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Showing posts from January, 2013

Did Les Miserables unreasonably sacrifice the well being of the cast?

Les Miserables was a brilliant film that was both ideological and historical all at the same time. But this realistic flick was brought to us with a cost we should be aware of.

Anne Hathaway repeatedly went too far for the role. I used to look up to Anne when she was a beautiful ordinary geek in Princess Diaries. And she addressed the issue of work life balance in The Devil Wears Prada. Heck, I can't help but applaud her performance in good old Les Mis. But she has not been sensible away from the camera.

The whole world watched Anne starve herself for an impoverished character. Isabelle Allan revealed to the media the truth about Anne's diet. It's pretty much constant salads. Apparently you're a fine role model for the next generation no matter what you do, as long as it's for a movie. Hang on a second. I know what happens when you eat next to nothing and drop loads of kilos quickly. Oh right, you pass out. That's what happened to me anyway.  So let's hav…

The weather isn't small talk. It's fires & floods.

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Those of us in the general greater Sydney area (and the coast where I was the past week) have been really spoiled for weather. I now feel slightly guilty about the weather because others have it worse off. I thank God for the enjoyable sunshine and cool drizzle of the last while. And yet, like everyone else, the news of weather elsewhere just stunned me.

Scenery a couple of days ago was absolutely lovely. The sun was shining and the birds were chirping as our beautiful streets were perfect for a scenic stroll anywhere in NSW. Part of me wanted the air to be as warm as possible. But mostly I was just thankful for what we had. Thankful for such ordinary summer days.

Why? Victoria was suffering from destructive bush fires that alarmed the nation. Even the prime minister visited to see what was going on. How could I possibly want a repeat of the recent heat wave, when crises like these could result? I am grateful to have had a good time in good weather, but I feel peeved at the univers…

Trains suffer from heat exhaustion too...

Sydney today saw trains slow down to chug-along ever so slowly due to another extreme heat wave. Us workers might have been safe in our air-conditioned cocoon offices. But meanwhile, according to the trusted Cityrail updates, basic wiring in a train wasn't protected from the heat like we were.

I was silly enough to hop on the daily commute with the same Apple products the rest of the world is using. Result: we can't all use the 3G and expect it to be fast. It actually slows down quite a lot. What a torturous dilemma during an endless travel. Lesson: bring this old fashioned thing called a book. It has this funny stuff called 'paper' which apparently comes from trees. Rumour has it that past generations were mad about these things. It might be sort of handy when the internet slows down on an extra-long train ride.

Now back to the trains themselves. Google trips before you go. Download the Transport Info app. Check the Cityrail site because that good old track work cha…

Reasons to Speak

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I have been questioning lately why exactly I feel a deep need to speak to a lot of people at once, in public. Maybe even with a microphone. The one thing that most people fear is something that I crave more than chocolate. Speaking shares moods. If other people know how we feel about something, the isolation fades.
I have always been a talker. Just ask my parents. But I used to also be quite shy. This chatty habit used to stop when in big groups at school or when mingling at a party. The problem is the small talk. I actually used to struggle when conversing about little trivialities. Then if you asked me about something I felt passionately about, a thought-out rant would leave you wondering where that little shy girl went. All of a sudden a strong opinionated human being would appear out of nowhere to take her place.

Every so often, something happens that I will feel overwhelmingly enthusiastic about. Ready to make a change and break away, in the words of Kelly Clarkson. The driving …

Finding the Value in Bargains

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I was out on the hunt for a professional dress recently and learned to take caution. It's great to save money during sales as long as the item is good enough to wear it a lot. We need to feel absolutely fabulous with the way we present ourselves.

Shop 1 was a little place at the entrance of a train station. Sizes went up to a very small 12 that didn't stand a chance with my big tall build. The next attempt was a little store in the corner of the train station. It was tucked away next to the restrooms. That on its own was not the problem. I tried on a stretchy size 12 shift dress with help from the adorable sales lady. She seemed really excited about how I looked in it, and reminded me that it was only $20. I completely believed her when she said it wasn't too short. The dress felt kinda hot.

But I later realised the deviation from the original goal of finding something professional and flattering. Maybe this lady doesn't get a lot of sales, and would say anything to…

Good Samaritans

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I got quite a shock by someone I met a while ago. I was casually waiting at the train station when a girl in trackies asked me for a dollar. My reaction might have been more rational than ethical. I'm all for helping out our fellow human beings - but too many alarm bells rang. What on earth can you get for a dollar? A loaf of bread? A chocolate bar? Besides, wouldn't she have a bit of money if she was catching a train, unless she was illegally travelling without a ticket? Universal suspicion was reinforced with the assumption that we can't actually do that much to help. Maybe we can. Who knows. I didn't see anything too dramatically wrong with politely saying no and wandering off. That's all I did - a quiet 'no.' But her reaction actually confirmed my suspicions and fears.

After my quiet 'no' as I wandered off, the girl abruptly yelled obscenities at me that do not need to be repeated here. She didn't just swear. I felt quite threatened by her…

Trivialities Matter

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Trivialities do matter. "Which trivialities?" I hear you ask. The little stuff is anything you can find on Pinterest. It's clothes, nail polish, the latest movie, which celeb is with which celeb. Why on earth does that all matter? I'm not saying it's more important than which country is at war with which country. The little stuff is a happy distraction from the bigger issues of life.

I watched The Devil Wears Prada recently, with the extraordinary Anne Hathaway (from the coolest movie of the year Les Miserables). It sparked a question about values. Andy starts by trivialising anything appearance based. She then becomes obsessed with anything outwardly aesthetic because that's her job. She made major sacrifices in life to succeed in the world of beauty. Fashion and other lighter stuff should make us happy, not run our lives.

We can't disagree with her basic realisation at the end of the movie. We won't die from wearing the wrong length skirt or shade…

Bridget Jones has been redefining beauty for 11 years

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Fire at The Rocks on NYE

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I have corrected this post to clarify that we are unsure what exactly was on fire within Te Rocks. What we do know is that very little media coverage was provided about this event. Presumably, the mass media were required to present the Sydney NYE fireworks as the most successful in the nation. This angle does not leave room in the story for failures such as arson.

As Sydney watched fireworks on New Year's Eve last night, a fire developed from The Rocks near Circular Quay. The immense blaze was growing until fire services and police rescued the scene between 11:30 and midnight. An ambulance took a young girl who appeared to be struggling to stand. Hundreds of celebrating party-goers were evacuated from the site as smoke grew. Police did not initially inform surrounding crowds about the cause.