Tuesday 27 December 2011, 6.00pm HKT

(From Part 1)

THE SECOND QUARTER has been a slow one for blogging. It’s the heat. It’s the humidity. It’s the surplus of overimaginative but under-promiscuous chicks. Srsly.

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If you’ve just turned 18 and want to booze a bit… | 8 April 2011

*Hic* You’re 18 now, a lamefag, and socially awkward. You’re a luser because it’s your first time ever going to the pub — and to top it off, you’re going with another 18 year old of the same sex who’s also socially awkward.

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Have mercy on our remembrances | 1 May 2011

Nearly half the year’s gone. Time to bitch and sound off about being old enough to remember things or too late to die young. They didn’t say life wasn’t a gamble…

Ten things I learnt about clubbing in Hong Kong | 12 May 2011

I use the word ‘clubbing’ in a loose way, meaning clubbing + going to gigs + night out. It isn’t right — then again, most things aren’t in this town. (This post got syndicated at Josh Bowman’s blog tenthingsivelearned.)

Joe Bonamassa Live in Hong Kong | 14 May 2011

American blues guitarist and singer Joe Bonamassa really wowed fans at his one-night-only gig in Hong Kong. It was flippin’ incredible, to say the least.

The Naked Listener wins Versatile Blogger Award | 27 May 2011

It had to be this, hadn’t it? I’m chuffed to the bollocks to be conferred The Versatile Blogger Award, courtesy of Word Nymph.

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Red Bull F1 Dragon Run 2011 | 19 June 2011

As a biker myself (of the motorcycle variety), I do my level best to turn up a racing gigs. Being a lecherous — ahem! — versatile sort of chap, I made do with the race queens (‘RQs’) there instead. Whay-hay-hay!

Life, on its own terms. Srsly. | 4 June 2011

Guestpost by Marcella Purnama, currently of Melbourne, Australia. She talks about the various received wisdom we get during our education — that they might not have been received, or even wise, unless we take pains to look how our ideas about education fit in with Life.

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Continued on Part 3

© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2011. Image sources via their respective blogposts.

NOT REALLY. Just this year in favourite blogposts.

Let’s get down to brass tacks.

Lots of you have said (on- and off-line) just how electrifying certain posts have been.

(You said it — I didn’t.)

Some posts have even managed the nearly impossible feat of causing some of you to spurt out your favourite beverage from your respective (and respectable) nostrils in laughter, soaking keyboards in snot and beverage and all.

Wow! No better accolade could be had by any scribe/hack than that.

For some strange reason, you lot seemed to really dig those posts that touch on the national or cultural characteristics (stereotypes?) of various nationalities and/or even subcultures.

I’ve got more than 5,000 sheets (10 reams) of handwritten notes on the national characteristics of various nationalities, and so far the stuff I’ve been putting out has been tame.

Even more popular it seems were posts about those nominally notional national characteristics of certain nationalised nationalities when they (the posts, that is) were swaddled in my loopy insights and parlayed into half-baked protips that double-back on themselves.

Well, I suppose you get what you paid for. Since this blog is free, you got what you didn’t pay for.

Here are the favourite blogposts from every month in 2011.

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How well do you know your guitars? | 27 Jan 2011

Easily my own most favourite post to write for January. At the time when I wrote this, it was to have been my last post as I headed off to hospital because of bronchitis, so this was for all you guitar fans out there.

The Villanizer

The most amazing way to change your looks | 14 Jan 2011

Perversely, many of you nosey parkers seemed to like this more. A simple change of headgear or outerwear brings about a wholly different impression. The reactions I got from people (even the same people) were unmistakable.

Yours truly in three different guises

TRIVIA: The Naked Listener’s first fan meet planned for 22 January 2011 didn’t take off. At all.

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Six observations of a winter’s day | 15 Feb 2011

My most enjoyable post to write, just around the last two days of the Hong Kong winter. It generated only two comments on the blog, but plenty of nice email comments.

Response: How tough is medicine? | 21 Feb 2011

Apparently, this was something of a favourite for overachieving, overimaginative but under-promiscuous school leavers. Friend of mine put this question to me on Facebook, and I chose to not spill my beans there with a tl;dr response. It’s still a tl;dr response, whichever way you look at it.

'Disturbing behavioural developments'

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Roundup for Week 10 | 14 March 2011

Skip the faggoty roundup bits. Scroll down to the section called “Only I can see this” because that’s the part nearly everyone said was spot-on.

Roundup for Week 11 | 21 March 2011

This was for the week when The Great Japanese Earthquake Tsunami Volcano Nuclear Meltdown Disaster happened, and the brain-damaged antics that led to in Hong Kong.

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Continued on Part 2

© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2011. Image sources via their respective blogposts.

Obligatory Christmassy post

Tuesday 27 December 2011, 12.26am HKT

(Updated 2011.12.27 @ 6.29am: corrected typos, added missing subhead)

(You’re fired. — Editor.)

What would Christmas be without the obligatory Christmassy post?

It’s a day late — Boxing Day right now in Hong Kong — but this should fit right in timewise with those places still operating on Christmas Day time mode.

* * *

Haters gonna hate

Sumptuous Christmas Eve dinner at L’s place:

  • Feta cheese salad with incredibly fresh greens and peaches
  • 500 grammes (17 ounces!) of fois gras du canard with pitted red cherries
  • Roasted beefsteak in traditional English gravy
  • Rack of lamb served with English Bramley apple sauce and English mint sauce
  • Ostrich steak from South Africa in red-wine sauce done in Dutch style
  • Terra Roja red wine from Spain
  • Glögg Saffranssmak from IKEA (saffron aromatised white wine)
  • Schnapps (or mediaeval Teutonic jet fuel) spiced with juniper

The idiot in me forgot to bring the camera, so there are no photos of the dishes. Derp.

(Maybe that wasn’t bad after all, mainly because of the result of us gaffing schnapps by the gallonful.)

Yeah, you read it right: 500 grammes of fois gras. Haters are gonna hate.

* * *

Uncle Ebeneezer’s fare

Christmas Dinner was positively Ebeneezer Scrooge in quality — mainly because Christmas Day has long been just another working day for me.

The lineup:

  • Pumpernickel of rye grains
  • Tuscan Saviani Finnochiona salami
  • Pasteurised cow’s milk mozarella (that’s the whitish block at 11 o’clock position)
  • Cheapo Spanish vino tinto

Not too shabby, is it?

That brownish thing that looks like sliced brickwork is pumpernickel — mediaeval unlevened bread, eaten by peasants and nobility alike. Packet of 500 grammes (1 lb.) for HK$30 (or US$3.85 or £2.47).

See? Told you I liked Tuscany food. Saviani Finocchiano salami from Tuscany region in Italy.

Glögg Saffranssmak is mulled white wine flavoured with saffron, whose weight-to-price factor makes it costlier than gold.

Glögg is a traditional drink during winter and popular in the north of Europe. It’s popular with meeeeeee, while I sit around lazing my backside off at 22°N 114°E of the Equator — which is not particularly northern European.

This bottle is 500cc (or nearly 17 US fluid ounces) for HK$49 (US$6.30 or £4) from IKEA. By my reckoning, it would probably cost close to HK$300 in a regular wineshop.

This is Nürnberger Christstollen für Diabetiker (Nuremberg Christmas fruitcake for diabetics). No, I’m not diabetic — normal people can eat food specially prepared for diabetic diets. This diabetic version is much less sweet than the regular stollen.

The cake’s name is pronounced ‘Newrn-bair-gair Kreest-shtoh-luhn fewr Dee-ah-bay-tee-kair.’ Quality of life just improved knowing how to say fruitcake in German.

Stollen (pronounced ‘shtoh-luhn’) is a traditional German fruitcake shaped like a breadloaf and contains candied orange peel, citrus peel, other dried fruit, nuts and spaces, and covered with powdered or icing sugar.

Stollen is usually eaten during Yuletide (hence the name Weihnachtsstollen or Christstollen). The Italian panettone shows a likeness but much blander-tasting, and basically one of the few Italian culinary disasters to exist.

This diabetic fruitcake was priced a whopping HK$85 (US$10.93 or £7) for 500 grammes (1 lb), reduced this morning to a mere HK$15 (US$1.92 or £1.23). Talk about wastage in food and get binned had I not bought two loaves.

* * *

We’re doin’ Xmas wrong, it seems

Christmas is arguably the most widely celebrated holiday in the world, regardless of people’s religion who celebrate it or simply take it as a festive time off.

The first date that Christmas was celebrated for certain was on 25 December in AD 325. That year was also known as the Year of the Consulship of Proculus and Paulinus (or AUC 1078 in the Roman calendar). In that same year, gladiatorial combat was outlawed in the Roman Empire (though not because of the activities of those two politicians).

December 25 was a strange date to pick to celebrate Christmas because astronomers and scientists and also the religious establishment all agreed that Jesus would have been born sometime during the summer months.

So it seems the Aussies, Kiwis and South Africans (‘Suf-efrikens’) and the Latinos down in Latin America are in traditional keeping with by celebrating the birth of Christ by celebrating it in their summer.

* * *

Stop punishing ‘Xmas’

‘Xmas’ is not an abbreviation for ‘Christmas.’ It is a proper term in its own right — the ‘X’ is the Greek letter ‘chi’ and used as the abbreviation of the Greek spelling of the word ‘Christ.’

Trouble is, so few people know this. Schoolchildren who daringly use ‘Xmas’ get forced to eat that horrifically bone-dry, paperboard-tasting thing called turkey as punishment. And then force them to say they enjoyed the experience. No wonder we have so many psychopaths running around as bankers, lawyers, accountants, medicos and government officials.

It would have been much better just to just soundly flog them until their morale improves.

* * *

Unboxing your Boxing Day

Boxing Day ain’t supposed to be celebrated in the USA, unlike in the United Kingdom and some other faggoty countries.

Boxing Day is the day when Xmas gifts are unboxed (which, I grant you, should really be called Unboxing Day instead).

In the USA, Boxing Day is ‘celebrated’ by displays of two hunky guys bashing the brains out of each other as a moral lesson that we should use violence to show that violence is wrong. And force people to pay for expensive tickets to watch such a (literally) brain-damaging spectacle.

No wonder we have so many sado-masochists running about with latex garb and rubber balls in the mouth extolling the virtues of our bankers, lawyers, accountants and government officials.

It would have been much better just to force them to eat dry, bland-tasting turkey with lemony-tasting cranberry sauce with tepid green peas instead until they become straightlaced psychopaths.

Merry Xmas to you and yours, and enjoy your turkey and green peas.

© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2011. All photos by me.

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