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Monday, June 29, 2015

East side Marios

East Side Mario's is a popular Italian chain restaurant that originated in New York.  It is popular for a reason.  I find some of the finest fairy food there.  Don't worry there are all kinds of foods fit for sirens, shape-shifters, elves, etc.  Vampires on the other hand, will have a tougher time.  It's the kind of food that you vampires have when you are dieting.  So for you lot, I recommend a virgin caesar with no salt.  I know you all like to slurp clams when you want to lose weight.  Or there is always the steak dish with the steak rare and extra bloody but you might raise some eyebrows.  That's never a good thing.

I always order the stuffed mushrooms, garden salad and the tomato garlic soup.  With this meal, I step back into the enchanted woods and eat something magical.  It is easy to miss a home cooked meal especially in this world.  Luckily, you will be able to find meals or make meals in this world that have the same effect. 

After all that, if you are still hungry for something sweet, go for the mini mousse cake.  It is the perfect size after a huge meal.  This small rich decadent dessert looks like a small pixie top hat.  It's almost a shame to eat it except get real!  It is made of chocolate and we of the fey are all addicted to chocolate.  One bite of this little cake launches you into ecstasy and you will not disappointed.  Like I said, the finest fairy food you can find. 

Their slogan is very appropriate for them.  Bada-Bing-Bada-Boom!  It almost like they can open a portal into our world and summon up dishes from the "Black Dragon's Pub."  Oh I miss that pub.  The food is excellent at the pub and also at East Side Mario's.  So check it out.  It's a home away from home. 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Voodoo Rice and Beans Recipe

That's right.  Voodoo rice.  I had the pleasure to visit New Orleans earlier this year.  As most of us know, New Orleans is famous for it's history, spiritualism, parties and, of course, food.  I remember that everything I had to eat there was so good that I was sad to leave. I was lucky enough to have this spicy, exotic dish on my visit there.  The locals are very open and friendly and they like to share some of their culinary secrets.   Here is what they shared with me.

Voodoo Rice and Beans 

1/2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 Tbsp. Cajun seasoning
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. salt

1/2 cup rice
1/4 cup red pepper, chopped
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup of vegetable stock
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of corn
Hot pepper sauce to taste

Saute' onions & seasonings until onions are soft.  Add remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer about 20 minutes.  Stir occasionally.  Eat!

Some of you will want meat with this.  That's perfectly reasonable and very easy to do.  You can replace the vegetable stock with chicken stock and add some meat pieces of your choice.  For the siren clan, the best thing to put in is shrimp.  The locals at New Orleans swear that shrimp is the best meat to have with this meal.  However, for all you shape-shifters out there (especially werewolves), get yourselves a fresh cut steak and cook it rare.  The last time I checked, that is how you prefer it. 

This dish is great for a casual night at home when you feel the need for a little adventure.  I recommend having this dish with a lovely chilled rose' wine and a fresh garden salad.  The cold wine and the crisp salad are nice counterpoints to the heat of this dish.  Every mystic knows that a great meal is all about balance.  That is the secret to a magical meal. 

For more on my New Orleans experience, See:

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Magical Herb Garden

You thought they didn't exist in this world did you?  Well good news my fantastical darlings, They do!  It takes some work but you can get a lush and lovely little garden to nourish your mystical bodies. The herbs here work a little differently.  We have the same ones humans do back home but the ones that are native to our world will not grow in this realm.  On top of that, the herbs here require a lot more care and harvesting.

I know what you're thinking.  Isn't it enough just to have them?  The answer is no.  In the earth realm we can't just summon an individual rain cloud that fits in your garden or bring plants to life with your touch.  You have to take water from the hose, well, sink, whatever and water them.  Also you have to take a small knife or a pair of scissors and cut the herbs where it's safe to cut them. Oh!  And don't forget to fertilize these herbs because they need that here.

Now what are good magical herbs to have here?  Here is a list and what they're for.  The red is for the name of the herb, green is for the uses in our world, and blue is for its uses in the earth realm.

Basil:   In our world, basil is used for clarity especially with important things.  So if you lose something, one bite from these leaves and you will remember where it isFor magical uses in this realm, basil is used for love, exorcism, wealth, flying, protection and courage.  Pretty cool yes?  Practically speaking it helps prevents cancer, heal cuts and aids digestion.  Best to cook in sauces, salads and teas.
Chamomile: What is this little herb good for?  In our world we use it to keep us from getting lost in dreams and to keep nasty demons out of the house.  In the Earth Realm however, it is used for meditation, centering, peace, protection, healing and money.  For practical uses, it is good as a sleep aid, relieves fevers and stomach aches, and is a good strengthener for blond hair.  Best as a tea.
Chives:  In our world we use this as a "gauge" in how undead a person is.  Mostly in the Earth Realm, this is to keep diseases and evil spirits away.  For practical uses they are mildly anti-septic.  This is best in any kind of cooking from pastas, soups and salads.
Jasmine:  We mystics love to use this as a way to lure the object of our affection.  Humans however use this for love, sensuality, money, meditation and prophetic dreams.  Practically speaking it's good for headaches, lifting your mood and calms anxiety.  The best way to ingest it is through teas. 
Lavender:  The magical uses of lavender is many and varied.  In our realm, we mostly plant this in our gardens for luck but in the earth realm it has more powers.  This includes love, chastity (when used with rosemary), sleep, protection, purification, peace, longevity and happiness.  This is a herb that can be cooked or steeped in tea but I'll be frank.  It tastes like soap.  Better to just use it as a scent only. 
Lemon Balm: Lemon balm makes a very nice healing slave in our world.  In this world it is used for love, success, and healing.  It's not that different since both mystics and humans use it because it's good for the skin, kills viruses and calms your nerves.  Another plus is they attract bees and butterflies.  Best to drink like a tea.
Oregano:  Like lavender, oregano has many magical uses.  We use it for medicines, anxiety relief and (for shape shifters) the ease to deal with transforming.   Humans use it for happiness, tranquility, health, protection and letting things go that piss them off.  Unlike lavender, oregano is delicious and is good in just about everything.  You can make it up in sauces, soups and yes salads too. 
Parsley:  This lovely, bushy herb is used to keep zombies from decaying and going all crazy.  Magically speaking (for the earthlings), parsley is good for travelling and gaining wisdom.  For practical uses, parsley is good for your skin, blood and hair.  Once again, this is good for almost any dish you wish to have. 
Peppermint: This is like catnip for fairies.  We love the smell.  So if you are looking to attract a fairy, this is how to do it.  In this realm, it's used for healing, psychic abilities, meditation, and purification.  That is what peppermint does best.  For practical uses it helps you sleep, digest food and headaches.  If you are looking to make something with it, I recommend using it as a tea or dessert. 
Thyme: Like it's name, we in the Nether Realm use this for controlling time (freezing or speeding it up) and for alchemical purposes.  Thyme’s associations in the Earth Realm include: healing, love, psychic knowledge and purification.  All of which are needed.  Now the best way to cook with thyme is usually with potatoes, soups and a cheesy casserole. 

Those are just some starters.  If you would like others, I would also recommend rosemary, sage, catnip, rose hips and coriander.  Everything you need is here in these plants.  Does anyone have any other herbs to add?


Friday, June 19, 2015

The Mother of Dragons vs The Goddess of Dragons

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After watching the last episode of "Game of Thrones" for this season, I had an interesting idea.  What if our Goddess of Dragons and the "Game's" Mother of Dragons got into a battle?  That is a good question.  Lets take a look at the two of them starting with:

Our Goddess of Dragons.  Her name is Longmu.  Her story starts off simple enough;  she was born in 290 BC and the second daughter of Wen Tianrui.  Her home is in the Teng County near the Xi River.  One day she came across a large smooth egg that she initially thought was a stone.  It hatches into five snake-like creatures.  She loves and cares for them until they grow into large dragons.  They turn out to be a luck changer for her since her family is quite a poor one.  These dragons are good swimmers and they help her hunt for fish that feed her family.  Soon, Longmu has her dragons create rain (because in China, they can do this) to end the long suffering drought that plagues her village.

Her fame goes far and wide until it reaches to the ears of the Emporer.  He needs her help and sends out his finest jades and gold to summon her to his palace.  Unfortuneatly, now she is old, frail and unable to travel.  Her dragons (knowing that she can't go) managed to keep her in her village and protect her until she passes away.  The dragons were greatly saddened by her death and in their grief turned into humans.  They became five great scholars until they too vanish.  Since then she has been known as the Goddess of Dragons and makes sure that all of China is well cared for.  She is in the Nether Realm now but that is a different story.

Now, let's look at the Mother of Dragons, Daenerys Targaryen.  Her story is not that simple so I'll try and keep it short.  She and her brother have lived in exile at the estate of Magister Illyrio Mopatis.  She forced to marry Khal Drogo but is given three dragon eggs as a wedding gift.  Luckily, she and her husband learn to love eachother and she becomes pregnant with his child.  This was a happy time cut short when she loses them both.  During her husband's cremation, she walks into the fire where she sets the dragon eggs.  They hatch and they are now her children/protectors.
Mother of Dragons by Poiizu
This artwork belongs to POi!ZU:

She loves and cares for her dragons just as any mother would.  As they grew in a few short years, so did her power.  Soon she became a great queen who ruled with compassion, justice and love.   She has big plans for the world, that unfortuneatly not everyone agrees with.  Many try to kill her just as many join forces with her.  Until one of her dragons come to save her and take her away from those who mean her harm.  Her story has yet to end (I'm not sure if it does) but we will know more in future episodes of "Game of Thrones". 

So there you have it.  Two very beautiful, strong and compassionate woman who rule over dragons and lands in their own special way.  Honestly, I don't think either of these woman would get into a battle.  If anything I think they would become allies.  There are too many similarities between the two.  I just named a couple of them.  What do you (the public) think?  Do you think they will be friends?  Do you see the similarities/differences between the two?  Please comment and tell me what you think. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Cirque De La Nuit - Aerialis...Fabulous!

If you are looking for a crazy cool party with the visual wonders that you would see in Cirque Du Soleil, then you want to go to Cirque De La Nuit.  It's just like our Centennial Celebration except it's a little smaller because it's not outdoors and a little more exclusive.  This year they had it in Flames Central.  It is really nice in there because it looks like a small ballroom.

At Cirque De La Nuit, patrons are dressed up in these unique, eclectic costumes (or dressed to impress), you have a DJ spinning some fun techno-dance music, and then there is the show itself.  All these talented preformers come together on the stage and preform their amazing acts.  Each act is different but more marvelous as the night goes on.  You will see aerial acrobats, contortionists, dancers of all kinds, clowns and (for the adult in all of us) burlesque dancers.  The best part is, you feel like you are apart of it.  With other circuses you just sit and watch but with this one you get to dance while you watch the show.  Sometimes if you are lucky, the preformers will take notice of you and throw you a little something.  With me it was a little red nose. 

With everything that goes on there, I could swear that it's Las Vegas all wrapped up into one room.  Why not?  You have the drinks, you have the shows and the glamour.  It's hard not to think that you might have been teleported there for a short time.  Similar to what Atlantis does over in our realm except you are not going from building to building but from city to city.  I hope that makes sense.  So yes, I will be there next year for sure and hopefully in the VIP section because that looks wild.  Everyone should have a chance to go wild every now and again.  Thanks Cirque!

Monday, June 15, 2015

It's a really funny story

My friend, Bobby and I decided to see the new "poltergeist" movie because Bobby, himself is just that, a poltergeist.  He wanted to see what a human's take on his kind were.  Here's a tidbit, he hates most ghostly movies so I did not know how he would react. 

We were sitting in the theater and I was enjoying my popcorn.  Bobby has a weakness for peanut M&Ms.  He can't eat them being in ghost form but that doesn't stop him from trying.  He makes a hell of a mess.  We were sitting in the back because we wanted to be discreet.  Mystics can see ghosts, poltergeists, etc just fine but humans can not.  So we were sitting and chatting, minding our own business until some smart-ass teenagers sat beside us.    We were talking about the actors in this movie but because these boys could not see Bobby, they assumed I was talking to myself.  They made some rather unkind gestures indicating that I was crazy. 

Bobby didn't appreciate that.  He transformed himself into a mist and flowed towards these boys (you know the way ghosts do).  Bobby slipped under their seats and flipped the seats up with these boys sitting in them.  Suffice to say, popcorn, pop and sour patch candies were flying everywhere.  These boys were screaming so loud that they could wake the dead (pun intended).  The theater staff asked these boys to leave assuming they were goofing off.  It was freaking hilarious!

With the troublemakers gone, Bobby and I resumed our conversation but that didn't last long.  This big disgruntled man came with a huge armload of snacks and sat right on top of Bobby!  I told this man that my friend was sitting there but did he move?  Of course not!  Naturally, Bobby got pissed and tossed all this man's snacks up in the air and spilled them all over him.  The best part was seeing this man's pop being dumped on his big bald head.  Bobby humiliating these jerks is like an art form.  I love going to the movies Bobby.  I get entertained before the movie even starts. 

Poster belongs to 20th Century Fox and MGM
We finally got to watch the movie. Bobby didn't like it (surprise, surprise).  He thought the ghosts are depicted as evil and it was an unbalanced characterization. It bummed him out.  I can't believe it got so many negative reviews.  I happened to enjoy it.  It was thrilling, exciting and an interesting look into the spirit world.  I liked all the characters especially the cynical psychic (played by Jared Harris).  There were some points where he really made me smile.  I liked the story because it made me jump in a few places.  The good news is it was consistant with most of the original story but updated.  I liked how it ended.

But what we both agreed on is the depiction of the spirit world.   Neither of us has actually seen the dark world but we have heard about it from reliable sources.  The movie's spirit world sent shivers up and down my spine. The special effects were excellent.  It was a very entertaining movie with a moral towards bravery.  When you face your fears and stand up to an unbelievable  obstacle, you can survive and be stronger for it. He he he.   That is funny isn't it?  To get an uplifting moral like that out of a ghost movie?  All in all, it was a fun hour and a half. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Things to see and Places to go ... when you are Travelling

Hello future nomads.  After much travelling and planning for future travels, I wanted to share with you what I suggest for a fabulous holiday. 

  1. Go to a Beach  - There is no better holiday than hanging by the beach and going for a swim in salt water.  Going for a swim in salt water not only refreshes you but cleanses you of all negativity and refreshes your soul.
  2. Go to a Garden - Being around all those plants and flowers, watching the butterflies flutter, smelling the sweet and spicy smells that surround you.  Need I say more?
  3. Do something Wild and Crazy - This is what brings you the most memories and helps you to step out of your comfort zone.  I suggest trying something like surfing, bungee-jumping, rollercoaster riding, etc.  It may seem scary at first but when you take that step you will never feel more alive than at that moment.  For me, its like flying again.
  4. Explore all the old buildings - To see these structures up close and personal is very surreal.  It's like stepping back in time.  You can see what these buildings once were, what the people of that time were doing in them.  In fact, try one of these tours that take you into these interesting places and they will give you an insight of the history of them.  It'll help you visualize what once was.   
  5. Try the Food - Exotic flavors especially in the form of food is a MUST.  When I went to Hawaii, I tried one of the best things that came from this beautiful island.  A pineapple.  Yes I have had pineapple before but not straight from the tree.  It was juicy, flavorful and oh so yummy!  I wish I had one right now.
  6. Do a little Shopping - Some of the best gifts I have gotten were items from other countries.  I have this beautiful red kimono from Korea that a family member gave me for Christmas.  Red is lucky there and this robe has been very lucky for me.
  7. Take in one of the Local Talents and/or Shows - A night of entertainment should be on everyone's list.  Seeing a show is apart of seeing their culture.  You get to see things in a different point of view, listen to music that you normally do not hear on the radio and it's just freaking awesome!

You can do all these things on your holiday. Who said this world isn't magical?   All you need are a few ideas and these magical ingredients.  Have lots of memories of things that are wonderous, throw in some whimsical experiences, a souvenier and you got a holiday.  Oh boy I sound like an enchanter.  Have a good day everyone and happy flying (however that maybe).

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Magestry of Horses

Photograph by Kenneth Fung

 I went horseback-riding over the weekend and I had to write about these magnificent creatures.  There are so many legends surrounding them and that is for good reason.  Look at our own equine creatures.   The unicorns, Pegasuses, and even centaurs(half human, half horse hybrids).  These are creatures that symbolize beauty, freedom, and a warriors strength without forgetting compassion.
Do you all remember the story about "The Spirited Horse?"  It is a story of a beautiful white horse named N'Tuki (meaning spirited one) who had a caregiver, a woman named Fa'Rashi.  She would care for this horse, love her, and ride her until one day N'Tuki became pregnant with a daughter who was named N'Kuki ( meaning young one).  Unfortunately, N'Tuki died giving birth to her but she was not lost.  N'Tuki's body turned into this sparkling dust that rose high into the sky and became the stars.  Fa'Rashi took care of N'Kuki just the same as she did for her mother.  So long story short, Fa'Rashi could not do the same for N'Kuki, her beautiful body got stained.  Because of that, when she passed on N'Kuki didn't become the stars like her mother but became the moon.  An entity all her own.

Photograph by Kenneth Fung
Now this story that I think shares all the symbols of the horse very well.  It's a story about love, magic and full filling your destiny even if you make a mistake. A lot of Centaurs tell this story to their children.   I got to sit down with a Centaur in this world (She is in human form) who works on a ranch here in Alberta.  Lets call her Sarah and she takes very good care of the horses here.  Centaurs are interesting in that they can transform into either human or horse form.  In this world it's either one or the other since they can't transform like they can in ours.  However, Sarah has made a lovely life for herself in this realm and will continue to do so but privately as a human.  She is an encyclopedia when is come to horse stories and this is where I got the story of the "Spirited Horse."  All her daughters, know this story too and that amazes me because I have never known anyone that young (even a centaur) to know absolutely everything about these legends and the creatures that star in them.   

So anyway, folks remember that when you watch one of these wild beauties running in the field.  Stop, watch and be inspired because that is sight of one of the most beautiful wildlife scenes you will ever see in this world.  To watch something so wild and free, you will never forget it.  I myself would love to see one of these horse legends in action.  Amazing what an imagination will do.
Photograph by Kenneth Fung

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Fairy Wishes

This Image Belongs to Nintendo - Legend of Zelda

Everyone knows that fairies grant wishes.  And that is true but did you know that fairies have wishes of their own?  I bet not.  After many different interviews and even some of my own soul-searching, I managed to gather a list of what a typical fairy wishes for.  It took alot of time but I have found what the majority of fairies will wish for.  Some of you maybe surprised at these answers but you all will see that it actually makes alot of sense. 
If you have a chance to make one of these wishes come true for these very special beings, then you will be in a very good spot with them. Perhaps you will recieve a special gift from them yourself.  As many fairies will often give you a gift if you do something nice for them or their enviroment.  You really want to know?  Here is what I found:
  • Swim under a waterfall 
  • Be naked in the moonlight
  • Sleeping in the trees
  • Dance like no one is looking 
  • Wear bouquet of flowers in their hair
  • Be beautiful in somebody else's eyes
  • To Fly 
  • To Fall
  • Make friends with all animals 
  • Take a very long journey
  • Surround themselves in light
  • Be one with the night
  • To stop in one moment and enjoy
  • Bring magic into their lives and onto others
  • Vanquish all their demons
  • Be sensual without trying
  • Love with all their hearts
  • Heal what needs healing
  • To indulge in sweet treats
  • A home that is safe
  • Free to be
 Granted, you will have to get creative with this but it is not impossible to do these things for them.  For example; They want to dance like noone is looking?  Here is a clue.  Play some happy music for them and dance yourself.  That will make them feel less shy and want to dance with you.  It'll take some time for them to trust you enough to come out even with all of these wishes but show them kindness, patience and make them feel safe, they will eventually feel confident enough to come out and see you.   If you are sincere, they will continue to visit you and you will make some wonderful friends out of them. 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Lilac Festival

Photo Provided by Kenneth Fung, Photographer
The lilac festival was just this last Sunday.  Yes, in this town we celebrate lilacs as they are a sign of spring.  (Or that's what the humans will say).  It is very interesting that they celebrate this particular flower and it's a good thing.  We too celebrate lilacs because we all know that lilacs are good for balancing chakras and spiritualizing the intellect.   It is also a very good flower for meditations, connecting with your spirit guides and an excellent protection talisman.  So if you are doing yoga and are in need of a relaxing scent or if you want to keep evil spirits away this would be the flower to do it.  Now being of the fey persuasion I was very intrigued with the idea of a festival celebrating this kind of flower.  With our festivals back in the Nether Realm we usually celebrate all kinds of flowers (more detail later). 

Everything in this festivals wasn't fully decorated with lilacs the way that we would do it back in our realm but there were plenty of subtle hints.  It was enough that I'd think Lilah (the lilac fairy) would be very pleased with it.  If not her Persephone since it has to do with spring. 

This lovely festival is similar to our Fertility Festival in the Nether Realm.  There are many merchants out and about trying to sell their wares, interesting entertainment and food trucks (food carts for us) galore.  Like our fertility fest it all starts with a parade.  In this parade you will see some people with costumes on.  Not everyone wears costumes in the parades like we do in our world but there were still some unique outfits.  There were belly dancers, Egyptian and a purple fairy (No not Lilah).  The floats were not elaborate but they didn't have to be.  Everyone had a lot of enthusiasm.  I have to admire every one's effort in what they were doing. 

Yes the music was there too.  There was music of all kinds from classic and contemporary sounds of big bands to boisterous dance music blaring out of large speakers.  It was fun to listen to all these kinds of music.  My favorite was the live bands.  Yes live bands are always my favorite, whether it is "Wasted Nation" here in Calgary (Earth Realm) or the "Horned Faye" in Merkiva (Nether Realm).  It wasn't just the music.  There were many different entertainments.  I was lucky enough to catch the capoeira demonstration and that is really fascinating to see martial arts and dancing combined.

There were many food trucks out and about.  So you will never go hungry but I decided to go to one of Calgary's best pubs which is "Joyce on 4th."  And for good reason.  There are live bands there just for that day and it was quite lively.  But my favorite part is knowing that there is really good beer there to enjoy on a hot day.  I'll tell you that is the very definition of paradise.  My only regret is not stopping for an ice cream.  That truck made them look very tasty.  So if you ever want to check out a lovely festival that reminds you a little bit of home this is the place to be.  Lilah in particular should check it out and shower your blessings up on it. 

Photo provided by Kenneth Fung, Photographer

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Power of Yoga

Ever get one of those days where stress just takes you over? You feel like you are going to turn into a massive fire-breathing dragon who is going to demolish everything in your path?  I'm sure anyone who can shape shift, has a transformation potion or an alter crystal knows exactly what I am talking about.  Okay maybe it's not even that bad.  Perhaps you just had a hard day and want to turn it around.

Well there is a way you can.  And that way is Yoga. It requires no potions or magic spells of any kind.   But a crystal or two could help a bit, some gorgeous slow music and candles are always nice touch.  However, even just doing straight yoga is all you will have to do.  It will do so much good for your mind, body and soul.  With just an hour long class of poses, meditation and breathing, the benefits are many especially for the mystics.

Back in our world, magic is very easy to come by.  Since we were children, we all are trained for what we are and what we are to become.  Luckily, in this day-in-age we get some added bonus lessons on what ever magic we would like to learn.  So in short, all of us can do magic. 

In this world, you're going to need a little help.  It's not as easy to work with here and it's more unpredictable.  Yoga will help you to connect with magical energies in a safe environment.   It'll help you find the powers within yourself and within the universe.  The thing is, it takes time, energy, patience and practice.  All of which (again) yoga helps you with.  But let's not keep this all single minded.  Yoga does alot more too.

To list a few:  It helps you stay fit,  keeps you healthy, you gain strength, flexibility, and a happy mind. It also lowers blood pressure, relieves pain and calms stress.  And those are just to name a few.  You will find many places to go in this world to practise it as yoga is very popular but my favorite place is;

Enlight Yoga & Wellness
1138 10 Avenue SW
Calgary, AB
T2R 0B6
Go and check it out.  It'll be just want the witch doctor ordered.