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

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