Thursday, 25 December 2008

A Very Wombat Christmas

Hope y'all have a very Merry Christmas.

Best wishes, seasons greetings and all that jazz,

Friday, 19 December 2008

Bon Voyage

Because I have better things to do than sit around and blog to you people from The Middle of Nowhere, state of Whoop Whoop, somewhere in the land of Down Under, I am departing for the fair shores of Hawaii tomorrow, and will henceforth be likely cut off from the Internet, computers and blogging for a month or so. I know y’all are going to miss me (etc) – I’m going to miss you too, believe me – but try not to dwell on it, m’k? Tis the season to be merry, after all.

Here’s the plan:

Hawaii (Christmas)

Dallas, Texas


Taos, NM

Santa Fe (New Years!)

Grand Canyon (3 days)

Las Vegas (2-3 days)

Los Angeles (3 days)



In the meantime, I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a terrific New Year. Keep me updated on your happenings, y’hear?

christmas Pictures, Images and Photos

Love and season’s greetings,



Thursday, 18 December 2008

I Only Date Vampires

So, it’s been a while and a lot has happened. For starters, our computer got malware and required a service, hence my blogging absence. Secondly, it was Sharanya’s 19th last week (Wednesday), so if you haven’t already, go over and wish her a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY! And finally, I went down to Melbourne over the weekend and saw – as well as AustraliaTwilight!!

Twilight was a madhouse of maniac teenage girls, a description which may or may not have included myself and my friend. However, it made for a fantastic and charged atmosphere; really, it was like one big slumber party, with everyone “shh!”ing as the lights went down, laughing at Jasper’s face (he is kind of funny looking, he has this permanently surprised look), murmuring when Edward appeared and cheering and wolf-whistling when Edward and Bella kissed.

The book might not have been subtle, but the film makes you appreciate such qualities, generally hitting you over the head with things like Bella’s scent and Edward being a blood-scuking, immortal “cold one,” just in case you live under a rock and hadn’t realised Edward is a dirty great vamp. However, like the book, the chemistry, head-over-heels part where they (supposedly) fall in love is lacking and therefore kind of unbelievable. I mean, Edward goes from being “we shouldn’t be friends” to “I can’t stay away from you, I must watch you sleep and follow you to Port Angeles,” and Bella’s all “I trust you, even though I don’t know you AT ALL and you’re a vamp who not only lusts after my body but – more importantly – my BLOOD.” While it’s faithful to the essential outlines – and favourite quotes – of the plot, it takes liberties by mixing in parts from New Moon.

Twilight Movie Still 1 Pictures, Images and Photos

Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) is broody and aloof almost to a point of overkill (but he still looks good when he’s brooding, so all is forgiven), and fairly well captures Edward’s internal struggle between his clashing desires; Bella, and the need to resist her. However, even CGI can’t mimic the sparkle of Edward Cullen’s diamond-looking skin in the sunlight; the result is pitiful and somewhat laughable.

It is well worth the wait to see Edward smile; on the other hand, it looks as though Bella (Kristen Stewart) is in constant pain, even though she’s with the sexiest vamp EVER. As Jake Wilson observes in The Age, “she has only two real acting weapons: her lashes, which she flutters to indicate confusion, and her prominent front teeth, which are put on show when she lets her mouth fall open in a wary, appraising look.”


The secondary characters, on the other hand – Charlie, Jacob and the Cullens – play their parts well, although Jacob and the Cullens were all too minor, if you ask me. I hope we see more of them – especially the latter, who were particularly good – in the film/s to come.

Jim Schembri wrote a hilarious response to the film about “25 things you will learn about your average modern-day angst-ridden teenage vampire from watching the new hit movie Twilight,” including, first and foremost, that “broadly speaking, the world is divided into two groups: normal people, or “mortals,” and vampire people, or “immortals.” The chief advantage of being an “immortal” is the ability to sit through an entire screening of Australia without regretting the three hours of life you’ll never get back.”

Which leads me to the “obese epic” that is Australia.

Perhaps the best and most arresting thing about Australia is the cinematography, which completely captures the sprawling landscape in all its expansive, beautiful, overwhelming and breathtaking glory. In terms of its leading stars, Nicole Kidman has the irgnoant, hoighty-toighty English aristocrat (Sarah Ashley) down, whilst Hugh Jackman (the Drover) says crikey more than Steve Irwin, and is a little too much of a pretty boy for a drover, but he’s rugged – and chiselled – enough for the part. But the star of the show is the young Aboriginal half-caste boy, Nullah (Brandon Walters), from whose point of view the story of Mrs Boss (Sarah Ashley), the Drover, the fight for Faraway Downs and the bombing of Darwin.

David Wenham does a mean (pun intended) bad guy (Neil Fletcher), the evil and ambitious underling to the King of the Beef Industry and landowner Carney (Bryan Brown), who wants Faraway Downs. Much underhandedness ensues, there is the inevitable confrontation, a declaration of war and so begins the battle for Faraway Downs, which is restored to its former glory with a joint effort by the Drover and Mrs Boss, who – obviously – fall madly and passionately in love. But wait – it’s not a true Luhrmann film without tragedy, which is scattered throughout the film but is compounded in the last hour (by which time you are practically begging for the film to end.)

Sure, it’s clichéd, corny, predictable, much too long, melodramatic and cringe-worthy (at least for Australians), but it’s romantic, spectacular, evocative, impressive and feel-good. Evan Williams sums it up best when he says: “there are moments in Baz Luhrmann’s over-sized, over-long Outback weepie Australia, when one wonders if there are any tablecloth clichés about Australia that have been missed. We have the horses, the cattle, the dust, the rugged Aussie loner, the Aborigine standing on one leg in a loincloth, the beer, the roos. About the only thing missing is a bloke named Bruce.”

Germaine Greer – ever controversial – had a field day in yesterday’s Age, with a scathing article about how the film is “strictly fanciful,” “a film that twists history into a fairytale confections…and glosses over the shocking exploitation of Aborigines,” essentially expressing indignation and outrage over Luhrmann’s lack of historical accuracy. But that’s exactly what Australia intends to be – strictly fanciful; it’s symbolic to the point of hyperbole. It makes clear the cruelty of the White Australia policy that created the Stolen Generation, and it doesn’t shy away from the ostracizing of Aboriginals by society. I’m inclined to agree with Marcia Langton, professor of Australian indigenous studies at Melbourne University, that Lurhmann has created “a myth of national origin that is disturbing, thrilling, heartbreaking, hilarious and touching.”

That’s Hollywood, Germaine. Don’t take it quite so seriously.

Twilight: 2.5 stars

Australia: 3 stars


Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Double Take

Queer's - I mean Queen's - College, Uni of Melbourne.

Meet R2-D2 the second.

Christian Science Reading Room, DeGraves St, Melbourne.

(Apologies for the quality of the photos; first taken from a moving car, latter two are from iPhone.)


Sunday, 7 December 2008

How Far We've Come

Last night was the Australian Film Institute (AFI) Awards, celebrating 50 years of Australian cinema, hosted by the hilarious Steven Curry, who I loved in The Castle. It was a fairly modest affair, featuring appearances by Marcia Hines, George Miller and Eric Bana, looking handsomely rugged and bearded, but Hugh Jackman – the Sexiest Man Alive – could not be there.

Summer Heights High won 2 awards (deservingly) for Best Comedy and Best Actor, with actor/writer Chris Lilley winning the Byron Kennedy Award. The Black Balloon also scooped up several, and Underbelly, not surprisingly, made a killing. I really should see it. It’s too bad it was banned in Victoria (all but 5 episodes of 13) – it’s so ironic, because we don’t live in Victoria, but we live close enough that we receive Victorian TV. The Hollowmen got the acknowledgment it deserved for best screenplay.

Underbelly Pictures, Images and Photos

There was a wonderful tribute to Heath Ledger, who received an award for Best Actor. I really hope he wins the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, it would be a wonderful testament not only to his outstanding performance in The Dark Knight but recognition of his stunning body of work.

Australia’s favourite film, as voted by Australians as part of Australia’s Post stamp campaign, was The Castle. Among the top five were Muriel’s Wedding, Lantana, Gallipoli and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. The most prestigious award of the night – Best Film, obviously – went to The Black Balloon. The rest of my family have seen this (including my brother, against his will), and I'm definitely intrigued, as it stars Gemma Ward, who apparently isn't half bad.

The Black Balloon Pictures, Images and Photos


Friday, 5 December 2008

Do you believe in happily ever after?

twilight Pictures, Images and Photos

Twilight - Lion Fell in Love w/ Lamb Pictures, Images and Photos

and so the lion fell in love with the lamb Pictures, Images and Photos

Stupid shiny volvo owner 6 Pictures, Images and Photos

Twilight Icon Pictures, Images and Photos

team edward Pictures, Images and Photos

He swam to France Pictures, Images and Photos

In a week from today, I'm going to see Twilight!


Sunday, 30 November 2008

Oh, Rachel Zoe

(For those in the know, it’s pronounced Zo, not Zoey)

Rachel Zoe, “stylists to the stars,” once famously Nicole Richie’s friend and eating disorder pal, has, like a host of her vain celebrity friends with too much time on their hands, got herself a reality TV show that follows her fascinating life in fashion for the rest of us who are clearly desperate to know what she does day-to-day - the Rachael Zoe Project. And it’s just as brainless as she is.

This makes it an almost mindless delight. I’ve only watched one episode, on a lazy Saturday afternoon whilst channel surfing with nothing better to do, and indeed if you have no better way to fill your time, this may just do. If you take none of it seriously – and fear not, Zo does that more than enough for you – it’s a hoot. She “dresses” her clients by giving her opinion on their outfits, drools all over designers such as Oscar de la Renta, never seems to have enough time to get ready, but always has “20 minutes” to go shopping, where she inevitably buy countless dresses she probably won’t wear (“I’ll look at it”), will tell her husband she “had in the back of [her] closet” and will no doubt lead to yet another fight with said (increasingly frustrated) husband, who has been contacted by the credit card company for “suspicious activity.

  • “I see it, I want it, I grab it…I pay for it later” (she says as she pulls clothes off a rack)
  • “I can’t keep anything alive except a cactus…and that died” (walking upstairs with flowers her husband gave her)
  • “Brad, we’ve got to give her a coat or she’s going to wear god-knows-what”
  • “I am, like, perpetually confused…about where I’m going with my day.”

Then there’s all the tension with Taylor, ex-assistant, who has moved onto Vogue, who hates the gay but charming underling Brad, who used to work under her and now has replaced her.

  • Taylor: “Does Brad not f---king know how to use a telephone?”
    Friend: “I don’t think so.”
    Taylor: “Things like that infuriate me.”

Brad is one of the things that makes this show worthwhile; the other is the fashion. During NY Fashion Week, Zoe gets to attend all the glorious shows we plebs dream about, which are, believe me, gorgeous - but completely out of your - and my - price range.

Oh, (as Arielle likes to say) to be young and beautiful and fabulous and completely lacking in depth.


Thursday, 27 November 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Who has plans?


Tuesday, 25 November 2008

A step in the right direction


Sugarplum Fairies

The Nutcracker always reminds me of Christmas.

I remember seeing a production of it in Hawaii some Christmases ago.

Snowflake in Nutcracker Pictures, Images and Photos

It's such a beautiful, magical story - it captures all the joy, love and fantasy of Christmas.

1 month to go!


Friday, 21 November 2008

The American Dream

Next year, I'm taking a winter intensive subject called "Searching for the American Dream." It's a history subject that involves going to the States for 3 weeks over the winter break in order to study the subject.

It is so incredibly awesome and I am so incredibly going! It's a quota subject, which means only so many students can go, and I was accepted!! I am so incredibly excited like you would not believe (or maybe you would). I might not be going on exchange, but like they say, when one door closes, another door opens.

New York, New York!


Washington D.C

I've never been to Boston, a baseball game or lived in an American college. It is going to be utterly fantastic.



So, today I'm going to do that thing, where I, like, go home - or as Sara might put it, retreat from civilisation - and not blog ever. Just kidding. I will be around cyberspace occasionally. But I plan to a lot of r&r - obviously to recover from the stress and high blood pressure than has been my two exams* - that's reading and resting, for those who don't know. Oh, and obviously catch up on my most beloved Supernatural, watch an obscene amount of movies, get up to all sorts of mischief with Sara, get laid, gorge myself silly, watch the sun set, dream about true love (or any love, really), be inspired, write poetry and hopefully get paid for doing nothing working for my parents.

summer icon Pictures, Images and Photos

It's gonna be sweet.

Anyhow, less than a month til I go to Hawaii, about which I am super, super excited, and then on to Vegas, baby!

And I know y'all are going to miss me, so feel free to email, or whatever. You could write sonnets in my name,** if you really wanted. I wouldn't stop you.

Summer Icon Collage Pictures, Images and Photos

What are your plans?***


*Can't complain actually, exams went pretty well, I actually have a really good feeling about them and didn't find them all too challenging - read: impossible.
**Pseudonym. Whatever.
***Winter. Holidays. It's all the same. Skiing!

Thursday, 20 November 2008

AWOW: 7 & final


Death is but the next great adventure.*

I don't know where I sit on this one; I haven't thought about it all that much.

But being the atheist that I am, I've never really believed in an afterlife. I believe we simply die.

I love the stories of the Egytian afterlife, although I don't know if I'd want to be a part of it.

The whole reincarnation thing is pretty cool. If you could come back as anyone or anything, who/what would you be?**


*I know I have some hardcore fans so tell me, which BOOK is this quote from?!
**I realise that, sadly, it doesn't work like this.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008


“You have to be careful about your thoughts because your thoughts become your words. You have to be careful about what you say, because your words become your actions. You have to be careful about what you do, because your actions become your habits, and you have to be careful about your habits because, collectively, your habits become your character.”


It's not who you are underneath, it's what you do that defines you.

Is it our actions that make us good or bad, or who we are?

I am composed of three parts. Foremost, I have a body and all of its organs made of matter. Secondly, I participate in the form of the human being. Third, I have a soul that tries to understand and do the good and condemn and avoid the bad.

I'm inclined to think both - because isn't it who we are underneath that drives us to do the things we do? I don't know that one thing necessarily defines us, if anything at all can define us - it is anything and everything that can say the most about "who we are."

So I started thinking about some of the things that might define me, and I came up with a short list and made a mosaic featuring them:

1. Australia, 2. Hawaii (America), 3. My friends, 4. Melbourne University, 5. My job - Boost Juice, 6. My beliefs - there's no God, 7. Where I live - farm, 8. Just A Small Town Girl, 9. Optimism

What you say no to defines you - drinking, smoking, drugs, prejudice.

What surrounds you will define you - family and friends. Aren't we judged by the company we keep?

What you stand for defines you - equality.

Your background and environment in the early years are the beginnings of what will finally define you . This nurturing and exposure combined with your genetic make up inherited over thousands of years is what builds your character, develops your integrity and gives you that aura and personality...Character, integrity and aura and personality are all the things that define a person.


(Please, please somebody, for the love of all that may be holy and all-powerful, name this movie!)

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Heartthrob or horrific?


Vampires, that is.


What say you?


(My only answer: Edward Cullen. Full stop.)




I Picked A Major I Like But I Resent Your Pessimism Regarding It

I've made my decision: this JAG is going to be an English Lit major and history minor, and she's looking forward to it! She's come a long way since wanting to be a creative writing major and spanish minor, but that's OK, because she's happy with her choices, and she's looking forward to it.

I, JAG, picked a major I like. However, I believe (one day) I WILL BE SUCESSFUL and refuse to succumb to others' perception that I will fail and end up living in a cardboard box. I resent your pessimism (communitcations & business majors) for I am an arts/theatre/voice/cinema/music/art/photography/philosophy/creative writing/english major & I am optimistic. I shall find employment... one day.

Besides, how hard could it be?



Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart.


choose thy fate Pictures, Images and Photos

Are we the agents of our own destiny? Or merely the pawns of Fate, Destiny, the Gods or some higher order?

fate Pictures, Images and Photos

What fates impose, that men must needs abide; It boots not to resist both wind and tide

Is fate just an excuse - "for those too weak to determine their own destiny"? Do we control ourselves, our futures, or are we living out some predetermined future?

I'm more inclinded to believe that "we make our own fortunes and we call them fate." I also rather like the Devil's Dictionary definition of destiny: "A tyrant's authority for crime and fool's excuse for failure."

I've always been of the belief that everything happens for a reason, but that we are the masters of our own destiny, so to speak. Que sera, sera -- but we decide.

"We sow our thoughts and reap our actions. We sow our actions and reap our habits. We sow our habits and reap our character. We sow our character, and we reap our destiny."


Monday, 17 November 2008

O What Gendered Lives We Lead

Why must girls always be defined in relation to guys? They're either girly or a tomboy - that is, ultra-feminine, or somewhat masculine.

Take Abbey-Louise Clarke, who recently joined her local fire brigade (not entirely sure why this is news, but it's the Herald Sun, so no questions asked).

Abbey-Louise Clarke plays footy, cricket, helps build houses and has just become the first female firefighter at her CFA station.

But Cobden's Abbey-Louise says she is no tomboy.

"I'm an ordinary girl who likes to do anything men can do," the 17-year-old said.

Are there such things as male and female interests, and why are they this way? Just because sewing has always been a woman's job, doesn't mean it is by its very nature, nor does it make it a feminine past time.

As if there aren't enough stereotypes in the world.