Archive of ‘unquiet things’ category

Love Trumps Hate Valentines Day Auctions

16585721_167731560387738_2006875038728323072_nOver at @munichartstudio’s instagram today are two auctions in collaboration with @thecreepingmuseum!  Both auctions are in the spirit of LOVE TRUMPS HATE for Valentines Day– with proceeds to benefit The International Rescue Committee (helping refugees and others in desperate need) and The Creeping Museum (to help fund the next nonprofit release).

The auctions will run from today until until Sunday evening, 2/12 (6pm Pacific/9pm Eastern). Be sure to bid and support these excellent artists and some very worthy causes.

This first auction is for a mystical seer, magically rendered in graphite and colored pencil (above) , and auction number two is an occult art bundle which includes the following:

• 9×7 Framed drawing of “Escapees from Pandora’s Box”
• 3×3.5 Framed drawing of “The Witch’s Eye”
• 6×6 Unframed print of “Do Not Summon Up That Which You Cannot Put Down” by artist EC Steiner
• One copy of The Occult Activity Book Volume 2 (super rare!!)

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this, that, & the other thing {xxxii}

witch

W.I.T.C.H. PDX: The Women’s International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell is back

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Unearthly Realms: The Photography of Nona Limmen

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Hauntingly Beautiful Abandoned Chapel in France

The Lost Art of Painting on Cobweb Canvases
Interview With Anna Biller, Director Of The Love Witch
Sanrio’s new character has an office job, drinks beer, and likes heavy metal
On the Trail of Marie Antoinette’s Last Scent
Diamanda Galas: Hear Apocalyptic ‘O Death’ From Her First LP in Years
An Interactive Journey Through Endangered Natural Soundscapes
A Cosmic Horror Game Inspired By The Work Of Manga Artist Junji Ito {h/t Jack}
New “Twin Peaks” Action Figures Announced
The Melancholy Visual Fables of Laura Makabresku
The Artists Recreating the Tarot Deck for the 21st Century
† Getting a Whiff of Perfume’s Illusions
Miranda July Shares Her Vintage Feminist Film Archive
Ghostly Whistlings: A Tribute To M​.​R. James
Creative Prompt: Cook Up a Secret Recipe
Bad Books for Bad People: Episode 6, Alraune. Plus, a giveaway!

On self-doubt, fucking it all up, and doing better

bullshit

I’m having difficulty putting into words my experiences this past weekend at the Women’s March in DC, and this is extremely troubling to me. I’m hesitant to share, because there is much in the way of whinging, hand-wringing, and fragile white lady tears here. It is also a fairly rambling account, with little in the way of complete thoughts, cohesion, or a satisfying conclusion. My apologies. 

There were no complications about how I was feeling while I was there in the thick of it. My feet were cold, but my heart was filled with love and warmth, and proud–so fucking proud–to be marching with my sisters and over 500,000 other protesters on Saturday. Tears of hope and wonder streaked my chilled, grimy cheeks as I took in the sheer magnitude of the crowd and all of those who were present to be vocal about oppression and stand up for our reproductive rights, LGBTQIA rights, civil rights, worker’s rights, immigrant rights, disability rights, environmental justice and against those who would threaten those rights. All of these folks were there in solidarity despite the complex politics of the march, and I thought (in retrospect, perhaps a bit naively,) “wow, this is sisterhood”.

As I snapped photos of all of the wonderful, clever, fierce, compassionate signs,I came across a few that gave me pause.”You’re here now, but did you vote in November?” a few of them inquired in bold Sharpie strokes. Yes, I absolutely did, you better believe it.

Great to meet you”, another cardboard cutout enthused, “will we see you at the next Black Lives Matter protest?” Well…sure? Maybe? I guess I hadn’t planned that far ahead yet, if you want my honest answer.

SUPPORT YOUR SISTERS–NOT  JUST YOUR CIS-TERS” a placard directly in front of me admonished. Hm, I thought, glimpsing the neon nethers of a pink, plush, bedazzled vagina hoisted over the shoulders of a few protesters in the crowd the next street over.

I was starting to feel a little uncomfortable at this point. I thought I was there for all of these reasons; I have a responsibility to represent, protect, and protest for all of these folks and their interests. I know I’m all about all of these things, don’t I? So why was I starting to feel challenged and more than a little defensive? What kind of situation did I actually take part in, I asked myself, pressed in from all sides by a sea of white faces.

Back at home, I was reading more and more fed-up commentary from my queer and non-binary friends about the pussy-centric protest language present at the rally. The next day I then read an essay by women’s right’s activist Brittany O., titled Why I Don’t Support The Women’s March On Washington, which asserted that white women co-opted the message of historical moments in Black History, a controversy which caused some of the initial organizers to step down as they felt they could no longer support the event.

At some point during the day, I read this quote, “If it’s inaccessible to the poor it’s neither radical nor revolutionary,” and I thought about the money that I didn’t have to scrape together to pay for my plane ticket to DC. I recalled the welcoming family (the sister of a coworker of one of my sisters) with the nice home, who hosted our stay, and the cozy beds that we collapsed in and slept heavily in for eleven hours straight after the protest.

we the people

I began uploading the photos I had taken of the signs and posters at the event, and while doing so, I started seeking out at the artists responsible for some of the imagery, at the back of my mind thinking of the We The People posters by Shephard Fairey, which, at the time, I thought quite beautiful. It was then I came across this article written by Joojoo Azad, a Muslim-Iranian writer, “Please Keep Your American Flags Off My Hijab” –and feeling defeated, foolish, and deeply self-pitying, I began to weep in earnest.

I keep thinking of a phrase I’d read, “fragile ally-ship”. I previously didn’t think that applies to me. But often times the problem doesn’t recognize it’s the problem, and it continues blithely on, getting in the way, being a distraction, and fucking things up.

Do I not get it at all? In trying to do something I felt was important and good, did I do everything wrong?

upset

“Get it together, sister,” I berated myself.  Don’t get defensive. Shut up and listen. Listen to what all these folks have to say. Listen to the transgender activistsListen to the black woman.  One thing I read over and over is that “It’s not about you.”

“But isn’t it a little bit about me,” I push back in a tiny voice, “Aren’t some of my rights being threatened as well? Aren’t I mad as hell and scared shitless, too? Am I even allowed to ask these questions?

My sister reminded me that I am reading some things, a lot of things actually, about different people’s experiences at the protest that are statements of truth, but these should not diminish another statement of truth, which is that I took part in the Democratic process by assembling and showing that I am an ally for oppressed people. And, of course, showed up for myself, as well! . I don’t get a participation trophy, but I shouldn’t allow myself to feel somehow less than, or cowed, or like the dumbest fool who ever lived for not being a perfect activist. For not getting it right on my first try.

hellraiser

I have been reading and re-reading this, and trying to be okay with it. Okay with not being sure, with making mistakes. In accepting that more I know, the more I realize how little I know.

 “Part of white privilege is the privilege of being oblivious to racism, unaware of how it manifests, how it feels, who it hurts. White people can learn to become less oblivious, but we will never have the lived experience of people of color. People of color are experts on racism; white people are not. No amount of reading or learning or activism will get us there. And that can be a hard pill to swallow in a society that teaches us that we can be anything, do anything. To be an ally, you will need to practice being okay with not being the expert, not being sure of the answer, not ever getting to some point where you have magically arrived. This requires considerable humility.” (source)

problematic

In trying not to take it personally, the backlash and criticism, I realize how personal to me this protest march really was. As someone who is continually plagued by self-doubt, who always, no matter what the situation, assumes she is automatically in the wrong, who has for a long time tried to make herself as invisible as she possibly could, it really was a big deal for me to be present for the Women’s March in DC. To voice my dissent along with hundreds of thousands other humans. (To actually be in a crowd of hundreds of thousands without having some sort of major meltdown. ) To stand up and be counted. To say, hey, look at me, I am here and I have a problem with not just some, but with all of this shit. And to be an ally to all of those folks who have problems with this shit, as well.

And of course I am not saying that this event, or any that follow, should be above criticism, I am not saying that at all. We all need to listen, learn, and do better, on just about every level, including and especially me. In that vein, this is an excellent read: How to survive in intersectional feminist spaces 101. It references many of the things I alluded to here, and things I need to learn to deal with better; specifically “getting called out” and “listening and sitting with discomfort”. It’s also a kind of hilarious where the author points out in the comments that the original file name for the piece was “don’t be a fucking becky”.

But also I can’t discount that –for me– I did something that scared me. And I am going to keep on doing these things. And probably looking like a fool and no doubt getting it wrong. And for me, that’s scary as hell. But in looking at our fraught political climate and and reading the current dystopian headlines, I can surely conjure some things that are a lot scarier.

As always, I welcome your commentary. What was your experience this weekend? As a POC? As a queer, non-binary, or trans-gendered activist? As a disabled activist? As a white, lower middle-class woman, like me?

Articles mentioned in this post:
Why I Don’t Support The Women’s March On Washington
Please Keep Your American Flags Off My Hijab
Before You Celebrate The Zero Arrests At The Women’s March
How To Be An Anti-Racist Ally
The Women’s March Left Trans Women Behind
Listen to a Black Woman
How to survive in intersectional feminist spaces 101

All photos included in this post were taken by me in Washington DC on January 21, 2017.

mount nasy

nasty

I also asked my sisters to share with me their experiences of the past weekend, because I wanted to record their perspectives as well. This first bit comes from my youngest sibling, Melissa:

“When I was 25, I was dating a great guy. We were both in our final year of grad school, and he had a job lined up, and we were shopping for engagement rings. I thought we had been rubbing along quite nicely and that we had a splendid, promising future together. And then, one late January afternoon, he sat me down and told me he was leaving me. I wept, I begged, I berated him, and when I found that there was no swaying him, I stumbled home and ignored the phone calls of my worried friends and cried myself to sleep. It was a hellish night, and when I woke up in the morning, I was waking into a living nightmare.

Of course, passing time (and Prozac, and good counseling, and loyal friends, and keeping busy) worked its magic, and gradually the pain faded. But the memory of that first morning has never left me. In fact, it came back and visited me the morning of November 9, when I woke up to a fact that I had to try to drink away the night before. Against all expectation and logic, despite the evidence that had led me to think otherwise, my beloved, flawed, magnificent country had elected Donald Trump to be president the night before. And when I woke up on November 9, it was like I was waking up to the memory of another breakup. But this was a pain that would continue for four years–at least–and that had invaded the entire world. Donald J. Trump had been elected president, and there was no escaping the knowledge that his election was the latest symptom of a cancer that has been invading our country, perhaps our world. There was no escaping this pain, and no way to heal from it, either.

In the days that followed, I wallowed in despair, and wanted to hide under the covers and eat cheetoes for the rest of forever. I wanted to drink all of the wine, and watch reruns of The West Wing for the next four to eight years. (Perhaps not coincidentally, I had a similar reaction during my break-up, long ago.) And I felt horribly, horribly alone. Just like my worst break-up. But even in the depths of my misery, I had enough presence of mind to know that if I, as a white, middle-class, educated native-born American female (with all of those attendant privileges) felt alone and afraid, what of my brothers and sisters without the protection of those privileges?

That was why I marched. My presence there in D.C. might not have made any difference. Or maybe it did. But this was and is my message: I am here. I am present. I am an ally. I do not consent to the descent. I will not be silent. I am not alone, and you are not alone, and neither are the 500,000 people who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with my sisters and me. We are not alone. I don’t know what comes next, but I do know there is no escaping it, but we will face it down together. We are not alone.”

THE BLOOD OF THE HARPY

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{Though I often promote artists here, I don’t often push products. There are exceptions to be made, however, when the product in question is created by an incredible person with such an extraordinary mission. Meredith, I adore you, truly.}

TITS AND TALONS TO THE WIND!

The Harpy of ancient Greek mythology is defined as a fearsome creature; part woman, and part bird, who thirsts for vengeance. Various tales describe how harpies would descend in screeching flocks to snatch up evildoers in their talons and deliver them, begging for mercy, to the merciless Furies. For several centuries, “Harpy” has remained a popular slang term, used to describe a particularly nasty or contentious woman.

These beautiful terrors are the inspiration for HARPYCORPS, a monstrous feminist art rage alliance instigated by a bunch of fed-up women and queers.

HARPYCORPS’ chief mission is to create a network of safe spaces, both virtual and physical, where brave humans from all walks of life can come together to explore the immense power inherent in our femininity. We strive to create artistic works –both as individuals and in collaboration– that express our non-compliance with rape culture, unapologetically celebrate our sexuality, elevate the public discourse around various civil rights issues, and purge the toxins of misogyny and kyriarchy from our bodies and minds.

Every bottle sold will help the chief agitators of HARPYCORPS to facilitate these goals. What better way to make our intentions known than on Inauguration Day, 2017, with a ferociously caffeinated beverage? We are fierce. We are femme. We will not flinch. Prepare your gullets and brace your cloacas for… BLOOD OF THE HARPY.

https://shop.funraniumlabs.com/products.php?product=Blood-of-the-Harpy-750ml

Currently {1.16.17}

spiritsSomehow the last month, give or take a few days, feels several decades long. I suspect that has much to do with the upheaval of the holidays; we hosted my beau’s family for Christmas this year, so I believe there were at least two weeks alone which were lost to the commotion of getting our slovenly butts in gear to make the place look presentable and figure out how to cook a dang prime rib. (If you’re curious, we served prime rib with roasted asparagus, garlic-parmesan mashed potatoes, and creamed spinach, and if I don’t have to do that again for another year, that will be fine with me.)

Also, I have never had a holiday thing/event/whatever in my own home, so I was freaking out. Quite honestly, I had volunteered responsibility for the holiday dinners because I was tired of feeling awkward and out of place/in the way at someone else’s house. If I’m going to feel uncomfortable, I’d rather it be in the comfort of my own home, you know?

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cookies

Houses were lit, skeletons and bats were fitted with Santa hats, and a thousand star cookies were born, only to die bravely in several gulps. I can say beyond the shadow of a doubt that I made the world’s most amazing gingersnap cookies and that may never happen again because I don’t remember which recipe I used. At Jack’s suggestion, though, I under-baked them, which did away with the menace of the tooth-breaking “snap” and produced a cookie that was intensely chewy and full of delectable spices. I suspect under-baking any gingersnap recipe will yield a far superior result.

Bloodmilk

Cemetery

Buzzer

This past weekend was a bit of a whirlwind.  On Friday night I ventured into Orlando for dinner at Dandelion Cafe with some like-minded lady friends (whom I both met through Death Cafe!) and a jaunt to Etoile Boutique in the Milk District for the bloodmilk trunk show. It was so nice to meet the incredibly lovely Jess, whom I’ve known online for years now, as well as her whirling dervish, effervescent right-hand gal, Jen. And of course it was pretty spectacular to see glittering stacks of bloodmilk talismans and amulets on display. I may have purchased a thing. Okay…maybe two!

The next day I tagged along with my brother-in-law on some errands, during which we took a quick drive through Greenwood Cemetery which is utterly gorgeous, and which I had somehow never visited. Afterward we visited South Seminole Farm and Nursery and I poked along, haunting the herb shelves and spying on all the blooms and blossoms, while he checked out the boring stuff, like native ground cover.

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On Sunday we went to Disney World. Though I am a FL resident now and have been for the better part of 30 years, I can count on one finger the times I have been to this theme park. When I was much younger, I was obsessed with it, and of course, with the various Disney princesses, but as I grew older I came to really resent it. Full disclosure: that was because I was a scumbag who was dating an even more horrible person who was married (with kids) and I grew to detest anything that smacked of Disney or children’s fantasy.

It took me several years to get over that. I’m still not super rah-rah jazzed about all things Disney, but I genuinely did have a wonderful time staying at the Polynesian resort, drinking all of the tiki drinks, watching spectacular night time fireworks across the water, and spending the next day eating too much sugar and going on all the rides with my Viking. I guess it all depends on who you spend your time with, right? And I have been spending time with this particularly excellent human for five years now (as of this Friday the 13th!) and that’s sort of what this trip was all about. I even got the sequined Minnie ears to commemorate the occasion! Although he’ll tell you it’s because he wanted to see robot-Obama speak before the Hall of Presidents is closed down for the next six months, but I know what’s what.

Blue Dahlia

BooksCurrently knitting: the German doily inspired Blue Dahlia shawl. I’ve been coasting on socks and mitts for the past six months, so I thought I would start of the year with something a little more challenging and infinitely more fiddly. So far so good!

Currently reading: all of the library books! There’s this problem with borrowing library books, though. You can’t really read them at your leisure, so you either race through them, trying to finish them before the due date that you’ve already extended two or three times already, or you just let them pile up because you get involved in other things and then you must return them unfinished.  There’s always one or two from my stacks that remains sadly unread and most likely not revisited.

I just finished The Magicians, which despite wanting to punch the main character in the face, I totally adored. There’s something about the magic of ordinary folks being transplanted into unfamiliar worlds that makes for some of my favorite storytelling. Unspeakable Things, though intensely edifying, is a bit of a slog, so I’ve been breaking it up with the equally feminist How To Be A Woman (which, while hilarious, it’s the sort of humor that might grate on one’s nerves after a while.) I also checked out every Carrie Fisher book that my local branch had to offer but so far I have only finished Wishful Drinking, which was a quick and wonderfully witty read. Note to self: still need to see her stand up version of this.

mermaid

And of course, some one word film reviews. I am not sure how I got in so much in the way of movie watching since the 13th of December, but somehow there are 20+ titles on this list!

Beyond the Gates Yes (but mostly for Barbara Crampton)
Krampus Maybe
The Greasy Strangler DearGodNo (I didn’t even finish it)
Antibirth Yes!
The Magnificent Seven Maybe
Ghostbusters Maybe (don’t kill me, I didn’t love it)
SiREN Skip
The Autopsy of Jane Doe YES
The Handmaiden OMGYES
Fury Road HELLYES
Gone Girl meh
The Girl On the Train Maybe
The Good Neighbor Probably (it’s on netflix)
I Am Not A Serial Killer Definitely! (it’s on netflix)
The Fearless Vampire Killers Wheee!
Rusalochka Pretty! (it’s on youtube, in six parts)
Train to Busan Intense!
The Skeleton Twins yesyesyes
The Happening meh
Zootopia yes!
Tangled um (if you have mother issues, this is a little triggering)
Goosebumps hrm

Demimonde Mitts Are Up For Auction!

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Right now at @thecreepingmuseum on Instagram you can bid on the Demimonde mitts that I knit for their “Eviscerate the Patriarchy” fundraiser! The bidding is starting at only $35 dollars and if you knew the blood, sweat, tears, and cross-country, multi-person efforts that went into them, you’d know what a steal that is (with many thanks to Maika Keuben, Benjamin Brandt, Nevertold Casket Company, and blood milk jewelry! for the beautiful photo)
This auction is to benefit The Joyful Heart Foundation’s vision of a world free of sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse. 🖤

Elsewhere: Sister Spinster

Sister-SpinsterAt Haute Macabre I write about Sister Spinster Apothecary, helmed by herbalist Liz Migliorelli. Imbuing bouquets with symbolism and meaning, and encouraging self-care and empowerment through wild blooms and floral abundance, Liz believes in the healing that comes from our own gardens, the local land and our kitchens.

Read more about Liz’s philosophy, as well as about her potions, elixirs, and essences over at Haute Macabre. Plant Magic Made With Love & Ceremony: Sister Spinster

Also! Haute Macabre is up for best alt-culture blog of 2016, over  at Auxiliary Mag If you enjoy reading Haute Macabre’s dark/goth offerings as well, won’t you consider giving us a vote?

 

Friday Fripperies {Wishlist edition}

fripes

1. Haunted Castles: The Complete Gothic Stories $9.88 // BirdOvPrey tee shirt $33 // Sophie Reaptress velvet brocade leggings $70 // SOTMB Fjall Hoodie $150 // Adele Mildred Peggy sunglasses $220 // Catbird X Goest Smoke & Violets perfume $34 // Theeth Skull and mushroom necklace $250 // Julia deVille claw and 3 stones ring $570

Wishlist edition? “Well, isn’t that what Friday Fripperies is,” one might be inclined to inquire, “…just a never-ending wishlist?”

Well, yes, and no. Normally by the time I share my list of frips, I’ve already acquired at least one or two things that I’ve mentioned. It’s more a to-do list, really, for me to keep track of and check things off once obtained.

However, since I am currently on a No-Buy (OMG are you as tired of hearing that by now as I am of saying it?) everything is off limits, and none of these things will be showing up on my doorstep any time soon.

What’s on your wishlist right now?  I need to shop vicariously through you! Tell me all about it in the comments!

Scents of the week {1}

An informal reporting on the scents I’ve been wearing lately, in a concerted effort to appreciate and use what I already have, as opposed to continually adding another fragrance to the collection (and another, and another). Previous to now, this collection has grown, unchecked, and has reached a point where I will never wear all of it, even if I had ten lifetimes to scent.

For week one, we have Tokyo Milk’s Arsenic, Mississippi Medicine by DS & Durga, and Chanel Sycomore from the Les Exclusifs collection.

Arsenic

As strange as it sounds, I think Arsenic smells like fresh marjoram, which, in turn, reminds me very much of Christmases when I was a little girl. I think that’s because when I first smelled fresh marjoram (which to my nose smells a little sweet, slightly piney, maybe a touch of citrus, and vaguely musty?) I realized it smelled exactly like the worn, cardboard box of Avon Christmas ornaments, gewgaws, and tchotchkes that we’d haul down from the attic, dust off, and disperse throughout our home every year for the holidays.

Medicine

Mississippi Medicine opens with an astringent, peppery cypress, and gives way to a pine-crackling, smoky fire, sweet birch, muddy grass and scorched leaves… and dries down to a sweetly herbaceous, woody, resinous scent that would smell devastating on either a man or a woman (I mention this because it is marketed toward men.) All told, this is the scent of waking with strange incense in your hair and the vague dream of descending into the dark, dancing and divining with ancestors, and having been part of rituals older than you can imagine. A scent of potent magics – both sacrificial and healing

Sycomore

Chanel Sycomore. Foliage and tall trees and rich, gritty dirt; soft smoke and damp greenery, and all the best smells of a forest ramble–but the hiker is garbed in expensive elegance, Prada boots, an Hermès scarf, Burberry coat, that sort of thing. This scent of a woodland spirit turned posh socialite; a dryad who quit the forest, now living on the Upper East Side.

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