Happy Holidays!

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Happy holidays everyone! I hope you’re all having great times with friends and family. I had a wonderful Christmas and I am thoroughly enjoying a nice long break from work. To celebrate the festive season, I wanted to record a Christmas cover this year. I was researching which song I wanted to cover and came across an Erasure classic called “She Won’t Be Home”. I’d never heard the song before, but instantly become entranced by the melancholy lyrics and synthy goodness. Plus, I adore Erasure, so it was a no brainer to take this on. The recording process was quite interesting. First, I wanted to finish it before Christmas. That didn’t happen. When I finally went to start recording vocals, I noticed that my computer wasn’t recognizing my professional microphone. I did some research and found out that the Windows 10 update could be the culprit. Whatever I tried, I couldn’t get the mic to work and ended up accidentally breaking it. Hooray! Granted, the mic was probably five years old, but I loved it and that sucks. So, I was forced to record my vocals trashy style on my camera. Please excuse the imperfect quality. Also, my vocals fall behind the music at the end. It’s annoying and editing was a bitch. Anyways, I hope you guys like it. At least I look cute, right? lol

I just got my hair done as well. I’m dyeing it colors according to holidays (I got the idea from LeahMouse on YouTube), so I picked pink for Valentine’s Day. I’m bringing the Gothic My Little Pony look back! I seriously love the color. I thought the makeup I paired with the new hair was pretty, too.

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My family is doing really well and I’m taking a voluntary demotion at work to decrease my stress levels in the new year. 2016 was truly an insane year and I learned a lot about myself and the quality of life I want. I’m exploring career options outside of my field of study and freelance writing gigs that pay since I’m taking a pay cut along with my demotion. I realize that I’m at a dead end in my current job and I’m ready for something new. I was offered a supervisory position, but I really have no desire to supervise people. I’ve found that people just don’t work as hard as me or care as much as I do and it really bothers me, so I don’t need the headache. I’m going to be a bit selfish and look out for myself first and foremost in 2017.

Last month, I met one of my favorite music artists of all time, Jennifer Parkin from the group Ayria! Her show was phenomenal and I danced and sang my ass off to all of my favorite songs. We shared a heart to heart after the show. I told her what an inspiration she was to me and how her music got me through some tough times. My teenage years were a trip, let me tell you! She encouraged me to keep working toward my dream of becoming an artist like her. Jennifer was super sweet and I’ll always treasure this night.

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Me and Jennifer! Ignore the fact that I look like a sweaty puffy coke whore. 😛

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Baddie alert! Me and my bestie Ali.

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The Cybergoth concert look. Jennifer loved my sparkly jewelry.

My family adopted a couple of families in need for Christmas this year. It was so much fun to shop for the kids and it’s one of my favorite things to do for the holidays. I enjoy giving gifts so much more than receiving them. I did get some really awesome gifts as well. A new bookcase for my office, an electric fireplace to fix the drafty back room of my house and my Nightmare Before Christmas hoodie that I wore in my Christmas cover video. My sister knows me too well! I got my technologically challenged dad a tablet and he hasn’t put it down since Christmas. haha

I always have some new music artist discoveries to share. I seem to have fallen back into a Swedish Pop obsession and I kinda love it. The Swedes just do Pop best, I’m sorry! Dolly Style is a sickeningly sweet trio with influences from Japanese cultures like Lolita and Fairy Kei. Their names are Molly, Holly and Polly and I can’t get their songs or fashion out of my head. One of them (Polly with the purple hair) even looks like a BubbleGoth doll. I can’t!

I’m really addicted to Swedish Idol contestant Charlie Grönvall. I think I stumbled upon one of his videos after a Dolly Style video. I’m sort of superficial and when I saw his emo glam look complete with painted nails, black fringe and eyeliner I melted. He totally reminds me of Adam Lambert. I guess his grandfather is a member of the legendary Swedish group ABBA and his parents are both famous singers as well. Now, it usually bothers me when people with famous family members come on competition shows because I question their motives. That’s not the case with Charlie. He comes off as super genuine and you can feel his love for music. He’s been in a couple of other bands over the years (Bracelet and Little Great Things) and the music is really great. Sadly, he came in third place in the competition, but I’m sure he’ll have a successful career. I’m already planning a trip to Sweden to abduct him.

I hope everyone is pumped for 2017! It has to be a better year than 2016, right!? I’ve watched so many bloggers give up on their blogs during my five years on WordPress and it’s really sad. Some have disappeared and we’ve completely lost touch. I don’t want to be one of those people. Blogs might be a dying art form with attention spans diminishing and instant gratification on the rise, but sharing my life in writing is so therapeutic to me. I love to read about other people’s adventures and challenges as well. Never give up!

I’m excited to create more music, continue writing for Carpe Nocturne, make some career moves, and share it all with you! This is just the beginning.

Much love,

~Asylum Attendant

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.

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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? 😉

Messy Life

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I feel like I only blog when I have exciting news or something interesting to share. I don’t usually post through the lulls. So, I’m switching it up. This is going to be a life updates post. It’s probably going to get personal as I listen to Lorde. Damn, she’s brilliant.

My job is really stressing me out lately. I don’t feel appreciated by management and I also don’t agree with the way the agency is changing. There is no incentive for advancement. The workload keeps getting higher, but the pay is still dirt. Certain coworkers are becoming especially unbearable. I seriously had a nervous breakdown this past week because I didn’t get an internal job I interviewed for. My job description has changed and I was forced to interview just to stay employed. In my mind I know it’s time to move on. Either use my degree or do something else. I just suck at making decisions. I was never that kid growing up that knew they were going to be a fireman as an adult. I like too much. And I get bored with stuff really fast. Just because I like something doesn’t mean I’d like it as a career, either. I’ve been looking at other jobs in my field and it just frustrates me. None of them interest me. I think my parents are ready to beat my indecisive ass.

I guess I’m going to discuss something darker now. Someone close to me relapsed on drugs recently. He actually tried to kill himself by overdosing on pills a few days before my birthday last month. I understand addiction very well from all of the research I’ve done and personal experiences I’ve had. Regardless, I’m fucking pissed. When you take someone into your home for 6 months and provide them with everything they could need, it’s a huge slap in the face. It’s like he didn’t give a shit about the sacrifices my whole family made just for him. But, then I start feeling guilty, too. Maybe I could have spent more time with him, tried a bit harder to connect. Shit, I had therapy sessions with him. The helper in me always wants to take care of others in any way. I thought that I was a negative, depressed person but he’s on a different level. No one has it easy in life. Some just cope with problems better. Getting fucked up on pills isn’t going to fix anything. My family has had to let this person out of our lives. It’s horrible. I don’t want him to end up dead, but I can’t help him anymore. Fucking mental illness.

The rest of the stuff I have to say probably sounds stupid now. My body isn’t cooperating lately. This might be TMI, but I’ve developed this terrible skin rash all over my body. I don’t know if it’s from stress or weather change (though I can’t believe eczema could be so bad). I’m treating it with creams and it slowly seems to be getting better. It makes me super self-conscious. Thank god I don’t have a boyfriend. How embarrassing. My eyes are also jacked up. I’ve always had super high eye pressure, which can be an indication of glaucoma. I already have terrible vision, so I’d prefer not to go completely blind. I see an eye specialist to monitor and lower my eye pressure. During my past visit, the doctor was concerned with how high my pressure was. They used a special laser to lower it in the office, which they’ve never done before. Afterwards, my eye hurt so bad I couldn’t go to work. I just hope it worked.

In other lighter news, my hair is driving me crazy. It’s freaking orange. Nobody wants orange hair. I got portions of my hair bleached the last time I was at the salon. This was so the pink and purple dye would be more vibrant. Um, when that shit faded oh-so-quick I was left with a nasty orange color. Orange is my least favorite color. I don’t ever want to bleach my hair again. Or dye it random colors. I kind of want to go back to my natural color, medium brown. Or I’ll just do allover black as usual. I just love pastel hair, but it might not be for me.

Now that I’ve thoroughly depressed everyone, I’m gonna go. I should be filming a Hot Topic haul video very soon. Good idea? I got some super cute things. Lots of “Under the Sea” stuff. It’s prolly going to include a fun rant on their shit customer service, so I hope I don’t swear profusely. I don’t have a filter.

Until then,

~Asylum

Blog Tag

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It appears I have been tagged by my good friend, the creative blogger Izzy. It’s question and answer time y’all!

Q.  Have you ever been made redundant from your job and how did you feel about it?

A. I have. Gotta love shit temporary government jobs. I saw it coming, so I was apathetic. I made better money than I do now though…

Q.  If you were interviewing someone for a writing job, what 3 qualities would you look for and why?

A. Creativity, Punctuality, and Dedication. No slackers allowed. 😉 Except for me. hahaha

Q.  What is your favorite board game and why?

A. Scrabble. It exercises the mind and makes good bonding time with my mom. 

Q.  When you look at the stars, what do you see?

A. Inspiration.

Q. When you look at the ocean, what does it remind you of?

A. The Little Mermaid. 🙂

Q.  How do you overcome writer’s block?

A. I listen to music.

Q.  If you could say 3 encouraging things to another person, what would they be?

Never give up. Dream yourself ready. Only you can make yourself happy. 

Q.  Do you prefer to write your stories/books/poetry/prose/articles on paper first, then type them up and edit them, or do you like to type them straight into your computer to edit?

A. I always hand write my poems and stories because I like to disconnect and get lost in my creativity. Blog posts I usually type straightaway. 

Q.  Do you like writing in one genre or more?

A. I like to mix it up. Narratives come the easiest, but I feel quite fulfilled after writing a meaningful poem. 

Q.  As a writer, do you think actions speak louder than words?

A. Well, I think writing something down makes one more apt to act on it. 

Q.  What is your favorite quote and why?

A. “The moment is now. The moment is all we have.” 

It reminds me to enjoy every day and not take time for granted. 

I tag the following bad bitches:

http://manbehindthecurtain.ie

http://beausic.wordpress.com

http://mjbrph.wordpress.com

http://corpulens.wordpress.com

http://wereallmadinhere.wordpress.com

And now I’m going to shamelessly use this post to show off pictures of my sassy new hair! 😀

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I love dyeing my hair black. And new lipstick. 😉

Updates: Hair, V-Day, and Emilie Autumn

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I really am terrible at updating this blog. Instead of an insightful or exciting post, I’m going to discuss random stuff going on in my life. Hooray!

So, I got my hair done recently and I must say that red hair really suits my personality. My badass, blue-haired stylist went for a brighter red this time without telling me (she knows I’m up for anything) and I really like it. I get compliments on it pretty much everyday, which is very nice. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to my natural hair color again. If you don’t like something about yourself, then change it. A little hair dye never hurt anyone. Some people don’t like my red hair, but it makes me happy. That’s all that matters. 🙂

Valentine’s Day was a lot of fun. I put on all my festive heart accessories and blew bubbles with the kids at the clinic. Who doesn’t enjoy bubbles? One adorable little boy in particular danced around the lobby popping all the bubbles. Every time he comes in he’s smiling and so happy to be there. I so appreciate his random dance breaks in front of my window. I don’t know why he comes in for therapy or what his history is, but I will always smile with him. His positivity and bright spirit are infectious. Why do adults lose that playful innocence? It’s so important to play and be carefree sometimes. I would much rather interact with the kids than other staff members. Maybe that’s why all the kids like me best and draw me lots of sweet pictures. 😉 To the other little boy who asked me to draw him a rainbow and a unicorn (reminds me of the wall art pictured below that I found at Pride last year), you are awesomely unique and special. The Disney Princess movies were always my favorite, too. I kind of wish I had done another themed photo shoot like I did last Valentine’s Day. I had a blast putting that one together. There’s always St. Patrick’s day…

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Now on to the main event: The Emilie Autumn concert! Last weekend, I got to see EA live for the second time and the show was epic. Not even a lovely Michigan snowstorm could keep me away from the Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls. Alice In Wonderland’s “In A World Of My Own” proceeded the start of the show, which set the atmosphere for the descent into madness. (Emilie claims to be the descendant of Alice Liddell, the real-life girl who inspired Carroll’s books, so the song is certainly fitting.)

The show itself was more like a circus than a concert, complete with fire hula hoops, stilt walking, and feather fan dancing. Emilie and her Bloody Crumpets know how to entertain. The girls’ handmade costumes were gorgeous and Emilie went through a myriad of wardrobe changes throughout the show. I will say that I missed EA’s violin playing from the last show. I hope she brings it back to the live shows at some point. I never would have guessed that Emilie was starting to lose her voice during the performance because she sounded so strong. She would cancel a show before she would ever lip sync.

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Equally as exciting as the concert was looking around at what all the fans were wearing. Plague Rats are super crafty and original…we learned from the best, after all. The girl with the sky high pink mohawk, stripey Beetlejuice pants, and dangerously tall platform boots fit right in amongst the eclectic crowd. I could tell that many people had constructed their elaborate outfits themselves. I felt right at home amidst the fabulous freaks and outcasts. I wish I had dressed a bit crazier, but I still represented with my stripes and combat boots.

I definitely went through a range of emotions from start to finish. From empowerment during “Fight Like A Girl” to despair during “The Art of Suicide”, EA succeeded at creating a moving experience for her Plague Rats. I almost teared up at the end during Emilie’s heartfelt speech to us all in which she thanked us, applauded our individuality, and gave us the keys to the asylum. She’s a class act and I left that show feeling so special and inspired. I may not feel as close to Emilie as I once did, but she’s still one of my favorite musicians of all time and a massive inspiration to me both personally and professionally. Us asylum inmates have to stick together. 🙂