…the beautiful art of sound.

The View From the Afternoon

I woke up extremely happy this morning. That is, asides from the fact that I’d only finally gotten to sleep after 3am due to the drunken imbeciles who decided to keep ringing me up and pay the tree in my front yard a very loud visit, because I refused to come out and say hi. You know who you are. GROW UP.

Anyway, rants aside yesterday was one of the best days that I’ve ever had – my 19th birthday is actually tomorrow (23rd), but Lottie decided to treat me to an early present of an afternoon to secret locations that’s kept me guessing for about a month – and we even ended up with our own stalking fan club of sparrows! (scroll below). The only hurdle that I had to conquer was a Jazz theory test at 10am; but at midday on the dot, I was greeted by a car of balloons and bangin’ tunes* right outside the KMC where my classes are. It was lucky that the only thing I’d had to eat all morning was a mere banana, because our first stop was the Sale Street bar for an amazing lunch and beer. By amazing I meant it not only quenched my thirst for Monteiths and imminent hunger, but made me extreeeemely bloated to the point of shameful shirt adjusting, and is probably the best beef burger that I’ve ever had. If only Burger Fuel were as generous with their aioli as this! Not only the beef, but also the pot of aioli had a melted layer of baked cheese over the top… I’m craving another one now, just thinking about it.

The waggu beef burger sounded so good on the menu that we both ordered the same thing. And buddy Monteiths beers – Original Ale and Radler. It’s a shame that it was so dark inside and I couldn’t get a picture of the interior – the decor’s amazing. That light in the distance behind Lottie’s head below is actually caged in a frame of cutlery!

Next stop was at the newly opened Topshop at the top floor of The Department Store that’s located on Auckland’s North Shore. I made sure to take physical proof to document Lottie’s first day driving across the Harbour Bridge and back! We were quite disappointed in how ridiculously small Topshop turned out to be; and the sales assistants kept slowly putting out new garments every 10 minutes or so, which made it really frustrating because it caused all the customers to turn into tactical operators, due to the limited amount of stock, especially in the most common sizes. I ended up buying a very versatile black skirt and black dress, which I’m sure I’ll wear soon (I’ve got plans for that dress…) and post.

Technically the weather was “shit”, in the sense that up until 4pm it was pouring with rain with no apparent end. The only problem with calling it “shit weather” is the fact that that is precisely my favourite weather. Ever. The only way it could’ve gotten better for me was if it developed into a thunder storm, complete with lightning displays, haha. The picture on the right below is actually out of chronological order, and was taken on the Harbour Bridge between 4-5pm… see the drastic change in Auckland weather?!

We paid the mall a visit, before heading over to a cafe that I don’t actually know the name of… but that’s probably a good thing otherwise I may shred their reputation based on the poor treatment that the waitress offered us: they had two sliding door entrances, and upon entry, we asked for a table, only to be greeted by a “wtf are you doing in here” glare, followed by “we’re actually closed and only doing takeaways, so you’ll have to enter from the other door”. What an mf-bitch. I would’ve been shot if I ever did that to a customer. (Off topic, but speaking of which, this is my FIRST weekend being cafe-job-less, YAY!)

Luckily, they had amazing ice cream – I’d chosen double chocolate (of course), and Lottie had tried peanut flavoured scoops… which I still think is a really bizarre flavour for ice cream. Creamiest, thickest chocolate flavour, ever.

The next thing we knew we had a couple of sparrows land on the windscreen wipers watching us eat. Joined by a couple more. And a couple more. We even had to wind our windows up because they began to hover at eye level, having a peek inside the car – as if to see whether it was safe to enter and nab some waffle cone! Craziest scene ever. 30 minutes and a lot of bird poop later, we called it a day and tried to beat the traffic back East.

Spent the rest of the night curled up in Lottie’s bed with girly indulgences such as magazines, Skins on dvd, web-scouring, chocolate slice and and and CC & DRY, yay!

This is going to make it hard for me to come up with something for Lottie’s birthday in 5 months…

And now it’s time for me to sulk about the amount of jazz I need to work on for my assessments this week, next week, and the week after… and the fact that it’s my last day being 18. I am soooo not ready to be in my last year of being a teenager.

One last thing: I found this online the other night. It is SO TRUE.

Make that two last things: I was ecstatic to get home at around midnight to discover that Euan and bought me a No Wow album with a limited edition documentary and live footage of The Kills. AND compiled me a usb full of live footage, because he initially thought he couldn’t get hold of the dvd. Haha. Double score.

These arms are mine, don’t matter who they hold

I’m making myself promise that I will tidy my room after I make this post: it’s been transformed into an inefficient workspace lately, and I should really put away all the things that I need to step and skip over! I would post a picture, but it’s a little too shamefully messy. To begin with, my forearms are resting on a pile things covered by a tent of paper just to reach the keyboard to type. My mouse only has about 5cm’s worth of space to move in each direction; the bed is completely covered by a pile of clothes, and I’m no longer sure which are clean and which have been worn once or twice. The only space I’ve really paid much attention to has been the square metre in the corner where I’ve moved the chair to, and propped up a music stand, just in arm’s reach of the amplifier… along with my WESC headphones. Those things come in handy for when practise drags into the early hours of the morning – the only problem is I’m unable to plug my headphones into my amp and my metronome simultaneously. I’m sure had mum been less sleepy, the constant ticking heard through the wall would’ve driven her to insanity like it has to me. See – I don’t even make sense today!

My left wrist is now bound by two loops of tape, it feels like it would fall apart otherwise. I know, I know, I need to be careful with my technique and pressure placement so that I don’t strain it, but all this last minute practise has really put me to the limit. That’s the thing I’m really hating about a practical degree – you can’t cram practise, like you could cram for an exam. If you don’t know something well enough to recall it from memory instantly, when it is requested of you to play it, there is no way in hell you could dawdle your fingers for a bit, look around the room, and eventually get a “lightbulb moment”. You can’t erase your first answer, change it, then re-change your mind and decide you were correct to begin with. No, no, no. Once your hands are committed to playing something, the sound is out there, for the judging panel to mark down a number in accordance to its precision.

I’ve always been really terrible and leave things to the last minute… you’d think I would’ve learnt by now, but it still keeps happening. It’s not that I neglect things entirely until it’s too late, it’s just the fact I ignore all the details that I’m unsure of – which is the biggest trap of all! Anyway, I just had my technical jury assessment for electric bass today, and it went ooookay. By that I mean that I know I will pass, very averagely, if even “passing safely” at all. But how I did today is a million times better than how I sounded a week, two, or three weeks ago, so the pain is kind of worth it. Maybe.

Also, I decided that I’d post a playlist today – it’s just 9 random tracks that I like, that I happened to listen to today – so it’s certainly not one of those overtly well thought-out, deep and meaningful mix-tape type things, haha. Enjoy.

I act uninterested but I’m not fooling anyone

Saturday night was the 2nd EP release of a friend’s band, Artisan Guns – their latest is called Hearts, and the gig was hands down their best show yet. Took my camera out for a spin for the first time in ages; I must say I did miss it, but for a change I was hanging back and being chilled out about the shots I got, unlike some other photographers that came along with flashes and all. Unprofessional. All their blinding flashes from both sides of the stage just irritated the band and audience, asides from just being a pure pain in the arse, they weren’t particularly polite nor apologetic either. I was happy to see that the shots I’d peeked over their shoulders were all fairly bland and unexciting… using flash kills all the atmosphere, silly! Especially when the boys did such a lovely job of decorating their stage, and draping it with their own handmade pool flags – like in their video for their single.

We had plans to take a whole bunch of post-party shenanigans, but some drama arose and Lottie and I were forced to abandon such plans. To be frank: I was pissed off. Speaking of which, we’ve started a tumblr so go follow us @inyournightdress.tumblr.com!

Anticipation has a habit to set you up

Painful way to end first half of semester one:

1/ Couldn’t sleep til 3am due to unexplained, extreme stomach pain.
2/ Woke up thinking “yay its go-” and it returned.
3/ Due to the above I had to reject sister’s offer of a delicious omelette for breakkie.
4/ Had to catch the 8.15am ferry for a 10am class (its a 35min ride).
5/ Realised at 9.55am that I’d left my music assignment at home.

6/ Scurried around the building in search of a free computer to re-print the assignment to do today. Computers found… but printer?!?!!
7/ Kindly let off for being late since it took me a while to figure the above out, and then insisted on running down the hall to fetch the printing.
8/ My denim jacket made me all bound up and hot.
9/ Listening through headphones for my jazz piano class gave me a headache.
10/ Charlotte made me climb the Victoria Street/Albert Park hill. It was killer… there’s a reason I stick to my KMC and Shortland street.

11/ Discovered assignment is faaaar more time-consuming than anticipated, and bits were tricky too.
12/ Not having done score reading for 1-2 years meant I couldn’t remember if French horns sounded the F above or below C (aka, to transpose down a 4th or up a 5th).
13/ Enlisted the help of a trusty friend… then got told he’s actually got another class now.
14/ Mum calls me whilst I’m in the library twice. There’s monetary fines for that… lucky for silent mode.
15/ Elevator in the library worsens my headache.

16/ Starving by this point – no food in library.
17/ Finally William and Borkhan help me with my assignment. The stapler for cover sheet failed to work for a looong time.
18/ Get to music library cubicle and the wireless fails multiple times.
19/ Sneaky-ate a muesli bar but I don’t like the flavour and then it crumbles all over me.
20/ My headache is worse and panadol hasn’t quite helped.

… it is 4.32pm now and I have a test at 6.30pm. I hate today.

This is not a warning call, your final shot

To my Sydney/Aussie readers, pleeease ref to 2nd to last paragraph & help me out!

I don’t want to spend this post bitching about just how much uni work I have (cos I have a huuuge load), but that’s the reason I haven’t had time to post. Had the first half of my improv assessment today – the harder part is on Tuesday. Basically as of today until next Thursday I don’t have any days off from performances / assessments/ tests! But come Good Friday (gosh, I’ve never actually looked forward to Easter break so much!), I will have a two-week midsemester break to relax a little, and actually get to socialise.

Yesterday my friend Charlotte showed me Foals’ new single, Spanish Sahara, which will be on their upcoming album that I’m now excitedly waiting for. It’s a stark contrast to the tracks from their previous album, and I highly recommend that everyone give it a good listen. I know, it’s a looong song. I’m always initially put off by track lengths, but this one is definitely worth it.

Until this week, I’d never quite realised just how complicated planning a family holiday is! My family’s decided to take a holiday in Sydney (and then perhaps drive off somewhere… haven’t decided where yet… that’s my job to figure out, eeek) at the end of June/start of July. It was a random, out-of-the-blue idea I came up with, but my parents thought it was a fantastic idea, since in just a handful of months’ time my sister is moving to Malibu – which means we will have four family members living in three different countries. I’ve just spent the past couple of hours scouring the internet trying to find cheap flights, affordable accomodation that’s still nice and in a decent location – yeahhh, we’re picky. Anyway, it’s all a very fine and exciting idea, but planning and booking it is proving to be a bitch. So if anyone has any suggestions as to where, outside of Sydney (several hours’ drive away is fine, we love road trips) would be a spectacular place to visit, pleeeeease let me know! And any nifty shopping spots, good bars/restaurants and gigs, pleeease!

Also, there’s a photography competition lurking around that I’m interested in entering… but I’ve never really been much of a concept photographer. Ahh, ideas, ideas… you see, I never plan. Anything. Let alone something I’m doing photographically.

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