Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for February, 2010

Fashion is garbage.

February 28, 2010 By: jessicazafra Category: Clothing 2 Comments →

I got this at Art in the Park: a bag from the Invisible Institute. The Invisible Institute takes used plastic bags, metal guts and wires from computers, old cassette and VHS tapes, scraps of cloth, and turns them into useful items while providing livelihood opportunities for mothers and grandmothers working at home.

Large shoulder bag made of recycled plastic bags, P800.

You can help the Invisible Institute by giving financial support for their training workshops and marketing so that the revenues from product sales can go to the creator, or by donating useful scrap materials from factories, workshops, and businesses. Collaboration with professionals in creative industries (fashion, furniture manufacturing) is also welcome. Contact Ann Wizer, founder of the Invisible Institute, at

Good thing I found this bag because Koosi has fallen in love with the other one and I can’t use it.


February 28, 2010 By: jessicazafra Category: Science No Comments →

Photo: A small Weaver Ant nest of folded-over and sewn-together leaves. While the photo was being shot an intruder (a Salticid Spider upper left, upside down) started stalking one of the ant sentries, but was soon chased away.

Patrick de Koenigswarter on Shooting Ants (rather than socialites and celebrities) in Emotional Weather Report, today next Sunday in the Star.

In today’s Star, lunch with Don Jaime Zobel.

Look at the giant pancakes

February 27, 2010 By: jessicazafra Category: Contest, Food, Pointless Anecdotes 15 Comments →

Here are two photos taken during merienda this afternoon at Greenbelt 5. If every picture tells a story, what epic fable is contained in these two shots? Post your captions (or stories) in Comments in the next 24 hours (Entries will be accepted until 9pm Sunday, 28 February Monday, 1 March 2010); our favorite entry gets a signed copy of Twisted 8.

* * * * *

This is what actually happened.

Photo 1: General gasp.
Photo 2: Everyone tries to look somewhere else—at the ceiling, the floor, the window, etc.

Eating words

February 27, 2010 By: jessicazafra Category: Food, Language 7 Comments →

Photo: Confit de canard at Lusso. Those ‘in the know’ will say “kohn-feee-duh-kah-naaaarhrhrdh” but I like to call it Duck con-feet.

Robert Sietsema has compiled a list of the 43 Most Mispronounced Food Words. The pronunciation guide is for Americans, hence the “Eh” becomes “Aay” and “Rrrr” has to be stressed. I take issue with his pronunciation of chorizo—Chore-eetz-zo?! That’s just pretentious, it’s not Italian. Wait, if it’s Spanish there’s a lisp. Cho-ree-tho? Tho in Thpain I am Jethica Thafra?

Usually I don’t mind being corrected about my pronunciation, but it drives me nuts when the correction is wrong and I know I’m right. For instance when you order Salade Nicoise and pronounce the S, Neeshwaz because there’s an E after it, no, and the waiter snottily replies, “Neesh-WA.” Aaaaaa! Repeat after me: A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. (Huwag mag-marunong.)

When people say “Fer-nay” Branca I want to start yelling “Fernet! Fernet!” (As friends will attest I am more combative when I hear people say “MTV” when they mean “music video” or “pictorial” when they mean “photo shoot”. “Pictorial?! Pictorial?!” is a running joke.) Some words are read as spelled, do not faux-Frenchify. Why are we so self-conscious about our French pronunciation, you think the French get this anxious about their English? I can’t find my photo of a Paris cafe menu where “charcuterie” was described as “assorted pigment”.

Recently I couldn’t sleep because I said “creme de cassis” with the final S and my friend said, “Isn’t it cassee?” Which ticked me off because it’s the one thing I know about mixing drinks (Ca-CEASE! Ca-CEASE!), but he’s frequently right so I checked first, and I ended up texting a counter-correction at 2am. Yes, it’s a neurosis.

Best policy, I think, is to leave people’s pronunciation alone. Try correcting your ancient aunt’s pronunciation of “mille feuille”, see if you don’t get bopped on the head. When it’s your turn to say the word, say it the right way and hope the correction sticks. Don’t be so snooty about food, we all know where it’ll end up tomorrow. (But don’t cut your pasta with a knife!)

Art in the Park

February 26, 2010 By: jessicazafra Category: Announcements, Art No Comments →

The White Rabbit is also invited.

If you’re free tomorrow, Saturday, February 27, drop by Art in the Park at Velasquez Park, Salcedo Village, Makati from 2pm to 10pm. It’s the Museum Foundation of the Philippines’ annual affordable art fair: all art at prices below P20k. Food, drink and music.

Must finish Demons this weekend before it turns into my demon

February 26, 2010 By: jessicazafra Category: Books No Comments →

Photograph of St. Petersburg by Alexandr Aleexeev

“Never in my life have I taken first place”, muses the narrator of Kamennyi most (The Stone Bridge), as he lines up his toy soldiers on a flea market stall in Moscow on a quiet autumn Sunday in 1998. Such is the opening of Alexander Terekhov’s 832-page novel, last year’s most talked-about work of fiction in Russia which took second prize in the Big Book awards…Mysteries at the heart of Stalin’s empire in the TLS.