firstfallenpanda: (Default)
Got this lovely piece of poetry in some spam for Viagra just now, had to share :). I'm just wondering what a "costly elephant's rope" is, or if I actually want to know. Also, "his car of precious"? Obviously Gollum's fallen on hard times and is working as a spam copy-writer. The randomness of this poetry pretty much sets the theme for this blog entry.

Device of the costly elephant's rope, was adorned is kesava
who is inconceivable. Hence, it is absurd roars. As soon
as they heard that loud peal, dhrishtadyumna auditors assenting
to this truth, he then gave me thus, he rose into the sky
on his car of precious.

In other news, Phleep leaves soon for the UK. He will be away for three weeks but I am consoling myself with the thought of all the delicious yarns he's bringing back for me (currently sitting at 15 skeins). I plan to eat nothing but beans and eggs on toast while he's away, haha! I will also install methane energy converters in a bid to save money in the lean times to come. I'm not sure the cats will appreciate it, though.

I also plan to fill the time with learning to spin on my shiny new drop spindle. As soon as [ profile] zoezebra gets her ass back from Wales she'll teach me to use the damn thing. Lookout world, phear my lumpy yarnz!

Here's a very funny article on Hayibo about the A-team resurrection:

We went to see Watchmen on Sunday night. I'm not sure if it wowed me or not, but then I wasn't particularly wowed by the graphic novel (I can hear some of you gasping incredulously from here). Maybe I came along on the comic scene too late and am jaded by all the other stuff I've read to appreciate the new ideas put forth in it. Don't get me wrong, it's a good story (even if I totally figured out the "villain" halfway through. I'm bad like that, it's a curse) but it didn't rock my world. Rorschach's pretty cool though.

Speaking of non world-rocking, I agree a bit with some online sentiments that NG is slightly over-rated. Yes, I enjoy his stuff, it's interesting and well-written, but I don't think he's the literary Messiah some people think he is. I don't particularly like American Gods, Anansi Boys was ok and The Graveyard Book was a fun read (I'm sure others with more literary credentials than I will go on about the Jungle Book comparisons and all and all), but none of these made me wet myself. China Miéville, otoh, can do no wrong (otooh, The Peoples Republic of China sucks ass and the SA govt sucks China's ass). His books, all of them, blow my mind. Maybe it's just preference, ymmv. I must read them again, if I can get through reading Watchmen for the second time (it's sooo long).

If Ysolda Teague ever shows up at my door, I'm leaving Phleep. Just FYI. And no, it's not just because she bears a resemblance to ScarJo (who supports D&G, who used fur in their latest show, woe! she's totally off my "will leave Phleep for" list, although I will probably still go watch all her movies), her knitting patterns are pretty awesome too.

And that's about it. I'm glad Autumn is finally here, I can snuggle under my blankie again! And make stew!  Mmmm, stew.

Book slut

Oct. 31st, 2008 09:51 am
firstfallenpanda: (Default)
I was a voracious reader when I was younger. The downside to this is that while I had read nearly all the sf and fantasy books in the Milnerton Library until 1998, I don't really remember the authors, or the names of the books. When you're reading a book a week there's not much time to take notes, I guess. So I'm sure there are lots of times when someone has asked "have you read this?" and I've answered "no, I don't think so" when I really should have said "I don't remember, I might have". It's terrible when you can't remember the names of the books with which you've fallen asleep :P.

Anyway, the point of this post is: I read a book (I think it was meant as YA, the characters were all teenagers) where there are multiple dimensions, and some of them are fractal (there were definitely Julia sets involved). The lead character was suicidal (I remember a scene where she plans her suicide with a bucket to catch the blood so she doesn't leave a mess). There's some bad dude trying to take over all the dimensions and only she can stop him. I think it was a trilogy.

Now, searching for "young adult science fiction suicide julia sets" gets you lots of maths sites, emo suicide sites and some random science fiction authors' sites, but nothing useful.

I'm hoping you readers can help me because it's really bothering me that I can't remember the name or the author of these books that I'm pretty sure I thought were really awesome at the time.

I also just got Endless Forms Most Beautiful by Sean B. Carroll. I'm hoping it will be as cool as it looks and as good as the reviews I've read say. I'll comment on it when I've read it, still finishing that Pohl anthology. Hee, 50's sf, so quaint!! I need to post about it, actually.
firstfallenpanda: (Default)
My colleague, a Zimbabwean farmer, just regaled me with an account of his bizarre dream last night:

He was a piece of boerewors, trying to cross a busy road in rush hour along with many other pieces of wors. He was late for an appointment and as the pieces were of varying lengths, he found he could work his way through the gaps to the front of the "sausage queue", while trying not to get squished by the traffic.

Other than the obvious penis reference, wtf?!


In other news, my Phleep bought me Parasite Rex. It is full of gross. Botfly! Tapeworm! A crustacean that only lives in the eye jelly of the Greenland shark (that cruises beneath the Arctic ice)! Parasites for the win. He made me promise not to tell him anything "really awesome" from the book. Sigh. Expect interesting dinner conversation, people :).

Also, I want a tshirt from here. Just awesome, really. Probably the giant robot. Check out the other tabs for cool Discworldey designs.
firstfallenpanda: (cheatknit)
While innocently looking for pattern books on Kalahari, I came across a collection of "knitting mysteries". Sounds lovely! I must get these. I have a long wishlist of books to get, sigh.

I'm really hooked* on knitting. It must be the onset of cold weather. I'm nearly done with the mother-in-law's Aran cardigan (thank god, I'm so bored of cables already). Then it's on the father-in-law's cable hat and slippers. Then my lovely cotton/bamboo Aran patchwork jacket. Then a jersey for P. Then some kids' stuff. That should take me through to Xmas, when I'll cross-stitch that advent calendar P's mom sent. Then in summer I have plans for a lovely 100% bamboo lacey tunic/blouse/cardigan (I have not yet decided on a pattern**).

I went to a craft meeting at a bookshop in town recently. It was nice to meet knitters who are really _into_ it. Some of them run knitting-related businesses. I was the only person there not in a creative job :(. Oh well, at least I get to fondle baby cheetahs (photos forthcoming).

14 June is World Wide Knit In Public Day. I hope to be hosting an event at a certain bookshop in Claremont. This is also the date of my niece's 2nd birthday (for which P will be wearing a Barney suit - again, pictures forthcoming). And there's a choir concert that night at the City Hall.

Wrote my last exam for this semester this morning, yay! Pwned it.

Tonight off to see the new Indiana Jones movie. Mmmm, whipped. Also, looking forward to my second viewing of Iron Man with [profile] tsukikoneko on Monday. I'm such a Marvel girl :P. DC is full of aaaaangst. Except for Batman, he's cool but still kinda emo. Mmmmm, Christian Bale. He can enter my "bat cave" anytime.

* No, it's not a pun, there are no hooks involved in knitting. I don't do crochet, with its strange mononeedle thing.
** Some people get the pattern, then look for yarn. I see yarn I love and look for something to make from it.

Edit: ok, I love knitting and will willingly buy books on just about any needlecraft, but who the hell writes a book about the history of knitting needle gauges?! Get a real job, slacker! Also, they seem to have spelled it "guage". Kalahari: spelling, you're doing it wrong.


Jan. 21st, 2008 10:52 pm
firstfallenpanda: (Default)
Herewith, some recipes from my new cookbook Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian. It is full of win. Recipes reproduced at the request of extemp and Jo (of JoStv).

Spicy Eggplant Stew with Potatoes, Mushrooms and Chickpeas (India)

(Serves 4 to 6)

1/4 cup peanut ir canola oil
1/8 teaspoon ground asafetida (couldn't find; didn't use)
1 1/2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
3 whole dried hot red chillies (I used 3-ish teaspoons crushed chillies)
2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed and peeled
3/4 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into 1- to 1 1/2-inch chunks
3/4 pound eggplants, cut crosswise into 1- to 1 1/2-inch chunks
3/4 pound large white mushrooms, halved or quartered to match other vegetable pieces
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 cup tomato puree
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
3/4 well-packed cup very finely minced fresh cilantro/coriander/dhanya (I left this out)
2 1/4 cups drained cooked chickpeas (a 20-ounce can)

Put the oil in a large, wide pot and set over high heat. When hot, put in the asafetida and cumin. Let them sizzle for 10 seconds. Put in the red chillies. As soon as they swell and darken, a matter of seconds, put in the garlic and potatoes. Stir and fry for a minute. Put in the eggplant, stir and fry for 2 minutes. Put in the mushrooms, stir and fry for another 2 minutes. Now put in the turmeric and ground coriander. Stir once and put in the tomato puree, 4 cups of water, salt, cilantro and chickpeas. Bring to a boil. Cover, turn the heat down to low, and cook gently for 35 to 40 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

I served this stew with:

Yoghurt with Walnut and Raisins (India)

(Serves 4 to 6)

You can add a few tablespoons of diced green apple to this if you like. I didn't.

1 cup plain yoghurt
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint (I used more, I like mint)
1/4 chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon ghee or peanut oil (I used marg)
1/4 cup golden raisins (I used golden sultanas, couldn't find golden raisins)

Put the yoghurt in a bowl and beat lightly with a whisk or fork until it is smooth and creamy. Add the salt, sugar, pepper to taste, mint and walnuts and combine.
Put the ghee in a small frying pan and set over medium heat. When hot, put in the raisins. Stir them briefly just until they plump up. Quickly pour the ghee and raisins into the bowl with the yoghurt. Stir to mix.


Fresh Ginger and Green Chilli Relish

(Makes 1/2 cup)

1 (3-inch) piece of fresh ginger
7 to 10 fresh hot green chillies
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

Peel the ginger and then cut it crosswise into the thinnest slices possible. Cut the green chillies crosswise into fine slices. In a small, clean glass jar, combine the ginger, chillies, salt and sugar.
Put the lemon juice into a small stainless steel or enameled pot and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and allow the juice to become lukewarm. Pour the juice over the ginger and cover the jar with a noncorrosive lid. Shake to mix. This relish may be eaten after an hour. Store in the fridge, will keep for 1 week.


In other news, I have joined the Cape Philharmonic Choir. First practice was tonight. In at the deep end with Handel's Messiah. It's hard. A's are not my friend when I'm so out of practice :(. There was a blind lady there and her guide dog whined a little when the sopranos squeaked on the high notes.

Also, reading Sunshine at the moment. I'm not sure if I like it, it's a bit angsty. It reads a bit like Ursula Vernon's blog at times, similar sense of humour. Also also, went to see The Merchant of Venice at Maynardville. I'm not sure I appreciated the new "take" (ie, raping). Obviously, the common-sense department was on holiday when the director said "I know! Nazis! Let's put Nazis in!". And, as we all know, as soon as someone introduces Nazis we all lose. And they didn't even salute the Bard's statue at the end! Shylocke's butler was fabulous, I wonder around saying "weeeeeeeeelll, my conscience, he says.." and "the deveeeel (hands up)". Sigh, good times.


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