Welcome. This is my blog, and you're my most coveted guest. If I seem a bit too intense, it's only because I have so much that I want to share with you, and I can see that you're eager to begin as well. So, please...make yourself at home, sip an East India cocktail (I blended the pomegranate juice myself), and sample some of my domestic and imported Arcana: useless, but fascinating information about Victoriana, Steampunk and other favoured topics; music which evokes that dark, lost Lenore sensibility; and other pleasant or, perhaps, unsettling non sequiters whispered in a darkened room. Linger long or short, leave a comment or refrain, but remember to come back soon to play a (shhhh) parlour game.
Velkommen. Dette er min blog, og du er min mest eftertragtedegæst. Hvis jeg synes en smule for intenst, det er kunfordi jeg har så meget at jeg vil dele med jer, og jeg kanse, at du er ivrig efter at begynde så godt. kan du ...føl dig hjemme, sip et East India cocktail (jeg blandetden granatæble juice mig selv), og prøve nogle af mine indenlandske o importerede Arcana: ubrugelig, menfascinerende oplysninger om Victoriana, Steampunkog andre begunstigede emner; musik der fremkalderdenne mørke, mistede Lenore sensibilitet, og andrebehagelige eller måske foruroligende, ikke sequitershviskede i et mørkelagt rum. Linger lang eller kort,efterlade en kommentar eller afstå, men husk at komme tilbage snart til at spille en (Shhhh) selskabsleg.


My photo

I love my grown children, miss all the dogs I ever had, and I cry at the drop of a hat, I believe in true love, destiny, fairness, and compassion. If I could be anywhere right now, it would be the ocean. My favorite city is New York, but I am always longing for London and craving more time in Copenhagen. I'm drawn to desolate places, deserted buildings, and unknown byways. I don't care how society perceives me as long as my gut tells me that what I'm doing is right. I am interested in paranormal things, spiritual things, historical things, and things that glow at night. I like to drink, I smoke when I write, I can't stand small talk, and despite my quick temper, I would rather kiss than fight. I'm selfish with my writing time, a spendthrift with my love. My heart has been broken so many times that it's held together with super glue and duct tape. The upside is that, next time, I won't be tempted to give away what I no longer have to give. But I will let you buy me a Pink Squirrel.


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Helvede's så Nocturne

Helvede's så Nocturne
The raw, aching sadness with which the following words were typed has been reformatted to fit your screen. No need to adjust it. All names have been expunged to protect the innocent and the willfully insane.

Nocturne in G Flat major

Chopin, darkness, light, sand and wind, starlight tread. Beethoven, love, fear, madness, redemption in the night. Liszt, waltzing widows, desperate bargains, pleasure's secret plight. Now, then, before, always, forever. Promises made on lonely beaches, celestial summer's perfect kiss, passions quenched in salty breezes, the lure of distant mist-draped heights. Bitter interlude. Final, private nocturne. Burned down like a candle. Doomed bleeding beauty. Fated sacrificial night.
To be continued...

Gentle Visitor

Gentle Visitor
And now, Gentle Visitor, won't you please lend an eye (we've worked so hard)...
We love all things dark and mysterious, macabre and obscure, odd and unfathomable. Nothing is too strange or bizarre for our little blog. And although we would never presume to offer definitive answers to the great questions of life, we shall do our best to enlighten, inform and delight our visitors with our whimsical potpurri of facts, anecdotes, trivia and informational outpourings. We strive not to offend, but to edify those who wish to reach beyond their comfort zone and touch the fabric of another time and place, and of distant, but genuine worlds and lives. As Victorian-themed blogs go, ours may not be the most austere, nor the most comprehensive, but we know what we like, and if our readers like it as well, then all is as it should be in this ramshackle corner of our own personal Victorian empire.

A Musical Note

A Musical Note: We feel that our blog is best viewed when accompanied by one or more of the following musical selections. Then again, we also feel that our blog is best viewed when accompanied by a glass of absinthe, a bite of lemon cake, and a foot massage (preferably by someone you know). So, to paraphrase the otherwise completely irrelevant-to-our-blog Mr. Aleister Crowley, "Do what thou wilt...but be open to Chopin."

And now we begin

And now we begin
"One must strive to show decorum even when scrolling." Queen Victoria, Buckingham Palace Blog, August 11,1879

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Good-bye To The Black, Passe Vouz The Pink

A parent's pride turned to pain
   We were saddened last weekend, as were many people, to hear that British singer Amy Winehouse had died from what most assume to have been a drug overdose, although the official cause has yet to be determined. While we would never be so crass as to make public assumptions regarding the reasons behind Miss Winehouse's death, the tattooed songstress whose black-dyed beehive, Cleopatra-esque eyes, and contralto growl set her apart from other, less creative singers of her generation, we would not be surprised to find that drugs were involved.  The artist whose 2007 album "Back In Black" won widespread critical acclaim and whose single "Rehab" set the pop charts aflame was a recovering drug addict who had been  besieged with set backs in recent days, according to her father,  Mitch Winehouse, who claimed that he had urged his daughter to enter rehab shortly before her death.  Sadly, she refused to comply and was found in bed by a member of her security team around 10:00 last Saturday night, dead at the age of 27 in her house in Camden Town in North London.


    Still, despite our sadness, and our almost unholy desire to expound on the obvious connotations  surrounding the death of any rock star at the age of 27, we are moved to tell you about our own sighting of Miss Winehouse when we were visiting London last April. On our second evening in there, as we were walking through Camden Town (we're very fond of its cobblestone streets, dark alleyways, and19th century storefronts underscored by the ever-present scent of lamb curry) with our elder son, we spied a tiny figure with a black beehive and an excess of eye make-up being hoisted up into the air by an apparent member of the local Reggae music contingent (he wore dreadlocks and was standing outside of a club in which reggae music was playing at a wondrously  loud volume).
Amy's afslappede look
The artist's more serious side
    "Hey, that woman looks like Amy Winehouse," my son remarked."Yes, she does," I agreed. "If Amy Winehouse were the kind of person who went out in public in a green polo shirt and ordinary jeans, which, based on what she's usually wearing when photographed, doesn't seem likely."
   A few moments later, we were close enough to see that the woman with the black beehive being hoisted into the air was indeed Amy Winehouse, albeit in oddly conservative clothing, a fact which made me wonder aloud why she would spend what must be a great deal of time fixing her hair and applying copious amounts of make-up to her face only to walk around Camden Town in a polo shirt and jeans.
The next night, I asked the question of my London friend, Dawn, with whom my son and I were having a lovely Italian dinner (I'm sorry, but one simply does not go to London for the cuisine). She smiled at me over her wine.
    "You're lucky you didn't see her walking around Camden Town in her bra," she said. "She walks around in her bra a lot. The paparazzi are always taking pictures of her.
    "So, in a way, we saw an unusual side of Amy Winehouse," my son said.
    "Yeah, you could say that," Dawn agreed. "Amy Winehouse, fully dressed in boring clothes."
The iconic image
    We cherish the memory.
stencil qcl132-13 , Rose Border

    In an unrelated stream of consciousness, we are also concerned this post with something that a friend sent to us this week via email. It was the picture of a dog whose fur had been dyed to resemble that of a Bengal tiger. Now, there are very few animals that cause our hearts to palpitate with excitement more than dogs and tigers. But we had never entertained the thought of seeing the two merged into a singular, strange package. It was more than a bit disconcerting. And not only that, it called to mind something that we had forgotten about over the last several decades: our childhood longing for a pink poodle. Allow us to elaborate.


Tiger, tiger burning Brighton Beach
     When we were growing up in the sixties, we wanted more than anything in the world to be Miss Barbara Feldon, the actress who played "Agent 99", smart, sexy, sassy sidekick to Don Adam's Agent 86 in the popular television series, Get Smart. 
Barbara Feldon had 1960s sexiness in lockdown

    We knew this was impossible, of course, because, although we were fanciful, we were not stupid. And eventually, we were able to wean ourselves from the desire to be Barbara Feldon and focus our salivating attention on...wait for it...acquiring a pink poodle.

A poodle in the pink

Is he embarrassed around other dogs?

Through no fault of their own

We would have gone with the white
In the mi-sixties, roughly 1964 until 1966, it was very common practice for poodle owners to dye their dogs pink or blue or even yellow or green. We're not certain how this practice began, or in what regard it was held by animal rights activists of the time, but as a child we were besotted with the idea of owning a pink poodle on whose neck we would insist on placing a rhinestone collar that would gleam and shine like the distant lights of New York City where, we imagined, most people who owned pink poodles were destined to end up eventually. 
A pink poodle's island paradise
A reward for hitting something

No Shirt, No Shoes, No Fair
   The progeny of extremely religious parents, we were not allowed to attend classic summer events such as fairs because, according to the man who yelled and screamed behind our church pulpit every Sunday, fairs were "worldly places" where bad people congregated in order to do terrible things to unsuspecting Christians. As a result, we spent many a summer night staring longingly out the car window as our father drove past the local fairgrounds en route to drop off  our mother at the hospital where she worked as a nurse. The Ferris Wheel, the Carousel, and the Roller Coaster, the holy trinity of summer fairs and amusement parks, were nothing more than a swirl of lights in the distance, but the faces of the children leaving the fairgrounds were as bright and joyous as the sun. And the one that looked the happiest belonged to a child who lived on my street and who was clutching, of all things, a stuffed pink poodle.
     We learned later that the child in question had won the poodle playing some game that involved throwing something at something else, and that it was one of several pastel-colored poodles available to winners of said game. Having already been told by our parents not to anticipate becoming the recipient of  a flesh and blood pink poodle at any time in the near future, we developed  an almost pathological desire to sneak into the fair the following night and attempt to win  a stuffed pink poodle of our own. We hadn't the courage to do such a thing, though, and had all but reconciled ourselves to that  fact when the boy who lived next door to us offered to win a stuffed poodle for us instead.
   "All you have to do is hit three stupid pretend ducks with a ball," he explained. "A retard could do it. Or even you."
    We begged to differ. He smirked like a nine-year-old Steve McQueen.
    "Never mind. I'll get one for you," he said.
A hero sandwich would have sufficed
      Overcome with joy at the prospect, we went to bed on the designated night with butterflies beating their wings madly against our insides, causing us to experience a faint sense of nausea. When we awoke in the morning, we forewent breakfast and raced next door to claim our poodle. But it wasn't there.
Please tear out my eyeballs 
   "I didn't have a chance to do it," our erstwhile hero explained, with a sheepish shrug. "My sister got sick on the roller coaster and we had to come home. Man, I hate girls. They spoil everything. I wish they'd send 'em all to Viet Nam. But since I didn't get you the poodle like I promised..."
    He handed us a Kewpie Doll, a six inch high horror of pudgy, pale naked skin, over-sized eyes and cutesy smile. Words eluded us.
      "My sister won it playing ring toss," our hero said. "But she doesn't need it anymore."
       When has anyone ever needed a Kewpie Doll? In Hell, perhaps, to frighten away the demons?
    We thanked him and left with the doll in hand, disposing of it as soon as we reached home so that it could never horrify anyone else again.
    But it was the final nail in the coffin of our pink poodle dreams. Never again would we believe so readily or so strongly in our right to have what we want simply because it's what we want. And never again would we picture a pink poodle in a rhinestone collar without the repugnant  face of  a Kewpie doll blocking a portion of our view.                  
Epiphany Pink , one color  fits all

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