Wednesday, December 30, 2015

5 Fun alcoholic beverages for the darkly inclined

With New Year's around the corner and having an Irish husband, I got inspired to write about alcohol. What kind of drinks do us gothic people enjoy? Well, I compiled a list! If I may have forgotten anything, please comment!

(1) Absinthe (AKA The Green Fairy) - Obviously, I have to start with this one as it is my favorite! Being extremely high in alcohol content and the color green, this is my drink of choice! Drinking absinthe is not simple. You cannot just simply unscrew the bottle and pour the booze in a glass (or if you are a classy gal like me, drink straight from the bottle.) How do you drink absinthe? Well, you would need to first pour a very small amount into a glass. Afterwards, you will need a special spoon that is perforated to be placed over the glass. Take a sugar cube and then place it on the spoon. Pour water over it.  The water dissolves the sugar into the glass. This not only dilutes the drink but makes it sweeter. With the high alcohol content, you need to dilute this in order to be able to drink it easily.  It smells and tastes like licorice!

image source

Image source
(2) Chartreuse - I was first introduced to this drink when I was a babybat in my late teens from reading Poppy Z Brite's novel, Lost Souls. Apparently, this drink comes in two colors; green and yellow. I never personally tried the yellow kind but the green was excellent. It has a strong, spicy flavor, similar to Absinthe. The drink has been been around since 1737 made by the Carthusian monks.

(3) Mead -  It is made from fermented honey and water. Sometimes fruit or hopps are added and according to Wikipedia, it is known as the "ancestor of all fermented drinks." Here in Montreal, we can find mead at the local SAAQ (liquor store) as well as at the Jean-Talon Market. Sometimes, if I am lucky, I can find a fruit-flavored mead.

image source

(4) Bloody Mary - A couple of my friends will order this drink while we are out. I guess they order it due to the title and because it most probably resembles blood. Personally, this is not my drink of choice as one of it's main ingredients is tomato juice (yuck!).

(5) Sangria - One of my personal favorites. This cocktail reminds me of summertime, where one could find me in my backyard or on a terrace somewhere sharing a pitcher of this drink. In fact, this is definitely my go-to beverage during the summer months. According to Wikipedia, Sangria is from Ireland, Spain, and Portugal. It normally consists of red wine, chopped fruit, and brandy. I chose this beverage to add to my list because of the name. In french, the word "sang" means blood and well the drink is a dark red color. I was not too far off the mark there because according to Wikipedia, the drink was named after the Spanish and Portuguese word for bleeding!

This is it. I am pretty sure there maybe beers out there that could be considered a Gothic drink but I am not a beer fan, personally. When I do go out, I like a nice glass of red wine, sangria (obviously) or I order a flavored Martini.I prefer hard liquor!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Save the original Monster High dolls!

I just found out that Mattel will be redesigning the face of it's Monster High Dolls and I am quite annoyed because the dolls new face will be less dark and spooky. Instead, the face will be more toned down and cutesy. Apparently, people complained about these dolls and Mattel obliged.

A petition is circulating and the person who created this petition is asking Mattel to not discontinue the older models. If this is something that you agree with, I strongly urge you to go on over and sign!

This rots my socks on so many levels. It  teaches young girls that you need to conform in order to fit in - which is something that is not what Monster High stands for, by the way! As a grown, adult GOTH woman with a stable job (incidentally I was once told by a little girl that I look like one of her Monster High dolls) this message is nothing but negative. Yes, I tone down for my job BUT I do not have a peaches and cream complexion either! Really, Mattel? Why are you telling young girls that you need to change yourself if others don't like you? If you want to change the face because other people complained, fine but please do not discontinue the older models! In my opinion, you shouldn't fix what isn't broken, yet I am not in your marketing/PR department so I wouldn't know exactly how many people complained about the face being "too dark and spooky". On the other hand, I am pretty sure there are many people like me who love the original look of these dolls  and would like to see you keep them that way.

Again, here is a link to the petition and I urge you all to share on social media:

Image taken from site

Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Jurassic Christmas predator

I am tired and drained. I may sound snarky but all in all I am having a good Christmas. I am drained but I think every year I feel that way.  To be honest, I never thought I would ever think this but I am glad that I am working a few days next week, just to get back to a routine! I am fed up of Christmas. I just want some down time!

Christmas Holidays as a parent is very tiring. There is all that shopping to do and hiding the gifts. When you are finally ready to wrap them, you have to be a ninja! My child has gift wrapping radars and seems to know that I am up to something. He could be sound a sleep but the moment the wrapping paper comes out, wham! He is awake. I was smart this year. I brought all that shit to my mother's place and wrapped it all there! Take that you sneaky bugger!

I made supper on Christmas Eve this year and I think it was a smart move because the next day was hell. My supper was excellent, I even used the good dishes (they used to belong to my grandmother) and my table looked nice, unlike Thanksgiving! 

We even put out cookies and egg nog for Santa. The eggnog had a little bit of cognac inside to keep us sane. Philip also left out carrots for the reindeer.

My little boy woke us up at 4:30am Christmas morning. He was permitted to open the little gifts under his tree and inside his stocking. I thought I was clever by putting things that could keep him occupied but I was so wrong. Every time he retrieved something from his stocking, he would run into our room and announce what he got! He also got candy from Hargoyle, which we permitted him to eat (anything goes on Christmas) so the kid was bouncing off the walls. We gave up by 5:30am. Coffee was my best friend. It was even better than regular morning coffee since we spiked it with cognac! No wonder parents get liquored up over the Holidays! Drinking keeps you sane!

The highlight of my day was the Indominos Rex dinosaur robot toy my son got. This dinosaur is from the new Jurassic Park movie that came out last summer. It is really cool.  It has sensors and can follow your hand movement. When his eyes turn red, he is in "attack" mode and will charge at you. Be careful it bites (not really hard, but still) The robot has the same movements as the dinosaur in the movie, which is really neat.  I know I was pretty scared. Whenever the robot would go in "attack mode", both Philip and I would run away from it. At one point, we nearly knocked over the Christmas tree! It is a cool toy and I think we play with it more than Philip does!

poor Pippin doesn't realize it's in attack mode!

We are busy visiting family this weekend and I am pretty Christmassed out. I am actually looking forward to New Years for some R&R. In all this madness, I still have not found the time to go see the new Star Wars movie! I am pretty pissed off about that! BAHUMBUG!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Should you or shouldn't you reconnect with an estranged family member?

With the Holidays right around the corner, I came across some articles shared via social media on the subject of estrangement. Usually these articles are about people who are unsure whether or not they should reconnect with an estranged family member.

I know many people personally who have estranged themselves from their own parents, even their own mothers and during this time of the year, many of them are wondering whether or not they should reconnect. Some people are glad and even grateful for having severed ties while others are missing the other person and may be regretting their decision. I had to end a lot of toxic relationships myself too, therefore, I can understand the inner turmoil. Perhaps some of my own personal insight could help shed some light into this topic:

***Disclaimer: I am not a professional therapist, these are only my personal opinions/experiences on the subject. Each person is unique. What applies to me, may not apply to someone else. ***

(1) Forgiveness does not necessarily mean reconciliation - Having grown up in a Catholic household, I was often encouraged to turn the other cheek. What I have learned in my adult life was that you can turn the other cheek, you can forgive, in fact, I encourage it...BUT... know this. Forgiveness doesn't necessarily mean reconciliation. You can accept what the other person did to you. You can forgive them for it and move on in your life. If you feel that this person does nothing but make you feel bad about yourself, you have the right to cut them out of YOUR life for good. As a child, we are often told to kiss and makeup. We often carry this mentality well into our adult life. It is OK to say to yourself "yeah what so and so did to me sucked balls. It hurt. I forgive them but for my own well being, I choose to no longer associate myself with them." Finding it in your heart to forgive and not hold any grudges not only makes you the better person but it is healthy. Why hold onto anger? Move forward and enjoy life!

(2) Although something may appear to be broken, it is really fixed - An old boss of mine from a previous job I used to work at gave me sound great advice after I broke up with my now ex boyfriend.  He said to me "what do you do with cancer? You cut it out. Once you do cut it out, would you want to put it back there?" Depending on the reason why you severed ties, perhaps these people should remain part of your past. A snake may shed it's skin but it is still a snake.

(3) Remember why you cut ties - I am hoping this wouldn't reopen old wounds but sometimes taking a step back to re-evaluate why or what caused the relationship to end is a good way to reaffirm your original decision. We often get emotional or sentimental around the Holidays and sometimes reaffirming why we chose to cut ties is a good way to avoid any unnecessary drama in the New Year. Sometimes, an emotional decision isn't always the right one.

(4) Cherish new relationships- having personally severed ties with many members of my immediate family, I have developed better, more positive relationships with other people. Remember, sometimes family is only blood and the real family members are often the friends you make. Luckily for me, I still have a relationship with one of my siblings - the only half- sibling I still talk to out of 6 others (yes , you read that right six half siblings) and as a result, I have a wonderful relationship with my niece. By no longer being someone else's snot rag, I now have many friends that I can depend on. I know that my energy is well spent towards being there for them when they need it. It is uplifting knowing that you are appreciated and you matter to someone else. That your efforts and kindness is being returned.  My son doesn't even notice any family estrangements and has positive role models. In the end, him seeing how others treat me and respect me is a good example for him: he sees how mutual respects works!

Haha! Some humor to lighten the mood, sorry, I had to!

(5) It is OK to be sad - It is also ok to tune out of social media where people often hide their own personal drama and have picture perfect lives. Remember, what you see on Facebook isn't always 100% real and we are often reading edited versions of people's lives.

Lastly, please remember, YOU walked away from a toxic situation, something that is not easy to do and sometimes, it is something that takes a toll on you. Please remember, YOU DESERVE to love yourself. Your feelings matter. Your personal boundaries matter. YOU are important and you owe it to yourself to do what is necessary to preserve your own sanity and well being. In the end, you and only you have power over yourself, do not give the other person that power! It is your life and it is ok to make it about you, especially when your happiness is concerned.

I do have some advice for those who had someone cut ties on them. I also had this happen to me personally.There are several reasons why people cut contact with me. One reason was because I was depressed and I brought many people down with me. Another reason why people stopped talking to me was when I came back to the Goth scene. Here is how I handled both situations:

Find out why they cut ties and use it to grow -  Some of the reasons why people cut ties with me spoke volumes about them, especially regarding over the clothing choices I make. In the end, I grieved for the end of the relationship but moved on. I accepted my Gothic self and decided that if they didn't like it, well too bad for them. I didn't change much. I was just happier and wore different clothes. It was their loss.

Sometimes, the other person had valid reasons for cutting the cord.  I was super depressed and I expected others to feel sorry for me. I am not a special snowflake and to be honest, there is only so much someone could do for me. I had to want to save myself. It was one of those "help me, help you" scenarios. Once I started fighting for my life and happiness, many people threw in the proverbial life-preserver and helped me. It made me a better person. It saddened me that I lost friends, especially during the hardest times of my life but I didn't solely look at it from a victim's perspective. I dug down real deep and realized that yes, I am entitled to feel the way I feel but no one can save me from myself. Only I can do that. Being a constant downer, never having anything positive or productive to say, made people not want to be around me. I don't blame them.. Some may say that these people should have been more supportive of me, especially when I hit rock bottom in my life. I like to see it other ways. It is OK to be depressed but being around someone who is constantly bitter is not very uplifting. I can see why they didn't want to be around me. It made me a better person. I still feel the way I do but I learned to keep a balance. It can't always be about me and I need to realize other's around me. 

Would that person accept your friendship after they cut ties with you? Maybe. It all depends on the situation and person. I would really need to be certain that the other party would not do it again. As the age old saying goes: Do it once, shame on you. Do it twice, shame on me. If you read this article here, you would read about my experience with bullies as a teenager. I not only used that incident to grow as a person but I reconnected with  "Samantha" a couple of years ago. The friendship ended very badly and there were many hard feelings in the end. Sometimes, some people are better left in your past.

That is all folks, happy Holidays and I wish you all well. Please remember to be safe. If you drink, please don't drive.

Monday, December 21, 2015

I said yes to the dress

Mary from the blog, Mourning Glory Designs, recently opened an Etsy shop (go check it out!). The moment I saw this dress from her store, I knew it was love at first sight. I imagined all the outfit possibilities and many different ways I could wear this dress and I just had to have it.

My company Christmas party was around the corner and I knew this dress would be perfect for such an occasion! Unfortunately, my son and I got sick, therefore, I had to miss out on the party but the dress shall still  be worn! The only reason why I waited this long to wear it was because I wanted to look my best (ie healthy) so I could do it justice.

I wore this dress to work today. I was originally unsure whether or not it would go over well. Considering it has color and I got away with tu-tu skirts or outfits with d-rings on them, I figured this wouldn't be so bad. In fact, I got lots of compliments!  I was even told that I reminded someone of a Disney princess.

I owe all the wonderful compliments to Mary who is not only an excellent seamstress but a great business woman! The dress is super well made, she was very quick at communicating with me and she shipped it out very fast! The dress came well packaged and she was so sweet for including some freebies (some skull hand hair clips and lace gloves) to along with it! Thank you for the treats, Mary!

All in all, I would definitely be ordering more items from her in the future and I highly recommend her! PS I need a better camera. It was pretty late and dark when we took these pictures. I played around with some filters in order to enhance the dress. Sorry, I got home later than anticipated and I didn't want to wait any longer to do this outfit post!

Friday, December 18, 2015

You better not shout, you better not yell. Im telling you why. Candy Claws is coming to town!

I recently did a blog post about giving my son a traditional Christmas and how I wanted him to celebrate the same way his friends do. Sometimes, your kid surprises you and gets into things you like too and you end up adding something spooky to your Holiday. It sure is fun raising a baby bat!

Last year, I purchased through Voltaire's crowdfunding campaign a story book called "The Legend Of Candy Claws". I even did a review, which you can read, here.

For those who are not aware, to sum up the story briefly, it is about a giant bat called Hargoyle who takes Halloween candy from bullies while they are trick or treating and leaves them to children who don't bully on Christmas.

Philip LOVES this story and is constantly hoping I would give him the signed plush Hargoyle that came with the book. We read it quite often and he loves the artwork too. The kid thinks Hargoyle is an actual real giant bat and really does believe he will get Halloween candy on Christmas. In fact, he swears he saw Hargoyle flying around on Halloween while we were out Trick Or Treating together!


Since Philip is convinced that both Hargoyle and Santa Clause will be showing up on Christmas Eve, I bought some black and orange wool to knit a stocking to hold the Halloween candy inside. The problem is, I only know how to knit a straight line (I make scarves) but my mom is the expert. In fact, she taught me how to knit when I was a kid so I asked her for help.  I came down with a nasty cold recently and she was looking for a project to do. I ended up getting out of making the darned things. In a way, I am happy, I have so much to do this time of year. It was very nice of her and she even made two of them for us just in case something happens to the first one.. My mom is also highly amused over this and she even put aside some Halloween candy. The sock will be filled with the Halloween candy we placed aside (Courtesy of Hargoyle, naturally) on Christmas Eve while he is asleep.

Don't ask about the towels, it is a bunk bed for my cats!

I asked my mom for small ones considering he will be getting lots of sweets on Christmas and I don't want to over do it!

This Christmas, I am keeping some traditions I grew up but it is also nice to create some new ones. I would like to thank you, Voltaire, for giving my family this new tradition and for helping us create some of our own unique Christmas magic.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

I don't care about your opinion

Today, I had an epiphany.

My epiphany has come from the fact that I really don't care what other people think or say about me. I used to. I just don't anymore. I am comfortable with who I am and where I am in my life. There was a time this wasn't such a case.

I like to thank coming back to goth for that. I no longer have to hide and with dressing the way I do, I have heard all sorts of rude comments, especially when I stopped dressing normal. As a result, I developed a thick skin. How I see myself for the good or worse and how I work on my own personal flaws are my business alone. I don't need anyone to dictate to me how to run my life (or to tell me what to wear) for that matter.

Parenthood too has given a thick skin and today's incident is proof.

It is now my morning routine to drop my son, Philip off to school. He has started walking alone to the building with my supervision. There has been mornings he asks me to walk in with him but they have been few and far between. I welcome this independence.

Every morning, he looks unsure and I smile, reassure him then wish him on his way. I watch him walk towards the school and I wave at him.

This morning, a parent stops me. She is with her child. She goes on to lecture me about how I shouldn't allow my little kid to walk on his own. Her daughter is in a much higher grade and she wont let her walk in by herself for safety. I smile, thank her for the advice. In the end, I do not owe her an explanation as to how I choose to raise my child. I am comfortable with my parenting choices. She then says "I know you are really young and all. You may not know any better." This is when I snapped.  I responded: "You choose to raise your daughter the way you like, the best to your knowledge by helicoptering over her and that is your business. I choose to do what I think is best for my son. I want to raise him to be an independent, free thinker." I get interrupted by the woman. She says "excuse me, I am not a helicopter parent. Just a responsible one"  My response:" Oh ok if you say so. This conversation is over, with that, I wish you a good day and Happy Holidays. Thank you for you advice and input. Bye!" My son reached the school safely by then. No one popped out of nowhere to snatch him up and kidnap him! He made it in safe and sound, all by himself! I got in my car and drove off. Even if I were a teenager or a young adult with a child, what business is it of hers?  Does being a young parent necessarily mean that I would be irresponsible or neglectful? What is it to her, anyway? Although arrogant and rude, I do take it as a compliment if she thinks I am really young! I guess I don't look like I am in my mid-thirties! Thank you!

Her advice or her telling me how I should raise my family did not make me second guess my parenting skills. I think the way I handled it was fine, a little too nice even but I thought it would be best to remain polite yet firm. I think she got my subtle message to mind her own damned business! Just sweep your side of the street and stay the hell out of mine!

****Off topic: I recently purchased a beautiful dress from Mary of Mourning Glory Designs. It was supposed to be for my office Christmas party. My son and I got a really bad cold. I ended up not being able to attend the party and have not worn the dress yet. I am waiting until I feel 100% better and not look so crappy, then I plan on doing a full review/ outfit post. I want to do a really nice outfit post and I want to look my best while showing off Mary's hard work. For the record, I LOVE that dress and strongly suggest you check out her etsy store here. I didn't forget about you, Mary! ****

Monday, December 14, 2015

You CAN be the goth in the office and a parent too

Granted, I am fortunate to work in an office that has no corporate dress code policy and am permitted to get a way with a little more than I normally would in a more corporate setting.Please keep this in mind while reading this post.

In my current position as receptionist, one would think this would deter me from wearing the all black wardrobe. I am the first person anyone sees when they walk into the building. The thing is, it doesn't stop me. I like to think black is a classic color. It CAN look professional and I can still keep my gothic edge. My visible tattoos (and the facial piercing I used to have) were never an issue which is an added bonus.  At one point, I had two blue streaks in my hair and no one said anything. I wear my bat jewellery with pride and everyone smiles. I wear fishnets and no one thinks twice. I wear color one day and they all ask me whether or not I am feeling all right! I love the fact that I can get away with many articles of clothing (and visible tattoos!) where I was never allowed to in previous jobs.

I worked this position for four years, soon to be five and lots of our customers remember me as the "cool looking receptionist." Despite my annoyance at constantly being compared to Abby Sciuto from the TV show, NCIS,  I get tons of compliments. It is so nice to get such positive feedback and it feels great to know that the extra care I take during my morning routine gets noticed. These compliments can range from:

"I love what you are wearing"

"You always look so well put together"

"How do you style your hair?"

"You look fantastic"

In case, while not very likely, anyone is wondering who Abby Sciuto is. Yes, goth girls do make work fun.

People are a little more open-minded nowadays than what they used to be. I still get the usual asshole remark, don't get me wrong but the majority of the feedback has been positive.

Would I ever go back to a corporate environment? Never. It's comforting to know I don't need to worry about covering up my tattoos or I can put an unnatural color in my hair if  I so choose.. For so long, I hid who I was from the world because I felt like I was doing the right thing. I realize the right thing to do was to let the real me out and have people see that person for who she really is. I am not a boring, one dimensional person.I not only repressed my physical appearance but my personality as well.

Taken a couple of years ago at my desk. Look at how professional I am! Hahaha!

Aside from being the working gal, I am also a mom. I find parents of school aged children to be a little more accepting than those from my son`s daycare.  Is it because my son goes to a public school while his daycare was private? Probably. In my neighborhood, specifically the zoning area for my son's school, there are many different types of socioeconomic families. It is very diverse which is why I think they have a uniform. I have heard feedback from other parents too. Apparently, we make a cute family and I have been told that they want to talk to me because I seem like a cool mom.

I realize I have written many articles on this subject already and I don't mean to beat a dead horse here. This post is for me or  any other parents out there who feel like they should ditch the things they love or repress their true nature because they are parents now. Sure, I don't go out as much as I may want to and have had to cancel engagements due to my kid. Sure I am tired and don't always want to go out either but being a parent doesn't stop me from being who I am or who I want to be. Being a mom is only part of who I am.

Motherhood was my only defining characteristic for a long time during my normal phase and I was a pretty boring person. I will never be that woman again. I worked too hard to go back there. I was a shell of who I used to be. I reached rock bottom in my life back then and I felt empty. Motherhood, being in mourning over my pregnancy loss and coming back to goth helped show me that there is so much more to life.  I may not post about every little aspect of my life but I try to write about the important ones, the ones that have the most meaning to me. Sometimes my articles are about motherhood, sometimes it about work or an office friendly outfit post but sometimes, coloring outside the lines is fun too!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Sylvie's 2016 wishlist

With Christmas coming up and most of my money going towards buying other people gifts, I thought it would be fun to compile a wish list of items I would like to purchase. Perhaps, through out the year, I could revert back to this post and update my progress or make changes. I often spend my money on silly things and having a list of wardrobe dream items could be useful. It would help with those impulse buys. Without further adieu, here is my list of things I want to buy for myself in 2016:

(1) Buy a pair of Winklepicker boots. 
I love shoes and I love boots. I have a closet full of them but I am a firm believer in a girl cannot own too many pairs of shoes. I know I wear my Docs most of the time but I do change them up. I never owned a pair of winklepickers and always wanted my very own pair since I was a teenager. It is about time I make that dream a reality. For the record, off topic, when I watched Jay (husband) read the above title, I knew exactly what he was thinking after he read the word "winklepicker" and his chuckling made me smile. With that being said, scroll down to see my future winklepickers!


(2) Buy a coffin purse/backpack 
 You don't know how many times I refrained from buying one. As a teenager, I had limited funds. As I got older, I felt like I needed a grown up bag. Well , screw the grownup bag! I am getting me a casket purse! I would like something that can be used as a mini backpack. I think it would be convenient when taking public transit or going to the park with my little one than my big girl purse. Like how I am justifying this?


(3) More long skirts 
 I rarely wear pants and I love a good dress or skirt. I would love to own more skirts.Plus it is useful when you forget to shave your legs in the summer! Shhh! Don't tell my secret!

(4) Good blazers 
 I admit, not long after I was hired in my current job with minimal dress code (most people don't have one in my current job but I say I do since wearing corsets and skulls to work would be unacceptable) I ditched all my blazers. It gets cold in the office. I keep a beautiful shawl at my desk but I sometimes miss a good blazer to tone up an outfit. Something like this would be quite nice.

(5) Get more ink  
I have three ideas for upcoming tattoos. Time to get them! Here is a hint - one of them is goth related, one of them is to commemorate an event, and the last one is Doctor Who related.

(6) Get my ears and labret (lip) re-pierced
  At one point in my life, my earlobes were almost full of earrings. Most of my holes closed up. Time to get that changed

(7)  Buy some more coffin and bat jewellery - I need more!
 Seriously, who doesn't need more? I actually do not have a bat hanging upside down pendant, I should get one!

source click here to see where you can buy

(8) Bat plushies 
 I know with my allergies, I really shouldn't but I could use an extra one or two. In fact, goth gardener got me addicted to The Occasional Bat.

image taken from the Occasional Bat site

I may add things to the list later in the year and will update whenever I purchase an item off of this list. Do you have a wish list?

Monday, December 7, 2015

Why I plan to give my son a traditional or "normal" Christmas

I want a black Christmas tree adorned with spiders, skulls and bats or even an all white one with black ornaments that I have seen circulating around Facebook. Instead, I have a green one that comes with all sorts of mixed-matched ornaments. Some are from Hallmark, some are handmade snowmen my mom made for me, some were from when I was a kid. I have a star on the top of my tree, not a bat or a skull or a Weeping Angel (Doctor Who reference). We have colorful lights outside the house, with a reindeer that lights up! We watch all the Christmas episodes on TV (which are all set to record on my PVR)  and I take my son to see Santa Claus at the mall. We sing carols together and bake cookies. I tell him that our cats run to the North Pole at night via hidden passageways to report his behavior to Santa!

We still find ways to add a little goth to our Holidays. We listen to Goth Christmas music (click here for an amazing playlist), I have tons of Jack Skellington Hallmark ornaments I have collected throughout the years hanging on my tree. Philip is convinced that Hargoyle, the giant bat from Voltaire's story "The Legend Of Candy Claws" will visit our home on Christmas eve while everyone sleeps.

The fact that me being goth isn't the only label I use to identify myself, there is some geek hidden in there too. We have tons of Star Wars ornaments on the tree and I have several Hello Kitty ones too. What can I say? There are many different facets to my personality!

It actually plays the Cantina music!

Philip is well aware that his folks are not normal. He sees it whenever he encounters other parents and he even spoke to us about it recently. Apparently, some of his friends from school mentioned it to him. I recently posted about taking him to see the Christmas train and how I used to be cynical over the Holiday. The thing is, it is NOT about me anymore and I can no longer be cynical. It is about Philip and we need to bend a little bit for his sake. We are not religious and are leaving it up to him to decide his faith (or lack of) later on. We do not celebrate the birth of Christ and I no longer consider myself Pagan so I won't be going there. For now, Christmas is just a fun Holiday. For the record, we have had some brief discussions about faith. His homework assignment this week is about Hanukkah! How cool is that? I never learned about other religions in French Catholic school!

We celebrate Christmas because it is an excuse to spoil the shit out of our kid! We don't really buy him lots of stuff during the year and it is fun watching his reactions on Christmas morning. It is also time we spend together, as a family. We want to make Christmas special for him so whenever he looks back at his childhood, he will know his folks tried their hardest to give him a semblance of a normal Christmas. While it may change later, let him have the Christmas that all his friends have. Let him live the life he chooses because if we alienate him and only choose one side, then we are stripping him of his own personal choice. As parents, the best thing you can give your child, is the confidence to be whoever they want to be. We do not wish to mold him into someone who we wish him to be. Children are not dolls. They are people.  When Philip is older, perhaps I will get the black tree but for now, it is Philip's Christmas and we don't have room for more than one tree. That is ok,  he adores our fake, plastic green one!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Early influences

In the past, I did an outfit post loosely inspired by Nancy from the movie, The Craft because her style inspired me as a teenager. Today, I want to post about someone I was able to relate to when I was a teen. In the nineties, there were not many TV characters I was able to connect with and be inspired by. The character I identified was from a show called Roseanne and I used to watch it with my folks. For those of you who are familiar with the show, would know that Darlene was the character I related to.

 Darlene was a pretty cool character, after all, there were some scenes in the show where you see her reading Sandman comics and Anne Rice. In the later episodes, she dresses all in black and even dyes her hair. She hangs around with people who are much older than she is and has a hard time fitting in with her peers. A series of episodes had her being depressed (I am in no way implying that ALL goths are depressed) but I had the same thing happen to me when I was a teenager. She was sarcastic and witty which not only amused me but is something I was able to identify with as I often use sarcasm or humor to get me through difficult situations. She didn't often express her feelings verbally but she did through her writing, which is something I still do. The only thing I did not relate to with this character was the fact that she was a Tomboy as a kid. I was a girly-girl through and through!

It was a breath of fresh air for me to watch an imperfect character on TV. A lot of teenaged girls  portrayed on tv at that time were not someone I could relate to, even use as a role model but for me, Darlene was one of them. She gave me the courage to question the world around me.

As an example, I grew up where my Dad encouraged religion. I used to go to church and we were Catholic. From a very early age, I questioned those beliefs. There was an episode where Darlene tells her mom she writes about not believing in God was comforting for me. In another episode, she doesn't cave into pressure to have sex with her boyfriend. She decides what is right for her and her body. Finally, someone understood what I was going through! Darlene encouraged me to question the world around me, to read vampire novels (and Neil Gaiman) and that dressing in black is a cool thing to do. I didn't want to be like her. I was inspired by her. She felt a lot of things that I was also feeling at that time and wanted to figure out on my own. She helped make me feel less alone and isolated. I knew I was not like everyone else and back in the early-mid nineties, it was hard finding someone whom I could connect with. Darleen was one of them.

This character, showed me that it OK to be sarcastic, to speak your mind, to stand up for what you believe in, to be an independent, free-thinking woman and most of all, to be yourself. Thank you, Darlene!


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