Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Question Tag

I was tagged by the lovely Katelynn over at The Life of a Babybat. I hope I do this satisfactorily, so here it goes.
How does it work?
  • Post the rules on your blog
  • Write 11 things about you
  • Answer it
  • Create 11 new questions for the future tagged ones
  • Put a link to the tagged blogs
  • Prevents them by leaving a message on their blogs
  • No information about us in the "tag" section
  • Tag 11 people
11 Things about Me
  1. I am a vampire purist, but there are very few exceptions. I have a weakness for TrueBlood. :)
  2. I spend way too much time on the internet.
  3. I've had the Chicken Pox twice, so take that, Science!
  4. One time, I talked with an English accent so long that is stuck for a few days.
  5. I'm a thrill seeker/adrenaline junkie.
  6. I'm an introvert, so parties make me uncomfortable.
  7. I'm quiet, but I readily speak my mind when it comes to things I'm passionate about.
  8. In Middle School, I had the biggest crush on Count Dracula and Gary Oldman as Dracula in the movie. 
  9. It bothers me when people complain excessively.
  10. I find it difficult to identify with most people from my generation; I'm an old soul, I suppose.
  11. One Day, I want to live in either a small castle or a house like The Munster's with a few cats, a dog, a pet raccoon (named Eddie), and various farm animals. 
Questions from Katelynn 
1. What is the one song you find it hard if not impossible to not sing along to?
 I love to roll down the windows of my car with music blaring, so I can sing with the wind in my hair. It's      cheesy, but it's so liberating. I always can't help but sing to Summoning of The Muse by Dead Can Dance or the version by Dark Sanctuary.
2. Favorite beverage?
I'd have to say Thai Tea. It's this orange milky tea that tasted like liquid candy.
3. What is the one place you wish you could visit before you die?
I'm a gypsy at heart. There are so many places. If I had to choose, I'd love to go to Romania so I can ride along Borgo Pass and explore Poenari Castle. My Dracula fantasies coming true.  ;)
4. Are you a cat or a dog person?
I'm definitely a cat person, but there are many dogs I like too. I'm just an animal lover in general.
5. Which of your hobbies has the most calming affect on you?
Writing is the most calming for me. My notebook is always there for me when I need to vent my thoughts, and turn them into art.
6. Your biggest influence? (can be someone famous or just someone you know in rl)
I have a few influences, and they're all family. My brother taught me how to be tough. My father introduced me to vampires at a very young age, and he indefinitely loaned me his Anne Rice collection. (with emphasis placed on 'indefinitely') My aunt really fed my love of Halloween when we used to listen to Monster Mash in the car. My mom taught me how to stand up for myself to bullies.
7. What is your biggest irrational fear?
Besides Cockroaches, It's sleep paralysis (which I will post about).
8. Do you believe in the paranormal?
Of course I do! I am a Paranormal Investigator after all. I never believed it until I had experiences of my own, and I'm still not the type to blame coincidences on the spirit world. -cough- Zak Bagans -cough-
9. What is your favorite accessory?
It's a tie between my Raven Skull necklace and my Coffin Locket. I love them both.
10. If you could see any band(active or disbanded) live, who would it be?
So...many...bands...My number one would be the Sisters of Mercy, because they opened my mind to Goth Rock. London After Midnight would be great too. 
11. Do you consider yourself good at art?
Yeah, I think I'm pretty good at art. I enjoy making it, so that's what matters more than my skill. Here's the link to my deviant art if you want to check it out.

My Questions
  1. Who or what are your fashion inspirations?
  2. What is the weirdest or rudest thing anybody has said to you?
  3. What is your favorite piece of clothing?
  4. What are three adjectives that best describe you?
  5. What is your biggest pet peeve?
  6. What is the one thing that never fails to make you smile?
  7. Do you have a catchphrase or something you say all the time? If so, what is it?
  8. If you were an animal, what would it be?
  9. What is your vice?
  10. What are your career aspirations?
  11. What is the scariest thing that's ever happened to you?
My Tagged People
I'm really lame, so I only have four people. If anyone else reading this wants to do it, then go ahead. Just remember to link to me.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Talking to Children about Ghosts

       If your child sees a ghost or wonders if ghosts are real, what would you tell him or her? Children are fragile and impressionable. You wouldn't want to scare them with your response, but you shouldn't ignore the question. Chances are, if a child is asking about the spirit world, then that child is curious for a reason. There are different situations for which the child may be asking. Depending on their age and your beliefs, there are varying appropriate responses.
For Young Children: (Toddlers)
  •      If your child has an "imaginary friend," this could likely be normal behavior. If you suspect there may be something more to it, ask the child subtle questions about their friend. Ask the age, what it looks like, what their friend wants, etc. Do not be alarmed in this situation. This will only worry your child. Be calm. If the child's behavior is worrying you, you could have the child visit a child psychologist. If the child experiences temperament change,  or if you witness a spirit of some sort, you should call a team of investigators or a priest, shaman, etc.
  •      If your toddler says they can see or talk to spirits, listen to what he or she has to say. It is not uncommon for a young child to have sensitivity to spirits. This is normal to them, and they have not been told yet that ghosts aren't real. Perhaps they will grow out of it. There is not much reason to worry unless you suspect the child is being negatively affected by this. If you know any sensitives, you could arrange for the child to speak to one for advice.
For Younger School Children:
  • If you are experiencing activity in your house, your child is most likely experiencing it too. If your child approaches you with a problem concerning a potential spirit in the house, assure them that things will be fine. Listen to what your child is saying. Talk to an experienced team of investigators if the activity is continuing to bother everyone. 
  • Be direct with your child, and answer any questions they may have. Do not feel uncomfortable telling them the truth, but do be calm.
For Older School Children:
  • By this age, your child has probably already established many of his or her own beliefs. If an older child claims they can talk to spirits, stay calm. The child is taking a big risk by opening up about this. Take interest in what your child is saying. Many children may be gifted, and it is not something to shun. If you have legitimate concerns that this may be a mental illness instead of sensitivity to spirits, seek help from a counselor.
  • If your child experiences paranormal activity in the home, do not ignore their comments. Look in to the situation. Do research and talk to the child about the history of the house and property. Express interest, and assure the child that you will do what is necessary to help.
     This is about all I can offer in the way of advice. I do hope that it helps someone in this situation. Children need attention and love. Do not make them feel ignored. Even if you may not believe in spirits yourself, still take into consideration what the child has to say. The Paranormal is a very old and broad aspect of many cultures that is real to many people. Do not be afraid to seek help from the church, mediums, and investigators; chances are, you are not alone. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Paranormal Phenomena: Phone Calls From The Dead

     It's late. It's the middle of the night, and you are suddenly woken up by your phone. You're wondering who could be calling at this hour. The ring sounds off; It is slightly flat. You rub your eyes and reluctantly look at the phone. Caller ID doesn't recognize the number, but you pick it up anyway. The connection is bad, and you can hardly hear the person through the static. Amidst the white noise, you hear, "It's me. I love you. Don't worry about me."  This is impossible, you think to yourself. It sounded so much like your grandfather...your grandfather died six months ago.
     There have been many reporting of similar situations. These are considered by the masses to be a paranormal phenomenon called Phone Calls From The Dead (PCFTD). The first I heard about this was from Queen Of The Damned by Anne Rice. Jesse, a main character who is a red haired psychic archaeologist, decides to visit Lestat's old townhome in New Orleans. She tries to disprove the reality of the book, so she tears down wallpaper to look for evidence of the fire. She finds a secret door in deceased Claudia's room where many of her things were placed. Jesse loses track of time, reading Claudia's diary when the disconnected phone rings from the hall.  Jesse scrambles, knocking the phone off the hook. A "tiny and thin, a woman's voice came out of it," saying, "Jesse?" Jesse quickly left. The voice on the other end belonged to Claudia.  I decided to do more research on this phenomena, and I found that there are many documented occurrences. This happening is related to the EVP (electronic Voice Phenomenon). I've heard about short conversations to conversations lasting up to thirty minutes. The deceased caller may be bearing an urgent message or a simple greeting. One thing is the same- when the recipient mentions that the caller is dead, the call immediately terminates.
     I myself have not had a phone call from beyond, but I still find it incredibly interesting. It must be such an eerie experience. Is this really paranormal? I've tried looking up explanations for PCFTD. If I were more of a scientist, I'm sure I would come up with something about theoretical physics and electromagnetism. Alas, I am not. Psychologists might say that it is a hallucination brought on by grief felt from the "caller's" death. It could even be someone butt dialing. Maybe even a prank call. If it is paranormal, then it is believed that spirits can manipulate technology. Perhaps we will never know, and maybe it is better that way.

Here are some YouTube videos of people who recorded this happening. I'm not sure how real these are or if they are credible at all. The connections are very bad, and it is  difficult to hear the words being said.

On a related note, I heard about something called Crossover Talk on Skype where people can "Talk to the dead." I don't know much about this, but I found a cool Crossover Talk video on YouTube. Enjoy!
If you think you've gotten a phone call from beyond, please share.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Valentine's Day Outfit

I dyed my hair blue-black!
      Necklace- Claire's (gift)
Mesh top- Forever 21-$15
Velvet top- Thrifted (gift)
Red lace skirt- Thrifted (gift)
Fishnets- Eddie's Trick Shop- $5
Flame shoes- Goodwill- $10
      I hope everyone's having a good valentine's day spent with loved ones and a tasty box of chocolates! I've been together with my boyfriend for two years and four months as of yesterday. I'm making him a mushroom and swiss burger and a big plate of peanut butter brownies tonight, so I hope he enjoys them. Here's some cheesy pictures of Joe and I:

And I now leave you with this silly song:

Friday, February 10, 2012

Unexpected Finds at Mainstream Stores

     Don't underestimate mainstream stores. With a good eye and a little luck, one can find very charming outfits with a darker aesthetic. Even plain staple items can be modified to your desired looks. Target, department stores, and even, the mall are a few of the many places where you can find alternative or gothic clothing if you look hard enough. Mainstream culture has been showing an affinity for the "edgy look," so take advantage of it.
Here are a few of the items I have found at mainstream chain stores: 
Forever 21


Forever 21

Cracker Barrel Store (restaurant)

Belk Department Store
     My favorite mainstream stores (minus goodwill) are Target, Forever 21, H&M, and Claire's.

 Target is a trendier superstore, so they bought into the "edgy" trend. This being said, target stocks some lovely boots and heels. They also carry lacy items, skinny jeans, pinstriped items, etc.

 Forever 21 is another store that stocks up on items with a darker aesthetic. This store affordable as far as mall prices go. I've seen all sorts of items there. Many flowy sheer pieces, interesting jewelry, and I even saw a motorcycle dress.

H&M: It's not as affordable as Forever 21, but it's more high fashion I suppose. I purchased high-waisted long black skirt from this store. They also carry a line inspired by The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. I've also spotted velvet gloves and a mini top hat headband.

 Lastly, Claire's. Claire's is a store geared for pre-teens. It has a lot of cheap quality stuff, but I still love it. More recently, they've been stocking leather boots, Nightmare Before Christmas merchandise, hosiery, and so many gloves and armwarmers. I've been going to this place since I was little, and I don't see myself stopping.
There you have it, folks. Don't overlook mainstream stores. You don't know what you might find.

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

     Just about a year ago last February, I was lucky enough to have gone to Universal Studios in Orlando to see Harry Potter World. For years, I can recall seeing every movie with my father. About two years ago, I read the whole series in what must have been record time. When I heard that a Harry Potter theme park was in the works, I almost exploded with anticipation. I  have spent your childhood with Harry Potter being present. If you remember the heated debates parents had about whether or not it was "black magic," and if you remember when the series was almost banned in public schools, then this theme park is well worth the trip. It was everything a fan could imagine and more.
The entrance to Hogsmeade. The sign reads, "Please respect the spell limits."
     My dad, boyfriend, and I arrived early. The park wasn't even open, and there was still a huge line. After the park attendants let everyone through, we walked into Hogsmeade. It was exactly like the books. The roofs were  blanketed in snow, and you could see Hogwarts castle looming in the distance. There were even functioning shops and restaurants. There was Zonko's toy shop, which had all sorts of wizarding toys mentioned in the book (including extendable ears). After Zonko's, I went inside the pink storefront of Honeydukes candy shop.

They had chocolate frogs, pink coconut ice, and all sorts of bizarre treats. There was even The Three Broomsticks, where we ate lunch, and Hog's Head, which was a bar.
The Three Broomsticks. That day's menu was fish and chips, and turkey legs.
Me looking a little sweaty, fiendishly grinning with butter beer and a turkey leg .
Hog's Head
 There was even a Butter Beer stand which also served Pumpkin Juice. These two are now my favorite drinks, which I want to attempt to replicate soon.

The Butter Beer Barrel-Truck
There was also Olivander's wand shop, where a wand chooses you based on your birth date. After a good time stuffing my omnivorous self with turkey leg, butter beer, and pumpkin juice, we decided to venture on to Hogwarts castle.

The inside of the castle had objects from the movie, and portraits that moved and talked. Holographs of Harry, Hermione, and Ron led groups through the line and to the ride itself. The ride was meant to be a wild broom ride. At one point, dementors filled the room. After going through the castle, my Dad and I (since my boyfriend, Joe hates roller Coasters :/) decided to ride the Dragon Challenge. This ride has two separate "dragons" mirroring each other throughout the ride.  Near the end of the ride, the two "dragons" nearly collide.  It was probably the most exhilarating roller coaster I have ridden.
     After spending a few days in and out of the park, I still feel like it wasn't enough time. I miss it already. I really enjoyed Universal Studios as a whole as well. It is worth the long lines, crowds, and the year-round hot weather. Go see The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. You won't regret it, and you'll have memories for a lifetime. Meanwhile, Here is the website with their online virtual tour.