Showing posts from 2012

Type A and Type B Personalities

Tweet Image from Wikipedia  I recently discovered types A & B personalities from at an unusual place. I was flicking through Reese Witherspoon's Wikipedia page. You see, Laura Jean Reese Witherspoon was called "Little Type A" as a kid. But what does that even mean? Well, the result is her multi-tasking genius. Type A peeps are those who always want to be doing something constructive. Constantly. They're the workaholics of the world. What matters most is creating something big. These busy bees are known to over-commit by saying yes to almost everything. This sort of schedule requires super-organised habits. People under this category stand out not because they're 'better' but because a lot of the work they do could be more public. Reese kept busy over the years by acting, modelling, producing... She wanted to do everything. I can sort of relate to that. I can't do the same thing for too long at once, so I need a variety of roles or

Sharing Christmas with great people

  It has been fantastic to spend Christmas time with a lot of brilliant people. Although it is difficult to see all friends at this time, the more the merrier. My Rotaract club visited a nursing home where we met happy social retirees / senior citizens. A Christmas party with Toastmasters was a special memory of catching up and meeting Santa (an old friend). The end of year gathering for the Australian Liberal Students' Federation was an opportunity to network and also return to familiar faces. Of course my family feels very blessed to have some rellies visit all the way from Italy. I'm equally thrilled to spend my first Christmas with my special mister, Sean. There were some friends I was more able to see earlier in the year than now. And at least we can share Christmas with all our Facebook friends. But it was great to be blessed with the presence of some awesome people at Christmas time.

All colours of life at Christmas time

We need to remember those who are facing dilemas during Christmas time. I am one of the lucky ones who had things fall into place recently. But we're not always that lucky.  It wasn't always smooth sailing this year. A beloved school friend left this world very unexpectedly. A lot of us will still be feeling the shock since that lovely person is no longer with us. The world is experiencing a similar feeling after the loss of children at Sandy Hook Elementary. Please remember those friends around you who are in a similar boat. Check on them.  Please think most about those in even more desperate need. Amongst all the Apple products we crave, it's important to consider those in developing countries who don't have running water. Programs at this time of year provide toys for children in developing countries,  cans of food for the local needy, and a whole lot more. Maybe now is the right time to sponsor a child for a dollar per day. Or give someone a gift car

The day I told a class the truth about Santa

I have always been a little bit opinionated and outspoken. There has always been this inclination to speak to a group about something important. That feeling was suppressed throughout school. But now the "real" grown up world appreciates it. It's the second grade, maybe the third. My teachers are telling the kids yet another Santa-themed fairytale that they are eating up as though it was reality. The teachers are once again deceiving the children into blurring the lines between reality and fantasy. There is nothing wrong with enjoying a mystical tale. But the second you start believing it is the moment when your grasp on reality starts to slip. I had always been told there is the truth, and then there are lies. They are two very separate categories. Or so I thought. I couldn't take it anymore. Someone had to tell these kids the truth. If everyone else was lying to them, I would be the one to show them what's real and what isn't. I got up, faced my de

The mob has spoken: toss away the guns.

The recent shooting of the American elementary school kids is the most publicised disaster in a while. And it is yet another political nudge towards stricter gun laws. The affect of shootings has came to our attention in plenty of TV shows, proving the media is against reckless use of guns. What worries me is that a lot of people are claiming leadership have cried wolf. Obama promised a 'conversation' after the last shooting. And people expected more than what conversation is - talk. But at least dialogue is a start. The whole world is mourning for these children. And the Democrats are there to comfort them. We constantly hear about Obama's tweets, speeches, and visits. He is not just representing the country - he is of course a voice for the Democrats. But Republicans need to put aside their beliefs about gun laws and appeal to the emotion of the people. It is the only way for them to stop fading into the background. They need to show sympathy. Constant global coverag

Misperceptions of the Blacktown area

A taxi driver recently told me some rumours, about Blacktown, which are pretty distant from the truth. I was chatting with this cab driver at about 9 at night when he warned me of what had happened just a 2 hours earlier. A group of supposedly "junkie" girls had robbed a couple at the bus area. This unsuspecting couple were visiting the area and were probably a bit more trusting (until then) of little school girls. Although other families in the area are trustworthy, these messed up girls clearly were not as innocent as you would expect. I believe this much of the story. But it had led to wild speculation that's more distant from the truth. The driver believed that robberies and other crimes go unnoticed in the area. He heard rumors that the police generally avoid intervening in Blacktown because it would officially make the area look worse. If the cops stepped in, they would have to make records about the dilemma and the location. So the statistics would rise. And t

Busting myths about Blacktown

A taxi driver recently told me some rumours, about Blacktown, which are pretty distant from the truth. I was chatting with this cab driver at about 9 at night when he warned me of what had happened just a 2 hours earlier. A group of supposedly "junkie" girls had robbed a couple at the bus area. This unsuspecting couple were visiting the area and were probably a bit more trusting (until then) of little school girls. Although other families in the area are trustworthy, these messed up girls clearly were not as innocent as you would expect. I believe this much of the story. But it had led to wild speculation that's more distant from the truth. The driver believed that robberies and other crimes go unnoticed in the area. He heard rumors that the police generally avoid intervening in Blacktown because it would officially make the area look worse. If the cops stepped in, they would have to make records about the dilemma and the location. So the statistics would rise. And th

Buzzing away from coffee addictions

The American Cancer Society has a bit to answer for. Apparently, 4 cups of coffee will keep the doctor (and cancer and death) away. Seriously? We can't do anything we like just because it's (quote quote) healthy. I feel hyped enough after one cuppa. Some people indulge in a second, and feel just a little bit guilty. But four? No self-respecting caffeinated coffeeholic would reach that level every single day. Life is not a video game. You don't win points for consuming a many of these as possible. The newspapers probably tell us about these wild experiments for a few reasons besides us taking the ideas seriously. They're either trying to fill up the page, or the researchers themselves are pushing for media coverage to get their organisations' names out there. I don't mind both those strategies most of the time. And the public has a right to know pretty much anything these days. Just take the ideas from these health nuts with a grain of salt.

Ego boosts and celebs without makeup

Do you ever google search "celebrities without makeup?" Or maybe you find a page about them in a tabloid magazine on a waiting room table. I stumbled upon some videos of untouched famous faces on Youtube. These photos are comforting reminders that they are just like us. The only difference is they have some extra media attention.  I used to wonder how winter woollies seem to pile upon our outfits in a way that never happens in the magazines. They visually add a kilo that we don't actually have. Darn baggy jumpers. But this model looks just like most of us did last winter. She's rugged up in what feels like wearable blankies. And that's perfectly fine. Now, I know very little about these Kardashian girls. All I know is they sell a whole lotta stuff by swapping the first letter of things with a "K." Still, this picture will boost the mood of any girl who wears thick layers of makeup to the gym. Because Khloe doesn't bother with all that. She is

Product Placement in Gilmore Girls

Tweet Image from Fan Pop As a teenager, I had no idea Gilmore Girls was so commercial. The show appeared innocent with their small town and quirky characters. It was all about feminist ambition and independence. Why cook and clean when you can do your homework or run your own business? That's the message we got from the show. But beneath the free spirited style was a carefully run program to get us to eat and consume more. I should have noticed the product placement at an early age. And I now know more as a marketer. But most teenagers don't know any better. A lot of sites and books talk about the commercial nature of the show. Just Google, "product placement Gilmore Girls." My PR course actually mentioned that P&G and other companies funded the launch of GG so they could get their many brands onto the small screen. That's fine, it's extra exposure that the marketers need for their brands to grow. But I think there are right and wrong prod

DSM Messed Up Asperger's

Tweet I feel absolutely stunned by the latest news about Asperger's Syndrome. Someone out there has created a stereotype which is very difficult to return back from.  The DSM manual is the source of all knowledge about mental disorders. Toni Collette's character regularly refers to it in the movie Mental . But more importantly, it's what every psychologist uses. The latest addition of this book has made a dramatic change towards labelling people as something they are not. CBS News reported the latest DSM will group Asperger's Syndrome as one of the Autism Spectrum disorders. Asperger's will no longer be a disorder of its own. This is completely outrageous because Aspies are not necessarily Autistic. Pure "low-functioning" Autism can involve not speaking at all. It can be illustrated by, but not limited to, the Rain Man. Autistic people can be friendly and happy just like anyone else. But there is one thing they are not: they're n


I have realised there are some people in my life who are bad role models for conflict resolution. Our behaviour is, at least to some extent, influenced by the behaviour of those around us. I am now seeing where I picked up the habit of expecting others to convert to my views without me considering their views. You see, I realised the pattern when someone (who shall remain nameless) recently deflected attention away from themself and onto me. I recently asked this person to do something really practical that I was already doing. It was a matter of everyone contributing equally and taking responsibility for themselves. My hope was for some sort of practical plan where that person would gaurantee to contribute to a work load in the same way that I was. What I got was a deflection of, "But you do this...." It became about me instead of that person. I am happy to take responsibility for myself, but not for others. The context of this conversation is really not important. Anony

The Seekers Golden Jubilee

Tweet The Seekers are celebrating a very special time in their lives, and including their fans in the festivities. Dudith Durham, Bruce Woodley, Keith Potger, and Athol Guy have been a band for 50 years. That's right, a Golden Jubilee means 50 years in show biz. Before we have a look at the latest media attention, here's a quick background into the world of Seekers tours. Judith Durham said on 60 minutes that they really had an easy career. Judith now realises she took for granted the instant TV coverage they received just a day after they arrived in England. Success welcomed the group whenever they wanted it. Judith then chose time off from the group for independence and to find her own identity. But the memory of The Seekers stayed with the public. And hence the later tours. Judith has continually been able to return to the group with the same support from fans ever since. Their 25th anniversary Silver Jubilee (when I was 4) sparked a decade of performances

Are you a fan of Flickr?

Tweet Flickr is one of the most popular sites used to put entire photo albums online. There are galleries within a photo stream to organise the pics. A paid subscription will allow you to watch stats of the popularity of your pictures. This is definitely useful for major brands, but I'll stay with the free version because it provides what I need. You can even create a customised alias, also known as the URL address. Simply go into account settings and change it. Flickr only lets you do this once. This is important because the address helps to form your online identity. Although there is very little editing of photos, some settings add a bit extra to each picture. The site automatically adds a copyright sign to protect your intellectual property. We can choose who sees the pictures in case we want tighter security. Titles and descriptions explain more context to audiences. Categories like 'favourites' further organise the photos. Oh how times have changed si

A Line Skirts

Tweet A-lin e skirts are a classic no m atter what other styles are temporarily in tren d . They're one of the most flattering versatil e ways to pretty up an outfit. A simple black or coloured a-line is great for work, parties, anything. So let's see what the most popular sites can tell us about these pretty hems: Vogue used a silky short a-line to demo perfect prints here .   Shop Til You Drop used a coloured metallic mini a-line with their party looks here .   Harper's Bazaar needed a-lines in their gallery of pleats here .   No matter what other skirt is dominating the runway, there is always a niche market trend for those beautifully shaped skirts. This Blumarine fashion show is on the Fashion TV channel on Youtube. It proves that amongst the other seasonal trends, you will still find some awesome a-lines.

Visualising Food Goals

Tweet Dieting, weight loss, and health are some of the toughest measures of self control. Size was last on my list of priorities recently as I turned a bit work-a-holic. I never claimed to change my habits in a day. The goal is at top of mind every so often, so now the trick is to make it a continuous conscious purpose. How do we keep our eyes on the prize when feeling tempted by comfort-eating and couch-potato-ism? Let's get inspired by Delta's song Visualise . Why? Because some of us learn visually. So naturally we train ourselves visually too. They say people either learn by looking, hearing, or doing. So my idea here is primarily for those who catch onto ideas by watching. Food surrounds us in our physical environments because it is a significant industry. Walk down an urban street and, to those trying to get off the see-food-diet, every building beckons us to join in the feast. There is no escaping the food courts and convenience stores of life. We need t

Subscribing to this blog by email

Tweet This blog, What Mel Wants, has a very easy way for you to subscribe to posts by email. This box below simply requires the email address you want the posts to be sent to. It does not require any "sign up" at all. What Mel Wants will continue to be the most convenient possible format for readers. Here are some images of my demonstration on how to subscribe: Then a verification will appear. This is just to make sure you're not a computerised hacking program. It's very normal these days. The font is odd enough that a computer couldn't understand what the letters and numbers are. Just type the text into the bar. Easy! Then there are some easy instructions to follow. You just go to your email inbox and click on the link it gives you. The reason is simply so we know the email address is correct and we don't accidentally message someone else at the wrong address. After these steps, you're now successfully subscribed to the blog What M

How did "Will it blend" get so popular?

Tweet Will it blend is an extremely popular series on Youtube that just gets everybody fascinated. Blend Tec are famous for blending all those 'durable' gadgets and household items that we thought could survive anything. It's a cross between comedy and science. Past blends have included an iPhone, glow stick, a chrome notebook, Justin Bieber (don't worry, it's only a doll, no Biebers were harmed in the process), the list goes on. It's just a bit of fun to watch. Check out this video below, and see more on the Youtube site by simply searching "will it blend."

Are connected through Linkedin yet?

Tweet Are you the type of person at a party who just wants to meet everyone? Do you join multiple clubs to network and get familiar with as many friendly faces as possible? A lot of us do that in our local and immediate communities. One of the most common conversation topics is whether we have mutual friends with the people we meet. Well now that same feeling of networking and bonding is on a whole new scale thanks to professional sites like Linkedin. We used to have to visit countless events to find out opportunities from individuals. But thanks to Linkedin, the global village just got a bit more social. Say you're in an international organisation. You probably didn't previously know who did a job like yours, in another country. You might have needed to track down the address to send email or snail mail to a decision maker. We live in an exciting era where we can discover friends of friends we never knew we had. This can lead to more opportunities and targete

Anyone can comment on the blog What Mel Wants

Tweet Breaking news: now anyone can post comments on the blog What Mel Wants! Until now, there was a little setting hidden away in Blogger that required people to register before posting comments on my blog. I am by no means an expert in computers or web sites. So that little cause of the restriction remained un-noticed until yesterday. I fixed it all up and clicked a button that allows anyone at all to comment on the blog. If there are any other problems when commenting on blog posts, please let me know by email (, Facebook , or Twitter .

How to create Like and Send buttons from Facebook

Tweet Like buttons are really important so that your readers who use Facebook can share your post with their friends. It also helps you to share the post with your Facebook friends. Of course this can be a significant audience. No matter what your site is, you can follow my easy steps to get a "Like" button. Examples are from a recent blog post I made. Although examples here are with Blogger, the process should be similar on other blogging sites.  1. Get the URL of the page. You might be able to guess the URL. But I like to publish the post, to be able to see the address, and then go back to editing. 2. Click here  to get the web site for Like buttons. Copy and paste the address into the "URL to Like" bar. 3.  Choose a font for the button. This choice is completely arbitrary. 4.  Click the button that says, "Get Code." The text that appears now might be confusing to first timers (like I was not that long ago). But a

Timeless hippie fashion

Tweet Kaftans are comfy to wear no matter what decade we are in. These flowy tops are flattering for absolutely anyone. They can outline the shapes we are proud of and hide the rest. It's quirky enough but can come in some plain simple styles. It can go well with swimmers at the beach or with black pants for a dressed up look. It's got to be one of the most versatile options for the warmer weather. Love it. 

A movie every twenty something should see

Tweet Every twenty-something should see the 2009 movie Post Grad. This light flick by Alexis Bledel shows the struggles that thousands of young adults faced in the US and the world from the GFC and later. They spent 3 or 4 years (sometimes more) working hard to become qualified in their chosen fields only to find a crowded competitive market place. I am very thankful for a movie that can define a generation. A lot of us can identify with Ryden as we push to build our careers in exactly the same way. We are all equally motivated. We are all as good as each other. Ryden had temporarily worked for other companies and was the straight A type (yes, she is a lot like Rory Gilmore but that's fine) when she graduated. She is friendly and adorable. Her appearance was always presented professionally. But so was everyone else. Most of the movie saw her struggling to get her foot in the door. How can we differentiate ourselves when we're in Ryden's shoes? The employee

App Addicts Anonymous

Tweet Blogosphere, I have a confession to make. I was once addicted to apps. The gadgets have became filled to the brim with pretty programs that I will probably never use. This addiction died down a long time ago. But the consequences are still with me today. It started with the thrill of knowing an iPhone could be so much more than a telephone, if only I download these apps. There just happened to be fifty of them. The phone survived ok, or so I thought. But the more I kept every single photo and free book, and 3000 emails, suddenly I can't just add a movie whenever a new one appears. Suddenly I couldn't keep hundreds of e-books I never actually read. What's going on? What started as a telephone has been a little gadget expected to hold a lifetime supply of entertainment. And it isn't working. Then things got worse. The iPad suffered from the same filled-up overflow of apps that the iPhone was constrained by. Reality only kicked in when  a movie couldn

Sydney is finally getting a real summer

Tweet Sydney siders are feeling bright and brilliant this summer after last year didn't really get a summer at all. We finally have the sunny season we deserve. Heat waves are as much a part of Christmas for us turkey and stockings. It's what we're used to. The festive season just isn't the same without beaches, pools, ice blocks, and chances to show off our (fake) tans. We suffered (and not in silence) in 2011 during an overwhelming amount of rain . The 2012 weather so far has felt quite comfortable, and time will tell if maybe we will get the extreme temps later.

Why use hair mousse?

Tweet I'm rather new to hair mousse, and thought I would introduce it to those of you who are still discovering it. So here are some questions and web sites that answer these questions: 1. What should I do to my hair before using mousse? Garnier prefer to use it on wet hair. So if you already used the hairdryer or don't have time to wash your hair, just use a spray bottle so it's damp enough. 2. What will the stuff do to my hair? Herbal Essences tell us this foam puts the bounce back into hair. 3. How much mousse should I use at once? Hair Boutique want us to only use a blob of the goop that's the size of a golf ball. There's no point wasting excess stuff that won't add any value to DIY treatment.  4. What is the purpose of mousse? A consensus of blogs and sites agree that curls or at least wavy or voluminous shape will develop from mousse.

I still miss Gilmore Girls

Tweet It has now been 5 years since we said goodbye to Lorelai and Rory. The most attached mother and daughter team both grew up together in front of us. Rory finished college when I was finishing high school. Although Rory was a bit older than me, both girls lived like teenagers enough that I saw myself in both of them at times.   There will never be another show quite like Gilmore Girls. The quirky creator Amy Sherman-Palladino made the world of Stars Hollow her own. She kept us fascinated with bizarre characters like the strict (but secretly musical) Mrs Kim, our somewhat prissy Michel, the achievement-obsessed Paris, our maternal Sookie, and I still don't know how to explain Kirk. Where else on TV do you get an entire town that feels like family?  The show definitely evolved over time as it should. Sookie had kids, Kirk got a girlfriend, Lane got married, everyone grew. We also watched Alexis Bledel grow up on Gilmore Girls. Alexis was barely 21 when she wa