He spends all day taking and fucking around with them, then posts them in his blog and doesn't tell me.
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He spends all day taking and fucking around with them, then posts them in his blog and doesn't tell me.
See more here
Every dramaturgical lipstick has its breathless following and Train Bleu's adherents praise its elevated colour balance and suave texture. It's definitely nicer to wear than most of its equivalents, but I'm not sure that's saying very much. Night Moth is the MAC pencil heart of darkness OG, but my god it feels like Akhenaten's crackly taint upon one's lips. More emollient purples just end up in greasy hepatic horror. TB is by no means perfect, but it strikes a pretty rational balance between workability and refinement.
Let's talk a wee bit more about yay and nay, vis-à-vis le violet. There's not much middle ground between sulky, smells like encrusted Hot Topic-type manky darkness, and adult statement purple, is there? The difference is elusive; for reasons that escape me, Train Bleu is dominant and austere rather than angry and slutty. You won't look like you're wishing you still needed fake ID. The choice depths of its intense baked blueberry character is well illustrated in the stigmata swatches below. Perhaps it is its reference to the natural spectrum that keeps it classy.
I just want to share with you that I got that above piece of astrakhan in a job lot from an ex-furrier to the Queen. (While I would never buy or wear new fur for obvious reasons, I support the respectful utilisation of old furs, as I would anything that had cost an animal its life; they exist, and it is unethical and stupidly wasteful to discard them).
Anyways: TB can be smudged out and smoothly gradated, as you can see below, and never fully dries down to the extent that you can't budge it. It's thick enough to feel persistently present on the lip, but it won't migrate embarrassingly or stain your mouth very much upon removal- always a bonus.
The palm swatches demonstrate how little operational difference there is between Train Bleu (big S), MAC Night Moth (little s) and Pat McGrath Blood 2. If you have one, you don't need the others and I would add MAC Smoked Purple, Night Violet, Bite Beauty Marsala liquid lipstick (not shown), and MAC Sin (right smudge) to that list, even though the latter appears very red-brown here in comparison. They're all effectively the same once maxed out. I have the original version of the Pat McGrath and the formula is fudgier and a little more slippy than the Nars stick.
As with almost every super-dark lipstick, Train Bleu has some failings. It's just too perimortem-esque for the squeamish and will amplify dark eye bags and sallowness issues. You will need to moisturise very well if you have ashy skin. It will end up on your teeth at some point, which is odd for a matte. It is slightly, although not tortuously, drying. Those of us with full lips already know that it will skip the middle of our lower one unless thickly and patiently built there. Older bitches like myself may experience a very slight peripheral wander of the purple tint into our biddy wrinkles, though that effect is not particularly odious and can even seem artful.
On the whole, Nars Train Bleu is probably as dignified and utile as this sort of colour can be and I'm glad I acquired it. Its singularity demands an exclusive focus, so it's probably a mistake to contrive a competing eye situation. You could do a tiny hollow flick or a grey tightline, if you look too mooncalfish without a little something. My favourite TB look is minimal and sort of baby-eating; no mascara, brows powdered over. Halloween and Monday, taken care of.
L2R, MAC unless stated: Russian Red, Nars Train Bleu, Nightmoth, Pat McGrath Blood 2,
Bite Beauty Licorice, Nars Terra de Feu, Vino, Sin, Bite Beauty Clove
Meaningful juxtaposition + stylistic assurance = 🤘
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Selected Ravings Presents the Contemporary Complainer's Guide to how not to be the Cruise Ship Tourist Everyone Despises and No, that is Not too Strong a Word.
Here in Port Chalmers, the cruise season is over, by and large, for another year. Forgive me if I express deep gratitude for that blessed cessation, as an introvert domiciled in an increasingly visited small town. This has been the busiest year to date.
Boatpeople, for us hapless residents, the season is long. Have a thought for the flesh units trapped in those destination towns. Your oceanic hell wagons belch carginogenic smoke, blast us with their fucking PA and mediocre musical stylings whilst decanting far too many people into the surrounding countryside. Day after day, for months. It starts tap dancing on the nerves.
We didn't ask to be put on the CS schedule; in fact, we were given no say in the matter. You may be on an expensive holiday, but no one else is. While your paying presence might provide benefits to a narrow demographic, you should probably know that much of your sweet, sweet visitor spend is expertly snatched back by your bloodsucking cruise co affiliates, which is why all those pre-booked day trips cost twice as much as they should. Your dollar isn't equitably distributed and much of your impact amounts to exploitation. To too many of us, you are just the thudding chug that wakes us in the morning and the smokestack emissions that permeate the contents of our clotheslines. We twist the names of each boat into childish obscenities just to make ourselves feel better about the whole situation. I'm not telling you what they are.
You know how you wander in and sit your arses down en mass in local businesses, purchase-dodging and using their internet while actual customers stand out on the footpath melting your brains with their stares and wishing wing'd death on you? You fool nobody, and the accrued karma will send you to an ER one day.
It would be great if you could use the literal biblical plague of buses specifically laid on for you to get into the city, instead of the local public transport which is already inadequate for our purposes. These tourist buses create toxic stank and inconvenience for locals and they will not go the fuck away until you give them your fare, so have a heart. You're making people late for work and school when you form 30-deep lines trying to save $1.50. You even fill the bus sometimes so that locals miss their rides altogether. Come on now. Also: don't loudly complain when another passenger opens a window on the trip into town. You wear 500% and 355% too much Red Door and Flower Bomb, respectively.
I know you're on a boat motherfuckers, but remember those basal social skills. Treat locals with the respect you presumably afford fellow travellers on your amazing prefabricated journey of discovery. We aren't props or extras. Those people with dogs outside cafés are probably deliberately avoiding eye contact. You are never the first person to loudly interrupt their personal convos by declaring how much you miss your dog, seizing and handling the unknown canine, snapping memorial photographs and going on to wanderingly impart your unsolicited attitudes to everything from race relations to phrenology. Don't expect on-demand deferential engagement. We're trying to chill for 20 mins with a friend and every successive version of you edges our hand closer to that cake knife. Just smile at the dog and move on.
Further to this, people going about their business at their private addresses aren't props, either. I say this as someone who lives on an increasingly popular walking route. Please don't stare in to our houses; we can see you. Think twice about coming up driveways to take photos of private property. Don't pester strangers in their gardens when they're busy or obviously disinclined, and staring fixedly at them over the fence until they acknowledge you is a pretty fucked up thing to do. If you're determined to go ahead with this behaviour, the least you can do is throw money; it might stop me clipping you in the head with flying dog shit. I cannot tell you how much the imposition of awkward pleasantries with a day-long stream of randoms takes the shine off enjoying one's own yard. It sucks.
So does trying to patronise a very small local supermarket packed to the tonsils with boat people who have just emerged from a vessel groaning, nay, listing with every fucking foodstuff known to mankind. They need more, and right now. They cluster in impenetrable clots in every aisle and in front of the items you need, stripping the stock whilst glancing over their shoulder at you but never, ever conceding access voluntarily. They don't bother carrying local currency but do want to dispute the exchange policy at the checkout with 20 peeps banked up behind them. They're always up for an arguement over NZ's alcohol ID requirements, the high cost of cigarettes here and maybe demanding the checkout person's help to sort through the things they actually want from the two stuffed baskets they've emptied on the conveyor while shouting to their sister in law who is jumping the cue with another two baskets.
Visitors, there's a reason why you don't shop like this at home and that reason starts with throat and ends with punch.
What was I saying? Oh yes- don't be an arsehat when you step off the gangway. You know what? Just don't go on a fucking cruise ship in the first place. Actually visit your destination instead of poking it with a stick from a distance. Sincere regards, etc.
I don't know if they've granted this new colour variety an inevitably stupid, swishy, committee-generated, focus group-tested, utterly inapposite proprietary name yet, but I'm sure it's in the pipeline.
Aesthetically, we were a little underwhelmed after the hype accompanying the limited release. Are we just being picky cunts when we expect a little more red in a red kiwifruit? Whatever. There's no denying the cross-section offers a pretty burst of ruby, it's just that it's not entirely obvious how a meringue or pav is going to seriously benefit from this partial and somewhat parsimonious novelty. On the plus side, it sort of looks like it's on its rag and I don't hate that. With all these things considered, I bestow an eyeball score of 6.5/10.
I was tricked into eating some arse-gapingly horrible Italian kiwifruit the other day by our utterly unscrupulous dickhole of a supermarket. Jesus fucking wept, I actually spat it on the ground and this mushy, gluey insult to my unsuspecting gob reminded me of the simple pleasures of the kiwifruit OG, that homely local variety with its Colombian emerald flesh and indefatigable strangeness of flavour. I like its pubic furriness, sometimes punishing acidity and translucent Kermity beauty. The yellow depilated variant is a different, more melony customer that has only recently earned our respect after distributors apparently learned not to sling shitty, half-fermented, golden snot-like sub-export trays at local consumers. Which only took about 5 fucking years.
Taste-wise, the Zespri Red is utterly forgettable and harkens back to those bad old days of crap yellow kiwifruit, shying away from its progenitors' noble and quite frankly essential acidity in favour of mealy, omnireferential neither-norness. There's a hoarse whisper of guava, maybe a tired shrug of rock melon but nothing that amounts to more than a limp-wristed gesture toward tinned fruit salad that's been sitting in a cup on the bench for three warm days.
4/10, would not bang.
Nonbasic fashion images for the win.
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“I lisp now." Susan sighed, sliding her tongue between her teeth; her hand lay open on Sachiin's knee and she peered down at her open palm while he leant over it, working the thorns free with the point of a folding blade.
“You don’t lisp.” he chuckled.
They sat on the parapet and chair respectively. A ceaseless wind, cold and bone-dry, blustered over the edge of the yard under the midday sun, its distant solitaire lost in a sky of insuperable, gaseous immensity, snapping through the clothes and strips of hare meat on the drying frame they had improvised from branches. It curled against the hill and swept back toward them, dosed with the smoke still rising thinly from the remains of their laundry fire. Below the forest formed a sea of undulous shadow green in which the bald peaks rose like desert atolls, thick skirts of snow still lying, topaz blue, amid their shade. She looked up, the sun flooding brightly-veined crimson through her lids, then returned to examining his peculiarly toneless expression, an effect of his devotion to his task; Sachiin's colours were favoured by the light that dramatized the landscape and her gaze enjoyed him in the same leisured and impersonal way. The thorns he cut free left behind a shallow, sapid burn, relieving the pressure of their intrusion. Susan closed her eyes; in her pellucid mood the sound of him leaning in his chair to discreetly address the tin of condensed milk secreted beneath it did not move her to active intervention.
"You'll get diabetes." she murmured.
"I don't care. This shit is incredible. It’s...”
“Ten years past its use-by date... sickly and disgusting?”
"Sans déc. It’s the Hello Kitty of food... like someone dipped a cow in gur. What's caramel?" he added, frowning at what he could make of the recipe printed on the tin.
“Stop eating it! It’s not even ours.”
When she swatted impulsively at the can he rose with it and walked some distance from her, leaning over the edge of the roof to vomit the substance into the void beyond, the polka dotted fabric of her underwear sagging on his hips.
“There’s fucking miles of it down there.” he assured her, referring to the aging cache they had discovered in the alcoves below and taking another from the portion they had requisitioned, peeling off its lid with an ecstatic murmur. His small porcine devotee squealed impatiently at his feet and danced in anticipation as he bent down and offered the treat to its questing snout.
“Give that one to him and get another, for god's sake. And put some pants on.” she complained, easing herself from the chair and crossing the yard to take his jeans from the line; cognizant of her intent, he stepped up onto the parapet and used its broken length in a leisurely evasion, scooping what remained from the tin.
“Hey, if only the black helicopters could see me now. I dare you!" he declared, shaking a fist at the sky.
“They'd have to fly back to base and bleach their eyeballs for an hour, so stay up there.” she observed, feigning resignation before lunging sideways at him. He walked over the chair and took refuge behind the fire where she cornered him, Fyodor dashing after them.
“You can’t forcibly re-pants a spirited ch... child of...” The protest was interrupted by the re-emergence of the second tin of milk, which he bent over to eject. "Nature... is that caramel?" he inquired, nodding down at the ground. As she kept hold of his wrist and shook out his trousers he lost his elusive verve, standing tranquilly and smiling at her as she hauled the garment up over his legs. “While you’re down there.” he grinned, enjoying the slap to the rear that his remark inspired. “I can't help this, you brought more underwear than I did.”
“So did Kermit the bloody frog.” She buttoned his fly and shook her head at another of his new scars, a wide, slightly corrugated crescent on his hip that he twisted to see for himself.
“Well, at least I didn't get it in a tranny fight at Taco Bell, though that would have been a fuck of a lot more glamorous.”
“We should have let your brother turn them into kebabs when we had the chance.” Susan muttered, walking back to the chair. He paused to douse his head in the bucket of water.
"Alas no, my bloodthirsty petal... an alujha death feud is a game nobody wins."
"Aren't we in one anyway?"
"Technically no... they started it, so if we don't do anything else, it's not on." He consulted the tin in his hand once more. "It says... caramel happens when you heat it up." he added, gaze shifting to the cans that formed part of Susan's rations and equipment, the former assorted into daily allowances, the latter cleaned, examined and laid out to dry. Sachiin edged one toward the coals with his foot whilst dipping a finger in the can and applying it languidly to his neck and chest. She let her head settle against the chair.
"If you're going to do that, your name has to be... mmm... Richard... you have to be new in town and just looking for a place to stay, and you're going to be passed around a lot of strange... I think this time... strange firemen." she informed him, smiling at his groin's gentle and intermittent conjunction with her ear. He rolled his eyes.
"Your name is the least pornographic part of you... I can't help that. How can you have ants in your bloody pants? We just washed them." The narrow shadow in the corner of her smile granted it a strangely endearing quality.
"Les dents du bonheur." he contended at the sight of it, touching his thumb to her lip. "And it's happiness. I have happiness in my pants."
"I know. It's poking my eardrum. Sit down... if you don't stop eating that rubbish I'll have to tie you to something. Have a go at the back of my head."
Susan knelt over the stone and he sat on the edge of the chair to work the tangles from her hair, searching out the thorns that had lodged in her scalp. The stroke of his hands closed her eyes; he leant down to set the tin on the ground for Fyodor, who nosed it greedily.
"Do you ever think about how strange you are?" she inquired.
"How do you mean?"
"I mean... do you feel it?"
He looked out toward the mountains.
"Parfois. Sometimes I feel... loose. Like the parts are rattling around... talking about me behind my back."
"You have parts?" she laughed. "How many?"
"Three. One at the back, and one behind each eye. The left one has a creepy voice... go platinum blonde, drink a case of Pernod, light curtain fires..." He adjusted his intonation accordingly. "I try not to listen but he's very persuasive."
"How can you be three things at once? Who am I talking to now?"
"My threefold shit is all up in your grille, poupée... every part likes you. Je suis désolé."
From looking at him she took another measure of the encircling horizon, resting her chin on her hands.
"If I'd known you were this creepy I would never have slept with you in a million years." she smirked. He ran his tongue over his teeth inside his own smile.
"Now you're stuck with me in a place where there's absolutely nothing else to do. The very heart of darkness."
"Yes, and I'm not overly fussed about staying.”
“Give it a couple of weeks."
"You’ve got some carbs to suck down before we take a run at the border. You’ll have to walk behind me when we do, though... Gévaudan’s gone straight to you arse and it’s giving me a special feeling.”
“Make the most of it. It'll be fit and sporty by the time I’ve hauled it back to civilization.”
“Don’t say that, Christabel... rub some butter on it.” he exclaimed, edging the chair forward so that he could enjoy more intimate contact with her posterior. She reached back in a futile attempt to deter the attention. “What do they say... starve a cold and feed a booty? An arse in the hand is worth two on the dancefloor? A hot rack is silver but trunk junk is gold? A double-down donk is a man’s best friend?”
“It’s speaking is silver but silence is gold. Silence. And stop that.”
“I can’t.” She shook him off and climbed up onto the parapet to lie on her stomach, taking advantage of the meagre warmth afforded by the stone; he let himself down on top of her, blowing a rolling purr on the back of her neck and watching her ears turn pink. "Un petit coup en vitesse?"
"You have to say it slowly." Susan complained.
"It loses its charm." he laughed, settling beside her with his back to the drop and his head propped on his hand. His eyes shared their hue with the distant trees behind him so that they seemed to have commandeered his gaze, his stare undermining the quietude that she encouraged by closing her own. “I was going to tell you something, but if you don’t want to hear it... alright then."
Sachiin maintained his threatened embargo for longer than she anticipated, though he began flicking his teeth with a fingernail.
"Tell me or I'll push you off.”
“I just wanted to say that I was worried... you know, that Ed had done the right thing... the grown up thing... by letting Frost go. I’m glad I was too needy and pathetic. So... thanks, for not running off screaming.”
“I did run off screaming.”
“Thanks for not running off screaming from me specifically.”
“I’m not planning on running ever again.” she assured him. "But... I would hate to be sitting in bloody Hackney right now wondering what you were doing and realizing I'd just made the most sensible adult decision ever."
He clapped a hand to his heart.
"My left ventriloquist is having an erection."
Susan accepted his kiss with some hesitation, wary of its nebulous, luring gravity and pushing him back onto his side when he slid an arm and leg across her.
"I hope it doesn’t cost anything to get wherever we're going because I’ve about ten francs and change left. What've you got?”
“Fifty lei, in my good pants. I dropped my last US on Azeri single malt in the Nizami küçəsi."
“So... we're skint?”
"And you're not bothered?"
“You sound like such a rich kid."
"Is that good or bad these days? I don't know, Christabel, I just can't get all bent about money. It comes and it goes... we just have a casual thing."
"I don’t know if I can go from tooling around in a Jag to... panhandling, probably, in eastern Europe...”
“No prise de tête. Auberjonois’ll sub me whatever we need. If there’s something he loves more than pulling thirty percent for sitting on his hairy fucking arse eating cheese, he's too ashamed to tell me.”
He groaned as he sat up and let his legs hang over the drop, and she curled around him.
“Your walking away from a Jaguar is a lot sexier than driving around in one like a dick.”
"It took me forever to find that fucking car. I was trying to impress you."
"Do they not come with a key and matching doors?"
"I asked my inner lady what she thought about the guy who drives a minty XJS and she said she just couldn't imagine wanting to fuck him."
"Your inner lady should buy some underwear." she laughed.
"Well, first we'd have to hit the lending arm of the international bastard bank of Kala'amātya, but that's cool... he’ll pay me to go away in a fucking heartbeat.”
Her frown returned.
“I don't think we should leave him alone at the moment.”
“It’ll do him good, the sulky prick. You're the first person to survive calling him a sadistic mental case in the last two thousand years, though... that's progress now that I think about it."
"I wish we could send him to counseling."
He laughed, its strange sound falling over the wall and booming down the slope.
"You girls and your Jesus complex... he's just not a modern guy, Christabel. Skullfucking, unsolicited amputations... it's all ikebana to him. Leave him to the expert."
"She left him."
Sachiin issued a dramatic presentation to the gorge.
"Kala'amātya in therapy... what seems to be the problem, Mr Lamb? Why are you such a creepy, twisted fuck? I don't know, but I start stabbing clinical psychologists if I can't find my skull bag, and what the fuck did I say about eye contact?" He made a splattering sound between pursed lips. "Clean up in cubical four."
Having wiled his way into the narrow space between them and under his arm, Fyodor set his little hooves against her to complete his usurpation.
“That pig is in love with you.”
“I’m in love with him. But I’m not in love with my brother, and there’s something about the way he was grazing me with small arms fire the other night that tells me I’m getting to the end of what I can do for him in his present state.”
They remained in their respective silences for a while, Susan biting at a fingernail.
"I really do not want to stay here. Petrouchka's avoiding me, and when she isn't, she's giving me looks. I'd rather sleep under a tree."
"I don’t know the technical shit involved in the whole undead conversion thing, but I do know the human brain probably isn’t designed to be flogged five hundred years past its use-by date, especially when it wasn’t your flashest feature in the first place. She's petite noblesse... she can marry well and find veins and that's about it. Don't take it personally.”
“Stop trying to make me feel superior.”
“You are superior.” he assured her.
“What, because I have a pulse?”
"Give it two weeks, cloudcheeks. Fourteen tiny little days. Pour moi?"
Muttering, Susan set the pig down on the roof and sat up alongside him, pushing a hand into his hair and attempting to derange it to her satisfaction, only to see it slide back in its sericeous disregard.
“I never thought I’d miss midnite madder, but I actually do. If we can go pretty much anywhere, I fancy India. For Diwali or something."
“Long walk.” She groaned but he remained resolute. “It’s lo-fi pedestriation until we lose the heat. You get safety or you get convenience. They don’t hook up.”
“But I like convenience...”
“I like not having the door of my condo kicked in at three in the morning by black op freaks or roidy bloodsuckers." He glanced at her fondly. "And I love a feral pants-optional destination so what about Holi, somewhere backwards and country... I'll trade plumbing and florists for not having to worry about you so much.”
“Having me around must be like this nightmare egg and spoon race that just keeps going.”
He shook his head at the exoticism of the activity to which she referred.
"If I had known you were this weird, I would never have slept with you." Sachiin smiled, lurching perilously at the shove she applied to his shoulders.
“About your brother...” He put a hand to his throat and commenced a doleful choking but she persisted. "When I think about it, he's probably the smartest person I've ever met, so he must know if he stopped sulking and got on a plane he could actually be with Lilian.” she insisted.
"He's smart enough to know you can't fix a fleshwound with a fucking machete. Frost cut him a break... I never thought she would... if he jumps the rope and goes after her it'll end in a smoking hole in the ground and I'll be the one who needs a fucking shrink."
"Everything ends badly." she observed. He stepped over her and walked back toward the remains of the fire.
"Trust me, it's a matter of degree. Christabel, I know what you're saying... a year ago, all this was me. I was the one humping his leg trying to get his attention. He told me himself, over and over... get off my dick, Sachiin... no really, I prefer my own company... strictly no romanticizing my evil, Sachiin. And he was right. He’s the scorpion, not the frog... don’t get it twisted.”
She murmured something toward her chest.
“I said they both drown.” she sighed at his insistence, lowering her voice as he leant over the shifting red glow of the coals as though listening to something obscure within them. As she opened her mouth to ask, a cracking report sent a spray of caramel bursting from the can he had left upon the coals. Wiping a hand over the streak of browned milk decorating his midriff, he murmured to himself and licked it from his palm.
CONTINUED NEXT WEEK
© céili o'keefe do not reproduce
Climate-wise, it's been a pretty typical summer so there's not much to report in that respect. Lifestyle-wise, we've had the culture shock of entering the hospitality trade via our little wiener guesthouse, which has taken our usual summer routines, strangled them and dumped them on the compost heap. Oh well. At least we can afford groceries now.
So anyway, we haven't been out much; you'll just have to make do with these quotidian scenes.
Newly minted geese. At least the local sports clubs aren't shooting them at the moment.
Juicy water. This had a sparkle rating of about 8/10 on the Blackthorn Scale. You can't really see where it picked up that sort of score in these images due to the limitations of the small camera we were carrying but it was a good effort. It had almost everything: sexy contrast, interesting distribution, lively coruscation. Points deducted for slightly disappointing sequin definition, suboptimal continuity and water colour could have been better, strictly speaking.
A number of krill events have seen legions of birds and fish of all sizes roiling through the harbour and sucking up that oceanic bounty. I dote upon these cyclic manifestations; they provide some evidence of business as usual in the face of all those hellish predictions.
This is Frost, some sort of collie/huntaway amalgam and he is a good boy. He runs ahead to all the swimming spots and waits, with his stick, for his lady and her poodles, who must remain on their leashes for reasons obvious to anyone familiar with the breed and I say that as a poodle parent.
Supermoon rising. Unfortunately we were not carrying a superlens, but you get the idea.
Above: Careys Bay Pub, just round the corner. Below: seasonal civil greetings.
As part of its postindustrial budget charm, Port possesses a puzzling superfluity of hazard signage, both contemporary and superannuated; in time I will document it all, before gentrification sweeps it all away.
This was just your usual shitty, no frills boatshed round Back Beach until the tin was stripped away.
I had no idea.
Fir insisted on obscuring this footpath dick; that is actually what you're looking at, in case you were wondering.
Careys Bay. The football field.
Honestly, no one should be particularly surprised. One of the reasons we left Chch, and this was 25 fucking years ago, was the fuckwit skinhead/white power presence that disgusted us so comprehensively. They have been a tolerated presence there for so long that R and I just looked at each other when we heard and knew exactly who it was. I long ago lost count of the number of confrontations, ranging from verbal abuse to outright assault I've personally accrued with these worthless dickheads since the early 90s, both for being a visible weirdo and intervening in their pathetic 4-on-1 assaults on other randoms. The cops have never, ever been interested in dealing with them. They need to wear a lot of shit for the impunity white supremacy has enjoyed for so long.
I'm not a fan of organised religion and Islam is as deeply problematic as any other patriarchal monotheism. But just in case you were wondering, the Chch shooting is not some sort of fucked-up overreaction to the presence of any militant dickswinging Islam in NZ. At all. It just isn't a thing here. Any perceived threat from the Muslim community these perpetrators might cite is a complete fabrication. So no matter what you might read elsewhere, let a New Zealander assure you that this atrocity could not have been more arbitrary or cowardly. Fuck white power, fuck skinheads, and fuck the police for sitting on their hands this long.
Sorry about the lack of postings, peeps: the Idlehouse has been going off over Feb and we now have a house full of nonpaying guests to deal with so we've been flat out. March should be more sedate and regular contributions will resume. Thanks for your patience 🤘🍆💩
beautiful textures and observation
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The first thing one notices is the texture of the Revolution version. It is stodgy. UD lipsticks are fairly immortal so it's nothing to do with its date of birth. You could argue that there's a lot of colourant in this shade but UD F-Bomb is also heavily-saturated and manages to avoid any gluey edge to its pigment burden.
Mrs MW stays unpleasantly present on the lip, and I don't care for the persistent greasy sheen either. This kind of sinister mouthfeel can be reassuring on one level; you know the product will live through drinks and food and 3am, no problem. You might end up with lint and rolling papers stuck to you though, so don't pass out anywhere.
Is she worth the trouble you might go through to get hold of her in original form? No, to be honest. The aforementioned Red Lizard is superior and offers the same sort of tonal shift. If you're looking for a something atypical and warmish, save the big eBay bickies for MAC Ruffian Red, that peerless paragon of high-functioning LE idiosyncrasy and the most lamentably fleeting offer of all time. That one's worth every blood-soaked penny. Otherwise, set pedantry aside and just be happy with your MAC Dubonnet, VG1, Russian Red, Nars Mascate et al. They get the same big red shit done.
(L2R All MAC unless stated) Russian Red, UD Mrs Mia Wallace, Ruby Woo,
Nars Cruella, Mac Red, Tenor Voice, UD F Bomb natural outdoor sunlight
Flowering down the road this season. It's been a good one, with Tui and Bellbirds gorging themselves stupid on the abundant nectar. The really big harakeke swamp flaxes like these can put up spikes 4m+ tall.
The smell is incredibly peculiar; fermented orange skins, sunwarmed hardwood, nameless terpenes, condensed forest, pencil-ness, dry bull kelp, phantom marigold.
The dumb acceptance conferred by sleep relieved little of the disgust Josephine felt for the conscript's ruined and brutalized faces. Rain that had begun as shiftless mist condensed the smell soaking the timbers of the structure around them and it could scarcely have done more to discourage occupation. The forest without had affirmed her worst suspicions as she returned from watch, no wind stirring the branches that dripped so ponderously onto the leaking thatch, the weeping trees destructing the silence of the grove like colluding militants.
The binocular elements over her eyes painted Shaw in pointilistic green against the gable wall. He looked up over his shoulder from the crouch he had assumed to plumb the contents of her pack, holding perfectly still for an elastic moment before shifting a hand toward the assault rifle on the floor beside him. She covered the movement with her own weapon and he abandoned it, sitting on his haunches. Pushing back her visor slowly, Josephine stood in the glow of the night light hanging from the rafters while the rain dripped from her fatigues and he awaited the subtle easement of her posture that would allow him to rise. She looked instead at the sleeping figure on the floor nearby and kicked at its legs.
“A One...” she muttered. “Get up.”
Two hours squatting in a bed of gleaming briar canes had deadened Josephine’s feet to the point where she could barely own their presence. Beside her, hunkered amid their weapons, Shaw and the four conscripts watched the second eidiré through the same barbed tracery, the treeless midst of the surrounding glade guarded by one half of the remaining C corps. Any loyalty they felt toward their isolated compatriot had proved soluble in rain and darkness; the smoke drawn from his cigarette drifted toward them, the slow precipitation blurring his shape and hissing as it struck the solitary ember. Shaw experienced his vulnerability as a constriction of his throat. The sentry opened the fly of his camouflage trousers and released a steaming stream onto the rank, bowed grass.
Behind him, the vapour lying stagnant under the trees began to drift, curling around the corners of the longhouse and creeping forth between its stout, drab piles. Josephine sank further and dropped the visor to her eyes as the figures she awaited began to coalesce beneath the eidiré, gathering black materia from the obscuring mist and drawing it into determinate shapes, their stares flashing like coin silver in the darkness. An arrant, dreamlike silence bore them out into the rain and two broke from the incursive party, passing through the grass toward the oblivious sentry as he stood wiping his hand on the leg of his pants. They closed on him from either side, so unhurried that his notice seemed assured until they seized and gagged their victim in a smooth, wordless accord, slicing open the great vessels in his thighs with dripping blades before he could utter a syllable.
While he bled out, the remaining the alujha turned back toward the longhouse, Josephine's visor casting them in cold, tarnished relief through the pluvial static until they were lost to observation. That they had somehow ascended into its interior was betrayed by the cries escaping it, then stuttering volleys of automatic fire crashing wildly through the thin plank walls. Two inmates struggled from the doorway, lost their footing and fell in a tangle, Wessner kicking free from his subordinate before they were both snatched up and dispatched like cattle drafted onto a killing floor. The percussive speed and terse perfunction of their deaths worked on the hidden conscripts; they shuffled thickly, altering their grasp upon their weapons and working their jaws so that only the rain preserved their concealment. Familiarity had muted Shaw’s own reaction, the same dull principle warning him of the decapitations that were an inevitable sequel, that they would be performed with no particular efficiencies or flourishes. From doubling over the corpses, the alujha rose in turn with smirks greased red, swallowing down the morsels they hacked out of and sliced from their victims, grunting over their division. They had set down the choice munitions and equipment looted from the eidiré; with their trophies consumed, it was examined and re-packed, then passed amongst their number. Saplings cut from the edge of the forest were replanted in the glade, their denuded crowns replaced with the slack-jawed heads of the slain, their labile fluids oozing thickly down the smooth bark.
When they had disappeared into the southward trees the conscripts remained within their crouching silence while Shaw examined the glade through two sets of visors. Declaring it clear, he rose and gave the signal to advance, only to look back to find he had stepped out alone and that the men had lain down and writhed amid the thorns, clutching their heads. He strode toward their tormentor.
"What the hell are you doing?" he hissed, snatching at the fob in Josephine's hand. "We are done. We walk out, right now."
Her victims climbed back onto their feet, shedding the wet debris gathered from the ground by their clothing, still too impressed by their erstwhile adversaries to audibly deplore their treatment.
“Toss their bunks.” she told them. Shaw put out a hand to stay the remaining corps, but they looked to Josephine, and pushed on into the glade.
CONTINUED NEXT WEEK
© céili o'keefe do not reproduce.
I was walking alone in this sort of infinite Art Deco planate landscape, matte and bone coloured and sort of polished concrete-esque with no visible landmarks. I was uncomfortable about wearing a strange set of silky moss-green pants with a straight, ribbon-like waistband that didn't sit right, and over my shoulders was this wide cloak of white fur that was incredibly light and cloud-like.
I knew someone was running behind me and at first this felt hostile, but I turned around to see a man with polar bear feet and it was immediately apparent that he was intent on something else as he ran past me. He was sort of faintly ochre-coloured and looked vaguely metallic, as though he had been rubbed with some micaceous mineral. I noticed he was chasing another figure who had pulled ahead of me, and in a sudden shift of perspective I stood on the opposite side of a long rectangular pool with stepped edges as the polar bear-footed man drove the second figure into an evasive dive.
As the latter threw themselves forward, they split into a hundred similar figures in a fanned array that spread out in a neat arc; it was my task to hit as many as possible with a bow and arrow and I managed to do so as they plunged into the water, which incidentally was bright and colourless.
This dream was super-unusual for me because of its weirdly coherent Deco aesthetic and holistic symbolism; my dreams as usually much more chaotic. No idea where the whole polar bear motif came from as I haven't been thinking about that stuff; the whole thing had an Arctic feel, as though the entire environment had been condensed down into this abstracted representation, utilising its arid colours as a signifier. The figure that split into a hundred versions of itself and rained down into the pool was a gobsmacking visual; I felt no particular hostility as I shot them, only that crystalline, egoless content that comes from dream achievement.
I had another linear dream last night that was much darker, involving an oily-coloured rocky shoreline, talking dogs, nocturnal wharves, amphibious shark-creatures, concealment and a feeling of inevitable discovery and some sort of confinement. As I've gotten older, I've become convinced of the freaky and yet somehow entirely plausible notion that these sorts of dreams result from the entanglement of various animal consciousnesses; that sleep is a porous, low-density medium in which the floating Ursidae, Hominid and Carcharodon consort, the whole suffused by their various experiences and perceptions.
It would explain a lot of things.
Nice drafting and composition.
See the rest here.
I have some hard things to say about David Austin roses. While his innovative breeding program has served up some ravishing aesthetics, those visual fruits have withered on the vine of practical reality too often for me to respond with anything more than a slow clap.
I know how to grow a damn rose by now and furthermore I garden in New Zealand i.e. premium fantasy rose territory; moderate temps and a low pest burden. And still so many of his creations fail to thrive here. WTF, David?
This colour isn't one you really expect to find in a natural flower- a rich, custardy tempera gold rather than the cooler dilute lemon of yore. It's like saffron rice or Baltic amber, its richesse upheld by the thickness of the petals and a bloom that is both graceful and pneumatic.
GC's gigantic flowers really are a perfect combination of substance and structure, with just the right boop of raunchy informality. They are broad, semi-pirate-ruffled and medium-rise once open. Despite their size and weight they sit proud on the bush and handle rain incredibly well, never balling or rotting out, even in our maritime spring. They are a better picking prospect than most DA roses and you might get three days in the vase before they break. Though she is intensely theatrical in full spate, somehow, rather inexplicably, the total impression is more dignified than the sum of her parts, just in case my description is giving you the willies.
You might have noticed by now that Golden Celebration is also endlessly photogenic. If I ever lose R, I usually find him hovering around this rose with a wide angle in some sort of fugue state.
Here's Graham Thomas (left) compared with Golden Celebration. GT is slightly more entirely self-yellow.
In Zone-9 areas like this, GC will split her pants and blow out into an enormous (thankfully fairly thornless) Cthuloid abnormality in the blink of an unwary eye. In the pic above right she is at about 1.5m after leafing out and is getting ready to explode in all directions after her first flush; at this point, I pounce with the secateurs in an effort to contain her. Then you are confronted with deciding where and when to prune her, which is a nightmare you never wake from. Her bud spacing and general morphology defeat the conventional approach so I tend to take long stems when cutting for the vase, behead the monster-canes as they emerge and then brutally lop the whole plant down to knee height in winter, chainsaw-style. That final step makes for a tragic spectacle, though to be honest, I'm almost grateful there's so little you can do to influence her final expression. Every year she ignores my hapless curtailment and boofs right back out into the big-boned heaux she was before. You should definitely find a spot for her.