Friday, 1 May 2015

So where have I been? Bones, spiders

For the last [however long it was before my previous post], I have been battling my way through hell.

Pretty goth, huh?

Alright, seriously. I've been working full-time and studying part-time and between my ridiculously busy job(s) and this evil Masters course, I have had little time to do anything else other than sleep, eat and travel to work/class. I suppose it's lucky in a way that my 'other half' is in Shanghai on exchange at the moment (his ability to speak Mandarin is getting so good! I'm proud :3 and jealous -_- )

As I sit at this desk where I'm supposed to be doing a 6000 word essay on the gaps in law and policy regarding the impacts of climate change on women and Gender and Sexual Minorities, I'm looking around for a daddy long-legs spider that has been keeping me company. First it was under the desk, but I saw it the other day munching on a slater on the wall by the window...

So what's to update? Well, a month or so back, we unfortunately found the remains of a Tawny Frogmouth on the grounds at work.

Oh noes! Source.
At work. we have a specially built aviary for rehabilitating frogmouths. Every now and then, some get released back into the wild. Our first thought when we saw the corpse was that it was one of ours. All our frogmouths have so far been tagged by pedicure - different coloured nail polish was applied to their toe nails. However, we were unable to tell because its feet were missing.

That's set off a whole other chain of events at work that I won't get into, but I decided to take the body home and macerate it for the bones. I have been interested in 'vulture culture' (scavenging of natural things including wood and dead animals) so I took the opportunity.

At this point, I have almost finished cleaning the bones. There is not much left - birds have very light and slender bones, and the ribs of the frogmouth are particularly fine, so I discarded them. I am now left with a skull (the beak and lower jaw detached), lots of vertebrae (spinal bones), the sternum (chest bone), 2x humeri, radii and ulnae, and the scapulae (shoulder blades).

Yup, that's all that's left.

I have also been looking into minimalism, the KonMari method and other similar movements (e.g. Project Pan, the Uniform Project, capsule wardrobes, etc.) Some of you will know I am a firm environmentalist (hell, I studied climate science as an undergrad and I work in bush regeneration), but I am also a social justice warrior (Yes, I am. Come at me bro.) To me, consumption is strongly linked with environmental degradation and human rights abuses, and also with personal dissatisfaction. I'm not so bothered about people who have massive wardrobes or tonnes of jewellery and love it (I still like watching haul videos and closet tours :3), but in my personal life, I am much happier with less. I have donated so many things this year to charity shops and women's shelters, cutting down on things I don't use and things I don't want to use, such as body products that are not based on natural ingredients (I am proud to say that my bathroom is looking almost chemical-free now!).

I feel mentally much lighter and willing to try new things. It made me feel much happier to just keep things that I really like and that I use. This also included books I don't read anymore and DVDs don't watch. Time to hit the ebooks!

In all, I'm busy as all hell but I'm finding my research and my work very interesting, and I am feeling great (aside from this cold...). Hopefully when this semester is over, I will have more time to blog, but for now, I must love you and leave you all. 

Monday, 27 April 2015

50 Gothy Blog Prompts † Part 3

7.If you're feeling creative, write some haikus (5-7-5 optional) about Goth things and share them. Bonus points for funny ones.

Technically haiku is not 5-7-5 syllables, it's either 5 mora モーラ or haku  in the first phrase and 12 in the second, or 12 in the first and 5 in the second.

It just happens that to translate the spirit of how a haiku is read, haiku are often placed in this 5-7-5 structure in translation... and then it somehow became a rule for English-language haiku.

Also I'm all creatived out right now -_-

8. Post some pictures of you (or your room, or your hobbies, etc.) at your least-Gothy. 

Oh alright, have a picture of my feet that I found on my phone.

9.Make a list of some things that, while they aren't Goth, you associate with the Goth subculture.
Evanescence? *is shot*
Let's see... tea and archaic martial arts, because the gothy friends I have IRL are into both of those things. And so am I :)

10.Write a review of a particularly good book you've read recently, album you've bought, or movie you've seen. Or tear apart a bad one. 
I've honestly been obsessing over Steven Universe recently. Although it's nothing gothic, it is an amazing little show. I mean, seriously, the main character is a fat kid and nobody discriminates against him because of it. He's being raised by a really cool dad (women are people too!) and three 'mums', one of whom is actually two fused aliens in a lesbian relationship. And his mum is represented as so very pretty, even though she was enormous (body image!)

I think this is a great, well balanced series (by a woman, no less) that deals beautifully with interesting issues without being incredibly weird (I'm looking at you, Utena). Also, young Greg Universe's hair is the best.

11. Take fashion inspiration from something you love (it can be as big as a historical period or small as a photograph you found on deviantArt.) Post about it. Include pictures and links.
So recently I was watching Deerstalker Pictures' coverage of the first Ouji (prince-style lolita, I'll make an Encyclopaedia post about it one day, I promise!) Convention in the US and the camera passes over a particular lolita girl at 2:47. She instantly made me want horns like hers. Dammit.

On the right with the blonde hair. She just looks so pretty -_-

12. Talk about a political issue, make a case for why Goths should care.
Oooo close toss up between the environment and LGBT+ rights. I'm kinda biased though because I'm invested in both, so...

Well, the first is because we all live on this damn planet and sooner or later all the crap we keep doing will come and bite us in the arse.

The second because LGBT+ people are marginalised and face horrible things (and so have many goths. And some goths are LGBT+) so they need some support.

13. What are some of the things you consider essential for Goths to own?
Black eyeliner. Fishnet something. Something cat related. Boots.

14.Post some recent reader mail or comments that have made you smile, and say thank you.
Most of the comments are discussion on points I've raised in my posts rather than praise. And I'm happy to keep it that way.

15. List some blog topics you'd like other bloggers to post about. What issues do you want their opinions on?
Hmmmmm. I'd be really interested to hear more about minimalist or vegetarian/vegan/climatarian lifestyles whilst being alternative. I also love DIY stuff, so bring it on!

16. Talk about what kind of Goth-related Business you'd own if you could. Fashion, music, wedding planning? What would you do?

Uh... well I've never thought of it, to be honest. Probably own a music/merch store or something. Like Landspeed Records

17. Post a haul of things you've bought lately, or if you've made a haul lately show the items in action. 
No more hauling, kittens! I'm happy with what I have and I barely go shopping :3

18. Write a bunch of funny responses to common Goth cat-calls. 
I think Adult Wednesday Addams did a great job of this already. But here goes -
(Note that I have never had a specifically 'gothic' cat call)

Fuckboy (it's almost always a male, right?): "You're hot for a dead girl"
Goth: "You're noisy for a dead boy" *pulls out knife* (I do actually have a knife. It's for work. Honestly)

Fuckboy: "Hey, Lydia/Wednesday/Morticia"
Goth: *stares back in a creepily aggressive way*

Okay I can't think of any others. Like I said, I don't get 'gothic' cat calls. It's usually just stuff like 'Hey beautiful' or 'Wow, you're so sexy' and things like that, which I just ignore and they shut up. Luckily I have one of those DON'T TOUCH ME OR I WILL SHANK YOU auras so I've never been in any really bad situations.

19. Confess: What trends in Goth do you not like?
Anything that appropriates the culture or religion of people who are discriminated against. Some goths are really into bindis and bindi-like makeup, for example, which really makes me uncomfortable. These cultures are happy to share certain things (such as henna tattooing and hair dying, for example), but don't randomly use their spiritual symbols as a fashion statement if you don't understand them.

20. List several silly Goth-related pet names, bonus if they're the actual names of your pets. 
Well, I have three pets and non of them have particularly gothy names. My cat, Jordan, was named by his breeder. My two quails are Gwaihir (the eagle-lord from LOTR) and Isabeau (the female protagonist from LadyHawke).

I guess if I gave my pets gothy names, they'd be named after gods and goddesses. Things like Bast, Keket, Hekate, Dis, Loki, etc.

For silly ones: Spooky Muffin, Lord Pussums, the Unspeakable One

21. Write an open letter to someone, or groups of someones. It can be funny or serious, sweet or scathing.

22.What traits in other Goths do you admire?
Their fashion sense. Also how badass they come across as.

23. Do you remember the first Goth song or band that you listened to? Did you like it?
The first Goth song I listened to was, stereotypically, Bahaus' "Bela Legosi's Dead". And I didn't like it. I still don't like it. I was horrified that I didn't like it. How could I be a goth?

Then I met my boyfriend and he introduced me to Nick Cave and it was all okay :)

24. Post items of historical clothing or jewelry that you wish you owned.
Um. I can't think of anything?

25. Describe a Goth-related website or blog that you wish existed. What is it, what features would it have. Is there anything out there that is close, and if so why isn't it right?
How to be an environmental goth. Okay, I should totally make this a thing. If I had the time, ugh.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Encyclopaedia of Alternative Fashion † Hippie Goth

What's this? An actual post? An Encyclopaedia entry too?

Yes, in honour of Earth Day (which was yesterday...) I present Hippie Goth.

(Also, did anyone do the Google Earth Day quiz? I'm a pangolin, apparently)


The full Encyclopaedia of Alternative Fashion can be found here.

Also known as
Gothic hippie, hippy goth

Defining colours
Black + natural colours (e.g. green, brown, grey)


Hippie goth is a mix of the modern-day hippie (not the 60s hippie with flares) and gothic styles. Hippie goths are big environmentalists, often vegetarian or vegan, and many follow a low-consumption lifestyle. Often they are also Pagan or Wiccan, or follow another nature based religion, or are into green witchcraft. Many have an interest in astrology, tarot reading and other forms of fortune telling.
Style of dress tends towards long and flowing apparel with natural elements thrown in, such as jewellery made from cord, bone, feathers or wood. Tie-dye in jewel tones is also seen. Long hair is popular with all genders, especially in dreadlocks, as are piercings. Hair tends towards natural colours.

Celtic motifs and those associated with the new age movement - pentacles, crystals and Celtic knots - are often featured in their clothing. 

Further reading and resources

Saturday, 10 January 2015

50 Gothy Blog Prompts † Part 2

And, finally, here's part 2! Part 1 can be found here. Part 3 still to come.

1. Do a "Lately" post of what you've been posting on other websites, like Pinterest, Goodreads, Twitter, or Tumblr.
My Twitter tends to be reserved purely for my activist/social justice/raging greenie stuff. Tumblr consists of pretty pictures, cats and Welcome to Nightvale fanart (there's a link under the picture of the white cat at the top of the blog).

2.Dedicate an entire post to your favorite Goth song. Post a link to it, transcribe the lyrics, or talk about why you like it so much.

3. Share plans for Halloween or another holiday. 
I've started preparing for next year's Halloween. It falls on a Saturday night, so there is little excuse for anyone not to attend if I invite them ^;...;^

There will definitely be campy horror movies. Vampire cocktails. Possibly a jack-o-lantern. I'll have everyone dressed up, even if it's just all in black and we'll play Uno with the Monster High set I have. Or maybe I will have a Goth card game by then.

4. Take a stance: what makes someone a Goth? 
Hm. Well, the way they dress is a big one for me. It's not the be all and end all, but it makes them easier to spot. There also has to be some kind of morbid interest, I think. The music is not really that much of an issue for me, although if their playlist consists entirely of Miley Cyrus or something, then I'm unlikely to consider them a goth, no matter how black their lipstick.

5.Write about an article of clothing you've been wearing a lot lately. Post pictures.
Ugh taking pictures

I'll just ramble instead. I have been wearing... my boots, my lovely $20 fake Docs from Target, a lot. They're shiny and great and I have so many people say 'wow, Docs? They look really good!'

The only problem is they are slightly too large, and the size below was slightly too small, so I compensate with chunky insoles.

6. Review an old DIY you did. Is it still holding out? What, if anything, would you change if you were to do it again?

Well, I made a skirt out of ties, and I still have it. It looks great... except for the fact that it's rainbow coloured.

I think I was on some 60s hippy kick at the time because I wanted RAINBOWS! SPARKLES!, which I now have. The skirt is made of about 12? ties each one a different colour.

If I did that again, I would make the skirt out of black ties.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Bat Fit Goals for 2015

Alright, let's make it short and sweet :)

1. I would like to have a nice 'beach' body, although I never go to the beach...

2. Be able to run/jog 5km.

3. Keep my weight around 55kg.

Done. Now to stick to it...

Thursday, 1 January 2015

2014 Round up and 2015 Plans

Hey kittens! It's been a while since I posted so please take my apologies. Things were very busy for a while and I've been recovering. Although I think my recovery has gone on long enough, so time to blog again!

I'm going to start with a little review of the blog this year. 2014 was an interesting year. I finally got into my stride as a blogger (after what, 9 years?) with the Encyclopaedia of Alternative Fashion.

My most viewed post this year was, interestingly, my Encyclopaedia entry on Human Dolls. My favourite post to write, however, was this one on Qi Lolita.

So pretty...

This year, I also decided to merge the two blogs I had. The first, Writings for the World, had been around for YEARS and not very well maintained. It contain media releases from organisations I've worked for, articles I've written and all manner of environment/human rights/social justice/etc. stuff.

The second, Where Foxes Say Goodnight, was much younger but better maintained. I finally decided to merge the two to try and keep everything in one space, reducing my workload. However, it may have led to some confusion: I changed my blogging name from Libby Fox to my real name 'Fran' plus 'Cat' to match with the 'new' blog title, NekoRoji. I say 'new' because NekoRoji was the original name of my first blog.

In my personal life, I've begun working towards a more minimalist approach to life. For a long time I really loved the cluttered 'I live in a shop' look which is so commonly aspired to. I love watching people's room tour videos and things on youtube, but it occurred to me that I don't have much space, and also a lot of things which I really didn't need. Combine that with my intention to move out of home next year, I wanted to off-load a lot of my belongings.

I like this room tour, for example.

I did that with some help from friends who wanted some of my stuff, plus I sold some items and donated tonnes (I still have some more things to haul over to the second-hand store). Watching PinkSoFoxy and Love Raw Vegan also helped a lot. They were very inspiring and I feel a lot lighter now, although I still have some way to go.

My soundtrack this year has been lots of Nick Cave, a bit of Andrew Huang and Triple J radio every morning to work.

So what does 2015 have in store? Well, I am definitely keen on getting back into writing about alternative subcultures. I have a few lined up already which need a little tweaking before they're ready to see the world.

I also want to (again, I'm so very sorry) modify this blog. I can never be fully satisfied with it for some reason, and I don't like how it looks right now. Argh. (Edit: Of course, as soon as I finished this post, I fiddled about with the look of the blog again. I'm actually really happy now :D Let's see how long this lasts).

Personally, I would like to get fitter and more satisfied with my life. Whilst I am quite comfortable with how I am now (I like my weight, I have a job, a wonderful partner and good results in my Masters degree, to name a few things), I follow Bruce Lee's advice:


So I'm taking up aikido this month (something I've wanted to do for a while). I may join in with The Professor's Bat Fit 2015, and I'll probably do another post on my specific goals later.

I'm also buckling down to learn a new skill every three months. For this three months, it's riding a skateboard  ^_^;
It's so pretty, right?

After the three month is over, no matter how good or bad I am at that thing I was learning, I'll move on to the next thing. I figure if I like something, I'll keep going with it, but I won't jeopardise my next skill.

I'll also keep going with divesting myself of belongings. I'm going to use up things that can be used up that I don't need to replace (like all those moisturisers that people keep giving me =_=). If I do get anything, I want to try and get environmentally friendly, ethical, non-animal cruelty stuff.

Finally, thank you to my lovely followers (I think I have about 40 - it's hard to tell with the overlap between Friend Connect and Google+) especially for putting up with all the changes I've made to this blog >_<;

So that's a quick look at last year and the new year. What does everyone else have planned? Anyone else looking to join Bat Fit?
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