June 17th, 2013 — 4:45am
Who knew that a pimple located smack bang in the middle of my forehead could bring me so much grief! Not to be culturally insensitive (I’m kind of on the fence about the whole “cultural appropriation” thing), but since there is no way that I will supply a picture, the most precise way of describing it is that the culprit has decided to form exactly where people would place a bindi.
Whilst touching pimples is generally unadvised and causes irritation and discomfort, I think my skin-type makes it even worse. To backtrack a little, I’m actually quite lucky in the sense that I have pretty neutral skin which is neither oily nor particularly dry, which means that I rarely get pimples at all. I only tend to get them when I’m really stressed out. Even then, that means getting maybe three pimples in a month where I have tests or exams — which my friends berate me for complaining about.
So what’s the problem then? Well, unfortunately the pimples which I do get, tend to be of the sort that stay under the skin and never quite “mature” and sprout a head. Which means that they stay around for ages and hurt in an eye-watering way when bumped. I’m sure that most people can relate to the surprising pain of pressing down on a pimple, but these type of pimples seem to hurt a lot more than the normal sort, as I think they’re deeper in the skin.
What I discovered this weekend was that I bump my forehead more than I ever would have guessed. Or at least my forehead makes some kind of contact with things and people a fair bit. For example, at my hockey game yesterday, I collided with an opposing player. It wasn’t a head-on collision, but her body sort of slammed into my face, shoulder and body in general — basically what happens every few minutes I’m on the field, with or without the ball. I just never realised that my forehead was ever involved in these bumps and pushing around — until the pain emitting from my pimple told me so! Later on whilst trying to snuggle with the boy, I realised I couldn’t sleep with my face or head pressed up against him. Because it hurts. An accidental bumping of heads this morning hurt a lot more than it should have for such light contact. I also discovered that when I lean forward towards my steering wheel whilst in fits of laughter (due to conversing with a friend in a parked car), my forehead cannot bear the momentary contact at all!
This darn zit has made me suddenly aware of all the contact that my forehead actually comes into. I never knew that my forehead touched anything or anyone at all, let alone on a regular basis. I guess it’s not a part of my body that I particularly note the sensations of, until pain is involved. It’s just been really silly how I keep unexpectedly going “oww!” at things I usually don’t even notice doing.
1 comment » | General, Health, Hockey, Males, Social, Sports
May 24th, 2013 — 10:58am
I really wanted to post a photo of my happy self, since it was my 22nd birthday yesterday — but I’m only on my laptop (quickie before uni) so I don’t have access to most files and had to whip this low-fi off the dreaded facebook. In true Amanda fashion, I overslept through two classes yesterday morning, and only woke to my friends calling me asking “WHERE ARE YOU?!” so we could go for my birthday lunch. They thought I had intentionally wagged class on my birthday, oops.
Melbourne Big Day Out Friday 26th January 2013, on disposable camera. (The thing on my forehead is a Y from the YYYs)
The other night, I had an application for something that was due a minute before my birthday, at 11.59pm. Due to a torts test and uni all day, I had about two hours left after my hockey training, to finish my cover letter. I don’t think writing such things under time pressure is the best idea, but in writing it, and compiling my CV, I unexpectedly learnt a lot about myself.
At first glance, my CV isn’t exactly cut out for the corporate world whatsoever. I scarily realised that I’d been playing in various music ensembles for the past fifteen years and that it’s been eight years since I started playing hockey and fatefully broke my nose on my birthday. Some days, I feel like what have I got to show for myself?! now that I’m no longer a teenager. Other days I feel like I’ve managed to do quite well in what (relatively) short time I’ve had on this earth. But the thing I realised when I was writing my cover letter was that, I’m quite proud I never really did anything just “because it would look good on a CV”. The pages and lists of things I’d put on there, were truly things that I wanted to do, even if in the cold of winter I didn’t want to train, or didn’t like early morning rehearsals. I wasn’t in those sports teams purely for my ego nor did I spend twelve-hour days at high school because I thought that it would “pay off” one day. And maybe it never will. But it doesn’t matter.
Even if nothing came of this application I submitted, I’m happy that the process of writing it made me feel really content with myself on my birthday. People that know me quite well would know that I struggle to be content with myself — there’s always more I can do, more to be done — so this is a good start. I’m really passionate about the the photos I’ve taken, the experiences I’ve sought out for myself, and bass callouses born from pain.
Whilst I know that law school will always make me anxious that I’m not doing the “right” co-curricular things, I insist on not pretending I’m someone that I’m clearly not. I’m making a conscious decision to continue to only do things that I want to do, rather than because “it would look good”. (Disclaimer: I do realise there will be things that I must do that I don’t necessarily “want” to do or feel passionate about. But I feel there’s a difference between things you’ve got to do in general, versus things above and beyond, merely because it looks nice on a piece of paper)
Also, it’s amazing how many indirectly-relevant and awesome skills I’ve managed to get out of all the “wrong” (read: unconventional) mixture of things that I’ve been doing. Anyone can sit at a desk and grind books into their brains all day, but how many will leave their comfort zones and chase down lofty dreams?
3 comments » | Concert, Emotions, Film, General, Hockey, Music, Photography, Reflections, School/Ed, Social, Sports, Work
May 12th, 2013 — 7:02pm
I feel like it’s a miracle I managed to survive the past week. I had a contracts test, a technical jury for double bass and a torts moot, back-to-back in the space of 72 hours. That I did not feel prepared for virtually anything, is a momentous understatement. My daily brain-function quotas were maxed out and I probably used the next three weeks’ worth, explaining why I have not so much as pretended to open a book all weekend. To top it all off, I’ve had a flu for which I’ve been drugged out on codeine, making it all the harder to stay awake. Somehow, in the space of the past seven days, I managed to do all this, photograph Esther’s wedding, pick up another commissioned assignment, and did a graduation photoshoot for a friend.
Oh yeah, and the boy graduated in the middle of the week, during my tech jury, so I didn’t witness the ceremony itself. But afterwards, we had too many celebratory drinks and I irresponsibly got too tipsy to write my moot which was at 9am the next day. I don’t know how I hauled myself out from under the pillow to write it at 5am. I also don’t know how much I like being me right now. It may sound like I’m complaining, but I’m not, really. I signed up to do all this. I signed up for far more than what qualifies as a “full-time study workload” — I chose to do all this, so I’m not really complaining. Just… trying to vent to get through it. And get through it well. Because, let’s be honest here, a certain lecturer may try to tell us all she likes that getting a C-grade for contract law reflects that our work is “satisfactory”, but no one ever got an internship or job off that grade.
I’m just feeling really envious of all my friends who have been capped and awarded with their all-expensive “piece of paper(s)” that’s been earned through hard work, blood and sweat. Although I do have an odd choice to make next year — do I attend a graduation ceremony for my music degree alone? Or wait to wear white an light blue simultaneously?
A handful of photos from Wednesday night:
P.S. I love the song that I nicked the title of this post from, but I think I must’ve subconsciously chosen it because it’s what I feel I need to do: free myself from the leash that is university and my ever-violent battles with time constraints. I’m working hard, by my standards, but hell, definitely nowhere near 100%. What is my 100%? How will I know? How does anyone know if they’re putting in 100%?!
2 comments » | Emotions, General, Jazz, Males, Music, Photography, Rants, Reflections, School/Ed, Social, Work
April 23rd, 2013 — 12:52am
In a conversation with a friend the other night, we were discussing our childhood and adolescence, being bullied by girls and general bodily awareness, etc. She pointed out something that I had never considered before — that, before a certain point in time, your body was just one whole part. You were you, that’s what you looked like, and that’s just the way it was. Until one day, someone makes a comment about your body, and suddenly your awareness heightens, and you start to question your body and the form that it takes.
After thinking about this, I realised that I can remember a very distinct shift from merely acknowledging that my body looked a certain way, to realising that my actions can cause my body to look different. It’s sad that, once you cross that line, there is no going back. Life used to be, oh, swimming training, ballet classes, run the 800m heats, blah blah, and all was well. Then one day, I realised, it’s all this swimming and ballet that has given me a really lean physique with strong abdominal muscles. That switching these two for hockey then gave me a thicker build, along with hockey thighs. That my gluttony over a few meals will amount to jeans being tighter or beers equating to a gut. And as a woman, these are consequences that are too hard to ignore sometimes.
Even though I don’t really “watch what I eat” and barely try to be moderate about it all, admittedly, one big reason I love hockey season so much is that I can then consume without as much thought as when it’s off-season — because it’s almost guaranteed to burn off. Case in point: in December I bought a beautiful pair of Rag & Bone jeans in New York, and this was right after a season of winter and summer hockey, and I’d walked and walked and walked on my trip. Then I get home, Christmas and New Years happens, with no hockey… and now I can’t fit them anymore. Hopefully if my coach continues her current plan of playing me on the left wing for the first sixty minutes (of a 70 minute game, ouch!) I will definitely be reaping in rewards in the form of muscle gain and fat loss. (Disclosure: I’m weird in that I gain and lose muscle easily so my weight fluctuates not 1-2kg like most females, but more like 4-7kg) But if I were ten again, I would just think, oh yay, I feel a bit fitter and lighter. Not, I lost muscle and put on fat, boo hoo, must reverse this. This body awareness thing was much easier when I only ate what my mum put on the dinner table, and did the amount of sports prescribed.
Also, I’d forgotten about these photos until I stumbled across these scans just before. They were taking during a jazz combo rehearsal at uni last year. Funny how I can forget about these completely, yet now that I’ve found them, I can remember what it felt like at the time, framing these shots in fairly quick succession, then putting the camera away to not be a distraction.
All taken on Kodak Colour Reversal film; Nikon F3.
3 comments » | Emotions, Family, Film, Food, General, Health, Hockey, Jazz, Music, Photography, Rants, Reflections, School/Ed, Social, Sports, Travel, Vanity/Health
March 19th, 2013 — 1:18am
Knowing that I’m a sleep-wrecking advocate of “trying to do it all”, my sister sent me some lecture notes from her religion class about how we simply can’t “do it all.” Whilst I haven’t gotten around to reading the lectures themselves (I think I can be forgiven, some days I have uni from 11am-6pm with virtually no break!), the email with her views on it have been really interesting. So I’ll rephrase — I’ll try to do everything I can. Good news is, I did make it back into the Division 1 hockey team after all, despite panicking about how badly I had trialled on the first day; I must have made up in round two.
Anyone who knows the boy and I quite well would know that we’re not advocates of marriage. I don’t even believe in little things working out, I’m such a bloody pessimist. Being the lofty thrill-seeking person I am, it’s surely no surprise that I always question the doctrine of monogamy. Without going on a huge tangent, I’ll clarify that I’m not about to ever be a swinger, and I simply couldn’t deal the jealousy and uncertainty of being in a “relationship” that isn’t monogamous. But I often encounter existential issues like “what’s the point?”, or my strong belief that I can’t be with someone unless, for its duration, I believe that I’ll always be with them, and will always want to be. Regardless of if that actually plays out in reality, I feel like, if that’s not how you feel when you’re together, then WHY would you bother being “together”?!
Some time in 2012 I devised a test for “how I may one day use to gauge whether or not I will accept someone’s proposal for marriage” — this is, assuming that anyone would ever be crazy/stupid/brave enough to stick their neck out for slaughter like that. The test is, I’d ask myself whether I would be willing to get a tattoo related to the person. It doesn’t have to be their name or anything, just, something sentimentally, symbolically, intimately related to them. Everyone knows that it’s a dumb idea to get a lover’s tattoo (sorry for the grand generalisation, though I’m not sorry if anyone actually thinks it’s a great idea), but regardless of if I’d ever follow through with something so stupid, I think if I could ever answer that test in the affirmative, then it would be pretty telling. There is so much more on how I feel about all this that I haven’t breached, but I’m looking forward to chucking my casebooks and real book on the floor, and climbing into bed with a book called Sex at Dawn. Before anyone jumps to any conclusions, it’s a New York bestselling anthropological book with the subtitle that reads “How we mate, why we stray and what it means for modern relationships.” I think the key point to be extracted from praise on the back cover is “that humans evolved to be monogamous” — a topic I’m clearly fascinated by. It seems messed up that I’ve talked about these things for years but this book actually belongs to the boy and he read it sometime recently and has since shoved it under my nose. Let’s ignore the fact that I’m three quarters through Malcolm Gladwell’s What the Dog Saw and the infamous American Psycho. Those can surely wait, whilst I uncover the thread of how modern human relationships came to be, right?
Here is Master Flakey, cute as ever, always managing to find a spot of comfort in the mess of a life I lead. I’m going to miss him so soo sooooo much when I move out soon.
4 comments » | Cats, Emotions, General, Hockey, Literature, Males, Photography, Rants, Raves, Reflections, Romance, School/Ed, Social, Sports
March 10th, 2013 — 6:10pm
Given recent events, university starting again, and just basically everything in general, that shiny, clean-slate sheen of the new year has more than worn out for me. I have no idea what anything means any more. I’m trying to avoid the snowball-effect where one lecture’s worth of readings and notes turns into three, into thirteen, into thirty, and the next thing I know is — well I don’t know anything. There isn’t a name to describe the state I’m in, but it’s a constant state of perpetual sadness. The death of hopes, of far-fetching plans — of a part of me. Every day that I’m at uni, I fluctuate between rushing to jazz school for instructed combo rehearsal in my only hour off from law lectures, or meeting a friend for California burritos. And amidst this flurry… where the hell am I, and who am I about to be? I’ve been chilling the fuck out, but I’m still serious about the things I do. I just don’t feel like I quite fit in anywhere. I want to do well, I want to come out near the top when my law marks have been scale-graded against my peers (that’s how they’re marked, on a rough bell curve, rather than raw scores) and I want to pull off a good graduation recital later this year. I want all these things and I want more. But the rest of the jazz cats or the law kids want things that are at least going in somewhat the same direction, and the things I’m after are pulling me every which way. To top it off, I’ve been debating with myself for ages over whether or not I can realistically still play hockey this season, but I’ve decided I will go to Division 1 trials after all. My father kindly pointed out that I would regret it if I don’t, and if it all really gets too much, the worst that could happen is that I’d have to drop out for the remainder of the season. So I’m going to do it.
On Thursday night the boy and I went to see Bloc Party. I’d seen them in December in LA with my sister and they were amazing, but the crowd there was awful, and — not to be racist, merely factual — a black chick tried to get in a fight with me. By that, I mean she actually did hit me several times. Just, what the hell, it’s a concert, when you’re in the fourth or fifth row and there’s a big gap in front of you, someone is going to go and stand there! So yeah, that was an experience and a half. But the Auckland crowd was predictably much mellower, and I certainly enjoyed second-row views of Gordon Moakes. I was sad they didn’t play Sunday (see blog title), but Signs was definitely a pleasant surprise. I just have no idea why Moakes looked so sad during the whole set, like something was wrong and he didn’t want to be there, who knows?
After the show I’d managed to get my hands on a set list, but a nasty girl knocked it out of my hands and into the photo pit. Then she went bailing over the barrier head-first to retrieve it. I really wasn’t in the mood to lose any dignity over it, so gave up. Luckily for me, an old friend was in the opening act, and although they didn’t get to meet Bloc Party, he’d seen the whole fiasco from upstairs and promptly went to retrieve a set list from backstage for me. Yay. And from the bass tech, no less, so I’m going to fawn over potentially having Moakes’ handwriting sitting on my desk. I honestly don’t care that it’s from the 5th in Brisbane rather than the 7th in Auckland. Nor do I know where this bass-player-fangirl-dom has come from, because as I’ve always said, bass players don’t typically tick any boxes for me… because I am one. I shall keep collecting “what stories are made of” experiences.
Here are two photos I took at the Met in New York. Both taken on Ilford HP5 Plus 400 B/W film; Nikon F3:
1 comment » | Art, Audience, Concert, Emotions, Film, Hockey, Jazz, LA, Males, Music, NYC, Photography, Rants, Raves, Reflections, Romance, School/Ed, Social, Sports, Travel, USA
March 4th, 2013 — 12:57am
In twelve hours’ time I’ll be looking for the lecture room in which I will spend four hours, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the rest of the year. This last month of summer has flown and I can’t believe I’ve been on holiday since November 10th. It’s such a distant, distant memory by now, and little did I know then, what the next three months would throw at me. In the past few weeks I have reverted to a weird situation of being a single, free bird again, and it’s the most bizarre feeling in the world. Which is ironic as I’ve always been the most commitment and relationship-phobic person I know, but I guess I turned soft, and people make you comfortable. Unfortunately with comfort comes complacency and whatnot… but I no longer have quite the same view of my immediate future right now, and that’s both exhilarating and petrifying.
I’ve also decided to move out of home, which is a lot earlier than expected, but all factors considered (such as my potential for 11am-6pm Mondays with no breaks), it seems to be a good decision right now. So on the same wavelength of venturing into the great unknown, here are a couple of photos from back on November 29th, when I flew from LAX to Philadelphia, to New York. The latter flight was on a plane so small that I think there were only twelve rows and the cabin felt low for me, even though I’m only 5’7″. I was lucky to score the window seat because sunset washed over New York as we approached, and only after the skies turn black did I remember that, oh duh, I had my camera and should take pictures of the pretty lights. The last photo shows my first meal in New York — Japanese food delivered to the door of my friend’s beautiful apartment that I wish I lived in.
Let’s hope I survive this ridiculous venture of doing two (non-conjoint) degrees so that I can one day move there.
2 comments » | Emotions, Food, General, Males, NYC, Photography, Reflections, Romance, School/Ed, Social, Travel, USA
January 20th, 2013 — 5:59pm
Something silly and awful has happened with my webhost and of course I hadn’t backed up anything – so I’ve lost my last blog post. Just as well I didn’t post more often, I would’ve lost more, right? I can’t remember what I said in it besides the main points, but I will post those photos again once I’m back in New Zealand.
I’m currently sitting at Sydney airport, waiting for the boy to arrive. There was only one seat left for the sale price I got my ticket at, so I have to wait a couple of hours for him to join me. We’ve got a super exciting couple of weeks ahead of us, and I can’t wait to see Amanda again in a couple of nights! I first mentioned the trip mooonths ago, and now the day is finally upon us. In two sleeps’ time I will see my favourite band who I have loved and wanted to see for literally half my life! The icing on the cake with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs is that my sister has kindly pre-ordered their new LP (due out in April), for my birthday in May. I believe that she managed to order it in time for me to get one of the 1000 signed lithographs that comes in the bundle. Wheeee! I’m such a fangirl lunatic right now.
We’re only in Sydney until Friday and then we’ll be in Melbourne until the 4th of February – going along to Big Day Out (yes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs again!) and Laneway Festival – so time is precious. Please feel free to email me any recommendations/tips for anything in these two cities. Whilst I will easily be crossing off the big “main things” and definitely be doing the art galleries and museums, I will be eternally grateful for anyone who recommends amazing restaurants/bars or events that are happening which only locals are aware of.
Main things from the last post that disappeared into cyberspace’s black hole:
- New York was amazing. The bands I saw and the things I did and ate and photographed and, and, and – I will post about it all once I’m back in NZ!
- I got into law school. So I, umm, made my life harder as usual, by enrolling in something that’s equivalent to about 150-170% of a “full time workload”. Jazz and law. Law and jazz. They just don’t really want to like each other. It’s going to be hell, but I want it.
- PHOTOS, PHOTOS AND MORE PHOTOS to come.
5 comments » | Audience, Australia, Concert, General, Internet, Jazz, Music, NYC, Photography, Rants, Raves, Reflections, School/Ed, Social, Travel, USA
November 21st, 2012 — 12:08am
I’ve done it again. I have started to call it my “spontaneous disappearing act” and I think it’s rather suitable. Just a little over two years ago, I dashed off to LA and San Francisco on a whim to see my sister and travel alone – and five days ago I pretty much bought the exact same flight deal. In two sleeps’ time I will be leaving for two weeks… after my third sleep (if I actually fall asleep on the plane) I will be in LA and in the middle I’ll be spending a week in New York City!!! I’ve aaaaalllwaaaaays wanted to go to NYC, but I’d never actually planned what I would do there because the thought of only fantasising about it was too painful. So now I’ve got to throw some ideas together pretty quickly. I’m sad that Aaron Parks is playing a night or two before I arrive in NYC, but I’ve got a handful of other people I want to see while I’m there, so hopefully it all happens! I will also be taking a LOT of film with me because I figure I would never regret bringing too much, but will definitely struggle if I feel like I am running out.
The trouble with spontaneously ditching one’s life for two weeks is that suddenly everything needs to be rescheduled or cancelled. I’m losing a nice chunk of pay from the time I’m gone and will be spending thrice that, so I had better spend wisely. Especially with Australia on the cards for Jan-Feb. Gah. But I strongly believe that travelling is one thing from which you will gain more than you spent. Anyone else with a case of wanderlust will more than agree, I’m certain. For those who are skeptical or hesitant about travelling alone, I think people just need to get over the “I need a buddy” mindset and try it out. It can be daunting, for sure, but I’ve met some really amazing people, been invited along to things and experienced so much that I swear I wouldn’t have stumbled across had I been with even one other person. However, in saying that, I’m not looking to missing the boy for two weeks. Of course I’ll still have an amazing time without him, but then I think, damn, who’s going to be my perfect person in all my photos; who will take a nice picture of me with something I want, rather than slap me in smack bang in front of it like other people do; who will hold my coat when I put my coat on; mostly importantly, who will hold my hand?!!! I guess the answer will be that no one will, and I will remember how I made do without him for all those years and travels prior, but I really wished that he was coming with me instead of writing his honours dissertation. I suppose he’ll at least get two weeks’ of decent work done without me distracting him, which means more adventures here when I get back.
As if to make me miss him even more, the lovely, lovely thing surprised me with a bouquet of flowers today:
I’m kind of sad because I won’t get to see them for long since I leave so soon, but I like letting flowers dry out, so I will preserve them that way. We’d run out of vases since it’s spring, so I had to beautify an old gherkin jar, haha.
Just thought I should casually mention that the reason I’ve not been blogging is because I’ve been too busy: passing out at Radiohead, moshing to The Black Keys, shooting Sal Valentine & The Babyshakes and pining over Baths‘ sweet, sweet lyrics in person. I think the latter was quite suitable for this post, don’t you? Hopefully I’ll eventually address these distressing and heart-wrenching experiences, but for now I get to see my sister reaaaal soon and I will try try TRY to blog from LA/NYC!!!
3 comments » | Audience, Australia, Concert, Emotions, Film, General, Health, LA, Lyrics, Males, Music, NYC, Photography, Raves, Reflections, Romance, School/Ed, Social, Travel, USA
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