31 March 2007

Nibbling Jesus

As in the words of Tom Waits, Chocolate Jesus.

Love, inappropriate B

30 March 2007

More movies!! and beer

This week has seen more culture that you'd think humanly possible! Theatre on Tuesday, and then a lecture from the Classics society on Wednesday concerning the Odyssess myth *yeah buggered if I can be bothered checking spelling* and movies. Another brunette (hellooooo gossip mill!!!) and I bowled along to that, me cos I like movies and the guy giving the lecture, and she cos shes a classics student and felt she should. It was great. Lots of spaghetti westerns (post Leone, you could tell from the use of eyes!), some classey Euro film, and O Brother Where Art Thou? As you cannot speak about that particular myth without mentioning the Coen brothers. It just wouldn't be right!

In an effort to get back to my usual level of drunken deviancy, our post-season hockey drinks were last night. Mmmmm Emersons bookbinder on tap. Mmm. Once again my head hurts cos I went drinking with a Scot. Although in a refreshing change this one wasn't called Neil or Gavin which most Scots seem to be (yet another brunette, I'm like getting a set of them!).

Off to a lecture about how we are screwing the planet now.

Ciao all!!

27 March 2007

Les Liaisons Dangereuses

In a brief respite from sex, movies and music you lot get a theatre review today!

The Tuesday night wenches and I headed to the Christopher Hampton play on which the movie Dangerous liaisons was based. Firstly the wenches: one of them spanked the tuatara and stated her aim as 'get my tits signed' by the reason we were all going, let's call her 'Rowdy', and the other was nice, quiet and interesting, lets call her 'Lovely'. So after some booze we headed to the Gryphon Theatre to see the object of our desires. This did involve negotiating Ghuznee Street's recent two-way change, an adventure in itself.

I enjoyed the play, very funny, witty and interesting. Storyline goes something like: French court with two main people (de Merteuil and de Valmont) trying to corrupt innocents into sordid sex games to amuse themselves. Much shagging (sadly implied), seduction and extra-marital affairs (in ecology we call these extra-pair copulations) all requiring evidence of the written letter kind (well it was before digital cameras and mastercard 'priceless' emails). Heh heh yup the blogs back to where it usually sits! Sordidness! The two leads were excellent, and de Merteuil was nice to look at (no huge surprise there really, brunette with curves...of course i liked her!) and was very convincing as a conniving manipulative bitch. As an aside one of the reasons I liked this play was the strength of the characters, explaining why I prefer Iago to other Shakespearean characters. I dont reckon Iago is bad either, as when surrounded by inept wimpering idiots, it seems so right to manipulate them. And so it was in this play. The simpering idiots, de Tourvel and Danceny, were nicely corrupted. Although I thought Danceny was pretty weak and appeared to be over-acting, it seemed like that character needed to be quieter and vacuous - whcih didn't come across.

Costumes were great, and the serving wench Julie looked hot in her outfits ;-) The play didn't drag, which given its 2 hour playing time, was a risk. And I managed to follow all of the characters motives and plots so yeah great stuff. And did I mention witty? very funny stuff.

Stage was nice and simple which meant few distractions from the delivery of the story. Again helping us follow what was a nicely complicated plot. Other actors: the courtesan was also hot and sadly we (and by we, I mean I) didn't see enough of her. Nice use of card games throughout the play signifying, I guess, the way all the characters were being played off by each other. Nice ambiguity in the plot as to whether de Merteuil herself was being played as well.

So all in all, a very enjoyable production with hot babes to look at if you get bored with the plot! It's on until Saturday and worth seeing ($15 unwaged, $18 waged).

Rowdy tried to convince the object of our interest that it was I who wanted their chest signed. No-one believed her. It appears her reputation does precede her.

Love, B. xxx

Semi-identical twins

In todays sciencey blog post, semi-identical twins. The twins are identical on their mothers side, but share only half their genes from the fathers side. This was caused by two sperm fertilising one egg. And how did science come to hear about this? Well one of the twins had ambiguous genitalia (I hear the cries of 'ahhh thats why he's blogging about this one') with both ovarian and testicular tissue - a true hermaphrodite! In a rather cool genetic aside, in each twin some cells contained two X chromosomes (ie female) and some contained XY (male) with the proportion varying between cell types.

oh and the kids appear of normal intelligence and are developing normally.
Reference can be found here.

Great stuff.

26 March 2007

Movie reviews: hot fuzz; miss potter

Not much to report other than damage to the liver recently.

Hot Fuzz: from the team who brought you Spaced and Shaun of the Dead (my favourite sitcom and romcomzom respectively) so expectations were high. And generally met. The pacing after the first 10mins seemed a bit slow, but it was still very very funny. And there were guns. Lots of guns. And explosions. And comedy. So yup great movie! The directing is getting a bit tired tho' as the same shots/cuts have been used since Spaced.
Miss Potter: It could have been worse. I think Renee Zellwegggeeeerrrrerer is a blight on movie screens. Ewan slept walked, and Emily Watson was lovely. Story was stretched and predictable, but the scenery (lake district) was great. It's not a bad movie, it's just a movie by numbers. Take a chick, you might get lucky.

B xx

18 March 2007

Boguns, rock and gigs

it's late and I'm watching C4's 40 best bogun videos. It scares me a lot that I know all the words, with the exception of the Pantera 'Cemetary something' which i kinda recognised - Andrew's fault?
I wasn't going to watch. I'd skimmed through the Steel Mill and went grocery shopping, then switched it on while i made my lunch. And I got hooked. Must have been the few hours I spent in the Hutt this afternoon.

Went to a gig last night after the beers and movies. First up were the Dukes of Leisure , who Billy assured me I'd like. He was right. An instrumental group who sounded like Oceansize (Everyone into position era stuff) and guitar era Radiohead. I really enjoyed them, interesting sonic experiences. Rich and Michelle claimed it 'all sounded the same' and was a bit soporific. I think she even used the word soporific. She hadn't been drinking for as long as I had.

Next up were the Dissenters. A garage surf-band. Now for some reason thats a genre thats getting a lot of time at the moment. Which I just dont get. The band seemed good and generally enjoyable, although the drummer was a bit behind the rest of them for most of the gig. And they got signficantly looser during the gig. So not hugely recommended.

Then the reason we were there, Idle Factions 2nd EP release. The band sounded really really tight, and some excellent bass playing by darren. This is a band whose music I like, it's energetic, interesting and good hybrid between metal and punk. My problem? the vocals. When Billy is up high he sounds good (kinda like the 80s metal singer 'midnight') and has a good upper register. Problems seem to start when he's down low and ends up out of tune. Why? eh I dunno. My guess is that he's not projecting and breathing with the diaphragm for support. This is a real shame as the band is really really good, but the vocals are getting lost in the mix cos of lack of projection in the lower ranges must be tricky for the mixing desk as his top range is loud!
Sorry dude, but its fixable, and the fix should prolong your voice too.

Woohoo Alice Cooper's 'Poison' I love this song!!!

Smoochies, B (wondering if he should post this, eh why not...hopefully billy wont hit me)

17 March 2007

Toad Update

Regular readers will recall the Australian Toad Problem mentioned recently. I found an update today.

There are more uses for toads than you'd initially suspect including:
* brewing their carcases with liquid molasses and fish emulsifier to make 'toad juice' which is apparently a great fertiliser.
* skinning them for their leather to make; purses, wallets and mobile phone covers.

From a Mrs Scott-Virtue (you couldn't make up a better name!) "We have a saying - if everyone in Australia became a toad-buster, the toads will eventually be busted". go the can-do spirit!

Maybe we should adopt the same approach to possum killing here?

Love, B (just reread the live drinking blog from y'day - eh seemed better than I thought it would be)


A drunken afternoon spent celebrating St Patricks day with Guinness and Bgrade movies. First up was the Santos movie 'Santos es la y tigressa'. Buggered if we could follow the plot line. It was crap. Great stuff. Something to do with horses, and there was a cock fight. As in birds. Lots of animal violence. Santos was helping out old family friend, or rather the daughter of the friend. And there was a brother locked away.

Next up was She Mob. the credits had naked chicks and it was a prison lesbian movie. All seemed good as far as we were concerned! Tony is a kept toyboy. It opened with sex in a bathtub, although Tony is a whiney complaining bugger. We just had a 10 minute scene the point of which, apparently, was to establish there are lesbians in the movie. Voyeur lesbians in fact. Big Shim, the butch lesbo, is trying to score some cock for her bitches. It's like a cross between Russ Meyer and Rudy Ray Moore. The escaped lesbian convicts have captured Tony and sent a ransom note to his older CEO beeattchhh. She poured a drink to deal with this traumatic news. Now they are chasing him in their underwear!!! I've had a fair amoutn of beer and am hitting the wine now. It's not very good wine (sadly) but meh, I'll drink it!
If you do get the dvd out, watch the trailers, they are well special!

My head feels funny! don't ya love this live blogging? In the spirit of iron maiden, we are watching The Chooper. Another Jo Bob Briggs commentary movie, our group is scared. Very scared.
This a shocking movie. the haunted house is crap. God that was shocking. Thank god for alcohol. It's my friend.

We are now watching some Puppets Who Kill to fill in an hour and fuck our heads.

with bubbly (thanks lovely Rich and lovely Michelle).

me xxx

13 March 2007

Gelding Colts and Woot!!

Well I have a draft copy of my thesis as a master document. Which brings up issues about master documents. If anyone can answer the following let me know - quickly!

* under Print Preview it looks good (title page centered and stuff) but when it prints it Left Aligns all my centered bits (ooohhhh double-entendre, choice!)
* it's indenting all of the headings and subsequent text when it prints (looks fine in PPreview) so stuff comes out as
Heading 1
...exciting text stuff
......Heading 2
.........exciting text stuff
etc etc which a) wastes paper and b) if it gets down to Heading4 gives it f'all space to print anything!
While waiting for the blonde bit to give me a ride...home (oohhh haha I kill me!) since it was rather wet yesterday I did the crossword. When I'd run out of bits to fill in, and resisting the JossieB urge to either make up new words or fit wrong words in, I skimmed the paper. In the racing section the following snippet caught my eye:

Colt gelded
New Plymouth trainer John Wheeler has decided to geld promising two-year-old The Pooka. Wheeler believes the horse may have been feeling himself and this could have caused him to miss the jump in last Saturday's Diamond Stakes at Ellerslie. The horse will remain in work and Wheeler is confident he will be fit to tackle the Sires' Produce Stakes on March 31.

Which, I think you'll agree, is an absolutely perfect article. The mental image of a horse 'feeling itself' before a jump, its name and that its fit to tackle.

Love, B.

11 March 2007

Prawn Patia and Notes on a Scandal

As promised a recipe. I've been rediscovering cooking Indian after a few years of 'I can't eat that! It's too f-ing hot!!' which limited me to butter chicken. Which is apparently an interesting side effect of kidney failure.

The following recipe called for 1.5kg of uncooked prawns. That would cost alot, so this was replaced with 350gm of cooked shrimps, some mushrooms and some peas. Tasted fine to me.

Process in blender: 400g can tomatoes; 2 large green chillis (i pulled the seeds out); 60g of jaggery (i have no idea wot this is, so it wasnt in mine); 1T tamarind concentrate; 1/4c tomato paste; 1/3c firmly packed fresh coriander

heat ghee (unsalted butter in my case) in pan, cook 2 large chopped onions and 4 cloves garlic until slightly browned; add 2t gnd coriander, 2t garam masala, 2t gnd cumin, 1t gnd turmeric, 1t hot chilli powder and stir until mixed and fragrant.
Add tomato mixture and 8 curry leaves (I didn't bother with this either) bring to boil, then simmer for 10 minutes to thicken it. Add shrimps, mushrooms and peas, cook and stir for 5 minutes and serve.

I served with rice and some raita.

The new Judi Dench movie, Notes on a Scandal with Cate Blanchett is excellent. Based on the Zoe Heller novel it concerns a meddlesome and manipulative old teacher (Dench) who has friendships with younger teachers (Blanchett). I'd say more but it would probably need spoilers so instead: great movie, brillant casting, tight script. The other actors including Bill Nighy are largely irrelevant and fade into the background, both in terms of story and acting. Although Nighy is really good at fading into the background and his character is largely irrelevant, so in that respect he was well cast. The music is a step up from a lot of movies, thanks to Philip Glass. Go see it, intelligent, funny, black and twisted movie - loved it!


10 March 2007


A byproduct of some work I'm doing. I think it's kinda nifty...

Slogans and Marillion

Slogans which probably won't catch:
Schizophrenia - It's fun to share!
I'm jumping for Genital Lice!

Why yes I am procrastinating...

The new Marillion video is on youtube - from the forthcoming album "Somewhere Else".

In the next blog: a recipe anda movie review


7 March 2007

The Fountain

this blog hasn't delved much into the personal, being largely a grumpy pisstake on the many idiots I encounter during the day. I have feeling this post may delve a bit deeper than normal, so if you'll permit the indulgence.

Firstly a brief statement on my state of mind: I got to the point this afternoon where if I read another word the shaking would probably turn feral and dribbly. I was still enjoying the act of the ink sliding delicately across the paper, leaving its light blue trail with the distinctive odour that fountain pens and ink have. But the reading, the editing, they'd gotten to me. So I thought a movie, that's the ticket. Helped by seeing that Paramount were offering $8 tix for students.

So I caught the latest Darren Aronofsky movie, The Fountain. I loved Pi, so was looking forward to this having heard good things. As the review continues you'll discover why I possibly should have read the reviews a bit more closely.

It is said of great art that it can move you, I've always included movies in that category. And I would put this movie there - with the proviso that some people may find it a bunch of pretentious wank. That being said, here's my review.

The storyline is roughly: girl dying of inoperable brain tumour and husband (tommy) a research scientist who is trying out compounds to shrink brain tumours. He stumbles on a compound from some obscure South American tree that causes a monkey to get a new lease on life. At roughly the same time he watches his wife die. If that wasn't close enough to the bone, it helps if you know one of my genes I work on in addition to being sex determining is also the major nephrology development gene. Interspersed with all of that are cuts to a garden of eden type situation with a tree that gives eternal life, and Tommy sups from the tree while trying to find the solution to the tumour. There is a subplot concerning the Spanish Queen who is being hounded by the inquisition and sends her Conquistador to New Spain to find this tree. This plot it is later revealed, is the book 'the Fountain' that Tommy's wife is writing.

There's some beautiful imagery used for that, the term 'cosmic opera' gets bandied around too much, but in this case it's apt. It's beautifully shot, the writing is tight, the acting wonderful and the cosmic scenes surreal. What sets it apart for me, was the perfection of the character writing. Last year I heard exactly the same lines, and felt the same pull to the lab to finish what I was working on. My responses were similar to Tommy's and the response to the frustration of being unable to fix something in front of me was also similar.
The religious, or at least spiritual for they don't really fit into any specific religion, although the movie does open with a quote from Genesis (no not the prog band...) aspects are interesting. It seemed to me to be more of a it's a vast world out there, why can't there be something else. There was no evidence to say that it was external, indeed although the imagery was 'space' with nebula's, given the subtext of a brain tumour, it also fits nicely that the nirvana was internalised within the brain.

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. The music is wonderful, an interesting mix of vaguely new-age but with enough rock in there to lift it above that rather dire genre. But it was really the way all of the pieces worked, the music, the story, the characters, and the directors vision. Think of it like a tighter, better version of the Holy Mountain.

As Grizzled Doggy said, I'd like lots of people to see this movie. I particularly want to see if again when I'm in a more 'normal' state so I can find out a) if its as good as I thought (which I suspect it is) and b) if it moves me as much as it did. The only other time I've been that moved by a movie was the death scene in Wah-wah, which I saw in late June last year. In fact I saw Wah-wah twice and both times it cut me up. I suspect next time I see The Fountain the same thing will happen.

I am wondering how other fans of Aronovsky found this movie for it struck me that it could be similar to the response of fans of Pain of Salvation to their opus 'Be' after the heavy-rock focus of 'Remedy Lane'.


3 March 2007

Drink up at Toad Hall

Australia has a cane toad problem. There's lots of them, they look ugly and are a pest (why yes, I'm resisting obvious comment there!).

So an innovative solution? Swop a sack (crate?) of toads for a beer.

Great stuff!

Here's the article as i can't find a link and am feeling lazy. But I did find a picture of a cane toad, thanks to Invasive.org .
By Peter Michael, February 26, 2007

Tom Hedley, Australia's Biggest Private Hotel Owner And One Of Queensland's Richest Men, Has Thrown His Support Behind Plans To Introduce A Beer-For-A-Bag-Of-Toads Bounty. KEN Ritchie Never Thought He'd See The Day A Cane Toad Would Be Worth Its Weight In Beer, Let Alone Two.
"Hell, I'll give them two beers," said Mr Hedley, who also owns and drinks at his favourite watering hole the Red Beret.

Latest estimates are that there are between 100 and 200 million cane toads in Australia, which means at the standard Queensland "pot" glass size of 285mls, it would take 57 million litres of free beer to wipe out pest - at two toads a bag. But Mr Hedley thinks it will be money well spent.

"As far as I am concerned they're pests and a nuisance to society," said Mr Hedley.
"If offering a beer for a bag of toads is one way to wipe them out once and for all then I am all for it," he said.
The RSPCA welcomed the multi-millionaire's backing, saying the proposal could be modelled on a similar beer-for-a-toad bounty run in the Northern Territory.
"How it worked in Darwin is they brought in the toads to the RSPCA to be humanely euthanised and they were then issued a voucher to get a beer – with a daily limit on the number of beers," said RSPCA spokesman Michael Beatty.
"It could be more than a gimmick. It could seriously help reduce the toad population, especially around suburbia," he said.

2 March 2007

Stephen Fry

Ok so the link is lifted from Morgue's blog, but it does deserve a wider audience.

And for those of you who haven't seen it, try and get a copy of Absolute Power where Fry plays a PR management bastard to perfection.

The Stephen Fry talking alarm clock!


Gecko violation

Found! My gecko pen, moved and random notes appeared:
Gecko-Scribe! How many geckos you know that can write like this? Not many ... if any.