July 2011 Girlfriend Mini Review

In five days I’m heading back to Girlfriend HQ for a week of work experience, so I decided to do a quick review of their July Issue. 


Cover Girl: Emma Watson 
Theme: Formal
Front Of Mag Features: “What A Girl Wants”, “Why Kissing Is Good For You”, “Mind Your Manners”, “The Secret”, “The School Of Second Chances”, “Not To Be Rude, But Are You Being Stupid?” and “The Parent Survival Guide”
Highlights: 

  • Darren Criss poster. I get so proud every time I see him in magazines or somewhere exciting online. He’s getting so big, and I couldn’t be happier for him.
  • Mention of Team Starkid in “Harry Potter’s Over, Now What?” page 
  • Selena Gomez interview in which she says she hopes to come to Australia next year (oh please, please, please come true)
  • Emma Watson on the cover. Golly gosh I love that girl. 
  • “How Hot Is It When Guys…” includes pictures of DCriss and Nick Jonas, amongst many other cuties, and cool reasons like “are sweet to their grandparents” and “read”. 

Lowlights: 

  • Every second page being something about a formal. I get that they have to cater to the readers who are doing a formal, but the majority of teens only have a formal in year twelve (yes, some do have one in year ten, but not every school), and let’s face it, it’s a rare year twelve student who would be still reading Girlfriend. Maybe cut back just a little bit, GF. 
  • In “This Month” they have a picture of the Elder Wand and call it “Harry’s Wand”. I mean, Harry does end up with it, but it’s not ~his~ wand. Small facts, I know, but just slightly annoying. 
  • Formal Movie Faux Pas. The whole tone of this feature didn’t sit right with me, but I was rather annoyed when they said “A Mathlete Will Most Likely Never Win Prom Queen” and went on to explain that prom queens were popular and beautiful. Way to make all your more intellectual readers feel like crap, GF. I know you went on to say that the prom queen’s looks will fade and the nerds will be “investment bankers with sweet rides”, but that’s stereotyping at it’s highest. You just…shouldn’t have included that one. 

Rating: 3.5/5 – Buy it for the Darren Criss poster, if nothing else. 
Price: $7.95
Freebie: Beanie
(I did have scans to add, but the photo-uploader is being annoying, sorry). 

I can’t wait for my week at GFHQ (and, uh, my week at DOLLY the week after), and I’ll be sure to let you all know how it goes 🙂


frangipani princess xoxo

Fandoms For F*ck H8

As most of you would be aware, on Saturday New York passed the Gay Marriage act. This makes me super happy, for while I am straight myself, I am a firm believer in equality for all. I have friends who are gay, relatives who are gay, and, of course, I adore gay celebrities (and uh, fictional characters). While Australia sits over here with it’s backwards laws on equality, I found myself wishing there was something that I could do to show my support. That’s where Fandoms Against H8 stepped in. We all know I love a nerdy fandom shirt, so to combine my love of these with supporting equality, well, I was sold. Here are some of my favourites:

buy
buy
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Basically, there are a whole heap of shirts (and hoodies, and badges, etc. etc.) for every super popular fandom with slash ships (though you can request others). You buy them, get to wear a totally brilliant shirt, and then part of the proceeds goes towards the fight against hate. Such a perfect concept. 
I really, really want to buy the three above, but I’m poor at the moment and currently saving for two overseas trips in the coming months, plus two weeks in Sydney starting next week. My finger might just slip on the ‘add to basket’ and ‘checkout’ buttons as a special end of term treat in the next few days though…


frangipani princess xoxo

Miley Cyrus: Gypsy Heart Tour

For the last four and a bit years, I have been a Miley Cyrus fan. There have been times when she has done things that have made me begin to question why I adore her so much, but then I listen to her music or watch Hannah Montana and my love returns. When I heard she was coming to Australia, I jumped up and down and squealed in excitement. Disney stars never come to Australia, so I couldn’t believe I would finally be seeing one of them in concert. I bought tickets for myself, Toong, Tam, and one of Tam’s friends, in the very first pre-sale back in April and then waited with eager anticipation for the day to arrive. Yesterday, it finally did. All week I had been flailing in excitement whenever I thought about it, and even the eight hour round trip that didn’t get me home til 3.30am couldn’t deter just how much I was looking forward to the concert.

Miley is not Hannah Montana anymore. You are more likely to see her in her underwear than you are fully clothed, but I knew this. Arriving at Rod Laver Arena and seeing thousands of mothers and their under-twelve children, though, made me begin to wonder if the majority of the world had missed this memo. While Miley was absolutely brilliant and everything I could have ever dreamed of (well, it only could have been better if it had been the Best Of Both Worlds concert in which the Jonas Brothers opened, but as I’m not in the possession of a TARDIS or a Time Turner, we’ll just have to let that one be), the Gypsy Heart Tour was definitely not child friendly. Miley spent more than half the concert in various states of undress, often gyrating around a dancer or a walking stick, and she sang songs that would have gone right over the heads of most of the concert attendees. I could only laugh when she began singing “Bad Reputation”, something which could be argued to be the current soundtrack to her laugh. 

Her cover of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” should have never been allowed on the set list, but I could hardly contain my excitement when I heard the opening bars of “7 Things”. The crowd went wild for “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn”, “Party In The USA” and “The Climb”, although I suppose there wasn’t really a song that the sold-out crowd didn’t adore. The same can’t be said for opening act Michael Paynter, who was annoyingly repetitive and, well, just generally annoying. 

Miley didn’t interact with the audience very much (unlike Taylor Swift last year who spent forever telling cute little stories and such), and said “y’all” an annoying lot, but I suppose she is from the South and it is to be expected. She barely paused for breath; one song would end and the intro to the next would start, save the minor gaps between her five or six costume changes, but it created an awesome atmosphere. Unlike her previous tour, The Gypsy Heart Tour did not include elaborately theatrical sets; it was just Miley, a band, some dancers, and a stage. With lots of lights and giant screens, of course. Our seats were in the first row of the Upper section of Rod Laver, but we could still see everything really well (although it wasn’t the ideal place to take close-up pictures, as the ones I’ve included prove). 

For a teenage Miley fan like myself, who knew all her songs and the covers she performed, and understood that she wouldn’t be fully dressed for most of the concert, it was brilliant, amazing, fantastic…I would go again, and again and again. For the little girls in the audience – many of whom fell asleep even before the encore – it was a bit of a waste of money, and just generally inappropriate. Surely mothers know how to google these things before dropping hundreds and hundreds of dollars on tickets? 
I think I preferred Tsweezy’s “Fearless” tour (can she pleasepleaseplease come back?!), but then again, the two concerts were very different and can’t really be compared. I adored them both in their own ways.

Now if only other Disney (or, you know, previously Disney) stars would follow her lead and come and tour. Jonas Brothers, I’m especially looking at you. 


frangipani princess xoxo

Harry Potter And The Levels Of Darkness

I have never been a massive fan of the Harry Potter movies. I love the entire cast more than most people can begin to fathom, but I just love the books so much and the films just kind of ruin them. They add bits and take away bits and change things that just shouldn’t have been changed. It frustrates me no end, and leaves me sitting there raging to anyone who will listen. Other than when they come out at the cinema, I rarely watch the movies. I own all of them (and numerous copies of some) but they’re not my first choice for a movie night. The last time I watched most of them was early last year when Toong and I had a marathon. 


In the lead up to Deathly Hallows Part Two (one month today!), my local cinema is showing one movie per week. I missed Philosopher’s Stone because no one told me it was on (and then missed it on tv on Friday night for the same reason), but watched my extended-edition dvd the other night. Then yesterday, I went and saw Chamber Of Secrets at the movies. Being used to watching the newer movies, I was shocked at how light the older movies were. There was so much hope and joy, and even though Voldy would come along and try to ruin everything, there was just so much innocence and that happy ending feeling. There was no continuation of evil that started at the end of the fourth but really kicked it up from the end of the fifth. There was no angst. No death. The endings brought tears of joy to your eyes, instead of tears of heartbreak, because everything was just so perfect. 


In a way, it was almost painful watching them knowing everything about the overall ending. Painful seeing Fred laughing. Painful seeing Dobby. Painful seeing annoying fangirl!Ginny and realising that the epilogue from hell is almost upon us. Painful seeing Snape. Oh gosh, it was painful seeing Snape. 


I know Harry Potter had to get darker. I know it had to lead up to the confrontation we’ll be seeing next month. I know that people had to die, no matter how much I loved them, because if they didn’t, if there was no battle, we’d end up with Breaking Dawn. I understand why it had to continue the way it did, but a small part of me would have been happy if it had stayed at the level of the earlier books. If the evil didn’t progress past what an eleven year old could defeat. If Draco’s worst decision was stealing a Christmas present and over exaggerating an injury, and if Snape’s worst move was taking too many points of Gryffindor. If everyone lived happily ever after (though without the Epilogue From Hell) and just enjoyed Hogwarts like the Marauders were able to. Admit it, you think it would kind of be really cool if they were just chilling at Hogwarts without Voldemort being around every corner, and could just have regular lives with the addition of magic and an epic castle. Maybe that’s just the fanfiction lover in me coming out though…


frangipani princess xoxo

Of Pre-Release Anticipation And Who The Hell Is River Song

When you become a member of a fandom, you become emotionally attached to everything. You become obsessive in the lead up to a big episode, or the next book in a series. What will happen? you find yourself compulsively thinking. You contemplate just what will come next. What will happen to your favourite characters. How everything will work out. 


Back in the good old days when there were still Harry Potter books being released, the anticipation would almost kill me. I remember being so nervous in the weeks leading up to their release, frightened about what the fates of my favourite characters would be, and then forcing my mum to drive me up to four hours return to get a copy of my book as soon as it was physically possible. In the weeks leading up to the release of The Deathly Hallows I read so many theories and spoilers, it wasn’t even funny. As much as it pains me to admit, I was much the same in the lead up to the release of Breaking Dawn. The day before it came out, all I thought about was who Bella would pick. 


And now I’m the same for Doctor Who. As a fairly new member of the fandom, this is my first season where I’ve actually had to wait for episodes. Although I did watch episodes of season five on tv, I wasn’t emotionally invested in them. After really getting into it, I then went back and watched all of the seasons, but because I had them on my laptop, there was no waiting for cliffhangers. No year long gaps between seasons. Everything was right there, and if I was desperate to know something I was yet to see, there were friends to ask or websites containing all the spoilers I could ever want. This season, however, is different. This season I’m painfully waiting the week long gaps between each episode. I have to endure not knowing what will happen next, and it’s killing me. This is possibly the worst season for it too, with more than just the regular ‘two-parters’ of seasons gone by. This season there’s a whole big storyline and more cliffhangers than you could poke a stick at. 


The first episode of Doctor Who I ever saw had River Song in it. I had no idea what was going on in the episode, so I texted Quack asking for answers. My biggest question was “Who is River Song?”. Quack couldn’t answer, because you don’t know who River Song is. She is just there and plays some big part in The Doctor’s life and is constantly saying “spoilers, sweetie”, but apart from being an archaeologist in jail for murder, with a time-line running in reverse to The Doctor, we know nothing of her identity. Until tomorrow, that is. I do not like River Song as a character at all. She’s annoying and frustrating and just makes me want to slap her, and yet, here I am, desperate to know who she is. Over the last few weeks, I’ve spent more time than I care to admit googling theories and spoilers and information, trying to piece together what is going on in this season. River’s story is a mystery that has driven the fandom crazy for three years (I guess my one year wait is nothing to complain about!), and in just a few hours, it will be solved. Well, it will be as solved as much as a massive cliffhanger (with the next episode not being until Spring Australian time) written by Steven Moffat could possibly explain/solve anything. It is said that in the final few moments of the episode, we will learn her identity and then, BAM, three month wait. There is so much speculation about who she is, some of which makes me sad, some of which makes me happy, and some of which just disappoints me. I’m sure whatever Moffat has install for us tomorrow will be completely insane and what none of us were expecting, though he does say once we watch the episode, we’ll realise that we’ve known who she is from the beginning. Whatever that means.


Whenever the episode you’ve been waiting for airs, or the book is released, and you watch or read it, you sometimes feel empty. The build up has been there for months. You’ve devoted hours and hours and hours of your life to theories and thoughts and head-canon, and then suddenly it’s all over. You’re left with canon, and we all know canon can often leave a dirty taste in your mouth. You’ve spent so much time speculating, then suddenly there’s nothing left to do anymore because the truth is out there. You sit there, and ponder what to do with your life now that it’s all over. After The Deathly Hallows was released, I actually took around a year off from Harry Potter in general, as I suddenly knew everything that would ever be canon, and it saddened me. There was no more “I wonder if this will happen”, because all was out there. I think that’s why I love fan-fiction so much, because it allows the stories to live on in different ways, and people to keep rejected theories alive with wonderful tales of what might have been.


I often wonder what non-fangirls do with their lives, without theories and character speculation to spend weeks on. It must be weird. Surely they must feel like they have a hole in their lives. No amount of social interaction could fill the gaps in my life created by fandoms. You just become such a part of it, it becomes a major section of your life. But that’s another point for another day, so for now, I’m going to sleep, with the child-like belief from Christmas Eve and birthdays that going to sleep early(ish for a Saturday) will make morning come faster. With morning comes River Song’s identity, and though part of me doesn’t want it to arrive as what will I do with my life once I know who she is, I’m really just dying from the anticipation of it all. 


frangipani princess xoxo
ps. By the time most of you read this the episode will have aired. Can we please keep her identity out of comments, as it won’t air in a lot of places for a week or so, and nobody wants spoilers, sweetie. 

Review Roundup

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I’m very late to the party, but the BBC series ‘Sherlock’ is one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen. Written by Steven Moffat, current head writer of Doctor Who, series one encompasses three 1.5hr long episodes following Sherlock Holmes and John Watson in modern day London. It is pure brilliance, and I cannot wait for the second series which is currently being written/filmed. 5/5

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I’d been meaning to read ‘The Perks Of Being A Wallflower’ for quite a while, and I finally got around to it last weekend. It follows the story of ‘Charlie’ as he writes letter to an anonymous friend of a friend, describing his life. It’s a coming of age story that features love, homosexuality, drugs, alcohol, abuse, and high school in general, and it’s one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. The movie adaption is currently being made with Logan Lerman as Charlie, and Emma Watson as his love interest, Sam. It should be very interesting, and it’s a very different role for Emma. 4/5

Josh Thomas and Tom Ward are back podcasting again, with season three, episode one of ‘Josh Thomas and Friend’ now available on iTunes. After a hiatus of around a year, the two best friends are as hilarious as ever, spending eighteen minutes talking about everything and anything. Just a warning, as brilliant as they are, some of the things they discuss may be a bit awkward to listen to if your parents can hear. Hopefully season three contains more episodes than season two (like, three), because they really are super entertaining. 4/5. 

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Four episodes in, ‘Angry Boys’ just isn’t doing it for me. I tried to like it, I really did, but I’m just not enjoying it. I continue to watch (Glee takes precedence though), but I just don’t find myself laughing; I’m more likely to be cringing at Chris Lilley’s desperate attempts to push boundaries and be hardcore. In my opinion, while it’s watchable and makes for good television, it’s just not Summer Heights High (and yes, I know that wasn’t the aim, and it was meant to be different etc. etc, SHH was just so much better to watch). I’ll keep watching, as it can only get better. Angry Boys airs 9pm Wednesday on ABC1. 2.5/5. 


frangipani princess xoxo

One Happily Ever After, Please

“You know I just wanted to be Cinderella, just for one night. One night where a guy would look at me under those corny crepe paper streamers and say, “You look so beautiful”, and then he would grab my hand and ask me to dance.” 

The above quote was spoken by Mercedes in the “Prom Queen” episode of Glee which aired tonight in Australia. While watching it, all I could think was “I want a prom, I want a prom, I want a prom”, but when I thought about it, I realised I didn’t really because I wouldn’t have a date. 


Most people would try and tell me that having a date doesn’t matter, and that being with your friends and having a good time is what’s important. I’m not saying it’s not. I have friends who had brilliant times at proms doing it that way, but like Mercedes, I would just want to have the whole magical experience. Feel like a princess in a big, pretty dress, and walk down to meet my date who would tie a corsage onto my wrist, and we would pose for cheesy photos and then go and slow dance and just have a fairytale night. In my head, it plays out like a movie, because let’s face it, that’s all it’s ever going to be. The truth of the matter is there is no way I could get a date to a prom if one was offered. Life is not Glee, it is not a cheesy teen rom-com, and it’s certainly not a fairy tale. High school is not filled with gorgeous boys with hearts of gold waiting to make your life magical. It’s not filled with sexy boys next door, and attractive new guys are as rare as hens teeth. It is filled with nerds who look nothing like the ones in Taylor Swift’s video for ‘The Story Of Us’, and boys who think getting drunk is all that matters, and other boys who think sex is the most important thing in the world. Sometimes they’re a combination of the three. Maybe there are others out there, but I’m yet to find them, and even if I did, none of them look twice at an insane fangirl like yours truly. Depressing thoughts? Definitely, but sometimes you just get sick of being alone. 


I adore fairytales and every Disney movie imaginable where there is that happily ever after moment. Especially in movies such as A Cinderella Story, gosh they make me cry tears of joy. Is the fact that I want one of my own really too much to ask for? Our society has become so cynical that they would have you believe that it’s impossible, because moments like that don’t exist in reality. But I believe they do. They have to. So I’ll keep waiting with bated breath, because one day, my prince will come.


frangipani princess xoxo

Stories Of Strangers

Lately, when I’ve been in busy public places, I’ve been thinking about all the people I see and what their lives are like. I know there’s a game you can play where you come up with people’s life stories, and you try and outdo your friends by making everyone drug dealers, or prostitutes, but I don’t mean it like that. I mean I’ve been looking at them and wondering what their life is legitimately like. 


We pass so many random people, especially in a city like Sydney or Melbourne, and most of the time don’t think twice about them. These last few weeks, I’ve been pondering whether they have a best friend, or  whether their group is fighting. Whether they have a boyfriend, or girlfriend, or whether they’ve just had their heart broken. What their last facebook status was, how many facebook friends they have. What their favourite subject is. Which contact they text the most. I know it sounds kind of creepy when I type it out like that, but for some reason it only just hit me that everyone I pass has a life. I’ve always kind of lived in this self centered bubble where my life matters, but everyone else is just there. Extras in the movie of my life: you see them, but they don’t have a story. Then I finally realised that, hey, they all have a life too, and suddenly I’m fascinated. 


Everyone I see in a day has a room in a house that they can call their own. I pass them on the street, or in the supermarket, or at the movies and I might spend a split second critiquing their appearance or listening to their conversation, but then as quickly as I noticed them – if I noticed them at all – I’ve forgotten everything about them. In that moment which revolves around them, I would never assume they had a Zefron shrine in the back corner of their room, or that their wall contains mounted versions of all the Harry Potter wands, or that they still have all their stuffed toys on their bed. I would also never contemplate whether they cry themselves to sleep, or whether they sometimes squeal with excitement, even if their in a public place. The thought of them having a favourite food, or movie, or holiday location, doesn’t even enter my brain. They occupy my entire mind for a whole moment, and yet I will never know anything about them. 


In a way, this makes me sad. Everyday we must see all these amazing people and not realise it. People who will one day do amazing things. People who are currently doing amazing things. People who are just brilliant in every way. People who could be our best friends, or our soul-mates. I do believe, though, that if you’re meant to know someone, they will find a way into your life. I have friends who after months of friendship, we discovered that we were once at the same party or event. My parents have friends now that they went to school with forty years ago and lost all contact with, only to grow up and have kids on the same football team, or in the same class, in a location hundreds and hundreds of kilometres from their shared hometowns. 
While I don’t necessarily believe in the idea of one single soul-mate for everyone (although it is an awfully lovely idea), I do believe there are a certain number of people out there that we are destined to know. That no matter what happens, they will find a way into our lives and make us better people for it. Maybe today we might accidentally bump into them at a fast food store, but in ten years time they could be our closest confidante. We stand behind them today in a line for a ride at a theme park, but end up working at the same desk years in the future.


So while people may pass me on the street and not realise that I know all the words to every song by the Jonas Brothers and Taylor Swift, that I refuse to eat anything that comes from a pig, that I run a blog, or that my three closest friends and I call ourselves ‘The Marauders’, from now on I’ll be trying to work out their life story and hoping that if it’s super interesting, that one day I’ll be able to hear the real version from them myself. 


frangipani princess xoxo

Review Roundup

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The Girlfriend June 2011 issue is now on sale with Taylor Swift gracing the cover. The issue, described as ‘the issue you voted for’, isn’t the best I’ve ever read. Maybe it was a lack of Rob (something I’ll sadly have to get used to), or maybe it was a lack of interesting and unique features. Some of the features included “Hate The Way You Lie”, “Thank You For Being A Friend”, and “Thank You Mr Wrong”. Lots of cute posters (including one of semi-shirtless Alex Pettyfer. Yum Yum), and comes with free nail polishes. $7.95 from everywhere mags are sold. 
3/5 stars.


Pirates Of The Caribbean 4 was definitely an improvement on the third instalment. With no Orlando Bloom, it was slightly lacking in eye-candy, but Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow was as brilliant as ever. It wasn’t the most amazing film I’ve ever seen, but it was the fourth film in the series, so it was to be expected. It follows the story of Cpt Jack and some of his Pirate buddies as they race the Spanish and the English to find the fountain of youth. If you’re not busy seeing The Hangover Two, it’s a nice time killer, even if, like me, you only see it for some Johnny Depp goodness. 3/5 stars. 

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Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver, tells the story of a popular girl who is killed in a car accident only to wake up again on the morning of the same day. Sam is forced to live the day of her death over and over again, desperately trying to change events so she survives. It has a great message of the effects we have on people without realising, and how changing one event can change everything. It’s an easy read, but really good. 
Out now everywhere. 
4.5/5 stars. 


Lady Gaga’s new album ‘Born This Way’ was released on Monday and my mum, who has obviously been living under the biggest rock in the world, was not really aware of her existence until then. She watched a Channel V special on her as we ate breakfast at McDonalds, and then demanded we rush off and buy the album. I’ve never been Gaga’s biggest fan, though I do enjoy a few of her songs from her earlier albums. The songs on Born This Way aren’t as good, in my opinion, but there are a few I found myself hitting replay on. My personal favourite is ‘Highway Unicorn’, just because it has the word Unicorn in the title. The standard version of the album is available for around $22, though I’m sure you can hear all the songs on the radio and on tv. If Gaga is good at one thing, it’s gaining exposure. 2.5/5 stars.

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The new season (six) of Doctor Who has been airing for around a month now and I’m having a bit of a love-hate relationship with it. On one hand, the Neil Gaiman’s episode ‘The Doctor’s Wife’ was one of my all-time favourites, but on the other hand, this whole series long storyline and focus on River Song is kind of driving me crazy. It’s an unpopular opinion, but I really don’t like what Steven Moffat is doing to the show. I’m nostalgic for the glorious Russell T Davies eps, where everything was beautiful all the time, and no time-laws were broken, and Matt Smith wasn’t there making the Doctor a superficial nine year old. Sigh. But still, I am enjoying it in general because it is Doctor Who, and you all should watch. For Australian’s, it’s on 7.30pm Saturday nights on ABC, and then replayed at 5.45pm (I think) Sunday nights on the same channel. If you want to get in on it, I’d be sure to watch this week as it’s the first part of a to-be-continued. Oh, for the days when a to-be-continued was the only time there was an ongoing storyline. 3.5/5


Is there anything you’d like me to include in these new weekly reviews? A focus on books, or movies, or music? Or just like I have done today with a bit of everything?


frangipani princess xoxo