Monday, May 7, 2012

my week with cleo.

It started with a Jacobean Suite. Well, not really, instead it started with a trip to Melbourne with my little sister, Phoebe, my gift to her for her 21st birthday.  But then came the Jacobean Suit, which belonged to her friend Alex, with whom we were staying and which was genuinely saliva worthy. And then I was in love; if i could have stolen it, I would, all thought of morality and honesty out the proverbial window.

Our first day in Melbourne was a feast of shopping, a cute as fuck black baby pug that happily munched on my jacket while I coddled it, and actually feasting at all sorts of delicious Melbournian places.

 Day two of the Melbourne stint started with my backside on the floor (thanks to a super, magically deflating air-mattress) but things went infinitely upwards from there. Breakfast was at Soda Rock Diner, and came in the form of a chicken burger (I am just not a breakfast person).  Then, after Phoebe made me to partake in a pot of tea, I headed off to Brunswick to see my lovely Taswegians.

After arriving at the idyllic Albion Road I got to have the best catch up with my Tasmanian Beauties and (added bonus) lunch at Jellystone, my absolute favourite.  Lunch was Mediterranean eggs, with beetroot relish and dukkha (yes, I am one of those breakfast for lunch people) and a ginger beer spider.  Just quietly, ginger beer spiders are actually the best thing in the world and if you die without ever having one I'm pretty sure heaven will reject you on principle.

From Brunswick, it was off to the Melbourne Art's Centre to meet Alex, Phoebe, Lindsay and Cam for din dins and general evening frivolity.  Dinner was at the food court, and I thoroughly enjoyed having a quiet giggle at the above 'nerd meme' hybrid sign at the taco place.  From there, it was off to the Opera to see Contact! a new Australian operetta about netball. 

After our annual intake of arts culture we headed off for some more culture, this time in the formal of the alcoholic culture of Madame Brussels.  I'd never been before, but I was smitten the instant I walked in.  Three jugs of cocktail later we were all feeling slightly merry (poor waiter who had to look after us), and headed off to karaoke.  But, after hearing several seemly untalented people try their respective hands at Adele and various 90s R'n'B shit we abandoned ship.

And so it was finally time for Sydney and the adventure of Cleo (I say finally, but really I love Melbourne so much I hated to leave).  The only thing standing between me and sydney, my absolute terror of flying. NO WORRIES.  But y'know, I had a handful of Valium and needless to say the plane didn't crash, so it sort of worked out in the end.  One taxi later I had successfully broken into Emma's apartment (I GOT PHOTOS GIRLS) and thrown my belongings everywhere, along with discovering the joy that is Foxtel - but seriously guys, why no Showcase/Game of Thrones?

Day one at Cleo was always going to be a bit of a shit (you try working in a night club for a year and then try to get ready for anything before 10am).  But somehow I made it out the door on time, and on the bus without a compete nervous breakdown - I was going for small wins at this point.  Even better, Google Maps was kind enough to tell me where to go so I didn't even have to do the 'awkward gets lost on her first day' thing.

For my first day I was partnered with one of the interns, Grace.  Cleo - and the billion other magazines that are in the ACP building - have a whole lot of interns who usually come in once or twice a week, and then there are work experience people, like myself, who come for a week or so and then disappear and never come back. Grace set me up with a computer and we started off researching for an upcoming issue that will focus on weddings.  Then we did something far more intern-like and went off to collect some dry-cleaning (yay for un-paid work).  After lunch, I went and introduced myself to the Editor, Gemma Crisp, who apart from being totally fantastic and awesome and having a job I would die for, happens to be an ex-Fahan, ex-Taswegian (there's hope for us all yet!).  I spent the rest of the afternoon researching for Cleo's 'Get Smart' segment and then it was home time. 

Day two started off pretty much the same (early morning bus rides and real jobs can burn in hell).  I met Tuesday's intern, Ally, and step one of the day was more research for the upcoming wedding issue.  Mostly, it was researching in the form of parasols, wedding invites and place cards, and outdoor lanterns for the upcoming photo shoot for the issue.  They were also collecting responses to couple of questions. One was from my cousin Tegan (who was married last year), 'What is something you wish you had known before you got married?', to which she responded that she wished she had known how to choose, and to have a set of criteria to help you decide between all the different options that are out there. The other was for me, and was 'do you think marriage is or is becoming outdated?', for which my response was yes, based on the fact that my parents never married and also that I am a strong supporter of gay marriage rights.  Finally, I wrote the 'reader's beauty product and tip' for the next issue, saying yes to Body Shop highlighters and facial steam baths.

By day three I was feeling practically positive about the whole early morning thing, and went as far as catching an early bus into the city and reading my book in the sun for a little bit (yay for Mimi having finally made it as far as book five of Game of Thrones).  When I started up at Cleo my first task for the day was putting together a list of 'ways to live like a trust fund kid', so basically ways poor people like myself can feel like we're living the life of the Gossip Girl kids.  So ideas came along the ideas of booking ahead and getting bargain flights interstate for weekends away, and road tripping with your friends for a day-trip picnic.  After that I was researching the importance of 'rest days' when training, so there was a lot of Googling, reading and then summarising articles for the feature writer.  I then spent some time researching instances in which jealousy can be considered healthy.  Needless to say finding anything about jealousy that doesn't relate to jealous girlfriends or boyfriends is nearly impossible, so most of it was bullshit about finding the source of your jealousy and using it for self growth, and how it can be a source of aspiration and inspiration (at this point the stench of bullshit was pretty overwhelming).  But then they let me research fashion week, which was far more my style.

Day four was spend almost entirely transcribing interviews.  The first was an interview with Carly Rae Jepsen, of 'Call Me Maybe' fame.  It was quite a short interview (15 mins), but it still took me all morning to transcribe.  Also, the girl is ditzy as fuck so I had the privilege of listening to her responding to every question with 'yeah' and 'ummmm, so...', and which turned out being about 2,000 words long (I challenge anyone to write that much before lunchtime, about Call Me Maybe and still have a tinsy winsy little of sanity left).  But it got even less sanity inducing from there, because I got to spend all afternoon transcribing an interview with a recovering alcoholic (at 24 she's been in rehab three times).  That took all afternoon, and was a pretty eye opening interview - she once booked into a motel for two weeks over school holidays just to drink until she blacked out, time after time.  It was also a super long interview and after working at it for three hours, I was only a third of the way through, so I left the rest of it for the morrow.

Day five (my last day) was also spent transcribing interviews.  In the morning I transcribed an interview with Dale and Sophie, from The Block, about their wedding (more shizz for the upcoming wedding issue), and I have to say their wedding sounded cute as fuck.  I then spent the afternoon finishing off the interview with the alcoholic (seriously, it took all afternoon) and it ended up at over 7,000 words long; 7,000 words that I could never write in two days if my uni degree required it.  Then it was time for goodbyes and getting an armful of books from 'The Free Shelf' to take home - seriously I wish I could have taken them all.  Then I handed in my visitors pass and that was the end of my time at Cleo, sad face.

Saturday was next, and I now realise why people who have real jobs love the weekend so much.  I spent most of the morning cleaning up the mess I'd made of Emma and Jacob's apartment (it's sparkly clean now though guys!).  Then I taxied to the airport and (thinking I was going to plunge to my death) caught my flight to Melbourne.  I stayed with the lovelies in Brunswick for the night, which included giggles and ciders and seriously excellent pub grub.

And finally, it was time for home, and a 5am start to get there. But I made it and my lovely mumma picked me up from the airport in early morning.  

And at that point, it was the end of my adventure.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

the awkward mid-year graduation.

Once upon a time, I had the bright idea of heading to university.  I’d finished college, done the gap year thing and was still happily living at my mums, and I figured that was what I was supposed to do next, wasn’t it? But, three full years later, an entirely different degree to what I started nearly finished and with the awkward mid-year graduation staring me in the face, I’m having the biggest panic of my life.

What the FUCK do I do now?

Well, firstly I’d quite like to run of to South America and live on a beach for the next ten years.

But after that, I’d probably have to get a real job, and (I know we all joke about, but maybe it’s true?) who’s going to employ the Bachelor of Arts holder that is me?

Fortunately, I have to vaguely practical major of Journalism to focus on so I’ve spent the last year of my degree frantically trying to gain whatever ‘real-word’ experience I can. I’ve taken up blogging, tweeting, the joys of Instagram and pretty much everything in-between purely for the purpose of saying I have a proficiency in social media to prospective employers (bullshit, I know).   I also enrolled in Professional Placement as an overload subject, purely for the two weeks practical experience it would give me (yes, I know that is actually what the unit is for).  I even decided it would be clever to buy myself a shiny new paparazzi camera so I could learn some photography skills (skills which every other person my age has).

But finally, my moment came.  A friend of mine announced that he was going to launch a magazine, and, finally, after talking about it for what seemed like forever, he actually did.  And this was when I realised: I like magazines.  Magazines.  Are.  Excellent. They are cute and cuddly and have all sorts of weird types and, even more importantly, do not involve my having to look or sound cheerful when it’s cold and there’s a civil war going on (like real journalism might require).

So, one useful and generous contact in the local industry later and I feel like I might actually have some idea of what to do after the awkward mid-year graduation.  I could even have something slightly believable to tell all my parents friends and other erroneous relatives when they ask me what I’m going to do next’.  Winning all round I guess.