Tag Archives: scientist

where is my training montage?

Paul and I are officially in training for Wave Gothik Treffen! We have just 19 weeks until we go to the largest goth festival in the world, in Leipzig Germany. We’re celebrating our 15 year anniversary, and what better way to do it than to spend a long weekend immersed in the subculture that brought us together?

However, we’ve been assured that WGT is going to be a marathon, not a sprint. Four days with 200 bands, meetups, picnics and marketplaces spread out across an entire town is going to be exhausting. It’s going to require actual physical training for us to not only get through the days, but also be able to stay up late to go to shows. And everyone knows that when you’re in training, you need a montage, right?

Now that we no longer live in NYC, my step count is down significantly from where it was, even post-COVID. Pre-COVID, I’d do 10,000 steps a day without thinking twice. To/from work via subway plus an errand or meetup after the workday always meant four or five miles of walking over one day. Here in Suburbia, I barely eke out three thousand steps, even with a walk outside and a huge (okay huge to me) house that I am always wandering around. My endurance is way down. Combine my physical fitness deterioration with generally Being Old And Unable To Stay Up Past Midnight, and it is a bad combination to be taking on four days with fellow Children Of The Night.

I have therefore embarked on a multi-part training regiment to get ready for WGT. This consists of:

  • 10K steps per day, either outside or on my new awesome “treadmill desk”
  • Going out to clubs and staying until 1am. Break out the caffeinated drinks!
  • Enrolling with Weight Watchers so I am no longer carrying the equivalent of a fully loaded backpack all the time
Behold the glory of the treadmill desk!

Therefore, in the interest of Training for Treffen, we will be going out tomorrow night to a club in East Passayunk. Of course I am actually in an office tomorrow and will not be coming home between work and socializing, so this means I will have to wear an outfit suitable for the office that also works for the club. Which means that I’m going to have to look a little more authentic tomorrow at work. And while I have not exactly hidden my goth side from this set of co-workers (my corporate headshot is fairly Wednesday Addams down to the bat shaped circle pin on my collar) it still surprises people a bit when I show up in person in anything that goes beyond CorpGoth. But I keep getting messages to be more authentic when I read my Tarot cards, so authentic I shall plan to be authentic and just maybe keep the bat shaped necklace in my purse to put on during the train ride home.

It’s that need for authenticity that is really motivating me to become more comfortable bringing a more honest version of myself to multiple situations. It takes a little bit more vulnerability on my part to remain myself, instead of changing who I am to the environment. But one of the lessons I learned in NYC was that everyone is actually a little bit weird in their own way, and the city especially attracted people who had that extra-weird and often creative dimension. So even out here in the suburbs, I have to start acknowledging the potential for weirdness in others by being a bit more vulnerable and exposing my more quirky goth side.

Finally, I know this is the right track for me, not just because it keeps my sense of self intact, but because my subconscious keeps telling me so in the form of Tarot cards. When I did the full moon reading suggested by my Daily Tarot Planner, the final question was “What new approach can I take to support my emotional well-being”. The card I got for this? The Devil. Some people may choose to interpret this card with its usual meaning: hedonism, lack of restraint, short term pleasure at the expense of long term pain. I choose to interpret it as be more goth. It has a whole slew of the symbols that show up in goth culture: bat wings, pentagrams, performative fetish displays. The Devil card looks like it’s the inspiration for how filmmakers depict the “bad club” in every movie or TV show, including Quagmire’s in “San Junipero“. And the “evil club” always manages to look like Bar Sinister.

Ergo, the Devil card? Be more goth. Wear more bats and pentagrams. Lean into all that electro-industrial and post-punk and goth rock. And make that part of how I train for Treffen.

new year’s eve: a ridiculousness scale

Let’s look at the last partial-decade of New Years Eve’s:

2002 into 2003: The Last UBC NYE
Rampaged through a few parties around Kitsilano with my college friends, drunk on tequila and 7up (IT WAS COLLEGE).
Met suiichiban at a party at the “Animal House” (and happy belated birthday Stephen!!)
Ridiculousness Quotient: 9 out of 10

2003 into 2004: It’s Someone’s Wedding
Went to Kristen’s (who was a friend through chuckyx) wedding (now a divorce) out in Surrey.
Up all night due to early AM flight out of Sea-Tac the next day
Ridiculousness Quotient: 3 out of 10

2004 into 2005: Vegas, Baby, Vegas
Was at a resort-casino party in the Vegas suburbs with my friend Deena, thanks to free admission from her aunt.
Party not as much fun as immediately preceding roadtrip along Old 66, so I made up for it by getting stupid drunk. Bad idea.
Ridiculousness Quotient: 7 out of 10.

2005 into 2006: A Burbank New Year’s
Went to karaoke bar in Burbank, followed by house party at a friend’s then boyfriend’s apartment nearby.
Quiet, friend-centered evening.
Ridiculousness Quotient: 6 out of 10, but instead, a solid night.

2006 into 2007: Theatre des Wyrm
Went to a DJ Xian production New Year’s Eve party with Paul, the then-boyfriend (but soon to be fiance.)
Danced, consumed glass of absinthe, got to spend night at goth party.
Ridiculousness Quotient: 7 out of 10, but only because of the absinthe

2007 into 2008: Pregnancy Makes Me Tired
Stayed home. Friends who were supposed to stop by never did. Waited up for them until exhausted; fell asleep. Unable to drink due to incubating baby.
Ridiculousness Quotient: 0 out of 10

2008 into 2009: The First Married NYE
Spent quiet evening at home with husband.
Broke out last bottle of champagne from our wedding, and toasted our first New Year’s as husband and wife.
Mocked everyone on the live feed from Times Square.
Had extremely quiet, but romantic, evening.
Ridiculousness Quotient: 3 out of 10

faith & devotion :: the mariage proposal

Many people have asked me to tell and re-tell the story of how my fiance asked me to marry him. Including my boss, today, when I showed her the ring. It is something that my co-workers and friends – especially women – want to hear.

Thursday, I knew my boyfriend was going to ask me to marry him because he called me at my office, and asked what I was doing that night. “Why?” I asked.

“Just because I want to take my beautiful girlfriend out to a romantic dinner,” he said.

Paul never calls me at work. He emails me. When he calls to be sure that I’m free so he can make reservations for the romantic French bistro in Pasadena we frequent, I know he’s Up To Something. And immediately, butterflies hit my stomach, and I realized that this was it. He was actually going to ask me to marry him. And I’d been expecting it – hell, we’d been pseudo engaged for weeks – but I still got an adrenaline shot thinking of it.

So we went for dinner, and it was lovely. Crepe&Vine in Pasadena is one of our favorite restaurants, and it’s perfect for romantic meals. There was much gazing into each others eyes and cooing at each other and general sappiness. Fortunately, it’s the sort of place where there’s at least a few couples mooning over each other like we do. And although it was hard, I kept my mouth shut and didn’t ask about what my boyfriend was planning. I had my herb-encrusted salmon, and my divine chocolate mousse, and a glass of red wine, and tried not to think too much about where the evening was going.

We came home, and I went to take off my heels and go to the bathroom. And when I came out, Paul had shut the doors to the living room. Finally, he opened them to show what he’d done. He had lit candles and set out a dozen longstem roses on the coffee table. There was a bottle of merlot on the bookshelf. And when I walked in, he cued up the TIVO’s music function. I met Paul when he came to dance with me at Bar Sinister, emboldened by the Chameleons UK’s “Swamp Thing”. So when the first guitar strains came on, I felt my heart leap – not just at the nostalgia, but that he had thought to put the song on. The first question that this song triggered was unspoken, because both of us agreed to dance with each other before he even got across the dance floor. This would be the second question set to this song (and music is SO important to us) and it would definitely be asked, out loud.

The song came on in full, and Paul told me how much he loved me. And by the time he actually got down on one knee and asked me to marry him, I was weeping so hard that I could barely get the “yes” out. And then he put the ring on my left hand, and asked, “Wait. You did say yes, right?”

Yes. Of course I did. Like I would have ever considered saying anything else. When you get Princess Bride style true love, “yes” is the only answer that exists.

So when I told this story to my boss today, she listened, and then said to me, “you know, you have it all. You really do.”

I know. I know perfectly well how wonderful my future husband is. Because Paul is. He’s one of those few perfectly pure, nice, kind humans, for whom helping others is second nature. He’s unquestionably loyal to the people in his life. He is serious his beliefs, ideals & values. He’s brilliant in his own right, especially in the fields he’s most passionate about. He’s got a good sense of humor, which relies on the ridiculous and the one-liner as much as mine does. He’s cute, and I still just look at him and think how good looking my fiance is. And, of course, he loves me, and loves being with him, as I do with him. I wake up happy to see him in the mornings, and go to sleep happy to be curled up against him at night. He makes me want to be better than I am, in everything I do. He gives me hope that I’ll always be this happy. And most importantly of all, I will always have someone to mock things with.

So yes, I have it all – because I do have a love of my life I love this much. As I said, on Thursday, I have had doubts about everything in my life. Almost nothing is an easy decision. Except this. I have absolutely no doubts that I want to spend the rest of my life with Paul. That makes me happier than anything else I could imagine. Seeing that diamond on my finger, feeling the ring’s weight, is a constant symbol of the devotion that we’re lucky enough to have to each other. And for the rest of my life, I will cry when I hear “Swamp Thing”.

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the three month mix

And now, I present: the tracklist of the CD I am burning for the boyfriend for our three month this weekend. That’s three months since we met at Bar Sinister. So here’s what goes on the CD – all songs that fit the relationship, or which have come on when we’ve been dancing together.

1. the chameleons :: swamp thing (because that is what he first asked me to dance to. All together now, folks: awwwwww!)
2. birthday massacre :: holiday (which is what I was listening to on repeat on the way home from the club, and which is his favorite song on “Violet” – it comes up a lot on the playlist he built to run when I’m at his house)
3. siouxsie :: face to face (it’s the only Siouxsie song that seemed remotely appropriate, and I love Siouxsie, and it fits between Birthday Massacre and Sisters of Mercy)
4. sisters of mercy :: dominion (mother russia) (because it is the Sisters track that gets played the most at Bar Sinister, and what I remember dancing to)
5. editors :: blood (we were talking about this album on our first date)
6. covenant :: ritual noise (it’s the new single and I really like it, although I’m considering swapping it out for a Seabound track)
7. depeche mode :: precious (we slow dance to this song a LOT because it’s in frequent rotation at all the clubs right now, and he knows how much I love Depeche Mode)
8. wolfsheim :: once in a lifetime (I love this song, I hear it at Malediction Society, and I think he’ll recognize it from the This is Neo Goth compilation we both own)
9. juno reactor :: god is god (it played on his random MP3 playlist one Sunday and then coincidentally came on when we were on the dance floor four hours later)
10. vnv nation :: standing (because it’s heartbreakingly sad, and I’ve dragged him onto the dance floor every time it’s come on at Bar Sinister)
11. apoptygma bezerk :: kathy’s song (album version) (this song is just perfect, trust me)
12. massive attack :: teardrop (another slow dance song)
13. loreena mckennitt :: mummer’s dance (this came on during a shoegaze set at the Darkroom one night when we were in the middle of a fairly heavy conversation)
14. depeche mode :: judas (because it’s one of my favorite Depeche Mode slow songs)

For a goth nerd couple, this is drippingly romantic. Trust me. Anyone have any other suggestions or comments?

munting is for wusses!

munt (m’unt): contraction of “man-bunt”, a technique used by teams who want to win more than they want to actually kick the ball

I got into work this morning, and immediately started comparing exhaustion levels with the co-worker who I recruited to play on my kickball team. Because we’re both still tired from Saturday’s all-day kickball challenge. We went into the Regional Tournament expecting to get knocked out in the 2nd or 3rd round by one of the teams from another division who actually cared about winning. We hear that some of the teams from Hollywood and Studio divisions want to win, instead of just having fun like us Dogtowners.

So you can imagine the surprise when we won our first game against an undefeated Studio division team. They tried to win, with a strategy that involved a lot of man-bunting. Man-bunting is when a big tough guy just taps the ball and runs, instead of really booting it. That way, the fielders have to run in to grab it and throw it, and it buys a few fractions of a second for the guy to make it to first without being tagged. It’s not quite cheating, but seems to defy the point of kickball, in my eyes. It’s not BUNT-ball, it’s KICKBALL, and where’s the fun if you don’t whale on the ball?

But we still managed to defeat the team, thanks to a very fast team member on home plate who would run out, grab the ball, and get it to first in time to take the runner out. And then we went on to play Greenarrhea, one of the teams in our own division. Our team captain said, “we beat ’em in regular season, and we’ll beat ’em in regionals, too.” And we did. And by the way, doesn’t “Greenarhea vs. the Pregnant Cheerleaders” sound like a high school sex ed film telling you the Bad Things That Happen From Premarital Sex?

Suddenly, it was the semi-finals. And we were up against a team called “Kick Your Grass” that, like us, had survived to date on moxie, spunk and heart. But they were injured, and one of their best kickers, a former fellow Dogtown board member, had to limp off the field after running to first. And then we won the game, and we were in the finals, against a Hollywood team called, “Bubba”.

That was a tough game. That team was actually very good. They didn’t man bunt (or “munt”, as we dubbed it by then). Their girls bunted perfectly. One of their fielders caught me in the middle of the back with a ball when I was running to first, in a very nice throw. And it was close, but they won in extra innings. By that time though, we were all hot and exhausted, and we ceded the Tankard of Glory with good humor and sportsmanship. After all, we lost to a good team, not some bunting pussy douchebags like the first team we played.

I have to give the boyfriend some serious credit. Paul came out to watch me play, because I figured we’d be done by 1pm, and he and I could go play in Griffith Park. But then we just kept winning, and I told him he was free to go. No boyfriend is expected to sit through that much kickball. He told me to stop it, and that he was happy to stay. He had a book and his MP3 player and was just fine sitting on a blanket, looking up when I was kicking or fielding, and listening in on the entertainment and zaniness that was my team. I don’t think many guys would come out to watch their girlfriends play wacky sports, much less stay for six hours of it, so that was exceptionally sweet of him. Especially when he has to listen to me yelling the phrase “bunting pussy douchebags!”

After spending the day on the kickball field, I was too tired to do much else. I got home, whimpering with exhaustion and overheating, took a shower to remove the layer of field dust, and took a nap. We did go out to Arcadia for dinner, because I’d read a la.foodblogging review about a restaurant that specialized in Chinese hot pot. One of the side benefits of spending my weekends at the boyfriend’s house in Pasadena is that the San Gabriel Valley, and all its Asian restaurants, is very very close – and he’s perfectly happy to take me on field trips for pho or hot pot or whatever it is I feel like eating. Still, even after dinner, I was far too tired for the usual Saturday night date to Bar Sinister, and asked if we could just stay home and watch the MovieBeam. So we watched “Everything is Illuminated”, and crashed out early.

Sunday was another day of recovery. And I did come home to Venice and go for a long walk along the beach and through the canals with my friend Kate, and then I tried to go out to Malediction Society. It seemed like a good idea at about five in the afternoon, when I left Pasadena, but by the time I got there at ten thirty, I realized I didn’t have the energy to hit the dance floor I usually do. Even though I love to dance, I just couldn’t. All I wanted was to go home, find a snack, and go to sleep. Which is exactly what happened.

Tonight, I have a date to go see Douglas Coupland read at a bookstore here in Beverly Hills, and then that’s it – I won’t see Paul again until I come home from Canada. I’m coordinating a best friend’s birthday dinner tomorrow night, and then I have kickball on Wednesday, and then I have to pack to go…home! I’m going home late Thursday and coming back late Sunday. And it will be awesome to get home to BC, even if there is no kickball to be played in Victoria.

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