Friday, 29 June 2012

The Zombiefication of a Rusty Hoe.

Living with chronic illness has many downsides. Lets face it dealing with the day-in and day-out of doctors, drugs and symptoms is not what dreams are made of. But it also has another side. For me being chronically ill has in a sense made me feel freer. Sounds bizarre I know, but it's true. My life is not what it once was. In fact it's been turned upside down, inside out and I'm still not quite sure where, or if, it has landed. But what that means is, all bets are off.

My body is on the decline. Something that has become far more apparent over the last year. As I mentioned in this post, that realisation gives a certain level of release. Instead of thinking of all the reasons not to do something, I give myself permission to say "Go for it". In many cases it's small things like sitting on my couch wearing my Dorothy shoes because they make me happy. Or wearing my bright purple compression stockings with shorts and sparkly silver flats to the doctors. Or even wearing a pink feather boa in my profile picture. Because at this point in the game, doing things that make me happy is far more important than worrying about what others will think. 

This past month I took this to a new level and had the time of my life. Most who read this blog or follow on Facebook know of my love of zombies. It's nothing new. I've loved horror movies since I was kid and experienced my first Sam Raimi movie, in the form of The Evil Dead (1981). But of all the genres, zombie flicks have always had a special place in my heart. If you haven't seen George A. Ramero's Dawn of the Dead (1978), well you just haven't experienced a decent zombie movie. Mind you I am also partial to a really bad zombie movie like Dance of the Dead (2008) which comes complete with a zombie prom attack and zombie make out session, oh yeah. And on a more recent level, Zombieland (2009), never fails to crack me up and is my fall back movie when I need a good laugh.

These days, Dysautonomia means I have a lot in common with zombies. I often slur and groan. I am known to stumble and lurch when I walk. My skin varies between grey, deathly pale, slightly green and the ever present purple blotchiness. Add in that my cognitive skins are often on par with those of a used piece of chewing gum and well, I may just be one of the walking dead. Luckily, in May, I was able to embrace my zombie self and have some of the best fun I've had in a really long time.

A while back the Universe shined a little zombie shaped light on me, and I won a photo shoot with the lovely and talented Georgia Laughton from Logicbunny Photography.

I don't even know where to begin in telling you how much fun I had. So much in fact, that I couldn't keep the grin off my face and as Georgia pointed out, I was the world's happiest zombie. I even got to share it with my bestie Kerri, who not only drove me, provided moral support and laughed with me, but was totally unphased that we drove home with me in full make up so I could freak out the kids. That, dear readers, is a good friend.

I wish everyone could do it. It was a little out there (not often you walk into a house and see bloody hand prints and BRAINS scrawled in fake blood on a wall), a little weird, a little bit theatrical, a bucket load of fun and just the escapism I needed. I don't even care that I spent the next week recovering in bed. From the initial pre-photo questionnaire (who else ever thinks to ask who your favourite super hero is?) to the fact that Georgia had taken into account that I might need to lie down, or need breaks, or water. To giggling whilst the talented makeup artist, Jade, splattered me with fake blood. Or just being made to feel comfortable in my weirdness. I simply had a ball. And as someone who normally hates to have their picture taken, I'll have to say it's a real tribute to Georgia that I was so busy having fun that I forgot to be self-conscious and just went with it (ANTM watch out!). If you are ever in Melbourne, Australia, I can't recommend the whole experience highly enough. 

The make up stage took about an hour. Jade went to town with the blood and pasty white skin, with  amazing attention to detail. It looked fantastic. And the question you all want answered, the taste of fake blood?, somewhere between  rancid aniseed and arse. Mmmm yummy.

(Who knew I could be even more pale?)

Now for a couple of the fabulous pictures. If you'd like to see more of Georgia's work check out her site Logicbunny Photography. Check out the picture of the tutu and roller-skating zombie doing the splits. I believe that may be my favourite of all her pictures.
 (Eating all those brains makes for a sleepy zombie. And yes those are my Dorothy shoes you spy there.)
 (Mmmm yummy severed hand, what more could a hungry zombie ask for?)
 (Oh yeah sexy zombie pin up. Luckily you can't see the shaky legs or see me swaying side to side.)
(Mmmm brains)
(Giggling, happy Zombie)
(The lovely Jade left, Georgia right, and myself)

It was a long day, but I treasured every minute of it. I rarely get out of the house these days simply because of the time it takes for me to recover. Not to mention the joy that if the trip is more than about 20mins, I end up having to stop and explode at one, or both ends, in a public loo or nearly pass out (it's a sexy life). So when I do go out I want it to be worth it, and this really was. It's hard to explain to someone who's not ill, but to be someone else for an afternoon and just not be the sick person, well that's precious. The whole afternoon was the antithesis of my normal life and I am grateful for the opportunity. Big thanks to Georgia and Jade, for being lovely and fun, and creating a brilliant experience.

I know doing a zombie photo shoot is not everyone's cup of tea (my parents and siblings are questioning if I was swapped at birth, Mr Grumpy and the boys are more used to me), but I hope it inspires others to step outside of their comfort zones and find their own version of a zombie photo shoot. So many of us have a secret something that we've always wished we could do, or perhaps more importantly something that only our worries of judgement are preventing us from doing. Well, you know what? You can do it. The only person stopping you, is you. So dye your hair purple, dance in the store because your favourite song came on, try an oyster, take that painting class, go to Comic Con, or plaster large photos of yourself dressed as a zombie on your loungeroom walls, whatever it is, just do it. Because you never know just how much fun (or movie blood) is waiting for you.

The Zombiefied Michelle :)

*For those new to the blog the origins of Rusty Hoe are as follows:

"I was named Rusty Hoe by my delightful family.  One night around the dinner table, we were discussing how I had devolved from the brains of the family to not the sharpest tool in the shed.  Mr Grumpy, decided that not only was I not the sharpest tool in the shed, but I was the rusty hoe left out the back of the shed.  Whilst it took Mr Grumpy a while to catch on to what he had said, the monkey boys burst into fits of laughter at their father's faux pas.  What will be the salient moment my children will recall from their youth?  That their father called heir mother a 'hoe' at the dinner table".

The musical accompaniment is easy for this post, the only toss up was whether to go with something by Rob Zombie or The Cranberries, Zombie (1994). The Cranberries win on sentimental grounds as I used to listen to this when I was pregnant with the L-plater all those years ago.

20 comments:

  1. You look like you were having a blast... a great time. My daughter got married a few years ago, and had a Hallowe'en Costume Wedding down in New Orleans, where she lives.

    You look marvelous!!!

    ~shoes~

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    1. Thanks Red Shoes :) Oh wow, your daughter's wedding sounds amazing. I'd love to see a photo. New Orlean's does seem the perfect setting for a Halloween and Costume wedding.

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    2. Hey you... I will find some and send them...I think you would enjoy them.

      I will look for an email address and forward them to you.

      ~shoes~

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    3. That'd be brilliant Red. Can't wait to see them. :)

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  2. Holy rotting brains I love you so.

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    1. Hehehe how'd I know you'd like it Elly? ;)

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  3. Thanks for this,
    I wrote a post on my own blog today and wasn't sure i would have the nerve to post it because it was kind of lame and cheesey (a reflection of my sleep deprived state) but with your words ringing in my ears about only living once, and in finding freedom to do those things you always wished you could do. So, for a moment today I stopped being rational and "poor me" about my life and laughed at myself, and shared that for everyone to see.
    Because I'm not scared anymore of being judged or whatever. I only live once, and I want to live that life for me.
    Thank you so much for this, and you looked great
    Off to find my own adventures!

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    1. Alisha, your comment is what makes this whole blogging thing worth it. So glad you pressed publish on your post and have decided to find your own adventure :)

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  4. I LOVE THIS! I am right there with you on all your film choices - Romero started as a genius, I have to say I have been very disappointed with his newer zombie flicks but I'm still determined to watch them all. I didn't think anyone else knew about Dance of the Dead! It has such a sentimental place in my heart.

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    1. YAY C.M. a fellow Romero fan. Like you I try to overlook his newer work because Dawn of the Dead was pure brilliance at the time. I think there is something about a lot of the earlier films, not just Romero's, that is missing now. Maybe a certain rawness? Or they were made more for the love of the genre rather than the money/Box Office focus that is so prevalent now?

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  5. Looks like you had a lot of fun! Glad you had this opportunity and thanks for sharing the experience!

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    1. Thanks Sierra. I think we all need to incorporate more fun in our lives, not necessarily zombie photo shoots,but whatever makes us each smile.

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  6. Xox from the tutu-wearing, rollerskating zombie ;)

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    1. Thanks for dropping by Om. I thought it might have been you, but wasn't sure. Your photo has been my favourite for ages. It's just brilliant. :)

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    2. lol ty! How BRILLIANT is Georgia? Much love for that girl, she's a seriously good egg :) My favourite pic of you is the one on the floor eating the hand... and the dorothy shoes is a close second. PS I'm that lovely shade of alabaster as well... but we'll have the last laugh when the rest of the world is dying of melanoma ;)

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    3. She is brilliant and to be honest that's a big part of what made the whole day so much fun. It was so hard to pick which pictures to get in the end because I loved so many of them. And, hell yeah, pale is the way to go!

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  7. Argh. I think the zombie-text box ate my comment. In case it really did: xox from the tutu-wearing, roller-skating zombie ;)

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  8. You are looking very dangerous in zombie dress.It is a better idea for making a lots of fun.

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All who are lovely enough to comment should be showered with cup cakes, glitter and macarons. I promise to use my spoon bending mind powers to try and get that happening for all who are lovely enough to share their words. Those who go the extra step to share posts should really get a free unicorn. Or at least the gift of finding the shortest and quickest line at the supermarket on a regular basis. xx