Listening to music – food for the ears.

the week, end

I wonder if any other couples have a sport-watching routine that would resemble what the boy and I do. We’ve been really sad to see the London Olympics come to an end, and since I stupidly deleted the last day of the Tour de France from mysky, we’ve been watching the Closing Ceremony as the backdrop of dinners and dish-washing. I was so impressed by Matt Bellamy’s vocal abilities that I’ve re-wound and watched the bit where he hits that amazing note and transitions from piano to guitar (why did he step away from the mic?! Argh, I hate that note being cut off like that!!) over and over and over again. And then we speculated as to whose decision it was for George Michael to debut a new song that nobody knew, when he could’ve easily done another crowd pleaser. And whose call was it to blind us all with Jessie J’s 3x horrendous nude bodysuits?! Oh yeah, and to have to sing repeatedly too. Many, many others would have been far more qualified and deserving of the honour of singing along side the remaining Queen members, say. Yikes. So, just as the Olympics have wrapped up, the boy’s soccer and my own hockey are just heading into the business end of the season. I was sad to have missed his two very impressive sounding goals yesterday, since our game times overlapped. And I’m sad to say that my team lost to an opponent who are technically not as good as us, but are proving to be our bogey team. We probably needed the extra motivation though. We’ve had a few decent wins in a row now, and we have the semi final in a couple of weeks’ time, so maybe we needed a decent wake up call. Also, Liverpool probably got a bloody decent wake up call last night. After a night of beer pong and chandeliers (both fantastic beer games, by the way), I dozed off during the game, but to be honest, there was hardly any desire to stay awake considering the shabby loss to West Brom. Embarrassing.

A few food recommendations, then I’m back to nursing some battle wounds and studying with the cat. This Glass Eye Creek Wild Meat Sauce is one of the greatest sauces I’ve ever had. Considering the fact that I’m not a sauce person at all (tomato sauce is about it, and only on average-tasting fries, no less), this is a big deal. They only sell them in selected supermarkets and I’m positive they don’t sell them overseas yet, but I’m definitely sending my sister in Malibu a bottle of this when I get around to it! (Am happy to take requests too) I haven’t done all that much with it yet, but I was introduced to it in the easiest, most amazing manner of consumption: well-toasted Vogels (amazing NZ bread), buttered, sauced, then topped with feta cheese. Too easy.

Oh by the way, I have to confess now that I am turning into one of those people that relies on their phone for photos. So they’re all sub-standard to me (especially of the beautiful restaurant below!!!), so I need to umm, you know, get back into a camera-carrying routine. Damn. Cos all of these were taken on my phone, shhh.

I also put a spot of that sauce in my burger (below). Which was also made in quick-and-easy manner, but tastes so sooo good! The boy and I have been improving with each burger we make, haha. The below features two sorts of lettuce only because it sort of had to be eaten… For the patty, all you need is some mince, mixed with pan-friend onions (maybe garlic), an egg, mustard seeds, salt and pepper, mould into the right size (press down the middle part to a slight welled shape so that it goes flat when cooked) and grill in a regular pan. Flip only once. Let the cheese melt on the cooked half once it’s been flipped. And compile on toasted buns with anything you like. I had an egg with this one. Butter, salad, mustard seeds, Glass Eye Creek Wild Meat Sauce and some ground black pepper.

Just a token chocolate shot. Brain food.

On Friday night we managed to get around to going to a Japanese restaurant which the boy had been planning on taking me for quite some time. It’s located in the oddest of neighbourhoods (next door to a Chinese takeaways), and I can’t say that the shop front looked all that promising – in fact it was rather blinding. But after we were lead through this…

… a sliding door opened to reveal some stairs leading down into a quasi-basement area that was very industrial-loft-looking with a high ceiling and the most amazing framed windows on one side, and a lovely wall that was entirely painted with cherry blossoms. The waiters and waitresses (and chefs) all spoke or were Japanese, so it definitely passed my standard of what they advertised as “authentic Japanese” should be. We had the most amazing, drawn out meal that consisted not only of our absolute favourites such as karaage chicken and tempura prawns, but we also had shabu shabu. Not to mention the three bottles of Japanese marble soda that I could not resist!

Photo of the beautiful iris flowers in my front yard. One of my favourite, favourite flowers.

And this is what winning beer pong looks, like, heck yeah! After some warming up, the boy and I made a killer team last night. I had to crack open some beers on the side in order to drink any haha. One more week of tests and such, then it’s study break. I miraculously did better at my combo recital last week, (the best public playing I’ve ever done so far, I think), so yay for improving. In the meantime, Jacam Manricks is back and we’ll be attending his show at jazz school on Tuesday night, but check him out online!

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.

Nights I spend alone, I spend ’em runnin round lookin for you, baby. Lookin’ for love. Cause there’s something that I get from myself, And there’s something that you give to me. And if I’ve got one without the other, Then it’s not enough to be – I need your love

My blogging absence has been shocking. In all fairness though, I’ve had my grandparents, aunty, uncle and three cousins visit us from Taiwan for Chinese New Years, so most afternoons (once I wake up, haha) and evenings are spent entertaining the little ones, and letting them follow me around. As of today, my aunt and uncle have gone back to work overseas, but the rest are still here until the 2nd. Good news is, I’ve started (too slowly) working on a new theme for this blog because words cannot express how sick of its appearance I am!

But I really wanted to make a post before the month was out, and most importantly, because I have a big four days ahead of me. Monday is the Laneway Festival, and the boy and I couldn’t be more excited. We’re also really disappointed with the unfriendly timetable, and so a lot of sacrifices will have to be made on the day… I just don’t understand – why would they overlap Washed Out and Toro Y Moi?! And Twin Shadow. But especially the first two – they’re the same genre, and if you like one, then you pretty much will definitely like the other. Why couldn’t Feist or someone else (and I’m going to get shot for saying this in public) who I couldn’t care any less about, clash with one of these more “minor” acts, so that the crowds would be shifted away? Haha. That’d be the day! So by the looks of it, I have to sacrifice seeing Twin Shadow and The Horrors, but luckily I’ve already seen and photographed the latter before. A quick search showsjust how much I’d been looking forward to Twin Shadow. Sigh.

The other really big deal is that the boy and I have our one-year-anniversary coming up. All of my friends have commented on how much looonger it seems that we’ve been together, and I’ve been surprised to hear a few “it’s only been almost a year?!”, although I guess we’d been a long time coming and are very, very close. And we both feel that it’s just flown past; but in all seriousness, I’m kind of freaking the fuck out. A year’s a really long time. To me, at least. To the both of us. We were never quite the “long term committed relationship” type – and in fact I hate that label, but I guess we’re not “just for now, goodbyeee in a coupla months”, so hmmfph, yeah. Just ask any guy who’s ever been in a room with me, and you’d know what a freakish, unplanned and unpredictable piece of nature this relationship has been for me. I’m terrible at relationships and I’m just plain terrible. But I’d like to keep thinking that my crazy antics and mental instability is made up my sheer awesomeness. We still haven’t made concrete plans yet, so that’s a bit annoying, but oh whatever, it goes with the spontaneous territory that I am.

I’m super sad and pissed off at myself because at dinner last night I accidentally opened the back of my camera up since I’d forgotten that I’d put a roll of film in there already. The only two black and white photos I’d taken were of the boy and the cat sleeping… my two main men were angled just right, so fucking magically… but now they are forever lost to the grave of exposed films. It’s doubly sad because the boy totally hates the idea of sleeping with my cat, so it was a rare accident that he was in such deep sleep and the cat had slept next to him, rather than tried to sleep on him. Argh!

And yes, the travel photos and stories will be coming soon… for now, some film photos from the end of 2011, right before I went overseas:

2nd hand bookstore: self portrait #1.

2nd hand bookstore: self portrait #2.

Reflection of the sky tower. Managed to get this shot riiight before the light went green.

Post-exam celebrations at Non Solo Pizza.

Then he had to cut his hair for work :(

The boy’s room.


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