Interview With Gala Darling: Part Two

Gala DarlingGeez, are you sick of looking at my mug yet?! I am!

Part two! Ooh la la! I’m really enjoying doing this. I hope you’re having as much fun as I am!

We know you are a wonderful and well-channelled Virgo but I am curious to know what your moon sign is. (Zoe)

My Sun & Mercury are Virgo, I have my Moon in Sagittarius & Venus & Mars in Leo. I am also a Water Pig & an ENFP, if that’s helpful to you!

How tall are you? Have you ever said? 🙂 (Cuppy Baer)

I am 169cm, which is 5’6″! It’s a little taller than average, but I often describe myself as a “little person”, haha. I am convinced I was meant to be 5’9″. My mother is 5’10”! I started smoking when I was about 13 — stupid! — & I’m sure I stunted my growth. Sad times. I would kill to be taller! Just a couple of inches! That’s all I ask!

My question is, what is your FAVOURITE fruit? And will you ever come to Canada? I think you mentioned something about wanting to go to Vancouver once. (amelie)

I love crunchy green apples, passion fruit, raspberries, grapefruit & pomegranates! I would love to visit Canada, & have plans to do so in 2009!

This may be a silly question, but I have to ask: Do you ever feel lonely? You seem to have so many things going on that this would seem impossible, but I also know that you strive for iCiNG to be a very positive place, so it’s also possible you might just not share that kind of thing here. (Liz Turtle)

I am really not of the “getting lonely” disposition. I attribute this to a couple of things: firstly, I’m an only child, so growing up I always had to entertain myself, & consequently got really, really comfortable with my own company. I love people a lot, they bring me untold amounts of joy, but I am probably at my absolute happiest when I am alone. I really crave it if I’m doing too much socialising. Also… I am usually so preoccupied with projects & plans & madness that I don’t really have time to get lonely! I’m always writing & plotting, which doesn’t leave a lot of space for sadness. Couple that with the fact that I am on my computer pretty much ALL the time, with Twitter running in a corner, constant emails, music playing all the time, & living either in the middle of New York City or in a house with my parents (who are pretty loud)… You know, it just doesn’t happen.

Sometimes I feel like I’m mean because I don’t really miss people. They miss me sometimes & then I feel guilty because I don’t really return their feelings, but I think mostly all that stuff ends up in a mix of excitement about seeing them again & thinking about all the things we’ll do! I really never feel that far away from anyone. We have the internet! & the telephone! & planes! It’s probably a good thing that I feel this way, with the amount of travelling I do!

Another question: Were you ever shy, or have you always been comfortable meeting new people and gallivanting around new cities 😉 (Liz Turtle)

I have always been pretty outgoing. I was always that girl who wanted to be the main part in drama class & stuff. It boggles my mind when I think about the fact that I used to do musical theatre (whaaaaaat?!) — I was once the main part in a production that went every day for three weeks! That is so weird to me. (One day my mother said she wasn’t coming to one of my performances because she had things to do, but she was LYING, & I knew it when I was on stage, because in the darkened theatre, I could hear her bracelets jingling when she clapped! They sounded very distinctive.)

Okay, slight digression there. I have always been pretty comfortable meeting new people. I am getting much better at it as time goes by. I think I’ve said this before but as an only child, I wasn’t really expected to act like a child — I was expected to act like an adult, & so I wasn’t allowed to just hide away when my parents had friends over or when they met someone or whatever, I had to stump up & make nice. Even though I wasn’t overly fond of it at the time, I think it taught me some good lessons about people, & I guess I would consider myself reasonably socially adept. I have grown a LOT in that way in the last year.

I love being in new cities & exploring them, I think it is one of life’s great pleasures, so yes, I’m very comfortable doing that!

Have you ever considered doing a tour of sorts? Some kind of scheduling of iCiNG meetups around the U.S. in major cities (like Chicago! hint hint) so we could meet you AND each other? (PrincessMagpie)

YES! I have thought of doing that! Nubby & I have discussed this; we would love to do a nationwide road-trip, where we live-blog from the back of an ice-cream truck (!!!) & stop in the cities that take our fancy! How good would that be?! We would need a driver though. Any volunteers?!

Do people come up to you in the street and if so what has your best fan experience been? (Maya)

Yes, they do! It started happening when I lived in Melbourne, & as my website grows, it happens more & more. One of the most amazing things that happened was having a Swedish girl called Anna approach me in Manhattan! She was there on holiday, & had been joking with her boyfriend about how they might see me — & then they did! I have met nonpareils in bars, in shops, at castings for Australia’s Next Top Model… I have had people come into restaurants & cafés where they saw me eating, shyly tap me on the shoulder & yell at me from the other side of the street.

For some reason, it is even MORE prolific in Wellington, which is shocking to me because it’s such a small city — & I haven’t lived here for a really long time! Someone pimped me out GOOD here! Since coming back a month ago, I have yet to leave the house & not be recognised… It’s an incredibly weird, but amazing, thing, & I love meeting the people from the other side of the screen!

You have amazing & expensive designer items, how do you afford them since you’re a blogger? (jenny)

I save up for them, like most other people… !

When do I see you again? (davide)

As soon as you live in a city that doesn’t suck! Kisses!

I once remember you saying you felt like “Elton John’s demented protégé” so my question would be whose protégé would you be now? And why? (Katrina)

Diana Vreeland’s! That’s a pretty bold claim though… She is my icon.

How old do you feel? In some ways you seem like a very old soul… and in some ways like a little girl! (Karen)

Whenever someone asks me how old I am, I automatically go to say “23”. I’m not 23 any more, but a lot of things happened to me that year (moving country, starting iCiNG, etc.) so I guess it made an impact on me! As to how old I actually feel, it depends. A lot of the time I feel like a 7 year old — usually when I’m excited about something — but then occasionally, when I’m out at night or feeling especially grouchy, I feel like an oooooold woman. I do call myself Grandmama Darling for a reason!

How do you keep yourself – life, relationships, work – all in balance? (Freya)

I don’t know that I do keep it all in balance, honestly! I pretty much work all the time, & when I’m not working (reading blogs, writing articles, dealing with email, sitting at my computer in general), I’m usually thinking about it. I don’t know if “work/life balance” exists for people like me who live their lives online. Even when I’m making plans to travel or do things in the future, it almost always ties in with my work in some way or another. Good thing I love what I do! Haha!

My relationships are a different story altogether. They often have to fit around my work. This makes some people unhappy. Unfortunately for them, at the moment, that’s just how it is, & I’m happy that way!

What are your favourite high-end or designer brands? (Jessica Elle)

I really love Alexander McQueen, Rick Owens, Balenciaga, Pierre Hardy, Christian Louboutin, Luella, Maison Martin Margiela, Yohji Yamamoto… I really love sleek, minimalist stuff with an unusual cut or detailing, which you might not guess based on how I dress day-to-day!

I know you lived in Auckland for a while. So, what’s your favourite place to eat here? Where did you normally hang out? (Val)

I lived in Auckland for ages, but I think I lived in the Whitcoulls building on Queen Street the longest, so a lot of the places I liked were near there. I loved to eat & spend time at Logos, Rakinos & Tanuki’s Cave! I also lived really close to a vegetarian cafe & I ate there way more often than I should have. There was also an awesome vegetarian/vegan cafe called Raw Power or something, I’ve forgotten the name, which I ate at all the time. I didn’t really frequent any bars other than Rakinos, where I loved to go for an after-work drink on a summer’s evening, ahh so good. Normally if I wanted to go out I would go wherever the action seemed to be. Most of the time I would have people over to my place where we would drink, listen to music & make merry!

Whatever happened to Audrey? I used to love reading his posts! Would you ever considering hiring/teaming up with/working with/frolicking with other writers for iCiNG? (MJ)

Audrey is a super-hard-working guy & so often he was too wrapped up in his insane job to make the kind of commitment I was really looking for. He is awesome & knows SO much about style, but unfortunately real life gets in the way of him sharing that with the world at the moment! (He has been in the process of starting up his own blog about men’s style since I met him!) One day he will get a job that gives him a day off & things will start to happen, I’m sure of it.

I have thought about bringing on other writers, but I am kind of a control freak with insanely high standards. I also don’t like turning people down or saying “do it again, but better”. Honestly, I would prefer just to do things myself… ! Hopefully one day I will get over that!

Best & worst things about your job? (Iris)

Um, I love working in my pyjamas. I love listening to music really loudly all day & taking breaks from writing to dance like an imbecile. I love that I can do whatever I want. I love that I get to be creative, take risks & try new things. I LOVE getting instant feedback on what I’ve written or put together. I love that I can create & shape my future into anything I want & I love the opportunities that have come my way from running iCiNG.

I don’t love how much email I get. It is flattering but kind of stressful, especially when it starts to build up. I think most people would have a heart-attack if they saw my inbox first thing in the morning. Just thinking about it is giving me palpitations! I also sometimes wish I had a manager to kick my ass & get me to do things. But only sometimes!

What you miss most about being in the 9 to 5 workplace, as opposed to being self employed? (Iris)

I miss silly things, like commuting. I know that commuting sucks for most people, but for me it was an opportunity to get some writing done & process however I was feeling. I would sit on the bus with my headphones & notebook & just write until I arrived at my destination. I always find that I do my best journalling on the way to somewhere, whether that’s on a bus, in a plane, or whatever. Alain de Botton wrote about that actually, I think. Anyway, I miss that.

Sometimes I miss having workmates too, but honestly, I kind of feel like all the other bloggers & self-employed people I follow on Twitter are my workmates. We’re all dealing with similar issues, we can talk in real-time, we all support one another… & don’t have to put up with each others’ weird food smells! Bonus!

How do you stay motivated & working hard on iCiNG instead of playing & sleeping & shopping all day? (Iris)

Sometimes I do sleep/play/shop all day, but not as often as you might think. I’m motivated by the fact that I love what I do — I mean, it is genuinely fun to me. As much as I love shopping — & believe me, I LOVE shopping — I find it much more satisfying to write something I’m happy with & hit ‘publish’ than to buy something on Ebay. (I know! It’s crazy!)

How did you get into iCiNG (I know you were tired of the corporate world etc., I mean like what steps did you take to create it, financial aid, support from parents/friends etc. to set up your own site & be self-employed)? (Iris)

It was pretty simple really: my boyfriend & I lived on one income until iCiNG took off. Which took a little over a year. Yes, really.

Simon, bless him, is one of the most encouraging, supportive people I have ever met. I think that especially in the beginning, he believed in me more than I believed in myself. It is largely due to him that iCiNG even exists at all — & he was an incredible person to be in a relationship with, especially with regards to doing this whole thing. His belief & love & passion for what I was doing blew me away. It still does when I think back on it. When times got tough & I considered throwing in the towel & getting a job in a shop — this happened a lot, by the way — he always told me to persevere, & I cannot thank him enough for that.

Not having any money was stressful & difficult — I was used to earning a regular pay-cheque & frittering it away on frivolous crap, so not having that freedom was really tough. It is hard to do something for free for a long time & not know if you’re ever going to be able to afford a nice meal out again. Not to mention that it was pretty ugly on the self-esteem side of things. Let’s not even think about how Simon felt. I imagine sometimes he felt like he was investing in the arts, & other times he probably thought he was being used. Money in relationships can be really complicated.

These days I am self-sustaining, & it makes life a whole lot easier.

Coolest perks of being Gala Darling (free things, meeting idols, etc.)? (Iris)

Free things & meeting idols is pretty amazing, haha, you totally hit the nail on the head there! Yes, I have had some absolutely amazing opportunities which I cannot imagine having ever come my way if I was still working at New Zealand Post… A little risk-taking goes a long way.

How do you feel about people with websites ‘copying’ your own, with the same sections like inspiration, advice, fashion etc.? Or people taking TILT and using it like their own? Personally I would feel a little cheated and want to stamp my ownership on something I started… (Melissa)

I think it’s only natural, really. People see something which has succeeded & want to be successful too; it happens all the time. I used to get upset about it but I don’t any more, mostly I am flattered. You can’t get all grabby & nuts & be all, “That’s MINE!” because… well, what’s the point? & who really cares? It’s all ego, & people doing Things I Love Thursday or a close approximation are only improving the world, so I encourage that!

When I started iCiNG, blogs seemed to be pretty clear-cut. Fashion. Design. Art. Music. Lifestyle. I don’t think I was the first person who merged all those categories together, but I was probably one of the first who did who got noticed. It seems like a natural evolution; why SHOULD a blog focus on only one topic? So I am not surprised at all that other people do that too. Magazines are like that, why shouldn’t blogs be? I am targeting a certain type of person, not just one small area of their cranium. I want to inspire & enliven their whole being, you know?

Anyway. Long story short. As for the people who really, truly, blatantly copy me… I usually feel like they are probably in the process of figuring out who they are — as are we all — & they’re just trying on some attributes for size. Everyone does that, everyone, it’s just that some people are more public about it! My hope is that by doing that, they are able to realise who they are & what their unique talents, gifts, etc. are. If the way that they discover themselves is by doing that, then I am totally delighted for them. That’s awesome. More power to ’em. So there you go!

My question is a deep and insightful one: has anyone ever nicknamed you ‘Galaberry?’ (Penelope)

Not as far as I know… Maybe it’s time for a Galaberry revolution!

This year is my first year in college and I’m struggling to keep in contact with all my close friends from high school. You have so many friends around the world– how do you stay in touch with them all? How do you always seem to know where the coolest stuff is going on in whatever city you’re in? (Cristin)

I think one of the most crucial things to remember is that not all friendships are the same. I have some friends in the United States who I am in continual contact with, regardless of where I am in the world. On the flipside, I have friends in New Zealand who I barely speak to until I’m back in the country — & then we’re back where we always were, as close as ever. With some people, if you’re not around for them to see all the time, they kind of forget you exist. But others are more diligent about keeping in touch. As long as there’s equal interest on both sides, I think it all works out okay! I mostly keep in contact via Twitter, AIM & email, with phonecalls & Skype to supplement the whole she-bang.

As for knowing where the good stuff happens, it just kind of comes to me! My friends often have great ideas, & if not, I’ll just hear about something… somehow.

Is there anything you miss about your life before you became such an internet celebrity? (Jami Lee)

The term “internet celebrity” makes me laugh so much, & always makes me think of Ben Brown calling himself “the internet rockstar“! Sometimes I miss having anonymity online, or even in person — I’m not Elvis or anything but I do feel like I have to be careful what I say in public sometimes. Which is weird, because I’m not really the self-censoring type.

You spread so much positivity, but you must feel down sometimes. What do you do when you’re feeling sad or angry? (Elizabeth L.)

I use EFT. Or I forget about EFT (it happens), & frown, grump around, wallow, complain… & then remember to tap. Then I am fine again. Haha.

Do you have any artistic talents, such as drawing? (Maria)

No! I am the world’s most horrific artist. Please do not ask me to draw you a diagram of anything. My brain does not work that way!

I know that you use the power of manifestation and the universe in your life. I was wondering which way of setting an intention works best for you, whether that be focusing on something specific like great new friends or just focusing on the end feeling as the wonderful Mike Dooley suggests? (Claire)

I could write an entire article on this (& probably should), but in a nutshell: I really just think about what I want, focus on how that would make me feel, & then let go of it. As best I can. Letting go is the hardest part, usually, but EFT helps with that!

What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? (Bianca)

I don’t know! I can’t think of anything that I really want to do that I have been too afraid to try, which I guess is good news! Um, the only things I can think of involve getting into relationships with unavailable men?! I don’t know if that even fits the question…

What age were you when you started dying your hair crazy colors? (Juliette)

I have a vivid memory of my mother & I sitting in the kitchen, me with a towel around my shoulders, her carefully colouring my hair with this crazy semi-permanent cherry black MOUSSE which lasted about a week. I must have been about 13. So, I guess then!

Why did you decide to go raw? Would you recommend it? Pros? Cons? (Marisol)

My friend Deanne (I interviewed her, she is the hoop goddess from Hoop Lovers & Tokyomade!) & I were talking & she told me about how she had gone raw & it had changed her life. I had heard about raw a lot before that but never really paid any attention, but the way she explained it to me really blew my socks off. She spoke about it with such passion & vibrancy, & I trust her & I knew that she was telling me the truth. So my boyfriend & I decided to give it a go.

Pros: It makes you feel amazing. It slims you down & tones your body without doing any exercise. It gives you clear, luminous, beautiful skin. It gives you more energy than you ever knew you had. Your brain feels clearer than ever before. You feel peaceful, calm & ECSTATIC. Your senses become more finely attuned. Your intuition becomes more accurate. You require less sleep.

Cons: When you first make the transition, it kicks your ass. It can be hard to eat raw & still be social. (Going out to dinner with your friends can suck.) It’s trickier to buy food “on the go” — you need to be much more organised. People always want to talk to you about how you’re going to die if you don’t eat something cooked. You become really sensitive to other food & it upsets your stomach.

The pros far, far, far outweigh the cons, in my opinion.

What was your experience like when you went to Burning Man? I really want to go and wonder about it. People tell me is sort of like going to a rave which I used to love going to when I was in my early 20’s. (Marisol)

Burning Man kicked my ass. It was really hard. I had heard people tell me “I felt like I had come home” & “I felt like everyone there understood me”, & my experience was the complete opposite. I have never felt more alone in my entire life than I did at Burning Man. A lot of people seem to go there because it is the only place they feel they fit in & the only place that makes them feel good & blah blah blah, but that whole way of thinking is offensive to me. I believe very strongly that if your reality sucks then you should do something to change it, don’t be miserable for 51 weeks a year & then go & get blitzed in the desert. I felt like I encountered a lot of people like that there & it made me feel uncomfortable.

One of the reasons it’s so hard is purely because of the physical conditions. It’s a desert. Really, it is so hot during the day that the idea of leaving your shade structure to go exploring can be painful. It’s almost impossible to be hydrated enough to function, you don’t get anywhere near enough sleep & um, well, you have to camp. I am not a camping kind of girl!

It is hard on relationships too. My boyfriend & I had some epic arguments out there. Fun times.

Okay, so that’s all the bad stuff out of the way. Some good things: It is really amazing. If you have any doubts about the brilliance of humans or how far creativity can really stretch, it is the place to go. It will probably restore your faith in the magnificence of humanity. I saw some of the most incredible things ever there. It is a really beautiful place, too — gorgeous. It attracts really interesting people, with mind-boggling ideas, skills, talents & approaches to doing things. The whole thing is very awe-inspiring, but I don’t think it is the answer to anyone’s problems. You know?

iCiNG is updated near-daily & it’s always full of super scrumptious, upbeat posts! There’s never any negativity & I think that is just so ridiculously wonderful – How do you do it? There must be so much stuff whizzing full-tilt (no pun intended, haha) around your head at all hours of the day! Where do you find the inspiration to keep iCiNG going so fast & furiously? I’m not sure I could ever muster up enough stamina to keep a project going for so long with such beautifully high quality! Please share your secrets!! (Annah)

I really love it, so that helps a lot. My mother always told me that if you find something you love, you’ll never work another day in your life, which is completely true. Although that’s not to say that I don’t have difficult days, because I do. Sometimes I don’t want to be all sparkly & on display, sometimes I want to sit around & eat & watch MTV, haha! But those days are few & far between. Usually if I’m feeling like that, I know something needs to be tweaked or changed. It’s a good signal.

Hi Gala, for your interview I’d love to know if you like Jelly Belly Jelly Beans, and if you do if you have a favourite flavour (I’m guessing not banana haha) OR what your favourite café or bar is to hang out in Wellington, since I’m often up there for work and never know where to go. (Mathew)

I used to love Jelly Belly jelly beans! I don’t remember what my favourite flavours were specifically, but I liked to combine the chocolate & cherry ones… In Wellington, I don’t really have any regular haunts since I’ve barely spent any time here in the last few years, but you can often find me at Mighty Mighty, Fidel’s, Satay Kingdom (ha!), Mojo or Chow. There are lots of Wellingtonians reading this who probably have a billion ideas, so… if you’re reading this, comment!

Do you have any little rituals to start or end the day on a positive note? (Eva)

Not really. I wish I did! Though I do almost always start the day feeling positive — I am usually pretty excited about the day ahead, because I never know what’s going to happen, & I get to do what I love.

I am wondering what was your life like just right after you left your parents’ place? Specifically, did you live in a dorm at uni? Live with friends? Live with a lover? Live by yourself? What was that like? Do you have any good memories during that moment in your life that you like to share and do you have any advice on what-not-to-do? (Miss Circuitofsilence)

When I left my parents’ house, I moved 660km north to Auckland, where I moved in with my boyfriend at the time. I wasn’t planning on being in his apartment forever, it was going to be a temporary thing, but we ended up living together for the next four years (or so). Moving to a new city is really fun & awesome, but once the thrill of orienting yourself wears off, you realise that you’re still you, just in a different location. So, I guess, if you move city hoping to become a different person, just moving isn’t going to do it! You’ll learn some things about yourself along the way, but you’ve got to do more than that to make real change in your life.

As for advice? I don’t know if this really has anything to do with it, but in my experience, living together straight off the bat is a bad call. I have done just-add-water, instant co-habitation with two boyfriends, mostly because it was convenient, & I don’t think it’s the way to go. Move in together once you know you’re really really really in love & do it because you really WANT to. Another thing to keep in mind, especially if you have your doubts about living together: it is much more difficult to break up if you share a home.

How does one stop procrastinating, get in shape, find a girlfriend and and utilizes his potential in life, or to rephrase it, how does one be like you on a masculine way? (Stephane)

Read my site from top to bottom & then start acting on it! Haha! I feel like I have written down everything I know… By the way, I am not in shape or in a relationship, so I am not necessarily your ideal role model!

When you started out as a writer were you also working full time and how did you fit the writing in? Have you ever had a mentor or did you survive on personal motivation? (Becky)

I think I had my first article published when I was working full-time at an ISP in Auckland. The job was insanely boring but there was down-time out the wazoo & I used to spend my time writing or reading weird people’s Livejournals. Anyway, for some reason I decided I wanted to start getting published, so I called the editor of Pulp magazine & asked if I could write for them. They said yes, I went in to meet them, the editor gave me a subject & I wrote him an article. Done. Published. Cheque in the hand. Easy.

I fit the writing in anywhere I could because I loved doing it, which I think is the way with anything you really adore. You will always make time for it.

I have never had a writing mentor. My super-talented writer friend Davide & I would swap poems & short stories & novellas & stuff years ago, but funnily enough all my success has come from writing non-fiction!

So my question for you is (and pardon my forwardness), how does a person become your real life friend? What kinds of people do you surround yourself with, and what do you like to do? Do you bowl? Make arts and crafts? I ask because I am most likely moving to New York City in May when I graduate from college, and I would love to have a friend in the big city (and I bet your readers would also just like to know what someone as cool as you comes up with for entertainment!). (Leland)

This is a really interesting question, because I was discussing this with my friend Sammy about a month ago as we drove around Los Angeles! One of the things I have noticed is that as you become more prominent on the internet, all the “internet cool kids” come out of the woodwork & want to get to know you. Some of these people are people I would have liked to have been friends with years ago, but it never happened. I think the reason for that is that if you’re vocal on the web, & you give a lot of yourself away in public, people who do the same feel a connection to you. People with large online followings want to make friends with someone who understands what that’s like. It’s also much easier to become friends with someone who has a site or a blog, so you can gauge what they’re like. Someone who just emails you could be anyone! Does that make sense?

How does someone become friends with me? Well, more often than not, if someone just emails me out of the blue & wants to meet me, I say no. Especially when I was in New York — it happened pretty often, & while it was insanely flattering, & as much as I’d like to meet everyone who reads my site, if I said yes to all my invitations, I would never get anything else done! It can be kind of awkward sometimes, too! It’s hard to meet someone who only knows you as an online personality, because you never know what they’re expecting & sometimes I feel like I can never live up to people’s expectations of what I should or will be like. …But it all depends, sometimes I say yes!

The best way to become friends with me is probably just to subtly insert yourself in my life, haha! (I can’t believe I’m saying this!) Reply to my ridiculous Twitter messages, send me occasional emails, just make your presence felt but don’t be weird about it. It works!

I really like to surround myself with people who inspire me, people who are doing remarkable things. Pretty much all my friends in the USA are amazing people doing amazing things in their respective realms, whether that’s blogging, fashion photography, art, design, whatever. I know a lot of small business owners, especially, because we always have a lot in common & a lot to talk about. Talking business is one of my favourite, favourite, favourite things. & we do what anyone else does — eat dinner, drink, go dancing, take photos on rooftops, go to shows & galleries, have ridiculous conversations, whatever!

Do you like macaroni and cheese? My boyfriend is from Northern Ireland and he refuses to eat mac and cheese or peanut butter and jelly because it’s too American and (he claims) “the weirdest combination of food groups.” I was wondering if this is a sentiment all non-Americans share. (Leland)

Macaroni & cheese scares me because… it’s orange! (I am used to cheese being yellow.) Actually for my 23rd birthday in New York City, my friend Star took me to a macaroni & cheese RESTAURANT. It was an experience, just not necessarily a very edible one! The idea of macaroni & cheese kind of weirds me out, too — it’s basically just flavoured glue in a bowl. Eeee.

What I wonder is: does having such a massive and loyal readership ever feel like a burden? I mean, is it ever stressful to know the importance that you have in some readers’ lives; does it feel like too much responsibility sometimes? I think I’d feel that way if I were you. My blog is less about personal discovery and more about the social implications of fashion (as well as a lot of silliness), and I think I veer away from personal advice for just the above reason. (Rachel)

Yes. Rarely, but sometimes. I often feel like people have very high expectations of me & that can freak me out when I am feeling unbalanced. I am probably just projecting though, all that stuff comes from me.

I don’t get stressed out about being important to people, I don’t think I am that important to them really, but I do sometimes feel stressed out about the amount of output that is expected of me. Of course, I created that situation myself by posting every day — if I had started this site only posting three times a week, things would be very different, but well, that’s the standard I set, & I hate to disappoint people, blah blah blah!

Are you considering getting more than your half sleeve tattoos? (Riitta)

Yes, ma’am! I have plans for my inner forearms, which Timmy Kern is working on as we speak… Hearts & unicorns are involved!

Were you really popular at school, or a bit of an outsider? How did it affect you growing up? (Sorry, this question sounds so cheesy…) (Laura)

Um, I was pretty difficult. Mostly I was angry & angsty & weird, I felt like I didn’t fit in & that really hurt me so I dressed weird on purpose & was really unpleasant to people. I have no idea how other people at school viewed me, because I was kind of a paradox. I was the weird girl & the mean girl & the class clown all rolled into one. I loved to make people laugh, I loved to waste the teacher’s time, I skipped classes constantly, I never ever ever did physical education, etc. I was loud & obnoxious & “disruptive”, I was in detention every week & I used to write rude things on the bottom of my pencil-case so that when I had it on my desk, the teacher could read it. HAHA! Conversely, I was skipped ahead in some classes & loved English, drama & photography classes like my life depended on it.

They never really knew what to do with me, I was a nut; I wouldn’t have known what to do with me either. My dean called me a “witch” & said that if I wanted to go to Germany on my class trip, I wasn’t allowed to take any black clothing. I SWEAR this happened. I had to go & buy blue stuff. I didn’t own any.

That same dean called me “the ringleader” of my class; I was always inciting other people to make trouble & do bad things. I guess I am still a ringleader, it’s just that these days I use my powers for good… instead of evil!

(More to come tomorrow… Probably the last instalment. Phew!)