Thursday, 27 June 2013

Wilder Web

Oh how I WANT this Dinosaur necklace. Alas, it is out of stock (& out of my budget).

Food Porn Alert! Sayward makes veganism look damn deliciously appealing.

Design is Mine's Bodies of Water collection has me hanging out for summer already.

'Makeovers Fix Everything': Classic Disney movie posters are re-imagined with new 'honest' titles to expose 'sexist and dark' undertones. (via Nicki)

Again with the hysterical laughter ~ The Sixteen Most Amazing/Ridiculous Things Kanye Said. (via Naiomi) 
"I’m a minimalist in a rapper’s body.”
So much sensible truth in this piece by David L. Katz ~ We Must Be Kidding! The Case for Eradicating 'Kid' Food
"Imagine the alternative reality in which the wolf pack makes a kill, but the cubs don't wait their turn to get at that meat. Imagine if, instead of learning to eat what their parents eat, "kid" wolves ate heart, moon, star and clover-shaped multicolored marshmallows (or perhaps, being wolves, their marshmallows would be shaped like hare, moose, stag and caribou; but it's the same general concept)."

I've linked to some of them here before, but here is the full round up of Craig Santos Perez's Decolonial Diet posts.

"This is what I believe this new definition is about: defining a market (fat people who don’t want to be fat) and making it easier to sell things to them (drugs and surgeries and diet programs that promise to make them not-fat.)

If you can label a condition as a disease, it naturally follows that someone is going to develop a treatment for it, and people who suddenly realize they have an honest-to-goodness disease, and not merely a quaint variation on the human theme, are going to want to buy it. In this case, “people” represents a full third of the U.S. population. That’s over 100 million people, most of whom desperately do not want to be fat."
I LOVE the styling & choreography in this ~
(via Claire)

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Wilder World of Books ~ Australia

Picnic at Hanging Rock ~ Joan Lindsay

To tick off Australia on my Life List goal to read a book from every country, I headed to my book shelf and selected this classic. I'd been meaning to read it for a while, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.

I had a rough start with Picnic at Hanging Rock, and it took me a while to get into the swing of it. This is probably due to the fact that I was also planning my wedding at the same time, so not really in the headspace to read about Australian schoolgirls in 1900. Nevertheless, I persevered. And what a treat this book turned out to be.

Two of my favourite things when reading fiction are to be completely transported to a place and/or time that is different to my own, and to come across characters that are complex, flawed, surprising, & fully fleshed. Picnic at Hanging Rock satisfied both of these desires. The book was funny in some parts and sad in others. It was original and shocking and romantic and spooky, and above all, it was mysterious. It didn't feel the need to explain itself. It is safe to say that I loved it.

Now I feel like I need to see Peter Weir's 1975 film version, basis for many an editorial photo shoot.

These were my favourite parts of the book ~

"'Look here, Albert...I hope you won't mind my saying so, but I wish you hadn't done that just now.'
'Done what, Mr Michael?'
'Whistled at those girls when they were going to jump over the creek.'
'It's a free country as far as I know. What's the harm in a whistle?'
'Only that you're such a good chap,' said the other, 'and nice girls don't like being whistled at by fellows they don't know.'"

"'Nobody,' said the old man, 'can be held responsible for the pranks of destiny.'"

"As always, in matters of surpassing human interest, those who knew nothing whatever either at first or even second hand were the most emphatic in expressing their opinions; which are well known to have a way of turning into established facts overnight."

Monday, 24 June 2013

SPACLALS ~ It's good for the soul

I'm not sure if I've talked about this here before, but Pacific Literature is a passion of mine. Last week I had the privilege of attending the 2013 SPACLALS Hui in Auckland, for two days of inspiration & learning.

SPACLALS is the South Pacific Association for Commonwealth Literature & Language Studies. Quite a mouthful, I know.  Having attended the Wellington Hui a couple of years ago I jumped at the chance to repeat the amazing experience. So I found myself heading to Wellington airport at a ridiculously early hour on a stormy Thursday morning. It was dark. I was cold. I parked my car in the long term car park & was thrilled to find the complimentary shuttle driver had followed me to my park so I didn't have to brave the weather. We made small talk on the way to the terminal and he asked what I was heading to Auckland for. "A Pacific Literature conference", I answered. "Oh, so you'll be seeing the likes of Albert Wendt then." Yes. Yes I would. 

The flight was amazing. We sat above the clouds in skies that turned blue as we travelled north, the sun rising outside my window seat. Dawn. Beginnings. Hope. 

At some point during the hui SPACLALS Chairwoman (and Wilder Woman) Selina Tusitala Marsh talked about writing your metaphor, and I immediately thought of the story of The Ugly Duckling. For years, as an English student, I have felt isolated from my supposed peers. I've had to take the required pre-20th century papers to get my degree. I've had to listen as friends value Shakespeare & Dickens & Austen over Grace, Ihimaera & Wendt*. I've felt like the clumsy grey cygnet, an outsider trailing behind groups of cheeping fluffy ducklings. But SPACLALS? SPACLALS is where I feel like a Swan. This is where I find my grace. Where heads are held high & the salt water of Moana-Nui-a-Kiwa adds buoyancy to my passion. SPACLALS is my literary family.

I tried to jot down notes as the conference happened so I could remember every moment of awesomeness, but sometimes I would get so caught up in the Hui that I forgot my pen & paper & was absorbed in the moment. I'll do my best to relate some of the happenings.

We had Fijian performance poet Daren Kamali kick things off with his beautiful words. This was followed by a poem from Selina ~ WRITE! Albert Wendt answered our many & varied questions & talked about, among other things, the importance of physical fitness & stamina for writers, making a Will, & why he doesn't write bad reviews. We were joined by the Consulate-General of Samoa who wanted to honour Albert Wendt with the rest of us. We heard beautiful songs & poetry offered in thanks. We were joined by high school student Zac, in his shorts & blazer, who blew me away with his brave performance of a poem that explored the disconnect of belonging to a culture that rejects his sexuality. The youth in attendance gave me so much hope. Among them were the students of Tagata Pasifika alternative education. They introduced themselves with "My name is .... & I was expelled from ... for bad behaviour" and then went on to deliver the most thoughtful poetry. There were tears, & beatnik clicks. A poem I heavily identified with as a "well-upholstered" woman included the lines "If beautiful gets any smaller no one is going to be able to fit anymore" & "I would rather have smudged lipstick than mascara". We saw power point presentations as a backdrop for spoken word. And we were fed. Boy, were we fed.

The feeding continued on into Thursday evening on K Rd, where the Tagata Pasifika students had laid beautiful tables for us. The plentiful meal was interspersed with performance from the Black Friars Theatre Company & their Hawaiian style band, accompanying stunning hula dancers with the ironic juxtaposition of a wild thunder & lightning storm outside. A heartbreaking & unrehearsed version of Summertime featured the acoustics of a torrential downpour beating on the roof. A southern hemisphere hula was performed in black tights, mini skirt & woolen jumper. It was all incredible, touching, moving, enlightening, & exhausting. I was grateful to jump in a taxi & head to bed at the end of the night.

Day two was equally impressive. I feel like I took less notes on the Friday, but I'll attempt to convey some of what went down. My mind was opened to the concept of facebook status updates as literature. I gained a new mantra from Wilder Woman Reina Whaitiri: "You can't be disappointed by anyone but yourself". We were fired up by Lani Wendt Young's success stories of social media & self publishing. I immediately added the Telesa series to my reading list, while other more tech savvy people instantly bought copies on their phones as Lani talked. Tina Makeriti's Rekohu Chatham Islands novel was also added to my reading list. I will be anxiously anticipating its publication next year so I can use that bridge of historical fiction to enter a world I know little about. We took our brown bag lunches to Auckland University's Fale Pasifika & strained our brains as artist in residence Sopolemalama Filipe Tohi explained his complicated systems to us using the Tongan alphabet. String theory? Yikes. The arts has always been a way for me to avoid mathematicss & sciences. I gave up on the maths & instead spent most of his discussion mentally comparing the ways in which he looked just like my father. Back at the Pat Hanan room Grace Taylor said of young people "They want a sense of belonging, whatever that belonging looks like". I think this is true of everybody, certainly me, and that is what SPACLALS is for me ~ belonging. Grace is one of the most talented poets I've come across in recent years. Her tears while performing are testament to the emotional depth of her words. Emelihter Kihleng had us all wanting to wear the beautiful Urohs, even if some of them did make us giggle. We saw dramatic vignettes in a crowded theatre, & the smallness of New Zealand was made known when the woman performing to us turned out to be a fellow Sacred Heart College alumni. At the end of the day I was more invigorated than exhausted. I headed into town with two of my new friends to geek out on Pacific Literature over a bottle of wine, a clumsy cygnet no more. (Okay, maybe a little clumsy. Wine will do that to you.)

I returned home to a storm stricken Wellington, covered in debris. My city had changed in those few days, but so too had the landscape of my mind. Those fallen branches that litter the streets are like the seeds of the poems that now fill my head. The stones that have tumbled down from hillsides are my new friends. Fences have been blown over & I am reminded to follow my passion, to not be distracted from the course, to not let anything keep me from my passion. To not buy into the irritating cheeps of the ducklings.

Write your metaphor.

* For the record, I am a fan of Shakespeare, Dickens & Austen. I just don't think their work is any more important than that of Pacific writers.

My photos of the event can be found here.

Massive thanks to Naiomi for her input.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Seven Days of Koko

Easy Rider.

A gumboot, a toddler & a tambourine.

Obviously the shower is a favourite play spot at the moment.

Adorable, if I do say so myself.

The morning bottle.



Thursday, 13 June 2013

Wilder Web

Pretty flags for my Pin of the Week.

I've been trying to be more conscious about the food I'm buying & eating, & this article made some good points about food miles & ethical eating. (via Eve)

Infographs! Woohoo! 22 Ingenious Maps That Show How Americans Speak English Totally Differently. Although map 19 has kind of traumatised me.

I love the subtle civil disobedience displayed in this Turkish game show. Very clever. (via Morgue)

I used to think co-sleeping was madness...and then I had a baby. It's not the co-sleeping clears up a few common misconceptions about co-sleeping deaths.

I am a long time unashamed huge fan of Jurassic Park. And I'm not the only one. Becky Ferreira muses on the intricacies of the movie on the 20th anniversary of its release. (via Jo Hubris
"Indeed, if you watch the movie closely, you can see that Hammond's charismatic hypocrisy is a running gag. My favorite example is that he claims to be present for every raptor birth as it helps them to, no joke, "trust" him. Cut to: the highest security paddock in the park. Because trust."
Henry Rollins is one of my favourite people in the world that I don't know personally (one day, Henry, one day). Here he talks about the hows and whys of his famous buff physique.

Fans of The Wire ~ Here are Eight life lessons we learnt from Lester Freamon. (via Morgue)

The opening number from the Tony Awards is spectacular. Neil Patrick Harris is too talented for his own good. I get the impression that he could have been an actual kid MD if he'd wanted to ~ 

This is old, but new to me. Further proof of Beyonce's perfection & talent ~

I'm going through a Dave Chappelle phase. This episode of Inside the Actor's Studio is fascinating. I recommend you put aside the 80 minutes and watch it ~ 

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Wilder Web

This review pretty much sums up perfectly season four of Arrested Development. (via Morgue)

Quite possibly one of the most glorious things ever ~ 300 Kate Bush lookalikes re-enact Wuthering Heights. (via Noush)

I would absolutely watch a gender swapped version of Lord of the Rings. Can someone please make this happen? (via Morgue)

SO BIZARRE! The secret of The Skeleton Lake of Roopkund, India. (again via Morgue)

Isaac's list of The Top 10 Things I've Learned in All My 29 Years gives some pretty good advice.

Oh, Finland. You are a little bit wonderful with your baby boxes. (via Sarah Jane) 
"It was lovely and exciting to get it and somehow the first promise to the baby"
Albert Wendt received the Order of New Zealand this week, & to celebrate he is giving back to his readers. For this week only you can download a free copy of Sons For The Return Home, one of the most intelligent books I have ever read.

As well as directing me to a bunch of awesome links this week, Morgue also wrote a fantastic piece over at The Ruminator about pink & blue & the gender bias in kids' media & toys.
"The world is giving my child, and yours, a script. Here are your lines; here is your costume; here is where to stand. Our children learn this as easily as a nursery rhyme."
This routine is amazing & awe-inspiring ~