Wednesday, September 29, 2010

OOTD: Legs Eleven

As I've mentioned before, my family always used to spend Christmas together at a caravan park called Awakeri Hot Springs.  One of the other highlights of this annual trip was the bingo.  My Poppa was the regular caller and I loved all the quaint little phrases that he called out with each number, like "snakes alive, fifty-five", "two fat ladies, eighty-eight", "clickety click, sixty-six"...and "legs eleven".  So when I was thinking of a title for this post, and thinking about legs, that was naturally the first connection my random brain made.

T-shirt: Mr Vintage
Mini: Torrid

Dave took this photo while I was still fiddling with my hair, before I was ready, and I actually really like it!  The mini is the same one from the other day, I love it, it's so comfortable and it makes me feel like a teenager again.  The t-shirt is from a fabulous NZ clothing store called Mr Vintage.  My sister introduced them to me a couple of years ago when she bought me a t-shirt from there for my birthday.  I have about 5 or 6 now.  This one I got on special when they did a lucky dip, I bought 3 without knowing what they would be and I ended up with some really cute ones.  It has the Mr Whippy van on it.  Super-cute!

30 Days of Me: Day 21

Today's prompt is "A picture of something that makes you happy".

As you're probably aware, I get homesick a lot.  I really miss New Zealand and look forward to the day I can move back, although that won't be for a few years yet.  What I miss the most is that feeling of home and belonging.  No matter how long I live in Australia, I will never be at home here.

What represents that feeling the most to me is Kawakawa Bay.  Around 30 minutes east of Papakura, the Bay and the surrounding area is one place I have to visit whenever I'm in Auckland.  My parents have a bach (beach house) there.

Driving to Kawakawa Bay, there's this moment when you are driving through farmland and then you sweep around a bend at the top of a hill and suddenly the Bay is there below you.  When the tide is in, this truly is the most beautiful place in the world to me.  It takes my breath away every time.  Unfortunately, due to the nature of the road, there's nowhere to stop and get a photo.  I really need to try to do that next time I'm there somehow though (or maybe Mum will do it for me, hint hint Mum, I know you're reading this!) because it is just so beautiful.

Instead, here is a photo of the Bay from sea level:

The photo doesn't do it justice.  If you live in Auckland, you really should visit the area if you've never been.

If you keep following the road from Papakura to Clevedon to Kawakawa Bay it eventually goes around to Kaiaua and you can keep going around to Thames.  Along this road is a lonely Fish and Chip shop that does the best fish and chips in New Zealand:

It's in the middle of freaking nowhere but the food is delicious.  It's a really popular stop for bikies who love doing a bike cruise along this road because it's so beautiful and has nice windy bits.

So there we go.  Kawakawa Bay is my happy place.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

30 Days of Me: Days 18, 19, & 20

For various reasons that I won't go into (but include too much stress and the release of Civ V) I've been pretty much invisible online for the last couple of days.  This means that I missed two days of my blogging challenge.  So I've combined the last two days and today into one post.  And away we go...

Day 18
Day 18 is plans/dreams/goals you have.  Well, if you've read anything in this blog at all you'll realise that my biggest one of those is to get pregnant and have a family.  Apart from that, I want to be a novelist.  I also plan on eventually moving back to NZ to settle for good, probably in Wellington.  I also dream of winning the lottery and never working again!

Day 19
Day 19 is all about nicknames.  When I was young and my cousin Hadlee was still learning to talk, he called me "Jaffa" because he couldn't pronounce my name (Jennifer) correctly.  At some point, I don't recall how, my friend's father found out and started calling me "Giant Jaffa" because I was so tall for my age.  When I moved from Auckland to Wellington, the nickname resurfaced...But the meaning of "Jafa" in Wellington is less delicious candy and more a derogatory term for anyone from Auckland.  This is a family blog, so I won't say why, but if you want you can Google it to find out.  Apart from that, and the obvious Jen or Jenni (I prefer Jen, but if you insist on Jenni, please spell it that way and not Jenny - there's no "y" in my name!), I'm also called Jenni Penny by my mother and her mother.  If any of you start calling me Jenni Penny, you will regret it!  I'm also known as "Ish" or "Il" from my game handles.  Finally, I have one friend who calls me J-Fer.  I think that's all I have that qualifies as nicknames.

Day 20
Someone I see myself marrying/being with in the future?  Well I got married 6 months ago, so I'm already with that person.  But, for the sake of this post, let's just say that if Alistair from Dragon Age: Origins ever spontaneously came to life and appeared on my doorstep, I would be running off into the sunset with him in a heartbeat! *daydreamy sigh*

Saturday, September 25, 2010

30 Days of Me: Day 17

Today I'm supposed to talk about who I want to switch lives with for one day and why.  I've been thinking about this since the start of this challenge when I saw this day's prompt in the list, but I haven't come up with anything!  So I'm going to go with what girl geek adjacent did and say I don't want to switch with anyone, because I want to be me.  Mainly because she used one of my favourite quotes!
Remember you are unique. Just like everyone else.
I always joke to Dave about how I'm a unique snowflake.  So there we go.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Outfit of the Day: Watercolour

Today I wore some very cute tights from We Love Colors.  The weather hasn't been that great this week so I've been reluctant to shed my tights just yet!

Cardi: Ezibuy
Tank: Jay Jays
Mini: Torrid
Tights: We Love Colors (Splash #2132)
Shoes: Rubi Shoes

I'm kind of squinting because it was surprisingly bright outside.  This was the best photo of the 3 Dave took!

30 Days of Me: Day 16

Another photo? Really?  And I have to do even more later!  Greedy greedy, this is a blog, not a tumblr or a flickr or whatever!

In protest, I'm going to give you a photo not of me, but of a representation of me, and also a rather old photo that I really like.

This is the embroidery my Nana W did for our wedding.  I don't know who was doing it, but this little frame was like a ninja - I'd turn around and it would be there!  It moved all over the venue and was present during preparation, the ceremony, and the reception!  I think it's very cute.

Dave took this photo of me on the train from Wellington to Auckland in 2008.  I really, really love that train journey and I was so happy I could do it with Dave.  You see some of the most beautiful scenery, things that you would never see if you drive, and it means you can both relax and not worry about driving.  We were lucky that the train wasn't full, and the very nice conductor gave us a 4-person table seat instead of 2 sardine seats.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

30 Days of Me: Day 15

So I'm supposed to put my iPod on shuffle and tell you the first 15 songs that play.  The problem with that is that my iPod is actually a Shuffle and is only loaded with Ministry of Sound right now.  So it wouldn't be a representative sample.

Instead, I'm going to shuffle my whole library.  This is also not super-great, because I have a large stack of CDs to import that I purchased recently, and it is taking FOREVER.  Also, my magpie-like tendencies mean I never delete a song, so I have a lot of music that I never listen to.  But I did acquire it at some point, so I guess it counts.  So, we'll see how we go!  I'll probably do more than 10 songs, too.

  1. Björk - Like Someone in Love
  2. Simple Image - Spinning, Spinning, Spinning
  3. Michael Jackson -The Way You Make Me Feel
  4. David Guetta ft. Kelly Rowland & Ne-Yo - Choose
  5. Cut Copy - Glittering Clouds
  6. Moulin Rouge Soundtrack - Elephant Love Medley
  7. Silverchair - If You Keep Losing Sleep
  8. Green Day - Brain Stew
  9. The Presets - I Go Hard, I Go Home
  10. Green Day - Macy's Day Parade
  11. Madonna - Live to Tell
  12. The Offspring - Want You Bad
  13. Guns N' Roses - Estranged
  14. Lady Gaga - Paparazzi
  15. Underworld - Ballet Lane
  16. Fat Boy Slim - Weapon of Choice
  17. The Chills - Pink Frost
  18. Green Day - Jackass
  19. Alanis Morissette - Narcissus
  20. Underworld - The God Song
That's actually not too bad a selection.  I have more Green Day than anything else.  The two Underworlds is a little inaccurate.  And there's nothing really super-heavy in there.  But mostly rock with a bit of dance, a bit of pop, a bit of Kiwi stuff, a bit of weird stuff, and a bit of sountracks is pretty much me.  20 songs out over over 3500 isn't a definitive sampling though!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Shower Guy

My employer's office shares a floor in an office tower with about half a dozen other businesses.  On the floor we have male and female bathrooms, and a disabled bathroom that also includes shower facilities.  These bathrooms are shared between all of the businesses and are located directly outside our office.

Several weeks ago, my evening co-workers and I started noticing that someone was using the shower in the late evening. After several observations, we compile a picture of the man's (henceforth referred to as The Shower Guy) routine:
  • Walk down the shared hallway from his office at the end of the hallway to the disabled bathroom, wearing only shorts (no shirt)
  • Take shower
  • Return to his office wearing only a towel
  • During the above steps, sing loudly and also make random loud shouting noises
At first I assumed that perhaps he thought he was alone on the floor at that time of the evening.  But after several hallway encounters that resulted in no change to his behaviour, I realised that wasn't the case.  After a couple of incidents on weekends when I was alone in our office, which made me feel very uncomfortable, I spoke to our office manager.  This discussion revealed that The Shower Guy also performs the same routine early in the morning, and has on several occasions encountered entire groups of employees from our office and other offices as they arrived on the floor for the day.

Before we took the matter further, we thought we would give The Shower Guy a polite notice that his behaviour was not appropriate.  So we laminated the below sign and stuck it on the wall next to the shower controls:

Unfortunately, the sign had disappeared by the following morning.  While we weren't certain who removed it, logic suggests it was The Shower Guy himself.  Still, we gave him a couple of days to see if his behaviour changed.  It did not, and so we moved on to Phase Two: a still-polite but more firmly-worded letter to the manager of his office:

As you can see, this was a couple of weeks ago.  The Shower Guy is still following his regular routine, although he does seem to have quietened down slightly (sometimes - he was almost silent tonight, but very noisy on the weekend).  The fact that our letter had minimal impact suggests to me that he is in fact the manager.

We have notified our Body Corporate Manager but nothing has happened so far.  And so, for your viewing pleasure, I present: The Shower Guy!

The picture quality is not fabulous, because I turned off the flash.  But you can clearly see that he is wearing only a towel.

If you know The Shower Guy, please tell him to put some goddamn clothes on!

30 Days of Me: Day 14

I thought this would be easy, because I have so many photos of me with my family...But I realised that the most recent photos I have that also include my sister are from 2008.  My sister is currently in Italy doing her PhD, which is fantastic, but unfortunately meant that she wasn't able to make it to our wedding.

So, here is an old photo of my immediate family, taken in early 2008 at the Australian Outback Spectacular:

And here is a photo of us with both of our immediate families at our wedding:

Aren't my nieces super-cute?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

30 Days of Me: Day 13

Today is supposed to be a letter to someone who has hurt me recently.  I think I'm pretty well-established as an over-revealer in my blogging style, so this may come as a surprise to some people...But I'm going to pass on this one.  I'm happy sharing stuff about myself, but when it comes to others, I just don't feel comfortable.  Sorry to disappoint.

Monday, September 20, 2010

30 Days of Me: Day 12

Today I'm going to tell you why I blog.  I've started and rapidly stopped a couple of blogs over the last year or so because I found them a bit self-indulgent.  Then when we were planning our wedding, a friend of mine (Legally Alien) suggested that I make a blog for it.  I thought this was a great idea, because we had family and friends coming from all over NZ and Oz, and in theory it meant I didn't have to repeat myself dozens of times.  That part didn't work out, but it was still a good way for me to get everything down.  I chose Blogger because I'm a Google groupie.  The blog is still up over here, if you are curious.

After that was wrapped up, I was quite enjoying writing, so I made this blog.  Early on in its life we had our honeymoon, so it was a great way to keep people back home informed of what we were getting up to.  I envisaged that I would write about things that are important to me, but as I've delved further into the Fatosphere, a lot of my writing has been about that.  This blog is still very much a personal blog, but it seems to be slowly evolving into another Fatosphere blog.  Right now I'm happy to just let it go where my mind wants to go.

30 Days of Me: Day 11

Another picture of me and my friends? That's a bit greedy, isn't it?

I was going to post a really recent one (from yesterday, in fact, which is why this post is a day late).  But I changed my mind.

Instead, you get a photo of me with my best friend, my husband (corny, I know).  This is us waiting to go into the arena for the Green Day 21st Century Breakdown concert in December last year.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Outfit of the Day: Girly Day Out

Today I had a fabulously girly day out with some friends from work and a new friend who I met through her blog, Fat Heffalump.  The Gold Coast contingent caught the train up to BrisVegas (and missed our stop, oops!) and met up with the Brisbane contingent at Kapsalis for lunch, where the food was amazing:

After lunch we wandered up through South Bank and the cultural centre to the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, where they were having a Valentino exhibition.  The clothes were just breathtaking - so much detail.  We saw dresses that Audrey Hepburn, Jacqueline Kennedy, Cate Blanchett, and Julia Roberts had worn!  It was heaps of fun.  Then we had coffee before visiting Meet Eater which was also fun:

When you petted the plant it made a purring or giggling noise!  It was super-cute (and geeky).

Anyway, y'all came for an Outfit of the Day, right? Right?  Here you go then!

Cami: Torrid
Cardi: Ezibuy
Jeans: JeansWest
Boots: Betts
Necklace: Gifted
Bag: Malaysia
Backdrop: Brisbane

Fabulous day with some fabulous ladies!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

30 Days of Me: Day 10

Today's prompt is about music.  Music is really important to me, but unfortunately I don't get to listen to as much as I would like.  I'm supposed to write about certain songs, but I don't really have specific songs, more artists and types of songs to go with my mood.  I've recently had to format my PC and haven't had a chance to copy my music back into iTunes and categorise it, so this is purely from memory, and I'm sure I've missed some.

Music I listen to when I am...

Happy: Meat Loaf (especially Bat Out of Hell (the song and the album)), Abba, Gossip, anything I can sing along to.

Sad: Emotional songs that make me feel like crying.  There are several, but Luna and Mayonnaise by Smashing Pumpkins, and Loyal by Dave Dobbyn, are a couple of stand-outs - not because they are sad per se, but they remind me of times in my life that make me sad.

Bored: Nothing in particular.  Probably the happy songs again.

Hyped: David Guetta, Basement Jaxx, Ministry of Sound compilations.

Mad: Metallica, Godsmack, Linkin Park.

I really need to sort out my music so I can do this properly!  But I'm having issues copying 15GB over my wireless network from my laptop to my PC.  Every time I try, my router craps out.  More effort is required than I'm willing to put in right now :P

Friday, September 17, 2010

30 Days of Me: Day 9

Day 8 is something I'm proud of in the last few days.  Easy peasy!  I got an A+ for my Intro to Cross-Cultural Communication assignment!  Also that I've eaten breakfast 3 days in a row and kept my 2 days of food diary like my Naturopath wanted.  And got 20 minutes of exercise every day so far.  Yay!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

30 Days of Me: Day 8

Short-term goals for this month?  Hmm.  Well, I need to get all my remaining university assignments for the semester completed and handed in on time.  And I want to try to stick with my Naturopath's guidelines and Acupuncture schedule (including finding a way to take and keep down these disgusting supplement tablets).  And not go insane from work.  And enrol for uni next year.  Um, I also want to get pregnant (as usual - that's a month-to-month goal).  And organise our 1st Anniversary weekend (it's not until March, but we want to get accommodation booked).  I guess that's all...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

30 Days of Me: Day 7

Today's prompt is "a picture of someone/something that has the biggest impact on you".

Well that's easy.  Unfortunately it's three someones, but I'm sure you can all deal with that.  First up is my Mum and her Mum, Nana W:

And second is my Daddy's Mum, Nana D, who unfortunately passed away on the 10th of April this year:

These three women have all had a tremendous influence on me.  My Mum taught me that self-improvement and education is a lifelong journey and that you should never stop reaching.  Nana W taught me that taking pleasure in making gifts for others is far more rewarding than buying, and that family will always be there for you.  Nana D taught me that you should always take pride in yourself (no matter the circumstances), that there is nothing more pleasurable than a good book, that good manners are important in every situation, and that all problems can be solved with a nice cup of tea and a home-made biscuit.

Nana D was 98 when she died.  I went back to New Zealand to visit her when she was very ill and in and out of hospital a couple of weeks before it happened.  On the day I arrived, she was in hospital and preparing to come home.  My Aunt had taken a bag of clean clothes in to the hospital for her so she could come home feeling presentable.  Unfortunately, my Aunt hadn't chosen the right outfit.  Nana was appalled at the choice because the beads my Aunt had chosen didn't go with the dress and neither did the shoes.  She came home in her nightie and dressing gown because she was so mortified to be seen in a mismatched outfit!

This tiny woman was matriarch of a large, unruly family of five boys and two girls.  Her sons are all 6-footers or more, but they would all jump when she said jump!  My whole family miss her terribly every day.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Health (TMI)

This post is going to talk about various health-related things, including my endo.  Feel free to skip it.

So my next endo op is scheduled for February 1st.  It's a little way away but my gynaecologist goes gallavanting off somewhere over December and January.  In the mean time, though, I'm having a lot of problems with migraines and endo pain and just generally feeling pretty shitty.  My GP says he can't give me anything for my migraines because I'm trying to get pregnant and that I should just deal with it.  When I was looking at my health insurance provider's website to check out what would be covered for my next op, I noticed that Naturopathy is covered so on a whim I booked a Naturopath consultation and had that this evening.

I'd never seen a Naturopath before so I wasn't sure what to expect.  The first thing I noticed was her amazing voice.  She had a Canadian accent, I think she was maybe Chinese-Canadian or Philippine-Canadian, and she had a beautifully modulated voice.  It's what I would call a therapist voice.  I immediately felt calmer and reassured. The consultation was in a room that was lit only with a lamp so it didn't feel like a harsh doctor-style consultation.  She told me that she would ask me a lot of questions and that they might not seem related, and that she wanted me to let her know if there was anything I wasn't comfortable doing or talking about or was unsure of because she wanted to make sure I felt happy enough to come back.

The consultation was part doctor, part therapist - she let me just talk about a lot of stuff, especially relating to my fertility, which was really nice.  I broke down and bawled my eyes out at one point and she just patiently waited for me to get myself back together and then reassured me that my feelings were normal.

Once we'd done the initial discussion she told me that she thought I had too much damp heat in me, that my spleen was squished from sitting down, and that the rising heat was contributing to my migraines...And I thought Here we go, airy-fairy time.  But that was the only airy-fairy bit: after that we talked about improving my diet by eating more protein and veges and less white bread, and getting 20 minutes of exercise in the sun each day.  She gave me a couple of supplements to help with my endo symptoms and recommended weekly acupuncture, and we agreed that the short-term goal is to get me pregnant before I need my next endo op.

One of the things I was really impressed with was that she didn't mention my weight at all.  I actually went in prepared for a fight over that (completed with this letter) but it simply wasn't an issue.  The diet and exercise stuff was what I was already trying to improve and was expecting her to bring it up, but the fact that she didn't relate that back to my weight was lovely.

Unfortunately with the dosage of the supplements she's given me on top of my pregnancy multi-vitamin I'm now taking 7 pills a day, eep!  My plan at the moment is to follow her plan with the acupuncture, supplements etc until February, at which point I'll reassess if it's helping and worth it or not.  I'm hoping that, if I can show Dave that it helps, I might be able to get him to see her too.  We'll see!

30 Days of Me: Day 6

Day 6 is my favourite superhero and why.  I'm actually going to tell you about two different heroes.

My second-favourite superhero is Superman.  The main reason for this is the following quote, from Kill Bill Vol. 2:
"Now, a staple of the superhero mythology is, there's the superhero and there's the alter ego. Batman is actually Bruce Wayne, Spider-Man is actually Peter Parker. When that character wakes up in the morning, he's Peter Parker. He has to put on a costume to become Spider-Man. And it is in that characteristic Superman stands alone. Superman didn't become Superman. Superman was born Superman. When Superman wakes up in the morning, he's Superman. His alter ego is Clark Kent. His outfit with the big red "S", that's the blanket he was wrapped in as a baby when the Kents found him. Those are his clothes. What Kent wears - the glasses, the business suit - that's the costume. That's the costume Superman wears to blend in with us. Clark Kent is how Superman views us. And what are the characteristics of Clark Kent. He's weak... he's unsure of himself... he's a coward. Clark Kent is Superman's critique on the whole human race."
Quite a long quote, sorry, but I love this little speech.  David Carradine was a fabulous actor.

But anyway, that's kind of cheating, because like I said, Superman is my second favourite superhero.  My favourite superhero is Batman.

I've never been a huge comic book geek, but I'm a sucker for a comic book movie.  And I love all the Batman movies, even the ones most people think are crap.  I particularly love Christian Bale as Batman.  The reason Batman is my favourite superhero is that he's just an ordinary guy.  He doesn't actually have super powers, unless you count being fabulously rich a super power, which I guess it kind of is.  He's just an ordinary guy with a butler and a bunch of gadgets.  He makes me think that I could be a superhero too.

Honourable mention also goes to:
  • Hancock, because I watched it last night and it reminded me that I really like that movie even though plenty of people think it was crap. I like Hancock because he tries to act like he doesn't give a shit but he really does want people to like him.  Being abandoned 80 years ago has screwed with his self-esteem and he tries hard but can never get it quite right.
  • Wolverine, because goddamn is Hugh Jackman hot or what?  (Also, by all accounts, a really nice, genuine guy.)  Wolverine has that bad boy vibe going, and who can resist that?
  • Finally, Bumblebee (again, reminded because I watched Transformers last night!), because I love cars and wish I had a car that talked and transformed.

Monday, September 13, 2010

30 Days of Me: Day 5

A picture of somewhere I've been to.  Well, I talk about travelling more a lot, but really, I've been incredibly lucky to go to some of the most beautiful places in the world (yes, the most beautiful places in the world are in Australia and New Zealand!).  It was hard to narrow down, but I decided to go with something from our honeymoon in Malaysia, which was the first time I had left Australasia.

I wanted to show myself at the Lake of the Pregnant Maiden in Langkawi, but I somehow ended up with no photos of myself there! So I decided to go with that Batu Caves instead:

This statue is of Lord Muruga and is apparently the biggest in the world.  It's nearly 43 metres tall.  I'm quite far away from it in this photo.  It's really huge, and really gold.  It's totally overwhelming.

Here is a bonus pic of the Pregant Maiden that gives the lake mentioned above its name:

Her head is on the right.  To me it looks like a pregnant woman lying with her hands clasped over her belly.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

30 Days of Me: Day 4

Day 4 is about a habit I wish I didn't have.  I'm actually finding this quite hard to pin down.  When I was a kid, I bit my nails and chewed my hair, but I've managed to kick both those habits.  My husband suggested "not making enough cups of tea", but that's a habit *he* wants me to kick - I'm quite happy with him making all the tea!  I considered "procrastination", but it seems half of the people participating in this challenge have that problem, and let's be honest: procrastination has served me well for 30 years so I see no reason to change.  I thought I could mention being a spelling/grammar Nazi, but that guarantees I'll have an ironic spelling/grammar error in here somewhere.  Then I thought about "daydreaming"...But that's not a habit I wish I didn't have, because I think having a vivid imagination is an asset, and daydreaming is healthy.  People should do it more often.

So...My habit I wish I didn't have was over-analysing/being too hard on myself.  This a typical scenario for me preparing for a night out with friends:

What am I going to wear...What if I'm overdressed...What if I say something stupid...So-and-so made that comment today that I think means she doesn't want me to come...Is that what she meant? Maybe they're all thinking that.  Maybe they're just nice to my face but secretly bitch about me behind my back.  I don't fit in.  I'll make an arse of myself.  Maybe I should just not go.

This little inner monologue goes through my head every time.  I've actually mentioned it here before.  So there we go.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Power of Social Media

I've recently had a couple of really interesting experiences that I wanted to share with you all about the power of social media.  If you're some kind of marketing guru or whatever that found me through my gimmicky-sounding blog title, please go away now!

First, a negative story:A few months ago I went to the Tony Bianco store at Harbour Town to try on a pair of shoes I wanted to buy.  There were two people in the store when I walked in, at least one of whom was the store assistant.  The other one may have been too, or she may have just been a friend, I don't know.  They didn't acknowledge me at all when I walked in.  They simply stood gossiping.  I was in the store for about 5 minutes and several other women came and went during that time, and were treated the same way.  I walked out, fuming, and went straight home and posted something on their Facebook page about the terrible service.  A friend of mine also posted something agreeing with me about how bad the service is there.  A Tony Bianco rep replied and said they would look into it and contact the store.  When I was in the store on Sunday (the visit I bought my fabulous red boots), nothing had changed.  I was very disappointed.

Now for my positive story: At the end of June, my Go MasterCard got compromised somehow and some scammer was using it in Malaysia.  Before I had noticed, the Go MasterCard fraud people contacted me to find out if the transactions were genuine or not.  I told them they weren't, they sent me a form to fill out, and cancelled my card and issued me with a new one.  I was happy.  Then a couple of weeks ago I noticed another fraudulent transaction on my online statement, this one from Kuwait.  I hadn't used my newly-issued card since I received it so there was no way my new card was compromised, and my old one was supposed to be cancelled.  I was annoyed and called Go MasterCard and was not impressed with the service I got.  While on hold, I tweeted about how grumpy I was.  I didn't even tag the MasterCard twitter account or anything, but within a day I had been contacted by them through Twitter.  They offered to follow up if I gave them my details.  Before another day had passed, I received an email from one of the MasterCard International VPs, offering his help.  Note that this wasn't even my card issuer specifically, but the actual MasterCard head office.  Anyway, emails were exchanged, calls were made, my problem was resolved, and MasterCard protected their reputation.

So what does all this mean?  I guess my point is that social media, when used correctly, can be a powerful brand and reputation management tool (There I go sounding like a marketing guru again).

On a more personal note, the thing I love about social media is that it allows me to connect with people.  Through Facebook, I can keep in touch with family and friends and reconnect with old friends.  I mostly use it for people I actually know.  Through Twitter, I can meet new, like-minded people who are interested in what I'm interested in.  I mostly use it for people I don't actually know in person.  Between the two, I can get news, information, funny stuff, random trivia...Pretty much anything!  Social media is a big part of my online time.  Hooray for social media!

30 Days of Me: Day 3

Day 3 is a picture of me and my friends.  Well I'm sorry but it's another wedding pic!

My hubby and I with all of my friends and their partners.  Most of these are new friends (friends from work), but second from right is my best friend from high school, Helen.

Isn't her dress fabulous? Helen was my best friend from Intermediate right through to our first year of Uni, after which I moved cities and we drifted out of touch.  We got in touch again through Facebook and I discovered that she was living in Sydney.  So when we got married there was no question that Helen and her partner would be there to celebrate with us.  It was like those years we were out of contact never happened.

I'm going to restrict myself to those two because I have to do another friends pic on Day 11!

Friday, September 10, 2010

30 Days of Me: Day 2

Day 2 is all about the meaning behind my blog name.  As I mentioned yesterday, I used to play on a MUD.  My MUD usernames (and bboard usernames) were usually goddesses - Ishtar, Hestia, that kind of thing.  When I switched from the MUD to World of Warcraft, the server my friend was on was well-established and every single character name I tried was already taken.  In frustration, I started using the WoW random name generator.  Most of them were taken too, but I finally manged to find one that was free and sounded similar to my other themed names: Ilaeria.

Ilaeria became my WoW handle and I also used it elsewhere for user names, emails, and twitter.  At the peak of my WoW addiction, I got called Ilaeria far more often than I got called Jen.  Most people knew me by Ilaeria.  I managed to kick the WoW habit*, but I still used Ilaeria for twitter and other online identities.  So when it came to making a blog, it was the logical choice.

* If you object to me using the language of addiction for WoW, well, I guess you've never known someone who played WoW (or one of the other MMORPGs).  It seriously is an addiction.  As someone who is also an ex-smoker, I feel like I can compare the two.  WoW was expensive, anti-social, and hard to quit.  Just like I still get cigarette cravings after 6.5 years of being completely smoke-free (and 3 years before that of being mostly smoke-free), I still get WoW cravings after a year of being WoW-free.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Privilege, Part 2

I discussed the subject of being privileged in a previous post.  This post is going to look at privilege from the other side.  Apologies for the delay in following up!  A conversation between @mymilkspilt@noxceptions@TheDiscourse on Twitter a while ago about how there is no opposite to feminism or fat acceptance got me thinking.  Of course, there are men who are feminists and who write about gender issues in general (such as Michael Kimmel, about whom this post at Feministing was written, which also influenced my "Privilege" posts).  But generally, if you're a part of the dominant culture, it can be hard for you to notice and acknowledge your privilege.

I've been lucky in that I haven't been exposed to too much bigotry, but there have been moments that my fatness or my femaleness or some other aspects of "otherness" have been an issue for someone.  Part of my fat acceptance journey has been learning to notice that more and to not accept it.  Privilege is one of those things that you don't really notice until it's gone.  When I got fat enough that I could no longer shop at most straight-sized stores, I realised what a privilege it was to be able to see something in a store window and walk in and buy it without getting strange or hostile looks or comments from the store staff.  When I moved to Oz, my Kiwiness became a defining part of me, and I was mocked for it.

I guess my point is that everyone has situations in which they lose their privilege, and that the more people are exposed to these situations, the more they will understand other people who are less privileged than they.  Fatshionista recently did a great post on appearance-based privilege.

I've been stewing over this post for a while and I'm still not totally happy with it, however, I want to get it out there.  I think the problem is that when I start talking about losing privilege I feel like a spoiled brat.

30 Days of Me: Day 1

So today's blog prompt is "a recent picture of you and 15 interesting facts about yourself".  I have plenty of recent pics of me all over this blog thanks to my OOTD posts, so instead, here is one of my favourites from my wedding 6 months ago:

So, 15 interesting facts about me, hmm.  For variety, I'm going to try to come up with some things that aren't included in my All About Me post, but some will be repeated because they're so damn interesting!

  1. I love trivia and my brain is like a sponge.  I absorb all sorts of random, semi-useless information.  However, I'm terrible with anything that involves numbers or dates.
  2. I collect cookbooks.  I have an entire overflowing bookshelf dedicated to cookbooks.  A lot of them are chocolate- or dessert- or cookie- or cake-related.  I also enjoy reading them.  When I buy a new cookbook I read it.  Seriously.  I love to cook and bake and probably spend more time in the kitchen than my husband does.  My husband is a semi-trained chef.
  3. I've recently immersed myself in the Fat Acceptance movement, especially the fabulous Fat-O-Sphere here in Oz.  I'm an out-and-proud fatty.  Some links are over there on the right in my blogroll.
  4. I've lived in four different cities (Auckland, Wellington, Hobart, and the Gold Coast) but until my honeymoon this year I had never left Australasia.  Wellington is my spiritual home.  Go the 'Canes!
  5. I wish I had a bagel from Wholly Bagel.  I seriously miss them.
  6. I'm a recently-converted bubble tea addict.
  7. I have never met one of my best friends in real life, and have plenty of other friends that I've also never met in real life, thanks to the wonders of the internet.  More on this further down the list.
  8. I have 42 first cousins.  42 is the answer to the question of the meaning of life.  This coincidence did not escape me, but I'm yet to figure out WHAT IT MEANS.
  9. I absolutely hate pink and don't consider myself a girly girl at all.
  10. I have a tendency to cry at random things when I'm hormonal.  Like the Telstra ads.  Or The Simpsons (seriously).  I just watched this ad again and now I'm crying! Stupid hormones!
  11. I have a tendency to start projects and not finish them.  I get excited about new things and then kind of fizzle out when the novelty wears off.  Hopefully that doesn't happen with this Challenge!
  12. My accent and speech mannerisms shift all over the place depending on who I'm speaking with at the time, so a lot of people have trouble placing my accent (my Mum will say this is not true and that I sound like an Aussie).
  13. My birthday is around the Winter Solstice so when I had sleepover parties when I was younger I could say they were on "the longest night of the year", which was pretty cool, but I still wished my birthday was in Summer so I could have pool parties instead.
  14. While I read a lot and will read pretty much anything, I hate Twilight and the whole Twilight phenomenon.  Ugh.  I love Harry Potter though.
  15. My current husband is actually my second husband.  I met him through an online game (if you must know, it was a MUD, and if you don't know what that is, it doesn't really matter) which was run by my first husband.  I met my current husband for the first time in real life while on my first honeymoon.  After my first marriage collapsed, I moved to Australia to be with my current husband after only meeting him in real life one more time after that first meeting.
So there you have it.  Day 1 complete!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

30 Days of Me Challenge

So there's this meme going around Twitter at the moment where a bunch of people (mostly Kiwi women, but some guys and perhaps some non-Kiwis too) are doing a 30 Days of Me Challenge: #30daysofme*.  Some of my Twitter buddies and I decided to do it too!  Over the 30 days, we have to answer a bunch of questions, post some pictures, that kind of thing.  Here is a list of what you can expect over the next 30 days, courtesy of @pebblesy:

Day 01- A recent picture of you and 15 interesting facts about yourself
Day 02- The meaning behind your Blog name
Day 03- A picture of you and your friends
Day 04- A habit that you wish you didn’t have
Day 05- A picture of somewhere you’ve been to
Day 06- Favorite super hero and why
Day 07- A picture of someone/something that has the biggest impact on you
Day 08- Short term goals for this month and why
Day 09- Something you’re proud of in the past few days
Day 10- Songs you listen to when you are Happy, Sad, Bored, Hyped, Mad
Day 11- Another picture of you and your friends
Day 12- How you found out about Blogger and why you made one
Day 13- A letter to someone who has hurt you recently
Day 14- A picture of you and your family
Day 15- Put your iPod on shuffle: First 10 songs that play
Day 16- Another picture of yourself
Day 17- Someone you would want to switch lives with for one day and why
Day 18- Plans/dreams/goals you have
Day 19- Nicknames you have; why do you have them
Day 20- Someone you see yourself marrying/being with in the future
Day 21- A picture of something that makes you happy
Day 22- What makes you different from everyone else
Day 23- Something you crave for a lot
Day 24- A letter to your parents
Day 25- What I would find in your bag
Day 26- What you think about your friends
Day 27- Why are you doing this 30 day challenge
Day 28- A picture of you last year and now, how have you changed since then?
Day 29- In this past month, what have you learned
Day 30- Your favorite song.

You can see a list of bloggers that are participating here.  You can also see an RSS feed of all the blogs here.

I'll be starting my challenge tomorrow, along with @blauerpunto, who blogs here, and @jethrocarr, who blogs here, and @agentK, who blogs here (that may be wrong, if he goes somewhere else I'll let you all know).

I'll still be doing regular blogging in between, so my blog is going to be very busy for the next 30 days!

* If you know nothing about Twitter (I'm looking at you, Mum), some of this may not make sense to you.  Don't worry about it too much.  Twitter is fun though, you should totally start using it.  Unless you're my Mum, in which case, don't, I need to have *somewhere* you can't keep track of me and tell me off for swearing :P

OOTD: Guest Post!

So the lovely @radhikabt was wearing such a cute outfit today I was trying to snap a paparazzi photo of her and managed to get her to pose while we were at the supermarket. I tried to convince her to do an OOTD on her blog, but instead she agreed to do a guest appearance on mine!

Shoes: City Beach
Dress (worn as skirt): Byron Bay
Singlet: Supré
Cardi: Valleygirl
Necklace & Earrings: from the street hawkers of Calcutta, India
Bread: Coles

Spring has arrived here on the Gold Coast and you can certainly tell from this pic!

No OOTD from me today, I was very boring and you got an exciting one yesterday :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

OOTD: Rock Star Love

On Sunday I went to Tony Bianco in Harbour Town to try on some shoes that I was interested in from their website.  Unfortunately they didn't have any of the 3 pairs I wanted to try on.  Dave pointed out a pair of cute red suede boots but I was grumpy and hungry so we left and got fundraising sausages from Bunnings.

On the way out of the car park Dave mentioned the boots again and talked me in to going back.  So I went back and tried them on and I loved them!  So I bought them.  They were on sale!  Dave made me do it!

You can't tell from the pic, but they're ankle boots.  I love red shoes!  They're such a statement.  I now own 3 pairs: these ones, the red ballet flats from my last OOTD, and these pimped-out ruby slippers:

Which unfortunately I've never had an opportunity to wear again!

After I bought them (the boots I mean, not the ruby slippers), I spent two days formulating and discarding outfits to wear with them.  I tried on about three outfits this morning before deciding on this one:

Singlet: Jay Jays
Waistcoat: Crossroads
Jeans: JeansWest
Necklace: Gifted

I wasn't really happy with my pics this morning, my smile in this one looks really fake!  Oh well.  I love this vest and should really wear it more often.  I felt my outfit today was a bit Rock Star like and it reminded me of the last time I wore this vest, which was for my Rock Star-themed Hens Night.

After the jump is some gratuitous nudity!