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? ;)

Tony

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Tony

Loud music and NASCAR races,

Hoodies and BBQ.

Cats named after rock stars

And eyes the deepest shade of blue.

You rode a riding lawnmower to our house

You borrowed all of our tools.

Sometimes you weren’t all there,

With your fast cars, you were never one to follow rules.

You needed a friend

To go to the movies with.

But, people were your biggest fear,

So you spent time with a fifth.

They judged your failures and minimized your successes

You could do no right.

You went to another world

In which day might as well have been the dead of night.

Could we have saved you?

You stayed as long as you could stand for us.

I wish I would have been more understanding,

Pummeling your anxieties to dust.

Everyone said I looked like you

And we were so similar.

With the strength you left behind,

I’ll carry on into the future.

Your memory is all around.

From the shelves you built me

To the house you left me,

You’ll always be our Tony.

Visage

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About a month ago, the lead singer of 80’s new wave band Visage, Steve Strange, tragically passed away from a heart attack. He played a major role in the New Romantic music and fashion movement and embraced androgyny, makeup and eclectic clothes. Steve was certainly a visionary and I wanted to pay tribute to him and his band Visage with this post.

Visage are best known for their synthpop hit “Fade to Grey”, released in 1980. The somber dance tune features the voice of a woman speaking in French and Steve singing about what sounds like death. The spoken French is actually the same words sung in English. The visuals in the music video are eerie and display Steve’s gender bending ways. He was definitely one of a kind.

Steve turns into Little Lord Fauntleroy in the video for my favorite Visage song, “Mind of a Toy”. The song tells the story of an old toy that’s no longer loved and is essentially thrown away. The creepy music video was actually banned because it was deemed too scary for children. There’s a disturbing rocking horse, a life-like marionette and a dollhouse fire. The sound of a music box in the outro is fitting. Steve’s aristocratic outfit and quiff hairstyle made him a fashion icon. The concept of personifying a toy is also very intriguing. Good stuff, indeed.

Steve-Strange-10

I only discovered Visage this past summer, but Steve captivated me right off the bat. I love a smart song and a dark visual. Rest in peace, Steve. Your colorful influence will never fade to grey.

Ruffles, Lace and Bows

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It’s been over a year since my last photo shoot. I’ve had an itch to do one for a bit, but I wanted to wait until I had a really awesome clothing item to showcase. I just received the ruffle lace shirt above from Rivithead and I knew it was just what I needed. It’s very elegant, Victorianesque and I sort of feel like a vampire in it.

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The sleeves are super long and wide at the double ruffled ends. Not very practical, but has that ever stopped me before? I shovel snow in Demonia platform boots…it’s about the look. The chest of the shirt is also heavily ruffled.

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I also got a couple new lipsticks from Manic Panic which I had to test out. Cobweb is the frosty pink color. It’s actually opalescent white in the tube, but it changes colors depending on your natural lip color. The other color is Hells Bells, a shimmery, dark grayish blue color. I like them both and they feel really good on the lips. And then there is my stripey skull hair bow from Hot Topic. I must have a bow with every outfit. I didn’t feel like jewelry was necessary since the shirt is so bold.

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And that’s all for my mini photo shoot. It’s a classier look for a guy like me that loves fishnet and sparkly rings. :P I still love getting dolled up every so often. I’ll end with two songs. The first is from the alternative pop duo No Frills Twins, an Australian pair of sisters from the same town as Iggy Azalea with the most unique fashion sense I think I’ve ever seen. I must see the inside of their closet. Holy eyebrows!

The second song is “Biscuit” from pop soul singer and Arkansas native Ivy Levan. She’s like a demented Christina Aguilera with humor and some darkness thrown in. Butter my butt and call me a biscuit. ;) This girl’s gonna be huge.