Maori by Alan Dean Foster: An Angry Review

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My thoughts when I selected this book, “Oh look. A book about the Maori. I don't know much about them. How's about I pick up this one? It says 'Maori' right there on the cover.”

It should have been called British Bro's Wild New Zealand Ride. It's all from the perspective of the British colonists who warred with the Maori until they won like they always did. Details about the Maori traditions and way of life were sprinkled meagerly throughout the story and were the only things keeping me interested in this plodding soap opera.

I didn't like the main character, Robert Coffin. So he's got a wife in England, but he hangs around New Zealand for the whaling industry, and oh by the way, he's got an Irish mistress and two whole children by her. But then his English wife comes by and he drops the Irish woman. To his credit, at least he wants to set her and the children up somewhere for him to take care of financially. But then he just dips out when she had the audacity to get mad at him. How dare she?

Then, years later, he happens to exchange glances with the daughter of a Maori chief and they immediately fall in love, and he knocks her up. But she's even better than the poor Irish woman because she's totally fine with being kept as a servant in one of his houses. Finally. Robert Coffin got the bang maid he always wanted.

At the very least, he got what he deserved in the end. And by that, I mean he was sad. Oh, and Mount Tarawera erupts, which really did happen in real life. The end.

Music Monday: Darkest of the Hillside Thickets - Nyarlathotep

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The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets is straight out of British Columbia, Canada. They’ve got killer vocals, a solid sound, a grotesque sense of humor, and a love of costumes. What’s not to like? Oh, and they frequently sing about HP Lovecraft. My favorite song is Nyarlathotep and it has an eerie ancient Egyptian flavor to it.

Animal Profile: Nes

Age: 6

Likes: Little bugs, laps, cuddling with the dogs, fresh water, licking plastic bags, feet

Dislikes: Being picked on by Toki, having to hurry

Other Names: Big Chungus, Bubblegum Belly

She also has a god-tier Resting Bitch Face

She also has a god-tier Resting Bitch Face

Nes is the sister of Sega but is about twice her weight. She also has the softest fur, you guys. She’s very mellow and that makes her a prime target for Toki’s frequent bullying. I’m just glad Luma is quick to intervene and maintain the peace.

You don’t have to sit for long before she’s in your lap. She sometimes slips outside when I let the dogs out, but she just rubs on the doorway and then comes back in when I call the dogs back in. Nes is also the only animal I will tolerate having in the bedroom at night. All she wants to do is cuddle. She’s my sweet creature of chill times. And lovin’ on feets. All the feets.

Also, she’s got the most ridiculous pink belly and lips. Just thought you should know.

Queens of Egypt: 5 of the Best Displays in the National Geographic Museum

Right now, I’m in Washington D.C. with my husband. During the week he trains for his job, but on the weekends we go to see national monuments and museums within the nation’s capital. Last weekend, we went to the National Geographic museum, where they showcased their Queens of Egypt exhibit. While they had no mummies, all the other stuff they displayed was amazing. I normally don’t take pictures, but I knew I had to with this. Here are some of the best things in the exhibit.

1. Statue of Sekhmet

The goddess Sekhmet was a big deal in ancient Egypt. Long ago, the god Ra became aware that foolhardy mortals were plotting to kill him. He sent his daughter Sekhmet to punish the wicked men, and she transformed into a giant bloodthirsty lion. She set about the slaughter of the conspirators, but so great was her fury that she killed others not involved in the plot. She had nearly wiped out all of humanity when Ra decided that she needed to be stopped. He poured 7000 jugs of red beer into the Nile river, which Sekhmet thought was blood. She lapped it all up and fell into a sodden slumber. When she woke up, she had become the much mellower Hathor. She had statues all over the Temple of Karnak and they were well over 6 feet tall.

The Lady of Dread, She Who Mauls, Destroyer of Rebellion and the Gracious One

The Lady of Dread, She Who Mauls, Destroyer of Rebellion and the Gracious One

2. The Bust of Nefertiti

Also displayed was the bust of Nefertiti, one of the most famous images from ancient Egypt. Nefertiti means ‘The Beautiful One Who Has Come Forth’ and even in our modern era, she is supremely beautiful. She was the Great Royal Wife of Akhenaten in the 18th dynasty. He was the one who tried to elevate Aten as the only god and even had a new capital built to showcase his grand decision. After he died, things sorta went back to normal, but what we do know is that Nefertiti reigned for a time after his death by herself.

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3. The Papyrus Court Report of the Conspiracy to Kill the Pharaoh

This doesn’t look like a good picture, but the papyrus was really long. It was a detailed report about the trial of those involved in the murder of Ramses III, including Queen Tiye, her son, many in his harem, and the overseer of the harem grounds. At the end of everything, 38 people were put to death. It was long thought that the body of Ramses III bore no wounds, but modern technology allowed us to see under his thickly-bandaged neck and reveal his deep throat wound. Also, his big toe was missing because things sometimes escalate.

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4. The Stele of the Deceased Going to the Afterlife

This detailed stele shows a recently deceased man standing before Osiris after being judged by Anubis. It’s in remarkable shape though I don’t know who was being pictured.

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5. Canopic Jars

During mummification, the organs of the dead were removed and placed into special jars to be retrieved later once they lived again. You’ve got Hapi, the baboon-headed god, and his jar held the lungs. The jackal-faced jar doesn’t represent Anubis in this case, but Duamutef. It held the stomach. The human-headed one is Imsety, and it contains the liver. The falcon-headed one is Qebesenuef and it held the intestines.



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All in all, the exhibit was fantastic and if you’re in the DC area, I would highly recommend you check it out. It’s going to be there until September, so you’ve got time. Find more details over at the National Geographic museum’s website.

Music Monday: Alphataurus - La Mente Vola

I like metal, but sometimes enough is enough. And that’s when I switch to prog rock. And you don’t get much proggier than Alphataurus, a group out of Italy who put out their first album in 1973.

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La Mente Vola is similar to most other prog songs. It’s almost ten minutes long and takes forever to get into the actual song. Still, I love the piano, the haunting vocals, and the gratuitous use of super-duper sci-fi sound effects towards the end. Do you also like prog? I’d love to talk to another person who does. They exist, right? It’s sorta like finding ska fans nowadays. They have to be out there. They just have to.

Animal Profile: Sega

Age: 6

Likes: Little bugs, shadows, chasing her tail, singing in the basement, Old Spice deodorant, houseplants

Dislikes: Being picked up, having flea drops administered

Other Names: Segata Sanshiro

She stayed like this for an hour, watching a little bug.

She stayed like this for an hour, watching a little bug.

Sega is one of the two kittens I got together. She’s got a wee little black spot on her nose which we affectionately call her ‘Kitler stache’. She’s the smallest of all the animals and she’s also the most elusive. If you can’t find her, she’s probably in the basement, ruling over her dark kingdom. You can summon her by standing at the top of the stairs and calling ‘MEOW MEOW, MEOW MEOW’. She’ll come to see what fool mortal dares to summon her.

And then she’ll love you, so don’t worry.

I must warn you before you come over to my house. If you’re wearing Old Spice deodorant, or use Old Spice bodywash, you can forget the whole ‘elusive’ thing. She’ll find you. She’ll find you and breathe in that heavy, intoxicating scent. She’ll also latch onto your arm and bury her face in your armpit, so be warned.

Sega is by far the weirdest of the animals and I love her for it.

Music Monday: Nekrogoblikon - We Need a Gimmick

I completely forgot to make a post for Music Monday, which is funny because it was Memorial Day.

Oh well. Better late than never.

Here’s a song from one of my favorite bands, Nekrogoblikon. They’re say they’re from outer space and they just wear human costumes. They remind me of GWAR, in that they’re loud, obnoxious, funny, and are one-part metal to one-part performance. They’re great fun and this is my favorite music video of theirs.