cape & merc.

Public Service Announcement.

North American women under 45! All people!

Please stop pronouncing data as if it were spelled datta.
  1. It is a Latin word fully integrated into English.

  2. It has two syllables.

  3. The first syllable ends in a vowel.

  4. The second syllable begins with a consonant.

Therefore, the vowel is a "long" vowel.

Other examples:

cape & merc.

(no subject)

The Dark is Rising Ruined.

...Now I find out they have turned Will into a 14 year-old and not 11 and he's American instead British...






Sinister forces are trying to RUIN MY LIFE with this!!

Please let this be a rumor.


ETA: Oh, and they "dropped all the Arthurian stuff" and added some action scenes ... um, OK — I don't even care anymore, this is not a film adaptation, this is a travesty and of course I will never see it.
cape & merc.

Discerning Spirits.

In a curious confluence of calendar and kalendar, today is Pentecost (πεντηκοστή, "fiftieth," since it is the fiftieth day after Easter, inclusive) in both the Western and the Eastern church ... and Siouxsie Sioux's 50th birthday.

I'd like to mix them up in a celebration, but I can't think of any Banshees videos featuring the descent of the Holy Ghost in cloven tongues like as of fire. Oh, but perhaps if we combine flying carpets, the Star of David, rushing lava, fireworks, and a little voodoo darkness, magic will happen. (Again.)

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Happy Birthday, Siouxsie!!!

witchcraft initiation.

Seven Obsidian Candlesticks.

The year is 1972 and you're a career gal on the move, but you haven't quite made it to the corner office yet. You'll do what it takes to get there—sign whatever infernal contracts are thrust before your piercing green eyes—but right now you are still doing time in the Steno Pool. Sigh! Consequently you are stuck at work on a Tuesday, AND IT'S HALLOWEEN. How are you going to get ahead at this rate?! You haven't even had time to paint your nails black, let alone whip up something sinister for the midnight potluck after Black Mass! What's a girl to do???

Never fear. I have unlocked the door to freedom and pleasure, and oh! the dark delights that await you in the recipe box of the Devil! Step in, my pretty, step in...

How to Become a Sensuous Witch

Samhain Soup

1 tbsp. chopped onion
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. mace
1/4 tsp. allspice
2 cups chicken bouillon
2 cups milk
1 cup cooked pumpkin
1 cup heavy cream
2 or 3 tbsp. sherry

In a saucepan lightly sauté onion in butter. Stir in flour until smooth and add milk, bouillon, and spices. Bring to a boil and add pumpkin. Simmer for about 25 minutes. Add cream. Cover and heat, but do not boil. Stir in sherry and serve either very hot or very cold. Serves 6.

That sounds delicious! And seductive! What should an enterprising gal serve (in a silver chalice, of course) to wash it down?

The Weekend Witch

Damiana comes in a bottle that looks something like an Aztec fertility goddess. Inside the rounded breasts, buttocks, and thighs, you'll find what is reputed to be an aphrodisiac. This liqueur comes from Mexico, and until recently its import was illegal. It may be hard to find, but that suggestive bottle may make it well worth the search.

Naughty! And I thought the recipe served six?? (Why not 13!) Oh well, this is the Seventies. But what if one needs something a bit more hardcore, something a bit more ... diabolical. Let's venture on.

Cauldron Cookery

Satanic Electuary

3 grams aenanthol
50 grams extract of opium
30 grams extract of betel
6 grams extract of cinqfoil
15 grams extract of henbane
15 grams extract of ordinary hemlock
250 grams extract of Indian hemp
1 pinch of powdered sugar
1 pinch of gum tragacanth

Mix the above into a smooth ointment. For external use only ; extremely dangerous.

Now you're talking. But whoa, bummer. We seem to be ALL OUT OF HENBANE. How in Hades could the winsome witch have anticipated the need? If only there were a comprehensive guide to stocking the cupboards of the covenstead...

Oh, look!

Cast Your Own Spell

Spell-Makers Shopping List

Bats Blood Brand Oil: Nice for spells that have to be written, as it can be used like ordinary ink. So far, no impregnated ball point pens are available.

Chinese Oil: The cleaning of hands is very important before spell-making. This is a good deodorant-detergent preparation to keep evil away.

Cleopatra Oil: This alluring scented oil has a subtle enchanting power. A dab behind the ears, underneath the arms and between the fingers will transform you into a mobile spell-binder.

Incense: Never let the stock go low. Keep a good selection to meet with the moods.

Mandrake Root
A stock of colored candles
Ginseng root (Korean if possible)
Coriander seed
Celery seed
Cardamom seed
Lavender flowers
Rose petals
A few Herbs for coloring are always useful such as madder for redness, saffron for varying yellowish shades, Sumac leaves for brown and Blue Malva for blue.
Dragon's Blood
Cumin seed
Orris root
Linen-faced notepaper, because parchment is not so easily obtained. Store away from light preferably in a cupboard which is not easily accessible to other members of the family.

Cool! Now let's look for some more spells to cast. Oooh, here's one!

Witches' Potions and Spells

To Raise the Dead

Mix together spermaceti, lignum aloes, pepper, musk, saffron, red storax, and the blood of a lapwing. Burn them in a cemetery at night, and you shall see strange spirits.

Fun! But what if our supple sorceress was looking for more of a chips-'n'-dip type of spell. Something to whip up in anticipation of her broomstick ride?

The Naked Witch

Meat Magic

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I am not going to tell you what she says to do with a beeswax candle.

Now fellas, if you've read through all this advice for the Daughters of Darkness, I know what you're thinking, because it's one of the central insecurities of my own existence: Am I nothing more than a sex toy? No! You are so much more. You are a master sorcerer, psychologist, body language-ologist, and aphrodisiacal gunslinger! You, sir, are a Weekend Warlock!

The Weekend Warlock

The Devil's Meat

1 pound ground round
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons butter
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Dash Tabasco sauce
2 tablespoons cognac

Blend the first seven ingredients and form into four patties. Cook these quickly in a skillet, turning when they are brown on the underside. Then, for a creative touch, add the cognac and light it. The congnac and ginger should set your lady afire long after the flames have died down.

That sounds a lot like a hamburger. Got anything more romantic?
Double Trouble Shrimp

1 pound shrimp, still in the shell
1 can beer
1 clove garlic
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon celery salt; black pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon mace
2 tablespoons parsley
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Let all the ingredients except shrimp simmer until they reach a rolling boil. Then, drop the shrimp into your brew, for precisely three minutes, drain, and serve them in a basket with a linen napkin. As she picks them up with her dainty fingers, don't let on that she will soon be swallowing an ancient magic potion.

Easy there, Dr. Bombay! You may be a warlock now, but don't go spilling your magic potion before it's ... uh ...

OK, that's about enough filth from me for a whole entire year. Happy Halloween!
cape & merc.

A Place in the Sun.

Slim Aarons has died. I suppose I can't really say he was my favorite photographer of all time, but I certainly do love his work—it just makes me so happy. I grew up seeing his photographs in Town & Country, but I didn't understand it collectively as the work of one photographer—or know the truly iconic images—until a special issue, it must have been around 1990. I remember taking it to Kinko's and doing color copy blow-ups of some of them. (Definitely the Lady Daphne Cameron one!)

For about five and a half years I've been the only person to list Slim Aarons as a LiveJournal interest, which I find both comforting and surprising, especially given the reissues of the past couple of holiday seasons.

Anyway, I'm sure you'll all recognize at least a couple of these, but I just felt like pulling together a few of my favorites. Enjoy with a nod or a sneer, it's up to you.

Rest in peace, Slim. I'm sure you are having a wonderful time, wherever you are.

C.Z. Guest with her son Alexander in Palm Beach, 1955
C.Z. Guest with her son Alexander in Palm Beach, 1955

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bryan hearts tennis or cricket.


Rep. William Jefferson deserves to be stripped of his office and put in jail for a long, long time. Here he is, PUBLICLY violating one of the cardinal rules by which a man lives his life.

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cape & merc.

A Very Serious Question.

Why are people from Canada called Canadians? Why not Canadans? I mean...
Ethiopia → Ethiopians

Australia → Australians

Macedonia → Macedonians

Virginia → Virginians

Libya → Libyans

Cuba → Cubans

Andorra → Andorrans

Uganda → Ugandans

Seriously, Canada, what's up with the extra i, huh?

I think you should drop it. It looks a bit pretentious on you.
cape & merc.

And on the eighth day Scythrop uninstalled fourteen useless freeware video editors.

The universe has reached a state of symmetric, divine, and perfect balance & order heretofore imagined only by the loftiest thinkers of the late Renaissance. That is right — the Art School Girls of Doom are now slumming it on YouTube.

† † † † †

Episode I

Please click on the image above for the first (shaky sound quality) episode,
featuring their stuffed kitty Morrissey and the Manhattan club scene.

† † † † †

Episode II

Please click on the image above for the second episode,
which showcases a misguided escape to the beach.

† † † † †

Episode III

Please click on the image above for the third, final, and BEST
episode, highlighting the sacrifices gals will make for the perfect bra.

† † † † †

Three perfect episodes, and then ... nothing. Liquid Television continued for years, spawning Beavis & Butthead and Aeon Flux, among others, but not a gasp has been heard from the Art School Girls of Doom since 1991. I like to think they fell into a giant K-hole and emerged in a parallel universe where hair is always big, fishnets are always perfectly distressed, twerps in Bimmers are still totally uncool, and the whole flannel shirts fiasco never happened. Stephen Sprouse is with them. Kiss, kiss.
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