Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It's Obama time!

So after copping some flak from certain friends about my move to the U.S (how could I, Bush is taking America to hell etc), you can imagine my relief when news was finalized that Obama was elected president. I've even had someone dismiss my hope for Obama when I said to a fellow Aussie-" you'd be surprised how many people care over here" to only be told "yeah well that's a bit like comparing the liberal attitude Newtown (small hip/free thinking suburb in inner city Sydney) has to the rest of Australia". Um, no it isn't. The population of Newtown in 2001, according to the Bureau of Statistics Census, was 15027 people and the population of New York City is estimated to be 19,750,000 people.

To be honest, long ago, before I met my American husband, I had the appropriate Aussie disdain for the U.S. When my early teens consisted of being obsessed with hip hop and R&B, stateside, my early twenties was a period of questioning the ethics of this economic tyrant, to the point of being annoyed by an overly opinionated American class mate and thus writing her off as a typical American. (She was actually from Texas!)

Then in 2001, I met this quiet, yet still very self-assured American in my Screenwriting class. From my point of view he was just another overly self-centered American and too clean cut to be anything but gay. (I soon found out he use to work at a shoe store just before he came to Sydney- it was the shoes I tell ya) Cut to a few months later and I was totally in love with this boy and totally in love with his world. This American born Vietnamese boy opened my eyes to the world outside of Sydney and other places that I was more interested in and that I had visited like Asia and Europe, which was on the horizon to waiting for my hungry sponge like mind to absorb and way more tres chic than the U.S to want to explore. While he introduced me to Dancehall and waxed lyrical on being proud of your ethnicity and that where he went to college in San Francisco, there were super proud Filipinos and other minorities. His world intrigued me and quietened the sound of my anti- American jokes and rhetoric.

Being involved with an American that was not quite the ones I saw on TV, made me hungry to know what I was missing out on. After a year and a half of exhausting all visa possibilities minus being married, it was time for Nam, who was to be my husband someday, to go home. Fortunately enough I was done with university and I just made the cut off to apply for a six month working visa in the U.S. After enjoying our time with room mates that have become our best friends today and living together as a couple for the first time, it was time to leave inner city Sydney and get my head around the next big smoke- San Francisco.

My education of America, has been more of a personal one and enabled me to learn a little bit about the struggles that minorities worked hard to over come. And although I may never completely understand the plight of the average American minority, I sure do have a sense of how much of a relief it is to finally have a voice as a president. Living in Brooklyn, has taught me so much about, not only the real New Yorker, but also the real American. So while I type away in this Puerto Rican hipster cafe, eating a salad with beetroot (an ingredient infamously added in Aussie burgers and salad sandwiches in my childhood), my cappuccino reminds me how lucky I really am and how times are definitely changing.

Election night at Sputnick, my local pub. The energy was electric. I described it as, remembering the eve of the millenium, were we going to all crumble, or would we survive?

My friend Maya and her boyfriend who were volunteer Obama campaigners- their anxiousness was contagious. They slept on people's floors and did the door to door thing!

My boss and good friend Leann, she and I were very emotional.

Everyone in the bar was going crazy, including the dogs.

Nam and his excitement.

Me, realizing I am so lucky to have been here to witness this pivotal moment in American history.  I was wondering if people felt this way in the sixties?

The line outside the New York Times building the day after. I stood in line for over two and a half hours to get the paper that had been sold out all over the city and was releasing a "late" edition. History in the making.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Diesel Party!!

So after much drama and anxiety, I finally scored a ticket to the very coveted Diesel Dirty Thirty Party. In celebration of Diesel's birthday- 30 years old- like moi. They were having several parties all over the world inviting industry people and anyone lucky enough to score a ticket. It was a surreal event. The only way I could explain it is, if a movie was showing what a night club in Vegas or NYC is suppose to be like (but isn't obviously) this was it. Free alcohol, hot dogs, popcorn, funnel cakes and soft pretzels- it really was insane. The crowd was a bit strange, I guess it was due to a bombardment of industry people. Special guests were Chaka Khan, M.I.A, N.E.R.D, Franz Ferdiand and surprise guest T.I. It was so much fun and just so damn exciting that I didn't spend $100 to see all these acts- in fact- nothing! (All tickets were considered invites and totally free, unless you bought yourself one on ebay) The theme was rock and roll circus and they had some circus acts in between performances. The temporary tent was set up in Brooklyn, over looking the Manhattan sky line- it was a breath taking location. Biggest surprise, M.I.A jumped on stage with a pregnant belly!! Check her out:

I felt sorry for the bar tenders. There was literally five for the five thousand who were there. They had cute uniforms on though!

Franz Ferdiand, whom I didn't recognize for their first three songs until my friend told me who they were after I said "Who are these guys, I'm sick of them" Woops! I've even seen them live at the BDO in Australia- I'm lame, what can I say! Not too much of a fan but I was happy when I heard a familiar song. This was when they were all going off drumming on the drums. All together now!!

This iphone pic does not do our party tent justice. They had these amazing designs illuminating and changing all over the tent.

Manhattan skyline- it was a gorgeous night!

The lovely Keith

My boss/friend Leann and I, totally stoked at our luck.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Please excuse....

Hey fellow bloggers/friends, have been away from my blog for a considerable amount of time. I'm pretty sure most of you have dropped off by now. Just wanting to let you know have been mega busy and will get back to it shortly!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Kanye West

It's not hard to like Kanye, not only for his music but also for his reputation on just saying whatever is on his mind and being the loose cannon. Events such as his reaction to Hurricane Katrina, on a live broadcast, where West ignores an auto prompter and just lets out exactly what he thinks.   While working on his latest video with Hype Williams, this interview on VBS TV not only gives us an insight into his thoughts on his controversial reaction but also his explanation on his outburst at the MTV Europe video awards for not winning and a calmer and more thoughtful side to one of the world's hardest working hip hop artists.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Videos from http://www.vbs.tv/
Photo from http://thesartorialist.blogspot.com/

Monday, July 28, 2008

Thirty, Flirty and Thriving

There is no way I would have known I would enjoy turning the big 30. Watching the movie "13 going on 30" also known as "Suddenly 30" in Australia (among many other title versions worldwide as I've come to discover) a few years ago made me think about my pending exit from my twenties. It was kinda cool to watch a film promoting the age as an era to look forward to rather than think it's when you become a nobody-can-relate-to and the only hipness occurring in one's life is the reading of a celeb mag while waiting in the super market line.

My birthday has made me way more calmer and centered than I expected. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't the beacon of clarity a few weeks ago. I was a mess, thinking about
what have I "achieved" in my life and whether or not I was happy with that etc. Yes, I know there are more important things in life, besides me and my I'm-not-a-blazing-success-like-I-thought-I'd-be crisis, like starving children and people dying, but your mind can have so much power over you if you let it.

So in keeping with the "13 going on 30" Hollywood cheese factor theme, I thought it only appropriate to share my own life lessons and more importantly, interesting (well for me anyway) to document:

All you need is time
This is definitely my number one lesson learned and the thing that really stands out to me. I remember being a know-it-all teenager thinking I was very mature for my age and had many unrealistic ideals about the world and what I expected from it. Young people are exposed to so much now because of the internet and such. I am from an internet free childhood and teenagehood. The things that kids know today, there is no way I knew about back then. But I can totally see this on a level where my parents were from another country and I knew so much they weren't exposed to either. Despite this, I still firmly believe that there are things in life, you cannot learn from environment, or knowledge and that only time can teach. This sounds so simplistic, but I really feel it now more than ever and it has actually made me more excited for my years of learning to come.

Beauty is from within
Sometimes, it is so damn hard being a woman. There is so much overt super female rubbish being shoved in our continuously monitored faces that it is hard to see how much from within really counts. You cannot escape the fact that someone may be a size zero but be completely depressed and still agonizing over their size. Personally I feel the people who are the most beautiful, thus emanating the most magnetism, are the ones who are comfortable in their own skin.
Because they are comfortable, they also tend to look pass the superficial and draw great people into their lives as well as be the last ones to criticize others. From as far as I can remember, I still don't really comprehend how someone can hate someone else because they are jealous of them. I think this is a toxic form of self- hatred and needs to be re-evaluated immediately to save you from ongoing bad energy and also everyone hating you out right, if not secretly.

Most people mean well, but there are some crazies just under the psycho ward radar
It's so easy to get peeved at people who you think are in the wrong. It's also easy to keep thinking and discussing in detail how wrong that person was and pretty soon, it's all you're thinking about and it affects your work, the people around you and even your health. There is no possible way you can ever see life through the eyes of someone else. Those eyes will contain experiences you can never feel, so there will always be tendencies to react differently. If you think it's bizarre that fully grown adults can behave so immaturely, a thought to consider is that no matter how much someone has gone through, it's not until they are ready to see something that they will be able to see it. My biggest challenge to date is letting go and moving on. I'm getting better though.

The world has enough assholes, you don't have to add on to that
We can keep going on about this till the cows come home, but I can't go passed this paragraph without mentioning my pet hates: Power trippers, judgmental people and people who like to insult others in a form of a joke. I once read somewhere that people who cruelly poke fun at people were once hurt by alienation and that is their way of reasserting they belong to a group. So basically they were those dorks you picked on and now they are out for revenge. Admittedly, I am no angel, and have been known to have a good bitch sesh, every now and then, but it's not something I do on a regular basis and I always feel bad for doing so. This is another work in progress for me, but I truly despise it when people just keep going on and taking it to the next level. An antidote I have prescribed myself is to always focus on the qualities about people you love and totally ignore the stuff that doesn't go down too well.

Friends and family are crucial
This one is a no brainer but because of my relocation to another country, this has never been more important to me. We now have Facebook, Myspace and Webcam to
assist us with our social communities but I truly believe good family relations and good friends go beyond these realms. It's one thing to associate yourself with people who you think are cool or good looking, but at the end of the day will these people be adding any substance to your life? Will they be there for you? Better to have a small amount of quality friends rather than a large amount of
strangers so you can be the next IT girl, because IT doesn't last that long. And of course, your family will always love you and if not (should they be toxic and dysfunctional), close friends are a form of family too. What I've learned up until today is we all need people who care, so we should value and respect them to no end.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Wackness

The nineties was the golden age for music.  For me, it was mainly about Hip Hop, Rock n Roll and the Rave/Drum and Bass scene.  Before Myspace, before Ipods and let's not forget, even before mobile/cell phones.  I'm not sure if it was just because I was a teenager and I was trying to find myself, but music seemed so much better back then.  The old cliche of your high school years being the best years of your life tends to resonate.  Especially when a movie like The Wackness comes along.
Shapiro is a high school graduate just trying to get by in NYC.  Set in the nineties, the music lends itself to appear as another character in the film, using Hip Hop as the important backdrop, with nineties classics such as Biggie Smalls and Tribe Called Quest.  Working as a pot dealer during the Summer, Shapiro begins to face what the rest of his adulthood will hold for him.  The complications of love, self-esteem and what your role in this world is. With co-stars Ben Kingsley, Olivia Thurlby (playing his love interest) and Method Man, this will be a classic for all those who can identify with those awkward years of angst and thinking you knew it all.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I've been a little distracted...

Woops!  Totally been neglecting my blog and off doing random things like

a) Having fun at my internship and related tasks

b) Stalking other bloggers 

c) Googling various stuff like, what I'm going to wear on my birthday, lacy and body con apparel and Lou Doillon.

d) Organizing my birthday party

e) Reading 

Here are some of the things that might interest you:

Although not an entire fan, or even a tiny fan of L.A, this blog has me thinking that maybe people in L.A are not so unnormal.  A lifestyle blog, that has a lot of focus on pop culture, what's going down in L.A and fashion.  Bear, the author, is fantastic at gathering tidbits of interesting and non offensive information- which is so uncommon lately.  Is it just me growing closer to not being in my twenties, or has everyone decided that sharing your sex life online and misogyny is back in fashion?  Because I'm Addicted won't be taking a photo of you secretly and criticizing you anytime soon.  (hopefully) http://becauseimaddicted.net/

An oldie but a goodie, Facehunter has been getting me all hot and bothered of late.  I do feel that our dear FH is bordering on being a little too much like The Sartorialist (I mean, we already have one of him), but never mind.  I remember watching an interview on him and if you haven't figured it out yet by all his postings, he does work seven days a week!!  Worth a click almost every day in my opinion.

Most us have clearly been feeling the revival of nineties clothing, I have been on the fence with most options that have taken center stage.  Until I noticed lacy numbers beyond lingerie making an appearance.  We are not talking the camis of faded colors of the past that Urban Outfitters were selling at three for $1.  More vintage rather than vegan hippie.  More Desperately Seeking Susan rather than peace march protester.

Body Con
Do we go super loose or super tight?  That is the million dollar question. When the term Body Con starting popping up everywhere, I was thinking everyone was in on a secret new label that was so cool, only the hottest people were in the know. But one day, I read somewhere (can't remember where) that it means: Body Conscious.  To put it mildly, you actually have to be pretty hot to pull this one off, or at least think you are.  Some days, I am the latter. (Let me live!)

Also wanted to mentioned have been pleasantly surprised with my new comments! Thank you and keep them coming!

Photos from http://photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=6338334, www.style.com, www.imdb.com, www.fashiontoast.com, www.americanapparel.net

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

My guide: How to be Cool in New York City

This is how us cool cats sit in NYC. Just chillin...

Moving to another city is a big deal. Not the "Check me out, I'm kinda a big deal" stuff, but more "Check me out, I have no friends and I am culturally illiterate and irrelevant" kind of stuff. Especially when the "big city" you move to is not in the country you grew up in and so hip it is probably where hip was invented on a horse drawn carriage long ago. So after taking a siesta from the heat wave that we are currently experiencing, my creative juices were flowing and I thought, well what better way to try to be cool and fit in but tell people how to be cool and fit in. This way, it appears that I am cool and I also can keep a public record of what is cool. Genius? I think so.

Suggestion 1. Know where the tasty cupcakes are besides Magnolia. This shows you are a true New Yorker in terms of how small and obscure the place is and don't forget how tasty the cupcake is. And no, empanadas are not the new cupcakes.  To add to this, taking your new New York friend to Dunkin Donut will not wash down well.

Suggestion 2. Know how to get to Brooklyn on the subway and have been there recently. Believe me, in the short time I have been here, I have actually met born and raised New Yorkers who have not been to the East Village since the nineties let alone the BK. Even I know that Kevin Arnold jacket the guy was wearing who admitted to this NYC crime, should have stayed where it belonged.. in the "Wonder Years".

Suggestion 3. Have a night life between the days of Monday and Thursday. Something I'm still trying to convince my husband of on a more regular basis who has a full time job like most normal people. While admittedly, there is nothing like letting loose on Friday and having the weekend to recover, you will feel like a total tourist when you are out at a bar on a Friday night where the rest of the East Coast has decided this is the night they wanted to paint the town red. (is that how that saying goes?)

Suggestion 4. Know your way around China town beyond Canal St. This is something I aspire to. I think the coolest people not only know their way deep into China town, but also know where the best food and deals are.

Suggestion 5.
Know not to take out a subway map, or any other huge map of any kind in the middle of a crowded street. Not only is this a sure fire way of becoming an unsuspecting mugging target, but the real New Yorkers will be so annoyed by you and make you feel like a loser while scoffing at your uncoolness. Ok, maybe the last part is untrue, but the mugging part is definitely something to keep in mind. Take your ginormous map to a Starbucks or better yet, buy a smaller hand held map and stand to the side of the side walk. (If that makes sense).

Stayed tuned for more "suggestions" :)

Photos from: http://thatsjustmyvibe.blogspot.com/; http://www.flickr.com/; http://corykennedy.uber.com

The Discreet Shoe

Alessandro Dell'Aqua Spring 2007

Since, my obsession with fashion blogs began, I've seemed to totally neglect my other obsession- actual runway fashion. While many fashion bloggers have been a phenomenal inspiration to everyone from the girl next door working in finance to the guy working as a stylist on a shoot, there is still our very hard working fashion designers. With the addition of street fashion, blog fashion, anyone fashion, the abundance and cross pollination has made trends even harder to spot early, but at the same time, liberating and exciting. One trend which I have been drawn to, probably because of the overwhelming endless choices we have now, is the "discreet shoe". I've found fashion right at this moment to be very in your face, from the leathery motorcycle punk gladiators still lingering, to the artwork inspired prints and colors. The discreet shoe can balance out your chosen on trend look by still having a fashionable silhouette without being dominating.

Chloe Spring 2008

Brian Reyes Resort 2009

Above Photos from: Style.com




Sunday, June 8, 2008

So you lack the talent? Money can buy you their beauty tricks at least

Unless you have chosen a unique lifestyle of being without a cell phone, laptop or avoiding the media in other forms, your perception of beauty will often be tainted by what you are constantly bombarded with. I don't care what generation you are from, you will be affected by this- my eighty five year old grandma ticks Lancome and Dior as some of her essentials for god sakes. One avenue beauty is translated and expressed through is our beautiful rock stars. To be a rock star is certainly not to be mediocre. Even the cutest American idol winners go through a thorough overhaul in attempt to be elevated to such status. But some stars are lucky enough to have either the right stylists or be blessed with natural stylish gorgeousness even before they hit stardom. I guess this is part of the "star quality" that can also be witnessed in real life as well as in their latest video.
While writing this blog has been about anything but my background in make-up, I thought I'd finally take this opportunity to utilize my skills and pick out the best products that I've used and witnessed other professionals have in their kits for that rock star glow.

Bat For Lashes
Not only because of her part British, part Pakistani looks, it was also hard to go past Khan for her clever artist beauty punned name. As most musicians like to emulate their music through their image, Natasha's beauty and style speaks entirely of an artistic individual who gets her inspiration from her arts background and nature. To get her signature dark rimmed eyes, use Mac Fluidline pot in Black Track. They come in intense colours, Bat for Lashes has been known to sport in her crazy eye shadows. They can be applied precise or smudged and blended for high impact.

Kate Nash
With so many talented British female singer/song writers coming out recently, Kate Nash has become one of my favorites of the bevy of beauties going beyond your typical Kate Moss U.K beauty mascot. Her music is cheeky, feminine and unapologetic as the next fifties dress she is papped in. In addition to her refreshing personality, her English rose aesthetic is elegant and requires a bit more effort. So I thought Shu Uemera Natural False Eyelashes 01 is the perfect definer for those who want definition in the evening without the overused "smokey eye" look. Yes I know, natural and false in the same sentence is laughable, but don't be discouraged, when worn correctly, falsies can be more subtle then packing on the black eye shadow that made you look like you got into a fist fight.

The Kooks
Everyone loves a British indie rock band. The Kooks are not so new to the scene but topping the U.K charts is a recent thing. Minus the Oasis bratty reputation, The Kooks have joined the ranks of bands, legions of hipster dudes are fashioning themselves after. Not that this is a bad thing! To get their self styled hair, I can confidently recommend Bumble and Bumble's surf spray as a hit with the "just got outta bed with a band member" look. The spray makes your hair that second day fabulousness or to be more specific, your hair after the beach feel. Great for when you want that dirty, bed hair look without the unsavory aromas.

Erykah Badu
She has always been a one of a kind musician pushing boundaries with mixing elements of hip hop, rock n roll, reggae, electronica and her soulful voice. Inspiring females all around the world with her thoughtful lyrics, her beauty only adds to the heartfelt ambiance one experiences watching her live. I was always enamored by her glowing complexion and was surprised to see it illuminate in real life exactly how I saw her on TV. Over the years, one of the tricks I've learned as a make-up artist that I use on myself is the art of creating a perfect glow. Stilla's All Over Liquid Luminiser should be dabbed on the highlight areas of the face such as the top of cheek bones, under brows, nose and chin and on parts of the body that are exposed to complete the look.

Lykke Li
Quirkiness and beauty haven't always gone hand in hand. Swedish artist Timotej Zachrisson known as Lykke Li, is the singer who describes her music as "soul, electro and powdered-sugar pop". Love it. Yes she has that natural Scandinavian angelic beauty, but what puts the cherry on top is this model looking singer uses a mega phone as her mic occasionally. Because we don't all have perfect complexions, a secret to perfection is Prescriptives Magic. A liquid powder that lessons the appearance of pores, lines and other imperfections redeeming your once tired looking skin and creating the appearance of smooth skin. Which we will all lykke !

Bat For Lashes
Kate Nash
Erykah Badu
The Kooks
Lykke Li