scrumptious monkey

so much more than an amp -- and yet, not.


insane awake at 5am...

Suffice to say the stress is choking the crap out of me, and i am coping by drinking massive amounts of tea and eating too much toast.
well at least it's whole wheat toast.

Are all marriages maintained on the premise of being content with your discontentment?.. Is there such a thing as a happy marriage? My domestic arrangement can best be described by the relationship of the sisters in "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?" If the screen play had been written by Tennessee Williams.

Dear Rob,

You never read this blog and I can't blame you. You have earned the right to surreptitiously ignore me. I guess. You don't want my help, you hate when I attempt to give you advice, and our physical relationship amounts to a kiss on the cheek before you run out the door in the morning -- preferably dispensed while I am barely awake.

When you wake up you will be hang dogged and penitent... and it will last 3 days. If we're lucky.
I'm sorry things haven't worked out. I loved you and it was either too much for you to handle -- or it wasn't enough of what you needed it to be.
I want you to know falling out of love with you didn't break my heart. I don't know what it will take to break my heart. Over the years I've adjusted a little more each day to being held at a distance from your emotional involvement ... now, we're strangers by your choice.

and my heart feels dull and heavy in my chest, as if the mass weighed so much more than the size would indicate. Call it the alchemy of disenchantment: congratulations; we've turned gold into lead.

We reflect one another: We are one another. Leaving you will draw and quarter me.
Staying with you is a slow poisoning....

Better the sickness we know.

mmmmm. more tea...
and i'm still hungry...


Mark Fetishizes Cookware...oh baby ....

*deepest sigh* I love Mark Morford. He is possibly the most verbal, most in synch with my thinking, funniest, outrageous, hippest columnist on the planet.
Gods help me if he's blond, blue eyed, and plays guitar.

The title is linked to his latest column and ohhhh can I sympathize. It would be too cruel to send him a link to Professional Cutlery Direct and their catalog, nay -- bible -- of desirable kitchenwares, wouldn't it?

Not only do I get the Cooking Enthusiast catalog -- I live 40 minutes from the showroom / retail outlet. Yep, I have been there: it's like Mecca, but the men and women mingle and there's less wear on the knees.

My sister Dee collects Calphalon cookware -- the first time I saw Calphalon was in use by my sister some 20 odd years ago. Dee is the consummate Martha Stewart template: Frau Marthe can only hope to stand in the shadow of the Domestic Goddess Dee. I refused to be given the pieces on the grounds that I am mostly unworthy of such a serious pot as they (if someone must give me a gift, I prefer a book) I have a hodgepodge of cookware I am used to messing with ... and some really nice knives. I'd like a 7-inch santoku knife but I get by with a serrated bread knife, a few parers, and a 6 inch cook's knife for most kitchen jobs.
I cook by the K.I.S.S. paradigm.
Never heard of it? K.I.S.S. is an acronym for Keep It Simple, Stupid.

lol. We wont talk about the 375 cake decorating tips I keep in a fishing tackle box.
and yes -- I have used all of them. Wouldn't expect a professional mechanic to work on your engine with just a pipe wrench and screw driver, would ya?

so yaaaah. I like to look at the sexy pots and pans. Contemplate the meals that could be prepared in them. Culinary miracles, all.
Then I order out.

Morford mentions holding a fine pen in your hand.
I better not send him a link to this catalog either.


Been through hell?... and what did you bring back for me?..

Ah, the guys are due back from the Far East any time now, if they aren't already dealing with LA traffic and getting their "American Legs" under them.
The imagination just boggles, don't it?

I'm sitting here chilled to the marrow on a cold rainy October New England day (more hot tea, NOW)wondering if we'll ever get to hear the exploits of Eric and the Guyz on their whirl through Asia.
Call it two weeks give or take the jet lag.
Heck, I'm even wondering who made the trip, besides the obvious stage personnel... and Jeff?
and what DID they do between gigs?...
oh. well.

I'm glad they're home.
It's the wrong dang coast... suppose it could be worse.
They could have had to come in via Florida.
Narf. just.... Narf.


Ohh...ooooo. ..ahhh. Yum.

What else? *snert*

A Park Street photograph,
circa 1976..?

22 years old (I'm guessing -- good grief!) and if that's his waist measurement I'm erring in the generous range.
I'm truly torn...
the guitar is ALMOST as pretty as the guitar player.

All Hallow's Eve ~ a Pagan perspective

this about covers it... appropriated from LadySaphireSpirit's and LadyRavenFae's Samhain thread at Spirits Of Fire. (click post title for link)

ALL HALLOW'S EVE by Mike Nichols

Halloween. Sly does it. Tiptoe catspaw. Slideand creep. But why? What for? How? Who? When! Where did it all begin? You don't know, do you?' asks Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud climbing out under the pile of leaves under the Halloween Tree. You don't REALLY know!

-Ray Bradbury from 'The Halloween Tree'

Samhain. All Hallows. All Hallow's Eve. Hallow E'en. Halloween. The most magical night of the year. Exactly opposite Beltane on the wheel of the year, Halloween is Beltane's dark twin. A night of glowing jack-o--lanterns, bobbing for apples, tricks or treats, and dressing in costume. A night of ghost stories and seances, tarot card eadings and scrying with mirrors. A night of power, when the veil that separates our world from the Otherworld is at its thinnest. A 'spirit night', as they say in Wales. All Hallow's Eve is the ev eof All Hallow's Day (November 1st). And for once, even popular tradition remembers that the Eve is more important than the Day itself, the traditional celebration focusing on October 31st, beginning at sundown. And this seems only fitting for the great Celtic New Year's festival. Not that the holiday was Celtic only. In fact, it is startling how many ancient and unconnected cultures (the Egyptians and pre-Spanish Mexicans, for example) celebrated this as a festival of the dead. But the majority of our modern traditions can be traced to the British Isles.

The Celts called it Samhain, which means 'summer's end', according to their ancient two-fold division of the year, when summer ran from Beltane to Samhain and winter ran from Samhain to Beltane. (Some modern Covens echo this structure by letting the High Priest 'rule' the Coven beginning on Samhain, with rulership returned to the High Priestess at Beltane.) According to the later four-fold division of the year, Samhain is seen as 'autumn's end' and the beginning of winter. Samhain is pronounced (depending on where you're from) as 'sow-in' (in Ireland), or 'sow-een' (in Wales), or 'sav-en' (in Scotland), or (inevitably) 'sam-hane' (in the U.S., where we don't speak Gaelic).

Not only is Samhain the end of autumn; it is also, more importantly, the end of the old year and the beginning of the new. Celtic New Year's Eve, when the new year begins with the onset of the dark phase of the year, just as the new day begins at sundown. There are many representations of Celtic gods with two faces, and it surely must have been one of them who held sway over Samhain. Like his Greek counterpart Janus, he would straddle the threshold, one face turned toward the past in commemoration of those who died during the last year, and one face gazing hopefully toward the future, mystic eyes attempting to pierce the veil and divine what the coming year holds. These two themes, celebrating the dead and divining the future, are inexorably intertwined in Samhain, as they are likely to be in any New Year's celebration.

As a feast of the dead, it was believed the dead could, if they wished, return to the land of the living for this one night, to celebrate with their family, tribe, or clan. And so the great burial mounds of Ireland (sidhe mounds) were opened up, with lighted torches lining the walls, so the dead could find their way. Extra places were set at the table and food set out for any who had died that year. And there are many stories that tell of Irish heroes making raids on the Underworld while the gates of faery stood open, though all must return to their appointed places by cock-crow.

As a feast of divination, this was the night parexcellence for peering into the future. The reason for this has to do with the Celtic view of time. In a culture that uses a linear concept of time, like our modern one, New Year's Eve is simply a milestone on a very long road that stretches in a straight line from birth to death. Thus, the New Year's festival is a part of time. The ancient Celtic view of time, however, is cyclical. And in this framework, New Year's Eve represents a point outside of time, when the natural order of the universe dissolves back into primordial chaos, preparatory to re-establishing itself in a new order.

Thus, Samhain is a night that exists outside of time and hence it may be used to view any other point in time. At no other holiday is a tarot card reading, crystal reading, or tea-leaf reading so likely to succeed.

The Christian religion, with its emphasis on the 'historical' Christ and his act of redemption 2000 years ago, is forced into a linear view of time, where 'seeing the future' is an illogical proposition. In fact, from the Christian perspective, any attempt to do so is seen as inherently evil. This did not keep the medieval Church from co-opting Samhain's other motif, commemoration of the dead. To the Church, however, it could never be a feast for all the dead, but only the blessed dead, all those hallowed (made holy) by obedience to God - thus, All Hallow's, or Hallowmas, later All Saints and All Souls.

There are so many types of divination that are traditional to Hallows tide, it is possible to mention only a few. Girls were told to place hazel nuts along the front of the firegrate, each one to symbolize one of her suitors. She could then divine her future husband by chanting, 'If you love me, pop and fly; if you hate me, burn and die.' Several methods used the apple, that most popular of Halloween fruits. You should slice an apple through the equator (to reveal the five-pointed star within) and then eat it by candlelight before a mirror. Your future spouse will then appear over your shoulder. Or, peel an apple, making sure the peeling comes off in one long strand, reciting, 'I pare this apple round and round again; My sweetheart's name to flourish on the plain: / I fling the unbroken paring o'er my head, / My sweetheart's letter on the ground to read.' Or, you might set a snail to crawl through the ashes of your hearth. The considerate little creature will then spell out the initial letter as it moves.

Perhaps the most famous icon of the holiday is the jack-o-lantern. Various authorities attribute it to either Scottish or Irish origin. However, it seems clear that it was used as a lantern by people who traveled the road this night, the scary face to frighten away spirits or faeries who might otherwise lead one astray. Set on porches and in windows, they cast the same spell of protection over the household. (The American pumpkin seems to have forever superseded the European gourd as the jack-o-lantern of choice.) Bobbing for apples may well represent the remnants of a Pagan 'baptism' rite called a 'seining', according to some writers. The water-filled tub is a latter-day Cauldron of Regeneration, into which the novice's head is immersed. The fact that the participant in this folk game was usually blindfolded with hands tied behind the back also puts one in mind of a traditional Craft initiation ceremony.

The custom of dressing in costume and 'trick-or-treating' is of Celtic origin with survivals particularly strong in Scotland. However, there are some important differences from the modern version. In the first place, the custom was not relegated to children, but was actively indulged in by adults as well. Also, the 'treat' which was required was often one of spirits (the liquid variety). This has recently been revived by college students who go 'trick-or-drinking'. And in ancient times, the roving bands would sing seasonal carols from house to house, making the tradition very similar to Yuletide wassailing. In fact, the custom known as 'caroling', now connected exclusively with mid-winter, was once practiced at all the major holidays. Finally, in Scotland at least, the tradition of dressing in costume consisted almost exclusively of cross-dressing (i.e., men dressing as women, and women as men). It seems as though ancient societies provided an opportunity for people to 'try on' the role of the opposite gender for one night of the year. (Although in Scotland, this is admittedly less dramatic - but more confusing - since men were in the habit of wearing skirt-like kilts anyway. Oh well...)

To Witches, Halloween is one of the four High Holidays, or Greater Sabbats, or cross-quarter days. Because it is the most important holiday of the year, it is sometimes called 'THE Great Sabbat.' It is an ironic fact that the newer, self-created Covens tend to use the older name of the holiday, Samhain, which they have discovered through modern research. While the older hereditary and traditional Covens often use the newer name, Halloween, which has been handed down through oral tradition within their Coven. (This is often holds true for the names of the other holidays, as well. One may often get an indication of a Coven's antiquity by noting what names it uses for the holidays.)

With such an important holiday, Witches often hold two distinct celebrations. First, a large Halloween party for non-Craft friends, often held on the previous weekend. And second, a Coven ritual held on Halloween night itself, late enough so as not to be interrupted by trick-or-treaters. If the rituals are performed properly, there is often the feeling of invisible friends taking part in the rites. Another date which may be utilized in planning celebrations is the actual cross-quarter day, or Old Halloween, or Halloween O.S. (Old Style). This occurs when the sun has reached 15 degrees Scorpio, an astrological 'power point' symbolized by the Eagle. This year (2005), the date is November 8th, with the celebration beginning at sunset. Interestingly, this date (Old Halloween) was also appropriated by the Church as the holiday of Martinmas.

Of all the Witchcraft holidays, Halloween is the only one that still boasts anything near to popular celebration. Even though it is typically relegated to children (and the young-at-heart) and observed as an evening affair only, many of its traditions are firmly rooted in Paganism. Interestingly, some schools have recently attempted to abolish Halloween parties on the grounds that it violates the separation of state and religion. Speaking as a Pagan, I would be saddened by the success of this move, but as a supporter of the concept of religion-free public education, I fear I must concede the point. Nonetheless, it seems only right that there SHOULD be one night of the year when our minds are turned toward thoughts of the supernatural. A night when both Pagans and non-Pagans may ponder the mysteries of the Otherworld and its inhabitants. And if you are one of them, may all your jack-o'lanterns burn bright on this All Hallow's Eve.


pie crust: the good, the bad, and the ugly...

putting the scrumptious in the monkey...

Ever wonder what I used to do for a living?
I was a pastry chef and cake decorator. I learned to do it "on-the-job" as opposed to going to a culinary school -- and I was genuinely good at it...
well, before being diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic! can you say... irony?

Questions come up from time to time about food and baking; I recently got into a food discussion and gave some advice on working with frozen puff pastry.

this came back:
"ty for the tips on handling puff pastry. Despite all available conventional wisdom, I 've never been able to produce a really good pie crust -- any tips? "

thought you might enjoy my reply...

The elusive pie crust. Four ingredients: Flour, Fat, Water, and Salt.
simple ingredients...

Almost no one I know feels their pie crust is "all it should be" and general thought seems to be it's a lost, if not arcane art form; like lace tatting or buttonhole making.

common mistakes:

· overworking the dough.
· beating the fat / heating the fat / not chilling the dough.
· skipping the blind baking step (major culprit in soggy-doughy bottoms)
· trying to be strictly healthy. (face it -- some things really do cancel each other out.)

an *adequate* crust can be cobbled together from wallpaper paste and canola oil. Tastes like it, too.

Good pie crust needs "Granny Ingredients". The most flavorful, flakiest, lightest pie crusts I have ever eaten were produced with Bleached Flour and Lard: hands down, that's the standard; everything from that is a step down. A "very good indeed" pie crust can be turned out with unbleached flour and vegetable shortening. After that, it might as well be called something else.

Keep in mind this is one of those foods that started out as a cheap way to use up leftovers and other things about to spoil into inedible glop.... the actual crust holding it all together was a by-the-way consideration.

Blame the Austrian-French for raising it to a culinary "Dark Art". (oooh, Black Magic Kitchen Wizardry!) -- actually, pie crusts have de-evolved into a Dark Art, when in reality they should be light and nifty, thrifty thangs.

A good pie crust is a breeze, tossed together almost offensively casually.

Now having said all that... Let's talk gear!
A pastry cutter will make your life easier. You can use two table knives to cut your shortening into the flour; a pastry cutter is the efficient way to do it. Time is an element. The cutter generally has four wire / blades and is worked one handed; once a basic rhythm evolves you will incorporate the Fat and flour quickly, with a minimum of "handling".

Handling is evil.

You can bake a pie in a foil pan -- you can even do it free form on a baking sheet (wouldn't recommend free form for a custard pie, but fruit or meat pies --? Golden.) I'm just going to tell you that it is good to know what will deliver the Ultimate, and you can adjust accordingly from there.

The best pie crusts are baked in a greased cast iron fry pan. A heavy terracotta dish is the next best: there are some schweeet ceramic dishes that do the trick, too. Then comes Pyrex.
If you have a reusable Granny-tin pie plate, or industrial steel dish those aren't bad.
Then -- disposable tin / foil plates. [groan]
They are thin and will not distribute heat evenly.
They do not hold the heat.
They are a convenience. They are the industry standard.
They are, essentially, evil.

NOTE: If you are baking off a store bought frozen pie, it is vital to use either an "air cushioned" baking sheet, or my favorite trick to add insulation and "bottom" to a foil pie plate is to bake it off on two cookie sheets separated by 4 steel washers. (not positioned directly under the pie, lol.)

the last gear item are "pie weights". These are used in blind baking to keep the empty pie shell from developing air pockets between plate and crust. I use them -- if you have sufficiently abused the pie crust with a fork to allow the steam to escape, pie weights are like a belt with suspenders: better safe than sorry. My pie weights are a cup of dry beans. They live in a container in the pantry with a label, "DO NOT EAT". I'm sure they are probably edible, but they've been baked so many times they must have an "interesting" quality to them by now.

whatever recipe you are following, these are the guidelines:

Those desirable flakes of crust are created when the fat solids get zapped by the heat -- all but evaporating, really. For this to be most effective, the fats must be chilled to solid form. This is one of the reasons why most frozen pies are "pretty-good" if not better than homemade. They go from the freezer into a preheated oven.

so. when you are doing it from scratch, think chill.
chill your shortening.
Use ice water. You're adding the water by measured tablespoon fulls -- prepare a cup of water with ice in it, and measure your liquid from that.

Once your pie crust is together --
oh, do I HAVE to say this? Mix your pie crust manually. A food processor is a convenience, and it's a useful tool for chopping and pulverizing. Pie crust need a far lighter touch -- using a processor is like swatting a fly with a howitzer.
You can not feel the quality of moisture, you are not observing first hand (by hand) the different stages of "processing" in a food processor. The common problem with processing a crust is that the crust is overworked even before you start to work with it.
I have seen cooking shows where the "chef" tosses all the ingredients into the machine -- and Va-voom! pie crust. a cruelly misleading fantasy.

ok. Once your pie crust is together... wrap it up and let it rest in the 'fridge for a half hour before you roll it out.
Once you are rolling -- keep in mind you do NOT want to overwork this with a rolling pin into a sticky (sticky means your fats are liquefying, right?) mess. Time yourself. I'm not kidding. set a timer for 5 minutes -- and have at it mercilessly. if your crust isn't rolled out to the proper dimensions when the timer goes off, fold it in wax paper and put it back in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. This is just to train you to not fuss the crust into semi-edible cardboard. I have seen people work their pie dough for 45 minutes at a go, tearing and patching and adding more flour, and the whole thing just goes to hell. This is why people think pie crusts are "a lot of work". They turn it into a very hard job.
Making rice crispy treats is more work, compared to a good pie crust.

depending on your container, grease the plate or not. if you do grease the plate -- keep the plate as chilled as possible so the grease doesn't liquefy on it -- which will toughen the crust.

Whether I am doing a custard pie or a fruit or meat pie -- I blind bake the bottom. I like both crusts to come out crust like. So do the people who like my baking. Go figure, huh? This is a timed process -- don't trust the visual -- it's called blind baking because you are not trying to get a golden even brown tone so much as you are setting a barrier that will resist absorbing and sponging up the liquids of the filling. Also blind -- because you don't see the bottom crust (unless you are using Pyrex, D'Oh!).

Whatever your filling -- it's better cold. (yes -- that's the theme.) Again -- work quickly. Fill, cover, seal / crimp -- if it takes more than five minutes to pull your pie together and get it to the oven door -- the pie stops off for a cooling period in the fridge. 15 minutes, at the very least.

There are other factors to getting a good end product out of your oven -- but...
all you asked about was pie crust, right? =)


disclaimer: why blog?

as much as I enjoy having people read and comment on my blog, I find the blog itself is most useful for me: just to have as a document of what I was thinking / feeling / working through. I have limited contact with people (away from the keyboard) so the occasional comment is like an oasis respite from my own contemplations. lol.

Yeah -- I'm not entirely immune to influence: I do consider the comments left by people who take the time to read and think over my posts.

I understand “Sherlock” was upset and taking everything out of proportion when he strew that mess through the thread of comments. Sometimes I think he reads things that "bullet" through the page and ignores the bits surrounding and holding those words up. Maybe that's a fault of my style; he seems to especially do that with my work. Guess that's something to work on, too...

I am always working on trying to be as true to the thoughts and feelings of the moment as I can be. I want to portray the whole...of what I am grasping at the time? yes, it's slanted. it's a nearly ridiculous standard to reach for, but I think the reaching is more important than the actual goal -- which is after all something fleeting and transcendent held in its own sound envelope.

I know I write because it's MY art, my process for understanding. Everyone has some means for accessing their Creative Well. I don't expect a huge return from outside... but like I said at the beginning; I do it for me, first. Selfish egocentric smarty-pants know it all that I am, I guess.

I like the blog format. I like that things are never beyond an edit, or fixed in place; but even so they are "presentable" as is.
I like finding other blogs written by people who are so good at expressing themselves I just want to blog MORE: which I think is like being a musician inspired by another player "with great chops".

Here on the Internet words have weight and presence. They are our face to each other. Someone who can write has a distinct advantage to someone who isn't well practiced in the art form.

I have been writing a very long time. probably 36 years, give or take: and my written history has been (with few exceptions) for my own edification. I tend to work in metaphor; poetry is the air I breathe out; which isn't always fabo, to put it mildly.

But it IS something I love. In all it's permutations: when words are hemorrhaging out of me, when I have to reach in and dig around with slippery hands through the engram entrails: it is exciting, and fun. yes. F-U-N.
I get that it isn't everyone's cup-of-tea.
I know that there is a hard line taken with "if you can't make money out of it, why bother?" competitive thinking.

Some things... are important to do just because you can do it: the practice of it opens the door to understanding.
Some things define your life, without being your livelihood.

words and music. words are music.
Know your Art: love it and learn to let IT love you in return... I guess that's all anyone can hope for.
hmmmm, there's a depressing note to close on.
where's something uplifting when you need it?
"Work and play are words used to describe the same thing under differing conditions." ~ Mark Twain


Better than Bought: Laundry Detergent...

speaking of soap...
ok, I am not a fanatic about organic products -- I would like to be, but right now I am between a rock and a hard place when it comes to the household budget. I buy local produce when I can, I look for products that are not "Frankensteined" by genetic engineering.
... but I still eat hotdogs(with Guldens mustard, India Relish... and Heinz ketchup. yes -- ketchup on a hotdog -- I am the anti-christ.) I'll stick it in a whole wheat bun -- maybe that shaves points off my barbarianism..? probably not.

I started making batches of laundry detergent when my clean clothes gave me a horrible contact dermatitis from the perfumes and chemicals in the mass-manufactured stuff. Once I looked into the Make it Yourself Alternatives world of cleaning compounds, I never went back to the outrageously over priced and environmentally unsafe C-R-A-P the mega-conglomerates shove into the market.

do you know how unbelievably cheap laundry detergent is to make?

this recipe makes two gallons of detergent:

1/2 cup borax
1/2 cup washing soda
1/3 bar of soap, shredded*
hot water.

dissolve the borax and washing soda in 6 cups of hot water (use a non-reactive 2 quart saucepan -- get it hot enough to simmer, doesn't need to come to a rolling boil) add the shredded soap and stir until dissolved and the mixture thickens to coat the back of a spoon.

pour into a bucket, adding enough hot water to bring the solution to a two-gallon mark. mix well. at this time you can add essential oils of your choice, or leave it unscented. (hey -- you gotta pay extra for the dye free, scent free stuff in supermarkets!)

allow the detergent to cure for 24 hours.
mix thoroughly.
1/2 cup of this detergent per wash load.
(that's...84 loads of laundry, I think.
for what works out to a few pennies a load. if that.)

Because this doesn't have stabilizers in it, you'll need to store it either in a detergent bottle you can shake before measuring, or -- I have it stored in a clear plastic office file [2-1/2 gallon capacity] bought at a "Big Lots!" store with a lid that snaps shut from the sides) so I can give it a stir with a 4oz ladle before I use it.

If I have particularly icky laundry (which does happen perhaps once a month) I pretreat with... hydrogen peroxide. and that's it.

shockingly, even without mountains of chemically hysterical suds -- my laundry comes out just fine.
*the 1/3 bar of soap can be any bar of soap you use and enjoy. I've made it with Ivory, Fels Naptha (a laundry bar)even Dial once, and scraps of vegetable glycerin soaps and it's all been good.


yes they have teeth, but they ARE cute and fluffy...

hey-ho, resident Curmudgeon here.
But even I need to take a break from curmudgeonry now and again.

view --- PUPPIES ~ or ~ KITTENS



Gliss at last!!

Ok so I can be slow. I admit my mind can be diffused by daily minutae.

My favorite bar of soap manufactured (not even gonna get into the handmade boutique 6-bucks-for-3.5oz designer soaps, puleeeeze!)is called, Gliss. The supermarkets in Connecticut -- hell, all over the country, from what I gather -- stopped carrying it and I had to put it out of my mind like a sweetheart who moved to the other side of the world and married a Dolphin. What can you do?...

I love soap. It's almost unnatural, how much pleasure I can get from a GOOD bar of soap. Comes from having not-quite-perfect skin. Some people are blessed with complexions they can take a bar of Fels Naptha to and they'll look like glamour goddesses.
Ivory soap makes me dry and flaky.
Dove leaves me prone to blemishes. Ugh.

When I couldn't get Gliss I settled for other glycerin soaps, but nothing was as impressive as Gliss... last week I talked about it on the forum and realized: I hadn't tried to look it up on the web.
Well -- it's only recently that I have become a bona fide search engine sensei.
duh duh---DUH!!!!

The Company is now a *private stock* producer of ... oh sweet ironies ... Boutique label soaps and beauty products. Simply Superior Products, who produce the Gliss brand of glycerin soaps, is part of a larger company ACL -- that'd be, The American Cosmetics Company.

It lives! IT LIVES!! Was that a Dolphin cackle in the distance?..Naaah.
Now all I have to figure out is how to become a retailer...
or charm a local retailer into buying the product lines...

dang...they even sell bulk soap to make your own...
*deepest sigh*


Another Name Game..

This is yet another one of those amusing wastes of time... I kind of like some of the results, lol.

1.YOUR DRAG NAME: (Name of first pet / Street you live on):
Duchess Winter

2. YOUR MOVIE STAR NAME: (Name of your favorite snack food / Grandfather's first name):
Doritos Louis

3. YOUR FASHION DESIGNER NAME: (First word you see on your left / Favorite restaurant):
Blue Sidetracks

4. EXOTIC FOREIGNER ALIAS: (Favorite Spice / Last Foreign Vacation Spot):
Curry New Jersey (well that's as foreign as I've ever been!)

5. SOCIALITE ALIAS: (Silliest Childhood Nickname / Town Where You First Partied):
Beavey Fairfield

6. ICON ALIAS: (Something Sweet Within Sight / Any Liquid in Your Kitchen):
Splenda Worchestershire

7. DETECTIVE ALIAS: (Favorite Baby Animal / Where You Went to High School):
Puggle* Trumbull
[* a Puggle is a baby Platypus. No really! Look it up! LOL.]

8. BARFLY ALIAS: (Last Snack Food You Ate / Your Favorite Alcoholic Drink):
Pretzel RedWine

9. PORN STAR ALIAS: (Middle Name / Street Where You First Lived):
Marie Seeley

10. ROCK STAR ALIAS: (Favorite Candy / Last Name Of Favorite Musician):
Chunky™ Johnson

11. SOAP OPERA ALIAS: (Name of a Saint / First word to Your Right):
Ursula Cambridge

Gotta love those Blogthings™

a fun time sinkhole, the blogthings quizzes... I it just a tad...

The Keys to Your Heart

You are attracted to those who have a split personality - cold as ice on the outside but hot as fire in the heart.   You should probably see a specialist about this.

In love, you feel the most alive when your partner is patient and never willing to give up on you. However, everyone does have their limits, now take that spiked heel out of his eye.

You'd like to your lover to think you are stylish and alluring. Especially when you're naked.

You would be forced to break up with someone who was insecure and in constant need of reassurance.   There can be only one Drama Queen per household, after all.

Your ideal relationship is open. Both of you can talk about everything... no secrets.  What's the point?  You do read minds, don't you?

Your risk of cheating is zero. You care about society and morality. You would never break a commitment.  Unless the bastard broke faith first.

You think of marriage as something that will confine you. You are afraid of marriage.  You are also afraid a house may fall on you someday.  Same difference.

In this moment, you think of love as something you don't need. You just feel like flirting around and playing right now.  Kinda devalues the risk of cheating, don't it?


I went looking for bio info and written works of Barbara G. Walker on the net, and found a terrific website called
That link will take you to the grid that has a side by side comparison of the Matriarchal Point of View and the Patriarchal Point of View. This is fairly based on the (often misinterpreted) work or G.R. Taylor, in his book Sex in History

It is frustrating to read the HIS-terical skewing of data, such as the different “slant” found HERE.

The Matriarchal concept is so radically different from the modern world we live in; that particular author doesn't seem to understand how the rise in violence in "civilized" societies is a backlash of patriarchal restriction, NOT a movement toward consensual matriarchal permissiveness.


Matriarchy is not the mirror of Patriarchy.
unfortunately, if the only tool you own is a screwdriver, then you see every problem...


A Case of You

Just before our love got lost you said
I am as constant as a northern star
And I said, constant in the darkness
Where’s that at?
If you want me I’ll be in the bar

On the back of a cartoon coaster
In the blue tv screen light
I drew a map of canada
Oh canada
And your face sketched on it twice

Oh you are in my blood like holy wine
Oh and you taste so bitter but you taste so sweet
Oh I could drink a case of you
I could drink a case of you darling
And I would still be on my feet
Oh I’d still be on my feet

Oh I am a lonely painter
I live in a box of paints
I’m frightened by the devil
And I’m drawn to those ones that ain’t afraid
I remember that time that you told me, you said
Love is touching souls
Surely you touched mine
Cause part of you pours out of me
In these lines from time to time

Oh you are in my blood like holy wine
And you taste so bitter but you taste so sweet
Oh I could drink a case of you
I could drink a case of you darling
Still I’d be on my feet
And still be on my feet

I met a woman
She had a mouth like yours
She knew your life
She knew your devils and your deeds
And she said
Color go to him, stay with him if you can
Oh but be prepared to bleed
Oh but you are in my blood you’re my holy wine
Oh and you taste so bitter, bitter and so sweet
Oh I could drink a case of you darling
Still I’d be on my feet
I’d still be on my feet


~ Joni Mitchell

I had a PM exchange with a forum member that was U-G-L-Y.
talk about rivers, oceans of shit.

In short, this other person decided he needed to tell me (to help me!) that he gets "a lot" of PMs asking him what my problem is with him -- and that the consensus of these people seems to be that I am "some poison-spitting, know-it-all, sarcastic menace."
and that was the milder form of language.
he included 6 different examples of the "mild" take...

· "Geesh -- I don't know what you did in the past to tick her off so much but she seems to take you on at every opportunity.
I'll say it because you never will -- I don't think she is very nice sometimes."
· "Man - WHAT is her problem with you?"
· "She is one nasty vindictive bitch when it comes to you!!"
· "Did you wrong her in a previous life or something?"
· "She can be sarcastic and elitist with everybody except Darrin, who she sucks up to, but she really seems to hate you..."
· "I don't know what sort of lover's quarrel you two might have going on, but..."

what bothers me is the fact that he's nicely manouvered me into distrusting everyone I might have thought I was friends with on the forum. I thought there were some people... who got my sense of humor.
I think the comment about Darrin hurts the worst.
I thought I was just as elitist and sarcastic with D. as I am towards everyone else.

it is painful to be misunderstood: and forget about the 600+ forum members who just read and never post publically -- but who seem to have no problem sending PMs to other members.
I figure I am hated basically for being someone who posts so much, never mind the jokes people don't seem to get.
Makes me wonder what sort of complaints Park and Darrin get about me.
makes me wonder if eric winces when he glances at posts and reads my name.

What people don't seem to get is that "Mr. Helpful-Guy" and I are quite similiar in most ways but critically opposites at the core -- I love responding to his stuff because he forces me to engage on a higher level. His severely logical dissertations have always evoked emotional and metaphorical responses from me that leave him in tatters.
Logic dissects -- but poetry kills.

and so you see why my subconscious dredged up a half remembered song... I am feeling introspective; self conscious and angry -- at myself, at him, at people who talk in the shadows.

Well -- I wont freak out at nameless faceless opinions.
Worrying about my friends... or who I thought were my friends... that's another thing, isn't it?


Name Change: Jeen·Lilly

Love this graphic. The artist is Ian Marke*. The subject is Pandora.

I've been Jeen Lilly for a while, but over on MSN the name was VG. I figured it would be a hassel to change over: heavens know MSN simplifies most things by adding 41 steps to a process. For a while name changes were only seen in chat, not in groups...*sigh*.

However -- seems the gods of MSN and the rest of the universal Powers That Be decided to step back from de régle "fun & stress" intercession and push the paper work through: no gliches, no complicated dance steps.

so it feels pretty good to be down to *just* a split personality from 3-4 multiples.

Consistently my given name has mostly shown up connected to the ej-list and forum.
(It was the first place I fell into on the web -- and I didn't know any better: screen name? What's that?..)
I do think I would rather be Jeen Lilly than myself ...LoL!
I suppose the thing is to work the transformation so that *the·name* is not important. Names are temporary place holders in the pattern, after all...
*Ian Marke -- love his stuff. And he gets his Mythology right, too. Check out his Digital Galleries, or his Spirits In Trees. it's all magical...


Total Recoil


I am a connoisseur of headaches. I have had headaches for as long as I can remember anything. You know the best cure for a headache? sex. traditional intercourse.
I haven't had that cure in...
ow. owwww, ow ow. Thinking about it is giving me a bigger headache.

I've had a cold with a headache for over two weeks now. Nothing is making this sucker go away: just what a hypochondriac chronically ill girl needs. I've hit ibuprofen, Excedrin, Tylenol Cold, Alka-Seltzer plus for colds; in my desperation for some kinda relief I even slugged down straight bourbon and let the alcohol tango with the im-pounding brain cells. All I got was sleepy -- and it took two days for the hangover to clear the breakers of my eyeballs.

as I said -- a lingering headache for a hypochondriac is not good.
Must be a tumor, right?

Fortunately I just had a complete physical on the 13th -- and except for the usual diabetes I'm as healthy as can be expected. [cough, hack]

Can't say anyone in the waiting room shared their germs with me -- I usually get the last appointment of the day and there weren't any other patients to be seen.

of course -- I could have sat in the chair of a cold victim: you'd think they'd mark that section off.

Since I am miserable and having "a bit of a day" this makes me think of Oscar Levant.
Oscar made neurotica and hypochondria chic in the 1950s.
he could also play piano *pretty good*. bawahahahaha

Oscar... you know -- you name a kid Oscar, he's going to be a little... screwy.
Oscar Wilde, Oscar Levant, Oscar Madison, Oscar Meyer...

Now where's my copy of "The Memoirs of an Amnesiac" gotten to..?

bet you know some of these...

An epigram is only a wisecrack that's played at Carnegie Hall.
Oscar Levant

Every time I look at you I get a fierce desire to be lonesome.
Oscar Levant

Happiness isn't something you experience; it's something you remember.
Oscar Levant

I am no more humble than my talents require.
Oscar Levant

I don't drink. I don't like it. It makes me feel good.
Oscar Levant

I envy people who drink - at least they know what to blame everything on.
Oscar Levant

I have no trouble with my enemies. But my god damn friends... they are the ones that keep me walking the floors at night.
Oscar Levant

I knew Doris Day before she was a virgin.
Oscar Levant

I'm a study of a man in chaos in search of frenzy.
Oscar Levant

I've given up reading books. I find it takes my mind off myself.
Oscar Levant

Once I make up my mind, I'm full of indecision.
Oscar Levant

Roses are red, violets are blue, I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.
Oscar Levant

So little time and so little to do.
Oscar Levant

Strip away the phony tinsel of Hollywood and you will find the real tinsel underneath.
Oscar Levant

The only difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is that the Democrats allow the poor to be corrupt, too.
Oscar Levant

There are two sides to every question: my side and the wrong side.
Oscar Levant

There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.
Oscar Levant

Underneath this flabby exterior is an enormous lack of character.
Oscar Levant

What the world needs is more geniuses with humility; there are so few of us left.
Oscar Levant

I'm going to memorize your name and throw my head away.
Oscar Levant

The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue.
Oscar Levant

I'm a controversial figure: my friends either dislike me or hate me.
Oscar Levant

I was once thrown out of a mental hospital for depressing the other patients.
Oscar Levant

Marriage is a triumph of habit over hate.
Oscar Levant

When you give up drinking, you have to deal with that wonderful personality that started you drinking in the first place.
Oscar Levant

A pun is the lowest form of humor -- when you don't think of it first.
Oscar Levant