August 31, 2005

I have a sore throat. The boy has a cold. I got to work this morning and my manager asked how i was, and I said, I have a sore throat. She came back a few minutes later with a glass of Berocca for me. Which is nice. But there was probably an element of self-interest in the gesture as I'm sure she doesn't want me to drop dead right now seeing as I am working my lily white ass off. I am teaching the new girl my job, and I have a feeling I might be crap at it, mostly because I don't do structure so well. I am contemporaneously learning my new job, and quite enjoyed kicking up a stink today by telling my big teddy bear tutor he's too soft and hand holding and needs to be telling the dodgy docs to fuck off a bit sooner in the piece. I think I may have won some ground, mostly cause he's fond of me (not like that)....

I talked to Dad and stepma tonight and discovered Grandma is turning 80 at the end of next month, and all my dad's whanau (there's like 8 in dad's family, and about 30 or 40 of their progeny) are getting together in Tauranga. I'm going to fly up there to be saturated in eccentricity for the weekend. They're all fucking nuts. I guess I have tendencies....

I was in the bathroom at work at about 5:15pm this evening getting changed to go to Tae Bo at the Uni gym (it sounds lame, but it makes me nostalgic for TKD, I'm thinking bout turning up next week with my yellow belt on.....) and the freakin fire alarm went, for I dunno, the 4th time in a month because of all the renovations going on in my building, I think the dust triggers it. And if i had to go down the 14 flights of stairs, get ticked off, and then go back up and get my stuff, I would have missed my class. Instead I flew out of the bathroom, threw everything in my backpack, and was shutting down my computer, when the warden came up behind me and said, can you please leave now in a very, - are you completely stark raving mad lady - tone? And I was the last person left on the floor to vacate. I guess I could have died if there was a real fire. There was definitely some rubbery fumes at ground level. But I made my aerobics class and got a front row spot and the little instructor with the seriously defined abs and the cute bandana is worth risking life and limb for....if only my crappy ole sore throat would bugger off....

This isn't from my office window, but it's kind of in the same direction. We're on the poor cousin side of the building, the other side where all our meetings are is over-looking the harbour. Maybe i'll take some shots out the window and see what happens....

August 29, 2005

P is for post menstrual syndrome

Sucked in thinking I'd gotten away with being all happy tra la la for the last week or so. I've been in a pretty foul mood today. Answering the phone without any greeting - just the organisation's name and my name, and then just my name. Not being particularly helpful to anyone (very uncharacteristic). Seeing the old Catcher in the Rye foney in people rather than the sunlight in their souls. I tried doing what my boss very patronisingly makes us do at team meetings when everyone is fed up and looking suicidal, and attempted to identify one happy thought, one great thing about today. And couldn't. I haven't heard from the boy today.

But I found this pic.

This little guy has brightened up many a sad moment in my life. I was ecstatic when I found out Mum was pregnant when I was 17 years old. (After I had gotten over the fleeting moment of panic I experienced when Mum held up the ultrasound scan for my sisters and I in our tiny lounge, that it was of my baby, and that mum had somehow discovered I was having sex). I just knew I was going to get a little brother, just as I knew Kelly was going to be a girl.

I have a million little anecdotes, memories of him growing up, that could convey how much he pulled my fragmented little single parent family together and made me realise just how much I adore children. And stories about moments where my stomach would drop and my heart just bleed as I watched him struggle with the concepts of death and heaven and forever. But this is one of my favourites.

The year after mum died, I was finishing off the last couple of papers of my degree in Tauranga (where I grew up), 600km or so from Wellington and where my lectures were going on. A couple of very loyal friends were emailing me notes, but as unorganised as I was, it meant the lead up to exam time essentially meant studying the whole freakin semester's worth in a couple of weeks. Unfortunately Jacob was home sick from school for a few days during this manic time while I was studying and he didn't really get why I was so stressed out. He came and sat on my lap at one stage while I was hunched over a huge text book and asked me what was wrong.

I said someting along the lines of, Bridie has a very big spelling test to practice for.

Jacob pondered on this for a moment, and obviously still couldn't see what the big deal was because he responded very philosophically with, it's okay, if you don't know a word, just cross it out.

Of course I had to smile. And kiss him. And think back to the moment when I was sitting in a room at the girl's college by myself hoping like hell i'd done enough in the three hours to pass advanced contract.

August 28, 2005

I feel like my feet barely touch the ground these days. It is Monday, and then it is Sunday again, with barely enough time to catch my breath, or even to feel tired. I like it.

Friday was Daffodil Day, and I've been saying it for years, but this time I rang someone and then stood for an hour and a half on the corner of Manners and Victoria with a dorky neon yellow bib on and a basket of plastic flowers collecting for the Cancer Society. Apart from the crazy guy that took a shine to me, commenting on how happy I seemed before proceeding to almost sit in my lap while he babbled incoherently about pink pigs or something, until I became concerned enough to skip off with the full bucket of money and replace it for an empty one, I quite enjoyed the experience. I liked how humbling it was, to witness people's generosity, to wonder if cancer had effected them. And of course there was the element of connect with mum, knowing she'd like me doing it, and also when I donned the bib, my first thought was, well, if she could cope with losing her hair....

I'm quarter of the way through about seven different books at the moment, none of them managing to overcome my gold fish attention span or suitably engage me enough to stop me from closing my eyes at the rare moments I come to a halt for long enough to open the cover. But Laurie lent me The Lovely Bones, and I am quite enamoured with it. I spent the first three chapters or so trembling, the depiction of the young girl being raped and murdered was horrendous, mostly in that it was from her perspective, her thoughts as she endured it. But I am taken with the author's idea of heaven, of our dead loved ones being able to look down upon those of us who are still earth-bound, hear our thoughts and witness our most intimate moments as we grieve for them. Sometimes I feel that. In the same way I feel the warmth of the sun on my skin, I can sense her basking in my happiness, or just as I'll slide beneath my duvet to escape the cold, sometimes when I'm on my own and anxious, I can feel myself slip inside her embrace, and I am safe. It is an ever-present solace, one that I wouldn't possess if I was able to simply dial a number and hear her voice on the other end. And for that awareness I am thankful.

I spent Friday night in hysterics with B & J, they really are the most comedic and cute couple and make me feel less cynical about the institution of marriage. Spent last night with the boy, who manages to make me feel both completely at ease and completely terrified at the same time.

Yes, crazy guy at Manners Mall, you're right. I am happy.

Oh - that's a Tui. They have the most beautifully seductive singing voices.

August 25, 2005

HNT - just one more

I have quarter of an hour before HNT is over here so here are my blotchy newly waxed legs.

I feel quite passionately that to justify the exhibition you need a story.

So tonight I had my legs waxed. By the cute little blonde with the dancing blue eyes, that I get semi naked in front of, and then she lathers my legs in warm wax and rips what fine little hairs i have out of my legs and bikini line while she chatters merrily on about dogs and Petone and Grey's Anatomy and god knows what else. The room smells of peppermint, and is painted in a soothing pale green, and there is classical music playing, the commercial kind, the kind that is the backing music to a national bank ad. She has cute red shoes that match her apron. I always feel a bit ungroomed around her. She told me tonight she has a brazilian done. I'm almost tempted to get one just so I have had one done. But it hurts like hell just having the tamer version. So I feel a bit dowdy around her, to the point where I rushed home after work tonight and had a shower before i went and stripped off in front of her, after downing a bit of wine to soften the agony. Sometimes I have a couple of panadol but I was too slow tonight. But it's totally worth how low maintenance you can be in the six weeks between sessions. Beats shaving. For now.....and I like having her hands massaging the backs of my calves at the end with my feet kind of resting between her thighs.

I'm kindof fucking with you now.

My knees are freaking me out........

August 24, 2005

Hump day

Now there's a phenomenon to rival HNT if ever there was one. I should have had a crap day. Wednesday's suck, they always have for me. Too far removed from the weekend either side. They are the day where I won't hold the lift even though i can hear shoes tapping on the tiles towards the closing door. Or I'll see a couple being all kissy across the lights from me, and grimace. Or I'll see a girl with long, silky straight hair and want to yank it out.

But I was so damn productive today. I am training one of the newbies. The piles on my desk seem to be shrinking. I had a nice long lunch with someone who thinks I'm great. I bought fruit, including avocados that were only $2 each. I went to tae bo at the uni gym after work and the instructor was smoking hot. I washed my hair. And I have a really great, really sad book to go to bed with when I get off this keyboard.

But I shouldn't be feeling this equalized. By early afternoon I was feeling bloated and nauseous and had lower back pain. But I'm like the anti-PMS lady, I just felt so well aligned today, that I kind of revelled in mother nature's warning signs. Except maybe the obligatory zit I seem to get on my chin, Mt Vesuvius mum used to call them, much to my chagrin. I haven't been on the pill since mum got sick for the second time, so I've been self-regulating for coming up three years. Which is fine cause I haven't had a whole lot of sex in that time. Good gawd that's a loooooong time.

Anyway, I didn't go and get all organic on it completely because of the cancer, but I remember being in the hospital, and the oncology registrar noticing that both mum and I have these strange little pink dots, the size of pin pricks, on our hands, that mum used to call hormones, that flare up when our body is doing womanly type stuff, and the registrar was really interested in these dots, and I just got this knot in my stomach because of her interest which has never completely relaxed. Like my little pink dots are a time bomb. Which is bullshit, reason would dictate. But fears are often unreasonable. And so I just don't like the pill.

That was sufficiently morbid enough to make me feel like I need to reclaim the balance, yin/yang, good feng shui cloud I was on before I conclude this post. Oooh, I know.

Yes, that's very nice.

August 21, 2005

Looking out for our little ones

Three out of every ten NZ children live in poverty.

It seems hard to believe in a country as wealthy as New Zealand, but that alarming statistic I’ve just quoted is the official line today, and it manifests itself in very real, very sinister outcomes for New Zealand children.

I would like to build some parameters around the concept of poverty in New Zealand before briefly advancing reasons why poverty in our nation is unacceptable.

First there is the sustainability argument. We need to invest in our children, as a valuable resource.

Secondly, there is the human rights argument. Children have the right to a healthy happy childhood.

Finally, I will touch on how effective the working for families package may prove, in light of how child poverty has been tackled in other countries.

Poor kids in rich countries???

So first, what does ‘poverty’ mean in New Zealand, what does it mean to you? Perhaps you conceive of poverty in the absolute sense, which conjures the image of a small infant from sub-Saharan Africa with a bloated stomach, flies on his face and a haunted look in his eyes.

Relative poverty isn’t immediately as tangible to those that aren’t in its grasp; it is difficult to define and highlights the ever-widening income disparities in New Zealand that politically, isn’t very palatable. Perhaps that is why it wasn’t until this document, The Agenda for Children was published in 2002, that the government officially acknowledged the level of poverty amongst our children. In here, three out of ten NZ children are identified as living in families with incomes below 60 percent of the median, adjusted for housing costs.

Want something more concrete?

The Auckland City Mission’s foodbank parcel numbers have doubled since 1998. This is over 100,000 food parcels, enough to feed a family for four days, distributed annually in that region alone.

A recent study of 400 low-income families showed over half of them had experienced being unable to visit a doctor or pay for prescriptions in the previous year due to cost. The government only subsidises doctor’s visits for those under six, and some practices charge above the subsidy.

Access to healthcare is even more concerning considering NZ has high rates of third world illnesses such as meningococcal disease, rheumatic fever, pneumonia and chronic lung infection. The rate of meningoccocal disease in South Auckland and Northland is in fact the highest in the industrialized world.

Poverty in New Zealand means many low-income families are spending more than half of their income on housing costs. The lack of affordable housing results in overcrowding, leaving children more susceptible to the communicable diseases I just mentioned.

So that is what poverty means to a third of our children. What are the reasons for rejecting these truths as inevitable?

Sustainability - coping with an aging population

In the Agenda for Children MSD acknowledges the sustainability issues raised by child poverty in NZ. Poverty during childhood has been proven detrimental to a child’s development with consequences for health, educational achievement and, if you want to cut to the chase, their employment opportunities and earnings in later life. These kids are the ones who will support the baby boomers in their twilight years. We can’t afford not to invest in them.


From a human rights perspective, NZ is a party to the UNCROC and as such is obliged to develop and undertake all actions and policies in light of the best interests of children. UNCROC is the most universally accepted human rights instrument in history and has been ratified by every country except two – the United States and Somalia. There is international acceptance that the rights of children, including social and economic rights, need to be protected.

However, they are dependent on others, adults, to give effect to their needs.

Child impact reporting is one way NZ can realize its obligations under the convention. Policies need to be formally analysed to identify the potential impact on children prior to implementation, in much the same way that policies are analysed to find out how much they will cost Treasury.

Working for Families - still tainted with ideology

The Working for Families package has allocated 2.5bn dollars and acknowledged the need for redistribution of resources to fight poverty. It is a step towards ensuring families with children have adequate income to meet their needs. It goes someway to address the fact that children have been ignored in NZ’s macro-economic policy making for the last two decades and have arguably suffered the most from the progressive withdrawal of the state and tight monetary policy. But there is a lot of damage to be undone, a lot of low-income families in serious debt, and the package focuses on rewarding those children with parents in work. Many of the poorest children come from families on benefits, why are we discriminating against them?

The Labour government in the United Kingdom has undertaken to half child poverty by 2010 and eliminate it completely by 2020. The UK has retained a universal child benefit and the child tax credit does not differentiate on the work status of parents as it does in NZ.

Without going into the complexities of the various social assistance packages, it is enough to say that the UK has been successful in reducing child poverty rates by setting explicit goals for its eradication and recognizing the value of inclusive, universal policies.

Research has shown that countries with low rates of child poverty have high levels of taxation and of government spending, relative to gdp. The Nordic countries are an often-cited illustration, and they have shown that it is possible to provide universal assistance without compromising the affluence of the nation as a whole.


Our economy is in a strong position; unemployment is at an all time low, Michael Cullen feels NZ can afford to invest 2 billion dollars annually in the super fund for the already relatively comfortable baby boomers. And yet there appears to be apathy in our electorate about the grievous situation of a significant proportion of our kids.

I would remind you that children have no political voice and minimal financial power.

I for one would like to see a NZ that values its smaller citizens as a precious taonga, as autonomous rights-holders, and a worthy investment. I’ll be keeping that in mind on election day.

August 19, 2005


I'm still sorting things out in my own head. It's been less than a week, and after tonight, I really need a good grounding for the rest of the weekend. I'll go to work tomorrow (yes, on saturday) come home and write my speech. Seriously.....

I've already been introduced to the workmates, invited on a trip to Sydney in the next month or so, and my top lip is horribly swollen as I type. But he opens doors, holds my hand in public (this is a novelty for me) and is disalarmingly candid with his feelings. My head is spinning. I need my mum.

August 18, 2005

Thank you

Whoever you are, for still believing in faeries....


It couldn't be more perfect if I'd scripted it. I almost wish I could cut it off there, and leave it as this perfect perfect memory. My face muscles are feeling kindof tight from smiling so much.

And I shirked the opportunity to impress the 50 something year old by going in the regionals tonight, since the first place getter was unavailable at the last minute. Still, I think the 25 year old is a lot cuter. And for some strange reason I've managed to end up with his shoes.....

God, this will drive Kelly nuts (;

August 16, 2005


I'm so sleepy.

But I love this.

I love how I wake up and the world is still recumbent. I love how the sun rises before me beyond my window.

And then erupts across the harbour.

I love how on a really sunny day, I come down from Kelburn on the walk to work and the city is an iridescent palette and Oriental Bay is awash with brilliant pure light.

I feel giddy witnessing Winter finally fall to its knees beneath the weighty optimism of spring.

But I realised recently that this leg of my journey to work has become my favourite. With it's spray paint and mesh wire and broken windows and those stairs ascending out of sight beyond the path that was littered with leaves throughout the colder months. Perhaps I have become more of an urban creature than I had appreciated.

August 15, 2005

I'm a teency booozed again. On a school night. But it's work perhaps that makes it justifiable? And if someone is to put a whole lot of very nice Pinot under my nose I can't be faulted for drinkinit, surely....

To counter the ablove, I would like to show that I'm not completely hopeless and degenerate. Occasionally I read, although not with any great enthusiasm lately, in large part due to the energy I have invested in this worthy establishment you're reading I sppose, and the time I spend reciprocating the attention.

At the moment, I'm slogging my way through E. M. Forster's 'A Passage to India'. I like this bit:

Would he meet her beyond the tomb? Is there such a meeting-place? Though orthodox, he did not know. God's unity was indubitable and indubitably announced, but on all other points he wavered like the average Christian; his belief in the life to come would pale to a hope, vanish, reappear, all in a single sentence or a dozen heart-beats, so that the corpuscles of his blood rather than he seemed to decide which opinion he should hold, and for how long. It was so with all his opinions. Nothing stayed, nothing passed that did not return; the circulation was ceaseless and kept him young, and he mourned his wife the more sincerely becaue he mourned her seldom.

.....the more sincerely because he mourned her seldom.....i like that a lot.

By the way. who's the asshole that said they didn't believe in faeries? Okay, everyone clap your hands. That's's working....

Sorry for typos. Eyes swimming.....

August 14, 2005


I like how Julia Robert's character in Pretty Woman wouldn't kiss on the mouth, because of the intimacy it symbolised. And I'm always impressed how they manage to make kissing look so clean and synchronised in the movies. I know they practice, but real life kisses are never quite so pretty to watch.

I also like how loaded a kiss can be. Kisses can be heart-wrenching goodbyes, or hungry hellos, an expected precursor to, or initiation of, more heated affection. And I like how a really good kiss can stay with you, a tingle on your lips, for a long time after. And I'm not talking the burn from too much stubble.

My first kiss was horrible. I was 14, and the boy was my cousin's best mate. He was 15 or 16, and I thought he was kinda cute, but I remember his tongue being all hard and worm like and coming up for air feeling like I'd just opened my mouth to our dog I was so covered in saliva. And then walking around the corner from the house where I left him and spitting into a garden.

First kisses with anyone don't do the art justice. It's awkward, and it amazed me after having only kissed one boy over a 7 year period how completely different the experience could be with someone else, and the adjustment that was required. I think the important thing with those initial kisses is, unless you're just wanting to hurry up and get it over with so you can shag them, to take it easy. I know it's a cliche, about taking things slowly, but it's nice to tease it out a bit, just to give a taste of potential, a promise of something more. I'm not saying kiss em like you're a corpse. There's just really no need for Rhett Butler/Scarlett O'Hara theatrics until there's some history, some psychological element, to fire that.

But I suppose if practise makes perfect, there are much worse things requiring effort to get it right....

August 13, 2005


Friday night was bleak. I'd just hopped in the car when the rain started drumming down, and as we crept down The Terrace there was a nasty pile up at the intersection as you come off the motorway. Stationary emergency appliances flashed red and neon uniforms moved garishly in the dark. Unfortunately the windscreen wipers in Aunt G's car didn't seem to be working so she had to keep manually flicking them on. And her driving was terrifying. 4...yes I said 4 emergency brakes in a 20 something minute drive. And while she talks she gestures with her hands. I kept watching the one hand she had fixed to the steering wheel nervously while wishing she wouldn't turn around to make eye contact with me while she spoke.

My father is one of 8 kids and I have 30 something cousins on that side. I'm not particularly close to any of them. On my mother's side I have one aunt, who doesn't really speak to me now as a result of the estate bullshit etc etc.

So when Dad's crazy sister asked me to stay at her place in Tawa last night to celebrate my cousin M's 25th birthday I graciously accepted. I haven't been to visit her in the 18 months since I've been back in Wellie. M has just moved down here from Tauranga to live with her. M is part Maori, very pretty, but looks kindof emaciated, hollow, from doing too many drugs if you ask my dad, and she calls me honey and sweetie and babe, which bothers me somewhat. I'm two weeks older than her after all.

Aunt G isn't so much crazy in the orthodox sense. But she talks.....from the time they picked me up until when M and I got dropped off at Uni this morning, it was verbal diahorrea of the most violent nature. She's quite sweet. She'd gone to a lot of trouble for M's birthday, and even gave me this cute little feng shui (which she pronounced feng shwee) present for my birthday. Once she had a few wines she was actually a bit of a crack up. But I think she suffered from post natal depression really badly, seems to get confused quite easily, and is a divorcee of the most bitter variety with a 17 year old son who doesn't seem to do much other than drink. She likes to TALK about peoples dysfunctions. And my extended whanau aren't short on dysfunction. And she is also NOT shy about talking about herself.

Once we got to her house it smelt like damp Siamese cats. She didn't seem to have a cat. It was cold. The wine was opened almost immediately (I wasn't complaining, needed something to take the edge off the car journey). The phone went constantly throughout the night, people wishing M happy birthday, and at one stage after dinner both M and G were on different phones simultaneously. I got bored. It was quite late by this stage, and I snuck off to bed with a magazine. I woke up to aunt g calling my name, and as I pulled my face up off the page I had been drooling on, she handed me the phone. And I spoke to another cousin who I haven't seen in, I dunno, 10 years. Then I was awake. So I got up and went in to the lounge where the aunt had put on a gurlie movie. M was nowhere to be seen. Crazy aunt fell asleep. And when the movie finished I was horrified to see it was 3:30am. And even more horrified when aunt came in to my room at 5:30am to make sure my electric blanket was off. And just plain pissed when she was up crashing around at 7:30am.

But I'm intrigued about M. She seems a bit single, which is a pleasant change in company, and might be kindof fun to go out with....

It's 4:30am Sunday morning. I've had 4 hours sleep since 6:30am Friday morning. And it's been the strangest night. Need to go digest....

August 12, 2005

Feliz Cumpleanos Hermanita

It feels wrong putting a pic of children on here after the previous kerfuffle.....but,

If you were in NZ and we were throwing you a party instead of your Chilean whanau, I would make a speech. I would mention the fact that I used to carry you around on my hip and devise songs to get you to brush your teeth and games to teach you to read. Now of course, you're taller than me, get mistaken as the older of us two, and don't hesitate when there's an opportunity to dish out some relationship advice or boss me around.

And I love it!

I honestly get teary sometimes Kel, thinking about how strong you've been, how you've stayed on track when other teenager girls might have developed anorexia or started sprinkling P on their cereal. I am just astonished at how beautiful and talented you are and am loving every minute of watching you take over the world. Even if it wasn't a physical imposition, I'd still look up to you.

Happy 18th birthday little sis. And even if you're no where near a computer, and i can't get you on the phone on saturday morning... at least I feel like I've shouted out to the world just how much I love ya!

August 11, 2005


I got a kind-of promotion at work today. I say kindof, because I'm not getting paid anymore, just doing different more interesting stuff. I thought because of the political bullshit that is going on there at the moment that I would have to interview for it. That would have really pissed me off. But I don't have to. And it's for 6 months only (at which time I would supposedly be returning to my current position). Which coincides nicely with my travel plans.

So I was going to put my belly button stud on for ya Cece, but it's getting kindof festery again, and the snail trail might tarnish the pixie image. I think the butterfly is much more apropos for my intro to halfly nekkid thursday. And it has a bit of a story.

My sisters, who are now 22 and 18 (tomorrow - happy birthday baby gurl!), and I, all got that same tattoo done the day after our mother's funeral. Mine is - well, there, on the right; Lou's (Auckland sis) is in the same place on the left; and Kelly's (Chile sis) is on her front left hip. I hope I have that right. I am psyched about convincing Jacob when he is older to get the same thing on his actual ass. (That's manly right?) I believe mum's was on the outside of her left ankle. I remember Mum telling me it felt like hot fat spitting on her as she got it done. I actually didn't find it that bad on my fleshier bit....was almost relaxing having it done in a meditative acupuncture reminiscent way. But I accept it is pretty tiny, only took about quarter of an hour to have it done.

Our stepmum had a "made in NZ" fern tattooed at the same time as I was having mine done. This was the biggest challenge for me, as I lay on my stomach listening to her use every expletive in the book with gusto, I kept getting the giggles. And then the guy doing mine would have to pause for me to settle. The guy doing Robyn's (my very brave stepmum) was also probably pausing at each "Oh fuck" "awww jesus", no doubt concerned about the vulnerability of his nuts (wise man).

I think this may be my first and last post of this nature. I'm concerned it could compromise my credibility should I decide to run for office one day. And I'm kindof a prude. And while I appreciate it has definite foreplay potential for an amorous couple in a wasteland desert, taking pics of your own ass is.....well it's taking narcissm to new heights really.

But I would hate anyone to say I'm not keen for a dare.

And now we are DEFINITELY even. (;

August 10, 2005

I've created a monster

Not slim shady. Brown sugar, oil, yeast, very warm water, flour, chicken, onion, garlic, apricot sauce, zucchini, capsicum, leek, feta, edam, pumpkin seeds. Under the tutelage of Bear's Academy of Domestic Goddessism I have this eve learnt not to underestimate the power of yeast.

Lucky: We were hungry cause it took me that bloody long to make it
Unlucky: I hadn't changed out of my work clothes....
Lucky: I was on dishes
Unlucky: I have a headache and I have drunken near 3L of water today. Time to turn the computer off....

August 09, 2005

I'm tired and uninspired. But am equally tired of the previous "no pain no gain" post. Cliches make me sick. My especial hate is "done and dusted" which gets tossed around the office like a rugby ball. Ick.

I'm a contradiction. I did one of those personality tests that tells you if you're an IFJT or whatever. My nutty aunt who i'm going to stay with on friday night did the test on me, she's a career counsellor. Anyway I came out bang in the middle of the introvert/extrovert spectrum.

So at 9am this morning when we were sitting round the table with my Manager, the CEO and the Registrar talking about what a fucking shit place it's been to work for the last few months, I was crapping myself waiting for my turn to speak. And when I did, my voice was wavery, I did not make a whole lot of eye contact, and I got the wobbles (worse than usual!)

Then something funny happened. We started to get fobbed off with a whiteboard marker and more talk about staying positive and looking forwards and time-FREAKIN-management. And I suddenly wasn't so reserved anymore. I started speaking quite rapidly and firmly and I found myself looking straight at the CEO when I told her we needed a fifth person, if only to recognise that the turnover is such that they are always going to be compensating for lack of depth of experience. My manager looked like she was going to cry. She might have had actual tears.

I think the damage has been done. I said this also, in so many words: that it was unfortunate that it had taken one of "us" to send that "them's fightin words" email on Friday for the meeting to have been called, to gain an explicit acknowledgment of the demoralised and exhausted state of the skeletal remains of our team. I'm all for optimism, but surely to move on you need to first establish where you are at the present time, and if that is at rock bottom then so be it. Ofcourse the issue of overtime was circumvented with a recital of the company policy stipulating prior arrangement and approval. And a reiteration of the preference that we do 40 hour weeks. Too fucking right.

And then later on I got called in to my Manager's office, and sweet talked. And told that the CEO had approved a fifth person.

For some reason the news didn't really excite me. Maybe I'm just a trouble making bitch.

I feel like something gray and concrete and enormous will visually correspond with this post.

August 07, 2005

No pain no gain

So what does it mean if i'm in agony? My arms hurt, my thighs hurt, my ass hurts. It hurts to walk down the hill, it hurts to walk up the hill, it hurts to sit, it hurts to shampoo my hair. Apparently having a hot blonde yell at me while I exercise makes me do things my slight frame wasn't made to do. IT HURTS.

After a few wines last night I also decided it was an appropriate time to perform minor surgery on myself and changed my belly button stud for the first time. As I was lying completely starkers on my back on my bedroom floor looking at this angry red gaping hole in my flesh while I tried to insert the new stud, the wine brought out the philosophical in me and I asked myself why? I would propose it's another symptom of my raging quarter/third life crisis, except I never would have had the kahunas to do it but babiest sis got it for me for a Christmas present. We were butchered together, butchered being a pertinent word. The girl doing the piercing was most put out by the fact I had my arm in a cast (man i'm getting a lot of mileage out of your post jimmy old chap) and had to insert the HUGE needle into my navel painfully slowly as supposedly the cast was in the way. But i like the new stud, it's a blue daisy. I'd post a photo, but I'm conscious intentional infliction of emotional distress isn't covered by ACC provisions in New Zealand (unless the law has changed in the last four years or so) and I don't want to blind anyone....

Notwithstanding the fact I could barely walk I made it to the vege market this morning, fingering and smelling produce the closest thing I get to a spiritual experience on a sunday morning. Then I followed Bear over the Miramar ranges to Schorching Bay, groaning with each step, and I was all fired up for a swim, until I dipped my toe in. Was simply beautiful there though - the bush-clad mountains across the harbour sprinkled with coffee and cinnamon and sandy-coloured veins beneath clouds whipped up in a milky blue sky, and a smokey green ocean to drink up if i lifted my head off the sand and dads playing with wet-suit clad sprats amongst the rocks. Camera was flat unfortunately.

But here's a photo of a goat up a tree that we spotted after a hike out at the base of the Rimutakas several weeks back.

August 06, 2005

No title necessary thank you.....

I just had my most favourite kind of evening. Great food - japanese at Hede on (I think) Victoria Street, great wine - Wither Hills pinot (which we would never normally be able to afford but JB had been spotted some) and Queen of spades (can't remember the label) Grenache. And five of my favourite people. One of whom I'm planning on following around the world next year. If i can keep up. (;

I like Japanese. I've always been interested in the culture since intermediate school. And I got excited when i remembered the word hanami after looking at the cherry blossoms sitting on our table. That's the right word huh? Pretty good after five years of it. And my bursary teacher told me i was going to fail......52%, suck on that Mr Withrington.

Then we went and got hot chocolates at Midnight Espresso. And the guy making them did some funny dance to the music (loud) at me. I asked him what it was. Charles Feathers "Can't hardly stand it" or some shit. I quite liked it. I liked his little dance.

Earlier in the day I had a run in with one of my best girl friends (will remain unnamed). She's hot for me i can tell. She's always pinching my ass, or kicking it, or patting it, going on about how big it is, stripping off in front of me, pulling up her skirt etc etc. After one such episode today she asked me,

I kindof sexually harrass you, don't I?

Me: You think! it because you feel sorry for me because i'm not getting any at the moment?

Nondescript answer.

Nondescript? What the hell does that even mean Bridie?

I'm kindof boozed. Makes for a bloody change. But it's all quite civilised. Going to go pass out naked in front of my heater now....

Is that all you got Winter?

I've got good circulation I think, don't really feel the cold so bad (my acupuncturist described it as being a warm person, which was nice) but I love Summer. We had the third warmest July since 1860 (I think, when they started taking accurate record) with an average temp of 9 degrees. But it's the lack of wind that has got me reeling. So on days like today when it's completely clear and sunny you feel the warmth instead of having it snuffed out by a disdainful Southerly. We moved into our flat almost exactly a year ago and I can remember it being freezing (the ventilation in these old homes is pretty swell) and the constant storms howling and rattling outside our lounge window (we're right on top of a hill). And I seem to remember losing about 40 tiles off of our roof at some stage. Huddling under a blanket watching the tellie the noise would make me flinch, (it's not hard admittedly) and at any moment I imagined the ocean would come crashing in from behind the curtains. It was THAT loud.

I've had 9 hours sleep and woken up in a clean room with the sun caressing me. I was utterly exhausted last night after work, did some domestic stuff, had a couple of beers for dinner and went to bed. The proverbial shit is hitting the fan due to my boss' detachment from reality. But I don't feel like discussing it right now, it's my weekend. I will just say that I have been in a grown up job for a year on Monday and I have been shocked with how anything but grown up it is. Office politics are like being back at high school with a bunch of bitchy teenage girls.

So the weather. I'm thinking it's time to dig out the snorkel and just have it sitting there winking at me for a month or so. Well my last swim last season was down at Oriental Bay some time in May, and if it stays like this and with a wetsuit on....Bear's daffodils are coming out, my Christmas Lily is taking off, I fed the ducks down at the Lagoon on my lunch break on Thursday and felt hot, I left home at 6:45am yesterday morming and there was light in the sky so I felt safe enough to cut down the alley instead of taking the long way round past the University, and walked home at about six last night with the sky my favourite colour. It brought tears to my eyes. Spring is sprung baby!

The pics are various morning views from our little flat. I still don't really know what I'm doing with my camera or the software....But I remember reading somewhere that those rays of sunlight through the clouds are like God's fingertips, and liking the imagery a lot.

August 04, 2005


My favourite colour is blue. I like that blue that the sky is when it's been a magnificent day and there is only a remnant of sunlight left in the night sky so that there is just a soft golden blue glow to the darkness. Maybe like the hottest part of a flame, no, deeper than that. I don't know how to describe that blue. Blue/black - too bruisey. More like a fairytale blue, but that's too pussy.. How bout plain ole twilight blue? No - can't do it!

I've noticed, however, like a middle aged man with a sports car or a long-legged blonde, that the tick of my biological clock is stirring in me an appreciation for the colour pink. A woman at work told me today that a bunch of them had been out for a boozey lunch to celebrate one of them "burning the tampons". I just exclaimed "cute", because that's my generic response when lesser words fail. In this context, "cute" represented - "I don't know how the hell to shut this conversation down without looking like i'm unsympathetic to the sufferings of my more senior womankind". But it did make me nervous. The woman doing the burning doesn't seem that old to me....tick tock tick.

So pink. A few times I've been caught out in the morning going straight from the gym to work in my trainers, and realised once I've showered that although I have nice officey clothes, i have no shoes. I think last time this happened I ended up with the pink Ugs with the white trim, which I paraded around work all that day.

This week I had to go for something a little more professional, as I had a doc coming in that afternoon..............................................................................................................................................

Gorgeous huh? They caused quite a stir at work I can tell you. I've heard a rumour that at the whole office meeting we have every second tuesday the Health Manager sits and counts the number of coloured shoes people are wearing. I am thinking I could have a bit of fun with that.....

Welcome back Chile sis. I was getting a bit worried you weren't coming back. Hope you're still all pure and untouched by those lusty latinos. That's all I'm saying. That's all I'm saying.

And Auckland sista - thank you for sending me the PINK sweater. Very nice with the shoes.

August 01, 2005

The Sea Inside

It's a bit late and we've a whole office meeting at nine and two new girls starting (who are bound to be asking irritating questions all day) so i better not yawn through the second more intimate meeting at 11, but i just wanted to say.....

Tonight i got a text when i was just about to leave work and half an hour later I was watching a man break his neck diving into shallow water, survive, and then kill himself 28 years later. At Rialto. The Sea Inside won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film this year. I'm not sure what it is about subtitles, (this one was in espanol Kel) if it's just that the films are better than Hollywood, or if it's the need to concentrate absolutely that captures and carries me away and leaves me feeling utterly exhausted and enriched (in a cathartic way) . The other three girls were balling at the end. Even tough as ole boots me had a tear when realisation dawned on the nephew and he sprinted off after the van carrying the character playing Ramon Sampedro, (the Spanish quadraplegic whose public campaign to end his life is the basis of the story - true story) , to his suicide party.

I loved the bits where he flew out the window to opera. If I flew, (not in a plane you understand) it would be to opera. I don't even really like opera. But it is fitting flying music. And I loved the grandad's sad face. Broke my heart, nobody does a sad face like that grandad. I loved all the sexual tension when the central protagonist is lying in bed paralysed from the neck down. It's quite a long film, but powerful, powerfully beautifully sad. I wish you would see it.

I've seen something floating around work about the NZ Medical Association shutting down the euthanasia debate here. I am going to seek it out and read it closely tomorrow. I've never proactively analysed the issue to see what my own stance is, possibly because it won't align with my abhorrence of the death penalty. It's too late to start getting metaphysical, but however little institutional religion is in my own life, I have this devout respect for the sanctity of human life. If I had to do that final weekend in the hospital with mum for 28 years.....I just don't know how you could watch someone you love suffer for that long and not start to question the whole the Lord giveth the Lord taketh away absolute.

I'm not even sure if I'm making sense again, tired and waffly, for something a bit more upbeat laugh at the all the crazy people in the pics below.