31 December 2009

New Yeah!

It's New Year's Eve! (Again, not according to my blog's timezone, but whatever.)

I'm going to be venturing out, solely so I can show off my newly-perfected Vivian Orth smoky eyes.



The tools?
A lip brush (yeah, sounds bizarre, but once you've done your eye makeup with a lip brush, you won't go back), an eyeliner brush, an angle brush, and an eyeshadow brush.
Other stuff...
Eye primer - I use Bloom, but you might like Napoleon, or something else. Foundation, powder, a nude eyeshadow (the lightest colour in the Prismatic Eyeshadow Quad #13 is a treat, as is the lightest shade from the Revlon ColourStay Quad in Blushed Wines), a black eyeshadow - and I mean black, black cake/liquid/cream/gel liner, black mascara, and the eyebrow enhancer of your choice.

What do I do?
Well, first you're going to prime the skin on your eyelids, foundation and powder them up, and then sort out your eyebrows (strong eyebrows are your friend). Apply the nude shade all over the lid and up to the browbone (there's nothing like nude under the browbone to make you look awake. Except maybe some E, and I don't advocate the use of illicit drugs to improve your appearance). Use your eyeshadow brush for this. Next, create a fine liquid line along the top lash - whether it's with gel, cream, cake, or straight liquid. Just make sure it's fine. Practice makes perfect. You may end up looking like Amy Winehouse the first few times. Don't worry - we've all been there, just get your average practices out of the way before you debut this in public. Depending on how confident you are with your liquid lines, you may like to create "flicks" at the outer corner of your eye, but only do this if you're absolutely sure you can replicate the look on both eyes.



Now, use the lip brush pressed in black eyeshadow - really pack on the shadow, we want it to be BLACK, and apply black eyeshadow carefully to the lid. You must be especially careful not to get carried away - keep the black to the lid only, but use heaps. Make your lids super-black. At the outer corner, follow the natural shape of the eye as a guide to how winged you want to go. The focus of this look is on the black lid, not how far it extends past the corner of your eye, so be careful! Step back from the mirror and take a deep breath before making your decision!
Blacken the lower waterlines (and upper, if you can stand it. It makes me feel sick, so I never do it) using either a pencil or cake liner, then pack on the black shadow with an angle brush. Smudge the tiniest amount of black shadow along the lower lashline using your angle brush, paying judicious attention to the inner corner of the eye - no shadow here looks weird, and too much looks like, well, Adam Lambert.
Finish with the most mascara you've ever applied - but make sure it doesn't clump!

The intensity of the black in this look means the rest of your face should be minimal. Go for a flawless foundation base (best applied post-eyes, simply to avoid dropdown and hence, grey cheeks. Jess Gilby-Todd knows what I'm talking about!), powder, and a bit of bronzer. The best thing I ever learnt off Jerrod Blandino? Always put a touch of pink under your bronzer, to avoid the muddy look. My pick is the pink from Benefit 10, or the lightest pink shade from MAC Mineralize SkinFinish Trio in Smooth Merge. If you know how to contour with bronzer, go for it - otherwise just apply it to the areas the sun would naturally hit. Step back from the mirror frequently, and don't be afraid to run around your house, checking your look under different light. I do it every weekend.

If you're a low-key kinda girl, you can get away with a clear gloss or even lip balm to complete the nude face. Personally, I conceal and powder my lips, and apply a peachy or nude gloss (Chanel Levres Scintillantes in #96 is my personal fave) - but this is an option that requires constant touch ups. Alternatively, ignore everything I just wrote and try Clinique's Full Potential Lips Plump and Shine in Glamour-Full. You won't be disappointed - just remember to lick (daintily and as inconspicuously as possible) your wine glass or flute before drinking from it.

If all else fails, just have a few too many drinks, and a great night!

Happy new year, babes! xo

30 December 2009

Figures

OMG, you guys, it's only like, 42 days until the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games. Time for me to re-learn all my forgotten knowledge about figure skating so I can give accurate criticisms once the fun gets underway.

Since most countries still haven't named their teams, I'm unable to be all "ooh, yeah. Definitely pinning everything on Evan Lysacek" - as much as I'd like to, because I do have an unfathomable obsession with him AND he came out on top at the recent Grand Prix Final in Tokyo.



I'm not going to lie - figures for me are a lot more difficult than gymnastics because of the whole, long/free programme-short programme thing. God, keep it simple already! From what I understand, the short programme is like what gymnastics compulsories used to be - so kinda boring. These routines last 2:50, while the long or free skate is 4:00 for "ladies" and 4:30 for men.

New fave: it's likely that in the coming months you will hear more about Nobunari Oda than you will about anyone else. He's been done in the past for drink-driving (not impressed) but it seems like he's back with a vengeance this season, placing second at the aforementioned Grand Prix and winning the Cup of China. He also placed 7th at the World Figure Skating Championships back in March.

And yup, he's Japanese.



Rugby Sucks

It's been hard for me to grow up in a country where the national sport is rugby. Rugby is ridiculous, and our team, the All Blacks, are the most overpaid, over-marketed, and over-idolised "athletes" ever.

For one thing, they spend a large part of the time sucking. Losing games, losing entire tours, losing the World Cup. Not even making the final of the World Cup, actually. It's acceptable for All Blacks to be on the cover of the New Zealand Herald with beers in their hands. They're supposed to be fucking athletes. My most hated news "headlines"? When an All Black "hurts his ankle/shoulder/pinky finger" in TRAINING and might have to sit out the next training session. Yes, this has been HEADLINE news in New Zealand, when things like "bloodiest day in Israel's history" are relegated to later in the news. For crying out loud.

I was not at all shocked, then, this morning when I read "New Zealand's top ten sporting moments of the decade" and found "All Blacks 2005 season" in number six, surrounding by other stupid team sports like cricket, league, netball and... the... America's Cup?

The most notable omission from the "top ten" was Valerie Vili's dominance of the international shotput world. In 2006 she won the Commonwealth Games title, and since then she's gone on to become World Champion, Olympic Champion and again this year, repeat World Champion. Athletics is a truly global sport, unlike rugby which is only really celebrated in about five countries. Vili's monopoly on shotput is unparalleled by any other New Zealand sportsperson, and it's incredibly disappointing to see her left out of this countdown.

Especially when you consider Scott Dixon's Indy 500 victory is included. Of course, I love Scott, and I think it's exciting that he's become the most successful driver on the circuit, especially because it's held in the US, and traditonally dominated by people who get everything handed to them. But, driving cars is not a sport! It's just DRIVING CARS. I drive my car almost every day! I'm pretty good at it! But I haven't been included on this list.

I agree that Michael Campbell's US Open victory was pretty sweet. But was it really the sole greatest moment in sport this decade? I'm not so convinced.

Umm, another thing? Where is Sarah Ulmer's world record-breaking, beating-an-Australian, greatest moment of the 2004 Olympics cycling gold? She was our national darling, and she didn't even get a look in on this countdown! Pathetic. It's not "almost as bad as" our bronze medal-winning team pursuiters not getting mentioned on the "top ten cycling moments" countdown earlier this year, it's worse! Much, MUCH worse. Olympic GOLD, people! World record! Inspired a slew of female track cyclists who are now coming into their own (namely Alison Shanks, but we now also have a women's pursuit team. Unheard of!).



God, whoever wrote this countdown needs to get a clue. And the All Blacks need to fuck off and die.

Ooh, Artsy



Hongtao Zhang, the World Champion on pommel horse from China. Love this shot.

Nine So Fine?

In keeping with the spirits of going on about the year so far, here's a wee post dedicated to the cool people I loved (and continue to love!) in 2009.

In no particular order...

Luke Pharaoh
Genuine legend. I met Luka during the 48 HOURS of love weekend as he was part of our team, Radioactive Reptiles. His zest for life, love of abbreviations, sushi and Burgerfuel struck a note with me and he's become one of a small number of "faves". Of particular note: his "positive thinking" approach to life. It's something I still haven't really thanked him enough for, but I don't really know how well some of my less inspired training sessions before Worlds would have gone with Luke's little voice in my head reminding me that if you go into town thinking you're going to get a park, you'll get one. And so forth. Other things I love about Luke: the giant smile that separates him from every other drunken guy in town, and his bizarre tshirt collection.

Francesca Murray
Better known as Frankie of Swell Vintage - I am a huge fan. She's remarkably talented (check out her line of handmade vintage jewellery here), friendly, and of course, good-looking. Frankie might just be my favourite person I've never met - we Twitter at each other a lot, and I spent hours poring over her designs. Ah! So clever. 369 fans on Facebook can't be wrong! Another thing I adore about Frankie is the way she speaks - like she just walked out of the classiest decade ever. "Petal" is my personal favourite term of endearment. Ahh, I do love her.

Jhoon Law
Sure, so he told his girlfriend that he thinks I'm a retard and less of a person than him based on the fact that I have a disability, but I'm not going to lie: I would have been in a lot worse shape for Worlds if I didn't spend so much time at the gym swooning over him. God, I am so lame. Fact is, I managed to incorporate training with gazing at him and perfect it to an art, and for a few months there I had a great friend who had the benefit of being extremely good-looking. Now, I'm sure this mention will result in a fresh barrage of angry emails from LMC, but girl, you need to calm down. It's a compliment.

Sophie Dewstow-Wright
She who held the world's greatest 21st birthday party back in March has been a longtime friend (since we were about 14, maybe?) and bringer of happiness and excitement to any situation. Only Sophie looks good hungover. It's a fact. I've had so much fun, and so many exclamation-mark-filled conversations with this girl in my life I don't know where to begin. She's so intelligent it should be illegal, as well as being stupidly good at filmmaking and being cool! Like Luka, Sophie is just excited about life and it's addictive. Number one person I want to keep around for ever and ever.

Thom Horton
Hands up if you're sick of hearing about him? Too bad. He's cool. I don't think I've ever had a conversation with him where I didn't almost wet my pants laughing, but I've actually seen him taking the filmmaking business pretty seriously too, and that's another reason I admire Thom. And in combination with Luke and Sophie? They're like, the dream team.

Danielle Hart
Probably the most undermentioned person here on my blog, she might actually be a genius (her sometimes other half, Alex, is too). Danielle was the original inspiration for my memorisation of Pi to 20 decimal places - however she now claims she's underwhelmed by this. No surprises there, considering she could probably qualify for Mensa. I definitely don't see enough of her, something I'm hoping will change in the new year, what with her working in Milford Sound and me residing in Dunedin. I really feel that in the near future, Danielle will be a major player in the field of climate change (she has a degree in Resource and Environmental Planning, with as yet unrealised dreams of changing the world) as well as being the one who keeps me sane throughout my studies with her unexpected sense of humour. Big fan.

Other major players in 2009
Jono Marshall, Katie Houchen, Bevan Jones (all Radioactive Reptiles and exceptionally talented filmmakers), Malcolm Amarasekera (my old workmate, wannabe stalker, gym training partner), my beyond amazing brothers Karl Poole and Sam Ashby, and Aubrey Paolino (fellow blogger and Camp Hoffman associate, with an unusual alcohol tolerance given her size). Emma Coyle! She knows what I'm talking about.

Chances are, if I drink with you, write on your wall on Facebook, or text you at all hours of the day and night, I love you more than you will ever know.

Peace, love, and a fun-filled new year for everyone!

29 December 2009

Cha Cha

Since I can't seem to get enough of Asian uneven bars specialists, here's Yong Hwa Cha.



The nineteen-year-old (turning 20 on January 8th) from Pyongyang, in North Korea, really should have medalled at this year's Worlds, save for a lost swing about four skills into her routine. I just love the above photo because if you don't study it too carefully, she looks almost casual. Of course, in reality she'll be in a world of pain - uneven bars hurts, guys. Trust me.

My favourite thing about Cha is that she does completely different skills to everyone else, making her performances really stand out. The small remaining intact part of my heart actually broke when she lost swing in the event final, relegating her to an eventual fifth (bronze medals were shared by Bulldog Bross and Ana Porgras).

She's at the upper end of the age spectrum for competitive gymnastics, which is a shame, but fingers crossed she'll have a hit out at Tokyo Worlds in 2011. I'm a fan of this girl.


Status Updates: The New Window To The Soul

So it's long been rumoured that the eyes serve this purpose, but upon reading everyone's Facebook status updates, I beg to differ. Here's some of mine from this year.

Miriam Quincampoix (my obviously very accurate Facebook name)...
has discovered that it is in fact possible to eat too much sushi
has dreams that I'm a streptococcus
is sending best wishes to Steve Gurney, but wonders why you would endeavour to kite-buggy across the Sahara anyway?
is learning about the Human Development Index, and Pool is drinking a beer.
is getting a bruise from falling off a swiss ball onto a pile of weights. yusss (my personal favourite for the year)
often wonders if there's more to life than stalking, but very much doubts it.
is going to weigh like, 300lb by the end of the week if I keep eating McDonalds... hmm... *eats McDonalds anyway*
3.14159265358979323846264338327950288
loves you, Ben Gilby-Todd. xxxxxx (still so true it breaks my heart)
might have left my phone in a barn in Ngaruawahia tonight... or maybe in Hayley's car? *crosses fingers*
is a fan of Rebecca Hill. (this came shortly after discovering the advent of tagging people in statuses)
wishes Thom Horton a happy birthday x
Waikato Sportswoman of the Year? ok then.. cheers sport waikato
and Rebecca Hill spent our night hurling abuse at people, apparently. good.
let's never do that again.
likes everyone's status, apparently.

That last one is true. I "like" just about everything on Facebook. People complain about the lack of a "dislike" function but I say, fuck that! Stop posting depressing shit on Facebook. Haha.

28 December 2009

One Thousand Pictures Say A Word: Love

Simply because I know absolutely nothing is going to happen in my life for the next few days (at least), I'll start to sum up my year using photographs! Yay! Everyone likes photos.

January





Becky's 23rd birthday at Furnace (Jan. 16)





Visiting Sue, the world's largest T. rex (Jan. 13)





Libby's 21st (Jan. 31)


February





I wasted most of my spare time watching Gossip Girl





On my birthday, I slipped over on the driveway and ended up looking like this. (Feb. 10)



Lance Armstrong's bike got stolen from the Amgen Tour of California. It was later returned (Feb. 16)



I had a good race at the Sub Clevedon event. (Feb.21)

March


It just wouldn't have been March without Sophie's 21st birthday party!!!



There were so many great photos I had to collage them... tie for top night of 2009! (Mar. 7)



I attended the Elect The Dead Symphony at Auckland's Town Hall (Mar. 16)

April


 


I went and watched XTERRA, since I couldn't afford to compete (Apr. 18)



We graduated from the Samala Robinson Academy (Apr. 17)



48 HOURS FUUUURIOUS FILMMAKING and love (May 8/9/10)

June / July: pretty uneventful...

August


 


Filmmaking with Aucklanders on a rare day off from training (Aug. 1)

September

 

Competing at the ITU World Triathlon Championships (Sept. 12)




Shooting "Long Weekend" with the best people I know (last week of Sept)

October



Goodbye Benjamin



Celebrating Halloween the same way we celebrate everything: in style (Oct. 31)

November

All I did in Christchurch was eat



And, yeah - December is pretty much done, but I'll wait til New Year's Eve to post pictures... so far it's been pretty boring...

Peace, and much love!

27 December 2009

It's Official

December has become, despite early worries, the busiest month this year on *insert blog name here*. I can't really decide on an actual name! Ideas welcome (either here, or on my Facebook page, Aubrey!).

In the first few days of the month, I got a bit worried, because I really wanted 300 posts for the year, but my Christchurch life was proving to be quite un-newsworthy. Then I got obsessed with Kosuke Kitajima again (I mean really, I've been a little bit obsessed all along!) and splashed news of his life, and suddenly things got interesting. I won that award, got nominated for a Halberg, came back to Hamilton... and ruined my six weeks of hard work to get drama-free!


cho kimochi ii? Yeah, me too

And since then, the December pages have been littered with my Hamilton exploits, and I'm now at 48 posts - beating May! I've got no idea - past being really, really excited about 48 HOURS - why May was so busy. It's nothing compared to last December though, with 57 posts - makes me wonder what I actually did all month, except write!!

In other news, I've acquired a new scar on my right knee, courtesy of the side of my bed. It brings my total leg scar count up to... I have no idea. They're all kinda meshing into one giant blob of scar tissue. Mmm. I'm attractive.

Is... that a... Bar 101 stamp on my arm? Oh, wow. Time to grow up.

Bratcore?

Yeah, maybe it is about time I explained my "nickname" (just so you know, in my real life, no-one calls me "Bratcore". My real life friends call me Mir, or Mim).

I bought the Atticus album Dragging The Lake 3 almost four years ago while I was studying at the University of Canterbury, largely based on the fact that it featured songs by MxPx and Rise Against. Other favourites came to be The Sounds and VCR, whose song Bratcore was both my cellphone ringtone and my MySpace profile music (yeah, I was once a MySpace kid! God, those were the days). If you don't know the song, here is a pretty fun live version of it.

Anyway.

I've long been referred to as a brat. I think it's because of the way I behave - like I was born with a silver spoon (and make no mistake - I pretty much was), and also because of my failure to grow vertically. I'm a brat. I'm bratty. I like it this way.

The core comes from the phrase "hardcore", which I've re-adapted to suit my own lifestyle: halfcore. Some people have described my approach to some things as "hardcore" (backflips on BMX bikes off ramps, downhill mountain bike races ending in tree faceplants, and of course my love affair with Donny) but I really just don't know. Sure, I still suffer with the deep tissue injuries I suffered from said backflip - the one I landed knees-to-handlebars, not the successful one - but it's nothing compared to the likes of Dave Mirra and Mat Hoffman, who virtually need wheelchairs now for everyday activities. The fact that they still get out and ride every day - Dave with some illegally-performed reconstructive surgery of which I have seen video footage. You want hardcore? You want Dave and Mat. You'll understand now why a two-hour run off a 100km bike ride is just halfcore. I've thought about having it tattooed, a la prisoner, across my knuckles (it fits perfectly), but now I just want BGT (Ben's initials) instead. But tattoos are for another post on another day. It's just too much to deal with right now.

I don't know what "Bratcore" in its original sense means, but I think it serves me well.

Peace and love.

Roll On 2010

Seriously, 2009, piss off. I've had enough of you.

Yesterday I went to my old church. Hamilton has one of the world's largest Mormon communities outside of Utah, and as such we have one of the Church's most beautiful places of worship. It is the eleventh operating temple that belongs to the Church.



While I'm sure my jandal-adorned feet raised some eyebrows, I remembered once I was there what attracted me to the Church in the first place, and that's their values. I used to feel proud to live by the Honour Code, and I feel like I'm in a place now which would not take that much adjustment to get me back there.

Last night was, of course, dramatic. Isn't every Saturday night in Hamilton? For one thing, Harjeet had to sneak out of her family home in order to come out. Sneak out! Harjeet is 24 years old. Is that, or is that not just pure, unadulterated madness? I've never had to sneak out in my life. At the same time, I've never wanted to. When I was at the age where it might have been considered normal to sneak out to parties and other such events, I was too busy with dreams of swimming at the Olympics to consider it. And after Athens, I was eighteen, so pretty much free to do as I pleased. That was six years ago. Last night, Harjeet climbed silently out of the bathroom window in her ensuite, and ran down the road to where I waited in my car. I was astounded. We made what was supposed to be a brief stop at Niharika's place to get some shoes, which resulted in us being ushered inside and ordered to do shots (unusually, I declined. I was determined to get into town sobre), everyone proceeded to get wasted, and then taxis were called and off we went. I drove, still determined.

I suspect the night would have gone off without a hitch had Donny not been brought up in conversation. And then it just went from fun-Saturday-night-in-Hamilton, to everyone-I-was-with-declaring-war-on-Donny. Not ideal. Apparently, based on a 4am text from Donny himself, it didn't end well.
"Having fun?" he asked. As a matter of fact, I wasn't - having just run over an already squashed cat on the road, nearly causing me to throw up all over my favourite dress. Have you ever driven over roadkill? It really eats at your soul. I still feel awful. I'm still yet to be informed of the damages (though apparently nothing was broken, which is a relief, because with my move to Dunedin in just six days, I'm hardly in a financial position to be throwing money at things caused by people I don't know), but at a guess, anything that happens to a sleeping family in the early hours of the day after Boxing Day is reasonable cause to be pissed off. Sorry, Darko family.

He's spent a large part of today sending me well thought-out text messages (I can tell, because of the amount of time it takes him to respond), which all in all seem fairly redundant considering our situation. Is this changing my stance on him? No way. I still love him. It's such a shame.

Anyway, with a new year just four days away, I'm beginning to look forward with much trepidation. I know, every new year begins with the best intentions, but I feel like 2009 has sufficiently kicked my ass into the shape it needs to be in to actually carry on in the manner in which I intend to start. Hello, Honour Code. I've missed you.

26 December 2009

I Moved, But These Cool Kids Didn't

In September (or was it October? It must have been, because it was around the time that Benjamin passed away) I left Waldorf Like You in search of brave new territory to conquer - in other words, LMC scared me off. And since then, I've been gradually building up courage - adding a profile so people know who I am (sure, it doesn't contain my real name, but...), making reference to sites I like, and so on. I still don't follow anyone, though - but it's not because I've forgotten about how cool everyone else is!

Nic and Cabin - my favourite mountain bikers / XTERRA competitors, still at it. Unlike me...
Swell Vintage - Frankie, with whom I now do most of my communicating with via Twitter
Extra Ordinary - Li, who within a week of publishing her first comic online, had more of a cult following than I ever will!
 Makeup - Shaniya, aka my go-to girl for makeup worries!
T. Rex Faster Than Denver - Tim Wilding. Something of an intermittent blogger, but the things he does write are well worth a read, if you're mountain bike inclined.

New faves (who I am following, but with a different account)

Wipe That Smile Off Your Face - Thom. No more need be said about him.
I'm Bringing Sexyblog - Aubrey.
I Love Doodle - Lim Heng Swee, Threadless designer extraordinaire!

And here's everyone I follow on Twitter! (Follow me here, if you like)

prendo2012 (longtime pal, Tim Prendergast), FashionTV_, USA_Swimming, SwimmingCanada, London2012, joinred, camillaengman, ilovedoodle, Massey_Uni, otago, vanityfairmag, LushLtd, orianthi, Stanford, threadless, jillustration, nzherald, brtour, DoctorGraffin, ignitenz, Sephora, swellvintage, SunShaarne, KelseyPhinney, iheartmakeup, and TaylorPhinney.

Wow, I can't be bothered linking to 26 separate Twitter sites.

Bored on Boxing Day, anyone?

Box Me Up, Scotty

December 26th is known to me as either the day to avoid town like the plague, or the day to race into full-fledged shopping mode. Last year, it was the latter - I bought my new (now stolen) cellphone, in addition to having bought my Garmin helmet (now sold) just days earlier. I was a big spender.

Today, I'll probably just hit up the supermarket in search of strawberries and no-bake fudge. It's tempting to go swimming at Blue Lake, sans bottle of Coke this time, on account of the glorious day I had there yesterday, but the thought of the Outdoorsman having a sale and most of Tarawera Road being blocked on account of this is just too much to bear. I may end up wallowing in bed all day.

On a "haha" side note... oh, look at that, it's been a year since Sally and Kirby started "planning" their Thailand holiday, and nothing's come of it. What. A. Surprise.

Enjoy Boxing Day, and make the most of your last days in 2009.

Peace and love.

25 December 2009

Common Sense



Here's another Google Earth image, this time of a particularly poorly thought-out intersection outside of Tirau. The road which points down in this photo heads to Taupo, while the horizontal road comes from Tirau (left) and goes to Rotorua (right). Now, about 400m out from this intersection, coming from Rotorua, is a series of signs indicating "High Crash Area" and warnings to "Stop". This is on top of rumble lines, as well as stop signs at the intersection itself.

People, do you stop at stop signs? Because you should. I don't care where the stop sign is, or if there's no-one coming. You must always stop at stop signs! If everyone obeyed this simple rule, there would be no need for the excessive signage at this intersection. If everybody just STOPPED where it says STOP, life would go on as normal for the Taupo/Rotorua intersection outside of Tirau.

Please, if you are driving through there, OBEY THE GODDAMN RULES OF THE ROAD. It's not that hard.

Hot Coca-Cola And Other Fun In The Sun

I spent my Christmas day at Blue Lake / Tikitapu in Rotorua.


Image courtesy Google Earth

And what a day it was! On my way there, I stopped for gas in Tirau, which is a strange wee town between Cambridge and Rotorua. There, I spotted an SUV full of Asians in Santa hats. Enjoy! I did.



At Tikitapu, I left a bottle of Coke in my car while I went swimming for about three hours. The highlight of said outing was when I rescued a runaway beach ball for two women playing with it in the shallows. I feel like it's not Christmas unless you make someone else's day. And no-one else was in a position to save their beach ball.

Hot Coke is not high on my list of recommendations. Things like teriyaki chicken sushi, sunscreen, and desserts made by Jess Gilby-Todd are, but not hot Coke. By the time I started drinking it, it was near boiling. Like, as hot as you might take your coffee. It was hot.

What was I even doing drinking Coke? Well, I don't really know. If you're a reader that knows me (outside the blogosphere), you're a reader that probably knows that I hate carbonated drinks, and I especially hate caffeinated, carbonated drinks. So I don't really know why I had a bottle of Coke in the first place. I do weird things.

Anyway, I had a nice, uneventful Christmas day to follow on from my funfilled Christmas eve. I'm enjoying the last days of 2009. Otherwise, what's the point?



Twelve months of fun, love and peace for everyone!!!

Much love.

Tenacious M

On Sunday, during the most cordial conversation we've had in nearly two years, Donny commented on the fact that I still haven't given up on him, despite it having been nearly six years since our fray began (to be fair, it didn't start off this way... we were happy for about 3 and a half of those years). Whether he was impressed by this, or considering a court order, I do not know - but I'm hoping for the best, since I haven't received anything from the Ministry of Justice this week.

He has a point. I like to think I don't give up on things. Sure, I've done my share of fucking around (quitting my job at NZ Post after just two weeks is a pretty good example of this), but in general, I finish things I start. I recall one day - and I'm glad it was only one day - during my Worlds buildup, where I came home and crawled into bed, chewing on my sushi listlessly and wondering if I really wanted to go. In fact, if I'm honest, it was more than that. I didn't want to go. That afternoon was spent trying to convince myself that I did want to go. It took a lot. But I soldiered on, thinking of the glory I assumed would come attached to my world title (namely, Donny). There's been other occasions. I very nearly walked out on makeup school, about six days before graduation. I cried underwater during swim training before I went to Athens. When my leg was healing from surgery, I sometimes went without my splint in favour of wearing heels (those were the days when I could still wear heels, dammit). And perhaps worst of all, I decided running at the NTC final with a snapped tibia was preferable to letting it heal properly and giving me a better following season.


My pre-Athens nightmare

I don't know why Donny is so surprised. I care about triathlon, swimming, makeup, athletics, and heels about one million times less than I care about him. So no, even though sometimes, when you send me horrible texts at 2am with so many curse words and offensive phrases I lose count, I will not give up on you, ever.

Jerk.

Sun Fest Oh! Nine

Merry Christmas to those readers who celebrate it! I'm pleased to announce it's the first sunny Christmas day we've had in a while where I live, so I'll probably head on down to Tikitapu / Blue Lake soon.

I just took a wee look at my Christmas-time posts from this time last year, and remembered that, oh yes - Christmas 2008 was spent being overly excited about the fact that Mr. Cannondale asked me out on Christmas morning. What a redundant wee affair that turned out to be! Like most things in my life, it was a huge amount of effort with next to no returns. Ah, well. It's settled, then. The rest of my life will be spent thinking only of Donny, and eventually cohabiting with him. Yeah, you read it here first, people. It's going to work out.

Like last year, I woke up this morning by myself, except that today there will be no breakfast with Sam and probably no other human interaction past paying for gas on my way to Rotorua. I'm fine with that - yesterday I spent a happy Christmas Eve getting festive with the Gilby-Todds - we had prawns, ham, lamb, many salads, and lots of fun. And I just can't go past mentioning Jess' incredible dessert. I don't even remember what it was called, but it had raspberries, cherries, cranberries, chocolate... all the good things you can imagine packed into a slice. Or four slices, as the case was with me. Jessica Gilby-Todd is a dessert genius.



I should probably think about leaving some time soon, so enjoy your day, readers!

Coco Avant Chanel

Have I recently enjoyed a film as much as I enjoyed Coco Avant Chanel today?
It's unlikely.

My my, I have long admired the woman, despite knowing little about her, but the wee gem of a film (which I watched this afternoon in the amazing Lido Cinema in Hamilton, allll alone) really opened my mind to the opportunities that life presents, if we're willing to take them up.

Isn't Audrey Tautou a treat? And wow, even though I would love to say here how much I wish I looked like her, and that I was as talented as her, if anything, her performance as Coco (whose real name was Gabrielle) really inspired me to believe that happiness and success in life has so little to do with what you have, and so much to do with what you make it. The whole, lemons and lemonade thing. Inspiration and perspiration.

If an orphan girl born in the 1880s can blossom and create an empire, then what can we do? Whatever it is that we want. It's not about leading a charmed life, more about leading one we love and make the most of. And whatever we work towards, with all our hearts, will eventually bear the fruits of our labours. The labour of love is always the greatest.

I'm starting to sound a bit silly now, but I suggest you see this film, whether you're a fashion fan or not.

Live the life you love.

Wired World Of Twitter

I'm a hugely flippant and revealing Tweeter. I've been told by a large number of people that I should tone it down a bit (some more gracefully than others... Margi: "you have to imagine that everything you say is something you would be comfortable people hearing in a public space" to LMC "you're disgusting, stop stalking my boyfriend!"). But Twitter's massive reach on the internet machine goes mostly unnoticed to the average Tweeter until well, you google your username. And then you get all, "ooh, should I really have said I hated Greece? That comment about women in Huntly being ugly was a bit off."

I'd just like to confirm that I definitely do not think Huntly women are ugly. In fact, one of the most beautiful girls I know comes from Huntly. It was more a stab at the stupid article in the Waikato Times recently about how Tiger Woods didn't get any extramarital loving while he was there a few years ago. Umm, hello? About half of Woods' alleged mistresses are porn stars. Of course he didn't get it on with farmers' wives. And to be really honest, I don't care about his affairs, or like him any less. I never thought he was man of the year - just a crazy-good golfer. And I'm pretty sure, despite his current absence from the tour, that he still is. I'm sick of the "I slept with Tiger Woods" groups popping up on Facebook, and sick of the constant coverage on gossip sites. Give it a rest, people. It's not like he was canonised.

Wow, that went slightly off-topic.

Point is, am I going to become a more introverted Tweeter? Doubt it. Somewhere out there, people are enjoying my tweets about drunken nights in Hamilton. Sure, some are using them against me, but my advice to them is to fuck off and enjoy your own life. That's all I'm doing.

Peace, love and Christmas fun, friends!!!

24 December 2009

Fourteen Year Olds! They're Just Like Us!

Okay, okay. Koko Tsurumi and Kexin He aren't really fourteen, but they could definitely pass for it. Kexin, the Chinese bars dynamo, is either almost 18 or almost 16, (depending on which files you read, apparently) and Koko has recently turned 18. The pair posed for photos together at the Artistic Gymnastic World Championships in London earlier in the year, during the uneven bars final (where Kexin won and Koko earned a silver).



I didn't quite catch it, but between photos Koko pulls this face that everyone pulls when they're taking photos. It's just so good. Turns out, really small (Kexin is 1.46m tall, and Koko 1.40m) elite gymnasts are actually normal people too! Awww. I just love them.


Time Flies

I got so caught up in reading for and writing that blog that more than an hour went past unnoticed while I did so. Seriously, the last time I looked at the clock it said 12:42am. It's now 2:30am. Good god, I need some sleep.

True To Form

I have, in the last few hours, become obsessed with Pan's Labyrinth. Since Sunday, I've been holding the fort at my parents' Hamilton home by myself, and due to the fact that three of my four friends have flown the coop (Yasmin to Thailand, Sophie to Whangamata, and Thom to Matakana - leaving just Becky, who is a bit worse for wear after some sort of altercation none of us remember on Saturday night) I've spent my time wisely - watching DVDs.

I'm not a person who often hires DVDs, and I guess I can put this down to the fact that until September, I rarely had time to sit down for two hours at once, and since then I've been drunk, at uni, or thinking about Ben (sometimes I actually find myself thinking about him for hours, accomplishing nothing). You can imagine my excitement then when I discovered that it's just $1 per DVD on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. As such, I hired five right away - The Mistress Of Spices, Nóialbinoi, Amélie, Allegria (which is a Cirque du Soleil performance) and A Mighty Heart. And wow, can I just say, Icelandic cinema is highly underrated. Nóialbinoi quite honestly changed my life. You should definitely watch it. Anyway, I got done with those films last night, so returned them today (more on THAT drama shortly) and went about picking new ones. "New" here being a relative term - I've still never seen Girl, Interrupted so I thought I should (no, this has nothing to do with Brittany Murphy's recent demise), Letters From Iwo Jima, Memoirs Of A Geisha, The Hours, and of course, Pan's Labyrinth.

I'd been warned about the eye bottling near the start of Pan's by Rex, my old flatmate, and I'm not going to lie - I covered my face with a blanket while it went on, along with the part where Mercedes fairly cuts open the Captain's face after stabbing the crap out of him (he then summons the energy to keep on living. God, it just reminded me of that Marine asshole in Avatar. I almost stood up and did a victory dance when HE died). I don't know. It was just a bit unsettling. I quite liked the thing at the banquet table with eyes in its palms though - reminded me of something you might see in a Tool video. I liked Pan's. A lot. And I learnt a new literary term - fantastic - from watching it. Yes, turns out that in one sense I'm incorrect in referring to many things (such as my year, up until today) as fantastic! It's a literary term which describes a genre - so to put it into context, Ofelia's world in Pan's is fantastic. That excites me. I want to create a fantastic world for myself, too. I also want a screaming magic root under my bed that requires two drops of blood each day. I would also like a Faun that gives me new challenges each day.

Anyway.

I've noticed I do that "Anyway." thing a bit too much for it to go unreferenced. It's a subconscious thing, one I picked up from reading Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (a book I do not recommend reading if you lost a loved one in 9/11) by Jonathan Safran Foer, who, kind of unfortunately for him, shares a name with that crazy Australian guy John Safran. Oh, and guess what else? He's a professor in the CREATIVE WRITING PROGRAM AT NYU. Ahh, I'm so conflicted it hurts my small, undeveloped brain.

Nóialbinoi clarified something for me that, once the idea popped into my head, I realised it had been there all along. It's just that the strange little Icelandic film kind of rammed it home like never before. I've long wanted to go to Iceland. You may have even noticed this, what with my constant references to the country, along with  posted information you may not have bothered to read about Detifoss, Europe's most powerful waterfall (at least remember the photo! The huge waterfall, with the man standing next to it!? I still wonder what he's doing now). Ooh, Iceland - you seem so exotic, with your enormous fjords, unfathomable language, and neverending state of twilight.



But whilst watching Nói, I suddenly saw that Iceland seems to the Icelandics as New Zealand does to me - a place to get out of. It's hard for me to explain (which is a problem, because expressing myself using words is what I'm supposed to be good at), but I had a real "wow" moment during the scene where Nói and Íris find Hawaii on the world map. Like I said, I already knew that - how else would I have met Nayuha?

I loved Nói.


Now, let me tell you about the fun I had when I went to return my DVDs. I had the intention of returning them, giving Casey a ride to the panelbeaters (some girl backed into her car!), and going home, but instead, I spent no less than three hours in the carpark at the DVD store. Upon returning to my car (less than two minutes after leaving it), it wouldn't start. It was truly bizarre. The engine wasn't even turning. I sat, perplexed, wondering what I could possibly have done to my car. I hadn't left the lights on - it was 1pm! I hadn't left it in gear (I've done that twice, and twice made people come out to "rescue" me - this of course consisting of them sliding my gear stick from D into P), and I hadn't left the "stereo" - a tape deck with an iPod attachment - on. What happened?! I went about calling every Hamilton guy in my cellphone directory, none of whom answered. I almost resorted to calling Donny, but then remembered I would probably have a better shot at fixing a car than he would. I left my car, and wondered around the parking lot for about 50 minutes, making calls, sending texts, generally getting upset about the fact. And all of a sudden, my car was clamped. Yes, my car, that wouldn't start, much less move from its park - got clamped. I was livid, and explained, in varying speeds and tones, to the clamp attendant, my predicament. He didn't seem to care, and charged me the full amount for removing the clamp. Can you believe it? I certainly couldn't, and made sure to sit in my car for the next hour and a half for the AA to come and help me. The problem? My battery had done its dash. Seriously. Done. Its. Dash.
"I can give you a jump," the AA guy told me "but it will only get you to wherever you next turn off your car. It's done." Ah, how ridiculous. I took the jump, drove home and lamented my situation. And so it is that I'm now getting around in my dad's 1991 Nissan Bluebird, in which I'm unable to adjust the seat. Now, my dad is 6 feet tall. I'm 5'2". It's fun times, perching on the edge of that seat.

I am so furious about being charged for that clamping, I could stab someone. But I don't think I will. Just watching it being done on that film freaked me out. I don't know how Clayton Weatherston sleeps at night.

21 December 2009

Fantastico

For some reason during the night last night I switched ends of the bed. I woke up, untucked the covers, put the pillow at the other end, and spent the rest of the night sleeping that way.

WTF.

Anyway, I'm still stumped for the eighth, ninth and tenth days of Christmas. And I'm a little bit bitter because I didn't get seven free drinks in town - I didn't even get one. All I got was some guy telling me he wanted to drown himself.

Today, the nominees for the Halberg Awards were announced and so it was confirmed that I have absolutely no chance at becoming a finalist and as such attending the ceremony. Wanna know who they are?

Nicole Begg, Cath Cheatley, Emma Feathery, Mary Fisher, Paige Hareb, Andrea Hewitt, Hayley Moorwood, Sophie Pascoe, Rebecca Scown, Alison Shanks, Paula Tesoriero, Emma Twigg, Valerie Vili, Sarah Walker, Casey Williams, Monique Williams and me. At a guess they'll narrow it to six, three of whom will no doubt be Valerie, Sophie and Alison. From there I'd go with Sarah, Monique and Casey. Sport Waikato might have got it wrong, but I'm fairly confident the Halberg Trust won't.


Alison Shanks with her World Cup gold

My eyes are starting to get patchy so I might just retreat to bed. This whole, twelve days of Christmas thing is rubbish anyway. I hate Christmas.

The Long Walk Home

Saturday, like every other Saturday I've spent in Hamilton since September, was messy.

Reports from the night include hurling abuse, out of control dancing, running, shrieking, and far too much drinking. It ended with me walking home at 4am in the rain.

So maybe not my best idea yet. Before I was even out of town, I'd been accosted by no less than three people, asked for directions to Firecats (it probably looked like I'd just come from there), and even been offered a ride home from my mother, which I weirdly refused in favour of braving the streets of Hamilton.

Oh, and did I mention that Donny was texting me airy, wannabe philosophical messages about his imminent drowning in the river. Dear God. How am I the one that comes off "crazy" in this relationship? Of course he didn't actually do it, but this didn't stop me fretting for the last 30 minutes of my walk about being charged in relation to his death. Surely there was some way of whoever found him on the river bed reading the messages from me in his phone and coming to the conclusion that I'd driven him to it?

I was upset in town when my "Waikato Sportswoman of the Year" and "Halberg nominee" accolades got me neither free drinks nor congratulations from Donny (mind you, who was I kidding? Most of his texts on the night lamented the fact that he wasted $8 on a kebab he wasn't going to eat. Oh, Hamilton) and it sounds like I took my frustrations out on people I spotted who I "kind of knew" - yes, that includes that guy from the gym I had a crush on earlier in the year - screaming abuse at him for no apparent reason (it may have been that he didn't initially recognise me with my Gaga hair, but that excuse didn't really suit drunken me), another guy who infuriated me by claiming he was friends with Ben, and all night calling the love of Becky's life "Lance Armstrong". To be fair, he does kind of look like him. And I for one would love to be compared to Lance. So I don't know what his problem was...

The moral of the story? I think it's high time for me to clean up my act. It was almost 30 hours ago and I still have sore feet from the walk home, and concerns about Donny's state of mind (although weirdly, we had a civil conversation for a considerable part of yesterday, leaving me perplexed). As of today, any New Years' plans have been tentatively cancelled in favour of hiring a Nintendo64 and playing Zelda for the rest of my time in Hamilton.

What day of Christmas is it today? The TENTH. Oh, man.

Whose idea was this?! I'm really stuck. Maybe later on today...

18 December 2009

The Sellout Tour

I arrived in Hamilton yesterday morning, bright and early at about 10:15am. Hello, photo of Donny on the airport wall. Why must you taunt me so?

Immediately upon my arrival home I had an interview with Waikato Times sports reporter Aaron Goile, before being whisked off to Auckland with Yasmin and Anita for dinner with Christina. Phew. We got back at around 12:30am, where I promptly fell asleep. This morning? A Waikato Times photo shoot and meetings with the New Zealand Academy of Sport and Sport Waikato. And tomorrow, I have two Christmas parties to attend!

I'm feeling the love.

My room looks like a bomb hit it, on account of my lack of unpacking. There's tinsel (part of my Saturday night costume), bottles of nail polish, pants, swimming caps and two ripped open bags from Threadless all over the floor, along with two still-packed suitcases. There are three bouquets of flowers in here - the one from Sport Waikato having been groomed to perfection by my mother as the various flowers die. I haven't even seen my dad yet.

And then there's Nane, who was woken last night by some creepy stranger watching her as she slept! OMG. How does shit like this happen? Poor Nane! I would have cried. Miriam does not like this.

I have many things to do before tomorrow. Plan and buy the rest of my Christmas party outfit, welcome bidders on my mountain bike for inspections, attend my mother's work do, sell my bike. Also, hoping for a spare moment to drop in on my favourite family, the Gilby-Todds.

As for the sixth and seventh days of Christmas...

Um, wow. I TOLD you this was going to get progressively harder!

Seven free drinks tomorrow night in town!
Six hugs for six of my favourite people: Mike Todd, Jan Gilby, Tom & Jessica Gilby-Todd, Sophie Dewstow-Wright and Thom Horton
Five punnets of strawberries
Four months in Los Angeles
Three Napoleon Perdis Prismatic Eyeshadow Quads
Two Chanel Hydramax + Active Moisture Creams
and a Donny in a pear tree.

16 December 2009

I Just Love It When...

Websites (such as swimnetwork.com) nullify their video links. Good-bye, embed of Kosuke's 100m breaststroke race from Short Course Nationals. Ah well...



Fifth day of Christmas? Ummm, oooh... this is getting tough. Five punnets of strawberries!

Five punnets of strawberries
Four months in Los Angeles
Three Napoleon Perdis Prismatic Eyeshadow Quads
Two Chanel Hydramax + Active Moisture Creams
and a Donny in a pear tree.

Thread-less

I've long been yearning to have my eyebrows threaded by an Indian.
Waxing, to be quite frank, scares the shit out of me. On the eyes, anyway. I mean, I know the likelihood of the therapist dropping searing hot wax on my eyeball is small, but you just never know! And since I've been letting my normally plucked-to-within-an-inch-of-their-lives eyebrows live it up for the last six weeks, now is the perfect time to sort them out.

I first tried to book an appointment at Gloucester Cottage, just outside Christchurch's city centre, but due to late notice (I called yesterday for a booking today), they were unable to help. And anyway, pretty sure the threading would be carried out by a white girl and that's just not what I want. I then discovered 24 Carat Beauty (even the name sounds Bollywood-fabulous) and arranged an appointment at the tiny salon on Colombo Street. It's only costing me $10 (USD7), and the best bit? An Indian is doing it! Yay!

While it's tempting to post "before" and "after" photos - this is just not going to happen. It's bad enough that I've been strolling around the place with out-of-control brows for the last month or two, but actually pointing it out to people so they can be all, "ew!" then "oooh..." kind of scares me. You can, however, expect to see photos of the finished product - ideally, brows a la Priyanka Chopra - in the next few days.



Hooray for cheap, Indian threading!

Baked At 1am

Well, I don't know if it's actually baking if the box from which the ingredients came loudly proclaims "No Bake". But I'm going to say yes. There was some definite microwave action in there.

The cause? Tomorrow is the last day of my Summer paper. We have a Whakamātautau a tuhituhi (writing test) followed by what I'll refer to - probably incorrectly - as a huikai. Māori readers, feel free to correct as necessary. We're going to have a mean feed, anyway. I prepared (or baked) my personal fave - chocolate fudge, and added some M&Ms, just to be tacky.

On a completely unrelated note, here is a stupid photo of me at Denny's the other night. My hair is the same colour as my tshirt, which is my favourite feature of the photo.



Excitement: I'm GOING HOME TOMORROW! I can say that, since it's 1:10am Wednesday and not 9:10pm Tuesday or whatever my Tokyo time might have you believe. I have a newspaper interview (fallout from the Sportswoman of the Year award) and then Yasmin and I are off to Auckland to watch Avatar, which I've been looking forward to for some months now. Bring on tomorrow!!!!

Over and out, Upper East Side.

15 December 2009

The Big Easy

As it happened, reaching 300 posts this year wasn't quite the trial I expected. So far, December has been a particularly newsworthy month, as evidenced by the fact that it's just the 15th today and I'm at 301.

You must ignore the fact that "Summertime" was published this morning - this is because I typed it while at my sister's house in Rolleston last night, where there is no wireless. I also missed the third day of Christmas, which is for the record, three Napoleon Perdis Prismatic Eyeshadow Quads - in #1, #6 and #10.







And what of today? Well, I envision this getting harder each day. What in the world do I want four of? The original songs provides "four calling birds", but I am really just not a bird fan. How about four months in LA next year? November until February would suit me just fine.



Four months in LA
Three Napoleon Perdis Prismatic Eyeshadow Quads
Two Chanel Hydramax + Active Moisture Creams
and a Donny in a pear tree

I had no idea the twelve days of Christmas *really* starts on December 25, and runs until January 5, the day before the Feast of the Epiphany. But whatever. I like my way.



Summertime?

Here I go again, complaining about the weather.

In my hemisphere of the world, December is supposed to be summer. And as a general rule, it is. This morning when I woke up at 6:40am, the sun was out, and it looked to be a beautiful day. And so, when I eventually got ready for my last class of the Summer Session, I got dressed into a square neck, sleeveless top and some teeny tiny shorts.

I can catch some rays during my walk to uni, I thought to myself, braving the chilly southerly breeze in the name of getting my daily vitamin E.

My class was due to start at 1pm, so I retreated to the library to read for an hour beforehand, where I proceeded to freeze. By the time I left, my hands were beginning to display minor signs of cyanosis - which I'll admit, after having had a stroke, is not all that uncommon for me. Once outside, the sunny day had turned grey, and it was beginning to rain.

I continued to get colder and colder throughout the two-hour class, and when it came time to attend our tutorial, it was well and truly a shit day. Freezing wind and rain lashed the campus and my ill thought-out, over-exposed body and feet.

Is it December? Really? It feels like December in Los Angeles, not New Zealand.

Tomorrow's forecast? Marble-sized hailstones. I can't wait.

14 December 2009

I Knew It!

Confirmed! Ivana Hong did previously train out of GAGE (the Great American Gymnastics Express) in Missouri. Don't know what the hell I'm talking about?




So I was wrong about the "originally" part, but I just knew Hong was a Fong girl once. Personally, I am afraid of Al Fong like no-one else on the face of the earth. I mean, really... he was pretty much responsible for Julissa Gomez's death, and it's no secret that Christy Henrich expired under his tutelage as well. It's disgusting for me to talk so flippantly about these awful situations, but surely his legal ability to be a coach of gymnastics should be revoked!?

Anyway, the good news is that Ivana is in much safer hands at WOGA (World Olympic Gymnastics Academy) these days, the institution that created my all-time fave, Carly Patterson, as well as Beijing champion Nastia Liukin, and 2009 World Championship runner-up, Rebecca Bross. I now read that Bross can throw a Patterson dismount on beam? Get out, bitch. It's called a Patterson for a reason: it belongs to her. Go make up your own skill.


Sunday Morning

Does anyone else get really disappointed when they check PostSecret and it's not up?

I mean, book tour, schmook tour. Give us our PostSecret!

I'm kidding, Frank. Really I am.

Here's some cute kittens from the pet store.


Bowling For Broken Nails

In order to suck as much as I can out of my Christchurch experience before I return to the town of cows on Thursday, I dragged my flatmate around the place this weekend, playing minigolf (I won) Timezone basketball (I won) and bowling.

You'll notice I didn't menton winning bowling.

I forgot the *real* reason I never go bowling in Hamilton, and that is, not because Donny is a duty manager there, but because I might just be the WORST bowler in the world. This was evident when on my second turn, I managed two consecutive gutter balls. I don't even know what my combined score for two games was, but I'm going to go right ahead and take a shot. Probably around 30. I am that bad at bowling.

To be fair, bowling is not an enjoyable thing to do. Unlike minigolf, at which I am relatively good (this may be in part due to the two years I spent on my high school golf team, but let's keep that under wraps), bowling hurts. It not only chipped half the nail polish off of most of the fingers on my right hand, it's left me with a slightly swollen, red thumb and forefinger, and a sore toe. I dare say that the bowling action also exacerbated my already flaming right rotator cuff tendinitis, too. Can't wait for my swim in the morning!

What a waste of time. I hate bowling.

Twelve days of Christmas? Hmmm, it's day two, and I'm already stumped. After watching Love Actually (should it be Love, Actually? I mean, just based on Hugh Grant's soliloquy at the end: "Love, actually is all around" or is that just a pause, not a comma? Ah, who cares really?) for about the fourteen thousandth time tonight, I'm going to put it out there. Donny: All I want for Christmas is you.

Moving on, I'm going to say two pots of Chanel Hydramax + Active Moisture Cream.

Two pots of Chanel Hydramax + Active Moisture Cream
And a Donny in a pear tree.

13 December 2009

I Love: Koko Tsurumi



I've found another gymnast to add to my list of much-loved Japanese people: Koko Tsurumi.

The 4'7" Tsurumi, out of Tokyo, this year in London became the first Japanese woman to medal at a World Gymnastics Championships since 1966. On watching videos of her performances, it's easy to see why. Koko lacks the difficulty of Chinese superstar He Kexin on bars (but, seriously - tell me who doesn't. That girl is like a magician on the apparatus) but executes her skills with perfection and grace, earning her a silver medal. She was third in the all-around - a few steps on the landing of a tumbling set on floor may have cost her silver, but her other landings on the apparatus were flawless, and reminiscent of a young Carly Patterson in 2004. Granted, Koko is somewhere between Carly and Nastia in terms of grace (Carly being all punch and power, and Nastia looking like she would fit seamlessly into the Bolshoi), but her stuck landings at Worlds this year were laudable.



At last year's Olympic Games in Beijing, China, Koko was a beam finalist, placing eighth (she was sixteen at the time). At Worlds this year she was able to best that by two places, despite a considerable wobble following a flip flop-back aerial series. On beam, like her other apparatus, she is precise and calculated, almost to her detriment - she nearly ran over time, but ignoring the stress involved with hearing the ten-second signal, was able to deliver a flawless dismount.

Unfortunately, Koko was born in an "off" year - meaning her best years will come between Olympic Games. There's nothing to say, however, that she won't be in tip-top form for the 2012 Games in London, (just ask Kosuke Kitajima about the benefits of preparing for a familiar competition venue) and if not then she has a viable shot at the all-around at 2011 Worlds - to be held in Koko's own hometown of Tokyo. Hell, I might even be there by then! (Tokyo, not competing at Worlds...)