a match made in heaven

“Universal Robina Corporation (URC) is one of the largest packaged food companies in the Philippines and the dominant market leader in snacks, candies, chocolates, biscuits, cup noodles and canned beans. It is also a formidable market challenger, as either the second or third leading player, in instant noodles, coffee, ice cream, pasta and tomato-based products.”    –website of URC, maker of Magic Flakes crackers


“In the Philippines, Spam is a popular food item and seen as a cultural symbol. It is prepared and used in a variety of ways, including being fried, served alongside condiments, or used in sandwiches. The canned meat’s popularity transcends economic class, and Spam gift sets are even used as homecoming gifts. There are more than 9 different varieties of Spam currently available in the country and an estimated 1.25 million kilos of the meat is sold every year in the Philippines.[39] During the rescue efforts after Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana) in 2009, Hormel Foods donated over 30,000 pounds of Spam to the Philippine National Red Cross.[40]” –Wikipedia article on Spam, the canned meat product


61,513 spams in the comments section of magicflakes. hey, no problem! spam and magicflakes are obviously meant to be together.

on the other hand. wordpress allows the moderator (me) to delete only 100 spams at a time. each deletion of 100 requires 4 clicks. 61,513 / 100 x 4 = 2,461 clicks to eliminate the spam.

so apologies to all of you real people who have something to say about our fascinating posts and amazing pictures. apologies especially to john t., erstwhile star of the comments section. comments are off.

you can always get in touch with us at magicfla @ magicflakes . org if you’ve got a good one.

7 courses in 7 hours

where do ideas come from? this one came from either a discussion of the corson building or jersey shore but whatever the case, it was an instance of drunken plan making that ran from glimmer to fruition in the course of two days.

“have you ever had a 7-course meal?”
“maybe at a restaurant. never cooked one myself, though. have you?”
“definitely never cooked one. it’s possible i’ve had one out.”
“we should cook one.”
“let’s do.”
“how about saturday.”

so on friday we planned the menu, focusing on ingredients on hand. only two recipes required advance preparation, so we took care of those in the morning, and then headed to the market to procure the missing items: champagne, mineral water, a lemon.

about 3:30 we started assembly for the first couple of courses, and by 4:15 we had ourselves dolled up (steve madden for him and franco sarto for her) and were ready to begin.

friends, it was a long haul. we didn’t plan on dining for 7 hours. despite the modest portions and frequent breaks (both for lolling — both senses — on the couch and for whipping up the next and next and next course), we were done in by 11. we speculate that having champagne so early in the program may have something to do with this. we never made it to the informal 8th course: “and then we’ll have cocktails!”

feast your eyes on our feast, and take this advice: maybe try 4 courses in 4 hours the first time. the full 7 may take some training.

the menu

3 of the 7

best of nine

the lady vanishes — alfred hitchcock
the thin man — dashiell hammett
thomas fehlmann — chop suey
planet x — silkie
trapez turns 100 — oliver hacke
hold me (breakbot remix) — pacific!
greenwood art walk
tiger lounge
gertrude’s brown couch
how to cook a wolf
the paris bistro

L&J Q&A: Kava

> kava: tell me more about it, like is it a thing in suva, do people do it a lot, how does it affect them, is it a “problem” (like alcohol or pot might be perceived here), will you drink more, etc.

Kava (sometimes they call it ‘grog’ which cracks me up) is everywhere in Fiji. The first thing to know is that it’s legal. It’s even legal to drive after drinking it, which seems crazy. On a ferry I took, under a NO DRUGS OR ALCOHOL sign, guys were getting the kava ready. There’s a whole process and ritual to brewing it up that is pretty appealing.

I think it’s more a guy thing. I’ve seen local girls drink it, but usually it’s groups of guys. And they do drink it every night. I’d bet it’s probably mildly addicting.

On Queen’s Road here in Nadi I saw a sign for a 24 hour Grog Shop. That might be the only 24 hour business in all of Fiji!

There’s some conjecture that part of the lacsadasical ‘Fiji Time’ island culture can be attributed to kava. I know the morning after I had 8 bowls I didn’t want to do a damn thing. Uncomfortably close to a hangover.

One cute thing, when they are dipping the bowl for you, is that they ask if you want ‘high tide’ (full bowl) or ‘low tide’ (half bowl). And there’s always a kava master (not sure what else to call it) who presides over and doles out and brews up the kava.

I’ll probably have it once or twice more. I’ll have to try Vanuatuan kava, to compare.

It’s the national drink, Fijians have been drinking it for hundreds if not thousands of years, and there must be books and books on it. For something that tastes so bad, it’s fascinating.

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all, including our readers outside the US. We give thanks to you today for following along.

My Thanksgiving was yesterday, being on this side of the line. I went to town and bought a ton of groceries, then cooked for the first time in months. Jaq helped me (via the wonder of the internet) with the recipe, and it turned out decent: mango masala chicken with peanuts. And beer. I’m thankful.

Last night’s sunset was something. It’s a funny compulsion, needing to take a picture of a sunset when you know the photo won’t do the view justice. Is it a way to remind yourself, or tell the world, “I saw something beautiful once”?

Which ocean is this?

Christies Beach, Noarlunga, Southern Australia

I consider myself a geography buff, but as I walked towards the ocean I had a disconcerting moment: what was I looking at? Not the Pacific. Not the Atlantic. Not Indian. It’s the Great Southern Ocean, isn’t it, the one geographers argue over, the is-it-or-isn’t-it.