The Love List: April.

When I was in high school, my best friend and I would sporadically message each other to demand an exchange of our latest newfound music obsessions. Both being colossal Francophone nerds, this usually entailed YouTube links to soppy Carla Bruni confections, peppered with the occasional Kelly Clarkson hit, Eskimo Joe power ballad, or obscure movie soundtrack. Despite our clear lack of music-hunting prowess (whatever happened to Eskimo Joe?), there was something so inexplicably comforting about listening to my friend’s suggestions. Because music is so flippin’ personal, corny as it sounds, getting a glimpse into what my galpal had on repeat  while cramming international studies homework seemed so intimate and lovely, like finally understanding the inner workings of her brain. What did she listen to in the dead of night? What made her want to dance? What made her run that much further? What wrestled into her veins, knifed her soul, and made her cry?

Currently studying postgraduate law, waist-deep in stiflingly horrendous administrative law cases; I’ve swiftly learnt that the world is a much brighter place when you have things to be inspired by. Life is so much better when you’re excited, whether that’s about the latest episode of Game of Thrones, a fancy ramen joint opening up around the corner, a new pair of tailored navy Topshop trousers (just me?) or the fact Tony Abbott ate an entire raw onion. With ‘Don’t Tell Mama’ being my little sparkly corner of the internet, I’d like to propose my new monthly venture, The Love List: a bite-size insight of what’s filling my belly, what’s pumping through my earphones, what’s filling up my ASOS shopping cart, and what’s keeping me sane. I miss sharing those songs with my friend, so it’s time to get the blogosphere involved. Surely if these things have jazzed up my month, they could pep up yours too. And if not, well, you might just get a decent New Yorker article out of it, or at least a half-arsed excuse to fangirl over Taylor Swift (actually, I retract that. Do you need a reason?).

Anyway, enough yacking. Herewith lies my list for March/April, a month of mid-term university assignments, theatre visits, and approximately 36873 Cadbury Easter eggs.

Song of the month:

Fronted by full-on musical legend Alexander Gow, Melburnian indie rock band Oh Mercy is way up there as one of my favourite groups of all time. I’ve been forever enamoured by their 2009 album ‘Privileged Woes’ (and follow-ups ‘Great Barrier Grief’ and ‘Deep Heat’ go down damn well on a Sunday afternoon) but something about their latest track release, Sandy, just makes me feel invincible (and okay, kind of sexy. Can I say that on here? Hi Mum!). I’d love to say Sandy makes me want to slap on red lippy and go flirt with a thousand Calvin Klein models in a darkly lit bar, but it really doesn’t. I just want to blare this track full blast while jumping up and down on my bed, screaming the lyrics in my underwear… 10/10 obsessed with this song, which is probably no surprise considering my crush on Alexander is currently reaching obscene heights, rivalled only by mid-2000’s Jake Gyllenhaal.

Media-gasm of the month:

A self-confessed media nerd, there is nothing like a stellar article, podcast or documentary to really get the inspiration flowing. This month it’s Alec Baldwin’s podcast, Here’s the Thing, hosted by WNYC and in association with Killer Content. Basically, Alec Baldwin’s voice is caramelised crack. It’s orgasmic. I could listen to him read the back pages of the Financial Review or the instruction manual of a hairdryer and still be head-over-heels. Surprisingly, Baldwin is a killer interviewer, and I really respect the idea behind the podcast- a focus on “intimate and honest conversations” with people that delve into how they got their careers started and what inspires them. For someone incredibly disillusioned with her degree at the moment, this is heavenly. I haven’t worked my way through all of them yet, but so far Lorne Michaels, Lena Dunham, Chris Rock and Kris Jenner (Bow down to the queen of momagers!) are standouts. Still, the best one to date has definitely been Kristen Wiig’s. Somehow, discovering that she spent a good part of her twenties working at Anthropologie makes me feel infinitely more okay with my life choices. I’ve linked it below in case you need a further excuse to procrastinate (you know you do).

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http://www.wnyc.org/story/197391-kristen-wiig/

Food of the month:

Hands down, the apple pie waffles at Mixed Business cafe (Clifton Hill, Melbourne). Ginormous, piping-hot buttermilk waffles with blistered, maple baked apples, crumbling pecan biscuit, covered in melting vanilla icecream. Who knew something could be better than Ryan Gosling naked, a binge-watch of ‘Girls’, and Solange Knowles’ wardrobe combined? Being a) lactose/fructose intolerant and b) possessor of a metabolism that operates at the speed of a snail on a peak-hour tram, I reluctantly resisted these babies, but my boyfriend devoured them in a matter of seconds.

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Oh, and with it being April, shout out to the literal hundreds of easter eggs I consumed in the space of 72 hours. Why can’t it be Easter all the time? Or at the very least, mini eggs should be available year round. I’m surprised there hasn’t already been a nation-wide rally, to be honest.

Fashion item of the month:

Despite now being unemployed and thus having a severe lack of fat stacks to burn, I stumbled across these Martha Jean earrings whilst perusing High St, Northcote last Saturday afternoon. How could a gal resist? A nifty price point, and a local designer? I mean, really, it would only be polite to buy one in both gold and black. Just doing my part to stimulate the economy. Thank me later, Joe Hockey.

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Cultural activity of the month: 

‘Cultural activity’ seems like such a wanky way to phrase it, but how else do you encapsulate plays/ gigs/ comedy shows/ concerts into the one category? Stay with me (or suggest a better name in the comments! Culture Club nearly won, but to be honest, I feel like this blog is jazzy enough without continuous Boy George references).

Anyway, being a Melburnite, I went along to see two comedians at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival this month, Adam Hills’ ‘Clown Heart’ and Rich Hall’s ‘3:10 to Humour’. Rich Hall NAILED it. Man, when you get two hundred politics nerds in the room and then a comedian starts talking about gun control, you just know shit’s going to get real very fast. I also saw the Melbourne Theatre Company’s production of Samuel Beckett’s ‘Endgame’ on Monday night, but I’m not sure I’d recommend that, unless you like absurdist drama, an impending apocalypse, and not understanding anything you’re seeing.

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Inspiring person of the month:

Bryan Stevenson, founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative and NYU law professor. If you’re a law student (and okay, even if you’re not), just watch his TedX Talk. The man is a walking legend. He needs no other introduction. I ordered his book ‘Just Mercy’ online, and plan to read it in approximately ten thousand years, when my trusts law professor will eventually stop giving me fifty-page cases to read every night.

Most Googled topic of the month:

Following on from my recent obsession with Bryan Stevenson, and in light of recent events concerning the Boston Bomber, my boyfriend and I have been completely fascinated with the death penalty in the United States. In particular, I was shocked to discover more about the botched execution of death row prisoner Joseph Wood in Arizona last year, and, following a bit of a gallop into the Internet hole, found myself on the Death Penalty Information Center’s website, accessible here. Being incredibly fortunate to live in a country where the possibility of state execution doesn’t hang over my head, I found the statistics regarding death penalty in the U.S. equal parts intriguing and horrifying, and was shocked to learn that California has the largest death row in the country (currently at a whopping 751 inmates, despite not having executed a single prisoner since 2006). Regardless of your beliefs (and heck, mine definitely reside in the anti-capital punishment territory), this topic is only becoming increasingly important, and, yes, one hundred percent Google-able.

(Coming close second: is Taylor Swift dating Calvin Harris? GUYS, serious question. They did look matey at Whole Foods. Okay, enough about that.)

Website of the month:

This month, what with a plethora of incredibly uninspiring uni lectures, I’ve been obsessed with the fashion blog of Ms Pandora Sykes: fashion writer, stylist and blogger. When I should have been giving my undivided attention to a case about mortgages, I’ve instead regularly perused the many inspired posts of this glorious English fashion maven. I could not be more in love with her chunky, fab coats layered with shirts, brogues, tights, and everything else under the sun- glitter, pom poms, piercings… And shout out to her use of the word ‘home slice’, which has now become an awesomely unexpected addition to my vocab (what’s up, home slice?)

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Movie of the month:

Now that I think about it, I’m fairly sure this is the only movie I’ve seen this month (does a Say Yes To The Dress marathon count?). Very late to the party, but I watched Interstellar on the weekend, while lying in front of a fireplace eating taramasalata and pita in my pyjamas on a Saturday night (yo don’t hate the playa, hate the game, baby). I’m equal parts amazed and totally freaked out by space, and this movie only intensifies both those emotions. Moreover, it’s the first movie I’ve seen that’s officially part of the “McConnaissance“, and dang, the dude’s got downright talent. I’m not a sci-fi/fantasy chick by any realm of the universe (ha! See what I did there?) but I didn’t snooze off or even check my Instagram during the entire film, which is basically like climbing Everest: it’s BIG. But what I love more than anything else about the movie? It reminded me that at the end of the day, we’re all here on this tiny little unique planet, spinning around a slowly dying sun in an infinite universe, a tiny speck within the concept of time. And suddenly… whether Taylor Swift is dating Calvin Harris doesn’t matter anymore. You feel insignificant, but in a way that is oddly comforting, not isolating- like you’re part of a wider narrative.

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(Okay, just kidding. Whether they’re dating TOTALLY matters).

Well, that’s clearly enough ranting for one day. I’ve got all that #inspo off my chest and now I’m as happy as a clam, ready to perve on what you’ve been loving this month too. Share below if you please! There’s always time to procrastinate. And hey, if you’re Alec Baldwin… call me.

Met Gala 2014: Power Couples Edition.

 Laters, Easter Sunday. Adieu, ANZAC Day. Sayonara, Santa and your sleigh. The month of May is officially the best time of the year. This Monday should have been declared a public holiday.

And why? Well, it’s all about the Met Gala, of course.

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Chaired by none other than Ms Anna “Ice Queen” Wintour, the Met Ball fundraises for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. Regardless, it essentially remains an excuse for the rich and famous to get primped, primed, and totter around on the red carpet sporting cheeky leg reveals and awkward leans. It’s a similar scenario every year. Twitter goes cray cray. Instagram practically explodes. Die-hard celebrity watchers such as myself attend uni lectures instantly refreshing websites waiting to glimpse the latest look. What do you mean, I’m meant to function as a productive human being today?

So, naturally, when we think of the Met Gala, we think faaaaaaaahhhshun.

We think oozing glamour, frenzied paparazzi, high-end, suck-your-belly-in, this-dress-cost-more-than-your-house-and-your-car-and-your-two-kidneys type outfits. Last year, the theme was “Punk: Chaos to Couture”. Cue studs, tartan, black leather, and the internet self-combusting over some seriously entertaining gifs of Jennifer Lawrence photobombing Sarah Jessica Parker and her fauxhawk.

Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about.

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There we go. That woman just might be my soulmate.

The ball had a decidedly vintage feel this year, entitled “White Tie and Diamonds”, with a nod to couturier Charles James. Rumour has it Marc Jacobs wasn’t too pleased because it basically prevented him from rocking up to the ball in boxer shorts, as he famously did in 2012. Maybe next year, Mr Jacobs. Hang in there, pal.

Celebrities spend days upon days oohing and aahing over what fabulous attire they shall don on the style soiree of the year. And if shit really hits the fan, one or two might even encounter some serious issues on the day of the event.

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Oh Tay Tay. Miaaaaow.

I would love to say the highlight of the Met Gala 2014 was the frocks, jocks and socks. But that would be a complete and utter lie. It seems another accessory stole the show. A living, breathing, sweating and talking accessory.

No, not a Furby. Not Siri either. The must-have accessory was a partner.

Hollywood is no doubt insanely incestuous, with most VIPs pashing another at some stage. They’re all famous, I guess! And there’s nothing to make your heart flutter like bonding over photographers in the bushes snapping pics of you at Starbucks. But it seems 2014 is the year to fall head over heels, sport lovesick eyes, and walk hand in hand with a regulation hottie. Because nothing says fashion like a partner trailing three feet behind.

I hereby rename this year’s theme:

MET GALA 2014: POWER COUPLES EDITION.

Here are the top 10 power couples of the 2014 Met Gala, compiled by yours truly.

10. Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield

As much as I’d love to give Spiderman and Easy A the top spot because I’m a loud and proud advocate of their relationship, they’re juuuust sneaking in. Yes, they’re power coupling up a storm. But serious points deducted for Emma’s Thakoon gown. It’s pretty, sure, but where’s the intrigue and detail and faaashun she usually rocks with flair and pizazz?!?! This just looks like very MTV Movie Awards circa 2004. Naht impressed, guyzzz. I was rooting for you! You owe me one for even being on this list.

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9. Charlize Theron and Sean Penn

Now I must say, this couple doesn’t do it for me (nor does Sean’s creepy mo). But you’ve gotta admit it. They basically define “power couple”. Can you imagine sitting down at a ball table and having them two lounging next to you, just casually leaning over you to pour some champers, or nibble on the complimentary bread? It’s nuts. Too much talent. Imagine the pillow talk.

Plus, Charlize looks bangin’ in that Dior gown. Damn, gurl. You classy.

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8. Chanel Iman and A$AP Rocky

Have I been living under a rock? Literally? Cos tell me if I have, dear blogger pals. But who in the dingin’ name of Hollywood is A$AP Rocky? Well, Chanel Iman’s main squeeze, apparently. She’s stunning the crowd, swathed in her Topshop threads. He’s clearly channelling Kanye West in this one, but I give him a free pass because, well, he’s a Grade A Babe. Mm, yep. Carry on, you two. As you were. I approve.

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7. Chrissy Teigen and John Legend

Okay, so I hadn’t actually heard of this power couple until I saw the photos on Vogue. And then their adorable photo published on Humans of New York. Holy shiet on toast, they are adorable! High five, John, for scoring that babe. Chrissy Teigen, you may have reached new girl crush status with that insane Ralph Lauren creation and infectious Colgate smile. Stone cold fox. May you both create ten thousand beautiful children.

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6. Diane Kruger and Joshua Jackson

Waahhhhh. The Jason Wu attire. The cream jacket. The classy hairstyle. The mysterious, “we’re better than you and we know it” eyes. This, right here, is the definition of perfection. REALLY.

Don’t believe me? Grab your nearest Oxford Dictionary. Look up the word ‘perfection’. See this picture? Yep. Good. Told you so. That is all.

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5. Victoria and David Beckham

Say what you will, you just can’t go past Posh Spice and the Becks. I kind of adore this look. His hair. Her hair. His tailored suit. Her tailored gown. The complimentary black and white tones just scream “Remember our matching outfits in the 90’s?!?!” and it’s fabulous. Yes I do, guys. Yes I do. Adopt me?

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Aaaand just for the mems:

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4. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West

This appears to be a far more restrained look than last year, where Kim somehow accidentally wore her couch. Kanye is KILLIN’ that Lanvin suit. He needs to wear it again. Not that he would ever outfit repeat (perish the thought, what dingus would do that?). But dang, those tails make him look suaver than Sinatra. Uh-huh, honey.

Kim too looks like a legit goddess (albeit a very safe, fail-proof one, can’t go wrong with a gown like that). As if she has had a baby not so long ago?! Defying gravity with those legs, I’ll say that much. Kris Jenner must be wetting herself with pride, particularly when coupled with Kendall’s debut on the red carpet that pretty much paralysed Instagram. How could you not love this? I mean, really. Tick!

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PS- Lest we forget:

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3. Johnny Depp and Amber Heard

A controversial entrant into the Power Couples list! (Je suis vraiment desolée, Vanessa Paradis.)

Oui, fiancée Amber Heard, swathed in a stunning Giambattista Valli confection, may be a zillion years younger than Johnny. But seriously, the man’s just got swag. I mean, he’s got a cane and it doesn’t look ridiculous!! I repeat. JOHNNY DEPP USED A CANE. And it looks rad.

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2. Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds.

Finally! The enigmatic power couple hit the cameras! Eeeeeeeee. They look like something out of the Princess Bride, BUT IN THE BEST WAY POSSIBLE. Blake is so flippin’ beautiful it brings tears to the eyes. She’s a woman! Goodbye Serena Van Der Woodsen!  Her hair is a cross between Marilyn Monroe and the Little Mermaid, and it is a match made in sartorial heaven. And yes, Ryan could probably impregnate me with his eyes (and beard).

Uggggghhh. Sweet Jesus. Their children will have the most goddang glorious gene pool.

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1. Beyonce and Jay- Z.

Obviously.

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Do I even have to elaborate? No.

And then that whole thing where Queen B dropped her ring and Jay put it back on? Funny, I thought Beyonce and I were best friends, but she didn’t text me about this? Bey, babe, that was cute. If you’re reading this, return my calls? xoxo

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Ahh, love is in the air in Tinseltown. It’s enough to make a grown gal cry.

Now to rustle up a cheeky US $25,000 for a ticket so next year I too can be power coupling with Ryan Gosling. Don’t worry, friends. I’ll tag you in the Insta.

Do you Belieb?

Uh oh. JB’s done it again. And by JB, I refer not the price-savvy electronic entertainment retailer, but almighty King of the Tweens, Mr Justin Bieber. Fresh from a media roasting concerning German quarantine of his pet monkey, the Beebs is back in the press and this time it’s a whole lot more contentious. The Internet has self-combusted after the revelation that, while gigging in Amsterdam, Justin and his gold-chained posse paid a visit to the world-famous Anne Frank House museum. In the guestbook, he left this note: “Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber.”

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Wow. Cringe o’clock. Alright, let’s not stay on the hate-train too long. We can all mutually agree Bieber was brimming with warm intentions. Unless his insides are infested with black rot and cockroach slime, there is no doubt Beebs was emotionally affected by the visit. However… the note is a fairly shocking faux pas. “Anne was a great girl” clearly demonstrates that his knowledge of Nazi occupation goes about as far as half a history lesson and Anne’s chronicles have certainly never been read. It goes without saying that she was a truly special young lady, but that’s not really what jumps to mind when visiting the museum… surely the extent of Gestapo policing, infiltration of Nazi propaganda, and atrocities of the Holocaust are all crucially linked within the context of the Frank’s story; these at least made a much deeper impact on me when I frequented the house last January. But a lack of education can, and should, be forgiven. Since when were we all relying on a teen celebrity for historical commentary? Our main concerns lie with the statement- “hopefully she would have been a belieber.”

"I've made a huge mistake."
“I’VE MADE A HUGE MISTAKE!”

There are two facets to this comment. Here, the sheltered, stenotic bubble Justin is surrounded by is fully brought to light; one in which he is incessantly fawned over and treated, quite literally in some circles, as a deity. It was preposterously inappropriate and self-absorbed to reference this so-called “Belieb” movement. Still, I vaguely comprehend his intentions. According to Urban Dictionary, if you Belieb, “you support and love Justin Bieber for everything he has to stand for.” Granted, this was probably written by some 12-year old pre-pubescent diehard fan with pigtails and parental-locked internet, but the message has potential to resonate. Even I’ve seen the JB movie and nearly welled up, okay, the man’s story is inspiring and he encourages his young fans to seize their opportunities and believe in love and yourself and life and UGH I SOUND LIKE A DISNEY SOUNDTRACK DON’T JUDGE HE WAS DISCOVERED BY USHER OKAY…. Basically, I’m guessing Justin was trying to say he hoped that in 2013 Anne would have supported those things too. Then again, maybe not. Perhaps he was seriously just plugging his CDs and suggesting she would’ve enjoyed getting low to “Baby”. Regardless, as comedian Tom Ballard observed this morning- “If Anne Frank could somehow look into the future and experience Justin’s music, chances are she’d be interested in other matters.”

Some assert JB wouldn’t have anticipated a simple note to a museum could cause so much fuss, but then again, he is one of the most publicised celebrities in the Milky Way- of course the scribbles would’ve been reread. Commenting on a Holocaust-related topic is always a touchy issue, and when adding Bieber into the mix, the opportunity for flak and criticism skyrockets.

Nevertheless, let’s calm our Twitter hot heads. There’s no evidence of notes in the guest books of the Red Light District’s, erm, museums, nor have we sourced grainy images of him dabbling in ol’ Miss Mary Jane- unquestionably all alluring propositions to a teenage rockstar. Today TIME reported that Museum spokeswoman Maatje Mostart has defended Bieber, saying “He’s 19. It’s a crazy life he’s living, he didn’t mean bad… and also it’s nice that he made the effort, he didn’t have to come.” And this is what we’re all forgetting. Justin could have been hipster-haircut deep in the finest mammary glands Holland has to offer. Instead, he made the conscious decision to visit museum. The guy is by no means an ideal influence, but paying respects to the past and to a foreign culture (….at least attempting to) with the full knowledge that fans and a wider audience will mimic him breath for breath, is the action of a role-model and something JB should be congratulated for. Super stardom at his feet, this rocket could be doing a whole lot worse.

Ugh, who’d have thought I’d defend Justin Bieber like a vicious ninja on this blog? AND ON THE FIRST REAL POST! Don’t worry. I promise I’ll write about #qanda or government policy next time. Unless Selena Gomez is caught skinny-dipping at the Normandy beaches or something.