Monday, November 15, 2010

Black as Midnight, Black as Pitch, Blacker than the Foulest Witch

For the past month Venus, my planet, has been in retrograde which as far as I know supposed to make life a little more complicated. I could concur that assertion but I'm I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing. Since last fall, around this time actually, Saturn has been in my chart. For the first time since I was a baby. I noticed a huge astrological impact from Saturn before I even read up on it. Despite Venus representing art and beauty I've found more inspiration during this Saturn period than ever before. All of my classic paintings came from Saturn and all of my complicated jewelry.

I've felt so strange since last month. I assumed it was the move but now I'm thinking that in reality, Saturn is a big part of the reason I made the decision and was able to press forth through the painstaking process. With Venus being out I've felt almost completely ruled by Saturn which I've decided I absolutely love. Some Librans have issues with Saturn but I feel energized by it's strange cosmic energy. My interpretation of certain things are different and I find myself inspired by things I'd never given any thought. This past month having so much Saturn while living in a completely new place has been an adventure. I feel different in Southern California. I realized today that I feel much more at home being near mountains than I ever did being near the beach. Every day on my way to work I drive through a hilly area with an abundance of oriental plants and old buildings, in the distance I have a photographic view of a gorgeous mountain scape. I'm sure it's taken for granted by the locals, the way I grew tired of hearing tourists rave about white sand and sunsets.

As I mentioned, my taste has changed, but not really "changed" it's just become more defined. Lately I've felt very romantic, not just with my husband but also with myself. An abundance of positivity and imagination. I feel my inner craftress coming out. I feel inspired by colors, aromas and simplicity in a completely new way. I've made several jewelry racks recently out of scraps I've found in the back yard. Upon completion I've decided that I despise jewelry boxes. Some are nice decorative items but really, who even came up with the idea of storing your fineries in a dusty old box like they were meant to be hidden. Not only do I feel more inclined to wear them when they're in plain sight but it also seems to brighten the room up quite a bit having reflective metals and crystal prisms catching the light (which is very little since our window is blocked by a big tree).

My latest obsession is Mystic Topaz. Can you think of anything more amazing? A true rainbow crystal. A unicorn's talisman. I never really knew what they were called but every I'd seen one in the past I gasped at it's stunning beauty. I seem to recall the ones I'd seen in the past being somewhat pricey and only now have I been able to put the name to the stone. It is MY stone. My birthstone is opal, which I love, but it's so it's own thing. It's pearlescent and it's also extremely soft. My first engagement ring was an opal by my request and in less than 6 months, wearing it day in/day out, I cracked it opening a box of wine. Can you think of anything more tragic and tacky? It was quickly replaced by a diamond heirloom...but still.  White diamonds may be relatively indestructible but there's no magic there. How could they be? Liz Taylor named her stank ass old lady perfume after them. ANYWAY... the mystic topaz is like the opal of the crystal world. I realized that I don't have many nice rings. Mostly costume jewelry and a few nice gifts from my mom. But I don't recall ever buying a nice ring for myself. So I just got over it and bought myself this...

..oh mah gawsh..

Is it not superb? It's a little big. About half a size up from my ring finger but coming in right under two inches it's probably meant for my middle finger. This ring will complete my journey of becoming Queen of the Unicorn Wizards.

But back to stinky perfume. I can't standz nastay cheap stuff. As I've mentioned before, I'm a connoisseur of fine colognes. I usually gravitate towards light florals with subtle hints of vanilla and citrus. Lately, with this change of cosmic energy I've been wanting something different so I decided to finally order some things from For Strange Women on Etsy. Since her fine oils and solid perfumes are somewhat pricey (although I'm sure totally worth it) I decided to start with some samples to get a feel for what I can and can't live without. So I ordered the following...

Mix and Match three samples. I chose:

*Winter Kitty
*Moss and Ivy
*Astral Projection

I greatly anticipate trying these lovely handmade oils. Better yet, I ordered a sample of a solid perfume that sounded so lovely from the description, how could I resist?? Antique Settee...

"This blend reveals the past with hints of roses, violets, and everlastings lingering on velvet upholstery from perfumed guests that have come and gone. Freshly polished wood trim is woven throughout, finished with a deep base of Earl Grey tea (spilled on the cushions over the years). The essence of black tea leaves soaked in bergamot improves with age while lending a comforting character. This aromatic interpretation offers you the opportunity to embody this classic heirloom’s history."

Oh.My....must have. I got a "pine cone" lip balm as well. Which leads to to my current favorite lip wear.

Lately I've been wearing this black YSL lip gloss. It is BLACK. But don't fret, I don't wear it like that. Just a little bit goes a long way. Blended evenly it casts a smokey shadow on my lips that I love. With a layer of translucent purple Anna Sui lipstick is absolutely gorgeous. Just thought I'd mention it...

I'm not sure what the story is here but I can't help but be a little worried by it.

I was just informed that Rasputina put out a new album a few months ago. Where the heck have I been? This discovery couldn't have come at a better time.

Until next time my Unicorn Minions...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Candy Time

One of the best things about living in a culturally diverse area is the variety of things I shouldn't be eating. Every time I walk into a grocery store I'm tempted by something I've never seen before. I especially love Japanese chocolate, but really anything is better than American chocolate. So then I started thinking about all of these different things I've tried and how much I love talking about stuff. It makes to combine the two and start doing candy reviews. Not just candy but beverages, snacks and anything else that might stand out at these awesome Oriental grocery stores. So for today I'm going to start with the three most recent entries to my confectious conquisition.

Meiji Apollo Chocolate Lolipos

You've probably seen these or something like them. Usually they're small, like the size of a chocolate chip, and come in a box. They're rich and creamy but are also pretty mild. The bottom half is milk chocolate and the top half is a soft strawberry. This is the Lolipop version (or "Lolipo" according to other sites I've found it on). It's the same concept only larger and on a plastic stick. Maybe I should have started with the original. Apollo chocolates have been a long time favorite of mine. But I just tried this one so I figured it was a good place to start. Over all, I like them slightly less than the small version. It seemed a little chalkier than the original which is perfectly smooth. Although I did look at the back and realize that the expiration date is this month so it's probably been sitting on the shelf for the better part of the year. They still run circles around any American chocolate treat. Verdict? Cute concept, but I think I'll stick to the original. I think you get more chocolate for around the same price anyway.

I bought them at the Tozai Japanese Market,  Monterey Park, CA.

Price: $1.69

Rating: 6/10

Meiji Chelsea Yogurt Scotch

Yogurt flavored things seem to be really popular in Japan. I saw these sitting next to the same brand's regular butterscotch candies so I assumed it was some butterscotch/yogurt hybrid. I also assumed they were soft chews, which was totally wrong. They're hard candies. I'm usually not crazy about hard candies. I tend to get bored with them and end up spitting them out. These were different though. It did have a slightly creamy/tangy taste like yogurt does. The texture was like a butterscotch candy, but nothing else was similar. It was really smooth and disolved pretty fast, which is good for me.I probably wouldn't buy them again but I by no means regret getting them. They'll be a nice treat while I'm at work when I need a little pick me up. Maybe next time I'll try the regular butterscotch flavor. I love the packaging too. So pretty!

Tozai Japanese Market, Monterey Park, CA



Calpico (original flavor)

Something about this milky white drink looked so refreshing to me. According to the website it's non-carbonated soft drink made from milk and lactobacilli. Apparently lactobacilli is a natural acid found in yogurt. It's hard to describe the taste. Definitely tangy but also smooth. It's also very much yogurt flavored, but not at all thick. It's watery like any juice beverages would be. The tartness has a bite, almost like citrus but the aftertaste is really smooth and creamy. It's very pleasant and enjoyable, but the tangy sweetness is a bit much for me. Like a kids drink. I also don't know how I feel about the flavor being so unidentifiable. It's kind of it's own thing. Next time I think I'll try the strawberry or mango.

bought at Tokyo Japanese Lifestyle in Monterey Park, CA



Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Invoking the Spirit

A while back I mentioned the possibility of reviewing movies I feel aren't Atomic Caravan worthy on this blog. It's hard to explain what exactly a movie like that entails since I obviously have no problem reviewing complete garbage but today I think I'm going to explore one such film. The epic, the life changing, The Craft.

Ok, so it's 1996, I'm 10 years old. It's been a good decade for teen movies which isn't helping to prevent my wanting to grow up too fast. I remember wanting to see this in the theater SO bad! My mom, being the concerned parent of a pre-teen wouldn't let me. Hummph. Thankfully, around the time of it's video release, I was now 11 and she herself had become curious about it so she decided to let me see it. How can I describe how this movie effected that small, under developed version of me? In a way it validated Mom's reason for originally not wanting me to see it. I had no interest in Robin Tunney's boring good witchery. I was all about some Fairuza. I wanted to BE her! I had just begun wearing make-up and made sure I applied far too much black eyeliner any chance I could get away with it. The clothes in that movie really effected my taste, even still today. White button up shirts with long tapered collars, black vests or suspenders and of course the signature plaid skirt with knee to thigh-high stockings. I remember thinking Nancy's cross earrings were so cool. I still have the onyx and marcasite cross necklace I bought a few years later which I viewed as the "perfect Craft inspired cross necklace".

Years passed, I had my fair share of slumber parties featuring "light as a feather, stiff as a board", at least three gothic phases between middle school and early college and still to this day endless quoting and fond memories of watching it with friends. It's not even a movie I'd say I'm proud to be a fan of, it's beyond that. Like many girls (and some very special boyz) my age, it's just apart of us! Anyway, this isn't exactly a review. I just had my annual viewing so I thought I'd emblazon my undying love for this movie on my public blog. I watched it with some first-timers, both were somewhat freaked out by it. Or taken aback at least, which completely confused me. COMPLETELY. Maybe I'm desensitized but the Craft, to me, is a semi-juvenile fashion oriented fun fest. Forget that whole suicide and murder sub-plot. There's ... um ... magic and cool clothes. Whaddya' want??? Besides, I can't take any movie seriously with Jewel on the soundtrack. C'mon!


Monday, November 1, 2010

Feliz Dia De Los Muertos

I celebrated my first day of the dead this year. I can easily say it's one of my favorite holidays of all time. It's so festive and colorful. I always hated that Halloween decor tends to be limited to black, purple and orange. Colors I like, but not necessarily together. We went to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery for the celebration and had a blast. Not going to go too picture crazy but here are a few high lights...

This might be the most hideous painting on the planet.