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inspired by my thoughts on cocktails, and by the fact that i got to try two proper absinthes at the lcbo, i took the opportunity afforded by the weekend to crack open a bottle of damiana liquer that i bought while in mexico a while back. i bought it because it was a local delicacy and it had a cool bottle (see photo)... damiana is apparently a quaint local term for "demon from the ninth circle of hell", which is an appropriate description of the flavour.

taken straight, the drink is somewhat akin to consuming the contents of a zippo lighter followed by a spoonful of honey. not to be deterred, i investigated the possibilities of mixing this concoction with something else in the hopes of making it, if not palatable, at least tolerable. after contemplating the horror which was the dam + jag cocktail (because the only thing i could think of that would make this worse would be to mix it with jaggermeister) and dismissing as possibly dangerous the notion of mixing it in a magarita, i settled on lowly orange juice as a possible solution. turns out that, much like the magic it can work with cheap vodka, orange juice does make it better.

in the meantime, i will contemplate its very attractive bottle, it's amber-like colour and will try to avoid thinking about it's revolting taste.

Comments

If I may interject, orange juice cannot save everything... there are things out there that quite simply are beyong redemption; for that matter, I do believe that some mixes are banned under the non-proliferation pact...

as long as you're here, why not read more?

dreamspeak

ok, so i've been lax about posting here. i apologise. there are reasons. i don't know if they'ree good reasons, but they include:


i've had a lot of work to do, which is nice because i'm a freelancer and things tend to slow down in the summer, so the more work i get now, the less i have to worry about later [in theory].i started watching the handmaid's tale. i was a little hesitant because i didn't actually like the novel very much; i found it heavy-handed and predictable. the series relies on the novel for about 80% of its first season plot but i nevertheless find it spellbinding. where i felt that the novel beat readers with its politics, the series does a better job of connecting with the humanity in the midst of politics. i'm dithering on starting season two because i am a serial binger and once i know damn well that starting the second season will soon consign me to the horrors of having to wait a week between episodes. i don't know if i can han…

i agree, smedley [or, smokers totally saved our planet in 1983]

so this conversation happened [via text, so i have evidence and possibly so does the canadian government and the nsa].

dom and i were trying to settle our mutual nerves about tomorrow night's conversion screening, remembering that we've made a fine little film that people should see. which is just about exactly what dom had said when i responded thusly:

me :: i agree smedley. [pauses for a moment] did you get that here?

dom :: no?

me :: the aliens who were looking at earth and then decided it wasn't worth bothering with because people smoked even though it was bad for them?
come to think of it, that might mean that smokers prevented an alien invasion in the seventies.

dom :: what ?!?!?

me :: i've had wine and very little food. [pause] but the alien thing was real. [pause.] well, real on tv.

dom :: please eat something.

of course, i was wrong. the ad in question ran in 1983. this is the part where i would triumphantly embed the ad from youtube, except that the governmen…

mental health mondays :: separate and not equal

given the ubiquitousness of racial disparities in the united states, there's no reason why we should be surprised that they exist in mental health care. unlike a lot of other areas, the people in power have acknowledged the problem for decades. but the situation isn't getting any better. 
the united states surgeon general documented the differences between white and non-white mental health care back in 2001 so we can assume that it was already a known problem at that point. two years later, a presidential commission said the same damn thing and groups like the national association for mental health seized on this to develop guidelines on how to bridge the ethnic gap. from the turn of the century through 2007, the number of papers and publications talking about the mental health care gap spiked. the issue was viewed as being on par with obesity when it came to urgent problems.

starting in 2004, researchers undertook a massive project that involved the records of nearly a quart…