Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Word Wednesday: "Gambrinous"

Today's word is, according to the internet, obsolete.  Gambrinous means "to be full of beer," and one online source claims that it is the name of a legendary Flemish king who invented beer.  Since beer has been around since the earliest days of the Mesopotamians and Egyptians, when the Flemish were still cavemen, that's highly unlikely.  But, since this word is nearly extinct in today's language, let's make it our quest to put it back into use.  I'm afraid I haven't been gambrinous lately, but perhaps next weekend I'll make it a top priority!

The Lonely Alchemist

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Poetry Tuesday: "Despair" by H. P. Lovecraft

Here's a poetical tidbit for you from one of the forefathers of Steampunk, the creator of Cthulhu himself:

O’er the midnight moorlands crying,
Thro’ the cypress forests sighing,
In the night-wind madly flying,
      Hellish forms with streaming hair;
In the barren branches creaking,
By the stagnant swamp-pools speaking,
Past the shore-cliffs ever shrieking;
      Damn’d daemons of despair.

Once, I think I half remember,
Ere the grey skies of November
Quench’d my youth’s aspiring ember,
      Liv’d there such a thing as bliss;
Skies that now are dark were beaming,
Gold and azure, splendid seeming
Till I learn’d it all was dreaming—
      Deadly drowsiness of Dis.

But the stream of Time, swift flowing,
Brings the torment of half-knowing—
Dimly rushing, blindly going
      Past the never-trodden lea;
And the voyager, repining,
Sees the wicked death-fires shining,
Hears the wicked petrel’s whining
      As he helpless drifts to sea.

Evil wings in ether beating;
Vultures at the spirit eating;
Things unseen forever fleeting
      Black against the leering sky.
Ghastly shades of bygone gladness,
Clawing fiends of future sadness,
Mingle in a cloud of madness
      Ever on the soul to lie.

Thus the living, lone and sobbing,
In the throes of anguish throbbing,
With the loathsome Furies robbing
      Night and noon of peace and rest.
But beyond the groans and grating
Of abhorrent Life, is waiting
Sweet Oblivion, culminating
      All the years of fruitless quest. 

The Lonely Alchemist

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Best Indie Perfumes on Etsy

"Tarot" Steampunk perfume from BirdcageandLabyrinth
I love perfume! Who doesn't? Making it and wearing it are some of my favorite hobbies. And since commercial perfumes can be quite unhealthy, organic perfumes, natural perfumes, and botanical perfumes are quickly rising in popularity and making a huge niche market for themselves on Etsy and other hand-made goods websites.  While there are over 200 shops on Etsy that sell perfume and scents, I am obligated to say that not all perfumes are created equal. Those that I am listing are either all-natural or mostly natural and have a less mass-produced feel than some of the shops. I have not tried perfumes from all of these shops, but from the sellers profiles I can tell that healthy personalized scents in small batches are their priority.  So here are just some of my favorite (and the best) perfume sellers on Etsy:

BirdcageandLabyrinth: Steampunk and Gothic perfumerie.  I can vouch for how awesome these perfumes are; I make them!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Quote for Thought

“I am an excitable person who only understands life lyrically, musically, in whom feelings are much stronger as reason. I am so thirsty for the marvelous that only the marvelous has power over me. Anything I can not transform into something marvelous, I let go. Reality doesn't impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.”

“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.” 

-- Anais Nin

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

"New Year's Morning" by Helen Hunt Jackson
Only a night from old to new!
Only a night, and so much wrought!
The Old Year’s heart all weary grew,
But said: “The New Year rest has brought.”
The Old Year’s hopes its heart laid down,
As in a grave; but trusting, said:
“The blossoms of the New Year’s crown
Bloom from the ashes of the dead.”
The Old Year’s heart was full of greed;
With selfishness it longed and ached,
And cried: “I have not half I need.
My thirst is bitter and unslaked.
But to the New Year’s generous hand
All gifts in plenty shall return;
True love it shall understand;
By all my failures it shall learn.
I have been reckless; it shall be
Quiet and calm and pure of life.
I was a slave; it shall go free,
And find sweet peace where I leave strife.”

Only a night from old to new!
Never a night such changes brought.
The Old Year had its work to do;
No New Year miracles are wrought.
Always a night from old to new!
Night and the healing balm of sleep!
Each morn is New Year’s morn come true,
Morn of a festival to keep.
All nights are sacred nights to make
Confession and resolve and prayer;
All days are sacred days to wake
New gladness in the sunny air.
Only a night from old to new;
Only a sleep from night to morn.
The new is but the old come true;
Each sunrise sees a new year born.

Happy New Year!
The Lonely Alchemist