Saturday, January 31, 2009

Older Women Looking Great with Long Hair

In my last post I made a Rather Broad Sweeping Statement about how women over a certain age, say 30, shouldn't wear hair past their shoulders.  This kind of remark belongs in the back of  The Wardrobe, along with Blue & Green Should Never Be Seen & something about the Seasonal wearing of white shoes. 
One of my favourite online friends who is a Definite Fashionista dropped me a line & gently reminded me that in fact, she has hair past her shoulders & is over 30.
I'm Nothing if Not Insulting. And perhaps not v. observant either. 

Anyway, I was really making a snide remark about Sherry Argov, the author of 'Why Men Marry Bitches'. Not that I've got anything against Dear Sherry, who's book I found slightly uncomfortable because I recognised my Needy Little Self, if not on every page, but on quite a few of them. 
Sherry's hair has Lady Godiva references, which I'm sure attracts droves of men to her little honeypot. I must stop this immediately. I'm being Undignified.

Back to me. 
Yesterday after school, I raced over to 'Just Cuts' & had a haircut. My hair had suddenly become dangerously close to skimming my shoulders & I wanted to avoid Any Hint of Hypocrisy. I love going to 'Just Cuts' because its a mere $25 if I don't have a shampoo which perfectly dovetails into My New Frugality.
I always sit down at the chair, the stylist asks 'How would you like it Love?' & I always say, 'Goldie Hawn'. She nods wisely & then for the next twenty minutes or so I become transported by her words into another world. Yesterday, she told me about the behaviour of her brother-in-law who uses an online dating service to target single mothers for sexual favours. He prefers them because they are so grateful for the attention that they don't complain about shoddy treatment & perhaps performance. Luckily, she's a good hairdresser.
How far I have strayed from My Original Topic!
Anyway, I started to think about Fabulous Women over 30 with  Long Hair & desperately tried to think of examples. First cab off the rank was Stevie Nicks. I half-heartedly googled her. But all her photos looked air-brushed. And you know what a stickler for Reality I am. 
Princess Anne, perhaps? Too much like a Nasty Adult in a Roald Dahl book. Anyway, I'm not sure if she's really got hair past her shoulders.
Then  in a magazine I came across a fawning profile of an Muscular Italian Stick Insect Fashionista called Anna Della Russo. She's the one in the first photo wearing the small snarl, or it it sneer?
 I became instantly entraced. I'm not exaggerating. I would so love to look like her. Or at least a part of me would. She works for Nippon Vogue or something & doesn't like 'Cheap clothes'. 
In an effort to emulate Anna, I visited 'Gucci' today & actually went inside. I was dangerously close to buying one of those dangly charm thingys that hang from handbags for $165. And then I considered buying a 'Messenger' bag for $500. But it was too daggy.  Luckily, all the big ticket bags had far too much Brassy Hardware hanging off them. I'm sure Anna wouldn't be caught dead carrying one of those.

The second picture is of course is Patti Smith. I have never never been hip enough to listen, let alone appreciate the music of Patti Smith. But I do appreciate her general appearance. She is five foot eight, unless she's shrunk in later life. I am five foot three & always wanted to be tall. 
Anyway, I think Patti looks great with long hair & I don't even mind the grey.
If you can come up with any examples of Older Women looking great with Long Hair, I'd love it

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Being a Bitch

Today, the School Year Proper began.
When I arrived at my desk in the Staffroom this morning, I found two reasonably lovely surprises sitting on my computer.
The first was a book, loaned by my Young Friend & Colleague, Princess Pip. I know it has a rather unfortunate title. The author, Sherry Someone who I saw interviewed on a vile morning TV show, has rather ill-advised long hair. I have Somewhat Strict Views on hair length which may come as a surprise to you, O Regular Reader. I always think that hair worn much past the shoulders on women over  thirty unless they are Boho Eccentrics or amongst the Super Stylish who know  what they are doing, displays a Lack of Judgement that extends far beyond hair. 
So then, I'm not sure I trust dear Sherry to tell me exactly Why Men Marry Bitches, although I've already read a couple of chapters & have to admit that I found them Soothing.
From what I've worked out, it seems that Sherry's Central Thesis is that Men like Confident Women who answer four maybe five max, out of six of their phone calls. I hope that makes sense. The reason you don't answer them all is because you've got your Own Life & are far far too busy to be bothered. 
You also don't act Too Needy. You don't constantly ask questions like 'Do you love me', which I'm afraid I was guilty of, nor do you ask, 'I need to know where this relationship is going, because I don't want to waste time', which I was never guilty of. 
I was more of the Betty Dormat kind of needy rather than the Imperious Steam Roller kind of Needy.
 But hopefully, with Dear Sherry's help, that's all about to change.

The second reasonably lovely surprise came from another colleague who I've oft mentioned, Aunt Neddy. It's a gorgeous cupie doll who looks Slightly Jaundiced, I'm not sure why. Aunt always know how to please me.

Another thing that pleased me today was the school's New Look Canteen. Everyone is gobsmacked. For years & years, it served up the same old Boring Fare - Vegemite Sandwiches, Soggy Salad Rolls with Faux Cheese, Cardboard muffins & cans of Coke prepared & served by Friendly Mothers. 
So you can imagine our surprise when the canteen opened today with new signs proclaiming that it was a 'Cafe', with 'Coffee' as the Main attraction. I immediately rang my daughter, who is an ex-student of the school & told her. She said, 'that's all very well, Mum, but the Mothers aren't going to be able to make proper coffee'.
No problem. They've installed a black clad Male barista who has the sole stewardship of a large espresso machine. 
Apparently, only the Senior Girls are allowed to buy coffee at this stage. But I'm sure it won't be long before  the Year Sevens will be ordering a Double Macchiato to have with Mum's beautifully packed lunch.
Here I am in the staffroom wearing a genuine 'Acetate' dress probably from the seventies that I bought at a market across the road from my apartment.  
I hope I don't look Too Needy. Heaven Forbid!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

In My Place, Wherever That Is.

As I sit & type, I'm watching a v. delayed telecast of the Obama Inauguration Concert, 'We Are One'. 
What a shame I'm Not an American. Even Garth Brooks looks good.
And who the hell was the kid sitting behind The President-Elect who slept her way through the whole thing? If only I could be that relaxed.
See how I manage to weave a TV show into just about every blog entry? It takes a Special Talent to do that, you know.

But now that Ashley Judd & Forrest Gump have come on, I've put Everything on Pause because I really want to fully concentrate so that I can walk you through the above pictures.
Last night, I visited two v. old friends, Marvin & Stanley. Over the years, they have been great patrons of my artwork. Them & about two other people. 
I hadn't been to their house in yonks, as they haven't invited me  because I've been a Really Slack Friend. So, I got a wonderful jolt when I walked into their dining room & these pictures that I collaged/painted some years were hanging up! I nearly wet myself! 
Luckily, I had my camera with me so I took some snaps. 
And here they are. 
The middle  one features four famous people, two of whom are now dead: HRH Queen Elizabeth II, Jack Lemmon, Sophia Loren & Rosalind Russell. I hope you recognise them because I'm not going to point them out to you. They're sitting around a dining table on an Old Ocean Liner. The first part of the text, '...everytime one of my friends succeeds, a little part of me dies', is a famous quote from Truman Capote. I've always loved it & thought it was absolutely hilarious because it basically summed me up. That is, it summed The Old Me up. But no more. I now realise that if I feel good about other people's success I won't get as many wrinkles &  marionette lines & my mouth wont turn downwards like the witch in Hansel & Gretel.

The first painting features two famous people, or should I say One Famous Person & their Spouse. I wonder if you can guess who it is? I'm not telling.
Again, at the time I just loved the saying , 'Try everything once, all except incest & folk dancing', which I seem to recall is a quote from Sir Thomas Addison, whoever he was. I'm really showing my ignorance . Just like  a couple of blog entries ago, when I went on about how wonderful it was that English is the Dominant Language because I couldn't be bothered learning any other languages . And then I got a long lecture from The Emperor of Esperanto putting me In My Place, wherever that is. 

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Keep Calm & Carry On

Today was a heatwave. At about two this afternoon Google said the temperature was 41c which is probably a hundred & fifty in fahrenheit. I could hardly drink my Regulation Two Takeaway Skim Lattes.
Panic set in. How am I going to survive Global Warming, I asked myself.
And what about rising sea levels? Would my apartment building be submerged in the harbour?
Would I be a Withered Old Crone by then ,  stuck in her eighth floor apartment slowly drowning from the rising tide?
Or was it  happening now? There were Ominous Signs from the Natural World all around -only this morning, a whole slew of Beached Whales were receiving palliative care on some remote beach in Tasmania. Maybe they knew what was happening & decided to throw in the towel before it got too unbearable.
There was only One Thing for Me to Do: Try on some outfits.

Let me walk you through the above ensemble. 
I bought the dress yesterday for $8.95 at one of those Evil Landfill Shops. I have been Magnificent about avoiding them for months, but I occasionally weaken. The dress looks surprisingly good in the photo, but if you look closely, it has a shirred bodice & frilly shoulder straps that go beautifully with my frilly upper arms. Underneath I'm wearing a  'Keep Calm & Carry On' tee shirt that Mr. Ex-Middleaged brought back from the V&A Museum in London in the days before he disappeared. I just love the message which of course appeared on billboards in London Tube stations during the Blitz. Maybe we need a few stuck around the place now in preparation for Global Warming.

The next outfit above, I've inexplicably named 'Blue Anima'. It's entirely thrifted & never been worn together. Maybe I should keep it that way. But school is going back next tuesday & I need some new additions to my English Teacher's Wardrobe.
 I'm trying to stand up straight & not stoop like I'm growing a Dowager's Hump. But it makes me look like I've got a Huge Verandah out the front.

I can't think of a name for this last outfit. Maybe 'Creme Fish' as there's one dangling from a homemade necklace. It's almost worth clicking on the photo to enlarge it so you can see the fish. Go on, why don't you?

I've actually got more to show you. But now I've 'calmed down', I think I'll 'Carry On' in front of the television. SBS is replaying the Obama Concert. 

Friday, January 23, 2009

Signs from the Universe

I'm always looking for little Signs from the Universe. I realise that in saying this I am at risk of sounding a trifle Flakey or New Agey or possibly just Barking Mad.  But I'd rather you'd think of me as Aunt Clara from the sixties sit-com, 'Bewitched'. She was the Old Doddery Dame who kept on screwing up all her spells & forgetting what century she was in. 
I now realise that this is the second time almost in a row that I've referred to a TV show from my childhood. It doesn't take too many brains to work out what I did to fill in time when I was a kid. 
My parents weren't told about TV ruining children. Or maybe they chose not to listen. So I was given carte blanche to sit in front of it all day & night until bedtime. We ate all our meals in front of it, balancing plates & cutlery on little occasional tables & not talking. It was an Absolute Godsend. 
Anyway, from now on, I'm going to make a point of referencing an Ancient TV Show in every blog entry or two. That will Spice Things Up, won't it?

Back to  Signs from the Universe. You may recall that I'm going to have another Art Show in the next few months. I'm a Collagist which is not someone who gives people Collagen Injections. 
I apologise for my Lameness.
Anyway, Magazines & Old & not- so -Old Books are my Raw Materials. Over the years I've collected & then thrown away thousands & thousands of images, but I'm always Greedy for More. Aren't we all?
And with my New Abundant Frugality, I'm no longer at liberty to stroll into the local Newsagent & buy up the joint. 
So, what's an artist to do but to go through the Recycling Bins in my apartment building & see what Hidden Treasures are waiting for me to unearth. 
One night last week, I decided to Visit the Bins quite late. I opened up one , stuck my hand in & yanked out a hugely fat 1982 Italian 'Donna' magazine - all aeronautically engineered shoulder pads & spikey hair. I then began furiously burrowing down into the Bowels of the Bin where a whole Treasure Trove of Vogues, both Oldish & Newish  were nestled. I had to go & get my Old Lady's Shopping Trolley to transport them all up to my apartment on the eighth floor. 
There must have been hundreds of magazines, all in Italian. In case you're wondering, I don't speak Italian. I have never had any desire to speak another language apart from English & am greatly relieved that it has become the Universal Language. 
But Italian 'Vogue' has by far the most creative & edgy pictures of any other fashion magazine in the world. So I don't give a toss that I can't read any of the words. Just give me the pictures.
When I told Peter from my local cafe,'Zinc' about my find, he said that the only magazines in his apartment building's recycling bins were Gay Porn. Thank God I don't live there.
Hope you can see how I saw this as a Sign from the Universe, because I  couldn't be bothered walking you through why it is.
Now every time I get into the lift  or walk into my building, I take a good look at the other residents & try to work out who on earth would have been hoarding a lifetime's supply of Italian Fashion Magazines in their apartment. None of the people I've seen so far look like Likely Candidates. And none of the residents that I actually know seem likely as well. 
The only person I can think of is this tiny, doll-like reasonably famous news anchor who is a well-known Fashionista & has impossibly edgy clothes made for her by Cutting Edge Designers. But she's Chinese. But maybe she speaks Italian. After all, she does work for the Multicultural Broadcaster.

Anyway, I've been working my way through the mags . And here's a little tentative unfinished example of what I've been doing. 

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Abundance Through Frugality

I just had to show you these paper napkins that challenge my Dictum of 'Abundance Through Frugality'. In keeping with the theme, I was given only Six of them, instead of the whole packet.
I actually don't agree that frugal is an ugly word. I think it sounds much better than 'Tight' or 'lousy' or 'Tight wad' or 'tight arse' or possibly 'stingy'. 
'Frugal' reminds me of my Great Aunt Essie, who, like many women of her generation ,was an avid collector of string. Have I just ruined  yet another sentence by adding too many commas, I wonder? 

Lest We Forget

In keeping with my policy of 'Never Explain, Never Defend', I really wanted to  write this blog entry with little or no mention of my Long in  Blog Time Silence.  In fact, I'd planned to just bang on in my usual way as if Nothing Had Happened. 
But then as I sat looking at the computer screen, my palms began to sweat. That's never a good sign for me. Plus, I couldn't think of a breezy way to begin.
So here I am, armed  to the hilt with a Whole Wardrobe of Excuses.
1. Since monday, I've been away on a short beach holiday to a quaintly named Coastal Village called, believe it or not, Tea Gardens. The fabulously wonderful fibro cottage where I stayed with my Rubber-Glove wearing friend Jenny had absolutely no internet access. 
That's four days worth of excuses.
2. For the past three or so weeks, I've had More Heartache. For those of you who have been slightly following my Lovestory, I had been Daintily Dating Mr. Ex-Middleaged for the past couple of months, culminating in a Xmas Day picnic with my daughter which I thought was a success. Since then, he's disappeared. I'm not sure why or what happened, but I do know  it's Never Good to Speculate. 
It's much better to crank up 'Ol Della', who has Magical Therapeutic Powers way beyond 'those of Mortal Men'. That's a line from the TV show 'Superman', starring poor old George Reeves. As a child, I was totally addicted to it & can still recite the opening monologue of the show which I've always been quite proud of.  By the time that I was first watching  it, George had already suicided. My grandmother told me that He had begun to believe that he Really Was Superman & had flown out of a window & died. She said that George's death was a lesson in not getting too carried away with yourself. I just wondered whether he had his 'Superman' outfit on at the time.
Oh God, I'm Better Already! 
3. I'm having an art show of new collages & mixed media in a few months time (I mentioned this in my short film), so I should be spending every spare minute working on them. That's an absolutely Fantastic Excuse.
4. I've been on School Holidays for six weeks, away from the Tight Structure of the School Day & the constant presence of the computer. I'm going back next tuesday.

Can't believe that I've written a whole blog entry of excuses. How wondrous!

Monday, January 12, 2009

No One Likes Crowds.

I'm still on Me & the Sydney Festival. One of the reasons why I was keen to attend & wave my Luke Skywalker Sticks around was that I could simultaneously take photos.
Amazing, isn't it, that I can  wave sticks & take photos at the same time. I'm like one of those Many-Handed Hindu Goddesses.
I'd like you to to click on the lower image & enlarge it. I hope that works. I'll be disappointed if it doesn't. Then you'll be able to read the text that I so painstakingly wrote on it & also you can better see the throngs of people that showed up. 
To all intents & purposes, just about everyone I saw looked Deliriously Happy about being stuck in the middle of an impenetrable crowd. That's complete garbage. No one likes it. It's terrifying. I'm sure you don't like it. 
Anyway, Della Skywalker just Sucked it Up & had a good time anyway.
Oh, I just had to include a photo of probably Sydney's main street, Martin Place just as the sun was setting. This was a kind of revved-up yoga demonstration which really gave me the craps because they were so good at it. I know that Yoga's not supposed to be a competition, but in my book, that's a load of bollocks. Sadly, the main image is the back of some bald guy that I was squashed up against.

Meet Della Skywalker - The New Me

Over the last couple of months, I've made some vague references to The New Me. 
 Maybe one vague reference.
And here she is  - Della Skywalker (as I'm now known as) standing in the middle of a crowd of 250,000 people at the opening night of the Sydney Festival. I'm holding two Darth Vader Sticks.....oops! I meant Luke Skywalker Sticks. I spent the entire evening waving them just to show that I was In the Swing of Things. And believe it or not, it worked. I actually had a good time. To be honest, my good time had probably more to do with my friends, Jenny & Carla rather than the sticks. But The Sticks were great totems.
Every january for at least two decades we've had this Festival where there's events & performances all over the city which is supposed to be Living Proof that Wow, This City is Really Alive. I've always found it puke-making.

Oh God, sorry to interrupt my Festival Stream of Unconsciousness, but I can't help but have the Golden Gobs, oops, Globes on in the background.  Just then I was totally distracted by the sight of Mr. Mad Men, Don Draper NOT getting the Golden Globe.  I would have SO loved for him to have won  so I could see what he was like getting an award, which I'm sure would have been yet Another Disappointment. Alas, it was NOT to be. And then, Anna Paquin came out to get the next award with an American Accent. What about her New Zealand accent, huh? Where's that gone? At least Simon Baker, who was a presenter, had the decency to keep his Aussie accent.

Where was I? Oh, now Johnny Depp's on. No, I'm not going to de-mute him. Because you know why?
I don't really like him that much. I must be the only woman in the world who feels that way.


Friday, January 9, 2009

I Always Wanted to Be in Movies. But Didn't Everyone?

I've always wanted to Be in Movies. I remember watching the Oscars when I was a young girl & mentally preparing my acceptance speech. Back then, when Bob Hope was the host, it all seemed so Impossible. Everyone who got an Oscar was an American, not counting the people who got them for Best Foreign Film.
And then in the eighties, a wonderful thing happened: Paul Hogan presented an Oscar. Or maybe he got one. Probably not. Anyway, it was the first time an Australian accent was ever heard on stage at the Awards. I remember he sauntered out , walked up to the microphone & said, 'G'day Viewers'. I nearly wet my pants. 
If he could do it, so could I. 
In the following years, many more Australians took to the Oscar stage. And if you pretended that New Zealanders were Australians, the numbers were huge.
Sadly, I wasn't amongst them. 
But I'm making up for lost time now. Here's my second short film in under two weeks. 
Now I don't want to sound like a Milquetoast by begging you to watch it or by  saying that you really need to only watch the first couple of minutes because that's the best part & after that it goes on a bit much.
No, I won't say any of that.
I simply invite you to sit back & enjoy!

Narcissism Gone Rampant


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Illustrated Woman

I ended up my last post by announcing that I admired Judge Judy because she popped up on my muted television while I was typing. I quickly pressed the 'Publish Post' button so I could de-mute the TV &  gain some much-needed Pearls of Wisdom from the Judge's Faux Bench. I wasn't disappointed. 
When confronted by two v. sassy young girls who were suing each other because one of them 'Keyed' the other's car, J. Judy asked them, 'Who's got the biggest attitude in the room?'
Of course both of them said that THEY had the biggest attitude. 
But they were wrong.  J. Judy's got The Biggest Attitude. 
Maybe I can get some  too. I'll start rolling my eyes & cocking my head & calling everyone 'Girlfriend'. Oh, maybe that's a little too Tyra Banks. 
 Back to Me.
Talking of Wardrobe Choices, here's a Holiday Wardrobe Snap. I took it today. I quite like it except I look a little Doe in the Headlights around the eyes.
I'll just walk you through My Holiday Outfit. Today was painting & collaging day. It was also incredibly hot - 33 degrees celsius. I don't know it in fahrenheit. So, I wore a thin tee shirt I bought a couple of years ago from 'Gap' in Pasadena. We don't have 'Gap' in Australia, which in my book is no loss.  I usually eschew clothes with words or Designer's names on them. Why would I want to wear a word or someone else's name? But I quite like 'Inspi(red)', although the brackets are a bit whatever. I decided to continue the text theme on to my necklaces. One diamante necklace says 'Love' & the other says, 'Carrie'. You may recall that on my little film I declare that 'Carrie was Over'. But it doesn't stop me wearing her name around my neck. Particularly when it's Not My Name.  The old diamante necklace is probably from the forties. I've had it for decades. And the wonderful earrings were part of the Huge Xmas Bounty I received from my friend Marge. 
Almost, but Not Quite, Understated.
 Welcome Back, reader(s)
I just couldn't keep away.  I'd much rather sit here on my couch & watch this reasonably gripping documentary on Marlon Brando. But no! I've muted it. Which means that I'm guessing what's going on. Judging by the footage of Marlon speaking into microphones with a whole lot of male African Americans wearing black berets ,  I've just worked out that he must have had something to do with The Black Panther Movement. Also, he was Bad with Women. But I guessed that already.
But Back to Me. As you can see from the photo which I took on zoom from my apartment, I'm still continuing The Holiday Project. You may recall that I was
 dreading the holidays.  Alone, Wretched & with a Reduced Income, I felt sure that it'd be The Pits. 
But you know, the Glad Little Pollyanna that lives inside of me was just bursting to get out & cast saccharine all over the place. And that's what's happened. I won't say that I haven't had a Sad Moment all holidays, but it hasn't been too bad. The acid test will come the day I go back to school. If, when trudging down the hill I am slightly reluctant, I'll definitely know if the holiday has been a success or not. That's in another three weeks. 
Oh God, I just saw an ad for Judge Judy pop up. Now there's a Woman I Admire. She's got all the answers.