Friday, 25 June 2010

Australian coup!

A political coup that took all of 12 hours, to be exact.

Australia now has a female PM, which is over-the-moon exciting, but it feels like a hollow victory.

I don’t want to say that a female PM by any means is less momentous, but let’s remember: we, the Australian people, didn’t elect her. So how will they feel about this?

Julia Gillard’s seizure of power feels sour, like a bad taste in the mouth – not that I’m not pleased as punch for her, I am, because I’m hoping she’ll be able to achieve more than Kevin Rudd promised and tried to – because she hasn’t been elected by the people. To quote a Facebook friend of a friend, 'our new prime minister wasn't even chosen by us. the westminster system is shit.'

What feels really awkward is that a Prime Minster has been deposed by his own party for what constitutes no significant or dishonourable reason. His party is simply fed up with him, dissatisfied – but is that the party’s call to make? We voted him in – don’t we retain the right to vote him out, if we so choose?

It was really sad to see Rudd struggle over his words yesterday, as he gave his last press conference as PM, visibly on the verge of tears. The people like(d) and voted for K Rudd, and probably would have supported him to a second term. Sure, Tony Abbott is gaining favour, but he really doesn’t have a strong platform to oppose the ALP yet. Rudd might have been a disappointment, but I think people would have been willing to give him a second chance. He may have been the nose, particularly with the recent super tax/mining issue, but he hadn’t disgraced himself enough to not deserve re-election. Apparently, "I believed that a good Government was losing its way" said Australia's new Prime Minister, Julia Gillard. But is this reason enough?

Has the Labour party actually shot themselves in the foot? In the hopes of establishing a more able challenger to Tony Abbott, have they shown themselves to be backstabbers? Will the Australian people want Kevin Rudd to have a fair shake of the sauce bottle, as it were, and feel he was wrongly done by? It will be very interesting to see...The ALP still have my vote, but how many others?


Monday, 21 June 2010

Just Another Manic Music Monday: Glee edition

Vogue. I've uploaded these songs more for the videos than the music. Sue's ad-libbing is hilarious, and the clip is a testament to Madonna's version. Meanwhile, Rachel is a melodramatic as ever

Run, Joey, Run - too funny!

And while we're on the hilarity of Rachel/Lea Michele, check out scenes from her audition; she pratically IS Rachel.

More here: Artie (Kevin McHale), Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz), Mercedes and Kurt (Amber Riley and Chris Colfer), Finn (Cory Monteith). I couldn't find anything from Quinn's (Dianna Agron), sadly, but she talks about it here. I love her. And I love that they all talk about how awful they think their auditions were terrible, but they ended up getting the parts.

To finish: just some of the more memorable musical moments.

This is an absolutely amazing performance of the song, although it makes me sad that Kurt blows the last note.

Never fails to make me smile. Or sing along.

Oh no she did NOT just include Vocal Adrenaline! I did, because I really liked this number, and what can I say? They won Nationals last year!

Favourite Glee performances?


PS: See here for my views on the Glee finale (spoilers!!!)

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Sometimes I fear putting pen to paper

Writing itself is easy: it’s good writing, memorable writing, epiphany-inducing writing that’s life-challengingly difficult, and sometimes so overwhelming that it makes you want to give up altogether. I’ve just started reading The Best American Short Stories 2001, edited by none other than the amazing and brilliant Barbara Kingsolver, whose Poisonwood Bible I devoured over Easter. The women knows how to turn a phrase, capture a country and render a reader emotionally winded. In the introduction, she muses on what makes writing – and in particular, short stories – worth the labour and the read:

“I have always wondered by short stories aren’t more popular in this country. We Americans are such busy people you’d think we’d jump at the chance to have our literary wisdom served in doses that fit handily between taking the trash to the curb and waiting for the carpool. We should favour the short story and adore the poem. But we don’t...From what I gather, most Americans would sooner read a five-hundred-page book about southern France or a boy attending wizard school or how to make home decor from roadside trash or anything than pick up a book offering them a dozen tales of the world complete in twenty pages apiece. And I won’t even discuss what they will do to avoid reading poetry.

[...] “What makes writing good? That’s easy: the lyrical description, the arresting metaphor, the dialogue that falls so true on the ear it breaks the heart, the plot that winds up exactly where it should. But these stories I was to choose among had been culled from thousands of others, so all were beautifully task was to choose, among the good, the truly great. How was I supposed to do that?

“With a pile of stories on my lap, I sat with this question early on and tried to divine why it is that I love a short story when I do, and the answer came to me quite clearly: I love it for what it tells me about life. If it tells me something I didn’t already know, or that I maybe suspected but never framed quite that way, or that never before socked me divinely in the solar plexus, then the story is worth the read.

[...] “I’m patient with most corners of my life, but put a book in my hands and suddenly I remind myself of a harrowing dating-game shark, long in the tooth and looking for love right now, thank you, get out of my way if you’re just going to waste my time and don’t really want kids or the long-term commitment. I give a novel thirty pages, and if it’s not by that point talking to me of till-death-do-us-part, sorry, buster, this dates over.

[...] “This is a critical lesson for writers. We are nothing if we can’t respect our readers. It’s audacious enough to send a piece o writing out into the world (which already contains Middlemarch), asking readers to sit down, shut up, ignore the kids or work or whatever important things they have going, and listen to me. Not just for a minute but for hours, days. It had better be important...Probably the greatest challenge of the form is to get a story launched and landed efficiently with a whole worthwhile journey in between...It may be that most Americans don’t read short stories because they don’t like this kind of a ride. A good short story cannot simply be Lit Lite; it is the successful execution of large truths delivered in tight spaces.

“The stories in this book have survived my harpy eye on all accounts: they’ve told me something remarkable, they are beautifully executed, and they are nested in truth. The last I mean literally. I can’t abide fiction that’s too lazy to get its fact straight. People learn from what they read, they trust in words, and this is not a responsibility to take lightly. I’ve stopped reading books in which birds sang on the wrong continents or full moons appeared two weeks apart (it wasn’t set on Jupiter)...I believe fiction should inform as well as enlighten, and first, do no harm.

[...] “I don’t care what it’s about, as long as it’s not trivial...The business of fiction is to probe the tender spots of an imperfect world, which is where I live, write and read.”

Every word that Barbara speaks is the truth, and amen to that, but most important: there is so little time and so many books that beg to be read! So while I’m huddled up at home for the winter, please please please send me your reading suggestions (they may be frivolous, so long as they are entertaining)! I’ve already finished one crime novel (not the sort of thing I usually indulge in, but I’ve found in the past I enjoy this as a form of light reading that I don’t have to think about – Ruth Rendell, Patricia Cornwall, etc) at an alarming rate, and am loving the ability to read whatever I want, whenever I want, and immerse myself in books for days or hours. Please help me feed this insatiable appetite, which has been deprived all semester – you know how it is, between text books and lit books and essays and little sleep (not to mention parties, late nights, coffees with friends, tv shows, movie outings...) a book on the bedside is a dream and impossibility. So load me up friends with must-reads!


Monday, 14 June 2010

Just Another Manic Music Monday Pt 1

This week: songs that remind me of the Make Poverty History Road Trip. These are all songs we played on the bus (it's a long bus ride to and from Canberra!) that captured the spirit of what we doing and how we were feeling.

Home, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

I love this song. It's so quirky and upbeat. Just listen to the lyrics, they're hilarious and love.

"Alabama, Arkansas, I do love my ma and pa..."

The Cave, Mumford and Sons

This song has an amazing guitar riff.

A-Punk, Vampire Weekend

Talk about a song that makes you want to shake your hips!

Don't Dream It's Over, Crowded House

I don't think I need to even say anything about this song.


Thursday, 10 June 2010

The Loveliest Ladies I Know

A long, long time ago, Diana, being the sweetheart that she is, nominated me for the Beautiful Blogger Award. Awww!
On receiving an award you should:
  • Thank the person that nominated you.
  • Copy the award and place it on your own blog.
  • Post a link to nominator.
  • Express seven things about yourself.
  • Nominate seven other bloggers and link them.
A huge thank you and a hug to Diana; you're gorgeous and make me so happy!

Well, you guys know practically all these is to know about me, but here are 7 more things that I could think of:

  1. Last year, I considered giving up laughing for the World Vision 40 Hour Famine. But let's face it, I could never do it. :)
  2. I often wish I could Accio things. Maybe I'm just lazy, but it would be super helpful!
  3. Lately, I've been told I describe things in two ways: "awesome" or "sadface."
  4. When I was younger - maybe 7 or 8? - I took it into my own hands to give my brother a haircut right before my cousin's wedding (my cousin being about 20 years older than me), by cutting his fringe with my craft scissors and hiding the evidence under the couch. My parents noticed.
  5. I've never seen the movie Bambi (I will probably rectify this over the coming holidays.)
  6. My most frightening nightmares have been about missing deadlines and being unprepared for exams. Gosh I'm such a geek!
  7. I went through a bit of a bodice-ripper phase in year 9 and 10. I read some horribly trashy books. Yeah, the kind that look like this:

    They are worse than you can possible imagine. Although being that they were from my local library, they probably weren't quite as steamy/saucy as all that. At least I got it out of my system before I knew to be ashamed of such novels. Pretty sure I'd never go into my library now and touch such a thing. But as my dad says, you have to read the bad to appreciate the good.
I hate nominating people for awards, because I love you all so dearly and your blogs are a reflection of your incredible selves, but here goes...
  1. Emma
    Emma is like my personal movie critic - because I agree with her about so many things, I trust her judgement, and I will go to see a movie just because she recommends it. She says what she thinks, she's super thoughtful and she loves Taylor Swift. If/when we meet, I am certain we will be besties.
  2. Anahita
    Anahita, like me, is a romantic (except she's about a billion times smarter than me, being as she's studying at OXFORD!!!!!) Her blog is a lovely, funny and honest review of music, movies and books. Being British, she has a fantastic sense of humour, as well as an eye for fashion, and a thing for Hugh Laurie. Obviously, she has great taste.
  3. Kayleigh
    She's Scottish, and therefore awesome. Ha ha. She's a frustrated screen-writer in progress, an avid cinephile and has an opinion about everything. She seems to be obsessed with some show called Countdown, because that's all she ever tweets about. ;)
  4. Sara, who went and sneakily got a photoblog without telling me. But I am on to HER.
    So, Sara has an SLR now and fancies herself a photographer. Ha ha. When she went on exchange last year (insert jealousy) she shot for the university newspaper...thing. Now she's back and she's caught the photo bug. Do I even need to say it? Her blog is prettyyyy.
  5. Vini
    She's a lit student, extremely articulate, and her posts are poetry. Here's an example:

    Poppadum, poppadum, po-ppa-dum,
    Please bring our teachers back to school
    We been languishing and anguishing for so long
    And everybody is already down with flu

    Poppadum, poppadum, po-ppa-dum,
    Lure them and cure them of this jam
    We stuck in the middle with a twiddle-thumbing Diddle
    Saying "Later, agitator." What a sham!

    Here's another:
    Hey there, hi
    I seem to know you from long by
    Your memories are like ashes
    From my cigarette last night

    Smoky, hazy, delicate
    Like its flame that rustles, intimate
    You slowly burned the night away
    And glowed in darkness of my love

    Smoke and fire
    Nicotine desire

  6. Tina at her new blog!
    Tina is one of the most cheerful bloggers I know. She always looks on the bright side, and her blog is a collection of smiling memories and sunny observations about life.
  7. Sharanya at her tumblr
    I am so glad she's actively blogging, if not at blogspot anymore! But I hope she will continue to share her unique and beautiful insights on the world around her - that woman has a way with words I can only envy and admire.


Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Can't Stop Listening To...


Glee + Grandma

So I can't go on Tumblr or Twitter or Facebook for fear of Glee finale spoilers. Omgleeeee!

Did anyone get to catch their live tour? I'm so jealous, I would have loved to be able to go, by all accounts it was AMAZING. Le sigh.

I just called my American grandmother to thank her for the birthday gift she sent (money which I'll be saving for next year) and we just had the loveliest chat. I know I've blogged before about how wonderful my grandmother is, but she always brings me so much joy. As I've said, she's one of the most sincere and honest people I know, and I love her dearly (and admire her) for it. She's flying out to Australia next week with my uncle and his fiancee (omg!! I haven't told you - my uncle is getting married before Christmas this year!!! Super exciting), and I can't wait to see her.

Anyway, the conversation worked it's way around to my hair, which, as she said, my parents never brought up with her when they've called her, no doubt hoping my US counterparts will never know until the wedding, at which time we can pass it off as a short haircut. Of course, my cousins all have Facebook and all saw the photos (as I knew they would), so my aunts found out, and my grandmother got wind of it. She was so lovely about it. What she first said was "good for you!" (which is actually something she says quite a lot, she's very supportive of anything and everything we grandkids do, and I think I get a lot of my optimism from her). Then she launched right into a speech about how I shouldn't care what my parents thought, and that I need to show them who is boss, because it's my life. We've had a similar conversation before (about what I don't remember), because she more than anyone understands how controlling my dad can be, and she's always in my corner (that's how she puts it.)

And yeah, I missed my blogiversary this year - April 26, marking 3 years and going strong! - probably because it was tucked between the one year anniversary of my grandfather's death (April 25 here in Australia) and the college ball, which I frantically and stressfully organised this year.

Speaking of the ball, it did go quite well, if I may say so myself. It took several long weeks but boy did pay off. Really, it was spectacular, and it really was my favourite college ball of the three I've been to during my time here.

So let me show you my dress!! The theme was 1920s, which was SO much fun - previous years have been more of a decorations/poster theme than dress theme.

This was actually Sara's headpiece, which looked better on me - what can I say, some things look better without hair! Sara came to the ball, which made it epic super fun times, instead of just being awesome :)

My dress is from Retro Star, meaning it's vintage, and only about $60!

And check it out: it's swishy!!!

It was kind of insane, because I got so caught up in organising it that it wasn't until the actual night, after we'd packed up the pre-dinner drinks and the ball glasses and gotten everyone on the double decker party buses (that's right!!) that I could actually sit down, calm down, and actually let myself have fun without worrying about stuff. I had an amazing night.


You know that I love you...

I've only watched this video once so far, but my feelings about it are not the usual ones of love, admiration and eager aniti.....pation I usually have for Lady GaGa. I just don't like it, and find myself quite disappointed, because this is a favourite song of mine.

Where are the amazing costumes? The magnificent hairstyles? The ridiculous story lines? Although the men dancing in this clip did amuse me no end (but probably for the wrong reasons.) And that bra at the end - pretty awesome (and a nod to Madonna.) Her haircut was also not that attractive.

I loved Telephone, even though it's bizarre beyond comprehension, but it's funny, outrageous and really just hilarious. Paparazzi was brilliant - now there's a video that actually relates somewhat to the song!

Maybe GaGa is going in a different direction, and I'm almost certain this video is making some kind of statement (aren't they all), I'm just not sure what it is. I guess I expected more out of you, GaGa.