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How to write a good complaint letter. [01 Mar 2010|09:30pm]

(image from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tzofia/270800047/)

I've become pretty damn good at complaining these days... something pretty sad for a 20 year old to admit.
It's not that I hate the world or that I honestly believe that I could do a better job than the next person, simply that I am exercising my rights as a civilian by alerting people when things genuinely are tedious to deal with.


Have a rude experience with a call center? Did the person serving you at the restaurant bring you a plate of oysters when you're allergic to shellfish? Did the bus driver close the door on your infant or your taxi driver nearly crash? these are the instances when you wish that you knew how to write something that could emphasize how upset you are without actually sounding like the world's biggest tool or, worse still, one of those people who would loudly tell you that you were doing your job wrong when you were fifteen, working at McDonald's and doing the right thing. (Everybody hates that guy, why does he loiter around fast food at peak hour?) This is a guide to write a letter of complaint. Not a letter of abuse. This is not a way to harass the people around you who work in customer service, public transport or for your local Government... if you really want to harass them because you could do better, I suggest you get a job yourself in customer service, public transport, local government, etc. Before I begin, I'd like to point out a few things:

1) If you're going to file a formal complaint, make sure there is legitimate reason.
Think very carefully and ask yourself before you start if there was just cause in the person's behaviour, if there was any risk of safety to those around you and if it is serious enough that you can be bothered spending your time complaining about it. Put yourself in the other person's shoes for a second. Were they under a considerable amount of stress or was it a genuine mistake? if you can answer yes to either of those things, I would reconsider unless it seriously affected your safety at the time.

2) Remember that the people who read the letters are people too
, they are often not directly involved with the incident so don't throw a whole lot of blame or abusive language in their direction. Profanity is never acceptable when writing a serious complaint as a) you will look as though you are in the wrong, no matter how serious the matter at hand is and b) the poor person on the other end has probably done nothing to deserve it. Imagine that this letter is a cover letter for a job. You want to sound respectable, competent and likeable as a human being, not abusive and completely out of your mind... that's the person you're writing about, remember?

3) Writing will not automatically fix things.
If it's to do with customer service, they probably won't be fired (depending on their actions, of course) but they may be severely scolded. If you're writing to an MP, this is about as effective as a petition. It won't change things overnight, you won't affect their policies or their campaign, you're just expressing your point of view. If you are writing to an MP, also remember that the best way to change things politically is to vote effectively or to become involved in politics yourself.


Now that's out of the way, we can begin. Here's a scenario for a customer service complaint letter. Please note, that I have incredible respect for those who work in customer service because it is an incredibly difficult job. This is an entirely fictional situation.

This letter is being written to a restaurant in which the customer (we shall call her Trudy, for the sake of it) has been treated unfairly by the waiting staff. The waitress (who we will call Annabelle, again, just for the sake of her having a name) left poor Trudy waiting for 40 minutes before serving her in a completely empty restaurant. Trudy was taking some important business clients to this restaurant for an important business deal, having been there a few times before for similar business dinners and having impeccable service, she was incredibly embarrassed that it had taken so long for them to be seen to. The waitress sat idly, conversing with the rest of the restaurant staff for most of that time before she arrived, grunting instead of apologizing for the delay. When being reminded by the embarrassed Trudy that they had been waiting for quite some time, she shrugged and walked away with their orders. When the food arrived at the table, Trudy was served a plate of appetising looking food... but it had pork in it and Trudy was a vegetarian. Nobody else had ordered it so it was clearly the wrong meal. She alerted the waitress who took the plate back, replaced it quickly, but complained loudly to the other waiting staff that "the stupid woman should have just picked the meat out. How fussy can you get?". Within an earshot of the customers. Trudy was embarrassed by the rudeness of this particular waitress after booking such an important meal there.


Here are two examples of a complaint letter that Trudy could have written:


Dear Anonymous Restaurant,

my name is trudy and i would like to tell you how disgusted i am with the service I received on Friday.
The waitress was rude and inattentive and i was served the wrong food. She is utterly incompetent and clearly not fit to work in a restaurant with that kind of behaviour. A toddler could do better. I demand that she is terminated immediately. You have lost yourself a customer.

Sincerely,
Trudy.

What's wrong with this letter? Well, for a start, it has a complete lack of detail to what actually happened. The unnamed waitress that this person is complaining about is rude, but how? There are no dates, no clear recount as to what had happened, but instead, demands and insults thrown toward this completely unidentifiable person.

Here's the second example:

Dear Anonymous Restaurant,

My name is Trudy Macdonald. I have been a loyal customer of this establishment for many business functions in the past as I have always found the atmosphere and customer service provided by your staff impeccable. However, last Friday evening (the 24th of November), I experienced some unpleasant behaviour from one of the staff members working that evening. I believe her name is Anabelle. I was there with clients for a work function and, though I understand that your staff are incredibly busy, we were left unattended for quite a long time. I asked the waitress about it but she seemed unapologetic. I dismissed this as I understand that sometimes time may escape you when you are working. When our food arrived, I was served the incorrect dish. This would normally not be a problem, but as I am a vegetarian and the dish contained meat, I asked the staff if they could replace it with the correct food. They obliged very promptly and we happily carried on with our meal. However, the waitress who had served me obviously felt as though I was being demanding and complained about my wishing to change the order rather loudly. I was incredibly disappointed as I am used to such brilliant service from this restaurant and come here rather frequently. While I understand that this kind of behaviour is not the norm, I now feel incredibly uncomfortable about holding similar business functions here in the future due to the embarrassment I was caused that evening.

I hope that this situation can be rectified as I hope to continue being a customer here. Please contact me if you would like to discuss this matter further.

Sincerely,
Trudy Macdonald
ph: 0000 000


Why was this letter more effective? There are details (though not to a scary point where the reader feels overwhelmed and as though they are being attacked) on what actually happened as well as when. She is able to at least try to identify the person who she felt treated her unfairly (if you don't know a name, a vague physical description is also acceptable, but it should be very vague and lacking any kind of racial or sexist comments). The letter also has more of a structure (though this is an incredibly short letter for the purpose of example). It starts off praising the restaurant, Trudy has been a customer there before. She liked it up until this point, hence the reason she's so upset, and she should tell them accordingly. It also shows no abusive language or overly emotional descriptions of the offender's behaviour. It is also gramatically correct and free from spelling mistakes, as though she were writing an official document. This is also a way to show the person you are writing to them that you are respectful, reasonable and intelligent. There is also constant affirmation that she is only upset with the actions of one specific person, not the entire establishment. Again, this is important. Imagine how you would feel if someone came to your workplace and screamed at you incoherently for 20 minutes because of something a coworker whose name you may not even know had done. You'd feel pretty terrible, let's face it.

So the general rules for a customer service complaint would be:

1) Include details, ie. Date, time, place, names etc.
2) No abusive or overly emotional language. No matter how distressed you are, you will just come across as mentally unstable.
3) Constantly re-affirm that you are usually pleased with the service you receive from this particular establishment (unless this is your first experience, which makes things harder) and that you are only upset with one particular experience and/or person.

Contacting an MP

Now let's assume that you're writing to a local MP. Perhaps their policies or a recent remark has been offensive to you in some way. This is an entirely different kettle of fish from the first letter. You're probably not directly dealing with this person, it is more likely that your letter will be read by someone lower down on the food chain, if it is read at all. It is important to be very clear with exactly what upsets you about the policies. If they are claiming something untrue, quote facts, statistics and news articles, encylopedias, anything that can back up what you are saying factually that is a credible source. Remember to include an address for any website and claim where your material is sourced from directly after quoting them. When writing to a politician, remember to stay on topic and ONLY to discuss the thing that is actually upsetting you.... otherwise we'll be here all day. You can, however, say "I usually agree with your policies/campaigns, which is why I was so shocked to hear about.... (blah blah blah campaign)" so long as it's brief and throws you back on course within a sentence. Also remember NEVER to bring religion, race or gender into the equation, even if they do. The exception is something to do with childbirth and men because that's just physically impossible.

Remember that although your letter may not get a response or may have no affect that it is your right as a citizen to make sure you have the best political representation possible. It is important to be politically active. Not an ACTIVIST, but to be aware of what is happening around you politically and have an interest in it.

I will use a letter that I have written recently to an MP called Trevor Grace in South Australia. He is campaigning against abortion, for various reasons, but is leaving graphic posters in public places near schools (where children will see these horrific images on a daily basis) as well as frightening the general public with speculations on the topic, supported by statistics which he criticizes to make his point heard... these critical phrases are tied in with actual medical statistics, making it seem that he is speaking about things from a factual point of view. This makes what he is saying believable, but he is not a doctor and he is not speaking facts. I am using this as an example, making it shorter so it's more readable.

"Hi there,
my name's (anonymous person). I have been alerted to your page via a facebook group protesting the existence of your campaign. Like many people, I have conflicting views on the termination of pregnancy so I decided to look thoroughly through your website.

I was disgusted by what I saw. Not by the graphic images shown on the site to illustrate the seriousness of abortion, but by the narrow viewpoint displayed and the overly emotive language used to scare people into sharing your point of view.

Now, that being said, you must understand that I do not for one second believe abortion to be an option to be taken lightly by women. I would not condone it over, say, using contraception when available or thinking of every possible path that a pregnancy could take, as I'm sure many women who do have children would also consider abortion as a pathway should they so decide to take it. However, amidst statistics and medical evidence gathered by the authors of this website, are suppositions and judgements made on the individuals who choose to have this procedure for various reasons.

My example being: "Whilst the majority of these abortions (141 out of the 162) were performed because of 'identified foetal abnormality', it is unclear how many of these babies were actually healthy babies but were aborted as a result of having a suspected or potential abnormality."

The statistic evidence is something that any person has a right to know or to find out should they have an interest in the topic. However, the speculation afterward makes me wonder what your medical qualifications are. As someone involved in the field of politics, I'm sure you are well aware of the incredible lack of help for families with disabled children. Many medical needs for these people are not covered by medicare and not every family can afford a carer on a constant basis as well as the incredibly small allowance that centerlink offer for carers of those with a disability. Unless you have a great deal of money, it is surprising that anyone could survive on such pitiful amounts to not only care for a disabled child, but for themselves and the rest of their family as well. Having carried a full-term pregnancy myself, I was at a stage where they would test my child for genetic abnormalities, disabilities, etc. like they do with any person who is pregnant at a certain stage of fetal development. It was to me, like many other people, a true concern on what I would do if my child were to be diagnosed with possible disabilities or mental illnesses. How would I care for them, I wondered, and would it be cruel to bring a child into the world knowing that they would have a shorter life expectancy and a lesser quality of life than a healthy child? As you've displayed quite graphically on your site, hospitals are frightening places, but especially for children.

Many women who become pregnant -are- financially unable to care for their children, not everybody has family or friends who can take them in to help them support their child and, frankly, the amount of money that the government provides for these people is not a great deal of money. Some families also have a few young children and need to think of the needs of their children who are already there in the world, they cannot simply neglect their other children because someone tells them not to. It's a delicate situation for all concerned and I'm sure they don't think about it with a smile and without considering the ramifications behind their actions, but rather, they care about their existing family and need to make a choice that will ensure that everybody is safe and able to be fed and cared for. Many women are raped but for various reasons, never report it. This would also come under the topic of being "emotionally unable" to care for their children. Domestic violence would be another such issue which, frankly, would greatly affect my decision on whether or not I were to carry a pregnancy full-term. You need to think from the point of view of the victim in such circumstances and ask yourself if, in the same position, you would want to bring a child into a world where they experience or witness violence on a constant basis. This is incredibly inhumane to the child in question and who would want to watch their child undergo physical abuse on a regular basis?

The government also does not help out families with one working parent unless they are already under the poverty line;  "Women receive far less help than people on welfare when it comes to finding a job, the Barriers to Women's Employment, Women and the Recession Project said.

Government subsidies for help with clothes, childcare and severe dental problems are not available to women with a working husband, it said.

"The sad thing is in 1947 they could," National Foundation of Australian Women spokeswoman Marie Coleman told the newspaper.

"The Commonwealth Employment Service, set up in 1947, allowed anyone to rock up to the CES … and you would be entitled to assistance in being placed."

Today's reliance on private operators to provide support services had also been detrimental to women, she said." (-
http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/1010402/job-hunting-women-better-off-50-years-ago). This makes it incredibly difficult to be able to raise your family effectively and being able to feed and clothe them as they grow older unless your parnter makes a great deal of money... and that is assuming that you have a spouse or partner.


You must understand that, like choosing to have a child, choosing not to have a child is a serious decision. It is something deeply personal and profound and it is not a choice that one would make lightly and without feeling persecuted by the stigma of the subject... much like the thousands of young parents like myself who are terrorized by the hospital system, social workers and society in general because people like yourself get on your pedestals and encourage that people my age (20) abstain from sex and leave our baby-making days until we're much, much older. The rise of IVF is insulting when I am harassed on a constant basis for making the responsible decision of having a child at the age at which I am physically meant to. IVF is much like abortion, only the embryos are frozen in large freezers, en masse, until the people who have left them there decide to use them. While you are preaching how cruel it is to extract an embryo for termination, wouldn't you agree that this is a much crueller practice for a human being to be subjected to? If they are, as you say, human beings with lives and feelings, why is it that people are legally able to freeze them when they are "very much alive", effectively killing them by doing so?


As a man of politics, I would suggest that you concentrate on the fields of medical health, drug rehabilitation, welfare (centerlink) available to families who are expecting children (which is incredibly lacking... I had to work until the due date of my child because I would not be offered any financial assistance to leave work when it was becoming an incredible burden) as well as those with children and one working parent or no working parents at all. I'd also encourage you to promote the care of those will mental illness and disabilities and review which kinds of medical treatments for those who are disabled can be subsidized by medicare. I am certain that the amounts of abortions undertaken would fall dramatically, should there be a safety net available to the people you have criticized so harshly.

I wish you all the best in the future as it is clear that you are incredibly passionate about human rights, as am I.

Sincerely,

(anonymous person)."

As you can see, comparing this to a complaint letter to the customer service industry, this pretty much breaks every rule I laid down for Trudy's scenario at the restaurant. Why is this ok? When writing to an MP, this is when you are meant to appeal to them emotionally. Hence the strong terms, referring to oneself as a person, as a parent, as a woman, etc. Notice that there is still no abusive language, it is still correctly spelt and laid out much like you would a school essay or a report for work. With an MP, relate to them as a person, not as a person in power. If you are outraged, say you are outraged, but have an intelligent reason why. Like I said, it is about backing up your beliefs with someone more credible than you, even if you -are- an authority on the subject... after all, how would they know?

I hope you have found this guide useful. If you need a template for a complaint or if you'd like to commission me to write a complaint for you, contact me via email: tigerlily.kitten@hotmail.com

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What's going on with the stars at the moment? [22 Feb 2010|10:45am]
[ mood | angry ]

Fights left right and center, more unhappy people in my direction since I was fifteen... please explain to me, astrologers, this sucks!!!

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snooze time. [21 Feb 2010|10:23am]
[ mood | tired ]


No matter how good it can be to see relatives, etc. I'm just glad to have my house back.
I need a big snooze to recover ._.
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Disney Love [18 Feb 2010|01:33pm]
[ mood | calm ]

I've been watching so many Disney films with the tiny lately. I love them more than she does, I think. My favourites would be:



Aladdin.
Probably the least angsty recent Disney film, not to mention the most watchable, regardless of age.


The Lion King.
loosely based off hamlet... awesome in itself. The actual story behind this film and how it was made is equally amazing as the film itself. The animation is beautiful, the songs are catchy and the storyline (though it is pretty dark for a kid's movie) is awesome.


Peter Pan.
I'm a big fan of the older Disney movies, to be honest. While they're a little slower in pacing than the newer ones, the music is divine and the characters are usually incredibly likeable... though some characters, dialogue, etc. would no longer be deemed politcally correct now and they would never be able to make the same films now... take Alice in Wonderland, for example. The main character drinks from an unmarked bottle, eats a stranger's food and talks to strangers constantly, something they're no longer allowed to portray or condone in children's films because they don't want to encourage this behaviour. Peter Pan is also interesting because the character designs of the lost boys are clearly an inspiration for Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are.


Cinderella.
My favourite point? the evil cat called Lucifer. Pure gold.


Mary Poppins.
The video of Mary Poppins was my 1st Christmas present after we moved to Australia. I watched it so many times that the sound has gone from the tape. I have friends who can't STAND julie andrews, I'm not one of these people. Also, Mr Banks looks so much like my dad that it's quite scary.


The Aristocats.
There used to be a run-down old drive-in near one of the houses we lived in during the early 90s. This was the 1st time I saw The Aristocats and I fell in love with the songs and little Marie, possibly the cutest AND most annoying kitten to ever live. My parents apparently met the author of the original book when they were in Greece on a holiday. Apparently, the original story was not so child-friendly and it was a lot longer, the movie covering a small part of the overall story. He didn't seem terribly pleased about the way the film turned out but, frankly, none of the Disney versions of the original fairytales are particularly accurate... so either don't give them the film rights or you can suck it in.


The Little Mermaid.
Awesome soundtrack, awesome characters and just one of my favourite fairytales anyway. 'Nuff said, really.


Lilo and Stitch.
Ok, so generally, I'm not a fan of any Disney movies made after the mid 90s, but this film really touched me. I think it's adorable, I LOVE the music and (I think) it has a really sweet storyline.



All images, characters, etc are the property of Disney.
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did someone say cake? [16 Feb 2010|02:27pm]
[ mood | hungry ]




Black Forerst Cupcake Recipe

Ingredients
15 oz (425g) can pitted cherries (sweet) in syrup
4 oz (100g) bittersweet (dark) eating chocolate - coarsely chopped
5½ oz (165g) butter - coarsely chopped
11 oz
(11/3 cup, 295g)
superfine(castor) sugar
2¼ fl oz (¼ cup, 60ml) cherry brandy
5 oz
(1cup, 150g)
all-purpose (plain) flour
2 tblsp self-raising flour
2 tbls cocoa powder
1 egg
Decoration
6 fl oz (2/3 cup, 160ml) thickened cream, whipped
2 tsp cherry brandy
4 oz (100g) block of bittersweet (dark) eating chocolate
Method
1. Pre-heat the oven to 335oF (170oC).
2. Line a 12 cupcake pan, with cupcake papers.
3. Drain the cherries and reserve the syrup.
4. Take ½ cup of cherries and ½ of syrup and process in a food processor, until smooth.
5. Cut the remaining cherries in half and reserve. Discard the remaining syrup.
6. Place the chocolate, butter, sugar, brandy and cherry puree into a saucepan. Over a low heat, stir until chocolate has melted.
7. Pour into a large bowl and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
8. Whisk in sifted flours and cocoa.
9. Then wisk in the egg.
10. It will be runny - but that is correct.
11. Divide the mixture evenly between the cake cases. You will probably find that you fill the cases close to the top (don't worry, they don't rise a lot).
12. Bake for 40-45 minutes until firm to touch.
13. Allow to cool for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack.
Decorate
1. Allow cakes to cool completely.
2. Mix the brandy into the whipped cream.
3. Top each cake with some of the remaining cherry halves.
4. And top this with some of the cream.
5. Using a vegetable peeler, scrap along the side of the block of chocolate to create curls. (You made need to clean the peeler from time to time.) And decorate the top of each cake.
Notes
    Makes 12 cakes.
    Allow to cool slightly and serve with extra Raspberries and
    whipped cream.
























































































Recipe from http://www.cupcake-creations.com/black-forest-cupcake-recipe.html

Image from: Yumsugar.com
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Dubbed vs. Subbed [16 Feb 2010|02:10pm]
[ mood | calm ]

Ok, so I've been posting a lot of gratuitous nonsense, using up my downloads as I post pictures every five seconds... my bad.

Lately, I've been watching a lot of anime (some things never change XD). HOWEVER, unlike a few years back, I've been watching it (gasp) DUBBED! My main reasons being: 1) my partner has horrible eyesight. He can't read the subtitles fast enough because he's squinting like they're in Spanish. 2) My small child actually understands what's going on if it's in English.

I made a few realisations about watching dubbed anime which hadn't hit me until now because I was an anime snob who insisted that it had to be in the original language or not at all... this stemmed from watching dubbed sailor moon until I saw the movies in Japanese and thought "Holy crap, this is much better!" and never really looked back. The voice actors for anime series now, though, are a lot more talented, expressive and a hell of a lot less annoying than they were in the early to mid nineties. Moreso, with large scale productions (like studio ghibli films), they have an all-star cast.... similar to the English cast of Kingdom Hearts. It's not as bad as I thought, though i still watch in Japanese when I'm alone, and I really wish that I'd been less of a snob about this... especially when I really dislike people who "only" like a certain kind of music, film, dress, etc. and reject all others.

EG) I was fifteen. I hung out with goth and emo kids. Apparently, you're "not allowed" to like certain genres of music (least of all catchy pop songs), shop at certain places or talk to people from other scenes. That would be bad, apparently.

I told them where to shove it and made my own friends ^___^;;

The moral of the story: Never say never... and never limit the things you're allowed to enjoy.

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a little more about december 21st... [16 Feb 2010|12:30pm]
[ mood | bored ]

My birthday has great significance in the Mayan calendar... apparently, that's the day that the world will end in 2012 (worst 23rd birthday ever, right?) I got bored and looked up other people born on Dec 21st as well as any festivals, etc. on that day.


Aoyagi Ritsuka (from Loveless)

Being one of my favourite characters in one of my favourite manga series, I find it kind of amusing that we share the same birthday... though he's a little younger than I am ^_^;;

"Voiced by: Junko Minagawa
Ritsuka is twelve years old and the protagonist of the story. He was named after the lunar day "Rikka," which fell on May 5 in the year 2005. His "true name" is Loveless, although it is yet to be seen on his body as the other teams' names are. He enjoys taking photographs and "making memories."
In the first volume, the story alludes to an abrupt change of personality occurring in Ritsuka two years prior. It is seen often through flashbacks, when his mother beats him and denies that he is truly Ritsuka and that he is actually someone else in his body. Before this change, he was a popular, yet academically average student; presently, he doesn't get along with his classmates, and he purposely points out their faults. In contrast to this, he is the perfect student. In addition to the personality change, he suffers a loss in memory. The cause of these drastic changes is still unknown, although he has regular therapy sessions to determine why."

From the Loveless wikipedia page.



Frank Zappa, musical icon.

"Frank Vincent Zappa
[1] (pronounced /zæpæ/; December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993) was an American composer, electric guitarist, record producer, and film director. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa wrote rock, jazz, electronic, orchestral, and musique concrète works. He also directed feature-length films and music videos, and designed album covers. Zappa produced almost all of the more than 60 albums he released with the band Mothers of Invention and as a solo artist."

"Zappa was a highly productive and prolific artist and he gained widespread critical acclaim. Many of his albums are considered essential in rock and jazz history, and he is regarded as one of the most original guitarists and composers of his time; he remains a major influence on musicians and composers. He had some commercial success, particularly in Europe, and for most of his career was able to work as an independent artist. Zappa was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997."
 From the Frank Zappa wikipedia page.



Jane Fonda, actress, exercise guru, feminist icon, writer, model.

"Jane Fonda (born December 21, 1937) is an American actress, writer, political activist, former fashion model and fitnessguru. She rose to fame in the 1960s with films such as Barbarella and Cat Ballou and, excluding a 15 year hiatus, has appeared in films ever since. She has won two Academy Awards and received several other awards and nominations. She announced her retirement from acting in 1991, but returned to film in 2005 with Monster in Law, and later Georgia Rule, released in 2007. She also produced and starred in several exercise videos released between 1982 and 1995.

Fonda has been an activist for many political causes, one of the most notable and controversial of which was her opposition to the Vietnam War. She has also protested the Iraq War and violence against women. She describes herself as a liberal and a feminist. Since 2001, Fonda has been a Christian. She published an autobiography in 2005 and currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia."

Again, from her wikipedia page.


Joseph Stalin, tyrant XD

"Joseph Stalin (born Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili in Georgian or Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili in Russian patronymic nomenclature; 18 December 1878 – 5 March 1953) was the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee from 1922 until his death in 1953. In the years following Lenin's death in 1924, he rose to become the leader of the Soviet Union.


During the late 1930s, Stalin launched the
Great Purge (also known as the "Great Terror"), a campaign to purge the Communist Party of people accused of sabotage, terrorism, or treachery; he extended it to the military and other sectors of Soviet society. Targets were often executed, imprisoned in Gulag labor camps or exiled. In the years following, millions of members of ethnic minorities were also deported. "


There are also a whole bunch of musicians, politicians, etc that I can't be bothered posting because they're not that relevant to today.


Holidays and observances on December 21st:

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Writer's Block: Compare and contrast [16 Feb 2010|11:13am]
[ mood | bored ]

What ten words would you use to describe yourself? If your friends were asked to describe you, how closely would all the lists match up?

I'm bored enough to answer this >_<

Ok, well I'd probably describe myself as:

- Scattered
- Introverted
- Messy
- Eager
- Affectionate
- Determined
- Mature
- Immature
- Easily distracted
- Loyal


I think for the most part, these are things that friends/family/etc would agree with. My partner would probably agree with all of these things but obviously there are certain facets of your personality that shine through in different ways when you're around people that you hold dear... you try and hold in some of your flaws or annoying habits, the introverted become extroverts (I'm a bit of both, but I'm REALLY SHY... though I'd never show it) and the slobs of the earth become neat-freaks. I don't have many friends at the moment. I've moved interstate twice in the last few years, so my friends from Adelaide (where I grew up) and I have fallen out of touch (with a few exceptions) and the people that I do interact with have changed since we were in school and so have I... we don't know eachother as well. I have one close friend in Sydney, who changes every time I see her. I miss her a lot and I always try to be my best self when I'm around her because she's someone I admire so much.... but I also think that maybe she'd describe me in a different light to how I'd describe myself. In melbourne, I only really have one close friend. She knows me a little too well, to the point where it's a bit scary, but even then, I wonder how she's portray me?

I guess the thing is, we all overlook our own flaws AND positive attributes when we describe ourselves because they're only visible to others.





well, this didn't alleviate much boredom at all.
Damn.
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places I wish I lived. [16 Feb 2010|11:01am]
[ mood | determined ]

 
prague! it looks like a fairytale even now!! I could be a princess and live in a castle... maybe.


Paris:
I have family in France (mum's family are french and portuguese) but I've never had the chance to go, despite the fact I have citizenship.
I know that Paris is a bit of a tourist trap, it's dirty, it's expensive, it's confusing, etc. BUT I'd love to live there -temporarily- and get some artistic endeavors done.


Denmark:
Some of the greatest fairytales were written and/or set here. It seems like the sort of place that dreams are made of.


London:
some of dad's family live in London (immediate family, my aunt etc.)
I'd a) like to visit them and b) love to live in such an amazing city as far as music, fashion, art, etc. goes.

 


TOKYO.

As long as I could remember, I've always wanted to go to Japan, Tokyo specifically. The idea of a metropolis where you could so easily lose yourself, the diversity of the different people and districts, the culture clash from everything I've seen before and the birthplace of most of my favourite things. When I was little, I used to wish I was Japanese or half Japanese. This dream is obviously unattainable and I've become more at peace with my own background (after all, being half french, half british and living in Australia makes me kind of an international woman of mystery XD) but it's still a huge goal to live in Japan for at least a year, so I have time to see all the things I want to see and soak up the culture, the sights and everything else before I have to leave again. I'm applying for jobs at Tokyo disney as a Disney princess and I'm also hoping to get work teaching English in Japan. It's also the best way for me to make an impact with music, my fashion ideas and the other goals I have in store for my life. The biggest setback, obviously, is taking my 1 year old along with me and being able to find a safe place for her to live in a country I know nothing about other than my anime knowledge (when it comes down to it). Also, without family nearby, it would be very hard to have someone always available to watch her. Still, someday when she's a little older, this will become a reality.


Here's hoping.
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beauty wishlist [14 Feb 2010|03:13pm]
[ mood | determined ]

Beauty products I would LOVE, 2010:


Shu Uemura false eyelashes.



MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation (SPF 15) in NC15.
I've used MAC foundation in the past... for some reason, it is the only brand with the exact right shade for my skintone. Most foundations are too dark, not that I'm especially pale, but they seem to assume that every female on the face of the earth is using fake tan/bronzer or they just have too much orange or pink pigment and I look strange >_<


L'oreal Studio Secrets Anti-Redness Primer.
I -love- using a primer. It's like the secret step that suddenly made me smack my head against a surface and go "Oh! THAT'S how you do it!". I'm currently using a Natio primer, which works very well, but I have an uneven skintone and acne scars, etc. Green concealer can be a pain in the ass if you put too much on, so I'm curious to see if a green-tinted primer would work any better.


L'Occitane Ultra Comforting Mask.
An absolute favourite of mine. I buy a tube of this once a year and save it for stressful days or special occasions. It makes your skin feel -divine- after has absorbed, etc. and it's really soothing.


MAC blush in Pink Swoon.
Again, another favourite. I've had mine for almost 2 years now (you'd be surprised how much use you can get out of this!) because it's actually a lot pinker than what you'd expect. It's the perfect dolly pink shade and makes your skin look like porcelain. Mine's almost completely gone :(



MAC liquid eyeliner in Boot Black.
What can I say? the blackest black eyeliner you can buy.


Estee Lauder Beyond Paradise
This perfume smells like heaven. Better than Angel, it's literally like you're in a tropical paradise. Yum.


Lush Snow Fairy shower gel.
Pink bubblegum-scented goodness with glitter sparkles. Shame it's only around at Christmas.


Lush soap in 'Bohemian'.
I love citrus scents. This is the perfect soap for me, it makes your skin feel soft as an infant's and smells like lemon meringue pie.


Shu Uemura Moyoco Anno Cleansing Oil.
Ok... so, a quality product which I already love AND limited edition manga illustrations on the bottle.
Any questions?


Shu Uemura makeup brushes.
My own set of brushes is getting a bit old now, a lot of them are synthetic and were part of Christmas or Birthday presents from a few years back... when I -do- get around to replacing them, I'll be spending my moneys on THESE babies :D


THIS Bobbi Brown eyeshadow palette!


MAC lipstick in Morange.
Is it red? is it orange? it's.... uh.... both.



 
 
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bunnies ^__^ [14 Feb 2010|01:21pm]
[ mood | bouncy ]



what a cute little guy!
I want a bunny of my own!



someone please buy me this. haha. I love bunny ear hoodies more than anything.

end of my bunny inspired google-spree.... most of the stuff that comes up is links to tacky playboy costumes >_<

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LJ overhaul. [14 Feb 2010|01:06pm]
[ mood | chipper ]

Hi :)
long time since I last used LJ. I did a complete overhaul, like I do every time I go back on again... basically deleting all the stuff that was there previously and starting afresh. I still think it's better thandeleting the account and making a new one, that's reeeeally tiresome.

So what's hit me since I was last an active member of the LJ world? My obsession with riot grrl has died down a little, I'm happily living in Melbourne with my adorable partner and I have a cute one year old girl who is my life =]

I -finally- got my hands on the Gothic and Lolita bible *squee* but unfortunately, I think the English edition is really lacking... quite boring, full of American cosplayers. Not that there's anything wrong with being a western lolita (or I wouldn't be here, obviously) but I think that most people after the Gothic and lolita bible are after the same content (or similar) as the Japanese edition and the same models, articles, etc. I've happily made (or started to make) some of the cute little bags, purses, mobile phone holders, etc. but I'm looking for patterns for skirts, dresses, shirts, etc... but with a bit of a twist as well, just to make things interesting.

My style inspirations at the moment: Nana Oosaki (as always ^__^)
Uzuki Yashiro (from 'The World Ends With You')... in fact, I was channeling her a few years back, before she was in existence.
Generally, if I want to look for inspiration, I play some videogames (final fantasy and square enix characters are always great for this), read an Ai Yazawa manga, look at high fashion shots (for clothing more out-there than the standard person would dream of wearing) or look at Fruits.

My lolita days are becoming less and less frequent because I'm getting older, my bust is getting bigger, I don't really know any other lolitas and I also have a job and a million other things that inhibit my dressing like a little doll. I'd love to be able to meet other lolitas in Melbourne and catch up for cake one day but making sure things are pram-friendly or expecting strangers to be ok with a small child hanging around means I'm a little apprehensive about getting in touch with people. Also, I like the freedom of being able to have piercings, fluoro hair and other things which kind of retract from the Lolita image.

Ooh! I also found a new page, my new love and shopping inspiration for when I have money aplenty... Anna House! Most lolitas have probably already heard of them but I nearly fell off my chair when I saw how adorable AND cheap their stuff is... in fact, I wonder if someone could tell me if their stuff is good quality...?
Also, as far as Melbourne goes, I also like Friends of Couture and Refuse to be Usual.

In any case, I plan to be on LJ a fair bit more now that I have the chance.

xxx

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