doors at 9, music at 10, party usually runs until 3:something
wear cat ears and dress goth; think minimum all black like a goth club
live DJs, shenanigans, imbibables and comestibles, good company
pass the invite to individuals but not to groups without asking thanks <3
Remember, Remember, the Fifth of November, 
Catgirls, Glowsticks, and Goth.
No justification why Catgirl Goth Ravin'
Should ever be forsought.
Instructions for writing a Catgirl Goth Rave Invitation:
1. In early August, come up with a candidate list of themes. Make
sure some of them are high-concept, like "Undomestication" or "Early
1800s heretical apocalyptic literature," and others are crasser,
like "furries are hot." You're doing great. Look at how ahead of
schedule you are, you dashing fox. Catgirl. Whatever.
2. Think about how previous invitations were received. No one ever says,
like, "That CGR invitation sucked," but some of them definitely get more
email responses than others, and that's kind of a thing. Your favorite
to write are the totally absurdist ones that riff on some specific
piece of obscure literature --- it's like writing your own Yuletide
story, but with catgirls --- but it's good to spend some time worrying
that no one actually cares about Deleuze and Guattari as you do, and
what they're actually here for is the way you expose yourself in the
margins of whatever you produce, a sort of surrealist confessional
wedged into a cutesy form. 
3. Wonder how many people actually read the "Long Version" at all. Like,
does anything about the "party invitation" actually cause people to come
to the party? Is the invitation text a formality based on the expectations
of early 2000s MIT undergraduates that any party invitation came along
with a few hundred words of technomagical realist drivel? Would anyone
have not come to the NetHack party if you hadn't spent more than an
hour making that ASCII map of the dorm? If the map had been better, would
more people have come, or is this really just a creative exercise
without effects on the material experience of the party itself?
4. Chill out, friend. You're just writing an email. You are stardust.
5. In fact, chill way the hell out! You're ahead of schedule. Maybe just
fire up Ableton and throw some music you might want to play in there.
Nothing like early preparation to produce the kind of musical experience
you want to share with your friends and family! Yeah, that's the spirit.
6. Oh my god, no, stop looping Sage Francis saying "I'm not a prophet, prince,
a ruler or a squire" at various speeds underneath Bis tracks with a
distortion filter on them. Literally no one wants to dance to that.
Not even you.
7. Find out sometime since you stopped having easy access to new music there
was a new Gorillaz album??? And the dude from the Super Furry Animals
sang a song on it? Excitedly make everyone around you listen to Rings
Around The World. Conclude it's not even remotely danceable. (Play
less danceable music at the party anyway.)
8. Revisit your list of themes. "Shit," say to yourself, "I'm like, having
a god-damned kid around that time. Maybe the theme could be like ---
the production of new catgirls!!!" Misunderstand due dates for a while
and wonder if having the kid be born at CGR counts as an art installation.
Decide it probably does, but that probably the kid's other parents
wouldn't be into it. Be sad they won't quite make it to Scorpio.
9. No really you need a theme for this party. "Catgirl Goth Rave" worked
as a theme the first few years because like --- who even does that? The
good news is: You have normalized the concept of a catgirl goth rave.
People in your and adjacent social groups just think that's a thing that
happens every year now, which is kind of a fucking _achievement_. The
bad news is: You can't let this be just another catgirl goth rave. You've
gotta do something else to make this really memorable, right?
A. Maybe once you have the kid you'll be like. Full of emotions and there
will be a theme there. So while you're waiting, get your venue locked
down --- this year you've got a venue and a backup venue and whichever
way you go you'll have a cool party in a great place with kind and awesome
people, good job on that one, you've just gotta seal the deal and it'll
B. Fail to seal the deal. Spend more time in Ableton. Why the fuck did you
think you could work Eels - Hello Cruel World into a dance set? Okay,
yes, you're right, it's goth, in that kind of perky way, and it has some
really nice 90s drums and production work. But most people coming to this
party aren't as weirdly hot for power pop as you are. And Blonde Redhead?
Who even made this setlist???
C. (It was you, but it was also not you. Sometimes your musical tastes are
mutual strangers, fumbling for a bass line in the dark, all "is this your
bass line?" "No, that's white noise." "Is it at least heteroskedastic?")
D. It's fine. Your kid is due October 1st. Once they exist as an individual
being in the universe, as much as any of us do, you can do the thing where
you send a really sweet invite about how amazing they are and how they
bring light into the darkness like a glowstick or something. People won't
eat that shit up, but you will, and you won't care what other people think
because holy good gravy are you a fucking sentimentalist about your kid.
Like, seriously. Half your life ago you thought children were monsters.
E. Think, but only briefly, about what that means you thought about yourself.
Remember why it's still Catgirl _Goth_ Rave, after all.
F. As the due date recedes into the past, make lists of music you might
want to play. You don't have to own the music or anything, just, list
some songs. It's like working on your homework! It's like. Meta-working
on your homework. Yes. You are being productive. You can deal with the
invite later. That shit always writes itself once you figure out what
you're doing. 
G. Have genuine insight about the nature of existing in the world, about
what it means to suffer and to ameliorate suffering, about what it is
that music tells us about who we are, while in the hospital for 65 hours
with your partner and their partner as you all try to welcome a child.
Occasionally take notes on this between back massages, holding legs out
of the way, and synchronizing your breathing with someone you love.
All you can make out from the notes afterward is "Personal Jesus mashup
H. Go find that track, you guess.
I. Tell yourself you can't possibly write an invitation while your child
is in the hospital. (Your child is in the hospital. Roleplay accordingly.)
As you take the bus to and from the hospital every day, listen to nothing
but Joni Mitchell and The Bird And The Bee. That's... sort of like the
Catgirl Goth Rave spirit, right? Astronautalis says that Joni Mitchell
says we are stardust, and you might conceivably dance to Astronautalis.
J. Look up the original context of Joni Mitchell saying "We are stardust,"
and find out it's in a track you don't know, called Woodstock. Present
its lyrics without comment; your thoughts on it, perhaps, should remain
your own for now. 
K. Love your child. Genuinely, passionately, and to your own great surprise
but no one else's, love your child. We are, apparently, stardust. Hold
them in the hospital as often as you can. Hold them? Him? Is it worse to
assign a child a cis gender or a different one? If everyone around you
is going to assign the child a gender will it actually benefit the child
for you to go against the flow or will it just add even more cognitive
load to an already busted system? Can you make a DJ set about _that?_
L. Conclude that you probably can't make a DJ set about that, but that you
should try sometime when your deadline isn't so close.
M. Get a fever. Feel _fine_ --- totally fine, you're not lying to yourself
at all, you're just _strong_ --- but know that you're not allowed in a
NICU if you have a fever. Pound Emergen-C. Play some card games. Cry on
someone, who cries on you, who makes them cry on you, which makes you cry.
Lose the fever. You can now visit your kid in 48 hours. Congratudolences.
N. Be confronted with the looming deadlines for locking in a venue, for
sending an invitation, for having music to play at this thing. Wonder
if you'll succeed at scaring up more DJs this year. Wonder why so many
of your DJ friends moved to San Francisco. How can you afford both
turntables and San Francisco rent? How can you afford both _food_ and
San Francisco rent? Truly your DJ friends are wizards and/or Google
O. Let the deadlines wash over you. Remember that you have, in the past,
turned in a thesis a week early; remember that you have, in the past,
written a graduate seminar paper the night it was due. You have access
to multiple modalities. You will do the things you need to do. You might
have been lying to yourself about not being sick, but you were not lying
to yourself about being strong. You are strong. You are stardust. You
P. Listen with joy to new music. Listen with joy to new children. Listen
with joy and also agony to the horrible screech as the green line turns
at Boylston on the way to Longwood. Listen to the sample of your child's
heartbeat you took while your partner was in labor. At negative one day,
they knew how to lay down a bass line. Know that they will turn out all
Q. In the hospital, joke about stealing the baby home. When the nurse laughs
and says you'd never get out because the baby is hooked up to monitors,
explain how you would fake out three of the monitors by generating
plausible waveforms, and hypothesize about the action of the oxygen sensor,
and how you would fake its data. When the nurse is unnerved, remember that
you are not just lucky to have your kid, your kid is lucky to have you.
Sure, you'd die for him, but you would also _hack electronics_, which is
often more useful.
R. Realize, two weekends before the party, that this left you without a
theme, or an invite, or a set. Look at what you have in your "CGR XII
Workspace" Ableton project. This is more than you rememebered. Good
job, past you! Someone is looking out for you, and it is you. (Or at
least, it is someone who knows your laptop password and how to use
Ableton.) Now you just need to write an invitation.
S. Ask your friends for help and don't get an answer because you don't need
one after all:
how does one write a catgirl goth rave invitation
Nevermind, I answered my own question.
T. Mean it when you tell your friends you love them. Write it like disaster.
 November 5th, Observed.
 Unless they're just laughing at you for _thinking_ you could confess
something meaningful about yourself in a party invite. But that's gotta be
the anxiety talking. Right??
 And, indeed, it did.
This entry was originally posted at http://rax.dreamwidth.org/154374.html.