Archive for January, 2011

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.

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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!