Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Something Old, Nothing New


Bad blogger....bad, bad blogger.


I woke up this morning to this message from my sister: "I awake and the mess looks as though it grew overnight!! Why do I have SO MUCH STUFF?" Oh the paradox of first world youth, smothered by the stuff we own and our sentimental attachement to it. I understand her sentiments and predicament exactly.

I really like clothes. Example: a month or so ago we had a federal election here and I now own a a dress that will forever be labelled as 'election day 2010 dress'. See, I get kinda excited about elections. I think they're very important and I think young people should get excited about them. I was really looking forward to this election (spirit only slightly dampened by the pathetic effort of both partys' throughout the campaign) and one day I was shopping and just happened across a dress that seemed to scream, or at least softly point out, "Hey. You know, I'm the kind of dress you could change your country while wearing...why don't you pick me?" It didn't take much to sway me, the dress being such a sweet talker and all, and that's how I ended up purchasing a dress to wear specifically to vote in.

I've worn the dress many other times since, and I really, really like it even when I'm not electing a prime minister, but after telling the story to a couple of friends and receiving mixed reactions I began to wonder if my attachment to clothes is a bit out of control. "You bought a vote in?" they would ask, pitying head shaking ensuing. My concern was only amplified when yesterday I decided to begin a bit of a spring clean in preparation of moving in a few weeks. And discovered that I own a phenomenal number of tshirts. Even though I don't really wear tshirts...

So, this month I'm taking part in Buy Nothing New Month, an initiative of the Salvos in Australia where people can pledge to buy nothing new throughout the whole of October. No clothes, no appliances, shoes, stationery, books, dvds. Nothing. Given that I live on a reasonably tight budget, this shouldn't stretch me too much. I've gone months before without buying anything (unemployment puts a dampener on shopping like nothing else) but it's different now. Now I'm making the choice not to purchase instead of being fiscally unable. And I think it's an important choice for me. I'm also going to continue my little spring clean and lighten my load a little bit.

You can participate in Buy Nothing New Month simply by heading to the Salvo's site and taking a look at the rules. You're allowed to buy second hand/recycled/vintage items, though I don't think I will be in aid of the de-cluttering purpose of my month. Do share if you decide to join in!
Oh. Ps. Tonight I'm going to Women of Letters where a number of my personal female icons will be. Pre-October I bought a new dress to wear to it. I'm really excited.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Artist of the Week: Abbey McCulloch

It's rare for me to find art that I know I would purchase if I had the funds, mostly because I'm picky and can never make up my mind about small details. Abbey McCulloch's work, however, is an instant definite on my 'if only I had won the lottery' list.

For me they strike just the right balance between pretty and slightly sinister. Abbey is exhibiting at the HelenGory Galerie in Victoria from now until mid-July, and I wish I could get along. Check the link for many more of Abbey's striking images.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Winning At Life and Why May Doesn't

For a couple of reasons, I'm so ready to leave May behind. May is always a hard month, I think, because, for lack of a better expression, it's when shit gets real. And not only real, but often really hard, too. May is the month of the year when people start expecting to see results. After the weeks of January, in which the year is kicked off in a lazy, hazy 'the cleanup after the party' way, with a feeling your way around in a dark, unknown house kind of slowness, February comes along with zest and plans. March does march in, and within it we begin to execute these plans with zeal, for at least a week. But then things begin to get monotonous and unforseen problems crop up, due to underplanning or too enthusiastic planning or unrealistic planning or those crazy, so called "acts of god" that slam into and shatter the planning, and our plans all fall apart. We start April a little lost and bewildered and not sure where to go, so we keep working slowly in the direction we were working in the whole time, but now completely without conviction or enthusiasm. We slowly burn ourselves down to the point that we catch the inevitable "pre-winter flu" and get to take a few days off. Then comes May. When everyone who has been totally oblivious to our slow demise over the preceding months begins to demand their share of the year's profits so far. People are all of a sudden wanting to see our progress, are asking for material evidence and statistics and numbers and data that we know just aren't satisfactory. Suddenly the end of the year is looming much closer, and the shadow of those annual deadlines is seemingly expanding at a rate of knots. Doom is what you feel, doom is what you see and doom is what you hear thundering towards you from all sides. Your own impending doom.

But June comes along, after you've had your second bout of flu induced bedrest and Gilmore Girls marathons, and June is crisp and wintery and exciting. You've suddenly made it halfway through the year and suddenly you're thinking that if you made it this far, you may as well keep going, hell, you're even excited about it! You get to stop at this halfway mark, take a breather and reevaluate. That's accepted, even expected, and people think you're wise if you change your original plans now, rather than the weak, bailer they would have called you had you pulled the plug back in April. So you continue, with a fresh outlook and a tinge of excitement, although there's a sense that it's gained a bit of maturity after enduring months three, four and five. Day by day you go on and you see it out and at Christmas you tell everyone you see and celebrate with what an exciting year it was for you, how different it was from other years and how you really felt like you made progress. And you probably did. You're eager and ready for next January (well, February really) to make your new plans for the new year, because this year you're going to tackle really big things. But sometimes, just occasionally, you have a flashback, or a nightmare, or are just sense something that reminds you of that month, May, which you know is coming, when you know it will all go to shit.

But now it's the end of May, so I have a whole year before I have to get back there. And perhaps I'll be clever and avoid the May catastrophe altogether next year. I hope so.

Here's to June!


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Some thoughts for a Monday

Here's what I'm thinking about on a quiet mid-morning Monday in May.

-Consequential Strangers- a term given to those strangers with whom you inevitably interact each day, is defined and explored at this thought-provoking blog. I first came across the concept in this article on Sarah Wilson's blog (which I love and adore) and it's been bouncing around in my mind since. Just think about it, the number of these strangers who pass through our lives will always far outnumber those people with whom we have close relationships, and despite our seeming lack of connection to them, they play a highly important role in the operation of our daily lives. They might provide us with our food, pass us on a morning stroll with a friendly greeting or fill up our car with fuel, and each of these little actions helps us on our way, while we in turn give our custom or our own smile. More importantly than this surface interaction, though, is the connections we can make with such people, as we are much less bound in this relationship by pre-conceived notions or judgements on our characters, as our close friends and relatives have, and so can in some ways be more open and honest; more the person we would like to be. It is possible to have such fleeting but deep interactions with these people, and that is what makes them so special.

There is this guy who works as the lollipop man at the school the little girl I nanny for attends. He's young, probably my age or younger, and sets up his crossing every morning like clockwork, arriving at 7:55, slotting in the orange flags and pulling on his vest. He stands with his stop sign every day, rain, hail or shine, helping the kids get across the road safely. Today, my little girl laughed as we walked up the footpath after crossing. "Everday," she said, "everday it's exactly the same: 'Hi! Have a good day!' he says." She was amused at his unfaltering routine. I have noticed, too, that his greetings rarely change, and when I leave the school and walk back across he says the same thing. He is so dedicated to his job, to starting the kids' day off safely and happily, and he never fails to bring a smile to my face too as I drive away. He'll never know it, but in that small way, he's changing my, and I'd guess a lot of the other adults dropping kids off before beginning their work day's, life, and only for the better.

These consequential strangers are put into our lives for a reason. We're all connected, we all have the power to change the world, and it's a worthy pursuit to be mindful of appreciating the value of those we meet everyday in all sorts of places and situations. Afterall, the more connections you make, the wider your circle of wisdom and influences becomes, and this can only be a good thing.

This reminds me of two things. First a quote from Desiderata, which has been a favourite of mine ever since I read it on a poster tacked to the roof above my dentist's chair.

"As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story."

And also the wonderful Missed Connections blog, which everyone has been raving about for the past couple of months with good reason. This one is my recent favourite:(click image for the story)

BuzzChild xx

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Working Girl

So, lately I've been making character cards for the play I'm working on, and making red velvet cake for my mum for Mother's day. I'm counting both as success.

Monday, May 3, 2010

A Helpful and Handy Hint

Stress creates tension, often held in the neck, shoulders and jaw. Next time you accidently step on a piece of metal, how will you be able to watch for the signs of a developing tetanus infection when your neck is always stiff regardless?


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tuesday Treat

Is it possible for Kirsten Dunst to get much more brilliant? I think most people have already seen this, but if not, here's a treat for you! Thanks for Rebecca of The Clothes Horse for pointing it out.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Versus Show

I've just returned home from an art event called 'The Versus Show', which gives two artists a common theme to work with and then showcases their results. This show, the fourth so far, was held at Joshua Levi Galleries and featured the work of local Brisbane photographer Kylie Fisk and Melbourne artist Laura Skerlji. The theme was Dreams and the work was lovely, as was the atmosphere with the rooms all decorated in soft baby blue floating balloons and candles and cut out birds and filled with live music and lovely wine. Here are some pictures from the artists, if you're ever in town and have the chance to check out them or one of The Versus Shows, I highly recommend you do.

Now, with my neighbours singing old Enrique Iglesias tunes over and over again, and with the promise of an exciting and packed weekend, I think it's time for bed.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

YSL Manifesto

I found this clip while I was doing some research for a review of Ebony Bones' album. I just like the way it's edited and that hint of showing what's going on behind the scenes, even though it's all advertising anyway. So I thought I'd share. What do you think?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

right now

"The young girls formed, indeed, the majority of the band, and their heads of luxuriant hair reflected in the sunshine every tone of gold, and black, and brown. Some had beautiful eyes, others a beautiful nose, others a beautiful mouth and figure: few, if any, had all."

"And as each and all of them were warmed without by the sun, so each had a private little sun for her soul to bask in; some dream, some affection, some hobby, at least some remote and distant hope which, though perhaps starving to nothing, still lived on, as hopes will."

"Thus they were all cheerful, and many of them merry."

Words from Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
Pictures by the ever inspiring Raul Romo