Monday, October 26, 2015

13 for Halloween

Seen around in a few places...

1. Favorite Halloween song? 
"Dead Man's Party" by Oingo Boingo -- Going to a party where no-one's still alive. 

2. Witch or Vampire? 
Vampire. Always. And, everybody repeat after me: Real Vampires Do Not Sparkle. Thankyouverymuch.

3. Favorite thing about Halloween? 
All of it? If just one thing, then finding extra-cool spooky-yet-classy things to add to my home decor.

4. Halloween party or scary movie marathon?
PARTY. Costume party, mandatory.

5. Skeletons or Zombies? 
Skeletons. The bones are so elegant and sculptural. I don't get zombies. They're dumb -- that's why they need to eat brains.

6. Favorite Halloween candy? 
Fun-size Hershey bars.

7. Favorite Halloween movie? 
The Nightmare Before Christmas.

8. Favorite Halloween costume? 
I've done a lot of good ones, but I have a strange fondness for Marilyn Monroe.

9. Favorite Halloween store? 
 Changes each year, but I usually love Pottery Barn's collection.

10. Jack-o-lanterns, yes or no?
I actually prefer uncut, whole pumpkins. They look so pretty. I love a mix of sizes and colors, including white pumpkins.

11. Bats or Black Cats? 
Both! I love bat decorations, but I love my little black cat Bellatrix most of all.

12. Is Halloween your favorite holiday? 

13. Pumpkin spice latte or hot chocolate?
Pumpkin spice latte, please :)

What I'm wearing:
Grey sheath dress, Target
Black & white cardigan, White House | Black Market
Black tights, Calvin Klein
Purple suede pumps, Aerosoles
Purple crystal choker, gift from Lisa
Purple painted-bat earrings, local artist
Gunmetal beaded headband, random accessory store

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Homework Assignment: October!

I'm back! Well, I'm trying for one post, anyway, because The Professor has a really good homework assignment. She says "show us what you love about this time of year," and of course, I love so much about October and fall that I had to come back to this blog to share. (I haven't been offline, though, oh no, I'm blogging up a storm at Frock Flicks, which is why I don't have time to blog here, sorry!).

October in Northern California is a tricksy thing. We may still be having Indian Summer, or as some folks call it, Earthquake Weather (which is a myth, but when the '89 Loma Prieta Quake struck on October 17, the day was bright and sunny). Or we might have delightful crisp fall days. It's a real crapshoot. The weather may swing between the two, and you won't get any notice. So while I *want* to wear sweaters and tall boots every day, it's a better idea to wear layers that I can strip off if the afternoon is sticky hot.

I do loves me a pumpkin spice latte, and if anyone calls me a basic bitch, I will smack them upside the head. I've always loved pumpkin flavors, real and imaginary. It's weird because my mom isn't a fan, so I didn't grow up eating much pumpkin. Sadly, my husband doesn't like pumpkin either, so I can't make or get a pumpkin pie or pumpkin curry at home unless I want to eat it all myself. So mostly, I enjoy the lattes and random pumpkin dishes at restaurants. And decorating with pumpkins too!

Of course, I love all things Halloween, whether or not we're hosting a party (which would be the Famous Dead Person's Ball, an event we do every couple of years). This year, we're trying to renovate our bathroom, so no party here, and the invites are starting to roll in. Not sure what I'll be doing on All Hallow's Eve, but there better be a costume involved :)

What do you love about this time of year?

What I'm Wearing:
Black piped jacket, Spiegel
Black T-shirt, Target
Black & white spiderweb skirt, made by me
Black tights, Haynes
Black cutout leather flats, Zappos
Black, silver, & rhinestone choker necklace, random accessory store
Gunmetal skull earrings, Walgreens
Prada bifocals

Monday, July 20, 2015

Did I Mention Stripes?

Yep, more stripes. I'm a stripes junkie!

I bought a few new things for my wardrobe, thanks to the new job, and almost all them are stripey. So there you go.

What I'm wearing: Black & white stripe knit top, H&M | Black skirt, NY & Company | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Silver grey wedges, Anne Klein | Black & pink crystal dangly earrings, random accessory store | Pink skull necklace, gift from Elisa

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Stripes, That's All I Got

I just have to admit that stripes have taken over half my wardrobe. It's beyond obsession, it's a way of life. I see work-appropriate clothing in black and white stripe, I buy it. No control. No regrets.

This is another White House | Black Market item. Irresistible. The neckline is very strappy (and you can barely see in the picture, but it's bejeweled), which I thought might not be quite right for work. But add a cardigan -- usually necessary for the air-conditioned office -- and this is perfect. Plus, it's a nice, thick knit, so it's comfortable for work too.

What I'm wearing: Black & white stripe knit dress, White House  Black Market | Burgundy peplum sweater, Anthropologie | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Burgundy suede cutout pumps, Soffit | Silver skull earrings, random accessory store

Monday, July 6, 2015

I'm Melllllllllting

It's officially summer, & I'm officially hot. This is impacting my ability to get stuff done outside of work (aka, blogging) because when I get home, I just want to flop about. We don't have AC at home, and usually don't need it, except recently we've had a run of 80 to 90 degree days. Blerg.

Add on top of this the annual CoCo Panic, meaning, this is the month before Costume College. I'm frantically trying to finish costumes (primarily my gown for the Saturday night dinner-dance known as the Gala, the one big, pull-out-all-the-stops dress-up event of the conference) and work on the three classes I'm teaching. Oh, and Frock Flicks is doing a special event, which I need to write stuff for and promote in advance.

Yeah, if I'm not melting from the heat, I'm freaking out over these projects. Plus my new job, which is great, is also keeping me super busy and doesn't have much downtime during the day. Eeek!

How's your summer going?

Monday, June 29, 2015

Five CorpGoth Interview Tips

In the past few years, I've gone on dozens of interviews as I've searched for my ideal job. What to wear to an interview is always a consideration -- not as crucial as writing the perfect resume and cover letter or making a great impression during the phonescreen and in the interview itself, but how you look will be part of that first impression, so it does matter, there's no denying it.

For goths and others with non-mainstream appearances, we have to ride the line between self-expression and fitting in to the desired job's requirements and company culture. The potential employer has to be able to see you as someone who already works there, and anything that distracts, whether in your CV or your fashion, is not a helpful.

You'll probably want to tone down the overall goth effect, but you shouldn't have to hide your true self entirely either. How you balance this will depend on what kind of job you're applying for, what industry you're working in, and how advanced you are in your career. But in my experience, these few tips may help...

1. Research the employer to find out what's appropriate. In Silicon Valley, most companies are business casual, but industries like finance and law will tend to be more conservative and (literally) buttoned-up. Retail jobs will vary wildly, and academic positions can have their own very specific cultures. Big corporations may have information on their websites that give ideas about what it's like to work there, and you get a lot of insider info about tech companies on Ask around, online and off. Be prepared! You don't want to be wearing suits when nobody wears suits or vice versa.

2. Reconsider all black. Yes, wearing all black is often a safe bet for goths, but it can appear too goth, too dark, too morbid for first appearances. Remember the Gothic Color Theory, and break up black with one other dark color or white. Or try a pattern like stripes. Mixing it up and avoiding all black can make you look more approachable and friendly in an interview.

3. Have one (but just one) personal trademark. Is your hair hot pink? Do you have full sleeve tattoos? If you have something permanent and visible, that's going to be your trademark, the visual cue people will remember from your interview. Try not to clutter up your style with anything else. Otherwise, pick one thing -- such as a great piece of jewelry or killer boots -- and let that be your trademark.

4. Dress one notch more formally for casual workplaces. Particularly with places like retail and high-tech, where it looks like everyone is dressed super casually, you may want to start off by interviewing just a smidge more dressy than what is standard on the job. Don't go super-formal, just a touch more. So if everyone is wearing jeans, wear trousers or a skirt, for example.

5. Remember that shoes and bags matter. You don't need to spit-polish your boots or carry a designer bag, just pay attention to your accessories. Having a cohesive, polished head-to-toe look will help give a professional first impression, gothic or not. Shine up an nasty scuffs on those pointy-toe boots, and swap out a simple tote bag instead of a backpack. You'll inevitably need to grab a copy of your CV out of that bag, so it should look as presentable as the rest of you.

In interviews for jobs I've gotten, I've talked about sewing historical costumes, and interviewers have complimented me on my bat necklace and skull earrings. I do let my freak flag fly, but subtly, and after I've gotten my foot in the door. Besides, if any potential employer Googles me, they'll find this blog and my costume website, so it's not like I can hide anyway!

What I'm wearing: Black cardigan, Macy's | Purple T-shirt, Target | Grey striped skirt, Nordstroms | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black flats, Aerosoles | Grey beaded necklace, gift from a friend | Onyx skull earrings, local artist

Monday, June 22, 2015

Sponsorship Woes and Wishes

While I currently run Google ads on this site*, I haven't done much in the way of monetization or sponsorships. But I do get contacted by companies every so often asking to do promotions of some kind. The problem I have with this is usually that they're the wrong kind of business. They just don't fit.

Mostly, businesses see the "Goth" part of "CorpGoth" and seem to think that I'd be up promoting the same old, traditional gothic-punk clothing on my blog. Clothes similar to what Hot Topic would sell.  Everything is far too tight, short, and bondage-y for any office I'd ever work in! Hello, have these businesses looked at the photos on my blog? I don't wear spandex skull-printed dresses, ever! Even in my casual weekend wear. Nope, not my thing, not even when I was a lot younger and actually went to nightclubs.

I'd be interested if some high-end, sophisticated gothic businesses selling unique accessories, jewelry, and shoes contacted me, even Etsy artists and designers making custom CorpGoth clothing. But there has to be a corporate edge, not just goth-in-a-box. People can find that anywhere, and that's not what I'm interested in. My blog and my fashion is all about making goth from the ordinary and putting a gothic touch on mainstream office style. Any sponsor has to fit within this aesthetic as well.

That's why the one sponsored post I've done so far worked well. eShakti contacted me and offered a free dress, and that was fantastic because their designs are very goth-able. I'm happy to recommend their products.

One company I really wish would contact me is White House | Black Market -- omg, that store IS CorpGoth! I've mentioned it before because several of my very favourite wardrobe pieces are from there. Everything at White House | Black Market is, as the name implies, white or black, and every season (or more often), another color is added.  Oh, and frequently used patterns include stripes and damask. So it's custom-made for goths. The clothing styles are tailored and a little bit feminine, which makes it an excellent base for going either sleek and sophisticated or extra fancy. Garments are pricey but well made -- they're lined, made of thick fabrics, and have substantial buttons and trims. My only complaint is that sizes stop at 14, and there are no plus sizes. Still, if anyone at White House | Black Market happens to read this, contact me!

(Other brands I'd be happy to sponsor include Calvin Klein for their tights, which I wear almost every freakin' day, and shoes and boots from Aldo, Aerosoles, or Clarks, because I can walk miles in them! Anyone out there listening?)

What I'm wearing: Black velveteen jacket, White House Black Market | White & black damask-print knit sleeveless top, White House Black Market | Burgundy skirt, NY & Company | Black strappy flats, Macy's | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Onyx skull earrings, local artist | Beaded bat necklace, gift from friends

*I'll probably take them down soon. The content is stupid, they don't make any money, they're ugly, it was just a random shot in the dark. But it's almost as much of a PITA to remove them as it was to put them up; that's probably why so many sites have Google ads even tho' they don't earn much.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Thank You, eBay

I've been shopping on eBay forever. Really, since eBay first became a thing. I've bought everything from furniture to wigs to computer equipment on eBay, and I've sold a fair amount of my junk too (tho' not as much recently as in the early days).

My latest find was this stripey skirt, which I'd first seen at one of my very favorite stores, White House | Black Market, but my size was out of stock. I forgot about it, until a few weeks ago, when my saved eBay search on this label in my size turned up the very same skirt. And at a third the original price. The skirt arrived in perfect condition.

What's your best eBay score?

What I'm wearing: Black piped jacket, Speigel | Black T-shirt, Target | Black, white, & purple stripe skirt, White House Black Market (via eBay) | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Purple velvet pumps, Rocket Dog | Purple crystal necklace, gift from Lisa | Purple dangly bat-painted earrings, local artist | Purple lipstick, Sephora house brand

Monday, June 15, 2015

In Lieu of Red & Black Week

Don't know if Sophistique Noir is running a Red & Black Week this year, but I couldn't hold back with this skirt. I bought it on a wee shopping binge because I started a new job (yay!).

Of course, this job, like most everything else here in Silicon Valley, is business casual, but this is how CorpGoth goes business casual, LOL. I love my pencil skirts and fitted jackets, even if I'm surrounded by everyone else in jeans and tees.

Thus, red and black stripes. I bought the same skirt in white and black stripes because, well, stripes, duh. Wouldn't you?

What I'm wearing: Black knit top with dimensional roses, Newport News | Red & black stripe lace skirt, Limited | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black lace-up heeled boots, Aerosoles | Onxy skull earrings, local artist

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Placeholder Post

I'd like to write something, really I would. But I barely have time to get dressed right now. So consider this a placeholder for when I'm back with more daily CorpGoth outfits and maybe an interesting post or two!

What I'm wearing: Black, white, & grey dress, made by Donna | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black perforated d'orsay flats, Target | Black bat necklace, Walgreens | Silver medallion earrings, random accessory store

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Changes Are Afoot

Not saying anything yet, but I've got new stuff going on. Good stuff, just making me more busy than ever! We shall see where this leads to :)

What I'm wearing: Grey sheath dress, Target | Black & white floral cardigan, White House Black Market | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Silver-grey wedges, Anne Klein | Black bat necklace, Walgreens | Silver hoop earrings, random accessory store

Friday, May 22, 2015

Historical Gothic Horror on TV

It's kind of a cliche that goths watch horror movies and TV shows, but like most cliches, there's an element of truth in there. Mysteries, murders, vampires, ghosts, the supernatural, creepy crawly things -- these are as essential to the gothic aesthetic as black velvet, leather, punk music, and stompy boots. After all, "Bela Lugosi's Dead" by Bauhaus was one of the goth scene's earliest anthems, and the song makes obvious references to classic horror films of the 1930s and gothic vampire literature of the 19th century before that.

Currently, television is giving us quite a selection of horror-themed dramas to choose from, along with the more typical movies (in theaters or streaming). I'm particularly interested in several series that have been set in historical periods, since that pushes all my buttons with the potential for gothic historical costumes and ambiance, plus dark spooky stories.

Over on Frock Flicks, I reviewed Penny Dreadful, a beautiful, elegant, and very deliciously dark serial available on Showtime and The second season just started. I also reviewed the TV movie Lizzie Borden Took an Ax and the subsequent TV serial The Lizzie Borden Chronicles, playing on Lifetime and also on Netflix. This movie and series stars Christina Ricci of Addams Family fame and has one more episode airing next Sunday. It's not clear if there will be a season two.

I'm planning to review Salem, a fantasy-gothic series on WGN about 17th-century witches, and Ripper Street, a police procedural set in 19th-century London following Jack the Ripper; it was on the BBC and BBC America, and now it's available from

What are your favorite shows in this genre I'm missing? What shows am I missing?

What I'm wearing: Black maxi-dress, Macy's | Burgundy peplum sweater, Anthropologie | Black & burgundy striped tights, We Love Colors | Beaded bat necklace, gift from friends

Monday, May 18, 2015

CorpGoth Status Report: Hair

I've never considered my hair to be one of my better features. It just doesn't do what I want. My hair has been either straight or wavy, never outright curly but often frizzy. I was born with super-dark, almost naturally black hair, and I've colored every shade of red, pink, and purple you can get into hair that dark. Of course, I've dyed my hair jet black mostly since that's the easiest shade to maintain. I've always worn my hair to at least shoulder length and usually longer, and any deviation has been horrible. My hair and I have maintained a state of somewhat peaceful coexistence over the years; I try not to abuse it too severely, and it tries not to make me look too terrible in photographs.

February 2013
So the prospect of losing all my hair during chemo didn't seem like that big of a deal at first. Since I've never been particularly happy with my hair, if it has to go, it goes. And it'll just grow back, it always does, no matter what it suffers.

Thus, in September 2013, during my first round of chemo for breast cancer, all my hair fell out. That was not particular traumatic, especially in light of all the other millions of ways I felt terrible because of chemo.

September 2013
After a while though, I started to feel ugly and old without hair. I could only get that glamorized "bald is beautiful" look if I put on a ton of makeup and wore earrings. When I woke up in the morning and looked in the bathroom mirror, a weird little old man looked back at me. I didn't recognize myself.

Of course, I wore hats and wigs, I'd stocked up in advance. The best was my punky pink-streaked wig that even my most conservative office finally accepted.

June 2014
But as my own hair grew back, wearing a wig became hot and itchy, especially through summer. Finally, in August 2014, my hair was long enough to not look horrific IMO at work without a wig.

August 2014
Growing out my hair from absolutely nothing to mid-back length is going to take longer than I realized. That's been pretty damn depressing and frustrating at times. My hair today is still shorter than I've ever cut it on purpose (aside from shaving one side or the back during college; even then, I always left part of it long). The texture is the cliche "chemo curls" -- coarser and frizzier than it used to be. Sometimes, with a whole lot of hair products, I can get this to look like I have genuinely curly hair (as I did for Halloween 2014 when I dressed up as Betty Boop). But most days, I try to tame the frizz into waves or straight hair.

May 2015
I guess my hair is as long as a ragged pixie cut now. It's not long enough to be a bob yet. I haven't gotten a haircut since it fell out -- I'm waiting for a little more growth so I can get a cut with some sort of style. Not that I have any clue how this could be styled. That's been my problem, I can't figure out how to style short hair. There's not much to work with.

I still don't really see me when I look in the mirror. My face is in there somewhere, but I don't look right. Someday *sigh*

Want to share a status report for May about hair?
  1. Post to your blog between Monday, May 18 to Wednesday, May 20.
  2. Include the following code in your post so the This Is CorpGoth Mid-Month Status Report graphic will display (if you're using Blogger or WordPress, switch to the 'HTML post' setting & then paste this code in):

    <a href=""><img border="0" src="" /></a>
  3.  Comment on below including your blog link.
  4.  Read everyone else's reports via their links in the comments!

Monday, May 11, 2015

A Meme About the Bod

1a. Do you generally feel good-looking? (or sexy or handsome or beautiful or something good?)
Generally, yes. Especially on weekdays because I put care and thought into my work wardrobe (even tho' few people see me at the office!). Presenting a polished, professional-yet-artsy image is important to me. Then again, at home and on the weekends, I'm a total slob. Basically, my looks are tied to my clothes more than anything else.

1b. When do you feel good? Do particular things trigger that feeling?
It's all about the clothes! If I have a great outfit, things that go well together and easily (nothing pulling or fussy, everything flattering my shape), hair done, makeup, accessories, cool shoes, then I feel good in the looks dept.

2a. Do you often feel unattractive? (or ugly or something bad?)
When I'm schlumpy -- wearing frumpy clothes, hair is not behaving, no lipstick. I have to really love you if I let you see me like that!

2b. When do you feel bad? Do particular things trigger that feeling?
Random physical aches and pains (hi, 40s, fuck you very much), added to my long-term migraines, get me really irritated with my body. What triggers bad feelings? Stress, having to be too much of an adult, lack of sleep, nothing special.

3. What do you like about your body? (Examples: strength, abilities, the look of a particular body part)
My brain, of course! My hands, both what they can do and they look pretty neat. I think I have a particularly attractive chest, not just boobs, but the neck and decollete area. I love dresses and tops that show this off.

4. What don't you like about your body? (appearance or other aspects)
That I have to wear glasses and that contacts are all-but useless on me. Migraine brain. Face still gets acne like crazy. Frizzy hair that's still short. Weight fluctuations.

5. Would you consider plastic surgery?
Never! I've only had my body cut into for repairs, not enhancements. Don't even like the idea of LASIK -- I've heard horror stories, and why take chances on something that is not absolutely crucial to health?

6a. What would you realistically change about your body?
Keep dying those greys! And if I could actually drop 10lbs, that might be nice -- but it's not something I'm particularly working on.

6b. What would you unrealistically change about your body?
Be able to see properly without glasses. No migraines ever again. For cancer to definitely, positively, absolutely not come back.

7. Do you think you treat your body well?
Not so much. I am not a "body" person -- I'm very cerebral. Focusing on my body is difficult.

8. Do you think your body treats you well?
Nope. We are often at odds.

9. What kind of relationship do you have with your looks? With your body?
I might over-inflate my looks. I often think I'm super hot stuff -- I was especially like that when I was single. I was of the opinion that I could get any guy or gal I wanted, so I always tried. Came in handy sometimes, caused disappointment other times. As an old married lady, I'm less over-confident in that way, but I've done similar things when shopping. I'll grab inappropriate clothing, get into the dressing room, and am  bitterly disappointed when the item looks horrible on me.

10. Do you think the world sees you the same way you see yourself?
I can't really tell. Sometimes I think people are impressed by me and other times I think I'm a complete wallflower. I don't think I photograph well -- I can feel great and look in the mirror and think I look great, and then I see photos from that day and I look awful. So I wonder if that's how people really see me. Weird.

What I'm wearing: Grey knit dress, bought in London | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Silver-grey wedges, Anne Klein | Black & purple scissor medallion necklace, gift from Lisa | Silver & purple crystal earrings, gift from Lisa

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Window Shopping

This probably frustrates ecommerce websites, but I love to stick things in online shopping carts and let them stay there for as long as possible, as long as the website will remember it, until I'm good and ready to buy. Days or weeks or a month ideally. is the best for this. I always have a few things just sitting there, waiting. I'll add more things, remove others. I may buy nothing for months, then buy everything in the cart. Or I'll clear it all out and start over again. It's better than Pinterest because nobody can see and I don't have to setup a private board, plus I can tally up actual prices so I know how much it would cost if I were to buy.

Right now, I'm looking at a window-ledge seat thing for my kittens, some sewing accessories, and a folding table to use at SCA events. Boring practical stuff, but things I've been meaning to get for a while. Not sure if or when I'll buy any or all of them.

What are you window shopping for?

What I'm wearing: Pink print cardigan, Chadwicks | Black jeweled T-shirt, Macy's | Corduroy skirt, H&M | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black ankle boots, Aldo | Pink & grey pearl necklace, Designs by Salamanca | Skull earrings, Walgreens

Monday, May 4, 2015

CorpGoth Status Report: Hair

Subject: How do you style your hair for the workday? Do you have a go-to 'do in the mornings? Are you required to tone it down for your office or does anything go in terms of color and cut? Share pix of your hairstyle or even give a tutorial in this month's report.

Due Date: Monday, May 18 to Wednesday, May20

How to File Your Report:

1. Post to your blog on or around the due dates.

2. Include the following code in your post so the This Is CorpGoth Mid-Month Status Report graphic will display (if you're using Blogger or WordPress, switch to the 'HTML post' setting & then paste this code in):

<a href=""><img border="0" src="" /></a>

3. Comment on my Monday the 16th post including your blog link.

4. Read everyone else's reports via their links in the comments!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Playing Catch Up

Yikes, three weeks since posting here! Sorry about that. Since returning from my husband's and my anniversary trip last month, it's been nonstop busy, and while I've been online, this blog has been last priority. Of course, the trip was fantastic -- our fourth time to Jamaica, at the same resort where we honeymooned. Perfectly relaxing! TropiGoth FTW!

My blogging activity these days has been at Frock Flicks, where we're totally wrapped up in the PBS Masterpiece / BBC series "Wolf Hall," a new take on Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn through the eyes of Thomas Cromwell. It is FANTASTIC! We've podcasted about it and have a series of articles (with more coming). I'm also watching a ton of newer series to blog about, including some gothic horror shows in Victorian settings, such as "Penny Dreadful" and "The Lizzie Borden Chronicles." Watch for reviews coming soon.

My free time has also been filled by performing with Bella Donna Historical Performers. We participated at the San Jose Fantasy Faire as pretty pretty princesses -- where I ran into the 10th Doctor and Chewbacca, which was a hoot.

This weekend, we're on stage at a brand-new event, Carnevale Fantastico, and I'm on stage as an evil queen (typecasting the goth? hah!). I have a great time with these folks, and I'm very excited about this Italian Renaissance-themed event.

I do have some CorpGoth outfits waiting to be blogged, so I'll try to get back on track. And hopefully next month, I'll have a CorpGoth Status Report theme too, if anyone's still hanging around with me!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Wednesday Wondering: Teach Your Children Well

Prompt: What's the most important thing your parents or guardians taught you as a child?
Self-reliance. Independence. My mother was a single mom, and both directly and through example, she taught me to be independent and to take care of myself. Whether it was something as simple as doing the laundry or as complicated as finding a paying job, if I asked her "how do I do this?" her first reaction would be "have you tried? did you take a look for yourself?" She'd give me help and instructions, but she would not do it for me. She taught me to figure things out for myself and not rely on someone else. This is the single most valuable ability I gained growing up. I may not be able to do everything for myself, but I can try.

She also taught me to sew, which is pretty cool :) Not as important on a day-to-day basis, but it got me into costuming, through which I've made many great friends. My mom is awesome, and I learned a lot from her!

Questions culled from the discontinued Writer's Block feature on LiveJournal.

What I'm wearing: Black ruffled blouse, thrift store | Grey striped skirt, Nordstrom | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Purple suede pumps, Aerosoles | Silver & purple crystal earrings, gift from lisa

Thursday, April 2, 2015

From Lingerie to Utility Devices

I feel like there's a certain point, probably age 40, when I officially joined the Old Lady Club. I needed new bras, and let me tell you young 'uns, buying bras when you're older is not half so entertaining as buying them when you're all cute and perky. Lordy, the only thing "perky" about me these days is that I wear a fair amount of pink and sometimes don a tiara when downing Cosmos.

Luckily, Macy's had a big sale: Buy two of most major brands and get two free. Score! I've resigned myself to going to the big department stores in order to acquire the amount of integrity I need in my lingerie. Victoria's Secret won't do it either -- those are just party bras. My husband occasionally gives me a gift certificate for there, and I'll buy some bras which fit but are simply not everyday wear.

I have to admit that the most comfortable bra I found at Macy's had the slightly depressing tag that read, in big, bold letters: "age-defying lift." Thanks for the reminder. And all the ones I found that fit and did anything complimentary were, uh, hard-shell bras. I couldn't find a single soft-sided bra in my size.

When I was a kid, one of my chores was to sort & fold everyone's laundry in the house. I remember looking at my mom's bras & wondering why they had those wires & padding. Not like "uplift" padding (this was the '70s, waaaaay before the WonderBra era), just the "full-coverage" padding. I figured I'd never wear stuff like that. Yet here I am. I think it's just what happens *shrug*

What I'm wearing:  Black lace-topped T-shirt, H&M | Pink & white skirt, made by Donna | Black ruffled shrug sweater, Kohl's | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black flats, Aerosoles | Pink filigree earrings, Etsy | Black elastic belt, NY & Company

Monday, March 30, 2015

Three Positive Things for Monday

Spread the love -- write out three positive things right now. No judging, don't think too hard about it...

For me

1. My husband and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary this weekend! We had a wonderful time together, just what we wanted.

2. Our three kittens turned nine months old, but they're still just little adorable babies.

3. I got a great manicure and pedicure (first one of spring/summer season) after this photo.

What's up with you?

What I'm wearing: Black knit military-style jacket, Macy's | Black T-shirt, Target | Black embellished skirt, thrift-store w/additions by me | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black boots, Aldo | Silver key necklace, gift from my husband | Silver-grey skull earrings, Walgreens

Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday Five: Dream Wedding

1. If you were getting married tomorrow (or renewing your vows!), who would be in your wedding party?
I couldn't help but doing this one, since my sweetie and I are celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary this week! You can see pix from our wedding here. If I did it over again today or did a vow renewal, I'd want to include my BFFs Kendra and Sarah for sure, and probably a lot of my original wedding party too, just all in different roles.

2. Where would you get married?
It's a dream wedding, so how about Venetian carnevale! At a private, historical palazzo with a masked ball theme, all in costume, a mix of 18th century and 16th century with gothic overtones, and candlelit for sure.

3. What song would be played for your first dance?
"Somebody" by Depeche Mode. That's what I wanted the first time, but my husband had to go and write a song (because he's adorable like that).

4. What would be your wedding colours?
This, I'd do the same: black and burgundy.

5. Where would you go on your honeymoon?
We'd already be in Venice, Italy, so that'd be the wedding and honeymoon combined! With all our friends and family. 

Questions culled from The Friday Five on LiveJournal.

What I'm wearing: Black & white striped knit jacket, Marshall's | Black sheath dress, Target | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Grey wedge pumps, Anne Klein | Silver key necklace, gift from my husband | Pewter key earrings, made by me

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

With or Without Makeup

So I posted about why I love lipstick, but what about going without makeup? While pretty much every picture on my blog shows me wearing some makeup, I don't actually wear makeup every day. But I used to.

For most of my life, since I was a teenager, I used to not go out of the house without lipstick. Just that though, not necessarily other makeup. I had to wear my lipstick -- dark or bright, something that shows (no wussy little tinted lip balm for me, lol!).

But in the last couple years or so, I've gotten a bit lax. I'll go to the grocery store or drug store or other quick errand without lipstick. Maybe around turning 40 is when this laid-back attitude started. But it's only for those kind of errands. I still prefer to wear lipstick any other time I go out and  also when people visit me at home (but I don't care if it's just me and my husband at home).

All thru chemo and radiation for breast cancer, I made a point of wearing lipstick (also earrings) to doctor's appointments and treatments, though that was mostly to balance the fact that I was bald and felt like crap and was probably wearing yoga pants and baggy T-shirts since I felt so crappy.

But I had my dark lipstick! It was the one last remnant of femininity and beauty and non-cancer-y thing left, and I clung to it ferociously.

Do you wear makeup every day? Do you leave the house without makeup?

What I'm wearing: Black lace jacket, Macy's | Black skirt, NY & Company | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black ribbon-tie pumps, Clarks | White silk print scarf, Target | Silver pearl earrings, vintage

Monday, March 16, 2015

CorpGoth Status Report: Lunch Time

This month's Status Report is about lunch! What is your weekday lunchtime like? What do you eat? Where? Solo or with others? Share a little bit about your lunch break...

I have a stealth motive here. See, my lunch is really boring. I'm rushed in the mornings, so I grab a Lean Cuisine (or similar frozen meal), and call it done. I eat lunch in front of my computer, leaving 20 to 30 minutes for the break total, including food prep time.

The only nice part is that, at every office I've worked, I try to bring my own reusable utensils and a cloth napkin. This is mostly to lessen the garbage generated (it's bad enough that I'm eating packaged food most days), and also to fancy up the meal a tiny bit. I have a bamboo-wood utensil set I bought at an environmental fair years ago, and I bought this napkin at the thrift store to test fabric stamp decorations on.

What I'd love to hear about is your lunches -- do you make your own meals? Do you have any tips for quick, relatively healthy lunches to go? I'm looking for ideas! Share what works for you. And even if you're like me on the easy lunch, or you have access to a cafeteria or someone else makes lunches for you, join in.

Tell about your weekday lunch routine in this CorpGoth Status Report through Wednesday, March 18. Post on your blog, and include the link in the comments.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

I Love Lipstick

I freakin' love lipstick. It can be pretty, sexy, exotic, refined, hardcore, mysterious, elegant, outrageous, all kinds of things, and just with a couple of easy swipes.

Whether $5 at the drugstore or $30 at Sephora, it's a bargain considering how much bang it packs.

So many colors and effects, all drawing attention to the part of you through which your brain is most obvious: your mouth. I make my words carry extra weight by underlining them and giving them an exclamation point with lipstick.

Do you wear lipstick?

What I'm wearing: Red turtleneck sweater, Macy's | Black & white stripe sweater, White House Black Market | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black patent pumps, unknown brand | Black & white beaded necklace & matching earrigns, made by me | Red lipstick, Makeup Forever

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Fashion Frustrations

I've mentioned why I love wearing dresses so much -- they're easy! But they also fit me better. I'm short and curvy, and it's a million times simpler to find a dress or a skirt and top combo that fits my shape and looks good than it is to find pants.

People say "jeans are comfy," to which I say, bull. Only if you're certain special sizes. Jeans are never the right length for me, and the waistband usually gaps if it fits at the hip. Alterations are a huge bother (yes, I sew, but I loathe altering readymade clothing with the fire of 1,000 suns).

There is one fashiony thing I've always wished I could wear though -- jeans tucked into boots. It looks so cool, so chic! It would be goth-able in a Victorian riding habit kind of way, a little steampunk, a little casual-goth, with black jeans, tall black boots, and a nipped-waist velvet or military-style jacket.

But I can't because of the size issue. Not just the jeans, but worse:  There seemingly does not exist the combination of tall leather boots wide enough and skinny jeans skinny enough to make that combo work on me. I love the look, but it will never ever fit on my legs unless I have my legs amputated and get chicken-leg prosthetics. Even at my lowest recorded weight, I had huge calves (of course, to get to my lowest weight, I had to run 10k around my neighborhood regularly, which meant bulging leg muscles). So no jeans tucked into boots for me. EVER. Oh well.

My boots always have to be worn with tights and skirts or dresses, not jeans, not even leggings.

Are there any fashion frustrations you deal with, major or minor?

What I'm wearing: Burgundy peplum sweater, Anthropologie | Black T-shirt, Old Navy | Black corduroy skirt, H&M | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Burgundy boots, DSW | Burgundy & grey pearls, Salamanca Designs | Silver & purple dangly earrings, gift from Lisa

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Trust Imagination

Climbing up on Solsbury Hill
I could see the city light
Wind was blowing, time stood still
Eagle flew out of the night

He was something to observe
Came in close, I heard a voice
Standing, stretching every nerve
I had to listen had no choice

I did not believe the information
I just had to trust imagination
My heart going boom, boom, boom
Son, he said, grab your things I've come to take you home

To keep in silence I resigned
My friends would think I was a nut
Turning water into wine
Open doors would soon be shut

So I went from day to day
Though my life was in a rut
Till I thought of what I'd say
And which connection I should cut

I was feeling part of the scenery
I walked right out of the machinery
My heart going boom, boom, boom
Son, he said, grab your things I've come to take you home

When illusion spin her net
I'm never where I want to be
And liberty she pirouette
When I think that I am free

Watched by empty silhouettes
Close their eyes but still can see
No one taught them etiquette
So I will show another me

Today I don't need a replacement
I'll tell them what the smile on my face meant
My heart going boom, boom, boom
Hey, I said, you can keep my things they've come to take me home
--Peter Gabriel, "Solsbury Hill"

What I'm wearing: Black piped jacket, Speigel | Black skirt with lace accents, NY & Company | Burgundy & black stripe tights, We Love Colors | Black heeled boots, Aerosoles | Black skull scarf, gift from my husband | Dangly jet earrings, random accessory store

Monday, March 2, 2015

CorpGoth Status Report: What's for Lunch?

Subject: What do you eat for lunch on a typical workday? Do you brown-bag it, eat at a cafeteria, or go out? Do you eat with coworkers or solo? Do you work through lunch? Do you do something else during your lunch break, like take a walk, run errands, or go to the gym? If you work from home, do you make a fresh meal and play with your pets or kids? Tell us something about your midday break in this report.

Due Date: Monday, March 16 to Wednesday, March 18

How to File Your Report:

1. Post to your blog on or around the due dates.

2. Include the following code in your post so the This Is CorpGoth Mid-Month Status Report graphic will display (if you're using Blogger or WordPress, switch to the 'HTML post' setting & then paste this code in):

<a href=""><img border="0" src="" /></a>

3. Comment on my Monday the 16th post including your blog link.

4. Read everyone else's reports via their links in the comments!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday Five: Laundry Day

1. Washing machine: Front-loader or top-loader?
We have a top loader, and even if it were to break down, I'm loath to get a front loader simply because I like the option of being able to dye fabric in my washing machine, & that's infinitely easier in a top loader!

2. Detergent: Liquid or powder?
Liquid because it doesn't clump up, which is especially noticeable on dark fabrics.

3. Rinse cycle: Fabric softener or another additive?
No fabric softener. I use a half cup of vinegar tho, because this helps rinse anything extra out of fabrics and prevents static cling in the dryer.

4. And then: Clothesline or dryer?
A very short dryer cycle on low to prolong the life of the clothes. I take them out a teeny bit damp and hang them or fold immediately.

5. Do you fold things straight off the line or out of the dryer? What do you iron (or have someone iron for you)?
Always fold or hang as soon as possible to prevent wrinkles. But there's always a few things that will wrinkle no matter what -- or things that get wrinkly as they're stored. So I iron those. And my husband doesn't believe in ironing, so if I want to go out with him in pressed clothes, I have to iron them *sigh*.

Speaking of laundry, this article on the "myth of dry cleaning" is fascinating & incredibly educational! You may never look at a clothing care tag the same way again.

Questions culled from The Friday Five on LiveJournal.

What I'm wearing: Black & white stripe knit jacket, Nordstrom | Grey sheath dress, Target | Grey tights, Calvin Klein | Black & white T-strap flats, Zappos | Bat necklace, Walgreens | Silver skull earrings, gift from Sarah

Monday, February 23, 2015


We now interrupt this blog with a bit of hockey. See, last Saturday, my husband and I saw our beloved hometown team, the San Jose Sharks play in the NHL's Stadium Series against our hated rivals, the L.A. Kings. While our guys lost 2-1, the game was super fun because it was played outdoors at the brand-new Levi's Stadium, built for the San Francisco 49ers football team. Over 70,000 people in a gigantic arena, bright lights, fireworks, it was crazy cool!

In the week before, while the NHL was setting up the outdoor ice rink, they'd setup a webcam to record the progress. Well, a raven wandered in front of the camera and made an editorial comment, which made the rounds last week.

In the pre-game buildup, they used this clip on the Jumbotron with a "MAKE SOME NOISE" header, which was pretty funny for those of us who got the reference.

Here's a selfie of my sweetie and me with the Sharks head that the players usually skate through before each game. It was out on the concourse for fans to enjoy.

I'm not a big sports fan, but I enjoy hockey and a little college football by my alma mater. Do you follow any sports?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

What I'm Looking Forward To

I'm a planner, and I always need things to look forward to (yes, yes, it's all well and good to "live in the moment," but not all moments are thrilling and exciting; ya gotta have a future to live for!). Sometimes, it's big stuff, but just as important are the little things.

Here's what's on my radar right now...
  • My birthday! I turn 46 in a few days. Not doing anything special since it's not a milestone year, but hey, it's still my day. Hopefully we'll get a cake (I'm Team Cake; pie can go suck it).
  • The one bday celebration thing I've planned is getting a group together to volunteer and sort food at Second Harvest Food Bank in a few weeks. I figure it's time to give back.
  • On March 2, RuPaul's Drag Race season 7 premieres. I'm ridiculously happy about that. Also, Carson Kressley from "Queer Eye" will be a judge, which is going to be EPIC.
  • Later in spring, my husband and I are going to Jamaica to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. TropiGoth heaven!
So, anything you're looking forward to?

What I'm wearing: Black puff-sleeve sweater, H&M | Black & white plaid skirt, H&M | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Silver-grey wedges, Anne Klein | Skull pendant on velvet choker, local artist | Faux jet earrings, random accessory store

Friday, February 13, 2015

Friday Five: Around the World

1. How many foreign countries have you visited?
Had to count them up & it's 22 -- Andorra, Antarctica (not a sovereign state according to the U.N., but it's not owned by anyone else either, so I'm counting it as a foreign country!), Argentina, Australia, Austria, The Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Spain, United Kingdom, and Vatican City. Just counting proper visits, not layovers or stopping in airports or train stations.

2. What do you always take with you on vacation?
A sense of humor, I hope! Otherwise, what I bring on each trip is a little different.

3. Name something you've lost recently:
Well, the kittens keep stealing stuff off my dressing table, so I've at least temporarily lost my nail clippers & my favorite eyeliner via them.

4. Do you prefer action-packed vacations or relaxing ones?
Both! The majority of the trips associated with the places listed above were action-packed, but I do like an occasional relaxing trip (& I have one coming up, yay!).

5. Other people's vacation photographs: Do you really want to see them? 
Yes, I do. I just love travel so much, & if a friend has been somewhere I'm interested in (especially if I haven't been there yet), I want to see the photos.

What I'm wearing: Black knit military jacket, Macy's | Black & white damask shirt, Ralph Lauren | Grey corduroy skirt, Newport News | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Spool-heel boots, Target | Silver hoop earrings, random accessory store

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

My Typical Net.Day

A guy I met once said that people like us were "of the Internet." It seemed a little cheesy, but it's true. I've been very online since the early 1990s. One of the first things I do in the morning and one of the last things I do at night is check email -- or my texts or Facebook, basically, the net.

Here's a typical morning Internet check-in... Phone (for texts; almost nobody calls me, and that's how I like it), email, Facebook (this takes a big chunk of time because I admin a couple pages and check on a few groups), blogs on Feedly, Twitter, for news I didn't hear on NPR radio as I was getting dressed, LiveJournal (yeah, that's been de-prioritized).

I check texts, email, and Facebook throughout the day. Then I do a sweep through the above list again at lunch, during my evening commute, and at least once before bed.

Sometime in between, I do some work, eat, and sleep.

Where do you go online?

What I'm wearing: Black pinstripe dress, made by Donna | Black ruffled wool shrug, Kohl's | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Burgundy faux-suede boots, DSW | Burgundy & brass shield necklace, local artisan | Onyx & silver earrings, bought in India

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Wednesday Wondering: Tissues in the Theater

Prompt: Which movie always makes you cry?

Camelot from 1967. The ending, in particular. I'm a big softie, plus I love musicals. And this one pushes all my buttons.

Medieval-fantasy setting? Check. Romantic-tragic story? Check. Raging idealism expressed through song? Check. I guess really, it's the movie soundtrack that makes me tear up more than anything, though the final scenes of Arthur telling the boy 'don't let it be forgot' get me right there.

So I guess I'm on a medieval kick recently. What can I say? I'm that kind of old-school goth gal! I've always preferred my modern high-tech life wrapped up in crumbling castles and draped in velvet.

Questions culled from the discontinued Writer's Block feature on LiveJournal.

What I'm wearing: Black puff-sleeve sweater, H&M | Burgundy velvet skirt, NY & Company | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black patent pumps, thrift store | Chain & bead necklace, random accessory store | Silver medallion earrings, random accessory store

Monday, February 2, 2015

Big Dreams

Of the many random things that get me through my day, dreaming of living in a romantic, crumbling castle has always been one of them. It's part of why I love history, part of why I'm a goth, part of why I make costumes, part of why I travel.

So when I saw Bedlay Castle right outside of Glasgow, Scotland, come up for sale, well, the dream dies hard.

If I did a Kickstarter and opened it as a gothic-historical B&B, would anyone join in?

What I'm wearing:
Black & pink striped cardigan, Macy's | Black camisole, Old Navy | Black peasant skirt, Macy's | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black heeled boots, Aerosoles | Black beaded bib necklace, random accessory store | Black & pink crystal dangly earrings, random accessory store

Bedlay Castle, Scotland

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Professor's Homework: Sewing Projects

My current to-do list in the sewing room.
I freakin' LOVE The Professor's latest homework assignment of On the Cutting Table. As she says:  "Show your crafting / art / sewing / knitting / crochet works in progress and the projects that you want to tackle in the next few months. What's on your cutting table? What's in your knitting basket? Did you just buy four new skeins of yarn for that shawl you've been meaning to make? Is there a canvas in the corner of your room just begging for some paint? Show us what you've been up to and what you are planning."

Except I can't tell you what I'm working on. Not the stuff right now because it's SEEKRIT!!!

But here's some hints...

The local costumer's guild is having a Game of Thrones themed event at a winery that has a perfect recreation of a 14th-century castle. A bunch of friends and I are going, obviously, and some of us are making specific characters from the TV show (or book, though admittedly, I read the first book and hated it, but I love the show). Other friends are making "inspired by" costumes.

My planned costume is of a TV show character. A main character. And I can't tell you any more because I want to show up at the event and make people say "wow!"

I can say it's a very popular character, and almost all the materials are from my fabric stash, so the costume won't be perfectly screen-accurate, but it should be recognizable.

In the meantime, take a look around my sewing room -- I totally reorganized and painted it over the summer. And I have a post on my costume blog about a longer-term project for this summer where I want to recreate a gown worn by Charlotte Bronte. I've only started the research, not the sewing for that one yet.

What creative stuff are you working on these days?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Do You Give a F*ck?

I'm not usually big on Buzzfeed stories, but damn, this one is worth reading. They retell the entire Harry Potter series with Hermione as the main character, fighting The Patriarchy. She is The Girl Who Literally Gives No F*cks. It's pretty damn brilliant.

On a slightly related tangent, equally worth reading is The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson.  This post is more broad (it's not a feminist rant like the Buzzfeed one), but it has practical applications in everyone's life. The essence is that you only have a limited amount of f*cks to give over your lifetime, so you must spend them with care. Don't waste them on little, unimportant crap.

What do you give a f*ck about? What have you stopped giving a f*ck about?

What I'm wearing: Burgundy corduroy jacket, Kohl's | Black & white damask knit top, Ralph Lauren | Black crochet trumpet skirt, Coldwater Creek | Black corset-style elastic belt, Torrid | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Burgundy suede pumps, Soffit | Black & rhinestone necklace, random accessory store | Rhinestone skull earrings, gift from Sarah

One thing I give a f*ck about is, because we're having a ton of fun writing about historical costume movies. #SnarkWeek is still happening on the blog, Facebook, and Twitter! Check it out :)