Friday, 27 September 2013

Four Funny things for Friday

I just thought you guys might like a quiet giggle care of the internets.

Drunk baby meme: Funny every time. Babies don't drink! Everyone knows that.

An oldy but a goody.

Ludacris for cows.
The wisdom of Fat Amy in Pitch Perfect is undeniable.

Friday Feminism - talking the talk

when you start to look at your world from a feminist perspective, you become increasingly aware of things that inevitably make you upset, or disillusioned, or downright angry. sometimes, the hardest thing is speaking up.

to put on my cynical hat (which i imagine is sort of part-beret), i'd say that women aren't meant to speak up. not loudly, and not emotively. that's what proves to everyone we're overly emotional, the way we get all angry about things. i do find it very interesting that emotion is regarded as such a negative quality. basically, caring about things is just not cool. when we know this is the way things are, why would we speak up?

a man speaking in public about something he believes in and raising his voice to make a point is strong, passionate, admirable, speaking from the heart. a woman with a raised voice is yelling, a woman yelling about feminist issues is probably crazy. 

at this point it'd be ridiculous not to observe that it's not just women who can talk the feminist talk. more men talking the feminist talk helps to pave the way for the change we need. feminism is not a women's issue, it's an everyone's issue.

despite the cynicism beret, i have to say, saying the thing that someone disagrees with is part of the feminist strategy. as a feminist, you have to recognise that silence becomes agreement, as far as your family/friends/workmates/fellow students are concerned. speaking up to disagree is an act of bravery, and although it's uncomfortable, it's also empowering and oftentimes gratifying.

talking the feminist talk is something that's gone in steps for me, and i'll be honest: i have been the angry feminist in the room before. what i've learned from that point in time is that my more radical opinions are best and most effective when eked out over time for the many other people in my life who i love, who don't consider themselves radical feminists (...yet). i've figured out that sometimes it's about the delivery of the idea rather than the idea itself.

all that said, i am also quite into the concept of placards and yelling things, given the right forum.

i do feel sad that i can't just run around with my pants on my head yelling about the patriarchy. i feel sad that i still don't feel confident enough to interrupt overheard conversations to tell people not to be so sexist and misogynistic. i feel sad that i don't stop and give someone a severe talking to when they are harassing my friends on the street. i feel sad that i don't hit more people in the face when they get all up in my personal space, with no invitation, just because they feel they're powerful enough to feel like they're allowed to do so.

i'm not sure what you all think about this list, but these are my own personal feminist goals. i want to be abrasive, but i want to be efficient about it. i want to make people think about things from my point of view. ideally, i'd do this with clever words and talking some feminist talk.

every day i try and push things a little bit further. i try and learn a bit more about current events. i read a lot, and it gives me points to contribute to a conversation about the things everyone is discussing, be it miley cyrus or sexy selfies or the government's plans to scrap the compulsory amenities fee. i try to represent my own politics in a way that makes me a valid contributor to the conversation. sometimes i get really angry and trip over my words, or ruin my argument by being sarcastic (the sarcastic hat is less of a cynicism beret and more of an akubra).

when i feel i've represented my feminist politics well, and that i've put something into another person's sphere that might not have been there before, that's when the gratifying element comes in.

try talking the talk. once you start, you'll find it increasingly easy to bring things up. i have been rewarded for talking the talk in various ways - a text message from a friend about street harassment because i'm the feminist in the group; another friend telling me that she was talking to her boyfriend about feminism; my brothers and my dad talking about what i wrote in my feminist piece a few months back; facebook friends sharing and commenting on said piece, friends i didn't know had feminist politics at all.

where i'm going with this Friday feminism idea is to ultimately prove that feminism is not just a women's issue, it's not a bunch of crazies, it's not black and white, there are no pre-requisites. all you have to do is keep your eye out for the injustices of the world, big like a third world issue or small like a first world problem. and once you see them, talk the talk and disagree.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

and now, we pause.

alright. i can't write every day for 30 days straight, i am a mere human, i concede it.

in the next week i will have moved out of my old house, but not into my new one yet. homeless.

i also have an essay to write. i'm going to take the next week off my 30 day challenge, but it does not for a minute mean i won't still be writing. and it also doesn't mean there won't be some blogs. they just won't be every day like i planned.

life, huh? it gets in the way.

here are some jumping cats, by way of apology.

30pictureschallenge: Day 4

sometimes i'm a crafter of silence
sometimes the only thing i'm making
is my breath
sometimes my heart aches
sometimes my heart is aching.

there's not a colour to paint the night
the white and the black of the moon, maybe
i drive the streets of my hometown past midnight, wondering of
you, and the somewhere between here and there.

my peace,
as i shift through first second third
and i let some strange calm
sink right into the marrow of my bones.

i own myself in the way that
i'm proud of the breaths i've made
i own myself, but
i imagine your hands on my shoulders.

the part i hate is the way
i'm here to be shocked out of my own heart
by a half-second
of electricity in your eyes and my eyes and
my heart.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

30pictureschallenge: Day 3

this is winter time in whistler. it looks like it's christmas, but the magic of whistler is that it looks like this all through winter.

things freeze, things stop, things slow. at the same time, there is frenetic energy. the village is filled with visitors; it's a visitor's town.

when fresh snow falls, right down to the village, there's a nice time during the night before it's cleared away and salt laid to make safe paths for those unaccustomed to the white winter underfoot. before it's cleared away, it gives beneath your feet. it makes a sort of muffled crunch, a murmur released as you leave a footprint behind.

it's ankle deep. sometimes it's knee deep. these are the nights you quietly head for home; these nights promise nextmornings filled with pow turns and faces full of snow. your heart fills with the anticipation of it. you smile at strangers as you trudge by them, wading through the fresh snow to the bus stop, and home. you pull your hood up; you wrangle your toque into place under your hood. you check your pockets and pull on the mittens you have stowed there.

the more the snow falls, the wider and fuller your heart becomes. the flakes are big, floaty things; they drift slowly to the ground or they fall thick and fast. you're covered in them as you walk, you brush them out of your face and off your eyelashes. they're wet and cold, but you don't mind; on still snowy nights such things can easily be forgiven.

off the bus, you're making your careful way up a hill that is foiling any cars without winter tyres. you pick a path and patiently put one foot in front of the other, avoiding the slipperiness that comes with packed down snow.

once home, you shake yourself off and shed a wet outer layer; hang up a coat, stash your boots. you rub your hands together and blow into them as you stomp your way up the stairs, buoyant with the magic of the winter world you just traveled through to make it back. upstairs there are housemates, equally happy in their anticipation of what tomorrow will bring on the mountain.

a cup of tea, a brief chat, a plan made for the morning, then bed.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

30pictureschallenge: Day 2

for a long time i believed fervently that i was a night-owl. perhaps because of my thing with owls. perhaps because i thought that was a thing that writers did, the staying up late and getting whimsical about their thoughts. it may very well be that this is true, the writers i idolised early on were artists, living artistic lives.

what i have realised over time is that i don't always do my best writing at night. sometimes, yes. if i'm wanting to write an angsty piece then a bit of mood music and a glass of whisky never goes astray. and there's a place in my writing life for this sort of thing; it's important to have balance, and not write sensible things every time i sit to write.

but truthfully, writing during the day, and in fact, in the morning, tends to be more sensible, believable, sellable... readable anyhow. morning time is a time to digest the news (everything seems less depressing in the light of day, even tony abbott), it is a time to be stimulated by the world at large, be it through the reading of a blog or an article online, even ones you disagree with.

some of my biggest thoughts pop into my brain in the morning time. i write copious notes to myself in the morning, which i then attempt to make something of when i return to them after work and have to start on the business of essay writing and thinking.

i've discovered i'm a morning person. i'm not even embarrassed. i'm thinking of starting taking a morning walk. yep. i'm that guy.

so the answer is yes. i do want to be alone, but not necessarily sleepy, for the first few hours of the day. yes thankyou please.

Monday, 23 September 2013

lyrics & music: the national, this is the last time

Just listen to and love this one: it might change your life.

Oh, when I lift you up you feel
Like a hundred times yourself
I wish everybody knew
What's so great about you

Oh, but your love is such a swamp
You don't think before you jump
And I said I wouldn't get sucked in

This is the last time

Oh, don't tell anyone I'm here
I got Tylenol and beer
I was thinking that you'd call somebody closer to you

Oh, but your love is such a swamp
You're the only thing I want
And I said I wouldn't cry about it

This is the last time
This is the last time

(full lyrics here)

5 things from my collections: magazines i am reading

I keep a pile of reading materials close by for inspiration and for emergencies. I recommend it. Because there are 5 magazines, this is a slightly cheaty version of my 4 things series. Sorry. I can count, it's just that it happened this way today.

Excerpt from Failed Writer by Joseph Musso:
"A failed writer, at some point, is a hero solely to himself. Often this is his only choice, after so many others have rebuffed his literary advances: the wink of a word, the tongue-roll of a syllable, the brazen hip-thrust of a brilliant passage."

Frankie is full of such useful tips and  hints to living a fuller life.

Rookie comes with stickers. I don't know where to stick them... they're very precious.

I buy transfer because it makes me feel like I'm still vaguely connected to that world. Even though it's a while since I saw snow.

It's Slow magazine that's influenced my recent change of heart about living in the country. Now, it seems honourable. I might just build myself a tiny home to live out my days.

30pictureschallenge: Day 1
life is a funny thing. my life is a funny thing. i'm never quite sure how to approach it; some days it is friend and some days it is foe. it's a complicated relationship, but i love it nonetheless.

i'm doing all this growing at the moment in the weirdest ways, bits of my heart expanding and shrinking and all this wondering going on in my little brain. i think the miracle of being a human is that we're just, y'know, cells and stuff all stuck together with human glue, and yet there's these feelings that happen to those cells that are outside of physical stimuli. like feeling happy, or nervous, or proud. it's pretty strange and wonderful, really.

as time passes, i get increasingly comfortable, or at least resigned to, this very thing of being human. weird feelings and stretchy parts in my heart and tingly feet. i love it all. and even when the things hurt, the adjusty bits, the change, all that ... even all that is a thing to love.

imagine if a new start was as easy as pushing a button, though. i wonder what i would choose, and how i would set up my life furniture, and what the list of things i'd say instead of things i've said might look like.

i think, overall, i wouldn't push that new start button. i think the peace i occasionally get to feel flashes and glimpses of is hard won, and i want to enjoy it, with its history of bad decisions and unhappy parts and scratchy bits. because there is also the happy, and the nervous, and the proud. and those parts, all of them together, are the funny thing that is my life. and it's mine. and i love it nonetheless.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

4 things from my collections: owls

i am getting a pretty flippin' sweet owl collection these days. i love them; i can't help myself. and other people know about it and completely enable this collection obsession. 

top left: an owl sent to me through the mail all the way from australia to canada by my lovely mum for a birthday present (i got so many tiny treasures all the time i lived there, because she only posted me little things each christmas and birthday).

top right: a Greek owl from my stepdad. i had put in a request for an owl from Greece, coz of the Athena/girl power connection. i got this one, and also...

bottom left: ... this one, a little brass buddy. what i love is getting travel presents from people back from their travels.

bottom right: these 2 were a find at the reuseit centre, a thrift store i used to work at in canada. i like them because they are a little cosy pair, and that makes me happy.

i have more owls, like way more, but i'm playing it cool. if you're lucky, you will see more owls next month.

30pictureschallenge: preamble

i promised i'd do it, and so i'm doin' it. i've picked 30 images and will be using one each day as a prompt for some words. i have a feeling this writing will be a little unfocused and whimsical, to balance out the more serious writing i am doing for my essay, for the paper, and for feminism friday.

the words accompanying may or not be very wordy, depending entirely on what i want to do that day.

i'm starting on monday so i can be a book nerd over the weekend and study the heck out of some feminism.

if you're reading along, thanks. if you don't wanna and you aren't gonna, that's fine too.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Friday Feminism #selfie for #bareforbasics

I went "Bare for Basics" today - a campaign for raising awareness about the basic needs of women and children in Africa, needs like regular food and access to family planning resources.

Go to their website for more information.

Going without makeup for a day and uploading a selfie is a sort of cool idea for a show of solidarity. It would be cool to think about taking this a step further, for myself anyway - I wonder, if we put all the money earned by the cosmetics industry into a third world country just how much change we could achieve.

I'd like to know a little more about the situation in Africa, as it is the country specifically nominated by this awareness campaign. I don't know anything, really. I'll make it one of my Friday posts, sometime soon.

For now I have a few thoughts on the makeup industry:

Funnily enough, I don't really wear makeup, besides the occasional mascara coat when I'm going out to flutter my eyelashes at people (to no avail). My mum never wore it as we were growing up, and honestly I am not quite sure what to do with it anyway. Having said this, I've never had much problem with my skin, so I don't know how it feels to have acne that you want to hide with foundation. It seems unfair to me that there's such a concept as 'bad skin' or 'good skin', and it also seems unfair that much more emphasis is put into a solution so skin doesn't look bad, rather than addressing the pain that can come with acne.

I consume other cosmetic products like shampoo, soap, toothpaste, moisturiser, deodorant, lip balm. These too are luxuries that much of the world doesn't have. The clean water required for western beauty practices alone is an unbelievable luxury.

I plan to look into this some more for future posts, but for now I do want to add a thought: there is a reason women wear makeup in the first place. There is a reason that this is a huge industry, and there is a reason that giving up makeup would be one of the last things to go if women had to sacrifice a luxury.

I will be writing more about beauty practices before long, as I'm writing an essay on the topic at the moment.

Stay tuned.

Bare for Basics, with trademark half-smile

Friday Feminism: keep your head up, keep your heart strong

i wasn't going to talk about the hard stuff until i was well and truly into this feminism series, but i've had that sort of few days in a row of things that are tough, and a text message from a friend who is feeling the same way, so i thought i'd talk a bit about how i deal with my tough days. tough feminist days, in particular.

it's been a tough few weeks for feminists and women in general in australia. tony abbott, newly sworn-in as prime minister of australia, has made some decisions that are a definite cause for concern. women's issues, as well as indigenous affairs have been taken on by tony abbott's cabinet themselves, which mr abbott says means they will be at the centre of the government as whole-of-government priorities.

it sounds nice, except that mr abbott has made some pretty disturbing statements on women in his off-the-cuff press over the past 12 months. his attitude towards julia gillard, our former PM, as a woman (the scariest kind: the kind with more power than him) was disgusting, and wonderfully addressed by her in this speech.

my little brother commented on facebook yesterday that women are in trouble with this turn of events. i'd say we're all in trouble. a country that is lead by someone who has chosen a cabinet with only one woman, who has chosen to be looking out for women's rights when he actively and vocally undermines women's roles in our society, be they the average women on the street (or at home with a baby on one arm and an iron on the other) or running for election with all that sex appeal... a country with a leader like this is a country regressing to the 1950s, a country that is an embarrassment in the global community. men and women, we're all in trouble.

the problem is that once you start to care, or even just start to inform yourself, it's impossible not to feel disillusioned with the situation here. there's a reason i took a bottle of whisky with me to a friend's election party a few weeks ago.

i've had one of those days today where i just wonder about what the point is, exactly.

as i observed via text message, sometimes it's hard to be a human, with a heart. people are awful. they're killing the planet, they're killing each other, they're being mean and making me sad.

so how do you be happy in the face of all that?

you have to keep caring, and you have to keep talking, and you have to keep doing. you have to keep your head up, and your heart strong. we need the people who care and who see the wrongs to have the motivation to change things. we need you to keep imagining how great the world could be and trying to do things to change it. that's why i've started with the Friday Feminism.

besides that though, here are some things i did today to make me feel better:
  1. i slept in til i felt like getting out of bed
  2. i got a coffee from my favourite coffee shop, the goldfish bowl. it was creamy and delicious
  3. i went and sat in the park and read an essay by clem ford in the book "destroying the joint" which is motivating and inspiring and highly recommended
  4. i ran into the lovely ellie who i will soon live with, which is very exciting
  5. i followed her into her work, which is a used book store, and sat myself down in the feminism section
  6. i bought 4 books, which i promise to review/drop into blog-versation sometime soon
  7. i ran into another friend donna, who i caught up with sitting in the park talking about our lives and our plans and our things
  8. i ate a delicious salad sandwich (i said yolo and ate the bread too, because today life feels short)
  9. i bought a new scarf from my favourite opshop
  10. i collected a pretty dress i had on order and it fits perfectly and is colourful and lovely
  11. i drove maude around town and had my window down and played this cover of "say it ain't so" and sang along obnoxiously
  12. i made plans for dinner and comedy with my friends
estelle tang wrote this piece for rookie that i firmly believe in.
birdee also made a handy list of 32 things, in case my things are not enough - read this article

you will observe that being out and about and seeing nice people is basically the logic behind this day of feelgood. the temptation is to stay in and pretend it's raining, but it's really not raining (if it is raining, i apologise. all bets are off. stay inside and watch a breaking bad marathon, and try again tomorrow). i highly encourage the act of dragging oneself out of doors, dressing up in your favourite thing and going for it. remind yourself what you're trying to save, or help, or improve. remind yourself why being a human is a good thing, and recharge those passion batteries (help... i can't think of a better metaphor).

cups of tea are also great.

in conclusion, keep your head up and your heart strong - the wise words of ben howard, covered below by a lady i found on youtube.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Friday Feminism - going global

I guess I'm starting big by encouraging you to think global, but it's a timely thing (and yes, I know it's not technically Friday- let's call this a special edition). My cousin, Sarah Taylor, has worked for days, weeks, months and years at this amazing project of hers, White Circles. She has put the project out to crowdfunding (that's you, me, and everyone else) to ensure its continued development and success, and there are 10 days left for her to hit her goal.

Sarah has been working to help women in the village of Nangi in Nepal. White Circles is in partnership with the Nangi women's group to ensure support and development of a trade of their own, namely papermaking. This becomes a source of income in the community which has an immediate and noticeable impact for the people of Nangi Village. The money raised is helping with support for the local higher secondary school- it pays teacher's wages. Also, this income is helping to build an ecotourism lodge, which offers the possbility of more income.

Why is this a Feminist issue? A number of reasons.

1) The obvious benefits of education through a school which is put together by Nepali people themselves ensures bright futures for young minds who deserve to be nourished, in a way that is in keeping with their culture and way of life. Feminism aims to support people bettering themselves on their terms, offering knowledge and equality on a level that is respectful of the individual.

2) The nourishing input of women into their community has been a fact of life for countless time, but it is also a form of input that is unpaid or unrecognised, as a simple expectation. A project that encourages and builds upon the input of these women gives them a certain recognition of their value. Teaching these women skills that can be re-taught, skills that become part of their lives, affects real change to each pair of hands used in the teaching, and the making. Sarah observes that in working with these women, she can see a ripple effect, where these women have their children, family and community firmly at the forefront of their minds. As a result, this input has undeniable impact in a great many lives. Community building and connectivity are enabling forces which can grow and support these women, their families, their village, their country.

3) The vision of this project implicitly values creativity, which is often associated with women and therefore given less value. Creating something that is received and appreciated on a global level (their products are sold in Australia right up to corporate level) carries a value far beyond dollars and cents.

4) The product itself is the paper; it is made from the Lotka, a plant which can be sustainably harvested every two years without depleting the resource. Feminism sees sustainability as an alternate way to live on the earth that doesn't over-use all the resources; it is a way forward that does not value destruction and depletion, offers up a respectful and balanced relationship with our natural environment, and is really our only option if we want to keep living on our planet!

Giving money to this project offers this amazing, selfless, driven person (yep, that's you, Sarah) not only the chance to continue her work, but to expand and offer this model up to neighbouring villages. In our world, offering up a few dollars translates as so much more to a small village in Nepal.

Not only would you be doing a good thing for the women of a third world country with your donation, you would be sending Sarah herself a message that we see all she is doing, as a young woman, and that we value her and her work, and her incredible energy. That we believe in her.

And I think that's what Feminism is all about.

Helpful links:

Crowdfund through StartSomeGood - choose your reward from anywhere between $6 and $460. Crowdfunding means that until the tipping goal is reached at the end of the fundraising period, the money doesn't come out of your account. Your donation actually depends on Sarah's success with this crowdfunding goal - so brag about it to your friends and family once you've pledged your financial support!

White Circles website - for all details great and small on White Circles.

For the Love of Nepal - Sarah's blog, which offers some wonderful personal insight on her journey into developing this project, as well as some great photos and information.

The intention of this is to support the community and most importantly, it's higher secondary school. In the last 3 years we have trained and employed more than 15 women. We have generated enough funding in Nangi Village to account for the teacher's wages and helped in the building of an eco tourism lodge. - See more at:
The intention of this is to support the community and most importantly, it's higher secondary school. In the last 3 years we have trained and employed more than 15 women. We have generated enough funding in Nangi Village to account for the teacher's wages and helped in the building of an eco tourism lodge. - See more at:
The intention of this is to support the community and most importantly, it's higher secondary school. In the last 3 years we have trained and employed more than 15 women. We have generated enough funding in Nangi Village to account for the teacher's wages and helped in the building of an eco tourism lodge. - See more at:

4 things on life's to do list (part 1)

Monday, 16 September 2013

4 things about being tired

i've had the weekend off writing. i am very, very tired.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Friday Feminism - an introduction

in the month of july i undertook a bit of a personal musical exploration mission. i only listened to female artists in july- you can read about why i did this here. it was an interesting exercise, and i was pleased to come out the other end of it with a slightly different awareness of female music, and a healthy appreciation of female-created music. in the last post, which you can read here, i went so far as to make a promise that i'd keep up with doing feminist things, being a feminist... the idea being that a feminist act does not need to be a bra-burning statement. in fact, sometimes it's the smaller, more easily do-able acts that make up a bigger movement, or have a more widespread impact. as far as i see things, it's all about collective action, and that's something i'd like to inspire.

i'm going to call it Friday Feminism, and i'm hoping to make it a regular occurance. i'm hoping to make it a thing that happens on Friday, for the simple fact that Friday starts with F the same way Feminist does (other F words include Fun, Female, Farts, Face, Fact, Foolish... and many many more).

what i'd like is to explore my way through not only my ideas of how to be a feminist, but other people's ideas too- i'd like to prove that a lot of you are feminists in one way or another, but that there is a rich scope, and there's not a list of 'must-do' things to check off before you can call yourself a feminist.

i think the term has a bit of a bad rap at the moment, and that's just silly. i think that idea comes from a lack of knowledge, or bad press (and who might be putting that bad press out there is another story...) and so i'm here to give some good press and hopefully you all can play along, spread the word, and get your feminist hats/pants/faces on. i thought it might be funny to give out homework, too. a tiny piece of feminist homework. because i'd really love to start getting more blog feedback in the comments section, you can play along there if you'd like.

some weeks may be heavier than others, depending on the various factors of life that come across my path in any given week (a way of saying: maybe sometimes i'll be doing an assignment/going for a bushwalk/reading a book instead).

anyone and everyone is welcome. it's not just a girl thing. the point is to get you thinking, or to start a conversation, and for me to reflect upon practicing my feminism in a space that i've created. arguments are welcome, but please note that i'd prefer them to be coherent and respectful, that i may not agree with you even after you've stated your case, and that if you surprise me with them at a party, i reserve the right to walk away.

Let's maybe break this pie chart into pieces. Much like we might with an actual pie.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

4 things: today-appropriate someecards

i like the someecards thing a lot. they often make me giggle. even when they're bad, they're also a little bit good inside.

#30daychallenge Day 30: highs and lows of this month

this month has been one of those months where everything happens. there's been a bit of a run of bad things this week, but i'd prefer to keep them to myself- the people who need to know have my list.

i've been mentally preparing for this post the last few days, but today it doesn't seem right to write another bullet-pointed expose into my life. i've been thinking a lot of my online life vs. my real time life, and how well someone who is connected to me online actually knows me.

i've been thinking about this in part because my ex observed to me in an email on the weekend that it looks like things are going really well for me. they are, in the grand scheme, but it really drives the fact home to me that my Facebook life (and even my blog life) are really not representative of a whole life. you can't read between the lines and know everything about me from these things. the real life friends have sat down with me over coffee, wine, beer, breakfast and talked to me. asked me questions. listened to my wandering rantings.

 it makes me wonder though, just what place angst has on the internet. i certainly don't go out of my way to read it, and try not to write it anymore than necessary; angst balanced out with humour is probably the most acceptable form, i think. tavi gevinson (yep, her) talked in her opera house appearance about how negative emotions are glorified as a creative force, and how she struggled with creating anything at all when she was having some personal battles. i think she's right, in the face of all my processes. it's harder to write the sort of thing a person might like to read when your heart is very very heavy.

how to be a writer, and explore the scope of humanity, without putting you all off with ALL of the feelings?

how to be an online presence, a Facebook bookfacer, and be honest? it's weird. it's very weird.

i have enjoyed putting myself through this 30 day challenge, for everywhere i go it seems the advice for writers from other more successful writers is to write every day. so write i have, and have been rewarded with your interest. thanks for reading, for dropping by, for your comments. that's certainly been one of the highs of this month.

big love to all.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

4 things about breakfast

i love breakfast. i have to keep reminding myself when my alarm goes off every morning that if i don't snooze, my breakfast eating time can be longer and lazier, with cups of tea and magazines and blogs.

Here are some breakfast images that make me want breakfast all over again, even though it's morning tea time, and soon time for lunch.

Pancakes, juice, paper, coffee and a bit of graffiti on the tabletop.

coffee grinder: grind it old school

almond, banana & flaxseed smoothie from ink*lemonade

taken by me: breakfast in brunswick with tash, kate and iggy. bacon, black pudding, sausage, eggs, tomatoes. carnivorous.

#30daychallenge Day 29: Goals for the next 30 days

stay alive, that's my main goal.

writing-wise though, i think i am setting myself another 30 day challenge. because of Pinterest, i have a lot of images saved that i feel will inspire me to write. so i have set myself up a list, which means that each day i will have a visual prompt on which to write- so from this 30 day text-centric theme to something different.

in early november i am starting an e-course to improve my blog, and i'm sure you all will see some of the results of that.

besides these goals, i aim to be better prepared with blog-strategy; to schedule posts, to stick to my suggested themes, and to follow up on the bits and pieces i've intended to write and haven't gotten to yet.

how am i doing with this challenge? have you read something that's made you think, giggle, roll your eyes? which bits lately have been your favourite bits? which subjects do you want to see more of, and which subjects less?

don't be shy, let me know- it's the help i'm asking for to get better at this whole business.

Monday, 9 September 2013

#30daychallenge Day 28: something i miss

i miss my whistler family. the thing with travel is, you make friends elsewhere, in other countries, from other countries. and it's wonderful, and magical, and your connections are real and genuine and quite special, being that time of your young adult life before the big decisions have been made. then you have to leave these people, or they leave you, and sometimes, your heart just aches and aches with the missing of them all. and it's harder to keep in touch than you thought it would be, and you sometimes find yourself having daydreams about buying a ticket and getting out of here.

i have been looking at photos; here are some.

#30daychallenge Day 27: A problem I have had

I had a lot of problems happen to me this week. There is a great list, but the problems aren't funny yet, or they aren't blog-fodder yet, because some of them still make me want to cry a little.

I've been thinking about how to deal with problems. And how frustrating it is when other people expect you to deal with your problems the same way they deal with theirs. So instead of telling you about my problems, I decided to make a list of ways of dealing with problems that I've come across in my time as a human.

Please note they are not in any order whatsoever; some of them are my personal technique, some are a terrible idea, some I've heard about but never tried. And I am giving you no hint as to which category each dot point falls into.

  • get yourself to a bottleshop; buy a bottle of whisky. drink it all, or share it, and drink a percentage of it. 
  • cry uncontrollably at your desk
  • go out and spend your money on things you don't need in big w
  • turn up the music
  • spend the afternoon on internet/media blackout and read a book in the sun
  • play with a dog
  • pick up a stranger at a bar
  • hit on someone in a crash-and-burn scenario where there are lots of mutual friends around
  • laugh hysterically at things that aren't funny
  • over-react to a tiny problem instead of addressing the big problem
  • spend a day trying not to cry with a big lump in your throat
  • write an angry letter that you never send
  • send an angry letter that you should never have written
  • go to your parents house and let them make you dinner
  • lose your keys and drop your phone so the broken screen can haunt you
  • go paintballing
  • have a hot bath with a glass of wine
  • write in a journal
  • start an argument with someone you love about something unrelated
  • watch a season of a tv show in one day
  • tell everyone else to cheer up constantly
  • have too much coffee
  • buy a trampoline and bounce on it a lot
  • make a pot of tea and tell a friend your problems
  • write a song, or a poem
  • go to the zoo
please feel free to contribute ideas as to how i can get myself out of this 7 day bad-luck funk. i will love you forever!

He really wouldn't.

#30daychallenge Day 26: what kind of person attracts me

i guess this is most easily read as what sort of man i might want to date, but being single is a thing i'm committed to currently. having been hit over the head as recently as saturday night that my taste is men is akin to bridget jones',

Equally important: will find nice sensible boyfriend and stop forming romantic attachments to any of the following: alcoholics, workaholics, sexaholics, commitment-phobics, peeping toms, megalomaniacs, emotional fuckwits, or perverts.

i'm thankful i've only had to deal with the alcoholics, commitment-phobics and emotional fuckwits. i'd like to get a handle on this before a megalomanic finds his way into my life.

because of the being single being a good and positive thing (under no other circumstances am i as nice to myself and as happy as when i'm not trying to deal with the emotional fuckwittery that comes with another person) i thought instead i might talk about my wonderful friends, and why it is that i was attracted to them (in a friendy way... mostly) in the first place.

i say mostly a friendy type of attraction because i have a theory that we all have slight sparks of attraction to our friends, be it physically, emotionally, spiritually, intellectually. this is a good thing and makes for exciting friendships where you're always happy to see each other. well, that and i prefer goodlooking people. this may be discriminatory to an extent (although my concept of what constitutes goodlooking is not typical by any means), but whatever, i'm nice to everyone, even when i think they're ugly and stupid. i think that's fair.

the kind of person that attracts me is a person who knows themselves. in younger adult life, it seems like a bit of a mire of muddy egotistical insecurity, as far as friends go. everyone is trying to prove themselves to everyone else. at some point though, the miracle occurs, and they realise they really only have to prove themselves to themselves, and be happy with that. once this miracle has taken place, it's very rare that the happy ones will tread on your personage anymore. rather, they walk alongside you and are proud to share your victories and defeats, laugh at your silliness, tell you stories about themselves to make you realise you're not the only daggy person in the house. take note that these people don't seem to require constant reassurance, and only check in occasionally to make sure they're not losing the plot, for example, "i'm not the only one who distrusts magpies, right?".

the kind of person that attracts me is also very good with banter. quips and puns and punchlines. i tend to quite enjoy people who have opinions but don't take themselves too seriously, are upfront with any agenda they might have, read books, randomly bring baked goods into my life, are capable of serious conversation. 

i'm attracted to happiness, of the quiet and sure kind. i don't like too much loud sparkling though, or being told to smile. actually i fucking hate being told to smile or cheer up. obviously, seeing i'm generally a happy type, if i look visibly not happy something is up. either that or i just have bitchy resting face.

i'm attracted to generosity; generosity with time, afore-mentioned baked goods, jokes, compliments, other friends, kind thoughts. 

basically, i just like people who are awesome, but haven't had to work really hard on appearing that way. 

and that is what i know.

I am not attracted to evil snails. Not ever. Not even if there was a fire.

Friday, 6 September 2013

#30daychallenge day 25: someone who fascinates me, and why.

i've mentioned her a few times and i think now is the perfect opportunity to talk about it.

tavi gevinson.

i came across her TED talk probably 3 months ago. i was home sick with ridiculous headaches that have been almost-but-not-quite chronic (seems that it's my ribs, folks- in case you wondered), and looking for a bit of meaning to life. naturally, TED talks. my lovely mum had given me an early birthday/thanks for housesitting present of an iPad, which is something i'd secretly wanted for quite some time, but could never quite justify buying. so yay! lucky me. with it came my discovery of all sorts of apps i never ran on my iPhone due to space, but iPad is all spacious inside... so we find ourselves at TED talks.

for anyone not in the know (to continue on this aside... we will circle round to tavi, i promise) TED talks are about inspiring people in their field making a speech and flashing a few powerpoint slides when relevant. what i like to do is put one on when i'm doing a menial thing, like organising my wardrobe (why is it that i have to do this once a day lately? why??) or alphabetising my books (just kidding; i use the Dewey system) or painting my nails or some such. so i get to listen and learn and be inspired and also, in theory, see my floor again at some point.

so tavi's talk came up under one of the feminism searches i did, and here it is:

she's young and articulate and has used silly powerpoint slides to be self-depricating. and i like that.

naturally, the next point of contact is rookie blows my mind on a regular basis because there is just so. much. content, it's carefully managed and high quality in a way that's not smooth but holds a lot of integrity. everytime i read it, i think 'why on earth did i have to grow up 10 years earlier?' - not that i'd like to go back to being a teenager, but for the one time i had to be one, i wish i'd had this to read. i am going to make my stepsister get into it, although she'll probably roll her eyes at me. that's ok.

the content covers so many points and intricacies of a teenage life that i wonder how heavily into mindmaps the team gets in order to pull this off so perfectly. recent favourites posts include:
as time wore on and i read more rookie content and interviews with tavi about her motivation and creative processes, the more admiration i had for her. this is a woman with a seriously clever head on her shoulders, but what's more amazing (and i guess also a little sad) is just how revolutionary rookie is, as a very concept. why is it that something made by young women for young women which gives us the depth of character we deserve, as well as speaking to us with respect, in a way that makes us feel known, normal, and supported, is such an amazing thing? why has a young woman speaking up filled me with such hero-worship type feelings?

we need more of it, and we need it yesterday. gradually, bit by bit, this is something i try to address in my own work. not so much that every single thing needs to be picked apart from a feminist standpoint (although listen, between you and me it probably does), but to start being aware. particularly, the stories we're being told as women, through media, are not the only stories out there. that we can create our own stories, and we damn well should. 

rookie, and tavi, are feminist in a way that everyone should be feminist. there is a simple statement there, and it's that feminism is a no-brainer. that being a woman looks different for every.single.woman on the planet. that women are never just one thing; that women are creative, passionate, intelligent, clever, smart beings who make up half the world. 

i'm fascinated by tavi because she is a great many things. her first blog, style rookie, is her younger self and her relationship to fashion, which is just as interesting to read. you can be a feminist and be interested in clothing (i have struggled with this one in the past, back when i was a theoretical feminist fueled by university study, and not a feminist living in the real world who loves clothes), you can be a woman and not care about clothes at all, because you're really into the environment. or, you can care about clothes, and the environment, and asylum seekers, and what other people think of you, (even when you know you shouldn't).

i was lucky enough to see tavi speak in august; she did a talk at the opera house and i went along. it was a special experience made more special by the others i was there with. so many amazing, individual young women. i people-watched and internally raised my eyebrows at some of the outfits until i realised just how great it was that these people didn't look like they walked out of cosmo, and were rocking awesome floral-thrifted-sparkly clothing in the light of day, outside their rooms. the shoes! the leopard print! the fringes! the flower crowns! the red lips! the mixed prints! the accessories! the instagrammin'! the floral cotton dresses! the thick framed glasses! the fur hats and peter pan collars! the dr martens! the general lack of men! the eyeliner and high-waisted things!

tavi gevinson did that - just by being a fashion blogger. it was a physical manifestation of one woman's words and their impact on other young women looking for something telling them it's ok to be different- in fact, it's pretty awesome that we all are.

you can see her full talk at the opera house here, or you can read up on her message for this tour of australia she made according to Pip Lincolne's take on her Melbourne visit. i have to agree with Pip, and observe that my take-away point was really if you have something to say, you should say it- even if someone else has already said it, or heaps of people already have. it's about the way you are saying it that makes it creative and original, because everyone's backgrounds are different. tavi talked a lot about fangirling, and what a valuable role it plays in our creative selves. it's ok to love something obsessively, just like it's ok to get to a point where you want to kill your idols (not literally kids; she's not into murderousness) and create something different. 

i've been thinking a lot about my own creative history and am currently sifting my way through over 20 journals from my teenage time. i'd forgotten just how many unrequited feelings i felt at that time of my life, and it makes me nostalgic and in awe of the sheer amount of poetry i churned out. i also painted, drew and collaged. i was marvelling the other day to someone about the days when i used to have spare time (like school), and wondering what i did. now i know. i wrote all my angst to death, but in a good way.

i will continue to be fascinated by tavi, because she is articulate and wonderful, and i'm interested to see what happens next, for the sheer knowledge that so much about my life happened after highschool. she is going to be even more of a force to be reckoned with, and she continues to inspire me every day.

selfie on instagram, from which i get serious spectacles envy.

an instagram of food and shoes- she is @tavitulle on instagram, and awesome to follow.

The physical version of the best parts of web content from the first year of

The famous bow-on-head combo from fashion week. Apparently it sucked to sit behind her.


Thursday, 5 September 2013

4 things i would like for my birthday

it's my birthday in a month and a half, so it's not exactly right around the corner, but some of these things will have to come from Far Away and be ordered on the internet, so i thought i'd share this now. to help you out.

To my knowledge, this isn't actually a thing, but I found it at this website

This was for sale on Etsy: it's sold, but basically just remember I like owls. Wearable and non-wearable.

This one you could actually purchase for me if you clicked here

If you speak Italian these will be very easy to order at this website