My boyfriend’s parents just got back from their weekend getaway in the Keys. I spent all of Friday after they left, scrubbing the kitchen sink, counters, toaster, floors, and even cleaned the spare room his uncle has been staying in. I looked after their four awful dogs (and forgive me, I usually love all animals, I’ve had dogs, but these dogs are terrible) chasing after them because every time I let them out they get out of the yard and run down the road.
They were home for about 20 minutes, and the kitchen is already a disaster (coffee all over the counters, dirty forks and knives, half opened mail). They ate the bagels and croissant my boyfriend and I were saving as a special treat (because they were “fancy” bagels and croissants and we rarely get to have nice ones as pathetic as that sounds). When my boyfriend asked them why they ate our stuff they just shrugged and said “Thanks”. When he told them about their badly behaved dogs, they just said “Well they’re dogs, you can’t train dogs!” (which is what they always say). When we told them about my car accident there wasn’t even a response. My boyfriend tried to update them on his progress at work because they always complain about him not doing well enough, and they just interrupted him and started watching a movie.
They’re not bad people, but they don’t care about anyone else. They hardly show any real concern for each other. They’re a bunch of old people who get high far too often, and are inconsiderate slobs. It’s beginning to feel like I’m living with my mother again, but at least she wasn’t stoned, just totally nuts.
I realize I sound like a child complaining about these things, but I just can not take this much longer.I want to get my car fixed this week, and at least start preparing for our move. I want the hell out of here as soon as possible and I want to start living the life I want to live. I realize it won’t be perfect, but I need my own space that I can maintain.
Giorgio Armani F/W 2014 backstage by Paolo Musa
Medieval book made of fish skin
Here’s something special. You are looking at a handsome 15th-century Arabic manuscript - a Kuran - with a most peculiar shape: the pages are round and have a pointy tip on the right-hand side. It looks kind of fishy. Literally, it turns out, because the leaves are made out of fish skin. Before today I never heard of medieval manuscripts made from fish. In fact, when I encountered the Kuran in the Flickr account of the Mama Haldara Library in Timbuktu, where it is kept, I first thought it was a ruse - a whopper. Some digging around revealed, however, that fish skin is a most suitable material for parchment, as well as for the “leather” covers of bookbindings. It made total sense, of course, for book producers in the coastal regions of Western African to turn to fish, which are up for grabs there. Still, very few fish-made books appear to have been identified as such. When you cut the skins into rectangular sheets (and remove the pointy tail bits!) you can’t really tell that the animal was a swimmer rather than a walker. This splashy book is therefore quite the thing.
Pic: Timbuktu, Mama Haldara Library, MS 9167 (Kuran, 15th century). This is the source of the image and here it is confirmed that the pages are made from fish skin. Here are some examples of bookbindings made from fish skin and in this piece you find a scholarly study showing the skin’s suitability for bindings and parchment.