Wednesday, August 23, 2017

...Darkling Tag-- You're IT!...

I was tagged by The Curious Professor Z which means that I fill out this little questionnaire and tag three Gothy Darklings. I will tag Jade at Daughter of a Jaded Era, App’y at App’y Talk, and Connie at Hartwood Roses.
Getting to know me! Getting to know all about me ….

  • What is your favourite candle scent? Yankee Candle’s Home for the Holidays (It’s actually a cinnamon Christmas scent and I love cinnamon everything!)
  • Do you have a favourite book? Probably Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • Are you a tea or coffee person? Coffee
  • What is your favourite perfume/cologne? Dior’s Hypnotic Poison. I just bought Kat Von D’s Sinner; I like it a lot but it doesn’t have much staying power on me.
  • Do you have a celebrity crush? Julian Sands
  • If you could change your name to a stereotypical 90s/2000s gothy name, what would it be? AuKToBR will always be my favorite goth name. That was my first love. I wrote a Zine, Strange People Anonymous by Spooky & Boo. I was Boo back in the late 80s.
  • What are your top three tips for surviving hot weather while black clad? Natural fibers, a parasol with UV protection, and open-toe shoes. If my feet are hot, I’m not nice.
  • What song always makes you happy (doesn’t have to be a goth band?)  “Passenger” by Siouxsie and the Banshees. I’ll stop in place to dance.
  • Are you active in the arts (eg. Play an instrument, paint, write, etc)? I played flute and piccolo but that was many moons ago. I write but not so much for pleasure as much as for research so I suppose that doesn’t count.  I do make a mean shadow-box. I’m more of a craftiest than an artist.  
  • What is your number one non-gothy hobby? I suppose gardening in that I delight in all plants and flowers, not just the dark ones.
Thought Provokers:
  • If you could be a supernatural creature, what would it be and why? I just sent my fella a text asking if a necromancer is considered a supernatural “creature”. He’s a DM; he’ll know. Follow-up: My fella said no that they’re sorcerers so I’m going with troll because they hide under bridges and jump out to scare people. This afternoon that strikes me as very funny.
  • What horror monster-bases super power would you have? Ummm, bring back the dead because that’s what necromancers do.
  • Do you feel confident or comfortable interacting with other Goths or gothy people (online or irl)? Why or why not? It defends; are they nice or are they assholes?
  • Is there something you wish there was more of in your subculture? I wish there were more of us like-minded peeps in the same region. We don’t have to be in the same city but it would be nice if we didn’t have to travel so far to be around one another.
  • Care to share an embarrassing story related to your “darkliness”? I don’t embarrass easily so it’s
  • How are you at DIY? I’m good with pretty much everything that requires serious measurements because I’m also sort of lazy and I eyeball things. I’m VERY good and eyeballing, which only makes me lazier because then I never measure.
Confessional (aka True or False):
  • I love watching cheese romance films. I love Black/ African-American Romantic comedies. They’re actually funny whereas ones with predominately white actors are not… to me.  
  • I ALWAYS remember to wash off my makeup at night. Absolutely!
  • I sleep with plushies. Yep, I have a stuffed bat pillow named Batty that does a dance at 4:30am each morning to entertain my fella.
  • I wear non-black pyjamas most nights. I usually wear t-shirts and boxers with cemetery scenes or skulls so no, I’m nearly always in black. I do have some pink bat pajamas that I love.
  • I think Andrew Eldrich is overrated. I would be lying if I said Yes.
  • I don’t like vampires. *laughs hysterically* If that’s asked, you don’t know me at all.
  • I don’t like clubs. I miss going to clubs. We have a local one but I’m just 15 years older than everyone and my bedtime is usually when the place opens so…
  • I don’t enjoy graveyards. I run a cemetery group.
  • Blood makes me queasy. If it’s mine, yes.
  • I’d sooner faint than pet a spider. I suppose one means large spiders. I have this vision of me attempting to pet tiny spiders and end up squishing them because they’re so tiny.
  • I don’t like haunted houses. Not true.
  • I’ve never read Dracula. I read it annually and teach it.
  • I think “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” is a long and boring song. I love that song.
So there you have it, some fun for today!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017 the shadows...

This morning I have been catching up on reading blogs. Months ago, my blog reader format changed so there is an extra step for me to see posts. I have to admit that I have gotten a bit behind especially since it has been nearly impossible for me to read posts from a mobile device.  

Since my last post, I have returned to work at least in the form of meetings. My first day back was last Monday and my focus was on setting up my office. After twenty-some years, our work offices had their carpet replaced. It makes a world of difference. 

Years ago, I was upgraded to an office with a window. I did not care what view I had as long as there was natural light. I painted my office after moving into that office because it had three shades of gray paint on the walls. The previous painters painted around furniture and over time the furniture was moved. It was horribly dreary to look at such ugly walls. The paint color I selected was a nice shade of mauve in the store. In the actual office, it appears more princess-purple; but, I like purple so I enjoy it.

I replaced my old lunch bag with a new bat version that is made from recycled plastic bottles. On the first day I brought my lunch, I even cut my sandwiches into coffin shapes. I have been trying to refocus my efforts on eating tasty and healthful meals.

And, after the landscapers chopped down my day lilies and hibiscus over a month ago, I have replanted some day lilies (Little Grapette and Rosy Returns) and spotted buds on the hibiscus this morning. They are nowhere the size they usually are this time of year but at least I get to see them resurrect once again before 2018. 

Of course, yesterday was the solar eclipse. I worked from home in the morning and then spent the afternoon with my fella staring at the sun. With mere minutes before our peak time (86% coverage in my area), the clouds rolled in and ended our hour wait. Let me be clear about how perfectly okay I am that this happened. It was hot and humid as hell yesterday so cloud coverage made sitting outdoors a bit more enjoyable; and we were able to see most of the event together in the middle of a workday. We recognized our privilege of being able to do that.

The eclipse needed to be a turning point for me. Last week, a dear former student passed away. To my knowledge, this is the first death that I have experienced of any of my students. He was a special one and we had just spoken days before. It was the most tragic and awful of possible tragic and awful events, and I have tried to come to terms with it as best I can. His death cast a shadow over the summer and my return to work.  

My good friend The Curious Professor Z helped me reflect on the day. My fella and I had come up with solar-eclipse-watching rituals but I needed a personal one and a time to reflect so I asked her for her thoughts. Regarding eclipse day, she writes, “It's a special day because the day turns into night and then back into day. And it's a New Moon, new beginnings. What do you want to bring out of the darkness into the light? Once you answer that you can write your own [ritual]” which is exactly what I did.

There are several things that I want to shed light on. I journaled, sat and listened, journaled some more. This morning I am thinking about shadows and how our English language has so many idioms for darkness and shade, and how they are typically negative. Many of us take solace in the shadows. Because of the medication that I take, I burn within five minutes so most of my time outside is under some kind of umbrella. 

There is protection in the darkness just as there is growth in the light. Without going into too many details, it always returns to balance- the Yin and the Yang, the push and the pull, the here and the there.

Cut down perennials return; old bottles become cute lunch bags; the sun leaves and returns; a life ends and its meaning transforms. The cycle continues. 

And, because I never take myself too seriously, at the peak of the eclipse, I decided it would be funny to don my vampire fangs when my fella looked over at me. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

...a Poison bottle into a vase DIY...

A friend recently mentioned that the small red bottle in my recent post about air plants resembled a poison bottle. My response, “It is! It's a Dior Hypnotic Poison bottle.

I’ll admit that Kimberly Johnson’s “How to Remove the Spray Top From Old Perfume Bottles” is probably a much safer approach. I looked at her five simple steps and then proceeded to improvise. She was right, “the actual spray nozzle pulls off easily, removing the rest of the spray top takes a little work.” 

Basically, I had an extra air plant without a home and I needed a small container to rest him in. Oddly enough, I could not find a single small container that was not being used, or that was cute enough. Then I remembered that I had used up my perfume to the very last squirt. The bottle was just too cute to toss so it was lingering on my dresser. It turns out that it was exactly what I had in mind.

With some pliers, an ice pick, and a sharp blade, along with one glove so I would not stab myself and some safety glasses, I pried apart the perfume bottle.

The opening of the bottle is quite small so if you plan to use this as a traditional vase where you add water, you will only be able to fit a small stemmed flower inside; but, it would look adorable with a single stem.