I'll go with thee to the lane's end... I am a kind of burr, I shall stick. Shakespeare, Measure for Measure
I write not to teach but to learn. Rebecca West
- "Always Forever Now," Ideomancer volume 13, issue 2
- "Black Sun," Black Static # 32
- "Bread or Cake" and "Pride/Shame,"2nd Annual Philadelphia One-Minute Play Festival
- "Copper Heart," Polluto Magazine issue 5, A Steampunk Orange
- "The Accomplished Birder's Guide to Overcoming Rejection," Last Drink Bird Head, edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer
- "Another Night With the Henriksens," Player's Theater Halloween One-Act Festival NYC 2008
- "Hating the Lovers," and "Pipe Down!" Geez Magazine: Thirty Sermons You Would Never Hear in Church
- "Beth/slash/Nathan," Paper Fruit Blogiversary Contest
Sunday, December 20, 2009
weirding Christmas with snow slugs and Martha Graham Cracker
The official start of this year's weird Christmas season was Thursday a week ago when I saw a jockey climb onto the back of Philly's beloved 6'5" drag queen Martha Graham Cracker. That was so weird I was actually speechless. It was my first time at Martha's show and I felt like I was seeing some legendary evening of entertainment unfold before me. I kept thinking how Orson Welles raved about Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis when they were a live act in Vegas. It was that good.
Regulars said Martha wasn't at her best, which means, she gets better? I'm definitely coming back. Martha did a cover of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" that was actually enjoyable, and that's a first.
Seeing Martha was a great way to start getting my Christmas weird-on. I'm not crazy about the holidays, but decided a few years ago to seize the reindeer by the antlers and remake Christmas into something I would actually enjoy. This means bringing back some traditions that have a savor of the old pagan darkness, burning things, and generally getting creative and DIY.
What you see at the top of the post are this year's snow slugs, which are an adaptation of the Easter slugs my mother used to make. The slug cakes started when a local bakery made an Easter rabbit cake that bore an inadvertent resemblance to a slug. The bakery got new owners and discontinued the cake, so my mother started making her own Easter slugs. Here she is clowning around wearing the Easter slug's eyes:
She discovered you can make your own slug cake by using one layer cake pan, cutting the finished cake in two and sticking the halves back to back.
That's her method on the right; in back is a smaller, proto-slug I made from a loaf pan this year. You can do it either way depending on what hardware you have around and what size slug you want to make. I shaved off the pointy edges of both slug bodies and fed them to my camerado. Then I iced the slugs and stuck coconut all over them, and added raisin mouths, carrot noses, and malt ball eyes.
Without its nose, the holiday slug bears a resemblance to a rat creature from one of my favorite comics. Jeff Smith's Bone. Compare and contrast:
The holiday slug cakes are very popular with my New Jersey cousins:
I eat the slug cake with my New Jersey cousins, and we smash the Christmas pig. With my Pennsylvania cousins I burn plum pudding, and, this year, glögg, which is a flammable Swedish beverage with Heavy Metal umlauts that my aunt is learning to make.
Next year I want to burn a Yule Goat, but I don't think I can get it together in time for this year.
Here's last year's snow slug--the very first! --swaddled in plastic wrap like Laura Palmer's body in Twin Peaks.
Watch the salt, please!
at 11:17 PM
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