Monthly Archives: January 2008
Morceaux choisis d’aprés Rodin
Original by Rodin here
This past weekend, I can say I had myself a proper weekend. Hoorah.
After another long week at work I met up with Leia Ewok Village for our inaugural meeting of 2008; a rather chilly rum tonic and lime was followed with prawns and dumplings and ginger chicken udon, all of which was washed down with half a bottle of pink wine.
We talked about the usual cavalcade of stuff we rant about- Work, society, men, relationships, shoes, underwear; I asked whether i’m an embarrassing drunk… A sign of a firm friend is that you can talk about the same old shit you usually talk about but that it never gets old- You can just pick up where you left off. I am supremely glad to have such people in my life.
I must make headway on my resolution to get out more and actually put on some stupid shoes and go out.
Saturday I sucessfully managed to navigate Tube stupidity to rendezvous with Bobby Convey. We went to Seduced: Art and Sex from Antiquity to Now at the Barbican, managing to spend over two hours perusing the erotica on show.
Some of my favourite pieces were a Roman wind chime made of a flying penis, an early photograph displayed as precious work in a velvet-lined case by Robert Crawshay, Thomas Ruff’s blurred, enlarged porn jpegs, Juliao Sarmento and his negative space porn, funny drawings and dubious spattered substances and finally gorgeous NSFW Japanese shunga.
I was particularly enamoured with the shunga- I loved peering at the beautifully drawn lines and delicate blushes that made up the highly detailed genitals of the lovers shown… the madly arranged pubic hair… the voyeurs… the nests of vibrant textiles everyone luxuriated in… the cloths strewn aplenty to catch the bodily fluids that gushed from the men and women alike. Also, they had NSFW The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife, which i’ve always found peculiarly fascinating. Tentacle porn. Woo.
The undoubted highlight of the exhibition was Nan Goldin’s fifteen-minute slideshow Heartbeat. I’ve seen Goldin’s hooker/transvestite/addict/battered work before but the intimacy and beauty shown in the collection of slides was a revelation. I sat and welled up as the images faded in and out of existence; the accompanying soundtrack of Bjork singing Prayer of the Heart by John Tavener was incredibly beautiful when combined with the images of everyday intimacies.
As Bobby eloquently puts it “the gentle chaos, intimacy and lack of egotism that form a truer passion and love.”
In situ soundtrack (complete with coughs and slides flicking over)
Each set of images would begin with a view into the everyday life of the couples involved, the day-to-day interaction, their kids, nights out etc. before following them into the more intimate side of their lives- A kiss… the warmth of skin against skin… wiry hair brushing against stomachs, arms encircling necks as they hold on for dear life because their world might just end at that very moment of passion… the ectatic point of release… then the aftermath, with rumpled bedsheets and knocked-over books, gentle exhausted caresses and showers for two.
Of the art I have seen in my twenty-seven years it ranks up there. It was that good. I found it so affecting yes, because of the beauty of the images and the soundtrack but mainly because of the subject shown- People living, people honest and comfortable with each other, people in love. It was a visual representation of the things in a relationship that ground it, that are important be they big or small, the moments where you can just “be” with someone else and not have a care in the world because they are lying beside you.
I would compare the beauty shown to the feeling I get when someone I am intimate with is hovering between wakefulness and slumber and pulls me close in this semi-conscious state to kiss the back of my neck. Nothing compares. It’s a feeling of unbridled joy that is a reflex- I can’t help myself… My smile fills my entire face and I feel intense happiness, excitement and comfort all in the one and same fleeting moment.
I miss such moments. They are deeply important to me even if they only last a few seconds; they are imprinted into my brain, engrained into the skin on the palms of my hands, the back of my neck, my chest, my stomach, my bones.
This ache for comfort lies heavily in the soreness of my back and the hot constriction of my throat when sobbing; after trust foolishly given is broken it crushes my chest and strips the breath from my lungs. To live in the golden light of the photographs…
Whilst teaching a class of little Year 7’s today, somehow the subject of homeopathy raised its head. One girl’s Mum worked as a homeopath and whilst she was talking to her friends I decided to stick my oar in. I brought up my faith in science and its basis in theorising ideas, testing them and then altering theories if necessary; the disturbingly well-informed smart eleven year old countered that I must open my mind and that everyone is entitled to their opinion.
I objected to this statement- When it comes to science, opinions do not count without evidence, not everyone’s opinions are equal- Science is based on rigorous testing of structured theory, not purely on opinion. I decided to intervene because I was absolutely astounded what was coming out of this girl’s mouth- She was perfectly regurgitating the standard defences the homeopathic brigade trot out whenever their pseudoscience is questioned. explaining that “When people are treated with drugs you treat one problem and end up with another”; she even said “Oh dear, have you been reading those horrible sceptic websites?” and when I brought up the idea of placebo “Shhh! Shh! My Mum hates that word, it’s like a swear word to her!”
We were having a decent discussion (twenty-seven year old vs. eleven year old) but her friends decided to join in on the teacher’s side without having any clue what we were both talking about. So the student ended up getting upset and crying. Who felt like a bit of a shit? ME.
I took her out of my classroom and explained that i’m not having a go about her or her Mum and that I enjoyed the conversation we had been having in that debate is important and that I was happy to have a chat with her Mum; I asked her to ignore the people who had no idea what we were talking about and that I would have a word. She was all right after that, drying her tears and going back to painting her box.
I felt terrible for this poor girl- Her Mother’s “profession” with it’s lack of efficacy has led her to be showered with the fall out from her Mum’s need to prove that her bogus science actually works. It was like she’d been brainwashed by a cult and she is going to have to suffer because of all the stuff that’s been shoved down her throat.
I shouldn’t have gotten into such a discussion but I can’t help but think if the same debate had happened in a science class and was led by a science teacher would they be feeling bad? I do not think so. I await to see if I receive any fall out from today’s events- It’s not the student’s fault and perhaps I should not have engaged her in conversation but when I heard the adult-concocted excuses stream out her mouth I could not let the rest of the class hear only one side of the story.
Homeopathy can be dangerous and it contradicts everything they are learning about in physics, chemistry and biology- It provides false hope, is expensive, and can kill. That is why I felt it so necessary to jump in.
Bad Science Homeopathy
An excellent summary from Wikipedia (referenced of course):
Homeopathy is unsupported by modern scientific research. The extreme dilutions used in homeopathic preparations usually leave none of the active ingredient (no atoms, ions or molecules) in the final product. The idea that any biological effects could be produced by these preparations is inconsistent with the observed dose-response relationships of conventional drugs.
“The proposed rationale for these extreme dilutions – that the water contains the “memory” or “vibration” from the diluted ingredient – is also counter to the laws of chemistry and physics. Thus critics contend that any positive results obtained from homeopathic remedies are purely due to the placebo effect, where the patient’s subjective improvement of symptoms is based solely on the patient expecting that it will work.
Critics cite the lack of viable scientific studies for the effectiveness of homeopathic remedies as evidence that they are not effective and that any positive effects are due to the placebo effect. Critics also contend that homeopathy is inherently dangerous, because homeopaths offer a false hope that may discourage or delay proper treatment.”
Taken from Flickr user guelphguy
Cacao pods in Chuao
Taken from Flickr user Lall
Splitting a Cacao Pod
Taken from Flickr user Bibi
The cacao of A-name comradeship. Моscow
I have always wanted to own a fresh cacao pod. Yes, really.
I would like to take the brightly-coloured pod and split it open and see the seeds inside it, the bits that I know go on to become chocolate. I have always wanted to smell the seeds inside and find out if they smell chocolatey or just like so much vegetable mush; also to smell the raw cacao when it’s been dried- I imagine that plunging my nose in I would find it has a really complex aroma.
Of course I would also like to eat it. I suppose it will be quite sharp but again filled with interesting flavours, and I guess it would be quite chewy. I must buy some bits to munch and explore, but it wouldn’t be as exciting to me as having the pod, even if it does turn out to smell and taste like a potato.
Today Marilyn Monroe would have…
The gratuitous linkage i’ve posted up is a selection of things i’ve been interested in over the last month and a half, the wanderings of my brain
The last wee while or so has been very uneventful. I have to get the earlier bus because the one that should get me to skool on time now seems to be twenty minutes late. I seem to have a lot of stuff to do of late, work-wise at least; I had my first lesson observation containing some of the monstrous members of my form and a got a Good. Every day I still come home and crawl under the blanket for an hour or so, I’m still not eating as well as I lack the car to easily take me to the supermarket and wider variety- I have however gotten quite into lemon drizzle cake- Icing-a-licious.
My cincher finally arrived- Wearing it I am slightly less straight up and down: 32-26-35. Hardly envious but it gives me a little bit more of a waist than when i’m shapewear-free. Apparently, in vintage patterns this would mean I would be a size 14, as opposed to a contemporary 10/12. The patterns and sizes have changed over the years as the ideal figure has altered- Marilyn Monroe has the same measurements as me in the cincher. Interesting.
These measurements make me similar to NSFW Jessica Burciaga– WITH the cincher on, that is, alas without it I am back to being like a tube with a 28 inch waist on a thin day. The cincher is pretty comfortable and looks quite nice with my pale skin showing through the black mesh, so the thrice a year I have an excuse to wear it out I can imagine the niceness of it hidden under my clothes.
On the subject of what lurks beneath my clothing, I had my first online conversation of the year with MW#1; he ended the chat with a deeply erotic suggestion regarding myself, now he has disappeared off the face of the internets. I am waiting to see if this disappearance is a permanent thing and whether I should bring forward my planned posting of his stuff.
One thing of note- I was contacted via email by the Anonymous Guy of the recent comments. I was quite excited to receive such a long email from a reader; he wrote about his life to date and how he had finally managed to find comfort and acceptance in his intimate relationships. He basically wrote to encourage me, to try and keep my hope for the future intact, to not give up.
It was an extremely interesting message and I greatly enjoyed reading about his life with it’s ups and downs, difficult journeys and revelatory outcomes. My problems are small when compared to the contents of his email, what he had to go through to reach the good place he is in now.
I have a little bit of hope inside me that one day I will be able to share my life with someone; sometimes this little bit is like a leaf blowing under a door, sometimes it’s like a deep bruise over my ribs, fleeting or constant but always fragile.
From Library of Dust by David Maisel
“Library of Dust depicts individual copper canisters, each containing the cremated remains of patient from a state-run psychiatric hospital. “
Danger Zones – Smithsonian – Maps of gloom from Maisel
What Camera? – Flatbed scanner as camera
Mommy, Why Is There a Server in the House? – Helping your child understand the Stay-At-Home server
Contrapasso – The punishment fits the crime
KnickerPicker – Funtastic – Pick a woman and dress her up in lingerie of your choosing. The best bit is making her move
Darkest ever material created – Nitram would be proud
Longoland – Cuddly toys with bite (and anuses)
Another reason why Johnny Depp is the greatest
Origami space plane to launch from space station
Ripped – John Galliano Mens Autumn 2008
Sick Words – What could you list? I can say I suffer from, currently do or would like to get involved in: Tripsolagnophilia, Cingulomania, Timotrudia, Dysania, Onychophagy and I Polylogize too.
latex.catwoman – Flickr – The GREATEST Catwoman costume EVER – I lust!
Catwoman: Silicon-Injected – Why Selina Kyle’s bust is dumb
The Pleasure Report – Excellent sex-related podcast
Keith Edmier at the Hessel Museum – NYT – I’ve always enjoyed this work
Noisy Instrument – Jun Murakoshi – Wearable art that simulates the noise heard when you listen for the sea in a sea shell
Mr. Deity – Excellent religious satire – Jesus/Jesse/J/Heyzus is really quite hot
Success By Scandal
L’aprés-midi d’un Faune – Beautifully scandalous ballet and costuming
blog.mode: addressing fashion – Met Museum – In-depth fashion discussion – Semen in a necklace anyone?
Erica Jong: Who’s Tired of Pink? – The Huffington Post – Spectacular anti-man rant
Photo by the excellent Dave Naz NSFW
Waiting Room Magazine – Cancer Uncensored – Jess the beautiful pin up with a double mastectomy – I seriously covet her suspender belt – Does this need to be NSFW? No nipples on show because she’s got none.
The history of guerilla knitting
Harquus – Women’s tribal tattoos of North Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia
War and Sex – ArtNet
Indiana Jones Lego!
Guide horse – Yes really – Like a guide dog but actually a horse
Your Monsters – Cool monsters designed by kids – Scribbly fun
Lace Starliner – Ford auto given a baby blue lace-patterned sprayjob
3 Designers 4 Days Lots of Sweat = Omaha Beach Recreation
Andrea Spotorno – Varied fashion photography – Best are the ones from Above Mag
Vampyroteuthis infernalis – Vampire Squid
Science Blogs – The Friday Cepalopod
Vampyroteuthis infernalis – The awesome Vampire Squid
Cephalopods in Action – Cool weird videos of bizarre stringy armed squids
Octopus wrestling – Previously a competitive sport
The Dumbing-Down of the Modern Femme – Smut and Steff:
“And men, if you’re tired of the vapid beauties, fucking well SAY something about it. You may enjoy looking at the images, but are you enjoying the lack of brains that come with?”
Wabi-sabi – The Japanese concept of beauty in imperfection and beauty being imperfect
High Maintainance – Having My Cake – Why are some women so? “Because if I don’t build my circle of protection, my safety net of reassurance and you were to leave me, I would have nothing… again”
Atmospheric diving suit
Coumarin – Being particularly sad I noticed this when reading the back of my shower gel bottle – I immediately recognised it from The Insider
Glitter Is The Herpes of Craft Supplies – Loz Ives – So True!
Wageningen Wall Charts – Lovely old Dutch anatomical illustrations
Carl C. Hansen (Smithsonian Institution)
Glass frog – Teeny tiny translucent frogs
The Whore on Christmas – The Ups and Downs of Being a Sex Worker During the Holidays
A Bout de Truffle – Short film – Man finds giant truffle, falls in love
Nesh – Brrr
Walton Ford: Pancha Tantra – “Audubon on viagra”
Action Central – Photoshop actions galore
The Airport Security Follies – NYT – It’s all fucking pointless says a pilot, as we already knew
Helpless Romantic – Super cute acrylic jewellery
Speeder bikes – Brickshelf – Proper themed Lego
Kokiriko Bushi – YouTube – Dancing skeleton electronica – It’s Incognito BTW
Vogue Italia December 2007 – Stephen Meisel – Amazing patterned fabrics and bodies
Original Hyper Fake – Chinese city of art forgers
Lou Star demi cup underwired – Beautiful and impractical and wanted
Playlist for Monica – February 6, 2004
Kids Art Bot and Bristlebot – Make your own cool ‘lil jiggling robots
What Was On (November 1963) – Square America – JFK state funeral images off the TV
Plains Indian Ledger Art – American Indians reusing symbols of financial oppression
Holiday – Katherine Hepburn – “I look ahead. I always have. I don’t contemplate life. I live it.”
Logo trends of 2007 – LogoLounge
Meatpaper – Meat as magazine
Marilyn Minter – Photographer of gorgeous glam grime (& Pam Anderson)
None of the Above – Race and IQ – Not as simple as is implied by some
Squashable pig toy that resurrects
War Shooter – Photojournalists covering conflict, crisis and disaster
Janitor! – YouTube – Scrubs – Great reality intrudes moment
Kiss Me Deadly – Beautiful lustworthy British lingerie
The Cinema of Transgression in the Cyberpunk Garden – The Operation – Classic infra-red pornography
The Galactically Hot Women of Star Trek The Original Series – Flickr
Chroma / Different Drummer / Rite of Spring – I am going to see this and I am rather excited
I Can Only Please One Man a Day. – Lochers – Delicately embroidered fuck offs
How Much Is That? – Work out the relative value of money across the centuries
The new Dodge Challenger SRT-8 – Tasty
Free Shows – Old Radio Fun – Classic radio plays and serials
Run Lola Run Lola Run Lola Run Lola Run – Giant video wall display
Bitter Lemon Press – Foreign crime literature I should add to the list
Swim Suits 20s – 60s – Classic Hollywood Pin-Ups in swimsuits
Hollywood Yesterday – Yes, that’s Marilyn Monroe in the above photo
High Quality Movie Scans – Doctor Macro – Hollywood of old – I love the promo shots
Barefoot Contessa – YouTube – Ava Gardner looking and being amazing
The Outlaw – Jane Russell’s controversial bustline
I will be so glad when this week is over- Back at skool with new topics to teach and lots of marking to do… I feel washed out, and at the merest of glimpses of my blanket I find myself wanting to curl up under it.
I know one day I am going to be so tired i’ll doze off on the bus and miss my stop- Waking up in Bracknell- A disaster on so many levels. So I come home, I doze for a bit or I make something vaguely edible and I catch up on the internets or read a book. Yes, I have been reading something other than screen- The Maltese Falcon to be precise. Of course, I should go to sleep around 10pm but I stay up longer to fill my brain with extra information that isn’t strictly required or write on this here masterpiece of self-centred prose.
I think my new haircut makes me look even more like a boy. Le sigh. I wouldn’t have minded this side effect if i’d gone for the fauxhawk but I didn’t Goddamnit. Perhaps this might explain why i’ve just picked up a selection of beautiful stockings (hot seamed red and black with red seams) and am awaiting the arrival of a black cincher. More money on things that help me look or at least feel a little more feminine that again I will probably only wear thrice a year. Woo.
The gorgeous knickers that Caversham Princess got me for my birthday are still sitting unworn in the bag they came in, and the silken ones I bought myself are still in their small silver box. It’s over a year since MW#1 took me out and showed me any sort of a good time, so why the fuck do I still buy stuff that only me and my reflection will see?
When I wear feminine clothing it’s like I am dressing up, and when I dress up I always try and work in something slightly risqué, yet 99% of the time I am boyish and dress accordingly. Wrong it may be but to me to be feminine is to be weak, but it is also to be appreciated, fussed over, physically and intimately loved. I do not feel I fit within the standard operating parameters for femininity so I am therefore deemed not worthy of all the things that come with it.
My breasts aren’t large enough, my hair too short and messy, my depilatory sessions too infrequent, my laugh too loud, my love of wrestling too boyish, my knowledge of things sexual and weird too broad, my mind too full of thoughts. I just… don’t… fit… and although I wouldn’t change a thing about me, I wish I could find someone who could accept me, who I could trust and who would appreciate me even though in so many ways I don’t measure up.
Fiiinally watched the only Tarantino film i’ve been without- Jackie Brown. Very different, restrained but with touches that illustrate Tarantino’s mind was behind it all. I found it very enjoyable, with tension running through it that I haven’t experienced when watching other films by the same director. I suppose that might be because Jackie Brown is a more conventional story, with a plot not written directly by Tarantino?
I should watch Coffy and Foxy Brown to get more Pam Grier- I haven’t watched any Blaxploitation films, so it would be educational. All Jackie Brown did was increase my appreciation of Robert Forster- First came to my attention in the awesome (and sadly not available on DVD) Karen Sisco and along with Grier he was excellent as poor Max Cherry.
The Jackie Brown soundtrack is great- I have a particular love of The Delphonics Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time) but my new dance around in my underwear track is Strawberry Number 23 by The Brothers Johnson…
My weekend was very quiet and totally uneventful which was rather nice. I finished off watching Supernatural Season One (and cried at the end!) and spent the rest of the weekend supposedly preparing for the new term but actually listening to the Jackie Brown soundtrack on loop and editing, uploading and replying to comments on the Super Sekrit Flickr account. I have some photos on there that I am extremely pleased with.
Back to skool today :( Feels like i’ve been off for way longer than two weeks.
Things I hope will happen during 2008 AKA Resolutions:
1. Complete my NQT year without doing any more supply.
This should be a piece of cake for once, unless I fail :)
2. Get out more.
Instead of sitting at home every weekend feeling glum continue the recent trend of going out with friends for drinks or food. Make an effort when I go out, dress myself up and enjoy the reactions of the bewildered men. Drag myself into town to look at things in the shops, even if I don’t buy. Just change my scene every now and then.
3. Visit more exhibitions, museums, galleries.
4. Read more for pleasure.
Read more books, not off a screen all the time and read things that aren’t just more factual food for my brain.
I won’t put down any resolutions on the relationship front because I figure there’s little point… Why resolve to do things that I have so little chance of achieving- Doing more kissing, getting more action, falling asleep in someone’s arms etcetera. It’s just not going to happen.
I have *so* many things i’d like to share with someone (or, ahem, do to them) but I must try not to think about them too much as this feeling I have of living a life that is (in aspects) stifled will never go away.
Still awake and still feeling the same nervous feeling i’ve been experiencing over the last couple of nights. I have discovered that giving my torso a vigorous rub all over seems to take things down a notch but there’s still a residual antsy feeling crawling around inside of me.
It’s no delusional parasitosis but it’s definitely not a good feeling- I feel like I need to punch a door or roll around in a sandpit or something; my knee hurts too (it’s extra crunchy) and I feel like i’m scummy for no good reason. I’ve tried the usual fixes- Tensing then releasing my muscles, masturbation- Nowt seems to work. A good scrubbing is what I need; maybe my midday shower will fix me…
I watched Empire, I drank exactly one glass from my bottle of champagne and I ate steak and chips whilst watching eight episodes of Supernatural. Yay.
As I watched Sam and Dean I thought about the past year, what has changed and what remains the same, thought about my mistakes and the things i’ve achieved and I thought about this new year. Suffice it to say, the antics of Han, R2 vs. Yoda and the boys Winchester were the only sources of joy through the evening.
I thought about MW#1’s present sitting upstairs in my room unwrapped and wondered whether I should just post it to him; I wondered what his New Years was like and came to the conclusion that he was probably busy fucking some girl with bigger tits and fewer brain cells than me.
I thought about Han and Leia, of Nerfherders and scruffy looking things and walking carpets. I wrote this entry as I sat in bed cocooned in my orange blanket feeling a little glum as I did so and reminded myself not to use x or xx at the end of any messenger conversation I have or text message I send. Ugh.
I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately- I go to bed then feel all fidgety and a sort of nervous feeling wells up inside of me. Ugh again. Resolutions later.