Everyone’s favorite little ghouligan, the silver-tongued devil Venus DeVilo, is just in time to give us goth and alternative folks just what we wanted for the holidays: a black Christmas with her digital holiday album, comic book, and Killendar 2016, Slashing Through the Snow.
With a voice more haunting than a banshee, Ms. DeVilo exudes a holiday spirit that the Ghosts of Christmas only wish they had.
Venus’ delightfully spine-tingling tune, Santa Slay, is enough to keep the little ones awake on Christmas Eve, waiting for the not-so-jolly man. The Night Before Christmassacre creates a beautifully sinister atmosphere which makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside, as if I’m exchanging gifts with Sir Christopher Lee himself in Dracula’s castle (may they both rest in peace.) And let us not forget the smooth gloomy sound of Mistletoetag, with its sing-songy melody, reminiscent of darkly styled iambic pentameter.
With her creepy characters, the 2016 “Killendar,” and beautiful voice with coupled with a musical backdrop so akin to the season of Samhain (credited to Venus herself and sound engineer Darren Tormey), Slashing Through the Snow makes a great gift to yourself, or for your friends. Also, it makes a perfect gift for your homies in Facebookland who live in faraway places. I can’t think of a better way to say “Scary Christmas” than that!
If you’re digging this, check out other Venus DeVilo merch here.
And if you wanna give her a shoutout, she’s on Facebook at htts:/www.facebook.com/VenusDeViloTheVoiceOfHorror
The latest in celebrity news, brought to you from the OFFICIAL blog of Joslyn Corvis.
Some celebrities have gotten in trouble for DUI’s it seems. And some went under the knife to remain youthful. There was also a very scandalous event featuring some very well-known celebrities. But let me digress and get down to the heart of it all.
No one cares! I don’t care that someone got married, broke up, had a baby, lost or gained weight, got into trouble with the law, or any of that other nonsense. Mostly because I have some semblance of a life, though not much, but I just can’t trouble myself with celebrities and their drama or even their joys really. I don’t know these people. I don’t care to. I haven’t watched a whole movie since, like, maybe 2008, and it was probably animated and I probably couldn’t even tell who the voices were if I didn’t know from the credits and pre-existing movie-hype.
Plus I hate gossip. All this “news” is pretty much “DID IT HAPPEN…OR DIDN’T IT” nonsense. Sure, there maybe be pictures involved but really, who cares? I’d rather sift through my own photo albums. That makes me feel good as opposed to the contempt I feel when people I don’t even know or care about grace the covers of magazines telling people how to live, how to lose weight, blahblahblah.
Oh. And even worse. Most of the rag-mags take the most horrible photos of people and post them as a huge attention-getting spread. The headlines say stupid things like, “SO-AND-SO GOING BACK TO REHAB!” or “INFIDELITY! SCANDAL! DRUGS! WHAT’S REALLY RIPPING THEIR MARRIAGE APART!” The last one is stated as an overly-zealous declarative statement rather than a question. Honestly? I DON’T CARE! Because it’s probably all lies, anyway.
Not to mention the fact that if one were to sift my pictures, they’d probably find a photo of me, mid-blink, maybe mid-yawn, making a goofy face that they could use to slander me with and claim that I was drunk and undergoing depression therapy. Possibly at the same time. You wouldn’t even have to doctor my pictures up, and I imagine it’s the same for a celeb they catch off-guard and snap a picture up-close in their face, especially when we’re used to seeing them so uber-glammed up in movies and professional pictures. You can infer anything about a picture, especially when the headline states boldly, “THE LONG NIGHTS OF BINGE-DRINKING AND GAMBLING LEADS TO BANKRUPTCY!”
Celebs annoy me with their self-righteous ways, and of course how is someone in a million-dollar finance bracket going to tell the average mom to raise a child or lose the baby weight when they have every resource necessary to do pretty much whatever they want? There is nothing to be gleaned from those who live so far outside of reality (ie: money factoring into hobbies and things that the average person would like to do, but just can’t afford). I’m not saying they didn’t work hard to get where they are, but let them make movies and entertain us. We shouldn’t make them out to be role models or lifestyle guides or getting into their personal business or acting like they’re saints or terrible people because we just don’t know! I’m indifferent to the things I hear about celebrities for the most part, because I wasn’t there and can’t judge hearsay.
So I conclude my blog with this thought: I’m sick of hearing about what so&so is up to. They’re people. And I expect that they would live like normal people, except they can give a waiter a $5,000 tip for a $2,000 meal. I’m not overly interested when something that happens to everyday people happens to them because I’d rather be excited for someone I actually know who is getting married or having a baby, and be there for my friends who are going through the rough stuff than waste my energy on reading up or watching TMZ speculating about people’s personal lives. In fact, I feel guilty for even mentioning this because every time you even THINK of the name of some rich and famous person, they get even MORE famous. And richer. And the whole cycle annoys me.
I actually thought this would just be some good therapy for me to write about this. It’s my personal experience and doesn’t reflect anyone in my family, because we all handled it and coped differently. It’s obviously not a medical assessment, but more along the lines of the emotions I had in dealing with my grandma’s Dementia/Alzheimer’s as well as remembering the good times to cope with her passing. I never talked about how I felt to see her forget me and wish I’d sought out ways to deal with it, but I didn’t. If I had, maybe it could have helped both of us. Some nursing homes even have counseling services to help family members deal with your loved one’s health issues and to deal with grief when (or if, as most of us like to think when we’re in that boat) they leave us. Maybe this will help someone and maybe not, but I feel like I need to write this in order to grieve properly.
I lost my grandpa just before I turned fourteen. He was a cancer patient, and I helped out when I could, but a lot of my “help” consisted of my company and maybe staying overnight if I was needed for something. I don’t remember staying by myself often, just once that really stands out, and at that time my mom was always with me. After he passed, I stayed with my grandma on weekends because she didn’t like being alone.
Grandma and I would watch TV: During the day it was High Chaparal and those kinds of shows. Rifleman was one of my favourites because Johnny Crawford was around my age in the show and was kinda cute, and she liked his daddy. In the evening we’d watch Lawrence Welk (which was actually my favourite) and wrestling (which was her favourite). She was borderline diabetic and swore up and down to my mom that she got ice cream cones which she ate sans ice cream and bought the actual ice cream for us, the grandkids. And when my mom would leave, Grandma and I would have an ice cream cone. With ice cream.
I remember there was a really cute boy who walked around the neighbourhood, but both of us were shy and never talked to each other. My grandma’s long-time neighbour, who never revealed her age but I assumed she was close to the up-or-downside of my grandma’s age, which was eighty-something at that time, said he seemed lonely and asked if he could help her shell pecans while she was on the front porch one day. They talked for a while and I stepped outside. She’d been waiting for me out there and motioned for me to call her on the phone and told me all the juicy gossip: He didn’t have a girlfriend and a few other details that I don’t remember. She just wanted to let me know I had a shot! And of course, my grandma wanted to know all the details, too! In fact, I think she’s the one who told the neighbour that I thought he was cute!
But one thing that no one knew, and I don’t remember if I’ve ever told anyone, was that my grandma held my secrets. I could tell her anything and she’d give me advice and never told a soul. There are some things you just can’t tell your mom, because there are some things that grandma’s just know better.
Something else I just have to share. One day she had a tummy ache. Maybe from the ice cream that she wasn’t supposed to have? *wink wink* Anyway, again, she was in her eighties. “Hope I’m not pregnant,” she said. I laughed so hard, she used that when she, or even I, had a tummy ache, just to render some giggles out of me. That’s just a little insight into her humour and how she liked to make people laugh.
Just before I turned nineteen, Grandma went into a nursing home. My mom visited her twice a week without fail, unless something came up that couldn’t be re-scheduled which was next to never. At first the nursing home stay was supposed to be temporary, but Grandma had given up on walking. She could walk, but would rather be pushed in her wheelchair. She always fought the idea of riding in the wheelchairs that were provided by stores when we were shopping because she didn’t want to “look old.” But she got a little taste of it at the nursing home and found a little too much comfort in it.
And through the years, I saw a steady decline in her mental state. She remembered me sometimes. Sometimes not so much. And it was hard. Sometimes I wasn’t even sure that she really recognised me at all. If someone identified me by name to tell her who I was, she’s say, “Really?” as if she was surprised.
I was around her so much ever since I could remember. Some of my fondest moments were spent at her house, and in her rock garden talking to the plastic animals and pretending they were real. My grandpa’s decline seemed to be more physical because man, he could still yell! But he knew who I was. In fact they say he was nicer to me than he was to most people because he had a tendency to baby me. “I asked you to turn the furnace up for that baby!” he said when I was twelve, referring to me as “that baby,” even though it was burning up inside the house as it was. But he knew me. And I guess I knew he loved me.
But with my grandmother, her decline seemed largely with her inability to remember. That’s not to say she didn’t have physical issues as well, but it was the dementia which she was diagnosed with that I took note of more than anything. And I won’t lie, because that wouldn’t be good for the therapeutic effect of this piece and it won’t help anyone else who is going through the same thing: It hurt. I currently clean the house for a woman who is in her mid-eighties and I talked to her for a moment about my grandma’s passing and the ordeal with dementia. I couldn’t understand how she’d forget me. Logically I understood, but emotionally I didn’t get it. I told her it was like mourning twice, and she knew exactly what I meant.
Sometimes I would get mad about it. Why did this happen? How did it happen? And when? What was the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s? Which one did she really have? Did it really matter? To a medical professional studying or treating it, I’m sure it does, but to the family member observing it, what difference did it make? It didn’t. It doesn’t. Not when your loved one has a hard time remembering your name or don’t seem to recognise you, because in either case I don’t know if much can really be done aside from the new medications that are used to treat it in the early stages. By the time those drugs rolled out, it probably wouldn’t have made a difference in her specifically at that point. Plus as new as they were, did we really want to take the risk of giving it to her?
I said going through this with a loved one and then dealing with their passing is like mourning twice. My grandma and I shared so many memories. So many. Countless. And so many good times! I wonder if it was the fact that she’d forgotten me or that I was alone in those memories that made it so hard. When I’d tell her my secrets or when we’d get into “trouble” and giggle about it, those memories became mine alone. I had no one to laugh about those things with anymore. I couldn’t just say, “Hey, remember the time my mom was gone and we (insert trouble-making incident here).” When I say we got into trouble, it was all about the silly things we used to do and laugh about. Sometimes she’d say, “Don’t tell your mama!” Something so simple like me putting black lipstick on her or watching a TV show because we thought the guys were cute. We were often jokingly that we were bad influences on each other. Sometimes she’d say, “Your mother isn’t going to let you come over here anymore!” referencing our bad selves without “adult,” or rather “responsible” supervision. We just had so much fun together!
All that was taken from me with Alzheimer’s, and I felt alone in those memories. Who was I going to confide in? And I’m sure it was no picnic for her, either. She had a zest for life, and to see her lose the enjoyment in things she once loved was so hard. Going out to buffets became pureed meals at the nursing home. No more watching wrestling or collecting the action figures. Her sense of humour had gone. She had no more dedication to BINGO. All those things. Gone. Just gone. And all because of some stupid health issue that just seems so unnecessary and cruel to the person experiencing it and to those around them.
And now that she’s passed, it feels that way all over again. The mourning process started back up. Those times when I wished she’d remember me, or the fun things we did together. The things she did deliberately to drive my mom crazy and laugh about it.
I know she’s in a better place, probably catching up with everyone at some Divine Buffet up there. I’m sure my grandpa stayed behind in a comfy chair to watch The Flintstones or Mama’s Family (I still remember his laugh! But he wasn’t much for going out and preferred staying at home to watch TV but maybe he decided to go along for the special occasion.) She’s probably winning a round of BINGO as we speak. Either that or the BINGO hall is being raided (I’m sure even Heaven has to shake things up a bit sometimes)! She’ll have something to tell my grandpa about when she gets home, because I don’t think BINGO was his thing. I can’t help but think of The Blue Bird with Shirley Temple. If you’ve seen it you know the scene I’m talking about. But that thought brings me some comfort. I bet she’ll have stories to tell me some day.
I am going to digress from the issue of Alzheimer’s just to share a happy note, or at least some thoughts that bring me some personal peace.
My cousin and his wife said something to me today at the funeral that struck a chord. They said I got her sweetness, that of all of us I’m the most like her. I don’t know about that (mischievous grin), but it meant a lot. What some people don’t know, because I myself never really thought about it, is this…
My niece loved my collapsible cup and I wasn’t using it so I gave it to her, but she didn’t want it. She always changes her mind when I actually give it to her even if she was begging, but I think it has to do with her not wanting to take my things. Anyway, I think the cup made its way in a drawer somewhere and if I can find it or if I have to buy a new one, I think I just might start packing that into my purse again. That way, when my nieces are around, I can continue that tradition. That way, they’ll get to experience what it was like to shop with their great-grandma since they were too little to know her the way I did. I’m just glad I had that privilege.
What is PCOS? It’s an affront to femininity. It is pain. It sets the body into a chain reaction of events all caused by a hormonal imbalance which causes other health and phsyical issues, hence the lesser used term “Chaos Syndrome,” and there is no cure. Sometimes a diagnosis is hard to come by.
My symptoms began at a very young age, around ten, from weight gain to other embarrassing issues I’d rather not talk about. I was teased about having these symptoms, which, at the time I didn’t understand. Granted I never had healthy eating or exercise habits and attributed a lot of the problems to that. And it’s too difficult to me to pinpoint and actually say what some of those symptoms are because I still feel insecure about them.
When I was in my twenties, I had an onset of acne. Like, who gets acne in their twenties, right? I mean, I was already dealing with other things and when people would say horrible things about my weight, it made me feel even lesser of a person because if they couldn’t accept me for that, then how would they accept me for the symptoms I was having that they didn’t know about? I was really good about hiding the symptoms but I still wondered. And the only reason I became aware that something had to be done about it was merely because I had been called out by some kids who were just plain being cruel about it.
And then there was the pain. “Lose weight.” That was a commonly advised “cure-all” from people who didn’t even know I had the condition. When I was fifteen I read up on my symptoms and that’s when I thought, OK. Maybe *this* is what I have. But until then, and either after, the suffering and insecurity it caused was just awful. Imagine having a slew of problems and being put down over it and even *you* don’t know what’s wrong. I was often said to be a hypocondriac so I disregarded my symptoms as just, well, hypocondria.
It was’t until I was around twenty-three when I went to the doctor for some health issues that had become so severe, coupled with pain, that I received my diagnosis. I was ecstatic! At least now it had a name and I knew I wasn’t alone.
I have contacted various women’s groups and even products oriented toward women and items that were geared toward dealing with the symptoms of PCOS, asking them to bring awareness to this issue. I explained that it took me far too long to get a diagnosis, and part of it was from my own embarrassment and just assuming this was “normal” for me. By then it was out of control, but no one was interested in addressing it. Which is sad, really. Why *not* help the demographic that a company’s products are geared toward? I felt a bit disheartened by that. It’s like, does anyone even CARE?
I’ve heard that two out of three women who suffer from bulimia and other eating disorders are thought to have PCOS. If that’s the case, then why is it that PCOS is so unheard of? When I see a segment in popular magazines about it, it’s prettied up and glimpsed over as a sidenote, although that for me seems to be a step in the right direction. Hey, it’s SOMETHING! It’s something *I* had never read in those same magazines when I was fourteen and struggling with it, so maybe it will help someone get the diagnosis they need.
And although I am still too inhibited to put all my symptoms out there, I feel no opposition to putting it in the tags. But, if you are a woman, or if you have young girls in your family that you care about, particularly if diabetes runs in your family, definitely look up PCOS. There are some informative videos on Youtube, as well as articles all around the web.
And hopefully, if you think you have it, this may inspire you to see a doctor about it. Even if it’s not PCOS, there may be an answer. I was lucky to have been diagnosed on my first doctor visit concerning the issue, but please, if you suspect something is wrong and aren’t getting a diagnosis, don’t give up! It also helps to go to doctors who are women-oriented and ask if the doctors on staff are familiar with PCOS, verilization, endometriosis and thyroid since sometimes those things can mimic each other, and thyroid can often accompany PCOS. Plus, knowing that a doctor who deals in PCOS lets you know that they have pretty much seen it all and helps to remove the insecurity about talking to them openly about your symptoms and why you think you may have PCOS.
It can often lead to other health issues, like full-on diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and the list goes on, so it’s definitely not something to take lightly.
Choppaboi Nick is quickly moving up in the music scene. You can check out his song, Coastin’, by clicking here. Parental advisory, please 🙂 When I first heard him, I knew there was something special about his sound. I love how everything comes together from the beat to his rhythmical lyrical flow. You can keep up with the latest by clicking here to like his Facebook fan page, and follow him on Twitter at @Choppaboi_Nick. Also, please don’t forget to subscribe to his Youtube channel!
He comes across as motivated, sincere, and genuine, and I feel privileged to have had the chance to chat with him about his music. I know he’s going to go far in the industry.
Choppaboi: As a pre-teen me and my friends always freestyled and played around rapping.We thought of ourselves as like Young Money or something because it was so much of us, but then I started taking it serious when my friend Trayvon Martin died because I set my mind to accomplish this for him and chase my dreams.
JC: My sincerest sympathy goes out to you and everyone who knew him. I know you may not want to talk about it, but would you like to shed a little light on what kind of a friend he was to you?
Choppaboi: He was a very joyful person, liked to joke around, play sports. He was like most average teens. Always kept it real, was very outgoing, but mostly funny.
JC: That brought a smile to my face. I’m glad you’re able to find inspiration through him and have found your own drive to push forward in the music industry. What are some of things you want to accomplish as a musician?
Choppaboi: I want to inspire people who do not believe in themselves enough to follow their dreams and not do what people want them to do, but do what they like to do and what brings joy to them. By that, if I was to inspire at least one person to chase their true dream I would feel accomplished.
JC: Very nicely put! Who are some artists that you enjoy listening to?
JC: That’s great that you get into other styles because even when someone’s own work is genre-specific, there’s so much to be gleaned from everything that’s out there. On that note, there are some people who don’t “get” what rap and hip hop is about. Those are the people who have never really taken the time to listen to it which is unfortunate. As a lover and listener of hip hop I know what it means to me. But to you, as a listener *and* musician, what is it all about?
Choppaboi: Rather than saying what rap is to me, music period is expressing yourself, releasing emotions; music should touch someone’s mind and soul in which it affects them where they can relate.
JC: You’re absolutely right. People sometimes have this automatic block where they won’t give something a chance just because it falls into country or metal or whatever the case may be, but that’s so limiting! Rap is one of my favourites because I love how the lyrics flow into a story and mesh with a beat, and it’s thought-provoking, but I just love all music. I really think your answer may have inspired people to venture outside of their zones and try listening to something new. So given your appreciation for all music, have you ever thought of crossing over into another genre? Or maybe integrating a heavy influence of other styles into your music?
Choppaboi: Actually yes, I am willing to do different types of genres involving music…I want to do reggae, rap, RnB, jazz and even learn to play musical instruments and many more.
JC: I want to thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. It’s been a real privilege for me. What can we expect to see from you in the future, and what message would you like to relay to your fans?
Choppaboi: You will see more music, I will start doing more videos, I will have clothing for my brand and to the fans keep supporting, and keep being you don’t let anyone stop you from chasing your dreams!
If you would like to book Choppaboi Nick, or for other professional inquiries, you can contact his agent at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I was watching the Rude Boy video by Rhianna and noticed a striking resemblence between her and Rue McClanahan (Blanche Devereaux for those of you who are out of the DoubleG loop). There are particular similarities between the two at the 40 second and 50 second marks. Here are some photos. Let’s compare and see if you can tell who is whom with a game I made up called “Is It RhiRhi or Rue?”
See what I mean?
Now to be honest, I’ve forgotten who is who in these two. However, I’m assuming the black-and-white photograph is Rue, since she was around in the days of black-and-white photography. Then again, those funky colours are so totally 80s that Rue could be the one on the right! It looks an awful lot like her, so I’m going with the one on the right.
I think the answer is obvious here. The one on the left has got to be Rhianna because that sexy outfit and her unmistakable body just gives it away. And the one on the right in the sexy-cute sweater has got to be Rue.
Although there is a marked difference in age when these two pictures were taken, I think we can pretty much see Rhianna’s future. She’s still going to be sexy at Blanche’s age in the photo on the right. And her age there is…forty. 😉
Hope you enjoyed playing the game!