Friday, September 30, 2011

Gifts are glorious.

Back when I used to be an entertainment reporter, my colleague and I suffered a severe case of desk space lack-of. That is, we had none, because every drawer, nook, cranny, centimetre and crevice of our desks were stuffed to the brim with either music videos or gifts.

Oh yes, the gloriousness that is 'the gift.' Because of our horrible job, we got sent everything, turning our poor newsroom counterparts (who didn't get flown to LA to interview Angelina Jolie) into green-eyed monsters with LOTS for desk space. For the three years I was there, I didn't buy one CD. All the latest albums were couriered to us every week. The newest magazine issues arrived on our desk the same day they hit newsstands (including Zoo Weekly, which was just downright embarrassing). There were knickers, bottles of plonk, random articles of clothing, and beauty products. Drool. Makeup, face creams, hair elixirs, fragrances, lotions and potions.*

*n.b.: we did share a lot of this stuff around the newsroom, you know, when it wasn't, like, Chanel. I happily gave away my twenty-thousand sea-salt hair spritzers and disposable razors, I'm not selfish.

BTW, I still have no idea what tangerine lipstick has to do with entertainment reporting, but I wore it on the red carpet - does that count??

Call me a freebie junkie or a downright materialistic-whore (whoa, settle down there, reader) but I miss those weekly surprises almost as much as I miss body contact with Matt Damon (someone call the 'drool' back in - we're not done here). 

So, getting to the point while we're all still young, I was thrilled to discover MyLuxBox has just opened in Hong Kong.*

*n.b.: This is NOT a sponsored post in any way... I'll just as soon tell you if I think MyLuxBox turns out to be a bunch of (expletive!) if they do turn out to be a bunch of (expletive!)  

I've seen similar initiatives in the USA and I've been looking for something similar in Hong Kong for the loooongest time. Basically, you pay a small amount of money each month, and a little gift pack featuring the latest beauty and cosmetic samples are couriered to your door once a month! You first complete a beauty wish-list of sorts, so your kit is slightly tailored to your profile, and then- viola! (not the instrument, the French fancy word thingy, although a little viola tune would work here too) - a little beauty gift pack is all yours for the devouring each month. 

It's genius. And, it feels like a return to the gift-receiving days of the entertainment desk, even though I'm, like, paying for it. Shhhhh.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Now he's done putting out fires in California, please let Arnold Schwarzenegger NOT return to an eighth Terminator film called 'T-8'. I loved the whole "I'll be back" thing as much as the next sucker, but truly, please don't come back. Anymore. Plus, a T-8 movie would mean seven before it, and we've got enough Rockys, Die Hards and Indiana Joneses to take us well into the next century. (Retract comment about Indiana Jones: the man has a whip and a hat, which qualifies him as an eternal babe.)

Luckily for me, in these parts, a T-8 translates to a 'typhoon warning signal #8', which is what's going down on China's chin today. 

Typhoon Nesat is its name, and it isn't hitting us directly (because that would be just rude), but instead, is squeezing past us somewhere to the southwest, carrying in its knapsack gale-force winds that have already reached local speeds of 115 km per hour. I'm not a wind expert (or expert in anything, really) but apparently that's really friggin' fast.

While a T-8 is a serious panic for those living in beachfront mud huts, it's admittedly a bit of a party for most city folk who get an automatic day off work. Oh, except for my precious B, because he works in media where the show must go on - rain, hail or hurricane. The media's answer to a tyhoon 8? Pffffft. My pen is mightier than your winds, NESAT. What kind of name is Nesat, anyway? *Repeat pfffft*.

To follow T-8 warning signal instructions, I'm meant to lock all windows and doors, and insert reinforced shutters and gates if I have them (I don't.) I'm also urged to not stand near any windows, and move all furniture and valuable objects away from them. Of course, taking a dip at the local beach is advised only for those who are sick of living. Public transport also shuts down, and if I were to make an afternoon coffee I'd planned with a friend today, I'd have to bribe a maniac cab driver to take me there.

But in reality, I'm with the media: Pfffft. All I can hear is the soft patter of rain on the window panes, because we're low to the ground and protected on all sides. There is a serious lack of typhoon action here unlike our last apartment on the 28th floor, where during one particularly bad-ass typhoon, B and I couldn't sleep because the barking winds kept getting in the way. 

So, wishing Nesat a safe journey to nowhereland. You leave those mud hut folk alone, 'ya hear, or you'll have to deal with me and my (insert scary weapon device thingy.)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Finding Nemo at Hong Kong's Ocean Park.

Click here to play along.

Friday, September 23, 2011

No sizzle? No sale.

I was born of the female persuasion, which means I'm genetically predisposed to an unhealthy obsession with romantic films... Boy meets girl, boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back. Quentin Tarantino? Just stick to the formula and stop going beserk with unnecessary bloodthirsty slashings, OK?

BUT... I'm sure the chorus girls will agree that for said formula to work, for the romance to harvest butterflies, tears, memories and DVD purchases, the two on-screen leads must have chemistry. No sizzle? No sale.

This hit home last night, when I finally caught the silver screen adaptation of David Nicholls' page-turning novel One Day. I'm human, which means I loved the book, but aspects of the film kind of annoyed me at first. The transition from each year to the next felt jarring, and the casting of an American playing a Yorkshire girl made me want to throw popcorn at the screen.

But, by the end, the film had redeemed itself. I actually walked out of the cinema a bit gushy about it all... I liked it. And as much as I wanted to hate the two leads at the beginning, by the end, I believed their story and I was moved. Because they had undeniable chemistry.

Which inspired me to make a little list of a few on-screen pairings, which I feel either do or do not produce the sizzle. This is a subjective list of course, and there are loads more, but I enjoyed making it... if you have any to add, please do!

1. As if they didn't hook up in real life.

Brad and Angelina in Mr and Mrs Smith
Oh yeah, except they did hook up in real life and are now growing a small army. 'Nuff said.

Clarke and Vivian in Gone With the Wind
Two utterly self-obsessed people utterly in love with the other. Vivian was so pretty and prissy as the selfish Scarlett; and Clarke was so masculine, and dominating, and just a little bit gross, as the only man strong enough to squash her. Rrrraow.

Richard and Julia in Pretty Woman
How could anyone NOT experience the sizzle with the salt-and-pepper-Gere-force? But extra kudos goes to Julia's dorky, girl-next-door vibe and scene-stealing smile. They were just so gorgeous together we made up the sizzle, whether it was really there or not.

Harrison and Carrie in the only Star Wars films ever worth mentioning
We don't talk about the prequels here.
Leia: "I love you."
Han: "I know."

Patrick and Demi in Ghost
I was tossing up whether to include Patrick and Jennifer in Dirty Dancing here instead, but I just personally loved Ghost. Demi was so pure, so fragile, so wounded. And when Patrick's character appeared to her, he was so gentle and fragile and... wounded. Oh and did I mention pottery? Slam dunk you two, nice work. Now get a room.

2. No sizzle to be seen folks, moving it right along.

Brad and Cate in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Don't even get me started on a film in which an old lady has romantic feelings for a newborn baby... a super interesting idea, truly love the head trip, but visually it just freaked me out. And while I adore Cate, and quite like Brad, together she just seemed like his older sister. I think when they finally kissed I was thinking about if I had any clean socks left in my drawer.

Natalie and Hayden in the Star Wars prequels 
Oh crap I broke my rule and spoke about the unspeakable. Nat would have had more sizzle with Jar Jar Binks. JAR JAR BINKS, people, that's where we're at here.

Tom and Nicole in Eyes Wide Shut
Oh yes, the married couple who apparently played all sorts of weird sexual innuendo games with Stanley Kubrick into the wee hours of the morning until they divorced and he died. I really hated it when they broke up, until I watched this movie and realised the heat between them gave me a cold shiver. So I accepted it. And then tried to delete the movie from my brain. Shudder.

Katharine and Gerard in The Ugly Truth
Oh this film is ugly alright. What annoyed me the most was the ridiculous portrayal of live breakfast television, one of my old work hunting grounds. I couldn't help but sit there cringing and saying things like, "nooooo..." and "that would never happen!!" Enter Gerard Butler trying to woo Katharine Heigl and I found myself cringing and saying things like, "nooooo..." and "that would never happen!!"

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Fave vintage pic of my parents (my mum's hiding behind my dad)

To play along, click here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Shutting the oven door.

In many reaches of the world (certainly where I hail from - Australia) most people live for summer and give winter the (ahem) cold shoulder it deserves... What's not to love about summer: the lingering light in the evenings, the giant heater in the sky warming your back, and weekends teetering between the brunch cafe and the beach.

As a self-proclaimed summer junkie, when I arrived in Hong Kong in 2009, I smugly declared, "I love the heat! I laugh in the face of humidity. No such thing as too hot. Tra la la."

Oh, except look over there! There is such thing as too stinking hot, and it's called Hong Kong.

How can I say this like a lady... Hong Kong is bloody friggin' hot in summer. And this past one whipped me incessantly with its fiery tongue. I was sentenced to wearing the same three singlet-tops each day because any form of sleeve was just too much padding - I mean, can you imagine the fashion TRAGEDY??? Rest assured, I merely jest.

But last night the fever finally broke... B took the dogs outside for a walk and returned with his excited face on... "It's really not that hot out there" he announced, with the same nervous twinge of 'potential good things' as if he'd been nominated for an award.

The corner has finally been turned. Summer? Meh. Autumn? Well come right on in, you good thing you.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Hey, birthday boy.

You say it's your birthday
It's my birthday too, yeah (it's not, really)
They say it's your birthday
We're gonna have a good time
I'm glad it's your birthday
Happy birthday to you

Dear gorgeous,
Thanks for an amaaaazing few weeks off together. Full of surprises!
Really sorry you had to return to work on your birthday.
I'll be here when you come home.
When are you coming home again?
Happy birthday.
Love you.

Friday, September 16, 2011

It's good to be back.

Woweeeee!!!! I am back! And blogging! Anyone got a dart gun? That girl is high as a kite.

Forgive my elation outburst, I'm just really happy to be back with y'all, as I have missed blogging so much. And this time, I really hope I'm back for good (cheesy song line alert) as the chaos that preceded today is finally over. For now, anyway.

First of all, I have finally finished university! Can I order a collective high five? A round of tequila shots? A degree served medium rare alongside a bundle of baby potatoes? Oh yes, this degree was the giant thorn that ruled my backside for the past couple of years and it's finally been surgically removed. Thank you doctor, for saving my sanity.

Secondly, we just returned from our 10-night engage-moon in Thailand. If you can think of a thousand synonyms for the word 'bliss', then times that by twelve thousand, and then down three champagnes and ten chocolate-covered strawberries - that's about as much fun as this trip was. Well, for most of the time, anyway. We did pick the wettest month of the year and thus encountered two days of torrential typhoon-esque rain. But, other than those two days of reading in the room and watching movies, it was mostly a menu of such joys as reading, swimming, drinking cocktails, ocean gazing, photographing sunsets, snorkelling, fishing, sleeping, discussing wedding plans, eating green chicken curries, pad thais, tom yum goong soups, lemongrass and chilli prawns, bananas in coconut milk and... (the rest of this sentence has been deleted due to a sudden shower of drool on the keyboard.)

But, life isn't all pad thais, sunsets, diamond rings, fluffy pillows and blanco sangrias. So, now we are back in real life. Back to Monday work, much to plan, early mornings, dogs to walk, and reality to live.

But a few days of fantasy never hurt anybody, right? ;)

p.s. Thank you so much for all your lovely engagement congratulations! Please include your blog link (if you have one) with your comments as I'd love to check out your blog!

Signing off friends, with pics from paradise.

Friday, September 2, 2011

We interrupt this short break to bring you some news.

I know, I know, I'm not meant to be blogging at the moment. My bad and all that.

I'm meant to be far away on a distant tropical island, engaged in a fierce battle over whether to read the last few words of One Day by David Nichols, or slurp the final few drops of that mouth-watering pina colada perched by my side. Oh wow it sucks to be me this week.

It really doesn't actually, because something truly wonderful, unexpected and downright euphoric has happened. I'll give you a visual clue.... is it...

Could it be? 

No, don't tell me that's...

Yes it is! A beautiful diamond ring, which can only mean one thing. The glorious, divine and downright hot B has proposed. On bended knee. In Mandarin Chinese. Yes, you read that right. The man is unconventional and we are living in Hong Kong after all. There is nothing about B that's predictable. And I love him so hard for it I could squeeze the life out of him. Except then I'd pretty much be killing my fiance. So maybe I won't do that.

So, that's my short yet sweet news that I wanted to share, and now I must return to packing for my pending engage-moon in Thailand! We leave tomorrow and I CANNOT WAIT.

You know when you have some really crap weeks? Nothing short of 'meh' upon 'meh'? Well I have loooots of those. But this week 'aint one of them. This week, I finished my university degree (a whole nother tale starring Mr Pain and Mrs Suffering), am departing for a 10-night holiday on a tropical beach in Thailand (an eternity for us) - oh and I and got engaged. Oh my GOODNESS, I'm engaged. A fiance. Oh that word sounds so fancy, even when the little diagonal line doesn't appear over the 'e' and it looks more like 'finance'.

There is so so much to plan, but for now, I'm just getting used to seeing the world in rose colours for awhile. Ahhhhh. So pretty. 
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