Thursday, December 17, 2009

sensible swimwear

Is it acceptable to wear a two piece at a public pool?

Or is it just my ridiculous preconceptions that say a bikini is entirely inappropriate attire?

And for that matter, how many people actually own one-piece togs these days?

Well me, for one. And I’m not talking about the trendy bedazzled cut-outs that show off just as much as a two-piece – I mean sensible swimwear from Speedo! Practical and boring, but the only thing I find appropriate to wear for my swim at the gym.

There’s this girl that swims there also who wears a bikini and I just can’t take her swimming-for-health efforts seriously. She wears goggles – why not splash out on a proper pair of swimmers?

It’s a bit like the undies undies togs conundrum. When does your swim wear become inappropriate for the situation?

The comparison that keeps coming back to me is the sporty shorty shorts you can get from most generic clothing stores, y’know, the ones with the numbers on the bum. They’re made to look like they’re for playing a sport, but you wouldn’t catch anyone at the gym wearing them for fear of your bum falling out the bottom of them. They’re for hanging out on the beach and sunbathing or mucking around the house – they might do the trick for actual excercise, but no one would seriously wear them for that purpose.

I’ve got nothing against the bikini. I gladly wear mine at the beach or in the river. But you’ll never catch me wearing it in a public pool – and I should hope I don’t catch you either!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

CD review – Gin Wigmore, Holy Smoke

Oh My seemed promising so when a friend passed on the album Holy Smoke, I thought I’d give it a shot.

A shot to the head would have been more pleasing.

Listening to this aural trash, I was almost tempted to call the SPCA and save a nearby cat from strangulation. Fortunately for cat lovers, there was no such act of violence to animals, it was merely my ears taking a beating.

Not only is the one of the most poorly produced albums I have ever heard, it is let down by awful, just awful, rhyming couplets (a rookie lyrical mistake), unimaginative song writing, and then there’s her voice.

In Oh My and I Do Gin’s “trademark” raspy voice is endearing and actually sounds quite good in the appropriate song. When she attempts slow-rock love songs the combination is not a winning one. In fact, I struggled to make it through the first three songs on the album.

There is nothing new or refreshing about Gin’s voice . She’s come into the game a little too late and is riding on the coattails of Amy Winehouse and Duffy. However, she does it with such lack of grace and artistic value that the “difference” she offers is merely a failed emulation of a style that’s been overdone in the last few years.

And I’m disgusted to hear that Gin’s influences include Neil Young and Jeff Buckley. What an insult to two of the greatest musicians ever, that this “artist” should consider herself influenced by them.

Am I being too harsh? I can see the merit in Gin – there was potential. I'd blame the producers of the album more than anything. However, winning an international song-writing competition does not give you license to rush out a terrible, terrible album just because you happened to write one other good song, while riding the wave of someone else’s popular song. Stick to the backing vocals, I say.

There's a clear difference between "unpolished" and "sounds like shit" and they managed to make Gin fit rather unfortunately into the latter group.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

dreams may be free...

While researching (read: procrastinating actual work and googling stuff) for upcoming blog entries I came across this gem from

At first I was put off by the initial ridiculously expensive items that came up – because although every woman wants a US$34,000 bracelet for Christmas, the chances of our loved ones buying them for us is less than minimal.

But if you persevere with this beautifully presented catalogue of gift ideas you will come across more than one affordable item and many items of great beauty.

It’s not just about the actual items you see in the catalogue, it’s the ideas which are quite inspiring (mostly as gifts to yourself, unless your boyfriend is particularly inclined to read such web sites). There are also some nice mumsy-type gifts there – one inclusion that surprised me was soap.

I know people still buy other people soaps and you can get some really nice ones from shops like Lush. What surprised me was that a style guru, like Style, would suggest such a generic gift. I don’t know if I’m sold – it seems like something you buy people when you have absolutely no idea about what they’re into (in which case, why are you buying a gift for them.)

I recall receiving a soapy gift a few years back. Although I had consumed a few glasses of bubbles by the time I was presented with the gift, I remember looking at the unwrapped item in confusion. ‘Was it chocolate?’ I wondered. I sure like chocolate, so it certainly could have been, but there was something in the smell of those little individually wrapped parcels that sidelined that thought. I think in the end one of the givers said to me “it’s soap.” My confusion must have been apparent and I was slightly embarrassed that clarification was required.

It’s not that I was ungrateful for the gift. It was very nice soap. But I’m not sure that I have used it in any way except in my underwear drawer to make it smell nice. Which it does very nicely.

As a non-believer in re-gifting (and a notorious hoarder) I assume that that is where the soap will remain until such a time that I run out of body wash or hand soap. Unfortunately, for the soap, that’s unlikely to happen, because I’m an organised person who rarely runs short of the things I like to have.

In any case, the Holiday Gift Guide is worth checking out – especially if you like to lust after expensive things and look at pretty photos of animals. It’s a shame you can’t print it out and sneakily leave it on the coffee table to be seen by your respective gift-givers. The best most of us will do is the Warehouse and Michael Hill Jeweller catalogues hastily jammed in mailboxes. Dream gifts are not free, but you might just get a bargain.