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The Pho of the House & Usher


Girl, let me tell you...


Ingredients, yeah:
• Beef oxtails, nothing but the tail, real off-brand cut of beef, for broth
• A serious sweet cut of beef, slice it fine, put it in soup, get it wet
• 2 onions, white or yellow (be colorblind), one for broth, one to get wet
• Yeah, 1 hunk of fresh ginger (for broth), and for slicing to get wet
• Spice, girl – dried cinnamon (yeah, for the sweetness), coriander seed, (I don't know what that is), fennel seed (don't know either), whole cloves (not the kind you smoke), star anise (you know I'm the star, but you're the star in your kitchen), with cheesecloth to make spice packet — girl, you got a spice packet on you

• Pho noodles, hell yeah
• Green onion, brings in the funk
• Cilantro
• Thai (or red) basil
• Bean sprouts
• Jalapeno peppers, I know you know that's hot

When you get it on:
Rinse oxtails and cheap beef cut, and add them to a large stockpot filled at least halfway with water. Bring this to a boil, girl, it's time to get this hot, you understand? But then you gotta simmer down, you gotta simmer down for two hours. That's right. Gotta make it last. Also, skim off foam as necessary.
After two hours, add a whole, peeled onion. Just peel it. I don't want to see those tears on you, baby. Also, a large chunk of peeled ginger. Bring it up hot, then bring it back down for another hour. We could do this all night.
Prepare your spice packet. This is what's gonna tingle on your tongue. This is what's going to make you never forget the sweetness. Mix these together in a cheesecloth bag, and heat them up in a small frying pan for a few minutes, until the spices become aromatic. It's like soup perfume. Yeaaah. Then throw them in your stockpot, yeah.
Let that perfume soak into that broth like it's taking a bubble bath. Half hour? Hour? It doesn't matter. It's all about what you want right now. But then you gotta take those spices out, you've got to let the whole thing cool down. Take the broth, with meat, bones, onion and ginger still in, cover it, and put the whole thing in the fridge overnight. That's right. A gentleman waits.
Next day, put a nice cut of beef in the freezer for an hour or so to make it easier to cut into thin slices. Until it's cold like my heart until I first saw you, girl. Soak your pho noodles in cold water for at least an hour, until they're feeling like they're drowning, like I was until I first met you, girl. Warm up broth. Remove the onion, ginger and beef bones/meat from the broth — nothing between us anymore — and bring it to a boil. Season broth with salt as needed. Mmmm, salty. Damn.
Slice peppers, white onion, green onion, ginger, rinse the bean sprouts, cilantro and thai basil. Cut them just like my heart is cut every time you close those lashes and then turn away. Slice beef as thin as you can get it. Cut it as fine as you are.
After the noodles have soaked an hour, your broth is boiling, everything is on fire inside you, burning, waiting for the taste, and your accessories are ready, set a separate pan of just water to boil, for your noodles. Remove the noodles from their soak, and boil them for less than a minute! Damn. Divide the noodles into bowls, place the slices of beef on top of the noodles lay them down just like they're caressing it, and pour your pho broth over it all, pour it all over.. Yeah, add accessories as preferred.

I'm ready for you, girl. The soup is ready, girl. You'll never believe the way it's gonna make you feel. Nothing's ever going to feel this good. Believe me, girl.

Then again, everybody lies.

Categories: alter egos, title to title
Performed by The Speckled Band (featuring Clipse)

Thank you for being a colleague

Went off some falls, stopped the redheaded league

Your heart is true; you're a pal and a confidant. 

And if you threw a party 
Invited everyone you ever knew 

You would see the biggest gift would be from me 

And the card attached would say,
"My dear Holmes, heat it, it turns gluish.
"You get paper, it seems you get foolish.
Take it to Jacob and play, 'Which hue's the bluest?' "
Thank you for being a fiend.
Message Edited by PaulH on 02-24-2009 08:33 AM
This is a Greek fairy tale about an cat who wanders around ancient Thebes with boots on. To punish himself for marrying his mother and killing his father, he blinded himself.  

Gone with the Wind in the Willows

Ashley Mole and Rat Butler sit on the verandah of Toad Hall enjoying a mint julep. . . .
Message Edited by PaulH on 02-24-2009 08:25 AM
Classic chldren's book about the dangers of food poisoning. (The rare first edition was scratch and sniff...)
Message Edited by PaulH on 02-24-2009 08:22 AM
Categories: title to title

The Story of Edgar SAWtelle

A mute boy, and his extraordinary dog, awake to find themselves chained by the feet. Held captive by a sadistic serial killer, Edgar's only chance for survival is by having his dog gnaw through his legs...
Categories: books to film

Green Eggs and Hamlet

Alas poor Yorik

I doth not liken Green Eggs and Ham

I doth not liken it, Hear me man!

I doth not liken it, pray thee tell

I doth not liken it, though I knew it well

Message Edited by jcbookmaster on 05-28-2009 04:07 PM
Categories: title to title

The queen of nursery rhymes takes on R.L. Stine.  Here’s one example:

As I was going to St. Ives,
I met a man with seven wives.
Each wife had seven flies,
Each fly had seven eyes,
Each eye had seven warts.
Flies, eyes, warts and wives,
How many were going to St. Ives?

Message Edited by PaulH on 02-24-2009 08:19 AM

Charlotte's Web Cam



There's a big hullabaloo going on over at Zuckerman's farm. It seems that his pig Wilbur is no ordinary pig. To check this out without having to get through the throngs of people at the farm, just get on your computer and take a look at Charlotte's web cam!

Through the Pothole: Further adventures of Alice Not in Wonderland


As it had been a very bad winter, Alice had many snow days from school. Quoting from the original story with certain changes and apologies to Lewis Carroll: Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the snowbank. They were done up from head to toe with hats, scarves, mittens, parkas, snowpants and boots. Alice could hardly move as she stretched to stand up.Suddenl;y a brown rat with red eyes ran close by her. Her sister was looking the other way and didn't see it. Alice thought she heard the rat say, "Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!" Burning with curiosity, Alice ran down the street after it, only to see this large rat fall down a  huge pothole in the street in a polace where the snow had been plowed. In another moment, down went Alice after it. Alice never knew potholes could be so deep. She kept falling and falling and falling. At the bottom of the pothole, there was a tiny rusty key floating in a dirty puddle. Near the puddle was a tiny door that had the message: City Sewer System. Authorized Personnel Only. Alice thought, "Who could fit through a door so small?" Suddenly she noticed on the damp ground  a can of soda, unopened. "Don't people know how to recycle?" exclaimed Alice. She was very thirsty and as the can was unopened, Alice decided to risk drinking it.



I will leave Alice at this point. If anyone else wants to continue this story, be my guest!




Message Edited by Jon_B on 03-06-2009 06:50 AM

How to Marry a Slumdog Millionaire

Lauren Bacall, Betty Grable, and Marilyn Monroe set their marital sights on an 18 year old street urchin named Jamal.
Categories: film to film

A quadriplegic World War I veteran lies in his hospital bed pondering how geographical factors provided the means by which European nations conquered the world and maintained their dominance, despite being vastly outnumbered.


            Impoverished bookseller/biographer Margaret Lea is shipwrecked on Lake Windermere, en route to visit reclusive author Viola Winter, and washes up on the shores of Illyria, the Duke Orsino’s Yorkshire estate.  The Duke, his brain and vision addled by absinthe, is convinced Margaret is his long-lost son, Cesario.  Viola Winter, addled by senility, is equally convinced Margaret is her estranged daughter, Olivia.

            With visions of inheritances dancing in her head, Margaret attempts to play both parts for both potential benefactors. The pot is sweetened even more when the Daily Mail offers her a tidy sum for revealing the secrets of her rich and famous would-be parents, but the payoff is dependent on her meeting a deadline that is just twelve days – and thirteen nights –away.

Message Edited by PaulH on 02-24-2009 08:30 AM

Bleak House of Sand and Fog and Seven Gables

Often considered Charles Dubus Hawthorne III’s masterpiece, Bleak House of Sand and Fog and Seven Gables blends together several literary genres—detective fiction, romance, melodrama, and satire — to create an unforgettable portrait of the decay and corruption at the heart of the legal system of our society.

This novel revolves around a court case in Salem that has dragged on for decades — the infamous Kathy Nicolo and Colonel Behrani lawsuit, in which both parties claim the rights to an old house that has been in a venerable New England family for many generations. This lawsuit is gradually devoured by legal costs.


We meet a cast of idiosyncratic characters who live in this decaying, gabled mansion, still haunted by their dead ancestors… including the beautiful Lady Dedlock who hides a terrible secret; hilarious Mrs. Jellyby who’s so generous at the cost of her own family; Hepzibah, an elderly gentlewoman fallen on hard times, her silly brother Clifford, and young Phoebe who cheerfully cares for these two doddering relations.


Can the love of these characters’ transform a bleak house of sand and fog and seven gables? And will justice prevail?
Categories: title to title
The most memorable section of this experimentally structured musical is narrated by the idiot governess, whose relentless singing of scales is tolerated by the rest of the family out of deference to her mountain-fixated mental illness.  Meanwhile, Friedrich, obsessed with the loss of Liesl's virginity to a craven Nazi messenger boy, commits suicide by throwing himself into a tub of wienerschnitzel.  The practical Louisa cynically looks after the rest of her increasingly insane family, eventually conspiring with an unscrupulous theater manager ( "Uncle Max" ) to pack them off on an exploitative tour of Switzerland.
Message Edited by Jon_B on 03-06-2009 06:43 AM
A weepy sportswriter discovers his mentor who he hasn't spoken to in years is dying and makes an effort to reconnect with him before his demise. His mentor recounts to him the long history of his family in an absurd and perverted manner, all the while dispensing trite greeting card philosophy. Then he dies.
Message Edited by CasimirRadon on 02-26-2009 08:48 PM

Kevin Bacon plays a Prussian soldier turned scientist who has developed an invisibility serum that has literally erased his head. Elisabeth Shue reprises her role as Bacon’s onetime love interest, Katrina Van Tassel. Josh Brolin, who reportedly lost 60 pounds and wore lifts during filming, plays fellow scientist, Ichabod Crane. When Katrina and Ichabod fail to restore Bacon’s head, he becomes unglued and unleashes a murderous rampage on his colleagues.

I thought I'd burned out on these, but this morning I woke up with several of them batting around in my head.  I'm not sure how to categorize them, but I think they're still mash-ups:


Welcome to the Monkeybars:  Kurt Vonnegut looks back to his school days


Now We Are Sixty:  A.A. Milne rewrites his classic for the Baby Boomer generation


The Tell-tale Fart:  Edgar Allen Poe takes on the Young Adult market


Cautiously Positive Expectations:  Charles Dickens revamped for the 21st Century reader


A Seasonal Carol:  (same as above) 


Celsius 232.7777: Ray Bradbury for the metric age


Rosemary's Teenager:  Ira Levin revisits the devil's spawn





The story of a young, broke, and funny Haitian immigrant whose rising star on the L.A. stand-up comedy scene plummeted during The Great Comedians Strike of 1979. 
A book in two acts. Set in a typical Eastern suburb of Bullit Park where violence and suspense lurks just below the idyllic surface, The first half concerns Detective Elliot Nailles, a veteran police officer who is given the task of protecting a young state's witness and former ganster. However, the witness completely refuses to get out of bed, causing Nailles no end of grief and casting doubts on the true nature of the American dream. In the second half, disturbed neighbour Paul Hammer begins stalking the witness, and eventually kidnaps him. The story culminates in a epic and memorable chase through criss-crossing rows of cookie cutter houses exposing both the bland conformity and intense violence present in 1960's suburbia.
Categories: books to film

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We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.

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