Knot a fan of my hair

WARNING: This post features embarrassing images of myself as a teenager. 

Picture this. The year is 2010. Bands like Panic! at the Disco, Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance are at their prime.
The scene was the strongest it had every been. MySpace users were slowly migrating to Tumblr. Outside of Rocking Horse gathered teens after school who would sit around and appear not to talk to each other. They were so cool.

At the ripe age of 15 all I craved was to be one of them. But there was one thing stopping me from ever fitting into that group.

My hair.

For years I had battled with the thick mop that sprouted from my head, spending hours battling the knots more complex than the latest celebrity scandal. And even if I did battle through them all I was left with a frizz ball that could easily be confused as the remains of a cat choking on it’s own fur.

Needless to say I hated my hair.

Equip with a hair straightener that cost $35 from Kmart (GHDs although the dream were out of budget) and a box of Schwarzkopf blue black hair dye I was ready to do anything to appear to be one of the cool kids.

Each morning I subjected my hair to the same treatment a child at a religious conversation camp would face. “Go STRAIGHT” I would yell at in while flat ironing again and again and again.

I never did hang out with the kids outside of rocking horse but fair to say on a day my hair was sitting flat they way I wished it would permanently – I didn’t hate it.  Of course any sign of humidity or rain and my hours of effort were ruined. And more often than not there would be that one strand of hair at the back that I missed that held onto it’s curl.

Fast forward a few years and I discovered “indie” music, festivals and manic panic.  I began to settle on a wavy medium. It wasn’t the dead straight I used to spend hours working on, but it was flat ironed enough to somewhat manage the frizz. I still disliked my hair but a box of bleach and whatever colour dye I picked up at the shops that day would settle that problem.

In fact, it seemed to solve all my problems? Boy breaks your heart? New hair colour.

Failed a class? New hair colour.

Lost your job? New hair colour?

Gossip Girl season 6 was shocking and shouldn’t have been made? New hair colour.

Of course these constant changes were no good for my hair’s health and I was starting to become more appreciative of the thick locks I had been blessed with. They could handle pretty much anything I threw at them.

Fast forward to now and Rocking Horse rarely has anyone sitting outside aside from the occasional tourist looking for anywhere to rest their legs. Full time work somehow has left me more tired than usual and lets be honest, I’ve gotten lazy. More often these days you’ll catch me wearing my hair in it’s natural state.

 

I saw a recent article on Vogue or some sort of fashion source (or maybe it was Junkee) that told me the perm was coming back in. Haha what fools imagine spending hours setting curls in your hair or spending vast amounts of money changing it from it’s natural state.

What idiot would do that?

Fear of abandonment is a big yikes and we don’t stan it

Normally I consider myself to be an open book. I don’t really keep my own secrets because I see no point to it. Ask me a question and unless it involves someone else I’ll probably answer it.

But there’s one thing I’ve been struggling with, in reality for as long as I can remember, and I don’t talk about it.

I didn’t want to write it down, I suppose by sharing it it makes it real.

(more…)

Taylor Swift songs Vs songs with the same title not by Taylor Swift

Like so many other artists Taylor Swift has a bunch of songs that share titles with other songs that were written by someone else. Today they go into battle.

Call It What You Want

In Taylor Swift’s song has some ominous lyrics about this so called ‘baby’ (who is probably as real as the boyfriend I made up in grade 8, which EVERYONE knew I made up but whatever)  is ruined by the fact she says ‘I brought a knife to a gun fight’ in the first verse. What the hell Taylor?

In Foster The People’s version we know from the first bar we’re in for a BOP. The combination of piano and synth and lyrics that I’m not even sure what they’re saying (I just checked and they also mention knives in this song, take that how you will) until they’re telling us to ‘Call It What You Want’ makes this the perfect recipe for a chill tune on a Sunday sesh.

Winner: Foster The People – Their song has you bopping from start to finish whereas Taylor loses you early in.

Love Story

In Taylor Swift’s story we hear from the perspective of a 14-year-old who has just studied Shakespeare and has been asked to interpret it into modern English. The only problem is Taylor clearly didn’t finish Romeo and Juliet because THEY DIE. THEY LITERALLY BOTH DIE?? I don’t know how she missed that part but she did and it didn’t make it into her song.

I actually listened to 3 other songs called Love Story before I came across a worth competitor, Mariah Carey.
In Mariah’s version it’s like the musical embodiment of a super exclusive bar with low lighting drinking a martini with an olive.  But you and I both know Mariah can do better than this. I don’t think a single lyric retained from this song and I started thinking about It’s Like That halfway through because that is an ultimate Mariah tune.

Winner: Taylor Swift – As if you can listen to Taylor’s version without belting out the lyrics and understanding true love from the perspective of a teenager.

22

Taylor Swift’s 22 has helped create the height of comedy for anyone in their early 20s who clearly posts this song on their friends walls when they hit the age of 22.  Taylor makes 22 sound like the ultimate age to be, and as someone who has been 22, she’s not completely wrong.  She hasn’t just created a song, but a moment in history.

Lily Allen’s 22 is the polar opposite of Taylor’s song. She brings us all back down to earth by reminding us by the time we’re almost 30 we’re going to be almost as miserable as we were when we were going through our emo phase’s as teens. And you know what, I’m glad Lily is hear to spill that truth tea because sometimes we all need a reminder that our youth is fleeting and you can easily ruin your life in the space of just 8 years.

Winner: Tie – This one was too difficult to split, Taylor really did nail the feeling of 22 but we need Lily to keep us grounded.

Mean

Taylor Swift presents us with the perfect song to listen to when your former manager of your not fantastic retail job used to treat you like hell and spend her days complaining about you to your co-workers who happen to also be some of your best friends. Instead of getting mad you can go home, listen to this song and realise that this person is literally a store manager and has reached the age where that’s as far as they’ll go in life (see Lily Allen’s 22) and you’ve still got your whole life ahead of you? I feel inspired even just writing this.

P!nk takes on a different perspective of Mean, where instead of rising above the other bully she admits she is just as guilty of being mean. I assume this song is about her husband (because what P!nk song isn’t about her husband?) and their love-hate relationship. I appreciate that P!nk is trying to fix the situation, sometimes it’s good to admit you’re wrong.

Winner: Taylor Swift – Although P!nk provides us with the a good message of sometimes you need to admit you’re wrong, Taylor Swift looks at the bigger picture of there’s more to life. And she’s so damn right.

This Love

You know those moments when you’re in a relationship and you just feel so at peace, everything in your life is so perfect, you might be just lying next to your partner and feeling so satisfied with the whole situation? Good, cause I bloody well don’t and 0/10 cannot relate to Taylor’s version of This Love.

Once again we are presented with the polar opposite of Taylor’s song with Maroon 5’s version of This Love. That guitar riff playing throughout combined with that funky drum beat has you hooked from opening before feeling the passion of Adam who has been WRONGED by this heart breaker (I think? I think that’s what this song is about?). No more goodbyes for Adam.

Winner: Maroon 5 – I can’t relate to either of these songs but Maroon 5 doesn’t have the corny factor like Taylor’s making it ultimately better.

Stay Beautiful

OG Country Taylor Swift has only one mission in life, and it’s to name drop as many people as she possibly can. In this song we’re introduced to Cory who I’m gathering from the lyrics was a very pretty boy. I met a Cory once who didn’t get the hint I wasn’t keen despite the fact my friends and I left him in the beer garden of Rics alone for a good hour. He just sat there drinking his whisky cola waiting…

Following on from The Last Goodnight’s ultimate banger that was Pictures of You, Stay Beautiful doesn’t highlight one specific person which is nice because you can apply it to anyone with their blueish brownish greenish eyes. For all I know this song is about me. In fact, I’m going to take a guess and say it definitely is about me so I will Stay Beautiful thanks.

Winner: The Last Goodbye – Taylor’s song is too specific, suggesting only Cory’s are beautiful. Well guess what Taylor, anyone can be beautiful if they put their mind to it.

A comprehensive guide on how to be a tourist in Perth by following another website’s guide

It appears in my several travels back and fourth to the West Coast I’ve spent more time enjoying my friend’s company than enjoying all the fun exciting things Perth has to offer, which is just ridiculous if you ask me.

So on my most recent travel’s I have followed this guide from the Urban List (and definitely not done all 50) and here is a guide to how it all went so none of you ever have to leave your cosy East Coast homes.

Little Creatures

Went to Fremantle, ran out of money. Didn’t go inside Little Creatures but I saw it with both of my eyes and went to a nearby beach instead and sent a snap to my friends who drink beer. Do that instead.

Jacob’s Ladder

 

Went to Jacob’s Ladder, was more of a staircase. Sent a hilarious snap to all my friends named Jacob. Classic. 10/10 would snap again.

Cottesloe Beach 

Went to Cottesloe on a previous visit. I think we had ice cream? Someone remind me?

The Belltower

Looked at the building which I assume famous facebook page and trust worthy news source the Bell Tower Times is written. Also WTF.

Mount Lawley

MORE LIKE MOUNT FURRY. I’m actually still scarred from the rabbits with boobs and dogs with dicks.
(Side note: this wasn’t on the list so I’ve been scarred for no reason)

Northbridge

Basically Perth’s version of Fortitude Valley. Didn’t really visit this trip but have spent more than one evening at Amplifier which is what would happen if you got all of the people who enjoy the Brightside and combined them with all the people who go to The RE but gave them money because drinks are way more pricey on the West Coast (take note before going clubbing).  However stumbling to the train station via Lord of the Fries makes it all worth it.
Oh and there’s good food and occasionally edible flowers (pictured).

Rottnest

I didn’t go here and I’m still angry about it.

Elizabeth Quay

 

Imagine another city saw South Bank and was like “I want one of those” but they didn’t really have a place for their knock off South Bank so were kind of like UHHH lets put in some weird statues and just build some really fucking tall high rises and spend a LOT of money. That’s Elizabeth Quay. Also I’m still angry and confused (and maybe slightly aroused) by the weird giant ovals.

Fremantle’s West End

It’s kind of like Brisbane’s West End except with ~* beach vibes *~
Good food, lots of hippies but the hippies can surf.

Kings Park 

Most of the things you’d want to do as a “tourist” are at Kings Park.
It’s basically Perth’s poor excuse for mountain but there’s a cool tree and some nice gardens and a pretty dope bridge so you know it’s not that bad. It’s a nice spot for sunset picnics.

Swan Valley 

Run out of money? No problem because you can just stock up on a tonne of free relish samples at Providore and free chocolate from the Margaret River Chocolate Factory next door. The secret is to look like you might actually want to buy something but then not buy anything. Works a charm.

Fremantle Markets

Did this on a previous visit and I can confirm there was definitely people selling stuff. If you’re into exchanging money for goods and services you’re gonna bloody love this.

Gusto Gelato

I walked past this place and insulted my ancestors by pronouncing it so wrong.

Leederville

Right in the middle of Leederville is a place called Greens & Co but nobody told me that it’s permanently graffiti’d to say Greens & Cock.  Lovely area otherwise.

Caversham Wildlife Park 

This wasn’t on the Urban List’s list but by George it should be! It’s just a lot of animals including like two Quokkas (still mad about Rottnest) and a giant freaking Pelican that will just come right up to the fence and I nearly cried because I love that pelican so much. I’m crying right now. I hope he’s happy.

Scarborough Beach 

Not on the Urban List but there were several other beaches that I didn’t visit so this will do.
Surprisingly not that different from Scarborough, Redcliffe except the lack of dope trees that I remember being much larger as a child.
However Scarborough, Perth has some cute bars and a fancy ass hotel. Oh and a beach with sand and water.
It’s perfect for posting a picture on instagram like “Wow! Perth is amazing! Thanks for the sunset! Which you did just for me! Because the sun doesn’t set every day! But today it did! And it did it for me! Wow!”

City girl in the country part 2: The bucket list

Time and time again I’ve been told, by not just locals but people outside of town, that Stanthorpe is a tourist town.
It took me driving an hour north to visit some stunning sunflower fields to realise all of these amazing tourist attractions are right outside my door step.
So I’ve made myself a list of things to do by the end of the year while I’m living it up in the Granite Belt.

1. Visit Girraween without an irrational fear of being murdered

To the best of my knowledge no one has ever actually been murdered at Girraween and just because there is no reception doesn’t actually mean my safety is at risk? But getting lost on the dirt tracks of Girraween has somewhat put me off heading back there since my first visit.  Next time I’m taking photos of the maps and heading to this lovely park without fear of murder! Hell yeah!

2. Go swimming at Boonoo Boonoo

Most people from Brisbane would be familiar with Cedar Creek and Gardener Falls, but just across the border lies the Boonoo Boonoo national park which is known for it’s stunning falls and swimming area.
As someone who loves being around bodies of water (just ask my friends who I dragged out to the dodgiest part of the Brisbane River on my last visit home)  it seems like the perfect place to cool off on a hot summer’s day.

3. Autumn in Tenterfield

Again across the border, I’ve been frequently told Tenterfield is freaking lit in autumn.
As in lit with multi-coloured leaves and just some damn nice serenity.

4. An unforgettable wine tour (and also a forgettable one)

What would be the point of moving to wine country without sampling ALL of the wine. Yes. ALL THE WINE.

5. Save a horse, ride a cowboy

Kidding Mum! (Or am I….)

6. Drink Cider Unironically

Besides wine, the granite belt is also known for apples. And what’s apples without cider?
Here’s a handy reminder, if it’s clear and yella you’ve got juice there fella, if it’s tangy and brown you’re in cider town.

7. Waterfall circuit

Lowkey sort of already did this. But I only did the short walk and saw one of the many waterfalls. So in the words of Ariel from The Little Mermaid “I want more.”

8. See some dang snow

Turns out you don’t have to go to Europe for snow after all. With some predicting this winter to be Australia’s coldest, the chance of snow is likely enough for me to get a wee bit excited (and a wee bit terrified of freezing to death cause your girl does not do well in the cold).

9. Look at the moon but do it at the observatory

My buddy the moon, the cause of most of my problems and yet the solution to so many. Imagine how lit it’s gonna look through a telescope? There’s an observatory at Ballandean around 20 minutes south of town, so yeah I’m gonna REALLY look at the moon.

10. Find some rocks

Not just regular rocks. Those really big ones that make you go “damn, that’s a big rock.”
I’m gonna find them just you wait.

City girl in country town part 1: turns out there’s not just cows and bulls

It’s been 63 days since I left the big smoke and moved to the small town of Stanthorpe.
I always aware of the fact that I would be leaving Brisbane to pursue my career, but there’s nothing that can really prepare you for moving from a city of nearly 2 million to a town of just 5000.

Constantly I was told of how cold it would be as I packed up my life to move to wine country in just two weeks.
I remember driving home from my retail job on the phone to my mum trying so hard not to cry and simultaneously crash. A large group of my friends were already coming to my house that night and it seemed like the perfect chance to give them all the news while I tried to keep it together – somewhat unaware of what I was walking into.

Before I left, I invited just about everyone I knew for one last hurrah at my favourite cafe/bar and had so many people comment on how nice it was to have such a large number people come out for me – despite a few notable absences.
It took me this long to appreciate how easy it was for me to pretty much draw a name out of a hat, call that person up and be like “I’m coming over!”

To go from constantly being surrounded by people I love to just awkwardly hoping someone who I meet for a story will be close to my own age and maybe want to be my friend is the one challenge I don’t think any university degree can prepare you for.

In saying that, there have definitely been a bunch of nice things that I never really had the fortune of enjoying back home.
One of my favourite memories so far since moving here is driving myself out to Storm King Dam – around 10 minutes south of the town – lying on the pier and just looking up at the stars.
It seems corny but there’s no light pollution out here so what you can see is so much brighter and so much more beautiful than you could ever see in a city.

I had the chance to go to my first country show and given I was already a huge fan of the Ekka it was nice to see where all of that starts. It was at this stage where I discovered there isn’t just cows and bulls, but also steers and heifers (which can also be used as somewhat of a nasty insult).

I’ve visited more farms in the past 2 months than I have in my entire life, a highlight being the Nicoletti Orchards where prep-aged Sean told me all about the different apples and trees as we drove around the farm.

I even had the chance to meet a 4-week-old reindeer, something you would NEVER be able to do in a city as they are way too timid (something I never knew about reindeer).

Not to mention, I am constantly given the opportunity to write front page stories. Seeing as there are only two journos in my newsroom it’s something that I don’t even give a second thought, but one of my editors pointed out to me I wouldn’t be given this chance at a larger site.

The people around here for the most part have been very kind and very welcoming.
The produce has this incredible freshness that would not be possible in a metro area.
The parks are filled with more animals than my inner hippy can handle.

The only thing that’s really missing is those strong friendship bonds I’ve leaned on for my entire life.

(and a cinema wtf I wanna see Black Panther).

Better things to waste your time on than the Melbourne Cup

Currently the record time for Melbourne cup is 3:16 minutes but that happened in the 1990s so assuming we’re looking at about 3:30 minutes I have complied a list of better ways for you to spend your time today which don’t induce animal cruelty nor contribute to the very problematic gambling industry.

1. A game of solitaire

When was the last time you wasted a good few minutes playing everyone’s favourite card game?

2. Cook some 2 minute noodles

The great news is because you’ve got a little extra time you don’t have to rush to have them done in two minutes.

3. Enter the Vine Archives

That’s at least 35 vines you can watch in that time.

4. Count to 210

Test your counting skills. See if any of your years of education have paid off for this exact moment.

5. Get Abs

Apparently you can do it in one song? Go on try it.

6. Read the Constitution

No you won’t be able to finish it all in 3:30 minutes so maybe focus on section 44 and try and guess which senator is going to be disqualified next.

7. Pat an animal

Tell that animal you promise to never race it purely for profits because that’s rude.

8. Give your parents a call

If your mum picks up you’ll probably be on the phone for much longer than 3:30 minutes. But don’t worry she’s just excited to hear from you.

9. Find Wally

Good luck!

10. Make a cup of tea

Congratulations on not participating in this barbaric event! Sorry if that makes you “UnAustralian

 

Making Brisbane more Cyclist Friendly

Looking at ways to encourage Brisbane citizens to hop on their bikes (Liana Walker)

Brisbane citizens are often encouraged to opt for riding bicycles over other modes of transport. They’re better for the environment and are a great way for people to stay fit. But how do you encourage more people to swap their car keys for a bicycle helmet?

Councillor Adrian Schrinner has proposed the answer may be making the helmets optional.

Currently in Queensland failing to wear a helmet will set you back $126 and for some this hefty fine discourages use of bicycles for smaller routes. However since the introduction of the mandatory helmet laws in the early 1990’s cyclist have accounted for between two to five per cent of all road fatalities annually, significantly lower than countries without mandatory helmet laws.

Why do we have mandatory helmet laws?

Will relaxing helmet laws result in more riders? (Liana Walker)

Wearing a helmet reduces serious injury by nearly 70% as found in an  international report into helmet safety presented at the Safety 2016 world safety conference in Finland.

RACQ Spokesperson Lauren Ritchie says helmet laws were initially brought into Australia because of their proven record of protecting riders from serious had injury or trauma.

“Helmets have been proven time and time again to save people from death and from serious ongoing trauma or brain injuries,” she says.

“So to relax (the laws) even on some routes is not a good idea in our minds.”

However CEO of Bicycle Queensland Ben Wilson says most bike users already choose to wear a helmet so relaxation could encourage more riders.

“In Australia in the medical world we’re getting very few head injuries because people are wearing helmets,” he says. 

“In most cases helmet wearing rates vary between 60-80 per cent.

“So we could actually take off the law that has gained more and more acceptance as time goes by and replace it with more of an international standard and get slightly more people riding bikes.”

He says the laws need to reflect the bicycle infrastructure available.

“The helmet law has to address the fact that helmets generally are not compulsory with the basis being in countries where there are far better bike facilities than what we have,” he said. 

“Or they’re in countries with even less bike facilities than what Australia has and in those cases its very high injury rates, such as third world or developing countries where the injuries are quite catastrophic.” 

How do you make cycling safer?

Safer riding facilities overseas (Paul Krueger – CC)

When the question was put out to Brisbane Residents on Facebook on if Brisbane City Council should be doing more to encourage safe cycling, overwhelmingly users were in support of using building separated bicycle lane infrastructure.

Notorious cyclist black spot Stanley St, Woolloongabba, is one of the first spots in Brisbane to undergo separated bike lane infrastructure. Other projects include the Kingsford Smith Drive, Hamilton and Sylvan Road, Toowong.

Mr Wilson agrees separated bike lanes is the best way to get people on their bikes.

There’s no better solution than separated bike facilities, that’s a proven fact that’s out there,” he says. 

Has the smart phone replaced the SLR?

The short answer is no, and it won’t be anytime soon. However in digital journalism the smart phone definitely has a place.

I hear you asking, why Liana? Why are you so persistent that a smart phone can’t do the same job an SLR does? Do they not both take photos?

Well random reader, you’re right. They do both take photos. Here let me show you some I took on my phone.

Isn’t he such a good boy?

But look how good he looks when I took the same photos on my SLR.

What’s that? These second photos look infinitely better than the first?

How is that so?

Well, in the first image on my iPhone I had the choice of shoving my phone in the sleeping dogs face or using digital zoom. I opted for the second option because what sort of cruel human wakes a sleeping dog? And realistically you’re much more likely going to need to use zoom at events such as press conferencing where you might end up sitting closer to the back.

This is as opposed to the SLR where I was able to use optical zoom and get just as close a picture from much further away with far more detail than the first.

Looking at the second one, there’s probably less difference other than the lighting. Given the natural lighting was good in this scenario it wasn’t hard to get a decent picture on my phone. But with my camera I was able to manipulate the amount of light let in to really bring out the vibrant colours of this Good Boy’s™ fur.

Here’s where it get’s interesting…

Night time.

Look I really tried to find a good example of a night time photo. This is really the best I could find because smart phones are yet to be able to manipulate aperture and shutter speed and until that day comes this is what night photos are going to look like. Paired with digital zoom they’re basically trash.

Okay yeah at this point I might be showing off a little, but look at what the right aperture, shutter speed and ISO can do even in the dark.

Okay we get it, SLR’s are the best smart phones suck. But you said smart phones do have a place, where is it?

Social media.  As explained in basically every QUTOJ1 lecture, social media posts with photos have much higher engagement than those without. It’s no surprise really.  But think about it, these photos taken on SLR’s are HUGE files. I’ve had to actually seriously decrease their sizes to even be able to upload them to this post.

There’s also the process of taking them from the camera, moving them to a computer and then taking the photo to whatever the destination is (whether it is online or to print).

In a world where speed is just as important as accuracy, there’s actually no time to waste with this whole process. If you want to get a tweet out with a picture, use a smart phone! Want to utilise Instagram stories? Smart phones are great for that too!

What they haven’t replaced is high quality imaging in both print and websites.