Saturday, December 31, 2011


Nezumi Isamu moved cautiously across the field, deftly treading around the tall trunks that rose, pillar-like, from the ground. He could still smell the blood that had been spattered all around, which the recent rain had washed into the dirt where it perfumed the top layer. He held his long blade at ready, aware that with the crest (家紋 kamon) on his armour betraying his allegiances, he remained a target.

What he forgot was that in the grand scheme of things, a mouse wandering among the slain would be quite overlooked.
Even if he was the last living retainer of Shō No Kami on this blasted heath.
It had been a fierce battle. All the humans were dead.


Thus begins a great manga adventure, featuring a heroic rodent seeking vengeance for the death of his liege during the Warring States Period (戰國時代 Sengoku Jidai).
It is a tale of gallantry, valour, and the very highest ideals a mouse can represent.

Characteristically, because it strives to appeal to readers among both genders, there is a bit of very innocent nudity: the mouse soon hooks up with a young girl (Tsuyuko), twixt whose soft bosoms he often sits while they travel the land.
The bosoms are significant as a theme, but not really ever actually shown. Their suggested presence peppers the pages just enough to keep a teenage boy fascinated. The girl to whom these items belong is fierce, yet modest.
Let us call her "the good woman of Kansai" (関西の淑女 Kinki No Musume), and take delight in the wordplay that the name allows us.

[In a further nod to the target audience of highschoolers - college-age adults - junior members of the office workforce, the hero Koenosama-kun calls Tsuyuko-chan either "imōto" (阿妹) or "kouhai" (後輩 'protégé', junior fellow disciple), whereas she defers to him as "Koshō-sama" ('lord Koshō') or "senpai" (先輩 'mentor', senior fellow disciple).
All this instead of the high-fallutin' and rather archaic polite language which the setting of the story would seem to require.]

No, I shall not tell you the name of the very nicely drawn fifty volume series of "Dai Nezumi-Kyo Yu Shoki" (大鼠侠勇書記), nor who the author is, or where it may be purchased.
For the very simple reason that, to the best of my knowledge, it has not been written yet.
But it should be.

I am clearly not the person to either write the story or illustrate it, unfortunately, and given how utterly minimal my knowledge of both the Japanese language and Japanese history is, trying to do so would be a Sisyphus-Arbeit of monumental proportions.
But I am thinking of sketching out some story-boards, just for the hell of it.
The idea of a mouse wearing mediaeval samurai armour, riding between the gentle swellings of a yukata-clad maiden, his head barely visible, sticking out of the garment where the cloth overlaps at the collar, is just too delightful not to give some form to.

Think of it as a literary hero-quest.

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Friday, December 30, 2011


Memorable people are the ones you almost never notice. That is to say, often what is considered remarkable about others is no more than a superficial appearance, the glib talent, or an over-emphasized attribute.
What really should be praised is the ability which they themselves do not think special, or characteristics which mark profound and unusual qualities.
What is worthwhile always takes intelligence to discover.

One sometimes sees smiles which are so warm and honest that the person stays in one’s mind long afterwards. Not very often, as most smiles are studied responses to social circumstances, and meant as communication. The smile which reflects a wonderful enjoyment of the moment, a sincere pleasure at seeing someone, or sheer happiness, is rare.
A nice face is made infinitely more beautiful by just such a smile.
Sadly, intelligent people are frequently handicapped by thoughts that interfere.
A brain that is too busy can keep the face from radiating.

Dining with another person is a marvelous treat. Both good food and pleasant moments are lovely distractions, and encourage a temporary dissolution of cares. People are naturally more relaxed when eating, shields are down, and how sweet it would be if that moment might last forever.
Imagine candlelight, crisp tablecloths, sparkling glasses...... surely that has already changed your mood?
Perhaps you need a glass of champagne and a lovely dish of crème caramel?
Followed by a stroll from streetlight glow to streetlight glow.

A quiet apartment away from crowds, half-dark late on a wet afternoon. This, too, induces happiness. You are indoors and there is no further reason to go out into the rain. All you want is at hand, it’s time to unwind and let your mind swirl.
Who knows what pleasant thoughts may rise?

The comfort of eating with another person, private moments, and perhaps falling asleep in an overstuffed chair as the splayed book slips from your fingers.
Life can be both quiet and good at such a time. A throw-rug will keep you warm and toasty, inside and insulated from the world.
Rain drums steadily against the windows, softening all other sounds.
Your eyes close, your face relaxes.
You smile.

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Thursday, December 29, 2011


Some phrases stick in your mind long after they've outlived all relevance.
Nixon's famous line "I am not a crook" is one of them.
Never mind that he was fudging the truth a little, it was one of the few lines he ever spoke which was not obscenity laced.

"I didn't inhale".

There are other lines that are as memorable. But alas, the modern generation will probably never hear them the same way we did. Modern technology and the internet have erased their currency.
In our memories, though, they still resonate.
Back in the day when the phone would ring and some entirely anonymous cretin breathily husked at the listener.....


That right there was the start of a memorable conversation. One could have a lot of fun with the unknown and unknowable querent, in the age before caller id.

In your best teenage babydoll voice you'd shyly squeak "um, jeans?"


"A teeshirt... a tight teeshirt? "


"You think I should take it off? I'm all alone...."


"Mm, a black brassiere. Small. A. "

At this point, you could tell that your interlocutor was getting lively.
A few more questions and answers, and just before he could let loose with a suggestion the likes of which would make the devil blanch, you barked out in your manly baritone "Hi, I'm her dad, why is she writhing on the sofa in a state of scandalous déshabillé, and WHO are you?".

Or perhaps, in the same deep baritone, you'd roar that in fact you were wearing ripped baggy boxers that had seen far better days, and were busily pinching your left ass cheek to keep from laughing.

Whichever. The point is that "what are you wearing" no longer evokes quite the same mood.

Twenty years ago, you might indeed have been wearing a small black brassiere, cup size A, and a matching pair of bikini briefs with lace next to the front panel. It probably looked very lovely against your creamy skin. In the glow of the bedside lamp, the effect was most fetching.
Even if you were, unfortunately, a large gentleman of the dockworker persuasion.


There are times when I hope you are indeed wearing the zesty outfit I have outlined above. Especially if (ONLY if) you are of the gender for whom such garb is "normal". In my imagination, you are younger and shorter than me, discretely curved, and rather sweet.
In the interests of full disclosure I proffer that I am none of the above.
Not of the cute underwear gender.
Not shorter than me.
Not even curvy.
Nor sweet.
At all.

I am a trim middle-aged gentleman, with sparkling deep-set eyes, lively tendencies, and an over-active imagination.
Underneath my loose-fitting plaid shirt and tan slacks I am wearing a white wife-beater and boldly patterned boxers - both clean.
I have trimmed my beard quite recently. It looks more dashing than the rest of me.
No, I am not splayed languorously on a leopard-skin rug by the fire, but sitting at a desk in a nearly empty office-building.
Rather than feeling hot and bothered, I am actually suffering a bit from the cold.
I suspect that the thermostat here is set far too low.

There is a bent briar pipe to the left of the key-board, and I'm seriously thinking of leaving for the Occidental sometime soon, to smoke a bit and stare dreamily off into space.
Sadly, I do not even posses a lovely black bra with A cups, such as I have described.
That's a sore lack, I know, and indicative of a flaw in my character.

Feel free to outline a course of action which will rectify that.

In the meantime, I just might be thinking of you.

And your lacy matching set.

dot dot dot

What are you wearing?

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You do NOT need to know how I found it. Suffice to say that the search was both arduous and perverse.
But I am more than happy to share the results with you.

The blog to end all blogs that blog about Asian movies.
Especially the really crappy ones.
Glorious garbage.

Backyard Asia
Not J-Horror. Not cute animé. Not Godzilla. Not new Korean. Not Pink movies. ... BUT INSTEAD ... the weird, unknown, FORGOTTEN, never discovered, TRASHY, wild, gory, absurd, INSANE, dark, nasty WONDERS from the Asian backyard!!!

My lord, some of these movies are stellarly bad. Flamingly bad. Stomach-crampingly bad.
Even if the theatre were running a half-price triple feature marathon, you would want your money back.
And then the next day you'd put on a fake moustache and speak in a foreign accent, hoping that the guy at the ticket window wouldn't recognize you as the belly-acher from last night.
Because no matter what, you gotta see every one of them again.
That's the only way you can be sure that they exist.

This is some seriously good stuff.

My compliments to the film buff (Jack J) whose blog it is. Who has devoted his life to fondling grimy tapes of these howlers, and lovingly writes paeons in praise of these films.
I am in awe. Thank you.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011


For a man who is unattached, I am remarkably opinionated about how women should dress. This was the consensus after a conversation with several other people.
It was, naturally, prompted by passage of a female person with quite unsound clothing choices. The other gentlemen smoking at the wall followed her with their eyes. There was little need to mentally undress her, as she had done most of the work for them.
So much exposure in cold weather speaks of a singular deficit elsewhere.

I barely noticed her - my attention instead was caught by a young lady passing in the opposite direction.
A person with neat hair, glasses, a pretty face.
And a body which in all likelihood may have been small and slim, but as she was bundled up against the cold, that is mere speculation. Judging by the face and feet, she was probably trim.
She looked alert and intelligent.
Precisely the kind of girl one should like to know.

Some of the nicest people in the world wear glasses.

Subsequent discussion with the cigar smokers established that I had keenly observed the wrong woman.
My lack of common sense and manly tastes had prevented me from drinking in the charms of someone who was all legs and cleavage.
Glasses, most of my comrades opined, feh!

You know, everyone can grow cleavage. Add a bit of pudge by eating burgers, and wear a push-up bra. Paint a bit of rouge subtly down the centre, and presto!
Or purchase more extreme augmentation.
All of the stupidest dumbest pin-up bombs have cleavage.

Gentlemen, every woman has breasts.
But nice women also have brains.

And as far as legs are concerned, in this weather it is more than remarkably vain to insist on showing them off. Legs are indeed delightful, but if you do not feel the cold, please consult a doctor.
She'll probably tell you that your nerve endings have died.
As well as whatever grey cells you had.
Yes, I personally would not mind looking admiringly at the legs of a brilliant PHD wearing nothing but pearls and glasses.
But I do not wish that to happen on the public street.
Nice women should NOT be exposed to the prurience of cigar smokers.
The best venue for such a view is somewhere both romantic and private.
There is absolutely no need, nor any possible salutary consequence, to a vulgar public exhibition of procreational feminine attributes.


Nice women might wear skirts of a reasonable length, perhaps combined with panty hose, silk stockings, or thigh-highs, above that a proper blouse that barely even shows a bit of collar bone, and in this weather a sweater or cardigan, along with a coat of course - it is the middle of winter - plus glasses, pearls, and an intelligent inquisitive expression.
Comfortable shoes - stylish is okay, as long as they don't hurt.
Nothing else!
The blouse and the skirt should be contrasting colours, the pearls should be off-white and lustrous.

I'll make an exception for trousers - if the material is opaque and the waistband is at the actual waist, these too are perfectly appropriate.

In warm weather the top may be short-sleeved, and of thinner material.

A woman who dresses like a lady and carries herself as such is admirable.
Someone who calculates her clothing for maximum sireen effect, however, is not a lady.

Many cigar smokers do not grasp this.
But I know that there are still women out there who do.

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It took a while, but I've finally grasped that I don't do the 'wise uncle' role very well. Years ago, a friend asked if I had any advice for his daughter when she was going off to college. We were all sitting around the table after dinner the night before he planned to drive her and her stuff across country, and he realized that despite his worries, she was just so brimming with anticipation that she wasn't even listening to him. As a friend, I could have told him he was wasting his time. Young people and college? It's an un-ending prospect of booze, pizza, and shocking behaviour.
Those are the fundaments of our educational system.

Did I have any sensible words I could pound into her head?

"Always make sure that your boy friend is older than your whisky!"

That is all.

The pained look in his eyes told me that I had fully and completely FAILED the avuncular role he had chosen for me.
Her expression, however, said that she was taking my advice to heart, completely, and fully.

Despite his hesitation at having me around whenever his little girl is back during break, because of my lack of seriousness and my supercilious attitude, it turns out that I am still her favourite "uncle".

Plus I can talk about booze, pizza, and shocking behaviour.
Specifically his, before she was even born.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011


One of my friends asked why I like Chinatown. I had not actually considered the question before. It's just that when I moved to San Francisco in 1984 the place I ended up living was right on the edge of that neighborhood and North Beach.
Within a short time I had gotten used to the bakeries, coffee shops, and restaurants.

The alternative would have been spending all my time in North Beach.
Which, ever since the fifties, has been filled with artistic types, bohemians, intellectuals, philosophers, and other layabouts.
There's only so much free-verse a rational person can take before keenly desiring to barf.

I moved in 1993, but I still cross the hill every day.

I like Chinatown, I do not particularly like North Beach.
No, Jack, I do not wish to buy your revolutionary newspaper.
Can someone please shut up the unwashed person with the guitar?
Declaim that meaningful doggerel to yourself, no one else is interested.
Yes, you're special. Unique, creative, and inspired. Now please go away.

From 1984 to 1993 every morning I would go around the corner to wake up with a latte at the Caffe Trieste, spending half an hour reading the Chronicle before even thinking of doing anything else. It's easy to tune out artistic types and others when so engaged.
Unfortunately the SF Chronicle is not worth reading anymore, and the Trieste is more awash with bohemians than ever before.
Instead, if I'm in the neighborhood, I'll drop by the Caffe Puccini on Columbus Avenue. Their cappuccino is pretty good, and one can watch the pedestrians strolling past from a fine vantage point.

I end up in Chinatown several times a week, but hardly ever in North Beach during daylight hours.
Jack doesn't try to sell his communist rag there - he probably doesn't like the Cantonese, and considers them bad for the Marxist cause.
I've never seen a hippie playing a guitar in Chinatown - the locals would probably dump a bucket of water on him and tell him to take his screeching elsewhere.
Other than the loony at the intersection of Washington and Grant, there is no-one declaiming. And it's doubtful whether what he 'declaims' is actually free verse or sheer gibberish. Or even has any meaning at all.
The locals in Chinatown already know that they're special. Unique, creative, and inspired. They do not need anyone to tell them so, and have no interest in proclaiming it to other people anyway. They are self-confident, open for business, and not particularly enthused by guff from artistic types, bohemians, intellectuals, philosophers, and other layabouts.

The entire passage above is free verse, as well as deep and meaningful
Please ponder it, while sipping your cappuccino.
On the other side of Broadway.
Thank you!

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Monday, December 26, 2011


One of the cigar smokers over at the wall will soon be in between jobs.
The project that he was working on at the trading company is coming to an end. According to another cigar afficionado, this is a golden opportunity.
The glass isn't half empty, it's half full.

What he should do, according to the well-meaning advice of the optimist, is dump the dogs and guns into his pick-up truck and head off to see the country.
Tell his wife he'll be back in six months, and if she's still there when he returns, he'll bring her a nice souvenir.

Now this of course is all wrong.

Bone-headed advice, indicative of messed up priorities.

Board the dogs with a friend, put the wife and the guns in the pick-up truck. You'll need someone to use those fire arms while you're outrunning a redneck biker gang somewhere east of Omaha. She can shoot at the pursuers while you put your heel to the gas.
Dude, those dogs ain't gonna be much use in that regard.

For one thing, they can't aim. And for another, they probably have attention deficit disorder. They weren't paying ANY mind when you showed them how to reload the rifle. They're dogs, for crapsakes! Do you really think they'll remember that all three of you pissed on that Harley parked outside of the roadhouse?
Your wife, on the other hand, will recall the incident vividly. And not only because women are a bit more modest about taking a whizz. Squat in public, not on your life!
Heck, she might have told your drunk ass at the time that it was a very bad idea.
And in any case, she can shoot better than the damned dogs.
ALWAYS, and this is valuable advice, ALWAYS bring the person with opposable thumbs!

Especially if you're going to tinkle on a hairy man's motorbike.
As an ironic statement of personal machismo.
Or just plain orneriness.

Of course I didn't say anything. The way I see it, if he goes off on a trip with his dogs and his guns, his wife is well rid of him. She has probably resented his affection for the hounds and fire arms several years now, regretted even marrying him. If he has a tattoo anywhere on his body, it probably says "Smith & Wesson" or "Sturm Ruger", instead of her name. Maybe a long-deceased hound lovingly engraved on one of his biceps. He wants to travel? Let him!
The glass isn't half empty, it's half full.

Just don't be surprised if she's living with a yoga instructor when you get back.

You'll find your cigars and the spare ammo out by the curb.

Bon voyage.

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Sunday, December 25, 2011


The perfect thing to do during a cold-afternoon, especially on a day off, is to take a long hot bath. Nothing really beats lazing in the tub, with suds pooling in my navel and warm steam rising.
Yes, ideally there would be another person there too, but you can’t have everything.
So instead there's a book, a pot of tea, and an angry raccoon in the bathroom.


This particular angry raccoon claims to be German. He says he studied at Heidelberg.
Remarkably, there are indeed such creatures in Germany.
Raccoons were introduced both deliberately and accidentally, starting over seven decades ago. They've made themselves right at home.
Gone all native, so to speak.

He looks disapproving whenever he’s near me, and often mutters something about ‘nasty Dutchy, crush you’.
Not exactly the best company during a long soak. I’ve told him that I would vastly prefer someone female and clearly human, can’t he at least gaily wave around a pair of panties (with or without lace edging) to evoke some feminine charm for chrissakes, but he ignores me and gets dangerously close to my teacup.
Sometimes I’ll sit on the edge of the tub smoking, while he glares at me and suggests that I should use more soap. Like many Germans, he disapproves of my display of Dutch sensuality, and my charming badger-like nature.
I think he feels threatened by it.

Along with several of the other stuffed creatures, he has an attitude problem. The majority of them are not fully grounded in reality, and some are exceedingly maladjusted.
Fortunately, only the raccoon watches me bathe. It’s the water that entrances him. This is not surprising, as the German term for the raccoon is "der Waschbär" - 'the washbear'.
I doubt that it's my slickly wet male body, glowing and fragrant - there has never been much evidence of a sense of aeasthetics from the beast, and that again is very German of him.

Gunther (the raccoon) says he's willing to take a pair of crisply CLEAN panties from a nice young lady to wave about, but under no circumstances will he accept any panties that I might offer him. He distrusts any and all feminine undergarments to which I have any connection.
He also claims that my boxers and my socks roam around the floor at night looking for victims, who will never be seen again. Several of the roomies have similar beliefs about my clothing. Something about a bad aura or bad karma attached to the human male.
Well, specifically to me. Probably some masculine rivalry going on or something.
Be that as it may, they vastly prefer feminine underwear, and I shall not fault them for that.

Gunther has even said that if a nice young lady were to donate her panties, she could come over once a month to wear them for a while. Just to keep them in shape, he has no objection to that. Why, he'll even help her!
Despite his weird fascination with scanties, I try to keep him on the subject of underwear, because otherwise he'll threaten to bomb Rotterdam, or bring up the famous autobahns again.
Plus Stukas, and raids over Coventry.
He's rather obsessive.

Once, Gunther and one of the other residents in the apartment had a long quarrel about bikini briefs versus French-cut high waists. With or without lace edging, in nice fruity colours. It ended with the loser screaming about the siege of Leningrad and the bitter cold on the Russian Front, which, apparently, was an argument for more fabric.
Gunther holds out his arms to indicate how big precisely and no bigger the nice young lady whom he wishes would donate such a garment should be. Given that he's only a foot tall, you can imagine that she won't be much larger than that - he has short arms.

He's never spoken of brassieres, so it is quite likely that breasts are entirely beyond his reach. Or at least his attention. Though there is a distinct possibility that the fierce small she-sheep, who regards nice female bosoms as HER real-estate ("mine! I found them") has Pavlovianly dissuaded him from even coming near such things, by growling at whoever dares come close when she is happily nestled in between. Whatever the case, he will on occasion wax lyric about small feminine bottoms lovingly encased in silk or cotton.
With or without lace edging.
Then he starts singing in German.
I usually give up conversing with him at that point, and retire to the tub to read my philatelic catalogue and blow bubbles. Crazy furball.

A pot of tea, a few cigarillos, and an argument with an irascible raccoon, will take up a good hour of soaking.

If panties actually were involved, it would take a hell of a lot longer.
And I'd unceremoniously chuck the raccoon into the hallway.
He can stew in his own neurotic juices out there.
Rail furiously against the closed door.
Screaming "panties!"

Honestly, I have no idea why he's so obsessed with cotton, silk, curvature, gussets, and lace edgings.
Must be one of those German things that I just don't get.

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Lunch on Sunday usually isn’t a problem. I get up late, take a long bath, and head into Chinatown for a bite before percolating down to the office. Or, if I've gotten to the office relatively early and haven't felt puckish yet, I'll wander back up to C'town for snackipoos by mid-afternoon.
I've come to enjoy the regular solitude and peacefulness of the office on a weekend, though I do wish at times that I had other activities planned.
But Christmas is an unpleasant imposition, and an interruption of my routine - one cannot toddle off to a Chinese eatery for a bit of casual solitary snarfing on Xmas.
People dining by themselves in a Chinese Restaurant on Christmas advertise that their family ties are defective.
Which, in Chinese terms, makes them a very doubtful quantity.
Normal Caucasians surely have someone to eat with.
Especially during the holidays.

Well, not exactly. I'm not in a relationship anymore, and I have no bloodkin in Northern California.
So while I consider myself quite normal (please do NOT interject a snarky comment at this point!), my holidays won't follow the standard pattern.

Not a problem.
Except when it comes to food.
No, I do not have an atavistic desire to eat turkey. It's a rather miserable bird that probably makes a better pet than dinner, despite its absolute stupidity.
And most of the traditional trimmings are all in all rather nasty.
Truth be told, the idea of sitting around a groaning board with a large number of distant relatives gives me the screaming willies.
I'm just not that conversationally gifted.


A nice plump roast duck is delicious. Hacked into chopstickable chunks, served with rice and crisp vegetables.
Perhaps with some spicy-fried prawns, or even a bit of steamed fatty pork with ginger.
It's enough for two to four or five people.
Very festive!

But at present there is no one to chopstick-dance with.
And I seldom cook much nowadays.
On a day like today it would be particularly pointless.

At some point later I shall have a slice of fruit cake and a bit of whisky.
Helped by a mystery novel and a pipeful of good tobacco, the time will pass quickly, and Christmas will soon be over.
Okay, perhaps TWO slices of fruit cake.
With a second whisky, or another smoke.
On Monday I shall wield chopsticks again!
I wonder, where will I go for some nice duck?

Now, I think I'll head over to the operations department and steal some of their chocolate!

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Friday, December 23, 2011


The week after Christmas is always enjoyable and quiet at work. Last year, after a few slow hours, I would head into Chinatown for lunch. Which is something I will do again this year.

Off on the twentysixth (probably at the office nevertheless), working half-days Tuesday through Friday.
Leave at two P.M. C'town by 2:20. Fed by 3.

Thinking in terms of wonton noodle soup at least once.
It's perfect coldweather food.

Of course, what I would far rather be doing is curling up on a couch with a hot beverage and another person, underneath a nice warm comforter.
Got the comforter.
Zero on person.
And no couch.

Perhaps I should just bring my comforter or a blanket down to the office and lie in front of the reception area teevee watching cartoons all afternoon.
With a nice hot beverage.
It will be very quiet.
Nobody's working more than two half-days between Xmas and New Year.
If it weren't for building security, the smoke detectors, and the sprinkler system, I could probably also get away with smoking my pipe.

Smoking outdoors in frigid weather is not entirely enjoyable.

Really, I don't know how Santa does it - in illustrations he's always pictured with a pipe. Perhaps he has on two sets of long underwear. Lots of insulation.
Happy nudity does not appear to be part of Santa's world, and the concept of a hot tub or steam room at the North Pole, with a mob of those bandy-legged elves unwinding, is not a pretty mental sight.
Their locker room probably smells nasty.
I bet all of them have scratchy red long johns.
Probably itchy rashes on their bottoms because of it.
No nice silken skin, warm and velvety, but dry and chapped.
Whoever came up with the idea of a whole bunch of unshaven height-impaired middle-aged gentlemen all bunking together with a large elderly (and eccentric!) fat dude in the frozen wastelands had a hyper-active imagination and a very, VERY sick mind.
There's something frightfully English about the whole thing.
Unpleasantly reminiscent of the public schools.
Foodwise, it's probably horrible too.
Reindeer sausages every day.
No vegetables, or seafood.
British digestive issues.
And boiled penguins.

Certainly puts my lack of a couch and another person in perspective. At least I'm not forced to associate with a bunch of short ugly men all the time.
And I get to eat wonton noodle soup in Chinatown.

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Thursday, December 22, 2011


Nougat. Praline. Fondant. Fudge.
Walnuts, sugar, brickle, candy canes.
If anyone says those words, run and hide.
They’ve been possessed by an evil spirit.

The Christmas season did not used to be such a tense and fraught time of year. And it’s unfair blaming the retailers – they simply discovered that their customers would happily buy crap in huge quantities during the last two weeks before the holiday; unwellchosen gifts and expensive fripp being exchanged, then angrily returned as unsuitable.

Why? Because auntie Pooh-Pooh in Long Beach gets all despondent if she doesn’t receive trinkets and costume jewelry from all of her little nephews and nieces. She’s given up on their parents, as they simply send another subscription to a magazine she never reads, and a fruitbasket with a champagne bottle sticking out of the centre.
If she had anyone to dance with on New Year’s Eve she’d drink it, but after ten o’clock uncle Walter simply dozes in the bingo room at the old folks home that they live in. The nurse will come by and quietly remove the stogey from his clenched arthritic grasp, as the other retirees one by one fall asleep and drool. The nurse puts the teevee on low volume so that the ball descending at midnight won’t wake the somnolent ones.

Did I mention that appalling woman who always brings your mom oranges? Yep, gotta get her something too. Because even though you can’t stand oranges by now (force of association), you have to show your appreciation. She’ll then pinch your cheek and say “my, how you’ve grown! Gonna get married soon!”
No, you have no plans to get hitched at any time in the near-future. There’s more to life than domestic disharmony. Wild illicit passion with a mysterious stranger, maybe. The things is, you have options.
But you aren’t planning to tell her that. She’d think you queer if you did.
Instead you buy her an extra tight Christmas sweater.
So she can flaunt her boobies.
In all modesty.

Giving gifts feels good, but being forced to do so is an imposition.
Most men simply want a sixpack of beer, women crave jewelry, and kids beg for electronic devices.
Why doesn’t anybody just settle for socks?

[This blogger is easy to shop for. A candy bar wrapped in a pair of panties.
It's what I've always wanted. Now, what would YOU like?]

Christmas is the most irritating time of year, and holiday shopping totally blows!

Fruitcake. Moist. Pink Champagne. Bûche de Noël .
Gingerbread santas and reindeer cookies.
Peanut butter caramel fudge bars.
Triple mint marble suckers.


You have NO intention of reading or watching Charles Dickens' saccharine fable again. It stank the first time, it has become more torturous with each telling. And Frosty the Snowman should melt.
Instead, you’ll find somewhere private to read that history atlas you have, and dream fondly of Huns despoiling Eastern Europe, or the Ashanti Empire before the Europeans ruined everything in Africa. The division of Charlemagne’s realm, and the sweep of plagues across the known world.
A nice quiet place, where Christmas is faint.

I don’t know about you, but I intend to be home by late afternoon everyday between Christmas Eve and new year.
No returns, no after Christmas sales, and no clearance bargain frenzies.

At peace, having a good read, with a pipefull or two.
Quiet, restful, and positively no stress.
Please drop by with your books.
Hide out, and unwind.
Have a cup of tea.
It's sanctuary.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Chinese girls can wear green far better than redheads. On an auburn-haired woman, green looks like a cliché – "welcome to the Saint Paddy’s Day Booze Orgy, boyo" – but on a slim Cantonese person, the effect is totally classy.
Especially if it’s a skirt or a sweater. Or, hypothetically, even shoes. Ballet flats. Sensible and comfortable, yet elegant.

That was the thought that popped into my head the other day as I walked by Portsmouth Square, on the side where 檳城美食邨 (Penang Garden) and Buddha's Universal Church are located. Washington Street.


A remarkable thought, given that the only people visible, while indeed Chinese, were by no means girls. Elderly chess-players, and grannies listening to opera. But when I'm smoking a nice strong flake in my pipe, strange figments come to mind. It's the effect of nicotine.
I always light up a pipe after weekend lunches in Chinatown, carefully calibrating the load to last me until mere moments before I get to the office building. A pleasant stroll, the long way around, gets me in the mood for a few hours of plonking at the computer.


Think of a dark green skirt, white blouse, neat little shoes, a cardigan, and raven-dark hair.
Now imagine a warm smile, discrete lipstick, and pearls.
Nice, no?
In the very best of taste.
Exactly like you would have seen in some of those Mandarin movies from the fifties, or period serials from Hong Kong made during the eighties and nineties. The straightforward and intelligent young woman who is the heroine of the piece. She has refinement, gallantry, good breeding, and courage. Her role is not just decorative, but inspires the viewer. At some point she'll grab a pistol and kill several Japanese soldiers, for the very best of reasons, of course. Or she'll save her bookish fiancé the newspaper publisher by demurely blowing the brains out of the corrupt police chief, with steely girlish resolve.
Salutory cinema. Delightful and enchanting.

The net result is that everyone who leaves the movie theatre that night will wish that they too knew someone like her, or if they are women, that they actually were her.
Or, if they are very flexible, both of those eventualities.

The elderly chess-players do not know what goes through my mind when I pass. They are wrapped up in their game, and probably imagining a battle during the three kingdoms era, if they dream at all while strategizing.
A host of elderly men stands around the two adversaries, observing pensively, silently sharing in the delicious tension.
A cannon is moved across the board, a halberd-wielder feints and scowls.
General Kwan salutes his liege, Lau Bei, then moves to block the enemy forces at the Ging ford. Whisps of smoke from several cigarettes mingle in the cold winter air.......
A solitary pipe smoker passes by, and pressed Virginia mixes briefly with the air-cured leaf.

It takes about twenty minutes from the sidewalk outside whichever small restaurant where lunch was had to the front door of the office building.
By the time I've made it to Montgomery and Pine, the pipe is almost done.
The mental image of the young lady wearing a pleated skirt has dissipated by then - momentary sweetness fades to matters perfectly mundane.

It was a good lunch, and I got to listen in on other people talking.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.


I have to wonder: do the folks at Macy's and other stores just assume that all women are enormous?
Is there a law out there that insists that if a woman does not have a monstrous booty she must sleep nude?

While personally I have no problem with covering up the hairy mastodon women and hiding them from friends and family, I am amazed and not a little appalled that the only pajamas that Macy's sells are 'Medium', 'Large', 'Extra Large', and 'Killer Whale'.
What's even worse is that they've confused 'sleepwear' with 'slutwear'.
Yes, half of the females in the Bay Area seem to prefer that latter category of clothing at all times (and we should be grateful that they do not parade around in their sleepwear), but all I want is some nice happy jammies.
You know, comfy flannel with little frogs or sheep patterns.

It's not for me. It's for my roommate. She needs something nice.

I am also disturbed by the fact that pajamas are in the lingerie department.
Mind you, I like lingerie. Really I do.
That is, I used to.
That was before the lingerie department started catering to the same people who have confused sleepwear with slutwear. Very large sluts. Enormous.
Since when did the women in this city develop hooters the size of a regulation basketball? And if they are that large, little scraps of frilly material ain't gonna hold 'em.
Ripping lace is such a sad sound.


Yes, I know that women ELSEWHERE in this country are elephantine, built like bovine sasquatch. Probably because of the huge mounds of deepfried cow-behind and barbecue sauce covered lard-o-melts that they consume, as well as the growth hormones in the groundwater of cattle country.
But this is San Francisco. Women are more health conscious here. And there are ladies living in the city whose foodculture does not include using frozen pizza as a taco shell, deep frying it, and loading that monster up with ground fatty beef, processed cheese, sour cream, bacon, and guacamole.

Enough for the whole family in SF is a mere snack elsewhere.

My roommate is a small person. Thin, with fine bones. No, I haven't seen her in lingerie in years.
We're no longer a couple, and we no longer expose ourselves to each other.
And while I fondly remember the visual excitement of the past, such things are not part of the present program.
She simply needs something warm and comfy to watch teevee in. Something with dancing kangaroos or partying bunny rabbits, for instance.
Not something built for big lard buts and sixteen pound bowling balls.

I'm still searching. It's important. Must find something.

I also need to find someone who will wear lingerie at me.
But that's an entirely different search.
Though no less important.
Fine silk things.

Little frogs. Drowsy sheep. Dancing kangaroos. Drunken rabbits.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Mid-December is when one should remember the good things in life. So what follows is a personal list of things that I view as great blessings.
No, nothing deep and meaningful – you weren’t expecting any of that anyway, nor is this the correct blog for something so high-fallutin’.
I'm a fairly superficial type.

So instead, just nice stuff.
Things that everyone can appreciate.


Good strong tea. Books. A quiet place to read.
Aged Virginia flake tobacco and a pipe.
A pillow. A teddy bear. A warm rug.

Cake. Coffee. A favourite cup and saucer.
Lace-trimmed French-cut briefs.
A long quiet evening.

Coffee table art books. Drinkable sherry.
A witty bright eyed young miss.
Tickets to the theatre.

Autumn leaves. Summer rain. Fresh breeze.
Sunlight, grass, and blossoms.
Pears. Peaches. Plums.

Some of these, you will understand, are presently absent.
It's a question of time.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.

Monday, December 19, 2011


They had the corner seat all to themselves, and there was almost no one else in the compartment. Which was to be expected, as a cable car going up California Street late on a December night does not attract any tourists.

The woman was freezing, and clutched on to her companion for warmth. She was neatly dressed, very ladylike. But not entirely appropriate for the weather. Her skirt was pleated wool of good quality, but when it's this cold far more effective covering is required.
By Stockton Street he had his arms around her and she was within his coat, nestled up against him. By the top of the hill it almost looked like one person with two heads sitting there. The flap of his coat almost completely enfolded her small frame, and her legs were pressed tightly against his. No, it didn't look in any way immodest, there was clearly nothing else than heat-sharing going on.
Her head stuck up out of the top of the wrapped bundle that the two of them had become, and while she looked happier, she also looked pre-occupied. She was probably thinking that he needed to generate a lot more heat. Dammit, so cold!
There was a constant sense of motion from the two of them. He was rocking her gently, she was wriggling against him trying to expose as much of herself to his warmth as possible while limiting any and all exposure to the rest of the world.
"Why", she was probably wondering, "why do men tolerate cold so well?"

The answer to that question is simple. The idea of a lovely woman gluing herself tightly to us is infinitely motivational.
I observed the couple out of the corner of my eyes, pretending that I was not drinking in every detail.
They seemed very sweet together, like a perfect fit.
That may have been because there was no discernable space between them.

"When we finally get home, I'm getting into bed with ALL my clothes on!"

This announcement at Jones Street, sounding like it came from a wounded little girl, was startling in the silent cabin.
Her man made a querulous sound, and she responded that yes, the coat and the shoes were coming into bed too. So there!
I looked at her feet and saw that she was wearing sensible flats, flexible thin material.
Good. Spike heels rip the sheets.
Don't ask me how I know.

They got off the cable car together at California and Hyde Street. He held her tightly as she trembled up the slope, his coat around her again.
He looked very happy indeed.
For his sake I hope there are many more cold nights.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Like many single adult males, I speculate occasionally about the sizes of certain garments and body parts.
Part of this has to do with a question all males ask themselves at some point: how big am I?
Meaning usually that they are facing an entire row of slacks and have no idea which ones will fit. In the back of their mind is the datum that when their mother last measured them, they were 32 and 32.
Since then, every year, she has assumed that they have grown a bit, and like clockwork she send them clothing gifts for the holidays.
This year they expect to get something with an inseam length of 32 (she knows that full height has been reached), and a waist measuring seventy plus inches. Like every garment received in the last two decades, it will end up at the local charity shop, advantageously priced at one dollar. Such a steal!

Surely there's a heffalump out there who is going naked?
They remain optimistic.

My measurements are boring in comparison.
Average height. Fairly trim. No beer gut.
I flatter myself that I have a good bottom - but I wouldn't know, seeing as it hasn't been patted in a while, and I am not in the habit of feeling it myself.
Decent posture. Decent proportions.
Medium, with a preference for loose fit.
A typical badger, in other words.


It should not surprise you that, like most badgers, I have a keen interest in the female of the species.
Particularly their proportions.
While that usually translates to an obsession with brassiere size, what it means for me is that while brassieres and their contents are indeed matters of interest and keen appreciation, moderation ranks very highly.

Quality always over quantity. Whose are they?

And is she an interesting person?

Can she hold her own?

Women who gesticulate with their bosoms are conversationally impaired.
Breasts should not be a burden. Subtle statements are admirable.
The mammaries mustn't dominate the discourse.

Ideally a woman should have two of them.
Anything more is excessive.

Other than that, I have little to say about breasts.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.


You’ve had enough of the season. Screw it. It's not even Christmas yet, and the pressure is more than you can bear. More, actually, than you wish to take.
You're not even sure what it's all about anyway.

The story is that on December 25th. two thousand years ago some fat guy wearing red saw a star in the sky and squoze his lard-ass down a chimney somewhere in Germany.
Since then there has been war in the Middle-East, and little white kids get presents.
It’s all rather confusing and silly.

Your cousins and siblings have bought into the whole thing.
And because they have, you’ve felt pressure to buy them stuff too.
Knowing that in the first two days after Christmas ALL of you will be down at Macys trying to return stuff that isn’t your size, would look horrible on you, and makes your skin itch.

All you want is the roast duck and that lovely charsiu.
Avoid the overdone turkey, ignore the stuffing.
Pass the rice, and all of you, shut up!

Everywhere you go, you hear horrible, HORRIBLE! music.

What you need, my dear, is a quiet afternoon at my place.

Just kick off your shoes, get under the blankets – make sure that you’re fully covered for maximum toasty – and let me bring you a nice hot cup of warm milk (with honey). Here’s a volume of Calvin and Hobbes to read.
There won’t be any horrid Christmas music. Nor any nasty smells of pine-sprayed wreaths, scented candles with almond, cinnamon, and cloves, fake bakery odours, overly sweet candy aromas. Just a faint whisp of pipe tobacco from the other room, where I will be reading my own book.
Enjoy the silence, and feel free to doze.
I’ll wake you up later and we’ll go have a snack.

You’ll get home at a reasonable hour, and you can tell everyone that you were out shopping.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


I was intending to write a post about likable rats living on Russian Hill, and their relationship with a small human person, some snarky crows, a lazy cat, and a raccoon down in the alley. But unfortunately I got side-tracked.

A petite Cantonese American woman is to blame for this.

That being my roommate and erstwhile significant other.

You see, there have been problems with her boyfriend lately, and their relationship is now on the rocks.
It's a sudden development.
I don't know how I feel about that. I hate seeing her miserable and I want her to have a good life.
But him, eh............., if him and his wheelchair were to accidentally roll into the bay, it would not be so great a loss.
Honestly, there is no part of me that would grieve for him.
He's made the poor woman cry too much over the past several months.
I hate her being so unhappy.
She deserves much better.

Her kinfolk picked her up for dinner around teatime today. Until then I had tried to be comforting, while wondering what was next.
Our relationship ended well over a year ago, and both of us have moved on.
I would be lying if I didn't say that in my opinion Wheelie Boy was a selfish opportunist, while simultaneously admitting that my perspective necessarily is horribly biased. So, because it could be interpreted as ulterior-motivated and due to a private agenda, I shall refrain from uttering criticism about the man in her presence for the time being.
She needs an understanding ear, not snippy opinions.
She remained considerate, decent, and ethical throughout our own breakup, so trying to be a gentleman and a true friend is the least I can do.
And it's essential, too. A matter of pride and self-respect. Hers and mine.
I really want to see her smile again.

Anyhow, she's eating dinner with relatives tonight, and now that she has become more open about her life they'll probably be getting quite an earful. Good. After over two decades of hiding everything so as not to hurt them or cause discord within the family, it's damned well about time that they realized that Savage Kitten is a flesh-and-blood woman, with emotions, issues, and a life of her own. They should have been more aware.
And, truth be told, she could have been more trusting of their tolerance.
Or leastways far less indulgent of Chinese American sensitivities.
Let's just say that old-country social dynamics bite both ways.


I left shortly after Savage Kitten's brother picked her up, and went down to one of my favourite Chinatown restaurants - the place with the waitress who has beautiful hands. She's a small woman, with an intelligent pretty face, and a sweet quirky personality.
Unfortunately she's married - there's a band on one of her fingers.
Yes, I would notice that. Pretty hands, remember?
Still. Nice voice, kind eyes.

I have no intention of ever divulging the name of the establishment.
If you're a man, I do not want you either poaching on my territory or being baffled at what I'm ranting on about (by reason of your own singular lack of appreciation for nice women), and if you’re a woman, you might feel either jealous (because she has such nice hands and eyes), or contemptuous (because like the man you should probably end up with you have no idea whatsoever about feminine beauty).

Dinner was most enjoyable.
Pretty hands and sparkling eyes are a wonderful condiment.

Stir-fried kailan with codfish, and a bowl of rice.

The stalks of kailan had a wonderful snappy crunch to them, perfectly cooked - a clean flavoured and delicately savoury dish geared to improve one's outlook and make a person glad to be alive. The trick to combining fish pieces and vegetables is to actually cook each separately to a not-yet-done stage, then to combine them in the wok for a brief and flamboyant blaze of glory.
Beforehand, the stalks of kailan should be blanched quickly in boiling water, the fish pieces soaked a few seconds in whisked egg-white and cornstarch so that they remain firm when stirfried. By thus doing the two main ingredients separately you prevent the fish from fragmenting in the pan and either component from being overcooked. The combination over high heat, with a touch of moisture added at the right moment, is a short sweet finish.
The adept cook inspires the food with wok hei (鍋氣) - unified season and perfection imparted by skill and a super-hot pan.
Such a dish does not, like many similar combinations, require either fermented black beans and garlic, or a tangy sauce. It is excellent on its own.
Fresh firm fish. Crisp kailan stalks. And a friendly smile.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.

Friday, December 16, 2011


If you had asked me years ago what I thought I would be doing now, it certainly would not have been working the credit and collections desk of a small to medium sized manufacturer headquartered in San Francisco.

Ten years ago I would probably not even have been able to answer the question.
Twenty years ago I would have thought in terms of office manager, psychopath, or famous writer.

Thirty years ago, if I could have gotten my mind out of the gutter for a moment, the answer would have been painting, or illustrating children's books.

And four decades ago I would have said 'emperor of the world'.

Yep. That's me. Atboth the First, feared by my enemies, beloved by my people.
Risen to the top by the sheer force of personality. And genius.


When I was still a child I didn't have a very realistic view of myself or of the world.
It's taken a while, but I think I am a little more realistic now.
That does not mean that what I would really like to be doing is any closer to the real world, however.
Perhaps not emperor of the world, but something equally impressive.
And preferably also involving small animals.

What's the point of being emperor of the world if you cannot have access to small animals?
Small animals are a very good thing.

Office workers do not need small animals, and due to the constraints of their occupations, they necessarily must neglect the little critters for hours at a stretch - they're at work, and most modern job environments frown upon bringing your owls and marmots to work.
Upon leaving in the evening for a night of riotous behaviour, which means imbibing at the sports bar and lollygagging at the railroad tracks, joshing with the lads, you bid your small animals a fond farewell, oblivious to their pleading eyes, which seem to say "but Bob (or Joe, or Dingo), you've only been home for half an hour! We haven't seen you for an entire day! And you barely finished your vindaloo teevee dinner!"

It's very sad. Later, when you come stumbling in at three o'clock in the morning with a trashy blonde on your arm, your owl hoots at you, and your marmots look at you reproachfully. You've been out for seven hours! They've been all alone! With only the Housewives of New Jersey to keep them company!
It's free with cable subscription!
How could you!

Just before eight o'clock A.M., you and the painted woman (turns out the blonde hair has mousy-brown roots, slightly streaked with grey) wake up in a panic.
My heavens! Gotta be at work by nine! Hurry!
You rush out, barely shaven, both of you still faintly reeking of the cheap eau de cologne with which your night-time best friend had doused herself sixteen hours earlier, and your animal companions glare balefully at your departing rumpled backs.

At six o'clock that evening you return, to discover that the marmots are now little scattered bones, picked clean of all flesh. And your owl tells you, in no uncertain terms, "I had to, you bastard - you didn't feed me for five days!"

Sadly, as you roast the owl over the open flame of the last working burner on your stove, you resolve to be a reformed person.
Kinder. More considerate. More responsible, too.
They were such nice marmots. Plump, too.
But not quite tonight.
Tonight, you'll limit your drinking to single malt, not the cheap well whisky.
You know what happens when you drink those five dollar shots.
Blonde floozies, and charred owl for dinner.
Drink less, but far better.
It's a start.

And that, my friends, is why I still want to be emperor of the world.
Or something equally impressive.

I really care about the small animals.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Over the years very few people have been in my apartment.
It’s not that I am particularly inhospitable, but it's more a question of space and privacy. The apartment is small, and contains a lot of stuff. In addition to my roommate’s belongings, and the rather excessive number of books that both of us have accumulated, it contains my things. Which includes enough pipe tobacco to last for several years.

I like the sight of reading matter and tobacco tins stacked on shelves and in corners. Some people, however, might freak. The collection of pottery and porcelain is also a little excessive, though most of it is packed away in bins.
Not much maneuvering room, and a number of breakable objects.

So what with the fact that it’s tiny, it’s also a little crowded.
It might look disorganized to you, but to me it’s “cozy”.
Even if the only ‘cozy’ area really is my bed.

[My roommate’s bed is not cozy, but OFF-limits. As is her room.]


My bed is comfortable and large, with a population of small stuffed animals.
They’re at home there, and unless bribed they will refuse to move.
None of them are happy that they must share it with me.
They would likely object fiercely to any visitors.
And demand the right of disapproval.
We could sit in the kitchen.
Or the tv room.

I’m keen to accommodate guests, but they have to be people who are very nice.
Balanced, open-minded and trustworthy. And with a sense of humour.
My stuff. My roommate’s stuff. The stuffed creatures’ stuff.
As well as all our safety, security, and privacy.

As the song says:
“No cats no dogs no kids no guitars no cops nor preaching men allowed”.

Rabbis, medical professionals, and co-conspirators, yes.
And possibly in the fullness of time someone else.

I’ll brief the fuzzy creatures beforehand.

[Or we'll cleverly distract them.]

Don't worry - they won't bite

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.


One of my coworkers doubts my sanity at this point.
While I grasp the reason, which I concede is moderately understandable, the logical explanation I offered for my behaviour failed to satisfy, and may have made the perception worse.
You see, he is not a smoker.
It means nothing to him.


You may remember that my job involves substantial telephone work, yes?

While I am on the phone, listening attentively to someone two thousand miles away talking about how their mother-in-law's car failed to start so she had to call a tow truck and rent a limo to attend the wedding of her favourite neighbor's granddaughter which meant that funds need to be wired especially because the very expensive rent-a-limo got into an accident and crushed the hand painted antique municipal garbage receptacles at the corner of Grove and Podunk and the mayor's donkey and that is why that invoice which is past-due will have to be only a little bit later yet (three months), my hands need something to do.

I'm a very good listener. I am sincerely interested in all these details, and my voice tells them so. It's a question of modulation, you see.
Regarding how I sound and how I respond, I betray that I am actually a warm and social person. It's just that my body language well and truly doesn't.
Bit of a disadvantage face-to-face, but in phone conversations it's entirely immaterial.

My body language, when I'm on the phone, involves doodling, twiddling, eye-rolling, yawning, scratching, twitching, wiggling, vibrating up and down, kicking my desk, and a few minor ticks.
As well as playing with my tobacco.

It was that which caught his eye. He sits five feet away from me, and he had never noticed it before.
While I was enthusiastically uttering the fourth or fifth "oh reeeally, do tell" into the phone, I noticed his eyes following my fingers, which were meticulously separating a sheet of pressed flake strand by strand, so that I could dry the product for smoking sometime later in the day.

[Rattray's Marlin Flake - a 'full dark Virginia', with a certain amount of black leaf in the recipe. It comes in foot long strips, and like most tobaccos it is tinned too moist for immediate smoking. And flake also needs to be rubbed out or teased apart. Hence my actions. Marlin Flake smells lovely, by the way. A nice aged almost chocolatey fragrance. Darn good stuff. ]

His eyes were wide, appalled, and fixed upon the tobacco. So after I got off the phone, I explained what I was doing, and showed him the roll still in the tin. Which looks like some kind of jerky. It's a fascinating product. That style of tobacco used to be far more common, but nowadays there are only a few manufacturers with that keen an attention to detail, as well as the love of the craft.
A pity, really. Quality smoking material.

"You know, I never really got into tobacco."

I muttered something about how coffee, tea, tobacco, spices, and perfumes all share certain unique and fascinating traits, and had an air of romance, adventure, history, mystery, attached to them. Interesting!
It didn't help. He's a man with a healthy life-style.
Such things mean nothing to him.
No imagination.

I've got the rubbed-out flake on a sheet of paper between my computer and the phone. Tobacco when it's drying feels cool and silky-velvety to the hand.
Very sensuous. Very erotic.
There are good reasons why it is described in feminine terms.

I like stroking it with my finger tips.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.


The title of this post bears no relation to the content.
Which is quite unfortunate, as the contents of such things, ideally, are nice college students.
Though sometimes frat boys, who are not nice.
Neither of those quantities are present.
I wouldn't know what to do with the second in any case.
Call an exterminator?


Rainy weekend day, Nob Hill. Check letter box before unlocking front door. Up the stairs to an empty apartment, and into the kitchen. The paint is yellowing, it has been years since it was recoated. But it is clean here, and warm. While running water for a hot cup of cocoa, note that the branches outside are stroking the window. The tall trees are gently bending in the wind.

When the hot cocoa is ready, pour it, and sit on the table slowly sipping.
Say, what's in this back pack anyway? Wow, lots of stuff, I had no idea this was all in there.
And even one of these!
Oh goody. Let's put that to good use.


Afterwards, pad softly to the living room and peek at the scatter-lit darkening street outside through the curtains. Still wet, still so very very wet.
Nice and quiet, private, secret even, with no lamps on.
So silent in here, comfortable, dreamy.
It's been a good afternoon.
Early evening now.
More cocoa?

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.

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