27 September 2009

Seven Days


I still can't believe I'm going! Like, Rage Against The Machine is my favourite band, and I nearly died when I saw them play last year, but on Sunday I get to see Bad Religion, and Greg Graffin (who I am totally naming one of my cats after, when I become an old cat lady)! GREG GRAFFIN, guys! The man is a genius.

Okay, enough exclamation marks, and time for some stupid quote from town last night.

*five minutes after arriving, Miriam runs out of Furnace onto the sidewalk*
Bouncer: um, stop, you can't be outside with your drink.
Me: no, it's okay. I'm just checking the registration number of that Caldina.

*on the dancefloor*
Random guy: wow, you two must be really good friends.
Me: actually, na I just met her last week!

*minutes later*
Manda: *drunken banter*
Random guy: did she just ask if you're going to take me home?
Me: haha! Who are you kidding? I only like Asian guys!
Random guy: *takes off*

*at the casino*
Manda: do you even want a relationship? Or do you just like pissing people off?
Me: *thinks really hard*

*this morning*
Cellphone clock: 06:50am
Me: fuck off, I got home at five.

We had a good night. I wasn't the stumbly, incoherent drunk one, instead I took the role of mildly drunk, lippy white girl. Nice. I think I offended my fair share of white guys. I'm also told that I'm still a little too muscly to pull off my shorter haircut. The problem is, that old "once a swimmer, always a swimmer" adage is totally NOT true, unless you're a shoulder muscle. You bastards.
On a more exciting note, my eye makeup (Electric Eel smoky eyes) was hailed a success, despite it not looking quite as good as my practice from the other night. Yes, I do practice my eye makeup on weeknights in. I'm a makeup artist, I'm allowed to.

After the unexpected success of my foray into bike selling on TradeMe, I'm putting my other bike (gasp, yes - the Specialized) up for auction this week. It's worth a fair bit more than my road bike was, so I'm optimistic about how much money I can make towards my Japan airfare (and maybe a few drinks the weekend after. I owe Becky and Manda a few). That said, if you want an '08 Specialized Safire, check out my TradeMe listings on Wednesday night. Also going under the proverbial hammer: my iPod (I want a Nano! They shoot film now. Handy), and whatever else I can find that people might shell out coin for.

On a sidenote, to Internet Explorer: yes, I know my Facebook, Twitter and Blogger pages are in Japanese, and no I do not want to translate them! Oh, look. It's going to do it EVERY TIME I GO ON FACEBOOK. Good on you, Internet Explorer. *changes browsers*

That's all for now. I wanted to report on the supreme success of my future husband, Ryohei Komori, in his race at Worlds, but... unfortunately it did not go so well for him. That's okay! We've all come 71st at an international competition before. He's still fantastic.

23 September 2009

November Calling

I know I've been crowing on about how fantastic October is going to be for the last six months, and it is:
October 2: 2016 Olympic City named
October 3: Levi's Grand Fondo
October 6-12: Holiday in Christchurch
October 13: Sam Ashby (my "brother") turns 21
October 17: Michael Jackson tribute party, organised by Sandeeka and Priya

Can't see the Tour of Southland in there? Yeah, well. That's because I'm stupid, and it's actually in November.
November 2-7: Tour of Southland
November 2-9: Asia-Oceania Zone Wheelchair Rugby Championships

Depending on who you are, you may or may not be aware of my all-conquering obsession with wheelchair or "quad" rugby that dominated me until about 2007. Shortly before the Olympics in 2004, I was even quoted in the newspaper as saying I was more excited about watching quad rugby in Athens than I was about swimming. Good one. I spent years volunteering at rugby tournaments, culminating in the biggest one of all - World Championships, in 2006 in my then-hometown of Christchurch. I spent a week living and breathing quad rugby - I was at the stadium every day from 7am until late at night, running around doing things for people, cleaning floors, posting results, pumping up tyres and balls, and of course, trying to flirt with players.

Anyway, I don't really know what happened afterwards, but I think the NZ vs USA final (where I was removed from scorebench for cheering for the Americans) was the last game of rugby I watched. It mostly disappeared from my radar, and I don't even know who won the Paralympic final last year.

Out of nowhere, Naomi (who I used to run with while living in Christchurch, and who has since moved home to Ireland) announced that she'll be in New Zealand in November for the Asia-Oceania Zone Championships. Surely, I thought to myself, it won't be on the same week as the Tour of Southland, where I'm due to meet my future husband, Ryohei Komori. There are four weeks in November. They won't hold two events that I need to be at during the same week.


Of course they will. Who am I kidding? OF COURSE these events are on at the same time, in cities too far apart to drive between.

So now I'm faced with the following predicament: head to Invercargill to watch cycling, or give Naomi a hand at the rugby event in Christchurch. I feel kind of like it's old versus new. Ryohei versus a bunch of guys I knew before I was 20, and who consequently remember me as a flaky, miniskirt-wearing blonde.

Guys from my past: Nick Springer and Shinichi Shimakawa

I'm really quite up in arms about this. Help?

16 September 2009

To Frances With Love

I just heard the heartbreaking news that my friend Frankie's little brother Edward died after falling through ice on Mt Rolleston in New Zealand's South Island.

I can't even begin to imagine what that's like for Frankie and her family, so I'm just sending my best thoughts and wishes her way, and I hope you all will, too.

15 September 2009

But It's Better If You Do

According to Alice from Closer, lying is the most fun a girl can have without taking her clothes off.

I beg to differ.

I spent a bit of money on makeup last week. Not as much as I planned, which required a LOT of self control, but a little bit.

Before even leaving New Zealand, my mum and I both bought some Chanel lipgloss (I think I have four now...) of the Aqualumiere variety. Mmm, so shiny. Props to my mum, who in her lifetime has probably spent less than what it costs me to get a manicure at that cheap Asian salon in town on lipgloss, who shelled out for her first luxury brand makeup. In what might have been the biggest spend in her life, she also bought some Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat concealer, which I'm sure I'll be applying for her daily because try as she might, she cannot master the technique I've demonstrated a thousand times for under-eye concealing.

In Brisbane airport I was further tempted by the new Dior limited edition eyeshadow palette, "Night Butterfly".

I'm convinced it is the most beautiful palette ever made. I saw it again at Myer on the Gold Coast, and AGAIN in the departure lounge at Brisbane, but for the life of me I couldn't justify spending $94 on eye makeup. Even though it is SO pretty. Sorry, Christian.

I couldn't resist MAC though. I never can. I bought some Studio Moisture Tint (incredible stuff. Really. You should try it.), and two lipsticks - Ruby Woo ("vivid bluish-red") and Angel ("soft pink"). And bam! Just like that, I was $122 worse off. Or better off? My lips are, anyway.

Interestingly, I haven't worn either of the shades out yet, because I've been too busy sporting my Pro Longwear Lipcolour in Clingpeach. It's a bit more gym-friendly. Yes kids, I hit the gym today, despite having nothing to train for! Unsurprisingly, my workout didn't last long.

And FINALLY, this weekend we can rejoice and celebrate my return to staying up past midnight!

Yeah, I know. I stay up past midnight every night, but this weekend I'll be doing it with Becky, and it will be chaos. If I can't have Yuichi Hosoda, then I'll settle for some other unsuspecting Japanese guy in the clubs this weekend. Or Thai. Or Chinese. Just whatever.

It's only Tuesday. I'm a sad, sad little person.

14 September 2009

Home Again


I arrived home from the Gold Coast this morning at about 2:30am and I was (I still am) a tired, sore, a little bit grumpy, and disoriented wreck. We traded 26-degree sun for a fog, and right now at 10:30am it's grey and grim outside.

Not quite the welcome back I might have hoped for...

If you follow me on Twitter, you might already know that I won my race on Saturday at the ITU World Triathlon Championships. It was the result I've been dreaming of since about 2003, but of course like everything in life I didn't have it all my own way.

Actually, maybe I should start from the very beginning - the Aquathlon. Firstly, that's a stupid word and it's borderline impossible to say without sounding like a retard, but anyway. I found myself on the start line of this event on Wednesday afternoon at 4pm, not really knowing what the hell I was up to. I was the only Paratriathlete (a newly-coined term developed for triathletes with disabilities) entered, and since there was no provision for this, I was due to race against everyone else, in my age group.

Uh oh?

I got off to a pretty comfortable start and had the surprise of my life when I started passing people in the first 2.5km run. I felt a combination of confused and excited, but it wasn't until the 1km that things really started to work out for me. Within 200m, I had passed at least 20 girls in the water and I'd lost count. Feeling pretty stoked with myself, I headed out on the second run with an inflated sense of self.

A couple of girls passed me back in the final run, which sucked, but I managed to get my finishing sprint on and complete my race strongly, so overall I felt like a pretty happy camper. Later on in the afternoon I checked my result online and found I hadn't come last (yay), in fact I'd beaten two other girls in my 20-24 age group, as well as 48 other women in the event. I felt like I had it all made for Saturday, and spent my last two days before the race fine-tuning in the pool and on the bike. I mostly ignored a niggling calf injury, after all, most of my life is spent battling with this - it comes with the territory when you run like a spaz.

On Saturday morning I rose at 4:20am, with a 6:45am race start. I went about my morning routine as usual, pedantic as ever, and by race start I was raring to go, convinced I had the entire field in the bag.
And for 1500m, I did. I was out of the swim more than four minutes before the next girl (I was fourth overall out of the water, behind a guy with a "vision impairment", a below-knee amputee, and a guy with something else wrong with him who managed to overtake me in the last 50m), but a crappy transition where I struggled with my wetsuit, my bike, my chocolate milk, meant that people were going to be catching me sooner than anticipated.

I rode what felt like an amazing bike leg, though I admit I felt quite daunted by the increasing number of age group athletes (their waves started 20 minutes after mine) on fancy bikes out on the course. Seriously, age group athletes take themselves very seriously. So seriously in fact that it's a little bit sad. I saw guys on $15,000+ bikes with disc wheels and other adornments not even seen in the elite ranks. It was a little ridiculous.

After completing my 40km, I ran through the longest transition ever, bike in tow, and went about sorting myself out for the 10km run ahead of me. It all went pretty well for about 2km until I was unexpectedly shot down with unbearable stomach pains. I'm serious, I was on the brink of tears for another 2km before I sorted myself out. By now the sun was out in full force, the road was hot, the crowds were huge and vocal. Since we had our surnames printed on our uniforms (a stupid ITU rule), some spectators even cheered me on by name. But I did not have fun on the run. Some of the roads in Queensland are banked, undetectable if you're on a bike or in a car, but enough to piss you off when you're busting your ass trying to win a gold medal. I struggled, but the second lap was definitely more successful than the first, and I felt a surge of relief when I saw the next competitor in my division heading out on her second lap when I was entering the final 300m. And then, for whatever reason, everything disappeared and I was able to pull out one of those marvellous sprint finishes that I really shouldn't have been able to, given the conditions of my run.

Upon crossing the finish line I was handed a finisher's medal and accosted by several of our team managers who seemed determined to cater to my every need - one even took off my race timing chip for me. I was kind of looking forward to bending over and doing that, but never mind.

So then my Worlds was all over and now I'm a curled-up ball of tight muscles and unwashed hair. Mmm.

What's next?

6 September 2009

Why Am I All Sparkly?

Seriously, I feel like a pageant baby.

Anyway, I just had something else to say...

Here in Aotearoa, we're only a few weeks into cycle eleven of America's Next Top Model. I am obsessed beyond reason with this show, and I just don't know why. It's so crap, the girls aren't that pretty, etc etc.

Anyway, last night's episode was the one where they did the photoshoot in the pool with uber-hottie Nigel Barker (oh, NOW I remember why I watch it) and only their eyes were showing. Sheena and Lauren Brie were my favourites, and here are their photos.

Their makeup is beyond stunning!!

I also love Lauren Brie's skinny arms. Seriously, once this triathlon business is over, I'm going on Operation Skinny Arms. If it means never lifting a weight (or eating) again, I'll do it.

Twenty Twenty Twenty-Four Hours To Go

Yep, this time tomorrow I'll be ten minutes into a flight across the Pacific to the Gold Coast.

I'm so excited!

I'm also pretty chuffed about the fact that I just got some ModelCo Polished Exfoliating Body Scrub for $10 (it was supposed to be $55, but the pump doesn't work). Yuss. I've wanted this stuff for so long.

Today is my last day off before I race. Here's my week...

Monday: train here, then fly
Tuesday: bike reassembly, then training
Wednesday: Aquathlon race
Thursday: race briefing, then training
Friday: training, then bike racking
Saturday: race!

Saturday afternoon will be spent watching the elite men's race, which involves none other than...

Yuichi Hosoda! And I think he has now surpassed Ryohei Komori in the number-of-photos-on-my-blog stakes. That said, when Ryohei comes down here in November, expect entire galleries of him.

Anyway, apparently our accommodation doesn't have wireless, which is ever so clandestine, so this might be the last you hear out of me for a week. I'm sure you'll enjoy the peace, anyway.

Have you guys seen Closer? It. Is. So. Good.
Old, but good. I'm one of the mainstream populace who adores Natalie Portman, and I also kind of like Jude Law (I'm pretty sure Dickie in The Talented Mr Ripley is the greatest role in motion picture, ever) so I've long been obsessed with this movie. And, unlike Sixteen Candles, the Fall Out Boy song written in its honour isn't the only good thing about it. Ha ha. He tastes like you, only sweeter. One day I am going to use that line. Another fantastic quote from Closer is "have you ever seen a human heart? It looks like a fist, wrapped in blood." Awesome.

Natalie Portman, though. Is she the most perfect being on the face of the earth?

Yes. I do believe she is. My favourite role of hers is as Sam in Garden State. I don't know if that's because I'm told Sam is kind of like me, but either way. Natalie gets two thumbs up from me.

Anyway, the reason I'm prattling on about this film (yes, there is one!) is because it was on last night, and it reminds me of someone. Said person texted me this morning and asked if I was thinking about them last night, because they couldn't sleep.

Boo hoo.

This week, on PostSecret...

Okay, then. Firstly, you spelt "fantasise" wrong, but that's not what drew me to this card, and I'll tell you what did.

Those red lips are so perfect it makes me want to cry! Seriously, pictures like this make me want collagen injected into my top lip.

Also, quit fantasising and go buy some cocaine. And always remember, sharing is caring.

That's all for now, folks. Have a beautiful week, and I'll post an update of any progress made with Yuichi Hosoda in a few days' time.

Love and light. xo

4 September 2009

Stop Press: A Straightening Product That Actually Works

A week or so ago, I wrote a post about my new Redken shampoo and conditioner. I'm happy to report that they are still fabulous, but in addition to this I wish to retract a statement I made about Schwarzkopf's Straight & Glossy 48H Straightening Balm not working.

It totally works.

This morning I went for a swim, then washed my hair and crawled back into bed. I woke up a few hours later with Bob Dylan hair. In my life I have never seen my hair look like it did today. It was out of control. Grasping at straws, I applied some of the Schwarzkopf balm (which is actually a gel, just for the record) and brushed my hair. I then tied it up and went out for a bit. When I got home, I noticed that my hair was dead straight.

I'm not even exaggerating, kids. It looked like I'd used my ghd, and I hadn't. It's actually a miracle. Whether it lasts 48 hours is another story, because I have another swim planned for the morning. But either way, I am a convert. I'm pretty sure this product is going to change my life.

Go out and buy it now.

I found some more photos of Yuichi Hosoda too. Think this is going to result in a restraining order? Yeah, me too. Enjoy it while you can.

Anyway, if I get my way, we'll be going home together in seven nights' time. Hahaha.

3 September 2009

Goldy Goldy Goldy!

I still have four sleeps until I leave for Australia, but I'm starting to get just a LITTLE bit (read: a BIG bit) excited.

The Gold Coast is actually one of my favourite places in the world so far. It's warm, beachy, and laid-back, but also slightly frenetic. It's also full of tourists, and I love people from other places. I even like Australians. Their accents are far easier to swallow than the nauseating New Zealand whine (note: if you're from somewhere else and have only heard our horrible Prime Minister, John Key speak, that's NOT how most of us talk, but it's still not nice), and every time I visit Goldy, I seem to make a new friend.

Even if it is just with the new girl on the Benefit Cosmetics counter at Myer in Pacific Fair.

A favourite pastime in Goldy is to walk around without shoes. Of course, I won't be able to do that until after my race, just in case, you know. I did it for a while in Auckland but Sara got sick of me coming home with stubbed and bleeding toes. Everything there is better. Even their dollar is worth more than ours.

This trip is poised to have the added extra of seeing athletes I'm used to watching on TV training in the pool next to me. The first time I experienced this was in Melbourne in 2003 when I jumped into a warmup lane at the Victorian Championships with Olympic silver medallist Matt Welsh. In the lane next to me, Michael Klim was adjusting his goggles. I actually let out a little squeal of excitement. While this time I'm obviously keeping a keen eye out for Yuichi Hosoda, the possibility of bumping into Jan Frodeno, Simon Whitfield, and my pick for the women's title, Emma Moffatt, rather excites me. Emma Snowsill is actually my favourite, but I had a dream that Moffatt wins, so that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Also, I just really want to win. I feel like I've spent my life training for this race, and in a way, I kind of have. Since my selection, I've gone out on a limb to try and make every training session count, and tried to learn from the sessions that didn't go too well. I've been (and will continue to) embracing Luke's "power of positive thinking" theory - something entirely new to me, and of course I'm just going to do everything I can on race day to win. I actually don't mind if I flake out on the finish line, as long as there's no one in front of me.

Anyway, staying up late probably isn't doing me any favours, so on that note, I'm out.

Peace, love and ... gold?

1 September 2009

Li In The Sky With Shoelace

In case you guys don't already stalk Li at exocomics.com, go visit her now!!! Here's her latest.

Isn't it delightful?! It's Li's first in-colour submission, and I just love it. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I know some very talented people.

Speaking of talent, the gorgeous Croatian Blanka Vlašić cleared 2.08m tonight at Zagreb to become the second highest jumper ever. She won the World Championship high jump title recently with a 2.04m clearance. 2.08m seems out of this world, and is 1cm off the world record held by Stefka Kostadinova (who was in the Bulgarian squad of the late 80s, so was probably on a whole load of stuff she shouldn't have been on, anyway). Blanka was named after the Moroccan city of Casablanca, where her father competed in the 1983 Mediterranean Games.

I've found my stalking project for next week's excursion to the ITU World Championships.

Ah, yes. His name is Yuichi Hosoda, and he's a member of Japan's elite triathlon team. In the past I've created something of a habit of going for the best of the best (Javier Gomez, Oscar Pistorius, etc) but I figure Yuichi, who regularly places in the 40s of World Cup meetings, is a safer bet. He's 24, and ... Japanese. Yes, please.

So that's my day. Happy September, everyone! It's going to be a cracker.

Peace, love, and Shoelaces.