Sunday, April 18, 2010

Century Egg; or Why I Washed My Hands Fifty Times Last Night

i am become death, destroyer of worlds

So. Our good friends J&J went to Thailand recently, and while they were there they took a cooking class. Or more likely several cooking classes, judging by the level of proficiency they seem to have attained. Anyway, they invited the Wife and I and several of our friends over last night for a traditional Thai feast. I love Thai food. I love the spices and textures and flavors, the lightness of the rice, the heady peanut aura that infuses the chicken, etc. etc. The thing is, when shopping for ingredients for this amazing feast, J stumbled upon something that should never have been, something that, to my surprise and horror, I could not eat.

Now, this is a strange thing indeed. I have eaten strange things that others find repellent. I ate fried grasshoppers last month. I regularly eat octopus, which I find amazing. But this, this was beyond me.

This thing, this abomination, was the Century Egg.

What the fuck is a century egg, you ask. A century egg the fuck is a duck's egg that has been preserved in a mixture of ash, lime, salt and rice hulls for several months. The shell has become a beautiful, intricately patterned thing not unlike polished stone. The white has turned to a jellied, translucent mass the color of amber resin. And the yolk. OH GOD THE YOKE.

So these things got broken out last night. I watched JW eat one, cautiously. She commented that it was "salty", and not her "favorite food". C. ate one and grimaced painfully, then offered one to her husband J., who placed it in his mouth and immediately vomited into the sink.

Seeing this, I though "well shit I’d better try that right away".

So I cracked one open. The colors are instantly alarming. Food that looks like death, as the century egg does, is generally best left alone, if you value your septic system. But apparently these things were intended for human consumption, so wtf.

I studied my adversary intently. The thing, though vile, was actually quite beautiful in an evil sort of way, like the fang of a cobra. I steeled myself to eat it, brought it to my face, and inhaled.


Now, I’m not saying I would have fared any better had I just popped it in instead of smelling first. But when that stench hit me, brothers and sisters, I surrendered immediately. Many people describe the smell of century egg as sulfur mixed with ammonia. Sounds bad enough. But that is not the century egg. The smell of the century egg is the smell of corruption, the smell of creeping decay, of the charnel house, of the conqueror worm. Imagine not showering for a week. Then imagine you have eaten nothing but Indian food and malt liquor for the week. Then imagine that, on Friday night, you somehow fall asleep with your thumb up your own ass. Then on Saturday, as soon as you wake up, you smell your thumb. That, my friends. That is the smell of century egg.

I threw the goddamned, christless thing onto my plate and declared that I would NEVER, under any circumstances, eat such a thing.

So yeah, I failed. But you know what? That fucking thing smelled like ass. So fuck that shit.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Back Down to It; or why i went missing for over a year

So I took a look at this page tonight and saw to my astonishment that I haven't posted anything since December of 2008. Seriously. And it's fucking stupid, because 2009 was easily the most eventful year of my adult life. I changed jobs. I lost my Grandfather. I started writing semi-professionally. I GOT MARRIED, for fuck sakes.

Life, as it turns out, has been good. Also, reading over these old posts, I can see that I'm calming with age. The last four years took it out of me with my obsessive news consumption and hatred of the government. It may simply be because Bush is no longer in office, or I may be getting tired. But I'm going to change the taste of this site a bit. I'm not sure what I'll be writing about; maybe camping, maybe married life, maybe just rambling that no one will read. Who knows. Anyone who has any ideas should let me know about them. I'm also going to try to post at least once a week. If I find out that people are actually reading it and seem interested, I will probably post more than that.

So I close with this promise; by the end of this week I will have something up here that will hopefully make you laugh until you puke.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

lots of shit

happy holidays, everyone. i haven't been to la Zona much since the election way back in november, but a few things since then have finaly made me angry enough to lace up my boots and climb back up the tree.

1: California. I always knew those people were full of shit. All holier than thou inclusive and then you pull prop 8 on us. Prop 8, probably the most inhumane doctrine to come out of the United States since the WWII internment camps, and those had at least some pretense of justification. And now, it looks like they want more. Right, they aren't happy with not letting others be happy, they want to make sure that anyone who might have become happy while they werent looking gets a nice solid kick in the cunt. By that, I mean they are looking to nulify some 18,000 same sex marriages that were preformed when the state was still pretending to be reasonable and humane. Keep in mind, that happened under Bush. Its amazing to me that we as a nation can actually seem to move BACKWARDS in our evolution. This isnt fucking Kingston, you guys.

to all my gay brothers and sisters, if you are worried about this, move to the Comonwealth of Massachusetts, or else its retarded little sister, Connecticut. Its cold half the year but at least you wont be prosecuted for the way god made you. See, California? The most puritain of states, where you cant by beer on sundays in some cases, is gonna be cool because we arent raging, hyperfecavoric assholes. Yeah, i made that word up, but if you know any latin its still a fucking word, and it fits the California legislature to a T.
story here.

2: Militant Atheists. I'm fucking sick and tired of you people. You decry "organized religion"'s persecution of you throughout the centuries by what method? Whats that again? Oh, right, persecution. Religious persecution, i might add, because anyone who thinks atheism isnt a religion is sorely mistaken about a great many things. I have a religion, and I've never ever ever ever, not once, tried to cram it down your throat or tried to prove to you that there is a god or any of that shit, so get the fuck up out of my face. Or i will cut you. Seriously, I spent all last sunday sharpening my survival knife.

3: Another thing; folks who assume I am an atheist just because i dont wear a fucking argyle sweater and say "golly gee". What is this, 1954? Lets get it straight right here, right now. I am alot of things; anarchist, socialist, wanker, lazy, christian, crooked, smoker, chef, alcoholic, animist, cat lover, buddhist, pool shark, gardener, sexual tyranosaurus, heretic, and pagan, but i am NOT an atheist. And no, I'm not "agnostic", either. In fact i think i am quite fucking gnostic, thank you.

4: To tie it all together, other Theists who are astounded that i can violently oppose prop. 8 and yet still believe in god. There isnt much i can say to you except this: at some station along the development of your beliefs, you COMPLETELY MISSED THE POINT.

that is all.

Friday, November 21, 2008

CALLED IT!; or Obama gets an early start with his human-rights-abuse-by-proxy

Got this email from Simo. Pretty much sums it up. LIke I said, you cant trust ANY OF THEM.

Sup guys. Did y'all hear who Obama's Attorney General pick is? Eric Holder....the same guy who is a "defense lawyer for Chiquita Brands international in a case in which Colombian plaintiffs seek damages for the murders carried out by the AUC paramilitaries - a designated terrorist organization. Chiquita has already admitted in a criminal case that it paid the AUC around $1.7 million in a 7-year period and that it further provided the AUC with a cache of machine guns as well. "

Anyway, just wanted to go on record saying I don't like where this is going. This is not a Kennedy-esqu coup against the establishment by outsiders (albeit well-established outsiders). This is business as usual, united under a dream candidate...

So yeah. Business as usual indeed. Well, at least it gives me something to stay vigilant about. Many dream of peace; I seem to thrive on anger. Oh well.

Simo titled his email "Meet the New Boss...", an obvious reference to the Who lyric that ends "Same as the old boss". My only consolation for now is that the song that lyric is from is, of course, called "Won't Get Fooled Again".

Monday, November 10, 2008

Obama; or that's great, but never give them the benefit of the doubt

So the democrats took the election and Barack Obama will be our new president. I wound up voting after all (the state ballot questions were allmost all very important to me, as it turned out), and i voted for Obama, so i was pretty happy about that. In the days that have followed, i keep getting more and more good news. it would appear that our national nightmare is nearly over. Mr. Obama is allready going over the ruinous policies instated by the bush "team" and slating many, presumably, for reversal. that makes me very happy. will we be able to close gitmo? will we finaly see the USA PATRIOT act recognized as the treasonous newspeak that it is? will i run out of things to be angry oubout and change the color of my blog to green?

all of that remains to be seen. while Obama does exude a great deal of promise for us progressives, we must continue to remain vigilant. no matter what else he is, the man is a politician. he will be lobbied by the same lunatics that lobby bush as we speak. the question is; will he allow himself to be controled by them?

so i'm keeping the page black for now. it was very recently that i witnessed citizens being stopped and searched illegaly by a border patrol that was hundreds of miles out of it's jurisdiction. it was only a few months ago that martial law was illegaly put into effect in our nation's capital. the war(s) on "terror" continue unabated. we have lost allot of our freedom, and we must be sure we get it back before becoming complacent. everything feels like its going to be allright now, but dont let yourself get too comfortable. when you are dealing with these kind of people (politicians, leaders in general), you have to be very very careful.

check back frequently for updates; the next couple of years are going to be very interesting.

Monday, October 20, 2008

in the wee, small hours of the morning, or; who knew that generic tylenol had caffeine in it?

another sleepless night at la zona. we went out to dinner with my whole family, which is rare and very special to me. my youngest brother had his 19th birthday and we celebrated with a sushi dinner. afterwords, ms. giles and i returned home and tried to watch game 7 of the ALCS, but due to a very fun weekend and several zombies and kirins with dinner, we quickly fell asleep and missed the last game of the year for our beloved red sox.

after sleeping a few hours on the couch (and wasting a sam addams brown ale), we retired to bed. i slept well until about 3am, at which point i got up to use the bathroom and let the cats out. my head ached, and i didnt want to wake up that way at 6:30, so i decided to take two tylenol even though i am not supposed to because of a dormant kidney disease that i discovered in 1999.

i felt ok, got into bed, and about 20 minutes later i was still awake. then an hour later, still awake. fully two hours passed before i came into some semblance of sleep, and that was troubled by the kind of restless, repetitive dreams that drive me insane. they seemed to revolve around me not being able to figure out what time it was, although it was obviously far later than i needed it to be, and not being able to take a shower because of construction or uninvited guests in the house. to make it worse, i believed that i was actually awake despite sharp differences between my experience and what i know to be reality. at one point i went out to go to the office and was forced to return home when boston was destroyed by a cluster of massive tornados. wtf?

anyway, i think i'll go to bed early tonight.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Free Soup; or, in the Good Old Days, everyone was broke, and it was OK

this seems largely to be a time of verging. everything seems to be poised on the edge of one thing or another. last night the Red Sox squoze under the door of the ALCS, thankfully buying us another week or so of perfect entertainment. and, we are going to need it. the news comming out of manhattan, and now most of europe, is dire indeed. those of us, myself included, who have been thinking for years that our course of action has run far to closeley paralel to that of the Roman empire, are wringing our hands in near panic, because we learned this before in a high school history class. the overextended military, the crumbling infrastructure, the rampant political and economical recklessness, it all adds up to what the romans themselves called hubris, and historicaly speaking, it always preceeds a fall. This has been repeated in more recent times by the british, and then the soviets, and now, apparently, our own empire has begun to slide. Once it starts you cant stop it; the only hope is to ride it out and learn from it.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. True, we are all going to have to tighten our belts and get used to the way our grandparents lived. But how many of you have ever heard your grandparents claim that times are better now than they were then?

The most recent cover of Time magazine summed up nicely, if (probably) unintentionally, what I’m trying to get at here. The cover is a photograph from the Depression of the 1930s, a picture of a line of men outside of a soup kitchen. The headline is “The New Hard Times”, and it is a picture I’ve been waiting for them to run for about 3 weeks now (at least they have stopped the damned Obama-McCain-Palin bobblehead theme that ghey got stuck on last month sometime). Anyway, take a look at the picture when you get a chance. The men are lined up next to a building with a large window. On that window is a sign that reads “FREE SOUP”. Take a minute to think about that.

After 9/11, everyone was talking about how strong the country was, how together everyone felt, etc. I was cynical and thought that it would all change pretty quick, and I was right, although looking back, I feel that things may have been different if bush hadn’t begun to sodomize the COTUS right away. But try for a moment to remember that feeling, that idea that no matter what happened, everything would be OK because we were all Americans now and forever, and we were going to stick together and get through it. The Free Soup sign reminds me of those days, those brief couple of weeks when it almost seemed like the attacks had had a bright side, in that they had caused such unprecedented (at least in our collective amnesia) solidarity.

So if we go crashing into financial ruin (and it seems that we will, my friends), if our standard of living gets set back about 80 years, if times are tough, if luxury grows scarce, we will grow stronger as a people, even as our empire weakens to the point of irrelevance. We will start to see things in our character as Americans that will remind us of what it used to mean to be an American, of what is good about this country; not it’s might, not it’s hegemony, but the ability of it’s People to pull together and surmount any obstacle, to get the most out of “hard times”, and to come out the other side wiser, stronger, and better for it. Remember, money isnt’ everything. It isn’t even close. We stand to loose vast sums of it in the coming months, and perhaps we deserve to, and perhaps we need to.

BTW, I am having a hell of a time quitting smoking.