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Monthly Archives: February 2013

I live in a city of changing seasons

Day in, day out, for no good reasons

The sun in the sky and the rain at my feet

When morning calls, and night takes a seat

The puddles, to splash in, a children’s treat

Sensations, observations, my heart skips some beats

A jumper, long sleeves, a brolly in tow

The storm brewing loudly for seeds to sow

The pitter and patter of droplets, quite sudden

Soon become dirty, shoes worn and mudden

Sploshing and splashing, the wet reels us in

But only a trick of nature’s power, hidden

As just when we realise the beauty of wet

Mother N plays cheeky, she plays hard to get

With a clap of thunder on her steel drums

The watery sky silences to only a hum

And out comes the sun, so shiny, so bright

And out come the people, a prompted sight

To catch a glimpse and a ray, a glimmer of light

Before N returns with all her might

To slap down the rain again, and timpani banging

The trickles return, bystanders left hanging

Without an umbrella, a raincoat, some plastic

To cover their heads, words spoken, sarcastic

“Oh thanks, Mother N, for this glorious day

Where I’m lost to the tactic you’re going to play

The game of the weather is much too far skewed

To a sneaky, spell-concocting sore loser like you”

But come warmth, come buckets of water, come hail

Your capriciousness grants us no chance to prevail

Yet somehow we foster, we cuddle your wisdom

And embrace it as truth, in your castle, your kingdom

With actions that speak louder than words, Ms N

Great salutations to you, oh Nature, Mother hen

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Songs I Love to Hate: generally these songs are overplayed on commercial radio stations, may be used in advertising, are sung by mainstream artists worth millions of dollars who couldn’t give two shits about our opinion because ultimately, we’re listening to it whether we like it or not. Quite often, I’ll like the song the first time or first few times I hear it. It’ll be catchy and repetitive before becoming an unwelcome ear worm, slugging away in my ear; stretching out when it’s least wanted and curling back up to sleep when I’m actively engaged in something important. But something about their ridiculous quota of airtime and popular success ignites a passion deep within that sustains our interest enough for us to remember how much we dislike the song or possibly the artist. When the song/artist comes up in conversation we immediately pounce, saying how much we hate it/them and how if hear that song “one more time…” Yeah. We might find ourselves swimming against the current and that’s okay. Just so long as you know how to tread water while waiting for the storm to pass and everyone to get addicted to some other new release, possibly by the same artist but hopefully, by some new one hit wonder with better tone, musicality and talent than the last.

Case in point:

Anything by T.Swift especially 22, One Direction (lol, R.I.P Haylor), Lily Allen, Thrift Shop by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Diamonds by Rihanna, Somebody That I Used to Know by Gotye ft. Kimbra, Glamorous by Fergie

But You Belong With Me has the cutest video clip ever!

Songs I Hate to Love: on the other hand, I find myself mildly embarrassed to love some songs. They are commonly commercial hits by international acts with huge budgets and an entourage of hundreds running behind. The good thing about secretly loving these songs is that more often than not, you’ll find you’re not alone in your singing while driving, dancing in your bedroom or stalking the twitter account of the artist. The most obvious way to out a secret lover is by catching them humming the melody, or by scrolling through their iTunes Most Played playlist, and finding the artist’s entire album slotted in alphabetically after an impulsive download late at night. Unlike those we Love to Hate, it might take us a while to grab onto the wow factor of these tunes – if there is any wow involved at all – but once we’ve caught on, we’re hooked for good. These songs also may be connected to memories or occasions that mark special moments in one’s life. The artists may be better performers than musicians, speakers than singers and give great interviews obviously scripted by a smart publicist wanting to sell tickets. But ultimately, they’ve most likely got me, and you, between their hot little hands, ready to refresh our browsers 101 times at 9am to get a ticket to their next gig.

Case in point:

Sexyback by Justin Timberlake, Beauty and a Beat by Justin Bieber ft. Nicki Minaj, Scream & Shout by will.i.am ft. Britney Spears, Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepson (shout out to the Bieber/Gomez/Tisdale video clip), Gangnam Style by PSY, Festival Song by Pez ft. 360, The Sweet Escape by Gwen Stefani ft. Akon, Girlfriend by Avril Lavigne, Party in the U.S.A by Miley Cyrus

  1. Hygiene and Sanitation in Communal Bathrooms – bathrooms and toilets in particular have the potential to be inherently dirty and disgusting. But walking into a clean, air-freshened toilet cubicle makes the whole experience so much nicer. No one wants to pee when there’s dirt on the floor, blood on the bin lids and others’ remains waiting to greet you, so I’m thankful for cleaning staff and the majority of the population who respects the facilities they use and the cleanliness of those present before and after them. Leave a toilet how you’d like to find it.
  2. Navy Blue – today I wore a navy blue top with navy blue shorts. As a little kid I hated navy because I was constantly dressed in it but I’m happy to say my opinion has changed. I also wore a baby blue backpack. I’m feeling blue, with a positive connotation.
  3. Honesty – it is pretty rare, so it’s nice to know it still exists.
  4. Location – today I woke up at 7:45am to be somewhere by 10am. That’s early for a sleeper like me. But other’s had to get up at 6am to arrive at the same place at the same time. So I’m thankful I live within close proximity to many places I frequent.
  5. Diversity – today, an ABC newsreader was publicly abused on a Sydney bus. But I am in awe of how diverse our population is. Each person is unique and no one can be defined by a single determinant such as race, religion or age. I am thankful that I’ve grown up in a multicultural society and that I have the chance to meet new and interesting people so often.
  6. Graduation – or more distinctly, the phases one passes through and graduates from within their life. I was in the presence of a young man today who is about to graduate into a new phase of life. Stepping into unfamiliar territory is scary, but he has accomplished many things and is now ready to make this transition. It is important to recognise our small graduations, because they may be significant in subtle ways.
  7. Random Acts of Kindness – I opened a lovely packet of Derwent Artist’s colour pencils today. They had been used many times before but the girl next to me had taken the time to organise them according to the colour wheel. I feel less anxious when things are in order and her small action had also made my experience of scanning the pencils more aesthetically pleasing.
  8. People Singing in Their Cars – while driving today, a song came on the radio and I started humming along, as I’ve taken to doing since driving on my own because I’ve always thought people singing in their cars look pretty silly. So while I was humming and singing the words in my head, I looked in my rear vision mirror and instantly recognised the girl in the car behind me was mouthing the words to the song I was listening to. It was a strange feeling, firstly knowing we were listening to the same radio station (which I’ll admit, must happen all the time without us realising) but then I was reading her lips and hearing the words come through to me via my stereo. It made me smile. Furthermore, we were going to the same destination and entered the building one after the other. And it was a song with lyrics and a video clip I love. So keep singing in your car, it’ll make someone else giggle.
  9. Athleticism – not mine, but observing that of others. Watching someone truly run, with power, energy and determination is a great thing.
  10. Getting to the Station Just Before the Train Arrives – I walked onto the platform and the monitor told me the train would be there in two minutes. Best feeling, knowing I’ve timed everything right, from waking up to stepping outside.
  11. Today’s Weather – Melbourne was a beautiful 28 degrees today. I’m generally a Winter Girl, but today had just the right amount of sunshine, a light breeze and no insanely hot periods. Nailed it, Melbourne.
  12. Coincidence – today I met a girl who’d gone to the same school as me, a few years behind, and yet I’ve never seen let alone met her before. Someone recently noted how frustrating it is that in Melbourne (and possibly other cities/countries as well) people are very quick to ask what school you went to. While she saw it as a negative, and I can see her point of view if it leads to judgement or remains the only topic of conversation, I believe it’s an easy way to make connections with new people, find mutual friends and acts as a pathway to discussions of similar interests and knowledge.
  13. Professionals and Education – being in the presence of someone who actively steers a conversation in a meaningful way as a result of their professional training or knowledge is both a testament to their abilities, and a help to those they are guiding. The value of education is often disregarded, particularly in a society where almost everyone receives a minimum of 10 years of mandatory education and so many go on to complete further training. Amongst my peers, I feel learning in its own right is thought as compulsory rather than voluntary or engaging which means it is often seen as having many, often unwanted, strings attached. We should be able to enjoy learning without the pressure of grades or rigorous study schedules, as well as learning to gain qualifications. Hundreds of people go through all levels of education each year and settle with just passing their subjects so they can get their degree and walk. Education is an opportunity, but I feel it isn’t valued as such.
  14. Flexibility – similarly, education amongst other things, should be flexible. Amidst a group of people I was with today, many educational institutions had been flexible in allowing them to miss a day of school or study, allowing the individuals to better themselves and expand their horizons outside of their primary institution. While rules and regulations are necessary to maintain standards and behaviours of living, being about to be flexible is so important. I am still learning to be more open to flexibility myself, but accommodating unexpected situations, people and new ways of thinking is important for our personal growth.
  15. Preparedness – on the flip side, being prepared is very rewarding. I know that if I’m cold, I’ll get shitty. It happens every time and so for me, checking the weather forecast the day before, for instance, is very important. Despite the beautiful weather outside today, I was inside an air conditioned building for the majority of the day. So I’d packed a jumper. When possible, prepare yourself and life get’s easier.