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Archive for October, 2007

It's Halloween, which means GHOST STORY TIME!!

This happened 2 years ago on Halloween.  A friend and I were waiting in my condo for my sister, who was driving back from Dulles airport after dropping off another friend.  Once she was home, we were going on a ghost tour of Old Town, Alexandria.  The tour started at 9 pm, and I wanted to be in Old Town by 8:20 so that they could buy tickets while I looked for parking.

I called Daphne up at around 7:15 to find out her ETA, and whether she wanted to drive or if I should. Her voicemail picked up and I left a message asking her to call me back.

Daphne called back 20 minutes later, sounding hysterical.  I asked her what was wrong, and she said she'll tell me as soon as she got home.  A few minutes later, the door opens and Daphne staggers in.

She insists that she's ok, and maybe I should drive instead.  We're in the car and Daphne explained what happened.

She was driving down Route 7, and was in the far right lane of a 4-lane road.  There were no cars in front of her, a few behind her, and no cars going northbound.   It was dark, no lights other than car headlights, and the road was edged by thick woods.  Her mind was on getting home as quickly as possible, maybe grabbing something to eat before we left for Old Town.

She stole a quick glance on her rearview mirror as the lights of an SUV behind her hit her eyes, and when she looked back onto the road, she saw a guy walking across the road.  She slammed on her brakes, and she says she saw the guy throw up his hands to shield his eyes from the glare.  She swerved, ran onto the shoulder of the road and finally stopped. She sat there for a few seconds, gripping the steering wheel and hyperventilating.  She was freaking out, wondering if she'd hit him, wondering if he was ok.  So Daphne stepped out of the car, her legs wobbling beneath her and looked out on the road.

No one was there.

She didn't realize she'd been sobbing and crying until the driver of an SUV who pulled up behind her asked her if she was ok.  She saw that a couple of the cars who were behind her had pulled up behind her on the shoulder and were running towards her car.  Daphne asked people if they saw the guy on the road, please check if he's still out there, he might have gotten hit.  The SUV driver said, "I thought I saw someone through your windshield, but I can't be sure."   No one else had seen the guy on the road.   

They're standing there getting more and more creeped out as Daphne told them the story, when they were hit by the cold.  It felt like the temperature had dropped a good 20 degrees, and they could see their breath in the air.  Mind you, it was a mild night - probably the mid/upper 60's, not even cool enough for a jacket.   The SUV driver told Daphne that he'd escort her to the closest gas station, and he'll wait for her to call some people and calm down.  But Daphne knew that they all just wanted to get the hell out of there. 

Daphne said that the car was ice cold when she went back in, and even while she was blasting the heater.  The cold didn't disappear until they reached the gas station 15 minutes later. 

 

For another (lengthier) ghost story, read "Ghost Stories from the Ricefields"

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I present, the Jean-Paul Sartre Cookbook.  It's probably one of my most favorite cookbooks ever.  I particularly love the recipe for Tuna Casserole.

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The Jean-Paul Sartre Cookbook

We have recently been lucky enough to discover several previously lost diaries of French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre stuck in between the cushions of our office sofa. These diaries reveal a young Sartre obsessed not with the void, but with food. Apparently Sartre, before discovering philosophy, had hoped to write "a cookbook that will put to rest all notions of flavour forever." The diaries are excerpted here for your perusal.

October 3

Spoke with Camus today about my cookbook. Though he has never actually eaten, he gave me much encouragement. I rushed home immediately to begin work. How excited I am! I have begun my formula for a Denver omelet.

October 4

Still working on the omelet. There have been stumbling blocks. I keep creating omelets one after another, like soldiers marching into the sea, but each one seems empty, hollow, like stone. I want to create an omelet that expresses the meaninglessness of existence, and instead they taste like cheese. I look at them on the plate, but they do not look back. I tried eating them with the lights off. It did not help. Malraux suggested paprika.

October 6

I have realized that the traditional omelet form (eggs and cheese) is bourgeois. Today I tried making one out of a cigarette, some coffee, and four tiny stones. I fed it to Malraux, who puked. I am encouraged, but my journey is still long.

October 7

Today I again modified my omelet recipe. While my previous attempts had expressed my own bitterness, they communicated only illness to the eater. In an attempt to reach the bourgeoisie, I taped two fried eggs over my eyes and walked the streets of Paris for an hour. I ran into Camus at the Select. He called me a pathetic dork; and told me to go home and wash my face. Angered, I poured a bowl of bouillabaisse into his lap. He became enraged, and, seizing a straw wrapped in paper, tore off one end of the wrapper and blew through the straw propelling the wrapper into my eye. "Ow! You lung sucking dog anus!" I cried. I leaped up, cursing and holding my eye, and fled.

October 10

I find myself trying ever more radical interpretations of traditional dishes, in an effort to somehow express the void I feel so acutely. Today I tried this recipe: Tuna Casserole.

Ingredients: 1 large casserole dish.
Directions: Place the casserole dish in a cold oven. Place a chair facing the oven and sit in it forever. Think about how hungry you are. When night falls, do not turn on the light.

While a void is expressed in this recipe, I am struck by its inapplicability to the bourgeois lifestyle. How can the eater recognize that the food denied him is a tuna casserole and not some other dish? I am becoming more and more frustrated.

October 12

My eye has become inflamed. I hate Camus.

October 25

I have been forced to abandon the project of producing an entire cookbook. Rather, I now seek a single recipe which will, by itself, embody the plight of man in a world ruled by an unfeeling God, as well as providing the eater with at least one ingredient from each of the four basic food groups. To this end, I purchased six hundred pounds of foodstuffs from the corner grocery and locked myself in the kitchen, refusing to admit anyone. After several weeks of work, I produced a recipe calling for two eggs, half a cup of flour, four tons of beef, and a leek. While this is a start, I am afraid I still have much work ahead.

November 15

I feel that I may be very close to a great breakthrough. I had been creating meal after meal, but none seemed to express the futility of existence any better than would ordering a pizza. I left the house this morning in a most depressed state, and wandered aimlessly through the streets. Suddenly, it was as if the heavens had opened. My brain was electrified with an influx of new ideas. "Juice, toast, milk" I muttered aloud. I realized with a start that I was one ingredient away from creating the nutritious breakfast. Loathsome, true, but filled with existential authenticity I rushed home to begin work anew.

November 18

Today I tried yet another variation: Juice, toast, milk and Cheetos. Again, a dismal failure. I have tried everything. Juice, toast, milk and whiskey, juice, toast, milk and chicken fat, juice, toast, milk and someone else's spit. Nothing helps. I am in agony. Juice, toast, milk, they race about my fevered brain like fire, like an unholy trinity of cruel denial. And the fourth ingredient! What could it be? It eludes me like the lost chord, the Holy Grail. I must see the completion of my task, but I have no more money to spend on food. Perhaps man is not meant to know…

November 21

Camus came into the restaurant today. He did not know I was in the kitchen and before I sent out his meal I loogied in his soup. Sic semper tyrannis.

November 23

Ran into some opposition at the restaurant. Some of the patrons complained that my breakfast special (a page out of Remembrance of Things Past and a blowtorch with which to set it on fire) did not satisfy their hunger. As if their hunger was of any consequence! But we're starving, they say. So what? They're going to die eventually anyway. They make me want to puke. I have quit the job. It is stupid for Jean- Paul Sartre to sling hash. I have enough money to continue my work for a little while.

November 24

Last night I had a dream. In it, I am standing, alone, on a beach. A great storm is raging all about me. It begins to rain. Night falls. I am struck by how small and insignificant I am, how the entire race of Man is but a speck in the eye of God, and I am but a speck of humanity. Suddenly, a red Cadillac convertible pulls up beside me. In it are these two beautiful girls named Jojo and Wendy. I get in and they take me to their mansion in Hollywood and give me a pound of cocaine and make mad, passionate love to me for the rest of my life.

November 26

Today I made a Black Forest cake out of five pounds of cherries and a live beaver, challenging the very definition of the word cake. I was very pleased. Malraux said he admired it greatly, but could not stay for dessert. Still, I feel that this may be my most profound achievement yet, and have resolved to enter it in the Betty Crocker Bake-Off.

November 30

Today was the day of the Bake-Off. Alas, things did not go as I had hoped. During the judging, the beaver became agitated and bit Betty Crocker on the wrist. The beaver's powerful jaws are capable of felling blue spruce in less than ten minutes and proved, needless to say, more than a match for the tender limbs of America's favorite homemaker. I only got third place. Moreover, I am now the subject of a rather nasty lawsuit.

December 1

I have been gaining twenty-five pounds a week for two months, and I am now experiencing light tides. It is stupid to be so fat. My pain and ultimate solitude are still as authentic as they were when I was thin, but seem to impress girls far less. From now on, I will live on cigarettes and black coffee.

***

Sartre died in Paris in 1981. His last word is reputed to have been, simply, "Trix".

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Found at http://pvspade.com/Sartre/cookbook.html.  Thank goodness for the Internet Archive.

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Have you figured out what your (or your kids') Halloween costume will be this year?  What's it going to be?

Hellz yes – I've decided that I'm going as Shaun, from Shaun of the Dead.  Yeah, I know.  It's probably not gonna work out so well seeing as I'm 1) Female 2) Filipina 3) Short 4) Not a redhead 5) kind of a fat arse. DAMMIT!

 

My nephew will be:

And my niece will be:

 

Their costumes are mostly done.  Me? Uh…I uh, I have the red tie?  I'm working on the cricket bat right now.

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I want you to click here.  Make sure you poke him where it hurts.  Then I dare you not to crack up.

edited to add per goldie's request: This is totally worksafe.  Unless your job prohibits poking poor old japanese dudes in the bum and watch them have a fit, thus inducing snorty-laughter…then it's definitely NOT worksafe.

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I'd like to know if she hit even ONE note in tune.

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Bishop thankful for USAID’s exit from contraception program

GMA News

October 10, 2007

San Fernando Archbishop Paciano Aniceto on Tuesday said he was thankful that the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has decided to stop giving free contraceptives to the Philippines.

“Praise the Lord! … Because by promoting contraception you do not eliminate poverty by weakening and killing the poor," Aniceto, who chairs the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life (ECFL) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), said in a statement on the CBCP Web site, Tuesday night.

Aniceto said the use of contraceptives “is immoral," and a part of a massive depopulation agenda of some political leaders.

He said contraception won’t solve the country’s economic woes unless the government comes out with “real serious economic management and proper economic planning of our country."

The USAID said it had already stopped giving free condoms since 2004. The agency plans to cut the rest of its donation of other birth control products next year.

USAID said its phaseout is in line with the government’s promotion of natural family planning.

Earlier, the CBCP denounced a plan at the House of Representatives to purchase P1 billion worth condoms, pills and other “reproductive health products" to control population growth.

The Church called on legislators to instead spend the huge amount on projects that would alleviate poverty and provide free education to poor children.

 

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I am at a complete loss for words.  Actually, no I am not, but I figure I should take a little time out before I write a response to this article.  I mean, there's only room for one idiot in this forum, and that role's been taken.

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My best friend and I went to New Orleans.

We stayed at the Royal Street Courtyard Bed and Breakfast. 


We walked around the French Quarter:

 

I REALLY HATED BOURBON STREET (granted, it was raining, but really? Totally overrated. I loved Royal Street, though.):


We ate magically delicious foods:

Had my palm read by Jerik (I, apparently, have Peter Pan syndrome, prefer to take the lazy route, will always find a shortcut, can bear 5 healthy children, and have PERFECT DNA.  Unfortunately, I won't be winning the lottery any time soon.)

Decided that I really want a house in the Garden District:

But can probably only afford a multi-level condo:

In Summary:

Visit New Orleans.  The people are wonderful and friendly, the food is KILLER,  and  the Quarter  is amazing.

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