30 April 2009

I Must Have It

It's $103. I need to find me a rich man.

The Drugs Don't Work

Not for Rashid Ramzi anyway.

The Moroccan-born miler who won the 1500m at last year's Olympic Games, representing Bahrain, has recently tested positive to a banned substance known as 
Continuous Erythropoiesis Receptor Activator, or CERA. Good one.

The substance, which is a third-generation EPO, has already been found in samples from last year's Tour de France (including Bernard Kohl). Five other athletes who competed in Beijing have tested positive - cyclists David Rebellin and Stefan Schumacher, along with three others I'm waiting to hear the names of.

EPO is dangerous, people. Sure, it increases the capacity of the blood to carry oxygen to the brain and muscles, but you know what else does? Training. Seriously, what's so dishonourable about training like the rest of us? Seems to me it's a better way to go down than having your name and reputation dragged through the news. A gold medal is pretty cool, but I guess it looks a lot less exciting when it's being taken away from you after you get busted for injecting gluggy stuff into your veins.

The good news in this case? Aotearoa's finest middle distance athlete, Nicholas Willis, could well be promoted to second place for his efforts in China. His third place in the 1500m was about the biggest news of the last Olympics down here, since it's been a wee while (since like, 1976) that our fine country has produced a medal-winning performance in a track event. We loved watching Valerie Vili take apart the shot put field with her first throw, some of us saw Tom Ashley (who I've known through the now-defunct Peter Snell Institute of Sport since we were youngins) top the podium after his boardsailing victory, and a multisport-obsessed New Zealand cheered when Bevan Docherty placed third in the triathlon (although, admittedly more of us were stunned that superhuman Javier Gomez didn't win for once). Hayden Roulston battled on in the 4000m individual pursuit in the Laoshan Velodrome for an eventual and much-deserved silver, and then joined teammates Jesse Sergent, Sam Bewley and Marc Ryan for an almost surprise bronze in the team pursuit. So New Zealand had a successful Olympic Games. For us old-timers however, Nick's was a standout performance because at every Olympics, the world's finest talent assemble for what is a classic race. The winner of the Olympic men's 1500m is always instantly a hero. It's a race that has everything: speed, endurance, tactics, drama, an underdog, and a glorious finish. A medal in this race is like immortality.

Unless, I guess, you shoot up before you run, or whatever. Rashid Ramzi's B sample will be tested on June 8 of this year. In the highly unlikely case that it's negative (never happens) then I guess I'll apologise. Until then... thanks for the medal.

29 April 2009

Extra Ordinary Talent

So I have this crazy-intelligent friend named Li who writes incredible and true-to-life comics.

I hope you guys will all go visit her at www.exocomics.com and tell her which ones are your favourites.

Li and I sat together in fourth form graphics (nine years ago) and developed an odd friendship. She recently referred to me as being hilarious, which as you will know if  you've read any of my writing is absolutely false. She's an architect who does these comics as a side project, and they're now a regular feature in the Gisborne Herald. So you can see, Li is definitely more graphically talented than I, and doing rather well for herself.

Click here to visit Li!!!


A wee thing that's been popping up all over Facebook (well, just my English friends) is this list of 100 books that supposedly the average person has only read six of. Most of my friends average over 40, so I'm interested to see how I go... (X = read)

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen X
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien X
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee X
6 The Bible - X
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte 
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell X
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott X
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy 
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller 
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare - X
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier 
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien X
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks 
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger X
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger 
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell 
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald X
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens 
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy X
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh 
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky 
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck 
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll X
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame X
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy 
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens X
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis X
34.Emma - Jane Austen X
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis X
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres 
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne X
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell X
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown X
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez  X
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving 
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins 
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding X
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan 
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel 
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons 
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen X
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth X
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon 
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez X
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck 
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov 
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt X
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold X
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac 
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy 
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding 
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville 
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens X
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett X
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce 
76 The Inferno - Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome 
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray X
80 Possession - AS Byatt 
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens X
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell 
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert 
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry X
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White X
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom 
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton X
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad 
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery X
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks 
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams X
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare X
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl X
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo 

38... I'm actually a little ashamed. 

28 April 2009

ohinny.com: "Mission Accomplished"

Guy #1: Yesterday I made some Valentines for my coworkers, and I made up little poems to go in them, to make them extra personal.
Guy #2: Like what?
Guy #1: "Roses are red, violets are blue, your cat chewed on my dick for a little bit, but I didn't know how to tell you."
Guy #2: Did you get any Valentines back?
Guy #1: No.

More Weekend Carry-on

I love Nic and Cabin's account of NZSS09 - especially this: "B1 (Cabin) had a shocker. Way back at the start (I'd blame the fact I couldn't find my bike, except that neither could Tim and he still won)."

So the ever-impressive Tim Wilding won the men's race and Annika Smail won the women's. Nic was second in the women's in her first-ever Singlespeed race (is there anything Nic CAN'T do!?), and I don't even know where Cabin finished, thanks in part to what seems like an eventful day. Either way, Wilding's probably pretty pleased after a less-than-stellar showing and a banged up shoulder at XTERRA.

This weekend, they're off to compete at Wellington's highly appropriately named
Crazyman (13km kayak, 18km run, 36km mountain bike). Yeah, *cough*. Maybe next year...

I'm taking the ever-so-slightly easier option and racing the
Auckland Cycle Challenge in Parakai, which is out past Woodhill. It's a lazy 55km (especially when you consider my road race in Nelson in October is to be 80km...) but I guess it could be considered an introduction to the winter season.

Other proposed events for the winter include
- RUN Auckland Race 3, in Pakuranga
- Mount Maunganui Joggers Half-Marathon (yeah, I'll be taking the 10km option)
- Okoroire Mid Winter "Fun" Ride
- Tough Guy & Guy Challenge (Rotorua)

Road Nationals for cycling are October 21 - 24 in Nelson where I'll contest the time trial (20km) and road race (80km). All going well, however, I might be at Triathlon Worlds in September on the Gold Coast. I'll keep y'all posted.

With that, I guess I should get out on my bike?!

Peace and love, yo.

27 April 2009

Sleeping On Your Folks' Porch, Again

Or on your best friend's floor. Whichever works best for you.

My brother passed out on Kirby's steps on Saturday night, and was later kicked off the property by her pedantic flatmate. Kirby and I slept on the floor of her bedroom last night. Unsurprisingly, we had a highly unproductive day today.

At 8am (after being awake until after 3am) we woke up with the intention of going for a swim. Never happened. Instead, we stayed "in bed"- wrapped in duvets on the floor - until after midday, when we eventually made a move and went about "socialising, and being ladies about town". By which I mean we went to the KFC drive-thru and then into town, where we basically slothed around the place, unwashed and in trackpants and dirty tshirts, bare feet and armed with juice from Tank. We had about ten minutes of uber-hyperactivity, which involved a "race" up the stairs of the cinema (ended with me lying on the floor in uncontrollable laughter), the decision to buy Twilight on DVD, and the immediate subsequent decision to NOT buy Twilight on DVD, more uncontrollable laughter, and a drive home.

Within minutes of getting home, I fell asleep in the pile of duvets on the floor, occasionally woken by Kirby whistling, laughing at our ridiculous Facebook in-jokes and just blathering in general.

I love our lives.

24 April 2009

Walk Like An Egyptian

I don't know if the ancient Egyptians wore heels, but I doubt it. I imagine them boogying on down in bare feet or golden sandals, but anyway... there were many pairs of identical heels at Catwalk Studios on Karangahape Road in Auckland today.

Sara and I worked as makeup artists there for Model Camp, and produced some rockin work. My own shots of my models are up now on mim.artiste, and I hope that you'll drop by for a look. I created an unusual look for my first model, who was to be dressed in olive shades, so I made my own mixture of colours from the SRA palette and made something of a lightweight smoky eye, with liquid liner and tonnes of mascara. I used Benetint on her lips for a fresh, rosy appearance, along with my new Natio bronzer on her cheeks. You'll be pleased to know it wasn't waterproof.

Yasmin was my adorable and much more co-operative second model, for whom I created an olive-green smoky eye along with glossy pink lips and bronzer. She had the wildest hairdo EVER, which was styled by a Servilles student who I had earlier shown how to do her own smoky eyes. Yasmin looked so cute I'm putting the photo up here.


What's the go this weekend?

Well, tomorrow is ANZAC Day and while I probably won't be seen at a dawn service (I know, I know. It's practically blasphemous) I will be out early for a ride. Not sure where I'm going to be yet. I can't decide whether to drive down to Hamilton tonight and sleep on a clean bed (for future reference: sleeping while wearing a 
Cupcake mask from Lush is not recommended) or to head down bright and early tomorrow. Tonight is probably not a bad idea.

Other stuff: New Zealand Singlespeed Championships

Something I can only dream of competing in. Seriously, I think I use every gear on my bike every time I ride it. I alternate between such high gears I have to stand up while pedalling downhill to being in the smallest gear possible while climbing Mt Victoria. Mind you, that hill is pretty steep. I think most people use small gears for it.
Anyway, of course Cabin and Nic will be there. Last year, local Rotorua hero Garth Weinberg won the men's race and XTERRA bronze medallist Annika Smail took out the ladies. If I'm not mistaken, she also medalled at Worlds later in the year.
A quick word about Singlespeed: it's not just about the gear. It's a race in a league of its own, complete with finding your bike in a pile at the beginning to taking up to three shortcuts in exchange for drinking a beer. Mmm, ideal. To top it all off, you can only be crowned champion if you go get a tattoo between the end of the race and prizegiving. Yep. Singlespeed racers mean business. 
Jason Savill is also something of a singlespeed fiend, and I was - more often than I'd like to admit - passed by him and his one-gear machine at Hamilton Mountain Bike Club night races in seasons gone by. Chances are he's now causing similar chaos on the trails down Austin, TX these days.

Jason cutting it up in the mud at last year's Moonride

Which reminds me: surely the Moonride is coming up again!? I competed last year for the Hamilton Mountain Bike Club, on a five-person, twelve-hour team. Which sounds like a cop-out, but to be honest, I did more than my fair share of riding. I had the intention of riding solo, but was talked out of it by Tui, and eventually was drafted into the "Maui Street Bikers" team. I didn't sleep the entire time, just stayed up talking all night and riding laps for other teams when they got bored and tired. Our club fared pretty well, with Warwick, Medich, Damo and Gurney's "Pukete Pain Train" collecting a bronze in the four-person, twenty-four hour team event and hardwoman Jemima winning silver in the women's twenty-four hour solo race. If you can believe it. Anyway, was a mean way to spend a weekend, even if it ended with me getting a flat tyre at 2am on SH1 into Hamilton. Yes, I love my life.

With members of HamMTB last year... greeeat stuff, that Red Bull

And Kirby's goodbye do...

If this photo is anything to go by...

Should be interesting! Messy, at the very least. I'm going, and it's only beginning to dawn on me now that Kirby, who has been the main fixture in my life since I was about thirteen years old, is leaving for Australia soon!!! I'm not going to lie... there's been times (quite recently, as you might recall) where I've wanted to throw her in a lake, but for the most part, we have a good time, and I'm starting to get sad. Nothing like a keg to drink away your sorrows though, right?

On that note... here's to a great weekend (and a NZ Singlespeed title for Mark Leishman!).

Over and out, yo.

23 April 2009

Frivolity At It's Best

From Sephora.com:

Hourglass Waterproof Bronzer

Yep, bronzer now stays on while you swim! Just what I need.
It's rather uncanny that this oh-so-useful product has surfaced overnight, because just yesterday I was reading an article in Australian Vogue about a new phenomenon known as Acquired Situational Narcissism (ASN), which is thought to be an off-shoot of full-blown narcissism. Apparently the latter only truly affects 1-2% of the world's population (excluding celebrities, one assumes).

The article describes the "new narcissist" as someone who experiences moderate success and/or fame early in adulthood and then becomes unable to adapt suitably. This in turn leads to them believing they are the only person worthy of attention and praise. It sounds like a vicious cycle, and probably something I can do without.

The reason I'm associating narcissism with this bronzer is because in my mind, it equates with vanity - something I'm incredibly guilty of - and something I'm sure you'll find many makeup artists are. Only someone as vain as me, or perhaps even moreso, would need a waterproof bronzer. Let's be honest. Everyone knows that if you go swimming, you're not going to come out looking as fabulous as you did before. If you're a mascara user, it's going to be all smeared up under your eyes, your hair is going to look gross, and, sigh, unfortunately, your bronzer is going to wash off. That was, until now!

Come on, girls. Prove me wrong. We don't need waterproof bronzer!!!

@ iheartmake-up.blogspot.com:

Make-Up Trend: Navy Smoky Eyes

Yeah, okay. Been there, done that. I've long been a stalwart of smoky eyes in colours other than black, and I find it hard to believe that Bollywood has only just switched onto this.
Can you believe the recommendation for this look is MAC LiquidLast in Inky? Please. I own this! And have done for like, more than a year. Pfft.

Get some new trends, yo.

22 April 2009

Live-In Skin

I'm on the hunt for the perfect foundation. Suggestions are welcome.

Current front-runners (subject to finances) are
- MAC Studio Fix Fluid
- Dior DiorSkin Sculpt
- Chanel Mat Lumiere

Yeah, so they're all ridiculously expensive, but it's foundation. I wear it all day, every day, so I don't want any of this SRA jojoba crap.

A Bobbi Brown artist demoed the classic Bobbi stick foundation on me earlier in the week. I'm not convinced that I agree with her shade choice, as I looked a little... cancerous afterwards. It had great coverage, but an unusual consistency (guess this was due to the stick formula) that I didn't really like.

Previous favourite foundations have included Clinique Superbalanced and L'Oreal True Match, so I'm more of a liquid foundation girl. Sephora.com just blew my mind with their options: all 76 of them. Luckily for me, most of them aren't available in New Zealand, so I don't have the opportunity to try them. Although, I must admit, Make Up For Ever's Mat Velvet + looks fairly enticing. Of course, true to form, it's only available at Sephora.

MAC Studio Fix was a recent recommendation from my much-adored SRA buddy, Sara Whalen. She says its coverage is unmatchable, which is key for me. She's a MAC freak - her goal is to work there - so I do wonder how biased her opinion is, but I'm willing to give it a try tomorrow. Previously I've tried Studio Sculpt, their latest offering, but not really enough to get a good idea of it, and another SRA associate Grace doesn't rate it for staying power. Admittedly, Grace parties like crazy Thursday through Saturday of every week, and doesn't even get out of bed on Sundays, so staying power to her means something a little different than it does me!

I tried Chanel's Mat Lumiere (expected retail: $103. Actual retail: $85. Not bad!) on Monday and rather liked. I was less impressed with the counter assistant, who was an odd shade of peach, with yellowing peroxide blonde hair. Luckily I got to the samples before she did and was able to select my own colour to try. I've recently become obsessed with Chanel - at the beginning of last year I paid $98 for a red lipstick as worn by Jennifer Aniston on the cover of January 2008's Harper's Bazaar and only started wearing it recently. In fact, it was the lipstick I wore to Danielle's drinks last week and lasted more than nine hours. And Coco Chanel? What a hottie.

In fact, that may be the exact lipstick I use...

Further recommendations as to the perfect foundation for me are welcome.

Let's Do That Again! ... After We Die

This morning I feel like I ran a marathon in handstand position. Or had my torso run over by a steamroller. Maybe it's because of the incredibly bizarre night Kirby and I had on the Shore and also at the Viaduct.

Kirby is not an Aucklander, nor is she a fan of this amazing city. Which is a shame, and something I decided to change when she rolled up to my house, almost unannounced at around 9:30pm last night. We decided we would shoot out and get McDonald's, and then egg Chris' house. Which is, for the record, down a right of way (good thing there's SO many in Bayswater, so my Shore readers won't go out looking for him). So it proved to not be the greatest idea ever. Add that to the fact that EVERY time I engage in some sort of civil disturbance, I break into uncontrollable laughter which invariably leads to me not being able to drive, walk, move...

So instead, we drove up Lake Road while I hiffed eggs out the driver's window of my car at unsuspecting motorists. Yeah, I'm all about safety. To be fair, out of five eggs, only one hit a car. This is because I was laughing too much to put any strength behind my throw... and because my eyesight at night is so poor, I couldn't even see where I was throwing.


We then hit up Foodtown on Barry's Point Road, with the intention of buying more (!!!) eggs. Instead, we left with a copy of Australian Vogue magazine, an array of cleaning products, some juice, and waaay too many Chupa-Chups. Nom nom nom.

Kirby's never been to Viaduct Harbour, so we parked up and walked around, while she marvelled at all the "boats".
"Do you know," she said "that I only found out like, a couple of weeks ago that yachts and boats are different!?" She then pointed at a cat. "What the hell is THAT?"
"That's a catamaran." I told her.
"A cata ma what?!"
The fact remains that the Viaduct is beautiful, and Kirby was beginning to become a convert. We then drove along the waterfront, which is less beautiful due to the fact that the "waterfront" here is in fact the Ports of Auckland. Mmm, industry.

She then wanted to see the Sky Tower, so we headed up there and somehow managed to attract a policecop tail. Just what I need, when I'm on my restricted, with an un-buckled in passenger, with tonnnnnnes of demerit points, at midnight. We managed to swing it though, and also scouted out the dwindling number of prostitutes on Karangahape Road.

By this time it was getting late (or early), so we headed back to Bayswater and promptly fell asleep. Now, on recount of this night, I can't find any reason why I now feel so rubbish. Suggestions are welcome!?

20 April 2009

i <3 overheardinnewyork.com

NYU guy #1: You know it's impossible to swallow a whole teaspoon of cinnamon?
NYU guy #2: Wait, why not?
NYU guy #1: Because it accumulates into clumps and dries up your mouth.
NYU guy #2: Oh, cinnamon! I thought you said "semen." I was going to be like "Yes you can!"

XTERRA: Pictures

Some of these are my own, and some are from Fotoengineers. There's also millions more up at marathon-photos. Gotta say I'm pretty disappointed at the lack of photos of the women's event, particularly Nic, from Fotoengineers.

Cabin (yellow) exiting the swim (Fotoengineers)

The calm of transition before the storm of wetsuited bodies descend upon it (me)

A casual-looking Olympic gold medallist Hamish Carter goes unnoticed before the race (me)

My bike! Waiting at the lookout for the bikes to come past (me)

Toast? Wilding stops for a drink

Richard Ussher (4) extending his lead over Scott in the second lap of the run (Fotoengineers)

Terenzo heading into his second lap, and attempting to salvage his race (Fotoengineers)

Scotty looking a little too comfortable at the finish line. Run faster next time! (Fotoengineers)

Cabin finishing. The look on his face says a lot... (Fotoengineers)

Monique Avery, first age-group female to finish (me)

Trampled Under Foot / XTERRA 2009!

We made the pilgrimage to Rotorua’s Blue Lake on Saturday morning, along with XTERRA enthusiasts of all shapes and sizes from around Aotearoa and the world.

At 11am, a siren sounded the beginning of XTERRA 2009, and from the banks of Tikitapu, I waited nervously as around 1000 competitors made their way around the 1 kilometre swim course.

First out? No surprises here – it was Terenzo (12:28). He was back to defend his title, and with a handy lead in the swim, he looked off to a good start. He left transition well ahead of any of the other athlete in the Pro section, and headed out on the 26 kilometre mountain bike stage.

Cabin got off to a happy start, with a PB in the swim (14:52), while his pocket rocket of a girlfriend Nic was amongst the first women to emerge from the lake in 16:43.

Hot on Terenzo’s tail was 34-year-old Coast to Coast winner Richard Ussher – in his first XTERRA appearance – and old hand Tim Wilding, who was the 2007 winner. Terenzo wasn’t having this all his own way. Not after last year, when in his debut appearance, he did what could almost be referred to as wiping the floor with some of the more seasoned and specialised entrants. So, around fifteen minutes into the bike, we were unsurprised to hear that both Wilding and Ussher had passed Terenzo.

By this time I decided to head up to the Blue/Green Lake lookout point and await the boys’ return from the mountain bike. Luckily, I’d thought ahead and brought Artemis, my mountain bike, along for the day, which made things easier.

It wasn’t long before the helicopter overhead radioed the checkpoint where I was waiting to alert us of the deluge of half-crazy cyclists that was about to come zooming through at breakneck speed. Who was ahead?

Scott Thorne. He’d slipped through transition almost unnoticed, and worked his strongest leg to get out to something of a lead over Cabin, Terenzo, Ussher and Wilding. Scott’s either family or something very close to it, and I know that he has a fire in his belly, that’s been burning for the XTERRA crown for some years now. Last year, he was third behind Terenzo and Cabin. The previous year, he’d been fourth. Was he finally going to get his prize?

Around a minute later, Ussher and Wilding came roaring through, jostling for position. Wilding sported a painful looking graze on his shoulder, which led us to think he’d had a significant bail somewhere along the way. Seconds behind them was Cabin, which set me into something of a panic. I knew going into this event that Cabin was still nursing the remnants of a rolled ankle, and that he would need a fairly extensive lead over the other boys for a shot at first place. I convinced myself he could still catch them.

Cabin and "Kermit" in the final stages of the bike

Concern grew over Terenzo’s whereabouts. Shouldn’t he have been past by now? I use “eventually” here loosely, because it wasn’t long after Cabin had been past that Terenzo came into view, to the delight of the two young boys who were “assisting” (again, loosely) with the manning of the checkpoint. We agreed that while Terenzo had an amazing run on him, he was too far down now to create any real danger for Thorne and Ussher.

Meanwhile, we received notice that the first woman had passed the previous checkpoint, so we waited anxiously to see who it would be. Smail? Wood? Leary? She seemed almost to close to the leading guys for it to be real, but soon enough, Nic Leary came flying past, much to my delight. I still had hopes for a Leary-Leishman XTERRA. Disturbingly close behind Nic was the formidable Monique Avery, who competes in the 18-24 age group. Currently, she was in front of all but one of the Pro competitors. Um, look out.

Soon, the leaders were back at the lookout on their first run lap. It was Ussher and Thorne out in front, followed by an exhausted-looking and clearly in pain Wilding. He even stopped for a drink, before trotting off again. Another spectator looked at me and shook his head. “He’s toast.”

When Cabin appeared at the top of the steps, I knew he could catch Wilding. To me, Wilding even looked bad enough that he could pull out and still call it an honest effort. But I guess that’s the difference between XTERRA competitors and the rest of the world. They don’t just quit.

On my way back to transition to await the second lap and finish, I passed Nic, who was about the drop into the forest on her first lap. Kind of unreal how close she was the guys!! Monique was still holding her own a few hundred metres back.

Back on the beach, we awaited the boys to come past between their first and second laps. It wasn’t long before two lycra-clad men ran side by side out of the forest. On closer inspection, it proved to be Ussher and Thorne. Think either of these guys was going to let it go? Nuh-uh. The leaders were followed by Wilding, and then Cabin, who clearly had enough left to take him. Terenzo was surprisingly far behind, and definitely didn’t look as comfortable as he ideally could be. All of this left Cabin in a good position. Sure, he was a bit far off winning, but he could reel in Wilding and had enough ground on Terenzo to put him out of his mind and still have a podium finish.

Cabin, halfway through the run

Nic still led the women’s event by a comfortable margin after her first lap. By now, Monique had been passed by Susie Wood, but still had more than enough to work with to take out her age group.

A number of interesting characters passed us as we waited for the finish. There were guys without tops, women with shaved heads, a huge variety of ages, cycling jerseys, hairstyles, and nutritional supplements running along the beach at Blue Lake.

Unsurprisingly, most of the boys had a noticeable drop-off in speed in their second lap. More and more age groupers passed, and finally a figure in black emerged from the forest. It was Ussher. And Thorne was nowhere to be seen. The commentator went crazy as he came into finish in 2 hours, 3 minutes and 33 seconds. Last year, Terenzo won with 2:07.09. This Ussher guy wasn’t playing around!

It wasn’t long before Thorne boosted it out of the forest trail and onto the beach for second place (2:04.04), an improvement on last year and enough to secure his spot for the XTERRA World Championships in Maui. So Cabin had been shut out, but that didn’t mean he could still chase down Wilding, which he did rather convincingly, with a final time of 2:08.47. Wilding did however manage to hold off a fading Terenzo, and the two finished in fourth and fifth respectively (2:09.30 and 2:09.45).

In the women’s event, an elated Nic (2:26.07) held her strong lead to take out the overall and Pro events by more than two minutes (!!!!) – to rapturous applause and no doubt a very proud boyfriend, and was joined on the podium by Susie Wood (2:28.25) and Annika Smail (2:28.49), who had raced quietly but strongly throughout the event. Monique Avery took out the 18-24 age group with a sharp 2:30.27, and would have been glad that she passed up the opportunity to race as a professional.

With the major placings no longer up for grabs, we made a move before the mass exodus back to Rotorua. As expected, all it made me want to do was race again, and I now anticipate next year’s event eagerly.

While Cabin didn’t quite have the day he so wanted, Nic will be stoked with her first victory and to be fair, you can’t take much away from Cabin's efforts against the formidable Ussher and an ever-improving Thorne. That’s racing, and though it’s not much consolation for now… there’s always next year. You guys - as always - rock my world!

17 April 2009

Of All The Gin Joints In All The World...

After graduation today, we hit up the Northern Steamship in Downtown for lunch.

"We" being our whole class except crazy Jenny. This is because Jenny is "banned" from the Steamship. What? What has a borderline insane seventeen-year-old done to be banned from a bar? Umm... apparently it's where her "ex" worked. WORKED. Past tense.

Soooo this crazy bitch thinks she can't go to a restaurant because of someone (I'm still deciding if he's actually real) that used to work there. That's ridiculous.

In January, I got kicked out of a club in Hamilton and given a trespass notice for throwing a well-deserved punch at a guy I know. I went in on Wednesday night. No problems. So is Jenny crazy?

Short answer: Yes.

Long answer: Ummm, probably... you should hear the stuff she comes out with. For real. "I grew up in Belarus."
"I did fencing."
"My ex-fiance does heroin."
"I got engaged after having a one-night stand."
"My boyfriend has perfect bone structure." This statement was in fact proved INCORRECT when she brought said boyfriend in for "man makeup". That's the day I took Alex and Cam to school for the same assessment, both of whom were MUCH better-looking than Caleb.

There's more, but the one I take particular offense to is the one about Belarus.
"Really? Where did you live?" I asked, after her announcement. She looked at me blankly, and then looked away, without answering.
"What? Like, Minsk?" I said. She looked back.
"Uh, yeah. Minsk."

Are you kidding me? If you grew up in fucking Belarus, you're not going to need your "memory jogged" as to where it was you lived. I spent parts of my childhood in two "Stan" states - Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. And before you ask, yes... I do know the names of the cities. In Uzbekistan, my uncle has an entire family in and around the greater Tashkent. Which, admittedly is where every Uzbek lives, but it's also where I lived. I've had the pleasure of seeing kidneys being sold in flea markets. We also made brief residence in Farab, a strange little town outside of Chardzhou in Turkmenistan.

Anyway. The Steamship went down alright... a bit too much seafood for my liking, but I guess you get that, on the waterfront.

For Graduation, I sported a hot pink lip, similar to the one I wore for Sophie's 21st. I bought "Trolley Dolly" by Chi Chi as something of a joke, not expecting to use it. Now I pretty much wear it all the time. Hooray for mindless purchases! See below...

Figure One: Pink Lips

From Wednesday night: Red Lips

Granted, the photos are of hugely varying quality, because one is from my camera and one is from my phone. I think I'm becoming a lip person, guys!

I'll leave you with that, as I'm now off to ROTORUA for XTERRA! Yeow!!!

Have a great weekend, yo. I know I will.

16 April 2009

In T Minus 42 Hours...

I'll be at XTERRA!


Yes, I know I've gone on and on about how I'm not racing this year, but it's like, a big deal. XTERRA is like, my life.

... Even if I have to sit on the sideline this year.

Never fear, plenty of other exciting stuff is happening in my world.

Tomorrow: Graduation at SRA. Not exactly exciting, but it means I never have to go there again!!!

Yesterday: Danielle's Goodbye Drinks. Saaaad, but fun! Danielle is an old high school friend who's pursuing some sort of mad crazy career in Resource and Environmental Planning, specifically Eco-Tourism. Yep, she's a smart cookie. Trouble is, the eco-tourism thing? Yeah, it's based in Greymouth.

*tumbleweed rolls past*

And Greymouth isn't exactly party central. Never mind though - we made the most of it last night at Singer, Rodeo Rodeo (yeah, I know...) and then Bar101, where I also saw McKoo. Jackpot!

I did Danielle's, and her sister Rachel's makeup before we left for town and they looked gorgeous. Yay! I also braved the Hamilton streets with a red lip, which stayed on flawlessly until 3:30am. I'm impressed. Danielle sported a purple half-smoky eye, and Rachel had a bronze/gold smoky eye. Very nice!

Who else was there? Alex, obviously... it wouldn't be a night out without his deadpan humour. Michael Morton and his new wife, Nicola. Clare MacFarlane, a childhood Brownies friend of mine, and of course the lovely "SunShaarne" and Lizzie. Lizzie and I spent most of the night complaining about the cost of cocaine. As you do. Micaela also made an appearance (and saved my hide... I had no money to get home - typical - and Micaela came to my rescue with petrol vouchers). My high school waterpolo teammate, Donna, and her boyfriend Adam, who I'd previously met one night while driving a carful of drunken larrikins into town... and some other guy named Alex, who famously dressed as Alex from Madagascar at the "Say My Name, Bitch" party where I debuted my Metamorphosis costume. Confused? Yeah, me too. Danielle has a lot of friends.

Turns out Alex the Lion is a cool guy... with a freakishly good memory. "You don't come across many chicks who play Led Zeppelin in their car. And it wasn't just Stairway to Heaven, either. It was like, When The Levee Breaks". His story about how an overgrown lion cub mauled his younger sister was particularly delightful. In a sadistic kind of way.

Anyway, by 1:30am I had turned into a shivering human ice cube so decided it was time to call it a night and come back to the BW. It was a long drive, and towards the end of it I started to wonder how dangerous it was, as I fought to keep my eyes open. I'm seriously not doing that again.

Imagine my joy then, when this morning at 6:57am I woke up. I fell asleep at like, 4am!! WTF.

Ah well, it all made for an excellent night, if not one tinged with sadness because Danielle is gone for a WHOLE YEAR! Boo.

And right now? It's dinner time. Nom nom nom.

14 April 2009

Memoirs Of A Burnout

I thought I dreamt of Nayuha last night, but it turned out to be Donny...

Earlier in the evening I watched Memoirs of a Geisha with my sister and her boyfriend (his sister is the TV3 sports reporter and sometimes weather girl, Penny) and made the comment that it made me want to go to Japan.
"What? Young girls selling their bodies?" came my sister's response. She sounded suitably disgusted.

But no, it wasn't that. It was everything else... the cherry blossoms, the Japanese guys, the cute outfits. I loved Sayuri and the way she pattered about the place like some sort of ethereal swan. No, I wasn't too hot on the fact that she was kind of a prostitute, but you know what? She was still classy.

I liked that she held a candle for the Chairmen in the way that I do for Donny. Only, her little infatuation started a little earlier than mine, possibly didn't involve him backhanding her in the face, and had a happy ending. Sigh. Then of course, I decided that maybe Nayuha was my chairman after all. For the last maybe, half hour of the film, I sat around daydreaming about how happy we'd be in Japan together.

* For the record, he very casually asked me to marry him on Thursday afternoon. It was via MSN Messenger but you know what? I'm happy with that.

I fell asleep in a big comfortable bed at my sister's place in Rolleston and proceeded to have a very happy dream about who I thought was Nayuha. It was only a few hours later in consciousness that I remembered seeing Donny's face quite clearly. And that kind of ruined my happy spell.

Upon my return to Auckland I decided to stop in at Sylvia Park on my way home from the airport. It was brief - it lasted all of about fifteen minutes, which was spent driving around the labyrinth of a carpark in a state of exasperation at not being able to find a park. I came back to the Shore and spent another forty minutes in a similar rage at Westfield Albany, until I calmed myself enough to be patient and wait for another shopper to leave. Hooray!

Bad move, it later proved as I left the mall over an hour later, having bought hairdye, blush, bronzer, and two juices. The hairdye, of course, was the one with Aishwarya Rai on the box, the blush - Soft Rose by L'Oreal, the bronzer - something of a whimsy purchase, but to be fair, I DO need some for my kit. Juice? Yeah, one maybe. I can let myself get away with one. But TWO? Over the course of an hour and fifteen minutes? Not ideal.

Ah, well. At least I restrained myself from buying that running top. I was drawn into Shoe Clinic by new Adidas apparel - black running tops to be more specific. You know, for ALL the running I do. Anyway, it was $70, so probably a good thing I have a smidgeon of economic conscience left, or it would probably be lying on the floor of my insanely messy bedroom right now, along with the other tops I own.

At least if nothing else I have a full tank of gas to get me to Hamilton on Wednesday, and again on Friday so my mum can take me to XTERRA. The fact that I don't have enough money for rent next week? Hmmm...

What Would Sayuri Do?

10 April 2009

Let's Not Forget What Easter's About This Weekend...

Which is, of course, CHOCOLATE!

I hope you eat heaps.

I won't be, since it's Danielle's farewell drinks on Wednesday night (sniff, sniff) and you never know who's going to be there. By that I mean Donny. I intend to look as thin as a heroin addict. As I said to Nick last night, "ribcages are a sign of victory!!".

If you're doing XTERRA next weekend, remember to train! Like you need to be told.

I'm off to Christchurch in about an hour. Hopefully my lovely sister Louise is going to be up for me doing makeup on her all weekend... so after Tuesday, check out mimartiste.blogspot.com as it should be going live! Yusss.

It's kind of cold this morning. I mean, not winter-in-Uzbekistan cold, just "am I in Auckland or Dunedin?" cold. The answer is, for now, Auckland. I have fears for tomorrow morning, and as such I'll be wearing the great cable-knit hat I stole from Kirby's hatpile on Wednesday morning pretty much ALL weekend. Love you, Kirb.

On that note, if I don't leave now, I never will... so happy Easter everyone!

Peace, love and bobby pins. xo

9 April 2009

Don't You Know Who I Think I Am?

I know, I know. Enough with the Fall Out Boy post titles!!!

It's only because I downloaded "From Under The Cork Tree" the other day, post-collapse. (I almost thought I was onto another song title there, but it's "Collapse [Post-Amerika]".

Ummm, what is even up with spelling "America" with a K, for fuck's sake? It's like that Rammstein song, only I'll let them get away with it because they're German, and I believe that "C" has a different sound over there. I'm not actually sure, but anyway... point is, Rise Against should know better.

Speaking of Rise Against, I had every intention of going to their show last week on March 31 at the Power Station. Never happened, because by the time I got around to attempting to buy my ticket, the show had sold out. Not happy. I felt a little better when Donny called to tell me he wasn't there either, then proceeded to continue conversation with me. I'm telling you guys, this is soooo not all me. Not that he'd let you know that.

In other news, I graduate from SRA so soon that it's almost incomprehensible. Next Friday, to be exact... so I only have four days left of being a student. Next Friday afternoon, I'll be a qualified professional makeup artist. To that end, Kirby's going to be designing me some business cards.

Once I get off the ground with the quite literal "freelancing" thing... by that I mean I'll be doing it for free... I'll be setting up my new blog at mimartiste.blogspot.com, strictly for makeup purposes. It'll be beyond awesome if you can all join me there, and see my work.

That also means that if you live in the greater Auckland or Waikato area and need your makeup done for a special occasion or otherwise, let me know... and tell all your friends!! I'm serious. I'll probably start a group on Facebook too. I'm all about networking.

My mum's coming to XTERRA! Can you believe it? I mean, it would have been even cooler if she'd come last year, when I competed. But it's exciting anyway!! Who else is going? Umm, only
Terenzo Bozzone, Richard Ussher, Nic Leary, Mark Leishman, and Sarah Ulmer.

It's going to be a cracker, people!

8 April 2009

Fun With Photobooth

What did you do today?

I bought a Kiwano for $1.98 and proceeded to spend a few hours taking photos of myself with it.
Here are my favourites...

Just a weird update from Cabin Racing... Nic was actually second to Annika Smail. But second is still freakin cool, and she's totally making up for it at XTERRA in just over a week's time.


6 April 2009

God Blessed Texas

Jason Savill, we are no longer friends.

You don't just fuck off and live in the state I've spent most of my life dreaming about living in, and get a job in the bike shop I WANT A JOB IN.

Yes, yes people. Some guy I knew when I was fourteen, and again recently through Hamilton Mountain Bike Club, has stolen my life and is now working at Mellow Johnny's in Austin, Texas.

You're a bastard...

Haha, okay now that I have that out of my system:

I'm wearing makeup every day this week, in case Neeraj is working on the gate at the Downtown Ferry Terminal. Sound like a drastic measure? Probably, because he usually doesn't even look up when he clips my ticket anyway, but you never know. I'm not taking that chance. Sure, Chris (or "Ferry Guy" for those who have forgotten, since it's been a while since he got any mention on here) will probably assume it's for him, as he's kind of been back in the picture of late (more on that in two ticks). But nope. I'm all about Neeraj, at least until the end of April, by which time I intend to give up on him unless he's put out. Yeah.

Chris: well, he's getting crazier by the day. He rode up to the marina in Bayswater a few weeks ago on the Pinarello that I WANT (what is it with boys stealing my dreams?), and a disgusting Cheshire Cat-like grin on his face. He waved, and I gave a tight-lipped smile. Bastard. Since then, he's brought me breakfast to my house - unannounced, but welcome because it was a Massive McMuffin, hash brown and hot chocolate, which means he remembered I don't drink coffee - attempted to wave to me (I made him look like an idiot, by turning around halfway through so he was waving at no-one. I'm so mature), and asked me out for dinner. Yes, people, this is the same guy that turned me down for dinner that time in favour of "riding home the long way" which was, as you will recall, a lie. I took great pleasure in turning him down. I actually think he's insane.

Here's his bike.

What? It's not THAT weird.

This weekend I'm going to Christchurch for Easter. And Sam's coming over on Thursday! Yay all round.

Update!!!!: Cabin and Nic won their respective events at the NZ Mountain Bike Marathon Championships this morning. Proof that they are like, awesome to the bone! Yes, the results actually say "Cabin Leishman". It's like they forgot his name's actually Mark or something. Congrats guys, you rock.

Nic. In a different race, but you get the idea.
She rules.

Anyway, Christchurch should be good. We're getting icecream, BK, Roasties... pretty much if it has an unhealthily high fat content, we're going to be eating it in massive quantities. As if I need to put any more weight on, right? XTERRA 2010 is now a year away... and road nationals aren't til October. I can have one more weekend of gorging myself before I get into Operation Skinny again. And once I'm into that shit, I should look a little something like this...

Just maybe sans the cheap porny outfit. Nikki, you slag.

Thank goodness that's a different Nic.

On that note, it's 1:08am and I promised Sal I'd go to bed like, an hour ago.

Peace and... skinny, yo.

5 April 2009

Rise And Shine, Upper East Siders

It's a little early in the morning for me to stomach this.

4 April 2009

Sugar, We're Goin Down

Maybe just make that "I'm" going down. As was the case this afternoon when I collapsed onto the dining room floor at our house. While we had guests.


So it was a little awkward. The first introduction I had to Mike and Michaela from Minnesota (he he, if I was a person who liked generalisations, which I'm not, I might come to the conclusion that Americans have first names based on what state they hail from) was when Mike called out, "oh, she's down." And then all of a sudden Rex was rolling me over. Weird.

In other news, I FINALLY went to the optometrist this morning, who I of course promptly fell in love with. And he was white. It's unheard of. Anyway, he tested my eyes and wrote me a prescription for lenses, but not before checking my "eye health". Which, as it turns out, is pretty bad.

I have a condition I'm going to, for want of using big words, call Keratoconjunctivitis sicca. And no, it's not pink eye. I don't touch poop, nor do I rub it on my eyes. It's "dry eye". And apparently I have it pretty bad. So instead of glasses, I left the optometrist this morning with eyedrops. Turns out I sleep with my eyes open. Creepy much? Ew, no wonder boys don't want to stay over (yes, that must be it). This is turn has led to me being afflicted with dry eye. In two weeks, after using the eyedrops a rather excessive five times a day, I have to go back and be retested, in case the condition affects my prescription! Can you imagine? Having dry eyes to the extent where it's making you blind?

I'm disappointed though, because I want glasses! I don't want eyedrops! This whole dry eye thing has made me paranoid about blinking, using my computer, watching TV, sleeping, being awake for too long. You name it, I feel uncomfortable about it. In fact, now that I know it's there, my eyes have all of a sudden gotten sore. Yes, I occasionally complain of having "sore eyeballs", but usually that's a joke. Not now. Now they actually hurt. I'm scared.

In case you're interested, here's an article about dry eyes.


3 April 2009

Terenzo's Back? This Could Be Good.

The subject of the latest email update from XTERRA? "Terenzo's back". Oh, man.

Do you know Terenzo? I do, mainly because between the ages of fourteen and seventeen I had the world's most ridiculous, and unrequited crush EVER on him. You wouldn't blame me though, if you've seen and/or met him.

Last year, Terenzo had his life built around making the Olympic Triathlon team. When it didn't happen, which was the biggest blow of his mostly stellar career, he "retaliated" by winning nearly every race he entered for the next six months. The team announcement was made about this time last year, around the World Triathlon Festival race weekend in New Plymouth, which I also attended. After the disappointment of his non-selection, Terenzo didn't fare too well in that weekend's event, but he came back with a vengeance just six days later.

It was only on the Thursday before XTERRA, when race lists were posted, that I saw his name, nestled amongst the likes of Tim Wilding and Mark Leishman, that suddenly the event got a whole lot more interesting. Terenzo is sponsored by Specialized (bastard, I know), and they hooked him up with a suitable bike for the event which, not without an epic battle, he took apart.

He was first out of the swim - by a mentionable margin, and then Cabin passed him on the bike course, which, unbeknownst to me, had just gotten a whole lot harder as the course had changed from previous years. Not that Terenzo let anyone know. He, Cabin and my cousin of some shape or form, Scott Thorne, battled it out over trails like Billy T and Split Enz. The three emerged from the Blue Lake walking track and into transition, Scott now in front with 1:21.25, followed by Cabin's 1:23.03 to Terenzo's 1:24.25. As with nearly every triathlon on the face of the earth, however, being a prodigy cyclist as are Scott and Cabin, isn't enough. And Terenzo is one of the best runners the sport has to offer. Uh oh.

Off they went, around Blue Lake twice, running probably as fast as they ever had. Cabin turned in a tidy 44:26 for a total time of 2:07.29 (the entire course is 1km swim, 26km mountain bike, 11km run... so that time is just way beyond ridiculous), but he was just pipped along the beach by the victory-hungry Terenzo, who managed 2:07.09. Scott came in third in 2:08.48.
At prizegiving when Terenzo relenquished his spot on the World Championship team in favour of chasing 70.3 titles, Scott was thrilled to take up the place. He later placed 17th at Worlds in Maui, while Cabin was 21st on not a hell of a lot of sport specific training.

Don't be fooled by the frivolous white suit.
This guy means business.

I underestimated Terenzo last year. He'd only done two off-road bike races before, and I know from experience that road cycling ability quite often doesn't transfer as much as you'd like to the trails. I expected him to be somewhere in the top five. Not first.

So this year, Terenzo's back. Cabin and his much-idolised-by-me girlfriend Nic Leary have been training like no-one's business and I have absolute confidence that she'll win the women's title. Cabin has got something of a battle on his hands, but it's nothing he can't handle. Add to the mix that Scott has become even more formidable than before on the mountain bike, and I doubt he's been ignoring his swim like previous years, so XTERRA this year just got a whole lot more interesting. I can't wait!

2 April 2009

Hiding, unfortunately

Dear Cabin...

Ask me again next year. Or last year. Last year would have been cool, because in those days I had a job and plenty of training under my pink studded belt to serve me in the NZ MTB Marathon Championships. Sigh.

Instead, I'm hitting up Ferguson Park in Tauranga for a 5km run. Not really much of a comparison, but it gives you an indicator of where my health is at compared to last year. Don't be fooled by the pink lipstick, people. Makeup school takes a lot out of you.

Consider the Servilles fashion show I worked at on Friday. I planned to wake up at 6am, straighten my hair to its former Cleopatra-reminiscent glory, put on so much makeup I was barely recognisable, and be at the ferry terminal with ten minutes to spare. No such luck.

For whatever reason, I fell back to sleep until 7:15am, where by some unimaginable stroke of luck, I woke up. Of course by now I'd run out of time to do my hair. I struggled to take a shower in the time I had left before it was necessary for me to leave. Consequently, my makeup looked average, or even a scrape below. I ran out the door, armed with my kit, and considering I arrived at the ferry terminal at 8:11am (for a boat that leaves at 8:10am) and still had 200m to cover in negative one minute, I really shouldn't have got on the boat. But I did. Somehow.

Halfway across the Waitemata, I realised I didn't have my Student ID card with me, where it had previously been in my pocket. Grand. So then I hurriedly pleaded my case to an uninterested Korean guy at the gate in Downtown who clipped my ticket without so much as a blink. I ran most of the way to SRA, my kit swinging wildly along beside me, and arrived on time. In what I consider to be a miracle from God, the phone at school rang as we were leaving. Some good samaritan had picked up my ID card on the Bayswater side of the harbour and called the school. What!? Does life get any better?

The show went off for me without a hitch. I turned out five full makeups, four lips, and what seemed like ten more touchups. In reality it was probably more like two, but you know.

After the show, I went to meet the woman who had found my card on the ground. A Saint of some sort, I do believe. Even though I had no "clips" left on my ferry ticket, the gorgeous Neeraj (this being a subjective term - I'm pretty sure the only reason I find him attractive is because of his borderline resemblance to Donny) let me through anyway. I feel like our ticket-clipping relationship could only move on to bigger and better things from here.

Arriving home at about 4pm, I spent until well after 7pm catching up on sleep. I then went out until after midnight with Cam and Amber (this time, I planned ahead, and straightened and made myself up with an hour to spare) and slept from 4am until 5:30am, when I got up to go training. This was followed by the almost weekly jaunt to Hamilton. Safety first? Not when you're in makeup school.

Unsurprisingly, I slept solidly on Saturday from 10pm until 10am. That hasn't happened since I returned from Athens in 2004.

Since then, my nightly sleeping hours have been back around 2. What the hell? No wonder I look like an actual pile of crap! All I want to do is sleep but for some reason this comes secondary to school, training, trying to ignore Donny's incessant phone calls, watching "Yes Man", and texting friends while they're trying to finish essays about the Kama Sutra. I finally believe Dean Karnazes. You can function on no sleep.

So, Cabin, I won't be joining you on the startline. I'll probably be asleep.