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.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

THE CELEBRATORY EGG

The disconnected man in the modern era reaches for the company of like-minded though far away people as much as if not more than back in the seventies he did for LSD or subversive literature. Although on a Saturday evening in San Francisco, the internet is nearly empty. Everybody is out getting blotto on nasty-ass fruit-flavoured vodka ('Svedka'), committing rambunctious unsafe sex with the neighbors, or celebrating passover.
Which started yesterday, and continues for another week.
The second seder is tonight.

But enough of that. I am not pesachdik.
Today's lunch proved that well.
Carnitas burrito.

There is no such thing as a kosher le pesach carnitas burrito con everything, and it was as good a celebration as I've had in five years.
Same goes for any damned holiday in any damned calendar.
I'm just not a friendly and huggable quantity.
Socially, I am Doberman.

Not the friendly Doberman next door you used to play with as a kid, more like the savage snarling Doberman with trust issues that belongs to the retired cop two streets over. The one who eats stray children.
The beast voted most likely to develop rabies.
Yes, that Doberman.


AND MORE ...

All day long people have been asking what my plans are for Easter. Rather than explaining in great grumbling pissy detail that I have no faith left, do not believe in the resurrection, and have no family or children with whom to celebrate bunnies, I have politely stated that I have no agenda.
And will probably just enjoy a quiet and sunny day off.

Food, and smoking my pipe, in Chinatown.

Oh, plus the internet, of course.

No eggs. At all.



The internet exists for only three things: cute kitten pictures, pornography, and Hungarians.


Here's a seasonally appropriate kitten picture:




I was smoking outside earlier. And it got cold.
That's why I'm a little grouchy.




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Friday, March 30, 2018

A BROMIDE FOR THE SOUL

"As grim wet dawn broke over the salt flats, Robert became aware of his surroundings. And was cognizant that last nights dinner was, possibly, still alive. He had masticated firmly and decisively, and the hot sauce should have taken care of any further problems, but, never the less, it lived."

"It had been a dark and stormy night."


Actually, I had a quiet evening yesterday. I took a nap which lasted till about seven thirty this morning, despite intending to have coffee and a last smoke. And the nearest salt flats are in Marin, nowhere near my apartment.
I am just imagining some of the cigar smokers I know.
Their lives are sometimes strange.


"He remembered the writhing on the wall."

"It was a large and thick wall, with a broad walking space on top, and parapets. It circled the estate, and the captain of industry that owned it frequently arranged orgies on top, velvetly roping off the machine gun emplacements so that the teenage girls would not spontaneously murder the peasants after all the sugary umbrella cocktails."

"They writhed in sprightly dance; a frenzy."

"Grashoppers. And cherry bourbon."


One of the sanest people yesterday was a school teacher who enjoys a cigar away the wife and teenage boys in his charge. A friendly and very rational man, unlike many of the other cigar smokers (for which see previous essay underneath), whose company he does not seek.
We discussed literature while he lit his cheroot, before he went back out onto the patio to continue reading.
He's still on the novel from last week.
It's a bit of a slog.


BOB HONEY: MASTURBATORY GLEE

One book, which I am determined to acquire second hand (NOT new!) is 'Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff', by noted auteur Sean Penn, famous for marrying Madonna.

Everyone who has been exposed to it already waxes lyrical. To quote from a recent review: "(it is) repellent on one level, but stupid on so many others".
And: "Penn doesn’t just swing and miss with his ambitious vocabulary; he swings and cracks a hole in reality as we know it, leaving us all unsure of the concept of a good sentence, how a novel should be structured and generally what makes sense any more. Words are not just misused, they are misplaced, to the point that Penn’s prose is more reminiscent of bot than man" (source: Sian Cain, in The Guardian, March 29).

It sounds epic.

'Surreptitious soupçon?' What does that even mean?


"Never one for psychosexual infantilism or paedophilic fantasy, after their sex he said, ‘Good vagina.
Maybe more Vietnam.’
"


[Sean Penn, somewhere in his opus, quoted by Sian Cain.]


My first cigar of the day is burning lopsidedly, and keeps going out while writing this. I need to touch it up often with the lighter to correct that.
Sean Penn should have dealt similarly with his manuscript.
I shall enjoy every rotten moment reading it.
When I finally possess a copy.
Spizzerinctious.


It's lonely out in the salt flats, gringo.




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Thursday, March 29, 2018

SOME MEN ARE PARAGONS

After this evening, I shall encourage tinfoil hat man to go back there and rave. Even when he's off his meds, he is more civilized than those boys.
I would even welcome Little White Nipple Dude back from his vacation with Ma and Pa. Gibber on, little nutball, gibber on.

The question posed to me when I ventured back there was: "If you were at a bar on Polk Street, and Stormy Daniels flopped a breast onto your arm and offered to have sex with you, would you take her back to your place?"

Gentlemen, what on earth goes on in those filthy heads of yours?
It wasn't just me. Others got asked that question too.


One victim asked: "left or right breast?"



Which, when you think about it, is a less valid query than it initially seems.
And that man might be worth keeping an eye on in the future.




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THAT 'OH SHOOT, I'M OLD' MOMENT

Last night at the karaoke bar, several people hesitantly acknowledged that old age is creeping up on them. Falteringly, half-assedly, denialistically.
The "gotta go" crowd. Work tomorrow, act normal and all that.
I do not need to acknowledge that at effing all.
What with being grouchy and stiff.
A throbbing right leg.


"Okay, bitches! I am antique, I smell bad, and the pipe is part of me. Powder, medicated unguents, old-school pipe tobacco. Where ever I go I bring the odeur of a lower-class British living room with grampus in his chair smoking soggy shreds in his battered briar. Mildew! We survived the war!"


Seriously. My leg hurts. And cheap Scotch is a blessing. My apartment mate is a small Cantonese female person, and does not drink alcohol, so she will never understand that. She's also nearly a decade younger than I am, and her cholesterol level is perfect. After every check-up she celebrates with lobster and bacon, melted butter, mayo, and rich creamy sauces.

She is convinced that Scotch is nasty stuff, for deviants only.
She doesn't smoke either. No pipe, no cigar.
That isn't normal.




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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

A STRANGE FASCINATION

One of the posts which seems to have excited a lot of attention over the years is the brief essay about humsup, which was written aeons ago.
Multiple readers, every single day.
I confess myself baffled.

Surely a word to describe loathsome behaviour and its practitioners is not really that interesting?

Perhaps women wish to inform certain men of their reprehensibility?

Or some men want to avoid being so labeled.


If the latter, that is commendable. Were I a woman, I would very likely have clobbered several people by now. I am surprised that our jails are not more filled with rebels and anarchists of the feminine gender.


HAM SAP LO

The civilized man adheres to a code of conduct of which Trump, Weinstein, and several noted public figures are quite ignorant. These odious man-bitches have turned Dunleavy's seminal satire into reality, and even Aunt Mildred would be hard pressed to put these putrid pricks in their place.

The civilized woman should probably own a gun.


Boys, it's all about veneer and self-discipline. You would not want your daughter, wife, or grandma to be offended and become violent, nor for civil society to descend into anarchy and caveman behaviour. So even if you do harbour a vein of prurience a mile wide, such as most teenage boys at some time in their lives, it might be best to hide it. Be a gentleman, always.
Your aunts and uncles would be shocked at how disgusting you are.
Not your parents, they've grown blind over the years.
After all, they made you.


We're counting on you. Do not fail.
You are not Donald Trump.
Filthy freak.




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THE FRAGRANCES: SCORCHED GINGER, LIMES

When I woke up it was after a dream in which I was in a tropical country with exceptionally tall trees, frondy green things, and a dormant volcano dominating the landscape. Fittingly, it was night. I was reading the letters of a colonial official to his auntie; formal old-school Dutch (similar to 'State Bible Dutch', that being the language familiar to every literate person up till nearly the beginning of the twentieth century, and a formative influence at many levels), full of cumbersome orthography, dignified locutions, and very long sentences. Such as were common in written Dutch before the phrasings of Hemingway et autres made themselves felt.

Cursive schoolboy script, running in neat undulations across the page. And quite understandable, despite the terms borrowed from local tongues, often still alive in the modern language. Even Soendaneesch (Sundanese), which is NOT mutually intelligible to the speaker of colonial Malay (the dominant tongue used by many in that social environ) or Javanese (Javaansch) which the more important local dignitaries through out the eastern two-thirds of that island spoke, and still speak.

Beautiful. Evocative.

He was very senang there.


SEDAP MALAM MOGRI
[From: Wikipedia, by SKsiddhartthan.]

Not sure where his auntie lived. In the hills near Bogor (Buitenzorg), quite probably. It always rains there, and during the wet season, little black bugs get on every surface, far too many for the lizards to eat.
Mildew is a fact of life.


Like any dream having to with Indonesia, food was a near-constant mouth-memory, but remarkably it did not dominate. Actually, most of my dreams will feature my taste buds at their most alert, or at least those are the most memorable and vivid.

Lezat.



SAMBAL IN EVERYTHING

All you other Americans mostly eat too much fried food and meat and sh*t. Not enough vegetables, almost no chilies, and hardly any fresh fish, fish sauce, shrimp paste, dried fish. No fishy exudates except Worcestershire!
It's very disturbing, how y'all afflict yourselves with acid and pimples.
But it explains two to four aisles at every local Walgreens.

You've finally discovered garlic. That's good.
Now please start exploring ginger.
And nutmeg.


Plus 箭葉橙 ('jin yip chaang'), the arrow leafed lime.
Available as djeroek peroet.
Please?




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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

COOT NURTURE

My conversations with real or imaginary people are, thanks to this blog, available for everyone to enjoy. Except for discussions with Akane Tendo and Fuuka Ayase; those remain private. Never happened.
Like the president, I deny everything.


Underneath Dating a Cigar Smoker, reader Whilst commented: "Sex with a cigar smoker must be surreal. Especially if she drinks during.".
I would imagine so, but I can not imagine.
Never dated a cigar smoker.


Underneath Round Two, Tentacled Alien inquired: "You don't seem to like many people. Aspergers? Or just plain old misanthropy?"
To which I responded "Neither. I'm a bitter miserable old coot."


And an anonymous person, who may very well NOT be Akane Tendo NOR Fuuka Ayase left the cryptic remark "Roast Goose? Take me!" after reading Roast Goose in Sham Tseng.

Take you where?


More importantly, who are you? Tell me more about yourself. Are you sympathetic to miserable old coots? Are you, in fact, of a suitable gender and age to take out for roast goose? These are important details, the complete absence of which precludes mutual roast goosing.

In an effort to understand part of what 'dating a cigar smoker' would be like, I had two robustos today. The first was a Diamond Crown Maximus, the second was a Padron 1926. Very enjoyable, yes, but I am no further to grasping the paradigm. I've shaved and showered since then, and while I do know several women who smoke cigars, no. They are unsuitable.
Not ladies I would enjoy taking out for succulent meats.
Five out of six are nice people, though.

Women should smoke pipes.
It's more civilized.
Smells better.


One should not kiss a cigar smoker.


In a short while I shall head over to Chinatown to enjoy bitter melon and something, over rice. The restaurant has counter seating for single diners, and I've always had a good time people watching there.
Afterwards I'll smoke my pipe in an alleyway.

Probably while observing the rats.




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IT STARTS WITH A GOAT

Some individuals are precise, potent, and, in the end, unbeatable. As a pipesmoker I am well aware of this, but even the pre-briar crowd (children) may be afflicted. The correct Swiss German equivalent of 'sleeves' is not 'schleife', but perhaps it should be.
A friend in Switzerland has a three year old, who is linguistically multiple.
To quote my correspondent: "She took The English word and ran it through late Middle High German, with diphthongisation and palato-alveolarisation of the sibilant before the liquid."
End quote.
Which is beautiful and precocious.

And in Dutch: slieven.

The haggadah this year with her at the table should be quite interesting, which one would love to witness. And at the end of the evening, she may object to the huge amount of brutality and injustice in the goat song. To a precocious child, all the premises therein may seem dreadfully unfair.

Also, without a scrap of evidence whatsoever, I suspect that her father lies somewhere between Emden and Eybeschütz in his interpretation of those lyrics, and pays mere lip-service to the Chasam Sofer.

As Gmail always tells me: "something is not right; we're trying to fix that".

Which, if you dwell on it, is one of the things that the seder is all about.



His son is probably relieved that he is no longer the youngest child.
But according to some halachic interpretations, he still is.
Something might be wrong, try to fix that.




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Monday, March 26, 2018

PLEASE DO NOT DO THAT!

This post is for Indians. Mostly Indians, but Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Nepalis, and SriLankans should also take note. Actually very many people should, even if they are none of the above.
A government employee has made aspersions.
Pretty much slanderous!


"We [Indians] have absolutely no problems going and putting our fingerprints and the iris and getting your whole body naked before the white man at all!"

-----Alphons Kannanthanam, Indian minister of tourism, electronics and information technology.
[SOURCE: BBC ]


Please! Do NOT get your whole body naked! I think I speak for a vast multitude of the white men when I say that we do not wish that. Irrespective of whether you look like Kamini or Maria, Rohit or Ramanji.
None of whom I have seen in over a decade.

As a general rule of thumb, do not get your whole body naked before the white man. You don't want to, unless you're an exhibitionist, which we shan't talk about, and he (the "white man" mentioned above) doesn't, generally speaking, wish you to do that either.




There is a charming scene from the movie 雪兒 (made in 1984) in which 鍾楚紅 ennudes herself before the bespectacled man, that being 梁家輝。 Like him, I too wear spectacles, and I think I speak for a vast multitude of the bespectacled men when I say ...

Actually, I am not sure what I am saying. I've strayed from my point.
But I seriously doubt that there are any Indians who resemble Cherie Chung in any way at all.

Not that that matters.




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Sunday, March 25, 2018

SUGAR, THAT'S WHY

A friend came by work with a freshly made boterkoek. Which, as you must know, consists of equal parts butter and flour, and half that of sugar. One cup, one cup, half cup. And an egg. Rather than me telling you how to go about making it, look it up on the internet. It was utterly delicious.
And in consequence I spent the day high as a kite.


Just buzz buzz buzz, chilluns.


I'm afraid I just can't do sugar like I used to. There is still about forty percent of it left, presently in my apartment refrigerator. It will be delicious and tempting until it's all gone.

For now, I'll just finish my coffee and go to bed.




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ISN'T THIS THE BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS?

For a while now I enjoy a cigar with my second cup of coffee in the morning, and, because it is buggery cold out at this time of year, I tend to go into the bathroom rather than outside to the sidewalk. There is an electric heater in the bathroom, which is nice. There is probably an unwashed drunk on the downstairs front steps, or a crazy pothead.
And in any case, no heater.


My apartment mate must wonder what the heck I do in there that takes so long. Let's call it arthritis; everything moves slower.

She probably would not understand that everything in the morning except shaving is done better with a cheroot.

I've tried shaving with a cheroot.
It was not a good idea.


Two cups of strong coffee, then head to the showers with a robusto for some quiet time.


I often don't eat anything in the morning, and in any case nothing before ten o'clock, AFTER the two cups.



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ROUND TWO

Sometime back in August and September I managed to offend several people by what I wrote. At least I think that was what it was, because while they all cut me out of their lives, defriended me, and pretend I don't exist any longer, they are too chicken-shit to confront me about it.

Now, while I could hazard a guess what it was, there are too many possible things to which they may have reacted, and all the pissy people are too diverse to assume that they got pissed-of at same thing.

And frankly Scarlett, me no give damn.


To the Filipinos and the two Vietnamese: meh, go screw yourselves and your mothers. To the cigar-smoking couple who finally moved to Vegas: a "computer glitch", yeah right. That's a lousy excuse, y'all ain't even trying.
To the Mexican-American activist: Trump IS like Jayzus, what with being a small-handed bastard with a Messiah complex. So's your cousin, vato.
To the Serbian: Stop drinking that cheap Balkan vodka, loser.
To the Caucasian rap artist: very low intelligence.


Insulting you people was NOT what I set out to do, but meh, whatever.


There ARE several folks whom I would wish to insult, but I never had the lapse of judgment to get too close to them in the first place.


Never-the-less. To the bald guy who moved to Oregon after returning from China: I'm surprised your fetish didn't get you killed, and I am not surprised you supported Bernie Sanders. To the bald guy with nice dogs: you are far less human than your animals, but the very same thing could be said about Hitler. To the Irish psycho who still supports Trump: have yourself checked, you're clinical. To the pie-faced Jewish member of the Judiciary: you may have lost it; possibly your hatred of Obama and adulation of Bibi Netanyahu is like a dose of syph, eating your brain, or possibly you have always been demented with a veneer of rationality. Cheap Burgundy is one hell of a drug. And what IS it with the ethnic girlfriends? A wanna-be Whitey-white thing? To the pudgy Irish American rich boy: you have never grown up. Eventually someone will shoot you outside a stripper bar in Vegas. To the fat lout named after one of the English romantics: you are becoming more offensive as time passes, you are a drunk, and you are likely to die of an unclean disease. To the Trumpite who looked at me like a hurt animal for several weeks after it became obvious that I despised his president: a lobotomy would be useless, there is little left to scramble.

Oh, and to the pudgy Jewish internet whiz: you are as boring as your tattoos.


Now then. To the Italian American artist with expensive tastes: If I wanted to look at what Trump screwed, there are plenty of pictures of Melania, Ivanka, and the entire state of West Virginia on the internet.



AFTERWORD

Shortly after dinner I fell asleep. When it started pouring down outside, sometime around three in the morning, I awoke, and realized that there was no chance of having the last smoke of the evening around tennish, out on the front steps. What with it being hours since then. That's probably just as well, given the potted yutzes that flock at the intersection, and make occasional forays up the hill before walking into things.
They are all vulgar, superficial, and dull.
Besides being beastly drunk.




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Saturday, March 24, 2018

IT'S NOT BLAH

There was a smell I could not immediately identify. Something mysterious, deep, delicious. After a while it came to me. Shrimp paste. At least I think it was shrimp paste. While they were preparing my Thai gravy porkchops, they were also making something with shrimp paste, or dried fish.

[Porkchops in Thai-style sauce: 泰汁豬扒 'tai jap chyu baa'. Shrimp paste: 鹹蝦醬 'haam haa jeung'. Dried (salt) fish: 鹹魚 'haam yü'.]

On the television, someone was preparing scrambled egg with fish maw, which also looked delicious. Then there was something with sugar-marinated pork.
Fish maw (魚肚 'yü tou' or 花膠 'faa gaau') is at the opposite end of the spectrum from the two more assertive seafoods mentioned above.
More expensive, too.

The hostesses on that television show look vacuous and painted, and have that polished Chinese femmy twithead look that passes for beauty. It's the dominance of mainland preference, which likes harmless looking women. Left to my own devices I would likely not watch it, but I've gotten used to photogenic barbies exclaiming over something scrumptious which they could never cook themselves, after nodding agreeably while someone else prepares food with a blow by blow description of what and why.

I can remember the special dishes better than the television girls.

As well as the porkchops I always have there.

Mushroom gravy. Pepper gravy.
And Thai gravy.

Plus the staff have character.
That counts for a lot.



Shrimp paste versus bland textural effect.
Real people rather than television girls.




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Friday, March 23, 2018

WHY THEY HAVE ALL THE FUN

Other nations have politicians with skill sets that include diplomacy, common sense, and an ability to be tactful or diplomatic. Well, excepting Russia and Turkey, of course, as well as the entire Middle East.
India is also part of tantrum world: BJP.

But the Western European countries, for the most part, have rational adults.
As do Japan and China.


We have Donald Trump, John Bolton, and Sarah Huckabee Sanders.


Many of the people I deal with four days a week are republicans and morons.



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IT HAS SEVERAL TONGUES

At twelve forty AM or there abouts I really should not be smoking my pipe in the teevee room. But it is subtle, and she will not wake. Which is good; my roommate does not know, or need to know, that since ten o'clock I have been thinking about the attractive attributes of some random feminine person in the bar.

I do that a lot. I may successfully pretend to be a gentleman. But I'm still a dirty old man. As I have been since my teenage years.

The young lady in the bar was trilingual.
Which is ever so ... hot.
Trilinguality.



On the other hand, this queer mixture of Irish flake and sweet ribbon Virginia is also "smoking". And though I may be rancid, I am also a realist. My pipe will keep me happy, whereas the talented trilingualist will likely fall for a hairy savage half my age. As indeed they always do.



I remember the young ladies at the noodle restaurant.
And acknowledge that I am not their type.
Original troglodyte.



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Thursday, March 22, 2018

DELICATE DATA

There are times when I am surprised at what is considered a fit conversational subject among men. Which I shall now discuss.

If you are not a man, please close your eyes till the end of this post.

Yesterday evening someone made me an obscene proposition, this afternoon one of the cigar-smokers asked if I had watched Stormy Daniels' sex-tapes.
The answer to both 'queries' is 'no'.
To the first person, it's because I am straight. Please don't take it personally, and you happen to be intoxicated. Stop mentioning your penis, I am sure you have one.
To the second, why on earth would I be interested in anyone Dunglump humps?

I'm a bit old-fashioned.


What I think of body parts is nobody's business unless the recipient of that data is naked, and what I say is both positive and gladly received.
In a spirit of happy playfulness, of course.
As well as unmarried and female.
The recipient, not the data.

All the nudity to which I have been exposed in the last several years has been accidental, rather than deliberate. If it is ever deliberate again, which would be nice, it would be best to mutually decide upon a time and place.
And, of course, she should be unmarried and female.
In a spirit of happy playfulness.




You may open your eyes now.


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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

WANT EAT WHAT? ATE FULL.

This is one of my favourite places to eat, so I will not mention the name because some people would search for it on Yelp and read shitty reviews, likely by tourists and slope-browed ignoramusses, slagging the restaurant and criticizing them for not doing sweet and sour pork properly. Like it's always supposed to be done. As they know very well, from eating at some hole-in-the-wall in West Anoos, Kansas. And then they might think me crackers. Or hou mou tei-si.
Because I like it.

While I ate, I observed the other diners there.

Two countryside salt-of-the-earth types slowly ate their feast, with the bottle of red wine they had brought. It was too far to see the label clearly, probably a Californian pinot noir or merlot, but they enjoyed their drinks and their conversation. They were there when I came, still nibbling when I left.
Occasionally I heard sounds that only Toisanese make.
They were contemplative, not loud.
Calm fun.


想食乜嘢?

A table of elderly people drifted in, the first one there having ordered for all of them, then angrily phoning the others when their food was turning cold.
I had wondered why she had so many dishes on her table, but after the last one arrived it all made sense. There was a little tension there, and their conversation was "subdued".
"Here I am, providing all of this food, and you mannerless old mofos took over HALF AN HOUR to park the goldarn car!" Implied, of course, but not stated. The ladies probably did some shopping while walking over, the man took ten minutes longer to get there, so he may have dropped them off. Before or after the cell-phone viciously exploded.
Probably not the best of social meals.

An old couple at the table that the white yuppie chicks had vacated. They seemed happier than the table of elderly types, far more alert than the white yuppie chicks, and spoke city Cantonese.
No booze, lots of tea.


湯水先。
[飲食順序好重要:湯水先,再來蔬菜和肉,同飯。The order of the meal is very important; first soup, then the vegetables and meat dishes, plus rice.]


And lastly, a man, a woman, and their pudgy little girl. Fried crab. A whole steamed fish. Garlic stir-fried stalky vegetables (mm, smells delicious!). And then yet another plate. By that time I was marveling at the nice things they were eating, and envious of the child happily tucking in. They did not look like they were celebrating anything, nor were they dressed for an occasion. Just a regular family dinner. But a very nice one.

"Oh don't bother cooking, let us just go out and have crab and steamed fish over at that place. And garlicky stirfry veggies."

How wonderful to be that little person, with such parents.


My own meal was a simple something over rice.
Basically a lunch-plate special.
Though good.


喫飽啦。

Chinatown at twilight on a rainy day is the perfect place to smoke a pipe after dinner. Here and there under awnings another person pauses with a cigarette, over at Luk Fook they're re-calibrating the roll-down shutters, and a few people hasten home with food purchased or head towards restaurants in groups. Along Washington the eateries are brightly lit.
Because, food, you know. Food.
Especially when it rains.



Please note: pronouns aren't necessary when contextually the whom and what are perfectly clear. Hmm?




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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

THE VONGOLS ARE COMING! THE VONGOLS ARE COMING!

And you should run for the hills, because they will destroy your shopping malls. Can't trust those Vongols! And it's only because of Democrats and the Rothschilds that they were even allowed in.
Plus: Obama is a Bilderberger.
As well as a lizard.

Um, yes. Several days of work in a prosperous enclave to the north of San Francisco leave me convinced that Dunning-Kruger is spreading. And that Republicans, whether or not they are Christian gun-nuts and racists, or just well-to-do fatheads, are all karmically bleeding from the anus.

Even though nicotine has proven benefits to the cognitive processes and boosts short-term memory, those cigar-chomping weasels aren't getting enough of it.


On Sunday, while my colleague and I were trying to ignore the sober Irish psychopath and his buddies in the lounge behind us, a friend brought linguini con vongole for lunch.
In addition to vongols, there were also gambers in there.

[Is there any reason why English should NOT take over words from other languages and tame or butcher them? In Italian, clams, shrimp, mussels, crabs, oysters, and other bivalves are vongole, gamberi, cozze, granchi, ostriche, e altri bivalvi.
In Dutch and Flemish: mercijners, garnalen, mosselen, krabben, oesters, en andere schelpdieren. Chinese: 蛤蜊,蝦,貽貝,蟹,牡蠣,同其他啲雙殼類 ('gaap lei, haa, yi pui, haai, maau lai, tong kei taa dik seung hok leui'). Yes, I know shrimp are not lamellibranches. But in English we include them in that menu-section.]



Discussions of food and pipe-tobacco were, quite probably, the intellectual highlights of my work week, which ended yesterday. Not the cigar crowd.
A non-smoking space alien would have not found intelligent life there.

There was enough linguini con vongole for dinner, and a late night snack.
I am totally vongolled out. Perhaps for the next two days I shall concentrate on fatty pork in Chinatown. And a complete absence of cigar-smokers.
It will do wonders for my gout.



HORRENDOUS YELLING

Last night, while Sue, Lucy, Haley, and their boyfriends, crooned sultry love ballads at the karaoke bar, I smoked my pipe below in the portico. No, I do not know those people, but I remember their names. The street outside was empty, except for an unstable street person with a visible plumber's crack, who overturned a trash bin and then built a shrine with discarded fruits, soda cans, and packing tape, in front of a neighboring business.
It is wondrous what you can do with a banana.

A drifting odour of pot reminded me of Marin.




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Monday, March 19, 2018

STAYING CONNECTED

This blogger is old enough to remember when personal computers were only a dream. Same with cell-phones. Not that life was any better then, but it was different. The tail-end of the bell-bottom era. Quite frankly I do not remember those days with any great affection, though I will stoutly defend the glory of that bygone gilded age.

I still do not have a cell-phone. There is a landline to the phone underneath the table in the television room, which my equally Luddite apartment mate and I share.

The only calls I get are either for her, or people asking me for money.


"Please sir, the Peruvian Saw-toothed Butterfly only needs forty dollars to survive. If you don't contribute now, it will go extinct!"


Further conversation establishes that "butterfly" is a gross misnomer. It is actually more like a mutant piranha with wings. Or a clever stratagem to pay rent on an office near Modesto, modest salaries for five full time staff, and a very handsome emolument for a qualified director or not-for-profit socialite opportunist working in the charitable field.
Saw-toothed is apt, however.
And hungry.

My piles bleed for the Peruvian Saw-toothed Butterfly.
I will send it my thoughts and prayers.


In the past twelve months, I have received four phonecalls to me personally. One from my aunt in Canada. Two from my bank. And one from work.
My apartment mate receives a couple of calls a week from her sort-of-ex boyfriend. Sometimes she tells him not to call for a while. Not that she hates or dislikes him, or on the other hand still gets along with him. But they are both Asperger, much more than me, so they occasionally need someone they understand to talk to, and they think rather similarly. No offense to any Aspy's reading this, but it's like listening to two hyper-intelligent oysters describing the last bit of gravel they suctioned.

[My affliction is somewhat different. When certain people -- a very large number, in fact, make conversation, the thought running through my head is "please shut up". These are often very nice people, probably quite likable, charming even, to normal folks ("neuro typicals"), but anything more than a minute or two of their company does something.]

Neither her nor I have much of a social life, but we hardly use the telephone as a substitute. She has slightly more social-traction than I do -- that being aforementioned gravel talk, plus local living relatives -- but I doubt that either of us need much more than we get.

We're okay.





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Sunday, March 18, 2018

HONG KONG BAKED RICE

One of my friends, a likable gentleman of the same generation as myself, who is a prosperous restaurateur, has a Chinese girlfriend half his age.
He's sold a few of his establishments, and currently is semi-retired.
His friends undoubtedly are worried. Has she got her greedy claws into him? Is she bleeding the poor old rich bugger dry? What on earth could those two have in common? They're so different!
She's only half his age!

I am not too worried. She's Cantonese, so they have food in common. And whatever concerns I might have are diminished considerably by my crazy faith in the suitability of a middle-aged man getting a second chance at romance with someone vibrant, sparky, and half his age.

No, I'm not jealous. Though I could well be. But the fact that she isn't white argues very much in her favour, because the chance of her being vegan, vegetarian, gluten-phobic, flavour-hating, organic, self-diagnosed allergic to good stuff, or similar white woman food nuts, is far less than otherwise.
If anything, I am curious about their meals together.
Fatty pork? Fresh seafood? Oyster sauce?
And what does he cook?

Surely they eat together.


I myself am rather fond of what are called tea restaurants (茶餐廳 'cha chan teng'), by which are meant the places that serve Hong Kong variations on Western Food and local convenience dishes, often including spaghetti and macaroni dolled up easy (fried egg and sandwich meat).
Quick stirfries and rice, fried noodles, soup.
Toast, club sandwiches, won ton.
And stuff with cheese.

Two popular items are "white sauce and cheese fresh seafood baked rice" (白汁芝士海鮮焗飯 'paak jap ji-si hoi sin guk faan') and "cheesy curry fresh seafood baked rice" (芝士咖喱海鮮焗飯 'ji-si kaa-lei hoi sin guk faan'), which are extremely similar, as the base of either is cooked rice lightly fried, with a bit of egg added, cooked seafood with gravy put on top in an oven-proof dish or casserole, the whole baked till hot, then a handful of grated cheese strewn over it all and the dish put under the broiler till bubbly.
Cantonese are inordinatily fond of fresh seafood.
And, as it turns out, cheese.
Cream sauce.

Hot bubbly goodness.

Both of these, plus baked Portuguese chicken rice (焗葡國雞飯'guk pou gwok gai faan') and baked tomato porkchop over rice (番茄豬扒飯 'fan ke chyu-baa faan') can be got at tea restaurants in American Chinatowns, but you may have to hunt a bit. Or you could make them at home. The recipes are not complicated. Just look them up on the internet, and wing it.

Egg-fried rice. Generously sauced main ingredient.
Plus mushrooms, bell pepper, etcetera.
Bake. Add cheese. Broil.

If you are me, you will probably include bacon.
As well as Sriracha.

十分之十好味!



AFTER WORD

The reason why they are called "tea restaurants" is because the beverage of choice is tea. Specifically, hot sweet milk tea (奶茶 'naai cha'), which will get you back on your feet again and fuel your active life-style, whether you are a sleep-deprived student, harried householder, or ambitious aspirant capitalist presently holding down three jobs.

I am none of those.




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VERY RARE NEGATIVITY

Screw it. Let the bitch burn. I'm tired of bailing out the ruling class. So the deficit is going to go where it's never been before. Why should I care. Worst comes to worst, I'll take the Glock out storage and visit the folks in Tiburon.

I know several prosperous people who would benefit from lead in the gut.


The dismemberment of rich Republicans is a possibility.


It's a heartwarming concept.




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Saturday, March 17, 2018

STATEMENT BY ANDREW McCABE AFTER BEING FIRED

Yesterday a man who looks like a vicious leprechaun fired Andrew McCabe a few days short of Mr. McCabe being eligible for full retirement after many years of capable service to his country at the FBI.
The question that must now come to mind is: why, now that Trump and his butt-boy Sessions have politicized government employment, would anyone want to join in the future? How is that in any way fit service?
Only Sarah Huckabee Sanders can answer that.
The understudy for Jabba the Hut.
Actually, she can't.
She'd lie.

In any case. Mr. McCabe released an eloquent statement after his dismissal, which makes clear exactly how we are to understand the adulterer in chief's actions.

CITE:

The investigation by the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) has to be understood in the context of the attacks on my credibility. The investigation flows from my attempt to explain the FBI’s involvement and my supervision of investigations involving Hillary Clinton. I was being portrayed in the media over and over as a political partisan, accused of closing down investigations under political pressure. The FBI was portrayed as caving under that pressure, and making decisions for political rather than law enforcement purposes. Nothing was further from the truth. In fact, this entire investigation stems from my efforts, fully authorized under FBI rules, to set the record straight on behalf of the Bureau, and to make clear that we were continuing an investigation that people in DOJ opposed.

The OIG investigation has focused on information I chose to share with a reporter through my public affairs officer and a legal counselor. As Deputy Director, I was one of only a few people who had the authority to do that. It was not a secret, it took place over several days, and others, including the Director, were aware of the interaction with the reporter. It was the type of exchange with the media that the Deputy Director oversees several times per week. In fact, it was the same type of work that I continued to do under Director Wray, at his request. The investigation subsequently focused on who I talked to, when I talked to them, and so forth. During these inquiries, I answered questions truthfully and as accurately as I could amidst the chaos that surrounded me. And when I thought my answers were misunderstood, I contacted investigators to correct them.


But looking at that in isolation completely misses the big picture. The big picture is a tale of what can happen when law enforcement is politicized, public servants are attacked, and people who are supposed to cherish and protect our institutions become instruments for damaging those institutions and people.

Here is the reality: I am being singled out and treated this way because of the role I played, the actions I took, and the events I witnessed in the aftermath of the firing of James Comey. The release of this report was accelerated only after my testimony to the House Intelligence Committee revealed that I would corroborate former Director Comey’s accounts of his discussions with the President. The OIG’s focus on me and this report became a part of an unprecedented effort by the Administration, driven by the President himself, to remove me from my position, destroy my reputation, and possibly strip me of a pension that I worked 21 years to earn. The accelerated release of the report, and the punitive actions taken in response, make sense only when viewed through this lens. Thursday’s comments from the White House are just the latest example of this.


This attack on my credibility is one part of a larger effort not just to slander me personally, but to taint the FBI, law enforcement, and intelligence professionals more generally. It is part of this Administration’s ongoing war on the FBI and the efforts of the Special Counsel investigation, which continue to this day. Their persistence in this campaign only highlights the importance of the Special Counsel’s work.

I have always prided myself on serving my country with distinction and integrity, and I always encouraged those around me to do the same. Just ask them. To have my career end in this way, and to be accused of lacking candor when at worst I was distracted in the midst of chaotic events, is incredibly disappointing and unfair. But it will not erase the important work I was privileged to be a part of, the results of which will in the end be revealed for the country to see.

I have unfailing faith in the men and women of the FBI and I am confident that their efforts to seek justice will not be deterred.


END CITE.


If there was any doubt that Trump and his lackeys are sleazy unprincipled sacks of festering garbage, this should settle the matter. They are. They are the kind of people you should not under any circumstance associate with. Their vicinity is polluted, their company puts one beyond decent society.
Trump. Sessions. McConnell. Ryan.
The Republican Party.


And Louis Gomert, who is in a class of his own.
I mention him, lest he be overlooked.
As slugs usually are.




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HUMANS ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE GREEN!

It has rained for a week now, and the near-constant wetness has affected people's thought processes. Cold. Somnolence. Massive displays of public drunkenness. That last perhaps connected to a seasonal festival celebrating ethnic something. Wearing green. The police are having a field day.

Put another Protestant on the fire, dear, we shall have a cup of tea.

Northern California is a depressing place right now, and dipsomaniacs wearing soggy leprechaun outfits do not improve things.
Green spandex is not a good look.
If man is by origin a swamp creature, as evolutionary science suggests, you should all be naked.

On second thought, please don't. Pasty white flab undoubtedly smells like boiled cabbage. Black and yellow flab, ditto.

In celebration of Saint Patrick's Day, I should point out that almost the entire line of Peterson pipe tobaccos is shite. Very well made, but shite.
Repulsive testimonials to degeneracy.


A brief run-down, for readers not familiar with the genre:

ARAN: vanilla and floral perfume. CONNEMARA BLACK: cherry black Cavendish. CONNOISSEUR'S CHOICE: tropical fruits, vanilla, and booze. De LUXE MIXTURE: aromatic nut liqueur, vanilla, honey. FOUNDER'S CHOICE: rum, mango, vanilla. GOLD BLEND: hickory nuts, vanilla, cinnamon. IRISH DEW: vanilla, flower perfume, chocolate, whiskey. LUXURY BLEND: black Cavendish vanilla and honey. NUTTY CUT: macadamia nuts, coconut, rum. SHERLOCK HOLMES: assorted stone fruits and citrus. SUNSET BREEZE: Amaretto liqueur.
SWEET KILLARNEY: sweet caramel cream.

There are also Christmas and Holiday mixtures, plus Summertime blends, Special Reserves, and Saint Patrick's Day tobaccos. All of these products are aromatics. Mango, rum, vanilla, cream liqueur, honey, coffee, chocolate, and caramel. Lots of black Cavendish and cooked Burley.

Jayzus, ya heathens, Jayzus!


And stop blaming the Germans and Danes who make this crap for you, just admit that whorehouse smells are needed to overwhelm the putrid reek of your unwashed mildewed bodies AND the stink of cabbage.

It's all a form of escapism, writ large. The bog men yearn for the tropics.
Warmth, sunshine, and sultry perfumes.
I get it.






To properly mark Saint Patrick's Day, I opened up a tin of Murray's Erinmore Flake from my stash. It was over thirteen years old, and the tobacco sugars had expressed themselves upon the outer surfaces of the darkened slices.
Smoked the first bowl of it in a silver mounted straight billiard made in Dublin over half a century ago.

Had it with a cup of strong tea, while listening to the rain.
It was quite utterly lovely.




TOBACCO INDEX


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Friday, March 16, 2018

MISERABLE TWEETING BASTARD

In a just world, everyone involved in this corrupt administration would be in jail. Not a single one is fit to serve. Especially not the Keebler elf.
Let alone his pudgy-fingered pimp.


FROM THE BBC:

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has fired FBI official Andrew McCabe, who had been accused of political bias by President Donald Trump.

In January Mr McCabe resigned as deputy director and was placed on leave.

He had been deeply involved in the FBI investigations into Hillary Clinton's use of email and Russia's alleged meddling in the presidential campaign.

He was sacked just two days before he was expected to retire, and could lose some of his pension rights.

In a statement Mr McCabe responded by saying he was being "singled out" because of the role he played in the aftermath of the firing of last year of then-FBI director James Comey.

END CITE.


Yes, Sessions 'did' it. But his cretinous boss ordered it.
Our Justice Department has been subverted.

By the way: The overlap between Republicans, the NRA, Christians, racists, and Trump-supporting psychopaths is so great that they are indistinguishable.




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BUT WHAT THE HEY

One of the people whom I truly admire, an exceptionally bright and engaging Talmudist, posted the following picture on Facebook:



As a Dutchman, I "appreciate" the nod to my culture in the image above.
But I should really point out that the image below is far more accurate:



Late mediaeval, Northern Brabant, portraying a violent inbred possibly syphilitic virago pillaging hell. By Brueghel.

Brueghel lived in the territory of the Taxandria during the fifteen hundreds.
Taxandria is also Northern Brabant, south of Den Bosch.
Known chiefly as 'de vier kwartieren'.
De 'Meijerij'


Now, the earliest ancestor in my lineage was a peasant from that same area who lived more than two centuries before him. I am Northern Brabantine both by ancestry and by fortunate cultural happenstance; my parents moved there when I was still a wee lad.

Violent? Not really. Inbred? I can trace my family back on both sides to the same people. This is disturbing. Quite.

Syphilitic? Not Anglo enough.


Those cute little Dutch tykes in the upper picture wouldn't stand a chance. Ooh, they're so precious!
Kill kill kill kill kill.



Got genever?



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Thursday, March 15, 2018

TREES ARE A PERSONAL CHOICE

If there is one thing we've learned from British television it is that penguins are smarter than BBC programming wonks, but no smarter than foreigners who lack any ability to speak English.


Quote:
"The BBC Programme Planners surprisingly high total here can be explained away as being within the ordinary limits of statistical error; one particularly dim programme planner can cock the whole thing up."
End quote.

Fascinating.


In other news, police in Uzbekistan are now forbidden to hide behind trees. Last week it was still allowed. Regular citizens, and foreign visitors, may hide behind trees. If a policeman does so, he might be demoted or fired. And it could affect his pension. This per the BBC.


I now know more about Tashkent than I did a few hours ago.

There are a surprising number of trees there.

It must fill police with yearning.




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FREEZE-DRIED FELLOW TRAVELLERS

In this town, even the large chunky women are cold and dessicated. She was built like a linebacker in comparison to my own slight self, but she radiated no heat when she sat down beside me, and the other bus passengers were equally temperature deprived. Except for a young Chinese fellow who smelled of cabbage.

It was freezing on the ride home. March has turned out bitter and arctic.
Hateful weather.

My body feels like ice cubes, and the concept of heat vampiring my fellow man -- well, the opposite fellow gender, that is -- is incredibly attractive. Except that I'd have to leap upon them to suck out their warmth.
And this bitter cold makes me sluggish.

Besides, none of them look good enough to eat.
Even bright young things look like zombies.
Green and pasty in the bus lighting.


燒鵝飯

Late lunch at a chachanteng. Roast goose over rice. Delicious. Added hot sauce to nearly every bite. Many restaurants in Chinatown buy Huy Fong's "sambal oelek" by the bucket now. Years ago it was hard to find sambal anywhere in San Francisco, now it is almost omnipresent.
Life here has improved considerably.
That goose was damned good.

When I got home I had coffee with ginger to warm the bones. And wore a bathrobe over my clothes. After an hour and a half I felt good enough to go harass the bartender at the joint around the corner.
He's thin, all bones, and freezing.
Slow night, cold place.
Vibrating corpse.



I think I speak for all of us when I say we look forward to Spring.
If it's warm enough, we may even be tempted to go naked.
Freeing pockets of stale air from our clothing.
The smells of cabbage.

It's set to rain all day today.
None of you get naked.
It isn't time.




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