Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I drink pieces of *!@# like you for breakfast

I'm about to drink cat poop.

Well, coffee made from cat poop. Maybe you've heard of it?

Have you seen The Bucket List?





One of the drivers mentioned that there is a native coffee here in the Philippines which comes from cat poop. Turns outs out he's right...

Here's a few Wikipedia facts for ya...

- Kopi is the Indonesian word for coffee, Luwak is the local name of an Asian Palm Civet

- A Civet is a wild cat or weasel found in parts of Southeast Asia including the Philippines.

- In the Philippines the Tagalog translation is Kapeng Alamid. The local civet, scientifically known as Paradoxorus Philippinensis, is an endangered species currently aided and protected by the cultivation of civet coffee.

- Kopi Luak is the most expensive coffee in the world, selling for between $100 and $600 per pound, and on average $65 per cup.

- It has been called the world's most expensive beverage.

How it's made...

"Civets consume the red coffee cherries, when available, containing the fruit and seed, and they tend to pick the ripest and sweetest fruit. Thus there is a natural selection for the ripest coffee beans. The inner bean of the berry is not digested, but a unique combination of enzymes in the stomach of the civet add to the coffee's flavor by breaking down the proteins that give coffee its bitter taste. The beans are defecated, still covered in some inner layers of the berry. The beans are washed, and given only a light roast so as to not destroy the complex flavors that develop through the process. Light roasting is considered particularly desirable in coffees that do not exhibit bitterness, and the most pronounced characteristic of Kopi Luwak is a marked reduction in bitterness." - Wikipedia


So I'm about to try it.

Literally... I just made it, and it is sitting in front of me.

1...2...3.

Hmmm.. It's pretty good actually. Tastes like coffee.

Which I guess makes sense. I don't know what I was expecting, I guess I built it up to be something spectacular... Don't get me wrong, it's good coffee, but I wouldn't pay $65 for a cup.


Me: Hey Chat, do you drink coffee?
Chat: Oh yes mam!
Me: Do you want try coffee made from cat poop?
Chat: ?
Me: Cat poop coffee?
Chat: ok...
Me: I found it in Tagaytay. The civet cat eats the red cherries, poops out the beans, then they wash it, roast it, and make coffee.
Chat: Mmmm... good coffee.
Me: Yeah, it's not bad for cat poop.
Chat: It is expensive?
Me: Sorta, not nearly as expensive as it is in the US.
Chat: So for that jar, how much?
Me: 450 pisos
Chat: 450!! Oh mam, this is coffee for rich people!! Oh thank you Lord!
Me: hahaha, well in the states, just one cup of it would be 3000 pisos.
Chat: hehehehehe, oh no mam! hehehehehe... I feel so special and honored! Oh thank the Lord and thank you.

Who would have thought that a cup of cat poop coffee would make her day?

Life's a Garden, Dig it.

Do you ever feel like you are just pretending to be a grown up?

I swear... sometimes I feel like I'm playing the longest game of "house" ever... and one day I'm going to wake up... turn off my Easy-Bake oven, and go back to thinking boys have cooties. (Which they do. And whoever tells you different is a liar.)

Today was one of those days where I felt like a fraud.

I think it's because I am starting an herb garden.

(I feel so relieved to say that. It's like I'm at a meeting, "Hello my name is Keely, and I have an herb garden.")

An herb garden?

Who does that?

Mom's do that... that's who.

And not even my Mom...

I've never liked the idea of gardening. You are basically playing in the dirt, in the heat, with bugs. And in my case it would probably be a huge waste of time because I would forget to water them and they would die. Because I would get distracted by something much more interesting like watching paint dry.

So why did I decide to do this??

I blame cilantro.

Cilantro is God's gift to Mexican food. How can a girl even attempt to make the number one thing missing from her filipino life without cilantro?

Eventually I found some... but it's really hit or miss, so I decided I would just grow it on my own, and have it any time.

How hard could it be?

Well, I never found out because I never even tried. I have everything I need.

Seeds, soil, pots... (Hell, I think that's all I need...)

Ultimately, I think it's my fear of failure that has kept the bag of gardening crap in the back of a closet.

But today I found this amazing place in Tagaytay, called Gourmet Cafe. It's a great restaurant with an organic farm where they grow all their own vegetables, herbs, rice... etc. to make their own salads, sandwiches, soups and pastas.

They also sell potted herbs... hence the herb garden.

Well, I got a little over zealous and now I have basil, dill, parsley and cilantro coming out of my ears and all over my kitchen table.

I haven't a clue where to start. I sprayed them with a water bottle, because frankly, that was the only thing that crossed my mind. But my basil already looks sad and weepy.

To makes things worse... I bought a bonsai tree. Don't get me wrong the bonsai tree completely and totally rocks. It's looks exactly like what you would imagine when somebody says, "bonsai tree." Well, it did to me anyway...

Apparently, bonsai trees are a little on the high maintenance side... (imagine that... I pick a high maintenance tree...) and I haven't the slightest idea what to do with that either.

I even Googled.

But then I got too distracted by cat poop. (Sounds random? Yes. But it's not. More on that later.)

So basically... this pointless story comes down to the fact that I have no idea what I'm doing and I'm sending out a plea to all for help.

Dear Garden Moms or other people that garden that aren't moms... but I can't imagine who you are, but whatever that's not the point,

I am a hopeless gardener, so for the first, and probably last time, I humbly ask for your green thumb advice. I have been responsible for my indoor herb garden for approximately 7 hours and the outlook is not good.
Additionally, if it's not too much trouble, would you please tell me what the hell I'm actually supposed to cook with basil, dill, and parsley? You see, I'm trying to trick my husband into thinking I actually know what I'm doing... but it is becoming more and more apparent that he will probably be eating, "mud pie" just like all the other husbands of my Play Skool past.
So for his sake, and for mine your guidance is appreciated.

The Undomesticated Housewife

Friday, August 21, 2009

Question.

Question.

If you were going to defecate on the side of a busy street would you...

A. Stand out in the open in front of several shops and people.

B. Pull your pants down, and point your bare bum skyward

C. Bend over and blow liquid poo out of your bung hole towards the street and passing cars

D. All of the above.


If you answered D, then you might be the woman I saw doing just that, while I was on my way to Alabang.

****

Me: OMG! You will not believe what I saw today. It was so disturbing!
Lee: What?
Me: A woman pulled her pants down, on the side of the road, and blew water out of her butt hole! In front of a lot of people.
Lee: Ha! I guess she really had to go.
Me: Well, she could have at least hid behind a tree or go behind a building.... something... maybe face the other direction.
Lee: No way, facing the street is worse. Then all the passing cars can see the facial expressions you make, while water is coming out of your butt. Plus, if they see your face, then they know who you are.
Me: Excellent point.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My Dog... the racist

It's official.

My dog is a racist.

He doesn't like Filipinos... which is getting a little awkward, since we do actually live here in all.

Sure Mr. Bigg barks at most people initially, but once you walk through the door he's over it.

However, if you happen to be Filipino he barks at you, then stalks you. Watches you wherever you go, and growls at you when you come near him or talk to him.

He first started doing this to Lina, our "property manager." I thought maybe he just didn't like her because she always brought strange people over to the house, who may or may not fix what was broken.

(Speaking of which... as of Tuesday we officially have hot water in our shower!!! It only took 3 different repair guys, 12 visits to the house, and 4 months to figure out what Lee said was wrong on day one.... hmmm. But who cares... we have hot water!! Well, only when the water pressure is high enough to turn on the heater... so not in the mornings... and not always in the afternoons either. Some how this doesn't seem like quite as big a victory when I see it in black and white.)

Growling at Lina and the worthless "handy" men I understand; often, I want to growl at them too.

Then there is Gloria, a maid for one of the other ex-pats. She makes him dance... on his hind legs, and sometimes she swings him in circles. He runs and hides from her when she comes to the house. This also makes sense.

And there is Nolie, one of the yard guys... who in my opinion does an awesome job. After all he sits in the yard all day long pulling out the nut grass with tweezers. Impressive.

Mr. Bigg doesn't think so... he growls at him, and won't let him through the gate.

So I've had my suspicions about his chihuahua supremacist behavior, but today his discrimination towards Filipinos was confirmed when he bit our housekeeper, Chat.

Poor sweet Chat, of all people. She's the best!

I was furious...

Me: I can't believe you bit her! Chat is so sweet. Plus, she is the best (and only) maid I've ever had! She even folds the clothes in my dirty clothes hamper. If she quits because of you, I'm kicking you out to the street and you can live with the nasty cats.

Yes. I realize this sounds like an irrational conversation to have with your dog.
Yes. I probably talk to Mr. Bigg more than the average person would/should talk to their pets.
And yes. Before we leave here I will have turned in to that "crazy dog lady," if I haven't already.

Whatever.

In my defense, he got really sad and went and laid in his crate.
I'm pretty sure he understood almost everything I said.



The Prejudice Puppy


.... After I told him the last picture made him look fat.

I told you he understands....

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Truth Hurts...

So we went golfing again last week, because I refuse to believe that I am really that bad...

I had the same caddie from my "championship" round.

Me: Hey! Did you hear that I won a trophy?

Caddie: - confused -

Me: Last time... tournament... me.. trophy...

Caddie: You? Trophy?! hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Me: Yeah... rude.

They're Heeerrrreeee....

Just as I suspected our Spidey friend came back...

He came out of the darkness to seek revenge on Lee for taking his leg... either that or this spider was a sibling who came to fulfill his brothers dying wish of terrorizing us even more. Whoever he was... he was in the kitchen.

Lee finished the job this time, but not without screeching like a little girl.

Then he re-enacted the whole scene for me.... it was dark... he couldn't find the light switch... then he turned his head... and ahhh... it was right by his face... whatever. He's so dramatic.

I was worried about more important things... like whether it was the same spider or not. So I spent about 10 minutes trying to count his legs without getting too close.

I couldn't decide which was worse...

1. It was the same spider.. and he has been lurking around the house for a week, hiding in corners and ready to pounce on top of an unsuspecting head, and bite your face off.

- or -

2. If it was a different spider... which means there were two... which means there could be a million, which means I have a spider infestation on my hands.

I think it's time to spray...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Shake Baby Shake

After the golf tournament, we went to the opening of our friends new bar. It's a great new place... and they even had the King come entertain us!



Priceless!

He is apparently one of the best Elvis impersonators in Asia, and has won contests 5 years in a row.

But I think Lee gave him a run for his money....



If you can't see the video... Click Here.

To see more Elvis pics... Click here.

Over Par...

Last weekend one of our friends held a golf tournament to celebrate the re-opening of his golf course in town... Lee had been planning on playing in the tournament for weeks, I had not. I hadn't played in months and I knew it would be disastrous... in the end... I was badgered in to playing.

*Highlights of the day*

- Off the first tee I hit the ball straight right and almost knocked some neighborhood kids off the retaining wall. But they deserved it. They were yelling at me in Tagalog. They found my ball and offered to sell it back to me for 5 pisos. I declined. After all it was obviously a bad ball.

- On hole two I put my driver in the bag, and never took it out again...

- Hole #3... Par 3... Lee knocks the ball 2 feet from the cup... I hit it in the bunker...

- On about the fifth hole my caddie asks.... "Sooo... what is your handicap?" Hmmm... rude. (For those of you unfamiliar with golf he wasn't asking me if I was disabled... although I was playing like I may have had several disabilities...)

- After the first nine Lee and I started a bet... 100 pisos a hole... to make the things more interesting... maybe we'll play better under pressure...

- Hole #10, Lee hits a perfect drive straight down the middle.... when did he get better than me? Jerk. But... the little kids run out in the fairway and steal his ball. Priceless. They tried to sell it back to him, but the security guard came over and got Lee's ball back. Dang.

- Hole #18 - Birdie!! To tie the bet! Whoo-hoo. The only one all day... and the only reason I will ever play this awful game again.

After the round was over... and they wrote my unbelievably high score on the chalk board for everyone to see... I got out of there as quickly as I could.

The next day was the awards ceremony... which we didn't attend for obvious reasons...

Well, after work on Monday... Lee comes home with this...


What is that you ask?

It's my trophy!!!

For winning the ladies flight.... hilarious!! Lee and I laughed about this for a long time. I play the worst round of golf I've played since I was like 14 and I win a rockin' awesome trophy!
And no... I wasn't the only girl... there were like 5. So ha!

Look at her... she even has a ponytail and she's wearing a skirt!


I'm keeping this trophy forever.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Spider Revenge


I don't know if you can tell in the picture... but that spider is freakin' huge!! Enormous...

Lee and I came home from Janice's house the other night to find that guy hanging out on our wall...

Me: OMG!! That is the biggest spider I have ever seen!! You get a shoe... I'm getting my camera, I have to take a picture of that!

Moments later... after the photo shoot... Lee "kills" the spider...

And by kills I mean... he hits it with the shoe... and it disappears.

Amateur....

I couldn't find it anywhere... the only thing I found was one spider leg on the floor.

Me: You missed it!
Lee: I didn't miss it! I killed it. There's a leg on the floor.
Me: Where is the rest of him?
Lee: You know how spiders curl up in to nothing after they get killed...
Me: Whatever... that spider was huge... he didn't just curl up in to nothing and vanish... find him!

I'm panicked...
Lee's pissed...

He pulls the couch away from the wall... no spider...

He throws the cushions... no spider...

Then the pillows... no spider

Lee: You find him! I'm going to bed!

After 10 minutes of spraying around the room with bug spray... I went to bed too.

But I could hardly sleep because I knew he was in there planning some sort of seven legged spider revenge...

I guess I shouldn't have sent a man to do a Phelp's job...

We never found the spider.

Field Day

Remember Field Day when you were a little kid? And how it totally rocked? It was the best day of the school year because you got to run around and throw water balloons at your classmates all day while you were in school. What could be better than that?

Last week was "Intramural Day" at the elementary school we volunteer at, so we went up to the school to cheer on the kids. In addition to potato sack races, hula hoop contests, and relay races there was a "Muse" contest... which is apparently like a beauty pageant. They have a real "Muse of the Philippines" contest in Manila every year, and the winner gets to participate in beauty pageants worldwide. The people here think that it is hilarious that it is also my last name.

So the students picked one representative to be the "Muse" of each grade. These little girls strutted across the stage, most of them in full make-up and hair, and crowd yelled and clapped their approval. They each gave a little speech and then performed a dance... some even had back up dancers...

Here's a little video montage...


Some of these little girls were quite the prima-donnas...

I'm just glad that this was never part of my field day experiences. I would much rather throw whipped cream pies at people and climb ropes... this seemed like way to much pressure.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Ugly pictures cause ugly babies

So... I was reading one of my books on the Philippines, when I came across a section on Filipino superstitions and taboos. Apparently Filipinos are a very superstitious people especially when it comes to procreation. Basically... these people are involved in some craziness...

During pregnancy...

- The pregnant mother must get whatever food she desires, so as to prevent a miscarriage.
- She should not stand by doors because it could cause a difficult labor.
- She should not look at ugly pictures because it could make her baby ugly.
(hahaha... I love that one. )
- She can't have her picture taken because it could cause a stillbirth.
- She must wear black and sleep with her legs tightly closed to repel bad spirits.
(Because sleeping with her legs open attracts them? Actually, I bet it's true. The combination of sleeping with her legs open and bad spirits is probably what got her in this situation in the first place. )

After birth...

- After birth, the placenta should be buried with a pen and paper, because it is believed it will make the baby smart. ( I will keep my opinions to myself on the effectiveness of this ritual...)
- The babies hair and fingernail clippings should be placed in the pages of a bible to ensure they are obedient and God-fearing.
- The mother uses the baby's first urine on her hair to prevent it from falling out when she gets old. (Seriously... she washes her hair in baby pee. That's gross.)

Ok... this next one you aren't going to believe... so I will quote from the book... I had to read it three or four times because I couldn't believe what I was reading...

"The baby's first feces is massaged onto its infant gums like toothpaste to ensure strong teeth."

Are you freaking kidding me?! They make their babies eat their own shit?! (Excuse my language... but that is the only word that can be used in a situation like this.)

They use shit for toothpaste.

This is outrageous!

I would rather have all my teeth fall out then have someone rub crap in my mouth... it makes me gag just thinking about it. What kind of a person puts feces in a babies mouth? Plus, they used the word "massaged," that some how makes it worse...

There are several other things the mother must do... like not bathe for two weeks, and she can't watch television for a month after the birth because it could cause blindness... or something like that, but nothing compares to the poo, so I won't bore you with the rest.

They end the article by stating that many modern Filipinos don't necessarily believe in all of these superstitions, but they, "would rather be safe than sorry in tempting fate."

So basically... there are still some shit eating babies around here...
Gah... I'm going to be thinking about this all day...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Uncle Sam is a Bad Ass

I think I'm starting to get home sick. In fact I know it.

Besides missing the obvious stuff like family, friends, Target, and Mexican food... I'm starting to miss other stuff.
My first clue was when I started to miss things like milk...

The milk here comes in a box, and it's not refrigerated which is totally unnatural if you ask me. It's like water in a can... who thought that one up?
Warm milk in a box.... total turn off.

I actually squealed in the middle of the grocery store when I found pasteurized milk in the refrigerated section. But when I got it home, and took a big drink... it tasted like cheese. I spewed it all over the kitchen counter... total bummer.

Then last night...

Me: I was watching a movie today and it made me homesick.
Lee: Oh yeah.
Me: This guy is walking through the streets of New York and there are big buildings and real streets and everybody is wearing nice clothes, and they all look like they've showered... even the homeless people look classy.
Lee: Classy homeless people?
Me: Yes.

When I started missing homeless people... I knew I was in trouble.

Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of them here... but to watch these people it's unbearably heartbreaking. They just stare at you with these pitiful eyes...

American homeless people know they have to sell you on themselves before you're giving a handout, so they'll talk your ear off until you give them money or until you threaten their lives.

I miss the homeless people of downtown Houston with their outrageous tales as to why they're homeless... it's not their fault of course... it never has to do with anything they did... they are all a victim of circumstance.

Or there's the inevitable... "I don't drink and I don't do drugs," as they stand there toothless slurring their words and twitching... in front of the liquor store.

My favorite is.... "I'll shine your shoes for a one dollar." And I'm all, "I'm wearing flip flops." And he's all, "Ok, well you can just give me a dollar."

Those jokers would talk to you all night long if you let them. They're salesman... and they're practically entertainers, and I'm starting to miss them.

Yesterday, I made Lee buy me Newsweek because of the rockin cover...


In the bookstore...

Me: Yeah! America does Rule! I need this.
Lee: Why?...
Me: Uh... duh. Look at it. Uncle Sam is a total bad ass.

Of course... I haven't read it... but I'm thinking of making the cover my computer background.

Lee keeps reminding me that living here will help me to appreciate everything back in the states that much more.

He's right...

But don't tell him I told you.



Monday, August 3, 2009

The Sequel to Titanic

Last week we went to up to the elementary school on our day to volunteer. It has been a month since we started the program and it was the first time to weigh the children to see if they have made any progress in their weight gain. A group of nursing students were invited to help participate in the weighing process. The nursing students were very excited to see us, they wanted to take pictures with us and ask us a million questions....

Uber-Feminine Guy: O-M-G, where are you from?
Me: The states... Texas.
Bucktooth Chic- Texas?
Me: Yeah
Uber-Feminine Guy: OMG do you know Beyonce Knowles?!
Me: Well, I know who she is... she is actually from Houston... where I live.
Bushy Eye Brow Girl - OMG we love her
Me: Yeah... she's pretty cool
Uber-Feminine Guy: Is she black? or white? She's white right?
Me: Ummm.. I'm pretty sure she's black. She's not super dark though. (Is this a joke?)
Uber-Feminine Guy: What about Mariah Carey?! Do you know Mariah Carey?
Me: Well.. I know who she is... I don't know her.

At this point I am just getting a lot of really confused looks.
Do they think that because I'm an American I actually know these people on a personal level?

This confusing game continues for quite a while... I'm losing more and more patience with each new name they throw out. We went through a very long list of celebrities, and had the exact same conversation about each one.

Finally...

Uber-Feminine Guy: What about Leonardo DiCaprio?
Me: Yeah. I know who is.
Bucktooth Chic: So you know Leonardo Dicaprio?
Me: Sure, he's great.
Uber-Feminine Guy: He was so fabulous in Titanic. Have you seen the second one?
Me: The second Titanic?
Bushy Eye Brow Girl: Yeah, Titanic 2
Me: There is no sequel to Titanic...
Uber-Feminine Guy: Oh, yes there is... I saw it.
Me: The boat sank. How could there be a sequel?
Uber-Feminine Guy: Oh there is... I saw it on YouTube. Jack is alive.
Me: Hmmmm... well I'll just have to look that up when I get home won't I?

I would give anything to have had this conversation video taped. They were dead serious. The best part is I actually went to YouTube... check out the trailer for Titanic 2.


Someone actually took the time to make a trailer for a movie that doesn't exist by using clips from all of Leonardo DiCaprio's movies... Obviously, the spoof didn't translate. Hilarious.