Saturday, August 23, 2014

Thoughts #12 - Chameleon

A friend of mine shared this story this week:  I Dressed as a Goth, a Party Girl, and a Manic Pixie Dream Girl — Here's How My Friends, Partner, and OKCupid Reacted - go click on that link I just posted and read the article.

I found the experiment and article fascinating for a number of reasons.  First, I was a Sociology major.  Second, I like clothes, hair, and make-up.  Third, I try not to judge a book by its cover (so to speak).  Fourth, I enjoy people who have their own personal sense of style.  Fifth, the remarks and quick judgments passed were thought-provoking.

We know that people judge others based on their looks, their race, and their clothes.  We know it's not nice, but it happens.all.the.time. 

Also, I remembered a conversation I shared with a former co-worker (a man who knew my parents before I was born).  He told me that I was a "chameleon" based on how I dressed for work.  At the time, I worked in an office complete with shared-wall cubicle an all.  I suppose this comment came from the fact that I'd wear skirts, pants, or dresses.  I'd wear heels, flats, and cowboy boots.  My hair would be straight or curly, up or down.  My make-up might be natural, or I might wear bright blue eyeliner.  My nails would be natural, black, or bright pink.  This was also at a time in my life that I'd go to live music shows weekly, sometimes multiple times in a week.  So, I'd have a dress style for that too.  Yes, I owned leather pants.  Vinyl ones too.

Some may think this erratic style of dress stems from me searching for an identity.  Or that I was a poser depending on the situation I was in.  Yet, I took the statement he made as a huge compliment.  I like(d) being a chameleon.  I like(d) different styles and fashions and clothes.  I like(d) expressing myself through how I present(ed) myself.  But, does that mean I was judged differently on different days depending on different dress?  Probably.  But, that's not going to change how I dress(ed).

Just because I've had this song in my head the entire time I've typed this entry, I decided that you need to hear it too.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Fall Film Challenge

A friend of mine is hosting a film challenge.  She asked me how many movies I watch per month.  I'm not a good one to ask.  Sometimes, I watch 3 or 4 movies in a weekend.  Sometimes, I don't watch a movie for 3 or 4 weeks.  She's playing along in my book challenge, so I thought I'd play along in the film challenge.
(You can read about it HERE or you can join HERE because I think you should play along too.)

I have three months to watch these - September, October, November - and here are my choices:

one. any action/adventure flick - Captain Phillips
two. any shot in bupapest, hungary - The Raven
three. any awarded an oscar for best cinematography - There Will Be Blood
four. any drama/biography/documentary - Artifact
five. any awarded an oscar for best film editing - Traffic
six. any science-fiction/fantasy flick - Divergent
seven. any starring an actress whose last name begins with the letter g - Texas Killing Fields (Annabeth Gish)
eight. any set during any holiday - Labor Day
nine. any from internet movie database's top flicks list - City of God
ten. any starring an actor whose last name begins with the letter j - Prisoners (Hugh Jackman)
eleven. any starring an actress whose last name begins with the letter k - Rabbit Hole (Nicole Kidman)
twelve. any shot in london, england - RocknRolla
thirteen. any awarded an oscar for best original score - Babel
fourteen. any adapted from any novel - The Great Gatsby
fifteen. any awarded an oscar for best original screenplay - The King's Speech
sixteen. any awarded an oscar for best picture - 12 Years a Slave
seventeen. any featured on american movie classic's fifty great movie quote's list -  The Hours  - "Someone has to die in order that the rest of us should value life more."
eighteen. any romance or comedy - Dedication
nineteen. any sports flick - Invictus
twenty. any thriller or mystery - The Return
twenty-one. any starring an actor whose last name begins with u - Star Trek Into Darkness (Karl Urban)
twenty-two. any shot in a country you've never visited - Blood Diamond (shot in South Africa and Mozambique)
twenty-three. any shot in wilmington, north carolina - Blue Velvet
twenty-four. any western or war film - The Alamo
twenty-five. any from american film institute's greatest american movies of all time - One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Since we're talking about movies, I will end with a picture from my favorite Robin Williams' movie performance, Good Will Hunting, which I will watch this weekend.

Friday, August 15, 2014

A Day in the Life of Me

You are about to see a glimpse of my fascinating life. Well, not really. This is just an average day for me, and it's definitely not all that fascinating...except today, I'm going to bring you along with me. 

I'm a snoozer.  That's right.  I need the alarm to go off at least four times before I drag myself out of bed.  Neil is worse.  My pets have learned our habits.  The cats will go check out the lit up screen of our phones probably wishing their paws would work on a touch screen iphone to turn the annoying thing off.  

After reluctantly getting up, I go through my morning routine - toilet, brush teeth, pills, wash face, shower, moisturize, make-up my face, get dressed - all the while, these three join me most mornings (Ricky, Ivy, and Astro).  I pretend it's because they love me so much that they want to hang with me.  Remember, I told you they know my routine?  Well, yeah...they hang with me because I have the heat lamps on, and when I'm finished getting dressed, they get their breakfast. 

As I make my way downstairs while trying not to trip over any cats or step on any tails, these are the faces that greet me through the back door.  They like to stand at their bowls (as if I'm going to forget their breakfast). Our oh-so-sweet-but-not-too-bright Sally and Dolly girls.

Fur babies are fed, we're dressed, and we head to the train station which is 5 minutes away.  We live in a suburb 35 miles (57 km) southwest of Sydney city center.  We commute via train travel Monday through Friday.  Neil and I ride the train together most days.  I read a book; he reads a newspaper.  Our train takes a little less than an hour to get to Sydney Central Station.  A lot of people complain about public transport.  I actually prefer it.  I like to read and people watch instead of road rage on the freeways.

We arrive at Central, and we part ways.  Neil heads in to work.  I head to school (more about that in a minute).  I usually grab a morning tea at a kiosk at the station.  It's winter here now, and I'm not a coffee drinker.  I've learned to drink hot tea instead.  I've got my ipod cranked now (although my hair is covering it) because my mornings usually need a little heavy dose of rock 'n' roll to get going. 

School, ah school.  I call it the "visa factory" because it's a school that caters to international students who have come to Australia on a student visa.  Most often, I am the only one in the class that speaks English as my primary language.  I'm currently taking a Marketing course, and I go to class Mondays-Thursdays 9:00am-12:30pm.  Although the classes aren't exactly challenging or overly informative, I've enjoyed interacting with the students from all corners of the world - Thailand, Italy, Colombia, Turkey, Indonesia, Poland, Nepal, Korea, Romania, Brazil, Czech Republic, as well as teachers from Singapore, Germany, South Africa, and Hungary.

After school, I head back to the train station (this time the trains run underground similar to subways, but we still call them trains).  Hi ho, hi ho; it's off to work I go... our trains don't stay underground.  Here's my view of Lavender Bay and Luna Park as the train crosses Sydney Harbour Bridge.  I see this everyday, and I still don't tire of the view. 

After pulling into North Sydney, I go to our store where I work every day.  (Shameless plug now: ; new website coming soon!)  Neil is owner, jeweller, watchmaker, boss, problem-solver and more.  His father (Graham) is a watchmaker.  Our friend (Linsey) works part-time and helps a lot with computer jewellery design.  I do everything else.  Also, I spend far too much time on facebook and other websites, as well as occasionally writing my I'm doing now. 

The super helpful friendly sales girl that you want to help you buy some jewelry (yes, I've spelled jewelry/jewellery two different ways in this post, but I'm American living in Australia, and there's two different spellings and sometimes I get confused) - that's me!

After closing shop, I get back to the train station.  Sometimes it may be 6:00; sometimes 7:00; sometimes later.  That's the world of retail and being the partner of the man that owns his own business.

Animals meet us at the door - yes, because they love us - but, mostly because they are getting fed dinner.  The destructive duo dogs have usually torn something up.  They love anything with foam and stuffing, so forget about giving them a dog bed, or stuffed toys, or a lounge to sleep on...because they've ruined all those things.  They have dog bones and chew toys, but being destructive is much more fun (apparently).

Oh, I don't forget lunch...I just forgot to take its picture.  Neil is awesome because he likes to cook.  He's good at it too.  Most of you probably think he is just avoiding my cooking.  That could be the case, but I do cook every now and then, but mostly it's Neil who prepares our meals.  This is leftover risotto that's even tastier the second night of having it. 

My favorite part of the day; my nightly Astro snuggles.  I was never a cat person.  I was scared of them.  They sensed it and preyed on my fear.  But, Neil has always had cats.  I love animals, I love him, and relationships are supposed to be about compromise, right?  Well, if any cat could convert me, this guy could.  Man, oh man...he is a mama's boy.  Every single night, I lay down for some reading or tv time.......and every single night, Astro joins me.  He's on my chest.  He's in my face.  He lays on my shoulder.  He headbutts me.  He even lets a little dribble out when I rub his belly.  Gosh almighty, this cat loves me, and I love him. 

Many nights, I relax with a book, a candle burning, and a hot bath...sometimes a glass of wine.  Most times, I'm joined by a kitty.  Mostly, it's Ivy or Ricky - they are the ones that seem to be interested in the water, or my nakedness, but I'm pretty sure it's the water.

Bedtime - most of the time, Astro joins me.  Eventually, Neil is there as well as the other two kitties.  But, every now and then, Ricky the mischievous boy decides he wants to be Ricky the purr puss and tries to beat Astro to the bedroom to get the closest spot to mama.  I'm not going to lie: I like it that the boys fight over me :)  Neil may get slightly jealous. 

That's all, folks.  How exciting was that?!  Tons.  I know.  If you made it this far, you are probably my mother.  Hi, Mom!  Thanks for sticking with this post!!