Thursday, July 24, 2014

HOUSEKEEPING


I'm very excited, for tomorrow we are heading to Perisher for the weekend! For those of you who don't know, Perisher is the largest ski resort in the southern hemisphere. Don't think I have always known this, I wikipediaed (new word?) it a second ago. It's a bit of a diverse crowd - me and James, my youngest brother; my dad; my cousin who is visiting from Scotland and his pal who is also visiting from Scotland. That makes me the only girl on the trip. I have only one concern about the gender ratio and that is that I hope I am not outnumbered when it comes time for me to ask "who's up for a game of Balderdash?"

Anyway, before I head off, I've got a bit of housekeeping to do:

1. I can't believe I haven't announced it on the blog yet but I am an auntie! That would explain the picture of that beautiful angel at the top of this post. Her name is Barbara Julieta but it doesn't sound the way it does in your head. You might remember that my brother lived in Mexico, which is where he met his wife? Well, they communicate mostly in Spanish at home and therefore the name is actually pronounced the Spanish way. It's lovely to the ear. As you can imagine, I am totally obsessed with my niece. The night we got there, I didn't sleep. I just wanted to hold her all night when she cried. In fact, she never saw a mattress or pillow the first week of her life because everyone just took turns to hold her. And when someone else was holding her, everyone else was gathered around her. We actually barely left the house the whole few days we were there. I can't imagine what it will be like if we have our own?!

2. Are you aware that Leo season is now upon us? I'm certain we're the only member of the zodiac who like to announce the beginning of their star's season, which shouldn't be much of a surprise given that we allegedly think the world revolves around us. Who's a fellow lion? Which date? Anyone out there not a Leo but with an opinion on them? Now's the best time to divulge!

3. Has everybody seen Out of the Furnace yet? Don't worry if you haven't it's only just out on DVD, so I'll let you off the hook until next week. I don't even know if I need to provide a synopsis to entice you, other than these two words: Christian Bale. I can't think of a film that he has been in that hasn't been excellent; the man is quite simply the greatest actor in the world. His range! He's one of the only actors I can think of who makes you believe the character entirely, makes you feel something for the characters he plays, rather than the actor himself. I felt so distant from Patrick Bateman in American Psycho. It was even more than that, a depressive recognition of this person's unreachability. That is exactly how I should have felt and probably would feel if I met a sociopath/psychopath. He plays an entirely different character in Out of the Furnace, perhaps one of the most truly beautiful and selfless souls he's ever played. It's not only written in the part but it's there in how Bale has decided to carry himself on screen. Please get back to me with your thoughts once you've seen it, and let me know if you too think the scene on the bridge is possibly one of the most beautifully sad moments ever in cinema and if you also fell apart when you watched it? Cheers.

4. We're in a bit of a 90's revival just now, sartorially speaking. I recently got to thinking about the 90's and all the trends that the adults at the time were really into. For instance, I can distinctly recall the hype around the films Philadelphia and Forrest Gump. They were a huge talking point for so many people at the time. I also remember my parents and their friends being as obsessed with NYPD Blue as we are today with Breaking Bad and the like. Also, my parents pretty much exclusively wore Lee or Levis denim with black belts and their tops tucked in. I remember my mum getting really into that Tracey Chapman song Give Me One Reason and Toni Childs' version of Many Rivers to Cross and played them quite a lot in the car at one point. And then I started thinking beyond just the 90's and realised that my parents back then weren't much older than James and I are now. My mum had five children before she was 29, can you believe? She was a looker too. I remember us flying overseas, just me and her, when I was about 6 or 7 (1992 or 3). Remember when kids could visit the cockpit and meet the pilot? This time my mum took my hand and led me up there. I recall one of the pilots turning to greet me, and then my mum by saying: "and this must be your big sister" in a very flirtatious way which made me think he didn't really think she was my sister. Funny the things you remember, isn't it? What are your 90's memories? Any trends stick out? And finally, are you Pro or Anti the 90's fashion revival we're seeing now?

That'll do it from me. My post is full of questions for you, so make yourself known!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

JOHN & CAROLYN


It would have been  15 years ago today that John F Kennedy Jr, Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy and her sister, Lauren Bessette were tragically killed. I remember hearing the news on the radio and feeling devastated. I must have been only 13 when they died, but I had followed their story for as long as I could remember. They were the first celebrities I had ever actually been interested reading about; to my young mind, to me they were what "perfect grown-up life" looked like. Two breathtakingly attractive people (I can't think of many American celebrities as arrestingly beautiful as C.B), powerful, elegant, and completely in love. There isn't a present-day celebrity couple that compares to them, is there?


I could go on and on but I'm sure you've heard it all before... instead I will direct you to the memoir I have recently read, Fairy Tale Interrupted, by Rosemarie Terenzio. Rosemarie was JFK Jr's assistant at George magazine and a would later become a very close friend and confidante of both John and Carolyn. The book is a warm tribute to them and I can't recommend it highly enough. Here's one of my favourite passages:

In the three months leading up to the publication of the first issue, there was not a day off to be had. Everyone bitched and moaned about how late we were working - still, people didn't go home. We bonded over working at a magazine everyone was talking about. For the first time, the editors weren't just covering the news, they were making it. With all that newfound attention, actually getting the magazine out seemed secondary.
I was as guilty as the rest of the staff of getting swept up in the hype. I stayed late and came in on the weekends when it wasn't totally necessary. It wasn't like John's mail needed opening on a Sunday, but I didn't want to miss anything. Though I didn't know the difference between a managing and executive editor, I was as excited as anybody about putting a new magazine on the racks. I loved the frantic highs and lows of the deadlines, the cynical banter between writers, and the debates about politics.
I loved being involved... until I realised I wasn't a member of the club. At first I ignored hints from some of the staff, like the incredulous looks when I mentioned that I was a fan of the New York Times  writer Frank Rich or that I had gone to college. I didn't see myself the way they saw me: as an unsophisticated assistant from the outer boroughs. John's secretary. A dumb girl with a Bronx accent. No one worth knowing.
I clearly didn't fit into their "George Plimpton at Elaine's" vision of magazine publishing, where men with Upper East Side addresses drank like tough guys and spent like heiresses while talking over the "important" stories. When they went out, it had to be someplace where Hemingway took his last drink or Tom Wolfe first donned the white suit. And of course, at first I was not included. ("Well, if I were you, I certainly wouldn't go," a female editor who was part of their group said to me after  inquired about another editor's birthday-drinks outing. "He was very specific about who he invited.") That one particularly stung because the editor having the birthday was one I had a huge crush on - and he knew it.
Once, when most of the editorial staff was out of the office at a group lunch, John returned from a meeting to find me at my desk.
"Oh, you didn't have to wait for me to get back," he said. "You could have gone to lunch with everybody else."
"I wasn't invited," I said quickly.
"What? Why?"
"They never invite me"
I could tell John was annoyed. He didn't tolerate people being slighted. "Come on, we're going to lunch," he said.
He took me to the place where the rest of the staff was eating, and we sat three tables away, laughing and gossiping. I didn't need to look over at their table to know they got the message.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

I WILL NEVER...

I know, I know: never say never. But I am so uncertain of a lot of things that I think if I think I'm certain of something it means I probably am. Here goes:

1. I will never be a woman who suits white jeans
2. Ditto extremely short shorts
3. I will never use an elliptical machine again
5. I will never give birth naturally (aka will have C-section)
6. I will never eat foie gras
7. I will never hit my children (though I've never been a parent, so we'll see)
8. I will never snowboard
9. I will never stop thinking that McDonalds food is extraordinary
10. I will never deliberately harm someone

Now, over to you...

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

SNOW


We're back from a quick trip to the snow! We rented a place at Mt. Baw Baw in Victoria (it's the closest ski field to Melbourne) with a couple of other families and had one full day on the slopes before work commitments called us back home. James had never been to the snow before and I hadn't put on a pair of skis in over 10 years so we weren't sure how we'd fare. It turns out we're rather competent and slightly addicted to going up and down ski slopes all day long. Not to mention the magical feeling of just being in the snow. We loved it so much we think we'll head for Thredbo or Perisher within the next month.