Roasted Blackberry Matcha Pops

Thirsty for Tea

I’m relishing LA’s 70 degree weather this week. It’s simply perfect. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and there’s a slight chill in the air to refresh and rejuvenate. The relentless California summer will be here soon, which in recent years feels like it begins weeks before its calendar start date. With Roasted Blueberry Matcha Pops on-hand, I’ll be ready with a healthy, cooling snack whenever the first heat wave hits. These pops are made with fresh blackberries, slow-roasted to thicken their juices and bring out their sweet-tart flavor. I’ve tried the simpler method of cooking the berries over a stove top, and must say that the oven-roasting route creates a far superior result. Top the pops off with coconut milk infused with soothing honey, earthy green tea, and vanilla beans scraped straight from the pod. Use only best-quality, natural ingredients to make these and they’ll satisfy and your not-too-sweet tooth all spring and summer long. 
Roasted Blackberry…

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Heather Feather tells it like it is.

I have some ideas for possible ASMR videos.  I even have a channel.  But, the trolls man….the trolls…

I admit that is what is stopping me.  Behind a keyboard I can say what I want to say, and occasionally do so in a  grammatically correct way that can stun a troll at fifty paces.  However, put myself on video?  This makes me distinctly nervous.

In reading Heather’s article, it occurs to me that she’s exactly right.   She’s also got a collection of trolls, dorks, haters, and general assholes that rivals those people who call themselves fans of Tokio Hotel.  Neither her nor TH has curled up and died from the bullying and harassment.  They both love what they do, and it shows.

For the record, I think Heather is very brave…and brave to have shared this, as those shit speakers on the Internet seem to be everywhere nowdays…from TH forums, to Amazon and their “reviewers”, to SWFA, and finally to the ASMR video community.  Such an epidemic of insanity.

Anyway, here’s a link to the article.  Happy reading!

http://heatherfeatherasmr.blogspot.com/2014/07/there-is-only-one-way-to-avoid.html?m=1

Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend

I consider rockabilly to be the ultimate cosplay.  People come from all over the world to Las Vegas Easter weekend to celebrate all things vintage but especially from the 40’s, 50’s, and early 60’s.  It does not seem to matter.  I have seen people who were easily 75 parading about in zoot suits (probably the original ones from their closet) and Hawaiian sundresses.  I saw one little old lady with a huge purple swath through her steel gray hair.  I saw beach blanket kittens of ALL sizes happily sporting their plus sized bikinis and myriad of tattoos.

The best part?  There seemed to be no size/height/weight proportional discrimination.  They all love the music.  They all love the fashion.  They love the cars.

And they come from all over the world!  I met tourists from Germany, England, and even a totally cute couple from Japan.  She made their outfits with traditional Japanese vintage silk prints of cranes for a completely unique look.

The pool party was the place to be Easter Sunday.  There was even an small mermaid dog paddling around the pool.  The vintage swimwear contest took place about four in the afternoon.   I wandered around the pool, sucking on my Sailor Jerry’s Rum Mai Tai enjoying the view as people got up and spontaneously danced to the music.  Rockabilly is swing dancing so think The Stray Cats or even The Cramps for a good primer into the genre.

Finally, after many photographs were taken, we got down to the business at hand.  The vintage swimwear competition.  My new friend (who thinks I will not remember his name at all), Gabriel (see I did remember), and I have a running bet that it will be the girl in the red (there were two), the girl who had a totally vintage gold and silver suit that she accessorized with gold and sliver shoes and a gold and silver umbrella, or the girl in the not so vintage but cool nevertheless grass skirt.  Actually,  I have no idea who won, but Gabriel and I were betting on who would win, and rock, scissors, papering each other over who would buy the next round of drinks.  He scored me Grapefruit lip balm from the promo girls wandering around.  Actually, I think its grapefruit and beer flavored but who cares because the Mai Tai was good!

Did I mention strong?  Yeah, that too.  It is probably a good thing that I did not have more than one.  I might have been speaking in tongues after a second one.  I also might have bought those too high for me to wear but damn they were cool leopard print Bettie Page wedge heels with the tikis embroidered on the heel.  Yes, they were shoe lust worthy.

I got a pair of Dia de los Muertos flats and a leopard print/starlight blue vinyl purse instead.  I also got a lot of business cards…so I know where to find this clothing…for next year’s Viva Las Vegas at the Orleans!

The Pirate’s Kiss: The Tavern Etudes p.III

Originally published January-March 2015 by L.Brown and HGW. Copyright 2015 L.Brown (SiriusMoonlight) and HGW.  Used with permission.

Winter was on her ninth Hashtaaleen boilermaker.  The drink steamed, bubbled, and fizzed as the bartender warily set it in front of her.  She watched it blearily for a moment.  Grace was in animated conversation with a being that looked like it wore a refrigeration device on its head.  Grace glanced over at Winter and frowned as Winter gingerly took another sip from her drink and laughed at something on the tabletop display.

“Honey, are  you gonna bleed all over the floor, ’cause I got patrons that want to attach a straw to your head and finish the job.” The cranky waitress attempted to stare Grace down.  Grace narrowed her amaranthine eyes at the gray skinned server and snatched a duracloth napkin off her tray.  She blotted the blood off her head and wrist with it then took a clean glass off the bar back.  She squeezed the blood into the glass and placed a round cherrieberry on the rim.  She stabbed a colorful parasol through the fruit and handed the cocktail to the startled waitress.  All three of her black spider eyes widened at the offering.  “Tell your patron that one is on the house, but no more than that, with my complements.” Grace snapped.   The server scuttled away quickly.  Grace stepped away from the conversation and approached Winter’s table.  Her frown deepened as she saw the conversation scrolling across Winter’s display.  “I think I found a few things of interest.” she said as she cautiously sat down.

Winter waved her hand negligently in Grace’s direction.  She blew steam off the top of the insulated container.  The transparent mug appeared to glow vibrant cobalt and hissed slightly.  The chime on the tabletop call command bonged softly as Winter took another cautious swallow of the bubbling drink.  She read the message, as Grace fiddled with her commset, and laughed.  Grace cocked her head and wondered if Winter was drunker than she previously thought.  The laughter had a harsh sound to it like hysteria and sawdust.  Grace pulled the portal computer out of her pocket, and pulled up a screen before setting it in front of Winter.  “Look in the mirror, over the bar.  What do you see?”  she said as Winter glanced over at the portal.

“I see that one of us is in need of a drink and that the other one is not nearly drunk enough yet.  Some mierda is actually trying to pick me up, would you believe?”  Winter gestured to the tabletop message display. “He said our ship is fixed and that he’s heard a rumor that there is a plague ship inbound from Droxtil or somewhere near there. I told him to find someone else to bother but he seems impaired or oblivious to sarcasm, one of the two.  He wants me to put on my ITD.”   Winter snorted and picked up her drink for another sip.

Grace pursed her lips.  “According to the information I got from our friend over there, ” she indicated the alien refrigeration unit with her chin, “there is a plague ship inbound.  Your admirer is well informed.  Perhaps putting on your interactive temporal device and indulging him would yield more intelligence?”  Grace signaled the bartender to cut Winter off while she downed what remained in her tanker.  Winter seemed in no hurry to take her up on the suggestion.  Grace growled in frustration and reached into Winter’s jacket pocket to retrieve the ITD.  She put it on but yanked it off after a moment or two and slapped it into Winter’s palm.  “Your buddy there has become tight lipped and refuses to talk to anyone but you.”  She flagged down another bar waitress, ordered a drink then gestured at the mirror.  “We’ve got a prize under our noses.  That is what I wanted you to see.”  She sat back in the chair with her drink and took a small sip.  “Let me know what your mystery man says before I tell you about the package delivery offer we’ve got.”   Grace stood and departed for a nearby empty table.  Winter blinked down at her ITD, bemused at its sudden appearance.

“Your friend is looking at Boroni Atchulkto.  He’s wanted in three Hotel systems, and at least two in Suburbia.  The bounty alone would be worth it.  But, we’ve heard he’s carrying something he wants smuggled into Montague Ivoryhelm.  We don’t know a discrete route into that system, else we’d take the job ourselves.”  Winter frowned as the words scrolled across the small screen in front of her retina.  The interactive temporal device was hardly bigger than a pair of wire framed glasses.  The jack fitted behind her ear and filtered out the sounds of the bar and helped enhance her visual neural cortex.

Winter sighed.  “Why don’t you just save some time.  Come sit down so I can beat you up and be done with it.”  She peered at what was left of her drink and sighed again.  “Who’s we anyway?”

There was a discernible pause, as if there were a conferral taking place at the other end of the conversation.  “My name is Auric.  My brother Argent and I ask you to switch to your live feed.”

Winter sighed again, and just for the hell of it, took the suggestion.  “Winter! Come in, dammit!” Fred shouted in her ear and she winced at the volume.

“Cool your jets, toaster.  What’s doing?”  She replied.  Instead of an insulted acidic retort or critique of her fractured ancient terraspeak, Fred immediately started babbling.  “They finished an hour ago…refitted…new vanes…muck off…need to leave…plague ship…”  Winter shook her head to clear it.  “Wait, what? You’re fixed?  How?”

Fred started to babble again as Winter slid off her barstool and motioned to Grace, who has been chatting up Boroni.  The floor wobbled alarmingly before she regained her balance.  She staggered up to Grace and listed a bit to one side.  “Time to go.” She muttered.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

They both stopped and gaped at the Fred sitting calmly with the other surface to space ships.  His metal gleamed faintly in the twilight.  The muck and dirt haf been erased from his hull.  The faux registry letters glowed as the paint appeared to still be drying across the metal skin.  The gravity well vanes were retracted and the large dent in the nosecone from an asteroid broadside is gone.

“You didn’t let them near the torpedo tubes did you?” Winter hissed at Fred. He babbled more about official seals and other rot. “No.” he said.  Winter tuned him out after that.

Winter turned to Grace as she was settling into her communications chair.  “Tell your friend to get his cargo over here.  We need to leave before they figure out they fixed the wrong ship.”  Grace nodded and signaled Boroni’s ship from her newly refurbished bridge console.

“The new decks are totally nova!  Someone didn’t spare any expense.” Grace smirked.  Winter rolled her eyes and continued with the preflight check.  “Boroni’s ship signaled back. They are ready for us to take delivery of the package.  Care to let them in …”  She trailed off.  Winter was already out of her seat and jogging down the corridor to the cargo bay.

“So, what do we owe you for this tip about Boroni?  And why do you use texttype?”  Winter thought hard as the ITD transcribed her words into Galactic Standard and sent them to Auric.

There was another brief pause.  “I’m the con officer.  We deal with a lot of aliens, so it was easier for me to have a halo implanted.  I only use my voice on rare occasions anymore.”

“If you are the con, then your brother is Captain?  What ship?”

Winter caught the faint impression of laughter from the other side of the conversation.  “The Dirty Bitch.  Boroni’s almost there.  We will turn him for his bounty.  Thank you, Captain Winter.”

Boroni appeared out of the haze of lifting ships and handed a crate marked “Live Animal” to Winter.  “It is friendly, “He remarked.” Eats pretty much anything.  No grapes, onions, garlic, chocolate, sattrap, or Naidian chucqsa pops.  Those give it gas.”  Boroni made a face.  “The rest is on the reader chip on the crate.”  He thrust the crate into her hands.       ” Good luck.  He’s a sweet little fellow.”

Boroni disappeared down the gangplank and Winter signaled to Fred to retract and iris the hold doors shut.  Grace hit the thrusters and left the ground far behind.

The Pirate’s Kiss: The Tavern Etudes p.II

Originally published January-March 2015 by L.Brown and HGW. Copyright 2015 L.Brown (SiriusMoonlight) and HGW.  Used with permission.

Winter frowned and checked the CORE status.  Life support and cryogenics appeared as green lights on her display board.

“Fred?” She inquired again.

“My apologies, Winter. Internal and external diagnostics temporarily shut down my voice command. We have sunk six feet into the marsh, and there are several angry villagers outside.  They are asking to speak to the Captain.”

“Great.” Winter muttered. “Good thing she’s not here then.”  She unstrapped herself from the navigation console chair and turned to Grace.  “Let’s get this over with shall we?”  Winter stood, tugged the armrest compartment open on her chair and withdrew a pouch of credit vouchers.  She slapped it shut, and made for the bulkhead doors.  Grace checked her spine sheath and tucked the handle of the long bladed knife up under the hair at the back of her neck.  Her waist length braid swung into place, effectively concealing the blade.  She stood and strode after Winter.

Winter neared the airlock and slowed down to punch in the code that would extend the walkway.  The airlock glowed green but the ramp stubbornly glowed red.  “Malfunction!” chimed the door unit. “Ramp hydraulics damaged.  Unable to extend ramp.  Warning!  Warranty expired standard Galactic date …”  Winter brought her fist down sharply onto the control and the warning ceased.  “Fred?  Over ride the door please so we can at least get out.  Seal it behind us and keep the ship locked.  Also, keep an eye on that cryotube and keep a continuous monitor on it.  We don’t want our permanent guest to thaw any time soon.  Notify us if there is a problem.  We’ll be at the Don’t Arrr!”

“Affirmative, Winter.  Are you certain going out there now is a good idea?  They seem angry enough to kill the Captain…” Fred trailed off, uncertainly

“They can get in line.” Winter growled, “I get to kill her first.”  The airlock glowed blue as the blast shield around the portal activated.  The gears of the gangway ground partially extending the ramp six feet but no more.  The mechanism overheated and a shower of sparks caused the gathered group to retreat up the crater formed by the crashed ship.  The iris shaped airlock opened and Winter stalked down the gangway and jumped off into the muck.  Grace followed behind, her hands hovering over the knives concealed in the thigh pads of her flight suit.  Winter stomped through the cloying goo and turned around to help Grace wade through the murk.  A villager, perhaps more brave than possessing common sense, approached her and began dancing up and down waving his arms excitedly.  Winter translated his outraged diatribe in her head while  Grace pushed disgustedly at the glop on her suit.  Her fingers ghosted over the concealed knives as she watched the villager carefully.

Winter sighed and pointed to the field.  “We plowed it for you.  Consider it an early planting gift from the Goddess and us as her emissaries.”  The village farmer was not assuaged and continued his harangue a minute more.  Winter smiled slowly, showing her sharp, elongated canine teeth.  The farmer glanced at the tattoo at her throat and strangled on his words.  Winter grabbed Grace by the arm and flipped a golden coin at the farmer which he deftly caught and dubiously bit.

“Sorry for the mess.” Grace smiled brightly as Winter propelled her past the milling crowd and out of the crater.