Sunday, November 19, 2017

A Few Mini-Reviews and Life Update

Hello! It's been quite awhile since my last post and I just wanted to give my readers a quick update on what's going on in my life, as well as a few quick recommendations. 
First of all, I hope you all had a wonderfully spooky Halloween!! I didn't end up doing anything other than a Samhain ritual with the coven the day before. 
Stress and anxiety have gotten to me this season, unfortunately.  
I've started seeing a therapist because I am really struggling to manage work, school, and the other responsibilities I have at home. Not to mention my family is not very supportive of me doing this; it gets extremely depressing at times to think that no matter what I do, I'll always be the black sheep. 
Going to back to school at my age is definitely a challenge, but I'll be damned if I give up now. 
Only 30 credits left!

On to some fun stuff:
BOOKS:  What I'm enjoying right now is the House of Comarré series by Kristin Painter. It's got vampires, a bad-ass heroine, and some nice interesting twists on your typical urban fantasy plot. Malkolm is my favorite vampire so far, and I think the author does a great job with his character development. 
I have yet to finish the series, but the first book definitely gets a solid 4/5 bats.  

MUSIC: New BlutEngel!!!
I find that they are often a "love 'em or leave 'em band"- there seems to be no in between with most people. Personally, I've always been a fan. Over the years their sound has became a bit more poppy, which I don't mind at all. For me, many of the songs on Leitbild are uplifting, which is something I apparently need at the moment haha. However, there a few "filler tracks" and some remixes that I could have done without.  3.5/5 bats 

COSMETICS: Sephora Make No Mistake Under-Eye Concealer is definitely worth checking out, especially at such a good price point ($14). I was looking for the Tarte Shape Tape, which they didn't have. After explaining to the sales clerk that I needed something that was more on the creamy/moisturizing side but still gave high coverage, she recommended this. You don't have to use more than a little drop or two to get the job done (I use this brush). 
It has a more natural finish that's not too matte, which tend to make the undereye area look older, especially once it settles into fine lines. Although I don't have very many lines around my eyes, my dark circles are hereditary and the skin under my eyes is much drier than the rest of my face (which is a bit on the oily side). Will definitely repurchase!! 5/5 bats 

What new music are you listening to? Are you looking forward to the holidays, or are you wishing you could escape to some exotic location, far, far away from your extended family? :D

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The internet vs. reality: Goth Elitism Edition

To be honest, I hesitate to discuss this topic because it's like shouting into the void at this point. However, Angela Benedict recently posted a video about being a 90s teen goth and the fear of being labeled a poseur. Since we are nearly the same age, I generally tend to agree with her recollections, and it got me thinking about how much things have changed since then. The fear of being considered a fake was a possible embarrassment that kept people from doing and saying stupid things.
It's too bad that some these standards never got passed down into the online community. Perhaps if they had, the Goth Elitism Monster would end it's reign of terror on the internet forevermore.
One of the most basic things I remember about being a baby bat in the mid-90s was to either know what you were talking about or ask first. You didn't want to try to bullshit your way into the local scene. It was too easy to destroy your reputation, especially if others were still getting to know you and witnessing your first baby steps into gothdom.
If someone was all image but no substance, they got called out. Yes, it was embarrassing to have your pronunciation of Cocteau Twins corrected in public. And yes, we got grilled when the more established goths saw us wearing a Siouxsie and the Banshees t-shirt for the first time. It was an awkward rite of passage, but we managed to survive and thrive.

It was important for us baby bats to understand it wasn't just a look. Having knowledge about music and goth lifestyle components meant you were able to explain what being goth meant. Think of it as self-defense from a world who was eagerly waiting to proclaim us as Satan worshippers and pop us full of Prozac.
For better or worse, we didn't have safe spaces and nobody knew what a micro-aggression was. You either learned to fight back or run away. We weren't as sheltered, we had to develop a thick skin. If we couldn't physically fight back, we learned to use or wit and sharp tongue to cut down strangers who made snotty remarks. Some might say we were closer to our punk rock roots in that regard *shrugs*
Those who came up after us didn't have to be on the defense after The Craft came out or when Columbine incited goth paranoia in every town across the country. A week or two after the massacre, my friends and I went to see a movie. The manager ultimately denied us entry because the boys had long trench coats and refused to take them off as a "safety precaution".
Those of us who happened to be Wiccan and goth? Wearing a pentacle at that time was like an invitation to be harassed by any person who happened to notice it. I'm talking random outbursts from strangers in public on a semi-regular basis. One that always stuck out in my mind is when my friend Shane held the door open for a lady coming out of McDonalds. She noticed his pentacle and makeup then screamed something along the lines of "Stay away from me, you demon spawn!!" After dropping her bag in horror, she then proceed to run across the parking lot. Ahhh, the good old days when it was easy to shock people ;)
I think the next generation had a vastly different experience. Schools began to enforce anti-bullying policies and having neon green hair was no longer a barrier to getting your first minimum wage job.
Not saying that these differences are good or bad, just that they exist and probably affect the way each generation perceives the world.

The younger goths who interact mostly on social media do not seem to understand where us older bats are coming from. For many of them, the most important thing is the image they present. Why bother writing a poem and sharing it, when you can just take a selfie and get way more likes and subscribers? Why bother reading gothic literature when you can just buy some Killstar and make an unboxing video? Add the possibility of internet fame, free products and money, and being goth becomes nothing more than a walking commercial.
That being said, I do sympathize.
They have most likely been raised on the internet and interacting face to face may seem harsh compared to the ease of simply blocking and deleting comments when someone disagrees with you. When you have such a large fan base who constantly tells you how wonderful you are, it may be hard to accept constructive criticism or engage in healthy debate.
My intention isn't to place blame. This is just speculation about some of the generational differences that perhaps explain why we are experiencing this divide in the goth community. Our technology is addictive, and now we are starting to experience some negative side effects we weren't prepared for.

After watching yet another goth elitism video, I decided to ask the content creator what definition they were using for elitism because she never addressed it.
Instead of an answer, several people (including the young lady) accused me of being a bully, being negative, gatekeeping, etc. Simply for asking for clarity.
It certainly wasn't an attack on her intelligence, and it baffles me that asking someone to define their terms is now considering bullying.
In professional and academic situations, you must be prepared to defend your argument and expand on your ideas if necessary.
If you use a word that someone doesn't understand in a casual conversation, they might ask you to explain it.
This isn't bullying, and it certainly isn't elitism
From my understanding, elitism is often tied to power and the ability to grant or deny social status or resources to the people who are considered the lower class. In my experience, this simply isn't an issue that the community at large needs to worry about.
I've lived in several major U.S cities and have been going to goth and alternative clubs for about 20 years.
I'm an awkward introvert who doesn't always make the best impression.
I'm sure many people might have cringed at some of my makeup for club outfits during my baby bat years. I'm sure my fashion choices and makeup skills are still negatively judged by some.
There have always been occasional bullies and snobby goths, but no one has ever tried to stop me from being a part of a local scene if I made attempts to get involved.
Until someone proves otherwise, I'm convinced the Goth Elitism Monster is pretty much a creation of the internet.

The hilariously frustrating thing about these videos is that they are mostly made by people who are "famous" internet goths; many of whom make money from endorsing products and YouTube ad dollars.
Rant videos get views, and it makes me wonder if these famous YouTubers rush into posting content while a particular topic is circulating the community so it will be featured in the sidebar as someone is watching other videos about the subject. When 95% of a channel's content is endless shoe hauls, reviews of subscription box services and expensive makeup, I lose interest rapidly. To me, it proves they are out of touch with what most of us consider important as goths. I don't take their opinion on goth elitism seriously and it's hard for me to imagine that they actually give two bat shits about the future of our subculture.
I'm not accusing these people of being all filler and no substance. Surely, many of them are intelligent, creative beings. Just remember that their goth identity is a business. Some even flat out refuse to address certain issues; most likely because they know that taking a stance will cost them followers.
Just consider the source and their possible motivations before allowing their opinion to negatively impact your experience as a goth.  

Having been involved in many pagan community events, I feel like I've encountered this monster before.
No worries, kiddos. The monster isn't very scary and can be defeated quite easily.
Could this monster perhaps be the younger sibling of the "GOTCHA!" pagan? These people are notorious for interrupting conversations with the sole purpose of proving that they are smarter or more magical than everyone else. They corner the person who happens to be alone at pagan pride for the first time, then launch into questions the poor soul can't possibly answer.
This is the person who can't wait to hear some newbie pronounce Samhain incorrectly.
Unprompted, they easily launch into a 20 minute lecture about how Maraget Murray's witch cult theory has been debunked and how there is no solid evidence of a lineaged Wiccan tradition before Gerald Gardner.
It's the so-called "hereditary witch" who does "real magijycks" passed down from their ancestors who lived in Salem. What they forget to mention is that her ancient family grimore can easily be found at the local Barnes and Noble for only $19.99.
What I'm getting at here is that the "GOTCHA!" pagans are basically vampires who feed off newbies and other innocents to feel good about their own shortcomings. Roll your eyes, walk away, and join the drum circle. Never fear. They've most likely made a reputation for themselves and you will find many people in your local scene that are more than happy to help you evade the beast if you need assistance.
"GOTCHA!" goths are often self-proclaimed experts in some field, and eagerly await to show you just show much they know. Or, more accurately, demonstrate just how much you don't know. Never mind that you didn't asked to be schooled on Nietzsche when you innocently stepped outside for a quick cigarette. It's the type of person who still thinks we are living in the 90s and asks every new clubgoer if they like Marilyn Manson because he's "definitely NOT goth". Then, they proceed to unleash the hounds regarding every other so-called poseur goth band, just waiting for you to slip up and admit you like Black Veil Brides. And now you are stuck at the bar listening to this idiot because you aren't about to give up your spot in line after waiting nearly 15 minutes for a drink. Yup, the "GOTCHA!" lurks in the shadows and strikes when you least expect it. 

Judging you, internet. From the safety of my bathroom. Haughty myspace photo, 2008?
One more time for the cheap seats: if you wear the band t-shirt, you are eventually going to get quizzed. That guy has always existed, and he's never going away. I know. It's annoying as shit, but it's not elitism. My guess is that goths who mainly exist online and have the power to block/delete have been somewhat sheltered from dealing with these types in real life. So when said internet goth finally goes out to a club and encounters the "GOTCHA!" type, they mistake it for elitism and maybe do not have the required interpersonal skills to  remove themselves or diffuse the situation. The overwhelming majority of us bats do not behave this badly. An occasional "GOTCHA!"goth encounter indicates a personality flaw in that individual, not a systemic issue in the goth subculture. It's time to put the Goth Elitism myth to rest.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

The Halloween 13 Tag

Since we have a Friday the 13th AND Halloween coming up, I figured it might be fun to do start a spooky tag. Feel free to join in!

1. Top 3 movies to watch during the Halloween season?
Pumpkinhead, Hocus Pocus, Trick 'r' Treat
Also, old Roseanne episodes!!!

2. Choose a costume: witch, vampires, or zombies? Witch 

3. What is your favorite Halloween sweet treat? Carmel apple suckers are the best!

4. Favorite Halloween memory (or autumn memory if you don't celebrate Halloween).
Carving pumpkins with my dad and he would wear his Freddy Krueger costume and chase us around with the pumpkin guts :D

5. Have you ever seen a ghost or had any paranormal experience? Yes. 

6. You've been given a doll that comes alive with the spirit of which goth musician? What do they do? Are you scared or best buds?
 Robert Smith. He wobbles around, knocking stuff over and giggling. Sometimes, he sings which is nice but mostly I understand nothing he says. Kind of like this LOL <3

7. "This is Halloween"-original version or Marilyn Manson version? Not a huge MM fan, but I actually really like his cover.

8. Drink of choice: pumpkin spiced latte or hot apple cider? Hot apple cider- WITH RUM!!!

9. If you dressed up for Halloween as a child, what was your favorite costume?
    Pics if you've got 'em!!
    If you didn't dress up, what costume would you have chosen?
I think I went as Madonna a few times. Once, my mom made me a clown costume and I cried because it scared me and she made me wear it anyway!! Still scared of clowns to this day :(

I was born to be a star :D
Halloween, 1987
10. Favorite song or poem for this time of year? "Fall Children" by A.F.I.

11. Chose your own adventure!
      a)Get drunk with Edgar Allen Poe and sing "Thriller" at a karoke bar
      b)Do psychedelics with H.P. Lovecraft and go for a midnight swim
      c)Play Vampire:the Masquerade with Bram Stoker at an all night diner until the waitress finally kicks you out at 5a.m.
Why did I make such a hard question? They all sound awesome but I think I have to pick A. That sounds like it would be pretty hilarious :D .

12. Candy corn-yay or nay? Only if you mix it with dry roasted peanuts because it tastes like a PayDay candybar :D

13. What are you plans this year? Care to describe your costume? I may go to the Nocturna costume party the weekend before the 31st, but will probably just hang out with my baby niece and take her trick or treat the night of. My coven does a traditional dumb supper later in the evening. For a costume, I am thinking of a swamp witch/creature OR Frankie Stein from Monster High.


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Persephone's Descent

The Autumnal Equinox has come and gone. Here in the Midwest, the wheel turns as we embrace old harvest traditions and beautiful scenery.
Appleseed days, harvest home, county fairs, and Oktoberfest. All bring the community and warmth of autumn, along with the sticky-sweet, mischievous, and boozy atmosphere of the midway.
Colorful leaves fall until the trees are barren and their branches poke through shadows, like the gnarled hands of a monster peeking out of a child's closet.
It's a sensual season filled with rich scents, inviting textures, and magical nights that grow longer until Yule.

Candy apples and costume making.
Pumpkin carving and spiked cider.
Scary movie marathons and bonfires.
Ancestors. The Mighty Dead. The Underworld.
At this time, Persephone is on my mind.

Sometimes I think the men who wrote her story got it wrong.*
Or at the very least, left out the juicy stuff.

I can't imagine any budding young woman would want to be under her mother's watchful eye, aimlessly picking flowers forever, especially since Demeter had rejected previous suitors.
And what teenager girl never fell for a bad boy, at least once?!!

Perhaps she wanted to stay so she could finally be a sexual woman, without worry of offending mother. Perhaps she enjoyed the honor and power of being a Queen.
And since she couldn't come right out and say it, she went ahead and ate the pomegranate seeds.
Did Hades trick her, or was it a pact between two star-crossed lovers?
Either way you see it, her story is a powerful one about finding your place and power.
 I highly recommend this book if you'd like to explore her lessons further.
As much as Autumn is the dark half of the year, the "season of the witch", it's also about community. It's a hell of a time to feel/be alone.

If you are single and lonely or depressed- I feel your pain, trust me. I try to tell myself that the wheel of fortune is always turning and no season lasts forever.

All we can do is try to live in the moment and make the best of what's been given to us. Take a midnight stroll, leave the cell at home and listen to the leaves crunch beneath your feet.
Cook a new meal with exotic spices.
Indulge, and buy yourself that body oil or silk nightgown you've had your eye on.
Whatever your situation is, do something that makes you feel alive.
Seduce yourself, seduce your lover.
Autumn has a sense of urgency, as if you have to capture the even the smallest moments of life amidst the surrounding decay.

I might be depressed, but I'm not dead yet.
                    She became the Queen of the Underworld and the bringer of spring,
                                       She found her place, her balance. I can get through this.

* I definitely don't intend to disregard her abduction myth as it has been written. Those who are abuse survivors and find her story extremely useful in healing and shadow work have my respect and support.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Goth at 30 and Beyond: Insight for baby bats

Goth or not, people tend to perceive turning 30 as the magical milestone into being a "real" adult. High paying job, mortgage, marriage and kids on the way. By now, they assume you should be putting away the dreams of your 20s and hanging up your dancing shoes. NO FUN FOR YOU! You are 30 now; time  to slap on the khakis and get that middle management position you never dreamt of :/

30 year old me, before the De/Vision concert in Austin, TX

These days, I'm closer to 40 than 30 and hopefully wiser for the wear. Here are my observations and suggestions for younger goths who wonder what the future holds in terms of aging and goth identity.

- I became more relaxed about mixing and matching different goth style genres, learning to DIY, etc. I'm definitely more comfortable in my skin at 37 than I was in my 20s, and have a better idea about what styles/shapes of clothing look better on me.
You also no longer live with the paranoia that someone will notice you've worn that same old reliable Lip Service dress to the club twice in the same month. Essentially, I quit caring what other people in the local scene might have thought about my style because most of them were younger and it appeared a lot of the older people slowly quit dressing up as much, or just dropping out of the scene like flies (we'll discuss this later). I think when many of us are younger, we get too stuck in specific labels, or really struggle with being ourselves while still performing the goth aesthetic. This definitely became easier as I got older.

-You might possibly find ways to help build the community, or assist in events. When I was younger, it really was all about dancing, drinking, and dressing up. I wasn't a DJ or a musician, so I never bothered to really think about how I could contribute. Over time, however, I experienced scenes in different cities (some much worse than others), and I learned to appreciate the community that comes with being goth much more. Perhaps you'll blog, make YouTube videos, decorate for special events at your local club, or just help promote shows. If you enjoy a healthy goth scene in your area, remember that it only exists because people take time and effort to make it happen (and usually for very little pay).

- Responsibilities and stress take their toll. At first, you quit going out on weeknights because you have that great job. Makes total sense. Then, you quit going out on weekends because you are just too exhausted or the bills have piled up and you could use that money for gas. Many people also experience more health issues which always equals more bills and stress. You also might find yourself in a position where you now have to buy two completely different wardrobes, depending on your work situation. Loved working at my previous employer, but they had a strict dress code and it wasn't long before I began to resent the fact that I was spending more money on office wear than "me clothes". There were times when I wanted to throw a fit like a 3 year old because I had to spend my last $60 on a nice blazer, instead of a cool vintage pair of boots I found on eBay. You learn to get over it. Wine helps :)

-Single after 30 and goth? Dating becomes a new form of hell, especially if you don't live in a major metropolitan area with a decent goth scene. And even then, it is still tricky. As we all know, just because someone is goth it doesn't automatically mean you will get along, let alone be attracted to one another.
Let's say there are 100 available people for you to date.
Subtract at least half who will definitely not date a goth.
Then, for every area in which you are considered "other" by society (BDSM, pagan, disabled, childfree, etc.), subtract another 10 people.
Finally, of the remaining people who show interest, you must subtract the ones who will treat you like a novelty toy for their amusement. This is definitely going to get it's own blog post at some point.
I really have no solid advice on this topic. I'm 37 and single. All you can really do is try to keep an open heart and believe that if you keep putting yourself out there, a good match will come along.
Baby bats, please whatever you do, do not change yourself for a relationship. In most cases, they don't last and you will eventually get tired and restful of having to give up the things you love for someone else.

- You will lose friends. Even fellow goths. As mentioned previously, around 27, the amount of my peers that still went to clubs or dressed up began to decline. As people marry, have kids or get promotions, their focus changes. And that's fine, I don't judge it (we all should follow our dreams) but don't say I didn't warn you.
As far as non-goth friends go, there is a higher risk these friendships will fizzle out as well. For the same reasons mentioned above, but also there is the pressure of "dressing your age" once you start to be around other people's kids, or just even go out in public. By this age, your friends have also found their tribe (church, country club, dance moms, whatever) and you will notice that many of them become molded by that social group in terms of how they dress, activities they enjoy, and you are likely to see a change in their political views.
I had two friendships in which the other person became increasing less open-minded and accepting as they got into their 30s. My former best friend made a few hurtful comments over the years that she swore were jokes, but I think she was embarrassed to be seen with me at times, especially once she got mom-friends. Eventually, the calls and lunch dates become less frequent. They might say they are busy, but you'll have to admit it hurts to see them post pictures on Facebook of a sunday brunch or girls' night out with their new besties, when you've been wanting to grab coffee for weeks now. Eventually, you give up calling or texting because it becomes very obvious that they no longer are putting effort into the friendship.
There may come a time when the two of you have an argument about politics or some important issue any you realize if you met her now, you wouldn't want to be friends.
Even your goth friends may change and tell you "it's time to grow up".
It's strange, it hurts bad, but it happens.
As you age in the scene, all you can do is keep an open mind. Be welcoming of the baby bats and the lone wolf at the club you might have ignored it the past. Cherish the opportunity to connect with people in your scene, be willing to say hello to a stranger.

-The dreaded normal phase. It appears to strike everyone at some point. And for most, it's either a result of, or causes, a major depressive period.  Perhaps it's a breakup, becoming a parent, or pressure from a potential partner or friends. Perhaps it's medical conditions that leave you will little energy or money. Whatever it is, it sucks the life out of you. From what I've read on other goth blogs and my own experience, this seems to last several years rather than just a few months..
 My normal phase hit at about 34. To be frank, it was 3 years of hell. It's a funny to think that when I dress normal, I feel more uncomfortable than when I'm being my strange, little self.
When they say "You know a goth is really depressed when they are dressed like a normal person", it's totally true.
Younger goths should be aware of this possibility, and if you find yourself changing, spend some time alone. Consider what is motivating you to make these changes, and if it's an outside pressure or perhaps you are dealing with depression or health issues that are causing you to be apathetic about your passions and appearance.
. It's perfectly acceptable to change if you feel that is what you are being called to do. You also absolutely have the right to say "HELL NAW!" and stand firm in your authenticity.
Either way, this can be a time of growth and introspection. If you come out of the normal phase still darkly inclined, there are some surprising benefits. For me it's been such a wonderful experiences re-discovering the scene, revisiting old favorite bands, etc. Also, I have a sense of self-confidence and inner peace that I didn't have in my 20s, which makes it so much easier to enjoy meeting people and even going out alone.


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Dancin' with Myself: candystripe legs

This past weekend, I summoned up some brass ovaries to go out dancing alone for our bi-monthly goth night, Nocturna.

Since I live over an hour away and the event runs from midnight-5am, I decided to go ahead and treat myself by booking a room at the Knickerbocker hotel, which has great 1920s décor and yummy themed cocktails. Drinks and a light dinner helped me relax and fall asleep but unfortunately, I overslept and woke up around 11pm. Ideally, the goal was to get there early because there's typically a long line for entry and drinks. Considering hair, makeup and dressing only took 30 minutes, I thought my overall look was pretty decent.

To be honest, I felt very nervous about going out alone. I haven't been out to goth events in a few years and none of my friends really go to clubs anymore. In some ways, a part of me was just feeling too old for late nights anymore. NONSENSE!! I had an amazing night, and stayed on the dance floor the majority of the time. I didn't leave early, and I  actually talked to strangers, which is HUGE progress for me.

I am not good at taking selfies and obviously bad lighting in hotel rooms doesn't help either. My iphone is ancient. Hoping to get a new one after this year since I spent too much money on Depeche Mode tickets <3

Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Darkling Tag

Another goth tag going around the blogosphere, feel free to join in! There seems to be 2 different versions, some have more questions that others. 
 I'm still new, and although I wasn't tagged by anyone, I figured I'd be a great way for us to get to know each other :)

  • What is your favourite candle scent? Yankee Candle’s Spiced Pumpkin. If it came as body oil, I'd be all over it.
  • Do you have a favourite book? Diana Gabaldon, Outlander
  • Are you a tea or coffee person? BOTH!!
  • What is your favourite brand and color of lipstick? Maybelline Divine Wine. bury me in this!
  • What is your favourite perfume/cologne? Tabu, vintage only. Mme. Moriarty, Misfourtune Teller by BPL is my 2nd favorite.
  • IF you had to give up wearing black, what color would you choose? Royal purple 
  • If you had a teacup or coffee mug inscribed for you, what would it say? Enjoy the Silence
  • Do you have a celebrity crush? Dave Gahan got super sexy after getting clean in the late 90s. He's really got a bit of vampire vibe going on the past few years  <3 
  • If you could change your name to a stereotypical 90s/2000s gothy name, what would it be? Ivy, of course :)
  • What are your top three tips for surviving hot weather while black clad? Ditch the goth boots, lots of sunscreen and avoid the sun from 12-4 pm if at all possible (usually when the rays are the strongest).
  • What song always makes you happy (doesn’t have to be a goth band?) Madonna, Like a Prayer
  • Are you active in the arts (eg. Play an instrument, paint, write, etc)? Yes.
  • What is your number one non-gothy hobby? Umm...sometimes I like to veg out and watch cheesy Lifetime or Hallmark movies.
Thought Provokers:
  • If you could be a supernatural creature, what would it be and why? A Vampire. I guess I like the idea of experiencing different time periods and places around the world.
  • What horror monster-bases super power would you have? Glamour magic, to change the way I look at any time. Easier to lure my next victims mwhahaha
  • Which is more important to a look: great hair or great makeup? Definitely hair. When I don't like my hair or didn't have time to style it, I feel very self-conscious. Makeup is fun but I am 100% comfortable going without.
  • Do you feel confident or comfortable interacting with other Goths or gothy people (online or irl)? Why or why not? Sure. The older I get, the less I care if I get rejected or whatever. Life is too short; have fun and take risks. It's better than sitting alone, assuming that everyone will reject you (basically what I did for too many years).
  • Is there something you wish there was more of in your subculture? Not that I can think of... 
  • Care to share an embarrassing story related to your “darkliness”? It was at Convergence one year (Tampa, possibly) and I was dancing with a long trail of toilet paper flowing from my skirt.   
  • How are you at DIY? Good, once I quit agonizing over my concept and having the right materials.
  • Quickly describe your dream wedding: Either a 1920s art deco theme complete with a jazz band in New Orleans or a forest wedding in Autumn.
Confessional (aka True or False):
  • I love watching cheese romance films. Sometimes? I'll say true.
  • I ALWAYS remember to wash off my makeup at night. True! can't stand going to sleep without doing my night routine.
  • I sleep with plushies. False
  • I wear non-black pyjamas most nights. True
  • I think Andrew Eldrich is overrated. True. I am a fan of course, but his negative attitude and the way he treated people really makes me think he's delusional and full of himself. Wayne Hussey is a better songwriter.
  • I don’t like vampires. Definitely false!!!
  • I don’t like clubs. False. 
  • I don’t enjoy graveyards. False.
  • Blood makes me queasy. False.
  • I’d sooner faint than pet a spider. False.
  • I don’t like haunted houses. False.
  • I'm dating a goth/darkly-inclined person False. I'm single.
  • I’ve never read Dracula. False.
  • I still browse the clearance racks at Hot Topic True. HT does often have my favorite babydoll/ Wednesday Addams type of dresses at really decent prices online. They aren't going to last forever or be the best quality, but for under $30, I'm not complaining.
  • I think “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” is a long and boring song. .....*gulps* half and half. True, it is too long and gets played too often, I usually exit the dance floor when it comes on. False because it's not boring, and I do enjoy listening to it.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Dark Autumn 2017: A Goth Gal's Wishlist

...because the rest of summer can go fuck itself *slathers on SPF like cake frosting*

1. A dark red cape or cloak. I've always wanted one but never found anything that's was the right length (I'm only 5'1"), shade of red, etc.. Perhaps I will have one custom made!

2. Sweaters. I have the hardest time finding sweaters. On average, I'm a size 6-8, but at 36DD, I usually have to buy larger tops. Which is fine for short sleeve tees, but then for sweaters, sizing up means that the armholes, shoulders and sleeves are too big, and the neckline looks sloppy (especially with cardigans). I'd like to at least find 1 or 2 spooky, cozy sweaters, rather than resorting to a hoodie.
{Dark Autumn} Spooky Sweaters

3. I definitely need more burgundy crushed velvet in my wardrobe. I've got a nice pair of leggings, but would love some boots and a dress in that color/fabric combo.

4. Romantic outfits for date nights. For reasons I don't care to discuss right now, I've been single for almost 2 years. Thankfully, it's been a healthy and productive time and I finally feel like I'm ready to date again <3
Dark Autmn Date Night

5. Haus of Gloi pumpkin butter creams!! They smell amazing, are not filled with parabens, and soften skin without feeling greasy like a lot of creams do. Regular catalog scents are available now but my favorites are from the autumn collection.

What are you looking forward to this autumn?

Thursday, June 29, 2017

June Favorites

The latest episode of Post Punk Party I love discovering new bands; A Projection was my top pick out of the bunch.

Depeche Mode is my favorite band, so I was already aware that Martin L. Gore is a huge fan of The Mission. However, somehow I missed the release of this collaboration because I've been spending more time away from Facebook. Anyway, I'm playing catch up and the entire album is really great.
The Mission is one of those bands that I like but for some reason I forget that I actually have them in my collection. Need to mix it up more, I guess.


A fun cozy series I've just started. Halloween, magick, and a murder mystery.

I'm also reading and working through Living Earth Devotional.
As a pagan, I'm supposed to be all in tune with nature and stuff, but honestly? The older I get, the more it seems that summertime just drains me of energy and I don't feel connected spiritually at all. Each day of the year has a page with a prayer, craft, recipe, or even ideas on how to reduce your carbon footprint. I like it because it's not a spellbook and doesn't rehash Wicca 101 material for the millionth time. It follows with the themes of the seasons and how you can align with them psychologically and spiritually. The traditional Wiccan sabbats are mentioned, but it really focuses on connecting with your local landscape and spirits rather than a God/dess or a pre-set festival structure that may not be in tune with what is happening in your climate.

I've been watching a lot of documentaries and youtube channels about veganism. While I have mixed feelings about committing to it, there is a part of me that is just beyond disgusted with the way animals are treated, and horrified about the crap that is being injected into the meat we are being sold. I'd like to at least try to limit my consumption to 2-3 times a week, and maybe even get meat from local farms if possible. For sure, I will be definitely making the switch to vegan self-care items and cosmetics. Anyway, I made these fries and holy shit they are amazing!!

Can't wait for Midnight, Texas to air! So far, I've really enjoyed this book series by Charlaine Harris. Looks like this will be more action packed since the books have that slow, southern vibe that might not translate as well to TV. Hopefully, it doesn't disappoint.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Coming home, "In darkness you'll be mine..."

They say "home is where the heart is".
Doesn't help much when you a somewhat of a gypsy and also a Gemini with a wide variety of interests and ability to take on different "personas" when the situation calls for such a thing.
When life circumstances get in the way of your ability to express yourself (having to move across the county and live with parents at 32 after a bad breakup) or your ability to even know who you want to be, or who you are at your core (depression is a motherfucker), it truly feels like your soul is homeless.
I've recently turned 37.
Many things are going well for me at the moment, yet there are till missing pieces and hurdles to master. I asked for answers, for some kind of guidance or a sign. I was making progress in my life, but something still felt wrong. A few days later, I found some pictures of myself from my 20s.  That period of my life was probably the happiest I'd ever been. And not because I was young and partied every weekend or had dozens of male admirers. It was really just me being true to who I was, until I let other people convince me that I wasn't being mature, "normal", etc.
I remembered how creative I used to be and how I was much more into tune with my thoughts and emotions. And how music kept me sane through all the poverty, breakups, etc.
Suddenly, I found myself listening to old favorites that I hadn't even considered in years. Even went to a few concerts.
 Got a new pair of boots. Dyed my hair.
Began seeking out goth podcasts and youtube channels for inspiration.
A swipe of vamp red lipstick here, a dab of my favorite vintage oriental perfume.
 "Opium and poison, jasmine and rose.."
 Reading poetry on the L train rather than scrolling my facebook feed.
Perhaps it's not what you do that makes you feel good, but rather the intent behind it.
A lipstick is a lipstick, right?
Maybe, maybe not.
My journey into the realm of goth music and love of a dark aesthetic began when I was a young child. In the future, I plan on writing about that more in depth.
For now, let's just say I finally feel at home again.