My Week in Pictures.

Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Ball from the Monster’s Pit.

Gaga reppin’ it for her Aussie Little Monsters.

The meat dress makes a comeback.

The lucky fans who threw blow-up dolls onstage at Gaga and the thirteen-year-old girl who made her a book of illustrations and musings about why Gaga is an inspiration to her got to go backstage! Next time, I’m taking stuff to throw at her!

All Lady Gaga concert photos by April Bonnick.

I’m on the right track, baby, I went to the Born This Way Ball.

Definitely one of the highlights of my year/life, I finally saw Lady Gaga live in concert on Sunday night. It was terrible weather for it, and we stood out in the rain in skimpy outfits for about 45 minutes, which caused a cold I kicked last week to come back :(. But for Gaga: it was worth it. We bought tickets for the Monster’s Pit, which is the standing room area in front of the stage, and we were at a perfect vantage point to get some Gaga eye candy, as the above photos, taken by my friend April, will attest.

Last week, Mia Freedman wrote of her Sydney Gaga concert experience, saying she walked out mid-concert because she wasn’t impressed that Gaga hid behind her costumes and the set. I will agree with her on this count, but if Mia had’ve stayed, she would’ve enjoyed the majority of it; mid-way through, the concert became very interactive, and Gaga spoke to the fans, had “story time” (see above), and invited some fans backstage! Jealous!

Rock of Ages & Snow White & the Huntsman.

I managed to catch Rock of Ages before it descends into the failed movie-musical abyss, and I liked it. It had nothing on the stage show, which had nothing on stage shows with actual storylines, but it wasn’t wholly unenjoyable.

I also saw Snow White & the Huntsman, which I also liked, but both were nothing to write home about, really. You may see a comparison of the two Snow White efforts that came out this year, Mirror Mirror and the Kristen Stewart version, here, but I haven’t decided whether they’re both worth writing about yet.

The stack.

A special Tom-&-Katie-divorce issue of Who came out two days early yesterday. It’s a nice surprise to get my Who fix before Friday. I also picked up a bi-anual copy of Marc Bonnici’s zine, ZINm, which I and a few of my friends contributed to. While the print run is strictly limited, you can head here for some more ZINm goodness.  

Related: Mirror Mirror Review.

Elsewhere: [MamaMia] Lady Gaga & Why I Walked Out of Her Concert.

[ZINm Backstage] Homepage.

My Week in Pictures: Birthday Edition.

Yesterday was my birthday, and let me tell you, I’ve spent the whole week celebrating!

The burlesque.

To kick off the celebrations, an intimate group of friends and I went to an intimate showing of burlesque at Red Bennies on Chapel Street. The night followed a seven deadly sins theme, with Becky Lou as gluttony, Rosy Rabbit as envy, Dolores Daiquiri as lust, Vesper White as wrath, Kerry X as sloth, my friend Zoe’s friends Cleave and Daly as vanity, and Evie Red as greed. There’ll be another showing tomorrow night, so get your tickets quick smart!

The presents.

In lieu of Peter Alexander slippers (they’re sold out of my size til March!), Clare got me these über-trendy K-Mart slippers. Anthony was a crafty little minx and got me Marc Jacobs’ Daisy perfume after I complimented a co-worker on it. There were flowers, cake, heartfelt roommate letters, The Slap, and movie vouchers.

The Headless Horseman, Cher and The Joker.

I think this was about ten minutes after we arrived. I waste no time when it comes to getting my krunk on!

If I have to listen to Ke$ha one more time…

Feminists in arms legs.

Sister love.

Easy A.

Feminists in arms, Stone Cold Steve Austin edition!

The best part of the night was having April—responsible for “Postcards from Canada”—back from, erm, Canada! Fittingly, she went as a racoon.

The Halloween party.

My main birthday/Halloween celebrations took place on Saturday night at A Bar Called Barry on Smith Street. I went as feminist icon Rosie the Riveter, and there were fellow feminists Easy A and Cher, as well as Scream killers, Headless Horsemen, assorted animals and the Joker, amongst others.

It was a great night, and I’ve already started planning my birthday for next year! You’re all on notice; get your costumes ready now!

The stack.

Despite all the partying, I still managed to get the prerequisite reading in. What did I learn? The three biggest (celebrity) news items of the week are Kim Kardashian’s 72-day marriage breakdown, Jessica Simpson’s pregnancy and Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively’s budding love. Can’t wait to pick up Who tomorrow for all the latest goss!

Andrew really looks impressed at me flaunting my birthday sombrero. I think he’s just jealous…

The birthday dinner.

My final birthday event was a Mexican siesta at Taco Bill in Kensington last night. Happy birthday to me!

Related: [The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Did Rosie the Riveter Wear Hotpants?

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Easy A Review.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Postcards from Canada 28th May to 8th June 2011.

My Week in Pictures.

The Women’s Peace Gardens.

The park I jog at now that I’m living in Kensington is, fittingly, the Women’s Peace Gardens. There is a plaque at the entrance to the gardens, which I haven’t really looked at, to be honest. It is, however, designed as the peace symbol inside the female symbol.

The rabbit.

There also happens to be a rabbit at the gardens, which I believe is a runaway, and my housemate believes is wild. Nonetheless, he’s she’s it’s cute to look at.

Tru Blood.

Speaking of housemates, I have the best one ever! He surprised me with a bottle of Tru Blood, as I’m currently watching the latest season. He even remembered my blood type!

The stack.

It’s all about Kim Kardashian’s wedding in the weeklies. No doubt tomorrow’s Who will be much of the same.

The movie.

I went to see Rise of the Planet of the Apes on Tuesday night, and I loved it! Review to come this afternoon.

Related: [The Early Bird Catches the Worm] My Week in Pictures 18th August 2011.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] My Week in Pictures 11th August 2011.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] My Week in Pictures 4th August 2011.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] My Week in Pictures 28th July 2011.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] My Week in Pictures 21st July 2011.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] My Week in Pictures 14th July 2011.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] My Week in Pictures 7th July 2011.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] My Week in Pictures 1st July 2011.

My Week in Pictures.

Not much to report this week as my days have pretty much consisted of sleeping in, blogging, unpacking, exercising, watching True Blood and reading. Blogging, jogging and True Blooding, as it has been dubbed by friends of mine.

The movie.

Green Lantern was the order of the day last Thursday. After almost a year of going on about our matching Green Lantern rings, Eddie forgot to bring his!

The trivia night.

Last night a bunch of us participated in trivia against other departments at my workplace. Since my co-worker Ken is inept at taking photos, please excuse the blurriness of the above group shot, which consisted of the youngies on our team: me, Eddie, Clare, Laura and Michelle. We certainly lived up to our reputation by being the only group to correctly name the theme song from Clarissa Explains it All and “Got the Feelin’” by Five in a “guess the portion of the song” portion of the program!

Also, Laura won a lucky door prize: double VIP passes to Puffing Billy! She also had the honour of saying the wankiest quote of the night, when she named Mozart instead of Beethoven as the answer to a question that now escapes me: “I thought it was Mozart because of the operas, you see.”

The west side.

Now that I live on the west side of Melbourne, I no longer get a nice view of the city from my apartment, but I do get to be included as part of the City of Melbourne (as opposed to Stonnington or Moonee Valley, which were the municipalities of my last two residences, and a view of the industrial sector. Not as pretty, but it makes me nostalgic for the days when we would drive home from spending a day in the city shopping and going to wrestling and go over the CityLink bridge and back into boring country life. Oh, and I now have a house!

The stack.

Did you see Miranda Kerr on the cover of last week’s Who?! She looks bangin’! Motherhood clearly agrees with her.

The double rainbow.

Two double rainbows in one fortnight: spoilt! At some stages it even morphed into a triple and quadruple rainbow!

Related: [The Early Bird Catches the Worm] My Week in Pictures 11th August 2011.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] My Week in Pictures 4th August 2011.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] My Week in Pictures 28th July 2011.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] My Week in Pictures 21st July 2011.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] My Week in Pictures 14th July 2011.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] My Week in Pictures 7th July 2011.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] My Week in Pictures 1st July 2011.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Green Lantern Review.

My Week in Pictures.

The vintage loot.

I blogged earlier in the week about The Way We Wear, and here are some photos from the Online Antiques store, which always has swoon-worthy items for sale, as well as the two bangles and scarf I picked up. If I had a spare $500, though, I’d be all over that black, white and red number! Very Grace Kelly in Rear Window, wouldn’t you say?

The dreary Monday morning.

Now, I normally love my Monday mornings (new magazines, new blogs, new week!), but this week it was nothing but a manic one. All I wanted to go was sit in front of the heater and watch movies all day. Alas, this is the view from a window at work.

The flowers.

To brighten up the house, I bought some orchids from the Vic Market on Saturday. It’s been a looong time since I bought myself flowers. And no one else is going to, so…

The stack.

Next week I’m going to be blogging about my real stack (ie. the pile of books, magazines and articles I’ve had on the backburner for most of this year) but, until then, here is this weeks reading material.

Lara Bingle’s “exclusive” is laughable (I couldn’t imagine anything worse than going on holidays with your beau and having a Who camera crew follow your every move in a bid to announce a new relationship to the world), and the mag is still perturbed by Katie Holmes’s body. Sure, she looks pretty gaunt, but is pointing it out on tabloid covers the world over really beneficial to her?

The show.

I’ve really been getting into the latest season of Law & Order: SVU and, as it is apparently Christopher Meloni’s last, and Mariska Hargitay’s role will be severely diminished next season, I’m savouring it. If the two main detectives aren’t in it, I don’t think I’ll be returning.

The organic blueberry pancakes.

After the vintage market on Saturday, my friend Linzie and I stopped in at Novel Kitchen in Williamstown, a cute little organic café with mismatched tables and chairs and a very unpretentious vibe about it.

Related: [The Early Bird Catches the Worm] My Week in Pictures 21st July 2011.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] My Week in Pictures 14th July 2011.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] My Week in Pictures 7th July 2011.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] My Week in Pictures 1st July 2011.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] The Way We Wear Weekend.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Loving… Grace Kelly as Lisa Fremont in Rear Window.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Katie Holmes in Who: Do Celeb Bodies Make Us Feel Better About Our Own?

Elsewhere: [Online Antiques] Homepage.

New Weekly Post: My Week in Pictures.

The morning hot air balloons.

You know it’s early when the hot air balloons are still up and about. This is the view from my street…

… while this is the actual view from my apartment window.

A few weeks ago I posted the view from my street, but this is the view from the corner of my loungeroom window.

The birthday girl.

You might remember Zoe from her George Michael paper dolls, or the new artwork for this here blog. Last Friday was her birthday and we celebrated by going out for drinks and dinner.

The bath.

Almost every second Saturday I come home after a hard day of interacting with the moronic general public and collapse into the bath. It’s starting to become a ritual…

Rock of Ages.

On Tuesday night, myself, my friends Eddie and Clare, and Clare’s family, went to see Rock of Ages at the Comedy Theatre. It was very funny, self-aware and had some great tunes. Review to come next week.

The stack.

Related: [The Early Bird Catches the Worm] My Week in Pictures 14th July 2011.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] My Week in Pictures 7th July 2011.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] My Week in Pictures 1st July 2011.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] George Michael Paper Dolls in Independent Zine ZINm.

Movie Review: Super 8.

E.T. meets Tomorrow, When the War Began meets Signs meets The Goonies. That’s how I would describe Super 8.

Going into it on Tuesday night, I didn’t have much of a clue what the Steven Spielberg-produced, J. J. Abrams-written-and-directed effort, named for the type of film used in the late 1970s, was about. I saw a review in Who that looked promising, and I was intrigued by the almost all-kid cast.

The alien aspect, which is introduced when the kids are filming a zombie movie over the summer and they witness a purposeful train derailment, is neither here nor there to the actual story, which is a “coming of age” tale of Joe Lamb, whose mother died in a workplace accident a few months prior.

Joe’s dad, the town deputy, is struggling to deal with the death of his wife and being a more present father to Joe than before the accident. He holds a grudge against the man whose shift his wife took the day of her death, who just so happens to be Joe’s friend Alice’s drunk father. Joe and Alice are forbidden from seeing each other, but that doesn’t stop them from working together on their friend Charles’ Super 8 film about zombies, the full version of which can be seen in the credits.

After the train derailment, which is caught on film by the kids, they seek out the truck that caused the accident, driven by their biology teacher, Dr. Woodward. He tells the kids not to mention a word of the accident to anyone or risk death.

Strange things start happening in the town, like abductions, lost dogs and power lines disappearing into thin air. My friend Eddie had the theory that the “alien aspect” had something to do with the Soviet space dogs used in experiments in the 1950s and ’60s. Personally, I liked this notion very much, but it wasn’t to be.

I’m not a big fan of supernatural films, especially those with aliens, and some parts of the movie were scarier than I expected. In all honesty, the movie could have done better to not be centered around aliens.

The kids and Deputy Lamb independently piece together the mystery as the Air Force arrives in the town for the clean-up. Dr. Woodward has been killed by Colonel Nelec, the man in charge of the investigation, when he didn’t offer up the information they wanted.

The kids break into the school to access Woodward’s files, which reveal him as a researcher with the Air Force in 1958, when an extraterrestrial crashed on Earth. The government captured and tortured the creature in an effort to understand more about it. Woodward was empathetic to the alien’s plight, and wanted to set it free so it could return to its home planet. That’s what he was doing on the train tracks that night.

The E.T. parts of the film got a bit convoluted at times, and my friend Sallie commented on aspects of the storyline that didn’t add up.

But the inclusion of the endearing troupe of kids and their adventures made up for any inconsistencies. Think Stand By Me, but with aliens.

 

 

 

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Who Speculates About Domestic Violence in the Affleck/Garner Household.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Movie/Book Review: Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden.

Images via IMDb.

Magazine Review: The Big Issue, 1–14 March, 2011.

Did you know that there are approximately 7.5 readers for every copy of The Big Issue sold? Which is great for circulating The Big Issue’s content to different kinds of readers, it sucks for the people selling copies out the front of The Body Shop (where I was first exposed to the magazine in my hometown of Bendigo in country Victoria) or at Parliament train station, where I picked up this week’s copy.

But when I read those stats on Girl with a Satchel a couple of weeks ago, I wasn’t surprised. A colleague of mine usually brings in his copy to the staff lunchroom, which makes the rounds at work. He’s gone overseas for a few weeks, so I decided to be the one to provide the communal Big Issue during that time. I do hope that more people will fork out the fortnightly five bucks it costs to be exposed to some great Australian writing (“compared with $4.70 for your weekly copy of Who) but until then, I can take solace in the fact that I did my bit.

There’s still a week left to get your paws on a copy, and I suggest you do, as there are some great articles in there, a lot of them dealing with the social revolution tool that is Twitter, which features on the cover. And for you us pop-culture junkies, there’s Liz and Shane and their Twitter antics, too:

“Celebrities, meanwhile, have embraced Twitter as an opportunity to prove their Everyman concerns without having to directly engage with, well, every man or woman. Kourtney Kardashian, for example, recently tweeted her two-million followers: ‘Does anyone else get scared that being on their phones too much or sleeping with your phone near u is so bad? Or am I paranoid?’ I wonder how many fruitlessly replied, ‘Omg, I totes have a brain tumour! We should be BFFs!’ (Note to tweenie Tweeters: she couldn’t care less.)” (p. 15).

You’re such a visionary, Kourtney!

On a more serious note, editor Alan Attwood writes of the similarly prophetic Steven Johnson from Time magazine, who wrote ‘How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live’:

“He argued that all those tiny tweets add up ‘to something truly substantive, like a suspension bridge made of pebbles’. He concluded: ‘The weather reports keep announcing that the sky is falling, but here we are—millions of us—sitting around trying to invent new ways to talk to one another.’ And that, surely, can’t be a bad thing” (p. 4).

We’ve read all the articles about Twitter being a valuable tool for social change, particularly in Egypt, and there’s no shortage of that in the feature article, from which the above Kardashian quote is garnered. Worth the $5 cover price for this article alone.

Another article I loved this fortnight was Patrick Witton’s on “Sharing the Load” of the hellish daily commute.

I wrote last week about two friends of mine who spend at least two hours in their car getting to and from work each day, which sounds like my worst nightmare. Sure, I used to travel upwards of four hours to work from my aforementioned hometown, but that was on the train, where I could get valuable reading, sleeping and daydreaming done. Driving to work allows the driver to indulge in (hopefully) only one of those activities. Then again, I don’t have a license, so I have no idea how much daydreaming gridlock allows…

Witton profiles the car-pooling phenomenon in America, where there are designated pick-up and drop-off points, between which complete strangers ride in silence, and drivers take advantage of the express car-pool lanes. Like a bus, but without the mentally disturbed drunk espousing the apocalypse.

There’s also the teenagers in Jakarta, who make a living from hitchhiking along the highways, getting paid to be picked up so solitary drivers can hightail it to work in the express lane.

Fascinating stuff.

[Girl with a Satchel] The Big Issue Blitzes Readership Survey (But are Aussies Being Tight?)

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Newspaper Clipping of the Week.

Mag Covers of the Year.

As 2010 draws to a close, what better time to look back on the year’s best magazine covers (according to yours truly; feel free to add your favourites in the comments)?

This blog began back in April, with “Mag Cover of the Week” going live at the end of May, so it’s not an exhaustive list of all the best covers, but rather a selection of those that have featured here, plus a few extras thrown in.

You will notice that there is a lot of skin-baring and suggestive imagery amongst the covers, which goes to show that sex still sells in the current progressive magazine environment (Yen, Peppermint and the late Notebook: come to mind as Aussie titles that buck this trend), or at least it sells to me.

Without further ado, let’s begin the list with those such covers: Lara Stone for the October/90th Anniversary issue of Paris Vogue; a nude Christina Aguilera for German GQ; the new Bond Transformers girl, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, for the September issue of LOVE; a machine gun-wielding and “Alejandro”-inspired Lady Gaga for Rolling Stone; andwho else?Who’s Sexiest People cover, featuring the always stunning Jessica Marais in pin-up-style garb, Jennifer Hawkins and the most impressive cleavage I’ve seen in a long time, and the vanilla (but also impressively chested) Natalie Imbruglia.

When uttering the word “sexy”, few TV shows come to mind before True Blood, which takes out two of the top spots with their blood-spattered (Jezebel noted that you can practically see Anna Paquin’s tampon string!) Rolling Stone appearance, and their Entertainment Weekly cover, which is worth it for Alexander Skarsgard’s penetrating stare alone.

Lindsay Lohan made the cut twice, too, with her bikini (or is it lingerie?) covers for German GQ and Maxim.

In the less sexy/more high fashion department, Madison borrowed Kylie Minogue from UK Elle for their September issue; Katy Perry was inspired by vintage Vogue for the US Harper’s Bazaar subscriber cover; Jennifer Aniston joined the ranks of celebrities channelling other celebrities by getting her Barbra Streisand on (also) for US Harper’s Bazaar; model-of-the-moment Constance Jablonski on the cover of German Vogue; and Industrie celebrates Marc Jacobs in drag, while V hails he and Lady Gaga as the crown jewels of New York City.

Lastly, Lady Gaga on the cover that launched a thousand meat bikinis (okay, no. But it did launch the meat dress, which was the fashion moment of the year), Japan’s Vogue Homme.

And considering Terry Richardson shot the aforementioned cover, it brings me to wonder which covers would be considered the worst of the year. Glee getting their gear off for GQ, anyone?

On the (Rest of the) Net.

Mia Freedman on Elle’s “weird, weird choice of cover model” in Miley Cyrus for their August 2009 issue:

“Who’s next? Bindi Irwin for Harper’s Bazaar? Stop it, someone is probably organising that right now as I type. Anyway, so while I was still tut-tutting over the fact that she was ON the magazine, I came to the story inside and nearly lost my lunch. Not only did I find the clothes grotesquely inappropriate (nanna-alert!), I was disturbed by the poses. In one shot, she’s got her vagina thrust up to the camera with her stomach exposed.

“In a couple of others, she’s lying back as if waiting for… well, you know what she’s waiting for.”

Girl with a Satchel on Lara Bingle, Kristy Fraser-Kirk and “sexism in the Australian Media”, while Nicole Richie’s Who wedding cover story (out today) is a “fairytale story” of “redemption”.

Why “we need more vampire slayersjust not more Buffy”:

Buffy made a bold statement in the context of 1990s pop culture: What if this tiny blonde girl, who looks like the victim in every horror movie ever, is actually the monster-killer? What if she’s badder and tougher than everyone else? What if she’s secretly grappling with the weight of the world because she’s the only one who can save us all?

“Whedon often talks about the idea for the original Buffy movie coming from the image of a girl running from a monster, like in every other horror film—but then it turns out she’s actually hunting the monster, and she catches it by surprise. Because she’s not just your typical sacrificial cheerleader.

“That was a radical idea in 1992, and even in 1997. I would be very sad to think it would still be radical in 2012, or whenever this film comes out.”

Questionable scenes in Disney films.

Let’s Drink Tea and Get Laid references last week’s skinny-shaming post in her thoughts on body image, “property” and ownership.

Rachel Hills has some insightful notes on introversion versus extroversion, stemming from The Atlantic’s “Caring for Your Introvert”, which was featured on last week’s “On The (Rest of the) Net”.

Tiger Beatdown on the gender double standards on Glee:

“… Being attacked for being an effeminate man is terrible, and we’ll talk about it and come to a resolution, but being a masculine woman means you should just get used to being everyone’s punching bag.”

Jezebel uncovers “The Surprising Facts About Who’s Hot”, according to scientific studies in David Perrett’s book, In Your Face. So it’s totes, like, factual and shit.