Emotions, feelings…

Tales of San Francisco echo through the air

I’ve been having SUCH a good time in California that I’ve hardly found the time and energy to even download my photos onto the computer, let alone post them anywhere. I’ve been in Los Angeles since last weekend, but I’m really missing San Francisco, so here’s a handful of random photos that I took.

I’ll hopefully, eventually get around to blogging all the details, but for now I’m just going to make a list of my San Francisco highlights:

$2 Tuesdays at The Ambassador – includes shots!
– meeting and hanging out with a bunch of awesome people from all sorts of different places
– SF Museum of Modern Art
– ferry cruise around the bay which entailed going under the Golden Gate Bridge and going around Alcatraz
CABLE CARS!!! And acting all blase on it, trying to not piss the locals off like all the other tourists, haha
– walking miles and miles instead of using my transport pass so I can see the streets and details
– staying up all night hanging out with the night shift people at the hostel
– nobody thinking I’m anywhere near underage here
– the Exploratorium being next to the Palace of Fine Arts (last photo)
– the intense customer service at Victoria’s Secret
– finding out that the hipster bars are universally the same, apparently
– and that people try to make clubs like on MTV + skanks are the same on this side of the Pacific also
– meeting someone I wish I never met because it got my hopes up about someone breaking my “golden standard”
TOUCHING A SHARK and stingray (ref to photo)

and so many other things that my tired brain cannot think of right now. But it’s a city that I will definitely revisit as soon as I can. I just loved so many things about it.

Back to current reality though, I moved out of a hostel in Hollywood today and am now crashing at Malibu. Watch this space.

Until Saturday, I had never tried Fanta

And, until Friday, I had never tried a peanut butter sandwich. Them jazz students are stealing my food-ginity!

Asides from Geoff’s 21st on Saturday night, this weekend has been one of the worst in my life. I can’t explain why right now, and I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to. On Sunday I succumbed to some major retail therapy after a long morning of errands on no sleep. The fruits of my labour: a kick-ass pair of Ksubi boots. I’m fairly proud to say that I didn’t pay full price, nor the sale price on them. Managed to talk them dooowwwwn, and the salesboy turned out to be the new drummer of a band I’ve shot several times before. How small the world is, in New Zealand.

All I can say is, in life, looks are deceiving. Extremely so. If you hadn’t just read that I just had one of the worst, worst, worst weekends ever, and had merely saw the photos below – you would never have guessed. I guess we all like to keep a smile on the outside and pretend we are okay – in the hopes that if we do that for long enough, we really will be. This is certainly the most tumultuous time I’ve been through in… ever.

And the cat just killed another bird. More backyard digging for me to do, I see.

Happy Birthday, loverrrr. (#3)

Rip up the proof before the damage is done

I’m not going to lie, and I’m not exaggerating, but I royally screwed up my technical assessment today, and I’m currently hoping I scrape a pass. You know something has gone terribly wrong when your teacher says you did better in a class for which you weren’t prepared, than you did in the assessment…

Anyway, I’ve told myself this is a kick up the butt, a wake up call, I need to stop procrastinating, or having bad practise habits. I have a bad tendency to get obsessive about getting one thing right at a time, and ignoring a lot of other factors I need to practise simultaneously. For the next couple of days I really need to focus my attention on completing an assignment and presentation for jazz history that is due next week.

The “substantial” text in this post is after the list.

A contrast to my usual “decent photographic posts” but all these photos are from the last couple of days and are just relevant in my day-to-day right now, I guess. They’re placed in a random, erratic order, but here’s the list:

1/ The star-shaped metal caged light – it was originally intended for a candle when we bought it, but we never used it, so mum got a friend to alter it into an electronic light. I like it better this way, and we’ve been leaving it on in the lounge at night, rather than a lamp. In fact, lots of changes seem to be taking place at home at the moment: we’ve had a new stove top installed the other day, and the new air vent thing that goes on top of it is coming in tomorrow; mum’s bought a new, oh-so-amazing mattress for her bed, as well as surprising me this morning with a big mirror over the fireplace this morning. We’d talked about getting one for years, but it never got done… til now.

2/ The cupcakes I made for Ed’s 18th on Friday. It was a bit of a scramble as I only got home from uni after 6pm, and mum made delicious scones at the same time. Our kitchen is small, and one entire bench was covered with stuff we hadn’t cleaned up, so it was quite domino effect when something was knocked over…

You can’t see it in the picture, but the cupcakes spell out “HAPPY 18TH BDAY ED”. They don’t look amazing, but it was a quick job – and luckily I had the sense to pick one up off the plate and force Ed to eat it, as they disappeared within seconds of being brought out into the party.

3/ Some of the most recent postcards I’ve received – I collect them, and always request them when people travel, or from friends overseas. I would be over the moon if I got more postcards sent my way, so please do offer! And I’ll send you one back. I loooove them. Most of these pictured ones are from mum and Liv when they went to San Francisco, Yosemite, etc before her semester started.

4/ This is the pile of books I plan on tackling tomorrow for references on Ron Carter. With the exception of Catch-22, which I still really, really need to finish, oops. Asides from that, and the Ron Carter biography at the top of the stack, the rest are all library books. That damn biography took an arm and a leg’s effort to get hold of. First I tried all the big bookstore chains in NZ to see if anyone had one, or if I could get it ordered in – nope. Then I had to order it off Amazon and try to get it delivered to my sister’s dorm in time for mum to bring it back for me, phwoar!

5/A pic of Rome and I from Friday’s party. He’s doing my usual photo-face!

Note the red cup. How American. I forgot to ask the birthday boy but apparently they bought them from an American shop. I wondered how much they cost cos usually country-specialised stores aren’t cheap. Those things were sturdy as heck, though, and I can’t wait until I get to go to the states and use them at a real American party furrealz.

There is something that’s been bothering me for a while, but I think I have mostly come to peace with: breaking up with a friend. There are big businesses made in the “help” industry with aiding people deal with breakups and heartaches – all sorts of seminars for the broken-hearted or books and stuff like that – but what do you do when it’s breaking up with a friend? It seems to be a taboo subject that is brushed under the carpet and we’re given a “live with it” kind of response from most people. But reality is, often times breaking up with a friend can actually be more painful than with a boyfriend/girlfriend.

Why? For starters, you’ve probably been with them longer (I know that’s true for myself, and for the particular person I have in mind). There isn’t meant to be some kind of ulterior motive and vested interest when it comes to a close platonic friend, therefore, if it seems that egos, face and other silly things are getting in the way, it really makes you wonder whywhywhy?!

I don’t know what I’ve ever done to a very close friend who is amongst the people I’ve known longest, but I have decided to give up seeking their approval and blaming myself for the demise of our friendship. Everyone agrees that their behaviour indicates that something is bothering them, but since they won’t tell me – I just have to live with it, and keep reminding myself that it is not my problem – at least until they have the integrity to tell me so, and make it that way. It hurts, it really fucking hurts. He was my best friend. For years and years.

I know, there’s the distance, growing up and growing apart… we’ve all been there and done that with a friend or few at some stage in our lives – where our lives simply take us different places but we drift, but that is on good terms, without feeling some sense of trauma over it. In this case it’s different, very different. I have said that I wished that we had some sort of huge argument and actual falling out, because then perhaps I would feel like I got closure, rather than constantly clinging to the fraying edges of this stupid, hurtful ordeal.

Your eyes say the things you won’t

A couple of weeks ago I got hired to shoot a band that a couple of my mates from jazz school play in; ironically (although, kind of characteristic of me, I guess), my favourite shots aren’t the “picture-perfect” ones, and are instead the more experimental shots I took towards the end of the set. Some people might say that these are merely flukes, chance shots I got by fiddling with slow shutter speed or smaller apertures for bigger depth of field thus forcing longer exposure times – partly true – but I must say that these aren’t merely the result of “chance” and play. I’m not sure where my interest in trying out different effects spawned from, but I remember the first gig that I really tried this on was the Animal Collective show at the Powerstation at the end of last year, but I hadn’t really given it conscious thought much since then. If anything, I think the influence is mostly based on the idea of trying to capture a double-exposure-like effect on the digital medium, without the use of photoshop.

I’ve actually got a roll of film floating around in my room somewhere that I’d done some double exposure on, but I haven’t been bothered to get it processed yet. For one, the only place in town where I can get that type of film processed at isn’t anywhere near my daily commutes; not to mention it’s not cheap.

Anyway, here are the shots – I haven’t done much editing besides making them black and white. Just cos y’know, I’m not a big fan of this particular purpley-pink light they used on stage that night:

I should really get off the internet and work on my assessments now, but I’m way too good at procrastination. I have at least one assessment/test/assignment every week until October 29th. I can’t wait for that day – it will mean hell on earth is over, I am alive and that I will have completed 1/3 of my bachelor’s degree. Yes please.

Randomly though, whilst lyric-scribbling the other night, the line “Your eyes say the things you won’t” (title of this post) reminded me of Radiohead’s line from There There: “just because you feel it doesn’t mean it’s there”. Sometimes all the speculation and self-torture in the world means nothing without the validation from a particular, spectacular person. Sometimes I’d prefer all the airy-fairy things to end, and things to be black and white, but isn’t this part of the package of “Joys & Pains of Youth”? And just admit it, it’s not quite as lip-bitingly exciting and dramatic if things were spelled out to the letter. But all hail the mighty mighty, they are still right through and through when they say “we are accidents/waiting waiting to happen”.

There’s a thunder in our hearts

Sometimes I just want to post a picture with no words. And sometimes I want to post just a single, striking line with no explanation. But I always think far too much to be able to do that.

The second half of semester 2 starts tomorrow – actually, by now it’s today – and I don’t feel ready at all. I haven’t done a fraction of the things I had wanted to do during this 2-week break – sure unforeseeable circumstances struck up, but I was also lazy. At the moment I also have a sinus and throat infection and dealing with it is just a pain. Not to mention last night we had a scare with the cat being ill and had to take him to the afterhours vet clinic and pay a hefty sum for him to be anesthetised   so they could look down his throat to see whether there’s something stuck or if it’s infected or both. Turns out it’s just infected, and apparently it IS possible the same bacteria plaguing me could have done it to him. Yikes. I only managed to get him home at 3.30am which didn’t help my sleeping pattern at all.

Irrelevantly though, I’ve been wanting to post these two moments of joy:

Left: A photo my mum took of my sister and I jumping on a bridge in Sydney. Looking at it really makes me miss school athletics days where I got to do high jump. I always made the “qualifying” jump but then bunged out and there was always a certain height that my foot didn’t want to get over.
Right: The present that I spent a lot of time thinking about and wrapping for W.’s (sic) 21st, and I put the card in there at the bottom too. I’ve even abbreviated his initials to the bare minimum, so unknowing people can always wonder who my long-time adored is.

My friend Lottie is crazy for the Arctic Monkeys and Alexa Chung, and I just can’t resist posting this, a love note from Alex Turner to Alexa: “My mouth hasn’t shut up about you since you kissed it. The idea that you may kiss it again stuck in my brain, which hasn’t stopped thinking about you since well before any kiss. And now the prospect of those kisses seems to wind me like when you slip on the stairs and one of the steps hits you in the middle of the back. The notion of them continuing for what is traditionally terrifying forever excites me to an unfamiliar degree.” This is the precise reason that I think great lyricists are underrated. I can’t think of a less pretentious and more realistic way of being so romantic in words. He hasn’t used any flamboyant adjectives, simply described and put it in such a way that is so heart-melting. This is also the exact reason why I love men who are good with words. I don’t think I could ever date anyone who tells me every other sentence that he doesn’t understand a word I used.

Something I wrote the other night, simply because I just had to use the word “bilocation”, although it might be a little… misused – I hear that’s called artistic license, haha:

You are
A rare occurance
When you talk
I want to turn you up.

You are
A bilocation
When you’re here
I never have you to myself.

You are
Inside, outside
Everywhere to me.
The places I go
And the people I see
The art I adore
And the songs that I sing:
You are
Too fucking much to me.