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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Friday, July 22, 2011

Striving For Steampunk

Frozen Grasshopper recipe
     A bold summer choice

We sighed and sipped our frozen grasshopper, wondering why we had ordered a frozen grasshopper in the first place. Then we remembered. It was a mere week until Jackie Kennedy's birthday. Ms.|Kennedy being a woman whom we regard as a most admirable woman possessed of Victorian sensibilities which she ingeniously revamped to suit a less genteel age, we like to celebrate her birthday by sipping a grasshopper cocktail, a drink which she herself enjoyed during the high summer of her youth. Then again, dear Jackie has been dead for seventeen years. Steampunk thrives. It seemed only right that we turn our attention to it for a moment longer.
"Allow me to assist you," we said to our friend.
 Taking out our cell phone, we hit "browse" and went immediately to the Etsy website where we showed her a photograph of our recent purchase.
"Oh what a cool clock! I love it!" our friend opined, as we knew she would.
"Yes, but let's keep our minds on the business as hand, shall we?" we suggested kindly.

      "Steampunk, steampunk!" our friend who writes a budget travel blog exclaimed rather inexplicably the other afternoon over drinks at a crowded downtown saloon. "That's all I hear about these days. In fashion magazines, in all the food blogs. But I still don't really understand exactly what makes something steampunk."
  Never uttered the words "steampunk"
HG Wells was a man of his time and ours, too
"In other words, steampunk is stuff that looks like it could have come out of some Victorian's crazy dream about the future," our friend said. 

    "Some might call them crazy dreams," we said. "But this cell phone I'm holding didn't simply invent itself." 
    The thing is, Gentle Reader, that steampunk is one of those genres that overlaps other genres, thereby blurring the lines between them and igniting verbal, and sometimes physical altercations among steampunk geeks and cyberpunk geeks all across this and other great lands. No doubt there are Victoriana geeks who feel called upon to offer their two cents worth as well, although, in general, the relationship between a Victoriana aficonado and steampunkers could be compared to that of a well-groomed poodle and a spike-collar sporting Doberman eating dinner from the same flowered porcelain bowl before going off to different corners of the yard to digest and perhaps regurgitate what they've eaten. What's that? You find the analogy an offensive one? We apologize. Perhaps we should make another attempt to clarify the subject with a pictorial lesson using elements of compare and contrast.

   Let's begin with the photograph directly below us, which is an example of what could be referred to as a "sexy steampunk lady", whereas the photograph to our side is more representative of what one might call a "saucy Victorian gal." The difference? Elementary.
Sexy Steampunk lady

For one thing, the woman in the photograph is wearing a mannish hat and coat on which there are shiny metal objects most likely possessing certain scientific attributes that only a real Victorian's mind could imagine, and she's holding a pocketwatch, which, we may conjecture, is also probably some kind of weapon or scientific device. By contrast, the lady below us is just standing there behind a fake fence looking saucy, and she probably doesn't walk along beaches with a random man's pocket watch between her dainty digits. That would be unladylike. How could you even suggest it? Although she 
does look saucy enough to have repeated a blue phrase or two in her time.

Saucy Victorian gal

    Now for another example, this time using jewelry, an artifact in which members of both camps place a great deal of value as a mode of expression. Below , we have the image of a lovely Victorian era necklace, .

 with specific attributes in keeping with the apt description of same given on the venerable WiseGeek website. To wit: "The look of Victorian jewelry is quite distinctive. It tends to be heavy and elegant, with a lot of jet, diamond, and coral. To the modern eye, it has an old fashioned feel. Victorianstyle has such enduring popularity that several firms make reproduction jewelry which is modeled after or inspired by real Victorian jewelry. Reproduction jewelry tends to be less costly, because it is not an antique like real Victorian jewelry. Many of the fabrication techniques for hand made pieces are the same, reflecting the fact that metalsmithing has changed little over the centuries." 
     What more can we add without being ridiculously redundant? But what we can offer is a contrasting example of an equally lovely steampunk necklace from NobleStudiosLTD, one of our favorite sellers on Etsy. See the cross, the clockface, the unnecessary,,but ever so appealing little metal extras on it? Steampunk at its most basic.As is this ring we also found at NobleStudios, LTD.

   In fact, we are so enraptured by the ring in the photograph above that we may never be able to recover from our joy and will be forced to give up writing and become a greeter at Wal-|Mart.
    But that's our problem. We only hope that our little attempt at steampunk edification has brought some clarity of mind and vision into your life, Gentle Reader. Remember...

Victorian looks like this

Steampunk looks like that

And both of them are capable of creating.....

Happiness, baby


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