Monday, July 29, 2002

Emberton is at it again with his piece about, "More stupid slogans."

This piece about Tabasco sauce runs hand-in-hand with my philosophy about our intentions being based on our beliefs and / or life experiences. So goes it with Tabasco....

The Tao of Tabasco (as told by a half breed Choctaw Indian and Mexican with a pinch of Scottish for good measure).

Emberton says, "How Tabasco could make your food taste like anything other than... Tabasco sauce, I'll never know."

The voice of a truly skoville challenged individual.

Taste is an acquired thing. Don't believe me? Go to a foreign country and eat samples of their food.

Sea urchin
Barong sauce
Mongolian dipping sauce

I come from El Paso, Texas. People up here poke fun at how I smother food with sliced jalapeno peppers and Tabasco sauce (merely a one to a six on the Skoville Heat Unit 'SHU' scale for sissies). I'd choke to death if I had to eat something bland. Bland being anything NOT covered in peppers or sprinkled with a variety of available hot sauces, Tabasco being only one of many.

People have also asked me where I go for, "Good Mexican food." They think I am just being a smart-ass when I say.....


A true Mexican restaurant would never survive in the states unless the majority of their customers were of Mexican origin. You won't find Menudo on the menu of an American based Mexican restaurant. Tripe soup to you gringos. A true hangover cure.

My experienced taste buddies have sampled the hottest of the hot. Ten of thousands and above on the SHU scale, to include marvels like the Golden Habanero, Bolivian Rainbow Fatalli Hot Lemon or the Brown Congo pepper. I've ruined whole meals by adding too much of the famous Habanero pepper.

In China I experienced the "HOT" side of the Mongolian Hot Pot that I would class as not just HOT, but lethal, for those of you who haven't read my vacation journal. Those unknown peppers floating in the pot looked reminiscent of the Thai sun pepper and upon experiencing a numb tongue and mouth and a nuclear glow once I swallowed, I uttered a response similar to Emberton's.

One who grows up in bland, probably eats bland. Me? I grew up in Spicy.

Therefore I am.


My quiet, rural neighborhood has been run over lately with crows. Ravens actually, as these are BIG birds.

Huge, shiny black birds with pointy beaks and coal black eyes, perched on the limbs of my maple tree, staring down into the mudhole of my "pond" that used to have water in it. Now it is just a mudhole after weeks without rain.

The ravens eye the pond / mudhole and fly down to it, perched on some object such as a tree limb or clump of organic material and begin pecking away at some invisible object.

I possess a small pair of binoculars that I keep handy to spy on certain birds that wander into my mini-forest and the occasional jogging female humanoid outfitted in Spandex. So, one day I grabbed them to eyeball a raven picking at some object. When the binoculars were brought into focus, I finally saw the so-called, invisible object of their interest.

A small frog.

I watched in horrified silence as the raven held the helpless frog down on a branch with it's talons and began ripping it's legs off with it's powerful beak. It ripped off both legs before expertly turning the frog about face and ripping off it's little arms. Arms? Do frogs have arms? Forelimbs then. Then finally, it popped the remaining morsel into it's mouth like a breath mint.

Frog breath mints.

It could happen.


Saturday, July 27, 2002

I have been alive for .....

Seventeen thousand, one hundred sixty-eight days today.

Four years, ten months and thirteen days more and I will have outlived my father's life expectancy.

The Mystery Of Rogue Perennials

It happens every year. I go out to take a look at my garden, pull a few weeds, water the thirsty roots and suddenly I see one.

A rogue perennial.

Where do they come from? This is not a plant I purchased and planted. I'm not talking about a plant that managed to reseed itself from one of my other gardens or one that popped up in my compost pile the next spring after a past season of culling and composting. Nope, I mean strange, often exotic plants that appear out of the middle of nowhere, in my garden and usually flourish.

Some of them are so foreign to me that I have to find out their names. Some I recognize.


I didn't plant them. Honest. They just show up and they flourish. It is a mystery that may never be solved. Some say birds bring the seeds. I've never seen a bird in my side garden. The little birds must be playing bombardier from above, bombing the earth with various seeds. Johnny Appleseed birds.

A mystery.

Ah crap...

Sometimes people piss me right the hell off. The more people I get to know, the more I like my cat.

I tell myself, "Get Real Jim," shit happens. Yeah, right. I was walking out of my facility today with my colleague Susan and she had to run back in to get her purse. She handed me a book. It was yet another of Susan's, "Social worker, earth-shoe-wearing, touchy-feelie, yoga, philosophy-self-help malarkey" books. I scoffed at it and made a smart comment per usual but Susan is one of these people who is happy all the time and pisses me off being that way.

Mr. Negative.

Susan spouted something over her shoulder as she walked into the building - to the tune of, "The book is blah, blah, blah - excellent, blah, blah ....insightful."

I try to avoid insightful things whenever possible, but my curiosity was piqued. Damn her. I looked down at the book and the word/name, "Christ," caught my eye. That almost wrecked it for me right there, but I opened it anyway. The page I opened it to was entitled, "Intentions."

I read one paragraph.

Five minutes later I was still reading. This crap was making a hell of a lot of sense. I have been thinking that I wish I would have taken it home with me. The first paragraph said something to the tune of, "Our intentions are based on our beliefs...." or some such thing. Anyway, to paraphrase a bit, this book was telling me that based on my fucked up past life and the things I learned back then, morals, beliefs, guilt, hurt, pain, remorse, suspiciousness, manipulation, sarcasm is what I base things on now.

Oh shit.

In a matter of five minutes I had an answer to one of my life's questions, "Why the hell do I do and say and feel the things I feel, even when most people don't do and say and feel these things too?"

Evidently it is due to all the crap I am still carrying with me. Damn. So, people don't really suck I guess, I guess it's my perception of them based on what I learned to perceive long ago. Sometimes I just want to crawl into a little cave, shut the door and keep to myself. I'd have my laptop of course....and my Webber barbecue grill and my cat and a pack or two of cigarettes and food....hamburgers and shit....and a couple porno flicks and my right hand and my memory of my travels and coffee. That's all I'd need. Milk. I'd need milk for my coffee. That's all I'd need. Television. I'd need television to watch Law & Order and that's all I'd need. Cat box. I'd need a cat box and litter. That's all I'd need. Toilet paper. You gotta have toilet paper...and that's all I'd need. Who the hell needs human companionship? They only say hurtful things and dish out loads of guilt and suck you dry. A video cassette recorder. I'd need one to play the porno flicks. That's all I'd need. Oh, and a flashlight...that's surely all I'd need.

Okay, so let's do some serious reflection here....I'm forty freaking' seven years old and single with no children. I am sick and tired of hearing how damn weird I am because I am not in a committed relationship or don't have a family or don't have kids. What kind of freak am I after all? Well I will freaking' tell you how freakish I am....I am so damn freakish that I don't get into fights with a spouse over some trivial stupid fucking ludicrous thing and carry that fight to work with me and get pissed all day and sit around and complain about my freaking' spouse and how damn miserable I am. I don't bitch because I have to do something stupid that I don't feel like doing because I share a life with my spouse and she has been bitching lately about the fact that I never do things that she wants to do and is now laying a guilt trip on me or cutting the quim off cause she wants her damn way. I am a freakish single guy who does exactly as he freaking' wants to ain't that a bitch? I don't have to sit and scream at my children because they lied to me or they won't do as I say and only want what they want and want it now and can't understand how selfish I can be because if I were like Martha's dad or Tommy's father, I would give them what they want and I can't possibly understand how miserable they can be because I would have to be a kid like them, living with an asshole father like me to really understand and I am such a loser father. I'm so freakish that when I encounter a parent / shittyattitude kid scenario, I just excuse myself and say, "I gotta go....see ya!" (wouldn't wanna be ya!!).

A flashlight. I'd need a flashlight....and books, I'd need books too. That's all I'd need.

I am so sick of people telling me, almost on a daily basis, "Oh, you'd be a great dad!" or "Oh, you don't mean that! You would love children if you had them." Yeah, and I might like suicide if I tried it once too...ya never know! There is a REASON I didn't have children. Did they ever think of that? Jesus. Kids are great as long as you can tell them to go home when you've had it with them. I am NOT a kid person. Don't believe me? Just ask a kid.

I'm not a loner. Why is it people label you a loner when you just want peace and quiet? Do I need to explain that I deal with attitudes and behaviors on a DAILY basis that most people choose to avoid whenever possible their lifetime? My home is my castle, my refuge, my sanctity. Leave me the hell alone and what do you care anyway?

My behavior is directly proportional to the way I view things in life and the way I view things in life are directly proportional to my belief systems set up at an early age. Oh God. Listen to me. What the hell went wrong? Or right?

A toothbrush. I'd need a toothbrush....


Friday, July 26, 2002

Thanks so very, very much to all my friends out there in the cyberworld who either called, sent or e-mailed me a Birthday greeting! What an awesome birthday it was. Even though I had to work, people called me all day and two people even sang me the, "Happy Birthday" song. What a treat! I'm sure the gifts and money are still on their way in the mail!

So, birthdays aside, let's talk about the .....

Kamikaze Squirrels

You've all seen them (or perhaps you haven't)....

They are there, standing, sitting, squatting (do squirrels squat?) behind the roadside clumps of black eyed susans, boulders, roadside litter, ferns and various other obstructions. In groups, smoking and watching the traffic. Getting ready to bolt.

These are not the domestic squirrels you see on your tree limbs. These are squirrel homies. Squirrel punks. Street squirrels.

They play a game frightenly similar to humanoid Russian roulette.

Car dodging.

Perhaps you've seen the commercial on T.V. of the squirrel homie who darts out in front of the car and then high fives his pal when the car goes off the road to avoid him. This is rare footage showing the hand jive of a true street squirrel after he's scored on a car.

I hit one three days ago. In my rear view mirror I saw a bloody mess of twisted furry body, but I caught a glimpse of a little tattoo on his twisted arm.

A squirrel homie.

About three feet away was a tiny brown bottle.

Squirrel beer.

What are our squirrels coming to? First the pigeons, now the squirrels. New Hampshire is known for it's pristine beauty and wholesome manner. Now we're getting inundated with inner city squirrels. Squirrel homies who hitchhike up north from the barrio in Boston and New York. They are wrecking the morals and values of our wholesome squirrel youth.

We can stop this. Talk to your squirrels. Get out there and educate them against the crime ridden behavior of the inner city squirrels. Teach your squirrels good values. Tell them that they have someone to talk to if they need to communicate.

Spread the word to your squirrels to, "Just Say No."


Tuesday, July 23, 2002

Google! DayPop! This is my blogchalk: English, United States, Bristol, Newfound Lake area, Jeeem, Male, 46-50!

(If this doesn't make sense to you, then you aren't a blogchalker and should probably be terribly ashamed of yourself and immediately see a physician to get put on Prozac)


Monday, July 22, 2002

A single man's rules for cleaning house.... (as perceived by a man named Jeeem)

Rule Number One: Only clean the house when it is ABSOLUTELY necessary.

Rule Number One sub-section A: The definition of "ABSOLUTELY" can change from time-to-time as deemed necessary by the single male cleaner.

Rule number two: Never move anything. Everything has it's place and if used, should be returned to the exact spot it came from to hide the tell-tale dust free zone.

Rule number three: If rule number two is followed correctly, it is not necessary to dust.

Rule number four: Never clean the whole house at once. This takes too much time and wastes needless amounts of energy. If your system is followed correctly, the house will always "Appear" relatively clean. *Remember! Nobody expects a single male to clean house anyway.

Rule number five: Areas not in direct sight are NEVER to be cleaned.

Rule number six: Keep plenty of air freshener, plug-in fresheners, and scented carpet powder handy at all times as these will give the visitor a false sense of clean and will hide strong odors such as cat boxes that haven't been emptied in several weeks.

Rule number seven: Never allow your visitor in your home unsupervised, for any great length of time. Talented use of diversion skills will keep their attention off of the filth.

Rule number eight: Cobwebs are decorative and add a sense of ambiance if used correctly.

Rule number nine: The single male MUST have a small room with a door available to "toss" items such as dirty dishes, garbage, pizza boxes, dirty linen and XXX rated videos into in an emergency situation.

Rule number ten: Make sure ALL your friends and acquaintences know to NEVER show up unannounced.


Sunday, July 21, 2002

Hi all,

I have no life. I just spent an incredible amount of time (about three hours) trying to get my Guestmap working on my website. Had to dump the old one and try a new one off the website. The map seems to only work with IE browsers and won't work with Netscape 6. The upside is it gives you little people to place on the map, instead of dots. You can toggle to use dots if you like, but I think the little people are totally cool.

So, to all you folks who signed my old Guestmap (or tried.....Peter) please sign this new one and fill it up! There are a lot of cool little features on this one. Also, finally got my memorial up to my dog Morgan on "In Memory" so click on it and check it out.

I gotta run. I promised my bud I'd go fishing with him today and I'm already running way late.


Saturday, July 20, 2002

I've acquired a system in my blogging ventures, a list of sorts, of various topics to blog about. It seems to work for me when I appear to be brain dead suffering from writer's block or my daily visits to my close circle of blogsite pals websites comes up dry for ideas to blog about.

I've visited all my friends sites and the pool is empty. Nothing strikes me. Writer's block is setting in as I speak, so it's to my list I go.....

My aunts nicknames.

Well, it seemed a good subject when I wrote it down, perhaps this will be a challenge to make such a bland subject appear colorful and funny. My four aunts all had nicknames. These nicknames were so common in our family that I could not tell you what their real names actually are, to this day.

First, there was the oldest of my father's sisters, known only as, "Aunt Sis."

Next in line came, "Aunt Max."

Next was, "Aunt Boots."

and last was, "Aunt Bobbi."

I'll start from the bottom and work up to Aunt Sis, who deserves a totally separate blog all of her own.

Aunt Bobbi is the one I remember least about. She, like my father, was the only other sibling to contract the terrible disease of alcoholism, handed down by an evil grandfather who drank, killed deer, drank some more and beat the hell out of his family. Nice guy.

My last memory of Bobbi was seeing her walking up the sidewalk to our house in El Paso, Texas. She lived in Arizona and decided to stop in El Paso to see her brother, my dad, on her way to Dallas to visit the rest of the family. I think I was about nine years old. My dad and I were peering through the small rectangular window of our front door at Bobbi and my first recollection was asking my dad why she was so dark (tanned). My dad told me it was because she drank so much coffee and I believed him.

Aunt Bobbi died a short time later, having gotten drunk and drowning on her own vomit.

Aunt Boots was the coolest aunt I knew. She was pretty well off financially, always had a smile on her face, wore the B-I-G beehive hairdo and loved me to pieces. When my dad died from booze, she was at the funeral and later, at the reception following the funeral, asked my mother to let me come live with her and she would put me through school and see to it that I had a proper upbringing.

My mother never spoke to aunt Boots after that and forbid me to visit her in San Angelo, Texas.

Aunt Max, aka aunt Maxine, was gorgeous and very well kept for her age. She was a model for one of the most eccentric department stores known to man, Neiman Marcus, and at last notice, was married to the Vice President of the John Deere company at the time. My aunt Max was rather detached from the family, no doubt from living a life most people can't even imagine. She had expensive taste in material items as well as men. Although I wasn't close to Max, I admired her for what she had accomplished in life.

Aunt Sis was the oldest. She was a nurse and had achieved a doctorate in the health trades and was a teacher at a local nursing college. She was working at Parkland Medical Center in Dallas when John F. Kennedy was assassinated and told that story repeatedly as if it was the only influencing event in her life. Aunt Sis was one of the kindest people you would ever know, soft-spoken, yet extremely cultured and prideful. She was also an obsessive / compulsive neat freak. Her home had plastic walkways on the rug and God help you if you didn't walk on them. The majority of her furniture was covered in some sort of plastic.....plastic lampshade covers, plastic couch covers, etcetera. The startling contrast to this picture was her dog Bullet.

"Bullet" was everything but.

This poor excuse for a dog, let alone a bullet, was blind, crippled, mangy and had perpetual gas. This four legged animal would tap, tap, tap around the house, farting and running into walls and furniture. Bullet was a howl.

When I visited my aunt Sis in Dallas I stayed with her for about three or four days, taking it upon myself to laugh at Bullet and terrorize this poor creature to no end. Nothing I'm proud of naturally but all the same true. I was all of sixteen or seventeen years old, hair down to my butt, and a hippy, party freak. I was bored out of my skull at my aunts house so I turned to the Bullet dog for mild entertainment. For Bullet's sake, I hope that dog finally died. My aunt actually put that damn dog through dialysis once a week as it kidney's were failing. Un-freakin' real.

Aunt Sis is dead now, as is Bobbi and the only other brother in the family, Uncle Wayland. God only knows what Max and Boots are up to. I lost contact with the family well over twenty years ago. I was reminded of the nickname situation after writing a piece on the Philippines, having spent two weeks in a country where everybody has a nickname.

Resulting from a Googlesearch:

"Nicknames are bynames that refer to some personal characteristic of the bearer. In the Middle Ages, a person acquired this from friends and acquaintances. An appellation of this sort can be complimentary, uncomplimentary or simply descriptive. Nicknames can take various forms: descriptive of physical characteristics of some kind like Blakloc, the Small, Armstrong or Grenehod, or descriptive of character or mental or moral characteristics, such as Wastepenny, Slyman, Careless, Bonfaith. Sometimes a nickname can be metaphoric (i.e. 'John is like a') yielding names like 'Peppercorn' for a small person and 'Fairweather' for a cheerful, sunny person."

"Identifying the children in a family may be somewhat easier if the parents had a naming tradition. It is often an Irish practice and may not always be strictly followed. Some communities reflect a practice of having multiple names for family members.

  • Oldest son named after the Father's father
  • 2nd son named after the Mother's father
  • 3rd son named after the Father
  • 4th son named after the Father's oldest brother

  • Oldest daughter named after the Mother's mother
  • 2nd daughter named after the Father's mother
  • 3rd daughter named after the Mother
  • 4th daughter named after the Mother's oldest sister

  • 2nd wife's oldest daughter named after the first wife, using her full name


I'm talking with my African princess right now, using ICQ pc to pc phone. This friggin' thing is incredible! It's 8:00 p.m. Friday in New Hampshire and 2:00 a.m. Saturday Eve's time in Durban, South Africa. We've been chatting for two hours and ten minutes!!! AND IT'S FREE!!!!!


Eve is 8204 miles away. That's 13203 kilometers or 7129 nautical miles from me, as the crow flies. You leave New Hampshire, hang a left and head east-southeast (104.9 degrees) for eight thousand four miles....can't miss it.

I love technology. It allows me to share my life with a person in another part of the world whom I normally would have never crossed paths with. It's awesome to listen to Eve and learn about her life in South Africa. Her accent is cool and she is so upbeat, funny and full of energy and zest for life. Tonight I almost convinced her that she could fly to Boston if she put her mind to it. I said, "almost." I think she's gonna trade that plane ticket in for a carton of cigarettes instead.

We discussed business ventures, sobriety, loathsome spouses, frivolous expenditures and world politics before I had to wave the white flag of surrender that it was way, way past my beddy-bye time. What a cool way to spend the afternoon, talking to Eve in Africa. I just think that is so, so cool.

I didn't even have time to tell Eve about my, "African Traditions" book that arrived yesterday. "Ashanti to Zulu" it covers, and it is has neat pictures in it. Actually, it is a childrens book, which was a bit unexpected ( strikes again), published for young readers. I still like it though and it is spurning my already burning interest in Eve's culture, which I'm already learning is tremendously rich and diverse.

Nite, nite....

Wednesday, July 17, 2002

My apology for not posting the Jack Fruit drama sooner but my little Blogger Pro does not seem to be cooperating with saving my drafts.

So, (circa May 2001) after an exciting four days in Makati, a suburb of Manila, I boarded a PAL airlines flight at the domestic airport in Manila, bound for the southern Philippine island of Mindanao. I was seated next to my supposed Filipino wife-to-be, Celerina Caybot, who didn't know it yet but was soon to learn that I had changed my mind regarding the whole relationship thing, inside of twenty-four hours of meeting her for the first time. It seemed she wasn't the same person I had been corresponding with for better than a year and a half. I found Cely to be blatantly conservative, possessive, controlling, negative and a compulsive complainer. Not my idea of a fun date. We made the best of it though and I was determined to have a good time.

The flight was pleasant enough and relatively short. Inside of an hour we were descending through the clouds into the semi-mountainous region of Surigao del Norte. Once we were low enough to make out the terrain, I became wide-eyed and muttered under my breath.....

"Uh-oh Toto! We're not in Kansas anymore!"

Cely's response to this was, "What did you say?" to which I replied, "Never mind," feeling she probably had no knowledge of the Wizard of Oz and Dorothy's little dog Toto.

We were descending into thick jungle, dotted with nipa huts. Having never seen this type of landscape before, outside of a air conditioned movie theatre headlining, "The Deer Hunter," I became slack jawed and couldn't believe my eyes. This was real....not Memorex.

We got off the plane and went through an interesting, albeit chaotic luggage claim inside a building that resembled something like a garage. Once we had our luggage, we walked out into the thick atmosphere of intense heat and humidity to meet Cely's sister Tata and our Filipino driver for the day. We stopped at a nice and very popular restaurant called Weegols Garden, which specialized in barbecued chicken and served up their dishes with a soy sauce and Sili peppers (siling labuyo), which gave everything a snappy taste. We ate outside on bamboo tables, dining a la kamayan (eating with your hands) and later washing up at the communal sink.

After eating we hit the road and went through an interesting, five hour, grueling ride into Barobo, Surigao del Sur. At the Caybot's home I slowly unfolded from the truck, wincing in pain from the long, bumpy ride and began to soak in my interesting surroundings. All around me was interesting architecture amidst thick jungle, replete with exotic fruit trees bearing fruits I was only accustomed to seeing in the specialty produce section of Shop N' Save supermarkets.

Star fruit, papaya, mango and other exotic delicacies were hanging off limbs within easy reach. Across the road; however, was a pitiful looking tree that was laden with huge cancerous tumors! Upon pointing out this retched tree, I was informed that it's tumors were fruit!

Jack Fruit it was called. These were unfamiliar to me and the most massive fruit I had ever seen, dwarfing a common, American watermelon. I marveled at their size.

After a glorious week in the tropical paradise of Mindanao, I finally boarded a large ship / ferry bound for my return to Manila on the last leg of my Philippine adventure. We stopped in the beautiful town of Dumaguete, Negros on the second day of our two day return trip and eventually arrived in port at the Manila ferry terminal the following day, greeted by Cely's sister Ping-ping and Ping's husband Ronnie.

Ronnie and Ping drove us to their home in Laguna and after a breather, we got back into the car and headed out for a trip to Taygaytay, to see Taal volcano and lake. The trip took longer than we planned and soon darkness was upon us. Along the way we passed several fruit stands and I shouted out, "Look! Jack Fruit!"

Dumb American.

Ronnie promptly stopped, having a propensity for being the best tour guide I had experienced and determined to show me as much Filipino culture as he could muster. He was a wonderful host.

"No Ronnie! Don't buy a Jack Fruit!" I pleaded, thinking we would never finish the thing as the moderately sized ones probably tipped the scales at 25 to 30 pounds.

"Don't worry," he assured me, mentioning that the fruit vendors would gladly slice us a small portion.

Returning to the vehicle, we were laden down with packages of Jack Fruit and freshly sliced pineapple that filled the car with an interesting yet pleasant smell.

It was too dark to see Taal volcano once we arrived so after a quick scan of the park we made off, looking for a nice restaurant in which to dine. Seated at our tables at a late operating eatery, we ordered our meals. I ordered a pork sisig plate that came sizzling to our table. Ronnie handed the bags of fruit to our waitress and asked her in some tagalog dialect to slice our fruit into serving portions and deliver it back to us on a platter.

The Jack Fruit was interesting. It contained shiny bands of yellow fruit flesh, interspersed with white fibrous bands and large, Brazil nut sized seeds. The smell was very, very pleasant but I was leery of what they would taste like, having found even the exotic papaya a rather pungent smelling, rich tasting fruit that did not seem to agree with me.

I found the Jack Fruit to be absolutely delicious! I was devouring this tree tumor like it was going out of style until Ronnie suggested I slow down a bit.

"Why?" I responded.

"Jack Fruit isn't easily digested," he replied. So, I followed his suggestion, although my desire was to eat through another round.

The next morning, I fully understood what Ronnie meant. I awoke with terrible stomach cramps and found myself experiencing the downside to Jack Fruit. Fortunately for me, I was able to er, uh.....shall I spare you the groddy details? Relieve myself? How's that? Unfortunately for Cely, she was constipated and suffered stomach pains for the remainder of the next day.

Everything has it's price to pay and so concludes the story of the Jack Fruit.......


Monday, July 15, 2002

Happy Sunday all!

News on the Jeeemfront today, includes Cricenti's Market being robbed sometime late Friday night or Saturday morning and my friend Sandy has been in a motorcycle accident. Big news for Bristol, as you don't see much goings on like a robbery for chrissakes. In through the roof they went, or so the town rumor-mill has it (i.e., Joyce at the Bristol Laundromat). Joyce told me they took the whole damn safe, along with around $10,000 dollars.

"An inside job," Joyce predicts.

They entered through the roof and cut all the lines such as the alarm, phone lines, etc., according to Joyce. I don't need a newspaper, why buy one when you have Joyce? I should add Louie to that rumor-mill too, although I haven't been around Louie much lately. He and I have cancelled, "Louie & Jeeem's Weekly Restaurant Review," until further notice as we are both strapped for cash. We should start the review up in a few weeks if everything ends up working out.

Sandy was cruising onto Route 106 from Leavitt Road in Belmont, Friday night on her death cycle, when a guy backed out in front of her onto the highway. An illegal move on his part and lets just hope he has insurance. Her left ankle did a 180 degree twist, breaking several bones and she got a nasty gash on her right lower leg. Wasn't wearing a helmet and lucky she didn't bash her noggin' all to hell. A bit of some surgery and some minor bionics and she will keep her ankle but will be setting off airport alarms for about eight months.

My African princess Eve is putting me through hell, not blogging about the results of her latest business venture and keeping me in suspense. I'll miss her voice today as I'll be visiting Sandy in the hospital this evening. Africa has the strangest events happen! The U.S. pales in comparison. Eve's garbage is infested with lava! I wasn't aware she lived so close to a volcano! Scary stuff. Reminds me of the stream of villagers I saw not too awful long ago, seeking refuge in Rwanda after waking up to lava in their front lawns from a new volcano birth nearby. Funny, I worry about mud in my driveway! Silly me, imagine looking out and seeing molten lava in your yard.

(I know Eve's gonna kick my butt, but I just can't resist!)

I would begin my story about Jack Fruit today but I've got too much I have to do, outside of this kitchen and away from this darn computer! Have a good day all and stay tuned for more exciting news from the Jeeemeister.


Saturday, July 13, 2002

The Final Chapter of the Durian Fruit series.....

THE THEORY OF THE BAD FOOT DURIAN (Thanks to Anne Charmaine Skelchy, Durian professional):

"One does not go around picking ripe durians. They grow on tall trees, and when they are ripe, these huge, smelly, thorny, basketball size fruits will fall on their own to the ground. In one morning, as many as twenty will fall from one tree. Thus, the Malay idiom, "Durian Runtuh", which means, Durian Fall. In English, the idiom is referred to a sudden windfall."

So, an orchard owner one day, decides to explore his new, nameless orchard for durians. They're supposed to be the best in town, everyone wants to know where they came from but the orchard owner has yet to give a name to his plantation. D100? D2K? Too common a name, and too many an alphabet D.

He's still thinking, as his eyes focuses on the ground, for thorny fruits ....

Little does he know, a ripened durian would fall on his feet that morning, and the throbbing pain, gave him Bad Feet?

*blink* *blink*

Written by: Anne

The Durian Fruit world will never be the same. A paradigm shift may have occurred. Has the mystery of the Bad Feet Durian been solved? Theory? Fact? Seems rational to me. Perhaps Annie will never realize her true genius in the world of Durians. Perhaps she will become a famous authority on Durian Fruit and will write a book. The possibilities are endless.

Well blogging campers, that concludes the Durian Series. Perhaps I will begin a new series headlining Jack Fruit, the massive, teardrop shaped tree tumors of the Southern Philippines. A fruit I have tried and which is not only pleasant smelling but a delightful cross of banana and vanilla. But, evil lurks in the Jack Fruit! Every delicacy has it's price to pay!

This happy woman is holding a Jack Fruit.

Stay tuned!

WELCOME TO MY NEW FRIEND & BLOGGER OF: Mindscapes, Heartstrings & Soul-Searching! Check out her site!


Friday, July 12, 2002

Chapter Four of the Durian Fruit series.....

So now, my order for Durian Mooncake was cancelled. I related this news to my colleagues once the horror of the September 11th terrorist attack had subsided a bit and we all had a laugh. Annie sent me some postcards from Malaysia, a Malaysian ringgit and other souvenirs and I brought those in to work for show-and-tell. Our janitor, Dave, noticed one of the postcards bearing a picture of a Malaysian woman setting out Durian Fruit and said, "I've seen those at Shop-N-Save!" Dave told all of us he had seen a small sign advertising the fruit in the exotic fruit section of the market and said the fruit was suspended in a plastic mesh sack to prevent one from being pricked on it spiny skin.

One of my office mates, Susan, offered to stop at Shop-N-Save and pick up a Durian. We made a plan to sample it when she brought it to work and everyone was excited, exclaiming I was bringing so much world culture into their lives. Susan returned the next day saying she couldn't find any Durian's so had asked the woman who was working the produce section that particular day, where she might find one. This is what the produce lady said to Susan:

"Oh they are all gone. We only had a small order. You aren't missing anything though." The produce lady said.

"What do you mean?" Susan asked.

"Have you eaten one?" Produce lady asked.

"No, but my friends at work want to try one. We've heard of them."

"Don't bother. We took one out back, cracked it open and had to throw it out."


"Nobody could get past the stench to even think about tasting it."

"What did it smell like?"

"Rotting flesh. Raw sewage. Rancid meat. Take your pick."

So, me and my colleagues are Durianless. I seem to be the only one with the guts to still try one. After all, I managed to get through two weeks of point-and-eat while in China and still don't know what that octopus looking, rubber tentacles plate was that I ate. Yuck. But, the Durian story goes on......I recently received an e-mail from Annie, telling me of yet another exciting escapade she has been on....

"I don't remember much of last week, except that I had a five course "Durian" dinner with a friend. We only intended to eat just one fruit, but the fruit stall owner had so many varieties of Durians that we couldn't help but try them all. They had funny names. We had started off with the common ones, the ones with alphabets and numbers. Grades, D7, D10, and D24. Then, we went on to the "Gourmet Durians" which were stinkier than the "Starters". They had funny names. Translated in English, they were 'King of the Cats', 'Sleeping Cat' and 'Bad Feet'."

Bad Feet?

Even Anne Charmaine gave a shrug at this one. As puzzled and as full of Durian Fruit as she might have been, Annie came up with a theory about the "Bad Feet" Durian. Annie thought it sounded like a name for a native American and I thought I was going to hear a story about a Choctaw Indian who rubbed his feet with Durian Fruit imported from Southeast Asia to get rid of athletes foot or something. I was wrong. Annie came up with a very palatable theory, no pun intended.....mixed in with some very interesting Malay history.

Stay tuned.

To be continued.....

Yes, I'll have the Durian flavored one in the middle please!


Thursday, July 11, 2002

Chapter three of the Durian Fruit series.....

To digress a bit, I must say that I found the history of the Mooncake festival rather interesting, dating back to the Yuan dynasty in China. Wow. I love learning about stuff like that.

A short time after I had e-mailed Annie about my mooncake purchase, the terrible attack upon the twin towers in Manhattan occurred. I was working with my colleague Wanda and for reasons I cannot remember, we were working with a skeleton crew and only six clients when disaster struck. At first I was called into the upper classroom to view the news break on the TV. A plane had struck one of the towers and smoke was pouring out. I remember thinking that they shouldn't build buildings so tall as it seems as something like this was destined to happen eventually. Within minutes I learned of another plane hitting the buildings and the word was out that we were under attack.

The only word that comes to mind is, "Surreal." Things like this take time to wrap themselves around my brain and soak into my psyche. Wanda began crying as one of her son's was on a plane somewhere. I remember thinking, "Don't do this to me Wanda," due to my inability to deal with blatant displays of emotion. I remained calm as others appeared to react in different ways. I always end up taking charge in situations like this and I cancelled our group counseling session and directed the client's to continue to watch the TV as the events of that fateful day unfolded. I offered the use of office phones for client's to call loved ones, while remaining somewhat detached from the whole scene.

By the time evening was upon us, the events of the day had worn down upon me. It is hard to explain the feeling one gets when your safety is threatened. I walked through the door of my home, feeling some relief to be somewhere I call home and at a place where I seek comfort. In my bedroom I saw the red light blinking on my answering machine and pressed the button to receive my messages, figuring it was only the routine bill collector harassing me for payment.

Through the speaker came a female voice, distinctly foreign and vaguely Middle eastern sounding. This unnerved me at first, especially after the events of the day, as I couldn't understand the heavy accent the first time I listened to the message. Pressing the button again, I honed in on what this female voice was saying....

"Halo Jeeem! Theese es Ahhhne from Malaysia"

Actually, "Malaysia," sounded like, "Malaysher."

My body relaxed as I realized Anne Charmaine was calling me from Kuala Lumpur. Given the time difference, I don't think Annie was even aware of the events that had unfolded that day in the U.S. She was calling me to warn me of ordering Durian Fruit Mooncake! She offered to cancel my order from her office in the Petronas Towers as the web company selling the Mooncakes was only a stone's throw from where she worked. If I recall correctly, Anne laughed at the image of my co-workers sampling the rancid smelling cake! Ha! I then immediately got online and gave her the okay to cancel my order.

Annie offered to send me a sampling of Mooncake and save me some money as the company who sold the stuff required overseas orders to be a minimum of two cakes at something like $60.00 U.S. dollars. Annie is a sweetheart and a good friend. It took a while for the news of September 11th to reach around the world and the event even had an impact on Annie and where she worked.

So, my hankering for Durian Fruit was once again put on hold. More to follow about the stinky fruit.....

To be continued.....


Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Chapter two of the Durian Fruit series.....

A while ago, my friend Anne Charmaine told me about an event that occurs in Malaysia called the Mooncake Festival. She mentioned it is similar to our Halloween here in the states, except the children carry small lanterns and go door to door, receiving mooncakes as a treat from their neighbors. Anne told me it was her favorite festival when she was growing up and led me to a link telling more about the interesting event.

Upon visiting the link, I discovered that the website sells and exports mooncakes to other countries. So, I perused the site and picked two mooncakes of different flavors to be shipped to the U.S. I told Anne about my endeavor in an e-mail and mentioned that one of the mooncakes was made from Durian Fruit. I went on to mention that my plan was to celebrate the festival at work, introducing my co-workers to a little bit of Southeast Asian culture.

To be continued.....


Tuesday, July 09, 2002

This is a Durian Fruit.

The Durian Fruit is the worst smelling fruit in the world, according to popular opinion.

For those of you not familiar with the fruit, I will begin a story about this odd, Southeastern Asia Fruit that is now being imported into various corners of the world and what my connections are to the foul smelling delicacy.

I was first introduced to the name when I was staying with the Caybot family in Barobo, Surigao Del Sur in Mindanao, Philippines. My friend's brother was telling me about it and decided he would take a trip to Davao City to pick one up so he could introduce me to it. Unfortunately (fortunately?) he did not make it back in time as I had already left on the ferry to return to Manila.

Once I returned to the states, it seemed that Durian fruit would become my destiny, so-to-speak, as it's name promptly came up again. The second time Durian fruit was mentioned was by my good friend Anne Charmaine who lives in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia and works in Kuala Lumpur in the Petronas Towers...the tallest buildings in the world.

To be continued....



Wednesday, July 03, 2002


Jeeem's TRANCEMAN music is linked!

I've got my own MP3 website with a collection of my Trance music! Click on THIS link and check it out! Takes a while to load, depending on your computer and access. Nice pounding beat to jam to!


Monday, July 01, 2002

Okay, so I'm getting all this e-mail now, asking me about the Tranceman thing....

Well, I like listening to a different MP3 genre called, "Electronic," with sub-categories of Industrial electronic, Intelligent Techno, Trance, Melodic Trance, Goa, Hard Trance, Progressive Trance and Psytrance. The songs are widely popular in Asia and Southeast Asia, the beat pumping out of the plentiful Karaoke clubs and the strobe lights adding to the ambiance. I love the beat. Most people I've run into, at least in my age group, hate it but then what do they know...the old fogies.

I'm a drummer and drummers always have a beat going in their head or are tapping out a rhythm on anything they can reach or with anything they can reach. I gotta have the B-E-A-T...if I don't have the B-E-A-T then I can't have my PUDDING!

..............last damn time I'm eating beans for dinner.

Welcome to Jeeem & Louie's Weekly Restaurant Review!

Today we are reviewing:

La Carreta Mexican Restaurant

545 Daniel Webster Highway, Manchester , New Hampshire

I don't know about Louie, but I needed a change. The Chinese food, seafood platters and same-ole-same-ole was getting to me. So, off we went to the big city of Manchester. Having lived in Philadelphia and frequented both sides of the Delaware River, I became sick-to-death of highway tolls. So, I will go well out of my way to avoid the toll on I-93 heading into Manchester. I took the back way, on Route 3A and somehow had it in my head that Route 3A was the Daniel Webster Highway. By the time Louie and I had reached the Amoskeag Bridge, I knew we had gone too far.

I'm not your "typical" male who is beneath asking for directions, so Louie and I stopped at a local gas station to find out how to get to Daniel Webster Highway. A rather hard looking woman gave us directions in a rapid fire fashion and gave us a look that said, "Ask me again and I'll kill you," so we left and followed her directions as best we could remember. Once we had crossed the border into Goffstown, I decided to turn around. We wandered around Manchester for a bit and finally got back on track. I should mention the fact that while transporting my cohort-in-crime and getting ourselves lost, I had to endure an almost constant barrage of verbal Italian abuse due entirely to my lack of direction and his immediate hunger pangs.

Finally we found it. We were quickly seated and given menus, a basket of warm tortilla chips and fresh salsa. Yum, yum...I love chips and salsa and especially salsa that is fresh and not the bottled kind. This salsa had the distinct taste of tomatillo, which is my favorite. I decided quickly on the sampler plate, but Louie was lost. He was frowning into the menu and didn't know what most of the terms meant. I assisted him by explaining in detail what the various terms meant, such as burrito, fajita, enchilada, and the like. Finally, Louie settled on the T-bone steak, refried beans and Spanish rice.

Our drinks arrived (I ordered a coke and Louie got his decaf) and our very Spanish waiter, speaking very broken English, took out his little order booklet. I ordered my sampler plate, which comes complete with enchilada, Chile relleno, taco, tostada, burrito and fajita, with a side of refried beans and Spanish rice and being that I was starving and my eyes are typically bigger than my stomach, I ordered an appetizer of grilled shrimp salad.

When it came to Louie's turn to order, we ran into a problem.

Louie says, "I want the T-bone."

Very Spanish waiter says, "Ah SeƱor, wheeech teeh-bone chu waant?"

You see, there were about five different types of T-bone steak on the menu but Louie couldn't understand what the waiter was saying. So, I told the waiter in Spanish, to wait and I determined what Louie wanted and then told the waiter. The waiter was happy, I was happy and Louie...well, Louie was confused.

Minutes later the salad came out. There was plenty of grilled shrimp on a bed of shredded lettuce, carrot, tomato slices, cucumbers and onion. This was absolutely delicious! All the while Louie and I both were chowing down on the tortilla chips and salsa until a nubile cherub #1 stole away with our salsa container! I flagged down nubile cherub #2 and acquired more salsa and we continued to dig into the salad and chips. The grilled shrimp was out of this world! I highly recommend it. Louie liked it too.

The decor is circa 1900's Mexico with an equal mixture of sombrero hats, Aztec type paintings and the usual Mexican decor. A soft din of Mariachi Music was beating away in the background. Louie and I munched and ogled the young waitresses until our entree came out. His T-bone was served on a huge plate fit for a king and me? I received two plates for my meal! Yum. We both dug in and all was well except that I must say the food was not piping hot and they used way too much hamburger in their burrito and tostada dishes. This is Tex-Mex to me and although the review I read previously was a rave about this place, stating that their food was authentic Mexican, I must differ. I grew up eating meals in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico and this is not authentic...but it was fairly good and the portions were sizable.

Their refried beans were just as I like them. Flavored with either bacon drippings or lard, but creamy and very flavorful. The rice was packaged brand. Louie and I ate until I thought I'd explode and then, naturally, I ordered a plate of ice cream and another coke. Louie says his T-bone was good and overall he thought the place was okay.

Now, hours later, the beans are doing their, I'm hammering at these keys to get this review done so I can run to the bathroom. I gotta rate La Carreta (The Cart) a solid ***** five stars, if only on the proportions and the cost alone. Good quality for the money and a reasonably pleasant atmosphere.

No review next week as I'm going on a camping trip for the forth of July. The weather is finally getting warmer up here and it's about time I get back into the camping swing. Hope you all enjoyed the review this week. Take care and see you soon!

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