Thursday, October 22, 2009

How to Kill a Blog in 10 Days

Ok, whatever I might have said before, DO NOT REPAIR A BOWL WITH RUBBER CEMENT AND THEN SMOKE FROM IT. From what I hear, if you heat it up, noxious fumes will kill you and you'll die.

I of course, have not actually smoked my repaired bowl, so I can't say I saw strawberries dancing with the Alice in Wonderland caterpillar after doing so. I can however say that when I returned to college from a break at home, my bowl had separated along the cracks. And as I sat applying more rubber cement my boyfriend and I pondered aloud, I wonder if there could be any adverse effects to heating this stuff. I turned to the label on my jar. It says:

Now, the part of my brain that wasn't screaming "You are winning a Darwin Award as we speak" was considering this: All those awful facts are factual because of the n-Heptane. And once that evaporates out, i.e. the cement is dry, we should be in no trouble. To me, dried rubber cement, although not preferable, would also not give me screaming green scales or a horn growing in towards my brain.
However, as a writer whose medium is The Internets, a realm comprised entirely of total fact, I best keep my chemical ducks in a well-ventilated row and not even bother with the "I did this even though it could KILL me! Doesn't that win your affection?*" schtick.

So I suppose my famously long-winded point is: no bowl, no reviews, no blog. For now. I just got a paycheck though so I'll be ordering another soon. What I can do NOW is share with you some of the bowls I'm looking at!
What I have dubbed the "Tee-Hee Teacup" bowl.
Very pretty but only in black.
I can't live without another Vortex, or even it's little sister for a Genie hookah like mine. (Of course going for purple or that tempting "lime green" option.
Something just for Zia.
And something expensive but super cool (no pun intended since I hate puns).

Right now I'm just wishing the teacup and the replacement Vortex were on the same site. Paying more for shipping that for the actual item = mad bonerkill.

Made a full length post out of that! But bye for now guys. I'll miss you.

* Actually maybe don't try this at home.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Double your pleasure?

Whenever I say "not much to say really..." I wind up going on a longer and longer tirade. But this time I mean it. I had a long weekend at home and I'm not in a spectacular mood and I have a review of a flavor that really made me pleased. So allow me to brief you on my lifespace and get to the thing that Google brought you here for:

- Catholic funerals: Dog-and-pony shows. Sit stand call response speak offer communion lather rinse repeat. Aye aye aye, can I just get to the mourning already?
- Tomboy blonde baby cousins: Freaking adorable. (Her mom: I told her it looks stringy. Cadan: It's not stringy it looks awesome.) She wants to play football. A million huzzahs.
- My current foster dog: Love him to pieces. Giving this one up will finally break my heart. But he deserves a great family and I know there's one for him.
- My ability to type: Dwindling by the day.

HookaH-HookaH - Double Apple
In the box: Can't place the smell. Apple juice? At least I don't smell licorice. Could just be denial. Maybe red licorice as a matter of fact? But at least not anise black.
In the bowl: Pleasant surprise! Across the hookah nation, Double Apple of any brand has been synonymous with Black Licorice. I banked on one online reviewer that told me H-H wouldn't follow suit. Then all my other flavors started bowing to the Anisian god and I thought my lofe was ruined. But you were right, internet peon! Hookah-Hookah Double Apple is SWEET! Slightly apply and just barely Rose-like over the back of the palate. I've always thought Rose tastes mostly like Purel but it plays very nicely with the muted sweetness. It's not as sweet, as bold, as ostensibly fruity as I tend to prefer, but I'm thrilled to the point of pants-wetting that this thick, ring-able smoke is also so laid back and true to taste.
star star star star star
Hookah-Hookah Double Apple: 4/5 stars!

My only complaint, a blanket statement to the H-H firm: It's time for one of your flavors to really pack a wallop on its own. You have something in those little plastic containers that smells like Candy Land, or an orchard, or my freaking grandmother's kitchen. Then all of a sudden when it's time to smoke, flavor decreases five-fold from smell. Why, H-H? I implore you, get that shit on my tongue. Don't be so goddamn coy.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Ok ok, I'm taking a brief hiatus (not that my readership at this point is anything but one big gaping absence of internet, but we'll pretend, for posterity.) Here's why.

Uno: I am leaving college for some days to go home, go to a funeral, be a general stress ball what with family I can varying degrees of tolerate milling about. I will not be taking my hookah because my mom is of the opinion that anything you have to light to enjoy besides a candle is to be judged under the harshest of... judgment. I don't need the drama and it's not like I need the shisha, sooo...
Dos: MY HOOKAH EXPLODED! Not really, but, here's the elaborate action sequence that took place in my room last night:
  • It was rainy and drizzly and windy and fricken cold so we decided to smoke in my room instead of on my porch.
  • There is a smoke alarm in my room! So our setup is to place a fan on a chair blowing out the screen door. Just behind the fan, the hookah is set on the ground. Just behind the hookah, on the ground or in a low-slung chair, a limited number of smokers sit and puff puff puff away. Heat and smoke get dragged lazily but effectively out of the room so you can do cool tricks 'n' stuff even better than outside.
  • Near the end of our bowl, luckily the coals weren't much to shake a stick at, THE FAN FUCKING FALLS BACKWARDS STRAIGHT ONTO MY HOOKAH!
  • Since the fan was blowing outward, and it fell backward, it sent hot coals and ash blowing straight up into the air. I got ash in my eye.
  • I heard a crash! My feet were wet! My eye was in pain. Even my boyfriend yelled a litle bit. Paper goods were scattered with glowing red things. My carpet is forever scarred.
  • My bowl, my precious Vortex bowl, my first, my presently ONLY, my free-but-ordinarily-$10+ bowl smashed into [only 3, very clean-breaking] pieces.
  • OH, and my only pair of white underwear got a hole burned in them. They weren't on my body tough, fortunately.
Out of adversity though, friends, rises triumph. And out of an artist comes a solution for when your only bowl breaks apart. With some Elmer's glue and some rubber cement, it was air tight again, but it didn't look very snazzy. But I am an ARTIST as I told you, and so... behold the snazziness!!!

Polymer clay is the medium, and I apologize for the quality or lack thereof... my camera has been kaput for some time now and I'm working with a webcam or nothing. And this webcam, see, it tells me things are in focus and then makes them not in focus.

What's neat about polymer clay is how you can bake it right on the bowl in the oven (on a low setting.) The bowl will definitely be able to handle the heat. Upon cooling, the clay isn't really sticking anymore but my remedy is a few shots of Elmer's glue and a nice coat of spray fixative. Is zupa cool, no?

In short, though, I'm still weirded out about using it right away, something tells me that pushing it onto the stem will make all the glue come undone and all the clay break and all of my tears pour out my face.

So I'll see you on Monday or something. Blaaah.
Have a good weekend and if you're out there, would you leave a comment? You can even flame if that's your thing. This is just a test.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Buzz buzz buzz

I just smoked 2 bowls in a row (of the stuff I talk about, I don't do the wacky tobaccy) and I feel fine 'n' dandy.
Not much to say really, other than Lady Gaga's talk at the Gay Pride March shot a bunch of holes in my "I Can't Fucking Stand Her But Her Videos Are Candy" argument, leaving me immersed in a state of "Well She's Pretty Much My Cup Of Tea It Seems But WHAT IN GOD'S NAME IS HAPPENING IN THIS VIDEO I'VE BEEN WATCHING IT ON A LOOP FOR 9 HOURS AND I STILL DON'T KNOW." Cause man, I freaking love GLBT-ism. Funnily enough, Meghan McCain has made my favorite argument on the recent developments thus far. Damn do I love a liberal Republican. Sometimes.
She is the one that, while on the Colbert Report, admitted that the Republican party "wasn't doing itself any favors" with the candidates it keeps nudging. She went on to say that most college-age kids like me were staying away from the GOP like the plague (paraphrasing) because of the face these candidates make for the party. I was transfixed. I love that she blogs. I love that on the same site, the Daily Beast, Glen Beck is likened to a snake oil salesman. That's all the Reps need in my mind... more bloggers and an inherent disinclination to take Glen Beck seriously.

Furthermore, I know nothing of nothing about politics so let's talk about shisha instead, eh?

HookaH-HookaH - Key Lime Pie
In the box: It's amazing how sour something can smell. I've never really experienced and so never realy thought of it as an olifactory experience outside of bad dairy. First whif there's not much of anything then your nose is like "WOWZERS! That's a sour lime right there!" Exactly like key lime pie, though. Yummy. Super-fine H-H rip aaas always. Pretty soon I'll stop mentioning it.
In the bowl: Not a punch-in-the-face flavor, but after it's subtlety it tastes pretty true. The smell has more power than the taste. After a few passes of the hose it gets... candle-ish? Not soapy per se, but not especially key lime pie-y either. Mildly disappointing. I want to try it with chocolate because of a delicious confection I had once. (Freeze the pie, dip in chocolate, serve to drooling onlookers.) I was eating green apple Sour Punch Straws at the time and sadly for the shisha, that was what was doing it the most favors. Windy as hell, or else the clouds would have been something to shake a stick at.
+ chocolate = Fair Fare 1, Chocolate-dipped pie!
(And a hefty 5 stars. The key lime flavor explodes all of a sudden when you add chocolate and it's a smooth, desery smoke.)
star star star star star
Hookah-Hookah Key Lime Pie: boosted to 3/5 stars cause it's just so damn mixable.

Hey guys so I'm eating Spaghettios and going to bed. This week is a 2-day week at school, for mid-semester break. "Wingo" as Dale Gribble would happily exclaim.

P.S. Internet... here's me!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Requiem for a Pom

Ho hum. As I promised, I will tell you what happened to my hands, but I've been telling this story a lot lately and it gets less impressive by the day. If you'd like a zestier version, I will provide one only by request.

I work in a theater, and in our theater there is a fly system (set of ropes and pulleys that let you raise and lower batons, which are what things such as curtains and stage lights hang on.) Well one baton was flown in and some of the crew took the curtain off of it. This meant that the system was out of weight, and we had to fly the curtain back up with a disproportionate amount of weight gaining momentum on its way down. This is, unfortunately, the only way to get the weight back off the system.
Anywhoosles, my boss assigned me and some greehorn dipshit to fly out the bound-to-be unruly baton. I started pulling downward and idiotface was holding onto the part of the rope that was moving up. Momentum started to kick in and jackoff began holding onto his part of the rope and riding on it like a fucking merry-go-round. He let his feet come off the ground. THAT SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN. YOU RIDE UP ON THAT SHIT, YOU FLY UP TO THE CEILING WITH THE CURTAIN ROD AND THEN, OR BEFORE THEN, YOU FALL DOWN TO THE BOTTOM OF THE BASEMENT AND YOU DIE FOREVER. I gave him a hurried lecture to this effect.
Well, not 10 seconds later, the rope starts taking of again, I cannot hold it myself and moronpants isn't touching it. "I lied," I say. "I lied, please hold onto it please help me please hold on." I tell him to lock it but he doesn't know what the locking mechanism is because he is incompetent. The rope is shooting through my hands at this point. Whatever happens, the system comes to a stop without crashing at the top and bottom, so I lock it and then go to examine my chewed up hands, littered with the 4 deepest rope/rug burns I've ever seen, for my refusal to Google image it.
In short, my hands were fucked to hell but are healing now, and I work with butts-for-brains.
ALSO! I was bitten by a ball python. Thing is like 2.5 feet long and it was munching all up on my thumb. That didn't incapacitate me, though, it just makes me feel badass.

Hokay, so, life-wise, pomegranates are my absolute favorite [raw] food and and I thought it would follow that it would be my favorite shisha-wise. Because of my adoration of them I was psyched as hell to break open this pot.

HookaH-HookaH - Pomegranate
In the box: Smells about right! Very juicy, very fine, smells like a pomegranate tea blend more than just juice but it smells very real and I'm happy of the absence of any outrageous purple colors.
In the bowl: GODDAMMIT. For the first few puffs I get nothing on the inhale and LICORICE on the exhale. No secret pomegranateyness is revealed while blowing the smoke out my nose and over my palate, as is the case with some shishas. The licorice isn't as strong as in 7-Spice but that lingering anise taste always spreads like roofing tar over the back of my tongue no matter how strong. After some time I started imagining some sweetness on the inhale, but anise still wiped it out completely. I extinguish the essentially whole coal and dump out my bowl, really glad I'd only packed half of it. It starts to rain (really). I dream of the coming weeks when my precious pomegranates will be popping up in produce sections in my nick of the woods. I contemplate actually putting seeds in my bowl when next I want to bother with smoking this.
star star star star star
Hookah-Hookah Pomegranate: 2/5 stars.

I'm willing to try wine in the water (or directly in my vortex bowl) or dousing my shisha with pomegranate limeade or SOMETHING. I don't want to give up on this otherwise smooth, cloudy tobacco, but I want to know why the scrumptious authentic pomegranate tea smell runs and hides when it comes time to stop sniffing and start smoking.

_ P.S.:
HEY H-H! I know I might be new to this, but enough is enough! You're supposed to be the new-agey, flavor-rich shisha! You are not made in Egypt, or Saudi Arabia, you use fancy plastic containers that are specially designed to be air-tight for me, and you use no semblance of traditional art. That's okay! I am a college-age white girl, and I make purchases based on what I like, not on what has the most authenticity or "cred."
_ And hell, have you searched "shisha reviews" on Youtube lately? Those people are predominately other white people, usually overweight, and acting like thugs or wannabe badasses. They're the patrons of the hookah bars I can't stand - the ones playing oppressively loud rap and serving chicken wings they may or may not have bothered to remove from the KFC bucket. You think they could locate Jordan on a map? I assure you, they don't care about authenticity either. I'd imagine half of them smoke ganja out of their hookahs when they're not broadcasting on the intarwubs.
_ PUT DOWN THE ANISE, H-H. Pick up an ingredient that's on the back of my Sour Punch Straws or my fruit snacks. I'll come right out and say it: the buzz is also not what I bought my hookah for. So just go with what tastes good. Round peg --> round hole time, agreed? Come out with a "black licorice" flavor if you must but if you do, make sure that NONE OF THAT MOLASSES TOUCHES ANY SHISHA BUT YOUR LICORICE SHISHA!
~ Becky

Sigh. 8 flavors to go, 8 dreams to be broken or made. And god help me, I have a Double Apple on the way.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

7 Spites

Sigh. Let me iterate my feelings on Hookah-Hookah 7-Spice with a haiku.
My disappointment
Seven spice, full of anise
Where's the other 6?

I elaborate:
I hate black licorice. I hate it. Ever watch me stumble across a licorice Jelly Belly? I spit profusely regardless of whether or not there's a napkin on hand. I had heard a review that said H-H 7-Spice was balanced and cinnamony. "Like a more herbal red hot." The reviewer said he was expecting a lot of anise but there was surprisingly little. I was so excited. Alas...

HookaH-HookaH - 7-Spice
In the box: Initial cinnamon, then almost immediate licorice. Neither is too face-melting though. Ultra fine shred, ultra wet, funny little nuggets.
In the bowl: Mellow, fine, almost sweet at first but not spicy. LICORICY. Anisey. The three people I was smoking with were all about it, but I couldn't finish the bowl. On a few hits it was a bit cinnamony going in, but only vaguely. Then on the exhale it was all licorice, getting more intense on subsequent exhales after passing the hose. I had to call it quits. I took half of the bowl out (the coal hadn't been anywhere near that half yet) and mixed in some of my Nakhla mint and was able to finish in relative peace, though the clouds made a sacrifice. The mint's flat out coldness, the "winter in my throat" effect as my one friend put it, countered pretty nicely the relentless, crawling, sticks-around-like-mold effect of the becursed anise.
+ mint = Tolerable!
hypothesis: +cinnamon +chai = Actual 7-Spice?
star star star star star
Hookah-Hookah 7-Spice: 1.5/5 stars,
because I need to mix it but haven't mixed it much yet.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Era of the H-H 10-pack

It wasn't unexpected or anything, I mean, I'd bought it days prior, BUT I am excited about it nonetheless. It means that despite my ripped apart fingertips and my ever dirtening room and my, oh, schoolwork, I will be ceasing all human function to smoke my hookah at the drop of a hat.

In this package of 10 Hookah-Hookah 50g pots there was: Pomegranate, Blackberry, Rose, White Grape, 7-Spice, Pumpkin Pie, Key Lime Pie, Margarita, Chocolate, and Double Apple. I also purchased a little 50 of Irish Cream when I was doing Gallery Hop in Columbus the other night. Let's light that one up, shall we?

HookaH-HookaH - Irish Cream
In the box: Juicy! I made the mistake of popping it open just to smell it before I got it home, and when I did get it home, I discovered it had leaked out all into my pocket. At least my coat smells delicious now. The smell, when you put your nose to the stuff, is very strong, almost too strong. But it is what it is, I could tell it was an Irish Cream. Originally it came in little nuggets of the finest-shredded shisha you'll ever come across. Broke those up and got excited.
In the bowl: Yum! Not nearly as strong as the smell and I think I'm glad. Clouds are fantastic. In-going and aftertaste both very creamy and true-to-flavor. At a point, it tasted kind of soapy and less full-bodied but I think that's because I had leftover Nakhla from the night/smoke before (like I said! Half of it doesn't even dry out!) and I had pushed all that into a corner of my bowl. Very satisfied on the whole. This juicy, runny shisha made me glad I have a vortex bowl to let me forgo rigorous stem brushing and get off with a simple rinse. ALSO, the benefit of the fine rip on this and reportedly all H-H flavors is that with even preliminary temperature control, you get equal heating top-to-bottom and minimal burning. Nooo more wasted or incinerated shisha, huzzah!
star star star star star
Hookah Hookah Irish Cream: 4/5 stars
+ Chocolate + Pumpkin Pie = _Unnamed Autumn mix_!

You know what we should all do now? Watch more Lady Gaga Videos. I mean homework and room cleaning.
But I mean look how crazy she is!!! So... many... leotards...

Nakhla and Hello

First review and first we meet! I'm not being very loquacious with my keystrokes because my hand are littered with horrible ropeburns. It's a fun story! I'll tell you when I can type properly.

Anyway, here's a quick-n-dirty rundown of the first boxes of shisha I ever received.

Nakhla - Mint
In the box: Thick cut. Pretty sticky. Lots of stems though. Aromatic but not overtly minty unless you put your snoot right in there. Mildly sweet if you're just whiffing.
In the bowl: Cold! Minty but not devastatingly minty but again, super cold and refreshing. Haven't smoked it alone and don't think I should. I've been happy to just give it half the bowl.
+ vanilla = Ice Cream!
+ vanilla + strawberry = Different Ice Cream!

Nakhla - Strawberry
In the box: Same cut, sadly. Not the juiciest, but smells scrumptious! A bit candyish but I don't mind.
In the bowl: Splendid, sweet but not too strong at all. Probably the only one I'd smoke alone because it's the right blend of interesting and underwhelming. A bit more candy-y than true to taste but I love it. I definitely ran out of it the fastest!
+ vanilla = Strawberries & Cream!
+ vanilla + mint = Different Ice Cream!

Nakhla - Vanilla
In the box: Same huge stemmy cut. Pretty sticky and smells of a very serene vanilla. Not like opening a bottle of extract or anything. Dee-lightful.
In the bowl: Smooth and extra-creamy. Gentle and lovely to mix, smooths out anyone whose path it crosses. Not too bad by itself just not to exhilarating. Pleasant. Smile times. Arguably the most mixable flavor ever.
+ mint = Ice Cream!
+ strawberry = Strawberries and Cream!
+ strawberry + mint = Different Ice Cream!

Overall Nakhla is moderate. Smoke/clouds is moderate, smell is moderate, buzz (which was only there for the first few days I noticed...?) is moderate. I don't like the cut. Lots of gnarly stems and it burns on the top of the bowl while shielding the bottom of the bowl from heat and leaving it untouched. Not a bad starter pack, mainly because it's as if those flavors were born to be together. Not a repeat buy unless I see a unique flavor that I tell myself I can't live without. Or boredom. Boredom could bring me back. For now I'll just file Nakhla under "Ol' Reliable" and move onto something zestier. Something that actually comes in a resealable package maybe!
star star star star star
Nakhla in general: 2.5/5 stars