Friday, October 29, 2010

Threads -- Polyvore Set

Friday Fangs (*Special Hallowe'en Edition*)

Don’t you find, with the weekend looming, it’s easier to be thankful on a Friday than any other day of the week? OK, Sunday might be a good day to reflect and be filled with gratitude, but sometimes the only gratitude you can muster on a Sunday is that you’re not still hung-over or throwing up or that you managed to get more than 4 hours of sleep. (Is this just me?!)

Anyway, I’ve decided that, in the vein of Things I Love Thursdays (TiLT) over at , I’ll (try and remember to) post a gratitude list on a Friday. And, in the spirit of Hallowe’en, I've christened it: Friday Fangs. (Plus, I like my vampires. No, not the sparkly, Barbie and Ken kind, the real kind, like Lestat and the rest of Anne Rice's delicious deviants.)
So, what was there to be grateful for this week? Hmmm…. * taps pencil on desk, gazing out of window *
Ah, yes!
* Last weekend, we went to Montecasino for Mister Boo’s birthday, with his sister and brother-in-law. We had a delicious dinner at Raj (wowa-weewa, SO good!) before rambling around and spending too much money on Hallowe’en props.

* I spotted the shoes I will be buying, and telling everyone they are for my bestie’s wedding next year, although, her and my co-bridesmaid are short-arses, so I actually have no intention of wearing them at the wedding. I just need a decent enough excuse to buy them, and her wedding is a pretty good one. Hehe And then I’ll have to pull the “Oh-Noes!” face when it suddenly dawns on me that I will be at least a foot taller than them in said heels. Yes, I’m a schemer when it comes to shoes.

* We spent a good hour in the Magic Company arcade, forcing ourselves not to wrestle the game controls away from 4-year-olds, in order to maximize on ticket production. It’s always a challenge and Mister Boo battles with it a lot more than I do, strangely. All the same, we got some cool prizes – two different colour hair sprays and a key ring. B-I-L also won me a stuffed giraffe in the claw machine. Yippee!

* We actually won on the ‘grown-up’ machines! WooooHoooo! I won just under a grand, and Mister Boo came out with over R2,500, which is a blessing, since he’s still not working yet.
* Giving Mister Boo his birthday present (U2 tickets) on Tuesday. He’s been on my case since he found out they were coming to SA, and I somehow managed to keep my trap shut and not spill the beans about how awesome his present was and how much he would love it. He did a little dance when he realized what his gift was. It was really cool!

* FINALLY receiving my latest book from! They seem to have changed couriers, and it took the new guys A FRIKKING WEEK to find me! I was getting very irate and frustrated, and was composing a stinking e-mail when my book finally arrived. But you know what? It was worth the wait. No prizes for guessing that it's the other Nick Cave book, And the Ass saw the Angel. Wow, it' intense. Normally, no matter how trying the sunject matter and style of writing is (Lord of the Rings not included, I gave up on that one after suffering convulsions brought on by sheer exhaustion.) (I jest. Still, it was pretty trying.) Um... where was I? Oh yea. I normally stick with a book through to the end in as few sittings as I can, and devour it, intense or not. And then I go back and re-read it at my leisure, picking up on details I missed the first time around. But this? I just can't, it's too intense! I've actually had to put it aside for a few days and just breathe. I think it's also because I've had so much going on, but man-oh-man, it's very intense! It makes for awesomeness, just not of the sheer variety. It's very... opaque awesomeness.
* Catching my throat infection before it got too comfortable, and too serious. Yay for nipping it in the bud! Having a throat infection sucks, one way or another, but at least I haven’t been quarantined with a gullet resembling that of a bullfrog.
* Prepping for our Hallowe’en party! It’s gonna be SO much fun! I’m really, REALLY excited, but not as much as Mister Boo, apparently, because he’s just spending a few wads of cash here and there on random Hallowe’en stuff (like a floating skull/ghost/spooky-chain-rattling-figure – AWESOME), and plotting and planning where everything’s gonna go. It’s gonna be a killer party. (See what I did there? Haha) I’ll post photos of all the bits and pieces we’ve made and bough and done to bring it all together. I have high hopes of a fucking good time being had.
* Going to get my hair done tomorrow!

Ok, so technically the last two should really only make it onto next week’s list, but the anticipation is so intense, and I’m just so bouncy about them, that they’ll make a guest appearance this week too.

I leave you with this, via Snippet and Ink, which Dinee sent me. It pretty much sums up the mood behind my costume, and how I would have themed our party if I’d woken up a bit sooner and got my ass into gear with planning. At least I can plot really well for next year! Haha

Have a fan(g)tastic Hallowe'en weekend, and don't be good. Just take pictures!

Love and Raven's wings,

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Nevermore -- Polyvore Set

Nevermore by ShellyNu featuring feather jewelry
My Hallowe'en costume is based on Poe's poem, The Raven

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Read the Signs

For the past few months, I’ve been the recipient of subtle, yet constant, messages from the universe. I’m normally a whole lot more receptive to these kinds of messages, but, because of the festering funk I was wallowing in, I just didn’t see the signs, let alone respond to them. But since I’ve clawed my way out of the pit, I’ve been noticing the signs all over the place, and have realized that they’ve been there, going back months! Do I feel dumb for missing them, or what?!

There is always some kind of nudge from the universe, telling me “Yes, you’re going in the right direction; there are things for you to learn along htat road, keep going…” OR “No,no,no,no,NO. That is NOT where you should be going right now. You can come back and explore that another time… But this is the where you need to be looking now… Look, it’s shiny down this road… Come on!” And, of course, I always fall for that, because, really, I can’t resist something shiny!
And even when I’m feeling morose and pigging out on cake at the pity-party, I usually see the signs, but choose to ignore them until I’m feeling a little more capable of reading them. But this time, they just didn’t get through the thick fog which was clinging to my mind.

So, you’re probably wondering what the signs / messages were? Crows. Yup. They’re frikking following me everywhere! I’ve seen more crows in the last little while than I have in all the (almost) 12 years I’ve lived in Jo’burg. And not in small doses either; there have been hoards (murders) of them all over the place, and in the most random places. Also, they’re present in almost everything I read or listen to at the moment! Okay, granted, when you listen to blues-influenced music all the time, you’re bound to come across some pretty intense imagery. But it’s been an alarming amount; enough for me to finally sit up and take notice. So, instead of going “Oh-my-gawd-I’m-gonna-die!”, I’ve done some research, and come back with some interesting results. Crows, ravens and rooks aren’t as grim and macabre as people think they are. So that’s good news, for me, at least! Haha

The symbolism of crows, ravens and rooks (the only difference between the three being size) is actually really inspiring: They have similar roles in various cultures’ folklore.

* Ravens are connected to past-life memory, be it conscious or intuitive – they are representatives of the Welsh hero Bran who was the holder of ancestral memories. His wisdom was so legendary that he requested that after his death, his head be removed and interred in the Sacred White Mount in London (Tower of London), where ravens still roost to this day. They are said to protect his wisdom and keep it alive. It’s also an ancient legend that if the ravens ever flee the Tower of London, the monarchy will fall.

* In Norse mythology, Odin was rarely without his two ravens, Huginn (representative of power of thought and memory) and Muninn (representative of the mind and intuition). His daughters, the Valkyries, are also said to have turned into ravens who went out and collected wisdom and knowledge.

* In Navajo tradition, the raven is said to have been the guardian of knowledge before creation, and it is him who flew out of the dark womb of the cosmos, bringing the birth of the sun with. They represent the Shaman’s powers, as they are a link to the other world and its knowledge, and to transformation and shape-shifting.

Some notes I’ve made on these birds, and on animal spirit guides / totem animals:
Integrity; doing to others what you’d have them do to you; teach us to know ourselves beyond the limitations of one-dimensional thinking and rules; teach us to appreciate the many dimensions, both of reality and ourselves, and to learn to trust our intuition and personal integrity; bring magic into our lives and teach us to harness it; assist in transition between life and death, between dimensions and worlds, between mind-sets and situations; keeper of sacred law; symbol of heightened creativity and spiritual awareness (closer to Heaven); teach us balance between light and dark; announce newness on the horizon - remind us to look for signs and opportunities; always watching and learning; motherly love; self-awareness; self-illumnation; self-reliance; healing; stir life without fear.; eloquence and knowledge.
Animal Spirit Guides: play a great role in aiding self-discovery and spiritual identity; capturing our imagination; assisting us in understanding our past (including past lives) and reveal glimpses into the future; by focusing on the attributes of our totems, we interanlise these traits adn begin to externalise the very character we absorb from them.

I read some things that made my spirit tingle:
- What has been in darkness will emerge into the light
- The bearer of the crow / raven / rook symbol, or those whose spirit guides are these birds, is someone who is loyal and watchful and vigilant for friends, and will fight for them (associated with Morrigan, a Celtic goddess of war)

They can also serve as a reminder that there are two parts to the soul; the light side, which we tend to nurture and encourage and adore, and the dark side, which we generally fear and try to suppress. I think that if people not only acknowledged the dark side of their souls, but paid as much attention to it as they do to the light side, balance and peace would probably be closer within reach. To ignore the darkness only makes it grow more malevolent, and it quietly grows, like the monster in the cupboard, until it’s so enormous that even if your dad came in with a fire engine, it wouldn’t be enough to scare it away. To acknowledge the darkness, and tend it carefully, will leave you with more beauty in your life than before.

Also, I think as an extension of the crow theme, I have had the Beatle’s song, Blackbird, stuck in my head for weeks. Even with all the Nick Cave I’ve been submerged in! So I had a little look at that too, and found that they are very similar to crows, but also use their song to put people in a trance / make them fall asleep, and guide them into the Other World, and they use their voices to impart wisdom and healing and awakening. They are also more associated with balance with Mother Nature than the other birds, but I think it’s because they are more delicate and pretty, to be honest. They also help us remain grounded as we walk a spiritual path, so that we don’t get lost with our heads in the clouds.

So, all in all, a very enlightening curve on the path. I’m very glad I started to notice the signs around me, and to pay attention to them. I really do think that the time is right for my transformation and with these reminders around me, I will find it a lot easier to keep focused on that, rather than the doom-and-gloom day-to-day stuff.

It’s also given me inspiration for my next tattoo… Been trawling a whole lot of sites for inspiration. It’ll probably only happen in December, after bonus-time anyway, so at least I have time to find the right kind of imagery and get it drawn up by the awesome Ross at Handstyle. He did my latest one, and I’m SO impressed with his work, so I’ll definitely be going back there!


Monday, October 18, 2010

More News From Nowhere - 18.Oct.2010

It’s Monday! Do you know what that means?
No, me neither.
Oh well… Weekend recap then.

Friday night, Mister Boo, Simba and I went to see Boo!, the awesome, indescribable and utterly delicious Monkipunk crew who have just reformed, after disbanding six years ago to pursue solo stuff. When that happened, a lot of people were convinced the SA music would never be the same, and in a way, it hasn’t. It’s grown in leaps and bounds, and been awesome nonetheless, but just not the same without Boo! So when I heard they were back, I literally squeed with excitement. I thought I would pee my pants, but I managed to just squeak repeatedly and shiver until I got to the nearest bathroom. So when I heard that they were doing a FREE GIG at Montecasino on Friday night, there were no two ways about it. Short of lying in hospital with a broken neck and ventilator, I was going to Boo! And it was nothing short of spectacular. They rocked the shit out of that place! I bounced until my feet hurt, I bounced until my legs ached, I bounced until every part of my body was aching and drenched. And then I bounced some more.
Also, I’ve decided that when I grow up (or not), I want to be Ampi Omo!!! That guy has so much energy, I could only dream of bouncing like that! He plays about 95 instruments, sometimes at the same time, and always seems to be having the ultimate blast doing it. Man, so awesome. Also, he looks incredible in leather and red chiffon bell-bottoms on stage! Hahaha MK did a great job of organizing the event, which had a real carnival theme, with the mime who molested Simba, the fire-dancers, the unicyclist… It was great.

We met up with La and her sis after the show; they had been to see Mama Mia, also at Monte. Man, she'd had waaaaaaaay too much coffee by the time we got there to meet them! I think she was super-excited to be out with her sister, and no-one else, just having a girly night. She was bouncing like a wind up toy, wound up to the max, and then the key breaks, so the toy just keeps going... haha It was awesome to see her having so much fun again! They seemed to enjoy Mama Mia, so I'm glad. We were virtually evicted from Mugg & Bean for being too disruptive -- just like the old days, when we were kicked out of virtually everywhere for being rambunctious. Good times! Parapa!

I did very little on Saturday, which was fantastic. I managed to not sleep the whole day away; that was nice. Just took it easy on Saturday night, relaxed and played more Jewel Quest 1. (I’m working my way through all of them, sad-sad-sad) Yesterday was dedicated to cleaning out the office, which was so oppressive that I couldn’t create a damn thing in there. There was so much clutter! Also, because of all the clutter, and the first rains, I was afraid to be in there alone at night, because of all the gigantic rain spiders who LOVE to pounce on me when I am all alone in there. Yuck! But Mister Boo managed to annihilate the mommy and daddy spiderios before they spawned spiderlets, so all seems right with the world. For now… more rains to come though, so we shall see. All the same, the studio now looks and feels like a studio again, and the creative energy is flowing a little more already! Can’t wait to get stuck in there and covered in paint and glue and stuff! Yay!!

Also, my sister and brother-in-law came round yesterday for a drink. It was my niece’s 21st last week, and they had bought a bottle of wine on her birthday, which they’ve kept to drink with her on her 21st. Trouble is, she doesn’t drink wine. So they came to us instead, and we drank to Ami’s gorgeous-ness instead.

I was planning to tackle our laundry this evening, but I just received my new delivery, which will put me out of action for a few days. The Death of Bunny Munro, by (current obsession) Nick Cave. Will let you know what I think when I’ve got through it. It was nominated for the Bad Sex in Fiction Award last year, so I have high hopes. I love Cave’s twisted sense of humour, and the kind of dark, creepy awesomeness that permeates from him, so I’m hoping the book continues in that vein. Before I ordered it, I watched a few clips of him reading from the book on the Bunny Munro website, and that sold me. He seemed to relish it, so if he can still be excited about it after having eaten, breathed, lived the story while writing, then I’m looking forward to it.

Now, to find a point to Mondays….

With love and monkipunk


Monday, October 11, 2010

More News From Nowhere - 11.Oct.2010

Wow, what a weekend! I haven't had this much fun for what feels like YEARS! I've been in such a funk for months now, and it's all been winter-gloom and wedding-stress and shrinking-family syndrome, but it's finally all starting to clear. Now that winter is behind us, and we've postponed the wedding, and we've got through some more big days without the people who mean so much to us, it's dispersing.
It started to thin out last weekend, when my awesome boss gave me tickets to Mama Mia for Friday night (AWESOME,AWESOME, AWESOME, thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou), getting my new tattoo done last Saturday (beautiful, all healed up, so photos to come sans redness), and going to lunch with Nix and Bruno. And with the sheer awesomeness of this weekend, it's just completely lifted. Gone! (Touch wood!) The funk has left the building, and I am back to be ME, the bouncy, happy, excitable, giddy girl even I've missed these last few months. I've been down so long, It started to look like up. But thanks to awesome friends, without whom I would probably be committed to some dirty institution before long, and some awesome events and happenings, I've been reminded of the difference between up and down, between pretending and really feeling, and I'm feeling all straightened out again. I swear, if I could have lifted this earlier, I would have, because funks fucking suck. But then, I wouldn't have learnt anything, would I?

So, weekend catch up:
Friday night, we went to The Doors, one of the VERY few clubs I will set foot in. Now, just to give you an idea, the clientele is less like this:

and a bit more like this:

We were celebrating the end of an era for La, who finished at her old job last week, and started a new one today. We all had SO MUCH FUN! Although I think I may have freaked out some of her former colleagues who were very UN-Doorsy to start with. I tend to go a leeeetle crazy when I get started! I danced and danced and danced until I thought I might collapse, then I had a drink and danced some more, until I was convinced I was going to collapse. It was a fantastic party, just what I needed. Mister Boo usually complains that the music and vibe is always the same at Doors, like it's a bad thing, and you could stay away for years, and it would be the same when you come back. Pfffft, I've always said. That is, until our friend Mr. T went to Japan for a year, and when he came back, we hit Doors. And yea, he said that it was just the same as when he left. I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing, though. It's kind of like coming home; for me at least. I always look forward to Doors like a kid looks forward to Christmas, and it's very rare that I leave disappointed.

Anyway, for some reason, I woke up with a hangover from Hades on Saturday. Can't seem to figure out where that came from! hehe I was surprised though, because I actually had less to drink than I usually do. Maybe that's the key. Get REALLY smashed, then it cancels itself out? Anywho, I had to battle my way through grocery shopping and wax, which was a bit torturous in my delicate condition. Still, I survived that, and went home and climbed straight back into bed. I left everyone else to unpack the groceries and crap, and I just nursed myself back to health and functionality (is that a word? It is now!) until freaking 4 PM!!!! I was disgusted at myself for wasting the whole day sleeping, and for being such a sissy about my babelaas, but you know what? I needed it, and erased the guilt with computer games and rock music. I felt like a whole new woman when I did finally get going again, so I guess it was worth it.

And then, Sunday. Oh wow, Sunday was AMAZING! We met up with Simba and pulled through to Rocking the Gardens, the Joburg leg of the Rocking the Daisies festival. It's been a LONG time since we did anything remotely as fun as that! We saw Farryl Purkiss (Shoo-wee, what a hottie! And SO talented to boot!) as we found our spot under the trees and settled in. I went and got my free Nokia t-shirt, which is actually really nice! It's a beautiful teal colour, and made of hemp, so yay pretty-and-sustainable! Saw some other bands that didn't really register on my radar, although there was this one band - we didn't actually see them, because we were strolling around the various stands and tents - but they sounded pretty awesome. It was kind of Eastern-European influenced, very folksy and they had such a stunning groove! I really enjoyed that. After a few more sort of... nondescript people, we moseyed over to join Simba in the comedy tent. If you ever have the chance to see Pete Johansen's stand up, do it, it's well worth it. Even in a food court. Heh-heh. After that, Mr. T, Mister Boo and I took a stroll through to the main stage, and found Flash Republic performing. No, wait... performing isn't the right word... Partying up a storm is more like it. They are so high-energy, and you just can't help but party along, too. They're great. Tamara Dey is, as usual, so gorgeous, and she always looks like she's having the time of her life, even when her mic goes all funky and crackly. They really got the crowd going, and were really just awesome fun. I got the bouncies thanks to them (and good ol' Smirnoff-n-Sprite).
And then... The Springbok Nude Girls. Now, when you say Rock Star or High Voltage or Holy-Crap-I-Could-Implode-From-Being-In-The-Presence-Of-Such-Sheer-And-Unadulterated-Awesomeness, you better picture these guys! And if you don't already, you better start to. NOW. :) Every time I see them perform, they are just better and better and more and more amazing. We've seen them a few times, at various venues ad settings, but yesterday was probably one of the most awesome shows I've ever seen, including the international acts I've seen over the years. When you consider that they went on stage about half an hour later than they were scheduled to, because one of the earlier bands ran over, and they HAD to shut the event down at 18h00, we sure-as-shit got our money's worth, and our Nudies' worth! Fuck, they managed to do a whole set in half an hour, a whole lot of the best older stuff, and some of the better new-er stuff, and the vibe was just... indescribable, actually. They blew me away, once again. I didn't stop jumping and bouncing and screaming - yes, a little louder at a hint of Arno's skin and low slung pants, and ... ahem. Nevermind. (Fan-Girl Alert!) But honestly, aside from the sheer, undeniable raw sex appeal of the whole band, they are just... fucking Rock Gods of epic proportions. There should be all sorts of dedications to the awesomness of the Nudies, the world over.

What did you do over the weekend? Obviously nothing could compare to the awesomeness of the Nudies (accept it, there's no denying it, sorry), but I'd like to hear it anyway.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

First Post / First Rains

*How great is it that I opened Flickr to search for images for "First Rain" and this photo was on the homepage*

How beautiful that my first post here coincides with the first proper rain storm of the season?! I'll take that as a sign of only good things to come. :)

I think that productivity in Joburg just seized up completely. I know in my office, at least, as soon as it started raining properly, the entire office, visiting auditors included, moseyed into reception, where we have these great big floor to ceiling sheets of glass, and nothing has really carried on from there. It's fantastic!

Even though I hate lighting, I'm sitting with the front door open, just gulping in as much of that beautiful, fresh, clean rain smell while I still can!

*grin* Now I can go home and have a proper chuck out of all the rubbish and clutter I've hung on to for the past year. The best day to do it is the day of first rains; everything is all fresh and shiny and new, and for some reason, I find it easier to let the rain wash away all the old stuff and make space for new and exciting things in the coming year. It's totally cathartic, and I don't feel as sentimental and pang-y about things when the rains have finally come.

My poor boy at home, though... Let's call him Mister Boo. Now he has to put up with the craziness that is Miss Shell in cleaning mode. Oh dear... I think he's just going to stay in the kitchen tonight. Well, if he's smart, anyway... *evil grin*