Monday, October 31, 2011

[Guest Recipe Monday] Cranberry Curd

 Hey Charmers! I could really use some guest bloggers for Recipe Mondays so email me at corvaxgirl [at] gmail [dottie] com with a favorite recipe of yours that you make, a strange sounding retro recipe that you have (and where it came from and if you like, thoughts on the book), a picture of the finished product (optional) and what name you would like it credited to and a link to your blog or shop if you like! 

This week's recipe comes from my friend Amazon Syren.  Follow her foodie and pagan adventures here and learn about her thoughts on being sex positive here.

So, as a Pagan (and a broke-ass Pagan, at that), I have a bit of a Thing for Local Food.  I don’t get bend out of shape around nonperishable stuff like sugar or flour (meaning that, while I typically hope my wheat flour is coming from Saskatchewan, I don’t have Issues about using cane-based sugar from Cuba instead of maple syrup or honey or even beet-based sugar from Canada.  I figure if it takes a month to get here by boat, that’s okay).  It does, however, mean that I’m currently trying to figure out ways to eliminate lemon juice from my cooking.
Weird, I know, but bear with me.

I use a lot of different vinegars (pear cider vinegar is a gorgeously mild and aromatic one, for example) and throw mustard and garlic into a lot of wintery dishes where someone else might be inclined to use a couple of hot peppers for heat or sharpness.

To that end, and because I’ve been going gaga over preserves for the last few months, I tried making cranberry curd.

Now, anyone who’s got Nigella Lawson’s How to Be a Domestic Goddess cook book has come across this recipe, or something pretty damn similar.  I ganked a recipe off the internet and then futzed with it until I got something that would work.

Cranberry Curd

¾ lb cranberries + 1C water, combined in a pot and boiled until mushy
Run the above through a food-processor or a blender until it forms a smooth puree

Return cranberry mixture to the pot and add:
¼ C butter
¾ C sugar
Stir together over very low heat

Beat 3 eggs together with ¼ C sugar until super-smooth
Add it to the cranberry mixture and then allow to thicken over medium heat until it is good and thick and coats the back of a spoon nicely.  (I don’t think it hurts to let it boil, but it definitely works well if you DON’T let it boil.  So… stick with what works?)

Pour the mixture into sterilized jars, then process in a boiling water bath.
Makes 3-4 cups of curd, all told.
You can, as indicated above, preserve this stuff the same way you would do for jam or pickles.  However you can also use it in place of lemon curd immediately as a topping for scones or a delicious addition to a coffee cake or what-have-you.

I have to admit, I basically have to bake it into things in order to keep myself from just eating it with a spoon.  But that’s me.

Meliad / Ms Syren

Friday, October 28, 2011

What Are Your Core Life Priorities?

 This is a question I'm generally v. on point with.  Thorn tweeted it today and when I looked at her blog yesterday, she wrote (along with Penelope to some extent) about being over extended which Jow pointedly emailed me this morning about.

I'm not v. on point with it today.  I've been working a lot of overtime, interviewing like crazy and I've been doing a lot of craft shows.  (I've learned that Mojo bag oils and High John oil scare people at craft shows but the other oils sell pretty well.  I sold the most oils at a church show funnily.  I also started getting scouted for other shows at my last show and I rolled out my Dream Ambassadors which are little felted sheep that can be scented with lavender oil to help you sleep, all but one sold at my first showing of them)  I got cleaned out at my last show and now have less than two weeks to spin straw into gold and restock for my next show.  I have been too exhausted this week to do anything but order supplies due to the overtime and waking up super early and working super late.  The getting up super early has been causing random strange existential crisises for me.  I've also been clocking in time with friends who are having problems and spending time with my family and a little baby sitting for my nephew.  Generally Jow and I have Mondays together to spend the day together but this week I was working.  I'm having a vampire themed dinner party tonight and the house is still in disarray and I need to cook the dinner for the dinner party.

I'm totes crispy fried to the point that I need to make lists to get anything done because otherwise I frankly have no idea what I'm supposed to be doing and things that are important are falling through the cranks.  I don't know what day it is really and I feel like a lot of my core priorities are slipping to the wayside in my Ferengi overzealousness to make enough money to finish paying off my debt and to save money for our wedding as well as having that crazy thing they call a savings account.

I used to live like this all the time.  Have you ever seen The Rachel Zoe Project?   When I get out of sync with my core priorities, she's pretty much exactly the way I am (except substitute "forget to eat" for "over eat").  I mean, massive credit to her for being so successful and doing what she loves and being so hardcore, but it's not the life I genuinely want to lead.  I don't like the way I am when I'm too bogged down in the material and I start to feel empty (which i try to fill up with the material) and also I get a certain sharpness to me.  Not the playful occasional cattiness, but a certain sharp cruelty and hardness that I don't like about myself.  When I'm like that, I rarely do magic.  While the material and the spiritual are not at odds per se, if you get too pre-occupied with one and not the other, you're imbalanced and it's hard to fully function I find.

(A sudden revelation: In Neo-Pagan Shamanism, it's often talked about that you need to be able to walk between the worlds.  I always thought that's why I sucked with being a shaman - because I'm somewhat of a cement head and wasn't always having these big astral adventures like the Wasband but I think my real balancing of worlds is to balance my spiritual self [which is as much internal as it is external] and the material world which I got better at post-divorce but still sometimes struggle with.  I tend to be too much material and not enough spiritual though when I'm losing the battle.  Something to marinate on.)

Things that are currently falling to the wayside (which are most of my core life priorities):
Eating well
Exercising (which makes me feel completely disconnected from my physical body, though I've been focusing on my appearance - again, material vs spiritual for me at least)
Magical practice
My version of a meditational practice
Writing (for a while I was strictly doing freelance which is devoid of spirituality for me and I'm being pretty forcibly pushed away from that from my Powers That Be but I haven't been able to get back to writing things that help my spirituality)
Keeping my house in an orderly fashion

Of course, as I'm writing this what am I doing?  Procrastinating cleaning for the dinner party and sending emails for wedding related items.  Have I gotten dressed or brushed my teeth or taken my pills or eaten anything?  Nope.

Sigh.  Something has to change.  I need to get refocused.  I keep hoping it will magically happen but so far not so much.  It's hard to get refocused when I feel so crispy fried.  I guess I can start to try to have at least one of my core life priorities on my list to do on my daily list.  Mostly though it just feels like being a hamster on a never ending wheel.

What are your core life priorities? Are you being mindful or neglectful?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

[Recipe Monday] Paprikash Krumpli

 Hey Charmers! I could really use some guest bloggers for Recipe Mondays so email me at corvaxgirl [at] gmail [dottie] com with a favorite recipe of yours that you make, a strange sounding retro recipe that you have (and where it came from and if you like, thoughts on the book), a picture of the finished product (optional) and what name you would like it credited to and a link to your blog or shop if you like! 

Rev. Allyson Szabo has been kind enough to share this delish recipe with us today. Follow her spiritual blog here  and her sustainability blog  here.

When it's cold out and the rain won't stop, when the pretty leaves have
turned into slippery mush, I turn to the recipes that my Hungarian
grandmother taught me years ago. There are several that I love,
including gulash and paprika chicken, but none sticks to the ribs like a
dish called 'Paprikash Krumpli." In its most basic form, it is a sort of
stew of potatoes and sausage, but it is infinitely changeable, just as
the seasons are.

Like most Hungarian recipes, this is probably not diet friendly,
although it isn't horrific, either. My grandmother would huff and grunt
at me, occasionally yelling in that incomprehensible Hungarian language,
because I refused to use lard in my creations. However, she agreed that
the flavors I ended up with were truly and traditionally Hungarian.

Paprikash Krumpli

* good Hungarian paprika (sweet), about 4 - 5 tablespoons
* 10 good size potatoes, cut in approximately 1" cubes
* 1 lb of sausage of your choice
* several strips of raw bacon, cut into pieces
* 1 large onion, roughly chopped
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* white mushrooms, quartered (optional)
* spices to taste (salt, pepper, garlic)

In a large stew pot, toss in the bacon and cook until it's done but not
crisp. Add the onions and saute them until they are soft and clear. You
may need the olive oil depending on how much bacon you used and how
fatty it was. Add a tablespoon of paprika and stir well until the onions
are RED. Please note: do not use American paprika, which is largely a
coloring agent and has very little flavor. Hungarian paprika has a
distinct smokey flavor that is essential to this recipe. You can get a
nice tin of good quality paprika at most grocery stores. I use Szekged
brand myself.

Add the sausage and cook until it is ready. I prefer a nice kelbasa
sausage, but I have made it with everything from hot dogs to expensive
andouille sausage. You can even use a mix if you have sausage ends. The
saltier your sausage is, the less other spices you will want to add.

Add your potatoes (you may use a few more or less than 10, but your pot
should be filled to within an inch or so of the top of the pot).
Sprinkle it liberally with another two or more tablespoons of paprika.
Fill the pot with enough water to just barely cover the potatoes, and
bring it to a rapid boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.

After the 30 minute mark, you will need to check on your pot more
frequently. Stir often, but don't be afraid of a little sticking on the
bottom of the pot. Just scrape it off and keep stirring until it's
absorbed back into the stew. You should cook this until it is red
throughout, and the potatoes are literally falling apart. If it's too
thick for your taste, you can add a bit of water to thin it out at the
end, but do it in tiny amounts. It's ready when the potatoes have
completely lost their sharp edges and are quite mushy.

My grandmother served this dish up with hot crusty bread and lots of
butter, and a side of cucumber salad (thin sliced cucumbers mixed with
sour cream and salt and pepper, basically). I often dispense with the
cucumbers and add home made pickles or a side salad, but it would do
equally well with a side of corn or peas, or cauliflower with cheese
over it.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The World

 Jason asks about life changing Tarot Card readings in his post.  Mine got lengthy, so I'm posting it here.

It wasn't long after my dad had died that my mom, sister and I went to New Orleans.  I was 20, a baby Pagan and still sort of at that obnoxious age where I wanted proof of everything (even more than now). 

Mom's tolerance of the occult was mellowed by beignets and chicory coffee. I had learned somewhere around that age that she wanted nothing to do with psychics because she had learned how accurate they could be when she and her friends went to see one when she was just a bit older than I am now, he wanted nothing to do with her.  Naturally, that made her curious so she pressed him and all he would say was that things would become sad and difficult soon.  Shortly after my grandmother passed unexpectedly.  Despite this, she pressed a twenty into my hand and told me to go crazy in Jackson Square where all the readers hung out and discreetly took my sister to go watch some street performers. 

A private reading without my nosy little sister present by a reader of my choosing!  I was heady with freedom.  I didn't want to get snookered as my beloved Judge Judy would say so I ruled out anyone reading anything but tarot which I was proficient with at the time though it would be some time before I read professionally.  I also wanted someone older who would likely be more experienced.  I circled slowly and eventually chose a salty haired gentlemen who identified as Wiccan as I did at the time.  He had a kind but professional vibe about him that I liked.

What do people usually ask a tarot reader about?  Boys (and girls) in my experience.  Sometimes a baby.  A job.  Feeling generally lost.  I was in college and working two jobs already so that was set.  No babies, please.  I was fighting before I left with my long time boyfriend at the time.  We didn't have texting and long distance cell phone calls cost money as did time online.  I wanted security and the promise of forever as did half of my contemporaries (the other half smartly knew that wasn't going to be possible for most of us yet and instead wisely spent their time experimenting and sleeping around).  So boys and feeling generally lost it was.

I requested a Celtic cross reading as I was very familiar with that spread (no funny business!) and I suspiciously eyed the cards as the poor guy tried to gently tell me that the relationship would likely not work out.  Actually, worse.  He said the relationship would work as long as I kept making it work (retrospectively, a pattern that would haunt my twenties).  Naturally, this was unacceptable.  I had already selected Boyfriend as my forever home and planned on riding that pony all the way down to the altar and his compliance and willingness as well as pro-activeness (which 20 year old boys are famous for) were necessary in my equation.  I didn't want to get married yet, we needed to finish college.  Maybe live together first.  That could take at least five years!  I already did three!  What about my ROI!

"But the last card!" I cried.  "It's the World!  That's the best card in the deck!  How could I get the best card in the deck when all signs point to eventual breaking up!"

"Because when you do, your world will open up," he said simply.

I paid the man and left unsettled.  Naturally, we did break up.  I was pissed at the time with Boyfriend's Break Up of a Thousand Paper Cuts approach and his mumbled we have nothing in common which was unsatisfactory.  But.  My world did open up.  I saw London, Paris and Rome.  I experimented.  I got to feel free to get as drunk as I wanted and dance on as many tables as I wanted.  I got to figure out who I was as I ran through new partners and new life experiences.  I started clubbing and acquiring corsets.  I built SalonCon and got published.  I got married and divorced.  I became a homeowner.  The world did indeed open up for me.

As for Boyfriend, well, I always say he's my favorite exboyfriend.  He smuggled champagne into my limo at my wedding since I didn't get to drink at all.  He talked me through when I volunteered for Katrina clean up with the Red Cross as he was just coming back from Iraq and never made me feel stupid about it.  He helped me move into the condo I live in now.  He comes to my cocktail parties.  He's a good egg.  The best egg.  But not the egg for me.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Recipe Monday: Pumpkin Curry Soup

Hey Charmers! I could really use some guest bloggers for Recipe Mondays so email me at corvaxgirl [at] gmail [dottie] com with a favorite recipe of yours that you make, a strange sounding retro recipe that you have (and where it came from and if you like, thoughts on the book), a picture of the finished product (optional) and what name you would like it credited to and a link to your blog or shop if you like!

So, I love pumpkin. I liked it to begin with but once I got divorced I loved it that much more because Wasband wouldn't eat it. He got spooty if I even tried cooking it in the house on most occasions (I was oh so graciously granted a reprieve to make my Stuffed Pumpkin for Samhain). So now every fall it's pumpkinpoloza at my house needless to say. Believe it or not, it's been hard for me to get a really good pumpkin soup recipe. The secret to this recipe is Chunky Chaat. I'm pretty sure I use it incorrectly most of the time, but I don't care. I love Chunky Chaat with a love that is pure and true, it's my favorite seasoning mix of all time, I put it in everything which is probably gross to people who natively cook Indian food but the box says you can even use it on fruit (I'm working my way up to that) so I don't think I'm too far off the mark. You can get it at Indian grocery stores but grocery stores with good ethnic food sections will have it (my Wegmans does).

Pumpkin Curry Soup

* 2 tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds (for optional garnish)
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1 tablespoons curry powder
* 2 tablespoons Chunky Chaat
* 4 cups vegetable broth
* 1 (29 ounce) can pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie)
* 3/4 cup plain yogurt
* 2 tablespoons soy sauce
* 1 tablespoon molasses
* salt and pepper to taste
* 3 strips of crisp bacon, crumbled (for optional garnish)

Put everything but the garnishes and the yogurt in a large pot. Heat on medium heat for fifteen minutes. Add yogurt. Cook for another 10 minutes. Voila!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Guest Post Over on Witch Blog!

Because Death Is Just So Full and I’m Sick of It This Samhain

Every year for the last ten years I have been totally on board for celebrating Samhain full hog with my grove, possibly also with my circle. While Samhain hasn’t always been strictly solemn in both my groups, it tends to have an overlap. I’ve always needed Samhain, when I was doing well and wanted a space to reflect on how I’ve changed and/or what I’ve lost and what I want to focus on for the new year or because I was in the middle of a bone crushing loss and needed to be front row center to let that sorrow laced energy out of my body through whatever means necessary.

I’m in a strange middle place right now. . . Read the rest here

Friday, October 14, 2011

Outsiders: What Like It's Hard or Something?

In ADF Druidry, there's a whole section in the beginning of the rite on Outsiders which is actually one of the more hotly contested aspects of the ADF ritual between ADF groves, the contested aspects tend to focus on 1. Who are the Outsiders? 2. What should be done with the Outsiders? Some groves think certain gods and attributes should always be Outsiders and Outsiders should be banished. Well, as I've mentioned, my grove has more in common with tent revivalists than with High Episcopagans generally, we take somewhat of a different stance than that.

Our grove generally feels who the Outsiders are depends on the ritual. If you're doing a ritual to the Furies for example, the Olympians are likely to be Outsiders. Eris' Outsiders are going to be different than Hera's Outsiders. We also don't banish as that should (theoretically) be permanent and not for nothing, living in NJ, you need your crunchy shell of cynicism, wariness and snarkiness to get through the day. But. They're not the most helpful aspects to get through a ritual that was basically started by drunk college kids in the 60's who wanted to break Berkley College's administrative brains while invoking gods from cultures that were and are pretty far from America in someone's living room in New Jersey. So we basically ask those aspect and those Gods and ghosts and whatnot who wouldn't be comfortable for the rit to go sit on the porch until the ritual is over and watch the college kids and cars go by until everyone comes and collects their Outsiders after ritual. We also make offerings to the Outsiders as well (generally with a carefully worded, Please accept our offering, not the offerer. . . the Outsiders tend to like to linger with the offerer and will often try to persuade the offerer to go on a fun adventure with them instead of sitting through boring ritual). Sometimes, people attending the rit feel like Outsiders themselves which can be for any reason from it's a pantheon they're not comfortable with, the rit itself isn't where their headspace is at or what is politely referred to as "the weather in your head" (which often is a euphemism for having High Drama with someone(s) in the grove or just life shit that you're going through that has nothing to do with anyone there but puts you in a sour mood) and I can tell you from experience, when the Outsider invocation is made and you feel like an Outsider, it's hard not to follower the offerer outside (I think at the Pagan picnic with the other grove invoking and it being so different than how we do things that when they did the Outsider offering I saw everyone from my grove visibly twitch not to follow but . . .manners).

Where I'm going with all of this is that I think it's very possible to feel like an Outsider even here on our beloved blogosphere. I've spoken in the past about being fretful about not fitting the "kitchen witch" mold closely enough and how sometimes that's hard for me. This year, while I love you all, it's been hard with the never ending High Magic Grimoire Club that has taken root in much of the blogosphere. I dutifully read and I'm happy that it works for y'all but it doesn't do a whole lot for me. As it doesn't do a whole lot for me, it's taken me out of the conversation for the better part of a year. Which is nobody's fault! I'm not casting blame or anything, it's just not where I fit. I mean, I even live with one so I harass him with a never ending stream of questions hoping that something will click at some point which inevitably essentially disintegrates into an exasperated "because that's the way it is, that's why!". We finally got to a place where I got it when he explained that you can't just date High Magic, you have to at least go steady or get engaged and get into a super srs arrangement straight from the gate. Man, I cannot commit to anyone or anything like that, I want to have an awkward first date where I can ask some questions and see you do something charming and cool and then make my decision from there. You can do that with Hoodoo, Wicca, ADF Druidry and even layperson Hinduism.

So I've been marinating a lot about where I fit. I've been thinking a lot about Gordon's post on little magics everywhere which is my jam along with radical practicality. For some reason for a long time I've hesitated to call myself a Chaos mage. Maybe because the first time around, it was this super cool 90's phenomenon that felt super alterna and punky and everyone doing it was way cooler than I was. To me it was like the first Matrix when that was impressive at the time or like Hackers or whatever else that was going on that had only a vague basis in reality but everyone was really excited about it anyway. The two girls I know locally who id as chaos mages are kind of like a modern 2011 version of that which is why I've also hesitated about the label which is super stupid because they're also close friends who I've done magic (awesomely) with and they are super down to earth and awesome with real problems. I guess I felt like I didn't fit the mold there either exactly? So besides the obv revelation that no one perfectly fits any mold, I had another revelation when talking to Jow:

Me: I don't know! I just do stuff! And people seem to relate to it even though I don't feel like I have an orderly manner in doing it and I feel like a toned down version of Penelope Trunk with my apparent pathological need to spew out all my fucked upness and flaws to the internet.

Jow (patiently): But you've been published, you have thousands of people reading your Witchvox articles and sending you emails--

Me: What? Like it's hard or something? Ohmigod! I've got it! I'm the Elle Woods of the occult world!

Jow: Hee! Actually, yes. People underestimated her a lot but she got into Harvard law school and graduated at the top of her class and she has a big heart and she sort of marches to the beat of her own drummer. Even though people at Harvard thought her clothes was crazy, she didn't care, she wore what she wanted anyway. She didn't change herself to fit in.

Me (dreamily): I love her clothes.

But it's funny, I was really thinking about it, much like Elle didn't fit in with stereotypical Harvard students, she still carved a place for herself and did it her way. I'm always going to be a fashion dork which tends to not be the norm with Pagans in my age group locally, I'm going to see and interact with the gods through clothes and music because that's what makes sense for me. I'm never going to want to do much high magic, I'm always going to want to do little magic everywhere and I'm just . . .going to be me and not worry about being whatever enough. I think that's where I struggle in writing my book, I feel like I'm not mommy enough for a kitchen witch book but not alterna enough to take more of a super srs approach. So whatever. I'm just going to write the way I write and do things the way I do things and stop worrying so much.

Bend and snap, bitches.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Scenes From a Pagan Household

For a lot of reasons, we needed to declutter and clean our house and then cleanse our house. For a lot the same reasons, we plan on doing Scylla's Charm Against the Evil Eye. Generally I do the cleansing aspect with the house as I've previously outlined. Yesterday however I was def feeling fibro-ish from overdoing it at Crucible and the impending fall weather. I also needed to write my lecture on Hoodoo which I would be presenting to my alma mater's Pagan group, which the more I tried to figure out how to explain Hoodoo while both acknowledging it was not a "white light" path per se but only explaining some positive workings was giving me a headache as well as inspiring cold fear remembering The Pagan Picnic . Those things together made it so I was feeling pretty drained and not up to doing magic. Jow had decided to try his hand at doing it on his own, though previously we were going to do it together though that just led to another Model UN squabble.

Him (after finishing it): Well, what do you think?

Me: Well, at first I didn't feel anything but then when you started going room to room with the candle I did.

Him: Awesome. Wow. It feels so much different than when you do it.

Me: Yep.

Him: Almost too strong . . .

Me: Well. You kind of didn't sweep anything outside.

Him: I burned the bothersome things! With fire.

Me: Right. So . . .now there's like . . .the equivalent of a house full of dead bugs. They're not doing anything but they're lying all over the place dead.

Him: Burnt dead bugs.

Me: I'll sweep tomorrow.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Do It All Again: The Post-Crucible Party

Jow and I skipped Crucible itself and while I too could listen to Jason talk all day and would have liked to have seen RO's lecture and meet Lavanah, and I always learn something new about voodoo from Kenaz, let me be real, it's all about the after party.

I've been friends with the party host (B.) since I was too young to drink and he was just old enough to and he was dating my best friend at the time so needless to say, we've been partying together for about oh almost half our lives along with my best friend A. who while is not maaaaaaaaaaagic per se, she'll put up with it especially if there's good booze and fun to be had. But it's not a Pagan/Occult party unless you have High Drama with at least a quarter of the room which of course I did. So before the party I started text A. about suddenly not knowing what to wear upon hearing the guest list and tried to get things for the party and breakfast at Target but got all socially anxious to the point that I just abandoned my basket in the middle of the hosiery section. I texted her the vital information that (a) I didn't have any boots and couldn't find any (b) I don't know how slutty to dress for this and (c) I had lost my will to live.

People who don't know me or don't me well assume I of course love parties and people and being gregarious because I've worked v. hard both magically and mundanely to present myself that way. The truth of the matter is I'm terribly shy, often grumpy and only really like it when I throw the party or event because then I can hide in the kitchen as much as I like, I can always have an excuse to escape and I can throw everyone out when I'm done with them. A. promptly replied with: (a) Wear your Uggs (b) I'm giving you permission to dress as slutty as you want tonight and (c) get dressed, I don't care. I sighed knowing that I wouldn't be able to whine my way into a night of iCarly and jug wine and didn't put up a fuss. Luckily, A. knowing that I was two seconds away from becoming a non compliant limp toddler, texted H., B.'s gf who was going to be in the suite earlier than expected and we were invited to hang out and pre-game. A. came over and approved my outfit and ordered me to put on my makeup and do my hair and stop whining. Jow asked what "battle perfume" I'd be wearing and A. didn't really know what he meant so I explained that I have both actually magically formulated perfume from places like BPAL and "regular" perfume that I wear to suit my mood and/or how I want to portray myself. She nodded and said she only owned Juicy Couture perfume 'cause that's all she needs. Being Jersey girls, that is a fair statement. We got into the car and I had a moment of complete deja vu especially since we were heading towards Princeton, past my old place and it was the way we'd always take to get to Philly to go goth clubbing and because the hotel was in the development of my old company meaning I could navigate there and back heavily intoxicated no problem.

We got up to the suite and H. and B. were kind enough to let me be bossy and arrange the food and the bar to my liking so I could help bartend. A., Jow and I decided it was then time to induct H. into the Secret Society of Awesome & Alize and then I tasted all of B.'s meads so I could arrange them in order of dryness. Jow and I shared a shot of tequila because it was where we met years ago - I was giving a lecture and he had a crush on me though I didn't know it because he wouldn't speak directly to me (but I like you/ I like you so much/ I talk to everyone but you) and then a few years later we started flirting and I was on a panel of his and it always felt like he was talking only to me. He decided that year to impress me even though he has the liver of a twelve year old girl and everyone told him that going shot for shot with me was a terrible idea because I was The Tequila Queen at the time but he did it anyway and eventually we started dating and then got engaged and now we're to be married.

It was a smaller party this year which meant less physical distraction from High Drama but also meant that my friends had me drinking heroic amounts of pumpkin liquor/vodka and shots of tequila with many cig breaks to provide Other Distraction. I was also promised to be allowed to lie down next to the koi pond with the huge koi with the bottle of pumpkin liquor and serenade the koi with as much Katy Perry as I wanted until we got tossed out if it got too bad. I ran into Jason and RO downstairs during one of those breaks. We deposited Jow so he could geek out there and went to gossip, flirt and drink more pumpkin liquor (which I informed them that they should be doing as well and they laughed and joined us at the party shortly after). We filmed our youtube hello, I made my rounds with A. for a few hours but after a double shot of tequila egged on by B. (who is a terrible influence) at 4a and the room started getting slightly spinning and I had had enough of High Drama, random boys looking down my top (though I didn't mind with a lovely young girl, which reminds me of another Crucible party where I was feeling curmudgeonly as usual but apparently that's attractive to occult girls and so several cute girls spent the party petting my hair) and dick waving that will inevitably happen when you put booze and occultists in a room for enough hours and we headed out where we got to witness several rounds of Young Indian Wedding Guest High Drama which we kind of wanted to get involved with but Jow said no and we made our way home, stopping for the traditional ohmigod o'clock you are too drunk to actually handle sitting in a diner like a civilized person and instead need to go to a 7-11 for a cheeseburger big bite and hope that you can handle money exchanged for goods and services. Then home to take off all your jewelry and shoes but forget about your make up and insist on singing Katy Pery at the top of one's lungs until you are distracted into other pursuits and then sleep fitfully with a bowl next to your bed just in case and then have the mother of all hangovers the next day because no matter how much you may insist intellectually to your body that you can still party like you did when you were 23, your body will have no problem explaining in vicious detail that it has a dissenting opinion and to shut the hell up, thank you.

Still. There's a pounding my head/ Glitter all over the room/ Pink flamingos in the pool/ I smell like a minibar/ Pictures of last night/ Ended up online/ I'm screwed/ Oh well/ It's a black top blur/ But I'm pretty sure it ruled/ This Friday night/ Do it all again/ This Friday night/ Do it all again. . .