Tuesday, 25 October 2016

My First Mister

The film that broke me.

That's how it feels, broken inside, but in the best way possible. I decided to watch My First Mister last night after months of being unable to locate a copy. I found one streaming through Kodi. I came into it with no real idea in mind as to how the film would play out. It ended with me bawling my eyes out in the stairwell, clutching a carton of ice cream close to my chest and listening to The Cure's Pictures of You. Depressing. But in the best way possible.

To be honest I don't remember how I came upon this film. Maybe it was Carol Kane? I didn't know about it in high school when it came out, but it's certainly not mainstream and wouldn't have been playing in theaters around here. It obviously drew my interest due to the fact that the protagonist is a teenage goth/alt girl, something we seldom see in film. These characters are at best secondary in most stories. Forgive me if I spoil anything, I'm not great with words, so if you wish to watch the film before reading this give it a go.

The movie follows J, a 17 year old recently graduated goth girl with no real direction in life. J spends most of her time writing eulogies and reading Anne Rice novels or hanging out it in local goth bars...or were they coffee shops? We were never privvy to those kinds of things here but I guess in California anything can exist. She doesn't have any friends, she has no love life to speak of, she appears to never have been kissed and her only sexual experience outside of masturbating involved a red crayon when she was a little girl. She longs for a connection with someone, and the geeky Brian Krakow lookalike who obsesses over her at school isn't what she's looking for. Enter R, a fifty something year old man who manages a men's clothing shop. The object of J's affection and her doorway into a structured, supportive adult life. He gives her a job and helps her find her independence (something she feels she desperately needs as she loathes her family).

Now, you might be thinking, hold the fuck up, she's 17 and he's in his fifties?! (55 but I think they fucked up and had him say 57 at one point). This is where the film runs into issues. So many people have written My First Mister off as "creepy" because they make ridiculous assumptions about these two characters without even giving them a chance. Your mind might conjure up similar sounding films like Lolita or American Beauty but there's a BIG difference between this film and other films, and that's because R doesn't reciprocate J's romantic affections. He doesn't see her in a sexual or romantic way, and by no means is this a spoiler as this was made clear to me throughout the entire film. J, however, does have romantic/sexual feelings for R, or at least she thinks she does. Remember, this is a girl with no friends, no boyfriends, no sexual experiences to relate to. The only romance she's ever known is the kind that exists in Anne Rice's Vampire and BDSM novels. I believe she convinces herself that she finds him sexually attractive because she does connect with him on some level, but due to her immaturity she doesn't understand the nature of the relationship. She has difficulty seeing why he wouldn't be her lover and why he would choose older women over her. She's possessive and jealous and when he does share moments with other women she acts out either through self-mutilation or ruining things at the store.

J attempts to share her world with R because R is reclusive and leads a quite, solitary and uneventful life. She feels sympathy for him because he chooses not to live out of fear (he has serious anxiety problems) and he feels sympathy for her because she has no one to support and care for her as an individual. It's a beautiful, heart wrenching story. It's a dramadey, there are comedic aspects but in the end things take an interesting turn and will leave you feeling emotionally overwhelmed.


Why do I think it's a good film? 

Firstly, I think it's an excellent portrayal of a young goth girl. I can 100% relate to J. I wore boxers in my youth, cut myself, listened to loud music, felt like I was completely alone in the world even though I was surrounded by people. I felt misunderstood. Her character is handled appropriately, it's not annoyingly angsty, it doesn't pour it on. Her character has been criticized as being cliché but I disagree, because anyone in the goth scene will recognize that baby bats do clichéd goth shit all the time. Not all goths cut themselves or read Anne Rice novels, but some really do! For me, a stereotyped Goth character wouldn't be stereotypical because they wear black or listen to dreary music, it would become stereotypical when someone so obviously not goth would assume the character must do something stupid like sleep in a coffin, wear fake vampire teeth and quote Edgar Allan Poe poems. J could be a real girl in existence right now and that's something I can truly respect. Sure, she has some moments where she's whiny and annoying but I don't consider it a problem with the acting, it's just another aspect of her character; she's 17 and 17 year olds can be very whiny and annoying.

Secondly, I found the bond that forms between J and R to be very touching because it demonstrates that even though we may be entirely different in age, race, sex, or scene we can still reach out and connect with one another if we only allow it. It's far from creepy, it's heartwarming that a 55 year old man would give a girl like J a chance at a job and form a friendship with her. All too often these days we think of that as risky and call the guy a pedo. It's not true and films like this stand as a reminder that not everyone is a psychopathic creeper, there's beauty and friendship to be had in this world, as corny as that may sound. Although I struggle with social anxieties, this film inspires me to be more receptive of other people. It makes me think that perhaps I'm too quick to judge others. I never honestly considered striking up a conversation with the older man or woman at the supermarket but now I might have to rethink that. It also makes me want to get out more as both characters lead closed off lives. J especially so, despite having worked in a goth clothing store and attending a goth hang out consistently she's never socialized with the people there. She goes to the coffee shop so often that the guy at the counter knows her order. This demonstrates that even within our scene we can be closed off from one another. J wouldn't be so lonely if she wasn't criticizing the shit out of other people and fantasizing all the time. I think that's a problem for a lot of kids in the goth and alt scenes, you get hung up on the idea of what it is to be goth and different from other people, and it can taint the way you look at them. Instead of finding common ground your focusing on what sets you apart from other people. You start judging them, measuring your gothness against them, and stop seeing them as individuals.

This is a really good film for baby bats to watch. This is a story about personal growth. I love watching J's character grow into a woman. Her style goes from young and punky to a more refined corp goth look. Sadly there's not as much fashion to be had in the film as I would like but you get a few glimpses of hot outfits that look as though they walked off the pages of the Lip Service catalog. If you can find a copy somehow I encourage you to give it a watch, just make sure you have ice cream on hand and do it before bed so you can sleep your tears away.

Best,


Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Autumn Leaves


Enjoying Fall Foliage

It hasn't really felt like autumn or Halloween for me recently, but I spend most of my time cooped up indoors so that could explain it. That being said, I don't want to let the season slip me by... I had planned on looking at the fall foliage on an outing with a friend, but unfortunately that has yet to happen and whenever that does take place I'm sure the autumn leaves will have blown away! I missed the leaves changing last year, I couldn't let that happen again. Last weekend we went on a day trip up to our favorite orchard, a yearly tradition for us. We go there for freshly baked apple cider donuts and their award-winning cider. While on our way up we detoured to Parkhill, ON where there's a lovely little lake, a park, and an awesome cemetery! Here are some photos from my adventure. :)







Conclusion

I had a blast! Even though it was rainy the temperature was rather high that day, and having cold wet shoes kind of put me in the mood for delicious warm donuts! My favorite tree (shown last) looked even better in person, sharp lime greens contrasted by vivid reds. I wish I could have lived next door to Parkhill Cemetery. Maybe one day I'll have a beautiful maple tree of my own. Have you been out taking pictures lately?

Best,


Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Halloween Shopping 2016


Cool Halloween Finds!

If you're like me Halloween is every day. Many of the items being advertised as "Halloween" in the alt and Goth shop sites aren't exactly new or specific to Halloween, at least in my eyes. Much of which I would wear on any given day! Hell, I still have my Halloween panties collection and I wear my Hello Kitty Halloween jammies every month of the year. That being said, I thought it might be fun to do up two mood boards featuring pieces that I think reflect Halloween fairly well. 

Glampira

I am a huge Universal Monster movie addict. I have the blu-ray box set and I adore breaking it out on a stormy night. In my catalog search I came across a number of items that screamed Universal Monsters to me. These boots are to die for!! I love them! Sadly they are a Demonia product but if I ever came across a pair on super sale I'd be tempted to scoop them, with those adorable little bats and that clunky Franken-heel, what's not to love? Pair it with these hot spiderweb stockings from Sourpuss and matching purse from Rock Rebel (I have lightning bolt earrings which would look stellar with this bag). I love the colour green, electric chartreuse makes my heart sing! I carried it into these cute bone hair clips from Kreepsville, with a skelly cat pin and Halloween necklace. The Vampyra mask is unfortunately only for decoration, although Sourpuss offers up plenty of vintage Halloween repro items, including a remake of a classic fortune telling game, this mask is intended to hang on your wall... I think it would be better if it were a real mask, don't you?

Shoes: Demonia Camel 201 
Brooch: Creep Heart Jellybean Cat Mini Pin
Bag: Rock Rebel Frankenstein Lace Handbag
Hair clips: Kreepsville 666 Gem Bone Hair Clips
Socks: Sourpuss 17" Knee-high Web Stockings
Necklace: Dolly Cool Halloween Cat and Bat Necklace
MISC: Vampyra Girl Vac-Tastic Plastic Mask



This is Halloween!

Here are some items deserving of Halloween! They're selling out fast, too, not surprisingly as I'm sure many ordinary shoppers see these as an adorable alternative to a Halloween costume. I have been swooning over this cream coloured Halloween themed frock for almost a year now. It's on my to-buy list. I just love classic vintage themed Halloween cats. I'm a cat person, mind you, so maybe it's just another aspect of my cat lady craziness. I think it's very flattering and not too in your face, there's something very reserved and feminine about it. This Lucy Fur sweater also features my favorite Halloween black cat design. I think it really pops and would look sharp paired with a tight colourful trouser. I'm also a fan of Sourpuss sweaters as so far all of mine have stood the test of time. The last dress features fun and girly Kewpie style costumed babies. I like it but not as much as other Halloween dresses. It's growing on me a little, the colour palette is fun and I think it would largely appeal to vintage enthusiasts or cutesy Goths. 

Left: Sourpuss Black Cats Gauzy Dress Cream
Center: Sourpuss Lucy Fur Sweater
Right: Sourpuss Halloween is Everyday Skater Dress

Conclusion

I've seen a few other prints from Sourpuss that are "Halloween" themed but I find them rather drab (black and white cemetery prints). What I enjoy about some of Sourpuss' new releases is that there's colour, something almost unheard of in Goth fashion. Halloween has an abundance of colour and I think it would be nice to see more experimentation in the future, for instance, the Lucy Fur sweater in orange would've been cool to see. Some more electric green or purple! Candy corn too!!! 

What are your thoughts? Find anything cool this year?

Best,

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Happy October!




Joyful autumn wishes to you!


I happily celebrated the arrival of October with pumpkin soup and candy corn! It was a decent start, with good weather too. Our foliage is just now starting to change and I adore the gray rainy days that make the fall leaves stand out even more so! In September I brought out my autumn garland and hung it along the stair rail and on our decor shelf. This Thanksgiving weekend I cracked open my bins of Halloween decor and unloaded it upon my living room. Although everything is out on its own shelf it still doesn't feel like Halloween around here...maybe once I put out our outdoor decor items it will tie it all together? I've been so ill I find it hard to pull out that Halloween spirit that's always been so near and dear to my heart. : /

I didn't post a monthly update last month because September was ridiculously busy. Things have been so...different around here. There's so much going on that I'm not even gonna get into most of it. I still don't have pictures yet, if you're wondering. I returned to work in mid September only to find faces I don't recognize and a mass amount of orders that has everyone on edge. This is compounded by the fact that I have been very ill. I have missed on average 1-2 days of work a week. In the end of August and throughout September I wore a face mask to work. There's some kind of flu bug circulating there and with a weakened immune system I couldn't afford to pick it up. Unfortunately my face blistered up in one of the worst acne outbreaks I've had since I was a teenager. I have to stop wearing the mask because it is causes me to break out in blind pimples. They hurt, they're unsightly, I can't get relief! I talked with my boss in the summer about going down to part-time. I've made the decision to enact that in the coming weeks, so I'll be working four days a week now. With the Christmas rush I have the ability to bump the shifts up to 10 hour shifts, so although I'll have a long weekend every week I'll be working the equivalent to what I normally would. I can also pick up Saturday shifts if I feel up to it. It sounds odd to choose to work 9-10 hour shifts when I'm sick but it works because I can push myself through the long days (as I've already been doing) and recuperate on Friday. Before, I would come home and sleep all Friday night, well into Saturday day, leaving nothing but Sunday to get anything done. I'm hoping that having a three day weekend I might be able to cope with my symptoms and some how push on through the work week. Somehow it's easier when you know there's only four days. I can't explain it any better than that.

And no, I still have no idea what's wrong. I can tell you the pain is far worse than it's ever been before. I would put it on par with the pain I experienced in my hysterectomy. The body pains are like flu symptoms times a thousand. I feel as though my whole body is a charley horse. I am one big bruise. My stomach reacts to anything so I have difficulty feeling hungry. I've lost weight...something I shouldn't celebrate...but HELL YEAH! Anything I eat will give me the feeling of gut rot or I'll literally have an upset stomach one way or another. As a result I'm shy about eating anything for fear of the pain, I'm surviving on what is probably only 500 calories a day. A few Fridays ago I went to the ER because the pain was so crippling I couldn't hold onto things. I'm not exaggerating...I was so scared of what was going on inside me that I felt I was going to die. I'm on morphine now. It helps a little but I think it's keeping me up at night. I'm going to see the GI in a few weeks, I don't know if he'll be able to help with my body pains but if we can figure out the stomach issues that's really something. I still have fevers every day of my life and come next February it'll have been a whole year with fevers. December will mark a whole year of physical pain. And that's one whole year of my family doctor not really giving a fuck.

Westerland Rose (left) Climbing Joseph's Coat Rose (Right)

I've been doing up our garden for the fall. Not much to choose from at any of the nurseries. I found these lovely icicle pansies, not a flower I'm familiar with, apparently they'll survive the winter months and return in the spring! You can see in my main post photo above, with my petunias and snapdragons that are still going strong. Sadly I think my Halloween pansies have all died off. They were choked out by the petunias. I think maybe next year I'll do mostly snapdragons and icicle pansies, the petunias just became too unruly this year. My roses really started to look healthier once our weather changed. The stalks became stronger and there have been more buds yet they take a long time to bloom. I purchased two mums while at the nursery, one in a soft pink which I've never seen before and another burgundy which we placed into a burgundy pot (looks really sharp). Our Fuji Cherry is bouncing back now that all the damn Japanese beetles are gone. I must've killed hundreds of them this year. We still have an earwig problem though...yuck!


Mums (left) and my Halloween Pansies from early this year (right)

My folk art has been slow going but I'm happy with what I'm working on right now. I'll probably have to put my art on hiatus yet again. I obviously have no time for Halloween stuff now, it's too late, and it's too late for Christmas because I should've had the bases made and dried last month, but it's been good practice. Sales in my vintage Etsy shop have been steady. It's nice to declutter and get patterns to people who will love them. I've returned to doing my art/illustration work. I'm sick of how underdeveloped my artistic skills have been so I'm studying composition and learning new techniques in Photoshop and Illustrator. Ideally I'd like to continue with that, especially considering that the winter is not ideal for sculpting my folk art, so really, I have no other art to work on but my cartoons at this point.

I've also been sewing! I made a totally adorable dress, not very gothy but that's okay. I've also sewn this cool faux leather spandex crop top. I'm having fun sewing with knits. It's actually quite useful once you get the hang of it; knits are way easier to fit and knit projects tend to go faster than others. Odd as it may sound, the only way I've been learning is by deconstructing other knit items in my wardrobe. The dress I made is actually based on a nightgown, the top I made is based off of a long sleeve shirt that I pinned to the floor and traced; I plan on finding other knit items I enjoy and making copies of them. 




Currently I'm busy sewing my Halloween costume...You may recall I started this up last year but never finished it. Well, I'm not into having too many unfinished objects lying around in my sewing room so I've decided to take up the project yet again! Yes, a fairy! I figure I wear so much black normally it'd be a fun change to go crazy sparkly girly this year. I'm making the headband, wand, and fairy wings. I hope to wear one of the Lockshop wigs I bought a few years ago. I have one in periwinkle and one in purple. I also have these cute silver jelly sandals I got for $5 at Forever21, I love them so much! I don't care if people are over them, they're comfy. I hope to finish the wings this weekend and I'll share my progress as I go along. :)

What are you up to this Halloween, my lovelies?

Best,

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Cosplay by McCall's Bow & Brine and Obi: Gādo

New McCall's Cosplay Patterns for Fall

Just in time for Halloween, if you're looking to go as a pirate this year or maybe you wish to don a beautiful kimono just to look pretty, McCall's has two patterns you might be interested in.



Obi: Gādo
Misses' Kimono, Undershirt and Obi with two sleeve and length variations

So this is a pretty cool kimono. I had sewn something similar when I was a teenager (huge Japanese geek at the time) and the kimono patterns that were available in my youth did not look this good. I'm hesitant to encourage wearing this for Halloween, mind you it's great for anyone in love with kimonos or anyone looking to use it for cosplay (you know, something far less insensitive). I like the cut of the shorter one, it reminds me of Lolita, I'd probably wear it without the sleeves, it just looks so gosh darn cute. It doesn't look like it would be that difficult to sew either. :)



Bow & Brine
Misses' Blouses

This pattern was designed in partnership with Seattle Cosplay. I have to say when I saw this I thought of two years ago when I made my own pirate costume. It's pretty cute but I'm disappointed that the cincher belt isn't included in the pattern, especially since it looks fairly easy to knock out. Instead the pattern features three different blouse variations; the one shown above with the sleeves gathered, another with sleeves ungathered, and lastly one with shorter sleeves. It can be made with a ribbon neck tie or collar but I honestly don't think the blouse needs any of that, it looks good on its own. Overall it's a decent pattern I just wish it had a little more oomph, something to accessorize it, like something else to go with it.


Conclusion

These are some cute patterns for what they are. It's a change from some of the very fantasy based costumes we've been seeing and I think it's good to have some diversity. The blouse pattern is versatile enough that it could be used for almost anything, and although the kimono costume lacks that versatility it's still a very pretty and well designed kimono which I haven't seen from any pattern company before. 

Would you wear these?

Best,

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