stillsostrange: (Brigitte)
So, last night Steven and I went to a deathrock night in San Antonio. We had a fabulous time. We also ended up leaving just as storm was blowing down from Austin. We hit about fifteen minutes of bad hail, which we spent sheltered under a gas station awning. Hail passed, and we went on. I eventually fell asleep in the passenger seat, as is my wont at 2:00 am.

I woke up to the sensation of the tires losing contact with the road. Steven cursing. The car spinning. My eyes never opened for this. I doubt it lasted more than a few heartbeats. Next came an impact. I shouted at this point--whether it was articulate or not I'm not sure. What I was thinking was mostly What the fuck?! Immediately after the first impact came a second. This one hurt. I yelled something again. A short time of confusion and annoyance followed, and then the car finally stopped moving and my eyes opened to rain and a wet divider and the remains of the passenger side airbag and the headlights of oncoming traffic. Luckily we had spun into a wide grassy median ditch, safely out of the way of any other cars. My right arm hurt like hell. ETA: I forgot a telling detail: the burning chemical smell of airbag propellant.

We sat there for a short span of time. Steven asked if I was okay; I said my arm hurt. At this point I thought to test the arm, and determined that it wasn't broken. I suspect I'd had a leg propped on the dashboard, so I was extra lucky that wasn't broken either. Northbound traffic kept moving.

Steven tried moving the car, but it was firmly wedged in the ditch. At this point I called our babysitter with what was probably a shocky warning that we would be late. This was, thanks to DST, at 3:30 am. After that... Reader, I updated Facebook. Yeah. Sorry. But then I thought to call roadside assistance! Steven talked to roadside assistance, and they eventually transferred him to 911. Several minutes and many cars has passed at this point, and finally one person stopped to ask if we were all right. By then sirens were inbound.

Cops and a fire truck showed up to determine that we were neither dead nor drunk nor on fire. I hadn't moved from the passenger seat at all, being a bit shocky, in pain, wedged in a ditch, and having foolishly decided that I didn't need my jacket that night. I got to sign waivers declining a trip to the hospital. The cops seemed a bit bemused by my torn fishnet and shiny glam goth pants. Eventually I crawled out of the car, and some nice officers put us in the back of their cruiser. They took us to the nearest sheltered spot, asked more questions, consulted about tow trucks. It was now 4:00 am and we were on the southernmost edge of Austin, so I decided not to wake up any of my friends. The cops called us a cab. The cab dispatcher said something that translated to "It's 4:00 am on the first Saturday of SXSW. Good fucking luck." And because of those conditions, the cops were getting a lot of calls at this point. So eventually they dropped us off at the nearest 24-hour fast food place and left us waiting for the cab.

We sat there drinking bad coffee listening to the absolute worst canned music selection ever for another hour. The cab was not coming. Steven called them again. Finally I broke down and called my parents, because someone had to relieve our poor babysitter. My parents returned the babysitter and stayed with the kids. At some point I finally checked a mirror and determined that my arm was friction-burned as well as bruised, and that my artfully torn fishnet top now had authentic battle damage.

6:00 am came. The cab did not. So finally my parents came to retrieve us. My father returned us to our house at 7:30 am. I wandered around in a daze, taking pictures of the fishnet pattern burned into my arm. I finally went to bed around 8:00, very gingerly.

Four hours later I got up to go with Steven to check on the car. It had been towed--to where, we're not entirely certain. Hopefully this will be sorted out quickly. Right now I'm upright only by the power of caffeine, and the fact that it hurts like hell to lie down. I did make one sensible attempt to go to an urgent care clinic, but the one that was open was out of network, so I'll call my doctor tomorrow. I did not go to work today.

I am very lucky, not only to not be hurt and to have not injured anyone else, but to have had people to call, people asking if I was okay, and people to email at 4:30 in the morning from the back of a police car.
stillsostrange: (Bone Palace UK)
Untitled by Amanda Downum
Untitled, a photo by Amanda Downum on Flickr.

My costume for the Sherwood Forest faire very nearly didn't happen, as it was so damn windy in the parking lot that I couldn't attach my wings. Luckily, inside the walled and treed fairground, we made this happen. I also acquired a new spiderweb lace cloak .

I wandered around, drank a lot of mead, climbed trees, and had strangers take my picture. And now I have a photo to submit to Goths Up Trees. A rousing success, I think.

stillsostrange: (Baby bats)
I didn't meme yesterday, as I ended up having no time between cleaning and getting ready for the show. So here we are.

Via [ profile] curgoth: Just had an idea for a content generator to fill the voids of livejournal; Music in Time. Take a period of time (say, the 90s) and *either* post some of the music that was your favourite during that time OR music you like now that was released during that time.

[ profile] curgoth gave me the late 90s as a time period, which is a fun one. I graduated from high school in 1996. Until then, my musical tastes were mostly formed by either what my friends listened to or what I watched on MTV/VH1 and heard on the radio. So it was a lot of pop and R&B in grade school, and grunge and metal in high school. Movies provided little windows into what would later become my music--TKK in The Crow, "Face to Face" in Batman Returns--but there were no other goths in my high school, and all I knew about the word came from reading PZB & co.

In 96/97 I started college (I was 17). I joined a VLARP group. I started wearing a lot of crushed velvet. I spent a Christmas holiday working at a CD shop. I learned a deeper appreciation of the Cure from a boyfriend, and went to a Marilyn Manson concert with some of my CD shop coworkers. I stopped listening to the radio, and even if I'd had cable, it's not as if MTV played much music at that point. The late 90s are where my knowledge of pop music drop off sharply.

In the summer of 1997 I was finally old enough to go clubbing*, and so began my long tenure at the Church. A few of the songs I would spend the rest of the decade dancing to include:

And of course, a song that lived up to its name in short order:

* I had tried before that, but the college ID trick that let me buy cigarettes did not work on club bouncers.
stillsostrange: (fatale)
At some point in the last two years I seem to have leveled up in Femme. I learned how to apply eyeshadow (via internet tutorials). I found a pair of heels I could walk in without dying (Fluevogs). The advent of Mad Men fashion let me find dishy--and occasionally even classy--dresses. Heels have become steadily more wearable*, and now I have a collection. I can even dance for hours in some of them. And now, Goth help me, I've developed a fondness for lip gloss and Urban Decay eyeshadow**.

Now I just need to learn to style my hair.

* Possibly having thirty fewer pounds balanced on the balls of my feet is helpful here.

** Because I never develop fondnesses for cheap things.
stillsostrange: (Valkyrie)
Despite having slacked off on weightlifting for the past two weeks, I don't seem to have lost too much muscle. Tonight I sent a 5.10 that eluded me last week, and much it involved hauling myself up on crimpers. I was pretty surprised to have done so well.* This is the second 5.10 I've sent in recent history, which is a good sign. I also did more pushups during Powerhouse last week than I may ever have done before.

And despite a lot of holiday sloth, I went dancing twice this weekend. Ego Likeness played on Friday, which was a great delight. They played "Aviary" (aka Phaedra's song from Bone Palace), which made me very happy. Last night was a Peter Murphy tribute at a venue I'd never been to before, which was a pleasant diversion. As a Peter Murphy tribute, the set was pretty lackluster, but I still danced plenty. In doing so, I discovered what may be an unexpected side effect of recent weight loss: high heels have become more comfortable. They're still not pleasant, but I danced or stood for nearly four hours without misery or blisters. Or even fishnet chafing. Either thirty pounds makes quite a difference on one's feet, or I've leveled up in femme.

Now I just have to maintain my muscle gain till after Run For Your Lives, when I can start weight training again. And maintain my improved running stamina.

* I dogged the rope like woah, though, so take that with a little salt.
stillsostrange: (Conscious)
Today I sent the final* draft of Dreams of Shreds & Tatters to [ profile] arcaedia. Selling the damn thing may be a new nightmare, but it will be one that is mostly out of my hands. There is suddenly a book-shaped hole in my life. And since there's no pressing need to kill myself over D2 until I know the fate of D1, this means I get to cruise the city looking for sexy novels to have torrid flings with. Maybe Salvage wants to tell me more about its alien scientists and speedboat chases.

In other news, I will be at Monster-Con on Saturday, October 13th. I'll be signing books dressed as a fish monster. As one does.

In other, other news, I hope to participate in Run For Your Lives on December 13th. This depends on me getting the day off work, since large contingent from my bookstore wants to go, but I'm going to start training for a 5k anyway. December is the best possible time to run 5k. This means I have to abandon my beloved elliptical tomorrow in favor of the dreaded treadmill.

On Friday I made a last minute decision to go see TKK after work, and am glad I did so. It wasn't like seeing them 12 years ago, but the show was fun and the venue pleasantly small, and Groovie was ambulatory the whole time. And they played "After The Flesh," which I'm been waiting to hear live since I first saw The Crow. And in an added bonus, my recent love affair with the elliptical means that I can now wear the striped tights which are the custom of my people without looking like a hobbit.

And on that note, I'm off to the gym.

* Yes, I know. There will be a revision for an editor, copy edits, and proofs. Let me cling to my delusion for a time.
stillsostrange: (Default)
So, a) over the past month I've become completely smitten with Avatar: The Last Airbender*, and b) I turned over the TV to the childer tonight with two-thirds of the series finale left to watch. This virtue pains me, and makes it hard to concentrate on the chapter I'm rewriting. I keep getting distracted by googling pictures of June and Mai. Not June/Mai yet, but this virtue can't last forever.

Think I could Kickstarter enough money to hire the animation team to make an adaptation of The Bone Palace? If not, I'll be reduced to begging for fanart of Mai, June, and Isyllt kicking ass in barfights and drinking tea**.

* It may come as no surprise that Uncle Iroh is my one true love. And yeah, I totally cried at the Mako tribute episode.

** THAT IS A HINT, people.
stillsostrange: (Lightning porn)
Þæt, as they say, wæs god concert. We had great seats, the pyrotechnics were gorgeous--and hot*--and the set list was very nice, even if I would rather have heard "Rosenrot" than "Bück Dich." We had to miss the last encore to get home to the babysitter--the opening whistle of "Engel" chased us into the parking lot, and I'm not sure what they played next. I got to see "Haifisch," though, which I love unreasonably.

They played "Ohne Dich" and it was quite nice, but I'm afraid Laibach did to that song what Johnny Cash did to "Hurt." They'll never top that cover.

That's another concert off my life list. Having seen Leonard Cohen and Concrete Blonde, and given up on Siouxsie or the Creatures, the list is getting short. It would be nice to see Laibach. The rest would need a time machine.

* Not unlike many members of the band.**

** But Till, honey, the reason you can't get laid in Germany is because German women understand your lyrics.
stillsostrange: (Listen)
A special two-for-one meme day!

I write to music, and all my projects grow soundtracks. Usually songs get picked by theme, or imagery, or because they remind me of characters, or out of some vague sense of this feels like a song for X. Sometimes I pick up bits of plot from the songs. Since my normal habit is to put a project's playlist on repeat while I'm working, the longer it is the better.

Today I worked on Dreams, when I wasn't taking St. Gretchen to the vet or waiting for the AC repair people. (Only the climax and denouement left to revise! Two more chapters!) So here is its soundtrack, all five and a half hours of it.

Read more... )

And if you read all that, you can probably guess what the book is about.

Because a) I've been writing this book for nine years and b) picking music is easier for contemporary characters, I also have (shorter) playlists for the three main characters. Although after nine years and updating the chronology a bit, what was once the music of their adolescence has become the music of their childhood, or before.

That's right, people. There are now teenagers in this world to whom Marilyn Manson is their parents' music. I will be in the corner keening and rocking.
stillsostrange: (Baby bats)
B is for baby bats, because tonight is zombie night at Exquisite Corpse, which means I get to dress up extra. I was a late blooming baby bat--I didn't learn the term "goth" (as opposed to Ostro- or Visi-) until I was seventeen and started college, despite years of watching vampire movies and wearing black. I also discovered VLARP my freshman year, which doubled the tragedy of crushed velvet and cobwebs on my temples. And then I discovered Hot Topic. I won't lie, readers: those were a grim few years.

My love of dark clubs, loud music, and dressing up hasn't faded in the past fifteen years. Luckily, my fashion sense and taste in alcohol have mostly improved.

B is also for blood, because it's compulsory, and because I need to mix some up for extra undead verisimilitude. Pictures may follow, if the gods of photography are kind to me.

In the meantime, enjoy a sampling of the music of my people.

stillsostrange: (fatale)
March 1 - 7

March 1 - I have completely forgotten what I did last Thursday. Either I did something, or it was a rest day.
March 2 - Yard work, 2 hours.
March 3 - Day job, 5 hours.
March 4 - Day job, 7 hours.
March 5 - Day job, 5 hours; bouldering; core class, 1 hour.
March 6 - House cleaning, ~ 1 hour.
March 7 - Day job, 5 hours; top-roping; yoga, 1 hour; dancing, ~3 hours. State of the badass art.

Every time I see the video for "Lucretia, My Reflection" I think of a line from Traveling With The Dead: ...Because it was white, a color no sane woman, dead or Undead, would wear on a train. This makes me want to work on my Spies With Fabulous Hats book so very badly.

Day 15 of no sugar. These molasses muffins are my salvation.

I am typing this boring post on Jadis! The blue fire worked! We upgraded my OS and she came back to life. We're guessing maybe a file had been corrupted that was replaced in the upgrade. I hope that is in fact the case, because my Apple Care expires next month, and I don't really want to spend a huge chunk of my publication check for Kingdoms on a new computer.
stillsostrange: (Valkyrie Air)
And now a rare fitness post. You have been warned.

I spent most of the holidays perfecting my Slug With a Laptop pose and being on a weight loss plateau. Since then I've returned to my (only mildly sporadic) regimen of climbing, yoga, core class, and dancing, with pleasant results. After last night's four hours of dancing thanks to Elysium's Sisters of Mercy tribute night*, I'm now under 165. Apparently these last two pounds were the magic ones, because I've gone down a band size. This is good, because I stockpiled all my old bras when I gained weight, and have been reluctant to buy many larger ones. (Those suckers are expensive.)

This means that I've lost 17 pounds since my horrible peak weight at World Horror last year, and 12 from last year's normal upper range (when not effected by queso and cupcakes). My goal right now is 160. From there I'll assess how my clothes fit and how well I'm climbing.

* This was the best night ever. I love my club so much right now.
stillsostrange: (Stomp)
Steven and I spent last night in San Antonio with friends, cocktails, Rock Band, and $100 a pound ham*. A pleasant evening all around. Today there will be housecleaning and maybe a little writing--rolling out of bed at noon-thirty tends to put a dent in my productivity.

One thing that made me happy in 2011 was finding new music. New-to-me mostly, but some newer bands. This helps slow my progression into a cane-shaking, trouser-rolling eldergoth who bitches about "that noise those kids listen to." Some of this music even gets mainstream radio play.

I already knew about Ego Likeness and Android Lust, but I finally got whole albums last year. And, thanks to Elysium and their new dance floor video screens, I discovered Aesthetic Perfection. I wish the adorable tooth fairy song had a video.

(I highly approve of videos in clubs, and not just because Daniel Graves is pretty. But that helps.)

* It was good ham, but not the life-changing even I would expect for a hundred bucks a pound.
stillsostrange: (Stomp)
Tonight I celebrate Gothmas Eve with dancing. Tomorrow there will be family dinner and perhaps some melting zombies maenads.
stillsostrange: (Baby bats)
Yesterday was nearly a disaster. I was working on costume stuff from the moment I enpanted to the time we left the house, and through a series of design failures and last minute fixes, we left very late. We didn't get into the car until the time we were supposed to be at the staging ground for the parade, and there was no way we'd make it there before launch time, let alone find parking. My wings were underfeathered, I forgot my tail, and I didn't have time to put in my contacts before we left the house. I was in a truly vile mood at this time.

We decided to park in our usual downtown spot, which happens to be at the end of the parade route. My plan was to walk the route backwards and hook up with the parade midway, trying to salvage something. Luckily, I managed to get my contacts in when we parked, so my plan to see the parade came to fruition.*

We walked down 6th Street and over to the river. At this point I began to wonder where the parade was. It was half an hour after launch time, and the route isn't that long. And you can't exactly miss a drumline, a brass band, and a large spider-eyed elephant puppet. We passed another couple of people also wondering where the parade was. Then we heard drums across the water. Eventually we walked all the way to the staging ground, and lo and behold--the whole thing was running late. I felt a lot better at this point.

So I got to march in the whole parade and got double the exercise. My wings were nowhere as cool as they should have been--less a griffin** and more a molting metallic chicken--but they were still shiny. (And I managed to dance in them.) I have to try this costume again another year, because I have a lot of leftover feathers and copper, and I still want to be an actual griffin, dammit.

Some grainy iPhone pics.

* I got contacts for the first time ever last week. They're the size of hubcaps and getting them in and out is an ordeal far too reminiscent of Un Chien Andalou. But I have peripheral vision with them, and that is pretty damn amazing.

** If a griffin wears leggings*** from Old Navy, does that make them a hipstergriff?

*** The true Halloween miracle was that I looked okay in the leggings. Climbing: it works.
stillsostrange: (Stomp)
Coilhouse has led me to a YouTube wonderland: cyber industrial dance videos. I've never been crazy about the neon extensions and furry leg warmers, but these are my people. I dance just like this. I would dance just like this in the streets of Germany.

(Take note of 0:54. That guy is my soul mate.)

Why am I not in Germany right now?
stillsostrange: (Default)
Please enjoy Steve Naghavi's cheekbones.

stillsostrange: (Stomp)
Tonight I saw Das Ich, breaking my curse of missing them under ridiculous circumstances. This was a life-list concert. The show was ausgezeichnet, of which I had no doubt. I didn't realize from the videos that Stefan is pocket-sized. I wanted to steal him! It's possible I made a high-pitched squealy noise every time he walked by. (A quiet high-pitched squealy noise, of course.) They're also sillier on stage than I'd imagined, which is so adorable words fail me. Nothing is cuter than perky goths.

The pinnacle of squee came after the show, when Bruno came out on the dance floor for "Ribbons", and then vanished again. My heart grew three sizes, and then exploded into glittery black shrapnel.

They recorded the show, and Stefan shoved the mike in my face during "Kain und Abel", so it's possible embarrassing footage of me screaming in German will eventually make its way to the internet.
stillsostrange: (Blood)
I failed at seeing Deathly Hallows, but I celebrated Black Friday by buying new gothware and concert tickets. I was going to come home and write, but...

Blood Maidens came in the mail today.

It sat in the mailbox long enough that it's currently sucking the warmth out of me, which is appropriate. I'm almost scared to open it. I've been waiting for this book for nearly fourteen years. Traveling With The Dead is my favorite book ever.

I don't think I'll be getting much else done tonight.
stillsostrange: (Stomp)
Happy Thanksgiving!

I am thankful for the Nitzer Ebb show I saw last night, which kicked so very much ass. I was a little worried it would be too much like the Fixmer/McCarthy show I saw a couple years ago, but it was definitely it's own excellent stomping, strutting thing. The crowd was younger than I'd imagined, but not as lively as I'd have liked--when Doug McCarthy tells you to move, dammit, MOVE. One out of three opening acts was also kind of awesome. I was not disappoint. I am even more thankful for the Das Ich show I will be attending on Saturday.

Now a turkey is in the oven, and I have to finish dusting and mopping before the PiC come over for dinner.


stillsostrange: (Default)

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