26 February 2009

x o x o... I watch too much television

On Saturday, Rex introduced me to the wonderful world of torrentz.com. Since then, I've downloaded and watched the ENTIRE season two of Gossip Girl. Most of this was done over the course of one day: Monday, when I was supposed to be at school.

On Monday I awoke with a suspected (albeit self-diagnosed) broken clavicle. As such, I wrote the day off to Gossip Girl. I began watching at around 9am, and moved only periodically to relieve the extreme pain I felt from the clavicle, until around 2pm, when I went to the doctor.

Later on, when it was confirmed that in fact I had no broken bones, I resumed my GG marathon, and continued until I had watched up to episode fifteen. When that was done, I went about downloading the remaining three episodes.

Due to other commitments (school, pfft), I've had to limit my viewing time to one episode daily. I finished tonight!

It's official, I'm in love with Chuck Bass.

Ah, yes. That weird face, those womanising ways... as Sara might say, "sounds like my kind of guy". Gotta say, I'm weirdly aroused by his creepy voice which never seems to exceed 10dB, the way he stands just a bit too close to whoever he's talking to, the way he loves Blair...

I'm also more than a little obsessed with Blair, but I think this is more to do with the fact that Chuck loves her than anything else. Like, how heartbreaking was it when Chuck came up in the elevator with those awful pink flowers and she shot him down?! I actually cried.

In my sick and twisted little mind, I managed to convince myself that his and Blair's relationship is kind of like mine and Donny's (grasping at straws, anyone?). As such, I have a renewed hope that it will be him, stinking of scotch, questionably dressed and incoherent, that will come crawling back. Yay!

In the meantime, I'm finding shows to download and watch compulsively until Donny turns up with some flowers (I'm hoping for gardenia. Keeping in the Indian swing of things). Any ideas?

25 February 2009


Do you think my tutor actually believes that studying the clothing of the early Renaissance woman bears any pertinence to real life?

Currently, my main gripe with the Samala Robinson Academy, where I am a student (only until April 17, thank goodness) is that each week, my class is bombarded with "workbooks" - akin to something I might have completed at primary school - which are somehow supposed to enhance our learning experience of "period looks".

Period looks, as it were, refers to the makeup looks we've been practicing from the following eras: Roman Greek (yes, as if the two empires were one, they are lumped in together. Clearly whoever it was that designed the "look" never took sixth form classics), Medieval, Renaissance, Elizabethan, and currently Victorian. My understanding is that our next foray is into the World Wars (how frivolous!), and following that, the "decades" - that is to say, the '50s, '60s, '70s, and '80s. Oh, joy.

Let's just clarify. Most of the girls in my class didn't finish high school. I'm the only one with a university education (unless you count our tutor, Heather, who attended AUT for painting. Not even Elam), so for some of them, it is something of an academic challenge to regurgitate the carefully dumbed-down "notes" we receive on makeup and fashion for each era, and then to scour Google Images for well, images to pretty it up, I guess. The workbooks even require a bibliography, a word I'm not sure everyone in the class has heard before. When I asked which referencing style to use for it, I was rewarded with a blank stare from Heather.

Okay, I was showing off.

The fact that no referencing style is even required is further proof that these workbooks are actually child's play. The last time I wrote a bibliography with no specific referencing style was when I was ten years old.

It may seem childish of me to not complete these workbooks. I really can't bring myself to do it. It's something of a disheartening experience when I see the other girls handing in their "assignments", complete with cut-out pictures of Queen Elizabeth I, only to have them returned becaus they didn't elaborate far enough into just how the high society women of her time applied white lead to their faces. "Elaborate" is probably too generous a word to use here. Let's say, for ease: "explain".

Add to the fact that I commit anything I spend more than five minutes doing to long-term memory. It comes in handy for information that I may actually have use for in the future. Not so much for Medieval fashion trends.

As testament to this, tonight I learnt about parthenogenesis, which is (for those of you who don't know, or don't watch House) a form of asexual reproduction. Yes, it featured on House tonight. In human form. An immaculate conception, if you will. Borderline impossible, if not completely - largely because organisms who undergo this form of reproduction are in general, less complex (I'm using this term loosely, here having the meaning of "less chromosomes", rather than suggesting any inherent order in the animal kingdom) than humans. An exciting thought, nonetheless. And sort of scary. Can you imagine the social stigma associated with, well... self-impregnation? Eek.

Stem cell research relating to the phenomena in humans is rife, of course. In fact, further investigation led to my discovery of who sounds like a half-crazy scientist by the name of Hwang Woo-Suk. The South Korean who trained in veterinarian medicine before coming a stem cell research scientist, produced research in which he fraudulently claimed to have cloned embryonic stem cells in 2004 and 2005. Insanity! What's even crazier is that post-operative research into his findings, in 2007, showed that in fact... he had. Inadvertantly.

Mad scientist is right.

I understand that stem cell research upsets some people and that it may cause ethical dilemmas. Personally, I believe that science is the way forward, and if such research is going to increase chances of finding cures for diseases like cancer and AIDS, then maybe ethics can be placed on the backburner. Some people don't even know that AIDS was a human-created disease. It doesn't exist naturally. Ah, yes - we humans are self-destructive types.

Don't be fooled by the Flight of the Conchords, people! AIDS is not a "fun monkey" disease. It's literally a humanitarian disaster, and one that could realistically never be cured. Very, VERY few people know this, but I have pipe dreams of using my MBChB (when I get it, that is...) to contribute to a cure. Anyone who knows anything about the virus itself will find this ridiculous, but it's something very close to my heart. I don't mean to say I intend, single-handedly and in this lifetime, to wipe the disease off the face of the Earth. What I do dream of is presenting something, probably small (the best things come in small packages, they say), but something that will eventually contribute to this disease's demise.

That, or a cure.

I know, I know. I should stop talking, and find some pretty pictures of The Princess Bride to stick in my "Medieval" workbook. Spare me.

23 February 2009

Gimme More... Makeup?!

Sigh... I sometimes like to fool myself into thinking that I have all the makeup I want. Not so.

This is Smashbox's Muse Collection. Swoon!!

I've said before that I'm not a huge Smashbox fan. I now confess that I've been converted, largely due to my devotion to Halo Powder. Oh, and that Bionic Mascara stuff...

Speaking of which, Bionic Mascara is part of the Muse Collection. Except instead of black, it's "hot black violet", whatever that means. I'm hooked. I love the word violet. AND I love purple, so it's pretty much already gone down a treat in my little world.

Oh, you didn't know I liked purple? Uh, yeah...

Onward. There's the palette of eyeshadow that looks like a paint palette! Awww. Not usually a palette fan... they seem kind of tacky to me. But this one is cute! And the colours are mostly acceptable. I'm not sure what the brush is like, but to my knowledge Smashbox usually make okay brushes. Then there's the box of eye pencils which more accurately resemble coloured pencils - albeit somewhat oddly coloured, but whatever. Ahh, I love everything about this so far!!

Lastly, (okay, not actually lastly but the Hybrid Primer and Blush are largely unremarkable from what I can see) is the gorgeous lip gloss paint tubes. They look like... tubes of paint! So cute. Kind of... questionable shades ("Luminary" - Creamy Nude, "Artiste" - Creamy Berry, and "Virtuoso" - Creamy Pink) but versatile if not fashion-savvy. I'm more taken by the names than anything, but don't take my word for it!

Am I actually going to buy any of this range? Yeah, probably. I'm quite taken by the new shade of mascara (and considering I swear by black as a general rule of thumb, it's a big move) and that eyeshadow palette is just way too cute. It's like that time Smashbox teamed up with Tokidoki and made the cutest range EVER, except this time I'm going to get in on it as we now have Smashbox in the Land of the Long White. Yeehaw.

More on that later...

22 February 2009

To Clevedon With Love

My "big day" finally arrived yesterday, and this is going to sound quite lame in comparison to, for example, the Amgen Tour of California, but it was the fourth race of the Molenberg SUB Ride and Stride Series in Clevedon (it's near Papakura, in case you were wondering). I raced at this same event last year - the day after Black Stump (if you've done Black Stump before, you'll know that racing a road race the next morning isn't exactly topping your list of priorities). Last year I was riding a borrowed road bike with platform pedals, wet clothes, and the most inappropriate pair of shoes I could find.

Still, when I came home and announced I'd placed 83rd, my mother acted like I was the next Christian Van De Velde. Which was cool, but not exactly accurate.

Yesterday, I took a vastly different approach. I treated this race as if it were my "pinnacle event" - and given how dry my season so far has been, it kind of was - basing my training around shorter, faster rides, along with my twice-daily pilgrimmage to North Head, making sure I had absolutely everything I could possibly need in the car the night BEFORE (this is largely the result of a huge learning curve I had at the World Triathlon Festival in New Plymouth last year, when I arrived sans race belt), and even eating properly in the lead-up.

At last year's event, as previously mentioned, I finished 83rd in 1hr 34.10.
This year I pre-rode the course two weeks earlier in the rain, in about 1hr 20. I had high hopes.

At the start of the race, I was disappointed to be boxed in by some girls on commuters. Once we were out on the road, I took my cue and broke away, sticking as close to the leaders as I could. About 600m into the race, I passed a girl wearing an Astana (Lance Armstrong's team, for those who don't follow professional cycling) jersey. As I was wearing my Garmin helmet AND jersey, I decided, somewhat subconsciously, that the grudge-match of the day was to be between her and myself.

She passed me back at around 14km, but I kept close and managed to keep her attack at bay. After the turnaround at Maraetai beach (which came about 3km later than memory served... and than what I practiced), she passed me again, but I was able to pull her back in on a hill - thank you, North Head. At 30km, thinking I had 5km left, I took off and maintained a steady 33kph for the ride back into Clevedon. 5km later, I was still on the road, wondering where the end was. I rode past an ecstatic Sarah Ulmer (she created the event and can be seen getting in amongst it at all five races during the year). It was an odd sensation to be cheered on in a bike race by an Olympic champion cyclist.

As it would happen, the course was actually 37.10km - not 35km as I'd believed. When I finished, I unclipped from my bike, and attempted to "walk off" my agony. After most races (even XTERRA, where I sprinted the entire 11km run), I'm good after a minute or two. Yesterday, it took me about ten minutes until I could walk normally. It hurt a whole lot.

After an hour or two, Jon Bridges, who was commentating the finish line of the race, announced that provisional results were available on the stage. I checked my event to see that I'd finished in 1hr 14.35, and placed 15th. 15th!! I've never been on the first page of results, at least since I was a swimmer. There were 164 entrants in my race, so I was quite pleased. And trust me, it takes a lot to make me pleased with a race. Doesn't happen often.

So that was my day. Of course, I spent between 6pm and midnight in the bathroom, "spewing my ring out", as John Campbell might say, but I kept reminding myself how well I'd done in the morning. I'm still unsure as to what caused the sickness, but it's all gone now, so I'm doing okay.

My next event is one month away (March 22) in Cambridge, before I contest the 90km R4 from Rotorua to Whakatane. The latter is pretty much a crazed downhill jaunt, where last year Monique Avery (winner of my age-group at XTERRA) maintained an average speed of more than 40kph. Nice.

I'm spending the rest of today floating at Long Bay. Peace, yo.

20 February 2009

Let's Talk About Me (yeah, it's an actual song title)

Since my three readers don't already know way more than they ever wanted to about me, here's some more (courtesy of Emma's Facebook page... haha)

001. Real name → Miriam Jenkins *gasp*
002. Nickname(s)→ Mim/Mimsta is the most common, Patters/Pat Pat, Minka, Mustang...
003. Zodiac sign → Aquarius
004. Male or female → Female
005. Elementary → Hukanui Primary School
006. Middle School → Fairfield Intermediate
007. High School → Hamilton Girls' High School
008. Hair color → "Rome" which is to say, brown
009. Long or short → I'm going with short, but it's no like, pixie hairdo
010. Loud or Quiet → Haha! Loud. If you think I'm quiet, that probably means I don't like you.
011. Sweats or Jeans → Neither. Skirts!
012. Phone or Camera → My cellphone has both, and an MP3 player. Handy.
013. Health freak → I'm going with yes, but less so now that I'm no longer a swimmer.
014. Drink or Smoke? → Neither
015. Do you have a crush on someone? → Don't I always?
016. Eat or Drink → I'd rather drink juice than ever have to eat another bite.
017. Piercings → None anymore!!
018. Tattoos → I have a giant red star on my right arm.

019. Been in an airplane→ I have.
020. Been in a relationship → Not a real one. And by that I don't mean online, I just mean, argh you know!?
021. Been in a car accident → I've been hit by a car!
022. Been in a fist fight → I've punched someone in a club.

023. First piercing → My ears, when I was seven.
024. First best friend? → Brigette Baker! I'm so stoked to say we are still friends
025. First award → For writing, when I was six.
026. First crush → Kyle Gracie. I was four.
027. First kiss → Oh my lord, I didn't have my first kiss until I was like, eighteen. I'm serious!
028. First big vacation → The first five years of my life were spent vacationing between England and New Zealand... after that, um, Australia?


029. Last person you talked to → Rex
030. Last person you texted → Sara Lee!! aka Sexface
031. Last person you watched a movie with → I watched Get Smart on Thursday night with Hadleigh
032. Last food you ate → A Cadbury Creme Egg. I got it all over my face.
033. Last movie you watched → Get Smart
034. Last song you listened to → Angel In The Night, by Basshunter. I don't care!!
035. Last thing you bought → Food! Cherry Tomatoes, specifically. Nom nom nom.
036. Last person you hugged → Nayuha... oh, now I'm going to cry

037. Food → Cherry Tomatoes
038. Drinks → A Tank Vitality, or a Razzleberry from ReLoad
039. Clothing → Probably my square-neck top from Principals with a skirt. Depending on the occasion, of course. I'm quite partial to my Slipstream cycling jersey, too.
040. Flower → Oooh, that's tough. Maybe a Narcissus (hmm, fitting).
042. Colors → Yellow!
043. Movies → Endurance. Garden State.
044. Subjects → Physics & Chemistry

check all that apply

Have you ...
045. [x] kissed someone
046. [  ] celebrated Halloween
047. [x] had your heart broken (including my soul...)
048. [  ] went over the minutes/texts on your cell phone
049. [x] someone questioned your sexual orientation (to be fair, I had a shaved head)
050. [  ] came out of the closet
051. [  ] gotten pregnant 
052. [  ] had an abortion (wow, is that something you'd really want to check off and then post on your Facebook?!)
053. [x] done something you've regretted (or done something in a time-inconsistent manner, to be more correct)
054. [  ] broken a promise 
055. [x] hid a secret 
056. [  ] pretended to be happy
057. [x] met someone who changed your life 
058. [x] pretended to be sick
059. [x] left the country
060. [x] tried something you normally wouldn't try and liked it
061. [x] cried over the silliest thing
062. [x] ran a mile (yeah, i've run 26 in one go...)
063. [  ] went to the beach with your best friend(s) (this is only because my best friend lives in Chicago)
064. [x] got into an argument with your friends
065. [x] hated someone
066. [x] stayed single the whole year (I've effectively been single my whole life)

067. Eating → Nothing, yay!
068. Drinking → Water
069. I'm about to → Try to sleep!
070. Listening to → Angel In The Night, in my head, haha
071. Plans for today --> Today is over. Tomorrow I have a bike race!
072. Waiting for → My bike race! I have high hopes!

073. Want kids? → NO NO NO NO NO NO NO
074. Want to get married? → Erm, I'm on the fence. I think it's more an issue of finding someone that would marry ME
075. Careers in mind → Doctor. I'm not even kidding. But if that falls through then... makeup artist, I guess. Or pilot... but hopefully maybe a research scientist... or just an academic. That would make me quite happy.

076. Lips or eyes → Eyes for sure
077. Shorter or taller?→ Shorter! I love little guys. Wait, that sounds creepy. I mean, petite guys.
078. Romantic or spontaneous → Spontaneous... fuck romance!
079. Nice stomach or nice arms → Not really fussed, I like em skinny.
080. Sensitive or loud → In between? And who's to say loud people can't be sensitive?
081. Hook-up or relationship → Right now a hook-up would go down a treat.
082. Trouble-maker or hesitant → Those are kind of like, unrelated. It's like saying, do you like pink or dinosaurs?

083. Lost glasses/contacts – Sunglasses, like 40 billion pairs.
084. Snuck out of your house → Never had to.
085. Held a gun/knife for self defense → I've wandered around my house in the dark with a knife. Sounds a bit loopy now that I admit it.
086. Killed somebody → Holy shit! Can you imagine answering "yes" to that?!
087. Broken someone's heart → Haha, no. No-one gets involved with me.
088. Been arrested → No
089. Cried when someone died → Yeah

090. Yourself → I try to.
091. Miracles → I'd have to experience one, then I'll let you know.
092. Love at first sight → I'd go more with, thinking someone is bumpable at first sight.
093. Heaven → No
094. Santa Claus - No
095. Sex on the first date → I believe it happens?! Can't say I've ever really been on a date though.
096. Kiss on the first date → Again...

097. Is there one person you want to be with right now? → Not as such, but I REALLY wish Sam still lived here!
098. Are you seriously happy with where you are in life? → No way. So much to do! So little time!
099. Do you believe in God → No. I believe in science.

and number 100. Do you think Miriam should stop typing and go to sleep? -> Very much so

The Unthinking Majority

Which is to say, me.

You can tell from the photos in the previous post that I did get to the airport, and I did get to say goodbye to my favourite Japanese person (actually, possibly one of my favourite people, period), but what a harrowing day.

I slept in, having already notified SRA of my absence (Heather was not impressed. Clearly, she doesn't understand how cool Nayuha is), and eventually got on my bike at about 9:30am.

Nayuha's inbound flight fron Christchurch was due to arrive at 12:20pm, so I had previously estimated that I needed to leave the Shore at about 11:15am.

I arrived home from my ride at 11:20am. Whoa, that just threw everything off-kilter. I still had to shower, straighten my hair, do my makeup... you know. I wasn't going to do it in negative five minutes. I checked the airnz.co.nz website, which informed me that NZ510 was going to be twelve minutes late. Which effectively bought me another seven minutes. Sweet!

Well, okay, not really. It takes me about 40 minutes to straighten my hair (I'm very particular) but this morning it took me about five. Yuk. Then there was the excuse for makeup, including about the worst mascara application I've done since I was about six years old.

By the time I stumbled out the door, it was 12:16pm. Did I mention that the new ETA for Nayuha's flight was 12:19pm? Yeah, I'm going to get to the airport, park on Leonard Isitt and walk the half-mile to the International Terminal in three minutes.

Frazzled, half-way over the Auckland Harbour Bridge, I actually came close to breaking down.
"I wish I could wake up and do this again!" I practically screamed. I kind of wonder why I got so upset about it. I mean, I've been late for things before. I think today it was just a case of extreme bad planning. Like, I know, I'll go for a normal-sized ride when I know perfectly well I've only got time for 20km? I'll purposely rub moisturiser into my skin while I'm still dripping wet, in a failed attempt to "save time"... just ended up with me being a wet, oily mess. Gah! Why am I so clueless?!

Anyway, at about the Mt Wellington exit, Nayuha texted me to ask where I was. "Domestic? International? Or still in bed?" It's hard to convey stress through a text, but I think the reply I gave him did it pretty well. He assured me that my lateness was not an issue, as he had some surprise well-wishers meet him off his inbound flight. Thank fuck for that. Yay for you, whoever you are.

"I kind of expected you to meet me off my flight" Nayuha said to me over a juice, later in the afternoon. "I mean, it's okay - it worked out kinda well because my other friends were there. But I thought you'd be there." By now, my heartrate had returned to normal, as had my stress levels. He'd already cracked me up when he told me Wagamama, my new favourite Japanese restaurant, actually means "selfish" in Japanese.

At 3:12pm, Nayuha realised that the 3:30pm on his boarding pass was the departure time, NOT the boarding call-time. Nice. From there it was me, like a harried old woman, rushing him along, calling him everything under the sun... and then stopping to pose for a photo (see previous post) right by the security gate. Stressed much?

I went upstairs to the "Sky Deck", where you can watch planes take off, and loved ones as they pass through the security gates into the departure hall. Then I saw the status of Nayuha's flight change from "Final Call" to "Gate Closed". Uh-oh. I literally felt my stomach drop.

"Oh my god." I said, catching the unexpected attention of a middle-aged Indian woman.
"What's wrong?" she asked.
"Oh, no... my friend is on that Bangkok flight that just closed. And he's not on the plane. AND it's my fault." And then I ran back downstairs, having thoughts of my already very depleted savings fund being used to buy Nayuha a new ticket home. Through some strange and very welcome stroke of inexplicable luck, he managed to lightfoot it from security to gate three, all the while the airport's intercom boomed with "Passenger Matsumoto, your plane is now ready to depart. All other passengers are waiting...".

So Nayuha got on his plane. I watched sadly as the Royal Thai Airways plane flew away, then walked, even more sadly, back to my car.

I need some fucking time management skills. Seriously.

19 February 2009

Cien Años De Soledad

Okay, I'm being a little over-dramatic about it, especially since it's only been four hours since Nayuha left for Bangkok (two weeks of debauchery before he has to throw down at home in Osaka), but I'm allowed.

The exodus is over... everyone's gone.

Kind of fitting that we watched The Departed last night

With my B-boy... about five seconds before he almost missed his flight

I can see your epidermis... that means skin, right?

This is why I LOVE SCIENCE:

February 10, 2009 (my birthday): I slipped over on our driveway and wound up with a leg that looks like this:

Due to the wonders of the human body, on February 17, 2009, my leg had been restored to almost new!

I've come to the conclusion that while of course repair is just a function of the human body, this particularly fast recovery was in part due to my high-Vitamin C diet (I'm not kidding. Have y'all seen the amount of tomatoes I get through? It's kind of scary) and... slightly pedantic exfoliation.

Does this kind of stuff just excite anyone as much as it does me?! The body is truly incredible...

Now I just want to study medicine even more than before.

Actually, word on that: when I was in Hamilton last weekend I found copies of "Gray's Anatomy" and "The Language of Medicine" on my bedside table in my old bedroom. A sign? Yeah, I thought so too.


16 February 2009

Whoa! Let's Do That Again

Copenhagen, Denmark: Taylor Phinney posts 4:15.223 in the men's individual pursuit qualifying at the Track World Cup meet, February 13 - 15.

Okay, whoa... that's really fast, yo! To get an idea of just how fast that is, consider that at last year's Olympic Games in Beijing, the winner of this event went 4:16.977. The world record is a seemingly untouchable 4:11, set in 1996, but when you consider that at the Olympics last year, Phinney rode a 4:26 in qualifying, well... anything seems possible. Down here in New Zealand, we're glad he wasn't so quick last year, given that in the Olympic qualifying round, he was pitted against our own Hayden Roulston, who eventually won silver.

Not really sure what the five is for... this guy is number one!

Did I mention that Taylor is only eighteen years old? He's still on a high school network on Facebook. His favourite word (apparently anyway, judging by the amount this word gets thrown around on his Twitter) is "slay" and I guess that's because that's what he did to the competition this weekend in Copenhagen. He also won the kilo time trial (that's a kilometre) in a snappy 1:01. Um, get out of town.

In London (2012, the next Olympics), Taylor's going to be just on 22 years old. It seems a little presumptuous to make well, predictions now, but can you IMAGINE how fast he's going to be riding then? Yikes.

Nice, Taylor. We love your work.


Named for the Flight of the Conchords song...

What the hell is wrong with people these days?

I just signed onto Twitter, where I receive updates from Lance Armstrong, among other cyclists. Lance's bike got stolen about 8 hours ago from the team bus at the Tour of California.

Does anyone you know ride around on a bike like this? No? Didn't think so. There's only one in the world that looks like this, and you'd have to be borderline retarded to even think you could get away with stealing it!!!

I just had to post this, because my brain is actually imploding right now. Why would you do that!?

15 February 2009

Advance Australia Fair?

I guess my mother heard it through the grapevine that I intend to move to Sweden.

Today she asked me if I'd considered looking for a job in Australia.

Erm, Australia? Really?

Don't get me wrong, it's a nice place. And I'd be lying if I said I hadn't previously considered moving there. That said, Australia is SO HOT. All year round. I'm not even joking. In 2006, I went over for the weekend in July to compete in a track meet and got a tan. Now, let's just clarify - in the southern hemisphere, July is SUPPOSED to be WINTER. Apparently, in Queensland, they don't have winter. At the time it was nice, because I'd come from -1 in Christchurch to about 28 in Southport, but every day? No thank you. Part of the attraction to Sweden is its cold weather.

Another thing? Um, Australia is only three hours away. I can drive to Rotorua in that time. It's not exactly moving away. For some people, that's more of a reason to go, but not me. I don't want to be tempted to come home just because. And because it's so close, it's not really a heck of a lot different to New Zealand. Which is fine, I suppose, but at the same time, it's kind of boring! One of the main drawcards for me is that you can buy Benefit Cosmetics over there.

Eh, you can get these colours in a Revlon quad... right?

At the same time, you can buy Benefit products almost anywhere in the world outside the Land of the Long White. I'm talking Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Ireland, Poland... okay, not Sweden but you know what? I am not moving somewhere based on the fact that you can buy a makeup product there *abandons ideas of moving to Iceland for Skyn Iceland products*.

Iceland's Blue Lagoon... mmm

Suffice to say I'm not that impressed with my mother's "great idea". Australia is for pussies.

14 February 2009

Of Moons, Birds & Monsters*

*elegantmainstream.blogspot.com reserves the right to have post titles bearing no relevance whatsoever to the content of the post itself. Copyright 2009.

It's Friday the 13th, so let's recap my past two weeks:

Thursday, February 5th, Downtown Auckland: My bike got stolen. Whoever you are, karma burns.
Friday, February 6th, Bayswater: I was issued with an infringement notice for not wearing a seatbelt. Ironically it was on the way home from the Police station.
Sunday, February 8th, Kinloch: I lost my transponder during the swim of the New Zealand Sprint Triathlon Championships and was subsequently disqualified. An upshot was that I actually completed the race 9 minutes faster than last year. Not bad for a "I think I'll race" night-before effort.
Tuesday, February 10th (my birthday): I didn't hear from Donny. I fell over while fetching the mail, which has put a hold on most of my training efforts this week.
Wednesday, February 11th, Downtown Auckland: My car got towed! I wouldn't have to drive if someone hadn't stolen my bike. Granted, I didn't have to park at Foodtown, but whatever. I hate my life.

Today, I thought it best to stay out of harm's way inside at 2/70. Strangely, I literally slept for the entire day. Maybe I needed it. I ventured out this evening for Sam's leaving drinks, which turned out to be a successful outing. Damish, who I last saw at his 21st in 2002, appeared in a bizarre twist of events. Readers who knew me at age fourteen will know that for a while I had a highly inappropriate crush on Damish. Anyway, I was pretty much hysterical for the rest of the night and as such my cheeks are sore now!!

I met two lovely young ladies tonight who I'm glad exist. Sound weird? Well, yeah. Something I have a huge problem with - although I don't exactly publicise it - is the fact that in my life I find it very hard to find respectable women to look up to in terms of career and education. My sister is nice, but she's a receptionist in a hospital, which isn't the most stimulating job I can think of. Steph (stephanietaylorworlddomination.blogspot.com) was like a ray of light for me - someone who went from high school, through college, and who now has a pretty cool job. Add to that the fact that she's so good at it that her employers are holding the position for her until she returns from her year abroad. Oh, that's another thing. She's gone off to Germany to conquer the world. Steph is awesome.

I met Sarah tonight, who works at Beca with Sam and Rex, and was quite pleased to find another girl who has completed her education and now works as a chemical engineer. Almost incomprehensibly, she mentioned that guys never give her their numbers. I mean, I have this problem, but y'all know what I look like so you're probably not surprised. Sarah is GORGEOUS. I'm not even kidding. Her name has been mentioned in our house before ("oh, the hottie!") and her reputation didn't do her justice. Seriously, this girl was so pretty. It kind of reminds me of how nuts I still think Libby is for breaking up with Sam - who are these people who don't appreciate smart, talented and good-looking people? I'd be happy with ONE of those traits.

Later in the evening, Sarah happened to catch the eye of a girl she's gone to primary school with. She's now a doctor at Starship Children's Hospital. Get out of town. A DOCTOR? I want to be a doctor SO bad. After talking to this girl (Amelia) for a few minutes, I told her how much I admired her and her profession.
"If you want to do it, you can." she told me. "I love my job."

Sigh. If only.

So Friday the 13th was a good day for me. Tomorrow is Valentine's Day, which promises to be less successful, assuming here that success on this particular day comes in the form of appreciation from your true love. Oh, well.

I'm putting my energies to better use by swimming in honour of Richard Quick, the former coach of women's swimming at Stanford University. He is literally a living legend in the swimming world, who was diagnosed last year with inoperable brain cancer. You'd be hard-pressed to find someone who has contributed as much to the sport of swimming as Richard has, and so to that end, across the United States tomorrow, clubs will be dedicating their training to "Swim Quick". I'm all for supporting the cause, so tomorrow, I'm doing it for Richard.

I hope you'll join me, if not in the pool then in spirit.

13 February 2009

Graphics Piss Me Off

I can't work out why, every time I make a new graphic it doesn't fit! Why?!?! I use exactly the same method as I used to, the exact same Ai artboard, but for whatever reason, when I upload the image, it doesn't want to play ball. It's not fair!

Anyway, I like the pictures on this one so I'm leaving it.

From left to right...

Ksenia Semenova, Russian gymnast performing a flip-flop on the beam during last year's Beijing Olympic Games(I like her. Can you tell?)
Garmin-Chipotle cyclists, headed up by Magnus Backstedt. Funnily enough, he's Swedish.
Serj Tankian, from the promotional poster for The Elect The Dead Symphony.
Kosuke Kitajima, Japanese breaststroke genius, world record holder, Olympic and world champion.
Gemma Ward, still a sucker for that alien face.
Plasma, the fourth stage of matter. Ooooh, science.
Lance Armstrong, seven- (soon to be eight?) times winner of the Tour de France, turning out this season for Astana.
A pretty, albeit waaay over the top eye from Sephora.com.

The fact that the header doesn't reach all the way along the screen on my laptop is already pissing me off, so don't expect this to last too long. Trouble is, my computer shut itself down this morning, quitting Ai (I was still using my 30-day trial, two months later) and leaving me with no means to create new ones. Boo.

12 February 2009

För Sverige I Tiden

From a Facebook note, entitled "Brief unemployment? It's starting to feel like forever..." on September 23rd of last year:

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

Owing to my recent spell of bad luck (includes but is not limited to the month of January and recent incidents like my bike theft, infringement notice and car towing - more on THAT shortly), I've decided it's high time I skipped the country.

Sure, I've got a HELL of a lot less savings than I did when I moved to Auckland. But I've still got enough for a one-way flight out of this tangled web I call my life. Flights to London start at $999, and from there I can get one of those ridiculous Ryan Air flights to Stockholm, Sweden for pittance.

I'm going.

I asked Marco about it last night.
"Of course," was his reply. "Come on over, Botox and all, baby." He was referring of course to the recent photo of Libby and I at her 21st, in which I've become convinced that it looks like I've had Botox. I took that as a yes. He recommended I fly into Stockholm-Arlanda on April 18 (the day after I graduate from SRA), so I started casually perusing the net (read: searching pedantically) for flights.

Imagine my dismay this morning then, when I received an email from Marco, asking if I was actually serious.
"I don't actually know if I can get you a job! Have you thought about this, crazy lady?" Are you serious? Less than twelve hours ago, you were all game. What's the deal!?

Sweden has been a more "serious" option, if you will, since the opportunity arose. I mean, why not. Half of the year is constant daylight, and the other is constant darkness. Which means I can divide my time equally between running and cycling in their respective ideal conditions. I can live there visa-free, and if I go after I finish at SRA, I'm going to get a job. Swedes are the vanity queens of the world. In Gothenburg, where Marco recently visited, he gave a rather generous estimate that every second store is beauty related. I mean, he's probably exaggerating just slightly, but I'm willing to take my chances.

If I stay here, things are just going to get worse.

I'll organise an event on Facebook for my leaving do. I've always wanted an event!! If you can't make it, RSVP anyway. Sure, it's two months away, but does this look like a face that cares? Check out the scenery, yo! 

10 February 2009

# 100!

Well, I guess the upshot to my so-far rubbish 23rd birthday is that I've hit the big 100!! In terms of blog posts, of course.

Last night, I convinced myself that Donny would call, text message, or leave me a Facebook email wishing me a happy birthday. Or at the very least, inviting me around for a birthday romp. You know, something.


Of course. Who was I kidding? I still felt sorry for myself this morning when I dragged myself out of bed and to school, where I continued to be unnecessarily surly and unhappy. Since I made a point of not telling any of my classmates when my birthday was, when I started crying during the first break because I hadn't heard from him, Miranda and Grace were suitably shocked and insisted on buying me morning tea. It's not fair. He made me like this.

Last February, I was almost at a point where I had become unaware of his existence. Since our silence extended almost a month from the time I sent him the birthday card to the time he called me, I had stopped expecting texts to be from him, stopped leaving my phone on loud and vibrate mode overnight, just in case. But after that, he became erratic, just because he knew he could. Any time of the night or day was fair game for an unsolicited phone call or text message, and I responded every time. In one of those ever-occurring moments of time-inconsistent decision making, I now look back in anger to the very first time I hauled myself out of my then-boyfriend's bed to cater to Donny's needs and wish I'd just said no. It's now two weeks short of a year later and I can still feel my blood run cold when I get a text or phone call after 10pm.

Where is this going? I'm not really sure, but either way I'm a wreck today because I haven't heard from him. This afternoon I returned home from school and slipped over on our driveway (which is loose gravel currently, due to a watermains reconstruction project in Bayswater), subsequently scraping the skin off the front of my right leg. I've resultedly had to postpone what was going to be my birthday outing to the West Auckland pool that I so love (not sure why, as I had my last swimming meet there in 2005 where I failed to qualify for the 2006 Commonwealth Games and then quit) because my leg is a mess.

You could say it's been the worst birthday ever.

That's if you don't count my 21st, where my "party" was my sister and her two friends (Kirby just didn't turn up. How out of character.) getting drunk at an al fresco restaurant and then breaking out the then-legal herbal pills. Rock on.

This is how I've come to spend what I proclaimed at 12:33am today was going to be "the best day in the history of the world" on the brink of tears. It's now 18 hours and 1 minute since I made that seemingly outlandish statement, and I'm hiding from the world in my bedroom at 2/70.

I don't like our new flatmate.

9 February 2009

Songs For The Deaf / Smoky Eyes 101

It's taken me more than a week, but I'm FINALLY getting around to my smoky eyes makeup lesson. *eloquent applause*

I don't think the below image really does a smoky eye justice, but we'll run with it for now because I think I've exhausted everyone's patience for photos of ME with my "Taylor-made" eyes.

Okay, so let me start with a disclaimer: there are SO many ways to do a smoky eye. I know two. There's the bullshit way, with black eyeshadow, or the way I prefer, with black eye pencil. With the pencil, it's waay less messy, better precision... anyway, without further ado...

STEP ONE: Let's assume you have already put down your base of primer, foundation and powder (yes, you must powder the eyes). Rub a tonne of black eye pencil onto the top of your hand. I mean a tonne. Use a small brush - I have been using a lip brush, but a small eyeshadow brush, provided it's firm not all soft and blendy-like, will work also - and get a TONNE of the black stuff on the brush before applying to the lid. Press, rather than dragging it across the skin. It will apply colour with more depth, give it more staying power, and ... reduce saggy eyes. Haha. Work from the outer corner of the lashline inwards towards the nose, and then up to the crease of the lid. While applying, gently pull the eyelid flat from the eyebrow. That sounds mental, but you have to get colour right into the lashline because gaps look retarded. I'm serious.

STEP TWO: Right now you should have an eyelid that's completely black. Extreme, I know, but it's all part of it. Following the natural curvature of the eye orbit, extend the black colour over the crease. Use a blending brush for this - you don't want to add any more colour.

STEP THREE: Apply steps one and two to your other eye. Check your symmetry CONSTANTLY in the mirror. Trust me, black is a bitch to get off, so it's best to get it right from the start.

STEP FOUR: Depending on the shape you want, you can wing the edges of the colour out. You have to be careful with this though, because if you have "droopy eyes" - it's just an eye shape, it has nothing to do with aging or saggy skin, so don't freak out - winged-out smoky eyes are a killer. To be safe, just follow the natural eye shape and you pretty much can't go wrong.

STEP FIVE: Use the original brush (in my case, the lip brush) to create a soft line along the bottom lashline. Start from the centre and work outwards, then without adding more colour to the brush, work from the inner corner to the centre. If your line gets too thick, blend with a dry cotton-tip. The thickness of this line is a personal thing - I'm always told by tutors to make min thicker but you know, I want smoky eyes, not "I just went swimming" eyes.

STEP SIX: Pick a colour, any colour. Okay, not any colour... here's my recommendations:
Blue Eyes? Grey or silver.
Brown Eyes? Purple. But be careful, brown-based purples (yes, they do exist) can lead to eyes looking bruised. MAC's Violet Pigment is an excellent purple for a smoky eye.
Green/Hazel Eyes: Again, I'm going to say purple. Heather has the most intense hazel eyes ever, and purple looks amazing on her. As does a really vivid green. Blue-based green, not yellow, for the same reasons as brown-based purple. Fuck, are you lost? I'm lost.
ANYWAY. Apply your chosen colour with a soft blending blush. Again, pressing rather than dragging, because otherwise it will wipe off. Because the pigmentation of the colour is going to be so much less than the black, you can afford to extend the colour out further than the black. If you've gone with grey, silver, or gold, you can blend it carefully all the way to the browbone. Carefully.

STEP SEVEN: Waterlines. Eek!! I hate waterlines. But they are HUGELY important for this look, so do a good job. Top AND bottom. They've got to be dead solid or it's just not worth it. Use a black eye pencil and don't leave any gaps. Set it with some black eyeshadow. Beauty is pain - this is the most uncomfortable part, but it has to be done.

STEP EIGHT: Apply loads of mascara. The "look" is chunky lashes, but I'm not a fan, so apply your mascara like you would with a neutral eye. Favourites: DiorShow. Smashbox Bionic. L'Oreal Telescopic. It has to be black! Apply to top and bottom lashes with care. Do the pull-up-from-the-eyebrow thing again, so you get the mascara all the way to the roots. ESPECIALLY if your lashes are light.

You're pretty much done. Be sure to groom your eyebrows impeccably.

The smoky eye is best worn with pretty pink cheeks and either nude or pink lips - depending on what colour you used to "smoke out". Soft pink lips are especially cute with grey eyes. Either way, don't go teaming a smoky eye with strong lips, unless you're working the corner of K Road tonight. And even then, you're probably best to go without, because isn't that just more laundry to do in the morning? Anyway, I think that's another post.

If, like me, you found this post incredibly difficult to keep up with, let me know. My instructional skills definitely need honing.

Peace and love, yo.

She's A Sensation

"14. In Athens, an American cyclist named Katie Compton gave me her LiveStrong bracelet because I didn’t have one. Even though it snapped a few days later, I still have it and still think she was the coolest person there."

Frequent visitors to The Elegant Mainstream might recall this from my "25 Reasons You Know You're A Loser". Okay, so it wasn't actually called that, but anyway, I have some great news about Katie for y'all.

At the UCI Cyclo-Cross World Championships in Hoogerheide, The Netherlands last weekend, Katie raced for the United States in the elite women's race and won bronze!! What a star. Since 2004, when her tandem cycling partner, Karissa Whitsell (the pair won two silver and two gold medals at the Paralympics in Athens) decided to "try a new partner" - Mackenzie Woodring, Katie has been competing in her original sport of cyclo-cross, and doing incredibly well. She's won five national titles, and last year won the silver medal at Worlds. Last weekend she was third in a sprint finish with Marianne Vos (cycling enthusiasts will know her as an Olympian and elite rider in several disciplines) and Hanka Kupfernagel.

If you don't already know, cyclo-cross is one of cycling's toughest disciplines, where competitors ride adpated road bikes on mountain bike trails, in the winter. Like, in the snow and stuff. She's a tough cookie, alright.

Ridin' dirty: Katie carving up the Sea Otter Classic
in Monterey, California

I found some sweet videos of Katie on youtube.com and I hope y'all will watch them.



8 February 2009

6 February 2009

A Bad Patch

2009 is progressively getting worse. I blame it on Chris.

I had a successful 2008. There was my racing season, my highly-paid job, my savings account...

On December 19 I met Chris (as you will know if you're a regular reader), and it seems like since then everything started hurtling downhill at break-neck speed.

First of all, I had to work New Year's. I mean, we all know I'm the last person you'd find partying up on December 31st, but whatever. That's so not the point. I still remember the drive home like it was last night. Idiots everywhere. Me screaming. You get the idea. It wasn't pretty. It also wasn't the great start to 2009 I imagined.

It's now getting into mid-February and nothing has gotten better. There was the leaving-keys-in-Christchurch, the beesting, the getting-hit-by-a-car, losing my job that was January. Chris stopped calling me. I think he thinks I'm like, accident- or bad luck-prone. Then yesterday my bike got stolen. This morning, driving home angrily after trying to report it stolen to the Takapuna Police Station (which, in line with my good fortune thus far, was closed), I got pulled over by a cop - outside Chris' house, no less - and fined for not wearing my seatbelt.
"Why isn't the police station open!?" I demanded as he filled out my name and details on an infringement notice. He advised me that I would have to go to the station on Constellation Drive. Was he joking? I'd just come from there!! Needless to say, I was not impressed.

I arrived home, grim as ever, to find Sam packing his dad's van. Yeah, he's really going. I joined in the fun, packing my own car and then leaving before he could. I drove to Rotorua, which is where I am right now. I came via Hamilton, visited my mum and dad, and my dog. Tomorrow, the plan is to have an early morning dip in Blue Lake, ride around Lake Rotorua, wonder around in Whakarewarewa, go for another ride, chill out some more. Sunday's itinerary looks much the same.

I'm hoping my footloose, fancy- and makeup-free weekend will be the start of a phase of normalcy in my life. I'm through with guys that text me but don't want to sleep with me, people that steal my bike, shoes that hurt my feet. Things are going to get better.

5 February 2009

Weekend Wars

Expect blog titles for the next two weeks to be MGMT-inspired, due to Sam just putting the album onto my iTunes. Yay!

Anyway, a few things:

#1: the weekend! It's Thursday, but tomorrow is Waitangi Day, so I'm heading to Rotorua for a few days to get away from people. I had almost decided to race Kinloch, but I can't justify spending $90 to finish mid-pack, so Rotorua it is. Plus, at Rotorua I can ride both bikes, swim, run, sleep and chill. Perfect. Either way, it means I'm out of the house when Sam moves out and the new guy moves in. (Just because it's only going to end in tears.)

#2: a big "fuck you" to whoever it was who stole my Jamis from Scene Three today. Seriously! I leave my bike there while I'm at school sometimes, but apparently today is not my day, as when Grace and I arrived, my bike was gone. So fuck you, I had to walk to the ferry terminal and then home in my uncomfortable shoes. Don't you know I have CP? I'm designed to ride, not walk! Needless to say, I'm rather upset about it all, and had Wendy's for dinner. Mmm, cheese fries.

#3: my birthday is coming up. I'm not telling anyone (unless you count Sam) when it is, because then I'll get a bunch of stupid wall posts on Facebook saying "happy birthday". And no-one wants that. What I do want for my birthday is a quiet dinner in the back of Iguana with Donny. And for no-one to ever find out. I can dream, hey?

#4: the latest email from Sephora reads like a Christmas list for me and my friends.
Bliss Best of Skintentions Daily Moisturizer (like my spelling?) for me. I heart Bliss.
Philosophy A Diet You Can Live With kit for Emma. Um, Creme Brulee Shower Gel? It's got her name written all over it.
Sephora Brand Nectar Shine Hydrating Care Lipgloss SPF 8 for Nicola. The closet klepto can now afford lipgloss all of her own! Haha.
Marc Jacobs Daisy Limited Edition Bottle for Grace. Expensive but a little bit quirky, just like the Gracenburger herself. Isn't that right, my little friend?
Stila Barbie Loves Stila Paint Can - 1971 Malibu Doll for Brigette. Yeah, so she's more into Marilyn Monroe these days, but I know Brig is still a Barbie girl at heart.
For my mum: Benefit Girls Night In!! AND Tarte ReCreate Anti-Aging Foundation with Wrinkle Rewind Technology SPF 15. Even though my mum knows that such a thing as anti-aging foundation doesn't work, she's still a sucker for good advertising.
Issey Miyake Drop of A Cloud for Nyenyezi. She's African. Anything smells good on her.

#5: I'm tired. Which doesn't happen often. Recently I've actually been falling asleep BEFORE 2am and waking up AFTER 7am. Miracle.

To that end, good night.

4 February 2009

That Thing

It's been floating around on Facebook, and I'm so short for anything decent to say that I'm posting it here too... Enjoy, yo.

1. I live in Auckland now, and I’m so glad. I don’t think I’d be this happy anywhere else in New Zealand.

2. I’m broke, but the other day paid $120 for a ticket to see Serj Tankian perform with the Auckland Philharmonia.

3. I develop inappropriate crushes on unusual boys, whose feelings almost never reciprocate… but the guys who like me are all dicks!

4. I’m openly ashamed about my lack of ability to speak Maori.

5. I always tell people I prefer being by myself, but most days I wait upstairs in my lounge and hope that Sara, Rex or Sam will come home early.

6. I hate every TV show that can be abbreviated: CSI, CSI: NY, CSI: Miami, NCIS, SVU…. Okay, you get the point.

7. I still dream about running with Miruts Yifter, and have done since before I knew who he was.

8. I’m going to my childhood best friend’s birthday drinks tonight. Until Friday I hadn’t seen her since 2003.

9. I think Billy Corgan is a god, even though I don’t find him particularly attractive or talented. Don’t even get me started on D’Arcy.

10. I truly believe the $350 I spent on my Garmin-Chipotle helmet was the best money ever spent. Since then I’ve been riding every day.

11. I love laughing in public by myself. Then I get embarrassed and text message the person I’m thinking about.

12. The Body Shop’s Pink Grapefruit Body Wash (or Pamplemousse Rose) is my absolute FAVOURITE. When I found huge bottles for $10 in their recent sale, I nearly died.

13. Until July of last year, I had never had a hangover. It was my superpower.

14. In Athens, an American cyclist named Katie Compton gave me her LiveStrong bracelet because I didn’t have one. Even though it snapped a few days later, I still have it and still think she was the coolest person there.

15. I’m still searching for the perfect mascara.

16. I wish I could stop talking…

17. Most nights I get upset because I didn’t do anything remarkable for society during the day. I then vow to do it the next day. Never happens.

18. To that end, I still want to go to medical school, just because I think being a doctor is the holy grail of professions.

19. I hate having people in my car. It makes me nervous, and it means I have to either turn my music down or turn it off.

20. I forget what people look like. I’m not even kidding, I can’t even remember what my best friend’s face looks like. Or my tutor’s, and I see her for like, eight hours every day.

21. My funeral is going to be invite-only. Just because I’ll never get a wedding… and also because I don’t want Noel Hardgraves-Booth turning up. Actually, I hope he dies before me.

22. People comment on my interests like they are a bad thing. I think the worse thing is that none of them care that spiders use hydraulic pressure to extend their limbs.

23. I love people who describe themselves as “open-minded”, for the simple fact that they rarely are. People are awesome.

24. I’m always the first person at school, first to have my work done, and I’m here every day, even though I hate it and have no interest in being involved in the makeup industry past April 17.

25. I’m not sick of talking about myself yet.

3 February 2009


It seems like everyone I know is falling off the face of the Earth.

Yeah, so y'all know that Steph left on January 23 (and since then Rex has been, almost incomprehensibly, on the hunt for a new girlfriend), and that Sam is leaving soon, but there's also two other imminent departures: Steve and Nayuha.

Nayuha, who is the coolest and blondest guy to ever come out of Japan, is heading home.

Lovers in Japan? Maybe...

Fair enough. I'm still not sure why he ever came here, but I'm glad he did because he actually made my life awesome. And that's saying a lot, given that he came into it in 2006, which was my worst year on record. Still, there's a ray of light in my mind that says things are going to work out just fine, and I'm not going to have to spend the rest of my days reminiscing about the time Nayuha told me to "please, take your feet out of your bag. You're embarrassing me." Either he'll take me with him on his Tokyo-bound flight on February 19, or I'll head there next year in October, to become a student of the University of Kyoto. Yeah, it's another plan that probably won't pan out, but I just have a feeling with Nayuha. He's not due to leave my life just yet.

Steve heads to Bolivia this Thursday. He's the mechanic I met while I worked at Esquires at the ferry terminal. Tonight he told me he only frequented the haunt because of the good-looking staff. He was referring to me. *blush*
But seriously, he's been a pretty mint friend. It's not often you actually text message someone who gives you their number while you're working, and keep in touch with them, but for whatever reason, we did, and I'm glad. Yeah, it kind of sucks that he's leaving, but at the same time - it's a pretty big deal for a guy whose only foray outside Aotearoa has been Australia, and an opportunity he'll be glad he took.

Since I can't get through a conversation, text message, or blog without mentioning Sam, I can now announce with genuine sadness that he's moving out of 2/70 this weekend. We get a new flatmate. It's kind of bittersweet (love those oxymorons, eh Donny?) because well, I adore Sam, and while I'm glad he's making 2009 his year, I'm kind of gutted at the same time that 2009 just happens to be the year that we live in the same house. I'm trying to be excited at the prospect of a new flatmate and potential friend, but I'm more upset because I lose one friend I only really just made. That said, this is about Sam and not me, so GO SAM for making a good life decision. Since he's superhuman, you just know he's going to make it work.

Without further ado, I wish all my travelling friends the BEST of my wishes, hopes and dreams. And happy birthday, Sam... sorry I didn't get you anything, I've only got $9.