Saturday, November 11, 2006

Teaching English, Firefox 2.0, dying in sewage tanks, chocolate beer, quizzes

Ah, a free day... I've caught up on laundry / blogs, and things are going okay in people's lives. Jen has musings about love / breaking up and a certain someone and Dawn has her own reflections on teaching English to Korean students. Vivian has IN FLANDERS FIELDS up, plus stuff about a rambly little kid who mixes people up.. gotta love those Sunday School kiddies! Oh yes, the church now has a new mouse... I heard about it from Chris Lam last week, yuck! Spoz has the usual weekender things, and stuff about a surprise birthday party for W which seems to have been fun... Kempy eating off the floor?! EWWWW!

I've also upgraded to Firefox 2.0, which Corey says should get rid of my annoying problem with the saved sessions not restoring after the browser crashes. Well, I hope it does! Now he's telling me about beer pong: it's a game where you throw ping pong balls at cups of beer. If you get one in, the other team drinks it. When all the cups are gone on one side, the game is over. So basically, you drink a lot of beer. That reminds me that some American beer companies are coming out with chocolate malted beer... Jon and Jeremy might like that, but I bet they like chocolate stout even better. ;)

Morbid Facts

Today's Undignified Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

For nearly 30 years, septic services contractor Kermit Dale Lancaster earned good money going places most people dread. A former Marine, Lancaster, 67, joked about his gritty job, but never complained about the work that supported his wife and three sons. The Thonotosassa man died at Tampa General Hospital at 9:20 PM Monday after becoming trapped in an underground tank at Acorn Trace Apartments, 11115 N. Nebraska Ave., slipping neck-deep into sewage. "It's pretty hard to deal with," his son, Troy Lancaster, 29, a St. Petersburg computer engineer, said Tuesday through sobs. "You kind of hope for dignity at the end."

Tampa Fire Rescue officials said Lancaster was wearing rubber boots about 1:15 PM when he entered the tank, which is about 4 feet wide and 12 feet deep and pumps sewage to the city's sewer lines. He had retired about a year ago, but went to work with his youngest son, Travis, 27, who was taking over the business, Dale Lancaster Inc. "I don't think he realized his limits had changed," Troy Lancaster said.

He became disoriented and yelled for help possibly because of the heat in the sweltering tank and methane, which deprives the heart and brain of oxygen. "My father had always warned me about methane," he said. "He used to say, 'If you get to where you're feeling lightheaded, get out.'"

A co-worker passed the man a ladder and tried to grab his hands, but they were slippery and he slid farther into the sewage, Troy Lancaster said. At some point, he inhaled and ingested the material, he said. Firefighters gave him oxygen and pulled him from the tank, Capt. Tracy Walker said. The rescue took about 25 minutes.

Culled from: TBO.Com News
Generously submitted by: Stickysnake


The son's line about hoping for some dignity in the end really made me sad. Poor guy. People with jobs like this are the ones who should be making millions, not lawyers and CEOs!


Wretched Recommendations!

Jennifer has a book recommendation for us:

Cannibal Killers: The History of Impossible Murders
by Moira Martingale

"... a deliciously morbid book. The author gets a little preachy about gun control sometimes, but it's worth it."

Here's the Amazon synopsis:

"It is a crime that shocks and stuns more than any other. It is the ultimate in criminal depravity. It runs like a blood-red thread through novels like The Silence of the Lambs. Now, take a grim and terrifying journey into the world of the cannibal killer.... Ed Gein, the twisted trophy hunter and role model for Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, who liked to keep his victims' lips in a small bowl. Issei Sagawa, a real natural-born killer, celebrated in song by the Rolling Stones and toasted by the Japanese art world after he killed and ate a Dutch co-ed. Jeffrey Dahmer, the Milwaukee Murderer who kept souvenirs from most of his 17 victims, including three human heads in his refrigerator. Andrei Chikatilo, history's worst cannibal killer who delighted in boiling and eating sawn-off body parts of his victims, often not bothering to kill them before the mutilation began. A chilling look at history's most repugnant criminals, Cannibal Killers is a horrifying story too shocking to believe -- except that it's true."

Sounds fun to me!


Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Here's a game for those of you who, like Sheryl, are very fond of pointy things!

Thanks to Sheryl for the link.

Dude... I would SO read that cannibal book! :D

Your Movie Buff Quotient: 38%

You're a very typical moviegoer. You like movies, but you are by no means a movie buff.
You've seen many of the biggest blockbusters, but you haven't really started digging into the classics.

What will happen in Leslie's game of life?
Watch Leave it to Beaver for the rest of your life
'What will happen in your game of life?' at

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Ping pong, Dragon Ball, Sunday football, Entenmann's Fat-Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Once I got into the car tonight, I encountered a problem with one of the backseat seatbelts, which seemed to be wedged into the trunk. Since we weren't transporting others, I just moved to the other side. On the way to Dragon Ball, Jeremy was in the seat I'd have moved to, so Jon and Eric had to figure out the trunk key and un-wedge the seatbelt from my side. (stinkin' IKEA dressers...) Near the Bridgeport International Table Tennis Club, there's a building supplies shop with the letter L left out of the word "supplies" on their sign.. heh. Ping-pong was okay, I guess... I did try it, but shied away when someone tried teaching me about it. I dunno... maybe I just don't teach well, haha. Talked to all the people there, and entertained baby Benjamin by playing peek-a-boo. He also seemed to like Eric bouncing his orange ping-pong ball up and down on a racquet, haha. Asked Karen to change my email address on the Fellowship list as well, since it's NOT just a personal change - last time I changed my email address, it took her forever to clue into the PERMANENT part of it!

Discussed BORAT, FORREST GUMP, and other cool movies before getting into football with the guys... they don't believe they're going to see the game at the stadium, but are casting about for alternatives with a big TV. (not Pho, in other words) We talked about expensive books and fines for such from the reserve library at UBC, chips, table tennis being the Asian stereotype, getting gum out of clothes, Eunice, Tracy, Dianne forgetting about the ping-pong tonight, Steph home at 11, and bubble tea. (Jon also thinks I'm too nosy and blog EVERYTHING, while Eric thinks I should stop reading about bloody murder) It's true that there's only Michael Cheng in regular tennis, Japanese people in baseball, Yao Ming in basketball, and Korean / Japanese guys in hockey... "my son's quite the man in table tennis!" Heh, I recall thinking that it was lame in Grade 8, haha.

Jeremy said that he wouldn't mind Original Joe's, but then gave us a whole list of reasons NOT to go there, hahaha! ("the beer's not good because it's not cold enough, they're understaffed and the service sucks, I haven't come across a menu item that I really like, their TV is small...") Maisie gave me her new phone number, and said she lived with nine people, most of whom are nice. She's open to getting together in Richmond sometime, which is cool. I asked a few people if they got my email: most did, but Eddie didn't seem to. Oh well, I just sent him another email... Hotmail is weird sometimes with that stuff! We also learned about a weird inside-jokey nickname that Jon had for Dallas... I heard it right, even if Jeremy didn't.

We went to Dragon Ball and ordered an artfully-arranged honeydew-lychee bubble tea for Dallas, while getting black plum-honeydew (me.. never again!) / watermelon-tofu (Jon) / pineapple-papaya (Jeremy, using my stamp card) for ourselves. I can get TWO free bubble teas next time, if the cards still work like I think they do... (buy 10, get one free) Discussed just going to Nathan's for the football game, or going to Richmond... then used the exclusion policy. "Let's go to places we haven't been before! Wait, Jeremy... you don't want to go to those places. So if we don't want to go to places we've been before OR places we haven't been before..." Haha, good times.. downtown will be crazy on Sunday for sure! Nathan told Jon that Christon was with him, and they were at McDonald's, which led to a discussion of SUPERSIZE ME. Yeah, I don't think you'd live very long on that exclusive diet with almost no exercise! ("Hey, guys. I've taken my 5000 steps today... carry me!")

Jon almost forgot to take me home (and chanced the bridge yesterday at 2:30 AM), but I told him "I exist!" I wasn't being philosophical, either. Eric H. left me a message saying that he's going to Seattle tomorrow with his family... eh, well. We'll see about rescheduling sometime next week, then! Then Eric M. got online to say stuff about tomorrow... when he heard that I was busy banning someone, he called me a cruel dictator in my online world. Not necessarily, but if you're rude to me as THE MOD, you get booted... simple as that! :P

Jon just sent us another email about Sunday dinner: Due to extenuating circumstances, Lesley can't cook for us this Sunday... she'll cook for us some other day. If there are volunteers, we can have something at Nathan's house this Sunday night, but if not, then we'll have to have dinner together on a later Sunday. Some of us are watching the BC Lions playoff game this Sunday afternoon.... somewhere. If you're interested in joining us, just get a hold of me and I'll let you know where we eventually end up going. Heh, I guess I'll see on THAT one!

You are like Fozzie

Naive / dumb / annoyingly bemused by the most trivial of things, you probably even like this quiz - goofball! Okay to carry your heavy bags, but not to babysit your kid sister!
Which sorry excuse of a Muppet are you?

Entenmann's Fat-Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Recipe By:
Serving Size: 48 Preparation Time: 0:00
Categories: Desserts Cookies Low-Fat

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

1 tablespoon Molasses
3 Raw egg whites
1 cup Dark raisins
1 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
1 cup Light brown sugar -- packed
1 cup Granulated sugar
1/2 cup Non-fat dry milk powder
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon Baking powder
2 1/2 cups Quaker brand quick-cooking -- rolled oats
1 cup All-purpose flour

Put molasses, egg whites, and raisins into blender and blend on high speed just to mince, but not to puree (about 5-10 seconds). Empty the mixture into a medium mixing bowl. With mixer, beat in on medium speed each of the remaining ingredients, beating well after each addition, adding both the oats and flour in small portions. Switch to mixing spoon if dough becomes too stiff for mixer. Lightly spray cookie sheet with Pam and wipe off excess lightly with paper towel; any excess on the cookie sheet may burn while cookies are baking. You need only a very light film of the Pam just to keep cookies from sticking. Use 1 measuring teaspoonful of dough for each cookie and place 2" apart on prepared cookie sheet. Bake in preheated 350° oven 6-8 minutes. Do not overbake. Cool on paper towels, removing from cookie sheets carefully.

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Friday, November 10, 2006

Baby Brandon, stupid excuses for baby names, executions, and cannibalism

Jon has no idea what time he or Eric will pick me up tonight. I don't know WHY Karen wants me at this ping-pong thing so badly just to watch (or "spectate," as she calls it)... aiya. Hopefully, it won't suck as much as I'm thinking it will. :P

Good thing I checked my old email account today since I was looking for more places to change my email address. Lauren and Warren emailed us pictures of THEIR NEW SON, born on Nov. 5! Little Brandon looks so cute! They say that Matthew is adjusting to having to share Mommy, and that Mommy and Brandon are doing fine... good to hear! :D

Warren with baby Brandon and Matthew:

Matthew, Lauren, Brandon, and Warren:

Brandon looks kinda like his brother in this one:

For reference, newborn Matthew:

Sleeping Brandon on a mat:

Oh, and that woman with the stupidly-named kids showed up in two of my journals to upbraid me for daring to slander her kids' names. Hahaha, that amuses me... especially since I got to ban her from both those journals, and another one just in case. Honestly... who names their kids Justice, Credence, Epiphany, Trinity, Ardor, and Solace?! TERRIBLY STUPID NAMES! Also, it appears that she got a journal account JUST to reply to my posts... very evident due to the fact her journal's been DELETED!

For laughs, I'll include what she said here: "My next two names are Mercy and Valor. Hope you get a great chuckle out of that. We are tossing around Rhapsody as well, although we might use that as a middle name. How could two nouns be OK names and not others? Because you have not heard of them before, or don't know what they mean without looking it up, does not mean that they are "stupid names." Not everyone can be named "Heather" or "John." I hope that you grow up one day and learn to be more open and not so judgemental." Newsflash, lady, I *do* know what all those WORDS mean. I hope you receive / set aside money for your kids' therapy bills, because they're gonna need it. However, I should say that I have no problem with Mercy being used as a name: reminds me of the Puritans, heh. Rhapsody just makes me think of the Queen song Bohemian Rhapsody. Haha... this should be on Baby's Named a Bad Bad Thing!

Morbid Facts

Today's Promising Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Frank Middleton, Jr. was executed by lethal injection in Columbia, South Carolina on November 22, 1996. He was convicted of raping and murdering two women after escaping from a prison road crew. His last meal consisted of fried chicken, French fries, corn on the cob, and a Coke. His final words? "What are you people looking at? I'm going to the Promised Land! Ha ha ha!!"

Culled from: Last Suppers: Famous Final Meals from Death Row


When I read this, I was immediately reminded of one of my favorite Far Side cartoons, where one dog is sitting in a car and telling another dog through the window, "Ha ha, Biff! I'm going to the vet to get tutored!!"


Morbid Link Du Jour!

Here's an excellent site about the history and current state of the death penalty in the U.S. The most interesting aspect is the interactive U.S. map, where you can look at a variety of statistics on a state-by-state basis. Pure statistical morbid fascination!

Thanks to Neil for the link.


Morbid Lyric Du Jour!

Cathy sends us the lyrics to a song called Timothy written by Rupert Holmes (yes, THE Rupert Holmes of Pina Colada Song fame). This song is claimed to be "the only song in recorded history about cannibalism," but I somehow doubt that to be true. I'm sure there are plenty of death metal songs that touch upon the subject.

But without further ado:

Trapped in a mine that had caved in
And everyone knows the only ones left
Were Joe and me and Tim
When they broke through to pull us free
The only ones left to tell the tale
Were Joe and me

Timothy, Timothy, where on earth did you go?
Timothy, Timothy, God why don't I know?

Hungry as hell, no food to eat
And Joe said that he would sell his soul
For just a piece of meat
Water enough to drink for two
And Joe said to me, "I'll have a swig
And then there's some for you."

Timothy, Timothy, Joe was looking at you
Timothy, Timothy, God what did we do?

I must have blacked out just around then
'Cause the very next thing that I could see
Was the light of the day again
My stomach was full as it could be
And nobody ever got around
To finding Timothy

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Chapstick in with office supplies / Dream of whales scoring goals

The Canucks lost 6-0 to the Ducks last night... I guess even a now-100% Canadian ownership isn't gonna help. *sigh* I found some chapstick in my office supply bag. Very confusing... it's no chapstick with caffeine OR lip balm, but at least I can use it now! Note to self: Get more chapstick and check out Facts About Multiples! My Christmas wishlist is taking clearer shape, so I'll post it when it's in its final form. :)

I had a weird dream, but then what else is new? It involved Jeremy inviting Jon, me, and a bunch of our friends over to his apartment to meet HIS friends. There was this one guy who kept annoying me and the other girls with his cigarette lighter and flames. Eventually, we had to throw him out. At one point, Jeremy wanted me to put some dishes in the sink for him since he had a pulled muscle for some reason. Of course I did that, then saw other dirty dishes in the sink. A bunch of people offered to help him with those, and the dishes got done before we all settled in to watch a hockey game. This wasn't any ordinary hockey game, since it featured a whale which would die in four days (don't ask how we all knew that) trying to score a goal into an empty net. The crowd was cheering it on, and the whole experience was rather bizarre! Then the dream ended shortly afterwards... wonder what that means!

Triggers? Eh, possibly reading about that nut who burned himself and his girlfriend / kids to death with gas and a lighter. Then there was some comment Steve Dunbar made about getting rid of the orca on the Canucks uniforms. Other than that, I'm not sure what would trigger my weird subconscious!

Your Vocabulary Score: A+

Congratulations on your multifarious vocabulary!
You must be quite an erudite person.

Of course I got this result, haha. :D

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Falling asleep, weird mishearings, Entenmann's Fat-Free Chocolate Cupcakes

I *should* be getting ready for bed now, especially since it seems to take me forever to fall asleep these days for some reason! Key words: SHOULD BE. Instead, what am I doing? I'm aimlessly wandering around holiday_wishes, and getting a teeny bit of work done in RQ. At least I prepared a bunch of Christmas cards with greetings and stickers this afternoon / evening, I guess... I should also get a wishlist up there, but maybe tomorrow or Saturday as I get inspiration from others and myself!

I kinda wish I were like Alan since he falls asleep anytime and anywhere! Heck, it was even documented on an Awana year-end slide presentation long ago: the kids had their singing time, and here's Leader Alan fast asleep on a chair behind them! Nice example if any of them turned around, heh.

Earlier, I told my sister that I was losing my brain. She somehow misheard that as "I'm nude!" and had to tell Karen Grace and Margaret about it in the Dairy Queen where they were, heh. Well, at least I told her on Monday that I loved her... I should tell Eric about that since he's always bugging me about this "ministry of healing and love reconciliation" that he wants to see happen between us. (and about the "I'm nude!" mishearing, since I always seem to have weird hearing around him for some reason...) Tonight, I thought that my parents were dead somewhere because they didn't answer the phone when they usually do and I knew they weren't out. Yeah, I'm weird and construct weird fantasies... NOT of the sexy / perverted kind, ya peanut gallery! :P

Entenmann's Fat-Free Chocolate Cupcakes

1 small Box Jello chocolate pudding powder
½ cup Non-fat dry milk powder
1 tablespoon Unsweetened Hershey's cocoa
½ cup Sugar
1 cup Self-rising flour

4 Egg whites, beat until stiff with 1 pinch Salt
1½ qt bowl
1 teaspoon Vanilla
4 oz Applesauce
¼ teaspoon Baking soda

In medium mixing bowl... combine Jello powder, dry milk, cocoa, sugar, and flour. Set aside. With electric mixer, beat alternately into the egg white mixture a cup at a time with the vanilla / applesauce / baking soda, which have been mixed together. Beat 2 minutes after last addition. Divide batter equally between 12 paper-line cupcake wells. Bake at 350°F about 18-20 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes, then remove.

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Being burned to death by a person on crack, Edward Gorey deaths, post-mortem photos

Today's Terrifying Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Neighbors awakened by the car crash reported a terrifying scene: A man and woman staggered from the burning wreck, both in flames. Then the man started shooting at her. She ran into a pasture, screaming. Their three babies were in the back seat. Lisa Hansen, who lives nearby, heard the crash at 1 AM, Wednesday, July 9, 2004, saw the flames and called 911. She and a friend of her son's rushed toward the scene with a blanket and a bottle of water, hoping to help. By the time they found 18-year-old Antigone Monique Allen standing in the field, the shooting had stopped; the shooter's hands were burned too badly for him to fire the gun. He was dead soon after.

"I heard a voice in a field saying, 'Help, help, help me please,' " Hansen said. "It was the woman standing there with her shirt burned off screaming in pain, saying, 'He did it! He did this on purpose! My three babies are in the car. Help me, please.' " Hansen, 42, couldn't get to the woman because an electrified horse fence stood between them. But as they waited for an ambulance, Allen began relaying bits of a story she would tell over and over again - to investigators and to her older sister, Laveda Allen - before she died at Harborview Medical Center nearly eight hours later.

She had gone out the previous evening with her estranged boyfriend, a 24-year-old construction worker identified as Genario Garcia. They had dated off-and-on for 3 1/2 years, with some rough patches: She and her family had called police a few times to report that Garcia had hit her. Garcia snorted cocaine while they were out Tuesday night - something Antigone had never seen him do before - and the two began arguing. Antigone - "Mona" to her family and friends - demanded that he take her home.

They stopped at a gas station, and, because she had been dozing, she didn't notice right away that he had filled a container with gasoline and placed it in the back seat. They drove along backroads near Bonney Lake in Pierce County, east of Tacoma. Garcia pulled a gun and pointed it at her head. He grabbed the container and splashed gasoline on the children - ages 6 months, 18 months, and 2½ years - Antigone, and himself.

He flicked a lighter, and the car erupted. It left the road near the intersection of 256th Avenue and Washington 410, and flipped over. The two stumbled from the wreck, and Garcia, who had two guns with him, began shooting. Neighbors said he fired four or five shots; Pierce County sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer said an autopsy would be needed to determine whether any of the bullets hit her.

Firefighters doused the car and found the three children burned to death in the back. Ambulances took Garcia and Allen to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Garcia was dead on arrival. Laveda said doctors told her sister had burns over 85 percent of her body. "She waited until she could say her goodbyes to everyone, and once she did that, in an hour she was gone," said Leveda, 23. "She said she wanted to be with her babies. She wasn't angry. She know she was going to die, and she was willing to go, but she wanted to say bye."

Culled from: Komo TV
Generously submitted by: Desmodus


I guess maybe I'm a lesser person than Mona because I think that if I were about to die like that, I'd be a little bit pissed!


Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

And speaking of horrible deaths, here's a fun little quiz:

What Horrible Edward Gorey Death Will You Die?

Thanks to Desmodus for the link.


Morbid Link Du Jour!

Here is a breathtakingly beautiful and immense collection of post-mortem photographs. For those among us who aren't particularly sentimental, I must warn you to abstain from reading the comments added below each photograph. There are only so many "Sleep Peacefully, Beautiful Angel" comments I can take before the gag reflex kicks in. As I said, I am a lesser person than most.

Thanks to Desmodus for the link.

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Written from my greeting cards' perspective...

I AM NUDE WITHOUT MY STICKERS!!!! Corey thought I was insane when I told him that earlier, hahaha! Haha, that would make a great MSN name!

Other Random Thoughts

There are an amazing amount of crumbs in a sandwich. Poor old keyboard... :(

Also, I kinda wish I was still talking to a certain somebody... only because then I could bug him about the recent US election. HA HA HA!

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October Bubble Tea Tally, jeans, and my dating style

I got a lot of work done involving people who switched journals or unfriended me, testimonials, and bubble tea. Now, back to the current project of tagging and such elsewhere... that is, after I restart this temperamental beast!

For the past two years, I haven't had any bubble tea in October. May that dubious streak never be broken again! (haha)


homemade pearl milk tea @ church (Friday, Oct. 6)
cherry @ Dragon Ball (Friday, Oct. 20)
blueberry-lychee with pearls and coconut jelly @ Dragon Ball (Friday, Oct. 27)

You Date Like a Woman

According to studies on dating, you date like a woman.
You tend to take romance seriously, and you're not really out for a fling.

A mental and emotional connection always comes first for you.
And rushing the physical stuff is likely to turn you off.

You're highly selective when it comes to dating, and some may say you're too picky.
You know what you want, and when you find it, you're ready to commit.

Your Ideal Jeans Are 7 for All Mankind

Body-hugging, yet super flattering - for a confident, shapely girl.

... ha ha ha. Like I'm confident... and we all know what "shapely" is a euphemism for! :P

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Christmas cards and presents

I should really get around to granting more than two wishes on holiday_wishes! Not that Eric reads this, but he's getting a card from me. Corey and John are getting things from me whether they like it or not, haha... and so are my real-life friends! Some of them, anyhow... maybe I'll get rainbow stickers for little Sean, hahaha.

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Shut up about Remembrance Day! / No Netspeak! / Entenmann's Apple Crumb Cake

Note: Who'll grow old with me? (in LJ) blogquiz, by Rachael.

Eric M. got on MSN earlier to ask why I was paging Chinese Eric, then bugged me about a certain operation. GET OVER IT, SINCE IT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN! Man, I wish he'd shush about Remembrance Day already! Using MSN as a paging system worked since I was talking to Chinese Eric at the time Enrico buzzed me. He says he'll let me know tomorrow about Saturday since his parents and grandma might want to go to Seattle for the long weekend. I bugged him about his spelling of "girl" (he spelled it with a U! ), and he said that he was losing his typing abilities again. If this is what happens every time he talks to his girl, what's it going to be like when she finally gets over here later in the month? I told him NOT to use a lot of Netspeak, and even linked him to a page full of that stuff. Eeek, he'll certainly be BUSY when Fay gets here!

Entenmann's Apple Crumb Cake

1/3 cup Butter
4 Granny Smith Apples
¾ cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Lemon peel
½ teaspoon Cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon Mace
1/3 cup Currants
2½ cups Flour
3 tablespoon Sugar
½ teaspoon Salt

1 package Active dry yeast
¾ cup Water
1/3 cup Butter
1 Egg
1 teaspoon Lemon peel
¾ cup Chopped pecans
6 tablespoon Flour
¼ cup Confectioner's sugar
3 tablespoon Butter
¼ teaspoon Cinnamon

Melt butter in large skillet. Pare, core and slice apples to ½" pieces. Add apples to butter and cook, stirring, 8 minutes until tender. Stir in sugar, peel, cinnamon, mace, and currants. Cook 15 minutes, stirring until thickened. Cool.

In large bowl... combine 1 cup flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. In small saucepan, combine water and butter. Heat on low flame until it reaches 120°F. Gradually, add it to the dry ingredients. Beat 2 minutes, Beat in egg, peel and ¾ cup flour. With mixer, beat for two minutes. Add remaining flour, stir in. Cover, and let rest 20 minutes.

Grease 2 baking sheets. Place half the dough on well-floured work surface, roll to 14"x12". Place on sheet. Spread ½ filling lengthwise down center of the dough. Starting about ¾" in for filling, cut 1" wide strips diagonally from the filling to the edges of the dough. Alternately, fold opposite strips of dough at angles across filling. Fold ends over filling. Brush large piece of waxed paper with vegetable oil. Loosely cover sheet. Top with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 2 hours.

Uncover, let stand at room temperature 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine rest of ingredients for topping. Sprinkle over loaves. Bake 30-35 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from sheet. Cool.

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Phone annoyances / Driverless trucks and fatal motorcrashes

1. If I ask you to pass on a message to someone else, that means I don't want to go through the trouble of explaining it yet again to someone else on the phone! There are times when I don't like talking on the phone, and sometimes I have trouble explaining myself. (Chris would know what I mean with the difficulties of oral communication as opposed to online stuff... where IS HE, and where's his brother Ryan?!)

2. Speaking of annoyances related to phone calls, my former friend Shannon called me a while ago. Thank goodness I didn't have the phone on, though I did notice a beeping noise from the phone. (Eric terms this the "Why don't you pick up when you hear something?!" syndrome, haha) I'm not going to talk to her... in fact, I thought she'd given up on calling me long ago! At any rate, I'd have been too busy with online work here to talk much to her. THERE's an excuse for Friday night... yay! :D

Today's Driver-less Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Just a day earlier, this rubble-strewn area on Indonesia's Java island was the scene of a wedding. But what should have been a joyous celebration turned to grief on Sunday, July 13, 2004 when a driver-less truck loaded with cement rolled backward into the party, killing 17 guests and injuring 12 others. The driver was repairing the truck when it overran wooden chocks placed behind its wheels and slid 20m down a slight hill into the reception, which was being held in a house close to the road in the central Javanese town of Ambarawa, some 400km east of Jakarta. One of the 17 victims was a five-year-old girl. Trucks are poorly maintained in Indonesia, and traffic accidents are common on its crowded highways.

Culled from: Reuters
Generously submitted by: Bruce


Urban Exploration!

dollymixture sent me a link to an article about the fascinating abandoned Japanese island of Hashima:

"Off the coast of the Japanese city of Nagasaki lies a terrifying symbol of shortsighted development. Out of the dark blue East China Sea rises a dead island covered with dilapidated concrete buildings. Forms of life are absent. No people, no animals. However, in the not so distant past, more than five thousand inhabitants lived here. The voices of children echoed from the houses, laughter sounded in the streets. Now only dead concrete is left. This is the island Hashima, once the most densely populated place in the world."

To say I'm DYING to go there is an understatement!! Can you imagine the hours of bliss I could have exploring those buildings? Of course, visiting the island is strictly prohibited, but luckily for us, some brave souls have made the trip and taken their cameras with them.



Gisela sends some pictures: "My boyfriend's friend sent pix of his friend (how friendly) in a fatal motorcrash." Well, I certainly hope my friends are friendly enough to photograph me in my half-naked death pose and send it out for mass consumption! A Comtesse can only dream...

Harley 4
Harley 5
Harley 6
Harley 7
Harley 8

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Liberal lady or Conservative chick, how old my inner child is, watching too much TV, and more!

Stupid browser crashing when I want to undo a closed tab, and not even an autosave for my work! Oh, NOW it pops up when it would have been nice if it had worked EARLIER! Aside from that, I now feel much better... indeedy! Here's to salad, Honey Dijon dressing, Advil, and sleep! So here's the quiz dump post... it may not be as dump-ish as on the weekend without catching up, but it's still a dump post. ;)

You Are a Moderate Mama

You're not overly political, and your views fall more with the American mainstream.
In fact, it may be difficult for you to decide who to vote for at times!
Your approach to politics is reasoned and well thought-out.

7-10 School Age
You are more mature now and are able to talk to someone reasonably about problems or issues. You usually move on very quickly from problems and forget about them just as fast.
Take this quiz at

Great job... you don't watch too much TV or too little TV!
Take this quiz at

What music instrument are you

a violin
Take this quiz at

You are...
You are a crazy son of a bitch. You have no moral values and want to kill everybody.
Take this quiz at

HAHAHA... figures I'd get Kim Jong-Il! :P

Who are you, manga style?

Earth - strong and gentle nature, surprising and unpredictable, nature-loving and openminded, aim for weak points, and strike the critical blow.
Take this quiz at

Fire Style Specialist
Congratulations! You're the one that goes for power, and likes the brawl and burning of excitement and fun. You're always testing and seeking the challenge, and you always love to win. You are strong, and your rage is an unstoppable weapon to your advantage once you're pissed off... but pushing it over too much is your passion.
Take this quiz at


weed lover
Take this quiz at

Not really, dude!

Melissa's Nickname Generator

Crazy baby
Take this quiz at

You're just an ordinary bacon person
You like it, but you won't die for it.
Take this quiz at

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El Torito Sweet Corn Cake / Community Bannings

I'm feeling oddly in pain, so you get this recipe before I'm off to bed. I was going to update with another Quiz Heaven dump post, but maybe tomorrow if I don't die... =/

For some reason, I was banned from dear_you over on GJ. Hmm. Time to post in a community where I know that I will NEVER get banned! :P
(speaking of bannination, I banned Meredith / Aaron / someone with REALLY BAD GRAMMAR on my other community... muhahahaha, I have the POWER!)

Also, I would really appreciate it if my computer didn't CRASH on me just as I'm going to quickly edit an entry and then go to bed! AIYOH!

El Torito Sweet Corn Cake

Recipe By: El Torito Restaurant, California
Serving Size: 12 Preparation Time: 0:30
Categories: Breads, Copycat, Mexican

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

1/4 cup butter or margarine
2 tablespoons shortening
1/2 cup masa harina
3 tablespoons cold water
10 ounces corn kernels
3 tablespoons cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

My favorite, and well worth the effort. Masa harina comes in a bag like flour and can be found with the flour in most supermarkets. It's the flour to use for corn tortillas. The recipe doubles easily and turns out well with either of the two methods provided.

Place butter and shortening in mixer bowl and whip until soft; continue whipping until fluffy and creamy. Add masa gradually while mixing; add water gradually and mix thoroughly.

Place corn kernels in blender or food processor fitted with metal blade; coarsely chop. Stir into the masa harina. Place (regular) cornmeal, sugar, whipping cream, baking powder and salt in large mixing bowl; mix quickly. Add masa mixture and mix lightly, just until blended. Pour into greased 8-inch-square baking pan. Cover with foil.

Method 1: Bake in 350-degree oven 40 to 50 minutes, or until corn cake has a firm texture.

Method 2: Place pan in a larger pan and pour boiling water halfway up corn cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees 40 to 50 minutes, checking water level and adding more boiling water, if necessary. When cooked through, remove corn cake pan from water.

Let cooked cake stand at room temperature for a few minutes before cutting into squares or using a small ice cream scoop to serve. Makes 10 to 12 small servings. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Sunday night MOVIE plans... no Golden Ocean for me! / El Torito Chicken and Lime Soup

Hmm. Apparently, there's some dinner on Sunday night with a bunch of my mom's friends or whoever. (I didn't really read the email from my mother all that closely, haha) I got to the part where it said that Jon and Steph already have plans with Fiddler on the Roof and other things, and immediately lost interest in going to the Golden Ocean restaurant. Nothing really against the company or free food, but I don't know if I like people asking me certain questions and not understanding half the conversation without foils there! Guess I'll see what Jon's doing... maybe I'll call him later. OH RIGHT! There are those movie plans for The Prestige (Danielle's email just now reminded me), so perhaps that is what Jon's doing. I'm in for that providing that transport plans are made in a reasonable amount of time!

It was my turn to fall asleep mid-conversation on Corey, who didn't reply to my rebuttal on alcohol and acting drunk since I was expected to. Cheh... I'll get him for that later when I'm not under the influence of Scottish ale. ;) Then I had a weird dream which involved two people having lesbian sex (.... one was named "Mrs. Randal"), a toilet full of poop, and other such weird things. WHY ME?!


Categories: Soups, Mexican
Yield: 4 servings

1 quart Chicken stock
1 cup Julienne-cut tomatoes
2 Limes; (just the juice)
1/2 cup Julienne-cut red onion
1 tablespoon Dried Mexican oregano
1 Tablespoon Minced cilantro
1 tablespoon Dried basil
4 oz Jalapeno Jack cheese; cubed
1 teaspoon Pureed chipotle chili
2 Corn tortillas; cut in strips
1 Bay leaf
1 Avocado*
Salt & White pepper
4 Lime slices
2 Chicken breast halves*
4 Cilantro sprigs

* Note - Chicken breasts should be cooked and shredded. Avocado should be peeled, pitted, and sliced.

Combine stock, lime juice, oregano, basil, pureed chipotle, and bay leaf in stockpot. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Bring to boil. Simmer 15 minutes. Add shredded chicken, tomatoes, red onion and cilantro. Bring to boil. Simmer 5 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste. Ladle very hot soup into warm soup bowls. Drop in cheese cubes. Garnish each serving with a few tortilla strips, avocado slices, lime slice and cilantro sprig. Makes about 1 quart.

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Monday, November 06, 2006

Raspberry and juniper hand sanitizer / Seductive Shorts Style

I really want some Life hand sanitizer in raspberry and juniper scents from Shoppers Drug Mart. Not cucumber-melon, since I already got that from London Drugs a while ago. I'm sure Eric will be really impressed with that since he always complains when I put it on. Dude, I'm not aware of your having any scent issues, so it's fine! :D Besides, it's invigorating. ;) (Life is 350mL rather than 240mL, and expires in August 2009 instead of April 2008... oh well!)

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Gruesome accidents, witchcraft, and jaw re-attachment

Today's Gruesome Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

The California Highway Patrol arrested a 24-year-old Vallejo man who they said fled the scene of a gruesome drunken-driving accident on the Bay Bridge that killed his front-seat passenger. Maurice Talton of Vallejo was arrested around 3 PM after he showed up at Sutter Solano Medical Center in Vallejo with abrasions and complaining of pain. Talton faces charges of felony hit and run, vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence. His arrest came nearly 12 hours after he fled the scene of an early morning accident that killed the front-seat passenger in a Chevrolet Blazer he was driving. Even before the accident, at about 3:25 AM Sunday, June 27, 2004, the CHP began receiving calls from witnesses reporting a reckless driver, speeding eastbound across the bridge and moving from lane to lane. "He was using all the lanes, speeding, whipping in and out of traffic," CHP Officer Herman Quan said.

The Chevy crashed into a Saab in the second lane from the right near the end of the Bay Bridge. The cars spun out of control onto a dirt shoulder at the end of the bridge, then Talton's vehicle ran up against the cyclone fence on the south side of the road. The speeding vehicle's front passenger window broke, exposing the passenger's head as the vehicle rubbed against the fence for about 100 feet. The passenger -- identified by the Alameda County Coroner's office as Shaun Roberts, 24, of Vallejo -- was decapitated. The Chevy's rear-seat passenger, Jason Maynard, 24, of Vallejo, suffered minor injuries. When the vehicle came to a stop in the eastbound lanes near the toll plaza, Talton fled, leaving behind the dead and injured passengers. The driver of the Saab, Anthony Fraiser, 43, of Antioch suffered minor injuries.

Culled from: SFGate.Com
Generously submitted by: Dave


This is why I try to never sleep with my head resting against a car window. You just never know!


The Comtesse Reviews...

Witches by Erica Jong

This is a heavily illustrated, very light primer on the history of witchcraft. Jong touches on most of the important items of discussion, such as the political, sociological, and religious reasons for the ruthless persecution and execution of alleged witches in the olden tymes, and the goddess worship inherent in pagan religions. It makes for an interesting, thought-provoking read for the uninitiated, but for those of us who have already studied the topic, it's a bit lightweight and under-researched for my liking. It's also filled with pretty mediocre poetry, which was another minus for me. However, the gorgeous illustrations are well worth the price of admission. On the whole, I'd recommend this to anyone interested in the history of witches and pagan religions, but if you've already studied those topics to any extent, you'll want to pass this one by.

Rating: 3/5 skulls


Morbid Link Du Jour!

Here's a site that explores the history of the death penalty in Ohio. Very interesting!

Thanks to Jeff for the link.



Here's a slideshow of the world's first jaw re-attachment surgery.

And here's the story of the accident that necessitated the surgery:

Jaw operation was world first
02/05/2005 08:05 - (SA)

Pretoria - An operation just over a week ago during which the lower jaw of a 12-year-old boy was re-attached after it had been torn from his mouth in a quadbike accident, is probably a medical first. Dr. Ashraf Mohamed, a maxillafacial surgeon at Unitas Hospital, said on Sunday he searched the literature for a similar case after the operation, but couldn't find anything.

Standing at his patient's bedside, Mohamed explained in great detail the seven-hour pioneering operation that was performed on C.J. Richards from Steelport in Mpumalanga. Mohamed said that when C.J. was initially transferred from a hospital in Middelburg to Unitas, the impression was that he had suffered a normal fracture of the jawbone. On his arrival at the trauma unit, C.J. was first stabilised and placed on a ventilator, because it was feared that he also had neck injuries.

According to Mohamed, it was a great shock to find on a preliminary examination that there was a huge gap in C.J.'s lower jaw. "I thought the piece was lodged somewhere among the mouth tissue, but X-rays showed the entire lower jaw was missing." A hunt for the lower jaw at the scene of the accident, where C.J. and his friend were injured, followed.

Riding along on the quadbike, the boys had collided with a wire fence. Mohamed says it was a stroke of luck that the piece of jaw, complete with the teeth, was found quickly and brought to Pretoria. The jawbone was full of soil and ants and was placed in a special antibiotic solution to clean it, after which the tissue was removed prior to the refitting of the jaw. A steel plate and screws were used to affix the jaw and holes were drilled in it to restore its blood supply.

Mohamed explained that if the original piece of jaw had not been found, it would have been necessary to take a section of bone from C.J.'s leg to reconstruct it. He explained how tissue scrapings from the inside of C.J.'s mouth and tongue were used to fill the gaps that were created at the time of the re-implantation.

At present, C.J. is in the Eugene Marais Hospital in Pretoria where he is undergoing hyperbaric oxygenation. This treatment involves heightened oxygen intake, which aids tissue repair and prevents infection. Before being discharged in a week's time, C.J.'s upper and lower jaws will be joined together temporarily to prevent unnecessary movement during healing.

The jaws have not been joined yet due to the hyperbaric oxygenation treatment, which, in some patients, can cause seizures. Mohamed said it was a risk to replace the piece of torn-out jaw. It was fortunate that it was found so quickly. "It can't be described as anything but a miracle," Anne-Marie Richards, C.J.'s mother, said on Sunday.

Thanks to René for the link.

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Voting Republican or Democrat

Your Vote Score: 57% Republican, 43% Democrat

You are truly an independent voter, and you don't fit well with either party.
Maybe you should choose one issue to vote on - or look into third parties!

Why are there all these politically-themed quizzes on Blogthings these days?! Man.

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Skewer dreams, devil, Sarah Rowlett getting married, the email I sent Corey to say he totally rocks

I don't know why I dreamed of having a skewer stick up my butt and surrounding places, and having to walk around with it causing bleeding. My friends and I tried to conceal this fact from my dad, who was letting us use his fancy new state-of-the-art computers / beds / egg chairs. o_O

Yeah, I know plenty of people have accused me of having a stick up my ass when it comes to spelling / grammar-related issues, but seriously! Does that REALLY warrant such a dream?! Stupid subconscious!

HAHAHA, Corey emailed me and wants to know what the deal is with my picture on this Gmail account being a pentagram and a horned skull. Hey, it was in my Friends-Only picture, and I thought it was kinda quirky. Then again, maybe I should change it to the crab baby in the next panel. ;)

Sarah Rowlett emailed me and said that she was going to tell me some news, but I was idle. Odds are that I was at the computer, but still away. She's getting married April 14 to that guy she liked years ago: Floyd, who I think was a pastor's son. (or was that some other guy?) Very cool. I wish them the best!

Speaking of email, I found that email I was talking about earlier in my Sent Mail folder... October 23, 2004! Corey thought that it should have been longer and more praising, but he can't have everything! :P

Corey is the ultimate friend, who gave me a Gmail account even though I already had one.. not sure he knew about that one, though! He's helped me with a lot of computer problems and generally has a good sense of humor.. no wonder I usually cheer up when talking to him!

He just rocks for giving me this Gmail account, and if he were here, I'd make it worth his while for coming all the way to Vancouver. We wouldn't need to fight about weird stuff, and I'd probably just give him everything I owe him: spicy wonton, bubble tea, that hug from Door #2, and Reese's Pieces. Can't think of much else we've figured out that we owe each other..

Wait a minute.. keep on topic... if I didn't have this Gmail account, I don't know what I'd do.. I think he knows this. ;) Suffice to say I'm eternally grateful for it.. he's given me great advice over the almost three years we've corresponded, although I'm not so sure that I've given him the same. I'm sure he puts up with it, though.. we've always had some kind of understanding.. or not. Ah well, friends are variety, and it's the spice of life!

I will always remember your willingness to help me during my time of need. It takes a very special person to do this. Your example is a wonderful lesson to us all. Please accept my sincere thanks.

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Changing email address, address changes, rising from the dead, El Pollo Loco Mexican Beans

I'm currently in the process of copying all my Yahoo contacts over to my Gmail address book. Wish I saved that email I wrote to Corey a long time ago when he practically demanded that I write him six pages of why he rocked so much... maybe he still has it somewhere, so I'll ask him later. Would be fun to have just for posterity, haha. :P I don't even have Trillian on at the moment... and speaking of, I just heard this cool HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE radio show with mattresses and Arthur Dent and such. Makes me want to reclaim my Douglas Adams "Trilogy of 4" book from my brother, hehe.

List of Places Where I Should Change My Email Address

GreatestJournal (and my communities)
Our Place
A Word A Day
Morbid Fact Du Jour
Geek Forums
OK Cupid
Silly Buddies
Shoppers Optimum (Shoppers Drug Mart)
Save-On More (Save-On Foods)
Air Miles
MozillaZine forums
Charles Kessler's Tricks and Trinkets
Bizarre News
Baby's Named A Bad, Bad Thing
Rock 101
Heroic Stories
This Is True
Stella Awards
Bonehead Awards

Speaking of death (or almost), I nearly fell while slipping on the carpet under my bathroom sink. I swear that's how I'll actually die. :P

Today's Unlikely Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

On May 8, 1936, Ralph Neves' life was cut tragically short at Bay Meadows Racecourse, near San Francisco, California. The 19-year-old jockey was coming into the final stretch of the third race of the day when his horse, Fannikins, tripped. She and her rider crashed through the wooden fence. Fannikins was unharmed, but Neves, who had not only broken his own mount's fall, but had also been trampled by four other horses, was dead. The track physician, assisted by two doctors who had come down from the stands when they saw Neves fall, loaded the body into an ambulance, and the race announcer called for a moment of silence. But the shocked, grieving spectators had underestimated Neves.

Doctors at the hospital did everything they could think of to revive Neves, but to no avail. By the time his friend Dr. Horace Stevens arrived, he had already been toe-tagged and sent to the morgue. Stevens, though, was not quite ready to give up. He administered a shot of adrenaline directly into Neves' heart. It had no effect. Sadly, he replaced the white sheet that covered his friend's lifeless body, and left him there. Had he waited just a few more minutes, he would have witnessed a miracle. The dead jockey arose from the chilly slab, shirtless, bloodied, shrouded in the morgue sheet and wearing a single boot. He staggered out of the hospital and hailed a cab to take him back to the racetrack.

Pandemonium broke out as Neves sprinted past the grandstand at Bay Meadows, half-dressed and still trailing his toe tag. "At one point," he said later, "I think everyone on the damn track was chasing me." He fought his way through the crowd and burst into the jockeys' room, where his colleagues were conducting a collection for his widow. She fainted at the sight of her newly resurrected husband, standing in the doorway demanding to be allowed to ride.

He insisted that he didn't feel dead, but the stewards still refused to let him compete again that day. The following day, though, he rode five winners and claimed the meet's top prize -- a $500 watch donated by Bing Crosby.

Neves' dramatic recovery was typical of Neves at Santa Anita "The Portuguese Pepperpot," a man whom fellow jockey Charlie Whittington once described as "wilder than a peach orchard boar." Neves rode for 28 more years, racking up nearly 4,000 wins on more than 25,000 horses. In 1960, he was inducted into the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame. He died in his sleep in 1995, at the age of 79. He did not rise again.

Culled from: News of the Odd
Generously submitted by: Ladyfreud


I love this crazy story. My favorite part? When he sprinted past the grandstand "half-dressed and still trailing his toe tag." What a classic image that is!


Morbid Gaming Du Jour!

KelShubert writes:

"I don't know if you have heard of the games The Sims and The Sims 2 for PC. If you haven't, I have been playing it for a few years now and love it. You can make people and control their lives in this game. You can make them fight, slap each other, make them argue, kill them, etc. I have downloads from sites though that make the game more interesting. I made a serial killer who killed people (even children) by luring them into his "castle" and then taking the door away from them. They starved, drowned, and were scared "to death" by ghosts. It was quite fun. I just thought you could be interested. Here are a few morbid sites for downloads:

GRIM SIMS (Halloween / Goth objects - beds, etc.)


KILLERSIMS graveyard

NightTime Sims

7 Deadly Sims

Heavy Red Sims (This site is maintained by the owner of Living Dead Dolls

"Some of this stuff is just fun to look at."

Thanks for the suggestion. It's always good to hear from someone who truly understands what games like The Sims are really all about!


Morbid Sightseeing Link Du Jour!

Here's a great site which explores the neglected remains of London: Derelict London

El Pollo Loco Mexican Beans

Recipe By: Greg Young of El Pollo Loco via L.A. Times
Serving Size: 6 Preparation Time: 0:30
Categories: Beans and Legumes, California, Mexican Side Dishes, Low Fat

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 whole Serrano chili pepper
1/4 teaspoon Serrano chili peppers -- ground
1 28-oz. can pinto beans
1/3 cup water

Heat oil and whole chili pepper in saucepan. When chili is tender, add ground chili peppers / beans / water. Stir well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 10 to 15 minutes.

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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Saddam Hussein, supporting the American economy, more movie nights

Apparently, Saddam Husein's been sentenced to death by hanging in Iraq. Ha. We'll see if THAT ever happens... I can see it becoming an international political incident thinger. (nope, I have NO vocab skills right now!)

Steph says she and Vivian are going down to Seattle for Viv's birthday next weekend: yay for holiday weekends and helping the American economy! Eric just emailed me and a bunch of others:

Remembering now that Nov 13th will be a stat holiday in lieu of Remembrance Day, so we can watch a later 10 PM show. Speaking of Remembrance Day, I forgot to invite Leslie. Location can be either Metrotown or Richmond Silvercity.

Another movie night. Hopefully, those of you who were unable to make it to Borat will be able to come to this one.

The Pledge: The Prestige is a movie I have been interested in for a while. My obsession with Batman led me to a site called Batman on Film, where I learned about what Christopher Nolan (director of Batman Begins and Memento) would be doing instead of jumping straight into the sequel to Begins. That film is The Prestige, and although I'm not quite sure it's a movie deserving of the year and a bit since Batman that I've been anticipating it, I believe it is a very solid movie. Better than Borat, I would think (and Borat was excellent for what it was, but what it was just doesn't seem to deserve an 96% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes). The movie is about two rival magician at the turn of the 20th century who are obsessed with outdoing each other.

The Turn: Apparently, finding the time to watch this film has been a bit of a magic trick as there have been things going on the past few weekends. And this upcoming weekend might require some tricksy maneuvering to slot in as well. Saturday evening may be taken over by the Daniel Fellowship Hockey Game Gathering (as well as a couple lucky people actually going to that game). But I think I need to get an email out so I can see this film before the end of its theatre run. I would like to tentatively schedule it for Sunday, November 12th at 7 PM. If I can get a large enough group to join me, then I will stick with this date. Other options are Friday after Fellowship at 10, or sometime during the week (even this week) or if absolutely necessary, we can push it to next weekend. Let me know if you are interested.

So then I replied: SHUT UP ABOUT REMEMBRANCE DAY, DAMMIT! *triple-shot of Purell*

... oh. Not THAT thing. Right. Excuse me. I'm better now.

I'll let you know about the movie later, dude. Right now, I'm going to research things that DON'T BREAK LINKS! Seeya.

I know what I'm going to use (one of my Gmail accounts), but my main tester is in the shower right now and isn't available. Sure, I could ask the other 27 people online now to test if Gmail breaks links (I'd send them an email with a copy-pasted link in it using my Gmail account), but I'm weird. ;) (I'd do that to Eric, but I don't want to flood him with email!) Also, I keep on forgetting that the LJ tags field is way longer than it used to be, and isn't a reliable indicator of testing whether my tags fit into the GJ tags field. UGH.

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Phone musings, little Sean being autistic, Pho, email, handwriting, and change

I really should leave my phone on at least during Sunday mornings, since apparently my brother / sister called me three times to see if I was ready yet... oops. =/ On a semi-related note, I hate these unknown callers who show up on my Caller ID with no number! Wish I could drag my phone over to see the caller first, but I can't due to wire placement. Oh well, maybe I'll get used to getting up from the chair (or leaning over) if / when the phone rings twice to see who it is first, heh. I spend far too much time in front of the computer, and I think I'm going blind prematurely, heh. (I couldn't really see the Powerpoint or certain people on the other side of the sanctuary this morning since they looked blurred... aiyoh!)

Once I finally got into the car, my brother described me to my sister over the phone as "surfacing" in the car. Sure, that could work if I somehow materialized out of the underground and then kinda slimed my way into the car from the floor up... o_O My grandma didn't really appear to care much about the music Jon had in the car, but asked if he danced around to it. So of course, he pretended to do so in order to get a reaction out of her. He asked me for translation help, too: our Chinese is bad, but I can muddle along!

When we got to church, Jon helped Margaret with her bass guitar amp settings while I sat in a pew with Phil. Chrystal, Emily, Mike, and assorted people showed up soon afterward so we all crowded in together with Jon and Jeremy. Quite cozy, but it was all good. I waved hi to Randal, and high-fived a few of the kids: they're so cute! Jon, Jeremy, and I noticed Christon's orange-and-green notebook that he used for sermon notes: very eye-catching! Phil asked if I'd seen BORAT with the rest of them last night, so I said that he should see it if he's not easily offended, even if it IS satire! (I can easily see some people in this world - not Phil - as being easily offended even by satirical things!)

After service, I made Steph sign Jeff's birthday card, then gave it to him. Yeah, we (read: I) remember even if the card's late! Steph also talked about the hockey pool with the guys, and I told Chrystal about BORAT and my mom's weird grasp of certain English terms... she says those stories are cute! I talked to baby Joshua for a while: all he wanted to do was play in the wet pile of leaves by the dumpster! "Uncle" Lee, his mom Maxine, and I wouldn't let him do so, of course! Speaking of Maxine, she's pregnant again and is due on New Year's Day. (my dad says that a New Year's Eve baby is better since the kid counts as a tax deduction for the year) Said hi to John, Sharon, and a few others before seeing what Jon and his group were talking about: mainly the whereabouts of white Eric since Nathan wasn't there, Phil had started teaching already, and Jon's car was being blocked. No, of course he couldn't take the ten of them in his car to Sunday School! Speaking of which, I decided that I had to leave, so told people I'd meet up with them afterwards for dim sum with Grandma.

At Sunday School, there were only three kids. Auntie Fonda told me that little Sean is autistic: his parents had taken him for testing, and this was the result. He has a social worker to teach him about social behavior... no wonder he likes playing by himself and behaves in certain ways! I know I don't understand a lot about it (and even made mistakes based on that in the past), but somehow I want to learn more. Dunno why, as the kid will only be in the toddler class for another year tops, but who knows. He does seem calmer when I'm around, so I'm guessing he can recognize me and is okay with my company. (wonder what his reaction might be if I ever beat him to the toddler room, heh... maybe next week?)

After Sunday School, I went upstairs to look for my grandma: dim sum had been cancelled, and she wondered where my siblings were. Steph had Tim Horton's plans with Vivian since she couldn't make it to the Greek dinner last week, and Jon eventually showed up with talk of the brewery. I went back inside because I thought I saw Andrew: I wanted his email address so I could send him a story that we were talking about last week during Awana. (I don't remember how the discussion came up of reverse life spans!) At least I gave Jason his birthday card yesterday (being early for once) because I didn't see him today! Talked to Andrew for a bit about the resumption of the Hallelujah Chorus, as well: these teens are cool, dude!

I went outside to see what people were talking about, and got there just in time to see Eric giving out red licorice Nibs / Twizzlers to everyone since he can't have them. Someone mentioned liking the REAL stuff (black licorice), and Sam said that could be an interesting Dragon Ball combo: black licorice, mocha bubble tea, and coconut jelly doesn't sound good to me! We had to tell Jeremy about it when he came back out of the church, and he thought that could have potential... what has my brother been teaching Sam?! After a while, our family and Jeremy went to Pho, where Jeremy was the one to ask for translation help when Grandma said stuff to us in Chinese! We talked about Jeremy needing to change his email filters / check his email in general, spam that seemed to come from novels (Googling the stuff bore that out), whether Jon should see BORAT (maybe video would be good since you don't want to see certain scenes like male nudity on the big screen!), Cindy's reaction to LIFE OF BRIAN, the Amnesty International documentaries, upcoming Fellowship programs (AGM / hot pot / ping-pong), the improved Pho quality (like Pho Thai Son: succulent broth and firm noodles!) and more. When Grandma paid for the bill, we had a discussion about what form of "thank you" to use since she paid for Jeremy's Pho too.

We went back to church to wait for Steph and Jen, where we saw Dave's mom and talked to her for a bit about Dave - he saw Erin for some reason recently! Jeremy looked up stuff about Passover and bread in his Bible, and kinda-sorta greeted the people coming in for the Mandarin service's new start time of 2. When we told Jeremy what the Mandarin and Cantonese versions of "are you well?" were, we could see my dad cringing at our bad pronunciation! The guys figured that Jen wasn't really committed either way to the documentaries / brewery since she hadn't given them a definite answer ("SEE YOU LATER could mean anything!"), so they left after 15 minutes or so. I decided to stay with Grandma because I'd heard it was going to rain heavily, and I need to save money in general. (yeah, the brownie points help too!)

Steph, Jen, Vivian, Karen, and Dawn arrived ten minutes after the guys left: when I told Jen and Dawn that the guys weren't sure if they were coming along or not, she wasn't impressed. The rain started when we got into Richmond, and this "pineapple express" won't let up anytime soon! (it's supposed to be worse than yesterday, ack!) I got home and had a bit of a nap, so that was good for me too! Now Corey's trying to tell me that being evil and mailing poison / letter bombs to him this winter is a good thing: I DON'T THINK SO! I AM NOT THE UNABOMBER!

Oh yeah, I will probably change my email address really soon. (like today) I thought I could live with Yahoo Email's relatively new habit of breaking up links near the end, but have figured out that it's not good... especially if I forget about it and send links off to people / paste them in from my email! (Sarah's survey was the example that broke me!) Also, I have this random idea: I want samples of my friends' handwriting. I don't know how I'm going to make it work, but maybe I'll do something with the idea in the future. (I know... I have cards and such from some of them, but I want them collected in one big thing like a book!) Is that so weird? Eh, maybe... :P

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Drunks, autopsies, and El Pollo Loco Chicken

Today's Drunken Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A Massachusetts woman died from injuries suffered in a fall from an escalator at the Providence Place mall on May 2, 2004. Jennifer Canelli, 23, of Norfolk, died on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 of cardiorespiratory failure due to skull fractures and brain injury. Witnesses told police Canelli fell backward after she jumped to sit on the escalator's handrail. She was leaving a friend's birthday party at Dave & Buster's, a bar and game establishment. Canelli fell an estimated 40 feet to the floor.

Culled from: The Associated Press
Generously submitted by: Katie


Her family really should sue that mall for putting a restaurant that serves alcoholic beverages on an upstairs level like that. I mean, this was an accident just *begging* to happen!!


"My Brush With Morbidity" by EvilPresly

"My boss used to be a coroner and was taking the search and rescue team to the morgue for a field trip, and asked if I wanted to tag along. YES! So we go in and it is one of the oldest buildings in Oakland, right near Jack London Square. It used to be a courthouse, and the hanging tree was right out front. We go in, get a basic tour of the admin. rooms and such, get to ask a lot of questions about corpse protocol, and heard a lot of gruesome and awesome and weird stories about picking up bodies and that kind of stuff.

"Then we get to the autopsy room antechamber, which has rows of freezers marked with things like 'livers, 1998-2000' and two drying chambers for bloody clothing and evidence. Here, our guide tells us that coroners used to wear plain clothes, but now it's a shirt and a blazer with a tie, 'which is a shame because when you lean down, it's inevitably - oops, in the mouth.' Did I mention that our guide is deadpan (pun VERY intended) and hilarious? He cracks jokes like that the whole time. Then we get to go to the autopsy room.

"To my dismay, there are no bodies anywhere. There is no blood or traces of it, and the floor had been mopped. But there are 6 stainless steel tables with vacuum hoses and foot pedals around them, and microphones suspended over each one. The doctors have to speak every last thing as they are doing it, to record the autopsy. We are told that sometimes every table is in use at once. Ooh, I can only imagine what that is like. 6 simultaneous autopsies! To get at the brain, the scalp is peeled back over the face and the skull incision is made in the back, so you can stretch the skin back over once the skull has been replaced and you can hardly tell the corpse just had a face lift. 'I was surprised at how easily it can be done!' He says.

Someone asks about the tools they use. Scalpel? 'The scalpel is there, but this is more of butcher's work - using regular kitchen knives and saws and things. And to open up the chest cavity, we use your ordinary average garden shears.' At which point, my boss went over and demonstrated the use of the shears. As the organs are removed and dissected, they get placed in a bucket on the floor, which at the end the contents of which are placed into a bag and sealed in the chest cavity - including the brain. As for the odds and ends, our guide told us that there is a garbage disposal at each autopsy table. "It drains right into the bay! Just kidding. I don't know where it goes. I don't want to find out." Someone of course made a Wendy's chili joke. We are told that they keep a piece of each body - a section of bone, or piece of tissue for storage indefinitely. And they do occasionally have to exhume bodies, though not often.

"At this point, I am beginning to think I will never see a corpse. And then we are herded toward the big door. No more personal corpse drawers for Oakland... it's even better... an enormous walk-in refrigerator. Butcher's work, indeed. The door opens and out comes a rotten, earthy smell and we are invited to walk into the human meat locker. I am surrounded by feet sticking out from under sheets. Yellow toe tags are homicides, and the black body bags are to keep the decomposition cases in as close to one piece as possible. There is a fly zapper just outside because 'nothing stops maggots,' and I imagine them working away even in the 36-39 degree refrigerator as I pass between the two rows of bodies on gurneys.

At the end of the row, the bodies are only haphazardly covered - allowing a look at the legs, and one foot stuck out which was covered in a pink powderiness, and had an immense lesion on the ankle surrounded by a green fungus, and the whole thing had started to decay. Two bodies down was an older man, who would have been wrinkled if it were not for the intense bloating that had stretched his belly and skin into a youthful tautness once more, transparent slightly with the stereotypical blue veins snaking beneath. He lay next to another body who had no idea it was covered in adipocere. 'Everyone's body reacts uniquely to death. It's quite amazing.'

"Hope you enjoyed, I know I did."

Indeed!! Thank you for sharing your good morbid fortune with the rest of us!

El Pollo Loco Chicken

Recipe By:
Serving Size: 4 Preparation Time: 0:00
Categories: Chicken, Sauces

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

1 Chicken -- cut pieces with skin
1/3 cup Lemon juice
1/3 cup Lime juice
1/3 cup Canola or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon Ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon Garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon Black pepper

Briefly simmer the cut-up chicken in a deep-sided skillet, keeping pieces in a single layer without crowding them, until the meat appears milky white and the juices run clear, so they’re no longer pink. Allow to cool in the broth, uncovered, while you prepare the basting sauce. Arrange the chicken pieces skin-side up on broiler pan in single layer and baste with enough of mixture to evenly coat skin side. Turn and baste the other side. Turn again to skin side up and broil 6" from the heat, brushing with additional sauce every few minutes until skin is really crispy and golden brown, approximately 5 to 8 minutes for large pieces. BASTING

MIXTURE - Mix juices, oil, turmeric, salt, and pepper. This makes enough to baste nine pieces.

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Manifest Destiny, psychic radio, Sarah's survey, BORAT, and 3-2 losses

You know that woman with the weirdly-named kids that I posted about in my last entry? My sister thinks that woman needs two more kids to name Manifest and Destiny. I think that would be awesome in a jokey kind of way, but not as serious names for a set of kids. (I don't mind the name Destiny, but it's in the SET... it can't be separate!)

Went to Awana, and only discovered that Henry had tried calling me when I got home: heh, oops. (I left at 3... he called a few minutes before) It was raining kinda heavily, and there was a lot of traffic on the bridge, but we made it to church, which is what counts. I still don't know how his radio indicator knows what songs are playing on the radio station... maybe I'll ask him about it in two weeks. Joey asked me about the turnout for Dragon Ball last night: he loved it when I told him that we'd practically taken over the place! I think I impressed Kyle and Tamara's mom by remembering her kids' names, since she told them that they were in good hands! Hey, I try to be as capable as I can be... then maybe stretch those limits a little! ;)

Henry drove me to the townhouse, and I was impressed that he managed to make it to Awana despite having one wisdom tooth out just this morning. (then again, I had all four out at once) I got my sister to check whether LJ was working - since it was, I spent some time after dinner reading my friends page and updating previous entries. Yay for cross-posting! I checked my email, and got one from Sarah and Vernon... Steph says that Sarah wants to open a business, and was surveying us about our preferences for eating out. Yeah, I'll probably get to that at some point... Steph says she's probably not going to the Yaletown Brewery tomorrow since she's going out for lunch too. (this is news to me, but maybe she means with the family... me, I'm always up for the brewery, hehe!)

Steph was not quite impressed with my businesslike tone when calling Eric to tell him that we were leaving now... hey, it WAS nice and friendly! Okay, so it wasn't as sickly sweet as certain people I could think of, but it did the job since Eric was outside waiting for us in the rain when we showed up soon afterwards! On the way to Vivian's, we discounted Chinese Eric's saying that white Eric's area was a maze... you just need to know the right way to go, and it's NOT A MAZE! (then again, we're used to it while he may not be)

MAJOR LINEUPS to see Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan! (Citrus and Danielle didn't go since Citrus got off work late and they wanted to spend time together, and Jon had to study at the Bread Garden with wireless) Eric told us that his brother had seen people yesterday lining up at 9 to see the 11:00 show, because of all the Youtube and hype! (Kieran decided not to see it since everything was sold out) We all survived, and made it into the movie theatre.. while waiting, Eric told me that I had a week to do a certain thing. He's just lucky I didn't have my Purell hand sanitizer with me at the time! Vivian remembered, and Steph definitely thinks it would be a good idea... I'm not talking to you people EVER AGAIN! :P

Vivian, Steph, Nathan, Jeremy, me, Eric, and Jen all took over an entire row despite our thinking that we'd have to split up into 4 and 3 / 5 and 2 / maybe even 2, 2, and 3. The location was good for me... not at the extreme front, but only going up a couple of rows. By the time we got in, the theatre was packed FULL! Viv and Steph left to get some popcorn and drinks: we all shared a huge popcorn bag, and Jeremy wondered just how many calories would be in one bag. I don't think he wants to know, but at least we were offering it to each other and not hogging it! (Jen sipped at my drink, which was fine by me) Jeremy said that he'd spent part of the day bottling beer (which can be a lot of work - he sterilized the bottles), Eric said he'd taken Corey to the airport / bought Jen's ticket / played some game, and we all talked about Christon's wanting a Nintendo Wii.

BORAT IS SO FUNNY! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! The "national anthem" about potassium and little girls... so priceless, we sang the first four lines on the way home! There were certain scenes during the movie where we were laughing like CRAZY! Haha, oh man. We loved the very end of the credits, too! (then we discussed how Nathan was inspired to make one of his very own movies, MSN names, Nathan's training in Abbotsford, etc.) I neglected to wave bye to Jeremy at the end, but the rest of my car was already out the door and rushing through the rain to the very end of the parking lot! (they got the last space!) Oh man... way too hilarious!

But then we heard the result of the Colorado-Vancouver hockey game: WE NEED TO SCORE MORE THAN TWO GOALS A GAME! (11 of the last 15 games?) Ugh, we lost 3-2! We need to do better against teams in OUR OWN DIVISION (we only see them 40 times a year?!), and against the ones whom we're chasing for playoff spots! Eric thinks Jeff Patterson pauses too much when he speaks... that very well could be. Bleh! At least the new person (Alexander Edler) had a good game as he was recalled to fill in for injured Salo. (we've lost two defencemen ALREADY!) Markus Naslund's the captain and can't carve him up ANYHOW!

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