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.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

I'VE ACTUALLY NEVER HAD CHINESE CHICKEN SALAD

Prompted by a reader's missive, I looked up "Chinese Recipes" on the internet. The first thing that came up was the Food Network's page.

The first twenty, in order:
Chinese Chicken Salad
Make Your Own Takeout Cashew Chicken or Pork with Orange Sauce and Scallion Rice
Szechuan Noodles with Chicken and Broccoli
Chinese Dumpling Soup
Sweet and Sour Chicken
Vegetable Chow Mein
Pork Belly Bao
Slow-Cooker Chinese Barbecue Beef
Steamed Mahi Mahi
Baked Chinese Egg Rolls
Scallion Pancakes
Egg Rolls
Shrimp with Garlic Sauce
Hand Pulled Pan Fried Noodles
Almost-Famous Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Ants On a Tree
Scoopable Chinese Chicken Salad
Spicy Eggplant
Chinese Noodle-Vegetable Bowl
Slow-Cooker Chinese Beef and Bok Choy

I'm sorry, Dorothy, but this looks just a little too much like Kansas. There is no need to even consult my apartment mate, which is good because she would have choice words to say about White People and their Whitey Chink Chow. Not only is she Cantonese (which means eloquence and a blistering vocabulary), but she is also on the Asperger Spectrum, so asking her opinion of this list would guarantee me a harangue probably lasting over an hour. Until she was certain that she had made her point, and that it had been understood by all white people present. That being me.


From Saveur Magazine (25 Chinese Recipes that are better than takeout):
Chinese Steamed Pork Buns (Char Siu Bao), Shanghai Red-braised Pork with Eggs, Sichuan Twice-cooked Pork Belly, Cold Sesame Noodles, Boiled Pork and Chive, Dumplings, Pan-fried Spicy Beef Dumplings, Kung Pao Chicken, Steamed Mixed Shellfish Dumplings, Pork and Cabbage Potstickers, Stirfried Beef with Broccoli, Crab Rangoon, General Tso's Chicken, Spinach and Edamame Egg Drop Soup, Ma Yi Shang Shu ("Ants Climbing a Tree"), Asian Greens in Garlic Sauce, Scallion Pancakes (Cong You Bing), Chao Shou (Sichuan Pork Wontons), Dan Dan Mian (Sichuan Noodles with Spicy Pork Sauce), Chinese Spicy Garlic Eggplant (Yu Xian Qie Zi), Sho' Nuff Noodles, Hot and Sour Soup (Suan La Tang), Every Day Fried Noodles (Tian Tian Chao Mian), Shanghai Soup Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao).

Mmmm. No, I am not inspired. Just a little precious, and too much Sichuan. Sure, most of these dishes are derived from or inspired by actual Chinese originals, but one gets the sense that there's an undercurrent of "we can 'Chinese' better than those people" in this list.

And all of these are restaurant dishes that we know White People like.


Now, please excuse me while I go make myself a snack.
Pork belly, fuzzy melon, black bean sauce.
And wheat noodles.

節瓜炒五花腩麵 。

No regional name necessary, nor any fancy descriptives.
It's food. Just food. Maybe Chinese. Or not.

正宗鬼佬菜。

I'm rather fond of fuzzy melon.
And fatty pork.




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A COOKIE PERHAPS? TEA? EGG SALAD SANDWICH?

Yesterday ended with a lizard. This marks the first time that I have seen a free lizard in the United States, even though I have been here for years.
I feel blessed.

It was, I believe, an Alligator Lizard. Elgaria coerulea coerulea.

It came in and was sunning itself behind the glass next to the door ("ooh, warm!"), we discovered it when we were locking up. It looked blissed-out, but given that lizard facial expressions are all one model, for all we knew it could have been an anguished grimace of existential despair.
We have no way of knowing.

I mentioned the lizard when I got home, and my apartment mate suggested that not offering it shelter and snackies was remiss of me.
I am incredibly heartless.


My explanation that I would have worried about its proper diet and mental health fell on deaf ears.


I have promised that if I see it again I will invite it in.



About the 'Southern Alligator Lizard', Wikipedia begs to inform us that "these lizards eat small arthropods, slugs, lizards, small mammals and occasionally young birds and eggs."

I fear it may go hungry if it relies on me for food.
An adept hunter I am not.
Sad.




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Saturday, April 29, 2017

REAL PEOPLE, REAL FOOD

Unlike American celebrities and wealthy people, who are almost always arrogant stuck-up sticky-bits, and have a bunch of goons at ready to beat the crap out of commoners who dare come too close, northern European notables often have the common touch. One cannot imagine the Koch Brothers, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and his frightful wife, or Donald Trump enjoying a burger with the citizens at a local festival.

I have no idea whether they even serve burgers at Mar-a-lago.


Here are Dutch royals eating burgers in Tilburg.



Prince Constantijn, Prince Pieter-Christiaan, Queen Maxima.
Food by 'Broodje Jantje'.

[SOURCE: https://www.facebook.com/BroodjeJantjeTilburg/.]

A little less sauce and onions (grilled, I believe), so that it would not be so messy. Our former president would do it -- he even picked up his own food in Chinatown when he was visiting -- and Bill Clinton would too -- "burgers, burgers, did someone say 'burgers'?" -- but imagining the current crop in Washington doing so requires more magic than my mind is capable of.

President Xi Jinping of China would probably do it too.


Broodje Jantje has been a Tilburg concept since 1965. Good quality meat, spices, grilled onions, and a zesty sauce. Eight different burgers.
They also make a range of other foods.

Broodje Jantje
Address: Pieter Vreedeplein 2
5038 BP Tilburg
Tel. 013 543 1310

Website: http://www.broodjejantje.nl/

Closed Monday and Tuesday, open from noon till ten at night Wednesdays, till midnight Thursdays and Sundays, and on Friday and Saturday till five in the morning. Have a burger for breakfast. Or before breakfast.

Available for weddings and graduation parties.


Verrek I'm hungry right now.



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Thursday, April 27, 2017

WHEN THE CIGAR SMOKE INFECTS THE BRAIN

Instead of a day off, I am working tomorrow. Among the cigar smokers. Be still my beating heart. Today in that environment was a slice. Soccer, then baseball, then football. And, during the ads, golf.

Honestly, if I had to watch anything, it would be competitive sitting.
Fortunately the television is in the back, with all the saggy armchairs.
And the equally saggy middle-aged men who sit there.


SNIPPETS OF WISDOM FROM THE PAUNCH ROOM


1. 
"Hey, did you see that a crematorium caught fire in Cincinnati?"

"What happened?"

"They were incinerating a morbidly obese man when the body fat flamed and set the place alight. Five hundred pounds of chunky human torch."

"What, it flared-up like a grease fire?!?"


At this point a different voice started wailing.

"Please don't mention crematoriums! I'm dying! That's going to be my fate soon!"

"Oh nonsense! You're not that f*&king overweight!"

"Maybe he's highly combustible?"


Another voice chimed in.

"Yeah, perhaps not even close."

"We should have the fire department there in case."

The final comment was somebody speculating that it probably smelled just like smoky bacon. Which I did not need to hear.
It being right around lunchtime.


2.
While commenting on the ball game, the announcer stated that so-and-so was a freak.

"A freak? What does that mean? How is he a freak?"

"It's because his third leg is bifurcated, marsupial style, just like a possum."

"Really?"


3. 
"What did you think of that cigar?"

"It was too tightly rolled, like someone's butt was clenched."

"That's NOT how they roll them! They use their smooth and fatty thighs, and gently, gently coax it into a tubular shape."

"Gently coax it my ass! You're daft!"

"Everything is about arse with you, isn't it?"

"Mother."


4. 
"I don't DO coconut. I've never done coconut."

"But you really should do coconut."



Tomorrow, more of the same. And all through the weekend.
Fortunately they've stopped talking politics.

I was not expecting to work tomorrow.
So dinner tonight will be a few biscotti.

What kind of casket holds a five hundred pound man being prepped for the incinerator, and did they spend too much on it? Was it hardwood? Polished? A metal tray?

Is the term "morbid" still operative here?




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GLIB AND UNDIPLOMATIC THINGS

Several years ago on this page I made sneering remarks about Filipina shop-aholics and the cut-throat nature of females from the islands.
Nothing has changed since then to alter my impression of them.
Some of them are very cute indeed, as well as intelligent and vivacious, but they are ruthless, and while it is very good to have Filipina aunties, one should avoid acquiring Filipina wives or girlfriends like the plague.

The best way to ensure your safety is to read about the place and learn how to cook the food, as well as how to pronounce it. If you are the average stupid white male, you should not visit the country no matter what.

Did I mention cute, intelligent, and vivacious?


"Mag-shopping tayo!"


Manila is a giant mall, and Filipinas are the apex-predators of this world.
For your own well-being, stay far away from Filipinas in full commercial throttle; it's a never-ending battle that always results in blood.
And brand names. Lots of brand names.

Full throttle is their permanent state.

It is likely that there are many other women who are also cute, intelligent, and vivacious, and if there are, they may not have relatives from Luzon or the Visayas. You should probably check out that possibility.

Warning: if they sound like Arnold Schwarzenegger and converse about existenzangst and andere ernsthafte themen, very probably they are Dutch or German, and rather than being food-focused, they will not understand what lumpia, halo halo, adobong babui, and kare kare are all about.

On the other hand ...

There are some advantages that come with knowing Filipinas, entirely aside from exposure to designer handbags and Italian shoes.

"Tayo na at kumain!"

A key characteristic of Filipinas, especially the auntie-types, is that food is a constant. As a white person ("taong puti") you will not be expected to know bugger-all about that -- most Caucasians have minimal culinary knowledge, likely being familiar only with sandwiches, pre-made salad dressings, and kale smoothies -- but aunties will automatically assume that you must be fed, and that you will will gladly have a snackipoo.
Lumpia, sisig, avocado shakes.
Adobo and Dinuguan.
Sinigang.

[Keep in mind that such typical generosity is an obligation on both sides; do not be just a taker. A hospitable approach must always become a two-way street.]


Food notes: the sweet snacks will count heavily: bibinka, puto, ensemada, tikwe, pitsi pitsi, kutsinta, leche flan, etcetera. Filipino Chinese might think of savoury stuff: machang (glutinous rice and pork in a bamboo leaf packet; 肉粽), humba (red-stewed pork belly; 紅肉), kiampeng (savoury rice with everything; 鹹飯). Plus various bakpia (肉餅) and hopia (好餅).

And, of course, countless variations on red-bean desserts.

Merienda is a way of life.


There used to be a lot more Filipino eateries in the Financial District. Still, they exist elsewhere in the city, and you should give them a whirl.
You might find yourself falling in love.

Maybe not with a woman.



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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

ARE YOU PEOPLE EVEN COMBUSTIBLE?

According to my apartment mate, the Hamptons are full of crazy people. Folks who are whiter than me, and act far more entitled. Why, they are quite insufferable! Which is an unusual point of view.
I was not aware that I act entitled.
In the least.


Of course, she's Chinese American, and naturally thinks all white people act ridiculously entitled.


And she may be right. I'm special, dammit, and there should be locations all over San Francisco that cater to my needs. Clean ashtrays, no hippies or tourists, and hot milk tea. Life would be just wonderful if this city had coffee shops, chachanteng, lunch counters, and Chinatown bakeries with lots of clean ashtrays, no damned hippies or tourists, and hot milk tea.

It's cold outside. A man wants to stay indoors.
Away from the wind, cozy and warm.
With a pipe and a drink.

See, there are also far too many loonies and egomaniacal progressives in this city, and when you are smoking your pipe in a quiet alleyway you will be approached by someone who demands a quarter, or wishes to lecture you on everything you're doing wrong. Which I do not want to hear.
There's also religious people. To whom I do not wish to listen.


And as for the tourists, many of them are very solidly built.


That is all I will say about them right now.


It is cold outside.




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CAVEMEN

While browsing through Facebook this morning, two people directed me to an article which described a world that heretofore had evaded my gaze almost entirely: The Man-o-sphere. Which is basically slope-brows acting upset over women. Oh, and hating on circumcision, which suggests that they're penis-obsessed and really wish that they had that extra millimetre, but that's probably also something that they blame on women.

From Wikipedia:
According to Caitlin Dewey of The Washington Post, the manosphere's "core philosophy basically boils down to this: (1) feminism has overrun/corrupted modern culture, in violation of nature/biology/inherent gender differences, and (2) men can best seduce women (slash, save society in general) by embracing a super-dominant, uber-masculine gender role, forcing ladies to fall into step behind them." Eva Wiseman of The Guardian said that "Advocates of the men's rights movement are united by their belief that feminism is the enemy." They are strongly opposed to circumcision and believe that a double standard exists in society in how circumcision is viewed relative to female genital mutilation.
End cite.

Key terms: Manosphere, pick-up artists, male victims of abuse, father's rights proponents, Red Pill, Return of Kings, "pure unvarnished women hatred", seduction techniques, manliness ......


"Almost 53,000 subscribers who believe that women are designed solely for sex and sandwich-making."
-----Eva Wiseman


I'm imagining a whole bunch of pudgy men living in their mom's basement right now. Many of them tattooed and pierced. Most of them have a well-thumbed dictionary in which they look up intellectual words.


You know, fifty three thousand losers out of a population of three hundred million isn't an awful lot. There are millions more Republican Tea-party droodges and fundy Christians, and they are far more worrisome.
Yes, there is an overlap; most of them are also women-haters.


A real man can make his own damned sandwich.


Personally I am not that fond of sandwiches, although when at work four days a week I have recourse to such items. Usually purchased from the nearby convenience store run by misters Singh, Singh, and Singh. Because pre-packaged semi-industrial "bread-and-what-the-heck-is-this" is just so darn sexy, especially when hairy brown Punjabi arms take my money.
Why, Heavens-to-Betsy, this now tastes good!

They are stocky, and incredibly butch!

And probably not circumcised.

Not that I think about that.



One my three days off I head into Chinatown where I don't have to deal with all of you wussy-ass weirdoes and your introspective self-absorbed sense of hurt. Dang you Americans are goofy!


Sorry. I really shouldn't sneer at all you pussies. It's mean, and your little egos are all bruised.

Life is tough.



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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

CHAO MAI WITH DOLLOPS AND STUFF

For a quick snack nothing beats a plate of noodles with shrimp and porky substances. And you can usually find this at a chachanteng or a kopi tiam, sometimes at a restaurant or a Sunday brunch place. The version below is standard, but quite variable. The eggs aren't always there, the ham can be augmented with charsiu pork cut similarly, or even some diagonally sliced lapcheung, and instead of large juicy shrimp you might use oysters.
But shrimp and ham are common.
Also often beansprouts.

If you live in the North Eastern corner of San Francisco you should have no problem finding whatever ingredients aren't already stocked in the kitchen.
And you always have noodles, oyster sauce, and sambal, don't you?


廈門炒米
['haa mun chaau mai']
Amoy Rice Noodles


2 eggs.
Half a dozen large shrimp.
One bowl boiled ham, matchstick cut.
One medium onion, sliced.
One red bell pepper, sliced.
One or two scallion, cut long and diagonally.
One clove of garlic, minced.
10 oz. thin rice noodles, broken and soaked in warm water for at least half an hour (that's somewhat more than half a pack, usually).
A brisk dash of rice wine or sherry.
A small splash stock or water.
A pinch of sugar.
Two Tsp. oyster sauce.
One Tsp. soy sauce.
A small drizzle sesame oil.

Scramble the eggs lightly, set aside. Quickly stirfry the shrimp, and set aside also. Now put the flame on high, add a bit more oil when the pan smokes, and dump the onion, garlic, and bell pepper in. Stir around, throw in the ham, followed shortly by the drained noodles. Stirfry, add everything, and toss till toasty. Serve, with sambal on the side.
See? It's criminally easy.


This was late luch today. No, I didn't cook it myself. In fact I did not know that I was going to have it till I perused the menu at the ABC on Jackson.
It was a spur of the moment decision.
I want fried noodles, dagnab!
Comfort food.


They have Sriracha hotsauce, by the way.


And Hong Kong Style Milk Tea.




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PENGUINS AND PARTIZANS

As you doubtlessly are aware, today is World Penguin Day. It is also the yearly festival celebrating the end of Fascism in Italy: Liberation Day ("Festa della Liberazione", "Anniversario della Resistenza").

A perfect day, in other words, for herring.

Unfortunately Italians make a pigs breakfast out of herring. Well, actually, everybody does except for the Dutch and Belgians, and herring pasta is unusual in most of the world except Haiti, where it is a breakfast dish.

Eating Haitian-style may, by default, be the best way there is to celebrate the confluence of penguinicity and anti-fascism. Smoked herring, chopped fresh tomatoes, tomato paste, ketchup, garlic, shallots, epise(*), minced parsley, and a Scotch Bonnet chili. Soak the herring overnight to remove some of the salt, then fry the fish gently for a few minutes before adding everything else in stages. Simmer for five or ten minutes.
Mix with cooked spaghetti.


I've never had this dish, which is why I describe it instead of providing a recipe, and I lament the absence of smoked herring from my larder. Other things Haitians eat for breakfast are plantains (boiled, fried, or puddinged), cornmeal mush of some sort, bread, and fruit. And sometimes Sauce Poule (Poule en Sauce; chicken and gravy, with rice or spaghetti). It is probably all very healthy. I am not a breakfast person, and the idea of solid food in the first two or three hours of the day does not appeal. Coffee is enough.
But smoked herring spaghetti sounds like a good idea.




*EPISE: Haitian spice base for almost everything. A green compound that includes plenty of parsley plus onion, green bell pepper, fresh thyme, a whole bunch of cilantro, garlic, lime juice, vinegar, cloves or allspice, hot chilies, and salty substances, pounded or osterized till fairly smooth. It goes into rice, beans, meat or fish stews or soups, and is used in marinades. Often a bouillon cube is included.

Refrigerate or freeze the excess for the future.




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IT'S A LEARNING EXPERIENCE

Sometimes this blogger goes into youtube first thing in the morning. The algorithm that suggests what next one should watch is, at all times, artificial intelligence, and does not correspond in any way to human logic.
It's as if one has space aliens living in one's laptop.
Heed the lizard-bots; they mean well!
At least today they did.

What they recommended today was a scene from Taisho Baseball Girls (Taishō Yakyū Musume), which is an anime set in early twentieth century Japan, where the young ladies at a middle school have formed a team.
The Japanese are, as you know, passionate about baseball.


大正野球娘。


I NEED YOU BY MY SIDE!


[SOURCE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AUdKWBiX9Q.]


If you watch this and similar clips several times each, eventually without even realizing it you may be speaking passable Japanese.

Other anime worth studying intensely are Ranma½, Midori Days, and Chibi Vampire. Respectively: a gender-bending martial artist and his unwilling fiancee plus a panda, a high school boy whose hand has transformed into a woman, and a shy teenage vampire who shoots huge torrents of blood out of her nose once a month and her normal depressed love interest.

One suspects that conversations in Japanese are, necessarily, surreal.


Many of them no doubt revolve around junior lesbians, baseball, breasts, blood, and garlic.


アニメ!

By the way, in case you're wondering, all of these are good clean fun. My apartment mate even rented all the video discs for Midori Days and found it witty and sweet, and she's also read Ranma½ and part of Chibi Vampire, which she considers too girlie and consequently doesn't like as much.
I think it's touching. But I'm a softie.

And it goes without saying that you should watch Azumanga Daioh.
Your life is not complete if you don't.


Hontoni shinjitsu des'.



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Monday, April 24, 2017

A LACK OF RESTRAINT

The one-legged monkey had some candies for me when I came home this evening. The she-sheep told me. The one-legged monkey likes to claim that he is a baddy, totally ruthless, like the fuchsia cat with the big grin.
He said it was the she-sheep being considerate.
He's actually a softie.

Quite the zoo I've got here.

Which makes the work environment seem boring by comparison. Although today I did hear one of the old boys in the lounge asserting "I had sex with a woman once ... ". Not completely surprising for a man who has passed the age of retirement, I warrant, and there was probably something which followed that statement that gave the admission a context.
I did not hear the rest of his tale.

There are often things at work of which I do not hear the end. That is a blessing. It's in Marin, cigars are involved, and there are individuals who voted for the orange-faced blunt object over there.


"I had sex... with a woman... once."


I have learned not to ask questions or make eye-contact. Precisely like one does with crazies on the bus, or psychopaths lurking under park benches.
No, I do not wish a swig of your Thunderbird.
Just smoke your cigar, fat man.
Let me ignore you.


Still, I would have gladly heard more. The aged git discoursing on his one sexual experience could have had interesting insights. Some of those bulky gentlemen of the cigar-smoking persuasion may be substituting nicotine for both oxytocin and prolactin, although I would be more inclined to believe that they are eternally twixt anhedonia and a refractive episode.
Cigars almost always mean a low sex drive.
It's a substitute, you see.

Evenso, in this life, if you are a man, there is a chance that at some point you WILL have sex, with a woman, or experience something "confusing".

The old fossil HAD sex with an actual woman once.
Something I couldn't have imagined.
How surprising.


A TYPICAL MALE, INTERESTED IN ONLY THING

[SOURCE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9T1vfsHYiKY]


I'm sure it would been precisely like a naturalist, when a large flightless parrot climbed on his shoulder and started humping him.

Remarkable.




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I DISLIKED THE BOOKS INTENSELY BY THE TIME I WAS TEN

Pursuant movies and celebrities, about which I know almost nothing, one reader here got so excited that she twice demanded my attention and my input. At least I presume he is a she. Men normally don't mention celebs much unless they've been featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
I know this, because there is a copy of Sports Illustrated in the lounge at work. There's a nearly naked person (female) on the front, in full colour.
Which is normal, I have been given to understand.

Underneath the Kali essay, these comments:

At 10:13 AM
I beg you, beg you, to please write a post about this topic said...
- Speaking of movies: Blake Lively says her daughter's favorite movie is Wizard of Oz and they watch it 60 times a week....can you imagine hearing Judy sing Over The Rainbow 60 times in 7 days! would you love it or grow tired of it? - 60 times a week? That's a bit excessive...
- If I did the calculation right, that comes out to 16 hours a day, every day....
- Enough time to sleep and watch the movie all day, assuming one never does anything else.. like eat, or go to the bathroom, or step outside.


At 7:01 AM
The above commentor said...
Hello? You're gonna make that post, right? Please? I beg you!!


Naturally I had recourse to the internet, to find out whether there was such a person as Blake Lively, and if she had indeed made such an absurd claim.
Which had me discover this article: Blake Lively Has Googled Herself, and It Ended In “Full Depression”

Apparently she did say that. Which means either that she is given to exaggeration, or can't do math worth squat. Or, perhaps, lives in an unimaginable hell of her pampered brat's devising.

Per Wikipedia, Ms. Lively is an actress
And an American.


I had never heard of her. Have I missed something?


There is not a single movie on this planet that I have watched sixty times. The closest I come is King of Masks at thirty eight (thirty seven times in a theatre), followed by Apocalypse Now and Apocalypse Now Redux at well over twenty times each, and Mommy Dearest at a dozen plus.
The Maltese Falcon at least several times.
Casablanca three or four.

I've seen all movies with Chow Yun-fat (周潤發) very often. He's a stellar actor. Lau Tak-wah (劉德華) ditto. Likewise Cherie Chung (鍾楚紅).

One movie featuring none of the actors above which I have also enjoyed repeatedly is A Chinese Ghost Story. And Mr. Vampire is also a good romp that bears occasional re-watching.

Everything Monty Python is an educational and enriching experience.

I have NOT seen The Wizard of Oz even once.
Nor do I see a need to ever do so.

Blake Lively is nuts.




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Sunday, April 23, 2017

DEAD UNICORN IN A CUP

This blogger is late to the party when it comes to many things. Years ago the phrase "I'm Rick James, bitch" made no sense to me for several months, and it wasn't until I saw the Chappelle Show on re-runs AND read up on Rick James that I started to piece together what it all meant.

Since then I have esteemed both Dave Chappelle and Rick James as minor gods, and I was sad when Charlie Murphy passed away. Truly a genius.

I still haven't learned to appreciate The Lord Of The Rings.
One probably has to be super-grown-up for that.
Sorry, I think it's twaddle.


So Starbucks new pink and blue bevvy for the with-it generation leaves me baffled, and I only recently found out that there was such a thing. I'm afraid that I'll never be adult enough to drink that shit in a bucket.
I've thrown up worse stuff.



UNICORN FRAPPUCCINO

It sounds like perfect frosted muck for people visiting their dating profile or internet shopping while at work. Or video-gaming in their basement squat.

Ice, milk, cream, "frappuccino" syrup (includes natural and artificial stuff), whipped cream, vanilla syrup, mango syrup, blue chocolate mocha syrup, plain syrup, plus pink and blue bunny dust.

A 16 ounce serving has 410 calories, 16 grams of fat, 58 grams of sugar.

There is no nutritional value whatsoever.

Nor any "coffee".


Calling this potable abortion a beverage is an insult to liquids.


"In European folklore, the unicorn is often depicted as a white horse-like or goat-like animal with a long horn and cloven hooves (sometimes a goat's beard). In the Middle Ages and Renaissance, it was commonly described as an extremely wild woodland creature, a symbol of purity and grace, which could only be captured by a virgin." [WIKIPEDIA]


No purity and grace here.
The virgin is a slag.
Barfahooiee.




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ARE YOU TORMENTED BY BAD DREAMS?

This blogger shamefacedly admits he is the wrong person to watch movies with. Any movies. My responses aren't up to snuff. For instance, the scene in a graveyard which is standard in many thrillers upsets me no end, as far too often there are sequence inconsistencies in stone dates, as well as, oh horrors, markers irregularly stuck in the ground in sloppy ranks.

That hunk of fake marble is not perfectly perpendicularly placed!

It just doesn't look like a proper cemetery.


Romantic scenes often provoke peals of laughter, or conversely boredom. "James, I'm frightened!" And then the young lady draws perceptibly closer to the hero's manly chest. Errm. Yes that's right, sweetums, when danger is at its most imminent, distract him with your heaving bosom.
That will surely help both of you escape.

She blushed prettily, and exclaimed "oh I just LOVE roses!"
Would that be fried, boiled, or roasted?
Pickled?

"I have cunning plan", he explained, as he tiptoed along the wall.
Cut to a scene of evil foreigners being careless.
The door behind them opens ....

There's a bunch of random dead guys now.
But they thoroughly deserved it.
As was made clear.



Why is it that in many serial horror movies the first victims are engaging in hanky panky downstairs after sending the children that one of them is supposed to be baby sitting up to bed early?

It always ends when the virginal heroine's young squire turns around to see the killer sitting up. Kills him with a crucifix he just happened to have, or a piece of furniture or a stake through the heart, he-man ultra-violence, the monster shudders and turns to dust, and then the young couple kiss as finally tears of relief flow down her girlish cheeks ......

Tears. Symbolic of "passion", I suppose.
About time. For both parties.
Release.



Just in case these movies ARE based on real life, I'm thinking I should carry a wooden stake around with me at all times. Or at least some garlic.

Because wherever there are monsters that require killing, you will find fresh-faced good girls. It stands to reason!

Destroying vampires gets you the sweet young thing.
Real men know this.




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Saturday, April 22, 2017

THE REAL HOUSEWIVES ARE PARADIGMS, BITCHES, PARADIGMS!

She's all about energy and positive things. Jesus Christ. Are YOU all about energy and positive things? Because if you aren't, you just don't measure up to the standards of some rich dingbat on the Real Housewives. Frankly, the only reason to watch that show is to be astounded by the self-importance and conceit of typical American women.
Vicious she-sasquatches.

Of whom there are an increasing number in San Francisco.
They come here for the hipsters, obviously.


Girls, just bang one at random and bag him, then take your brand new husband-thing and go back to where the eff ever.


You're breathing our air.


On a slightly different note, there ought to be a big sign at San Francisco Airport saying "Trigger warning; you are about to enter a zone with gluten, animal protein, dairy products, and nuts." That way the tourists wouldn't ask stupid complicated questions. They have that at the airport in Hong Kong, and consequently no one there has to deal with dingy white people whining about stuff they can't eat. They just go straight to a McDonalds restaurant and order the vegan special. Sawdust McNuggets.
With kale and blueberry ketchup.

As a tourist, you probably want the one in Wanchai, conveniently close to drunken Australians and Europeans, wah, so sexy! 麥當勞; 地址: 灣仔柯布連道2號地下B,C及D4舖。It is particularly known for 美國菜、漢堡包 (American Food, Honpo bao). Bon appétit!


IMPLANTS!

The other reason why my apartment mate watches "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" is for the sheer wreckage that those women represent. Fake boobs, fake chins and noses, eyebrows, lips, tummy tucks, arse tucks, thighs, tans, attitudes, and insults. No CGI, no special effects;
their shitty facades are real.

And there are commercials for things that folks in the suburbs eat.
Which look incinerated, and not even edible.

Not only bright red glazed chicken extrudite drumstickettes, also gluten-free breadsticks, chips, dips, low fat crap, and Caucasian burritos!

Plus home goods and perfect apartments.

Beauty.


I think she's jealous of women who can make racy videos with their boobs hanging out. That's something that as a Chinese American she's incapable of. And even though I'm white, as a man I cannot do that either.
I'm just not equipped with wrecking balls.

It must be awe of cleavage. Most people of Chinese ancestry do not have excessive amounts of that, and if they are Cantonese they just love white people showing all their warts in public.

Oh, and chest freckles!

Northern Chinese women ("Mandarin speakers") sometimes do have big breasts, but those aren't entertaining in the slightest, what with those folks claiming to be distant relatives. That's so embarrassing!


"Please stop doing that!"

There's a scene in Ranma½ where after the lead character has changed into a girl (don't ask, it's complicated), one of Mr. Tendo's daughters pokes him/her in the bosoms, to see if they are real. Poinka poinka poinka!
Which they are, of course. I am certain that my apartment mate would like to do that to some Caucasians, but she would be disappointed.
Nobody is that real.



If it were up to me, that show would never be on. It is torrid, and well-nigh unwatchable. Presumably there is better stuff on teevee. But my apartment mate is fascinated by the queer antics of white people.
In which I prove disappointing.
I'm normal.




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Friday, April 21, 2017

KATE PERRY'S CURRENT MOOD

This blogger does not know who or what Kate Perry is. But millions of Indians do. And they are offended, oh boy. Much like they were pissed off when Maria Sharapova did not know what Sachin tendulkar was, or got their dhotis in bunch at Richard Gere kissing Shilpa Shetty (sacrilege!), or even the time that Winston Churchill referred to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi as "a dirty old bonze in a bedsheet".

Kate Perry used an illustration of a bloodthirsty she-horror to illustrate her emotional state. Which got some people up in multiple arms.



Sorry, all of you frenzied subcontinentals, but your apoplexy will NOT make me research who the heck Kate Perry is. I am not interested.

I should mention that your fits are far more fascinating.
And many of you spell like Trump supporters.
Maybe y'all need help.

Couldn't Kate Perry play Kali in a Bollywood musical? One with tens of thousands of singing and dancing devotees, plus cameo appearances by Sachin Tendulkar, Mel Gibson, and Shilpa Shetty.
It would be a feast for the eyes.
An extra-vaganza.


There has got to be a role in there for Maria Sharapova too.


But absolutely no nudity or kissing.
It upsets your sensibilities.


A seminarian friend once remarked that if you didn't possess a sense of humour you don't deserve a religion. But that may have just been transubstantiation.



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Thursday, April 20, 2017

SUCH SOCIAL CREATURES

Being possessed of the evil eye as far as her cooking is concerned, most especially when she is preparing large buckets of exquisite kibble for her boyfriend, I stay out of the kitchen when she is engaged in culinary efforts.
So I do not know what she prepared for his enjoyment later this week.
It involves potatoes, and probably butter and cream.
Plus, one imagines, a meat dish.
All of which is now in plastic baggies in the freezer.


Sometimes I resent his even having to eat at all.


I don't mind her in the kitchen when I'm cooking, because I don't need the entire room plus all the elbow space between the counter and the stove.
I am a more planned and deliberate cook, and not easily sidetracked.

I could sneer about female inefficiency and act snootily superior, but actually the difference is methodological rather than gender based. And she stays out when I am preparing my food, probably because I'm loopy then.


From eight till past eleven last night I napped while she commanded the cooking facilities. When I awoke rain was falling, which ceased at around quarter to twelve. She was bathing at that time, and if I wanted to use the kitchen, there was an opportunity.
Having eaten too much at the Vietnamese restaurant -- one meal, for one man, but my stomach is smaller than it used to be -- all I required was a beverage with a little caffeine.


I always cook, eat, bathe, and sleep by myself. Tea and coffee likewise.
Sometimes I wonder what it would be like with another person.
One who enjoyed the sound of rain.

It's obviously an abstract issue, because of the women in my ambit none that appeal have jumped out as being single.
Nor have I asked.

I keep waiting for an imaginary friend.




Because of a schedule switch this week, I am off today. The plan is to putz around the empty apartment for a while, then head to Chinatown for lunch, followed by a pipe. If it remains dry I shall eventually end up at Sue Bierman Park to admire the parrots.




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THE PROMISE: ARMENIAN GENOCIDE, TURKISH DENIAL

A movie about the mass killing of Armenians by the Turkish government, ably assisted by Turkish officials and common citizens, will be released soon. And, obviously, the Turks are not particularly happy about that.

There are many things about which Turks are deservedly not happy.
Their nation's role in the horrific events is one of them.

This blogger has liked almost all Turkish people he has ever met. Having lived in Holland, you will understand that I have met a lot of them.
And I also know Turks in San Francisco.

Their insistent rejectionism, lies, and defensive denial of what their people did, their nation, is probably one of their most unlikable characteristics, which makes their involvement in the European sex-slave trade pale in comparison. As well as their other criminal activities.

If anything establishes the danger of a Turkish presence in the urban areas of Western Europe, it is what they did to the Armenians, the Assyrian Christians, and the Greeks.


Quite possibly nothing exemplifies their loathsomeness more than Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whom our own president recently congratulated for the shenaniganic election victory which his loyal flunkies gave him.

I am repulsed by the world. But mostly by the Turks and the Republican Swamp (now bigger and bolder than ever).

Republican business ties with Turkey will surely improve.
The folks in Washington have no shame.
And they like tyrants.



In any case, go see The Promise.

It opens this coming Friday in San Francisco, and there could be a bunch of radical Berkeleyites outside the theatre screaming shit.
Or the Tea Party contingent. Maybe both.
It's a crap shoot.


"In the waning days of the Ottoman Empire, with defeat at the hands of the Allies all but assured in the Great War, Turkish authorities began rounding up the Empire’s Armenian population for systematic extermination."

"“The Promise” premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) last September, but before the end credits had even finished rolling, there were thousands of negative reviews posted to the IMDB."

"“Basically what happened was either 55,000 Turks decided to vote having not seen the movie, or someone installed a bot to continually inflate that number,” he said. “I think that’s the history of Turkey with this story for the past hundred years.”"


-----Terry George, quoted in The Washington Post.


It probably does not need to be said that The Washington Post is a respected part of the legitimate news media, despised by Republicans, Trump voters, radical fringe elements and, conspiracy tards.
And, almost certainly, the Turks.


Erdo-effing-gan.




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IF ONLY THEY WOULD STOP SAYING "EH"!

Reports suggest that big companies operating in a number of countries are now organizing their sales conferences in places like Mexico and Canada instead of the United States. So that staff from countries which our customs and border enforcers at airports have never heard of but are convinced are populated entirely by deviants and Muslims won't be hassled upon entry.
Everyone feels safer flying to Mexico and Canada.

Which, when you think about it, is a jolly good thing.

It means that our own people will finally see parts of the world which they believed were only fairy tales used to scare little children, AND it means that San Francisco will get far fewer visitors.


The ones that do come will mostly be adventurous Germans and Chinese speaking sincere English. Fewer Midwesterners, fewer Texans, fewer bollocky European bidniz types who hate everything.


"In Balgutia we do not of tip; wait staff are of obsequiously joy-filled only to serve of us and lick of boots!"


Sure, I know our tourist industry depends on visitors. But the rest of us, frankly, can't stand most of them, and don't work in the hospitality field. Other Americans are ignorant and big as houses, most foreigners are too used to sneering at the United States to ever stop now, and business travelers are on the whole a bunch of rancid pustules.

And all of you people smell bad.

In fact, we don't like people who move here either.
You lot drive up prices and eat too much.
Really, you'll love Mexico.
Go there.



We like Canadians, though. Healthy polite people, who are on the whole better educated and more interesting than any number of Cis-Sierran carpetbaggers and Eurotrash.





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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

IS THE 'N' WORD EVER ACCEPTABLE?

That a Florida politician got in trouble recently over a drunken outburst in which he used the word "nigger" brings the question to mind: is using the word "nigger" ever acceptable?

The short and easy to remember answer is 'no'.


A longer and more convoluted response would condition usage of that term upon either the speaker being African American, in which case it is still offensive and had best be in a rap song (because no one pays attention to those except for wiggas), OR quoting the Major in Fawlty Towers.


To illustrate:
"I took her to see India! At The Oval! -- The strange thing was, throughout the morning she kept referring to the Indians as 'niggers'! "No, no, no!", I said, "niggers are the West Indians. These people are wogs!"."

It remains objectionable. But it shows the British in a stereotypic bad light, and illuminates why the end of the Empire was a good thing.
In context, it serves a fairly worthwhile purpose.
Better than any number of rap lyrics.
Or Florida politicians.





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THE FLOATING SCENE

The other day I passed what at one time was a damned fine dim sum place, which changed its name, rumbled on for a few years as a deservedly not very popular restaurant under different management, and has been repurposed since then for some other type of activity entirely.

When it was still a tea establishment I took three Shanghainese girls there.
They spent the entire time slagging Chinatown, the Cantonese, Hong Kong attitudes, and everything Southern Chinese and San Franciscan, and ate an enormous amount of dainties with great gusto, and bucketloads of tea (chrysanthemum Pu Er; 菊普). A great time was had.
Charming company.

[Chrysanthemum Pu Erh: 菊普茶 ('guk pou chaa'), a mixture of dried white chrysanthemum flowers (菊花 'guk faa') and aged Pu Erh tea (普洱茶 'po nei chaa') from Yunnan Province (雲南 'wan nam'), which is considered especially suitable for drinking with small snackipoos as served for breakfast-lunch in Cantonese metropolitan areas.]


I may have had an ulterior motive vis-à-vis one of them, but I've always been keenly aware of the limits of fantasy, and consequently never did anything more than deliciously imagine possibilities. My sense of reality told me that there were Shanghainese relatives in the background, and being a Cantonese-speaking kwailo would cut me no mustard.

Everything Cantonese is so déclassé (落入社會底) if you are from a mud flat on the Woosung (吳淞江) where pig carcasses (死猪) slowly drift past (漂漂流流了). As they do.

Nobody famous or rich ever spoke Cantonese!
It's a fairly useless language.
Peasants.


For many years the Cantonese knew Shanghai primarily as a city of of sin, where prostitutes, politicians, and gangsters catered to the whimsies of Imperialists, wore silk, smoked expensive cigarettes, and ate eels.
No one had even heard of xiaolongbao in those days.

[I concede that xiaolongbao are very clever.]


Remarkably, there are now Cantonese Restaurants in Shanghai, mostly located near the big hotels, so it's possible to get dim sum there.

逸龍閣,利苑,翡翠酒家,金御酒家,御寶軒,南江 ...

Shanghai has improved over the years.
Chinatown has declined.


Nope, still not ever going to learn Shanghainese.
Sounds like a leaky soda water syphon.
All hissing and spitting.




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SHEER PORKCHOPPY MAGNETISM!

Gracious that was delicious! Tender meat smothered in tomato and onion with a pile of rice. Which was not what I set out to get, but after visiting my bank I needed lunch, and decided to head over to a familiar chachanteng, where normally I just have Hong Kong milk tea and a pastry or two.
The pork chop rice plate fair jumped out at me.
It was something I never had before.
A grievous omission.

That lunch definitely bears repeating.


番茄豬扒飯
['faan-ke chyu-baa faan']

Two thin chops, with cooked fresh sweet tomato, and a little onion. Rice fluffy. No need for hot sauce. Delicious. Possibly they salted and peppered the meat before pan-frying. The heat must have been immense but brief, terminating in fresh chopped tomato, onion, and a splash of liquid.
Probably one of the best meals I've eaten.

Soup and a roll included.


I should also mention that I must have been radiating something yesterday, as six women in Chinatown reacted with pleasure upon seeing me. Maybe it's my faint perfume of tobacco, or more likely they recognized me, and for a non-threatening middle-aged goofus I'm kinda likeable.
Or something like that.

It can't be my sex appeal, because three men did the same.

Besides, if I actually had sex appeal, it would probably frighten people. "The were-wolf came up the stairs, and a horde of people panicked and fled." "A dark cloud of dread preceded the old coot where ever he went, causing pedestrians to quail, and tender females to avert their eyes."
Let us assume that I am a known quantity.
A familiar landmark.



AFTER WORD

Upon finishing my lunch I ponced around a bit with pipe and tobacco for a while, revisiting several alleyways, terminating at the edge of Portsmouth Square, where I observed the loonies near the end of my bowl.
Still baffled at the man wearing only dirty shorts.
If I had that torso, I should hide it.




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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO PLEASURE

People obsess over all kinds of things. And pipe smokers are, of course, more obsessive than most. I often tell people who are new to the field that if they weren't neurotic before, they will be soon. Minutiae such as packing, lighting, tamping, degree of moisture in the tobacco for optimum pleasure, company not to keep when enjoying the finest mixtures ......
Certainly my friend the bookseller has heard me gibber often enough about such subjects, which I have recompensed by patiently listening, Sigmund-Freud-like, to him talking on and on and on about baseball.
Lord knows baseball is boring and insane.
Hit ball, run around.
Yay.

Or NOT hit ball, run around anyway.
Yay also.


My apartment mate occasionally obsesses over cake. She recently bought a strawberry Swiss-roll. And was wondering what it would taste like with butter ice cream melting into it. Seriously, I worry about that girl.
Such excessive appetites!

I am far more Spartan (downright Puritanical) in my tastes, and consequently I am gloat over an entirely different thing.
A squat bulldog, Comoy shape 331.

Here is an illustration I lifted from Smokingpipes.com



Well gosh darn, isn't that just a gorgeous pipe shape? Comoy's always had the best designs. The one that has recently entered my collection does not have two-tone finish like the example pictured above, being more of a waxed dark-natural hue, and like many Comoy pipes it has someone else's shop-stamping (they did that a lot between the thirties and seventies), but it has not a single fill, and the briar is good old wood.

It is the second example I have acquired in the last decade or so. A rare and beautiful shape, pretty much the very piss-elegant paradigm of squat bulldogs. Yes, I had to re-cut the mouthpiece, because the previous repair dude did a piss-poor job of matching it to the bowl -- not unusual, but this was a particularly loathsome attempt -- and I've already smoked it a few times with a lovely Virginia-Perique blend of my own devising.
But I will continue to gloat over this shape.
Yay me, a Comoy shape 331.
Yay again.



Cake and baseball, good grief. Sometimes I just cannot understand other people. Shapes make sense. Shapes are what life is all about. Shapes are something you can hold. Whereas baseball and cake are far too soon exhausted, and do not lead to any lasting pleasure.
Or gloating. Gloat gloat gloat!




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CHOP IN A BOWL OF RICE

First you make a dark brown roux. Then you add veal stock plus browned meat bones, and vegetables (carrot, onion, celery, garlic). Simmer it slowly, skimming frequently, till considerably reduced. Add more veal stock and repeat. Then, a splash more stock, and some tomato puree. Strain.
It should be dark and remind you of chocolate.
This is your classic Espagnole.
If velvety, demi-glace.

Take a thick slice of pork tenderloin, pound it a bit, dust it with flour, dip it in beaten egg, flip-flop it in breadcrumbs, and dump it in the deep fryer. Remove and drain. Set aside for a moment.

Put some sliced cabbage OR lettuce in a sauce pan over heat to wilt. Take it out, place in a bowl of piping hot rice. Now slice or chop the pork cutlet into thick strips, place on top of the vegetable, and pour demi-glace over it. You may add some cooked peas for artistic effect.

Voila! Demi-katsudon, Okayama style.



Normally, katsudon has the cutlet placed on sliced onions cooking in a typical Japanese sauce (dashi, soy, sugar, rice wine), beaten egg rather casually plooped over, briefly lidded to cook the egg, and the whole thing slipped onto rice. Garnished with sliced seaweed, mostly for colour.
Again, a few cooked peas for appearance.



Seeing as I like long-grain rice, rather than short-grain Japanese sticky rice, and am not overly fond of either dashi or onions, when I do something like this it is with demi-glace, small bok choy, and no peas.
Plus a blop of Sriracha or sambal ulek.
And a squeeze of lime.

Sometimes, a Wiener Schnitzel instead of the pork.

Let's call it the breakfast of champions.


Yōshoku (洋食)



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Monday, April 17, 2017

THE HEADGEAR MAKES IT SPECIAL

Ran across an evocative utterance today: "the lone drummer now crosses the parade ground to re-join the massed bands". Which, to the person in the know, paints a picture. The bands move to the back of the field, the escort marches forward, the subaltern will hold them at twenty paces in front of the colour.

At which point the television announcer starts talking too much.
Dear man, we don't want to know all of that.
Or any of it at all, really.

We want drums.


Actually, what we really want to do is sneak off by ourselves, and in some deserted courtyard light up a pipe while the ritual continues, still audible, but faint in the distance.

The complicated turning of the bands is, I suppose, splendid, but other than the occasional sprightly tune and the bright colours, the whole affair is a bit boring for its length.


I have a fondness for a few marches, but find parades to be rather dull. It's like watching a puddle of John Phillip Sousa drying in the hot sun and fragment by fragment peeling off the tarmac in the breeze.

Perhaps Marathon races and parades ought to be combined. Everybody trotting past at high speed, with a bouncy musical accompaniment.
Like the strapping lads below.

COME QUESTI BERSAGLIERI ...


[SOURCE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNHOLMRoMK4.]

Bouncity, bouncity, bouncity.

Vigorous boys!


A splendid spectacle, quite clever really, and those flippity floppity hats add a je ne sais quoi to it. Pom pom pom, pommity pommity pom pom pom.




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