October 31, 2005
The Great Old Pumpkin
I committed everything I knew to memory, burned all my papers, and embroidered my most unfathomable and precious secrets in near-invisible thread on my security blanket, which as you can see, I carry still. ~ John Aegard
The Great Old Pumpkin, by John Aegard is a Strange Horizons gem that must be read on this of all days. I prefer reading it before reading the conclusion of Snuff and Gray's adventures in Lonesome October (which, I bet NONE of you lot bothered to pick up).
You must know, Doctor, that I did not choose to seek psychiatric help. I have no faith that I shall exit this room a healed man; I know now that I have been destined for the asylum since childhood. No mere conversation with you can steer me clear of that fate. That said, let us proceed with this court-compelled farce before my mad prattle provokes your crabbiness further.
As you are no doubt aware, I am the issue of solid Dutch stock—the prosperous Van Pelt family of St. Paul. Mine was a comfortable and happy childhood, and I spent much of it in the devoted service of the Great Old Pumpkin. For him, I cultivated an annual pumpkin patch—mostly Autumn Gold and Big Max, as I thought he would find the Atlantic Giants tacky. I also evangelized him in the community, relating the tale of how, every year on Hallowmas Eve, the day when the spiritual most strongly encroaches on the substantial, this mightiest of gourds would rise to revel across the world with the most sincere of his adorers. My neighbors were understandably skeptical; after all, not once had this superbeing ever chosen to grace my pumpkin patch or any other place in our town. I vowed that I would coax him into my backyard, and I set out in the manner of a learned man to discover how I might do this.
October 25, 2005
Storm Tracker & Syphilis
There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm. ~ Willa Cather
An interesting little info tool on the MSNBC site is this Storm Tracker prgram. It does a great job of delivering a lot of information on our most recent hurricane activity in a compact format.
In completely unrelated news, I've found a new weblog that caters to those of us who love vintage kink called The Tacky Times. Recent entries include some yummy Burlesque galleries and interesting vintage WPA posters. I'm fascinated by how much syphilis was being addressed:
Syphilis is acquired and transmitted largely by youth:youth should receive special attention...
Face the facts and help to control syphilis : Reported cases 100,000 under 19 yrs. of age ... 13,000 between 11 and 15!
Don't gamble with syphilis
October 24, 2005
All Clear - Wilma Edition
There is no safety in numbers, or in anything else. ~ James Thurber
Primitive audio post ;-) Movable Type Embedding is tricky.
October 22, 2005
Porn Calm Before The Storm
Let's get pissed and watch porn. ~ Bill Nighy as Billy Mack in Love, Actually (via Richard Curtis)
Nothing relaxes me like fun "amateur" porn. Yes, I realize that is not exactly the aim of most porn, but I find that there's something about looking at naked "real" people that just instills a calming effect within my psyche. Now, granted, I also use porn for the more traditional purpose of stimulating and exciting my inner wicked slut, and even when I'm using it as a semi-sedative, it still has arousing side-effects. But, much the same way that having a nice girl-wank before bedtime helps me segue into slumber, tame porn helps me unwind. When I'm just looking around for fun and mellow feelings, my porn of choice seems to be flashing / upskirt sites.
To that end, I thought I'd share a place I've been enjoying today while hurrying up to wait for Wilma, tying up loose ends, doing laundry, getting stuff off the floor and away from windows, shoving valuables into closets, etc.
Flash 4 Us
If this is also your cuppa, it's definately worth the join.
Some of the delish sights it has to offer:
(Bonus of these yummy sluts HERE)
October 19, 2005
The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore ~ Vincent van Gogh
Heard about her the day before yesterday and just KNEW she was going to be a cast iron bitch. Woke up this morning to find out that the bitch is on target directly for me.
In a way, this is a good sign because the odds of it following this exact heading without deviating is unlikely. North or South is good for me, but bad for any number of people I care about.
But you know....FUCK. When did I become the hurricane slut?
Still. I'm not as panicked as everyone apparently thinks I should be.
Ironically, while I am normally the safety girl bullying everyone to take precautions while they roll their eyes and sigh heavily, the roles are suddenly turned. My phone today has been nothing but panic and "get out of there" and frantic energy.
Maybe it's the combination of Andrew and last year, but I just don't panic so easily anymore. Sure, I have a plan (it's a well-oiled machine at this point). I'm making preparations, but there is plenty of time to decide and watch and there are several things that have to happen exactly right for me to be in danger.
First, the storm has to stay strong. The gulf is cooler now than it was during Katrina. I don't see this storm staying as strong as it is now all the way to landfall. I think when it hits it is likely to be a 2 or 3 rather than a 4 or 5. And my shelter of preference (relatives' house) has already handled a ground zero category 3 with no problem.
I also suspect Wilma is going to hit north of where they're predicting now. I'm thinking north of Tampa, and although I hate it for them, it's my best guess. This convergence of systems which is going to make Wilma take this jump to the East is going to have to be a stronger influence to make her take such a sharp turn off her current trajectory. This worries me for all the friends of mine that are currently evacuating out of the Keys and Miami. I hope they're evacuating further north than Tampa.
I am concerned that the eye is so compact. Andrew was like that. Sometimes when an eye is small and tight it can collapse and disappear, but far more often it is the strongest and more enduring type of eye wall.
I'm doing laundry. I'm going through the freezer. I'm getting my little bundle of supplies and precious belongings packed and ready. I'm planning on getting the house shuttered up and I've got multiple evacuation plans that depend on how strong the storm looks when it gets closer.
But I don't think it's time to panic yet. Friday will be the long, nervous day. To see if it holds its power and takes that sharp turn and then I'll still have a full day and a half to calmly evacuate.
No worries. Not yet, anyway.
Yes, gang, please take Wilma seriously, but don't let Katrina trauma whip you into a frenzy of senseless overreacting.
Three Wishes Lingerie
Paper faces on parade -
Hide your face so the world will never find you!
Every face a different shade -
Look around - there's another mask behind you!
Eye of gold
Thigh of blue
True is false
Who is who
Curl of lip
Swirl of gown
Ace of hearts
Face of clown
Drink it in,
Drink it up
Till you've drowned
In the light...
In the sound...
~ Masquerade from Phantom of the Opera (via Charles Hart and Sir Andrew)
It's WAY past time to be plugging my favorite costume shop: Three Wishes Lingerie. But then, if you're like me costumes and dress-up are hardly just for All Hallow's Eve.
October 18, 2005
Wholesome Halloween Bondage
You wouldn't believe
On All Hallow Eve
What lots of fun we can make,
With apples to bob,
And nuts on the hob,
And a ring-and-thimble cake.
~ Carolyn Wells
Oh my. Am I wrong to find this slightly kinky? Apples to bob and nuts on the hob, indeed.
Props to Good Shit
October 16, 2005
I Am River Tam (Barely)
He looks better in red. ~ Summer Glau as River Tam (via Jose Molina)
Okay, so I accept that you can't fight the signal, but it does disturb me that it took a tie-breaker question to decide if I was River or The Operative. Eeep.
Which Serenity character are you?
created with QuizFarm.com
You scored as River Tam. The Fugitive. You are clever and dangerous, which is a nasty combination. The fact you are crazy too just adds to your charm. They did bad things to you, but you know their secrets. They will regret how they made you.
October 15, 2005
There are those who so dislike the nude that they find something indecent in the naked truth. ~ Francis H. Bradley
One of my occassional indulgences of wasting spare time is to play The Sims -- a PC simulation game by Electronic Arts that is more addicting than heroin. Basically, you get to be God. You create “Sim” people, you see to their needs, build their homes, their families, further their careers, etc. Personally, I've always loved simulation games (I still miss MULE). I preferred Tai Pan when King's Quest was all the rage. I enjoyed Sim City more than Tetris. Doom never did anything for me and race cars bore me. So, now, when I need to decompress and lose an hour or so to gaming, I load up my Sims. These days, it's Sims2, actually, which is so detail-oriented that I can get lost just in creating Sims and designing their houses; I can forget there's a game to play.
I've mentioned that I can be a pathetic geek, right?
Meet Sim Doxy
One of my petty wickedness habits is to base my Sims on friends and enemies alike. If I know you even in passing, you've likely been morphed into a Sim. I control your actions. I decide if you live or die. It's fabulous. And, I must say, you'd all be happier if I had charge of your real lives in this manner. My Sims are largely fulfilled and content. Except for the ones who die in house-fires, but that is a rarity these days (they added sprinkler systems in Sims2).
By all accounts, I should have West World in full swing in my Sim neighborhoods. There should be rampant Roman orgies and decadent Turkish harems, etc. But, alas, the game strives to be annoyingly "family friendly." True, there is a lot of physical interaction, but there is very little room for sexual deviance. Incest play isn't possible because family members don't get to interact sexually - even step-brothers and step-sisters are off-limits (and they're tracked for generations). Age play isn't possible because a teen and an adult can't smooch. Teens, in fact, can't even have sex with other teens. Yeah – that’s realistic.
Adult sex in the game is referred to as "woo hoo" and mostly consists of two adult Sims rolling around under the covers or splashing around in the Jacuzzi to some vague-sounding 70's soul music. Snuggling, making-out, hugging, and dancing is all very Brady Bunch in its portrayal. I had paper dolls as a girl that got more nasty than my Sims.
And for the most part, I can live with these compromises. It’s a game. Sure it would be fun to fool around and be bad, but it would also get boring. Digital 3-D just isn’t to the point yet where I could get girl-wood over it. Not yet anyway.
One of the silliest restrictions of the game is that when your Sims need to bathe or use the facilities, there are these annoying pixilated "censor" blurs to hide the nethers that they DO NOT HAVE IN THE FIRST PLACE.
Ladies and germs, I give you Exhibit A - The Naked Sim:
No nipples. No pubic hair. Every four-year-old girl with a Barbie doll has seen more graphic nudity than my Sims. So, explain to me the purpose of these censor blurs. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
Why, hello, Ms. Ridiculous, have you been properly introduced to Mr. Ludicrous?
Luckily, the community behind the Sims game is pretty fucking resourceful. There are on-line areas to get just about any hack or supplement you can conjure. One source or another has supplied patches to get rid of the nude blur since the first release of Sims1. It was annoying compromise because with each expansion pack a new patch was generally necessary. Then, in a move of unexpected common sense, at the release of the Sims2, EA games actually included a cheat code that would get rid of the blur. You could turn it on or off on your own and trade off the annoying blur for boring Sim doll nudity. It seemed a glimmer of reason might win the day.
With the latest expansion pack the cheat has been disabled. Officially it’s been “repaired” or “patched.” Why? Well, let’s see. What political hack had to try and make video-game-sex her pet peeve of a week a little while back?
Hilliary - please - God - don’ t -make - it - so - I - have - to - vote - for - her - in - 2008 - Clinton. Damn fucking liberal soccer mom politician that she is. I can’t even have the joy of pinning this one on the Religious Right.
Look, I am all for protecting children from predators provided a law actually does that without crushing the Constitution in its wake. But let’s look at the steps involved in “children” being exposed to the Sims. The game requires a relatively good gaming computer with LOTS of RAM and a pretty damn good video card. It also carries a $40 price tag. So, the situations of kids able to get their hot little hands on it is pretty upper middle class. You know, the ones whose parents are supposedly so busy shuttling Cookie and Chip to violin lessons and play-dates that they actually need their SUV fuck-you-mobiles. Even still, these yuppie larvae should still have parents keeping note of what they're buying their own children.
But, let’s say the kids manage to acquire it on their own. Sneaky little buggers that they are. You have to actually have the CD in hand to play the game and it’s memory-intensive enough that it can’t be minimized on a whim. Wouldn’t it be reasonable to assume that most parents at least occasionally glance over their child’s shoulder to see what they’re playing?
I consider these to be reasonable fail-safes to insure that any parent who objects to their child seeing a naked virtual doll be able to keep it from their child. But then, would that save it from being yanked off the shelves at Wal-Mart? Depressingly, we all can guess the answer.
I concede that I will likely never be able to play an actual fun simulation game that includes adult situations (Leisure Suit Larry was the best that genre had to offer and we all know how bad it sucked rocks -- not to mention how big a joke the long-awaited "Singles" turned out to be). And, you know, that's generally fine with me. I was granted an imagination for the forces of darkness and I intend to keep it sharp. Sims can't hold a candle to the videos that play in my mind's eye. So, fine – no good ‘n graphic video game sex.
But should we really let this "protect the children" rhetoric build to such insanity that children are being “protected” from the shame of glimpsing a stipped-down Barbie doll body? Exactly how many generations of American children have to grow up emotional slaves to their personal body images before this country gets the fuck over human nudity?
Remind me to bitch slap Tipper Gore one of these days.
October 11, 2005
Caramel Apple Happiness
Melting pot Harlem- Harlem of honey and chocolate and caramel and rum and vinegar and lemon and lime and gall. ~ Langston Hughes
Caramel and candy apples are treats that we tend to give up in adulthood because eating them is just a pain in the ass. When we're kids we don't care that caramel is getting in our hair or smearing our lipstick to our ears...but well, grown up prissy sluts do mind. We've got far more naughty activities to contemplate that will smear our make-up.
For those of you out there who will be hosting parties for grown-ups, there is a nifty way to preserve caramel apple happiness for your party guests without making them messy.
You should figure 1/2 apple per guest if serving as hors d'oeuvres or 1 apple per guest if serving as dessert. I prefer very firm and tart granny smith apples, but any "eating" apple will do.
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 dash kosher salt
1 can (14-oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon double-strength vanilla
(Each of these should be placed is a separate disposable pie tin or shallow bowl)
crushed candy pieces
crushed cookie pieces
I. Prepare Caramel Dip
Melt butter in 2-qt saucepan; add brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Mix vigorously. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes until mixture comes to a full boil. Stir in sweetened condensed milk. Continue cooking for about 20 minutes with frequent stirring until mixture reaches 245 degrees on a candy thermometer (firm-ball stage in a cold water candy test - 20 to 25 minutes). Stir in the vanilla and then immediately remove from heat.
Note: My Grammy's recipe calls for a "candy corn sized dab" of paraffin to be melted into the mixture, but I believe this is for caramel candy squares and not dipping caramel.
II. Prepare Apple Wedges
Fill a large bowl with 1 quart of cool water. Add 1/4 cup of lemon juice (fresh squeezed is better). Stir lightly. The water is now acidulated and will prevent sliced apples from browning.
Rise off and core 3 or 4 large granny smith apples and cut into wedge slices. Immediately place slices in the bowl of acidulated water. It's best not to do too many apples at once because over-soaking will make the apples mushy.
III. Dip Apple Wedges
Pat apple wedges dry with a paper towel and spear upon a long toothpick. Dip first in caramel and then into the fixins of your preference.
Set onto wax paper covered tray. Will keep well in a cool place overnight, but best kept in the fridge.
To serve as hors d'oeuvres, keep on Halloween colored toothpicks and arrange on tray.
To serve as a dessert, make up as kabobs by slipping four slices onto Halloween themed swizzle sticks. Best served with Carmel Apple Cocktails (1 oz DeKuyper® Sour Apple Pucker schnapps + 1 shot caramel liqueur + 1/2 cup chilled apple cider).
So endth my Martha Stewart entry for the year.
October 07, 2005
Basic Phone Sex Slut Throat Care 101
The human voice is the organ of the soul. ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
I have a standard email that I send out to PSOs who write me inquiring about how to keep their vocal chords healthy. Since we're coming up on cold weather (the season when the request for this info increases) I thought I'd post this here.
In my experience, throat care and skin care have the same general philosophy:
Actually, now that I think of it, that philosophy works for a great number of things.
At any rate, I give you...
Doxy's Basic Phone Sex Slut Throat Care 101
(gathered over time from sources too numerous to credit)
1. You really should use a headset whenever you are on the phone for any length of time. Avoid cradling a telephone between your head and shoulder as it can cause muscle tension in the neck and put undue pressure on the throat.
2. Obviously, smoking is bad. In addition to the whole cancer thing it also burns away the mucus membranes that line the throat
3. Breath control exercises (no, not that kind of breath control) will decrease voice strain. Singers and stage performers learn to support their voices with deep breaths from the diaphragm - you should, too.
4. Try to never work with a sore throat. Sometimes you can't take the time off from work, but resting a sore throat will help it heal exponentially faster. "Working through" a sore, irritated, or infected throat can lead to more serious issues that will increase your downtime.
5. Fruits, veggies, and whole grains contain vitamins (A, E, C, etc) that help keep the mucus membranes which line the throat healthy; eat them (the grains and produce, not the membranes).
6. Avoid eating really spicy foods too often, especially if you have a sensitive stomach. Foods that irritate your stomach in this way can cause stomach acid to back up into your esophagus and then you're talking acid reflux. Trust me, the test for this alone is reason enough to avoid spicy food.
7. Always drink lots of water (six to eight full glasses per day) to help keep the mucus membranes of your throat moist. Drinking enough water daily is also believed by most medical sources to benefit your body in other ways (including skin health, kidney management, and weight loss). Dehydration is more common than you think and one of the first places affected is the throat.
8. If you drink bottled water, opt for the one with the highest fluoride content. If you have bottled water delivered to your home for use in a dispenser, ask your bottled water company which of their products has the highest fluoride content. Healthy teeth increase your mouth’s ability to ward off disease and/or infection.
9. Avoid caffeine drinks as much as possible and do not use them as substitutes for water or juice. Remember that even decaffeinated coffees, teas, and sodas can have some caffeine in them; marketing terms like "reduced caffeine" are often misleading. If you drink colas, teas, or coffees with caffeine remember that they do not replace your six to eight glasses of water per day.
10. If you drink alcohol, make sure you drink lots of water at the same time. Not only is this good for avoiding hangovers and other side-effects of over-indulging, it will also help your throat. Your wine glass at the dinner table should be no more empty than your water glass. Excessive alcohol consumption irritates -- you guessed it -- the mucous membranes that line the throat. Of course if you're binge drinking you probably have a few more important things to take care of in your life before throat care makes the top ten.
11. Get rid of your alcohol-based mouthwash, or if you want to use one, only use it to rinse your mouth -- never to gargle. To gargle use a salt water solution or hydrogen peroxide.
12. Good oral care and cleaning habits are essential. Brushing isn’t only for your teeth, but for your entire mouth: gums, inner cheeks, tongue, etc. Avoid being too hard on your inner cheeks and gums, as you don’t want to irritate them, but gentle brushing of these areas will keep them healthy and reduce infection. Brushing/scraping your tongue will get rid of the typical bacteria that accumulates toward the throat. Such bacteria contributes to dry mouth (those silly mucus membranes again), and are also the leading cause of bad breath.
13. Wash your hands regularly and keep anti-bacterial hand gel/lotion close by. Your hands are the parts of your body that come into contact with your mouth the most and are the most likely sources of bacteria.
14. If your house is dry, or if you run the heater a lot in wintertime, invest in a good humidifier, especially for your bedroom.
Obviously, this list demonstrates an "ideal" set of factors. Life wouldn't be any fun without the occasional margarita or bowl of jambalaya.
I personally alternate my tooth brushing between fluoride toothpaste and baking soda. The baking soda is gritty, but it leaves my mouth feeling healthy -- that same extra-clean feeling you get from a nice skin exfoliation treatment. Brushing with baking soda regularly might taste nasty, but it also means you'll likely never need "teeth whitening" products. I also find that when gargling with hydrogen peroxide or salt water solution, it's best to hold your nose and have a shot of oral rinse ready to get the flavor gone as fast as possible.
October 06, 2005
The Hanso Foundation
We're gonna need to watch that again. ~ Terry O'Quinn on "Lost" (via Javier Grillo-Marxuach & Craig Wright)
I could totally geek out about Lost. With Buffy and Firefly gone, it's just fun to dissect all the clues they keep planting for sci-fi research freaks like me.
They're also using the web brilliantly and I think they'll get better at it with time. Case in point: The Hanso Foundation.
I might post more if I can get over feeling foolish about wasting time on TV fantasy theories.
October 04, 2005
Anti-Leeching Software Gone Terribly Awry
Be suspicious of anything that works perfectly - it's probably because two errors are canceling each other out. ~ Dave Bartley
Okay, so obviously if you're seeing my anti-leeching message plugged into place for every image on my site that isn't the presentation I was planning. This programming stuff is tricky business.
I've since removed the anti-leeching files while I examine them for covert nanobots set on "destroy website." I'll also try and evaluate what possible flaw in my code caused them to go haywire.
If you're using Firefox or a reasonable browswer, hold down the SHIFT key while reloading and the correct images should refresh into place. If you're using IE, you'll have to clear your cache before you can see my sites back to normal.
Technology is a drippy little twat that needs to see the back of my hand.