Thursday, August 20, 2009

Flavah of the Month

Let me set the scene for you - I'm reclining on my outdoor lounger, a warm breeze blows through my hair, the skies are a beautiful shade of blue and the clouds like big balls of cotton candy. The days are long, I wile away my time sipping slushy fruity drinks and daydreaming until darkness falls and the stars light up the sky. I close my eyes and listen to the sounds of the birds singing their bed-time lullabies to me. Aah, sweet serenity.

Now back to reality - I'm in the backyard sitting on a chair, with 2 kids, a Slip 'n Slide, and I'm keeping myself cool with the aid of a water bottle/fan. If the birds were singing, I'd never hear them over the laughter of children - a beautiful sound as well. This is a pretty nice way to spend a summer day too, but sometimes I could use a little of the first scenario to just recharge my batteries. A small break from my usual life to give me the fuel I need for the real scenarios in my life.
When I'm looking for this kind of mini getaway, I find the quickest way to get that feeling is to listen to my latest flavah - Zee Avi.

This 23 year old singer/songwriter was born in Borneo and later moved to Kuala Lumpur, so this lovely lady can quickly deliver me to that relaxing island vibe within the first few words of a song. She plays guitar and ukulele and her voice has an ease and a calmness to it that is incredibly sweet and relaxing.
It's the same quality that draws me to songs like Ella Fitzgerald's 'A-Tisket, A-Tasket' and Sarah Vaughan's, 'The Sassy One'. There is a quiet conviction to her voice that just takes you along for the ride. Stylistically speaking, she hits my musical sweet spot - her songs are reminiscent of some of the best music that I was lucky enough to have been exposed to as a kid. She brings an old jazz feel to her music while still keeping the sound fresh and modern.

My current fave from Zee Avi is the pretty little song, 'Honey Bee'. Being a quirky non conformist all of my life, I instantly related to not fitting in with rest of the bees! 'Bitter Heart' is a breezy tune that takes an upbeat approach to a not so upbeat situation...I've always loved the sad lyric/happy beat combo. 'Just You And Me', is another catchy number that has me planning my next adventure, it's impossible not to be swept away with this song and it's happy ukulele strumming.
Other beautiful offerings include, 'Poppy', 'I Wish I'd Never' and 'No Christmas For Me', all fantastic in their own different ways. Zee Avi also does a selection of covers, so great to hear a new twist on many of my old favourites. Check out YouTube for her videos, as well, check her out at and

Do yourself a favour and pick up her debut self-titled album.
I look forward to following the career of this musical gem, I know as long as she's singing - I'll be listening.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Boeuf of the Week

Ok, here's my latest rant. The victim this time - changing rooms, or more accurately those closet type rooms who try to disguise themselves as changing rooms.
As all of my post grad education is fashion related, I do believe that I am more than qualified to speak on such a subject.
I also did work briefly in a clothing store which gives me some behind the scenes cred, but most of all, it's my pure love of clothing that qualifies me as an expert on this subject.
Also, the fact that I am a compact sized human, means trying on clothes in store is pretty much a necessary evil, so I have a good understanding of what the perfect changing room should be like.

Okay first off, I like a good door. Sounds like a pretty basic request, yet more and more often, it's becoming like a search for the Holy Grail to find such a thing.
Now when I say a 'good' door, I guess I should clarify what that is - apparently I need to! A door is solid, is doesn't have slats in it like a venetian blind, that children always seem to be tempted to poke their fingers through as they walk past with their parents - or they also like to try and have a peek inside. Note to you children - I can see you!!
A good door should go down to the floor, not start a foot or more above the floor. Nothing is more comical to me than shopping for clothes and glancing over to the change room area and seeing a collection of bare legs wearing an array of bad socks.
I've been in some change rooms where the bottom of the door is so high up that I'm sure I've flashed 'me knickers' as I've bent down to get try on the next garment!
Word to the wise - always wear good knickers!
A door should be made of a solid material, fabric - a door does not make! Even if you put over-sized grommets on it in an attempt to trick us into thinking it's a 'cool door'. Nope, it's still just a big ol' curtain. The supplying of an extra half yard also does nothing to remedy the fact that every time someone walks by my change room the curtain flies open at the sides exposing me in my smalls! Now, by no means am I a prude, but if I am going to be giving your customers a 'peep show' due to your lack of providing a proper door, then I at least would like to get paid for my performance - and yes, I would consider taking a hefty discount on my purchases as payment. A simple magnet in the curtain and on the wall of changing room would help, but we all know how expensive magnets are, don't we?!

Now once in the change room a simple chair would be nice, sometimes I have a guest in there with me and a seat would be nice. Kids get cranky if they have to stand, and for those times when I'm flying solo, I may like to sit for a moment and ponder my potential purchase.

A mirror inside the that such a lot to ask for? Not a mirror outside - where Trixie, sales girl is waiting with her words of praise for me - no matter how I look. To all you sales chicks, let me give you the heads up, I've never been the type of person to be swayed one way or another about pretty much anything, by pretty much anyone. So, please keep your 'OMG you look so cute in that' to yourself. I can appreciate your need for that extra boost to your pay cheque from commission - but with me you're barking up the wrong tree. Just give me a mirror in my room and nobody gets hurt.

Hooks would be lovely too. Not one or two, but I'm thinking six would be nice. I usually need one for the 'keepers', one for the 'what was I thinking trying that on!', one for the 'maybes', one for the clothes I came in wearing, one for my purse (failing the providing of a chair) and one for any excess. Hooks aren't expensive so there is no need to cheap out on this, please don't make me bring my own 3M ones!

That's it really. A proper door, a seat, a mirror -inside, and some hooks. Hardly what I'd call diva-like demands. Oh, and if you can get the sales girl to stop tapping on my door every few minutes asking me 'how's it going?', that would be cool too! Once is fine but if they keep asking, I may be forced to show my annoyance by slamming the curtain as I leave - see, you need a door!!!