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Our dear friend wrote this article. I feel it’s worth a read.
I know. It’s been simply ages. I apologize. Day-side activities took me away. But I’m back. Before jumping back in full swing, I thought I’d start us off with a little light reading. What’s that, you ask? Thirsty Thursday, of course.
This Thursday, my partner in crime and I invite you to try out the Seasonal offering of Honey crisp Apple Wheat from Shock Top. I’ve said it before, and I know I’ll say it again – I am not a drinker. Heck, back at the beginning of February, I even gave up soda. For good. Yeah, I’m crazy. I know. But let me tell you – this ale is incredible.
I twisted off the bottle top and gave it a sniff. The Partner in Crime seems to find this really offensive, but I smell everything that I eat or drink. It’s almost like some weird compulsion. You don’t get it either? Eh, join the club.
But seriously guys, I have to tell you – this smells like apples. I don’t have the best sense of smell, but one sniff and you know this is an apple based beer. And have you ever tried a Honey Crisp apple? They are the best. Translate that to beer. Seriously.
Here’s how the Partner and I felt about this beer (Me: Pink, Him: blue):
Mouth feel: Light with a great deal of effervescence.
What? Mouth feel? I don’t get this. LOL. Seriously. It feels like liquid. In muh mouth.
Bouquet: Almost white wine like. with a large hit of apple.
Oh yeah, I almost get the white wine reference. Except this shit is good, unlike white wine. Or any other wine. Blech. Huge hit of apple. Not a typo – not a hint. A BANG. KABLOOEY.
First taste: The first bite into an apple. You can almost feel the crunch. With a bite of your normal Belgium wheat.
What he said. I mean, seriously.
Aftertaste. Again this beer gives a slight wine taste going into the aftertaste. Bitter but with the better parts of a fruity white.
Again, I don’t know about all this wine shit, but I know that it doesn’t leave a gross aftertaste in my mouth. Did I mention beer is, for the everything-except-this part, nasty?
The shock top gives a great cure to the boring orange ideas behind all Belgium wheats. The apple pairs well with the smooth yet bitter bite of the brew. The slight introduction of cinnamon really brings everything together. I would give it a 3 out of 5
5 out of 5.
So, there you go. Buy this beer. It’s Shock Top. It isn’t top shelf, so it isn’t expensive and it’s most likely sold everywhere. But it’s damn good.
By Deacon Gray
Let the “Deadmau5” and “Dreams an’ Stuff” of this world come and go; there can be little doubt that the Wicked Wonderland Empire is the premier mind-blower dark industrial psychedelica promotion ensemble of our time. The small city entertainment group originating in Boise, Idaho blew up at venues like “Contour” and “Stir” in Seattle, Washington Friday nights, and wove a cold program of multimedia perfection, with wicked people and a coloring book.
I caught up with “The Redd Queen” Ginger Christainsen between performances with her band the “Lithium Dolls” and with an excited look on her face that reminds me at once of a dangerous Lolita wearing spikes and lace, she settles in for the serious moment. “I’m sure you have questions, but I’m bohemian at heart, always have been, and the wicked come first tonight!”
She retreats to the stage, her bright red hair and baby girl red dress drawing the eyes of the crowd. The group comes together and jumps right into ‘Psychosexual’. The crowd reacts in a frenzy as The Redd Queen moans passionately on stage, and I know for certain I am in for something new.
Maybe it was the reference to Bohemia, maybe it was the bright attire that seemed to mix insanity with sexuality, but for whatever reason I suddenly felt like I was going to see Jim Morrison or Timothy Leery walk into the room.
Ginger steps out of wonderland for a moment and sits back down at my table after the show; she blushingly smiles at me again. “It’s a good night.”
She would know. Wicked Wonderland has been running parties and club nights for 12 years, has branched out in many other cities, and continues to grow. Trying to explain what Wicked Wonderland is to someone who has never been to the event is a bit like trying to explain what a particular color looks like to someone who is blind–to truly understand this event, you must participate.
With events like “Blood Bath” and the more mainstream events like the Clockwork Carnival, Wicked Wonderland has built a reputation for freaky, dark, industrial fun. The Big news, however is that on May 1st, the first compilation album from their new record label will be available for sale.
TRQ: In a few short weeks bands on the label will have songs on the radio & in clubs internationally.
DG: Is that your focus for the future? I know Wicked Wonderland has always seemed to have a lot of projects under way, are you narrowing your focus to music?
TRQ: Doing the record label was just another part of a larger focus of creating a dark subcultural community that is step away from old labels (personal labels that is, such as just being goth or emo or what have you), old scene habits, elitism, and cattiness in order to move forward toward something that is more inclusive, artistic, and respectful.
With the record label we are featuring artists that are truly creating art with their own sound & soul to help embody the voice of this movement. As we continue to add bands to the label, we will be looking for more of exactly that, artistic, painful, seductive, unique, twisted, beautiful.
DG: That sounds complex, but what makes it any better than other events?
TRQ: It is at heart the Ideal of being in love with beauty, art, adventure, and all things unusual that I’ve always run Wicked Wonderland. As I continue on building this empire, these are still the things that drive me on. When people come to a Wicked Wonderland event, they are not going to “another show” they are going to Burning Man, they are rolling in on their Harley Davidson to Sturgis they are having an experience.
DG: That is a pretty big goal. Those events took years to build and had a solid location; your events hit venues all over the west coast.
TRQ: We are building a community where each individual brings their own unique flair to the army that is Wicked Wonderland; a community based on respect, compassion, unconventional tastes, & fun. I think each community, each city brings its own vital beauty to the events, each new place that holds a Wicked Wonderland event adds its own piece of Wonder Land history.
DG: Being spread out all over must have a lot challenges. How do you keep up?
TRQ: I have a lot of help. With friends like T’Rina and DJ’s like Bones, who are willing to invest a lot of their own time and energy into the events, I never feel like I have too much on my plate, I feel like I am surrounded by some of the most amazing friends a Red Queen could want. I wish I could never everyone who helps me out, the other Queen’s, each one of the Band members, the great Wicked Wonderland army of fellow dreamers, artists and creative souls, but if I started I would leave one of them out somewhere and the Wicked Wonderland Empire isn’t about any one of us anyway.
I think when you really think about it, we are all just the same people we were as kids. Remember how amazing our dreams were about the future back in those days when we hung out at the park? I never stopped dreaming, I never stopped seeing the wonder, and I don’t think I am the only one. The friends of the Wonderlanders have proven that really.
Please visit the home sites to find out what event is coming next!
The South African Vampyre Community is steadily evolving and coming into our own. With each passing month we grow larger and stronger - not only in numbers, but also in stature among our international Vampi(y)re Community brothers and sisters. We have developed our own unique culture and community character, complete with educational materials, guidelines, literature, and have even held some small but successful events.
It is with a heavy heart that I post this. Merticus has created a beautiful page already, so I’ll just link you there. Please keep Eric’s friends and family in your thoughts.
On Donor Sessions
By Madame X ©2006
1. TRUST AND COMMUNICATION
These are the primary keys to a healthy donor relationship. Trust is built on honest communication over time. Incomplete negotiation is an error, but dishonesty during negotiation is abusive manipulation. Errors are forgivable, manipulation and coercion are not. Negotiation should include the agreement of any pertinent session details like location, degree, duration and all exchange circumstances, regardless if the agreement is for one session or for an ongoing relationship. It is vital that the donor knows their personal boundaries and expresses them clearly. Life doesn’t come with guarantees, when we entrust there is always the chance of that trust becoming misused. Trust is a precious gift that once violated is difficult, if not impossible, to restore
2. VALUE AND WORTH
Both parties are halves of a whole, yin and yang, they are equal in value. Before a donor can wisely transfer energy, they must energize and empower themselves, and be familiar with energy raising techniques, for post-session recovery. Know that you can’t trust and truly respect another unless you trust and respect yourself first. It is imperative to understand that while in fantasy the donor may be merely a slave, a doll, food or whatever drives you; in reality the donor is a valuable gift worthy of respect, recognition and recompense.
3. CONTROL EQUALS RESPONSIBILITY
Both parties must understand that during a session the donor is in a state of diminished capacity and their ability to make decisions is severely compromised during the time of transference. Similarly many vamps are seriously altered during a drawing session, often experiencing trances or delirium, none-the-less it is the responsibility of the dominant to secure third party presence if assistance is possibly required. The donor is entrusting their body, mind and spirit to their partner’s care, which is a sacred covenant. If you are not ready to accept the responsibility of your actions, don’t accept the control.
Control is not unilateral; it is an agreed upon exchange issued with consent.
Sex without consent is rape. Drawing without consent is assault.
The words “No” and “Stop” are evident withdrawals of consent! Either partner should be able call the session to a halt at any time.
5. IDENTIFY ABUSE
Any relationship that works for one individual but to the detriment of the other is abusive. In a session, the donor agrees to the draw and transference, concedes control to the dominant partner to be used for their mutual benefit. The exchange must be in some way rewarding (if not pleasurable) to the donor. No matter how careful (or not) partners were, there are no excuses abuse, physical, or otherwise. People who make excuses for abusers are enablers that compound the problem. Donors must recognize abusive partners, permanently disassociate from them, and communicate abuse to community elders who are in a better position to take appropriate action. Victims frequently fear to talk about abuse because of negative response … when this occurs it becomes as if the victim is twice abused … if the victim continues to entrust the abuser, he or she is obviously issuing consent and recanting their original grievance.
By Madame X © 2008Western culture expressly wants us to be kept busy. We aught to be hard workers, be industrious, occupy our free time with productive hobbies, seek partners who are active and dynamic, never waste a waking minute, never be idle, and never daydream.
We are expected to get up at the crack of dawn and immediately begin our day by tending to our all too human needs and those of our family, hurry to fill the rest of the day with a financially rewarding 8 to 6 job, hurry home to tend to more needs till we finally collapse senseless due to exhaustion. When the weekend approaches we are to fill it with all those tasks we neglected throughout the week; like grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry, working on the car, mowing the lawn, painting the fence, visiting the in-laws, paying the bills, balancing the checkbook… In the midst of all this and more, when do we have time for us? It is becoming harder and harder to find time in our daily routines to be introspective, creative, or otherwise release our stress.
We are told repeatedly and in many ways that “Idle hands are the Devil’s tools”, but in fact it is those very idle moments that bring us closer to our source, closer to our higher-selves and closer to our inner nature. Idle peaceful moments allow us to tap into our creative side, to practice introspection, to engage in meditation, to develop spiritual rituals, to day dream, to fantasize, to contemplate possibilities and to just stop the madness. Moments away from Dayside responsibilities are needed, if we seek to develop a healthy relationship with our selves, our conscience, our past, our present and our future. It is important to find this time in our busy schedules, step back and look around; realizing that life is beautiful, nature, human accomplishments, honest smiles, the sky, music, that sent, this color… As we become more and more entrenched in our overwhelming dayside, our burgeoning careers, our dead end jobs, our financial responsibilities, our all too human needs… we resign ourselves to losing touch with our Nightside. These idle moments have become precious treats in our society. We must therefore, strive harder to find these small niches of time to explore our natures, to compare them with others who walk our path, to continue to learn as we experience life thru our own particular window, and ultimately journey toward our dreams.
Too many of us are slaves to our Dayside demands. It really aught to be the other way: our Dayside toils should serve us. It is not an easy turn around to make, but we need to shape our Dayside so that it better serves who we are, what we want to be, and where we wish our dreams to take us. Our Dayside should ultimately enable our Nightside, not hinder it. As Nightkind we are faced with the difficult task of balancing the two. While neither should suffer prolonged or extensively, we do owe it to ourselves to find quiet peaceful moments to simply reconnect, relax and allow our dreams to take form.