30 November 2008

My Superhuman Flatmate

Sam, complete with grin, competing in an ITU
World Cup race in 2006

At my new home in Bayswater, I live with Rex, Sara and Sam. Rex and Sara are brother and sister who hail from Omaha (Northland, not Nebraska) - he's an engineer who gets paid very well, if the conversation I just heard him having with Sam is anything to go by - and she is a nursing school dropout who now works at a company which imports plumbing products in Albany.

Sam is some sort of otherworldly creature, originally from "the other side" of Auckland. Honestly, I know I tend to inflate others, but Sam really is something else. He's an electrical engineer, New Zealand representative in triathlon, owns two homes, surfs, skates and to top it off is pretty well the North Shore's nicest guy. He even smiles when he talks. It's kind of unbelievable.

On Monday night, which was - as previously mentioned in "Day One at SRA" - the worst weather day EVER, Sam sauntered into the lounge where Sara and I were watching TV.
"I think I'm going to go for a run." We both looked at him like he was crazy. Surely even Jesus himself wouldn't go for a run in this. But Sam did. He returned, over two hours later with a half-crazy grin on his face. "Well, I went swimming too..." he admitted, almost guiltily. "All the surfers were out, having a good time so I went in with them." Only Sam.

This week, he's been running to the beach before dawn, having a swim and running home. The beach is like, 5km away which isn't anything too serious, but this is before he puts a full day in at work - sometimes returning after 7pm and heads out for another run. Who IS this guy?!

I decided to find out, and googled him about five minutes ago. Turns out he's raced all over the place as an elite. I mean, I struggle to place at age-group nationals, and last season, triathlon was my life. Last year, Sam had an ITU ranking of 107th. So he's no Javier Gomez... but then who is? I mean, even he choked at the Olympics.

"Sam is like, a perfect human being." Steph, Rex's (almost perfect herself, I must admit) girlfriend said last night after Sam whirlwinded in and back out of the house. "He ran a half-marathon in 1 hour 16, on no training, and was disappointed." Okay, so I can empathise with him there, because even when you're awesome, you still want to be better, and other peoples' standards don't really cut mustard compared to your own. But 1:16? That's not too shabby. Give this guy a training grant and a few months of work and I really feel that he could be a competitive runner. Competitive like, on a world scale.
"I wonder why he broke up with his old girlfriend. Maybe he like, dropped a plate or something and she decided he wasn't perfect." So Steph does come out with some interesting evaluations of people, but I can't help but secretly wonder why someone hasn't snapped Sam up.

This morning, I needed the pedals changed on my road bike, so I went up to get Sam. I found him, balanced on a wheely chair in his room, fixing his own smoke alarm. I understand that he went to school for four years, studying electrical-related things, so this was probably quite a simple task for him, but he then came downstairs and had changed my pedals before I had finished putting my bike shoes on. He's like, Mr Handy. As I left, I noticed he was doing his laundry.

I'm not the only one who's secretly in awe of Sam. Steph is quite open about it, and when her sister Vanessa heard about his half-marathon dismantling, she was pretty well dumbfounded. So was her husband (although, I do wonder if her husband is hiding repressed same-sex tendencies, after his admissions about Will Smith last night). Sara and I are still sold on the Monday night thunderstorm run. Sam must have some pretty proud parents. I can only hope my children turn out like him.

29 November 2008

An Ode To Becky

It's always refreshing to discover your own life is quite not as bad as you make out. When I moved to the North Shore from Cowtown I kind of thought my excessively dramatic life would alienate me from my flatmates, my eventual co-workers, and the other students in my class at SRA.

Not so, it seems. I've come to realise I'm really not as insane as I'm cracked up to be. And I'm not a bit disappointed. I'm a little confused as to why being a cyclist means I'm not in touch with my feminine side, however given that this summation of me came from a guy in my class, I'm willing to let it go. He's not one of these, Christian Siriano-type guys either, at which I'm a bit disenchanted. He's a smoker, smells pretty bad, and doesn't really seem interested in makeup. I do wonder what the attraction to makeup school was for him, but whatever. The way he goes around, he won't be picking any girls up, should that have been his motivation for attending. Yuk.

So there's him, and then there's an odd little scrap of a girl who lives in Henderson. Or at least I think that's what she said. She talks with such rapidity that even a question about how her afternoon was leaves her flustered and red in the face. It makes you wonder what stress a 17-year-old girl must be under. Surely girls of that age shouldn't have to worry about having one night stands with 26-year-old heroin addicts, who then propose and proceed to use your money to buy drugs and lunches with friends. But this is what said girl alleges went on with her "ex-fiance", if you can believe it. Most of the others in my class don't. As if that's not enough, she then gets herself into even more of a tizz when she explains that her current "man" (to be honest, he doesn't sound like much of one) often hangs up on her mid-phone conversation, in an attempt to wind her up, because he knows that to her, that's "the epitome of disrespect". What's the point? Seriously, when you're 17, you shouldn't need to deal with people that piss you off. When you're my age, sometimes you have to... right, Ritchie? Obviously I'm kidding, because everyone knows Ritchie is pretty much the only friend I have in Cowtown... but whatever.

You see what I mean? My life is a fucking Caribbean breeze compared to this girl.

Which brings me to my original point, or... person in point, if that even makes sense. I came here to write about Becky, who is a friend of mine from Cowtown (guess Ritchie isn't the only one after all, hey?). In February of this year Becky gave birth to a wee boy who she named Rhys, and from what I understand she is a great mother. This statement is made based on what I hear, and what I see in the pictures she posts of her little friend. Rhys is obviously loved, and looked after, and even if Becky is a 22-year-old single mother, this by no means makes her any less capable of caring for him.

When I see young mums out pushing prams, I usually don't give it a second thought. I'm not a huge fan of babies, so I rarely stop to make faces, or tell the proud mum that he/she is gorgeous (I did have a phase of this, one I grew out of pretty quickly). Even less often, if at all, do I even consider passing judgement at the motives of the mother involved. I try my hardest not to judge people at all, even if they do smell and make unsavoury comments, or tell me far too much information about their ongoing battles with their disrespectful partner. When you are on the run from your own problems, caused entirely by your own mistakes, you don't get to judge.

Imagine my dismay then when I read that Becky experiences judgement from complete strangers on an almost daily basis. I just can't imagine what she could have done to deserve this. She's not only good-looking (when we were at university together, I used to secretly consider her "the hot one" in my group of friends), she is pretty quick-witted, smart, and she can outwrite me any day. You have no idea how much it pains me to admit that either. I think I'm the best writer in the world. You've got to wonder what makes a person so high-and-mighty that they feel it necessary to give disdainful looks to a pretty young lady with a baby. Without sounding too much like I'm jumping on any sort of bandwagon, I really do feel that these bastards are just jealous of Becky.

I used to think that if I was a mother at all, it would be while I was young. My mother had my sister at 33 and me at 35. It's not like we missed out on anything while we were growing up because of any lack of youthful vibrance on her part, but I'd still prefer to be young. Obviously, this theory went out the window when at 19, my boyfriend at the time and I had a fight of disastrous proportions. It ended with me running away from where we were staying, and it took more than six months for us to calm down enough to even talk to one another. Admittedly, this was made more ridiculous by the fact that he lived in Canada while I was in Christchurch, but after that, I abandoned all hope of being married before the age of 20 and becoming a young mum.

As such, I admit to feeling a slight pang of jealousy towards Becky and Rhys. She's not one of those awful single mothers than can barely afford to feed herself, let alone her kid, nor is she one that holds down three part-time jobs and leaves him in daycare the rest of the time, thus defeating the purpose of having a child to begin with. Becky takes amazing care of Rhys, and I think other people don't really like this. That's just how people are - we like to see others fail. The simple fact of the matter is that Becky's not failing, and she looks good while she's succeeding. Everyone else should just fuck off.

From Becky's Facebook note, titled "I Hate Bitches":

"So... my life is a constant battle between my two lives - one where I am a devoted and loving mother to my ten month old baby and the other where I am resident party girl who likes to drunk and get involved in all sorts of tomfoolery...

Last night was an interesting one, which drew me to the conclusion that people just don't like attractive single mothers (if I do say so myself). Being my mum's 50th birthday, I went downtown with child on my arm to a restaurant to have dinner. I admit what I was wearing probably wasn't very 'mother-like' (whatever that is supposed to be).. in a summer dress that perhaps did reveal a little too much cleavage (hard to avoid though, when you have perky mummy boobs).

So I strapped little bubs into his high chair and gave him some toys to amuse himself and sat amongst my family for what was supposed to be an enjoyable occasion. Then about fifteen minutes later a group of girls in their mid-late twenties with bad bleach jobs and over tweezed eyebrows sat opposite us. Now, these girls were not really physically attractive. Two of them were rather overweight and one had a white trash tattoo on one shoulder. Of course I hadn't drawn this conclusion or passed judgement until they decided to target me with their stink eyes and lowered their voices to make comments about me - thinking I couldn't hear or even sense that I was the topic of their conversation. In the midst of my trying to pretend they had not offended me, I knocked over my bottle of beer and made quite the mess on the table. Mopping it up with a napkin I said to my Mum loud enough so they could hear:"Sorry, I was distracted by the bitches who were talking about me."

I really don't get it. It's the same when I am shopping with poor little bubs restrained in his most hated but unfortunately ever so necessary push chair. When I walk into a store where I used to spend all sorts of money before I was a mother, I am immediately cramping the store's style and often watched as though I am about to shoplift. For this reason, I try to ensure I am dressed to almost the highest standard to let them know I am not just some "dumb whore who probably got pregnant to trap a man."

I'm not really one to get too caught up on what people think of me, but sometimes I wish people could reserve their hideous glances and comments until I've turned around or I'm out of hearing range. I try my best to be friendly to people and even if I'm having a crap day I can work a smile for a stranger. So instead of immediately drawing the conclusion that I must be a loser because I'm a single mother- think of how blessed I am to have such an adorable son who fills my life with joy and gives me reasons to get up in the morning! I love my life, and who wouldn't?!

Of course, I'm not sure why I'm sharing this with you peoples, as I know you all love me regardless, but I just needed to rant about how much I hate bitches. Word. (does gangsta gestures)

got an eye problum ow

haha that was supposed to be gangster, not me complaining of a sore eye.."

So you see, not only are Becky's writing skills far superior to my own, she has it pretty tough. She's right though, we love her regardless of what stupid people in the street may think.

What's so funny about peace, love and understanding, anyway?

24 November 2008

Day One at SRA

Today is pretty much the worst day in the history of Auckland's weather. And you should know by now that I NEVER exaggerate. When I got up this morning, I found it pretty hard not to wail "I don't wanna get up!" even though no-one would have heard me. Eventually (by this I mean five minutes later) I hauled myself into the shower and thus my day officially began.

I had my wardrobe drama as expected and went with the Max shorts and a purple v-neck top from Principals. I chose my brown/bronze slim Havs over my Chucks (mainly for colour co-ordination purposes) and soon I was almost ready to go. Of course, there was then the issue of what eyeshadow to wear. Trust me when I say this was almost as much of a drama as the clothing issue. I chose one colour and applied it, before deciding it looked awful and swiping some Benefit 10 over the top. Ahh, Benefit. Will you ever do me wrong?

Anyway, when I finally tried to leave the house, I opened the door and nearly got sucked out by the wind tunnel I'd just created. What a great day. Of course, it then began to rain and my newly straightened hair went back to its natural, nasty curly ways. I don't have curly hair like say, June Carter-Cash had curly hair. My hair looks more like Bob Dylan's. And for a girl at makeup school, it's not a good look. I managed to misread the ferry timetable and arrive a half-hour early, so I sat in the waiting lounge and watched Al Jazeera. Isn't that channel like, run by Osama Bin Laden?

It was once I got off the ferry that the bad weather in downtown Auckland reared its ugly head. The direction of the rather ferocious wind blew the rain straight into me as I shuffled down Beach Road, leaping over puddles and trying to navigate various roadwork sites. By the time I arrived at school, my makeup was pretty much gone, I was close to soaking wet, and I had my Bob Dylan hair on. What a great start.

Things got better from there. I was surprised when the other girls actually wanted to talk to me, for one. We were given a course outline, rules, pretty much just the basics and then we were let go. I walked back to the ferry terminal with the lovely Grace, who is already thinking of quitting. It's a shame, because she is wicked nice and cute and seems like she wants to do makeup, but she claims to be no good with rules, and she also lives where it's near impossible to get to school on time using public transport. Tough times.

I at least have no intention of quitting. I may need the afternoon of the last day of school off (17 April next year - the day before XTERRA), but until then I intend to, and expect to be the best student in the class. I also hope to make use of my MAC discount card. I know right, like I need an excuse to buy more stuff from there.

All in all, it was a pretty successful day. Bar the weather, obviously. As it would happen our first unit is on Special Effects makeup, so we're expected to dress fairly scruffily for the next two weeks. We're also supposed to come to school bare-faced. Could be interesting.

For now, it's nap time, owing to the fact that I was so nervous I stayed up until 2am reading PostSecret this morning. Will I ever learn?

23 November 2008

The Great Dilemma

School starts tomorrow!

I have nothing to wear.

Well, I do, but I'm having trouble deciding. Naturally, I'm so stoked with my purchase yesterday that I want to wear that. But I just don't see my Slipstream cycling jersey fitting in too well amongst girls who are probably going to be wearing dresses. Kirby and I went shopping before I moved to buy clothes appropriate to wear to makeup school, but of course I'm having doubts. How appropriate are RPM shorts? Never mind though. I'm sort of unwilling to overhaul my entire wardrobe just for four months of school.

I also bought this wicked nice, but also not too versatile, blue top thing from Principals. It has a cutout on the back which I LOVE, but at the same time it can only really be worn with one pair of pants. Tights. Not a huge fan of tights, but hey - if they're good enough for Lauren Conrad, they're good enough for me. The colour of the top is perfect, too. If you've seen my Ilam Village ball photos from 2006 - it's that blue. At the same time, this top is sleeveless, and I'm not that happy about sitting on the ferry tomorrow morning at 7:55am in a fancy blue sleeveless top.

You see? I can't win.

The other purchase I made was a pair of denim shorts from Max. Denim shorts don't sound too fancy, I know... but these are like, nice denim. They're quite smart, and flattering. Which I love, of course. The only problem is, these are the shorts I was wearing last week when I crashed my bike on a hill about 200 metres from school. I don't know why this is a problem... it just is.

So that's the new items, now I guess I have the option of wearing something old. The item that sticks out (mainly because I can see them from where I'm sitting) is my grey-checked shorts from *cough* Glassons. I know, I know, Glassons is trash. But fucking everybody shops there, so who cares really. These shorts are like an old friend. My favourite outfit combination with them is my black Nike polo. Makes me look like a golfer. But not a makeup artist.

Luckily, I'm a tshirt hoarder, so I have about 50 to choose from (and this is AFTER I gave the ones I don't wear to Danielle for her charity). My favourite of which isn't old, but isn't brand new either - it's a Roxy tshirt I bought during Breast Cancer Month from the Roxy store in Sylvia Park. It's a bit more fun than the Glassons ones (but just for safety measures, I have four of them anyway), and like my new Max shorts, quite flattering. It's also the top I was wearing a few weeks ago for my first attempt at asking out a guy (more on that later, if you're interested), so in my books, it's cursed. That said, it's pretty, and fit-in worthy, so it could be a shoo-in. Another nice attribute to this top is that it's grey marl - which sounds nasty, but is actually quite versatile. Granted, I can't wear it with my UCLA shorts (which were obviously *cough* top of my list of shorts to wear to school...) but I can wear it with said checked shorts, my Max shorts, my RPM shorts... probably all of the mini-skirts I own (but maybe not until later in the season when my legs are a little more presentable). Like I said, versatile!!

Then I've got a bunch of other tops from various places - the most notable of which is one from Max that I bought last year for Kirby's design exhibition. It's nice enough to wear to the ballet, but also casual enough to go grocery shopping in. I'm thinking it will go nicely with the denim shorts, or my skinny jeans... once I get around to cleaning the milkshake stain off them from a late night at Denny's in Christchurch a few weeks ago.

All of these are good, but for the first day? I'm still so torn. Actually, my last years' ball dress is looking promising. Wear it with that pink studded belt I stole from Donny a few months ago, and I'm hot to trot. Or something.

Okay, so the outfit may be half-sorted, but I still have shoes to worry about. I don't really have the options with shoes that I do with outfits (and I call myself a girl? Disappointing.), and most days it comes down to which pair of jandals best matches my top, or my nail polish. Nine times out of ten, I'll throw caution to the wind and go with my yellow Havaianas, but due to some unimaginable momentary lapse of reason, I didn't bring these with me when I moved. Can you imagine? My life without yellow jandals?! Anyway, I do have a pair of brown/bronze slim Havs, plain blue Havs, purple-and-silver striped Havs, my Greek Havs, and two pairs of Gisele Ipanema jandals. And some baby pink hi-top Chucks, but I'm still debating if they're EVER going to be appropriate for makeup school. It's a shame my $630 Sidi cycling shoes are only for well, cycling. Seeing a theme here? All the expensive stuff I love can only be worn while on a bike. Sigh. Life is tough, let me tell you.

The slim Havs are probably my best bet. If I'm even allowed to wear jandals at school? I'm going to be screwed if not. They're a bit (a BIT) more classy than my other pairs, and brown goes with everything I own. Except maybe the ball dress.

I've been typing for an hour now, and I don't feel any closer to deciding what to wear tomorrow. I think I might end up getting dressed in the dark.

21 November 2008

Birkenhead sucks

My mission to find the cheapest pool to swim at on the North Shore was completed yesterday when I learnt that it only costs $5 to swim at the Osborne Pool in Birkenhead. It's outdoors too, so really, what more could I want?

Granted, it's something of a trek across town from my little Bayswater pad, but I thought I'd give it a go. The creepy guy in the lane next to me at Takapuna kind of helped convince me that after three days there, it was time for a change.

I google mapped the journey to the pool out on Rex's laptop, with the initial intention of biking there. By the time I'd biked to Devonport and back to do my banking though, I couldn't really be bothered. With petrol at an all time low for my driving career, I decided I would drive instead. I'm pretty glad I did.

It wasn't the easiest route to follow, made more difficult by the fact that I wanted to drive the way I would bike, and as such had to avoid the motorway. Anyway, a few Alpe d'Huez-esque hills (I may be exaggerating just slightly) later, I pulled into the carpark at the Birkenhead Leisure Centre.

The Osborne pool is not the worst pool I've been to - the Century pool in Timaru holds that honour, but it's not the best (Splash Palace in Invercargill / Melbourne Sports & Aquatic Centre, in case you were wondering). For a start, when you see it, you can't help but wonder what your $5 is contributing to. There are two lane ropes for a six-lane pool, and you can't actually see the lines on the bottom of the pool. It's logically placed right next to a bunch of silk trees, too.

My swim went alright, although I've got to say... counting metres in a 33.3m pool isn't the most fun I've ever had. It's easier just to pretend it's 25m, then I guess you're secretly working harder. I did meet a guy there who does XTERRA, which was pretty exciting for me. I had a faster run than him this year, yeehaw.

Today, given that I spent the first half of the day playing with my new yellow computer, I thought it a good idea to bike there. Which it was. The sun was out, I'm now a darker shade of pale, and those hills have got to help me get up Frontal Lobotomy next year. It wasn't until I finished my swim and took a shower that I decided I hate the Birkenhead pool.

First, let me just point out that while I do own about six pairs of sunglasses (one of which are Sally's, which I am guarding with my life until she comes home from France next month), it's always a nuisance to lose a pair. Or have them stolen, as was the case today. Seriously, they're worth $14.99. And that was when they were brand new, which was a while ago. I'd estimate their street value to be about 50c.

Someone stole my sunglasses while I was taking a shower at the pool. What is wrong with these people?

The main problem I have with this is that I hate cycling without glasses. Stuff gets in your eyes, you have to squint, you know... and squinting causes crow's feet. Ew. Normally I wouldn't do it. Today, kinda had to.

To compound my problems, I followed the signs that said Takapuna from Birkenhead only to be led to the motorway. And since this wasn't an option for me, I then biked blindly around whatever suburb I was now in until I found something that looked familiar. Luckily, this didn't take too long and I got home pretty quickly. But still.

What kind of person steals sunglasses?

It's official, Birkenhead. We got beef.

FB: 2/70

Brought to you by the wireless network at 2/70

19 Nov 2008

So I've moved.

I now live in Bayswater, which is far and away the greatest suburb on Auckland's North Shore (sorry Torbay. I'm a convert). I live in a sweet house with some sweet people. My life is sweet again. To be honest I can't remember the last time I felt less stressed than I do right now.

Some might argue that I moved here on a whim, but let me assure you I did not. Those who knew me when I was between the ages of 13 and 17 will know that back in those days, my goal in life was to move here. Granted, I'm a little old to attend Rangitoto College now, but I can still ride down East Coast Road on the Jamis and live my little dream out in my head. I get lost past there, but that's okay. I'm still new.

Next week I will begin my training at the Samala Robinson Academy. Yep - to become a makeup artist. Whether this has been mentioned in previous notes escapes me, but I really like makeup. I'm not bad at it, either, but I'm not qualified to do it for money. It wouldn't concern me much if I had another career lined up, buuut I don't. Makeup as a career you say? Yes, actually. And if it doesn't work out then, I'm still Miriam Jenkins BSc (Chemistry). So I don't care.

This week I have applied for eight jobs in the Auckland area. Yeah, one is at the airport, which is nearly an hour away (Auckland is big, people. Don't believe what Julia Toomey tells you on that University of Auckland ad!) - but if the rejection letter I received from a Takapuna cellphone dealership tonight is anything to go by, then I probably won't get it anyway. Seriously, if anyone out there can tell me what makes me so fucking unemployable, I'm all ears. I don't get it. Yeah, so behind closed doors I'm a hermit, selfish, and kind of hate myself. But it's not like I bring that to the workplace! Come on people, play the game. If I don't get a job, I'm going to be living on $5 a week. Not ideal if you've seen my race schedule for this season.

Which brings me to my next point - is there a better place in New Zealand to be a triathlete? And don't say Rotorua or Taupo, because I already know, and I would be living there if the makeup school was there. But the North Shore is pretty much it, and once I figure my way round these hilly streets, you all better watch your backs at Kinloch next year. Well... that's if I can afford to get there. Today, it's not looking good. Granted, $6 per swim is pretty steep - coming from Cowtown, where I pay $1.80 each time. But there are beaches everywhere here. And there's the Takapuna Beach Series, where if you win, you get $100. See you there next week, bitches. At the end of the day, as long as I can afford to drive down to Rotorua a couple times to pre-ride the XTERRA course (my goal is 50 rides over Billy T, but I'll deal with 20), AND afford to enter ($125), then I don't really care.

Oh well. At the end of the day, it's only money. Grows on trees out back. Didn't I start this note saying I was stress-free now, anyway? Yeehaw.

Once my new laptop (it's yellow!) arrives, I will be moving my Facebook ramblings to blogspot, and I hope to see you there. For now... good night.

FB: indian tales

crying over spilt chipatis... and other Indian tales

13 November 2008 at 18:03

So I guess it's been a while since I published a note. This is because everything I've written lately has been bullshit. I did publish and then subsequently delete one, after my short-lived stint as a postie. What a nightmare that was.
Honestly, I wrote about how being a postie was everything I'd dreamed of. Obviously, this was one of those dreams where you wake up screaming and in a cold sweat. That was what being a postie was like for me.

Maybe my bad dream last night was a precursor to the shitter of a day I had today. Yeah, I'm excited and incredibly grateful to be moving this Saturday, and I guess I've been told time and again that before things get good they get shit. But this shit? Seriously? Here I was thinking I banked a lot of good karma by driving Kirby's ass around the place, letting people in at intersections and on the motorway, and by putting up with people I think are stupid. Not so, it appears.

In my (incredibly odd, for the record) dream last night, there was some woman (the woman off that show Medium, if anyone watches it. I don't, but I know what she looks like because I prefer ads to actual TV. Anyway) who was drugging people into following her rule. Or something. All I know was, I was covered in some sort of powder, then given an injection. IN THE GUMS. I'm not even kidding. I had a dream where I was drugged via GUM INJECTION.

So that was nice, until my teeth started feeling loose. Like, you know when you were little and you got like, a loose tooth? That's what it was like. I tried to call my friend, we'll call him "Donny" even though EVERYONE who reads this will know who I'm referring to. If it helps, I can tell you that even in my drugged state, I could still dial his number and call him. He was drunk (what a surprise) but told me he'd come to find - and as such, save - me. Then one of my teeth fell out in my hand. By the time I found him, my teeth were spilling out everywhere and I was crying. Mainly because I know that in real life, Donny and I really love teeth. Freaks much? Anyway. So that was pretty much how my dream ended. Me toothless, with my teeth in my hands, and Donny being drunk. Dreams imitate life, apparently.

Then I woke up.

Given that I'm moving on Saturday and it's now Thursday, I thought it a good time to go and say goodbye to Rena and her daughter Holly. I figured that given that she lives in the same neighbourhood as the real-life Donny, I would double and go see him too. Bear in mind that Donny and I have mostly avoided eachother in the light of day recently.

So when I found myself on what I thought what was his doorstep (I'm still not sure, because I'm usually drunk, stoned, or both - and it's usually pitch black when I arrive) I felt a little confused as to why he wasn't there. Instead, I thought I would go to his work and find him. He wasn't there either. This is because he is in India. INDIA.

Donny's in India, and I'm standing in the lobby at his work with tears half-streaming down my face, wondering how it could be possible that he's in India and I don't know. Anyone who knows me - and let's be honest, I'm pretty open about the inner workings of my brain - will know how I then came to the conclusion that Donny is getting married.

Granted, he's probably not, but this was enough to send me into hysterics for the rest of my drive home. And you can just imagine how it went down when I tried to explain to my mom why my mascara was on my cheeks.

I thought a good way to spend the rest of my grim day would be to drink all the alcohol in the house. And I was pretty close, but then my mom thought we should go buy some new stuff for my new house. I obliged, not before putting a greenstone pendant in my pocket which I intended to buy a new string for. If you're from New Zealand, you'll know that a greenstone pendant is a pounamu, and something you can't just replace if you, for example, drop it on the floor at The Warehouse and it smashes. So you can imagine my absolute horror when I dropped my pendant on the floor at The Warehouse. You thought hearing Donny was in India was bad? Wait til you drop your pounamu.

I was too horrified - literally I couldn't move - to pick it up, so my mom did, not knowing why I was crying so much. "Oh, shit" said a Warehouse staff member behind us. "and you can't get them fixed, either."

Thanks, lady.

My mom bought me a bunch of stuff, probably just because by now she realised what a hopeless wreck I was. I don't know though. You can't just reverse the sadness of knowing your One is out in India getting married and your broken pendant by buying a "utility cabinet".

Onto a more trivial matter, was the lunch I had at about 3pm with Kirby. Neither of us had eaten all day (former elite athletes, you'd never guess). I took a gamble on a piece of "spicy chicken" sushi. Man, I really shouldn't have.

"Today is really not your day, huh?" she said, trying not to laugh as spat my lunch out onto my plate.

Kirby was right. Fingers crossed that tomorrow when I wake up, I'll still have teeth... and maybe, just maybe this whole Donny thing will have gone away.

FB: brief unemployment?

brief unemployment? it's starting to feel like forever...

23 September 2008 at 13:54

Regular readers of my "Notes" (now called "Ship's Log" on the new Pirate Facebook) will know that I was launched into unemployment on August 22. It was a pretty joyous day. My workmates gave me flowers - yellow flowers no less, as yellow is my favourite colour - chocolates, and a card. While this was hardly the most heartfelt display of gratitude the world has ever seen, I was beyond caring. I left work early, went and got my hair done, bought nail polish, got a facial... you know. I was pretty stoked.

Unfortunately for me, my job drought occurred when the Olympics FINISHED. Two weeks earlier would have been perfect, only now I'd be two weeks further into debt. Already? Okay, not quite, but I'm beginning to feel that way.

Since leaving my job, I've applied for all manner of new positions. These have included but are not limited to: postie, ward receptionist (on three different wards, no less), retail assistant... I did have that now infamous interview at Triathlon NZ for a job I had absolutely no hope of getting, but I had fun creating a new life for myself in my head, where I would no longer be roused at 4am to pick friends up from town, and the rest. Okay, now you see? My head is now full of ridiculous ideas, and I'm getting off the topic.

So, it's been one month since I left Campus Computers, and I'm still living off my final pay. Unfortunately for me, I'm not one of those people that adjusts their lifestyle to suit their income. Having no money hasn't stopped me getting my three-weekly pedicures, driving to Auckland to buy makeup from MAC, buying new cycling shoes online, or my daily juice.

Almost conveniently, my favourite juice bar has started advertising for a new juicemaker. Hello, CV sitting in the back of my car... I finally have a use for you. Juicemaking isn't exactly the best career path I can think of. I'm not good at standing up for long periods of time - especially given that I'm now training for the *Rotorua Half-Ironman*, and I love juice, so I will probably be tempted to eat/drink all the supplies. BUT I do consider myself to be friendly enough (on another wild tangent, I've recently come to the conclusion that my general air of hyperactivity is in fact caused by my craziness leaking out. Danielle prefers to call it "personality") to serve juice drinkers on a daily basis... and I'm a pedantic cleaner. Not that you'd know if you visited my house that time my family was in Noosa for a few weeks, but let me assure you, I scrubbed up the kitchen something special before they got home.

Unemployment still overshadows most of my days. It's handy, on days when I actually feel like a 200km ride (just to clarify, I go on those rides a LOT more often than I really want to), or a swim. Speaking of swimming, tomorrow is the four-year anniversary of my swim in Athens!! Scary stuff. I'm like, 15kg heavier. Doing nothing with my days has led to me dreaming up more grand plans (I can just see Pool rolling her eyes) and now I've got four completely viable (okay, the validity of this statement is... questionable) options for next year, and your input is most welcome. Of course, like everything else I ask for advice on, I probably won't listen, and this time in a year, I'll be writing another sombre Facebook note about how I hate my new university course.

1: Aviation. Probably sounds like something new and completely crazy, but in truth I've always had this at the back of my mind. I could be like Antoine de Saint-Exupery... though my stories won't be as good as "Le Petit Prince". I can study this at Massey University at Palmerston North, or at the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology, at one of like, twelve flying clubs in New Zealand. The obvious downsides of this are the fees - first-year aviation is more expensive than medical school; and the fact that I may end up sucking at it. And no-one wants a pilot who sucks.

2: Calgary. Ah yes, I know. You've heard it all before. Here in New Zealand, there is some organisation that jacks up lost souls like myself with Canadian visas, mostly so they can work in the skifields of Whistler and the like. Not being so much of a snowbunny myself, I'm hoping to use this opportunity to work at the Canada Olympic Park during the summer on the mountain bike trails. Of course, in my crazy mind, this will lead to me getting good enough at freeriding to win the Downhill title at the Sea Otter Classic (I'm not kidding, I've really written about this before...)Downsides? Um, Calgary has been known to get as cold as -45 in the winter, and the average summer temperature isn't what I'd call marvellous, at around 16. Of course then there's the, what if I hate it...

3: Osaka. Okay, I'm not going to lie. I haven't put any thought into this whatsoever. I just like Japan (my experience of which is limited to the three nights I spent there as a six-year-old), and I want to go back there!! It helps that one of the coolest guys on the planet, Nayuha <3, is Japanese. Life's all about taking risks right? Osaka is kind of a big jump into the unknown, AND I don't speak Japanese. Could be interesting.

4: Malmö. Uh yeah - again no real basis for this, other than the fact that a friend has a job, and as such a house there, and has suggested, quite forcefully if you will, on a number of occasions, that I head over there and live out my Swedish dream. Whatever that is. Personally, neighbouring Denmark is the bigger drawcard, which is literally within running distance (is that bridge from Malmö to Copenhagen pedestrian, anyone?). Again, I don't speak Swedish, but my sister's boyfriend does, and I'm sure he can teach me all I need to know. Right? I also happen to have a European Union passport... so I can stay as long as I like, go to wherever I like (hello, Romania), or I guess if things don't really go to plan, I can bugger off "home", to Norwich, England.

So those are the options. I know what you're thinking... Just shut the hell up and do SOMETHING, you loser. And on that note, I'm going for a 200km ride. Peace out, yo.

FB: pipe dreams, etc

pipe dreams, plans, mistakes and everything else

03 September 2008 at 15:11

"How many pipe dreams do you have, woman?" was a question posed to me by the lovely Emma last week, and she raises a good point. I come up with "great" ideas at the rate that most people, well... breathe, I guess.

Case in point: "I've always wanted to work at NASA, even if it's just answering the phone there." This is just one of many, and it's flawed in so many ways. For a start, I don't even know if there is just a person at NASA that answers the phones. I always pictured myself sitting at a desk in a building that looks like a spaceship in Florida, answering calls with "Good morning, welcome to NASA. You're speaking with Miriam. How may I direct your call?" but I do suspect the reality is somewhat different. I mean, with my almost non-existent knowledge of space and astronomy, I'd be kind of useless for general enquiries. People would call up and ask me about stars, or something, and I'd be like "I don't actually know, let me put you through to one of our... star specialists. Please hold." Granted, there's probably no such thing as a "star specialist", and like, do people even call NASA to ask questions about stars?

Okay, so the NASA thing probably won't work out, even if I do end up getting my degree from Stanford. Ah, yes... another pipe dream. I have a weird fixation with this school, which stemmed from wanting to go there to make the swim team. So as if Stanford, with its student population of 6,500 isn't selective enough, I think I'm not only good enough to get in, but I'm so awesome I'm going to make the swim team. Even in 2004, when I guess I was "at the top of my game", it was a long shot, so I'd hate to even think about what my chances would be like now. *sigh*

Not that I consider myself to be a person of extremes, but I have seriously considered riding my bike from Calgary, Alberta to Toronto, Ontario. Now, this is kind of a long way - more than 3000km. It would take more than 30 hours to drive there, so in typical Miriam fashion, I decided it would be an even better idea to cycle. Yes, I am a cyclist, but when you consider my daily rides are between 100 & 200km... it's going to take me a lot longer than 30 hours. 30 days? Maybe. This isn't to say I'm no longer planning to do it. I absolutely am. Just maybe not right away.

If these ridiculous ideas aren't convincing enough, then consider other dreams have included but are not limited to: moving to LA and attending UCLA, which eventually leads to my meeting Greg Graffin and then marrying him; living and mountain biking in Whistler, BC for enough summers to get good enough to win the downhill race at the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California; living in Asela, Ethiopia and becoming a formidable marathon runner, while sustaining a yet-to-be-decided profession so I can afford to live there; marrying David Bowie...

These aren't things that I came up with on the spur of the moment either. They all have carefully planned-out, costed, re-planned, re-costed blueprints to accompany them. This is what not having a job can do to you, people!

My little brother Karl once sent me a text message in Japanese, which translated to "a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step" which is good advice, but I guess it helps if you have a faint idea of where you want your thousand-mile journey to take you. While I'm not going to go so far as to say, it's no good taking a single step with absolutely no idea where it's going to take you - because history has shown sometimes this is in fact a great way to go about things - my better judgment tells me it's probably nice to have a goal... a light at the end of the tunnel, if you will.

For me, I guess for now - my journey is finding that goal.

FB: poverty looms

20 August 2008 at 14:01

Last year, I thought it would be a great idea to go and work at a Summer Camp in the USA. I had two jobs here in Hamilton: I worked as a swimming instructor at Waterworld, and also as a counter bitch for Revlon at Farmers.

In May, I accepted a position as a counselor and lifeguard at the International Sports Training Camp in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. I left New Zealand with high hopes in the first days of June. After a 50-hour journey involving layovers, a night in Las Vegas, a harrowing walk through the streets of downtown New York City at midnight, and a bus trip which I couldn't even afford, I arrived at my camp. It was great, but for some reason I didn't think so.

Ten days later, I was by myself in New York again. I co-ordinated my efforts with some friends, and within a few hours I caught a flight from La Guardia to Chicago. Chicago? Why yes. The home of my best friend, and the world's greatest best friend at that: Jen.

Now, Jen is a planner. She doesn't take to spontaneity too well, so when I called her from a train somewhere between Chicago and Normal, IL, she freaked out a little. Not that she let me know about it - she's a level-headed type, and just asked me what I would like to eat while I stayed with her. So not only did she take me into her home, she collected me from the train station having already bought me some bagels and salad. To say I love this girl is the understatement of the century.

So I spent a week with Jen in her wee apartment, getting sunburnt, swinging on chairswings at her work, buying underwear. You know, the usual. Then I accepted another camp placement, this time at Camp Hoffman, in West Kingston, Rhode Island.

Within days I was on my way back to New England, and at my home for the next eight weeks. To say I made the worst of a bad situation is another of those gross, sweeping understatements I am so accustomed to making.

If I hadn't liked ISTC, then I hated Hoffman. And I made sure everyone knew about it. It was the most ill-spent two months of my life, and it was completely my own doing. I arrived with a head full of shit, and over the course of camp, I managed to poison most of my fellow counsellors with it. So, guys, if you're reading this, I apologise. I was awful, and it's taken me a while to realise it.

An upshot of working at camp was earning money. And, as such, spending money each weekend at Providence Place mall. Consequently, when camp finished, I found myself close to penniless and sleeping on a marble bench at Kennedy Plaza, the bus station in Providence. Great going, I know.

I went to Canada afterwards, saw some friends, and then went to LA. I spent three days frollicking in the Santa Monica sun, having a great time. I love LA with pretty much my entire heart. I had the best time in years, and I didn't need to spend a cent. On the Third Street Promenade, I was entertained by Tommi Williams (I even gave her some of the little cash I had left, because she was truly incredible), and a guy dressed and painted entirely in silver. I took the number one bus to UCLA, where I frollicked some more and wished I was a student. I was sad to leave, but also excited to return to the Land of the Long White Cloud.

So, I was home, and unemployed. It was a pretty lame time, made worse by some ridiculous behaviour on my part, and I went from August until November without even a sniff of a job.

Eventually, my long and fruitless search was rewarded. Okay, it helped that my mother had a hand in the works, but I accepted a fixed-term position as Inventory Controller and Financial Administrator at Campus Computers, at the University of Waikato. It's a pretty mundane job, but I met some fun people (Lochlan), some idiots (Malcolm and Gawain), and it had the added bonus of hanging out with my mom at work. Ha ha.

So since then, I've been sitting at my desk by the door of ITS.G.85, waiting for a knight in shining armour (or an Indian riding an elephant, maybe?) to come and whisk me away.

Alas, it's now August 20, and my position, as communicated to me in a rather brusk letter from Human Resources this morning, is due to expire on August 22. So far, I have nowhere to go. I've applied for a couple of jobs, didn't get them, so I'm actually a little excited about the prospect of brief unemployment.

A little excited.

But also a little scared of going back to square one. Anyone who has known me a while (since let's say, 2005, when I got my first credit card) knows about my history of financial instability. Since I've had this job, I've raised more than $7000 towards either my new Felt bike frame, or my trip to Ethiopia. But, I'm not going to lie about it, I've had trouble. My cellphone got disconnected earlier this year because I didn't pay the bill for a few months. Why? Because I'd spent my cellphone bill money on makeup. Probably. I mean, I've lost track of what I've bought, because I am a compulsive shopper. I guess old habits die hard. Ask anyone who's been in my car when I've driven past Greensboro Street, and tried not to crane my neck to see if there's a white Caldina parked down there.


I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you have a job, GIVE IT TO ME.

Thank you for your time :-)

FB: oh my stars...

10 June 2008 at 12:20

Apparently using the "Notes" application is a great way to broadcast yourself on Facebook. I'm kind of amazed at this, since I was fairly explicit in my attempts to stop ALL the mini-feed alerts. That said, I might as well use this opportunity to talk about myself.


So, as a few people know, I got a tattoo a few months ago (March 12, but who's keeping score). It's kind of huge. Takes up nearly a third of my arm. What can I say, I'm a fairly extreme person.

On a wild tangent - the extreme thing... In the weekend I was saying something to my mom about my dad, and she's like "yes. He's pretty extreme". This was within minutes of my announcement that I'm going to start training to ride my bike from Calgary, Alberta to Toronto, Ontario. It's about 3500km. Not extreme at all.I'm not trying to make myself sound tough. I'm not tough. I'm an idiot.

So I went to Auckland on March 12, wondered into Illicit HQ on Karangahape Road, and then the lovely Tom McMillan set upon my arm with a needle and some red dye."What's the story with the giant red star?" He asked, about halfway through."Um, it's going to sound really lame, but Rage Against the Machine is my favourite band.""Nah, that's not lame. It's cool."

Rage Against the Machine, by the way, is the best band in the history of the world. Contrary to what Robin Rai says, they do not indoctrinate the young. They encourage the young to form their own opinions of the world. They use their voice for good!

Back to Tom and I - it is lame. Totally lame, and totally everything that Rage Against the Machine as a collective would hate. BUT I don't care. I like my giant red star. It's my way of using my voice for good. I also like making up stories to explain it.

Cameron Leslie assumed it was because I think I'm a star. Close, but no banana.

Reuben, our idiot of a Telecom representative, became obsessed with the fact that because when he asked what the star represented, I pointed to a poster of Rage Against the Machine I have on the pinboard in my office. He decided that I'm a Communist.

Yeah, I kind of am. Like a lot of people I know, and like a lot of ideas, I think Communism works well in theory. My old history teacher has a little to do with this."The theory goes," she explained one day "that all jobs are required, and as such, everyone should be paid the same. Everyone needs doctors, and everyone needs someone to collect their garbage."

"I would dispose of my own trash if it meant I got paid more." was Nicola's response to this when I brought it up a few years later. Nicola is a pharmacist. She finished four years of uni last December, and has been a trainee pharmacist, getting paid pretty poorly, since then. She has good things to look forward to, in terms of salary. My theory made her unhappy.

Okay, so she'll take out her own trash. Will she drive it to the dump, separate it into whatever categories they use at the dump, and completely dispose of every last bit herself? Will she then empty the dump into landfill? I don't think so.

Reuben's dad is a lawyer. So of course, Reuben's argument was "what about the lawyer who works long hours?"
"Okay, Reuben, I understand that your dad is a lawyer, BUT, your dad still goes grocery shopping, right?"
Who packed the shelves of that supermarket? Who drove the groceries to the store? Who put the food in the packets we buy it in? Reuben's dad? Didn't think so. He's too busy working long hours as a lawyer.

And, no offense to lawyers, but like, it's hardly the most humble profession in the world. If you can tell outright lies without flinching, you're good at arguing, and you can spend six years in college reading boring crap, then chances are, you're going to be a good lawyer. (haha, yes - to those of you who know about my ability to compulsively lie, I have in fact considered law as a profession.)Not that this note was supposed to be a rant about Communism, but my point is (yes, I do have one!!), even if my tattoo was to display my Communist beliefs, I don't think that's such a bad thing.

It's better than say, a dragon with blue flames coming out of its mouth.

Now, I can see Silvie (if she's reading this) rolling her eyes out of desperation. Silvie heard more about dragon tattoos in one day than she probably cared to in her entire life.

In 2004 (February 17, but again, I'm not a stickler for dates), I found myself in a van with a bunch of strangers, on our way to Auckland to see A Perfect Circle play at the North Shore Events Centre. On that bus was the now famous "Donny", and his gorgeous little sister Shobna, but they're not (for once) the centre of this story. Instead, it's some guy named Dan. He rolled his sleeve up at some point in the journey to reveal a tattoo of a dragon. With blue flames coming out of its mouth. GAG.

Not only that, it was one of those dragons that's like, 50% oriental, 50% tribal, 100% crap. Yuk. I instantly hated it, and my opinion of Dan went lower than the earth's crust. Gah.

Imagine my alarm then when, nearly two years later, my friend Curtis informed me that he was getting a tattoo of a dragon. It was on this particular day that Silvie, over the course of a two-hour swim practice, heard - ad nauseum - about how much I hate dragon tattoos. Curtis didn't get the tattoo. He still doesn't have any (wimp). But mark my words. If he dares to get a dragon tattoo, he'll hear about it. I've used my voice for good before, and I'll do it again.

Curtis has, for those of you that are interested, just told me that he hates my tattoo.

Yeah, I know, I sound ridiculous, because my tattoo is about as mainstream and stupid as a dragon. In my defense, I've not seen anyone else with a giant red star yet. Whether this is because other fans of Rage Against the Machine aren't stupid like me, and they recognise that Rage Against the Machine would not be down with such a ridiculous and mainstream display of appreciation, I don't know. What I do know is that I've seen at least seventeen dragons that are, if not immediate family, then blood relatives of Dan's dragon.

This morning, a courier driver saw it. "That's different." What? No, it's not. It's not different. Sure, not many tiny 22-year-old girls like me have them. But I don't think it's different. Maybe he was taking the piss. But I don't think he was. It was a strange moment.

My boss saw it the day I had it done, and he too, thought it was different. Are these people stupid? Do they not go outdoors? And see that millions of people worldwide have tattoos of stars?

Maybe I am in fact unique.There's that stupid guy off Pimp My Ride that has star tattoos - you know, the one with the ridiculous hairstyle that wasn't cool in 1997, and isn't cool now? I'm about on par with that guy. Sweet.

I don't care. My tattoo is huge, and ugly, and obnoxious. But I love it. I used my tattoo ink for good!

I Just Moved Here!

Hi there.

So I've just moved to Blogspot from Facebook. Hooray for me! I've pulled all my notes from Facebook and chucked them up here so it looks "cool"... only it looks like a wrote a whole heap of time-inconsistent stuff on one day. Never mind.