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Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Apocalypse


Things I was doing before the end of the world.

Eating popcorn!

Thanks Mayans.

(Although, if you want to be technical, the world probably 'ended' a loooong time ago, as the Mayans did not use our current calendar.  But, whatever.)

I bought a new shirt...orange!-with wings!  On sale!  (Girls need closets the size of pyramids...of Giza.)  ;)
Taking random photos for one.

Listening to Mika!

Random dull things, that I decided to record.

 
Because it's my blog.

Autographing Christmas gifts...because when I'm dead (& famous, yes, good luck with that, teehee!) it'll be worth something.

So if it makes your brain bleed...just run away!  ;)

I unearthed a magical goblin ring in the room beneath the basement stairs (we keep Harry Potter locked up there.)  ;)
 
What were you doing before the end of the world?

Rocking my sequin/tacky/granny sweater!  Granny chic!

Growing dandelions in an old coffee tin.  Yes, on purpose.  Dandelions are actually quite good for you.  Vitamins & all (not that I recall which ones).  You can eat them in salads, make wine, or tea.  :D

Playing milliner with green ribbons & birdies.

Reading A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K Le Guin.  Essentially a darker version of Harry Potter, before Harry Potter was ever around.  How many times have I mentioned Harry Potter now?  How odd.

Christmas shopping.

Wrapping up presents with sparkley bows.

Merry (early) Christmas!!!
Listening to this song on repeat!  Stardust!  Mika!


P.S.
(And writing stories!-but I'll have to tell you about that later, good night!.)

~Will I See You Tomorrow?~
;)

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Ghosts of Waterhouse Hall (Currently Writing)

An Artist's Dream; John Anster Fitzgerald
 
Words I am currently adding to, writing to, blithering, storytelling.

So, I do hope you'll forgive bad grammar/misspelled words, etc...

Eventually it will get scrubbed & cleaned & look less ugly.

hahah.  ;)

Just the first chapter about my ghostly mermaid & Basil.

Basil is the most fantabulous male name on the planet.

I jest not.

Anyhoo...read on.

Enjoy!      



The Ghosts of Waterhouse Hall

A Novel of the 1700s

Chapter One

My mother was oft compared, by many people, to Olympias, a princess of Epirus, and mother of Alexander of Macedon. Olympias, who slept in a bed of slithering vipers, Olympias, of the orgiastic cult of Dionysus, Olympias, impregnated by a god.
My ancestors, druids, who burnt the flesh of human sacrifice in their frightening, wicker men, drained the blood to drink in goblets.
My mother…they said that she was a witch. She inflicted the evil eye, cast spells of pestilence and plague, she bathed in the blood of virgins. After such colorful anecdotes of my mother and the wickedness of my family line, I suppose I must have been a trifle dull and disappointing to the surrounding countryside peoples.
A fop and a dandy, they said, a poor, stupid, imbecile child, born of an accursed union. A man with a silly, shy smile and an inane laugh always ready on his lips. A dolt, with the accidental, ancestral name of Waterhouse and all it's devilish portent.
Ever so dull. That idiot, Basil.
Yet, I have had my own dealings with demons and ghosts.
The ship's sails had been set, seeking the seas that would bring me home to England, after so long a journey in far away lands. We of the Waterhouse surname have a bit of nomadic blood in our veins, but Waterhouse Hall has always been home.
The haunted hall.
This was only the second time that my little Odette would step foot into the hall, I carried her across the threshold, sleeping in my arms, her dark red tresses pooling against my sleeve.
Deep in that dark night, I went out onto the moors. I walked onward, very far. I came to a wood on the edge of the moor, that too was Waterhouse land. The sun was just rising. The yellow orb was reflected in the polished leather of my boots; I smiled one of my inane smiles.
The dew on the high grass soaked me to the skin, yet I waded into it like a native in a jungle. The easel, I took from my back, setting it so that I might have a view of the lake before me, intent on painting a landscape. Perhaps, though, my landscapes are not so good. Even I must admit that I had made something of a name for myself painting the portraits of fat counts and countesses, being kind where nature had not. My landscapes were rather tedious. It seems the one thing Basil is any good for, they often said. Portraits. Faith, really, what would the point of argument be? I smiled benignly at it. Scorn unanswered is merely the buzzing of bees.
The lake, however, with it's lustrous reflection of the sky, frustrated and thwarted my efforts. It was hollow.
I was painting the fog that surrounded the lake, with sharp, jabbing strokes of the brush. I gnawed at my lower lip, could feel the heat in my face burning, could feel the slap of the wind, rough, against my bare, pale cheek. My hat had fallen into the grass. With brow furrowed, I ground the heel of my jockey boot against the dirt. Merciless rage rose in my soul like bile. I felt as though I could see my own, wicked mother, devilish woman, and my father, her Bacchanalian king. The forms of the two, corrupt beings danced a tarantella across the glassy surface of the water.
Suddenly, I was utterly drained, weary; heart pounding with the colossal noise of a felled tree.
And then…there she was.
So long as I live, I shan't forget her eyes, fathomless pools of blue. Eyes like polished, abalone shells, at once shining and murky as the depths of the ocean, mesmerizing, dragging me in on her tide. I painted her, feverishly. She stole the breath from my body.
Her hair hung in copious waves, thick as ropes for rigging; with her hand she was plaiting a length of it, while the rest covered her breasts. The hair hung down to the curve of her thighs.
The dawn was coming.
And round the rock on which she perched, a tail with fanned flukes, gossamer transparent. The scales which swaddled her hips were dazzling scarlet; the sun encroaching, I was afraid to lose her. She had all manner of strange objects tied in her dark tresses. There were pieces of coral, a corkscrew, some net, a fishing hook that had rusted, strange, seaweed covered ribbons, pearls, a pocket watch, a golden mirror, and tiny, silvery, pealing bells. She wore brass bangles to the crook of her elbow. A ring, set with a brilliant ruby, glinted in the random shafts of light that pierced the branches of the trees.
So this was the beautiful apparition who had driven my ancestors mad and to their deaths. Many had whispered that I, the last of the line, would not outlast her gaze. But there was no fear in me at the sight of so beguiling a phantom.
I finished my brushwork, wiping the sweat from my brow with the lace cuff of a sleeve. I sank lazily to the ground, puffing at my pipe, raking a hand through my thick hair and soon my body felt weighted as if by sacks of gold. I rubbed my eyes and, kneeling, splashed some of the cool water from the lake on my face. The sand at the bank was wet, the very color of my own hair. I clutched some sand in my hand and let it fall, captivated like a child.
Minnows were sporting in the shallows and I heard trout leaping through the foam. I began to build a castle with the wet earth, my paints of umber, ochre, celadon, and cobalt blue forgotten. I looked up again, to find her watching. The soft, kid leather gloves that I had worn for traveling, and not bothered to remove, were spattered by paint and now coated in coarse granules of sand. Then, my hat, I snatched by the brim and flung it with full force across the surface of the water to her. She caught it in one swift motion and placed it atop her own glossy curls. I stood then, giving a small bow to her and turned on my heel to pack up and leave the lake.
She spoke. "Son of Waterhouse, long has it been since one of your family inhabited the hall and dared to convene with the ghosts. Are you not frightened?"
"Frightened, Madame?" The splashes grew loud and violent indeed, I felt a shiver of cold penetrate me and I saw that her insubstantial hand was grasping for my ankle. She was foiled, in that her hand was not the hand of a mortal woman and she had no power over flesh. The watery spirit sighed.
"Most of your kind have never deigned to have speech with me, Son of Waterhouse."
"Faith, Madame, what is it you wish to say?" I asked gently. Her tone of voice was a guttural melody, in it I could hear the creaking of beams and sails in a vigorous wind. It was the ebb and flow of the tide, sultry, resonating. "I fear only that I am not so frightened, as I am bewitched by you, Madame." I had bent on one knee. "And I cannot believe that you wish to torment me."
"I have tormented your ancestors. The blood in their hearts ran cold at the sight of me. Oft they have tried to evict me from this house, yet I am persistent and I linger. I shall always linger. You shan't be rid of me, Son of Waterhouse, though you seek a thousand ways to vanquish this imp."
"I bear you no ill will, M'lady, though you may think it so. Be welcome in my hall. May it be your own, a peaceful home. Leave me to mine and I shall leave you to yours. Only do not frighten my little girl, should you happen to cross her path. She is the one dear thing in the world to me. For her sake, even the devil himself would fear me."
A little smirk toyed with the edges of her lips.
"You are a wiser man than the gentry of these wild parts of the world give you credit for, master of the hall."
I inclined my head slightly to the water sprite.
"As you say."
"Wise indeed, to placate your resident ghost. I have never, till now, in this hour, met a man more bold; you accept my existence without a tremor or disbelief? How is this, sir, are you mad?"
The look on my face was placid, there was my reflection in the water confirming it, a half smile lifting my lips, a vacant, glassy look in the eyes. "Swimming in the lake, as I do, I have heard tell of you, young man. At times, in your absence, your neighbors have come onto your land in hunting parties. When you are spoken of, it is said that you are an empty-headed fool, with only thoughts of clothes, racing horses, and comforts, such as brandy and roaring fires to nap beside, to keep your brain from being completely idle."
"Perhaps, ‘tis true, Madame." I laughed then. "Twould seem that the legendary and beautiful ghost of the hall is more astonished by me, than I she…why should it bother you so? If I am too dull-witted to fear what I rightfully should, it needs be of no consequence to you, Madame." I would have kissed her hand then to take my leave, but she was no more than a queen of the air, so I pressed my fingers to my lips and offered a kiss to her in that way. "Farewell, Madame."
Her red tail churned the smooth water to a boil.
"Come into the lake," she began to plead. "Come into the lake with me." Her pale arms, milky as alabaster, stretched forth. "Come down, into the lake." She cried out the further I departed from her. Inhuman wailing. "Please return, I am so lonely! Come back, Basil, come back!"
I hesitated, moistening my lips with my tongue.
"My name? You know my name?"
Her shrieks subsided. She dipped her long hair backwards into the water, arching her back, brushing wisps of it back from her face.
"I remember when you were a little boy."
"Mmh."
"Anytime you brought a rod and fished this lake, when you were small, I would catch a fat, granddaddy of a fish and fasten him onto your hook, so that you might not leave empty handed. When they thought you would die of the scarlet fever, it racked your body so, I was in the water in the basin that was dabbed onto your burning temples. Your mother and father ill treated you when you were a child. They were wicked, just as it is said. Never had I a child, when I was still in the bloom of health and life. You were dear to me."
I felt utterly undone. I had turned back to her.
"Then why this pretense at ferocity? Why should anyone have hated or feared you so, kind lady?" I was down beside her, my knees sunk into the sand. From the waist up, she was merely a sad and lovely woman, beneath the surface…she was what they had called, serpent and monster.
"Come into the water with me, Basil."
"I cannot."
"Come into the water with me, Basil, sink into the warm deep within my arms."
My breath was ragged in my chest. How intoxicating, her voice, like a draught for sleeping. How sweet and briny was the odor of her. How soft her slender arms would feel. The toe of my boot was in the lake. Her fingers playfully tapped the tip of it. I realized then, that when in the water, she could touch me. I dipped a hand into the water, cupping it, the rivulets draining and she held and kissed my hand. Once again, I placed my hand beneath the surface, she kissed my wrist. She began to gently pull.
Suddenly, my name was called out, it was my little daughter calling for me. I heard the trod of horse's hooves. Wrenching myself free of her sorceress' grasp, I dashed, slipping, sliding, up the embankment. I ran to Odette. She was riding her pony, the saddle polished to a gleam.
"Quickly, darling, race me home!"


The tiny, rosy palm found my own, her fingers curling round mine like wisteria. The two of us, cohorts in mutual absurdity, paraded down the grand staircase, a wink shared, to the sound of music, goblets clinking, and trumpets blaring. I surveyed the vast room from beneath my heavy lidded eyes, making some banal proclamation, at the ceasing of the trumpets, for the beginning of the festivities. Odette, eyes agog, eyes glowing, cried out in delight. I caught her up in my arms and carried her into the throng of guests, on my shoulder.
She said, "Thank you, thank you, Papa, this is the best birthday ever!" though it had only just begun. Her sixth birthday. Queen of the day.
The servants were all liveried in pink satin, male and female alike, with pink, powdered wigs piled high on each brow, as had been Odette's request. From the corner of my eye, I caught the occasional rueful look upon the face of a man in pink breeches. It only made my mirth increase tenfold. Her favorite color, I wore it too, as did she. I laughed aloud my inane laugh and greeted her company. Neighbors from adjoining estates, all the children in the county it seemed. Odette's pony had been groomed within an inch of its life, hair plaited with vast, pink ribbons and bows and brought, whickering in distrust, into the candlelit ballroom. I set her down upon her fairy mount and she cantered round on the marble floor, whilst I joined in the bourrée that was being danced.
"He's danced with every beautiful woman in the room," the complicit whisperings began.
"In Versailles, they say that the man danced only with Marie Antoinette the whole of the night long and with her husband the king looking on in jealousy."
"He modeled this ballroom after the grand, mirrored gallery at the French palace of Versailles, you know."
"So as not to forget the queen, they say."
"Such a fop. Look at those pink stockings and ribbons!"
"Such a color for a man…only the man who is a fop would dare…why from head to toe, he looks like a large, fluffy bit of candy."
"I suppose he did that for her…adores her so, the spoiled child."
"So wealthy…"
"I would marry the man if he weren't such a dolt. The ghosts turned him into an imbecile as a child…frightened the brains right out of his head, that's what I've heard."
"Not even for his money, you wouldn't marry him?"
"Well…"
"Strange that the little girl should seem so like him, with his lazy, good humored temperament. You know that she is not his own?"
"The daughter of that actress!"
"She ran away with Waterhouse's stable boy."
"And left the newborn babe to the Waterhouses' stupid son."
"She claimed that he had fathered the child. For his money, of course. But that child is no flesh of his. No indeed. She's the spitting image of that stable hand, if I do recall, with all her dark red hair and blue eyes like the mother."
"He's never been with a woman."
"Not even Marie Antoinette? But I thought…"
"What age is he now?"
"Twenty-six. Still no wife."
"What woman would have the silly man?"
"Indeed!"
"What wife could he have, in such a haunted place as this hall? No woman could compete with that strange apparition that is said haunts the lake," this last said in a soft murmur, by a gentleman obviously dreaming of the beautiful lady of the lake.
I strode into their gathering, a lazy smile upon my face, ladies primly hiding behind lace fans, gentlemen whispering behind their hats.
"Indeed," I said, to their abject horror, "she is a beauty."
Hasty excuses were gushed out. Quickly the small crowd began to disperse. The humiliation of my having overheard the gossip mongering was seared across the lily white, aristocratic visages like sealing wax. "I saw her ladyship, not a fortnight ago," I said, halting man and woman in their tracks. "Oh, indeed, indeed, I tell you! Faith! The lady and I were conversing at some length when she bemoaned her lack of convivial company in this hall these last years that it has been uninhabited. Pray tell me, good guests, shall I have a bath drawn, so that the lady may come into the hall and join merrily in our celebration?" I laughed loudly and heard a few gasps. "My word," I exclaimed, a twinkle in my eye, "don't look so bloody pale…why the ghosts roam these halls quite unchecked. The water maiden should be the least of anyone's concern. My mother or father prowling round the corridors would be much more frightening to come suddenly upon. Mother ever had fearful fits of temper." Perhaps, I said so to frighten each blueblood in turn. I supplemented this statement with a way of shaking off the curse, "Fret not, I shall divulge the secret in which I have found to placate mother when she wails in one of her vile rages throughout the house," I let a dramatic pause linger, "one merely need raise a full goblet of wine to the lady and offer a toast in honor of her blessed, little granddaughter Odette…and as mother is no longer able to drink the wine offered, one must down it in one swig oneself…and the rest of the night walk backwards, rather than forwards." Later, as the evening wore on into dusk and thence into night, I was to spy several well titled ladies solemnly marching backwards through doorways looking a trifle ill from the drink that had been frantically imbibed. The floorboards of Waterhouse Hall had always been rather creaky. "Come now! Who will dance a gavotte with me? My feet are not yet sore enough and we shan't let the ghosts get the better of us, shall we?"


Fallen into deep repose, I had curled my long legs beneath me in a chair, fussing with the stick pin at the center of an unruly cravat. I was drinking warm brandy, the fire before my eyes, leaping like imps of hell in the hearth. The stone lions flanking either side of the great fireplace wore mournful, somber expressions. The twin pair looked very sage and very old. These carved boulders had borne witness to my father's treachery and his father's and the father before. I was the last of a wretched breed. I felt cold, though the drink had a heat.
All the servants who were now in the hall would be long gone before the witching hour fell. No servants dwelt in the hall with me and my child, save one who was old and blind. He had less to fear, as he could not see the iniquitous spirits. No, these all had been retained only for the birthday fête. Not a one would stay longer, had I paid him a king's ransom. The legends of Waterhouse Hall ran deep and dark.
Odette pranced by in the glass slippers that I had commissioned for her, slippers just like Cinderella's, glass shoes made by the finest glass blowers in Murano, Italy. I had often thought of marrying, to give her a mother. I fell into a comfortable, vaguely inebriated sleep.
It was a bloodcurdling scream that pierced through the fog of my dreams. I was very groggy as I stumbled after the sound. All of those in the ballroom had heard the shriek as well. We tumbled pell-mell onto the lawn at the back of the house where the hedge labyrinth rose steeply. The wailing came from within those green walls.
"What's going on?" a woman cried out.
"We must do something!" a young man bellowed, racing at the maze, as if he would knock it to the ground with sheer physical strength. He fell flat on his back when he came into contact and realized that he could not penetrate the dense and massive bushes. The screaming had grown ever more raucous.
I slipped, unseen, through the hidden opening, wondering all the while how any person had managed to find it without aid. I wound my way, listening. Though I knew the very path to the center of the labyrinth, whoever was screaming, darted about in an erratic fashion that became challenging to follow. My exasperation was mounting.
Then, I came upon them in a curve in the hedge. It was some drunken lout, laying hands to one of the serving girls who wore a pink gown for the party. She was crying, her dress was torn at the top, baring the corset beneath. I whipped the sword out of the hidden recesses of the cane that was constant companion to me. I put the point against the Adam's apple in his neck and drew blood. He bawled in pain.
"Unless, sir," I said, "your aim in life is to enjoy an operatic career as a fine castrato singer, bearing no heirs to your family name, twould be better in your favor to leave before I have uncharacteristically lost my temper and had to begrime my Mechlin lace on your account."
He shoved her to me. He ran like mad, lost into a labyrinth with no escape, save for those who knew where to look. I would deal with the problem of that rascal later. "Has he hurt you very badly?" I asked her gently, though she could hardly speak through the choke of her tears. Wiping the blood clean from the blade on the grass, I sheathed it and turned back to her. "Can you walk, M'dear?"
"He said he was the ghost!" she wailed, this was all I could comprehend. Firstly, I flung off my own coat and draped it gently round about the bruised shoulders, both to ward of the chill in the air and to resend to her some measure of modesty, so that she might not feel ashamed beneath the eyes of a gentleman. I scooped her up, she, quite unresisting, and carried her out of the dark hedge.
Then, also, I asked if she could name her assailant, but she could not put a name to the face.
The large party that had assembled on the lawn, seemed awestruck and stupefied at my sudden, inexplicable appearance through the high greenery. Still, the opening had been unobserved.
"God in heaven!" a man cried.
"It's Basil," I heard another gasp, "he has the girl."
"How the devil did he find her so quickly?"
"Basil, I say, is she alright?"
"Well enough, in time," I answered, utterly distracted, "good lord, man!" I shouted. "Give the child room to breath!" Many had crowded round.
There was a doctor in attendance at the gala and he was eager to see to her care. She was supplied with a warm drink and a sofa, while I stood watch at one of the tall windows that overlooked the grounds.
On my orders the doors to the house were closed, so that the cries of the lost man in the maze would not disturb the children. Twould do him no harm to sweat it out a little longer. I had no pity for devils who would steal virginity.
Soon the festive air of the place had recommenced, I slumped over a chair in the ballroom, watching the dancers. Odette spun like a ballerina. She waved one of her plump, little hands at me, I grinned and returned the gesture. There was an old baroness staring at me weirdly, almost in surprise, glancing then from me to the drawing room where the little, servant girl in the pink gown lay, recuperating. Yawning, I gave the old lady a wave, at which she was prompt to turn away.
I thought to go in and check on the poor dear, after the doctor had finished his ministrations. It shamed me utterly to think that she had been attacked while on my lands, under what should have been my protection. Yet…I did not know that man, nor how he came to be on my land.
The tremor that shook the ceiling, causing the glass chandeliers to wave and crash about, did not seem to penetrate my mind at first. I saw, but did not see. I felt, but did not feel. I heard, but did not hear. I was upon my feet before I saw, or felt, or heard, with a queer sixth sense. I knocked Odette clear of the falling chandelier that pinned me to the ground. Splayed there, like a bug with a pin through the abdomen. There were cuts on my hands from the broken glass, my leg throbbed and I knew then that something had broken the bone. What an agony that was!
I was certain I saw the morbid reflection of the ghost in the row of mirrors that were a mimicry of the mirrors of Versailles. The ghost snickered and vanished.

 ~That's All She Wrote~

Friday, December 14, 2012

Mika Penniman: My Currentest Obsession

 
'Currentest'...not a word.

Just for future reference.  ;)

I <3 people who like to sip from the golden goblet of crazy.

Yes.

I made that a sentence.

Golden Goblet.

Alas, in all my mess of junk (ahem!-treasures!) I could not find a single golden goblet to illustrate my...um...point?  No.  There is no point to my ramblings.  To illustrate my ramblings, that's what we'll say.  Will a golden bear suffice?
Sounds like a discotheque.

Discotheque is a fun word.

Is rambling.

Me, that is.

I do so love a weird word.

And weird people.

Obviously.

Mika just my kind of wonderful weird.


Take one parts Prince, one parts Adam Ant, & a bit o' George Michael; shaken, not stirred; & you get Mika.

I will drink that martini.

(Not that I ever really drink...is vastly overrated...but, whatever.)  ;)

And, now, I have, more than probably, listened to "Lola", at least a 1,000 times.

And counting...


Mika Penniman is like the circus!

See one & you'll never forget.


The man is brilliant.

Musically brilliant.

And he studied opera in France.

Which just sounds impressive.


He makes me want to compose pop music, since, unlike many 'artists', his version of 'pop' is not utter rubbish.

He's what pop is when it doesn't suck, when it's clever.

Sadly, I never found a <3 for guitar, thus limiting my musical capabilities, as guitar & piano where the only two instruments I practiced.

Shame on you Mom & Dad!  ;)

teehee!

See, they bought me a black electric instead of a red.

And a girl just can't work with that.

Black is just so dull next to cherry.

So I won't be the next Hendrix.

hahah.

Aren't I a whiner?

Who doesn't need a pink, cupcake shawl, I ask?

And I gave up piano...yet, I don't seem to recall why.

Anyhoo...


This has been my sales pitch.

So, go buy all of his albums/concert dvds like I did.


In a rabid frenzy of musical obsession.

I'm quite poor now.

Donations?  ;)

hahah.


Life in 'actual' Cartoon Motion.  Or, what happens when you find, "The Boy Who Knew Too Much" waiting to be listened to.  Drops all the everythings (sometimes I enjoy typing/speaking as though I do not understand the workings of proper English.  Roll with it.)  Yay, Mika!!!  Enjoys acting like a crazy fan-girl.  ;)  *Snoopy Dances*

P.S.
(Somehow, not having seen a clear photo of him before first listening to Lola, I am very nearly convinced that my ears have managed to fine tune themselves into discovering singers attached to lovely mops of curly hair.  Which is just plain odd.  But true...somehow.  Anyhoo...)


We remain colorful as ever.


That's all she wrote.


:D
 











Huzzah!-for bowler hats.


Mika wants to be left alone with his Eiffel Tower lamp.

~Night, Night!~