29 January 2009

It's nothing to write home about, but...

Today, me and Sian got offered work experience!!

At the Samala Robinson Academy, where I am a student, it's a big deal to get work experience. Especially as only two other people in our class have been offered it.

On Saturday morning, we are working as junior artists at August Models & Talent in Freemans Bay, which is SUPER DE DUPER EXCITING. Yeah, so I don't exactly want a career in this industry, but this is going to look so good on my resume...

Joining me and Sian this weekend will be Sara and Taylor, who are like, way better than us! Well, I don't know about that - but they've been at school longer, and Taylor is the genius behind my smoky eyed Facebook (and Blogspot) profile photo. It helps that I adore these girls. Saturday is shaping up to be a cracker!

9:15am: Call-up for August Models & Talent
1pm: Wrap
1:30pm: Miranda is styling my hair for Libby's 21st. Hopefully she can sort me out with a beehive, a la Amy Winehouse. Mind you, I have about a tenth of the hair that she has, so I may just end up with a scraggly ponytail.

I can keep my makeup kit up there!

3pm-ish: I hit up either MAC or Napoleon to get my makeup for Libby's done. The eyes are expected to turn out something like the below illustration, with a hot pink lip.

6pm-ish: I arrive in Hamilton, looking fabulous, and make my way to Libby's!

Okay, I just realised how sad I've become, not only mapping out my day, but publicising it on Blogspot. Oh, well.

In more exciting news, Sophie has announced the theme for her 21st: MTV. Clever. I'm going to go as "My Super Sweet Sixteen". Costume/makeup details to follow. Also that weekend: the Hamtown Smakdown - at which both my younger brother's band, and Donny's band are playing. Fun! But also bears the real potential of supreme awwwwwwkwardness. Eh. I'm a lover, not a fighter.

My face hurts!! I can't wait to graduate.

28 January 2009

Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town

By Saturday (the night of Libby's 21st) I swear, I am going to look like this.

When Libby announced the date of her soiree, I resolved to diet, stop wearing makeup, you know... get better-looking. Unfortunately since then I've been living on a diet of red licorice and Wendy's, wearing TONNES of makeup (though in my defense, it's pretty unavoidable when you're at makeup school) and hardly sleeping. Sooo instead of looking fabulous this weekend, it appears that I'm going to look like the Grand High Witch. Only fatter.

Still, there are worse things.

A friend told me tonight that he has a vendetta against so-called "attractive" people. (Actually, he said "so called" attractive people, but in the interest of grammatical correctness I've edited his words) You can tell that this guy is from Hamilton, because there are pretty much NO attractive people down there (except maybe Becky). I responded with the fact that I love models. I make no apologies for this. Models are, for the most part, good looking. They have cheekbones, clavicles, knees that don't touch... How I wish I was a model. Mind you, I just pretty much described Grace, and she's not a model, so maybe I'm missing something.

"Summer shots"

That's Grace. Today she referred to a cookie as "my little friend". She is the most unexpected person ever. I just love her! I'm thinking about sending her to Libby's in place of me.

Anyway, since there's still four days to go, I figure I've got time. As of now, I'm on a vegetable diet. Good thing I can't get enough of cherry tomatoes! Seriously, I ate two punnets of them tonight, in the space of less than an hour. I've also put some money to good use for once and splashed out on some Lush products: Sweet Japanese Girl cleanser, Love Lettuce mask and a Vit C toner tab. This is a new product I've not used before. Before Saturday, I hadn't been into Lush for far too long. I'm not a frequent pedestrian on Queen Street, so the aroma that never fails to draw me in from up to 400 yards away hasn't really registered with my olfactory glands for a while. On Saturday, disappointed because MAC Chancery was closed and disgruntled because the girl at Gloria Jean's got my order wrong (exasperated sigh!), I smelt Lush before I saw it, and ventured in. What a treat! If you've used Sweet Japanese Girl before, you'll know what I'm talking about. Unfortunately, it won't make me Japanese (why am I so determined to be anyone but me!?), or sweet... but you know. I think I deserved to splash out.

Yeah, so I'm still optimistic about this weekend. If all else fails, at least my dress is pretty cool. I'm kind of missing the point here - which is that Libby's celebrating her twenty-first birthday. Congratulations!! Libby is a longtime and highly appreciated friend. I struggle to think of a time where I needed her and she wasn't there. In fact, I think a lot of her friends would say the same. She's a tough nut to crack, but let me assure you - it's worth it. It's for this reason that I'm skipping a bike race the following morning to join her for her birthday. There's no-one else like Libby.

It was upsetting to have to go back to SRA today, especially given my discovery of the incredible Long Bay yesterday. After a bike ride in the morning (which made up for Saturday's forgettable effort), I drove up there and floated in the sea for a few hours. I love East Coast Bays. It made things a little more bearable when we started learning the "sultry" look today. That is to say, smoky eyes.

I can't any photos I want to put up here, which is probably okay, because I think everyone knows what I'm talking about? Yes? No? Anyway, these babies are easier than expected. And I'm not just saying that. Sure, I have 28 makeup brushes to choose from, but I only actually needed two of them for this look. A step-by-step guide will follow later this week!

Sorry. I couldn't resist!!

26 January 2009

Know Your Enemy

As much as I don't want to believe this, some people are jerks.

On Thursday I just could not bring myself to go to school, so I drove to Whangaparaoa to ride, and to spend time with an old friend before he left the country. Now, I don't know if I have some sort of inherent personality flaw that attracts self-righteous people who make constant disdainful remarks about the rest of the populace, but let me tell you: I've been getting more aggravated about this particular guy as time goes on.

We met quite some time ago when I lived in Christchurch. He seemed okay - friendly, confident, you know, not retarded. I probably could have picked it up back then, but he's pretty rapid with judgement of others. Myself included. And I know I judge other people too, but this guy just gets at me the wrong way.

For one thing, on Thursday he had the audacity that all my recent "drama" is completely self-inflicted. Oh, yes - that's right. I intentionally got stung by a bee, hit by a car, and fired within 24 hours. Yeah, so it was my stupid fault that I left my keys in Christchurch, but you know what? It happens. To the best of us, at times. After spending an hour close to gloating about his impending OE - which is awesome, I'm glad he's finally getting out of New Zealand - he then told me I like to talk about myself. I admit that I do - I mean, heck - I have a blog, don't I? But do I seem like the kind of person that needs to be TOLD? Seriously, I'm pretty self aware. In the words of Billy Corgan: "in my heart I know all of my faults". They include, but are not limited to, being judgemental, being loud, being annoying, being VAIN, being argumentative. At the same time, I have my ... good points. Pros, if you will. I'm genuinely interested in the lives of others. I'm determined to make a decent contribution to society before my time's up. Oh, yeah and I'm an awesome cyclist. Ha ha.

This is coming from a guy who majored in marketing at university. Business-related majors are about as self-serving as they come. I mean, look at Donny. What was even funnier than pretty much everything put together was when he tried to talk about swimming, because his new girlfriend was a swimmer. Weren't we all? Oh yeah, but I didn't see her at the Olympics. I hate to say it, but I think I would know.

That's just about as much negativity as I feel necessary for the month, so I'm now determined to write effervescent, happy posts until the end of February.

Onto more important things: Serj Tankian. He lives here now?! Anyway, I heard tonight that he's playing a one-off show with the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra in March.

Serj: What, Armenian and Amish aren't the same thing?!

With that in mind, I registered as a subscriber to the APO, and now I'm going to get an email alert when tickets go on for this show! I am not missing this. I missed Bad Religion. I missed Muse. I am NOT missing Serj Tankian with the Auckland Philharmonia. Review to follow! I'm quite excited about writing my first ever review.

Coming this week on The Elegant Mainstream:
- Auckland Anniversary Day
- "sultry eyes" at the Samala Robinson Academy
- Libby's 21st birthday!

Like every Monday, I have tomorrow off school, but this week so does the rest of Auckland! Hooray for a holiday! I can't decide what to do. Waiheke Island? Rangitoto Island? Swimming at Long Bay?

It don't get any Longer than this

I've bought a dress for Libby's 21st and saved my mother the hassle of making me one. Although I preferred the colour of the satin I picked out in Spotlight, our calculations proved it would be more cost- and manpower-effective to buy a similar dress in a eye-catching turquoise shade from Principals. Longtime friends will know I am a fan of the word turquoise, which helped to seal the deal. Photos will follow this Sunday. Until then, I'm getting ready to kick it in Poplar Lane.

Best wishes go out today to my Grandma, Pamela Torbell who was born on the same day as Martin Luther King, Jr. Apparently I've told her this every year on her birthday since I was eight years old. What can I say? I like history. Happy 80th!!

Peace and love until next time, yo.

22 January 2009

Citizen Erased

Two of the coolest people in my life are leaving.

Tomorrow, Stephanie (Rex's girlfriend) is moving to Germany for a year. She's going to be a nanny. And she's going to write a book. It's going to be amazing, because Steph is inexplicably cool and that's just how the world works.

And Sam - superhuman Sam, that is - has just accepted a new post in Sydney, Australia. Funnily enough, Libby - his ex-girlfriend - wants him back. Surprised? I'm not. I think she did a pretty stupid thing in breaking up with him in the first place. Obviously, so does she. Too late though, hey? Again, way of the world.

I'm being selfish when I complain that these people are leaving me. You know, when life comes knocking at the door, I guess you can ignore it. Hope it will go away. Or you can answer the door and book a flight to Germany.

Goodbye guys. You made my life in Auckland that much cooler.

20 January 2009

Mercy Me

Well, at least I got a response this time.

I went out on a limb and invited Chris over for dinner tomorrow night. It was a big limb, especially since I had resolved to sit back and wait for him to do his thing. But you know me, I just couldn't resist. I mean, there is just so much food in my house right now.

I sent him a message: "come round for dinner tomorrow. I have enough food for an army."

Within minutes, I had a response. "I am riding home the long way tomorrow. I won't be free until 8pm. That may be too late."

Yeah, 8pm is SO late. WAY too late for me to cook lasagne, asshole.

Still, it's better than being ignored. But now, I really am done.


Happiness is a fish YOU can catch

It seems like the "recession" has got everyone down. Pretty much all of the people I know are glum at the moment, for one reason or another, and I'm going to put it down to scaremongering by the media about this recession thing.

I don't really know what it means, because I'm constantly in recession if it means being poor. And I'm not even kidding. If you knew me in 2006, chances are you know about all the busybother that went down with my credit cards. Yep, cards plural. There were three of them, and I was unemployed at the time. How did it happen?

Well, to be honest it was just a case of incredibly poor judgment on both mine and the bank's part. Why it ever occurred to me that I might "need" $10,000 on an advanced personal loan, as well as a $3,000 American Express card, I don't know. Another thing I don't know is why the bank ever said yes to such frivolity. Anyway, of course it ended badly. I was this close to wrapping my head in a towel and shooting myself. I wish I was kidding when I said that.

I mean not to drag you down further but instead to illustrate a point: things get bad. Then they get good again! I know more people who think I'm still an idiot than those who don't, but I don't really care what they have to say about it. They weren't there, and they're not here now, while I'm having the time of my life - WITHOUT getting up to my eyeballs in debt. Yep, so I dipped into the savings to get my helmet, my ghd straightener and my new cellphone. The difference is I now know when to stop, and I also know that buying tonnes of crap doesn't bring happiness.

I like to think that at the end of 2006 I hit rock bottom. Sounds drastic, but when you think about it, rock bottom obviously is relative to your own situation. Sure, I didn't get cancer, lose both parents in some sort of accident, nor did my homeland break into civil war, but when you look at everything that contributed to MY situation, I think "rock bottom" is a pretty fair call.

As such, I feel like I'm now in a position to tell people "I've come a long way, baby." Just this morning a friend of my mother's, who several months ago told her in confidence that he actually worried about my psychological state (ie, he thought I was borderline depressed) commented on how much happier I seem now.

It's not because I don't have credit cards anymore, or that I can afford to buy food each week. Sure, that helps, but I think somewhere between making what has turned out to be a life-changing decision to move to Bayswater and sitting here tonight typing, I've found balance.

In 2004, balance to me meant making sure my dinner had tonnes of protein and carbohydrates, and was accompanied by at least two litres of water. Balance also meant fitting Donny in around twice-daily two-hour swim practices, as well as gym workouts, and pilates. I was training for the Athens Olympics, and I was thriving in the routine. These days, balance comes in a less intense form. Sure, I spend tonnes of time on my bike and I drink even more water, but I also attend makeup school, look for a job, chill out with my flatmates, and I dream, I plan, I dance, and of course I shop.

There is a line in a Rise Against song, on a CD that Donny bought me a few years ago:
"We're meant for something more than living just to put food on our plates". This guy has it right. Who sucked all the fun out life? It's the "thing" to get a career, work yourself into the ground doing it, and become bitter. What's just struck me as even more ironic is that Donny himself is four years in to business school and nowhere near finishing it because he hates it. He always used to tell me he had to stick with it though, to get a career.

Well, flag. If you want to do that, awesome. Good for you. If, however, you want to take a break? Head to Alaska this summer, maybe? Then do it. Life may not have a hold button, but at the end of the day, who actually cares? Do fun stuff. Throw caution to the wind. If it all goes bad you get to start again. Savings are cool and everything, but like... so is life.

Go out there, and kick butt.

18 January 2009

The Crayon Theory

Some insight from Emma's Facebook "Info" page:
"we could learn a lot from crayons - some are sharp, some are pretty, some are dull, some have weird names, some are more popular than others - but they all have to learn to live in the same box."

Now, I don't know about you, but I actually put a bit of thought into what I write on my info page. It's not that I want to appear "cool", or anything, I just think it's a reflection of how you go about life. Unsurprisingly, Emma's and mine are aesthetically quite similar. She claims to be amazed when I've read something on hers, but I'm not so sure. The number of people who have asked me about my high school education at the School of Assassins is proof that people are a lot more snoopy than they let on. I for one have no problem admitting I read others' info pages thoroughly, and occasionally judging them on it. Mispelt words and random capitalisation are two of my favourites. Donny, for example, incorrectly capitalised the word "soccer" in his interests, and yep - adds fuel to the fire.

The guy that Holly married recently lists literally EVERY job he's ever had on his. Who cares? Seriously, it's not like people are impressed by the fact that you were a "demonstrator" for MED205. You didn't get into medicine. Demonstrating for second-year medicine labs isn't all that. On the other hand, Becky lists her current employer as her son, Rhys. Her position? "Mother". I think that is super cute.

Somewhere between green-yellow and yellow-green?

Back to the crayon theory - it's cute, isn't it? And so true. I think it should be written on walls all over the world. If everybody went around with this in mind, and actually put it into practice, I think there would be a lot less unnecessary conflict around the place. I still get upset by stupid Indian stereotypes, even when they're kind of true. I've had guys yell things out windows of cars at me while sauntering through the streets of Hamilton - mostly comments about the way I walk. Because you know, I do this on purpose. I could walk normally if I wanted, but I try to be different, just so idiots like you can harrass me. Assholes.

For what it's worth, I have noticed myself making more generalisations about Hamilton people since I moved away. There's the Ford crew, the Holden crew, the Mongrel Mob kids, and then the rest of the jerks that drive around in Skylines with blow-off valves. Are you serious? They weren't even cool when I was fourteen. I don't like your chances now.
"You just don't get this where I live!" I complained to my mother after we unsuccessfully tried to walk around a bunch of guys swaggering through a mall with stupid haircuts, sagged pants and one leg rolled up to the knee.

Maybe it's because I go through life with my glasses blurred, but in Bayswater, the most annoying people are the ones who try lean their crappy Litespeed bikes up against mine and Chris' on the ferry. The guys here are for the most part confident (not insecure), friendly, and not retarded. The girls wear dresses just a little bit too short. I fit in like a round peg.

It's kind of weird, because I've never really fitted in anywhere, and I kind of liked it like that. In first year uni, my friend called me "eccentric". It was a compliment, but I didn't really see where she was coming from.
"You're a swimmer," she said "with a shaved head. Today you're wearing a pink hat with the craziest skirt I've ever seen. And you ride your bike to class."
Apparently Aquarians have a tendency to be eccentric, but I don't know that I'd go to that extreme when describing myself. I mean, I like Britney Spears and McDonald's. Hardly mainstays of eccentricity.

Either way, I fit into the crayon box somewhere. I'd like to think I'm yellow. But I get the feeling I'm slate grey.

16 January 2009

Working on my Playstation tan

Cycling tan and Playstation tan are pretty similar. You get them from doing waaaay too much of either: riding bikes. OR playing video games. Since I'm not a huge gaming fan (my last foray into video games was when I owned a Nintendo64 and played Zelda compulsively at age twelve), you can imagine that my biggest problem in life is wearing sleeveless tops that showcase my cycling jersey marks. It's awesome, especially when I have so many sleeveless-top functions coming up. The first of which is tonight: Becky's birthday!

I rode my bike for nearly four hours today. I rode around the entire city boundary of Hamilton. Twice. I even made it out to Ngaruawahia - which isn't far, but about 12km between northern Hamilton and Ngaruawahia is borderline unsealed road. As you can imagine, it's like heaven (or hell, depending on your understanding of sarcasm). Anyway, all in all it was a good day in the saddle. Nothing compared to my Bayswater - Riverhead - Downtown - St. Helier's jaunt the other day, but I had a good time. I'm learning to ride sans-iPod, for my own safety.

Now I have an even deeper bike tan. My mother has tried to console me.
"At least you look like you get out and about!" she mused. Great. It's like having a face "only a mother could love." Which I kind of do, anyway. It's not like I have options, though. I'm gonna have to go out there tonight and rock the cyclist look. Yeehaw.

15 January 2009

Streaks in the Sky

While watching TV tonight, I asked Sara what the flashing lights in the sky were.
"What flashing lights?" she asked, peering out the window, while sneaking disbelieving sideways glances at me. She couldn't see anything.
"Out there! Is it lightning? Or fireworks?" It couldn't be fireworks, surely - the lights were so high up in the sky.
"I still can't see anything." Sara replied, and went back to watching the TV.

In my head I began theorising as to what this marvellous sight could be. My first thought was that it could be nebulae exploding. I do wonder if this is because I love the word "nebula". When Sara finally saw the lights, I asked her if she thought it might be nebula, too.
"What on earth is one of those?" she asked.
"Oh... it's like a star nursery." I explained, suddenly shy of my inner science geek. At the same time, I'm kind of secretly proud of the fact that I actually wonder about things like this. She didn't really share my enthusiasm for the subject, and instead decided it was aliens fighting with "whirly guns". Which it could well be.

Since going to bed (after sitting on the deck and watching it, fairly mesmerised, for an hour or so), I've started to wonder if maybe what I saw tonight was the Aurora Australis. I mean, I doubt it, because I'm of the understanding that the aurora, or "Southern Lights" a) can't be seen from New Zealand, b) are bright, colourful and exciting and c) are static, rather than flashing lights.

A particularly gorgeous example of the Aurora Australis, courtesy Wikipedia

So now I really don't know what I saw tonight. I'm hoping whatever it was gets on the news tomorrow, so my poor brain can get some rest. Either way, the aurora is something that's pretty much blowing my mind as I research it for this post.

They're created with the Earth's magnetosphere, solar winds, and all sorts of other exciting astronomy-related things. I can't get enough of science. Or nature, for that matter.

The nebula idea has pretty much gone out the window as I've learnt that nebulae are really just interstellar clouds of dust. Still, these clouds DO create stars (hence, star nursery) - but they don't really explode. Turns out, nebulae are in fact created by supernova explosions.

Anyway, if you live in Auckland and saw the exciting streaks in the sky tonight, educated banter on what it might have been is welcome.

13 January 2009

21st Season All Over Again

In 2006/2007, pretty much everyone I know had their 21sts.

Mine was in February of 2007, and I didn't have a party. I didn't attend many - I went to Ben's and Casey's, and I think that's about it. Not even my own sister's (which ended with her cutting her foot on a broken bottle - probably being used for spotting - and crying because I wasn't there. Classy).

In what seems to be a stroke of proof of my "real age", a bunch of people I actually like are having their 21sts now. In 2009. I'm 23 in less than a month. Hmmm.

Olivia sent out a text message last night, requesting addresses for invites, and stating that it is to be a "formal" occasion. Thank god. An excuse to buy an extravagant dress, new shoes, and to get my hair done! I asked my mother if she would make me a dress.  She was the genius behind my awesome Wintec ball dress in 2007 (black, inside-out shantung satin. Amazing). I jumped online and started my hunt.

So many questions arise when you're on the hunt for the perfect dress. What colour? How long? Which kind of neckline? Sleeves? Straps? What's the back going to look like?

Being an idiot, I decided on hot pink and started trawling bluefly.com for ideas. For once, nothing really caught my eye there (except a Chanel flower brooch for like, $700. Appropriate!), so I hit up polyvore.com, even Google!

I've since decided on a dress with a ruched bodice. It's probably going to be short because, well - I'm promiscuous. And I'm no longer sure if it's going to be pink. I am kind of drawn towards going with something a little more acidic - maybe lime green. Just because EVERYONE there is going to be in pink or black.

I'm now on a diet (after my mince and cheese pie this morning), because there's nothing quite like turning up at someone's 21st looking skinny and in a lime green dress.

Sophie's 21st is March 7th. Now, if you know Sophie (and I offer my most heartfelt apologies if you don't, because she is possible THE coolest person on the face of the planet) you just know that she's going to have a completely stupendous theme. She's actually calling for suggestions, but I dare say her imagination will out-stretch anyone else's, and it will be something off the hook and completely unheard of.

Bad news: she's recently become friends with Donny, who asked me the other night if I would go home with him this Friday. Fancy pre-planning your booty calls, anyone? Eww!
Anyway, that just means my diet is going to have to last until then, and I'm going to need a facial, manicure, pedicure, and anything else you can think of so I look beyond fabulous. That way, I'll feel even better when I refuse to go home with him for a sly night.

Dress ideas for Olivia's are welcome... as are great beauty spas in the greater North Shore region..


This morning I went to A T. rex Named Sue at the Auckland War Memorial Museum. It was pretty mean!!

I could literally fit inside this dinosaur's mouth in one go, which is just as well because T. rexes didn't chew, they just swallowed huge chunks.

Exciting stuff. I can't wait to go dig stuff up in Ethiopia now.

12 January 2009

I shouldn't complain, but...

It is SO hot right now.

Like, so hot that I'm actually not going riding today. I'm having enough trouble regulating my temperature sitting on the couch at 2/70. It's unbearable.

In New Zealand, I get annoyed by all the people who complain all winter about how shit the weather is, and how much they love summer. Then, when summer rolls around, they all sit around complaining about the heat. First of all, winters here aren't even winters. They are like, mild, paltry excuses for bad weather - which actually makes for good times at Woodhill and Whakarewarewa. Summer, although it takes a while to get going, is usually pretty sweet too. But I'm afraid that since it's sweltering hot, even in the shade, I'm jumping on the bandwagon.

Really, if I'd planned my day properly, I could have gone riding this morning before it got hot. When my alarm went off this morning I should have gotten out of bed. But due to the fact that my "early night" wound up with me still playing on Trekbikes.com's Project One at 3am, my 8am wake-up call resulted in my cellphone being thrown against the wall.

This morning's best effort on trekbikes.com

Anyway, I've just had word that Steve is building me a makeshift track bike to use this Wednesday, when we're apparently jumping the fence at the Manukau Velodrome. Awesome. Tomorrow night is my first criterium for the year at North Harbour Cycling Club (don't think I've forgiven them for their rudeness just yet, I just need some racing), and between now and then I'm visiting A T. rex Named Sue at the Auckland Museum, going for a dawnie up Mt Wellington, and getting a midnight feed at Denny's on Hobson Street.

In other news, I'm excited that Nic and Cabin are still alive! Hooray. nicandcabin.blogspot.com

Okay, I actually need to go lay down before I melt.

Peace and love, yo.

11 January 2009

Taking Back Sunday

When I took up Steve's (bike mechanic from Bike Barn who frequents the Ferry Terminal Esquires) offer to hit up Woodhill Mountain Bike Park today, I forgot how much it sucks when you've been out of off-road training for nearly a year.

The last competitive mountain bike event I did was the Moonride - admittedly it was 12 hours long - but it was in May. It's now January. Which is not to say Artemis has been gathering dust since then, but the rides she has been on haven't exactly been noteworthy. There was a once-off ride with Cam what now seems like months ago (and was supposed to be a weekly thing. Really took off, obviously), and the occasional boost around Bayswater, but I was certainly in no shape today to be keeping up with Steve - who leaves February 5th to become a mountain bike tour guide in Bolivia - and his singlespeed.

Marie-Helene Premont would be ashamed.

I love mountain biking - I really do. When I can do it without feeling like dying climbing up gentle inclines laced with tree roots. In May, I would have laughed at my efforts today. I'm sad to say I've become one of those road cycling losers, burning up the tarmac but coming up short when it comes to the forest. I'm determined to turn this around.

What amazed me was Steve, to be honest. He became the first person to ask if my tattoo was a Rage Against the Machine star (bingo!), to share my unabashed worship of Haile Gebrselassie, Tirunesh Dibaba, and Hicham El Guerrouj, but - unfortunately - became one of the rabble who describes Bad Religion as "thrash punk" or something equally disdainful. Sigh. Can't win them all, hey?

I'm stoked with my Sunday. For once, I actually got out there and did something constructive with my time. I managed to kill two birds with one stone with the realisation that I need to whip myself back into mountain shape before I go saying anything about ripping up the XTERRA field this April. Something must be done, and it will be.

10 January 2009

The Deepest Blues Are Black

I should know.

I distinctly remember after my "pass at Jordan", vowing to never do it again. It went something like this:
Me: "Hey, Jboy, you asshole, you overcharged me for the wetsuit the other day."
Jordan: "Did I? What was it supposed to be?"
Me: "Thirty, and I gave you fifty. Don't worry though. You can make it up to me by buying me lunch *flashes smile*"
Jordan: "*cough* um *shifty eyes* yeah *runs off*"
He returned with a twenty dollar bill. I was so embarrassed. I don't really remember being too gutted about the fact that he turned me down, just embarrassed. Of course, he told Ritchie, who still makes fun of me to this day about it.

Why, oh why, then, did I put myself in a similar situation today? I'm sick of all the "skirting the issue" if you will, that's been going on with Chris, so when he texted me when he left work this afternoon and asked me what I was doing this evening, I decided to take the lead. When, at 6pm, he said he had nothing planned for tonight (pretty sad, it's a Saturday), I suggested dinner. Not like, dinner in Devonport. I was up for sandwiches and milk, or something equally low-key. Don't be fooled by all the makeup. I'm low-maintenance.

Did he say yes? No? I'll get back to you when I've had some better offers to consider?

No, he didn't say anything. ANYTHING. It was four hours ago, and I still haven't heard a peep.

Go and sort out your fifteen-year-old boy drama. You're going to be thirty next year, and you can't even dignify my carefully-planned invitation for dinner with a response? Are you KIDDING me?

Sigh. My second ever attempt at asking a guy out goes to shit. What the hell am I doing wrong? I'm pretty! I'm kind of annoying, but I've seriously been keeping that at bay with this guy. And like, I never text him first. He always texts me. He doesn't have to text me every day, but he does. But turns out even this doesn't mean he's not bullshit. I don't fucking get it.

Men should sort themselves out. Until then, I'm done.

It's not about the camera

Lance Armstrong gets into the self-photography, too! Lucky for him, he's the best cyclist on the planet, or this wee endeavour could have ended up soo badly.

Bring on the Tour Down Under!

9 January 2009


I'm a Google sellout.

Sam often comments that I'm easily swayed by marketing ploys. I am. I'm even a consumer, if you will. It's not that I like things because everyone else does. It's just that a lot of the things I like are things that other people like, too. Facebook, my iPod, Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers...

When I was at university I met a lot of people hellbent on "being different".
"I don't want to wear a suit to work every day" is what media students told me.
"I don't want to be like everyone else. I'm different." Yeah, just like all the other kids.

Is it just me, or is "not wanting to be like everyone else" becoming the new... well, being like everyone else? It's just like how emo used to be unique. Or, so I'm told, anyway. As far back as my memory goes, there's always been boys with cute fashion haircuts, tattoos and eyeliner. Whatever. I used to make a point about being a proud member of "the mainstream", just because of the disdainful looks I got from media students.
"I want to wear a suit to work every day." I said. I don't, really. I actually don't think I'd survive as a corporate shark, which is why I'm lucky to have ended up in science rather than marketing. That could have been a huge career flop.

Anyway, my point is, I make no apologies for enjoying things that others do, too. My iPod for example - I didn't buy it because I "wanted the world to know I listen in style" due to the white headphones (actually, mine couldn't tolerate the volumes I listen to the Bouncing Souls at, so I've "upgraded" to some $12 Philips ones that are doing the job nicely), nor did I buy it for the wee Apple logo on the back. I bought it because it's handy for running, cycling, plugging in to my car, taking on the ferry, and wherever else I want to listen to music. It's only got 1GB of storage, which suits me fine. I didn't need one with 30GB and a full colour screen, with live streaming of the latest episode of
Grey's Anatomy (one "mainstream" trend I don't subscribe to), or podcasts from the White House. Cool if you do need that, but I don't, and I'm happy with my purchase.

My computer is one big tangle of Google applications. I use Google Chrome to browse the internet, Google Earth to measure runs and bike rides, Google Maps to look at peoples' houses (I wish I was kidding), along with Picasa to store and edit my photos. I even write my blogs on Blogspot, which is a Google-hosted site. This is purely a personal thing. It's not like I judge others because they prefer Mozilla Firefox, or wear Google tshirts to school. The reason Google is popular is because it does the job.

The latest Google application I've discovered is "Froogle" (they're clever, too!), which is a shopping list kind of thing. I've linked it up so you should be able to get to it from my Blog Profile. I just spent a few hours adding items such as Fiberwig mascara, a Felt SixElite bike, and a "Skye" dress from the Lauren Conrad collection. This could get addictive. I guess something you can count on NOT seeing in my list is
Grey's Anatomy season 26 on DVD. Gag.

The thing I love about Froogle is that I can add things on there to my heart's content without feeling guilty or selfish, because it's more of a reference for me. It's not like I get live updates sent to my dad's email account. If anything I suppose I could pass it off as "goal setting".

Which brings me to my next point: New Year's Resolutions and Goal Setting.

This is never something I've bought into (not wanting to be one of the populace, I suppose - ha ha), although since I'm all about self-improvement, I suppose I should be.

When Sam arrived home from his New Year's expedition, he went about his goals for the year, and the next three years. I happen to know that he wants to own a Porsche before he's 30, which is four years away, so I'm guessing a new radical savings plan is in line for him this year. Not that he has much to worry about - this guy already owns two homes. Goal setting has never been a strong point for me. I even struggled with them as a swimmer. I used to write down times, willy nilly, and say I was going to beat that time at the next meet. Sometimes it happened, and sometimes it didn't. If I beat the time, I would say I'd been too easy on myself and vowed to set a harder milestone next time, and if I missed it then I would either feel dark about it for a week, or console myself by thinking "not even Jesus himself could swim that fast for a 100m backstroke."

Consequently, I sometimes feel like I'm just winging it through life. I mean, I have those lofty Olympic cycling dreams, which I crow on about so often, and I would like to save some more money, but there's nothing really set in stone.

Do you have New Year's resolutions?

This year, I've decided to give up the ghost on the anti-Holly Hodgkinson vendetta. She kissed Donny almost five years ago when I was out of town for an Olympic training camp, and I've never forgiven her. It happened once, it was probably more him than her anyway, because I know what that guy is like, but it hasn't stopped me creating Bebo groups such as "the Official Anti-Holly Hodgkinson Movement" - I was the only member, scowling at her if I see her around, and loudly telling anyone who dares mention they keep in contact with her that "I hate her with the fire of one thousand suns". It's a bit ridiculous. Anyway, she's getting married this Sunday so I guess in the spirit of turning over new leaves, I wish her and Nuwan every happiness.

Another resolution that I've already broken twice (nine days into the year) is to stop eating Wendy's. I'm sorry, but I'm addicted to their cheeseburgers. It doesn't really occur to me when I feel like eating it, that it's a 10-kilometre jaunt on the Northern motorway to get there, and that I can barely afford rent (now that I'm unemployed) - let alone cheeseburgers. On New Year's morning I woke up thinking of nothing else, and it was with feelings of self-loathing that I drove up Constellation Drive and bought two cheeseburgers. They were good, but I can't help but think now that it really wasn't worth it. I've also stopped drinking V, which will probably surprise people such as Lochlan, Oralee, and Malcolm. Hooray for me!

With all that said, I have a packet of Mallowpuffs in the fridge upstairs with my name on them (not literally, I know my flatmates wouldn't even eat them if they wanted to), and America's Next Top Model is due to start in like, five minutes.

Peace, yo.

Love Auckland. Hate Aucklanders.

If, like me, you mostly grew up in Hamilton, a hatred of Auckland pretty much runs in your veins. Mostly this hatred is unfounded, but every now and then I still get pangs of anti-Auckland fever.

I love the city. I love the Sky Tower, the Viaduct Harbour, catching the ferry to school, I love Parnell, Ponsonby, Henderson, and of course I love Bayswater more than any other suburb on the face of the earth. What I don't love about this place is some of the bullshit Aucklanders.

For what seems to be the most part, Auckland is a transplant city. People come here from Hamilton (me), Wellington (Chris), Warkworth (Rex & Sara), and even as far away as Eastbourne in England (another Sara). And those people seem to be okay (except me, obviously). It's just some of the born-and-bred, North Harbour wankers that are pissing me off.

When I met Chris, he alluded to the fact that the Auckland track cycling scene is for posers. "Yeah, I've been cycling my whole life and never been there, eh." I have enough trouble fitting in as it is, without hearing something like this. Turns out Chris was right, I discovered tonight when I checked my email.
About a month ago, when I was still a fresh-as-a-daisy Hamilton transplantee, I contacted the track cycling people about heading along to their training sessions.
"Well," came the reply "all of our bikes have been hired out for the season, but if you can source another one somewhere else, feel free to come along." Oh, right - of course - because track bikes are just you know, hanging out together in the streets. Errol (that's Jordan's dad, for those of you who don't know) suggested I just turn up every weekend anyway, because "someone is bound to not turn up, and there will be an unused bike."

With this in mind, I had the intention of going this Saturday, but thought it would make sense to email the guy again to make sure it's on. What with the new year and all.
"This has already been circulated in emails. Saturday training is at the usual time." came the rather abrupt response. Are you serious?

First of all, I was pretty polite in my email, enquiring about the training.
Secondly, um, circulated in emails? What, emails to everyone in the greater Auckland area? What the fuck? Why would you assume that someone brand new to the sport, and the city for that matter, would be included on any sort of email list!?
And, to carry over from there - how should I know what "usual time" is, exactly? Or is that just another given, that because I live in Auckland, I know what time velodrome training at Manukau starts on Saturday mornings? My bad.

Chris was right. I don't know what this guy's problem is, but I've been put off already. All I want is to try out a track bike, see if I can ride one okay before shelling out for one of my own. Would it hurt to be even a little bit accommodating? People wonder why cycling is a minority sport in Aotearoa. What the hell? I'm - seriously - so flabbergasted about this right now.

I would like to finish with "North Harbour Cycling Club can go and get fucked", but the truth is, I really want to ride, so I think I'm just going to have to turn a blind eye to this guy's unnecessarily rude behaviour and just go and use them for their bikes. Quite frankly, I'm disgusted.

6 January 2009

Graphic v3.0

Hooray! Patience prevails and I'm once again happy with my graphic efforts.

Thoughts are, as always, welcome (here and on Facebook, darlings).

Left to right:
MAC's Lash and Dash... false lashes for the shrinking violet
Ksenia Semenova... incredible Russian gymnast, shut out of the all-around medals at the Beijing Olympics
National Ballet of Cuba... promotional shot from 2001, apparently
Mat Hoffman... BMX star who's so fucked from crashing he can hardly walk now. Legend
Freja Beha Erichsen... oh, for the love of cheekbones
Christian Vande Velde... yeah, you get to eat ice-cream when you win the Giro d'Italia, guys
Nastia Liukin... or her hands, at least. 2008 Olympic all-around champion, Gossip Girl one-hit-wonder
Greg Graffin... my life

What's the verdict? Do we likey this one? Or go back to the old one?

Is this it?

I felt a little better about myself this morning when Emma left me a message about her own key escapades while she lived in France:
when i lived in france i was flying back there i was sitting on the plane, just as it was landing i went to find my house keys and suddenly remembered that they were hanging in my coat pocket, on the stairs, back in liverpool!! duh!!! i had to get my mum to courier them over to me, and luckily i was heading to the south on holiday with my friend!"

And then I got hit by a car. No, really. I did.

After my embarrassing bike ride with Chris on New Year's Eve, I decided to put in some "secret" training while he works during the day. Today, I rode up North Head four times. After that, pretending to be Lance Armstrong re-riding Hautacam until he "understood" the mountain got a bit tired and after my final descent, I headed into Devonport.

On the main road, a guy in a silver Honda Jazz (registration ETA500, for those Devo-based who want a car to egg) pulled off the central median strip - without warning, or indicating - in front of me and into a park on the side of the road. Unfortunately, in doing so, he ran into me and Othello.
"What the FUUUUCK?" I screamed. It was a primal scream. I actually thought I might die as I steadied myself on the car next to me. I unclipped both pedals and walked around the front of his car, scowling and swearing under my breath (although, after my "under my breath" attack on a patron of the cafe at Christchuch airport yesterday came out louder than expected, I do wonder if I actually yelled at the guy). I took off, along the front of the Devonport harbour, increasingly shaky and out of breath. When I reached the Navy Museum carpark, I had to sit down. The whole thing kind of freaked me out. While I'm pretty sure that I had a much higher chance of dying when I rode blindly into the centre of Fanshawe Street - into the path of a speeding car - actually getting hit today may have knocked some of my cycling arrogance out of me. I'm actually a little dubious about going out again by myself - as if the "safety in numbers" rule applies. It so doesn't.

"Back already?" Sam mused when I wondered back in the door at 2/70.
"I just got hit by a car." I said, kind of numbly. I then went on to explain the incident, while he listened, somewhat bewildered. We sat down, had a laugh. The phone rang.

I have no job anymore.

Yep, the phone call was my boss, telling me not to come back to work. Awesome.

2009 rules!

5 January 2009

I voted for the Green candidate in my local electorate, but I still won't date you

Today, when I was waiting to board a flight (there were so many, I don't remember which one it was now), a strange thing caught my eye.

It was the case of a wind or brass instrument of some description, with a bumper sticker that read "I only date girls who vote Green.".

Luckily for frequent readers, I didn't start my blog until after last year's election, or you would have experienced a barrage of propaganda for The Maori Party. Yeah, I'm being dead serious.

In the 2005 election, I refused to vote because I didn't pay any attention to party policies or anything remotely political in the lead-up to the vote. Last year was different. I was determined to make an informed choice - one that would use my voice for good. And so, come election day, I strode in to Whitiora School and placed my party vote in the circle next to "Maori Party", and my local electorate vote in the circle next to Linda Persson's name. She's the Hamilton East candidate for the Green Party.

I didn't listen when people told me my vote for Pita Sharples was wasted because there's no way a minority party would make a difference in the government. I ignored those who said the election was a two-horse race between Helen Clark and eventual victor John Key. That wasn't what was important to me. For me, it was about giving all New Zealanders the best opportunity to flourish, under whichever government, and that's why I voted for the Maori Party. I felt good when I watched election coverage that night on television and saw that my vote was part of 2.2% of the population that supported the Party. Waste of a vote? No way.

Anyway, the guy attached to the musical instrument case was a bit of a dud. I know, I know - I shouldn't be so quick to judge people. But I am. He was frumpy. Undefined in every sense of the word - middle-aged woman-like arms, jeans hemmed just too short, a non-descript navy t-shirt, and a pink scarf. Yes, baby pink. His hair looked like his mother, who was travelling with him, had cut it herself from a picture of John Lennon from 1950. And he only dates girls that vote Green.

Don't girls that vote Green want to date guys like... I don't know, Chris? I know I do.

A collection of unrelated events

Nothing worth writing about has happened recently - so from that you can tell that I STILL haven't gotten lucky with Chris. Seriously?! I'm thinking of abandoning the wait-and-see, don't-seem-too-eager approach and just going in there. What's the worst that could happen?

Surely it can't end up worse than my day today.

I've spent the last few days in Christchurch, hanging out with my sister and Hadleigh. In a completely random stroke of luck, I also ran into Nayuha at Hoyts Moorhouse. Few will remember Nayuha, but he's an old friend of mine from Canterbury, who's Japanese. He's amazing. It was quite by chance that we even saw eachother. I saw a familiar-looking Japanese guy sitting around at the cinema while Hadleigh and I were going to see "Yes Man" (awesome, in case you were wondering), and thought I might as well call out his name, just in case. Well, the look on his face was priceless, but it was nothing compared to the extreme joy I felt at seeing my old friend. While I had an amazing weekend, Nayuha truly was the highlight.

We also hit up Orana Wildlife Park, where I got to handfeed a giraffe (photo on Facebook). That was pretty cool.

This morning, I caught a flight out of Christchurch back to Auckland at 8:40am. Not before being apprehended by security because they thought my makeup brushes were concealed weapons of mass destruction, of course. Sigh. I love Post-9/11 travel. Upon my arrival in Auckland, I walked to my car, which I parked, ever-so-slightly illegally at the McDonald's on Leonard Isitt Drive, before realising I didn't have my keys.

Is it possible that such a ridiculous thing would happen to ANYONE else?

Once I got in touch with Hadleigh, I walked back to the terminal with the goal of him having my keys and wallet put on the next flight to Auckland. No such luck, again presumably due to extreme Post-9/11 security measures. Thanks, Osama. To add to my awesome string of events, I was stung by a bumble bee. Ho, hum.

Rather than having the keys same-day couriered to me, Hadleigh booked me another flight to Christchurch, an hour later.
"Can't you jump on a plane up here?" I asked tearfully.
"To be honest, I don't really want to." he replied. Well, no shit. Did he actually think I wanted to fly back to Grimechurch?
Whatever. By 1pm I was airborne again, heading back to where I'd just come from. 2:30pm I arrived, collected my keys and bought souvlaki from Dmitri's, the best souvlaki place outside of Athens (I should know). It was here that I saw Max, who was a classmate of mine and Nayuha's back at Canterbury. How odd! In 2006, Max became ill with tuberculosis and I remember being convinced he would die. It was pretty frightening, but he seemed pretty healthy today.

At 4:30pm I took another flight back to Auckland. I was exhausted, pissed off, needing a stiff drink and not great company. As luck would have it, I sat next to a lovely, albeit chatty woman from Wisconsin. And you just know it's good karma to be nice to people from there. It's where Greg Graffin is from, after all.

So, about two hours later I was finally back at my car, with my keys. It's never felt better to be in Bayswater.

Rex and Steph can't believe how slow-moving the Chris situation is. Neither can I, to be frank. I let well-meaning friends convince me that he wanted to get to know me before anything happened, and maybe that's the case. Maybe he DID want to sleep with me, and now he doesn't. But if that's the case, why does he invite me around there?

After the cycling expedition on New Year's Eve, I also went over on New Year's Day. He was SO hungover I left feeling the effects of it. Then on January 2nd he text messaged me quite late in the evening asking me if I wanted to go watch a Pink Floyd DVD. Sensing that alcohol was part of the equation, I obliged - wearing my beautiful new close-to-red top. Once again, my fool-proof plan failed, and even though he asked me to rub moisturiser on his back (hello?!), NOTHING HAPPENED. Come ON, man. Play the game!
"You rubbed moisturiser on his back? And nothing happened?" Rex asked me tonight, disbelievingly.
"I know, right?! I mean, what the hell? I'm pretty!"
"So you didn't like, nibble on his ear or anything?"
"Should I have? I mean, what the hell!"

So I say "what the hell" a lot, but it's the phrase that most accurately sums up my frustration about the whole thing.

What the hell is going on?

1 January 2009

All I wanna do is lose myself in your room...

I had a surprisingly action-packed day, given the mostly sedentary (excluding the extreme bike rides, runs and other busybother I fill my days with) lifestyle I lead since quitting mainstream competitive sport.

There was the emergency mascara excursion, which also happily resulted in finally finding the nail polish I've been craving since the release of OPI's "Holiday in Toyland" collection. If you've read this before, tell me, because I'm so fucked right now it feels like deja vu but I can't really tell.

Then there was the clothing dilemma - I went with red in the hope that it would end up with me in Chris' bed. It didn't, but I'm pleased to report that the afternoon in his company went rather swimmingly. Or cyclingly, as the case may be. Yeah, he dicked me on the bike ride, but we then chilled in some Devonport cafe and later at his house (wooden floors, I'm impressed). The visit lasted longer than expected - yay - and I was subsequently almost late for work (I arrived with about 10 seconds to spare - unshowered and hair everywhere). It was worth it. I would have taken being late to work if it meant getting laid, but you know. There's always tomorrow for that. He wants to go running together. What the hell? It's like dating Action Man, let me tell you.

Work was mostly uneventful - no deluge of men wanting to give me their numbers (although last night a bike mechanic who frequents the shop gave me his. Nice guy), but I didn't get away until 11:40pm and had to battle the retarded New Year's Eve drivers on the streets around the waterfront. Gah. I had Bad Religion up as loud as my speakers would go without exploding, and drove way too fast. I don't care. It's 2009 now, and I'm excited for the new year.

Happy new year, yo.