Elsewhere.

Friends and readers:

I’m not going to be updating this site for the foreseeable future. The main reason is that I’m blogging at another site, pseudonymously. Some of you probably know my “secret identity” already, or have at least guessed. (It’s one of the blogs in my ‘roll, on the right column of this page.) You might get a further hint from this video.

Of course, I reserve the right to change my mind, but I honestly can’t see having enough time or inspiration to blog in two places.

I’ve enjoyed sharing with you, meeting new folks, and being introduced to different points of view. I’ll leave you with one last Erté for the road.

Thanks for reading.

Sasha

Erté, “Trapeze” from “At The Theatre” series.

Something Hot.

For my fellow blogger Erudite Knight, who requested a blog post about sex, and specified to “make it something hot”:

I’m not able at the moment to whip up something truly original, but I can direct you to some hot stuff elsewhere.

Gamahuching, for old-time sexiness. Raunchy as all hell.

The Dirty Stuff, sporadically updated blog with miscellaneous sex pictures, stories, and video clips.

This post about Tarzan from Uncouth Reflections.

The Dirty Nurse, a Tumblr site full of extremely sexy (and needless to say, VNSFW) pictures and GIFs. Pretty much every permutation of sex is represented here, from m/f to f/f to m/m to groups to…well, just visit and you’ll understand.

You do already visit Literotica, right? If not, why not?

Seasons.

Hello dear readers! I’m still alive, but my job and other projects are keeping me very busy. I’ll do my best to update soon.

In the meantime enjoy this series of Ertés representing the four seasons.

Winter

Winter

Spring

Spring

Summer

Summer

Autumn

Autumn

 

 

 

Dmitri Hvorostovsky.

Imagine for a moment that you’re the world’s foremost operatic dramatic baritone. You’ve done Rigoletto, you’ve done Germont père, you’ve done Conte di Luna to critical and popular acclaim the world over. What might you think would be next on your artistic agenda?

1) Become a tenor, in the manner of Plácido Domingo but backwards.

2) Conduct.

3) Direct.

4) Star in a sadomasochistic fetish video, not unlike certain Duran Duran music videos from the 1980s.

If 4 was not even on your radar, this may, um, surprise you.

NSFW in the extreme.

Via Schleppy Nabucco’s.

Cricket.

I’ve tried, Gods help me. I really have tried over the past ten years to understand how this game works. But every time I think I’ve got a handle on it, I wind up almost as confused as before, if not more.

I can do no better than to defer to Bill Bryson’s Down Under for the last word in American perspectives on cricket.

After years of patient study (and with cricket there can be no other kind) I have decided that there is nothing wrong with the game that the introduction of golf carts wouldn’t fix in a hurry. It is not true that the English invented cricket as a way of making all other human endeavours look interesting and lively; that was merely an unintended side-effect. I don’t wish to denigrate a sport that is enjoyed by millions, some of them awake and facing the right way, but it is an odd game. It is the only sport that incorporates meal breaks. It is the only sport that shares its name with an insect. It is the only sport in which spectators burn as many calories as players (more if they are moderately restless). It is the only competitive activity of any type, other than perhaps baking, in which you can dress in white from head to toe and be as clean at the end of the day as you were at the beginning.
 
Imagine a form of baseball in which the pitcher, after each delivery. collects the ball from the catcher and walks slowly with it out to centre field; and that there, after a minute’s pause to collect himself, he turns and runs full tilt towards the pitcher’s mound before hurling the ball at the ankles of a man who stands before him wearing a riding hat, heavy gloves of the sort used to handle radioactive isotopes, and a mattress strapped to each leg. Imagine moreover that if this batsman fails to hit the ball in a way that heartens him sufficiently to waddle sixty feet with mattresses strapped to his legs he is under no formal compulsion to run; he may stand there all day, and, as a rule, does. If by some miracle he is coaxed into making a misstroke that leads him to being put out, all the fielders throw up their arms in triumph and have a big hug. Then tea is called and everyone retires happily to a distant pavilion to fortify for the next siege. Now imagine all this going on for so long that by the time the match concludes autumn has crept in and all your library books are overdue. There you have cricket.
 
But it must be said that there is something incomparably soothing about cricket on the radio. It has much the same virtues as baseball on the radio – an unhurried pace, a comforting devotion to abstruse statistics and thoughtful historical rumination, exhilirating micromoments of real action – but stretched across many more hours and with a lushness of terminology and restful elegance of expression that even baseball cannot match. Listening to cricket on the radio is like listening to two men sitting in a rowing boat on a large, placid lake on a day when the fish aren’t biting; it’s like having a nap without losing consciousness. It actually helps not to know quite what’s going on. In such a rarefied world of contentment and inactivity, comprehension would become a distraction.
 
‘So here comes Stovepipe to bowl on this glorious summer’s afternoon at the MCG,’ one of the commentators was saying now. ‘I wonder if he’ll chance an offside drop scone here or go for the quick legover. Stovepipe has an unusual delivery in that he actually leaves the grounds and starts his run just outside the Carlton & United Brewery at Kooyong.’
 
‘That’s right Clive. I haven’t known anyone start his delivery that far back since Stopcock caught his sleeve on the reversing mirror of a number 11 bus during the third test at Brisbane in 1957 and ended up at Goondiwindi four hours later owing to a changed timetable at Toowoomba Junction.’
 
After a very long silence while they absorbed this thought, and possibly stepped out to transact some small errands, they resumed with a leisurely discussion of the England fielding. Neasden, it appeared,was turning in a solid performance at square bowel, while Packet had been a stalwart in the dribbles, though even these exemplary performances paled when set beside the outstanding play of young Hugh Twain-Buttocks at middle nipple. The commentators were in calm agreement that they had not seen anyone caught behind with such panache since Tandoori took Rogan Josh for a stiffy at Vindaloo in ’61. At last Stovepipe, having found his way across the railway line at Flinders Street – the footbridge was evidently closed for painting – returned to the stadium and bowled to Hasty, who deftly turned the ball away for a corner. This was repeated four times more over the next two hours and then one of the commentators pronounced: ‘So as we break for second luncheon, and with 11,200 balls remaining, Australia are 962 for two not half and England are four for a duck and hoping for rain.’
 
I may not have all the terminology exactly right, but I belive I have caught the flavour of it.

Smoque.

For the second time in as many years, Mr. S-P and I went to Smoque in the Bailey’s Corner arcade for Thanksgiving dinner.
When this American-style BBQ restaurant opened in 2011, I was crazy excited. Finally, no more waiting for my annual trip to my homeland to load up on regional foods! There were growing pains, to be sure. On that first visit, the cornbread was too salty and the macaroni and cheese was not salty enough. But I had absolutely no quibbles about the quality of the meat: the ribs, brisket and pulled pork were stellar, smokey and richly flavored, without the overly-soft texture that comes from meat improperly cooked (not authentic Southern bbq, in other words).

On this trip, we decided to up the ante, and instead of the smallest combination platter, we got the medium: beef ribs, pork ribs, chicken, pulled pork, brisket and sides. I ordered an extra portion of stuffing because it was Thanksgiving after all. I needn’t have bothered: it was revolting, tasting more like cat food than any traditional accompaniment (and no, you shouldn’t ask me how I know that.)

Rather a lot of food at Smoque.

The ribs are still sensational, but in the Canberra restaurant scene they now rank a notch below Soulfood Kitchen‘s. I have no qualms about wholeheartedly recommending the pulled pork–juicy and chewy even without generous shakes of the house-made BBQ sauce, but dreamlike with it. The brisket was a little fatty but extremely tasty. The chicken was…not exactly disappointing, but nothing extraordinary to speak of. It was a decent roasted chicken without much smoke or BBQ flavor. The beef ribs were an almost alarmingly huge hunk of meat on the bone with a superbly concentrated, almost gamy flavor. I’d return just for this.

The cornbread, although extremely dry, at least no longer tasted like a salt lick. For drinks, a well-priced and generous pitcher of “Floradoras” was had for $26. It’s a combination of gin, raspberry liqueur, and lime juice, and you bet I’ll be learning to make these at home.

An American food pedant would find several things to quibble with at Smoque. Newcomers and homesick expats however, find it blissfully satisfying.

Smoque on Urbanspoon

Donizetti.

Yesterday was the birthday of Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti. Self-Pollution invites you to celebrate with some clips of his greatest hits.

The Mad Scene from Lucia di Lammermoor, sung by the incomparable Natalie Dessay.

“Cheti, cheti, immantinente”, the comic bass/baritone duet from Don Pasquale, performed by Samuel Ramey and Thomas Hampson, and having a blast from the sound of it.

More Lucia: the famous sextet, familiar to fans of Scorsese films as Jack Nicholson’s phone ringtone in The Departed. Featuring Maria Callas and Giuseppe diStefano, with Karajan conducting.

Possibly his best known aria, “Una furtiva lagrima” from L’Elisir d’amore, sung by its best-known interpreter, Luciano Pavarotti at his peak in 1981.

And no Donizetti celebration would be complete without “Ah! mes amis…Pour mon âme” from La fille du régiment, with its infamous 9 high Cs. They’re tossed off with ease in this rendition by young American tenor Lawrence Brownlee.