Friday, May 24, 2013

Music: Diary of Dreams

I thought I'd start the Friday-before-a-long-weekend with one of my favorite bands!

Diary of Dreams is a darkwave band based in Germany.  This group is so awesome, both visually and musically, that if I ever had the opportunity to meet them, I would probably embarrass myself by drooling on their shoes in ecstasy...  (Un)fortunately, they apparently don't tour outside of Europe, so their shoes are probably safe, as is my dignity.

Here are theYouTube links to my three favorite songs.  Be sure to watch at least the 'Soul Stripper' video so you can see what a nice helping of eye candy they are!!  Here's a picture, although they look much better in the videos...


Soul Stripper

The Wedding

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

In Memorium: Shadow, 2000-2013

This post is to honor our beloved Shadow, the oldest cat and alpha female of our 'herd', who departed this life on Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at the ripe old age of 13 years.

In 2000, the same year Martin and I got married, we kept being accosted in the parking lot by a small reddish brown kitten with no tail who shot out from under parked cars and yelled at us to feed her.  After feeding her several times, we decided she was too cute to stay out there and offered her a home, which she graciously accepted.  Her two favorite activities while growing up were to jump on a kitchen chair and swat at all the tails as the other cats came in to breakfast, and to ride on Martin's shoulder.

Since then, she has been the undisputed queen of the herd, keeping order with steel claws wrapped in a velvet glove.  The last two years, however, have been very hard on her, and we finally took her to the vet tonight because her quality of life had gotten so low.  We found that she had developed hyperthyroidism, which prevented her from gaining any weight no matter how much she ate, so that she was literally nothing but skin and bones.  It had spread to the point that it had affected her heart, and we were told that the kindest thing to do would be to let her go.  So tonight we watched her depart for the Summerlands, or the Rainbow Bridge, or Heaven, or wherever it is that cats go when one of their nine lives reaches its end.  She will soon be buried on the hill in the local regional park where all our fur family members are buried together.

Shadow, we love you; may Bast and Sekhmet guide you to the Field of Reeds, and may you be united again with your loving Rocket!

Happy World Goth Day!

I was hoping to do something fun today (like dress VERY GAWTH for work), but since I ended up staying home sick, so much for that.  Instead, I'm just going to wish everyone a wonderful day!

And here's a fun one as well: 

ALWAYS...  ;-)

Friday, May 17, 2013

My Renaissance Faire Wedding

I have been asked to do a post with pictures of my Renaissance Faire wedding for those who are interested in alternative weddings.  Needless, to say, I agreed...  :-)

NOTE:  Martin and I met for the second time at a Renn faire, and I joined the reinactment guild he belonged to, so some of what we had and were able to do was the result of working with our fellow guild members and other friends involved in faire.  Those not belonging to a guild or faire group might not be so lucky.

Our wedding took place at the Valhalla Renaissance Faire at Camp Richardson in South Lake Tahoe, CA.  We were able to rent the main staging area for the ceremony for only $300.  The wedding itself was open to any paying guest at the Faire; the private reception (by invitation only) was held inside our guild's encampment area, so it was basically free.

This was our altar, center stage.  Just a foldable camp table, but very sturdy and big enough without being too big.  Yes, that's a dragon behind it...  (Note: If you have an outdoor ceremony, make sure the flower arrangements are NOT top-heavy!!  Otherwise, they tend to get blown over if there's a stiff breeze...)

We entered under a canopy of (fake) flowers, complete with retinue and musicians.  We had NO idea who many of the people there were, as they were paying guests at the faire, but who cared??  (The boy's head in the bottom right corner belongs to my son, brag, brag!)

Here we are during the actual ceremony; one of our friends not only made the pillows for us to kneel on, she wove the cloth to make the pillows with!

After the ceremony was over, we had a lovely archway of swords to make our exit through...

Our cake was gorgeous and tasty, with real flowers and a glass castle topper.

And now, closeups of our outfits:

I tried to include general things that are in most weddings; if you are interested in getting more specific details, e-mail me and I'll be glad to give you any info I can!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Incredible Victorian Trading Company

Another catalog from Victorian Trading Company has arrived in the mail.  I LOOOOVE their catalogs!!  Not because I'm a Victorian goth (I'm not), and not because I buy lots of stuff from them (I can't afford most of it).  I love them because they are such a lovely fantasy for me.  Here are a few things that are on my current "wish list":

I ADORE this dress!!  Not sure if the geranium red color would flatter me, but I'd love the chance to see for myself!

geranium dress

I think this would be an awesome hat to wear to... well, many things.  And it's actually not too expensive.  Unfortunately, I just read in this post by Professor Z that this hat is of rather poor quality and fit.  Perhaps I could make my own version of it, hmmmmm...

macabre millinery skeleton top hat

The Tea Party hat comes in two colors, and I love BOTH of them!  Decisions, decisions...

jewel tone tea party hatscarlet tea party hat <br/><img src=/ebaydav/images/bestsellertag.jpg alt=”bestseller tag”>

Here are a few items I've bought from VTC, and my opinions of them on a scale of 1 to 5:

Cinnamon Apple Dipped Candles - They look and smell great... until you burn them.  Unfortunately, they don't smell at all while they're burning, they burn very unevenly with glops suddenly falling off, and the glitter on them makes lots of sparks, so you really don't DARE leave them unattended.  1/5  :-(

<i>cinnamon apple</i> dipped candles

Black Battenberg Lace Parasol - I LOVE this parasol!  It keeps The Evil Sun away extremely well, while making you look lovely and elegant in the process.  Also comes in white.  5/5  :-D

<i>black battenburg lace</i> parasol

Flocked Organza Candy Bags - These are 7" high, perfect to store not only candy, but also jewelry or tarot decks!  You get a set of three in the colors pictured.  I LOVE these wonderful bags, and plan to get more as needed.  5/5  :-)

organza candy bags

What's YOUR favorite fantasy store or catalog?  I'd love to add to my collection of wishes!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Nosferatu vs. The Crow

No, this post is NOT about one of those weird "Godzilla vs. Bambi"-type fantasies!  I saw both 'Nosferatu' and 'The Crow' recently, and wanted to comment about them, but just couldn't resist the bizarre post title. 


Made in 1922, 'Nosferatu' is an honest-to-goodness silent movie.  I'd never seen one before, so I found it fascinating for that alone.  The acting seems overdone and strange because they have to mime everything and make it 'bigger' since there is no dialog.  Some of the 'special effects' made me giggle, especially the way Nosferatu was made to glide around the castle as if he were on rollers (he probably WAS).  But considering how limited their ability to do special effects was back then compared to now, I think they did a pretty good job!

Most of the movie follows the story of Bram Stoker's novel, Dracula, very closely, so I'm assuming that's where they got the main storyline; the last part, however, is very different, and I honestly prefer it to Dracula's ending, which I found to be rather a fizzly letdown.  It's a little long, and does drag a bit in spots, but overall I found it to be fun and worth watching.

You can watch the full-length (1hour 32 mins) restored version of 'Nosferatu" here on YouTube.  Enjoy!

'The Crow'

What can I say about this movie that wouldn't sound totally inadequate?  It's not the most incredible film ever made, but I totally understand why it became a goth cult classic.  A rock star who comes back from the dead (and NOT as a ghost) to avenge the murders of himself and his fiancee by scumbag druglords makes a powerful hero.  My personal sense of justice gloried in his actions, and I loved it even more when he took the time to thank the police officer who had tried to solve the murders, and to help a mother and daughter get their lives and relationship back together.  His tearjerking return to his dead fiancee reminded me very much of the ending in the film 'Gladiator'.  In fact, I'm wondering if 'Gladiator' was actually based on this movie, since it was made in 2000, seven years after 'The Crow', but follows the plotline very closely.  The only thing about this movie I didn't care for was the language, but that's a personal thing, and it's probably very accurate, considering that most of the characters are criminals and lowlife.

You can watch 'The Crow' on YouTube, but it's divided into several parts (around ten, I think).  Rather than fuss with that, I recommend just renting/buying the DVD.

Have you seen either of these films?  What did you think of them?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Black Summer Shoes? Yes!!

Okay, it's summer (ick!), and The Evil Sun is going to be all over us.  But that doesn't mean we can't have cute gothy shoes and sandals as we cower under our sunscreen and parasols!  ;-)

Here is some great summer footwear from Payless Shoe Source, where I get a LOT of my shoes:

Brash Royalty Studded Flat Sling - $26.99

Womens BrashWomen's Royalty Studded Flat Sling

Brash Lady Vamp Sandal - $29.99

Womens BrashWomen's Lady Vamp Sandal

Lucca Ornament Sandal - On Sale $19.99 (Regularly $26.99)
(Comfort Plus by Predictions, also comes in wide widths)
Womens Comfort Plus by PredictionsWomen's Lucca Ornament Sandal

Montego Bay Club Pepper Embellished Flip Flop
On Sale $19.99 (Regularly $24.99)

Womens Montego Bay ClubWomen's Pepper Embellished Flip Flop

There's lots more, of course, but these are my personal picks.  In fact, I picked up the studded sandals at the mall on Sunday!  Only two pairs left, and ONE of them was my size!  How cool is that??  ;-)

Where do you find YOUR favorite shoes?? 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The 50+ Face: Skin Care for Women and Men

As you can probably guess by the title, this post is going to be about ElderGoth skin care.  However, that does NOT mean that it's not relevant for those under 50!  Au contraire, it's a very good idea to make sure you are taking care of your skin as well as you can whatever age you are now, so that when you reach 50, your skin doesn't look 60.  (You want to have the face that "launched a thousand ships", not the face that sank them!)

Guys, this also applies to you, whether or not you wear makeup!  You don't REALLY want to look like Sean Penn in "This Must Be the Place", do you???  I didn't think so.

One major advantage that most goths have skinwise is that we stay out of the sun as much as possible, and out of tanning beds entirely. I knew a bellydancer years ago who must have lived in a tanning bed; her skin was brown, dry and wrinkled, and she looked at least ten years older than she was.  I don't know whether or not she used any kind of skin care, but if she did, I hate to think what she would have looked like without it.  ::shudders::

Anyway, back to our faces...   I don't care how expensive or cheap your makeup is, your skin care MUST be the best you can possibly find for your particular needs.  Right now I'm using mostly Mabelline and Revlon makeup items, but I save my pennies and buy almost all my skin care products from Estee Lauder.  This line is really excellent, and although people of any age can certainly use it, it's formulated with mature skin in mind. And, most importantly, it WORKS for me.

The best way to find the right skin care line for you is to shop for it.  (Yes, I'm giving you an excuse to go shopping!!)  Head for the nearest mall that houses either a Macy's, Nordstrom's, Sak's Fifth Avenue, or an equivalent store in your area.  Tell the sales associates in the cosmetics section that you are looking for the right skin care line for you, answer their questions, and let them work their magic!  (Try to get there early, so you'll be fresh, they'll be fresh, and you'll be able to wear the products all day.)  You don't have to buy anything right away; ask for samples so you can wear it the next day as well and see how it goes.  You may have to try more than one brand before finding the right one, but trust me, it's worth taking the time, especially since just going with the first one you try might cost you considerably more in both money and grief than waiting for the one that's perfect for you. 

Sometimes you do have to spend more to get the quality you need.  Case in point: I was running out of my Estee Lauder Daywear, but hesitated to spend money I really couldn't afford right then, so I tried a jar of Olay moisturizing cream, which was cheaper and available at the corner Walgreen's.  The company has a good reputation, so I figured it was worth a try.  It was a horrible mistake!!!  It didn't moisturize my skin at all, felt goopy and sticky, and the chemical smell followed me around all day AND night.  After a week, I returned it to the store, got my money back, and headed for the Estee Lauder counter at Macy's.

Once you've found the right line, don't go hog wild; you don't need every product in the line, after all, only the ones relevant to your skin.  For example, I have dry skin now (I used to have oily/combination skin), so I use Estee Lauder's Resilience Lift Creme and Perfectionist [CP+R] Serum to lift and firm the skin on my face and neck, Night Repair Serum and Daywear Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant Creme under my foundation or by itself to protect my face and keep it hydrated.  Both cremes are SPF 15, and Daywear is available in both regular and oil-free formulas.  However, I stopped using Estee Lauder's liquid foundation; instead, I use Mabelline's Dream Smooth Mousse foundation on top of the Daywear.  Why?  Because it actually blends better on my now drier skin than the liquid formula does; the bonus for me is that it's also a LOT cheaper (Lauder's foundation is $23, while Mabelline's is around $10).  And yes, I consider foundation to be skincare as well as makeup, which is why I've included it in this post.

And don't forget that goth staple: SUNSCREEN!  Even if the skin care items products you use have an SPF rating, you need more than that if you will be outside for any length of time.  SPF only measures protection against burning, which is caused by UVB rays; we also need protection from UVA rays, which are what cause the deep-level skin damage that contributes to aging.  Make sure your sunscreen contains ingredients that will actually protect you from UVA rays: titanium dioxide, avobenzone, or zinc oxide.  And if your other skin care products contain one of these ingredients, so much the better!

Note for The Guys:  There are many excellent brands that carry skin care lines specifically formulated for men.  One of the best used to be (believe it or not) by Mary Kay.  I used to sell MK years ago, and from personal experience dealing with male customers, I can say with honesty that their Skin Management for Men was truly excellent.  I don't know what it's like now, but if you really would rather not hit the mall to look for skin care products, I recommend that you go online and find a Mary Kay rep in your area who can arrange to give you a free skin care appointment, or just give you samples if you'd prefer.  They can't put the product on you (they're not licensed to touch your face), but they can show you how to use it and let you try the products.  And if you find you don't like it after buying, you can return it for a full refund.

So, what do YOU use on your skin?  What works for you, and what doesn't?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

May: "I'm SO Goth..."

Okay, here is the original joke that got me started on these...  It seems to be the most popular among you, my readers, as well!


And I must also include (for more giggles and grins) the revenge of the bats:


I'm not sure which is funnier!