• Oscars!

    Why, exactly, are the Oscars the pinnacle of the entertainment year? Why do we idolise actors so much? I would think that music is a far more universal thing. But it’s films we celebrate, American, English movies with the token nod to ‘foreign’ films.

    I have no idea when/if the ceremony is screening on free tv here – I REALLY want to see the opening number (wanna see Hugh and Anne singing) but I’m sure it’s on YouTube by now.

    Honestly though, the red carpet coverage made me cringe. There surely must be no worse job than being assigned to work the red carpet. To try and get the stars’ attention, yelling out their names, then asking them generic and inane questions…humiliating! Always looking out for the latest arrivals, trying to snag the biggest names and garner a few moments of their time. One of the worst moments I saw was an AP journo. She struggled to communicate with the Japanese actors from one of the foreign movies, and ended up telling them to speak into the mic in Japanese. Then, she asked one of the guys involved in Slumdog Millionaire to give a quick message in Hindi to “all the viewers around the world.” Uh, “I don’t speak Hindi,” the guy said.



    But goddamn, were the Slumdog kid cast not the cutest little things ever? No human being should be that adorable. It’s criminal. I wanted to shrink them and keep them on my shelf. They were so humble, so excited, so energetic and ridiculously animated. They wanted to see Disneyland! They couldn’t believe they were here! How lucky they were! They loved acting, but first they had to concentrate on their studies!


    Must see: Milk, Slumdog and The Reader.

  • For Christ’s sake! Immigration officials may have forced their way into a house to take pictures of a boy – A NEW ZEALAND CITIZEN BY BIRTH – to try and send him back to China with his overstayer parents. They may also have made his mother sign a forged note.

    If that’s all true, hope they are sacked and punished to the full extent of the law.

    * * *

    I’m not super thrilled that the govt is scrapping a bill that would stop letting agents charge fees, but there’s not much I can do about it. With the Nats in power though it’s not going to get any easier to live if you are a renter. As it is going through an agent is ridiculously painful. Some want to know how much you make a week, from where, your other outgoings, your car registration, some even ask for your BANK ACCOUNT NUMBER! They want to screen all flatmates (although if you find your flatmates AFTER moving it, they can’t really vet them then, can they?). It’s so intrusive and demeaning. Some private landlords are no better; they try to rip you off. Or straight up inform you “We are looking for a family. We only want a family”. Nobody wants to rent to anyone young, let alone under 20, or still studying. And for crying out loud, agents ALWAYS want to do showings during the day and expect you to be able to drop everything at a moment’s notice and show up at a house – NOT feasible if you work full time in the city and are somehow meant to get out to the suburbs, not to mention somehow get time off to go and view the place!
    End rant 🙂

  • Advertising

    I really don’t like sponsored posts. I find it really annoying when I go to read an article that sounds promising (ie, something about shopping online, or treating blackheads, shall we say) and it only offers generic tips with the advice to use various products from a certain brand (Westpac, Clean and Clear).

    Even worse: I saw an advice column on a certain website, touted as being the place to ask all your skincare questions. Every answer pointed the reader towards one Clean and Clear product or another. Blatant much?

    How is that useful to anybody? Well, slightly, maybe. But generally, we want unbiased information – we don’t want advertorial, especially unmarked advertorial. Our suburban newspapers have the courtesy to place “Advertising feature” at the head of such pages. Some upmarket magazines don’t though, and disguise paid placement as editorial. You have to look a second time to work it out. I think that’s sneaky, and I don’t like it.

  • Big thumbs down to the New York Times

    I’m not impressed with the NY Times. Now you have to sign up to read everything. And while it costs nothing, it’s something I cannot be bothered to do – yet. Signing up for things is a hassle. It takes time to fill out all those fields, and then a confirmation step, and no doubt it will somehow end up in unwanted spam/ads in my inbox. But I’ll probably succumb very soon…there were about ten different pieces I wanted to read this week. I like Maureen Dowd, and their feature type, home and living, lifestyle and random stories. So, how gutted was I to see ‘to continue reading you must be a member’ on every single one?

  • Television reflections

    I’ve missed my blog. I really have. But until I get a new laptop, hopefully within a couple of weeks, posts shall be sporadic, unfortunately. Things are pretty busy; I’ve got my first writing assignment and don’t want to botch it up. It’s pretty scary, ringing up people you see on TV or read in mags and actually speaking to them. It’s gone pretty well so far…only one person refused to speak to me, pity really, if I was the type to have celeb crushes i would totally be into him. I’ve learned even if you don’t have a specific question, no matter how vague the brief is, FORMULATE one! It was pretty embarrassing to be caught out. I mean, it doesn’t matter too much, you just need something to kick it off with, a starting point, a catalyst. But I’m learning early and I feel really lucky to be building up my contact list this way.

    Anywayyyyyy, back to television! I really don’t get the kids off My Super Sweet Sixteen. Don’t get me wrong, I hate, loathe, despise that show with every fibre of my being. As per all of C4’s reality shows. Unfortunately sometimes I’m too bloody lazy to walk to the set to change channels when the bed swallows our remote. I especially don’t understand the girls who feel this need to make a huge showy entrance, and decide they’re going to perform some really elaborate dance and impress all of their friends. They spend all their time worrying sick about it, whether they’ll mess up, etc – that’s no way to ejoy your birthday! It’s frickin ridiculous. As is changing into five different outfits throughout the night. You are not a presenter at the Oscars. And even then, that’s barely an excuse is it?

    And Trading Spouses is back. Watching it really reinforced just how there really is no such thing as a normal family. We all have our own quirks and ways of doing things. And in the privacy of our home well who’s there to judge? Like me – I’m such a homebody, over my long weekend I spent time doing thigns around the house, going on runs, sorting out old photos and organising old papers. I threw out a ton of old tax refund records, read through all the letters BF wrote from the army, and chucked out some hideous photos dating back to 2000. And i loved it! My home really is my haven.

    We were offered to housesit. but I’m not super keen. I just thin it would feel weird. Not my bed, not my house…I wouldn’t feel comfortable. Obviously if it was a mansion with spa hot tub and fully stocked kitchen, I’d be jumping at the chance…but it’s nowhere special, so the only thing would be getting away to a slight change of scenery.

  • Journalism 2.0

    I worry for the future of journalism. I imagine it dying out for real before long. So many journos are making the move to PR after just a few years, for the hours, pay, glam and perks. The older generation – the experienced feature writers, investigative reporters, editors, subs – will be retiring soon, and who’s going to take their place?
    The thing about communications as a degree is its specialization. It’s tightly, narrowly focused. There isn’t much room to broaden your knowledge base. It seems to me that it’s better to do undergrad and do a bit of everything, whatever interests you – biz, science, politics, history, sociology – and then the post grad in journalism. It also sets you up for a particular round, if you have knowledge and experience in a particular area.
    Us comms grads aren’t going to have the wisdom of the older journos, and who’s going to guide us?

  • Self doubting


    Now I’m into journalism, I’m feeling conflicted. I know it’s the right choice, it’s what I want to do and there’s nothing else I’m interested in, in terms of major.

    It’s way easier to move into PR and marketing than vice versa, and I wouldn’t mind trying my hand at publicity at some point.

    But in terms of journalism, well I’m having major self doubts. How am I going to find stories every week? I mean, I know it’s possible – thousands of past students have done it. But without press releases landing on your desk, without a huge social network or connections, without involvement in tons of groups and the community, it’s really daunting. Let alone breaking important news…

    And in terms of actually working post grad, then what? I’m definitely into beauty, but by no means am I any sort of authority. I’ve come to enjoy hard news more, but I don’t think it’s where I want to stay. Especially since I’ve noticed a pattern: something happens, something bad, kneejerk reaction, go to authoritative sources to comment and report on subsequent ‘calls for action’ whether it’s tougher laws, smoke alarms, more lifeguards, more police, cracking down on drink driving, whatever. And it seems kinda of repetitive and lame to me. One negative event doesn’t warrant a full on banning of whatever is at fault, especially when it happens over and over.

    Being a columnist certainly looks fun, though I don’t know what on earth I’d ramble on about. Then again, look at stuff like the Listener (a mag I do enjoy!) and Bill Ralston’s Life column, the Inbox column, the Internaut…. My opinions aren’t strong enough on REAL issues, as yet, and I definitely couldn’t defend any of my views very well at all. And frankly, I hate conflict. Which is no good, and I’ll have to develop a much thicker skin, I know.

    I think I’d really like to get into features, especially music writing. Ever since I stopped playing guitar my love of music has waned. I used to religiously have the radio on, and listen to music on my computer 24/7. I haven’t had the radio on in months, and because I only just figured out how to make the new Windows Media Player sync with my music folder, I wasn’t listening to my songs. I’m hoping to get back into playing guitar later on, now that I’ve realised it really is okay to just putter around and play for the hell of it. I was getting too worked up, too focused on GETTING GOOD and it simply wasn’t fun or relaxing anymore. I wasn’t improving and I just couldn’t play standing up. Now I really don’t care whether I can play upright or not, or whether I can play Astronomy perfectly, I’d just like to get back in the zone of playing for hours, just because. And I think tying that in with writing would be amazing. I love being at gigs, I like the buzz of events. I would be keen as to do reviews and interviews and be part of the scene that way.

    I’ve almost convinced myself! But anyway, that’s still a far far distant dream; there’s lots to get through before that point. As time goes on though, I’ve realised it’s okay to not actually know what you want. So many people don’t. even ones much, much older than me. They don’t have all their shit together, and so I’m not gonna panic. Careers today are so much more dynamic, and it’s not that hard (at least in the media field, from what I can see) to move laterally, sideways, or even transition from sales to editorial. And with the web growing by the day, hopefully there will be lots of online opportunities come next year.

  • The strangest auction ever?

    Anyone else read about that American (or Canadian?) chick auctioning off her virginity? Apparently bidding’s up to almost 7 million.

    Now, morality aside – she was inspired by her hooker sister after all, and well however you choose to fund your education is up to you, but seriously? BA in women’s studies and Masters in marriage therapy? Is that a degree field? Sorry, there I go – i don’t get auctions like these. Dates, sure. “Experiences”, sure. But a night of cherry popping?

    Let’s think about this. How can anyone ever really know whether she is a virgin or nor? It’s not like the olden days where if brides didn’t bleed on Wedding Night then men wanted a full refund. There’s no outward indicator and no physical signs that scream virgin. And like she said, she didn’t think virginity was worth that much anymore, even in times like ours.

    I’m really curious as to whether those seven figure bids are genuine??

  • Tina Fey

    God, I love Tina Fey.

    Maureen Dowd did a great interview with her for Vanity Fair. Love the photos too! “What’s the wildest thing you’ve ever done?” “Nothing”

    Someone commented teh other day about Sarah Palin, “Bitch, Tina Fey MADE you”

    She so did.

    Tina seems so modest and self deprecating and downright normal – boring, even. I love, love, love her!