beautiful monsters: January 2006 Archives

January 13, 2006

cakes, feathers and pixels

Today I went to my first civil union... though I think it was the fourth for St Andrew’s. The two CUPlers, the lovely Ann-Marie and Mary, are both amazing musicians, and it was a musical union, featuring cello, trumpet, organ, and a choir of friends. The vows were poetic and touching. And the cake was goooorgeous! Mad Hatter meets Leaning Tower meets the amazing plasticine cake from Opera Imaginaire. Oh, I can’t describe it properly… but it was purple and turquoise and bent and checkered with orange flowers and loops of purple beads.

All of it made me desperately want to have a civil union. I’ve worked out the music, the flowers, the cake, all I need is a suitable partner. Potential candidates can email me for an application form.


This evening I went to the park with a friend and her daughter, and we fed the ducklings, there were five of them, getting bigger now, but still cute and fluffy.

While I was in Rotorua we went along the road to the Game Bird Trust, where they had a harrier hawk chick. Hrmph, some chick. I was expecting a cute ball of fluff, but at 26 days old it was huge and feathered, with only a few scraps of fluff still attached. And it was eating duck guts. It wasn’t flying yet, but flapped its wings a bit.

Then Debbie, the woman who looks after the birds, let a couple of the falcons out to stretch their wings. A lot of the birds she cares for have been injured, some of them can be rehabilitated and released, but some are disabled and wouldn’t survive in the wild.

The falcons are amazing, they soared over the ridges of Mt Ngongotaha, but came diving down at the sound of Debbie’s whistle. They fly so low to the ground it seemed as though they’d crash into the fences, but they swooped a few centimeters above the fence wires.

There are only a thousand or so of these falcons sill alive in the North Island. Most of the birds we see these days are the Australasian harriers.


On the late news tonight there was an item about this guy who decided to sell a million pixels for a dollar each... and he did. The site is like a weird online pop art collage... a capitalists dream... and anarchists nightmare... or is it? I think it’s kind of cool. And it’s amazing the images you can create in a 10x10 pixel square. I’ve done some designs of icons for computer programs, and so I know it’s not easy – you can’t just take a bigger image and resize it, it doesn’t always look right.

Anyway, I clicked on a few pixels that took my fancy and found them advertising everything from Jesus to online gambling to sandcastles and landscape photography. And of course, spin-offs of the milliondollarhomepage. Like Pride Pixels. Or the Hee! I say good on them. The fact is we have to have money to survive in this world. Just wish I’d thought of it. On the other hand I think there were some pixels claiming that dhana is the currency of the Republic of the World... but damned if I can find them again.

Posted by Fionnaigh at 12:24 AM | TrackBack

January 07, 2006

hoppy feet and twitchy suckers

Ah yes, I remember. This is how you really know you’ve been away on holiday. Count the number of steps before it happens… one… two… th-argh!damn!buggers! Three fleas on one leg, five on the other. And then they start crawling up your body. If you’ve never experienced true flea infestation, you may think that they only jump, but trust me, they can crawl. Even after you get rid of them, for days afterward you can feel them crawling on you. This evening one bit me on my earlobe, and another got under my fingernail.

My uncle misses the good old days when you could use DDT, carboral, sheep dip powder, nerve gas… pretty much anything to get rid of the nasty little pests.

I’ve gone into overkill… so to speak. Spray, powder, bombs, I’ve got the whole arsenal. Insect rights, environmental concerns, health risks, anything I once believed in has gone out the window. I just want the damn things off me.

I did a project on fleas once. They’re amazing actually. Apparently if they were the same size as humans they could jump over the Empire State Building. If my memory of that primary school project serves me right...

And then there’s the whole flea circus thing. Check out the video. Halfway through they show a flea in a collar pulling a cart. Is it cruel? Inhumane? Cute? Probably all of these, but today I don’t have much sympathy for fleas.

Still, my favourite site today is the fabuland flea circus. “Bed” is so cute, and “Wrestling”...but I think I love “Army Marching Thru Beer” the most. Aw, no, maybe I love “The X-Fleas” more. I just can’t decide!

Posted by Fionnaigh at 11:30 PM | TrackBack