Raves about anything, everything and yet nothing at all.

the sun is sinking awfully fast, can we make it last? we’ll make a family in the quiet country – you and me, in simplicity

Today feels like good-news day (apart from all the uni work I have to do tonight…) because I woke up to find a txt telling me that I’ve made the hockey team that I was trialling for, and now I’ve just gotten back from the gym where I’m on a personalised programme as of today, and I just feel great at the moment. I think that all the major decisions I’ve made about what I’m going to do this year and what direction I want to take myself in has been proving good for me. Doing the “final year” of my jazz performance degree part-time whilst embarking on the other degree I’ve always always aaalways wanted to do feels right and I’ve got no doubts about it thus far. Plus, I was right in thinking that giving myself a smaller music workload makes me more passionate and determined in it, because I’ve done a lot more practise and have tried a lot harder on the bass and in combo in general. Hopefully I can continue this and make it pay off… gah!

Since I’m in such a good mood, here are some more of the photos from the trip that the boy and I took to Hot Water Beach during the last week of our summer holidays, just over three weeks ago. There are more photos on another roll of film, but I haven’t finished it up yet, so haven’t gotten that developed. The highlight was definitely Cathedral Cove, and we didn’t actually end up digging a hole at Hot Water Beach because we couldn’t be bothered swarming around the area with tourists, so we ended up exploring the other end of the beach, and created our own form of athletics, as you shall see below… the memory of it still cracks me up, it was so much fun:




There was a black-beaked seagull that kept making a pitiful noise, so I decided to give it a bit of the crust off my sandwich. The boy had initially told me off for feeding it, but then he ended up feeding this particular seagull a lot more than I did, luring the cheeky bird closer and closer… until he was within touching distance, and the seagull kept squawking and talking to him, see! The magic thing was, when we retreated back to our cabin at the campsite that was 5 minutes down the road, we found the very same seagull waiting for us outside our cabin!!!


A good assortment of condiments, apple ale and wine.



The dorkiest I’ve ever seen him. But I didn’t put up an even dorkier photo… I must say it was mostly my fault, making him carry all our stuff in my old swimming bag. But it seemed justified – that bag’s a thick, waterproof and sturdy workhorse. Doesn’t the sea and its colours just look amazing?


Going to the deserted end of the beach.


Three guesses what I thought that was when I first spotted it. And so I saw my first blue bottle jellyfish, ever. It does look like a “bottle”. Ahem.



The game was… run on this ridiculously soft sand with no grip and resistance, and see if you can jump over that ridge. Our own beach version of the high jump, haha.


This looks silly, but not as silly as when I ended up with a mouthful of sand.


Reading with a rum and coke at the end of the day.


People on a kayak tour at one of the little beaches we walked to on the way to Cathedral Cove.


Cathedral Cove: where signs advise people not to enter due to falling rocks.




Urgh I have MAJOR hat hair after a long trek down to Cathedral Cove. And I knooow, this photo is hilarious. What happened was, I had asked the boy to get a picture of “me AND the cove”, but he heard “me IN the cove”… apparently he had initially lined the photo up to look like the one I had taken of him, but it ended up like this, haha. I literally burst out laughing with “WHAT THE!” when I saw this.




A German tourist took this for us.









It seems that animals really liked me on this trip because not only did the seagull greet us at our cabin, but this little cute dog, which looks like the one that belonged to a barbie doll that my sister and I used to have, followed me back to our cabin from the barbecue where we’d cooked sausages for dinner. I’m sure it just wanted some food, but it was sooo cute, following me everywhere! There’s a better photo of it on the other roll of film though, this was the 37th photo in a roll of film made for 36 exposures, so the camera ate it up just as the shutter went off, causing major blurring.

I really wished that we were back there again, lying on the beach with our books and swimming in the sea that was so beautifully clear. But I wonder where our next adventures will take us. And oh yeah, the day after our beautiful trip to Cathedral Cove, the weather turned awful and was pouring down with rain. For some reason we thought the best remedy was to climb Mt. Pauanui in the rain, and I’m glad it took us less than half of the prescribed 1.5hrs to get to the summit. The weather was so bad that we were up in the clouds and the view wasn’t the best, but hopefully I’ll get something out of it when I develop the other roll of film eventually!

we learn together over time that tolerance is more appealing tn theory than in practice. ah, we wait at ease, we wait to see – we are waiting here for catastrophe

I’m getting terribly behind on travel posts (I can’t believe it’s been two months already!) but I don’t want to rush them and want to do justice to all the fun and photos we had. This… putting off of sorts has definitely been brought to attention by the boy, so it’s definitely not like I’ve forgotten about it, it’s just a matter of time…

The truth about me is that I’ve been very lacking in motivation since circa 2004, and the sort of motivation I’m talking about is something of an all-round kind of motivation. The sort of drive that isn’t limited to one area of life or activity at hand – rather, something that spans across daily life in general, and dreams at large. But I’ve completely surprised myself these past couple of weeks by my new-found resolve to, well, put bluntly, try. I feel like I’ve spent the better part of the last decade running away from expectations of me, and avoiding the deadly word that gets thrown around a lot when people talk about me: potential. (Don’t even get me started on the whole idea of “potential”… trust me, I’ll never shut up.)

Anyway, what have I been doing away from the blogosphere? I’ve stayed ahead in my course readings, I’ve actually practised the bass (I know, right? It’s my bloody major and I often neglect it more than I should) and I’m determined, bloody determined to get things the way I want them. I want to get myself to where I want to be, or at least, in the direction of where I think I want to head, because frankly I have no idea where I want to “go”, as such. Today the boy and I washed our cars in the rain, as it was our mutual day off from uni. It sounds either more romantic or more dreadful than it actually was – and downright stupid, I know. But we did it despite the rain since it was already planned, and both our cars were dirrrty so it really couldn’t be ignored any longer. The “me” a month ago would’ve probably just sat inside and kept reading whilst the boy went and washed his car, or somehow negotiated another day to do it – but I’m glad that I got off my arse and did it today.

Also, I joined a gym last week, and I made sure to join the new fancy 24-hour franchise gym, because then I’m not limited to the crappy opening hours of traditional gyms. Believe it or not, for once I was the one urging my friend (who has been a member there for sometime, but I know doesn’t go often enough) to make a gym date with me, so that we can’t let each other down and have to show up. And show up we did. Yes, yes it was well after nine that evening, but I pounded out around 3-4km on the treadmill at a decent pace, and I didn’t even need Angie to hold my hand through it. I did my core exercises and other things and then… I felt fucking great. Then today I had a complimentary one-hour session with the personal trainer that also happens to manage the gym, and I am getting a programme made up for me so that I have more of a sense of direction as to what exercises I need to do for the fitness level and strength areas I want to achieve. He said he was really surprised by how motivated I am, and how a lot of people are all groggy and laid-back about it all, but I seem really determined to achieve things. And I guess I really am. I hadn’t really thought that much about it until then – how suddenly motivated I have become. All-round. Not just in one degree, but both. Not just with uni, but with hockey, with trying to be a better and happier person all around.

Then yesterday at my hockey trials I ran my butt off and tried my very best, even though I didn’t get put in my ideal positions. They’ve restructured the grades and so there are 3, maybe 4 teams’ worth of people trialing for the one team. I think I did well enough yesterday, but I’m definitely going to step it up for the second round of trials next week. Watch this space. Hopefully this time next week I’m gleefully chirping about looking forward to the hockey season… rather than being disappointed about it.

I thought I’d share the dinner that I whipped up for my mum, cousin and myself tonight – I have a tendency to make recipes up as I go, so today I’m pretty happy with how my pasta turned out. I started off with a bunch of tomatoes… then the next thing I knew I was all, phew, sorry to say so myself, but this sauce is bloody delicious. It’s a shame the boy had football training and missed out on it. (On the topic of football, did anyone see Barcelona and Messi’s ridiculously amazing result today?!!!) So, courtesy of a very full fridge, I’d cooked: sirloin steak, fish baked in lemon juice and ground pepper, butter pan-friend zucchini, pasta in some randomly concocted sauce, and mushrooms with melted butter and bacon. Ahhh I’m hungry all over again just thinking about this!



By the way, how do I hold onto this surge of motivation? Is it even possible/probable?

has black hair, and who cares? well I do. You’ve got a lovely smile, I could spend a while with that smile. Would you hold my hand? I’m as cold as the snow If you said let’s go, I would follow.

Little over a week ago, this is where we were, frolicking in the sea,  tumbling in the sand and spluttering out salt. This is where we were, when we befriended seagulls that stalked us to our two-night-home and learnt that pseudo high-jumping onto sand dunes was difficult if the sand was soft underfoot. This is where locals and tourists alike flocked to, and could you blame them?

Final summer getaway location – taken on Kodak UltraMax 400 colour film; nondescript Konica.

University just started this week, so it’s completely taken over everyone’s lives, once again. I can’t be bothered explaining the finer details, but I’ve taken up another degree, without the possibility of a conjoint arrangement, so as of Monday I’ve embarked on doing two full degrees, concurrently. I don’t know what you’re supposed to call it – some say a “double major”, but I think that just sounds like I’m doing two majors under one degree – regardless, I’m kind of freaking out. Although I think at the moment I am at a good place between optimistic confidence and nervousness over grades and all that, rather than being on the extremes of cockiness or absolute breakdown, so I will try to maintain a steady mindset. I must say, I really miss being a full-time hermit down at jazz school. To put things in context, jazz school is in a separate building from the School of Music (I’ve been a music student for 2 years and have never had a class in there until now!) and the rest of university altogether. Although it is only a few blocks and a hill down the road, it’s a very different atmosphere from the rest of university. And now I’m subjected to having to move around through crowds and crowds of people, feeling claustrophobic in a very full basement lecture room, and generally not enjoying how horrible some people are, without having to utter a single word. I know, I know, this is what university is supposed to be like, and I will indeed suck it up and get over it, but I just say to say woaaaah what a shock to the system, even though I knew it was coming! My final and main complaint is that I simply don’t understand how rude people are. More specifically (skipping over those people whose phones go off, chat in the doorway of a busy building, don’t move 50-50 out of the way so everyone can keep moving…), I hate the girls all over uni who just glare at people as if they’re pieces of shit. As if I’ve personally offended them by merely existing. The evil up-and-down, know what I’m talking about? It’s like the bitchy version of checking someone out. I am so over that shit, just get me to 2013 so I can be half-hermit again, please!

Anyway, I will put up the rest of last week’s photos from the same roll of film – I still can’t believe that it was merely last week! It feels like so, soo long ago. The good news about today is that now I’m officially a member at a 24-hour gym, which means I will have a more productive activity to help with those sleepless nights. Buuut the great news of today is that the boy and I have secured Radiohead tickets for their show here in November. It felt really surreal right after we managed to buy them online today (sold out in less than 5 minutes, no joke), but now it’s all worn off and I totally don’t feel it at all. Although I love Radiohead, I was never one of those fans that longed for them to come to New Zealand, nor did I ever join in on the rumour circuit, every time they did a tour; so when they finally announced a show in Auckland… well I still feel like, oh really? But it will be amazing. It will be the boy and I’s equivalent to seeing Portishead last November.

I could bet all the riches that I ever had, Rushing the night like a shark babe. Would it be bad if I had to set the alarm, Cos those thrills that run up my back

Laneway festival was only two and a half weeks ago, but it already seems like a long, long time has passed. Funny how some of the most fond memories of events that were once looked forward to so badly can fizzle out into a patch of pleasant-blur. It was a shame that I couldn’t see every act that I was interested in – the boy and I had to cull our choices down and make our own timetable to run by. We had a great day, but I can’t help but feel that it could’ve been better. To be honest, yes, I loved the music, but I was let down by a handful of things and I’m just not sure how great of an idea it is (the festival’s finances aside) to expand the festival by so much. I’ll get pinned for elitism again, but I just felt it was such a shame that majority of the crowd didn’t seem that into the music at allin fact, most people appeared to be hardly familiar with the music at many of the acts! To clarify, the reason I say it’s a shame is because the bands have come such a long way to this corner of the world, only to be met with largely static and unengaged crowds. It’s also a shame because I think that many people would’ve enjoyed themselves more whilst bearing with the scorching sun and heat, if they were more familiar with the music – rather than just the typical one song that eeeveryone seems to show up to half these sets for! Plus, I always find that being amongst the atmosphere which a very enthusiastic crowd of “fans”-that-are-actually-fans create is one of the most amazing and indescribable feelings in the world. It just kinda sucked that for most of the afternoon, only a handful of other people actually moved, danced and sang along to song after song, to the bands that we’d long-awaited for.

It had been discussed many times between the boy and I as to who would be the “dark horse” band of the day, akin to Blonde Redhead’s set last year, which just blew us both out of the water, and we’ve been even bigger fans since. Whilst the boy had initially vouched for Cults, I’m afraid to say it didn’t take them long to disappoint us. Sometimes I think that perhaps I ought to lower my expectations, but then M83 at the end of the night quashed that thought before Intro was out. Technical issues didn’t help the opening of Cults’ set, but even after that was fixed, it took Madeline a couple of songs to warm up her voice and cease singing flat. I’m sorry, forever a music student’s woes! But I’m happy that I was right and Yuck played an amazing set (at which I was that lone idiotic-looking fan that sang and danced along to everything with my boyfriend), and they played every song that I had hoped to hear.

Nitty gritty details and complaints aside, it was a great day and we had a lot of fun. It’s also obvious that I’m trying to wrap up this blog post because, oh no, it is once again almost dawn and I should sleep… Semi-Laneway-related playlist with more details is at the bottom!

We ferried into the city for the festival, and were lucky to be one of the last people that managed to get on. Being Auckland Anniversary meant that there were a lot of events in town, and the ferry simply wasn’t big enough so lots of people were left behind at the marina.

Hair tie = wild-hair-in-the-wind prevention technique.


 And because I’m too lazy to take photos myself, I stole these off web-stores instead. Here is what I wore: lace up boots by B Store with a harness vest by Friend of Mine, worn over a white singlet and white denim cutoffs. My mother reckons that the back of the vest is, in her words, “a bit scary looking”, aka rather BDSM-suggestive – and isn’t it just? I love it though, and I’ve worn it out to random places ever since I got over the fact that I’d constantly get asked about it. These are also the shoes that I wore to the Dan Deacon show, four days after Laneway. I know it seems silly to wear heels to a festival (believe it or not, it was the boy that convinced me to wear them), but it was totally worth it for the extra height. I usually don’t have much trouble seeing at concerts, but I definitely had a better view with these babies on! And I managed to stay upright, even with all the potholes in the grass at one of the stages, so it was fiiine.

1. Hold On – SBTRKT
SBTRKT’s album is forever going to be associated with playing CS for me; I’d gotten into both at around the same time, and it became a bit of a ritual to pair up the two. So imagine how surreal it was to see him live on a patch of uneven grass, with the early evening sun dipping to just above the stage-line and yachts just metres away to one side. Very different to holing up in my room, hours spent cursing at getting kills stolen!

2. Shook Down – Yuck
Oh this song! This heartbreakingly-sweet, sweet song! This band! I love them! Go listen! This is a lot of exclamation marks!

3. Vomit – Girls
Another let down of the day: Girls’ set got cut short because they were running behind schedule (not their fault) and got booted off. I was happy that it happened after they played my top-two songs though – this, and “Lust For Life”. This is a bit of a sombre song, but I just love it. I love the sound, the lyrics, and why/how he wrote them. In Christopher Owens’ own words: “As a dog returns to his vomit, so does a fool return to his folly. You can be very aware of how crazy you’re being sometimes, and be very aware of how you’re not able to help yourself.”

4. How I Know – Toro Y Moi
Underneath his trademark sunshine-evoking sound actually lies a lot of uncertainty and grey space, and I guess that’s why Toro Y Moi stands out to me. The boy’s very into his music, and I don’t know, we’ve never discussed it at length (yet), so I can’t say for sure, but I think we like him for very different reasons. Or at least, I like him for what I think are underrated and often-overlooked reasons. The line “You don’t seem sure/What you want to happen now” puts so many of my life’s moments into a warped nutshell that it freaks me out.

5. Serpents – Sharon Van Etten
This is a song that I fell for the first time I heard it, and then fell out with it upon the second… I guess I’ve been trying to figure out ever since what it was that I heard in it that very first time.

6. Sparkly – Young Magic
This is a poor description of the song, but what came to mind for me was that it sounds like a chilled-out version of the album In Rainbows. I know, I knooow, what a dumb thing to think and to say. But it’s a spacey song that still somehow manages to stay a little intense, just enough for you to still be listening to it, even if you intended it to be background music. And I like what a dead and muted sound the “percussion” is, yet it’s been produced with a little depth to it.

7. Never Heal Myself – Cults
I’m just a sucker for songs that say “[so] fuck you”, especially when its been sonically portrayed in such a deceptively sweet way. The link is to a live video of them performing… if only they played that well at Laneway. Although I was glad that Madeline managed to warm up by that late stage in their set that she didn’t miss the top notes anymore.

8. New Map – M83
M83 are sooo soooooo soooooooooooo good live. The kind of performance that sounds just like the record but somehow manages to outdo it, you know the sort.

9. Snookered – Dan Deacon
This makes me want to cry. Enough said.

Pt 1: And it’s been a week too long, there were several things that I’ve been doing wrong. You see the time it takes for you, Is the time it takes for me

We’ve just had two long weekends in a row here in New Zealand – first it was Auckland Anniversary Weekend, during which we went to the Laneway festival (which I shall eventually get around to posting about, gah!), followed by this past Monday, which was Waitangi Day. Naturally, I’ve been trying to fit in as much fun as these last few weeks of summer holidays will offer me. I can’t lie, I’m not looking forward to university this year at all. Moreso than the average uni student, that is – because I’ve bitten off a lot for this year, and it will definitely be some kind of mental struggle with myself to stay on top of things right from the get go. Of course, next year will be much worse… but for now, let’s try and conquer 2012 first, right?

The boy and I were discussing personal goals we have for this year. That is, goals that are not academically related, and are, I suppose, meant to be more far-reaching into our lives and future in general. The only one he’s come up with at the moment is to read more – which is also one of mine, but to be honest it’s rather intimidating because he already reads far more than I do, especially since he doesn’t have as many time-consuming side-things like I do. Such as this blog. Anyway, obviously reading is something that I think is supremely important, but besides that, another one of my goals was to take this blog more seriously. Which isn’t going very well at the moment because real-life is first priority, but I intend on going back on things and definitely making posts on all the travels we did, and the other things I feel worthy of sharing and writing about in general.

So, onto the good stuff. I thought, screw writing about something from last month or last week, this is what I did this past weekend – we went and saw Dan Deacon play at Whammy Bar. Not my favourite venue, but we were pleasantly surprised at how well the venue actually worked out for Dan Deacon’s show, and the crowd plus the way he interacted with it was just amazing. Definitely one of the best and most fun shows that I’ve ever been to. I met the boy in town after he got off work and we had hours and hours before the concert started, so we just absolutely winged the evening and it was great. I’d wanted to shoot on film, so I ended up bringing our family’s old film point-and-shoot and carried it like a handbag slung over one shoulder. These are all the photos that we took that night, none were omitted. Each and every one of them are gems to me and truly reflect how we chose to spend and enjoy our evening as the sun finally fell and our alcohol purchases hiked in price. I’m no expert on such topics, but it’s during all these moments shown below and the infinite amount of undocumented ones that I finally seem to grasp the idea of being in a “relationship”. And all those fights and tears and past grudges and pride and all that shit just melts away and for a moment – or a touch longer, if you’re lucky to not be me – pure, untainted clarity presents itself and you can almost kid yourself that this is it, this is why I’m alive, I am so fucking loved. All you can see is your better half, their eyes, their gaze, whether reading your soul in that very moment as you are theirs, or even just glancing at the bottom of their pint, oblivious to your epiphany – everything just seems right, just feels meant to be: perfect. Or at least, as close to perfection as this world will ever deal you, and as “perfect” as you’d ever dare to ask for, really. And if not for these moments of utter happiness and raw, raw love, then why do we bother with anything?

And so, here is the happiest that a fat man has ever made us. I will definitely post a playlist including Dan Deacon soon!

The boy showing me where he sometimes eats his lunch at work. Like a bunny in headlights, he said.

Where we devoured a plate of wedges coated in cheese, bacon and a thick helping of sour cream. Delicious.

Knocking back a decent beer. Prime example of what close-range flash with an old film point-and-shoot camera does.

One of my favourite photos of myself. He should be proud of himself.

The feijoa cider was sold out but we found out that the Wine Cellar also does a yummy feijoa (and other flavoured) liqueur. For $25 we bought a whole bottle and mixed it with soda water and ice ourselves.


Dan Deacon setting up.

And starting up.

Then all hell broke loose.

He instructed that a circle was to be formed, which definitely resembled a circle of death, but luckily he also had quirky on instructions as to how to get the whole room dancing.

We were greeted with this after our return from the bathroom. It looks like they’re praying, does it not?

The boy’s proudest achievement of the evening (other than going home with me of course… ahem).

Knackered. He bought me a frozen coke from McD’s and my shirt stunk like everybody else’s sweat. We sat in the lobby of his workplace for a bit and I waited for him to go upstairs to fetch his stuff.

Now it’s off to bed to continue reading Game of Thrones. Need to finish it so the boy can borrow it, ha.

1 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 13