Monthly Archives: February 2009

Gladiator sandals- in or out?

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While I have been a great fan of the spring/summer fashion trends- boho/vintage is definitely my style of choice- I have to admit I never really understood the gladiator sandal. How something big, butch men used to wear during vicious blood baths became trendy is beyond my comprehension? But then there are those that follow the trend no matter what. It took me a while to figure out what my problem with them was. If I would see someone down the street wearing them, all I could think was “yeurcchhh”, they just do not look right. Yet watching those tall, thin waifs gliding down the catwalk made me realise: gladiator sandals being the way they are, only look good on people who are tall and thin. Their bulkiness and height just look stupid on anyone less than 6 foot, making a usually thin, albeit short, person seem frumpy.
If you aren’t tall, do not wear gladiators- they just look ridiculous.

Restored faith in humanity

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It’s true what they say, that bad times bring out the best in people. It was just a few weeks ago that I was complaining to my husband about how selfish and inconsiderate people are. And yet here we are, in the face of uncertainty, facing the worst crisis our little state of Victoria has ever seen, and all over the country people have banded together to give what they can. The last I heard, $23 million had been raised to help bushfire victims and families. Twenty. Three. MILLION. That is unbelievable, and totally overwhelming.

My faith in mankind has been restored.

Random acts of kindness Part 1- Driving etiquette

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How to be considerate on the roads….

This really does my head in, but how many of you have tried to change lanes and find it virtually impossible to because other drivers are intent on refusing to let you in? Particularly at traffic lights when they AREN’T GOING ANYWHERE!!! Well, my advice is really quite simple and logical, and just makes driving a happier, more pleasing experience to all involved. This goes for merging traffic. If every person just let one car…yes…ONE CAR…in front of them there would be no angry drivers, accidents or people running late.

I was driving home from uni yesterday and the lady in the car behind me needed to get into the left lane to turn off. We were stopped at traffic lights and as I watched I noticed (quite sadly) that not one person let her in, despite the fact that we were STATIONARY at the lights. As a result, this woman missed her turn off and almost ended up on the freeway. And yes, I can hear some of you saying “well, she shouldn’t have changed lanes at the last minute.” True, but what difference would it have made if she tried to do so 5 minutes before? (aside from not missing her turn off). What I mean is, those same people that didn’t let her in in this case, wouldn’t have let her in 5 minutes before, or at all. It just makes me so angry that people are so inconsiderate. The poor lady was shaking her head, and I could really empathise with her. I just hope that next time she finds herself on the other side of the experience, that she remembers this day and decides to do the right things.

I could go on for hours and hours, days and days about considerate driving, but I won’t. I will simply end (and perhaps I should also start) with my key message:

If someone wants to merge/ change lanes, LET THEM IN! You may lose 2 seconds of your time, but it will make driving a much more pleasurable experience. Stay tuned tomorrow when I will talk about public transport etiquette.

Random acts of kindness- the series

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Ages ago..like…June 2007, I started blogging on my Myspace blog a section called Random Acts of Kindness. I really thing the world would be a better place if people weren’t so inconsiderate and selfish, so I started posting little tips on how to do nice things for people. So here it is again- in case you didn’t get it…

When was the last random act of kindness you did? Or, better yet, when was the last act of kindness you did? What’s the difference? Well, acts of kindness are everyday things- driving your mum around so she can get her errands done; holding a door open for a stranger; tipping the chic who makes you an awesome coffee in the cafe up the street; waking the person next to you on the train to make sure they haven’t missed their stop; giving up your seat on public transport for the elderly, disabled or pregnant; helping a woman pick up the contents of her handbag off the footpath. Acts of kindness are things you are almost expected to do, and with every right.

Random acts of kindness are the completely unexpected, extremely pleasing (for both parties) and uncommon occurances. Things like: paying for the person in front of (or behind) you groceries, petrol or whatever else; or giving your all day train ticket to someone without expecting any money for it.

The last random act of kindness I did (which I do everytime I’m down there) is stick my parking ticket at Deakin back into the slot in the ticket machine where it spits it out. That way the next person who comes along to buy a ticket already has one!

Look, I’m not here to brag, I just want more people to do these things. Short of ideas? Here’s a few- basically just reiterating the ones I mentioned above:

* next time you’re in the express lane at the supermarket, pay for the person behind you
* next time you get petrol, pay for the person next to you
* next time you receive good service from a shop, ask to speak to the manager and TELL THEM HOW GOOD THE PERSON WAS!
* if you see a homeless person, buy them a meal

Ok, so look, I only have a few up my sleeve, but my point is if you do just one random act of kindness a day, or even a week, the world will be a much better place, and yes, it does make you feel awesome.

PEACE! 🙂
XOXOXOXOXOXOXOX

Book Review- The Bang-Bang Club: snapshots from a hidden war

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So I just finished reading this book called The Bang-Bang Club: Snapshots from a hidden war. It’s about four photographers- Greg Marinovich, Joao Silva (authors), Kevin Carter (dec) and Ken Oosterbroek (dec) who were covering the Apartheid in South Africa during the 1990s. This is a book I think everyone should read.

Many of us -most of us, I think- live in our own little comfortable boxes of which we rarely step out of. Sure, we read the newspaper, watch the news, listen to the radio. We know about the war in Iraq. We know that homeless people exist. We know that many countries have civil wars. We know what genocide is. And we know about AIDS and poverty and famine and disease. But the difference between knowing that it exists and understanding what is happening is huge. Before the book, I had a vague idea of what the Apartheid was. As I was only eight when Nelson Mandela was released in 1990 I didn’t really know what was going on, why he was jailed in the first place, or why it was such a big deal that he had been released. Except that it showed some form of hope for the black majority in South Africa (and unease for the white minority).

The Bang-Bang Club opened my eyes to what really happened in South Africa during the time of the Apartheid. It was a time of extreme violence, where anything could happen. These four photographers were subjected to such horrible images that one of them committed suicide, while the other died on the job, having been shot at.

Let me give you a brief idea of what the photos they took were of:

– one photo of a vulture stalking a starving child in Sudan
– a photo of a man running away from the camera, with his clothes on fire
– many images of the dead
– an image of a 2 year old boy, whose head had been smashed, laying dead next to his aunty. The justification the guy who killed him (part of an extreme right-wing political party) was that “snakes give birth to snakes”

I know humanity is capable of some horrible things, but you don’t realise just how horrible until you read the details- unedited by the media, with no hidden agendas. If you want to know about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, check out the blogs of the local people. Don’t read about it in the paper. The media has nought but its own agenda to worry about, never mind giving you the full picture of what’s really going on behind the scenes.

The Bang-Bang Club was written by Greg Marinovich and Joao Silva, the only two remaining photographers of this exclusive club. If it weren’t for this book (which, by the way, is banned in Australia- but you can buy it off Amazon), I wouldn’t have known the truth behind what happened during the Apartheid, and the extent to which humans can commit utterly horrible crimes with no remorse.

"Do what you love, the money will follow"

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There’s one thing I have never understood, and that is why students fresh out of school would want to hurry up and throw themselves into uni or a career without going out and experiencing life first. How can you really know what you want to do when you haven’t even seen what’s out there? Granted, I still don’t really know what I want to do…or at least how to get it, and I’m nearly 27. But my two years overseas certainly opened my eyes at what’s possible in the world, and what I do and don’t like. If school and uni and work are the only things you’ve ever been exposed to in life, how do you know what you want to do is actually what you’ll be happy doing?

Many of my friends went straight from school to uni. One of them is questioning why she is working where she is now, and another one is happy in a job totally unrelated to her degree, a job which didn’t need any qualifications to begin with. Doesn’t this tell us something?

Now that I have finished my Arts degree in PR and Journalism I am looking towards the next thing I would like to study- photography. I figure, why not become qualified in everything I’m interested in, which should arm me with enough knowledge and work to keep me reasonably happy for the rest of my life.

If you always keep in mind what you like doing and are truly interested in and passionate about then you should have no trouble finding the perfect career for you. Remember, do what you love, the money will follow. I can’t remember who said that, but it’s some pretty great advice.