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

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.

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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. 😉

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. 😛

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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.

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DIY gone wrong

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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!

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.

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New Cat and New House

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I love Lights. I got to rediscover her through writing a feature on her for the magazine. She’s cute with an airy voice and a new wave vibe I can’t get enough of. Listen to those synths!

This has been a busy month. Between work, writing lots of articles for the magazine and some personal stuff going on, time is really flying by. I like keeping busy, though.

Writing about stuff like cosplay and Sci-fi makeup for the magazine is definitely new to me, but it’s cool to learn and jump out of my comfort zone. I kinda like taking something unknown, researching it and adding my flavor to it in writing. I understand why cosplay is so beloved now, for example. Cosplayers put so much effort into making their costumes. The process is really admirable.

My personal life is rapidly changing. About a month ago, my uncle passed away very tragically and unexpectedly. He had lived with my family many times over the course of my life and he was more than just an uncle to me. He suffered from a prescription pill addiction and a lot of mental health issues. He had the roughest life I’ve ever heard of, most of which was not his fault at all. He was doing so much better, that’s why his death is so shocking. I can’t talk about how he died because it’s too painful and sad. Maybe one day.

Anyway, he left behind a house and a cat. At first, my family didn’t know if we could take in the cat. We already have a cat, which was formerly this same uncle’s before he went to prison. Ultimately, we decided to take her in. I’m really glad, because she’s already brought us a lot of joy. Her name is Maggie May (like the song) and she’s a cute little thing. She’s a total lap cat, which we’ve never had before. We hope she’ll get along with Ozzy (detect the theme…my uncle loved rock music), our other fat white cat. At least they’re not fighting. Not friends yet either.

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Maggie

Maggie and Ozzy

Maggie and Ozzy are friends…

We’re also keeping the house. It’s actually going to be my first home of my own. I’m buying it from my mom. I’m so excited. It’s a two bedroom with a lot of character. It needs some work, but that’s the fun part. I can’t wait to start decorating. This cold ass Winter needs to go away so I can move in. I love living with my parents and siblings, but I can’t be myself here. I’m not growing and I crave some freedom. I want more from life and I’m ready to make it happen.

Something else has been on my mind. The other day a girl at work said I was the least likely person she’d ever expect to be Goth. I was like, damn! Did I really change that much? I work in an office, so I can’t go all out with my fashion, but I hadn’t realized how conservative I had become. I don’t want to lose myself in the work world as I get older. I am Goth and I want people to see that side of me. The spikes and black hair dye are gone, but I’m still dark and strange. I’ll have to start making a conscious effort to keep some gothy elements in my everyday dress.

I’ll leave you with a disco pop song from Eden xo. California pop at its finest.

Melancholy

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This is my new video in which I get very real with you guys. It’s important to me to share my ups as well as my downs. I don’t know if I’ve discussed my struggle with my weight here before, but my self-esteem has really been affected by it. I feel ugly in everything I wear and wearing form-fitting clothes is out of the question. I also talk about my social anxiety in the video. While it’s not a fun and exciting video, I hope you all get to know me a bit better. I’m vulnerable at times. I am not a robot.