Saturday, 18 January 2014
Anyone who knows me knows I'm a book nerd, so when I come across random posts like this http://bookriot.com/2013/12/27/30-one-sentence-lessons-literature/ I immediately want to contribute with some of my own.
The Book Riot lesson that most got me chuckling was
"20. Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy: Just when you thought that life couldn’t get any more unfair, you read Tess and lost any last shred of hope."
Anyone who's read Tess knows that life just really kicks her in the nuts. Repeatedly. Just because she wants to be an honest person. It's an amazing novel.
Dracula is another of my favourite novels; Book Riot life lesson from Dracula is "If you have a choice between Count Dracula’s castle and the Holiday Inn, stay at the Holiday Inn." I actually think I can do better, the life lesson I can take away is - "Men, do not leave your lady folk sleeping alone while you go out and hunt vampires- they will be preyed upon".
Anyway, I got caught up in this game from that point, and here's a few more of my own life lessons from literature whittled down to a sentence.
Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernières: Dudes, learn an instrument, chicks dig musicians.
Charlotte's Web by EB White: Don't make friends with animals that only have a one year life span; you'll get hurt.
Maya by Jostein Gaarder: Learning a secret language in order to cheat at cards is easier than it seems.
Children of Men, Oryx and Crake, and other dystopian/end of humanity novels: Keep plenty of canned food in your pantry- when the world's population dives into anarchy, chances are someone will come searching through your house, and thank you for these stores.
East of Eden by John Steinbeck: DON'T name your children after biblical figures with tragic stories, it's a self fulfilling prophecy, really.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: DO name your children after Atticus Finch; they will grow up to be the noblest, most ethical person ever!
I could go on and on, but I won't. Happy reading!
Sunday, 6 October 2013
Hi boys and girls! Thought I'd do a little post to share with you my favourite movie scenes of all time. When I began considering this post, I had wanted to do a '5 movies that changed my life' to tie in with my 5 books that changed my life post a few months back. Weirdly, when I began thinking about it, the impact movies have had on my life is minuscule compared to books. I guess I'm just a massive nerd. So instead, in no particular order, here are 5 movie scenes that have left an indelible impression on me...
The scene where ....
Romeo meets Juliet in Baz Lurhmann's 1996 production
Can you believe this was 1996?!?!? God we've all grown up a lot since then... I know I know it's cheesy cheesy crap! Hey, at least I didn't choose that kiss in the rain from The Notebook!
It's strange how much I dislike Bazza's more recent stuff, because the second scene I'm picking is also from that famed director.
The scene where ....
The dad starts clapping in Strictly Ballroom
Oh. My. God. GOOSEBUMPS EVERY FUCKING TIME!!!!
HINT: If you've not seen this movie before, DO NOT watch this little clip. This film must be seen in it's entirity, on the largest screen you can find, for maximum impact. Poor Paul Mecurio, he was so so handsome, now he's reduced to making ads for margerine for an income.
The scene where ....
Mufasa dies in The Lion King
The scene where ....
Salvatore (Toto) watches Alfredo's film at the end of Cinema Paradiso
Again, without watching the entire film, this final scene would have no meaning. Not only is it one of the best movies of all time, it has the most gut wrenching scores of all time. God bless the Italians - no one does emotion like them! (Full disclosure- while compiling this post, I watched this clip three times in a row - it's just so beautiful!)
The scene where ....
Bubba dies in Forrest Gump
Oh, it was SOOO tough to choose this one - there were two scenes from this movie that give me goosebumps - this one and the one at the end where he's speaking to Jenny's grave. So what if it's mainstream, it's a damn good movie!
So there it is, my list of 5 top movie scenes that have pierced my weary, cynical soul. Feel free to comment!
Sunday, 22 September 2013
I was having (an admittedly drunken) discussion with a friend the other night, about vernacular trends, along the lines of “why don’t people say ‘festy’ anymore?” ... “I’m going to bring back the word ‘Chat’!”. So I thought I’d compile a little dictionary of words that have fallen out of use from my vocab, a sociological fossil bank if you will. Oh the hubris of thinking that I’m the first person to have done this (a subsequent Google search would inform me!) But, I’ll stick to my word, and give you a list of 90’s and 00’s slang words that I miss dearly:
Homeboy: Sometimes shortened to ‘Homie’. A gang member or, more loosely, a friend, who has your back.
Chat or chattie: for something to be chat, it has to be ‘stupid’, but specifically things that a 12 to 14 year old would think are stupid. Perfect example “I have to hang out with the parentals this weekend; it’s so chat”
Headbanger: someone who enjoys banging their head to heavy metal music. Actually, I’m not totally sure whether this term has fallen out of use; perhaps its just that I never speak to people who have much interest in metal...
Derro: Ok, I’m sure bogans from Cronulla still use this term, but its been a while since I heard it. I’m not sure if it’s meant to be short for something (delinquent, perhaps?), but basically it means a waste of space human, usually jobless, unintelligent etc etc. Think of Billy Madison before he went back to school.....
Feral Bush Pig: No explanation needed. I AM bringing this back, so keep your ears out.....
Then, there’s every single term that was used in the classic (yes, whether you like it or not, it IS a classic!) Clueless. I could write a whole article about this, but, luckily, someone already has! (see here)
End of transmission. Feel free to add your own to the list!
Sunday, 14 July 2013
Saturday, 9 March 2013
I know this is the cry of the Wanker, but it's true: I LIKED IT BEFORE IT WAS COOL!
Here are two things that have been popping up more and more often, things that I was into BEFORE they became a fad...
Owls are cool. I began my love affair with owl objects about three or four years ago when I received two gifts in one week (must have been either Birthday or Xmas, no one loves me enough to give me gifts for no reason... *tear*) that had owls on them. I was suprised to hear one of those gift bearers say "It just reminded me of you, you're a bit owl-y" but from that day on, I have kept an eye out for cool owl paraphenalia, whether it be tshirts, earrings, well, that's about it so far. Except for the cross dressing owl garden gnome thing my mother gave me for Xmas 2012. It's sparkly and his name is Bernice. Anyway... the point of this rant is, lately, I've seen owl related shit EVERYWHERE! And it annoys me to know other people are butting in on my thing! So back off everyone, and if I see anyone wearing an owl tshirt, I will tear it off you!
The article in the Sunday Telegraph today was the last straw.
It claims that onesies were the most popular item on the Xmas 2012 wish list for Poms. This is just not fair! I bought my first onesie back in 2010, and made an addition to my collection in 2012. That's right. I have two one piece pyjamas. And they ARE pyjamas. I don't wear them out of the house (well, I did once wear them into a car to drive a boyfriend to work, but did not get out of the car the entire time. I did put the fox ear hood on to get a chuckle out of some cops that were looking a bit dreary. That's right, did I mention one of my onesies is a fox suit? Again, purchased before animal suits were the rage... can you believe people wear that shit to music festivals? They're really rather warm, I couldn't wear one if it was above 18C.... Rant within a rant over)
Anyway, the article upset me for two primary reasons: firstly, they say you can't get a dude with a onesie. I have proved this WRONG- every guy (platonic or romantic) who's seen my onesies have thought they are the coolest, cutest things ever! One guy that I was seeing for a while "baggsed" my onesie and insisted that he be able to wear it whenever he stayed the night. It is possible he wanted to wear it just so he didn't have to see me wearing it, but compared to my other ratty pyjamas I don't reckon it's too bad...
Secondly, the article is pretty much an advertisement for one particular online onesie store, Pretty Little Thing, which is a shit name for a store, I was a bit hesitant typing it in, convinced I was going to be directed to some paedo-porno site. Anyway, their onesies are not nearly as well made as onepiece.com onesies (or Jumpsuits, as the site now calls them) Sure, Onepiece has lost some cred since it's done a few Featured lines with wankers like the Dudesons and One Direction, but they're still the greatest! BUT only the greatest because I have one, and have had one since BEFORE THEY WERE COOL!
* The title of this post is an homage to the Threadless (http://www.threadless.com/ ) tshirt "I listen to bands that don't even exist yet". Basically it's a caption to make fun of idiots who only like obscure bands that no one has ever heard of, purely to try prove that they are more into the music scene. This is explained perfectly in the blog Stuff White People Like: http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/2008/01/30/40-indie-music/
Wednesday, 2 January 2013
This will not be a particularly articulate post- my feelibgs around this issue are too tied up with my emotions to be able to produce an article with any semblance of objectivity.
My rage stems from a recent press conference held by the current Australian Families Minister, Jenny Macklin. The herald article can be found here:
Now, I want to say straight up that I don't blame her as an individual for stating that she could live on it; of course she has to say that. I am just so sick and tired of Aussie politicians being so out of touch with the broader society and the daily struggles we go through.
My Newstart Allowance from Centrelink, plus my Rent Assistance payment, comes to about $520 per fortnight (roughly $37 per day). I want to point out that with my health care card, I also get concessions on medications, and cheaper train tickets, which is seldom explained to people not acquainted with the system. Nevertheless, you do skip meals on occasion because you need to save money for your mum's Birthday pressie or to buy a new bra because your others all look like some wash rag that's been around since the 1870's. The dismally low payment also leads quickly to social isolation, as you skip social events that you cannot possibly afford. But almost daily I thank my lucky stars that I'm SINGLE; that I don't have a child to support on this hideous excuse for Welfare; and that I live near public transport and don't have to run a car. Anyone who has to do this on Newstart is, to put it mildly, completely screwed.
What makes me want to cry (and scream, and throw molotov cocktails at politicians' houses) is the fact that, whenever MPs speak about Welfare, Centrelink issues, "getting parents back into the workforce" etc etc, has it never occurred to them that people on Welfare MIGHT ALREADY BE TRYING TO FIND WORK? Not every Australian is a "Dole Bludger" (what a hateful concept); most, I repeat MOST people want to be meaningfully employed.
I hear the Minister for Employment Participation (What a Fucking title!), Good Old Kate Ellis in my ear piping up that you need to be willing to accept any employment, broaden your search and you'll find it. Well, the next Minister that pipes up about how low the unemployment rate is; or how possible it is to live on Newstart; or how we need to be tougher on dole bludgers, is going to get a long letter from me COMPLETE with my spreadsheet detailing the 57 jobs I've applied for in the last 6 months, varying from Government positions to Admin to Customer Service to Retail to Volunteer positions. And an offer to swap places; as I could obviously do their job better than them.
Tuesday, 4 December 2012
Hmm after typing that title I am wondering if the word “music” was derived from “muse”. Must Wiki that... *
Here’s an exercise/experiment I want you to try. It’s really very simple!
1. Pick an album that you used to listen to a lot a long time ago (say 5-10 years ago), but haven’t really listened to any time lately.
2. Listen to it.
3. Be amazed at what emotions, thoughts, memories are brought about by listening to it.
To put the proposed exercise in context, I recently received an awesome present of an E-Reader, that ALSO PLAYS MUSIC! Oh yes, very excited I was. So I was going through my mum and dad’s computer to find some music to load onto said e-reader when I came across Howie Day’s Stop All The World now. Now I was borderline obsessed with this album in around 2007 (I tend to get obsessive and listen to one album or artist over and over for about 6 months then never again), and so naturally I thought why not slap it on and take a trip down memory lane!?
Now, without baring the secrets in the depths of my soul, the period I was listening to this I was pretty messed up, and did a lot of things that I’m not proud of; I found it interesting to be able to listen to the album and remember those times, but have some distance to reflect. How big and all-consuming those issues were at the time! How far I have travelled that those issues are so rarely thought of today! Perhaps, just perhaps, the issues that I feel are never ending and so distressing today will, in time, be observed with the same retrospective safety. This thought gave me a little smile at a period in my life when there is not much to smile about.
As well as just being a good pop/rock album, Howie Day’s Stop All The World now is a perfect demonstration of the Wolfenblergh Principle. Wolfenblergh is an entirely fictional person who, through rigorous analysis, has unearthed the veracity that the vast majority of music albums place their best songs as track 3 and/or 7. Think about it- yeah, that’s right- your favourite album? Chances are your favourite track is 3, no? And this is not a recent phenomenon, but has roots back to Chet Baker and Elvis Presley.
Here’s a list of albums (in no way exhaustive) that prove Wolfenblergh’s Principle:
Alanis Morrisette – Jagged Little Pill
Daft Punk – Homework
Architecture In Helsinki – Fingers Crossed
Bloc Party – Silent Alarm
Now, I have heard people dismissing the Wolfenblergh Principle by saying that their favourite track of most CDs is track 1. Track one doesn’t count, as of course it has to be the strongest piece- if you put a shit song as number one, no one is going to persist through the rest of the album, no?
Oh, also, a special mention needs to be given to Track 13. While it holds no significance in recorded studio albums (hey, lets face it, most albums released these days don’t go for 13 tracks) but is crucial when discussing mix tapes/CDs/Playlists/however the cool kids share music these days. Track 13 should always be the an incredibly awesome song, so when you’re out somewhere with the recipient and you hear the track you can shout loudly “OMG TRACK 13!” If you hear Track 13 and you’re not in the company of the person who made you the mix tape, it is obligatory that you text them “ OMG TRACK 13!”. If in doubt what particular song to use as YOUR Track 13 next time you are composing a mix tape, the default is If I Ever Feel Better by Phoenix. This is the original and the greatest Track 13.
After having fun reliving my uni years by listening to old Howie, here’s a list of other albums I plan to dig up, brush off and give an ear to:
The mix tape my friend Liz made for me in 1998, my first year of high school. This has such classics as the Austin Power’s opening theme song and Callypso by Spiderbait. I’m certain there us old school No Doubt on there as well. The issue is finding the tape, and then a cassette player to listen to it!
Naughty By Nature’s Nineteen Naughty Nine- another album I listened to 500 times in 6 months and then never again. Borrowed from and never returned to one of the coolest guys in my year (won’t use names, but you know who you are- you once got a phone call in class and told the teacher “sorry, it’s my psychiatrist I have to take this”. classic.).
Nelly’s Country Grammar- Remember Nelly, guys? EVERYONE had this in their car when people were first getting their licences.
Well, here endeth the lesson. Please comment on what albums bring up memories for you; what albums prove (or disprove) the power of Wolfenblergh’s principle, or anything really- PLEASE COMMENT!
Here is a link to a YouTube Playlist I made up of songs referenced in this blog article. Happy Listening!
According to Wikipedia the word music “...is ultimately derived from mousa, the Greek word for muse...” So there you go.