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BPAL Madness!


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About Bard

  • Rank
    Notorious Gentleman
  • Birthday 10/22/1977


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    Hither & Yon
  • Country
    United States

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  • BPAL of the Day
    Doc Constantine
  • Favorite Scents
    Doc Constantine, Snake Oil

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  • Interests
    anthropology, archaeology, astronomy, awen, black phoenix alchemy lab, childrens literature, comics, conservation, cordwainer smith, cymraeg, dream theater, dreams, dungeons & dragons, ethnomusicology, euskara, fantasy, fractals, français, glbt activism, harps, historical reenactment, history, ico, james a. tiptree jr., jethro tull, johann sebastian bach, kanteles, leonard bernstein, magical realism, mathematics, maurits cornelis escher, medieval music, mediæval bæbes, middle ages, middle english, music, music composition, musical theater, nethack, paleontology, period films, poetry, quantum mechanics, religion, remedios varo, renaissance faires, role-playing games, science fiction, socialism, spiritualism, stephen sondheim, surrealism, tarot, the beatles, theatre, theoretical physics, tomás luis de victoria, ursula k le guin, used book stores, video games, william shakespeare, writing, xenolinguistics, young adult literature
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  • Astrological Info
    When once the ageless sun drew nigh, Astraea bore me to the sky, To follow her, as hound the hart, The craft of Themis to impart. And though I, not of her chaste state, Did find, upon a silver plate, Two tender soles by thread ensnared The one against the other paired. Thus, risen from the Lion's pride, No earthly place do I reside Except when I, in heaven's land, Beside the wounded healer stand.
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  1. 9/28What are your thoughts on incense? I like it, but I have plenty.What about handbags/totes/clutches? Being in a wheelchair doesn't afford one much use of one's pockets. I'm always on the lookout for a new pouch for my wallet, checkbook, pens and other incidentals. I generally prefer leather, but my primary requirements are that it must hang comfortably from a seatbelt without being burdensome in a sitting position. It must be easy to open can access in that position. It shouldn't be too bulky, otherwise it makes it more difficult to fit under tables. If that seems like a tall order, well... you can see why I'm always on the lookout for a better solution. Are there any particular movies you want on DVD? My Amazon wish list covers this pretty well. I've been adding things to it regularly as I think of them. What about stickers??Stickers clash heavily with my OCD. In the first place, my brain objects to marring the pristine surfaces of things. I don't even like it when they put the Windows and Intel stickers on my laptop. In the second place, a pristine sheet of stickers carries an enormous amount of possibility. I have trouble using them because once a sticker is peeled and placed, its nearly limitless potential is gone. Yes, I understand how neurotic that sounds.I do think I need the bumper sticker featured in this comic: http://wondermark.com/552/9/24Do you use henna at all? I don't use either, myself. I tend to associate it with holidays, weddings, and births, and I confess that, to me, it looks out of place in most other contexts. It would be something I'd consider doing for my wedding, were I to get married, and were my fiancée interested. Apart from that, I can't really see myself using it.What about 2010 Wall calenders? Or 2010 journals or appointment diaries? What subject? Wall calendars are wasted on me. The same is true for journals and appointment diaries. I haven't seen my favorite calendar in a long time (I used to get one that was oversized and featured reproductions of medieval musical manuscripts). Nowadays, I don't really have the space or inclination to hang one.I really do use schedulers at all, however, now that they've unveiled Microsoft's Courier tablet, I will be greedily coveting one once they become available.What are your thoughts on Halloween decorations? As I grow older, I find I really like fun, cute decorations (but not cutesy). I'm very partial to ghosts (I love hauntings and ghost stories in general), particularly Pac Man ghosts.With which tarot card do you most identify? I tend to vacillate between the Kings: wands, cups, swords, but never pentacles. I'm not a particularly grounded individual, as you might notice if you ever looked at my natal chart.If you could describe yourself in 5 words, what would they be? Humble and obedient Renaissance ManDo you collect new/used stamps? Will you like to get stamps on your mails? I don't collect stamps.Any WKAP you're excited about? Not really. It should be noted, however, that every time I see the acronym "WKAP" My brain automatically appends it with "In Cincinnaaaatiiiii."How do you feel about stationary? (pens, notepads, cards, pencils, etc.) I love pens. Fountain pens in particular (and if we're being particularly particular, I have a penchant for vintage fountain pens, and I've always wanted a Parker 51 and a Sheaffer Snorkel), but I find for writing purposes, medium body roller balls work better for my needs. I used to do a lot of writing with a feather quill dip pen, but it's not really something I can manage anymore.Would you object to anonymous postcards (real ones) from your witch before the big reveal??? That would be lovely.9/19Do you drink alcohol? Wine, beer or liquor? What is your favorite wine/beer/mixed drink? I do drink alcohol, and I enjoy a wide variety of drinks, although I tend to go in phases. In terms of wine, I prefer fruity red wines (not necessarily sweet, mind you, but with prominent fruit notes). I recently discovered Madison Cellars, and I've been enjoying their reds. White wine I prefer sweet over dry, and I particularly like Rieslings. I'm not a big fan of lagers, preferring ale or the occasional stout. I like smooth medium and dark ales with a hint of sweetness and nuttiness. In the summer, I like piña coladas (and getting caught in the rain) and margaritas. In the fall, gin and tonic or Gibson martini. In the winter, mulled wine Or mead. When ordering Japanese food, I like hot sake. I'm also fond of whiskey on occasion.I don't think I need any alcohol though. I like variety and trying new things, but at the rate I drink, a bottle lasts me forever.Do you like to find out there's a package on the way or to receive a tracking number to stalk, or do you prefer surprise packages? I'm okay either way. I really, strongly suggest that you send things with tracking confirmation, but you don't have to give me that number. The only exception is, if you decide to send me something perishable, please let me know so I can make sure someone is around to sign for it.If I were your witch, and I wanted to make you a spell or mojo bag, would you be into that? And, if you were, would you want it for something like love, prosperity or luck? Or would you want it for a certain element? Or would you want it for something more personal- and what might that be? Right now, something to draw money definitely wouldn't hurt.9/18Do you wear lip gloss/lip balm? If so, what flavors/scents? I don't go out of me way to be prettyin' up me lips, but aye... the cold salt sea air be chafin' me crew somethin' fierce. Somethin' with a hint of fruit so me boys don't get the scurvy.... And don't send nothin' with them spARRRRkles....What is one thing you constantly keep with you that you constantly loose? me mARRRRbles...What are your favorite fruits? arr... I be partial to mangoes, coconuts, bananas, pineapple, and... stARRRRfruitWhat is your favorite cookie type? Ho...Rum balls, o' course! But I also like me oatmeal, me peanut butter, me kolache, and me soft, chewy almond cookies (because they taste like mARRRRRzipan!)9/17Are you into 80s movies (like i am ) if so, which are your favorites and who are your favorite characters? I love 80s science fiction and fantasy movies. The Star Wars trilogy, of course (even though the first one was '77, I still think of the phenomenon as a whole being and 80s one), Aliens, The Last Starfighter, Enemy Mine, Blade Runner, Dragonslayer, Willow, Lady Hawke, The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, The Princess Bride. Even the horrible, campy stuff like Hawk the Slayer. I also love Ferris Bueller's Day Off.Do you like Villainess soaps? What are your favorite scents? I don't like Villainess soaps, thanks.Do you mind artificial colors in your food? It doesn't matter too much to me.Who wants hair pretties?(headbands, barrettes, pony-o's, scrunchies, bobby pins, hair clips, etc) No, thank you. If you were my witchee, would you like any of the scents/sizes that are available on clearance? No, thank you. I am on an origami crane kick recently, so I wonder if anyone will be interested in origami crane earrings, origami crane in a glass vial (~1.2cm wide) phone charm/pendant or just a container filled with cranes of different sizes. No, thank you. How do you feel about clothing/accessories made from animals? Anti-fur, leather, shells, etc.? Does even faux wig you out? I'm okay with this.How do you deal with stress? What's your favorite way to unwind? My favorite way to unwind is to play video games. Sometimes I'll work on something creative instead, but I tend to find that more stress inducing than relaxing.You're given the opportunity to apprentice at any trade (or craft) of your choosing for the period of one year. Your mentor may be any currently living person. Which field of study would you choose, and who would be your mentor? When I create questions, I don't generally think about my responses, and so when I returned to answer them, sometimes they stump me. There are so many things I would love to learn to do. I would love to apprentice with Beth and learn how to make perfume blends. I would love to study traditional smithing techniques. I would love how to learn gold and silver smithing. I would love to learn how to make and repair clocks and watches. I would love to learn a dozen instruments. I would love to learn how to fence. A lot of these things are probably outside the scope of my ability, honestly, but I can dream.How about this one: I would like to learn sound design from Ben Burtt.9/16Who is musically inclined? What instruments (voice counts) do you play? Would you enjoy sheet music? I sing. I dabble at lap harp and kantele. I used to play many more instruments: piano, accordion, recorder, ocarina, tin whistle, siku, tarka. I don't have the upper arm strength to play those anymore. Today, most of my music is made with a computer.Favorite musicals? I love musicals. I grew up with them. I used to perform in them. They are a very integral aspect of my personality. I wrote my first musical in high school at the age of 15, and I will probably write others in my lifetime. They're very important to me.My favorites... it's hard to choose. Brigadoon and My Fair Lady, for the memories. The Music Man, for its musical and lyrical cleverness. Jesus Christ Superstar, for being a large part of my childhood. Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds, although not a stage musical, still a huge part of my childhood. Into the Woods, for making Sondheim accessible. Sweeney Todd, for blowing my mind. Chess, for some truly groovy music. The Secret Garden, because I've always wanted to play Uncle Archibald on stage.Which of the seven deadly sins is most likely to be your undoing? Do I have to choose? Really? Can't I succumb to more than one? Perhaps all of them? Anyone want a nickname and embroidered headband from PandaBite? Why pay someone to give me an obnoxious nickname when you can have the pleasure of coming up with it yourself?I have seen a lot of yankee candles haters..... personally i like yankee candle (some of them, anyway). do you or don't you, and if not, what candles do you like? this assumes you like candles. otherwise, what specific home fragrance do you use? Scented candles are a very hit or miss thing with me. I don't have a particular hatred of Yankee Candles, but I find that most candles I've tried smell too synthetic for my tastes. At the moment, I mainly use incense (sandalwood, cedar, pine). Sometimes I'll let spices simmer on the stove for a more foodie smell. I don't particularly like florals, and I'm generally apathetic about citrus/fruit notes. I do love candles, however, and if you have some secret source of amazing smelling candles, I certainly wouldn't mind trying something new.Would a "gift" donation to one of the organizations/causes you support be a great gift, or a lame gift? That would be wonderful. I give a pretty detailed description of my charity preferences in my questionnaire, so I'm not going to repeat them here. I do love the idea of adopting a creature though. And I don't think I mentioned it before, But I really love the idea of providing micro loans to people in developing countries. If I had more money to invest, I think that would be a pretty wonderful way to invest in humanity.9/15Does anyone have any symbols they consider to be personally significant or talismanic?The Awen and the Ouroboros, naturally, which is why I combined the two into my personal symbol, the Awen Ddiderfyn: Are there any Gods, Goddess, or other mythological figures of whom you're particularly fond? Ganesha, Shiva, Loki, Hela, Fenrir, Jörmungandr, Ceridwen, Taliesin, VäinämöinenSuper villain or vigilante? Let me see... Cultured tastes? Check. Desirous of the finer things in life? Check. Keen palate? Check. Genius level intellect? Check. Occasionally obsessive? Check. Not the least bit hindered by modesty? Check.I'm afraid I'm either a super villain, or Wile E. Coyote. What mythical or fantastic race of creatures (dragons, unicorns, griffins, elves, dwarves, faeries, etc.) do you most identify with, and why? I'm a dwarf through and through. Although, I admit I find deep serenity in woodlands, so perhaps I'm a dwarf that dreams of being an elf? (Heresy!)How do you feel about Dia de los Muertos? Are you interested in sugar skulls? Catrina (or other) skeleton figurines? I find it interesting, and i find the items beautiful, but I'm not particularly looking for this sort of thing.Do you have a favorite poem or poet? Nope, but I have a lot of close contenders: William Shakespeare, William Blake, Percy Shelley, Lord Byron, William Butler Yeats, Rainer Maria Rilke, T.S. Eliot, E.E. Cummings, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Mark Strand.9/14For the crafty people out there: would you prefer something crafted or crafting supplies? I would prefer something crafted, but as I said before, I would be perfectly happy to receive more fantasy miniatures.Can you use pill boxes, a hard ID case, coin purse, etc? All of these would be really cool. Coin purses, in general tend to be too effeminate for my tastes, but if you can come up with something a gentleman might store his coins in, that would be wonderful gift.Any songs you are desperately into at the moment? Nothing new. I've had Jonathon Coulton stuck in my head for the past few days. I'm pretty sure it's Sheyona's fault.What's autumn like in your neck of the woods? What do you love and/or hate about it? Autumn is lovely, with beautiful changes in the leaves and usually just enough rain to keep me satisfied. Summer is the time when I want thunder and rain storms, but in autumn, I want cool mornings and chilly drizzles. All too soon, however, it turns into winter, and there's every indication that it's going to be a cold one this year.What's your favorite product(s) at Trader Joe's? Goodness, please no. I don't even want to think about it. I'm Trader Joe's junk food free at the moment, but this is how it all starts. You get something seemingly innocuous in the mail, and you think, "I have willpower. I can savor these slowly, and when they are gone, no big deal." But it is a big deal, because as soon as you finish mouthing those words between bites, you realize you've polished off the entire package, and now, you simply have to have more (for mom, or hubby, or kids, or boyfriend, mind you. After all, they didn't get their fair share), and so you wander off to Trader Joe's, Just to replace that one package. And oh, hey, let's see if they have that triple chocolate stout again, and hey, this wasabi the trail mix looks wonderful, and oh....Pretty soon, you're at The Church of Trader Joe's every Sunday morning, filling up your shopping cart with carton after carton of those damnable chocolate chip dipping cookies.Anyone who would do that to me is a false witch, and a true sadist.If you're caught in front of the tv, what are you watching? I don't have cable, so if I'm watching anything, it's probably a DVD or Bluray I've popped in.Any Amy Brown art fans? Not my cup of tea.How do you feel about Halloween music? (mix CDs, what have you) I'd be okay with this. I don't like music piracy, but I think mix CDs are kind of art form unto themselves, and as long as you're sending me 15 songs and not 1500, I think it's harmless enough.Who else is reeeeeally looking forward to Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland? I am not. Reeeeeally not. I realize saying such a thing is akin to blasphemy in this forum, but I am sick unto death of Burton/Depp collaborations. Is there a store that you love which does not have a location near you (but that has a physical presence somewhere, not just online?) Why do you love it so much? I can't really think of one, honestly. I miss the shops on State Street in Madison, but that was largely a matter of convenience rather than a love of any particular shop. If I think of something, I'll come back to this.Lolcats....yeah or nay? Like all things of the internet, I think there are some really funny, clever ones, and I think there are a lot of not funny, overplayed, past-their-prime ones. I can definitely appreciate the really funny ones, and also the especially adorable ones, but overall lolcats and their vernacular aren't particularly appealing.What is your favorite creepy folk story or legend? Oh, I don't know that I have a favorite. My favorite is the one being currently told to me.If your witch were to either write something for you or put together a collection of ghost stories, would you rather have it in writing, recorded as an oral telling, or both? I think either would be wonderful. If you had the funds to comission an original painting for yourself, what would it be of? What would it be like- colors, size, style?It would be a watercolor painting of dwarves. Something that looked like it came out of an old storybook, with the dwarves wearing liripipe hoods (for the men) and kerchiefs for the women. I imagine the colors being dreamy, washed, again evocative of an old storybook. As for the subject matter, the scene I have in mind would be an Escher-esque forced perspective view of their cavernous mountain home—a vertical panorama, if you will—depicting a close-up of the floor of the hall, like a medieval city, with shops and houses, and then rising high above to the cavern ceiling, with paths clinging to the sides of the rock walls, and vast bridges and stairways arcing high overhead. Clinging to the walls here and there would be other buildings: homes, crenellated fortifications, perhaps a mill being powered by a waterfall....... you realize that now that you've made me imagine this, I'm not going to be able to let it go until I can afford to have it commissioned, right?9/12 & 9/13What's something you're really looking forward to in the semi-near future? I don't really have anything like that on the horizon, sad to say. Receiving my first swap package?What fictional character do you most identify with and why? Hmm... I can get you characters who I aspire to be like, but in terms of who I am, I would probably have to say Tyrion Lannister, from George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. In reality, though, Tyrion's insecurities dwarf my own, no pun intended.Could you use a 'travel' imp case? How many should it hold? Thanks, but I really don't think I would need this sort of thing.As a witchee, would you prefer to have many little packages sent to you throughout the round with a not-so-big final package or fewer things throughout the round with one huge final package to seal the sweetness? I don't really have a preference, as long as I feel on some level that someone is paying attention to me. It's definitely nice to receive more than one package, but I would be happy with two packages, or even just one big one, as long as my witch maintains regular communication.What is your idea of the perfect evening at home? Ordering out, and then, depending largely on whether I want company, watching a film, reading a book, or playing a game. I'm easily contented.What kind of socks? Thin, stretchy, lightweight, knee-high girly socks! (Really!)How often do you update your wishlist? I don't have a formal BPAL WishList. I update my Amazon wishlist as regularly as I can remember. This is sometimes not very regularly, but I try to be more conscientious around this time of year when people are looking to shop for my birthday/Christmas. It wouldn't hurt to check back periodically.May I help you fill out your costuming wardrobe (assuming you costume)? Are there articles you are seeking to enhance your a) Halloween costume, Renfest attire, c) Cosplay, d) Steampunk accouterment? I'm always interested in new and interesting period hats and accessories. The trouble is, my head is very large (size 8), so while I love top hats, fedoras, and jaunty haberdashery of all shapes and sizes, it's very hard to find interesting hats that actually fit. If you like making hats, and can remedy this problem, I will love you forever.In terms of outfits, however... because of the peculiarities of my body shape, tailoring clothing to fit me is not a chore I would advise undertaking. I appreciate the offer.Who are your favorite artists/illustrators/art periods? Remedios Varo (and I am continually dismayed that so few people have heard of her), MC Escher, Evelyn De Morgan, Albrecht Dürer, Edmund Leighton, Gustave Caillebotte, Alfons Mucha, Max Ernst, Hieronymus Bosch, Brian Froud, Wayne Anderson. In general I love surrealist works, fantasy illustration, and medieval illumination.What's your stance on cranberries? I love cranberry sauce (provided it doesn't have mayonnaise in it. Someone actually served me that once). Apart from that, I'm not a huge fan. It's not a dealbreaker, but it's not something I go actively seeking in my food.Do you mind receiving used (in good condition, of course) CDs or DVDs? That would be lovely. Perhaps I should fill up my wish list with more CDs and DVDsDo you have a crush on anyone famous? Do you have a crush on any literary characters? Would you like fanfiction or fan art based on this/these people? I develop fast, intense crushes on women with beautiful singing voices, but I don't have any at the moment. I don't really develop crushes on fictional characters either. You're at home, or out, and you want a snack. Something that will get you through to the next meal, or through to the end of school or what ever. What do you grab? I love cashews, and they are one of my primary go-to snacks.Do you have a favorite bpal bottle art? I don't, really. There is some wonderful art to be found on the bottles, but I don't think I have a particular favorite.Are there any decants from the Halloweenies, Literary Vampires, Gris Grimly, or Hellboy that you would be interested in receiving? I would be pleased to receive decants out any of these collections, although the one I think I would like to try the most is Trevor Bruttenholm.9/11There has been a lot of talk about chocolate, but none about Candy! What is your favorite Candy? What candy do you hate? My favorite candy is marzipan, without a doubt. Least favorite? I'm not sure. Probably melon flavored hard candies. I don't mind hard candy, but I'm not crazy about melon.Do you have a Blu-Ray player? I have a PlayStation 3, which functions as a bluray player.Do you have any objections to receiving downloads? Is your internet connection fast enough for you to download large files like music easily? Are there any songs, albums, movies, or TV shows that you can't find/haven't been released that you want? I have no objection to receiving downloads, however I do have a strong objection to piracy of all media. I'm okay with downloads as long as they are something that is legal to download: public domain, open-source licenses, or materials that are legally paid for/given permission for. Anything else, I appreciate the offer, but it simply doesn't sit well with me.9/10If you do any kind of craft, could you use supplies? What kind? knitting needles, yarn, amazing fabric, pinking shears, cool thimbles or pincushins, jewelery making supplies, beads, etc.? I don't really do those kinds of crafts anymore. About the closest I come is collecting and painting fantasy miniatures.What's your favorite pain-relief remedy or ritual? I take four ibuprofen, and if that doesn't help, it's time to lie down and try to sleep it off.Do sounds make you happy? What ambient noises make you smile? The sound of pouring rain, the distant rumble of thunder, cats purring.When you receive your SW packages...do you like receiving things that are individually wrapped inside? or unwrapped? or both? I love unwrapping things, so individually wrapped presents are my favorite.Of course, we're all going to be grateful no matter what our witches give us, but for the record, what is your anti-present? Tell us something that you think your future witch might give you that you absolutely, unequivocally DO. NOT. WANT. I've mentioned bar soap several times, so I think my witch probably has that one figured out. What BPAL scent have you never tried but always wanted to? What scent have you tried and LOVED, and haven't been able to get more of and why? I've always wanted to try Ah'duno. I had a chance to sniff it once, but I could never get my hands on my own vial. One I love that I've never been able to get more of is Quincy Morris. In particular, I'd like to get some for my brother, but I've never been able to secure more of it.I know we're all scent sensitive here. What are your favorite non-perfume smells? Day in the life stuff? Petrichor (the smell released by the soil before rain), the smell of rain itself, autumn leaves, baking cornbread, bacon, coffee, mown grass, freshwater lakes and rivers, old books, new fallen snow, pipe tobacco, woodsmoke, gasoline (yes, really).Coffee drinkers, what types of beans to you like? Kona, Sumatra, Kenya..etc. How do you like them roasted? Do you like flavors, such as hazelnut, vanilla, etc. in your coffee? I really enjoy variety in my coffee, although I'm particularly fond of peaberry varieties. I tend to vary what I buy so that I can don't tire of any particular blend or flavor. I love flavored coffee, and my particular favorites are hazelnut and toffee. What I am not particularly fond of is pumpkin coffee. It's just not a flavor combination I'm fond of. Pumpkin chai however....Who has a birthday falling in this round? I mentioned it earlier, but yes, my birthday is on October 22nd.For those of us who like chocolate, do you like anything /in/ your chocolate, like fruit, nuts, or for the more daring among us, chilies? My favorite candy bar, hands down, is Cadbury's fruit and nut bar. I love chocolate with fruit and nuts. I've never been particularly crazy about chocolate and chilies. It has its place, but it's not one of my favorite flavors.Are there any childhood shows/movies/games/books/etc. that still hold a really special place in your heart? My favorite television series as a child was The Mysterious Cities of Gold, which used the air on Nickelodeon back in the mid-80s when they had a lot less money and a lot more class. They finally got around to releasing this one on DVD in the US, and I snatched up my copy right away. The other big cartoon from childhood was The Flight of Dragons. They've never officially released that one on DVD—you can find shady companies pirating it, but that's about it—and I'm afraid they never will, but at least you can usually catch it on Youtube. Star Wars was a huge part of my life. One day George Lucas will finally cave and release good copies of the original films (or else he'll die and 20 seconds after his death, the executives at Fox will do it for him. Until then I will remain mildly resentful.Games... I believe I've mentioned my love for Dungeons & Dragons and board games of all types. I love classic video games and classic arcade machines. Were it not for my disability, I would likely own at least one.Books... I really loved Choose Your Own Adventure books. The best ones were aimed at older kids and involved dice and combat rules, so they really were a lot like a single player form of Dungeons & Dragons. I read every one I could get my hands on, and I would probably play through them again if I had the chance.9/9Super power? Batman doesn't have superpowers. If I send you whole spices or coffee beans, would you be able to grind them or would you prefer them preground for your convenience? I vastly prefer whole beans to preground coffee. In terms of spices, however... as I've said before, I'm not much of a cook. I don't really have a preference, and the gift of whole spices would probably be wasted on me.For the tea and coffee drinkers: Opinion on tea- and/or coffee-related accessories/etc? (Teaware, sugar crystals, infusers, tea chests, etc)How do you take your coffee (or tea)? Black or with cream and/or sugar? I have a love for beautiful tea infusers. Unfortunately, they don't make them very much anymore. Plain tea balls and teaspoons rule the day. Occasionally I've found infusers in cute shapes, but nothing artistically striking. I'd be happy to received coffee and tea related paraphernalia. I generally take my coffee and black tea with milk or cream and sweetener. On the occasions I drink green tea, I prefer it lightly sweetened, although if it's particularly good tea, I'll sometimes drink it unsweetened.Restaurants you'd like a gift certificate to on Restaurant.com? No thank you. In your perfect world it is chocolate and...? I'm not sure chocolate actually has any bearing on my conceptualization of a perfect world. Certainly not when you go about dipping men in it.How do you scent your home: tarts, reed diffusers, BPAL, candles? I've used diffusers before, but I don't particularly care for the concept. Most of the time, I'll light some incense.What's your favorite dessert treat? Ice cream? Cake? Pie? Fudge brownie cake with pie flavored ice cream on top? I don't think I have a favorite. It depends on my mood. It depends on what's being served for dinner (e.g., there's something that just feels right about having traditional sakura mochi after a satisfying sushi dinner, but it's not something that I crave after a hamburger). Sometimes the perfect "dessert" is an after dinner drink followed by a good nights sleep. The notion of desert can be highly subjective. Do you believe we control our destiny, or does our destiny control us? I'm actually fairly deterministic in my philosophy. I believe in the great chain of causality, beginning at Time 0—the creation of the known universe—and moving inexorably forward, action begetting reaction until our universe either collapses in upon itself or succumbs to entropy and heat death. As such, destiny is a misnomer, because it implies a guiding hand, and I don't believe such a thing exists in the universe. There is no great orchestrator, no great maker. There is no inspired plan. However, if the universe is absolutely causal, there's no room for genuine randomness. Thus, free will is a kind of illusion as well. Our choices are influenced by our experience, which is in turn determined by the experience of others, influenced by and actions and reactions of the universe around us and all that has come before us. We cannot behave outside this chain of events.On the other hand, I believe the notion of free will is largely semantic. Ultimately, many things we take for granted in the universe are merely illusions. We think of ourselves as corporeal beings, but ultimately we are comprised of tiny bits of energy. We can look to our arms, think of them as solid, and yet we are built of building blocks with a relative amount of space between them. Particles of sufficiently small size can pass through these gaps. It's entirely possible that the nature of causality as we perceive it is an illusion as well. If we were capable of viewing for dimensional objects, how we perceive the universe? Would it unfold like an enormous fractal with all morons existing at once? I don't know. And so, I don't believe there's any real point in arguing about whether or not the choices we make can be considered free will. We can call choice free will because even if the future is already determined, we act with out any clear understanding of it. We are forever making choices in an infinitely small moment we call now. Those choices, influenced by everything that came before us, are still our own. If it comforts us, at some level, to call the state of being free will, why should we deny ourselves the peace of mind?What one thing that is missing from your life would you like to have above all else? Why do I make my own questions so difficult? I'm pretty happy with my life overall, but if I let my mind wander, I can certainly think of a few things I wish I had. I wish I had the money to take care of the problems my family is facing. I wish I had a job, suited to my talents, that I could do from home, but that's essentially a practical version of my first statement. I would like mobility without pain. I would like to be in a fulfilling romantic relationship. I would like to have a tightknit circle of friends that live closer to me.These are all things I want. But when it comes right down to it, I think what I want most is focus: a driving conviction that I'm doing what I should be doing with my life rather than feeling constantly like a dilettante.9/8Which three albums would you take to your apocalypse bolt hole and how would you power the generator? I would never build such a thing, and so I must assume that I purchased/was given a pass into a facility capable of holding a community of people. If so, our power needs have probably been carefully considered. Rather than albums, I would bring either my harp or my kantele, and keep the music in my head. Even with a fairly stable power source, we're going to be wanting to ration power. Better not to waste that power on a stereo. With a musical instrument and my voice I can entertain myself and others, and provide a useful service to the community. I'd better bring extra strings, though.What GC scent have you been putting off getting since it'll "always be there"? Hmm... Dorian. I still don't have any Dorian. I haven't really looked at the catalog in a long time, so I'm sure there are other things that I'm missing that I should definitely try.Are you interested in things like home remedies for ailments, cleaning solutions, etc.? Do you have a home remedy for dispelling bad luck/drawing good fortune. I confess I could use a bit of that.9/7Any cooks? Could you use anything cooking related? Aprons? Cookbooks? Measuring Cups? Recipes? Herb/Spice containers? Fancy Spices? Dish Towels? Cocktail napkins? Amazing Beaded Pot Holders? (like from our very own Pottersville! ) Something else? I'm not particularly useful in the kitchen. I can't think of anything I'd really want or need.What's your favorite candy to stock up on at Halloween? I don't go out of my way to purchase Halloween candy for myself. That said, I wouldn't mind receiving a small amount. It's the variety that makes Halloween candy appealing, in my opinion: the mixture of really cheap, awful candy, candy that was pretty good, and the occasional piece of really great candy.What is your favourite flower (or plant)? English ivy. For flowers, snapdragons.Duct tape purses and wallets and things are pretty darned cool. Who else thinks so? Not my style, but to each their own.An anonymous benefactor gives you $500 (or an equivalent amount of money in your currency of choice) with the following stipulations. You must spend all of it within a week: any money left unspent must be returned. You must spend at least half of the money on yourself. You may not use it to pay off debts or bills of any kind. What do you do with the money? Assuming I got it today, I would go ahead and grab The Beatles: Rock Band (which... I was planning on doing anyway, but it would certainly make my budgeting easier. After that, I'd go Switch Witch shopping and then treat my family to a nice dinner.Who likes coloring books? I can appreciate them, but I don't collect them or anything, and I probably wouldn't use one. Do you know what I still love? Where's Waldo? My copy of The Great Waldo Search was destroyed, and that had some amazing illustrations. I really miss that book.Even better? Books that are interactive puzzles like this one.Are you an avid reader? What's your favorite book/series? Yes. Yes, I'm an avid reader. A few of my favorite books: El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra; Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky; Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas R. Hofstadter; Les Misérables by Victor Hugo; The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco; The Compass Rose by Ursula K. Le Guin; A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin; Perdido Street Station by China Miéville; Beauty by Sheri S. TepperDo you have a Good Reads profile? If so, make with the link! If you don't have one, go make one! I don't have one, and I really don't think I need another webspace to neglect. 9/6You're in the kitchen at the end of a pay period and groceries are pretty scarce. Do you take the five ingredients you find first and make something fabulous, or do you order take out? Something fabulous? No. No one should have that much faith in my culinary skills. Something edible? That's possible. Honestly, I would probably order out unless I was desperately short on money, in which case, I almost always have some cappellini on hand. Even in the absence of tomato sauce... a little butter, some grated Parmesan. It's not exactly the most balanced meal, but I won't starve.If you could decorate/redecorate any 1 room in your home, what would it be and how would you decorate it? I only have a truly vested interest in one room in my house: my bedroom. I'm very happy with the way it looks, and I'm not prepared to redecorate yet. That said, I would probably redecorate our kitchen. I would tear out our existing cabinetry start from scratch. Marble countertops, tile walls, brand-new everything.Any rabid sports fans out there? What teams do you root for? I am definitely not a rabid sports fan, but I do enjoy watching a game now and again. In general, if the Chicago team is playing, I root for them. If not, I root for whoever I feel like at any given second, and my team of preference may change throughout the game.. There are only two notable exceptions to this. The first is when the White Sox play the Cubs, in which case, I always root for the Sox. The other is Manchester United versus Liverpool, in which case, I will support Liverpool with my dying breath. What's your favorite animal? (You can have more than one.) I'm fond of snakes, armadillos, pangolins, and cetaceans of various persuasions.This is how the world ends... zombie apocalypse, robot uprising, alien invasion, return of the elder gods... which doomsday scenario do you prefer (or make your own!)?. I tend to think the world is going to end in some ridiculous, unforeseeable way. In Douglas Adams fashion, our planet will be vaporized to make way for a galactic highway. Aliens will invade, but they'll be unicellular organisms: benign diatoms that multiply at an alarming rate and smother the planet to death. God will flush his final project down the toilet after having only gotten a B- on it.In the year 2525... if man is still alive... what sort of future do you imagine? The next 100 years is going to be very telling for humanity. We have so many systems on the verge of collapse, and the outlook doesn't look promising. Despite that, human beings have proven very difficult to kill, and the planet Earth is nothing if not resilient. I think we're going to make it. I don't think our future will be perfect, but I do think we are too tenacious to die off that easily.I don't believe our future will be apocalyptic, but there will be a lot of death in the next 500 years, there will be climate change, there will be countries that collapse and other countries that rise to take their place. I hesitate to call our future dystopian, because I think ultimately, if we call this sort of future dystopian, we must affirm that our present is dystopian, and that vast majority of human civilization since the dawn of history has been functionally dystopian. I don't believe we can effectively judge our future selves through modern-day societal filters. I do think their way of life will be as alien to us as ours would be to a medieval man.I do think it will be fascinating, and exhilarating, and terrifying, and ugly, and also beautiful. I wish, in some ways, I could see what happens.Do you believe in magic (or magick, if you prefer)? What does it mean to you? I do, but I'm not even certain in what context I believe in it or why. I share Hamlet's conviction, "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."If you found the puzzle box from Hellraiser, what would you do with it? ( and would you be able to resist playing with it? ) I agree with Wildbriar. If I recognized it for what it was, I would encase it in a 5' x 5' block of concrete and drop it into the deepest part of the ocean. Firing it into the sun would be even better, although less practical. If I didn't know what it was, I fear the world would be doomed.9/5Do you like pinup art/images? Not particularly, no.What are your plans for Halloween? Have you made any yet? Do you have any traditions? I would love to have plans for Halloween, but I will be at home wishing I had a party to attend, and the means to attend it. Perhaps I should be the one holding a party.Who are your BPAL forum buddies? You know, people I could conspire with to Witch you! Goodness, I don't know. Heartbeast and Merlu might, if they have time. Laurel the Woodfairy might. I went to school briefly with waternight, and she might be willing to help. I'm not sure. I'm fond of a lot of people here, but most of them still feel like relative strangers to me. I'm not sure if any of them would be willing to conspire on my behalf.What is your favorite color? My favorite color changes with my mood, but in general, I like bold colors: Hunter Green, cobalt blue, Royal purple, Venetian red, Gold. I also like warm, earthy browns, and French grays.Any other steampunk fans/lovers? I'm not what I would consider a huge fan, but I loved the aesthetic long before I knew there was a term for it. I still have visions of transforming my new wheelchair into a steampunk work of art, a la George Pál's version of The Time Machine.Describe your ideal picnic lunch. Where would you go? Who (if anyone, and yes there can be multiple people) would accompany you? What sort of food would you take? And, of course, if a picnic lunch sounds like a horrible idea, feel free to say so! I think I'd like to invite this switch witch group to come picnic with me. We'll have our picnic at Graue Mill. It's a large group, so everyone will be responsible for bringing a dish or two. For my part, I'll bring Swedish meatballs (both beef and vegetarian), cornbread, cane sugar soda, iced tea, and perhaps a couple bottles of my favorite Riesling.9/4Any Gamers here? What kind? Board games? RPG? Miniature? MMORPG? I'm a gamer. I'm a gamer in pretty much every sense of the word. I love RPGs, and I've been playing them for well over two decades now. I am quite enamored with fourth edition Dungeons & Dragons, and I've collected almost every supplement to date.I love board games, and I collect vintage board games (old 1970s-1980s boardgames, primarily). I'm always on the lookout for old fantasy-inspired boardgames (Hero Quest, Dungeon, Dark Tower, Dragonlance), Star Wars-inspired boardgames, and video game-inspired boardgames. It can be hard to find these games, much less with all the pieces intact.More than boardgames, however, I love video games. They are my favored method of relaxation, particularly when I'm feeling too tired to be particularly creative or social. In general, I'd rather be social, but there are times when pure escapism wins out, and I just want to spend a few hours exploring life as a noble hero, space marine, assassin, or... you know... Batman.Is anyone playing this round of SW into ABJ? (asian ball jointed dolls) I appreciate the art form, but no. I've never really had much of an interest.What is your favorite Halloween icon? Probably the little ghost. Imagine that you're given a shoebox-sized time capsule, and you are asked to put any number of items in the box that symbolize who you are. The items can be may be anything you can imagine, and money is no object, but they must fit within the box. Which items do you choose? In the original spirit of the question, I'm going to answer with both a one item answer and with a multiple item answer.Multiple items: A black muffin cap adorned with a feather (this can easily be folded or rolled, so I'm not particularly concerned about space), a fountain pen without any ink, a set of polyhedral dice, three cards from the Rider Waite tarot deck (The King of Wands, The Eight of Cups, The Three of Swords), a soprano recorder, a book of matches, and a postcard of MC Escher's "Relativity." On the back is written:Yesterday, upon the stair,I met a man who wasn’t thereHe wasn’t there again todayI wish, I wish he’d go away...If I may only choose one item, it would be thus: a cunningly crafted music box, in the likeness of the twin Voyager probes. When wound, it plays "To Dream the Impossible Dream."Are you involved in any long-term, ambitious project? something like decorating your house or saving for a trip to the other end of the world, for example. I'm currently writing a novel, programming a video game, and compiling songs for an album.Favorite kind or take out kinda burger? Whats your burger preference? Veggie,meat or ???? I like a good hamburger now and again, but I've never had one that I would consider a religious experience. A burger is a burger is a burger. I prefer mine with bacon and occasionally mushrooms, but apart from that, I don't have a great deal of preference. I don't like Black Angus burgers, however. Veggie burgers... it really depends. If it's trying to be meat, I will almost certainly hate it. There are many very tasty veggie burgers out there, however, that are wonderful primarily because they don't disguise what they are. I don't generally eat them, however, so I couldn't offer specific brandsWhats your favorite childhood toy? My very favorite toys were the Star Wars Micro Collection toys released in the early 80s. Here is my favorite set from the Micro Collection toys. Each set came with little painted metal miniatures of the characters. I loved these specifically because even as a kid I had a range of motion issues. The larger 3 3/4 inch action figures had really cool vehicles and playsets, but they were large and difficult for a kid with a physical disability to use effectively. The micro collection toys let me have the entirety of cloud city, or the death Star, or what have you right at my fingertips. Much later, there was an entirely different line of micro figures and vehicles. I had a few, for nostalgia's sake, but they were a little disappointing. Somehow, they lacked the character of those original toys, or perhaps they merely lacked the love of a five-year-old Star Wars fanatic.If you have a pet, what kind of gifts would be good for them? My cats love little catnip toys, kitty treats (I think they all prefer fish flavored), the occasional tin of tuna... apart from catnip toys none of them take very much interest in toys. In fact they tend to shun anything not food related that is freely given to them. It's only interesting if one of the humans (a.k.a. "the staff") doesn't want them to have it.Do you Tweet? What is your Twitter name? I dislike Twitter immensely, so no.Are you on Ravelry? What is your Ravelry name? No. I don't believe I've ever heard of it.9/3What are everyone's favorite Halloween-y/Autumn-y/spooky movies? Are there any you don't own but would like to? I don't really have a tradition. Just recently, I acquired a huge box full of 250 horror films (old, campy public domain stuff), and I'll probably be working my way through those all season.Are roasted pumpkin seeds and home made chex mix the best fall snack foods, or what? I'm not a big fan of roasted pumpkin seeds anymore, but I love chex mix.Whats your favorite pie, my dear SW's? I've never met a pie I didn't like, but particular favorites include pumpkin, brown sugar, French silk, blueberry, Dutch apple, peach... dare I go on?... strawberry rhubarb... key lime... coconut cream... quiche?... chicken?... steak and kidney?... stargazey? (the squeamish might not want to look that last one up)Err… yes. I like pie. Yes.What kinda socks are you wearing tonight? I'm not wearing socks.Do you like socks? Blankets? Wrist warmers? Arm warmers? Headband? Shawl? Or what kind of knitted thing would you love the most? Knitted socks aren't particularly good idea for me. But if you were to knit me an afghan or a shawl, I would adore you forever.How do you feel about ghost stories? Do you like to tell the old tales around a campfire? Read true accounts on the web way past your bedtime? I love ghost stories. As a kid I used to thrive on them. I love when they are allegedly true. I love when there is documented evidence to support the claims. When it comes to things like ghosts and alien abductions, I consider myself a skeptic. But in the end, I always come back, driven by the desire to know.Do you like to pick up a good anthology of Poe stories on a blustery day? Or is all that too scary for you? I love Poe's work, and also Lovecraft's, but I don't find either particularly scary. I do love a good scary story, but I haven't really found any in a long time.Who here is LOVING Warehouse 13? I hadn't heard of it until this question appeared. I don't have cable. It sounds rather like the old Friday the 13th TV series with a little X-Files thrown in for good measure. Could be interesting. I'll have to give it a look when it comes to DVD.Nother question! Coffee or Tea? Both. There are times when I prefer one or the other. Lately, I've been in a coffee mood, but I swing back and forth between the two. Of late, I've become particularly fond of peaberry coffees. I love trying new varieties of coffee, gourmet blends, unusual flavors. I also like supporting coffee farmers through fair trade. On many levels, that would be a wonderful gift. In terms of tea, I prefer black teas over green teas or white teas. I'm not a big fan of herbal teas. My favorite tea is Glengettie, which is imported from the UK, and rather difficult to find around here. It makes a lovely stiff cup of tea.Interested in locally produced products? Food, skincare or both?Olive oil? Lavender oils or soaps? Not particularly. I've already discussed skincare products in my questionnaire. I don't do much cooking, and so a product like olive oil, used primarily for cooking, has little appeal to me. (Although, admittedly, I do love olive oil in place of butter on fresh baked bread.)Does anyone in here wear a lot of dangly earrings or collect pendants of all kinds?? How about hair clips or pony tail band things? I used to wear dangly earrings. Typically I would wear a dangling earring in one ear and a hoop in the other. I've pretty much given up on earrings, however. My hair is also now much too short for a pony tail band. Pendants, however, I'm quite fond of: particularly those with a medieval flavor, and those made with interesting found items.What is your favourite historical period? Oh dear.... you know, I really don't think I have one. There's a sort of implied romanticism when one chooses a favorite time or place, and I don't really feel that sort of bond or pull with any particular culture or period. I certainly can't think of many historical periods in which I would prefer to live. In any case, I'm too fascinated by the evolution of human culture as a whole, and by the multitude of unsolved mysteries before us to settle down and fall in love with any one time and place.What other hot beverages everyone likes for fall? and have a great fondness for hot chocolate and mulled wine. I'm not particularly fond of hot cider, although I will drink it on rare occasion. I love hot sake, but typically only with Japanese fair. I love mead, but I actually prefer it at room temperature.Did you order anything from the most recent update? I ordered a bronze library skeleton plaque.Vampires or Werewolves? Or some other monster? If I have to choose between the two, werewolves win. I'm prefer my monsters to be a little bit more edge-of-awareness, however. Vengeful spirits, alien abductors...What sort of odd or regional foods do you crave? I admit it. I have strange—some would say unnatural—cravings for meat products other people might find unsettling: blood sausage, haggis, scrapple, etc. I like uni (sea urchin), which is definitely an acquired taste. None of this does my witch the least bit of good, of course, unless he or she knows of a way to safely ship various and sundry alarming meat products, but these are the only odd things in my diet that I can think of at the moment.
  2. Coyote was my first thought as well, although I think it ought to be layered with the subtlest hint of something with ozone. Perhaps Nyarlethotep. Your humble and obedient Renaissance Man, Bard
  3. Bard

    Switch Witch 2008 questions

    Here is a list of questions and answers for Autumn Switch Witch. 9/18 How do you avoid popping an item for yourself into an order you're placing for your witchie? My willpower is pretty strong. If I promised myself (or someone else) I would not buy something, I won't buy it. Underpants? Do you like them? What's your style? Size? Please, no underwear. What is your favorite tea? What tea would you love to try but haven't because of price or difficulty to get? My favorite is Glengettie, which, coincidentally, is also extremely tough for me to find here in the US. I'm also fond of Tazo Chai and Twining's Irish Breakfast. BPTP Room Sprays...your thoughts? I haven't tried them Would you like to receive baked goods from your Witch? And if so, are there things you WOULDN'T like? I would love any form of baked goods. 9/16 Your thoughts on the update? I didn't really pay much attention to it. How do you decide what to put in which package for your Witchee or how many packages to send? I usually try to build themed packages if possible. If not, I tend to limit a package to three or four large items. If you were my witchee, would you be terribly offended if I sent you a box containing project "experiments" or random miscellaneous pretty bits of brainstorming that I thought you might like/wear? That sounds like a lot of fun. 9/14-9/16 Do you often drink take away coffe in paper mugs? Usually no. Who here likes Wizard of Oz things? I'm not particularly fond of it. 9/13 Do you like Mystery Science Theater 3000? Have you tried out (and if not, would you be interested in doing so) its weird little brother, RiffTrax? They both have their place. I don't care for them as much as I used to. 9/12 What would you like from Singapore? Candies? Food? Asian crafts/toys? I wish I could remember the brand of green curry my ex-girlfriend would bring back from Singapore. It was pretty fabulous. What is everyone's "luck" item? I don't really have one anymore. Years ago I had a particular lucky pendant. It was given to me by one of my aunts while I was in the hospital. I wore daily for around eight years, and it was very lucky indeed. I finally gave it to a friend of mine who had fallen on hard times with the instruction that, when she no longer needed it, she should give it to someone else who does. I know she gave it to a friend of hers. I'd like to imagine that it is still passing from person to person. Do you like art deco/nouveau - style prints? I like the style, but I don't like prints generally. What is one thing that, if you received it in the middle of all the hubbub, would make you smile and take your mind off of all you have to do for a bit? A big hug. How do you feel about Hello Kitty? I have nothing against it, but it's definitely not for me. 9/11 Legwarmers? Armwarmers? No thank you. If you are into the original Nintendo system, what 3 games would you want that you don't have? N/A What is your favorite category of the GC? Probably Illyria 9/10 Has anyone tried ice wine before? Do/did they enjoy it? I haven't. It's been recommended to me, however. What other perfume companies (besides bpal) have you been curious about? None, really. Does anyone here do anything with grave rubbings? Nope. Would you enjoy art based on original Graveyard photography? I'm not sure about something like a collage, but it certainly appreciate an interesting collection of graveyard photos. What's in your Netflix or Blockbuster queue, do you want any new Netflix/Blockbuster friends, if so how do we find you on there? Netflix friends? I have no idea what that's about. 9/9 Do you play a musical instrument? I used to play several. Piano, accordion, lap harp, tin whistle, ocarina, siku, and tarka. I don't have the strength in my arms to play most of them anymore, although just the other day I purchased a kantele, and I believe I will have much fun with that. Otherwise, I generally stick to singing and composing. What do you think of Irrelevant Disturbing and Surreal Crawdad Dream? Love it? Hate it? Kicking yourself for not getting a bottle? I haven't tried it. I loved the concept, but I couldn't afford it when it came out. How do you feel about trinkets? You know - tiny toys or doodads that serve no purpose than to be cute, take up space and make us smile. Love them or waste of money? As I mentioned in a previous question, I don't typically keep little toys. Here's my answer from before: "I don't really have a place for such things in my home. So, while I love the immediate joy of little useless novelties, please understand that I am almost certainly going to play with them for a little while and then get rid of them/give them away to someone else. If that idea upsets you, I'd ask you not to get me something like that. I would hate for you to feel that I didn't love them, or that you wasted your money. There are a couple exceptions to this rule. I collect Dungeons & Dragons miniatures. Anything I can use as monsters at the gaming table earns a welcome addition to my collection. This includes little plastic dragons, objects and props that are close to the right scale (28 to 30 mm) and truly weird, unclassifiable monsters. I also love cool handmade puzzle boxes and brain teasers and musical toys." Can melty things be shipped to you, or will they be in puddles by the time you open the package? At this point, it should be fairly safe. However, if you're going to send something perishable to me, please either inform me, or have a switch witch moderators do so. Sometimes packages go overlooked at my house. Who likes pirates? I am sick of pirates. Also sick of ninjas and zombies. Sort of sick of Cthulhu, but I still love Lovecraft in general. I am very, very sick of anything that tries to combine the above. Still okay with steampunk, but I loved that long before it became popular. I suspect I will still love it when the fad dies down. What are your feelings about Dia De Los Muertos? I don't have strong feelings about it either way. What do you think about the Nightmare Before Christmas? Very cute and lots of fun. I was lamenting the other day that I don't own it on DVD. If candy is sent, would you prefer small amounts to a Halloween sized bag? Small amounts please. Do you like notes in your soaps or bath stuff that you don't like in your perfumes? If so which? In general, no. My nose is very, very sensitive. I can't stand anywhere near a perfume counter or a bath and bodyworks-type shop without getting a headache. However, the following fragrances are okay: tea tree, pear, strawberry, coconut, vanilla, plus anything I listed earlier in my favorite notes. Do you like floral soaps or bath stuff? If so, what florals work and what don't? No florals, please. BPAL florals are the only kind that I can tolerate. The rest always send me to headache junction. 9/8 How do y'all feel about honey and maple? And different flavored honey, not just the standard kind? I enjoy both, and as I said before, I'm eager to try new kinds of honey. What is your favorite thing to do on a cool fall day? I like to stay indoors, wrapped up under the covers, with a cup of tea or hot chocolate, a book, a videogame, a movie, or a loved one. 9/7 If you have pets, is there a SPECIFIC toy they like to play with; brand and size? Is there a treat/cookie they eat? What brand and size? My cats aren't really fond of toys. They like pretty much any kind of treat, but especially things that are fish flavored. What's your ringtone? Most of my friends and family have distinct ring tones. My default is currently the "Cornered" theme from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. Other prominent tunes include "Kefka's Theme" from Final Fantasy VI, "Gato's Theme" from Chrono Trigger, the opening theme from Curse of the Azure Bonds, and a theme from The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall. My "you have voicemail" sound is the "Link acquires a new item" noise from The Legend of Zelda. My text message alert the codec chirp from Metal Gear Solid. One might suspect that I am a videogame nerd. One might suspect correctly. Just to throw a silly question out there...Munsters or Addams Family, y'all? The Addams Family, no question. What think you about receiving tea accessories and/or miscellany (like mugs, cups, saucers, strainers/filters, honey, natural sweeteners [like stevia])? I have a lot of coffee/tea mugs, and I don't really need more, but I'm not opposed to receiving one if my witch sees one and thinks "This is absolutely perfect." I do like decorative tea infusers, and I've discovered they are rather hard to find. I don't typically use honey in my tea, preferring milk and sugar/Splenda, but I've been rather interested in trying new and unusual kinds of honey. I don't think I've tried anything other than clover Honey and citrus honey. How do you feel about copies of music or dvd's that your witch might have that you might enjoy? Not just mixes, but whole copies? I'm not entirely comfortable with this. I'm okay with a mix CD because I believe it's a fair use sampling of music. Burned copies of entire CDs/albums however, come a little too close to genuine piracy for my taste. However there are a few exceptions: Music/movies released under Creative Commons or other fair use policies, and or that have been released into the public domain. Music/movies from countries outside the United States that have not been released commercially within the United States. Music/movies that have been transferred from an uncommon media type (records, reel to reel, eight track, etc.). Particularly if they are accompanied by the original medium Music/movies that are out of print and generally impossible to find. Anything else, I really appreciate the thought, but I would prefer to have a legal copy. If you think I might enjoy a band, by all means, please send me a sample, but not the entire album. Say, witches, I have a question about birthdays. do you expect/rely on other people to plans birthday outings and activities? I generally make my own plans, or else I don't make plans. Birthday parties planned by friends often end in tears and counseling sessions (I'm not exactly exaggerating). Last year I got some of my best friends to come visit me for my 30th per day, and it was the best birthday I'd had in well over a decade. This year, I won't be doing anything so elaborate. Probably just relaxing at home and having a nice meal. Tarts? Yes/no? I've never used them. I'm curious but leery about using them around my pets. I'm wondering if my witchee would like to try these types of things (like the caramel with sea salts or chocolates with chilis/bacon/salt etc.)? I'm game to try pretty much anything. I like chocolate and chilies, however, I don't particularly care for Dagoba chocolates, and theirs is the only brand I've found. I prefer my chocolate to be sweeter. 9/6 What's your favorite animal? I'm not sure I have a favorite, however I'm particularly fond of snakes, pangolins, armadillos, and cetaceans of various persuasions. What one (or two, if you really must) BPAL bottles are you most longing for? Another bottle of Doc Constantine. If you could have dinner/drinks/coffee with any 3 living people that are not your family/friends already, who would they be-? It'd be a rousing session Dungeons & Dragons with Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk, and Adam Baldwin roped into playing. 9/5 If you could bring back any TV show from cancellation what would it be? I'm not sure there's any such show. Not even Firefly. I confess that one of the things I really love about Firefly is that it wasn't on the air long enough for Joss to screw it up. Yes, that pretty much sums up how I feel about Joss Whedon. I wonder if my witchee would like a blanket type thing. Would you? I love blanket type things, and also blankets. What's your favorite "I know it's bad for me but I can't help myself" treat? Girl Scout Cookies: Thin Mints. Very important question: Are you planning on buying anything off your BPAL and/or other wishlists during the round? I doubt it. The only thing I really need is another bottle of Doc Constantine before the carnival closes. However, if the carnival does close, I'll just look to trade for it. Do you wear a watch? If so, what kind/style? I love watches, but I rarely wear them. How do you feel about having a donation made in your name to something?If you like that idea, what types of organizations/groups would you want the donation to go to? I think that's a wonderful idea. Any non-religious oriented charity involving world hunger, disaster relief, micro-financing for individuals in developing countries, no-kill animal shelters, LGBT causes, or the Muscular Dystrophy Association. 9/4 What is your favorite art movement and/or style? ie impressionist, surrealist, art nouveau, etc. My favorite art movement is Surrealism, and I particularly adore the works of Remedios Varo and MC Escher. I love fantasy art, particularly that which focuses on fairy tales and myths rather than sword and sorcery, and especially in watercolour. I love the Pre-Raphaelites. I love medieval art and sculpture. I love both Art Nouveau and Art Deco. I love comics and comic book art, animation and animation art. I love video game concept art. I am a big art nerd. Do you have a case for your mp3 player/digital camera? If you would want one, what size is your digital device? I don't have an MP3 player, and my digital camera came with a very nice case. For tea drinkers, do you bag it or prefer loose I have no real preference. Does the weather change where you are, as in, does it get cold in the winter? Anyone need homegrown scarves, hats, mittens, etc? I'm afraid a scarf would be wasted on me. I have a Tom Baker-era Dr. Who scarf that my mother knitted for me when I was but a wee lad. It's actually a little small for me now (it was half size to begin with), but I can't really imagine using anything else. Mittens and I are bitter enemies. I can't drive my wheelchair in them. Even gloves are nearly impossible. I love hats, however, and most of mine aren't really winter hats. Who are your forum buddies? People you know well enough online or IRL to help your Witch pick out stuff for you? You might try heartbeast or Merlu. They may have some suggestions. 9/3 What manner of affordable Witchery might you covet? Mysterious e-mails, riddles and logic puzzles, handmade cards, handwritten letters, drawings, custom Internet radio stations, Internet goose chases, links to entertaining videos/websites, used books, LPs from garage sales and other bargain finds. Does your cell phone have a place to attach charms? Alas, no. If you drink coffee (and make it yourself) do you use a French Press, regular filter basket coffee maker, Espresso Machine, Percolator? Filter basket. What movie soundtracks (or scores) do you love? To name just a few: Pan's Labyrinth, Amelie, Star Wars, Dune (1984), Krull How do you scent yourself? Do you layer soaps, moisturizers, etc. or do you go straight to slathering your bod with BPAL? I mainly use unscented soaps, shampoos and deodorants, and use BPAL for scenting purposes. Do you/how do you scent your world? Candles, incense, diffusers, potpourri? None of the above? Incense. I'm not opposed to trying something else, but my nose tends to be very sensitive to synthetic fragrances. BPAL is such a scent-ual experience. What are your other tactile, aural, or olfactory pleasures? I love the feel of real fur and of silk. I love the sound and scent of rain. I love the scent of leather. (I do hope I don't offend, dear witch) 9/2 How do people feel about receiving baked goods/kits to make said goods? Or other cooking items? Would you enjoy oil or vinegar flavored with herbs grown at home? Strange and exotic spices with recipes to try? Cookies made with carnation petals? I don't have an accessible kitchen, so baking has always been one of those things I would like to do, but I just don't have the means/ability. I would prefer not to get cooking items/kits, but interesting herbs and spices might be fun. Baked goods are always welcome. What are your pet's names, and what are they named for? I currently have three cats: Sara - short for Saraswati, a DMH Maine Coon mix. Despite being part Maine Coon, she is the tiniest cat I've ever owned. She's a little princess. Loki - a.k.a. The Loach, a Norwegian Forest Cat. He is a total attention whore around humans, but something of a curmudgeon around cats. Grimnir a.k.a. Grim, a.k.a. Moose, a.k.a. Mr. Magoo, another Norwegian Forest Cat. He's a huge, shy, bundle of fluff. He got the name Mr. Magoo because he has vision problems. 9/1 Who here is a complete, over the top, Alice In Wonderland fanatic? I wouldn't call myself over-the-top, but I certainly appreciate Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Are you a Trekkie? If so, which series do you prefer? Do you have a favorite character? I used to be a huge one in my teens. Not so much anymore. I loved pretty much everything pre-Voyager: TOS, TNG, DS9, the movies, and the often overlooked animated series. I don't really have a favorite character, nor much interest in the series anymore. Do you have phobias? No, I wouldn't say that I have any real phobias. How do you like your mix CDs? Random? Stuff you know you'll like? I always feel slightly disappointed if someone gives me a mix CD with nothing new. I'd rather get a CD with 20 songs I hate than 20 songs I've heard before. What I really love, however, are mix CDs that have a theme. Songs Inspired by Dungeons & Dragons. Songs about birds. Songs by artists that committed suicide. Just examples, not suggestions. Would you rather get food or jewelry? You could always give me a ring pop and satisfy both conditions. In general, I'm not overly particular. I would be happy with either. However, I have one request. If you're going to send me food, I'd really like to have something I've never tried before. So send me something unusual that you love. Then, it's not just food, it's a brand-new experience. Do you like children's toys, such as jacks, those little things you tilt around to get the ball in the right hold (wtf are those called?), the aforementioned caplet dinosaurs, cap guns, etc?: Well... yes. However, I don't really have a place for such things in my home. So, while I love the immediate joy of little useless novelties, please understand that I am almost certainly going to play with them for a little while and then get rid of them/give them away to someone else. If that idea upsets you, I'd ask you not to get me something like that. I would hate for you to feel that I didn't love them, or that you wasted your money. There are a couple exceptions to this rule. I collect Dungeons & Dragons miniatures. Anything I can use as monsters at the gaming table earns a welcome addition to my collection. This includes little plastic dragons, objects and props that are close to the right scale (28 to 30 mm) and truly weird, unclassifiable monsters. I also love cool handmade puzzle boxes and brain teasers and musical toys. English candy/tea/marmite or other stuff that you love and can't easily get outside of England? Oh, gods, yes. Glengettie tea, jelly babies, real Cadbury chocolate (as opposed to the stuff they sell in the US which is made by Hershey), digestive biscuits, Branston pickle. Maybe I should just move to England? Fanfic as a gift* - yay or nay? Your fandom? Slash preferences? I don't really read a lot of fan fiction, but that could be fun. A Song of Ice and Fire, Firefly, Star Wars would be good choices Any beaders here? Need beading supplies? Not a beader, sorry! Do you like making up your SW packages around a theme, or prefer to mix it all up? I love themed packages, but it really depends on the person I'm giving it to. Bandaids: do you like the fun and funky ones I never really thought about it. Do they make Shakespearean Band-Aids? What's the scariest thing that's ever happened to you? That's a tossup. When I was 12, we have a house fire. Being disabled, I couldn't get out and had to be rescued by the fire department. That was pretty terrifying. In college, my wheelchair malfunctioned, careening into a chain partition which just happened to be right at my neck level. If it hadn't been for passersby, I very likely would have strangled to death. 8/31 What is everyone's favorite Halloween song?! Thriller How many of mah fellow witchies play video games? Platform? Do you like used games? I play videogames on GBA, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, and PC. I used to have a very, very large collection of vintage games, but I no longer collect them. I'm totally fine with used games except on GBA and DS. Too many of the cartridges can't be erased, and I prefer to unlock things myself. For the record, I also love boardgames, card games, and RPGs. I'm pretty much an all-around gamer. What kind of music (genres, please) do you like? The entire gamut of Western art music from medieval to postmodern. Especially medieval/Renaissance and music inspired by it. Folk. Filk. Big band. Blues. Bluegrass. Classic rock. Progressive rock. Hard rock. Alternative. Metal (strong vocals rather than growling). Ethnic. Some hip-hop. Musical theater. Some electronica (like synthpop, Italo, bands like Apoptygma Berserk; not so much gritty, dark, industrial stuff, but it has its moments. Unclassifiable indie music. Have any of you ever received a book from a Witchy and loved it so much you ended up buying a copy for a later Witchee? No, but I love when that happens. What kinds of eye shadows do we all like? I'm not big on it personally. Do you like lip balm? If so, do you like tinted, glossy, sparkly, pearly or just plain lip balm? Again, not really my thing. What are some of the SW gifts/finds from past rounds (or you can just name a gift in general that you found for someone if this is your first round!) that you are the most proud of in terms of your sleuthing skills? This is my first round in so long that I can't even remember what I gave to my witchee. And, secondly, what is something you've been searching for but just can't find? The Serenity RPG 8/30 Do you knit/crochet? Do you need any supplies? Neither. I tried to teach myself to crochet once, and I gave up. Who here has an etsy shop? I do not. What are your two favorite etsy shops? Honestly, I don't go on there all that much. What keywords do you use when searching for items for yourself on Etsy? surrealist art, fantasy art, Edwardian, Victorian, steampunk Are you active on any other boards/forums? If so please specify where and your username there. I'm not active anywhere else at the moment. 8/29 What would you tell yourself 6 months in the past about 2008 so far? You will get through this. If you had one minute of fame, what would you do/say in the spotlight? Remind everyone to "be excellent to each other." Robots versus zombies: who wins? Nobody wins when fandoms collide. What would zombie say? I prefer zombie mythologies where they don't talk. Occasional groans and growls are okay. Some of my favorite places: Chicago's wonderful museums, Ravinia, the Morton Arboretum, Bristol Renaissance Faire, old graveyards/churchyards, buildings or places with a lot of history Out of curiosity, all the fall babies who are celebrating their birthdays during the round - who are you, and when is your bday? I am one. My birthday is October 22nd. What is one (only one) object that you collect, that totally goes against your personality or beliefs? I collect original artwork, and where possible, historical documents and memorabilia. This typically goes against my ideals: I believe these things should not be held privately, but should be made available for the greater enrichment of the public. Are you a soap addict? Anything you like to avoid in soaps (goat's milk, lye, dyes, etc...) or any particular scents you like or brands you want to try? Not really. I really like scented soaps, but I don't use hard soaps, and I haven't been quite adventurous enough to try making my own scented soft soap. Do you like kilts and would you wear one? Yes, I like them. No, I wouldn't wear one. In my wheelchair I'd just give everyone a show. What's your favorite book? That's not remotely a fair question, however, I'll give you a little cross sampling: El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra; Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky; Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas R. Hofstadter; Les Misérables by Victor Hugo; The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco; The Compass Rose by Ursula K. Le Guin; A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin; Perdido Street Station by China Miéville; Beauty by Sheri S. Tepper What size socks do you wear? How about hat size? I don't know about size for socks. I typically wear those very thin, knee-high stretchy girlie socks. My hat size is a whopping enormous 8. (big headed? Me? Hardly.) Do you read comics? Which ones do you love and which can't you stand? Yes, but I'm particular. I tend to like fantasy comics like beatification of George R. R. Martin's The Hedge Knight or the old Prince Valiant comics, historical comics, classics illustrated, dark fairy tales and the occasional manga. I like Batman comics. I like well-written comics that make me think. I've always wanted to read the Vertigo re-envisioning of House of Secrets, but I don't believe they offer that in collected form. Symbols that are meaningful to me? The Awen. Ouroboros. Snakes. The number 22. The King of Wands By nature are you a morning lark or a night owl? I'm a little bit of both. Either I go to bed early and get up in the middle of the night, or else I go to bed in the middle of the night and get up around dawn. What's your favorite type of music to hear live, rather than recorded? Pretty much all music is better live, in my opinion, although I don't particularly live recorded albums because of the applause. What is your favorite autumnal-seasonal drink? Spiced Chai, although I don't think of it as strictly autumnal. 8/28 Crossword puzzles? Other pencil puzzles? I enjoy them, from time to time. Crossword puzzles haven't really challenged me in a very long time. Sudoku puzzles I like, but in moderation. I prefer logic puzzles. Favorite artist? Remedios Varo Favorite poet? Rainer Maria Rilke Halloween. Do you like it kooky or creepy? Yes. A little of both makes it more fun. Reserved or Raunchy? Oh, yes. See above. Earth, Wind, Fire or Water? In rough order of preference, most to least, Fire, Water, Wind, Earth Tea or Coffee in the morning? Either, depending on my mood. Fruity snacks or chocolate? Either, depending on my mood Antiques or Brand New? Antiques Would you accept art? Absolutely. I love it when someone creates art for me. I also enjoy collecting fantasy and surrealist art by up-and-coming artists. I generally don't collect prints or ACEOs, however, unless the piece is truly exceptional. I would much rather spend $200 on an original than $20 on a print. Naturally, I don't want my Switch Witch to spend that kind of money on me!! However, I wanted to make it clear that I don't really care for prints. Are there any of y'all who are allergic/sensitive to having natural fibers on your skin? No, not at all. What was your favorite ghost/scary/campfire story growing up? My favorite was one of a group of kids that snuck into a monastery and were captured/tortured by the monks that lived there. Bugs? Do you like 'em or not? Not really. Although I sometimes like stylized insect art pieces. i haz no imp storage. do you? My storage situation is pretty adequate. 8/27 If you have a garden/planter box, what do you grow? I don't have one, but in my wildest imaginings, I dream of having a little miniature garden of flowers or herbs or other plants in a bowl that I could keep on my desk. Which incense scents do you prefer? sandalwood, pine, cedar Do you decorate for Halloween? what sort of decorations? Dress up for Halloween? Usually, yes. Just the classic pumpkins and bats and skeletons. I also enjoy dressing up. Bats, cats, skeletons, monsters, vampires, witches or what other ghoulies do you prefer? I prefer nameless lurking horrors and dark, unfathomable malevolences, personally. Do you like horror flicks? I like ones that surprise and intrigue me. The suspenseful, creepy variety, rather than the explicit, gory variety. Who here prefers stylus and ink to ballpoint? Anyone invested time and effort into calligraphy or proper Victorian writing?What about stationery? Need some? What styles do you like? Actually what I would really like is a nice rollerball pen. Ballpoints are a little too scratchy for my taste, and while I love fountain pens, I don't think using one is a good idea right now. However, I would love to have a nice, smooth gel ink rollerball (something of a medium weight) so that I can take up writing again What about stationery? Need some? What styles do you like? I love it, but as above, I rarely write letters by hand anymore. It's just too draining. I've changed my mind. I would love stationary, or a lovely journal. I'd like to have some nice handmade stationary, well something with a rustic, parchment feel. 8/26 What is one item that you've wanted forever, could have afforded, but have never gotten and why (haven't you gotten it!)? I've always wanted a gray wool felt top hat. They are unfortunately very difficult to find in my size (8). What Halloween scent are you most looking forward to? Some of them sounded nice, but there was nothing I was truly excited about. Tattoos! Do you have em? Do you want em? Whatcha got or getting? I haven't decided whether I want one or not. If I get one, you will likely be the symbol that I use for my avatar. Reduce - REUSE - recycle. Do others feel the same? Absolutely. What is your favorite crafting supply? found objects Right or left-handed? Left-handed. Any period of time that you love? I've always been fond of the Dark Ages through Late Renaissance. I'm also quite fond of Edwardian clothing and design. 8/25 What is your favorite part about fall? I love cool afternoons spent strolling through autumn leaves. Do you like office/school supplies? If so, what are your favorites? I do! I was always the most fond of art supplies. Little watercolour sets, big boxes of crayons. Will you be participating NaNoWriMo? If so, is there anything you'd like to have for that? Possibly. I can't think of anything I might need, however, except for encouragement! 8/22 Where does everyone like shop for witching goodness? For something like this, I usually wait to decide until I get a good sense of who my Witchee is. What is your favorite pumpkin goodness? I love pretty much anything pumpkin related. Pumpkin chai, pumpkin coffee, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin mousse, and, of course, pumpkin pie. ~
  4. Bard


    There's a song by Jeff Wayne from his musical version of The War of the Worlds entitled "Forever Autumn." Out of respect for copyright, I'm not going to share the lyrics here, but I encourage you to look them up and to listen to the song. If one could encapsulate the fragrance and mood of October in a song, that would be it. Fresh out of the bottle, October is a chilly autumn afternoon in the woods, the earth carpeted in gold and crimson and brown. The faintest of drizzles plays on our faces and shoulders. The nearly naked branches of elms and maples glisten in the damp. Ahead of us, nestled amid the trees sits the groundskeeper's tiny cottage, woodsmoke from its chimney hanging in the air. If you can identify with the scene I laid before you, if you can see the sullen gray of the cloudy sky in your mind's eye, hear the colorful leaves crunching underfoot, feel the prickle of raindrops like kisses on too-warm skin, you know what this scent smells like. October is memory in a bottle, a perfect moment suspended in oil. One word of caution, however. This blend his delicate, oh so delicate. In the heat of an early September day it feels stolen, out of place. It is in want of cool weather to work its deepest magic. Even body heat can upset the balance. In order to achieve its full potential, some of the gentle souls here may find a scent locket most efficacious. October Haiku, When bright leaves did fall In scarlet hue, then so too Did my heart for you.
  5. Mme. Moriarty, sultry and seductive as the unknown itself, like a heady incense of smoldering passion lost amid dreams deferred. She is both Magician and High Priestess, the sun and the star and the aching longing of the moon. She is your judgment, your very world. And you? You are her fool. For me, there are four elements at work here vying for control: pomegranate and plum together, like the tender compassion of the house of cups; a heady vanilla, warm, but intellectual, representing the house of swords; fiery red musk to be our house of wands; and deep, sultry patchouli to be our earthy coins. At any given time, one or two notes are dominant, leaving me with the impression that my fate is uncertain and changing at every moment, like flipping through a deck of tarot cards. It's a beautiful combination, whichever notes are prevalent. Red musk doesn't typically work well on me, but here it blends beautifully with the other notes. This one is a little wrong for me, but it's gorgeous nonetheless. Mme. Moriarty Haiku, Looking at the cards, She smirked and read my ill fate, "Twenty-one. House wins."
  6. Bard

    Vicomte de Valmont

    My Dearest Ladies of the Forum, How can you mock me so? To compare me—less than favorably I might add—to the base fragrances of callow youths and two-bit rapscallions. Must you so wound me? I? Who have poured my heart, my soul, my very quintessence, into a cobalt blue cage and entrusted its key to your keeping? What more must I do to please you? In all this weary world I long for nothing but to touch your bare skin, to kiss your wrists, caress the nape of your neck, to bury myself in the heady pleasure of your bosom. And if, as you so cruelly insist, I am so bourgeois and commonplace, transform me then, with the heat of your body. And I shall rise anew like a phoenix, your golden Adonis, and fall like rose petals at my Venus's feet. I remain, your most ardent servant, Valmont And so it is with our good Vicomte who will tell you all the pretty lies you wish to hear. The fragrance? Masculine, certainly. I really can't imagine a woman wearing this scent. Of course, I don't wish to discourage you. By all means, try it, ladies. Still, I really do think this is more a scent for the gentlemen among us. So many have said that it reminds them of commercial men's cologne, whether for good or for ill. There are similarities, to be sure, and that's to be expected. The description itself says this is based on a classic men's cologne. Surely, those perfume companies don't live entirely in a bubble of their own monomania? They must, to a certain degree, borrow from the traditions and learning of perfumers of the past. If our good Lady Beth is drawing from the same inspiration, they are likely to be comparable. That said, there is really nothing cheap about this fragrance. It is deep, more sophisticated than Villain, but with a certain austerity. Feigned passion. It's a very... cynical... fragrance. There is air against the stature, and there is transcending it all a certain aloofness. It's a well named fragrance and a charming, seductive scent for men. Viscomte de Valmont Haiku, Lie with me Mistress. In all of France none can say I do not lie well.
  7. Bard

    The Crumpet Rebellion

    I was given a decant of this by a lovely, generous benefactor, and she merely asked that I compose a review. I fear it's taken me far too long to get around to that. This is mainly due to the fact that I lost the box wherein I'd placed the decant. But, ah, the box is found! And I shall now expound On pastries fair, and berries rare And fragrance in the August air That billowed as we marched the square Like flags amid the sound When rebel drums did pound. How to describe The Crumpet Rebellion? Well, one must think, naturellement, of le 14 Juillet, that historic day that symbolizes such triumph in the struggle of the common man. Hearkening to that fateful revolution, when royal crumpets rolled, and jam stained the streets of Paris. Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité, Pâtisserie! Except, of course, that crumpets are an English invention. What were you doing going on and on about the French? Silly person. No, to effectively describe The Crumpet Rebellion, we would be better served keeping this image in mind: a cavalcade of tawdry young wenches in low-cut dresses, standing on a balcony, hiking up their skirts and making lewd comments while pelting the distinguished members of Parliament standing below with plates of jam. That, gentle reader, is the very heart of this fragrance. To be sure, this perfume is delectable. It perfectly emulates a golden brown crumpet, heaped high with berries, Devon double cream, and a hint of sugar and spice. It's just slightly naughty, in a tryst-after-three-o'clock-tea sort of way. Lovers of food scents shall wail and tear at their hair for want of more of this. For others, it may be more hit or miss. Do beg, borrow, or steal a vial, however, as it's worth a sniff at least. Then, when you're done sniffing, kindly send the vial my way. I shall be over there, wailing and tearing at my hair. Would that I could procure more of this. The Crumpet Rebellion Haiku, Rebellious jam: Soiling my finest cravatte In liberty's name.
  8. Since Jarvenpa was gracious enough to offer this incredible reading, I thought I would post it here with my own commentary for her personal edification as well as in the interest of those astrology students who are keeping score at home.For those of you who would like to have a chart to look at, here's my birth information:Name: Kevin James KageBorn: October 22, 1977, 1:06 a.m.Birth Location: Hinsdale, Illinois I've always felt like I wear my moon on my sleeve, so to speak. Even with a cursory training in astrology, much of this is Greek to me. I'm so glad we have jarvenpa to help us make heads or tails of this mess! This entire reading is something of a test for me. My Leo ascendant loves the attention, particularly since jarvenpa is always so very kind in her assessments. On the other hand, Leo does not like to be reminded publicly of his faults. What's more, a public reading like this plays havoc with my Scorpio-in-for-Fourth-House need for an privacy and an inner sanctum of sorts. I'll discuss more about that when it comes up in the reading.I don't like to admit that I crave attention (Leo doesn't like to be seen as needy), but if I'm to be honest with myself, then yes, of course I do. And, of course, I feel somewhat guilty about it, because I wonder if I'm really worthy of the attention I do receive. It's a constant war. It's interesting, because I've warred with this a lot. I've always attributed it to my Libran need to be fair-minded. How can I always be right? How can I be at the center of the universe when the universe is filled with so many incredible people with their own ideas and opinions. Instinctively, I trust my judgment first and foremost, but, particularly as I grow older, I find myself contended with the idea that I am not THE center of the universe, but from a certain angle, I am A center of the universe. I have to say that my childhood was never particularly serious in terms of hardship, but I was a particularly adult child. My parents pushed me hard to be the best of everything, and when I placed in the 99th percentile and won awards, it only encouraged them to push me harder. I was a very intellectual child, and by the age of seven or eight I was spending my time discussing important philosophers and winning games of chess against men who were old enough to be my grandfather. I liked hanging out with older people as much as I liked hanging out with kids my own age. They offered so much insight and wisdom. And conversely, the older I get, the more I enjoy spending time with children. As we grow older, I think many of us lose our appreciation for the beauty of the ordinary. Children have that appreciation in droves. For children, the ripple of the wind playing in the grass is magical, and so it is for me as well. I wish I could share that feeling with everyone in the world. I am the lord and master of the worst-case scenario. I'm not sure I ever felt distant to my parents, however. At a very young age, both my parents worked and I was raised by my grandmother. I suppose that could be the distance, but it feels like a stretch to me. I came from a very loving household, and while my father in particular could be overzealous about my talents and at times hypercritical of my performance, I don't know that there was real distance between us. He was a fiery Aries with two Libra children. I think our inherent Libraness drove him batty. Yes, yes, yes. There is such a profound difference between order and organization. I am not an insanely organized person (although I make valiant efforts to be, there is only so much time in the day, and one must pick and choose one's battles, and in the end, the forces of entropy are going to win anyway, and ohh.... that's a lovely rock...). But order, patterns, neatness... yes, these things are beautiful, satisfying, safe.Not that I don't appreciate a little chaos, but I don't want to live in it. And in the moonlight... and on a moonless night under the stars... and in the rain... and when it's snowing like the onset of Fimbulwinter....Singing is so much better than stuff. There is a party in my third house, and everyone is invited. I love big eyed kittens. I draw the line at babies dressed as bumblebees. I find this interesting, because right now, the relationship between my brother and I is very strained, and in part it's because I can't get away from him. I don't have a quiet place to retreat. I love my brother dearly, and ever since we were children I have always been his translator. But I would never call our relationship graceful. I can say we've ever been good siblings to one another, although I think by turns, one of the other of us has tried.I'm not going to comment too much on the arts/literature/poetry parts of this reading. They seem to be fairly all pervasive, and everyone knows I'm a creative person anyway. This is one of the things that really struck my best friend when I showed her the reading. She was quick to stress that my words often carry more weight (for good or ill) than I intend. This is something that I've grown more conscious of as I've grown older, and particularly with mercury in Scorpio, I have to be extra careful to rein in my sharp comments. *sigh* As I mentioned before, my parents put a lot of emphasis on my "brilliance," and so it was natural that I did as well. I don't think it's as true anymore, but for a long time I really did feel that my self-worth was measured in IQ points. And any time I'm trying to come to terms with something difficult or profound in my life, I write something. This is, by far, the best description of what being a Libra is like, ever. so true... so true... My brother has mercury in Scorpio also. When we squabble, one can hear the rapiers ringing. So very true. Twice in the past year I've had good friends from online come to visit me. The first time, one of these friends brought her boyfriend with only the shortest possible notice. That was worthy of a panic attack, but ultimately, I came to accept that he was coming, and everything went well. In the spring, this happened again (almost) when another one of my friends was planning a visit and casually mentioned that she'd invited two of her other friends to come hang out with us. That time, it was just too much for me, and I politely but firmly told her I wasn't comfortable with that.Like jarvenpa, I have a very permeable outer life, but I have to have my sanctuary, and no one enters my sanctuary without my permission. I grew up surrounded by computers, which is not a strange thing anymore, but it was pretty new and different when I was born in the late 70s. My father was quite bright and he did a lot of programming and made a lot of special modifications to his hardware. He would receive letters from people from all over the world asking him computer questions. He was a brilliant problem solver, and he really liked nothing better than finding a solution to a seemingly insurmountable task. I did almost die as a baby, and the doctors didn't believe that I'd live past two years of age. I can't say much about this in my life currently, but it's definitely interesting. Hard on my heart indeed.... I've been told repeatedly that much of my success would come later in life. I think you're echoing that here. Me? Fall in love with my friends? Never!(.... you aren't buying it, are you?)I suppose it's happened once or twice. This could, in part, explain why I enjoy physical labor so much. Whether it's gardening, or molding things with my hands, or just physical exertion of any kind.I don't think I've ever been terribly attracted to earth signs. At least, not sun signs. It's true, I dated a Virgo for quite some time, but her perfectionism tended to be a source of stress for me. She was a wonderful lady and a gifted artist, but rather than being a grounding force in my life, I think she tended to be a barrier instead. (Perhaps I'm reaching with the metaphors here).I tend to be attracted to Geminis and Leos, sometimes Pisces or Cancer. Food for thought. Strangers do indeed seemingly seek me out and unload their problems on me. It's gotten the point where I often just put the offer on the board because invariably there comes that awkward moment of, "I can't believe I'm telling you all this," and sometimes it's easier for them if they've already been invited inside (more sanctuary metaphors).In retrospect, I think it must be this tendency in conjunction with fourth house Scorpio that makes me crave privacy so adamantly. I'm more than willing to be friend, confidant, therapist...etc, but I have to have the ability to say, "okay, you are a lovely person, but we'll have to make an appointment for tomorrow, because the doctor is out." That really sounds lovely. I have dreams like that. Of course, I also have dreams of being an intergalactic rockstar, so make of that what you will. Joint ventures.... that's a little troubling.... What's interesting here is I've been feeling this a lot lately. There are many pursuits that I enjoy, but I'm feeling unsatisfied in all of them. I have this sense that I should or must be a writer, but at the end of the day, I don't feel particularly fulfilled by what I'm writing. The same can be said of graphic design, web design, even music in a way, although I must say I've felt more drawn to music of late than to any of my other creative passions.Lately, I feel drained by everything. I have no idea what my true calling is, or whether I even have one. I'm not sure if misgivings is accurate here. I don't think I've ever really felt that way. However, my physical disability is definitely a limiting factor, on multiple levels. Allow me to recoil in horror at the thought of being perceived as "slow." I can't really say much about this, but now I wonder if it's true. Forever young and forever in movement and delight. I definitely appreciate those qualities. This part may take some time to fathom. This is one of those incisive bits of this chart that really leave me feeling flayed open. I really can't say much more without crossing my own boundary lines. No pressure now. You have such amazing perception. When you say something like that, I suddenly wonder if you've been watching me all this time. In a good way, I hope. Yes, yes, yes. Resolution? Really? That sounds so wonderful. This has really summed up most of what I've been facing lately. The feeling of totally being out of control, the need on the fundamental level to know who I am and what I should be doing with my life. Particularly since the beginning of this year, self-image issues that I thought I had long since overcome have resurfaced with a vengeance. Feelings of unworthiness, or of being worthy yet receiving no recognition. It's a mess, really. Thank you, so much. Yes, you've hit the nail on the head. I don't really feel comfortable sharing how closely you hit the mark, but you most certainly did.Thank you for so many wonderful insights. You are truly a kind and generous person.
  9. But you don't seem to see There's so much more to me Than the roving troubadour That everyone thinks I must be. I'm not a perfect person, but I do think I have my merits. Growing up, I put a lot of stock in my high IQ, and while it's been years since I've believed that standardized test scores are an accurate measure of self-worth, I still get a little rush every time I perform flawlessly on a Mensa test. I appreciate my quick mind and my seemingly universal aptitude for learning. I love that I can pick up languages with ease and grasp complex mathematics with little difficulty. If there's a flaw in my intelligence, it's that I don't exercise it nearly enough. And I love my creativity. I am not Whitman, Kerouac, Shakespeare, Rilke, Bashō, Millay, Donne, Gilbert, Strand, or Shelley. I am no Berlin, no Bernstein, no Sondheim, no Schubert, no Fauré, no Ravel, no Weelkes, no Hassler, no Poulenc or Lauridsen. Ellison I am not (would that the world could even survive two of Harlan), nor Eco, nor Dostoevsky, nor Faulkner, nor Márquez, nor Le Guin, nor Willis, nor Emschwiller. Not Varo, not Escher, not van Gogh, not Magritte, not Dürer, not even Warhol. But there, my self-effacement ends, for while I am none of these people, I would not like to be any one of them. My poetry, my songs, my paintings, and my prose... I don't know whether they will last the test of time, but they please me, and if, for a moment, they please others as well, that's all I can really ask. And I'm proud of what I've done. I'm proud that I was professionally published before my 21st birthday. I'm proud that I'm not quite thirty and I've written a novel and a musical, numerous short stories, poetry in multiple languages, rock songs and folk songs and a concerto for bassoon. I doubt my art will ever win awards, but I'm glad to have that as well. I'm glad that I can craft images with paint and pencil and pixels. I'm grateful when they are well-received. I'm thrilled that I have had paid commissions. And while I know I am not an underwear model, I like my body as well. I love my long hair. I feel a surge of pride when people tell me how much I resemble my father. And if you want to know the truth, I'm pretty comfortable with my wheelchair as well. Sometimes I wonder, with all these wonderful things going for me, would I have the empathy for others that I feel today if I didn't have all the experiences that my disability has brought me, and the truth is I don't know. I'm sure I sound egocentric as it is going on about myself, but I wonder if I would've been insufferable if I didn't have this physical reality to face every day. I write all this as a reminder to myself. Sometimes I get so lost in trying to accommodate other people that I forget what's important about myself. Sometimes, when I'm feeling particularly burdensome, I find myself wondering what the point of my existence is. And the point is here. No ignorant strangers or negligent, hurtful siblings can take that away the things I have done, am doing, will do. So kindly forgive my indulgence and my tiny celebration of who I am. I hope you'll have a similar celebration for yourself.
  10. Bard

    The Two of Wands

    Grandfather Thorn Hedge What sharp lessons you teach to Unwary children. Here's the final, approved version of the Two of Wands. This card will appear in The Giants' Tarot to be published through Asphodel Press. The Jotun featured in this card is Bolthorn, whose name means "Terrible Thorn." He is the father of Bestla and the grandfather of Odin. He was a rather nonconventional subject for the Two of Wands, but he was quite a lot of fun to paint.
  11. How can I be lost? North, South, East, or West, I am Where I need to be. I'm feeling a bit better than I was two days ago. That isn't really saying a whole lot, as two days ago was a pretty low point for me. Still, it is something. I have always felt that I am meant to do something truly important. And ironically, I've never had a clear idea of what that something is. Writing, music, art, these are all pastimes that I have enjoyed, but all of them, at one time or another have been stripped of their joy by obligation: this internal struggle to find what I am meant to be doing. It's time to set aside this notion of doing something important. It strangles everything I love. Instead, it's time to go back to doing things I love simply because I love them. And as for importance, if the universe needs me, I'm sure it will let me know.
  12. Bard

    Tarot Card

    Sharp-toothed beggarman: Hungry thistles growing through Cracks in the pavement. I've been working on a tarot card for a joint project, and while it still needs a bit more work, I thought I would share it with those of you who are interested.
  13. Bard

    once I felt like a bard...

    Beautiful blank page What unforgivable sin My pen now commits! For days now I've been lurking in the 'Confessional' and 'How Are You Feeling' threads. I offer my support, my condolences, my advice if I feel compelled to intrude. About myself, I have been saying little, or nothing at all. For weeks, it seems, I've come—sometimes several times daily—to stare at this very page. Prepared to craft a journal entry: microphone poised near slightly parted lips; dictation software listening, attentive and loyal as Border Collie. Sometimes there are no words to be said. Sometimes there are, but they crack and crumble in my throat and are gone. Hastily, I return to the forum and caring for the bright, brazen, funny, frantic, scintillating, sad, moving, moody, happy, hyper, decadent, dulcet, bashful, beautiful souls that grace this board. In that, at least, I find comfort. Once, I called myself a writer, but I do not write. Staring numbly at folders of fragmented, unfinished stories, I wonder where that joy went. I called myself a composer, too, but the notes come hard and ring hollow now. My instrument is broken; I am lost without it. I have lost all sense of living for myself. I no longer understand what I am meant to do. If this was the lesson meant to be imparted by Saturn when it began its return three years ago, then I congratulate it. It has succeeded. I am decimated. Who I was is gone. Who I am now? How ironic that I named this journal The Furnace of Inspiration when I seemingly have none. Hubris, or a plea for help? I leave that as an exercise for you, dear reader.
  14. Bard

    Black Pearl

    Directly from the bottle, Black Pearl evokes hot summer days on the beach or at the pool. The coconut is prevalent in this and the association to sunscreen is, to my nose, unavoidable. The presence of the white musk, hazelnut, and Iris give this a deeper, more complex scent than any UV protective lotion could hope to produce. Nevertheless, if this reacts to you as it does with me, you shall probably hear friends and coworkers say, "I smell coconut... is someone wearing sunscreen?" Sadly, coconut has become so prominent in skin care products that it doesn't necessarily register as a "perfume" scent. This is a shame, because Black Pearl is lovely. It is playful and a sensual without being overly flirty. There is, as others have noted, a slight boozy note to this. Whether it is an unlisted ingredient or simply the combination of the fragrances darker elements, I'm not quite sure, but it lends an air of decadence and nonchalance. And of course, I adore virtually anything Beth creates that features white musk as a note, and this is certainly no exception. Anyone who adores the scent of coconut must try this, and anyone who wishes to be reminded of a sultry tropical evening ought to try this as well. Just remember, should anyone ask you if you're wearing sunscreen, simply reply, "No, Mate, that's the Pearl." Black Pearl Haiku, "Just how strong is this Sunscreen, Captain Jack Sparrow?" "Forty-five proof, Love..."
  15. Bard


    Delight is a sensual bouquet of florals that will overwhelm and overpower the unwary wearer. This particular scent is not one to slather, as a little of this oil truly goes a long way. At first, the floral notes may seem discordant, giving the blend a sharp, pungent, almost animalistic quality. As they settle, these notes find a beautiful harmony together, and this is where Delight truly shines. Because Delight is so intensely floral, and because it tends to swing wildly with skins chemistry, I recommend trying this, but in a manner other than on one's skin. Wear it in a scent locket. Burn it in an oil burner. Apply it to your sheets an hour before you intend to use them. Add it to a romantic bubble bath for two. Delight Haiku, Lay me down, my Love Upon a bed of flowers: No sweeter repose