The news seems to be a little more full of grotesque horrors lately, but also a bit more full of acts of heroism by "ordinary" people
. If I ever stop to help at what I think is a road accident, only to discover that I have, in fact, walked into the middle of a murder scene and am speaking to one of the killers, I hope I have half the presence of mind of Ingrid Loyau-Kennet.
Also, I'm somehow not surprised that she's a former teacher and a Brownie leader.
So, I was wearing a T-shirt with a cartoon drawing of Sun Wukong on it yesterday, and The Nephews were quite intrigued. Who'd have thought that a talking monkey with martial arts skills and an a knack for thwarting authority would hold any appeal to 4-6 year old boys?
Which got me wondering if there are any kid-friendly adaptations of Journey to the West out there, in either TV, movie, or book form? The late 70s/early 80s live-action TV series Monkey (which used to be available in its entirety on Youtube, but, alas, seems to have been taken down) might entertain them and is scripted in such a way that the references to Adult Concepts would probably go over their heads, but it wasn't really a kids' show.
Oh - I wonder if anyone ever did a manga adaptation. Older nephew has become enamored lately of a series of comic book adaptations of stories from Greek mythology, and will happily pore over the pictures even when there isn't an adult handy
to read the text. I'll have to look in to that.
I appear to have had a couple of comments deleted off a particular goth rock band's Facebook fan page for having the temerity to gently suggest that perhaps we could refrain from trash talking another goth band's album until it's been released and, you know, we've actually had a chance to listen to it.
Great Cthulhu, it's like being back in high school, when I got an incredible amount of crap for liking The Sisters of Mercy and The Mission U.K. at the same time. Haven't we all grown up at all since then?
I've been keeping an eye on the band XII for a while. Being fronted by John Carter, who was Fields of the Nephilim's bassist for a number of years, and who (uncredited) appears to have played most of the instruments on their Mourning Son album, you'd expect them to know how to rock. They seem to have had a few troubles getting things in gear, with not much beyond a couple of tantalizing live clips surfacing over the past couple of years. However, they've gotten things together in a rather spectacular way and released a single and video for the song, "Virtue".
It's gothy, it's catchy, and in the video the guitarist has clearly upped the ante in goth hats with some fetching barbed wire. Check it out - this one goes to Twelve:
I improvised this to use up some ginger and spinach that needed to be used up:
1 tsp. mustard seeds
thumb-sized piece of minced ginger
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. curry powder
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 pound baby spinach
~3/4 cup plain greek yogurt
1. Heat some oil in a pan to medium-high heat. Add the mustard seeds and the ginger and sauté for a couple of minutes. (I get the impression that you're supposed to cook mustard seeds until they "pop". I never quite manage to get mine to pop, but they seem tasty any way.)
2. Add the other spices and cook and stir for about 30 seconds.
3. Add the spinach and cook until it's done.
4. Turn off the heat and let the pan cool for a bit. Then fold in the yogurt.
It was quite tasty. Next time, I think I'll squeeze a bit of fresh lemon juice on it, or, if I can find some, substitute some sorrel for a bit of the spinach.
Here's the "completed" back of the jacket. I put "completed" in quotes, because it's always possible that someday I'll cram a few more patches back there. But of the ones I've got, this is what's going on the back:( picture behind cutCollapse )
That Vallenfyre patch was an interesting one to sew. In tribute to Vallenfyre's crust punk roots, rather than being an embroidered patch, it's silk-screened on to an unfinished square of black cloth. Basically it's a mass-produced version of DIY band patches made with stencils and fabric paint. It also started to fray at the edges the moment I took it out of the package. The frayed look probably adds to the authenticity, but I wanted this thing to last, so I used closer stitches than usual to sew it so as to keep the edges from fraying much more. It took about 4 times as long as any of the other patches to sew, but I must admit that I like the way it looks.
I've got three more patches to go on the front of the jacket, and one to go on the right sleeve. After that, I'll consider the jacket finished enough to wear, although the front will still look a little sparse. I'm hoping to score a Bolt Thrower patch when I see them at the end of the month, which would be a very nice addition to the collection.
Had a relatively good climbing night last night, despite being a bit tired and headachy from allergies, and despite Planet Granite being the most crowded I'd ever seen it. I climbed a 5.6 that was overhangy, then slabby, then overhangy again, and which had utterly defeated me when I tried it a few weeks ago. I flailed around on a 5.7 a bit, and then climbed the World's Hardest 5.5. Seriously, this thing was weird - it had a weird balancy start, with big but awkward handholds, and then there were a couple of places on the way up where I had to just take enormous (for me) steps. The person who set that route has an evil mind, and I like them. I want to go back some time when I have more energy and climb it a few times in a row just to see if I can figure out what makes it tick.
After that I messed around a bit on the lower reaches of some 5.6's and 5.7's, and then called it a night.
I have been really enjoying October Tide's new album, Tunnel of No Light. Much as I love doom metal, I have to admit that it can be the sonic equivalent of oatmeal: indisputably nourishing, but occasionally a bit difficult to choke down in all its unremitting heaviness.
October Tide have the knack of infusing doom metal with a dose of atmosphere and melody. If I may be permitted to stretch my culinary metaphor, it's like adding nice fresh blueberries to your oatmeal.
So, October Tide. Part of a complete breakfast, delivering 100% of your RDA of vitamin Doom!
Oh, the fashion conundra you face as a metalhead. Lately, I've been working on a solution to three heavy metal fashion problems:
- My wardrobe cannot accomodate a band T-shirt for every band that I like.
- It is not possible to wear all of one's band T-shirts at once.
- The leather jacket that I've been wearing to most shows is a godsend in San Francisco winters, but a bit too warm for summer.
So, I'm making a patched denim jacket (also known as a "battlejacket"). Which will allow me to flaunt my fondness for at least a score of bands on a single mid-weight garment. Or out myself as a huge metal dork. Or both.
Before I started, I did a bit of searching around the internet to see how other people put their jackets together. I thought I'd put together my own post on how I did this. ( Pictures and stuff below the cutCollapse )