…the beautiful art of sound.

A million to go

I can’t believe July has already rolled around. This means that my 7th form (year 13), and final year at college is over halfway over. My audition video for Jazz School at University is due October 1st and I’m starting to freak out – extra practise required is a huge euphemism. I made a potentially life-changing purchase today, but I won’t delve into it until a later date – I kind of want to keep it to myself until things start swaying my way. It’s astonishing and rather frustrating how, despite completing one task, there always is a million or more left to go. I miss the youthful days when homework was a worksheet due in a weeks’ time, and 20 minutes’ music practice a day was more than sufficient.

Despite my laptop half dying on me plus refusing to connect to wireless nor internet via ethernet cable, I’ve been sitting online on Mum’s computer a fair bit (such as now) and researching into future plans and destinations for perhaps 3 years’ time when my Bmus degree is completed. Which brings me to this: tertiary education is so ridiculously overpriced – especially in America?! I can’t begin to imagine how a student without scholarships/financial aid would cope in the USA; how does one pay for a degree that will cost $15,000 a term?! Here, student loans are bad enough, despite being interest free; ommitting student allowances (also goes on the loan), based purely on a rough estimate of if I took out a loan for the duration my bachelor’s degree and stayed living at home, my student loan would stack up to $15-20,000 (approx $5k/year for the degree). The “real world” looks like a scary prospect for a future 21-yaer-old me, with a music degree and debt due to the cost of my tertiary education. Then, if I were to complement my degree with an audio engineering diploma or degree… don’t even get me started on number crunching. I simply don’t understand how students in the US cope since, SAE for example, are charging twice as much for (virtually) the same course in New York as in Auckland. Here’s hoping I land a lot of gigs.

Edit: Just found a photo from that gig in June… I really ought to sort my photos earlier. It’s a reflection of Tomas. Hopefully I’ll get some films done soon too.

Cover Me (Slowly)

I only just realised that my supposedly published blog post from last Friday was never published at all. But seeing as it’s all irrelevant and silly now I can’t be bothered going back to publishing it. So now it’s become my 27th draft post.

Anyway, I’ve been procrastinating from catching up on my mountains of homework for ages and, in between my darting from various accounts – facebook, twitter, last.fm, etc… – I’ve just been reminded of how easy it is to net-stalk me (not that I’m implying that anyone would ever want to, but I’ve had friends that have done that to me before, so…). Afterall, like most people, I would think, I have a handful of usernames that I generally sign up to things under, so it’s quite easy to follow my trail on the internet. I’m not hugely bothered by this, although I’ve suddenly become quite paranoid that the slightly illegal, urhm, shenanigans that we get up to may someday come back to bite us in the arse.

For example – and I can’t believe I never got around to rambling about my 18th, but my little brothers* acquired me “Amanda Lane”. I should explain now that Amanda Lane is a street at a place called Snells Beach a few hours up north from Auckland (popular holiday area), and earlier this year during summer break I had a jazz gig up there at the local cafe/bar/restaurant, and it was then that some of my mates who had rented out a holiday house there informed me of Amanda Lane’s existence and I subsequently went and photographed the street sign. A little digging around on facebook will show you that some 16 year olds’ 5 hours’ illegal late-night drive later, it is now mine. I have to admit, touched and beaming from ear to ear is a far-fetched euphemism when I dug through an entire refrigerator box’s worth of more carboard boxes to unravel such a peculiar birthday present. Kudos guys… this is going to be hard to top.

Oh and I almost forgot my title reference – been listening to Deerhunter, after reading them all over the gig guide, internet and undertheradar… think I might go to their gig in a couple of weeks. $40 for a great Monday night. Hmm… weekday + sister’s 16th the next day though. Gah.

*little brothers being my best mate (Chris – basically my big brother, year older)’s little brother (Stu- year younger) & his mate (Ed).

“Hearing my name creep outta your lips”

Wow, I’ve only had 3 hours of sleep in the past 30+ hours, so I’ll try and keep this snappy. Today was monumental in three ways –

1/ My AS Music exam is over! I have such an awful habit of leaving studying to the last minute – and stayed up until 4am freaking out about it. The moment of either doom or relief dawned upon me at 9am. 2 hours and 16 pages later I exited with a shaky hand and was left wondering just how “average” my result will be. Considering I screwed up my recital performance component, I’ll need about 97% in the written exam today to get an A grade overall.

2/ I’m proud to say that the U15b Girls Hockey team that I help coach (and ref and drive around to games and let my old uniform to) had a great win tonight over Epsom Girls Grammar School. I can’t remember if the final score was 2-nil or 3-nil or whatever; regardless, it was a happy evening, despite getting lost in the dark on the way home from the ‘away’ venue.

3/ Being ‘with’ someone has taken on a new meaning. It’s not about spending (or in some cases wasting) so much time on one another that everything else suffers; not about the sleepless, tearful nights trying to convince someone of trivial matters in arguments I don’t remember – and don’t want to remember – anymore. I’m happy now, my guy is an add-on to my life, not a sacrifice, we complement, not subtract.

Completely irrelevantly though, a friend I haven’t caught up with in ages just sent me a song he recorded – it’s fucking amazing, I might play bass for him (title line is one of my fave lines from it).

Last ten days of 17

I can’t believe I’m almost turning 18! In barely ten days’ time I will legally be an adult, be able to buy alcohol, go to pubs, clubs, R18 movies, etc!

It’s a really exciting prospect, yet at the same time scares the crap out of me. Considering the amount of things that have changed since even my last blog post (staggeringly busy, no time to blog, gah!), it’s amazing to think back on the transitions and growths that I’ve experienced in the past 17 years… at the moment I just keep thinking “holy crap!”. My friends joke and say that I’ll “finally be the age that everyone things [I] am” – because I’ve been sneaking into (mostly mates’) gigs in town for years, and have been awaiting the day when I can actually flash my drivers license at the bouncer!

Today’s been the hardest day of my week – it started bright and early at a little past 6am, and saw me go from running warmup laps around the hockey turf which I didn’t actually feel warm after; to attending two classes; leaving school for “year 13s’ half day Wednesday”, only to return for a 3-hour-long seminar by an Australian speaker, Darren Pereira; then I had two hours’ of concert band practise – yet another 12 hour day doing school-related things! In addition to all the stress of my AS Music exam on Tuesday, and internal mock exams all this week and next week, I got informed today that next Friday, on the eve of my birthday party, not only will I have to set up art at school for the annual 1st XI Hockey fundraiser, but then I have to race over to another school, play jazz for a charity gig, and rush back home in time for my own birthday party. How sad is that?! I’m furious at the music teacher – he has asked the stage band/jazz combo whether or not we’d like to do the gig, and most people weren’t keen, especially since half of them were coming to my birthday; but this just makes my already tight schedule even worse.

The thought of my birthday/arty is the only thing that’s getting me through these couple of strenuous weeks – the highlight is, though, I get to countdown to my 18th birthday with all my friends and family :D.

It’s Blitz!

First of all – It’s Blitz! by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs is AMAZING! I’ve finally gotten it, after months of lurking around on msn with the release date on my personal message. I have to admit, after first hearing Zero, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect – was there to be more of the same, twangy, catchy, zesty power tunes that the ingenious Zinner has made up on guitar, or something slightly more sinister, featuring the sophisticated side of Karen O’s vocals?

The answer was to be a tasteful equilibrium of the two. I’ve currently been making a huge attempt to tidy my room with this album on in the – no, not background, at all – well, with the album playing, and as usual, I’m loving the lyrics. One of my personal favourites so far based on both the way it sounds and the lyrics will have to be Hysteric – the words “Flow sweetly, hang heavy/You suddenly complete me/You suddenly completely” ring so heavily in my ears.

In other matters, I went shopping with my Mum and sister in Newmarket a couple of days ago in search of some ball shoes. I ended up with a pair of Mollini in coral (my phone takes crappy pictures, the colour looks off here), and whilst it doesn’t perfectly match my ball dress colour (flame red), I’d like to think that I will wear these heels on other occasions as well – plus, who’ll really be looking at your shoes if you’re in a Jovani dress? They were on sale, so I got them for $90 at virtually half price.

Despite being completely happy with the shoes, I’m outraged at the shitty customer service that I received. Upon arrival in the store, I found about three different shoes that I wanted to try on, and the two girls (they looked only 20-something) that worked there gave me one of those bitchy up-and-down looks, and proceeded to continue chatting behind the counter right at the back of the store, completely ignoring my presence and the fact that I was approaching them with all these shoes in my hands. Then, when I asked them if I could get them in my size, one of them snapped “Those two are the last pair, I’ll find go find this one”, and fell just short of snatching them out of my hands. What on earth.

By this point I was insulted. Okay fine if you two don’t want to approach every customer that enter the store and end up “only browsing”, but here I was, a more-than-eager customer wanting to try shoes on, and they were completely putting me off. Well I ended up falling in love with this pair but decided to ask them to put them on hold for twenty minutes so we could finish strolling up Broadway – and you know, just in case I found something better… in a store with nicer sales assistants – and I got a “yeah whatever”. Not only that, but when I returned less than a quarter of an hour later to pick up and pay for my shoes, I approached the counter to see one of the was busy rummaging in the back room for a shoe in someone’s size (the store was full by this point), and was wondering where on earth the other girl had gone when I heard a rustle, peeked over the counter, and found her sitting against the back wall, evidently hiding behind the counter, pretending like she wasn’t there, so she didn’t have to do her job! Then I had to say “umm… excuse me?” about four times before she finally let out an impatient sigh and stood up to serve me. I was just short of slapping her with a shoe or something when she looked blankly at me like she didn’t recognise me, and gave me an “eh, wtf?” look when I told her that I was here to pick up my shoes that were on hold – this, being the same girl I’d given them to.

It took her forever to find the shoes. I was mad. And left the store cursing them and telling my mother that I was definitely going to ring up their manager and lay a huge complaint at some point.

I’ve just looked up the store’s phone number.