31 August 2009


Is this, or is this not, the cutest thing you've ever seen?

It's called "Alice's Sewing Basket" and was designed by Jillian Nickell. I for one love it and will probably be buying it from threadless.com in the next few weeks. You know, with the money I'm saving to move to Japan.

Speaking of Japan, here's a photo of one of my faves.

I do recall saying I was going to devise a ranking system in order to sort out my favourite Japanese guys, but I think it goes something like
1: Nayuha
2: Kosuke Kitajima
3: Ryohei Komori
4: Hiroyuki Tomita
5: The rest of the Japanese gymnastics team
6: The rest of the male Japanese population

I'm going for a nail polish-free week! I'm keen to see how long it lasts. Because I constantly wear nail polish, and usually in shades such as "My Chihuahua Bites" which is the brightest red-coral I've ever seen, or "We'll Always Have Paris" - a lovely dark aubergine, you can imagine my nails themselves are stained quite nastily. Tonight I spent no less than an hour with my fingertips dipped in lemon juice to try and bleach them. By the end of it my fingers were beginning to sting. Beauty is pain, people.

It was, in retrospect, something of a pointless exercise, because, let's be honest. Tomorrrow afternoon I'm going to get over this and go and paint them an outlandish shade of pink, maybe "Dress To Empress" (it's from the Japanese Collection. Go figure). Still, an improvement in the colour of my nails has been noted, so if you're looking for a way to solve your yellow nail issues, either stop smoking - you digusting fag hag, or dip your nails in lemon juice.

Wowee. It's now just one week until I depart for the sunny Gold Coast, in Australia, for Worlds. Pooping myself much? This week, I have a new and improved schedule which will see me spending less time in the gym (because my shoulder are starting to look like... boulders) and more time out in the wilderness doing more useful training. Depending on the weather, of course. Right now, Zeus is out there having a whale of time and showering the town where I live with rain, wind, and thunder - to the extent where my internet connection has started to get a bit dodgy. Never mind, I'm tough. There's nothing quite like running in the rain.

Anyway, once we get to Australia, I'll have a day to sort myself out, then I'm racing in the Aquathlon World Championships on Wednesday, September 9th. This race consists of a 2.5km run, 1km swim and another 2.5km run, and is being treated by most of our team as a tune-up for the big event, which is on Saturday! ARGH! It's so close I don't know what to do with myself! That said, I'm very happy with my current training and state of fitness, so bring it on! *shadow boxes*

That was a lot of exclamation marks for a short paragraph. In fact, there were five sentences in there, and four exclamation marks. Eek.

Do you guys have any interests that begin with the letter "U"? I don't, apparently. Yes, I do realise it's an odd fact to know about myself, but tonight I got bored and put my Facebook "Interests" section into alphabetical order. U, X and Z were the only letters of the alphabet missing, and I really feel that my obsession with Orana Park could qualify me to legitimately list "zoos" as an interest. Here's a photo of me feeding a giraffe there.

My arms are now literally half the size they are in this photo, along with my chest. Yuss.

Anyway, what is there that I could possibly be interested in that starts with a "U"? Umbrellas? Urophagia *vomits in mouth*? Underwater hockey? None of these things really appeal. If you have an interest that begins with the letter "U", let me know.

For now, look after your elbows and knees, and smile at strangers.

Over and out.

29 August 2009


My VISA got its riot gear out this morning when I discovered cosme-de.com, a website from which I can purchase NARS makeup with free shipping, and without the outrageous markups I would experience if I bought it in Auckland.

Only one store in New Zealand (Mecca Cosmetica, in Ponsonby) carries NARS, and as such it reserves the right to double the cost of the line. I'm being dead serious. Firming Foundation, for example, can be bought from Sephora for $50USD. That converts to around $73 in my currency. What would it cost me to buy it at Mecca? $150. And that's for a limited range of colours, so I'm not even guaranteed to look my best. Likewise, the eyeshadow duos (my personal favourite range of its kind) are $98. I don't know about you, but I just don't have $100 to spend on eyeshadow. And I don't know how keen I would be to spend that, even if it turned out that Richard Branson is in fact my uncle (I'm trying to prove this using my mother's genealogy software). At any rate, this morning I discovered that I can buy two sets for this price on cosme-de. Ka-ching!

Admittedly, I already gave my VISA a bit of a workout last night when I bought a tshirt from threadless.com.
Have you heard me rave about this site before? Probably. It's one of my faves. Every time I visit, I find at least six tshirts that I want, but last night I was able to narrow it down to one, and ordered away. Thus, in about two weeks time, I'm going to be sporting one of these.

It's called "Star Cross'd Lovers" and was designed by Alice Zhang and Chow Hon Lam. The decision to only buy one shirt was a begrudging one, let me assure you. My favourite print of all time, "Blooming" by TJ Zhang, has sold out in my size (stupid, because I totally had the opportunity to buy it, the day it came out, but couldn't be bothered!) and so I had another of his designs, "Shh..." in my cart all ready to go. At the end of the day though, I questioned my need for two shirts, and just went with this one. I love threadless.com.

Wow, I think I'm meant to be saving money to go to Japan!? Oops.

Peace, love, and reasonably priced makeup.

How I Met Your Elbows

How I Met Your Mother, along with Chuck, Skins, Outrageous Fortune, and The Big Bang Theory, is my favourite show (yes, I know I just listed five shows. It's one for each night of the week!). And a few weeks ago, I picked up a wee gem from Barney, that blonde guy who always wears suits. "Suits are cool."

One of his many theories (which include the "Crazy-Hot Scale", and the fact that you can tell if a woman has children by the insides of her wrists) is that you can tell someone's age from their elbows.

Sure, I've known this subconsciously for years, but ever since watching the episode, I've been moisturising my elbows with a vengeance - I'm determined to get into negative equity with the theory. And so, without further ado, I bring you my best picks for youthful elbows.

1: Palmer's Olive Butter Formula. Admittedly, the main drawcard here for me is its fragrance. In general, I turn my nose up at olive-scented things - The Body Shop's Olive Oil Body Butter and Shampoo (although the shampoo does create unparalleled shine...) are really just not up there on my faves - but this Palmer's stuff is fantastic. It's designated for use on hands, elbows and feet - so it's richer than the average moisturiser, and perfect for getting your elbows baby-soft. Mmm.

2: Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream. Yeah, you saw that one coming from a mile away. In general, I can't stand to use this on my hands because it's so sticky and weird, but it's the perfect solution to your overnight elbow moisturisation woes. Added bonus: the heat generated by your body while sleeping adds to its effect. It doesn't smell as good as the Palmer's stuff, but it comes with Hollywood's, and the dermatologist's seal of approval, so it can't be all bad!

3: St Ive's Oatmeal and Shea Butter Advanced Body Moisturiser. It's more of an all-over formula, but it's emollient enough to keep your elbows in tip-top condition. Pay extra attention to your elbows (and the heels of your hands, particularly if you're a cyclist like me) while moisturising your arms with this stuff. Keep it by your bed for first-thing-in-the-morning and middle-of-the-night topups. Yeah, I did mention that I've become pedantic about this! The great thing about St Ive's is that it comes in a giant bottle with a pumpy lid, and it's wicked cheap, but effective.

4: The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector. Unfortunately you can't use this to get high, not that I would ever be keen for that anyway. It's quite possibly the richest moisturising product on the market, and it truly works wonders for dry skin - whether it be on your hands, heels or ... elbows! When I first bought this product it came with a special scrub to use before it, which is pretty much my favourite scrub of all time. I've since run out (I bought it like, two years ago), which is a bummer, but this cream alone is fantastic. Buying from The Body Shop also means you're contributing to Community Trade projects in disadvantaged countries, so it's double happy!

Moisturising obsessively is not the only thing you can do to smooth things up. My personal method of exfoliation is with a pair of gloves from The Body Shop, teamed up with whatever body wash I happen to be using at the time. Don't EVER be tempted to use these gloves on your face. Sounds like common sense, right? Not to my sister, who only recently came to the realisation that maybe doing so was the cause of her red, dry sore facial skin. Only use a face-specific exfoliator on your face - these are much gentler. When it comes to elbows, however, you can afford to be a little bit more ruthless. Just be sure to moisturise immediately after showering - sloughing the epidermis and not creating a lipid barrier afterwards leaves your skin at the mercy of the elements, and will lead to roughness and occasionally even broken skin - the opposite of what we want!

L'Oreal's Exfotonic is hailed as one of the greatest exfoliating products ever, and with good reason. It's grainy and can sting a little, but the results are truly magnifique! In my experience, a little does not really go a long way, and it's for that reason that Exfotonic is a once-a-year treat buy. Other favourites include Clinique's Sparkle Skin, which comes with a delighful cooling sensation. Again, it's a must that you moisturise directly after use. If you're in a financial position to splash out, go for Origins Modern Friction. In fact, while you're instore, try and wangle your way into a hand and arm treatment. Louise (not my sister) and I had this opportunity at the Providence Place Mall a few years ago, and we had gorgeous hands for the rest of the day (until we got back to camp, when your hands invariably become chapped and covered in dirt immediately).

So that's my spiel on how to get nice elbows for the day. Don't let this be an excuse to neglect your knees though!!

28 August 2009

Smells Better Than An Old Hat

A lot better.

I traded in bottles of supermarket-bought shampoo and conditioner (Pantene and Sunsilk, respectively) yesterday at Rodney Wayne and received $10 off Redken Extreme shampoo and conditioner. Today I used them and they're pretty much the best thing ever. The formula is for "distressed" hair, which pretty much sums up my mop to a tee. What with daily attacks of sweat, chlorine, cold air, 300-degree heat from straighteners, constant brushing, tying and re-tying up, further abuse from straighteners, and of course the array of products I use to try and keep it in its straight glory (Frizz-Ease Relaxer, Sunsilk Easy Straightening Creme, Redken Heat Glide, Schwarzkopf 48 Straightening Balm - none of which actually work, by the way) - yes, one can assume my hair is fairly distressed. I'm also considering the switch to Lady Gaga blonde in a few weeks, so if that doesn't stress out my hair, nothing will.

We'll see how the Redken goes. It gets ten points for smelling delicious, anyway. I'm a little confused as to why the shampoo bottle (300mL) is larger than the conditioner (250mL). Does ANYONE use more shampoo than they do conditioner? Seriously. If you do, let me know. I'll probably be able to give you a more accurate gauge on how well these products work, in a few weeks once I've used them more than once.

Until then, happy straightening, people!

27 August 2009

There's No Land Like It

Today I made a fleeting visit to my old home: North Shore City, or Shore Land. What a happy few minutes it was!

Actually, I had a fairly successful day in general. I had one of the funniest conversations of all time with Curtis when I woke up, then proceeded to journey northwards (northwards? Is that even a word?) firstly to Newmarket, and then to the Shore. Looking at what I've just written, I'm feeling a bit sad at how I define success. Really? Driving to Auckland?

In other news, my sister got engaged last night.

I don't find that particularly exciting. Should I?

My sister is 25, and has been living with this douchebag guy named Nick for a couple of years now. I'm sure he's lovely, but the fact that in his entire life he's not said one nice thing to me - instead he mocks me mercilessly, which would be fine if I thought it was in jest, but I just don't - pisses me off just a smidgen. Also, he is like, 26 going on 60. He dresses, behaves, eats, and is pretty much just like an old man. But whatever. On the upside, he is at least 400% better than my sister's last boyfriend, who is now thought to be either clinically insane or a psychopath (they were engaged, albeit briefly and while drunk, in 2004).

Another upshot of this engagement is that I've officially secured my very first bridal makeup gig. I mean, I don't know when it is, but there you have it. And no, I am not going to be a bridesmaid. This is because bridesmaids are meant to look not-as-nice-as-the-bride on the wedding day, and that just doesn't run with me. I try to upstage people at their own 21sts. As if I'm ever going to be someone's bridesmaid.

Anyway. Frankie, who you should all stalk at Swell Vintage, has just published a lovely article on the extraordinary Zooey Deschanel at Queens Of Vintage. Zooey is a longtime favourite of mine. She is a total babe. Here she is at the premiere of 500 Days Of Summer.

Those eyes! Those perfectly pink cheeks! I love love LOVE it. Also I'm obsessed with the hair, which looks a tad less crack-addict (but still hot!) than the beehive I sported at Libby's 21st in January. Mmm-hmm.

Right, well... that's about it.

Peace, love and classy beehives.

22 August 2009

Oh, Hai

It's been a while, so here's a photo of that Japanese cyclist I love. Yesss.

I'm more than a little bit excited that he's going to be down my way soon for the Tour Of Southland.

El Spanish-o

I came across OPI's latest offering this morning: Colleccion de Espana.

I must say, I rather like it. In fact, I bought "Ate Berries In The Canaries", despite it being little more than half a shade more purple than my current fave, "I'm Indi-a Mood For Love" (no prizes for guessing what collection that came from). I'm also more than a little bit keen for "Suzi Skis In The Pyrenees", an unusual grey-navy.

This weekend, my nails are getting a much-needed break from polish. I literally can't remember the last time I went without, though I'm guessing it was before November, because I made a point of sporting a new shade each week while I was at SRA, and since then I haven't gone without. There's always someone you have to impress, whether it's at the gym or at the sushi bar (the only two public places I go).

Another exciting development: you can take bottles of shampoo bought at the supermarket into Rodney Wayne and receive a $10 discount on Redken shampoos. Yes please. Considering my current choice of conditioner (Sunsilk Moisture Therapy) leaves my hair smelling like an old cat, I'm all over that.

Yesterday's job was a success! There was a slight hitch with some dropdown which in turn caused Jess' cheeks to go grey and they required complete re-making up, but apart from that it was smooth sailing with some very glamorous results! Once the hangovers have worn off, the girls have told me they'll upload photos to Facebook, from where I can steal them and post them on mim.artiste. Yay! I would have done it for free, but getting paid was a welcome bonus. To that end I'm going on "holiday" tomorrow, to Taupo... with my bike. It's now just three weeks until Worlds, and I feel like a wee retreat to one of my favourite training posts is needed.

Lucky for some: longtime friend and sometimes dick, Terenzo, is in the Philippines for Ironman 70.3 Philippines tomorrow. He often flits around the world for various competitions, and usually does quite well: so far this year he's won a couple of the Ironman 70.3 series. After placing second in his maiden Ironman New Zealand earlier this year, he's also off to Kona in October for the World Championships, and later in the year the series final of 70.3 in Clearwater, Florida, where he's previously won and broken the course record.

So that's what's going on... I fell asleep partway through this post, so I'm feeling quite glad I didn't choose to hit Taupo today instead. More later, kids.


A seemingly resounding 87% of New Zealand voters ticked "No" in the recent Citizens Initiated Referendum about the Anti-Smacking Law.

In New Zealand, it is a criminal offense to smack your child as a means of good parental discipline. It's all a bit airy fairy, isn't it? Under this law, my parents, along with the parents of a lot of people I know, are criminals.

The law was initiated a few years ago by Green Party member and noted hippy, Sue Bradford. Since then, a guy in Christchurch was convicted of the offense - though one hopes that his behaviour (which included punching his child in the face) would have been brought to trial regardless of this law. I'm no parenting expert, and I hope I never am, but to me that seems a bit more like assault than discipline.

It's caused a rift amongst New Zealanders, this anti-smacking business. My sister, who is also a hippy, voted "Yes" in the referendum which posed the question, "Should a smack, as part of good parental discipline, be a criminal offense in New Zealand?". Louise said to me that parents need to learn alternative methods of disciplining their children, rather than resorting to immediate violence. She then raved on about research regarding the mental state of people who were smacked as children.

Um, okay then. But a law banning smacking isn't going to educate parents on alternative disciplinary actions, is it? It simply criminalises a smack. And as for further research she claims shows that a smack can lead to abuse... great. But people who abuse children aren't usually the ones who abide by the law anyway.

I'm not pro-smacking. I don't think hitting a child is that effective for anything really. But I just don't agree with the premise that if you do choose to do it as a method of discipline, that you should be deemed a criminal, and as such effectively lumped in with people who put their toddlers in clothesdryers (overseas readers: yes, it has happened here). I also don't believe that making this a criminal offense is going to lead to parents making "better" decisions regarding discipline.

Only 54% of enrolled New Zealand voters submitted ballots in this referendum. Some, like University of Waikato lecturer Mark Houlahan, refused to vote because of the question's lack of definition (how does one define a "smack"? And what is "good parenting"?). Sue Bradford even claimed that some voters would have found the question difficult and misleading, and may have accidentally voted the wrong way. Initially, I wasn't going to vote because this is not a law that affects, or will ever affect me because I have absolutely no plans of ever becoming a parent, and as such have no use for disciplinary actions towards children. I changed my mind because I thought all the hippies would vote yes.

As it turns out, it may not matter anyway. The last Citizens Initiated Referendum, about the number of MPs in parliament, was completely ignored by the government, and despite a huge majority voting in favour of the number being reduced from 120 to 99, there are still 120 MPs in parliament fifteen years later.

Why our government is wasting money on referendums when it should be agreeing to reduce carbon emissions by 40% by 2020 is beyond me anyway. Don't you just love politics?

21 August 2009

Speed Demon

Scandal at this year's World Championships in Athletics: is women's 800m winner Caster Semenya... a woman?

I didn't actually see the race (the spin class I was taking this morning prevented me from doing so, but NOT from watching Monique's 200m heat. More on that in a tick) but by the time I got home from training tonight, I'd heard all sorts of things about the winner.

My mum, who is for the record, highly judgmental of people based on appearances and other outward aspects of a person, seemed quick in her conclusion that Caster is not of the fairer sex. "Look at it!" she fairly cried. "Just the way it's standing around, and those arms..."
Personally, I find judging someone's sex based on their arms particularly offensive, because mine used to be pretty huge, and garnered me the affectionate nickname of "man arms".

I'll admit, Caster is not hugely feminine. She is extraordinarily muscular, runs with a rather... manly gait, and her pre-race mannerisms were not unlike those of the male sprinters. Then there's the glowing reference from her high school principal, that he "didn't realise she was a girl until the eleventh grade" and that she wore the boys' uniform, not the girls'. Umm, okay?

Questions were also raised at her rate of improvement: last year she was running 2:04, last night she finished in a swift 1:55. This is, to be fair, pretty redundant. An improvement of 9 seconds over 800m in an eighteen-year-old boy would also seem pretty suspicious, and as such can hardly be used as further proof that she might in fact be a he.

It's all kind of reminiscent of the 1972 Olympics, where female athletes were gender tested. Shane Gould, who until 2000 was Australia's only gold medallist in the women's 200m freestyle (and who won, in addition to that race, the 200m individual medley and 400m freestyle at the same Olympics, all in world record time), wrote about it in her book, Tumble Turns. She commented on the fact that due to suspect performances by "female" East German and Soviet athletes, she was required to get nekkid for officials so that they could confirm her sex. Frightening.

News reports about Caster suggest she has been "sex tested" before. But she remains under investigation by the IAAF, and, if she's found to be, well, male... then she loses her medal. Guts, though. I mean, let's assume for all intents and purposes that she is a girl. What an awful, awful thing for an eighteen-year-old girl to have to endure. The entire world is questioning her gender. As if she doesn't have enough on her plate.


Anyway, more exciting for me was watching Monique Williams' heat of the 200m, where she almost outran Allyson Felix (another favourite of mine. In fact, I still have the photo finish from the 200m final in Osaka two years ago, where Allyson won with a classy 21.81s, on my wall). Monique is from Tokoroa, which is a... not so nice town not far from my hometown of Hamilton. She's wicked fast. In my track days I was often in the same heat as her for 100m and 200m, which as you can imagine is fairly embarrassing when she's finishing in about 23s and I'm taking, like, 30s. This morning she outdid herself: 22.96s and a new national record. Finishing second in her heat, she secured a place in tonight's semi-finals, which I may not get to watch live. Disappointing. Here's hoping she runs even faster tonight!

Tomorrow (or today, as it's now 12:36am) I get to do makeup, and get paid for it! Wow, it's only been... five months since I graduated and I'm finally putting my qualification to use. Well, for money anyway. I do love working on films for free, especially when they involve my faves. I'm doing makeup for five gorgeous girls who are hitting the Waikato University Law Society Ball. Excitement!

With that said... I have to get an entire day's worth of training in before 12:30pm... so I've got the earliest start of all time.

Peace, love and fast 200m semi-finals.

19 August 2009

And Then The Seagull Came...

I don't know why, but this week is proving to be particularly exhausting for me. I'm used to being tired a lot, but not to this extent. It's very strange, and I'm grasping at straws to come up with an explanation.

Anyway, this morning I ran on the treadmill while watching some Kenyans run a 3000m steeples race MUCH too fast. In fact, it took winner Ezekiel Kemboi just 8:00.45 to finish the race. THAT'S RIDICULOUS. In my first year at high school (albeit before I took running very seriously), I remember doing the Cooper's 12 minute run for PE class, and clocking up about 3000m. At the time, of course, I thought I was destined for distance running greatness, and for the remaining years I spent at school, every year I tried and failed to win the cross country. Anyway, I KNOW they're Kenyans, and I KNOW they get paid to train, and they live in one of the world's most appropriate countries for training steeples, but I'm just so baffled at how one can run 3000m in eight minutes. With the added drama of a few jumps, including one each lap into a pit of water, along the way. It really is quite incredible.

Zeke, en route to Olympic gold in 2004

Sanya Richards, who I used to adore (until Briar told me the reason she was so good as because she took steroids, not because of the stretching programme she followed), won the 400m final in a 2009 World Leading time of 49.00s. I don't know. I kind of think if she was really on steroids, she'd be running a lot faster than that. Like, maybe 46s? Oh, well.

I just tried to get creative in the kitchen, adding garlic mayonnaise to my bagel with egg. It wasn't half-bad, and reminded me of the time when Nicola and Ana had nothing except bread and mayonnaise in their flat while we were students at the University of Otago, so I had mayo-on-toast for tea. Yumm. I'm considering a career in fine cuisines involving egg-based condiments.

It's not a fantastic day where I live. The sky is grey. Actually grey. And it's been raining on and off since, well, presumably before I got up, because when I left my house, the roads were wet and stuff. I'm continually in awe of what a profound effect weather has upon me. This morning, for example, I came home from training instead of going to the pool, just because I felt depressed at having to use my windscreen wipers. I'm struggling to get ready for my next session, because of the colour of the sky. Is anyone else like this?

I bet Ezekiel Kemboi goes out whatever the weather. And that's why he can run a 3000m steeples in eight minutes, and I can't.

18 August 2009

Ivana Mid-Flight

I just found this great photo of evergreen US gymnast, Ivana Hong, on the bars at the recent US Nationals. Hong trains at WOGA, although I'm convinced she originally competed out of GAGE in Missouri. Anyone?

In Dallas during Nationals, thirteen athletes and coaches, including my longtime hero and idol, Carly Patterson, were inducted to the Gymnastics Hall of Fame. Carly is one of my favourite people of all time, ever. In 2004 I watched her win the Olympic All-Around gold, and silvers on beam and in the team final. She's the only person to have ever landed a double Arabian front dismount from the beam, especially difficult because it's a blind landing. It's called the "Patterson", so effectively she's up there with Yurchenko, Chusovitina, Tsukahara and Comaneci. It's pretty mean to have a skill named after you. Since her retirement, she's embarked on a mildly successful singing career. Can't say I'm a huge fan, but I love Carly and everything she does, so yeah. It's not like she could do gymnastics forever, after all. She's so wrecked from years of flipping and contorting that she can't even run anymore. Price to pay, eh?

Hercules! Hercules! Carly Rae at her induction.

One last photo for today: Kytra Hunter, my new fave. Here she is performing on floor exercise on day two of Nationals.

17 August 2009

South Auckland 1, World 0

Valerie Vili won her second world title in shotput last night in Berlin, and was awarded with what will probably be New Zealand's only medal of the championships. Check out her arms.

Do you wanna fight me?

Vili, who grew up Valerie Adams in South Auckland's finest suburbs, has always impressed - from her World Youth and Junior titles, to a silver at the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2002, and since then she's tended to win pretty much every event. The noted exception was in Athens in 2004, where she didn't make the top eight cut to qualify for the final. Of course, later the winner tested positive for drugs, and Val should have been in the final anyway. If she was pissed about it, she never let anyone know. She's composure central, that girl.

I sat next to Valerie while at the New Zealand Track & Field Championships in 2007. She's fairly... intimidating. I'm pretty sure I was the same size as her leg.

Anyway, last night she successfully cemented her dominance in an event that typically sees new winners every cycle, if not every year. What a star. We love Valerie. Congratulations!

At the same meet, probably around the same time that Valerie was putting her winning throw out there, five black guys ran 100m in under 10 seconds. The fact that it's possible to do that still amazes me, even though it's been happening since the late 1960s. Winner Usain Bolt, who is just... really not as attractive as his sponsors probably wish he was, ran 9.58s. Before he arrived on the scene, such a time would have nearly everyone in the athletics world suspecting drug use. But this guy is just so far and away better than everyone else, we're too amazed to think anything but... is this guy Superman?

The next placed runner, Tyson Gay, turned in a swift 9.71s. That's fast, kids. But it probably looked like he was running in sand next to Bolt, who famously crossed the Olympic finish line last year sideways. Anyway, it's been a while since all the runners in a final were so impressive, so good work guys.

Peace, love and 20.44m throws.

16 August 2009

Summer Fun

It's not summer here yet (although reports from friends who weren't asleep all day yesterday tell me it's on its way) but it is in Berlin, where the IAAF World Championships in Athletics are now in full swing.

Providence-based New Zealand runner, Kimberley Smith, placed 8th in the women's 10,000m. She recorded a season's best time of 31:21.42. I just don't know what I would do with myself if I could run 10km that quickly. Although at a guess it would be something like representing New Zealand at Worlds. The race was won (in the notable absences of Tirunesh Dibaba and Elvan Abeylegesse) by a Kenyan - for the first time in twelve years - the same Kenyan who beat Dibaba earlier in the season at the Reebok Grand Prix, in the shorter 5,000m event, Linet Masai. Ethiopians claimed the rest of the medals, and the minor placings were filled by more Africans, along with an American, two Japanese girls and Kim.

In what seems to be becoming something of a global event - the women's pole vault - qualifiers for the final include the freakishly talented Elena Isinbayeva, along with my personal favourite, Polish Anna Rogowska, Fabiana Murer of Brazil, Kate Dennison from the UK, Isinbayeva's countrywomen (but I can almost guarantee they're not friends) Yuliya Golubchikova, Aleksandra Kiryashova, and Tatyana Polnova, the Germans Anna Battke, Silke Spiegelburg, Kristina Gadschiew, Monika Pyrek of Poland, and Chelsea Johnson of the USA. Okay, okay - so it's Germany versus Russia in the final, and not that global after all, but qualifications featured athletes from Finland, Cyprus, Malaysia, Greece, Italy, Switzerland, Portugal, France, the Czech Republic, China, Canada, Spain, Japan and Korea. Fun.

The men's 100m - an event I have less and less interest in each time it's run, will be into the semi-final stages tomorrow and will feature an array of mostly black and Caribbean men (Japanese Naoki Tsukahara the noted exception) including that American showpony Tyson Gay and the Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt. Zambian Gerald Phiri set a national record of 10.16s to be the fastest non-placed qualifier.

Tsukahara of a different kind: semi-finalist Naoki at last year's Olympics

The New Zealand highlight for tomorrow will no doubt be current World, Olympic and Commonwealth Games champion and the nation's favourite enormously tall daughter, Valerie Vili, who competes in shotput. She has a personal and season's best of 20.69m (okay seriously kids, that's throwing a heavy metal ball almost the length of a short-course swimming pool) and is the favourite to retain her title. Valerie's event gets underway at 8:20pm local time, and I got so confused looking at the world clock just now that I'm not even going to attempt to tell you what time that will be where I live. Anyway, I'm sure she'll do us proud yet again.

From track to gymnastics (it links in because of that Tsukahara guy!) and the US Nationals are all but over now. Can you believe they're having a "Nastia Liukin Cup"?! I admit I became more of a fan when she pulled it out when it really counted (winning the Olympic All-Around over the more decorated Shawn Johnson), but... I don't know. The Nastia Liukin Cup? She has a good marketing department. Anyway, her teammate Rebecca Bross, who the last time I saw her was still landing bars dismounts on her back to relieve pressure on the foot she broke earlier this year - yikes, was first after day one but in finals was beaten by old hands Bridget Sloan and Ivana Hong. Anyway, I'll tell you who my new favourite is and that's Kytra Hunter, out of Frederick in Maryland.

USA Gymnastics is the governing body for a whole bunch of gymn-related sports, including the ever-crazy Acrobatics. It's competed in teams - pairs and trios which are either men, women, or mixed. Mostly they just throw each other around and wear sparkly outfits. Kind of like cheerleading without all the yelling. Here's an example.

Anyone else thinking, how is that girl suspended in mid-air in a straddle position? Creepy.

Alright well, I think I've talked more than enough for this weekend. What was I saying about being softspoken? HA.

Over and out, yo.

14 August 2009

In Her World, "Yes" Means "No".

I get told often that I'm softly spoken. Probably you won't believe this if
a) you've lived with me
b) you've known me longer than a day
c)you've sat next to me in traffic lights while I sing along to Lady Gaga

However, apart from that I guess maybe I am. A little bit. But I do speak fairly good English (I was born there after all, and even though parts of my childhood were spent speaking various Uzbekistani dialects, I consider English to be my main language) and as such, usually when I hit up drive-thru windows in New Zealand, my orders are taken without a hitch.

This was not the case today. I went to a Burger King and asked for a TenderCrisp.
"A what?"
"A TenderCrisp."
"Can you say that again, and speak up?"
"A. Tender. Crisp."
"Okay, so that's a Hawaiian Chicken meal? You want to upsize?"
"No, I don't. What? Hawaiian? Where did you get that from? I want a TenderCrisp. TenderCriiisp!" (yes, I did actually elongate the "iiii" in "crisp".)
"A what? You don't want a Hawaiian?"
"Then what do you want? Can you speak up?" Though, to be fair, I do wonder how increasing the volume is going to affect this person's obviously retarded ability to differentiate between words.
"TenderCrisp! T E N D E R C R I S P!"
"Okay, okay. I don't need a spelling test. Can you just drive up to the second window and place your order there?" No offense, but it sounded to me like she DID need a spelling lesson. Good lord!

Then I got unnecessarily angry, drove over a flower bed to an alternative exit, and drove to a McDonald's instead.

There, my order was understood first time, and it was delicious.

It's a shame though. I do like Burger King. But I am totally never going back there.

Rest Day #5

Wow, it's been a while since I wrote anything, and that's because to the ordinary mortal, the highs and lows of training are... pretty fucking boring. Even I get bored some days.
Here's a photo of gymnastics babe Hiroyuki Tomita to brighten up your day.

Here's some goings-on from the last week, in bullet-point form. I wouldn't want you guys getting bored!
- I woke up with a sore throat on Sunday, and bought some Vitamin C + Echinacea tablets. Since then, I've eaten nineteen of them. Slightly excessive? The recommended dosage is one each day. Oops.
- My mum accidentally hit me in the face while I had a drink bottle in my mouth. It resulted in a few tears, a cut lip, and a bruise. Niiiice.
- I had a sick day on Monday! No gym, no biking, no running. It was a strange day. I slept through it.
- We finally got the Britney Spears episode of How I Met Your Mother (best. show. ever) on Tuesday night. That girl is amazing.
- I wore my new makeup out on Wednesday night for Harjeet's birthday dinner. Food = slightly disappointing. Company = fantastic. I love you guys.
- On Thursday morning I woke up wondering if Niharika spiked the birthday cake with brandy. I felt like I had a HANGOVER! Weird.
- Emma's back in Liverpool after an adventure in Rhode Island and ALASKA! Yes kids, she went to Alaska. Jealous!!!
- I've taken some steps to future-proof my life. What these steps are exactly remain under wraps, because once you tell someone, your life inevitably falls to pieces.
- It's now LESS THAN A MONTH until ITU World Championships. Frightened? Yeah, a little. But I think I got this, guys.

So that's my week in a nutshell. More exciting things to come! Thom has asked me to do makeup on his next film, a slasher movie! Sweet. My favourite kid of all time ever, Luke (also known by a slew of names including Luke-a-thon, Luky Yuki, Lucazade... need I continue?) is featuring in it too, so it's going to be something of a Radioactive Reptiles reunion! I'm also doing my first paid gig, for the Waikato Law Ball next Friday. Yeehaw!

Unfortunately I heard this morning that Les Paul died. I mean, he had a pretty good run - he was 94, so what a legend based on that alone. As someone wrote on Twitter this morning, he was the original guitar hero. What a guy.

I've put my Facebook page into Japanese. It's pretty sweet.


Peace, love, and slasher movies, guys.

6 August 2009

Adventures At MAC

... So I went a little crazy at MAC today.

I rolled up with the intention of buying Pro Longwear Lipcolour, and Mineralize SkinFinish Trio (though I was unsure of the New Zealand availability of the latter). I left with those, along with a new Technakohl Liner AND Eyeshadow. Oops. It may have set me back $188. Still, I'm happy with my purchases. It could have been worse. I was eyeing up a number of additional eyeshadow colours, new foundation (which I SO don't need), and SkinFinish Duo. I think I did well, considering.

Electric Eel, my new eyeshadow, is described online as "Bright blue with shimmer", relatively tame for maccosmetics.com, as I alluded to yesterday. The Technakohl Liner I bought is Smoothblue, an "Ocean blue with frost". The idea is to use the liner on the bottom lashline and apply the shadow, with an angle brush, over top. It's a cute trick I learnt from a friend at MAC, and one I somehow pull off nicely with Violet Pigment and Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Bordeauxline. If you're tempted to try this look, go for a nude eyelid, with black mascara on your top lashes. It's supercute. Bear in mind that MAC produces 159 shades of eyeshadow alone, so you're by no means restricted to blue or purple (though these colours will probably look a treat no matter what colour your eyes).

I'm particularly excited about testing out my new lipcolour - although the question is when. Since lipcolour is rarely at the top of my list of priorities when I'm training (though you may be surprised to learn I regularly indulge in a tinted moisturiser with a bit of Nars' Orgasm blush - or you may not, depending on how well you know me), I'm beginning to wonder if the first opportunity I'll have to show it off is next Thursday, when I have my first foray into Hamilton's nightlife since Becky's birthday party in January. This, by the way, is not by choice - Josh and Matt have made the final of the Outback's Man of the Year competition. I shudder to think what they were ever doing in the Outback to enter, but anyway, I'm going to be all Clingpeach'd out. Yes.

Did I get anything else remotely constructive done today? No, not really. Meh...

5 August 2009


I really feel like I need my day off tomorrow. Presently I have no intentions of getting up early to go to the gym, or going at lunchtime, or going for a run, or a bike, or a swim.

I do however, have to go to Auckland.

Auckland is a two-hour drive from where I live. When you've driven there and back as many times as I have in the last year, it starts to feel like an everyday commute. But it's one of those unexpectedly draining commutes, and when you do it twice in one day... it's not much of a day off. It's okay, though. It has to be done.

To make my day more exciting (since there will be no gym eye candy for me), I've scheduled in lunch with Sandeeka and Priya, and a visit to iBike in Newmarket, to have my Avanti fitted to perfection. I love iBike. Last time I went, I nearly left with an Argon 18 Krypton bike. I love that bike. I was going to sell both the Avanti AND the Specialized to pay for it. That's how much I love it. I'm also dropping into the 2XU "Performance Centre" (read: outlet store) to pick up my free fitness towel, which I earnt by signing up to their mailing list. Weird.

And last, but by no means least, I'm going to MAC. There are like, fifty things I want to buy there, but I pretty much can't, because I'm supposed to be in serious saver mode, now that Jen's wedding is just 10 months away. I've narrowed it down to two products: Pro Longwear Lipcolour in Clingpeach (a "shimmering peach" tone) and Mineralise SkinFinish Trio in Smooth Merge. I just love maccosmetics.com. How they ever come up with the descriptions for colours (which range from "Dirty/Deep Blue Green" to "Loudmouth Orange" and "Tanned Apricot") is well beyond me, but entertaining all the same. I mean, what does an apricot with a tan look like?

Goodbye, savings.


Today at the gym I out-shoulder pressed my old workmate, Malcolm. Yes, he is a guy, and yes, we were using the same weight. I actually felt a little guilty about it at the time, but now I'm just plain stoked with myself. I'm stronger than I look, bitches.

I guess I better bail for today. Expect to hear alllll about my new MAC loot on Friday.

Peace, love, and tanned apricots. xoxo

Styloid Process

It sounds WAY cooler than what it is.

I have a styloid process on my toe, and have done for the last... many years. It's really gross, and I probably shouldn't talk about it publicly, but whatevvs, right? I've read worse.

Yesterday I went to visit Andrew, on whom I have a teeny tiny crush (he has a dalmation!), who routinely performs minor "surgeries" on my toe. Until this morning I believed I was some sort of special case, a beautiful freak of nature, if you will - because of my styloid process (did I also believe that the name "Styloid Process" was invented by Andrew simply for me? Probably. That sounds like the kind of egotistical conclusion I would come to, left to my own devices). Turns out I'm not. I checked it out on Wikipedia, and of course, every man and his dog have styloid processes of the fifth metatarsal.

I'm disappointed.

I'm also feeling a little bit relieved though. Some people get them on their elbows. ELBOWS! Can you imagine? Gross.

My personal favourite part of the surgery was when Andrew attacked me with silver bauxite. That stuff is na-ha-ha-asty. It's supposed to close up the wound and prevent, to some extent, the process returning, but all it really does is make me want to kick him in the face. It also makes me incapable of running for the following twenty-four hours. Hence my being at home at 8:30am. Never mind though.

Peace, love, and styloid processes. Bet you didn't see that one coming.

3 August 2009

Gold. Or... Yellow?

I came across this amazing photo today while looking for a new photo of my... ooh, third-favourite Japanese guy (I'm starting to rack up a few favourites and may need to bring a ranking system into play), Ryohei Komori.

It's of Tour de France winner Alberto Contador and his Astana teammate, seven-times winner Lance Armstrong. They both look so thrilled.

I used to think Contador was a superbabe but now I'm not so sure. Do his eyes seem overly dilated to you? I don't know. He's just not Japanese enough for me.

I've heard rumours he might be donning the argyle of my Garmin boys next year. Random.

2 August 2009

August Rush

Wow, that sure crept up on me. It's August! Guess I got so wound up in Le Tour and Swimming Worlds that I didn't notice a new month had bulldozed its way into my life.

This means a number of things:
- Only six weeks until ITU World Championships! Seriously, this time in six weeks I'll almost be on my way home! My race is 6:45am on Saturday September 12. Eek!
- Athletics Worlds start in two weeks' time. Excitement... this means a week-long extravaganza featuring crazies like Usain Bolt and Tero Pitkamaki, and homeland heroes including Valerie Vili. Yay! I love Worlds.
- No more french fries. Gasp! Last month I gave up chocolate, almost unbelievably. Well, most chocolate anyway. I decided that Oreos don't count. I'm doing that next month.
- 2009 is like, more than half over. Scary...

This morning I had a surprisingly successful swim practice. How's that for alliteration...? Anyway, I did a set that I last did about two weeks ago, and was pretty happy with it then. Imagine my disbelief this morning when I averaged ten seconds faster per swim this morning then?! I'm starting to wonder if there's something wrong with the pace clock? Ah well. Stoked. It did take me a while to even get out of bed to train this morning - I lay around for about 30 minutes wailing, "I don't WANNA get up!". Eventually I wondered if this is how Kosuke Kitajima starts his day, and got up and stopped complaining.

Speaking of whom, turns out my second-favourite Japanese guy is now living it up in LA, training with a certain Mr Dave Salo. I'm all for this, because LA is one of my favourite places ever, but I do wonder what possesses wildly successful swimmers like Kosuke to stray from the coaches that made them. Laure Manaudou did it... and where is she now? Apart from naked on the internet (Luca Marin, you ARE going to hell). It's not that I'm losing faith in my little tsunami, but... what's wrong with Japan!?

Anyway, I don't have a lot more to say, other than the fact that I'm about to head out and get a sample of Lancome's latest offering: Genefique. Supposedly it contains proteins and the like found in youthful skin and as such prevents ageing. I find this hard to swallow, but there's some pretty intense science (past a BSc (Chem), anyway) behind it, so I'm willing to give it a go. Expect a review in 7 -10 days.

Peace, love, and youthful genes.

I Rest My Case

Federica Pellegrini, are you the greatest Italian athlete of all time?
"Without any false modesty, I didn't think there were any doubts about that as of a few world records ago. There you have it."


Man, that girl is such a stupid bitch.

1 August 2009

The Italian Job

Another day, another ten world records broken.

That's what it seems like anyway, from all the way down here. Each morning when I get home from training I visit omegatiming.com to get all the day's results from Rome, and each morning I feel more discouraged about the state of my old sport.

We used to thrive on the fact that we had something of a pure sport - it was us against the water and the stopwatch. Track had losers like Ben Johnson who shot up all sorts of illegal things - namely Dianabol - in order to make themselves quicker and stronger, and cycling was (and still is) a sport which has for every clean rider, ten guys who take EPO or other drugs to make them unbeatable up Ventoux, in the time trials, and overall. Now, swimming has swimsuits that take the syringes out of doping. It's retarded, and I don't know what it is that makes swimmers need them. What's wrong with a regular swimsuit? If everyone wore them - like the old days - we wouldn't even need to bother with this carry-on. But the drama surrounding them has resulted in legends like Dawn Fraser referring to this year's Worlds as a "laughing stock". Michael Phelps was tempted to withdraw following his silver medal in the 200m freestyle. He finished behind Paul Biedermann, who was decked out in plastic and broke Phelps' old WR with a stupidly quick 1:42.00.

Phelps, who will surely one day soon have a Hollywood feature film based on his life, got his own back in the 200m butterfly - in a pair of relatively "old school" full-length jammers, he broke his own mark by half a second. Excitingly, Japan's Takeshi Matsuda placed third and is helping to cement Japan's place as a world swimming superpower (along with the uber-talented Ryosuke Irie, who earnt silver in the 200m backstroke).

Federica Pellegrini recorded a ridiculous 1:52.98 in the women's 200m freestyle final. It wasn't so long ago that a time like that would have been pretty acceptable for a man. I know I make my dislike for this girl quite clear, but it's because of times like this that I wish FINA had upheld their original ban of the suits. To add further insult to injury, as of January next year, the suits will be banned, but the records set by swimmers like Pellegrini while wearing them will continue to stand. As if she could swim that fast without one. Well, maybe if she stopped frollicking about with that Luca Marin tool, then yes. Buuuut you know.

Happily, Aaron Peirsol had his revenge on the world last night when he won the 200m backstroke final in a new world record of 1:51.92. Yay! Just days ago I was depressed when he failed to make the 100m final, and hoped he would make a good comeback for the 200m. And there you have it. As I previously mentioned, Ryosuke Irie came in second place. I'm just a little bit obsessed with that guy.

Stroke it Irie... mmm-hmm

Some loser named Mikel Astarloza, who won stage sixteen of this year's Tour de France, has tested positive for EPO. What a tool. This is the first positive test for this year's event, and has left cycling fans more than disappointed. It's because of guys like him that people hate cycling. To quote Reggie from Yes Man, "what an asshole".

Today is a particularly depressing Saturday. It's wet, cold, and windy, and I've just driven home from town. Why I ever agreed to meet a friend for lunch on a wet Saturday in town has now escaped me, but of course it was a great palaver. I was however, very satisfied by the sushi we had, and my delicious juice. Thanks, Tank girls. We went OPI hunting afterwards, and I've successfully tracked down "Hawaiian Orchid". I'm so buying that tomorrow! Not that I waste money on nail polish, or anything like that. Whilst in the pharmacy, I saw a gorgeous vogue Japanese boy, helping his Japanese girlfriend buy makeup. I mean, are you serious?! I want a Japanese boy to help me buy makeup!
"You can't have it both ways," Harjeet reminded me. "Do you want an Asian that can help you buy makeup, or an Asian that can carry you to bed?" Good point. I like my boys vogue, but I also like them strong. Hmm.

The filmshoot I attended on Wednesday was directed by a lovely half-Japanese girl named Ayla. I had a good old chat with her mother, Chako, who is from Tokyo. Of course, the conversation naturally drifted to Nayuha, my so-close-to-being-a-Japanese-boyfriend-it-wasn't-funny, and she urged me to go there and get him back. Sigh! I miss my b-boy. Here's a photo.

Japanese lovers aside, the shoot was hailed a success. As with every film ever made, it started off as a doddle, and ended furiously, with quickfire costume changes, hurried makeup and fake blood, and a lot of yawning. I did wonder, at 3:30am when my alarm went off, if I was making a mistake, driving all the way to Titirangi, but we had an excellent time and word on the street is that the film itself is very good. Three cheers for that!

It's just about time for me to head out training again, so I'll leave you with another lame sign-off.

Peace, love and vogue Japanese boys.