Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994


August 25, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats, Shopping

saffy with coke
This drink has our name on it,

and so does this stuffed toy. It’s the Jessica Monster, available at La Pomme on the third floor hallway of Power Plant Mall in Rockwell, Makati.

La Pomme sells stuffed toys outside of the stuffed animal range—they’ve got clouds, ships, mermaids, fruit, cupcakes and so on. They also offer basic sewing lessons so kids can customize their stuffed toys. (Though they cannot be responsible if your kid sews “666″ onto their doll.)

“Why are there no monsters?” we asked. “We want a stuffed toy monster.” Voila, Apol made one and named it after us (We’ll add eyeglasses).

Proper shoes

August 22, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Childhood


Most of our footwear are sneakers and boat shoes, so we decided to get a pair of “proper” shoes for events attended by grown-ups and such. We searched high and low, and tried on dozens of pairs. The shoes had to be waterproof, with soles that would give us traction on rain-slick sidewalks because we are clumsy.

docs w cat

Having dispensed with the formalities of searching for the right shoes, we bought the ones we wanted in the first place: Doc Martens ladies’ brogues in pewter. We prefer heavy shoes that keep us firmly anchored and make us feel capable of trampling everything in our path. And Docs do last forever. (Unless they are worn by our sister, whose feet can break any footwear. Sasquatch!) We have some boots nearly 20 years old that we plan to wear again so we’re having them cleaned.

Not having bought Docs in nearly 20 years, we had forgotten that the first few times you wear them, your feet will hurt like a sonofabitch. Some people recommend wearing them in the shower so the water will soften the leather (Are you kidding?), or pounding them with a hammer. We don’t want to damage our beautiful brogues so we wear them for a few hours at a time, refrain from walking great distances in them, and mummify our feet in bandages.

Bedtime story: The Thing read-along book

August 22, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Movies

via the A.V. Club

Where are our Star Trek fotonovels??

The Completist Chronicles: Christopher Priest

August 21, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Books

christopher priest

A few years ago we picked up The Separation by Christopher Priest and found we could not put it down until we had gotten to the very end. We do enjoy books that question what we know, what we remember, and what is real. Then we swore we would read everything Christopher Priest had ever written. We have yet to make good on that oath—whenever we like a book, we resolve to read all the books by that author, hence our enormous backlog—but we will get around to it. While checking out recent releases at National Bookstore, we found a reissue of an early Priest novel The Affirmation (Php315) and the 2011 novel The Islanders (Php315). And he has a new novel called The Adjacent so we should get cracking before he puts out any more books.

Binge-watching: Vikings

August 19, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, History, Television

All photos from the History Channel site.

We like swords, carnage, and medieval history, so we’re watching Vikings. It’s the first drama series from the History Channel, created by Michael Hirst who was behind The Tudors, The Borgias, and Camelot.

The Vikings were a race of seafaring Nordic badasses who went on marauding expeditions to Europe, Russia, all the way to North America. They were large, terrifying warriors who not only did not fear death, they went looking for it. To die a glorious death in battle meant that they would be taken by Valkyrie maidens to Valhalla, where they would feast in the great hall of Odin.

Vikings follows the adventures of the Ragnar Lothbrok, legendary hero of Norse sagas. Here he is with an unfortunate haircut and a stare that makes him look like an inbred redneck (We hear banjoes! Flee!).


When we meet him in the first season, he is a young farmer with a wife and two small kids, but what he really wants to do is sail west to loot and pillage. That was the common job description at the time: Farmer/Marauder. His earl has grown over-cautious and doesn’t believe there’s anything in the west. So Ragnar asks his best friend Floki to secretly build a ship that can sail great distances using primitive GPS technology.


Floki is played by Gustaf Skarsgard, son of Stellan, brother of the hot vampire on True Blood. (Yup, that’s the genetic lottery for you.) We don’t watch True Blood but our sister has Alexander Skarsgard on her Google alerts and of course we’ve seen his naked GIFs. The eccentric Floki is said to be descended from the trickster god Loki (Hoy, cute si Loki ha).


Ragnar has a good-looking brother named Rollo who is a great fighter but is deeply jealous of Ragnar. Bad enough that everyone considers him the spare, but Rollo is also in love with Ragnar’s wife, the shieldmaiden Lagertha.


Some scholars believe that in Viking culture, the women could fight along with the men. Lagertha cooks and raises the children, but she also gets ticked off when Ragnar goes off marauding without her.

On one raid Ragnar captures an Anglo-Saxon monk named Athelstan, who becomes his slave and later his friend. The Athelstan character lets us see the differences between the Viking and Christian cultures. The Vikings have a very open and healthy attitude towards sex (Rollo: Where are your parents? Bjorn: They’re having sex). The Christians are stuck up and fearful, and Athelstan nervously declines when he gets invited to a threesome.

On the show the Vikings look filthy, but they were definitely cleaner than the monks, who never bathed. They live in what is now Denmark, so they should look like Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister in Game of Thrones). And if axe-wielding Nikolaj Coster-Waldaus are coming at you, surrender and ask for their autograph.

Rating: Highly recommended.

In one Comp Lit course we had to read Scandinavian sagas. Along with the Volsunga, we read the Njala, which is also called Burnt Njal. We don’t remember any of it, except that part where the hero Njal is besieged in his house and he valiantly fights off the invaders with bow and arrow. Unfortunately his bowstrings snap, so he turns to his wife and asks her to braid her hair into a bowstring. And she says something like, “Remember two months ago when you hit me?” and refuses to give her hair to his defense. She leaves, and Njal’s enemies surround his house and burn it down with him in it. That’s why it’s called Burnt Njal.

Being tourists in your own city

August 18, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Places

We love weekend markets, the ones that sell crafts, hand-made objects, home cooking, stuff you can’t get at the mall. Someone recommended the Saturday market in Escolta. We googled the location and turned up bright and early one Saturday…


only to find that the market happens on a Saturday once a month, in which case it should probably be called a Monthly Market.


The building, though, is beautiful, and we gather from the fliers advertising rooms for rent, largely empty.


So we just pretended we were in Madrid. Then we walked over to Binondo for lunch.