Wednesday, June 29, 2016

No subscription required

The video I will be sharing at the end of this blog post is not only my source of inspiration this evening but it explains perfectly on how I feel about the goth movement at the moment.

As the majority of you know, I am in my mid-thirties. I am 36 years old to be exact. I am a mother to a beautiful 5 year old boy and I am old enough to be considered an elder goth. I first experienced the subculture in the mid nineties but did leave at one point for an extended period of time. No matter how hard I tried to disassociate myself from goth, it was always there.

Having experienced goth for some time (which also includes my baby bat years) I have seen many trends come and go from the subculture. Some of these trends stayed but some of them withered away (mall goth is an example)

While I am a firm believer of people not necessarily having to like the music but to have a healthy respect for it, I think the level of criticism many goths face needs to stop. This is mean goth mentality. This is bullying. I thought this was something we were supposed to be open minded about. 

As a mother to a school-aged child, I often tell my son that he needs to be polite and to not bully other children even when some kids are mean to him. You don't have to like that person. You don't have to spend time with them. Its simple! Don't like what you read or see online, move the fuck along and keep your opinions to yourself.

It doesn't matter what someone else is wearing or how they style their hair or how they do their makeup. Some people are more extreme than others. What matters is that you find that level of style that you are most happy and comfortable with. What makes you so special that you get to criticize other people? What is this some special club? Last time I checked being goth is not a members only club, there are no membership fees and no special cards. We are all individuals.  Instead of tearing each other down and calling each other poseurs, we shouldn't be using social media as means to bully people. We should be using it to build each other up. You dont like someones style or look, suck it the fuck up and go somewhere else! Remember folks, we want the goth movement to last. We have such a rich and storied history, why ruin it now? Go to a club or a concert. Invest in a local designer, artists, bands, etc. We have a responsibility to make this movement last for generations to come!

Thank you Darklings!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Some thoughts on self image

Now that I have been back to dressing goth and have been doing it consistently for several years now,  I am at a place where I am comfortable with myself. I look at myself and think I look like me. I am happy. I might still tone down a little for my job but am quite pleased over the fact that a lot of items I wear are not an issue in the office. For the record, I worked hard for that privilege dammit! I also don't wear anything I am unsure of unless I check with HR or my immediate supervisor first.

I get it. I know not everyone is permitted to get away with these things in an office. No, I don't work in a small office. It is a large corporation with many offices worldwide. Yes, maybe my style is not your version of corp goth. I might have more goth than corp goth in my day-to-day clothing and I know I am very fortunate to get away with this.

In my opinion, I feel that I am still quite toned down and if I had my way, I would come into work every day in ripped stockings, a deathhawk, and black lipstick. I am a trad goth at heart. My style today is very tamed compared to some of the shit I used to wear!

So yes, there is a part of me that wants to shave the sides again, and just go to town on the weekends but you know something? I may just do that I have matured (me and maturity, since when did that happen? How funny!) I went from one extreme (normal) to my version of a more toned down goth appearance. I am happy where I am. After I got engaged, I experimented with vintage/ retro fashion and have incorporated some slight elements into my current look. Yes, I fit the stereotype and got into retro style clothing when I left goth! I love some of my more romatigoth outfits too. I have always been about pleasing myself and not giving a fuck about what any else thinks so we shall see if I take the plunge. If I don't, I am cool with that. I think I look pretty awesome either way!
A sample of a retro inspired outfit. Jay and I spending our first Christmas together circa 2007

Now I am going to write about some advice I have given several people over the past few weeks (even months, years!) in my personal life.  It seems to me this is a reoccurring issue with a lot of people I know. I often  get a lot of comments along the lines of "I wish I had the self confidence to dress like you" or "I am going to dress like that when I lose weight." I wish I could tell them that the confidence to dress the way I do came easy but it didn't.

You see, I didn't leave the subculture for any valid reasons, I went normal and left the subculture because I cared on what people thought about me and lived my life according to what the mass majority thought was acceptable. Even during those normal years when I was mostly accepted, people criticized the shit out of me but I wanted a family and to be a good mom so I thought sacrificing my sense of personal style, music I listen to as well as books I like to read in order to " grow up" was the way to go. I tried to blend in and I failed. Some people have more corporate jobs that do not allow them the liberties that I currently have and toning down is sometimes necessary in order to earn a living. That's fine and all, I have been there too. Toning down or having a more corporate look for those reasons are valid ones. If I would have done just that, it would be more acceptable for me but I didn't. I completely sold out.

Today, I don't need to fully give up my style and I am in a position with my life that I do not want a career. I like coming home to make supper and spending my weekends with my family. I am a mom first and working gal second. I don't tone down because I am afraid of what others may think of me anymore and after gaining over 50 pounds of baby weight - which I am still struggling to lose by the way.  I just wear what I want. My thighs are too big for you? Simple, don't look. Please don't loose weight because you want to wear certain clothing. This too was something I struggled with for a very long time until I just stopped giving a shit.

The point of this post (or should I write rant?) is about being who YOU are or who YOU want to be and not caring what anyone else has to say. Another example I would like to give you is about this blog here. You see, my blog got criticised because according to some people I am not goth enough to their liking or some people went to the extreme opposite by saying that I'm too goth for the
corp goth look (is that an actual thing to be too goth? My blacks are not dark enough!). It doesn't mean that you go goth you are free from criticism and if I took everything everyone said to me to heart, I would be pretty darned confused right now. I cannot make everyone happy but there is one person in this world whom I can make happy and that's me!

When I went normal, I was too skinny, my hair was too blonde (she bleaches her hair, she is not a natural blonde, look at those roots!) and when I got pregnant, I heard comments constantly from the Food Police because I drank coffee and craved burgers. There comes a time in your life, you just got to do what makes you happy or what is best for you and fuck everyone else! Everyone has something to say and you are not always going to like it. Take some criticism if you feel it is warranted but for the most part, just smile and move on. Never let anyone dictate your sense of self worth or what clothing you should or shouldn't wear. Goth or not. Skinny or not. Wear what makes you happy and confident. In time, the more I started to dress the way I wanted, the happier I became and the more self confidence I had. Life is too short for boring clothes.

Before - I look like one of those bitter, angry middle-aged ladies!


Friday, June 24, 2016

The dreaded pop figurines version 1.4

Here are my new arrivals! I finally finished two collections. The second wave Doctor Who and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

 Riff Raff, 9th Doctor, and Rose

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

"My whole life is a big dark room. One big dark room"

Summer time means bringing out the Lydia hat!

I have been feeling sad this week but I always feel like this whenever my son hits a milestone. I know I should be happy. We had such a difficult beginning that it is nice that I am given the opportunity to watch him grow up but it is so bittersweet for me! My baby bat just finished his first year of school. Today was his last day. The year was full of ups and downs but we made it! Philip will be going to grade one in the fall. What happened to the little baby that I brought home from the hospital? I actually cried a little today.

It really is a double edged sword. I am happy but very sad at the same time. My whole life is a dark room!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Outfit post: Heads will roll in this heatwave!

The weather has changed drastically over here. From comfortable fall-like temperatures, we are now getting very hot weather. Today was almost 40 degrees Celsius with the humidity. Yuck!

On Sunday, despite being father's day, Jay wanted to spoil me (after Philip showered him with homemade gifts and I made one of his favourite meals for brunch) so off we went to one of my favourite stores: Diabolik. I ended up buying two t-shirts and a cardigan. You will see them here, eventually. Yes, I know, I bought a sweater in the middle of a summer heat wave but I couldn't resist! It has bats on it! I brought Philip with me and he was completely smitten by the girl working there! He also picked out my clothes. Yes, he is 5 and has an opinion and is my very own fashion consultant! He chose this shirt because he likes Sleepy Hollow. Correction, he likes the Scooby Doo version of Sleepy Hollow and thinks the headless horseman is really cool. I must admit, the kid has good taste! I love the pumpkins and the frame around the image on this shirt!

The shirt is by Restyle, a European brand that I love but won't order online from. The prices are great but the shipping is astronomical so it is nice that Diabolik carries this brand. I also got my Restyle skull rib cage purse from the same store.

Here are some pictures of me. Look! I am melting! I feel like a plain black outfit today would be uninspiring.It also can be difficult to keep cool in this type of weather when you dress all in black so the image on the shirt spruces it up a little.

I wore this to work and no one said anything about the shirt so I think it is ok for the office. I wasn't so sure this morning! The only comment I did receive was from a well-meaning conservative co-worker who commented on the length of my skirt. I do admit that it is rather short and this is something I would normally wear with leggings in the winter.  

What do you say in these kind of situations? What can you reply? Do you just say thanks and walk away or admit to your wrong doings but then wouldn't that give the person added ammo to criticize the other things you wear? Well for me, in classic Sylvie style, I lifted my skirt up in order to reveal the shorts I was wearing underneath! I wish you could have seen the person's face! Ha!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Cure concert

If what I am writing doesn't make any sense, my apologies. I guess the many cups of coffee I consumed all day is not working. I had less than 5 hours sleep last night and I got up for work this morning but it was well worth it... because I went to see The Cure!

I wanted to wear something simple yet comfortable for work so I opted for my Maxi dress. Before leaving the office, I excused myself and re-applied my makeup. I went from simple to heavy eyeliner and replaced my dark burgundy lipstick for black. I decided to give the Stargazer black lipstick another try. Just like my last review, I was disappointed because it was hard to apply. Time to buy a better lipstick.

All I had to do when I got home was put supper in the oven, place my skull hand hairclip in my hair and add a corset. I never got ready for an event so quickly in my life! I think the longest it took me was choosing which corset I wanted to wear on top of my dress. My niece (also my babysitter) picked the purple one for me.

Clothing aside, here is a  little note about the concert:

The opening act, Twilight Sad was pretty good. They went a little too much on the reverb though but I liked some of their songs.

The set list was very diverse and I thought it was AWESOME!  I got emotional at certain parts because they played so many of my favourite songs!  It was nice taking a trip down memory lane. I never realized until the concert just how many songs by this band played a part in my life. I am very lucky to have grown up listening to The Cure! Can you believe I have been listening to this band for 20 years?

A friend of mine told me prior to the concert that the band will play for 3 hours. That's right. 3 hours! I can confirm this! It was one of the best 3 hours I spent in my life! If you have tickets and have not seen The Cure live yet, you are in for one hell of a treat! Thank you, Robert Smith for everything that you do!

On my way to the metro!

At the metro station. I am so excited. Squeee!  Fucking dream come true. I finally get to see the Cure. OMG OMG OMG sooooo excited! Wheeeee!

No... Not excited at all... Hahaha! I was trying to act like a "proper Goth" but screw you all! I am a perky goth. Always was and always will be and mitts off my goth card. It's mine, dam you. All mine!

Just take the damned picture, Jay,, hurry! The metro is coming! I have a date with Robert Smith!!!!!

Monday, June 13, 2016

A word on hate

What happened in Orlando affected me, therefore, I want to take this opportunity to extend my sincerest condolences to the victim's families.

What saddens me most about what happened in Orlando was that these people were at a place catered to them where they thought they would be safe from the outside world and it's judgments.

To those who hate:

What is it to YOU who sleeps with whom? Why should you care? How is that any of your business?

What do you care if the opposite sex uses the "wrong" washroom? What are you going to do? Look under the stalls to see if they are the correct gender?

What makes you so special that you get to judge someone by whom they are sleeping with, what they wear, what religion (or lack of) they have?

Just like what I posted about the Paris Attacks, let's fight hate with love. Let's not give these bigots what they want. Let's NOT be afraid and let us support those who need our support the most.

No mother should have to receive texts like these from their child:

My blogging about this certainly wont bring the victims back or perhaps won't make much difference but I wrote from the heart and what I wanted to express. Perhaps we might not make the world a better place but sometimes a simple gesture goes a long way. I have read so many stories shared by friends and family members over social media because they were outraged by some of the homophobia that is being passed around.  This is the aftermath of the tragedy and it makes me sick! On the other hand,  I have also read stories online where people stood outside in the Florida heat for 5 hours just to give blood. Meanwhile, good Samaritans showed up with drinks and food, some were Muslims that arrived at the clinic to give the blood donors that were waiting in line food or water. Let's follow the positive example and not fight hate with more hate.

Friday, June 10, 2016

My name is Sylvie and I have a forehead

I had bangs on and off for the past 5 or so years but recently I decided to grow them out. My hair grows really fast and with everything going on recently, I just don't have the time or patience with the upkeep anymore. My coworkers today were shocked but I got a lot of compliments. I simply twisted my bangs around and pinned it to the side with a bobby pin.

Here is an added bonus! Awwww!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Why I just paint my face and the shadows smile

The sky was overcast, dark and broody which has been the weather over the past couple of days here in Montreal. While most people are complaining about the lack of summer weather, my spirts are high. I hate summer and the heat. The drive to my son's school and the usual morning drop-off was uneventful. That particular morning, he wanted me to walk into school with him. Whatever floats your boat, kid. Over the past few weeks, Philip has been requesting Blutengel to be played in my car while I take him to school in the morning. Nothing else. I am quite fond of the band but I was opting for a change.

The Cure is scheduled to perform at the Bell Centre next week and I am getting quite stoked. I am going to see one of my favourite bands play live and why not add to my hype by listening to some of their songs during my drive into work? Now that my son is safely in school, I switch playlists and Robert Smith's voice starts bellowing out through my crappy car speakers.

I am a horrible singer. I cannot carry a note if my life depended on it but in the comfort of my car, with my doors and windows safely closed, I can belt out any song I want. This time, I was singing along to Pictures Of You. The song ends and the song Burn from the movie The Crow begins to play. Now, I have a huge smile on my face because I was reminded of  how the movie is considered clichéd amongst the goth subculture and I was highly amused over this. Let me tell you why:

You see, a lot of fellow Goths (usually earlier generations) often scoff at The Crow. Hell, even Jillian Venters stated that "Friends don't let friends dress like The Crow" in her novel The Gothic Charm School. To a certain degree, I agree with her. It has been overly done and to be honest it can take away from Goth being a subculture based on individuality.

ignore the box.Taken last year with my poster in the background

I cannot really pass on too many judgments here because I sometimes hang my little gothy head in shame over this. Here is a babybat confession where thankfully, there is no photographic evidence(that I know of) lurking around because I wore Crow makeup too. You see, as a teenager or baby bat in the mid to late nineties, I was highly influenced by movie (I know, I know, the comics came first) and it opened up a whole new world to me. You see, The Crow as clichéd as it maybe was one of my gateway drugs into the subculture. The movie also shaped who I am and I also discovered new things.

The Crow taught me that there were some good guys out there and one day, I will find my own Eric Draven because I had my share of abusive, negative relationships. What I didn't realize at that time, he was standing right there in front of me!

Best Christmas present ever!

I was always a Nine Inch Nails fan and their remake of the song Dead Souls, introduced me to a new band. Joy Division ring a bell? 

I started dressing all in black and even dyed my hair black too. I did not fully consider myself goth, in fact, I wasn't even aware of goth at that time until others pointed that out to me. All because I became a huge fan of The Crow.

I read the graphic novel the movie was based off of and was lucky to even purchase a copy several years later. At that time, I thought comics were all super hero related or Archie and Jugghead. Boy, was I ever wrong! This later got me into Manga and then the Sandman comics. A whole new world opened up for me there too.

I get it. The Crow is over done. Look a carbon copy! Aaaaah! I can see why some of the elder goths roll their eyes over it.. As a result, whenever I am tempted to roll my eyes over the newest goth trend myself (ie. Mallgoth, health goth, Nu Goth, etc) I remind myself at one point, I not only wore cheap, badly applied Halloween makeup from the dollar store, I wore it like The Crow, AND I paraded around in public with it. I may not always be a personal fan of some of these latest goth trends but from what I have seen online, these kids look a hell of a lot better than I ever did when I was their age!

I am positive I am not the only one from my generation who loves this movie and comics to bits and who wore makeup inspired by or copied from Eric Draven. A while ago, a remake was in the works and while I was originally on the bench about it, I now think they should leave the movie the hell alone. Nothing will ever live up to the original.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Wanting to forget

There are times I want to forget. I have a very mild form of anxiety and during the past couple of weeks, many events that stemmed from my personal life have affected me. If these were isolated incidents, I would be fine but they are not. It seems like everything is happening at once and every time I feel like I keep my head above water, something new happens and I get weighed down all over again. It is so frustrating. I am constantly fighting to keep myself from drowning. It is very frustrating and am getting pissed off at the Universe. Seriously, can I catch a break now? Really?

My May Monster Madness and my last Pop Figure post had a Doctor Who theme. In each post, I referenced The Silence and how they had the ability to make you forget. While looking at them, you know they are present but the minute you turn your back, you forget what you saw. Well, I feel like with what is going on, I wish my problems would be The Silence at the moment. Hopefully, I could turn off my mind for a while, look in another direction and just forget.

So without further adieu, here is my Pop Figure and the moment you scroll away from the image, you too dear readers will forget what you saw!

For the record, I am not comfortable writing about the reasons why my anxiety levels are high ( a little too personal for the Interwebs) but I can assure you that myself, husband, kid and the rest of my immediate family are doing well. We are as strong as ever and the husband has been really supportive. Despite not wanting to turn this post into a drama-fest, I thought I would share some fun personal facts about my anxiety:

- I went years before my anxiety was actually diagnosed. I thought having anxiety meant having panic attacks which I very rarely have. I think I had maybe 3 in my lifetime.  Not bad, eh?  It took a therapist to actually tell me that I had anxiety and even then, I didn't believe her at first.

- I love my mind. I can be creative, sarcastic, funny, and witty but there are times I hate my mind because I over analyze the shit out of things. I get all worked up over "worse case scenarios" and they never happen.

- When these "worse case scenarios" never happen, I feel like shit for it because I got all worked up over nothing. It is almost like I want them to happen so I can say "a-ha! I knew it!"

- I am grateful that my anxiety is very minor compared to some people. My heart really goes out to them. Any form of mental illness is not easy because you are constantly at war with your own mind.

- My anxiety got worse after I stopped smoking and when I was trying to get pregnant.

- I hate the feeling of being on edge and having that knot in my stomach. I hate having indigestion and waking up in the middle of the night by heart burn then having to deal with my thoughts afterwards. This is not a common occurrence and usually happens when I have a lot of stress in my life.

- I do not take any medication for anxiety or depression because I don't think I need it but will not judge others who do require medication in order to get by. Every one is different. My story is not your story and I am doing what is best for ME.

- One of the reasons why I love Doctor Who so much is because it is one of the few things that can distract me from my thoughts.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Summer plans

For any locals reading this, head out to Dollarama because I recently purchased some activity books there and they are aimed at Kindergarten and Grade 1 kids. I believe I have also seen some grade 2 stuff there too. These books were $1.25 each and are filled with exercises. They are apparently written by teachers working in Canadian classrooms. I can attest that pretty much everything Philip learned in kindergarten this year, it is covered in these books!

I got him kindergarten Writing Readiness, Kindergarten Reading Readiness, Grade 1 Math, and Grade 1 Reading. The pages can easily be torn off (easier to photocopy!) and there are answers in the back of the book.

I do not plan on doing these everyday. A couple of times during the week will suffice. If he does well, he gets a sticker and depending on how much he completes and how well he does these worksheets, he will get a reward at the end. I am thinking of taking him on a field trip either to the Planetarium, the beach, etc. We shall see.

Philip wants so much to read. Here in Canada, they slowly get kids ready in kindergarten but they do not stress on it yet. He knows what most letters sound like but he still doesn't know enough to sound out words. He does recognize a lot of words though.

I don't want to be anal but I don't want him forgetting what he learned all year during the summer break  either and he wants to read. We are hoping he would start this summer.

Yes, I know, my kid is going to hate me because I will be making him do school work when he is on summer break. Haha!

What are your summer plans?

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Happy birthday to my husband

Today, is Jay's birthday and while I do acknowledge the fact that he is a very private person, I am thinking too bad, he is going to let me sing his praises today!

We met each other in high school but we disliked each other....immensely. We would often insult one and other when given the opportunity. Trust me, there were plenty of opportunities! I must admit, some of the insults were funny and I was impressed by his sharp wit.

He used to live in walking distance from my parent's house. I remember discovering his fear of dogs and would purposely walk close to him with my very big husky just to watch him flinch, curse and cross the road. My father and I would often take the dog out for a walk together and there was a time, he caught onto my tactic. He asked me why I would do such a thing. I told my dad that he was "an asshole and he deserved it"

What my father said next, I will never forget because it pissed me off  but there was a lot of wisdom in his words:"Be careful what you say, Sylvie, you may just end up marrying the guy one day" Unfortunately, my dad passed on before he could physically see that happening but I am sure he was watching over me on my wedding day with a very smug look on his face. I never thought in a million years that I would marry that asshole but we got reacquainted with one and other many years after high school by a mutual friend - who lied through his teeth in order for the both of us to talk no less. The funny thing is, we had no clue who we were having a conversation with each other because it was over chat (MSN Messenger) and we both had aliases. Imagine the shock we had when we both found out exactly who we were talking to! You can also imagine the angry messages the mutual friend received from the both of us afterwards. Thanks to the mutual friend, Jay and I did meet for a coffee because I was curious to see just how that little slime ball turned out after high school. We became instant friends too because we both discovered that we love watching animé and playing videogames.

What can I say? The little slime ball had some charm after all and it didn't take very long for me to become smitten by him. Every time he would meet me, he always had roses and a little dragon porcelain figurine for me.  Even when he proposed, I thought I was getting another dragon until I noticed that there wasn't a dragon in that box but a ring. I think that was one of the few times in my life I was speechless!

Being married to a sarcastic, hard-headed, and cynical man is no easy task. Especially when you can be sarcastic, hard-headed and cynical too but we manage.

On the other hand, I married my best friend who always puts me first no matter what. In fact, he pretty much stopped talking to his family after our wedding. It is a long story but he told me that I married him, and as his wife, I come first. I never asked him to do this either but I am grateful for what he did.

Just when I thought my husband couldn't be more amazing than he really was, he gave me the best gift ever: he gave me Philip. Not only did he agree to name our son after my dad, he was pretty cool with me giving Philip his name too. You see, Jay is really short for James and as soon as we found out I was carrying a baby boy, we both decided on the name Philip James. I thought it was cool that I would name my son after two very important men in my life! Now that we have a third person in the house who is equally hard-headed, sarcastic and cynical to deal with, I wouldn't want it any other way!


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