Saturday, March 17, 2007

They're married now, and in for one long haul of translating!

This morning, I got up a little earlier than I needed to because I had to do certain things before the wedding. Waited 20 minutes in the rain (under cover) for Eric, who got to my place 20 minutes late - he apologized, though. He got up even later than I did, which just caused me to envy guys again! Seems his mom told him about social etiquette when it comes to weddings, so he confirmed the spelling of Chung Yan's name with me before writing it out on the card and other places... I'm sure they'll appreciate the gift. We discussed how I blog, weekend plans, certain predictable conversational topics, and stupid people who don't know how to drive in the rain. It's not like rain is a very rare occurrence here, eh? We didn't get good seats, but at least we were there before things got underway! When we got to the church, Hunter was waving cars into the parking lot - he bowed to every car, so Eric said that if he really respected him, he'd lie down prostrate on the ground even in the pouring rain! Yeah, I don't think he'd go THAT far!

We chatted to various people in line - Eddie, Eunice, Olivia, Uncle Johnny, Joey, Mike, Chris - and had to go to the other side of the church since one side was getting quite full. Eric pointed out a poster of Karen and Chung Yan, but figured I couldn't see it yet since I was too short - you know I wish to be taller! (Skee-Lo references!) Then he wondered why people were shaking Chung's hand before the wedding - hey, I agree! You never know what could happen in these wedding ceremonies! Turns out we were in the baby section, but there was no real room in front of us, and we didn't really want to move to the balcony! He saw Alan and Jeremy, and wondered where my family was in the crowd of 600 - yeah, like I can see them?! (Jon was rather obvious since he played piano for the ceremony) Saw various babies: Joe and Helen's new daughter Abigail, Winnie's daughter Megan, Kelvin and Evelyn's son Taylor two rows up (who looks a LOT like his dad!), Tim and Maxine's sons Joshua (who waved to me when I gave Maxine her birthday card) and Keenan ("you can call him Iron Mike!"), Lee and Lily's daughter Hannah ("hey, there's Roberta Luongo!"), and others.

Taylor didn't look too happy, and started crying before the wedding - I jokingly asked Eric what kind of faces he was making at the baby. He said he was making normal faces... and blamed Darren, who was sitting in front of us with Sam / his brother Jeremy / Lucas and his sister Hannah / J-Mak / Jessica, and denied everything. So Eric joked that he'd make the baby happy by covering Darren's face with an open Bible, haha. He was looking for suitable passages to write in the wedding card - he's not a fan of 1 Corinthians 13 (the LOVE chapter, which Chung and Karen used), and pointed out various other unsuitable passages: yeah, divorce / the Philistine army / dealing with your enemies won't cut it! I bugged him about putting the card in the envelope a different way from how I do it, haha. He said my way was wrong because of the front of the card not being the first thing they see - eh, I'm quirky and you know it, so shush!

When we all stood up to welcome the bride, Eric correctly figured that I couldn't really see her - nope! But as long as one of us could, I was happy with that. I noted the rather long list of photo groups (24?!), and he noted that the pastor's name was Genghis CHAN instead of KHAN. Interesting choice of name, no matter if he picked it or his parents did! He plugged the Winter Conference at the very end of the exhortation, haha. Said hi to Chrystal later on, and walked with Eric and Jeremy to the reception in the gym - that was a long slow trek, made even worse because it was cold in that hallway! Could be akin to Moses' trip in the desert with the Israelites, only not really... "THE DESERT FELLOWSHIP! Y'know... dependency and support in the desert even if nothing grows there!" Joked with them about a few things - yup, I needed more white humor, haha. Talked to them while lining up to get food - Jeremy went back and grabbed forks for the three of us since we didn't see them beforehand, heh. I finally congratulated Angus and Melia on their engagement at a Yaletown restaurant called The Coast - he says he wasn't nervous when he proposed to her, and Phil described his sister's engagement ring as "a big rock on her hand." (and it was!)

Stuck around the guys for most of lunchtime - and it was a huge lunch, with Chinese food and buns / dessert / cake / drinks / everything else. Angus said he wasn't full, but the rest of us were - here, YOU can have the rest of Melia's cake slice after four people took turns eating some of it then! Nathan was the driver for the couple, and had to get up before 5 - he was telling everyone about what he'd done so far today, and it sounded busy! When Chung and Karen did a toast, he said that they translated for each other - yes, we noticed the ceremony was bilingual. (English into Chinese) We discussed the Alanis Morissette song IRONIC at one point - I tried to include someone in that conversation, but he just wasn't into it for some reason! Oh well... said hi to Martin, Quan, Mike, Emily, and others. Finally saw Kingsley and Kittie, whom I haven't seen since Anita's wedding back in 2005 - their daughter Natassja still remembers me, and so does her brother Justin. Talked to them and Elenor about my life, what Jon was doing now, and living in Richmond. Told Jon that some people wanted to talk to him, so they discussed his interning as a pastor / Tony, Teresa, Lukas, and Tabitha Lim in Malaysia (Tony was our pastor YEARS ago!) / people growing up fast / parenting / chairing things that they really didn't know much about / his teaching / Natassja and Justin's older brother Adam being almost 16 and in air cadets / other interesting things. It was good seeing them again! I also saw Larry and Sandra briefly with their kids Joshua (three years old) and Elizabeth (ten months old) - very nice to see them too!

Interacted with baby Megan a little bit, mostly centred around food. She's so cute! Saw Sam, Connie, and their son Jaden - didn't talk to them since they were kinda busy with other people. Talked to Vernon and Sarah just as briefly, and jokingly told Andrew that he could eat ALL the leftovers - there were TONS of them! Steph says the teens are taking a platter to Floodlight tonight: we could have a Koinonia lunch with the rest, and STILL have a lot of leftovers! Jeremy took some home, and that applied to plenty of other people as well. Good times, even if we hung out in the kitchen for a little bit. Said hi to Esther, Mel, Sheena, Chalaine, and others - the pictures took a LONG time! Cindy definitely doesn't fit the CSC adult demographic, yet there she was in their photo! Joey was going to see 300, but realized things were taking too long. I got to shake Karen's hand right after we took our group photo: yay! Told Eric and Jeremy that I'd have to tell them about the banquet tomorrow since they weren't invited - it's going to be interesting, heh.

Later on, my mom took me to the townhouse - let's just say she's a little TOO focused and melodramatic about certain subjects, and leave it at that. As for "no worries" and using it correctly when we don't use it around her, she says she just heard it somewhere - she asked if it wasn't "hip" to use it or something, haha. (it's only not hip if you're MY MOTHER WHO'S ALMOST 60!!!) Says she'll take me to the glasses place on Tuesday before my dental appointment, and I can bus home - good thing I don't have to fear certain things, heh. Lunch is good, too. (11:30 - sure then...) She says that Grandma doesn't like celebrating her birthday after the date's passed because of some odd (to us) old Chinese cultural tradition - if you celebrate your birthday after the actual day, you'll die in the next year. Then you can add some family history to that: Grandma's mom died ON HER BIRTHDAY years ago (when I was under one year old), so of course Grandma doesn't want to celebrate it then. We'll probably have shark's fin soup somewhere tomorrow - old people apparently like celebrating their birthdays with expensive stuff. Can't celebrate it Monday (her actual birthday) or afterwards, especially since Grandma's afraid she won't live for another year - and we couldn't celebrate it tonight or yesterday for obvious reasons! (wedding banquet and our Fellowship obligations) Oh well, at least Cousin Aaron is taking her out for dinner somewhere... that way, she won't be paranoid for the other half of the day / evening!

Angus: "Yeah, I need to alienate people so it won't take this long for photos after my wedding ceremony! Oh wait - Melia knows the CSC, so SHE has to work on alienating them! Hey Joey, you're ugly!" (haha, nice joke!)

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Knights Templar / Lust Murder / Mrs. Fields Chocolate Chip Cookies

Today's Legendary Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

The Knights Templar was one of the most famous of the Christian military orders. It existed for about two centuries in the Middle Ages, created in the aftermath of the First Crusade of 1096 to ensure the safety of the large numbers of European pilgrims who flowed toward Jerusalem after its conquest.

The skull and crossbones are long known to have Templar and latterly Masonic connections, and were commonly used as a symbol on Templar and Masonic grave sites in the past. The Skull and Crossbones (Masonic or not) point out to us all our own mortality and eventual death. This image of mortality was believed to figure in Templar ritual. Now while this claim in and of itself seems quite believable, one of the legends of how it came to be is not.

It is well known that the order of the Templars was monastic in nature, and therefore they were forbidden to have involvement with women as shown in the Templar Rule of Order. The legend of the "Skull of Sidon" claims that one Templar knight had a relationship with a woman who died. He dug up the woman's corpse and consummated their relationship, resulting in a most grisly birth nine months later.

"A great lady of Maraclea was loved by a Templar, A Lord of Sidon; but she died in her youth, and on the night of her burial, this wicked lover crept to the grave, dug up her body and violated it. Then a voice from the void bade him return in nine months time for he would find a son. He obeyed the injunction and at the appointed time he opened the grave again and found a head on the leg bones of the skeleton (skull and crossbones). The same voice bade him to 'guard it well, for it would be the giver of all good things'... and so he carried it away with him. It became his protecting genius, and he was able to defeat his enemies by merely showing them the magic head. In due course, it passed to the possession of the order."

Culled from: Templar History
Generously suggested by: Bloodnight


This reminds me of a masonic grave carving that I stumbled across in Rosehill Cemetery here in Chicago a couple of weeks ago. What a sweet little story I now have to go along with it!

By the way, the words around the image - "In Hoc Signo Vinces" - apparently mean "By this sign, thou shalt conquer." Creepy little buggers, those masons.


Wretched Recommendations!

William recommends that we "check out Marie Tatar's delightful 'Lustmord: Sexual Murder in Weimar, Germany. Though it is a bit academic and approaches the subject from a feminist / gender politics / sociological perspective, the book still provides an excellent overview of the subject and will provide hours of enjoyment - if Lustmord is your kind of thing, that is...."

And if you're subscribed to this list, chances are it is!

Lustmord: Sexual Murder in Weimar, Germany by Maria M. Tatar


Morbid Art Du Jour!

Margaux Lange really takes jewelry to another level with her delightful Plastic Body Series. Barbie (or Ken) lovers may want to avert their eyes...

Thanks to Elizabeth for the link.

Mrs. Fields Chocolate Chip Cookies

Categories: Cookies
Yield: 112 servings

2 cups Butter
2 cups Sugar
2 cups Brown sugar
4 Eggs
2 teaspoons Vanilla
4 cups Flour
5 cups Oatmeal flour*
1 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Baking powder
2 teaspoons Baking soda
24 oz Chocolate chips
3 cups Chopped nuts
8 oz Hershey bar (grated)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Cream butter and sugars together. Add flour, oatmeal powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Then add chips, chocolate, and nuts. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet using golf-ball sized dough, 2 inches apart, for 6 minutes. Makes 112 cookies.
OATMEAL POWDER - Premeasure 5 cups oatmeal. Put in blender or processor, and grind until powdered.

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Friday, March 16, 2007

You shout in your sleep?! / Mrs. Fields Cashew and Coconut Cookies

When Eric picked me up, he insisted on throwing out my garbage bag for me: it was very light, so I could have done it myself! Oh well, it was nice of him to do so. (and I forgot one particular item, too!) We spent most of the ride to church discussing a certain subject which I won't get into here. Let's just say that I don't know if moving is a good thing to do. He then wondered if I had given him a death threat right before I hung up the phone: nope, you must be hearing things! Sure, you'll probably deserve at LEAST one during the course of the evening, but saying "I'm here now.. you coming?" is hardly worthy of such! Then he told me that weirdness was a continual state of being, so I was always weird... yeah yeah, whatever! After grumbling about traffic, he tried annoying me by singing some weird song from a movie in a bizarre accent: he'd stop when I guessed the movie it was from. ("Donkey" and SHREK!) I made him interrupt the flow a couple of times by exclaiming over the 109.9 gas price / saying that a traffic light turned red right when we coasted through an intersection / breaking out my weird indiscernible accent. (it's not Australian, and it sure as heck ain't British!)

We parked in back of the church and let people block us since we'd be leaving late as usual. Once he opened the door for me, we went downstairs where he engaged in some interesting behavior: if you're going to do that, at least clear the way so I can sit beside you and another person who's reading a newspaper so his attention's distracted! After exchanging words under our breath, I sighed and put my stuff down on the floor. Randal thanked me for the dinner invite (I should say 6:30 is the absolute latest, not 7... but if he can eat in an hour, all the more power to him!), and discussed whether Jack Bauer would go cannibal on us if we tried eating him - oh, most probably! Talked to Dawn about how we thought we'd probably die before we saw my grandma's current age: 87 probably isn't going to be our lifespan! Maybe we'll die while doing whatever we do in the middle of living, or while eating a steak at a big celebration! No idea what Randal thought of the discussion, but it naturally came up while discussing my weekend plans which possibly include my grandma's birthday dinner. (I'd say we're not morbid, but that's a lie when it comes to me at least, and he knows it!)

Jon passed by, eating something out of a bowl - ah, the days of a quick dinner! The refreshments provided by Frances' Bible Study group were all Japanese: Lesley ate almost all of the Japanese soybeans - they WERE good! I had some sushi, but didn't really want any rice crackers... go figure. Karen offered to get me some more stuff, but I ended up not taking any during the talk. That reminds me - I *still* have her husband Ivan's birthday card! Ugh, maybe on Sunday since tomorrow might not be a good time? Haha. Talked to Dylan, Lesley, and Connie about our fellowship and how it could be improved - good ideas there. Later, Billy had some psychology surveys for us to do on our personality and cellphones: Henry told him that nobody cared about his leading statements, and just to get to the point. I gather that's something he has to tell him quite frequently, haha. Later, I greeted Jeremy briefly - seems he accomplished a lot this week at work, so yay for that! Stanley was being "insane" (his word) when he tried kicking us out 20 minutes early, haha. (Vivian concurred)

Went upstairs and talked to Andrea and Danielle for a while: Chuck's coming here long-term in June or July... he and Andrea don't have to deal with any distance issues! I told her that they won't have to worry about time zones anymore if they wanted to tell the other something, and she thinks it'll be a huge adjustment: probably, but at least they'll be in the same city! Steph was bugging Cordia about being dainty, which is what Danielle's teaching her to be - no room for being dainty if you're going to move tables around to prepare for a wedding reception! Luckily for her sweat issues, the guys will be doing that. She's not going to complain about it being early at 8 or 8:30 since we're right in Richmond anyhow, and it's a bit easier than Citrus' trip from PoCo! Steph told him that her wedding will be in Richmond, so he joked that his would be in PoCo - NOOOOO!

In the car, we discussed a certain subject - I don't know about these suggestions, but at least they give my life some spice? Steph said that her co-worker gave her a game plan to shop for a dress: hey, guys can just put on a nice suit and tie outfit... but us girls have to put in a little more effort! We'll bring out the glamor at night, possibly! I mentioned that "detailed itinerary" email that Mom had sent - Steph was also very surprised that Mom managed to use "no worries" correctly, and was like "Where the heck did she pick that up from?!" (not us!) Melissa had emailed Steph about Alan and Liz getting engaged a couple of days ago - Steph's new dress will suffice for Chung's wedding, an overnight trip for a co-worker's wedding, Phil's wedding, and her first Toronto wedding! Everyone in my siblings' sets of friends seems to be getting married / engaged these days - it's that life stage! Two or three years from now - the BABY BOOM!

Jon got on the phone with Harmony, and kinda introduced her gently to the Booty Logo: I sorta have an animated version of that - the Olympic pooping icon, which Eric has seen before! Someone brought up Viva Java - the owner has character, all right! Discounts for coffee and free stuff when Mom comes in, slightly less when Steph comes in, only a little when Dad comes in, none when Jon comes in - it was hilarious when Jon wandered in with Dallas once, haha. Steph says that our parents went in together once, and got almost no discount! It would be hilarious if Jon goes in with Harmony sometime: "This is your girlfriend? Eh, he's no good - I see his family all the time!" Danielle is sleeping over at Citrus' place, and shares a room with Cordia when she does so: the only problem is that Cordia SHOUTS in her sleep, and doesn't remember it afterwards! As Eric said, that must have been FUN the first time! It's not like you can understand her - it's kinda like tongues and like she's having a conversation, and Joyce confirms it. Must be extra nice when she sleeps over during the week and Cordia's in residence then!

Mrs. Fields Cashew and Coconut Cookies

Categories: Cookies
Yield: 30 servings

2 1/4 cups Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking soda
1/4 teaspoon Salt
3/4 cup Light brown sugar
1/2 cup Sugar
3/4 cup Butter; softened
2 large Eggs
2 teaspoons Vanilla
1/2 cup Sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup Chopped raw cashews;
1 cup Chopped dates
1/4 cups Sweetened shredded coconut
Reserved for topping

Preheat oven to 300°F. In a medium bowl... combine flour, baking soda and salt. Mix well with a wire whisk and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine sugars with an electric mixer at medium speed. Add butter and mix to form a grainy paste. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat until smooth. Add flour mixture, coconut, cashews, and dates. Blend at low speed just until combined. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Sprinkle tops lightly with reserved coconut. Bake for 23-25 minutes or until bottoms turn golden brown. With a spatula, transfer to a cool, flat surface.

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There's no storage on THIS patio, you jabronies!

Dear Idiots Who Manage My Apartment Complex: I am NOT using my patio for storage! In fact, there's nothing on the balcony except for some nondescript grey mat / carpet thing! I'd use language I shouldn't, but will refrain here. Suffice to say that it can't be "storage" if I don't even know where it came from, since it's really NOT MINE. Stupid "If there's something on the patio, the patio HAS TO BE used as storage of that item" mentality! Sometimes I wonder how the lot of you even can be described as competent - this company is all shady / dodgy to me! BLEH!

Since when does my MOTHER use the expression "no worries"?! Crap, now I have to find a new way to get that concept across! It was such a useful term, and oh so cool / Australian! GRRRRRR! Time for a double cleansing, methinks...

Sometimes I wonder about certain people's motivations behind their actions, but then I figure I'm overanalyzing things again... I'd certainly never ask them even to disprove OTHER people's thoughts! I may not want to do certain things, but I'll have to because of circumstances beyond my control. Oh well, I just hope it won't be too bad. Heck, it's not like my thoughts on the matter will come true! At least people are there for me, haha. (even if I take it for granted or don't want that sometimes) Then again, Eric called from work to inform me that I wouldn't need to take the bus out today - lotsa communication with that guy this week, haha! He asked where I was when he tried to call - I was trying to sleep since I couldn't get to sleep till at least 4 AM. Maybe DST is still kicking me where it hurts? (note: "couldn't get to sleep till 4 AM" is definitely DIFFERENT than "didn't get to bed till 4 AM")

Since I need to check blogs today instead of tomorrow, I might as well do so now while I have some time. Let's see... Randal has more stuff about Corrie ten Boom (not that it's a bad thing), surrender, true love (thank goodness certain people had sense this week!), Washington, English courses and being Asian (that must have been FUN TIMES), and how he doesn't really shout anymore. Well, I can't really imagine him shouting, but hey... he just may have to if he's around certain loud hyper people we both know! (my sister, Emily, Vanessa, Daniel, etc.) Then there's something about how Jesus must have looked just like him based on some article on reconstruction - haha, that's great! Treating people with respect is definitely something to strive for, too. (Why did I almost type "treating people with women" there? That would be something else entirely, and not what he was trying to go for!)

Then again, it seems as though he's had a frustrating week / day at work - oh sure, head office can violate the rules they expect everyone else to follow. *rolleyes* Hey, here's something all of us can digest - decoration! Not that I've been a "typical" female as far as that goes - my place has like NO decoration trends apparent in it. Eric would tell you that the only trend apparent is one of MESS, but I don't feel I can decorate this apartment in my own style and not get docked for it somehow along the line later. (see above letter to my management) I've just never really been "into" decoration and such - I may see stuff I like at a store or someone's house, but I'm not the "inspired" type. Ah well, to each their own as far as this goes, haha.

Alyssa has new pictures of her emo bangs (which cover one eye - just like a scene kid nowadays!) / new outfits, and wants some girly companionship since boys don't squeal and giggle all that much. 'Tis true, unfortunately - not that I myself do that a lot, but it's nice not to have certain people look at me as if I'm on crack whenever I do! People, you should be used to it by now! (I may have to break out the joking death threats on yet another person whom I swore I wouldn't do it to, haha) She has something called Friday's Feast, which is basically five questions titled "Appetizer / Soup / Salad / Main Course / Dessert" about a variety of subjects. Fun stuff, I think? Haha.

Vivian's still sick, and realizes that she's of a different generation than the kids she teaches. They've apparently never heard of Titanic, Saved By The Bell, Penelope Cruz, Sarah Jessica Parker, or Sale and Pelletier. Of course, these Grade 8 students were all born in the early 1990s, so maybe they'll just remember reality shows and stuff like Dora the Explorer from childhood, haha. Don't worry, Viv - I'm not going to criticize your grammar and spelling when you're sick or even if not. She wished for Spring Break to get here, and it has... maybe she's better by now! On another note, you gotta love warnings about French cinema - things like nude scenes wouldn't go over well with sponsor teachers, but turning and staring at the student teacher (Vivian) every time there was a kissing scene in the movie? Haha, that must have been amusing! Yay for subtitles and DVD options - one less class to prep is always good.

Dawn has been busy putting the touches together on a stuffed bunny, getting a birthday cake for her boyfriend's mom - narrowly avoiding a name mistake along with bakery stress - and adjusting to her job. Just don't work at home or do any email-checking since it won't benefit you in the long run - save it for work! Great co-worker's advice, that. Spoz just has the usual weekender stuff up, so I won't go into detail on it. Although I kinda wonder why I have a few blogs bookmarked that haven't been updated in months / blogs that I don't really read anymore... very strange. I could just use those slots for blogs which are updated more often... how silly of me! Speaking of blogs, I'll do certain things for some people that I wouldn't for others: that's how you know you're special. ;)

Your Worry Factor is 48%

While you're not a worrywart, you worry more than you should.
Maybe you don't have enough to keep your mind occupied at times...
Or perhaps you've trapped yourself into some bad thinking patterns.
Try to worry less and enjoy life more. There's no point thinking about things you can't change!

You Communicate Like a Woman

You empathize, talk things out, and express your emotions freely.
You're a good listener, and you're non-judgmental with your advice.
Communication is how you connect with people.
You're always up for a long talk, no matter how difficult the subject matter is.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

"Brownie Pie" ice cream? / HTML Colors / Immolation and lynchings

This Brownie Pie ice cream from Breyers is strangely dissatisfying. I've eaten enough of it so far to figure that there should be some actual brownie chunks in there, and perhaps they do exist, but I haven't come across any definable chunks yet. There COULD be some that are just small; however, that doesn't quite cut it with me. Man, I'm spoiled... or just high-maintenance. ;) (thanks for the Kleenex, Eric!)

Jeni (killmelater) rocks, since she pointed me to Color Cop... you can find out what any color on the web is in hexadecimal form, using the eyedropper tool. THIS IS WAY AWESOME! :D

Your True Love Will Find You Eventually

You definitely put yourself out there a little - but you could be doing more.
If you're truly looking for love, try doing more things and meeting more people.
You don't have to actively look for love, you just need to stay active.
Be out there a little more, and the right person will find you!

Today's Barbarous Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

In most cultures, a man's status at death can be measured by the ostentatiousness of his funeral and the magnificence of his tomb. In India, before the early 19th century, the status of Hindu men might be gauged by the number of wives who accompanied them to the funeral pyre. In British India, in 1829, suttee, the name given to the barbarous practice of the immolation of wives, was decreed to be only 'culpable homicide,' punishable by fine or imprisonment. Nothing so eloquently testified to the lowly social status of women than an expectation that they should not outlive their husbands. After death, to be forgotten in one's own right may be a painful prospect, but to be remembered only as the wife of one's husband is infinitely more ignominious.

Culled from: Death: A History of Man's Obsessions and Fears


Okay, okay, okay - you got me. It turns out that yesterday's Morbid Fact - the 'Yo Ho Ho and a Body In Rum' edition - was too good to be true. Several of you pointed out that Reuters later rescinded their story, and Snopes has the scoop on their site.

Thank you to everyone who caught this one.


Wretched Recommendations!

Einstein Shrugged recommends one of my favorite morbid books - and a proud inhabitant of The Library Eclectica:

Without Sanctuary by Leon F. Litwak

"I picked up a copy of this one night in a fit of drunken Amazon shopping, so when it turned up... it was a bit of a surprise, but morbid surprises are always the best kind. There's not much in the way of text (though what they have is pretty intense), and it mostly lets the photography speak for itself. I've had it for a little over a week, and have already read and looked through it twice. The lynchings are bad enough, but the crowd shots of happy, smiling people make it one of the most disturbing books I've read in a long time.

"A sample:

"After learning of the lynching of her husband, Mary Turner - in her eighth month of pregnancy - vowed to find those responsible, swear out warrants against them, and have them punished in the courts. For making such a threat, a mob of several hundred men and women determined to 'teach her a lesson.' After tying her ankles together, they hung her from a tree, head downward. Dousing her clothes with gasoline, they burned them from her body. While she was still alive, someone used a knife ordinarily reserved for splitting hogs to cut open the woman's abdomen. The infant fell from her womb to the ground and cried briefly, whereupon a member of this Valdosta, Georgia, mob crushed the baby's head beneath his heel. Hundreds of bullets were then fired into Mary Turner's body, completing the work of the mob. The Associated Press, in its notice of the affair, observed that Mary Turner had made 'unwise remarks' about the execution of her husband, 'and the people, in their indignant mood, took exceptions to her remarks, as well as her attitude."

"Figured your list would love it."

As a matter of fact, some of you may recall the excerpt above formed the basis of the January 3, 2003 Morbid Fact Du Jour. And interestingly enough, my review of the book sounds a lot like Einstein's:

Without Sanctuary is an amazing, but very upsetting, collection of lynching photographs and some of the stories that go with them. Although the images of the beaten, burned, mutilated, and hung victims are horrible enough on their own... the thing that truly disturbs me about these photographs are the spectators - men, women, and children - smiling, goofing off, and proudly posing in front of the corpses... just as if they were at a Fourth of July picnic or something. It's really frightening to think how cruelly and viciously "good God-fearing citizens" behaved not so very long ago (the majority of the pictures date from the 1890s-1930s, though the most recent comes from 1960). I think this book is performing a great service by refusing to allow this country to forget its own barbarities of the not-so-distant past.

Highly recommended! (5/5 skulls)


Putrid Poetry!

Riley contributes this understated gem:

"Darwin Effect"

Crikey! Them stingrays is spikey!

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Best Picture Academy Award meme / Fantasy Archetype quiz

Stolen from Janina: Best Picture Academy Award movie meme!

Below is a list of all the films nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award since 1970 (with the winning picture at the top of the list for each year, with the exception of 2006). Bold the ones you've seen.

1970 (43rd)
Five Easy Pieces
Love Story

1971 (44th)
The French Connection
A Clockwork Orange
Fiddler on the Roof
The Last Picture Show
Nicholas and Alexandra

1972 (45th)
The Godfather
The Emigrants

1973 (46th)
The Sting
American Graffiti
The Exorcist
A Touch of Class
Cries and Whispers

1974 (47th)
The Godfather, Part II
The Conversation
The Towering Inferno

1975 (48th)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Barry Lyndon
Dog Day Afternoon

1976 (49th)
All the President's Men
Bound for Glory
Taxi Driver

1977 (50th)
Annie Hall
The Goodbye Girl
Star Wars
The Turning Point

1978 (51st)
The Deer Hunter
Coming Home
Heaven Can Wait
Midnight Express
An Unmarried Woman

1979 (52nd)
Kramer vs. Kramer
Apocalypse Now
All That Jazz
Breaking Away
Norma Rae

1980 (53rd)
Ordinary People
Coal Miner's Daughter
The Elephant Man
Raging Bull

1981 (54th)
Chariots of Fire
Atlantic City
On Golden Pond
Raiders of the Lost Ark

1982 (55th)
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
The Verdict

1983 (56th)
Terms of Endearment
The Big Chill
The Dresser
The Right Stuff
Tender Mercies

1984 (57th)
The Killing Fields
A Passage to India
Places in the Heart
A Soldier's Story

1985 (58th)
Out of Africa
The Color Purple
Kiss of the Spider Woman
Prizzi's Honor

1986 (59th)
Children of a Lesser God
Hannah and Her Sisters
The Mission
A Room with a View

1987 (60th)
The Last Emperor
Broadcast News
Fatal Attraction
Hope and Glory

1988 (61st)
Rain Man
The Accidental Tourist
Dangerous Liaisons
Mississippi Burning
Working Girl

1989 (62nd)
Driving Miss Daisy
Born on the Fourth of July
Dead Poets Society
Field of Dreams
My Left Foot

1990 (63rd)
Dances With Wolves
The Godfather, Part III

1991 (64th)
The Silence of the Lambs
Beauty and the Beast

The Prince of Tides

1992 (65th)
The Crying Game
A Few Good Men
Howards End
Scent of a Woman

1993 (66th)
Schindler's List
The Fugitive
In the Name of the Father
The Piano
The Remains of the Day

1994 (67th)
Forrest Gump
Four Weddings and a Funeral

Pulp Fiction
Quiz Show
The Shawshank Redemption

1995 (68th)
Apollo 13

Il Postino
Sense and Sensibility

1996 (69th)
The English Patient
Jerry Maguire

Secrets & Lies

1997 (70th)
As Good as It Gets
The Full Monty
Good Will Hunting
L.A. Confidential

1998 (71st)
Shakespeare in Love

Life Is Beautiful
Saving Private Ryan
The Thin Red Line

1999 (72nd)
American Beauty
The Sixth Sense
The Cider House Rules
The Green Mile
The Insider

2000 (73rd)
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Erin Brockovich

2001 (74th)
A Beautiful Mind
Gosford Park
In the Bedroom
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Moulin Rouge

2002 (75th)
Gangs of New York
The Hours
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
The Pianist

2003 (76th)
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Lost in Translation

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Mystic River

2004 (77th)
Million Dollar Baby
The Aviator
Finding Neverland


2005 (78th)
Brokeback Mountain
Good Night, and Good Luck

2006 (79th)
The Departed
Letters From Iwo Jima
Little Miss Sunshine
The Queen

31 movies out of this list is okay, but more would be good also. ;)

Here's a quiz, also stolen from Janina:

What Fantasy Archetype Are you?

The Unlikely Hero
You are the Unlikely Hero! Others like you are Frodo (Lord of The Rings), Young Aurthur (Arthurian Legend), Luke Skywalker (Star Wars), Peter / Susan / Edmund / Lucy (Narnia), Richard Mayhew (Neverwhere), Harry Potter (Harry Potter), and Richard Cypher (Wizard's First Rule). You were happy to just live out your life as a peaceful schoolboy / farmer / wood's guide. But alas, greatness was thrust upon you. Don't let the hordes of The Totally Wicked Villain get you down... you have your Seasoned Veteran Friend to protect you, and you almost always end up with the Pillar-of-Strength Love Interest. Heed your Mentor well and keep your chin up, hero! You are simple, humble, and kind... but possess great potential for truly inspirational heroism, bravery, and strength in dark times.
Take The Quiz Now!Quizzes by

The Unlikely Hero (9175 total) (You scored 2) 30%
The Pillar-of-Strength Love Interest (6060 total) (You scored 1) 20%
The Totally Wicked Villain (2880 total) (You scored 0) 9%
The Seasoned Veteran Friend (5034 total) (You scored 0) 16%
The Mentor (3385 total) (You scored 1) 11%
The Traitor (1749 total) (You scored 0) 5%
The Weird Guy In The Hut In The Swamp (1627 total) (You scored 2) 5%

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Dead men in rum / Mrs. Fields Carrot Fruit Jumbles

Today's Special-Tasting Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Hungarian builders who drank their way to the bottom of a huge barrel of rum while renovating a house got a nasty surprise when a pickled corpse tumbled out of the empty barrel. According to the Hungarian online magazine Zsaru, workers in Szeged in the south of Hungary tried to move the barrel after they had drained it, only to find it was surprisingly heavy and were shocked when the body of a naked man fell out. The website said that the body of the man had been shipped back from Jamaica 20 years ago by his wife in the barrel of rum in order to avoid the cost and paperwork of an official return. According to the website, workers said the rum in the 300-litre barrel had a "special taste" so they even decanted a few bottles of the liquor to take home. The wife has since died and the man was buried in a proper grave.

Culled from: Reuters
Generously submitted by: Joseph


I guess we know what "Dead Man's Rum" is now, eh?


Wretched Recommendations!

Fiona has a film recommendation:

Wolf Creek (2005)

"A good film to watch is Wolf Creek. It's an Aussie movie, but fantastic."

Here's the synopsis:

"Just when you thought it was safe to go hiking in the bushes again... along comes Mick Taylor. Kristy, Ben, and Liz are three pals in their twenties who set out to hike through the scenic Wolf Creek National Park in the Australian Outback. The trouble begins when they get back only to find that their car won't start. The trio think they have a way out when they run into a local bushman named Mick Taylor. Wait until you get a load of what Mick has in store for them. Their troubles have just begun."


"My Brush With Morbidity" by Rafid

"I was 19 when I was in a drug rehab for a heroin addiction. We had this guy O.D. in the bathroom, and although the nurses tried to revive him, he died at the scene.

"It took the ambulance like 15 minutes to come and get him. They obviously had been made aware that they were just picking up a corpse, and took their time. I was able to get a good glimpse of his body for about 4 or 5 good minutes. I marveled at it. I remember the nice dark place that he was now in, and I looked into his dead eyes. I wanted to be there with him. They left the needle in his arm when they took him away.

"For some reason, the officials forgot to remove his shoes from the bathroom. They stayed in there for about 2 days, and I could not stand it any longer. They were a little tight on me, but I got them to fit my feet without socks. I wore them around in the drug rehab for the rest of the time. People noticed, but didn't care. I was in heaven. I wore them everywhere, and walked with a new confidence that I carried part of his dead soul with me.

"Those shoes were also cursed. Whilst visiting my grandmother in Maryland a few years later, I was still wearing my shoes of doom. My aunt 'Pat' (alias) got to them, and threw them in the trash compactor because after I bragged about them to my family, it creeped her out.

"3 MONTHS LATER, she was herself found dead at home, lying in her bed. She had KILLED HERSELF with 10 Oxycontin patches on her body! Coincidence???? I don't think so. Since then, my life has been full of darkness and negative empowerment, and I am now proud of it. If heaven is full of religious bureaucrats, politicians, and right-wingers... I think I would rather go to Hell, and I would not mind going there now. In fact, I've always had this feeling that I will go there when I die. I've always believed that."

Mrs. Fields Carrot Fruit Jumbles

Categories: Cookies
Yield: 48 servings

2 1/2 cups Flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Ground cloves
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Quick oats (not instant)
3/4 cup Dark brown sugar; packed
3/4 cup Sugar
1 cup Butter; softened
2 large Eggs
2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
2 cups Grated carrots (2-3 medium Carrots)
1/2 cup Crushed pineapple; drained
1 cup Chopped walnuts (4 oz)

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl... combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cloves, cinnamon, salt and oats. Mix well with a wire whisk and set aside. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, blend sugars. Add butter and mix to form a grainy paste. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add eggs and vanilla and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add carrots, pineapple and nuts, and blend until combined. Batter will appear lumpy. Add flour mixture and blend at low speed until just combined. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets, 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake 13-15 minutes, taking care not to brown cookies. Immediately transfer cookies with a spatula to a cool, flat surface.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

They're both engaged at the same time?! Whoa!

I changed my mind about not attending the dinner at the townhouse with Erin - I figured it would be a good chance to see her! When she and Steph picked me up, they were ignoring me in favor of discussing how Phil and Grace wanted to plan their wedding for June of THIS YEAR! (but we did say hi and exchange greetings...) She gets here in May, and what makes them think they can plan one in a month?! Crazy people... until they got engaged, all the messages on Phil's Facebook were from Grace saying stuff like "I love you, sweetie!"

When we got to the townhouse, we discussed dinner for a bit before Jon got home. He had a no-meat plate, so I explained to Erin that he was Lenting meat this year. I asked Jon if the family luncheon I'd heard about from Uncle Daniel was on Easter afternoon: thank goodness it isn't, otherwise I'd die by 2 PM or so! (that Sunrise Service starts EARLY... and I'd probably feel obligated to go to that lunch since Jon's discussing his pastoral vision for the ESC) He confirmed that Angus and Melia are also engaged, having entered that happy state on Friday night. (and I thought Mike was joking on Sunday when he told Angus to collect his fiancée so he and Emily could go have lunch with them!) Lots of people getting married, and now it's the younger set... first one in Steph's crowd, for sure! (and it won't be like someone else and her ex, heh) That means both siblings got engaged within three weeks of each other exactly.. whoa!

Discussed Erin's work with L'Arche in Ottawa - she and a few other workers live with developmentally disabled people in a huge house, and are responsible for every aspect of the people's daily lives! (mega-grocery shopping, bathing, TV, cleaning, etc.) At least she got some days off to attend Chung's wedding / see friends and family! Thank goodness her mom is doing okay from that ruptured appendix a while ago, too... but Erin's parents aren't going to Chung's banquet even though they were invited since her dad just had mouth surgery. THAT would be a FUN banquet where you can't really eat anything, NOT! My grandma's not invited to the banquet, so maybe she can spend some time at Auntie Paula's instead: they might like that, and it's better than sitting at home alone when you're paranoid about stuff! (when Erin said "grandma" in Chinese referring to her own grandma, my grandma thought she was talking about her.. nope, just Paula!)

We talked about the people planning stuff for Chung's wedding on Saturday: there's a rehearsal tomorrow sometime, and Vernon / Sarah / Winter Conference people are on the music team with the ugfart! Steph's supposed to be there at 8 AM on Saturday to help with the food, but she'll be as late as possible since Dad's dropping her off at 8:30 - Anita, Citrus, Danielle, and Dylan will be there also. She can pretty much imagine how that's going to go with certain comments... ugh! I got Steph to sign Chung and Karen's wedding card, along with birthday cards for Julie / Maxine / Sophia. She'll have to get Jon to sign the April birthday cards before April, hopefully! Let's say our grandma was NOT impressed with certain sound effects, haha. (but we did discuss how certain people think like us and make poop jokes - my brother wouldn't want to eat stuff I cook, heh)

Steph said that Darren / Joey / Isabel and their set of friends were kinda grossed out when she told them not to wait for her during a recent prayer meeting - she doesn't care what JON thinks either, haha! Speaking of Jon, he says he liked what Eric said in a recent email exchange: "Based on the number of death threats the recipients of this email have received from you, I'm not sure how we can be considered friends in good standing." So of course I had to respond to that, after revising my search parameters to include quotation marks and the plural. (well, Jon included the plural) I just told them all that the (joking!) death threat thing was par for the course, and Eric should know that by now!

Before Erin left to meet up with Phil Chang for her camera tutorial, we discussed Phil Chang and how his dad had died of cancer when he was probably not even 40 yet. That's terrible! =/ Maybe his mom remarried, though - according to Erin, Phil's always talking about how he goes over to his parents' for dinner every day. (not just "my mom's place") He doesn't attend our church anymore since he didn't feel like he belonged, which is understandable. I'll always remember that prayer meeting where he said that an intern at his workplace had DIED WHILE TAKING A SHOWER! (this guy was like 25 or so) Before Steph and I left with our parents since they were running / walking in Minoru Park, we said hi to Harmony via shouted messages to Jon. Her middle initial wouldn't work in certain contexts, hahaha.

Now Eric is messaging me about stuff like Frances' Bible Study group, my blog, stuff cluttering his inbox, random hockey players' names (Kolzig, Johnson, Sabourin, etc.), and mock commercials in Victoria. He also has questions regarding someone's truck - it's not whose you THINK it is, dude! Yes, the person in question wants a road trip - speaking of, I mentioned it to my sister. She didn't say much about it, heh. Word to the wise: a "buttload" of something (in this case, chocolate) doesn't mean that they make suppositories out of it! I also know that a certain dinner is like ten weeks away, but it's all good! (I wonder about certain things, still...) He asked if I'd tried suudsu - I TOLD YOU WHEN I DID! :P Suudsu = gummi bears and milk, which he'd invite certain people over for if he could eat that stuff. Might not personally be pure genius, but it's quirky! (and I'm all about the quirkiness... HE knows that, to be sure!)

Oh, NOW he tells me that all the hockey players' names were goalies! (something about texture for hockey gear in hockey gaming) Wonders if I have a routine - hey, I shower at 11:30 because I feel like it! Thank goodness he avoided seeing spoilers for a certain TV show since he stopped reading before anything entered his brain - he thought it was real for a second, then "JACK BAUER" registered with him... "ACK! MUST STOP READING NOW!" I don't have any kegs, and he knows it: of course, I went "grammar Nazi" on him for a simple error that is unfortunately too commonplace. He knows how I am, even if it IS only 75% knowledge! One of the questions he got right was on what annoyed me the most: spelling and grammar errors! If he DIDN'T get that one correct, I'd wonder why he called me a vindictive grammar Nazi once, heh. Good times!

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St. Patrick's Day stuff and more! / Eric rocks, sorta...

Hey, Carol J. completed the "quiz your friends" test I made up last week: she scored 130, which is pretty good! But Eric finally decided to take it, and HE got 150! Then again, he does know me pretty well too! So it's all good, heh.

Here's the final tally then:

Steph N.: 160
Eric M.: 150
Carol J.: 130
Carol B.: 120
Jane D.: 120
Nick S.: 110
Charlotte C.: 100
Vania S.: 100
Chrissy S.: 80
Erin C.: 70
John A.: 70
Sarah G.: 70
Mike D.: 60
Andrew L.: 50
Rachel S.: 40
Kaitlin O.: 10

You Are Very Skeptical

Your personal motto is: "Prove it."
While some ideas, like life after death, may seem nice...
You aren't going to believe them simply because it feels good.
You let science and facts be your guide... Even if it means you don't share the beliefs of those around you.

You Don't Have a Big Mouth

In fact, you like to keep your life very private.
You figure that your personal life is no one's business.
And if people try to pry, they'll end up unsuccessful.
You're a big mystery to people - and that's fine by you!

The Leprechaun says,
"The mechanical bull is NOT a good idea after 5 pitchers to yourself."
Find Out Your St. Patrick's Day Advice at

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Here's a Virtual Green Beer (Watch Out for the Green Puke!)

To: My true friends
From: Leslie

Your Leprechaun Name Is:

Wee Bottlesipper

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Taipei Postcard... oh, the humanity!

Hey, I got a Taiwan postcard in the mail today! Since my brain doesn't work too well right after I get up (no cracks, you!), I was trying to figure out who it was from just by looking at the first few lines of writing. I recalled that Dawn had definitely NOT travelled to Taiwan recently, and the writing didn't really look like hers anyway. A few seconds later, I got it: good ol' Corey! Hehe, I'm going to have to find a crazy way to let him know I've received this: "Hi Leslie! You said you had a postcard of the CKS Memorial Hall, so you get one of the Taipei 101 building instead. We went up to the 91st floor, which is as high as they allow you to go. From up there, other tall buildings in the area look pretty puny. I'm sure you'll have talked to me plenty about the trip by the time you get this, plus I'm almost out of room, so you can get the rest of the trip info online! - Corey."

Maybe if he feels better... the last thing he said to me yesterday was "I can't breathe, I have a splitting headache, and now my stomach is feeling weird..." I told him to go to bed after he took a shower, and then he popped up on my screen later to say he felt a bit better. So then I jokingly said, "What is with you men? I told you to GO TO BED and get some REST!" Thank goodness he did!

I'm giving up on certain things, too. Tagging takes too much time, and I'm not sure I'll finish it, heh. You know it's bad when I say that, haha.

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Mrs. Fields Butterscotch Pecan Cookies

"Cute" isn't the word I'd use to describe myself, but it probably suits me better than "hot." :P (I'm sure there are dissenting opinions out there, but meh - this will be fine for now!)

Note to self: Tell Steph about road trip / photo op since I forgot to while I was on the phone with her earlier tonight... she can take pictures of HIS TRUCK, which she is totally enthralled with! I was too busy trying to get her NOT to discuss certain topics with our parents, yikes! Good times, except maybe not. :P

Mrs. Fields Butterscotch Pecan Cookies

Categories: Cookies
Yield: 30 servings

2 1/2 cups Flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 cups Dark brown sugar; packed
1 cup Butter; softened
2 large Eggs
2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
1 cup Chopped pecans (4 oz)
1 cup Whole pecans (3 oz)

Caramel glaze:
8 oz Caramels
1/4 cups Heavy cream

Preheat oven to 300°F. In a bowl... combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix well and set aside. In a large bowl with electric mixer, beat sugar and butter. Mix to form a grainy paste, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat at medium speed until soft and lumpy. Add the flour mixture and chopped pecans just until combined. Drop dough by rounded tablespoons two inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

Place one whole pecan in the centre of each cookie. Bake 23-25 minutes, or until cookie edges begin to brown lightly. Transfer immediately to a cool, flat surface with a spatula.

To prepare the caramel glaze: Melt the caramels with the cream in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir with a spoon until smooth. Remove from heat. Drizzle cooled cookies with the caramel glaze in desired pattern using a spoon or fork.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Stupid baby names, removal, Kobe beef meatloaf and white chocolate cheesecake, London deaths

I'm checking my email now, and it's nice to have a voice of reason amidst all the chaos. Some people just want to be devious, but I am not giving in to that since it's crazy talk! I just love these email exchanges when they crop up: actually, I love how we almost never refer to someone by his actual name. It's pretty standard for us, hehe.

Yay for removal! If you don't know what that means, don't ask. :P Then I browsed around London Drugs, decided NOT to get a buttload of chocolate, and subsequently went to Milestones. Got some Kobe beef meatloaf and a white chocolate cheesecake slice - SO GOOD! It definitely satisfied cravings I've had since the R-Man's birthday - and it's been almost nine months since that event! No comments about how nine months is the usual length of a human pregnancy coupled with my mention of cravings, please - it is IMPOSSIBLE for me to be pregnant now!

These have got to be among the stupidest baby names ever!

LordCaden DaVon'Christopher (even if I weren't religious, I'd still think that "LordCaden" was a pretty crappy name!)
Cashton Chad
Blessin La'Faye
Julleit Angelena
Mattisyn Annalee
McKynzee Angelique
Attyson Makenna

Twins: Aeriol Clarity and Acina Ciana (anagram)
Confident Zeany (parent: Comfort)
Dream Danielle
Ruby Danger
Bristol Shawn (GIRL!)
Anabigail Saphire

Today's Straight Through The Middle Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A Tillamook man died Friday, March 2, 2007 after he drove a car into the back of farm equipment on Highway 6 near Tillamook. Oregon State Police identified the man as Ramiro Diaz-Mendoza, 28. According to police, Diaz-Mendoza was driving a 1990 Toyota two-door west on the highway about 6:45 a.m. when it crashed into the back of a 1992 Oregon Road Runner hay squeeze going the same direction. The farm machinery appeared to go straight through the middle of the car. Diaz-Mendoza was initially taken to Tillamook County General Hospital before being transferred to Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland, where he died. The operator of the farm equipment, Jason M. Sagar, 37, of Tillamook, was not injured. Sagar estimated he was going 40 mph to 45 mph when Diaz-Mendoza rear-ended the machine. Authorities said speed and alcohol appeared to contribute to the crash.

Culled from: KATU.Com
Generously submitted by: Rob


You have to click on the above link to see the picture of the wreckage. The guy had NO chance!


For Those Who May Be Interested...

I've started posting the Morbid Fact Du Jour on the Comtesse's Myspace blog. I figure this may help to gain some new converts, and we need all the desensitized sickos we can get. So if you'd rather receive the MFDJ on Myspace, feel free to unsub from the email list - I won't take it personally. Of course, the MFDJ newsletter will still be available via email and on the web as well.


Morbid Link Du Jour!

It may be propaganda, but it's damned morbid propaganda! Here's a U.S.-funded anti-suicide bombing commercial. Thanks to Rob for the link.


Wretched Recommendations!

Hilton has a book recommendation for us:

Necropolis: London and Its Dead by Catharine Arnold

"I just came across this book at lunchtime, and have had a quick flick through. It is very well written, and not as turgid as some of these things are, and offers a history of pretty much everything to do with death and London over the years."

Peter Ackroyd, The Times
"Deeply pleasing... Entertainment of the most garish and exquisite kind... A Baedeker of the dead."

Synopsis: "From Roman burial rites to the horrors of the plague, from the founding of the great Victorian cemeteries to the development of cremation and the current approach of metropolitan society towards death and bereavement -- including more recent trends to displays of collective grief and the cult of mourning, such as that surrounding the death of Diana, Princess of Wales -- NECROPOLIS: LONDON AND ITS DEAD offers a vivid historical narrative of this great city's attitude to going the way of all flesh. As layer upon layer of London soil reveals burials from pre-historic and medieval times, the city is revealed as one giant grave, filled with the remains of previous eras -- pagan, Roman, medieval, Victorian. This fascinating blend of archeology, architecture and anecdote includes such phenomena as the rise of the undertaking trade and the pageantry of state funerals; public executions and bodysnatching. Ghoulishly entertaining and full of fascinating nuggets of information, Necropolis leaves no headstone unturned in its exploration of our changing attitudes to the deceased among us. Both anecdotal history and cultural commentary, Necropolis will take its place alongside classics of the city such as Peter Ackroyd's LONDON."

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Screen caps / Mrs. Fields Black and Whites

Courage and the Richmond Crew go together!

Screencaps: View the source, copy it, and host it somewhere (like Geocities). No messy screen capping necessary.

Mrs. Fields Black and Whites

Categories: Cookies
Yield: 36 servings

2 1/4 cups All-purpose flour
1/2 cup Unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking soda
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Dark brown sugar; packed
3/4 cup White sugar
1 cup Salted butter; soft
3 large Eggs
2 teaspoons Pure vanilla extract
5 1/4 oz Semisweet chocolate bar, coarsely chop
5 1/4 oz White chocolate bar; coarsely chop

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. (yes, it says 300) In a medium bowl... combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Mix well with a wire whisk. Set aside. Blend sugars in a large bowl using an electric mixer set at medium speed. Add butter and mix to form a grainy paste, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat at medium speed until smooth. Add the flour mixture and chocolates, and blend at low speed until just combined. Do not overmix. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake 23-25 minutes. Transfer cookies immediately to a cool flat surface. Yield: 3 dozen.

NOTE: I just made her oatmeal cookies, (also 300 degrees for 23-25 minutes), and found I had to leave them in the oven a little longer.

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Monday, March 12, 2007

He really is sweet, but she is CRAZY!

I'm definitely surprised at the number of emails which I have in my Yahoo email, but I shouldn't be since I never check it: 3433? Man. Next time Eric asks me whether I blogged about anything cool, I'll have an answer ready for him: "You know what I blogged about - YOU CHECK THE DARNED SITE!" If he tries to deny leaving me a comment, I'll have evidence, haha. The 24 finale dinner is still some time away, but I guess I know some people who love planning a little TOO much! (not me!) At least I know the Richmond / 24 Crew will be there - if Eric tries his usual stuff there, I'll have to seriously talk to him. I expect that in the car and NOT at the townhouse! Can't do much about the Richmond Crew's thoughts on various topics, since I certainly don't want to control them. Speaking of Enrico, I think he and my sister are right about what they said yesterday: my glasses ARE kinda bent! Not that I wouldn't trust anyone else who was around when I asked that question, but he WAS right there while we were sorta talking about something which I won't openly discuss here. :P (yes, with 30 people around... we're brave but secret, hahaha)

So Jack Bauer shoots a Russian hostile, gets away from the people hunting him down inside the Russian consulate, and somehow can put a call through to Bill while punching in only three digits of the phone number. Then Charles Logan tries to have a civil talk with his ex-wife (whose new husband Aaron is very sweet), who ends up stabbing him in the shoulder after cutting up some kiwis! Apparently, Martha Logan has always been crazy - you could see that Aaron was trying to keep the peace, even after Martha asked Charles if it was difficult seeing her with a new man, and made various cutting remarks about "house arrest" and such. The whole visit WAS NOT about them, lady... President Suvarov had no choice but to authorize the US-led invasion of the Russian consulate, after Markov disobeyed his direct order! ("Arm the nukes" to Fayed, indeed...)

Although you have to wonder why those two people in the basement would choose to do what they did while the whole place was under lockdown... as for Noah Daniels, he needs to die right now! Trying to tell Tom Lennox what to do (well, he could since he's vice-president) - and coercing him into saying that Assad planted the bomb when he knows very well WHO DID! Sure, Tom had his share of STUPID moments, but he's trying to reclaim them now.. not sure how well that would work. The new director of field ops is RICKY SCHRODER! Maybe there's another mole in CTU, as well... I would not be surprised!

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Dead baby heirlooms, Victorian crime, and serial killers

I've decided to backdate most of the Jack Bauer facts in Blogger. It's much easier to keep track of 'em that way, haha. So if you want to see them, go to March 2003.

Today's Mummified Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A family heirloom is not going over well with police. The mummified body of a baby kept by a Concord, N.H., family has drawn attention from investigators. The current keeper of the baby, Charles Peavey, said the tiny mummy has been passed down in his family for many years. Concord police recently got word of the remains, and they took them in for testing. A forensic anthropologist will examine the tiny corpse. Peavey said the mummy belonged to his great-great uncle, who was born in Ashland in 1850. The family estimated that the mummy is 90 years old. It was discovered among the uncle's possessions in 1947 in Manchester, N.H. Police said the testing on the corpse could take a month or more.

Culled from: Click 2 Houston
Generously submitted by: Steve O.


Click to see a picture of the adorable little heirloom. Lucky family!


The Comtesse Recommends...

A Treasury of Victorian Murder by Rick Geary

Rick Geary compiles and illustrates true crime stories from the 19th century. This is his first book, originally released in 1987, and it's a fun-filled (if all-too-short) read. My favorite story is "The Ryan Mystery" which concerns an unsolved double-murder of a pious brother and sister who shared an apartment in 1873. (It's like something from an Edward Gorey book.) This volume also includes "The Crimes of Dr. E.W. Pritchard" and "The Abominable Mrs. Pearcey" - two additional high-profile murder stories from the 19th century. Highly recommended for enthusiasts of Victorian drama.


Epitaph Du Jour!

Culled from:
Over Their Dead Bodies: Yankee Epitaphs & History
Authors: Thomas C. Mann & Janet Greene
Date: 1962

Mary Fowler, 1792, age 24, Milford, Conn.
Molly, tho' pleasant in her day
Was suddenly seized and went away
How soon she's ripe, how soon she's rotten
Laid in her grave and soon forgotten.

Thanks to Miyuki for the contribution.


Wretched Recommendations!

Awhile back, B recommended the documentary The Iceman Interviews, about Richard Kuklinski, a former mob hitman who claims to have killed over 200 people. Stephen sent me some additional information, plus an additional book recommendation:

Regarding The Iceman Interviews: "It's not a gore-fest. It's Kuklinski sitting across from the interviewer, intermittently popping his chewing gum, while telling how he killed 20 of his victims. He's ice-cold, yes... he's descriptive, yes... he's un-remorseful, yes... but I've seen more brutal killers that just never got the chance to 1-up him on their score-cards."

The Iceman Interviews (1991)

"Maybe you should read A Sniper's Sin, by 'David Alan Soprano' (a fake name). He's a former Vietnam / CIA sniper-turned-Mob hitman, and his stories'll make you ill, knowing that a man could be such an animal. His job was to kill VC, but he slowly started to turn evil, and the book is all about his turn. If you're not sure, read the last paragraph of the book first... I promise you that'll be enough to make you buy the book."

A Sniper's Sin by David Alan Soprano

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Guinness World Records and Ripley's dream

I have just slept for 13 hours, and actually feel like sleeping some MORE... darn time change! Eric just left me a comment on Blogger about a certain hockey streak. Man, I must have been tired when I made that point in my post! It's now been corrected, of course. Have sent the email I drafted last night, and deleted a bunch of the "brain dump" stuff - phew! Hopefully, it doesn't sound like the ramblings of an insane person! (and I mean that literally)

Had a bunch of dreams, and one in particular which was kinda weird. A bunch of us from church were attending a seminar in Richmond at the Jehovah's Witnesses Kingdom Hall (complete with white paint and golden symbols. Auntie Esther and Uncle Patrick piled a bunch of us in their van afterwards and drove us all back into Vancouver, while forgetting to drive me and some Richmondites back home, even after their son Chris reminded them! On the way into Vancouver, we saw an outside track full of runners who were wearing red and blue wires to illuminate themselves. A grey column by the sporting event told us that the runners had to wear these wires so the computerized scoring could distinguish among them. There seemed to be quite a crowd, and we figured that we'd plant 5000 people in the stands first before advertising that the doors were open to the general public! We met up with our other friends at a bookstore in the middle of Granville Island, where I told Joey / Sam / Jen / others about our plight.

Jen was about to light up a cigarette in the store, but a bunch of us shoved her out the door just before she did that... no smoking indoors for YOU! When she came back in, she showed me some really nice eye-catching Hallmark cards and bookmarks with butterflies on them. Joey and Sam called my name, so I went over to where they were. Oooh, shiny new Ripley's books with a reflecting green-yellow effect! Sam said that he was going to look at books on airplanes, and directed me to the Guinness World Records section: hey, the newest one was totally black and selling for 33% off.. sweet! Talked to a bunch more people, and Jen said that Nathan could drive all the Richmond people home. I definitely wanted to buy the books and a few bookmarks / cards, but Nathan uncharacteristically said NO because we were running out of time. Then the dream ended...

Odd way to process the weekend, especially considering that I didn't really talk to those guys! Maybe it's a way of telling me that I should get those books, some bookmarks, and birthday cards... but I really don't think that would be a good idea right now, and I have plenty of cards to last me till next February sometime. As for the "we're running out of time!" thing, I really don't think that's a 24 reference. Oh well...

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You can't swear on national TV, but this was a fight-filled game!

According to Adam and Andrew, I should watch that ARE YOU SMARTER THAN A FIFTH GRADER? show that's on right now. (not literally "right now" :P) Maybe I'll look for it sometime, haha. Those kids apparently make THEM feel dumb sometimes, so I don't think I'll be alone in that. Unrelated: I drank so much fluid today that I had to take TWO bathroom breaks during the three hours of the hockey game at Eric's! I know I wondered how someone else went to the bathroom three times in three hours on an earlier date, but man. Juice, soup, tea, and water all do it for me... yay for being hydrated, I guess? Have also drafted an email to send later - it sounds like a "brain dump" thing, but that's what you get with my emails written after midnight / on much caffeine! ;)

Steph and I showed up at Eric's place at the same time as one of Kieran's friends from a February pay per view. We said hi to Veronica and Kieran before settling down on the couch to watch the game... the Ducks don't have a real logo, just their name! (the font on the uniforms and numbers looks cool, though) There were three fights in the first 10:17 of the game (go, Jeff Cowan!), as well as a pretty suspect boarding call which led to an Anaheim power play goal by Andy McDonald. ("We should board someone and see if the refs call THAT!") It was the last game of four that we played against the Ducks, and it could be a playoff preview - MORE FIGHTS! As a result of that STUPID call, Kevin Bieksa (not "Bieska" like some dyslexic broadcasters pronounce it!) got a 2-minute instigator / 5-minute fighting major / a 10-minute misconduct. STUPID REFS! The TV commentators (Kirk McLean!) were standing up instead of sitting down, and my sister figured that they got complaints from somewhere!

By the end of the first, it was 3-1 Anaheim: McDonald got another goal, and Selanne got his 40th. Alex Burrows got his second of the season for us, though - yay! During the second period, we could read Alain Vigneault's lips as the cameraman (doing poor work for most of the game, it seemed) panned in on him at the Canucks bench. This was after yet another altercation resulting in lots of penalty minutes. How can you PENALIZE Matt Cooke when he threw one punch (while defending himself) at Dustin Penner (or whoever) on the way down from a punch? He looked very puzzled and had his arms out like "What the heck is going on?!" when he was led to the box! The Canucks coach looked like he was saying "F***ing blah blah blah!" Good thing he wasn't miked as Craig Conroy seemed to be during yesterday's Calgary Flames-Tampa Bay Lightning game, since Conroy definitely swore on national TV! Definitely an awkward moment for the announcers in THAT game... according to my sister, you could very clearly hear Conroy say "F***ing Bulls**t!" on the way to the penalty box, so they were like: "... yes... he was called for hooking..." Not much you can say about THAT reaction!

Speaking of heading to the bench / dressing room, it seemed like everyone had it in for everyone else on the opposing team while passing the bench on the way to the box or the tunnel. There was even a point where opposing players were exchanging words in separate penalty boxes! We discussed how much Brent Sopel's hair must bug him during games when it gets all sweaty and stuff: another of Eric's friends showed up and told us that it wasn't great to get hit with someone's hair like that during a game! (thanks for the information...) He made a big mistake in the game, and not even his goal made up for it... figures Selanne would score ANOTHER one for the Ducks, and become the first player to have two 40-goal seasons after turning 35! There were even penalties handed out with three seconds remaining in the game: yes, two minutes will make a HUGE difference in that game situation! *sarcasm* (and why the heck are they hitting our twins?!... the "Swedish twins" commercial was funny, though!) Even Jean-Sebastien Giguere got into some of the fighting, and goalies almost never do!

Steph admired the Francois Beauchemin jersey on someone in the crowd while we bemoaned losing 4-2... there goes our five-game winning streak with only our fifth loss in regulation time since Christmas! We also wondered what Jan Bulis and Lucas Krajicek were thinking at certain points in the game... how do you miss certain goals on certain plays?! Sure, Giguere is good, but man! During the second intermission, Kirk McLean was trying to be funny after his colleague interviewed Chris Pronger, who suffered a broken toe during a postgame workout: "So did you step on his toe?" Haha, I think Pronger would do something to him for THAT! Linesman Vaughan Rody suffered a torn pectoral muscle and had to leave the game after the first period. He will have surgery this week and will be out four to six months. Steph initially wondered WHY he'd be out that long, but then realized that he couldn't make any calls during games! Imagine trying to raise your arms up in the air to signal a penalty, for example... ouch!

Someone made Corey Perry do a flip mid-air, and you almost never see that in hockey - heh. The Canucks defended their players, especially if they had their sweater over their head and were in serious trouble. (like Tommi Santala) While discussing Jeff Cowan (whose point streak was STOPPED against the San Jose Sharks earlier!), we had to talk about the bra story! Some woman threw her bra on the ice at a recent game, and the ice crew had to pick it up... I guess that's how you know you've made it, haha. Steph brought up a hockey player who actually looks like he got in the wrong profession: with long black hair and a buff look, he should have been a heavy metal rocker! We snacked on Tostitos chips, dark chocolate M&Ms, raw veggies, and salsa. Just to be polite, I looked at a Panago flyer that Eric had left on the table, even though Steph and I had no intention of eating pizza since we had dinner waiting afterwards. Steph and Eric tried to bug me with certain jokes, but I wasn't having any of it. I'm not coming for the TV show tomorrow in part because Eric's not going either, and I need my ride home afterwards even if he does joke about certain things!

At the townhouse, Steph said that Stanley didn't show up for service today even when he was on the worship team (darn time change!), and that Erin got home tonight at 8. Maybe they'll hang out before the wedding, heh. My mom gave me tomato juice, pizza, jalapeno Pringles, and some other stuff to take home - and people wonder why I don't go food shopping more than once a month these days! We talked about Dylan, annoying people, Vivian only hanging out for an hour (BBT), guys being dense, arrangements being made on Friday for Saturday, etc. Hey, it works for us, haha... except when you forget about me and then get a flat tire while going to church! ;)

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

Chinese prostitution / Books / Mrs. Fields Banana Nut Cookies

Today's Prostituted Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

The system of Chinese prostitution in 19th century San Francisco was based in slave ownership. Girls were bought in China for around eighty dollars, from parents who considered female children a nuisance and were more than willing to sell them. Once brought into San Francisco, such a girl was worth $400 to $1,000 depending on her youth and beauty. The girls were literally auctioned off in Chinatown. Once the price was established, it was paid (usually in gold) into the girl's hands, and she turned the money over to the man who had sold her, while signing a contract that read:

"For the consideration of [whatever sum] paid into my hands this day, I [name] promise to prostitute my body for the term of [number of] years. If, in that time, I am sick one day, two weeks shall be added to my time; and if more than one day, my term of prostitution shall continue an additional month. But if I run away or escape from the custody of my keeper, then I am to be held as a slave for life. [Signed.]"

Of course, the point of the "sick day" provision was that every month the girl would have a menstrual period, which would render her ineligible for prostitution and also extend her slavery a month. Many of these poor creatures never lived to see their freedom.

Culled from: San Francisco Confidential


Yesterday I mentioned that I had read Ascending Peculiarity - a compilation of interviews with Edward Gorey. It never occurred to me that anyone did not know who Edward Gorey is, but apparently I was wrong as I had a couple of questions about him. Therefore, I thought I'd feature a few links to the works of Edward Gorey for those of you who haven't discovered his genius yet.

Edward Gorey was an eccentric American illustrator and writer who specialized in drawing morose, Edwardian people who tended to suffer rather grim existences and even grimmer demises. He is best known for designing the opening credits for the PBS show Mystery. He created a number of treasurable little books in his lifetime - a few of which are linked below. Enjoy!

The Gashlycrumb Tinies (his masterpiece)

The Curious Sofa

The Beastly Baby


Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Stephen sends a morbid game recommendation:

"Dark Cut is a flash-animation based game that plays in your browser. There's a zillion of the things about these days, but this is the most morbid I've yet seen. You are a surgeon who must take on a small series of cases, with each case including some morbid tasks. For example... you need to remove an arrow from a soldier's leg, so you start by cutting the fletching off, sawing the shaft, pounding the remainder through, and then using tongs to pull the rest free. The second level includes fun like lancing boils, and the third level is a scream - but I'll leave that as a surprise."

"Anyway, if you've got 10 to 15 minutes and are in need of a little morbid fun, this'll fill that need nicely."


Wretched Recommendations!

-kokoro shiki- heart mode recommended the movie Ginger Snaps a few days ago. Now, Katchaya turns the spotlight on the sequel:

Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed (2004)

"I saw an awesome movie on IFC last night called Ginger Snaps 2. Now I want to see 1 and 3. Not only is the story great (about teenage girls turning into werewolves), but the one I saw last night takes place in an old state hospital."

Mrs. Fields Banana Nut Cookies

Recipe By:
Serving Size: 48 Preparation Time: 0:00
Categories: Cookies

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

2 2/3 CUPS flour
1/2 Teaspoon baking soda
1/4 Teaspoon salt
1 cup light brown sugar -- packed
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup butter -- softened
1 Large egg
1 Teaspoon banana liqueur or extract
3/4 cup mashed ripe banana
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 300°F. In a medium bowl... combine flour, sugar, and salt. Mix well and set aside. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, blend sugars at medium speed. Add butter and mix to form a grainy paste, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add egg, liqueur, and banana. Beat at medium speed until smooth. Add the flour mixture, one cup of the chocolate chips, and the walnuts. Blend at low speed until just combined. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheets, two inches apart. Sprinkle cookies with chocolate chips, six to eight per cookie. Bake 25-27 minutes until cookie edges begin to brown. Transfer immediately to a cool surface.

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No chocolate cookies for you, kid!

I felt remarkably refreshed this morning during service, even after losing an hour of sleep! When I was commenting on this to Jeremy later, he said that the fact that I didn't go to Awana might have had something to do with it! True, true... I'll have to get back to him in the summer to confirm his hypothesis! In the car, Grandma tried to give me some really old pictures of us from Expo '86, but I told her to keep them for now. She can be reminded of us, heh. Since I finally wore the black coat she gave me, I was expecting her to say something about it - she didn't, apart from a "Oh, you're finally wearing the jacket now!" Yes.. yes, I am. (Eric told me on Friday that it was nice, but maybe he thought that was part of a plan - nope!)

I got to service late, mainly because my parents were at least ten minutes late picking me up. Came in during the handshaking part of service, and noted that my usual hangout crew was doing worship - I still sat in the usual spot, though! Randal sat a row behind me, and I *still* didn't hear him call out my name... it was kinda like that on Friday night too, except he was right behind me that time! I don't know what's wrong with me.. maybe I'm losing my hearing already! *sigh* He returned the 24 tape to me, saying that he'd finished with it - that was fast, and I'm impressed! I found myself inwardly snarking at the grammar and typos in the Powerpoint sermon presentation more than usual this morning - "heart" for "heard," and "Jeremiah" for "Nehemiah" (verbal slip) were what I remember now. But Auntie Rebecca's visual aids of actual wilted flowers and melted chocolate were really funny! (not surprised that some business in Australia makes a LOT of money on those types of packages for $30 each... "Send these to your enemies / exes!")

After service, we thankfully went out the back door.. too much rain! Went downstairs to put my stuff in the toddler room, and encountered Denise on the way back, who said I was sneaky for making her think I'd gone down the ramp.. muhahaha. Talked briefly to Randal before returning the tape to Steph, and had to move him out of Jen's way since she was right behind him wanting to leave! He apparently watched the first four episodes pretty much straight through, except for two necessary breaks... I guess he was captivated by it, like we were at Nathan's for the premiere week! ("Ah, two glorious hours of madness... NO, WE HAVE TO WAIT ONE MORE DAY! ... AH, CRAP! Now it's only ONE HOUR a WEEK! HOW WILL WE SURVIVE SEVEN DAYS?!" Haha.) The kid's dad did indeed get blown up when the first nuke was set off, but that's how it goes! At least he told me where he was going afterwards before we said bye. Later, Steph and I were talking about the show to Emily and Mike: yes, it IS about bombs and nukes and stuff like that! Mike's not missing much else that's new in the general sense, heh. Steph joked that they could sing The Lord is in His Holy Temple for someone's wedding: ah, good times with God's Faithful Singers and Byron conducting / scaring the kids! Everyone save for Emily and Steph would be wondering what was going on if the wedding was a solemn occasion and needed this serious song, haha. When Emily told me that she hadn't eaten breakfast and was hungry, I told Mike to go feed his girlfriend or else, hehe. They went off to a place Phil had told them about, collecting Angus and Melia on the way.

Jeremy said that he'd gone for sushi with a Toronto friend of his, plus her friends that he only sees when she's in town. Ah, midnight / late-night sushi is yummy! (before the time change, even!) We thought people would be in the front of the church already, but they seemed to still be inside... nobody in the back parking lot today! When people DID come out, we marveled at Citrus' huge umbrella, then at someone else's huge umbrella. Those were definitely needed with this weather, man. Eric joked that he MIGHT be able to drive me to Chung's wedding on Saturday... Steph has to be there at 8:30 to help with food preparation, and the ugfart has to be there at 10 for the music. I told him about that, and he changed it to a yes. Maybe we can get the computer stuff done too, but I don't know... we'll see. At least I have a ride, and we'll probably make arrangements on Friday after Fellowship... yay, last-minute planning! :P People were bugging Chris about how he chose to let them know that he got into university: "You EMAILED us?! That's just as bad as FACEBOOK!" Eventually, Jen went home with Nathan since he wasn't staying, and everyone else went to Sunday School early since it was cold / windy / rainy. Jon told me and Steph to wait for Rachel's parents, but we figured they weren't coming because we didn't see them by 11:25 or so. ("it's LATE!")

I saw Tim, Maxine, Joshua, and Keenan when I went downstairs: wished Maxine a happy birthday, and told her that her card would be coming later. Talked to Natalie about the chocolates I gave her last week: she could smell the nuts on one of them, so that went to her brother. (yay for her still being alive!) Hannah said hi to me, and Hien waved: gotta love names which start with H, haha. Saw Helen and Joe too, but didn't get a chance to say hi. The toddler Sunday School class had ONE kid today: little Sean! He blabbered to himself, and counted from one to nine in English. Seemed to like it when I gave him TEN, and let me hold on to him for a bit. The only recognizable English words other than numbers were "chocolate," "cookie," and "treehouse." We prompted him to say "please / thank you," and he did... even saying "thank you" before I gave him approximately half a cracker more than he should have had! At least he's easily entertained and can play by himself, heh. Afterwards, I talked to Adam and Andrew for a while about their week: science and math are probably harder these days then when I went to school, yes. Andrew said that he'd survived Awana yesterday without me (I joked that I was indispensable): the Awana store was in the corner rather than the nursery since the church was cleaning that up yesterday, Melia told them to raise the price of everything by a dollar (we'll teach the kids about EVIL INFLATION along with their Bible learning, haha), and someone actually bought an Awana bag! It seemed like good times, heh.

When they went upstairs, I turned my attention to Samantha and Rosanna: the two sisters seemed determined to take Mike's keys from him while he was holding them! Apparently, they do this all the time when there's an opening... Samantha dared me to pry her fingers off the shoelace keychain, and I did. Double-teaming sisters, heh. Mike eventually threatened them by saying that he'd get Jeff and they'd go to jail for stealing keys. That didn't really go as planned since Anita said that Jeff was at work - no wonder we didn't see him downstairs like usual. Samantha and Rosanna just ran in circles around me, Mike, and his cousin Gabriel without apparently getting too dizzy or tired... then one of them kicked him in the general direction of where a guy does NOT want to be kicked, especially by a little girl. Mike told me that he wasn't sure whether he'd have to cover that area, but it looks like he had to while dodging the girls' pokes and prods! He thanked me for freeing the keys, and I told him to quickly pocket them while warning the girls to watch out for others - especially baby Amos, who looked cute wandering the basement!

Eventually, the girls grew tired of that, so I went to say hi to Karen.. her face is apparently all over T&T and Crystal Mall, and Julie / Elaine / Sarah said that they'd have to change it soon what with her wedding and everything! They're going to Hong Kong afterwards, but I'm not sure they can call it a "honeymoon" if they're going on family business / another banquet for them! At least they'll TRY to relax! Julie and Elaine were looking for their mom, who drove them today and snared a perfect parking spot right in front of the church. I saw Sarah's mom later and told her why I hadn't been there yesterday: Auntie Vivian told me that Henry actually hadn't shown up at all, so I figured he'd been too woozy from donating blood. Good thing I didn't go, heh.

Went upstairs, where Steph asked me where Jon was: downstairs talking to Phil and Sam! Rachel's parents HAD made it, but we hadn't seen them since they'd gone into the church by the time we actively started looking for them earlier! Eric re-invited us to his place for the hockey game this afternoon, told Steph that Vivian was invited too if she wanted to come, and left. (Steph and Viv were going to hang out yesterday, but didn't due to daylight savings time and leading worship) We went to Mui's and had a nice lunch. Steph said that Daniel had tried to take one of the posters with Karen's face on it to give to Chung, but the store owner wasn't having any of that: "But I go to their church! I KNOW THESE PEOPLE, MAN!" Hehe, too bad! Apparently, Steph is taking me straight back to the townhouse after the hockey game so I can have dinner, then taking me home... thanks for TELLING rather than asking, Mom! Rumors also abound of a "24 Finale Dinner Night" with the usual crew / Nathan / Christon / maybe the R-Man if he wishes to show his face in the boonies, haha. We'll see...

Maternal hilarity of the day:

1. "You can have this stuffed dragon. Its name is Cisco!"
"Mom, the label says SPYRO." *shows her*
"No, it's Cisco!"
Me, in head: "Sure, whatever you say..."

2. "Why doesn't the Save-On Foods website have those helpful things? I can't read the online flyer text!" (she meant the boxes that pop up when you hover your mouse over items in the Shoppers online flyer)
"Different websites are made in different ways, Mom..."
"Oh.. well, they should all make them the same way!"
Me, in head: "That would get really boring!"

3. "Why can't I go to Page 10 of the flyer?! Is it messed up?"
"Mom, your Internet connection is bad, remember? See that thing where it says that a local area connection network cable is unplugged?"
"So how can I go to Page 10 or 12?"
"Just wait... see? There it is!"
"Oh... why is it so bad?"
"I don't know... ask Eric sometime. Not tomorrow.. he has a meeting!"

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