Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Our final movie for AndressFest ’10 was ‘Slave of the Cannibal God’. It’s also known as ‘Mountain of the Cannibal God’, ‘Mountain of the Cannibals’, ‘Prisoner of the Cannibal God’, ‘Primitive Desires’ and ‘The Muppets Take Manhattan’, depending which country you see it in and the prudery of the edit.

‘Slave of the Cannibal God’ holds a special place in my heart. You see, my original review for this movie, written back in 2005, became a magnet for vast amounts of Ursula Andress-related traffic on this blog. When I realized that there was a) a lot of interest in Ursula and b) few sites catering to that interest, I decided to fill that niche. And thus was AndressFest born.

I get all misty-eyed just thinking about it.

So that’s the background. Prior to AndressFest ’10 I was wondering how I would review ‘Slave of the Cannibal God’, since I already had a perfectly salient and serviceable post about it. However, it turned out that the version I showed at AndressFest ’10 was considerably different to the original I saw five years ago.

The first version I’d seen was clearly the director’s cut, featuring gory animal on animal violence, not to mention psychotic cannibals chowing down on anyone who was passing by and giving the impression that they’d taste good with barbecue sauce.

It also featured this pivotal scene, in which half-naked cannibal maidens smear orange poster paint (or perhaps zesty Italian dressing) on a half-naked Ursula Andress. And by "pivotal", of course I mean "boobie-filled".

However, the version we had for AndressFest ’10 had neither the savagery-of-the-jungle vignettes nor the zesty Italian dressing scene. They’d all been cut so that ‘Slave of the Cannibal God’ could be shown in American drive-ins, without offending the swarms of kindergarteners and the frail aged who were presumably milling about.

They’d also edited out most of the cannibalism, the entire post-prandial orgy scene, all of the pertinent parts (if you’ll excuse the pun) of the dwarf castration scene, and, bafflingly, one scene of Ursula meeting with a government official in Port Moresby, which was about as dirty and violent as an amateur theatre production of ‘My Fair Lady’.

What little remained of the movie was largely scenes of Ursula and her party stomping through the jungle, bickering amongst themselves, and swiping at foliage with machetes. As such, it wasn’t so much a horror film as an aimless episode of one of those backyard renovation shows. Presumably there was a deleted scene in which Ursula staggers into a clearing and discovers a new deck, some patio furniture and a water feature.

As a result, ‘Slave of the Cannibal God’ is a fairly tame horror film in terms of direct terror. However it has become a profound piece of meta-horror, at least to me, in as much as it contains Ursula Andress and allows her to do nothing other than act. Acting was not Ursula’s strong suit. Jumping around naked was her strong suit. ‘Slave of the Cannibal God' is like one of those stories that teenagers tell around campfires with torches under their faces:

Teenager: And it was only then, as the closing credits started to roll, that the people realised the horrible truth. The movie was over… and they hadn’t seen Ursula’s boobies once!

Me: Noooooooooo!

It’s enough to give you nightmares for a week.


Our second movie for AndressFest ’10 was the 1974 Italian sex farce ‘Colpo in Canna’. The DVD box assures me that this is Italian for ‘Loaded Gun.’ However a viewing of the movie makes me believe that it’s actually Italian for ‘Great Moments In The Pursuit Of Ursula Andress Not Wearing A Lot Of Clothes’.

Italian is a wonderfully concise language.

We begin with Ursula sporting the eternally popular Slutty Stewardess look.

Ursula plays Nora Green, an American flight attendant who accepts an offer of $100 to take a note to a certain Neapolitan man named Silvera. Little does she suspect that Silvera is the head of a Neapolitan crime syndicate, and also a man with rather unenlightened views on the acceptability of beating up women.

The only upside to this shameful behaviour is the chance for Ursula to sport the even more popular Slutty Stewardess After A Wild Night look.

Fortunately Ursula’s luck changes when she’s rescued by the hunky Manuel. He takes her back to his swingin’ Naples bachelor pad; a spacious loft dominated by a giant, pillow covered trampoline which serves as his bed.

Touched by Manuel’s gallant rescue, Ursula feels comfortable about shedding her tattered uniform.

Later, Ursula and her new man share a tender, and entirely nude, moment on the trampoline.

Afterwards Manuel decides to take Ursula to the police, so that she can report…

You know what? None of this really matters. The plot was impossible to comprehend, largely because the dubbing was so terrible that it was easier for us to follow in Italian with English subtitles, rather than listen to the English dub. But one doesn’t watch ‘Colpo in Canna’ for these things. One watches it for the many examples of Ursula dressing up (or down, as is more often the case) in the outfits of every Italian man’s filthiest fantasies. Thus once we throw away the idea of attempting to follow the plot, we can sit back and enjoy the many and varied moments of Ursulan nudity, both full and partial.

There’s the scene of Ursula out for the evening in a grey metallic gown with white feather boa. And legs.

There’s the scene with a sheer pink kimono with blue butterflies.

Then there’s this little ensemble… well, not so much an ensemble as a shirt. And not a terribly big shirt, either. She accessorizes with a tasteful gun.

True, it’s not up there with being shot by Ursula’s breasts through a silver foil bikini, but it’s still not a bad way to go.

To this next one I can only say, “Olé!”

But not all costume design in ‘Loaded Gun’ is about Ursula being more nude than is humanly possible. Here’s a little something for the ladies:

I could spend hours pondering this particular collision of cowboy chic, fluorescence and pasties. But it wouldn’t get me anywhere, and my eyes would quickly melt.

Instead, let’s finish our Odyssey of Ursulan Nudity with the infamous bath scene, which is studied, at length, by every red blooded reviewer of ‘Colpo in Canna’.

Your eyes do not deceive you. Yes, that is a man with no pants pointing a gun at a naked Ursula Andress in an enormous bath full of what appears to be green jelly.

Best. Movie. Ever.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Our first movie for AndressFest '10 was the little known and even less understood 1963 Western '4 For Texas'.

On his way to Texas with $100,000 destined for investment in the railroad, Zach Thomas (Frank Sinatra) runs into some trouble when his stagecoach is attacked by Matson (Charles Bronson) and his hoodlums. He fends them off with his sharp shooting skills, but loses the money anyway when the stagecoach crashes and fellow passenger Joe Jarrett (Dean Martin) makes off with it.

Thomas retires hurt but philosophical to his home in Galveston, but when he discovers that the newly wealthy Jarrett has turned up, looking to spend his ill-gotten gains, Thomas vows revenge.

Jarrett’s not such as bad guy (he’s already given a quarter of the money to the orphanage where he grew up), and Thomas is not exactly an exemplary pillar of the community, so it’s hard to know who to support. Zach lives in a local hotel owned by Elya Carlson (Anita Eckberg) and her bevy of frilly-knickered French maids. Jarrett is footloose and fancy free, at least until he meets the shady Max Richter (Ursula Andress). In return for enough money to renovate her dilapidated paddle steamer, Max offers Jarrett a stake in the resultant floating casino, as well as… well, the usual things that Ursula Andress had to offer.

The rivalry between the two men escalates to the point where they and their respective gangs are ready to rumble, West Side Story style, on the night of the casino opening. However the bad-tempered and just slightly psychopathic Matson has it in for both of them, and they are forced to reconcile their differences and band together to defeat him and save their respective businesses interests and pneumatic lovers.

Despite boasting two of the biggest male stars of the day, and two of the most voluptuous blondes, ‘4 For Texas’ wasn’t much of a film and it’s barely remembered today by anyone other than diehard Frank Sinatra fans and, of course, me. One could simply shrug, blame The Curse of Ursula, and move on. However I prefer to be more positively critical, and to that end I’ve identified exactly where ‘4 For Texas’ went wrong, in the hopes that any surviving cast and crew might learn to do better next time.

4 Wasted Opportunities in ‘4 For Texas’

1. This film stars Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, two of the most popular singers of their age… and there are no songs. At all. One would think that a little number entitled “I Got Two Big Things Down In Galveston (And They’re Both Called Elya)” or “I Want Max, The Money And Another Martini” would have fitted nicely with the laid back, jokey vibe of what is, after all, a Rat Pack Western.

But alas, it was not to be. As a result, the assembled AndressFesters had to insert their own songs:

Frank Sinatra: You won’t get away with this, Jarrett!

JC: I’m gonna get the money back My Way!

Me: I’ll chase you right back to New York New York!

PM: You and me are gonna be Strangers In The Night… ah, no, wait, that doesn’t work.

2. Despite having Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, the film makers didn’t think to complete the trifecta and get Sammy Davis Jnr. Sure, it might have been hard to work a short black Jewish dude into a Western, but no harder than expecting the audience to credit Frank Sinatra as a cowboy or Ursula Andress as a criminal mastermind.

Admit it, the idea of Sammy Davis Jnr being in the movie, especially if he and Dino and Ol’ Blue Eyes got to do a song together, is irresistible.

3. Instead of Sammy Davis Jnr, the film contained the Three Stooges… and they got a cameo of barely three minutes to practice their schtick.

It’s not that I’m complaining - I hate the Three Stooges. But Americans have a baffling affection for them, so if you’re going to drag them out of the retirement home, looking like a collection of badly weathered garden gnomes, then you may as well make the most of it and give them a meaty part. Their 184 second cameo was about as meaty as a bean sprout.

4. And finally, the film boasted Ursula Andress in a diaphanous negligee… and they lit her from behind. If anyone wanted to see a silhouette of a beautiful woman in a virtually sheer nightgown, it’d be cheaper to make a cardboard cutout and drape it in mosquito netting. If you have a magnificently three dimensional Ursula Andress to hand, why not turn on the spotlights and let her do what she does best?

Lights! Sweet merciful crap, people, lights! LIGHTS!

Dino knows what I’m talking about, judging by this reaction shot:

Still, if the members of AndressFest ’10 were disappointed by the coy modesty of Ursula’s character in ‘4 For Texas’, all was forgiven for our next movie.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


AndressFest is over for another year, and as usual it was a ripsnorting success with lashings of Ursulan goodness.

Ursula Andress reveals the secrets of her success to an admiring Dean Martin.

AndressFest '10 featured the sort of diversity we've come to expect of Ursula, from a 1963 Western to a 1974 Italian sex farce to a 1978 horror thriller.

It also featured the debut of my latest Ursula-themed cocktail. Joining 2007's Golden Ursula, 2008's Dirty Ursula and 2009's Creamy Ursula, I'd like to introduce:

The Cheeky Ursula

1 peach
75ml vodka
75 ml peach schnapps
300ml lemonade
ice cubes
black pepper

Serves 3

Slice the peach to produce three cheeks, and set the cheeks aside. Peel the remainder of the peach and dice the flesh. Put the flesh, the vodka and the schnapps in a blender and blend until smooth.

Strain the blender mix into a large jug. Add the lemonade and ice and stir.

Cut halfway through a peach cheek and hang on the side of a martini glass. Fill glass with drink, straining ice as you go. Top with freshly ground black pepper.

Like the woman herself, the Cheeky Ursula is sweet as a peach but unexpectedly peppery. I drank six of them. I also woke up the next morning with a headache, but that's entirely unrelated.

Storm (Addendum)

I got home earlier than I thought, about 8.15pm. The power was off, but as I walked up the path to my front door the house looked encouragingly intact. The giant red robot was still upright, and some gardening equipment was still sitting where I'd left it. The fences hadn't blown down and the windows weren't shattered.

Inside everything was as I'd left it that morning. It wasn't until I walked into the kitchen, and the tap of my shoes was replaced with a splash, that I knew something was wrong. I lit some candles and took off my shoes, then walked around investigating a little more closely.

There were puddles of water in the kitchen and the living room, and all of my rugs were saturated. The carpet in my bedroom was soaked from the door to halfway across the room. However, bizarrely, there were no waterstains on the ceiling or marks on the walls, so I'm damned if I can work out how the water got in there. It looks as if the wind drove the rain through the window frames into the living room, and under the front door and around the corner into the bedroom. As for the kitchen, it's a complete mystery - there was no water on the ceiling, the windows, the doors or the benchtops, but pools in the middle of the room and a sodden flokati rug.

The rugs were dragged out to the garage to dry, and the kitchen was easy to mop. I put down towels in the bedroom to sop up the water. Unfortunately the water in the living room soaked into the floating jarrah floorboards, and they've already started to expand and buckle. After doing as much as I could with towels and mops, I went to bed for an early night.

When I woke up just before 8am, the power was still off. At least now I could see. Sadly, this meant I could have a better look at my poor car.

Monday, March 22, 2010


It's not until you're in the middle of a news story that you realise just how hopeless and incompetent most news services are.

About two hours ago, the most powerful storm that Perth has seen in more than 30 years swept through the city. I was (and still am) at work, and at first I marveled at the dark skies and lashing rain. Then as the sky went virtually black, and the trees start spasming in the wind, I quickly backed away from the windows.

The sound of hailstones on the roof made it difficult to talk. My boss politely asked me to check for leaks, since we've had problems with our roof in heavy rain before. Less than five minutes later every other piece of work, every other meeting or activity had stopped, as staff rushed about trying to save computers and equipment. Water was cascading down the inside of the windows and flooding the floors. The hailstones smashed the skylight over our receptionist's desk, then proceeded to smash everything on her desk, including a pen that was snapped in half by a hailstone, spraying ink over everything. Another skylight shattered in the Purchasing Officer's office, soaking everything in there.

Outside there was pandemonium. Part of the roof on a lecture theatre building had collapsed, and a river of water and debris was flowing out the doors. The trees had been stripped as if by giant, hungry ruminants, and the leaves were plastered on the roads and buildings so thickly it was sometimes hard to tell what colour they were. The car parks were underwater, and every second or third car had shattered windows. My beloved MX5 didn't lose any glass, but the tail lights were shattered and every metal surface was peppered with dimples where hailstones as large and hard as golfballs had slammed into it.

There are alarms ringing everywhere - car alarms, burglar alarms, and ambulance sirens in the distance. The mobile network is clogged and doesn't work. The internet is running too slowly for the digital TV in our conference room to work. The roads are flooded and gridlocked. The fire alarm is lit up and squealing up at the other end of my corridor, but no one has come to shut it off. From my office I can see the rain still pouring in through the pulversied skylight in reception.

So basically it's the apocalypse.

And what do I find when I look to the news websites to get the latest on what life's like beyond what I can see out my windows?

At least 17 sets of traffic lights have been knocked out by the storm and roads north and south of the city have been flooded.

There are reports of property damage with the windows of at least one home in Nedlands damaged by hail.

17 sets of traffic lights, you say? One home damaged? The odd window broken, maybe? My, how dashed inconvenient.

The damage bill for our offices and car park alone will run into the millions of dollars. When the traffic clears and I get home from work (which I'm expecting will be close to midnight), who knows what I'll find - my fences torn down, my windows shattered, my living room flooded - but hey, at least I know that 17 traffic lights were out.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Today my office hosted a Harmony lunch.

Our Diversity Department (pause for anticipatory rolling of eyes) has been sending out conflicting messages about Harmony lunches. On the one hand, they are superannuated exercises in paternalistic tokenism. On the other, they are vital celebrations of multiculturalism. We can't seem to get a definitive ruling from them. But they did send us the materials for the Harmony lunch, so we went ahead with it. Maybe they just had a lot of Harmony sloganed tablecloths that they needed to clear out of the storeroom to make way for the latest fad in mandated diversity.

In any case, there was food involved, and the Diversity Department knows that food is for multiculturalism what half-naked starlets are for PETA. Everyone was asked to bring an offering of food that reflected his or her cultural heritage.

This was easy for some of the people in our office. The staffmember born in Poland brought potato pancakes. The staffmember born in England brought cheddar cheese, crusty bread and Branston Pickle. But what about me? I was born in Australia. My parents were born in Australia. All of my grandparents were born in Australia. You have to go back to the reign of Queen Victoria, when "radio" was a charming theory and people still believed in miasma and phrenology, to find members of my family who were born elsewhere. To claim that I have any connection with their various countries of origin more than a century after they themselves left them is absurd.

So I had to come up with an "Australian" dish. The dirty little secret of multiculturalism is that diverse societies are not condusive to national dishes, music, dress or other forms of social expression, and that any traditional cultural practices of the pre-multicultural era that do manage to survive are regarded as hopelessly shameful and vulgar. To the sort of people who organise Harmony lunches, an Aussie meat pie is basically a symbol of racism.

After wracking my brains, I eventually came up with the humble pumpkin scone. It's a dowdy, unfashionable little treat, but it's inextricably linked with the Country Women's Association, Queensland and Flo Bjelke-Petersen, and by extension, solid old Australian values. I whipped up a batch this morning before work, and served them with Australian butter and my mum's homemade mulberry jam.

Interestingly enough, at the end of the Harmony lunch there was still leftover sushi and samosas, but the only things left on my plate of pumpkin scones were crumbs. That little twinge in my heart is either indigestion or the pangs of patriotism.

Monday, March 15, 2010


My parents took me out for breakfast this morning, and as we were idling through the newspapers waiting for our coffees to arrive...

My Dad: Ah, I see Chris is at it again.

Me: What?

My Dad: This thing about the Taliban.

Me: What on earth are you talking about?

My Dad: You know, Chris. Your cousin's husband. The one in the SAS.

Me: Oh, of course. Wow.

My Dad: Wow?

Me: For a moment there I was wondering, "How do my parents know someone in the Taliban named Chris?"

There followed many troubling mental images of my mother knitting warm cardigans for the mujahideen, and my father telling Muhammad Amjad Khan to tuck in his shirt.

Friday, March 12, 2010


"Take a look at my bookshelf", says Leigh Sales.

"Judging from the available space, any books purchased after 2013 will need to be stored in the fridge."

I wouldn't count on it, Leigh. Frankly by the time you actually fill all of those empty shelves, we'll probably have moved beyond having fridges, prefering to store our food as patterns in molecular replicators. And unfortunately you won't be around to see it, having died of old age before you've even needed to shunt that lonely black jug on the top shelf up a bit to make room.

All of this wilfull blindness to the acres of empty shelving is necessary to provide an excuse for Leigh to get a Kindle. I'm given to understand that buying a Kindle is like buying organic produce - none of the reasons for doing so withstand any sort of logical scrutiny, but it feels good and the right people approve of it.

True, the Kindle is light, relatively capacious and easy on the eyes. It's also fragile, expensive, doomed to obsolesence within a decade, and useless if the batteries go flat halfway through 'Eat Pray Love'. And despite Leigh's belief, it's not the cheapest way to buy books.

"Once you fork out the $300 or so for the device," says Leigh, "the cost savings are extraordinary, particularly if you buy a lot of books. The first book I downloaded was Nick Hornby’s ‘Juliet, Naked’ for $11.99. I checked at my local bookstore last week and it was $32.95."

You can buy the paperback edition of 'Juliet Naked' from Book Depository, and have it shipped to your door free of charge, for $11.75... 24c cheaper than the electronic version on the Kindle. Plus when you've finished it you can sell it to the used bookstore for a couple of bucks, or give it to a friend, neither of which can be done by Kindle enthusiasts.

Maybe it's unfair, but I get the impression that the Kindle is a bit like the Prius - a high tech way for monied people to discreetly display their wealth while simultaneously claiming thrift, eco-consciousness and/or general aptitude with the zeitgeist.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


A few of my close personal friends, in reverse order of bafflement.

3. The world's cutest little white supremacist.

2. The world's creepiest grandpa.

1. And a group of people I like to call The WTF Family.

Seriously, WTF Family, if a picture paints a thousand words, then right now eight hundred of those words are "WTF". And you don't want to know what the remaining two hundred are.

All pictures politely but gleefully stolen from here.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


In one of the greatest acts of nutritional irresponsibility since the invention of monosodium glutamate, researchers at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston have concluded that a diet containing small amounts of wine does not seem to directly contribute to obesity. Put simply and not entirely accurately, the theory is that as alcohol is processed by the liver, its energy is released either to be used straight away or discarded, rather than converted into fat for storage. As a result, drinking a glass of wine is less fattening than eating a snack with the same caloric density.

Naturally once Reuters got their hands on this, it transmogrified into "Light to moderate alcohol consumption, especially red wine, is not only good for a woman's heart, it's also good for her waistline".

Then once it had sunk down to the journalistic nadir that is ninemsn.com.au, it had evolved into something along the monosyllabic lines of "Drink up, girls! Wine makes you lose weight!"

And thus now I have an unshakeable mental picture of the typical ninemsn.com.au reader, heavily peroxided, with a dolphin tattooed on her arse and with her billowing muffin top bulging over the waistband of her stretched and broken jeans, emptying a cask of white wine directly into her mouth while a friend offers her a beer. "Nah, I'll stick with this, Sherrine. I'm on a diet!"

However there is an upside, as raised by my friend PM:

PM: Well, at least this will help our wine industry. All of that cheap cask chardonnay will be flying off the shelves.

Me: Why is it that only the bogans drink chardonnay these days?

PM: I don't know.

Me: Maybe it's because it's satisfying to say in Strine. It's a good nasal drawling word. "Oi! Doreen! Get me a SHAAR-dun-AAAY will ya, darl!"

PM: "Aw yeah. Oi'll have a shardy too."

Me: "Yeah, I love a good shardy!"

PM: "On secon' thoughts, make moin a shardy an' coke!"

Both: (several seconds of uncontrollable laughter)

Me: Um, we have to stop now. This is all too horribly plausible.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010


I couldn't help but notice this headline in the weekend newspaper:

And my first thought was, "Man, that must have been one pissed off bird."

Monday, March 08, 2010


The latest installment in my ongoing Festival of Bad Cinema was a little movie from 1977 called ‘Snowbeast’. Or as I like to call it, 'Jaws... on Ice!'

It's the 50th anniversary of the Rill Lodge ski resort in Colorado, and they're gearing up to crown the annual Snow Queen. However all is not well. An attractive blonde has gone missing on the slopes, leaving behind her unattractive friend to explain that they were attacked by a huge, hideous creature. And Ron Perlman wasn’t even in this film, so nobody knows what it was.

Why did it attack one and leave the other? I'm working on the theory that the hot actress was too expensive to provide more than a cameo, whereas the ugly actress would work long hours for beer and attention.

The ski patrol is sent out to look for the missing woman. One of them doesn't return. It looks as if there's some sort of abominable snowman lurking in the mountains.

Sheriff Paraday - variously referred to as Sheriff Parody and, from certain angles, Sheriff Bryan Ferry.

The sheriff doesn't want to upset the festivities with a lot of fuss and bother about marauding sasquatches. He claims it’s all the work of a mere bear, or possibly some sort of Ron Perlman copycat. Eventually it falls to ex-champion skier Gar Seberg and his lavender snowsuit-clad wife Ellen to hunt the snowbeast down and destroy it.

Goals for today: hunt snowbeast and pop into Starbucks for a caramel macchiato.

Yetis and Bigfeet were something of a fad in the late ‘70s, and Jaws had been astonishingly popular two years earlier, so it was only a matter of time before someone mated the two and produced this bouncing little made-for-TV movie.

Sadly it seems that someone drank during the pregnancy. And smoked. And punched themselves repeatedly in the stomach. The budget was so low that they couldn't afford an entire Bigfoot costume (having to rely instead on glimpses of a flokati rug, a hairy glove and a mask that's never seen for longer than half a second), and the made-for-TV status meant that they couldn't show any blood, guts, or anything even approaching acts of violence. Frankly there's more hardcore action in an amateur theatre production of 'Anne of Green Gables'.

Oh good job. You’ve killed an extra wrapped in a flokati rug with a ski pole.

To get around this lack of both funds and viscera, the makers of ‘Snowbeast’ came up with the idea of shooting the pivotal man-versus-sasquatch scenes from the perspective of the sasquatch. It was a clever idea, but unfortunately they rather overused it, giving the audience the impression that the terrorising was being performed not by Bigfoot but by some rogue cameraman rampaging across the Colorado snowfields. Maybe he got left behind while filming 'Lassie: The Painted Hills' and turned feral?

Tell my wife… I died… wrecking Yvette Mimieux’s career…

In the end the yeti - or Hank the cameraman, whichever it was - is left dying and broken at the bottom of a ravine. Another triumph for network television, shamelessly derivative scripts, and actors who would soon be left to cool their heels in guest appearances on ‘The Love Boat’.

Friday, March 05, 2010


Get excited, people. Only two more weeks until AndressFest ’10!

The DVDs have arrived, the cocktails have been invented, and the tolerance to bad acting has been built up. It’s time for the 5th annual festival of Ursula Andress movies that is AndressFest ‘10.

As ever, AndressFest ’10 will be held on Ursula’s birthday; Friday 19 March 2010 from 7.30pm. If you will be in Perth on that date and would like to experience the wonder that is Ursula, drop me a line at yevadwerdna(at)hotmail(dot)com.

AndressFest. The few. The brave. The breastacular.

Thursday, March 04, 2010


On a bright sunny day in 1905, a man set up a movie camera on the front of a trolley car and ran it for several minutes as the car crawled down Market Street in San Francisco. A little over a century later, digitised and refreshed with a sountrack, it appears on YouTube.

It's an evocative glimpse of urban life from the dawn of the modern age. Even though it's just a long, single shot, there's so much to draw from it:

- The people in this film are completely engaged with their environment in a way that doesn't happen any more. They skip through the traffic, within a hair's breadth of collision but never having one. The motorists, cyclists and pedestrians all seem to know exactly what's going on around them. Contrast that with modern urban dwellers - people lost in mobile conversations or iPod playlists, and motorists insulated from the outside world by idiot-proof cars.

- This street is in chaos. People stand idly in the middle of the road. One car drives up the the wrong side. There are no lanes and there's little distinction between the footpath and the roadway. Compare that with the neatly regimented lines of cars, the walk/don't walk signs, the endless safety laws that are in place and rigorously policed in modern cities.

- At one point a man on a horse gallops up the left side. You never see horses galloping up urban streets in period movies, but presumably it happened all the time.

- We usually affect not to notice movie cameras, because we don't want to be caught on film staring like an imbecile. In 1905 people apparently hadn't learnt that yet.

- I wonder if these people ever complained that they were late for work because they missed their tram? Unlikely, given that these things seem to be running at eight second intervals.

- Women were obviously a new invention in 1905. The men outnumber them by at least ten to one.

- Less than a year later, most of this was gone. 1906 was the year of the Great San Francisco Earthquake, which killed thousands and reduced these buildings to rubble.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010


Stupid cheap stupid pepper grinder that’s only three stupid months old and can’t take the stupid strain of being used. Stupidly.

On the up side, I now have an art piece that I like to call “The Saddest Bunny”.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010


I was riding my scooter to work this morning when I felt something tiny pit against my cheek. It happens all the time when you ride a scooter: sand, leaf fragments, flecks of grit, and the occasional insect. This time, however, the wind shoved this speck up under my sunglasses and into my eye.

It didn’t hurt, but as you know it’s very annoying to have something in your eye. I had to ride the rest of the way blinking furiously, like someone trying to recite a Shakespeare soliloquy in morse code with their eyelids. To make matters even worse, just as I was nearing work something flew into my other eye. I could have wept with frustration, although ironically that would have solved the situation nicely.

The second speck fell out of my eye of its own accord by the time I reached work, but the original contaminant was still irritating me. I went up to my office, dropped off my briefcase, said a quick hello to the secretaries, then went into the bathroom to wash my eye out. Shortly thereafter, my cry of “GAAAAAH!” rang throughout the building and possibly the suburb.


Not a big bug, I admit. It’s not like there was a monster cockroach clinging to my eyeball like a facehugger on a fresh John Hurt. It was only the size of a small ant. Still… A BUG! IN MY EYE!

It was dead, fortunately, and it didn’t really hurt, but it was stuck on my eyeball. Like any self-respecting man, I squared my shoulders, took a deep breath, and used it to scare the girls in the office.

Me: Hey, you want to see something gross?

Girls in the office: Er… okay.

Me: Check THIS out!

Girls in the office: What is… AIEEEEEEEEE!!!

Totally worth it.

A short while later, with a little help from the saline eyewash in the first aid kit, the bug was persuaded to migrate over to the tearduct, where I could dab him out with my fingertip.

The whole experience has taught me one thing. Namely, you know that your priorities are out of whack when you’re looking in the mirror at the bug that’s glued itself to your eyeball, and your primary thought is, “Man, I wish I had my camera so I could blog this properly.”