Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘Childhood’

Parents make amazing R2D2 birthday cake with Princess Leia hologram. Kids don’t get it.

June 23, 2013 By: jessicazafra Category: Childhood, Movies 4 Comments →

via Geekologie.

Last week we spotted this in the window of a toy store:

lego death star

The Death Star. In Legos. For just under Php40,000.

We hate the child who gets this for a present. That child will lose the pieces within days. Then again, the child who gets this Lego Death Star probably won’t get to play with it. He or she is merely the excuse for buying it. It’s for the parents ha ha. (That’s what kids are for.)

Do you remember your dreams?

April 22, 2013 By: jessicazafra Category: Childhood, Psychology 4 Comments →

Dream diary by Roman Muradov, via biblioklept.

We don’t seem to. We’re sure that at some point in our 8 or 9 hours of sleep every night (This is our real talent, sleeping) we have dreams, but when we wake up we usually don’t remember a single one. Which is too bad because the few we do remember would make some weird short stories. We’ve tried ordering ourselves to recall our dreams, and keeping a notebook by the bed, to no avail. (On the other hand we remember stories our friends have forgotten they told us years ago.)

But if we get up after dawn to go to the bathroom and then go back to sleep, we remember the dreams we have in the next 2-3 hours.

The dream we remember most vividly is the one where a vampire flies into the kitchen while we’re having breakfast with our parents. We had it when we were 10 or so. In the dream the vampire grabs us, and in our terror we look at our mother and father, and they wave, “Buh-bye! Buh-bye!”

Cut-rate memory madeleines: Egg pie

February 15, 2013 By: jessicazafra Category: Childhood, Food 8 Comments →

egg pie

Egg pie! We haven’t had egg pie since the school cafeteria. When we spotted this at the supermarket we had to get it.

It tastes exactly as we remember: the slightly cloying flavor of custard encased in cardboard. We took a bite and remembered the small stationery store on the ground floor of our grade school building, where we went almost everyday to sniff erasers. And the chaos at the canteen at recess time, when hundreds of little girls would shout “Manang manang manang” at the beleaguered attendants behind the snack counters. And the ire of the teacher when we corrected her spelling of “yacht” and she tried to intimidate us by summoning the dictionary.

Other cut-rate madeleines: Hi-Ro, Hello, Mallows, Flat Tops, Curly Tops.

Actual madeleines are sold at Brasserie CiCou in Greenhills. Butch says there’s a Japanese bakery near Metropolitan Avenue Makati that makes madeleines, but they’re more Murakamian than Proustian.

Grimm and Grimmer

February 08, 2013 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Childhood 7 Comments →

Grimm and Grimmer

On the left, Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales, translator uncredited, published by Barnes & Noble in 2012. Nice dark green faux-leather binding, gilt-edged paper of the kind used for bibles. Gorgeous full-color endpapers, gold ribbon page marker, and best of all, the classic illustrations by Arthur Rackham. 722 pages, 211 stories, with an introduction by Jane Yolen.

On the right, Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm, a new English version by Philip Pullman. Regular cardboard hardcover, dust jacket cover art, newsprint paper (of a better quality but still newsprint). No endpapers, no illustrations. 405 pages, 50 stories, with an introduction by Philip Pullman. There’s also a brief commentary by Pullman at the end of each tale, citing sources and alternate versions.

They cost about the same, Php1,100 at National Bookstores. Your choice depends on whether you are an Arthur Rackham or Philip Pullman fan.

The Frog King illustration by Arthur Rackham.

In the green book, The Frog King starts like this:

In olden times when wishing still helped one, there lived a king whose daughters were all beautiful, but the youngest was so beautiful that the sun itself, which has seen so much, was astonished whenever it shone in her face.

In the Pullman translation, the complete title is The Frog King, or Iron Heinrich.

In the olden times, when wishing still worked, there lived a king whose daughters were all beautiful; but the youngest daughter was so lovely that even the sun, who has seen many things, was struck with wonder every time he shone on her face.

Who is Iron Heinrich? He appears in both versions—in the green book he is called Faithful Henry—as the frog king’s faithful servant.

…when he’d learned that his master had been changed into a frog, he was so dismayed that he went straight to the blacksmith and ordered three iron bands to put around his heart to stop it bursting with grief.

goes the Pullman translation.

Faithful Henry had been so unhappy when his master was changed into a frog that he had caused three iron bands to be laid round his heart, lest it should burst with grief and sadness.

says the older translation.

Both versions differ from the one we remember having heard countless times while growing up. The princess never has to kiss the frog; on the contrary she picks him up and throws him at the wall, and when he lands he is a handsome human prince. We don’t recall ever hearing of Iron Heinrich/Faithful Henry. If there’s a love story here, it’s between the enchanted prince and his loyal servant; the princess is just a brat who gets lucky.

Where did the frog-kissing business come from? Who told little girls that if they kissed enough frogs they might land a prince? Who tacked on that “moral lesson”: She was nice to the slimy amphibian so she was rewarded! Wheee! They need to get their asses kicked.

Customer service guys, read this.

January 24, 2013 By: jessicazafra Category: Childhood, Money 8 Comments →

Lego Ultra-Sonic Raider. Thanks to Jackie for the alert. We remember how upsetting it was to lose parts of our toys so we really like this story.

From Forbes: Seven-year-old Luka Apps spent his Christmas money on the LEGO Ninjago Ultra Sonic Raider set. Against his father’s advice, young Luka took his newly aquired Jay ZX with him when they went shopping. And then, disaster struck: the figure went missing, never to be seen again.

Luka decided to write a letter to the folks at LEGO asking for a replacement:


My name is Luka Apps and I am seven years old.

With all my money I got for Christmas I bought the Ninjago kit of the Ultrasonic Raider. The number is 9449. It is really good.

My Daddy just took me to Sainsburys and told me to leave the people at home but I took them and I lost Jay ZX at the shop as it fell out of my coat.

I am really upset I have lost him. Daddy said to send you a email to see if you will send me another one.

I promise I won’t take him to the shop again if you can.



Mr. Looper

October 18, 2012 By: jessicazafra Category: Childhood, Television 4 Comments →

We can’t hear “Looper” without thinking of “Mr. Looper”, which is what Big Bird called the old storekeeper on Sesame Street (“It’s Hooper! Hooper!”). When Will Lee, the actor who played Mr. Hooper, died, the producers decided that no one would replace him and that it was time young viewers learned one of the basic truths of life: Death. Three decades later this episode still makes us reach for the tissues.

This is intelligent children’s television, free of the superstitious-sentimental drivel that infests the mass media. That’s probably why Mitt Romney wants Big Bird and company fired.

After we stop blowing our nose we’re off to watch Looper.