Oct 15, 2009

Skinny Barbie Has Cankles?

I was watching the CBS Early News this morning where the anchor walked around town asking people if they thought Barbie was fat and had cankles.

Cankles are ankles which are as thick as ankles and one of the world's most famous shoe designers Christian Louboutin who is designing shoes for Barbie this year has apparently said Barbie's ankles are too thick. Funny, considering Barbie's body has always been criticised for promoting unrealistic standards.

Anyway whether Louboutin actually said it or not does not really concern me. I am more than sure this was done chiefly to generate publicity, after all Barbie did turn 50 this year.What did worry me was that no one really thought about the fact that little girls play with Barbie and as if they did not have enough body issues to deal with.  They hardly need to know what cankles are, let alone worry about them fitting into a pair of Louboutins!

Okay so maybe I am overreacting but maybe I am not. After all, kids the world over play with Barbie so is it healthy teaching them that Barbie with cankles is not good enough for designer shoes? Barbie's skinny body sets unrealistic standards anyway, do her miniscule cankles really need to be a topic of debate?

Oct 13, 2009

Exactly one year ago...

... I lost Jingle.

Jingle a.k.a. Jinksie, Jinks, Jing Ping (and all the other ridiculous names of the world), came to us in August 1992 and he filled our home with so much joy and cuteness. For 16 amazing years, he loved us unconditionally and filled our home with so much happines.All he ever wanted was to be surrounded by the people he loved because he derived his happiness from our happiness.

I last saw him in February 2007 when I left for Australia and I remember fearing I would not get to see him one last time.... and that is exactly what happened last year. I will forever be heartbroken about that.

But, at the end of the day Jingle I hope you're happy in doggy heaven and having lots of fun. I know you were in pain and I hope the pain has gone now. Thank you for teaching me how to love unconditionally and being the bestest friend by always being there. I will always miss you...

Oct 12, 2009

New Blog

My journalistic alter ego will from now on reside at http://journalistic-juggernaut.blogspot.com.

Do drop by.

Oct 8, 2009

lunch time "amusement"

So I'm standing in line at Subway (which, being only 5 people long at lunch time was pretty amazing in itself!). Anyway, so 30 seconds into her wait in line, this lady in front of me turns to me and goes "Why are they slow.. its only a sandwich.. how long does it take?" I just smiled because I did not want to be rude. Anyway, so she's at the counter soon enough and when the girl asks her what bread she wants, she yells at her saying "just normal bread". Umm, hello.. what is "normal" for you? Anyway...moving on, with lots of crankiness in between for being asked "what cheese?", "what salad?" etc she reaches the end of the line and tells the guy she wants chilli sauce so he asks her "Hot chilli or sweet?" And man, she just lost it yelling at all of them and telling they were totally incompetent for not even knowing what chilli sauce is etc etc.

Amusing lunch, yes.

The reason you are asked, what bread, what size, what drink, what salad etc at a fast food restaurant is because different people have different choices and I bet, if people weren't given a choice they would complain even more. Ordering at Subway is all about making choices and I like that - you don't just get a standardised sandwich, you can pick what you want in it. Whether or not this lady had ever been to Subway before, she had no reason to treat the staff so badly. I felt so so so bad for them.

I used to work at McDonald's...for about 3 months in 2007. Anyway, I didn't hate my job as much I hated the people I served because like this lady, some people would just be cranky and yell at you for no reason. I also worked at an Italian restaurant for over a year and though infinitely better than Macca's, cranky customers can really ruin a day for you. I know, from experience, that no matter how many other trouble free customers that Subway gets today, the staff there is going to be cranky about this lady until end of the day. I know Macca's is "fast food" but the word is "fast" not "instant" and I remember some people would get sooo irritated just because they had to wait a couple of minutes to get their burger. Now I am not saying Macca's is perfect.. some of them have really bad service but the one I worked at had amazing managers and it was a very efficient team so a customer seldom had to wait too long, even in the middle of lunch hour.

My point is, why do people unleash their wrath on some hapless fast food server? Does that really make you feel better about yourself?

Human nature is strange... the moment people realise another human being is "serving" them, they automatically feel superior and seem to have this urge to treat them badly - whether its a maid, a waiter or a shop assistant. Its mean and its petty but you will notice some people thrive on it.They do not believe these "servers" deserve common decency and a basic respect. It's disgusting.

On the other hand, having worked in hospitality now, I think I sometimes I am overly polite to waiters and retail staff...and I think people may find that a bit strange too. But better strange than rude right?

Oct 6, 2009

How Howard Roark Spoke To Me..

I just finished re-reading The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, again. I first read this book when I was 14 and though I loved it then, I don't think I fully understood it. Ever since, every year or so I have re-read it and it means different things to me at different times. But more than anything, Howard Roark reminds me about the true meaning of selfishness and why it isn't the worst thing in the world if you think of your self when living your own life.

I have always had trouble with people who are so self-sacrificing that they forget who they really are because they are trying so hard to please everyone around them.Howard Roark describes these people as "Second Handers" - people who live their life according to other people and what society expects them to be. I have seen this a lot in Indian society where people do everything to please their parents, their in-laws, their neighbours, their friends and almost everyone but themselves. But I always had trouble with this. I always had to do what ultimately made me happy. Yes sometimes this meant making others unhappy, but at the end of the day, I figured it was my life and I had to choose how to live it and made decisions accordingly. I have offended many people with my "selfishness" especially living in a society which expected you to do a lot of stuff based on what others wanted you to do.

To give an example, when I wanted to study arts in school and college, according to a lot of people I was being selfish. To explain, in India studying arts basically means you're not going to have a very good career. This was selfish because my parents have two daughters and I'm the eldest and I should think of supporting them in the future. By studying arts, I am selfishly flushing my future down the toilet and also not thinking of what will happen to my parents. BUT, arts is what I wanted to do so thats what I studied and I am lucky my parents don't think like the rest of the pack. I was selfish, but in the way Howard Roark describes - the way that makes you happy within, and what ultimately makes you a better person because you are thinking for yourself, living with a complete consciousness of the self.

I am not very good at reviewing books that inspire me so much (there are two or three of these at the moment) so hence I just had to describe how it influences me. I'll end it by quoting Howard Roark and some of the things he says about the importance of self and of second handers and why it is important for every person to be self-ish and not live their own live second hand.

"In the realm of greatest importance - the realm of values, of judgment, of spirit, of thought - they place others above self, in the exact manner which altruism demands. A truly selfish man cannot be affected by the approval of others. He doesn't need it."

"The only cardinal evil on earth is that of placing your prime concern within other men."

"If any man stopped and asked himself, whether he's ever held a truly personal desire, he'd find the answer. He'd see that all his wishes, his efforts, his dreams, his ambitions are motivated by other men. He's not really struggling even for material wealth, but for the second-hander's delusion - prestige. A stamp of approval, not his own. He can find no joy in the struggle and no joy when he has succeeded.

 - Howard Roark

When the going gets tough, Howard Roark's words often inspire me into realising that no matter what anyone else thinks or believes, at the end of the day, I am still doing what makes me happy and so my achievements will give me a joy that no one else will understand. That alone is often enough to keep me going! :)

Facebook Farming

If there is only one thing that comes to your mind when I say "Facebook" and "Farming" in the same sentence, you are either:

a) an addict; or
b) as irritated as I am!

What is this obsession with Farmville? Somebody enlighten me please? I love Facebook I really do but this new found obsession that people on my friend list seems to have developed with farming, fishing and other similar activities is just beyond me.

Ever since the latest Facebook format was launched, the News Feed features waaaaay too much information on all your friends, including the millions of quizzes that everyone seems to be taking these days. That I've gotten used to but Farmville, Happy Aquarium, My zoo, My Virtual pet etc etc are so aaaarrrggghhh.

Please, I do not want to grow a farm, I do not want to visit my neighbours and compete with them and I definitley do not want you to keep sending me requests to start growing a farm. I am really quite happy limiting my use of Facebook to catching up with my friends!

Oct 5, 2009

another tag!

I have been blogging since 2003 and somehow, after a point I lose interest and all my blogs have died but this time I don't want that to happen. I have promised myself that I will write, even if its just a few lines every few days and when I am totally out of ideas, I will do tags - but update I must. Tonight I'm really tired and fighting a horrible allergy so I will just do a tag that I've seen on quite a few blogs recently. Happy getting to know me! ;)

Rules: Respond and rework – answer these questions on your blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your own, and add one more question to the list.

  • What is your current obsession?
    Jude Law? ;)

  • What are you wearing today?
    Why does this question feature on every tag? Im wearing a big fluffy lace gown with frilly sleeves and furry pink slippers and a tiara.
  • What’s for dinner?
    Lamb curry
  • What’s the last thing you bought?
    Popcorn for my lazy Sunday movie marathon
  • What are you listening to right now?
    Everybody Hurts - R.E.M
  • What do you think about the person who tagged you?
    Nobody tagged me.. I just tagged myself!
  • If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be?
    New York or Paris.. or right here on the Gold Coast is pretty great too!
  • What are your must-have pieces for summer?
    Singlets, shorts and sunscreen
  • If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?
    Dubai (my parents are there and I'm in an I-miss-mom mode)
  • Which language do you want to learn?
    French and Japanese
  • What’s your favourite quote?
    Oh this is the wrong question to ask me! I love quotes and "collect" them. But ok, what the hell, I'll quote one - "All I can do is be me...Whoever that is" - Bob Dylan
  • Who do you want to meet right now?
    Hmm....a fair few people but most of all my mum, my sister and my best friend.
  • What is your favourite colour?
    Blue and Orange
  • What is your favourite piece of clothing in your own closet?
    Jeans! Always a winner!
  • What is your dream job?
    Well, umm...my dream job is not having a job at all and being self employed!
  • What’s your favorite magazine?
    Reader’s Digest, Time
  • If you had $100 now, what would you spend it on?
    Books or Shoes. Always.
  • What do you consider a fashion faux pas?
    Im no fashion guru so I don't have too many rules but no checks with stripes and definitely no velvet!
  • Who according to you is the most over-rated style icon?
    Paris Hilton! Style for me is originality and there is nothing original about her style.
  • What kind of haircut do you prefer?
    Layered and very very easy to maintain
  • What are you going to do after this?
    Read some more blogs?
  • What are your favorite movies?
    Thats a hard one to answer considering I watch so many
  • What are three cosmetic/makeup/perfume products that you can’t live without?
    Im not very good with makeup so I dont wear much so Im pretty sure I can live without. My favourite perfume is Christian Dior's J'Adore but I wouldn't die without it.
  • Give us three styling tips that always work for you:
    When in doubt, wear jeans
    Don't follow fashion trends blindly
    And I always pick my shoes first! ;)
  • What do you do when you “have nothing to wear” (even though your closet’s packed)?
    Wear jeans!
  • Coffee or tea?  
  • What do you do when you are feeling low or terribly depressed?
    Get some fresh air/ Eat chocolate
  • What is the meaning of your name?
    Well, Legal Alien - someone who is technically in the place theyre suppposed to be but still trying to figure out where they really belong. 
  • Which other blogs do you love visiting?
    The ones on my list plus a few more.
  • Favorite Dessert/Sweet?
    Chocolate or anything made with
  • Favorite Season ?
  • If I come to your house now, what would you cook for me?
    Well hopefully you wouldn't expect food at 2am but if you insist, I guess I could make you some pasta or some bacon and eggs?
  • What is the right way to avoid people who purposefully hurt you?
    Hmm....I dont like this quetion so I'll replace it with: Name one thing from your Bucket List (things you want to do before you die!)
    Go to Disney Land/World
  • What are you afraid of the most?
    Losing the people I love
  • What inspires you?
    My ambition and drive and certain quotations
  • Is it possible to be in love with two persons simultaneously?
    hmm...no, I don't think so
  • Life without Music/Dance -
    would be TV without American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance! ;) Okay, in all seriousnes...it would be really boring
  • My Question - What TV show do you secretly love to watch but hate admitting it?
    Gilmore Girls! ;)
I’m not gonna tag anyone here because I don't want to compel anyone to do it. If you are reading this and want to take this up, please do so and let me know.

Oct 3, 2009

My Hit List

Psych Babbler's post on Pet Peeves today spurred me on to write my own. I call mine a Hit List because this list is mainly about People Peeves...you know the "type" of people I just CANNOT stand. So here goes..

I hate it when...

... people litter! It is a disgusting habit and I think the Indian case for it is only worsened by the fact that there are no rubbish bins on the street. Nevertheless, if you're in a car... you could hold on to your rubbish instead of just throwing it on he road! But come on people, if you're in Australia, there's always a bin nearby... how hard is it to throw your rubbish in the bin?

... people automatically assume you can't speak the language if you have an accent. Dude! It's an accent not a language disability!

... people stereotype. "She's a party girl..so she must be dimwitted!"... "He's Asian so he must have poor English skills"... "They're Muslims...must be terrorists." Now really, if the world were that easily boxed into categories and types, wouldn't someone smarter than you have figured that out by now?

... people argue for the sake of arguing without having any logical base for what they are saying. You know, people who cannot look at a situation objectively but will just fight for a cause because apparently that's the "right thing to do" (a longer rant on this in a soon-to-come post).

... pedestrians don't say thank you when you stop the car and let them cross the road even though it's not a zebra crossing. Yes, Psych this is similar to how you feel when people don't say thank you when you allow them to merge lanes in front of you. Seriously, it's just a wave people.... not that much effort!

... people try to cut in front of you in a queue.

... co-workers leave the microwave and kitchen bench filthy and leave their dishes in the sink and expect someone else to pick up after them. Seriosuly, who does it for you at home?

... people don't order off the menu and insist on modifying everything they order.

... people get offended if you don't say "Hi!" to them on GTalk or MSN even though your status message clearly screams "AWAY" or "BUSY".

Okay, enough hating for the day methinks... I'll just stop here for now :)

Oct 1, 2009

5 Reasons Why I Love The Gold Coast

Time and again I have said I am a big city girl and am happy living in big cities but today is one of those days I'm happy living on the Gold Coast. The Gold Coast does not qualify as a big city. It is definitely not a small town but it's yet to fall into the big city bracket. It's one of those places that used to be a small town so recently that people remember it; but now is one of most tourist friendly cities in Australia.

When I tell people who don't know much about Australia that I'm on the Gold Coast, they don't know what I'm talking about. Saying I'm next to Brisbane usually doesn't help either because for most non-Australians, Australia is Sydney and Melbourne. But if you are planning a trip to Australia, it is likely your travel agent will suggest you visit GC (Gold Coast).. especially if you're travelling with the family. It's not that there is anything spectacular here... sure there are lots of tourist attractions, but aren't they everywhere?

But what GC has is something I've never seen/felt anywhere else. The city is on a 24/7 holiday mode and although there are plenty of locals and there is definitely a normal life here, most of the time it feels like the Gold Coast was created for the tourists. In fact, that is an argument that often arises here - that the Council does more to attract tourists rather than care for the locals. Anyway, so if you're looking for a fun holiday, I can see why Australians and international visitors choose to come to GC. There is just something in the air around here that automatically puts you in holiday mode and it cleverly disguises the mundande boring aspects of life that are still plain to see in most other cities...and sometimes I hate that but today I love GC and these are the top 5 reasons why:

The Beach
I'm in Australia and I love the beach. Cliche I know but oh well, what can I say...I love the fact that I live in a beach town. (I think this is also one of the reasons for GC's 24/7 holiday mode). I may or may not move to another city at some point but if I move to some place like Brisbane, I think I will really miss the beach. No matter where you go on the Gold Coast, you're never too far from a beach and you can smell the salt in the air almost everywhere in town. I like that. I used to be terrified of water as a kid but now the ocean has a calming effect on me. Now that it's starting to get a little warm, I hope I'm going to end up going more often!

The People

Yet another cliche but bear with me. I haven't had the chance to travel much in Australia but my trips to Brisbane and some other big cities in India have led me to believe that people are in too much of a rush to be nice. I am not stereotyping.. I'm just speaking from my experiences. I believe in some years when the Coast also becomes one of those busy bustling cities, people might become as cranky but because the general lifestyle here is so laidback, I guess people have less reason to be cranky at the moment and that is nice. And I know this applies to almost every city in Australia but I'll still say it, I love the multicultural population of the Coast. I have met people from so many different parts of the world and learned so much by just living here.

Traffic & Parking!!
I cringe every time I have to go to Brisbane because I'm so spoiled down here. Traffic is definitely not bad and parking is easy to find and also easy on the pocket. I understand now why people in Brisbane (and other similar cities) don't drive much in the city. Parking is such a pain!

The Weather

I love Queensland weather.... I'm a tropical girl and I like the sub-tropical weather here. Not too hot and not too cold. Just right!

The Food
Again, I'm sure other places in Austalia have more claim on this than GC but what the hell. I love GC for the variety of food available here. I know we don't have too many fine dining places except the several five star hotels but that doesn't bother me. Food is all about the taste and just walking around GC has opened up so many types of cuisine to me and I love that.

I will always love big cities and might even move to one again soon but that can't change the fact that I love living on the Gold Coast. It's the only other place I've lived in long enough to call home! :)