Well well well it has been AGES since I did a wishlist post! In actual fact now is the worst time to be lusting after new clothing because I need to be saving up for our Japan trip in May! But these things are all too cute and evoked a pastel goth kinda vibe so I thought I’d share:
My name is Cara (but you can call me Ruby) and I like the colour pink, cartoons, movies, fist shaking, Harry Potter and 90s RnB. I live in Brisbane and occupy my time by fancying up nails and making kawaii stuff for your hair!
I have decided I’m going to start blogging my random feminist thoughts here. I have a lot of them all day every day but I’ve been finding it hard to do regular posts about feminism because I tend to put too much thought in them which means I often don’t get around to posting them or I think it’s not interesting/engaging enough. So instead I will post smaller “femmo-bites” about something I happen to be thinking about right now.
Today’s one stems from a facebook post I was commenting on. The OP shared a link where a girl in India confronts the man who tries to touch her inappropriately and without her consent on a plane. Almost immediately she was swamped with guys saying NOT ALL MEN in a variety of colourful ways. A number of people clarified that she did not mean ALL men at all but these dudebro’s kept going and on and on about it, even suggesting women should specify “some men” in future posts/conversations to avoid confusion in the future (ugh). This was my response (slightly edited for this post) which is my stance on why #notallmen is a harmful derailment tactic:
The fact is, a lot of men do things like this. Not all, not even most, but a lot. There are also a lot of men who mightn’t actually do this sort of thing themselves but think about doing it or don’t see why there’ such a fuss about the men who do do it. The reason for this is because many men have it deeply ingrained in them that women are objects rather than people. They feel like they, as men, have the right to touch these objects that they find desirable. For a long time, the vast majority of women put up with it because it was deeply ingrained in us too that this was how it was and we had to accept it. It’s only been in very recent history that women have found themselves able to stand up and say NO, that is NOT appropriate, and even more recently that laws have be adjusted to reflect this.
Feminism is still crucial these days, even though at a glance it might seem like women and men are pretty much equal. The wage gap and the glass ceiling both still exist, for example. But very importantly, too many men are still finding themselves unable to view women as people rather than objects and so they touch, abuse, harm and kill them in abundance. Sometimes women find themselves unable to yell at a man for touching her inappropriately because there is the very real risk that he will harm her for daring to stand up to him. The woman in this video found herself in a position where she could safely confront the man trying to touch her without her consent and did so. But if she had been in a different scenario it possibly would have been safer for her to be quiet, ignore him and leave the situation as quickly as possible. That is not equality between genders, that we cannot stop something horrible happening to us because we might get hurt or killed for saying no.
We have a very long way to go, because there are still too many men who are like this and when women try to talk about it, a bunch of other men get upset because they feel unfairly targeted despite the fact that wasn’t actually the case. That harms these conversations because it means women have to then double back and clarify that they didn’t mean ALL men at all and the original conversation has been derailed and brought back to focus on men. That is counter productive. So PLEASE understand, when women are talking about this sort of thing, we do NOT mean ALL men do these things. We are referring to those men that do. If you don’t do these things, GREAT. Keep not doing those things and maybe have a go at listening to what women are saying instead of wondering if we’re indirectly referring you and bringing the conversation back to your hurt feelings!
Well I told y’all I’d get back into blogging and so I did! It’s nothing particularly special but I wanted to smash one out quickly while I was excited about it and to get back into the swing of things! So here you go:
As anyone who reads my blog has probably realised, I don’t post here so much any more. I usually chalk it up to not having enough spare time but I know deep down that isn’t necessarily true, though the real reason has always managed to escape me. I’ve also found myself utilising social media (SM) less and less in recent years. I mean I go on it a lot still but I’m actually posting there a lot less these days. Instagram tends to be my SM of choice, I still post stuff on my Facebook occasionally but I severely neglect others like Twitter and Tumblr even though I value both mediums (and many others) greatly.
It wasn’t until I read this article today that I finally started to understand why I may not be posting online as much any more. It’s not because of time constraints or because I’m getting older ans less interested in the internet at large, I’m starting to think it’s because I have been scared off by online bullies and trolls who always manage to find a post of mine to attack, and feel to exhausted and over it to bother with their bullshit any more. And that makes me sad. I love the internet! I adore SM! I’m only 32 and I don’t have kids, I’m nowhere near too old for the WWW yet! So why have I been scared off?
Because I am told that I should not feed the trolls, that by reacting and replying to them they are getting what they want. By not responding to them I am starving them of the attention they so crave and so they will eventually starve and die. But that’s not true is it? Because we’ve been doing that for years and the trolls haven’t gone anywhere and in fact, are only getting worse. While it is obvious that trolls derive pleasure from our reactions, they also appear to feel vindicated when we stay silent. When a troll attacks a woman for daring to have an opinion online, we either give him more ammunition by responding to him or we do exactly what he wants which is to stop having that particular opinion (or at least keep it off his precious internet).
I have also been told over the years that it’s not particularly desirable to post too much “negative” stuff on SM and that it’s always a downer when I do. Whether it’s because it makes their feed a little less pleasant as they’re scrolling down or because it encourages vigorous debates in the comments which they perceive as “causing fights”, I don’t know but I’ve been told this enough to put me off of posting on my SM unless it’s funny, interesting or cute. Now that I think about this, I’m really annoyed that I felt pressured to post less because some people didn’t like my non-pleasant posts. I mean, they could always just scroll past my posts, couldn’t they? Why do I have to censor myself just so their feed is more to their tastes?
So I am done with treading carefully, ignoring the trolls or refraining from posting anything that’s not light and fluffy! I like posting about social issues like feminism and racism on my social media and I don’t give a damn if people find it too much of a downer. If a troll leaves some bullshit comments on my social media and I feel like responding with my own brand of trollin’ then I damn well will! if they get too much and I’m sick of them, I will delete their shitty comments and laugh about how pathetic they are (and probably share it on SM too). I am sick to death of being made to feel like I don’t really belong on the internet just because of my gender. Why should I feel intimidated by arsehole misogynists who have nothing better to do than to say nasty stuff on a complete strangers SM? Fuck that noise!
I think one of the first things I’m going to do is post a new vlog. After being attacked by some particularly nasty creeps a while back on one video, I’ve not felt confident in posting again. But I liked vlogging and I’ve been desperate to put my excellent video editing skills to use after many years of neglect! BAM! Take that, you fucking trolls!
Today I received my glorious new Aladdin dress from Black Milk, which I was able to buy with the gift vouchers I got for my birthday. Because I am a pretty big fan of Aladdin, I happened to have some very appropriate accessories to go with my outfit, including a Jafar hairbow and a Genie necklace. Fun!
Can you believe it’s 2015 already? Not to sound like an old fart, but holy moly, where is time going? I remember new years eve 1999 so vividly, I’d finished high school and had just turned 18 and spent it with a couple of my best mates and our families at Southbank. Ahhh such innocent times when I had no interest in drinking and wore handmade “Go Millennium Big” shirts.
This new years was a pretty cruisy one. Normally we make specific plans but we didn’t this year and decided kind of last minute to go to one of our favourite bars for the night. Beforehand we were invited to a friends picnic on the river to watch the sunset which was absolutely magical, until the mosquitoes came out in force!
2014 was a pretty interesting year for me. I was still coming down from the high leftover from our US trip, something that took months to subside. I was feeling incredibly unsatisfiedwith my work life, I knew I couldn’t keep working for “the man” and office works was bringing me down more than ever. After much thought and after a particularly bad refill at a cheap nail salon, I decided to bite the bullet and get a Certificate in Nail Technology. I get pretty nervous over big life decisions and so I was scared as hell about this one, but the course made me very excited about the prospect of a career change and by the end of it I knew this was what I needed to do! I set up a nail salon at home and have gotten to a point where I’m getting pretty darn good at it, especially the nail art! We also got a new dog, the sweetheart known as Midwich who has enriched our lives greatly. Shiro has changed a lot since we got her, for the better. He’s more affectionate than ever and luckily they both get along really well. We also went to Thailand for a week! I never planned to go there as I have a bunch of other countries on my to-visit list, so it was fun to have an excuse to go and see a very different part of the world! I celebrated Halloween for all of October with my 31 Days of Halloween challenge on instagram which was a LOT of fun! And I become a better feminist, learning about intersectional feminism and all that goes with it.
Not everything was hunky dory though. A week into my nail course I fell down a step on the way to work and fractured my ankle. It took months to get better and even now still hurts on occasion. Fortunately I didn’t need to get surgery though! The bit that is the most annoying though is how it stopped me from being able to exercise, I was already a bit slack on that front (but I still went to gym a few times a week), and once the routine has broken, it’s so damn hard to get back into it! So I’m pretty much at my biggest and am not too happy about it. As I’ve posted on here before, I struggle with my own body-image so it was something I worried about a lot in 2014 and was a little bit powerless (and perhaps more than a tad unmotivated) to do much about it.
My plans for 2015 so far are as follows:
Do nails full time! I am very likely to be doing this in the next couple of months thanks to an opportunity with a fantastic company who’s expanding to Brisbane soon. I’d like to open my own salon but that’ll probably be more for 2016.
Lose weight, get fit. It’s a cliche but I was too busy in 2014 to focus on this so it’s time to change things for 2015! I miss my fit, healthy body which, in retrospect, was actually bangin’. If only I’d realised this back then!
Sort myself out blog-wise. I know I will never get back into posting like I used to, and I’ll admit I’ve considered packing it in a couple of times lately. But I don’t want to quit and I feel like I should be able to post more often if I just committed to it. I also want to start vlogging again. I love both of these things and it’s a shame I’ve slacked off so badly in the last couple of years.
Travel! We’re actually going to Japan in May but I want to get myself sorted so that we can afford to travel more often, both overseas and domestically. We’ll hopefully visit a few other cities within Australia this year, including ones we’ve not been to like Perth!
Be a better friend. I am such a slack friend! I need to fix this! I have no excuses except general laziness, and it’s gotta stop before I have no friends left at all :( Going out of my way to plan stuff with mates, invite people over or just meet up with them for coffee or a beer is on the agenda for 2015.
I am excited about this year, I reckon it’s going to be a BIG one full of adventures and positive life changes :D
Supanova was on again last weekend and as usual we had a stall for Ruby Kawaii! Brisnova is a good one because it’s not only very convenient, it also goes for three days which works well for is as the Friday is a bit quiet and if you forget anything you don’t have to stress too much. Win win!
There was a pretty stressful lead up to the weekend though as mum and I left things til last minute, as per usual. But we got it all done and had a good time as per usual. It actually didn’t feel as busy as previous years but sales-wise we did fine and they apparently had record crowds so I think it might have been because of the new venue which was much bigger and easier to get around (instead of being in various halls across the RNA showgrounds).
Here are a few photos I quickly snapped over the three days, including some of our stall and the people I saw over the weekend!
Day One: Manning the stall, with Emma of Emetic Art and with my longtime friend Sarah as Burlesque Poison Ivy!
Our stall, with new set up. I think we’re the cutest stall in Artist Alley by far! Shame we forgot to iron the curtains though!
Day Two: Cheryl helped us out on the Saturday (such a gem) and mum made me pose with this rather handsome Captain America cosplayers that had her all a tither ;)
Day Three: Erin and I at the stall and with the super lovely and gorgeous Amanda Hartley.
Erin and I got a photo with Aussie actor John Jarratt who’s most famously known for his terrifying character Mick Taylor in Wolf Creek. He was super flirty and hilarious, we were glad we decided to go get a pic with him!
Last weekend Ben and I went to PAX AUS, the gaming convention. Unlike last year though we decided to make a little holiday out of it instead of just flying in and straight back out again (seriously, that was such a bad idea last year). We left Brisbane bright and early on what was obviously going to be a very hot day (in fact it got to 38 degrees which it stayed for three more days, yuck) to arrive in Melbourne on the tail end of an enormous thunderstorm. On ya Melbourne!
We spent the week staying with our awesome friends Josie and Tom in Brunswick East which meant we were nice and central (and didn’t blow the budget on accommodation, yay). Apart from PAX, we didn’t have any solid plans and just decided to take it pretty easy, catching up with friends and having good food and drinks, which we did in abundance.
As it was the lead up to Halloween and I was almost at the end of my #31DaysofHalloweenChallenge (I’ll be posting about it soon), things were distinctly Halloween themed for the first five days. In fat we had a Halloween party to prepare ourselves for! Josie is actually completing a PHD in Monstrology (not even kidding) with her focus being on Australian Monsters. She’s even started up a publishing company and wrote an awesome article on the Australian way to do Halloween. As a result the theme for our costumes was “monstralian” which was challenging but very fun (even though I didn’t manage to get the pieces for my costume until the afternoon of Halloween itself).
Instead of boring y’all with a wall of text, here’s a photo essay of our trip :)
First beers of the trip with Josie!
We surprised Caz with a visit to her work, All Star Comics. That is how a comic book shop ought to look. No wonder they’re award winning!
I got to catch up with Mia who was about to embark on a massive trip of the USA. Sahhh jelly.
Found some hilarious boob-things while costume hunting. Ben contemplating his vegan double down.
We caught up with a bug bunch of mates at the Catfish where Dave Callan and I were creepy in doorways.
Hanging out at I Scream Nails who I’ve been a fan of for a while now and get a lot of my nail art inspiration from.
Halloween day was a good one, not only did I get cool nails but I got another Halloween tattoo! This was done by Shell Valentine from Dangerzone Tattoo. How cute is it??? Many thanks to Danella who drove me around town to get all my Halloween stuff done!
Ben and I ended dressing up as the Babadook and Lola from the Loved Ones for Halloween, two excellent Aussie horror films.
Imitating the poster from the Loved Ones and hanging out with Tom (were-dingo) and Josie (the siren from her book).
Day one of PAX with Josie and Tom where I saw a couple of seminars and tried out the console and indie games. Later on we had dinner and coffee dates with Caz and Liam in the city.
Day two of PAX was spent playing lots of tabletop games with Ben. We even tried out a miniatures war game which was surprisingly good fun! We also learned a few indie boardgames before heading home, exhausted from our week.
It was a really lovely week full of catch up’s with friends, delicious beers at cool venues, Halloween adventures and good ol’ fashioned geekery. Considering how jam packed our holidays tend to be, it was lovely to have a laid back week in another city for once. Until next time, Melbourne!
Yep it’s true, after eight years of pretty much the same hairdo I now have all-purple hair! I’ve actually had some variation of pink and black hair since I was in year 12 way back in 2000, with a year or so break when I dyed it all black when I embarked on my big European adventure (I got bored of that and so got a friend to help bleach a section of my hair at the nape of my neck in our hostel room one evening). I even has pink streaks in my hair when I was 15 for a year or so!
So to say I was used to my hair is a massive understatement. Having Black hair with a chunk of my fringe and my nape bright pink was so normal for me that I felt weird about getting compliments for it as it just seemed ordinary to me. It was also ideal because the pink sections were in the perfect position to not show regrowth for ages, I usually waited three months between bleaching the regrowth.
But earlier this year I started to entertain thoughts of trying something new, so I stopped redyeing the black (but maintained the pink), wondering what to do and when. The most obvious choice for me seemed to be to go purple, it’s my 2nd favourite colour and I felt that I could “deal” with a nice, dark purple as far as change and regrowth visibility go. In the last month or so when my brown regrowth was getting particularly visible, I decided I should do it sooner rather than later before I chickened out and dyed my black again. Halloween was coming up too, so I decided it was now or never.
I got a short bob haircut to rid myself of most of the leftover black then had to strip my hair of all the colour as much as possible as I knew it’d be a nightmare to bleach through the remaining black as well as the coloured I’d put on my brown regrowth to disguise my boring, natural hair colour. The dye remover I bought was JoBaz Hair Dye Remover (max strength) which a couple of friends had recommended to me. It was a fairly easy process, though long and rather stinky, but it worked pretty well! The black was barely there, my regrowth was really light (the hair dyes I’d used over it had lightened my regrowth quite a bit apparently) but the pink remained pretty strong, though I didn’t mind as the purple would cover it easily.
The next day mum came over and did an awesome job of bleaching my whole head which we both were terrified about but it ended up being pretty easy and painless. We weren’t able to get it all white, the lingering black was stubborn and got to a dirty blonde colour, but we didn’t want to re-bleach it and wreck my hair so we left it as is. We then added the purple! I decided to go with Brite Organix which I picked up for sale at Woolworths. A girl I follow on instagram recommended it for being long-lasting, an excellent shade and terrific value for money, plus the convenience can’t be beat (for reference, I usually use Special Effects for my pink which is phenomenally hard to get and pretty expensive, usually $25 a bottle). Mum reckons it went on differently to SFX in that it immediately gripped my hair and didn’t spread as well, which I took as a good sign as being easy to spread tends to mean it’s not stick to the hair very well.
Washing it out was a nightmare, our shower may never recover! I had to rinse it eight times and even then purple was stillrinsing out, which worried me as I thought that might mean it all rinsed out. But as soon as I got out of the shower I saw it had stuck perfectly and my hair was an intense bright-but-dark purple! Yay! Where my black had been was especially dark while the placed that had been pink were super, super bright pirple. The effect was actually really cool!
I’m still getting used to having purple hair, I still get a jolt of surprise when I see myself in a mirror. But I definitely love it so far. I’m not sure how long it will take for my regrowth to show but I intend to keep the purple bright and minimise fading so it’s less noticeable (or so I hope). I may get sick of having to bleach the regrowth every 6 or so weeks, but I’m really excited about the change and am already considering trying other colours in the future!
Last Saturday night I went to Fright Night at Movieworld with my mum, sister and Ben. All through October Movieworld has special events on Friday and Saturday night for Halloween. They’re very reminiscent of Halloween Horror Nights at Universal which Ben and I happened to go to in LA last year.
I wasn’t sure how good it was going to be as I was sure I’d be disappointed compared to Universal’s version but I am happy to say it was AWESOME! We all had an absolute blast and while it didn’t quite compare to Halloween Horror Nights in some ways, in other ways it was actually better. Yay! I am so damn excited about how Australia is finally embracing Halloween properly. Until the last few years it’s always just been some silly American thing, but now lots of shops sell Halloween products and supplies and places like Movieworld are going all out.
When we arrived the place was packed, the night had sold out days beforehand and the car park was overflowing (I’ve honestly never seen that at any Gold Coast theme parks before). As we walked in (chuckling at the poor suckers who thought they could just go in with their annual passes) we were greeted with an unexpected and enormous burst of flames from above the gates and then total chaos as we entered the main square. There were dancers in cages and an array of scary characters scaring people or just looking menacing. It was super dark with dim red lighting punctuated the random bursts of flames and lots of eerie smoke. While nothing will compare to being chased by chainsaw wielding maniacs like at Universal, there were lots of scarers pouncing unexpectedly from the shadows to give us all a fright. There were also ghostly women in black on stilts and even some creepy looking creatures on stilts too that gracefully and silently stepped past you.
Knowing there were going to be crazy lines, we rushed to the first maze called “Cannibal Clowns” but realised right away there was going to be a good hour line up per maze and ride. Ben wasn’t having any of that and disappeared briefly, reappearing with fast track passes. Our night was becoming expensive but being able to go to the front of the line and skip the queue sure is a good feeling! The clown maze wasn’t that scary (so glad we didn’t line up for an hour for it) so we went to the next one called the Ripper which was based on Jack the Ripper, which wasn’t very scary either but we all agreed the set design was at least quite impressive.
On our way to the next mazes we stopped for some snacks and drinks. This is where Fright Nights kicked arse, it was all themed and was totally amazing (and quite cheap too). There were pus donuts where you squeeze the pus (aka custard) in yourself with a oversize syringe, specimen jar desserts (choc pudding = poo, lemon meringue = wee), blood bags (full of red soft drink) and jelly shot syringes. We went to the bar to sample the blood/pus bags (vodka cranberry / malibu pineapple) and the alcoholic jelly shot syringes. Talk about a sugar overload!
We then visited the last two mazes which we were hoping were going to be better than the first two. Fortunately we were not disappointed as they were TERRIFYING. The first one was based off the new game The Evil Within and the other one was based on Wolf Creek 2. The set designs were excellent and some of the characters were mortifying (particularly the one playing Mick Taylor, holy shit did we all scream), so we left both feeling quite hoarse indeed. I was delighted by the fact a couple of the scarers even managed to get Ben, the horror aficionado, to scream too! We were especially grateful for our fast passes by the end as the lines for those two mazes were so long, I wouldn’t be surprised if they took two hours to get through. No thanks!
Our plan was to then jump on some rides as they were meant to shut down at 9pm but we quickly discovered the lines had closed at about 8.20pm which means we missed out. While we understood there were noise restrictions on the outdoors rides, we were pretty disappointed about it, especially since there’d been no signage about when the lines closed. Luckily we’ve all been on the rides plenty of times before, it would have really sucked for those who don’t get to go to the theme park much. So we did some more wandering, ate some more snacks, people-watched and bought some merch before we made our way home for the night.
It was an excellent night which we plan to do again next year, but will go the whole hog and get fast track passes for both the rides and mazes and may even try the VIP tour too! I only wish I’d had time to go again this year :)