Happy Halloween!

Jack O' Lantern, by B.A. Pabón

Jack O’ Lantern, by B.A. Pabón

All Hallows Night

A poem by Lizette Woodworth Reese (1856 –1935)

Two things I did on Hallows Night:

Made my house April-clear;

Left open wide my door

To the ghosts of the year.

Then one came in. Across the room

It stood up long and fair—

The ghost that was myself—

And gave me stare for stare.

Halloween Costumes


10.07.07. Art Forlorn, Intermediate. Leave a comment.

Old Dogs, New Tricks

a-friend-in-need-cassius-marcellus-coolidgeI know it’s awfully kitsch and lowbrow, but it’s also kind of a classic in a cheesy, tastless way, this painting by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge from the 1900s, very aptly titled A Friend in Need. A Headings exercise for Advanced students.



10.07.07. Advanced, Art Forlorn, Force-Feeding, Headings, Humour. Leave a comment.

Domestic Violence

wsickert_camdentownThis cloze test is meant for Intermediate students. I found the original text on my first visit to the Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan. What you have here is an adaptation of it. The painting that illustrates this post is The Camden Town Murder, by Walter Richard Sickert (1860-1942). If you are interested in seeing more of Sickert’s artwork, I strongly recommend visiting the link at the end of this post.




10.07.07. Art Forlorn, Cloze Tests, Force-Feeding, Intermediate. Leave a comment.

4-Bean Chili


24 oz Bean Appétit Chili Mix

8 cups water for cooking

1 lb ground beef, turkey or chicken

1 ½ cups onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ cup green, sweet pepper

4 cups canned tomatoes

1 8-oz can tomato sauce

2 tbsp chili powder or to taste

1 tbsp cumin

1 tbsp sugar


Sort and rinse bean mix. Soak beans overnight in refrigerator. Or, quick soak by bringing beans to boil in water. Immediately remove from heat and leave covered for 30 minutes prior to use. Drain. Cook beans. Brown ground meat. Sauté onions, garlic, and green pepper. Combine all ingredients. Cover and simmer on low approximately ½ hour. Makes 12 1-cup servings.

The Bean Appétit Chili Mix is a mixture of kidney beans, navy beans, cranberry beans and black beans, packaged by Carlson-Arbogast Farm, in Howard City, Michigan.  I added, as I usually do, 1 tbsp of baking soda to the beans and let them soak in water overnight.  I didn’t brown the ground meat, I used leftover roast chicken instead.

The painting that illustrates this post is by Caroline Magert and its title is Kitchen Floor. Those of us who enjoy the company of cats know how true to life this picture is. I love it.

10.07.07. Advanced, Art Forlorn, Recipes, Vocabulary. Leave a comment.

Introducing Tim

This is Tim, Tim of the Wistful Eyes, who shares his territory with Harold. They don’t get on too well. Tim is always making mischief and Harold has to bear the brunt. Do as Harold does and just ignore him.

10.07.07. Art Forlorn, Diary. Leave a comment.

À Table!

"À Table!": A Portrait of Harold, the Cat, by B. A. Pabón

I took this picture of Harold on New Year’s Eve, 2009, while the table was being set for dinner. Well, what did you expect, mein Lieber? The cat behaved as Nature intended.

10.07.07. Art Forlorn, Diary. Leave a comment.

Housing in Berlin


Das ist Berlin, Berlin! A cloze test for EOI NA1/NA2 students.




10.07.07. Advanced, Art Forlorn, Cloze Tests, Force-Feeding. Leave a comment.

Harold as Seen Through a Mousehole

I didn’t mean to publish this picture here. I have good reasons to do so. I took this photo of Harold, the cat who I share a flat with, last spring or summer, and sent it as Christmas greetings to a good friend of mine to whom I owe a small favour that he mistakenly considers to be great. He threatened to publish it in his blogs (yes, he has several, though I wouldn’t call them blogs, they’re more like self-advertisements), which leaves me no option but to race against time. What’s the big deal? Oh, well. If you can’t see the resemblance to Friedrich Overbeck’s Portrait of the Painter Franz Pforr, like good ole Natalia Landauer used to say, ‘I’m sorry. I can’t help you.’

10.07.07. Art Forlorn, Diary. 1 comment.

Ciudad Real, Saturday VII.VII.MMVII

It was so hot today that a hailstorm inevitably ensued. Harold, not surprisingly, was the first to notice it. He stood bolt upright on my green plush easy chair and looked out the window a few seconds before it actually started. Now I won’t have to bother watering the plants.

10.07.07. Art Forlorn, Diary. Leave a comment.