May 19, 2013
I have just finished reading “Fifty Shades of Grey” and its sequels. I am always late for these mass phenomena, some I skip totally. For example, I have yet to watch “Titanic”. I find that it’s often a good idea to wait until the initial hubbub has died down, the first negative reviews have been written, and special discounts can be had. For “Titanic” I waited too long. I think I already know 80% of the film from trailers, reviews, and friends talking about it. I would probably fall asleep while watching.
But “Fifty Shades of Grey” I have read. Apparently just in time, because a movie will be coming out next year. In case you don’t know – and if you don’t know chances are that you are male – “Fifty Shades of Grey” is an erotic novel written by E.L. James, a British woman, who wrote it as fan fiction for the Twilight Saga. What if there were no vampires involved, just humans, super sexy, impossibly rich, with a taste for BDSM sex. It’s E.L. James’s own add-on sexual fantasy. I read that she was very surprised herself about the success her books had. The trilogy has sold over 70 million copies world-wide.
It has plenty of scathing critics as well. In my opinion, it could have used a good editor. The male protagonist Christian is “enigmatic” and “mercurial” at least three dozen times. Although he is a self-made billionaire, he spends precious little time working. The female protagonist Ana, though shy and well educated thinks “Holy Fuck” whenever she is shocked or sexually aroused, which is often. I also hope E.L. James gets compensated by Apple and Audi, whose products the impossibly rich Christian not only uses himself but lavishes on his love interest. Some segments of the book read like product advertisements.
Moreover there is a jarring emphasis on political correctness. The fact that these are two consenting adults is stressed over and over. Ana is a virgin, yet already 21 years old, which is -I am guessing – the legal age of consent in many countries. Safe sex is stressed repeatedly throughout the book. Yes, it is important, but very detailed descriptions of how a condom is put on get very tiresome after a while. Once or twice is fine, for the remaining romps we just need a three word summary, please.
The actual BDSM scenes turn out almost PG-13. Well not PG-13, but no one is put in a cage and wears a collar. I am no virgin to reading BDSM erotica, Anne Rice’s Sleeping Beauty trilogy comes to mind, and “Fifty Shades of Gray” is harmless in comparison.
Despite of all the things I mentioned above, I still like it. The pacing is good, the dialogues are snappy, and there is an underlying plot in between the erotic scenes, which is unfortunately not as common as it should be within the genre. I have read plenty of fantastic erotic short stories, good full length erotic novels are few and far between. I guess it suffers from it’s smutty image, of being the porn equivalent for women.
No author is shooting for the Nobel prize when writing erotica, but it’s perfectly clear now that there is lots of money in it. Why publishers only recognize this now is beyond me. If the end result is fewer romance novels in which the English lord of the manor has to choose between Lady so-and-so and the gardener’s daughter with whom he only exchanges kisses, I will be eternally grateful to E.L. James.
It also got me thinking of why women like the story so much. It’s essentially a 21st century fairy tale. A bit of Cinderella with a good dose of Snow White, featuring an evil Mrs. Robinson, who held the teenage prince charming as a BDSM slave. What’s not to like about this version? Lol. Of all the modern fairy tale love stories I have read and watched, it is one of the more original ones.
The sex scenes help as well of course. I just hope no young girl reading these books takes the sex at face value. It’s as fairy tale as the rest of the story. I wish I could have orgasms from nipple stimulation alone and purely penetrative sex like Ana. Reality is that most women get orgasms from clitoral stimulation and by far not as often as four times a day.
I also hope that all real world Anas out there know that masturbating is a good thing. You and maybe a few toys and lubrication is the safest environment to test what you like and gives you an orgasm. In real life, most men, especially the young ones, don’t know. You can’t rely on a Mr. Grey coming along in his helicopter.
Under all the fairy dust sex there are however a few truths in the book. I think that good sex for women is very much about letting loose and giving up control with a person we trust. For women it is much more in the mind than it is for men. Of course the right technique and toys help as well.
I am curious what Hollywood will turn this into. Will they show how a condom is put on and anal toys are used safely? Lol… somehow I don’t think so, which is a shame.
January 23, 2013
I guess I should going again. Today I got an e-mail that I am paying for automatic, renewed hosting for this blog, which I agreed to because my heart and soul is in all the past entries. Then something happened in my life, and everyone reading this blog got occupied with what-you-see-in-the-mirror-book, the rest (really lovely people) clicked and clicked for a dozen of times but nothing new got posted.
Cosima is still alive. A little bit older, but not smarter, yet wiser, or though she thought until she encountered the next mystery in her life.
I write this for myself: Within the next two or three or four days you post something. You better do. Lazy old…
Me: Old? Who are you talking about? I am springy, agile, and only nap after lunch, which everyone should do. Scientists agree that it’s best.
Mirror Book: But I am still the ugliest in the land!
Me: What you can do I can do better!
June 23, 2012
Just had a few scary moments while updating the cogs, MySqls, PHPs, and other whistles behind this blog. But can proudly announce that Cosima is now running on the latest WordPress version. I think creating a new bathing suit for Cosima Underwater will be next on my list. I still like the old theme, but it’s not very flexible for posting videos and pictures.
And if that is done, I may actually get around to posting again…
June 12, 2012
Have you ever been outside your own site for so long that you forgot your password? Password? What was it? Shit! Let’s try the password you love most. Woohoo! It works!
April 4, 2012
It’s funny. When I grew up it was in perfect balance, my need for the advantages of urban culture and seeing green nature. Berlin is a funny place. One German TV presenter described it as parks with a few apartment buildings spread throughout the green. And if you compare it to other 3.5 million + -inhabitant cities, Berliners should really put on a big green smile and shut up their complaining mouths. They are living in a beautiful city.
I left Berlin and ended up in Hong Kong. There are twice as many people here than in Berlin, on less acreage. Still, Hong Kong has wonderful green assets that Berlin doesn’t have: real, prime, jungle. No clipped parks, well two or three, but real natural assets “country parks” no lawns, but subtropical natural hills with only a few signs, trails, but still lots of natural slopes of subtropical green. On average, two or three people die in these country parks every year, not because they couldn’t pay their cocaine dealer, but because they underestimated the heat, the mountainous terrain, the critters. And that less than 50km away from a Gucci store. Incredible. It’s a wonder, thanks to one or three British governors who were hikers and did the right thing to make a lasting impression.
If you ask me, if you have the fortune to come to political power these days, the most lasting legacy you can leave is protecting nature from men. You will be remembered in a hundred to thousand years, I bet the well-being of my one and only offspring on that. Nature needs a break from us, it’s the most pressing problem of the twenty-first century.
From reading the above, I bet you can guess that I love wearing Birkenstock sandals.
And that I am mad that they are planning to build a waste incinerator near my home and the largest country park of Hong Kong. The problem with this city and in general with this age and time is that money is regarded as the most powerful god.
There are no big money interests near us, so the cowards view it as free territory. They don’t build incinerators next to 70 storey office skycrapers where the waste is generated and the money is made, they build it next to Hong Kong largest country park. Cowards and money eaters in high places plan it, and complacent, lazy donkeys in small apartments eat it. You are all the same, if you ask me, unless you speak out as loud as you can. So do it.
March 19, 2012
February 9, 2012
It has been so long ago that I forgot my own password. Oy vey, Cosima bend in shame. But (and now bow to Cosima) she is computer-savy enough to retrieve it.
Little man has been my concern lately, he always is, but special efforts are called for when the time has come to find a suitable secondary school.
My parents had it much easier. They send me to the comprehensive school five minutes away at age five, where I spent the next thirteen years and managed to attain my German high-school diploma and entry into the world of university education. It had good teachers who 95% of the time loved their professions, model architecture with classrooms flooded with daylight from two sides emptying out to big halls, big playgrounds, one small and one big sports hall, library, and all sorts of dedicated rooms for explosive chemical experiments and arts splashings.
Funnily enough, it wasn’t well regarded at the time. Left-leaning teachers, parent involvement, poor kids having an equal chance, teachers full of ideals…
In Hong Kong, I am now confronted with schools that pay very close attention where the parents work. Can they pay the tuition fees for seven years to come? Can they tell other parents how hard it was to get into our school and which academic rigor we apply? Will this kid meet all the credentials to get into Harvard, Yale, MIT, whatever? We have a reputation to loose, fuck about the well-being of kids, we have a high-brow reputation to loose.
On one hand, I am caught in the rat race here in Hong Kong that demands you to get your kid into one of the prime schools, which will get him into prime colleges… etc, etc. On the other hand, I just read a forum post of a mum about bullying at one of the above schools, and I know that everyone just cooks with water, and I know that parents, in the end, not schools educate children.
I want little man to be happy, confident, and loving life.
After a long hard search on the internet I found a secondary school that I feel is right. It’s not well known, it’s relatively cheap, it’s located in the boonies, but still I hope that little man will be accepted there.
It’s mum intuition that teachers there care about children, that they will have their happiness in mind, support them in meeting challenges, and love teaching them.
Yes of course, it’s not the only school I will send applications to, but it’s one of the few that truly deserves to teach little man. Press your thumbs please.
December 2, 2011
…is German fresh cheese, in case you wondered, and it’s impossible to get in Hong Kong. There are other fresh cheeses of course: Philadelphia cream cheese, Italian mascarpone, Indian paneer but they are just not the same as my beloved Quark. Quark is light, has no E numbers, makes terrific airy cheesecake, and is lovely and healthy with fresh herbs mixed in over a baked or boiled potato. I grew up with it, it was always available and cheap, it’s used as an ingredient in many dishes I love.
If you can’t buy it, make your own, I thought. I already bake my own sourdough bread, why not have a go at Quark?
I came across this old instruction:
1) milk a cow
2) let the milk sit in a covered bowl in a warm place
3) when it has turned into soured milk and set after a day or two
4) put it into muslin cloth and hang it over a bowl, separating cheese from whey
5) next day you have quark
I don’t have a cow, I only have a supermarket with milk imported from California, Australia, and other various places. So I went onto the internet, and other German expatriates told me that your average bought milk will not turn sour these days, because bacteria (good and bad) are none existent in homogenized, pasteurized, sterilized from udder to tetra-paked milk.
The only choice you have is to buy this non-bacteria milk and add lactic acid bacteria back into it. That’s what I did.
On the left, Californian milk which is relatively cheap at roughly US$2 per liter, and Australian milk on the right which costs more than US$4 per liter but actually tastes like fresh milk. Yep, milk products are expensive in Hong Kong, it’s soya territory.
I put a heaped tablespoon of high quality sour cream into each bowl (US$3.40 per tiny pot). Sour cream is cream fermented with lactic acid bacteria, exactly the bugs needed for turning sterile supermarket milk into soured milk. You can also try buttermilk.
The process for making quark is similar to making your own yoghurt, only the bacteria have a different name.
After a night and half day of sitting in a warm spot (blood temperature is ideal: oven heated to lowest setting and the cooled down a bit, place one foot away from central heating, etc.), the milk has soured and set, and the cream (from the tablespoon of sour cream) has set on top. The Australian milk set better than than the cheaper California milk, but both tasted the same.
Scrape away the cream (or leave it in for extra goodness) and put the soured milk into a double layer of muslin cloth or a squeaky clean kitchen towel, and hang it over a bowl (or measuring can, if your window hook is fairly high up like mine… yes, it took me a while to find a good spot)
After a day or two you will have quark or cream cheese or whatever you want to call it (with no E numbers nor xanthan gum). The fat content will be iffy, but wholesome.
I originally intended to bake cheesecake with it, but it didn’t last long enough. Half of it I ate straight out of the bowl with a spoon, some of it I served to my friends as a spread on my self-made sourdough bread, the rest little man ate for breakfast with jam mixed in.
It was better than any quark I have ever bought in Germany.
That’s the beauty of living thousand of kilometers away from your childhood home. You are forced to make the things you miss on your own and in this day and age of supermarket, indefinite shelf-life, E-numbers, genetically modified food stuffs, it will taste much better than what you can buy in a supermarket in your home country.
November 29, 2011
I have won wonderful friends. I will have them in my heart and mind a life time.
And all of that because we got half-nekkid, felt sexy and special while pressing the time-delayed shutter of our cameras, and then visited each other at our blogs, and said “woohoo!!!” and meant it.
Thank you Os.
Below is my adieu, my part of Osbasso’s “Bye bye HNT with a bang”. I am posting it early, because the holidays, travel, and general craziness is coming to a head already. Bookmark http://osbasso.blogspot.com/ for keeping up for full frontal half-nekkidness with a happy end.
P.S: Click on the HNT link. I just did and it put me in the mood. So many years of sexiness.
July 11, 2011
… is a lot of fun. Even more if you discover an area where it’s fun for children too.
I have been in Hong Kong for roughly 15 years and I am ashamed to say that I discovered its true beauty only recently. Hong Kong is renowned for it’s skyline of skyscrapers. But if you really want to see it you need to tie your sneakers, put your sun hat on, pack lots of water, and head for one of its fabulous country parks.
Since we came back from Dubai, we live right at the edge of one, and I am truly thankful that destiny put us here. Right from my doorstep I can head up the mountain, and see subtropical wilderness. It bowls me over every time.
Little man is less smitten. Hiking 45 degrees up a mountain, sweating a lot, and only with your mother as company …
The first time it’s fun, because you bathe in a rock pool. The second time is fun, because you see a cobra. The third time is fun for your mummy because lots of shrubs are in bloom. The fourth time you run into half a dozen spider webs, and mosquitoes are out in force. The fifth time takes most of the day and is much too long. The sixth time you go on strike.
So I was more than happy when I discovered a web site that told of World War II tunnels the British had built to defend their Hong Kong colony from the invading Japanese. I knew right away that this would get little man to head out with me without any complaints, and that it would be fun for us both. A wonderful adventure.
We put our hats on, loaded up on water and snacks, calibrated mum’s gps system on a parking lot near Shing Mun reservoir, and took the 12 year old Volvo for a ride. You can get there with public transport too… aah, the beauty of Hong Kong.
When we arrived, we discovered that Shing Mun country park is a much more frequented area than the country park near us. Lots of people were hauling barbeque supplies along the road to get ready for a day of family fun, and there was some sort of hiking race going on. But I bet it’s deserted on a weekday.
We went along the Maclehose trail past barbecue areas, and although I had packed a map, and read all sorts of websites, I was worried that we would miss the entrance to the tunnels.
In the end it was very easy to find them, because there are warning signs on the path below, discouraging you from entering them :).
Little man and I left the hiking path and scrambled up a hill, despite a group of hikers behind us mumbling “The sign clearly says it’s dangerous”. Little man was on fire and the kid in me was too.
We scrambled up the hill and were met by a giant electricity pylon, concrete tunnels exposed by erosion, and a large group of people with a guide ready to dive into World War II adventure.
It was hard to stop little man from diving head first into the ventilation chimney, but I convinced him to follow the group of hikers before us to a more accessible entrance.
When mama finally found the two flashlights she had in her backpack, the other people were gone and the adventure was ours alone.
The tunnels at Shing Mun are part of the “Gin Drinker’s Line” (gosh, I love the Britsh even if I am German myself), a defense line across the Kowloon peninsula that was designed to hold up the Japanese from conquering Hong Kong.
In the end, it didn’t do much to hold up the Japanese, because it wasn’t manned by enough British soldiers, but if you scramble along the tunnels today, you can certainly see why they choose this line. At the outlooks, it has very good views of the lands below.
I think we walked all the tunnels that are still accessible. All of them are quite low because of silt that was washed into them, which gave me back pain but was no problem for short little man. At no point I felt that it was a dangerous adventure, although I would not do it after heavy rains.
I am very happy that something like this still exists in Hong Kong. When you are here, please check it out, I guarantee it will be a fun day out.