At the back of the hill

Warning: May contain traces of soy, wheat, lecithin and tree nuts. That you are here
strongly suggests that you are either omnivorous, or a glutton.
And that you might like cheese-doodles.
Please form a caseophilic line to the right. Thank you.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

THIS AGGRESSION WILL NOT STAND!

Sources inform us that Belarus is presently planning to invade Wajsznoria to assist a separatist movement funded by Moscow. Operatives from the Belarussian State Security (Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti) have already crossed the border and penetrated deep into their neighbor's territory to seize bridges and vital strategic sites when the order is given.

[Note: Wajsznoria is known in Russian, Belarusian, and Ukranian as "Veyshnoria", in Wajsznortsev and Polish as 'Wajsznoria'. During the Hapsburg period the area was called 'Villberger Granitsa', or 'Waeßnurn'.]

There has been a concentration of Belarusian military equipment outside Wajsznoria's borders since early August, and the government recently announced a partial mobilization.


"GO HOME AND GET A NICE QUIET SLEEP"

Trump has indicated that he considers Wajsznoria to be more or less Russian anyway, and sees no benefit to expanding Nato's sphere of influence OR pressuring Putin in this and other matters.
Additionally, the separatist enclave of Lubenia has historic ties to Muscovy, as recognized by American governments since John Quincy Adams, and the Lubenian dialect of Wajsznorian is only spoken by a small number of ethnic nationalists, who are widely considered a "cosmopolitan liberal intellectual elite" with no ties to the land or the common people.

After the fall of the Iron Curtain, Wajsznoria was one of the few Eastern European countries to reject any American diplomatic presence, and U. S. relations with the government in Giradis (the capital city) were strained till Obama's second term, when a small trade mission was established, which was destroyed during the onion riots in 2014 and 2015.
The Trump Administration has since January put its hopes on the Russian supported Lubenian Democratic People's Front.

According to a source close to Trump: "We are determined to continue our efforts to remove sources of difference - we believe it is peace for our time."



Lubenian intellectual Pavel Usov, has stated that "Wajsznoria is a peaceful country, democratic in its structure and has never pursued an aggressive policy towards its neighbors", and begs the international community to intervene.


[Belarusian Airborne Division, BBC NEWS]

"It is likely that Moscow provoked a conflict between Minsk and Giradis in order to re-establish control over the Lubenian Oblast and not allow Wajsznoria to join NATO and the EU." he said in Lubeniopolsk (the second largest metropolis), reflecting on the tensions surrounding the country's desire to link with the West.

"The Wajsznortsevan army, though small, is quite modern. I expect that Wajsznoria will be able to defend her territorial integrity and independence."

[SOURCE: Pavel Usov.]


The government of Wajsznoria, through the War Department and the Foreign Department, has circulated thousands of eye-catching pamphlets in the zone near the frontier guaranteeing humane treatment to Belarusian soldiers who desert, promising them stew, honey, bread and lard.

The news in the coming days should prove interesting.




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IT'S BETTER THAN RELIGION!

A friend, having read my threat to force sweet little women to EAT. THE. CAKE. advises that it is a splendid idea and encourages me to do so forthwith. And he wishes me godspeed doing so.

This came at the same time as he opined that pineapple had no business being in fried rice (a colleague of his pitched a monumental spoiled brat hissy when she could not get that) or on pizza, and I agreed, stating that adding pineapple was an unutterable perversion.
And sometimes I like perversion.

The last time I had Hawaiian pizza it was delicious.
Hit the spot, plus some. Boy howdy.
And yowza.


I had written: "my drang to force sweet pastries such as for instance Linzer Torte upon women has not diminished".

Let us then shortlist various cakes which are classics.


蛋糕類

Sachertorte (薩赫蛋糕; a remarkable chocolate cake), Linzertorte (林茲蛋糕; shortcrust enveloping raspberry or apricot compote), Swedish Princess Cake (瑞典王妃蛋糕; a confection covered in a thick layer of green-coloured marzipan), Pineapple Upside Down Cake (倒扣菠蘿蛋糕; delicious white trash), Schwarzwälder Kirsch Torte (黑森林蛋糕; "mmm, excellent"), Lemon Pound Cake (檸檬磅蛋糕; available at convenience stores and old-fashioned nineteen eighties style soup - salad - sandwich shops), the Gateau St. Honoré (聖奧諾雷蛋糕; a larger and probably typically North Beach version of the classic pastry, because excess is wonderful), Galuszka (匈牙利蛋糕), the Boston Creampie (波士頓派; layers filled with custard, glazed with chocolate), Dobostorte (多柏思蛋糕; sponge and buttercream layers, ground hazelnuts on the sides, caramel crust on top), and the infamous Smith Island Cake, which is basically an overly neurotic Yankee version of the Prinzregententorte (巴伐利亞區的攝政王蛋糕).

There is also Dundee Cake (鄧迪水果蛋糕), a well-known British tea-time confection decorated with almond pieces on top.


Unfortunately, most of these are quite unavailable at the coffee shops and bakeries I frequent. I shall have to search, and explore further.


When you think about it, a nice piece of cake is not only the surest way to cure existenzangst and weltschmerz, but ALSO a dynamite method of non-verbal communication. Cake says so much so utterly eloquently.

The world would be a better place if there were more.

Find someone nice, share cake.




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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

THE NAKED WOMAN

Best text from the internet, that being an example of male authors writing about female characters.

This:
"Cassandra woke up to the rays of the sun streaming through the slats on her blinds, cascading over her naked chest. She stretched, her breasts lifting with her arms as she greeted the sun. She rolled out of bed and put on a shirt, her nipples prominently showing through the thin fabric. She breasted boobily to the stairs, and titted downwards."


Who is this woman who has such a see-through shirt, where does she live, and why on earth does she favour dysfunctional garments? Here in San Francisco -- the apex and acme of the civilized world compared to which all other places except conceivably Altdorf in Switzerland near where we spent some delightful summer vacations when I was young -- for most of the year the mornings are NOT sun-drenched.
Certainly not now.
Fog.

Entirely aside from which, a nearly naked woman boobily breasting around our apartment building early in the A.M. would cause the other tenants to call the cops pretty damned fast. Especially titting down.

Maybe she is on the verge of hysteria?

Or nearly toppling over.

Junoesque.




The rest of the conversation in which the bit about Cassandra was cited, was, mostly, about brassieres. The male voices faded into the background as women vociferated about bad engineering and materials. Except for the occasional squawky and inconsequential bosom-focused remark.

Persuant which miss D. W-B. stated "Here's a thought: our breasts are not for you to be enamored of; they are literally parts of our bodies."

Okay. They are parts of your bodies.

We knew that.




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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

INTERNATIONALLY PRETENTIOUS

Cruising through the internet pages of the local newsrag this morning, and of course the one article that begged to be devoured was about food. Seeing as it is close to lunch time here in San Francisco. On a day off, when one normally wishes to eat real stuff instead of the apathetic muck from a convenience store in Marin County, the main attraction of which is the Punjabi dudes who work there and the Mexican labourers getting "spicy" chicken wings for breakfast.

The entitled white yutzes cruising in for a copy of the New York times and an energy drink when I stop by on my way to work are the rancid icing on that cake, and metaphorically the sloppy housewives or pudgy teenagers become the indigestible carob sprinkles. Patient almost saintly Punjabis, well-built Latinos snarfing wings: this keeps you grounded.

If it weren't for them, and the occasional elderly retired coot who has read much, travelled widely, observed keenly, and can talk intelligently about all of that, Marin might very well see many more mass shootings.


Especially after several hours (on Sunday) of dealing with neurotics. One droning Chinese American putz with a rich inner life who drools over fancy lighters, one pudgy well-bred ignorant specimen of pampered prosperous Caucasian who drools over fancy lighters, one Persian man-boy who has too much money and too little breeding who drools over fancy lighters, and lastly one extremely typical Philippino manifestation of a father worshipping unproductive rich kid who even in his early thirties will never truly grow up but instead drift through life with his family's wealth and connections helping him coast as an eternal consumerist unless he truly messes up and becomes a drug addict instead of just an alcoholic, who drools over fancy lighters.

It's a rich spectrum of human exemplars.


Sometimes I think the Space Aliens need to wipe us all out, now, instead of observing us and occasionally anal probing.


Anyhow. The article.
San Francisco chefs name their favorite dishes
(other than their own)
.

[Local rag: SFGate.]


Many culinary stars of whom I have never heard, from restaurants I do not go to, list their dream-dishes from other eateries most of which are not on my list, beautifully and appetizingly illustrated.
Much of this visual feast is Japanese, Korean, and Hawaiian in inspiration, some of it contains ingredients on which commoners like myself will not spend our hard-earned drug and tobacco money, and quite a bit is altogether more than oh-so-effing-precious.

I worked part-time in an Indian restaurant for many years, there are several hundred cookbooks and culinary reference works in my library, and I often prepare myself tasty meals using ingredients which are considered normal both here in SF and in many other parts of the world, besides dining out with curiosity and discrimination.

I am not unfamiliar with food.

Our masters culinarists in the Bay Area follow in the footsteps of that well-know white food expert who opened a fashionable Chinese restaurant not too far from Chinatown to show the Cantonese here how to cook, because real Chinese food could not be found in SF and would be so much better than the rancid lower-class slop the local Asian Americans ate.

It was vibrant, and infused with deep knowledge.
Artistic, educated, plus "gutsy" and "bold".


The article is interesting and the photos are lovely.
It is visually extremely exciting.


I am heading into Chinatown for lunch soon.
Somewhere loud, and cheap.
Going to eat well.





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Monday, August 28, 2017

THE DELICATE LITTLE BUTTERCUPS!

Sometimes I wonder why the other humans around me even bother. They feel far too entitled, and do not derive nearly as much humour from events. This afternoon one of the endearing local eccentrics (in other words, stark raving mad and very irritating, but well-funded) spent several hours lying flat on the lawn smoking and bemoaning the state of the universe.
Inside, the right-wingers were blaming a lone liberal for the coming war with North Korea. And all of them fear a civil war right here at home.
In between arguing about sports.

On the other hand, I finished cleaning a dozen briar pipes, and smoked three bowls of a fine Virginia and Perique concoction while swilling tea.
So by the time I left, I was zipped to the tits and in a splendid mood.


From which we can logically deduce that Marin-people are tender little buttercups, easily triggered poor dears, and that cigars do absolutely nothing for their tenuous sanity.

No mention of Houston. Because if nature is to blame, especially during a Republican presidency, in a Republican and remarkably retrograde part of the world like Texas, it is pointless to accuse Obama.
He did his best: Operation Jade Helm.
They recalcitrated.



There is eggplant and sausage in the kitchen, cooling down as I write this.
A slight amount of curry paste, major whack of tomato, and sambal plus peppers added to the pan.

Wheat noodles, and a squeeze of lemon juice.
So: meat, gluten, chili, and citrus.
Not edible in Marin.
Buttercups.




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WEATHER INDUCED MADNESS

Today the temperature in San Francisco will be in the low seventies by mid afternoon. With nearly zero chance of precipitation. Down to barely above sixty after dark. This, of course, will lead to strange behaviour.
We are not used to warmth.

We often run around during warm weather yelling "I'm naked!"

Remarkably, Houston will have nearly the same temperature, but it will rain all or most of the time, contributing to the general sense of well-being of people who live elsewhere.

I do sympathize with them, but not excessively.


One of the reasons I live in San Francisco is because it isn't Texas.


And I get to scream "I'm NAKED!"


Anytime I want to.


That counts.




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Sunday, August 27, 2017

IT IS A TALENT SOME PEOPLE HAVE

It turns out that my readers this week had one thing on their minds. And really, they should be ashamed of themselves, the ruddy freaks. One post outranked all other posts combined, and it is possible that rather than a school project with all of them ending up here by virtue of stout research, that juicy piece was passed from hand to hand like a cheat sheet.

Last week the news was full of masturbating Chinese.

Which may have brought many readers here.

Looking for a Cantonese Pervert.

AKA 'haam sap lo'.

鹹濕佬


HOW TO BE A PERVERT

No, that essay doesn't tell you how to excel at 'haam sap'. Just use hairgel, okay? And don't zelfbevredig too much, it causes blindness in lab rats. Instead of striving to be a rancid deviant, how about becoming an upstanding member of society?

As I am.


Me and my zesty blog are the LAST place you should look for lessons on being a slime-o-zoid. Through no fault of my own I haven't seen a wiggums in so long I'd probably spray it with roach poison. There is no operative randy dandy here. In theory I know how to be a lively devil, but in practice my high standards coupled with the distaste of this modern age for crusty old geezers prevent anything from happening.

Again, hair gel. Shiny shirt material. Sound like you're oozing. Make the "eye see panties" stare your own. Don't join the army, wherever you are.
Use far too much Axe Body Spray.
Lisp deviantly.



AFTER WORD

On the other hand, if instead of freaking people out, you really want to get to know someone, the phrase "miss, would you like some candy" probably doesn't work. That's just a guess. My ex was working part-time in a candy store when I first met her, so it would have been pointless to ask.
And at that time she considered me a right creep anyway.

Had I asked, she'd have thought me a loony too.




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THE CAKE YOU DESERVE

A few years ago I threatened to bully random females with Linzer Torte if my loneliness and depression over the relationship that failed did not lessen. Well, it was a dark time, and the idea of forcing sweet young things to eat cake despite their fear of delicious stuff (like Linzer Torte) was rather amusing to me. Comforting, even.

Cake pervert.

The good news is that I have indeed recovered. The bad news is that my drang to force sweet pastries such as for instance Linzer Torte upon women has not diminished. It is a traditional cake in central Europe.

One of these days I might really do it.

Imagine the headlines.


林茲蛋糕

Linzer Torte is a baked shortcrust containment of raspberry or apricot jam, with nuts added to the dough, pastry lattice to cover, and sliced almonds strewn over all. As cakes go, of ancient provenance.

Cake is such a happy word.


The other day while eating lunch (三鮮燴飯 'saam sin wui faan') a young lady sat down two tables over and started shyly eating the slice of cake she had bought. One sensed that it was a treat she wasn't used to, by the near-clumsiness with which small forkfulls were managed. But delicious.

Cake!

In an ideal world, ALL women between first teeth and mid-thirties of age would be familiar with cake. Even, dare one say it, Linzer Torte.


She really should have had a hot beverage with that.




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Saturday, August 26, 2017

A NEW YORK FEAR OF SOLANUM MELONGENA

A friend in New York bewails eggplant, which his snookums is forcing him to eat. One imagines a person who looks like Agnes from the Despicable Me franchise sternly facing down a minion with spectacles and a kippah over the shabbes dinner table. Because, apparently, he hates eggplant.

He has been told that there will be no nose snarling, and to take five big bites at least. Despite his bad memories of being offended with cooked eggplants as a grown-up. Probably by other adult delinquents in the synagogue parking lot after playing hooky from kiddush club.

Not being from New York, I imagine strange goings on there. Really, I have no idea what life in New York is like. But eggplants are a bad part of it.


A while back I posted a recipe ("fish flavour egg plant", 魚香茄子 'yü heung ke ji'), which with some minor inventive modification could be made kosher, but I hesitate to suggest that course of action to him and his snookums, for fear of mayhem.

He is laying in a supply of home-baked cookies in case there is nothing else to eat, which shows foresight.


Fearing eggplant is a very English thing.


We Mediterranean types just adore aubergine!


You can stop snarfling into your soup, it's very rude.



Thanks to my apartment mate, who seriously enjoys watching white bitches fighting and getting drunk on teevee, I have seen an inordinate amount of 'Real Housewives of New York'. I don't remember any eggplants.
That probably reflects a very New York sensibility.

One can't associate New York with food.

Not after hearing about pizza.

Or "New York Chinese".



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Friday, August 25, 2017

ENCOURAGING SAN FRANCISCO RIOTS SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME

This blogger might not have communicated his ideology correctly to the conservative yutzes in the cigar lounge. Which is not entirely regrettable. "Hey bald dipshit, can I give your dog a biscuit?" "Sure, socialist dude!"
There are far worse things than being called a socialist.
A balding rightwing dilwad, for instance.


Yeah, I'd like to see "things" happen.
Mass slaughter in particular.
Republican death.


I've kind of had it with America's privileged classes, and really wouldn't mind if revolutionary forces exsanguinated several thousand of them, burning down their gated communities in that process.


Which would mean that Marin and Palo Alto would be desolate.


No problem. We'd survive their extinguishment.
Hell, we would probably thrive.
Fudge them.


Tomorrow and Saturday our city fathers wish us to burn out by protesting far away from Crissy Field, where bible-flogger Trump-supporting asshats will be singing Christian songs and testifying to the warm soggy feeling that Donald Trump, Michael, Savage, and Paul Ryan give them.


The vast amorphous masses smell blood.


Let the hunger games begin.




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Thursday, August 24, 2017

SAUERKRAUT ON THEIR BRAINS

Why ruin good food with ketchup? Because ketchup is the amateur's gateway to a better life through condiments. Eventually culminating, one hopes, with Tierenteyn Mosterd and Sriracha chilisauce. Possibly even, oh rare miracle, various Indian achaars. Gotta start somewhere, small steps.
To which Ra'anan responded: "Practice safe sandwiching. Use a condiment."

And all of this because someone dared suggest that ketchup, remoulade, and both raw and fried onions, like at Bæjarins Beztu on Tryggvagata near the city centre, was the proper treatment for hot dogs.
Go ahead, feast like a Viking!


Feh!


It may have been overly optimistic to throw these ideas out into a gathering of New Yorkers. I could sense the murderous vibes from three thousand miles away. One of them opined that sausages with mustard and sauer- kraut was pure bliss. Sweet Italian, because kosher brats are hard to find.
Opinions were extremely divided on onions.
But nobody mentioned relish.
Or sport peppers.


"Practice safe sandwiching. Use a condiment."


Tierenteyn mustard is an icon made from vinegar, salt and fine-ground mustard seed, stylistically similar to Dijonnaise. But different.
Manufactured, and much appreciated, since 1790.
It is only available in Ghent.

It is the proper accompaniment to pâté, jambon, rabbit, cheese, and chops. And would probably compliment artisanal British Bangers made with real meat. It is NOT dolloped on hot dogs. Possibly it should be.


New Yorkers also have strong opinions about sauerkraut.
Their version of sauerkraut is baffling.
Likely suitable for pizza.




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THE RESILIENT FEMALE MIND

While wandering down Trenton Street (登頓街) past what used to be Y Ben House (會賓樓) toward "much good" (多好), I spied my friend from a couple of days ago and her daddy walking up hill. Both of them waved at me, I waved back. I am pleased to report that she appears to have a thing for Totoro (龍貓).


All bright little girls should like Totoro. It shows good taste and sound judgment. There's a handsized plush Totoro fob hanging from her backpack.


Y Ben House closed back in late summer or autumn of 2011, but Dol Ho is still open, so dim sum can yet be had on that stretch. Although with the renovation going on in the two housing developments there, the street seems a little deserted.
Many of the folks who lived there have had to relocate for the duration, which is a hardship, as almost every store and service they rely on is now quite a distance away. One of those uprooted people showed me a flyer his new residence shoved under every door. What did it mean?

It meant that on Friday from 8:30 AM till 5:00 PM there will be no hot water (嗰間樓從8:30到5:00冇熱水). I wrote it down for him.


There are several folks I know who over the next few years will become more and more reliant on very small people, as those individuals gain further literacy in English. Which is not the easiest language to learn; it is best to start when young.

Until the two little boys at the lunch counter I visited today and the little girl with the Totoro dangling from her backpack are in second grade at least, things may be a little baffling.

I wonder if her parents have seen My Neighbor Totoro.
And if so, in which language.
Did they like it?




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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

MAYBE HE'S ON CRACK?

Living in San Francisco puts one in touch with a vast spectrum of humanity that includes rambling drug addicts, the utterly insane, investment bankers, potentially violent psychos, denizens of the heartland, and people who have turned English into a private language so abstruse that it would take a linguistics major to figure out what planet they came from.

As you can guess I put up with many of them. I have to.

I also know individuals who voted for Trump.

Who speechiweechied yesterday.

He knows words.


No, I did not watch or listen. That man gives me gas. Fortunately CNN did, and then happily highlighted fifty seven key statements from last night that taken together tell you everything you need to know about the man and the orator. In his florilegium (Donald Trump -- Arizona speech) editor Chris Cillizza interpolated clarificatory remarks, to make it easier to understand. But I feel that the material stands on its own as stream of consciousness spew from a diseased mind. Sort of a crazy man on bus kind of thing.


Here it is, without the comments.

Trumpismo!

"And just so you know from the Secret Service, there aren't too many people outside protesting, OK. That I can tell you. A lot of people in here, a lot of people pouring right now. They can get them in. Whatever you can do, fire marshals, we'll appreciate it. You know I'd love it if the cameras could show this crowd, because it is rather incredible. It is incredible. We went to center stage almost from day one in the debates. We love those debates. Our movement is a movement built on love.

We all share the same home, the same dreams and the same hopes for a better future. A wound inflicted upon one member of our community is a wound inflicted upon us all.

I see all those red hats and white hats. It's all happening very fast. It's called: 'Make America Great Again.' Just like (the media doesn't) want to report that I spoke out forcefully against hatred, bigotry and violence and strongly condemned the neo-Nazis, the White Supremacists, and the KKK. So here is my first statement when I heard about Charlottesville -- and I have a home in Charlottesville, a lot of people don't know. 
So here's what I said, really fast, here's what I said on Saturday: 'We're closely following the terrible events unfolding in Charlottesville, Virginia' -- this is me speaking. 'We condemn in the strongest, possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence.' That's me speaking on Saturday.


I think I can't do much better, right?


I hope they're showing how many people are in this room, but they won't. I call them anarchists. Because, believe me, we have plenty of anarchists. They don't want to talk about the anarchists. If you're reading a story about somebody, you don't know. You assume it's honest, because it's like the failing New York Times, which is like so bad. It's so bad. 

Or the Washington Post, which I call a lobbying tool for Amazon, OK, that's a lobbying tool for Amazon.

Or CNN, which is so bad and so pathetic, and their ratings are going down. I mean, CNN is really bad, but ABC this morning -- I don't watch it much, but I'm watching in the morning, and they have little George Stephanopoulos talking to Nikki Haley, right? Little George. I didn't say I love you because you're black, or I love you because you're white, or I love you because you're from Japan, or you're from China, or you're from Kenya, or you're from Scotland or Sweden. I love all the people of our country.

How about -- how about all week they're talking about the massive crowds that are going to be outside. Where are they? Well, it's hot out. It is hot. I think it's too warm. You know, they show up in the helmets and the black masks, and they've got clubs and they've got everything -- Antifa! Then I said, racism is evil. Do they report that I said that racism is evil? Now they only choose, you know, like a half a sentence here or there and then they just go on this long rampage, or they put on these real lightweights all around a table that nobody ever heard of, and they all say what a bad guy I am. But, I mean do you ever see anything -- and then you wonder why CNN is doing relatively poorly in the ratings.

But with me, they wanted me to say it, and I said it. And I said it very clearly, but they refused to put it on. I hit him with neo-Nazi. I hit them with everything. I got the white supremacists, the neo-Nazi. I got them all in there, let's say. KKK, we have KKK. I got them all. So then the last one, on Tuesday -- Tuesday I did another one: 'We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence. It has no place in America.' So that was my words.

Now, you know, I was a good student. I always hear about the elite. You know, the elite. They're elite? I went to better schools than they did. I was a better student than they were. I live in a bigger, more beautiful apartment, and I live in the White House, too, which is really great.

The words were perfect. They only take out anything they can think of, and for the most part, all they do is complain. But they don't put on those words. And they don't put on me saying those words. And yes, by the way -- and yes, by the way, they are trying to take away our history and our heritage. You see that. I really think they don't like our country. I really believe that.

Look back there, the live red lights. They're turning those suckers off fast out there. They're turning those lights off fast. CNN does not want its falling viewership to watch what I'm saying tonight, I can tell you. If I don't have social media, I probably would not be standing. They'll say, 'Donald Trump is in a Twitter-storm.' These are sick people. You would think -- you would think they'd want to make our country great again, and I honestly believe they don't. I honestly believe it.

The New York Times essentially apologized after I won the election, because their coverage was so bad, and it was so wrong, and they were losing so many subscribers that they practically apologized. I must tell you, Fox has treated me fairly. Fox treated me fairly. How good is Hannity? How good is Hannity? And he's a great guy, and he's an honest guy. And 'Fox and Friends in the Morning' is the best show, and it's the absolute, most honest show, and it's the show I watch.

Oh, those cameras are going off. Wow. That's the one thing, they're very nervous to have me on live television. I'm a person that wants to tell the truth. I'm an honest person, and what I'm saying, you know is exactly right.


You've got people outside, but not very many!


So, was Sheriff Joe convicted for doing his job? He should have had a jury, but you know what? I'll make a prediction. I think he's going to be just fine, OK? It was like 115 degrees. I'm out signing autographs for an hour. I was there. That was a hot day.

But believe me, if we have to close down our government, we're building that wall. 'Extreme vetting' -- I came up with that term. And we have to speak to Mitch and we have to speak to everybody. But, you know, they all said, Mr. President, your speech was so good last night, please, please, Mr. President don't mention any names. So I won't. I won't. No I won't vote -- one vote away, I will not mention any names. Very presidential, isn't' it? Very presidential.

And nobody wants me to talk about your other senator, who's weak on borders, weak on crime, so I won't talk about him. Nobody wants me to talk about him. Nobody knows who the hell he is. Did you see Gruber got fired yesterday? He got fired because he defrauded somebody or something. Something very bad happened. Check it out. Something happened.

One vote -- speak to your senator, please. Speak to your senator. I think we've gotten more than anybody, including Harry Truman, who was number one, but they will tell you we've got none. But Kim Jong Un, I respect the fact that I believe he is starting to respect us. I respect that fact very much. Respect that fact. 

I don't believe that any president has accomplished as much as this president in the first six or seven months. I really don't believe it. They're trying to take away our culture. They are trying to take away our history. So I think we'll end up probably terminating NAFTA at some point, OK? Probably."

[End cite.]


If that man were on Muni heading downtown, you'd sit well away.

Back up, you creep.





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SMALL BITS AND PIECES

Yesterday's delicious lunch is not something that wins friends afterwards, so it is just as well that wandering around smoking my pipe was part of the programme.
That, also, does not favourably influence people.
Given that San Francisco hates tobacco.


Conflating two specific television advertisements yields "When people ask where I get my healthy glow from, I tell them I just microwaved some fish".

Which, to the uneducated palate, describes the food.


蒜香蝦醬肉粒炒飯
[Suàn xiāng xiā jiàng ròu lì chǎofàn: 'suen heung haa-jeung yiuk nap chaau faan']

Fried rice with little pork bits, shrimp paste, and garlic. Looked like crap, smelled "good", and tasted like heaven. It gave me a stomach ache because I ate too much, along with hot sauce.

Like baked Portuguese chicken rice (焗葡國雞飯 'guk pou gwok gai faan'), which is also available there, this is not food to impress the suburban white people, it's just stuff we eat.


At this time of year Chinatown is filled with foreigners -- there were well over a dozen of them up at the cashier's desk trying to pay for something with a credit card -- but none in the actual dining hall.

Push past, carefully but loud enough over the gibberant din enunciating 'entschuldigen sie bitte', 'excusez moi', 'scusi', 'izvinite pozhalusta', and 'atsiprasau' -- because you do not know where these pimply pink freaks are from -- and take a seat at the back table, which will give you a great view of the place while making it possible to listen in on the two middle aged ladies animatedly discussing a relative who bought a car.

Their conversation was strangely fascinating.
I got distracted by my food, oh boy yes.
When I looked up they were gone.



Sometimes the place seems rather understaffed. Not so when I got there, but when I left both Ah Ping and Anna had their hands full. Twice or three times as many Cantonese, at least five Mandarin speakers, and two ladies (one adult, one minor) who may have been speaking Russian and played with each others hair.



The word 粒 ('naap'; lì in Mandarin) is a very useful word. It is the classifier for rice, granules, grains, seeds, pills, hailstones, pebbles, and things of that general ilk, along with metres, some fruits.
Basically, a fragment or a small piece.





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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

YOUR LIFE IS INCOMPLETE

Several books and movies define modern culture. You've probably heard of most of them, works like Citizen Kane, Apocalypse Now, Lord of the Flies, Clockwork Orange, Wind in the Willows, Totoro, Wizard of Oz, Citizen Kane, The Readers Digest Collected Shakespeare .....

Infinitely quotable stuff: The Big Lebowski, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Borat, The Godfather, Deliverance.

Under the right circumstances, I personally cannot hear certain things without repeating to myself the phrase: "paddle faster, I hear banjos".

And I also automatically think of the name 'Cletus' when I do so.]


You might even consider some of these piffle.
Gone With The Wind, for instance.
Scarlett is a bitch.


But irrespective of your personal opinion, they are part of you and how you express yourself. Their themes and tropes are deeply embedded in your subconscious. You understand the world in their words.





Precisely so.



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SEVERAL BAD SONGS LATER

This is probably the first time I have paid any attention to Buffy The Vampire Slayer in well-over a decade. Actually, ever. Never having watched the show, I remained baffled by its appeal to several of my coworkers at the company where I worked. The premise just didn't appeal to me.

Until I saw this phrase: "I was surrounded by beautiful, needy, aggressive young women"

That is how Joss Whedon described his own work environment.


This, more or less, also applies to an evening recently at a karaoke bar. Which was fun, and I learned an awful lot about my fellow humans.
Especially about the young lady with the rambunctiously floppy bosom who was celebrating her birthday by drinking too much with close friends.
Her first number after I arrived was a rap song about licking something, during which she had trouble with the words. All of the words.
Good thing she danced energetically (and weirdly) for most of the next two hours, as that may have burned through some of the alcohol. By the time she and the designated chaperone left, I had resolved to never ever become a blonde with a keen appetite for clear liquor and a floppy bosom.

[In fact, I see myself as more likely a stunning tall black amazon, a petite Japanese schoolgirl with a sword and a pet rat, or a cat-loving lesbian Jew. I have not considered the nature of my breasts in any case. And I don't drink. Feel free to discuss.]

Being an antisocial sort, I viewed the proceedings from a perch in the back of the bar. Dispassionate, and uninvolved.


The concept of beautiful, needy, aggressive young women is interesting on a strictly intellectual level, but not being a serial philanderer or frat boy with a humongous penile hunger, I see no particular appeal on a personal level.

The floppy shelving also resides on that same intellectual plank; fascinating, in a way, especially from a distance. But one doesn't want to get too close.


I now finally know who Sarah Michelle Gellar is.
This datum does absolutely nothing for me.


I should also now make a snide comment about how many young American women seem to regard their breasts as the best aspect of their personalities, totally sparkling, oh my god.


From Wikipedia:
"The breast is positioned, affixed to, and supported upon the chest wall, while its shape is established and maintained by the skin envelope."

I don't know about you, but I find that phrase fascinating. It's sparkly.


One does not go to a karaoke bar for the conversation.
But it's better than watching drunks on the street.
And much more intellectually stimulating.
I do not know any of their names.



Because of that recent exercise I read up on Joss Whedon, B.T.V.S., Miss Gellar, breasts, cleavage, and adipose tissue. Still to do: find out what the real lyrics are to the licking song. But I'm not planning to watch Buffy.




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Monday, August 21, 2017

LAME BEYOND BELIEF

This morning I made sure to get to work early, so that at an opportune moment of my choosing I could be in the nearest parking lot or public open space -- a sidewalk, for instance -- to drink in the eclipse. That is to say, the darkness. The media had been hyping this thing for weeks; event of the decade, stupendous, and not to be missed. Do NOT look directly at it! Treat it like a psychotic street person, and avoid eye contact. Evenso. Some of us by now were expecting end of days behaviour from the fragile masses, and rioting in the streets. Scenes of mayhem and existenzangst.
Possibly even looting, if we could be so lucky.
And I was determined to be there.
I was fully prepared.
Caffeinated.

The earlier bus dropped me off in foggy overcast Marin an hour before the event was scheduled.


WORTST. ECLIPSE. EVER!!!

Grey skies, low fog over nearby hills, no direct sunlight. Just a tad gloomier than England in summer. It reminded me of several weeks I spent in Devonshire, on the days when it wasn't raining.
Normal summer weather, in other words.
Just a little less bright.



Source: Simpsons Wiki, Comic Book Guy. Ultimate responsibility (as well as any/all blame): Matt Groening & Hank Azaria.

Do not look too long into the impenetrable clouds, folks, it's dangerous. You might keel over from boredom. Or lose track of what you are supposed to be doing. Start thinking about tomato sauce and bacon over rice stick noodles, with oregano and a squirt of Sri Racha hot sauce.
Your pipe might go out.

Don't forget to add some fish paste, as it contributes nicely to the total experience and compliments fatty pork products, though if you don't have any you can substitute some anchovies, mashed up and added to the bacon when it's nearly crisp. Then dump in the chopped tomatoes.

Who organized this sorry excuse for an eclipse?

The government?

Bah!




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SOUND ADVICE FOR THE ECLIPSE

Today should be quite educational. Several hours after sunrise the world will grow dark, stay that way briefly, then gradually brighten up again.

There are, of course, a number of people I would advise to look directly at the eclipse for several minutes, drinking in its stark beauty.

Shan't mention who they are. If you've been here before you can probably guess, and you have your own list in any case.

They are the chosen few.



9:01 A.M to 11:37 A.M.

Maximum darkness will be at quarter past ten and last for a minute or so.

Some folks will disregard sense and caution, and from what I understand, regret won't be apparent until several hours afterwards, or even a day or two. Fortunately in San Francisco, and across the Gate in parts of Marin, clouds and fog will obscure the sun at that time. Which means that the chance of people defying the scientists here is somewhat lower.


The only people who have the authority to look directly at the eclipse are elected Republican officials anyway, so don't even think of it.


The rich, naturally, are also entitled.
As are righteous Christians.


Sorry.




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Sunday, August 20, 2017

THAT'S GOOD EATING!

If you want to make a certain food universally beloved (within the cultural confines of these United States), you need the four sacred toppings:
cheese, bacon, pickled Jalapeño, and barbecue sauce.
It honestly doesn't matter what it is.
They are essential.

Consider adding them the next time you make a tuna casserole.

[For the foreign readers, tuna casserole consists of noodles, frozen peas, drained canned tuna, and condensed cream of mushroom soup, jumbled together in a baking dish, with potato chips and (often) supermarket grated cheese sprinkled over, and then baked at four hundred and twenty five degrees Fahrenheit for twenty minutes till the top is golden. It is traditional at Thanksgiving, and invented by the Canadians, who hate us.]

Boston Baked Beans? Rubbery clam chowder?
Anything that Americans cook, really.
Best Yankee pot roast ever!


Imagine, if you will, the very first time you prepare that dish you learned how to make in England while you were on vacation there, Chicken Tikka Masala, and you are unsure how your relatives will react. Do not worry! Just throw cheese, bacon, pickled Jalapeño, and barbecue sauce on the yellow-orange goo, and stick it briefly under the broiler.
They will assuredly love it.


Please note that before the influx of Mexicans, we used dill pickle chips instead of Jalapeño, but we've grown up now.


Last night for dinner I had half a Vietnamese sandwich, small bag of chips, and a serving of vanilla cheesecake icecream. Plus strong coffee.
That's ten of the five food groups right there.


We Americans are simple folk.




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AND THEIR TEETH ARE BLACK BECAUSE OF IT ...

An enterprising kid, she asked me what I wanted to eat. In this she was probably encouraged by her grandma, who already knew I spoke Chinese, and may have wanted to see the girl's surprised reaction. Grandma must've been totally gratified when the kid finally asked if I also spoke English, as understanding me was obviously a struggle, given the gap between Toisan and standard Cantonese. Or rather, standard accented kwailo Cantonese.
If it hadn't been for her mother, I would've ended up with bittermelon and spare ribs (凉瓜排骨飯) instead of bittermelon and fish (涼瓜斑球飯).
Next time I'll probably have the spare ribs.


We continued our conversation in English, in consequence of which she now knows that the briar pipe which I was filling with tobacco preparatory to a post-meal smoke is, in fact, very much like a seui yin tong (水烟筒), which many people in her home town still use. Large segment of bamboo, small tobacco cup stuck into it above a water line, and you suck on the end of the vertically held bamboo bong. Then you smell smoky. Bad.

She was fascinated by my fingers, tobacco, and pipe.

You're going to do it afterwards, right?

And outside?


She is not sure if she believes in a "deity", but she's going to a Catholic school so she is being indoctrinated. Her natural skepticism indicates that there is a bullshit quotient to reports of the supernatural from her teachers ("they believe, so they say it's true"), and she's heard that before Jesus - Mary - Joseph, people believed a whole bunch of different things.
But she knows that Santa exists, because she saw him.

I don't think she was pulling my leg.

She really did see him.

He favourite after school snack, she informed me, was hard boiled egg with a drizzle of soy sauce. And there's a twirly thing that flies off a thing that contains candy, if you get the angle just right and turn it four times.
Then you press here. And she demonstrated.


Then my food came, and under her mother's watchful eye she reviewed her school lessons at another table, before going next door to see an auntie.


This was probably the best conversation with a female person I have had in a long while. No judgments, no praeconceptions. Just a frank and informative exchange about mutual interests.




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Saturday, August 19, 2017

AMERICAN, EAT MORE PORK!

Our president advocates coating bullets with pig fat to stop terrorism. While the magic efficacy of lard is somewhat in doubt -- in fact its greatest verified success has been to heal a boil on a cat's bum in England in 1970 -- as true and loyal Americans we all owe him our complete and total trust.
The problem is that there is not enough of it.
Withal, an insufficient stockpile.
We lack the fat.


BUT A SOLUTION IS OBVIOUS!


If you care at all about this country and its survival, you yourself possess the tools. Save your bacon drippings and trimmed streaky meat scraps, and regularly mail these substances to: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue North-West, Washington, DC 20500.

If all of us chip in, the problem will quickly be history.
As Mr. Bimmler said, "soon, baby".


From Wikipedia:
"Lard is pig fat in both its rendered and unrendered forms. It is obtained from any part of the pig where there is a high proportion of adipose tissue. It can be rendered by steaming it or boiling it in water and then separating the insoluble fat from the water, or by the use of dry heat. It is a semi-soft white fat with a high saturated fatty acid content and no transfats."
End quote.


Please note that the German version of Wikipedia mentions not only pig fat ("lard") but goosefat and other animal derived greases.
Zitat: "Schmalz (von schmelzen), auch Schmer (von schmieren), ist weiterverarbeitetes Schlachtfett von Tieren, vor allem von Schweinen und Gänsen. Das Schlachtfett von Rindern hat einen höheren Schmelzpunkt und wird Talg genannt."
Zitat ende.

For our purposes, this is of course incorrect.
Goosefat only kills your doctor.


One would have thought that there would be enough pork fat in the hands of our government already, but it turns out its mostly LFTB.

That address again:
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue North-West, Washington, DC 20500.

Alternatively:
310 First Street South-East, Washington, DC 20003.



Outside the U.S., address your package to:
23, Ilyinka Street, Moscow, 103132
Vnimaniye: rozovaya obezyana.





It's long march from Coventry to North Minehead.



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Friday, August 18, 2017

SHOWING A POLITE INTEREST IN MY FINGERS

The best way to trap the cat you suspect is watching you when you are asleep is to put a carboard box with a small pillow inside on the bathroom rug. And if you think about it, you will know this is true.
Bathroom. Box. Pillow. Resultantly, a cat.
I do not know why I believe this.
Nor is a cat watching me.

There are two little black cats that live in the shops along Jackson Street, there's an old orange pussy in the grocery at the bus stop where you get off for dim sum, an affectionate raggedy fur ball further down Stockton Street at the dry goods and seafood flavours place, and a stand-offish scooty mouser among the rickety vegetable bins opposite Sai Ping Yuen.

As well as two felines living inside Ping Yuen.
While it's empty during rehabilitation.

Plus a senior entity that stalks the shadows at ankle level on Pacific, just beyond milk tea and pastries.


I don't think the Chinatown Cantonese have realized that cats are primarily useful for being decorative. Cats, to them, are clearly four-legged people, who do their own things and occasionally interact with other people.
And sometimes they eat mice.
Or not.


MEH. IT'S A CAT.

Unfortunately none of the places where I go for milk tea and a pastry or snack have cats. If they did, they couldn't get rid of me. Not that I actually like cats -- there is no cat in my apartment other than the three non-self-mobile creatures mentioned as 'roomies' (see posts which describe the antics of the sock sheep, one-legged gibbon, and control-monkey, or the froad and his bouts of madness) -- nor do I go all gushy around them.
They realize that I know where the scritchy part of the head is.
And I smell interesting, like middle-aged white dude.
Do not bug me, I have a feline on my lap.
No, I don't know why he's there.
Scritch scritch scritch.

I'll be a while.


貓招引財富。
以及老鬼。




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Thursday, August 17, 2017

CIGAR FUELED BABOONS

During work today I got to overhear the unreconstructed elements justifying slavery (back then, though probably not now, because times have changed), advocating for the retention of statues of Confederate heroes (because that's our history, you know), plus more support of and understanding for the police (we're too quick to judge, that's the modern age), and similar things which make you wonder what planet these folks are from.

Pride, Patriotism, as well as Law and Order!

The other side did not have a permit!

Indeed, I think all of them except the Agreeable Subcontinental Gentleman voted for the fat-faced schmuck. The Agreeable Subcontinental Gentleman damned near shat on himself cheerfully getting along with the others.
Camaraderie among equals, and all that.

I did not get a chance to tell him of my great idea to put a statue of general Dyer in Jallianwala Bagh, because, you know, that's history.
Pride, Patriotism, as well as Law and Order!
I am sure he'll appreciate it.



During the afternoon an Irishman asked a Jew what the highest interest was that could be charged. Because naturally the Jew might know.

It is a tribute to both gentlemen that they both considered the question completely natural.

Perhaps because of post-mediaeval ignorance and Americanism.



For my next great idea, I propose painting blackface on all Confederate hero statues, and giving them the names of Soviet Politburo members. Pointless and absurd, but this way everybody can piss and moan.
Some more than others.





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THE FOUL REEK OF CITRONELLA IS IN THE AIR

So, boys and girls, what did we learn over the past few days of being on the internet sporadically?


The following:

Many Orthodox Jews and people in Israel are apologists for Trump and his Nazi base. They are out of touch with reality (if not downright berserk and insane), they read the Jerusalem Post, and they want to believe.

Do not go on the internet when one of those folks in Israel is awake; he or she will say something stupid and get your dander up.
Some of them are blithering idiots.

A video of a pudgy racist weeping and fouling his pants because the cops are after him and everyone is out to get him after the crap he pulled in Charlotteville is probably the best thing you will ever see.
He's such a sad little poo-monkey.

Ivanka has zero credibility till she disavows her father.

The Republicans spent eight years fanning the flames. Now they are "surprised", and scrambling to contain the fire.

Fox News is still garbage.



THOSE STUPID RED BASEBALL CAPS

By the way: on Saturday the twenty sixth of August, the hatefest comes to San Francisco. The racists and true Christians will gather at Crissy Field from two till five to decry the foulness of our city and scream provocative things. Free speech always means that someone will get pissed, and when you have permit for a demonstration that means that active opposition to your point of view is included in that brief.

Expect mayhem.




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