Well I guess it’s time to spill the beans… Ben and I are engaged! It actually happened last Monday but we didn’t tell anyone except family and close friends as it was very much out of the blue and not exactly a traditional marriage proposal. But Ben was too dang excited about it and posted about it on facebook while at work last night and well, now the world knows!
So I’m not a traditional kinda girl at all, in fact I’ve never been that into marriage and have only come around to the idea of it since meeting Ben (not because he talked me into it, but it was the first time I felt like I actually wanted to marry someone). I was actually kind of steering towards a commitment ceremony instead of a wedding since I wasn’t going to be taking his name and mostly just wanted a cool party with my friends and family and to wear an awesome dress. But last Monday evening we somehow got on the topic of engagements and I told Ben that I didn’t believe in them and thought it was preposterous that women felt like they had to wait until their partner proposed to them when it’s something they really, dearly wanted. In some cases having to wait years and years! Nope, that’s not for me. Ben was a bit surprised, apparently I hadn’t really mentioned this to him before, just that I would say no if he ever did one of those big, public proposals. So he asked what I wanted to do about marriage then and I admitted I thought it made much better sense that we as a couple who both want to marry each other should discuss it together and just mutually decide on a wedding date and skip the engagement nonsense altogether! We kept discussing it and at the end of the conversation we agreed that it made perfect sense for us to get married on Halloween since it falls on a Saturday this year anyway (and admittedly I’d been entertaining the thought of a Halloween wedding since talking to a friend who’s having her wedding in October this year).
So that’s it! It’s not particularly romantic but it’s exactly how I wanted it. I love Ben to death and want to marry him and only him, but I am also a proud feminist and I wanted it to be done in a way that made me happy and not just the way it’s traditionally done which I find is often oppressive and/or redundant these days. The wedding will be Halloween/Haunted Mansion themed so it won’t be super kitsch Halloween, but a bit more classy and gothic horror (without going full goth because… nah, that’s not for me). There’s so much to plan but we’re also keen to make this a very chilled out affair and just a great big fun day for everyone who attends!
In case you haven’t been to any of the Disney parks, here’s a walk-through of the attraction which gives you a pretty good idea of the look we’ll be going for :D
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!
Last weekend Ben and popped down to Melbourne very briefly, in fact we only had two days there! The main reason for our visit was because some friends of Ben’s were getting married, but I was also fortunate enough to coordinate a nail art gig for a feminist fundraiser event for the same weekend! It was my first ever interstate nail art event too so it was all very exciting.
We flew in early afternoon of the Saturday where we pretty much had to get ready for the wedding right away (well I did, Ben only took 10 minutes to get ready, the chump). It was held at Collingwood Children’s Farm which is a fully operational farm right in Melbourne City. Amazing! It was such a lovely venue for a wedding and I got to pat/stare at a bunch of animals :D
How good does Ben look in a suit? It’s the one he had made in Thailand last year and this was his first time wearing it! My dress is from Dangerfield and stockings by Black Milk Clothing.
The next day we took it easy die to some hangovers from partying hard at the reception, stuffed our faces with vegan fare at the Cornish Arms, went home for a nap and then headed to the Tote for my nail art event. A friend on Facebook approached me to do nails at her event because local nail artists wanted to charge a booking fee which she was unable to do as it was a fundraiser event, so I was delighted to offer my services. It was called Y LISTEN and was held on International Women’s Day and was raising money for YWCA Victoria. There were lots of bands and musicians playing, all female-dominated and it was a really cool night. I was shocked by just how stylish the women of Melbourne can be, Brisbane has a long way to go.
We flew out the next morning feeling somewhat worse for wear, but it was fun to have such a whirlwind trip to Melbourne and get back to our regular schedule again!
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:
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!