Thursday, 30 May 2013

today is mini-friday for which i am eternally grateful

I've got nothing to contribute to the betterment of the human race, just now, thanks Internet.  And yet I feel coerced into opening a new post and typing in words, in the interests of being remotely consistent.  Is there anything more boring that a blogger whinging about block / absence / dearth of subject material?  Probably (urgh, conversations about the length of time I spent on the phone to the IRD and the tortuous hold music.)  But it's not far off.

I therefore present you with a list of extremely unformed thoughts:
  • Would you be (a) horrified (b) disgusted or (c) secretly like, whoa, you're so HIP and COOL and whatnot if I bought a house with a swan in plaster on the chimney?  This could happen.  It's a distinct possibility.  Aside from my general inability to purchase real estate, that is. 
  • Adult acne.  WHAT.  I am nearly 31 goddamn years old and have at least one 'on the go spot' at all times.  Just like when I was 14 and awful. Ohhhhhhhhh...that is more than half my life with spots.  That could just be the most depressing thought that has occurred to me in, I don't know, the last FIVE YEARS.
  • Oh yeah, I don't need to get rid of the black chandeliers.  They're someone else's problem.  Someone else's extremely expensive problem, I should say.
  • Sister baiting. "Well, you wouldn't be cold if you wore a dress that covered more than your bum", says she.  I can't help but snap back "Jealousy will get you nowhere".  God, the whole thing makes me feel awful.  We play on each other's weaknesses; we know them too well.  The detente for her surgery yesterday has clearly come to a close.
  • Sunset happens so quickly right now.  Poof! And then we're done.
  • Bras: how tight is too tight? Should your ribs feel achy at the end of the day?
  • There was a giant pad of post-it notes in the stationery cupboard today.  It was like I'd won the Lotto. 

Sunday, 26 May 2013

tea + reflection

You'll be pleased to know that my boots are very clean this Monday morning, thanks to a trade-off with P over the weekend (if you clean my boots, I'll iron you a shirt.  This is how marital negotiations run in our house.  See also: if you cook me something tasty, I'll vacuum the mess off the kitchen floor.  We're lazy, basically.)

But other than that, Monday's pretty average this week, boys and girls:


NO EARL GREY TEA IN THE KITCHEN AT WORK.  Crisis situation.  English Breakfast decidedly subpar. 


Nope, that was it.  No Earl Grey + Monday is basically enough to throw me for a loop, clean boots and all. 

OK, so the thing that is still consuming my spare time is the house hunting.  I know.  Terribly boring, no action, etc etc.  P and I narrowly missed out on Thursday night and got rotten drunk and fought to compensate.  That's how we know that (a) Frieda's is a great bar on Richmond Road, Grey Lynn (seriously, love it.  Ex-butchery with charm, as unlikely as that sounds) and (b) we can never go back there (the drunken hiss-whispered fighting.  The shame.)  However, we're nothing if not stupidly resilient and we're still in it to win it.  There's another auction on Wednesday evening.  Sadly, even with no confidence I'm still arranging the furniture / removing the hideous black chandeliers (black chandeliers! If that's your thing, more power you; you have a very strong sense of self/design aesthetic that my neutral-toned and boring self cannot handle.)

Yeah, I've basically avoided writing more about this online because it's tedious, repetitive and makes me get all self-examine-y in a way that makes me uncomfortable.  Just keep your fingers crossed, please? 

In other news, I ate approximately my body weight in thinly sliced rump steak, green cos salad with lemon dressing and wee roasty potatoes last night.  New favourite meal.  Easy, tasty and comparatively healthy (I choose to ignore the amount of canola oil used in the roasting of those potatoes.)

We saw friends ex-London on Saturday night and made bad choices re pizza, beer and wine, but had a very nice time.  I need to do that sort of thing more often - I love sitting at a pub, gossiping and reminiscing (this time last year we were in Croatia!) 

I guess that's a weekend round-up, after all.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

mundane awfulness of the day

Ever been adjusting your knickers in the lift when the doors opened unexpectedly? 

Preening in the mirror, perhaps?

Standing in lingering odour?

Squealing about a lift failure?

Backed your junk into someone when making room? 

I have done all of these things.  Quelle horreur.  I hope you can top it.  Please say you can. 

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

lather me up

I am slowly, inexorably, being sucked under by a rip tide of paper waves.  The filing crests over me, the electronic print outs dwelling in the undertow drag me down. 

The waste of paper in my day to day existence makes me feel ill.  Aside from work, I don't think I chew too many trees, aside from the veritable mountain of crap that filters through the post box each day.  We live in a complex that junk-mail posters find difficult to access, so the pizza leaflets have slowed, but the furrows in my brow deepen every time I open the box to see yet another statement from the bank (but you didn't tell us you wanted e-statements on your credit card, they say.  Can't you take it as read, given I've asked for no paper for every other account?)  My furrows do not need another reason to deepen.

As it turns out, that's about all I can muster up on the topic of paper wastage this evening.  I just can't take it to the next tortured metaphor today.  S'really unusual when I can't lather myself into a good rant/whinge (though frankly, someone else can probably do a paper wastage blog better, you know, with stats and sources and stuff).  On the scale of Gives A Shit, you can locate me somewhere closer to Marginal Apathy than Mildly Outraged, I guess (feel free to illustrate the rest of that scale yourself, I've just enjoyed a satisfying five minutes marking intervals such as "Utter Panic", which comes slightly to the left of "All Consuming Rage" but well to the right of "I'm Not Sure What You're On About But I'll Feign Interest").

Indicative of a lapse into that whole seasonal affective situation?  A lack of daylight hours does allow me to indulge in a spot of melancholy, but it's not too bad as yet (in case you were wondering).  I get outside during sunlight hours enough in Aucks enough to counteract that, c.f. London, where an ever-darkening grey haze at 3.30pm used to turn me braindead. 

Nope, just general moping, I suppose.  Te karere, I hear you ask?  Um, well, the news is that there is no news.  I am busy in the practice of existing day to day and wondering what I'll eat for dinner tonight. 

WAIT. STOP PRESS.  I DISCOVERED MOULD IN MY VEGEMITE THIS MORNING.  That, right there, is some momentous shit that I can get righteously angry about (sorry world+our environment, today's just a selfish kind of a day, I guess.) WHICH OF YOU MUPPETS DIDN'T SCREW THE LID ON PROPERLY?? (I'm looking at you, P). That could have legitimately ruined my Vogels, lovingly toasted to medium brown. 

I think I'll give it up there.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

bad prose on poetry

Oh hallo Blog.  There you are!  I missed you while I was absent for five or so minutes.

Manhire to Music at the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival last Friday was excellent.  Bill Manhire's poetry is lovely, redolent of place/whimsy in a way I found delicious. 

I love this, for example: 'On Originality' Bill Manhire, via New Zealand Electronic Poetry Centre (I can't reproduce without permission, so I won't.  But please to follow the link and enjoy for yourselves.) 

They closed the piece with Hone Tuwhare's 'Rain'.  I can't find a link that doesn't make me feel all suspicious about copyright/attribution, but I walked past that poem every school day for the five years of my undergraduate study, and I think it's eaten it's way into my skin, living in the subcutaneous fat, an unacknowledged part of me.  That's also probably a breach of copyright, but then, nominal damages only?  It's beautiful. 

(oh - the Hone Tuwhare Charitable Trust site is here and features a copy.)

It was lovely to have the poet read aloud, lovely and emotive to hear those words set to music.  But I also wanted a copy of each poem in front of me so that I could devour the shape of it, study it further, use more of my senses.  Goes without saying I bought the book, hey? 

Thursday, 16 May 2013

the end of may is nigh

It is now almost completely dark by 5.30.  This happens every year and yet it is still a surprise to me, sneaking up to slide a hand over my shoulder and shield my eyes from the sun.

With the onset of wintry weather, poor old P is lurching from bed to couch to work (if he must) to couch to bed again.  I think there may be the occasional shower in his programme, but I cannot vouch for frequency, sadly.  He has savoured lozenges like each suck might be the last soothing respite his throat ever experiences.  Last night, he derived a great deal of entertainment from the novelty game I'd brought him: which is the better brand of aloe vera tissue?  You should be aware that Kleenex carried the day - greater number of tissues per box, three ply, "squishy", plush (major negative: eyewateringly expensive.)  That he spent that much time on a tissue comparison is a telling sign of ennui.

Later that night, he announced:

You know, I watched 15 episodes of tv and Skyfall at least one (possibly twice for the good bits) and I DIDN'T ENJOY MYSELF AT ALL.

I had pity for him, then he tried to bait me by uttering with some serious side-eye, as he tossed another tissue:

Do you think that if we consume more paper they'll just devote more landspace to planting trees?

My eyes almost rolled out of the back of my head and I nastily remarked something about his gunked up face. 

So, I am still being worky and hitting keys at a rapid rate of knots, drafting endless task lists and achieving a good amount of fuck all.  I am also busy being Nurse Florence Nightingale, a task to which I am singularly ill-suited.  I feel pity for the ill, but I loathe illness in my house.  I find it difficult to bear through the nose blowings and "d'y'know if we have any more Nite'n'Day?" type conversations (actually, I loathe the latter conversation irrespective of illness - "Do you know where/if we have...?" is the sentence starter that drives me out of my mind because WHAT THE FUCK AM I, SOME KIND OF HOUSEHOLD DIRECTORY? Even though part of me knows it may just be quicker for the person to ask and it doesn't cost me anything to say yes/no/in the drawer where every miscellaneous thing goes to die it still drives me bananas).  I am fundamentally lazy + selfish and I wish I could find it in myself not to get so frustrated with Sick P. 

Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm still filling orders for tissues/ice cream/meals AND I even picked up a bag of crumpled tissues without complaint, but I'm afraid it's hard to conceal the distaste in my eyes. 

I do love him, I promise.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

lazy pantses

Eh, I'm being all worky again and neglecting you, you poor old blog.  Just like I neglected my teenage diary when I wasn't that particularly lovely combo of bored and feeling angsty.  Soz blog, you deserve better!

Here is the lazyblog guide to moi, recently:
  • Still not a home owner.  Hope to remedy this tomorrow, but the hope is only in miniscule, basically unmeasurable amounts.
  • Oh yeah, at least the landlord did decide to extend our current tenancy until July at the last possible moment, so I'm not currently homeless (even if it does feel like I'm living in the office, she says darkly.)
  • I cooked a salmon fillet for the first time.  Two, in fact (seeing as P might have been pissed if I just sorted myself out.) Why have I never done this before?!  Am obviously a hopeless, dopey human being.  It was fucking delicious.  Recipe: oven, salmon, drizzle of oil, slices of lemon, season with S+P.  Don't fuck it up.  I'm just like Nigella, right?! 
  • I'm facing up to the fact that I'm likely spending all of August in Christchurch.  Don't go all Pollyanna on me and say 'you can go skiing on your weekends!' etc.  I'll be holed up in worky places and hotels for the duration.  The good news is I'll need to buy a winter coat (yusssssssss).  I have very mixed feelings about Chch, generally.  I'm very complicated, obv.
  • I got a motherfucking haircut last weekend.  Oh, you say, does a haircut really require cussing of that magnitude? Damn right it does.  I looked like a horror show of split ends and it was bliss. Also, we had to take off quite a whack of hair so I think it justifies being called more than your average haircut.
  • Petite Bocal is a very nice new cafe/wine bar in Sandringham, Auckland.  I liked it very much. 
  • We're planning a Stewart Island retreat for Xmas with the fandamily.  I know it seems early but you've got to get bookings early or risk missing out.  I'm looking forward to spotting some kiwi, creating some triceps kayaking and hanging out with me faves.  Any recommendations, previous visitors to New Zealand's third largest island?
That's all for now, ta ta!

Friday, 10 May 2013

iiiiiii'm kiiiiiiiiiiiissing yooooooooou

List du jour is Movies What I Have Loved Far, Far More Than Is Reasonable:
  • Grease.  I think that was the first taped-off-the-telly movie that my sister and I wore out with repeats, watching it every day if we could.  Wasn’t sure what Rizzo’s problem was, didn’t know why Frenchie could quit school (are they allowed to do that in America where they also can wear whatever they want to high school every day?!!), thought Sandy was prettier when she was square, could not for the life of me understand why they wrapped Grease Lightning with a giant roll of cling film – didn’t get it at age 7, basically, but I loved it. 
  • No, wait, the first taped-off-the-telly-movie we wore out was the Sound of Music.  Mum used to sit on the edge of her chair in the scene where Captain Von Trapp waltzes with Maria.  I thought ‘16 Going On 17’ much more romantic, but I was a fool, I have subsequently learned on yet another round of rewatching as an adult.  CvT is the business. 
  • ROMEO+JULIET.  I can hear any song off that sound track and my heart basically stops in its tracks, thinking about Leonardo DiCaprio.  Infinitely cooler than how I felt about Titanic (3x at the movies, people. I suspect I believed Jack was real and that the ending might change next time around).  I think I learned what love/obsession/drugs were by watching and rewatching R+J.  Mrs Grewal in fourth form English used it for our Shakespeare study.  She was a bloody genius.  All the girls in the classroom were rapt, mouthing along with the best bits and the sound track.  Jesus, Leo through the fishtank.  If you were around 14 in 1996, female and had access to a movie theatre, I think you know what I’m saying.
  • The BBC’s 1995 Pride & Prejudice with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle.  I discovered this at about 15 or 16 and quickly wore off Leo, let me tell you.  I think I thought I was a modern day Elizabeth Bennet and could not wait to say I was not yet one and twenty.  I have this on both VHS and DVD, as well as the Keira Knightley version (Matthew McAvoy, you’re alright, but I basically watch it to bitch about how it’s not the same as the book.)
  • Die Hard.  My sister and I discovered the glory on a lazy weekend (both of us love Alan Rickman which likely drew us in) and were yelling Yippee-Ki-Yay Mother Fucker and bursting into hysterical giggles for WEEKS.  My parents were, I think, both horrified and secretly proud.  I still feel like the first three Die Hards are the ultimate movies to watch at Christmas.  Is that weird?
  • Anything with Liam Neeson.  And I’m not just talking about Rob Roy or Love, Actually.  Sadly, I have seen and enjoyed Taken, Taken 2 and The Grey which tells you something about my twisted little mind.  I suspect he’s the best action star of all time (Bruce is second.  Die Hard 4 really jumped the shark.)
Anyway, there are more v intellectual movies in my catalogue of films what I adore (ha.  Do Ghost or Ghostbusters count as intellectual? What about Spaceballs?), but the above are probably the extent of the ones I feel obsessive about. Most of them are the result of being a ghastly yet probably your average middle class teenager: it was a time of bad poetry and horrendous, compulsive adoration.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

mother's day is sunday

I am back from deepest, darkest rural NZ where the lamingtons are tasty, the sheep plentiful and the early winter landscape eerily beautiful.  We said goodbye in a very measured way with terrible renditions of 'The Lord is My Shepherd' and 'Abide with Me', but a lovely eulogy by a daughter.  I simply cannot fathom no longer having my Mum.  I think I can imagine the shape of it, but I cannot plumb the depths.  Mum, still so fresh in her grief and the unfairness of it all four years later, said it best just before we left the wake:

every day there is something I want to tell her

Anyway, I am back in Auckland where it is warm-ish and rainy.  While no one will hand me a cup of tea in bed as a wake-up call tomorrow (that is my mother's particular language of love, which also translates to 'get the hell out of bed and start the day with me') it will be nice to be back in my home, surrounded by my books and my kitchen implements and my bathroom products.  I wore her perfume and knee high stockings yesterday and we both wore black pants, cut off at the ankle and I admired her grey cardigan and I thought we are the same, after all.  She is me and I am her.  Even as we are not. 

I forgot to wish her a happy mother's day as I slid out of the car at the airport today.  Why do I still cry every time I leave them?

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

while i'm gone

Something to chew on: I hated the Great Gatsby.  Not so much because I abhorred the writing (I didn't), but because there was not a single thing I liked about Daisy and Gatsby (I felt a little sorry for Nick, but that was it).  I haven't been able to bring myself to reread it since sixth form, when I was poisoned by F. Scott Fitzgerald.  This article by Kathryn Schulz in New York Magazine has finally given me to understand why that might have been: not a skerrick of the emotional connection between them hits the page. 

Monday, 6 May 2013

i will drink a g+t in your honour (but not light a smoke, you know i disapprove)

My great aunt has died and I am soon disappearing southward to attend her funeral + remember her with the relations.  It is sad; I am sad; Mum is sad; but it is best and the tide rolls in, rolls out. 

It has not stopped raining in Auckland for three days.  Thunderously, lightning-like, horizontally, vertically, slowly, sunnily, wetly, darkly it has rained.  It will clear; wan sunlight will break the clouds and One Tree Hill will be etched in light as I travel home from the airport.  It suits my mood. 

Friday, 3 May 2013

really, really dumb. for real.

You know when you leave the house, congratulating yourself on how ragingly hot you’re looking today, then at lunchtime you catch your reflection in a shop window and want to shrivel with shame?
That has to be about the dumbest feeling in the world.  Fucking girls, we can be so DUMB to ourselves, to others. 
I wish I looked more like Christopher Plummer.  Then I would always look excellent (dapper, suave, devil-may-care-ish) and would only have to worry about whether my pocket square was straight. 
I still don’t know whether I have to move this weekend or Monday or Tuesday.  And, if so, where to.  I hope that if we have to go, it’s just to another apartment in the complex.  I’m holding on to hope.
After losing another auction last night and being stood up by a Wellingtonian in town for some kind of work thing, P and I got quietly plastered.  We downed a bottle of chianti mostly before being seated for a delicious dinner we really shouldn’t have ordered and the man made me laugh.  And laugh.  Our knees touched, tangled, as we first faced each other on bar stools then later fell face first into a pannacotta so creamy it should be illegal (dairy intolerant? You shouldn’t even LOOK at it).  The most fun we’ve had in ages, as we discussed our hopes, dreams and budgetary requirements.  Teased one another about fugly couches.  Dissected the state of our union.  No one I'd rather lose with than that man.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

more of the same feckless behaviour

A shame to knock Captain Von Trapp off the top of the blog, eh?

So old hopeless useless over here set off the fire alarm again the other night.  The toast cinders exhaled hot black breath into the sensors (I swear I only turned my back for a minute) and ominous bleeping began.  I yanked the plug from the socket and raced to open every door in the house, flapping the front door to try and dilute the fugue, while tearfully poking at my phone to call the property manager…thank god it dissipated before it triggered the complex wide alarm and brought in the firefighters.  The bleeping ceased after about a minute but my heart continued making frantic efforts to escape my chest for some time to come.  The shame! The shame!  We really have had a terrible run in the 7 months we’ve been in our current apartment. 

As advertised, the holes in the ceiling weren’t my fault.  We received a call explaining that there was something wrong with the plumbing upstairs, which necessitated access from underneath.  We think it’ll just be a small hole in your hot water cupboard, they promised blithely.  Several enormous holes in the laundry, entryway and hotwater cupboard later, we had ladder marks all over the door frames, scuffs on the walls and bits of severed gib all over the floor.  Then there was the fix-the-holes debacle detailed a post or two ago.  I can’t find it in my heart to get too worked up over it though because it’s probably some sort of karmic retribution for that time in about ‘07 when I dropped a hotel shampoo bottle down the shower drain and the plumber had to cut into the ceiling of the apartment below ours to extract it. 

I really shouldn’t live in communal housing.  I’m a hazard. 

Have I mentioned I don’t know where I’m living past Tuesday next week?  Ffffffff. TBC, no doubt. 

Other recent hopeless useless moments recently?  Well…you may never have experienced the phenomenon known as “wearing your high heels down to the nub and exposing the little metal bits” but sadly, it’s a phenomenon with which I am familiar (work shoes have no goddamn stamina around here).  Not normally a problem except for the scruffy look (don’t worry, people are distracted by the bobbles on my tights and stains on my dress before they get as far as looking at my shoes), but one rainy day last week I walked into the office foyer and both feet skated across the marble.  Whew, I thought, I’m still upright, I’m not sure if anyone saw, I’m going to keep on walking.  And promptly did it again but with one of those enormous wide arm wave/wobbles, handbag flying out sideways.  So profeshunal.  The rest of my steps across the lobby floor were deliberate, spraddle legged feet-plantings.  Really ladylike.  Graceful.  Etc.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

pictureless void no more

I can't stand looking at my pictureless blog just now, so Fuck Yeah, Books! has come through once again:  this time, it's introduced me to Awesome People Reading.  I can't even.  LOVE.

That's better.