thin air I’ll share with those who care

I paid little attention as I grabbed a scarf, slipped into my Ksubi boots and dashed out the door for coffee with an old friend. It wasn’t until I looked down, whilst sitting his car, that I realised the zipper on my right boot was broken. And so I let loose a wild torrent of profanities.

Seriously — what have I done to piss off the karma gods so badly?! Barely a week had passed since I complained that I can’t seem to get through a whole week without something mildly significant going wrong. These boots were expensive! Even after the fact that I had bought them for half price. The exact same thing happened to the zip on the left boot a year ago, and my awful experience with a well-known shoe repair store meant that I was desperate to try out somewhere new.

A quick google and very friendly phone call later, I was on my way to Shoe Sheriff on Broadway in Newmarket. I’ve driven past this place countless times and have never stepped foot in it, but I’m really glad I did today. The man that owns this place (I believe his name is Peter Croad but I can’t be sure) is one of the loveliest people I’ve ever met. He urged me to try and fix the zipper myself so that I could save $40, especially since I should get my sole and heel replaced soon. I ended up sitting at the counter for fixing my own zipper, equipped with some special pliers and helpful instructions. He then clamped the zipper tight for me and sent me on my way.

I’m still in shock and a bit of awe. I feel really indebted to him for some reason. Not in a monetary way, but in a gushing, that was so kind of you, you didn’t have to sort of way. I will definitely be returning to get my soles done and I urge anyone else in the area to get their shoes repaired there!

The place reminds me of the luthier that I photographed in New York, but I didn’t want to make a scene so only took a couple of quick snaps on my phone.

and I don’t make particular plans cos they don’t matter, if you keep on foolin in bed with my sleeping patterns

I’ve been thinking lately that I’m really not that healthy or good to my body. Leaving aside all my sporting injuries and physical problems that I need to work on, I don’t think that I eat particularly well, nor are my lifestyle habits any good. You could almost say that I eat too well, meaning I love, loove meat (steak!!!) and my favourite green-type-food happens to be spinach, which is also high in protein. This is not a bad thing at all, but I’ve decided that I really need to balance things out.

Like many people my age, I sleep too late or too little altogether, drink too much, and eat too much bad food at very bad hours. So my first step towards encouraging myself to have a better breakfast regularly, was that I went out and invested in a decent blender. I got one on sale for $113.99 which was down from $189.99 — it’s one of those ones with a solid glass jug and the ability to crush ice efficiently. I then went to the supermarket and green grocer for supplies, and went home to make this smoothie:

I put in: yoghurt, almonds, frozen berries, nectarine, granny smith apple, banana and a tiny bit of ice. It’s a lot cheaper than the $5-7 that cafes charge for a smoothie and undoubtedly healthier as I didn’t add in any extra sugar or flavouring powder.

The boy has also ordered some organic goji berries, cacao powder and mesquite powder to usher towards us healthier diets. I know this all sounds a bit overboard, but I could never have the discipline to turn into one of those “clean eating” people (in fact, what exactly is “clean eating”?!). I just want to make sure that I at least eat something healthy every day to make up for my other unhealthy habits that are lot harder to kick.

I also couldn’t help but try my hand at making a soup, since I wanted to see my blender’s “puree” function in action. Considering I’ve never tried to make soup before, I think the results were pretty good for someone that literally made up the “recipe”. In case you hadn’t noticed already, I tend to make things up as I go…

I used: two large carrots, a whole bag of stalked spinach, chicken stock powder, a bit of water, five pieces of toast crumbed in, and obviously salt and pepper. I pan-fried a small amount of chicken with garlic, and towards the end I threw in a small amount of sliced salami to give the smell a bit of a kick. If I wasn’t so full from my smoothie, I would already but gulping this stuff down by the spoonful because it’s good!

This has turned into a bit of a “how lazy, unhealthy students kid themselves into thinking they’re eating healthy”-post, but hopefully I can eat like this more often. And go to the gym! The rowing machine is waiting for me again.

he cowered beyond reckless tracks of impulse

Who knew that a pimple located smack bang in the middle of my forehead could bring me so much grief! Not to be culturally insensitive (I’m kind of on the fence about the whole “cultural appropriation” thing), but since there is no way that I will supply a picture, the most precise way of describing it is that the culprit has decided to form exactly where people would place a bindi.

Whilst touching pimples is generally unadvised and causes irritation and discomfort, I think my skin-type makes it even worse. To backtrack a little, I’m actually quite lucky in the sense that I have pretty neutral skin which is neither oily nor particularly dry, which means that I rarely get pimples at all. I only tend to get them when I’m really stressed out. Even then, that means getting maybe three pimples in a month where I have tests or exams — which my friends berate me for complaining about.

So what’s the problem then? Well, unfortunately the pimples which I do get, tend to be of the sort that stay under the skin and never quite “mature” and sprout a head. Which means that they stay around for ages and hurt in an eye-watering way when bumped. I’m sure that most people can relate to the surprising pain of pressing down on a pimple, but these type of pimples seem to hurt a lot more than the normal sort, as I think they’re deeper in the skin.

What I discovered this weekend was that I bump my forehead more than I ever would have guessed. Or at least my forehead makes some kind of contact with things and people a fair bit. For example, at my hockey game yesterday, I collided with an opposing player. It wasn’t a head-on collision, but her body sort of slammed into my face, shoulder and body in general — basically what happens every few minutes I’m on the field, with or without the ball. I just never realised that my forehead was ever involved in these bumps and pushing around — until the pain emitting from my pimple told me so! Later on whilst trying to snuggle with the boy, I realised I couldn’t sleep with my face or head pressed up against him. Because it hurts. An accidental bumping of heads this morning hurt a lot more than it should have for such light contact. I also discovered that when I lean forward towards my steering wheel whilst in fits of laughter (due to conversing with a friend in a parked car), my forehead cannot bear the momentary contact at all!

This darn zit has made me suddenly aware of all the contact that my forehead actually comes into. I never knew that my forehead touched anything or anyone at all, let alone on a regular basis. I guess it’s not a part of my body that I particularly note the sensations of, until pain is involved. It’s just been really silly how I keep unexpectedly going “oww!” at things I usually don’t even notice doing.

Say that you’ll always remind me, ’cause you know I can’t decide

I’m not sure how clicking “Save Draft” resulted in the loss of my almost-finished blog post just now, but it somehow happened. Since I can’t handle trying to re-write it again, I’ll start with a fresh topic.

I have a confession to make. I am the proud owner of one of these “Pop” phones by Native Union:

My introduction to the existence of such a device was through my dad telling me about how he and my sister Liv saw these in a store. They’d wondered what silly people would buy such a thing, only then to get in an elevator with someone who had just used one for a phone call. I completely forgot about that story until I stumbled across a whole shelf full of these “phones” in Kitson at Santa Monica back in November. I got so excited and determined to get one in this particular colour that, when I discovered they didn’t have any non-samples in mint, I even made the store assistant ring up the Malibu branch to check that they had some. I’m more than a little ashamed at how much trouble that sounds like, but to put it in context, my sister’s college campus is in Malibu, so that store was only 5 minutes away, right next to places we ate at anyway.

Liv made fun of me and couldn’t believe that I wanted to buy a big clunky thing to attach to my iphone or laptop. “But it will make skyping and viber-calling you easier!” I’d protested, urging her to take me to Crumbs for cupcakes and then going a few metres further into Kitson.

Whenever I buy “luxury items” (read: not necessities), I try to justify them by either how much “happiness” and ease they will bring into my life, and by cost-per-use analysis. This device has exceeded my expectations on both fronts

Sure, I can see how absurd my attraction towards this “phone” thing was, but I’m pleasantly surprised at how easily I’ve kept my promises of using it over and over. Whilst in LA alone, I’d skyped the boy countless times, and whenever I’m home, I’ve used it for every phone (or skype/viber) call which lasts longer than a couple of minutes. My cost-per-use is down to much lower than $0.50, and it’s just so much easier to use this, than to tolerate the earache or headache that using mobile phones causes. Not to mention the icky residue that occurs on smartphones these days, from sweat or makeup on one’s face.

I can tuck this big receiver against my shoulder, put my iphone in my back pocket, and talk to my sister on the other side of the world, whilst tidying my room. Like how old-fashioned phone calls used to be! Comfy, with the tendency to go on for far too long.

Oh so while you’re growing old under the gun, gun, gun, and I believed them all — well I’m just one poor baby ’cause well I believed them all

I really wanted to post a photo of my happy self, since it was my 22nd birthday yesterday — but I’m only on my laptop (quickie before uni) so I don’t have access to most files and had to whip this low-fi off the dreaded facebook. In true Amanda fashion, I overslept through two classes yesterday morning, and only woke to my friends calling me asking “WHERE ARE YOU?!” so we could go for my birthday lunch. They thought I had intentionally wagged class on my birthday, oops.

Melbourne Big Day Out Friday 26th January 2013, on disposable camera. (The thing on my forehead is a Y from the YYYs)

The other night, I had an application for something that was due a minute before my birthday, at 11.59pm. Due to a torts test and uni all day, I had about two hours left after my hockey training, to finish my cover letter. I don’t think writing such things under time pressure is the best idea, but in writing it, and compiling my CV, I unexpectedly learnt a lot about myself.

At first glance, my CV isn’t exactly cut out for the corporate world whatsoever. I scarily realised that I’d been playing in various music ensembles for the past fifteen years and that it’s been eight years since I started playing hockey and fatefully broke my nose on my birthday. Some days, I feel like what have I got to show for myself?! now that I’m no longer a teenager. Other days I feel like I’ve managed to do quite well in what (relatively) short time I’ve had on this earth. But the thing I realised when I was writing my cover letter was that, I’m quite proud I never really did anything just “because it would look good on a CV”. The pages and lists of things I’d put on there, were truly things that I wanted to do, even if in the cold of winter I didn’t want to train, or didn’t like early morning rehearsals. I wasn’t in those sports teams purely for my ego nor did I spend twelve-hour days at high school because I thought that it would “pay off” one day. And maybe it never will. But it doesn’t matter.

Even if nothing came of this application I submitted, I’m happy that the process of writing it made me feel really content with myself on my birthday. People that know me quite well would know that I struggle to be content with myself — there’s always more I can do, more to be done — so this is a good start. I’m really passionate about the the photos I’ve taken, the experiences I’ve sought out for myself, and bass callouses born from pain.

Whilst I know that law school will always make me anxious that I’m not doing the “right” co-curricular things, I insist on not pretending I’m someone that I’m clearly not. I’m making a conscious decision to continue to only do things that I want to do, rather than because “it would look good”. (Disclaimer: I do realise there will be things that I must do that I don’t necessarily “want” to do or feel passionate about. But I feel there’s a difference between things you’ve got to do in general, versus things above and beyond, merely because it looks nice on a piece of paper)

Also, it’s amazing how many indirectly-relevant and awesome skills I’ve managed to get out of all the “wrong” (read: unconventional) mixture of things that I’ve been doing. Anyone can sit at a desk and grind books into their brains all day, but how many will leave their comfort zones and chase down lofty dreams?

1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 48