Friday, November 27, 2009

A very Kiwi day



I've got to admit it's very hard to blog from afar. Even though there is a computer here staring me in the face, I've become extremely lazy with the whole process.

It's not even that I'm too busy for it - for the last five days I've just been more or less hanging out in Auckland, doing this and that but nothing major. I guess I feel like the whole "world" is gone, a feeling I experienced a lot when I lived here. You truly do feel isolated and it's kinda of a nice feeling. But it also means I've lost touch with people...like my parents, my boyfriend, my friends. It's like those people don't really exist at the moment and I am totally fine with it.

That said, I am looking forward to when my boyfriend arrives in 10 days. It'll be exciting to see the country through his eyes, especially since so far being in Auckland doesn't feel very different to me. I know somethings have changed in the last 6 years and yet it feels like I never left.
But I am very happy to be here. Though I only lived here for a year and a bit, it sort of feels like home to me. Plus there is the weather (though the Kiwis are complaining is cold), which is fantastic...20 degree days, sunshine and a breeze that ruffles the banana trees outside of the house.

Also fantastic? Seeing Faith No More posters all over the city - actually it is quite frustrating haha. I wish I was here come February. But that said, April isn't far after that.

We celebrated a sunshiney day by going to St. Heliers Bay and having some greasy fish and chips on the beach. Bliss.

















And tomorrow I'm taking the bride up north. To a farm. Ha ha. I thought it would be fun to let us have some girlie time and a farm sounded like a good place for that. Actually it sounds like the opposite of a girlie time but with sheep to herd, boogie boards and horses to ride, beaches to lie on and farmland to tramp across, I think we will be having a blast. And I think we NEED two days to just clear our livers. New Zealand wine overdose.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Fashion is backwards in the southern hemisphere

Just like the way the toilet water flows, the fashion in New Zealand is backwards. Also smells like toilet water too. And it's not just the tweeny stores like Supre, it's even invaded Principals, a pricey store I coveted back in the day.

Yesterday, as I stumbled around the city (Auckland) in a no-sleep + jet lag + wine-induced haze, I was horrified to see the following items for sale in their clothing stores. You thought the 80's fashion was bad this year? Just wait till next summer, Northern Hemisphere! Behold the latest styles:














I went back to the stores to day in case it was a dream - after all I don't remember much of yesterday except that I was torturing the bride with Mike Patton, while she in turn tortured me with Supernatural (which actually wasn't torture because that's a pretty sweet show!). But no....80's/90's fashion is all the rage here and what's really disturbing is that it's the really BAD aspects of those decades. And also plenty of girls are wearing them like blind sheep. WHY WOULD YOU WEAR HIGH-WAISTED ACID-WASH DENIM SHORT SHORTS??? WHhyyyyyy?

That aside, it's great to be back in Auckland. Literally doesn't seem weird or jarring that I'm here, it's like nothing much has changed and that I always fly to New Zealand on the weekends.

I'm loving the light, warm days, the meal I just had of scrumptious meat pie and sauvignon blanc, and the beguiling chip flavours.







Now I just have to get used to this whole "vacation" thing. What do you mean I don't have to go to work for month?

Hope you're all having a great start to the week...I'm not even sure what day it is here.

Friday, November 20, 2009

And we'll stroll to the Edge of the World

The year: 2003 - I left the dark, rainy land of BC for the sunny shores of New Zealand and lived there for about a year and a half.

The year: 2009 - I again leave the dark, rainy land of BC for the sunny shores New Zealand, but this time it's only for a month.

It's not as epic but it's still pretty fantastic nonetheless. The mothership is calling me home, all the way back to the edge of the world.

I'll totally be posting while I'm there, by the way. Sometimes it may be once a week, other times it might be every other day - it's hard to say so KEEP WATCHING THIS SPACE! And though I will be trying to read your blogs when I can (you'll see me) I won't be able to do it all that often.

That said, DO COMMENT on here because I'm not going to have time to monitor my sitemeter or pimp myself out, so I actually won't know if you're reading it. Remember, comments make me feel better and let me know that I actually do have readers...

I was sick of the nonstop rain that has been bombarding Vancouver for what seems like the last FOREVER so I thought some bright colours might cheer up my day. Didn't really work and the rain totally ruined the suede on my shoes but oh well. Also must note that taking photos in the darkness and/or rain has led to some pretty boring photoshoots (I work 8-430 so it's not like I have my days free to take advantage of light) but luckily this will be my LAST indoor photoshoot for the next month and a bit :D












You'd think after all these photos taken for my blog I'd learn what doesn't make a pretty picture...no such luck. Thought I'd still keep this one in though.

Sweater: Kenzie Girl
Bag: Hayden Harnett
Shoes: Mogil
Leather Jacket: Vintage
Doorknocker Earrings + Cuff: ASOS
Necklaces: ASOS and Cupcakes/Cashmere

BTW, re: weight gain - I actually had to go back on birth control pills after quitting them in March. My skin has been acting like a 13-year old boy for the last two months - never had it so bad. They say that when you quit the pill your skin can go haywire 8-12 months AFTER you quit. So I'm back on it, begrudgingly. I have no doubt that it has contributed to my recent mystery weight gain and my mundo water retention. But it's either I'm fatter with clear skin or skinnier with bad skin...in hindsight I think I would rather be skinnier with bad skin but it's too late now.



***For all you Mike Patton fans out there (and Always Sunny in Philadelphia fans), there's a chance that Mr. Patton may be guest-starring on an episode in the near future (as you know, he and the shows creator Danny Devito are quite tight). Can't wait to see that (you can read the full article here: http://www.movieweb.com/news/NEG3nLJMhB6hJN)

I'm anxiously awaiting to hear Faith No More announce their US tour dates. They should announce them in the next few weeks and I would think that IF the tour is being done around April (which I still think it is) that tickets should go on sale in January at the latest. I'm going to be flat-ass broke after this trip but I'll make it happen :)

Addendum - someone pointed out that IF they play San Francisco in April (remember I got all this from Roddy's tweet, so you INTERNET can blame ME if it turns out to be wrong - though I won't be) would make a pretty good warm-up show for...Coachella. If so, that would be awesome. Mike was at Coachella last year anyway so it makes sense. Let's hope! Let's make it happen!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Inspired by: Perry Palomino

A funny thing happened as I began to write my book...I slowly noticed that I started to dress like my main character. It was to the point where as I was reviewing the manuscript afterwards, I came across one description of the main character "Perry Palomino" and I was actually wearing almost the same thing as her. Bizzare, huh?

And so, since I've slowly started to dress like her, I thought it might be appropriate to do an "Inspired By" post about her (btw the name of the book isn't Perry Palomino).

I don't really look like Perry...she's shorter than me, slightly heavier than I (though most of that weight is probably in her boobs) and has dark hair (dyed black) and blue eyes. I would have loved to have donned my black wig for this however it just wasn't her "style" so I decided to play it safe and keep it blonde. Besides, I was actually wearing this outfit outside! In stormy weather, no less.















Coat: Dolce and Gabbana - Perry normally wears a black leather jacket but since I've been wearing my black leather jacket like a uniform lately, I thought it would be best if I switched it up. I chose my D&G coat for her because it's got that military styling that she likes and it probably would have been a hand-me-down from her ex-model mother OR her younger, designer-concious fashion-blogging sister, Ada.

Sweater dress: ASOS - A rich jewel tone and very comfy. Would bring out her eyes suitably. Perry isn't one to wear bright, happy colours or pastels.

Leggings: Aldo - Perry wears leggings a lot. I used to subscribe to the "leggings aren't pants" motto and it still applies. However, I think they can be pants IF you have a long enough shirt, sweater or tunic so that your butt is covered. That's my opinion. Anyway, I'm wearing leggings right now at work, thanks to Perry.

Belt: Aldo - gives you more of a waist...Perry and I think alike on many aspects

Beret: Forever 21 - she's fond of hats. If I could find my fedora or newsboy cap, I would have worn those too. Better yet, I could have worn the newsboy cap that Dex gave her to wear to cover up the wound she gets at the back of her head but that's all fiction and you don't know what I'm talking about.

Bag: Kooba - It's got studs, zippers, it's metallic, leather. We both love it.

Boots: Doc Martens - Perry is very a much a "90's" child, despite only being born in 1988. Her love for Docs has revived my love for Docs (as you all know by now). She's also big on Converse Chucks and I see a pair of those in my future as well. I don't own a single pair of sneakers, aside from running shoes!

Speaking of my novel, I've been dragging my feet to fix up the mistakes I've found before I send it off to my editor. Need to do this before Saturday! I guess I really don't want to say goodbye to the story for a month or so, but I'm sure once I sit down on the airplane and get ready for a 12-hour plane ride, I'll be starting the next one in the series. Yay!

And three sleeps left for me before I leave! I tried packing the other day and OMG how hard is it to pack for summer when you are in winter? Also, a month of summer. Also a month of summer where you will be doing lots of outdoorsy stuff in a variety of different climates. It's very hard. But I'll do a post about that - my last one before I leave - on Friday.

Also, discovered I can barely fit into my bridesmaid dress. UH OH. Need to lose at least five pounds before Dec 13th! Totally panicking...so damn mad at myself for getting so fat (and I don't know how since I've been very careful about food) but anyway it's happened and it sucks and I'm going to be taking my running shoes to New Zealand...'nuff said!

Happy Humpday!

PS For those confused about my "EARLY BIRTHDAY PRESENT" in the previous post...it's NOT my birthday LOL. My birthday is on December 11th. Hence why it was an early present.

Proud Sagitarrious all the way!

Monday, November 16, 2009

What a weekend

Well I had a weekend that was terrible/fantastic and extremely memorable.

Friday, the 13th, was the night of The Saints Collapse concert. For the event I decided to wear these Revlon Fantasy Length false eyelashes that the company graciously decided to send out to me. I had several pairs to choose from (and a set of fake nails, thanks!) and decided to go with this pair. I used to wear falsies out all the time when I was much younger(I have thin, weak lashes), so it was fun to try out this look again:






The concert was a blast. I was highly amused that at some point between songs someone in the crowd yelled "MIKE PATTON" at Jesse, the singer - just goes to show that if The Saints Collapse sound like any band, well it's gotta be Faith No More. Or Tomahawk (IMO). I also got to hang out with my girly friends and meet fellow local blogger Glitter Scrubs, who was an absolute doll. And she enjoyed the band immensely which was also a plus. She also said my boyfriend was the nicest guy in the world, which I like to think is true!








After the concert...well that's another story. Let's just say I - and I alone - ended up in a cop car and spent 45 minutes in the basement of the police station at the corner of Main and Hastings at 3AM. It's a LONG story that isn't as exciting as the way I just worded it, which is why I'm leaving it at that. Keeping you on your toes!

So that concludes the "terrible" aspect of the weekend (which in hindsight wasn't actually all that terrible and was rather amusing and exciting, although will prove to be inconveniencing).

The next day however, as I stewed over the events of that morning and somehow survived on 3 hours of sleep, turned out to be MUCH better.

My bf suprised me with an early birthday present - he said we were going to dinner with his sister. Instead he took me out to this snazzy restaurant called CHOP which was pricey but very cool. I had the macademia baked Mahi Mahi which was fabulous.




After the dinner, he then suprised me with tickets to see Evil Dead The Musical.



I desperately wanted to see this show during halloween but missed my chance. Or so I though. Turns out that due to its popularity, they extended the run.

I am a huge fan of Army of Darkness (and I LOVE Billy Campbell) so it was awesome to see the Evil Dead Trilogy come to life in a gory, hilarious, musical way. Sam Raimi would definitely approve!

We were almost seated in the splatter zone too, which I thought was lucky. Then later I realized that I wanted to be drenched in fake blood too, like these people:







Anyway, if you ever get a chance to see this musical, do it...with songs like "What the fuck was that?", great singing, hilarious script and hokey stage set-up, this was by far the best show I'd seen in a long time.

Here's something interesting though that I hope some SEO freaks could help me out with. Normally I get found through google search terms now such as "Leela costume" or "Mike Patton is a madman" and occasionally I get people who searched specifically for "Anywhere But Here Blog."

But yesterday...a Sunday, usually the slowest day (sitemeter wise), when my post was two days old and I hadn't been to ANYONE'S blogs, I had gotten more hits than I ever have before in my whole LIFE (of the blog).

Over 600 individual visits. About 400 of them were from computers all over the world, all using Mozilla, or Firefox or IE, all searching for "Anywhere But Here Blog."

Like...what? Why did 400 people search for that yesterday?? This is really weird, is it not? Did something happen out there on the ol' Internet that I didn't know about? Can someone explain? It's kinda freaky...I don't think my blog became famous and I didn't know about it because I wasn't linked to anything...it was just all tons of different people searching. BIZARRE!

Hope you all had a great weekend (though maybe not as wild as mine) and that your week is off to a great start! Weather here in Vancouver is shit but luckily I'll be in a dress and flip flops this time next week, in New Zealand...hee hee hee.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Ghost Hunting in Portland

So this post is about a month overdue - it's not all THAT fascinating but since I have absolutely nothing to blog about today, I thought this would suffice.

If you'll remember I went to Portland, Oregon, back in October, for our Canadian Thanksgiving. I was super excited - not only because it's Portland, which is just a terribly cool city, but because I was doing some research for my book.

As it happens, my main character in my series is from Portland. And one of the really neat ways to explore the city is to go on a walking tour.

Now, when I travel I'm usually alone and I'll usually go on a self-guided tour...eg, wander around a place until I get my bearings. But because we were short on time, I had Mike with me and I had heard that there was one tour that dealt with the "ghostly" side of the city, I had to do it.

It was perfect...not only does my novel (and future ones in the series) deal with ghosts but it was right before Halloween and I just adore being all ghost huntery and shizz (as you probably know from this post here).

My planning, however, was a little bit off. The only tour available for the whole weekend was Friday at 10PM. That meant I had to get off work at 330PM on Friday afternoon.


We got through the border at 5PM which wasn't bad considering it was a long weekend after all, and from previous trips I knew it took "roughly" four hours to get to Portland along the I-5.

I didn't take into account though, stopping for gas and eating Jack in the Box, having to later stop at a gas station bathroom outside of Seattle for a bit (damn you Jack!) and then letting Mike drive for 20 minutes - in which during this time he SOMEHOW managed to get off the I-5 and was heading east for Spokane.

I mean...how do you do that? It's pretty straightforward...stay on the I-5...head south. That's it! But for the five minutes I was looking down because I was fiddling with my iPod, he managed to take some exit and we ended up on a half hour detour.

Enraged I threw him out of the driver's seat and got back in myself. If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself!

I don't know how we didn't get stopped by cops - I counted TWENTY police cars on the I-5 that night - but I put my foot to the pedal and vroomed down Washington State at 130KM an hour. I've never driven so fast for such a consistent period of time...I literally did not take my foot off the gas for two hours straight. I was super high on two giant cans of Rockstar, new MUSE was blaring through the speakers and I was just giving 'er.

We pulled into downtown Portland at 9:56PM. Parked it in a nearby parkade and ran down the street to the Old Towne Pizza Parlour where the tour was meeting. We were the last ones and everyone else was waiting for us.

Now I must say I was a bit disappointed when I found out that this tour wasn't going to take us through the Shanghai Tunnels - I was really looking forward to that. But we did get a glimpse of one of the Shanghai Tunnels in the scary basement of the pizza parlour. The restaurant used to be a brothel and is haunted by the ghost of the brothel's owner, Nina (pronounced Nigh-na), who was found dead at the bottom of the elevator shaft.




The basement was also made creepier thanks to the little ghost gadgets we were given - they basically lit up from green (mild) to red (wild) whenever electrical currents were found. There is a theory with ghosts and currents and all that and it was quite thrilling to have it light up in spots that there shouldn't be anything happening.








After spending sometime wandering around the basement, we learned more about "shanghaiing" and the tunnels of Portland:

"From the 1850s to the early 20th century, the tunnels were used to kidnap or "shanghai" unsuspecting laborers and sell them as slaves to waiting ships at the waterfront. According to folklore, as many as 1500 people per year were shanghaied out of Portland through the tunnels. However, there are no records to support this number. Allegedly, victims were drugged or knocked out, taken through one of the trap doors (or deadfalls), and held in a prison cell while they waited to be shipped off. Later, during Prohibition, the tunnels were inhabited by bars that literally went underground to sell alcohol."

Then it was up to the streets where we stopped by the Church of Elvis, a famous, wacky automated fortune-teller:




Next stop, the Benson Hotel, which has numerous ghost stories. One deals with a man who walks down this staircase in the lobby:







The others involve ghosts on certain floors and something very strange the receptionist saw one day...a very freaky story indeed, I'm using it in my next novel haha so I'm not enclined to share it!

The tour took us past haunted bars, such as Kellys:



Past more haunted buildings and stories about ghostly investigations in the area. At this point I was just blown away by the amazing history of the city. No wonder the city's motto is "KEEP PORTLAND WEIRD."

Being so close to the river, Portland has been known to flood, as you can tell by this high water marker. One clever entrepeneur would float down the streets in a canoe, selling beer to people.


One of the last stops we had was at the Portland Police Station. The parking lot across the street used to be where the prison was...and apparently was also built ontop of an "ancient Indian burial ground." As you do!



Nonetheless, when we walked around the parking lot our meters started going crazy. With the full moon in the sky and the dark, crisp night, we couldn't help but feel just a tad spooked out.





The tour ended with a stop at Voodoo Donuts and some more low-key tales. It was a long tour - almost three hours of walking - but was very enjoyable. Our only complaint was that we wished we could have explored more haunted sites instead of just the pizza place and hotel lobby but I guess they need permission...and more time! As a walking tour though, I really recommend it. I feel like I got to know Portland on a much more intimate level, and as I said before, I can't WAIT to go back.

SO - my question for you, dear reader, is this: have YOU ever seen anything ghostly or some strange experience you can't explain? I can't promise it won't end up in a future novel though, LOL.

OH YEAH! Winner of the Forever 21 Dress is....*Drumroll*

ANONYMOUS...lol..at 6:14PM.

Congrats!! Woot woot! Send me your deets via my email (see sidebar). CIAO!



You're listening to Retrovertigo by Mr. Bungle, another amazing song by Mike Patton and the Bungle gang. And just eerie enough for a ghost post.