31 October 2009

Out Of The Shadows

I noticed that I went a bit quiet for September, and for the most part, October.

Most of September was spent revolving around my excursion to ITU Worlds in Australia, then once I got back, I had all that trouble with Little Miss Crazy (shall we call her LMC from now on? Deal). Since her vigil over me actually concerned me to the extent where I didn't want to write anything, I stayed under wraps for a little while.

Then Ben got killed, and I actually couldn't sit at a computer (or anywhere) for longer than five minutes before breaking down into a small wreck. Now, I don't really see myself ever getting over that one of my besties died before we turned 25, and his family never had him home for one more Christmas, but I've started to get to the point now where I don't want to cry 24/7. Strangely, it helped that yesterday I had an afternoon nap with a dream where we all got to say goodbye for real. It was unnerving, because we'd had the funeral and he was with us, helping us paint the house, but I got my last hug from Ben, and one last smile. I woke up in tears, but feeling strangely calm.

Words to express how I feel about Ben's death still escape me, and I don't know if I'll ever find them. But, I think it's okay. He knew I appreciated his friendship, and adored him. He knew we thought he was awesome.

Anyway, it's November tomorrow, and the Summer Session looms. I start on November 9th, so I dare say the month of November will be a quiet one on here. I suppose I have nine days of rampant blogging until then, so... here's to making the most of it!

Over and out.

Fun With A Kimono And A Car

It's Halloween tonight!!!

I am so excited up in here. Tonight I am dressing up as a Geisha who's been hit by a car. Yessss.

Supposedly there is a "Vampire Party" at Bar101, with free drinks for those in theme. Yasmin has suggested we make puncture holes in our necks and hope this constitutes as "theme". I hope so, but I dare say those dressed up like that awful girl from that awful movie, Twilight, will have a better chance. How lame. Trust 101 to get in on the lamest craze since Harry Potter.

Speaking of which, I have to read Harry Potter for a paper I'm taking in the summer to satisfy general education requirements. Can you believe that? There is a paper at Otago University about Harry Potter. I am so unimpressed.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure it's going to take me like, all day to get ready, so give me a few seconds and I'm outta here.

Have an awesome Halloween, yo.

Would They Do It In Paris?

Um, that title bears absolutely no relevance to what I'm about to write about, only that Emma is in Paris for her birthday, which is... TODAY! (Well, yesterday really...)

Yay. It's birthday season up in here. Emma is 26, and in Paris to celebrate (as you do...)
Did you guys know there are nearly 1500 photos of her on Facebook? Gooood.

Anyway, happy birthday Poolio, live it up, while we're young and beautiful!

30 October 2009


Ho, hum.

You may know that ITU World Championships was my last race. I won, and convinced myself that I was done with the competitive sport thing. I sold my road bike, my wetsuit, and I'm currently in the process of selling the bike on which I raced XTERRA NZ in April of last year.

On Sunday (October 25), the XTERRA World Championships were held in Maui, Hawaii. For most of last season, I intended completely to not only be at this event, but to win. Things took a turn for the worse when I didn't race the New Zealand qualifier, and before that, failed to do sufficient mountain bike training to prepare. So it went that the World Championships were contested without me (or Nic and Cabin, weirdly) there.

Eneko Llanos

Scott Thorne, that far-off relative of mine to whom I once frequently referred to proudly, placed 13th at the event. Not bad. XTERRA Worlds attracts some of triathlon's stars: Olivier Marceau, for example - that ridiculously good-looking French-turned-Swiss guy who was first out of the swim in the inaugural Olympic triathlon, way back in Sydney 2000. Conrad Stoltz was there too, one of the more prominent figures in offroad triathlon. Add Michael Weiss, and winner Eneko Llanos and you've got something of a who's who in XTERRA land. Nelson-based Richard Ussher was 11th in the event, but perhaps more impressively, New Zealand women won four of the ten age-group titles. Our men didn't fare quite so well.

Age-grouper Benjamin Dewitt

The reason I'm writing about it? Because I totally could have won my division! I raced winner Megan Fisher at ITU Worlds and smashed her in the swim. While we came off the bike at the same time, had it not been for that poorly timed abdominal strain along with cramp, I would have smashed her on the run, too. So now that's got me thinking: once my Master's is complete, should I go back?

I want to say no. I'll be 26 in 2012, and part of the reason I quit THIS year was so that, by 2012, I will have gotten over any sort of urge to go chasing that Olympic dream again. And that XTERRA dream. I wanted to win a world title, I did, so I stopped racing, and that should have been it.

But what if...

What if, in 2012, I'm still like "yeah, XTERRA World would be sweet." Do I go for it? Or do I look at things rationally and say, "hmm, no. ITU Worlds was my swan song. Get a real job." (And since the goal for 2011/12 is to be a successful and not-surviving-on-the-bones-of-my-butt JET instructor in Japan, I should already have a real job.) I suppose one never knows, really. By then I might be so gnarled up and old that I can't even ride a bike anymore, let alone over some of Hawaii's toughest terrain.

I think for now, in the words of Tim Prendergast, it needs to go into a black box under my bed, only to be taken out and delved into once I have my Master's degree in my hand.

Buuuuut... it is Hawaii...

How Times Have... Stayed The Same?

On May 2 of this year, I screenshotted my Google Chrome "Most Visited" page, and I just did it again, thinking that it would have changed wildly. It hasn't, really.

In May, it went like this:
1. Facebook
2. "Pretty" Mainstream (which was, as you may know, the name by which this blog went in the days before crazy girl stalked me)
3. iGoogle
4. KiwiBank
5. Wikipedia
6. Overheard in New York
7. Google Images
8. Sephora
9. University of Auckland

This was taken about five minutes ago. As you can see, it consists of the following sites:
1. Facebook. No surprises there.
2. Google (because my regular iGoogle is signed out right now)
3. KiwiBank
4. Wikipedia
5. Sephora
6. Texts From Last Night
7. University of Otago
8. Threadless

Is it just me, or is that pretty much exactly the same? I mean, my blog is not on there because I haven't visited it much at the new address, and Overheard in New York has been replaced with TFLN, while Otago has taken the place of Auckland.

Wow, I'm quite boring, aren't I?

Oh, And...

It's my best friend Jen's birthday today!!!

She is 24. Happy birthday lovely lady!

I stole this off her Facebook page - she is on the left, with Beth who is another friend of ours, who this year has been accepted into med school. Awesome.

I love my Jen :)

29 October 2009

To iPhone, Or Not To iPhone


Now, I know I'm a bit behind with the times here. iPhones are old news. But after being briefly separated from my own, most-hated cellphone today after a long and cold night in a barn in Ngaruawahia involving fake blood and a pompous guy singing ridiculous showtunes, I flirted with the idea of an iPhone. I must admit, it's rather tempting.

If I'd had my way when purchasing my laptop computer, I would have gone with a MacBook Pro. It's what Kirby uses, and after many an all-night jaunt at Wintec with her, playing on the iMacs and designing fake birth certificates along with invites to parties that never came to fruition, I was tempted to get one for myself. Like most grand plans in my life, however, finance didn't come to the party and I ended up with an entry-level Dell. I mean, it's not like I actually require anything else anyway, since all I do is play My Zoo on Facebook and write blogs.

I've only recently learned of the myriad of apps available for download on the iPhone. And after an afternoon wasted studying them, I now want one more than ever. In the "Education" section of the Apple Store alone, I saw about 100 apps I would like. I could supplement my Japanese tuition next year with one of at least a hundred apps dedicated to the language, as well as pass my literature paper with CliffNotes. There's a NASA app. There are apps with makeup tips. I could get carried away here. Do you think there could even be typography apps? There's one about Gandhi...

If iPhones had been around in 2006, I would have
had something better to do than learn the Periodic Table
during English class...

And I'm not even lying when I say I could afford this! Due to recent sales of prized personal possessions (oooh, alliteration. Love it), I'm in something of a position to not only buy one, but maintain its upkeep.

It's a nice thought... but then, so is going on exchange to the University of Iceland. So we'll see...


Oh. My. Gosh.

I suppose I was quite ignorant in my assumption that dafont.com was the only site devoted to my constant need to look at fonts, in the same way that I thought I was the only person on Earth (this word is capitalised, right? Because it's the name of the planet, not like "world" or anything?) who enjoyed fonts. From a young age, I have enjoyed fonts. I know, I know. You've heard this before. I've also loved Japan since I was six, wanted to be an Olympian since 1988, and wanted to go to Stanford since the age of ten. And now, from the long list of "I grew up liking..." I bring you: fonts. Specifically Chicago. It was my first favourite... anything really. Except colour, which was red. ANYWAY. After being converted to Windows in 1997 (yes, I was originally an Apple girl!) I became a stalwart of Arial, which is why my blog is to this day published in Arial. I dislike Helvetica, and sometimes I feel like the only person who does! I also have problems with Times New Roman.

Other favourites have included McZee (from Creative Writer. Did you ever use that? It defined my childhood), and once that novelty wore off, Enchilada, and more recently, Bleeding Cowboys, The Maple Origins, Trashco, and of course, One Fell Swoop, which is in fact the typeface I've chosen for my next tattoo. You can imagine the fun I had designing Donny's birthday card last year. From memory, there are no less than seven fonts in it.

Then I discovered Robert Gould, and realised that I'm not the only typophile around. Gould, who designed one of my favourite Threadless tees, used Helvetica for the design, but I was able to forgive him for this when I found out about his typography habit. He went to see a film about the font. Not obsessed. And THEN I discovered ilovetypography.com. And typornography.com. You get the picture. There are a billion websites about fonts. I've found my niche (at least for the next few days. Next week, I'll probably be informing you about the breeding habits of the Beluga Whale).

It was at ilovetypography.com that I found the following image, which pretty much made my day (that, and the fact that two new Threadless tees showed up at my place this morning).

I don't agree with his font of choice, but you should probably note that when I screenshotted this image, the folder in which it appeared on Picasa was full of screenshots from dafont.com, one of a Geisha, and three of Carly Patterson performing her signature, round-off back handspring double Arabian front dismount. If anything, I <3 Carly.


Peace, love, and tattoos devoted to fonts, yo.

25 October 2009

Lessons Learned

Awww, I do love a bit of Carrie Underwood!

Anyway, I've been on a bit of a Wiki-kick today (moreso than other days, even though it is my third-most visited site - behind Facebook and Google) and I've learnt about St Augustine of Hippo (or Blessed Augustine, as he is known amongst Orthodox Catholics), Japanese naturalization - very important for me, I'm sure you will agree, and about racism in Japan. Oh! And Japanese weddings. Crrrrazy. Not sure how keen I am for one of those anymore.

Anyway, Augustine seemed like a pretty interesting guy. He spent his life swinging from one extreme to the other - being raised as a Catholic, then delving into Hedonism, THEN becoming a teacher of grammar and rhetoric. He died as a Christian, and an angry one at that - through his life he battled with lust. Don't we all? Most of however, don't care. Anyway, I thought the funniest thing about the whole article was that after 370AD, when he began living life as a Hedonist, is was noted that he was influenced by "hooligans". Yes, there were hooligans, even before 400AD. I like ancient stuff. It's pretty cool.

You can become a naturalized Japanese citizen after living there for five years, provided you're keen to denounce your citizenship to the country from whence you came. Now, this is something of a conundrum, especially when you come from a country like New Zealand. I may have led you to believe, with all my musings about Japan, Iceland, Boone NC and Texas, that I don't like New Zealand. I do. New Zealand is cool, and there's nowhere else like it (except maybe... Iceland, apparently?). Australia's okay, but it's just not the same. What with all that dust, and desert, and those sheep shagger jokes (I don't get them anyway?)...

But I am constantly drawn to far-off lands by this funny thing I've come to know as wanderlust. As are so many young "Kiwis" (just for the record, I HATE the word Kiwi when used as a colloquial term for New Zealander. A Kiwi is a flightless bird, dammit! Not a person!) and that is precisely why so many people I know are scattered from Sydney to Stockholm (interestingly, I don't know anyone who's in Stockholm right now, but Steph's been there in the last month, and Mereoni leaves for Copenhagen soon).

We like to see what the world has to offer us, to test the waters, and then most of us return home. Home is where the heart is, and all that. And what a place to call home. We have it all here - except Sephora, but it seems like a small price to pay when I can drive thirty minutes to some of the best surf in the world, whereas some people in Europe and the United States have never seen the ocean. Another three hours, and I can be at Turoa, getting ski lessons (since I still haven't got around to learning, despite once proclaiming I was the next Bode Miller). Point is, if I were to denounce my New Zealand citizenship in favour of a Japanese passport, then suddenly, it becomes pretty hard for me to come home. Especially as until recently it was a government requirement to acquire a Japanese surname upon naturalization. Now, I'm all for being Miriam Inoue, but I don't know I'll feel about needing a visa to come back to the Land of the Long White.

We'll see, anyway. For now, I'm just earning enough money on My Zoo to buy an animal medical centre so I can start a breeding programme for my Golden Lion Tamarin monkeys. Being a zookeeper is exhausting work, guys!


24 October 2009

The Apple Of My Eye


Do you guys LOVE stewed apple?

I know I do.

That's me, looking a bit worse for wear, and in a rare makeup-less and skinny jeans-less moment, chowing down an entire saucepan of stewed apple last night after having discovered it on the stove. Stewed apple just might be the food of the gods. Along with aioli, the world's most perfect condiment (which is, incredibly, even better when served by itself). Stewed apple + aioli? Hmm, I'm going to take a lesson here from Hamish Blake and say no. He discovered that mixing the food of the gods is not always ideal - lemonade and milk, specifically. I hate milk, so I don't have that problem... but I don't know, I think I love aioli too much to taint it with the flavour of something else... and I feel the same about stewed apple.


Tonight, I've found another saucepan full of stewed apple. Could these be the greatest days of my life? In fact, I'm recording this online simply so when I come back in a few days, complaining of how I hate my life and my dissertation proposal, I'll remember that once I had enormous amounts of stewed apple, and those days were worth living.

Halloween is soon, and since it's due to be my last night out in a while, it's going to be a cracker. Yasmin and I are going as roadkill. She's corpse bride, and I'm roadkill Geisha. I was going to be Cleopatra, but turns out we have this tacky tacky Thai kimono at my house which I can totally run over (for the roadkill effect) PLUS it means I get to do Geisha makeup. And THAT means Russian Red + Ruby Woo lips! Is this destined to be the greatest night of my life? I say yes.

Ah, Sayuri. Will you ever do me wrong?

Here's to bigger and better things! *clink*


At first I was really offended and upset that I had to move my blog because of this crazy girl, but the more I think about it, the more I am able to laugh.

Turns out we had someone in common. She was upset about it, I thought it was all a bit blown out of proportion. To be fair, how many guys have I declared my love for, via my blog? Let's see.
1. Donny. If anyone should be worried about stalking tendencies, it should be him, right? I mean, I used to drive past his house late at night. And he lives in a cul-de-sac.
2. Nayuha. Not quite stalky stalky, but that's only because we haven't had one of those inevitable relationship-souring moments (a punch in the face, maybe?). Fear not, readers. It's going to happen, one day.
3. Ryohei Komori. Don't even know the guy, but after seeing his photo, announced him to be my future husband. Stalking at its finest, enabled by the endearing Taylor Phinney.
4. Chris aka Ferry Guy aka Mr Cannondale/Pinarello. Do you guys REMEMBER that? Me sitting on the ferry, texting away after looking at his tshirt, getting people to trace him online? Google Mapping his place of work?
5. Yuichi Hosoda. Again, don't know him. Added him on Facebook, even went so far to say "I'll be going home with him in seven nights' time." Really?
6. Curtis. Sure, I don't stalk him, or love him, or anything... but the fact that I made mention of the fact that we were in bed while watching Harry Potter drew criticism from our crazy friend. Really? Because I BET you've never been in bed with our mutual friend... that would be almost criminal.

You see? There's six guys right there that I've mentioned, ad nauseum, on my blog at one time or another. Do not think, crazy girl, that your boyfriend is any sort of special case. He really isn't. If you need me to go on, I could mention that Punjabi guy I eyesex'd at Spotlight in Hamilton, my old German flatmate Chris, even Terenzo, or my childhood crush Jason Smith (I found his address in the phone book when I was seven years old and biked to his house). NOT A SPECIAL CASE.

Make no mistake, I did follow the guy in question home from the gym once, but not so closely that he noticed, and that I couldn't pass off our uncannily similar journeys home as visiting friends in the area. But that's hardly making him an elaborate birthday card, then having a breakdown the night before his birthday, after having stolen his neighbour's recycling bin a few months earlier, now is it? It's not tracking down his flight number and considering an airport rendezvous upon his return from India, is it? You want special case? Donny is a special case. If Donny had a girlfriend that emailed me abuse, I could probably understand it.

Luckily for me, Donny is incapable of keeping a girlfriend, so for now I have nothing to worry about. One only hopes that when he does manage to hold someone down, either it's me, or it's someone that doesn't mercilessly trawl the internet for my presence. And this girl calls me the stalker. Hmmm...


Today, I've been learning about Detifoss, Iceland's largest waterfall. Look at it! It's out of control! And can you believe that guy, standing casually on its bank? Does he have a deathwish!?

Detifoss is in Jökulsárgljúfur National Park in northeastern Iceland (you can find it on Google Earth or Maps). I'm not completely confident in my ability to say that word just yet, but I will. Iceland ranks pretty highly on my to-do list, and I don't feel comfortable going there, not knowing how to pronounce the name of their National Park.

It has the largest volume discharge of any waterfall in Europe (about 200m³/s) and I guess, compared with Niagara Falls' 2800 m³/s, it's not all that out of control after all. I've been to Niagara Falls twice, and I'm not exaggerating at all when I say it blew my mind. Have you been there? It's crazy. We loitered around at the top of the Horseshoe Falls there in 2005 and got wet from the spray, at least 100m from the banks. It's intense. After that we enjoyed curly fries at Hooters. We're classy.

I'm all excited about Iceland today because I've put some more crap up for auction on TradeMe. Recently, I sold my road bike and today I listed my beloved Safire (Artemis). I received what could only be described by Nic Magill as a more "princely sum" than I could have ever imagined for my Avanti, so I'm trying my luck with Artemis, along with a bunch of other stuff I no longer need or want. Sure, it should probably go in the Japan fund, but I casually told Curtis I could afford a trip to Iceland out of the profits, and then proceeded to learn as much as I could through Wikipedia. The world's most *reliable* source of information.

Currently I have twelve items for sale on my TradeMe page. There's my bike, two saddles (that dastardly thing Ritchie convinced me to buy, and my Ruby 143), my Garmin-Slipstream jersey, my sister's jodhpurs (I know, crazy?!), my Desperate Housewives boxed DVD set, a Johnny Cash DVD that I love but never watch, my sister's triathlon wetsuit (don't be fooled, she was never a triathlete, she just considered it for a long enough period of time to buy herself a wetsuit and a bike), a lamp, my vinyl copy of A Perfect Circle's Thirteenth Step (I'm convinced it's the reason I continue to dream about Donny. My mum suggested this afternoon that maybe he could buy it? Sob), my tow bar-mountable bike rack, and finally, my old DH knee and shin guards. Yeah, my TradeMe account is a mess, but I'm going to be rolling in cash by the end of this week. Provided people buy my shit, which they SHOULD! If you like the sound of anything I'm selling, go bid on it!

Finally: more threadless.com! Last night, I became a member, so I get to score other peoples' submissions. Being the design expert that I am, obviously. I'm also entitled to submit my own art destined for tshirt glory, but despite my early childhood (which, admittedly, strung out into high school, then re-entered my thoughts once it was time for university) dreams of being artistically talented in some shape or form, I'm actually pretty crap at it. Instead, I submitted a "slogan" for one of threadless' sister sites, typetees.com. Apparently out of 20 voters so far, I'm the only person who would wear a tshirt reading "Ain't nothing but a thang". Whatever. These people obviously haven't experienced the greatness that is Thom.

My friend Ben's service is to be live-streamed internationally online so those who can't make it to Ngaruawahia on Monday can watch it through their computers. Here's the link:
It's not going to be a funfilled day, but at the very least it should be... nice. Somewhat, anyway.

Peace, love, and bankrupt Scandinavian islands, guys.

Zoo Elektra

Screw Farmville. My Zoo is where it's at.

Do ALL your friends on Facebook play Farmville? Because mine do, and even people on textsfromlastnight.com play, too. I went to visit Sophie at work the other day, and she harvested her Farmville fields while we ate sushi and reminisced about Ben.

I've long been a stalwart of not playing Facebook games. Sure, there was that week where I played Geo Challenge compulsively, eventually becoming #3 in New Zealand on the USA Tour, but I was sick, and lonely, and I haven't played since.

What then, am I up doing at 2:30am on Facebook?

My Zoo. It's Farmville, but worse. You start off with money, and you win challenges by doing what it tells you to (duhhh). I started off with a petting zoo with one Norwegian goat, or something along those lines, and got pretty excited shortly after when I built a marsupial enclosure and got some kangaroos. I then visited Sophie's Zoo (yes, Sophie plays My Zoo too) and was dismayed to see she not only has Norwegian goats, and kangaroos, but snow leopards, Malayan tapirs, and Chilean flamingoes. Sophie has 124 species at her zoo, compared to my 10. I'm feeling rather underwhelmed with my efforts now! Game on, Sophie.

Guess who else has a zoo? Thom. Hilariously, it's named "Radioactive Reptiles", which as you may remember, is the silly name our team went by for 48Hour. Thankfully, I'm in front of Thom on the My Zoo leaderboard. One hopes I could run a zoo better than him!

Anyway, it's still sixteen days until the Summer Session at uni starts, so until then, I have a new goal in life: to have the best zoo ever. It's on, like donkey kong (even though I don't have any donkeys on my farm, just exmoor ponies).

23 October 2009

I Came To Dance

In light of the New Zealand Dollar's relative strength against the Greenback recently, I ordered four more tshirts from threadless.com yesterday. This is, for the record, on top of two I ordered on October 7th. Slightly ridiculous? Maybe. But at least now I have a shirt for every day of the week (on top of the fifty I already own? Yeah, okay).

Apparently, I'm Jillian Nickell's newest #1 fan, as I ordered both of her threadless.com designs - Alice's Sewing Basket (previously written about here) and Playground Joust.

Gooooood. Also in my cart: Rainforests, by Yeoh Guan Hong, and Juliet by Lim Heng Swee. And then there's the other two shirts which should be arriving very soon: that ridiculous pink one by Robert Gould, a fellow typography nerd that says "i came to dance" in Helvetica font (yeah!) and the one pictured below...

True Love Will Find You In The End, by Si Scott

Mainly I like the swan - I'm not so sold on the phrase. Maybe it's true, but I have yet to see any evidence of this. And anyway, what's the point of true finding you "in the end"? Doesn't that suggest that you're about to die as you find it? Depressing. Still... something to look forward to.

Now, if Sephora had international shipping, then maybe I wouldn't buy so many tshirts. I would probably buy more mascara (I recently acquired Imju's Fiberwig, from Japan) anyway, so maybe it's a good thing. Although, I just found out that the qualification that will allow me to teach in Japan (post-Masters) is like, $1000, so I'm not really doing myself any favours either way. Sigh.

Oh well. I'm having fun.

22 October 2009

I Am Alive

Today's blogger of note: Erin O'Brien.

Her profile statement reads simply: I am alive.

Well, that's a start. For the last few weeks, I've been sick, and sad, and feeling like I'm somewhere in the middle. Recently, my days have been virtually melting into one another, leaving me mostly confused about the date, time, and other aspects of consequence.

This afternoon, for no reason other than being so bored my brain started to hurt, I fell asleep and had about the most realistic dream I've ever had. Of course, it featured Donny, and unfortunately I awoke under the guise that we were friends again. Luckily, reality kicked in before I got a hold of my cellphone. Gah. Can you imagine? That would have been a complete and utter disaster.

I have a funeral to attend on Monday, and one I am not looking forward to. I've long considered myself lucky as for the vast majority of my life, I've gone about blissfully unaware of the consequences of death. Of course, when I was sixteen, a close friend died in heartbreaking circumstances, but before then, and since then, things have been going swimmingly. All of a sudden, two weeks ago, Ben got on the back of someone's motorcycle, they hit a wall, and since then we've been struggling to accept that one of the brightest stars no longer shines. And I'm not just crapping on about this because he was my friend, either.

Ben was, by all accounts, an exceptional young man. He left school, having completed seventh form (and graduating as Proxime Accessit, no less) while we were in sixth form. He spent a year in England on GAP year, before returning here to complete a Bachelor of Management Studies at Waikato University, as a Hillary Scholar. He excelled at hockey (playing for no less than three teams at once through most of high school) as well as at judo. And he did all of these things without managing to be a wanker. I think he kissed more of my friends than anyone else I know - at the time I considered him to be a manwhore. Now I see that he was just making the most of life, in the same way that he was when he told me he danced so hard at a club after work one night in London (where he was working as a graduate auditer at Deloittes, since early 2008) that he wore a hole in his work pants. That's Ben. Make no mistake. He who works hard, parties harder.

So it is with a heavy heart that I must attend this service to say goodbye to my friend (and, funnily enough, the first boy who ever held my hand... awww). And until then, may all my days melt into one another. I miss Ben.

That Which Does Not Kill Me, Makes Me More Of A Douche.

Now, I like to think I don't commentate on celebrity life alllll that often. Sure, I once posted a blog named "I Have An Entire Photo Album On Picasa Dedicated To Lauren Conrad", and I gave a review of Heidi Montag's revolting wedding, but in general, I am far too self-obsessed to blather about the lives of those with more money, better looks, and more cameras following them.

Until now, and that's because I am ready to drive a stake through Kanye West's torso. Seriously, WHO IS THAT GUY?!

Admittedly, one of my favourite running songs is "Stronger" - but to be fair, that was a Daft Punk song anyway, so it doesn't count. Kanye West is a big douchebag. I steered away from commenting on his ridiculous antics at the VMAs earlier this year, when he upstaged one of my faves, Taylor Swift. It's been covered in all forms of media - the news, social networking, the blogosphere - ad nauseum, but I would just like to add my support to the droves of people that thought that was pretty much the most disrespectful and gross display of narcissism, ever. WHO CARES if you thought Beyonce's video was better, man? You weren't on the voting committee, and if your opinion was really so important, you would have been. So, shut the fuck up.

That mostly blew over, until the "Ima let you finish, but... *insert name here* was the best *insert event here* ... of all time" became the most popular catch phrase of 2009. Seriously?

So now, since it's all died down, Kanye has been blasted into irrelevant oblivion, where he belongs. He's been replaced on Twitter by "Paranormal Activity", The World Series, and of course Balloon Boy (don't even get me started on Balloon Boy. Should those parents NOT be in jail? Urgh). Until yesterday, when he attempted to fake his own death, via his website, in an attempt to become culturally relevant again. Sorry Kanye, you still suck, and you're still that guy who stole the microphone off Taylor Swift at the VMAs. You're still a douche.

It amazes me that people think this guy is a genius. I'm sorry, but this is not the way geniuses behave. This is the way people with clinical mental disorders, such as Narcissistic Personality Disorder (it got mentioned in class while I was at Otago, so naturally, I'm now an expert - ha ha) behave. APOLOGISING IN CAPITALS DOESN'T HELP EITHER, you loser.

I don't know about you, but I wish Kanye West would fuck off and die.

17 October 2009

Holy Smack! It's October!

It totally slipped past me.

I mean, obviously it didn't really, because five of the six October events I was crowing about all year have already passed, and the final one is tonight, but you know what I mean, right?

There was the Olympic City naming: Rio de Janeiro
Levi's Gran Fondo: a raging success from what I've heard
Bad Religion: fantastic, oh.
Christchurch holiday: well, so-so. I was sick the entire time and also received news of Ben's accident while I was there so...
My brother's 21st: yay!

So tonight is the Michael Jackson tribute party. I don't know how I feel about it. Since I heard about Ben, I've been swinging between the two ideas of a) reverting back to my old, anti-social ways and b) living it up, Ben-style. Right now, the former seems like a pretty good option so you can imagine I'm in two minds about even going. That said, I'm already committed to making up two friends for the night, so I kind of have to.


I've spent a couple of days hanging out with Ben's family this week. We've been close since I first became friends with Ben, ten years ago, so it's been nice to feel like in some small and mostly insignificant way that I'm helping them cope. Of course, naturally, it's largely been the other way around. Ben's sister, whose makeup I did for the Waikato Law Ball earlier in the year, has amazed me in the last week with her ability to deal with this loss (and you need only to read any one of the articles or notices in the paper here to understand just what a loss it is). I love her and her family.

In fact, even though I've been planning this for some time (the initial "draft" was completed mid-August), Ben's departure has further motivated me to sort myself the hell out, and I'm stoked to finally announce that I'm going to be returning to the University of Otago for the Summer session, and then for another year before I fuck off to Japan. Future-proofing my life, if you will. I've sold the bikes, I'm done chasing the elusive happiness-through-victory-in-sport dream. I'm growing up and getting a grown-up life for myself, so I can pursue dreams of the professional nature. So, they're kinda new dreams, but hopefully dreams that will create a life for me that will be more fulfilling than medals and shin splints. So, a month from now, expect to hear a lot less from me in terms of blog posts, and hopefully a lot more in terms of contribution to the chemical community (ooh, I like how that sounded). AND, most importantly, I've enrolled in some Japanese papers, so I won't need to take Nayuha to the supermarket with me every day once I get there. Future-proofing my life. Thanks, Ben... not only for that, but for everything. I miss you. xxx

Now that's something everyone can enjoy.

13 October 2009

An Evening With Bad Religion

It's taken more than a week for me to get my ass onto reviewing this, but as you may know, I WENT TO BAD RELIGION LAST SUNDAY NIGHT! It was at Auckland's Town Hall, where I also saw Serj Tankian perform with the Auckland Philharmonia in March.

There were three openers (yes, for the purpose of this post I will refer to NOFX as openers), including the surprisingly impressive Pour Habit, out of Compton, California. These guys were fun and energetic, and one song was even performed while the vocalist balanced on his head. Yeah, you read that right.

NOFX were as offensive as ever: "I don't mean this in an offensive way, but fuck Peter Jackson" is just one example of this. There were Mexican jokes, German jokes, jokes about Christchurch, jokes about your face. I'm not a huge NOFX fan, nor have I ever been, but they were clearly well-received by the unshowered punk kids who filled the auditorium. Highlight: when they played Reeko, which was the only song I recognised.

It wasn't until a man clad in a black polo shirt and jeans - who I immediately recognised as Greg Graffin - took the stage, that my heart skipped a beat. Yes, kids. I had a moment because I was in the same room as him. You know you're a bit different when a 44-year-old guy from Wisconsin can have that effect on you. Immediately, Bad Religion broke into Los Angeles Is Burning, a song I hadn't heard in too long, since someone (named Sally) stole my copy of "The Empire Strikes First". It was then announced that something was wrong with the guitars - something Greg blamed on the members of Slayer, who were playing the following night. There was a ten-minute interlude during which Greg sat on an amp and bantered. In other words, he made my night.

A prepared-earlier shot of Greg from a show in NJ two years ago

"We'd like to welcome you to an evening with Bad Religion" he announced, once the guitars were sorted. From that moment I don't think the ridiculous grin left my face until he left the stage at the end of the night. To my absolute delight, the final song performed was Sorrow, one of my original favourites, from "The Process Of Belief". Greg announced during the show that his band had been playing shows for nearly 30 years - and that just adds to my admiration for them. That a band can continue to produce socially and culturally relevant music for three decades is just out of control. To that end, songs were performed from all three decades. Another favourite (is it starting to sound like every Bad Religion song ever is my favourite?) Do What You Want, from 1988's "Suffer", Punk Rock Song - which proved a crowd favourite - released in 1996, to songs from the most recent album "New Maps Of Hell" made for a set rich in variety.

My only sticking point? That Materialist wasn't performed, but I quickly got over that. Highlights: the entire set. When Greg dumped Fat Mike on the ground (the NOFX frontman crashed BR's set and jumped on Greg's back partway through a song). As previously mentioned, when Sorrow was played. I like to think Greg sang "will you guide me now, for I can't see..." to me. One more lowlight: when the set finished. I kind of wished it would go on forever. I wish I was still there now.

Being the teeny-bopper I am, I had to get some merchandise. I wanted to make up for not attending their 2007 New Zealand show, and then some. So I bought myself a Bad Religion hoody, which got some weird looks on the plane the other night. I am so far from concerned about my clothing offending people right now, though. Especially considering there were at least 20 metallers donned in Slayer and Megadeth shirts, which in my opinion is far more offensive.

Anyway, I'm a content Bad Religion fan for now. In your face, Donny.

By The Way

I'm in a huge muddle of mixed emotions and feelings right now... so before I forget, I want to congratulate my little brother Sam on his 21st birthday!! YAY! Happy birthday Sam. You make me so proud.

Yes, I am going to write a piece on the amazing Ben Gilby-Todd, but not until I can hold myself together sufficiently. I want to do him justice. Love. xxx

Return Of The MAC

Ha ha! I hate that song.

After my wee MAC binge at Brisbane airport last month (yes, it's been a month since Worlds), I did plan on cutting back on makeup purchase and focusing on saving some coin so I can move to Japan sooner rather than later.

Well, that all went out the window on Sunday.

I'm sick at the moment - I want to say sicker than I've ever been. Getting out of bed is a stretch, because every single joint screams at me, along with my stomach, heart, lungs, as well as my brain - which currently feels like a pressure cooker. So it's a wonder I even got to the MAC store in the first place, but once I did, I felt momentarily better.

Do you remember Dazzle Lash? Yes, it first appeared on my blog almost a year ago, but that's how long it's taken for it to firstly reach our fair shores and secondly for my bank balance to allow my purchasing it. And now, I'm happy to announce that I am the proud owner of MAC Dazzle Lash mascara. Excited much? I am. I may have also bought some long-desired Lipglass - in Russian Red. Know what I like about it? It's glossy, but with a tonne of pigment, so it's not some half-assed whore-ish red tint. It is RED. Teamed up with Ruby Woo, it's going to be the biggest statement my lips have ever made.

For a while I've had Violet Trance, a true purple eyeshadow, in my sights. Every time I visit a MAC store, I pick it up. I play with it. I apply some, check it in the mirror, and I like what I see. Then I think, mmm, probably I don't really need this. And I put it back. On Sunday I did all of the above, but then I picked it back up, and paid for it. So expect photographic evidence of my latest fave - violet smoky eyes.

And that was my wee spend-up. And, I know I've said this before, but I'm actually going to start saving now.

Starting next week...

12 October 2009

Stalkers Brought Me Here

No lies.

PLUS, I've had a heap of drama recently, from a close friend being killed in a motorcycle accident (love forever, Ben xxx), to being away from home, to being stalked. Yep, the tables turned. I had it coming.

And here we are.

I am going to fix up the format and stuff, but it took me two hours just to import and edit my old posts, so that can wait.

Peace, love, and safe roads. xoxo

3 October 2009

Reason To Love Taylor Phinney #3874


Recently, UCI announced an upheaval of the Olympic Track Cycling programme. The most notable? The omission of events like the Madison, Points Race, and Taylor's own Individual Pursuit. Brain explosions! Instead, they're introducing an Omnium, which is great for Hayden Godfrey, but not so good for the slew of guys who have made cycling 4000m full throttle their specialty.

You might have already gathered from previous blog posts that Taylor is one of my faves. He's freakin hilarious, and seems to be somewhat personable, while maintaining machine-like qualities on the track and road (demonstrated so well by his 4:15 IP in Denmark earlier this year, and at the Junior Paris-Roubaix). But wait, there's more. This guy is honest, too. He's just gone and put his intentions out there, and now it's only a matter of time before he can cross that world record off his list, and likely become one of the hottest commodities in professional road racing. An Olympic track cycling gold might evade him, but there's definitely brighter things on his horizon.

Onto a lighter subject... what colour should I paint my nails today? I'm thinking "Keys To My Karma"...

Night Train

Cool, and that will work out for you because YOU'RE A GUY.

Can you imagine if I left everyone behind to win Donny back in... well, the bowling alley? Wouldn't happen. I saw some Sex And The City quote recently (not from watching it, because I refuse to, but on Becky's Facebook) about how grand gestures by a guy are romantic, but by a girl they're considered desperate or psycho. It's freaking true! Not that I'm feminist or anything, but like, give us a break!! Yeah, okay so I am a little bit psycho, probably considerably moreso than the rest of the female population who have considered a grand gesture...but we mean well! Gah. Anyway, to the guy who is going to San Francisco, good luck. Though I dare say, if she wanted to be won back, she probably wouldn't have left you in the first place.


It was announced this morning (New Zealand time) that Rio de Janeiro will host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Good. Seriously, as long as Chicago didn't win, I was going to be happy. And I'll happily admit that while I was a staunch supporter of the Tokyo campaign, I'm quite content with the Olympics going to Brazil. I mean, the Athletes Village in Tokyo looked kinda crappy anyway. Rio is sure to pull off the most stupendous Olympics ever, if you ask me. If anyone knows how to party, it's Brazilians.

As for me, I'll be 30, old and haggard by then anyway, so I'm not really considering it as some sort of goal. Instead, I've started planning my assault on the International Olympic Committee, of which I dream of being president. Yesss.

Oh, and here's some photos from Worlds, since I never got around to posting them earlier. Check out my fat legs! Not a good look.

Apologies to those who are my Facebook friends, because you will have probably seen these photos already, splashed all over my profile page. Hahaha. On a related note, I'm getting interviews by ITU (International Triathlon Union) for their newsletter, which is quite exciting for me. Especially considering my own local paper did not run a story about my win. Boo.

Guess what tomorrow is?!

Yes, yes, bitches... I'M GOING TO BAD RELIGION! And also NOFX, but I am really quite considerably less excited about the latter. Bad Religion!!! I actually can't believe it. It's shaping up to be the best night ever. EVER!

Peace, love, and new maps of hell, guys.

2 October 2009

Off The Grid

When I move to Japan, I intend to open a new blog account and call it "There's No Place Like Kagawa" - Kagawa prefecture being where my starfish Nayuha lives, and as such where I intend to take up residence. Today, however, I decided that maybe the old adage is true, maybe there is no place like home. Or, at the very least, there's nothing like a shower.

On Monday Thom and I drove to "Skyland", a powerless, running water-less cabin in the hills behind Katikati to shoot for his third-year film project, "Labour Weekend". We were joined by his crew from Wintec, Luke, and some other friends of Thom's until this afternoon. We did in fact have running water, at times, as well as some electricity in short supply. We also had cellphone coverage. And lots of fun.

I always rave about 48 Hours weekend, and how it was the most fun I've ever had in my life, but this week I've come to realise that Thom is the most fun I've ever had. The man is without doubt the funniest person in my life. He has to be experienced to be believed. Explaining to people why "ain't nothing but a thaaang" makes me laugh so hard I stop breathing just isn't the same as hearing it for yourself.

Not everything went to plan - something student filmmakers are a little more adept to coping with than your average bear. There was the glitch in the matrix that saw one of our SD cards delete itself, requiring us to re-shoot 57 minutes of footage. Good. There was the intermittent weather - something Thom coped with in advance by writing two scripts - one for summer and one for winter. There was the small matter of not having power. We shot without a monitor, and at night hooked up the softbox and lights to a generator which sounded more like a lawnmower than a source of power. After the SD card debacle, we made sure to format the shots directly after shooting so as not to lose them. Pedantic? A little. But in the long run, a better plan than spending another week without a shower.

Which brings me to my next point: cleanliness. Or lack of, as the case was. In the past, the longest I've gone without a shower has been less than 24 hours. I like showers. I like exfoliating, I like shaving, I like coating myself completely in bubbles from shower gel and then rinsing it off and doing it again. I don't like washing my hair, but it has to be done. You can imagine then, this last week has been a bit of a stretch for me (in more ways than one - I survived on giant cookies). I managed to return home without smelling like a three-week-old egg sandwich left in the sun, but I was not a happy camper. Neither is the skin on my face. Trip to the Albany Dermalogica bar? Required.

I don't know. Most of the time that I was there, I was laughing at Thom too much to think about how bad I might have smelt. Feeling grim? Find the funniest and most inappropriate person you can, and go away with them for a few days. Right now, I think I might even be the happiest I've ever been. Big call? It was a big week.

At 5:30am Saturday, New Zealand time, the 2016 Olympic City will be announced. Am I the only person in the world counting down to this moment? Maybe. But it's exciting! I'm still backing Tokyo for the win.

With all that said, it's time for me to get some much-needed beauty sleep (you should see the drug rashes on my face right now. Good) so good night, internet land.