About Me

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I am the creator of steampunk reviews, a woman in love with history, mystery, and the fine things of life, though not necessarily in that order. As a self-styled aristocrat, I've aimed to cultivate an old world (real or constructed via movies being irrelevant to me) sense of elegance and taste, and have been going to great lengths to fulfill that goal. It is my aim to live a life that is enjoyable, rather than one obsessed with being 'perfectly good for me in every way'.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Feeding the tea addiction

I've never been a fan of coffee. It all looks and tastes the same to me, and I prefer it to be absolutely vile rather than drowning it in sugar, milk, and whipped cream the way starbucks lovers do. I used to drink it when I was younger, but it never really filled my desire for a warm caffienated drink. At that point tea was also of little to no interest, as I was still under the impression that tea only came in stapled cheesecloth bags and tasted profoundly bad. I did love the look of teapots, however, and it was that love that drew me into Teavana in the last days of my senior year of highschool. There a very clever saleswoman proceeded to sell me an entire cast iron tea set and two hulking canisters of tea, which followed me to college, at that point unused.

Then, one innocuous day, I fired up the hot pot, threw some tea in my virginal cast-iron teapot, and made my first batch of matevana. After a few tenuous sips of that lovely chocolatey tea I knew my fate had been sealed. I was hooked. I have since gone on to broaden my selection of tea, and I now have no less than thirteen different types, as well as nine differet teacups, not including the tea-leaf reading cup that I never use as I'm too damn lazy. Don't believe me? Take a look at the photo below.

Indeed, I'm drinking tea as we speak. It's a kind brought back from England by a friend of mine, known as Yumchaa Courtesan, and is an infusion of fruit and berries, containing no actual tea leaves. It's light, tart, and quite enjoyable, as well as being a startling shade of pinkish red. Again, see below.

As for my favorite kind of tea, there's no contest there: Sweet Oolong Revolution, as made by Teavana. It's sweet, with a malted undertone, and, simply, wonderful.

So, to anyone who's on the fence about tea: Try the good stuff. You'll like it. (Joooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooin ussssssssssssssss.........)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I'm more hothouse orchid than hardy highland rose.

I love to 'get away from it all' as much as the next person. How the next person and I do so, however, tend to be very different things. In my mind if one is going to take a vacation it should be to a splendidly comfortable place that requires one to merely arrive and enjoy oneself. One should not have to clean, cook, run from bugs, or anything else that is even the tiniest bit taxing. Luxurious? Yes. Decadent? Absolutely. Hence why if I had my way I would vacation very rarely, but when I did I would be doing it in the grandest style I could reasonably afford. I am a fan of the spa, the five star hotel, the best restaurants and plays, and, as you, my dear populace may have realized from my list of things I'd rather not be doing, the vacation I am currently on is not exactly my preferred method of relaxation.

It is true I've had a fairly good time thus far, though there have been considerable hangups. The largest of these has been the fact that I was recently eaten alive by chiggers, and the bites tend to get more aggravated when I'm sweating or stressed which makes me itch like mad and want to peel my own skin off. The other prime issue is that the isolated nature of the house my family is occupying means that we're all in contact a great deal, and at least two members of the family - myself and my mother specifically - are not huge people persons (or, more accurately, my mother isn't a huge people person while I am not exactly adept at social interractions with others and will often simply retreat to my boudoir when I feel cornered). This means that toes get trod on, fangs to get bared, and tempers can flare. Finally, there is a general feeling that one should be doing something all the time, and, as stated above, in my mind a vacation should be a time in which one is obligated to do absolutely nothing. Why on earth would one go way the hell out of one's way to continue the same tired routine one carries on at home?

Now, however, I do have to say, that, in said vacation's defense, it is far from bad, and, in some ways, the paragraph preceding this one was more an excuse to vent than anything else. On the plus side I've visited some of my favorite shops, gotten alot of writing done (a new review will grace us in the near future), and caught up on alot of things I've been let slide (like reading the third book of the Dark Tower series and updating the inventory I keep that records all the minerals and rocks I've collected over the years). So it's all a matter of balance, and I can at least thank my lucky stars that I'm in an actual house and not a camper, or, god forbid, a tent. I have running water and toilets that don't require the user to kick them to make sure bats don't fly out (yes, I have experienced that). The food has been lovely, and the company, when we put our rayguns down and stop trying to recreate the Mexican standoff from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, has been most pleasant.
............................The bugs still suck.