30 March 2009

In An Attempt To Look Like Aishwarya Rai...

Yeah, it's a long shot, but I've convinced myself that if I wear makeup like hers all the time, I will end up looking more Indian.

Case in point: L'Oreal Bare Naturale Gentle Mineral Blush. Swooooon. Thanks to iheartmake-up.blogspot.com, I was able to learn that the shade that Aishwarya wears is Tendre Bois de Rose. Or "Soft Rose" for us New Zealand-based Bollywood fans. 

I'm not far off, right?

And there she is. Adore! I tried on said shade in the weekend and it officially rocks my world. Add to that, a birthday cheque I received from my grandfather last month cleared today... so now I have *tonnes* of money! Okay, not tonnes, especially since I plan to hit up the Rise Against show tomorrow night at the Power Station. But enough to buy blush!

Soon, my Aishwarya Rai transformation shall be complete...

Highway Queen

I'm starting to feel like a regular motorway user - much to my own dismay - due to the amount of times I've visited Hamilton lately. I went back to Cowtown this past weekend, the previous weekend, two weeks prior to that, the weekend before THAT, two weeks prior, and then the weekend before that as well. Which takes us as far back as my birthday trip to Rotorua, sooo you know. I've been a few times.

Rabid and borderline insane motorway users never cease to amaze me. This past Saturday, while I was on my merry (okay, that's not true. I was grumpy and sleep-deprived) way to Hamilton on SH1, I noticed the car behind was following me rather overzealously. Tailgating me, if you will. Next thing, he'd pulled up alongside me in the central lane, and was attempting to get back in my lane, without getting in front! I kid you not. He was actually trying to cross the line into my car. I couldn't quite believe it, and, in a spur of the moment decision, I sped up sufficiently and crossed the lane in front of him and kept speeding. So, rather than sticking to his original plan of moving back into the lane, he begins tailgating me again, at this new speed of 130kph. And then, again, all of a sudden, he's alongside me, in my original lane. I can only guess at what this guy's game was. This all happened about 400m before the Te Irirangi Drive exit, at which he shot across all three lanes, without notice or indicating, and headed off up the off-ramp. What an odd fellow.

It's really no wonder, the amount of crashes that occur on SH1, after witnessing this sort of behaviour on a weekly basis.

I admit I am not a model driver. For a phase in 2007, my friends refused to get in my car with me, because once on the road I did not travel at speeds of less than 80kph, give way, or share the road well with other motorists. I've since honed my ways, but slipped up today on Taharoto Road in Takapuna, changing lanes while driving through a set of lights and as such cutting off a pink van. Oops. Well, the drive of said van wasn't going to let me get away with it, following me so closely I wondered if he might hit me, and sitting on his horn. When I continued to drive, appearing oblivious, he drove up beside me, still sounding his horn, then slotted back in behind me. And then he did it all over again. Was this really necessary? I mean, people cut me off ALL the time. ALL the time! I don't suddenly lose my head and go on a kamikaze mission, guns blazing and fists swinging. I realise that people make driving errors on the road, feel angry about it for a few seconds, and then write a blog about how much I hate them. Sometimes I'll commit their number plate to memory and swear revenge on their ass, but I live in Auckland. There are like, 325 million cars here (slight exaggeration).

Chilly down on the roads, friends!!

I Love This

Woman: I've only been to Turkey once, to visit my boyfriend.
Turkish woman: That's far. He must be very good in bed.
Woman: We're not together anymore. I'll leave it at that.

29 March 2009

This Month, On...

April is shaping up to be something of a busy month. Normally, I'd be excited beyond reason about the jewel in the crown of what would be my racing season, XTERRA, but since I've not been training, or working enough to foot the $140 race entry fee this year, I'm going to be an over-enthusiastic cheerleader for Team Cabin Racing. YAY! They're totally going to take the field apart this year. But before that...

April 5th - Sport Bay of Plenty's Half 4 Heart... a 3km, 5km, 10km or 21km walk or run to support the Heart Foundation. Will probably be making the pilgrimmage to Tauranga for this event. I'm torn between the 5km and 10km - at the HSBC Round The Bays a few weeks ago I managed the 8.4km on zero training, so the 10 is tempting, but at the same time a recurring hip flexor injury may restrict me to the 5. Oh well, I have a few more days to decide.

April 9th-13th - I'm going to Christchurch for Easter! This is a toss-up between yay and nay, because Sam is going to be visiting Auckland for the holiday from his new Sydney home. BUT, it is going to be something of a rare family reunion in Grimechurch, because my parents and sister are all going to be there too. So we'll see. I'm pinning my hopes on Sam staying an extra day on either the Thursday or Tuesday at Easter. If you're reading this, let me know on Facebook!!!

April 17th - SRA Graduation. Yes, they even call it "graduation" when your qualification is a Certificate in Fashion Makeup. Probably because most of the girls at SRA didn't even finish School C, or the new-age equivalent of it, "NCEA Level One". Urgh. Either way, time to dress up all pretty and try and look better than the rest of them. Should be a cinch if you exclude Grace from "them".

April 18th - XTERRA! Still considering the 11km run, just so I don't feel completely left out of my favourite event. My main activity for the day will be tracking the progress of the Individual race, where last year I somehow had the fastest run split of the 18-24 years age group. Speed racer, I know. Anyway, as mentioned, I'm rooting for Mark Leishman and Nic Leary to take out the men's and women's pro races, and will be quite difficult to live with, should they not. Mind you, I guess I won't be too disappointed should Scott Thorne edge out Mark. He is family, after all.

Here's hoping we don't need another bridesmaid dress
for Cabin at this year's XTERRA

April 25th - R4. Never heard of it? It's a mostly downhill 90km jaunt from Rotorua to Whakatane, and a race I hope I get a better result in than the Cambridge SUB race. Or there will be tears. Also scheduled to be the night of Kirby's farewell party (moving to Australia, surprise surprise), but since she's not bothered to reply to any of my texts, calls, or Facebook posts since December 27th, one assumes I won't be welcome. Meh.

So that's April. In between there somewhere I will HOPEFULLY be moving to Rotorua. YAY! I've applied for a job there, and while it's a long shot, you never know. I've also applied for most of the jobs my mum sent me in... Hamilton. So I could well end up moving back there. Sigh.

Stay tuned.

28 March 2009

You Might Be An SRA Student If...

It's kind of funny, because I hate school, but it's still my life.
I've only got a few examples for now, but I think I'll continue to build on this list...

- you open your locker so many times in a day that you try to use your locker key on your car or front door
- you go through a packet of 40 face wipes each week
- you've given up trying to look good on weekdays, because you know you're going to go home with a brow block, man makeup, sultry eyes or a red lip anyway
- you use words like "sum", "MSE", "blend", "apply" ALL the time and don't think it's weird
- you refer to your everyday makeup as a "look"
- the keys on your computer have traces of concealer and lipstick on them
- your bed is covered in shavings from sharpening eye pencils
- you have shoulder, arm and back injuries from carrying your kit
- you eat so many mints you wonder when the laxative effect will kick in
- you wouldn't dream of applying eyeshadow with the applicators provided in makeup
- you know whether someone's skin is a mix of "Sun Glow" and "Natural Honey" or something else in less than 2 seconds after looking at them
- you refuse to let people borrow your favourite lip shade, and keep it at home
- you critique strangers' makeup in your head when you pass them on the street
- having "droopy eyes" isn't an insult
- "Peach Daiquiri" is not something you buy at a bar, it's the best colour for sculpting your cheeks
- you wish all of the colours in the fashion pallettes could be used every day
- you visit the convenience store three times a day and are friends with the owner
- you feel slightly nervous in rooms that don't have mirrors for walls
- you hate catchup on Mondays
- you wish there was a toasted sandwich machine in the student area. Or some milk that didn't expire a week ago
- you love having short-haired models, because dolly heads are so much easier to work on
- you hated SPFX, but wish you were still doing it
- you hate your ID photo
- you wonder if you'll look better than everyone else at graduation
- you're tired. EVERY DAY
- you know way too much detail about everyone in your class' life
- "in-depth" conversation usually involves discussion about your favourite mascara wand shape

26 March 2009

Try This: Blue Smoky Eyes

It looks a bit frightening, and maybe even a touch 80s, but the blue smoky eye is a fun way to wear colour. The look below is for "Glamour", so a strong lip and eye are required, but as per usual, for most situations and for daywear, accentuate one feature.

Makeup by Grace Rosenberg at Samala Robinson Academy

Use a black eye pencil and apply with a brush - as for the regular smoky eye, all over the lid. Intensity of colour is less important for this look as we're going to be going over it with blue anyway! The black should be most intense on the lid and blended out past the crease.

With a clean eyeshadow brush with plenty of a bright cobalt blue (in this case, SRA's "Ultra Blue") on it, press (don't wipe) the colour over the top  of the black until the black is completely obscured. Blend out into a shape which complements your model's face and eye shape. For this look, Grace followed the natural contour of the eye, but you may like to wing it out and upwards, or go for a more football-shaped coverage.

Apply black liner to the bottom waterline and set with the same shade you used to smoke out, while extending the colour just below the lashline. Use an angle brush for this.

Use tonnes of mascara, and fill and groom your eyebrows... You're done.

If you struggle with the smoky eye, you're not alone! Don't worry, the more you do it, the easier it becomes. Seriously, I did smoky eyes on about five models today, and each one got progressively better. 

Other colours that are hot to smoke out with: bronzed browns and camel-based shades (especially on green/hazel eyes!), and silver. I did a silver smoky eye on the tiniest Vietnamese girl in the history of the world today, with stunning Aishwarya Rai-esque green eyes - based on a Hayden Panettiere look - and she loved it. Actually, so did I, and I'm a little gutted that I didn't get pictures, but anyway. Here's one of Hayden.

Fun With Facebook

Facebook is a wonderful tool to delude yourself. Check out Harjeet's latest "update":

And mine:

Just Like Lash Extensions, Only Crunchy

Recently, I received Sephora's "Eight Best-selling Mascaras" email. Given that I'm a mascara fiend, I had to read it and make my own list of eight.

Sephora's Top Eight (from 144 possible mascaras!):
Lancome Oscillation - the eletronic one that does the wiggling for you. O. M. G.
Dior DiorShow - otherwise known as a gift from God
Bare Escentuals Buxom Lash - I've written about this one! http://elegantmainstream.blogspot.com/2008/12/new-mascara.html
Benefit BADgal Waterproof - mmm Benefit
Imju Fiberwig Tiny Sniper - if they didn't get you at the name, will they ever?
Sephora Brand Lash Stretcher - I'm liking the brush
LORAC Special Effects - hmm, not completely sold on double-ended mascaras. Prove me wrong, Carol, prove me wrong.
Clinique High Impact Curling - yay! Clinique rules.

Mim Artiste's Top Eight - in no particular order:
Napoleon Perdis Long Black - mmm good, loves allantoin for *silky* lashes
L'Oreal Telescopic - can't be beaten for length!!
Smashbox Bionic - the lash-lifting effect shouldn't be overlooked. Ideal for daily wear
Dior DiorShow - the stuff of angels. Seriously
Clinique High Impact - my staple product for my Santa Monica frollicking days
Napoleon Perdis Madame Curl Curl - it's no Long Black, but it's close
Lancome Hypnose Onyx - Hypnose, only with sparkles! I heart sparkles
L'Oreal Lash Architect - it's been a while, but I still miss this one


Givenchy's crazy invention, Phenomen'Eyes has received over 1,000 reviews on Sephora.com. While they're mixed, and at times contradictory, the Review function is something I refer to constantly while trawling for new products. A realistic advertisement follows.

Imju's Fiberwig. Okay, okay so nothing new here, but I still have yet to have the opportunity to try this stuff out! Add to that their new Tiny Sniper and that's like a whole world of untapped potential. Sephora.com reviews are all over the show for the Tiny Sniper, but I'm willing to take the chance. It's made in Japan, people! So far, everything made in Japan in my life is awesome.

Lancome Oscillation. One of those, oh no they di-n't "innovations" that sees the mascara wand vibrate while you apply your mascara. It has huge potential for disaster (in a similar way to heated eyelash curlers) and well, seems slightly unnecessary. Can't you just wiggle your own darn mascara wand?!  That said, I'll probably end up buying it.

MAC Dazzle Lash. Has ANYONE tried this yet? If you have, PLEASE fill me in!! I've been dying to forever, but my current financial situation doesn't allow me to get within 200ft of a MAC store without going into spontaneous human combustion mode, so I don't know if it's yet reached our fair shores. Other new MAC offerings include the exciting new Studio Sculpt SPF15 Foundation. Gimme more! It's a buildable gel-based product guaranteed to please. You have no idea how BAD I WANT IT! My own Clinique foundation is running out rapidly, and this is shaping up to be its replacement.

Isn't it about time OPI brought out a new range of fashion colours? And no, Suzi, the "Fairytale Bride" series, while lovely, doesn't cut mustard with me. Not after the huge success of my personal favourite "India" collection. What about an "Oceans" theme, where the colours would range from an eye-catching atoll blue for the Pacific, to a funky calypso lime for the Carribean (yes, I am aware it's a sea, not an ocean). An ice blue tint could be added to the startling Alpine Snow, already a hit in OPI's current lineup, for the Southern, or Antarctic Ocean, and a Bollywood-inspired turquoise could represent the Indian Ocean. I'm beginning to feel like I missed my calling in life...
A recent omission from the OPI website is "Colourcopia", the shade guessing game where I reigned with a perfect score. Sure, deducing from a somewhat cryptic clue that the shade on the screen is "Coney Island Cotton Candy" and not one of the other ten almost-identical shades, isn't everyone's idea of fun, but it would be nice to still have the option!

Anyway, I'm getting waaay off topic, and I still have to clean out my kit before tomorrow - I'm working the Servilles in-house design competition tomorrow, then catching the night train to Wellington for the weekend.

Peace and love, yo.

25 March 2009

Queen of Spades

In kind of an indirect way... I had the grand idea to share my "bucket list" of sorts, but didn't want to call it that. In the spirit of Serj Tankian's "Praise The Lord and Pass The Ammunition", I therefore went with the Queen of Spades. Confused? Same.


Um, so I'm unlike a lot of people I know in that some of my main goals in life are to attend different universities. The first of which is Stanford.

One of the most selective schools in the United States, it's unlikely I'd ever get in, but I am determined, if not as a student then to teach there. The original drawcard to Stanford was the swim team, formerly coached by the amazing Richard Quick who led the women's team to twelve NCAA team victories during his stint. In 2003, when I was "recommended" to consider Stanford on PrincetonReview.com, academics had less importance than the opportunity to swim there. My priorities have since gravitated towards the actual school, and it's testament to Stanford's reputation that my loyalty still remains there.

Other schools? Rutgers, in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The University of Texas at Austin. Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. UCLA (Life Sciences 1, specifically). Cornell, in Ithaca, New York. Columbia University in the City of New York. And lastly, but certainly not least, the University of Oregon, in Eugene.

When you spend your entire teenage life underwater (as I and so many of my closest friends did), you start to have dreams of visiting pools rather than places. As such, the list of pools around the world I want to swim in is more defined than any OE I could imagine.
IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis, Indiana. It was once considered the fastest pool in the world, due to its legacy of world records and ultra-technologically advanced anti-wave system. My best friend has competed there and said it didn't feel so fast, but I'm willing to take that chance.
Longhorn Aquatic Centre, University of Texas at Austin. This pool gained fame for its wet area "beach" system for reducing waves during competition. It also used to be the stomping ground for swimmers such as Ian Crocker, Brendan Hansen, and Aaron Peirsol.
Avery Aquatic Centre, Stanford University. Well, I convinced myself that this is where I would train every day for my entire university life. So even if I just end up a club swimmer there one day, I'll be happy. Noted mostly for its being home to Dara Torres and Jenny Thompson in the leadup to the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
Sydney Olympic Pool. I was fourteen years old when the Olympics visited Sydney, Australia. It was a year when swimming finally became mainstream conversation, due to the fact that everyone I knew was amazed by Australia's own "Superfish", Ian Thorpe. Of course, he was beaten in the 200m free and has since relenquished his world record, at the time considered "unbreakable" to Michael Phelps. Anyway, it seems like everyone I know has competed there, and I'm jealous.

On a kind of related topic, I also wish to not die before running a mile on the track at Eugene, Oregon's Hayward Field. This almost mythical track in TrackTown, USA was Steve Prefontaine's home turf when he dominated distance track racing before his death. It's also the spiritual home of Nike, despite their impressive headquarters in nearby Beaverton. Speaking of which, the Michael Johnson track at said headquarters is composed entirely of recycled Nikes. Impressive.

You probably have all gathered by now that one of my "big two" goals in life is to have an Indian wedding. Yes, I'm being dead serious. This is something that has been in my mind a lot longer than Donny, before you ask, but he became something of an enabler for my little (or big) plan. I want a pink sari and a Bollywood dance sequence to complete my day, plus some western food for my white guests (Jen). Most of all I want to marry Donny, but if that falls through (which it, I must assure you, will NOT) I'll settle for a guy with a turban who I can divorce at a later date.

The other is to be a doctor, which is actually something I can control, and to which end I am applying to study medicine next year! In the likely event that I'm not accepted, I've decided to forgo the Japan plan, and study Osteopathy. BUT, like I always say, ask me again in a week.

Something more frivolous I intend to accomplish before I cark it is my Telegraph Avenue kiss. Reminiscent of my favourite song from Thursday's "A City By The Light Divided", I want it to be with Donny, but I may end up settling for whoever I can find when I actually get there. "There" could be any of the ten Telegraph Avenues in the US, but I've got my heart set on either Oceanport NJ or Dallas TX. For the record, there are four in California, two in Massachusetts, and one in each of Kentucky, New Jersey, Texas and Florida. K I S S I'm in distress...

I intend to win the time trial in cycling at the London Olympics in three years time, compete at a Triathlon World Championship, and at an XTERRA World Championship, and ride bikes at Trestle, Whistler, and Blue Mountain Bike Parks. I also want to have sex with David Bowie, but you know... realistically I now wish I hadn't typed that.

In terms of places I intend to visit (excluding universities...), here goes...
Addis Abeba, Asela, Arssi... Ethiopia
Bucharest, Onesti, Gheorghu-Dej... Romania
Split... Croatia
Osaka, Kagawa, Hiroshima, Kobe, Chiba City... Japan
Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin TX, Boulder, Denver and Colorado Springs CO, New Brunswick NJ, Eugene OR, Boone NC, Atlanta GA, Jackson Hole WY... United States
Calgary, Whistler, Canmore, Collingwood, Whitehorse, Medicine Hat, Barrie... Canada
Copenhagen... Denmark
Helsinki... Finland
Tel Aviv, Jerusalem... Israel
La Paz, Arequipa, Lake Titicaca... Bolivia

For when I do die, I have my funeral planned: it is to be completely non-secular, and invite-only. Have I already written about this? Anyway, I might have a theme for it, and the songs which are to be played are currently in the pipeline, but will include "Wake Up" by Rage Against The Machine. I expect my body to be donated to science, but in the event that it's unwanted (this would not surprise me) I want my ashes to be buried on the Split Enz trail at Whakarewarewa in Rotorua.

Grim enough for you? Yeah, thought so. Sleepy time.

24 March 2009


Weird stuff from here and around the place...

1: The Phil Spector retrial
First of all, I'm getting a little bored of all these people being retrialed for crimes. Here in New Zealand we're given updates every five minutes of the everlasting David Bain saga, while in California, second-degree murder suspect and all-round weirdo Phil Spector is being tried again for the 2003 death of Lana Clarkson.
From a CNN website:
Do added that Clarkson spent her last day alive shopping with her mother before work. She bought eight pairs of shoes, and Do said it is hard to believe that any woman with so many new shoes would "then go out and commit suicide."

Umm... is she being serious? I mean, really. Buying eight pairs of shoes might help you shrug off the fact that your burnt your breakfast and then stepped in dog poop on your way to put the trash out, but I highly doubt that if you were genuinely suicidal, shoes would really do the trick. They're only fucking shoes!

But I guess I don't know. I wasn't there.

2. fushnchups.co.nz
Worst blog. Ever. Yes, it's a big call, but one I feel is accurate. You guys should go and read it. It's some lunatic Australian coons who moved here and started writing a blog about how shit New Zealand is compared to Australia. Umm, find a hobby?
Case in point: The half-braindead author at one point claims New Zealanders lack worldliness, then goes on to crow about how ignorant Australians are towards us ("I wasn't even sure what the capital was. Turns out it's Wellington.") Is that REALLY something you want to be proud of? Knowing absolutely nothing about a country? I'd be embarrassed. They then claim that pretty much every young New Zealander knows everything about Australia, and it's a "rite of passage" that we flock over there to work for at least a year or two. Okay, then.
It's poorly written too, laced heavily with bad humour and 90s phrases ("True story.")
We get it, you think you're better than us. So get out. Get out!

3. Hamilton (?!)
Recently, my inbox has been getting filled during the day with job references from seek.co.nz - mostly from my mum. Cool, yes I need a job really quite urgently. But all of the jobs so far have been in Hamilton. Yes, the place I moved away from. The place where Donny still lives, and rules. It's also where Yasmin and Becky live, but they're moving up here soon anyway!
Admittedly, I'm broke and desperately need a job so I can buy my plane ticket to Chicago for my best friend Jen's May 2010 wedding, and living at home is the easiest way to make tonnes of money. Hamilton also has its conveniences: proximity to Rotorua (and Auckland), a few friends, a gym I actually like, and my favourite bike shop.
But it's Hamilton! And I love Auckland!

4. Gossip Girl, episode 19
Should be available shortly on ch131.com.

Bonne Fête Mummy!

23 March 2009

Burn After Watching

... Or maybe even before watching. Yes, in the weekend I finally watched "Burn After Reading" and I must admit I was rather disappointed.

Brad Pitt and George Clooney were particularly good in their roles as Chad and Harry... my personal favourite scene of the entire movie was of Chad running on the treadmill with his iPod, swinging his arms about in the air enthusiastically. He played the good-looking, dumb guy flawlessly.

Likewise, Clooney was hysterical in the bedroom/gun/stairs/knife scene, which was disturbing but hilarious. He's got those big brown eyes with the grey eyebrows that express so much more than his actions ever can.

That aside, John Malkovich as Osborne pissed me off, with his unnecessary overuse of the word "fuck", his uninteresting and cold wife (Tilda Swinton), and I guess the fact that his air of unlikeableness (yes, that's a word) seemed all too genuine. He seemed like a right toss.

Um, as for the movie itself... what the hell was it actually supposed to be about? It seemed like they were all divorcing each other on the sly, obsessed with internet dating and reinvention, disposing of bodies in the Chesapeake Bay... none of which seemed to bear any significance to anything else. It was all very strange. I did enjoy the portrayal of the CIA's questionable handling of the entire situation, "burn the bodies, get him on the first plane to Venezuela, and pay for the surgeries." but I grew confused when the end titles appeared and I really had no idea what the point of the film was. Surely that wasn't it?!

But it was, and I'm still baffled. Comments shedding light on this what I might like to refer to as a cinematic flop are welcome.

18 March 2009

"The Age Of Dissonance" or Heartbreak

Gossip Girl is pretty much my life.

This morning, Sally erupted into my day unexpectedly but as always, warmly welcomed.
"The latest Gossip Girl is up." she told me, and with that, the fate of my day was sealed.

I was mistakenly led to believe that episode seventeen was the final in the series, however I was proven wrong by the tear-jerker that was "The Age Of Dissonance". I'm waiting patiently for Blair and Chuck to sort out their shit, in the hope that Donny and I will follow suit. You know, in one of those "art imitates life" - only reversed - scenarios.

Is it just me or was Chuck better looking in this episode?

Let's get lost tonight

Yes, mmm it's official: I want his babies. In a parallel universe of course, where I actually want babies and am not married to Donny (that is how this is going to end. I promise). I want Chuck Bass babies.

This weekend promises to be a cracker:
Saturday, Harjeet and I are putting on our best faces and outfits (and Indian sandals!) and hitting up day four of the India v New Zealand cricket test in Seddon Park, Hamilton. Look out, Punjabis... we're on the prowl, and we're pretty much the best-looking girls who are ever going to be interested in you.

Sunday, I have race five of the Molenberg SUB Stride and Ride (or whatever it's called. I'm too excited about the cricket to care.) in Cambridge. In what could be a landmark, my mum is coming too!! She's never been to a swimming meet before. Could she be taking an interest in my cycling career?!

Yes, yes I have high hopes for my weekend. Fingers crossed a certain other Punjabi can keep his cellphone and his laptop far enough out of reach to let me get some sleep while I'm in the town of cows.

17 March 2009

An Affair In Red Square: Elect The Dead Symphony

It seems like years ago that I bought my ticket for Serj Tankian's show, but last night I finally got to go!!

He performed with the Auckland Philharmonia at the Town Hall, and it was definitely something special. Hadleigh and I had seats in the front row of the Circle, and although we were maybe a little far away, our view was pretty spectacular as far as I'm concerned.

The orchestra were, as always, incredible - conducted by Hamish McNeish - they put on what I would like to say was the show of their lives, but given their illustrious history, I doubt it. In my defense, Serj did say before the performance that it was the most incredible concert he's ever been a part of. I'm glad I was there.

The show opened with a short overture from the orchestra before Tankian himself appeared on stage in a white tuxedo (a choice that made him near-impossible to photograph) to a reception of rapturous applause. There were some metal kids in the "stalls" downstairs who mostly made a racket throughout the entire show, and who clearly enjoyed themselves.

Serj opened with "Empty Walls", and throughout the show he sung two songs followed by compositions from Armenians, which was unexpected and lovely. Before he played "Baby", Serj told us that while in Paris, he "wrote this song, in a dream. So I didn't really write it. The universe wrote it."

He forgot his special occasion shoes

"Saving Us" was the highlight for me, but "Elect The Dead" and "Honking Antelope" were also stellar. Serj was ever the performer, his gesticulations ranging from playing an imaginary violin, to marching, to just generally being caught up in the orchestra's amazing music. There was something just a little bit Broadway about him, if you take away his unique Baltic-tinged voice that would be out of place in something like "West Side Story".

Hamish introduced the final song to be "Beethoven's Cunt", and following that the orchestra stood up and took their bows while Serj left the stage. The crowd roared, and eventually he returned to play an encore of "Empty Walls".

Obviously the show was a raging success and I expect Serj, Hamish, and all of the members of the APO will be feeling very content this morning.

12 March 2009

Love Hurts

And for once, I'm not the only person struck down with a bad case of unrequiteditis.

Have I ever told y'all about Theresa? Well, here goes.
We met in 2001 when she joined my swimming club, Rovers. Initially (and for probably three years), we didn't really get along that well. We were both on the national team that competed at the British Open in Sheffield, England and the US Nationals in Seattle, Wash., in 2002, at the ISMWSF World Championships in Christchurch in 2003 and of course at the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece in 2004. We have spent more time in other countries together than we have on vacation with our families! And because of that, we have a friendship that I can't compare to any other. I love Theresa.

In 2005, I moved to Dunedin to study at the University of Otago and it was the first time I'd been training seriously without T. When I moved to Christchurch the following year, she inadvertantly came with, and ended up living next door. In many ways I feel that she is my younger, more 
naïve in some ways but wiser in many others, sister and I really can't imagine many of the experiences I've had without her. Three months after returning from Athens, I distinctly remember one training session in particular where we looked at each other halfway through a set and knew exactly what the other was thinking. Athens was a strange experience that exhausted, enlightened, changed our lives to the extent where sometimes we no longer need to say a word.

Theresa still resides in Christchurch, where currently she's not exactly having the time of her life. A few months ago, she called me to ask if I thought she should attempt a comeback in swimming. Of course, my answer was "yes!". Theresa is a great swimmer, obviously. And she actually LOVES it. When I used to swim, I didn't really do it out of love, more because it was something that catered to my insatiable need for competition, and that brought me success. 

Since then, she's been up and down on the issue, wondering if she can ever go faster than she did when we were younger and much, much fitter. She can, of course, but she still needs to work that one out for herself. In the meantime, she's been coming home to Hamilton each holiday and having visits with a boy she's kind of fallen for.

In what seems to be a cruel twist of fate, said boy doesn't have reciprocating feelings. Which SUCKS, and I don't understand, because Theresa is amazingly cool, but it's caused her to slip into something of a funk. One I completely and utterly identify with. What do you do when you love someone, and they just think you're okay for a bit of fun?

Tonight, Theresa told me it sucked more than breaking up with her last boyfriend - a relationship that lasted almost two years, and at one point had her saying "yeah, I could marry this guy", albeit rather casually. I know how that goes. Not that well.

To be honest, all I want to do is kick this guy's head in. What's he doing? It's pretty well identical to my own Donny situation, only worse because the girl involved is not me, it's Theresa. And she is at least one hundred times cooler than me. Her "depression" (and I'm using this term lightly here) kind of concerns me. I don't want to tell her the things people tell me, because I don't believe them. But I want her to feel better!!

I always tell people that everything in life can be fixed somehow, because Nadia Comaneci wrote that in her book,  "Letters to a Young Gymnast". Nadia's kind of my hero, so I pretty much fob her quotes off as my own. In this case, I don't believe it though. You can't coerce someone into loving you. You can just love them more than life itself and hope like hell that they love you back. If they don't... well, it can't be fixed, can it?

Yeah, okay Brandon Boyd. Sometimes it's a good hurt. But not right now.

Deep Breaths...

Regular readers may have noticed the Who I'm Stalking section on my blog.

The bloggers who feature on here are, in no particular order:
Frankie - Swell Vintage
Nic and Cabin
and overheardinnewyork.com

Tonight, I read Chris' post
"Darwin Had It Right...", which was lovely, but I noticed how strung out he got over one tiny error he made at rugby practice. From his blog:

I had a hard time catching the ball at rugby practice... I compounded the problem by getting mad at myself... I know I will be hard at work in the Lakeshore Fieldhouse today because I messed up so royally. I expect my next tournament to be my best to date. It will be in part because of the mistakes I made tonight."

Whoa man. Messed up so royally? Dude, you didn't catch a ball. It happens. It's not like you screwed up your once-in-a-lifetime chance to medal at the Olympics (trust me, I know all about that). Or went bankrupt. OR WENT HOME WITH YOUR EX. You dropped a ball.

I know, I know. I blow things out of proportion all the time, so who am I to judge? I'm even guilty of over-punctuating on Facebook ("I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!" is not an uncommon feature on Sophie's page when I've been around). Overdoing things is my thing.

But it was just a ball.

In first year at the University of Otago, I got 69% in a paper I needed a minimum of 70% in to even be considered for a Medicine interview. I brushed it off. At the end of the same year, I jumped out of the Hamilton Municipal Pool three-quarters through a training session, told my swimming coach I didn't want to swim anymore, and left. Recently, I've been abandoning hopes of a perfect attendance record at the Samala Robinson Academy in favour of staying in bed all day.

Don't sweat the small stuff, people! Life is meant to be enjoyed. I don't know that dropping a ball is considered "screwing up royally". That kind of thing is reserved for situations where you type the wrong letter in some HTML code and ruin the entire University invoicing system. I don't even think referring to a girl in my class as "white trash" on a friend's Facebook page, where staff members and other students at the Academy could see it, is screwing up royally. First of all, she really really is white trash. And secondly, um, it's Facebook. Grow up?

I've done way worse stuff than dropping a ball at practice, and cared way less.

Less anger. More smile.

8 March 2009

And You! My True Love

Happy Birthday Sophie!!!

Her MTV-themed 21st went off without a hitch. There was the Beastie Boys, Lady Gaga, about ten Travis Barkers, Bjork, Kanye West, Tequila Tom (a take on "A Shot At Love With Tila Tequila")... and many more. Obviously, the Beastie Boys - three friends from the Whangamata Surf Club, Sophie's second home - took the prize for "Best Dressed", and then broke into a very convincing dance sequence to "Intergalactic". Impressive.

I dressed as "My Super Sweet 16", an outfit that required many hours of work on both my mother and my behalf. Costume parties are my achilles heel, and I have to limit myself to one each year, or I would spend my life designing and producing costumes!! Rather unflattering photos to follow.

I even wore fake lashes. Not the easiest task I've ever undertaken, and a source of stress for most of the night ("oh, my gosh Surrey! I think my eyelashes are falling off!"), but I'd do it again in a heartbeat. If there's one improvement I'll make next time, it's to take a bag. I dropped my cellphone on the floor while dancing like a crazy person to "Freestyler" - enjoy the memories guys. I NEVER dance in public - where Bevan stood on it trying to take photos of Thom, who was dressed as Steve-o (wearing a speedo and with tattoos drawn all over his back and arms). Oops.

Anything else? Well, it might have been nice if Donny didn't turn up. He was, of course, drunk. And as always, classy while drinking from a whiskey bottle. I'm in love with this guy WHY? Anyway, he made sure to remain in my line of vision all night, even sitting in a chair right beside me at one point, without ever actually acknowledging my presence.

Imagine my alarm then when, this morning I logged onto Facebook to find an email from him in the early hours of the morning. It suggested, rather forcefully, that I should text him, call him, visit him. I didn't read said email for about seven hours after it had been sent, so when I did text him (yep, I caved. I do every time), he replied that he'd been drunk and didn't mean a word of it. Surprise, surprise.

So, the happiest night of my life led to one of the worst days of my life, as I spent most of it in tears. Thanks, asshole.

Still, I'm going to come out of this worse off, as if word gets out (as it inevitably does, via Facebook, this site... Gossip Girl...) it will somehow become that I emailed him and demanded sex. I love technology.

Worse still is the fact that momentarily, I wished that I'd read the email at the moment he sent it, because then at least I would have got to have seen him without being ignored. Can you imagine? WANTING to visit someone in that state? Yeah. This is love.

3 March 2009

We're Only Gonna Die

Before you continue reading, please visit Nic and Cabin and look at their photos!! Awesome.

So, I went with a Bad Religion title today (surprise, surprise). Really, I wanted to call it "The Plan: v93287429.90" but you know, that's a bit... numbery.

Ahh yes, I have another plan. But this is a fall-back plan of sorts, and one I hope will never need to come to fruition. Currently, the desired chain of events is as follows:

1. Apply for Medicine at the University of Auckland under the Graduate Entrance scheme (luckily for me, two people apply for each available place, as opposed to the seven who apply for each undergraduate position).
2. Be accepted. Quite possibly the most important stage...
3. Graduate in *gasp* 2014. Does your cellphone even go that far into the future in calendar mode? Because I'm not sure that mine does.
4. Upon graduating, assume a career in some sort of medicine, preferably oncology or infectious diseases.

That's best case scenario. It could go all awry at bulletpoint #2, which is why I'm setting up damage control.

I wonder if Nayuha's house actually
looks like this?

In the case that I do not get selected for Medicine, well then, after laying on my bathroom floor in a frivolous ballgown à la Izzie from Grey's Anatomy for a few days, I'm going to go to Japan.

I know, I know. You've heard it all before (you actually will have, if you're a longtime reader). But this time I have a real, bona fide, solid idea as to how I'm going to get there, and what I'm going to do once I'm living in a little house like the above picture. (Yeah, I do realise it's not actually a house).

I investigated working in Japan via the STA Travel 
I learnt there that with my degree (even though it's got nothing to do with English, or teaching), that I can earn money for teaching English in schools. Quite a substantial amount of money. Not that money is really a drawcard, but living in Japan is.

My plan may well end up looking like this:
1. Apply for Medicine at the University of Auckland under the Graduate Entrance scheme.
2. Be declined.
3. Lay on bathroom floor for several days.
4. Pay for, and begin "i-to-i" English language teaching training.
5. Apply to teach English in Japan.
6. Move to Japan, teach English, live with Nayuha in a small, zen-like building. (Zen-like? Is that even close to being gramatically correct?)
7. Live in eternal happiness.

Okay, so maybe #7 is taking things a bit far, but what do we think? I'm happy with my plan, and if things don't pan out (as they tend not to, in my life), well... just look at the post title for inspiration.

To that end, I have serious intentions of cycling to school tomorrow, so I REALLY want to sleep before I turn into a pumpkin at midnight. Is that how the story goes?

She's not sure either.

1 March 2009


Yeah, another one.

I've mentioned before, my tendency to fall in love with peculiar boys. The most obvious example of this (although, in my defense, at the actual time that I fell in love with him, it was not in the least bit strange to anyone around us) is Donny, but there's been others: Curtis, Nayuha, Chris, another Chris...

One who's gone unmentioned so far is Tom Shao. This is due to the fact that Tom and my encounter lasted all of about fifteen seconds at the Luke Harrop Memorial Triathlon on Australia's Gold Coast last year. It was a year ago today (and this, coincidentally, is not the reason for my bringing it up), and when I say it lasted fifteen seconds, I'm not even kidding. During the run section of the race, about 4km in, I was heading back along the coastal footpath when a gorgeous young Asian thing ran up next to me, and matched my pace for a few steps. I glanced at him, smiled, and kept running along.
"The run sucks, hey?" he asked. Of course, I was gasping for air. It was, for the record, probably the worst run of my season.
"Haha, yeah. I hate running." Not true. But it was a fleeting moment. He picked up speed, and stayed a few metres ahead for the rest of the race. I never saw him past the finish line, but of course my stalking tendencies had kicked in once he was ahead of me, and I memorised his race number.

When the results surfaced, after checking mine, of course I searched for his number. Once I had his name, I then hunted him down on Facebook. I'm not even kidding! This is actually a standard thought process for me. Who knows what I thought I was going to do. Anyway, he was in the Australia network, so I joined the same network so I could look at his photos, see what his life was like. General stalkery (is that even a word?).

Fast forward a year, and today I found myself not swimming, biking and running up a storm on that course I so love, but enjoying an afternoon at Wendy's with Sandeeka and her friends, after we participated in the Cancer Society's Relay For Life. The topic of Indian men came up (as it invariably does with me, no matter who I'm speaking with), and Priya and Sandeeka started sifting through the available guys they knew who may interest me.

Sandee caught me off guard at one moment, with the question, "what kind of guys do you like?". You would think that this wouldn't be too difficult a question to answer, but I found myself stumped for what to say! My usual answer is "Indians", but I've come to realise this is solely because of Donny. At the same time, I've gone along in life not thinking about what I like, but who I like. Donny: another case in point. So I couldn't really answer her.

I guess I started thinking about Tom because he's another "random" (a word I hate to use) guy that I became, however fleetingly, obsessed with, with no real basis. I just kind of thought, "oh, that guy was nice for five seconds", and later on scoured his photos and wondered how I would fit in to his life. Think this story has a good ending? Nuh. Tonight, I re-joined the Australia network to have another look at him. I found this.


This kind of behaviour isn't normal!! And it's also probably why I don't know "what kind of boys" I like. I guess my only real, if not shallow, preference is that they're foreign?! I mean, you've got Donny (Indian), Tom (Chinese, presumably), Curtis (Chinese-Canadian), Nayuha (Japanese) and "the other" Chris (German). It's hardly a personality trait though, is it... I mean, being Japanese isn't going to keep me warm at night.

So... I'm no better off for having addressed the issue. I wonder if becoming a "serial dater" or even promiscuous would help me at all, but to be honest that kind of disgusts me, and I'm still holding a torch for Donny, thinking that if I save myself...

... Maybe he'll come back?