Tuesday, 29 July 2014

here is how I waste my money in spades

Verdict on the keratin blow out a mere four days and one wash later? While my hair feels full of gunk, it only took 5 minutes to blow dry and was not a ginormous mess.  It was perfectly presentable.  If this thing lasts four weeks it will be worth every cent of the $120 I spent on it (plus another $40 for shampoo because of course they upsold me on maintenance).  It does not look as shiny or feel as soft as I know it can, but it is not a giant, unmanageable tangle of frizz, so there's that.  I don't know that I'll be getting a keratin treatment on the regular because mortgage and good grief that's a lot of money for vanity, but for special occasions it seems like a good treat.

Will no doubt continue to report because what else is this blog for other than reporting on all things mane?

In other vanity news, I spent a metric shit-ton of money on new foundation and powder recently.  The MAC counter is a black hole into which I occasionally hurl my funds hoping that it will magically improve my appearance, when what would actually improve my appearance would be a willingness to actually remove all traces of makeup before going to bed at night and keeping my hands away from my face (didn't have the hands in pants problem endemic to so many small children, my fingers were probably up my nose instead.  These days they can be found gently resting on my cheeks and nose while deeply pondering, of course.  Not squeezing things, no).  I started wearing some of that Benefit pore concealer as a primer, followed by a bit of Benefit concealer on the spots, then the foundation and finally mineral powder and have noticed that the combo actually has a reasonable amount of staying power.  However, doesn't that all seem a lot of hard work, just to get myself to the office in the morning?  No doubt I will ditch this formulation again shortly, but now I've noted it for future reference when I next decide that my complexion looks like pond scum by midmorning under the flattering fluoroescent lighting in the office bathroom. 


Last night, I baked for the first time since the Grilled Chocolate Cake Disaster of 2002.  Miracle of miracles, I think it was edible.  At least, no one who consumed it has yet complained of any malady caused by it and they were all very polite, not least P who was effusive in his praise, knowing as he does my culinary limitations.  I made Lemon and Walnut Loaf from the Edmonds cookbook which was super easy, probably because that cookbook is likely aimed at beginners.  Beginner I certainly am.

Given the lemons had been donated to the workplace by a colleague, I brought a chunk into the office today to share.  This was ambitious seeing as it could have been disgusting and possibly poisonous.  Also, it was devious, because I know that had I left something with so much sugar and butter in my home I would have eaten the whole thing.


Wednesday, 23 July 2014

that's a big assumption

Assuming everything goes to plan, P and I are taking a week off in August. 

We have needed to have something to look forward, so we tentatively locked in some leave a couple of months ago.  We're not going anywhere because we're trying to save, though I toyed with the idea of booking a getaway to Milford Sound and Queenstown.  Instead,we're going to engage in a spot of light demolition at Chez Mauve. 

This has (expensive) disaster written all over it. The plan:

- Remove all the internal linings from the spare bedroom.
- Insulate the walls.
- Replace linings with fresh gib.
- Get the electrician in to move outlets, and the plasterer to finish the linings.
- Sand, including window and door frames.
- Paint.
- Replace manky door, or at least give the current door a handle.*

*What, all your doors come with a handle as standard? The Purple Palace really is, um, unusual.

What is likely to happen:

- Have fight over logistics while moving all furniture out of spare bedroom.
- Rip down linings and create hellish mess. 
- Discover serious issues with timber frames which no doubt means whole house is screwed.
- Call builder, discover no one can help for at least six months.
- Leave the rest of it forever.

I can conjure at least six different permutations of the 'What is Likely to Happen' list.  Most of which end with all the bedroom stuff living in the dining room while the bedroom is unfinished for months, nay, years.  I am cursing our DIY efforts, no doubt, with my predictions of dire consequences.  But I know my limitations and while I'm not sure of P's, I'm nervous.

So, in order that the holiday feels, well, holiday-ish, I booked a long lunch for us the first weekend we're off.  Think of it as a marital counselling via pasta and wine before the arguments actually occur. Aren't I optimistic?!*

*Please note the move away from yell-y caps to an angular italicisation for emphasis.  I am attempting to be my piffling.  I know, not much of an improvement.  Still a great deal of overuse of the exclamation mark, to say nothing of the other egregious grammatical offences. 

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

vanity, thy name is blogger

My obsession with not having a giant triangle head of hair continues.  In advance of my attendance at P's big work thing, I have booked a keratin blow out this weekend.  This is despite not being 100% sure what a keratin blow out actually is.  There are vague promises of shiny, no frizz for up to six weeks, but I still wonder if that's predicated on being able to use a hairdryer.  Because my hairdrying skills are haphazard, at best.  As in, point it at the wet bits and blow the bejesus out of it until dry (aaaaaand that is probably the reason for my triangle head, right there).

Good grief I am vain.  My mother used to comment on my constant glances into reflective surfaces, right throughout my childhood.  I used to think it was probably self-consciousness (have I got something on my teeth? do I look ok?).  Now, I think it's definitely self-consciousness (particularly since the skirt-tucked-into-knickers almost-debacle I caught in the office bathroom mirror before anyone else saw me). 

We'll await the results with baited breath, shall we?

Tuesday, 15 July 2014


Ugh, the stress is eating my stomach lining again.  It's work - I'd spill it all out on the page in hope of a cathartic redemption, but it's confidential of course and tedious in the extreme, so.  Let's just say that checking your emails at about midnight on a Friday night while under the influence, then seeing something you realllllllly didn't want to see in there is BALLS.  Don't do it, you spend the next two days chewing on it!

So yes, Wellington.  I like Wellington.  I told P as we were leaving that if he got offered a job there, I wouldn't veto it.  We had a lovely time with really good friends and I am now finding that I absolutely do not feel like recapping it.  This is likely because I gave my mother the rundown via email yesterday.  I did skip the bit about D and M buying us all tequila shots, which we downed and promptly all went to bed because fuck that, way too old.  Also, I skipped the bit when I went to a skody bar in town in my converse sneakers because I had nothing to change into - I discovered that (a) cardigans are not really acceptable Courtney Place attire post-midnight on a Friday and (b) I don't know how to dance without wearing heels. 

Laziest. Blogger. Ever. 

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

i don't generally sing in the shower, at least

My cat watched me have a bath last night. Actually, 'watched' is the wrong word.  She participated in my bath last night.  Strolling up and down the edge of the bath, trying to stand on my thigh to get closer to the water, scooping water with a paw.*  It was endlessly entertaining and I'd show you the photos I took but:

(a) admitting you take your phone in the bath is bad enough, let alone providing pictorial evidence of that tragic habit; and
(b) the photos accidentally included my pubic hair** in the bottom of the picture and I don't think we want that on the internet.

Is it odd that I don't shut her out of the bathroom?  She often comes in during a shower to sit on the end of the tub and wait for me to turn off the water.  At first I found being watched a little creepy but now I find I like the company (always someone to talk to!) and she gets a bit upset if excluded from the bathroom.  I mean, it's not like she's actually sharing the bath or shower with me?***

Hey ho, the descent into sad cat lady continues. 

*We have a southpaw in the house, it's always her left that she scoops with. Or is that because the dominant right is used for balance? I don't know and this probably isn't worth investigating furthe because SHE'S A CAT. Gosh, perspective, A. 
**Yes, I have some.  Now really, is that a surprise to you if you've ever read this blog before?
***Yes, I have conveniently forgotten the time Tabitha poohed in the bathtub.  I'd like to think she's done a lot of maturing since then.

Monday, 7 July 2014

in which i learn a valuable bus lesson

After the last post, I curled up in bed and whinged for a solid two days.  I couldn't even bring myself to internet, so lucky for you, you avoided the unnecessary dramz about my imminent demise during that time. 

As soon as I was recovered enough, I went out and had someone chop my hair into a long bob to give me something else to obsess over.  I cut off a great whack of hair in 2010 and regretted it almost instantaneously, but this time I'm sticking with a cautious 'is this a thing an old person would do? but I think I like it' type line.  Ask me again in a week when I've been unable to style it myself and thoroughly frustrated by Auckland's hair-unfriendly weather.

I don't even have a picture of it yet for you! You poor things, you're really missing out. 

Oh, I know, I have a public transport parable for you!  Listen, all ye mighty, but don't despair:

I caught the Inner Link bus from work to Ponsonby the other night and had that moment as soon as I sat down.  You know the one, the moment where you think 'Good grief, of all the seats I might have picked, I've sat down next to the crazy guy' or 'No wonder this was the last seat available'.  He was muttering away merrily to himself and taking up more than half the seat.  In the vein of all confrontation-averse users of public transportation, I clutched my bag a little tighter and made no eye contact.  We were in the seat just ahead of the bus's back door.  7 or 8 stops later, a woman made to get off with a load of supermarkets bags.  She dropped something.  My seat companion leapt up, leaned over the divider and helped her with her bags while she retrieved the errant item.  He made a genial comment to me about how tough it is when you're carrying a lot, then excused himself politely so he could get off at the following stop.  

So! No more immediate judgment from me based on someone's mutterings! I will restrict myself to quietly holding my breath when someone is in breach of widely acceptable hygiene standards from this moment on!  (Gosh, that sounds kind of sarky but I genuinely felt bad for my snap assessment, I promise!)

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

july, two days in

I can feel the fog descending, curling round the outer edges of consciousness and fuzzing up my throat and nose.  I will shortly be a pariah in the office, my germs warded off with sideways glances and furious rinsing of mugs. 

Ha, I just opened the last post to discover it was all about being sick.  Well, lest this blog devolve into an extended examination of my inner workings, let me report on all the other news in A-town:

My sister K: took her to a play last night (Once on Chunuk Bair, Auckland Theatre Company at the Maidment, v. good) and enjoyed her company over dinner first.  She had a skirt in a gorgeous stiff black + white floral fabric that I coveted.  That's not really news, per se, but there it is. 

Mum: allegedly announced to sister K that she's now ready to be a grandmother.  Has also been considering surrogacy options for me, in case I'm too busy to procreate for myself.  Mum surely told K this in the knowledge it would be communicated to me (K being presently single meaning that she's not the prime child-bearing target).  Dear old Mum, she doesn't want to ask me directly what my plans are because she rightly knows I'll be prickly about it.  She's been giving me plenty of opportunities to raise children in conversation; I'm SUCH a disappointment.

Dad: not much to report.  I'm loving phone conversations with him at the moment.  He works so actively at holding a conversation about the news and what's going on and asking the right questions -- who doesn't love that? About the time I left home, Dad became very intentional in telling us he loves and is proud of us.  Maybe I didn't notice it before I left, maybe it was triggered by our departures, I'm not sure.  We've never been an emotionally transparent family and I just adore that Dad is intentional now about that stuff - it takes effort and I really appreciate it.  Though, of course, I should be more reciprocal. 

P: lovely, as usual.  Except for the other morning when everything he uttered annoyed me so deeply I contemplated telling him to just shut up and not bother talking to me again until we left for work.  Good thing I didn't, as on reflection the problem may (MAY!) have been me and waking up on the wrong side of the bed. 

Work: have been promoted.  Am fairly sure that they will soon discover all apparent abilities are a sham -- but have managed to wriggle up another step on the ladder for better or worse.  Am bizarrely ambivalent about it for a girl who has tended to measure her worth in external achievement standards. 

Cats: puss-ish. 

Friends: neglected.  Must do something about that.  J is in NZ this week and I'm taking my birthday leave on Friday to see her.  I think we'll go to a wild and wintry beach for a walk to feel properly Kiwi.  I'll feel envious of her return to London on Sunday as I've been having pangs recently.  It's been a while since we escaped Auckland last, so perhaps I'm feeling a little cabin-feverish?

Ha, on re-reading the above, it struck me -- have you read the Ed Champion rant about Middling Millenials?  I'm not going to link to it because ELEVEN THOUSAND WORDS and much of his point re Emily Gould is subsumed in vitriol and a smattering of misogyny, valid as it might otherwise be.  ALSO, good grief, I could certainly be accused of some Middling Millenial behaviour. Of course, any literary pretensions I may have reside firmly inside my own head and only occasionally spill into this badly-edited and irretrievably awful personal blog, so if Middling Millenial refers only to those who are seeking fame off the creation of subpar art, I certainly don't count.  But, if the occasional reference to the Pink Power Ranger by a 32 year old woman in an online journal strikes you as vapid, lazy and disengaged, well bully for you but I care not.  Well, I care a little bit, I'm human aren't I?

Time to cut it off, given I'm making no sense whatsoever.  I bet you I read this in less than a month's time and cringe, but isn't that what a blog's for?