Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for January, 2013

Japanese cooking Italian

January 31, 2013 By: jessicazafra Category: Food, Places 5 Comments →


“Japanese spaghetti and pizza” sounds incongruous, like “Italian ramen and sushi”, but it works. Trust the Japanese to take an alien concept and do it better than the original. (If that sounds racist we’re sorry, but we’re fans of Japan.)


This was our second visit to Yomenya Goemon, the Japanese spaghetti and pizza place in Greenbelt 3 (2nd floor, nearest the carpark). We ordered the 10-inch Smoked Chicken and Four Cheese Pizza and the spicy Spaghetti Vongole.


Usually we prefer pizza with a very thin and crunchy crust, but Yomenya’s pizza dough is so delicious and chewy we would eat it without toppings. The pasta is perfectly al dente—add olive oil, garlic and clams, and we’re happy. Who needs complicated sauces when the pasta is this good?

Even the background music made us happy: Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue album. The Japanese and jazz.

For a pizza, a pasta, and two sodas our bill came to Php757. Very reasonable for this quality (A similar order at a fast food joint would cost more).

Very useful obscure words

January 31, 2013 By: jessicazafra Category: Language 3 Comments →


We have this. We love hotels, inns, bed and breakfasts (beds and breakfasts), five star, six star, dinky—as long as we have our own bathroom. Our ideal residence is a hotel—there’s always someone to pick up after you, if you’re hungry there’s room service, and if you’re bored you can change rooms or hotels.


We’re not quite there yet.


There are bad movies, then there are quisquillian movies.



Saffy believes she is human. We’re not sure she’s wrong.


Contrary to our expectations, not one who eats Galactus.

Boggle someone today! Use these words at a meeting.

From Luciferous Logolepsy

And if your colleagues are being obtuse, do this.


How to deal with a mansplainer starring Hillary Clinton

Books on the floor, on the stairs…

January 30, 2013 By: jessicazafra Category: Books 6 Comments →



Dream Homes Built For Books

Have the friars won?

January 30, 2013 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Current Events 22 Comments →

Update: Wow this book is riveting! We started reading it last night and got halfway through. It’s a 19th century novel AND it was originally in Spanish so it does get florid (especially during the romantic portions, which we just zip through). But this is way more compelling than we remember from when we were compelled to read it. Noli me tangere starts out sharp and funny as Rizal satirizes the institutions of his time (which were already fossilized, and which hold sway to this day), and gets progressively infuriating (Nakakagalit!) as it portrays the abuses of the frailes. The way Rizal zeroes in on his targets—no wonder he got shot.


We feel bad for Carlos Celdran, but not that bad because we know that he knew what he was getting into. Mostly we’re flummoxed at the discovery that We Live In Medieval Times.

Our reading group is supposed to be doing Proust right now, but Swann’s Way is not under threat. Noli Me Tangere is. The Filipino nation would not exist without Jose Rizal’s masterpiece: a novel that sets out to offend religious feelings.

So years and years after reading Rizal under duress in P.I. 100 class, we’re going to read Noli again. Not just because we have to, but because we want to.

Carlos, we owe you a drink.

How is your tiyanak today?

January 29, 2013 By: jessicazafra Category: Books 1 Comment →

Don DeLillo’s description of the writer’s life, via David Foster Wallace:


both flesh and not
Both Flesh and Not is available at National Bookstores.

This book of essays by David Foster Wallace is extremely smart but not snooty, Asperger-y in its obsessiveness but also quite moving. Federer fans are already familiar which the title essay, which first appeared in the New York Times as Roger Federer As Religious Experience; interesting to read it alongside Democracy and Commerce at the US Open, which talks about the business of tennis (On the overselling of tickets: “If there were rafters people would be hanging from them, and I will be shocked if there isn’t some major screaming fall-down-the-steps- or topple-backward-over-the-rim-of-the-wall type disaster before the match is done.”).

This selection covers mostly literary topics: David Markson, Jorge Luis Borges, conspicuously young writers, underappreciated novels, etc., but there’s also a very sharp and insightful essay on Terminator 2 and the new genre of big-budget film that emerged in the 90s: Special Effects Porn. (“‘Porn’ because, if you substitute F/X for intercourse, the parallels between the two genres become so obvious they’re eerie.”) We’ve always liked T2, but Wallace is right: it is the selling out of The Terminator. And it IS criminal that Sigourney Weaver didn’t win the Best Actress Oscar for Aliens. (“No male lead in the history of US action film even approaches Weaver’s second Ripley for emotional depth and sheer balls—she makes Stallone, Willis, et al. look muddled and ill.”) His analysis of Terminator is so thorough we’re surprised he doesn’t mention Chris Marker’s La Jetee, especially since he brings up Terry Gilliam’s Twelve Monkeys.

And there are word lists! Each essay is preceded by Wallace’s vocabulary lists (luteous—moderate greenish yellow).

Brilliant and fun—Buy it. (Unless you saved copies of these essays, which were republished on many websites. Most of them have been taken down.)

Bookshelves for Cats

January 28, 2013 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Cats 6 Comments →

Fabia sent us this photo of a catcase bookshelf that houses books and cats.


Interesting concept, but it won’t work with our feline housemates. They will ignore anything (except for cat food and kitty litter) that’s specifically for feline use. We got them a scratching post, but they prefer to sharpen their claws on the old couch. We get them cat toys, but they would rather knock small objects off our table and play football with them.

mat shelf

They frequently attempt to colonize our bookshelves, but these are too narrow and crowded. Here’s Mat trying to hide behind the novels of Edward St. Aubyn and finding no room for his butt,

saffy shelf

and Saffy taking a nap after a failed invasion of the books’ territory. Fortunately the cats don’t scratch the books, though they occasionally barf on the ones they hate.