Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goodbye, 2014

I am SOOOO glad this year is over!  It's been, quite literally, the worst year of my life... and I hope it STAYS that way.  I don't need another year as awful as this one has been.

Goodbye, 2014... may you take all the bad, sad crap with you, and never return!!!  

Saturday, December 27, 2014

In Memorium: Chango, 2004-2014

Chango was born on September 19, 2004, while my coven was having a Mabon ritual at my house.  We knew his mother was pregnant, as we'd been feeding her and her two older kittens for quite a while.  Our first glimpse of him on the day he was born (we have a picture in our main computer, which is on the fritz right now) was of an orange and white ball of fur surrounded by four black balls of fur (his sisters). 

Because they were in danger from a construction crew who didn't know they were there, Martin brought them all inside when they were three weeks old, along with their mother.  We eventually found homes for two of them, but Mama and the other three stayed with us, and we took in the two older kittens as well.

Even when they were still nursing, Chango always had to be in the middle of things.  He had soulful golden eyes that made you melt looking into them.  He was spoiled rotten, and got into the habit of whining when he wanted something.  He loved to cuddle and be carried like a baby, but kneading was his life.  As a human, he would have made one hell of a bread baker!  He was constantly rushing between my feet to get into my altar room so he could sprawl on the floor and hang out with me there.  He brought love and laughter into our lives, along with some frustration and a few tears.

A couple of years ago, he barely survived an infection that started in one fang and spread to his lower jaw.  I told him then that he couldn't die before we paid off the $845 bill.  I don't think he made it, but it wasn't for lack of trying. 

Last month, we found that his liver had failed, and he had a less than 33% chance of the medication helping him.  Fortunately, it did, and we were given six extra weeks with him.  However, a few days ago, he began going downhill again, and this time the vet found a mass in his abdomen.  He told us frankly that, even if he managed to successfully remove it AND even if it wasn't cancerous, having two serious medical situations so close together meant that Chango's chances of surviving another year were low.  Because of this, combined with his age and the prohibitive costs, we decided to let him go.  We didn't want him to have to go through all this misery a third time.  So the vet gave him a tranquilizer before the final shot, and we held him and rocked him until he fell asleep.

Losing a beloved fur companion is never easy; it's even harder when you are with them from almost their first breath to their last.  Then they're more like your children.  On Monday we will take him to where our other children in fur are buried.

Bast and Sekhmet, please guard your brother Chango, and guide him safely to wherever our beloved cats go! 

We love you, Chango!  Rest in peace, Mango Boy.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Blogvember Challenge; or, I Got Tagged by The Curious Professor Z

Well, I was tagged by Professor Z for Little Corp Goth Girl's "Blogvember Challenge", but not until December, so perhaps I should rename my post the "Blogcember Challenge"???  Naahh...  ;-)

Oh, and I'm proud to say that Professor Z successfully defended her dissertation, and will soon be officially called Doctor Z!!  woo-HOOOO!!!

So, back to the Challenge: 

1.  What is the best thing about blogging?

For me, and I think for many others, the best part of blogging is 'meeting' all sorts of wonderful people, and knowing that they read what I write because they like what I have to say.  Sharing myself with others and having them respond with acceptance, understanding, and empathy is awesome!  And when I'm able to help someone else with my words, that's even better. 

2.  What makes my blog so special?

I'm sure this answer is different for each of my readers, but for me, it's special because it's all about ME!  Well, not just me, of course, but it's unique because it's done from my perspective, which is different from everyone else's; no one else will ever look at things in exactly the same way that I do.

3.  How will my blog look in a year?

I really have NO idea.  I'm a somewhat different person from who I was last year, and I'm sure I'll do more changing in the coming year, so it will be exciting to see what happens to my blog in the process!  :-)

4.  Which was my best post?

Errgggg... I'm not sure which is my absolute BEST post, but I've got two that I think are pretty much tied for first place.  One is "When I'm 64: Thoughts about Dressing Goth after 60".  The other one is "The 50+ Face: Skincare for Women and Men".  Both of these have so many hits that I figure they must be the "best" ones, at least to my readers!  Although my personal favorite is"The Goth Closet (as Opposed to the Closet Goth)".

5.  What other blogs or bloggers inspire me?

This one is easy!  Here's my "short list", in no particular order:

NOTE: If I read your blog but it's not on this list, please don't be offended!  I still love yours, or I wouldn't be reading it.  :-)  But these are blogs that have helped me through some difficult, sad or frustrating times, and I wanted to give them a small boost in return.

 Now, I'm supposed to tag three more bloggers, but I know many people don't like doing these, so I will just say that IF anyone whose blog I read decided to accept the challenge, I would love to read their posts.  :-)

Happy Holidays, everyone!! 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Have a Very Batty Christmas!

Yes, I'm greedy...  GothGardening is having another contest, and I want to win!!  But really, that's just an excuse to write about one of my favorite things... BATS!

Even before I discovered the goth subculture, I've loved bats.  When I took my son, who was four at the time, to a Cub Scout weekend camp, there was a bat under the door flap of our tent, and when I opened the flap I accidentally flipped it inside.  Instead of screaming and/or running, I called to him, "Hey, Stuart, come quick, we've got a BAT in our tent!"  But it flew out before he could get there, so all he saw was this little black streak zipping away through the air.  Bummer, dude...  All the other kids around us thought it was cool, though.  :-)

Bats are not only CUTE, they're also ecologically awesome!  Did you know that:

~A single brown bat can catch around 1,200 mosquito-size insects in one hour; a small colony can eat over 6 million bugs in a year.

~An anticoagulant found in vampire bat saliva may soon be used to treat human cardiac patients. 

~Some seeds will not sprout unless they have passed through the digestive tracts of a bat. Additionally, bats spread millions of seeds every year from the ripe fruit they eat. Approximately 95% of the reforestation of the tropical rainforest is a result of seed dispersal from bats. 

~Bat dropping is called guano and is an important fertilizer in many tropical regions because of its high levels of phosphorus and nitrogen.  During the Civil War, U.S. soldiers used bat guano to make gunpowder.   

~In China and Japan, bats are symbols of happiness. In Chinese, the words for “bat” and “good fortune” are both pronounced “fu.” 
~Bats make up a quarter of all mammals; there are over 1,100 species of bats in the world. 


~More than 50 percent of bat species in the United States are either in severe decline or are listed as endangered.  

So you see, it's important to keep our bats happy and healthy!  We don't realize how much we need them.

Finally, here is a pic of the holiday cards I sent out to all my goth friends this year.  I actually bought them LAST year on Christmas Day, just to make sure I had them!

Christmas Cards, Bats, 25 ct. 

This card is currently available at Elipsis Design on Etsy.  Check it out, along with all the other awesome small businesses on Etsy!

And although it's a bit early yet, have a Very Batty Christmas, everyone!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Birthday Massacre Show

Hi, there...  I haven't been posting much lately, mainly because I've been too exhausted both mentally and physically.  Spending half my weekends this year at my mom's house taking care of things was NOT easy.  Even though she's back home now, I've discovered that I apparently went into "Mom Mode" during the year, and because her mother never acted much like a mom, I think she is enjoying the feeling, even though I doubt she is actually conscious of it.  So now it's time to turn off the "Mom" button and get back to my normal "my child is now an adult and therefore I don't need to mother anyone" space.

So... Monday night I finally got to see a goth band live!  One of my favorites, The Birthday Massacre, was playing at Slim's in San Francisco.  I bought the tickets before Halloween, just to make sure I didn't back out due to anxiety, which has been a bad habit of mine that I've discussed in previous posts.  

The opening band was The Red Paintings, a group from Australia.  They were pretty good, we enjoyed them, and the lead singer was pretty funny between songs, although he dropped a slight overabundance of F-bombs.  They actually have local artists on stage with them, creating original artwork while they are playing; it was interesting to watch the art "grow" on stage!

The next band was called New Year's Day.  My mother always said that if you can't say anything nice, you shouldn't say anything at all, so I won't.  Except that the lead singer dropped even MORE F-bombs than the other guy, only she wasn't funny at all.

Then The Birthday Massacre came on.  Awesome show!!  They are just as good live as they are on their studio CDs.  And Chibi, the lead singer, is funny, lovely and gracious.  An added plus: NOT ONE F-bomb from her the entire time they were onstage.  The whole set was upbeat, and people were finally dancing, whereas most had not done so during the first two sets.  I wish they didn't live in Canada; apparently they last toured the U.S. a few years ago.  We need them here more often!!!  (Certainly more often than we need Justin Bieber...)  The Birthday Massacre

I had a fantastic time!!  I danced through most of the first set, ALL of Birthday Massacre's set, and through a fair amount of the recorded music they played before and in between sets.  I was probably the most trad goth there, wearing a DIY-altered skeleton t-shirt, a floor-length black studded skirt, my 4-inch Demonia platforms, fishnets, and a long black velvet coat.  And as far as I could tell, I was the ONLY one there wearing a spiked collar!  Errrr, where did all the trad goths go???  We saw one or two people we've seen at Death Guild, but a LOT of the patrons didn't even look particularly goth, although many were wearing black.  And I couldn't see any platform boots, except for mine.  Oh, well, I didn't care, I was dressing for myself, anyway.  And no one could question my right to carry a Goth Card, heheh...  ;-)

Just writing this has improved my sucky mood immensely.  Now to get back to work; they expect me to do that here once in a while.  

Have a great week/weekend, and I plan on posting more of my regular stuff in the very near future.  Oh, and I was totally serious several posts back about learning to play the bass.  I finally found some music books for bass online and ordered them!  So very soon you may be hearing some truly odd noises on this blog...  ;-)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

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

Time for a wonderfully Dark and Creepy Holiday season!  Well, this says "Merry and Bright", but we know what we all REALLY want for Christmas...  ;-)