Month: July 2012

John Barleycorn Must Die

There was three kings unto the east,
Three kings both great and high,
And they hae sworn a solemn oath
John Barleycorn should die.

They took a plough and plough’d him down,
Put clods upon his head,
And they hae sworn a solemn oath
John Barleycorn was dead.

But the cheerful Spring came kindly on,
And show’rs began to fall;
John Barleycorn got up again,
And sore surpris’d them all.

The sultry suns of Summer came,
And he grew thick and strong;
His head weel arm’d wi’ pointed spears,
That no one should him wrong.

The sober Autumn enter’d mild,
When he grew wan and pale;
His bending joints and drooping head
Show’d he bagan to fail.

His colour sicken’d more and more,
He faded into age;
And then his enemies began
To show their deadly rage.

They’ve taen a weapon, long and sharp,
And cut him by the knee;
Then tied him fast upon a cart,
Like a rogue for forgerie.

They laid him down upon his back,
And cudgell’d him full sore;
They hung him up before the storm,
And turn’d him o’er and o’er.

They filled up a darksome pit
With water to the brim;
They heaved in John Barleycorn,
There let him sink or swim.

They laid him out upon the floor,
To work him further woe;
And still, as signs of life appear’d,
They toss’d him to and fro.

They wasted, o’er a scorching flame,
The marrow of his bones;
But a miller us’d him worst of all,
For he crush’d him between two stones.

And they hae taen his very heart’s blood,
And drank it round and round;
And still the more and more they drank,
Their joy did more abound.

John Barleycorn was a hero bold,
Of noble enterprise;
For if you do but taste his blood,
‘Twill make your courage rise.

‘Twill make a man forget his woe;
‘Twill heighten all his joy;
‘Twill make the widow’s heart to sing,
Tho’ the tear were in her eye.

Then let us toast John Barleycorn,
Each man a glass in hand;
And may his great posterity
Ne’er fail in old Scotland!

Robert Burns

Tomorrow is Lammas, the first of the harvest festivals. It’s one of the quietest of the festivals for me, but it holds great significance.

It means that fall is coming!

Traditionally, Lammas marks the first of the major harvests, continuing through Mabon and ending with Samhain. From here on out, it gets cooler and the nights start getting longer.

And it means that officially, we’ve hit my favorite part of the year!


Short Reviews

King of the Zombies (1941)

I find it interesting that voodoo has seemingly fallen out of favor with horror directors, producers, and writers. I’m not sure I disagree, or am truly bothered by it (in fact I know that I’m not, there’s a reason that I’m boycotting The Princess and the Frog). On the other hand, I greatly enjoy the (admittedly biased) zombie films produced in the 1930s and 1940s that use the voodoo zombie plot device as opposed to the shuffling pile of goo that is the modern zombie. Warning- this is very much a product of its time; if you find racial themes to be disquieting, this is not the film for you. If you can handle period pieces with all of the differences in race relations that they come with this is not nearly as good as White Zombie but it’s still an interesting departure from Dawn of the Dead.

Beneath the Darkness

This is a strange, strange film. Carrying a fairly big name cast, dark shots, and pulling from Shakespear and Poe this is a rather murky examination of what happens to a person when they can’t let go. The ending is both freaky and trope-ish, but not badly played out. I didn’t necessarily dislike this film, but it made my skin crawl in not particularly pleasant ways.

Ghosts of Goldfield

I don’t have anything against low–budget horror as a whole, and think that they can be both interesting pieces with solid story lines. There’s been some that I’ve felt just needed a bigger budget to carry the piece. Unfortunately, this isn’t one of them. I really liked the ghost town set up, and I think that with better acting (or a better script) there may have been something there. There are better ways to spend your time on Netflix.

6 months ago- Reality

Sunday Legends- Ordered Extra Crunchy

Americans especially are in a catch-22 when it comes to fast food. On one hand, they love the stuff. They just won’t stop eating it. And there’s piles of politics behind the hows and whys of that. On the other, they fear it. Americans, while they may not have the best grasp on their food chains, fear that they don’t know what’s in the food they’re eating at fast food joints.

The story goes that a couple is on the road and are extremely hungry. They normally refuse to eat at fast food joints but the town they’re in doesn’t seem to offer much else that time of night and waiting was rapidly becoming turning into not being an option. The woman inspects the menu and decides that the chicken sandwich looks like the most promising item.

She thinks that something seems strange with the sandwich and she has her husband pull over into a parking lot to examine her food. What she finds horrifies her- they’ve given her a deep fried rat.

This is not the first nor the last of tainted fast food stories. Tales range from fingers and toes in food, to food that’s not food and was never a food product, bodily fluids in food, glass and plastic in food…the list goes on and on.

(via Dianephotos on Deviantart)

However, it should be pointed out that most of these stories are related to lose of control. You aren’t creating the food, therefore anything can be in it. And you have sheer numbers in your corner- a golden arched restuarant is infamous for the number of cheap burgers it has sold. The risk you’re under is significantly lower than these stories make it appear. I’m not advocating fast food, but on the other hand, there’s probably not as much risk in it as it sounds either.

Snopes has an entire food collection

6 months ago- A Slight Interruption of Service

Prince of Darkness (1987)

My first two impressions:

-Wow, people in this film have epic facial hair. Epic.

-I would not have gone for green koolaide for the devil. I’m not saying the devil can’t be a tube of green koolaide, but it’s not the tact I would have gone for.

This may be a minor spoiler, but I also balked at the suggestion that it’s science that feeds the devil, that a desire to control the world through understanding its functioning that somehow spawns evil. (Firstly, I don’t even believe in evil). (Secondly, have you ever talked to a scientist? I think evil is the furthest thing from their minds, other than a handful of social scientists.) (Thirdly, I am aware that I may be one of 10 currently mobile sociologists that openly admit to a religion.)

I will admit, my stance on the hard/soft science argument colors my impression of this film. The…hubris that scientists on films frequently show annoys me. Oh yes, let’s bring a team of hard scientists together (with a token theologist) and get to the bottom of this…goo that may or may not be so dangerous that it requires an entire order of monks to protect it. Nothing can’t be explained without differential equations!

…I think it may be obvious the direction this film takes towards the devil-goo. I actually found this to be the least dynamic of the Carpenter films that I’ve reviewed, and if it was for my current thematic obsession with inferno/hell imagery I probably would have moved on to something with slightly more teeth.

Dee is telling me that I’ve not reviewed this scent.

I find that hard to believe.

Regardless, this is one of my all time favorite blends from the company. This is actually one of the first blends that I bought multiple imps of.

And in digging, I actually have reviewed it- it’s actually my first review.


Dee is actually a historical alchemist- one of the biggest names in that controversial field actually. I think that this is one of the blends that best captures its inspiration.

The blend is fairly heavy, and on the masculine side but not so much so that I can’t wear it. It shifts between pine, leather, tobacco, and some heavier notes flowing underneath that give it a beautiful depth and richness.

It smells like a library. It smells to me what I think grad school should smell like, actually.

Except that grad school smells vaguely like white board markers and boredom…

6 months ago- The Sea and the Sands

A Year Later…

A year ago, almost exactly, I started making a pair of thrummed mittens.

I didn’t get very far. There is one rather overstuffed pink thrummed mittens floating somewhere in my spare room. I’m not sure what needle size I was using or where the rest of the yarn went.

I may use that mitten to clean out my freezer.

not the most flattering picture of me.

Escape (Thrummed Mittens)

Pattern- Thrummed Mitten Pattern by Rachel James (on Ravelry)

Yarn- Loupgarou, roving- Phoenix polworth by Top Ply Fibers on Etsy

I stayed pretty close to pattern for this project. I shortened the cuff, since I knit all of my cuffs shorter than normal. I also wasn’t sure how much yardage I had. I never actually skeined up the yarn.

I feel like my thrumms were smaller than intended but the yarn also is greased, so I don’t think that it should be an issue for usage.

6 months- Older Than America

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