May 3, 2011

I have a sock in my hair.

I also have lots of pretty new things to play with. I’ve been meaning to do this post for a while but so many AAUGH PANIC moments have happened over the past few days (‘final paper due in four days what i thought it was the abstract aaaugh’, for instance; ‘conference registration due tomorrow since when i just spent the money on shoes and i have three cents in my account’, for another). Hopefully this month will be a little less hectic.

Oh, and I have a sock in my hair.  Now that my hair has been restored from horrible crunchy crispy straw to touchable hair again (thank you, Wondercap, you miracle), I’ve been obsessed with getting the big, soft loose curls I used to have when I was an undergrad. I had a great haircut back then, but then a hairdresser butchered my hair (attacked it with a razor to thin it out) and I’ve been growing out the damage ever since. The cut also managed to minimise my curls, which I’m sure is a good thing if that’s what you’re after… but my hair looks ridiculous when it’s straight. So. I’ve had to turn to styling tools instead. I’m waiting on a set of Babyliss hot rollers from ry.com.au, which should be here at the end of the week. But I have no patience, so I’ve rolled a sock into my hair. Princess Leia style. It requires absolutely no heat — just a hair tie and a sock.

HOW AWESOME DOES THAT SOUND.

I learnt it from Loepsie on Youtube:

It’s quite difficult to explain, so I think you should click and watch the video — it involves rolling your hair into a sock, which sounds simple and complex all at the same time. If you’re not familiar with the sock bun, she has a link to her sock bun tutorial, too. Hopefully my hair will turn out as nicely as hers did. I’m going out tomorrow, which means an outfit post (with some of my recently purchased pretty new things) should be in the works — and maybe my hair will feature there, too. Here’s hoping!

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April 20, 2011

In which I make excuses for not sharing

When this photo was taken, I had just eaten my way through a packet of fruit chews. Not extraordinary in the least — I eat entire packets of sweets often.

This may account for my desire to climb the stairs via the banister instead of, well, the stairs.

Stairs are so 2009, anyway. 2010, rather. Seeing as this isn’t 2010 any more, but 2011.

(I like how my little hat looks with this outfit. Very Romana II from the classic Doctor Who.)

I tried to save some sweets for Valerie. This is a snippet of what was left by the time she came back from her meeting with her thesis supervisors:

I REALLY TRIED I SWEAR.

It just so happened to be the first time* I tried the Natural Confectionery Company’s fruit chews… so, naturally, I had to try at least each flavour.**

Multiple times, in case quality control was lacking that day.

You never know, really.

Also, one’s tastebuds occasionally get overexcited by unfamiliar flavours, making one think that the raspberry flavoured chew is similar to Allens Red Frogs. Second time around, though, proves that the raspberry bears an uncanny resemblance to children’s red Panadol, which is THE FLAVOUR FROM THE DEPTHS OF HELL EURGHH. I used to ask my mum to crush Panadol tablets and mix them with honey instead of taking cherry-imposter liquid Panadol. Yeuch.

(If you’re curious, the blackberry ones taste like blackberry Soothers; the lemon one is a more tangy version of Starburst’s lemon chew; and the orange one is a lovely smooth orange without the strange bitterness at the end that you sometimes get with the gummy dinosaurs by the Natural Confectionery Company.)

Time to distract you from the evidence of my inability to share sweets. CUE JOPLIN’S ‘THE ENTERTAINER’!

PICSPAM BOOYEAH.

(I fear the sugar is still coursing through my system. Skiing through my veins. Fwooohh, fwoooh. —That’s meant to be the sound skis make when slicing through snow, by the by.)

So.

My Romana-hat is from Alannah Hill’s Autumn/Winter 10 collection and is called ‘My Little Boat’. It used to have a black grosgrain band but I replaced it with a bright navy one today. Rather shabbily, really, but it’s unnoticeable from afar. I was thinking of using a darker green but I didn’t have any on hand, so blue it is! Green might have been too matchy-matchy. We’ll see!

I’ve also trimmed my hat with a teal satin ribbon, and with a bright red grosgrain one, though I don’t think I’ve taken an outfit shot with the red trimming yet. Maybe next month.

My jacket is from Ralph Lauren. It reminds me a bit of my high school uniform but our blazers were navy, not tartan, so I can wear it without cringing too much. I like the way the yellow brightens the jacket’s palette — it would be a shade too gloomy without it, I think.

I tried to bring out the yellow in the jacket by pairing it with a yellow-cream pussy bow blouse from BCBG, and my ‘Look Up My’ skirt from Alannah Hill’s Spring/Summer 10 collection. The skirt goes with an awful lot of things — I’ve worn it with pastels, and with black. And with bright reds (which I’ve yet to photograph) and now with deep greens and blues. Really very versatile.

My shoes are the boots I wore to graduation — the My Little Pavalova boots from Alannah Hill’s Autumn/Winter 09 collection. I’m in a My Little Pavalova phase at the moment, I think; I want to wear them with everything. With good cause, too; they’re awesomesauce.

Going to photograph my happy new purchases tomorrow, I think. I’m going to Alannah Hill (surprise!) to pick up a new skirt and a pair of shoes. I already have the shoes in red but I need them in black. Tomorrow is Break from Thesis Day and I will be hedonistic to a fault.

Maybe I will get macarons, too. Am still bitter over the crumbly fail they served us at graduation.

* My sister has just informed me that I have indeed had fruit chews by the Natural Confectionery Company and apparently came to the exact same conclusion. I dub this selective memory of mine ‘Goldfish Tendencies’.

** There was only one lemon chew and this photo shows only a tiny bit of yellow wrapping. This isn’t because I threw it out, but because Valerie finished her meeting as I was unwrapping the lolly. It was proving a particularly cumbersome exercise as my body heat had caused it to melt a bit, and so the wax paper was more or less embedded in the chew. Once I received Valerie’s SMS stating she was coming to meet me, I began scrabbling at the wrapper like a person possessed, only to find that it made matters worse. And so I panicked. And popped the lolly in my mouth, paper firmly stuck on.

I hope paper won’t be too difficult to digest.

April 18, 2011

Graaaaaduated!

I feel very grown up.

Not only did I get to march and tip my hat and wear wizard robes (that’s what Valerie calls them), but I had to wake up early and be at uni by 8.30ish.

CRAZY TALK. Who on earth thinks it’s okay for me to get up before 8.30 in the morning? Absurd.

I’m getting sleepy just thinking about it.

Anyhoo. I’m wearing my very new and newest favourite Alannah Hill dress — the charcoal and pale blue Style Me Up Pet! frock from this season. It’s currently available in the black colourway on the online boutique (isn’t the online shop the worst thing ever for one’s wallet and wishlist?). I’m wearing it with the My Little Pavalova cola-coloured boots from the Autumn/Winter 09 collection.

These boots are amazing, by the by. I dashed across campus in ten minutes wearing them. They’re four inches. I’m more than comfortable in heels but I’ll admit that they’re not my choice of footwear when running a few minutes late. But these were fine. Very dashable. You should all have a pair, most certainly.

My academic gown is very stylish, with a swoopy wizardly cut and slits at the sleeves because… because, obviously. Attached to it is a hood trimmed in gold and white, which are the colours of my faculty. Gold for Bachelor’s degree; white for Arts. Can’t believe I picked a discipline that doesn’t have awesome bright colours. Poor planning on my part. (Though I would have graduated with a purple and gold hood had I finished law, I think.) Ulta3 Waterlily on tips and toes, and black pearl studs in my ears.

Oooh. And I have the trencher/mortarboard with very distracting tassel-y thing. Fabulous entertainment during the boring speeches.

I like that my father seems to think there’s an extra person between us. He is wearing Dad clothes, which I swear all fathers wear. Black pants, dress shirt sans tie, black blazer. My grandmother is next to me, wearing a fabulously bright brown and gold dress she made herself. She has a penchant for bright colours, and I think you can tell. And my mother is next to my grandmother, wearing a vintage dress that has rather cute and pretty detail. The white detail is a heart and diamond pattern embroidered onto chiffon (reminds me a bit of cross-stitch, but more fine) and the skirt has two very subtle box pleats.

You probably didn’t care too much about what they were wearing but who knows!

I would post more photos but they’re all graduation-y, which means they’re all nicely posed, ‘we are at an Event and it shall be Forever Commemorated Through Digital Media’ sort of affairs. This is actually the most interesting one (perhaps solely because my father is ruining the Special Event Pose; good man), and you can sort of see my dress and you can most definitely see my shoes. So. Win-win, really. Sort of.

I will be wearing the dress again soon and Valerie will take some happy snaps.

(Also. If any of you go to Macquarie University and are graduating this week — avoid the macarons. They are so disappointing. I made a beeline for them — shamelessly, actually, I was one of the first people to snatch one up — because I have a macaron addiction and they made me so sad. The macaron part of me crumbled and fell to pieces. So did the macaron, actually, which tells you how really-not-good it was.)

April 14, 2011

The wonders of Wondercap

This lucky bather is wearing a Wondercap:

 

I have one too, which makes me the winner of life, at the moment. (Yes, I’m in a rather cocky mood. Today has been a good day.)

You see, the Wondercap is really quite amazing. It is, I think, a miracle in a funny black shower cap. You know how some hair treatments work best when you wrap your hair in gladwrap? And, perhaps, some members of your household make fun of you for walking around with a head wrapped in plastic? Yeah. This is a more convenient and more glamorous (although only by default, really, as plastic wrap just isn’t cool) alternative.

I’ve been living with terribly heat-damaged hair for the past month or so, because I had been heat-styling it without a thermal protector (DON’T JUDGE ME, YOU GUISE). I suck at repurchasing thermal protectors. But I have one now. (SO DON’T JUDGE ME.) My hair desperately needs a cut and I’ve been meaning to get one for a while, but uni work coupled with my intense dislike of hair salons makes it rather difficult. (I have nothing against hairdressers. I just don’t like getting strapped into a chair with scissors waving around my ears. And, okay, I hate how some hairdressers make me feel guilty for failing to get regular trims and cuts. It becomes an ordeal akin to going to the dentist.)

My graduation is coming up, though, and I hate the thought of graduating with fried hair. I also don’t want to go to the salon with fried hair (guilt; ordeal; guilt; etc.).

Enter the Wondercap.

It’s a reusable, fairly weighty, quilted plastic cap with gel inside. All you have to do is:

1. Wash your hair (don’t condition);

2. Comb a hair treatment through your hair (the Wondercap comes with a conditioning treatment, though you can use any hair mask);

3. Zap the cap in the microwave for about two minutes;

4. Pop the cap on your head (easier said than done if you’re as uncoordinated as I);

5. Leave for five minutes;

6. Take the cap off, and rinse out the treatment.

I love it. I think it’s fabulous. This sounds evangelical, but YOU ALL MUST TRY IT. My hair looks alive again (as alive as hair can look, being dead and all). I’m not exaggerating, either — my hair used to be horribly crunchy and dry (I could fold near 90° angles on the ends) and now it’s not even frizzing. I’ve tried hot oil treatments, the infamous and really quite ridiculously awesome Kerastase Masquintense, and nothing comes close. (Although I can imagine the Kerastase under the Wondercap… that would be even more really quite ridiculously awesome.)

It’s also fairly easy to care for — all you have to do is rinse it out after using it, and leave it to dry. All done! Really low maintenance.

I bought mine at ry.com.au for $39.95 and would repurchase in a heartbeat if I ever needed to. I’ve also seen it available at some Shaver Shop branches, though not all. (Hornsby has one if anyone is in Sydney.)

Lovelovelove. I’m counting down the days till I can use it again (maybe with a different hair mask).

April 10, 2011

Yay, coat weather!

I have been a bad, bad blogger. I won’t bore you with the excuses; suffice to say, I have been so bogged down with work that I almost saved the draft of this blog post as ‘conferencepaper_v3’. Even though it feels like it’s all been work… it’s not all been work. (I would damn well hope so, considering how little I’ve produced.)

ANYWAY. No one cares about that (I’m boring myself just thinking about it), so! It’s almost coat season in Sydney and all my coats are ready to play. Too ready, really, as it’s actually a tiny bit too hot for my heavier coats, but any drop in temperature makes me want to take them out for a stroll.

I am wearing a pale silvery-blue dress from Fleur Wood (more detailed pictures of the dress here and here), which I think bounces with the grey in the coat quite nicely. I like how it peeks out at the neckline, though I do wish the snap buttons weren’t so very large and bulky… it disturbs the line a bit. But it’s not too obvious, so I suppose I’ll survive. (Or snip the button off, bwahahaha.) The blue suede shoes from Midas — you know, the ones to which I added a burgundy bow from scraps of bias tape. They’re never the right shade of blue, really; they’re always too bright or too warm or too cool a blue for whatever piece I’m trying to match it with at the time, but they seem to work when seen from far away. And when you can’t see much blue (like in this outfit). I find that it’s easier to co-ordinate hopelessly non-matching shades of the same colour by keeping them very very far apart. No one notices that the colours clash when one shade is on your hair and the other is on your feet. Very tricksy.

My stockings are cream with a very subtle mauve stripe. They’re called ‘Style Me Pretty’ and were from Alannah Hill’s Spring/Summer 10 collection. I’ve almost thoroughly trashed this pair, but I’ve still got a spare in pristine condition. Almost too scared to use the spare because I don’t want to ruin them. I get ridiculously attached to my clothes. I find that these stockings are perfect when mediating colour clashes, too — the Fleur Wood dress and the shoes really don’t go together at all unless I have pink-y pale hosiery.

 

My coat is from Alannah Hill’s Autumn/Winter 10 collection and is called ‘The Waiting Game’. It also came in a charcoal (you can see it here) but I have a Thing for red coats. I think it stems from having played the Carmen Sandiego computer games a lot. She had the most amazing red outfit in the universe.

…And I’ve just looked at the link to the charcoal coat and realised that my coat is officially orange, not red. Which has just blown my mind, because I’ve always thought of it as red. I suppose it’s a very bright, warm red. Like what the red Crayola pencil should have been, really. (You know. There’s the orange-red pencil, which is indisputably orange with bits of red mixed in; there’s the red-orange pencil, which looks like fire trucks and McDonald’s and Coca Cola and Maltesers packets and is indisputably red, and then there’s the plain red pencil which suddenly looks suspiciously plummy burgundy, because everyone knows that red = McDonald’s and fire trucks. I like the red now but it certainly didn’t look like a proper red when I was younger.)

The coat isn’t only red (that’s right, I’m going to insist it’s red), it has a bow. And bows make everything amazing. True fact.

You can’t really see the bow on the coat in these shots, can you? I think the bow is the Crowning Detail of Awesome. I remember seeing it in store and dying. And then trying it on and dying of heat exhaustion, because it was warm inside the store and I had just been walking at a fairly quick pace for half an hour. While wearing a leather jacket. I was almost put off this coat because it made me feel as though I had just donned a furnace but, thankfully, (ir)rationality prevailed and I am the very happy owner of one of the most twee coats in existence.

Look on the bow and say that it is not (one of) the most twee things in existence:

 

Okay, that’s not the clearest shot but the rest of the photos tend to feature me being a bit of a dork so… it’s this one or nothing. And, please ignore the fact that my beret looks like a giant melted marshmallow. I’m not quite sure how it ended up looking like that.

Speaking of marshmallows, do you know what is amazingly amazing? Marshmallows melted on chocolate chip cookies. Pop some chocolate chip cookies in the oven (toaster oven is best, really) and top each one with a marshmallow. Heat till marshmallow is all gooey goodness. Gobble. Enjoy. It’s like s’mores for lazy people.

February 11, 2011

White frocks and frolicking. And angels.

11pm and I promised a post up today.

Welcome to my idea of ‘making the deadline’.

I used to be better at this. I’m sure I was.  High school assignments finished before 10pm; undergrad assignments finished before 2am; Honours… erm. Started at 2am? Ah. I see. What a horrible development.

So! Time to bash out a post before 1am. Let’s see, let’s see, let’s see.

Did very little today. Met up with my thesis supervisor, scored a free book, and borrowed Doctor Who DVDs and Diana Wynne Jones books from the library. Entertainment for the week is definitely set!

Here are some snippets of my outfit:

The hat is Valerie’s. I was only wearing it because we had just come out of the car and she doesn’t wear her hats when she’s driving. My shoes are wonderful and are from Wittner. Their purchase came around as a bit of an accident, really — I went in to get this pair of heeled brogues and then came out with something else entirely. I have yet to find the ideal pair of heeled brogues. I think they need to feel a bit more sleek. And with a lower vamp. One day!

The bow was originally a brooch from Lovisa. I replaced the pin with an alligator hairclip and lo, instant hairclip or brooch. Nifty or what. My nails are sporting OPI’s All Lacquered Up, which is deep brown-based red. I think I might wear a taupe colour next time, just to let the champagnes and blacks bounce off each other differently.

The dress is from Alannah Hill and it is called ‘Devil in Disguise’. I’ve worn it before with a green slip underneath (here). This is actually one of the first times I’ve worn it out with its original cream slip. It’s quickly becoming one of my favourite dresses, particularly because of the movement of the skirt:

HOW IT FLUTTERS. IT MAKES ONE FROLIC, WHAT.

It wasn’t even windy, you guise. There was like. No. Wind. Just walking. How awesome is that. (or maybe there was wind and I forgot. I can’t remember.)

ONE LAST THING.

Who watches Doctor Who? Good. And who’s seen ‘Blink’, the weeping angel statues episode? Mmm. And WHO’S SEEN THE ONE WHERE THEY COME BACK? If you’ve seen ‘Blink’, you know what I’m imitating in the next shot. (Or is it more than imitating?)

If you aren’t a Doctor Who fan… there are these scary statues of weeping angels. They go around covering their faces and if you look away… BAM. YOU’RE DOOMED. (You really should give the show a try; it is really Quite Awesome.)

And those of you who have seen the Other Episode in Which They Appear (Time of the Angels? Or something?) — you know how [highlight between the tags — spoilers] >they get embedded in your brain when you look into their eyes? (And what negligence and asshattery from Moffat, giving us closeups of the angels’ eyes when Amy is stuck with the video image. NOW WE ALL HAVE ANGELS EMBEDDED IN OUR EYE MEMORY, MOFFAT; WELL DONE, YOU PRAT.) Yeah. Well. I looked. And…< [/spoilers]


 

Don’t. Blink.

 

(Also. I really need a tshirt that says ‘The angels have the phone box.’)

February 7, 2011

Valerie tweets the day

I fear my outfit posts will be a bit rare for the next few days — wait till, say, February the 17th, when uni work officially starts (and procrastination becomes the activity for the day). I have bought these shoes recently, which look far better in real life than they do online:

They’re from Wittner and are my new favourite shoes, though they don’t work with everything I own. The white part is closer to a yellow-toned beige* than a flat white, so the contrast isn’t so stark. I’ll be wearing them on Thursday and will take outfit shots then!

(*Wittner calls them ‘flesh’ or ‘nude’ or something. I prefer not to use the phrase ‘nude’ to describe that palette of colours, as it suggests that white skin is neutral and default and the norm… thus rendering skintones other than white, well, ‘other’. There are ‘normal’ flesh tones,  and there are ‘special’ flesh tones. Like Asian skintones. They’re not normal; they’re Asian. Pfft, Asians being normal; how absurd. Frak’s sake, fashionsphere, Crayola changed the name of their crayon from ‘flesh’ to ‘peach’. The crayons are beating you at being socio-culturally aware!)

Till then, I’m giving you bits of Valerie. Who has incidentally begun taking notes on what I say, in case she can use them for… who knows what. For now, they will live on the bloggie😄.

 

Valerie tweets the day!

10.57: ‘CARS LIKE ELECTRONS! ZOOMING AROUND ON… SILVER THINGS! YOU KNOW! IN COMPUTERS!’ -A. yelling in the car again.

10.59: A. gasped. ‘The entire world… IS A COMPUTER. AAAH. Oh my god! Valerie!  I’m a genius! Oh wait. Wait. Douglas Adams wrote that. Mice.’

11.15: Is bemused. Why is A. on the bed behind a wall of pillows? — Ah. Apparently, it’s a fort.

1.25: Valerie ducked behind the walls of her pillow-castle. She could hear Andrea scrabbling about on the floor beneath the bed. The plan: A. would likely attack weaker side; upon attack, sock A. with pillow. Unless A. comes up from behind, in which case…erm…

1.26: A. comes up from behind.

1.27: Screamed. Then A. screamed. Why.

1.28: V. thinks that her brother can probably hear their terrified screams from the living room.

3.15: Watching Doctor Who. FORTY-TWO MINUTES TO SAVE THE SHIP, SAVE THE CREW, RETRIEVE THE TARDIS, RESCUE MARTHA (AND THEN THE DOCTOR), AND STOP THE CREEPY SUN-MEN ZOMBIES. Head will explode from excitement.

 

 

Ah, uni life. Play hard, (avoid) study harder.

February 5, 2011

Childhood terrors

I’m a big Alice in Wonderland fan. I found the text funny and whimsical, and the Disney film wasn’t too bad, either.

Valerie, however, is adamant that Alice in Wonderland is (one of) the Most Terrifying Works of Fiction Ever to be Unleashed on the World. So terrifying that she can’t articulate it without dissolving into a flailing mass of arms, so she says that I should quote this bit from (the ever awesome) TV Tropes:

‘This troper would like to say that he found the entire concept scary as hell: getting stuck in a strange realm wherein one cannot communicate logic or reason or follow any sort of consistent rules to escape (since the rules change all the time), especially if the said realm is ruled by a deranged tyrant obsessed with beheading people and is impossibly quick to anger… with no hope of getting help from the denizens of the realm and no prayer of finding a way out, is this troper’s nightmare. As this troper basically feeds on logic, he finds it extremely nightmarish. The fact that it’s All Just A Dream is further scary because the troper now believes Wonderland is a manifestation of the collective unconscious and is thus accessible to everyone.’

Now, I personally think they’re both mad, but logic and I aren’t the best of friends. Established logic, anyway. Once Valerie and I were heating milk and it (possibly) curdled. ‘Is it okay to eat?’ said Valerie. ‘I don’t know,’ said I. ‘Actually. It’s probably fine. Little Miss Muffet ate curds and whey and she didn’t die. At least. It’s not part of the song. And if she died it was probably because the spider bit her.’

(Disclaimer: we were fine, but it won’t mean you will be. Cooking isn’t my forte. I don’t even know if it was curdled or… something else. Please don’t eat things because I said I did and it was fine. I try bits from LUSH Cosmetics things, for crying out loud. —Whattheylookgood.)

ANYWAY.

I think she’s rather strange for it, but apparently she’s not the only one. I hope you don’t agree with her because every time someone agrees with her, I’m faced with ‘I TOLD YOU SO!’ I’ve tried to tip the scales in my favour, which is why I’ve polluted this post with multiple whimsical Alice-themed pictures.

Not Alice-themed, but I haven’t shared an outfit in eons and the guilt is consuming me. You’ve no idea. I’ve a litany of excuses but you don’t want to hear them, so…! Picture time! Only one photo, though, because it’s been far too hot to prance around outside.

 

Apologies for my tendency to wander out of frame. I don’t think I have the ability to sit still when Valerie takes photos. In this photo, I’m wearing the usual suspects: a cherry Puff the Magic Dragon cardigan, a pink Adorable Wafer Girl cami, and the red heels with their little DIY bow. I need to replace those heels, actually, so if anyone sees a pair of red suede heels (4″, with or without platform) with a rounded toe, give me a shout.

The shorts, which I haven’t posted before, are the Gorgeous Geisha shorts from Spring/Summer 07. They’re actually my only pair of shorts, and I use them quite often in summer, so I should really get more.

I’m also clutching a wallet from the last Alannah Hill season — it’s called ‘All the Pretty Girls’ and I can fit my entire life into it, which is awesome. (Entire life involves money and iPod Touch, by the way, because I live on the internet and an iPod Touch is the best and slimmest internet-receiving device for wallets. No phone. I carry that. But I check my email more than I check my phone.)

Here’s a more detailed shot. You can see the belt I was wearing, too — Little Picket Fences in red:

I wore this outfit on my birthday (quite a while ago now!), when Valerie and I went to Newtown for breakfast, wandering and visits to Enmore’s Cow and Moon artisan gelato and general deliciousness place. It was hot but the gelato was amazing. Try the panna cotta flavour. And the papaya one. And the lime. It tastes like… lime. It actually does. I can’t describe how amazingly freshly lime it tastes. Dear god.

And their baked ricotta cheesecake is the only cheesecake I’m happy to eat.

Oh, I really want cheesecake now. AAAUGH. THE CRAVINGS. And all I have is a bottle of freshly squeezed watermelon juice, which, while all levels of awesome, isn’t ricotta cheesecake. How sad.

Valerie also bought herself this fun watch with an interchangeable silicon strap. You’ll find them at Monster Threads. Fun shop. Good shop. Go look.

 

I have no Newtown spoils to share, but I will leave you with another shot and another story.

At about 9.00 in the morning, my chat alert beeps and I see ‘come over nao?’ pop up on my screen. Fifteen minutes later, Valerie comes into my room and we discuss great and important issues, like what to have for breakfast and do we feel like doing anything today and by the way there are three tables sitting outside your front door; are they new and should we bring them inside? (My parents are forever collecting things. One of Valerie’s favourite pastimes involves spotting the new finds.)

On my birthday, I walked into the kitchen to find Valerie acting rather suspicious. ‘DON’T LOOK!’ said she, and I complied. I closed my eyes, backed out of the kitchen and promptly collided with the piano in the living room — and the piano is a solid wood 19th century monster of an instrument, by the by, so the collision was painful.

‘Do you have a permanent marker?’ she called from the kitchen. I gave her one, eyes firmly shut. ‘Thank you! DON’T LOOK!’

And then the sound of match-head striking matchbox, and a triumphant call: ‘You can come see now.’

 

‘Tis a happy egg, inspired  by Valerie’s favourite internet song, and the one internet song that baffles me more than anything else: ‘I Love Egg‘. It has… well. Eggs. Dancing. And. Turning into things. And.

It’s really just very baffling.

And the fact that I find it absurd?

That’s saying a lot.

January 18, 2011

Stylish Blogger Awards: Seven Lengthy Items

I’ve been terribly lax with blogging lately, but I woke up this morning with a notification that Kiki Chaos tagged me for the Stylish Blogger Award, which was a lovely surprise and a boost to the ego. (Omgz you guise! The internet says I’m stylish XD! —And I am geeky enough to get a bit conceited because pockets of the internet think I’m awesome. Because. Dude. The internet is awesome.)

If you don’t know Kiki, you should definitely take a look — she has the most amazing manicure skills, is a whiz in the kitchen and, praise the powers that be, likes decluttering (unlike Valerie, who refuses to throw out notes from high school — ten years ago, Valerie whywhywhy!).

The rules of the Stylish Blog Award are quite basic: share seven things about myself (ooh, my narcissism is preening itself as I type) and pass it along to fifteen other blogs so they can be blamelessly self-indulgent. Win-win situation, I think, although thinking of seven things isn’t that easy.

*

1. I am deathly afraid of the dark. In the dark hide all sorts of creepy crawlies, and mad axe murderers, and aliens who want to take my body so that they use its parts to refuel their spaceship, and those kiosk people who want to put Dead Sea salt products on my skin. (They don’t really. But my, aren’t they a pain sometimes?)

I still sleep with the light on unless Valerie is with me (because aliens et al don’t come for two people, duh… coincidentally, kiosk people tend to bother you less, too) and going to the bathroom in the middle of the night is an ordeal and a half. I’ve also decided that the guy from Saw (the film; the first one) is most likely to get me while I’m in the bathroom, as there are multiple ways to drag me into the sewers from a bathroom. I’m not sure if this ever happened in the film. I didn’t watch it, per se; I only heard it as I feverishly leafed through an Avon catalogue trying to distract myself from the screams. (It was a high school party and my group liked horror films. I would rather sit the HSC all over again than sit through one horror film.) I’ve somehow decided that the killer did it to people who weren’t thankful for their lives, so I end up showering/brushing my teeth, lights blazing, fervently believing that my life is Very Awesome and please don’t come and drag me into your sick puzzle games pleasepleaseplease.

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2. I’m a visual thinker, which means I think and process with visuals, not with words. I don’t mean that I learn visually, through diagrams and mindmaps. Rather, my thoughts have no sound, because they have no words — it’s more like watching a film or a montage of images flashing by, or looking at a very detailed painting. It makes it kind of difficult to answer ‘what are you thinking?’ with a simple response, because I’m not thinking something that can be verbalised. It’s as though someone saw you looking at a painting and said, ‘what are you seeing?’ — where would you start? The colour? The textures? The frame? The foreground, the background, the signature, the thing that caught your eye — but more than one thing caught your eye; the colour of the thing and the shape and the texture. It’s nigh impossible to convey all that without going on for quite a bit of time — and even then, the order in which you describe them suggests a sort of linearity, a hierarchy of observation… when you really saw the whole picture all at once, not one at a time.

If you’re interested, I find that Temple Grandin’s Thinking in Pictures is a really good articulation of visual thinking. His ability to manipulate images is much better than mine but the process sounds very similar.

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3. I’m quite the geek.

But you probably already know that. How geeky, though? I live on the internet. I type illiterately for the lulz (for the lulz! Not ‘for laughs’, not ‘for kicks’, not for  anything sensical; for the lulz godsdammit) because I like the way that phrases like ‘hai thar’ and ‘pwn’ add a rhythmic punch to otherwise very normal sentences.

I also have a penchant for collecting bits and pieces from fictional worlds. I have an official Lord of the Rings Evenstar replica, which I used to wear every day for three years. I only stopped because  I finished high school and the Evenstar was fine with the school uniform but sometimes clashed with my clothes. I gave Valerie a replica of  Lord Vetinari’s seal ring from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, as well as a whole pile of Discworld related paraphernalia (stamps, money, a tankard from the bar, official papers… my, quite a lot, really 0.0).

I’m pining over custom-made replicas of the suits of the tenth Doctor Who. I will wear them very seriously to uni. Only other Doctor Who fans will recognise it, and life will be so full of win. I will also pull out a sonic screwdriver that’s not plastic and doesn’t have a pen on the end (stupid official replicas with their silly gimmicky non-canon editions).

I can also write in Elvish. I used to speak a few words and phrases — enough for small talk — but, alas, no more.

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4. My dream house has an adventure playland layout with at least one door that looks like the TARDIS. The other doors will be hobbit doors, Star Wars ships doors, pirate ship cabin doors and the Heart of Gold doors that sigh happily when you open and close them. (Hitchhiker’s, anyone?) Oh, and there will definitely be a set of doors that resemble the ones on the opening of Get Smart. They will be the only way through a long, long corridor to the garage.

The house will be located at 20 Baker Street so I can pretend that I live next to Sherlock Holmes. It will also ideally look like it’s made out of LEGO.

And there will be secret passageways, dark and dingy and lit with melting candles.  These candles will probably just be light fixtures that look like candles, because let’s face it — unsupervised naked flames underneath a house? Fire hazard.

Ye gods my house rocks.

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5. MBTI was one of the greatest things I ever found.

For those of you unfamiliar with typology thingehs (what, no Facebook quizzes?)  MBTI is the Myers-Briggs Typology Indicator, which is a theory that articulates the ways in which people process information and navigate situations. It isn’t like astrology, as such, which suggests that certain signs have certain characteristics. Rather, people of one type favour particular ways of processing over others. MBTI terminology refers to these things as ‘functions’. Functions include ‘extraverted thinking’, which lends itself to rational strategising and scheming and planning — organising the external world and ‘extraverted feeling’, which bases ideas in the norms of a community and judges actions accordingly. (As I understand it, anyway. Correct me if I’m wrong!)

I’m an INTJ, which means I am ‘intuitive, thinking and judging’… which doesn’t mean that I judge people, and it doesn’t mean that I don’t ‘feel’. As an INTJ, I use extraverted thinking and introverted intuition. (Introverted intuition is very convoluted. Not going to try here; I’ve been explaining it Valerie for two years and she still doesn’t know what it is, lol!) This doesn’t mean that INTJs and I are very similar in personality — some of us may well be but really, all it means is that I (and other self-identified INTJs) am more comfortable with designing strategies and schemes than supporting someone emotionally (which involves a feeling function) or doing something with my hands. I can support people emotionally, of course; it’s just not the most instinctive thing.

Using MBTI and understanding the ways that people use the various functions has helped me to work out why people act the way they do. That what seems irrational to me is actually very rational to someone else. For instance, when I’m faced with an emotional dilemma, what I really really want more than anything else is a solution to the problem. If I run to someone in tears, I don’t need hugs and consolation so much as I need the problem fixed. Hearing ‘it will be okay’ means very little to me unless it comes with ‘because we can do this…’ But I’ve also realised that my ‘you can do this!’ advice doesn’t always help someone who doesn’t use the same functions as I. Someone like my mother, who uses extraverted feeling, really likes hearing ‘it will be okay’. And it’s hard to remember that, because I act on reflex, but MBTI has really helped me understand how others think and perceive the world.

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6. You can remember my birthday details with the following sequence: 123456789. ‘1’ for January, the first month; ’23’ for the day of the month; ‘4:56’ for the time I was born; I weighed ‘7’ pounds’ and was born in ‘[19]89’. It’s a neat little trick. I like it.

That being said… I don’t put much stock in my birthday, and not because I had a scarring childhood experience or anything like that. I realise that this sounds Scrooge-y but I’m really rather indifferent to ‘special days’.

See, a day is a day is a day. Kind of arbitrary (like everything else); kind of lucky; kind of important to celebrate when lifespans meant that people didn’t reach 40 but as I’m in my 20s in the 21st century and immortal, I’m not too fussed. I do recognise that others think of some days as special (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.) and so of course I’m excited for them when their days roll around… but mine, not so much.

Valerie’s not too fussed about special dates, either, thank goodness. I find it amusing largely because some of my friends are horrified that she doesn’t know. (Guys, we don’t know our anniversary. We know it’s sometime near the end of October. I tend to shout ‘HAPPY ANNIVERSARY’ at Valerie sporadically during the last week of October just to be sure.) I just asked her over chat now when my birthday was:

Andrea: HEY VALIER

Andrea: LOL. I mean, VALERIE. WHEN’S MY BIRTHDAY?

Valerie: 23rd… right? but I only remember it because the 123456789 thing was neat. If I’m wrong… oops, lol!

 

See? I love it. I really, really do. I don’t mean it in a snide way, either, or sarcastically. It’s just part of a relationship dynamic in which I am supremely comfortable, and I really wouldn’t have it any other way.

I do love giving presents though. I love giving presents to people on their special days because I love giving presents, full stop — but to give them randomly and all the time can make people feel like they should be giving me things in return all the time and I don’t want that. Birthdays, etc. are obligation-free. And I think that’s wonderful.

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7. I’m a lucid dreamer. Yup, I’m able to make myself aware that I’m dreaming and control my dreams, Inception-style, except I don’t dream myself into other planes of existence (I believe it’s called the ‘astral plane’ by other lucid dreamers) because… well, I tend to keep to myself and I’m not too keen on meeting other people while I’m in my pyjamas (and probably tousle-haired and drooling in real life). It’s always been rather easy for me — much to Valerie’s chagrin, because she wants to have lucid dreams more often. I’ve been doing it since I was young, largely to escape from some very baffling nightmares.

I don’t have a dream totem, nor do I do dream-checks (like turn the lights on to see if they work). I tend to enter lucidity through WILD, wake-initiated lucid dreaming, which means that I go directly into a lucid dream from a normal awake state (as opposed to DILD, dream-initiated lucid dreaming, which involves dreaming and then realising that one is dreaming in the middle of it).

Are my dreams awesome? In short, yes — I’ve used them to travel to fictional words (like Terry Pratchett’s Discworld), to solve the Rubik’s Cube and to test-drive ideas and systems before I put them to work. It’s the ultimate virtual reality, and I’m terribly pleased to have such a space.

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And onto the fifteen wonderful bloggies that you should all read:

1. The McAwesomes: Mrs McAwesome has a (you guessed it) awesome little family and awesome taste in clothes. I’m particularly fond of the little biographies of her family members.

2. Jess Loves Fred: Jess has quite an amazing eye for quirky clothes. Everything she puts together is unexpected and unexpectedly full of win. I don’t think I’ve ever been disappointed by her outfit updates.

3. the autumn castle: I am addicted to aelie’s nail of the day posts. I think every one of them has made me want to get at least one new shade for my collection. And she has cats. ’nuff said.

4. Le Blog de Sushi: Sushi puts together lovely palettes in dusty pastels and navy blues, which are some of my favourite colours. She also has killer shoes.

5. What Katie Wore: oh my god, you guise, the colours this girl wears. I am deathly jealous of her wardrobe.

6. Frou Frouu: she takes so many gorgeous shots of her outfits. And she wears loose, flowing and casually chic clothes that I never wear, so I live vicariously through her outfits when I feel like a change. And I love the hats.

7. That Unreliable Girl: Kit always posts really beautiful shots, and the collections she puts together lets the photographs complement each other really well. She also finds the most awesome homewares.

8. Tune into Radio Carly: Carly is awesome, which is really all you need to know. But if you insist: she’s going to wear bear ears very soon. How neat is that? She also has great taste in food and accessories. And glowsticks.

9. K is for Kani: Nothing like a spot of vintage girliness! She sells terribly cute headbands and accessories on her etsy store, too.

10. Another Day to Dress Up: which is a wonderful title for a blog, while we’re at it.  I love her coats and shoes. And she has awesome colour combinations quite often.

11. One Fine Star: a new blog but I’ve found that I turn to it quite regularly for reviews on skincare and makeup things I didn’t know I needed. And I can’t be stylishly over-the-top without a good selection of makeup and good skincare now, can I? =P

12. Only Okay: Nicolala is an Alannah Hill girl and she likes semi-colons. Which, you know, wins her lots of awesome points. Semi-colons are much underrated, I think. The blog is rather new, like mine, but I like every one of them — and it’s quality over quantity, right?

13. J’adore L’amour: Joan has some gorgeous skirts and dresses (I really like the colour of her formal dress, too) and  some great swatches of nail polish. I live for swatches, I really do.

14. Pandora: all in French but plenty of pictures to look at! I like her use of texture and layers. And she has a cape for which I would kill. Ugh. It’s a cape woven from dreams and rolled in fairy floss. Want.

15. Complex Appl3pie: Genevieve has a great lifestyle blog — she makes everyday life sound interesting and funny, which is really quite difficult to do! And she recently got a lomography camera, so I’m waiting to see the results! Lomography is terribly fun.

…My, what a long post! I like talking about myself; can you tell? Blogs are good for that sort of thing.

I imagine I’ll be back to the usual outfit posts soon. I have one in the works but it may take a bit of time getting to you — damn’d ‘real’ life is getting in the way!

December 31, 2010

And on to 2011

[insert lovely opening picture here — I can’t find one I like and I broke my internet. Such a sad end to 2010.]

 

I don’t often go for the New Year Resolution stuff or the Reflecting on the Past Year practice. Time is an illusion (and lunchtime doubly so, etc.) and marking the arbitrary beginning of an arbitrary line in the temporal sand is nice — but I prefer to do it when I feel like it. And I’m not often in the mood on the 31st of December. August, when due dates loom; now there’s a good time to reflect upon all of one’s mistakes and misdeeds and begin the ‘I will study next time just please let me pass’ chants XP. It probably doesn’t help that I’m a student, so my year doesn’t actually follow the 1st of January-31st of December calendar. It poises itself for a mid-January start (also known as ‘aww, I don’t want to start reading now! Semester hasn’t officially started!’), begins with trumpet fanfares in mid-February, and ends officially around mid-November, though it’s usually about December 26, when my supervisors fall off the face of the earth. (I love December 26.)

 

All cynicism aside, the coming of 2011 lets me make lists of things I want to happen, without looking too self-indulgent and controlling. (Oops, I did say ‘all cynicism aside’, didn’t I? Ah, I tried.)  Or maybe I just suck at making pseudo-resolution lists XP.

So.

 

(1) I want to construct a TARDIS replica in my garden somewhere. If my carpentry skills prove lacking, then I want to buy a life-size TARDIS from someone whose carpentry skills pwn life.

(2) Failing this, I would be quite content with a sonic screwdriver. Nine/Ten screwdriver, though. They’re about $30-odd on eBay (I am talking about replicas, by the way, though a real sonic screwdriver would… ugh, it would be the most awesome moment of my life) but I’m honestly not all that willing to shell out $30-odd on a blue LED mounted on a piece of plastic.

(3) On a smaller scale, it would be awesome if I could get the red ink stains out  of my carpet. They’re fountain pen inks, so they’re water based, but they do seem rather stuck. And rather bright red. It doesn’t fuss me very much, really, but while we’re wishing for funny things, it might as well make the list.

(4) An actual resolution now: I will stop shooting my bandwidth by downloading shallow brain-killing films. (They’re my guilty pleasure.) If I want to kill my brain, I will do it in a way that does not eat my precious internet. There are no photos on this post because I can’t load anything >.>. It’s so painful.

(5) While we’re at it, I want more internet haunts. I may dive back into fandom. I want fanfic to be more about… stories and less about (relation)shipping. Also. I really need to find that fanart sketch of Professor Layton holding a rose in his teeth and lying seductively on a puzzle piece.  It is the funniest and most awesome piece of Layton fanart I’ve ever seen and I want it for giggles.

 

I think that’s it, really. If these five things pop up during the year, I will be one very happy bouncing human bean. It’s like a Christmas wishlist — so much potential rolled up in a thick layer of hopeful delusion.

 

And now, seriously: I hope you all have splendidly splendid 2011s. I’ll be resuming the room snippets posts when my internet starts behaving, and the outfit snaps when Valerie comes back from her jaunt through Singapore.