keeping it lite - petite blythes, books, telly,
fashion, photography, funny stuff, mordant
irony, morbid delectations, art&music
and all the things i like ...

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Polyvore Omnivore

I've been meaning to play with Polyvore . Here's my first go ... a purple and pink party piece. What a great tool, as they say "a unique web application that lets people mix and match images from anywhere on the web, to create outfits, interior designs, or any kind of collage".

On the perfume front, from the blog Now smell this:
Boudicca, the outre fashion house, is creating a perfume called Wode. It sounds incredibly intriguing, and one version is 'blue paint'.

Contrariwise - a web site of literary inspired tattoos. My own (single) tattoo is inspired by Malory/Tennyson and the whole King Arthur mythos:

The Charlatans and Dirty Pretty things take on Monsieur Ant, o joy:


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sunday Salon: The essence of 80s and the Lambs

My dancing feet Given that I've had a bit of an 80s themed weekend, I thought I'd think about what book sums up the essence of 80s.

My 80s weekend consisted of joining the Real Hot Bitches dance troupe in their routine dancin to Bon Jovi (that's my dancing legwarmers). In Christchurch's Cathedral Square. And watching the honest and emotionally powerful movie by Shane Meadows (set in 1983) This is England.

What book is the essence of 80s? The novel that popped into my head was American Psycho . I'm not sure why ... yes it is set in the late 80s but there's more than that. It's not New Romantic, New Wave or any of the good bits of the 80s. It sums up the Gordon Gekko, Wall Street nasty venality of the "Greed is good" era.

It is cocaine, torture, hardbodies, Phil Collins and Huey Lewis, and rampant consumerism. It is the most disturbing book I've ever read.

Over on the Christchurch City Libraries blog, I wrote about 84 Charing Cross Road & The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, with a special tribute to Charles Lamb:
He had a genius for sympathy that not one of his great friends could touch. When Wordsworth chided him for not caring enough about nature, Charles wrote, ‘I have no passion for groves and valleys. The rooms where I was born, the furniture which has been before my eyes all my life … old chairs, old streets, squares where I have sunned myself … have I not enough, without your Mountains? I do not envy you. I should pity you, did I not know, that the Mind will make friends of any thing.’


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunday Salon: Phallic Frenzy, Potato Peels, Love&Rockets

My first Sunday Salon ...
Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together--at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones--and read. And blog about their reading.

I'm keen to join in, to explore my reading a bit further. I'll delve into what I'm reading this week and link to what I've blogged on the library blog.

This week I've finished
Phallic Frenzy: the films of Ken Russell by Joseph Lanza. I've long been a fan of Russell's garish movies, especially "Gothic" with its surrealist visions and hysteria. It focuses on that infamous night when Mary Shelley created Frankenstein and Polidori spawned the Vampyre. Surely this was one of the pivotal moments of literature - and Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley were in attendance.

Ken also directed the movie "Salome's last dance" which as an Oscar Wilde and Aubrey Beardsley fan I must track down and watch. He seems to have a particular aptitude for literary adaptations, his renderings of D.H. Lawrence into film comes in for particular attention.

This is a well written, thorough book about one of film's most visionary mavericks.

I started on The Guernsey Potato Peel and Literary society by Mary Ann Shaffer. It's a delight and I can see why it's come in for such loving attention. It's a book lovers dream, about the love of books and their transforming power. As such, it's in the vein of 84 Charing Cross Road, a bibliophile's novel in letters.

So far I am learning about the various characters, revolving around main character the author Juliet Ashton (nom de plume Izzy Bickerstaff) who writes to her friend, her publisher and a widening circle of Guernsey residents. It's a beautiful depiction of World War Two and the post war world, and as yet has not fallen into the trap of twee-ness.

Perla la locaMy other book this week is Perla la loca: a love and rockets graphic novel by Jamie Hernandez. There is something so immediate and punchy about the Love and Rockets books. I picked one up on a whim and got drawn into a story - the female characters are sexy, strong and filled with power and energy. I want to explore this series more.

On the Christchurch City Libraries blog, I wrote about getting a mighty thrill to find TWO of my favourite authors have new books on the way. Oh happy day!:
Book geekdom - new books from Peter Ackroyd and Michel Faber

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Like a bird on The Wire

We are fully immersed in The Wire season 4. In fact I'm just waiting for SS to come home so we can watch the finale. What is about this show? It has garnered massive acclaim, critical and popular. It's the writing, the acting, the development and richness of story. And I can't think of any other show where there are so many interesting characters ... Bubbles, Omar, Stringer Bell, McNulty, Michael, Prez, Bunk, I could go on and on. There's just no show that has so many rounded, fascinating, growing and idiosyncratic characters.

The Guardian has a good sum up of the show's appeal:
It is this careful development of character and plot that has seen The Wire rightly compared to great epic novels. Initially billed as a cop show (a label that Ed Burns's writing partner David Simon describes as a "necessary Trojan Horse"), it bears no resemblance to any cop show you might have seen.

Damn straight. I'm not particularly enamoured of cop shows, but The Wire is a world of its own. See also their 9 reasons why ...

I've also just finished reading Phallic Frenzy - Ken Russell and his films by Joseph Lanza. Long been a fan of 'Gothic' ... might need to explore further (especially 'Salome's Last Dance' - as a Beardsley/Wilde fan I should totally be up on that). There's a good selection of movies directed by Ken at Alices.

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Palin madness

Sarah and Michael Palin
If you had any doubt of the BIGness of the Sarah Palin story ... it has affected me. This innocent little Flickr pic of my sister Sarah meeting the wounderful Michael Palin has allova sudden had 14,113 views (and still rising. What a giggle.

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Dancing in the Square - Festival overload

The Press Christchurch Writers FestivalIt's New Zealand Book Month in September. And from September 4 to 7 it's The Press Christchurch Writers Festival. I'll be there as roving reporter and blogger, plus taking part on a panel sesh cleverly titled Not another bloody blog... Also on the panel are the wonderful Kiwi author Rachael King (her blog The Sound of butterflies rocks the casbah) and American Mark Sarvas, of The Elegant Variation fame. Chair is Guy Somerset, arts and books editor at The Listener.

It's going to be a booky bloggy wonderland of a few days, and the library blog has started the discussions going already.

Real hot bitchesA couple of weeks The Body Festival takes over from the mind ... and everyone in Christchurch can join in a bit of spandex and lycra mania. There's a world record attempt taking place on Friday September 26 at 5pm in t'Cathedral Square, Christchurch. "That’s right, to launch the Body Festival 2008 the RHBs invite you to listen to the dancer inside yourself and become part of history; join your blistering, or otherwise, dance talents with theirs to create the largest synchronized dance routine the world has ever seen!"
Turn up from 5.00pm for tuition with the RHBs. 6.00pm - official rehearsals start. 7.00pm - we go for gold!

The library massive and friends will be there, hot pink, gold lurex, lame and sparkle fo sho.

Here be the moves (to the tune of "You give love a bad name" by Bon Jovi) and to get the sartorial style down check out Real Hot Bitches site.

Dance Video inspiration:
Olivia Newton John gets physical - sweatband heaven
Maniac by Michael Sembello (from Flashdance)

Since I left you by The Avalanches (the dancing miners kick it)

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