December 31, 2010

oh my, what a year

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I'm not particularly one to make end of year reflections and New Year resolutions, but as 2010 comes to a close, I cannot help but be thankful for the year I have had. It has been my final year at high school, I started (and continued) a blog, have developed much closer friendships, had a lot of fun and discovered more about myself and what I want for the future. My life has never been bad, but after this year it has been a whole lot better. When I declared "Happy New Year!" 365 days ago, I never expected to this appreciative of how those days have gone. There has been no major experience or epiphany that has made this year great - it has simply been all the little things.

I've had reasonably solid relationships throughout the past couples of years, but they were never what I fully wanted, I suppose. Now however, they are more than I ever wished for, (as corny as that sounds). I am so much closer with my friends from school and have gained and grown many other friendships. I have a bunch of girls that I absolutely LOVE to death and would do anything for. I am so thankful for all these girls and especially a couple who make life so much more fun and easier through their friendship. It still astounds me how tight I am with them.

I have never been a fan of the term 'best friends' but now I actually understand it. My oldest friend and I have always been close, but this year our friendship has started to mean a lot more to both of us. We go to school (we are a grade apart), work and church together and pretty much see each other seven days a week. Surprisingly, we don't get sick of each other. The reason I appreciate this friendship so much is the realness of it. We know each other inside and out and if we don’t see each other for a couple of days we NEED to talk to each other. I know I can tell her and trust her with anything. And also, we have a lot of fun together. She gets home from an interstate holiday today and even I'm surprised how much I've missed her.

One of the many things that I have loved about this year has been my developing interests in the writing area. In March, I started this blog and am proud to say I have kept it going and loved every minute of it! The future plans for word taxi are just to keep doing what I do and hope that more people will come to enjoy and appreciate it. In Creative Writing at school I learnt to always keep writing even if I had a brick wall blocking my inspiration, which I did for a good half of the year. I was awarded the Creative Writing subject award along with two other great writers who deserved it far more than me.

At school, I was a part of the yearbook committee which involved months of planning, writing, editing, designing, re-designing and more editing. It was challenging and at times frustrating but I couldn't have asked for a better experience to leave high school on. During the process I made some great friends and learnt more about myself and how I respond to situations. (Let's just say I'm as bossy as ever!) Looking back, I really quite miss the times in the Mac room. These experiences have shown me that my interest in print journalism as a career is a very plausible and achievable future, if I work hard towards it. This is very exciting and I know how fortunate I am to know what I want to do after college already.

Two weeks ago, after four years of tests, friendships, excursions, boredom, fights, laughter, homework and fun, I finished high school. It's crazy thinking back to Grade 7 and how far we have all come since we were much shorter and twelve years old. I enjoyed high school. Yes, at times it may have sucked, but the good has always cancelled out the bad. This year was definitely the best year of high school and that is for so many reasons, but mainly because of my friends and the confidence they have given me. I have always been quite sure of myself, but this year I have felt truly confident in myself because I have felt liked and accepted and appreciated by people at school.

There are just over twelve hours left of 2010, which does sadden me a bit. It has been an absolutely awesome year, my favourite one yet. But I know that next year will be just as good and I am very excited for college and the new opportunities it will bring. I don't have a New Year’s resolution, but if I had to pick one, it would be to enjoy next year as much as I did this, to be thankful for what I have and to always, always love the people around me.

December 21, 2010

hello again frankie

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After almost two years I still purchase a copy of frankie magazine every two months, and each issue still manages to affect me in a different way. Today, I finally clasped my hands on the December/January edition that came out last week, and spent the last couple of hours lazing on the couch, flicking through the matte pages while watching teen girl movies, laughing with my family and eating packet fried rice. Frankie always leaves me with a mixture of feelings. Inspired, by the creativity on every page, motivated, to go and write down absolutely everything that’s in my head and frustrated at the lack of morals some of the writer’s seem to have.

Frankie is a magazine that has such diverse content but always keeps the same creative, nostalgic and independent feel. In the past I have casually glanced over the pages and not liked what I have seen. Obviously, the lovely people at frankie are not aiming to make me 100% happy with each issue, but there are always a few pieces I place in the weird/boring category. Numerous portraits of bearded men (facial hair, ew), Australiana inspired fashion (do I want to look like a wattle bush?) and photographs from 'our favourite photographers' that are a little too blurry to be deserving of more hierarchy than the title “happy snap”, were a couple from this issue that didn't take my fancy.

But despite a couple of negatives, this issue of frankie has done quite well, causing me to dote on (almost) every page. Anna Krien's 24 hours of brutal honesty had me laughing out loud and the moving tale of a young woman living with cancer was both poignant and inspiring at the same time. I especially like the stories of various arty types living in Berlin, as I wish to go there one day. There was an article about how being nice has been scientifically proved to improve your general likeableness. A mouth watering ice cream road test, decorated retro cameras, drawings of ducky pensioners, interesting facts about Iceland and felt typewriters gave me nice content feelings inside and made me long for cute vintage shopping and nice summers days. Odes to living in suburbia and a bit of good ol' girlfriendship made me feel happy and thankful for what I have.

All in all, this issue of frankie was rather impressive. As the welcome page hoped I would, I found my place among the pages and rather enjoyed myself.

December 20, 2010

mess

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It doesn't matter how neat and organised I can force my bedroom to be, it always manages to make itself messy again. Well, it obviously doesn't do it itself, that's just me being lazy and making my seemingly innocent bedroom take the blame. I'm not at all a neat freak, but I do have slight obsessive compulsive tendencies. Eventually, the dirty (sometimes clean) clothes and screwed up paper and ten million bobby pins and used crockery that litter every surface in my bedroom start to get to me. When it gets like this, I begin to avoid it at all costs. Until, I manage to tackle the first mound of mess and end up with a surprisingly larger bedroom. I usually have to tidy up my room quite regularly, for fear of being buried alive takes over.

I hit the point when the mess really annoys me more than a week ago, and I have refused to even begin to clean it. Now I've just gotten used to it. The main thing that annoys me about a messy bedroom is that I can never find anything. Like the other day when I needed my watch for work and spent fifteen minutes searching through the crapola while subsequently throwing a hissy fit. In one last kick of rage I swung aside some clothes and found my watch serenely laying there. Also, a messy bedroom always ensures that I have no clothes to wear. Because they're all dirty and on my floor. And when I just really need some pawpaw, and it's nowhere to be seen. The truth is, I know that I need to clean it, but I am too good at finding excuses. Like right now, I'm basically just writing about not wanting to clean my room so I can put off cleaning it for another hour or so.

I've never really understood why messy bedrooms annoy parents so much. I'm sure as Mum reads this she'll ask me "If it annoys you, why do you let it get that messy?" Really, it's just typical teenage laziness. Would I rather do one big clean up every ten days or so, or clean my room EVERY SINGLE DAY? I'll take the first option. The problem is, I don't like to do things in halves. So when I can be bothered to clean my room, I spend hours neatening drawers and vacuuming dusty carpet and finding cool stuff I thought I threw out four years ago. I had a whole bunch of friends over the other day and one exclaimed to me, "Lauren! I've never seen your room this messy!" That's because I always clean it before they come over. Basically cos I feel I have to. I don’t like cleaning my room at all, but I get over it. I like my room too much anyway.

Well - I've got a friend coming over tomorrow - better go clean my room!

November 30, 2010

places i shall go

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There is a whole world out there. I love that there are different places and cultures and people and history and languages and food just waiting to be experienced. I am going to see it all one day and I cannot wait. Living in Tasmania often feels like I’m shoved down in the corner away from the rest of the world. But really, it’s not that bad. One of the three major things I want to do with my life is travel. I know that whenever I get the chance I’m going to go to overseas destinations and see it all for myself. Even if the chance does not arise on its own, I will make it happen.

An internet travel test has informed me that I have travelled to 3% of the world. For me, this is a rather depressing statistic, until I mentally slap myself and remember to be grateful that I have seen 3%. That’s more than a lot of sixteen year olds I know. Some people are happy living their lives in the same suburb they were born in. I have nothing against that. However, I don’t think I could ever be as complacent. I am a constant desirer of change and under that banner comes location. I want to see more than the one country, the one state, the one town. I want to see the world.

I have a map of the world on my wall in my bedroom, and I often find myself just staring at it, imagining all the places I will visit one day. I’ve been tempted to place red pins on the places where I want to go but that would cause the outlines of land and sea to be invisible beneath the field of red. If you asked me where in the world I most want to go, I would reply by saying “Everywhere!” For me, it is SO hard to choose, as I really just want to see it all. France, San Francisco, Brazil, India, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Mexico and Africa are just a few.

Lately, after thinking more in depth about it, I have chosen three cities that I want to visit the most. This was quite difficult and I will probably change my mind by next week, but here they are! My first stop would be London. I have always wanted to travel to England and I reckon I always will. My parents got married and lived in London for about a year during the 1980’s and many of my cousins have also lived there. Hearing their stories have made me excitedly await the day when I will travel to the beautiful city which is full of interesting places and very cute accents. I can imagine myself living there (and marrying Charlie McDonnell) and loving every minute of it.

Next, I will go to Berlin. Last night as I was peculiarly enjoying my Society and History revision (yes, laugh at the nerd!) which was on the fall of the Berlin Wall. Just thinking about all that had taken place in the city, from a Hitler ruled holocaust to a communist governed East, made me appreciate how the city had suffered but managed to triumph. I want to see the last remnants of the Berlin Wall and lose myself in the deep history that the city of Berlin has overcome.

Lastly, I am going to New York. Quite the typical tourist destination, but I can’t wait to visit. I will listen to cute jazz bands in Greenwich Village and have a picnic in Central Park. I will eat hotdogs and madly race after yellow taxis while pushing my way through the crowds. I will visit Ground Zero and remember the lives that were lost. I will scope out famous New York publications and maybe even attempt to write for one. But most of all I will make New York my city.

I really cannot wait to travel. Maybe I should start saving now! My dream job is to write for a newspaper that requires me to travel to various overseas places to report on people, life, culture and history. Most of all, my dream is to see the world. I hope that dream comes true.

November 18, 2010

deathly hallows baby!


This morning when I woke up I was very disappointed. I had seen Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 and it was absolutely crap. But then I woke up! And I was excited again! I have been not so patiently waiting for today for quite a while now, so come this morning it was easier to get out of bed than usual. Me and my best friend Sarah had planned to go together, so we purchased our tickets online last week for the (then) earliest session at our cinema, to make sure we didn't miss out. Both of us being huge lovers of the Harry Potter series we decided that we should take a step further than our normal viewing attire and buy costumes.

A trip to town yesterday saw us purchase some cheap plastic Harry-like glasses and scour toy stores for voice activated wands until we found what we really wanted. Junior Harry Potter costumes from Target, complete with a Gryffindor scarf, hat and robes, a pair of surprisingly realistic glasses and the best of all - a 'real' wand. After Sarah shouted "WHERE?!" at the shop assistant who told us about the costumes and I got over my hysterical laughing fit that had me on the floor, we forked over the $40 each which cleared both our bank accounts. The guy who served us didn't even give us a bag, so we had to brace the walk of shame down the escalator and through a busy aisle carrying Harry Potter costumes designed for five year olds. We ran into one of our school teachers and we blankly mumbled "Harry Potter" as I avoided eye contact because my tears had almost reached my chin.

We lost our courage when we arrived at the cinemas today, so we hastily shoved our robes in our bags and distracted ourselves by spending six bucks on Chico's and sour bricks. Apparently arriving 50 minutes early, wasn't early enough to be at the front of the queue, so we sat on the ground and gradually readorned our costumes as our excitement grew. Once we were in our seats, I shoved my feet on the seat in front to prevent anyone sitting there, and sat throughout the ridiculously long ads. At last, when the movie began with a shot of Rufus Scrimgeour's face, my heart was beating so quickly that I almost wanted to jump up and down in my seat.

The movie was brilliant. I loved every minute of it. There was far too much detail that was misused or wasn't even mentioned - but that's a Harry Potter movie for you. Sarah and I have read the books so many times that throughout the film we were groaning at the things that were wrong and celebrating the things that were correct. The details are often misused, the motorbike during the first chase (which Sarah participated in: hurriedly muttering spells under her breath) and Ron discovering who R.A.B was. And some were completely forgotten, like Voldemort attacking Harry at Godric's Hollow. This is my only criticism for the movie and the thing that frustrated me the most. But I got over it, frankly because it's Harry Potter.

I've heard a few people complain that the movie goes for 2 1/2 half hours and nothing happens. Well a lot happens actually, and it is basically the same as the book. Part 1 has obviously been used to lead in perfectly for Part 2 - so much so that we stayed til the very end of the credits, just hoping that it would continue onwards. The next movie will of course be better - especially if we hear Molly Weasley yell "NOT MY DAUGHTER YOU BITCH!" before she duels Bellatrix - so I am very keen for July. But for now, I am pleased with Part 1. I judge a movie to be good by wether I want to see it again as soon as it has finished, and oh boy, will I be seeing this again.

November 15, 2010

i've missed you grandad

Graham Hesp after being in hospital in Italy, 1944.
I met my Grandad for the first time last week. Well, at least that's how it feels. My Dad's dad died just over a year before I was born and I was the only grandchild he didn't meet. Evidently, I have always known about him, but often that was as far as it would go. The younger version of myself had no interest in 'some old dead man', him being my grandfather or not. I understood that he fought in the Second World War, went by his middle name, had a fond taste for music and loved my Nanna, but I had no personal connection. To me, he was long gone.

It saddens me that these were my impressions of Grandad. That even though he was a strong blood relative, I never took the time of day to discover more about the man he was. Well very recently, that has changed. I'm currently studying for a project that queries into what life was like for ANZAC soldiers during war. This reminded me that last time we visited New Zealand, Nanna gave my dad all of Grandad's old war letters. Grandad fought in Italy and Egypt during World War II, a part of Wellington's 22nd Battalion. He regularly wrote letters to his mother, a Mrs. E Hesp, who kept the letters which have become a great sentiment that the family treasures. The yellowed letters tell the tale of his trips with the chaps to the pyramids and waterside towns, his spurt in the general hospital with yellow jaundice and how much he misses his family.

Reading them was an emotional experience for me, as the stories of war are so powerful, but also because I was touching a page that connected me to the young man that once wrote on it. Grandad wrote beautifully and cleverly and included in the box of letters were two poems he wrote, one about how he was sorry for all the bad towards his mother and the other desiring after his discharge paper. I love to write and discovering that I may have inherited this somehow from my Grandad made me feel so proud and sad and joyful at the same time. Those words, written in the 1940's, have given me a connection to a man I never knew or cared about and have caused me to feel the complete opposite.

November 2, 2010

summer = ruined

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Every summer me, my friends and family regularly go to the local dam. When I go with my family we swim, take the boat out to a secluded spot and take turns biscuiting on the boat with Dad. When I go with friends we stay in the water for hours lazing around and talking and we jump of the jetty. When I go with a bigger group of people we take the jet skis out while everyone else wades around in the shallows. Its fun and I love it. It's my favourite spot for summer and I can't imagine a summer without it. Until today, when news was uncovered that a dead body had been found. IN THE DAM. MY DAM.

Clearly, my reaction was not a positive one. I found out through Facebook, which is going crazy with dead people statuses (this and Mel dying on Packed to the Rafters) and at first it didn't really hit me. I was possibly in denial or just thought that the body must have been found far far away from where I ever swim. Well, have a look at the picture above: that is criminal investigators carrying the body bag up the jetty WHICH I REGULARLY JUMP OFF. Ew. The ironic thing is, today at lunchtime I was telling my friend that I far prefer going to the dam in summer, as opposed to another popular spot. News reports have stated that the body was found at almost the exact same time that I said that.

The corpse was discovered by a fisherman who saw something suspicious floating in the water. It was located about halfway between the dam wall and the boat ramp and was floating face down near the bank. Two officials collected the body at about 3pm this afternoon, travelling by inflatable dinghy. Having been identified as a man, it was believed to be there for approximately two to three weeks. The death has not been deemed suspicious but investigations are still taking place. An autopsy will be conducted tomorrow morning.

As sad as I am that my summer spot has been ruined, I keep reminding myself that the body is not just a body. A man has somehow lost his life, whether it be by drowning, murder or suicide we do not know. All I can do is hope and wait that it is something not too gory so that there may be a chance of me getting my spot back after all.

October 24, 2010

the week that was


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I had one of those weeks were I barely went to school at all. Usually this is thrilling because there are endless opportunities for time wasting. Alas, this was no holiday. I was completely ready to head off to school on Monday morning when I realised that I felt like the plague. After sleeping all day I thought myself to be fully recovered and toddled off to party training with Sarah. The next morning my over confidence and wish to go (I like Tuesday's) got me through a cheat sheet for an essay about Asia, till I ran to Mum and asked her to bring me home.

Sleep and One Tree Hill were predominantly in charge for the next few days, as I literally had zero energy. Whenever I would venture out beneath my warm doona, dizziness and a crazy temperature would come to visit. So back to bed I would go. The first couple of days at home were good - I ate fairy bread for breakfast and received a parcel of earrings in the mail. But when I finished my television show and finally hit the point when I got sick of myself - I just lost the plot. Emotional, bored, tired, bored and emotional would be a few words to describe me at that point. This is when I went on Twitter for two hours and did online Harry Potter quizzes. Like I'm going to take a quiz that says, "When did Victor Crumb cum to Hogworts?" seriously.

Thursday was spent reading Frankie and Necropolis and eating Mum's toasties and Dad's meatballs. Then I went online window shopping for the hunt to find a pretty 2011 diary so I'm a tad more organised than now. The next day I was feeling much better but still low on energy, and doctor's orders told me to take it easy. This meant no Warrior Night. (Sad face). Although I did manage to find a website with free One Tree Hill episodes! Yesterday I was feeling largely better so I bought Mum her birthday present and we went out for tea. I am still low on energy and can't 'over exert' myself but it's definitely an improvement. This morning I made Mum breakfast and watched her open her many presents. After church today, I had a workshop with a clown who taught us illusions which I immensely fail at. And now? My head hurts because I've been on the computer for so long and I'm going to see Eat Pray Love with Mum tonight.

So that was my week. It felt so boring throughout but now looking back it looked realtively busy. How was your week?

October 20, 2010

it's a soapy world


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I've always been strongly opposed to soap operas. I dislike the false drama: the fights, the murders, the affairs and how unrealistically they are portrayed into prime time viewing. But lately, I have found one that I like, one that oddly inspires me. One Tree Hill was introduced to me by a friend and now I am rather addicted. I've watched four seasons in the past few weeks - I managed to watch a whole season in one day. Quite a few people have scoffed at me because I enjoy it; in fact one friend told me "I was too intelligent to watch it". (Which I was secretly kind of flattered about). I still find it strange that I'm a fan of a soapie, but really, who cares?

The problem with soap operas is that they make life seem far more dramatic than it actually is. It's a sense of false reality. But it's a fictional television show, of course it's false! The thing I like about One Tree Hill is that the characters are surprisingly honest with one another. I would expect the whole "she said that he said that she did that" scenario but they just go and have it out with one another. Imagine how much better our lives can be if we stay away from Facebook and texting and bitching and were just honest with other people? That we were able to say to someone that they hurt us or that we didn't particularly like them all that much anymore. There's nothing wrong with some good old face to face conflict, no matter how hard it may be. And then with that honesty, you can turn it on its head and tell people that you are proud of them and that you're glad you know them.

I spent majority of my day today watching this show, and sure One Tree Hill has its ridiculous moments. Kidnapping nannies, murdering grandfathers, pregnant teenagers, wives committing arson, crazy stalkers and everyone cheating on everyone. But under all the false drama and moneymaking entertainment, is something I think is pretty damn cool. What it has taught me is that the best things are the people you love and the dreams you have. And that you should let nothing stop you from having them, no matter what. Because nothing is more important.

September 29, 2010

ah annoyance


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There are some people that you just want to punch in the face. Really, really hard. Have you ever had this feeling? I'm quite positive you had. It's when that one particular person gets on your nerves - and boy does it hit it hard. Half the time they don't even know they're doing it! Annoying people are actually quite gifted. You see, they have the amazing ability in which they can do the exact wrong thing at the exact wrong time.  I don't believe that these people are always annoying, but I'm sure there must be some exceptions. There are many different types of the annoyance people offer with very fine lines in between.

I like to call this one the "I know this will annoy you so I'm going to do it". Often it comes from close friends who know exactly how to rub you up the wrong way. One of my friends knows I dislike it when people sing ALL THE TIME so she often does this. But she is a very good singer so she gets away with it (just). This is the annoyance that I find easiest to deal with. Because, basically we can tell them to shut up. Then, in alternative there are the people you don't like who just get great enjoyment of annoying people just because they can. They know they are being difficult and annoying and don't care one single bit - teachers can often fall in this category.

Then we come to those who are so annoying and have no clue that they are. There's two sections: the needy and the obnoxious. To be honest, I feel kind of sorry for the needy ones. They are often just desperate for attention and know no other way - and they don't realise how frustrating they can be. But the obnoxious ones? Oh boy. They drive me up the wall. These are the people who are the most annoying of all. They are more interested in the lives of others than their own. They brag and crazily compare test results, make all conversation about them, act like they know everyone's business, are the first to judge people AND get this: they don't even know they are!

People will always annoy us, and sometimes we just have to deal with it. Which really, really sucks. What's your worst story of annoyance?

September 27, 2010

she's the man!


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If you have not watched She's The Man, you should. I remember first hiring it out from the video store one holiday in grade seven, and I watched it four times in one day. It is definitely one of those movies that you can watch again and again and again and not get sick of it. Even now, three years later, I still can. Viola Hastings is a teenage girl who lives for soccer, but when the girls’ team at her school gets cut and the boys won't let her join, she comes up with a plan. Her brother, Sebastian, is due to start at a new school but skips to go to London, so Viola pretends to be Sebastian so she can join their soccer team. Along with the soccer, she falls for her roommate Duke who is in love with Olivia, who likes Sebastian (who is actually Viola).

Twisted love triangles aside, She's The Man is a movie that can connect the most different of teenage girls. Not like Twilight, where fan girls collaborate next to Edward Cullen shrines, but as soon as one quote is exchanged many more will follow with great enthusiasm. She’s The Man is officially the most quotable movie ever. My friends and I have had huge comment conversations on Facebook, plainly just listing all the quotes. Sound stupid? Well yes, we should have outgrown it - but who cares! We love it. These are my favourites:

Do you like cheese? More than any animal by-product!
What does your heart tell you? I mean, which one would you rather see NAKED!
I'm here for you bro. I got a lifetime of knowledge.
...and when I close my eyes, I see you for who you truly are, which is UUUG-LAY.

She's The Man is just too entertaining. Amanda Bynes can regularly drive me up the wall but in this she is fan-bloody-tastic. I will always laugh the whole through. It’s not a particularly intelligent movie, but it does teach us to fight for what we want and to never let anyone say no to our dreams. Which I think is pretty ace. To be honest, words do not even comprehend how much I love this movie! Just watch it, then you'll understand. I rate a good movie as one that gives you a decent moral, entertains you and makes you want to watch it again and again. She’s The Man is all three.

September 1, 2010

who wants presents?


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I like presents. But I also like giving them. The idea of thinking up the perfect gift for someone gets me a tad excited. An excuse to go shopping is rather nice too. I'm all for individualism so when I find something that I know someone will love its GREAT. Sometimes when the person's birthday is months away I start thinking up gift ideas to store in the back of my brain cells. I may even glance at the calendar or the birthday invitation with glee, and do a little, "Yay! Present time!" victory dance. Well I don't actually, but you know, it's a nice idea.

But buying presents costs money! Obviously. I'm happy to spend money on others - as long as I have enough left for me. Yes, I'm selfish, sorry for being a teenager. Easy were the times before a part time job when my mum's wallet was my best friend. Now that luxury is no more. You know that saying that goes, "high school is the best years of your life"? Well it's not about life being awesome - it's more about that when you're young all you have to worry about is you. This includes money. No mortgage, rent, bills, school fees or any other boring adult stuff to pay for. It's just all for me. And my friend's birthday presents.

Despite my complaining, I don't actually mind. There's always the thing I like to call The Present Orbit. You buy one friend a $20 present; they'll buy you one for your birthday. So basically, what you spend in presents a year will be returned to you in presents! But this won't work if you are more generous than your friends, as some people seemed to never get the memo on this.

The thing I love about presents is that it shows you how well your friends know you. Also it makes it very easy to tell who actually buys a present they know you'll love - as opposed to buying something that they really just want for themself. Presents can be an expression of your love to someone, I suppose. I’m not stingy; I still end up buying people presents. And I still love seeing their faces as they open it. I just wish I didn’t have to pay for it.

August 25, 2010

my favourite poem ever


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In grade seven my humanities teacher was mad keen on poetry. I had never had much experience with poems but I actually quite enjoyed it. We studied different poems as a class, had to pick three (of our choice) for personal reflection and write four of our own. On one particular, very hyperactive day, me and my friend Tegan wrote a ballad together. We wrote the whole thing while giggling uncontrollably and we finished it in about ten minutes. Here it is, in its 'I was immaturely written by thirteen year olds' glory.

One day Percy woke up in Mississippi,
He had a mandarin and spat out all the pippies.
He walked towards his beauty parlour,
Then he said, "Oh my, where's my koala?"

He searched high and low, near and far,
Then he plopped into his crimson car.
He turned around to look at the backseat,
To his surprise he said "Holy Sheet!"

And there unveiled by the bright light,
He turned and saw his childhood kite.
Though he was happy to see this again,
He needed to find his Koala, Pen.

So then he looked below his tyre,
And said, "Far out, light me on fire!"
Because there in front of his big blue eyes,
Was his koala, Penny, his ultimate prize.

Did you enjoy it? I know you did! This poem is permanently memorised in my brain and I love that. Every now and then I recite it just because I can. Reading back on it now, it's not bad for a bit of grade seven work. Tegan and I wrote another ballad in grade eight about Ned Kelly, but lost that one, but I can assure you it was brilliant. Then last year on the bus coming back from a school excursion we attempted at another one but that was a fail.

I think the best thing about this poem is it makes me smile. It brings back happy memories and it still makes me giggle, four years later.

August 22, 2010

accents!


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It's pretty ace how everyone sounds different. Wiki answers, or whatever that pathetic thing is called, tells me that there are 100 accents in the world. I beg to differ! I'm not going to bother counting but there would be at least a couple of thousand. Every country has their own accent, and then each area within that country, and then each town within that area.When I was younger I never really had a concept of accents, except that my friends mum was South African and it always sounded funny when she said "please". Then when I was seven my family moved to New Zealand. Boy, was that a culture shock.

Everyone's voices sounded a lot heavier in general in New Zealand, but most of all, VERY different to mine. I can remember my innocent little self wondering why I all of sudden sounded very high pitched and why my voice seemed to rise at the end of every sentence. Neither Australian or New Zealand accents sound particularly charming, but I can't decide which I like best. Kiwi's sound rough, and Aussie's sound bogan. We only lived in NZ for ten months, until we returned back to Australia but I still (apparently) managed to pick up an accent. Every time we go back for a holiday, I always start talking like my extended family, which puts an 'ey' at the end of every sentence. "Nice day, ey?"

My favourite accent was always definitely Irish, especially after hearing the six year old Irish girl Becky call up a demolition company and ask them to blow up her school. I think the Irish have the fantastic ability to sound cheerful even if they a bearing the worst news possible. Now, however I am falling more for the English tones, probably thanks to my obsession with Charlie. I could seriously just listen to his voice ALL day. I think I myself yould like to sound English like one day, but I can't really imagine it. Maybe I'll just have to marry an Englishman. I'm Australian and I'm okay with sounding a bit bogan-y.

I reckon accents follow us wherever we go. I suppose they're an indicator of where we've come from and where we've been. I like the sound of that.

August 12, 2010

bits and bobs


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Sadly this picture does not belong to me. But it could, I have the same shoes and camera!

About a month ago I was completely stuck for ideas for what to write about here. So, as I usually do, I went to Facebook for answers. These were the replies: cathedrals, Lady Gaga, soccer, (this was at the time of the World Cup), the Young Entrepreneurs Challenge and something that is interesting and would be good to read. So, here I begin!

Cathedrals... don't awfully mean that much to me. Yes, the historical ones in Europe I'm sure are rather nice, but I have always thought that a church should be about the people not the building - because God is the same no matter where you are.

My opinion of Lady Gaga changes quite regularly, and I am currently over her completely, (sorry Roee!). I think she is talented in what she does, and what she wears - but it makes me sad that she sold out to the commercial industry. I know this is what you must mostly always do to be successful, but I would much prefer everybody to just stay individual to themselves.

Soccer = a rather boring sport. But that is not really even saying anything because I hate all sport. Yes, laugh at the non-jock! I did not watch any of the World Cup, but was relatively happy that Spain won. I swear in soccer the highest score any team will ever get is 10, but it beats football/rugby/any other excuse for males to feel each other up.

I don't feel it necessary to explain about the Young Entrepreneurs Challenge - as pretty much everyone reading this would already know about it. It was a lot of fun and taught me HEAPS, my favourite of which is how to pronounce this expression :o ...Which is - Hohhhhhhhh. (It helps if you inhale as you say it).

So there we are, excuse the randomness! To prevent the repetition of equally crappy blog posts please leave a comment of what you'd like to see here. One thing I just HAVE to share with you is charlieissocoollike! Charlie McDonnell is 'an English teen with YouTube who likes your face" and I am in love with him. You should love him too!


August 9, 2010

harry potter > twilight


Everything is > Twilight. I have not ever even touched it, and I refuse to. The only way I've come close to it is watching these insanely funny Alex Reads Twilight  videos. Vampires are completely ridiculous and Twilight is just a pathetic and soppy love story about a needy girl who's obsessed with some moody git. Fascinating. Not. I don't care that I haven't read it; in fact, I'm proud of it. Wizards are far more interesting than any vampire will ever be. The characters in Harry Potter actually have intellect and use that to fight against one of the worst (literary) evil villains ever.

I love Harry Potter. Well not actually him himself, but the story. If I could only read one series of books for the rest of my life - that would be it, hands down. The reason that Harry Potter is so great is because yes, they are wizards - but it’s the thought and imagination that has gone into every single detail printed in the seven books that make it spectacular. There are some details that exist that aren’t even in the books! Even though they live in this magical world they are still normal human beings that we can (kind of) relate to. Oh, I love it. The other day I was just thinking that what if there is a secret wizarding world out there and I'm just some ignorant muggle? It nearly made me cry!

My opinions on characters change every time I read the books. Fred and George will probably always take the cake, because they are frankly just too awesome. Hermione drives me up the wall, which is probably a bad thing because somewhere deep down I think I am awfully similar to her. I want to punch Draco in the face, and then feel very confused when I see hot pictures of Tom Felton. And finally, Luna Lovegood, is one of my definite favourites because she is just herself and doesn’t care what anyone else thinks.

Twilight just is no comparison at all to Harry Potter. You might think this is an invalid argument because I have not read it, but parts of it I have heard of and the first film were enough to turn me off. The whole fad thing is irritating also; Robert Pattinson: who even cares? Last week I was watching Goblet of Fire and cried when Harry and Cedric came back from the graveyard, and then was like "Oh no! Why am I crying over Robert Pattinson?"

Harry Potter is amazing. Twilight is not. What do you think?

July 27, 2010

the biscuit incident


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My Prep teachers name was Mrs Hoare. Yes, pronounced whore. I obviously never understood why this was funny until I was older. Mrs Hoare was an older lady with grey hair and those glasses that turned dark in the sun. She was rather strict and made sure that we had impeccable manners and only the neatest of handwriting. One day after show and tell she sat us all in a circle on the mat. From her desk she withdrew a packet of Arnott's Chocolate Teddy Bear biscuits. She opened the packet with her wrinkly hands and proceeded to give a Chocolate Teddy Bear to every second person in the circle. I was one of the lucky few to receive one.

Mrs Hoare then looked at us rather sternly and told us what we wanted to do with our biscuit. To my six-year-old brain there was only one obvious option. I ate it. All the other children who got a biscuit sat there gleefully licking their chocolately fingers while those who didn't looked rather mournful and wondered what they'd done wrong. When all the biscuits were consumed, Mrs Hoare gave us her trademark glare and then yelled at everyone who got a biscuit, for not sharing with those who didn't. And she yelled LOUD.
It wasn't a very classic teaching method that Mrs Hoare employed, but boy did it work. I have always shared since.

July 13, 2010

snooze


I loathe getting up in the morning. I absolutely hate it. Every morning when my phone belts out "Haven't Met You Yet" by Michael Buble at 7:25 I slam my palm down on it and groan. No matter how early I go to bed of a night I am never ready to leave my deliciously warm bed when I need to. Unless that time is about 1.30 in the afternoon. I just hate mornings. Full stop. There have been a few instances in my sixteen years of life when I have been up early. Like, waking-up-at-4am-to-get-to-the-airport-on-time and the other Saturday when I had to get up at six to get to work on time. These incidents just about killed me. The early morning airport trips I can manage as there is always that little flutter of excitement for the journey ahead as I get dressed through bleary eyes. But working at 7.30am, even though it was a one off, was awful.

It is a proven fact that teenagers need lots of sleep. Twelve hours in fact. But, because of hormones or whatever, we cannot physically get to sleep til 11pm or later. So that means that when we get to sleep at 11.30, we would not just prefer, but NEED, to sleep til that time the next day. Teenagers need to sleep. Especially me. I am one of those people who need plenty of sleep otherwise I become a complete wreck. So if I have not had enough shut-eye I will probably become a mixture of "I'll bite your head off" or "Boo-hoo, stop teasing me!" My family knows not to say anything to me in the morning, besides a friendly hello, until I've had my shower and breakfast.

I like to think I am getting better at it. I can force myself out of bed, into my slippers and trudge into the kitchen to get my Coco-Pops better than I used to – but it still kills me a little inside. It is just not in my DNA to be up early. I inherited it from my Mum who hates getting up too, rather than my Dad who is always out of bed by seven. But if I sound bad in the morning department, you should meet my friend. We’ve been friends for seven years and every sleepover we ever have had I’m always up first, and I definitely know not to even try and wake her up.

The thing about mornings is that you should never set your favourite song as your alarm, because it will guarantee to make you absolutely hate it.

June 26, 2010

attitude of gratitude


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It's good to say thank you. The ability to be thankful, no matter what your circumstances, is a spectacular thing. Having an attitude of gratitude is like a different breed of optimism. I don't classify myself as either an optimist or pessimist but I do know that I moan and complain too often. But being thankful can turn that negativity on its head.

At the current time I am sick - which is an absolute pain in my bottom and I have been bored to tears and sick of myself every day this week. But there are two ways I can choose to think of this - the negative approach: "I feel like crap, there’s nothing to do and I’m so bored," OR “It’s not the best situation but I'm thankful that I have medication, a warm bed/house, copious amounts of food and things to do."

Being thankful for what we do have instead of complaining about what we don't have makes life far more enjoyable. Even though I forget this on a regular basis, when I do remember to be thankful I am a far happier person. So from here on in I am going to have an attitude of gratitude. Today, I am thankful for the M&M doughnuts that came home from Woolies and also for my family who have looked after me this week and lifted my mood considerably.

What are you thankful for?

June 16, 2010

judging a book

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So we've all been told at some time or another to "not judge a book by its cover". But the thing is - it's jolly hard. To take the metaphor literally, (which one should probably never do), I actually do first judge a book by what is on the outside. Unless I already know of the author, I will prowl library shelves and it's the cover art that urges me to reach out and grab it. It is then that I pay more attention to the title, and the tag line and the synopsis - but the cover is what first takes my attention.

The same happens with people. As much as we're not supposed to - everyone will first form an opinion based on ones looks. It's easy to think "they're dumb" about one with peroxide hair, or "they're bogan" about someone wearing head to toe Jay Jays. I am sorry to say that I do this way more often than I should. This happens for me at work - where I host kids birthday parties - where I have to deal with approximately 2-4 sets of parents per week. When they walk through the door I always find my brain taking in their appearance to form an opinion which usually is false.

Take yesterday for example, where I had a mother who wore knee high boots, a polo shirt, sweater and ponytail and a father who wore boots, flared jeans, a shirt and a vest. This sort of thoughts enter my mind - "they look like they could own a country club with their own stables so that must mean they are rich and super snobby". But this of course proved wrong. The mother made sure to introduce me to most of the guests at the party, they smiled and spoke to me as an equal, offered me a piece of birthday cake and were just genuinely lovely people. Other times I have parents who I think are bogans and will be rude and try to fudge money - but I am proved wrong again. And then there is the occasional instance when I think they will be lovely but they are the snottiest, rudest and most immature parents I have come across.

So I just want to say sorry for every time I have formed opinion about someone before I took the chance to get to know them. Judging a book by its cover is SO easy to do but is pretty much always wrong - because first impressions are just that. First.

June 5, 2010

melbourne, how i love thee

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Soooooooo I went to Melbourne, and I loved it. As a late birthday present Mum and I had an overnight stay in the city centre and shopped and shopped and shopped and shopped. Oh, and what great fun it was. Something about the gritty footpaths and high rise buildings and alternative folk make me feel right at home. This time we stayed at the Grand Chancellor in Lonsdale Street which was just next to a Greek Precent - so every time we left the hotel we would pass blue and white decor, baklava filled windows and men smoking cigars.

I've been to Melbourne twice before - the same type of trip with Mum three years ago and just for the day during an airport lull with my dad and brother. We had never really branched out of the city centre so this time we decided to see a bit more of the outer city. Brunswick Street was our first stop for the trip and I've got to say a little disappointing. I love opshopping and retro clothing so everyone told me "Oh, you'll LOVE Brunswick Street!" But I found it to be a tad uninspiring and pricy (much like the vintage stores in the city). Melbourne has this thing where second-hand clothes are sold for about triple the price they should be. Like, a pair of old boots that originally cost about 30 bucks being sold secondhand for 65 because they're 'vintage'. No offence Melbourne, but opshopping is better at home.

Spencer Street DFO is good and has yet failed to disappoint me. They have some nice stationery shops like Smiggle and Typo, some good clothes and of course Converse. A fair chunk of my shopping was purchased there. Bridge Road was our next visit, which is just a long busy street lined with outlet stores. Both Mum and I bought a pair of shoes here (even though mine were only Havaianas) and then decided to head back. It's quite odd really, considering my loathing of public transport, but I actually enjoyed navigating my way through the tram system. We caught one out to Lygon St for dinner, where we found a cute Italian cafe. We sat at the tables on the footpath and ate gourmet pizza and calamari while we sipped on our Lemon, Lime and Bitters.

Mum and Dad chose a good time for me and Mum to come away because everywhere had their stocktake sales on. So we did a bit of late night shopping at Myer and almost got lost as the Melbourne store is positively huge. After a buffet breakfast the next morning we decided to just shop around the city centre where I bought a new pair of Converses, was not left alone by a pushy dress sales assistant and made a new friend, Doreen. We found the CUTEst place for lunch called Hopetoun Tearooms which sold little sandwiches, pots of tea and basically the best desserts to ever exist.

Some general observations I picked up from Melbourne were that there are like 62.34 billion 7 Eleven's, everyone smokes and people just wear whatever the heck they want. The trip was absolutely wonderful and the only bad part was having to return home.

May 31, 2010

punctuation saves lives

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There is a big difference between, "Let’s eat, Grandma!" or "Let’s eat Grandma!" Punctuation helps us to understand the exact connotation on one's words, and also to make us sound rather intelligent. I for one am very particular about using the correct punctuation. I know that their, there, they're are very different, I think that commas are exponentially important and I understand when to use your and you're. I don't like the look of capital letters and would prefer not to use them, (hence why I don't capitalise my blog post headings), but force myself to. But others are not quite as finicky. 

For my birthday a few weeks ago my brother gave me a book titled 'I Judge You When You Use Poor Grammar' (see above) which is a collection of photographs with some of the most amusing and ridiculous grammar slip-ups to ever exist. Author Sharon Eliza Nichols created a Facebook group of the same name, and the photos in the book are from the many fan photos uploaded to the page. Shocking punctuation mistakes are evident on signs, t-shirts, pavements, menus and billboards and some are rather entertaining.

There are apostrophe catastrophes:
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Sentences that just don't make sense:
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Spelling mistakes:
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Some that are just plain unfortunate:
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And others that are hilarious.
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It just goes to show that if you don't know where your apostrophes go, what a homophone is or how to spell - you’re never going to be able to communicate correctly and will probably be photographed and published in a book for the whole world to laugh at.

May 30, 2010

book or movie?

How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Written by Dr. Seuss/Directed by Ron Howard


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Before I begin, just let me say one thing. Dr. Seuss is brilliant. Entertainingly, amazingly and wittingly brilliant. His books have the ability to bring joy to anyone and everyone through his mind boggling creativity. So I believe that any film adaption of a Dr. Seuss picture book cannot quite bring the full amount of awesomeness to the screen. I am always excited by the idea of a Dr. Seuss film, but I never really seem to like them. It's as if the weirdness and oddity that suits the books so well just comes out in the films like the director was on crack during the whole film making progress.

To be honest, I found it difficult to even sit through the whole of How the Grinch Stole Christmas but forced myself, mainly so I could write this post. I even turned it off at one stage due to boredom but then tried to have a positive attitude and continued my viewing. It's unusual as to why I love the books but loathe the movies - but I think it may have something to do with the fact that it is such a short book trying to be stretched into a movie. The film covered all instances depicted in the book - some even word for word - and these I enjoyed, but all the fluff that the screenwriters created themselves ruined it completely. I didn't need to see Cindy-Lou Who meeting the Grinch before Christmas and nominating him for the Christmas Spirit award - or the Grinch's troubled green childhood.

I perfectly understand that to make How the Grinch Stole Christmas into a 1.5 hour film would need to involve some adding in to the plot - but come on! Isn't that a tad disrespectful to the great Dr. Seuss? I tell you what, a Dr. Seuss television series would be ace. A new book for every episode - Green Eggs and Ham one week and One fish, Two fish, Red fish, Blue fish the next. I seem to find any Dr. Seuss movie just plain weird. I know the books are, and I love them, but the movies just have never tickled my fancy - maybe due to my dislike of Jim Carrey who stars in all of them. I am yet to see Horton Hears a Who but can tell you I will probably not like it. Sorry.

Dr. Seuss is one of the greatest children's authors of all time, so it comes as no surprise that his books will always be superior to any film adaption Hollywood comes up with. That's just the way it is.

May 28, 2010

my first big mac


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A few weeks ago in maths a friend told me about a dream she had in which she ate her first ever Big Mac. A few of us then discovered that we all had never had one either. Like, NEVER. So we decided that we should all try our first Big Mac together when the opportunity arose. And arise it did, because yesterday after our fashion parade rehearsal we walked to the nearest Maccas and ordered our meals. Only two of us decided to test the Big Mac - and we got a free cup!

After a quick walk to a nearby friend's house, while being shouted at by idiots in green station wagons, me and my friend took our first ever Big Mac bites together. It was quite a momentous occasion, as we scoffed the three bun tier in a few minutes. It was enjoyable - I especially liked the special sauce (mustard and mayonnaise mixed together I think) but reckon that a smaller version would be much more preferable. Only two bits of the bread and one meat pattie but with the yummy sauce - a Small Mac maybe?

I was so excited about having eaten one I went around saying, "I had my first Big Mac today!" No one really cared but I enjoyed it nevertheless. I will probably eat more Big Macs in the future - but for now - that was plenty enough. And really, let’s face it, it's just because I love Maccas.

May 18, 2010

dream big

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Dreams are so important. To be able to dream for your future and what you want to achieve is an admirable and amazing thing. There are many great role models around the world that show us that our dreams are achievable. The most recent of these is sixteen year old solo sailor Jessica Watson. After spending seven months alone at sea on a voyage around the world, Jessica returned home on Saturday.

I am not particularly interested in the sailing, but rather that Jessica had a dream that she pursued and achieved. I think that it is absolutely wonderful that someone as young as 16 made her mind up for something she wanted to do and believed enough in herself to do it. Jessica faced people who disagreed with her decision, but all that mattered was that she had enough grit to go for it no matter what the consequences.

What's even better: once Jessica had achieved her great feat she had enough humility to say to a whole nation, "I don't consider myself a hero. I'm an ordinary girl who believed in her dream. You don't have to be someone special or anything special to achieve something amazing. You've just got to have a dream, believe in it and work hard."

It is great to have such an amazing role model in the current news. I believe that every person, no matter what wealth, race, religion, background or age should be able to achieve their dreams. Whether it is just something that may seem small or you want to save the world, go for it because you can. Jessica Watson has shown Australia and quite possibly the world, that if you have a dream, all you have to do is try your hardest and you can achieve it.

May 14, 2010

foot in mouth

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Just warning you; I will most likely put my foot in my mouth during this post, so apologies extended in advance. Foot in mouth syndrome is basically what is defined as the very skilled ability to say exactly the wrong thing at the wrong time. Or as the picture above states, incomprehensible bullshit. Some are absolute masters at this, and manage to fit it into every conversation as they ramble on and offend and like to think that everyone is listening when really they're not. Foot in mouth syndrome comes in three different categories which can be found EVERYWHERE.

Category number one is labelled as "those who pretend they have foot in mouth but are actually just mean". They're the type of person who will throw 'accidental' insults your way and then pretend it didn't happen. One girl called me ugly in three separate ways one day but did it in a beating around the bush kind of way. This didn't even bother me one bit because I couldn't really care less of her opinion if she didn't have the guts to say it to my face.

Next is category two; "those who are so dumb they do not even realise what they are saying". This section I believe to have lost the thing that exists in your brain to filter your thoughts before they become words. An absolute master of this is Elliott Reed from Scrubs. If you are unfamiliar with this character all you need to do is pick any random episode from the eight seasons of Scrubs, watch it and witness the boulderdash that comes out of her mouth. My favourite is when she insults Jewish people in front of Turk who has a Jewish mother, and then picks up a photo frame, and says, "Oh, when did you meet Morgan Freeman?" The photo was of his mother.

Finally we come to category three who "just sometimes forget what they are saying". This is me. Once we had dinner guests over and I said something about it being good we weren't Dutch, and of course our dinner guests happened to be Dutch. I do these kind of things quite often when I don't bother to take time to actually process my thoughts and I am very much sorry for this.

Foot in mouth is everywhere. When have you come across it?

May 11, 2010

you call that customer service?


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Last week I went to apply for my learners licence. After waiting in line for approximately ten or so minutes Lady #1 snatched my identification out of my hand, grunted at me and nodded to where I should go. No "Hello, how are you today?" or warm smile, just a glassy stare and a droopy mouth. In my return after (successfully!) completing my computer test Lady #2 snarkily told me to fill out the form and then line up again. Another ten minute wait, Lady #1 again snatched what I had to give to her and asked me how old I was without actually bothering to look at my ID. Lazy. Then when she had taken a long five minutes to do her apparently necessary computer clicks she asked me to read the top line of the eye reading chart.

"Eye Test Chart," I replied as this was the very top line of the eye chart. Lady #1 and 2 purposely looked at each other and laughed their chubby bellies senseless. I was then told to read the 'first line of the letters' and did so without fail. Continuing the trend of waiting in lines, Lady #3 yelled at me to look on the screen which showed the different clerks' availability. Yeah, the screen behind me. That's REALLY helpful. I walked up to Lady #4, handed over the necessary forms and then stood in the appropriate spot for my licence photo to be taken. She then laughed at me and told me I looked like I was in pain. Well thanks, Lady #4, sorry that I couldn't be tolerant to you and your extremely annoying middle-aged co-workers.

Those who work in customer service should perhaps try and be more serviceable to their customers. Because, you know, that's their JOB. It makes a huge difference to have a polite and nice person on the other side of the counter. I do understand that sometimes the last thing you feel like doing is acting like everything is hunky dory when you're tired and want to go home, but you should really just try better. Because as soon as you're behind that counter it's not about you, your cup of coffee and your problems - it's about the customer.

What are your stories of bad service?

May 9, 2010

happy mothers day

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Thanks to mums all around the world for scrubbing dishes, giving copious amounts of hugs and kisses, cleaning messy bedrooms, making lunches, comforting your sick kids, washing clothes, listening, vacuuming, offering advice, being a personal taxi service, being caring, cooking dinner and buying presents. But most of all thankyou for putting others first and being there every single day.

Mums are the ones who love us no matter what we say or do. We can turn to them with anything and we know they will listen to every detail even if it is the most unclimatic story in the history of unclimatic stories. They care and nurture and love and there is nothing better than a cuddle with Mummy. Mums are absolutely great and nothing can ever break the bond between mother and child.

So really, I just wanted to say thank you to every single lady out there who is a mother to a child and thanks for all you do. Especially to my mum who is frankly the best mum EVER and I love to her absolute bits. She is one of my best friends and I know I can trust her with absolutely anything and I hope one day I will be as an awesome mother as her. Life really wouldn't be the same without you Mum.

April 27, 2010

book or movie?

Marley & Me
Written by John Grogan / Directed by David Frankel

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"Hmm. A dog story," was perhaps my first thought regarding Marley & Me. Cinemas and video stores alike are plagued by tales of human canine companionship. Beethoven, 101 Dalmatians, 102 Dalmatians, Eight Below, and Scooby Doo: it seems that they are in abundance. They often have average plot, themes and characterisation also. But as much as I groan and roll my eyes about a story based on a four legged barking creature, I secretly found myself loving Marley & Me.
Almost everything written in the book was interpreted correctly into the film. From his love of mangoes and fear of thunderstorms Marley was as naughty and loveable from text to footage. He is perhaps one of the only puppies to flunk obedience school, eat a whole answering machine and sympathise with the loss of a baby. Marley was most definitely an individual pet.
I've heard this movie described as “It's crap and then just makes you cry!" This has some truth to the film, but is spot on for the book. I found the hum drum of family life dragged on, and without nice footage to keep my attention alert; the book became quite boring. And then it just made me cry. Yes, sad I know, I cried from a book. But I give John Grogan props for that - not many books have the ability to do that.
This reasoning is what made the film far better than the book. Yes, it is a sentimental story that's okay to read but that's all. No literary greatness found within the pages, just a normal story. Perhaps the best thing about Marley & Me was the realistic portrayal of family life which can be often hard to find in its genre. The film was a tad more entertaining than the novel, although nowhere near close enough to be considered a candidate for a favourite movie. I would say it's one of the best dog movies around - but that's hardly an achievement.

April 22, 2010

why, frankie, why?

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So I purchased the latest issue of frankie today, as I do every second month when it hits my local newsagent. And well to be honest, I always get a little excited. frankie was introduced to me in March last year by a friend and I have been a loyal customer since. As my calendar would announce "frankie out today" I would get my hands on a copy as soon as humanly possible and then delight over pretty pages of artwork, articles about very bizarre topics and ideas to make me think for days. I would read it from cover to cover in one sitting, preferably while sipping some form of warm beverage, and feel uniquely inspired once I had finished. frankie gave a warm fuzzy feeling inside, like I had just received a nice long hug from a close friend.

Although lately, that friend has not been hugging me quite as enthusiastically. One of the fantastic things about frankie was their lack of advertising. It was a magazine that said no to commercialization and crappy bright-coloured celebrity layouts that apparently teenage girls love. But each new issue for the past five months or so has begun to increase their advertising pages. I hate this! frankie was amazing with spacious simplistic layouts and hardly any advertising, but now they are giving in to the pressures of the magazine industry; which I suppose would be very hard not to.

Issue 35 entails much diversity as per usual, but it seems many articles are just an excuse for frankie's alternative folk to have a bitch about their current pet hate. In particular a letter, dripping with sarcasm, written to Liberal leader Tony Abbott. Seriously, there’s enough politics in the newspapers. Now you're bombarding my favourite magazine also? This aside, my least favourite part of this issue is the "What's it all about?" article where frankie interviewed five 'creative’s' about the meaning of life and similar things. They were replied with things such as, "my philosophy is that if it feels good and right it is good and right." Absolute boulderdash. If it feels right to murder someone or have an affair, does that make it right? NO.

But frankie always manages to suck me back in. I especially love the "Know Your Retro" piece featuring vintage dresses of the past seven decades. Of other special note I enjoyed the frank bits pages (as usual), the red lipstick special and a tribute to five of the greatest morals Roald Dahl has taught us through his spectacular books. So frankie, ditch your copious amounts of advertising, stop complaining about your latest woes and our friendship may be able to soon see restoration.

P.S. I was very happy to see a red calendar in this issue. Thanks.

April 17, 2010

aholic

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Recently I've read Confessions of a Shopaholic. Rebecca Bloomwood is such an aggravating character but somehow manages to be immensely charming at the same time. Self denied shopaholic; Rebecca cannot walk past any sort of shop without her eye line moving and her legs following to the door. Despite a HUGE amount of debt and bills, she still keeps shopping at a rapid rate and paying on her VISA card. She's very fun, but makes me want to shout, "NO! Don't buy it!" at the worn pages. She is completely obsessed with shopping.

Everybody has one thing that they are smitten with. I like to call it an 'aholic'. You know - a shopaholic, alcoholic, chocoholic, gameaholic, caraholic, musaholic, or a workaholic. This list is endless. It's that one thing that you spend time with regularly, you love to visit and that you couldn't live without. Or perhaps, you just have a long distance relationship or it's like you’re out of town cousin; only seeing each other here and there.

I am a readaholic. It sounds quite odd - but I read absolutely everything. Books of course, a few magazines, you know all the things you're supposed to read. But it doesn't stop there. My eyes read shampoo bottles, cereal boxes, catalogues, road signs, fine print and logos. Any sort of text I see, I read. Even books don't last long with me - I only like to read them in a few days. It may be because I enjoy reading, or my curiousity to know every single detail or because my mind wanders and needs something to occupy it. All I know is that I love to read.

So what's your aholic? Do you see it every day?

April 13, 2010

90's shows

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Children’s television was at its best when I was younger. Stories about aardvarks and obese hippos, a boy with a football shaped head, a half cat/half dog being, mischievous babies and a girl who can talk to animals - all delivered to us in the form of cartoon. Genius. All these made life fun. I can remember watching them with such anticipation and excitement - George and Martha, Rugrats, Arthur, Hey Arnold, The Wild Thornberry’s, Catdog and Angry Beavers. These are seriously the best shows.

I hired out a Rugrats DVD the other day and loved absolutely every minute of it. I sat on the couch and ate my Easter eggs and felt like I had rewound ten years. I'm not ashamed to admit that I still love kids shows - but the kids shows I grew up with. I don't watch the new ones aired on the ABC.

These shows weren't just fun, they had pretty decent morals also. Most children’s shows do (besides Teletubbies - that's just ridiculous baby talk). Angelica from Rugrats taught me that being mean is a bad way to live, George and Martha showed me how to have fun no matter what, from Arthur I learnt to spell aardvark and Eliza Thornberry demonstrated how to respect and tolerate your family no matter how crazy they are.

So I just say thankyou to the people who created these shows - for bringing much joy to my childhood and for still making me smile ten years later. Who knew a colourful cartoon could be so great? I did.