New start!

Right, well this blog has been on the fritz for a while now and last week it finally blew up.  Thanks to absolute awesome effort by my friend Nimby, a search and rescue was performed and I have all the posts still.  But photos are broken…. maybe some won’t be coming back.  I guess this is a work in progress again!  Which is what I like doing anyways these days so no drama.

I’ll be spending this weekend moping due to just having all 4 wisdom teeth removed.  My face is far too fat to be seeing people in real life right now.

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Ok

I need to start this up again.  Pretty much everyday I think I should write something then I get sidetracked.

I’ve decided to make this year about ACTIVITIES.  I’ve started up Pole again, also hula hoop classes and am looking forward to trying out Aerial Yoga.  Gosh life is good when you are living it.  Turns out I can do more than just travel.

I have a few other creative projects I want to get cracking on with.  I went ahead and signed up with Pinterest and Tumblr and need to start making a real effort updating those.  I think I’ll keep Tumblr away from the Tigerlilley personality for a change, see how that goes.

I used to have time to blog at work but I seriously do not have that time anymore.  New job is fantastic and I am BUSY.  Which is what I WANTED.  Doesn’t stop me bitching about it though.  Never fear.  Look at my short nondescript sentences, this is what happens when you rely on the Like button to voice an opinion.  Alrite, writings goals set, will start that tomorrow.  Along with my diet and plans for turning into an adult.

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Why live miserable

So about 6 months ago I started up a 9 to 5 at an IT firm.  Despite my tears and general dismay at what the job turned out not to be, every one told me to chin up, carry on.  Which I did and yeah I guess it got better for a while somewhere in there.  When we were busy.  Then we weren’t any more.  Then we never were again.

Eventually people started fading away.  We had a couple leave and then the redundancies started rolling out.  The company just wasn’t make money for a plethora of reasons people attempted to tell me about.  I didn’t care.  I felt like my good intentioned “Go in fighting and make the most of it” game plan had been thrown back in my face.  Here’s my new plan.  If it talks like it’ll suck, walks like it’ll suck then guess what.   I will listen to my heart of hearts instead of blindly follow that “hey, go make the most of it” bullshit.  I should have cut ties to begin with.  I was writing my resignation letter when I got called into the office.

The MD looked down and told me, “look, we’re going to dissolve your role, however, I have another role open that’d I’d like you to take”.  He sighed.  “But I can tell you’ve had a guts full of this place and I don’t blame you”.  I told him I didn’t want the role.  He asked if I needed a support person for this meeting.  I gave him a look.  He laughed and said, yea, you’re scary enough on your own, I didn’t think you’d need one.

I’ve somehow found myself gleefully jobless for the summer season.  And what a season it will be!  I guess I’ll head back into temping before the big move across the ditch.

 

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Summer stuff I do: Skin

First up, sorry for the WHOA purple.  I was sick of the last look.  Will choose something better later.

A few people have been asking me what products I use for this and that so I thought I’d type it all up as a bit of a review on things.  What you need to know is, I am the worlds laziest person when it comes to make up and girly shit.  Basically, my criteria for any product is Highly Rated All Over The Internet and Takes Five Seconds To Use with a side of Minimal Effort Required.

Summer Skin

My mother and Aunt both work at a cosmetic and surgical skin clinic.  If there is one lesson I have had repeatedly drummed in to me my entire life, it is the evils of sun tanning.  This will age your skin prematurely, give you wrinkles, make you look like an old baked potato, steal your last chocolate and lock you out of your car.  So, like any other whitey who burns to all fuckery after 10 minutes outside, I fake tan instead.

I use Xen Tan products and I LOVE them.  They’re the only tanner I have used that aren’t orange at all they don’t smell weird.  I mean, they smell good for like an hour or so then there is that weird fake tan smell but that doesn’t last long either.  They come out of the bottle usually a brown or green colour which just sort of reinforces how less likely they are to turn  you into a tangerine.  The colour is just so natural.

Dark Lotion
This is my number one right here.  It does not mess around with this gradual tanning rubbish, you put it on and you are done.  It is one of Xen Tan’s darkest formulas but it’s not ridiculous.  I am white beyond belief and this does not stand out as outrageous as all.  It’s a gorgeous colour.  It does have a stain in it though so you will be able to see where you have a applied it and this top colour looks a little red on me.  That washes straight off in the shower.  This is one you’d want to apply before bed I guess.  Sometimes I don’t and just wear that top colour like a boss.  Like I said, lazy.


Mousse
Considerably lighter than the Dark Lotion.  It was the first product I bought and I loved it to start with.  It’s a foam texture so it doesn’t streak at all and is dead easy to put on.  It’s a great base colour for starting your tan and for your face.  However, I’d doubt this one would be dark enough for those slightly more tan or naturally olive, it is very light.  It’s the tanner for scaredy cats.  How’s that.

Transform Luxe
This one is one of those gradual tan moisturizer things.  I actually really like it, the colour is good and it’s nice for your face and over a tan to keep it fresh.  I usually use it in the days after Dark Lotion application.

Face Tanner

Not sure if I’m sold on this.  I used to use it when I was too scared to put the other darker products on my face but usually now I just use the remnants of what’s on my tanning mitt to do a quick swipe over my chops.  The face tanner is a noticeable colour, not orange but enough to feel you don’t have to wear any bronzer at all.  I usually give up on make up completely if I have a tan, the colour evens your skin out.

The other Xen Tan product I tried out was Perfect Blend.  It’s an interesting idea, basically, one half of the canister is fake tan and the other is a bronzer.  You can use the dial at the top to control how much of each product comes out.  I sorta loved this idea, especially the bronzer, which I figured would be like instant tan for situations when you suddenly realise you’ll be wearing a dress and you weren’t prepared.  The thing is.. it’s not really like that.  I honestly did not think there was any colour in this product at all.  The bronzer did zip and the tan was like… less than the Mousse I mentioned earlier.  I thought it was a can of nothing I paid money for.  Definitely the most most disappointing of this range.

The one thing I can’t recommend highly enough is those fake tan mitts.  Sure they seem a bit useless but they are ESSENTIAL for an even application.  Plus they stop your palms soaking in colour.  Winner all round, really.  I guess if you don’t want to buy one you could use a sock.  Keep it gangsta, and such.

The last thing I did try out recently is the Sally Hanson Spray on Legs.  I can’t remember what colour I got.  I didn’t read the instructions because I know everything and employed my poor boyfriend to spray it on for me.  There was a lot of EEEEKKKK ing involved, mainly because its A) Freezing straight out of the can B) SUCH a strong colour C) Is not so much a fake tan as it is a body makeup.  It’s like a foundation for legs.  When I did read the instructions it said to spray it into your hand first.  It washes off immediately in the shower with a bit of a scrub.  I liked it I guess, it’s definitely a product that can be used in Emergency Dress situations for its Fuck It, That’ll Do perks.

I found the bestest ever sunscreen with a bronzer and such, more on that in my next post.

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Bali, Indonesia Part 2

We spent most of our day time fending off eager vendors and wandering the busy streets of Kuta.  We also ate.  A lot.

A couple of days in we managed to catch up with my very dear friends from London and took them out for cocktails and drinks.  The night started on a two-for-one with a live band, which then turned into a makeshift kareoke (LOVED IT) much to our delight, which then turned into dancing madly at the Sky Bar.  At one point during the night we vaguely remember taking turns chugging a large bottle of Bintang on the street as an old Balinese woman with no teeth clapped and cheered us on.  Jase finished off the bottle and belched loud enough to make sure everyone who wasn’t watching was now doing so.  “I like your hat”, he told the woman.  I laughed the rest of the way to Sky Bar.

I remember pole dancing, dancing into a fan and shuffling.  Then desperately skulling 2 litres of water in an effort to stave off the day long hangovers I usually get.  There is nothing worse than wasting a day on holiday in your hotel watching Jersey Shore because you were too hungover to get up.  I dragged Jason out of bed in the morning and we made our way down to the cafe we’d agreed to meet Prim and Waj at.  They were no show.  They were a no show right up until 7.30pm, about the same time I’d decided they’d been kidnapped and killed on their way home from the club the night before.  “WHAT HAPPENED” they asked us.  “HOW ARE YOU NOT AS HUNGOVER AS US?”  Sheer determination, seriously.

It was decided that we’d hire a car to drive to Ubud in the centre of the island.  Well, at first it was decided we’d hire scooters which I’m so glad we didn’t, I enjoy living.

The drive was hilarious.  Bali lacked any sort of comprehensible sign posts and seems to have zero road rules.  There were four lanes of cars in a marked out 2 lane road, scooters going horizontal in traffic.  The whole experience was topped off by our shit heap of a car falling apart as we went over hills and did things like, stop, etc.  It shit out in the middle of an intersection, I don’t think it had mirrors, the glove box would open itself and the sun visors had a tough time staying upright.  It took us 2 days to figure out how to open one of the doors.  In what would be the miracle of the year, we actually found our way to Ubud with no back tracking, purely going off Prim’s excellent navigation skills from a vague Lonely Planet map.

Beautiful Ubud was a stark contrast to insane Kuta.  Big sweeping vines roofed the roads, thatched houses line a gorge and the whole place reminded me of something straight out of the jungle book.  The hotels were gorgeous.  Prim and Waj’s was a stunning stone maze that I fell in love with immediately and we ended up up the road a little next to paddy fields in a deluxe marble room with a four post bed.  WITH CURTAINS.  I LOVE BEDS WITH CURTAINS.  They make me feel like a princess.

We had dinner before heading out to see tradition Balinese dancing, which was interesting and slightly weird and I got eaten alive by mosquitos.  It was held outdoors in the ruins of an old temple, I think.  I giggled at Jason’s traumatised face when he came back from the public bathroom.

The highlight of Ubud was definitely the Monkey Temple.  We went prepared, carrying nothing (except tightly held cameras), wearing nothing shiny, no hats, no sunglasses.  As we wandered around the beautiful reserve, the monkeys watched us with interest, stopping only to make a display of wanking themselves off or shagging which caused Jason to burst out laughing and run off with my camera to capture the moment.   I spent 15 minutes talking him out of buying a large wooden blow dart gun from a local vendor in there.  He’s still not forgiven me for that.  He later got molested by a gang of monkeys who started climbing up his legs when they realised he’d bought a bundle of bananas to give them.

The drive back to Kuta took half as long.  We spent our remaining days on holiday relaxing at the beach and buying more assorted shit.  There was a teary but brisk farewell at the airport and I seriously cannot wait to get back to London to see everyone again.

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Bali, Indonesia Part 1

Jase and I had been looking forward to this for so long.  Due to Jason’s insistence, this time I’d booked accommodation in advance, he wasn’t hearing any of my “usually I just turn up and it’s sweet” protests.  Which ended up being a good thing really, we were going to arrive in Bali at about midnight.  After what turned out to be the longest transit EVER.  I could have got to London in that time.  We went Wellington – Sydney – Jakarta – Bali, with a few hours stops… nightmare.  There’s only so many movies I can handle watching on those tiny screens.

I’m in two minds about booking accommodation.  I think just arriving in a country it’s a good idea, it’s nice to have somewhere to go with minimal fluffing around.  But on the other hand, when you just turn up, you end up meeting randoms, staying off the beaten track in little gems you don’t see on the bloated Trip Advisor or Lonely Planet and you just have so much more flexibility.  Fancy a night on the other side of the island?  No problem, just go.  Obviously the down point here is that if you hit your destination in busy season and everything’s booked out.

Anyway, we drive into Kuta from Denpasar airport and Jase is getting noticeably quiet.  I realise I hadn’t quite explained what he was getting into… I know he expected an island resort or something but Bali is a mix between beautiful island beaches of Thailand and a mad city full of street vendors and insane scooter drivers, not so different to Cairo, come to think of it.  If you haven’t seen it before it’s definitely a culture shock.  It takes a few days to learn how to deal with the vendors suddenly filling your pockets with goods and demanding you pay for it.

My first time travelling to South Asia was a trip with my Dad where we were visiting Singapore and Thailand for his work.  He gave me a wad of what looked like monopoly money and said something I’ve never forgotten to this day.  “Don’t buy crap”.  I think this went with an explanation of how easy it is to want to buy souvenirs straight away and ending up with junk.  I’ve always kept it in mind when shopping while travelling.  I tried to bestow this wisdom to Jason.  “Now remember”, I began. “It’ll be easy to spend money here so don’t buy cra….” I could see his eyes glazing over me to the nearest store with fake Oakleys and knew it was already a lost cause.

Once he’d been ripped off a few times, he started getting into the swing of things.  And enjoying it.  I literally had to grab his arm and drag him away from the shops.  Turn my back for 5 minutes and he’d disappear…. reappearing with an entire rubbish bag FILLED with fake watches, sunglasses, shorts, teeshirts and other random shit.  “I have to buy MORE BAGS to take things home” he’d declare.  At one such haggling session, I sat on the footpath and smoked a cigarette with a friend of the shop owner we visited the most frequently.  “What will you do when you get home”, he asked me.  “I’m going to start up a fake watch shop and sell off all this crap you’ve sold my boyfriend”, I told him.  He laughed at that.

A stretch of road down by our hotel was especially bad for getting hustled by street vendors.  “G’DAY MATE”, they’d yell.  “SEE MY SHOP, SUUUUUPER BLOODY CHEAP” in their best outback Australian accent.  “G’DAY” Jase would yell back.  Eventually it would lead to a piss take Australian accent scream off with each word becoming more and more nasally and screechy.
“We’re NOT Australian” I’d finally interject.  This caused immediate confusion.
“WHAT.  Where are you from?”
“New Zealand”
“New Zealand! Wait, wait.  Ok”  *deep breath, push chest out, staunch up*  “KIA ORA BRO, COME SEE MY SHOP BLOODY SWEET AS”.

We stayed at All Seasons hotel which is in Legian, 10 minute walk to central market Kuta.  Our hotel was stunning and the people working there were just so kind.  The lady who ran the hotel Spa managed to sell us a couples treatment for 2 and a half hours.  This worried me due to the fact I can’t sit still for very long and I get bored pretty easy.  We decided on a Milk and Honey Rejuvenation treatment, consisting of an hour full body massage, body and face mask, hair mask (my hair was seriously dry with all the chlorine and salt water) then a flower bath.  It sounded divine.

The best bit was Jason’s face when he realised they’d given him black frilly disposable knickers to wear.  They even sat up his bum slightly as they were a bit too small.

The massage was amazing!  Although they did this weird thing with me (and all the massages I had did this) where they gave me an amazing skull massage then, without warning, grabbed handfuls of my hair and yank on it.  It was strange but not unpleasant I guess.  At the point where they started on the “Milk and honey body mask” it came to my attention very quickly that we were simply being covered in yogurt.  Nice yogurt, I’m hoping.  “Good for you”, one of them mumbled.  IS IT?  REALLY?  I don’t see the health benefits of yogurt being slapped around your chest and knee caps.  God, I couldn’t wait to wash it off.  Especially when it started to set.  You know when you get your face painted as a kid and you end up stretching your mouth out in weird directions to feel the paint crack?  Yeah.

They made us a pot of delicious tea and led us to a huge marble bath filled with petals to soak in.  It was so good.  From then on, every morning I’d awake to a fully alive and dressed Jason, who smelled slightly floral.  “Is it actually necessary to have a massage everyday, just because you can?  I’m starting to think you go back so you can wear the frilly undies”.   They knew him by name at the end of the week.

My London friends took us down to the beach and talked Jason into learning how to surf.  Which he picked up in 10 minutes much to the delight of the small Balinese man who had clearly had enough of teaching people who couldn’t swim how to surf.  I watched him whoop and wave his hands around and decided it was a good time to start taking some photos.  Jase decided it was a good time to ask to learn tricks and turns.  The Balinese teacher wasn’t exactly ready to progress on to that after only one wave.  It was kinda funny, I went to hire a boogie board during a particularly large wave day and was allowed under the condition I was a New Zealander and therefore could swim.  We were also taken out to a beautiful seaside restaurant in the evening where I cut my hands open trying to eat a crab.  Deliciously spikey.

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So many drafts, so much lazy

I have Bali drafts that are awaiting me uploading some damn photos to damn flickr I don’t know what’s wrong with… why is this shit taking so long?   Why don’t I do the things I want to do at work when I get home?  It’s Tuesday morning and I’m feeling pretty shitty, listening to The Gossip and trying not dry retch at my too strong coffee that’ll I’ll drink regardless, because I am a total sucker for punishment.  I thought I’d got rid of my hangover yesterday but possibly not.  I think the only reason I’m doing this blog is because I put a two hour block on Facebook at work and have nothing else to waste time with.

Yesterdays hangover was totally manageable though.  I didn’t spew and my head was all good after some high strength Nurofen… which doesn’t generally work but it did this time.  I think the switch from wine to beer has really made a difference in lowering the intensities of Suicide Sunday.  Or Monday.  Whatever.

The point is, it was Labour Day weekend this weekend which means we got Monday off.  It’s just occurred to me I have no idea what Labour Day is for.  I will wiki later.  On the Sunday night was the Rugby World Cup final, something I generally never give a shit about and despise just a little.  Except this year it was hosted on our little island and hey… we actually made it all the way to the final game.  It was impossible not to get caught up in the country’s excitement.    Somehow I’d gone from someone who had no intentions whatsoever of watching any of these games to someone who knew the players names (well, the hot ones) could speculate on gameplay (probably badly) and watched like, 5 games over the season.  Who am I?  Who’s life is this?  How do I stop doing that falling asleep at my desk thing?  The coffee, it does nothing.

We had an awesome night out, I got to catch up with my beautiful girls from school which then turned into a big town session which saw us get home at about 5am.  Hell.  Have not had a bender like that in a long time.  After a few drinks I’d quickly undone all the good work with the not smoking that I’ve accomplished lately.  I found a full, unopened packet of cigarettes in my handbag and I know for a fact I didn’t buy them.  Who’s are they?  Anyone?  Why are my forearms bruised?

I guess I’m on full detox again, no meat, cutting out diary and taking vitamins.

This week Battlefield comes out and a few people at work, and actually Jase as well, are taking days off so they can power game.  I just want to take days off so I can sleep.  That’s not true.. I might preplan some time off for Skyrim.

WRITE THE DAMN BALI BLOGS.  OK.

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Auckland Roadtrip with a side of Rise Against P2

Driving became Serious Business in central Auckland.  It’s a city that’s pretty unforgiving if you muck up and realise you’re in the wrong lane or something.  It was also raining just enough to give the road a sheen that made it almost impossible to make out lane markings at intersections.  Jase was busy looking at the road and I was busy looking at the maps.  I looked up just in time to see us casually run a red light, causing a taxi to slam on its breaks and a pedestrian DIVE out of the way.  It was one of those situations that isn’t funny but it is.  I laughed.  Then we got pulled over by a cop.

He was jolly and Irish and asked us if we’d seen that guy we almost killed.  “I’m sorrrrrry” I wailed.  “We’re tourists”.
“Well you’re a wee bit unlucky.  It’s Intersection Week in Auckland and we’re paying extra mind to those breaking the rules”
I asked our Aucklander friend later about this and he reckoned this guy just made that up.  “Where are you going”, he continued.
“Just around the corner actually, according to Google Maps.”
“Alright well let me tell you something.  Around that corner is another red light.  You should probably stop at that one.  It’s outside a University and I don’t fancy the chances for the student who has to take on this truck”.
He laughed, vaguely asked for an address, told us he didn’t care what address we gave him and walked off.  He never sent the fine.

TINY HOTEL WAS TINY.  Bout the same as my room at home, except it fit a bedroom a kitchen and a sofa in it.  It was silently decided that my brother and his mate will also be staying with us, due to lack of my brothers planning, which had led to a CAN I STAY WITH YOU text the day before.

The concert was very good.  Although we had upstairs seated tickets, no one was really checking them and we could have joined the masses moshing below if we had wanted.  I.. was ok not doing it.  Is this growing up?  Wanting to watch a concert instead of getting stood on and smashed up in a pit?  I feel like I’ve sold out somehow.  I’ll admit, I ended up dancing as hard by myself in aisles upstairs as I would have downstairs so maybe it made no difference.  I think Rise Against were better the first time I saw them, about 5 years ago I guess.  The lead singer could still scream like he meant it back then and I felt this time around it was a little short.  And they didn’t play my favourite song.  Hmm.

We met back up with the group and went out to look for a taxi.  I love punk gigs.  Everyone is just so friendly.  We watched some bogan rark his matte black piece of shit V4 down the street, eventually losing control, did a full 180 and smashed into a taxi.  It was hilarious.  Then he burnt off again. 20 seconds later another piece of shit casually rolled past missing a tyre.  Not even related.

It was a hungover morning driving back down to Ohakune.  We had a late start up the mountain and quickly realised it wasn’t the best weekend to go up.  School holidays plus not all the lifts were open = far too many people in one spot.  Aside from that it was fun.  I’m still pretty useless but I’m not creating a huge pile up of bodies off the chairlifts like I used to.

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Auckland Roadtrip with a side of Rise Against P1

A while back Jase and I made a snap decision to drive up to Auckland to see Rise Against.  Equally a snap decision, we decided that we might as well go snowboarding on the way.  I’ve only snowboarded once before but Jase is a season pass holder and was proper keen for his first run this year.

My dad lent us the jeep mostly because I think he was keen to see it actually do some off roading rather than living to cart giant dog down to the river and back.  Said giant dog is currently snoring so loud next to me he’s drowning out my music.  Dad was excited for us.  He filled up the jeep with gas and, very sweetly, packed the centre console with energy drinks and sea salt crisps.  We were stoked. We were also disorganised as hell.  I think we finally sorted our shit out at about 10pm and started the 4 hour trip to Ohakune.  For reasons unknown, Jase decided to take one of the more random routes out of the city and we were pretty merry for about an hour.  I had spent the day organising my ipod into playlists and was treating him to my hideously out of tune IKnowAllTheWordsToEverything skills.  Then we got to the top of the hill and the road was closed and we had to drive all the way back to Upper Hutt.

So at about 11pm we hit the road again.

Obviously we got to Ohakune pretty late.  The main pub was still open and serving food though so we were all good.  I had a sudden flash back to the last time I was in that pub with Zara.  Something was wrong with their sounds and they one singles Benny Benassi CD that they played on repeat for 4 hours.  We were pretty drunk and I think I cheerfully lost my sanity listening to it over and over again.  Try it.  TRY IT.

The next morning was some sort of horrible early start, probably not as early as I thought it was but anything before 11am is usually too hard.  We drove through tiny little towns I’d not seen before.  They were weird.  “Hey.  Was that rock wearing a hat?”  It was. I took a photo with it on the way back.

We stopped off in Hamilton for lunch and for me to buy a hair dryer.  By about this point Jase had learnt that when I say right, I mean left, I know where I’m going, why don’t you understand me, the iPhone is always right, trust me.  I reckon I did alright!  I also reckon Google Maps probably has been saving relationships since its inception.

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The Day it Snowed

As you probably know, the only time I’ve seen snow actually fall and settle in a city was my two very lucky years in London when Christmas was freezing. I’m still not in agreement with a winter Christmas, I can see the cozy snuggle side of it but I do prefer our gin-on-the-beach Christmas holidays.

Something weird happened this year  in my town. It’s never, ever, happened before.

We had to rescue the turtle.  Yeah, she was probably just sleeping through it but I was genuinely concerned the pond was going to freeze over.  Cash is also concerned.

It was on every news source we have for 3 days straight.  Everyone was delighted.  No one really knew what to do but in the States they have snow days too, right?  So…um… I guess we’ll close some schools and people have a good excuse not to go to work.  The news reporters said they recommend wearing socks over your shoes for extra grip.  Everyone promptly built snowmen and snow penises.  There were kids sliding down hills on plastic bags.  It may sound silly to you Northern Hemisphere folk but we have just never seen anything like this before.  It was magical.  3 days later, it was gone and they say we’ll probably never see it again.

 

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