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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

astro shrink: letting go… best done with alcohol

losta note from gwen: if you were a LOST junkie like moi, you’ll remember that “The final message of Lost is an interesting one, a profound one and the mythology surrounding it will be debated among viewers for as long as the series ran.” To those who missed it, the ending depicts the series sage and hero, jack shepard, dying. His last fleeting thought is… “let it go,” and as he thinks it, he watches his unlucky 747 successfully and finally take off from the island. let it go, huh? i keep hearing this from psychics, healers, jack shepard, and now astro shrink. but, i gotta tell ya… this whole lettin’ go thing is easier said than done, and it is certainly done easier with alcohol…

ASTRO SHRINK: Do you feel as though your worldview is transforming? I feel as though my own is in a constant state of change, and even though I might resist initially, I find my viewpoint arrives at a better place when all is said and done. The resistance is nothing more than fear anyway, that something will change in a way I don’t want, in a way that ruffles my feathers or upsets the nest.

I believe it is our task to be aware of the useless fears that pervade our modern lives so we can be better equipped to face them. One of the biggest fears is about change, but since fear restricts the body, mind, and spirit, shrinking life into a tight little box, I think it’s a good idea to practice managing it.

2012Many popular Hollywood movies are full of calamities, which draw in hoards of folks who pay good money to sit and get scared. I’m thinking of one recent movie detailing a catastrophic 2012. Many of you know about the prophecies associated with that year, including it being the end year of the Mayan calendar. People have created all sorts of fear-based stories around this, such as it being the end of days where horrible things are going to happen to us before we all burn in a ball of fiery hell. Then Hollywood puts out a movie so thousands of folks can sit and stare at it, allowing horrific images to burn into the collective psyche.

I suspect it is partly the addiction to adrenalin that makes trauma, drama, blood, and guts intriguing to people. Could it also be a refusal to harness one’s mind for the sake of good? To get into the director’s chair of one’s own mind means to take responsibility for one’s personal fears. Uh-oh. Too scary! Some would say, “How can I take responsibility for the fears I experience? Life just gets thrown my way and I have to deal with it somehow!”

Although we have to deal with it, we do have choices. We can grow our fears or live every moment of our life as if it were sacred. Even the worst of times can be life’s most deeply healing and enriching, bringing us to an entirely new place of wisdom. On the other hand, our fears
increase and grow stronger when we think about them and give them a place at the dinner table. They multiply when we watch the news and agree with the newscasters that things are really, really bad. Naturally our fears increase when we share them with others and convince them that it is true, it’s a quite scary place, this planet earth, and we all might die someday. Or, at the very least, we might not get what we want. Humph!

crop(photo) In my neck of the woods, I run into lots of folks talking about what’s happening in the world. Sometimes this means who’s running for governor in my home state of California, what is the true meaning of our troops being in Afghanistan, or issues involving sustainability. Other times it means things like crop circles, spaceships, government-enforced vaccines, natural disasters, and yes, the potential end of days in 2012. I usually listen a bit and then spend some time giving an alternative view in hopes it can help folks come out of the fear that has taken over their thoughts. Just for fun, listen to a conversation about 2012 between Fear and Non-fear.

“Oh boy, we better get ready to hang on because the earth is going to rumble! We are going to have earthquakes, tsunamis, maybe even nuclear war.” So? “Well, our houses, which are financially under water, will be smashed and literally under water! Or worse, there could be horrible explosions!” So? “We might lose everything! People could die!” So? “We don’t want that!” Why not? “Because we don’t!” Why not? “Because everything would be ruined!” So? “We could die!” So? “We don’t want that!” Ok, we don’t want that. What do we want? “We want life to go on as it is, with very little change!” Ok. “And we don’t want calamity and upset!” You are right, we don’t. What do you suppose you will
deathbe doing in 2013? “Fearing something else! Haven’t you heard about alien abductions… do spaceships float?” Why do you ask? Oh, because your house will be under water… “Well, it will probably not be under water.” How do you know? “I don’t! But we are in the midst of great change and we need to prepare for it.” Would you be willing to change your mind? “Change my mind? About what?” About how awful the future could be? “After all I’ve been through? Now I have to change my mind? Oh, I can’t take all this…” Ok. Get back to me if you change your mind.

Silly isn’t it? When we have fear that is not related to the type necessary to crank up the body’s defenses for immediate physical survival, it is an indication that the mind is in a circular cycle, stuck. The way to overcome the fear is to change the mind, to get the thoughts focused on what brings inner peace, instead of more fear.

It is imperative to learn to accept change, not to fear it, and to welcome it. When we allow change to make way for something new, we allow our lives to roll forward. We allow ourselves to grow. The more we can flow with change in life and allow our minds to be free, the easier it is to live in the moment and enjoy this life, this day, this minute, right now.

so how about a little…
DEATH IN THE AFTERNOON?
absinthe
champagne
pour into flute and enjoy your death of sobriety
(photo)

1
christinaDr. Christina Grant is a holistic healer and spiritual counselor who uses astrology in her work to help people better understand their purpose and life circumstances. She works in person and by phone. She has helped hundreds of people attain physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being through personal transformation. Her writing is published nationwide. To learn more, see WWW.CHRISTINAGRANT.COM

mixed by Gwen-Intoxicated Zodiac

shaken in Astro Shrink,Occult




Saturday, August 7, 2010

candied violet martini stars Creme de Violette

Creme-de-Violette

more and more, we’re being granted access to many of the obscure liquors that europe has been privy to for so long. over here in the grand united states, we live vacuum packed and hermetically sealed–with the vacuum made in china. thankfully the alcohol has seeped through the walls of our red, white and blue fortress and into our chalice. we’ve been presented with another long lost liqueur, heralding from the days of speakeasies, from the prohibition-era itself: voilet liqueur. in fact, there are so many companies making this spirit now that i’ve lost count. you should be able to secure a bottle at your local booze shop, and if you can’t, reprimand the owner–the severity of which i leave up to you. because that’s just uncalled for.

ironically however, creme de violette sounds a whole lot better than it tastes. voilets are beautiful, so you know who rules them: venus–cheers to the bull…! creme de voilette is made from voilets, which means it’s a pretty purple color, which means one just has to mix with it, especially if one happens to be of the female persuasion. we love purple, don’t we girls? well, i’ve solved our little quandary, and i present it to you now in what i think you’ll find to be a most agreeable tipple:

CANDIED VIOLET
1 oz crème de voilette
1 oz vodka
1 oz coconut milk
.5 oz rich simple syrup (2:1)
1/4 oz white creme de cocoa

Shake over ice, strain into glass.
Garnish with edible flower, ideally a violet

mixed by Gwen-Intoxicated Zodiac




Monday, August 2, 2010

the Cocktail Sword: Out, damned mint! out, I say!

why, then, ’tis time to do ‘t. Hell is murky! Fie, my lord, fie! a soldier, and afeard? aah yes… lady charon’s inner turmoil with the Mojito!
mint2
Okay. I confess. I was probably not an ideal candidate for a position as bartender in a kitschy new downtown bar a few blocks from Capitol Hill in Washington DC. What I did have were sideshow skills that fit the décor of the place, a willingness to learn a skill set that would encourage me to improve my stunted social mannerisms and a decent penchant for combining flavors. It was with enthusiasm that my trainer took me on, seeing that on a practical level I was an excellent choice for the job.

He’s a Capricorn, and has made a stellar career as an Intoxicologist not to mention earning a nice fat nest egg as a stockholder in some of the most successful bar enterprises in the District. He kept my instruction in the art clear, concise, practical and businesslike, the way only an extremely effective Capricorn can. I was in good hands and I have never forgotten one of the main principles upon which my education was based: Unless there is also food service at the establishment, tools such as blenders and muddlers should not be necessary behind the bar.

For the most part I have found this to be true, and from a practical Capricornian standpoint, I understand why with regard to the time-consuming nature of drinks that require multiple tools for their creation. From my Scorpio viewpoint, however, I immediately wanted to explore this “forbidden” side of things. He and I talked about it often during the slower late afternoons. He imparted a number of tips and tricks for when I would inevitably find myself in such a circumstance, which I did after just a few months behind his bar, at another establishment where my sideshow skill set was also marketable and desirable in a bartender. It was here I learned about blender drinks and layered drinks and ice cream drinks and a whole host of other decadent and time-consuming masterpieces of mixology that absolutely fascinated me and made me want to build drinks that were bigger, better, grander and, if possible, organic. It was also where I met my nemesis in the tippling world. Here, dear readers, was where I learned to truly detest and loathe one drink in particular in a deeply fundamental way. The copious amounts of this drink I had to manufacture in a given evening did nothing to endear it to me.

It was the Mojito.

This was the drink that, made the way the establishment wanted it made, took more time and energy than we typically had to spare on a busy evening. A single person at a 12-top would order one and suddenly I had orders for 11 more. It was nonstop, insidious and annoying. The drink had no real creativity to it at all, in my humble opinion, since it was essentially a lesser version of the Caipirinha, and those who ordered it did so because it was easy to toss back and order again quickly. As a shot drinker, this offended my Scorpio sensibilities in the worst way. The time, the effort (albeit comparatively slight) and the number of items needed to create the drink were simply wasted on these folks. If one is drinking merely to become intoxicated, there are easier ways to get there, certainly.

Not that anyone here is suggesting that. Not at all.

I blame my snobbishness completely on my Sun Sign. My Cancer Ascendant and Libra Moon grant me the appropriate amount of guilt to balance it, fortunately.

The Mojito and everything it came to stand for in my world was eventually a source of great irritation. I expressed these sentiments often following my time as a professional bartender, mostly to other bartenders as well as tipplers and non-tipplers alike. Many would agree with me, shaking their heads in sympathy, but it wasn’t until I shared the story with a dear friend who is an accomplished and talented chef that I began to think differently about it all. She, a brilliant and vibrant Aries, put forth the challenge that I rethink the Mojito entirely, to imagine what would take it from a simple tasty slightly-above-rail drink to a truly amazing and artistic cocktail, and By All The Mad Gods, to TAKE BACK MY POWER with regard to it all.

She also pointed out that getting over myself would be a good step in the right direction as well. She is a Good Friend.

mojito2Being a fellow foodie myself we spoke at length about it, comparing ingredients, contemplating substitutions, hypothesizing about methods for combining the flavors more effectively and interestingly, until we had put together the version you see below.

It is also worth noting here that all of the items listed below were readily available in one or both of our Airstream travel trailers. We were both on the road at the time and created this at a campground in the middle of a southwestern desert.

THE FOODIE’S MOJITO

Half a lime, segmented into 3 portions for easy muddling
1 part Mint Simple Syrup (combine 12 to 15 fresh mint leaves and equal parts water and sugar of your choosing, bring to simmer and let reduce for 8 to 12 minutes)
1 part light rum (I use Gosling’s Gold)
3 parts Pellegrino (or Sparkling Water of your choosing)

Muddle the first two items in the bottom of a tall glass. Add ice to fill and top with final two items. We made two versions o the simple syrup, one with raw cane sugar and one with brown sugar. Both had their pros and cons and I encourage you to experiment t see what you prefer. For an extra bonus of a summery treat, take a half handful of blueberries, raspberries or blackberries and toss them in to be muddled with the first two items. The sparkling water item is also good when of a species that adds a slight flavor infusion, such as lime or citrus.

Garnish liberally with mint leaves and serve to those you know will appreciate the effort precisely because they would go to it themselves. You know the people you thought of immediately while reading the previous sentence? Yes, them. Make a pitcher followed by a few phone calls. The sharing time of summer is worth it.

charon-sword-largerCheers~Charon, The Most Dangerous Beauty Alive
theswordswallowers.com
oddangel.com

Charon Henning is one of a handful of female sword swallowers in the world today. She’s performed on carnival midways and at wine tastings, on theater stages and grassy lots.

Charon also reads tea leaves professionally, a skill she inherited from her grandmother on her mother’s side of the family. Tea-leaf reading is a wonderful and elegant form of entertainment, suitable for many time periods and venues.

Charon loves being on the road seeing new places and meeting new people. Want to catch Charon on the road for her live show? View her tour schedule here. Or, book Charon’s talent for your next event!

mixed by Gwen-Intoxicated Zodiac



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