Friends, acquaintences, and other social matters.

and I want to walk around with you

It’s taken me two days to recuperate from my excitement-filled 18-hour day out on Tuesday: I’d spent the day lounging in the sun at the beach, followed by one of the best gigs of this year –Animal Collective playing at the Powerstation (scroll down for gig details).

My Tuesday kicked off bright and early with a wake-up txt message from my friend making sure that I had indeed gotten out of bed by 7.40am – which I personally thought was a little over-the-top, but considering for the entire year I’d rolled out of bed at 7.55am for school on the days which I didn’t have training nor rehearsal… it seemed understandable that they wanted to make sure the driver was awake.

Nine of us decided to head up north to the Shakespear Regional Park, and set up site for the day on Te Haruhi Bay. Ironically the best part about the whole trip for me (asides from how early they’d made the departure time) was the drive up north. Good friends, decent music, great views through the sunnies and an effortless swift drive for just over an hour was definitely my cup of tea. The biggest obstacle of the day was when the people in my car disagreed with those in the other car as to where we wanted to set our towels down for the day. I’d personally vouched for the sand and didn’t understand why we’d drive all the way to a nice beach with decent, soft sand (Auckland is full of overly shelly beaches that don’t really have decent sand) only to spend the day sitting on the grass; but eventually we compromised, moved around a bit and got the best of both worlds when we threw a frisbee around on the sand and I even attempted to use a soft bat on a foam ball. It either went too far or in whacky directions or both – the foam ball didn’t stand a chance against the wind!

At some point in the afternoon after several hours of swimming, lying in the sun with music and pigging out on buns and a roast chicken that we’d bought from Countdown, we decided that we’d bury Euan in the sand. Well, actually he’d volunteered himself, and made sure that we made the sand wet and compact enough that he couldn’t escape. And soon, what do you know, one of the boys suggested (how typical) to make the buried-Euan into a giant penis. I felt somewhat guilty for having encouraged the use of dried seaweeds as pubs around his head, followed by Michael’s cam-whoring antics as the owner of the giant penis once he saw me whip my camera out!

The real fun began when I got to surpass having my bag checked at the door of the Powerstation simply because I was being given a media photography pass and got to dart through the door. My obligatory drink of a Monteith’s Original led to my vow of never ever drinking beer out of a plastic cup again, regardless of how good and cold the beer was. It just tasted vile… with a slight tinge of that smell of plastic which mixes in with your taste buds at the back of your throat. Nasty. $8 for plastic beer? No thank you. The bartender looked at me with great distaste when I asked if he could just give me the bottle – I imagined in my head that he was thinking something along the lines of “Didn’t you get the memo? No glass bottles in this venue!”, good lord. Not surprisingly the rest of the evening only went uphill from there – Bachelorette’s set (or what I caught of it) was enjoyable albeit the couple of technical difficulties which caused her to even restart a song. Boy was I wrong when I’d expected to see a duo on stage – obviously my friend had misled my beliefs to this “opening band” idea, and apparently I’d also missed her best song. Nonetheless, thanks to the mellow tone of Bachelorette and the use of my camera, I easily settled myself in a comfortable, just off-centre spot in the front row. I’m pretty sure I was allowed, if not supposed to be in the pit in front of the railing, but I simply didn’t want to have to leave the front after 3 songs – which turned out to be a priceless decision.

In a strange way, I’m grateful for the photography for 3-songs-only rule, as it meant I was forced to set my camera aside and fully throw myself into enjoying the show. Otherwise, I know I would’ve been far too torn between thrashing around during the set or staying affixed behind my camera. I applaud them for their set list, especially with slotting in tracks from their latest album evenly throughout the set – opening with In the Flowers, ending the encore with My Girls, with an extended “just a sec more in my… beeeeeed” from Panda Bear nicely placed in the middle. Pure magic. For quite a few of my shots I’d purposely used a slower shutter speed and aperture to capture the atmosphere and buzzy movement of it all.

Here’s my favourite, followed by some highlights (click here for full set):

A perfect circle

Tuesday 1st December, 2009: First day of the last month of my final year.

For months and months I’d been anticipating December 1st. No, for once it wasn’t for the birthday bash of my best mate, but rather, for my 7th form sign out day – my last day in uniform, ever – followed by Graduation Dinner. Not only did this signify the end of all college exams and last minute cramming for the year, but it also brought an end to five, often long and tedious years spent at Macleans College. Surprisingly, well, actually in all brutal honesty, I know myself better than this so it wasn’t really surprising to have found myself spending the day in numb frustration. I was sad to be leaving, but only because I’ve been so used to the comfort zone and safety bubbles that I’d built up around me at school: the daily routine of classes and socialising that I had become accustomed to and can execute in zombie mode all day, everyday, all year. But it’s for that same reason (and many, many more) that I have been more than ready for leave for over the past couple of years. I’ve been tired of the same surroundings, the same (many not-so-likeable) people, the uptight school rules, the chore of upholding my “prefect status” and trying to be some kind of role model to juniors who mostly don’t care. Speaking of surroundings though, I will admit that, whilst I often took the picturesque sea-view from school for granted at times, and often cursed it as the reason the billowing wind during winter was so brutally lethal, I don’t think I could have attended a school with a better setting. Most people don’t get to sit perched on a hill in the middle of a reserve, in one of the most expensive neighbourhoods everyday!

On that note, I think I’ll end my sentimental train of thoughts, I don’t think that I will fully deal with the change until it actually hits me once university starts next year. I have a lot of regrets… no wait, that’s probably not the best word, but in the sense that, people are right when they say things like “in ten years time it’s not the things you did that you will regret, but the things you didn’t do”, or something along the lines of… I can’t remember the exact, more eloquent phrasing! Anyway, there are definitely things that I wish that I’d done, or had done differently, but I guess that would ultimately have made me a completely different person, and I’m not too sure how well that would work out, haha.

Here are some photos from each setting on the big night:

Colin was generous enough to offer the services of his spare lounge for our pre-grad. Not surprisingly, everyone’s looking pretty glum. I think most people with either extremely hyper (definitely not us lot), or were feeling pretty out of it, tired, and generally just wanted to get through the evening unscathed by any huge pangs of “OMG SENTIMENT!”

This picture shows Sinead hijacking the background of me and Freddy… A bit of organisation later we were on the ferry into the city. It seemed the most social option, so we didn’t have to split into cars, beg parents for rides, etc, and at $4.40 it wasn’t so bad… until we got off the ferry and decided not to split a 10minute taxi fare, instead deciding to make the 4-block uphill trek on foot. Now usually I’m not one to complain about walking, but when the only black heels you own are about 4 inches high and also have a platform, my feet didn’t like me so much that day. Plus it was hot and humid, and showing up sweaty was really, really unattractive.

I must say, the good at Grad Dinner was a thouuuusand times better than that at the ball. And the dessert too, for that matter. I actually ate both slices of cheesecake! Though, as you can see here, I left my cardigan on for much of the evening. My Topshop dress is lovely, but I hadn’t really wanted to wear it to Grad since it’s very low cut at the back (as well as the front, for that matter, forcing me to break my arm-folding habit for the evening) and I didn’t really feel like it was that most appropriate.

And last, the true highlight of the evening = getting tipsy down at O’Hagan’s on the viaduct. Thankfully I have a lovely mother with a distrust of taxis, so offered to pick me up at any hour, drunk or sober. Me and three friends decided that mum’s transport offer was a huge ask already, and her having to wake up at 6.30am was just brutal, so we didn’t stay out too late and got home at 2am. Needless to say, I crashed without sparing a thought of taking a shower that night.

When our palms meet it feels like symmetry

On Thursday night I went to the prettiest album release concert ever – Teacups , a friends band, released their first album, Forest Fiction . They’d chosen the Hopetoun Alpha as their venue, and decorated the place with fairy lights and Christmas trees. I’ve inserted some below, but for the full set of photos, go here .

I’d drafted up this post like 10 hours ago and completely forgotten about it until now (3am)… between then and now I’ve been at a friend’s sister’s 21st, where 3 of us (piano, drums and me on bass) were hired to play jazz for a couple of hours as it was a garden party. Although, it was all a bit fail for about half an hour because it started raining on us and we had to rearrange everything to get us some shelter! For some reason I found the set way more relaxing and easier than the one I did on Wednesday, at a dinner event where we had piano, trumpet and bass – we couldn’t have drums because it was a tiny venue and it would’ve been too loud – but Liz (coincidentally, from Teacups) couldn’t play trumpet for us tonight since she had a gig in town already. I’m not sure, but I think the fact that I got to sit on the amp instead of having to stand with my 5kg bass weighing down on my left shoulder helped a great deal; as well has having drums do half my job for me, meaning much less brain activity required, haha.

A boy in the bush is worth two in the hand, there’s more to life you know

It’s like nothing much has happened, but so much as. I can’t figure out why. I’m emotionally, intellectually, physically pulled in opposing directions.

These pics were snapped on my friend David’s macbook. Some are old, some were from yesterday. That thing is gorgeous. And his new iphone pet… if anyone commits a robbery at his house I’m sure it won’t be hard to find the culprit…

I bused into town to find David at the university and we hung out all day. I’ve been hiding in my room for the past two weeks since study leave started, and I no longer know what day it is, nor can I tell day apart from the night. Went to both of my exams this week on 2 hours of sleep – history went shockingly, I got really unlucky with the questions – but economics was better that I could’ve hoped for given how much i despise and regret taking it… as well as my lack of studying. Just going to brace myself and hope for the best, it’s too late now. Luckily I don’t need to sit any exams for university entrance; in fact I sometimes regret not having dropped out thus not having to fork out for exam costs. AS exams are $65 and A levels are $95 a pop! Not to mention NCEA was $75… it wasn’t pleasant. All the less so when my parents joked that I should’ve indeed dropped out and just gone on a nice long holiday. Yikes.

At the moment I just want the next three weeks to be over. Monday is my uni audition for jazz, then I have my remaining exams – after which I will definitely be living it up. A friend and I have decided we’re going to embark on a trip to Japan and Taiwan together. He’s studied Japanese for five years, and despite my mother, I still can’t speak it for yonks. We’re looking forward to the hilarity of when Japanese people start talking to me, but it’s the white boy that understands, translates, then replies! I’ve decided that will be one of the things I seek to achieve this summer: try and learn some Japanese. I know the reaaally bare-boned basics and I can guess every other word, but that’s about it.

Was talking about tides of people the other day. About how we always seem to have a ‘drought’, only to next be bombarded with too many options the next thing you know. So many people I know right now are "looking for someone", wanting to be in a relationship. I really don’t understand that. Why do 18-20 year olds want to be ‘on the prowl’? It’s not like we’re approaching our later 20s, approaching 30s that life cycles and society tells us we "need someone". I understand loneliness, and trust me I hate it too, but the entire "relationship" thing sends me running. It’s so hard… how do you strike a balance with having fun, but not getting too carried away? Some chemistry and connections you just cannot deny – but so what?

What am I entitled to?

I’m a ridiculously multi-faceted person, and my personality is split in so many ways I often get asked "where did [the other] Amanda go?" I’m young and I’m allowed to get out and be who I want, do what I like, but I don’t want to be a heartbreaker. Metronomy’s "Heartbreaker" and "A Thing For You" remind me of things that go flying around me often. A juxtaposing state but it somehow works. There always seems to be some kind of drama. Something stirring. I seem unable to remain still, leave the waters alone. It’s as if I’d be bored or boring without it. It’s ironic, the people I’m most interested in are the ones who hold no interest for me. This is, on all levels. Not just in a romanticised point of view, but even just as people. I feel like I want to befriend the people who seem to have only some thin common thread with me – nothing at all in my comfort zone… but it keeps them interesting?

I want to extend my horizons, I will not be stuck here forever.

you’re chaotic,
his bassic distraction all night.
What are you?
The intimate
ambiguous delight.

your melodic
words are attractive(a trap to)
his soul(sole)
Emotion; make me the blame.

Kiss me where your eyes won’t meet me

AS/A Level music class 2009 on the last day of school:

Super glad to be on study leave, so I don’t have to pretend like I’m actually attempting some form of revision in class – when I’m really too hell-bent on sussing out my upcoming weekend or some other form of social life. Life has been such, until yesterday, when I finally began studying for my first exam, which is next Monday. Which is then to be followed by my worst subject/paper, on Wednesday. Please shoot me now. And I’m not quite sure why I always seem to be lying across several people in photos – this one sort of looks like a re-enactment of my 17th birthday last year. Which… thinking about it now, is a ridiculously long time ago.

I’m not sure where the last week of freedom just went. Other people on study leave have been working ten times harder and longer than they had at school, ever. Meanwhile, day in, night out has pretty much been my inverted cycle of life. Drank some, danced some, drove a whole lot – the other night I went and rescued some friends who had compleeeeeeeeeeeeetely run out of petrol… that was rather disastrous for them, especially since they hadn’t invited me to their intimate do-up it was quite humiliating, I suspect. Needless to say, I wasn’t entirely bubbly at 2am, but I was keen on a late night drive with a friend anyway, so that was simply an excuse.

Us girls will never now how we make you boys feel.