Everlasting Winter

Published March 13, 2014 by Asylum Attendant

I’m beyond sick of winter. I wrote this poem during the snowstorm I sat watching yesterday. Enjoy!

Everlasting Winter

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The colder I become,

My soul feels more and more numb.

Warmth I cannot recall,

Confronted by this icy wall.

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Damaged is my skin,

From fingers long and thin.

The scars will stay on my body;

Weakness I embody.

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Misfortune possesses those close to me;

Health decays rapidly.

Death creeps in when it is darkest,

Barraging the feeble the harshest.

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Entrapment breeds hopelessness,

The frigid air filled with loneliness.

Motivation has no light to grow,

Melting like grimy snow.

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An avalanche of boredom,

I cannot overcome.

I crave transcendence

Above complacence.

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Refrigerated and stale,

Barren and oh-so pale.

A scorching revival

Can thaw my pensive spiral.

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An everlasting Winter

Must eventually wither.

As heat awakens foliage

No longer under hostage.

Melanie Martinez

Published March 4, 2014 by Asylum Attendant

The creepy cute world I live in is pretty small. It takes a lot for a music artist to captivate me sonically and visually. I like a lot of music, but I don’t necessarily connect with every song I enjoy. Even if I can relate to the lyrics, the artist might actually bore me. I know that sounds bad. I really believe that music and visuals are of equal importance. That’s how a story is told. I could never be that artist that just gets on stage with their guitar and sings a couple songs. I respect that, but those aren’t the artists that generally inspire me.

I haven’t come across such a unique artist as Melanie Martinez in quite some time. Not long ago, I stumbled upon her music video for “Dollhouse” and was mesmerized. It brings back memories of discovering Bubblegoth singer Kerli for the first time, creepy dolls included. The song itself starts out sounding like a demented carnival, similar to the iconic Crispin Glover’s “Clowny Clown Clown”. The visuals aren’t as creepy as that video (thankfully lol), but they’re still spooky and stunning. The lyrics are really smart as well. The song explores the concept of perfection and how people may look like dolls to the world, but behind closed doors is where their flaws come out. Dad is cheating on mom, who’s an alcoholic. And the brother is a drug addict. But, the family hides these secrets to the world. Check out the video below:

carousel

Melanie first came into the spotlight on Season 3 of the U.S. singing competition “The Voice”. For her audition, she sang an alternative version of Britney Spears’ “Toxic”, which was really cool. Playing the tambourine with your feet is pretty badass. Melanie only made it to the Top 5 on the show, but that was enough to build a loyal fanbase called the “Little Bows”, suitable as Melanie always wears cute bows in her hair. Melanie’s appearance is very interesting. She has a large gap between her front two teeth, is known for her two-tone hair, and she is clearly influenced by Lolita with her fashion in the “Dollhouse” video. Melanie is an indie artist and has been compared to Lorde, though she reminds me more of Marina and the Diamonds. She plays the guitar and does acoustic performances quite well. I can’t believe she’s only 18!

melanie martinez

Hopefully Melanie’s first album will be released this year! I really stand behind this girl and I think she’s going to be a huge star. I can tell when a musician is just being edgy as a strategy to make more money. Quirky is who Melanie really is. She’s proving that weird can be just as marketable as sexy. Remember: don’t let them look through the curtains…

How To Get A Boyfriend

Published February 15, 2014 by Asylum Attendant

I’m late as always, but Happy Valentine’s Day! I was just going to do a themed photo shoot to celebrate this year like I did two years ago. You can check out that blog post here. But, then I had a cute idea. I could use silly pictures to give relationship advice. Think of it as a checklist of things to do to hook the guy of your dreams. Of course this is all in fun and extra comical because I’ve never had a boyfriend. So, maybe this should be called “What Not To Do When Attracting A Mate”. I don’t understand why these haven’t worked for me all these years…

How To Get A Boyfriend

1.) Mix and match your stockings. Perfection is undesirable. So are shaved legs.

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2.) Wear your heart on your sleeve. Literally.

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3.) Put bows in your hair. Maintain your innocence.

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4.) Apply makeup how you like. Outside opinions mean nothing.

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5.) Smile! Joy is contagious.

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Skeleton hand hair clips double as brooches.

Those are all my tips! In all seriousness, all you need to do to find love is to be yourself. Fall in love with yourself and that light will attract anything you want in life. Your significant other will admire your integrity and that’s true love. I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day, whether you’re in a relationship with someone else or just with yourself. I’ll finish this post with the rest of the photo shoot! <3

Valentines 2014

This was the whole creepy cute look. Sass included.

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I love the creepy masks on this shirt.

Model

Fancy

Fancy

Slut Face/Pose

Slut Face/Pose

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DSCN0706

Transitions

Published February 2, 2014 by Asylum Attendant

January was just weird. And really uninspiring. Bitter, stupid cold temperatures and tons of snow didn’t help. However, some things happened that I must discuss.

I would say it’s been a positive start to the new year for me. I went on a job interview and learned I was the second choice, got an unexpected counteroffer on a job I originally declined, and had a big decision to make. Back in November, I accidentally applied for a support staff job at a mental health agency. I thought it was for a different program than what it ended up being. Two stressful interviews later, I was offered the position. Unfortunately, the pay was $2.00 less than what I make at my current job and the responsibility level was much higher. After much turmoil, I decided to turn the job down. It was hard because I wanted to leave my other job so bad. But, I refuse to get taken advantage of by an employer again. I know my worth.

Come January, I landed an interview for my dream job. I would have been using my degree to help people seeking a wide variety of mental health services. I would get them enrolled in services and conduct face to face assessments. I had applied to the job numerous times before and never got a call. The interview went really well, despite having to drive there in a blizzard. Thanks, Michigan. This is when a wrench got thrown into the mix.

Before I knew the status of the interview, I received a call from the same agency regarding the support staff job I had declined a month earlier. They had liked me so much that they increased the pay by more than $4.00, changed the job title to administrative assistant, and tailored the job to me. I was very flattered. It feels wonderful when a company has that much faith in you. But, what about my dream job that would pay more and be more suited to my strengths?

I called the lady who interviewed me and she informed me that they really liked me, but I was their second choice. Someone else had more experience and was more qualified. I find that hard to believe, but maybe that was a sign from the universe that the job just wasn’t meant for me. She said they wouldn’t be making an offer for a couple more weeks. The other person could decline or accept. I could decline the administrative assistant job for the second time and wait to see if this person declined the other job. Risky! Or I could take the job that wasn’t my first choice, but would still be a great opportunity. It was one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever had to make. Absolutely overwhelming. I have never and will never make decisions easily.

I finally made up my mind. I took the administrative assistant job! It’s full-time, with great benefits and a substantial pay increase. It’s also much closer to my house and an exciting change. I start in a week. I’m so happy to be leaving the soul sucking hell of a job I currently have. A lot of the people I work with are great, but there are some truly horrid people there, too. And the commute is longgg. Really sucks when it decides to snow every single day.

I graduated college two years ago and I thought my life would be different than it is now. I definitely stayed at my go-nowhere job much too long and got comfortable not challenging myself. I got used and when I finally pushed back, I was put on management’s shit list. I don’t feel bad about leaving. I actually hope things fall apart without me. I suppose that’s cruel, but I think being forced to “work” (in quotations because I did all the work while she shopped online) with a loud-mouthed, ghetto, unhelpful bitch for two years straight was a travesty. I’ll stop there before this gets any more negative.

January was so wild that I’m eager to see what the coming months will bring. I’m ready to care again. I’m ready to learn all that I can. I know I’m doing what needs to be done. I’m scared and I’m growing. I got this.

By the way, I thought I’d share a song from the group Aesthetic Perfection’s new album “Til Death” out February 11. I’m loving their new poppy sound! It’s still industrial and dark enough, I think. ;)

Wish me luck at my new job!

The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia

Published January 6, 2014 by Asylum Attendant

I really enjoy reality TV shows like Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, Intervention, True Life, and Gypsy Sisters. If you blend those all together, take away the censors, and greatly amplify the shocking antics, you’d get The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia. It’s a documentary following four generations of the Whites, a family of outlaws from Boone County, West Virginia. This could quite possibly be the most dysfunctional and entertaining family I’ve ever encountered. 

I’ll introduce you to some of the members:

Bertie Mae White:  She’s the matriarch of the White family at 84 years old. Bertie Mae doesn’t like it when her children blow pot in her face and crush up and snort pills. They do it regardless. Bless poor Bertie Mae.

Jesco White:  The wildest White in my opinion, he’s one of Bertie Mae’s children. He’s a “famous” mountain dancer who huffed gasoline growing up, followed in his deceased father D Ray’s dancing footsteps, and legitimately frightens me. The film White Lightnin’ is based loosely on Jesco’s life.

Mamie White:  Mamie is my favorite member of the family. She is Jesco’s older sister and she likes to party. Mamie sings a mean “Coal Miner’s Daughter” and seems to be a prescription drug dealer. She wants her funeral to be a wild party. I respect that.

Mamie White

Sue Bob White: The self-proclaimed sexiest White, Sue Bob is Bertie Mae’s youngest child. Her son Brandon shot a man’s face off and almost killed him. He’s in prison. Apparently she’s in jail now, too. Don’t take her to Taco Bell. I repeat: Under no circumstances should she ever be taken to Taco Bell.

Kirk White: Kirk is one of Bertie Mae’s grandchildren. CPS took her baby before she could even leave the hospital with it. I think it might have been because Kirk and another woman were snorting pills in the hospital room right after she gave birth, but what do I know. Kirk goes to rehab and gets clean by the end of the documentary. But, not before flashing her boobs on a night out.

Those are some awesome names, right? While this documentary is very funny, it’s also eye opening. The culture of Appalachia is very different to that of the rest of the U.S. Coal mining is still a popular and dangerous job there and poverty is just a way of life. Boone County doesn’t seem like an easy place to succeed. I can’t really blame the Whites for resorting to crime to survive. Getting social security checks for all of your children by claiming they’re all crazy is some next level shit, though.

It’s clear that the little kids in the film weren’t raised in the most innocent atmosphere. Kirk’s son Tylor drops f-bombs and says he’s going to kill her ex-boyfriend. He was literally bouncing off the walls after drinking 6 cans of soda. It’s inappropriate behavior for any age, but it’s extra alarming coming from a child. The insane part is that the parents see nothing wrong with their kids swearing and doing whatever they please. That’s how they were raised and the cycle continues.

There’s a rumor floating around that the Whites were supposed to get their own reality TV show. That would be epic! I don’t know what channel could show it, seeing how explicit it is. Mamie claims that Johnny Knoxville, the executive producer, didn’t give the family as much money as they were promised for the film. She feels like her and her family were used and I can definitely agree with her. Throughout the documentary, it was obvious that producers were egging the family on. Shock value sells.

If you love drama, obscenity, and picnic table clogging, then this documentary is a must-see. It kept me enthralled and I’ve watched it numerous times. I swear my Southern ancestors draw me to this stuff.

kirk

Top 13 Albums of 2013

Published January 4, 2014 by Asylum Attendant

Happy New Year all! Last year I did a post on my favorite songs of the year. This time around I’m sharing my favorite albums of 2013. We have a lot to cover, so let’s jump in!

13.) Jewel – Greatest Hits

I know I’ve done a whole post on Jewel, but I have to mention her again. This album exemplifies all that is perfect about Jewel. From her folk roots to her country present and some pop goodness in between. Her updated duets with Kelly Clarkson on “Foolish Games” and Pistol Annies on “You Were Meant For Me” are extra powerful. I recommend this to first time Jewel listeners and long-time fans.

Jewel Greatest Hits

12.) Millionaires – Tonight

Filthy, silly, and fun, Millionaires know how to party. This album could disgust some with its sexually explicit lyrics. You have to be familiar with these girls’ previous work, though. This is tame for them. Trust me. Their electropop rap music is meant to be played on a night out to the club. I love singing to this album in my car. I especially enjoy the song “Drinks On Me” which is all about alcohol. Pour me another shot, girls.

11.) Blood On The Dance Floor – Bad Blood

Definitely my venting album. Bad Blood is a great record to blast when you’re pissed at the world or having a bad day. Sometimes I partake in screaming offensive song lyrics as loud as possible out my car windows. BOTDF always delivers. The hard electronic beats and hardcore lyrics are pretty epic. A negative is when the pair try to be inspirational. Excuse me, but calling someone a basic bitch and then trying to positively influence fans doesn’t work for me. Other than that, this is a solid brutal electronic album.

bad blood

10.) Lorde – Pure Heroine

With a fresh sound and a badass artist name, Lorde has mixed reviews, it seems. I think she’s wonderful. Pure Heroine tells an ordinary story in a novel way. The electronic instrumentation is simple, allowing the listener to interpret the lyrics. Not an album one would expect from a teenager. “Royals” was just so unique to anything else on the radio. None of the other big female names in pop music are singing about the things that Lorde is. Intelligence has nothing to do with age. Give Lorde a try.

9.) Ayria – Plastic Makes Perfect

Industrial dance pop starlet Ayria is virtually unknown to a mainstream audience. Her music is exactly what I would want to jam to in a Goth club. It’s got the perfect mix of pop melody, edgy lyrics, and a darker dance sound. In fact, when I fantasize about being a singer, I would want to be like Ayria. Normal enough to attract an audience, but different enough to stand out. Plastic Makes Perfect is a gothy taste for a typical pop fan.

Ayria Plastic Makes Perfect

8.) Krewella – Get Wet 

Euphoric EDM music embracing love and freedom. Some of you may remember my obsession with their song “Alive” about a year ago. It’s still my mantra, but the rest of this album is equally inspirational. I’m critical of dance music because I love it. These girls and guy take me to another dimension with their crazy beats and epic message of living in the moment. I also really appreciate their presence in a genre dominated by male DJs. A Krewella rave is exactly where I want to be.

7.) Britt Nicole – Gold

I listen to Christian music. Shocked? Yeah, me too. That’s how good Britt Nicole’s music is. Dubstep, rap, and ballads all appear on Gold. I really love the mix of EDM and uplifting lyrics. This album is just a super positive soundscape all around. Britt could be a huge pop star, but she’s chosen to stay true to her Christian roots and that’s admirable. I will never be a religious person, but Britt and I have the same mission: spread love and light. She’s inspiring a lot of kids and I can’t wait to see what she does next.

6.) Skylar Grey – Don’t Look Down

Skylar is a smart girl and a brilliant songwriter. I looked forward to this album for a long time. I didn’t even need to listen to it to know it would be amazing. Her previous work had already convinced me of her talent. Skylar goes against the pop star grain. Her song “Religion” reminds me of Alanis’ “Ironic” in the lyrics and vocal styling used. Don’t Look Down is a no bullshit pop album with bite. Skylar is an underrated gem and that needs to change.

SkylarGrey-DONT LOOK DOWN-Artwork

5.) Charli XCX – True Romance

This album contains many things I love: dark synthpop, dramatic lyrics, and rapper Brooke Candy. The title, True Romance, is fitting as this album explores all aspects of love. The standout track “You – Ha Ha Ha” is a catchy break-up song, while “Take My Hand” describes getting high on love. There is a perfect balance between mainstream appeal and a novel sound. “Deep in black roses, dateless doses”…Charli makes my gothy heart sing! Oh, and the album cover is drop dead gorgeous. Charli’s rad fashion sense would stop me in my tracks if I saw it in a store.

True Romance

4.) Natalia Kills – Trouble

Natalia Kills, the Queen of Dark Pop, returned this year with her second album Trouble. She explores some pretty dark themes, like a broken childhood on the gorgeous song “Saturday Night” and the dangerous influence of the media on “Television”. The awesome thing about Natalia is she will have you singing and dancing to disturbing stuff when you stop to think about it. Her songs are like mini dramas that could easily unfold on film. The Alice in Wonderland inspired “Rabbit Hole” about teenage sex takes me back to the song “Wonderland”, my favorite from her first album. Who doesn’t want to sing about screwing like rabbits? lol

3.) Britney Spears – Britney Jean

Britney Jean feels different from a typical Britney album. At the same time, it’s definitely a Britney album. It’s sexy, catchy, danceable, and a bit personal. Or, at least as personal as can be expected for Britney. The songs “Alien”, “Perfume”, and “Passenger” come from a genuine place. They feel real. Fear of infidelity, surrendering control in a relationship, and feeling like an outcast are all universal experiences. Fierce “Work Bitch” Britney is great and that fills the other half of the album. “Til It’s Gone” has that David Guetta dance sound I adore, making it my favorite on the album. This is definitely some of Britney’s best work. Bitch worked. Hard.

2.) Panic! At The Disco – Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die

Synthpop heavy and filled with theatrics, I feel like this newest album from P!ATD is inspired by Depeche Mode. And I fucking love it. The distorted vocals fit nicely with the dance beat backdrop. The haunting “Far Too Young To Die” conjures up images of a dreary day walking alone in the city. It’s a lonely and desperate song, but it’s beautiful. “Nicotine” equates bad love to an addiction and “Girls/Girls/Boys” discusses the confusion that comes with love. The lyrics of the album are strange at times, but that’s typical Panic! style. I really like the direction the band took with this album. It’s exciting when artists you’ve loved for a long time switch it up.

1.) Demi Lovato – Demi

I would have never guessed this album as my favorite of the year. I bought it on a whim and I don’t have any of Demi’s other CDs. I heard her first single off it, called “Heart Attack”, got obsessed with it, and thought the album might be equally amazing. I was blown away. Every single song is spot on amazing and relevant to my life. This is a pop album through and through. I get bored with music quickly, but I probably played this album for a month straight in my car. Demi is a Summer album for sure. It’s full of energy, light, and is super easy and tempting to sing along to. “Neon Lights” is a rad dance track I naturally gravitated to. Slow songs like “In Case” and “Shouldn’t Come Back” are heartbreakingly sincere. Demi is a tremendous vocalist and very honest in her music and life. Unlike some other Disney stars, she was absolutely born to sing. Albums rarely entrance and inspire me. This does both. Thank you for sharing your remarkable journey, Demi.

Whew! Those were my picks. I had such a hard time placing these albums with numbers. They all feel like my children, so how can one be better than the next?! haha

I know I’m beyond terrible at posting here, but I’m looking forward to a great 2014. This is going to be the year of elevation and hard work. I don’t know what to expect and that’s really fun! This is just the beginning for Asylum Attendant. I haven’t even opened the asylum doors yet…;)

Lots of love,

~Asylum

Teenage Music

Published November 30, 2013 by Asylum Attendant

I’ve been thinking about my teenage years lately. I went through a lot of changes during that time. I’m going through some big changes now, so that could be why I’m nostalgic. My music taste then and now is different but the same. I thought it would be fun to share some music and stories from that period of my life. I won’t lie: most of my teen years were horrible. Music helped me through the shit times. That’s why I relate to musicians I’ve never met more than people I know in real life. They were my friends when I didn’t have any. I feel so lame saying that, but it’s totally true. Let’s take a visit to the past…

Rihanna – Umbrella

I decided to start with a song that represented a huge transition in my life. “Umbrella” came out during the last few months of my Senior year of high school. That was a really scary, exciting time. I wanted to leave that terrible school behind, but I was going out into the unknown. So, I was happy and a bit sad. I think “Umbrella” represents those mixed emotions. The lyrics are kind of melancholy, but the message is positive. I knew I would get through the transition when I listened to this song. I remember learning the dance moves from this video and obsessively trying to find an umbrella from Rihanna’s line. I really liked Rihanna before this song, but I fell in love with her after it came out. “Umbrella” was my personal graduation theme song.

Lil’ Kim – Lighters Up

I liked rap a lot more as a teen than I do now. It dominated the radio and I liked how unfiltered it was. I wanted to shed my innocence and be rebellious. I also had a Lil’ Kim obsession. “Lighters Up” just made me laugh. I know it’s not meant to be funny, but the lyrics were so shocking that I couldn’t help it. I was stupid and young. Good times were had with this gem. The TV show Lil’ Kim: Countdown to Lockdown also greatly inspired me. :P

Megan McCauley – Reverie

This song represents my darker teenage years. It’s as if Megan took all the pain I was feeling and put it into “Reverie”. I can’t even explain how much this song has got me through. I cry almost every time I listen to it. I think that having songs like this to listen to when I was suicidal saved me. It made me feel understood and justified for feeling the way I did. I wasn’t alone. Megan is really special and I don’t know what happened to her. She only released the one album, which is such a shame. There’s a rumor floating around that she died, which I really hope is untrue. Her music will always stay with me.

Operator Please – Leave It Alone

These kids were rad as hell. I discovered them on this world music TV channel (International Music Feed) which was the BOMB. Of course, they got rid of it, but almost all of the music I listened to at that time I found on that channel. What I loved most about Operator Please was how unique they were. All of them were quite young, but super talented. I loved the addition of violin to the band. That’s probably because I had just discovered Emilie Autumn at the time as well. I had a crush on band member Ashley, too. And tried to look like him. That happened a lot with all the bands I liked as a teen. I thought all the guys were hot and I copied their style. It makes me sound like a poser, which I kind of was. What can you do.

T.I. – What You Know

I didn’t necessarily love this song. But, I love the memories associated with it. I remember driving around all the time with my older brother blasting this song. It was so simple, but so damn fun. We’ve always related to each other through music because we don’t have anything else in common. He’s a super masculine, sports fanatic and I’m not. But, we both love music. And speeding around together in a Monte Carlo playing it loud is best. I remember the feeling of freedom and escape. Sometimes we would sneak out late at night to drive places without our parent’s permission and that thrill was amazing. Innocent fun. I miss it!

Panic! At The Disco – I Write Sins Not Tragedies

This could sound crazy, but I feel like this music video and this band profoundly effected my teenage years. I didn’t just like the video for “I Write Sins Not Tragedies”. It captivated me. I recall seeing it on TV for the first time and realizing that it was okay to start being myself. I saw theatrics, fantasy, and guys with long hair and makeup. The video opened up an entirely new lifestyle to me. I grew my hair long and started dressing the way I wanted. I finally started to show my femininity to the world instead of hiding it away. I embraced being an individual. They were just tiny steps towards the confident, honest person I am today, but they were huge at the time. I listened to Panic!’s first album to shreds. These guys were my heroes. I think they’ll always be my favorite band because of how much their music and visuals helped me. As an artist, I want to create stuff like they have. Such a huge inspiration for me.

These other songs don’t really have stories, but I wanted to include them, too:

Boys Like Girls – The Great Escape

The Veronicas – Untouched

Beyonce – Irreplaceable

Lady Gaga – Poker Face

Bonus: Random pics of me as a teen. Yeah…

Teenager 2

Why so angsty?! lol

18. Dyed my hair black for the first time.

18. Dyed my hair black for the first time.

<3

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