Monday, December 28, 2015

Save the Original Monster High Ghouls!!!

I just read this post on Little Corp Goth Girl's blog that made me FURIOUS.  Mattel is "redoing" the Monster High dolls in 2016 to look more like cheerleaders!!  This is gross and wrong, in my not-so-humble opinion.  The appeal of the Monster High characters is that they are themselves, totally unique, NOT cookie cutters of what we are told we should be, and their darkness is celebrated.  The picture of the "new" Draculaura just made me want to gag.

Please check out Sylvie's post, and I hope you'll decide to sign the petition asking Mattel not to discontinue the original dolls.  (The link is in the post.)

Save the ghouls of Monster High!!!

Friday, December 25, 2015

The Thirteen Days of Creepmas -- Day 13

On the thirteenth day of Creepmas, my true love came to me...some creepy Christmas trees!

Actually, I think these should be called Creepmas trees... 

Have a wonderful, joyous Creepmas, one and all!!!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Thirteen Days of Creepmas -- Day 12

On the twelfth day of Creepmas, my true love gave to me... some creepy little stories!

Yes, I'm running out of creepy things to post about, so I'm taking shortcuts when I find them.  But I would have shared this website with you, anyway, so here it is:  Creepy Little Stories,h_720,w_1280/t_mp_quality/ufkctqdl1zpmqbgdnsk6/7-creepy-stories-from-the-depths-of-the-internet-that-are-total-nightmare-fuel-433623.jpg

The Thirteen Days of Creepmas -- Day 11

On the eleventh day of Creepmas, my true love gave to me... One Hour of Creepy Doll Music!!  

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Thirteen Days of Creepmas -- Day 10

On the tenth day of Creepmas, my true love gave to me... ten creepy books!

Here is my Top Ten Creepy Books List:

1.  The Shining by Stephen King -- This is THE CREEPIEST BOOK I've ever read.  Forget the movie, read the book!  If you can ignore the excessive F-bombs, this book will have your hair standing on end long before you finish it.

2. Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill -- This book scared the holy crap out of me, but I couldn't put it down.

3. The Bride of Kilkerran by Kathleen Westcott -- Published in 1972, this was one of my very first 'mystery romance' books, and I still have my original paperback copy.  Lots of creepy plot twists, and a VERY satisfying ending!

4. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie -- I'm a HUGE Christie fan, and this is one of my favorites!  Ten dead bodies on an island, and all of them were murdered.  But where is the killer?

5. Animal Farm by George Orwell -- The message of this book is terrifying, and the story carries some very creepy messages, like "Four legs good, two legs bad!"  (Do you know what your animals are thinking?)

6. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde -- Another oldie but goodie. 

7. Misery by Stephen King -- This was so creepy that I couldn't finish reading it.

8. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier -- How creepy is it when the storyteller has no name, and the main character is dead...?

9. Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist -- Couldn't put this one down, but had to get rid of it after I'd finished it.  Too creepy to keep.

10. Hell by Kathryn Davis -- I actually haven't read this one (yet), but just reading the description creeped me out:  "Three homes exist in the same house simultaneously, each one haunting the other two equally."  Alternate realities with a vengance!!

The Thirteen Days of Creepmas -- Day 9

On the ninth day of Creepmas, my true love gave to me... some creepy garden decorations!  

I think I'll stick with my feline memorials, thank you!  They may creep some people out, but at least they aren't weird like this stuff... 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Thirteen Days of Creepmas -- Day 8

I was out of town for the last three days, so I'm catching up with this now!

On the eighth day of Creepmas, my true love gave to me...some creepy holiday cards!

(I somehow doubt most of these are actually available for purchase, but you never know...)   Possibly the original holiday greeting???  

I think this may have been WHY Grandma got run over by a reindeer.  Remember, we only heard ONE side of that story... 

I think I might have seen this one in the Victorian Trading Co. catalog.  

Looks like this one was actually a real card.  I think it's from Australia, and that's an emu stalking the little girl.  Could this have been the beginning of "emo"????  Inquiring minds want to know... 

I'm not sure just WHERE this idea came from...  
 Yes, I think this was actually a Victorian Christmas card.  Go figure...

Had enough yet?  Me, too!!  ;-)

Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Thirteen Days of Creepmas -- Day 7

On the seventh day of Creepmas, my true love gave to me... some creepy Christmas ornaments!

(I've never seen any of these in real life, and I hope I never do...)   

Friday, December 18, 2015

The Thirteen Days of Creepmas -- Day 6

On the sixth day of Creepmas, my true love gave to me... some creepy clothing!!  Especially that last one, yyuuuuukkkkk!!!!

(Fortunately, there is December 26th, otherwise known as "Return It/Exchange It" Day...)

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Thirteen Days of Creepmas -- Day 5

On the fifth day of Creepmas, my true love gave to me...  five creepy zombie fingers!!

(If you look closely, you can see what it really is...)

Image result for gothic pictures

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Thirteen Days of Creepmas -- Day 4

On the fourth day of Creepmas, my true love gave to me... four creepy tombstones!

Yes, these are REAL ones:

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Thirteen Days of Creepmas -- Day 3

On the third day of Creepmas, my true love gave to me... some creepy party foods!

(Seriously, could you actually EAT any of this stuff???) 

  Image result for creepy food

And the piece de resistance!!


The Thirteen Days of Creepmas -- Day 2

WHOOPS, I got a bit behind, sorry!!  Here is Day 2, and Day 3 will follow shortly.

On the second day of Creepmas, my true love gave to me... a creepy cemetery angel!
(She actually resembles Hel, the Norse goddess of the dead).

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Thirteen Days of Creepmas -- Day 1

This year I decided to do the 13 Days of Creepmas again, but starting on the 13th and ending on the 25th. 

On the First day of Creepmas, my true love gave to me...  a black cat gothic Christmas tree!
(Not really 'creepy', purrrhaps, but purrrfect for the season!!)


Saturday, December 5, 2015

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

This month, I feel I must share a piece of music with you that I thought I'd already posted, but apparently not.

This is one of the funniest songs I've ever heard, and I think it's a fantastic tribute to us, so here it is:

However, I must warn you that "If I Only Were A Goth" was NOT written or performed by Voltaire, although both the words and the voice sound very much like his.  It was done by a group called Thou Shalt Not.  Even Voltaire has confirmed it is NOT his song, but no one wants to listen...  How totally goth is THAT???

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Time to Let Go

I just got a call from the nursing center.  My mom has now missed three dialysis treatments in a row (which I did know about), and she missed a few before that as well.  Basically, she is choosing to let go now.  The nurse wanted to let me know, and to ask if they could contact hospice to come in for her.  Of course, I said yes.  The lack of treatments is causing her to become increasingly confused, and she will need the special care that hospice provides.

This is REALLY hard, and I'm not as ready to deal with it as I thought I was.  If you are able and willing, I would greatly appreciate any prayers/energy/whatever that you can send to both her and me to help us get through this as painlessly (at least for her) as possible.

Thank you SO much for all the support you've given me.  It has really helped a lot.  And if I can return the favor in any way, please let me know.

                                            "En ma Fin gît mon Commencement..."
                                                 "In my End is my Beginning..."

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Goth Warning!

Not long ago, Connie of Hartwood Roses posted this excellent poem on her blog.  It's been one of my favorites for years, but as I've gotten both older and more Goth, I love it even more.  However, I've made a few changes to it, to celebrate my own metamorphosis.


When I am an old woman I shall wear purple and black
With long red hair that isn't permed, and wigs that don't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on absinthe and black velvet dresses
And platform boots, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit on the hoods of fancy cars when I'm tired
And 'sunbathe' in the library and do crosswords in church
And dance with my cane on public streets
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in chiffon and velvet in the rain
And feed cats and pick flowers in cemeteries.  And learn to swear.

I shall wear black t-shirts and corsets
And eat a pound of bacon at one go
Or only chocolates and potato chips for a week
And hoard bat necklaces and black nail polish and Halloween cards.

But now I must go to work every day
And pay the rent on time and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
I must pay my taxes and watch the news.

But I've started to practice a little now,
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple and black.

So, what will YOU do when you are suddenly old? 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Shameless 'Women in Horror' Indiegogo Plug

This is, as I titled this post, a shameless plug for the Women In Horror Indiegogo page.  The publishers are trying to raise $5,000 in hopes of being able to publish the anthology in both electronic and hard copy formats.  So far, they've gotten about $580 CAD, which is great, and there are still 31 days left to donate.  If you like horror and/or want to support female horror writers, then I can't think of a better way to do it!  In exchange, they are offering some pretty nice goodies, including (for a $75 donation) a personalized, signed copy of a final draft of the story or article of your choosing AND a branded USB loaded with a copy of the entire anthology.  (They are in the process of setting up a listing of the authors' names on the site.)  How cool is THAT???

This will be the last 'advertisement' you will get from me on this, and I hope you don't think I'm pushing too hard.  But as most of you know, it's my very first time being published under my real name, and it's their first publication, so I'm doing what I can to help.  

Thank you to anyone who chooses to donate!  And thank you also to anyone who wants to but can't! 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Don't Judge Your Decisions by the Results

I attended a Financial Literacy presentation the other day at the university where I work.  It was designed for the incoming freshmen; I was there just in case there were any financial aid questions.  There was only one, but attending the presentation itself was well worth my time.

For me, the most important thing the presenter said was this:

"You can't judge a decision by the result.  Judgment on results alone misleads people into making very poor decisions.  For example, if you drink too much, drive home and get there safely, the results show success when I think we can all agree that the decision making failed."

That first sentence hit my brain like a 2x4!  For years, I've been doing exactly that, judging most of my decisions by the results.  (Perhaps most people do this, but I can only speak for myself.) When the results are either bad or just not what I want/expect, I tend to assume that I made a poor decision, that I should have thought more about it, that I should have taken more time, blahblahblah...  In other words, I judge myself and decide that I am wrong.

Yet when I look back at those decisions, they were probably the best I could have made at the time, given the circumstances and what information I had.  So I've decided not to judge myself anymore on those things, but instead just continue to do the best I can with what I have, and let things work themselves out as life unfolds.

Feel free to do the same.  :-)

Friday, November 13, 2015

Women in Horror Annual

Women in Horror Annual

Now that our stories have been accepted and are going through the editing process, the editors are starting to put out information to the public about the new "Women in Horror Annual" online journal.  The first issue is due out in February 2016. 

I just received notice that the FaceBook and Twitter pages are up and running, so here is that information:

There's some great stuff on the FB page, including announcements about and links to writing contests and other cool and scary things.  

Please come check it out!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Thank You for Your Service

Today I'd like to thank some of the veterans in my life for their service in defending our nation:


George Arthur Simpson - U.S. Army, World War II  (grandfather)

George Allen Gustafson - U.S. Navy, World War II  (father)

Roger William Simpson - U.S. Navy  (uncle)

Elvis "Pete" Simpson - U.S. Coast Guard  (uncle)

Janice Foreman Whitener - U.S. Navy  (mother-in-law)

Robert Wayne Whitener - U.S. Air Force  (father-in-law)

Paul Belanger - U.S. Air Force/U.S. Navy Seals  (friend)

Image result for veterans day clipart

Monday, November 9, 2015

They like it, they really like it!

I got another e-mail today from the editors of the Women in Horror Annual.  They like the changes I made to my short story, didn't ask me to make any more, and the publication date is set for February 2016!  

This is so exciting for me, and I plan to keep the momentum going.  I'm currently working on two more stories (one about a romance between a necromancer and a vampire, and one with a werewolf theme), and finished a non-horror one a few weeks ago that I needed to write, for various reasons.  And I still haven't heard back about the first one I submitted to a different online journal.  

Do you have a creative outlet that excites and inspires you?  If so, please share it!

Thursday, November 5, 2015


Well, it's over at last.  My mom's rental house has been cleared out, and the keys sent back to the owner.  The last bills have been paid, and her phone line has been moved to the nursing center, so now she has her own private phone by her bed that she can use anytime. 

It was hard "giving away" my mom's life, so to speak.  I did keep some things, of course, and gave many things to the friends helping me with this task.  I also kept some things to give as gifts in the future to people whom I believe will appreciate them.  The rest was donated to the local Methodist church, which is helping out the many people who lost their homes and everything in them to one of the California wildfires that we've been plagued with this year, three of which were in my mom's area.  The minister was thrilled to get so much clothing, furniture and kitchen utensils that were in decent condition.  And my mom was very happy to know that her sacrifice in giving up her home is helping others who need it badly.

I don't think I'm going to write any more about this.  It's too difficult, and too personal, in many ways.  And because I can't help also wondering what will become of MY life someday, and I don't think I want to know.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Makeup Time!

It's been AGES since I did any posts on wardrobe or makeup or any of that stuff, so it's about time I shared some great stuff with you.

I've got three terrific makeup items to rave about today:

1.  The first is Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion.  This stuff is AWESOME!!  It comes in three colors, Original (which is what I use), Sin and Eden.  There is also an anti-aging formula, although I can't find that one on their website, but I did see it at Sephora when I bought mine, which is the regular formula.  I get NO creases in my shadow any more, and it isn't sticky or smelly.  The only thing I don't like is the wand applicator; in my opinion, it takes up too much room in the tube so you get less of the primer itself.  And who needs an applicator to put on primer, anyway???  Fingers are MUCH more accurate and you can use less primer because you can spread it better.  You're also more likely to get germs or foreign stuff into the tube if you wipe an applicator on your lid and then put it back in the tube than you are if you just squeeze the primer out onto your finger.  But maybe that's just me. 

 Image result for urban decay primer potion
Anyway, I highly recommend this primer.  I get mine at Sephora, but I'm sure you can get it at other places as well.  It's a bit pricey, at $20 US for .33 ounces, but it lasts a LONG time, and it's well worth it.  (Actually, I just found it on Urban Decay's website, and they have it on sale for $10 US!!  But of course there's shipping, so pop! goes the savings.)

2.  After you've got your primer on, it's time for eye shadow!  I recently found Almay's Intense 
i-Color in Trio for Blues (032) on  You HAVE to look for the one that says (032) because there are more than one of these called Trio for Blues, but ONLY this one has these specific colors (see below): 

The top color is a shimmery silver-grey.  The middle color actually looks like deep-blue-to-almost-black in real life, but it looks matte black when it's on (at least, it does on me).  I'm a little bummed that HALF of the container goes to a pale pink that I would never wear in a million years, but hey, the other colors are worth it!  They go on smoothly and stay put.  And it's only $3.99 US at BuyMeBeauty!

3.  My final rave review of the day is for Maybelline's Waterproof Ultra Liner (in Black, of course).  This stuff is INCREDIBLE!  I've never had liquid eye liner that went on so nicely and stayed so well.  I was worried when I saw the short teeny bristles of the brush, but I think that's part of what makes it stay on so well.  It even makes it through crying jags fairly intact (NO raccoon eyes), which is a miracle in and of itself.  It's $9.50 US at most drug stores, but it works so well I'd pay more if I had to!

 Image result for maybelline waterproof eyeliner

And now I must go and look for more makeup/skin care deals...  ;-)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Friday, October 30, 2015

Hallowe'en at Work (or, How to Get Paid for Playing All Day)

Today at work we had all our Hallowe'en parties (various departments).  Normally I take a vacation day on October 31st, but since tomorrow is a Saturday and I was already out two days this week, I decided I needed to put in an appearance.  But what to wear???

I didn't actually think of this costume until yesterday morning.  I had all the various materials needed, I just had to find them and put them together.  And it actually worked!!

For those who have NO idea what I'm supposed to be, I am a Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) bride.  NOT the Bride of Frankenstein, as two people thought.  The temporary tattoos worked quite well!  The one on my nose is a bit crooked, but that's because it got broken when they buried me.  ;-)

You can't see them, but I'm also wearing shiny red raw silk heels (which would have been killing me if I hadn't already been dead).  Please excuse the mess in my office!  And unfortunately, I had to stand in front of my neat Hallowe'en decorations.  Oh well!!

Now to go snitch some more lumpia from the food area before they clear it all away...  ;-)

Monday, October 19, 2015

I'm Being Published!!!

I'm SOOOO excited, and I just have to share my excitement with you!  :-)

Back in June/July, I submitted two short stories to online journals; one went to a new online journal called the "Women in Horror Annual" and the other went to "Monsters and the Monstrous", which has been around for a few years.  Last Friday, I got an e-mail from one of the editors of the "Women in Horror Annual" that my story has been accepted for publication!  Of course, it will need some editing, but hey, that will be a good learning experience for me.  As long as they don't want to turn it into a completely different story with a different ending, I'm sure we can work it out.  ;-)

Technically, this isn't my first time being published, as I have had original poetry included in two printed pagan books, but they were published under my Craft name, and at least one probably had a much smaller readership.  This will be published under my legal name, and I will be able to include it on my resume/CV.  So this one actually means a lot more to me!

Here is their website, if you're interested:  Women in Horror Annual

And here is a cool pic, just because...  ;-)

Sunday, October 11, 2015

October: I'm SO Goth..."

Hey, even Death has to take a break sometimes, especially this month, when he's so busy... 

Happy Hallowe'en!!!

Hallowe'en "13 Things" Tag!

Thanks to Natalie of Gothy Two Shoes for tagging me on this!  :-)

1. Favorite Halloween song?

"Monster Mash"!!  I especially like the Groovie Ghoulies video version on YouTube.
2. Witch or Vampire?

Depends on the year, I tend to switch back and forth.  But the witch usually wins.

3. Favorite thing about Halloween?


4. Halloween party or scary movie marathon?

A Hallowe'en party with a scary movie marathon running would be perfect!

5. Skeletons or Zombies?

Skeletons, every time!

6. Favorite Halloween candy?

If it's chocolate, it's my favorite.

7. Favorite Halloween movie?

"It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!"  When I was growing up, my mom and I watched it on TV every year.  After Stuart was born, we got the video and watched it every year.  And now I watch it every year on DVD, but I don't always wait until Hallowe'en!  ;-)

8. Favorite Halloween costume?

Believe it or not, my favorite costume was an angel.  My mom made it for me, and I had a 38" wingspan with the wings outlined in silver Christmas tree garland.  I had to take the bus to get to the church party, and it was hilarious getting on and off!  We had a spook alley, with tours led by a devil (of course!), and all the little kids stuck to me because they were scared.  (It was really too gruesome for the little ones.)  And the devil and I sniped at each other the whole time, it was totally fun!

9. Favorite Halloween store?

It used to be the Spirit Store, but they've gotten rather lame the past few years.  So now I don't have a favorite yet, still looking!

10. Jack-o-lanterns, yes or no?

I've never been a big fan, but the fancy-carved ones are killer!!  (Did you know the original Jack-o-lanterns were made with turnips???)

11. Bats or Black Cats? 

BOTH!!  I love them both, and we have 3.5 black cats at home.  So I've got cats and bats all over my home and office.

12. Is Halloween your favorite holiday?

Do you REALLY need me to answer this one???  Hmmmm???

13. Pumpkin spice latte or hot chocolate?

Absolutely, hot chocolate!  

I'm not going to tag anyone on this, as most people I read have already been tagged, but feel free to answer them if you want, and you can consider yourself tagged!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Adventures with My Nephew

Well, those of you who were asking for updates on how things go with my nephew will be happy to know that you are about to get your wish.  :-)

Michael moved in right on time, and yes, he did bring a few clothes in addition to all the electronics.  He also brought his own chair (which squeaks), a large-screen TV, a mini refrigerator, and enough cords, adapters and wires to cover Manhattan!

Well, his very first weekend with us was at the end of August, when I made another trip up to Clearlake to visit my mom.  I got about ten minutes from home when my "check engine" light came on, and the engine heat gauge was all the way at maximum!  Needless to say, I got off the freeway and drove carefully home through the city streets.  Michael was kind enough to drive his own car over to the shop so that I'd have a way home if they needed to keep my van. 

Turns out that the coolant leak I've had for months was from a crack in the radiator, and even though we'd been keeping the coolant filled, it was causing air bubbles to go through the engine, so hot spots happened.  I ended up buying a new radiator ($400). 

However, they wouldn't have the work finished until the end of Saturday, and I had no way to get up to my mom's.  So Michael offered to drive me up and bring me home the next day.  What a sweetie!  He was even talking about finding a motel room for himself, but my mom has a perfectly good rental house, so he stayed there with me.  Fortunately, he was able to get WiFi service up there, so he was even got his homework done.  :-)

I really enjoyed the weekend, and we got to know each other a bit better.  Michael just turned 18 in July, but he seems very mature for his age.  Of course, he was raised mostly by his grandmother and uncle, who are about 86 and 60 this year, so that probably accounts for some of it.  He has a very upbeat and friendly disposition, although I think from what he's said that he is rather shy socially, which I certainly can relate to!  And his best friend is a girl, which tells me he looks at more than just the outside of a person, and doesn't have a lot of macho ideas.

Anyway, I just wanted to share this, and to say that I have to laugh when I think about the two of us going to the store together.  We must make a very interesting pair, the older goth and the young hipster geek!  ;-)

Saturday, September 5, 2015

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

Here's a fun thingy that I found on the Elders of Goth FB group:

Mine, of course, is Shadow Darkblade, which makes me sound like either an assassin or an elf from Lord of the Rings!  But if I change my last initial to X, then I can be Shadow Skullbone, hehehe!

What's YOUR Goth Lyfe name?  

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Morticia Addams, My (Second) Favorite Feminist

Here's a rather fun article about Morticia Addams that you might enjoy:

Six Quotes That Prove Morticia Addams is a Feminist Queen  Who Has It All

I did love Anjelica Huston as Morticia in the Addams Family movies.  However, Carolyn Jones, who played her in the TV series, will always be MY favorite!!

Of course, you DO know that my Number One favorite feminist is Abby Scutio!  ;-)

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The New Kid in Town

My son, Stuart, moved out of our apartment (unofficially) almost two years ago; he still has a lot of junk stuff in it, but basically he's now living with his girlfriend at her parents' house while they try to find an apartment they can actually afford (dream on).  So, in the last several months, Martin has been turning Stuart's former bedroom more and more into a "mancave" dedicated to 40K Warhammer miniatures and similar junk stuff.

A few months ago, my nephew (Stuart's dad's brother's son) called with the news that he has been accepted to San Francisco State University, but was waitlisted for the dorms and needed help finding off-campus housing.  I was glad to help him out, and also gave him some help with his financial aid; since that's what I do for a living, I figured he was entitled to a little free advice.  And I told him that if, for some reason, he was unable to find housing before school started, he was welcome to stay in Stuart's old room until he found something closer to school.  He thanked me, I sent him the info and website links he had requested, along with my e-mail address, and that was the end of it.  So I thought.

Fast forward to last Friday...  I got a call from Stuart telling me that Michael HAD found a place with one of Stuart's friends, but that it had fallen through, and he had also forgotten to keep up with the dorm waitlist and got kicked off it, and could he still take us up on our offer to let him stay with us?  I said yes, then asked when his classes started...  on August 24th, less then ten days away!  Needless to say, I asked Stuart to have Michael call me ASAP.

What follows is a typical parental rant...

What IS it with kids these days??  According to Stuart, he has been nagging Michael to do various things regarding the situation, including calling us sooner, but Michael "just didn't listen".  I told Stuart (with a smirk in my voice) that NOW he understood how I had felt at various times with him in the past.  He was appropriately penitent, heheheh...

Michael just turned 18 in July, so he is still somewhat in the "adults have holes in their heads" phase, but STILL...  He has a cell phone, TWO laptops and a regular computer, not including access to his home phone, so the only reason I can think of why he didn't call sooner is that he was too embarrassed to do so, and was hoping for a miracle that didn't happen. 

So this Friday, Michael will be arriving with his cell phone, computer and two laptops (and hopefully some clothes) to stay with us.  He will be paying room and board, so this will be a big help for us, actually, in addition to enjoying his company and getting to know him better.  

It will be very interesting, from a sociocultural anthropologist's point of view as well as from a personal one, to see how Michael reacts to his new environment.  He will be going from living in Southern California with his uncle and grandmother (he has always lived with them, and they raised him after his father died when he was seven) to living with me and Martin in Northern California.  At home, he was the child; here he will be an adult, with none of the emotional baggage of home except what he brings with him.  When he was younger, he idolized Stuart; now he will get a sample of "walking in Stuart's shoes", so to speak.  And he hasn't lived with a goth before, not to mention that Martin and I are both a little crazy!  I hope it will be a good experience for him, and for us as well. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Book Review: "Tales of Dark Romance and Horror" by A.D. Vick

Not too long ago, one of my blogger friends, Nightwind of The Gothic Embrace, announced the publication of his first book, Tales of Dark Romance and Horror.  I couldn't wait to buy it!  Now that I've finished reading it, I thought I'd do a short review.

The title is an accurate one, as several of the thirteen stories have romance in them, but all of them have at least a touch of horror (most have more), and the perfect time to curl up and read them is on a gray, rainy day or a dark, stormy night.  Gothic or spooky music playing in the background would be good, too.  ;-)

I already knew I wanted to read this book even before buying it, because Nightwind was kind enough to put the link to a podcast for one of the stories here.  That story, "Night of the Harvestmen", remains my favorite, even after reading the whole book.  To avoid spoiling the story, I will only mention that 'harvestmen' is another word for daddy-long-legs spiders; I tell you this in advance because I had never heard that name for them, and had to look it up to know what I was reading about!

My second and third favorite stores are "Jessica" and "Ozark Howler"; both are awesome, in totally different ways.  "Rosalie" is extremely long, almost a novella, but the action moves quickly.  Be sure to read the Preface before you begin the book, because certain stories are part of a series, and the Preface tells you which ones they are and what order they happen in, although all of them can stand alone.  

I will admit that there were a couple of stories that I didn't care for, but that's just my personal preference, so I'm not going to name them and possibly prejudice you, because you may love them!  

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and I'm glad I bought it!  The only suggestion I have for a future book (hint, hint!) would be to have one or two people help with the editing.  It's always difficult to edit your own work, because you know what it should say, so you don't always catch the typos.  And I personally would be more than willing to help (and get a sneak preview)!  ;-)

Congratulations, Nightwind, on a lovely addition to modern gothic literature!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Some Wise Words

Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)

Artist: Baz Luhrmann
Album: Something For Everybody

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '99

Wear sunscreen

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it
The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists
Whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable
Than my own meandering experience, I will dispense this advice now

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth, oh, never mind
You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth
Until they've faded but trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back
At photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now
How much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked 
You are not as fat as you imagine

Don't worry about the future or worry that know that worrying
Is as affective as trying to solve an algebra equation
By chewing bubble gum
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things
That never crossed your worried mind
The kind that blindsides you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday
Do one thing every day that scares you


Don't be reckless with other people's hearts
Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours


Don't waste your time on jealousy
Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind
The race is long and in the end, it's only with yourself
Remember compliments you receive
Forget the insults, if you succeed in doing this, tell me how
Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements


The most interesting people
I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives
Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't
Get plenty of calcium, be kind to your knees
You'll miss them when they're gone

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't
Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't
Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the 'Funky Chicken'
On your 75th wedding anniversary
Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much
Or berate yourself either
Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else's

Enjoy your body, use it every way you can
Don't be afraid of it or what other people think of it
It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own, dance
Even if you have nowhere to do it but your own living room
Read the directions even if you don't follow them
Do not read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly

Get to know your parents, you never know when they'll be gone for good 
Be nice to your siblings, they're your best link to your past
And the people most likely to stick with you in the future

Understand that friends come and go
But a precious few, who should hold on

Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle
For as the older you get, the more you need the people
You knew when you were young
Live in New York City once but leave before it makes you hard
Live in northern California once but leave before it makes you soft


Accept certain inalienable truths
Prices will rise, politicians will philander, you, too, will get old
And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young
Prices were reasonable, politicians were noble
And children respected their elders

Respect your elders

Don't expect anyone else to support you
Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse
But you never know when either one might run out

Don't mess too much with your hair
Or by the time you're 40 it will look 85

Be careful whose advice you buy but be patient with those who supply it 
Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past
From the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts
And recycling it for more than it's worth

But trust me on the sunscreen

Friday, July 31, 2015

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

Okay, I have NO idea who these guys are, but this is funny...


Ahh, I just discovered they are the Damned.  Thanks, KitKat!  :-)