Carpe Nocturne: Summer Steampunk Issue 2015

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Carpe Nocturne Summer 2015
Steamy weather outside means that the Summer Steampunk issue of Carpe Nocturne is finally here. We have a male cover model this time with an epic handlebar moustache. This issue covers Steampunk music from around the world, gear-filled events you’ll want to learn more about and our new poetry feature, Dark Corners. Check out my article on the hilarious, but talented Goth musician Aurelio Voltaire, my interviews with Swedish latex model Arathin (whose blog you all should check out) and anti-bullying group Heroes United Against Cosplay Bullying, my CD reviews of bands Atomzero and Suicidal Romance, my legendary (haha) poem Teatime, and the debut of my LGBTQ column, Sanctuary of the Strange. I’m most thrilled about the LGBTQ column since it’s obviously closest to my heart and very personal. I’ve always wanted to create my own sanctuary and it’s happening.

LGBTQ
We’ve switched to Magzter for the digital releases moving forward and I think the quality and such is much better. You can also now access the magazine on your phone or tablet, which is awesome. Pick up a digital or print copy at http://www.carpenocturne.net or http://www.magzter.com.

Now, I must get back to writing for Fall. The pressure is on for our Goth issue. Just wait and see what I’ve got up my creepy little sleeve. ;)

Darkling Tag

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Did someone say tag?! My friend Samm Sanity tagged me to do the Darkling Tag and I couldn’t resist. Thanks much girl! Questions about graveyards and how to survive the Summer in black clothes are right up my alley. I even wore a tight top just for everyone’s enjoyment. Loves it.

I tag my good friend and fellow WordPress blogger Izzy and another cool YouTuber named Oriana Bats. I’ll include the questions below in case anyone else wants to give it a go. :D

Questions:
1. What is your favorite candle scent?

2.Do you have a favorite book?

3.Are you a tea or coffee person?

4.What is your favorite brand and color of lipstick?

5.What is your favorite perfume/cologne?

6.Do you have a celebrity crush?

7.If you had to give up the color black, what color would you choose instead?

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

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

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

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

12.If you had a teacup or mug made inscribed just for you, what would you have it say?

13.What is your number one non-gothy hobby?

14.If you could be a supernatural creature, what would it be & why?

15.What horror monster-based super power would you have?

16.Do you feel confident or comfortable interacting with other Goths or gothy people (online or IRL)? Why or why not?

17. Which is more important for a look: Great hair or great makeup?

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

19.Care to share an embarrassing story related to your “darkliness“?

20.How are you at DIY?

Quickly describe your ideal wedding.

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’ve never read Dracula.

I think “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” is a long & boring song.

Summer Vacation 2015

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I’m back from my vacation at St. Joseph and it was phenomenal! The sugar sand beaches, awesome restaurants and eclectic shops made for a great time. I got some much needed rest amongst the gorgeous backdrop of Lake Michigan. St. Joe might be my favorite place to stay along the lake. Picture time!

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Silver Beach

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View from our rental house. The water was really choppy due to high winds.

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The views were absolutely stunning. My family rented a luxury home on the bluff overlooking the lake. Needless to say, I’ll always have to have lake views at all the places I stay in the future. The home itself was uber modern and totally decked out. Everything was brand new and fancy. Can I just move in immediately?

The house

The house

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The town of St. Joe was really fun to explore. It’s very artsy and there are many unique shops to experience. There were these really cute painted animal statues all around town that I just adored. I saw a couple weddings while we were there as well. Heck, now that I can get married (thanks Supreme Court!), I’d absolutely do it in St. Joe.

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Whale with a duck in a cowboy hat in the distance lol

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The rainbow frog was my fave

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This was a sign outside one of the shops. Love how discreet it is. :P

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Epic wall art

I work with a lady who grew up in St. Joe, so she filled me in on things I had to experience. One of those was dining at The Grand Mere Inn. Oh my, the food was delicious. Parmesan chicken, homemade pasta, vintage décor and fresh picked flowers and candles on the tables…I felt rich for a second. Silver Beach was another must visit. I could have stayed there the entire trip. There was so much to do at the beach. I walked along the shore, rode the carousel that was created in an old ballroom, checked out the lighthouses on the pier and even met an eccentric lady walking her pet parrot on a stroller. I loved it all.

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This was a huge kaleidoscope that you could stand under in the old ballroom.

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Trains run right through the action. I was sad I didn’t see one since we ate pizza right next to the tracks at Silver Beach Pizza.

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Me and my sister. She’s usually not this nice. haha

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Me and my tall brother

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Mom and dad. Aren’t they cute?

Old photo in the ballroom that I enjoyed.

Old photo in the ballroom that I enjoyed.

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The weather was colder than we would have liked. Some days it barely even hit 70 degrees! So, the lake was cold. I also threw my back out really bad the second day on vacation. Painful. Almost a week later, it’s still screwed up. This was my sign to start working out again. Yoga needs to start happening. We even had our own vacation pet, a cute cat the visited us a couple times. It was elusive, but I got a picture.

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Bluffs are kind of scary.

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View from the upper balcony

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Kitty

I know that was a lot of photos. haha I wanted to make a video with the lake in the background, but my messed up back didn’t allow it. Oh well. I had a really wonderful vacation and would love to go back to St. Joe very soon. Now it’s back to the grind. :( My next post will be a video of me answering the Darkling Tag! I’m so excited. Big thanks to Samm Sanity for tagging me. I’ll talk to you guys very soon.

Pity Party

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Sometimes I feel like no one even reads my blog anymore. I suppose I can’t expect much, since I don’t post regular content. Yet, my WordPress friends seem to have disappeared. I have 154 followers and only hear from one or two of you guys. Is it me? Does my content suck? Have I changed too much? These are questions I would love to get some answers to. Please talk to me!

I love writing about music, but I do that for the magazine now. I honestly don’t feel like doing it here as well. I’ve also been thinking about my anonymity lately. My alter ego Asylum Attendant is growing all the time. Carpe Nocturne has thousands of readers who could look me up. People in my real life are starting to find out about my artist name and might even be reading this blog. All it takes is a Google search. I secretly always wanted that to happen so that I could be completely honest about myself. The sad reality is that not everyone will understand what I do here. I’m too out there for some people. I just hope I’m not judged too harshly. There’s no going back from the new world I’ve created for myself.

On the magazine end, I love sharing all of the exciting things I’m working on with you guys. Unfortunately, there are spies from competitors out there. I wish I was joking. Coincidences only go so far. While it will be hard for me to keep things under wraps, that is what I have to do moving forward. I work way too hard to have my ideas or the ideas of any of our other writers stolen. I can say that Carpe Nocturne will be debuting a new poetry column next month. Teatime, anyone? ;)

Work on my new house has been exhausting. Yesterday, I moved a bunch of furniture out to the garage and ripped up carpet in preparation for the floor renovation. I am so sore. We found hardwood floors under the carpet covered in mold. What a waste! Sadly, work on the floors will not begin until August 11. I’m hoping that the company’s schedule opens up and they can get started early. Because nothing else can be done until the floors are finished. My family and I made a shocking discovery when we started to rip up the carpet in one of the bedrooms. My deceased uncle had stashed a large sum of money under the carpet. While disturbing, it’s actually a good thing. Firstly, it proves that he wasn’t robbed, which was everyone’s worst fear. Secondly, my uncle was very distrusting of banks and kept large sums of money on his person for that reason. We were on the lookout for stacks of cash at his house because he was known to hide money in random places. My mom is very happy because the money will pay for my uncle’s headstone.

DIY gone wrong

DIY gone wrong

Floor 2

It’s almost vacation time! I’ll be heading to Lake Michigan for the first time in three years after the Fourth of July. I can’t wait for some rest and relaxation on a bluff overlooking the blue water. Seriously, Lake Michigan is just as beautiful as any ocean. I didn’t get a vacation at all last Summer thanks to the massive flood in my basement. So, this is a well deserved holiday. Who’s idea was it for people to have to work in the Summer anyway? I was also really hoping to go to Toronto for the first time in August, but my plans just didn’t work out. It would have been one of the most epic things I’ve ever done. Alas, there’s always next year.

My romantic life is just as confusing as ever. I love it when people from my past try to come back into my life. I don’t want to make the same mistakes again. When another person finally starts opening up, it’s difficult just to shrug them off. I know that nothing good will come of any kind of relationship with this person. But, I’m lonely. Luckily, I have the control and I think I’m strong enough to avoid them. So damn complicated.

I’ll end with a new song from indie artist Melanie Martinez. She has a Carrie moment and sets fire to her own birthday party when none of her friends show up. Melanie is all kinds of crazy and I can’t get enough. I would attend her pity party.

Happy Summer everyone!

Photographic (Depeche Mode Cover)

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Surprise! Guess who’s making music again in a big way?! I knew my first music video and return to music would be a Depeche Mode cover and I made it happen. “Photographic” is dark and robotic, the perfect soundtrack to an 80’s horror film. The synths are insane. I spent a lot of time recording vocals and filming/editing the video. You can see me arm dance, randomly adopt a British accent and bring out my inner Britney Spears. Yes, she’s responsible for any slut that jumps out of me. The process was so much fun. I sing and dance all the time in my bedroom. This video is simply that with a camera on.

You can download the cover for free on my Soundcloud page. I really hope everyone enjoys this. I’ll probably record a more modern song next time with just as much synth action and potentially less clothes. ;)

Crawl Spaces and Synthwave

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So much is going on lately, most of which is very good. There is a setback with my new house. I’m still forging ahead, but it will take longer before I can move in. The house has a crawl space and me and my family have noticed a damp smell any time we are in the house. First, we thought it might be wet ceiling tiles. Those have been tossed, yet the smell remains. The floor of the house is also uneven. As you walk around the house, you can feel it sloping in certain places. The bathroom floor is the worst. We finally figured out why about a week ago.

Now, I was planning on replacing a lot of the floors already. There is this nasty old linoleum in the kitchen and bathroom that has to go. I didn’t think the floorboards and joists would have to be ripped up as well. I had a foundation expert come out to check the crawl space. What he found was not good. First of all, the crawl space is not even two feet high, so the guy could barely get in there. We estimate the house was built in the 1930s, when there were no housing codes. He said it’s a mess under there. There’s a lot of mold and rotten floorboards. The bathroom floor is held up by two cinder blocks. Ghetto much? Luckily, he said the foundation was solid. Otherwise, I would have said goodbye to this house. But, the guy said it could cost as much as $25,000 to fix everything. That is worst case scenario and I’m getting more estimates on the job, don’t worry. The news was disappointing, though. I questioned whether it was worth it to keep the house. Well, I do think it’s worth it. Any renovations I do will just increase the value of the house and all homes are money pits, so fuck it! I’ll bite the bullet for the moment. I may end up sitting on a floor with no furniture (because furniture ain’t cheap), but it will be a safe and clean floor. lol

The floor mess has halted work on the ceilings. There’s no sense in putting up new drywall or a modern drop ceiling before the floor is made even. Clearly, I can’t occupy the house with no floor. So, I’ve been focusing on the landscaping while all that is getting worked out. Some dead (and ugly) trees and bushes are going to be removed this week and that will liven things up. I’ve yet to try out the riding lawnmower, but my dad cut the grass on the property for the first time recently. I’m also itching to plant some pretty stuff in front of the house.

My day job and the magazine have kept me quite busy. I love having purpose. I’m helping people again and although it’s draining, the mental health clinic is where I’m meant to be. I need structure and I have regained that. I hate admitting that I’m lazy, but I really am. However, I don’t half ass anything, especially professionally. When I’m on, I’m on completely. I may crash and burn once finished, but that’s my secret. haha

I did make a Facebook Like page and an Instagram. I’ve already posted some tidbits and photos, so follow me if you feel like it. :) I seem to be moving away from Tumblr for some reason. I’m just not as interested in it as I used to be. And Youtube…well, I’ll come back eventually. I have big plans in this arena that I just have to make reality. My plans are scary and it could very well fail, but I must try. I desperately need a quiet recording (notice how I didn’t say filming ;)) space first!

As usual, I’ll conclude with a new music discovery. Jack Strify is an androgynous synthwave artist whose main inspirations include Yazoo and Depeche Mode. Were we switched at birth? I think yes. I will be writing about him in the future. Stay tuned.

Lavender

Grey Hair, Sanctuary of the Strange and Social Media

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I don’t know if I’ve ever posted my age here. It’s only necessary now because of what I want to talk about. I’m only 25 and I have a considerable amount of grey hair! I don’t think that’s normal at my age. My dad’s hair went snow white early as well and when I was in kindergarten, all the other kids thought he was my grandpa. So, it must be genetic. I’ve been dying my hair black for years (I’m a natural brunette), but I’ve taken a break now for a little less than a year. I think I may have had an allergic reaction to the dye the last time I did it and I developed a dandruff problem that traumatized me. Black hair and dandruff…need I say more. Plus, I’m a bit obsessed with hygiene, so I was so grossed out. Anyway, I got the dandruff issue under control and just let my natural hair color grow back out. But, numerous people have noticed how many grey hairs I have and it’s embarrassing. I got my hair cut yesterday and the rude stylist commented on it. People were also saying that I should get my hair cut short, but they can suck it. I love having long hair.

I suppose it’s time to dye my hair again. Though I’m thinking of a dark purple or a midnight blue color instead of black. What do you guys think? I’ll have to make sure this is okay at my place of employment as well. lol

Also, the Spring issue of Carpe Nocturne is out now! It’s Sci-fi themed and there are a ton of new columns about zombies and health. We’re really expanding. For this one, I got to write a whopping 7 articles! I interviewed the iconic 80s Goth band The Danse Society, wrote features on synthpop artist Lights and cosplayer Yaya Han, and reviewed the Syfy show Face Off as well as albums from NOIR, Avarice in Audio and Junksista. The asylum is growing. You can buy a digital or a physical copy at carpenocturne.net or on the Barnes & Noble website.

Spring 2015 Cover

The Danse Society’s “Sound of Silence” cover above is sooo good. For the Summer Steampunk issue, I’m very excited to premiere my very own LGBTQ column entitled Sanctuary of the Strange (Where Diversity is the Norm)! I’ll be discussing things like gender, androgyny and sexual orientation and how they affect members of the Goth community. LGBTQ awareness is very near and dear to my heart and I’m honored to be the voice of my community for the magazine. I also just finished coming up with questions for a sultry interview with burlesque star Veronica Varlow and will be writing a feature on the comedic Goth musician Voltaire. Good things to come! :)

The last thing I want to talk about is social media. Some of you know how resistant I have been to the entire idea of it. However, I’ve been wanting to share more tidbits about my life that blogging just isn’t meant for. Therefore, I’m going to make a Facebook Artist page and an Instagram. I feel like it’s a good way to meld my alter ego with my personal life and share cool things as they happen. I’ll post the links when the pages are ready.

That’s all for now. I’ll end with a new song from pop rocker Jordan Sweeto. His music is very much something my teenage self would be into. Or my adult self. Got a problem with it? ;)