Thursday, October 30, 2008

Scared Spooky at 7

The WHOLE time I was writing my stupid story for the contest I was thinking, 'Man, I need to write about something real, but I have nothing to write about.' I just love it when my students say that. And then, the second I pushed "post" on my story, I remembered a whole bunch of things.

This is how I saw spooky as a young 'un:

Even though we didn't have any books called Twilight, I did read Bunnicula when I was 6 or 7 (yes, people! It's about a bunny that sucks the BLOOD out of vegetables!). I had my own room (my brother had the toy closet, hee hee) and it was kind of big. Plus we had a big, huge, lightless backyard. With trees behind that. I decided that I had to sleep with the covers up to my chin.

This way, Vampires would think I didn't have a neck. They would walk by my bed and say, "Hey, this girl doesn't have a neck," and move on. I woke up many nights worrying about being able to hold the covers up to my chin even in my sleep, and I tried to stay asleep on my back to do so.

I especially believed in this theory after I saw "Interview with a vampire" as a teenager.


I used to wake up at night because of my joints hurting really badly. It would keep me awake and I was afraid to get out of bed, so I would end up staring at the crack in the door so long that my eyes would start making those green lines around everything and then it would start looking like a shape of something in the dark. I was totally terrified that it was a ghost standing at my door, looking in on me, and just waiting for me to fall asleep so it could swallow me whole.

One night as I was practicing this scaring myself technique, there was a loud, screeching noise coming from downstairs. It went on and on for what seemed like an eternity, and no one in the house stirred. I lay terrified, waiting for the screeching to come get me with its knives, sharp metal, Freddy Krueger claws, or whatever it was. I finally started walking silently down the hallway and down the stairs (theorizing that if it couldn't hear me walking, it wouldn't get me, and if I saw it first, it would immediately disappear). I considered several times just getting my parents, but I also assumed that the evil demon was only torturing me and would only return once everyone was asleep again.

I turned on the kitchen light, shaking like a coke addict, and the noise immediately stopped. I looked around, petrified and almost in tears. My eyes searched for supernatural beings. I finally calmed down enough to turn the light back off and started walking back up the stairs, while still looking over my shoulder. Before I made it back to my bedroom the noise started up again. This time it sounded worse, and I started tripping towards my parents' bedroom like a victim in a scary movie--they can never run properly, and fall at the slightest dip in the ground and you think, "COME ON! RUN!" but they always get caught by the barely walking boogey man. The door opened before I got there, and my dad came out, looking sleepy and in his garments (extremely scary), and I yelled, "What is that noise!? DAD! There's something in the kitchen!!!" as if he couldn't hear it.
He looked at me and said, "Go back to bed. It's the hamster wheel."
He went downstairs to WD-40 the thing and I waited at the top of the stairs, sure he was going to start screaming for help.

The noise stopped.

Scary Movies
Once when my parents weren't home I watched a movie on tv about a girl who dies in a terrible fire and then comes to haunt the sister, and convinces her to help kill the family members one by one. In the last scene of the movie, everyone's dead except the sister (in a mental hospital) and the mom, who has been terribly hurt but seems to have escaped with her life. She's being taken care of by a nurse at home. No one knows about the dead girl being behind the whole thing except the sister, and suddenly, when the mom has been tucked into bed for the night after surviving this terrible ordeal, the girl says, ">

I saw "Event Horizon" in high school with some friends, and we got scared silly. Well, the guys didn't really admit it, but when I dropped Grether at home I was running late for curfew, so I left him at the front of his driveway. He lives in the hills of Wilsonville and his driveway was a block or so long, complete with an old growth woods surrounding the area, and no street lights. He called me the second he made it in the door and chewed me out for leaving him there. At the time he said it was the only movie he actually thought was scary.

Did I mention we watched it again when it came out on video?

I watched the original "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" with my boyfriend (and incidentally, Grether and his girlfriend) and purposely started making out with him (my boyfriend, not Grether) so I could stop watching it. Everyone was laughing at it except me. I was scared spooky. I still remember that meat hook.

Spooking Others
Mostly I only cared about scaring my brother. It was so much easier because he was 6 years younger than me. After we watched "Raiders of the Lost Ark", I screamed and screamed, and then flopped on the floor as if I were dead. He started crying and poking me and began to call 9-1-1. So I woke up immediately.

We also used to tell spooky stories to each other in my room using a keyboard musical instrument thingy. One person would sit in the closet with the speakers part of the keyboard, and we would stretch the microphone under the door where the other person would tell the story from outside the closet, and blow eerily into the mic and try to make sound effects to enhance the experience. It actually was kind of scary, especially because all of my dolls lived in the closet (the kind with the blinking eyes-- YEAH. Why else do you think I left them in the closet?). He thought I was really good at it and would beg me to be the story teller. When I was in the closet he mostly said "ooooooooo" and "then there was a GHOST!" and funny stuff like that.

Once I noticed that the wind was howling, and I swear I heard a name. Like "Mary" or something similar to "Mariko" if you were a really paranoid 10-year-old. I tried to record it on my keyboard thingy, but it didn't work. I decided that ghosts couldn't be recorded because they weren't constrained by mortal human world rules.

Unsolved Mysteries
My mom used to watch "Unsolved Mysteries". I was fascinated with it at age 10, in the same way I was fascinated with Stephen King (I devoured those books) and Dean Koontz. The bad thing about "Unsolved Mysteries" is that they reenact the stories, and you become convinced that it's actual footage of the situation. Out of all the unsolved mysteries I watched, the one that still kind of freaks me out is the TV that was alive. Two guys were in a haunted room at a hotel and these eyes popped up onto the screen. The eyes looked around the room and directly at the two guys, and when the guys unplugged the TV (I actually SAW them unplug the TV with my own two eyes, I swear its true), THE EYES WERE STILL THERE.

Whew. Totally FREAKY.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Jake's Story

Here's Jake's. Way better.

(This story is 100% true and if there is any deviation between this and the real experience it can only be attributed to my inability to portray how stinking scary it really was.)

This Happened

This happened back when I was a Junior in college. I was living with my parents so I could save money. At that time they owned this slightly charming/ creaky wooden house on Laie point that made noises from time to time. It’s the kind of place that can spook you every once in a while even if you don’t scare easily. The room I was in was like a microphone for noises all over the rest of the house, so if someone was walking upstairs I knew it, but more often than not the noises I could hear were not made by anyone at all. The wood expands and shrinks a little throughout the course of the day because of changes in temperature and it clicks and bumps all the time, especially at night. When the wind blows hard it makes a noise or two as well.
This night was a particularly gusty one and trees outside were wagging around and scratching the walls and windows. I had just barely fallen asleep and it was kind of late when a noise woke me up. Sometimes little noises don’t mean anything, but once in a while they get under your skin and wiggle around. They make you stiffen up and pay close attention to where they’re coming from; this was one of those. At about the time I was telling myself it was nothing and floating back to sleep it came again. This was not one of the usual sounds that the house makes, it was more like someone trying his best to say something through a mouth that couldn’t quite form the words. I didn’t move an inch, but you better believe that my senses were all peaked on that noise. A sturdy gust shot at the house and that same noise swelled up at the same time as though it was seeping in through each little crack in the wood. It sounded just like someone trying as hard as they could to say the words “Help me”, but all they could get out was “ellllp meeee” in a windy old voice that seemed like it was inside and outside the house at the same time.
I was still not quite convinced that the noise was a voice, but I was scared enough that moving even a little was not an option. The other four of my senses had surrendered priority to my ears and they were paying attention like never before. Clearly and unmistakable this time, a voice bled in from the ceiling and walls crying, “Help meeee!” My mind flipped through its files with jittery fingers trying all the possibilities of what might be saying “Help me.” Of course the only file that I could pull up was a dingy manila folder that hadn’t been opened since I was a little kid—the one marked “Ghost” in shaky letters.
As I was trying to figure out how I was going to get myself out of this situation it came again: “Help me!” This time the tormented voice came louder and clearer than before and it seemed to be coming from the darkest, dustiest corner of my closet. Right about this time I remembered a story I had read about a boy who had hung himself in a dorm closet at UH. Supposedly, he still haunted that room. “Help me!” called the voice one more time and I was certain that some poor old guy had hung himself there in that closet of mine before my folks had bought the house and was doomed to hang there for eternity.
In my mind I could clearly see that sallow black-eyed figure trying so hard to squeeze the words “Help me” through his stretched out neck that was cinched up tight in a cracked old leather belt. There without a doubt, dangling among my sweaters and church clothes. He called out again, more desperate than ever, “Helllp Meee!”
This was not a spooky movie, or a particularly good ghost story at a camp out, this was happening! It’s a whole different kind of scary when it’s the real deal, trust me. I was unable to get myself even to run away. I lay there for some time trying to figure out what to do. The only idea that seemed to empower me was that maybe I could help the thing in my closet. I forced myself to sit up, then to stand up. I stepped briskly over to the light switch and flipped it up with a clumsy hand. The light came on just the way it always did and my room looked normal enough, but still there was the closet with its dark brown doors closed. I didn’t really want to know what was in there, but there was no chance of sleeping again that night if I didn’t have a look.
I stood for a moment and looked at the closet doors. I thought that I could hear the plastic hangers inside clicking around a little. With a quick, decisive motion I stepped forward and threw open the door which made more than a little screeching on its way and lo and behold (imagine a drum roll during this part) hanging there on the bar were my clothes and nothing else: jeans, shirts, slacks, a pin-striped suit that hadn’t been worn in years and neck ties, but no corpse hanging from a belt. No blue skin, no fat tongue filling the opened mouth that naturally sucked in vain for just a little more air, just old clothes gathering dust.
Where was my ghost? Had it floated upstairs to play its games with someone else? Had it shrunk back into the shadowy corners of my closet waiting for me to close the door and turn out the light again? At this point I was resolved to action and I didn’t want to lose momentum so I looked through my closet a bit more. All of this earned me a sneeze or two but that’s it. Finally I decided to go and see if my dad was awake and if so ask if he had heard anything.
Making my way up the steps I could hear the television being turned off and someone walking down the hall. I got to the top just in time to see a white figure walking into my folks’ room. The most obvious conclusion under normal circumstances would have been that it was my dad who regularly fell asleep watching TV and eventually woke up and went to bed. I had ghosts on the mind though and was sure that the white being that I had just seen was a specter and not my father. I walked quickly and nervously to my parents’ room and must have startled my dad who was in fact just getting himself to bed after a long snooze on the couch with the boob tube on.
I pulled him out into the hall so as not to wake my mom and asked him if he had heard anything odd. He said “No” without thinking much, because what do you hear when you’re sleeping? I told him that I was certain that I had heard a spooky voice calling for help, and how it kind of sounded like the person couldn’t quite get the words out at first. He thought about it for no more than a second or two and then started laughing. I, just a little indignant, asked him what was so funny. He told me that he had just had a dream that he was a store clerk and some thieves were trying to get in after closing time. Says my dad, he didn’t know what to do so he tried to call for help but in the dream he couldn’t quite get the words out so he kept trying. Finally he did manage to yell it clearly enough, but at that moment the sound of his own voice woke him up. He was sleep talking and because the TV room was directly above my room it kind of sounded like his voice was coming from the closet. The ghost was just him having a bad dream and yelling “Help me,” mixed with a little imagination on my part. We both had a good laugh about it and went to bed. The silliest thing about it is that I was still a bit jumpy and didn’t sleep much that night even though I knew there wasn’t anything scarier in the closet than my dusty, old pin-striped suit.

A Spooky Story

So yeah. I want to enter Crash's contest, but I really suck at short stories. And I have no good real experiences to write about. So here's my semi-crappy story that I am posting here, because I think Crash requires it that way, but I really don't want you to read it. Blurg. Only her. Because I think it's kind of a crazy lady kind of story, and she will probably at least laugh once, because I think she probably laughs at many things. Thank goodness for people like that. I'd have no audience otherwise.

The Tell Tale Mynah of Naniloa
Chapter 1:
Terrifying stories notify us of psychotic, evil genius. True evil genius can never be understood, and its motives are so far from the common mind that even glimpsing an evil’s ruminations is distressing. It puts the realm of fiction into the realm of possibility, because no person could make this stuff up. Real evil has little motive. Evil motive is simply to pursue a horrifying task with complete dedication.
To this end, you should write from the evil character’s point of view, as if you were in his mind. This creates a pro-antagonist.
“Deliberately I walked six complete steps to cross the road towards the gutter, turned and stepped precisely within those same steps again to return. Yes, yes, yes, this should do. I could do it here, and there would be room for the deed.
Chapter 2:
Once the point of view is established, the plotter must reflect an extremely complicated, stick to the rules type of plan. It must show incredible forethought and commitment to a yet unknown feat.
“It would be easy enough, to measure the height of the tree, the length of the rope, the degree of the night air. I had already plotted his movements for 37 days, graphed his waking and sleeping hours, coursed a five minute window of time where my action would go unnoticed.”
Chapter 3:
A large vocabulary will serve you well, here, because uncommonly technical diction points directly to genius, a trait we want never to let the reader forget, and gives the scene a cold, clinical impression.
“Three days was adequate to gather my utensils. Although I considered my own acumen, I did not want to take any chances that any charlatanerie would guess as to my monomania. I warded against this by gathering caoutchouc rope from a different store than where I claimed a ladder. I inquired about avian ichors at the local sanctuary and learned that I would surely need a cloth to avoid droppings of evidence….
Chapter 4:
Soon a reader should encounter the antagonist’s antagonist. The ant-antagonist, although harmless, should become an enemy through the pro-antagonist’s point of view. At this point, an audience would rightly begin to question the narrator’s reliability.
“I lurked in the hedge next to a bamboo fence listening to the screams in the nearby “Haunted Lagoon.” The noise created the perfect cover for my situation, and no one would find any sounds amiss in the foggy air. I waited for my cue: a chainsaw revving up for the crowd in the lagoon (without the chain, of course, so its running blade could only make excoriations if it met with human skin). Yes? Yes? Was this it? Was I finally to begin leashing myself to a life of misprision? I began to creep slowly, placing my hands in the dirt to balance and making small movements towards the tree of my target. Even above the noise of the lagoon I could hear its call: “Fatty.” “Fatso.” “Chubs.”
Chapter 5:
The intensity of the character’s actions will increase quickly, almost giving way to panic, but then become a sort of hyperactive direction that falls into a rhythmic whirlwind of activity that plows through the field of corn, whipping ears and kernels into farmhouses with terrible velocity, creating permanent dents in its metal.
“I grit my teeth to bite back my answer to this devilish creature. I knew that my response would alert the very Satan living in his black-feathered frame, and would evince my true course. It took all of my willpower to hold in the words and just continue my now frenzied bear crawl towards the avian castle. Once I reached the small lit section of road I slowed, inch by inch creaking my bones to his lair. The nearness of my success suddenly filled me with the strongest pleasure that I nearly laughed out loud, especially picturing his beaked jaw dropping when I finally brought him face to face with his eternal end. I recalled the pain of my daily walk towards McDonald’s and his heartless, ruthless cries and consciously gripped my wrist to prevent it from shooting towards the bird of malevolent design and ruining the soon tasted victory. I placed hand over hand to reach the top of my ladder and immediately wrapped the bird in the rubber rope, pulling tightly, tighter, tighter still! His eyes seemed to grow in recognition as his heart beat and my heart sang, no more! No more will I stuff my French fries before returning home! No more will I forego my chocolate shake in case my encounter with you shakes my conscience. Here I finally allowed myself a laugh as I twisted and squirmed the life from his body, and the deed was finished.
Chapter 6:
Epilogue: Introduce the only way a madman’s conscience can haunt: through hallucination of his victim’s end.
“This is where I have reached an end, and forever sealed a life of grief! I was happy in the days following the disposal of the fiend’s body. The nearest rain gutter seemed a logical place, and no one would question its end if it were ever found. I acted perfectly calm and never once let on that I noticed any sort of change in my daily routine. The path to McD’s almost whisked me to and from my house in a blissful state. I should have considered that the imp of Satan could find me again, which is why I am waiting in this closet until the wicked immortal is finished with his demonic torture. Almost hourly I find myself near an open tap, a manhole leading to an underground network of plumbing, or a shower at a beach park, and I hear it: “Butterball.” “Tubby.” “Tons-o-fun.”

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Food Blogging for Dummies

So, I started a blog on wordpress, about 2 months ago. This is going to be a foodblog, and I finally just posted my first entry today.

Now, I thought when I switched over to wordpress it was going to be all strawberries and cream. Not so. I have had nothing but headaches over their template issues. For one, I can't just use whatever size font I want for the post title. What is WRONG with that? I have looked up and down the CSS text and cannot see what I can change. It is so disappointing.

Secondly, I've had a helluva (it's not swearing when you put the three together) time picking a &%*$&@# wordpress theme (again, not swearing when these are reduced to cutesy pictoral signifiers) and am very unhappy about my choice.

But I decided to stop whining and just do it already. I will fix it once I meet someone who knows CSS and then I will bathe him/her in baked goods for the rest of his/her life (or at least once).

Now, this is when you're going to tell me that there is already a site called "" I know. I know. I know. Plus what they do on is what I was envisioning my blog to be. I got frustrated by the fact that every single site I wanted was taken, and when I found this one, I was overjoyed, and then immediately despaired when I was told about cookthink. ARGH.

So, I'm separating my cooking life from this blog and writing on the other. I'm hoping to write about my own cooking, as well as political, economic, social issues associated with food or cooking. If you have ideas for what I should write about then PLEASE tell me. I've got a list going already.

Also, if you are wanting to join me as a writer on my duplicitous plagiaristically named blog, and eventually become famous and be a millionaire blogger to support your food porn addiction, I'm taking applications.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Spooky Story Contest

Can I direct you to my sidebar?
Please take notice of Crash and Sewl's contest. I was thinking of trying to keep this to myself, because I REALLY want to win the blog makeover (for my as yet unstarted cooking blog on wordpress), but I thought I should pass the word around.
If you'd like to visit Crash's blog, and you are the Mormon friendly hoity toity literary type who likes to laugh at yourself, I suggest you go to:
I've been enjoying myself there lately, and you will too.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

When I Grow Up

Here's what I want to be when I grow up and why I deserve to be so:

1. Tall (because I already know what short is like)

2. A doctor (because I watch many medical themed shows and always know when it's not Lupus when I watch "House")

3. A culinary school graduate (because I cook a lot, and it is just not fair that I don't know how to cut properly-- I definitely should have learned that through osmosis by now)

4. The next Jane Goodall (because as a teenager, without prior research, I correctly identified why a group of monkeys at the DNA research facility in Oregon were led by matriarchs, and I wrote a book about the Amazon in 4th grade, complete with a painting of a sloth)

5. A persuasive person (because I am going to pull my hair out if one more kid ignores all of my arguments as to why they should try to learn how to read)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Skittle Heaven

More evidence of terrible mothering:

Amaya fell asleep while eating skittles yesterday. Back from a birthday party, I was blogging, she was enjoying the fruits of her new stash. I didn't even try to hide them. She just munched away. I looked back and saw she was comatose, bag clutched in hand, skittles in mouth.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Edgamacatin' Part 2

Today Sioeli tells me that (in reference to our discussion about dropping gas prices and the possibility of energy independence) soon we will be making cars that run on water.
"Water? But we need water," I reply.

"What?! Water comes out of the tap. We have tons of water."

"The amount of drinkable water in the world is very little."

"No way. There's so much ice and stuff."

"Yeah, it's ICE. We can't drink ice," I say.

"So go melt it!"

"Sione, that would cause a million problems that I am just not going to get into right now. Did you know there are many many places in the world where people have hardly any water, and no running water? Why do you think there's so much of it?"

"Oh yeah, that means they can't take showers and stuff," he says.

"That's sick," replies Kona. "You gotta take showers."

Monday, October 13, 2008

Healthy (?) Debate

I've been thinking a lot about what Sarah wrote on her blog about the difficulties in discussing politics. I want to link her blog here, because it is hilarious, but I'm not sure how she'd feel about it (if you're reading this, Sarah, let me know if I can). I have in the past enjoyed talking to Iz about his politics, and I've wished he was here so I can hear what he has to say about McCain (and Palin), since our previous discussion was about a certain Mormon who has vanished from the race, and at the time he disliked McCain.

Sarah's totally right that talking to people who agree with your politics is not a discussion. It is hard to find people from either side who do not only want to speak partisan politics.
Basically, I'd like to think I'm not a totally crazy Obama supporter. I probably am.
Two of the encounters I've had (with people I actually KNEW and respected):
1. Student, who reads my blog, who I think I offended because I questioned her representation of the partial-birth abortion situation, and I admitted in the conversation I didn't know enough about it either. We both came back with more information, and I think I came back more confused. I have had a difficult time finding information that was not obviously partisan, and I totally agree that Obama voted against partial-birth abortion ban, 3 times (?). From what I understand he defends himself saying that the language in the ban could be construed to not protecting abortion in certain situation, except the 3rd time of voting was not reflecting that, and his vote doesn't make sense in that case. So shame on Obama for that. I am pro-life, except in abuse, rape, and when it threatens the life of the mother (many would say that makes me not pro-life), so that is an issue I've wrestled with. I'm also not sure how that should affect my vote.
2. A teacher at school who I respect and had done some obvious digging into Obama. His problems with Obama that I didn't have answers for? foreign campaign contributions, remarks Obama made in Westbank, offshore drilling tactics, liberal voting records indicating that he will become Marx #2, and he's sure that taxes will go up for middle America... There were more but I lost mental notes to write on. I did some hard thinking, I did not deny, and then I did some research, which distracted me from work I should have been doing. Hard to say what's true here. Almost no information on the foreign campaign contributions situation that isn't a specifically partisan source (snopes denied 2 specific claims to foreign contributions, but doesn't address the rest). Liberal voting records, according to refutes the other report that Obama's is liberal, and according to their study (which seems legit and scientific) actually looks more middle of the road dem (not between the two parties). I couldn't find what remarks he made in Westbank (someone will help me out with this, and I found some good stuff on the tax plans here. Not that it assures us that he won't lie and change it later.
Anyway, I come away from all this wishing there was a way to get solid stuff that didn't have clear bias.
One problem I have with both candidates are their political tactics. Why is it that the only kinds of people that want to run for president obviously want to be the boss?
One problem I have with all of my encounters (small and large) with those on "the other side" is that I am mostly on the defense. It's never about McCain, it's about what's wrong with Obama. So that's what I want to know. Why do you support McCain? Why do you think people support McCain? I probably only know the negatives about him (I do know some pros, but I'd like to hear what other people think before I say so). I'd actually like to know. And does anyone know about these issues I've posted about here?
I realize I'm opening up a possible rats' nest here. I'd like to avoid slander, I'd like to see your sources (look for sources that appear to be showing facts rather than partisan opinion). And I'd like to protect friendships. I'd like to think I could engage in some debate without being threatening. I'm trying. Help me out.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Beach Closed due to Whale Sightings

I've only admitted to a few people (who live here) that I've been doing South Beach. Wherever South Beach is, someone should go really mess that place up. They should quarantine all the people who live there, those happy sugar free people.
Yes, I'm still doing my P90X videos, which has had zero effect, probably due to the fact that my metabolism immediately adapts to a lot of exercise (thank you not, 3 hours a day cross country practices for 4 years). I have gained a lot of arm and leg muscle, but when bigger muscles are covered with fat, it's not pretty. Everyone who I tell this to kindly suggests that I should actually diet.
Diet? Me? No way. I am opposed to diets on principle. Diets disgust me.
So I'm embarassed to admit that I'm on a diet.
I don't count eating healthy as on a diet, but I've done that quite a bit with no success. Prior to this, I was drinking vegetable soy juice for breakfast, fruit as snack, small lunch with lots of fruit and vegetables, snack at home, vegetables with carbs at dinner (and then desserts a couple of days a week, obviously, since I was NOT on a diet). I've been doing this since the day school started (about 3 months), except for the 3 weeks that Da was here, when I was eating everything. And during which time I gained no weight.
Anyway, South Beach is: no sugar, no carbs, no fruit, no certain vegetables with too much sugar, no milk (some low fat cheese) and low fat meats. For 2 weeks. And let me tell you, this has been the longest 5 days ever, and I have too many days to count left (I'd rather not think about it). I've had symptoms that are highly similar to drug withdrawals. Seriously.
Why would I do this? Well, my dad talked it up, and he lost 12 pounds in two months himself. Now, I don't need to lose 12 pounds (yes, I do but I'm trying to be realistic). I'd be happy with 3 at this rate. And that looks about to be what I'll get.
So, I haven't wanted to post about food much, obviously, and I've been in a terribly witchy mood for the past 3 days. And I am SO sick of eggs and meat. Disgusted, in fact, that I may never eat them again. I've been trying to eat a lot of beans, but you can't eat them every meal. Thank goodness I'm not sick of those.
If anyone has even one suggestion of what to eat for breakfast that isn't eggs and canadian bacon, I will kiss you (via the internet).

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Sweet, Spicy, Sour

I had promised myself that I wouldn't be buying any "specialty" ingredients this month. Today, I reasoned that white wine vinegar was a totally acceptable non-specialty ingredient.


Because I had to have this:

Readers, this is grilled pickled eggplant, also known as perfection.
Now I see that white wine vinegar will come in very handy, because I plan on making this a LOT more.
I didn't grill it, and I didn't have chili paste, but I did have chili sauce (sriracha) and a cast iron pan. When I went to the store I read the ingredients on chili sauce and chili paste-- exactly the same. Chili paste is chunkier, so if you're a purist, it will be a little bit different. But it still tasted wonderful. Emphasis on FULL. Hungryengineer on Twitter was nice enough to respond to my need for an eggplant recipe. Thank goodness for the kindness of strangers.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Culinary Mama

My mom pours over the food section of the newspaper just as much as I do. When we met up in Kauai, she had a newspaper clipping of recommended restaurants (from The Oregonian) in the area.

The first restaurant was called "Hamura's Saimin". When I saw the name, I knew immediately what it was-- a local saimin joint, probably with counter seating. I tried to warn her, but she seemed set that this was going to be a good place. After all, the Oregonian had recommended it. I chalked it up to a possible "cultural experience" for her. If you know my mom at all, she's classy, and expects classy.

Surprisingly, she didn't run when we saw the place. We actually walked in and sat down. Unsurprisingly, it was exactly as I thought. It tasted fine, but it wasn't what she was expecting, to say the least. I don't think my mom touched the counter the whole time. We laughed about it afterward, especially about the looks that she made at us whenever she witnessed something she found alarming (when the waitress gave us our spoons by their heads, for example).

Somehow the newspaper clipping stayed in her purse. I researched "Hanalei Gourmet" in a local magazine, and showed her a picture of a diner looking scene complete with a picture that appeared to be from the 70's. She finally dropped that one from her "to do" list.

We did, however, take the trek to the North Shore, where we went to Kilauaea Fish Market. We walked in, and she immediately walked back out, went around the courner of the place, and ripped up her newspaper clipping into little pieces and stomped on them.

Being helpful, I laughed my head off.
I asked her afterward, "Why did you stay in Hamura's Saimin? And why did you continue following the list after the first two we tried weren't great?"
She said, "I wanted to believe."
So that's where I get it. It is so hard for me to admit that a restaurant is plain ol' bad. I want food to taste good, especially if I heard or read a good review.
Then I proceeded to convince her to try to this place. We walked back in and ordered. I had a lovely Ahi wrap which I will post about next.
You have to keep the dream alive. Mom, however, was not impressed.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Daddy Dear

While watching Jake and Amaya on the plane ride over here, when he held her and made up silly games to entertain her and keep her from annoying the rest of the plane, I decided that being fun is a male quality. It's a good thing women have the babies and get an automatic leg up on the dad, otherwise I'd have nothing with Amaya. Sure, I'm being sexist.

Yeah, if it wasn't a gender thing, then I would have to admit to the fact that I am just a boring person. I wouldn't want to do that now, would I.