user since
Tue Mar 6 2001 at 17:07:18 (23.3 years ago )
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Sat Feb 25 2006 at 00:19:19 (18.3 years ago )
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333 - View sneff's writeups (feed)
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Overheard at a shindig - "..Is this the flower guy?.."
Palisade Bi-Polar Institute
Atithi Devo Bhava
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Beer battered sardines with tomato, preserved lemon and caper salsa
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Almond and cassia shortcake with strawberries simmered in Crème de Fraise

"...My delicate health and retiring disposition have combined with my love of botanical pursuits to render me fond of solitary study, and I must confess that I feel a sort of shrinking at the idea of engaging in the turmoil of active life..."

Richard Spruce, British plant hunter, and all round avoider of social and societal nonsense. 1817-1892.

My Hero.

Let's Eat

Updated Recipes

If you have made, or intend to try any of the following receipts, check the write-up again. There may be a little tweak to the grand plan.


Welcome to snefftown

I toss pans and rustle up meals at a little joint called the Palisade Restaurant. Noders who have been fed by me and escaped food poisoning include simonc, alex.tan, freaek, kalon, lignocaine, Inoshiro_K, Taliesin's Muse, BlakJak, Nemosyn, kalen, Lazarus, Orpheum, panamaus, Proquar, Callirrhoe, The Debutante, meffiy and BlackPawn.

I have a penchant for Laphroaig whisky. I dislike television. I rarely smile before midday, but I make up for that in the cool hours, when you will almost certainly find me grinning (somewhat wildly).


+ sneff's surgery +

Current minutiae

as of Sept 1st, 2004

Compact disc in-tray

| Purdy | Fairytale Insurance |

Delicious electronica from Sydney-based artist, Kevin Purdy. The name says it all - the music really is purdy. Strong use of quaint, old and mysteriously foreign samples are coupled with infectious, deep, down-tempo beats to create a unique and highly listenable package. Love it.

| Matmos | The Civil War |

| Susumu Yokota | Grinning Cat |

Latest book in my grubby hands

| Will Self | Great Apes |

Recent reads

| Thomas Wharton | Salamander |

Cripes - two books in a row that I haven't been inclined to finish. This novel came highly recommended and was undeniably full of promise. It spins the tale of Nicholas Flood, a celebrated book printer from centuries ago when this was still very much an art. He is commissioned by an eccentric count from continental Europe to print a grand book with no beginning and no end - an infinite, perfect book. The count lives with his luscious daughter in a fantastical castle of his creation that is alive and constantly shifting and moving in 3 dimensions, all powered by massive clockwork machinery. I really should have loved this book - but put simply, I just could never, no matter how hard I tried, get swept up in the grandiose fantasy of the setting. The pacing of the narrative was odd - painfully slow at times, then disorientatingly rapid. This to me created a disjointed feeling, and ultimately I could never find the rhythm of the book. So sad - I wanted to love this.

| Haruki Murakami | Hard Boiled Wonderland and The End of the World |

I never thought I'd see the day come that I couldn't finish a Murakami novel - but sadly this book seems to be the one that did it. This novel is much touted and famed for it's unusual format of running two separate narratives - set in different eras - at the same time. Each story is told alternately one chapter at a time. Ironically, it is precisely this device that I found jarring and annoying. I never felt like I was losing myself in one story before it abruptly ceased and the other started again. On top of this, Murakami delves deeper here into fantasy and sci-fi than I have known him to before, and being completely subjective - these aren't two of my favourite genres. Having said that, these factors may well appeal to you. If so, I imagine you will get more out of it than I did. I will give it another shot after a long break - I mean, it is a Murakami after all.

| Yann Martell | Life of Pi |

This is quite simply the most fabulous book I have read in great deal of time. I'm at a loss how to describe exactly where my feelings of enamorment regarding this book lie, but let me give it my best shot. I loved the fact that the plot and narrative never miss a beat, even with the constraints of the setting, combined with the polarity between the main protagonists. I loved the fact that the main character, Pi, is so self assured and worldly knowledgeable, yet without ever appearing arrogant. And I really loved all the juicy psychological detail surrounding the relationship between Pi and Richard Parker - the 200 kg Bengal tiger he shares a lifeboat with for most of the tale. This is a deserved Booker winner, and even though Yann Martel beat Tim Winton's Dirt Music to the prize, I now feel none of the animosity I originally (and quite unfairly) placed upon this Portuguese genius for doing so. More I say!

| Haruki Murakami | Underground |

Murakami's only English-translated non-fiction book is a compelling look into the sarin attack on Tokyo's subway by Aum Shinrikyo. Underground takes a novel approach, by using simple and unhistrionic interviews of victims, medical workers and the cult members themselves. Overall this approach is fascinating, but as the book wears on, I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed by the repetition of tragedy. One of those books that you 'should' read, rather than would like to read.

| Peter Lalor | Blood Stain |

Warning - Graphic descriptions of violence.

Non-Fiction, for a change. This is the gruesome, highly gruesome tale of Australia's most notorious female murderer, Katherine Knight. This abattoir-working grandmother was uneducated, raised in a violent and sexually abusive family, possessed a hair-trigger temper and a mean jealous streak. When her fourth and final lover tried to leave her, after terrible abuse, she reacted in a most horrifying (but ultimately predictable) manner. She waited until John Price was asleep. She started stabbing him. She continued stabbing him as he staggered down the hallway, attempting to get outside to safety. Price was stabbed 37 times (that the pathologists could find anyway), and the place was a bloodbath. She didn't stop there. Knight took out here favourite boning knife and proceeded to flense Price's body. The only skin left was a small patch on his chest, and some on the palms of his hands. The rest came away in one piece, which she hung on a butchers hook in the kitchen doorway. She then removed his head, placed it in a pot, and cooked it, along with vegetables and gravy. Not just a few of the police that attended the scene that day never returned to duty.

The horrific nature of the story compels this book. Unfortunately, Lalor's attempts to delve into Knight's history and psyche are marred by some simply woeful writing. He gets close on occasion, the horror of Katherine's character made plain - but ultimately this book is a case of "if only".

| Haruki Murakami | Dance, Dance, Dance |

Obviously, I am working my way through the Murakami catalogue. This sequel to A Wild Sheep Chase left me a little cold on the first read. But it was a Murakami, and he deserves the benefit. The second read revealed more - but still not what I have come to beg from Murakami. Our protagonist is once again in an emotional and spiritual limbo - A limbo that forces him upon a stellar cast of weirdo (and often oddly empty) characters. There are moments in this book where the prose grabs you by the throat, and shakes you to the core - but sadly, not often. I can't recommend it as one of Murakami's best - but then again, Murakami's worst is still pretty good.

| Haruki Murakami | Norwegian Wood |

This is the book that made Murakami so famous, that he fled to self-imposed exile from Japan. I was hesitant to begin with - I mean, why would this sell millions of copies, while his other (astoundingly good) works simply sell in the hundreds of thousands? True - it genuinely is a departure from his style. None of his tales before of since is anything like it. And it is breathtaking in its simple, tragic and horrifying beauty. Taken at the simplest level, it is just a coming of age story - set in late 1960's Tokyo, but this gentle and enthralling story is so much more. Rarely has a book thrusted me into so many violently opposing emotions - so quickly, and so deeply. I'll admit it. I'm a 31-year-old man that looks dangerous enough to make some people cross to the other side of the street late at night - yet I cried ... I cried hot, stinging tears. This book is scarily, wonderfully powerful. I urge you.

| Tim Winton | Dirt Music |

I have yet to read an ordinary Winton novel. Cloudstreet was a marvel, and I still consider The Riders to be one of the finest pieces of fiction I have ever read. Dirt Music is not very far behind at all. Another story of ordinary people thrust into extraordinary situations that lead them far, far away from their everyday existence. A seafood poacher arrives in a small fishing hamlet on the remote West Australian coast. He finds lust - or is it mid-life crisis-fuelled love - with the wife of the most feared fisherman in the village. Stinks of melodrama? - I could forgive you for thinking so, but you would be wrong. The characters are so finely developed that I began to imagine seeing them in the street as I read. This is character driven fiction at it's finest - and I was a little miffed that it lost the Booker (although - Life of Pi is currently getting under my skin, thus judgment is reserved).

| Haruki Murakami | The Wind-Up Bird chronicle |

I was enjoying Murakami's work immensely up until this stage, but this huge, 600-plus page epic tale of an unassuming, yet compelling young man who has lost his wife, as well as his life to spiraling details knocked me flat. I read this book twice - straight after finishing it the first time. The protagonist's quiet struggle to rebuild his violently shattered life fuels this tale - along with a wide cast of odd characters that seem to be a Murakami trademark. It is part history, part mysticism (This should deter you - but don't let it), and part road-movie style adventure, with a massive dose of human emotion, quite often fuelled by tragedy. This book is heavily dotted with metaphor - which can often make a book leaden. This one however, lets you read it simply as narrative and enjoy it as is - or allows you into much deeper and rewarding places. Thoroughly recommended.

| David Thompson | Thai Food |

No need to elaborate here - go read it there.

| Roald Dahl | Kiss Kiss |

Err - Okay. I didn't' finish this, as too many new books came along. But in my defense, I have read it before - many years ago, and heartily recommend it to all Dhal fans, and lovers of the astonishing and absurd..

| Simon winchester | The Map that Changed the World |

Like maps and cartography? Then you will seriously dig this detailed look into one of the unsung heroes of British science, William Smith. This biography is so far away from dry it isn't funny. It reads like a nineteenth century road book, and is highly recommended to anyone who loves great minds.

| Mick Jackson | The Underground Man |

This was a bit of a disappointment. Billed as a journey into the life and psyche of an eccentric eighteenth century British Duke who designed and built fabulous underground tunnels. Well, there is scant content on the tunnels and as the book is entirely written in journal format, it gets fairly tedious. Save for a decadently gruesome passage in the final pages involving phrenology, a cutthroat razor and a hand drill, there is little to recommend this title.

| Andrew Crumey | Pfitz |

How Crumey managed to fit such huge scope into such a short novel is beyond me. An intricate and detailed tale of mythical cities and the people that create them. Excellent.

| Haruki Murakami | The Elephant Vanishes |

I haven?t read a collection of short stories in a while, and this one is a beauty. Each wonderful little tale has a touch of beauty, mixed with an understated offbeat feeling. Reminds me very much of Peter Carey?s early short stories.

| Don DeLillo | The Body Artist |

OK, this one I am not so sure about. A very brief and disturbing look at one woman?s journey out of loss and grief. It affected me in a very negative way, which may in itself make it a great book, but it is far from an enjoyable read. Be prepared emotionally before picking this up.

| Haruki Murakami | A Wild Sheep Chase |

This book is an odd mystical delight. A story of ordinary people thrust into extraordinary situations. Highly recommended.

| Haruki Murakami | Sputnik Sweetheart |

A delight, one of the most enchanted and heart wrenching books I have read in years

| Umberto Eco | The Name of the Rose |

Wonderful, totally depandant on the amount of effort you put into the book. Read it carefully and with love and you will be repaid in kind. A must read if you have only seen the film.

| Simon Winchester | The Surgeon of Crowthorne |

Great book, worth reading

If you have listened to, or read any of these, /msg sneff, we can natter

This is what
can happen
in just 5 minutes
when you talk to
sweet people
in the catbox

        E2 USER INFO: changes since Mon Jun 11 04:42:05 2001
nodes:   93          xp:      1683 (+34)  cools:     73 (+2)   
level:   3           xp req:  0           nodes req: 57        
max rep: 27 (+2)     min rep: 4 (+2)      total rep: 884 (+46) 
node-fu: 18.10       WNF:     18.35       coolratio: 78.49%

person: 8.6%    place: 5.4%    thing: 78.5%    idea: 7.5%    

                  Reputation Changes / Cools:
Rep   +/-   C!   Title
6   | +1  |    | M.F.K. Fisher · (full)
9   | +1  |    | chickpea flour · (full)
4   | +2  |    | candle nut · (full)
9   | +1  |    | orange syrup · (full)
23  | +2  |    | Ten things I hate about restaurant customers · (full)
15  | +1  |    | horseradish · (full)
7   | +1  |    | sweet chilli sauce · (full)
12  | +1  |    | Turmeric · (full)
4   | +2  |    | Hambu Hodo · (full)
9   | +1  |    | Lemongrass broth · (full)
20  | +1  |    | Thai pepper coriander paste · (full)
6   | +2  | C! | Agresto sauce · (full)
5   | +2  |    | Verjuice · (full)
6   | +1  |    | Warm Eggplant Salad · (full)
17  | +3  | C! | Fenugreek · (full)
9   | +1  |    | lemon curd · (full)
5   | +2  |    | panch phora · (full)
27  | +2  |    | Everything Kitchen Conversion Table · (full)
18  | +1  |    | Spaetzle · (full)
4   | +1  |    | Flatbread · (full)
25  | +1  |    | April 17, 2001 · (full)
4   | +2  |    | Davis Station · (full)
4   | +2  |    | Mawson Station · (full)
5   | +2  |    | Saveloy · (full)
18  | +1  |    | burnt butter · (full)
4   | +2  |    | chilli jam · (full)
18  | +1  |    | balsamic vinegar · (full)
5   | +3  |    | Jack Mundey · (full)
18  | +1  |    | palm sugar · (full)
5   | +1  |    | The Everything People Registry : Australia : New South Wales · (full)
9   | +1  |    | malolactic fermentation · (full)

Pseudo_Intellectual okay, the note will have to do. I'll have to pretend that sneff is a doctor though. Think a teacher will blink an eye if I say I have a note from my bogotrician?
October 10th, 2001

bexxta wishes she had a built-in sneff in her kitchen
November 2nd, 2001

ariels unpacking. I mean, you'd think they could pack my sneff in styrofoam peanuts, but NO! They had to go use purple styrofoam water chestnuts in a light liquidised PVC blanched asparagus sauce.
November 2nd, 2001

simonc says you are truly a bride of ch(emistry)rist sneffy.
April 26th, 2002

ouroboros says I hate flowers, or they hate me, or die. I had just always held a vision of you as the mysterious orchid man on Twin Peaks. I'm not sure why, but that's the visual picture I have, even after seeing your nodermeet pics.
May 1st, 2002

AnBolb says sneff puts the man in blancmange
June 20th, 2003

Lometa tooo much candy and caffeine mebbe? oh! sneff is here ! *gives him a conversation heart that sez "I'M HEAD OVER HELIUM IN LOVE WITH YOUR COOKING"
February 14th, 2004 - San Valentino - awww.

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