As you may or may not know (for those of you who haven’t been subjected to my “Why me?” rants), today I am undergoing shoulder surgery, which will leave me hideously disfigured, in a lot of pain, high on painkillers and constipated from said painkillers (only three out of those four things are true).
As a result, I will be out of action for a while as I recover, so please don’t be alarmed if you don’t hear from me during this period. I’m fine. Sort of.
In the meantime, feel free to browse through my old blog posts – I’ll be back as soon as I can manage it (sorry, Tina). And if anyone knows a cure to constipation that doesn’t involve a suppository, please let me know.
Meet Carin. Carin and I have been friends since primary school, and honestly, we’re as different as two people can be, which is surprising considering we’re born only five days apart and are both Aries. Isn’t there some sort of unwritten law about that? “Thou shalt carry the same personality traits as those born under the same sign.” I’m pretty sure there is. “Do you wish you were more like me?” I asked Carin during a recent night out. Her reply was blunt: “No.” I laughed her off. “You can lie, you know!” I told her.
Carin is a dietician for one, and is extremely health conscious, which is great, you know… for her. During a recent night out with our friend, Noraini, I could see Carin sweating bullets at the dinner table as we read through the menu at the pizza restaurant. “Ooh, Carin! Do you want to share a pepperoni pizza with me?” I asked. “I don’t really eat processed meats,” was her reply. “Okay, I might just order a whole pizza on my own then,” I responded. Carin’s eyes widened. “Should we order a salad?” she desperately asked. “We don’t have any vegetables…” At this point, I think I must have fallen asleep, because I don’t actually remember the rest of what she said. “But if we don’t order a salad, then we’ll still have room for ice cream afterwards!” I interrupted. Noraini laughed in agreement and gave me a high five. Carin was not amused.
Carin is the sort of person who wants to make the world a better place. Like, for real. Me? I just want to sleep in. Sometimes I think I may be a really shitty person, but then I just don’t care. She started talking about how she wanted to participate in Clean Up Australia Day – an annual event, which sees everyday citizens taking to the streets to pick up rubbish. Sounds like community service if you ask me, and I didn’t do anything wrong. My conscious is clean – does that count? “Oh, you’re going to do Clean Up Australia Day?” I asked her. “That’s so great! Good for you.” She explained that she was going to, but she had a family function on and couldn’t. “But you don’t have to wait until Clean Up Australia Day,” she told me. “You can do it any day of the year!” I laughed. “Oh, Carin,” I said, patting her on the back (in hindsight, maybe a little patronisingly). “That’s sweet.” I always put my rubbish in the bin. I even recycle. I’m not going to start picking up after the assholes who can’t be bothered. Besides, if I did that, wouldn’t I just be stealing work from the chain gangs? Think about it.
But the clincher was when Carin proceeded to talk to us about her recent holiday in New Zealand, specifically when she decided to go on a 10-and-a-half-hour hike up a mountain. While her husband, Pete was happy to indulge her, she said her friend, Jen had some reservations (gee, I wonder why), but Jen’s husband managed to convince her. “Is Jen still married?” I asked Carin. “Because that would have been grounds for divorce for me.” Noraini and I started laughing. “Irreconcilable differences!” added Noraini, and we laughed some more. “Is Jen still your friend?” I asked Carin. She assured me that she was. “Are you sure?” I asked. “Did you see her again after you came down the mountain or did she do that thing where you say, ‘Gee, this was fun. Let’s do it again sometime never.’” Ignoring our bemusement, Carin then proceeded to tell us that during this 10-and-a-half-hour hike, you would often find yourself on all fours having to scale up rock faces, and you also had to dodge falling rocks. “I would be so offended if you even asked me to go on a hike like that with you!” I told her. “I would slap you across the face and say, ‘How dare you!’”
I don’t hike for the same reason I don’t run – unless someone is chasing me, I don’t see the point. “There is no view in the world so beautiful that you could get me to climb a mountain for it,” I told Noraini and Carin. I’ve seen Everest. I know how it ends. **SPOILER ALERT** They all die. Even Jake Gyllenhaal.
One of the first, and possibly, the only hike I’ve ever done was when I was a teenager. My family and I were on a weekend getaway in the Blue Mountains, and Dad decided he wanted to do the Six Foot Track. Let’s just say names can be deceiving… I assumed it was going to be a six-foot trek out of the car and to a lookout. No, no. It turns out it’s called the Six Foot Track because the track is six feet wide – the actual trek is over 44 kilometres! I was not prepared in my leather boots, jeans and handbag. I was especially alarmed when we passed a group of hikers with frying pans and sleeping bags tied up to their backpacks. They’d gone full Reese Witherspoon in Wild. What the f… “Dad, where are you taking us?!” I demanded. “Oh my God! I just lost phone reception! What if there’s an emergency?! How are we supposed to get out…?!” I complained so much, that after a little over an hour, Dad decided to turn us all around and head back to the car. Mission accomplished. He’s never suggested another hike since.
Dad should’ve known better. I have very specific memories of him having to carry me through a paddock when I was a little girl because I didn’t want to get cow poo on my shoes. I literally just refused to walk.
Still, this didn’t deter Carin. “Do you want to do the Coogee to Bondi walk with me?” she asked earnestly. “No, Carin! Not really!” came my reply. “Why? Is Uber broken?”
Let this be a lesson to you all – I don’t hike. And if you try and make me, you will be subjected to more pain than just the burning sensation in your thighs. I guarantee it.
I’ve spoken a bit about the celebrities I’ve rubbed shoulders with (cough, Zac Efron), so now I’m going to share a couple of sad stories about when this this little girl’s hopes and dreams died… These are the celebrities I almost met. Only I didn’t. (Thanks Mum and Patrice.) Get comfortable…
I grew up watching Grease and idolising Olivia Newton-John. At the age of seven, my main life goal was to be Sandy.
Back in 2005, I was working at Total Girl magazine, and we were holding a fashion parade at Sydney’s Luna Park. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were hosting it, but who cared about them when OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN was on the guest list! I was ecstatic, and spent the lead up to the event debating whether I should serenade her with “I Honestly Love You” or “Xanadu”. Maybe a mash up of both…?
When it came to the actual day though, Olivia was a no-show, and in that moment, all my childhood dreams turned to shit.
You may be surprised to hear I’m actually a bit of a nerd. (“Someone as cool as you, Demeter?” you ask. “No!” Shocking, I know.)
I’m a huge Harry Potter fan – I love both the books and the films equally – so I almost passed out when a publicist offered me the opportunity to interview Daniel Radcliffe. In person. That’s right – I was going to come face-to-face with “the boy who lived”!
After accepting the offer in record time, I promptly updated my Facebook status to, “All aboard the Hogwarts Express!” Would it be too much if I wore a cape and carried a wand? Probably not…
Just hours out from my interview though, the publicist was forced to pull the plug, after being unable to get in contact with Daniel’s people back in London for approval. Or that’s what they told me. This is why I have trust issues.
While I’ve seen Daniel in person a couple of times since then (at movie premieres and on Broadway), we’ve never exchanged words. One day. One day, Harry, I mean, Daniel…
I am a huge fan of The Office, and my love for this show was at an all-time high back in 2011, when I just so happened to be in LA on a family holiday.
While shopping with my mum and sister, Patrice on Hollywood Boulevard one afternoon, a nice man offered us tickets to a late night talk show, telling us a “cast member from The Office” was going to be the special guest. Say no more – I was sold! My family, not so much…
“It’s probably just a random guest star…” my mum told me. But what if it wasn’t?! What if it was John Krasinski, also known as Jim – my ultimate dream guy?! “I’ll go if you really want me to go,” my sister offered half-heartedly. Their lack of enthusiasm was infuriating, and after much debate, I reluctantly agreed not to go.
Well… It turns out John Krasinski WAS the “cast member from The Office”, and I’d passed on the opportunity to meet the potential love of my life. Now he’s married to Emily Blunt, they have an adorable baby and another one on the way, and there’s nothing I can do about it.
I was furious, and to let my family know, I did the only mature thing I could think of – I cut out little pictures of John Krasinski’s head and stuck them under Mum and Patrice’s photo frames back home in Sydney.
Patrice retaliated by stealing my Jim bobblehead and holding it to ransom, sending me photos of it in bizarre places. She even started a blog to document his “adventures”… It was war, and it raged on for months!
I’ve never forgiven Mum and Patrice for this, and I probably never will. I’m taking this one with me to the grave, and if I go before them, I’ll use it to haunt them. That’s just the sort of person I am. Years after I’m gone, John Edward, the famed psychic medium, will ask them, “What’s the connection with John Krasinski?” And they’ll know. They’ll know it’s me.
Working in magazines may sound like a glamorous job, but it’s not – believe me. Sure, it’s probably more glamorous than being a garbage collector, but it’s not like I spend all day “standing on the red carpet, talking to celebrities”. (This is what a work experience kid actually thought I did, by the way.)
It’s a fun job, but it definitely has its moments – it’s high pressure, stressful, exhausting and cutthroat. And you are always on deadline. Seriously, it never ends. I found my first grey hair when I was just 27, and I hold my job in the media solely responsible. As my friend and colleague, Marta says: “You’re either busy or burnt out.” That pretty much sums it up. It’s not for the faint-hearted.
And it’s definitely NOT how it’s portrayed in the movies. Aside from The Devil Wears Prada – that’s actually kind of accurate. Except for the Prada part. As my sister, Patrice recently pointed out, no one working in magazines can afford Prada, let’s be real. My dad loves to remind me that even with a master’s degree, I’m still earning less than a first-year teacher. Thanks, Dad. Helpful insight.
Recently, I caught the tail end of Suddenly 30 (or for those playing along in the USA, 13 Going On 30), and I was horrified by the way they portrayed magazine life. LIES! For good measure, I decided to go back and watch How to Lose a Guy In 10 Days, too. Yep. Just as I thought – complete and utter bullshit.
This is where reel life ends and real life begins…
The fashion cupboard is NOT your wardrobe…
There’s a scene in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days where Kate Hudson’s character pulls a cashmere sweater off the fashion rack to give to her heartbroken friend and colleague – who, by the way, just decided she was too upset to show up for work. I don’t even know where to start with this one…
Unless you’re on the fashion team, you shouldn’t really be going anywhere near the clothes in the fashion cupboard. The fashion team carry tasers and they WILL use them. (I may or may not have made this up.)
If for some reason you NEED to borrow something (maybe you soiled your pants – it happens), you ASK first.
You must always return the clothes in their original condition. The magazine doesn’t actually own the clothes, and they have to return them to wherever they came from. You can’t just Lindsay Lohan that shit.
Oh, your boyfriend of two weeks broke up with you? I’m sorry. SUCK IT UP, PRINCESS!
Speaking of clothes, Matthew McConaughey probably isn’t going to randomly whip off his shirt in your office…
But we can all dream, right? I work in an office which is around 97 percent female. If one of us decided to take our top off, some eyebrows would definitely be raised, and a meeting with HR would probably follow.
You can’t just come and go whenever you feel like it…
Oh, you want to go shopping? Do it on your lunch break. If you manage to squeeze in a lunch break. Some days you don’t even manage to squeeze in a toilet break. Marta jokes about wanting a bedpan for her desk. At least I hope she’s joking.
You won’t be given 10 days to write just ONE story, let alone a month…
Today I wrote a four-page story in just 40 minutes. Want to know how I did it? Cocaine. (I’m kidding – just say no, kids.) The reality is you’ll be expected to pump through multiple stories a day. Deadlines, people – they’re very real. So while I would love to spend 10 days romancing Matthew McConaughey and doing not much else, I’ll probably be asleep on the couch at 9pm after another full-on day at work.
Unless you’re Anna Wintour – or Marta – you won’t be chauffered into work…
Marta once took a white stretch limo to work because she was running late and couldn’t get a taxi or an Uber. While I sadly didn’t get to witness it, I’ve heard it was magnificent… I can’t even afford to park my car in the car park at work, and consequently end up parking about two suburbs away. My friends, Deanne and Antoine (who clearly don’t work in magazines) once lent me their parking pass for two weeks, and I still maintain it was two of the happiest weeks of my life. I had a lone tear in my eye when I had to return it to them, and Antoine literally had to pry it out of my hands.
A collage isn’t really going to cut it…
Redesigning a magazine takes months and months of meticulous planning and work. Also… TECHNOLOGY. You don’t just rock up to a board meeting with a homemade collage that looks like a school art project, a few balloons, and call it a redesign. You just don’t. No offence, Jennifer Garner. I can assure you, your boss will not be impressed. Abort!
We don’t sit on the rooftop of our office sunbaking and sipping cocktails…
Aside from the fact we can’t even access the rooftop of our office building (thanks a lot, building services), I can assure you, there are no lounge chairs up there. Or maybe there are – we’ll never know. For all we know, they could be running a unicorn breeding program up there. Also, cocktails? At work? Did Tom Cruise mix those for you, too? Never going to happen.
Leaks are taken VERY seriously…
If you were busted tipping off the competition, you wouldn’t “quit”, you’d be fired. On the spot! Also, you can forget about packing up your desk. Security would immediately walk you from the building. You might have time to grab a sugar sachet from the communal kitchen on the way out, but that would be it.