31 January 2007

Opeth, emo, and more food

Firstly an apology to the blond bit, I laughed long and hard when she asked me what I was listening to sometime ago, and I replied 'Opeth', and she accused me of being an emo-kid. Opeth are 'some' distance from emo. But after a wander downtown yesterday I think I know where she's coming from. A bunch of emo/goth kids were emo-ing/goth-ing and some of them were wearing Opeth t-shirts. So sorry :-) But it was very funny.

I've come to the conclusion that this blog mainly concerns sex (in many species, no-one can accuse me of being speciest - and no, I have no idea how to spell that) and food. At one stage I may have had great plans for a biting satirical Evelyn Waugh, PG Wodehouse type thing, but I always knew that was unlikely. Anyway, don't all young authors get told to stick to what they know? So here's a recipe...

I like quick meals. If it tastes good. So the following (if you cheat and buy the roti) can be made in 10 minutes.
2c plain flour; 3/4c lukewarm water; 1/2t salt; 1/2t sugar; 3T butter
sift flour, salt, sugar, rub in butter. add water, knead until smooth - don't overwork.
divide into small balls (hey a sex reference!!) and cover in oil (I just dribble some over it)dump in flat dish and leave for at least two hours.
flatten balls, lift one end and stretch, repeat for other end, fold into four. I'm crap at this, Amy was good. And mentioned that, ad nauseum. heat oil in pan, medium heat, cook until crispy on one side and strangely, do the same for the other side.

Chicken Laksa Serves 2
200gm chicken; 300gm fresh egg noodles (or around 150-200gm dry); 1/2 onion; handfull beansprouts; 1t curry powder; 1t sambal oelek; 1t chicken stock powder; 2 pieces ginger; 2 cloves garlic; 2T fish sauce; 2 stalk lemongrass; 2c coconut milk; fried onion garnish.

if fresh noodles, dump boiling water over them. if dry, cook.
oil in pan, chopped lemongrass, onion, garlic and ginger, saute til onion soft. add chicken, curry, sambal oelek stir for a couple of mins. pour in coconut milk, chicken stock powder, simmer until chicken cooked, season with fish sauce.
drain noodles. pour soup over them. flick beansprouts through. garnish with onion flakes.

Love, I care about your stomach, B.

29 January 2007

Marillion and Little Bushman

The new Marillion album is available for pre-order with a DVD from Townsend Records. Go on, buy it...

Went to the Little Bushman gig on Sunday night at the Soundshell with the brunette bit. Great gig, I like the psychedelic blues rock and long meandering songs. Oh stop making those prog comments in the back row. I had a witty and useful description of what they sound like, but it's gone now. So instead here's a link to some samples from the lovely people at SmokeCDs. As most of you are aware it's Warren Maxwell's new band - he of Trinity Roots and Fat Freddy's fame. This band has the gentle meandering vocals of Warren, but far more balls in the music. It's good. And live the songs are better than the studio versions. They did play a new track, sadly it was a slow ballad which meandered and was a really bad choice for a live outdoor gig.


27 January 2007

Saturday nights alright for ... picture organising!

As an example of how rocking my life is, Saturday night was spent dumping Heroes onto video for a friend, reorganising my Aperture library, and watching Prison Break while nibbling watermelon.

On the plus side I did have some Schoc chocolate yesterday afternoon. A personal favourite, Whisky and Boysenberry, and some pink peppercorn. The latter was lovely, that warm mouth filling choc taste with a hint of pepper in there. Mmmm.

And I picked up some more beans as I'd run out from my favourite roaster, Peoples Coffee. I picked up some Ethiopian Yirgacheffe which is currently sliding down my throat as I type this.

Oh and I tidied some shelves of stuff in my room. Which in the 'old' days would have meant I could go out and be social. But eh, Prison Break and watermelon are my friends now :-)

I do manage a social life tonight as I'm heading to the Little Bushman gig at the Soundshell.

Me x

26 January 2007

Heading for the chop

With thanks to lovely S for this one.
An Iguana in Antwerp, named Mozart (for unknown reasons and which adds nothing to story, but well you can now personify the Iguana) has had an erection for a week. In an unusual fix for this problem, he's going to get his knob chopped off.

I want you all to stop and think about that.

And the cheering from the female readers of this missive should stop right now. Mozart has two penises, thank god for Iguanan redundency.


I can't seem to find any pictures of this, but I did manage to find a picture of a hemipene (penis) from http://www.greenigsociety.org/anatomy.htm

B xx

25 January 2007

Frilled sharks

How cool was the news yesterday? A poorly frilled shark was caught in Japan and put in the Awashima Marine Park. Here's what it looked like (it died): .
From my quick googling and skimming through a couple of textbooks:
- deep water (1000m down)
- eats giant squid and deep sea fish
- scattered throughout most of the worlds oceans (doesn't seem that rare, just unusual)
- might have a gestation period of 3.5 years (crickey!)
- ooh it might be the source of 'sea serpent' myths, although as its short (max 6m) and doesn't come to the surface that seems unlikely

It's an interesting animal, rather than living fossil it would be better to say its an extant (alive) example of an archaic shark lineage. Think about it, these animals have been evolving for around 300 million years, so unless its identical to a sample 300 MYA how can it be a living fossil. And from a pedants viewpoint, the DNA is not going to be identical. Actually a pedant would point out we can't test that :-)

You want more? Who the hell are you, Oliver Twist?


22 January 2007

Weird signs of our times

Hippies, and they were hippies (green homespun jerseys, dreds), driving an SUV.

I didn't know whether to shoot them or wash them.


21 January 2007


As I've mentioned before, I like Pedro Almodovar. I like his quirkiness, his black sense of humour and his focus on the characters - to the point where the setting is irrelevant for the story. And this is still the case in Volver, his new flick with Penelope Cruz as the lead. I was a bit concerned about 20 minutes into it that it wasn't black enough. But he catches up. Basically its a study on the relationships between three generations of women in one family - their loves, lives and offspring. Whcih sounds a bit cliched, and I apologise for that, but it is a good summary. It starts with elderly women (and cruz) cleaning gravestones and complaining about the weird wind. We then meander slowly (as in all Almodovar) to a ghost story, some illict sex (any more detail would spoil things), a death, a restaurant and eventually redemption. I liked it. There's been some critics dissing it (see this weekend SSTimes for example), but I found it funny and pretty black. I think the audience who Suz and I watched it with didn't quite get it, as we were laughing at the humour and they were looking a bit shocked. Eh. Cruz is stunning, possibly a bit too pretty (!) but very good actor. Good thing Tom got rid of her and Nicole, both far better actors than him, the best thing you can say about Katie is that she's Tom's acting equal (and the worst thing about the sublime 'Thank you for smoking').

the usual riders about an Almodovar movies apply here, dont expect lots of action, expect lots of character driven story, and an undercurrent of black humour.

3.5-4 out of 5. depending on my mood.


20 January 2007

I'm an artist dammit!

Well ok I'm not, but apparently surgeons are. Some Romanian surgeon while operating on the testicles got a bit upset when things went wrong, and worked through his rage by dismembering the patients penis and chopping it into little pieces. He was, he claimed, 'stressed'.

I think it's more likely that, like artists do when things go bad, he wanted to destroy the canvas.

B (intact, and unlikely to head to Romania)


19 January 2007

Brokeback Bruce

Blonde bit took a picture of me yesterday which ended up on her flickr account, I can definitely recommend checking this one out:

Love, b...

18 January 2007


The new Mel movie. We went along as it had one star from the DomPost reviewer and we like crap movies. And it was at the Embassy. Storyline: happy funny times in small village, bad guys come and smack them over, conflict between big city/small village requirements, mass murder, god appeasement, conquistadors. There thats about it. As to the movie itself, it's not that bad. The storyline is interesting, if laboured in places. Use of the disease ridden oracle seemed a bit OTT. The setting makes it a bit more interesting than your usual revenge movie, which this is. I think it could have been trimmed a bit or at least used a lighter hand in the directing. The violence didn't seem too excessive to me, although if headless torso's bumping down steps doesn't float your boat... Nicely set up for a sequel too :-)
One star is a bit harsh, I'd give it 2, possibly 2.5. Blair went for a 3. It wasn't a complete waste of our time, but sadly it wasn't as bad as we hoped.


16 January 2007

Bikes, indie retailers and Capote

Went for a nice long bike ride yesterday (she's a lovely girl...heh heh) and am feeling surprisingly good this morning. So blonde bit, no need to wheel me to the cafe this morning. Unless you want too of course. And it's summer, so except for the stupid twats in their cars reversing out of parks, it's all good. Lots of cute joggers. Mmmm.

I've just had some great service from a couple of retailers. There's a German music artist called Sylvan, and his album last year got rave reviews from everyone who heard it. So I ordered it along with the new one. Had some nice conversations with him as he didn't have NZ on his 'mailto' list. And the link from his website to Paypal went a German version of Paypal, which was a little confusing. The music sounds good from the samples I heard. It would have been cheaper to order from the CDUniverse or Amazon, but hey I'm all for supporting the artist. So go check him out here.

And the other example has been from the ever reliable Charles at Tonefloat records. Yeah I've even got the t-shirt... He presses lots of vinyl in small collectable numbers. And since he's done lots of Steve Wilson and Steve's various offshoots (Bass Communion, No-man, IEM etc) I've spent a fair amount there. The last vinyl I bought from him was damaged somehow in the post, so he's replacing it - and he's nice and friendly and helpful via email.

So go support the little guys. Sure the big boys are cheaper, but hey, personal service is so much nicer.

Am currently reading the complete short stories of Truman Capote thanks to the surreal JossieB. It's great. Nice and twisted stories which are a joy to read.

Well it's off to the lab to make up some SST now - having found out what SST is yesterday, thanks google. It's apparently SSC + tween20. There, you can all sleep better...


15 January 2007

Happy Feet

Yeah I've got a soft spot for cartoon movies. I enjoyed it. Storyline, as expected, reasonably liberal leftie (live and let live, accept diversity, save planet). The animation was great, and the music selection good (why don't penguins dance to metal? why god, why?). Fun movie.

Oh our internet connection just fell over, neat. Guess that means I'm heading to the lab to do work.

Saw the first 11 episodes of Heroes last week which means its very watchable :-) Gets a thumbs up from me...

me x

10 January 2007

Random link time: Crack spiders

With thanks to Adele for this one, well worth a peek.


8 January 2007

Death Penalty

It's in the news, I felt I needed an opinion. I'm against it, probably not a huge surprise there.

Rather than some moral or ethical issue, my problem stems from dinner. Imagine dinner parties when asked what did you do today and our hero says "i hung/electrocuted/lethally injected xxx" kinda makes the partners response of 'had coffee with steve, lunch with the CEO, and a beer afterwork' kinda lame.

So in the interests of dinner, I say no to the death penalty.

Top albums 2006

Yeah OK so it's a little bit late, but at least it's here.

1. Tom Waits - Orphans: bastards, brawlers and bawlers
A new Tom album, let alone a three disc Tom, is likely to go quite well in my top10 list, and this is great. I wasn't that hooked on Real Gone, but Tom back in form is great.
2. Muse - Black Holes and Revelations
I'm not convinced this is as good as Absolution, but it's still great ...
3. Pure Reason Revolution - The dark third
And this is their debut LP, bloody hell. It's stunning. Beautiful melodies, harmonies, mildly proggish tunes. Just great. Go buy it.
4. Pineapple Thief - Little Man
5. Samuel Flynn Scott - the hunt brings us life
Yay NZ music!! Great stuff, kinda alt-country. Both the Phoenix Foundation lads released solo albums this year, and Luke's "Special Surprise" just missed my top10. But Sam's was the better, great tunes, music, quirky lyrics.
6. Snow Patrol - Eyes open
After the potential on the previous album, which was a bit patchy, SP came through with this one. I got to feel superior having had it long before Grays Anatomy...
7. Thom Yorke - The eraser
8. Dimmer - There my dear
Back after a 'fits tour which added a more rock, alternative vibe to the new Dimmer album.
9. Wolverine - Still
Combine mindcrime era queensryche and some other hair metal bands, and it shouldn't work. But this does. And I don't know why I like it so much, but it's great.
10. Bass Communion - Loss DVD 5.1 mix
Spooky, atmospheric, relaxing.

Notable mentions:
The Mountain Goats - Babylon Spings
Isobel Campbell/Mark Lanegan - ballad of the broken seas (think Tom Waits meets Belle and Sebastian)
Dredg - Live at the fillmore

Big disappointments:
Spocks Beard - Spocks beard (yawn)
David Gilmour - On an island (not even yawn worthy, but its good to send you to sleep)
Keane - under the iron sea (not really bad, just not nearly as good as the debut)

Me x

5 January 2007


Last night the brunette bit (as she's yet to be called) and I watched Pedro Almodavar's Bad Education, or those of you who prefer the original, La mala educacion. Almodavar is one of my favourite directors/writers and this was one of the movies of his I hadn't seen. In keeping with his movies, it's a gentle meandering pace. But with so many twists and turns and slightly surreal tweaks that keep you giggling most of the way through. Admittedly some may find the subject matter not very giggle worthy (sexual molestation). But eh, I did. In the hands of a lesser director it could have turned kinda bad. The acting ability of Gael GarcĂ­a Bernal (Motorcycle diaries) who ends up playing three characters - probably a few more actually given his changes in personality through the movie - really holds it together. It is a very slow 100 minute movie, but it is one to lie back with a glass of wine (sadly I didn't have this) and immerse yourself in. The story is wonderful, complex, confusing; the acting excellent; directing excellent. Definitely recommended.

me xx

4 January 2007

Low cal beer, Children of Men

Well that last post created much excitement. I was particularly touched with the reli nutters reply.
I've recently picked up some of Macs breweries new Low Carb beer, SpringTide. I like the new Macs packaging, it's cool. Anyway a quick beer review: for those of you looking to get tanked it's still 4.5% so thats a tick. Tastewise: very dry sharp lager taste on the first sip. The after taste seems quite nice too. The problem is that its missing the middle. The beer itself is quite quaffable, and definitely better than many of the 'lagers' that get inflicted on the NZ public. But it's not great. The good point is, I guess, the low carb rating. My recommendation: drink a few good quality brews then hit this if you are settling in for a decent drinking session.

Saw Children of Men the other night with my blonde bit (as she's been called). This is really really good movie. I thought the premise was cliched, and the shorts looked crap. Oh how wrong was I. Excellent story, very funny in places, interesting, thought provoking - all the good stuff that movies should be, but so often fail at. Clive Owen was his usual brilliant self. And special mention must be made of Michael Caine. I think he's crap as an actor, but he was good here. Very good in fact. So that makes a sum total of two movies I've liked him in (The Quiet American is the other). The story is basically the world is sterile and no babies have been conceived for 18 years, and then someone gets pregnant. Owen's gets sucked back into the resistance (the British government has become more totalitarian - nice crossovers with Nazi propaganda), and ends up trying to get the pregnant chick to her destination. That summary doesn't do justice to the movie. Watch the backgrounds and settings, very very good - in fact overload of subtle references. And even more impressive it had Deep Purple and King Crimson (21st C schizoid man) in it! Woohoo!
Do yourself a favour, go see it.

Research is rocking along at the moment, wrote a paper detailing human telomere hybridisation to reptiles last week, with some lovely sexy pictures in it.

me xx

1 January 2007

Silent Hill

Watched this last night. Or at least half of it. It was so bad we couldn't sit through all of it and finished it this morning. Oh god it was appalling. I like bad movies (see many reviews in this blog for evidence), but this, this, this wasn't even B-grade - it was Z-grade. The scripting was shocking, the acting possibly worse. It has some star power in Sean Bean, and he's fine. Good even, although it appears he's sleepwalking through it. It's a crossover from a computer game (which I haven't played). Although the comments on IMDB suggest it's 'finally a good crossover game/movie' I would suggest that may have been written by a 13-15 yo male who thought Doom was a good movie. The movie is crap. It's farcical in ways movies with a good budget shouldn't be.

The scripting is bad, really bad. Which is a shame as the concept is good, and the writer has some good stuff to his credit (Res Dogs, pulp fiction, killing zoe etc).
Special effects are reasonable, but still more funny than scary. This creates a problem for a 'horror' movie.
The last 20 minutes, maybe even 30 minutes, are quite good. But sitting through 90 minutes before you get to the ok bit seems a bit masochistic to me. It even felt masochistic.

How to watch this movie: don't. Even with wine/cognac it sucked. I was in the mood for a bgrade horror. This disappointed on every level. I wonder if it's killed Sean's career...