Single White Female in 2010 Saturday, Nov 13 2010 

At 24, I am learning for the first time about being single and independent. I was one of those girls that met a nice guy when I was still in High School, and managed to stay with him for over five years before coming to the abrupt realisation that not only had I changed completely, but what I wanted in life had too. So after much soul searching, I decided to fly solo.

Now, there are plenty of single girls like me out there, right? Well, not in my life. Basically, all of my girlfriends are gorgeous, funny, successful and sexy biatches – hence they were snapped up quickly by their smart thinking boyfriends. So being single is as much a mind-boggle to them as it has been for me. They have been wonderful (I have played the happy third wheel on many, many occasion), but at the end of the day, I don’t have anyone to go home to. I don’t have that person to cuddle with on the couch whilst watching some inane soppy movie, or to argue with. (“I want you to WANT to do it!”.)

And you know what?

I bloody love it. Don’t get me wrong, I am a woman, so I have certain white-knight type fantasies. (Lets face it – It’s in my DNA) I watch Katherine Heigl movies and get lost in the romance, see old people holding hands on the street and utter a soft “Awww!”. But at the same time, I am 100% enjoying getting to know ME.

Instead of basing my life around someone else, I have been able to do the things for myself I never would have done before. Meet new friends and put in the needed effort to make them integral parts of my life, try new cafes every week, stay up late watching reruns of Will & Grace, hell – even dye my hair pink! Suddenly a whole world was open to me, where the only person who’s permission or judgement meant anything was my own. (I tend to shut out my Mothers voice during these times.)

Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying being single is better. I am merely saying that for ME, it has given me the opportunity to figure out who I am (Queue the cheesiness!). To find out what I really do and don’t like. To develop independence in everything I do, think and feel. My friendships have flourished, I have become happier, and my wardrobe is MUCH better now that I don’t have a guy telling me I should be budgeting. (Although my best guy friend has taken it upon himself to take on THAT particular role.) 😉

Now, I consider myself single, but that doesn’t mean I live in a Nunnery. And that’s the other great thing about not being tied down to one person – experimenting with dating different men and figuring out what works and what doesn’t. (I sound like a kid in a candy shop here, don’t I? Hmm..) But seriously – dating has been fun. I have been lucky, and not met any freaks or psychos, and taken something from each tryst. And I will continue to do this, until I either meet “The One”, or give up entirely and go live with my four cats and gay best friend (though sadly has more luck with men than I).

So my lesson for 2010 is: being single is wonderful, and a great love story all of its very own. Me, myself and I.

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Recommended Reads For The Modern Gal Monday, Aug 16 2010 

There is absolutely nothing that beats the luxurious experience of reading a good book. A book can offer escapism, knowledge, fantasy and fun. It can save you from a bad mood or monotonous day in one articulately written sentence. It can also give you access to thoughts and ideas that you have never touched on before, and at times things that not only teach you but can make you a better person.

Now, I’m not going to go on to tell you to read Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, or Emily Brontës Wuthering Heights (though both true gems and are classics for a reason!) I am here to recommend a few books that I believe most young women should read – for different reasons.

Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella (NZD$24.99 from Fishpond)

This is a hilarious, fluffy read for the “in-between” girls out there that are no longer teens, but not yet saddled with a mortgage/husband/2.5 kiddies etc. The heroine, the incorrigible Emma Corrigan, is a bubbly, early twenties girl with aspirations of a perfect life. There’s one problem – she tells little white lies to everyone she knows. To her boyfriend (he thinks she is several sizes smaller than she actually is), to her parents (she killed their goldfish, but replaced it before they cottoned on!), to her colleagues (never admits that it’s her that keeps breaking the photocopier) and so on and so forth. This is a fabulously funny book, adorably romantic but also highlights the failings of our society on the up and coming generation. The fact Emma can’t admit the small flaws to herself and the people around her, that she needs to skew things to make herself feel more of a success, is something I see in people every day. This is a good rainy day read, not too heavy, but I think has a good message to it.

Can You Keep A Secret? by Sophie Kinsella

The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pick-up Artists by Neil Strauss (NZD$39.99 from Fishpond)

Now, you may be wondering why the hell I would recommend this kind of book to women. Basically, knowledge is power, right ladies?

I heard about this particular book during a conversation with a male friend. He told me about Neil Strauss, a nerdy writer who couldn’t find love and so took it upon himself to meet the Masters of Seduction around the world. This book tells the story of how he became a part of this bizarre secret society, who he met and what he learned. (There are other books by Strauss that are more dating self-help types, but I think this one gives the better picture.)

Basically, this book goes through how a society of men have developed ways to manipulate women into sleeping with them. Ugly, boring, nervous, creepy, skinny, fat, sleazy, shy – no matter what the drawback of the male, these Masters of Seduction were able to show these ill-equipped men how to bed hot ladies that normally wouldn’t notice them. I read this book with utter fascination – was it possible for women to be manipulated this way? Certainly tricks and lines, gestures and clothing couldn’t get us to fall for someone totally not our type – right?! Well, as I read, I got that sinking gut feeling. Though not all of the tricks would work on all of us, there was real merit in what he was saying. I am glad I read this book – purely so I now know what to look out for! Ladies, beware.

The Game by Neil Strauss

He’s just not that into you by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo (NZD$23.99 from Fishpond)

I would be extremely surprised if you haven’t heard of this book already. It was a phenomenon a few years back, even made it onto Oprah! There has also been a movie made about it, and many a female discussion revolving around it’s teachings.

Basically, this book goes on the list because I know too many gals that haven’t read it when they really should have. This is a must read. A dating bible if you will. It’s not heavy, it’s not all about loving ones inner self. It’s a friendly prod to say – Girl, you are great, but if that guy isn’t asking you out? He DOESN’T WANT YOU! A little bit harsh, perhaps. But sometimes we need a bit of a slap in the face. I know too many girls who justify not getting a text from “that guy” for weeks, because maybe he lost his phone, or maybe he’s really busy, or or… You get the point. This book is brilliant. Makes you laugh, makes you cringe with self realisation, makes you open your eyes to the realities of dating. If he doesn’t call you, he doesn’t like you. If he only calls you at 3am for a drunken stopover after town, he just wants to f#%& you. Plain and simple. You’d think we could figure all of this out on our own, but sadly, when you mix emotions in with a woman’s thought processes, everything goes a bit whack. Hence, why all ladies should read this book!

Seriously!

He's Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo

So there you have it… One book that is light and fluffy, one that depicts the inner workings of seriously screwed up men, and one that guides us poor ladies into the dating light (if you will).

Enjoy! More to come…

Tribute To The Best Friends A Girl Could Have Monday, Aug 9 2010 

Throughout life, there is one thing that gets you through the ups and downs. That helps you sift through self-doubt, heartbreak and confusion. That pulls you back up onto your feet when you stumble and just can’t get up by yourself. Friends.

Totally cheeseball, I know. I sound like a wannabe Hallmark card that didn’t quite make the cut – but all that aside, I mean it.

Over the past couple of years, I have been through a gamut of things. The family business burnt down, one of my closest friends passed away, I was hit by a car while riding home on my scooter, I ended a 5+ year relationship – could be worse, but hell, could have been a hell of a lot easier as well. And today? I’m actually a stronger and better person… due to my friends.

My group of friends is a mix. There is my core group of girls, five of us in total, and their respective partners. Then I have other friends, individuals from my High School days, work, or just acquired through circumstance. Every single one of these beloved people have shown my why it’s worth getting up in the morning.

When you have a terrible accident like I did, you expect people to all come running in the first few days, then just as quickly vanish with mumbled well-wishes. Which, in a way, I understand. Just because one persons life has stopped, doesn’t mean everybody else’s has to too. But my experience was quite the opposite. Over the three months of being in Hospital, I was never alone. I constantly had company, support, and lots of treats! I had friends take days off work and sit with me during the tough days, and every single night I had everyone turn up for a group dinner by my bedside. You have no idea how much this meant to someone who felt like their entire life had been snatched away, at least for the foreseeable future.

And, just as importantly, these amazing people have continued to grace me with the kind of friendship I know for a fact most people don’t get to experience in their lifetime. I do not spend one night at home unless I want to. If I have a problem that I cannot fix, help is always offered. My ramblings are always listened to, my hurts understood, my achievements celebrated.

You get what you give in life – and the fact I have such a wonderful “chosen family” makes me feel accomplished in myself. I must be doing something right if I have retained such relationships.

To all of those people – you know who you are – I thank you, and I love you.

*Right, no more drinking for me, I get overly emotional! OVER AND OUT!*

You just can't beat good friends...

Giggles & Gasps Sunday, May 23 2010 

Ahhh, there have certainly been a few interesting things that I have stumbled across online this past month or so! Enjoy!

The Simpsons intro for Season 21, Episode 20 – the one that features Ke$ha. Don’t particularly like her but LOVE the intro!

This was found by a friend of mine… possibly the WORST website ever created in the history of the internet! *Shudders* Check it out here. There is no more to the story other than the fact it just looks awful.

This is from years and years ago, but I had never seen this particular interview with Madonna before. Why is it so special? A suspiciously loose-tongued and clumsy Courtney Love stumbles in and hilarity ensures. SO AWKWARD!

The Miley Cyrus scandal of the week – the video of her dancing with her “The Last Song” producer, 44 year old Adam Shankman. (The only thing that saves him is the fact he’s gay!) In the clip she is 16 and grinding like a pro! Yikes!

The Royal New Zealand Ballet performs a piece to Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance”. So amazing! The talent absolutely floors me. Well done guys!

From Cracked.com comes a rather hilarious article! 15 unintentionally perverted toys for kids! Sheesh, who comes up with these things?

This guys blog is EPIC! 27bslash6.com is one guys witty fight against the world – and more often than not, authority. ALL of his posts are hilarious, but here is one of my faves! Enjoy.

And last, but certainly not least, is John Campbell and Roves bromance exposed! Watch the clips here at TV3’s video on demand.

These certainly all entertained me in one way or another! Hope they do the same for you.

Video source: YouTube, TV3 On Demand

RENT the Musical Saturday, May 8 2010 

When I saw that the musical RENT was playing at the Civic in Auckland, I thought “Hmm, might be interesting.” I soon forgot this little inclination, to be perfectly honest, until one of the girls I work with piped up and said “I want to go to RENT – anyone else keen?” So we got together a group and bought tickets. Well. Best decision EVER!

RENT is an avant-garde rock opera, based around a group of young, down on their luck creative types living in New York and trying desperately to survive (and pay their rent, of course!). This story could very easily tip towards being quite depressing, as it touches often on poverty, death and HIV. And yet… it is woven together in such a way that it becomes a story of hope, endurance and love, without becoming overly sentimental. You fall in love with the characters, you understand that their mistakes are what make them so wonderful and offbeat. You are sucked into their world, and even though you know there can’t be a fairy tale ending, you sit there desperately hoping for them to be touched with happiness even for just a moment.

And the music… ohhh THE MUSIC! Beautiful, haunting, catchy… Obviously, many actors/singers have played these brilliant parts all over the world during different productions of RENT, but the songs themselves are pure gold. And the New Zealand cast of Rent? Didn’t let the show down at all. They were exceptional.

When I got home, I went straight onto iTunes and downloaded the album (from the film that was made based on the musical) and I have the film itself on order, too. This musical left me buzzing… It just was so riveting, dark, honest and thought provoking. I recommend anyone, anywhere in the world, to go see this show if the opportunity presents itself. It isn’t light and fluffy, but it is utter brilliance.

Can you tell I really enjoyed the show? Haha 🙂

Watch a few scenes here from the musical RENT!

From The Net (My April Trawl) Wednesday, Apr 14 2010 

A few interesting items I have stumbled across…

Jennifer Anniston takes a jab at herself… and also Brad Pitt by association.

I went and saw “Love Exposure” the other day, a 4 1/2 hour long Japanese film Directed/Written by Shion Sono. Possibly one of the most bizarre, yet arguably one of the best, films I have seen of late. Read a really good review here, on my fave blog, Three Dice. See the movie trailer (with English subtitles) below:

This one’s a serious one. Following the murder of Eugene Terreblanche in South Africa, a racial debate got heated on a SA TV news set. Secretary General of the AWB Andre Visagie lost it, and became quite threatening and well, came off quite racist to be honest.

This is a video of a teenage girl speaking about depression and suicide. I think she is really brave, and has a big heart, to do this. Please watch.

A bit of a mix in there – enjoy.

Hugh Grant – My Foppish Older Man Crush Sunday, Apr 4 2010 

We all know who Hugh Grant is. He’s the lovable jerk, Daniel Cleaver, from the movie’s Bridget Jones’s Diary 1 & 2. He is the dorky sap from Mickey Blue Eyes, and the foppish English dweeb from the famous Four Weddings And A Funeral. Over his long-spanning acting career, and a successful one at that, he has racked up countless roles that have showcased his acting talent, wittiness, ingenious facial expressions and great hair. (I’m sorry, but he does, even if he is stuck in the past with his chosen styles!)

Born Hugh John Mungo Grant on September the 9th 1960, in Hammersmith, London, he earned himself a scholarship to esteemed Oxford University where he enrolled in acting courses. Since then, his career has been on the up and up. His roles aren’t usually serious, gritty journey’s; he often portrays affable, eccentric and witty characters that you can’t help but fall in love with. His most common film trend is that of the leading man in a romantic comedy – working alongside actresses such as Drew Barrymore, Mandy Moore, Andy MacDowell, Julia Roberts, Emma Thompson and Sandra Bullock to name but a few.

He’s also the guy who got caught with prostitute Divine Brown in 1995, whilst dating Elizabeth Hurley. (He was consequently arrested for lewd behavior and fined.) Which isn’t exactly sexy buutttt…

I’m coming out of the closet here. Hugh Grant is my all time older man crush. From his quaffed hair, sparkling blue eyes and crooked grin, to his sexy English accent, his ability to be so witty and lovable onscreen and his quirky personality. I just can’t help but fall for him all over again whenever I watch one of his films. Age difference much? But I don’t care! Haha, he just does it for me!

Every girl I know has an older man crush (George Clooney being the most common!) and Hugh is mine. YUM-O!

Hugh Grant

Hugh Grant

Hugh Grant

Hugh Grant

Twit or Twat? Saturday, Feb 27 2010 

So, all the cool kids are using Twitter nowadays. When I first learnt about it, I thought, why would people spend their precious time writing 140 character long messages to each other? I just didn’t get it! Now, Facebook I understood. Adding friends, posting pictures, playing games, writing on each others walls, posting YouTube clips – interactive, unlimited fun. A great way to connect with old friends, create events, see what people are up to; there is just so much you can do on Facebook. But Twitter…? Just didn’t seem a justified use of my time.

Well, recently I had a bit of that elusive thing called time on my hands and so I joined Twitter thinking, I’ll see what it’s really like. You can’t really judge something you don’t know anything about, right? So I joined, created my account LukoiWhim and explored the tweeting army. And you know what? I totally love it! It’s my ultimate guilty pleasure.

Now, one things for sure – it can be is a waste of time. It’s scarily addictive. Sure, if you have friends that are also Twits then you can “Follow” them, see what they are saying, direct message them or mention them in your tweets, and vice versa. Thats fun, but of course you can do that by using Facebook. The real difference with Twitter, in my opinion, is the live drama that is the world. It unfolds before you like a mix of a soap opera, the E! channel and breaking news.

I started to “Follow” a host of celebrities, even the tacky C-grade ones (just for kicks) along with news sites and companies that had created accounts. I made lists for the people/accounts I was most interested in following, so that I could always check in on what they had been saying. The benefits of this were mixed, but not altogether a bad thing.

Now, on an adult, woman of the world kind of way, Twitter has kept me up to date on world events like nothing else. I see posts and links to articles popping up constantly about the Iraq war, natural disasters, financial reports and political happenings. I am able to read reviews on movies, books and CD’s by many unbiased sources. Hell, I even know that Nando’s now has their Salsa selling at Tesco’s in the States! I have been, without actually endeavoring to be, educated. With information so easy to access and in such a simple format, it’s almost effortless to gain knowledge of current events and acquire brand awareness.

Now, that was the mature gain from Twitter. But I certainly didn’t stop there…

As I said previously, I chose to follow certain celebrities. And what I learned? They are as idiotic, crazy and human as the rest of us. They Tweet night and day about every little thing that they do – causing me to laugh, groan or cringe. Since joining, Tila Tequila (of One Shot At Love fame) has lost her lesbian fiance to diabetes complications (really sad, even if this chick is crazy), talked about her bowel movements, talked constantly about her new blog that is going to “Shit on Perez Hilton’s Blog! Pow!”, relaunched her *cough* singing career, reportedly got pregnant (the father changed from being a blonde, blue eyed swedish hottie to an American war hero to an African American rapper, as her lies started to escalate), blamed rapper The Game for knocking her up (he actually had to go live with TMZ to do an interview stating he wasn’t and didn’t even know her) and tweeted constantly about how her baby is making her burp all the time. And that’s only a snippet of the crap she’s been spouting all over her Twitter account. Incredibly sad and pathetic, but scarily riveting. It’s like a car accident, awful, terrible – but you just can’t look away.

Other bizarre celeb tweets have been Lindsay Lohan bitching about her ex (DJ Samantha Ronson), Courtney Love blaming different people for no longer having custody of her daughter while uploading links to pictures of her naked breasts and Perez Hilton slamming EVERYBODY for EVERYTHING. I no longer buy gossip magazines now as I just get my fix on Twitter – straight from the horses mouth! I have even messaged a few celebrities back and forth, including Hugh Grant and THE Perez Hilton. It’s fun, but waaaay too absorbing!

Now, Twitter may or may not be for you. But it certainly wasn’t as stupid as I first thought. Twitter is instant gratification, it’s informative, it’s a social resource like no other. Companies have been able to create whole marketing campaigns using Twitter, while charities are able to spread their message to a larger audience. It is, in a way, brilliant.

But mostly, it’s great fun! 😀

Tila Tequila's Tweets When She Fell Off Her Chair

Burmese Cats Tuesday, Feb 9 2010 

I’m a big animal lover. I love cats, I love dogs – heck, I’d love a ferret if I had one! I don’t care about whether it’s a pedigree or it fits into a handbag, I’m not a pet snob. Except…

A couple of years ago I bought a Burmese kitten – not because I wanted a pedigree, but because my boyfriend at the time adored Burmese and it was a sneak tactic on my part into convincing him to let me get a cat. Manipulative? Oh yes. And it worked. And it was possibly one of the best things I have ever done in my whole, entire life!

I had heard that Burmese were particularly intelligent and unique, but being the owner of many cats over the years, I didn’t really expect a massive difference. Boy was I wrong on that count. I picked a seal coloured female and called her Ankara. It was love at first sight and she has been my constant sidekick ever since. (She is lying beside me as I write this with her head on my hip)

When I throw a toy, she fetches it like a dog. When I pat my chest, she jumps up into my arms. When I sit down, she is instantly in my lap. If I ignore her, she will steal something of mine (for example, a necklace) to get my attention or will knock over things in a child-like tantrum. If ever I am sick in bed, she never leaves my side. She has more personality than most people I know, let alone cats!

Now, you could just say I lucked out with Ankara but it seems this is not the case. Over the years I have met quite a few Burmese owners and they have many a tale just like mine about their beloved felines. They just seem to be a breed like none other, and to be perfectly honest, I would never ever get another kind of cat now. I just love Burmese so much, 100% because of their fantastic personalities.

They also come in many very different colours, if you are particular about that sort of thing (the following sourced from Wikipedia):

  • Brown (UK), Sable (USA) or Seal (Aus/NZ)
  • Blue
  • Chocolate (UK) or Champagne (USA)
  • Lilac (UK) or Platinum (USA)
  • Red
  • Cream
  • Brown Tortoiseshell
  • Chocolate Tortoiseshell
  • Lilac Tortoiseshell
  • Blue Tortoiseshell

Varieties with more limited recognition

  • Cinnamon
  • Fawn
  • Cinnamon Tortie
  • Fawn Tortie
  • Caramel
  • Caramel Tortie
  • Apricot

Burmese cats are well known for their loving natures. They get along with dogs like you wouldn’t believe, the best part of their day is when you spend time with them and they are cheeky as hell. They are small cats, sleek and elegant with glossy coats. They have MASSIVE egos though – how DARE you not want to cuddle them?!

So, next time you are considering getting a cat, have a look at Burmese. They aren’t cheap (NZD$400-NZD$800 depending) but I swear it’s worth it. They are just so much fun, so caring and wonderful, you will never regret it. Believe me, I know! 😀

Chocolate Burmese Kitten

Platinum Edition American Burmese Kitten

My Seal Burmese Cat, Ankara

Books by Rachel Gibson Tuesday, Jan 5 2010 

I’m a girl, and so to go with all of the stereotypes, I love romantic reads. One of my most loved authors of this genre is Rachel Gibson.

She has a whole series of books which are single standing, but each story is connected somehow to the other books, by either characters or places. 

Sex, Lies And Online Dating is one of the first of Gibsons novels I ever picked up. In it, Lucy is writing a dating novel and is doing research by going on random dates with men she has met online. She meets hilariously hapless losers, vain weirdos and lovelorn men with mummy issues. Then, on one impulsive date, she meets Quinn, a self proclaimed plumber who has yet to find “the one”. Lucy is blown away – she never expected to find a seemingly nice, normal guy (and especially not one so hot!). But Quinn has a secret: he is actually an undercover cop, trying to solve a murder case. There has been a series of murders that all lead back to certain online dating sites – and Lucy. Both of them continue this dance, neither of them trusting the other, while danger ensues. Men Lucy has been on dates with turn up dead, and Quinn starts to suspect her, despite falling for her at the same time. Lucy feels as though her life’s in danger, but can she trust Quinn? He has more secrets than knowledge on plumbing, but she can’t stop thinking about him. A modern day love story, mixed in with crime and drama and boatloads of humour. Buy this book – it’s a gem!

See Jane Score is another book that had me hooked. Jane is a petite, non-flashy journalist who is given the job to follow the Seattle Chinook hockey team for the season. Not a sports fan by nature, she studiously throws herself into learning everything “hockey”. The team doesn’t want her there – in their eyes, she’s a parasitic reporter and a woman – both things that apparently impact on the teams luck while playing. (Silly, superstitious men!) Luc, one of the hardest nosed players, especially resents Janes presence. She isn’t the kind of woman he normally likes – blonde, curvaceous and eternally slutty. Jane is small, a little plain, and has more brains than all of Lucs exes put together. They clash, Luc believing Jane is an uptight little girl with no imagination. Jane finds Luc absolutely frustrating and pig-headed, albeit gorgeous. As the team comes to accept her, and she gets to know the sport and its lifestyle, Jane finds fodder for her secret life – as Honey Pie, the magazine columnist that writes scandalous and sexy pieces for a popular magazine. An apples and oranges story, one filled with twists and turns and plenty of characters flaws – but wow! The love-hate magnetism between the two lead characters! And what’s sexier than a hockey team, coupled with a woman who isn’t your typical sex symbol but still manages to be every mans dream? Great book.

There are a whole heap of books just as good as these two – all funny, with strikingly different characters and wonderfully colourful plot lines. Go, buy, read – ENJOY! You can buy her books from most bookshops, or even buy online at Fishpond or MightyApe

Rachel Gibson and her Books

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