Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Little Cooks

I haven’t mentioned my love of TV shows in a while so I thought it would be refreshing.

There are so many Junior Masterchef haters and I can’t help but think these haters are people of little hope and negative thoughts. These are the people I don’t ever want to end up like – the people that think kids are just kids – little people that need to learn – that aren’t capable of big things. These are the people who have lost their shine and who doubt talent and passion, who doubt anything of magic and wonder.

These haters don’t understand the point in such a show – yes these children might get help, yes they might get more time then we think, more assistance we don’t see but that isn’t what matters. For me, this show provides and fills me with endless hope. Hope that there is a generation of children with a passion. It might be fleeting but that doesn’t matter. They are there with their parents cheering on the sidelines and they are putting their heart and soul into something they love. Haters don’t care. They don’t even believe these children even enjoy cooking, some even say it is a pure waste of time for these children – focus on school – what does cooking even matter? Well for these bright young things it means everything.

These haters cannot see the beauty and kindness of the show – they only see producer manipulation and fake smiles, they only see product placement and camera trickery. Look beyond all the lights and forget about the evils of media and set up reality - deep down it is meant for smiles and innocence.

One thing that really gets the tears rolling is the love. As a child gets that coveted apron and they are into the top 20 the looks on their parents’ faces couldn’t be more proud. I am left feeling jealous, I am left feeling so ridiculously happy for these children for I know they have parents who absolutely care. Top 20 and their parents are as proud as punch. You know that when they get eliminated it won’t matter because they have tried their hardest and that is more than enough for mum and dad.
I think it should be shown to new parents – this is how you are meant to treat your child – with love and support in whatever they choose to pursue – it is not mum and dad’s lives; it is their own. Find their passion and nurture it, don’t suppress natural talent no matter what it is.

Maybe I have some unresolved bitterness, maybe I have some masochistic tendencies from my upbringing but this show somehow helps all that anger and all those scars, it somehow makes me smile for I know what they have is something worth having. I know that when they grow older they will remember those times, they will smile at the experience they had and they will thank their parents for letting them pursue a dream (even if that is no longer on their cards).

Children are absolutely gorgeous because they have not been tainted by the cruelties of this world. They timidly take their plates up to the judges and they smile at one another – there is no spite or negativity – they support each other, congratulate one another and are amazed and happy for each other. Adults can learn so much from children – see the beauty in the smallest things, laugh as much as you can, smile at one another and live life with passion.

This show is full of everything beautiful in this world. Not only does it give me hope for these gorgeous kids but it subsequently gives me hope for the future of Australian cuisine. Masterchef has transformed Aussie palates – we have matured and we are beginning to understand the wonder of good food. We are learning to respect what is on our plates and we are learning to open our minds to everything. Junior Masterchef gives me hope that future generations will be even more learned, will be even more passionate and will relish all the delights food can provide.

Watch it as it is meant to be watched - with nothing but positivity and exhilaration, with childish ore and absolute whimsy.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

O no – The Sun has come out to play…

Don’t get me wrong I sometimes relish the sun – I sometimes love the warmth it gives at is hits your skin, I sometimes love the light that shines through my blinds in the morning, I sometimes relish the bright blue skies and smiles of the golden rays. But Australia – we need to re think our summer wardrobes…

I despise summer fashion for the most part – to rephrase it more accurately – I wholeheartedly detest the majority of young Aussie girls fashion – I almost feel sick by the end of the day from the sight of it all. I feel as though there is no hope for little old Brisbane.

Kirstie Clements (editor of Australian Vogue) tweeted how much she loved the Italian warm weather – the girls looking so chic in their summer dresses and sandals – she calls for a ban on the Australian skank look – Kirstie, I cannot agree with you more!
Let me enlighten you all on the horrible wonders of Aussie girls (this is of course referring to a fair majority – there are always exceptions):

Instead of classic, easy breezy summer dresses they opt for the shortest of shorts where the insides of pockets stick out and places that shouldn’t see the light of day are blindingly saying hello. Singlets in all the colours of the rainbow are worn and I’m not talking about quality silk, cotton or linen singlets – I’m referring to those singlets meant for cleaning, painting and lazing on the couch – the ones that hug to fat rolls and pinch at the armpits. Then, the worse thing in the history of fashion’s taboo book is splattered across the board – exposed bra straps! They twist around spaghetti singlet straps and show their age completing the bogan skank look. Instead of classy sandals girls tend towards the rubber thongs (or what other nationalities call flip flops) and sometimes I stare and wonder how their thongs are even staying together as the rubber is no more than paper thick as it begins to flake away, hair isn’t even attended to (apparently people seem to take the bed head look a little too literally) and horrible fake tans begin to emerge and the days I see girls walking around with ungodly bright coloured bras – nothing left to the imagination; those are the days I want to die.

What is wrong with a beautiful summer dress? Personally, I think they are actually more cooling than tight little bits of material. Anyway, I’m with Kirstie – we need to put this cheap skank look behind us, we need to find class again. Think about Barney Stinson – biggest fictional womaniser – yet he never yearns for cheap singlets and dirty bra straps, no! No matter how sick his mind is what is his favourite female attire? SUMMER DRESSES! “Gone are the cute little skirts. Gone are the sundresses, the SUNDRESSES Ted!” “What piece of women’s attire, most stokes a man’s desire?” Answer: “The sundress.” So ladies think twice before you don your next over worn singlet, think before you squeeze into your overly too tight bits of things that hardly pass for shorts. Invest in some strapless beige bras. Hide those bits we aren’t here to see, flatter your shape with garments that delight the eyes rather then blind them.

It only just occurred to me that I set myself a bit of a challenge. My camera will take its first outing next week and I’m not sure it is going to get much exercise. As I walked the city streets today I struggled to find style, I saw a mere 2 people – oh dear! And here I was determined to show the world Brisbane isn’t a nothing city, it isn’t some derelict place but now I’m not sure I’ll be able to achieve that. But it is a challenge I am willing to accept – surely the exceptions are out there somewhere. Well, I know they are out there – but let us work on making the exceptions the rule.

Sorry for the lack of images…

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

The Big 2-1

Well I’m 21 now. Do I feel any different? Not really. Do I feel as though I am now a fully fledged adult, ready to make my own way in this big bad world? No, I don’t think I really am. It is simply another year older; not exactly sure it means another year wiser.

The problem with us Generation Y’ers is our ability to be consistently indecisive – to want to try it all. We have had it good all our lives – never knowing poverty, hardship and the need to simply live for enough money to support your family and to only be concerned with the clothes on our backs and the roof over our heads. We want it all. We cannot settle for a secure job that provides nothing but income, - no satisfaction, no motivation just a necessity of living; we want the dream job – we want to live to work not mundanely work to live. We are passionate creatures and we want to make the most of our lives – we want to live each day as if it is our last.

We are confident yet undecided, we are determined and yet lazy, we are forward thinking and yet like our comfort zones, we are all about globalisation, being green and looking at the bigger picture and yet we can often be extremely self absorbed.
So we are a box of contradictions but I think we are a generation that ultimately means well. Just like every Generation there are the odd hiccups – the people who buck the trend whether it be in a good or bad way. So why does Gen Y get all the bad publicity? We are constantly labelled the baddies of society: those young miscreants, those teenage drop outs, those adolescent misfits who have no manners - we are constantly put down in the media, we are looked down upon by the elderly and we are at the top of the “concerned” list for baby boomers.

I really believe Generation Y are creatures of discovery – I believe it is because we can be. The bright young things of Generation Y; ask the question Why. Maybe our constant need to do better and bigger is being misrepresented as misbehaviour and social taboo. Maybe our desire to fulfil our dreams is being mistaken for idle and irresponsible thinking. I think society needs to take a chance on us – to see that we will inevitably be the future work force and we will be who we are – naturally!

So I’m an adult in the eyes of the world but I’m not sure I see myself so. I don’t think I really want to grow up – everyone I have admired in my life never has – they have all told me live each day like a child, see the beauty in the smallest things, laugh all the time and never loose your shine. View the world through a child’s innocent and untainted eyes – with magic and wonder.

On a lighter note here are a few photos of my birthday bash (yay, finally I have kept my promise – some of these photos are taken with my camera).

After two very stressful months I made it! I’m not one for big birthday parties when it comes to my own but you are only 21 once – so as a typical Gen Y I try to seize the day, live to the full and revel in all the delights life can give. Socially – I took a leap and went for the big 2-1.

I do often verge on the slightly extravagant and I hope these photos do the night justice! In case it isn’t clear (which God forbid) my theme was Mad Men – that wonderful cult TV series which never fails to delight. The place was decorated with 1960s print ads and all things vintage!

Guests sipped on 1960s cocktails, nibbled on finger food and fondue reminiscent of 1960s dinner parties and twisted the night away. A makeshift photo studio was erected where guests could dress up and pose like it was 1965! They were treated with candy filled martini gifts and filled out the guest book old school typewriter style!

Without the help of ALL my family members this would definitely have been in shambles – well at least I now know I could never be an events manager (cross that one of the list of possible career paths – obviously I have a list: I’m Generation Y)

I’m approaching a uni break soon so I should definitely be able to get some Brisbane street style photos up shortly and aliciamoo.com should absolutely be changing in the very near future!

…If not feel free to cyber slap me.

Monday, 5 September 2011


No, this is not an ode to the banana rather a reflection of the self.

I am a Banana if ever there was one.


Simple. My skin is yellow on the outside and white on the inside. Physically, I look and am of Asian race but deep down I am pretty much a white person.

It seems a fitting comparison especially now that bananas cost a mini fortune here in Brisbane – for it would cost a lot to buy me and my taste often verge on wastefully pretentious.

Now a banana isn’t exactly stark white on the inside and nor am I but knowing nothing but my life in Australia my culture, values and morals tend to align with that of the true blue Aussie. I am an Australian Born Chinese (ABC) if ever there was one!

Yes I often eat Asian cuisine, I celebrate Asian events – Chinese New Year, moon festival, I can use chopsticks and I uphold many values such as respecting your elders, respecting (if not always) my parents, taking your shoes off when entering a home and being generally polite and subservient.

But here are a few (or many) things very non Asian of me – I cannot speak an Asian language, I have very few Asian friends, never part of the all Asian groups at school, I am horrible at maths and science, I sometimes disobey my parents, I am not studying a tertiary education in medicine, dentistry or law and I certainly am not turned on by the feminine Asian male, I stand up for people getting off the bus and politely talk to strangers and I obey pedestrian crossings and do not walk at a glacial pace in the middle of the road or pathway, I chew with my mouth closed, I don’t wear bomber jackets in the middle of summer, I don’t buy whitening creams for my skin and I care not for caked on makeup – especially poorly applied false lashes and foundation two shades too light. I could go on about my disobeying Asian stereotypes but I think you get the picture.

Also, I would just like to say that being racist to my own race is wholly acceptable. And even then I mean it in complete jest. We all somewhat conform to stereotypes and as long as we take them with a grain of salt I believe it is a respectful laugh at ourselves.

You stumble across obstacles when you are a banana – people expect you can speak Chinese or any other Asian language – I find this utterly offensive. You live in an English speaking country so speak English! You can’t preconceive what someone’s first language might be so speak the national one fools! Do I often find myself regretting not having the diligence to learn Chinese – yes, all the time – this is another topic entirely but the point of it is I can’t speak another language and I shouldn’t be assumed to in an English speaking country.
Your first greeting should always be in the nation’s tongue.

I think I have it pretty well. Knowing both sides – having valued two cultures my whole life has shaped me into what I would like to view as accepting of all cultures and mostly very understanding. I have been given an enriched cultural education and one I will continue on learning.

Anyway the crux of it is that I like how I have grown up; I more than cherish both sides of the spectrum. On the occasions where I have been victim to racism I have never dared stand up for my Australian heritage (conservative and introvert being one Asian quality or hindrance I do abide by). But for many I am probably more eligible to call myself Australian then them. Fourth generation on my dad’s side we have been born in and have breathed Aussie air for decades. Being Australian is all I have ever known and all that I am proud to be.

I was wholly offended when someone once asked me who I back in a sporting match between Australia and England… Do I really pay out Australia that much? Do I really idolise and obsess over England to that extent! I was scared at how people might see me. I was frightened at what I have said, I was feeling as if I had let my own country down – remember I am prone to exaggeration.

Yes I love England but I am not English and I never will be (even if I do marry an Englishman ;) ) I will continue supporting Australia till the day I die and England will always place second (no matter what I might say, or where I might end up living). In reality I’m not sure I will settle in England (if I ever got the chance) for Australia is honest to God the lucky country. If I am truly frank with myself Australia is where I belong – the weather, the people and heck even the places – we might not have all that grandeur and night life, we may not have big city status, endless culture and historical value but we have heart. I know I verge on dry retching corny sometimes but Australia is a beautiful country – it is the little, vibrant and young island that could – it is the land that ventures far and wide; it is the place I call home.

If my future job takes me places, if I get to travel half of the year – well I’m certainly not complaining but as the plane lands on Australian soil I will always feel a sense of true belonging, I will always cherish what I have always had.

Australia is my home and if the saying is true – it is the place my heart will always be.

I love my sunburnt country!