Wednesday, February 24, 2021

I'm in a music video!

If you follow me on social media, you might have seen this already, but I wanted to throw a quick post here too. Clan Of Xymox has done a remix of Ash Code's new single Fear, and I was one of the people asked to be in the music video for it! I'm super honored and excited.


Buy the Fear EP here (don't forget Bandcamp Friday)

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Caitlin Doughty Double Book Review

“A girl always remembers the first corpse she shaves.”

I have followed Caitlin since she started YouTube, but haven't read this book until now! I'm glad that most of the contents in this book aren't on her YouTube channel, so it quenched my thirst for more rather than being a repeat.

The book mostly revolves around her early years in the death business, working in a crematory and going to mortuary school. She flawlessly takes us back and forth between her experiences all the way from her childhood in a way that feels natural and well paced.

Of course, this book spares no detail. Descriptions of what corpses REALLY look like, even how they smell and what happens to them. In true Caitlin style, she keeps it lighthearted and humoristic, but is serious and emotional when need be.

Definitely a must-read for all Ask A Mortician fans!

“Our great-grandparents were told that babies were found under gooseberry bushes or cabbages; our children are likely to be told that those who have passed on... are changed into flowers, or lie at rest in lovely gardens.”

“My next drone folk album will be called "The Cremation Reforms of Octavius B. Frothingham".”

In Caitlin Doughty's second book, she takes us to several different countries and gives us a glimpse into their death culture.

From funeral pyres in Colorado, keeping corpses around for years in Indonesia, Días de los Muertos in Mexico (beautiful chapter which is also about dealing with losing a child, I got tears in my eyes), corpse composting in North Carolina, viewings behind glass in Spain, the high tech "cemeteries" of Japan, mysterious and powerful ñatita skulls in Bolivia, and back to Caitlin's home of California.

Caitlin has done a great job of exploring, observing, respecting and understanding the death customs of all these different places. She writes very well, it doesn't feel dry at all, she's just being herself and does it all with feeling and personality.

The book is also peppered with black and white illustrations, actual photos probably would have been a little shocking.

I really enjoyed this, I want more! Definitely recommended if you're a fan of Ask A Mortician. It'll open your eyes to whole new worlds of death you probably couldn't imagine (if you're used to "the Western standard", that is).

“I forgot to mention that Paul in person looks just as outlandish as his house—a claim I lay with the utmost aesthetic respect. He has thick dreadlocks, a beaded wizard’s beard, and tattoos. He traveled in a purple velvet frock coat and a top hat with an ermine skull attached to the brim. No one knows his age. He was once described by a mutual friend of ours as “an eighteenth-century highwayman reimagined by Tim Burton.” Paul refers to himself as “a cross between Prince and Vlad the Impaler.”


A year ago I also reviewed her latest book, you can click here for that review.

Click here for Caitlin's website with links to where you can buy her books, her YouTube and more!

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Our Gothic Wedding Photoshoot

 I'm so excited to finally share our wedding photos with you! Local wedding photographer Kristine Ristesund (IG, FB) I knew instantly would be perfect for the job. She's not like everyone else, so she was definitely a good fit for our aesthetic. Worked out well cause I already knew her too! The photos are taken in my favorite cemetery (Assistentkirkegården) and in the area around Fantoft stave church.























His outfit:
Coat - Dracula Clothing
Vest - Shrine
Necklace - The Crypt Of Curiosities
Engagement and wedding rings - Ever After Jeweler
Shoes - New Rock

My outfit:
Dress (custom) - IEIE Bridal
Jewelry (custom) - Ayame Designs
Wedding Ring - Coffin Gems
Shoes - Oak Tree Farms

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Our Goth Wedding

On Saturday, October 17th, we got married! We got engaged on our 3rd anniversary in March 2019 (you can read how I proposed here), and around the holidays / new year's we decided on the date. Up until about 6 months before, I felt time was moving so slow. Then the pandemic hit, which of course put the entire wedding in jeopardy. We decided that we would get married anyway, but a party might not happen. Luckily Norway did really well, but the month before the wedding we got scared again, as our city was hit hard by a second wave, and we went into a little lockdown again. We managed to squash it down, and we decided to go ahead with the wedding, with restrictions of course. 

We livestreamed our ceremony on Facebook. Half my family is in The Philippines, so they couldn't make it anyway, and even without covid restrictions there were only room for 20 people in the room. With restrictions, we could only be 10 people, including ourselves! So we had one friend as a witness each, and our closest family. It was a courthouse style wedding, so we were in and out in about 15 minutes! In the photo above I am looking down at my extended family who were waiting outside and watching the stream. After they greeted us as a married couple outside, we drove to my favorite cemetery to have a photoshoot, which had to be cut short because of rain. We still got a bunch of really cool photos, which I'll show you later!

The reception venue
A nod to the proposal!

With our parents

We had invited 80 people, but a bunch of those reside outside of Norway, plus some had to cancel because of various reasons, so we ended up with 35 guests. It was still wonderful, and honestly it made it easier to keep distance between people. Figuring out seating charts is especially hard during these times! We seated 4-6 people per table which were really meant for 8. We had hand sanitizer on every table, by the food and other places around the venue. We also asked people not to shake hands and hug, and keep all other precautions that apply. As far as we know nobody got sick! I am really grateful for that.




Yup, even the cake and napkins matched our theme! We had a vanilla cake, the black cupcakes were chocolate, and the purple cupcakes were lemon. I got the cake topper custom made, cause I had such a hard time finding a perfect one! Napkins I've never cared for, I'm good with a roll of kitchen paper. That's when my mother-in-law put her foot down, hahaha. I said okay to black napkins for dinner, and then she found BAT SHAPED napkins, complete with a purple border! I never thought I'd be excited about napkins in my entire life.

Cutting the cake was a much more complicated affair than I imagined. We couldn't both stand on each side of the cake, and of course so many people were standing ready with their phones yelling out commands for us to look at them and smile while we did it. My sister filmed the whole thing, and I die of laughter every time I watch it, cause Simen and I are seriously taking turns looking at the camera and the cake, I had no idea! That's why that photo above is extra amazing. Simen hates having his photo taken, so he will rarely look at the camera nor smile. So that's definitely one of my favorite photos.


I didn't expect there would be many speeches, so I was definitely surprised! We got to hear childhood stories from family members, movies were made (one which was a collection of video greetings from family and friends all over the world!) and honorable mention to Simen's best man and childhood friend. I actually didn't cry on my wedding day, but during THAT speech I was close. It was so unexpected, so from the heart and full of love. Just look at how they look at each other! What a bromance. Simen is such a wonderful man, and I'm really lucky to have him - and that he feels the same way about me! Ok enough sappiness, I'm not good at it, let's end it on a fun note!

I actually ended up peeing kinda like this



We are all for gender role reversal, equality and feminism! The men's photo was planned, but when the women heard the squealing they wanted to do one too, so ours was spontaneous. These were taken at around midnight, so it was extra hilarious when we were buzzed! You can see I'm holding a glass of strong vodka red bull. Also, I guess it's worth mentioning that we took each other's last names, so we now have the same middle and last name. I didn't want to give up my name, and I love his family and ever since we became a couple, they have been so welcoming, and I fit right in with them, so I wanted to take their name too (which is my mother-in-law's name, actually)! The order of the names was just what we thought sounded the nicest.

People told me that your wedding day will never be just like you planned it to be. It definitely wasn't. A global pandemic and other factors left us with a huge drop in guests, it rained, and yeah. It was still a wonderful day. I was surprised at how chill I was, I didn't feel any stress at all, even though everyone around me did! I only have two regrets, really; Time went by so fast that I felt I didn't take enough time to talk to every person (can you imagine if there were 80 guests?!), and that the playlist I had made wasn't put on until after dessert. So I will share it with you! It's 100 songs and about 8 hours long, and features mostly goth, post-punk etc., but also metal, electronic and pop. Mostly love themed! The entire party cheer-pressured Simen into dancing with me, so we danced to Love My Way by The Psychedelic Furs. A pretty fitting song! It was just as awkward as first dances tend to be. It was mostly Simen taking super long steps and me trying to follow with my stubby legs. After a minute he stopped and said ''Happy?'' and I went ''No wait! Dip me!'' and made a dramatic pose. He did, and everyone cheered.


Suddenly it was 2 AM and we had to go. I wish the day had been longer, but considering how drunk I got and how shit I felt the day after, I guess it was for the best, haha. I don't think I've ever fallen asleep that quickly in my life! My father got really drunk too, I had never seen him like that before. Apparently he hadn't been that drunk for 50 years! A fitting occasion to party hard.
As I'm writing this, it's been exactly a week since the party ended, and I'm getting tired, so I will end this here. In my next post I will probably be sharing the photos from our wedding photoshoot! Hope you have enjoyed reading about our big day. I haven't really posted anything about the wedding planning process, as I wasn't sure that was something people would be interesting. Plus we threw so many traditions out the window that there wasn't really that much to it compared to ''normal'' weddings! But if you're interested in that, need advice or have questions, just let me know. Toodeloo!

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Getting into goth DJing & livestreams


Some of you might know that during the pandemic, I started DJ-ing. I thought that would be something I could talk to you about (it's been requested too), as well as how the goth scene has moved online and how we have strengthened the community that way.

I have low-key wanted to DJ for a good while, but I was very nervous, cause I feel I am very.. technologically impaired (I still use a Discman and iPod Classic for example, I prefer the old things I'm familiar with). A friend was talking about going to a course, then we thought we'd have to wait until after the pandemic. I talked to some friends, who encouraged me, and I downloaded a free software to play around with (Mixxx). It was very fun, but I quickly noticed that it was hard to just use a laptop, since I could only do one thing at once! So I got my friend DJ Maus (of Obscura Undead) to recommend me a not too expensive beginner's controller. I spent a few weeks learning how to use that as well as the software it came with. My friend DJ Cyberpagan was very helpful too, he even asked me to join the World Goth Day collab he set up, but I was too scared, haha. Funny, cause my very first stream was only days after that!

Immediately I got lots of great feedback, I couldn't believe it! I was also asked to collab with other DJs right away. My second stream was with DJ Cyberpagan, my fourth was a part of Goths Against Racism's BLM benefit, my fifth was with Acidbitter, my sixth with Obscura Undead.. I was also part of the Virtual Animal Rights March and Goths For Sanctuaries. You can see flyers from all these in this album. I thought it would be fun to collect them, and look back on later!

I will also participate in a leukemia benefit hosted by DJ Wyntre Mysteria next week, and an event in a month organized by martin oldgoth where we help venues and others in the business we love that have been harshly affected by the pandemic. There are more things coming up too! I have not yet DJ'd at an actual venue or anything, but I'm hoping to once that becomes possible. I'm already making a lot of connections! I also find myself ''thinking'' like a DJ when I hear music now. If a certain song would work well on a dancefloor, what songs would go well together, and being way too aware of transitions between songs.

So this is basically what my DJ / streaming setup looks like. I have a Numark Party Mix controller, which is connected to my music laptop and my Marshall Woburn speaker. I also have an AKG headset. The software I use is Virtual DJ, and OBS for streaming. Pretty simple! The lights are from the back of my controller. While streaming I use the laptop's camera and the Iriun webcam app on my phone, so I can show the lightshow as well as my face. Often I will use my other laptop for chatting and other stuff, so I don't have to switch between so many windows on the music / streaming laptop.

Oh, I should probably plug myself!
You can find my mixes, all updates and my streams here:

Mixcloud
Facebook
Twitch

I am also an admin of the Bloodstreamers collective, which is for goth Twitch streamers.
If you are a streamer yourself, apply to join the group here!


Now let's talk about how the state of the goth scene right now. Bands and DJs were REALLY quick to adjust to the new state of things and move to livestreams on different platforms. I have actually been writing down streams I've attended in my planner as if they were physical events, and my first entry is March 19th, DJ Cyberpagan, with Ash Code doing a livestream concert the day after. Also just how the streams have developed, from audio-only on not-so-great sites to pretty professional non-stop festivals!

Attending virtual events from the comfort of my own living room has been pretty great actually (I'm an autistic introvert with social anxiety, ok), I find it so much less stressful, and it's so cool to see events and talk to people from all around the world. Chats are so easy to participate in, cause everyone talks to everyone, and the host can too! Even timezones don't even ruin things, but I've certainly become more aware of them now! I've collaborated with streamers all the way from New Zealand to California. So I definitely feel livestreams makes events so much more accessible, no matter where you live, your financial situation (most streams are free, very few concerts have cost anything), and what struggles you'd have with going to events. I've made new friends and got closer to people who live in other countries, learned about new bands and gotten to experience events I haven't managed to go to in person.

The pandemic has been devastating to club nights, venues, bars, musicians, DJs and everyone else in this line of work. Many have found themselves out of work for months now, and we've even started to see venues shut down for good because of the financial blow. Despite that, the goth community has been amazing helping out. Tipping DJs, donating to bands and venues... One huge thing is Bandcamp Friday, when Bandcamp waives their all their fees (normally they take 10-15%) for 24 hours (midnight to midnight PDT). First it was a one-off thing, then they did it for 3 more months before deciding to do it EVERY first Friday of the month for the rest of the year. Fans literally spend MILLIONS of dollars on these days. For a bunch of them I've spent over €100 myself. It's really great of them to do that, so that we fans can support the bands we love even more when we can't go see them in concert.

Lastly, I want to share some of my favorite goth events / DJs / gamers during the past 6 months.
Please check them out! There are lots more, these are just some recurring ones I love.

Nocturna / Scary Lady Sarah
Obscura Undead
Cyberpagan
Gothicat Festival
Kangal
Mortasha Kinski
Red Party NYC / Sean Templar
Virtual Goth Night
Martin Oldgoth
The Sisters Of Mondays
Poisondwarf
Geisterwelt Nights
In Depth Music / Dragnet

Gamers:
Indae
Hootfiend
Father Eldritch

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

My second Alkemia Perfumes order

Earlier this year I showed you my first order from Alkemia Perfumes. I have now gotten my second order from them, cause I just can't get enough! If you haven't already, go check out my first post on them for more information, I don't wanna repeat myself here.

I got myself a fullsize of my favorite from my last order; Come To Me, as well as another sample set. I asked them for samples of perfumes they'd recommend based on my love for Come To Me, so I got two extra samples for free (it seems they do that with every order)! Let me review all the samples for you.


Paris 1905. Caveau des Innocents is the underworld hub of urban Parisian nightlife. Its clients a volatile melange of licentiousness and corruption - ladies of the night, a magistrate and his mistress, gangsters ("les Apaches"), farmers, philosophers, free-living writers, a foreign prince and a young duke. The promise of erotic debauchery and elegant iniquity beckons...

Tabac, dark coffee, piquant cloves, rum soaked pears, candied citron, dark caramel, and star anise bathed in intoxicating swirls of opoponax, labdanum, hashish, benzoin resinoid, vanilla incense, and guaiac wood.

"And coming where the crossroads separate
And down each vista glories and wonders wait,
Crowning each path with pinnacles so fair
You know not which to choose, and hesitate --
Oh, go to Paris." - Alan Seeger

This really fits the scenic description. It smells heavenly! Once you open the bottle, all the smells swirl together. I can pick up most of the ingredients right away. My skin picks up the sweeter and warmer notes at first, then it mellows down to a warm smokiness, and keeps getting smokier. When I mean smokey by the way, it's the things mentioned towards the end of the description (NOT BBQ or whiskey like Simen thought I was talking about). It stays on for an entire day, at least on me. I really like this, I just keep smelling my wrists. Possibly a new favorite I could get a fullsize of?

An enigmatic yet compelling blend of seductive eastern spices, aged patchouli, and sandalwood. Frankincense, nag champa, and dragons blood deepen the mystery.

"Only mystery allows us to live, only mystery." - Frederico Garcia Lorca

I love that painting. My first impression is that it smells like the home of an eastern witch. When I open the bottle, I mostly get the latter scents described. When I put it on me, for the first few seconds it was still that fresh ''colder'' scent that I just smelled, then transforms into a warmer scent similar to my first impression again. It's pretty exotic and witchy. It's a nice smell, but I don't feel it suits me. This would be great as a ''room spray'' though! I actually put some on my Bastet plushie and kept sniffing it, hahah.

Voluptuous, midnight-black roses blended with precious black Arabian oud and black Indonesian musk.

"Darkling I listen; and for many a time 
I have been half in love with easeful Death, 
Call'd him soft names in many a musèd rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breath;     
Now more than ever seems it rich to die,               
To cease upon the midnight with no pain,             
While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad
In such an ecstasy!" -- John Keats

When the bottle is closed, I like the smell, but when I open it.. I don't like it. I'm not big on the smell of roses, but this was even worse, hahah. To me it smelled like fertilizer at first! (insert that Outkast song here lol) I put it on just one wrist, cause I doubted I would like it. It smelled a little better after a minute, but the rose smell was still there. I couldn't smell the oud or musk, the rose was too strong. I gave it an hour and tried to wash it off, but failed. Not for me! If you really like rose, this could be for you.

Lapsang souchong tea, aloeswood, smoked black amber, aged dark patchouli, tonka, Amazonian breuzinho, Moroccan bhakoor, labdanum, temple incense, caramelized opium, black coffee, black coconut, soft Russian leather, and tabac leaf.

"I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul. I love you as the plant that never blooms but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers; thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance, risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body." - Pablo Neruda

What a long name, haha! The closed bottle smells pleasant, when I open it it's a little overwhelming with all the smells. The coffee hits me first, not quite sure what else I'm smelling. I'm not very familiar with some of the ingredients. The coffee faded after about 15-20 minutes, and whatever I smelled ''behind'' that stands out more, I just don't know what it is. After 30 minutes I think I can pick up the caramelized opium. 15 minutes after that I think I get a touch of tonka. So I don't get the scents ''in order'' as in the other perfumes, it's kind of all over the place. There's a lot in here, from dark, earthy and musky to sweetness and incense. I don't hate it, but I don't love it either. If you think the ingredients sound interesting, definitely give it a shot! 

In the 1920s, a new woman was created. Unlike her Victorian sisters, she smoked, drank, danced, drove, and voted. She cut her hair, wore make-up, and (horrors!) went to petting parties. She was giddy, independent, and in charge of her sexuality. She was a flapper. This perfume is an homage to the steamier side of the Roaring Twenties - a darkly erotic blend of opium, labdanum, Tonka, balsam, sueded leather, and black musk.

It's the 20s again, and this description of a woman fits me! I also love the name, that's what attracted me first. In the closed bottle I really like the smell, when I open and apply it, it smells more.. floral, almost? I assume that's the opium. I also noticed the oil as a dark amber color. After a few minutes I think I pick up the labdanum, and then the tonka. The leather comes fairly quickly too, but it's not too strong, there's still some sweetness there. Ok scratch that, the sweetness goes away (It later came back). When the bottle was closed it smelled much sweeter, and I liked that, but it turned very different on me. Also I wouldn't say this is just for women. If you are a man and you think this sounds interesting, I think you should definitely give it a go, cause I don't think it smells very feminine, at least on me. I realize how important it is to actually test perfumes on you before you decide it's for you, cause it changes so much after that initial impression, and with your body chemistry.

Candied angelica, chrysanthemums, white flowering Nardo, clove flowers, jasmine-scented rice pudding, blonde caramel, infused with golden amber.

"Unknown! how I wish you lay, Alone in my silken tent to-night While I charmed the pain away. I would lay you down on the Royal bed, I would bathe your wounds with wine, And setting your feet against my head Dream you were lover of mine. My Crown is heavy upon my hair, The Jewels weigh on my breast, All I would leave, with delight, to share Your pale and passionate rest!" -- Adela Florence Cory Nicolson

This is one of the free samples I got, based on my love for Come To Me. My first impression is that it's a pleasant and sweet smell, but doesn't smell very strong. It does remind me of Come To Me, they have jasmine and amber (but not the same) in common, and this has candied angelica and caramel instead to give it that candy-sweet scent. So this was a really good recommendation based on that! I never would have guessed it myself, and probably skipped this on the site. I'd say this is a milder, less sweet version. So if you've tried Come To Me and thought it was a little too much, you might like this better. I'll keep this in mind for whenever I run out of Come To Me.

An opulence of cashmere sensuously perfumed with rare Japanese boudoir incenses, luxurious caramel pralines, vanilla orchids, bergamot, orris root, candied lemon peel, and a splash of champagne.

"I sit down to give you an undeniable proof of my considering your desires as indispensable orders. Ungracious then as the task may be, I shall recall to view those scandalous stages of my life, out of which I emerg'd, at length, to the enjoyment of every blessing in the power of love, health, and fortune to bestow; whilst yet in the flower of youth, and not too late to employ the leisure afforded me by great ease and affluence, to cultivate an understanding, naturally not a despicable one, and which had, even amidst the whirl of loose pleasures I had been tost in, exerted more observation on the characters and manners of the world than what is common to those of my unhappy profession, who looking on all thought or reflection as their capital enemy, keep it at as great a distance as they can, or destroy it without mercy." - Fanny Hill by J. Cleland, 1748

What hits me first is the candied lemon peel, bergamot and I assume the incense. It's very nice. It's fairly light, flowery and got a bit of an asian vibe to it. Like with some of the other perfumes, I find it smells sweeter in the bottle, but on me it doesn't. I guess my skin just sucks up sweet scents! I do still like it, but I don't think it suits me that well.

Our little perfume shelf!


So this time around I got a bunch of ''dark'' scents. They're all so different! I've learned more about what I like or don't like. I hope this has been useful for you! I mainly decided to do this for myself, I found it nice to have notes about all the different perfumes, now that I own 14(!) different samples. I think it's also amazing how much the scents change between arriving and ''settling'', so remember to wait around 48 hours after you take them inside before you actually test them out properly.

I found out that the scents I like are part of the Sensual Seductions sample set that contains Salome, Come To Me, Silken Tent, The Libertine, Evil Temptress and Memoirs Of A Woman Of Pleasure. So if it sounds like you like the same scents I do, I'd give that sample set a try!

I forgot to mention that I also got a dropper top. They're sold separately (for 50 cents), apparently because of leakage during transport. Definitely recommend getting one, so you don't pour too much out of the bottle. When you put it in, you turn the bottle upside-down and only a drop or two will come out.

Don't be surprised if I do another post like this in like 6 months, cause I am addicted! It's really exciting to discover and learn different scents, especially as cool as these are! You know I recommend this company, especially if you've drooled over BPAL but thought their perfumes and / or shipping was too expensive.

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