Tuesday, 30 April 2013

b f pinkerton is a shifty beggar

In the spirit of my previous “I did a thing” posts, I shall review my visit to the NZ Opera on Friday night now that the season has come to an end.  Consider this entirely useless and feel free not to bother. 

So.  Yes.  Friday night, Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, thanks to NZ Opera.  Good. 

P and I started the evening with an abortive attempt to get a quick meal at Depot.  This place is excellent but you need the patience of a saint or the willingness to eat at ridiculously early hour to get in.  We had neither; so we ducked into Elliot Stables for some treats at Besos Latinos first.  The food was a bit meh, but the caipirinhas and pisco sours?  Tasty (not that I can really provide a judgment on authenticity not having made it to South America yet, P: SORT THAT OUT PLZ K THX). 

We floated outside on a wave of cachaca (sp?) into the loveliest, warmest autumn evening.  You would not have known it was the end of April, and it’s been like that ever since – highs of 21 or more every day, overnight lows of 17, crisp mornings, lingering (if dark) evenings.  The balcony at the Aotea centre was fabulous, full of people wearing sequins waving bare arms and glasses of wine around like it was February.

It got even better – beautiful singing, gorgeous set design.  I personally loved the NZSO’s accompaniment, but a lady I chatted with in the loo queue was a bit more ambivalent.  Madame Butterfly herself was a consummate actress and her voice was lovely.  Antoinette Halloran, in case you’re interested.  A colleague of mine thought Suzuki a little pantomime-y, but I loved her voice so could forgive the acting.  Gosh, I’ve never been much of an opera fan before (tried it previously and was ambivalent), but this really was lovely. 

A shame that as the first strains of the melody wafted into the refurbed Aotea centre, the phone of the woman behind us rang, and rang, and rang, and then she leant over to ask us to ensure our phones were off…and then realised it was her own fault as the usher came over with a stern face.  It wasn’t a generic ring tone – it was pretty bloody individual, so how she didn’t recognise it is beyond me.  Cell phone etiquette: muttering about other people’s rudeness never gets old, does it?  I still feel outraged nearly a week later.  That’s also possibly because I’m the crotchedy sort.

The evening was also slightly marred by arriving home to discover people had been let in to fix the ceiling holes (long-ish story, demonstrably NOT MY FAULT this time, a nice change) without our permission.  They left a layer of gib dust over our entire home and belongings and added further scuff marks/paint chips on the walls.  Really took the shine off, I can tell you, as we squabbled over the merits of sending an email to the property manager while slightly squiffy (result: drafted it, decided to sleep on it, GOOD DECISION). 
I still dreamt of cherry blossom that night, though. 

Monday, 29 April 2013


Things I would like to have more control over:

(aka some things I should generally have more control over and some things I can't control at all)

(aka a bossy lady's shitlist)
  • biscuit consumption
  • cheese consumption
  • wine consumption
  • wobbly belly bits
  • the Auckland property market
  • my performance review
  • my knees (their performance review is not looking good)
  • that guy on the way to work with the annoying shoes that just, ugh
  • the supermarket trolley (sorry, lady who was just innocently considering her ham options)
  • my mouth
  • the lotto
  • my open-mouth breathing when I run
  • my hair
  • especially the frizzy bits at the nape of my neck that always, always escape confinement
  • my self esteem
  • my linen cupboard
  • the future of the nation
  • feminism (lean in! lean sideways! have it all! have some of it!)
  • my blog

Thursday, 25 April 2013

gotta get down on friday

I ran! Again! 3k this time...could have gone further, faster but this little heffalump is taking it slow so that the phantom knee lump problem doesn't rear it's knobbly bits and make me feel sore.  See also: lazy. 

Only another 18k on top of that and I've totally run a half marathon.  Oh yeah, and add some hills (this was all on the flat).  Good thing I've got six months to go, my dears.  I am unbelievably out of shape. 

Wrote this run down to keep accountable.  Sigh.

I've been avoiding the blog a little / writing about my knickers in order to try and avoid the house-thing a bit.  Totally got it wrong with the last one (fuck the acronym).  Went for more than $160k over valuation.  This was for a variety of reasons, I suppose, but I didn't see it coming until we arrived at the auction venue.  We ran into N there, a friend of a sister of a friend (oh yes, AKL is that small).  We first met N at one of the last disastrous auctions, where he bid (we thought) hugely over the odds for the place.  He was unsuccessful on that occasion.  This was the second auction he's attended and it was immediately apparent he didn't intend to lose this one.  We congratulated him afterwards (tinged only slightly with bitterness); it's a lovely property and I'm thrilled for him, truly.  Just a bit green with envy. 

So, retrench: this weekend, we're looking in such lovely locales as Ellerslie.  Ellerslie sports a train station (tick for Ellerslie), is near the race course, has excellent motorway access and fuck all else, it seems to me.  All y'all Ellerslie-lovers please come to the party and give me the down low on what's good here.  Oh I know, what a privileged wee rant.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

will knickers with bows boost my self esteem?

You know what is really, really stupid? 

I have spent an inordinate amount of time over the past two weeks thinking about how gross I am.  Normally, Bendon, I'd sing your praises to the high heavens (Glory Be To Elle MacPherson and Praise the Sainted Underwire!), but I bought some discount plain cotton undies from the store a while ago and christ, they make me feel ugly.  I've never had a problem before with cotton knickers - they're the business.  Comfortable and always available in a range of sassy colours.  Tend not to creep up your crack / go some feral colour in the wash / shed elastane within about 5 wears.  Safe knickers.  Sure, they're not going to be the best in the event of you get accidentally seduced by Ryan Gosling (or Justin Long, is that weird? He seems so ... genuinely funny?) but you're not going to be upset about what the paramedic is seeing if you're involved in some kind of bicycle accident.  So yeah, I love me some sensible knickers. 


It's probably just that I've stacked on some belly recently but my latest cotton dacks are JUST SO GROUSE.  They sit at exactly the wrong place to look even remotely attractive. Poor old P has bought me drawers worth of frippery which sits idle (my knicker drawers also hold: eleventy billion odd socks, ribbons, broken pens, lost necklaces, single earrings, a flaming treasure trove of stuff I never use) and here I am wearing cotton gruts that even I can't even stand. 

Things have got to change around here.  I may be getting older, fatter, more shortsighted and grumpier by the day but BY GOD I WILL HAVE NICE KNICKERS if it kills me.  SURELY that will be the cure to my body issues?  ( opposed to regular healthy diet and exercise.  trust me, I'm aware of how fucking warped this logic is but so help me jeebus, I stand by my assertion that lace on my derriere will assist).

So yeah, that's what's really, really stupid.  Add it to the list of bullshit resolutions I make around here. 

Monday, 22 April 2013

by the numbers

Ha, I haven't written about homebuying in at least, well, three posts.  WHAT A RECORD.  So here's the downlow for this week because I can't possibly go any longer without airing my innermost thoughts and feelings on the process:

Auctions won: 0
Auctions lost: 1
Time spent sighing over auction lost: 2 hours, 40 minutes
Bids made: 0
Bids whispered about but not made pending meeting the reserve: 3
Offers made: 0
Offers that were to be made except for shitty title issues: 1
Emails to solicitor: 2
Emails to bank: squillion
Dollars spent on valuations: too many
Valuations: 1 and a half
QV reports: 4
Open homes: 1
Drive bys of homes that transpire are sold already: 1
Drive bys of homes that we missed the open home for: 1
Number of conversations about being done with this shit already: 7 (approx)
Tyres curbed parking in too-narrow streets: 2
Number of emails between A + P listing properties: 4
Number of times have been asked "bought a house yet?": 7
Time spent on TradeMe: black hole vortex, cannot be counted
Time spent having lunch with out of town friends instead of going to open homes: 2 hours 10 minutes (and not a second regretted)

So a quiet week on this front (comparatively.  Last weekend was 10 open homes, for example).  Holding out hope for Great Location, Crappy Kitchen But Fuck Me, I Think We Can Afford It House which goes to auction tomorrow evening.  I'm not even sure I love it, having spent a sum total of about 5 minutes in and around it.  I know for a fact it's going to take years of practice for me to get the car in the garage there but THERE I GO AGAIN being all premature and imagining my life in that space only to be bitterly disappointed. GLCKBFMITWCAI, please PLEASE come through not least because my acronyms are becoming worse and worse and entirely unwieldy!

Thursday, 18 April 2013

happy little kiwis

Oh you guys, I watched Parliament TV last night.  It was worth it (as opposed to when P made me watch a repeat of Question Time later to back up his assertion that Parliamentarians are a bit monkey at the zoo-ish.) 
I couldn't stop smiling in the latter stages of the debate and as the personal vote was cast. 

New Zealand has marriage equality. 

It's awesome and about time.    

So many of us are bursting with pride today about what that vote says about our society.  I'll admit, Pokarekare Ana sung by the press gallery may have jerked a tear.  Speaker Lindsay Tisch's very strong Kiwi accent made me cringe but also recognise the glory of the representative process - sounded like my great uncle, right there on the telly.  It's a really good day to be a Kiwi.

It means so much to my family personally, but I can't separate that very personal joy from the joy and pride I feel about being part of a nation that wants to recognise love.

A very good day. 

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

update on p: family violence is not ok

P, with a seriously swollen nose and two black-ish eyes, is being asked on the regular if everything is ok at home.  Poor old P, I think he can see the funny side of his wife breaking his nose in the middle of the night with a savage if unintentional headbutt, but it's still getting a bit old having to explain himself to all + sundry.  Luckily, I managed to crack his nose along an old break, so he didn't have to have it rebroken/aligned. 

In the wee hours of the morning, having finished losing my shit and cleaning up my husband/all the blood (ALL THE BLOOD), I was wide awake.  Wired from the events of the night and wary, in case P choked on blood in his sleep or god forbid I had a further episode of terrors.  This led to a bit of a google session on my phone:

"I broke my husband's nose"

"Nose broken night terrors"

"fuckity fuck fuck I headbutted his face"

& variations on the theme. 

Do you know what?  I am not the first woman in the world to have broken her spouse's nose during an episode of night terrors.  I found a message board relating to exactly that scenario, upon which the responders detailed savage night beatings of their bedmates.  I felt so much better afterwards but also marginally horrified at the nocturnal violence being perpetrated worldwide. 

life on the 21st floor is all a bit too much today

At least once a year (six monthly? three monthly?), I seriously reconsider my choice of career.  Why am I not doing something with little stress, easy + predictable hours and fuck-all consequences? Does that job even exist?  I'm probably still doing what I do partly because here is where I've found myself without thinking about it too hard, partly the money, partly the days where I enjoy what I'm doing (as elusive as they are). 

Eh, consider this whinge over - I think I've bled lawyer-moaning dry. 

Three hours later: NO I HAVEN'T.  Plenty more where that came from! I'll spare you more today, however, since I'm feeling magnanimous (can you feel magnanimous or is it more the nature of a thing? i.e. making a magnanimous gesture? clearly I can expend key strokes on it here but not in doing a spot'o'google on it.)

Possible career changes:
  • Go back to check out at the supermarket.  Poorly paid, but the days went fast and I got to talk to people. 
  • Horses.  Find a career involving them.  In the middle of a city.  Hmmm.
  • Become Actress, Indulge in Theatrical Tendencies (said with a flourish requiring capital initials).  Shame I Have No Talent. 
  • Um.
  • Um.
As soon as I started seriously trying to brainstorm alternatives, I realise how poorly qualified I am to do much else but lawyering.  Teaching would require another diploma at the least (poor old P couldn't face a 7th year of me in post-secondary education), academia requires self-motivation which HA HA, I don't haz any really appealing writing skillz or ideas, I am numerically challenged and I'm IT illiterate.  Skills I do possess include procrastination, talking and making a really excellent brew of earl grey. 

Time for a cuppa and a bikkie, I think.    Play to your strengths.

Monday, 15 April 2013

i am stupid and i already have blisters

Can't believe I forgot to tell you this.  If I do say it, it becomes a real thing and then I can't back out.  That's the theory, anyway.

I'm gonna run the Auckland Half Marathon this year.

I know, I know.  Not exactly earthshattering or excessively ambitious.  I'm not running a proper marathon for charity, I'm not pushing the boundaries of human endurance for love, etc etc.  I'm just running a half marathon for a second time; the last was 7 years ago.  My knees will hurt, my feet will be blistered, the underside of my boobs will be chafed and dear god, that'll be enough to keep me moaning on here for MONTHS.  Good god, it's not even 'til November. 

But writing it down makes it real; as does the first run I endured yesterday.  I'd really like for 31-year-old-me to beat 24-year-old-me when the time comes but I'm not holding my breath (24 year old me was not exactly a speed machine but current 30-year-old-me can only race you to the bottom of a glass of G+T.)

Shame about the fact it's sold out already and muggins here doesn't have a ticket. 

An auspicious start, no? 

dull alert: of interest only to aucklanders currently active in the residential property market. the rest of you have been warned.

I do not yet know what my housing situation will be post-7 May 2013, when the extension to our current lease runs out.  Yes, that is an indirect way of saying we failed yet again at auction over the weekend. 

You must be thinking either:

(a) they have a warped perception of what properties they're looking at are worth; or
(b) they're hopeless at auction technique.

I'll admit that a couple of our offers have been of the cheeky 'can't hurt' variety.  Also in our defence, I think the market growth is rapidly outstripping some of the valuations we've obtained (case in point - the weekend's auction involved a house that sold for $136,000 more than valuation obtained a matter of days beforehand - auctioneer told us afterwards that he'd had some difficulty in keeping a straight face during the latter, obscene stages of the auction.  There were certainly audible snorts from disaffected members of the public attending the auction, though the lady over the fence was stoked).  I'd like to think our auction technique is pretty shit hot though - we've played the occasional sniper move to good effect (but yet, we are still Losers, note the Capital L). 

Basically, I think we need to retrench.  Keep it between you, me and the rest of the internet, but we think our options are:

(a) Give it up for now and hope the alleged 'bubble' bursts.  This is a gamble, of course.  Interest rates are good now and it would be good to lock a decent rate down.  Also, the rate at which Auckland is growing population wise is far outstripping building rates, so long term, investment in the 09 is sensible.  Plus, I just want to.  So there's that.

(b) Look for something further away from the city.  Major issue with this: you need to go a fair way in order to get cheaper prices.  I know from experience that I don't handle commuting well.  P might be OK with it, but he loves the urban lifestyle.  When we drew up our list of 'wants', being close to work was numero uno on the list. 

(c) Throw a bit more money at it.  Scares the bejesus out of me, but there it is.  Don't think I'm talking squillions extra here, but if we'd stretched a further $20k or so at previous auctions, I think we'd be home owners already. (RBATWAFD and SNWACK houses, I'm looking at you; in both cases an extra $5k probably woulda done it, speculation until the cows come home, etc).

(d) Look at something smaller.  Problem being, we're basically looking at the tiniest already.

OK, so this is basically a massive affluent person whinge and you're all entitled to scream "CHAMPAGNE PROBLEMS, BITCH" at me.  Here is the defensive part: my diary (public consumption or no), my deal.  See also: mo' money, mo' problems.  We think the answer is a bit of a combo of (c) and (d).  I really don't like losing, so on we go. 

Advise me, o wise and venerable internets: strangers, this is basically the biggest invitation for ass-vice ever.  What would you do, were you me?

Thursday, 11 April 2013

a+p do melbourne

so apart from beating my husband at night, I've been working about a billion and THAT'S RIGHT I went to Melbourne!

So great.  SRSLY.  27 degrees, sunshine (+ a shower or to, to be fair), sights, eats etc.  We had a lovely time.  So lovely in fact, that we made it home at 6.30am on Sunday morning after an extended sesh in the Laneways bars and at the Supper Club.  I have not done that since I was about 20 (I think the closest was the time I "tipped" the cab driver my camera by accident in NY at about 4am following an East Village bender with V and L - got into the apartment and fell off the bed taking my boots off while P watched in wonder) (I lie! It was the time I hit Shoreditch with the girls and got hit on by Essex lads with too much cologne at the Hoxton Pony and ate pizza on the roadside, possibly my favourite night in London ever).  Mind you, this was not a dance party.  Our particular brand of being 30 is much more old fogey than that.  We sat for ages in a bar that resembled a womb (red leather dangly trimmings and vulval couches), another that featured outdoor lavs but served something delicious with lychee and eventually ended up in comfortable sofas at Supper Club, sipping red wine, eating cheese and talking, talking, talking. 

We caught up with old friends and I probably used my yearly word quota in yakking away - just bliss. 
P (29Y364D) + A (NOT ME, T'OTHER ONE) + VIEW

More importantly, I think P had a great time.  Happy 30th P, and here's to many more decades of bad behaviour with you.

(I really hope our trip trumps the bad memories of the nosebreaking incident of 2013...)

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

i broke my husband's nose last night




Night terrors, awoke screaming, decided something was in my bed, leapt out shrieking, headbutted P on the way, blood, yelling, more screaming, total out of body experience where I could hear him but couldn't do anything about it.

Finally got my shit together and got towels, ice, ibuprofen, water and whiskey for the poor boy.  He nearly threw up.  I nearly threw up.  My bedroom looks like a murder house.  I hope to god that I didn't permanently ruin his boyish good looks or give him another fucking concussion.

(still don't know what gave me the terrors)

I FUCKING BROKE MY HUSBAND'S NOSE.  His colleagues are going to think I'm a beater

(godalmighty, I think I need another holiday)

Thursday, 4 April 2013



f me, I have to get on a plane to Melbourne tonight and there's workworkwork

I'll be back next week

Oh yeah, I've got an offer on a house

Sweat that for the weekend with me



four (5?) hours later: no house.  of course not! that's ok.  i'll find one.  plus, i'm going to melbourne with a guy who woke up at 1am to let me in from work, held me tight and told me he was glad to see me.  things are fine. 

Monday, 1 April 2013

auckland can be just lovely

Hallo April, you're looking pretty.  Weather report: few drops of rain over the weekend, but also gorgeous sunny clear weather too.  P and I flopped down in the middle of Victoria Park yesterday because sunshine! and then I got eaten by a cloud of midges so you know, this extended summer business has its drawbacks too.

MUST TELL YOU: the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki is magical!  I forgot my glasses so had a limited span during which enjoying the art was, well, enjoyable (gets a bit ruined when you have to stand next to the piece and squint) - but my gosh we had a superb visit yesterday.  The bit of the collection we saw was just lovely (largely New Zealand artists of the 20th century in the Toi Aotearoa exhibition) and the building itself was fantastic.  My favourite part was sitting on a balcony with a coffee, with a perfectly framed/unframed view of Albert Park and a twisty pohutukawa, complemented by native birdsong.  I chose that moment to break his bday surprise news - he's pretty excited. 

We'd wandered into the city on foot to see the gallery; we followed it up with a visit to Unity Books (fave bookshop, EVER, hands down) and mosey around the sunglasses stores (an unfortunate victim of R + A's wedding).  P and I were so drunk off our own lovely city/country that we ate Bluff oysters and drank Mission Reserve Chardonnay for lunch + felt blissfully happy/like proper Auckland nobs.  Easter Monday was lufferly.