Month: October 2012

Cocktailery: Drinks of the WEIRD!

This month’s Cocktailery celebrates Halloween with (cue the theremin) Drinks … of the Weird! I’m going to give you three drink recipes that are going to sound kind of strange. I’ve field tested all three of these, and they taste pretty good, once you get over the weirdness.

First: Beer with grenadine.

One of my bartending school classmates popped by my place of employment once, looking for something she called a “Dirty Birdie” (a very dirty Grey Goose martini). When I didn’t have any Grey Goose (that’s the sort of place I work), she said she’d like a Corona with grenadine.

I thought she was kidding. She said she’d tell me when to stop. I popped open her Corona and let a thin stream of grenadine slide into the bottle until the beer was quite red. Then I put the lime in the bottleneck, as is customary, and watched the fun.

She enjoyed it a great deal. I figured I’d learned something new but could not conceive of actually drinking such a thing. Some time later, on a business trip to Virginia Beach, I made a hot new friend who was attending a wedding at the hotel where I was staying. He and his fellow guests were in the ballroom trying to empty a keg, he explained. It was already paid for and shameful to waste, he said. Would I care to join him for a beer or two?

(BTW, before this exchange, when he asked me what I did for a living, I told him I wrote erotic romance. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that doesn’t open doors.)

In the ballroom, I met some of his hot (and inebriated) friends, all of whom were enjoying beer with grenadine. They all offered me one to try, so I took the plunge for the sake of exploration.

It’s really very tasty. I’d thought it would be sweet and cloying, but it’s not, if it’s mixed correctly. The grenadine adds a pleasant counterpoint to the more savory taste of the beer. Definitely worth repeating.

Want to try one? Take your bottle of beer (a bottle’s easiest, I think, but you can pour a can into a glass just as easily, and the keg is always an option), and take a sip from the top before doing anything else. This is like taking a sip from your water bottle before adding Crystal Light. You need the space. Then let the grenadine stream slowly into the bottle. My experience is that this is nearly impossible (or at least DAMNED FRUSTRATING) to do without a pour spout. Seriously, go buy some of those. Stop every so often and taste this. You want more grenadine than it takes just to change colors, but it is kind of easy to put in too much. Be bold carefully.

I have seen this called grenabeer and Christmas beer. It’s not a Monaco – you have to add lemonade for that. Enjoy!

Next stop: Southern Comfort Fiery Pepper and Grape Soda.

It didn’t take long for me to develop a post-shift routine for the transition period between closing up and going to bed. For months, I wound down with some late-night television and one of those big cans of grape soda. For some reason, all that sugar – and there is a LOT of sugar in grape soda – would ease me down toward bedtime. Since I heart my grape soda so very much, I started looking for beverages I could mix with it.

I ran across this blog post from Thirsty South, in which the blogger mentioned that he caught the faintest whiff of grape soda when he enjoyed his SoCo Fiery Pepper. I love the way regular SoCo smells – it’s a beautiful, herbaceous scent, a breath away from being a lovely cologne – but I don’t smell grape soda in it.

He did give me an idea, though.

One night, I resolved to try SoCo Fiery Pepper mixed with grape soda. Just to see. I still don’t smell grape soda in my SoCo, but they mesh together perfectly. The Tabasco isn’t salty at all, but it’s not sweet, either. Trying to get my taste buds around the pure bloom of the spice … that’s weird in the best way.

Try it sometime with a regular can of grape soda and a minibottle (around 1.5 ounces) of Southern Comfort Fiery Pepper.

End of the Line: Wray and Nephew Overproof Rum.

This isn’t really a weird drink. It’s just going to make *you* weird. Ready?

First, head out to your purveyor of spirits and ask him for exactly what is in the header. He may lead you right to it, I don’t know. For years, I had to go to Jamaica to get mine, and when it was finally here, I was able to find it in the store. Some folks will try to give you the rum cream, though. That isn’t what you want. You want this.

Wray and Nephew Overproof Rum is known among Jamaicans (like my family) simply as “white rum.” It is 63% alcohol, so don’t lose the cap. Few things evaporate like 126 proof liquor.

Start everyone with a half-shot. I have entertained some pretty seasoned drinkers at my salon. They all agreed to humor the little lady by starting with a half-shot, and every one of them later said that was plenty for them.

I myself have never done more than a half-shot. That’s plenty weird for me.

Seriously, when you’re done, put the cap back on. You’re about to forget where it went.

This is perfect for girls’ night parties or any other occasion where people want to get to know each other but might be feeling a bit shy. Have everyone shoot at the same time and then exhale on a shared exclamation (try “DIIIIIIIIIIIVE!!!” from Flash Gordon for kicks). Once that’s done, everyone will become more voluble and talkative – I’ve never seen anyone made mean by white rum.

The next morning, even if that’s really all you had, you’re going to feel kind of odd. Because the fermentation by-products that often cause hangovers have been distilled out of white rum, you will feel kind of weird, like you’re in a dream sequence with a high production value, but you will not feel hung over in the traditional sense. That moment of ‘wow, is this Earth?’ is kind of nice sometimes, as long as you don’t have to go to work that morning.

You put the cap back on, right?

Nunc est bibendum, friends. What are you having?

Romanticon 2012 Photos: Glass Dildos, Hot Shirtless Men, and Soap

My total Romanticon wine bottle count is three. Erotic romance has been very, very good to me. Also in the frame are a mask and some beads from the Last Night of Your Life party.

Here I am (trust me, that’s me) with Ace. Ace is a great-looking guy, as are all the Cavemen, but again, I had to crop out both our heads because of the uptight folks at my job. My mom wonders why I don’t just pixelate my face, so that everyone is not punished for my poor career choices. I told her that was an artistic choice on the part of the blogger.

Mom, on the other hand, is happy to appear in the frame. Here she is with two hot new friends at the Pajama Bingo Party.

And here she is with the new Alpha Caveman, Nick. Mom has just won a bingo game, and Nick is verifying the numbers.

About three games later, Mom says, “Oh, Lex! You know who you could have gotten a picture of? You should have gotten a picture of Nick when he was over here!” Yeah. Mom was in her own little Caveman-induced fog.

This is Mom with Giorgio. Told you he was cute!

And here I am with Ryan. I have a really blurry photo of Ryan all by himself, which I had hoped to post here so that you can see that amazing face of his. He invited me to join him for a photo of both of us. I was trying to figure out how to avoid cropping both of us out, and he looked at me, gently, like, “See, now I just think you’re being silly.”

I told him that if people saw both of us in the frame they would have all sorts of questions. He said, “Yes. They’re going to say, ‘What are you both doing in your pajamas at this hour?’ This is what we *want.*”

We do want that!

This is Rodney at the annual Pajama Bingo Party, about to give a lucky winner a lap dance.

At our Last Night of Your Life party, I got this photo of Rodney wearing a garment made almost entirely of peacock feathers.

And here’s Christian in the same outfit. See? It’s nice when I don’t have to crop myself out, isn’t it? Particularly because Christian is easily head and shoulders taller than I am. Cropping myself out would have cut him in half and done everyone a disservice, right?

Original Caveman CJ is below from our Last Night of Your Life party. I felt bad for turning up in jeans, but if there is one thing I can be sure of about the last night of my life, it is this — I am going to be comfortable.

This is the crew from Cleveland Exotic Dance, looking awesome at the Sunday SEXporium. Those ladies can move!

I scored these two glass dildo keychains from the souvenir room because I couldn’t decide between them. Now I can’t decide what keys to put them on. It seems a shame to put them on my dull, everyday keys, but if part of my philosophy is that every day can be a little sexy, that’s exactly where they should go, right?

And now, my story about the soap.

The swag tables are a favorite destination for me and Mom every year at Romanticon. We both take a long, slow pass over the tables, and then we carry our loot upstairs and compare notes. After the first pass, she showed me a pair of nice, big green jelly candies in a cellophane envelope. I was bummed — I love jelly candy — but I resolved to score my own before the conference was over. It took a little while, but I finally grabbed some nice lemon-lime jelly candy on Sunday afternoon and went right upstairs before Pajama Bingo to eat them.

I popped a jelly candy into my mouth and started chewing. Hmm. Not as sweet as I’d expected. But then my palate is not so sophisticated. I kept chewing. Maybe it was a more subtle lemon taste. More lemon juice than lemon candy.

Then I thought, “You know what this tastes like?”

I went into the bathroom and spat the jelly candy into my hand. Then I rubbed it between my hands and got fragrant lather.

It took me about 20 minutes to rinse the soap out of my mouth, and I was hiccuping soap bubbles for much longer than that! But I kept my sliver of soap with the teeth marks in it.

Reality hit me like a fist this morning. How can Romanticon be over so soon? I had to pay for breakfast. I was on the elevator at work several times today and saw not a single Caveman. All I have are photos. And a story idea. And plans for next year. And some chewed-up soap, three bottles of wine, loads of chocolate, a bunch of books, and a pair of dildo keychains.

You’re right, it’s not that bad. I’m just upset right now that there are no Cavemen on my elevator. In time, I will learn to live with that.

Photos from Romanticon 2012 — Day 1

Hey, neighbors!

I am at Romanticon 2012 this weekend, which I hope accounts for the lateness of this post. To make up for it, I have enclosed a couple of pictures. I will continue to post photos as long as there are things to photograph.

Here’s my supercool badge with a bottle of wine, which is one of our party favors:

And here’s your correspondent with Georgio. Georgio’s got a very, very handsome face, but I had to crop him out because my face is right next to his. Unfortunately, I work for people who would cause trouble for all of us if they knew this was what I did with my spare time. So I had to crop the picture, and we’re all paying the price.

(See, if I wrote erotica full time for a living, I could leave my face in. Just saying.)

Something Sexy This Way Comes: 23 Hot Costume Ideas for Women

October is my very favorite month, with my very favorite holiday holding the place of honor right at the end. Yay, Halloween! Yesterday, on the group blog I share with my crew, I set out some practical hints about how to put together that sexy costume you have in mind.

Today, I want to talk to my friends who don’t have a costume in mind yet. Now is the time to start looking around and putting your outfit together. If you wait until a “reasonable” time, you’re going to be stuck with whatever’s left. Sometimes that actually works out. Sometimes you end up dressed like a crayon. It’s always better to have more choices, right?

So just for kicks, and to get those candy-coated juices flowing, I wanted to list as many costume ideas as I could think of and how to pull them on (pulling them *off* is up to you, haha). Hopefully, I can help out those of you still looking for ideas and start a discussion about things to try.

I tend to lean toward a classic, understated brand of sexy, and the suggestions reflect my preferences, so you’re not going to find many silly or outright scary ideas below. Just be warned.

Last year, I actually scored a storebought Storm costume and learned the hard way not to machine wash those things. The wig and the hairband are all that survived, but they are enough to make me Storm. (She would say that to you herself, using a very grand voice and her impressive vocabulary.) Seriously, if you see a black woman out on Halloween wearing a white wig, who else is that? The hairband will reassure doubters that you are neither Lady Gaga or Nicki Minaj, but if you want to seal the deal, pick up a Xavier School T-shirt (there’s still time if you Google it).

You can try this with all your superhero outfits, really. This year, I have my eye on the sensible but short-lived Wonder Woman costume, which would just require the bustier (or a logo T-shirt) and the accessory pack with the tiara and the bracelets. Sure, I’d love to wear the classic bustier and panties outfit, but that’s a lot of money to shell out for the chance to spin around in a circle, sing the song (“Stop a bullet cold! Make the Axis fold!”), and come down with a nice November cold. You can still spin around in a circle and sing in the sensible outfit. (If Wonder Woman were sitting next to me right now, my only question would be whether it is at all uncomfortable to fight crime in a bustier and panties.)

Logo T-shirts make your superhero life easier. Play on Clark Kent with a Supergirl shirt under your white-button down shirt (you’re Kara Zor-El now!). Some of the logo shirts even come with a cape, so it’s easy, and less expensive, to be Batgirl or Robin. The Green Lantern shirt doesn’t have a cape, but it does come with the ring (so you could theoretically make your own cape, right?).

I wore a schoolgirl outfit for years and years; it’s a classic you can put together with ease from your closet. You need a white shirt, a blue blazer, Mary Jane shoes, knee socks and a plaid skirt that is knee length at its longest (or what’s the point of the socks?). You can score a striped tie at the thrift store (I actually stole one from my brother, even cheaper), and seal the deal with gum, a lollipop, a lighter (cigarettes are expensive), and something to pull your hair up with.

With a white button-down shirt and a pair of jeans, you can start to pull on the following easy outfits:

  1. Red Riding Hood (add a red cape, sold separately this time of year anywhere from the grocery store to Wal-Mart, and a little wicker basket from home)
  2. Cowgirl (add a straw cowboy hat and a bandana from the thrift store)
  3. Biker (add a thick black leather belt, a bandana for your hair, a nice washable tattoo, and your sunglasses – a leather or dark denim jacket seals the deal)

Dress it up a little and switch the jeans out for suit pants. Now you can be

  1. In the Secret Service (wear your sunglasses and your earbuds – keep one in your ear and let the cord trail into your collar – and look absolutely humorless to seal the deal)
  2. An undercover cop (I believe you can still get a badge and handcuffs in one nifty set for very little money, although toy handguns are harder to find nowadays, with the world the way it is)

Switch the suit pants out for knee pants (I use gauchos) or even capris and you can go steampunk for the night. Bare calves are like an international signal for steampunk. Score a vest from your closet or the thrift store, and pick up some goggles, a pocket watch, and a bandolier to finish it out. Steampunk girls don’t wear flat shoes for some reason. I think it’s related to the bare calves rule.

Switch out the pants for a pencil skirt, and now we’re really talking.

  1. Pinup girl – add pearls, open the shirt, wear the reddest lipstick you can pull off, and style your hair with soft 40’s waves. Be assured that pinup girls are sexy – they are the subject of very popular tattoos.
  2. Gangster’s moll – button your shirt, lose the pearls, add a thrift store hat and a toy tommy gun.
  3. That librarian everyone quietly talked about – add some glasses to the pinup girl outfit, pull your hair back, and stop all that flirty grinning!

Be a doctor without all that pesky education – scrubs cost very little at Wally World, and if you can’t get a stethoscope from the toy section, the Halloween store has them for cheap. To me, scrubs are like the warm-weather version of sweats. You will definitely wear them again.

Don’t underestimate the power of the wig. A wig – all by itself – can take you anywhere from Marie Antoinette to Nicki Minaj. Ignore the label on the wig. Elsa Van Helsing’s wig looks just like Wednesday Addams’s hair. I wore a Jack Sparrow wig with a suit to be Unfrozen Cavewoman Lawyer. That long white wig labeled as “ghost hair” or something? That’s Storm’s hair. You also do not need a wig cap. Head to the drugstore and buy either a wrap cap from the ethnic hair area or a box of knee highs. I have always used the wrap cap to hide my hair under the wig. If you cut the bottom off a knee-high stocking, you can usually use the cuff for the same purpose. Neither of these will cut into the scalp, and they both breathe fairly well.

Even easier, try using just the accessories. I wore a pair of devil horns one year with a blue dress. I have a pair of cat ears that goes with any of my black shirts and black jeans. It only takes a little to get the job done. The year I wore the red cape over my white shirt and jeans … well, the wolf knew exactly who I was.

Let’s make this Costume Idea Central, home to all your costume suggestions, questions and quandaries! Let me know what’s on your mind in the comments!