Monday, 25 September 2017

Growing up Goth during the nineties in Montreal

 *If this post sounds familiar, it was recently published in my old, discontinued blog. I regurgitated here*
I was born and raised in the suburbs of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, which is a bilingual city with French and English speaking people. It is also a very cosmopolitan city that has people from many walks of life and it is not uncommon to hear someone speak a different language other than English or French. Growing up, I hated (still do!) the suburbs and dreamed I could live downtown because that's where all the cool people are! In many ways, I still hold this sentiment!

I hated living in the suburbs or the West Island as most people call it but to this day, I still refer to that area as the Waste Island. Most people laugh at me for growing up in that area because it is very uncommon for a Goth to live there. Think Edward Scissorhands when he was living with a family in the burbs and you will get an idea what it was like! I am sure there were many West Island Goths but I never stuck around in that area to really have an opportunity to meet most of them. Whenever I was stuck in the Waste Island, I made the most of my situation by going to the river at the end of my street. It was one of my favourite drinking (and make-out) spots!

This is a picture found off the "interweb" of the street from Edward Scissorhands. I swear, this looks like my mom's street minus the brightly coloured houses.

I also lived right near a train station that would take me to the downtown core in 25 minutes, which was much better than the 90 minutes it would normally take should I decide to take the buses and metro to get there. Thanks to the train, most of my time was spent downtown.

I hated living in the Waste Island because from personal experiences, most of the people were snobby and uptight. I was often ridiculed or even scolded for the way I dressed. As a teenager, I was so proud of a cape I knitted for myself out of wool and would often parade around wearing it. I didn't care how hot it was and often wore it in the middle of a summer heat wave! It was not uncommon to be stared at. Now, I can see why people looked at me funny (seriously a wool cape on a hot summer's day) but even today, I get gawked at. Even toned down.

While I was not legally the drinking age (which luckily for me, it is 18 over here) but sometimes, I got into the clubs. Partying downtown was a huge pain in the ass because the last train leaves the station at 12:25am. Being by myself, I felt unsafe taking the night bus alone and should I miss the last train, I was often stranded at a shady part of the city. I remember being stuck there several times and my parents got annoyed with me for calling them in the middle of the night for a ride. Remember, this is before cellphones became accessible and I would have to call my folks collect. I would often request the ride before the recording ended so my Mom wouldn't have to bitch about added fees to her phone bill every month. I am serious. My mom would answer and she would hear the following "you got a collect call from - Mom its me, I am stuck at Spot Bowling. Come get me" and she would have enough time to say ok and hang up. I remember this one time, this creeper kept making unwanted advances at me. I was still quite young and this was a grown man. I was so scared that I flagged down a police car and the guy bolted. The cops gave me a ride home! I can still remember the look on my parents faces when she saw me at the door with two police officers!

I eventually made friends with some elder goths who well, were much, much older than me. I was lucky that many of them not only were there to help me avoid a lot of embarrassing baby bat wardrobe mistakes but also invited me to crash at their place once the clubs closed for the night! Most of these clubs don't exist anymore, unfortunately. I remember one place I went to once or twice called (how original) The Vampire Lounge. Apparently, it was owned by the mob! I don't know how true this is.

On Tuesday nights, I would listen to a Goth radio program called "Les Mouches Noires"

For those familiar with the author of The Goth Bible, Nancy Kilpatrick, I got to meet her. She is an awesome lady and we keep in touch via social media.

I remember those 99 cent pizza places. Those were the best places to go and have a quick bite to eat after a night of drinking!

I went to a High School that had a uniform. Yuck! I did leave that school my graduating year to attend an alternative school but apparently, I was informed by several people that the school officials changed the rules to specifically include "no ripped or fish net stockings" because of me and some other students.

I went to see Clan Of Xymox perform at Fouf's. It was the first Goth band I got to see play live. Rhea's Obsession was the opening band.

Movies like The Crow and The Craft came out and I remember watching them religiously. I remember wanting to look like Fairuza Balk (Nancy) Shows like Buffy The Vampire Slayer, The X-Files and Charmed played on TV.

There was a magic shop called Le Melange Magique/Magickal Blend which sold so many wonderful occult items and had a bunch of cats wandering around the store. The owner never minded us loitering there!

I remember shopping at Cruella (closed down several years ago) and Diabolik (still open, I still go there!) There was an amazing thrift store called Eva B which I have not been to in a long time. I think they are still open. I remember discovering Rio X20 for Doc Martens.

I might have hated highschool but I have so many fond memories of my youth. I was pretty wild back then but I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world!

Friday, 22 September 2017

It really is a delicate dependency

Back when I was a teenager, I had this huge crush on a certain blonde haired, blue eyed gothic cutie. I think the attraction stemmed from the fact that he was one of the only goths I knew at that time that kept his natural hair color. He slightly resembled the vampire Lestat, or so I thought anyways. Nothing really came of my crush but he did make a pretty awesome friend. I remember sleeping over at a friend's place after a full night of hardcore partying and he played the "Music for Vampires, A Delicate Dependency" compilation CD for us to unwind from the night. I was completely smitten with the album as much as I was with him! Remember folks, back then, when I was a teenager in the nineties, we had to work to discover new Goth bands and compilation CDs were a great way to get introduced to new music!

While my crush faded away, my affections for the compilation album never wavered. In fact, it was my go-to compilation CD after a night of clubbing. Remember I am from the era of mix tapes and CDs, we had no MP3 (or Youtube or Spotify) play lists back then!

The compilation itself doesn't have many songs, perhaps it isn't the best of gothic compilations I ever listened to over the years but it is something that I personally find relaxing and allows me to revisit my youth. I remember all the good times I had going out with my fellow creatures of the night; How we would parade around in fishnet stockings in the middle of the winter or how we would wear velvet in the middle of a summer heat wave.

Listening to that album brings me back to a time where life was simple. I used to listen to this when I was a student and studying for upcoming tests. I had jobs where I could wear what I wanted and not had to worry about toning it down. I sometimes look back at that little blonde haired cutie who used to tie his hair in a ponytail with a black ribbon and wonder what happened to him after all these years.

I remember the opera piece freaking out my father. Is my daughter listening to opera, what?

The Schubert piece always got blared in my room, much to my father's delight as he loved Classical music. Little did he know; this piece was played in the movie "The Hunger" which starred David Bowie. That movie also has that famous opening scene with Peter Murphy performing "Bela Lugosi's Dead" I did honestly like Classical musical but like most teenagers, it wasn't my first choice of music to listen to.

I accidentally left my Discman (again, before Smartphones, I Pods, or even MP3 players) on the train with this CD inside. I never bothered re-purchasing it either, I wonder why. I guess it never really occurred to me but it is still a compilation that is held so close to my heart today because it introduced me to The Cocteau Twins!

So, if anyone out there was a baby bat in the nineties with me, I wonder if this compilation will bring back memories for you too just like it does for me.

P.S. I have most of these songs already (now in MP3 format) but I did re-purchase this CD again, by the way. Just for nostalgia!

And I found the entire compilation here on Youtube!You're welcome!

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Monthly MusicSpotlight: Foghorn Lonesome

Image taken from Foghorn Lonesome's FB page
Considering Foghorn Lonesome is a fairly new band that has only been around for the past 6 years, unfortunately, I do not have much info to give you on them. According to their Facebook page, Foghorn Lonesome was founded by Eric Sparkwood in 2011 and is from Sweden (I swear, the Swedes and Germans make some bad-ass Darkwave!) I strongly suggest you give this band a listen. I was very impressed by the sound and later, the lyrics. I generally listen to the music first then focus on the lyrics the second time around.

I like to write about bands that have a connection or some sort of silly story with me. Since I very recently, got into this band, the reason why  I chose to feature them for my Monthly Music Spotlight was because their song "Watership Down" is source of comfort to me because I have not been feeling very well these past few days.This band is helping me through a very rough period and I am very grateful for their music. In addition, since this is a new band, by featuring them here on this blog, my goal is to help them build an audience.I think this is a great way for me to support the Goth community, especially musicians who help keep the subculture alive. I really hope you enjoy!

Monday, 18 September 2017

Walking in my boots

"...Now I'm not looking for absolution
Forgiveness for the things i do
But before you come to any conclusions
Try walking in my shoes
Try walking in my shoes
You'll stumble in my footsteps
Keep the same appointments i kept
If you try walking in my shoes..." - Depeche Mode

This post was pulled from my previous blog that is no longer active. It is very relevant today. Especially with what I am going through with my anxiety issues. I have edited the article to reflect the present day.

When I came back to Goth several years ago, I lost many friends for various reasons. Now that I am dealing with mental health issues, I am doing some spring cleaning with some friendships. Funny enough, ALL my Goth friends have been super supportive, understanding and nice.It is the more conservative people that I heard some rumblings from.

I am going to rehash about losing my best friend. You see, we became really close during my "normal" phase and I am uncertain whether or not she knew that I was Goth beforehand. She knew I was a bit eccentric but I had a lot in common with her. We liked fashion and makeup. We were best friends for about 2 years until I pretty much ditched her.

You see, my life took off in so many wonderful ways. I had a lot of positive things going for me. I was coming back to Goth and I knew she wouldn't accept it.

In fact, I still remember the last time I saw her. I was in full Goth attire. I had randomly bumped into her. She had no advance warning. All she could do was stare at me in utter shock and disbelief. The only thing she could do was ask me over and over again if I was depressed and comment on my purple hair. I was very blonde the last time she saw me. It was really awkward. My husband noticed the tension between us and commented later on in private that he could have cut the tension with a butter knife.

I think it was not long after that awkward encounter she unfriended me from Facebook. In fact, I believe it took me several months to even realize she unfriended me! I wasn't surprised because some mutual friends commented that she thought I was too weird for her and she didn't want to associate with people like me.

This taught me a valuable lesson recently. You see, in a lot of ways, now that I am going through this anxiety bullshit, I KNOW I am being judged by the more conservative, ignorant people just like when I was judged for coming back to Goth. This doesn't bother me. What made me realize, and to some extend, bothers me is the fact that I can be so quick to label people myself without knowing their full story. I am doing the same thing that was done to me!  I realized that there is so much stigma associated with mental illness it made me take a step back and think what invisible demons these people fighting that I don't know about? While I stand true to myself and will always have little respect towards people who are intolerant assholes (it is hard to feel sorry for people who judge others), it has made me aware that so many people are probably in my shoes right now and I would probably never know about it. In the past, I never understood why or how someone would let themselves get this far (the severity of the anxiety where they need to be on sick-leave from work) and now I do. You really don't know their story.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

An Ode to my dear friend, anxiety; A personal what is going on in my life post

Well friends, looks like I spent too much time "faking being well" because the stress and anxiety finally got the better of me. I am on sick leave. I feel like shit.

There is so much personal issues going on in my life that I am finding it hard to juggle a full time job, a child in school (and who was having difficulties with it) and everything else. Rest assured, my husband, child and pets are all well and things are going well for them.

For me, it all started with the occasional panic attack. I thought I was able to handle it. Last week, I was so frustrated I wanted to drive my car into a wall (but didn't) and I still thought I will be ok. I just needed to get certain things sorted first. I am not sleeping. I am waking up in the wee hours, feeling choked and having one panic attack after an other. I am getting migraines all the time.

I finally threw in the towel and went to my Doctor's yesterday. I had a panic attack and then broke down in her office.

Now, I am home and I forcing myself out of bed. I am forcing myself to tie up loose ends at my work, I am forcing myself to tidy my home because I won't let this beat me down. I just didn't shower or wash my hair or anything today but fuck it. I got out of bed and dealt with my job. I did SOMETHING today so I don't feel like a complete loser.

I am resting and as much as I feel like a failure right now, I am trying to remind myself of all the things I did accomplish in such a short period of time. Especially this week where I had to make some really hard decisions.

I will still be posting to this blog because I am not going to give up on the things I enjoy doing but I will be regurgitating a lot of old posts from my old blog for a while. I will edit them. I am too stubborn to let this anxiety completely consume me. I am hoping that I can eventually find humour in this situation to laugh about it.

If anyone out there who does suffer from anxiety. Hold tight, it just means you have been strong for too long. You got this!

Monday, 11 September 2017

The day my child was born

"Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise..." - The Beatles

I think most parents will always remember the day their child was born. The joy and happiness the birth of a baby brings, especially the moment you first hold that child in your arms.

For me, I felt all these things too but there was so much sadness, stress, and danger that the end result only made all that trouble so worth it.  You see, by the end of my pregnancy, I was considered high risk. I was put on bed rest and things could have went horrible wrong for the both of us.

To this day, I still remember the fear and sadness I felt when the doctor told me that I was most probably going to have a C-section and I was to be on bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy.

I worried that I was going to lose my son. I felt like I was a loser mom because I probably wouldn't be able to carry a baby to term. All these sad thoughts kept me up at night and in the end, I had good reason to.

I remember the days I spent on bed rest. I spent them in the nursery we had set up for the baby. By them, I had already nested several weeks prior and every thing was all set up, ready to go. I thought monkeys were cute and decided to put monkey decals all over the walls. The crib sheets had monkeys on them and so did his mobile in his crib.I remember napping on my comfy chair. Did I ever love that chair and ottoman!

My now deceased cat, Riddles. The reason for keeping a blanket (made by my mom) on the chair.

I also refused to leave that room because it brought me close to a baby that might not even be born alive. I felt connected to my son there and I felt comfort and safe. I remember the sound of Loreena Mckennitt's voice playing in the background and how I would plead with the universe to allow me that chance to be a mother. I remember when I was under suicide watch as a teenager and my psychiatrist at the hospital asked me if there was anything I could live for. At that time, it was very hard to find something but I knew deep down, I wanted to be a mom some day. I knew in order to do so, I had to turn my life around and battle this horrible mental illness because I wanted to be a great mom. Every part of my being was tied up in that baby. I found my reason to choose life. It scared to wonder what I could potentially do should these dreams of becoming a mom come crashing down? How could I possibly pick up the pieces and recover from this?

The reason for my bed rest, I had placenta Previa. I thought, okay, a lot of women get placenta Previa, it is not the end of the world. What I didn't know at that time just how potentially serious this was for me. Placenta Previa is when a clot forms on the placenta. For many women, this may not be too serious but it could be serious if the clot shifts to the umbilical cord. One of the signs of this condition is bleeding, like when you are on your period.

My husband still remembers the first trip right after I had my first bleed and still hasn't completely forgiven me for pleading with the nurse to not worry about my life; Just please save my baby.

About a week later, I saw more blood and off to the hospital we went! It was a false alarm and I was sent back home and back on bed rest.

Every movement my baby made was a comfort. I knew he was OK. He was still alive. Perhaps I may sound melodramatic here but I am a very anxious person, these thoughts and fears were very real to me.

Another week went by and there was a lot more blood. In fact, it resembled a scene to a horror movie. This was obviously not normal. We were smart, my bag was already in the car's trunk along with the car seat. We were ready to rock and roll! Just like the last two times, I was hooked up to the monitors. The sound of my baby's heartbeat echoed through the room and by hearing his heartbeat, I knew my son was OK and I was able to sleep. I felt safe. The next day I was examined by my doctor and was told that I was going to be admitted for the remainder of my pregnancy. They ran more tests and I had to have another ultrasound. The results, I could only assume, were not very positive, my condition did not improve and got worst. This is when the doctor had a serious chat with me.

She didn't reveal anything to me,  I believe she didn't want me to panic but she simply asked me how I felt physically and emotionally. I told her that I was done with being scared. I was tired and stressed. That on Friday, I was going to be 37 weeks, my baby was going to be considered full term. While we originally discussed natural births, that plan is now out the window. I wanted a C-section and I wanted the baby out! I told her that my gut feeling was that the only way my baby was going to be safe was in my arms. She seemed happy with my response and even agreed with me. She was probably hoping for that response.  My surgery was scheduled for that Friday.

While I was being prepped for surgery and given the epidural and what not, I found it odd that my husband wasn't in the room with me. I needed him to protect me from the big scary needle that was going to go into my spine! I can take a tattoo or piercing any day but any kind of medical needle, I am a big chicken! Little did I know, the doctor was chatting with him and that was holding him up. She told him that there was a 50% chance one of us or even worse, both of us may not survive the ordeal. To be prepared to either walk out with both of us, one of us, or worse, by himself. My condition had worsened but they both felt best that I don't know. If I panic, my blood pressure goes up, my heart pumps more blood, there's a higher rate of blood lost. If I would have tensed my muscles, the clot could have burst during surgery or burst while they were opening me up to take the baby out. The baby could have drowned. There was a chance I could have hemorrhaged to death as well. While I am still mad about being left in the dark about this, I can see why the doctor went about it that way. If I were in her shoes, I would have done the same thing.

Obviously we both beat the odds. I like to think my son and I are both resilient and stubborn! To this day, I can still remember being told that I am going to feel pressure, just like toothpaste coming out of its tube and it felt just like that. I remember the room being silent, except for the hum of the machines. I remember the coldness from the metal beneath me on my bare skin. The baby was born but the room was still silent. "Why isn't he crying?" I thought. I slowly panic inside, the heart monitor reveals my fear! I ask them "why isn't he crying? Where is my baby?" It seems like my voice awakened something because I heard his first cry. I kept telling myself "I am not going to cry" but the moment they put that baby next to me while they washed the remainder of the gunk off, I got to see his big blue eyes, very much like my own, his little face, the chubby cheeks (which he still has today, by the way) I felt the tears wanting to come. We just laid there for a few moments, staring at each other. It all felt surreal. "I am not going to cry" I kept foolishly telling myself but it was too late, the tears welled up.

My husband got to hold him first. He deserved it after what he was told by the doctor. I remember the doctor laying out the placenta and showing us in amazement the clot. It was right on the umbilical cord and was a little bigger than the size of a grapefruit! The doctor took pictures and called in other medical staff and interns to examine the placenta. Pictures were even taken for future medical reference! The nurses surrounded me while I was being wheeled out to see the miracle baby. In fact, I was visited by lots of nurses and doctors because they wanted to see the mom and baby who survived.

I never believed in miracles until that day. Whenever my son misbehaves and I get frustrated, I look back at that day and remember how lucky we are to have him in our lives. I remember all that joy he brought me and I cannot imagine my life without him. I take the messy, noisy house, small bank account and all the chaos any day! Being a parent is my biggest accomplishment and while it can be the biggest pain in the ass at times, it is the most rewarding job I ever had.

As I look back to those days, especially on his birthday (which was this Sunday, the 10th of September) I am reminded of how far we came and how much we have to look forward to. We have so many years ahead of us and I can't wait to continue to watch him grow up. There was a time in my life, I once falsely believed that life wasn't worth living and by seeing this beautiful baby cling to life, even fight for it gave me a renewed sense of hope. Life is very short and very previous. I do not plan on wasting another minute of it.

"Little things used to mean so much to Shelly- I used to think they were kind of trivial. Believe me, nothing is trivial. " - The Crow

Friday, 8 September 2017

What happened after I rediscovered Goth - the chronicles of a thirty something year old baby bat

 When I originally published this post on my old Little Corp Goth Girl blog, I only came back to Goth a year or two prior. I considered myself a "baby bat" at that time because when I was originally Goth in the 90's as a teenager, in my area, we didn't really have that term. When I came back to the subculture in my mid thirties, and discovered such a term existed, I was enthralled (I do realize some people don't share this sentiment). I thought it was cute and I was also little sad. Am I too old to be called a baby bat? Yes, in my enthusiasm, I wanted to be called one! I realized the subculture changed a little from what I remembered and in a way, I was rediscovering many things for the first time. For instance, back in my day, Cyber Goth, didn't have those wires/dread thingies in their hair, I think it was just beginning at that time. I remember thinking how cool they all looked! Back in my day (fuck, I sound old) Cyber was just starting to emerge. In fact, in Montreal, people referred to them as Gravers (Gothic ravers) and I thought that was really cool! In addition, a little off topic, what I have noticed about Montreal is how inclusive we really are. No one really cares whether or not someone is a Cyber/Rivet head/ or insert subset of Goth here. You are one of us and if you are really cool, we will accept you. I don't venture out as much as I would like (kid, health problems, "adulting" bullshit) but when I do, while I am sure there are assholes out there, they seem to be very few and far between. If any locals reading this, if you want to chime in and help out this recluse, please do so!

I had a very good knowledge on the subculture when I came back. I didn't properly express this in my original post, back in my old blog. For some reason, much to my surprise, this very post got really popular. Many people often asked if I was new to goth, being in my thirties and what it was like. I would like to make this clear . I was goth as a kid. I wasn't experiencing the subculture for the first time! The Goth virginity ship sailed a long time ago! I was Goth for many years but unfortunately, the pressures of conforming got to me. I got engaged, wanted kids, it was during the recession, I was looking for work, and well, I just stopped wearing black and paying attention to what was happening in the subculture. It was the most depressing time of my life. So, this is what happened to me when I came back to Goth and some of the push back I received:

I have to say, 90% of the people who knew me were not surprised. Most probably didn't even care. Some made a joke that I grew out of my "normal" phase and glad to see I was no longer depressed. It was no big deal.

Then there were the others. The Tribbles (re: normies) as I like to call them who had nothing but negative things to say. Not only did these people stab me in the back but I was also stabbed in the front. Be forewarned. It may not happen to you but it always seems someone has something to say!

These people greeted me with open arms when they saw photos of me on social media with blonde hair, bright blue shirts and how I looked like everyone else. They accepted me. It felt good to get approval because in the past, they made it very clear that they didn't approve of my goth phase.

"You look so normal now", "look at that blonde hair, let's hang out", "no offense, I didn't really want to hang out with you when you were goth. I was embarrassed to be seen with you" Normalcy=immediate acceptance despite the fact I still had my odd, quirky personality.

When I ditched the whole "normal" charade, the Tribbles once again said all sorts of things, they even tried to give me advice and even implied that I was being selfish because I am a mom now. I should dress the part!  Did you know that being a mom entailed a uniform? Behind my back and even to my face, it was said that I was doing it to attract male attention. We all know that stereotype! Some of them said that  I am a mother now and I shouldn't be viewed as a sex symbol because you know, to these people, Goth means just that. Being a mom meant wearing an apron and baking cookies and shit. Oh yeah, and speaking about being a woman, I was asked very personal questions whether or not I was going to have a second one when my son turned two years old. Some of them knew full well the difficulties I had with conceiving and child birth.  Sorry, I am not a tribble, I don't procreate like one either! Ha! No, that was not why I called them that. In Star Trek, Tribbles all look a like and they multiply like crazy. I originally called them Tribbles because of them looking a like, the procreation part came later!

It seems like my body and what I decided to do with it was coming at me from all angles.The funny thing is, when I was "normal" you don't know how many whistles I received from strange men. You don't know how many unwanted advances I got from from people. You would think it was the other way around since stereotypically speaking, goths are supposedly easy, I must be having affairs every night! Jeez, I wonder where I would find time for that with a small child to take care of but anyways. That one amused me the most.

The all time best, it was greatly implied that I was a bad mother because I started dressing goth again. Oh noes! Can you believe it? How dare I raise my child to have an open mind? Shame on me! Damn me to hell!

Another classic "what would your husband say?" Like my husband would be daft enough to tell me what to do with my body! He knew me in High School. He met me as a goth. We started dating when I was still goth. While he was supportive, he was kind of sad that I ditched the clothing. Not because of anyway he viewed me, because he knew that the clothing represented who I am. He was happy and is usually more than willing to overlook my spending towards new clothing items today and every other damned day!

Some people just stopped talking to me altogether. They never seen me as a little Gothling, only as the normal Barbie doll incarnation so they were shocked. One person said "we have nothing in common anymore" although I pointed out that nothing really changed except for my clothes.

I was accused of having some midlife crisis. I couldn't handle being a new mom. I was depressed. I didn't know being in my early thirties was considered mid-life? Is it?

My all time favourite "I really like you. I really want to be your friend but I just wish you could dress normal like everyone else" That one cracked me up. I never knew friendship meant having a dress code.

Some people just unfriended me from Facebook. I blinked and they were gone!

The thing is, none of that bothered me. Being unfriended on Facebook really was like the trash was taking itself out for me! It was wonderful! The people who mattered, didn't make a big deal about it. The nicest thing someone told me once is that I make a cool mom. It helped me find out who my real friends were.

So if you are thinking of dusting off your old pair of Doc Martens and cutting your hair into a death hawk after all these years, why not? What do you have to lose? Nothing. In fact, you gain new friends, you keep the good ones and you can re-experience the whole subculture once again.This time as an adult! I know this maybe biased but come on... you know you want to!Besides, in my opinion, isn't part of being Goth a way of saying "fuck you" to the mainstream? Well, it is to for me, at any rate.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Thank you for bringing me here, for showing me home. Depeche Mode concert

Last night, I was privy to some really good seats and by good seats, I mean I was probably in the 10th row from the center stage for the Depeche Mode concert. This is all thanks to my friend's amazing ticket buying skills and my bank account cried a little when I purchased my ticket back in March. Like last summer, when I went to see The Cure, Depeche Mode was on my bucket concert list. I have been listening to this band for two decades! I did not regret my purchase! That was a really fucking awesome concert. If you can get tickets in your area, you should go, it was a real treat for me!

I did go to work yesterday and was in a rush afterwards to get to the Bell Centre early (I wanted to buy t-shirts) so I wore something that can easily be gothed up by wearing a corset over it. While my work is a little more lenient over dress codes than most places, I know corsets would be a big no-no and besides, I would be uncomfortable wearing one all day! I decided to go with my faux corset. It is more of a corset belt than an actual corset but I thought it looked cool with my dress! The entire dress is made of lace with a nice plain black fabric underneath. You don't really see the lace pass my stomach since I am wearing leggings underneath.

I also wore heels and regretted it. I had floor level tickets. We all stood up through the entire concert but I had socks so I took my shoes off! A girl's gotta do, what a girl's gotta do! I left to get to the concert in a hurry and forgot to put on my Doc Martens1 I really should have worn the Docs in the morning but I was also in a hurry to leave and didn't have time to lace up 14 holes!  I swear, I should win an award for playing beat-the-clock on a daily basis! Method to my madness!

Here is an example of where I was sitting. Sorry about the quality. Took the pic with my phone. Back in my day, we used lighters, now we use our cell phones!

I took these photos in a rush. I almost lost my balance (I am a klutz) so I cropped it as much as I could. Look at my sexy blurry arm...wooooh!!!

Originally, I wasn't going to post this but I lost a lot of weight and am quite proud of my ass so I thought I would show it off!!!!

Lastly, I did post some very short live videos last night on my personal Facebook. Since it was filmed via Smartphone, the sound is shitty but you can get a general idea of what went on. I did share my favourite video on this blog's Facebook page. I highly recommend you go check it out. Feel free to "like" my page too.

Monday, 4 September 2017

DIY idea: welcome sign

*Taken from the old blog but meh...I had fun doing this so I thought I would put it here*

I wanted to put up a welcoming sign in my front hall but I am too cheap to buy something fancy! I went to my local dollar store and bought: a paint canvas (about $3.00), black acrylic paint (about $1.50) and a silver marker pen (about $1.50) That's right folks, the total project cost me under $10.00! I also bought extra brushes too.

Now, I simply painted the entire canvas black and then hung it to dry. I was surprised that the thing dried rather quickly, I was planning on doing the rest the next day but ended up doing it all in the same day! 

What I liked about this project was when I made a spelling error and I totally screwed up drawing my bat. I just re-painted it all over again with my acrylic paint. I suggest buying two silver pens, mine was running out fast. 

This is the finished product:

Can you guess where this quote is from? Just in case, it reads: "...Welcome to my house. Come freely. Go safely; and leave something of the happiness you bring"

Friday, 1 September 2017

30 Cool Things

I thought this was fun when I did it over on my old blog that I thought I should regurgitate it over here! If you are a blogger yourself, I tag you to do the same if you like. I am always interesting in hearing about the people behind the blog!

1) I can speak, read and write in two languages fluently (English and French)

2) I dyed my hair many different colors, especially in my teens. At one point I had pink hair, blue hair, red, blonde, black etc.

3) I married my best friend

4) I have a gorgeous, happy and healthy son

5) My son and I both could have died during child birth but we obviously survived!

6) I am not afraid to speak my mind

7) Played bass guitar

8) Played piano

9) Grew my hair really long and cut it really short so I can donate it to locks of love

10) I am very involved in sustainability and protecting mother earth, which leads to...

11) I planted a tree when I was in Elementary school and the tree is still there! I even made it in the local newspaper!

12)My picture was also in the newspaper a second time when they opened a park up at my old elementary school

13) I was in the newspaper a third time in high school. This time, I made front page! I was chosen to paint abstract objects with a local artist. My artwork was then used to decorate the school cafeteria. How cool was that?

14) My poetry got published in a teen journal and book at the age of 17

15)  I cut ties with toxic people. I don't care whether I have known them since childhood, all my life or whether or not they were blood relatives. I have been much happier since.

16) I spoke publicly to my entire high school class graduating year. I was nominated valedictorian and I turned it down because I was bullied. I told everyone during a public assembly at school (we were being voted on our speeches, no less) that I had nothing positive to say about my classmates and while I was honored to be nominated by my teachers, this was something I did not want to do because I had nothing positive to say about my classmates. I pretty much told the entire graduating class to fuck off (without actually saying it) and in the end, a lot of people apologized to me. 

17) I was diagnosed with depression and hospitalized for a suicide attempt at 16. Despite the hurdles, I can maintain a happy healthy life, without meds and have been doing so for a little over 15 years now. In fact, I am an advocate towards mental health and while I do firmly believe that meds can work for some people, personally,  don't require them.

18) I talked someone out of suicide

19) I attended a political rally

20) Gave money to friends in need

21) Can cook a delicious Christmas supper (turkey and all the trimmings) for my husband and son

22)  I can remain calm and collected when faced with a state of emergency. In fact, during my last injury, I freaked people out because despite being in a lot of pain, I was making jokes/smart-ass remarks the whole time.I will be taking a CPR course in the next couple of weeks because I feel like my calm nature would be beneficial in times of crisis.

23)Been to England

25) Been to New York City

26) Pierced my own nose and ears as a teenager (not recommended)

27) Cried over fictional characters. Seriously, if you have not read the Dragonlance series, I highly recommend the first three books. If you have read these, you probably know what happened that made me cry! No spoilers in the comments, please!

28) Used to take ballet lessons

29) I can burp louder than most guys. Yes, I am proud of this.

30) I head bang to Bohemian Rhapsody in the car (when I am not driving, that is) just like in Wayne's World!

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Alternative Blogger Of the Month: Cafe Lestrange

If you have beeen reading my blog for this past month, you would most probably know by now that every last Wednesday of the month, I plan on featuring a fellow blogger. This month, I chose Aji Lastrange from Café Lastrange. 

The idea was highly influenced by a blog post written by Mutant Stomp Friends where she gives advice on how to grow your blog because it seems like lately, the blogging community has diminished. I wanted to help and offered any new bloggers with a small following to message me and I would happily give them a shout out on my blog.

Now back to my blogger of the month, Café Lastrange. 

Aji started her blog in January 2014 with a welcome message. Since then, she has made many DIY posts about revamping her bedroom, to jewellery making to discussing the going-ons with Voltaire. What can I say? This chick has some great taste! The posts she does make, are well written and she appears to have a very good knowledge on the Goth subculture. Aji also won the Black Rose Top Blogger award in 2015.

This girl has some good content, she has a wonderful sense of humour (I love her comments) and if you are not following her, I highly recommend that you do.

Now, go comment on her page and show her some love!

P.S - I am biased, her blog has café in it... what's not to love about a café????

 You can now consult my "Blogger Of The Month" tab at the top of my page to see links from the blogs I have featured every month. No spoilers!!!

Monday, 28 August 2017

The Darkling Tag (in video form)

I was nominated by several bloggers for this tag - thank you. I also noticed that many fellow bloggers are also crediting Graveyard Kittens for the original questions so I should also do the same and in the meantime, I am going to say "thank you" to her as well.

I am lazy so I did a video instead of a blog. If you are lazy like me, I have the questions below if you want to copy/paste. There are some questions I missed in the video so I wrote out my responses below. This is open to anyone who would like to participate. I lost track of who did this so feel free to participate if you like.

Here are the questions:

💀 What is your favorite candle scent?

💀 Do you have a favorite book?
💀 Are you a tea or coffee person?

💀 What is your favorite brand and color of lipstick?  
 For some reason, I skipped this one in error. It is Kat Von D lipstick called Vampira.

💀 What is your favorite perfume/cologne?

💀 Do you have a celebrity crush?

💀 If you had to give up the color black, what color would you choose instead?
I missed this one too. I would never be in a position to give up black. Never! 

💀 If you could change your name to a stereotypical 90s/2000s gothy name, what would it be?

💀 What are your top three tips for surviving hot weather while black clad?

💀 What song will always make you happy (doesn’t have to be a goth band)?

💀 Are you active in the arts (ex. Play an instrument, paint, write, etc)?

💀 If you had a teacup or mug made inscribed just for you, what would you have it say? 
I didn't answer this one but it would be "fuck off, im drinking my coffee"

💀 What is your number one non-gothy hobby?

Thought Provokers:   

💀If you could be a supernatural creature, what would it be and why?

💀What horror monster-based super power would you have?

💀Do you feel confident or comfortable interacting with other Goths or gothy people (online or irl)? Why or why not?

💀Which is more important for a look: Great hair or great makeup? 
For some reason, I didnt answer this one either. I really don't care to be honest. I try to do both but I do have bad hair days and have a tendency to paint my eyeballs while applying meh! 

💀Is there something you wish there was more of in your subculture?

💀Care to share an embarrassing story related to your “darkliness“? 

💀How are you at DIY?

💀Quickly describe your ideal wedding   
I didn't answer this one either... My ideal one would be without my in-laws there to ruin it. Especially when one of them meddled into something that had nothing to do with her and when I called her out on it, all of a sudden, I am not good enough to marry into that family. Well, its been 9 years!  

Confessional (aka True or False):
💀I love watching cheesy romance films
💀 I ALWAYS remember to wash off my makeup at night. 
💀 I sleep with plushies.
💀 I wear non-black pajamas most nights.

💀 I still listen to a boy band that had disbanded years ago.
💀 I think Andrew Eldritch is overrated.
💀 I don’t like vampires.
💀 I don’t like clubs. 

💀 I’m dating a goth/darkly-inclined person. 
💀 I don’t enjoy graveyards. 
💀 Blood makes me queasy. 
💀 I’d sooner faint than pet a spider.
💀 I don’t like haunted houses. 
💀 I still browse Hot Topic’s clearance racks. 
I don't have one here
💀 I’ve never read Dracula.  
💀 I think “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” is a long and boring song.



PS Come back Wednesday where I will be featuring a blogger in order to keep this cool community alive.


Friday, 25 August 2017

My normal years and how I rediscovered Goth

**pulled from the old blog**

 "Not all girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice. I am made of sarcasm and wine and everything fine" - anonymous

 As a teenager, I experimented a lot with my style. Even back then, I had a unique way of dressing.  I also became a total mall goth/baby bat. All that changed when my friend played The Sisters Of Mercy for me. I was so happy, I was crying. That was the sound I was looking for and deep down, I knew the music I was listening to wasn't really goth. My baby bat days were almost over! Don't get me wrong, I still made some rather...ahem..questionable wardrobe choices in the beginning (ie. a woolen cape in the middle of a summer heat wave) my music repertoire no longer consisted of mainly Marilyn Manson and other bands that would fit the famous "mall goth" category.

By the time I reached my mid-twenties, I ditched the goth wardrobe and wore what everyone else wore. I hated it. I felt like I had to be "responsible" and grow up. To me, being goth isn't solely identified with the clothes you wear. It is just that, clothes. Despite still listening to the music and reading what would be considered Gothic literature, it hurt me that I gave away my Goth clothes to Goodwill but I felt like I had to change. I was at a point in my life, I needed to settle down in a job and I started to think about starting my own family. Having children was really important to me.

Ironically enough, those were the darkest days of my life. I never recognized myself when I looked in the mirror. I wore clothes because I most certainly couldn't go out in my pajamas. I also went through a lot of personal trauma around that time which also didn't help matters. It was easier to blend in but blending in didn't offer me any personal comfort either.

Every time I wore something, someone, somewhere, would make a comment on how I would make a good goth! Shopping was no longer a fun filled experience, it was an ordeal. I bought what was on sale because why spend good money on something I didn't really like? My friends would play spot the goth undertones because as much as I tried to say I was no longer goth, I was on the inside and it reflected in some of the things I would wear.

Being goth wasn't a choice, it is part of who I am. It is just like if you were gay, you didn't choose to be it, you were.

During those times, I had blonde hair, wore blue jeans and pink tops. I made friends with people who dressed like me and I felt alone. What hurt me the most, when I was "normal" certain people, be it friends, acquaintances, even family members (I do emphasise certain, not ALL) was the acceptance I got from these people because I ditched the dark wardrobe. I was finally accepted by them because I was dressing more within their views on what people should wear. I was a sheep.

 I was very pregnant with my son back then. Lots of pregnant ladies get that huge nose before they give birth, I was one of them.Holy shit!

Not long after I had my son, something in me snapped. Being pregnant and a new mother put lots of pressure on me.It seems like no matter what I did, my parenting choices were always scrutinised and I was often made to feel like a bad parent. I didn't co-sleep, child abuse! I bottle fed, oh no, my son is going to end with a low IQ and not thrive! I drank coffee while pregnant (the one coffee per day my doctor permitted)  I was committing infanticide in the womb! Everything I did and ate was placed under a microscope and judged. I realised that as a teenager, I never cared what people thought of me. That was liberating. I held my head up with pride. I was happy. I surrounded myself by like-minded, less toxic, more positive people. As an outsider, the non-goths would never guess this but these were the people that held me up. These were the people where I was able to converse with and actually enjoy talking to since I didn't have the usual boring conversations that centered around more mundane, boring subjects.  I was never made to feel like I was doing something wrong. We talked about art, music, and life in general. These conversations left me walking away with having learned something new. This is where it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe...I can go shopping and get some new things that are black? Something in me "squeed" at that thought about returning to the alternative stores that I used to frequent and my husband commented on how he has not seen me that passionate in a long time. We went shopping that weekend and I spent far too much money.

That shopping experience stood out. I remember how nice it was to talk with other like-minded people within the Goth community. This is one thing I like about Montreal; The majority of Goths in this city are super friendly and nice. I am sure you can meet the occasional elitist or asshole but for the most part, my local community seems to be pretty welcoming and not very judgemental. Well, these are my personal experiences, maybe it is not the same for someone else?  It was breathtaking to have conversations, usually somewhat silly without someone looking at me like I was from another planet. There is so much more than talking about kids, the weather, what sports team won and other boring details about the game play. It was nice to talk to someone and not hear "it is nice you look normal now. I like what you are wearing" sort of conversations. I got to talk about bands that I listen to and other like-minded subjects.

I slowly starting integrating new pieces in my wardrobe. I dyed my hair dark purple. I got my labret (lip) pierced. Things were coming along nicely. I felt happy. I smiled and I had a wonderful realization: your life, hobbies, interests and other general things that make you happy should never be put aside because you became a parent. Yes, I do not have the time or energy I used to have to go clubbing but life doesn't stop because you become a wife and a mother. My husband fell in love with me - the goth me, not the person I became and Voltaire's song "where's the girl" holds true to him when I went normal. You have no idea how much I appreciated him standing by me during this time.

So these were my "responsible years" where I foolishly felt like I needed to do everything right. There is so much pressure on young parents these days! Having my son enabled me to see the world once again. I realized there was more than just being a parent. I did not have to stop living because I had a kid. I could still be me AND a mother AND a wife.

Children learn from their folks. What kind of example was I showing my son by being so unhappy? I want him to be comfortable with who he was and here I am showing him the opposite. I wasn't comfortable with who I was. I didn't like looking in the mirror because it felt like a stranger looking back at me. I became everything I morally was against. Worst of all, I was teaching my son a lesson I really did not want him to learn. Me finding goth again wasn't a rebellion against society, as much as it might sound like it was. Me finding goth again was coming back to who I was.

My work has no issues with the way I look. I respect the fact that while I do have some advantages that I didn't in previous jobs there are still some limitations, which I respect. Outside of work, there are times that I do feel judged or my parenting skills are questioned because of my outward appearance but I know that deep down, this also happened when I "fit in" I learned that no matter what I did or didn't do with my kid would be under constant scrutiny by people. Just like an elitist asshole within the Goth community, I chalk it up as them projecting their own personal insecurities on me. As time went by, I learned to not give haters the time of day. I have better things to do and worry about so I go about doing what I think is right for MY family. Fuck them!

More and more each day, tattoos and piercings are more acceptable in workplaces than they were 5 years ago. This is from my perception, I am sure it is not the same everywhere. On the other hand, I am lucky to be in a position that if ever I choose to find employment elsewhere, now that I have enough work experience under my belt, I will never take out my piercings or cover up a tattoo for a job ever again. Most importantly, I hope one day my son will never succumb to social pressure like I did. I hope he never should feel that he needs to change anything about who he is for the sake of fitting in. Especially with his peers at school! If he were to come home and tell me he was gay or transgendered or super conservative (you, know, as means to rebel against me), it would never be an issue with me. I would still love him.  It is sad that currently, these trivial things are top issues while the more important things such as world hunger are never a top priority. It seems like the world needs more love now then ever.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Outfit post: Halloween shopping and how to be frugal

Over the weekend I did some shopping with my usual partner in crime (my niece, Lori). We both were a good influence on each other this time around when it came to spending money. We both have some upcoming expenses and we were both able to talk each other out of frugal purchases. For me, it was a challenge to refrain myself from buying all sorts of Halloween items. Turns out Homesense and Bath & Body Works have their items out already. This really is the most wonderful time of the year!

For the record, I do plan on going back in a couple of weeks once I am done paying for Philip's school fees/supplies as well as his upcoming birthday. Time flies, it seems like only yesterday I brought my baby bat home from the hospital and he is turning seven soon. 

This is what I got so far. I need more pumpkin/leave scented candles since I burn those year round!

Special tip on being frugal - In order to help with my impulse shopping, I wore heels so I wouldn't walk/stand around too long! It worked because I spent under the budget I made for myself! You can't really tell that I am wearing heels in the pictures below but rest assured, I had them on!

Off topic, thank you for the Darkling tag. I think so far, three bloggers tagged me. I am getting to it. So many blog posts and videos to make, so little time!

Monday, 21 August 2017

Voltaire's new album: Heart Shaped Wound

For those who know me, know that I adore Voltaire and make it no secret, that I am a total Fan-Girl.I was super stoked to not only be getting his latest album in CD format but in digital download as well! Squeee! I had to make a video! This is my third video and I am getting used to this Youtube business.

P.S. Next Wednesday,  August 30th, I will be calling out a fellow blogger in my Alternative Blogger Of The Month. Don't be shy, contact me if you would like to be featured in next month's!


Friday, 18 August 2017

Outfit post: Not your typical office gal

This is a more corp goth look than anything else. It is rather toned down but I love this skirt as it is very versatile. I can wear it with almost anything. I can goth it up or tone it down and I have owned it for several years now. It is nice to sometimes look a little more polished at work. It is a good way to offset the more gothic looking outfit I wore the day before! My company doesn't really have a dress code so I do stand out wearing heels among the sea of shorts, jeans, sneakers and flip-flops but I dress for me, not to fit in.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Monthly Music Spotlight: Kickoff

Hello! As promised, I wanted to start this whole Monthly Music Spotlight with a bang! I decided to create my own playlist of my favourite songs I used to love to dance to when I was a teenager in the nineties. As promised, there's no The Sisters Of Mercy, The Cure, Siouxsie, Christian Death, Joy Division, Bauhaus, etc. I hope you like it! Come back next month where I will be featuring a band! I hope you enjoy and if there are any goths around my age out there, I hope you get hit with a wave of nostalgia!

P.s. this is a playlist, there are 17 songs total, not just the Like A Prayer cover, there's more!


Monday, 14 August 2017

I shall call these outfits: Goth Mom and wet look

The weather was really odd on Saturday. We had several downpours with hot, crazy humid spells in between. This caused a migraine and I decided not to go to the local goth night that was scheduled. Instead, I met a friend for coffee. In a way, I am happy that things turned out the way it did. It was nice to actually have a conversation with someone in a quiet setting vs screaming over music.

The highlights of my evening were: having great conversations with a cool friend, coffee, scones, and purchasing a box of chocolate covered coffee beans to be consumed (in moderation) at home!

Here is an outfit post that I wore to the coffee place. It is nothing special but I thought it looked cute and in previous years, I would have never had the confidence to wear something like this. It is more of a concern over my weight over anything else. I decided to take public transportation and I got caught in one of these downpours. Here are the before and after photos:

And I got caught in the downpour...10 minutes later, the sun was back out! 

P.S. Don't forget, this Wednesday is my first monthly music spotlight post! I really do hope you will like it!

Friday, 11 August 2017

A thanks, event reminders and summer outfit post

I just want to say thank you to those for your music suggestions. In case you are wondering, long story short, in my previous post, I shared a video I made and discussed music. I asked you to suggest some bands and stated that once a month (every third Wednesday) I will be sharing some music on this page. I may do videos, I may do a blog post. It all depends, I guess.The first music spotlight will happen on Wednesday, August 16th.

In addition, I will also be featuring "An Alternative Blogger Of The Month" post which will happen every last Wednesday of the month. I really want to encourage the Goth/alternative blogging community and if you are a fairly recent blogger, or you are struggling to get readers, please contact me and I will be more than happy to feature you here.

This summer, weather wise, is excellent. We are having a lot of rain, not too many crazy heat waves except for today; it was hot and humid. In the past, I never really knew what to wear for this kind of weather because I was afraid to wear tight or revealing clothes. I gained a lot weight and I just didn't like the way I looked. For me personally, beauty does come in all shapes and sizes, however, I have always been a petite woman. Seeing myself gain weight like that was a huge wake up call for me. I wasn't taking care of myself and I knew I had to do something. I decided it was time for a change. I have lost a good amount of weight since and this year, I am a little more confident and I obviously don't regret that decision.

P.S. - The humidity was very thick...kinda shows in the photos, my apologies!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...