Maximum Respect: Port Chalmers, Otago Harbour, New Zealand.
We moved down from Christchurch a long time pre-quake, but in part because of the risk to our inner city hood should just such an event happen. We're glad of our geological nerdening but do ponder our propensity for living in the once-throbbing hearts of extinct volcanoes. Otago Harbour is the petrified remains of a massive shield cone and Port Chalmers would have gotten caught in its throat if this were 10 or so million years BCE. Luckily, the closest one gets to active vulcanism these days are the palls of coal smoke on a winter evening, the odd social pyrotechnic and the rusty brown rock that tumbles down and flattens something in your garden or trips you on the footpath.
Kitchen Bitch: The Blackthorn Banana Blueberry Spectacular Cake, née Edmonds.
We're not scarily competent pastissiers here at the TBO kitchen but we know a good cake when we see and inevitably eat it, and we are concerned with not wasting a damn thing lurking in the fruit bowl, chuckling to itself blackly at the bottom of the crisper drawer or wrested with so much angst and labour from the surrounding soil. So we have tweaked a few peasant staples that have long been a friend to the mediocre baker; today we shall discuss banana cake.
Development Hell: Designing your Book Cover- my own experience.
It's probably safe to assume that not everyone has subjected themselves to the process of designing and producing a book cover. Some of you might be interested in having a little peep behind those images that eventually stare at you from atop that endless pile of words. I mean... why did they choose that horrible thing? Why wasn't it pink? Why go representational when snappy reductionist graphics and retro type are so now? Why that nasty font? Why is your name so teeny? All perfectly good questions.
Putting together a cover made me feel seventeen all over again. Everything sucked; all my ideas were just too sophisticated, oblique and original for an ununderstanding world etc etc.
The Franz Joseph Glacier, Westland, New Zealand.
I am not sure why people insist on portraying glaciers as icy white and pristine, as though they must glow and even fluoresce in order to be significant to the human eye. Glaciers are not generally white and do not possess that kind of energy; they are dirty, injurious and protean, hungry monsters chewing and scraping the mountains as they plough downward, cleaving and collapsing on themselves along the way.
Walking the Black Mile: On Depression & Armed Resistance.
I aspirated a sliver of bone while eating a roast for lunch this afternoon. I felt my breath whistling past this brittle fragment as it sat pinched between the walls of my trachea. I got up, went into the kitchen, suppressed the gag and swallow reflex, worked it out of the place into which it was wedged and eventually spat it into my hand. It was almost an inch long and maybe a millimetre thick. Then I walked back out onto the deck and finished eating lunch. That's flattened affect for you, when it's at home. Impoverished reaction
Hostile Witness Film Review: Man of Steel (Superman) (2013 Zach Snyder)
Superman. My attitude toward the phenomenon is encapsulated in its entirety by the immortal words of Vivian- cornflakes. Cornflakes, cornflakes cornflakes cornflakes, cornflakes. From this, the perceptive reader might surmise that I don't much care for the Man of Steel, and they would be right. Having no Supercredentials to speak of, I subjected myself to this spectacle in company with my 16 year old nephew Purple, a hawkish Superfan who had keenly anticipated the reboot despite the fact that "Superman's a bitch who doesn't really kill people" and Snyder's gorey proclivities had him shaking his head from the start.
Vintage Greenstone Pendant, circa 1970.
Having bought this beautiful jade online yesterday under extremely serendipitous conditions, I was equally astonished when it turned up this morning, and overjoyed to say the least. Greenstone (the typically reticent NZ epithet for this mineral) should always come to you, it's said, and I feel this was the case in this instance. It's an estate piece from the carver's family and is apparently from an historic stone discovered by the late Jean Derry, one of New Zealand's foremost jade prospectors back in the day. I believe it; it is manifestly a taonga (treasure), strongly coloured and fine-grained and possessed of that soft, sensuous lustre that so invites the hand.
Blackthorn Perfume Review: Muscs Koublai Khan edp - Serge Lutens.
Muscs Koublai Khan. Prrrrrrr. Some say eeeek, but then there are two sorts of people in the world when you think about it; those who embrace their own biology, and those who find our mammalian reality discomforting and even repugnant. The latter haven't been backward in coming forward in regard to that repugnance, which annoys me.
Kitchen Bitch- Cooking Quail Eggs. And a bit about Quails.
Quail eggs are generally those small chocolate-splotched numbers you see clustered in fancy gourmet food emporium cartons with the WTF price tag. We pick them up from the bottom of our aviary, courtesy of our Coturnix (Japanese Quail) family. The small dusty blue guy in front is Napoleon, a widower of the Chinese Painted Quail persuasion; Napoleon likes big butts and fancies Hilary and Lightning Bolt, our two larger girls. The darker gingery beast is Michael Fassbender, our cock (yes, that is the technical term) who fancies himself, mainly, treating us to a surprisingly loud and incredibly annoying whiplash crow-loop during the breeding season.
How to string a necklace from great big vintage beads.
I've collected big vintage beads for a while now and have quite a bit to play around with. I restring them regularly according to whim and while a lot of us love scale, a problem arises once you've amassed some; how the hell do you make something wearable out of such large and irregular components? It's a far easier process than you might think once you get the hang of the basics. All you need is the teeniest, briefest, almost crotchless grasp of design and a few basic materials. If you're not confident about tying off etc, just consult one of the many excellent beading guides online or take the almost-necklace in to your local bead or craft shop and they'll do the honours for you.
How I lost a lot of weight. Why dieting is bullshit. Some thoughts on body image & the Paleo regime.
Fat is a wonderful thing. It is a miraculous physical resource, an emblem and artefact of success, an architect of beauty, intelligence and wellbeing and a mighty aegis against hardship and ill-health. If it were not for our ability to store delicious fat, our species would undoubtedly be a grunting footnote on an evolutionary flow-chart to something that could. Fat is our friend; I love it and am unstintingly grateful for everything it's done for me. (Epic three-part series. I'm going to finish off my thoughts about staying not-fat some time soon.)
Homosexuals are possessed by demons & will forever tarnish the spotless dignity & propriety of marriage which is a blameless institution just like heterosexuality.
Since that was pretty much the entire conservative judicial pitch, I'm not 100% shocked to see gay marriage made legal in the US at this juncture. Hearty congratulations to all my geys Stateside. I get excited for the people who now have access to the legal entitlements they were denied for so long on such ludicrous fucking grounds, but just can't get excited about the institution per se, and say that as someone legally married for 20 years.
Port Chalmers: Incident Report
Small towns, eh? To me, gossip is a comprehensive sensory experience just like everything else, possessing the gently luteal glow of ear wax or scorched formica (darkening with the degree of prurience); it feels like broad-gauge distressed underwear elastic or the textured glass of mid-century ashtrays, and smells like hat sweat.
We have little to no idea what prompted this massively ambitious (check out the page numbers in the upper right hand corner of each sheet and marvel as we did) account of (alleged) darksided nautical-themed shenanigans, but someone took a break from their meds, bought all the staples and decided to fuck brevity right in the arse with an epic non-linear passive-aggressive public j'accuse, distinguished by both the breadth of its scope and the tenuousness of its literacy (yes, they go together down here too).
Our Textiles: Two vintage Indian Banjara Gala embroideries with shisha and cowries.
Disclaimer- I have a pretty superficial knowledge of Indian textiles and this series won't be any scholarly dissertation. But we do collect an eclectic range of Islamic and Asian material and have a very broad sort of meta-familiarity on our side, so hopefully our observations will be of some use. We both love this field and it has never been easier for the dufus or layperson to appreciate and acquire items from its immense artistic legacy.
Night Monkeys: Blood Moon, October 2014, Port Chalmers NZ
Ever seen a total lunar eclipse in the flesh before? Neither of us had either, so we decided to add that sucker to our list of notable experiences. Here in southern New Zealand it was scheduled to begin at 9 something pm. or other hurm hurm errr wasn't paying attention. Well, that was our understanding; as it turns out, astronomers were talking about that being when the umbra getting sort of near the moon a wee bit, rather than actual celestial conjugation.
'The Light Between Oceans' - Set images from filming in Port Chalmers, NZ.
We'll kick off coverage with some set shots. There's no Fassbender werqing the shit out of some vintage trou here, but as we were walking past anyway, we dropped in on the two Port locations before every barking arsehole in Dunedin was crawling all over them, as will probably happen tomorrow. We heard some sort of production person lamenting the fact that they could only afford to work on the front of the buildings; luckily Port is a pretty comprehensive anachronism before a bunch of techs and (rather pissy) dressers get their mits on it.
I refuse to read the book and have no idea how a drapery and a bookshop fit into what passes for action in such a farrago of nonsense, but here 'tis.