about any woman.
A beautiful intellect is very sexy.
So is a smile.




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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

HEINZ BAKED BEANS! WE MUST SING!

There is almost nothing quite so American and English as a can of baked beans. Simply humble grub, that, if you have the proper enzymes, reaffirms your faith in humanity and doesn't make you an anti-social outcast.

Same goes for chili con carne with beans, but again the enzymes are essential.

Baked beans express the love that is within you.

I never eat beans if I can help it.


The following commercial has been banned. NOT because British cuisine leaves a lot to be desired and makes you talk funny, nor because regarding beans as an acceptable vegetable is just plain wrong, but because the Advertising Standards Authority believes little children will accidentally cut themselves, slit an artery, bleed to death, smoke crack and run off to join ISIS because of it.

BAKED BEAN SONG

[SOURCE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VK9p7DZcEqk. ]

It's the edges. Today's wee tykes are too far removed from opening cans or dealing with sharp objects that they can understand the danger.
They look into the howling void with blank blank eyes.

Quote:
"The Advertising Standards Authority received three complaints suggesting the advert "encouraged unsafe practice" and six complaints saying it featured behaviour dangerous to children.
Heinz said its ad only encouraged safe practice by showing viewers it was only appropriate to hit the sides, base or sealed lid of a tin.
They said consumers had posted videos of themselves trying to drum along to the tune that showed the game was not harmful.
Children shown tapping a tin in the ad were always with an adult, the food giant said."
End quote.

And:
"However, the ASA upheld the complaints, saying actors in the film were using closed and open tins and it was not always clear that the open tin had its edges taped for safety.
In its ruling, the ASA continued: "We considered that consumers encouraged to learn the Can Song were unlikely to be as proficient as the actors, but that in any case, particularly given the manoeuvres required, it might still be possible that mistakes could be made with an empty can, which might include a hand or fingers being inserted into an open tin (with the associated risk of cuts)."
End quote.

SOURCE: The Sun, news, baked beans bullpucky.


Cuts, bumps, bruises, contusions.

Oh my.



If you see me down at the local playground handing out canned food to the little monsters, you will know why.




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WHITE PEOPLE SHOULD NOT SING

During a torrential downpour one cannot hear the opera being sung in the basement. Presumably those within can, and the drubbing from outside though present, does not disturb the musicians. The street without looked beautiful. On Clay deep rivulets washed the bricks, and unavoidably my feet got wet. There was a homeless person camping out on Grant, across the street from the 'going-out-of-business' signs.

Normally I cut short my listening when the garbage trucks come nearer, but when the downpour happened there seemed no point in sticking around, and I wandered off early. The streets of Chinatown are beautiful in the darkness when it rains.

Empty, drenched, and glowing.


At the hamburger joint the entire counter was occupied by bright young Cantonese gentlemen. There was, in consequence, none of the sleazoid disturbance factor that the local residential hotel occupants bring, nor were there any of the drunken suburbians that usually infest the place.


From the mezzanine of the corner bar we looked out over a nearly deserted intersection, over an hour and a pint drinking in the distant fleshy gams of a young lady wearing hotpants, the elderly man wrestling with his bicycle, a severely reduced perp line in front of a long-closed nightclub ("smoke and mirrors"), and the very rare stumbling soggy drunk.
As well as the woman with the shiny hair.
She always goes past at night.

While I was outside smoking, I heard a man hollering from one of the cheap hotels on Broadway "you are not my real father, my real father loves me".
It seemed appropriate; I shall not speculate about the relationship.

There used to be a four hundred pound tranny who whore a greasy leather diaper and swanned about the halls with cocktails in one of those hotels. Long ago.


"Why do people cross the road?"

"Whiskey."

------The Bookseller


At the karaoke bar a bearded Caucasian was extremely impressed with his own singing, as were the two blonde dingbats hanging on his shoulders.
The Cantonese ignored the misbehaving white people and concentrated on loud happy argumentation and playing liar's dice.

When the songbird and his friends left, and most of the dice players had floated away also, the remaining dice player engaged in conversation with the three gentlemen further down the bar. It was food-related (Cantonese conversation often is), described a dinner with two women (somewhat less common), and he punctuated it with "pok gai" as much as Irish Dave uses the 'F' word.

When the bookseller and I departed it had stopped raining.


At Powell Street we analyzed the sign on a local emporium. 'Hundred merchandise'. 'Sugar fruit smoke wine'. 'House & courtyard use product'. 'Canister head freeze food'. Plus something about literary objects, which is a conventional phrase referring to paper goods and pens.


Normally we encounter inebriated strangers wandering the streets.
Or hear birds from the spaces behind the buildings.
Once even an insane mocking bird.

Not this time.




Over the years I have only sung once at the karaoke bar. It was a romantic ballad originally made famous by Teresa Teng. Very sweet.
I massacred it. Totally.

There was nobody there with a cellphone.
I consider myself lucky.




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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

THE WAR ON CHRISTMAS

The Christmas Season has begun. And it struck me today that the most appropriate response to "Merry Christmas", uttered by someone you do not know well, is "burn in hell, you heretic". Reason being that they are almost certainly of a different Christian denomination than your own (if they WERE members of your church, surely you would know them), and thus cannot possibly have anything meaningful to add to the event.

It is furthermore a severe proscription to participate in the idolatrous rituals and religious ceremonies of heathens and wrong-believers -- such as the Egyptians, Babylonians, Persians, Baptists, Lutherans, Methodists, Amish, Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and other devil worshippers -- and in any way responding with real warmth and ecumenicism might create the entirely false impression that those people are not just loathsome pagans.

Who will manifestly go to the fiery pit.

As Christmas reminds us.


But if you do want to sound more friendly, tell them "burn in hell, heretic, after a good meal that I sincerely hope you enjoy, as this will be your last feast on earth". Smile sweetly when you say that, there is no reason to be unkind. They are only human. Fallible, depraved, capable of great evil and self-delusion. Hopelessly, intensely sinful.
Not among The Elect.


FREEDOM OF RELIGION

I firmly believe that all people in this world should adopt a Christian cover-denomination to channel their pettiness and hate. They will find it liberating, as well as educational and enjoyable, to be venomously intolerant for all the best Christian reasons.


Because several generations of my family were severe disapproving Calvinists (Apostles' Creed, Nicene Creed, Athanasian Creed, Belgic Confession, Heidelberg Catechism, Canons of Dort, greater acceptance of the Psalter of Peter Datheen, while acknowledging that Marnix van Sint Aldegonde was more inspired), almost automatically I follow that path, when it suits me to disapprove of or sneer at any and all Christian denominations.
Which I only do when Christianity is brought up. Such as it almost always is during the Christmas Season.

Bah humbug.

If you are a Christian, I shall despise whatever it is you believe.

Remember, only specific adherence to the Apostles' Creed, Nicene Creed, Athanasian Creed, Belgic Confession, Heidelberg Catechism, Canons of Dort, and greater acceptance of the Psalter of Peter Datheen than that of Marnix van Sint Aldegonde, brings eternal salvation. This does NOT apply to seceders, either the 1857 schismatics OR the degenerates who split off ("lapsed") after the First or Second "great awakening".

Certainly not that bunch who moved to Michigan.

All of you must manifestly suffer with Satan.

Do NOT have a merry Christmas.

You will all be damned.

Soon, babies.



I am ambivalent about the holidays.




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AN INAPPROPRIATE TIME FOR BEER AND MAYO

A reader recently remarked that he wished to have a pikanto early in the morning, with mayonnaise. And, after doing the research, that does indeed sound like heaven. What the Dutch call a 'pikanto' is a forcemeat rod assertively spiced, precooked, then dumped in the deepfryer.

[The spices are approximately four parts ground pepper, two parts cumin, two parts coriander, two parts cayenne, and one part nutmeg or mace. A total of slightly less than two teaspoons per quarter pound of meat. Plus salt, chilipaste (sambal ulek), and chopped red chilies.]

It's basically a Pathan kebab for the fryolator.

The mayonnaise should be seen as a culturally appropriate equivalent of yoghurt dip, or sourcream if you are Russian. If you are American, you would probably feel that salad alongside is a good idea.
But if you are Dutch you will insist on fries.
With a glob of yellow stuf.


IT IS UNAVAILABLE IN SAN FRANCISCO!


Alas. My breakfast will be necessarily somewhat boring. Please do not suggest 'dick on a stick' (a corn dog), because that is only appealing after an inadvisable number of alcoholic beverages OR if you have the ghastly misfortune of being a Texan on a hot day at the State Fair surrounded by large people, piles of steer sh*t, and Lone Star Beer.

I think I might head out for some pork siumai (豬肉燒賣 'chyu yiuk siu mai') and fresh shrimp in rice sheet noodle (鮮蝦腸粉 'sin haa cheung fan') in Chinatown before noontime. They don't have mayonnaise at eateries which serve that -- they would be appalled and probably more than a little nauseated by the concept -- but most of them do have a fiery condiment; either sambal ulek, or Sriracha sauce. Both from Huy Fong Foods in Los Angeles. Pork siumai benefit from a wee drop of soy sauce and a dab of hot. You can tell it's pork by the yellow dot on top (salt egg yolk).


Breakfast should NEVER include beer. I had to explain that to a cigar smoker in Marin yesterday. No, he did not hail from Texas.

Civilized people resort to beer late in the evening.
But only if all the red wine is gone.




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Monday, November 21, 2016

DEEPFRY ME A MEXICANO

As no doubt many people do when tired of dealing with pestilential rightwing dickwads on the internet, I sought solace by reading about unhealthy Dutch snackfood. The Dutch language, and Dutch junkfood, are an infinite source of comfort and joy in times such as these.

The most popular fattisnax in the Netherlands, in order:

Frikandel (deep fried rod-shaped compost of spiced finely ground meat).
Vietnamese loempia (Vietnamese imperial roll).
Kroket (croquette; bechamel and something, chilled, breaded, deepfried).
Kaassoufflé (allegedly cheese souffle).
Kipnuggets (chicken nuggets).
Mexicano (what the heck?!?).
Kipkorn ('poulycroc').
Bitterbal (round mini croquettes).
Gehaktbal (spicy meatball).
Bamibal (see explanation below).
Vlammetjes (miniature spicy eggrolls).
A big serving of French Fries with condiments.

And how unhealthy is this stuff?

Frikandel: two hundred plus calories.
Vietnamese loempia: one hundred and twenty calories.
Kroket: between nearly two hundred calories and over four hundred.
Kaassoufflé: three hundred plus calories.
Kipnuggets: variable, sometimes it isn't even chicken.
Mexicano: three hundred to four hundred calories.
Kipkorn: two hundred calories.
Bitterballen: serving size is whatever you can eat.
Gehaktbal: between one hundred and fifty and two hundred and fifty calories, depending on size and proportion of fat to lean meat and fillers.
Bamibal: unquantifiable.
Vlammetjes: unquantifiable due to doubtfulness of ingredients.
French Fries with condiments: overload.

For reference, the average woman needs roughly two thousand calories perday, the average man perhaps 2500. This presumes normal sized people, NOT the glandular freaks in the heartland.


"De Mexicano is hoofdzakelijk paardenvlees"


A frikandel is delicious. Basically a sausage-like object, with the meat protected from the hot oil penetrating by having been dipped in beaten egg white and covered with fine rusk crumbs. It will be dark brown when served, steaming, fragrant, and very nice with sharp mustard. It can also be offered in a long bun with chopped onion and tomato, slathered with a hodge-podge of condiments as you specify.

Per Wikipedia: "De Mexicano wordt fabrieksmatig geproduceerd. De samenstelling is een pittig gekruid gehakt van hoofdzakelijk paardenvlees met tevens in afnemende hoeveelheden varkensvlees, rundvlees en kip. Het mengsel wordt in een speciale vorm geperst. De Mexicano kan worden bereid in de frituur, in de oven, op de barbecue of in de pan."

[Translation: The 'Mexicano' is produced industrially. The composition is spicy ground meat, principally cheval, with decreasing quantities of pork, beef, and chicken. The mixture is pressed in a special form. The Mexicano can be cooked in the deep fat fryer, in the oven, on the barbecue, or in a fry pan.]

The Bamibal is one of those "what were they thinking" objects. Bami is a Chinese Indonesian noodle dish, the bamibal is the spicy noodle mixture rolled into a ball, breaded, and deepfried. It is quite delicious, and probably totally unhealthy. Very weird.

The Kaassoufflé is made by wrapping flaky pastry dough around a hunk of cheese and deepfrying that sucker. Like the Mexicano, it was invented after I had already returned to the United States, and I've never had one.


All of these can be served either with the French Fries and condiments on the side, or gaily layered on top of the French Fries, with condiments squirted everywhere. Dump a salad over to assuage your guilt.
Salad ("sla") makes everything healthy, right?
The preferred Dutch condiments, in order of importance and popularity:
runny mayonnaise ("friet saus"), peanut sauce, tomato gloop of some sort, creamy garlic sauce, and hot sauce or chilipaste (sambal).
Many Dutch like all of them.


The Dutch can deepfry almost anything.




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OH HUSH NOW!

Yesterday the apartment mate came home steamed. She had chauffeured her boyfriend ("wheelie boy") down to San Jose, and apparently "the motha-f**ker didn't shut up the entire g-dda**ed time!" From which one can deduce that he's a lousy back-seat driver. As well as not entirely sane, because a sane person does NOT irritate someone with Asperger's syndrome driving on the freeway in the middle of a rainstorm.

After ranting for half an hour about her boyfriend, she turned on real-life crime on teevee, to help her relax. Jealous wives and husbands, guns, murder, and blood spattered walls.


In retrospect, I had a much better day. North of San Francisco, the rain stopped shortly after I got to work. The sun even came out briefly. No conversational hazards to speak of, as the cigar smokers were too busy howling at the football game on teevee.

I got a lot done.


Her pressing need for a drink afterwards does disturb me somewhat. She opened up a can of Hansen's Orange Soda to reward herself and unwind. This is not normal. I usually fix myself a nice soothing cup of coffee upon coming home, that's the ticket. It clears the mind.
I seldom if ever drink soda at home.
But I did not grow up here.
It's very American.





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Sunday, November 20, 2016

PLEASE GO BEFORE YOU COME

When you're in the middle of nowhere, any loo will do. Not quite so in San Francisco; those crappers are for customers only. One reason is that we've seen enough people dumping in public that we know that suburbanites and drunks have no shame, part of it is the extremely high cost of wash room maintenance. Letting non-customers use the lavatory is tantamount to running an AirBandB. Might need to repaint it all afterwards.
Lord only knows what those people will do in there.
Perhaps they've been saving it up since Ohio.
From whence they flew in this morning.
So that they could sneer.


"Listen, cowboy, you can take your saved-up bowel contents right back to Bunfudge. We're not here for your convenience.
If you are not going to buy anything, please leave. Go.
"



The blessed tourists seem to forget that coming in as a group, asking a multitude of stupid mumbled questions, and not actually purchasing a single blessed thing is an inconvenience. Inconsiderate, even.
It does not get you the key to the hole.

Do like I do. Leak in the park. There is a very nice 'convenience', with both a men's entrance and a women's entrance, in Portsmouth Square.
It is new, it is modern, it is efficient, and it can accommodate a vast horde of galumphing big-arsed tourists! Oh, the luxury!

It is at most three blocks away, and if you didn't amble quite so slow, you would be there by now. All of you. Including your horizontally excessive parental units. Were-elephants. Or are they pet yeti?

It was built with your colonic health in mind.
And your delicate bladder.


Someone overdosed at one of my favourite places a while back. They're a bit hesitant about letting white folks whiz there now. And I don't want to get involved. So I won't translate at all. All the tourists look alike.
Meth freaks, coke fiends, pot heads, heroin junkies.
Very much of a feather.


You gonna actually eat something, cowboy? Or are you just gonna stand there being decorative?


Ĉu ili parolas Anglan en viaj vilaĝo?



PS. We had a drunk woman pass out at work today. That's the first time THAT has happened. Anywhere. Do I sound like I've had it up to here with entitled people? Good!




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THE PRE-HOLIDAY HOLIDAY DINNER

Last night the pipe club had dinner together. And just as you might imagine, it was a pleasant assembly of about a dozen middle-aged or elderly gentlemen enjoying each others company, with good things to eat on a rainy evening. They had roast chicken, salad, something spicy (Burmese), plus wine, caffeinated beverages, and generous distilled spirits.
A jolly good time was had by all, oh crikey yes.
After which tobacco was shared.
And pipes were lit.

You might imagine it, but I certainly had to.
I wasn't there, so I'm totally guessing.
I could've gone. I was invited.


But after a day during which I babysat cigar smokers in Marin, socializing wasn't exactly number one on my list, which is why I also did not go out once I returned to San Francisco.

I ate, I read, I smoked.
And went to bed early.

What I would've liked to do was sit down to dinner with a sparkling or grumpy young lady, noshed a bit, and then fallen asleep purring. I would've done the cooking, of course, because I do that well and it's therapeutic. Not an entire table of middle-aged men (I am middle-aged enough, I don't need anymore), and by young lady I mean anyone noticeably younger than myself (see previous note about a surfeit of middle-age), post-college, and of abundant sparkle, or grumpily sparkling, or just grumps.
I get along well with grump.
Grump is life.


This chicken is good. Thank you.
More wine? I don't drink.
Some hotsauce?
No.


I eat by myself most of the time. Almost always. Haven't eaten with other people more than a few times in the last year. Yet I have eaten.
Several hundred times, in fact.

I've long since gotten over the break-up with Savage Kitten, and I am glad that she is happy (with that person with whom I do not wish to associate). She's a much more social eater than I am, despite being incredible shy, reserved, stubborn, anti-social, and Asperger syndromish.

I've also gotten over eating alone. That's my bottle of hot sauce now, my noodly whatever with too much black bean or garlic, my pot of coffee.
This is my dried fish and ginger, as well as my soupy-soup!
And when I want to eat is when I shall eat.


Not looking forward to Thanksgiving, though. Putting up with the company of idiots is traditional, and makes a dry inedible bird taste properly festive. Even stuffing tastes good when some elderly relative gets it gummed up in their dentures, and sneering at cousin Gertrude's green bean casserole is both customary and accepted, I believe. Just not to her face.
Please note that the name of the female relative was chosen at random, it might also be Agatha, Jocasta, or Prudence.
Charming names, really.

I shall not be celebrating Thanksgiving in any way at all.

Late lunch by myself, then to smoke a pipe or two.

A quiet walk, and a cup of milk-tea.

Call it an early evening.

Screw it all.



I think I should make sure there is enough ice cream.
Nothing says sweetness and light like ice cream.




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Saturday, November 19, 2016

A LITTLE KITTEN

Having had an early dinner, I wandered around a bit smoking my pipe, and food shopping for the weekend. Seeing as my schedule has me working Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays, you understand what that means. Enough green sh*t to keep me going for three days on which I shall return to the city too late to buy anything except a burrito or a slice of pizza.
Burritos and pizzas are indeed mighty fine foodstuffs.
But not, strictly speaking, a sound diet.
A man needs green sh*t.
Because.

[Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Thursday. Four days work total. Tonight's dinner: a cabbagey vegetable, crisp and green, with sliced chicken, and black bean sauce.]

By the way, it's starting to disturb me that folks on the street and in the bus have begun to greet me. All white people do NOT look alike, apparently some of us resemble fellow villagers. Which is something I didn't even consider for a long time. Ever since I left Valkenswaard, in fact.
Maybe they're just recognizing the goatee and the pipe, although eight Cantonese folks said nei ho to me when I wasn't even smoking.
A middle-aged dude with glasses is quite harmless.
Plus I'm relatively neat, and act un-crazy.

Yes, I know. That's tantamount to admitting that I am neither creative nor sensitive, which is a grievous flaw in my character. Meaningful poetry signifies nothing to me, and I'm never going to play drums.
I do not own a pair of yoga pants.
I have no tattoos.


Animals also recognize my complete harmlessness.

Years ago I realized that cats and dogs often will treat me as a safe and interesting quantity. Especially if they are still very young, such as the pretty little kitten in Spofford Alley, who completely ignored everyone else except me. She just wouldn't let me pass. I was forced to bribe her with ten minutes of petting before I could leave. It was probably the comforting and home-like reek of pipe tobacco and cigarillos that adheres to me, though most people won't notice unless I energetically flap my armpits at them.
Subtle for humans, but obvious for animals.
I do believe I must smell good.
Just like grandpa.
Edible.

Once upon a time I thought of myself as dashingly risky and adventurous. Dangerous, sort of like a mercenary or a ranch hand, albeit urban, settled, and civilized. But in any case a bold and stalwart type. Which wasn't quite sane if you consider that I've never killed a man nor ridden a wild horse, and the prospect of wrestling bears and alligators has no appeal.
I do not want to get too close to either of those beasts.
You should not scratch an alligator affectionately.
Or belly-rub a big fuzzy bear in the Sierras.
They would probably take it amiss.
And they have teeth.

Actually, I have this vision of bears and alligators lying in wait for me rather like bestial mafiosi, who will demand to be petted or else.

That pretty little kitten in Spofford Alley recognized me immediately as a great big pussy cat. Not only harmless, but a soft touch too. So easy to strong-arm into ten minutes of gentle scritchies and backrubs, despite the fact that getting so low to the ground was painful, and I had things to do.

Eventually I finished my pipe on a bench in Hang Ah Alley.

Now there are five cats in Chinatown that know me.

I shall not provide you with fresh fish.

Your cuteness has no effect.

Evil beast.




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Friday, November 18, 2016

OH THE PLACES YOU CAN GO!

My Chinese American apartment mate vociferated that for her and people like her there was clearly an immensely large part of the country that should be considered a permanent no-go zone. And boy did that steam her goat.
Whereas I could go nearly anywhere, and as long as I kept my mouth wisely shut, I would be (reasonably) safe. And welcome, even.

She's right.


Let's look at some maps for perspective.


EMMIE MEARS 2016 ELECTION


QUORA 2012 VOTING BLOCKS



PREDICTIVE MAP



QUORA 2012 BLUE SPLOTCH



WASHINGTON POST 2016 BY COUNTY



As you can see, the vast interior is almost entirely off limits to people of colour, gays-lesbians-trans-etcetera, Jews, Muslims, epicures, and anybody with more than half a brain.

No, they aren't all dickwads in the red zone, probably not even most of them. Some very nice people live there.
But if all it takes is just one dickwad to ruin your day, the chances of that happening are far greater once you venture into the bush. As are your chances of major acid indigestion.


In Dorkpud and Pasquodniack (Mississipi and Ohio, respectively), the chances of the entire highschool football team overlapping perfectly with the local American Nazi Party cell are one hundred percent.

She and her wheelchair-bound Russian Jew boyfriend would probably be hunted down and savagely slaughtered, which would entertain the entire town and be blessed by the local Southern Baptist preacher and Junior Chamber of Commerce.
And while the prospect of him coming to an unpleasantly bad end doesn't exactly appall me, I worry about her.

I, of course, could probably visit those two lovely towns.

No doubt they're very friendly to WASPS.

Quite the nicest people.



Trump is just a symptom.




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Thursday, November 17, 2016

ORGANIZING IT ALL

Earlier this evening I described my little Facebook echochamber as ""rabbinic types, regular-ass Jews, Asians, Dutch speakers, pipe smokers, gays, a few black folks, and at most only one or two Trumpites besides the whitebread. Relatives are included in the whitebread. To the best of my knowledge, (there are) no space aliens or time travellers."

Facebook friends hastened to assure me that at least one of them was a Muslim (there are actually a few), one of them was a gay Dutch-speaking pipe smoker, one of them felt like he was in good company, and one of them asserted that he was a kangaroo f***ing Australian.

There are also a few cigar smokers.


Anyhow, this brings up Venn diagrams. Which not only are one of my all-time favourite categorizational concepts, but also describes what I had for dinner this evening.

Which was:

Ovo vegetarian.

Fried food.

Noodle dish.

Significant vegetable content.

Half-assedly and arguably kosher, sort of.

Crunchy bits.

Chinese and Indonesian and Dutch.


What makes it only half-assedly and arguably kosher (sort of, and very iffy) is that none of the vessels, utensils, or surfaces, were kashered, and there is no mashgiach in my kitchen, as there would have to be, given that the person doing the cooking is not Jewish. These are conscious oversights.

Part of the Venn diagram on Facebook could eat my food. Part of them could not. Both among those who could, and those who could not, there are those who would enjoy it, and those who would not.

To the very best of my knowledge, none of them are Vegans.
Perhaps there are a few among the cigar smokers.
It isn't something I'll worry about.


One of the ingredients was 芥蘭, another was 關廟油麵。
It was exquisite.
As many Venn diagrams are.
Naturally.




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