Caged Bedouins, Uruguayan Cannibals, Mr. Max Tundra, Absent Adventurer Anniversary, and a Few Morsels of Hurricane Lit


1. Friends of the ‘klept have embarked on a new culinary adventure. Read all about it at brand new blog Confined Nomad. Their mission:

The goal of this journey is to find cuisines from every United Nations member state, within New York City limits, in alphabetical order. We realize that there are a few flaws to this logic, and will make every attempt to handle these wisely when we reach a questionable issue. For instance, cuisines are not defined by the UN. There are regional specialties, there are countries not internationally recognized, there are border disputes, and new countries are being formed all the time . . . This blog will serve as documentation of the adventure, in which we will do our best to describe not only the food we eat, but also things we learn about its nation of origin, culture, and the immigrant communities here in New York City. We hope this will be much more than a food blog.

The virgin entries on Afghanistan and Albania are tasty fare (sorry!) and we’re looking forward to plenty more delectable treats (yikes! sorry again!).

2. We finally saw Frank Marshall’s 1993 film Alive this weekend. Alive, based on Piers Paul Read’s book of the same name, tells the true story of the Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 crash of October 13, 1972, in which a Uruguayan rugby team’s chartered flight crashes in the Andes. The survivors eventually resort to cannibalizing the dead to survive (let’s see what happens when Confined Nomad gets to ‘U’ on their list). Despite plenty of strange flaws, including egregious over-acting, the film is oddly great. An intense, chest-tightening narrative that offers few moments of relief, Alive is a real-life horror movie masquerading as an adventure tale. Recommended.

3. With distinguished Englishman Max Tundra’s new album Parallax Error Beheads You ready to drop any day now (glowing review forthcoming), we thought we’d bring up the greatness of his last CD, Mastered by Guy at the Exchange. Max’s MBGATE was easily one of our favorite albums of the early aughties. Weird and tuneful and splendid and frenetic, MBGATE is a neglected classic, perhaps due to its unclassifiable sound. Max programs old Amigas, plays dozens of instruments, and sings along with his sister on a strange group of songs about Michel Gondry, delivery jobs, amino acids, the break up of Don Caballero (with Storm & Stress as consolation prize), and, uh, girls. We love it and so should you. His website is awesome, by the way.

4. Today marks the one-year anniversary of gazillionaire adventurer Steve Fossett disappearing along with his single-engine Bellanca Super Decathlon airplane. We don’t think Fossett is dead, and neither, apparently, does Chris Irvine, who speculated in the Telegraph that Fossett faked his own death. We now invite our readers, again, to speculate on the whereabouts of Mr. Fossett. Check out our Steve Fossett Fan Fiction Contest blog for all the details!

5. Down here in The Florida, we continue to have hurricane concerns. And, because this blog likes to masquerade as a a literary affair, we offer a few lines from books on the subject:

In Shakespeare’s King Lear, Act 3 scene 2, we find one of the earliest usages of the word hurricane in the English language:

Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!
You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout
Till you have drenched our steeples, drowned the cocks!
You sulphurous and thought-executing fires,
Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving thunderbolts,
Singe my white head! And thou, all-shaking thunder,
Strike flat the thick rotundity o’ the world!
Crack nature’s molds, all germens spill at once
That make ingrateful man!

Bit of a drama queen, Lear, what with all these apocalyptic fantasies. Speaking of drama queens, how about the opening lines of Walt Whitman’s “With Husky-haughty Lips, O Sea!”:

With husky-haughty lips, O sea!
Where day and night I wend thy surf-beat shore,
Imaging to my sense thy varied strange suggestions,
(I see and plainly list thy talk and conference here,)
Thy troops of white-maned racers racing to the goal,
Thy ample, smiling face, dash’d with the sparkling dimples of the sun,
Thy brooding scowl and murk–thy unloos’d hurricanes,
Thy unsubduedness, caprices, wilfulness

Fanciful stuff. For a less romanticized description, might we suggest the end of Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, where a massive hurricane turns Lake Okeechobee into a “monstropolous beast,” a monster that floods the streets and destroys homes. Stay away, Hannah.

Steve Fossett Fan Fiction Contest

Last week, millionaire adventurer Steve Fossett was declared legally dead after having been missing since fall of last year when his single-engine plane disappeared in Nevada. Neither Fossett’s body or his plane were found, but nevertheless, on November 26, 2007 his wife petitioned to have him declared legally dead.


Fossett set 116 records over his lifetime, including feats in ballooning, aviation, and sailing that still stand. His career as an adventurer is so storied and fascinating that we at Biblioklept refuse to believe that Fossett died; in fact, we propose that he’s still alive, in the midst of some new adventure, perhaps of the time-traveling or extra-dimensional exploration variety, no doubt as secret as it is mind-shattering.


What do you think? Take part in Biblioklept’s Steve Fossett Fan Fiction Contest. Where is Fossett now, and what marvelous adventuring is he up to? Entries should be mailed (no attachments, please!) to, or, alternately (preferably) posted in the comments section below. All entries will be considered the owned intellectual property of the original author. The contest is open until a year from today. The winner of the contest, chosen by the Biblioklept and His Esteemed Council, will receive their choice of a dirty postcard or a stolen book, chosen by the Biblioklept.

Harry Potter Sex Romp

OK. My post’s title is solely for the sake of titillation (I have also been drinking lots of sangria and watching the first HP movie on TV, and the idea of a Harry Potter sex romp is making me giggle. Twenty points from Gryffindor). Still. Just so you’re not too disappointed, check out Shags the Dustmop’s collection of erotic Harry Potter fan fiction. A half-hearted endorsement, at best. Weird and creepy.

Now, for something truly great…

Fans of if…. will no doubt be familiar with “Sanctus,” the beautiful piece of music that haunts the film. If this recording is not the same as the one in the film, it’s very close. Either way, a sublime rendition–

Sanctus” (from the Missa Luba)

All the sangria and erotica and Congolese choral interpretations of Catholic masses have for some reason brought to mind the paintings of Wilfredo Lam (longtime pal of one of our favorite writers, Lydia Cabrera).


A decent enough collections of his vibrant paintings can be found here (and you can always google for more, you lazy bastard).

Finally, it is always something special when a new blog is born. Check out Falcon Hawksome. Despite the author claiming that he “can’t stand” Van Morrison’s (or Them’s, if you want to be overly technical, geek) “Gloria,” please take my word that he is something of an arbiter of taste.

OK. Back to my sangria.