July 31, 2005

Pictures paint a thousand words

My mouth felt like I'd been licking the inside of an ash tray yesterday (I don't smoke), right up until I met up with the girls from the Abel Tasman at a "house-cooling" at CD's inner city apartment and drank a couple of beers. If only I'd known that was what my body had been hankering for. I wasn't hungover exactly, tequila doesn't make me feel spewey. Was just dehydrated and tired from a crappy sleep dominated by agave-induced acid-trip like dreams. So I stayed in my pjs until 5.

As a result I haven't been feeling particularly prosaic this weekend and thought I'd let the pics do the talking. But there are some things I'd like to add.

1. I was IDed on my 25th birthday. And when I produced my drivers licence with a flourish and told her it was my 25th birthday she said something along the lines of, "oh aren't you a tiny wee thing". I suppose this should be comforting.

2. After listening to him croon in the Chapel of love all night I have discovered I quite like The King. There is a consensus among all three girls in the flat that the poster will stay. The boy was not consulted.

3. LF is one of the most resourceful people I know. She has this uncanny knack whereby I will say "I wish..... something something" and she will make it happen. Case in point. "I wish we had some helium balloons". Next minute there are balloons with brightly coloured tails floating at ceiling level above Elvis' head. I later discovered they were cellotaped in place. She also made the cake. Chocolate (as if there is anything else) with boysenberries and cherry brandy in the centre. I ate a door stop sized piece at some point after sobriety and I had parted ways. I'm pretty sure it was amazing...

4. People love dressing up if you make it mandatory. I wasn't anticipating the calibre of the costumes or the thought that would be invested in the theatrical element of the evening. Stand-out performances and high points in no particular order:

  • SB's (very sexy) russian spy. How many times can you string together a sentence containing the word "vawdka"? I also loved that she got this maniacal gleam in her eye when she was ahead at the table, and when she let me in on the intrigue and deception by asking me to sneak her a few extra chips;
  • LF's upper class air of propriety and sensitivity (very out of character (; ) Can't remember who I heard her character telling off. But it wasn't me for a change. That pearl anklet gets brownie points;
  • Lady Penelope Winfield's fascination with the contents of our knife block. And that drawl "Mena, daaaarling," and walking home in those heels. I wonder if she found her seventh husband/victim at the bottom of that bottle of vodka;
  • CW whom aptly accessorised her costume by drinking straight from the wine bottle through out the evening. (That was part of the act right?);
  • JC squandering police resources by taking surveillance photos of his suave self in the mirror instead of the suspects;
  • MS demanding respect from all the Bitches and Hos in his 'hood. I have the bruise to prove it;
  • MB, aka Danny LeGrand, magnate of a multi-million dollar porn empire. Respect for risking the new suit for as long as he did. And keeping a (semi) straight face when I offered myself for his next film if he got me high;
  • JS who professed to be there to speak for the dead and unravel murder mysteries, but I liked the twist with him being a gambling addict unable to leave the table for a large part of the evening. Added a nice tragic pathos to the hero of CSI Wellington.
  • SM, no costume, but livened the party with a comprehensive portrayal of intense intoxication. Thank god the cake came out when it did.....;
  • EC, for fake tanning her face and nothing else for the cause. Dedication personified;
  • SL who managed to make even trailer trash life look glamourous and upbeat. I would never have guessed what you do for a living in real life, or that you speak French and German listening to that annoying (Sydney?) twang;
  • LM and his heartbreaking account of his dream of being recognised as an actor, while being forced to wait tables to survive. I hope they pay well for making you wear that uniform (;
  • PT for the abrasive and dry wit. Bet that was really hard for you to play. In all fairness, the rest of the baddies of the evening weren't a patch on you. (; And you puffed on that pipe very convincingly;
  • The number of scandalously short skirts;
  • The number of firearms;
  • The randoms and people who came straight from something else not in costume thereby making the rest of us look awesome;
  • And of course, the prize for the best performance went to Kate Coscarelli (pictured above with Danny LeGrand), who arrived with a copy of her latest international best-selling novel to autograph for the birthday girl. And by association her husband for not being fazed by her avid appreciation of all the young men in the room. She stayed in character the entire evening, even when gunshots were fired in her ear and a stray olive hit her in the eyeball.
  • Me, I struggled a bit with the desperate druggie thing. JB made me a little plastic bundle of icing sugar and sourced someone to try and teach me the talk, but I found the constant sniffing and stealing peoples jewels to fund my habit and throwing myself at the wealthy men (and women) in the room to get me a bump/fix (whatever) a little anti social. Perhaps I was doing better than I thought though, cause at some foggy stage in the evening one of the randoms approached me and said he'd heard I was the person to ask for a joint and made a little toking gesture. I hope he wasn't just being cute about my character, cause I looked at him like he was nuts and said, no, no I'm not, and then walked off.
I hope I have already said it - but thank you guys. Not just for the presents, and for helping with the set up, and the clean up, and for bringing food, and for the effort that went in to the costumes. Thanks for the other 364 days of the year as well, for being such crazy, fantastic friends! Aroha nui.

July 30, 2005

July 29, 2005

A big girl now

July 28, 2005

Birthday eve

That's the desert road - it's almost night time. You can't see the rainbow as clearly as i could through the car window (poking tongue).

A parcel came for me today. And a card. And I picked up my costume. I wanted a suit with tails and a cane and a top hat. But I think to pull that off you need boobs and height. I have neither in great abundance (okay, understatement) and looked like a lollipop kid (we wish to welcome you to Munchkin land). It was hard to let go of the top hat. I liked how it went with blonde ringlets. But instead I have gone with a more traditional flapper look, tassly little dress, feather boa, long black gloves, cigarette holder, fishnet stockings. I am thinking Russian spy meets Holly Golightly meets pixie. Well, I am hoping.

I am a quarter of a century tomorrow. I am sure after tomorrow I will be able to regail you with all sorts of wise and worldly words. Particularly after the bottle of wine and mojitos i plan on drinking.

Plan is to eat breakfast at cafe at the bottom of our house with my luverly flatmates, go to work for a few hours, and then wander around on my own for the afternoon, arranging a red carpet, affixing a disco ball and assembling an Elvis chapel. Then there is a 'low-key' intimate gathering at my house.

I'm a bit buggered to write anymore. But there will be photos on Saturday. That is a promise.

July 27, 2005

Me and technology are a painful couple. One of those couples that sit and quibble and snap at each other while present company shuffle nervously and pretend not to hear. Technology and I bang heads if we get too close. Like me and the woman at work who does nothing but bitch about EVERYTHING, or for a pleasant change, tells us too much (too much is any) detail about her private life (like she's having sex again for the first time in 10 years, whoopee, I ain't that far behind you sweetheart). So tonight I told her I was sick of her grizzling and moaning whenever we give her back her work because it isn't up to scratch and that everyone is stressed out enough as it is and it's unnecessary. She went and had a cigarette.

Anyway. Technology and I are usually more restrained. We stand silently at opposite ends of the room and surreptitiously glare at each other. But if I approach and attempt to bend it to my will, it just pisses all over me. Faced with the task of getting my first digital photos on to the computer tonight, I froze in front of the instruction manual, hit with the realisation that I really don't give a shit about the details. Luckily it didn't seem to matter. But perhaps at some stage I may have to compromise just the tiniest bit of my independence and let a man into my life to sort out my electronics. Hmmm, there's a euphemism.

I tried to get Bear's boy (fiance, ow!) to help me, but you don't get the same results when you're not sleeping with the guy i reckon.

So I've done it, and my blog is ready to become what Jimmy refers to as one of "those crappy photo blogs". But it was painful.

Here are some pics of the weekend. McClaren's Falls above, the scene of many tragic deaths including at least one murder in the recent past. I didn't tell Jake this.

Hmmm, wish I could figure out the layout better. Then I wouldn't have to fill this space with a whole lot of superfluous words. At least superfluous is an impressive superfluous word. I have to go do the dishes. Waffling is a sure sign of tiredness....

July 26, 2005

So election date is set for September 17. And I know who I am going to vote for before the real campaigning has even begun. I'm thinking of it as pragmatic voting, although in reality whether National or Labour win the larger share, the face of the next government will be pretty colourful with polling the way that it is at the moment. But then the current polling could potentially frighten people like me in to steering away from the 'bridesmaid' parties on election day......

Labour announced today that they will write off interest on student loans for anyone who stays and works in the country, effective from April next year. About a month or so before I wanted to go away. Where's that word 'fuck' again. Oh, there it is!

Got back to work today after my long weekend and there was some beer on my desk. Nobody could guess who i was in that baby pic comp. Told you I looked like a boy......Boss is away in aussie until monday, and i've decided i quite like her at the moment, because if i just go ahead and do shit without involving her my day is quite stress free, and she is letting me have friday afternoon off without taking anymore leave.

So I'm not about to cut off my ear, or die in abject poverty before my work becomes priceless, although I may kill myself in artistic despair if I have to sit there and sketch a freakin pine cone for an hour again next week. It gave me a headache. I think I'll like painting better.

I want this week to hurry up and be over so it's my birthday....funny how being old doesn't freak me out so much now I'm getting closer to present/boozey time! Hee hee, just got off the phone to my Loobey and she has to postpone present time for a root canal! God I love her style.

July 25, 2005

Home sweet home

To the smell of vegetarian lasagne as I walked in the door, and my pink ug-boots with the fleecey lining and the prospect of a night in my precious futon instead of that nightmare of a bed at Frank's that always makes me feel like the saveloy in the american hot dog. It did feel like home when I walked in. Tauranga does not.

Apart from the very long journey south today, the only escapade of any note was my cup of tea with the ex-boyfriend's mother. Who I really like. Her and her husband opened their home to me from day one (well after that initial period camping up the Coromandel where I was convinced she had a broomstick for transportation parked up in their tent). Frank has been giving me a hard time for months about going to see her, because apparently every time he runs in to her she is just about in tears because I haven't visited. I know she thought a lot of me, and would be disappointed I hadn't stayed in touch. I think for a long time she probably thought, like a lot of people, that we'd end up back together. Unfortunately today I discovered that her attachment to me meant I would be made privy to information on the new girlfriend. I'm talking a lot of detail. Detail I didn't need. Okay so I'm a little curious...and feel some perverse pleasure in hearing that she smokes and has weird dietary habits (she's a personal trainer!) and that he, HE doesn't think it will last. But my favourite saying is "he's not my problem anymore". Of course I'd rather he just got happily married to some nice little Korean girl and had a couple of kids then hear about him being unhappy.

Here is the significant man in my life at the moment. He wants to know why me and all my friends can't just get jobs in Tauranga. Cue: awwwwwww.

Feng shui nightmare

Kel, if you read this, I just spent 3/4 of an hour down in Frank's shed trying to find your freakin backpack and those library books. I am now covered in dust and feeling frazzled and am going round for a cup of tea with the ex "mother n law" in half an hour or so. Although I accept a lot of the shit down there is mine, once I finally waded my way through the piles to your stuff, I discovered your packing sux. Boxes were overloaded and untaped and before I created an avalanche and got trapped underneath ten tonnes of teddy bears and missed my ride back to Wellington I quit. Sorry. But Frank was the one that fired your stuff in there anyhow, so I'll leave it to him. And based on how quickly he moves the backpack will probably reach you by Xmas, just in time for you to bring it home.

I'm grouchy....again. Dropped Jacob off at school this morning and then had a tiny cry on the way home. Kind of ironic seeing that he used to be the one that did that when I left.....

July 24, 2005

Dad wishes I'd been born a boy. If not me, then perhaps my 22 year old sister, and if not her, my 17 year old sister.

The 22 year old was more outgoing and tougher than I was as a kid, so I guess she filled the gap a bit. On the life-style block in Bethlehem, Tauranga where we grew up, this tiny red-haired tot would keep pace with his six foot strides, moving the cows and doing farm shit. In comparison, I was always dripping round on my own writing songs or poetry or reading, and I nearly turned myself inside out whenever I stumbled across a still born calf or a chicken that had been savaged by the dog.

I was a mummy's girl until the two of them split when I was 12, and I don't have any defined sense of a relationship with dad until I hit the teens and entered this five-year long hormone-induced psychosis. Dad seemed to relate better to the fact that I was trying to assert some independence and liked engaging me on an 'intellectual' level, whereas mum wanted me to shut my yap and stay a kid and it took years before she could relate to me on a woman-to-woman level (I guess nobody should be expected to relate to a little bitch).

I have got older, got a boyfriend neither dad nor stepmum really liked (I didn't find out the full extent of this dislike until it ended almost six years later), and gone to Uni and got even more vocal with my beliefs. And Dad and I seem to piss each other off these days. We hover at different ends of the political spectrum with dire consequences at the dinner table almost every time we get together. Which isn't so often these days; I live in Wellington and they live in the far north. We went out for dinner last night, not quite a family unit with Chile sis leaving a huge gap, and perhaps to avoid confrontation, Dad sat and talked engines and motor racing with Auckland sis's boyf for the entire evening. I guess I could have moved seats and tried to join in, but I'm stubborn as fuck, and instead consoled myself by eating an exorbitant amount of food as I tried to identify a particular source to the cooling in relations. When things bother me, I tell people. When I'm angry or upset, I tell people. This usually happens without much thought between the emotion and the response. I shouldn't have called him an ignorant red-neck that time, no matter how heated the debate was getting, and I should call more often, even though he rarely calls me. And I shouldn't sulk just cause I don't like motor sports or follow rugby closely and there is only so far a conversation beginning with "So how's Wellington?" can go.

At least I have managed to impress the little bro by getting the PS2 to work. Ha ha, he just stood in Boo's crap. Culprit above left looking suitably repentant.

July 22, 2005

How to exhaust a 7 year old boy (and his 24 year old sister for that matter)

I woke up this morning to a news item playing on the radio in the kitchen. It was about the owner of the dairy at the top of the street where I am staying for the weekend (and spent years 12 - 18 domiciled) throwing a bag of lollies at an armed robber. Dumbass.

Actually Jake may have woken me up. It's still groggy. He did the usual hop into bed with me before seven in the morning act and wriggled his tiny little cold limbs and butt up against me and farted on me until I was awake and ready for adventure. But it was cold this morning. I asked him to get up and pee for me and he said he couldn't cause he didn't have a fanny. I said "Jake!". He said, "well you asked me to pee for you" (very indignantly). Currently he is asleep, a cherubic expression on his face as I kissed him goodnight. I feel victorious at his slumber. And exhausted. I can't believe I did this quasi-full time for awhile....

Today was the most exquisite shimmering winter day you could ask for. We were at Fergusson Park just after nine, playing tiggy with a ball on a playground that I used to take him to when he was in nappies. Now I don't have a shit show against his dexterity and, well, shortness. My saving grace was long distances, I would just run out in to the field when he was it and let him chase me for five minutes or so until he got grizzly, at which point I'd let him hit me with the ball. Then he would run back to the playground and I was screwed again.

After we'd both had enough of that we went back to his place, got my camera and then went to the supermarket to get stuff for a picnic. He picked lemon pepper tuna, peaches, and a loaf of white toast bread. I picked ham, blue cheese, and a persimmon. While we were there a woman dropped a whole six pack of beer on the ground as we walked past, I saw she was a rep unloading her wares and just switched off. Jacob skipped over and started to help her pick them up. He never ceases to amaze me that kid.

We were planning on scaling Mount Maunganui and using my last film-photos ever to capture the view from up there, but the summit track was closed and has been for months because of a 15 tonne boulder that dropped on to the track, and a whole lot of other slides and slips that have made it too dangerous. Probably just as well, cause we'd got 10 minutes round the base and he started to moan he was hungry. So we just shimmied up the hill a bit, dodging the sheep shit, and found a rock to perch on where we were looking out at nothing but the Pacific. Jacob shyly presented me with three purple daisies which I put behind my ear, and he told me I looked like a Wahian (Hawaiin). After we'd eaten we went rock climbing on the shore, and found this pristine rock pool to wade in (and for Jacob to get soaked in). Although it was much too cold for us to swim, the sun made the water inviting enough for a paddle.

I bought my camera. Even did a bit of bargaining which I can't usually be bothered with. But I picked up that the guy in the second shop with the better deal on the canon I wanted was bullshitting me (I've worked in retail asshole) so returned to the first shop, told them about the better deal at the other place, and got the price knocked down even less than the second shop. I don't think I'm writing coherently. Been soaking at the Oropi hotpools tonight and am feeling very relaxed, and very sleepy. And need to go prepare for some cold feet in my bed at seven in the morning.....

July 21, 2005

Here I am again

Left Wellington about half twelve today and met Frank and Jake in Cambridge just before 7 with Lauren carrying on to Hamilton. His little face lit up when he saw me through the window and he clapped his hands and I imagine I reflected this delight. It has been two and a half months since I saw him. When I got inside he was all excited about a surprise for me in the car, which turned out to be a chocolate bar he had bought with his own money. I had a Madagascar book and cookies for him. Then I had to sit in the back seat with him on the trip to Tauranga and we had an earplug each as he tried to find anything 'with a guy singing and guitar and drums' (he's seven!). Tomorrow I have him all to myself as it's the last day of the school holidays and Frank will be at work. Not sure what we'll do yet, hopefully something outside if the weather is kind.

Made it to Frank's place by 8. Quite a long trip, but I'm feeling surprisingly mellow. It was snowing on the desert road, i stuck my hand out the window and these little flurries evaporated on my skin and left it feeling really dry. I don't think I have been in falling snow before. I guess I should have got out and rolled around in it. Better make sure I do that before I die.

Speaking of dying, driving round Lake Taupo with the sun setting in, I had this odd sensation that I would like to die at dusk, it seems an appropriate time of day to die. No morbidity intended, just the sunset made me feel calm and accepting. Although I have no explanation, I felt it would be an okay thing to die right then, nothing to be scared of, whereas before the thought of being snuffed out before my time has always made me feel sad about not having had kids. Must be my impending quarter century accentuating my mortality.

I also decided if i were a tree i would be a willow tree. Not particularly ornamental or purposeful. Although the willows used as a shelter-belt on the kiwifruit orchard i grew up on were pretty hardy, you could cut them right back and pretty soon they'd have some little shoots on. I just liked how dreamy and whimisical they looked draping into the lake tonight all guilded in twilight. Yeah. I like that. A willow tree.

Road trips are surreal things. You start in one world, and eight hours later you are back in another one you have consciously left behind. I associate road trips with junk food and toilet stops in dodgy small towns with no soap or loo paper a lot of the time, and lots of winding roads and green. The small towns are (surprisingly) populated with smalltownspeople that make me feel over-dressed and detached from reality and alien because they are so comparatively comfortable in their respective smalltowns, a part of the landscape. I am transient and forgotten immediately after I have purchased my whopper burger and back in the car. I wonder if I appear to "belong" to outsiders walking around Cuba street? I'm not sure if I do, although it would be nice to find somewhere that owned you like that. Anyway - queuing up outside one such dodgy toilet in Taihape this afternoon I heard the cutest conversation between a local who kept emphasising her words with "ooosh" and a Wellingtonian, two strangers. The girl from Taihape, on learning that her cubicle neighbour was from Wellington (after saying ooosh) kept asking if she knew a debbie, or a kelly, or a someone else that Ms Taihape knew from Wellington. The Wellingtonian did not know Debbie or Kelly, but the humour, for me, was that the Wellingtonian had to keep asking for clarification. Debbie who, kelly who? I suppose wellington isn't that big.......

July 19, 2005

Suck it up....

was one of mum's favourite sayings. She said it a lot, in a very encouraging way, while she was sick. I quite like it. And it's what I'm gonna do. Started to have a little ball over the sink doing dishes before work this morning, which is unusual I promise, despite how neurotic I come across, I have kind of dried up since aforementioned pre/post sick-time. I just get a little apprehensive whenever I'm about to go 'home' and for some odd reason the phonecall upset me. I have these grandiose ideas of what a family should be, what I'd like it to be, which inevitably sets me up for a fall. But I've since sucked it up, and am planning on taking that loin-shaking Rengo wine that I am meant to be saving for my birthday (well it's only a week after) North with me on thursday to drink with whatever lucky bastard I decide to share it with.

Awwww, Laurie just brought me in some baking. What the fuck am I talking about. I've got an awesome whanau!

I feel like it's okay to put this photo on, little fulla doesn't look anything like this now, and it's not like she's in any danger of e-stalkers. I LOVE IT!

Going to see Dracula the ballet tomorrow night. Bite me.

Reclaiming respectability

This is what i took to the Sunday roast dinner party at Supergood's.The recipe below, not another pic of my tramp i mean. Except I put peaches and a smidgeon of basil in with the apples. Stepmum emailed me the recipe and I have to say i'm impressed with it's simplicity, flavour and fortitude to withstand my disdain for precision.

Ok we want abt 750grams of apples in ovenproof bowl and sprinkle 50g of caster sugar and grated zest and juice of lemon on apples, then in another bowl put 150g of butter and 125g of caster suger and beat till creamy then add 2 eggs one at a time and beat then add 200g of self raising flour if you havnt got sr flour normal flour just add 2 teaspoons of baking powder to 1 cup of flour. Then add 5 tablespoons of milk should be like a pancake batter as such if you know what I mean. Place over the apples and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for about 40-45 min till golden have fun xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Happy to report no dreams to.....report.

July 18, 2005

Concerning older men

Abel Tas #1. Not clever enough to do a whole lot at once unfortunately.

I know my stepmum occasionally reads this. I'm treading dangerously here. Little sis gave her and Pa the URL and I nearly died. Everytime stepmum and I talk on the phone, which isn't a whole lot, she asks about my love life. And I never fail to disappoint. It struck me last conversation with her that I could lie rather than making excuses for myself or feigning disinterest with the entire male species, glorifying in my ostensible independence. There is some consolation in that she has ceased telling me about the latest item of baby clothing she has purchased and put away. The pressure of being the eldest of three girls. And a spinster.

So no action above ground, it's all happening in my subconcious. I'm used to bizarre dreams, outer-worldly, super-hero powers (the heroine - unquestionably me), loved ones suffering, me failing to rescue them, black and white, technicolour. But last night I dreamt I got it on with an old guy. Really old. And rich. And married (but she had a toy boy). And he tried to make me jump off a cliff so we could sail away in his pleasure yacht that was anchored below.

Sometimes I find the people in my dreams are familiar in their essence, if not in appearance. But I'm struggling with this one. This guy was late 50s maybe even 60s. Potentials:

Old man on my street cutting down the tree outside his house who I passed a few times in the weekend. Wearing a red hard hat and glasses and a white beard he was redolent of the garden gnome I gave dad one father's day. I shall call him Harry. Harry looked very official with all his ropes and his traffic cones and his chalk on the pavement indicating "tree felling". I don't think it was him "who's your daddying" me in my dream however.

Sweaty treadmill guy at the gym. I know everyone sweats at the gym. Even cute little pixies stink. But this guy pours, and it sprays around splattering those within a five kilometre radius. It makes me gag and stare in a kind of Steven King Carrie type fascination. It may be apparent here that I'm not attracted to him and he's unlikely to be my dreamlover. Although I discovered a new found respect and envy of him this morning when I saw him polish off 7kms in less than 40minutes. Fucking shin splint.

Hot doctor at work. Okay he's 'distinguished'. (euphemism, euphemism). But there is something Sean Conneryish, self-assured, steely eyed about him. When I see him I watch him with interest, probably the only guy in the whole organisation that makes me stop and think, "yes, I am secreting gurlie pheromones, thank you". But I don't think I'm to the point I want him pinning me up against the shower wall, if that makes sense.

Pity though. Only getting laid in my dreams and he's an unidentified geriatric.

I will quickly write something intelligent tomorrow to atone for the blithering idiot I am tonight. After I have met the old doc who told me I was turning into a right little bureaucrat on the phone the other day. hmmmmm, another oldie.....

July 16, 2005


Eight hours sleep and I'm not feeling so days of our livesy. Gonna get off my ass in a minute and go sweat a bit and that has historically helped matters as well. The tried and trusted panacea is to your left, but it's a bit cold at the moment. SB just told me how to do the thing with photos. Who would have thought it was so easy. I'll put some of the Abel Tas on later.

The roulette table would cost $950.00 and come with a professional croupier. You can be damn sure if I hired someone for 950 bucks for a night I'd want more than a roulette table.


July 15, 2005

Decisions: a Wobbler's worst nightmare

I'm tired and going to write something pissy......

I have three weddings to go to early next year. Little sis gets back from Chile in January and is moving to Wellington to start uni and I want to be here to settle her in and make her home cooked meals. I love Wellie, love my flat (my view is spectacular, the flatties are okay (; ) I have fantastic friends. But apart from the above I have nothing tying me here. I'm just procrastinating, stagnating in a job i'm not passionate about, and surely I'm too young to accept this? Will I still be flatting here when I'm 30 (no doubt with married friends who will take me and the three cats I will have by then in out of pity)? That's not right dammit. I've always liked dogs better than cats.

What brought this on? <<<>>> The realisation of how small my world is. Ungrateful sod that I am. It has been so nice having had a 'home' for almost a year now. But I don't like the idea of waiting for the world to come to me. I haven't been on a flight longer than an hour and a half since I was three when my parents brought baby Lou and I from Adelaide to Tauranga to live. I think it's my earliest memory, I can see a velvety-green curtain on the plane, perhaps dividing cabins. But that wasn't my adventure, it was my parents. I'm grown up now. Well, I should be.

So with the teddy bear leaving at work there is a whisper that I may be offered the role and while it would be a challenge and I would be in a fairly good bargaining position and I could save properly and still live comfortably, I can sense my whimsies being snuffed out in this place, the pixie being manipulted into a "right little bureaucrat". But Limbo has his nasty little hooks into me, because if I find a new job that I love now I might not want to leave. And I so want to take off in May after all the nuptials. Although the idea of leaving also petrifies me. Oh I'm such a lost wee soul, I could slap myself. Laurie is reading a book about how we are all miserable because we have too many choices. Yes, Life would be so much easier if I lived in colonial times, had five kids by now, and a husband that could sue me if I didn't have sex with him.

I know exactly what I'd say to myself right now If I was me.

July 14, 2005

Miserable wretch

I like the versatility of the word fuck. There's just so much you can do with it. And when I walked out of my building into the dark tonight, gym-gear clad and craving endorphins and the sky began to wizzle and then beer-drinking-piss on me, I used the word to propel me homewards - fuck, fuck, fuck. Ten minutes up the hill I am completely soaked, (pass the gym, I'm too wet - fuck), wading through the footpath as the gutter flows over, sodden pants clinging scandalously to popsicle legs, I want to run but my shin splint won't let me - fuck it. So instead I squelch my way home whilst refining my bulldog face and practising my profanity. All the potty-mouthing was reminiscent of another journey where swearing was my saviour. Climbing Jenkin's hill with my pinky finger snapped in two I don't know what I would have done without the word fuck (among others). I wish that day when we reached the crest and made up camp i'd done what i did tonight when I got home and sucked back a shot of something strong. Just to ward off pneumonia. Goddamn i'm a classy lady....

I miss the whanau. Chile sis is on holiday and off-line and I miss waking up in the morning and having an affectionately disparaging comment from her posted here. I just talked to her on Saturday, but my mind was elsewhere and I didn't appreciate it properly because I was about to go and get the follicles ripped out of me and I always get ridiculously anxious. So to stem the "home-sickness" I've put in an application for leave next week and I'm hopefully heading north to hang with the little bro while he's on school holidays. Unfortunately him and step dad are kind of the only ones left there now, I doubt I'll get to see Auckland sis. I dont want to call her Auckland sis - Lou. Hopefully stepdad will lend me a disco ball and some elvis paraphernalia for my birthday!

The big teddy bear at work is moving teams. There's this domino-effect exodus going on from my team that means it changes staff more frequently than I change my underwear. No that analogy isn't quite right, because they are failing to replace the people they are losing, and I don't really do commando. Luckily I have about 44cents left in my cheque account until tuesday so I'll be forced to keep myself amused this weekend re-vamping my cv and appying for jobs. It's an employee's market! My manager's management style is more equipped to run a day care centre than the busiest, most human-resource intensive section of the organisation and as she sat there today at our fortnightly meeting and waffled on about understanding how much pressure we are under and how she is working on it and it will get better, I must have had a face like a busted fart (not very good at hiding how I'm feeling) cause she looked at me very intently and said,

You don't think so Bridie?

And I said, very rapidly and throwing diplomacy to the wind,

I've just been hearing it for a very long time.

There were sniggers. She stared at me blankly. And then changed the subject.

God it's pissing down outside.

July 12, 2005

Pencarrow lighthouse

My right knee is a delightful shade of mauve and blueberry, and looks as if it's been rubbed a few times with the cheese grater. This was escaping lightly, at one stage hanging off a sheer cliff with only my bike as a life line, I could have very easily dropped hundreds of feet to my death. Or rolled a wee bit down the gully before I got snagged in a gorse bush.

Becky and Jason collected me Sunday morning with one bike already in the car, the other two soon followed (with a special ladies one for me says the bike boy, yeah thanks very much I just gave you 40 bucks damn right I want a girl seat) and we were off driving round the bay to Eastbourne and just constantly blurting out stuff like, "what a beautiful day" and "the weather's so perfect" etc etc. And it was. Not a whisper of wind and the sun radiating off the water in complete defiance of July. I was getting quite jiggly with excitement in the back seat as we pulled in to the carpark, not having had much mountain biking experience (I've never even owned a bike with gears, having grown up on a place where the road was three quarters of a kilometre away and a state highway once you got there, us kids' bikes were fair dinkum farm bikes).

Jason was very sweet with both us girls, showing us how brakes and gears worked, adjusting seats and lifting bikes over gates and watching attentively to make sure neither of us needed our licences revoked as we peddled off in the direction of the lighthouse. We followed the coast almost the entire three and a half hour trip, and the sea was just stunning, completely at ease and basking contentedly in the sunshine. It wasn't long before I had to strip my thermal off and with it went any repressed tension and worries. I just couldn't stop smiling.

We hadn't gotten far and Jason, (who must have been finding the pace a bit sedate), spotted an extremely steep and narrow path up to the first lighthouse, over mountain and dale we shimmied up with the bikes, yodelling at the goats and gasping for breath, until we got to a wider less sheer track where we could ride again. And where I almost met my demise. Jason gave me clear instructions on the gear setting (I still don't really get it, is top gear the easy one?) and a pep talk and my little legs started peddling furiously and I think I remember voices from behind saying, she's doing it, she's making it, and I really was, and then some distance from the top I just kind of crapped out, and I went to hop off and sorta toppled sideways taking the bike with me and shrieked and slid a bit down the bank so I was almost in the gorse and spreadeagled on my face. I think Becky and Jase probably felt at that early stage that it had been worth bringing me all this way. I got up smartly, still smiling, and walked the bike the rest of the way up the hill.

The cast iron Pencarrow Lighthouse was the first permanent lighthouse to be built in New Zealand and was run by New Zealand's only woman lighthouse-keeper, Mrs Bennett. The cast iron tower was made in England and then erected on Pencarrow Head, at the entrance to Wellington Harbour in 1859. It remained operational until 18 June, 1935 when it was replaced by an automated light erected at Baring Head east of Pencarrow. The Pencarrow Lighthouse was offered to the New Zealand Historic Places Trust in 1966, and the Trust has maintained the building ever since. It is now a popular destination for hikers and bikers, and is surrounded by a recreational reserve.

The view from the lighthouse was spectacular. Maybe not the elevation you get from Mount Vic, but 360 degrees and completely devoid of any blatant blight of humanity on the landscape. Just the ocean and a rugged shoreline and rustic farmland and a glittering Wellington Harbour with a tiny toy version of the city in the distance. We could have plugged Becky in to the lighthouse and powered it, she was glowing like a light bulb, I was trying not to rub my knee to salvage the residue of my pride, Jason was running around with characteristic exuberance planning bbqs in the summer and snapping pics, and then we were off downhill, fishtailing it in the gravel on the steep bits I struggled to get the right balance between front and back brakes, Becky zoomed off ahead, with me a little more cautious now bringing up the rear, Jason staying in the middle ostensibly trying to keep an eye on both of us girls. Then we hit lower ground and softer turf and we were all flying over the dips, racing along past a little lake with black swans sailing about. Before too long we came out on to our original track trailing the shore.

We did see the shipwreck we'd been promised a bit further up. It was a boring old rusty metal skeleton that was nothing like the gigantic wooden treasure chests that the word 'shipwreck' conjures in my mind. Actually I think shipwreck, I think that movie The Goonies. God that was a brilliant film. Then we reached a point where our asses needed a break and we stopped for ham rolls with mandarins and cookie bear mini 100s and 1000s and a dash of beach baseball (aka me with a hefty stick and some pebbles, missing 90%). We saw scant few people biking this far out, definitely none walking. On the return journey we were bemused by cows sunning themselves on the beach, far from any pasture and looking quite peculiar. Becky nearly crapped off a couple of times, forgetting she needed two hands to balance and being milimetres from taking me out at one stage. Jason subsequently relegated us to opposite sides of the track and withdrew her bell ringing privileges.

I don't know how far we went, bad with distances, I think Jason said about 40kms, and yet it flew past and we got back to the car park and I just wanted to keep going. But we piled the bikes on the back and removed gloves and helmets to reveal sweaty hat hair and headed home, feeling ever so zen, until we were on the motorway and Jason had to invoke his emergency services training when one of the bikes came detached from the rack and hung precariously out in to the other lane. I actually thought we'd lost it completely at first. We screamed over in to the shoulder and Jason dashed out in to the traffic which sped past seemingly oblivious to the flashing hazard lights and the fire-engine-red-haired man frantically trying to tie the bike back on.

He succeeded, we dropped the bikes off intact, and made it safely home to our hot showers and lazy boys. I had the most fantastic time, thank you both!

July 11, 2005

Gavel this - phobia

I'm totally psyched and inspired and motivated and empowered. And just generally feeling pleased with myself. I very nearly won. That's what he said. Me. I know it's small fish for a lot of people, but it just shocked the hell out of me. A senior lecturer at Vic, I beat him, and a whole lot of others who I think are awesome. I nearly went to the freakin regionals.

And then the self-doubt creeps in and I think, the guy that I'm "meant" to charm, well I've succeeded and that's all it is. But I'll smother that feeling for now, long enough to gloat. And maybe try and cash it in to get me that dream job.

The down side to the evening was I may have jeopardised all future opportunities with the gavel, having brought it down with just the slightest too much enthusiasm at one stage during the evening causing everyone to nearly leap out of their skin. Which is very uncharacteristic for me. I'm infamous for not shutting car doors properly. And just generally being frail. Well that infamy can fuck off.


Oh yes Becksta I haven't forgotten our adventure. Just need some time to do it justice.

July 09, 2005

A moments silence and an hour and a half in the oven

I remember being less than respectful when I went home to my mother's table on the first anniversary of 9/11 and she wanted to have a moments silence (which was uncharacteristically political for her), and bitchy ole me huffed and puffed and started ranting about American foreign policy and other shit that I knew nothing about but knew that everyone in the room would know less about so assumed I'd get away with it. The short and long of it was that I was a bitch. And I regret it.

Tonight I sat at the Tairawhiti Arms in Karori prior to kick off of the last Lions tour game at Eden Park (very classy venue I know, but god we had some room and I have never been so well attended to at a bar before!) with Sally and Joe and Alistair and Josh and there was a moments silence for the victims of the London bombings and I couldn't breathe a word. It's too close to home, there are people I care about there and it's just relentless. So it's belated mum, but the sentiment was there.

It's almost midnight now and I just put a nice hearty casserole in the oven, which is ridiculous but I just didn't get round to it today, I was busy talking to Chile sis and getting my legs waxed by the hot blonde and gyming and watching A Very Long Engagement which I was very brave over and didn't cry. Tomorrow I'm going to be on a bike out Eastbourne way all day looking at ship wrecks and lighthouses and entertaining and being entertained by Becky and Jason (I desperately want to call them the married ones, not in a derogatory way, I just like the labels). Incidentally I think they visit here now. Probably when they are meant to be administering justice and hosing down fires. Or perhaps it was a one off. Regardless, I now have an hour and a half to kill while the casserole/stew whatever the fuck it is simmers.

And I'm bored of this computer already.........

July 04, 2005

4th of July

American independence day. And I don't really give a damn. But I am interested in why I don't give a damn. There is an American feminist/lesbian (these creds are about all I could garner from the news clip) visiting at the moment to tell us (kiwis) that we are all too PC. I didn't buy a lot of what she was saying, but I'm uncomfortable enough with the PC phenomenon right now to listen to what she had to say. I am not questioning my core beliefs, they are who I am. I also have no qualms about defending the very same when the need arises. Lately I have been constantly questioning my motivation for believing the things that I do.

Has something run amok with my belief system?

No, not necessarily, because surely without questioning your own values, without trying to understand tenets that conflict with your own, it is difficult to propound your own belief system with any real conviction. Regurgitation is transparent, cliches are tiresome.

There was this other thing on tv tonight, about this stunning ethiopian woman who sought asylum in the netherlands and went from working in a factory to become a member of the dutch parliament and is estranged from her Muslim family because she speaks out about the violence perpetrated against women in the name of the Koran. It was explosive to watch, even removed from the savage ideological murder of the Dutch film-maker who produced a short film she wrote that used the naked, brutally beaten feminine form as parchment for Koranic scripture.

I sigh at this point. I don't know if it was my own inclinations, or the story we got sold, but somewhere along the line at uni I developed this bias against the Western perspective and this almost tangible fear of in anyway championing imperialist/capitalist even democratic values. Because all my friends weren't doing it? Because I'm white? Because relatively speaking to the vast majority of the planet I have been incredibly privileged and need to atone for this? Because dominant value systems should have to apologise for their dominance and the historical carnage that has been wreaked in the name of, I dunno, dominating. Until this apology defines who we are?

There needs to be a line to PC-ness and it's difficult to know where it should be drawn and as a consequence I sometimes sense this tendency in the left to draw everything in pencil rather than ink. I believe in some basic fundamental human rights regardless of the need to respect and safeguard cultural/religious/ethnic diversity. It is easy for me to say that a life should be sacred regardless. Safe from being stoned to death for extra marital sex. Safe from execution for a crime deemed worthy of capital punishment in any of the 40 or so states in the beacon of democratic values and justice that is celebrating it's national holiday today.

I also think there needs to be a line so self-proclaimed prime ministers and their heavies can't go round demanding 'rent' from Gisborne hoteliers in the name of sovereignty.

Bottom line, I don't want to become complacent in any of my beliefs. I would really hate to think my belief system has evolved and continues to be shaped only as a reaction to voices that are less conscious of the need to be polite than mine.

July 03, 2005

You'll get wrinkly

I have a frown - causation unattributed. Perhaps it's Hugh Grant and the fact I just realised with five minutes left to go in that crappy movie that I didn't want to watch it anymore. And that I couldn't get through to Kel all weekend, or Frank who I have phoned perhaps five times to try and wish him happy birthday direct instead of leaving a tipsy rendition of the song itself on his cell. I did talk to Jake, well I talked to his armpit at least. Lou has dispersed to the fourth corner, auckland and now the four of us are strewn throughout the north island/southern hemisphere and perhaps that's got me in a bit of a funk. Could just be i'm setting my alarm in a moment to get to work early so I can leave at a reasonable hour to go to the gym to come home to watch ER to go to bed to perhaps get up the next day and repeat. At this precise moment it's the fucking pop up boxes that are infecting this computer and reminding me that it is kicking my ass and after four attempts I still can't get SP4 on the damn thing.

Okay quick focus on a happy thing to take to bed, happy thing...ummmmm, the house is very clean thanks to all this anal energy I have and I haven't seen a mouse since friday night. And I found Kel's wine in the supermarket which is a delightful blend of a pinot noir and a syrrah and tastes all chocolatey and smokey. But shock horror there's still half the bottle left after two nights cause the last thing I feel like doing when i'm in a mood is drinking. Yes, that's positive, well done Miss Pix.

July 02, 2005

I'd like a man made of chocolate

One of the gurls at work who is a bit nuts has organised a baby photo competition - not who's cutest but who can identify the most people. It's been done I know and a bit cutesy even for me. We did it when I was at the Adventist School in hmmm, maybe form one when I was about 11 or 12. I can't remember the exact photo I contributed, but I do remember Mr Bishop standing up, holding my photo out to the left and then the right so all could see and then loudly pronouncing,

So who's this handsome fellow?

I am scarred.

Yes I was incredibly fat, and bald until I was about five. But I found one I quite like for the upcoming comp at work. I'm probably about 11 months old and I'm sucking on a beer bottle.

My closest friend at work had a bit of an issue when the competition was first discussed. She is of Indian descent and happens to be the only black/coloured person in the organisation. The girl organising it said it was great because people needed an easy one to warm up. And I don't think my friend is really concerned, but it made me think about identity, and taking things for granted. I know you're kind of thriving on being the blondie and sticking out like a sore toe Kel, but I wonder if it would get tiresome if you had that your whole life, or you were in a culture less receptive to diversity or difference. I wonder how significantly it could shape you as a person.

I had to give a little talk on Timaru to workmates, and one of the things I raised, because I was being provocative, was the importance, or rather unimportance placed on cultural awareness and cultural competency during one of the meetings on the visit. There's a new policy at work, it may even be provided for in the legislation i'd need to check, where cultural awareness is one of the competencies a doc has to demonstrate. But when the issue was sidelined as less than five percent of the population in Timaru are Maori I spoke up, (which I didn't do a lot of throughout the day), but it seemed to me that a lot of our docs are coming in from overseas, and moving around the country a lot, and there should be an element of cultural education in their training, this may include introduction to the local marae, kaumatua, basic tikanga, the recognition of inequalities in health outcomes for different ethnicities in NZ. And both at the meeting at Timaru and while I was doing my talk back at the office someone jumped up and said, but cultural competency doesn't just mean an awareness of Maori issues. And I completely agree, it's understanding the peculiarities of the NZ health system, it's communication in English for a lot of them, it's transcending traditional conceptions of gender roles for docs coming in from some middle eastern and islamic nations, it's acknowledging our burgeoning pacific island and asian culture. But I hate it when people stamp their foot and say - New Zealand is a multicultural society, as if this statement negates the need to protect and respect ethnic and cultural diversity and is rubber stamping assimilation. Lip service isn't enough, not in the public sector at the very least. It frightens me that Winston Peters is found as attractive as he is to middle New Zealand - what's he polling at currently, like ten or eleven percent.

I remember walking to the supermarket with Jake back in Tauranga when he was quite little and walking past a very very dark skinned man, undoubtedly from the african continent, i'd hate to guess, and Jacob waited until a short moment after we'd passed him to exclaim,

Is that man made of chocolate?

Ofcourse I had to answer with, I don't know, are you made of vanilla?