Stranded Gypsy Girl

Because life is short…

Guidelines for Guy Friends January 25, 2010

Filed under: Life: Reviewed — bessabariangirl @ 12:04 pm
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It’s easy to make a guy fall in love with you. Or at least have a bit of a crush. Really it happens without me even trying half the time just by being friendly, striking up a conversation and laughing at their jokes. Cosmo can reduce it to Five Easy Steps (I can predict what it will say already: Be Confident, Look Cute and Be Yourself. Oh and Buy Expensive Cleanser from our sponsors)

But this isn’t always as fun and desirable and it may seem. It can lead to awkward silences and a wrecking ball to your friendship. There are many reasons like…

You simply may not enjoy their attentions.

Case in point 1: The Deaf Guy who had a crush on me in Year 10. I was just being nice because he was deaf and had an enlarged overbite. Cos that’s what you do. But he repaid me by paying a little bit too much attention… Subtle actions like climbing up on the woodwork table and attempting to catch moths presumably to impress me. In front of the whole class. Or at lunchtime while I was sitting on the oval with my friends he would grab his mate’s footy and run around us…but end up slipping over embarrassing both him and myself. Poor guy but it didn’t work for him or me – I ended up having to ignore him to save him the pain.

You may already have a boyfriend who you adore and are practically engaged to.

Case in point 2: I had a boyfriend and I had a good male friend. My friend and I talked of many things (including his horrible ex girlfriend) but he never asked me if I had a boyfriend and I never told him. Wrong I know, but I enjoyed our conversations and felt very insecure about holding his attentions and I didn’t want to threaten it even with the truth (THIS IS NOT RECCOMMENDED). Of course this foul play undermined and was dangerous to both relationships because the friend started thinking we were closer than what was reality and was about to ask me out when I freaked out and told him everything. Which wasn’t very fun at all. Things haven’t been the same since.

They’re perfect as a friend.

The shiney jacket

Case in point 3: My best guy friend is a legend. He pretty much single-handedly pulled me and 13 other classmates through tricky math methods, we were Co-Chairpersons of the Student Representative Council and organised everything from the Black and White Social to the Biggest Morning Tea. We did the Production (Grease) and pretty much ended up as rescue-Directors scheduling extra rehearsals at lunchtime so that it would stack up in public, he took up my dare to wear the GIANT SPARKLY JACKET he had as his costume for the production plus suffered through many rants during the year. Oh yeah and we won the State Debating Grand Final. Now in year 8 he had a crush on me (which he only told me about years afterwards on a Truth or Dare question) but never told me about it and instead became one of my golden friends! And I am so grateful for such a wonderful friendship that has never been marred by anything it shouldn’t have been.

So, some guidelines for that tricky area, full of landmines between mere acquaintance and boyfriend.

  • Forget the categorization

I know it happens, as a girl you can develop a habit of dropping guys into categories, there’s the “potential fun hook up (as my friend Renee calls them)”, “potential husband”, “potential nothing what-so-ever”. But I’ve found out that once you categorise someone you start treating them that way. So you could subconsciously start flirting one while ignoring the other. Which isn’t right. So I’m working on trying to think of guys as the one category: brothers. So you can have fun and in jokes but you also treat them fairly without leading them down paths you didn’t mean to go.

  • Be clear about you “status”

As Case in Point 2 taught me, you must be upfront with the guys in your life on where they stand. Especially if you have a boyfriend. It’s hard to do subtly, and you do worry that it may imply they had interest or an intensity/interest that had energized the relationship will fizzle and die. But truly it’s only fair; I learnt this the hard way. Some ideas:

–         Drop your bf into the conversation e.g. mentioning something you have done together on the weekend. I find this a really good strategy.

–         Introduce him to your bf and do something fun especially if him and your bf have common interests e.g. music concert, sport event

–         Facebook, by simply having your relationship update, well, updated

  • Flirting

Obvious really. But it’s surprisingly tricky and the most innocent things can be taken the wrong way! And I tend to be a naturally friendly person which leads me into trouble sometimes (see Case in Point 1). So I guess just be aware, especially of his reactions and take it down a peg if need be.

  • Don’t read into things

Just because he opened the door for you doesn’t mean he has a crush on you. Maybe he was inspired by watching Pride and Prejudice with his sister to be more gentlemanly.

  • Things that may give him ‘the wrong idea’

–         Long phone calls late at night

–         Texting 24/7

–         Calling each other cutsie nicknames that no one else is in on

–         Discussing his onstage kissing technique (or his biceps, or how much you love his hugs)

–         Giving him a shoulder massage


Assorted Nibbles: 25/01/2010 January 24, 2010

Filed under: Assorted Nibbles — bessabariangirl @ 6:15 am
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First link post for 2010! It better be good….here goes

My motto for 2010

  • Jasper Fforde (a.k.a my favourite author of all time has, not just a new series, but a new book out. Cue: excitement and reading frenzy. Without giving too much away his inventive craziness (like a love child of Terry Pratchet and Doulgas Adams with some seriously powerful drugs or something) is in full force set in a post apopcalyptic world where “something has happened”, society is regulated into a social structure based on what hue of colour one can see and the spoons are missing. There’s elements of 1984, Brave New World and even Jane Austen to be found. Here’s an interview on Goodreads to tantalise you even more.
  • How to argue like Jesus I’m sure will come in handy in the hot bed of pernicious ideas that is university
  • Come on guys, Facebook isn’t all that bad. Amongst all the doomsday predictions here’s some positive elements Facebook can bring to your life
  • Don’t we all want to start a revolution. Something I’d like to do before I die.
  • Did you know about these hidden messages in logos? I’m looking at street signs and trucks in a whole new way…
  • I guess someone had to do it – compile a dating site’s profile pictures. They came up with some interesting results though.

Inspired Words #1 December 13, 2009

Filed under: Inspired Words — bessabariangirl @ 2:36 am
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Inspired Words is inspired by Charade and her weekly Words To Live By with the combination of poignant, quirky quotes and startingly beautiful images.

I have always loved quotes and have three scrapbooks full of them. I am so excited to be sharing my favourite ones. Starting with one of my favourite men, C.S. Lewis an a quote I read this morning that made me stop and rethink life over a little….

“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilisations – these are mortals and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is the immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendours.”

C.S. Lewis


Beating that Stale Feeling December 12, 2009

Filed under: Life: Reviewed — bessabariangirl @ 4:31 am
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Cos Life is Short

At the moment I am living in a state of limbo, awaiting exam results so I can make plans for university. So I’m stuck on a farm in the middle of nowhere with a lack of external excitements to make the days whiz by. If you find yourself in a similar situation take heart because it’s possible to avoid that stale feeling and keep the feeling of inspired freshness.

  • Lack of sunlight

Now I’m a person who heartily enjoys the indoors I’m perfectly fine with hanging inside where I wont get bitten by bugs, annoyed by flies or sunburnt. But I’ve noticed that if I spend the entire day indoors I feel kind of restless and stale, and apparently it’s true that human beings are somewhat like plants in that we need daily sunshine to feel find (and for good health). So I try to incorporate some ‘outside time’ which for me involves a refreshing early morning walk (how much do I sound like a cheesy info ad lady there? I swear I am not!). Even sitting on a swing chair reading a book, a spot of gardening or playing with kids on a playground (or hang it, who needs kids to give an excuse to go to the playground?) could be fun.

  • Lack of physical activity

“I feel all blobby and I hate it,” I complained to Lach on the phone. He asked me how much physical exercise I was getting and I had to admit that ever since my regular structure of the day had gone so had my fine plans of exercising. Facebook just doesn’t move many muscles other than the finger muscles.

You can combine this with getting some sunlight and go for a walk outside which is by far my favourite form of physical activity besides dancing. There are no excuses because I have used them up already: we have a massive fly infestation (being Australia and all) and so unless I get outside between 6-6.30 in the morning I will be swarmed. So keep that in mind and count your blessings

  • Lack of music

“Why am I feeling low? Why am I feeling blue? What’s wrong with me” I asked halfway through this year. And I realised that I hadn’t listened to music or read a book for fun in over a month. Shocking to the max as they are my two favouritest things in the world.

Music is the instant mood lifter. Pretend your life is a movie and play the soundtrack. Combine this with the other points thus far covered and go for a walk outside listening to music. Dance a little if no one is watching. Heck I dance in the middle of supermarkets but maybe that’s just me. Try out different music. If it’s summer play some Jack Johnson and Michael Franti. If it’s winter try Fleet Foxes and Baroque music. I find any mood; any time of the day is enhanced by music. Go punk in the morning, jazz in the afternoon and Latin at night. Create music yourself and jam with friends. Be the guy with the guitar and pick up a few chicks while you’re at it….

  • Lack of colour

Colour is so mood enhancing, and not just in that hippy trippy way. Add some colour to your life. Find those Vintage Calendars and hang them in your room. Or paint your walls different colours. Wear bright colours. Have a clashing colours day. Paint your guitar case, knit a colourful rug (or ipod cover if you want to start off small) blow up some balloons and stuff them in someone’s locker (or cupboard or car or fridge or whatever).

  • Lack of spontaneity

Don’t be stuck in the routine. Add something fun on the spur of the moment. Jump in the pool. Do a jig in the middle of town. Rock up at a gig of a band you’ve never heard of in a style of music you don’t normally listen to. Try the new restaurant. Have your car washed by those groovy looking car wash places if you’ve never done that before. Carpe Diem.

  • Lack of contact with people

Maybe this is just me being a people person and all but I need to see someone or I really get stale and blue. Ring up a friend you haven’t heard from in ages and have a catch up chat (or better yet have a Coffee Catch up). Go to the old person’s home and talk with the residents. Hint: ask about their kids/grandkids. That always gets them talking. Organise a party for some random reason with a random theme. Facebook doesn’t count you need to see them face to face.

  • Unfinished projects

I start to feel cluttered, down and restless if I have too many projects I’ve started but haven’t finished. This also happens when I’ve started too many books at once. So bite the bullet and finish something. It’s the best feeling. I tell myself ok I’ll work on this for just ten minutes (or even just five on bad days) and I find that after that amount of time I have gotten into a flow and don’t want to stop. Then you finish it and can relish a feeling of accomplishment.

  • Messiness

It takes less than five minutes to make your bed and then it brightens the entire room. Clean up even just for five minutes. Clear spaces clear the mind. Or do a deep clean and chuck out stuff. You know you want to declutter. Go through shelf by shelf, drawer by drawer and if your not going to read it/wear it/look at it/love it ever again give it to someone who will.

  • Lack of inspiration/passion

Music can help ignite a passion and so can a good book or movie. Remember why you chose that career or location or job and get back to the basics of where it all began to recapture that first love. What did you love doing as a kid? What ‘recreates’ you?

  • Lack of water

Getting thirsty = thinking you’re hungry so you needlessly snack = feeling stale and junky because you didn’t need that extra food. The best quick fix to feeling stale is to take a swig of water.

  • Lack of Laughs/Smiles

Hanging out with kids is one of the best ways to laugh/smile at the cute things they say. Or maybe there’s a movie that cracks you up. For me it’s ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’ with Cary Grant in it. Or get hold of Lano and Woodley the comedy duo from Australia. Youtube Ross Noble or whoever your favourite comedian is. Or remember some in jokes/embarrassing moments with friends.

  • Hag Days

Mum and I used to call the days wear we wouldn’t shower and just wear trackies and old t-shirts “hag days”. We thought we would be comfy and not have to worry about taking time on appearances. But you know what? It just made me feel stale and horrible. So no more hag days for me. Life is too short to be wearing something you don’t even like all that much. So have a shower, brush your hair, get out of those pj’s. Feel fresh, creative and unique.



Assorted Nibbles: Links of the Week 11/12/09 December 11, 2009

Filed under: Assorted Nibbles — bessabariangirl @ 1:38 am
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I adore link posts, what a better way to launch a lazy weekend eh? And I’m constantly finding treats all over the joint.

So, served from me to you, ‘Assorted Nibbles’


I love blogs. It’s like a favourite magazine that has a new article every day that you get to interact with. So to humbley present the blogs that are inspiring me/guiding me/making me laugh I will spotlight one weekly, a highly reccommended list for you to check out.

College Fashion.Net

This is my one stop shop for everything fashion and style. It has an enormous range of articles that are vibrantly written everything from Vintage Finds tothe regular ‘Would you Wear?’ spotlighting some latest crazy fashion trend, there’s style inspiration galore from their series on Inspiration from Movies and the weekly Hautelinks gathering the best fashion articles from the net. My personal favourite that revolutionised my waredrobe would be their Closet Makeover Series – an absolute must read.

Their articles are always fun, well written and interesting.

In their own words:

College Fashion is a blog for stylish college girls, featuring fashion tips for students, the latest fashion trends, beauty tips, online sale updates, and style advice for 20 somethings.

The goal of this site is to deliver content and foster discussion around fashion, college life, style, trends, shopping, beauty products, and other related facets of college life.


Garage Sale Guru: Life Reviewed December 10, 2009

Filed under: Life: Reviewed,Style — bessabariangirl @ 3:57 am
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Michelle and her "find"

Today marked an entry into not just another recreational activity, not just something fun to do on the weekend…but a whole different lifestyle.

I’ve always wondered how my friend Michelle found amazing, quirky, different nick knacky things that she would say she “picked up” for under a dollar – a fringed lamp, the most amazing teapot collection, brown lacy Victorian gloves and a wardrobe full of dresses like none you’d pick up at merely Target. I’ve scoured op shops (a passion of mine) hoping to pick up similarly quirky items…but they’re prices merely have been hiking (what’s with that? You can practically buy things new for the same price)

I now know her secret: Garage Sales

Now this is a whole different world and there are unwritten laws and conventions. Bronnie (Michelle’s Mum) is a Garage Sale guru (and fanatic!), and she lead the way through the maze of seemingly junk to find the pearls underneath the piles of weight-loss books and unused Pilates sets. Here’s some advice I picked up on my five hour initiation through myriads of lawns…

  • EARLY! EARLY! EARLY! Everyone will tell you this, but it is so true (insert: something about worms and birds). We got started at 8 in the morning and it was TOO LATE people! Most garage sales start at 7 and your Garage Sale nemesis WILL snaffle up that life-size children’s fire truck (as Bronnie rued) if you are not there right on the dot. Do not estimate the amount of people who are experienced at this; who set their alarm clocks before the sun and have memorised a map of every garage sale. It is, after all, practically a profession for some.The price is merely a guideline. Hopefully the person actually wants to get rid of stuff and therefore will be opening to bargaining down things.
  • Game Plan: What you need

– The local paper: highlight the address of the garage sales and write a cool looking code such as E for East of the city and W for the west of the city, grouping the sales in accessible bundles.

– Car space. Chuck out the baby chair before you go.

– An idea of what you are looking for. For all aimless wandering is fun it can be dangerous to both pocket and children’s sanity.

  • Items one can always rely on being at a garage sale:

–         Weight loss books (it’s as if the occupants just gave up and gave away that guilt inducing item)

–         Unused exercise equipment (ditto)

–         Kids toys/clothes (garage sales are GOLD for the thrifty grandparent)

–         Out of guneas book of records

–         Photo Frames

  • If you are selling, please sell items you WANT to get rid of. Too often I’d be perusing a table of stuff with the owner of that stuff murmuring “that was grandma’s favourite” or “my daughter couldn’t get enough of playing with that”. One lady had a story to EVERYTHING and looked mournfully as we handed over the money. Don’t be that woman.
  • The price is merely a guideline. Hopefully the person actually wants to get rid of stuff and therefore will be opening to bargaining down things.
  • Know when to stop, or, If it doesn’t fit into the car comfortably, leave it there! Some pointers to help know when it’s time you went home

–         You have had to make trips to your friend who lives in town to dump your stuff there

–         It’s past 2 o’clock and you haven’t had lunch but are still scourging

–         Your kids are neigh fainting and haven’t even gotten out of the car for the last three garage sales

–         You are starting to swerve madly at the sight of a newspaper or a bin on the footpath

–          You’re making up excuses for acquiring items that will do you and your love ones no good, “but ours might get mysteriously stolen”, “Well I still haven’t gotten a present for Drew, he could enjoy this Elvis with the boggle head and bendy arms”

  • If in doubt over an item ask, “Do I need this?” and “What am I going to use this for?”

Auditions: Life Reviewed December 2, 2009

Filed under: Life: Reviewed,Music — bessabariangirl @ 8:38 am
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Dreaming of a future this audition could bring...

You’re in a room with two strangers whose job it is to scrutinize you and decide your future. You have a mere ten minutes to impress them; cramming in as much impressive skill and flare and personality as you can. Every note is played like a plea “let me in! Let me in!”

You are ruing not choosing something a bit more sensible, a bit more straightforward like Science where it all comes down to your exam numbers. Nothing like this complicated mass of variables, from the state of your nerves to the auditioner’s mood to the air-conditioning potentially putting your instrument out of tune to the very drops of sweat on your hands. The questions teem, “Have I chosen a good enough selection? Will they hate it if I don’t use an accompanist? Oh my gosh the person down the hall sounds so much more impressive”… and it all comes down to that big question that plagues every musician, singer, actor, dancer and performer out there, “Am I good enough?”

Being one of the many have traipsed from uni from uni selling my skills like a door-to-door salesman …I completely understand. It’s survivable. Today was my last audition and I await results. It’s such an odd position to be, one that none of my friends could properly sympathise with. Anyway here’s some things I picked up from my * harrowing * experiences of the last few weeks.

  • Pretend you’re in Fame – Well it works for me ok. I like to picture I’m in a movie, helps me to enjoy what would otherwise be a harrowing experience. Got a flat tire on the way to the audition? Oh that’s extra drama thrown in to add suspense to the plot line. In the poorly “soundproofed” practice rooms I had this drummer next to me stomping away and a virtuoso violinist down the hall playing impressive trills and runs. So in the spirit of ‘Fame’ I practiced my scales to the beats the drummer was playing and hoped the virtuoso violinist would be accepted to a prestigious college in Norway.
  • Get the less stressy parent to take you – Pretty obvious but you want to have the clearest state of mind, and trust me any little thing is liable to unhinge the tenuously balanced calm you’re clinging onto. My Dad, whilst the less stressy of the two unfortunately had a cold taking me down to my auditions and so the relentless “sniff, sniff” (more like a hearty “snort, snort”) almost drove me wild. But I hung on.
  • The key: warm up – Warm up the morning of your audition. This allows for a comfortable drive without any paranoia’s that you have lost your skills overnight. Get there at least an hour early. I found that although the official pamphlet said to expect a meager “15 minutes” in a warm up room, by showing up early I got up to an hour of warm up time. The more you play your pieces the better they sound and the more your confidence grows and the tension dissipates. I find the simplest exercise almost a form o f meditation when fully zoned into what I’m playing. Playing your instrument if the best way to get rid of stress – it banishes the what if’s and engages your mind.
  • Embarrassing moments – Are golden. It breaks the ice immediately and dispels the tension. Not to mention making you memorable to the auditioner and showing off your poise as you laugh it off and recover. Setting up my stand for one of the auditions I banged my violin bow against the stand like a total noob/amateur. “Ah well I needed a new one anyway” I hastily added and everyone in the room chuckled. On my exit I thought it would be a good idea to shake the hands of the auditoners, and having my violin in my right hand reached with my left hand. There were some confused looks but I left with the comment, “Well we are pretty backward in Picola!”
  • Flat tires happen: Keeping the stress at bay – The best method I have found is pure distraction. Find something that will keep your mind from worrying, relieving what hasn’t even happened yet and imagining a thousand disastrous possibilities. We got a flat tire on the way to the audition today and I almost lost it. But I went straight to my book (Anne of Avonlea) and read like crazy. My favourite distraction is turning the music up really loud and singing along. If you have to wait around beforehand (and you’re a girl or a different sort of male) shopping works wonders with it’s sort of pleasant, numbing sensation.
  • Dealing with the comments auditioner’s make – I had one highly esteemed auditioner comment after I had finished playing, “Well you’ll have to work on your technique”. I felt quite shattered until I thought about it and decided it (hopefully) wasn’t a bad thing. Apparently they say that sort of thing to most applicants anyway so don’t base too much on the random things they say, though I know you will anyway. I ended up passing that audition after all.
  • If you are a rural student or suffer any other such disadvantages milk it baby –  use it as ‘colour’ to your personality. I had one auditioner say to me that “a no isn’t a no” and that I didn’t get in, based on the fact I’ve had such a hard time living on a farm in a town of a hundred people he would personally push my case for me (and true, it is darn hard to pursue music with the lack of resources and support you’re faced with. I had to go to another school to be able to study music)
  • Different levels and mixtures of other applicants – As my teacher sagely says, “there will always be someone better than you and someone worse than you.” So this is just unnecessary stress because it’s impossible to know everything about what they’re doing – those thousands of variables apply to them too. There is one thing for sure however: there are no other you’s auditioning with your particular mix of personality, talents and experience. So…
  • Be yourself

Resources and Links:

–         One of the best books I have ever read on music is ‘The Inner Game of Music’ by Barry Green. Essential reading – it has revolutionised the way I think about playing the violin (and any instrument, indeed any discipline would benefit)

–       The second greatest book to counteract nerves and offer loads of advice is ‘Taking Centrestage’ by Ruth Bonetti with many case studies from famous people and step by steps guiding through every situation, this book has been a massive help!