Thursday, January 29, 2009

Magic Tea

Ok, another NON Hallowe'en post but in my defense, I do try and share 'magical' things with my adoring public.
I saw that eye-rolling and heard that exasperated sigh!
I picked this up the other day in the clearance aisle at, believe it or not, Office Max. It's tea that 'blooms' in the pot into a very pretty flower. No kidding. No, really, it does. Why are you looking at me that way, are you calling me a liar? Want to take this outside? I watch no holds barred caged ultimate fighting you know, I'll go all medieval on you!
I have seen this online and wondered if it worked, and it does, it's really cool. So if you might want to add a little bit of beauty and magic in your day, try and find some of this.
And as far as the taste, it's white peach tea, and delicious too! You can buy it, as well as a lot of other cool tea accessories by clicking right here!.
The Eastern aesthetic is so cool. Is it still cool to say cool?


I have totally redeemed myself, they have a pumpkin scented tea that, get this, blooms into a little pumpkin in the brewing pot! I am SOOOOOOO going to get this for Hallowe'en!

Is that not fantastic since it probably isn't hip to say cool, totally, soooooo and probably 89% of the other adjectives that I use to express approval of something.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


When you think of absinthe, you either haven't heard of it or you think of some dark seedy opium den of yore, where the likes of poets, philosophers, bohemians, and men and women of questionable morale gather to indulge in forbidden pleasures, bodies tainted by the mysterious green concoction as they do things not proper for mortal man.

Sounds like my kind of place!

I first heard about absinthe from Lestat from Interview With The Vampire when he accuses Claudia of drugging the twins with absinthe as a peace offering when in fact it was laudanum ("it killed them unfortunately, but it keeps the blood warm"). Pumpkinrot mentioned it on his blog and my curiosity was piqued. After ordering the kit from Green Devil, I set out to make it. Rest assured that it is indeed legal, if you brew it by steeping, not distillation. If you don't like licorice, you probably won't care for absinthe because it does have a licorice taste. I personally don't mind it, although I will pick out black jelly beans from a package in favor of other colors. As for Green Devil company, they're really a good shipping and great value! I bought the whole kit with the glasses and the spoons. I highly recommend them.

The effects, at least for me, is that the world goes into HD mode, I have noticed that colors become more brilliant and pronounced. I don't drink more than a shot or two (my 'ritual': use organic brown sugar cubes, ice cold bottled water and ever so slowly trickle the water over the cubes until they are dissolved in the waiting absinthe below)and I sip it slowly, the stuff is VERY deceptive, it has no burn and no bite, just the taste of licorice and I have never had a hangover on it whatsoever, weird. I also know that I have a very low alcohol tolerance so I'm extra careful; one glass of wine gives me a buzz.

I would say from my experience that absinthe is the stuff of legends, but in reality, it's a wonderful and beautiful dark green Hallowe'eny sipping drink that gives a very interesting buzz but unless you really overdo it, you're not going to see any green fairies flitting about. But YOU will be the stuff of legends for having partaken such a bohemian liquor made from wormwood and other dark foreboding herbs and people will expect you to be spouting off poetry that doesn't rhyme and wearing tight trousers with blousing shirts with grandiose hand gestures and a cigarette holder.

Don't disappoint your public my friends, they await.

Weight Watchers Update...

And the verdict is...218.2?! &%$#@!!! Oh well, at least I held my own, didn't lose any but then again, didn't gain any.

Of course, being totally stressed out yesterday didn't help when I did serious damage to a pack of Rolos and a pack of peanut M & M's. After that, it was 'oh what the hedoublehockeysticks, fire up the grill, we're having a steak and mac and cheese'.

Was totally mentally stressed yesterday, I guess it was just hormones (yes, men get them too). What didn't help was that I had an appointment yesterday with a new customer and when I got there she had scheduled my competitor to give her an estimate AT THE VERY SAME TIME! Lots of nervous laughter, lots of uncomfortable smiles, lots of promises to myself to grab the bottle of absinthe when this day was over...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The 2008 Final Unresting Place Video

Finally got it done, with just a nasty headache for not wearing my glasses and staring at this computer screen.

A little about this...I belong to Halloween-L, a message list of other people all around the world that like Hallowe'en as much as I do, and some rabidly so! Each year we make a video of our 'haunts' and send them in to a gentleman for compilation of a DVD set in which we purchase. Some of the haunts are absolutely amazing. This is my submission for this year.

Please be kind, I'm a haunter, not a film maker/editor.

Garden Witches and Skull

Just a couple of images from my currently dormant garden. The pest control man must think that I'm a freak by the cement skull.


Somebody please buy me these. Please. I swear I'll be good. I promise.

Did I forget to mention that they're $25,000.00? What?! Don't you think that I'm worth it!?

Courtesy of Lestat's Dark Gift Shop. I think my credit card is a-gettin' itchy for some vampire stuff...I have always had a soft spot for anything Interview With the Vampire.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Really Freaked Out

This is my house. I found it on Google Earth. I also 'drove' down the virtual street and saw my folk's house, with my van in their drive. I then flew on over to California to see my friend's condo that we stayed in.

This is weird. I think that I will pull my blinds down now...very very tightly.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Passive Aggressive Mr. Macabre

This is soooooo me. I wish that I could just blow up, scream, holler, pitch a b&%$#@ and leave the dead bodies in my wake rather than fester on stuff for days.

But then again, I love the word festering.

Weight Watchers Update

And the verdict is...218.2!

Probably would have been more if I hadn't made that #@$%& coconut pie!

Monday, January 19, 2009

More Evil Cooking-Coconut Pie

This recipe comes from our sweet next door neighbor. If there's any advice that I can give you is to move next door to an elderly good Southern cook that is willing to give up her recipes.

I never really liked coconut growing up, but then again, I hated turnip greens, celery and raw oysters too. Still hate celery unless it's slathered in pimento cheese so you can't taste it. This pie is easy but a bit time consuming since you really do need to use a real coconut, the dried stuff in the vacuum packed bag is nasty.

Coconut Pie
1 baked deep dish pie shell
2 cups half and half
3 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon butter
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
meat from 1 coconut

Heat milk and butter over low/medium heat. Beat egg yolks, sugar, vanilla and flour in separate bowl; add to milk. Add grated coconut and cook until thickened. Pour into pie shell.

Beat egg whites with 8 tablespoons sugar until stiff and glossy (helps if they are room temperature). Spread over pie mixture and bake at 350 until brown as desired.

Serve with an angioplasty.

Hints--to crack a coconut, first I drive a nail into one of the eyes and drain the milk and then I simply take it outside to the driveway and smash it down on the concrete.
Use a vegetable peeler to peel the husk from the meat and grind it with a food grater, blender or food processor (the latter my favorite)

I'm a biggie on raw egg safety and usually hate merangue. However, I baked this pie last night and the top came out very sweet and crispy like divinity. It took about 30 minutes in the oven. I personally can't stand that sea foamy/cottage cheesy type of stuff my mother makes on top of pies.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Quote for the Day

From Kurt Vonnegut Jr.'s book A Man Without A Country via Pumpkinrot

"The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."

Life as an artistic person is different, we thrive on creativity, on the creative process, making something. I personally get depressed when I don't create, I have to use my hands to make something, bring something new into existance, breathe life into clay, paint, steel, motors and wood so that I can show others a little bit of magic to their lives. Sadly, you can't easily make a living with the arts, some do but most of us don't. The society we live in right now in my opinion doesn't place high value on art. The first thing that's cut is music and arts programs in schools. Sad, so so sad.

So go create! Make others crave to do what you do! Show them what you've got! In this dismal economy and equally dismal January gloom, use the free time that you may have not to fret but to create something...anything!

Thanks to Pumpkinrot for sharing this inspiring quote.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Ok, Back to Business...

I occasionally give a heads up to a company that might sell something particularly interesting to the likes of us that I have had dealings with. Today is double whammy day, the first one is The Sunshine Shed.
Don't be thrown off by the seemingly cutesy items on the front page (I personally think some of them are pretty cool), dive into the Hallowe'en section to find some reproduction-type papier mache lanterns in ceramic. I have bought several and can attest that they are beautiful. All are weatherproof, handmade, and have a wonderfully old looking patina, complete with rusted bailing wire handles. As for the company, fast shipping and EXTREMELY nice people. This is a family business and I can't say enough to encourage patronizing family business since I work in one. Besides, could you really pass up a company that would have a booth that looks like this?

Dig that box of skulls!

Next, we have Seasons Gone By. This company makes reproduction papier mache jack o' lanterns from the 40's of superior quality. I have bought several and can attest that they are indeed beautiful.

Admittingly, their homepage is a little funky (you have to go to the shopping cart to see the catalog, they might be working to fix that), but if you don't want to spend upwards of 150.00+ for a vintage papier mache jack o' lantern but love the look, give these folks a try!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Cries for help, or why I should stay away from tequila

Pray for my family and friends, they have to put up with this on a regular basis. Pray long and hard to whatever gods you may serve, my friends and family need it...desparately.

And sadly enough, there is NO photo manipulation of any type in these, my mouth is really that warped. And no, I have no self respect. I found these on my computer and they still scare me.

There go all of my followers, it was nice knowing you........

What's up with Burger King?

This was from an ad about 2 years ago, now the King porn...I-I-I'm confused.

At least it's Hallowe'en-y, the King ad was $%#@*^& scary!

Wednesday Weight Watchers Update

And the verdict is...220.2. It's getting a little easier as time goes on.

I accidentally busted a sag last night at Captain D's when I forgot to wear a belt. My 38 waist is creeping back down to a 36.

Try the warm salmon salad, it's not all that bad despite what it sounds like.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A MUST See/Visit

A dear friend sent me this wonderful link. This site is a pictorial collection of death and humor in photography. Wonderful stuff, I love the two men consoling their skeleton friend after he obviously lost his balance on his bicycle. Priceless! This will definately be on my bookmarks for a long, long, long time.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


This rather scruffy chap is Spooky. He's my house panther. Spooky is about 9 years old, about 12 pounds of muscle, scraps with other cats, sits on the air vent to warm himself and holds a grudge if we go on vacation. He also is my baby, drools all over you when you rub him, purrs like a chainsaw and 'makes biscuits' (kneads) in your lap for excessively long periods of time before he lies down, just as you need to get up and go to the bathroom.

Wisdom from Endora

We live in music, in a flash of color. We live on the wind and the sparkle of a star...and you want to trade it all for a quarter of an acre of crabgrass.--Endora

I love Endora(only recently that I made the connection to the Biblical Witch of Endore...duhhhh). This is from one of the first black and white Bewitched episodes when she is trying to convince Samantha what she is giving up. I think Maurice repeats it in a later episode.

I had this long bla bla thing going on about living magically and all but if you've read my blog for very long, I believe you already do. All Hallowe'en folk do.

Still, it's a cool quote.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Weight Watchers Update

And the verdict is...224! Normal weight loss on Weight Watchers is about 2 or so pounds a week for normal weight loss so I guess I'm on target.

On a side note, I had to tighten my tool belt about an inch yesterday at work that I hadn't put on in a few weeks.

Friday, January 2, 2009

My Andy Warhol 3 Minutes of Fame (or Infamy)

I wasn't going to post pictures of myself to add to an air of mystery to myself but if I confess to joining Weight Watchers, how more personal can you get?

I was one of the haunts that chose to feature on their Route 666 project two years ago. I've been a member of the Halloween-L list for several years (albeit mostly a lurker) and each year we submit a video of our haunt that is compiled into a DVD set so we can see what everyone else is doing. The kind gentleman who does the compilation sent a set to Fearnet and they contacted me as one of the haunts they would like to feature. It was an honor to say the least.

The filming was done by a local guy who, surprisingly, freelances for National Geographic, Discovery Channel, and lots of other well known companies. He was exceptionally nice and visits every year to see the yard. The crew was there about 5 to 6 hours constantly filming, it was about 300 degrees outside (we filmed early September), and we did take after take after take. I would have benefited from my two girlfriends being there, Tequila and Margarita since they have a tendency to relax me a bit. Except for my Southern drawwwwwwwwwwl and the fact that they didn't give me any sort of idea what to do or a script, I think it came out pretty OK.

Click Here for The Final UnResting Place.

Oh yeah, the pinup girl camp shirt was made by my sweet next door neighbor for this. I was going to go all Victorian with the ruffled shirt, top hat, long frock coat and high boots but I opted for comfort instead since heat stroke isn't my thing.

And I think Danielle Harris is perhaps one of the prettiest scream queens around.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Ghost Stories

Let's start the new year right, shall we?
Few subjects spark as much controversy as the existance of ghosts. Most everyone loves a ghost story, some people would rather NOT know whether a ghost story is true or not, the fun is in the mystery. Some people believe in them, some do not, I shall not try to sway you one way or another, I simply present to you events that have unexplained and mysterious circumstances that have unexplained and perhaps questionable photographic evidences.

I have heard, seen, and smelled things that defy explanation in my life, I don't know why and I don't know how. Some sects of my religion claim demonic entities, some others natural phenomenon unrelated to the paranormal, and some, as I, personally believe them to be disembodied spirits that for some reason have not passed over. Judge for yourself. Mrs. Macabre didn't believe in ghosts when we moved in, and that was going to change...

My current house was haunted, and possibly my former trailer but for now we will concentrate on the current. I say was haunted because for the most part, the two known spirits of the former owners have gone on. For privacy's sake (my home was owned by the founder of a very well known and loved restaurant here) we shall call the ghosts Fred and Ethel. Fred and Ethel built this house back in 1960 and raised their 2 children here. Both loved this house as we do, it was a true Godsend. Fred passed on before Ethel and Ethel lived several years here alone until she finally had to go to a nursing home and passed away. The house stayed on the market for a year before we stopped and saw it. It was perfect, it is perfect. We set up an appointment with our agent and toured it and I immediately felt at home. We took pictures.

A ball of light showed up. Granted it was a digital camera and I did see it in the preview, I didn't think too much about it. Sometime later after we moved in, we started noticing strange things, a woman's perfume suddenly would appear, sometimes inside, sometimes outside in the yard, but not consistant, just sometimes here and there and both of us would smell it at different times. Then there were the footsteps down the hall, I had gone to bed early and was dozing away when Mrs. Macabre burst in, scared because someone was in the house, they had walked down the hall and she was hoping it was me. All doors were locked and just rolled over, "It's Mrs. Murtz". One Christmas we smelled pipe smoke in the living room, very very heavy. It wasn't unpleasant at all, I love to smell a pipe, but it's rather disconcerting when we both don't smoke. And just like that, it goes away. Over and over, fleeting shadows, smells of cookies in the house when nothing is cooking, sounds that you blame on the cats because it's much more comforting that way. We knew very very little about the owners but I knew someone who did, my next door neighbor. I asked her what perfume did Mrs. Murtz wear; she always wore White Shoulders, what we smelled. Did Mr. Murtz smoke? Oh yes, he smoked a pipe. I told her that they were checking up on us and she looked knowingly at me, saying that Mrs. Murtz always heard noises and was afraid someone was outside her door blowing smoke under it. This confirmed my suspicions, there was something here.

Then on our first Halloween, came this, first window of the three, towards the bottom.

And now you see it going through the pane to the inside of the house.
Scary thing is, all these pictures were taken with 3 different cameras. All the outside shots had no flash and the indoor shots had no point of reflection.

One day about two years ago when Ethel or Fred were particularly restless, Mrs. Macabre told them that their house was fine, that it was in good hands and not to worry. And with that, we haven't had a paranormal episode since.

May Fred and Ethel finally rest in peace.

Happy...oh you know the rest!

May you be exceedingly blessed this year. Thank you each and every one who reads my ramblings as we try to bring a little bit of Hallowe'en to every day in 2009.

Joe aka Mr. Macabre