Thursday, December 29, 2011

Zombies!

      I've been seeing a huge rise of zombies in the media. It seems like werewolves tried to upstage the vampire trend, but zombies ate both of them. What is it that mainstream culture loves about these creatures? Is it the post-apocalyptic settings, the gore of it all, or are those lovable rotting faces just too adorable? Everywhere I look, there are zombie books, movies, TV shows, and mass produced merchandise. Even the CDC did a post on emergency preparedness citing the zombie apocalypse as an example.(here's the link) There have even been zombie walks, where people dress as zombies and parade through the streets. I have personally attended a local zombie walk, and it was great fun!
My best friend Justean hugging the "free hugs" zombie
The first zombie movie
Zombies are not a new thing. (The Zombie had it's origin in Haitian culture). So why is it just now that Zombies have especially been on the rise?
     I think there could be a couple reasons. Scientific advances and the threat of another nuclear disaster may be one reason. If it is possible to extend lives or cause deformities in children thanks to radiation, is it possible for an accident to create zombies or zombie-like creatures? Perhaps People wanted to substitute sparkly vegetarian vampires for a tougher image like zombies. Yes, werewolves may also appear to be tougher, but the Twilight ones were just too polished and baby-faced. :P With zombies, there is no mercy. There is no empathy, only instinct.
     Zombies are such adaptable beings. There are no set rules like with vampires (which is why the sparkly ones were a terrible idea). There can be Voodoo zombies, disease zombies, semi-intelligent ones, zombies who can use tools, and even lovable servant zombies (Fido).
Fido
writers and directors can really use their imagination to shape this creature into something original. Zombies are everywhere, and it will stay that way even after mainstream culture gets bored. Feel free to comment with any ideas about why zombies are so popular.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

DIY: Victorian Space Boots

      Have you ever gotten an item of clothing that has a lot of potential, but it just doesn't quite suit you? This happens to me frequently. I also happen to have a creative eye for improvement. Needless to say, there are many items that I've had fun modifying. I recently received a pair of beaten-up brown leather boots from my boyfriend’s little sister.
They have potential.
 I really wanted to like them, but I kept thinking, “If only they were purple!” So today, I decided to go get some shimmery purple leather paint.
This paint was much more metallic than I predicted...
I then worked on transforming my dingy Victorian-esque boots into boots fit for a dignified Victorian Cosmonaut. My mother said they look like something Ziggy Stardust would wear. Why thank you, Mom.
After layers of paint, here are the results:


Yes, I own purple pants. 

I'm not so sure why they appear to be pink here. ><

Now to find some interesting laces to finish them up! Perhaps ribbon would work.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Catmus

I’d like to wish everyone a merry Christmas, Saturnalia, Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and end of the fiscal fourth quarter. I think I’ve covered every holiday. May you all Wassail and find spooky gifts under your tree. This year, I received a Nightmare Before Christmas Monopoly, a few interesting novels, a blood-drip choker, eyeshadow, and Jack Skellington pajamas. Here they are:
I will definitely enjoy my gifts this year. I still have to finish The Lovely Bones and Lolita before the library charges me and before I start my insanely huge reading list. >< Anyway, I leave you with this: One of the only good Christmas songs I know of.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dealing With Family Events and Personal Examples


Many of us dread family events. With the holidays around the corner, I’m sure many people are wondering how to deal with family in order to minimalize conflict. I have a large family on both of my parents’ sides. Needless to say, sometimes I find myself dealing with awkward comments or rude looks. If you incorporate darker, more mysterious or flamboyant look into your wardrobe like I do, you know exactly what I’m talking about. I’d like to offer you internet people some helpful tips if you happen to find yourself in troublesome situations at family reunions, holidays, etc.
Here are some questions:
1.       How do I avoid conflict altogether?
2.       How do I react to rude or awkward comments?
3.       What do you do with unfamiliar family members?
I love this photo!
source

1.       Well, when I see family, I try to tone down my look a little. I don’t throw my style out the window when a family event is around the corner, but I also don’t dress like I’m going to a concert or festival. So basically, I keep my platform boots IN the closet, and I don’t wear my make-up as dark so as to not scare the kiddies. For example, my young cousin asked me a while back, “Are you a vampire?” I think I said something along the lines of “maybe” or “I wish.” Keeping your most wicked clothing items in the closet is probably the best idea to stay somewhat inconspicuous. That and I don’t really want to give people the opportunity to touch my clothing like I’m a petting zoo. This year I wore a simple Peter Murphy shirt and a long black skirt with a purple stripy cardigan. No rudeness from it, only an “I’ll pretend like I know who Peter Murphy is!” and a thumbs up.

2.       Hm…Dealing with negativity all depends on the person. An older adult with whom you are really comfortable probably won’t insult you. If they do, give them a sly smile and say something witty but respectful sounding. If a younger cousin is rude, you can be a little spicier, but not too mean. Especially with the cheeky observation comments like “You’re wearing black today!” you can afford to be a bit snarky. I once had my uncle yelling, “You’re a Goth!” multiple times around the house (He was very happy about it, by the way). It was a bit awkward, but I shrugged it off. I should’ve said at least something, but I wasn’t brazen enough at the time. In dealing with more serious assumption comments, take a more firm but non aggressive tone. Ignorance can be solved through education.

3.       I have many unfamiliar family members on my father’s side. He has cousins through marriage from my grandmother’s huge immediate family (16 kids), so I only barely know a few of them. I went to that family reunion, and it went well for the most part. I of course got one or two critical looks, and one older man even approached me a little too comfortably to pick a piece of lint off my shoulder. If you get a glare from people you don’t know too well, just smile. Don’t give that person the evil eye, because that just causes problems. If the person is glaring at you from afar, it’s easier just to ignore.  Be as cordial as possible, but don’t let them run you over.

I hope these little tips were insightful, and I hope everyone reading this enjoyed hearing about some of my personal experiences.  If you have any comments about funny incidents with family, I’d love to read. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Ghost Hunting: My Story

I listed on my description that I am a Paranormal Investigator, so I am going to clarify that just a bit by telling you the story of how I became involved. Over July 2011, I was dreading a huge research project. This project allowed everyone to pick almost any topic of interest and gain experience in the field. If you know me, I hardly do anything halfway. I could’ve chosen quilting or pottery-making, but no. I chose Paranormal Investigation. I chose this topic because it is relative to my interests in all things dark, mysterious, and unknown. I also never thought those absurd TV shows did the field any justice. I wanted to see for myself what the field really was about.  When I had my topic decided, I had to then find an experienced Ghost Hunter to mentor me.
                Finding a legitimate mentor was incredibly difficult. I google-searched to no avail until I finally found a group. To my surprise, this group was one of the worst mistakes I have ever made. No joke. This “group” was basically just one guy who is almost thirty and living in his mother’s basement. He was extremely unreliable, and when I went on an investigation with him (not by myself), he was so unorganized, and he didn’t even ask permission to investigate at the location. He was basically running around while screaming insults into the wind. Yes, he called “the ghost of a Confederate soldier” a pussy. I was so disappointed that he was basically just another hysteria-filled television host, minus the cameras. In fact, I was forced to find another mentor halfway through the project. I had the threat of a failing grade hanging over me, and the whole thing was beyond my control. From there, I went to a reputable source that referenced a different group.
                This group I found is Historic Ghost Watch and Investigations or HGWI for short. I was so relieved when I heard back from them. These people saved my English grade. I went on a couple investigations with this group. I was astounded at the professionalism. They had a basecamp trailer through which their surveillance cameras are wired. They also have all sorts of equipment. If any of the equipment gets a spike, lights up, or if any noise is heard, the time is documented and the incident is radioed in to basecamp. They completely blew my expectations out of the water. This group is completely legitimate. In fact, I got an A on my project, and I even won an award for my work. Since then, HGWI invited me to become a permanent member. 
I love Bonaventure. It's said to be haunted. 


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Peter Murphy: Atlanta 2011

The MAS...RADE!  (Masquerade)

The Masquerade, a lovely venue in Atlanta, featured Peter Murphy in “Heaven” (top floor). He toured along with two other bands called Hussle Club and She Wants Revenge.  My boyfriend, Joe, bought tickets to this as a birthday present to me. Since he happens to be a metalhead (and Exhumed and Goatwhore were playing in “Hell” that night), this was very sweet of him. We first arrived, and the venue was nearly empty. I was very disappointed with the turnout at first, but many more people showed up as the night progressed.  I was also a little surprised to see a few people in Crow make-up, but never-mind that. Also, let me apologize in advance for the poor picture and video quality taken on my camera. 
video
The first group that played was Hussle Club, a band from New York. They actually had some catchy songs like “Fxck Shxt Up ” and “Children of the Underground” They had a lot of energy on stage, and a couple of songs reminded me slightly of Marilyn Manson. I only had one criticism for this group: They seemed very concerned with their image.  The vocalist was fine, but the rest of the group were constantly adjusting their hair and trying not to show any emotion. Joe commented that they “seemed more like studio musicians.” Overall though, they were a fun group. Here's their MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/hussleclub


videoThe second group to go on was She Wants Revenge. They were quite a popular group that night. They’re from California. I am not the biggest fan of this group. They are good, and they seemed to put heart into their music. I like “Tear You Apart,” but the rest of the songs sounded a bit mundane to my ears. This is my personal opinion, so don’t take any offense if you do happen to love this group.

Here's me excited for the show. You can't see my thumbs up.
video
video
     Ah. Peter Murphy. I love his music, especially from his Bauhaus years. He had an absolutely captivating stage presence. He was a funny, sarcastic, and very delightful ass. I mean this in the best possible way. He had very infectious dance moves with the shimmying, bird-like movements, and what not.  He used his foot to push down the cameras, he let some of the audience grope him a little, and he threw one sweet lady’s black rose to the floor. He controlled the audience, and everyone loved it. At one point he noted how everyone in the audience was wearing black. He told us to “wear some white,” and that his guitarist “can wear black, because he was there! In England!” I thought it was hilarious, and he definitely had a point.  At the end of the night, he came out for an encore. He played “Ziggy Stardust” and “Dark Entries.” During “Dark Entries,” everyone was jumping so much that I could feel the floor buckling under my feet. This was slightly frightening, because there have been structural collapses in the past. Oh well. It was worth my swollen feet, sweaty hair, and dehydration. Go out and see Peter Murphy, because he’s Peter Bloody Murphy. Need I say more?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Peter Murphy and Gothic Rock 2

Yesterday, I decided to haul my butt up to the mall’s music shop. Since the Peter Murphy concert in Atlanta is tomorrow, I decided to buy my own copy of Ninth. I wasn’t expecting that store to have much of what I was looking for. After browsing a couple of minutes, I found the last copy of Ninth. Not only did I find Ninth, I found a used copy of Gothic Rock 2, the double disc set from 1995! One disc was for classic 80’s Goth Rock, and the other was “…into the 90’s.” I found this Classic CD at my local suburban mall…It’s still a shock to me.  O_O
Review of Ninth: This is a very lively album of Peter Murphy’s. The songs are quite catchy, especially “I Spit Roses.” The lyrics are great, and it still sounds like Peter. The production is very clean, and the album is nicely done overall. I’m incredibly thrilled to see this brilliant artist in person. I’ll be sure to post pictures soon enough.

Review of Gothic Rock 2: This one was from Cleopatra records. It is a compilation of many Gothic Rock artists including: Bauhaus, Christian Death, Virgin Prunes, Corpus Delicti, London After Midnight, Switchblade Symphony, etc.  It has many great artists, but I personally would have chosen different songs from the groups. It has a few bands with which I am unfamiliar, so I am delighted to finally have the discs in my possession.


This just goes to show, don't underestimate your local suburbanite music store. ;)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Cleopatra Eyes

I was feeling especially like Cleopatra today, so I decided to go for that look. This was my first attempt at truly Egyptian inspired eyes. I’ve wanted to try this look for a while, but I finally got around to it.  I got some mixed reactions like “scary” and “spooky” … not really what I was aiming for, but I suppose it’s better than nothing. ;)
My materials

Step One: Primer! I use Urban Decay. The key to keeping a good look is a good primer. Even the best of eye shadows are useless without a good primer.

Step Two: I put light shimmery blue shadow all over my eyes up to my brows. Go darker towards the lid, then fade the color around the brows.
Step Two

Step Three: I added a darker blue to accentuate the lids, then I did a cat eye swooping motion to just the end of my eyebrow.
Step Three

Step Four: I added a bit of gold below my eyebrows and in inside corners of my eyes
Step Four

Step Five: Add a dark line of eyeliner. Act like you are doing a cat eye, but draw the line straight outwards instead of curled up. I used MAC felt tip liner, but kohl would work well and keep with history.
Step Five

Step Six: I modeled my right eye (your left) after the Eye of Horus. It’s easier to have a picture handy as a reference when drawing it on. This was the most difficult part for me.
Finished!

Now even Cleopatra would be jealous…unless I screwed this up completely. 
Before
After