Cecilia Marie

one aspiring quaintrelle's voyage

Archive of ‘Diary’ category

Penelope

iMac with gorgeous Taylor Swift wallpaper
Image from Instagram

I’d say I’m not an Apple fangirl, but I wouldn’t seem credible after this entry, so I’ll throw the first stone and openly profess that I am (apparently) an Apple fangirl.

@heart It was in 2010 that I replaced my miserable HTC Wildfire (a dreadful example of an Android device, but not my only exposure to the system) with an iPhone 4. I’m not sure how long after this the home button became uncooperative, but I lasted almost 2 years with my iPhone before buying out my contract and switching to my Samsung Galaxy S3 (which, for the record, I hate, but I can’t go back to iPhone because the screen is silly small to me now!). I still keep my iPhone to use like an iTouch, but prefer not to because of that frustrating home button. It’s just, I paid for those apps fair and square, I refuse to relinquish them!

@heart Before betraying the Apple obsession by ditching my iPhone, however, as the beginning of the university year loomed, after much deliberation and a few spec comparisons, I decided to get a Macbook Air in 2012. It wasn’t in my initial price range, but it was the most appealing in the spec range I ended up looking at, and the cheapest from the options I narrowed down (go figure!). I named her Fairy.

@heart My next Apple adventure came last month when I decided I want an iPad against my better judgement. I didn’t know why I wanted it, I just did, but at the same time when I saw iPads I wasn’t sure what was going on in my head. I already have my lightweight Fairy for on-the-go Apple fangirling, and I already have an app-capable smartphone. I compared it to the nexus 7 my dear friend swears by, but was put off by the distaste I have for my Android phone.

And then I played with the iPad mini, and it seemed perfect. It wasn’t too big, and instead of having two Android devices I could use my Apple apps on it instead of replacing my iPhone with an iTouch (I mentioned being adamant about surrendering my apps, right?), it’s all my wants rolled into one! So I bought it and, creatively, I named it Minnie. Minnie hasn’t disappointed me at all, I won’t be without it now. This is when I became most acutely aware I was being sucked soul-first into the Apple culture, never to return — perhaps out of laziness, perhaps brainwashing. I’m not sure, but I don’t mind either way. I enjoy it.

@heart It was no surprise after being sucked in that I’d realise a desire I’ve had for a good 3 years before today: get an iMac. Thus, Penelope was bought. I’ve yet to fully replace my PC; I’m using the PC and Penelope side-by-side while I set everything up to sell my soul switch completely.

I’m exploring apps, programs and features on Penelope, and thinking of doing a post on the things that helped me switch and what I like or prefer etc. (I wish I had more to update about but I’ve been drawing blanks!)

Bring on the taunts and hipster accusations! This is working for me, and I’m the only one who answers to my gadget choices, so I’m happy.

Overhaul

I’ve been trying for a couple of months now to get back into blogging here. Tonight I decided to revamp my layout entirely to kick me into gear!

And so, inspired by the simplicity of galadarling.com, voila.

In a couple of weeks my old domain will be expiring, so today has been spent finding all of the places I’ve used the e-mail so I can change it. This has been quite a feat, really… I sign up at way too many places! The last thing I want is to rediscover something fabulous and not be able to remember my password or have it sent to me. Oh, but I disgress…

Blog, yes! Now, what shall I write about, ah.. I’ll figure it out :)

Bubzpiration

I spent today in self-preservation mode, recovering from negative moods and mindsets that have plagued me this week. I was lucky to have checked my YouTube subscriptions and rediscover bubzbeauty.

Lindy recently got engaged to her high school sweetheart, which wasn’t news to me, but I hadn’t seen the (pre!)wedding videos or pictures, so when I checked the bubz tag on Tumblr I was overwhelmed with joy for this wonderful girl, and the gorgeous memories she has to show everyone in her life from here on in, to be able to celebrate this special happiness.

But anyway, I fell in love with Lindy’s videos initially because of her accent. Yes, I’m a sucker for cute voices! And Lindy, well… she has everyone beat with her adorable combination.

One video in particular I watched today touched me very deeply – Secrets of Truly Happy People. It’s inspired me to compile a collection of quotes, videos, concepts, pictures, anything at all that reminds me of this concept that is so obvious to me, but that I lose sight of so easily.

I used to have a “look book” full of things that inspired me, but I haven’t updated it in a long time. I’m not sure what format I want this collective to be yet. Digital is easier, but physical is dearer. Hopefully I take this collective with me forever.

In honour of the one who inspired me to rekindle this old love, here are some videos that I love from bubzbeauty:
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Pole Fitness


Image from flaringshutter via Flickr

What do you think when you hear pole dancing? Maybe I’m in the minority, but personally I think of it akin to acrobatics or gymnastics. Artful, skilful, beautiful and hard. I don’t really get why most people think “I’m doing pole dancing” means “I’m a stripper” – I didn’t say “I’m stripping”, so don’t give me that look!

I went to my first pole fitness class this week. The studio I chose is an all-girl studio, founded 8 years ago to provide a “safe haven” for girls who just want to feel a little bit sexy and dare to be a little different while burning some cals.

The thing that got me interested was a YouTube channel: Miss Dirdy Birdy.

Girls we DiG – Dirdy Birdy by DopeSource Media was my first exposure to her. She’s amazing! She’s a pole fitness instructor in Sydney. I wonder if she’s as chirpy as my instructor.

When I walked into the studio there were 10 or so other girls there already, sitting around waiting for the instructor to finish teaching another class behind the curtain. I could see the crazy disco lights from behind the curtain and hear the instructor shouting “looking great, girls!” and other affirming words.

They left, and those in our class who’d finished paperwork and payments entered to claim a pole. It was quiet for 10 minutes, then we did introductions and nobody was shy – maybe shy people wouldn’t enrol for a class like this to start with? (even though I encourage it, at least for the bucket list! haha)

After intros we started with warm ups. The instructor showed us a “heel toe” move and joked that it sounded too cowboy, so she changed her cue calls to “forward back” instead. She was wonderfully hilarious and it didn’t take long to sink into the same aura and for the class to start getting chattier.

We learnt transitions, some moves like crawls and body waves (which I failed so hard at because I was laughing so much!), and a couple of spins. By week 6 we will be able to do a beginners routine!

I wore my heart rate monitor out of curiosity, and burned 300 calories in 45 minutes.

This class is only once a week, but I think I’ll be continuing beyond beginner. I’d love to be an instructor one day even! But I wonder where I could put a pole at home… Ahaha, lots of time to figure that out if the time comes.

 
Bucket list: @tick Pole dance :)

Winter Staple


Image from Shandi-lee via Flickr

Winter has just finished here, but the rain was lazy and is only making up for it now; the weather has been so crisp. I love big wooly jumpers and fuzzy slippers, and I carry my warmest rug with me through the house. I sip tea or milo to keep from shivering and warm up my wheat bag.

My favourite winter item, though, is my coat. It’s a Liz Lisa coat, made for autumn, but it does the job perfectly in Australia where we have no snow. I only wear it with my prettiest dresses and skirts, and with leggings and pretty shoes, never sneakers. I wear it with Lolita, too. It has gold Liz Lisa buttons and deep pockets, and a big chunky bow at the back.

I think I’ve been wearing my dressing gown a lot more than my coat lately though, whoops.

Winter is slowly approaching in the northern hemisphere, I wonder what favourite items everyone is preparing and looking forward to snow.gif

Giving Blood


Image from Jessica Laswell via Flickr

I’ve been meaning to give blood for a while. I was too close to the minimum weight for a while so I didn’t give, but now I’m healthier (heavier ) and all set!

This year I got a piercing in January, so I had to wait 6 months after that… Technically it’s 4 months, but I’m told they’re skeptical about believing people who say the equipment was sterile when it may not have been. Since I have no proof, I waited the extra 2 months. Before those 6 months were up, however, I underwent an operation! A couple of weeks ago, after seeing a Red Cross stall at an orientation fair I attended, I called to ask how long after my operation I should wait. He told me 2 months, which was up only last week! I’m glad I put off calling. It was exciting to hear that I could do it so soon!

My blood type is O-. If you’re unfamiliar with blood types, donors with O- are known as the “universal donors”, because O- can be given to any other blood type. While this is a fantastic type to be as a blood donor, it’s not so great if you need blood. O- types can only receive other O- type blood!

There was a chart in the bathroom about how certain blood types are sought for different types of donations. O- are sought for full blood donations, others for plasma, and others for both. Plasma takes a lot longer and you’re able to donate it a lot more often, since they return the red blood cells to you. I don’t think I’ll donate plasma, they don’t seem to need it from me. Maybe one day though.

It’s winter here right now, so we have the flu going around, and the wonderful man on the phone told me a lot of regular donors are ill around this time of year. I haven’t been mingling with illness, so I have a good bill of health. I’m glad I can use it help others this season!


 
Though the donation process is short (about 15 minutes), the rest and paperwork takes a while. They said I should allow about an hour and a half. When I went in yesterday, it ended up taking 45 minutes.

When I got to the blood donation centre they gave me a few forms to fill out, one had 3 parts, others were only a read-and-sign sort of deal. I’d eaten 2.5 hours before – they say you should eat within 3 hours before. They also say you should have a lot of fluids in the 24 hours leading up to the donation, and at least 3 tall glasses of water or juice in the 3 hours before donation. If I’m honest, I don’t think I drank enough fluids, but I did have more than usual.

They took my blood pressure and haemoglobin while they ‘interviewed’ me. Perfect blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg, mine is 101/64 mmHg! It’s low, but it has to be below 90 before it’s a real problem. To take haemoglobin, there’s a little needle that pricks your finger a little bit, then the blood is measured for iron absorption, to see if you’re at risk of anaemia for example. Mine is healthy at 123 g/L! According to wikipedia, normal haemoglobin levels in women are between 121 and 151 g/L.

After the interview they sat me down, elevated my chair and put a blanket over me. They gave me a stress ball to squeeze then poked me with the needle, which didn’t hurt at all. They sticky taped it down so that it didn’t pull or move, and we chatted. I mentioned at first that my fingers felt a bit weird, but when I started moving them more and squeezing the ball more often it went away. 10 minutes or so later it was all over!

I expected to feel more dizzy. When you’re a new donor, they sit you up for a couple of minutes before letting you leave the chair after your donation. I expected to feel quite faint, being so petite; people always joke when I mention giving blood that I wouldn’t have enough in me! But I felt totally fine.

In the refreshments area there was a European woman, I think her accent was French but I couldn’t be sure (the way she said “orange” just made me think of it!). She asked me if I want tea, coffee or juice, so I said juice. Apple or orange? she asked. Apple it was! She brought it out on a platter with cheese, crackers and a fun-sized chocolate, and asked if I wanted a muffin. I said yes before she came back and said “now, you have to eat ALL!” Yikes, I don’t think I could finish it on a good day! I ate what I could and put the rest of the sealed food in my bag for later. Thankfully her shift finished before I left so she didn’t see my half eaten muffin!

It takes 24 to 48 hours for your blood to replenish itself; they take about 600mL, and say the quicker you drink this much fluid the quicker your body will recover. No strenuous activity for 24 hours! The website said 12, but they said 24, so that means no workout. I felt a bit guilty, my muscles are yelling abuse at me and I’m fidgety. Can’t wait for the 24 hours to be up so I can get moving today!

Some time this month I’m accompanying a friend to his blood donation, as my overwhelmingly good experience has inspired him! He has had bad experiences with small blood tests, but giving blood in Australia is very safe, and he knows that if he feels funny they will stop, so he’s decided that the fear of what could go wrong is not enough to hold him back from at least trying! :) All the best for your donation (I know you read!), and I hope anybody else reading will think about taking the leap if they’re able as well. The people of your country need you! ;)

I want to go to Japan!


Image from reuben via Flickr

Since I discovered that Sailor Moon and Card Captor Sakura – cartoons I first watched when I was little (and never seemed to grow out of ^.^.gif ) – are from Japan, and then when I found out the band I liked, Malice Mizer, was also Japanese, I’ve been actively interested in Japanese pop culture.

After that came more anime, then when that died down a little, Lolita fashion. Then came along gyaru fashion, magazines, and slowly, more and more of this media I couldn’t read was showing up everywhere I looked. Communities I joined on LiveJournal, shows I watched, interviews and tours on YouTube, fashion sites…

My friends were into it as well. I’d hear about holiday planning and where they’d go or had gone, where they shopped, and often when I exclaimed “where did you get that? I love it!” the answer was 109, Harajuku, ‘a random shop in Shibuya’, Osaka, Liz Lisa. For how much I loved them they seemed out of my reach. -w-

When I was into Lolita, Baby the Stars Shine Bright had just begun shipping internationally. Bodyline was acceptable, and the secondhand Lolita community was bustling. The YEN to AUD was wonderfully in my favour, 100¥ to the dollar! But it didn’t last. The yen grew stronger against our dollar, and (irrespectively) the novelty of shopping online died a little. ;_;

Still interested in reading my magazines and websites or blogs though, and entering linguist mode, I decided to pick up the language. I studied intensively for a year and a half, reaching “intermediate” level. This year I’m going to take the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT), though I’ve been out of practise for a long while.

It’s sad to look back at how my flame for Japan dimmed over time. I never did get there, like I’d wanted to since I was 12 years old. It wasn’t until this month that I got back into Liz Lisa, and my passion rekindled and began to burn so fiercely in my heart that now, 10 years later, I have resolved to make it there. goal.gif

Liz Lisa is available online. The makeup I want is online. Everything I could want from Japan is online, except the experience. I think this is what my soul needs. I need to walk around and feel belonging, walk into a store and like the things they sell. It’s rare to do that here! The stores I like are expensive and haven’t got the sentimentality that Japanese clothes have to me.

It’s silly to me that I’ve been so obsessed and smitten with this country, but have never been there before. My knowledge about Japan is inconclusive; distant; impersonal. I will get there.

This means no more shopping sprees (post on that coming up as soon as I receive the last thing I paid for!). With enough posters on my wall though, this will just be another motivator for me! I’m so excited to make my dreams come true. I guess that’s what this is about, isn’t it?

Wait for me, I’ll be there soon. stars.gif