November 30, 2008

Tash Bites

I recently listened to a podcast of an interview with Nigella Lawson, if you haven't heard of her or watched her cooking show on your own at night...well you're definitely missing out, and I'm sure you feel a deep fissure in your soul that can never be filled. Her views on eating, cooking and food are awesome, so healthy and I love her. Here's a couple of quotes that really struck me.
"when I see a picture of someone who’s really hugely fat I don’t think how hideous, I think how delicious it must have been to get there."
(Talking about how she could not have sex with someone who doesn't enjoy eating) "I think that when I see those people who are forever on diets and treat their body as a much feared enemy I think they don’t look like they’re having much fun"
(Talking about her show having a sensual tone) "and I also think that there is something seeing a woman have appetite feels slightly lascivious to people. I think there is something still deemed to be either unseemly or wanton about a woman showing appetite"

Now, let me state, I freaking LOVE food. I have this habit on Sunday nights of cooking giant meals and making a whole bunch of snacks for me to eat during the week at work. It saves me so much money and time, freaking out each morning trying to figure out what to take to work, or having to pay $15 for lunch if I get take away.
Having lived so long on the lowest income you can imagine, I've perfected the art of eating on a budget. Here's a list of items I always keep in my cupboard:

-Pasta shells/penne. Awesome for making pasta bakes and salads to get rid of vegetables before they go off/leftover anything. You can make anything into a pasta bake.
-Mince. Although, that doesn't go in the cupboard.
-Tomato sauce, for the mince.
-Mushrooms. I add them to everything. I mostly keep them just for the smell they give off when you saute them in butter. Pure heaven.
-Spinach. I'm strong to the finish.
-Beans. Duh.
-Potatoes. Chips, mash, baked, roast, potato-top pie. 2008 is actually the United Nations International Year of the Potato - in honour of the most versatile food in all the lands. Huzzah!
-Tuna. Awesome.
-Some type of rice. My favourite is arborio, cause I'm all into risotto at the moment.

That being said, here's what I spent the last three hours doing!
First up, caramelised apples. Saute some Granny Smith apples in butter and brown sugar = yum. I add them to my oatmeal in the morning for the most awesome breakfast ever. Plus, cause they're apples, I can pretend it's good for me.

Next, I made a crazy quinoa salad to use up all the vegetables that were about to go off in my fridge, plus I've had some free trade quinoa in my cupboard for ages that I've been meaning to use. Quinoa is a grain from South America, it gets all fluffy and strange when you boil it. It's like rice but circular, and it has a strange nutty flavour. I got hooked on it after a visit to Oxfam a while ago. The salad consists of red quinoa, spinach, cucumber, corn, beans and pine nuts. I love adding pine nuts or cashews to salads.

And now for dinner - boring old spaghetti. But goddamn it tastes so good. I keep it pretty simple - tomato paste, mixed herbs, garlic, onions, shitloads of mushrooms and some spinach.

Beer to celebrate. Thanks, whoever left that in the fridge!

November 26, 2008

Reading is awesome

I finally got myself a bookshelf and was able to unpack all of my books from the darkness of the garage, so here's a list of my favourite books in no particular order. I do want to add that these favourite books are only the ones I own. There are so many books I am in love with that I can't remember right now because I'm transfixed by my collection. Pretty much every book I ever read is my favourite, because I don't continue reading a book unless it's awesome. Why waste time on crap lit?

The Virgin Suicides - Jeffrey Eugenides

I have no problem reading this sweetly sad book over and over again. It's dreamy and I swear I can smell perfume when I read it, and it puts my mind in a haze for days after I'm finished.

The Beach - Alex Garland
Excellent fast-paced backpacking adventure that the movie with Leo was based on. Much longer and more involved and way cooler, makes me want to go to Thailand.

Still Life with Woodpecker - Tom Robbins

Princesses! Outlaws! Bombs! Redheads! True Love! This book's got everything and it's just...I don't really think I've ever come up with an apt description for it, but it's fantastic, and probably my favourite book.

Dante's Inferno
This mega-poem makes me wish I believed in God, so I could believe in Hell, so I could imagine Hell was as horrifying as this. And that some people I knew were headed there.
Simply amazing, and I think it's aged well.

He Died with a Felafel in his Hand - John Birmingham

While I was living in Townsville I would read this book every month (it only takes an hour) because it made me so homesick for Brisbane. I used to pair it up with a Nick Earls book (also based in Brizzie) and spend weeks afterwards being upset about living where I did. Awesome book about sharehousing around Australia. By the way, John Birmingham does a regular column for here.

Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 - Hunter S. Thompson
Before this all I'd ever known of HST was Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and that he was a drug-gobbling freak. This book introduced me to what he actually does, and the fact that he's actually the smartest most interesting drug-gobbling freak ever. I love HST. This book also kindled my interest in politics.

To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
This is just one of those books that you can't help but love. Just amazing.

Now I'm going to try and choose only 2 of my favourite Stephen King books...

Gerald's Game
Actually made me throw up and pass out. Also I didn't sleep for 3 nights afterwards. Read it and see. I have a phobia of people touching my wrists, or not being able to move my arms.

Pet Sematary
There's horror, there's despair, there's disgust. It's all here. I cried, I didn't sleep, it was powerful. more people.
At the moment I am reading a piece of feminist sci fi, The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K Le Guin, which is interesting as I'm not really into sci fi but this is grabbing me.
I'm also reading Kingdom of Fear by HST which is sort of his autobiography, with a mess of letters, stories, memos and whatnot thrown in together. It's chaotic and I love it.

You are rude

I am completely amazed at what our new employee deems appropriate to do and say in the workplace. General consensus is that most (not all) of us are totally offended, but won't say anything because he is supposed to be our senior and we feel like we have to just get used to it.

As the only girl I'm not okay with being called "sweetness", or the time when he said "why are all these banks closing?!" and then told me "it's okay, I don't expect you to know anything about it".
That's fine, I don't expect you to know anything about me.
I doubt my Aboriginal coworker is okay with hearing the word "niggaz" being spouted, as well as the remark made the other day whilst we were listening to hip hop that he "feels so black".
Another exchange which apparently happened of course while I was out of the office - one coworker joked that another was a girl. The new guy then loudly exclaimed that he couldn't be - "his tits are too small and his clit is too big". Because that's FUNNY!!

The dynamics of our office team have been fantastic until now. We've all known each other for such a long time we either literally are family, or as close as you can get to it. Perhaps we are having a hard time adjusting, but I don't feel I should have to adjust to things I find so blatantly outrageous and offensive.
At the end of the day, I feel there is more ridiculous bullshit coming from him than there is work, which is the largest problem.

November 21, 2008

To be or not to be

That is the question.

Zombies are awesome. I love zombie movies regardless of how shit the casting/dialogue/plot is. Even if it's the shittiest movie...I LOVE zombies! I love zombies so much that I even bought a bag of plastic zombies, very much like little tiny plastic army men, just to decorate my room. They're actually supposed to be pieces for a board game but fuck that. I have one on my doorknob and I always forget that he's there, so when I close my door and touch him without seeing him I freak out because he feels like a spider or something disgusting...and then I realise it's a zombie and I sigh in relief.

I wish zombies were real. I have a really big dilemma though. If zombies were real, would I rather be a zombie, or kill them? I like to switch between the two in my mind, because they're equally as cool. I love to imagine myself just cutting through a crowd of them, using a chainsaw. It'd be like unleashing every inner rage on humanity, but since it's ok to kill zombies, it's even better. You know, cause they're not really human but they still resemble them. It gives you release. I am going to at this moment plug the game Left 4 Dead which is AMAZING. Anyone who doesn't have Steam at this moment should be punched in the throat then laughed at by a large group of their peers.

But BEING a zombie? That's amazing. Brainless wandering. BRAINS! Eating people. No pain when you get a round of bullets in the gut? God. That shit is fuckin awesome. I fucking love zombies. Especially the running, screaming, blood-vomiting ones. I love you zombies.

Here's something I found that I wrote when I was 16, along with my brother. We were discussing the concepts of love songs and leftovers. They are so perfectly intertwined - a lot of my favourite love songs deal with the subject of being unrequited, or alone, and leftovers remind me of this state of being alone.

Cold Pasta under the milky way tonight. Yesterday's ravioli will throw it's arms around me, it will make me laugh and me cry, and I may never forget it. Who wouldn't stand inside your stale pizza? Steps out of the stroganoff, says something and me beef, how about it? Something in the way pasta moves. Wild horses couldn't drag me away, wild wild horses, we'll eat mince someday. I, I will eat mince, and you, you will eat beans! Though nothing, nothing will make us eat tacos, we can be deros, just for one day! Lentils, you should've come over. I would do anything for sausages, but I won't do that, no I won't do that. Love is a warm wet relish on prawns.

And I know I'm right for the first time in my life, and that's why I tell better be warm soon.

November 19, 2008

Living with the boyfriend

I may be going a little too TMI in this post, but I've decided to list the pros and cons of living with my boyfriend. I've been thinking a lot about dynamics of living in a share house, so I'll be exploring that in a few more posts to follow. Here though, I guess I'm looking at my relationship and why it works, or sometimes explodes into shit - and why I keep working at it. Maybe someone out there will read this and reconsider moving in with their significant other, or be totally amped up to! I'm going to start with the cons so I can end on a happy note.

- Due to the set up of our work schedules, we go between either hardly seeing each other all week, or spending TOO much time together and never having a moment alone.
- It's easy to fall into the routine of doing absolutely everything together and never seeing any friends.
- Sharing a room. Ours is small enough already without having to fit the belongings of two compulsive hoarders. Add to this that he's messy and I'm neat, I often find myself cleaning up the room by throwing everything in a pile in "his corner".
- I've ended up doing all the cooking and cleaning and feel like a housewife. This is my fault - I love cooking so I do it all the time, but the cleaning issue is just annoying. I read a comment on a forum today that I think sums it up perfectly, and can probably be attributed to any housemate situation ever.
'I think it has to do with what I've seen called "housework chicken." Let's say you live with a guy like this, and there are everyday maintenance chores that need to be done. He doesn't really care if these things get done (in part because he knows someone else will do them eventually), but the nature of the chores means someone has to do them. Sooooo "the girl" ends up doing them, and she gets cast into the role of the mother/nag for caring about housework, while he's the cool guy who doesn't "overreact" and also doesn't have to do the housework, and he can just say she should lighten up. Otherwise, they just live in filth until the "housework chicken" ends.'
It doesn't help that I'm a clean freak, and on the rare occasions that he does clean, it'll be a half-assed job that I'll end up secretly redoing anyway. I guess, if you want something done properly, do it yourself.
- Can't escape. I don't have anywhere to run to if I want to get away. My parents don't live near me. I don't really want to stay at a friend's house. This is my house.
- Forget about dates. We see each other all the time and end up ignoring each other sitting in the same room. Dates are a thing of the past. Or the way we end a fight.
- Downloads. Dude, the more time you spend on your laptop ignoring me, the more time I'm gonna spend on mine ignoring you. Then hey presto, we're over the download limit and we have dial-up speed internet. I blame you.
- His clothes. How the fuck can you exist on one pair of pants? It's seriously a fucking talent.

- Always got a friend. Always around to share the banal moments, to talk shit, to listen to me whine, to watch TV with, go to the city, play with our rats, or just to lie in bed all day Sunday.
- I don't have to spend rent on a house I'm only living in half the week because I'm spending the other half at his house. No packing bags of work clothes and lunch to go stay the night. No travelling for an hour on public transport to see each other.
- Sharing the costs. Damn you low income. Damn you rental market. Damn you economy.
- Falling asleep together. I just sleep better when he's around (nyawwww).
- Your DVD collection. I will never bother going to the video store again.
- Someone to look after me when I'm throwing-up-drunk, and buy me powerades the morning after.
- Having a calm, cynical, pessimistic voice in a world of optimists who make me sick.
- Someone to push me to keep doing the stuff I want to be doing (writing, art).
- Staying away from my friends. It's cool. Most of them think he doesn't exist.
- I just like having him around.

Ahem...I mean...'sif dude I don't care about NO ONE AND NO THING.
Thank you and goodnight.

November 17, 2008

A little deeper

My greatest joy over the past two days has been my new rat, Reagan. She is the cutest, sweetest little girl, with the softest little belly. She was the oldest rat at the pet store, and since most people have a preference for baby rats, I thought I'd help a sista out and give her a home. Turns out I got lucky cause she's already extremely tame and just...freakin adorable.

Our other rat Jackie is having a hella freakout and attacking her all the time, which is really sad to watch, cause Reagan will just squeak, then sit there being groomed violently by Jackie, and after she's done, Reagan just sits motionless, looking completely violated. So we've switched her into another cage next door till they get used to each other's smell.

Watching the tensions between my two lady-rats for
hours this evening has made me think about an article I read today. I know, that was the worst segue into another topic EVER, but I thought I'd at least *try* to make some connection.

I read THIS article today about a quote from the usually babelicious and awesome Helen Mirren.
In it, she has said in an interview with the Sunday Times over in UK that in a rape case the defence "would select as many women as they could for the jury,
because women go against women.

'Whether in a deep-seated animalistic way, going back billions of years, or from a sense of tribal jealousy or just antagonism, I don't know.

'But other women on a rape case would say she was asking for it. The only reason I can think of is that they're sexually jealous"

WTF DUDE. Okay, I will cede that her first point that
"women go against women" can ring true often. But in a rape case, one could be are sexually jealous? Could a contributing factor to this view be that, in our society, when a woman is raped and is brave enough to come forward and name her rapist, she is harshly scrutinised and often met with disbelief - especially if she knew her attacker, and without having to quote any stupid statistics, being raped by someone you know is FAR more common than stranger rape. So what was she doing to "deserve" it, what was she wearing, did she "provoke" that behaviour? The underlying theme here is WAS IT HER FAULT? And the answer is, duh, a resounding NO! There is no woman, ever, who is at fault for a rape. It really is that simple.
Here's what the Brisbane Sexual Assault Services defines as sexual assault:

Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual behaviour where consent is not given or cannot be given and includes childhood abuse, verbal abuse, harassment, touching and rape. Sexual assault is an act of violence. It is about power and control acted out in a sexual way. Sexual assault is a crime, whether the offender is a stranger, partner, family member, fr
iend or care giver.

To follow that all up I have this other great article from over at Feministing about sexual assault training and education that is focused on men. Instead of classes focused on women, how you should watch your drinks (which you should) or not walk down dark alleys at night, how about starting with dudes - I liked this quote from the article:

"Hey, see that girl over there?" Jones recalled an acquaintance asking, nodding toward a woman he wanted to take home. "She's almost drunk. Not qui
te drunk enough. ... What shot should I buy her?"

There was a time, Jones says, when he might have laughed off the remark. Not anymore.

"You want to buy her something really strong to like, basically knock her out?" Jones, a University of Minnesota senior, recalled saying. "Man, that's not right. That's rape. That's sexual assault."

The acquaintance looked stunned. "Whatever," he mumbled, and walked away.

I would absolutely LOVE to see this change in the guys that I know, as this has happened to me - I have had friends of mine say offensive things to me, and I think that because I'm a "tomboy" they think I will agree with them. No dude, it ain't cool.

To end on a completely unrelated and adorable note, here's another picture of Reagan. Love you!

November 14, 2008


Feeling pretty schlumpy on this fine Friday night, so I'm going to post a short story I wrote I think a bit more than a year ago. It was when I was still living in Townsville, and my entire family were all living in the one house - my parents, me and my three brothers (and our chihuahuas!). I've really been missing that time lately - my brothers and I became really close and spent most of our time together. I miss the hours we'd spend together just laying around, listening to music or watching someone play a game on the computer, talking, laughing. I think I credit my style of creativity to my brothers, and the things we came up with together.
My brothers are my absolute favourite people in the entire world, I'm more comfortable with them than anyone else, I love the people they are, or are growing up to be. It's no secret that I hate Townsville, I hated being there, and the only thing that kept me sane (if you could call it that) was my family.

The one place I did love in Townsville was the walking path along the Ross River - it was this beautiful damp, dark, bushy path beside the river, with mosquitos and droopy trees. I used to walk along it every single day after work for the last two months I lived there, and just think and dream.
So here's a story I wrote one day after it had been raining for about a week. Nick and I went for a walk down by the river to take photos and explore. Dedicated to Nick, Jay and Mitchie.

Ramal owns the park. We went for a walk on the moors beside the park, down the concrete stair. We walked most of the way snaking the river and when we went back his name was written in the patch of sand near the stair. He wanted us to know that he was watching. After that we walked around the park and stopped in some big old trees to take photographs of the hanging vines, the names carved in, the old string with popped balloons. A couple of kids rode past, watching us silently. Probably Ramal's friends. Spies. Sending them out for information on these strange outsiders.

We kept walking, stopping now and then to take photos of mushrooms, or a swing in someone's exposed back yard. It looked more jungle than house. None of the houses bordering the river have back fences, some just huge flowering trees, like flowers could keep out robbers. These people probably let Ramal wander into their homes, watch TV, go through their fridge. Watching out for him, they think, but it's really the other way round.
We found a pile of sticks like a kid's campfire. Probably Ramal, he eats where he likes.

I had mud in my shoes, my work shoes, and I squelched when I walked. There were mosquito bites up and down my arms from venturing into those trees. The trees that grew like the inside of the Alien spaceship looks, all twisted muscle and womblike.
We eventually made it to the weir, where we took photos of the crags and trees growing in the huge river, middle of nowhere trees. Dirty looking foam gathering in the pools at the outer sides. Four men were standing on the gushing weir, fishing. The overspill looked strong enough to push you over but they just stood, casting, not catching anything.
Tanned and leather-brown from all their time in the sun, we laughed at the thought of how incredibly pale we were. An obvious sign, along with our puff and sweating that we never went out for walks. Could they tell? We took photos of them with their backs turned and walked on.

We sat in a perfect gazebo, changing film and stared for a few minutes. Found a playground where Nick took shots of me. Walking across a chain bridge I was surprised how much it hurt my feet, surprised how the fireman's pole rubbed my hands and the slide looked hopelessly small, the entire playground breakneck. Was it like that when I was small, did it hurt?

Crossing the weir had brought us to the rich suburb, and it was unsettling. We crossed back into the mosquito and pot-hole squalor of our own neighbourhood. Speculating about how Ramal lives in a hollowed-out cave in the weir. He has to shimmy under the waterfall to get inside. Every kid that passed was a minion of Ramal. All these kids have bikes. More names carved in a tree, handprints in cement. Ramal's Park.

The unfenced houses looked so inviting, I was tempted to break in, just walk around in the gloom. Overcast day, the whole world is grey, but somehow I'm still sunburnt.
Girls walking the track in front of us, would they freak out if we walked up close behind them? Not talking, staring at the back of their heads, maybe making a low-pitched breathing sound like in Doom.
Ramal would find out.

More photos of mushrooms, remind me of my friend who ate magic ones. Where can I get some?
Ramal is a modern day Peter Pan, Robin Hood. Maybe he's a ghost, maybe he died in this park and now he's here to protect all the other kids. Maybe his mother left him in this park when he was a baby, and it's all he knows. Wonder if he patrols at night. He probably skateboards while the other kids ride bikes. He's probably ninth grade, or at least would be if he went to school. Old enough so the other kids look up to him. The only thing I know for sure, if you go down to the park...Ramal's watching.

So there it is, hope you enjoyed it.
On another note, I've had this massive craving all day for cakes, pastries, pancakes, custard, DESSERT.
So I went to Foodworks and went a little mental with my grocery money, and now instead of eating any real meals this week I will be living on a solid diet of pancakes and cream. Here's my first attempt at making an awesome dessert...chocolate poundcake (the best kind of cake) with custard and blackberries, microwave for two minutes, enjoy.

November 11, 2008

My good deeds for the week

This week I donated to Mission Australia and am looking forward to the Walk Against Warming this Saturday 15th November. For anyone interested, the Brisbane walk will be starting out at 12.30pm in Queens Park (behind the Casino) and heading to the Roma St Parklands Ampitheatre. Bring an umbrella if you have one, as it will be celebrating Australia finally being under the "Kyoto umbrella". If you can't make it you can also donate online, or buy a shirt, if you're feeling so inclined.

Mission Australia is a non-denominational Christian organisation, their statement reads 'Our vision is to see a fairer Australia by enabling people in need to find pathways to a better life'. There's a bit of Jesus talk in there, but their main focus is on helping homeless, broken families, children in need.
I'm pretty much a sucker for donating to anything I approve of that flows through my postbox, and Mission Australia was it this week.

Walk Against Warming has some sweet links on their website for reducing your environmental impact - which is great, because I haven't been the most friendly with it myself. I'll repost here for anyone not interested in the WAW website.
I'm also saving up for some big donations to the National Breast Cancer Foundation and the Breast Cancer Institute of Australia. Boobies are important, people!

Also a big thumbs up to any dudes participating in Movember this month to raise awareness for men's health issues. If you are participating and would like a sponsor, leave a comment for me with your registration number and your link and I'll donate. And I'm going to want pictures too - let's see some handlebars, porn stars, hitlers, curly French waiters and my least favourite - the flavour saver.

So come on, give it up, and remember, anything over $2 is tax deductible (keep your receipt).

November 10, 2008

Chick Porn

I have recently kind of fallen in love with blogger Violet Blue @
She is a sex blogger, podcaster, vlogger, author, lecturer, all-round badass. I've been going through her podcasts like it's going out of style - she has an EXCELLENT voice. Her podcasts range from informational sex stuff - I just listened to a somewhat scientific one about the G-Spot - to her reading erotica excerpts. Can't wait to have some more money so I can actually afford to buy some of her books/audiobooks.

I haven't really ever gotten into porn or erotica, always being on a networked/family computer and whatnot. When I was younger I got a virus on my computer and it was, uh, duh, embarassing.
So now I'm sort of edging back into it - I still think that visual porn is not for me, but that could be because I don't know what to look for - or am confused as to what I should be looking for. Most mainstream porn I see is so manufactured and boring - with overtones of the female in pain - "Oh fuck me harder, yeah you like that bitch". Then on the other end, the only other porn I ever see is marketed to fetishists, of which I am not - or at least I don't know if I am.

Here's an excerpt from a book I just finished reading, The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf. It resonated enough with me and how I feel about sexuality, that I had to mark it out.

"The books and films they see survey from the young boy's point of view his first touch of a girl's thighs, his first glimpse of her breasts. The girls sit listening, absorbing, their familiar breasts estranged as if they were not part of their bodies, their thighs crossed self-consciously, learning how to leave their bodies and watch them from the outside. Since their bodies are seen from the point of view of strangeness and desire, it is no wonder that would should be familiar, felt to be whole, becomes estranged and divided into parts. What little girls learn is not the desire for the other, but the desire to be desired. Girls learn to watch their sex along with the boys; that takes up the space that should be devoted to finding out about what they are wanting, and reading and writing about it, seeking and getting it. Sex is held hostage by beauty and its ransom terms are engraved in girls' minds early and deeply with instruments more beautiful than those which advertisers or pornographers know how to use: literature, poetry, painting and film."

And here's excerpt from another book I'm reading, Female Chauvinist Pigs by Ariel Levy. It's a pretty accurate reason as to why I find most porn boring.

"Sex workers are workers. They are having sex, just as strippers are stripping and centerfolds are posing, because they are paid to, not because they are in the mood to.... For the rest of us who are lucky or industrious enough to make a living doing other things, sex is supposed to be something we do for pleasure or an expression of love. The best erotic role models, then, would seem to be the women who get the most pleasure out of sex, not the women who make the most money for it."

Sorry for all the excerpts in this post, but those are two I wanted to share and promote a little thought/awareness to this. People masturbate, people have fantasies, people have sex, it's all cool.
To end on a happy note, here's some literotica!

Hello world!

I am an internet addict. My brother said that the internet is my hobby.
I love blogs, feeds, podcasts and vlogs. I love webcomics, lolcats, memes and 133tspeak. I read news that doesn't even make sense or relate to me. I love Top 10 lists and I love miscellania blogs. I love online surveys! I love getting free samples, and I love online stores. I love maps and Google Streetview and yellowpages. I love Firefox and its many apps. I love social networking (a little too much). I love free music and video. I love forums and posts and threads, but I do hate trolls. I love user generated content and wikis and urban dictionary.
I love that this is the first time in years that I've felt confident enough to voice my opinions. So here goes.

My name is Tash, you can call me zombietron. As this is my first blog and I'm still struggling a little with how much I am willing to share and what I want to discuss in regards to the people close to me, I'm going to be very benign and begin by sharing my three favourite websites.
A while ago my wonderful cousin told me to buy a camera, because no matter how bored/poor you are you can always go out and photograph something beautiful. Flickr is a photosharing website with millions of photos from amateurs through to pros. It's pretty in-depth and customisable, which I love. Being able to scroll through thousands of photos and mark them as favourites, make random friends through their photostreams, participate in group photo projects, get inspired. It's basically my favourite creative outlet at the moment and I recommend a look even if you don't own a camera. Here's my flickr. I am still quite an amateur and working out how to take good photos, instead of just regular ones but there's a great kind of community there that sort of feels like it's not about how NICE your photo is - more about the content. Which someone with extremely shaky hands such as myself can appreciate.
I usually described etsy to people as 'ebay for handmade stuff'. It's not auction-based though, prices are fixed. It's a huge online community for the arts and crafts set, to sell their wares and actually make a profit, as they do it all on their own steam - producing, marketing, shipping. There are some amazingly talented people there and all kinds of crazy one-of-a-kind stuff. It's also a great source for vintage-lovers. Here's a few things I've picked up...

Fancy jacket from etsy seller masque242
Zombie necklace
with brains from etsy seller LadySpleen
Tentacle earrings from etsy seller RobotGhost
As I've said there are some AWESOME artists on etsy who really deserve a shout-out, which I will get to in a later post. In the meantime, head there yourself and browse. I can waste hours on etsy.
My love for Jezebel could be another post in itself. I stumbled upon it at a time when I was confused and upset at a lot that was going on in my life and the messages it sends, and the community of strong, hilarious, opinionated women who post there has really changed my life and my views. In a nutshell Jezebel is a feminist forum that takes a look at our culture, our news, celebrity, sex, being a chick. It's kind of news by feminists. Oh and newsflash!! Feminists aren't all angry and ugly. But that's more for another post.

Hope you enjoyed this virgin post, and do stay tuned for the next. I have renewed my passion for writing so be assured there will be LOTS more from me.