Are Mangoes Better than Sex?

There are some smells that are so intoxicating that the world around you disppears into nothingness for the briefest of moment.  You can’t help but inhale so deeply it almost makes you dizzy. 

Mangoes do it for me in a big way.  A fresh, ripe mango is the most pleasurable smell in the world.  I don’t care what anyone else thinks… it’s mangoes ok!  Closely followed by jasmin… and fresh herbs.  I have a real thing for herbs actually – rosemary, basil, parsley and coriander.  Bruised between my fingers so they’re all peppery and fresh.    Initally, I figured that all the smells I love are only found in nature but then I remembered the smell of a crisp white tshirt which has been freshly washed and hung in the sun to dry.   And freshly baking bread… so lovely to wake up to. 

None of these smells evoke any memory though.  Contrary to popular opinion, I just don’t seem to derive any fond recollections from mangoes.  Except that I really like them… a lot.

Whenever I wear a certain perfume, L’eau D’Issey, Matt immediately recognises it and he says I smell like Paris.  He means it reminds him of Paris… not that I smell LIKE Paris itself…   at least, I bloody-well hope not!  And, while we were in Paris, he bought a man-scent which I adore absolutely.  But, annoyingly, it never evokes France for me. 

I feel jipped.  I love smell. And yet I have no scent-memory whatsoever… nothing “takes me back” or brings back a powerful memory.  I’m never immediately dropped back into that time and place.  And I feel like I’m missing out.  Like everyone else in the world has this super-power that I don’t have.

Whatever.  Did you know that musk  comes from the testicles of a particular type of deer?  Think of that next time you down a handful of those little pink lollies from Darrel Lea sucka.  You and your olfactory-evoked-recall.

Manboob Monday: #8 The Yeti

You know that joke bald men make about using all their hormones for sex?  This dude has hormones coming out of his ass.  I don’t mean that literally…. although????

Tuesday Timeshift: #5 In Treatment (TV)

Another HBO offering and just as good as you’d expect.  In Treatment is set in the narrow confines of a psychologist’s office, with all the intimacy that entails.  Our counsellor is Paul (Gabriel Byrne).  Paul is conflicted about his feelings for one of his patients, Laura played by Melissa George (Home & Away, Alias).  His marriage is falling apart and he’s struggling to adequately care for his patients.  In a short 30 minute format, each episode captures one session with a patient, of which there are 4.  Day 5  is Paul’s session with his own therapist, Gina (Dianne Wiest). 

This sounds like a dreadful premise for a show.  However.  There’s nothing soppy or manipulative in the script or the acting.  It feels… curious.  And engrossing.  At the end of each half hour the viewer is left feeling unsatisfied, like you’ve been allowed to peek under the cover for a moment only to find another layer.  There’s a compulsive need to know more.

It helps that each patients story is inherently intriguing.  Alex (Blair Underwood) is a fighter pilot responsible for a disastrous bombing in Iraq.  Sophie (Mia Wasikowska) an olympic hopeful struggling with suicidal tendencies.  Jake (Josh Charles) & Amy (Embeth Davidtz) a couple trying to decide whether to abort their unborn child.  Nothing about the untangling stories is obvious or even black & white. 

It is this that makes In Treatment an outstanding program.  Smart, honest and multi-layered.  Byrne is at times powerful, unwielding and wise and at others so vulnerable and almost naive.  It’s a consistently outstanding performance.  So much so that both Byrne and Wiest have been, quite rightfully, nominated for Emmy’s. 

Director and writer, Rodrigo Garcia, does a fine job.  The intimacy he creates with his tight shots makes it hard to breathe at times but it suits the events and draws you into it.  At other time he opens up the shot  to show distance, particularly between Paul and his wife Kate (Michelle Forbes).  Never is anything done without impact.  Each shot serves the story.

This is not light viewing.  No doubt about it.  It is however compelling.  My husband, who would never choose to watch a show about psychology, found himself being drawn in against his better judgement.  Ok so he’s not going to make a date to watch it like I will but when I switch it on, he just can’t help himself but watch!

Manboob Monday: #6 Is that a Nappy?

Hmmm… initially I looked at this image and thought to myself “ha ha… funny pants… isn’t that amusing”. then I noticed that in fact this dude is wearing a nappy. A nappy people. I’m a little bit creeped out by that.

Tuesday Timeshift: #4 Breaking Bad (TV)

Imagine your Dad secretly built a meth lab and started selling a-grade ice for fun and some extra cash? Bryan Cranston (Malcolm in the Middle) is Walter, one of those middle-America types who really should have been something more – who needs a Nobel prize when you can teach for a living instead? Walter doesn’t have the whiff of failure so much as he’s wading around knee-deep in shit – he’s working part-time in a car wash while maintaining his day job as a high-school chemistry teacher. For his birthday, his wife gives him a little happy hand-job… one hand on the task, the other, her mouse hand, free so she can continue to check out eBay.  This is not a guy who’s sucking the marrow out of life!

Naturally, Walter reaches implosion point and takes things into his own hands. What better way to shake things up than a life of crime? It may seem far-fetched on paper (ok, so of course it is, it’s called suspension of disbelief people!) but the plotting is capable and it all seems perfectly reasonable under the circumstances. And he’s not just gonna be any old drug-manufacturer, Walter is determined to be an “artist”. When only the best will do.

Cranston is at his comedic best without slipping into that irritating schmuck of his Malcolm alter-ego. This guy you actually like! Which is quite a remarkable piece of writing and acting when you think about it. The rest of the cast are relative unknowns but all do an excellent job.

The opening scene of the first episode is perfect in every way and the ending delivers a nice little punch to kick things along so you just want more. Breaking Bad has been nominated for a gazillion Emmy’s so clearly it’s in the “Not to be Missed” ouvre. Meaningless awards aside, it is a great little addition to TV and I’m quite surprised to see it’s been bought by Showtime in Australia which means those with the money (the free-to-air channels) didn’t pick it up. Ok it’s a difficult topic, the guy is running a meth lab after all, but does it matter? It’s good and that should be enough. Well done Showtime for, yet again, taking some risks.

Breaking Bad is airing on Showcase (Foxtel).

Manboob Monday: #5 The Pretty Bra

Well gosh sir, that’s a very pretty bra you’ve got yourself there!

Lists of Joy & Harmony: #2 Things I Have Eaten Out of Sheer Laziness

When there’s no time, or I just can’t be fucked… over the years, I’ve made some truly unusual concoctions.   Firstly to the ones that tasted good:

  • baked beans with sour cream, fetta, parsley, tabasco & bbq sauce – on toast
    you know how it is, you’re in a rush, you go to the fridge and you can’t see anything immediately obvious so you just chuck in whatever is within arms reach… sometimes it works other times not so much
  • fried sweet potato biscuits    
    I have a very limited breakfast repertoire… I’m not EVER consuming last nights left-over spaghetti for breaky.  It’s muesli, fruit, croissant, eggs, toast and that’s about it.  Anything else is just too much for my piss-weak gullet (Kazbah on Darling St notwithstanding).  In Japan, we stayed in a traditional japanese style hotel (when in Rome and all that) which also meant a traditional japanese style breakfast of beef soup and raw egg. I tried it once, but it wasn’t for me.  Just outside our hotel was a stand which made these sweet potato biscuity things.  And so began my staple breakfast diet in Tokyo.
  • mouldy lebanese bread
    My stance on mould is fairly egalitarian.  Live and let live I say. A little mould never killed anyone! And with some home-made tabbouli & humous and store-bought felafel it’s an absolute treat!
  • live termites
    so I was hiking and a tad peckish but who wants to stop, sit down & unload when you’re lugging a massive back-pack unless you really need to.  I saw a termite mound, one of my fellow hikers said they were ok to eat so I had a crack at it.  Minty.
  • vegemite & tomato vitawheats
    I don’t feel any need to justify myself here.  It’s just good. Period. 

Now, to the ones that made me want to gag (or the ones that actually made me gag if I’m brutally honest):

  • baked beans with egg and chilli sauce – on toast
    I don’t mean “an egg”, I mean, lightly beaten and added to the baked beans during the cooking process.  I takes on a lovely vomitous texture in the sauce.
  • jelly made from pork blood
    I was in a vietnamese restaurant and I wanted comfort food  – it was cold so I ordered congee, a soupy rice dish that I generally really love.  This traditional-style congee included the aforementioned jelly cut into big squares, some liver, a little kidney and god knows what else.  Kidney and liver I’m ok with – hell, I like pate!  The blood jelly was a little, well, “bloody”, shall we say.  I don’t know if it was laziness so much as sheer determination, I ate most of it.
  • McDonalds breakfast
    What can I say… late for work, young, lazy and stupid.  I’ll tell you right now, I don’t know what that yellow substance but it ain’t cheese that’s for sure. 
  • chicken, fetta and parsley omelette
    Well, what’s wrong with that you say?  Nothing if the chicken wasn’t a tad worse for wear and probably should have been thrown out 2 days ago. 
  • prawns eyes
    It was for a bet.  Sure I won but in hindsight I could probably have happily lost this bet. 
  • a goldfish
    Again a bet.  This time there were vast amount of alcohol involved.  I pulled it straight from the tank, alive and dropped it into my mouth. I figured a pre-drop mouthful of milk would help line my mouth and throat so I wouldn’t feel it wriggling around.  I was right.  Ok so I didn’t gag at the time but even writing about it now makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit. 
  • knishes
    take some potato, roll it into a turd shape, cover it in breadcrumbs and fry it.  Jews and food should not be mixed.   Take matzoh balls for christs sake!  Here, eat some cardboard with your soup… yummy!
  • reuben sandwich
    ok so I’m in NY at the famous Carnegie Deli so I order this thing I know nothing about except that it’s a classic.  Imagine… about half a kilo of pastrami and a teaspooon of coleslaw burying 2 pieces of rye bread and then covering it a pound of cheese and sticking it under the griller to melt. Oh, and don’t forget the BOWL of flavoured mayonnaise on the side.  Human beings should not eat this shit!  Of course, I did take my sister there for dinner not less than a week later!  I however had chicken soup.

Don’t think the revoltingness of these meals stopped me from eating them.  Didn’t I mention that Iaziness was the over-arching concept here?  Good or bad, all of them have been consumed wholeheartedly and without regret.