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, June 30, 2018

IT'S RIGHT NEXT TO THE TUNA SALAD!

A friend, possibly worried that we San Franciscans and other coastals are not eating enough white folks food, brought a recipe to everyone's attention, for a festive party dish I had never heard of before, and possibly need to serve next Saint Patricks Day or Cinco de Mayo.

In any case, I need to add it to my repertoire.

Given that what I prepared yesterday as a midnight meal was not very white folkish -- preserved meat in spicy curry with hot breads -- there may be an off the beaten kilter element to my cooking.

The recipe he posted on Facebook will correct that.
It's Waspy and properly middle-class.
Nom nom.


7-UP CHEESE ASPIC

One package lime gelatin.
One cup of hot water.
One 7 oz. bottle of Seven Up.
One tsp. grated onion.
Three ox. processed cheese, cut into small squares.
Half a cup of diced celery.
One TBS sliced stuffed olives.

Dissolve gelatin in hot water. Add chilled Seven Up and onion. Chill until slightly thickened, fold in remaining ingredients. Turn into one quart mold, chill till firm. Unmold, and serve on crisp lettuce. Garnish with tomato wedges and cheese cubes.
Six servings.


Your guests will ask you for this recipe!

---       ---       ---

I've looked at this, and I do not know how to improve it. Perhaps substituting finely diced baloney for the processed cheese, or granulated Spam. With a dash of Tabasco? A little fresh dill? It looks like it would go well with cottage cheese, which I don't eat.

Instead of tomato, some cucumber wedges?
Maybe black olives from a can?

I'm sorry, this is American food; I don't do that shit.


What I think I'll have instead for dinner is little pork meatballs in curry noodle soup. With some greens in the soup. And fresh ginger.

I actually have all the ingredients for the pork meatballs curry noodles. Unlike the old-timey recipe above. Which a Filipino might think amusing and worthwhile, for that hospitable touch of Americana (some of the guests are undoubtably taong putih at mabuhok, Marisel or Bing Bing's husband, for instance), which they themselves will then always serve at family get-togethers because everybody loved it, talaga, especially the aunties.



Actually, I cannot remember the last time we had Seven Up in the house. We've never had processed cheese, and other than some Habanero-stuffed garlic brine olives years ago, we haven't had olives in a while.


Everything (!) goes better with Sriracha.

I'm tempted to make this aspic.




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Friday, June 29, 2018

SOUTHERN-FRIED PORKCHOPS

Interesting map viewing this morning: hypertension, obesity, and diabetes are at sky-high levels in the most fervently Christian parts of the country. Not coincidentally, those areas also have the lowest life expectancy.



If nothing else, this portends eventual demographic change.

You bet your sweet bippy I could say something.

But I won't. I'll just think it.




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BURN IT ALL: SUCH FINE BOURGEOIS GANGSTERS

When you think about it, two o'clock in the morning, after a nearly five hour nap, is the perfect time to light up a good cigar. Avo Uvezian Syncro Fogata (Nicaragua) robusto. Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. With a glass of Scotch and water in the kitchen. It's a good thing I am connected to the tobacco industry, because otherwise I'd have to rob and kill residents of Tiburon for my stogie funds. Which, upon reading the news, really does seem like an excellent idea.

Make America Great Again: kill rich bastards.


Sure, I like many of the rich folks with whom I regularly come in contact. But other than stogies and sometimes an appreciation for Shakespeare, we have so little in common, and live in such vastly different worlds, that they are foreigners to me. We aren't part of the same society, and their experiences and mine so seldom overlap, that I find it nearly impossible to consider them worth preserving.

When torch and pitchfork time comes, baby ...


"Most Americans are whiny bastards too cowed to kill the Republicans necessary to improve their miserable lives."

-----Milo Yanniopoulos


Trump. Children held in cages. Republican candidates encouraging racism. Mitch McConnell and his Taiwanese mafia bitch wife. Paul Ryan, the NRA and tax give-aways. Christians. Supreme court. Ice, especially at airports and along the Texas border. EPA roll-backs. The FDA and their Puritanical anti-tobacco crusade. Sarah Sanders whining like a little bitch. Russian contacts. Unaffordable medical care. White women calling the cops. Blinkered dingos in the hinterlands thinking this is their parents' America.


The American Dream is dead.


Damned fine cigar.




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Thursday, June 28, 2018

THE SMELL OF VICTORY IS SWEATY AND DEEP-FRIED

Try as I might, I cannot get into the World Cup spirit. Though everyone else thrills to the sight of well-formed lads in shorts running hither and yon across the greensward, in pursuit of fame, glory, and a ball with a circumference of slightly more than twenty seven inches, which therefore has a diameter of approximately eight and two thirds inches if you divide that figure by π.

The excitement is palpable.
Just not infectious.


I'm sorry.

Sports bore the living daylights out of me. It doesn't matter whether it's soccer, football, baseball, or basket ball. Cricket, while intellectually slightly intriguing, and field hockey, from which I have strong memories of combat with broken sticks with teenage psychopaths while the phys. ed. instructor was off having a smoke, are scarcely less dull.

The appeal of ice skating is that it gives Dutch people (like Jillert Anema) an opportunity to remind Americans that they aren't very good in comparison, and American sports are rather stupid.


"You have a lot of attention on a foolish sport like American football and you waste a lot of talent ( ) on a sport that is meant to kill each other, to injure each other. You're so narrow minded, and then you want to compete against the world ... "


As you can gather, ice skating has my thumb's up primarily because it clearly illustrates intellectual superiority. Unlike ice hockey, which is mostly Slavic types and people with Frenchy surnames bashing each other.


So now you have a bunch of Germanic types competing against mixed South Americans, with an admixture of Africans thrown in. And intoxicated fans whooping it up. Much beer is being drunk, and skirt is being chased.
There's also vodka, and traces of stuffed cabbage, beet soup.
Still three more weeks of this nonsense.


How insufferable.




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BUT IT PROBABLY WAS FOOD-RELATED

In the middle of the night I woke up with a severe allergic reaction to something. Which, naturally, made me consider the possibility that I would kick it in the night.
So I did what everyone should do when contemplating the possibility of their own demise: I destroyed evidence.

In my twenties I was not a pleasant person. Or at least, not quite the sparkling ray of sunshine which I am now.

Fortunately there is now little left to indicate that.
Well, other than this blog.



No, I don't know what it was that caused that reaction. When I get home this evening I shall inspect various ingredients lists assiduously, and will abstain from casual snacking. And no, I am not allergic to shellfish, peanuts, gluten, or meat. So if anyone suggests I should cut those substances out of my diet precautionarily, just in case, you know, it's better for you, they should expect a loud raspberry, and perhaps an angry lecture on their own moral failings.
The cynical opportunistic ideologues.


Still, what the hell was it?




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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

IT'S TOO LATE FOR CIVILITY

The conservatives are outraged that White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked to leave a restaurant recently, and that California Representative Maxine Waters has called for similar forthright treatment of other Trump officials.

For nearly a decade the conservatives had their head in the sand. They called Obama every name in the book, demanded that he and several members of his government be arrested or killed, hung him and others in effigy, and lied through their teeth about damned well everything.
Assisted and parroted by the talking vegetables of Fox.

What they've said about Democrats is virtually unprintable, and, indeed, they have threatened violence on many occasions.


Now they demand civility.




Yeah, no. That ain't gonna fly.



POST SCRIPTUM: There are still plenty of other places where Sarah Sanders and the running dogs can eat in peace. Trump restaurants, McDonalds, Chick-fil-A, and Waffle House come to mind.




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ERIC PAVRI: IMMIGRANTS AND BENEFITS

The following is useful information from a Facebook posting.


Begin cite:


Eric Pavri
11 February · Colorado Springs, CO

I'm an immigration lawyer. I know that many of my Facebook friends, who are good and intelligent people, honestly have questions like the following: Why don't all these immigrants just become legal, and do they get all kinds of public benefits?

I hope you'll read what I wrote here in the spirit in which it was intended, which is to cut through the BS (from poorly-informed but loud voices on both the left and right) and simply provide correct information so that people can decide for themselves what is right and best.

I recently wrote the comment below to a Facebook story from a local news channel, about a teacher here in Colorado Springs who has DACA.

********************************************************
To several of the commenters on this thread – first, I want to acknowledge that asking why people don’t just become citizens, or whether people without legal status can get public benefits that U.S citizens cannot, are legitimate questions. If they are asked in good faith, no one should mind you asking them.

Therefore, let me answer your questions. Please know that I am well-informed on these topics, as an immigration lawyer for the past 8 years, the past six of those in Colorado, and currently the Director of Family Immigration Services at Catholic Charities of Central Colorado (most of you know us best as the organization that runs the Marian House soup kitchen). You may verify those statements by entering my bar number (44591) on the Supreme Court of Colorado website (http://www.coloradosupremecourt.com/Search/AttSearch.asp) or viewing our Catholic Charities website (https://www.ccharitiescc.org/).


First, as to why young people who have DACA haven’t just become citizens:

To become a U.S. citizen (other than by birth), one must first become a Lawful Permanent Resident (“green card” holder). Only after five years as a Permanent Resident can you apply to become a citizen. Thus, the obvious next question: how does a person become a Permanent Resident? There are three primary options to do so:

1) Family-based petitions. This means that a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident parent, spouse, adult child, or sibling files a “petition” for you. Depending on the category that you fall into, the wait will be anywhere from 1 – 22 years (yep) before you can use that petition to take the next step – applying to become a Permanent Resident (background checks, medical exam, more fees, etc.). That works for people living outside the U.S., but for those who have been here, it may not be possible if they entered the U.S. illegally, even if they were minor children when they did so.

2) Employment-based petitions. A U.S. employer can similarly sponsor you, but generally only if you are in a profession requiring an advanced degree or unique skills (doctors, software engineers, world-class athletes to coach professional sports teams, etc.). Even then, the potential employer must generally also prove that they made good-faith efforts to hire a U.S. citizen for the position, but no qualified applicants applied.

3) Diversity visa lottery. Every year, the U.S. government selects 50,000 people worldwide who enter a lottery and pass background checks to come to the U.S. as Permanent Residents. This lottery, however, is only available to people from countries that traditionally send few people to the US – so, for example, people from countries such as Mexico, the Philippines, China, Guatemala, India, El Salvador, and other countries that send larger numbers of immigrants to the U.S. do not have this option.

Extra note: The current Administration has actively sought to eliminate or dramatically limit Options #1 and #3. The new term being used in the attempted re-branding of Option #1, family-based immigration, which has been the basic principle of U.S. immigration law for over a century, is “chain migration”. If those two options are in fact eliminated or curtailed, legal immigration to the U.S. will be significantly reduced.

The KEY POINT to all of the above: If you do not qualify for one of these 3 options, then there is no “line” to get into to legally become a Permanent Resident and eventually a U.S. citizen. So, if you are not fortunate enough to have, say, a U.S. citizen spouse or a graduate degree in computer science, you very likely can never become a citizen of the United States.


Second, one commenter above asked why President Obama, when he established DACA in 2012, did not just create a path to citizenship for these young people at that time. The answer: earlier that year, Congress had for the 11th year in a row failed to pass the Dream Act, which would have done exactly that. The President acting through his authority as head of the Executive Branch cannot create a path to Lawful Permanent Residency (and eventual US citizenship). Only a law, passed by Congress and then signed by the President, can accomplish that. So President Obama on June 15, 2012 created the more limited DACA program through Executive Action – which is why President Trump, as the new President, was able to end the program, also without an act of Congress, last fall.

Finally, as to the question of immigrants receiving public benefits, only a U.S. citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident (green card holder) can receive almost all types of public benefit – including Medicaid, Medicare, SSI disability, Social Security payments for seniors, TANF, and food stamps. The irony: most undocumented immigrants work under made-up Social Security numbers and so receive a paycheck from which Social Security, federal income taxes, and state income taxes are withheld, and of course they pay the same local sales and property taxes as anyone else through retail purchases, pass-through costs of apartment leases, etc. Same of course goes for the 800,000 current DACA recipients, who are authorized to legally work in the U.S. But none of those employees, despite paying IN to the system, will ever receive those public benefits listed above, that are paid for by the money withheld from their paychecks. So they are propping up our federal and state government entitlement programs because they pay in but won’t ever take out.


The following are the public benefits that undocumented immigrants can receive in United States:

1) Public education for children in grades K-12. This was definitively established by a 1982 Supreme Court case, Plyler v. Doe. The Supreme Court in its reasoning explicitly stated that it would not serve the overall public good of the U.S. to leave many thousands of children uneducated.

2) Emergency room services, but only to the point where the patient is considered “medically stable”, at which point he/she is released. These services are not free, however, as in my job I meet hundreds of immigrant families who sacrifice over years to slowly pay off high emergency room medical bills.

3) WIC assistance. This is for milk, food, etc, and available only to pregnant mothers. The rationale is that the children in the womb will be U.S. citizens when born, and therefore it is in the long-term economic best interests of the nation to ensure that they receive adequate prenatal nutrition to improve their chances of being productive citizens in the decades to come.

4) Assistance from police if they are the victim of a crime and call for help. To their credit, the vast majority of our Colorado Springs law enforcement officers take their duty to protect all people seriously. Chief Carey of the CSPD and Sheriff Elder of the EPCSO have made clear that their officers can’t do their most important job – keeping us safe by getting dangerous criminals off our streets – if a whole class of people (undocumented immigrants) is afraid to call 911 to report crimes that they witness or are victim to.

5) Assistance from a fire department. Rationale, besides the obvious moral one: If your house was next to that of an undocumented immigrant family, would you want the firefighters to let that house continue to burn, putting yours at risk of catching on fire too?

And that’s it. Those, to the best of my knowledge, are the only public benefits that an undocumented immigrant can receive in just about any part of the United States. As someone who directs a small office that works with hundreds of low-income immigrant families per year, know that when I see the precarious economic situation of many of these families, I'd help them access other benefits if they could. But they simply can't. Now, children of undocumented parents, born in the U.S., are U.S. citizens under the 14th Amendment (the one that declares that all human beings born on U.S. soil are citizens – this was passed immediately after the Civil War to forever end the legal argument that African Americans were not U.S. citizens). As such, those children can qualify for the same public benefits as any other U.S. citizen, if they qualify through economic need or disability. But their parents or undocumented siblings cannot.


I hope that this information has been useful to those willing to read through this long (for Facebook anyway) explanation. Please know that even this long summary leaves out a ton of detail -- there are tens of thousands of pages of statutes, regulations, internal federal agency procedures, and court decisions guiding how all of this is interpreted and implemented. But please take my word that I honestly believe that no detail I omitted for conciseness changes the basic points above. And I'd be happy to answer questions if you have them. Like I said, I don’t mind honest questions, and I believe that legitimate questions asked in good faith deserve well-informed, accurate answers. If all of us in the U.S. would be willing to actually listen to each others’ sincere concerns and do our best to answer each others’ questions, instead of just yelling at each other or retreating to our corners of the internet (left OR right) where everyone already agrees with us – well, I think we’d move our nation forward a lot more effectively.

[End cite]



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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

WHITE WOMEN IN POPULAR CULTURE

Three ladies, who are wondrous in every way, are enjoying internet fame because gosh, darn it, they are so delightfully video-genic!
Totes mah goats!


First there was Barbecue Becky, who helpfully called the police when black people ate food next to a lake. Then Permit Patty, who reported a black child with water bottles. Both were being upstanding, and civic minded.
Recently, Stephanie Sebby-Strempel, of Summerville, South Carolina, chased black teenagers away from a public pool.

[Summerville, per Wikipedia: "As of the census of 2010, there were 43,392 people residing in 16,181 households in the town. The population density of Summerville is 2,404.7 inhabitants per square mile. The racial makeup of the town was 72.1% White, 21.4% Black or African American, 0.4% Native American, 1.5% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.6% from other races, and 2.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.0% of the population."]


The message is clear: if you're black, avoid water!
At all times, and in all forms, wherever.

Think of the white women.


All of these ladies resemble Sarah Sanders and Roseanne Barr. At least there is a very remarkable similarity in both behaviour and appearance between these five stellar examples. Yow, zesty hot mammas!
It almost makes me wish I had a cell phone.


File under 'Making America Great Again'.


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MEN OF EXEMPLARY HABITS

The last smoke of the evening could have been more ... peaceful. Years ago, when we tobacco aficionados were first chased outdoors, I warned that little kiddies, seeing us poncing around happy and debonair with our adult habits, would strive to become as cool as we were.


"When I grow up, I wanna smoke a pipe!"


Also cigars. Stogies. Not cigarettes or vapes, though, because those people are immature, squirrel-y, and furtive. And their vices are associated with rushed people outside office buildings and puritanical heffalumps screaming that you are all going to die if you continue doing that. As well as a security guard coming out to insist that everyone must go twenty five feet away from all doors, windows, and airvents, at the curb, and around the corner.

Or young vulgar tech-industry migrants from the rest of the country lounging in front of hip bars, contemplating physical congress with risky strangers of an appropriate gender: "last night was wonderful, your tattoos / piercings look gorgeous in the morning light, I'll call you sometime". Which is unwise, but tempting when you're in your early twenties, living on your own for the first time, and earning more money than you know what to do with.

The tech industry is responsible for more venereal diseases, drug deaths, and the spread of the bubonic plague among yuppies than any other field. And smoking related health issues are so far in the future that they're not worth thinking about. It's natural selection. Plus cigarettes and vapes.

But cigars and pipes are superior.
And look totally groovy.
Uberaffengeil.
Mensch.


What I overlooked at that time was that crazy street people long after dark also want to be cool.


"Hey man, got weed?" No. "It smells like cocaine here." Oh. "Or is that just me?" Yes. "Tobacco, huh?" Yep. "Just tobacco." Uh huh. "Can I have a cigarette?" No cigs. "Got any loose tobacco I can roll?" Not on me.
"Oh well, I don't have papers any way."

"Got papers?"

After a while we bid each other good night, he wandered off down the street, and I revisited the drink I had left inside on the counter.
Where my extra pipe and tobacco were.
Blonde Virginia flake.
Danish.



If you don't want America's little children to become crazy street people, you need to chase all the smokers back indoors.
We're so tempting otherwise.
Examples.



By the way, and apropos of nothing in particular, more doctors smoke camels than any other cigarette.




TOBACCO INDEX


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Monday, June 25, 2018

WHEN YOUR AURA GLOWS

Marin is filled with very special people. Which a bus ride will establish rather well. And in all honesty, I cannot say that I enjoy that. Their life stories and peculiar problems are not that interesting, and when the bus driver indicates that he has a schedule to meet, it would be gracious of them to shut up, pay the fare, and sit down.

When I get on the bus, I greet the bus driver ("good morning" or "good evening", as the case may be), pay, and sit down. I have every reason to believe he's already heard my life story from several other people in several first person variations, and is not interested in my problems, because whatever they are, entertaining is NOT a significant characteristic.

You would not believe how many problems Marinites have.

All details will be furnished upon request.

Even if you don't ask.




The lack of human contact is exceedingly strong in Marin.
Yoga, spiritualism, materialism, self-entitlement, and personal cognizance of a special place in the universe, only make it worse.


I zone out, close my eyes, and concentrate on my navel while riding to and from work. By doing so I am contributing to the problem.
And I'm centered when I disembark.


Om, bitches, om.




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COWS EXPERTLY CARVED

Last night before going to bed I smoked a bowlful of blonde Danish flake in the pipe for watching rats in Spofford Alley. Which gets loaded up on average twice a week, on Tuesday night specifically for watching the rats in Spofford Alley before meeting an old friend for drinks in Chinatown.
Everyone should have a pipe for rat-watching.

Last night I did not watch any rats.



Other than steak, nothing of real value was discussed.

There are three excellent meateries nearby.

This neighborhood knows beef.




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Sunday, June 24, 2018

RANCID BABY FORMULA

A scare video being circulated by some well-meaning puke brain claims that third-hand smoke is a horrendous danger to little children and asthmatics.
Even in places where no one has smoked in years.
Because, as he explains, particles and chemicals have been deposited on the walls, carpets, floors, and couches, from tobacco fumes far outside and long ago or still vestigially present on the clothing and skin of people.
First hand smoke is dangerous.
Second hand smoke is also.
As is third hand smoke.

Especially to children and asthmatics.


Kindly tell your little puckerhead to stop eating my carpet. Which I haven't had professionally cleaned in years. In addition to tobacco, gluten and meat have also been enjoyed here, lots of spicy cooking, and sheer bucket loads of products containing peanuts! Peanuts! And it's all over the place! If that no-neck monster gets ill or dies because he sucked on my fake Persian rug, that not only ain't my concern, but I might actually welcome it.

No, I shan't smoke anywhere near your house. Reason being that there are still minute but measurable traces of baby poo and your parental neurosis everywhere. That crap makes me ill. Your aura gives me gas. Everything about you and your precious spawn is nauseating.
Poor little buttercups.


The only asthmatics I've ever known were my mother, who smoked, and a sanctimonious whiny twat in the East Bay who was both a liability and an embarrassment to be around. She hated smoking with a passion.


She, her damned cats, and her mobility scooter, can all get the plague.


Every surface in my living quarters can kill.
And I'm totally cool with that.

Care for a smoke?




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AND RISING SEA LEVELS

One item sticks out from yesterday's discussions with cigar smokers, namely that the most dangerous sharks live in Florida waters. Which, if you think about it, is perfect for a place with more Republican retirees than anywhere else.
I hope those sharks grow fat on sassy old farts.


I'm not really vested in the vicious reactionary fossil paradigm. Y'all voted for the orange haired bitch, get bit. Or, like Angel in Scarface, have a date with a chainsaw.


In addition to Republicans and Cubans, other vicious inhabitants of Florida include alligators, cottonmouths, copperheads, Burmese Pythons, fiddle-backs, and Rick Scott.




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Saturday, June 23, 2018

PERSONS OF A FEMALE PERSUASION

My colleague asked when the last time was that I had a girlfriend. That was eight years ago, before Savage Kitten broke up with me. I explained that while nookie was a good thing, a man should not jump on opportunity, but exercise discretion. What if, I rhetorically wondered, the opportunity was an unsuitable match? Someone who through no fault of her own would drive one up the wall by her further presence, or eventually bore one to tears?

There have been women in the past eight years who have expressed an interest. All of them have been fairly gently pointed in other directions, except for one dense person whom I had to dissuade rather firmly.

[And there was also the waitress at a Chinese dining establishment I frequented who considered me a perfect match for an unmarried friend of hers, and asked if I would be willing to meet that person. Indeed I would, I said, and I never went back to that restaurant again. Because I knew that I would be quite unsuitable, regardless of the woman in question, who might have been very nice indeed. The expectations of a lady from Hong Kong who thought and dreamed in Cantonese would never match the disquieting actuality of a middle-aged eccentric who expressed himself best in English, read peculiar stuff, and swore in Dutch (which is my other fluent language). That I also spoke Cantonese should not have been considered a major factor.]

Relationships, one understands, can be a loaded gun. I would describe myself as voluntarily celibate. My life has been and continues to be peaceful and good, even though it's nookie-free, and I do not want this applecart overturned by a female bull rollicking through my china shop.


A woman with enough discretion and subtlety to appreciate the delicate balance (or is it 'delicate balancing act'?) would be exceedingly nice.
And yeah, I don't know any suitable female eccentrics.


She would have to put up with dust, clutter, books, and lovely porcelain pots, bowls, and vases. In addition to stuffed animals and a primitive totemic carving of unknown ethno-artistic derivation, of a nautical type.
He has a cowrie-shell necklace, and looks grim.

You may think that describes your unmarried cousin Mabel to a T.
Or Irmgard, Gertrude, Iolanthe, Jocasta, whatever.



All of this relates to a Facebook entry.

I statussed: "According to a couple twenty years or so younger than myself, my date life should be optimal. Great head of hair, lovely goatee, trim, and intelligent. They forgot 'avuncular', nice inoffensive old geezer, and creaky."

Sarah commented: "Yes, but what about ‘reeks of pipe smoke’, and curmudgeonly?"

I averred that those were positives, darn it! To which Maya responded by promptly adding two more positives, namely armadillos and bats.


So, in short: a creaky smelly grouchy Dutch uncle who likes animals. Feel free to share that with your unmarried niece. She'll probably have a good laugh before clobbering you with furniture and dancing on your grave.





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Friday, June 22, 2018

SIMPLE DANISH BLONDES

The problem with getting up in the middle of the night, after a six hour nap, is that it inculcates tunnel vision. Especially when the only thing you'll see on the internet is bad news and the outrage of Facebook friends.
And please note that by 'middle of the night' in this instance is meant three thirty in the morning, and also that I have over the years assiduously trimmed political and social heretics from my Facebook page.
Because life is too short to argue with yutzes.

At shortly before six I went back to bed. Right around the time my apartment mate in her room was getting up, and the various furry beasts on that side started arguing -- the small blue-faced sheep is still intent on holding a little girl hamster hostage (evil lamb!), and outraged that we josh him for speech habits that he's clearly learned from the one-legged monkey (a gibbon), who talks like a Jamaican -- and, necessarily, one must holler out a remark or remonstrance when something too outrageous is said.

When I retired to my quarters earlier in the evening, my intent was to wake up shortly before twelve, and go out for a last smoke of the day. I kind of overshot the mark, as when the time came I merely turned around and burrowed deeper.
Didn't know which tobacco (either of two simple Danish blonde flakes) or which pipe.
One of three or four briars I associate with Chinatown, probably.
Not the pipe for watching rats in Spofford.

[Simple Danish blondes are made by two companies under various labels: Orlik or MacBaren. The brand names are both of those, plus Dunhill ('ready rubbed', soon set to disappear), McConnell, Peterson, et autres. Mostly Virginia leaf, with a little Burley, Fire cured, or Perique.]


Those tentative choices still remain to be made. The day is yet young, and a lunch at the porkchop place is a definite possibility. The sun is out, and before tea-time there is hardly any wind.



AFTERWORD

The porkchop place is at the end of Becket Street (白話轉街), by the way, across Pacific. One must get there well before two thirty, as they do breakfast and lunch, but not dinner.

Someone has been 'committing nasty' along the curb on the Ping Yuen side of Beckett, leaving precisely spaced evidence in a line down the street. This establishes that at least one of our pavement-dwelling fellow citizens is completely anal, and orderly in his anarchy.

The city will do nothing about that.

It's not in their back yard.

Probably a tourist.



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CHRISTIANS

Cite: "The documents show numerous cases involving federal officials’ verbal, physical and sexual abuse of migrant children; the denial of clean drinking water and adequate food; failure to provide necessary medical care; detention in freezing, unsanitary facilities; and other violations of federal law and policy and international law. The documents provide evidence that U.S. officials were aware of these abuses as they occurred, but failed to properly investigate, much less to remedy, these abuses."
End cite.

Source: https://www.aclu.org/news/aclu-obtains-documents-showing-widespread-abuse-child-immigrants-us-custody.


Further cite:

  • Verbally abused detained children, calling them dogs and “other ugly things”
  • Denied detained children permission to stand or move freely for days and threatened children who stood up with transfer to solitary confinement in a small, freezing room
  • Denied a pregnant minor medical attention when she reported pain, which preceded a stillbirth
  • Subjected a 16-year-old girl to a search in which they “forcefully spread her legs and touched her private parts so hard that she screamed”

End further cite.


Now it turns out we also did not fully document which children belong to which parents whom we de-childed, and we might never be able to account for missing people or re-unite families, we've been forcefully drugging and injecting children in our care to quiet the distressed little fuckers down so that they don't present psychological problems for the Federal Employees tasked with herding them and guarding the cages, and we're planning to seize up to twenty thousand more kids.


If at this point you are still supporting Trump, you are not human.





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Thursday, June 21, 2018

POISONOUS VANILLA

Yesterday morning, within mere minutes of cruising onto the internet with my first cup of coffee, I was in a foul mood, convinced that Texas, Hungary, and the Republican Party were all big festering boils, or perhaps eruptive sebaceous cysts on the perineum of the universe infecting the surrounding tissues with toxic material, causing inflammation and immense pain.

[Key words: "golf ball sized".]

I remain convinced that the only decent man in Texas is Pipestud.
Because I know the dude has a wicked sense of humour.
As well as a sterling reputation.


Hungary has no such saving grace.


Today I will largely stay off the internet. Instead, I will be at work, dealing with prosperous Trump-supporting fossils howling in the back room.

I never bring my gun to work.

It would be bad.



By the way: Nicki Haley and Mike Pompeo are dumbasses.
I just thought y'all should know that.
There's another word.




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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

DON'T SAY NUTTIN'

When you pre-heat the bathroom, because in San Francisco the temperatures drop and become beastly once the afternoon winds bring in the fog, you will discover that your apartment mate is spending overmuch time in there.


How you feel about that depends on your reason for turning on the heater in the first place.


You may experience existenzangst.



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WADING THROUGH CHEST-HIGH ICE CUBES

Last night after three, while we were trekking homeward across the wilds of Pacific Street, it was around fifty degrees with a bitter wind. The bookseller told me it would affect me less if I embraced the wind, became one with it.
Perhaps struggled to understand where the wind was coming from.
Which is more Californian than I can ever be.
Hump the buggery wind.

I'm sure the wind embraces dolphins, just like the pot industry.
Which is another thing I fervently dislike.

Sheer misery. A struggle of near-epic proportions. At three o'clock plus in the morning, San Francisco can be a bitch on the hills.


It took me over ten minutes to warm up once I got home. Good thing there was no spry female in my bed waiting for me, as she would have jumped up screaming and swearing once I slid my cold limbs in beside her.


Slim consolation.




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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

THE TASTE OF ... WHATEVER THAT WAS

Something which people not raised on a diet of English children's books and mystery novels cannot imagine are the odd comestibles with which the British, and American East-coasters, often fed themselves. But I shall refrain from disquisitioning on Bofton Baked Beans or boiled codfish.
I wish to mention 'paste'.

There is an entire world of fine paste out there.

Anchovy paste.
Beef paste (contains miscellaneous animal protein bits plus boiled down chicken skin).
Bloater paste (thank you, Tim, for bringing that up) (*).
Browned shrimp (!) in a jar.
Chicken and ham paste.
Fish paste.
Ham and beef paste.
Marmite.
Sardine and tomato paste.
Tuna and mayonnaise paste.


If you need a substitute for the bloater, anchovy, or shrimp, consider boiled penguin. It's high in Omega 3 acids. Replace everything else with cat food.
Tuna and mayonnaise paste is a convenience that does not need to exist.

Unless, like many people, you do not know how to make tuna salad, and in any case prefer something with the consistency of ......



Shan't say. We run a family blog here. Don't want to offend. Please do not imagine eating any of this.



PARSLEY AND CHERRY TOMATOES!

We Americans have Spam and chicken in a can. Along with tinned Vienna sausages, these can be easily mashed up with a little clarified fat to approximate fine British pastes, and eaten on white bread.
Or add capers, and serve on toast points.
It's cocktail party food.

I avoid cocktail parties.


*Bloater paste is no longer made, btw.



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UTTER CHAOS AND DISCORD

There is evil afoot in Casa Atboth. A plot of stupendous magnitude. Snidely. Angus. Bertha. Clarissa. Ms. Bruin. Buckie and a sock monkey.
Plus The Young Lady, and Mr. Big Person.


But first, clarification.

Snidely: the blue-faced head-sheep.
Angus: a she-sheep, who has remarkable common sense.
Bertha: also known as 'Beanie', a large cheerful purple cat.
Clarissa: a little girl hamster.
Ms. Bruin: the head roomie, a bear.
Buckie is a talkative orange beaver.
The Sock Monkey also has a name, but I can't remember it. He lives mostly in her room.
The Young Lady: my apartment mate, a female human.
Mr. Big Person: a giant lizard. Myself.

Snidely is planning to kidnap a little girl hamster to hold hostage so that The Young Lady will obey him, and he will have power. He craves "om knee po tince", and resents the influence which Angus wields in the councils of state. Plus he sees the potential kidnapping victim as a handy way to get rid of the dust bunnies on my side of the apartment, because he has no idea what hamsters eat. Dust bunnies are full of fibre!

We have tried to point out to him that hamsters like milk and little quadratini cookies, and occasionally a bit of soft-boiled egg, sometimes icecream. And further, if he ever gets anywhere near a little girl hamster we will all look at him askance, detail Bertha to sit upon him (she's considerably larger that he is, and has a potent tail), and call the police.
His life will change for the worse.
We might smack him.

Angus has severely reprimanded him, and promised to teach Clarissa self-defense moves, and possibly how to break his arm.


Mr. Big Person has been trying to quietly have his morning coffee.


This has been going on now for several days.
Snidely has an obsessive personality.
Plus he's bit of an idiot.

I do not know how this will end, but if the past is any guide, there will be howls of outrage and pissy whimpers from the miscreant. Who often insists that we are mean to him when we prevent his plans coming to fruition.

This morning both the sock monkey and the orange beaver weighed in.
We are all aghast at Snidely's sheer wickedness.
He yet persists.

It is far from over.




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Monday, June 18, 2018

GREAT INTESTINAL FIBER!

This evening I caught up on the news, and on the people (many of whom are Israelis, Texans, Christians, or just the very well-to-do) who soft-peddle the caging of kids. Naturally I applaud them; it takes great courage to ignore the human cost of herding children and to actively advocate tattooing the little bastards so that we know who they are if they ever cross the border again. Nuancing president Trump and the backbone of the Republican party is a noble crusade, which must inevitably triumph. Several politicians in Eastern Europe and Italy also think thus, and Bibi Netanyahu looks with favour on his friend Donald's heartfelt cause.
How valiant! Bravo.

[Israelis: you know who you are.]

Frankly, I am surprised at many Israelis of my ken. Clearly they know something I don't. I bow before their superior knowledge.

And applaud their moral clarity.

Kudos.



Dot       Dot       Dot


Fortunately the Irish dingus who fanatically supports Trump was entirely distracted by the World Cup. So I did not have to question his sanity.
I've largely given up on sense coming out of his mouth anyway.
The bald-headed freak was not in today, so his valuable insights into the rightness of barbed wire enclosures for foreigners didn't come into play.
But two rambling wrecks as well as the pothead were.
I tried to avoid the lounge.

There was, of course, loud criticism of Barrack Obama.
Whose fault all of this entirely is. One hundred percent.

At work I am surrounded be pestilence.
My weekend started 3 hours ago.
I am free for a while.


Remarkably, none of the Spanish or Chinese speakers I know stand behind Donald Trump, and as far as I'm aware, my black friends don't either.
It might just be a "white" thing, huh?


On the other hand, the Russians, Saudis, and Filipinos love that man.
As does much of Africa immediately south of the Sahara.
So his appeal could be universal.




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DENSELY COILED CHROMATIN

Listening in on other people's conversations can be fun. Sometimes it is educational, sometimes informative. And sometimes it tells you to run screaming from the room and hide under a blanket.
Which is good life advice anyway.

Two women at a table behind me last night.


Woman A: "Can you get food poisoning from sperm?"

Woman B: "Animal or human?"


Stuff like that convinces me that I should remain a bachelor for the rest of my life and withdraw to a desert island.


No, I did not turn around or get involved. After putting a napkin over my drink I went outside to finish smoking my pipe. I am just a visitor on this planet, you natives are demented.




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Sunday, June 17, 2018

STOCKPILING TIN FOIL FOR HARD TIMES

When I returned home my apartment mate was in her room, resting, much like a Norwegian Blue after a prolonged squawk is alleged to, assuming that such a creature does indeed recline, and is living, rather than being nailed down, cold ex-parrot style.
She was alive. And gleefully showed me a passage in a Dave Sedaris book. Something about someone's senile maternal relative insisting that Adolf Hitler wanted her pussy. Which is rather like one of my regulars, who insists that Robin Williams was killed because he knew too much about the Clinton Foundation fracking Marin County with the Russians (who can, entirely uncoincidentally, see Marin from their consulate in San Francisco), which although top-secret he also knows. Because he has friends at Quantico.
That's why he takes the battery out of his cellphone.
It keeps the gubmint from tracking him.

You know, I suspect that if he thought himself female, he too would be convinced that Hitler wanted his pussy. Totally.

I shan't mention his name, because he has friends at Quantico.

Who would call him up to warn him.

On his cellphone ...



After a brief chat, I left her and her stuffed animals to doze in their room, or read more Dave Sedaris. She's had a long day. She visited the family graves, and was by doing so a good Chinese daughter. I spent all day at work surrounded by cigar smokers and people who should wear form-fitting tinfoil hats. Which I could make for them. And would most willingly! Because, as you know, I am not a good Chinese daughter.
I am a bad snarky Dutchman.
I have tinfoil skills!


I started the day with a tuitknakje (small Dutch perfecto shape cigar) from a venerable company, I shall finish it with a pipe at a nearby drinking establishment after a casual snack and a nap.
That tuitknakje was smoked while wandering the empty streets near my apartment, before taking the bus to the county now being fracked.

During the height of the day, those streets are filled with people like my conspiracy theorist nutball acquaintance. All convinced of something.
This is San Francisco. It must be our karmic magnetism.

"Prithee, good sir, I be a tinne foille hat maker; hast need for arte such as mine?"

Sometimes these good people are in a fighting mood.


Oh, what sad times are these, there is a pestilence upon this land! nothing is sacred. Even those who arrange and design tinfoil hats are under considerable stress at this point in time.


I checked in on my apartment mate a couple of minutes ago.
She's fast asleep, surrounded by all of her stuffed animals.
The good Chinese daughter prefers kipping on her back.

She ate all of the cheesy poofs.
It was a giant bag.
Oh well.




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PORTUGUESE CURRY CHICKEN RICE

Sometimes cooking is the most therapeutic thing a person can do. Heck, it often is. Last night I fixed myself some baked Portuguese chicken rice like they have in Hong Kong ... but with extra chilies and ginger. And some stewed stalky mustard green ... also with extra chilies and ginger.

Perhaps I overdid the extra chilies and ginger.

But I was cooking for myself.

So, okay.


ARROZ COM FRANGO
[焗葡國雞飯]

Baked Portuguese chicken rice as it is usually made in Hong Kong consists of a foundation of egg-fried rice on top of which partially cooked chicken (such as for instance ripped-up leftover roast chicken) and parboiled potato chunks are placed, Portuguese sauce a la Hong Kong poured over, shredded cheese sprinkled generously on top, grated coconut optional. This composite is put in the oven till hot, then under the broiler till the cheese browns.

Hong Kong style Portuguese sauce ( 葡汁) is a mild coconut curry sauce, not too heavy on the coconut milk or the curry, possibly thinned with a little chicken stock. To make it more Portuguese-y I fried some chunks of chouriço first, then added the spices, roux, and liquids.

If the Portuguese chicken is to be eaten as a meal, the chicken is browned, with some garlic, onion, and carrots all added at the appropriate time.
Then simmered in the sauce.

None of this is really Portuguese, you must understand. It's a Hong Kong working men's restaurant re-interpretation of fusion food from Macao.


As I mentioned, extra chilies and ginger.

It was hearty, and comforting.

I'm up early today.

Very.



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Saturday, June 16, 2018

THEY'RE MOSTLY MALE

The realization that I am not a nice person hits hard. And, by "not nice" what I mean is stubborn, hard-headed, and eccentric. Not fluffy. Not sweet. At all. Please don't hug me unless you know me very well, and we've established beforehand that that is okay. Irrespective of your gender or heartfeltness.

Most of what I dislike is half my age. Much of what I like is also.

The computer age defines my adulthood.

Good thing.



In the past, the dysfunctional element would paint their craziest thoughts on the side of a van and drive slowly around your neighborhood, hoping that you would take the time to read the thesis, and, flash of insight, disrobe and ooze after their vehicle moaning in delight. An acolyte. A follower!
My gosh you're grand, you butch prophet you.

Now they stay online writing in all caps, and nobody actually has to deal with them. Unless they're stoned at the neighborhood bar, where I remain at one of the tables outside with my pipe, observing their antics.

Paranoiacs and incels are worse when fully amped.
Better living through chemistry?
It's a huge lie.



Actually, some of the people I like best are one eighth to one fourth of my age. Already distinct personalities, but not batshit crazy like teenagers, or the importantly unique individuals who feel artistic and entitled that they will become. And if they're reasonably well-behaved, so much the better.

I still prefer to observe them from a safe distance.



Last night I smoked more than I should. There was a huggy nut in the bar, in direct consequence of which I spent most of the time outside with my pipe.
He was warm and "interesting", and hugged several people.

Perhaps they knew him, because they didn't clock him a good one.
Some folks really should not do drugs.



Two shots of 'Auld Sodomite' Scotch, with water.
Two bowls of blonde Danish flake.
Home to bed.




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Friday, June 15, 2018

STINKY UNCLE'S BAD HABITS

The other day I walked past the location where Yong Kee (容記糕粉) used to be, and remembered their haam daan sou (鹹蛋酥), which was delicious. Yong Kee shut its doors in 2012. But you can still get haam daan sou at other places, as well as variations of the great big Toishan chicken bun.

[鹹蛋酥 ('haam daan sou'): small globular pastries with a crumbly sweet crust pastry shell, that contain a salted egg yolk in a bed of sweet lotus seed paste.]


Haam daan sou are seriously old-school. And go very well with Hong Kong milk tea ((港式奶茶 'gong sik naai chaa'), which wasn't available anywhere in Chinatown till the modern era. Milk tea did not appeal to the Toishanese immigrants two or three generations ago. Now their grandkids swill the Taiwanese version, which is tapioca balls in a weak sugary brew.
So it's not a consideration for them either.

Both of these things make me realize that I have become a crusty old fart.
Which wasn't my intent.


CRUSTY OLD FARTING

So, as a celebration of my middle-aged intestinal gas, today's lunch will be a selection of dumpling-type items. Several hours later I will enjoy milk tea and a pastry. There will be one or two bowls of tobacco in between those events, aged Virginia leaf in ancient briars.

One block away from the dumpling place, through an alleyway beloved by tourists (NOT the ratty alley mentioned elsewhere) is the herbal medicine store which sells the brand of ganoderma capsules (靈芝膠囊 'ling ji gaau nong') I prefer, where one of the owners has expressed himself favourably over the sheer old-schoolness of smoking a pipe in the modern era.

The re-paving of the alleyway beyond that may have progressed a bit. The project has taken well over a year and a half now, and it's finally starting to look decent. It's not of earthshaking importance, though, and does not affect the white population of this city, or the techno yuppies to whom city hall caters, so it's been very slow and slapdash. After-thoughtish.
The new mayor will not change that.

The great thing about Chinatown is the span of ages represented by people there, from tiny tyke to ancient fossil. Extreme youth to hoariest old age, and everything in between. You will not see that in the financial district or many other parts of the city -- we've become a place where you don't want to raise your kids -- and when you do, whether doddering antique or lively youth, they seem to have very modern attitude problems.

I don't really like people.
Except after lunch.



AFTERTHOUGHT: AGED TOBACCO, OLD PIPES

It's a sunny day, the wind is not too bad, and the alleyways beckon.
I shall ignore the "don't smoke here" signs everywhere.
Twenty five feet away would be indoors!
In a mahjong parlour.

No vegans, health nuts, or triggered bourgies there.

By the way: I used to play mahjong.
I'm just mentioning that.




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