Saturday, March 24, 2007

Accident videos, jokes, Mrs. Fields' Lemon Chocolate Chip Buttons

Today's Capsized Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

While in for repairs at Spithead in southern England on August 29, 1792, the famed 108-gun warship Royal George unexpectedly capsized while 1,300 sailors, workers, and others were aboard. About 900 people died in the tragedy, causing great embarrassment to the English naval establishment.

Culled from: The Pessimist's Guide To History


Alas, the Comtesse is ill again! What have I done to deserve a rash of such vile illness??? (Wait - don't answer that!!!) This time around, it's either a cold or allergies that has me in its feverish grip, but I'll try to keep getting the facts out on a daily basis. Should I lapse, however, you'll know why.

Thank you to everyone who entered the Ruthless Rhymes contest (which is now closed). The response was amazing, yet again! I am currently beginning the difficult process of going through the entries and picking my favorites. I should have the results within a few days, and I'll share the créme de la morbide with everyone!


Morbid Link Du Jour!

Here are some fun accident videos with which to wince away your minutes.

Thanks to Kelli for the link.


Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Q: How are babies and pizzas different?


A: A pizza doesn't scream when you put it in the oven.

You can thank David for that one.

Mrs. Fields' Lemon Chocolate Chip Buttons

Categories: Cookies, Mimi
Yield: 48 servings

2 cups Flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Ground coriander
3/4 cup Butter, softened
1 cup Sugar
2 large Eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon Lemon extract
1 1/2 cups Miniature chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 300°F. In a medium bowl... combine flour, baking soda, and coriander with a wire whisk - set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed to form a grainy paste. Add eggs and lemon extract, and beat well. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add the flour mixture and the chocolate chips, and blend at low speed just until combined. Drop dough by teaspoons onto ungreased baking sheets, 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake for 14-15 minutes on center rack of oven. Do not brown. Immediately transfer with a spatula to a cool surface.

You Are 52% Non Conformist

You definitely have your freak flag out, and from time to time, you wave it.
You have some pretty strong opinions, and you're not afraid to express them.

You Aren't a Natural Entrepreneur

But you could be an entrepreneur with some work.
You've got the vision and guts to make it happen.
You just need a little more practice in the business world.
Find out what you truly love to do, and the money will follow.

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No Awana, so it's ECBC! / Dream: Chasing down a particular person

Got up to find a call from Henry on my phone, so I called him back - he's actually sick, and left a voice message with Melia. He didn't know what was going to happen, but neither did I. (I saw him around last night, but that doesn't mean anything as I also saw him the night before he got the flu recently - poor guy!) So I tried calling Michelle, only to get a message about inputting my Fido phone number so I could access my voicemail... I thought I'd dialed something weird at first, so tried again a couple minutes later. Since I got the same thing, I assume her voice mailbox is full or something. Then I called Melia to let her know: "Is it because of Henry?" Haha, you got that right! No harm done in missing Awana this week, heh. After that, I called Eric H. to see if he was still going to Project 416 tonight: since he was, I told him why I was actually staying home this afternoon. He thought that it was in Richmond, but I said ECBC wasn't there! Oh well, he'll pick me up around 5:15 to go to Nate's and follow him instead. Makes sense to me!

I had a weird dream last night - what else is new? Seems Eric, Steph, and I were at his house, which was a very white two-story house with blue trim and a roof to match, with gold numbers for the 10360 address. His mom was talking to my mom and grandma, but wanted us to go inside the house. We were going to, but then saw Ryan pull up in a white two-door car with a black top. Veronica invited him in too, even though she'd never met him in her life. (we told her that he was a good guy, heh) So we went inside and watched TV until we got a call from Auntie Gloria, who wanted everyone to come over. Ryan got into his car just as we were going to tell him to stay with us, and we yelled at him to no avail since he just took off!

After shaking our heads at the audacity of SOME people, we all piled into Eric's car and went to Auntie Gloria's house. Uncle Richard looked totally different, with tufts of white hair on the sides of his head. My dad was there, and wanted my mom and grandma to come with him - they left, along with Veronica. Then Eric, Steph, and I went to a party with a bunch of people - lots of wineglasses and booze / mixers there! We glanced at a menu, and discovered that Eric COULD have sweets and alcohol - I *told* you that my dreams don't necessarily adhere to rules of reality! Somehow, Eric and I got split up, and he talked to me over MSN from another room: he told me that he was sorry because he failed at being my friend, even sending me crying emoticons to show he was sad / kissy emoticons when he wanted to make up! After he explained, I forgave him. It ended when we tracked Ryan down and MADE him stay with us by certain devious means, haha. Interesting stuff, but I'm not sure what triggered it! Too much discussion on certain Crew in-jokes, methinks!

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Babies, brides, humor / Mrs. Fields Lacy Oatmeal Cookies

When he picked me up, Eric said that my cackling randomly had to mean something - not really, and at least I didn't need any help with my garbage bag this week either! We came to certain understandings in the car, I clarified who Henry was and told him that my mom thought a bulldog was a cow (I don't want to know why...), he explained the humor in Strong Bad Drive-Thru (since Corey didn't think it was funny last night), I told him various crazy things, and he asked about my pants - of all the things, haha. Good thing I know him well enough that it doesn't faze me much, if at all. He didn't believe certain assertions I made about my hat, but that was okay - it's not like certain things happened tonight! I should work on certain things, of course - and I'm being deliberately vague here, so DON'T ASK!

Dylan told us that Phil and Jon were serving with Daniel Fellowship, which most of us knew already. Frances told us that her sister-in-law Rosenda had given birth this week to a baby - she assumes it's a boy, like they planned. (my sister on this news later: "We were the last ones to see her pregnant!") Vivian and Eric had both noticed my MSN name and asked about it: yup, my family's living the high life here in May, haha! Asked Viv whether she was going on the first cruise - yup, and she was concerned that I wasn't... nope, I'm on board! (pun intended, haha)

Told Jeremy and Dylan about it later in Bible Study, and they were suitably impressed, haha! ("At least you'll have good food and stuff!") Jeremy thought we could just refuse to get off the ship and have the same cruise all over again... I don't know that it would work very well, to be honest. I did laugh at his humor ("SMACKDOWN! YOUR FACE!") during Bible Study, and glanced at him every time he took one of my grapes - he was looking to see if I noticed, after all. Of course I didn't mind, even if I had to refill the bowl! The "different woman" Teresa was in our group, and actually didn't do anything TOO weird - although she did start reading the first chapter of 1 Corinthians when I merely asked her if she'd found the passage that I was going to read. Oh well...

Informed Jeremy that I had venison, pheasant, and various other items on the Alaska Cruise in 2005 - I should email him and Dylan the link to those photos since Eric already knows where they are! They're food-heavy, but that was because I told my sister to take pictures almost every single time we had comestibles! Dylan hasn't had a pleasant week health-wise: stomach flu, neck and back pain, plus the usual stresses and strains did him in! He did lay down the law for the Iron Chef next week: NO DURIAN OR BITTER MELON! (I extended it to "NO NATTO" for Jon and Jeremy later) Eric asked what FOO GWA was, and I told him while I was preoccupied with something else - good times! He knows very well what the dynamic with certain friends is, heh.

Afterwards, I told Jeremy that my grandma did recognize him without his beard - he thinks she should stick a word in front of "Bearded Man" to make it "Previously Bearded Man," which makes absolute sense. He has a bunch of SNES games - yay for emulators! Dylan asked if Jon used to watch the WWF: yup, and my four-year-old sister got him into it! Dianne was going on about stem cells and mice - her work in the lab sounds interesting! Frances, Raymond, Martin, and Dylan discussed taxes - Dylan was shocked when he discovered that he'd been doing them early in the past, haha! Eric made various calls to Jon and Steph, with the eventual consensus being that we should meet them and Sam at Dragon Ball from their work at the street church - fine by me, since he said that he was going to get me a bubble tea because he still owed me money! (he also gave me his change back from getting two bubble teas - that squares it away quite handily!)

On the way over, we discussed Trillian / our friends / being crazy / his being paranoid. Hey, he knows I like being morbid and such, but that doesn't mean I want him or anyone else to DIE! Once there, we were a bit too hesitant in staking out a suitable table, so made do with a little one pushed beside a bigger one. ("from the store - inside use only" was written on the stools: how cute!) Then we flipped through a Chinese magazine, chosen specifically because there was a picture of a bride on the cover. Nothing about weddings in it that we could see, though there was some pretty random stuff as per the usual! He asked whether a certain comic was funny, so I asked Sam (who'd arrived by this time with my sibs) if he could read Chinese: nope! The magazine was actually fairly recent (December 2006) since it mentioned a Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, X-Box 360, and other new gaming systems.

Steph said that Vania was scooping a lot of food for Christon, who was the only guy at a table with nine girls - but then, Melia was the only girl at a table with nine guys! Christon couldn't eat that much, and so didn't prove he was manly enough even though Mexico kinda made him used to it! Angus likes durian, to Jon's great delight: he actually got up at the Pho restaurant they went to later, and told him! I made everyone wait till I finished my blueberry bubble tea since I didn't have much left - Eric had lots of his pineapple, and Steph jokingly termed my behavior as being defiant, haha. Oh, Eric KNOWS what consequences will be brought to bear... ;)

We avoided stepping in huge puddles, made our way to Eric's car, and made joking fun of Sam for wanting to be dropped off at Richmond Sushi: "Yeah, then you can get dropped off at Joey's house for 20 minutes, then into Delta and Surrey..." He didn't know to SLAM the door and follow through, so we joked that he wasn't really a man, haha. He told us some things we'd rather not know, and then said that his dad used to street race and be involved in martial arts - almost punched him when they were having a debate about shorts in church once! (gotten past the debate part, and it was about arguing at that point!) Yup, there are times when you have to concede to a man who has three brown belts! Steph recounted a time when she'd heard our parents talking about cigarettes: Dad seemed surprised that Mom didn't even know what they tasted like, and Steph thought "What am I hearing?!" Most people who experiment with hard drugs don't try it more than once, and the same apparently holds true for smoking! We do know that he's tried it at least once - maybe many times! According to what Grandma says, he also used to sing with his friends (that makes sense) and played games with them that almost certainly involved gambling! (not recreational!)

Steph says that we'll be roommates for the San Diego cruise: I didn't know she was going, so that's cool. She can't go to both, but that'll be fine as long as Jon's around for the second one! Mom never replied to our emails asking if the second one was confirmed yet - it's not like we replied to say that two cruises would be way awesome! We asked her an actual question! (and she bugs US about not responding to HER emails... sigh!) Danielle, Nathan, and Christon know about the FINALE party, too! After we dropped Sam off while he tried to find RELAX, Eric told my sibs about my craziness - hey, he KNOWS it's part of the package! Ah, and now he's popped on my screen to tell me to go to sleep: I may be a crazy woman, but at least I'm not reading "two cruises in two weeks" (current MSN name) as "Tom Cruise in two weeks"! :P (although I am tired as well... I keep making typos, so thank goodness for spellcheck in Firefox 2!)

Mrs. Fields Lacy Oatmeal Cookies

Categories: Cookies
Yield: 96 servings

1 cup Rolled oats; quick-cooking
1/4 cups All-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 teaspoon Baking powder
1 cup Granulated sugar
1/2 cup Butter; softened
1 Egg
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
Recipe by: Mrs. Fields Cookie Book

Preheat oven to 325 degrees; cover baking sheets with foil, then coat with nonstick cooking spray. In a medium bowl... combine the oats, flour, salt, and baking powder; mix well with a wire whisk and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the sugar and butter with an electric mixer on medium speed to form a grainy paste. Add the egg and vanilla extract; beat until smooth. Add the flour mixture and blend just until combined. Drop the dough by teaspoonfuls 2 1/2 inches apart onto the cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the edges begin to turn golden brown. Let cool, then peel the cookies from the foil with your fingers. Be sure to re-spray the cookie sheets between batches.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Peter Pan and suicide in the Netherlands

Today's Tragic Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Best known as the boy on whom J.M. Barrie based the character Peter Pan, Peter Llewelyn-Davies did, in fact, grow up, and died by throwing himself under a train at the age of 63. After returning from WWI, he suffered a series of family tragedies. His brother George was killed in the war and another brother, Michael, died under odd circumstances at Oxford (his body was found with that of his best friend, Rupert Buxton, their hands tied together, causing many to speculate that the two had been lovers). When Peter was cut out of J.M. Barrie's will, it was apparently the last straw. He began drinking more frequently, and finally became an alcoholic. On the night of April 5, 1960, after spending the evening at a bar, Peter walked to nearby Sloane Square and threw himself under an arriving train as it pulled into the station.

Culled from: BAM
Generously submitted by: kelshubert


I can't help but wonder if this is the way that Peter Pan-emulating Michael Jackson is going to end too...


It's my general policy not to publish "second-hand" brushes with morbidity, for the most. You know, "This happened to my brother..." etc. But if they are particularly unique or well-written, I make an exception. Such is the case with Seb's latest submission:

"My Mum's Co-Worker's Husband's Brush With Morbidity" by Seb

"My dearest Comtesse D.

"You recently placed three short stories of mine in 'My brush with Morbidity,' for which I am eternally grateful. So much so, that when I remembered yet another sickly story from the land of windmills, wooden shoes, and dikes (no pun intended *smile* ) [of course not - despair], I immediately thought of you...

"As I explained in my previous story, the city of Rotterdam is a fairly large city (750,000 people) in the Netherlands that I happen to call home. A long time ago - we're talking 20-odd years - my mother was working at a daycare centre for children. She had a co-worker whose husband worked as an undertaker. His specialty? Assisting the coroner at crime scenes... I have heard numerous stories about the insanity this guy dealt with everyday, but one story in particular stood out.

"So, your humble servant Seb presents you with: 'Going down - a day in the life of a Rotterdam undertaker' or 'My mum's co-worker's husband's brush with Morbidity.'

"It was just another slow day at work for our undertaker (who shall remain nameless, but will be referred to as E for brevity's sake). A stiff here, a ripe one there, and some recent heart attacks... but nothing his subordinates couldn't handle. But then came a call... 'Hi E, this is the Rotterdam Police Dept. We've got a suicide for ya.' E responded with 'Sure, I'm on my way.' The cop chuckled and said: 'Hehehehe, make sure you bring a shovel.'

"It's remarks like this that make a self-respecting undertaker tremble. What was going on?

"OK, before I continue, open an Internet browser and go to Google. Now type in 'Euromast Rotterdam' and select 'images.' Then search and look at the building in question. 186 meters up, in the middle of a park... THAT'S where the suicide took place!

"We again meet our hero at the base of the Euromast as he walks toward the police officers. 'So, where's the jumper?' he asks. A cop says, 'Well, E. Did you bring a shovel like we told you?' Without saying a word, he points at one of his assistants who is carrying a large shovel. 'Good,' says the cop: 'the jumper is approximately 3 1/2 feet below you.'

"As it turned out, the man had jumped from a height of 150 meters onto the grass. In Western Holland, most of the ground is boggy clay and thus very soft. In fact, most buildings in Holland are built on poles that are hammered 30 meters down into the rock stratum. So with this soft ground, high altitude, and a feet-first position... our hapless jumper got an instant-burial on touchdown. Slowly, E tilted his head down and then spotted a small hole in the grass. He bent down and then saw that the hole was actually a lot larger and deeper than it at first appeared to be. All that was visible were the jumper's hands, sticking out of the hole as if he was holding on to the edges of the hole he had created on impact, trying not to fall deeper down into Hades...

"Well, E suggested to just fill up the hole and put a cross on top of it, but Rotterdam's finest wouldn't have that. According to the cops, there are rules about burials, and you cannot bury a human being just anywhere... blah, blah, blah.

"He ended up having to dig the guy out and transport him to the morgue. When he finally got the corpse out of the hole, it turned out to be reasonably intact, except for the legs. The femurs had been driven through the pelvis and abdomen into the chest-cavity, causing near-instant death by complete disintegration of the internal organs. As E said: 'the guy looked like his feet were directly attached to his balls.'

"So, if you want to off yourself without making too much of a mess, jump from a high-rise building into a soggy stretch of grass, feet first. At least it'll give the police, undertaker, and some sick and twisted people in their vicinity something to talk about."


Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

Of course, as you know, the Comtesse would never, ever do anything so vulgar as reproduce! Her life is wretched enough. But for those of you who have elected to contribute to the overpopulation by Homo sapiens sapiens of the planet Earth - or who know someone who has - here's the perfect little "Awwwww, innit cute?" morbid trinket.

Thanks to J. Bo.

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Two cruises in two weeks?! We're living the high life here, kiddies!

Hey, Sarah Rowlett mailed me her wedding invitation along with a cute picture of her and Floyd! Sweet stuff! Hmm... my mom just emailed us about yet ANOTHER cruise that the family could take: this one's on May 17-18, going from Vancouver to Seattle - we can take the Amtrak back in time for Fellowship that night, she says. Too much time spent making decisions about this stuff, I know. :P Apparently, Jon can't go on the May 7 cruise anymore - I *knew* I should have said I wasn't going if he wasn't, haha. Oh well, as long as Vivian and Karen are going for certain - otherwise, it would be so BORING! (sounds like the teen angst lament, I know: "IT'S SO BORING TO SPEND TIME WITH MY PARENTS!") Oh well, I guess I'll figure things out later, even if it DOES play havoc with my sleep! NOT a fan of mornings, that much I'll say!

Why am I checking blogs a day before I normally do? Maybe I'm just too bored, heh. Alyssa has stuff about how she's moving blogs (again), AFI, Blues Traveler, ringtones, and another Friday Feast of questions. Vivian had her midpoint meeting, wants Spring Break to hurry up, thinks Chung and Karen's wedding was beautiful despite the rain, and needs to plan being a student again. Dawn just craves weekends where she can just do whatever she wants whenever. Randal has the usual mix of stuff about sermon reflections / generalizations and more. This includes yet ANOTHER reference to Church's Fried Chicken... if I didn't know better, I'd swear it was his favorite food! Not that I know what THAT may be, I'm just saying! (certain people would say I need to ask him that tonight, har har) There are a bunch of posts about Buddhism's eightfold path and Christ, passion in marriage. Let's just say that these posts make me want to dig out Nevermind and rock out to Nirvana all afternoon... everyone my age has that CD, and you're missing out on something if you don't. :D

Eric just called to say he'd be picking me up at 7:05, too. Given what happened last week, maybe he really DOES mean that time instead of ten minutes later. Guess we'll see what happens tonight! Maybe I have some time to finally play Bookworm, though I may not be able to fully get into the game before certain things come to pass.

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Mrs. Fields Krispies

I finished 1.36 litres of tomato juice over the course of the evening. I'm nor sure whether that makes me really thirsty, or if I just seriously like this stuff when it comes in cans or anything else reasonable! I do know I used to like V-8 when I was a kid... but then, I also used to like butterscotch popsicles! (and banana popsicles - yay for old summer memories!)

Oh, and contrary to what certain people may think, I am sorta better. I just like going "keyboard smash" on people, haha. ;)

Mrs. Fields Krispies

Categories: Cookies, Mimi
Yield: 36 servings

2 cups Flour
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup Dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup Sugar
3/4 cup Butter, softened
1 large Egg
2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
1 cup Crispy rice chocolate bar, Coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 300°F. In a medium bowl... combine flour, salt, and baking soda. Mix well and set aside. In a large bowl, blend sugars with an electric mixer at medium speed. Add butter and mix to form a grainy paste. Scrape down sides of bowl, and add egg and vanilla. Beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add flour mixture, rice cereal, and chocolate chunks. Blend at low speed just until blended. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Bake for 22-24 minutes. Immediately transfer cookies to a cool flat surface.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

San Diego cruises, Hollywood suicides, birth defects

Jon says Chinese Eric is wrong, since ECBC isn't in Richmond - I thought Project 416 was last week since Vanessa was talking about Pat and that function as if it had happened already, but I guess not. Maybe it's just his sister, haha. As for Eric, I am fully aware about certain behavior - that's why I'm not telling Henry about anything for certain until later! :P

Well, I guess I'm going on a cruise in early May - we fly to San Diego at the early hour of 8:30 AM (but still better than bus tours that start at 6:30 AM!), can board by 12:30 PM or so, and then take off for Vancouver (again) at 5 PM. The whole thing ends at 7 AM on Thursday or Friday - when I reminded my mom about what happens on Mondays, she said she forgot! Steph had better record the Hour 21 (or whatever) madness for us then - she got my email, and found it insane what Grandma thinks! I'll miss getting caught up on certain things, and I'm not sure that the weekend will be the greatest time to catch up on other things, but I guess we'll see. (or maybe I won't catch up at all, muhahaha!) Corey says he has additional things to mail me from his Taiwan trip, but they wouldn't fit in the postcard - of course not! Then Eric M. gets on to ask about this very blog - you don't want to know, dude! It's all good, since I can be a dork and act crazy! :D

Today's Ironic Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

An aspiring actress, 24-year-old Peg Entwistle was the first suicide to jump from the Hollywood sign. Peg had been struggling unsuccessfully to make it in Hollywood. Desperate and vulnerable, she even posed topless for little pay, but was ultimately left in the city with no money, no friends, and no hopes after just five months. On the night of September 18, 1932, Entwistle told her uncle she was going for a walk, then made her way up the mountain to the foot of the giant "HOLLYWOODLAND" sign. She folded her coat neatly, placed it on the ground beside her purse, and following the American Dream, climbed up the maintenance ladder of the 50-foot H and leapt to her death. However, like a proper Hollywood ending - one so purely ironic I would deride it as contrived crap if only it were fiction - it doesn't end there. Entwistle's body was found two days later, and two days after that, a letter addressed to her from the Beverly Hills Playhouse arrived at her uncle's home. It was postmarked the day before she jumped, and offered her the lead role in their next play, the final act of which ended with her character committing suicide.

Culled from: BAM
Generously submitted by: kelshubert


They say in Hollywood, timing is *everything*.


Epitaph Du Jour!

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

Dr. Polycarpus Cushman, 1797, age 47, Bernardston, Mass.:
Vain censorious beings little know
What they must soon experience below.
Your lives are short, eternity is long;
O think of death, prepare & then begone
Thus art & Nature's powers and charms
And drugs & receipts and forms
Yield all, at last, to greedy worms,
A despicable prey.

Thanks to Miyuki for the contribution.


Morbid Link Du Jour!

Here's a page to inspire birth control: a collection of images of vile birth defects. Be warned!

Thanks to Niddhogg for the link.

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Dating grade, optimist or pessimist, being a pack rat

Your Average Dating Grade: B
'What is your Dating Grade?' at

You Are a Pessimist

If things are going good, you can always imagine how they will turn for the worse.
And when things do happen to be bad, life is like a dark pit you can't crawl out of.
One bad moment can ruin your day, and you think one bad week can ruin your life.
Things are much better than they seem. Just take time to see everything that's going right.

Okay, that was SO not good for emotional distraction! Usually I'm an optimist, really!

You're a Pack Rat

Someday, you'll get totally crushed by a falling pile of stuff.
Whether you survive depends on how many old granola bars you have lying around your house.

While I don't need a quiz to tell me that I'm a pack rat, I don't think I'll end up like the Collyer Brothers!

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I'm not even going to bother...

*insert long emo post here about not coming first, Eric, Jon, Christon, and Nathan*

So what am I going to do? I don't know... but this state of affairs leads me to believe that something is rotten in the state of Denmark. Time to do laundry and immerse myself in busywork! Yeah, I'm not getting into it... :P

Edit: Why the heck does the cheap dryer have money stuck in there? Now I *have* to use the more expensive dryer - I blame the management for this, as usual. Stupid blasted circumstances which require me to spend two more quarters...

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Poisons and the lab / Mrs. Fields Gingersnaps

Certain emails have me wondering, but I don't think I'll bite... at least non-denials and apologies are fine. (who knows about people, though!) Man, now I feel oddly not all there - I think it'll pass with honesty, however!

Today's Poisonous Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

The Top Ten Most Deadly Poisons

1. Botulinum (ingested)
It's hard to rank the lethality of toxins, but experts agree that botulinum – several orders of magnitude deadlier than sarin – is the gold standard. Your nervous system fails and you die in extreme pain. Works miracles on wrinkles, though.

2. Ricin (ingested or inhaled)
Made from the lowly castor bean, ricin causes respiratory and organ failure, followed by death within hours. Even chewing a few beans can kill you.

3. Anthrax (inhaled)
Cutaneous exposure can kill, but the most deadly, panic-inspiring form of anthrax is inhaled. It starts with flu that doesn't get better – then your respiratory system collapses.

4. Sarin (inhaled)
Sarin is one of the deadliest nerve gases, hundreds of times more toxic than cyanide. Just one whiff and you'll foam at the mouth, fall into a coma, and die. Originally synthesized for use as a pesticide, it was outlawed as a warfare agent in 1997.

5. Tetrodotoxin (ingested)
Found in the organs of puffer fish (the famous Japanese delicacy fugu), tetrodotoxin persists even after the fish is cooked. If the toxin is consumed, paralysis and death can strike within six hours. Up to five Japanese die from badly prepared fugu every year.

6. Cyanide (ingested or inhaled)
Cyanide exists in a number of lethal forms that are present in nature or easily manufactured. Exposure leads to seizures, cardiac arrest, and death within minutes.

7. Mercury (inhaled)
Low levels of mercury are not especially toxic to adults. However, inhaled mercury vapor (the metal starts turning to a gas at room temperature) attacks the brain and lungs, shutting down the central nervous system.

8. Strychnine (ingested or inhaled)
A common pesticide, strychnine isn't as toxic as other poisons on our list, but it gets style points for causing one of the most horrific deaths of all: Every muscle in your body spasms violently until you die from exhaustion.

9. Amatoxin (ingested)
Derived from the death cap family of mushrooms, amatoxin destroys your liver and kidneys over several days. You remain conscious – and in excruciating pain – until you slip into a coma and expire.

10. Compound 1080 (ingested or inhaled)
As an animal poison, compound 1080 proved a little too effective: The bodies of creatures killed with 1080 remain poisonous for up to a year. Odorless, tasteless, water soluble, and without antidote... 1080 blocks cellular metabolism, leading to a quick yet painful death.

Culled from: Wired Magazine
Generously submitted by: Joe


Wow, I never realized just how horrible strychnine poisoning was! Makes me love my "Make Mine Strychnine" mug all the more!


"My Brush With Morbidity" by Jaime

"I was lucky enough to secure a pretty good job within my chosen profession, video production and editing, but I have to deal with the inevitable each day – I work as a surgical video producer. The live patients are not so bad, but it's the cadaver videos I dread.

"We have a lab in which new doctors practice on 'parts,' and I'm there to capture it all on film. You wouldn't believe the gross stuff that happens – one guy, hammering a knee a little too vigorously, was sprayed all over his face with cadaver bone marrow goo.

"The two worst things that have happened to me are:

"Spine Surgery Day – Imagine arriving to work at 6 AM when it's still dark outside. You have to open a lab door and be greeted by rows and rows of disembodied heads, eyes open, faces frozen in death. Took a little while to get over that.

"Lower Extremity Day - As I am a busy girl at work, I tend to rush about the lab sometimes. At the end of one day, the lab techs were gathering up the used parts. As I was running through the windowless lab doors, I almost fell into a mini dumpster-sized tub of legs parked right in front of the door. Feet and thighs up to the hip were just tossed into this tub for disposal. It was like a slow motion movie as I stopped (dead) in my tracks, teetering above this tub. Needless to say, the lab tech who parked it there was soundly reprimanded.

"I just know if I had fallen in, I would be drooling in a straitjacket now."

Wow - what an awesome job!!!


Morbid Site Du Jour!

"The Human Marvels" is a website celebrating "peculiar people." Now, that's a cause I can get behind!

Thanks to Rebecca for the link.

Mrs. Fields Gingersnaps

Categories: Cookies
Yield: 30 servings

2 1/2 cups Flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Ginger
1 teaspoon Crystallized ginger; diced
1/2 teaspoon Allspice
1/2 teaspoon Black pepper
1 1/4 cups Dark brown sugar; packed
3/4 cup Butter; softened
1 large Egg
1/4 cups Unsulfured molasses

Preheat oven to 300° F. In a medium bowl... combine flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, crystallized ginger, allspice, and pepper. Mix well and set aside. In a large bowl, mix sugar and butter with an electric mixer set at medium speed. Scrape down sides of the bowl. Add egg and molasses, beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the flour mixture and mix at low speed just until combined. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 1 hour -- the dough well be less sticky and easier to handle. Form dough into balls 1 inch in diameter. Place onto ungreased cookie sheets, 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake 24-25 minutes. Use a spatula to immediately transfer cookies to a cool, flat surface.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Shanghai, Norway, and the Black Dahlia / Mrs. Fields Cinnamon Maple Rings

Today's Shanghaied Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Chinese prostitutes were not the only human commodity on the Barbary Coast in 19th-century San Francisco. Sailors were often "shanghaied" into service against their will. (In fact, the verb to Shanghai, or to steal someone's body and put it on a boat, was invented in San Francisco. There were no direct shipping connections between San Francisco and Shanghai, so sailors who made that crossing had to travel around the world. Thus, any long and dangerous journey came to be known as a shanghai.)

Any able-bodied sailor could be drugged or knocked out with a sleeping potion in his drink, and his body carried by night onto an outgoing ship in the harbor. By the time the poor fellow woke up, he was on his way to some distant land and under the whip of a scurrilous captain. Professional kidnappers carried out their human heists for a fee per body, and sometimes dead bodies or even stuffed dummies were substituted for live sailors. Many murders in San Francisco were never solved because the corpse had been shipped off to sea as a live sailor.

Culled from: San Francisco Confidential by Ray Mungo


Sometimes I think I must have been Shanghaied into my current job, don't you?


Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

This one was sent by my Dad, a proud Norwegian from Duluth:

Olaf vas vorking at da fish plant up nort in Dulut vhen he accidently cut off all ten of his finkers. He vent to da emergency room in da Clinik and vhen he got dar, da Norsky doctor looked at Olaf and said, "Let's have da finkers and I'll see vhat I can do."

Olaf said, "I haven't got da finkers."

"Vhat do you mean, you hafen't got da finkers?" he said. "Lord - it's 2006! Ve's got microsurgery and all kinds of incredible techniques. I could hafe put dem back on and made you like new! Vhy didn't you brink da finkers?"

To vhich Olaf says, "How da fock vas I suppose to pick dem up?"


Morbid Site Du Jour!

Black Dahlia: The Story As It Was Originally Reported is a tie-in with the movie The Black Dahlia, but it contains a number of original vintage newspaper articles that are quite fascinating.

Thanks to Lady Morgana for the link.

I remember that movie! Good times with Jeremy, Nate, both Erics, and Randal. Had an interesting discussion in the car afterwards, too. :D

You Are Running on 60% Adrenaline

Your Adrenaline Level: High

You often feel like you are running on empty. And it doesn't feel great!
Slow it down a little - even if it means not getting everything done.

You Are More Cutthroat Than You Think

Yes, you do have that killer instinct lurking in you.
And while you may not be actually cutting throats anytime soon...
You certainly don't mind clawing your way to the top.

Mrs. Fields Cinnamon Maple Rings

Categories: Cookies
Yield: 48 servings

2 cups All-purpose flour
1/4 cups Sugar
1 cup Butter; chilled
Sliced into 8 pieces
1/4 cups Maple syrup; chilled
2 tablespoons Ice water; or as needed
1/4 cups Sugar
4 teaspoons Ground cinnamon
1/4 cups Maple syrup
Recipe by: Ruth Burkhardt

Combine flour and sugar in a medium bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium speed. Add butter and mix until the dough forms small, pea-sized pellets. Add chilled maple syrup and 2 tablespoons water, and mix on low speed until dough can be formed into a ball. Do not overmix or the dough will be tough! Separate dough into 2 balls and flatten into disks. Wrap dough tightly in plastic wrap or place in plastic bags. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

To Prepare the Filling: Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Preheat oven to 325°F. Using a floured rolling pin on a floured board, roll one piece of dough into a rough rectangle 10 inches wide, 15 inches long, and 1/8 inch thick. Sprinkle dough with half of the cinnamon-sugar filling. Starting with smaller side, roll dough up tightly into a cylinder. Wrap each roll in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Using a sharp thin knife, cut 1/4 inch slices from each roll. Place slices on ungreased baking sheets, 1 inch apart. Brush tips lightly with 1/4 cup maple syrup. Bake for 16-17 minutes or until light golden brown. Immediately transfer cookies to a cool, flat surface.

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Dream: Poor little boy dying / CRUISE AGAIN?!

I had a weird dream which involved a certain person hugging my mother... I hope to heck that doesn't happen anytime soon in real life! But he was there for me while I went through the "sudden start of redrum!" thing in a bathroom - so crazy! Then it switched to a computer lab like the one in the Richmond Public Library, where I was trying to determine which computers were the best ones to buy. The screens looked like the old Apple monitors, and one computer was $216 - unfortunately, I learned from the workers that I couldn't add anything to it (even Mozilla Firefox!) after purchase. Then there was a computer that was $416 - that didn't seem to have a monitor, but my companion pushed a button somewhere that made it pop up. The screen was blue, and had Internet Explorer on it already. I made sure I could add things to the computer after purchase, and was going to buy it when the workers said that we should see a movie on the computer - sure, why not?

This movie revolved around the life of a little boy with brown hair and the cutest eyes ever. His parents had him when they were young, then had his two sisters in quick succession afterwards. This boy had a crush on a little neighborhood girl named Lucy Anne, who unfortunately died of a rare disease when she was about four years old. He was very crushed by it, but seemed fine after a grieving period. When he went to school, he developed a crush on his Grade 2 teacher, who thought that was adorable. A few years later, he excitedly told his teacher via large clunky cell phone that he'd won a million dollars! Unfortunately, he was trying to drive a motorized life-size toy car in his driveway at the time - it spun out of control (nothing to do with his being on the phone) and pinned him to the steering wheel. He had to tell his teacher that he'd been in an accident, and he'd call her back. His family was watching from the doorway, and were very concerned. He went to hospital, but he died there: the last screen was simply black, with the words "I poured out my daily life for you, Lucy Anne" in white text as he said them just before he passed away. (how sweet!) Then the dream ended... very odd. I don't know why I had that dream! Yikes!

From Dave: Watch pay-per-view sports here!

Ooh, I forgot to mention that my mom seems to think that dogs are cows. Don't ask me why... she does this every few years, and it's crazy stuff. She also wants to know if we want to go on a cruise with Vivian's family: San Diego to Vancouver from May 7-10? Of course, we have to fly to San Diego first in order to get on the cruise - why does this remind me of that Alaska cruise?! Oh right, because we had to do the exact same thing! Monday to Thursday... she of all people should know what happens on Mondays! :P Eh, guess we'll see!

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

So many shiny colors...

My mom thinks certain people like each other - who knows. She also told me stuff about Uncle Eric's family history and mother, and discussed who talked to her at the banquet on the weekend... some people don't let things go, but I can understand! I got my glasses fixed at Factory Direct without having to go back there again, so that's pretty sweet! They don't have any earpiece / bending issues anymore - yay! Then I had lunch with a bunch of Erin's relatives - her mom DOES look like she's lost 15 pounds, so I guess your appendix rupturing IS good for that! (but I don't recommend it) After trying to explain nail polish and cologne differences to my grandmother at the dollar store, I went to my dentist appointment. The hygienist Tony seems to be better at not leaving patients hanging with assorted instruments in their mouth for five minutes at a time, which is a good thing!

Later, I decided to log even MORE time with my family... but first, I stopped in at London Drugs. I should have gone straight home after that since Steph and Vivian wouldn't be at the townhouse for dinner tonight... oh well, I was able to get a bus back home, even though my mom said I could use the computer before their supper. Eh, I need time to myself... especially after spending much more time with them than I normally would! (50-odd hours in the past few days as opposed to maybe 10 on a normal week?) Hey, I don't MIND spending some time with them... but eventually, I just want my own space since it's human nature to not want to see the same people for long stretches, and I have my own tolerance for that. ;)

At London Drugs, I got two wedding cards: I have Phil and Grace's wedding covered, as well as Angus and Melia's. Then I decided to get some Sharpies, some double-ended Laurentien felts (bold / metallic), some "multicultural" Crayola markers, that Bursting Bubblegum toothpaste (along with the Cinnamon Swirl counterpart - Wild Expressions!), some chocolate Easter eggs for the kids, and cheddar / salsa Munchies. I saw that last item yesterday at Super Grocer, and wanted some right then! So you see I'm good at instant gratification, hehe. But I should also learn to wait for certain things, as well. Went home and found a message from Enrico on my screen: no, I wasn't home at 12:15 since (as he thought) I left my computer on at home! Now I'm telling Chinese Eric about hanging out on Saturday, Chung and Karen's wedding (he knows her from Channel M - the multicultural channel here), Phil getting married, and other stuff. Good times!

I'm not sure why they make light-colored felts like yellow, since they won't show up on white paper. Oh well. According to the Sharpie website, they're available in lots of colors: yellow, black, blue, green, orange, red, brown, purple, turquoise, spruce green, burgundy, mint, lime, light wood, medium wood, olive, marigold, navy, plum, sky, peach, pink, tangerine, magenta, lilac, dandelion, slate grey, ocean blue, brick red, berry, blue ice, kiwi, pink lemonade, boysenberry, and almond. (I only got the first eight colors in my pack - that'll do!) The double-ended bold / metallic markers are available in these colors: green, red, turquoise, purple, brown (gold?), grey (silver?), blue, and yellow. At least the multicultural Crayola felts were on clearance sale! Bronze, beige, tawny, terra-cotta, tan, golden beige, mahogany, and sienna are the colors in that pack... now I have a nice variety of 24 since I only had a few old ones that worked from the last time I bought this kind of thing! Yes, I had just enough cash to pay for my dental work up front... plus, I actually set an appointment instead of waiting - GO, ME! :D

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''I tripped over your ineptitude, because it was cold as ice!" / Mrs. Fields Choconut Macaroons

Mom picked me up after her work to take me to the townhouse. However, she was so caught up in talking about her most recent obsession (I'm not telling her if I like one person better than another!) that she missed the turn to get there... we went to Super Grocer instead, where I haven't been since Nathan's birthday a couple years ago. Then we went to the townhouse, where I had dou mew and some rice for dinner - plus duck wings. (I noticed some Crest Wild Expressions Bursting Bubblegum toothpaste in the bathroom - awesome!) Mom seemed to think that I could stay for dinner tomorrow if Dallas and Vivian were coming over, but I don't think I will since I have stuff I need to do at home after the glasses place / lunch / my dentist appointment. I might change my mind, though likely not. I also told her that she couldn't sit on the couch since Steph, Eric, and I usually sat there for our Monday TV viewing! (I can predict what certain people will do at the finale dinner, yikes!)

Eric came over just as 24 started, and Steph was a few minutes late: "Someone's going to die now!" He later tried to facial me, but didn't really do so - good thing, too! We talked about checking blogs / certain posts, people at church, invitations, how Mom wants her kids to get married and provide grandchildren for her (not happening anytime soon!), Alan and Liz getting engaged (Dylan loved that news!), and how I should step up my pace at certain things - I DON'T THINK SO! Personally, I couldn't care less what certain people are going to do in the interim - certain others are going to think they're really pushy or worse, and I don't want that! Eric asked how the "girl talk" was yesterday at Pho - it wasn't really girl talk, but I guess it was sorta like that if we practised gender segregation!

As for the actual episode of 24, it was intense: the music was right on track! Moles, Nadia getting tortured, Milo not saying that she used his login password stuff although Chloe ranted at both of them for it (Muslim profiling!), Audrey Raines being "dead" in China (lovely photos!), Doyle sucking, the VP wanting to blow everything up, Tom and Karen fighting once again ("I tripped over your ineptitude, Karen!"), "Nuclear Bomb Simulation 2007" in an incredibly bright green room, Chloe kissing Morris to check his breath, etc. Jon has a hands-free device from Steph now, so he came out of his room at one point during the episode and spoiled a very little bit for Harmony: "Yeah, Fayed's doing some control of a drone... oh wait, my sister says that's some other bald Russian guy." She didn't want to hear any more, haha.

Then we watched CSI: Miami, which involved triplets and a body double - so complicated! You can cover for each other at school, and in a game that requires the wife to make a baby and such, but DNA and blood tests will win out! Horatio's one-liner: "It's as cold as ice." (this woman shot her triplet's husband when champagne corks popped, causing him to fly out the balcony window and impale himself on a sharp ice sculpture!) Later, Jon and I drove Steph to Vivian's because she'd dropped her off before going back home to study. I didn't need to go, but I went for space reasons. ;) (not "freezing" without a jacket / coat if it's 10 degrees) Then we ate guavas, pears, oranges, and other stuff before our parents went to bed - watched the news, and there was some CREEPY guy (and his son) who murdered a 14-year-old girl.. he didn't look trustworthy AT ALL. Read some CHRISTIANITY TODAY, then decided to blog before bed - I'm not even tired, and I have to get up at a certain time tomorrow! That's gonna kill me, all right... oh well, the rest of the week LOOKS to be chill. :D

Mrs. Fields Choconut Macaroons

Categories: Cookies
Yield: 20 servings

1/4 cups Sugar
2 tablespoons Pure almond paste
1 cup Shredded sweetened coconut
1/3 cup Mini semisweet chocolate chips
3 large Egg whites
1/2 teaspoon Cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 325°F. Combine almond paste and sugar in a medium bowl. Using your fingers, work paste into sugar completely. Add coconut and chocolate chips, and stir to combine. In a clean medium-sized bowl, beat egg whites until fluffy, using absolutely clean beaters. Add cream of tartar, and beat on high until stiff peaks form. Add half of beaten egg whites to coconut mixture, and combine to lighten. Fold in remaining whites gently, being careful not to deflate. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto lightly greased cookie sheets. Bake 20 minutes until tops are lightly browned. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets before transferring cookies to a cool surface.

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Daring God to show His face will result in certain death!

Post #3737... gotta love those repeating numbers! ;)

Today's Godless Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A man shouting that God would keep him safe was mauled to death by a lioness in Kiev zoo after he crept into the animal's enclosure. "The man shouted 'God will save me, if he exists', lowered himself by a rope into the enclosure, took his shoes off and went up to the lions," a zoo official said. "A lioness went straight for him, knocked him down, and severed his carotid artery." The incident, on Sunday evening when the zoo was packed with visitors, was the first of its kind at the attraction. Lions and tigers are kept in an "animal island" protected by thick concrete blocks.

Culled from: Reuters
Generously submitted by: Paradox


At last - proof there is no God! 's about time, eh?


Follow-Up Du Jour!

Carolyn sent a link to a "Moments in History" PSA that aired in Canada regarding the Halifax explosion (which was the feature of the February 20 MFDJ). The actors aren't about to win any Academy Awards, but it's still worth a watch.


Epitaph Du Jour!

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

Mrs. Sarah Newcomb, 1796, age 39, Keene, N.H.:
How loved, how valued once avails thee not
To whom related or by whom begot;
A heap of dust alone remains of thee
'Tis all thou are, and what we all must be.

Thanks to Miyuki for the contribution.


Wretched Recommendations!

Sandy has a movie recommendation:

Citizen X (1995)

"It is really good and really creepy. Personally, I think they cast the killer wrong though. Because Andre Chikatilo was one of those really CREEPY-looking guys and they cast a non-creepy guy. Do you remember seeing the photos of him in the cage he sat in for trial? He looked positively scary / creepy / insane. When you look up 'stranger danger,' he is the picture next to the phrase. I also highly recommend it - it's great!"

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WHAT will it do?!

Just saw this in an online quiz:

2. would you go out with your best friends
yes some of them are very cute
no it could rake awere friendship

I have no words for this atrocious travesty. The rest of the quiz is just as bad, if not worse.

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Mayhem, serial killers, musicals, Mrs. Fields' Chocolate Raisin Cookies

Cool link of the day: Mayhem... all about crime and serial killers!

Today's Ruthless Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Frank "Dasher" Abbandando (1910 – February 19, 1942) was a hitman for Murder, Inc. and is claimed to have killed 30 people in Brooklyn in the 1920s and 1930s. Abbandando murdered ruthlessly and without conscience. Such was the case of George "Whitey" Rudnick, who had been earmarked for death because of bad debts and because the mob thought he might be informing on them to police. On May 25, 1937... Abbandando, Abe Reles, and Harry Maione took Rudnick to a Brownville garage and there tortured him by stabbing him sixty-three times with icepicks, strangling him slowly, and then using a meat cleaver to crush his head. The three killers, Reles later recalled, laughed uproariously as they repeatedly stuck icepicks into Rudnick, counting the blows and delighting in the victim's tortured screams of agony.

Culled from: Bloodletters and Badmen


Morbid Television!

So, have you heard about the new John Waters television show 'Til Death Do Us Part that's premiering on Court TV Monday night (March 19, 10 PM)? It sounds like brilliant morbid fun! Here's a blurb from QueerDay.Com that sums it up:

John Waters will be Alfred Hitchcock-like, hosting Court TV's first scripted series called 'Til Death Do Us Part. Waters notes: "It's a thin line these days, as you all know, between bad and good taste." He's primarily out to entertain, presenting stories often too bizarre to concoct. The series takes real-life murder cases where one spouse kills the other and dramatizes the relationship... from the wedding to the murder to the investigation through to the trial. Waters time-travels through the narrative as a character called the Groom Reaper. "When they first asked me, I thought they said the Groom Raper. Either way, I would have said yes."


Morbid Musicals!

Baelish sent me an excellent starter list of Morbid Musicals.

"I noticed that you have a lot of movies and bands, but you don't seem to have any morbid musicals, so I thought I'd point you in the direction of a couple:

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Sondheim)
Murder, bloodshed, and cannibalism... live on stage! Based on the classic story of the 19th-century barber who cut the throats of his customers. As Sweeney cuts his way through London trying to avenge himself on the corrupt, pedophilic judge who ruined his life, his neighbor Mrs. Lovett disposes of the bodies in the best way she can - by cooking them into her meat pies and selling them back to the town! Soon to be a movie by Tim Burton.
Highlight song: They All Deserve to Die
Body Count: 10+

Bat Boy the Musical! (Laurence O'Keefe)
The show is loosely based on the Weekly World News saga that attracted national attention for its gore and controversial subject matter. It's the story of Edgar (the feral half-boy / half-vampire bat with a longing for acceptance and an unfortunate thirst for blood), his lover Shelley (who turns out to be his, er, sister), the narrow-minded town who captures and cages him, and the schizophrenic Dr. Parker who frames Edgar for his own killings.
Highlight Song: Comfort and Joy
Body Count: 6 humans and several unfortunate cows.

Lucky Stiff (Stephen Flaherty & Lynn Ahrens)
A morbid comedy about a mild mannered British shoe salesman who will inherit $6 million if he will take the corpse of his uncle on vacation to Monte Carlo, but everyone is out to steal the corpse (and the money!) for themselves!
Highlight song: Good To Be Alive
Body Count: Just the one.

Mrs. Fields' Chocolate Raisin Cookies

Categories: Cookies, Mimi
Yield: 48 servings

1 cup butter, divided
2 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups raisins
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 300°F. In a double-boiler over hot but not boiling water, melt 1/2 cup butter and the chocolate. Remove from heat and set aside. In medium bowl... combine flour, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, blend sugars at medium speed until fluffy. Add the remaining 1/2 cup 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 light and fluffy. Add melted chocolate and blend until thoroughly combined. Add the flour mixture, raisins, and chocolate chips. Blend just until combined. Drop by rounded tablespoons two inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until set. Transfer to cool, flat surface immediately with a spatula.

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Eating snake meat soup and listening to HORRIBLE karaoke!

Note to self: Ask someone about the Easter baptismal candidates. I don't like how they never announce it in the bulletin anymore, and I won't know about it since I'm removed from those teens!

My family and I went to Gala Seafood Restaurant for my grandma's birthday dinner. I tried wishing her a happy birthday, and she said: "It's not my birthday!" So then I tried saying that it was special because it was HERS, and her response was: "Everyone has birthdays!" As I told my sister, I don't know everyone else in the world who has a birthday around this time (lunar calendar, not solar)... and if any of my friends wished me an early / belated happy birthday, I wouldn't tell them off simply because it wasn't the natal anniversary date. For example: after we celebrated my birthday a couple of days late, I exited the car after Nathan dropped me off at my place, and Jeremy wished me a happy birthday. It would be rude and uncharacteristic of me to say "Hmph! It's not my birthday!" after he said "Happy birthday!" - and that's what Grandma essentially did. Oh well, I know she's 87 and cranky... but still, you don't do that when it happens! (she also seemed cranky when we asked her if she recognized Bearded Man without his beard - she did, which we must tell Jeremy!)

We had snake meat soup, lettuce wraps, lamb, rice, and Peking duck - so good, and a change from yesterday's fare! Grandma had a special individual bowl of shark's fin soup which was on sale for $18.80 from $39.80 - we didn't want any since we'd had some yesterday. While talking about stuff, we heard some HORRIBLE karaoke coming from a private room at the restaurant - the volume was turned up high, and we could hear people absolutely MASSACRING the high notes. There really was no other way to describe it, and we could also hear the swish of mah-jonng tiles. That party had a LOT of alcohol - many bottles of wine went in that room, and came out later on when everyone exited that room to eat dinner! One table was made up of kids who had better cellphones / iPods / various electronics that were far better than ours.. and they were LOUD!

While cringing through the bad musical accompaniment, we discussed politics and how that would affect the size of certain people's wedding ceremonies / banquets: Angus can try alienating all the people he likes in the next year or so, but that probably won't help! The church people alone number 500, and maybe 300 will come to the ceremony... add 70 cousins and their families alone to the mix, and that's maybe 200 more people. Then you add the political people, and that's even more! If the banquet is at last night's restaurant, there's a maximum of 300 people in the room - it's so crowded, and it's not even a small room! (no traveling for a certain grandma since she's 99!) We won't be miffed if we don't get invited to certain banquets, as we'll just make our own party that night. Then we got into discussing church people in general - Joey, Mark, J-Mak, Mike, Quan, congregational liaisons, certain comments and feelings, issues, including people in teams, etc. Some people shouldn't make comments that could be taken the wrong way, even if it's how they are - maybe now I know where some kid picked up the "I hate black people" remark that Amos alerted me to a few weeks ago! (that's especially bad!)

It also seems that Auntie Susan wants to take another family vacation with us since it's Karen's grad year: that San Francisco road trip in 2000 was fun! (certain jokes were so hilarious!) We'll see if Steph can take a week off - not like anything's decided yet for sure, of course. It was a good dinner - I like how I said bye to my grandma right after issuing my brother yet another joking death threat if he doesn't sign the April birthday cards... he IS home tonight, and April's not that far away! (she doesn't understand "I'm going to kill you!") Might take my mom up on her offer to pick me up after work - no idea why I always think a certain TV show starts at 8 instead of 9. I'm losing it! Beer and popcorn are suitable snacks in someone's place, but I know we have lots of snack food and fruit available at the townhouse too! No kidding... you should come over and see the incredible variety in the snack cupboard AND on the living room table! (And no, this is NOT a dig at the person I'm talking about - I'm just providing the laughs! :P But if he has a problem with it since he will probably read this, he can let me know!)

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He causes havoc at new churches!

This morning, my family was high-class because we had lobster and other seafood for breakfast. Gotta love leftovers! Grandma decided to go with us three earlier than normal, and I had to translate for Jon when she used Chinese words that he didn't understand. That happens a lot more often than you might think, but it was all good. Discussed cell phones, text messages, deletion of numbers, and seeing various people last night at the banquet - Jon had four glasses of red wine! When we got to church, I was going to sit in my usual spot despite my usual crew doing the worship again, but saw my brother's Regent friend Ray in the front row. He was there to interview my dad as a founder of a church as part of a paper on Chinese churches, so of course I moved up a couple of rows in order to not make him feel unwelcome. It helps with being new, haha. (Jon forgot that I'd met him before, at the Night Market outing!) Then Danielle and Erin joined us - later, Erin saw Angus and invited him to sit with her. Good times, especially when none of us usually sit that far up! (Jon made a joke about "the unwashed masses" which Danielle took great exception to, har har)

Educated Ray on what we usually do after service: loiter around in the back parking lot and then go to Sunday School as late as possible without actually being late! (so much easier now that it's not at Frog Hollow, haha) Said hi to Jeremy, and then greeted a bunch of people when we were told to. While exiting the church after service, Raymond somehow managed to knock over a microphone stand (lots of wires around) and then some flowers on a step! Jeremy and I joked that he caused destruction everywhere he went, especially at new churches! Saw Tony in the parking lot, who told everyone that he'd quit his job at Wal-Mart: GOOD FOR HIM! Maybe now he can have a life - even though they want it in writing that it's a temporary leave, and he still has to work there for two weeks... Christon and I sympathized with him when he said that they called him while he was IN CLASS to ask if he could work since they were shortstaffed! "Um.... no... I'm in CLASS right now?" He hopes that they'll hire some lazy slackers who'll call in sick every single weekend, haha. Jon was most thrilled to hear the news, and figured Tony sounded like an ex-employee of Wal-Mart already! Saw Denise, and gave her a birthday card for her sister Julie, who's still at the University of Alberta right now. Her mom Auntie Cecilia commented that my calendar must be full - hehe, I get a comment like that at least once a month!

Ray commented that our congregation seemed to trickle in - true, since you get a bigger crowd at 10:10 than you do at 9:45 even when the morning service lets out early. (save the good worship songs for later in your set!) Talked to Jeremy, Eric, Daniel, Danielle, and others - they decided to call Nathan to wake him up since he's living on Japan time! He doesn't sleep very much anyway, and this wedding just put his sleeping even more out of kilter! Jeremy asked me how the banquet was, so I told him: good times, hehe. Everyone decided to go to Sunday School, so that was basically my cue to take off. Randal asked me whether I was going to Sunday School - I certainly was! Little Sean seemed better today too: he was playing with puzzles, saying the numbers 1 to 10 aloud, letting me hold him, and putting his hand on my leg for a bit. His brother Ian talked to me at the end when he came to pick him up along with his dad: "This is my boat! I colored it, and I folded it!" Cool stuff, little dude! Saw Auntie Fonda and got her MSN address - hopefully, I still remember what it is later!

Went outside and waited for people to reappear from Sunday School - ended up talking to Tony, Jeremy, Eric, Steph, Jon, Ray, Christon, and Jeremy in a circle. Mom came outside and offered us some candied raw ginger - none of us would touch it save for Jeremy and Eric (who only finished half since it was so potent), but then Jeremy loves Asian things! Then she offered us some dry olives: we all took a piece while discussing the Mennonite Brethren and the German tradition. Talked briefly to other friends before most of us ended up going to Pho, where we were split up into two tables. I was going to sit with the guys (my favorites!), but since Ray had to interview Dad, I was shunted to the womens' table - Jeremy made a comment about how we were all segregated by gender, haha. Eric had told me previously that he was going to cover my lunch unless my parents were paying for it, in which case he wouldn't owe me anymore - yeah sure, we'll take care of it at another Pho meal instead!

On the way home, we discussed that Russian woman who had 69 children - mostly twins, triplets, and quadruplets. My mom didn't believe me, and my dad called quadruplets "quartets" and sextuplets "sextets." Someone's been spending a bit too much time in music, methinks! We were talking about pregnancies and how Rosenda is the youngest of 14 kids - her wedding was small, but with 13 siblings and their families, it's not SMALL even with just family! Then my mom brought up certain plans that needed to be changed - aiya. Oh well, it's okay... Steph says that Vivian's family went skiing, so good times! (except Viv can't go!)

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Australian cannibalism! / Mrs. Fields Chocolate Mint Cookies

Top o' the Morbid to ya! In honor of St. Patrick's Day, let's celebrate the exploits of a deranged Irishman with...

Today's Inhuman Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Alexander Pearce, an Irishman, was transported to Australia for seven years after being convicted of stealing six pairs of shoes. He then forged a money order and was sent to one of the British Empire's most savage penal colonies, Macquarie Harbour, on the west coast of Tasmania. In 1822, Pearce escaped with seven other convicts, planning to trek across Tasmania and commandeer a boat to a Pacific island or China. After 15 days, they were on the brink of starvation. Two died of exhaustion. "They quickly ran out of provisions. So they began eating each other," Warwick Hirst, the curator of On the Run: Daring Convict Escapes, told the Sydney Morning Herald. The first man to be murdered, Thomas Bodenham, was felled with an axe, his body cut up, roasted and "devoured greedily," Pearce recounted in his confession. Within nine weeks, he was the last man standing. He made his way to the Derwent River, and joined a band of bushrangers. When Pearce was recaptured, he confessed to cannibalism, but the story was considered far-fetched. Magistrates thought he concocted the account to cover for his companions, believed to be still at large. He was sent back to Macquarie Harbour. In 1823, he escaped again, taking with him a young prisoner called Thomas Cox. When he was recaptured 11 days later, he was carrying an old flour bag containing the half-eaten remains of his mate. "You can't help but feel that he took the other convict with him as a ready store of meat," said Mr. Hirst. In a contemporary report, a horrified official wrote that the body was "cut right through the middle, the head off, the privates torn off, all the flesh off the calves and the legs, which the inhuman wretch declared was the most delicious food." Pearce, 34, was "laden with the weight of human blood, and believed to have banqueted on human flesh," the Hobart Town Gazette reported at his trial. So abhorrent did the colonial authorities view his crimes that after he was hanged, his body was cut into pieces and his skull boiled clean to be kept as a trophy.

Culled from: The New Zealand Herald
Generously submitted by: Elizabeth


Morbid Choreography!

If you live in the New York area, you may be interested in a dance production of Edward Scissorhands that is currently running at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. It's only playing through the end of March, so if you're interested, grab your opera glasses and run!

For those of us who can't make the trip, here's a nice video to give us an idea of what we're missing.

Thanks to Steve O. for the link.


Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

Searching for the perfect romantic gift for the arachnophile in your life? Why not give the gift that keeps on giving... everyone else around you the heebie-jeebies!!

A spider bracelet!

Available from Shaddow Domain...

Mrs. Fields Chocolate Mint Cookies

Categories: Cookies
Yield: 36 servings

2 2/3 cups All-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking soda
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup Light brown sugar; packed
2/3 cup White sugar
1 cup Salted butter; softened
3 large Eggs
1 teaspoon Pure mint extract
10 oz Mint chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 300-degrees. In a medium bowl... combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. Mix well with a wire whisk and set aside. In a large bowl, blend sugars with an electric mixer at medium speed. Add butter and beat to form a grainy paste. Scrape sides of bowl, then add eggs and mint extract. Beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the flour mixture and chocolate chips, and blend at low speed just until combined. Do not overmix. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets, 1-1/2 inches apart. Bake for 19-21 minutes. Immediately transfer cookies with a spatula to a cool, flat surface.

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Kissing a life-sized image of our friend = slideshow material, for sure!

Sister and I picked up brother from Tom Lee Music, and got annoyed because he wasn't outside waiting for us, especially when he called to ask where we were. Then we introduced Harmony to more weird humor - hey, it's our family! Let's just say she doesn't want to know about a certain logo just yet... we might spare her the actual reality till she comes here in person, haha. Speaking of their relationship, a few people asked both me and Steph when they were getting married... that's pushing things a bit too far ahead since they only started dating in October. o_O

I was at my sister's table, and we had to make our own little party since we couldn't really hear or see anything that was going on - Daniel and Teresa had great chemistry as Masters of Ceremonies, though! Citrus, David, Rosenda, Ian, Danielle, Steph, Connie, Andrea, Vania, Melia, and I all talked about a variety of different subjects. Some of our time was spent entertaining baby Ian, who's going to have a new brother very soon - Rosenda can't wait to have this baby since she's pretty huge! Thank goodness they scheduled this C-section for the early morning of the 28th! David had a Nintendo DS which Ian seemed most interested in, but ice was definitely more economical, heh. Melia says that she hasn't set a date yet, though her brother Phil and Grace are getting married on June 30 this year. Maybe next year for her and Angus, heh. We talked about kissing, Jewish weddings (best men are so nasty!), turning red, money, aging, parenthood, metabolism and being active, all the food available, various ways to get Ian's attention for photos, skinny people / people we thought would never be fat (Chung / Vernon / Ivan / Uncle Richard - who wouldn't come to the banquet unless certain people weren't going to be there... just TURN AROUND AND TALK TO SOMEONE ELSE if you see them!), wedding plans, how Auntie May was a fashionable grandma, Vivian's detailed text message updates of the hockey score (we won 4-1 against the Wings on goals from Smolinski / Krajicek / Morrison / Linden into an empty net!), etc.

Phil talked to me and Lee about his plans later on - they're renting in Langley and then seeing where life takes them / what they want to do in ministry. He's not moving to Texas since they both like it here - they were going to get engaged earlier, but had issues to work out... good for them for focusing on the important stuff. Grace loves babysitting, which is what she's doing right now: Maxine said that the nursery could always use more help in that regard! Saw a bunch of other people I hadn't seen in a long time - Auntie Gloria (Eunice's mom), Lucas and Hannah's parents, Vernon (computer stuff!), Hannah and her boyfriend Phil, Sarah and Vernon, and others. It was good to see them, for sure! Talked to Kelvin and Evelyn briefly about their whiny kid (joking!) - I haven't met Taylor, but I did see him! I also hear that Kelvin's younger brother Kenneth is going to be a father in June... Daisy is pregnant?! Oh man, he'll always be that slightly immature kid to me: going around telling Jenny he liked her, asking us in a baby voice whether we'd be his friend, carrying a teddy bear everywhere... times change!

Said hi to Tim, and asked how old his baby was: Keenan's three months old, and already he has like a full head of hair?! Dude! Gave Sophia her birthday card, and tried saying hi to baby Olivia - she either wanted to play with her cousin Ian, or watch herself on someone else's tiny portable system.. the high point of a 1.5-year old's life is the narcissism, haha. Karen Choo sat at our table for a bit, so I gave her Ivan's card - the banquet IS a good time to give things to people that you may not see too often, since they're right there and not leaving anytime soon! (Same goes for talking to them - Vernon told me about what they did with Sarah's brother Lucas' computer... sewing machine oil?! Well, I'll talk to him on MSN maybe and see what happens... he's changed email addresses because of SPAM at Shaw!) Speaking of email addresses, David refused to give us his when he said he'd send us a bunch of table photos... "you can text me at this number, and I'll get your email addresses somehow - like from Rich!" isn't going to fly with us!

I took a bunch of photos with my table, with Daniel, with Chung / Karen / Chung's parents... and definitely had to dodge quite a few other people's attempted photos! Later, I happened to be looking toward the washroom, and saw little Sean's dad come out - he waved to me, and I could see Ian (NOT baby Ian) walk around too! That was nice - Sean would have just run around and created havoc! Spoke to Teresa for a while afterwards - definitely a long day, but she did eat something too. The wedding party didn't get to eat much, which is probably usually the case - but it IS only one day! Karen was wearing her mom's wedding dress - how cool is that? Later, our table went out to take silly photos - the one with Phil pretending to kiss the life-sized version of Chung will definitely make it into HIS wedding slideshow in June, haha! Way too funny - Winnie inspired them, too.

Nathan was very tired after driving around all day, so figured he'd go to a later service at another church depending on what time he woke up tomorrow. He has video documentary of these plastic bags on the wedding car - they tried to protect the decorations on it with Isabel's help, but they all flew off on the highway, which Jon found hilarious. Said hi to Jeff and a few others, too. Melia says she's not going to give lucky money once she's married unless she sees people like Anita and Michelle doing it - good call, heh. Definitely good times, and something to tell two of my favorite people about tomorrow! After a brief stop at my place so I could get certain essentials like a change of clothes and my Sunday stuff, I was good to go to the townhouse and overnight. See, it's MUCH better when I'm prepared! ;)

P.S. I'm spoiled with Firefox having a built-in spellchecker now. Whenever I'm using IE at the townhouse or other places, I have to pause and wonder where the red underlines are... =/

You Could Maybe Be a Vegetarian

You may think being vegetarian is a great idea, but you don't have all the tools to get started.
Find a local vegetarian group or buy a few vegetarian books.
Even if you don't go completely veggie, you can introduce more vegetarian foods into your diet!

You Aren't Ready to Buy a Home

Your life isn't quite stable enough to buy a home right now.
You're not exactly sure where life will take you... and you don't need a mortgage tying you down.
Enjoy your freedom, and don't despair about not owning a home.
You're free to live wherever you want - so take advantage of that!

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