Thursday, 25 June 2009

Funny Story

I gave blood for the second time this year last week (I was super excited about it, because I wanted to do it before I went to America, because otherwise I’d have to wait 8 weeks to make sure I didn’t have West Nile Virus or something, not to mention H1N1, and that would mean I wouldn’t be able to donate 3 times this year) SO I am well on track to donating 3 times this year, as intended! Awesome, I know. Anyway, everything went smoothly, from the form (when they told my dad – who’d walked me there – to leave, because he was looking over the questions and it was a “confidential document”) to the interview to my iron levels (which, apparently, rock) etc etc. It was my fastest blood donation time ever – only took about 10 minutes max to pump out 500ml. This is probably because of my excellent veins, because of which I’ve been asked if I’d like to donate plasma (a process whereby they extract your blood, remove the plasma then pump your blood back into and repeat a couple of times, so it’s a longer process) – would I what! You can do it every 3 weeks, too. Score. (Ha. Not literally.)

Back to my point: everything went well until I sat down with my chocolate milkshake (double score!) and my interviewer came over and said “JaG, we need a word, come back to my office.” She sits me down and tells me she forgot to look over something on my form and it’s been eating her up ever since. “Now JaG, you ticked the box that says you were pregnant or breast-feeding in the past nine months.” I nearly cracked up. I apologized, saying I clearly wasn’t awake (nor pregnant and/or breast feeding) and I’d somehow jumped from ticking yes, I’m feeling well today and thinking no, of course I haven’t been pregnant! Yep, that’s what happens when JaG is so desperate to give blood she makes an appointment for 9.30am two days after she’s finished exams and going home. So worth it. Can’t wait to give plasma!

Also, because I KNOW you’re all wondering, I did buy that gorgeous pink jacket because it was half price (triple score!) and therefore I was obviously MEANT by some divine force to have it. I also bought a lovely little black and white dress, also half price, to balance out the supreme pinkness of my wardrobe. Well, it’s a start in that direction.


And finally, since I’m flying out SATURDAYYYYY please feel free to recommend me things to do, places to eat/see/shop etc in Boston, New York and DC. More to the point, since only one of the colleges is opening up their computer lab for us - thank you, American! (insert comment by jdl about how superior his college is here) - blogging over the next few weeks until the 18th of July will be sporadic at best.


Some of the things we have planned:

  • Tour of Harvard or MIT
  • Seeing Avenue Q on Broadway
  • A women's basketball game in DC
  • Minor League baseball in NY
  • Statue of Liberty
  • Empire State Building
  • Ellis Island
  • Monuments by moonlight in DC
  • Arlington Cemetery
  • the Smithsonian




Tuesday, 23 June 2009


Lots of things new characters boys to love in the second season of GG. My thoughts to come.

Yes, Serena does always get the cute artsy types.

It's obvious the Van Der Bilts had all the good genes in Nate's family. Nothing to complain about where his cousin Trip is concerned (except perhaps for the unfortunate nickname, but with a face like that, it's kind of charming. And better suited than William).


Tuesday, 16 June 2009


So I can't actually tell which one of my parents sent me this email, but it was
sweet nonetheless;

Can you comprehend that now you are already half way to completing your Arts

That is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Look forward to seeing you tomorrow.

First and only exam today! For my breadth subject, Climate Change (II). It
wasn't great, but it wasn't terrible either. It could be most accurately
summed up as "annoying" - some questions were good, some were just...
But I think I went OK.

Whatever! It's so OVER. And, as mentioned above, HALF WAY
Holy shit! That's a scary thought.

The plan from here is:

-meeting for the AMERICA TRIP tomorrow morning, after
which point I will be more excited than a fangirl on steroids
-pack up my accumulated crap and leave tomorrow afternoon
-go out for a movie and dinner with the parentals (tomorrow night)
-pick up my brother and head home Thursday
-cousins from Seattle arrive Friday - joyous!

More details about the trippppp to come. Woo hooo!

And now, to bed.


Monday, 15 June 2009


[Click to enlarge]

Found whilst browing the iTunes store for applications and podcasts. Feel free to recommend. I prefer to download free stuff, but if it's worth buying, let me know - my brother got me an iTunes voucher for my birthday. :)


Crisis of Significance?

It's kind of amazing, when you think about it, how the Web has shaped our lives as a generation, how it's connecting us via YouTube and Facebook and blogs (like this one!) and Twitter, etc etc. It reminds me of something I wrote about for my Culture, Media and Everyday Life class I took last year, and for which part of the assessment was a blog:

A quote from my favourite TV show - Supernatural - got me thinking.

"You're all so connected, but you've never been more alone." (And that's right, this was said by the evil bad guy who was killing people by mimicking the voices of dead loves ones, calling people and asking them to commit suicide.)

Of course, this made me think of wonderful FACEBOOK, which I bow down and worship on an (almost) daily basis. Facebook allows us to make contact with all kinds of people we thought we'd never see or speak to again, for better or for worse; your kindergarton teacher; some girl you hooked up with in O week; your friend's mum; your cousin's girlfriend's sister's thesis supervisor; you get the point, it's kind of ridiculous. But that said, it allows me to keep in touch with my overseas cousins, as well as good friends who I've lost contact with over the years, what with changing schools and boarding school and moving out of state and uni.


It's not much of a stretch to say that we're living our lives through Facebook. Virtual reality is almost second nature. Consider Second Life, where you can buy, sell, make money, make babies, and do just about anything that you may or may not do in real life. WHERE DOES IT STOP?!

Fortunately, the WHOLE WORLD is not slave to this thing called THE INTERNET, but thanks to globalisation, they probably will be. It's all part of Mark Zuckerburg's dreams of GlOBAL DOMINATION, which he's achieving through Facebook....there's an application for that, don't you know.

But let's consider what Facebook means for our generation. Facebook truly has become a large part of our lives, fad though it may be. Is it destroying more lives that it is bringing together?

Are we more lonely than ever before, with more 'tools' at our disposal for communication?

And what of "pushing deeper into the seamless cyber-mind"? Do we know more than we ever wanted to about our friends and family?

How's this for a scary thought: where does reality stop, and the Internet begin?

Is this our future?


I've made friends through this blog I wouldn't ordinarily have been able to make. Good friends, the kind I hope I keep. Kind of like pen pals, but better. Does this - all of this *gestures at the whole Wide Web* - make us more self-absorbed and attention seeking than, say, our parents, or generation X?

And is all this - this hyperconnectivity - a good thing or a bad thing? I guess we can't know yet...


Sunday, 14 June 2009

Stolen Election


Has anyone seen what's happening in Iran? You want to go the Huffington Post, who are blogging with live updates; CNN, apparently, is a bit of a fail.

So, as far as I can tell - and I don't have anything but a sketchy-at-best and recent understanding of this - the incumbent candidate for presidency, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, claims to have won the vote in a landslide. However, there seem to many reasons why this is improbable and unlikely, and supporters of Mir Hussein Mousavi, ex-Prime Minister, presidential candidate and his biggest opposition because he is widly popular with young/students, activists, journalists, women and minories of Iran, are out on the streets to protest what some are calling a "soft coup." With no word from Mousavi, it is suspected he is under house arrest.


In short, "it’s impossible to be sure, but Ahmadinejad’s victory looks extraordinarily suspicious. If he won by that margin, he would be the most popular Iranian president ever — which he certainly isn’t. And it seems exceptionally unlikely that he won in Moussavi’s hometown, as the government claims. That’s the problem with dictators — they don’t just try to steal a squeaker of an election, they try to steal a landslide. In the process they lose plausibility and legitimacy."


On the basis of what we know so far, here is the sequence of events starting on the afternoon of election day, Friday, June 12.

* Near closing time of the polls, mobile text messaging was turned off nationwide
* Security forces poured out into the streets in large numbers
* The Ministry of Interior (election headquarters) was surrounded by concrete barriers and armed men
* National television began broadcasting pre-recorded messages calling for everyone to unite behind the winner
* The Mousavi campaign was informed officially that they had won the election, which perhaps served to temporarily lull them into complacency
* But then the Ministry of Interior announced a landslide victory for Ahmadinejad
* Unlike previous elections, there was no breakdown of the vote by province, which would have provided a way of judging its credibility
* The voting patterns announced by the government were identical in all parts of the country, an impossibility (also see the comments of Juan Cole at the title link)
* Less than 24 hours later, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamene`i publicly announced his congratulations to the winner, apparently confirming that the process was complete and irrevocable, contrary to constitutional requirements
* Shortly thereafter, all mobile phones, Facebook, and other social networks were blocked, as well as major foreign news sources.


Iran is now a tinderbox. The right is tenaciously consolidating its control over the state and refuses to yield. There is a split among the mullahs and significant dismay with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. A gaping hole has been ripped open in Iranian society, exposing the contradictions of the regime and everyone now sees that the democracy that they believed that they had in Iranian form is a "charade."

...This "coup by the right wing" has created pressures that cannot be solved or patted down by the normal institutional arrangements Iran has constructed. The Guardian Council and other power nodes of government can't deal with the current crisis and can't deal with the fact that a civil war has now broken out among Iran's revolutionaries.


This news inspired two things in me:

1) shock. How can something so blatently wrong be allowed? Obviously Iran is a corrupt country, but this is unacceptable, unbelievable; it's just so utterly awful...much respect for all those brave enough to "take to the streets their deepest dissatisfactions with every aspect of life in Iran -- from the lack of the freedom expression during non-election season and poor economic conditions to the flawed political structure of the Islamic Republic that places all the major powers of the state in the hands of an unelected Ayatollah. Most Iranians who are so enthusiastic about Mousavi will tell you that they, by no means, believe he is the best Iran can do; they believe there should be no Guardian Council of clerics who decide who can or can't run for office based on their loyalty to Islamic values to begin with," only to be faced with this:

Ali, a university student, went to the take a final exam today but ended up in an alley all beat up and bloody after he decided to attend the protests in the Fatemi Square. His friends found him in back streets near the Fatemi Square where thousands of people gathered to protest the results of the election. Ali’s family said, “There is not a spot on his body what was not beat including his head and face.” Ali’s real name has been changed to protect his identity.


[More photos from Tehran Live]

2) this is the kind of journalist I want to be, opening the world's eyes to injustice and fraud; I want to take photos like this, that say something about the state of the world we live in. I want to report on news that matters, and make the world think.

[More photos]

[New York Times]




The finale!


1. Human rights/politics
2. Films
3. Australia
4. Photography

I'm about as girly as you can get, but without being princessy about it. I'm not going to cry if I break a nail, I don't straighten my hair daily or wear make up (in fact I do - both - rarely and I prefer it if someone else does it for me), I don't worry that outdoor sports are all "ewww, gross" and I object to click lit (for the most part) on literary grounds.


That said, I love almost anything pink, go ga-ga for shoes, chocolate solves all my problems, I live for shopping, I never pass up an excuse to dress up for an occasion, my idea of a good time is with my friends, I am a complete and utter romantic, and I enjoy a good chick flick if it's funny or inclined towards romance.


I would be perfectly happy to live in a house like this (granted, if it were a little bigger):

Or this one:

And this just makes me all giddy inside:

This post also gives me a chance to swoon about theeeeese:

I'm proud of my girliness and femininity, but I'm not a stereotype. To be a girly girl these days is to be blonde, stupid and superficial:

Their favorite color is pink
Usually described as weak or fearful
Likes shopping and skirts/dresses
Usually uses "Oh my gosh" " Oh my god" "Like"
If her clothes get messed up, she makes a scene
Hates mud/dirt
Into boys..and not the only friends way
Carries a purse around

[Urban dictionary]

It's an insult to femininity. That's not to say that if you're not feminine that you're any less of a woman, but to say that because you exhibit overtly "girly" characteristics you are 1) slutty 2) wimpy 3) stuck up 4) petty 5) unkind 6) bitchy is just ridiculous. Sure, there are girls like that, but don't generalise us, just because we all (being 'girly girls') like to wear skirts or dresses.



LOLcats may be genius, but LOL celebs? Classic.

My two very favourites:

But some of them actually make a point:


Saturday, 13 June 2009


Boy, that Lady Gaga sure is kooky (and doesn't like to wear pants, ever), but I love her music, and this song is my most recent favourite. The video's a bit strange, but I really like the opening sequence.

While that cute guy at the end of the vid might look like Chace Crawford, apparently he's not. Damn.

Also, this game is pretty cool.


Sunday, 7 June 2009

More Birthday Love

My parents came down to celebrate my birthday this weekend, take me out for dinner and generally shower me with love. Much funness and spoiling ensued.

Last night we went out for dinner at The Italian, which is a very fancy restaurant on Lil Flinder's Lane, famed for its steaks. And, you know, other delicious meals. It was really very good, and a lovely dining atmosphere, I would highly recommend it to anyone (and fairly reasonably priced for an up-market restaurant.)

More to the point, I wore this dress, which I've been waiting to receive since Christmas, when I found it with my mum whilst shopping in Hawaii:

Yes! It's a lil black dress all covered in sequins! And - possibly even better - it was $100 marked down from $300!

My mum also bought me some really lovely things from Banana Republic, my new favourite store. Wait! You guys don't know about The Dress, i.e. the sole reason I worship at the altar of BR. Here we are:

Le sigh. I love it. It's 100% merino wool, and was $30 marked down from $110. It's super comfortable, fits really well and makes me feel prettyyyy. It's perfect for going out in Melbourne winters (only with a big, woolly jacket, of course).

My mum was there when I bought the above, so she knows how much I am enamoured with the store, so when they flew back for the funeral she was thoughtful enough to do some birthday shopping there for me:

Aaaaand (finale) this gorgeous LBD to assist with my quest for the American Dream (20 days!!!):

I ♥ it. It's stretchy, meaning it fits in all the right places, and looks reallyyyy nice. Well, I think so. And makes me feel fab. Can't wait for an excuse to wear it!

Among other things, I also received:

Opening presents with my family was the funniest thing, and I can't for the life of me remember why. It was the kind of laughter that makes your cheek hurt and your stomach ache, and it's the very best kind.


@ Sara: yes, photo-whoring, but I can't help it if I look fabulous this blog is, after all, about ME, so there!