Saturday, May 31, 2003

Post-meal analysis. WOW! So this is why cooks use wine in their cooking! The wine introduces new flavors that are otherwise not possible. I wonder what would happen if one were to add apple cider or something like that.

The red and white chicken was very delicious. Perhaps it could be improved if I sauteed the chicken in a really hot skillet so that it would trap the moisture inside. But, there was already a lot of splattering of oil when I added the chicken, so I guess I have to be content for now. The vegetables that I used were pretty simple: onions, garlic, and baby carrots. The red and white wine that were poured into the baking dish allowed the onions to soak in the taste of the wine. It's fruity, and not one bit like alcohol. The adobo was also different because I ended up using some of the white wine from Easter session (2002 Villa Maria Riesling Australia) and the two buck chuck wine (2001 Charles Shaw Merlot). The merlot was not bad, I think it is better than the Charles Shaw Cabernet.

I have to figure out what else to cook. Maybe a pie or something. There is some fish here too. Maybe some tamarind soup laced with white wine would be good.

The second dish that is being cooked is chicken stew with white wine. So, the white wine that goes into this dish is the French wine that was opened last night (2001 Clos de tournons Macon Charnay (France)). The recipe is the same as that of adobo, but I just used white wine instead of the vinegar. Don't know how that is going to work, but hopefully, it will taste fantastic to this pin@y tongue.

slurp, lick, taste
the vinegar, the salt
in your ruby tongue
adorned by sauvignon.

I just placed into the oven a chicken with red and white wine sauce stew. The SO got a recipe from the internet on white wine sauce because of the 2001 Clos de
Tournon wine that was partially consumed last night. I figured, why throw it out into the sink when I can use it as a white wine sauce?

So, I basically sauteed the chicken thighs without bone or skin on the pan. I spiced up the chicken with salt and pepper. The chicken was then cooked so that the meat would be caramelized. In a separate pan, I placed 3-4 onions cut into 2 x 2 inch size, baby carrots, and halved garlic. I then placed the cooked chicken over the vegetables. The sautee pan was reduced with red wine and a spoonful of flour. Now, when I see how it reduced, it was quite beautiful. Shit, if i realized just how easy it is to make a red wine sauce like this, shoot, i would have opened a restaurant before.

In the baking pan that contains the vegetables, white wine was poured and then red wine was poured. The whole pan is placed in the oven at 450 degrees. And now the wait begins. I wonder how this thing will taste like.

I have been trying to do some wine tasting recently. For the welcoming of the SO, I bought:

2001 Clos de tournons Macon Charnay (France).

An acquaintance suggested that if I want to drink wine alone, I should probably obtain more expensive wine in the $20 range. But since I am beginning my road to the sultanate, I have been starting on the $10 range.

I finally tried to use the wine bottle opener that I bought last time. This time, I did it correctly. It turns out the darned thing is hinged. Well with hinged bottle openers, you gotta make sure that the metal is against the lip so that you can get leverage. Suffice it to say that after five minutes of looking at the mechanics, I finally figured the darned thing out. Whew! It is worth the $6 price once you figure out what you have.

At any rate, the French wine was a disappointment. It was too bitter for me. I had to start eating some bread and cheese in order for the taste to be bearable. Of course, I had to sample it several times. The SO and I finished about half of it. Meanwhile, I did a comparison with some of the St. Marie wine from Easter. Boy, that one is ready to be used for cooking at home. Maybe in a white sauce or something.

The only saving grace of the wine experience was the Holland aged Gouda and the Aged Monterey Jack which were both nutty and very yummy! I wish I had some of the pears that I left at home. Then, I could have been civilized like heck and eaten fruits with cheese and wine. Next thing you know, HermitQueen will be invitig herself to my cave for my little soirees into the wine dreamland.
Went to a birthday celebration last night at an Vietnamese restaurant called Huynh which is located in Oakland. The neighborhood was full of businesses/offices, but right smack in the middle of all that capitalist world is this oasis of food, color and exciting flavors. I give Huynh 5 out of 5 oxtails. It is definitely a place that I would visit over and over again.

The birthday celebrant is a vegetarian. Normally, this would signal that I load up on animal protein before going, but this time I did not. The first remarkable thing I noticed is that vegetarian food does not have to be bland. The lotus salad was both sour and tasty. As I bit into the lotus stems, the crunch would release some of the vinegar taste that was balanced with something else, probably some fish sauce derived concoction. I have to review that taste more.

Next up is the Curry Tofu. Now, why can't people make tofu like this? With TASTE!!! It was a good curry, but I can't compare it to Indian curry or Chinese curry because it is not exactly the same. The #114 Eggplant Tofu is also a five oxtail choice. Mind you, the eggplant is probably soaked in hydrogenated oil to get it so soft and tasty, but who cares? There was just the right balance of HoiSin sauce to make the eggplant and the tofu explode with flavor.

The Vietnamese egg rolls were a good standby. I find that these are pretty much the same from each restaurant. The only difference is that the size at Huynh's was a little too big for the chopsticks. It was a game to try and eat the eggroll when it was covered with the peanut sauce which caused it to be slick as ice.

The stuffed squid with chichen was another excellent choice, although the portions were not as generous as I would have liked. Jack up the price so long as people can have more portions I say. Again, a nice balance of the sauce, squid and chicken could be experienced in this dish.

The spicy vegetarian soup was excellent. The setup came in its own little stove which allowed the soup to bubble and simmer. The ingredients were probably just placed in the vegetable broth because after simmering for five to ten minutes, you can still feel the consistency of the tomatoe and the mushrooms.

So if you are visiting the Bay Area, go to Oakland and sample a taste of Huynh's.

Thursday, May 29, 2003

The Wine section of the SF Chronicle today was a great treat today. Since I am just beginning my trek through wine country, I am presently sampling the wines that are economical ($5 - $20).

Linda Murphy's column suggested the following wines:

White wines
2002 Bodega Norton Mendoza Sauvignon Blanc $7
2001 McManis Family Vineyards River Junction Pinot Grigio $10
2002 Lindemans Bin 65 South Eastern Australia Chardonnay $8
2001 Robert Mondavi Private Selection Central Coast Chardonnay $10 2002 Yalumba Y Series South Australia Viognier $10

Red Wines
2001 Cline California Zinfandel $10
2000 Yalumba y Seriees South Australia Merlot $10
2001 Falesco Vitiano Umbria $8
2001 Borsao Campo de Borja red table wine $8
NV GD Red from Georges Duboeuf $8

I will try to purchase the wines above and post the wine experience.


Wednesday, May 28, 2003

I cheated last night... I went to see the Matrix Reloaded to figure out what was going on. I noticed several things:

1. Control/ OUt of control. A continuing issue for the movie.
2. Going back to Zion to try and save the inhabitants.
3. Choice was found by the oracle as a savior to the 0.1% of people who rejected the matrix.

I have to rethink the nature of the matrix.

It is so hot in my place that turning on a lightbulb, a fluorescent one at that, makes me sweat. I hope everyone else is having fun.

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

How about the guy who kidnapped the Keymaker? Who and what is his nature? My guess is that he used to be Neo. Rather, that guy is Neo #6. After the start of the new Zion, Neo as a program/human became dispensable. So, he became an exile. He no longer needed to be superman. In his boredom however, Neo#6 became corrupt and started writing code that got him some nookie in the women's restroom. The henchmen of Neo#6 were in turn the other partners of Neo #6 or were the other exiles/computer programs who were chasing Neo #6.

Monday, May 26, 2003

off to see the first dvd I ever bought: Matrix.
I've been a bachelorette the last two weeks since the SO has been playing in the land of 7100 islands.  But, life seems so dull and uninteresting without someone to share wine. I was thinking about drinking before 4PM but someone cautioned me that I could be accused of being an alcoholic.  Trivia:  Did you know that during prohibition in the 1930's that wine-making was allowed for private consumption.  This of course explains why there are 100 year old vines in california.  This tidbit was gained from the Wine Section of the Chronicle.  As a newspaper, the chronicle is a two bit operation with some good writers/reporters.  It does not compare with the LA Times or the New York Times in breath and deepness of thought.  However, its wine section is at the very least admirable. 

By the way, who is Wilfred Wong?  I keep seeing his name in wine tidbits or reviews that grade the wine "82 points, 90 points."  I'm thinking of buying some wines that have been graded well and looking them up.  I imagine this obese Chinese-American with an American accent in front of a table with fifteen wine bottles in front of him.  He gets whipped every time he gives 90 points or more.  I will continue my search for WW.

This particular entry was from Thursday, the 22 of may 2003.
I watched Matrix Reloaded and it was a BLAST. I have heard that people thought that it was much too much on the philosophical side. I tend to think that it has reasons why it had to have those philosophical discussions. It's not simply an action movie; it is a social critique of how we see our lives.

So, what do I think is happening in Matrix? Well, the discussion with the source was very informative. Let's see if I can remember some details.

1. The destruction of Zion has occurred six times already.
2. A perfect matrix was created, but it failed. A matrix that was not perfect had to be created to replace the perfect matrix.
3. There have been six other Neos before.
4. Neo was given a choice: Zion or Trinity.
5. Neo was able to stop the scatters by his hand.
6. Neo was an expected aberration. He is the culmination of the 99.9% of the Matrix.
7. Neo brought back to life Trinity.
8. Neo was expected at the Source.

I have to wonder about the nature of Neo. Ostensibly, the source calls him the aberration, the expected one, the deliverer. Neo is to choose the 7 men and 6 women who repopulate Zion and will continue the species. By choosing Trinity, Neo supposedly changed the fate of Zion.

My interpretation is that Neo is either a computer program or he is a human who became like a computer program when he died in Matrix I. In that sense, he is like Mr. Smith who became an exile. Instead of dying like he normally should have, the thoughts and processes of Neo became like a computer program. That is why he could see code and is the reason that he could destroy Mr. Smith.

The other conclusion I came to is that everyone is still in the Matrix. They simply believe that they are free of the Matrix. Going back to Matrix I, it was stated that there were deaths when humans had the perfect setting. What better setting for humans/batteries than to place them in a place where they are fighting the machines? They are still acting as batteries, but in reality, they are actually still in the Matrix.

Assuming that everyone is still in the Matrix will solve two conundrums. First, how did Neo live after being shot? The extension of course of this is how did Neo bring back Trinity after she was shot. The answer is that they are physically plugged in as batteries. They were only shot while inside the matrix. The second is the question of how Neo stopped the scatters by extending his hand. He can stop the scatters because he is a computer program in the midst of the matrix.

The Oracle stated that man and machine were supposed to be working together. I can only imagine that they are. For all I know, the humans are plugged into the machines much like batteries, but the human mind makes up the matrix.

Sunday, May 25, 2003

Trivia: What is the difference between condensed milk and evaporated milk? Both have a percentage of water removed under vacuum. Condensed milk has added sugar which results in a thicker consistency.

The Philippines of my youth was sweetened by the taste of condensed milk. Living in the city had its benefits: sewers, indoor plumbing, paved roads. But, it had its disadvantages: expensive fruits and a lack of fresh milk. In the provinces, fresh milk or gatas ng kalabaw was delivered every morning to your doorstep. There is nothing more delicious than unpasterurized milk. Mmmmmm. But, in the cities, when milk was needed, you turned to the canned stuff. Alaska or Carnation are some brand names of milk.

What follows is a Cheese Flan recipe from the Chronicle's food section on 21 May 2003. The ingredients are:

1 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (I have never seen a vanilla bean except in tv)
1 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
1 12-ounce can of evaporated milk
5 extra-large eggs
5 ounces cream cheese
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1. Preheat the oven to 250 degreed C.
2. Melt the sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat and cook until it turns into a smooth dark amber caramel. Pour into the bottom of an 8-inch soufflé dish or other round mold.
3. Using the back of a knife, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add to a blender. Add the three milks, eggs, cream cheese and almond extract. Blend until smooth, then pour through a strainer into the caramel-lined mold.
4. Set the mold into a larger baking pan and pour enough very hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the mold. Bake until the flan has set, 2.5-3 hours. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.
5. Let cool, then cover the mold and refrigerate overnight.
6. When you are ready to serve, run a knife along the inside of the mold to loosen the flan. Pout about 0. inch of hot water in a pan large enough to hold the mold and set the mold in it for 10 minutes, so it will unmold more easily. Remove it from the water, wipe dry and place a shallow bowl or a small platter over the top. Invert the flan into the bowl, and serve.
7. Serves 8-12. Per serving: 289 calories, 10 g protein, 40 g carbohydrate, 11 g fat (6 g saturated), 132 mg cholesterol, 155 mg sodium, 0 g fiber.
I don't know why blogger is acting bizarre again. I just tried to open my templates and it is nowhere to be seen. What the hell is that?
Jim Henson is dead. Bob Hope is reaching 100 years old. Bush the Younger has cronies trying to convince him that it is time to destabilize Iran. What the hell. Fuck with the Yunited Estates, fuck with the big boys. We don't just want freedom for the US, we want to destabilize your damned governments which are messing with our friends in other countries. God Bless America and NOWHERE ELSE because we will make war on your ass.

Let this be a warning to any other country that wants to mess with the United States. We have a president who is an average Joe Schmoe. You mess with the US, You mess with Texas. We will send all those military types on combat pay to your country and make you sorry that you fucked with us. We already got the Taliban, Hussein and the Bath party. You're next Iran. We're going to dig up Khoemeni for messing with us in 1976.
Oh, GOD, I just heard that there is American Juniors which can only be a continuance of the American Idol. I would like to shout out to the world that I did not watch one minute of this show or of its previous predecessor. And if I had the power to pull the plug on one of its judges, I would do so with absolute impunity. Hell is created for judges like simon. The only thing that makes me think why people enjoy him is because they enjoy seeing the dark side of the human heart. And at that, I would rather watch the American military stage a rescue attempt of Private First Class Jessica Lynch.

Now, I know that the American military has its hands full over there in Iraq, but to be outted by the British news/tabloids for setting up a rescue operation? What the hell is that? We can not be this incompetent. First, we can't find weapons of mass destruction. Now, we get outted by tabloids for staging a rescue attempt. How incompetent are we that we can't even set up a decent management of news? Can we not bribe people to shut up? Can't we offer them some Chevy trucks or something like that? What is this deal with HONESTY? What does honesty have anything to do with making money and oil? Can we get some more competent people managing the military so that we can find weapons of mass destructions? The newspapers are having a field day on this.

Saturday, May 24, 2003

I'm watching Volcano starring Tommy Lee and Ann Heche (when she was still going out with Ellen de Generes). There is a scene where a female scientist (an associate of the geologist played by Heche) states to Tommy Lee's character that lava could be coming up from the earth. Later on, that very same scientist goes down to the tunnels and collects earth sample by straddling a fissure. Am I to believe that any geologist would be that stupid? She forwards an idea that there is lava and she will straddle a fissure? Ahh, Hollywood movies, it takes a special screwdriver to disconnect that science cord eh?

This movie also made me laugh in some parts of it. For example, at the end, after the demolition of a building, everyone is covered with dust. The little kid tells the policeman that "all the people look the same." Of course, everyone is dust-covered with gray material that makes them look like gray clay monster. But, then, miracle of miracles, a light rain begins falling in Los Angeles with the sun still shining!!!! COME ON!!! Are these writers on crack or on cocaine? Rain in LA while the sun is shining? What do you think this is, Ally McBeal???

Visited soc.culture.filipino. It's nice, but not like before in the 1990's. Now, I have to keep this weblog to keep myself entertained. But, I did write those articles by BIIK. I like writing those playlike scenarios. An example is as follows:

Newsgroups: soc.culture.filipino
Subject: Re: the evolution of renowl
From: (Notorious B.I.I.K.)
Date: Sat, 24 May 2003 10:17:42 -0700

BIIK: And welcome back! It is the Memorial Day Weekend. For all those
who served our country the United States, thank you for your sacrifices
and for your death in the wars held by the United States for profit.
This means all of youse veterans of the Gulf Wars. Of course, one shout
out to Bush The Elder who sponsored the first gulf war. And a shout out
to Bush The Younger who is the current sponsor of the second gulf war.

The motto of the Bushes: "If we can't solve a problem that was created
by one generation in one Presidency we will continue the fight into the
second Presidency. And hell, we have a third generation ready to ascend
into the Presidency, so we can screw up more and more now and still fix
up the screwups later on. Besides, the third generation will speak
Spanish and will be compassionate conservatives so we will surely win
the Latino vote. With the Democrats being dysfunctional, forget about
it. There 26 letters in the English language, right now we have only
used two letters. We ARE BUSHES. Resistance is FUTILE!!!"

But for those who served in World War II and in Korea, we also thank you
because those wars were just and true and were held to contain fascism
and communism. But, many of those veterans are now great contributors
to the Social Security Fund by dying early, so we thank you. By dying
early, you don't have to collect money and Congress can use your
sacrifices/tax to further support freedom in the guise of dictatorships
in the world. Just so you will feel better, we'll tell you the future
plans. If ever we colonize another world, be rest assured that we will
exploit and colonize and take advantage of that world so that the legacy
you supported by dying early will continue. God Bless AMERICA and

Last we were around here, we discussed NotoryusBoyIstupid. I am glad to
say that we had a breakthrough with respect to his issues. With the
guidance of Dr. Freud, we managed to have Mr. Motherputter confront and
admit his toe sucking problems and his hatred for Muslims.
Mattercompactor is now under the care of the Ron Calderon's Mental
Health Facility & HMO in Stockton CA.

Today, we have a special guest. It is the best-selling author RENOWL.
He has written "Confessions of a Decolonizing Conservative to
Ultra-Bright Liberal" which has topped the charts of
soc.culture.filipino the last two months. Please welcome, RENOWL!!!!

BIIK: (to the microphone and control booth) Will someone please get rid
of the rabbit tail that DyaniThor attached to Renowl's backside?

(SpyPiggy crawls on stage in camouflage gear under the seat and begins
detachment and recovery operations for the rabbit bush)

(to Renowl) Ah, have a seat. It's nice of you to join us. Now, you
just recently admitted a shock to the Pin@y community. You are actually
a pinoy who was colonized by the glitz and glamour of America. How did
you decolonize yourself?

Renowl: Well, you see, I finally met the love of my life, well at the
very least, until we get divorced. But she has opened my eyes to what
it means to being Pinoy and then to the fact that America can be
manipulated just like the Philippines. The most critical point that she
told me was that unlike the Philippines where corruption can be had for
a mere pittance, in the US, you need the help of the corporation and of
corporate lobbyists to influence senators and congressmen.

BIIK: Ahh, you mean you had a civics lesson? Well, that was certainly
enlightening. But tell me, you are a pretty outrageous personality.
How did your lady love find the way to make you listen?

Renowl: You know, when I was a white-boy wannabe, I would have been
embarrassed by your question. But now that I am as free as a bird, I am
no longer embarrassed. I take a look around scf and there is
NudeDyaniThor looking for his prepuce. Lemonhead is finished with his
graduate studies in chemistry, (God Help the United States!).

In the middle of our lovemaking sessions, my lady love would give me
civics lessons. To tell you the truth, I'm getting excited right now.

BIIK: Whoa!!! Hold that thought. We are in prime time here. Mayroon
tayong patalastas!!! Insert Bayagra Komersyal!!!

Komersyal: Are you suffering from the Pinoy problem of only being horny
three times a day? Are you down to having sex with your wife only in
the morning and then in the evening? Can't get an erection after
ejackyulating? Does it become harder and harder to get harder and
harder? Well, the Pilipino Association of Albularyo's has developed a
curative for you! Bayagra EX for that extra-strength! You will be
harder than a steel pole after drinking a dose of Bayagra. If your wife
does not divorce you, we will refund your money. If you don't get an
erection, we will pay for the surgery to insert a metal pole in your
penile bill. BAYAGRA!!! Mas Matigas Para Masiyahan si Misis!!!!
From: "Mo Silidonio"
Newsgroups: soc.culture.filipino
Subject: Re: anthology of multiracial writers

The emergence of the growing generation of multi-racial population should
make it more apparent that race should not be an item for consideration.
The hypothesis presented that it is difficult and confusing to be
multi-racial assumes that the majority of people in the U.S. are of "pure"
race.Furthermore, the question supposedly asked by multi-racial individuals, (Who am I?) seem to propose that ones identity is defined by ones race.

REtong REsponds:
I just love the internet because just when I think that I will run out of material, hey, it provides it for me just like that. The above was a response for a call for submissions for "an anthology tentatively titled Multicolor Me: The Multiracial Voices of the Melting Pot." The address is or
Multicolor Me
P.O. Box 1026
Highland Park, IL 60035

Now, let's breakdown the above response by Mo. First sentence, as I understand it, the increasing number of people who are multi-racial makes it obvious that race should not be used for consideration (in I suppose society). Hmm, that's odd, there were multi-racial people in the early US (we called them mulatto) and yet that did not satisfy those people to not use race as a consideration. That argument could be called facetious, but then so can the first statement by Mo. The increase in the number of multi-racial people does not argue for or against anything. Since the beginning of time (at the very least, when people could distinguish between "me" and "them,") some people have been multi-racial in lineage. (One would have to deal with the creation of nation-states or resort to anthropology to really discuss specific dates with respect to "race" because even this idea is recent.) But, the point is that having offsprings does not argue for anything.

I am not multi-racial. My parents were both immigrants from the Philippines. I don't belong to the multi-racial category. But because there are more multi-racial people, my racial background is now no longer important? How can that be when everyday, my contact with people is initially determined by my race? I don't act white or black or Latin-American just because JoeSchmoe is half-Jewish and half-black. I don't go to Eddie Bauer because I like to hang out in chinatown. I don't live in the South because there are more Asians in California and I feel comfortable being with a population that has brown, yellow and other colors. I tried living in the Midwest and I did not like the fact that Caucasian kept staring at me. Everyday, I make decisions on my quality of life because of my race or the color of my skin.

Just because there is a half-asian half-white person sitting next to me on the bus does not mean that I am no longer Filipino. The statement above by Mo argues that my race is negated by having someone of multi-race background. How come this does not happen when the multi-racials are in the Philipines like an Ilocano and Tagalog mix? How come my race becomes negated when there is a black and white mix or an Asian and white mix or a Latino and white mix. Get it? See the white mix?

As for the hypothesis that it is difficult to be multi-racial, bwahahahhahahha. Life is difficult. But I posit that it is more difficult to live in poverty than to be multi-racial. I posit that it is more difficult to live in a third world than be multi-racial. It is difficult to be a slave being whipped by your master because you tried to gain your freedom. It is difficult to be Japanese-American and being interned because your government did not trust you to be a good American. Meanwhile, the German-Americans in the Midwest were not interned.

Hell, I see more multi-racial models in television and in the advertising ads than I see Asian people. How do you explain that discrepancy? I see it as a way for advertisers to make sure you don't feel adequate by hiring people who don't look like you. But that is another issue. I just want to point out that there are opportunities for multi-racials.

I have tracked and been conscious of ethnic issues since 1991. Multi-racials have come and developed with respect to respectability and academic discussion more than other ethnic categories. In a space of ten years, HAPA category is almost an industry all to itself. Meanwhile, Filipino-american culture is lagging behind.

The call for submission for multi-racial me does not assume that most US people are of pure race. Where that logic was taken from does not make sense. Even whites are a mix of European lineages. It just so happens that most whites or Caucasians did not place as much value in their country of origin such that they don't deem it important.

I would suggest that Caucasian did not cling onto their country of origin as much because they can pass off as whites. On the other hand, Asians can not pass off as Caucasians so we cling on to our identity much more. Hmm, I will develop this theme later on. Of course, we have contra positions such as the Italian and Jews retaining their cultural heritage. Another topic for future discussion, heh?


Friday, May 23, 2003

Note: Apparently, when i wrote the following, I was so asleep that I did not make sense. I have had to rewrite the material in order for it to make sense for those who only are operating with one motor.

The Chronicle newspaper in its Wine section had an article on how twist-off closures are going to be replacing corks in wine bottles. Well, with the nasty crap that happened to me last night, yeah, maybe I would go for the twist-off. First off, I bought a new wine opener ($6.00) so that I could open my very first French Bordeaux in style. I could hear the popping of the cork and could see the elegance with which I was going to open the cork with a grandiose fluorish.

BUT, in reality, it was a nightmare. First off, the opener would not go in straight. This resulted in several insertions, which resulted in several cracks in the middle of the cork, which eventually led to a split cork. The multiple cracks caused weakness in the whole cork so that when I pulled the cork, it split into two. It did not help that the cork opener was very painful on my hands, which are delicated petals of rose. I eventually got to open the bottle, but it took me 10 minutes of struggling and much cursing.

At any rate, I am now planning to buy the rabbit which is a very modern piece of appliance that opens and closes corks without any problems. Retail of course is $60. The first time I saw this wonder was at HermitQ's palace. She took it with much fluorishing of hands and opened up a bottle of wine as easy as picking lanzones from the ground.

The Chronicle also mentioned in the article that corks were supposed to let in some air and that this aided in the aging of the wine. Hmm, one would have thought that with the science available that someone would have figured out that this is not the case. How can cork let in some amount of air? If there is some sort of space in the cork for air to go through, the liquid would have leaked through considering the pressure inside the bottle.

Chronicle also suggested Petit Sirah for BBQ tritip loins. Mmmm, another Costco revelation for me. And they said, "Thou shall have tri tip and marinate it overnight. And He was right. And the tri-tip loin was good. And all shall increase their girth and weight with the tri-tip loin."

Update on the wine: No hangover!!! It's quitenice because for the whole of last night, I had a nice surreeal feeling when walking and looking around. Excellent!!! The SO is coming home!!! I can't wait. stories, stories, more stories.

Anikka did well yesterday. I hope she makes the cut today, Saturday and Sunday. That would certainly place all those snobby male golfers in their place. Male golfers make double much more money than female ones and they just don't want to be compared to females.

LeBron James is a multi-millionare even before he plays pro basketball. This is a sign that to be rich in these days is a totally different matter than in the old days. I have been reading and following "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" (Richard Kiyosaki) examples on life. I still have a long way to go.

Anyways, on the radio, Rick Barry was complaining about how much money LeBron was going to make before dribbling one time or even passing the ball once. I on the other hand am clapping my hands with glee. This is the beauty of capitalism. If there is low supply like there is with talented high school players, then the demand will be very high. Thus, you get million dollar contracts. It's beautiful. It's what the hell we invaded Afghanistan and Iraq. You never know, there might be a 7 foot Arab teen-ager unable to play basketball because of religious intolerance. America is here to save you young man! You WILL be going on to college to learn English as a Second Language, Cinema as Life, and other brainless classes so that you can play in the varsity team. After college, you WILL go on to the NBA where it is becoming international because American players can't seem to pass or shoot jumpers anymore.

God, I am proud to be an American. It is a rare thing of beauty to be able to exploit the world and call it for the benefits of FREEDOM. Man, as a Filipino, I and my people have been so downtrodden that it feels good to be doing the trodding. Now, let's get that Martian explorer set up so that we can downtread on them Martians. They've been giving me that funny look. And you know, the Plutonians have also been rather snobby. They haven't paid tribute just because their planet is on the far side of the rotation from the sun.


Thursday, May 22, 2003

Sweetie, if you don't mind doing me a favor, could you please click on

Rice Bowl Journals . I would like to close the end of the week on the Top 200. Someone as beautiful as I am should be on the TOP.

entry deleted. see above.

Hmm, maybe I drank too much wine. Is 2/3 too much? What can I do? I was eating bread, and there was cheese and there was wine. I promise, I will go to the gym tomorrow and work it all out. Maybe I will go tonight! Hah! Fat chance of that happening considering the room is slowly revolving around my beautiful self.

Timee to check ricebowljournals to see where I place. I lost the Top 200 last night.

Okay, so I could not wait. After 10 minutes, i just tried it. It's not bad. Definitely no harshness to that taste that causes you to cough multiple times (Charles Shaw Cabernet Sauvignon). But then again, this one is six times the price of Two Buck Chuck. A little peppery but definitely a complex mixture of taste. I got bread just in case I decide to have wine with the bread.

I definitely love sharp tasting cheese. The Brinata is an excellent selection for the taste, although the smell can probably turn off your partner's sexual libido faster than imagining one's parents having sex. Brinata has a soft, delicate ethereal feeling in the mouth. Eaten with bread, it merges with the bread to form a slightly are-you-there-or-aren't-you-there sense. The smell will definitely send your loved ones away.

What a delightful surprise! The Cheddar is actually almost as tasty as a sharp cheese. Definitely taste the milk, but what is that? An insouciant taste of something, can't figure it out. Mmmm, must be the taste of a childhood memory. Definitely, this reminds me of the sharpness of Velveeta. Not necessarily bad if you grew up in the Philippines. The bread by the way is from AG Ferrari.

I'm about to ready to start the dinner. It is bread and cheese with leftover kaldereta and kare-kare from several weeks ago. Unlike others, I can actually heat and EAT leftovers. I know some people who throw away leftover food. I urge them to bring those foods to me if they are good cooks. If they are horrible cooks, then go on ahead and dispose of them wisely, specially if they glow in the dark and no radioactive elements were used in the preparation of the meal.
A quick walk around the SO's neighborhood netted me some information about VINO a wine shop. The catch of the day is a bordeaux from France. It cost me $13. Apparently, 2000 bordeaux's are supposedly good because all the grapes were ripened to the fullest extent.

2000 Chateau Peyraud Bordeaux - France

Right next door was a cheese shop so I also ended up buying some bread and two cheeses, Vintage White Cheddar Cabot and Brinata Il Forteto. I just popped the cork and it was a mess. Damn, that was a pretty bad cork. I also had bought a new corker and it did not do a great job. Hmm, it's either the cork or the corker. Which one sucked? I basically had to keep shoving the corker into the cork. And then, the cork split into two. Cork seems to be a tad bit too dry. I am now airing the wine for a while. 30 minutes supposedly. I have to massage my hands because of the pain that corker gave me. Maybe I will invest in THE RABBIT, a $60 value at Supposedly, it is so easy, even I can do it.
Winepoetics and the Wily Filipino have been commenting on the dinner between Bush and Macapagal-Arroyo. In short, there were comments about crushing the terrorism. Since I need to leave soon, I have to point out some obvious things. First, the Philippines can not crush those terrorists who don't really have armored carrier personnel like the Philippine Army? Second, what does a 1st world country need in helping stamp out Philippine terrorists whose likely weapon is a bolo and sharpened stick? Third, has anyone proven that terrorists in the Philippines have a money trail to some rich Arab terror supporter like Libya?

I ask because a lot of Pin@ys in the Philippines have suggested that the Philippine military is the one who bombs the areas. WHY? Well, for a Muslim to bomb the center of town on the Muslim's holiest day just does not make sense. Think about it, if you are a Christian terrorist, would you bomb on Christmas?

I would not be having these thoughts if it did not come to pass that the former cronies of President Marcos admitted that they set up the circumstances surrounding the declaration of martial law. If it happened once, it can happen again. Why would I suddenly trust the military when they were reared under the leadership of Marcos? Corrupt is as corrupt does.

I'm not so pissed that Tex-Bush and GMA tasted fine wine. Knowing their palette, they probably preferred beer and Kool-Aid. This brings me to my secret. Does anyone else here think that GMA is EXTREMELY SEXY??? Wow, I was floored by how cute she was. Hmmm, is she married?

And so it brings me to the topic of Bill and Hillary. How can Bill not be true to Hillary? She is cute. And no, I'm not being sarcastic. I really think that Hillary is cute. Hell, she managed to get Bill elected to the Presidency right? Anyways, here's to Hillary! I support her for president! I figure everyone who hates Hillary just is envious of her beauty and her brains.


Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Men are gay. Women are lesbians.

I have always been attracted to women who had that page cut look. You know, the ones who looked and most likely are lesbians. I suppose it was just that I thought that they looked cute with the short hair. This somehow brings me to Carrie Ann Moss of Matrix Reloaded. As a scholar of images, I have to analyze why it is that she attracts my eye. I was examining her photo and noticed the mainly masculine features of her face: strong chin, sallow complexion, generally square face. She's not very feminine at all. I'm betting that a lot of make-up have to be added to make her sexually attractive.

Hmm, do you think that men would still find her sexy after realizing that they are attracted to her because of the mainly masculine features? There is a story running around that Jamie Lee Curtis is really androgynous, that she is actually is a feminized XY male. Now, after hearing that, I could not fancy her as being sexy in the movie in which she stars with Arnold Schwarznegger (forgot the title). The abject masculinity in her body made me think twice.

I prefer to see myself as having a balance of the male and female energy. I have noticed that most people who do not have this balance of energy are "off" in some way. If one is too masculine, then one relentlessly attacks and does not think. If one is too feminine, one is too nurturing and is taken abused. The right balance allows one to adjust to the vicissitudes of life.

IMHO, this is one reason why the majority of male dancers are gay. They are the ones in the male kingdom who are capable of athletic prowess and yet are creative from the female energy. From time to time, there are males who are not gay but who have a balance of the female energy who become great dancers. And this applies to female dancers as well. They need the strength (masculine) in order to perform all the movements.

Which brings me to the two greatest Philippine folk dancers I ever saw. The first is Johanna P. who was the first freshman to ever dance the singkil in UC Berkeley ever. Think of that. The singkil is the most elaborate and most coveted dance in a Pilipino cultural night performance. Johanna was judged to be the best out of those who tried out even though she was only a freshman. Johanna went on to dance the three major dances for PCN: the Igorot dance, the Jota Manilena, and the tinikling. In each dance, she was absolutely breath-taking. A magical moment that lives on in my memory.

In Jota Manilena 1997, everything was so right even the lighting that I saw the history of the Philippines in a dance. Johanna also choreographed that one with another person who I forget. I have a photo that I will post one of these days that encapsulates the dance and the feeling in that dance. I could see in her movements the pain and suffering and the rebirth of the Philippines. How does it feel to transcend dance to become a living historical account of a country?

In the Igorot dance, Johanna P was as great as any dancer I ever saw. It was very difficult to photograph simply because I could not peel my eyes off of her. The rawness of the emotion and the balancing of the pots was just surreal considering she was a junior at the time and not a professional dancer. There are still performances out there that pale when compared to J's.

Here's to you Johanna. I hope you are dancing somewhere out there in Boston.


Tuesday, May 20, 2003

damn, i have to learn how to code. i wonder if it is worth it to just pay for the upgraded blog. i'm having difficulty adding a darned counter. for some reason, the template disappears when i mess with it.

buffy the vampire slayer has ended. talk about dying loves. spike gives himself up for humanity. or is it for buffy?
I just visited the HermitQ's adobe abode (haha! if it only it were!) and was reminded about another epiphany. The fascination I currently have over poetry and avant-garde or even modern poetry is all the rule-breaking. Stanzas are being cleaved into two; rhythms are subsumed into nonsense; chaos for chaos' sake is scrambled into an omelette. But WHY?

I believe it is to see the world anew. To release the poet or the poems that are stewing, crying to be freed from the soul. Initially, poetry was a creative process free from inhibition. With the advent of academia, it became a box to be measured with respect to its greatness and beauty. (Insert Robin Williams' "Master, my master" scene from "Dead Poets Society" for full effect) So, to see flowers reborn, to hear birds sing anew, and to live life robustly the rules must be abandoned. The narrative must become something else.

This applies to my current work in photography. For the last six or seven years, I have been trying to capture the Filipino soul by photographing Philippine folk dancing. I have reached a moment of pause in which I believe that journey is over. Now, I must find a new passion which will allow me to explore Filipin@ identity. In order to do it, I believe I must create chaos from order. Sense from chaos. Beauty from nonsense.

have you ever tried to hold desire in the palm? it is nearly impossible to contain for it trickles through your fingers like melting ice in a navel. the harder the desire the greater the flow of melted lemon from the column of flesh. let go of desire and the palm remains wet from the dew in the breath of a dream. desire remains ingratiated into the skin whatever you do.
Dinner tonight is milkfish marinated in garlic, unagi, abraw and rice. The milkfish is bought at a farmer's market. The unagi comes frozen from your favorite Ranch 99 store. The abraw is the remains of the meal prepared at HermitQueen's. I was bemoanin the lack of food at SO's place, but this is quite a decent meal. Oh, I almsot forgot, there is lechon take-home from a previous party. I have to figure out how to stop freezer burn from affecting material placed in the freezer. This is not going to be easy. A review of the bangus later.
Today, I found some already opened wine bottles in the refrigerator of the significant other (SO). Amidst liquefied mangoes, fungus-ridden cheesecake, there was a dessert wine and a white wine.

2002 Villa Maria Riesling Private Bin - New Zealand

2000 Robert Mondavi Winery Moscato d'Oro - Napa, USA

The bottles were opened during the Easter festivities. Unfortunately, that was quite a while ago. But I'm in a mood for slumming so I delved my tastebuds into the wine. The Riesling has been oxidized a bit. There is not too much to taste. Amazingly enough, the moscato survived almost a month's worth of purgatory.

The SO will be back on Sunday and I am wondering what I should end up cooking. The so has been in the islands and probably has tasted all the fresh fish and vegetable one can get. So, maybe I should go to the luxurious and cook some hamburgers or should I dare and challenge the gods and cook vege-burgers???

Monday, May 19, 2003

added a counter
spent a whole evening trying to add links. no success.
Saturday the goal is to go wine shopping/slumming. The target is Trader Joe's and the obsession is to see Two Buck Chuck. Worse comes to worse, we will look at wine in a cask (box). I am interested in seeing how wines in Australia, Chile and other places compare to wines in California. Let's face it, the microclimates are the same even though the seasons are different with respect to the calendar. Well, of course, I have never compared actual land geography of the areas so maybe I am mistaken about microclimates. I figure though that the primarily important components are sun duration, soil condition, humidity, and migrant labor.

After lunch at Picante located in Alameda, the targets were acquired at Trader Joe's. The following were obtained for less than $7.

2000 Charles Shaw Cabernet Sauvignon California ($1.99)

2001 Charles Shaw California Merlot California ($1.99)

2000 Forest Ville Caberneet Sauvignon California ($3.99)

2002 San Andres Cabernet Merlot Lontue Valley ? Chile ($2.99)

2001 Barton & Gustier Cabernet Sauvignon vin de Pays D'oc ? France ($3.99)

2002 [ yellow tail ] shiraz ? Southeastern Australia ($4.99)

1997 Monasterio de Tentudia Tempranillo ? Spain ($4.99)

The taste test was under way with Charles Shaw Cab already open when disaster struck. My 21" Apple monitor created a buzzing noise and then the monitor went off. I could not turn it on again. Just today, I searched for a place that would repair it. Unfortunately, I learned later on that when cathode ray tube monitor are repaired, they have a tendency to explode. Thus, most monitors are not repaired. They are just thrown and recycled.

The Charles Shaw Cab, otherwise known as "Two Buck Chuck" has a mixed reputation among people. I wanted to find out the real story. Compared to the Five Rivers Ranch, the $2 wine is not comparable; it has this bitter aftertaste. Although, you tend to get used to it after a while.

Could it already be two weeks since the visit to HermitQueen's Napa domicile? And here, I am still recounting the tales of wine. One of the places we visited was Beaulieu Vineyard (BV). The tasting room is in downtown St. Helena with lush green trees covering the façade of the buildings. When we went to BV, the skies were gray and a light rain was beginning. It was as if the gods of wine and bounty wanted us to visit and taste some wine.

Ever since seeing the reserve tasting room in the Mondavi estate, we have decided to skip the cheap stuff and go straight to the stuff we desired but could not afford. The reserve tasting room for Beaulieu was elegant and bright. Each flight (I guess this means each set of wine to be tasted) was $25. The list was as follows:

2000 Carneros Reserve Chadonnay ($28)
2000 Carneros Reserve Pinot Noir($35)
1991 Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($99)
1999 Tapestry Reserve ($45)
1999 Georges de Latour private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (100)

The '91 and '99 Cabernet were very, very good. We ended up buying the '91 cabernet because it was smoother. The taste was refined, soft and subtle. The '99 on the other hand was full of taste, which was endearing to my tastebuds, but too much for other people's.

On the other hand and in hindsight, if you don't remember anything about wine at all, remember that in 1999, Napa had a great harvest. This year is going to be a classic. So perhaps, we should have brought the 1999 George de Latour. But with a budget, you don't always get what you want. I would have preferred to buy both bottles just to see how they would taste after ten years.

The following are the descriptions written by Beaulieu Vineyard:

2000 Carneros Reservve Chardonnay. Brilliant yellow-green gold color. This vintage reveals at an early age a complex bouquet of toasted nuts, vanilla and apple pear, with a hint of dairy cream. The flavors are quite full-bodied and very fruit forward. With rich pear and honey fruit, solid acidity strengthened by a rich viscous texture and a lovely complete finish with fruit and oak strongly integrated. Lush yet vibrant, this vintage has great balance and intentsity. This vintage is aged in 80% French oak and 20% American oak for 9 months. It should age well for 2-3 years and would make a fine accompaniment to roasted chicken or a grilled seabass with a lemon beurre blanc.

2000 Carneros Reserve Pinot Noir. Medium dark-ruby color. Rich, dark cherry and black pepper aromas, with hints of spicy-vanilla oak, smoke and anise demonstrate excellent varietal character. Medium full-bodied, this vintage also shows bright acidity married to ripe tannins and rich cherry/plum and cocoa flavors. The velvety texture, supporting fine tannins, is truly expressive of the best Carneros Pinot Noirs. This vintage is aged in 85% French oak, 10% American oak and 5% Russian oak for 9 months. This wine should age well for up to a decade and will make a fine accompaniment to classic roast meat dishes, grilled duck breast, grilled salmon and savory cheeses like Fontina and aged Gouda.

1991 Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. The 1991 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon has a beautiful dark ruby color. The aromas of black currant, cherry and toasty oak are especially complex and intense in this vintage. With similar flavors and tremendous depth and richness, this wine will age for several more years with optimum cellaring conditions. The 1991 vintage has an addition of 5% Merlot and was aged in 50% American Oak and 50% French Oak for 20 months.

Sunday, May 18, 2003

Confession: I am a closeted poet. As a child, I loved words. I could not wait to read. In fact, I learned to read because my yaya could not satisfy my desires. I was already suffering as a child what remains to be a lifelong affliction and disappointment with respect to desire, lust and more lust. I lusted for stories, confessions, and poems. What almost killed my lust for art was the educational system. If you ever wanted to kill the love for the Tagalog language, just place your child in the school systems in the Philippines. By the siliconized phallus stuck in the academicians posterior, they will be able to extinguish the lust for knowledge in one year flat. Just ask anyone about their experience in learning Tagalog. If you do not get horror stories, that person is lying.

I fancied myself the next Balagtas. The esteemed poet who wrote in Tagalog. I wanted to write stories in Tagalog. I wanted fame and the Palanca award. But as I look back, I wanted all those things for the wrong reasons. I just wanted fame. I did not want to write a seminal work that touches what it means to be Pin@y. I wanted awards without recognizing what the award is supposed to be. I wanted fortune when in reality, artists who do not know how to sell their work are almost always poor and waiting for handouts to create their art. Thank God, my lust for money overwhelmed my lust for words. But as you voyeuristically know now, I am having an affair with literature right behind my partner money.

dalangin ko ay tuwina mong maalala
ang kahapong nagdaan, kahapong halimuyak
ng paraisong sumakailan,
maisip mong bigla ang halimuyak ng kamay
ang laswa ng hitang nagtago sa tela.

pinangako sa diyos na ikaw lang ang mamahalin
subalit puso ay nalungkot, puso ay humimlay
langoy laban sa gusto, naging karaniwang pagdiriwang.
isang tuba na tinungga upang masiyahan
dahil paminsan-minsan lungkot ay karaniwan.

pangako sa diyos napabayaan,
lumangoy man paayaw; nalunod rin sa tukso,
nawalan ng kamalayan; nawalan ng husga
nagbakasakali, nagbakasarili.

dalangin ng matanda, na ang dalagitang naaalala
mutya ng karimlan, mutya ng katotohanan
nabubuhay na masaya, walang naaalala
kundi ang makatawang paraiso ng
nakaraang paghalik, nakaraang pagyakap.
REtong 18mayo2003

Para sa mga umalis ng Pilipinas na umiwan ng katotohanan.
Tribute: Maganda magazine celebrated its 15th issue this past weekend. I saw the start of this magazine in 1989 in the UC Berkeley campus. I had doubts about its merit and about its direction. I had doubts about its ability to endure and flourish. I had doubts that there were enough writers, artists, dedication and perseverance to make it last 4 years. Its nice to know that I am wrong on all counts.

Secretly, passionately, I have envied the people who work at Maganda. They are so full of optimism, of hope, of vision, of devil-may-care attitude. I wish I was like them in so many ways. I long for the ability to create and then publish my own work. I long for the courage to face a nasty budget problem and to solve that lack of funds. I long for a challenge when I can barely pay my apartment.

We don't care that the world does not think we can do it. We will do it.

So, you don't have faith that we can do this? Well we do!

I don't know if the current members realize just how much of an opportunity they have in their hands. I don't know if they understand that the problems and the challenges that they faced created their character. Sometimes, you don't have the time to pay attention to what is happening inside of you when you are under pressure. Sometimes, you don't see it till 15 to 20 years down the line.

The topic this year is WAR. What vision! What creativity to tackle a subject so comprehensive and stultifying. You gotta give them a pat on the back for the hutzpah of just showing up and pulling it off. I wish I were 21 years old and had that much courage in my life. Then, I would not have to rely on my beauty, my long silken hair, my curvaceous body, my luscious lips and my brilliant intellect in my day to day existence. I could simply create the world anew each time I felt like it. Heres to Maganda! Here's to another fifteen years.


HermitQueen was gracious enough to include me in her blog. So if you are one of her fans reading this, welcome. By the way, I am trying to jump into Top 200 so if you can kindly click on the link from my webpage, I would surely appreciate it. HEY! I am currently number 141!!! I knew that content was going to champion over cute looks and come hither photos. Oh wait, I am using a come hither photo aren?t I? Oh well, if you can?t beat them, you might as well join them.

Have you noticed however that the top 20 was all women? Not just that, they were all women with cute photos. I have this fear that the only ones reading ricebowljournals are males looking for a woman to go out with. Hmm, what do you think? I certainly click on the cute females, but then again, people tell me that I a lesbian. But who can resist their soft, luscious bodies? Their wonderful soft skin that feel like silk? Who can resist those shiny, lipstick covered lips? Is it me or is it getting hot in here? Hoowee! I better open up that window.

Are there any sweethearts out there who would be willing to lend me a 21 inch Apple flat screen? Perhaps you have an extra one lying around. I would surely appreciate it if you could lend it to me for a few years. It?s so hard having to go to an internet café and posting from there. There?s rude guys who keep coming up and bothering my beauty. No, I am not yet done with the machine!
Unfortunately, the 21 inch CRT monitor to my Mac died unceremoniously. I have to see if the repair shop will be able to extend its new life. So, my blogging and your voyeur experience into the culinary delight that is my life will have to be placed on hold for some evenings at least.

There was an ethnic potluck last Friday at work. The organizers suggested that one should bring food that celebrates one?s culture. A majority of the people wanted me to cook some lumpia. They did not wish to hear my excuse that it was difficult to do without a deep fat fryer. They did not want to hear that my whole place would smell like a restaurant or a fast food joint. I wanted to tell them that I simply did not have them high enough on my list for me to cook for them or for me to go to the trouble of cooking for them. Why do I say that? In the end, they will take the easy way out. They will not take the time nor the care to prepare a delectable meal. They will not appreciate the culinary delight of another culture. They will not care that I slaved over the hot oil with my perspiration dripping onto the food. Oh wait, that sounds so unsanitary.

Am I correct in my assessments? Probably. I was lucky enough to go with Son a Vietnamese immigrant who decided to get something at FoodMart in Hayward. When we reached that place, we found crispy pata! Now for those who don?t know it, you can take the lower leg of a pig and deep fat fry it. Mmmmmm. Delicious! I bought that crispy pata thinking that finally, they will get to taste the Filipino delicacy. I fancied that they would be open minded enough to try a piece of it. It just so figures that 50% tried it and liked it. The other 50% just did not care for it. So why should I cook for them again?

The crispy pata was a little old in that the skin was no longer crispy. But hey, you can ask them when they make it so that you can be there. Not only that, they also sold chicharong bulaklak or fried chittlings. Mmmmmm. That is just plain delicious. I did not buy the chicharon because I did not want to suffer a heart attack. I think in the next party, I will have to bring some of that so I can review it. The meat in the crispy pata was well done though a bit dry. I give it 1 out of 5 oxtails because of the dryness and the not so crispy skin. But as an entrée into the potluck, it was a 4 out of 5 oxtails. It was something unusual and some people enjoyed eating it. By the way, they cut the middle of the feet with a big-ass knife and it was delicious with the cartilage. Too bad that the cartilage was too little.

Saturday, May 17, 2003

I walked around the poetry room of City Lights looking for some books to buy. I was hoping to buy some books by the poets reading from their work on 15 may 2003, but I did not see any of their books for sale. Instead, I saw Ginsberg and Kerouac in the section devoted to the beat generation. I saw Keats and Dante Alligheiri in the general poetry section. But every time I read the words of the poems, they just did not strike a resonance that insinuated itself into my soul. With much persistence however, I found one book that did: Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West edited by Daniel Ladinsky.

The poems of Rabia of Basra (717-801). How odd that by adding the dates of a life, I think that I can better understand the life of Rabia. Rabia was an influential female Islamic saint in the Sufi tradition. In earlier life, she was bought into a brothel because of her beauty. At the age of 50, she gained her freedom through the auspices of a rich patron. She lived her life in meditation and prayer and visitors seeked her for guidance into their life. Miracles are attributed to her.


The sky gave me its heart
because it knew mine was not large enough to care
for the earth the way
it did.

Why is it we think of God so much?
why is there so much talk
about love?

When an animal is wounded
no one has to tell it, "You need to heal"; so naturally it will nurse
itself the best it can.

My eye kept telling me, "Something is missing from
all I see." So it went in search of the cure.

The cure for me was His Beauty, the remedy?
for me was to
By the way, if you ever wonder why I use question marks, I type up my little trysts in Word and then copy and paste. For some reason, blogger translates some symbols into question marks.


The recount of my trip to San Francsico was actually incomplete. The moment up to going and staying at SF was actually full of indecisions. It was a Thursday evening, a workout evening so that I could retain the figure that drives women wild, a beautiful temperate night where a light jacket is the only thing you needed, a night in which the HermitQueen was going to read at City Lights in San Francisco. I don't know about you, but I don't know anyone who has ever read at City Lights, the center of the world in poetry, the home of beat poetry, the place where Allen Ginsberg HOWLED from morning into evening into the darkness of his soul, where Jack Kerouac most likely stood still and cased his life as a 20 year bottle of wine.

Weighing the merits of going and not going was interesting. What pushed me to finally decide to go? I figured I could have dinner at Chinatown and then go on to City Lights. I walked through the bowels of Chinatown in the light of dusk seeking a restaurant that is not too expensive but is not a hole in the wall either. I began from the gates of Chinatown at Stockton and Grant. Each time I pass through the main street of Chinatown, I am amazed that above the storefronts, people live, eat, and die. Have you ever looked up to the windows? You can almost listen to the breathing of the hidden lives.

I chose the restaurant ________. I saw that they had "Beef Stew ? Cantonese Style" and I remembered that in the 1990's, my favorite restaurant in Berkeley was this Hong-Kong Restaurant on University near the Cineplex where the Rocky Horror picture show would be shown. Beef stew was comfort food if I ever had a bad day in lab, in love or in the loneliness that follows and haunts graduate students wondering whether or not if they will ever finish their thesis.

The beef stew was excellent. It was a 5 out of 5 oxtails experience. The seasoning was just as I expected. The beef turned out to be tendons which is a larger surprise, but not an unwelcome one. Tendons when cooked properly and for a long time become soft, pliable and delicious. Biting into tendons is like eating fat, without the disadvantage of blocking your arteries. The beef with pan fried Chinese bread was a disappointment. 0 out of 5 oxtails. Don't order it because the bread came out dry. It should be crispy, not rock solid hard.

Overall, going alone to this restaurant was not pleasant, but the food was good enough. They placed me right next to the cashier. I suppose that if you were the owner, you would not want the multiple seating tables to be occupied by a lone stranger. Oh well, not much tip for the server either.

Friday, May 16, 2003

I ended up in City Lights Bookstore tonight to support the HermitQueen in one of her public appearances. The poetry reading was to celebrate the publication of Van Gogh's Ear (VGE) a journal of "contemporary, experimental, daring poetry of unusual forms, language, genius, and provocation." The readers were Mary Burger, Albert Flynn DeSilver, kari Edwards, Paul Hoover, and Eileen Tabios.

Mary Burger uses experimental narrative. The story accepted in VGE discussed relationships in terms of particle physics. I need to obtain the other copy just to see her writing. I only bought the Spring 2003 issue. For her reading, Ms. Burger used writing which discussed the development of atomic bombs from the perspective of people who saw the explosions and might have worked on the facilities that supported the nuclear program. Her use of language was Spartan. "The man? The boy? The woman?" were words that I remember.

Next up on the podium was Albert Flynn DeSilver the publisher for The Owl Press. I liked his poetry in that it was a very hang loose type. Definitely hints of Buddhism in his writing in terms of subjects and approach. I just read his poetry in VGE and I think it is a lot above my understanding. Because of that, we will reserve judgement.

kari edwards is a gender activist. Her first poem dealt with the moment between daydreaming and the moment of being pulled back into reality. She was able to capture the slowing of time in her poetry. She then read from Chapter 14 of A Day in the Life of P. This was a much more difficult reading because of the pace, the rhythm, and the breath that needed to be sucked in so that the words can be let out. Definitely an acquired taste for me.

Paul Hoover is a great reader. Excellent pacing, inflection, and commentary. His poetry discusses pieces of experience falling together. His voice is the classic voice of poetry. The voice was deep, sonorous, rhythmic, and full of life. He was also full of humor and wit. This is how I imagined Robert Frost should sound. He noted that the phrase "infinity's brief intercalation" is the definition of poetry.

The last poet was Eileen Tabios. From my previous posts, you would know that I now can connect with Eileen on one level. I'm not sure just how many levels she has, but I'm quite happy to be able to say that I can relate to her though it is only at one level. I always wondered how to describe Eileen's voice when reading poetry. Finally, I came to the word: femininity. The poem "Helen" published in VGE came from her series "Crucial Bliss," which will be published in book form soon. She read the following poems: Pink Lemonade, Dear Antique Mirror, Besmirched, and Yen. Her poem Yen is at her website. You should check it out because my favorite line goes something like: "your nipples circumference remind me of the sun and moon over Istanbul."

My interest in poetry is an attempt to learn a new discipline so that my photography can be expanded in thought and background. I feel that images are good, but creation of images and having meaning in images is a greater challenge. In order to create meaning in photographs, I must understand the poetry of light. Thus, my interest in poetry. Words are like light. Used by different people, light and words will mean different things
The experience of drinking wine from a mug has sufficiently disturbed me that I have pulled out my old crystal flutes for champagne. Perhaps it is better to drink red wine from a champagne flute than from a mug. The crystal was a bought for the intention of seducing a young lady. I remember it well?. The planning, the selection of champagne for the eventual sofa love seat tryst, the cooking of the pasta was ruined, ruined by the presence of a friend invited at the last minute. Or was it a plan for a threesome? Hmm, now that the solemn one is older, one sees things in such different light. One looks at the past with rosy wine in the head and a lost twinkle in the eye. At any rate, the crystal sang when a finger caressed the tips with the magic of water. An empty canister of childish dreams, teenager's lust pouring from the brim.

The cheese is Garcia Baquero Winey Goat. I have to smirk at the irony of a Pin@ay eating cheese from the mother land. The Cabernet simply explodes as I suck it in with a mouthful of cheese and olive bread from Acme. Wow, is this what I have been missing? But perhaps my tastebuds needed ripening from the original coke and a polishing by the diet coke. Perhaps, the lemon diet coke had to spin out my tastebuds before I could really appreciate the tannins and the oak. Let's see?There is something peppery as the wine fills the bread with its taste. Like a sponge sucking up water?

I have been trying to make that 10kb picture of myself for the site, but I have been failing miserably. I guess I just don't have the werewithal to learn Photoshop 7. Hmm, I really should do that since I will need to create my own website someday. I have asked for help from the winds. I am sure that with perseverance and some time, I'll have made the jpg. Update: I finally managed to make a jpg with less than 10K in data. Let's see how I compete now that my cute persona has a face.

Thursday, May 15, 2003

Oh, and if you have comments, you can e-mail me at Just remember though that you have to add 999 after the retong in order for it to be my real address.

If you found me through a search of the old soc.culture.filipino, welcome to my world. It's been a while since I've been in soc.culture.filipino. Have fun!!!

I have been accepted to Rice Bowl Journals. Go there to see some pretty good journals. You have to be choosy in some respects because some just care about layout.


With a prospect of a night of not having dinner in a restaurant, the delightful one decided that it was time to shop last night. Andronico's is a local chain restaurant with expensive selections of food. However, with the expense comes quality. If you don't mind paying for it, the supermarket is fantastique! I spent some time looking for a nice bottle of wine that would not bust the wallet. I checked out the chardonnays, but decided that the menu will feature longanisa with spaghetti and Ragu meat sauce. So, with the menu settled, off to the red wines we went. Besides, red wine is supposed to be excellent for you if you imbibe only one glass a day. I suppose you could say that red wine is like an apple.

Merlot, zinfandels, cabernets, tons of wineries that I have never heard of were laid out like a virgin in front of a sacrificial altar. Where to begin? Where to drink? I absolutely had to pass on the boxed wines, although the SF Chronicle had an article in its wine section about how there are now high class wines in boxes. Apparently, the collapsing plastic bladder which contains the wine allows for the preservation of the vino. Oxygen does not enter the container and does not oxidize the little organics.

I figured though that I really had to have a bottle that was good. Well, off to the higher end of the aisle did the little hummingbird fly. Now, 1999 was supposed to be an excellent year for wine in the Napa Valley. The question is why it was so. My guess is that it was the El Nino year. The dry year essentially caused the grapes to be smaller which produces a more concentrated taste. If anyone out there knows why this is so, please, enlighten the glowing one.

At any rate, the one with an upturned face noticed that by golly, those bottles were outrageously priced, the 99 ones. So off to the side did the one with a mole go to. Searching...searching... searching for a bottle is like searching for a woman. It takes you a while before you find one worthy of pouring oneself. Finally, one settled for a nice cabernet from Five Rivers. The idea of a pentagram on a glass of wine settled on one's mind.

The wine was very nice indeed. Beauty found it necessary to obtain a fine glass with which to drink the wine because simply put, a mug does not do justice to sucking a wine. The mug is too thick and interrupts the beauteous one from sucking in air with which to mix the nectar.

Sucking air.... or sucking the air out of something. Lately, there has been trouble in the golfing world over the idea of Anika Sorenstram playing in the Colonial golf tournament. Apparently, Anika was given a freebe to enter the tournament. The tournament is for male golfers. As the date comes closer and closer, people keep getting into a snit over the whole thing.

What is wrong with her entering? I don't see any. I see many pluses. First, she will definitely improve the beauty of the event. Let's face it, some of those players are pretty ugly. Except for Tiger and some others, many of them are not an example of beauty. Second, we can really see how women directly compete with men in sports. It is known that men are stronger than us, but how far have we come? As an example of the fairer sex, I would certainly love to know. Third, it's about time that we beat the living crap out of some male chauvinistic players. Really, Bobby Riggins got his ass whooped by Billy Jean. Let's have another whooping. I'll bring snacks and the wine.

The spaghetti last night was pretty good. Of course, how can you go wrong when you have longanisa as a side dish supporting the pasta? Ragu makes a pretty tasty dish of a sauce. You would not know it, but the meat was pretty good. The sauce/tomato was quite tasty. I could not pick out the garlic and the onions, but I'm quite sure they were there. Hmm, maybe it's time for me to cook some spaghetti and bring that sucker into the potluck tomorrow.

redux redo
The whole event last night was topped off with some bread and cheese. Tonight, I trek into the underbelly of San Francisco. I must return some rental tapes so I'll have to go traipsing through the Mission and the Japantown areas. It would not be so bad, if the weather would only cooperate. Right now it is sunny on this side of the bridge. Watch out though because it can just just like that. I wonder if I will meet a prancing Romeo in the underbelly of San Francisco. Hmm, maybe I can go for some pancakes in the Denny's. You know, I have never gone to that Denny's because of the way it looks. Could this princess be bothered with going to a store that looks like it has not been cleaned in a while? Most likely not. How to find interesting vcds in japantown is going to be a hoot.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

As I was reviewing my report, I noticed that one particular line was disturbing.  It was about the teen-agers who did not belong in the Berkeley campus and it was obvious because they did not have backpacks and they travelled in packs of five or six.  Well, to be blunt, the kids/teen-agers were obvious because they travelled in small groups, they were young, they were loud, and they were black.  In Berkeley of the 1990's, I did not see that many African-Americans in campus.  And when I saw them, they would be in Sproul Hall along with everyone else trying to chill out or recruit for the campus organization. 
Thus, to see young black teen-agers walking and being loud piqued my interest.  Since I grew up in Los Angeles around the East Los Angeles neighborhood, I can see the swagger, the arrogance and the testosterone of youth.  I knew immediately that there was going to be a riot.  Hell, I made sure I left lab at 4 in the afternoon to make sure that I was gone.  As I walked down the streets of Berkeley, you could sense the frustration, the agony and the pain of the Rodney King verdict.  But you could also feel the greed and the testosterone of all those kids waiting to loot and steal and plunder. 
I examined the lines I wrote because I was being careful so that I would not be charged of being a racist.  Funny how my own perceptions control my actions.  But then again, people have suggested that in life, you must learn how to be tactful.  Let's just say that I am in the middle of my journeys to Tactville.  But sometimes, it is good to reflect on why you wrote what you wrote.  If HermitQueen has winepoetics, then I would have to say that I have journaletics -- an examination of the process of creating a journal. 
Bonsai Wrap-Up.

But listen to the raven-haired beauty talk! We are here for dining tips, darn it. Well, I ordered the 3rd level sashimi which is composed of tuna, salmon, octopus, mackerel, yellowtail and roe. I also ordered two each of the unagi, and the yellowtail sushi and the crab roll. Bonsai is a great restaurant because they give you good slices of fish for a cheap price. The sashimi was fresh and excellent. In the beginning of eating sushi, I could not taste the delicateness of the fish. Blame that on the coke that I was drinking. But now, I can differentiate between the taste of yellowtail and the fatty salmon.

The tuna had a beautiful redness to the meat. It was firm and not too stringy. Excellent taste with the soy sauce and the wasabi. The salmon was fatty and delicious. The color was a vibrant orange with stripes of white (probably fat). The octopus was probably already cooked because it was tender and white. It was probably the worst of the bunch because of its thicknes in cut and its texture. But one can get used to it quickly. The roe was an extra that usually does not come with the order. The mackerel with lemon was exquisite. I ate the lemon slice with the mackerel cut and the concatenation of the food in my mouth was an experience. It was a mixing of lemon with mackerel. It's like cooking something in your mouth. Yeah, that's it! I was wokking in my mouth.

The unage came and it was still quite warm. There is a beauty to popping the sushi in your mouth and having the heat permeate your tongue, your cheeks and your face. Then as you bite into the sushi, the explosion of taste. Ahhh, what kind of wine goes with this? Probably you need sake, eh? The spider roll was a crunchy bite and a great contrast to the softness of the sashimi and sushi.

All in all, I recommend Bonsai in the city of Oakland. Excellent food with excellent service. 4 out of 5 oxtails.
Believe it or not, this is still the continuation of Bonsai.

The beauty and irony of OJ Simpson is that for the first time, the European-Americans or Caucasians of America found for the first time what it feels like when the system is manipulated. There is something to the raw emotions and contrast of having 12 white men decide the fate of a minority or a black man in the segregated South of the 18th, 19th and 20th century in contrast to having African-Americans decide the fate of a glamorous, famous retired athlete. White America was aghast with the Simpson verdict. Black America rejoiced in jubilation. I remember that I stayed home just to see that verdict. It made it worthwhile that on that day, I was reprimanded for being too lose on my hours in lab. I thought at the time that the reprimand was nothing because I got to see the verdict.

Why would you not be aghast. The prosecution had mountains of evidence. Although, the prosecution did SUCK in the largest and biggest of terms. Good Lord, if they were the best, then the city of Los Angeles was in prime trouble real estate. How can you screw up a high profile case like that? I don't know. But incompetence had something to do with it. If you saw them question the people, you would have something to say about it. If you saw their opening and closing statements, you would have something to say about incompetence. In contrast, the spiffy and shiny Johnny Cochran ran things like there was no tomorrow. Jesus, the guy gives off schmooze and lubricant when he speaks and smiles. Who can forget..."If the glove does not fit, you must acquit!"? Ah yes, the blunders, the fubs, the screwups of the OJ trial. Somewhere out there, someone who cares wrote a book about it.

Continuation of Bonsai.

On the same day, I was walking the campus of Berkeley and felt that the mood of the place was different. I noticed that there were too many high school students in the area. They traveled in groups of five or six. They were obviously out of place because they did not have backpacks. They were on their way to Telegraph Avenue. When I noticed things it was in the afternoon. By the time I went home, I was just in time to see the riots on television. I would not know that by 6 o'clock, there would be a riot down Telegraph Ave which was about five blocks from me.

The manipulation of the system is one of the "freedoms" brought to you by America. If one has a large enough bundle of cash and hires a smart lawyer, one can neutralize the law. I almost have to laugh and snicker when the cops in the King trial had their trial moved on over to Simi Valley. Apparently, Simi Valley is known for being conservative land in the Southern California area. It's probably a suburb where the "white flight" ended up roosting. I certainly would have loved it if in the next trial of a minority that the trial was moved to the Watts district. Oh wait, that already happened with OJ Simpson.

Ah yes, OJ...Orenthal James... one of the greatest running backs from USC... one fo the greatest runners in the NFL.... also one of the most tragic and dumb figures of recent history... an educator with respect to injustice. OJ is the prime example of the "Money can buy you anything" protocol. Everyone says he is guilty. Most people would have to agree on that. But in the criminal phase of the trial, he was pronounced not guilty. So, as a stickler to how America metes out its justice, I always state that OJ was not guilty, but he was financially liable since in the civil court proceedings, he was found guilty.
We ended up going to dinner last night. As we were a little early, we had Bonsai all to ourself. Bonsai is a restaurant located in the outskirts of Oakland near the Koreatown/Temescal district. The street intersection reminds me of the Koreatown intersections in Los Angeles. The mall and the stores have been bought by Asians, but the majority of the people living around the neighborhood are the working class citizens of the world.

Now that I think of it, it reminds me that during the announcement of the Rodney King trial where the cops were pronounced not guilty, a great riot ensued in the city of angels. The riot began in the southern portion of LA, but eventually went into the Wilshire district through Vermont Avenue. There was something particularly odd about watching the neighborhood of one's childhood being ransacked and gutted. And let us be frank about it. The riot might have started with a protest about race and injustice, but it only served to show the darkness and the greed of man.

In the television, I saw the Koreans who owned businesses were afraid for their lifeblood. They went upstairs into the roof of their businesses and held guns because the city of anglels did not have enough guns to protect and serve. It was like watching some sort of third world apocalypse. Private citizens with guns to prevent looting. I felt sorry for the people of Los Angeles.

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

My brother is visiting the great and wonderful Bay Area estates.  Dinner last night was at King Wah in Downtown Oakland.  The appetizer was wonton soup.  Unlike most fast-food Chinese restaurant, King Wah offers traditional meals with substance.  The location is rather dirty and dingy, but what do you expect from downtown Oakland?  The inside of the restaurant is average with dark wood paneling and lots of tables and seats for everyone.  You don't go there to soak in the ambience. You go to King Wah to eat.

The service is excellent for a Chinese restaurant.  They even ask you if you can use chopsticks which is a plus!  And, if you go there long enough, apparently, you can bring in some food to be cooked.  I think that was what this guy brought last night.  I believe he brought fish and asked them to cook it. But beware, before bringing your daily stream catch, make sure you are on a first name basis with the cook or owner.  I have only begun to go there and am rather sporadic in my visits. So I don't think I'll be bringing in tri-tip steak and asking them to cook it.

The wonton soup actually had ground beef inside which made it a meal in itself.  No other spice was necessary to complete the served soup.  The presence of BBQ pork was an extra bonus which served to complete the meal in itself idea.  The portions were huge for two people.  I had to stop eating after three bowls so that I can retain my girlish figure and finish the other parts of the meal.

The main meal consisted of shrimp fried rice, claypot oyster and lechon pork, beef with oyster sauce.  The shrimp with fried rice was a tad too salty for me.  Remember though that with my age, you have to watch salt intake so I have cut salt tremendously.  As a result, I can taste the most minute amount of salt and my palette is like velvet.  Pour some spice and the tastebuds register as makahiya being brushed by chiffon.  PErhaps the reason for the salt is the extreme brown color which is registering from the soy sauce ebulliently thrown into the mixture during the wok frying. 

The claypot dish was exceptional as it married in fine fashion oyster and lechon pork (pork that has crispy skin).  The concoction had mushrooms which I did not really care for.  However, the sauce did not make you wonder what pork is doing with oyster.  If you ate the pork separately from the oyster, it was utterly delightful.  And the quality of the oyster was superb.  Somewhere out there, a little Asian boy or girl is chucking oysters to be served in my dinner plate.  You gotta love capitalism.  The lechon pork was cooked excellently.  The skin was crunchy even though it had been soaked in the sauce.  This suggests that the pork was added just a few minutes before it was served.  This also can explain why the sauce did not penetrate the pork as much as I would have expected if the pork was simmering in the claypot for a while.  Someday, some beautiful temptress with long dark tresses will explain to my beauty and sexiness how claypots work.

And last but not the least was beef with oyster sauce.  Very nice indeed with a soft tender exposition of beef and crunchy onions and pepper.  THe onions must have been the yellow kind because the delicate taste had been eliminated by the wok.  The crunchiness of the peppers was a delightful counter to the soft juiciness of the beef.  Somewhere out there, a cow is delighted at my happiness in having partaken of its carcass. It is very difficult to cook pepper and have it retain its crunchiness.

And to top everything off, we of course had diet coke.  Once more, gotta watch that girlish figure.





Monday, May 12, 2003

Now, one of the sites in RBJ is from a female law student age 21. In it, she laments about how she desires for this one guy. He flirts with her while he is dancing with two other women. Supposedly, his eyes say "You could be dancing with me in place of these women."

What possesses my female sisters to go insane over men who play the field, I don't know. Why for heaven's sake would you want to go and screw a guy who has just mounted woman after woman like a stallion in a breeding farm? Is the sex that good? Really, after two hours, your joints are hurting like hell. After three hours (with bayagra), it becomes monotonous. If they were able to do some stripping, then it would be fine. But, who wants to see oily, muscle-bound bodies? Not me! I prefer luxurious and delicate femininity. And heaven forbid that they have to do anyting with their tongue. Oh, you can measure how fast their cars go from zero to sixty if you ever bring that up.

So yes, sister sapphos, let the liberation live. Long live silicone based projectiles. Long live water-based lubricants. Long live electrically driven motors that resonate!!!


So I have been accepted to the RiceBowlJournals. It is an excellent place to swim and surf the internet. Of course, I noticed that the top 20 are sites from cute women like me. I need to get that sexy pose of me in the see-through bathing suit so that I can break the top 20. Oh, and I suppose that I'll have to post those nude photos. I figure I should fight fire with fire. Those ricebowl women are posting carnally exciting and personally revelaing photos that allow men to peek into their souls. Well, I'll just show a little shoulder, show a little waist, maybe a little knee. And voila! A little peak of the elbow. That should drive the men wild.

I have been searching that site for signs of intelligent Pin@ys and cute women. What can I say? I prefer the ladies over the men. If i were a man, I'm sure I would prefer women over men too. Do I have agreement on this? Watch out for some links that I'll place soon enough. Or worse comes to worse, we'll just gossip and you'll have to figure out which person I'm speaking about on the internet.
Parking enforcement in San Francisco is about to raise additional revenue by increasing the number of parking tickets issued. Of course, the citizens of SF are going nuts about this $30 added cost when they conveniently forget that they only have 1 hour in parking time. What is the big deal? Use your brain and check your watches or your cell phones. Time is not that hard to check. You should have heard the conversation in the radio today.

Well, it was unfair of them to give me a ticket. I was only fifteen minutes late.

I just went in to have dinner and parked the car for an hour or so. I spent two hours in the restaurant.

This is what soldiers in Iraq are fighting for? The freedom for citizens to complain about having to pay for parking. What a rip-off.


Sunday, May 11, 2003

11 May 2003

Lunch was pho from Pho-Hoa Noodle Soup. I think it's a chain restaurant originating from Southern California. The #17 pho was excellent. Good beef broth. The noodles and soup were piping hot. It had the right mix of spices/salt. The exciting part was the tripe that was thinkly sliced to form a netlike structure. The cartilage was nice and tender but had texture. You can feel your teeth sink into the cartilage but you did not have to fight the cartilage so that pieces of it went between your teeth.

A bonus side was the blended avocado with tapioca pearls. The pearls are soft and very pliable in texture. Not like the Filipino sago which is firm and hard like a nut. The other way in which tapioca pearls are served is by adding the pearls in a milk base with some powder to taste. Thus, you can have almond tapioca pearls, strawberry, etc, etc.

I just bought a book by Eileen Tabios. By the way, I don't think I ever mentioned who the HermitQueen is. That's Eileen. And King Porcupine is her husband Tom. The porcupine refers to the porcupine perched on the top of the front doors of Galatea estate.

I always found HermitQueen's poems a little bit inaccessible. Reproductions of the Empty Flagpole is the first book of poetry I read from HQ and it is not the best one to start with if you are a rank amateur like me. I believe that it's been two years since I first saw HQ's poetry and it is only in the last six months that I have attempted once more to examine the content.

A great help however was the book Ecstatic Mutations. Specifically, the introduction by Leny Strobel was excellent in helping address the question of "How does a Filipino find a connection with a Filipina-American writing non-narrative poetry, and non-Filipino subjects?" This is the kernel that I have been wrestling with the last two months. After all, HermitQueen is the quintessential role model for Pin@ys. Yet, her work remains like smoke. You know it is present, but you can not grasp it.

Since our dear reader will most likely go to a bookstore and buy Eileen's book, I will not belabor the point. Suffice it to say that Lenny has thrown me a salbadida so that I can now seek and search for my connection with HermitQueen's poetry.

Sometimes I have to shake my head at how Americans do not understand the concept of free speech. My parents gave up their dream because they wanted their children to realize theirs. I read about freedom and how we defend freedom. Yet, I don't see the majority of Americans practice freedom. It is as if they see a tree but not a jungle. I suppose, you have to experience the loss of freedom in order for you to give it to someone else.

And for clarification, I am Reagan Republican. What I mean by that is that I prefer strong leadership rather than bullshit. I also happen to be a Clinton Democrat. That means, "It's the economy, Stupid!" I swing both ways. Hell, I spin around.

Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon were supposed to speak at the Baseball Hall of Fame for the anniversary of Bull Durham. The president of the hall of fame cancelled the event because he did not want the two making anti-war protests. And I thought we were fighting for freedom in Iraq. Heck, if you paid attention, we all know that when America fights abroad, it does not necessarily want its citizens to exercise freedom.

Tim Robbins' speech is worth reading.
Sige, isa pa ulit para sa Mayo2003.

I just tried to pan fry salmon in the style of Taylor's Refresher. I grabbed my trusty timer and cooked it 3 minutes on each side. I'm hoping the inside does not come out dry. I did notice that the color changed as cooking proceeded. The ahi tuna was not as cooked. How the heck am I supposed to make a wasabi sauce and coleslaw for this dish?

Ahh, several hours after eating the salmon, I can conclude that one should never overcook fish. The overcooked fish will be dry and nasty. I finally managed to overcome the fear of eating something raw. Hell, I eat sushi. What is the difference. The salmon tastes so much more when the inside is raw. I wonder what kind of Filipino field is in my home such that I refuse to cook things without drying it to bits and pieces.

Saturday, May 10, 2003

Ahh, how many times have you wanted to taste the tropical paradise the Philippines? Well, you can now do so courtesy of Suntropics Premium. Alas, there is no website. The products I am referring to are Mango Nectar not from concentrate. The juice is distributed by JFC International. Since I came to America, I have been searching for the taste of the Philippines. Finally some entrepreneurial spirit decided that Filipinos have suffered enough from orange juice, apple juice and prune juice! If you desire the taste of your childhood, go imbibe the magical taste of Guava nectar.

But where do you buy it? Well, good of you to ask. Island Pacific stores is the current favorite supermarket of yours truly. Not that I can traipse over there at any time. The two locations are in Union City and in Vallejo. Now this is another venture by Pin@ys that I have been waiting for since forever. I would like to buy tuyo without having to describe the process of catching the fish, drying it, and salting it. Sometimes that champurado just necessitates that dash of the salt only tuyo can provide. You can use patis but only in an emergency! You might as well try sardines first before trying the patis. SHIVERS

The symbolic meaning of Island Pacific makes me giggle with glee. Finally, some Filipino entrepreneur can compete in an open market system for profits. Finally, Pin@ys can buy their childhood memories and dreams in America. It speaks of economic power which in America is probably the most important type of power. If you can affect someone's bottom line profits, they will pay attention to you. The civil rights movement was propelled by the boycott in Alabama of bus service and businesses. No amount of coercion and intimidation could stop the boycott. And so now, we have a Filipino market that caters to the wants and needs of Pin@ys. Hopefully, the venture will be able to compete against Ranch 99, which is another wonderful Asian store that originated in Southern California.

The Ranch 99 store in Richmond is a wonderful place to shop. There is room to roam; the smell of decaying sewage does not assault one's senses; and paper towels are provided so that you can wipe off that fish juice dripping from your fingers. The bottles of patis and bagoong are nicely arranged in rows. The noodles are al bunched together in one aisle. The meats are well refrigerated to inhibit the growth of odoriferous bacteria. Another great plus is that you can buy fish and ask them to fry it. Now, if only they can only learn how to season the fish, we would have ourselves a banquet right in the store.

Granted, some people do like the idea of an adventure in shopping. And yes, when I am nostalgic for some ethnic location, I hop onto Bart and go into the Chinatown in Oakland and San Francisco. The sidewalk market is a virtual panoply of fruits and vegetables from the East. There are countless older women walking, pressing fruits, sniffing meat, and throwing vegetables around. However, you must admit that with that atmosphere comes the price of seeing urban decay.

While at Island Pacific, I was heartened to see mangoes! Unfortunately, upon closer examination, the mangoes proved to be bruised, scratched, and bored into by some unknown object. It was only after walking a few steps that I realized that the mangoes originally came in boxes that had randomly received mangoes. What happened was that the Pin@ys had brought over that Filipino tradition of picking the best fruits from the box. So, the average fruits were discarded, thrown and stepped on while the very best fruits were selected. Boy, talk about bringing into the US a dastardly tradition. This is one that we can definitely do without. I saw the owner of Island Pacific going over the mangoes. I suggested to him that perhaps they needed to place those large clear tapes to close out the boxes.

And faced with this difficult choice of selected leftover boxes of mangoes, what did you think I did to collect as a present to the QueenHermit? Well, realizing that most Pin@ys would be too lazy to lift boxes, I went for the box that was at the very bottom. Thankfully enough, there was at least several boxes that were just delectable and untarnished by the hands of the choosers or nanglalamang.

The mangoes were offered to the HermitQueen and she was pleasant enough to share with everyone. Note: In case you ever have the opportunity to visit the HermitQueen in the Palace in the Sky, you must bring the Goldilock's brioche. This should gain you entry into the Queen's palace. But obviously, you better know how to cook in order for you to make the proper offerings.

What pleasure it was to dive into the mangoes! I prefer to eat dinner with either mangoes or bananas. I guess I prefer the contrast in taste between salt and sweet. Since I was a kid, I've been doing that. During the dinner, I scooped the mango with a spoon. Firm but soft, golden and luscious. Those mangoes were childhood memory mangoes. I spoon mangoes because I don't want to make a mess. I have on occasion dived into a mango by unwrapping the skin. That is one blessed event that must be done in silence and in isolation because of the holy nature of the experience and the mess you create. Another way to devour a mango is by cutting the mango with a knife and then pushing the flesh outward. This creates that mango petal effect that entertained the QueenHermit so much. And still does as you will see in her blog.

It has been years, however, since I have consumed green mangoes with bagoong. Now, that is cuisine at its best. drool?..drool?. ahhhh, mangooooeeesssss In the heat of the Philippine day, I hid in the kitchen with a promise of the delectable green mangoes and the salty pungent bagoong. The salty taste brings the sourness of the mango to delight somewhere in the middle of the tongue. It's probably over stimulating the sweet tastebuds.