Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Anyone got the number for Lacuna Inc.?

How convenient would it be if Lacuna Inc. from Michael Godry’s, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind existed? For those of you who haven’t seen this film, off your butt, head to your local video... correction, DVD shop and hire it. Not tomorrow: now. Thanks to the introduction of DVD vending machines, people can now rent out their favourite action, romantic, or chick flick from their local supermarket at anytime. Wow, right?

Anyway, diverting back to my point, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind tells the story of two anguished lovers struggling to deal with the reality of parting ways. Both Joel and Clementine, played by Jim Carey and Kate Winslet, undergo a procedure which erases the other from their memory.

There are certainly periods of time, fears, and people I wouldn’t mind having wiped from my memory. Think about it, you could truly save yourself an immense amount of time scrutinising, over analysing, antagonising... OK, so overload of adverbs, my bad. It just sounds sort of cool - well, sort of. Right? No? Dang it! God, I keep getting sidetracked!

So, basically, what I am getting at is that the smells, tastes, street signs, television shows and blog posts (random?) are just a few of the inanimate objects and sensory experiences that serve as obtrusive reminders typifying elements of one’s past - memories preferred to be forgotten. Although, without these memories, I could make the same mistakes I once made, creating a string of problems later on in life.

I guess the convenience of wiping one’s mind of affliction and pain, spite and anger, can prove to be quite an inconvenient further down the track.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Doc Martens, garage sales and shaking off “fashion fad-ists”: Revamping the term “vintage”

I was the only kid not wearing shiny, black Clarkes on my first school photograph day. Sitting in the front row, alongside my fellow, fun-size Kindergarten-ers (I prefer to describe vertically challenged people, like myself, as “fun-size”, rather than short, small, etc. Sounds endearing, right?), Mum had sent me to school wearing a pair of second hand, brown leather rock climbing boots. I remember showing some of my friends this photo a few years ago; as they barked like hyenas, I wondered what they were laughing at - the fact that my Mum sent me to school in op shop attire, or that, to this day, I sport similar, weird and wacky, outfits?

I am not alone in this venture - a member of the vintage and op shop scene. Just take a walk around your neighbourhood shopping centre; people are decked out, head to toe, in recycled clothing and vintage shoes, bags, and accessories. Although, the hypocrisy that some of these people are encompassing – conforming alongside a troop of other fashion fad-ists (Urban Dictionary would have a field day sifting through my blog posts and articles
for new terms and phrases) striving to be an individual within an already heavily consumerist and conformist society – their looks are becoming predictably typical of the ‘vintage’ category. Not convinced? Well, this accusation is justified through the increasing popularity of Doc Martens. I was once called “Stomper” for teaming my worn-out black Docs with a 1950’s inspired, Rockabilly frock when going out for drinks with friends. Two years later, and those same, name-calling girls are embracing this sassy, edgy look, stomping their hypocritical arses around every pub, club, restaurant… you get my point. Fashion fad-ists and walking contradictions, indeed. What was once original, distinguished and quaint is now generic, mediocre and cliché.

Ah, but fear not readers (I think my readership only really extends as far as my boyfriend, who I am sure is not too crash hot on receiving shopping and style tips. Did I mention that he too has been wearing Docs for years?), I have a solution to defeat and overcome the now ‘normative’ practice of op shopping: garage sales. People are stinging to separate with their preloved threads, selling them at very low prices in order to clear out their unwanted goods, either because they are preparing to move out, or making room for new bits and pieces. As the overused saying goes: out with the old and in with new. What’s ironic about this is that I get more compliments on the vintage clothes I buy for 50 cents than the pieces I actually have invested a substantial amount of money in.

So, while sipping on a cup of English Breakfast and picking apart and devouring a lemon iced cupcake on a Friday afternoon, be sure to remember to pick up your local newspaper and jot down the Saturday morning garage sales happening in your local area. Reinventing your wardrobe has never been more refreshing, affordable... and fun!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Drunk tarts, open-toe shoes and a bizarre case of appendicitis

Note to self - and other party-goers out there: do NOT wear open-toed shoes if you plan on a night of dancing and debauchery. I made this simple, yet costly mistake, and two weeks after the ‘incident’, the toe inside of the pinkie on my right foot is still beaten up and bruised. Fortunately, this toe is sort of like an appendix; it doesn’t issue or make a vast contribution to the way I live my life, although, when this rogue extension of human matter is uncomfortably pressed, it can truly be a pain in the, um...foot.

OK, so I’m not looking for any sort of attention or sympathy; I am merely writing to warn people of something so terrible that threatens your physical stability (I mean, seriously; with crushed toes, how can you physically balance?), and your shoe-wearing agenda: drunk tarts strutting around in stilettos.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Mary Poppins bag of tricks... and miscellaneous junk

Last year, I bought my first Italian leather bag. This is not a wanky exposé of some tart’s fabulous wardrobe and accessories, because the truth is, I am a member of a not-so-elitist league: broke university students. When embarking on shopping adventures, I start with my regular Saturday morning garage sale circuit, move on to clothes swap events, and end up rummaging the one dollar bin at the local RSPCA charity shop. So, as a university student, buying an Italian leather bag seems like a particularly stupid expenditure, but working for a place that sells them at wholesale prices, why not, huh?

Getting back on track, in all its gorgeousness (apparently, ‘gorgeousness’ is a word. Well, according to Spell Check, anyway) this bag was, and still is, inevitably flawed, bringing to light an interesting dichotomy that I am absolutely positive that many women, and perhaps men, have also struggled with: aesthetics versus practicality.

OK, so my phone will start ringing, and like Mary Poppins and her delightful bag of trinkets and treasures, I toss the contents of my handbag over my shoulder, only to find that I have missed the call, anyway. However, unlike the enchantment of Poppins’ goodie bag and the assembly of all her bits and pieces, fashionably organised within the children's room (she’s gotta’ hook me up!), I am left with a mess of miscellaneous junk scattered around me. Old lip glosses, peanut butter M&M wrappers (I would by far prefer to litter my handbag than the environment. Does my justification erase the fact that my bag is slowly becoming my own personal, mobile garbage bin? Anyone know of a fitted bin liner, designed for handbags?), coins, dust, and busted pens. This bag is terribly gorgeous, yet the practicality is closely similar to that of a potato sack - a pretty schmick potato sack, all the same.

My big, beautiful bag: a dungeon for innate objects, dirt, dust and wait.. what’s that? Something damp? Dang it! How the hell does Mary Poppins do it?!

I wonder if Peaches Geldof has the same probelm I have?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Kings of Leon and Los Angeles.. in Sydney?
Listening to an old Kings of Leon album and eating Pad Thai, this afternoon I sat beneath a mosaic of fractured light in Redfern Park while on my lunch break. I looked up at the trees as they, like a kaleidoscope, fragmented the sun. When I woke up today, I wasn’t really expecting to perform an in-depth analysis of the Australian native flora in Sydney (on any day for that matter) but when I noticed that I was sitting among gum trees, and... wait for it... palm trees, I had a Rove moment: “WHAT THE?” Assumingly (and quite rightly!), I would have looked particularly strange to my fellow lunch-ers, as I gawked up at the sky, mouth perhaps opened slightly, with my head rotating to the left and right- almost Exorcist style. I thought to myself, “Yep. I am going to have to write about this”.

Metaphorically speaking, in my mind these trees symbolise Los Angeles. The streets of Beverly Hills are lined with them and can be seen from kilometres away. On my 21st birthday earlier this year, my friend and I hiked to the “HOLLYWOOD” sign. The trek was long and arduous - especially considering I was rockin’ my gold Doc Martens and a pinafore - but after passing hundreds of towering palm trees, taking 2 wrong turns and 3 and a half hours later, we made it to the top. Using my peripheral vision was pointless, but I was able to identify the tops of the palm trees, shadowing the densely populated city.

So, there I sat in Redfern Park, eating Thai food, listening to American music, thinking about California and reflecting about my own cultural heritage; I am a quarter Chinese, quarter Scottish and half English-Australian. Multiculturalism has been sprinkled across Australia, as an assortment of different cultures coexist within this country. From Hollywood palm trees (OK, I know - palm trees aren't native to California, but they certainly contribute to the geographic definition of this part of the US) to international music groups, to fast food and fine dining, Australia is quite a diverse and multicultural country, isn’t it?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Revived and Reconnected

Times of grieving can be inconvenient, lengthy, and arduous. Whether it be the emotional disintegration or death of a failed relationship, or the physical detachment from somebody or something you love, grief is undoubtedly destructive, leaving scattered debris on the path of a person’s future.
Two months ago, my laptop was stolen. With this information alone, people may view this blog entry as being the materialistic confessions of a pretentious person who hasn’t really felt a true sense of loss and absence - like when a friend or family member passes away. I really don’t blame them.
However, I am not mourning the loss of the computer itself. After traveling across the US, Canada, and Europe last year, that slender slab of metal and wires was stapled to my side, accompanying me on 20 hour bus rides, cross-continental flights and countless hours spent in airport terminals. The stories I vacuumed up from these places were raw, first-hand experiences that were unique and, at times, confronting - ideal writing material. So that’s what I did; I wrote. I wrote and wrote and wrote. I noted everything I saw, heard, felt, touched, and smelt (has anyone ever noticed that the United States smells of sugar and Krispy Kreme donuts?). I wrote fiction pieces, inspired by the new feelings I was experiencing, coupled with the foreign places I was visiting. I drafted travel memoirs and essays, love letters and stories (I once detested gooey love stories and I promised my Mum I wouldn’t fall in love overseas, oops), and collaborated idiotic haikus with friends.
Isn’t it bizarre how attached people can become with technology? My laptop was my life. Losing all of my work was my own fault, really. I had only backed up 2GB worth of documents from the past four years on a portable USB device. Everything else was lost, including copious amounts of writing, videos, photos and music.

I didn’t get out of bed for two days after my laptop was stolen. Two months have passed and I am now feeling revived and reconnected with my new word processor (and external hard drive!). This is my first piece of writing since.