Monday, June 30, 2014

Bat Fit 2014. I am on board! Time to say goodbye to my old pal, thunder thighs!

The lovely curious Professor Z (if you don't already, you should really check out her blog:http://thecuriousprofessorz.blogspot.com) has re-launched her Bat Fit Challenge and I signed up! I will keep up with my general posts about being a working gothy mom but I will occasionally be posting about doing/eating healthy things because I do not like my body at the moment.

Last year, I was eating very well, I was brisk walking for at least 45 minutes per day and life was great. By last fall, I started running by using the couch to 5k app on my phone. The more you use the app, the more intense it gets and the closer you are to running 5k. I started off OK but by halfway through, after every work out, I would come close to passing out. I drank more water but it didn't help. I was sick several times and started having really bad headaches. I didn't know this at the time but I was actually having migraines. I thought running was giving me sinus problems! My doctor told me to stop running as it was a trigger for migraines. This disappointed me.

I was also under a lot of personal stress at that time which resulted in more migraines and a lot of time at home sick. In fact, this winter alone, I had Bronchitis, Strep throat 5 times and a regular sore throat virus twice. Obviously, I completely stopped all exercise.

It has been almost a month I have not been sick! It is time that I get back on track. This couldn't come up at a better time! In fact, the corset I ordered online came in today and it was too small. It did not make feel very good about my body.

Since I had my son three years ago, I have been struggling to lose weight in my thighs (I tell people I have pork chops) a little in my stomach and my butt. The hardest place for any woman to lose weight. I am tired of looking at my thunder thighs!

I eat pretty healthy. A small breakfast, a salad (with some protein) for lunch and a sensible supper. I do occasionally eat fast food. Some people live to eat. I was never one of them. I just need more exercise!




My goals for Bat Fit 2014:
- I am not setting any dates but I will eventually lose the thunder thighs and bubble butt! I plan on walking more, no running. I plan on posting plenty of pictures for these. This will motivate me to show off my home town to you all!

- I plan on dancing to some industrial music several nights a week.

- I am going to look into a Yoga DVD. One for kids so I can do yoga with my son! He took yoga at his daycare and he loved it! This will encourage me to do it because he likes doing activities with his mom.

- I am going to start off slow because I am REALLY, REALLY out of shape. 5 push ups, 5 lunges, 5 sit ups and 5 squats a night. When I am able to do these without any problems, I am going to add another 5 and so forth!

- My work has a gym. I am going to start using it again like I did before I got sick. I wont go on my lunch (too many people and I like to take my time when re-applying makeup. I'm vain, I know!) but I will try to go early in the morning at least twice a week. I am going to take advantage of the elliptical!

So there you have it.

  

Friday, June 27, 2014

Not goth enough? Please don't revoke my Goth card!

First and foremost, I want to thank some of my readers, a friend, fellow mothers and some other younger fellow bloggers I read for inspiring me on this post. A common theme I have been reading these days and have heard from fellow gothlings over the years is that some of us fear we are not goth enough to meet some unknown, unexplained standard.

 I love how Jillian Venters makes sarcastic references in her book "The Gothic Charm School" about the "secret Goth Cabal" who looks out for people who are doing something "ungothy". If you have not read her book, you should! If you feel you are doing/wearing/thinking something that isn't considered goth, don't worry, the Secret Goth Cabal is not going to call you out on it!

Personally, even as a young baby bat, I never questioned whether or not I was goth enough. I learned to not worry about whether or not I was accepted by the other goths. Like anywhere else I went, there were people who liked me and people who didn't.

One thing that bothered me back then though and still bothers me today is that a lot of elitists turn their gothy little noses down on me because I am what they call a "perky goth". I can be loud, I probably laugh louder than most people in the room and I have a sunny disposition on life. In fact, while I do have a select few "morbid" art work hung on my walls, I mainly have cute darkly themed items about (ie Nightmare Before Christmas, glow in the dark bats, etc) I am hyper and I smile. A LOT. In fact, my perkiness is what makes me successful in my job as a receptionist. I am approachable. I make people comfortable. I smile! I laugh! I am not all doom and gloom. I do not take myself seriously at all. Life is too short! Granted, I may not be all full of life first thing in the morning but I am usually good to go after a coffee or two!


My advice, ignore the other people. In fact, feel sorry for them because they too probably feel they aren't goth enough themselves so they need to point things out on other people to draw the attention away from them.

If you feel like you are goth, you listen to the music, you love to dress spooky, enjoy the literature, etc, then you are! Please do not listen to that voice inside your head that gets you to question who you are. I once listened to that little voice that told me I had to "grow up", I ditched the clothing, went completely normal, even denied that I was affiliated with the goth subculture and it made me miserable. In fact, the happiest times was when I wore the dark clothing.

This kind of stigma is not only seen in the goth subculture but in real life as well. This is where I once personally questioned myself. Being a new mother, I was always judged (and still am) because of the choices I made. I bottle-fed because breastfeeding did not work out for me. I was judged for that and made to feel as I was a horrible mother because of it. My son is tired, didn't nap that day and decides to have a melt down in the shopping centre, people give me dirty looks. In fact, just today, I was telling the daycare lady that I am happy my son is being so well-behaved. I think he had the terrible-twos at three! She was surprised he was so well behaved when he was two(he had a different daycare lady at that age) and is happy he is growing out of the terrible threes! Another parent was there and who clearly heard the conversation started giving me dirty looks. The sneering started when we told my son to not close the door and he didn't listen. My son told us that he was told to always keep the door to the classroom closed, despite the other father there waiting for his son to come. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black, the sneering started at my son's "disobedience" for closing the door but his little angel refused to go see his father and left him waiting there in the hallway.  Knowing this,  I looked at that parent, smiled and wished him good day. Let them think what they want! I bet it made their day better and made them feel less insecure!

That being said, I am going to list all the non-gothy things I like and enjoy. I will be expecting the Goth Cabala to come and  revoke my goth card any moment!

(1) I own a white car. Yes, white car, not black. It is not a hearse, I drive a Pontiac. Oh noes!
(2) I love and collect Hello Kitty.
(3) My son wears whatever he wants. Granted most of his clothing are dark colors, we do not put any restrictions on him. If he wants a Disney outfit or some other cartoon character, we happily allow it. He is not an extension of ourselves or our gothiness. As much as it is cute to have our very own little Pugsley Addams, he is his own person. We respect that.
(4) I like Marilyn Manson (MALL GOTH!)
(5) Where I live, the walls are white and I do not sleep in a coffin
(5) The ring tone on my phone is not Bela Lugosi's dead. It is the sound the T.A.R.D.I.S  makes :)
(6) I wore white when I got married instead of black or crimson. I encouraged my bridesmaids to wear color. Not every Bridesmaid was goth and they did not match. We had multiple colored Bridesmaid dresses. Oh noes!
(7) I sometimes sleep in pink pyjamas (the top has Animal from the Muppets on it)
(8) I work in the Fashion industry but it has NOTHING to do with corsets or anything pertaining to the goth movement, in fact it is sportswear!
(9) When my son was younger, we played Rafi and Sharon Lois and Bram instead of Gregorian chants or Siouxsie. I am still proud to  know all the lyrics to "Baby Beluga" and "Skinamarinky Dink"
(10) I don't own a black cat

What are your ungothy confessions? I dare you!

Thou Shalt Not, If Only I Were A Goth



Saturday, June 21, 2014

My normal years and how I rediscovered goth

 "Not all girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice. I am made of sarcasm and wine and everything fine" - anonymous

As a teenager, I experimented a lot with my style. I had a unique way of dressing back then.  I also became a total mall goth/baby bat. All that changed when my friend played The Sisters Of Mercy. I was so happy, I was crying. That was the sound I was looking for and deep down, I knew the music I was listening to wasn't really goth. My baby bat days were almost over! Don't get me wrong, I still made some rather...ahem..questionable wardrobe choices in the beginning (ie. a woolen cape in the middle of a summer heat wave) my music repertoire no longer consisted of mainly Marilyn Manson and NIN. For non-gothy people, despite popular belief, bands like Marilyn Manson, Evanescence, HIM, etc are not goth. Don't get me wrong, I still listen to Marilyn Manson and Evanescence sometimes because I do like some of their music but I must admit, I mainly listen to gothy music than I do to  Marilyn Manson. If I loose gothy cred for being a Mansonite, well then so be it. I like what I like! For those who want to read more on mall goths/baby bats, click here.

By the time I reached my mid twenties, I ditched the goth wardrobe and wore what everyone else wore.I hated it. I felt like I had to be "responsible" and grow up. To me, being goth isn't solely identified with the clothes you wear. It is just that, clothes. On the other hand,  I must admit, I am a sucker for a pretty corset, fishnet stockings, stripy tights and every thing else that comes along with the "uber goth ensemble" but being goth is just part of who I am. It hurt me that I gave away my clothes to good will. It was also right around the time of the recession and I needed a job and fast. I felt like conforming to pay the bills and start a family was more important to me at that time. I did not want to end up on the streets pregnant!

Ironically enough, those were the darkest days of my life. I never recognised myself when I looked in the mirror. I wore clothes because I most certainly couldn't go out in my pyjamas.

Every time I wore something, someone, somewhere, would make a comment on how I would make a good goth! Shopping was no longer a fun filled experience, it was an ordeal. I bought what was on sale because why spend good money on something I didn't really like? My friends would play spot the goth undertones because as much as I tried to say I was no longer goth, I was on the inside.

Being goth wasn't a choice, it is who I am. It is just like if you were gay, you didn't choose to be it, you were.

During those times, I had blonde hair, wore blue jeans and pink tops. I made friends with people who dressed like me and I felt alone. What hurt me the most, when I was "normal" certain people, be it friends, acquaintances, even family members (I do emphasize certain, not ALL) was the acceptance I got from these people because I ditched the dark wardrobe. I was finally accepted by them because I was dressing more within their views on what people should wear. I was a sheep.

 I was very pregnant with my son back then. Lots of pregnant ladies get that huge nose before they give birth, I was one of them.


Not long after I had my son, something in me snapped. Being pregnant and a new mother put lots of pressure on me. I didn't co-sleep, child abuse! I bottle fed, oh no, my son is going to end with a low IQ and not thrive! I drank coffee when I was pregnant, I was committing infanticide in the womb! Everything I did and ate was placed under a microscope and judged. I realized that as a teenager, I never cared what people thought of me. That was liberating. I held my head up with pride. I was happy. I didn't have the usual boring conversations with people who talked about the weather or sports. While I was sometimes judged and questioned on what I wore, I was never made to feel like I was doing something wrong. We talked about art, music, and life in general. These conversations left us walking away with having learned something new. My brain didn't hurt, usually my brain was happy because I walked away having learned a thing or two! Maybe, just maybe...I can go shopping and get some new things? Something in me "squeed" at that thought  and my husband commented on how he has not seen me that passionate in a long time. We went shopping that weekend and I spent far too much money.

That shopping experience stood out. I remember how relieving it was to talk with other like-minded people within the subculture. The nice thing was, I wasn't judged at all despite my total lack of goth attire. It was breathtaking to have conversations, usually somewhat silly without someone looking at me like I was from another planet. There is so much more than talking about kids, the weather, what sports team won and other boring details about the game play.It was nice to talk to someone and not hear "it is nice you look normal now. I like what you are wearing"

I slowly starting integrating new pieces in my wardrobe. I dyed my hair dark purple. I got my labret (lip) pierced. Things were coming a long nicely. I felt happy. I smiled and I had a wonderful realisation: your life, hobbies, interests and other general things that make you happy should never be put aside because you became a parent. Yes, I do not have the time or energy I used to have to go clubbing but life doesn't stop because you become a wife and a mother. My husband fell in love with me and Voltaire's song "where's the girl" holds true to him when I went normal.

So these were my "responsible years" where I foolishly felt like I needed to do everything right. There is so much pressure on young parents these days. Things didn't quite work out the way I planned and my "ideal life" came crashing down. Having my son enabled me to see the world once again, through it's imperfections. I realised there was more than just being a parent.I did not have to stop living because I had him. I could still be me AND a mother AND a wife.

Children learn from their folks. What kind of example was I showing my son by being so unhappy? I want him to be comfortable with who he was and here I am showing him the opposite. I wasn't comfortable with tho I was. I didn't like looking in the mirror because it felt like a stranger looking back at me. I became everything I morally was against. Worst of all, I was teaching my son a lesson I really did not want him to learn.Me finding goth again wasn't a rebellion against society, as much as it might sound like it was. Me finding goth again was coming back to who I was.

My work has no issues with the way I look. I respect the fact that while I do have some advantages that I didn't in previous jobs (visible tattoos, piercings) there are still some limitations, which I respect.

More and more each day, tattoos and piercings are more acceptable in workplaces than they were 5 years ago. If ever I choose to find employment elsewhere, now that I have enough work experience under my belt, I will never take out my piercings or cover up a tattoo for a job ever again. Most importantly, I hope one day my son will never succumb to social pressure like I did. I hope he never has to feel that he needs to change anything about who he is. If he were to come home and tell me he was gay or transgendered, it would never be an issue with me. I would still love him.  It is sad that in this day and age, these trivial things are top issues while the more important things such as world hunger are never a top priority.

Me and Batman at the play ground last week!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

This is Corpgoth mid month Status report. My work area

I have been a long time lurker on the lovely Trystan's blog "This Is Corp Goth" Since starting this blog for myself, she was one of the first people I followed! Trystan has started a mid month theme where you post pictures of your cubiscle/office/work area. I jumped on the bandwagon!



I am a receptionist so I am not allowed too have many personal effects on my desk. While this does annoy me to a certain extent, I realize that my employer is very nice to allow me to wear what I want (within reason) AND I can listen to my music. I also think they are nice to allow me to have some personal things on my desk at all. I think this is more than a fair trade. I do have 2 pictures of my son, my Hello Kitty mug, my tea pot on my desk.

On Halloween, one of my coworkers gave me some pumpkin candles that are very small. I do put those on my desk because they are subtle. I don't think I can decorate for Holidays either, I never really bothered asking. The way I see it, the front entrance is gorgeous, well maintained, and is very professional looking. I think by having decorations would only be a distraction from that and we want our clients to focus on our brands, not Holiday décor.  The last pic is my key chain. I am really bad at losing keys so if anyone finds them, they will automatically know that they belong to me!














Saturday, June 14, 2014

Shoes...shoes...so many shoes!

You know you are in bad shape when you hear your husband and three year old son complaining about not being able to find their shoes in the hall closet.  I thought they were over exaggerating until I started to actually clean out that closet and then realized I was the culprit.  This is not my entire shoe collection as I have a few more pairs that were actually put away in the closet upstairs. Notice the cute kitty admiring the footwear? His name is Pippin.

I must say, my favorite pair has to be my Doc Martens. Super comfortable, they go with pretty much everything.

 My easy practical, yet comfy shoes are my Demonia cloth maryjanes and all black Vans. It is easy when I am running to the corner store for something or just stepping out in the back yard. I don't have to take that 10 minutes to lace everything up!  I guess you can call those my "mom shoes"

Needless to say, all these shoes were placed upstairs in my closet now the boys are happy because they can easily find their shoes! 


























Monday, June 9, 2014

Office survival 101: Music

“Where words fail, music speaks.”
Hans Christian Andersen


I work as a receptionist but I am lucky, I am allowed to listen to music at my desk because my employer is awesome! There are some bands, I would not play at my work, especially at the reception area but there are a few that I find is acceptable for work.

What I listen to:

The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Sisters of Mercy, Abandoned Toys (calming, perfect for when clients are around), classical music (usually play when I am pissed off about something), Sopor Aeternus and the Ensemble of Shadows, The Ramones (I know it isn't goth or anything but they kick ass!) Emily Autumn, Voltaire (certain songs I don't play - you know which ones) London After Midnight, The Nightmare Before Christmas Soundtrack (come on! You all know you listen to it!), David Bowie, Delirium, Loreena Mckennitt, Clan of Xymox

If it is at the end of the day or REALLY quiet and all the clients are gone home: Rammstein because it gives me a great boost, Blutengel (yes I like some EBM and it gives me energy), Voltaire's Bitrektual album because I am geeky and the songs crack me up. I also listen to the Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack  with certain songs taken out, again, you know which ones!

What do you guys listen to at the office?

Saturday, June 7, 2014

On having children and being in an alternative subculture

I think all parents, from all walks of life, especially mothers can relate to this post in some way.  When I became a parent, my child rearing skills were constantly judged and criticised, especially by other mothers. To the whole natural birth vs c-sections/ epidurals, breast vs bottle debate to co-sleeping or not, everyone has an opinion about it. Having children when you dress a certain way can be annoying too and adds a whole new spin on things! Along with the usual challenges parents face on a daily basis, there are questions/comments from people I hear frequently. So far, these are some of the questions I got with regards to being a parent:

You guys dress all in black, how come your kid doesn't dress the same?

Oh so now your kid is wearing darker clothes today, I thought you said you let him pick his clothes?

What will his/hers friends think?

What will your child's friends parents say? or How would you feel if your child told you that his friend's parents won't allow him to play with your child?

You are a parent now, isn't it time you grew up and not dress like that?

How do you think your child's teachers will treat him school?

You both have dark hair, he is so blond!



Source: Facebook, The Addams Family

You guys dress all in black, how come your kid doesn't dress the same?
It's simple: I respect my child's individuality. He is not a mini version of his parents. If he wants to wear color and/or outfits with his favorite cartoon character on them, I have no problem doing so.

 Oh so now your kid is wearing darker clothes today, I thought you said you let him pick his clothes?
I have bought my son some goth brand clothing for children because I think they are cute. He likes it too, which is important. A shirt or two doesn't change my stance on letting him express himself. He picked this outfit today.

What will his/hers friends think?
If they were his friends, I don't think this matters

  What will your child's friends parents say? or How would you feel if your child told you that his friend's parents won't allow him to play with your child? 
While it would hurt me if my son came home and told me this, I think it teaches him a great life lesson. I hope it teaches him not to judge people simply on their appearance. I know it sucks but I don't believe in putting children in a bubble and shield them from everything. When they are old enough to enter the workforce, hell, even certain teachers/peers they will have to deal with all sorts of people.

On the other hand, I feel that being personally involved in my child's life, especially with the daycare. I go out of my way to get to know the other parents and have some sort of rapport with his educators. This helps clear any potential negative premonition they may have.

 When my son talks to me about his friends, I pay attention then I go out of my way to talk to those parents in particular. I am friendly and I tell them how much my son appreciates being their child's friend. I tell them things the daycare or my son tells me: like how their daughter comforted my son when he was upset, for example. In other words, I compliment their kid! I noticed having children is a great way to connect with people you have nothing in common with. People tend to see you less as a freak or weirdo because you have something in common with them.


You are a parent now, isn't it time you grew up and not dress like that?
Yes, I was told this by someone. I find it incredibly rude and insulting.  I felt like being polite and somewhat condescending to this statement was the best way to deal with it:  "oh really, I never saw anything in a handbook that being a parent involves a dress code. How embarrassing! See ya" I walked away before the person could say anything else. Why humour someone in a conversation after making such daft statements? I am still the same person before he was born, why would that change? I still have the same beliefs and values I had before. It is like telling someone "oh because you reached a certain age, you shouldn't like chocolate" or something equally ridiculous.


How do you think your child's teachers will treat him school?
I hope in a professional manner. With my already packed schedule, it is hard to get involved with the daycare but I do as much as I can. My goal is to have a rapport with the educators.  I have had a few headbutts with a certain educators in the past, though. Our more liberal views, especially on self-expression has clashed with her more conservative "we need to conform, be sheep and be normal" outlook. I think ALL parents may face situations like this one at some point, maybe not the same scenario as me but I bet our views will clash with someone eventually because that is the crazy way the world works! I I feel so far not one daycare educator has treated my child differently because his parents dress all in black. 


You both have dark hair, he is so blond!
Yup, I have also gotten this statement several times from strangers. My son is a local attraction whenever we go out because of the chubby cheeks, blond hair, and big blue eyes which people think they have a right to come up and make this remark while complimenting on how cute he is.  I sometimes want to give a snarky response and say he is adopted or that I kidnapped him but I do say the truth: I dye my hair. Sometimes, they will tell me "If I had natural blond hair like that, I wouldn't dye it black"  I thank them for the compliment and their personal opinion. This one annoys me the most. I feel like I shouldn't have to explain myself to people but I think sometimes, they just don't know any better, are trying to be nice and are trying to make conversation with me. I think they mean it more as a compliment than anything. Sometimes I smile and say "genetics, I guess" but then that often leads to more intrusive questions I don't want to answer to strangers.

With all these statements, I feel as if I were to get angry and answer them back in an insulting way would only prove any negative stereotype that they may have. I know I have every right to be angry and to feel insulted with these very intrusive remarks/questions. I feel that two negatives don't make a right. People have a tendency to take things out of context, don't always get sarcasm and I feel like if I am not careful or polite, I could potentially have social services at my door. Thankfully, this has never happened.

Once I am done with these people, usually I get a thank you and remain patient while answering their many questions. Most of the time, they are curious, they "always wanted to speak to someone like you" when they are done asking their same questions.   I do believe what Jillian Venters from Gothic Charm School  has to say about having good manners and being polite, even when some people are just downright rude. I feel it is especially important in situations involving children. Besides, I am teaching my son valuable life lessons in the process.

Any parents out there have has experiences?
 


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Black and Red (Part 2)




 
Greetings lovelies!

I have been busy these past few days but I have to take part once again in our Sophistiqué Noir's Red & Black Week before it is over! I hope you guys like this one because it is quite cold out there today and I froze in my backyard!We attempted to take one yesterday indoors but our lighting sucks and you couldn't really see the dress. I even took a shot of the dress itself from my tiny bathroom because there is good lighting there. I made sure to keep my Hello Kitty socks out of the picture! Woohoo!

Anyways, this dress was purchased from my local goth shop for one of my company's Christmas parties. The dress was made by a local designer too called Aeternius clothing from Montreal, Canada. What I love about the dress, which is hard to see from the photos, is the black vertical stripes on the red.







Monday, June 2, 2014

Black & Red


 


A fellow blogger whom I have been following for years (both on Facebook and her blog), has an annual tradition of posting black and red pictures during the first week of June. This year, since I started blogging, I figured I too would jump on the bandwagon!

If you haven't already, you should check out her blog too:http://sophistiquenoir.com/

Today, I am going to show you my tattoo!




Sunday, June 1, 2014

Maleficient - movie review

Cast: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley, Leslie Manville, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple

Director: Robert Stromberg

Synopsis: This is a story based off of the Disney animated movie Sleeping Beauty except that it is from the villain's perspective. Maleficient was a faerie woman who was protector of the forest and had her wings stolen from her. The story centers around her, the king Stephan, and Princess Aurora. The main plot is centered around betrayal and revenge and how Aurora holds the possibility of uniting the faerie and human kingdoms together.


Not wanting to give a way too much of the story, this film was more than what I expected. The narrative was a little dull and obvious yet I think it was more directed to inform the younger audience of the plot. The cinematography was beautiful and despite what other reviewers had to say, I was enchanted by it. Angelina Jolie was perfect for this role and really made the character her own.

The scene that really captivated me was when Maleficient had her wings stripped away from her,  where she wakes up on that hilltop with huge scars on her back and realizes what was done to her, how she weeped in rage resonated through out the film. The expression of sadness on Jolie's face when she mentioned how her wings were stolen from her truly showed mourning. It was the biggest betrayal imaginable.

It strikes so deep, and its impact resonates for so long after, that it  transforms Maleficent from a heroine into a villain. Maleficient's curse on Stefan's daughter Aurora that will send her into a coma at age 16 after a finger-prick by a spinning wheel needle is driven by the trauma of that betrayal.

I was especially pleased with the ending and this movie exceeded my expectations. If you like dark faerie tales, this is the movie to see!


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