Monday, November 30, 2015

Starting off the Holidays - The Christmas train in Montréal-Ouest

I used to be cynical about Christmas time. Before my son was born, I would roll my eyes at the thought of Christmas and pretty much only looked forward to having some time off from work. I could have cared less about the Holidays and would often laugh at people posting cheesy pictures of their trees or decorations on Facebook. I was a Scrooge! If I had my way, I would skip the Holidays all together and do my own thing. No presents, no family, no drama. Just me and my cats! Screw Christmas! Fast forward a couple of years later to when I had Philip. People were right; having children changes you and it makes you do crazy things you never would have imagined before. Next thing I knew, I began to put out outdoor lights, a tree, bake and cook.  Christmas in my home is now celebrated.

When my aunt contacted me earlier this week to invite us to see the "Christmas Train" on Saturday night, I enthusiastically agreed to participate. Apparently, every year, a Christmas train arrives at the train station up the street from her home at the Montréal-Ouest station and it is a whole ordeal. There is live music, BBQs, inflatable rides for the kids, etc.This event is free but they do ask to bring non-perishable food items to donate towards the community's food bank. I think this is a great way to help your local community, especially to those in need! What a great way to get us into the Holiday spirit!

Being a seasoned Canadian, the cold didn't bother us very much except for Philip. He was not only tired, he was hungry and cold. This is never a good combination for a little kid. He had meltdown after meltdown so we left before it officially ended. We did get to see the train pull up and we were amazed by all the decorative lights. We got to see one of the compartments open up where a live band began to play music. Honestly, if I did not have children, I would have never attended but I am glad I did. It was nice seeing the look of amazement on Philip's face (when he wasn't complaining) and I got to relive some of my childhood through him. Despite the few bumps, we all had a wonderful time. Philip still talks about the train and would often comment about going next year but he did make it very clear to us that doesn't want to stay outside too long!

All happy to be treated to a Mcdonald's Happy Meal and in the warmth after seeing the train!

By this smile, one would have never believed he had a major meltdown from being cold and hungry!

For those wondering, I found this clip on Youtube. It is from last year but the decorations on the train are the same. We will probably go back next year and freeze our butts off all over again!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The dreaded Pop figurines: Part V - Dammit Janet, I love you!

I figured I would show you my latest Pop figurines! Squeeeee!

What's this?

Touch-A  Touch-A Touch-A meeeee!


Monday, November 23, 2015

Punks not dead

Over the weekend, I was hit with a wave of nostalgia and I felt like I was a pretty cool mom. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to be my kid's friend. I am his mother and there are rules. On the other hand, I like to think I make a pretty neat mom because I am goth and all. Seriously, I wish my parents were a little more open minded with me when I was growing up!

I don't always take my son shopping with me while I head out to the alternative stores but I have done so in the past, however, this was my first time taking him to this particular store. It made me emotional. You see, I discovered this place when I was about 14 years old and it was the first cool, alternative store I ever been to in my life. Here I am, 21 years later still shopping there! I do not go there often and the last time I went, three years ago, Philip didn't come with us. I guess the reason for the nostalgia was because this was the first alternative store I have ever shopped at and it was nice to pass the torch on to my son. According to their website, they have been open since 1979! They have been open for over 3 decades!

Philip loves to take the metro.

The store is located in Montreal, next to Sherbrooke Metro station and is called Rio X20. Now don't be fooled like I was on Saturday. There are two locations and they are located across the street from each other. It has been like that for as long as I can remember. The first one used to sell Doc Martens and all kinds of boots. Now they sell Converse shoes. I realised this only after I went to the second floor, where all the Docs were located back in the day to only realize, they re-located them across the street. My trip was not in vain as I got to appreciate and admire their collection of used leather punk jackets that are tripped out in studs, patches that were hanging on the wall! They have been there since I was a teenager and think it is nice that they left them there! It is a cool tribute.

 The second store is where all the cool boots/clothing/accessories are located. What I like, they don't just have a few Doc Marten models, they have walls and walls of them! That is the shop we wanted.

Image source:
 They not only carry Doc Martens but have quite a nice selection of alternative clothing and band t-shirts as well. They even have a nice section for kids clothing. Naturally, we browsed that section together and this is where Philip noticed a Mistfits shirt. When your child asks you to buy him a Mistfits shirts, you buy the kid the damned shirt!

 On the second floor (each store has two floors) is where the t-shirts, patches and some additional DMs are located. They sell Docs on both floors! I bought myself a Joy Division patch. Philip wanted one too because he likes that band and often requests for it in the car. I now have to sew these on our coats. I do not force my son to show an interest in the things I like and I encourage him to seek out his own interests but I am pretty frigging proud that he takes after me in some ways!

The reason for the visit: My husband needed new Docs. Not long after we got home, I noticed a pretty big hole in mine so off we went again on Sunday. It was an expensive weekend but the last pair (though the cheaper Made In China models) lasted us 3 years. We pretty much wear our boots on a daily basis, especially during the winter. I expected to get some pretty epic bruises and blisters on my feet again from breaking in a new pair but after wearing them all day today, I think breaking these ones in will be a lot easier. I had some difficulty walking around and some slight pain but that is a price to pay for some bad ass boots!

These are my husband, Jay's boots

These are mine!  All Mine!  My precioussssss!

Friday, November 20, 2015

My normal vs mainstream normal

Back when I dressed like everyone else and no longer wore gothic clothing, there were still visible undertones. If I wasn't wearing something on my body that would make someone point out my goth roots, I had something in my home that would make people stop and wonder. These things were always normal to me but not to everyone else.

I have all sorts of friends. Some goth, some are geeky (sometimes being geeky and goth go hand in hand) and a lot of them are not goth. They can be considered normal or mainstream but we get a long and some of these folks are close friends of mine.

The non-gothic folk always amuse me. I know it may sound like I am mocking them but in reality, I find it endearing, even cute on how they sometimes perceive things and sometimes, conversations with non-gothic folk can be very interesting. I learn about things they are passionate about and sometimes their passions differ from mine. I always welcome a good conversation and when someone is talking about an interest that is different from mine, (unless they are talking about a hockey game or baseball game they watched on tv then my eyes glaze over) I welcome these conversations. It is something out of my ordinary.

October rolls around and a friend of mine gets all depressed because it signals the end of summer and winter is around the corner. I, on the other hand, is welcoming October with open arms. I do not like the heat. I do not like the sun. I do not like summer. At all. I love fall. The leaves are changing colors, the temperatures are not so hot and life just gets better. Halloween is just around the corner!

Obviously this friend of mine doesn't quite get my love for Halloween and I find this depressing so I give the person a bunch of fun Halloween stuff, as a gift. Here I am hoping to spread joy and am innocently thinking that this would be the coolest gift in the world!

Halloween rolls around. I am all happy and shit. A couple of days later, my friend returns all the Halloween décor. The reason why: It put me in the spirit but now I have no use for it.Wait? What? You have no use for it? Whaaaat? I was completely gobsmacked when it was mentioned I could put it with my Halloween stuff to use for next year.... I usually keep most of these things out ALL YEAR ROUND and have a few items (the annoying or breakable ones) that do get stored away for the following year.  I have very few articles that I actually I put out to decorate for Halloween. Most of it is everyday household items. In fact, if I wasn't working as a receptionist that needs to keep a professional looking front entrance, most of that shit would be out on my desk year long! How can you NOT want some cool, kitschy Halloween stuff? What's wrong with you?

I was stumped. I keep forgetting that not everyone sees things the way I do! Non-gothic people can amuse me at times. Got to love the well meaning normals! It was just too cute. Who doesn't NEED Halloween decorations, really???? So darling like-minded readers, the following meme (see below) is dedicated to you: 

It's just like Ministry said, darklings, when you're a goth, "Everyday is Halloween"!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Ten things on what motherhood has taught me so far.

I apologize for my lack of posting. Life has been hectic here.  A couple of weeks ago, when I was  sick, I got inspired me to write a post about motherhood and about all the things I learned along the way. In fact, here are the top ten things on what motherhood has taught me so far:

(1) I don't always need to be The Strong One. Find support, ask for advice, cry when I need to cry and ask for help when I need it. I cannot do everything. It made me realize that I don't always need to define myself by being strong. Sometimes showing weakness is beneficial for everyone. For example, whenever I get a migraine or get sick, I let others take care of me. I don't plough through it anymore. Letting others see my vulnerability or during moments of weakness is beneficial to me and can be beneficial to them too, especially children. It is really good for their self esteem because they can contribute in making mommy feel better. It helps teach empathy and to care for those in need.

(2) It is ok to take a break and seek occasional down time, sometimes, you just need to remove yourself for a while. I am not implying to go out and completely neglect your kid but if you need down time and are able to get it, don't feel guilty about it.You don't always need to be "on". Recently, I declared temporary insanity and went shopping by myself. When I came back, I felt recharged.

(3) Motherhood has taught me about love. I never knew how strong of a bond I could have with someone and how much love I could have for another person until I had my son. It has also taught me a lot about self love...which leads to...

(4) I am learning to love myself - stretch marks and all.

(5) It has helped me take a long harsh look at myself and the life I was living.  Motherhood (more of the thought of starting a family) originally made me ditch the goth lifestyle because I foolishly conformed to society's views. There were lots of things I did not like about myself and I changed. Coming back to goth was one of them.

(6) Motherhood made me care less on what people thought. I do what is right for me and my family. I bottle fed and was shamed for it. I am goth and am shamed for that too because according to some people, I should set an example. I think this is absolutely hilarious and quite stupid. I am setting a great example for my son by simply being myself, goth and all!  He is learning valuable life lessons by having an alternative mom.

(7) Motherhood is teaching me how to bring down my personal walls. I put up many emotional walls throughout my adolescent and early adult life. I do not let many people "in". Motherhood is helping me re-evaluate that stance.

(8) Motherhood (as well as coming back to goth)  helped me get rid of a lot of toxic people in my life. I just don't have time or patience to deal with that. My family and I have some amazing people in our lives at that moment. It is nice to have people there to help when you need it and not expect your soul in return. I learned to set boundaries.

(9) I am learning to let things go. So what if my house is untidy or that I didn't have a perfect Thanksgiving dinner. The time we spend together is important. In a few months from now, no one is going to remember what silverware I used but will remember the laughter.

(10) That it is ok to slow down. I learned recently that it doesn't necessarily mean that I feel better I could go out and do all these things with my son. I am pretty sure that is why I got sick twice during the month of October.  Once I recover from an illness, take an extra day or two of rest before I go out and do all kinds of shit! I learned that Philip doesn't care what we are doing as long as we are doing something together. I do not need to push myself to entertain him if I am under the weather or just starting to recover from an illness. He doesn't care if we are watching movies together while I am on the couch or if we do a huge physical activity together.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

A self indulgent Friday the 13th

Last night, as I was editing a pre-written blog post while sipping my glass of wine, I decided to first post a picture of my Friday the 13th DVD on Facebook. I thought I was being funny. I decided to procrastinate my writing by reading up on what everyone else was doing and I kept reading these weird Facebook statuses. People were showing sympathy because something happened in Paris but I was unsure of exactly what. I decided to check the news. After reading about what happened, I decided that my blog post could wait. I felt like my post about what motherhood has taught me was not the time to post on the internet. Don't get me wrong,  I do firmly believe that my post was heartfelt, I just did not think it was appropriate in the wake of such tragedy.

I decided to keep my Friday the 13th DVD picture up on my PERSONAL facebook wall and even posted a funny Jason meme on my personal Facebook page.

I was told I was heartless. I get it, I have a crude, inappropriate sense of humour and I am sure some people don't agree with. Watching a horror movie in wake of a tragedy was perhaps in poor taste but let's keep one thing in mind: the movie is fictional. What happened in Paris was reality. My goal was not to offend anyone but more to show off to my friends by saying "look at the cool Friday night I am having at home"

I did not post a  Facebook status about what happened in Paris or expressed my sadness about it either. I just didn't see a point. Those who know me personally, know that these things do affect me greatly. In fact, it affected me so much, I decided my blog post about being a mommy could wait because it seemed so trivial in the aftermath of such horrible tragedy. Not only that but what about Beirut, Baghdad, Japan and Mexico?

You know something? I still cannot piece together what happened. I am saddened that families lost a brother, father, mother, sister, friend, etc to something like this. I could only imagine the pain they are feeling at the moment. While others may take comfort in changing their profile picture or posting their status or sharing memes, I just dealt with this in a different way. I decided to internalize and get all philosophical about it. I was inspired by a quote my cousin shared on her Facebook page. This is what I came up with while the movie was playing in the background:

Being someone who personally embraces the darkness, I do know there cannot be darkness without light. I am not mad at the person's remark about me being heartless, they are just handling the situation their way. They needed an outlet to vent their stress on and I happened to post something at the wrong time. My goal wasn't to troll or offend anyone. I feel we need to put our differences aside and unite together in order to fight hate. We need to stand united together, to be that light in the darkness.

I never cared for religion personally but I do see why people are turning to their faith during the after effects of this tragedy but I do agree and support those who are saying "why are we praying for Paris? This is what got us here in the first place"

With this in mind, I decided to not dwell on differences such as how we are handling the aftermath of such tragedy and religious ones. I just want to find ways on how we can unite together. I love the darkness but in this aspect, I choose the light. Let's stand together and show our support, let's not dwell on our differences. At the end of the day, we are all the same. We were all born and we will all die someday. We are all human.  The quote that inspired me was from  Martin Luther King Jr. He once said " Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that"

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

An open letter to the father (or legal guardian) who belittled his daughter this morning

To that dad (or legal guardian) that yelled at his kid and asked her if she was "fucking stupid" this morning:

I am a firm believer in the "it takes a whole village to raise a child" sort of deal. Don't get me wrong, I can be cynical and I might not always have a positive view on other parents, especially towards the more mainstream, conservative ones. I pretty much stick to myself BUT there were times having other parents nearby came in handy. Being a parent is most certainly one of the most difficult jobs we ever had to do and we need to stick together for the welfare of our children.

As a parent, I know how easy it is to lose patience. In fact, I also lost patience with my son this morning.  He started taking his sweet ass time getting ready, just like what I witnessed between yourself and your daughter. In fact, my son is much younger. He had a full scale meltdown before leaving our home and I yelled at him to "GET HIS SHOES ON, NOW!" It was not my shining moment as a parent. I am pretty sure the whole block was able to hear my bellowing pissed off "mom voice". If  you would have simply lost your patience, I would have understood. In fact, I would have given you a sympathetic nod. Who am I to judge, right? We have all had our shameful parenting moments.

It is when I heard your extreme yelling, foul language, name calling is what made me rage. It was not a shameful parenting moment at all. It was abuse. I did not judge you for losing your patience, I judged you on how you reacted towards your daughter. You don't need to physically hit someone for it to be considered abuse. I am sure we can unanimously agree that a child is a gift . To see and hear such things is not only heartbreaking, it is also infuriating. As a mother, seeing the look on your poor child's face afterwards made me just want to take her in my arms and comfort her. In fact, I was almost in tears myself.

In the moment, while you were yelling at her,  I was unsure what to do. I wanted to yell at you and to knock some sense into you! I knew there was a good chance of an altercation (after all look at the way you handled your child, what makes me think you would have dealt with me any better?)  Do I want my own son to witness a potential altercation between us? He was oblivious to what was going on and I was grateful he was. I overheard some of the things you were yelling at her and I bet the other mom dropping off her child noticed as well. We both looked at each other in shock. By the time my son was safely inside the school, you sped away down the street. Not only did you not wait to watch your child walk safely inside the school, you drove off well over the legal speed limit in a school zone. Children cross that street to go into school! It is bad enough that you showed a lack of concern for your daughter's well being but you also put other people's children at risk!

Perhaps it is not very nice of me to expose all this drama over the Internet, all over my blog no less but why should I protect someone who clearly has no respect for anyone? I decided I needed to do something, say something! I felt horrible I did not get a chance to speak to you directly and to give you a piece of my mind! So I am doing it here.

I strongly feel that the person doing the bullying/abusing  (you) is not the only person responsible if there are witnesses around. I am also responsible and believe me,  I will NOT put my head down and go about my day like nothing happened.  I bet a pretty penny this little girl spent most of her morning thinking about how her parent treated her while she was in class. I was not going to let this fly by.  I called the daycare service at the school. I explained in full detail what happened.I felt like that was the best I could do. They assured me they will look into this.

The point of this is to not toot my own horn. I simply got inspired and want to advise people not to bow their heads and walk away in these situations. Call someone. Take action. I learned today that they take these things seriously in schools. I was afraid of sounding silly but in the end, I was glad I brought it to their attention.

As for the parent to that beautiful little girl,  I will be keeping my eyes open whenever I drop my son off from now on.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Gothic retail therapy

Last week was my hell week. On Monday, I got to work late because I thought I lost my wallet. What happened is a typical scenario in my life. You see,the day before was spent on my couch nursing a migraine. I asked my son, Philip to get my purse for something because I didn't want to move! I placed the purse on my couch and my cat Pippin was laying on it. I pushed the cat off my purse  and the contents, including the wallet fell out. I did not notice the wallet. I guess with the shuffling around from the cats and my son, the wallet got kicked under my couch. It was a good thing I didn't cancel any cards!

On Tuesday someone walked in and smelled like they showered in cologne. It was so strong that I was able to smell the person from across the office! This is a huge migraine trigger for me and was thankful I had my meds. This is a huge pet peeve of mine.

Wednesday was a real crappy day. At one point, I left my desk, went to see my boss for a chit chat. I got one rude customer after another and needed a break before I started getting rude with them! I also had someone who very rudely kept interrupting me while I was on the phone with an angry customer. This person did not respect my personal space either and I politely snapped. I don't let my son get away with it at home, why would I let this person do so at the office? I came home drained but still managed to make cookies. I drank wine too!

Thursday was the worst. I was super productive that afternoon when all of a sudden, I felt something in my eye. I went to the washroom to discover that my soft contact lens broke in half in my eye! I wasn't able to get the other half out! I had to leave work early and go to my optometrist who was able to get it out for me. It is a good thing I have a super understanding boss. I have worked with her for the past 4 years and I don't think anything surprises her anymore with me. If something strange and unusual happens, we all know it happens to me.

Friday, thankfully went better. After work, I declared temporary insanity. This meant I left my husband and son to fend for themselves. They were alright, they had Mcdonald's for supper! I parked my car near my house since I live near a metro station and took the subway to the plateau here in Montreal. I love taking public transit. I just put my headphones on and got to listen to my music without interruptions. I read my book and was careful to not miss my stop like I often do! Sometimes, it's nice to just get out by yourself and tune out the world.

I hit my two all time favourite goth stores here in Montreal! I spent most of my time in the first store because the owner brings his dog to work with him! She is the cutest, sweetest thing. She was very calm and very friendly. The owner was super cool too. He didn't mind that I spent over an hour in his store, loitering. That time was spent listening to the music he had playing in the background and with his dog. At one point, she started following me around the store and wanted me to give her a belly rub! I thought that was so cute!  My mission was simple: pet the cute dog and buy a new purse. I felt like getting a larger purse would be favorable. It would be easier for me to have a larger bag vs the really small impractical purse I was already using. My reasoning or should I say excuse to buy a new bag was simple: if I bought a new purse, perhaps I won't misplace my wallet? Funny enough, I seem to find my wallet better in a bigger purse too!

I thought I would share my purchases with you! The end of my work week finished on a good note and it was a nice weekend too. It is nice to relax after such a horrible week and it is even nicer when you get some new pretty items for yourself!  Here's to retail therapy because it is much cheaper than actually putting yourself through psychological therapy! How was your weekend? Did you do some retail therapy as well?

My new so not work appropriate choker! The choker is made out of PVC.

Friday, November 6, 2015

The baby bat soars

I posted a couple months ago about my son taking tantrums the first few weeks of kindergarten. Things have been getting better, Philip seems to be adjusting well to his new school. I am pleased to announce that he now walks to school by himself in the mornings. Originally, I would walk into the school with him,  he would give his name in and would walk to the morning daycare program before school officially starts. Now, I park my car close to the front door, I help him out, make sure he has his things and watch him walk into the school all by himself! He decided this on his own after watching the older kids do it on their own. He wanted to be a big boy too.

For those of you who read this blog, knows he had a very difficult entry in this world.  I never thought I would have the opportunity to be able to watch him grow and being able to do so makes me appreciate life that much more. Watching him grow up and reach every milestone gives me that much more pride!Who knew one person could affect your being that much? Way to go Philip. You are right, you are no longer a baby bat but a big boy bat!Pardon the quality, I had to snap these ones quickly!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Product Review Kreepsville 666 devil horn hair clips

Fellow blogger, Ramona from the blog "Just Keep Brains" commented on my Happy Halloween post by requesting I do a product review on these Kreepsville666 horns I was wearing.

The horns were originally ordered online and they arrived well packaged.  They hold very well in my hair. I was originally worried about them sliding off during the day but they were very sturdy. In fact, I managed to use my headset at work while wearing them at the same time  and they did not budge. My son pulled on them and they held on too. Just like what I posted previously, I got tons of compliments from coworkers and clients.

The only thing that annoyed me about these hair clips was the fact that you can see part of the clip underneath that it is used to attach on your hair (the metal fastener)  but it is a very minor inconvenience. I think it was more of a question of how I fastened my hair over any default I had with the clip.

If anyone reading this post has used this product and has anything they would like to add, please comment! I am sure others might find it useful.

You can see the metal fastener here, you need to look closely

They remind me of Hershey Kisses mmmmmmmm Chocolate!!!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Honoring the dead on Halloween

This year's Halloween is going to stand out for a very long time, probably for the rest of my life. It all began when I went to my mom's house to decorate her home. She was so happy to have us over for dinner that she even contributed in making Halloween special for me by making me a pumpkin pie! Not only did she spoil us with "mommy food" (ie. treats) she allowed me to make a mess! I carved a pumpkin and decorated the outside of her home! She got lots of trick or treaters too and she seemed happy to be giving away candy.

My mommy and my Jack O Lantern!

Having eaten far too much, we welcomed the exercise as we set about the neighborhood trick or treating. By visiting old neighbors and houses with my son brought back memories from when I was a child on Halloween. I remembered some of the costumes I wore and I got to relive the excitement I had over the Holiday when I was a child. We will be definitely going back to my old neighborhood next year, my son got loads of candy too. People were quite generous.

One of the homes while trick or treating

One particular home did not get many visitors. In fact, we would have missed it if it weren't for my son's flashlight shinning on the non-decorated pumpkins on the front yard. We decided to ring the doorbell nonetheless. A tall slender elderly gentleman answered the door. He gave Philip candy and then asked him to wait for a moment. As a parent, this momentarily raised a red flag but what he did next made my night. He gave Philip a plush teddy bear. I told him that it was not necessary, that it was very kind of him to give candy to the trick or treaters. This is where the man told me that his wife passed away a year ago. She used to collect teddy bears and told him that if anything should ever happen to her, to please give them to small children in her honor. I offered my condolences and we thanked the gentlemen. I must have cried for a good five minutes afterwards.

This is the teddy bear. 

It is believed that the veil between the land of the dead and the land of the living is lifted on Halloween. Our ancestors used to honor the dead on this day and originally we would wear costumes to welcome the dead. This nice man found a beautiful way to honor his wife's memory on Halloween.

How was your Halloween?


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