she got tricks in the stash, stacking up the cash; fast when it comes to the gas, by no means average

I’m feeling a bit guilty for being a bit of a shop-a-holic lately, but after reining in my shopping habits for the past few months, my aesthetic inclinations could be tamed no longer! Although now I’ve got to stop. It’s funny how our views of money changes with age. We felt rich at primary school if we had a gold coin to go to the dairy with, and later $20 notes were a big deal. These days, who knows… I remember my first “big” sartorial purchase as if it was only yesterday – a $60 pair of Levi’s jeans that Mum bought me. At the time $60 was like ohmygod-expensive and I thanked mum endlessly and promised I would wear them until they wore out or I grew out of them – whichever came first. Unfortunately I grew out of them too quickly since I was only ten at the time, but by then the dark denim had already faded at lot, especially at the knees, and my sister got a beautifully worn in pair of jeans (that sounds really mean, but jeans are nice when worn in!). I didn’t convert to skirts and dresses until I was 18, so before then, jeans were pretty much a staple. Anyway, the main thing about buying those jeans was the motto my mum’s instilled in me – sometimes it’s worth investing a bit more money (on anything I guess, but in this instance, clothing) when you know you are buying a high-quality piece that you will treasure and wear (or use) over and over and over again. Even though this piece of advice has led me to buy some garments and shoes at outrageous prices, excluding dresses that were for special occasions, I have definitely gotten my money’s worth on everything pricey that I’ve bought. For example, I wore my Mooks jacket for almost a year and a half straight, and those aqua patent Dr Martens of mine have been worn to pieces in seven countries, if you will allow me to count Hong Kong.

This leads me to the two big things I bought last week. A Stolen Girlfriends Club dress, and a pair of beautiful Beau Coops boots. I was a bit chuffed that the size 8 dress had sold out just as I went to buy it, but the size 10 fits like a dream anyway, so all is well. My trick to justifying spending so much on a summery dress is that I had bought a voucher for SGC for a hundred dollars off the voucher value, and that it will have a decent re-sell value. Haven’t taken any photos of the boots yet, but here is the dress. SGC definitely package their products well, and I really like the ribbon that it came with. My only complaint is, does such a little dress need to come in such a hefty box?! Poor couriers’ vans must fill up pretty quickly! Needless to say, I have lived in that dress since Thursday and it is Sunday now; I’ve already worn it to a birthday barbecue, to uni and to coax my sick cat out from under the backdoor steps!

I am not a big fan of what people call “selfie” photos, but I can’t be bothered putting it back on, so these were the pics I took to show the boy the dress. It’s also gotten seals of approval from both Mum and the boy’s mother, and compliments galore, so surely I can’t really go wrong with living in it all summer.

The boots and my mixed views on wearing heels in various places will be discussed in the next post. But for now – has anyone ever joined and/or used one of those sale “groups” on facebook? I’ve been using one a fair bit recently, and it’s been a mixed experience in terms of selling and buying clothes. Here is a list of observations and thoughts that arise on a daily basis with this group:

  • I cringe every time someone says “[item of clothing] brought of [store/place/person]”. It always makes me do a double-take and I think, goodness, it’s bad enough that people don’t understand the difference between “bought” and “brought”, but how the heck do they mistake “off” for “of”?! Even “bought of” wouldn’t sound anywhere near correct… It’s really sad when the one-person-per-day who correctly says “bought” makes me happy and restores some faith in the future of female intellect in this country.
  • I’m guilty of this myself, but it is absolutely astonishing how many people sell things that have “never been worn” or have only been worn once. I’m sure most females in first-world, privileged positions have done this at least once and it begs me to question – when will women ever cease succumbing to the “impulse buy” or buying things just to wear on one occasion? How many times have we heard females we know utter words such as “I need [a dress/shoes] for [occasion]”? It’s crazy. And yet we keep doing this.
  • Some people sell really high quality, designer clothing (or shoes) at cut-throat prices, yet on the flip-side, others are trying to sell chain-store, boring and mediocre items for not-so-cheap prices. I would much rather my real suede shoes from Zara (I know not “designer” but still high quality) keep sitting in a shoebox instead of being sold for $20, sorry.
  • There are certain trends that course through this group. Namely, the SGC Acid Doll dress, the SGC garden print t-shirt dress, Karen Walker hydrangea shirt/dress and the Ksubi Baddies singlets. Each trend began when someone posted said item for sale, and ever since, several other girls have made posts that say “Looking for [aforementioned item]” with variations of “please please please” or “will pay good $$$”. This is followed by bundles of other girls posting these same items for sale, and more often than not, intense bidding wars take place, followed by other people saying “also looking for this!” – crazy, right?! I find this incredibly bizarre because all of these things have been sold in stores and online for up to a year, and I know that they are being sold at lower prices on this facebook group, but the way people behave it sounds as if they’d never heard of such things before until now. I really do not understand why people would be willing to pay over a hundred dollars for items that have (sometimes, but not always) been shrunk, faded or have peeled prints…
  • Slightly relevant to the above point, I actually own the Acid Doll dress myself. The boy’s youngest sister had told me the other night that the middle sister wondered whether I purposely frame it into the background when I post photos of things I’m selling. Aside from snorting a “no, my room is small and there is nowhere else to hang it without getting it crushed!”, it’s actually quite ironic that she pointed this out – because I’m REALLY sick of people asking whether or not I am selling it! Even if it’s just the vaguest blur of colour in the background, I have gotten handfuls of people asking if I happen to be selling it. I don’t understand why logic doesn’t prevail when I have already told one person “no, otherwise I would be listing it”, and someone else comes along and asks the same thing, in the comment immediately after. I thought the idea of threaded comments were created so that people could see the progression of discussion. Clearly this has not caught on with everyone.

Surely other people have had similar experiences too?

I know it’s been a long time, but I’m too lazy to to post a playlist right now, plus we have just acquired a very large playlist of new music I’m trying to sift through, so it would be a mess… but go and listen to Chet Faker here and click through to his Soundcloud as well. I had said to the boy a week or two before the Laneway lineup was announced that we ought to track down a gig of his when we are in Melbourne, and what do you know, turns out Laneway agreed with me.

these days are scraped from ceilings

It was so nice to read the handful of comments/emails that I got in the last post — and really lovely to know that I provoked some thought with regards to goals and bucket lists. I guess those things can get stagnant and we all need new perspectives to formulate motivations sometimes. Something that I am lacking right now. I really shouldn’t be blogging right now, but I enjoy it so much more than writing the essays which I have due in next to no time, ahhh!

I had spent the virtually the entire weekend camped out in the boy’s room, bashing my head with books, trying to come up with these essays in time. But all I want to do is gush gush gush because – GUESS WHO’S GOING TO SEE THE YEAH YEAH YEAHS TWICE?! And I am not joking when I say that I have been jumping, dancing, leaping around the room singing them at the top of my lungs. Driving to them. Writing, eating, loving, procrastinating, prancing around to them. You have NO IDEA how over the moon/giddy/happy/ecstatic/crazy/hyper I am about this. The boy and I decided “oh why not” when they announced their only Big Day Out side show in Sydney. So we’ve decided to fly to Sydney, then train down to Melbourne for BDO and Laneway. That’s the rough plan, at least. Nothing’s been planned nor booked except the concert tickets at this stage, but we are 100% committed to going.

Can I just say it again?! I AM GOING TO SEE THE YEAH YEAH YEAHS TWICE!!! And Animal Collective! We are seeing them in Auckland before we leave for Sydney. Essentially, we are seeing the boy’s favourite band, and my favourite band – twice. It is going to be the absolute best week of my life I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that I will see the band that I’ve been listening to for half my life – twice in ONE WEEK. And if you think about it, half my life is a decade! Ten years! I remember being eleven and discovering “Miles Away”, then thinking I was so badass for getting away with listening to “Bang”. The rest is history. When I’m done with all these bloody assignments (and probably exams too), I will have to do a comprehensive post about my love for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. As if it wasn’t obvious enough already…

In the meantime, I had finally finished up a really old roll of film on my point-and-shoot and gotten it developed. It’s got lots of other good times on there that I’m going to spread out posting because I sure as hell do not get to party again any time soon. Apart from perhaps a sneaky few hours at hockey prizegiving this Saturday… So in memory of times much more carefree and deeper sleeps – all taken on Kodak UltraMax 400 film:

it’s been at least another year, and I still haven’t got the chance to say

Disappearing from my blog because, oh you know, real life is so much more… I simply have far too many adjectives to insert here that I’d better just quit while I’m ahead. I’ve had an absolutely splendid first three-quarters of this two-week “study break” (aka two weeks off in the middle of a 12-week semester in order to catch up on what I like to call the 3 S’s – anyone want to stab a guess at what they are?) but now it’s all downhill from here since I’m having to face three assignments that I’ve conveniently avoided until now. The main thing that I’ve spent the past few days on has been hand-making and writing out almost fifty invitations for my 21st birthday party. Although turning 21 isn’t all that “special” in terms of what you get to do here in NZ since the drinking age has been at 18 for quite a few years now, it is still considered a milestone birthday where people tend to throw big parties that involve speeches. So, being the super-sentimental person that I am, of course that’s exactly what I’m doing, except that planning it has proven to be rather time and energy-consuming.

I’m not sure if it’s craziness or just my refusal to let facebook take over the my world, but I didn’t want my birthday invitation to just be a mass message put on the internet where people are bombarded by events everyday, and nothing ever feels personal anymore. On top of that, I want to make my birthday nice in the underrated and undervalued sense of the word, and for it to not become just another blur in everyone’s memories of this years’ batch of 21st birthday parties. Because by the time you’ve been to three or four weekends of 21st birthday parties in a row… unfortunately they do begin to blur. So in typical Amanda fashion of all-or-nothing, I made them all myself, only employing mum’s help for some advice, and asking her to ship the cards into the next room for me because I ran out of floor space! I’ve still got the majority of them sitting behind me on my bed though… need to deliver them all ASAP!

Here’s some pictures of the lengthy process. Luckily the only purchase I had to make in contribution to these invitations were ribbons, since mum magically has all the art supplies I needed! I made them by cutting up large watercolour paper into quarters. Painted. Textured. Folded with two ribbons tied on and hand drew a double bass design that I had made into a stencil. Then I wrote, signed and sealed them in wax.

This whole process of planning and inviting people to my 21st has also inspired me to catch up with a lot of old friends that I’ve not had the chance to see in far too long. It’s definitely been a colourful couple of weeks, and on Saturday I had a mini-drinks thing at Daniel’s house where Cara fed us all too much cheese and salami. Definitely not a complaint though! And despite the assignment deadlines, the boy and I have made some lovely plans for the next couple of days/nights; and tomorrow night dad is uploading to dropbox my film scans for the b/w rolls he’s gotten developed in Taiwan for me, so I can’t wait to see those either!

feel it come from nowhere, taking over me. feel it come from nowhere, tell me why, tell me why

I don’t think I’ve ever been so glad about it finally being Thursday. It’s not exactly a day of the week that people generally look forward to. Nevertheless, today I’ve been able to sleep, read, eat – whatever I wanted, virtually whenever I wanted. This is a stark contrast to the previous three days, during which I’ve had three tests, two assignments and a recital. The two written tests were both yesterday, which kinda sucked – by the end of my evening test, my arm, hand and fingers were cramping out from the sheer amount of writing I’d had to cram into such a short time. Eleven pages in an hour? Not bad. Let’s hope my mark turns out to be better than “not bad” though.

Anyone who knows me well at all would know that I’m not one for sustained effort. I tend to “not really care” about my grades, and my results always seem to be in inverse proportion to how much I tried or pretended to have studied. I’d like to think that it shows what I’m naturally good at. But heck. So this week, and this year altogether has been a weird change for me. My grades are important now, and I’ve discovered what it’s like to actually study for a test. And they will continue to be important and pivotal towards what I would like to pursue after my two degrees are fiiinally completed. That’s a scary thought. The idea that whether I study longer and sleep less or study less and sleep more could indirectly change the direction of my life’s path freaks me out. I know that’s oversimplifying it, but you can’t help but wonder – was the three hours’ extra study the night before a test/exam worth the three hours’ less sleep?

Also, here are some film photos from my friend Christine’s 21st birthday party. It was all the way back in December, the night before I left for my trip, but I’ve finally gotten around to putting them up now. It’s just so lovely, how happy she looks. It makes me smile just to remember how delighted she was with the speeches and how the night went. All taken on Kodak UltraMax 400 colour film with a Nikon F3:

Which brings me to the troubling issue of having to organise my own 21st birthday party. Which is less than two months away! Crap, I had better get those invitations and decorations sorted… ideas anyone?

won’t you be my dictionary, won’t you translate fun into something necessary – inter uni sun. won’t you be my dictionary, can’t I be very necessary?

Trying to be realistic about time management is not going well at the moment. I’m trying to do my readings but all I’d rather do is blog. I have a couple of ideas and tangents I’ve been wanting to blog about for quite some time, but I just don’t have the time to do it right now, because it needs effort in order to sound coherent. It’s about the idea of “average”. But I shan’t dwell on it now.

This week’s felt so long and it’s only Tuesday night – how will I make it to Friday? And next Friday? Well that’s three tests, two assignments and a recital’s time away. Prioritising uni work is something I’ve never been good at, so I’m still attempting to make it work out. How is one supposed to resist the pull of the internet and self expression at large? The other night instead of sleeping I started writing and writing poetry, until I fell asleep with it in my hands. Then I continued to write later that day, between classes; observations, theories I’ve been wondering about, ideas, more ideas. And all the while I felt guilty because I wasn’t writing something more academic instead. So what have I done since? I left my special writing-notebook at home. It’s like self torture!

Taken on Ilford HP5 Plus 400 B/W film; Nikon F3.

I also have a huuge urge to take more rolls of black and white film, of undisclosed subjects, but I’ve still got about ten exposures left in my camera on a roll of colour reversal film, argh. I’ve got other film slr’s that I can use, but I’m very attached to my Nikon and the Contax RTS is a hefty mean machine that needs lots of batteries for some reason. Also, posting this photo finally makes me want to write about all of our December/January travels overseas – but now that I finally feel ready to do it, I don’t have time! It will be Easter break by next Friday though, so hopefully the written journey will begin there. Until then… I guess I shan’t really get to quench my thirst of multi-dimensional self expression, since I am trying for the first time in my life to achieve very specific grades. Grades. I hate that. I’ve never tried before. What happens if I psych myself out? Wish me luck.

Something I read on Julia’s blog that rang too true for me:

“Being unnoticed, and being watched,
both frighten me.”

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