Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ellie Font

Elephant! Or Ellie Font, as I would say in annoying pixie baby talk...but Ellie Font would make a cute burlesque name....Wait, where am I? Oh, that's right, I'm writing a blog. Sorry, I hate it when I drift off into annoying pixie baby land....

Back to the matter at hand: Elephants! Recently, my husband and I went to our local zoo. They were asking for donations to rebuild the elephant exhibit; and they need it! Right now, the exhibit is about the size of a two car garage...ok, maybe not that small- but still, it's small. So, if you live in the Colorado Springs area, donate to the elephant exhibit at the Cheyenne Mtn. Zoo.

Need some inspiration? Here's some elephant facts:

  • The word "elephant" comes from the Greek word for "ivory." 
  • Speaking of ivory, elephants have no natural predators...except humans, who hunt them for their ivory. Because we are assholes.
  • They are the largest land mammals alive and can live between 50-70 years. 
  • Elephants are a symbol of wisdom in Asian cultures. I agree. They just look wise. And, I'm not making fun of their wrinkles or grey hair...
  • An elephant eats about 16 hours a day. The rest of the day is spent drinking, bathing, "wallowing," playing, and resting. Sounds like a typical Sunday at my house.
  • Elephants are very social. They take care of injured family members and even seem to grieve over a dead companion. That fact made me get a little teary-eyed.
  • Their trunks are sensitive enough to pick up a blade of grass and strong enough to brake a tree limb. Also, their trunks work as sort of a "smelling periscope" and can determine the presence of enemies.
  • Elephants are smarties. They have the largest brains of any land animal and are ranked up there with non-human primates. I would argue that elephants are smarter than some humans I know.
  • Elephants have been used as working animals and warring animals in Africa and Asia. But, up until the mid 1970's, even zoos would use corporal punishment and negative reinforcement as a way to domesticate them. Now, however, it is common practice to use positive rewards to train the animals. Yay!
And here is your positive reward for reading my blog; the chance to buy an elephant necklace:)

Need more incentive to buy? Just use coupon code BLOG15 for 15% off:)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Black Cat, Good Luck!

This morning, I took my black Maine Coon cat Maeby to the vet. I had to leave her there for her "comprehensive" exam, and I am missing her already:( So, I'm going to blog about black cats...because, my emptiness is now your emptiness...

While black cats are often considered bad luck, that's not necessarily true throughout the world. I certainly don't think that they are bad luck, but that's probably because I am the pet parent to the single most beautiful, perfectly behaved, smartest black cat in the world. Wow, I am a crazy cat lady.

Anyway, here's some intel on black cats:

  • In Great Britain, black cats are a symbol of good luck. In fact, in Scotland, the arrival of a black cat at your door symbolizes prosperity. They are also considered good luck in Japan.
  • In some areas of the world, a woman who owns a black cat is believed to have many "suitors"...wait, are they calling me a whore? Maybe they mean popular...let's go with popular.
  • The most common mythology of black cats is that they are the familiars of witches. I love using the term "familiar". I'm going to start to refer to Maeby as my "familiar. Oh, but I digress...back to the topic. The black cats' association with witches is one of the reasons they are considered bad luck. Whatever, haters.
  • In Germany, a black cat crossing your path from right to left is a bad omen; but if one crosses your path from left to right, then that signifies good fortune......Seems like a black cat could just pace back and forth in front of you and you would be Even Steven.
  • The belief that black cats were witches' familiars led to the killing of cats in the Middle Ages. Oh, and hey- guess what happened after that? The rat population boomed which helped spread the Bubonic Plague. Well done, haters. (insert sarcastic font).
  • But, sailors weren't haters- they believed that a black cat on board a ship was good luck.
  • Sad fact- black cats are not adopted as much as other colored cats. In fact, some shelters limit the adoption of black cats near Halloween to reduce the possibility of the cat being used as a "living Halloween decoration" then abandoning the cat. 
  • Awesome fact: August 17 is National Black Cat Awareness Day. 
But, why only adopt a black cat on August 17. You can have your very own black cat necklace right now!
AND, use coupon code BLOG15 at checkout for 15% off.

AND, if you live in Colorado Springs, please vote for me for best local blogger in The Independent. Only 2 days left to vote. Here's the link to vote:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Land of Enchantment

I just got back from a 6 day road trip to, and throughout,  New Mexico. No joke. And guess what? New Mexico is super great.

And its citizens- New Mexicans- are really, really nice. Like, "what the fuck is in your water that makes you so nice?" nice. Like, "wow, I feel like an asshole for not being as nice as you" nice. Like, "I want to offer you money for being so nice" nice. 

The state nickname is The Land of Enchantment, but I think it should be The Land of Ridiculously Friendly People. 

But let me back up and explain what I was doing in New Mexico.

A wonderful burlesque performer named Vivian Miran from A Guilded Cage Burlesque invited me to perform at ABurlyQ, a burlesque and sideshow weekender in Albuquerque. I was instantly flattered to be asked to perform burlesque out of Colorado, that I jumped at the opportunity. Oh, and I also accepted because Vivan Miran is super nice (see the aforementioned "nice" rant).

So, the husband and I decided to make a little road trip vacation out of it.

We started out by staying the night in Santa Fe. Previously, I had only driven past Santa Fe, so it was pretty cool to spend some time there. It's a nice (there's that word again) city. I thought all the adobe buildings were adorable. There's something rather charming about eating in an adobe style IHOP.  
Also, Santa Fe has this:

This is not the mailbox you are looking for.

And, more importantly, Santa Fe has this:

Let me explain. In Colorado, we do not have Trader Joe's. Our choices are limited to Safeway, King Soopers, etc. If you want something different, you have to take out a bank loan and shop at Whole Foods. Ever since I moved back to Colorado from California, I have desperately missed Trader Joe's. If there's not a Trader Joe's where you live, then don't bother researching will just be sad that you don't have access to healthy, fresh, extremely reasonably priced food.  Oh, and of course, the famous 2 Buck Chuck wine...which is now actually $2.99.

One more thing about Santa Fe. This is the first place that I tried lingua....and although "lingua" sounds like a French sex act, it's actually just beef tongue; you pervs. I tried it in taco form (minds out of the gutter, please). It was....well, it was a beef tongue. It might have been ok if it didn't still have the taste buds on it. I still haven't quite recovered from that. I will leave the adventurous eating for fat bald men on the Travel Channel. Not willing to take culinary risk, the next meal I had was at the aforementioned adobe IHOP.

The next day, we drove to Albuquerque. Here's a sign that greets you:
Good to know that Albuquerque has a sense of humor...I think. Albuquerque is a hip town; from what I could tell by my few days spent there. Prior to being there, my only impression of Albuquerque was from Breaking Bad. I expected to see a bunch of Brian Cranstons wearing hasmat suits and a great deal of tweaked out meth fiends. I did not see that. I just saw nice people. Oh, and green chili/chile. Lots of green chili.
We stayed at the Hotel Blue, a sixties era hotel that had been renovated with more modern amenities. But their pool was still straight up sixties style....My fellow Peaks and Pasties gals decided take a dip. We may or may not have been in compliance with the pool rules:
I'm pretty sure we weren't supposed to play in this fountain; but it really did make for a cute picture. And really, that's what's important. (in picture from left to right: Jacy O'Feelya, Cherry Glitterbomb, Ruby Sparkle, Whiskey Darling (me)).

On Saturday night, I was fortunate enough to perform at the historic Sunshine Theatre. The theatre opened in 1924 and showed first run movies through the 1970's. In the 1980's, it was put on the historic registry and turned into a venue for bands. And burlesque:
This is a picture of me performing my "Drink" act at the Sunshine Theatre. I really am performing a burlesque act. I swear. Even though it looks like I'm a crazy lady who wandered on stage in her bath robe to drink some whiskey....well, that's kind of what happened....but this time, the venue wanted me to do that. I was honored to share the stage with some burlesque greats, including: Satan's Angel, Gyna Rose Jewel, Vivan Miran, IntoxiKate, Tallulah St. James, Kisa Von Teasa, Freya West, Siren Santina, and of course, my Peaks & Pasties girls- Lola Spitfire, Ruby Sparkle Cherry Glitterbomb, Bunny Bee, and Jace O'Feelya. It was an outstanding night!

Sunday, we went shopping on Central Avenue, near UNM. Central is also part of the historic Route 66, and some of the old signs and motels are still in operation. It was pretty cool to see that piece of americana. Then I stopped into a Starbucks.

Monday, we got up early, ate some green chili breakfast burritos (delicious) and headed to the Museum of Nuclear Science:
Perhaps I should take a moment to explain the jackalope. My husband purchased this carved wood bundle of joy at a farmer's market a few days earlier. We named him Gordon Lightfoot. He is our spirit guide. He speaks in a Canadian accent and tells us obvious, but useful advice- like "always wear sunscreen, ay."
Back to the museum. It was neat; thought provoking, heartbreaking, and interesting. And while we were there, they were filming a Nova special. Troy and I video-bombed it (no pun intended). Here's some of the pics from the museum:

 Replica of the Fat Man bomb (above) which as used by the U.S. on Nagasaki. I really didn't know how to pose next to this, which explains the weird look on my face. I mean really, how does one pose next to a replica of a weapon that caused the destruction of a city and took the lives of thousands of innocent people?
Navy plane (above). Troy instructed me to do a Top Gun pose. All I could remember is the scene when they played I pretended to set a ball.
Blurry Einstien puppet (above). Because, when I think about a serious discussion about the possibilities and repercussions of nuclear power, I think Einstein puppet.
Here, the museum shows some of the influence nuclear history has had on pop culture. One item that is missing: and sort of reference to Back to the Future. Also, the docent was also unable to answer my question of how much plutonium is needed to generate 1.21 jigawatts of power. I think I will need to donate my copy of Back to the Future to the museum.

After the museum we left Albuquerque and drove to San Antonio, New Mexico; home of the Buckhorn Tavern. The Buckhorn Tavern is home of "The Seventh Best Hamburger in the U.S." I have to agree. It was a pretty damn good burger. It might have been the seventh best one I've ever had. And I've had A LOT of hamburgers.

Full of delicious green chile burgers, we headed out for Roswell. But first, we made a stop in Lincoln, home to the Lincoln County Wars. Those of you who were fans of the movie Young Guns, would be interested in this...or was it Young Guns 2? I really don't care. We stopped because Troy wanted to. Here's a bullet hole from Billy the Kid. Supposedly.:

Next stop, Roswell.
Yep. Roswell.
We got into town around 5pm. And guess what? Everything is closed by 5pm. So, we checked into a hotel then went to one of the few places that was still open.... Wal-Mart. I'm not proud of this, but we did need to kill time. And, I found this there:
I drank alien beer and watched The Office reruns in the hotel room. Troy passed the time by messing around in photo shop:
Pretty decent work for dealing with an "alien beer" drunk model and a spotty internet connection. Good job, Troy:)

The next day, we ate breakfast. IHOP again, which is weird because I think I've been to an IHOP about 5 times in my life and 2 of those times were on this trip.

Then, we went to the UFO Museum. I really thought that it was going to be super hokey and full of nut jobs. That was not entirely the case. For the most part, the exhibits were well explained, informative, factual, and left open to your interpretation of the existence of little green men. Then there were the exhibits like this:
And this:
I like how it looks like I'm consulting on the "alien autopsy."

So, do I believe in aliens? Don't know. But I think it's fun to believe in aliens, so let's go with that.

Since there's not that much else to do in Roswell, except BELIEVE and Watch The Skies, we decided to start back home.

But, of course we had to stop in Santa Fe once again to stop at Trader Joe's:
Yeah, we filled up the car with candy, coffee, and booze. Not really all that different from what we would normally do on a Tuesday afternoon, but this time it was in Santa Fe!

And here's our bounty:
Mmmmm..... Diabetic coma......

So, our trip to The Land of Enchantment was a total success. I would recommend a road trip there, anytime!

And now, I have to pander.....So, want to vote for me for Best Local Blogger in the Colorado Springs Independent? If so, here's the link:  Just type in Whiskey Darling or Bottom's Up With Whiskey Darling....or the name of a blog that you actually read:)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tiki Drinks? Yes, Please!

Well, the weekend is over. Monday is over. It's Tuesday. And if I was brainless and vapid like Hoda and Kathy Lee, I would call Tuesdays "Tiki Tuesday." But I am not that lame. Yet.

But I do want to reminisce about tiki drinks......

*Cue Martin Denny music as I stare off into space remembering Zombies and Scorpions past.*

Some say that Tiki Culture began in the United States in 1934 with the opening of Don the Beachcomber, a Polynesian themed bar and restaurant in Hollywood. The restaurant featured exotic rum drinks and rattan furniture. Donn Beach, founder of Don the Beachcomber is credited with singlehandedly creating the tropical drink genre with such drinks as the Scorpion and the Zombie. In fact, legend has it that Howard Hughes (pre-recluse days), consumed so many Zombies at Don the Beachcomber that he struck and killed a pedestrian one night while driving home. Allegedly.

There was also Trader Vic's, which started in Oakland and eventually grew to be a worldwide chain. It is currently the only major tiki-themed chain still operating. But, Don the Beachcomber found a new home in Huntington Beach. Side note- I have been to the relocated Don the Beachcomber and have graced them with my drunken charms over a few too many Dark and Stormies. Don't let the name Whiskey Darling fool you; I also enjoy my ginger ale and dark rum:)

Oh, and guess what? Victor Bergeron, aka Trader Vic, and Donn Beach both claimed to have invented the Mai Tai.  They did not, however, fight over the invention of the sugary drink hangover.

Which brings us to the tiki mug. Aside from being the BEST vessel in which to deliver alcohol to oneself, it is also believed to have been pioneered by Donn Beach. Tiki mugs hit their peak in the 1960's, then made a resurgence in the late 1980's and 1990's. Original tiki mugs from Don the Beachcomber or Trader Vic's go for a lot of money today, so if you got one from Nana and Pop Pop's trip to Hollywood in the 1960's, then you might want to do a little ebay research. Or stop using it as a pencil holder.

Don't have a tiki mug? Well, how about a tiki mug necklace? It's made by a girl who got really drunk on Dark and Stormies at Don the Beachcomber, so it's like, famous.

Monday, August 8, 2011

You Spin Me Right 'Round, Baby. Right "Round

Up until recently, I held a pink collar job at a HUGE radio conglomerate. I will not name this corporation, but most indie musicians would agree that this corporation might have been the lovechild from of a drunken encounter between pure evil and greed...and a complete disregard for anti-trust laws.

I spent 10 years working as a radio "insider." That was 9 and 1/2 years longer than I had planned. Aside from learning how to scam free food, I also learned a great deal about the music industry during my sentence...I mean employment.

Don't worry, this isn't a "blow this whole thing wide open/All the President's Men" type expose....I'll leave that for someone who gives a f@*k.

We'll just look at a little bit of history and trivia about the music industry.

  • Before the invention of the phonograph by Thomas Edison, the number one selling item in the music industry was sheet music.
  • By the beginning of the 20th century, The record industry replaced sheet music as the main force in music. 
  • One of the companies that formed out of the invention of the phonograph was the Victor Talking Machine Company (known for the Victrola) which would later merge with RCA, becoming RCA Victor. The Japanese faction of the company was known as JVC (The Victor Company of Japan), However, Victor severed it's ties with JVC during the start of World War II.
  • The first Grammy awards were held in 1959. Domenico Modugno beat out Frank Sinatra and Peggy Lee for record of the year. Wait....who?
  • The first CD was developed by Phillips and Sony in 1980. The first CD I ever purchased: Out of Time by R.E.M. Why did I buy it? Because I saw a cute guy at Hastings buying it....
  • The term "Disc Jockey" was first used in 1937.  
  • Ironically, Barry Manilow did not write the song "I Write the Songs." Watergate AND this trickery? The 1970's was a decade of deception!
  • 90% of all music downloads are illegal downloads. Yowza!
  • The LP record (Long Play for all of you children out there) was invented in 1948. And they are still collected by music aficionados and weird hoarders today.
  • FACT: Old-timey phonograph images make awesome necklaces: 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Oh, deer!

Recently, my husband and I went to the Cheyenne Mtn. Zoo here in Colorado Springs. For those of you who have been to this zoo, you know that it is built into the side of a mountain. Thus, you often find the regular "mountain wildlife" just hanging out with the "imported wildlife." The day that we were there, the cutest damn thing at the zoo wasn't really part of the zoo- it was a tiny baby deer that had wondered on to the zoo grounds. It was so cute that I actually squealed. My husband was very embarrassed.

So, let's celebrate some cuteness today, shall we? Let's talk about deer!

  • Deer have great hearing and great sense of smell.
  • Deer can run up to 40 mph and jump 10 ft high.
  • Fawns are born with a lack of sent. This allows them to remain protected from predators.
  • Fawns can walk shortly after they are born. Fact: watching a baby deer walk for the first time is adorable. Fact: watching me try to walk after too many cocktails is not adorable.
  • Life expectancy of a deer is 20 years.
  • Deer can swim. Cuteness!
  • According to a State Farm insurance report, if you live in West Virginia, there is a 1 in 45 chance that you will collide with a deer while driving your car. *Sad face*
  • Deer can smell a human scent on foliage up to days after the human has left. Up to 8 days, if you are Colin Ferrall (he just looks like he'd be smelly).
So, I think we can all agree that baby deer are pretty cute. And here's a necklace that reiterates that fact: