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Lengua in Mushroom Sauce

My mom was not a great cook but she made the most delicious lengua. I think of her when I make this.

Ingredients:

  • olive oil
  • 1 lengua/beef tongue (about 3 to 4 lbs)
  • ¼ to ½ c white wine
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • ½ tsp peppercorns
  • about 1 1/2 to 2 tsp salt or soy sauce
  • about 2 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 lb mushrooms (brown or white), slice each into 2 if they are large
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of water chestnuts if you like them
  • 1/2 c cream
  • flour, if you want to thicken the sauce

Instructions:

  1. Boil water in a pot or dutch oven large enough to fit the entire lengua. Place lengua in boiling water for 10-15minutes. Remove and rinse in cold water. Cut white outer layer from tongue.
  2. Brown the tongue in olive oil in a dutch oven. Cover with water, bring to a boil, and simmer until tender (about 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours, judge by forking the meat). Add pepper and salt/soy sauce after about 1 1/2 hours. Remove tongue from liquid, set aside and cool, you can place in the fridge if you want.  Once cool, cut the tongue into 1/3″ thick slices.  Save liquid.
  3. Saute mushrooms in olive oil / butter, cook for a few minutes until brown (but still firm).  Add wine and continue cooking until there is hardly any liquid left.  Set aside.
  4. Saute celery, onion, and carrots in olive oil until lightly browned.  Add tongue slices. Lightly brown.   Add cooking liquid.  Season.  Add worcestershire sauce to taste and mushrooms.
  5. Season the sauce.  Add cream to taste.  Cook for about 10 more minutes.
  6. Thicken with a roux if you want.
  7. Done!

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Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest 2004 Results

She resolved to end the love affair with Ramon tonight . . . summarily, like Martha Stewart ripping the sand vein out of a shrimp’s tail . . . though the term “love affair” now struck her as a ridiculous euphemism . . . not unlike “sand vein,” which is after all an intestine, not a vein . . . and that tarry substance inside certainly isn’t sand . . . and that brought her back to Ramon.

Bulwer-Lytton Winner Dave Zobel
Manhattan Beach, CA

A 42-year-old software developer and former National Spelling Bee contestant is the winner of the 2004 edition of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. Dave Zobel of Manhattan Beach, California, won with his timely entry.

An international literary parody contest, the competition honors the memory (if not the reputation) of Victorian novelist Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873). The goal of the contest is childishly simple: entrants are challenged to submit bad opening sentences to imaginary novels. Although best known for “The Last Days of Pompeii” (1834), which has been made into a movie three times, originating the expression “the pen is mightier than the sword,” and phrases like “the great unwashed” and “the almighty dollar,” Bulwer-Lytton opened his novel Paul Clifford (1830) with the immortal words that the “Peanuts” beagle Snoopy plagiarized for years, “It was a dark and stormy night.”

Runner-Up:
The notion that they would no longer be a couple dashed Helen’s hopes and scrambled her thoughts not unlike the time her sleeve caught the edge of the open egg carton and the contents hit the floor like fragile things hitting cold tiles, more pitiable because they were the expensive organic brown eggs from free-range chickens, and one of them clearly had double yolks entwined in one sac just the way Helen and Richard used to be.

Pamela Patchet Hamilton
Beaconsfield, Quebec
Canada

Grand Panjandrum’s Special Award
She sipped her latte gracefully, unaware of the milk foam droplets building on her mustache, which was not the peachy-fine baby fuzz that Nordic girls might have, but a really dense, dark, hirsute lip-lining row of fur common to southern Mediterranean ladies nearing menopause, and winked at the obviously charmed Spaniard at the next table.

Jeanne Villa
Novato, CA

Winner: Adventure Category
The legend about Padre Castillo’s gold being buried deep in the Blackwolf Hills had lain untold for centuries and will continue to do so for this story is not about hidden treasure, nor is it set in any mountainous terrain whatsoever.

Siew-Fong Yiap
Kowloon, Hong Kong

Runner-Up
Lord Tarlington gazed upon the crazed Egyptian hieroglyphics on the walls of the ancient tomb of the petrified pharaoh, he vowed there would be no curse on him like on that other Lord, unless you count his marriage to Lady Tarlington who, when the lost treasure was found, will be dumped faster than that basket in the bulrushes.

Melissa Rhodes
Cherry Valley, CA

Winner: Children’s Literature
Jack planted the magic beans and in one night a giant beanstalk grew all the way from the earth up to the clouds–which sounds like a lie, but it can be done with genetic engineering, and although a few people are against eating gene-engineered foods like those beans it’s a high-paying career to think about for when you grow up.

Frances Grimble
San Francisco, CA

Runner-Up
When Cinderella saw that the Prince had sent the Duke to find the woman of his dreams, like some rich schoolboy who pays the smartest kid in the class to do his homework, or worse, like someone who has been on welfare so long that he has trouble doing any kind of work, she suddenly realized the spoiled nature of the King’s son and stealthily slid the slipper back into her pocket.

Milton Combs
Kingston, WA

Dishonorable Mention
As he entered the room within which so many a wild night of their sweltering love affair had been spent, the White Rabbit regarded her with benevolent eyes, her posture such that he suspected something was wrong, but before he could speak Alice unburied her face from her trembling hands and between her intense sobs he made out the words, “I’m late . . . I’m late.”

Cory Gano
Camas, WA

Winner: Dark and Stormy Night
It was a stark and dormy night–the kind of Friday night in the dorm where wistful women/girls without dates ovulated pointlessly and dreamed of steamy sex with bad boy/men in the backseat of a Corvette–like the one on Route 66, only a different color, though the color was hard to determine because the TV show was in black and white–if only Corvettes had back seats.

David Kay
Lake Charles, LA

Runner-Up
It was a dark and stormy night–actually not all that dark, but more dusky or maybe cloudy, and to say “stormy” may be overstating things a bit, although the sidewalks were still wettish and smelled of ozone, and, truth be told, characterizing the time as night is a stretch as it was more in the late, late afternoon because I think Oprah was still on.

Gregory Snider, MD
Lexington, KY

Dishonorable Mention
It was another dork and Stormy Knight–after snapping the last of his palm dampened dollar bills into the frazzled elastic of her G string–sent him packing precisely three-eighths of a mile down Highway 20 to the spot where she’d promised him a glorious glimpse of self-awareness, and where he would discover a slight depression in the asphalt and find himself quizzically contemplating the adjacent Department of Transportation sign that read simply: “Dip in Road.”

Rick Sutherland
Depoe Bay, OR

Winner: Detective
Detective Micky Blarke arrived on the scene at 2:14 am, and gave his cigarette such a severe pull that rookie Paul Simmons swore the insides of the detective’s cheeks touched, but the judge indicated that that amount of detail was not necessary in his testimony, and instructed the jury to disregard that statement.

Joe Polvino
Webster, NY

Runner-Up
The knife handle jutted from her chest like one of the plastic pop-up timers in a frozen turkey, but from the blood pooling around the wound, it was apparent that this bird wasn’t done.

Alaine Sepulveda
Las Cruces, NM

Dishonorable Mention
“After several minutes, Detective Wilson, standing over the lifeless, tuxedo-clad corpse, the spandex tights it had been strangled with still around its neck, realized that the poor ringmaster had simply been a victim of circus dancers.”

Jeonghyun Kim
Mount Waverley, Victoria
Australia

Winner: Fantasy Fiction
Gringran Roojner had only gone to see the Great Warlock of Loowith to get his horoscope and he couldn’t believe he’d been sent on a quest for the legendary Scromer of Nothleen to ask him for the answer to the Riddle of Shimmererer so that he could give it to the Guardians of Vooroniank, thereby gaining access to the Cave of Zothlianath where he would find the seldom seen Cowering of Groojanc, whose spittle was an absolute necessity in the making of the Warlock’s famous pound cake, the kind with raisins.

Sandra Millar
Gowkthrapple, Wishaw
Scotland

Winner: Historical Fiction
Galileo Galilei gazed expectantly through his newly invented telescope and then recoiled in sudden horror — his prized thoroughbred’s severed neck, threateningly discarded in a murky mass of interstellar dust (known to future generations as the Horsehead Nebula), left little doubt about where the Godfather and his Vatican musclemen stood on the recent geocentric/heliocentric debate.

Don Mowbray
San Antonio, TX

Winner: Fiction for the Erudite
Clementine sat in the shade of a beech tree, of the family Fagaceae, the leaves of which were more or less ovate, being perhaps not quite as pointed as those of the North American, grandifolia species of the Fagus genus that are the color of a swimming pool that had been left too long without chlorine, but neither were they like those of Fagus sylvatica var. purpurea that are the color of dried burgundy stains on cream linen.

Geoff Beech
Cochabamba
Bolivia

Runner-Up:
The cat’s whiskers twitched like the wings of a butterfly, not a large butterfly like a monarch, but a small one, like an Eastern Pine Elfin, which camouflages wonderfully with the bark of trees, not just pine trees, but also elm trees, whose slender twigs wave in the early spring breeze, looking like the twitching whiskers of the cat, which I have just mentioned.

Megan Z. Dinerman
King of Prussia, PA

Dishonorable Mention:
He heard a bang, well not really a bang but more of a crash with metallic overtones of platinum-encrusted steel alloys, hammering against unyielding iron and iridium plates; or maybe it was the clash of huge nickel-zinc rods hitting molybdenum fused sheets of tantalum, then he felt a stab of pain and heard another bang, and wished, instead of using his extensive metallurgy skills to try and analyze the sound, he would have run like hell when he first saw the gun pointed at him.

Ken Loomes
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Winner: Purple Prose
The terrible news had whisked around the becolumned courthouse like a malevolent, stinking zephyr straight from the sewage works, and on the gum-besmirched footpath, the hunch of lawyers cackled and cawed like a group of very large, gowned, wigged, briefcase-clutching crows, or perhaps ravens since they are of course the larger bird and some of these lawyers were fairly sizeable.

Georgia Gowing
Largs Bay, South Australia

Runner-Up:
She was a tough one, all right, as tough as a marshmallow–not one of those soft sticky ones used in s’mores, cooked to a turn over a good campfire, or even like the stale chewy type covered in yellow sugar and found at the bottom of a three-week-old Easter basket–no, she was tough like a freeze-dried marshmallow in kid’s cereal that despite being shaped like a little balloon and colored a friendly pink are so rock solid that they are responsible for the loss of more baby teeth than most older siblings.

Bridget Lyle
Walworth, NY

Dishonorable Mentions
The day was packing heat and cracking wise as the scorching sun torched the hot dry Santa Anas like fry on rice, crispy with a snap, crackle and pop, and poured into the surreal bowl of the Los Angeles Basin as the red winds rattled every dwelling from Bay City bungalow to Bel Air chateau like a china shop in a bullring, the whole stinking, teeming tinderbox as combustible as a drill sergeant at clown college, as unsettling as corn on the cob rationing at an Iowa Society picnic.

Gordon Hauptfleisch
San Diego, CA

Students often said that Dr. Storm’s lectures were duller than dishwater, not the dishwater after a holiday meal with brightly colored vegetable bits and shimmering glosses of vinaigrette, but the dishwater after a Wednesday night macaroni dinner, when the cheese has disintegrated into slime and the macaroni has become mush clogging the drain.

Alaine Sepulveda
Las Cruces, NM

Stealth was the watchword as two shadowy figures trudged in moonlit silence along the narrow pathway superimposed upon a boulder-littered landscape, unwittingly approaching a slimy procession of slugs vulnerably creeping at a snail’s pace, but heroically trying (quite unproductively, one does not wonder) to scamper away from the crushing footfalls of the insentient travelers who stumbled blindly toward a destination which would not bid them welcome.

David Finch
Grass Valley, CA

Phoebe watched through the library window as the sun sank slowly in the west, glowing like a ball of molten butter; not the phony margarine kind of butter that left nothing but the taste of grease in your mouth, but the real kind that pumped up your cholesterol and gave you a coronary, when such heart-related musings forced her to glance down at Neville, determine from the blue coloring of his skin that he really was dead, and then pick up the telephone and say, “Operator, I believe my husband is having a heart attack.”

Fran Abram
Overland Park, KS

Winner: Romance
Looking up from his plate of escargots, Sean gazed across the table at Sharon and sadly realized that her bubbly personality now reminded him of the bubbles you get when you put salt on a slug and it squirms around and foams all over the place, and her moist lips were also like the slime on a slug but before you salted it, though after all these years Sharon still smelled better than slugs, but that could have been the garlic butter on her escargots.

David K. Lynch
Topanga, CA

Runner-Up:
I first saw her from across the crowded dance floor, cedar I think, (as if I can reference a specie of wood planks at a glance) I just know it wasn’t that yellowish basketball court wood, the type with the glossy veneer (now THAT, I could recognize), anyway, she had the refined elegance and demure fragility of a really old Princess Leia.

Scott McIlhany
Bellingham, WA

Dishonorable Mentions
As she eased from our impassioned doorway kiss to slip into something more comfortable, Julia’s warm breath caressed my face like a hot winter blast from the foyer of a two-star restaurant where they try to warm you up real quick so you’re more likely to go in all the way and eat their food, only they leave you hanging by the “Please wait to be seated” sign because they have to clean up your table from the previous customer.

Brian Nash
Derry, NH

Winner: Science Fiction
The scorched pasture, with its charred and smoking remains of dead cattle, was the least of Jessica’s worries, and as she pondered her shredded gown, newly shaved head, and the quickly disappearing spaceship in the Nevada twilight, she realized if she were going to hitchhike back to Carson City, she’d have to show a damn sight far more leg than she had ever intended.

Michelle Hefner
Bema, Victoria
Australia

Runner-Up
The huge intergalactic cruiser — type 4843-56B, class PVT/X — which was the color of an unripe blood-grapefruit (a sort of orangey-green like the skin, not the deep fuchsia of the flesh in the middle) edged its way carefully between the navigation buoys, which flashed intermittently like a pair of warning lights outside of a fire house, accept they were more of a pinky-red rather than a dirty yellow.

Rob Wyatt
Concord, NC

Dishonorable Mentions
Commander Svenson rolled quickly in the dirt, dodging the Pravakthian’s arrow, firing his carbonizer pistol which projects high frequency electricity provided by a small laser through a copper sheathed carbon rod to produce a deadly projectile but it didn’t work so he threw it away and reached for a rock that would.

Scott Palmer
Klamath Falls, OR

Criminy, thought Francine as she left the birthing center, if the baby’s an unknown life-form, it probably means Ricky wasn’t really from West Hartford, either.

David Wyman
Goffstown, NH

Winner: Vile Puns
Sleepless in Seattle, sleepless in Schenectady, and now–damn her bad luck–sleepless in this god-forsaken pit Brad assured her was a perfectly lovely out-of-the way and darling older, but totally updated and refurbished, accommodation flushed with sunlight and surrounded by swirling blue waters in Seward named the Tide Ebola Inn.

Pat Merrill
San Anselmo, CA

Runner-Up
Hans sipped from his bottle of German Bru-hoff beer and idly read the label: “Bru-hoff, a heady-nosed Rhine beer has a slightly briny pose, and if you’ve ever drawn it, you would like the way it flows, but all of the other Rhine beers, Dusen lagers, and thick ales, they never beat our Bru-hoff in the yearly Rhine beer games.”

Roger J. McNichols
Pearland, TX

Dishonorable Mentions
As Reynoldo lit the votive candle at the grotto for San Jose de los Platanos and prayed for the healthy delivery of his first child, he heard a disembodied voice say, “Your daughter will be 17 inches long,” to which Reynoldo replied, “do you know the weight, too, San Jose?

Tom O’Leary
Covina CA

Alas, all he wanted was to be the best barber in the world, even if only by a hair, but, alas he found his ambition thwarted by a headlong rush of fate and an unexpected side effect of his tonsorial skill — everyone he served became strangely calmer and less argumentative, and he discovered that people were coming to him only for his kinder cuts, this barber of civility.

Alan B. Combs
Austin, TX

Winner: Western
“This town’s not big enough for the two of us,” growled Slim Jenkins, “but I think that if we can get the townspeople to agree to issue a bond to annex the Carter Ranch, we can then incorporate and there should be plenty of room for everyone.”

Patrick McNamara
El Dorado Hills, CA

Runner-Up
It was hardtack and beans for the crouching cowboys in the lee of the chuck wagon that stormy night when the wind flared the fire and the light caught the trail boss’ leather-bound, barb-wire muscled face which might have said, were he not the quiet sort, “Cookie, we should have had more salads.”

Barry McAtee
Austin, TX

Miscellaneous Dishonorable Mentions
The day dawned much like any other day, except that the date was different.

Geoff Blackwell
Bundaberg , Queensland
Australia

The thing that goes back and forth inside the old grandfather clock swung like a pendulum.

John Brugliera
W. Lebanon, NH

It was only a leaking pustule, but for Billy the Bacterium it was home.

Barry Nester
Jerusalem
Israel

To her dismay, Julia found that her right hand seemed to be pulling her into an increasingly horizontal position; first her wrist and forearm, then her upper arm and shoulder, until her cheek lay on her shoulder, leaving her to surmise that the handrail of the airport’s moving sidewalk progressed at a more rapid pace than the sidewalk itself.

Ann Harper
Phoenix AZ

Her pendulous breasts swung first to the left, then to the right and finally in independent directions, much like semaphore signals, and although he couldn’t understand semaphore, Kyle was sure they were saying, “Never ride the Tilt-A-Whirl with your grandma.”

Randy Heil
Las Vegas, NV

Kaitlynn looked like a woman who’d been used by more guys than a porta potty at a burrito festival yet I loved her madly even if she wasn’t the kind of girl you’d take home to meet mom unless mom was at her monthly garden club meeting and dad was home alone mowing the lawn or cleaning out the garage.

Robert Salsbury
Spokane Valley, WA

She was so delicate that her voice was a mere whisper and her hair drooped in thinly clumped strands around her pale face with skin as milky as a china plate painted the starkest white glaze and fired in a kiln over 940 degrees Fahrenheit.

Christine Wilson Brancazio
Weirton, WV

Her breath came in short, urgent gasps as beads of sweat slowly coalesced and slipped hesitantly over her lightly-tanned skin, leaving glistening trails down a cleavage that was both feminine and primal while her wide eyes betrayed a mind still struggling to accept that her physical ordeal was over and that she had, in fact, caught the bus.

Ben Connelly
Canberra, Australia

Africa: a land of deserts and jungles, a land of wars ancient and recent, ravaged by disease and famine and yet the source of nine-tenths of the world’s diamonds, a land of gigantic waterfalls and the great Rift Valley, the very source of all humanity, a land 6000 miles away from where this story takes place.

Jason Dias
Colorado Springs, CO

The first time a boy stuck his tongue in her mouth, Jenny surrendered completely to the invigorating intermingling of their spit — not the Polidential spit of old age, nor the salivary excretions of middle-age, with its tart hints of gingivitis even among those who floss daily, but the invigorating drool of youth–spittle that dazzled the uninitiated with its exquisite hints of promise, innocence, and bygone braces.

Sean Griffin
Tacoma, WA

“Let’s dance,” he uttered perfunctorily, his voice sounding to Meg almost like tires on gravel, but more like tires on crushed shells, the kind they use for driveways in Florida and parts of South Carolina, and the tires being like big snow tires.

Paul Guyot
Los Angeles, CA

Franz made his way through the boulder-strewn alpine landscape stepping warily over granite monoliths, some resting like bodies of wine-sodden derelicts asleep in a railway station and others seemed already like separable prefixes of German verbs lurking at ends of sentences like crones from a Grimm tale ready to clutch a reader by his Lederhosen and yank him back from the brink of reverie.

P.S.Hamilton
Pearland, TX

Myra pursed her silicone-filled lips in a pouty, sultry smirk that whispered, “We have synergy, you and I,” like a man and his dog that have begun to resemble one another after lazy summer days spent sharing a common food dish and an antique, metal comb.

Allison Hazen
Washington, DC

Stamp, stack, stamp, stack, stamp, stack, Rodney was going insane from the monotony of the job and the cruel irony of being guest of the New Hampshire penal system forced to read the words over and over: “Live Free or Die,” “Live Free or Die,” “Live Free or Die.”

Denise Hendsbee
Santa Cruz, CA

“I’ve never done this before,” she said softly, and she was trembling, shaking really–shaking like a Harley-Davidson idling at a stoplight, one of the ones with the old Evo-style engine, where people’s dentures vibrated out as they rode–and yet when I touched her skin, it was smooth and inviting like one of the new Harleys, the ones that copy the Japanese engineering and use rubber mounts and counter-balancers . . . not that I would know, because I ride a British bike anyway and haven’t been able to get it cranked in nearly six years, which is why I was shaking hands with her, because she owned a bike shop and had never touched a Vincent Black Lighting.

Mel Hughes
Jacksonville, FL

After putting down her hometown newspaper from a small community in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (which makes one wonder why it is the Upper Peninsula of Michigan since no part of their land touches the lower portion of the state and in actuality they are connected to Wisconsin which makes you think they should be the Upper Peninsula of Wisconsin but that is to be discussed another day), Linda needed to find a sympathy card to send to the family of someone she saw in the obituaries.

Michael Janicki
Middleton, WI

Maynard Fimble was told that “you can’t compare apples and oranges,” but, he thought, they are both eatable, grow on trees, are about the same size, are good for you, have a peel, come in many varieties, and are approximately round in shape, thus, to his horror and guilt, he realized that he was comparing them and wondered what punishment awaited him and on whose order.

Charles Jaworski
North Pole, AK

As Amy reached for the envelope her heart fluttered in anticipation like the wings of a fruit bat that has eaten a fermented peach, and even though she knew the statistic that you are more likely to be hit by a meteorite than to win the lottery, she was still quite surprised when opening the envelope to be hit by a meteorite.

Tim Lafferty
Horsell
Woking, U.K.

“Call me Ishmael,” Joanna finally began, a scant fourteen hours before her book report was due, and she sympathized with him and reflected on the likeness of the vast paper tome in front of her to the cetacean antagonist immortalized within, or at least she would have if she’d had any idea what the book was about.

Don Laursen
Grand Rapids, MI

As she pointed the car due north like a needle on a boy scout’s compass to head back to the frozen wasteland from which she had come, a light rain began to drizzle down, forming hundreds–no thousands–of small cat paw prints, as though a herd of invisible felines of all sizes and ages with wet feet were jumping on the windshield, totally oblivious to the fact that the car was traveling at a speed high enough to dislodge any small animals from the front of the vehicle.

Sandie Lester
Maumelle, AR

Farmer Brown knew the moment he read the ransom note-the tiny, dirty footprints, childish scrawl, and a spray of seed debris among the angry peckmarks marring the paper’s surface-that the chickens had kidnapped his beloved Bichon Friese Fifi, and that the only man who could help him, George “The Chicken Whisperer” Fitzpatrick, was sleeping off a killer hangover in the outdoor privy behind the pigpen.

Debra Mann
Subbury, ON
Canada

As he pressed his heaving, moist, ineffable manhood closer to her trembling porcelain bosom, Reginal Pompilious-Pomfret, Duke of Sufferingdale, wondered, not for the first time, whether this Lady Ashdown might not, in fact, be his sister, and resolved to confront mater about the subject directly he finished slaking his Jovian lust upon her ladyship.

Catherine Martin
Boston, MA

It was 11:59 AM according to the clock located on the lower right hand side of his desktop display on his task bar (for Microsoft Windows XP was the standard Operating System in use at his office) and life was effectively over, as his one true love, his eternal soul mate, called him from her Nokia 3130 cell phone by depressing and holding the three key, using the soon-to-be-erased quick dial feature, to let him know their passionate and tumultuous relationship had to end.

Thomas Mills
Lorton, Virginia

The dead make good neighbors; I mean, they don’t trot over at all hours and beat upon one’s domicile door for a bit of sugar or whatnot; they don’t accost one after church and press ragged tickets upon one for some bally fete or another, nor bung off to Bath after dropping their beastly pets for me to watch; no, as a whole, your graveyard corpse is a quiet, peaceful sort of Johnnie.

Karl Moeller
Tucson AZ

Keith’s popularity as the first openly gay daredevil was rising quickly; in fact, it was said he ate danger for breakfast, followed by a light brunch of lemon scones, quiche, and the occasional Mimosa, and then he was back to eating danger.

Nathan Murray
San Diego, CA

If thoughts were threads, Melvin could have woven a multi-hued persian carpet that would have encircled the Equator 11.7 times over, because that was how often he thought of Shelly, the girl he met at the library, who was taking something out of her locker.

Sharlini Nambiar
Kuala Terengganu
Malaysia

Johnny’s first kiss with Melissa knocked him back on his heels like the bass line of the “Theme from Peter Gunn” — an odd sensation since Johnny wasn’t born until 1972 and Peter Gunn was over because Blake Edwards, who created Peter Gunn, had begun the Pink Panther movies starring another Peter, Peter Sellars, best remembered for his performance as Chauncey Gardner in “Being There” but whose truly great role was in “Dr. Strangelove” co-starring Slim Pickens who rides an atomic bomb to earth where it explodes — and that was what Melissa’s first kiss was really like.

Kent Neely
Edwardsville, IL

“Where to hide?” was Ovinia’s only thought as she raced madly across the field outside Aberdeen and up a grassy incline, frantically seeking escape from the man who was hell-bent on possessing her, on making her his and his alone, having succumbed to her beauty, drawn into near madness by the watery depths of her brown eyes and lured by the exotic perfume of lanolin and newly-mown hay which wafted from her thick coat as she grazed.

Leslie Neumann
Ballston Spa, NY

It was a dark and stormy night, not so dark that one couldn’t see a hungry Wallaby in a patch of wild gooseberries at fifty paces, nor stormy enough that a severe weather watch had been issued by the National Weather Services Department, but a dark and stormy night nevertheless.

Allan Newell
Toronto, ON
Canada

As he felt the baseball bat connect firmly with the six-pointed Bar Mitzvah pinata, spilling its glorious load of chocolate dreidels and packages of neatly rolled polyester socks over him, Miguel Valdez Liebermann knew that, at long last, he was finally a man.

Lawrence Person
Austin, TX

Sheila walked into the room, flaunting the kind of body that made grown men wish they were teenagers, made teenagers wish they were grown men, made toddlers wish they were preteens, made preteens wish they were young adults, and made everyone wish editors swung blue pencils the same way she swung her hips as she crossed the threshold of both the room and bad taste, her breasts swaying like dual house-trailers on a windy overpass.

Marx Prewett
Dallas, TX

It was a bright, yet sunless day, which left a gray cast to everything as Michelle, who went by Shellie because there were seven other girls in her homeroom named Michelle, although three of them went by Shellie also, looked for her pepper spray in her messy yet extremely fashionable back pack.

Joanne Rawson
Toledo OH

The barren windswept plains beckoned to her like a forlorn lover, calling, “Come here, come here,” but she thought, “Am I really dressed right for this occasion, in my black Christian Dior business suit and high heels, or should I run home real quick and change into something more Little House on the Prairieish, like a gingham skirt, white ruffled blouse, and high-button shoes?

Ellen Rhudy
Marriottsville, MD

On the eerily quiet morning of Friday the 13th, a strong Sixth Sense told Bobbie-Jean it was time to quit her job as Quality Control Manager at the Cracker Jack Plant, with which her other five quickly agreed that she had smelled, touched, tasted, seen and heard enough of the stuff to last an entire lifetime.

Juliet Toland
Ban Tinkhao, Muang
Thailand

I woke up in Shirley’s father’s dog’s house — or at least most of me did, because the house was ranch style as near as I could figure it and Shirley’s father’s dog Tracey was one of those little terrier types with the sardonic overbite and the haunted eyes of a Flamenco dancer.

Jim Waples
Wauwatosa, WI

I will tell you a tale of great adventure like in “Treasure Island,” with some smiles and some tears like in “Lassie Come Home,” some treachery and some heroism, again, like in “Treasure Island,” some romance and some betrayal like in lots of Shakespeare (“Romeo and Juliet,” for example), and even — if the reader doesn’t mind — some philosophy, but like the Chicken Soup books not like Spinoza or Plato or anything.

David Wyman
Goffstown, NH

Their eyes met across the crowded room and Morag smiled the smile of a single, endearingly clumsy thirtysomething female with an unfulfilling career, a gay best friend, a weakness for chocolate, and a talent for accessorizing who had found Mr. Right but needed to break-up and have fantastic make-up sex with him a couple of times before finally realizing he was the one.

Siew-Fong Yiap
Kowloon, Hong Kong

Lean on Me

Beth Orton

You’ve seen sad times,
Your eyes have told me so,
Blue and bad times,
You think that I don’t know,
But there’ll be glad times,
Just you wait and see,
And there’ll be a sun rise,
If you lean on me,
Said lean on me babe,
You can lean on me,
I imagine I could comfort you,
I have forgotten,
The things that you’ve been through,
But there’s one thing,
On which we can a agree,
When you’re ready darling,
You can lean on me,
And the love I bring,
Will grow into a lasting thing,
Put your heart on wings,
And set you free,
And as you rise,
Up into the clearing skies,
Maybe you will realise,
You can lean on me,
And lean on me,
You can lean on me,
Lean on me,
You can lean on me,
Lean on me,
You can lean on me,
Lean on me,
You can lean on me,
All your heartache,
Hidden deep inside,
So there’s no telling,
How many tears you’ve cried,
But like the river,
To the weeping willow tree,
I can hold your teardrops child,
So lean on me,
And the love I bring,
Will grow into a lasting thing,
Put your heart on wings,
And set you free,
And as you rise,
Up into the clearing skies,
Maybe you will realise,
You can lean on me,
And lean on me,
You can lean on me,
Lean on me,
You can lean on me,
And lean on me,
You can lean on me,
Lean on me,
You can lean on me,
And lean on me,
You can lean on me,
Lean on me,
You can lean on me,
And lean on me,
You can lean on me,
Lean on me,
You can lean on me.

This Kiss

Faith Hill

It’s the way you love me
It’s the way you love me
It’s the way you love me
It’s the way you love me

I don’t want another heartbreak
I don’t need another turn to cry, no
I don’t want to learn the hard way
Baby hello, oh no, goodbye
But you got me like a rocket
Shooting straight across the sky

It’ s the way you love me
It’s a feeling like this
It’s centrifugal motion
It’s perpetual bliss
It’s that pivotal moment
It’s, ah, impossible
This kiss, this kiss
(Unstoppable)
This kiss, this kiss

Cinderella said to Snow White
“How does love get so off course
All I wanted was a white knight
With a good heart, soft touch, fast horse
Ride me off into the sunset
Baby I’m forever yours”

It’s the way you love me
It’s a feeling like this
It’s centrifugal motion
It’s perpetual bliss
It’s that pivotal moment
It’s, ah unthinkable
This kiss, this kiss
(Unsinkable)
This kiss, this kiss

You can kiss me in the moonlight
On the rooftop under the sky, oh
You can kiss me with the windows open
While the rain comes pouring inside, oh
Kiss me in sweet slow motion
Let’s let everything slide
You got me floating
You got me flying

It’s the way you love me
It’s a feeling like this
It’s centrifigal motion
It’s perpetual bliss
It’s that pivotal moment
It’s (ah) subliminal
This kiss, this kiss
(It’s criminal)
This kiss, this kiss

It’s the way you love me baby
It’s the way you love me, darlin’

It’ s the way you love me
It’s a feeling like this
It’s centrifugal motion
It’s perpetual bliss
It’s that pivotal moment
It’s (ah) subliminal
This kiss, this kiss
(It’s criminal)
This kiss, this kiss

It’s the way you love me baby
It’s the way you love me darlin’

Goodies to Check Out

from Sweet Tooth’s Dream
by Sandy Daza
in his PDI Column, Word of Mouth

Common interests bring people together. Like Matuts and Vicky, who became friends because they both love to eat. These pretty ladies had traveled from the streets of Paris, San Francisco and New York, to Cubao and Escolta. Wherever there’s good food, the looks of the place does not matter.

They have been to the fanciest and most economical dining places in the world. They enjoy getting ideas from goodies they’ve tried.

For many years, Matuts has been developing a candy inspired by her first bite of the famous Almond Roca. Matutina’s Almond Crunch is addicting. It is a flat candy with layers of crunchy caramel, creamy chocolate and toasted almond on top. It is definitely a sweet tooth’s dream.

A word of caution, though: double the adhesive of your dentures (baka mahulog). This is something that depressed people can pour their frustrations on- and it relieves stress. It comes in 200-gram boxes.

For her part, Vicky created something straightforward: old-fashioned Jalea de Mangga. It is a flavorful mango jam that is not too sweet but absolutely delicious.

I kept it in my fridge beyond the reach of anyone (disguised as a melon). This easily beats the strawberry jam that Tasmania is so famous for-truly a labor of love! She uses the sweetest, most outstanding mangoes. With some butter, or cheese or just on a spoon, it is heavenly. Sarap talaga! This is something the Philippines can promote and push as “sariling atin.” A sure winner!

To check out the Almond Crunch, call tel. no. +63 2 8420348. For the Jalea de Mangga, call +63 2 8421375.

Happy eating!

More Goodies

  • Ensaymadas – Ms. Cunanan, 631 0798 / 632 9967
  • Brownies, Prune Cake and Lemon Squares – Becky’s Kitchen 1061 P.Ocampo cor. Bautista St. Singalong Manila 525 1648 / 523 4245
  • Caramel Cake (butter sponge cake with caramel sauce) – Estrel’s, Scout Tobias St. Quezon City 3722965
  • Caramel Cake – Juda Liu
  • Fudgy Bonbons – 633 1513
  • Rhum Cake – Ana Zosa
  • Chocolate Ganache Cake – 898 2280
  • Homemade Ice Cream – Nat Go at 922-2889 or (0920) 923-3423 (Mango Cream Pie, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip ,Dark Chocolate made from Belgian chocolate, Chocnut, Nutella, Cherry Chocolate Chip, and Dulce de Leche. He even accepts custom-made ice cream and is willing to experiment on any flavor a client might suggest (Kitkat was one such custom flavor).
  • Chocolate velvet-Sylvia Lim’s Cake Lady. A chocoholic’s dream. A must! Tel. nos. +63 2 893-7537, 810-7106.
  • Bibingkang malagkit-The best in the country. La Tasca. Tel. nos. +63 2 896-5543, 897-9749, 897-6056, 897-9872.
  • Rum cake-Sandy Romualdez. The yummiest rum cake ever. Tel. nos. +63 2 671-1089, 727-5013.
  • Food for the gods-Mara de la Rama. Tel. no. +63 2 635-3327.
  • Chicken empanada-Chris Ompaoco. +63 2 920-7282, 435-6958.
  • Apple pie-Tina Tamesis. Delicious apple pie baked fresh everyday. Perfect with cheese. Tel. no. +63 2 727-5324.
  • Pecan pie and cinnamon rolls-Jack and Icee Colet. Tel. nos. +63 2 631-4221, 910-1363, 910-1364.
  • Pecan pie-Millet Soberano. Heavy and delicious! Tel no. +63 2 929-1090.
  • Heny Sison-Diva of the Pastry Kitchen. Ask her what she recommends. Her shop is loaded with delicious goodies. Tel nos.+63 2 726-5316, 412-7792.
  • Mini-siopao-sioplets! A pika-pika favorite and superb midnight snack. Tel nos. +63 2 631-3450, 637-1448.
  • Tita Paring’s Suman Latik The best in the East. Found in malls like SM Megamall (food court), Shangri-La, etc.Chicken nuggets-Belcap. Comparable to McDo’s. Tel. +63 2 929-9432.
  • Chocolate almond crunch-Ana Lorenzana De Ocampo. Tel. no. +63 2 809-1410.
  • Mango bars and fudge brownies-Gela’s Kitchen. Tel nos. +63 2 852-5814, 852-6045.
  • Cebu lechon-Rico’s Cebu Lechon. Tel nos. +63 32 344-0119, +63 917 407-2033.
  • Pandan cake and cheesecake-light pandan cake, perfectly sweet and unbelievable-tasting cheesecake, by Buddy Trinidad. Cellphone no. +63 918 901-7013.
  • Mango tarts-Rosanna Angeles. Tel nos. +63 2 415-6880, 721-2890.
  • Black and white chocolate mousse-Melanie Platito. Ask her about her bestsellers. Tel. nos. +63 2 436-1757, 0917 520-1307.
  • Galantina-Dulcinea. The best in town.
  • Chocolate truffle cake-Ginny De Guzman’s Sugarhouse. Megamall, Robinson’s Manila, Rockwell.
  • Sugar-free desserts. For the “sweet-tooth” who wants to stay away from sugar. Lisa Asuncion’s pastries are the best. You can hardly tell they have no sugar. Ask her about her bestsellers. Tel. nos. +63 2 631-7434, +63 917 528-2707.
  • Mango torte and walnut meringue with lemon and mango filling. Perfectly sweet and light. Made by Patty’s Cake. Cellphone no. +63 917 837-9533
  • Martha’s Creations. The ultimate in children’s cakes. The most simple but delicious icing I have tried. Tel nos. +63 2 842-3836, +63 917 520-7265.
  • Fruitcake-Maryann Villanueva. Heavy, not too sweet. Tel no. +63 2 641-7176.
  • Chocolate almond crunch-Tina Gutierrez’ delicious candies. Super-nice packs. Cellphone no. +63 917 822-4466
  • Nono’s Chocolate Oblivion the “quintessential chocolate cake”: layers of chocolate cake and ganache textured with walnut praline and dusted with cocoa powder Baba Ibazeta (Classic Confections) 8423969/ 7462773
  • Strawberry Shortcake and Turtle Pie – Baby Yulo 8124961/ 8108078
  • Mango and guava jam-superior quality home-made jams. +63 917 523 8759.
  • slowly roasted Black Angus Prime Roast Beef. Made by Chefs Mon and Monique Eugenio with Chef Mel Resuma. They are gold medal winners in the Chefs on Parade competitions. I tried their Angus beef with Cabernet Sauvignon shallot au jus, and I almost fainted. It was superb! They also make a nice green peppercorn or Morel sauce with roast beef that can be made the centerpiece of any Christmas dinner. Call Mon at + 63 917 533-1155.
  • Chef Rox-Bottled sauces. Catering, too. Call +63 917 538-3284.
  • Reasonably-priced catering-Call Penny for simple home-cooked food: +63 919 327-1723 or tel. nos. +63 2 893-8348, 893-8359.
  • Butter cake, Prune cake, and Lasagna – Mom and Tina’s 9140833
    106 E. Rodriguez Jr. Ave. Pasig City
  • Peach Walnut Torte – Nina Intengan (911-64-52)
  • Ginny Abela, Lemon Torte, 8525341, 0917-8472549
  • St. Clements Kitchens Chocolate Chip Bars and Fudgy Bonbons, 4264076, 4362850, 0918-9157984
  • Fruits and Christmas scented candles in all shapes, colors and sizes for your Christmas dinner and buffet tables, 0917-8990306/0917-8222122
  • Food orders for the holiday season-simple and delicious home cooking, Offie Benavidez of O’s Kitchen, 0917-8150822; Boots Salas, 0916-5265284; Joel Vilches, 0917-5414880; Ditas Lumpiang Hubad, 6330205
  • Karen Kitchen’s Chocolate Ganache Cake, 8982880 or 0917-5394968
  • Roasted Lamb on a Spit-2790556/0920-2090330
  • Ready-to-cook corned beef, steaks and roasted Australian calf (prime beef), JR & Vinia Camacho, 9265647, 0918-9104913
  • Baked Virginia Ham and giant chicharon, The Plaza, Myrna, 7182211
  • Beautifully packaged food and wine baskets, Girlie Canoy, 6471316/6471366
  • Dennis Hipolito: 0917516578/ (044) 8404082
    Roselyn Tiangco: 8120908

    Joyce Aragon: 09175232913

    Baba Ibazeta (Classic Confections): 8423969/ 7462773

    Polly Garilao: 8247612

    Melissa Lim: 9112329

    Tony Cuerva: 8509182

Ehe! And I wonder why its so hard to lose weight. I think 40% of my thoughts are about food. :(

Saint Santi

Monday Erik and I took the afternoon off to visit a wedding videographer. The meeting didn’t go too well and it was only early afternoon and we had nothing to do. I bugged Erik to accompany me to Souk to check out their clothes. Fortunately, nothing caught my fancy, so I left the shop with my wallet intact.

We decided to walk to Santi’s Deli, as Roberta had told me you can buy some raclette there.

It was heaven.

Santi’s had a laaaarge array of cheeses and meats. I saw 4 varieties of Brie, and about 6 varieties of Bacon. Wowowow!

I left not only with a slice of raclette, but with half a portobello mushroom, caesar salad dressing, some lettuce, 4 gherkins, a pack of tyrolean bacon, and some chicken gizzard confit.

Today I went back for more gherkins. Was that all I got?

No-no-nono-nono.

12 gherkins plus: 4 italian sausages, 4 hungarian sausages, a slice of brie de miele, 3 packs of bacon (!), and a bottle of milk.

It looks like we’ll soon be familiar faces to the Santi’s staff.

Project Wrap-up

Earlier today we had a wrap-up meeting with one of our clients. This client was a multinational company that had relocated to one of Makati’s Grade-A Buildings.

To be honest, I had doubts that we would even get this job as (1) the invitation to bid was sent to our previous company’s email and was sent to us late, in effect cutting down our bid preparation period, (2) as a company, we had never constructed in the building before. (3) we were bidding against 3 of the top companies in the industry, and (4) we were a start-up company that had only registered last year, and we didn’t even have a financial statement to our name.

Notice I didn’t say anything about our delivery? Heheh, I wouldn’t consider that a problem, as we’ve got an extremely talented designer, and project management is handled by yours truly.

Anyway, they took a change, we got the job and it was our first big job for the year – a design and construct job to boot!

Despite hiccups, they’re very pleased with the final result, and I couldn’t help grinning today when the CFO said that visitors always told them that their new offices looked really good. She said that they love showing off the pantry (which we had designed as a cafe’ complete with pendant lighting and ceiling features).

In spite of all the internal heartache and stress we had with this project (and believe me they were numerous – our trusted suppliers who had never made booboos before chose to drop everything on this job – I would write down all the trouble but I wouldn’t be believed), I can really say I am quite happy with the final product.

In tagalog, nakakataba ng puso when your clients are happy with what you did. :)

Breathtaking View

from the Philippine Daily Inquirer

For Cat Lovers

Check this out.