Friday, April 30, 2004

Auspisciousness galore

60 days. Seems auspiscious enough. Also the fact that its just gone midday (why is the blogger clock always wrong? ) and I've already done three things on my list of ten things to do in order to get this chapter finished. Yeah. Warning: in the next 60 days this blog may turn out to become an exercise in self-congratulation.
Bridget has got a job in Wellington. Yay for Bridget, sucks that she is joining the masses who seem to be leaving Christchurch.
I wonder if it was anything I said...

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Best conversation I've had for days

Alexander: Aunty Claire, what are those books you're reading?
Me: The political economy of armed conflict, Building Peace and Ethnicity and Intra state conflict: types, causes and peace strategies.
A: Why are they all about peace?
Me: Its for my work at university.
A: What are you trying to do? (getting this question from someone whos 9 puts a bit of a spin on your day)
Me: I'm trying to find a way to stop war and prevent it from happening. Thats what my thesis is about.
A: Cool. (goes off to do something else for a bit)
Ten minutes later...
A: I think I know a way to stop war.
Me (intrigued): Is that what you've been thinking about this whole time?
A: You get some scientists to make a drug, not a bad drug, but a good drug, like the ones that make you better when you get sick. The drug stops people from wanting to go to war, so you give it to all the supermarkets, and they put it in all the food, then everyone gets it, and there'll be no more war.
Me: You know, thats a really good idea, but there are some people that don't have supermarkets or food. Sometimes thats why they go to war.
A: So, if we could give them all some food then they'd be OK?
Me: Its a start, but they need jobs as well, so they can buy food for their children, and get houses and go to school and stuff.
A (gobsmacked): Some people don't have houses? Woah!
Me: We need to find a way to get all that for them so they can look after themselves, and be healthy and strong and educated and choose what they want to do with their lives, just like we can.
A (look of "does not compute" crossing his beautiful face): I'm a pretty lucky kid then?
Me: You bloody are.
A: Mind your bloody language.
Me: Sorry Fred.

Theres nothing that brings you back down like trying to explain yourself and your work to someone whose main priorities in life are getting half an hours peace from his two sisters, hanging out for the Simpsons once a week, getting the final pieces for his Star Wars lego, and hoping it doesn't rain for soccer on Saturdays.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004


I stayed at my sister's house last night, her and the hubby were off to see the King return (phwoar) and I knew they'd be late, so I took my toothbrush and jammies (Finding Nemo T-shirt, c/o Blockbuster) and got in some serious Aunty-ing time. Actually, I sat downstairs and worked on my thesis until midnight, while the children slept, but still.
About 5.30 am I got woken by the baby crying, and I lay there for a bit, thinking one of her parents would go see her, but no joy, so off I went. As soon as I went in her room, she stopped crying, then gave me a funny look, shes got the most expressive wee face. It was like, I really need a cuddle right now, and I know you're not Mum or Dad, but I don't really mind you too much, and if its all I'm going to get at 5.30am, then I'm happy with that.
So I picked her up, and after making a grab for the ever elusive lightshade (it has tassles, very tempting) she curled up and put her wee head on my shoulder and made the cutest cooing/gurgling/snuffling sounds (she has a cold) and was all snuggly. It was a beautiful moment.

Then I went back to bed and woke up this morning in my usual charming humour, so yes, the moments gone.

It is not, in fact, my computer that sucks, but, surprise surprise, my complete inability to operate it that is to blame. The problem reading comments etc was a crappy pop-up stopper thing I managed to get myself, so its all gone now, and thanks to Tim, I have a whole Firefox thing going on as well, plus a later version of Ad-aware.
Unfortunately, Firefox and Blogger have a similar relationship to Netscape and Blogger. All squiggly etc. No worries, at least we have our friend Internet Explorer to get us through to the time when we can get a real website. One day.
Speaking of days....63.

Have fixed the link to Moggy Bloggy too. Phew, what a busy day!

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Shiny Blue Friend is having issues with javascript, as in, keeps going to some bloody debugging thing, and won't let me read comments, but I'm pretty sure its not only Haloscan, anyone who can help, please!! Hester!!Save me!!
Also, on the network computers, netscape having some SBT (serious blog trauma), and it goes all squiggly. Funky, but illegible.

Monday, April 26, 2004

64 Days

Yes, I'm going to keep counting down until its done. And you will all feign interest.
I've made a few changes here, Yay says Dan, I'm finally in the cool kids club by being linked on Planet Claire.
Also, theres some stuff that I've flogged off Fishboy, cos a change is as good as a holiday. Given that I've just had a holiday. Hmmm.
I got another email from my peeps at the dirty ol' World Bank, expressing interest in the end result of my thesis. Yay!! Further validation!! Now if they will only give me money to finish it.
I learned something today. I now know what a Nash equilibrium is, and given that it sounds so impressive, I'm going to find a way to get it into my thesis.
Guess I'd better write the fucking thing I suppose.
I'm really just looking for excuses to faff about. Think I'll tidy my office.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

My ear is twitching

I'm really not sure how I feel about this whole ANZAC thing. Maybe its because my family's never really been into that whole war thing, and although Poppa was born into the military, literally, there was never much made of wars in my whanau.
The thing that really grates me is the propaganda power of the whole thing. Its frowned upon to criticise a historical war when there are those still living who remember it or were a part, its as if we are somehow betraying the memory of those who died. While not wanting to start a fight, I think its wrong to accept things just because we've always been told they're right, thats where bigotry gets made. Question everything, thats my motto.
Except the healing power of chocolate, that is beyond questioning.
My Grandad and his mate made the big drive from Reefton to Greymouth to volunteer for WW2, but Grandad got turned down, something about a gammy leg. I guess I should be thankful for my gammy genes, better than none at all!

Things that are pissing me off.....
Apparently telling someone not to post smutty things on blogs about me makes me crazy. No, the fact that I hallucinate, talk to myself, and have a very interesting variation of brain chemistry, that makes me crazy.
Asking people to have some semblance of proprietry makes me acceptable in polite society.
Crap spammy chain emails. Yes Jamilla, I mean you. Here is my response, c/o fishboy

Send Me Chainmail -- This is What I Think

Hello, my name is Alfonso Merkin. I am suffering from rare and deadly diseases, poor scores on final exams, lack of sexual activity, fear of being kidnapped and executed by anal electrocution, and guilt for not sending out 50 billion fucking forwards sent to me by people who actually believe that if you send them, that poor 6 year old girl in Arkansas with lung cancer brought on by second-hand smoke from the cigarettes smoked by the big bad men who kidnapped her and took pornographic pictures of her for use on their child pornography web site will get 6 fucking cents every time you send me the letter.
Do you honestly believe that Bill Gates is going to give you and everyone you
send "his" email to $1000? How fucking stupid are you? Oh, lookey here! If I
scroll down this page and make a wish, I'll get laid by every Victoria's Secret
model in the catalog! What a bunch of bullshit. So basically, this message is a
big FUCK YOU to all the people out there who have nothing better to do than to send me stupid chain mail forwards. Maybe the evil chain letter leprechauns will come into my apartment and sodomize me in my sleep for not continuing the chain which was started by Jesus in 5 A.D. and was brought to this country by midget pilgrims on the Mayflower and if it makes it to the year 2000, it'll be in the Guinness Book of World Records for longest continuous streak of blatant stupidity.
Fuck them. If you're going to forward something, at least send something mildly amusing. I've seen all the "send this to 50 of your closest friends, and this poor, wretched excuse for a human being will somehow receive a nickel from some 'omniscient being'" forwards about 90 times. I don't fucking care. Show a little intelligence and think about what you're actually contributing to by sending out forwards. Chances are it's your own unpopularity. P.S. Please forward this to at least 50 of your best friends!


Chain Letter Type 1 (scroll down)

Make a wish!!!

Really, go on and make one!!!

Oh please, they'll never go out with you!!!

Wish something else!!!

Not that, you pervert!!

Is your finger getting tired yet?

STOP!!!! Wasn't that fun? Hope you made a great wish.
Now, to make you feel guilty, here's what I'll do. First of all, if you don't send this to 5096 people in the next 5 seconds, you will be raped by a mad goat and then thrown off a high building into a pile of manure.
It's true! Because, THIS letter isn't like all of those fake ones, THIS one is TRUE!! Really!!! Here's how it goes:
*Send this to 1 person: One person will be pissed off at you for sending them a stupid chain letter.
*Send this to 2-5 people: 2-5 people will be pissed off at you for sending them a stupid chain letter.
*Send this to 5-10 people: 5-10 people will be pissed off at you for sending
them a stupid chain letter.
*Send this to 10-20 people: 10-20 people will be pissed off at you for sending them a stupid chain letter. Thanks!!!! Good Luck!!!

Chain Letter Type 2: Hello, and thank you for reading this letter. You see,
there is a starving little boy in Baklaliviatatlaglooshen who has no arms, no
legs, no parents, and no goats. This little boy's life could be saved, because
for every time you pass this on, a dollar will be donated to the Little Starving
Legless Armless Goatless Boy from Baklaliviatatlaglooshen Fund. Remember, we have no way of counting letters sent and this is all bull. So go on, reach out.
Send this to 5 people in the next 47 seconds. Oh, and a reminder - if you
accidentally send this to 4 or 6 people, you will die instantly. Thanks again!!

Chain Letter Type 3: Hi there!! This chain letter has been in existence since 1897. This is absolutely incredible because there was no email then and probably not as many little 8-year-olds writing chain letters. So this is how it works. Pass this on to 15,067 people in the next 7 minutes or something horrible will happen to you like:
Queer Horror Story #1 Miranda Pinsley was walking home from school on Saturday. She had recently received this letter and ignored it. She then tripped in a crack in the sidewalk, fell into the sewer, was gushed down a drainpipe in a flood of shit, and went flying out over a waterfall. Not only did she smell nasty, she died. This Could Happen To You!!!
Queer Horror Story #2: Dexter Bip, a 13 year old boy, got a chain letter in his
mail and ignored it. Later that day, he was hit by a car and so was his
boyfriend (hey, some people swing that way). They both died and went to hell. They continued to suffer in hell where they were both cursed to eat adorable kittens every day for eternity. This could happen to you!!! Remember, you could end up like Pinsley and Bip did. Just send this letter to all of your loser friends, and everything will be Ok.

Chain Letter Type 4: As if you care, here is a poem that I wrote. Send it to
every one of your friends.
A friend is someone who is always at your side,
A friend is someone who likes you even though you smell like poop,
A friend is someone who likes you even though you're disgustingly ugly,
A friend is someone who cleans up for you after you've soiled yourself,
A friend is someone who stays with you all night while you cry about your loser life,
A friend is someone who pretends they like you when they really think you should be raped by a mad goat and then thrown to vicious dogs,
A friend is someone who scrubs your toilet and vacuums and then gets the check and leaves and doesn't speak much English, no sorry that's the cleaning lady,

A friend is not someone who sends you chain letters because he wants his wish of being rich to come true. Now pass this on! If you don't, you'll be eaten by wild mutts!

There. Now that we've covered and dumped on the four main types of chain
letters, onto the ironic part. In order for this to get any popularity, send it
on!!! If you don't think it was funny at all, don't bother, but otherwise,
forward this sucker to everyone you know!! If you don't, I don't care, but why not show this around? Take two minutes and forward it. Thanks! Remember, the moral of the story is, if you get a chain letter, ignore it. If it's a joke or something, send it, sure, but if it's gonna make people feel guilty (i.e. the willieless boy from Baklaliviatatlaglooshen) or nervous (i.e. Miranda Pinsley who ended up in a waterfall of turds) just delete it. Do yourself a favor, and everyone else in the world, and say:

In other news, my ear is twitching annoyingly.

Saturday, April 24, 2004

Guess whos back (ta da da)
Back again (ta da da)....

It really sucks leaving Wanaka. I'm thinking though, that when thesis gets to crunch time, given the hideous hours I will be working on the bloody thing, its entirely conceivable to just take the old laptop down there, and crank it. It would make it considerably less painful, looking out the window at the view, better than stuck in this fucking department anyway!!
An interesting night was had on Monday in Wanaka, after some vino we went into town (such as it is) and drank some harvey wallbangers, hung out with some travellers, and attempted to get a taxi back home. Plan was thwarted however, by the taxi driver (yes, there is only one in the off season) being all tucked up in bed. Those who have been to my house in Wanaka will be no doubt aware of the considerable distance between Wanaka central and home, and yes, we had to walk. Luckily we had toi toi and random phonecalls to sleeping sober people to keep us amused. Sorry Ian.

Bianca submitted her phd thesis on Thursday. Am very impressed, and a little jealous. To celebrate, on Friday all the girls got all frocked up and went for cocktails at Home (2 for 1 cocktails until 8pm, hot barman, very nice), and drank far too much. Just for a change. After a trip to Tulsi for the obligatory curry, me & Sarah found ourselves at the God-Awful-Make-it-Stop shithole that is Legends to find Tam, inhaled a vodka, and ran away as fast as our stylish yet functional high heels could take us. Back to Home for some more cosmopolitans, unfortunately the tasty barman had gone. Pants. The evening was rounded off nicely by a drunken ramble to the nice taxi driver, who was telling me about her kids, and, yes, a pie. I am the Pie Monster.

In other news, Starsky and Hutch rules.
That is all.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Wanaka Rules

So myself, Tamara and Anna arrived in Wanaka, relatively unscathed. I am writing this from the comfort of my laptop in the Wanaka house, Tams in the kitchen making me a Vanilla Absolut with cranberry and Schweppes with a touch of red grapefruit (number three, bring it!), and we have just devoured a dinner of chicken and wedges; Shrek is on the telly, the floor heating is on, the spa is heating as we speak, and tomorrow we have every intention of walking up the Rob Roy Glacier track in the Matukituki valley, over the other side of the lake. Or we might just end up at the Rippon vineyard, cos, well, we can. Ha. Life doesn't get much better.
Sometimes you just have those days when you realise that life is actually, really fucking good, and we are so lucky to live in the most beautiful country in the world, and we are young, and fabulous, and mobile, and we can do these things at a moments notice, and we almost feel like we have an obligation to live life to the fullest, because those who don't have these opportunities would expect us to make the most out of our lives, and so we do. Today is one of those days.

Or it could be the vodka talking. Hey.
New Zealand rules. Yay.

Friday, April 16, 2004

75 days.

It sounds like a lot, really, when you put it like that, but I guess that the fact I'm now counting in days, instead of months, does not bode well for stress levels.
I'm having that interesting kind of stress at the moment, where I'm really stressed about the fact that I'm not nearly stressed enough about my thesis.
I got sprung by my sister today, calling her to talk about catering options for Dad's 60th, which is in July, to which she responded "Stop stalling and do your bloody thesis". Busted.
Todays project has involved attempting to write my CV, for the only-govt-job-I-actually-want, go the mighty graduate recruitment. Its really quite difficult to write a CV that says "I really want this fucking job please give it to me even though my grade point average is arse and I was never president of the debating club or toastmasters and I don't have a law degree and I don't speak fluent Farsi but if you want I can learn I really want this job would you like my firstborn", without actually saying that. One wants their CV to imply all this, without being so explicit. Also without sounding like a desperate old cow, searching for that elusive ticket out of Last-Chanceville, via the This Could be Your Last Hope Grandma holiday park.
2 years and 1 month and 2 days. Although apparently 40 is the new thirty, so I'm not quite sure what that makes the old thirty. Maybe the new 20? So, in 2 years, 1 month and two days, do I get to be a skinny clueless 3rd year uni student without a penny to my name, living in the most hideous flat complex in the city, sharing the kitchen with a mouse called John, smoking a packet of Marlboro a day, and drinking vodka before noon?
Shit, I really hope not. I'm kind of glad to see the back of that era, but I'm not sure I'm ready for my thirties.
Oh God, you know what I'm turning into!!! Hell, it can't be all bad, she has a job. And Colin Firth.

In other news, Stephen and Elizabeth are having a baby. Yay!! In Australia. Pants.

Road trip on Sunday. Look out Wanaka, here we come!!!

Monday, April 12, 2004

Ways in Which I Feel Shitty

1)My tonsils are the size of golf balls. Really. I looked in the mirror this morning to get a glimpse of them, and recoiled in horror.
2)I have aches and pains in places where I didn't think I had pain receptors. Like internal organs. Can your kidneys get a cold?
3)The snot is coming. I can feel it.
4)My lungs weigh about 10kg each, but when I cough, I am possessed by the spirit of my late dog, and this horrific deathly bark comes out instead.
5)My whole family is out of town, therefore no parental or sibling sympathy.
6)My head is going Boom Boom, and not even Disprin Max is helping.
7)For some reason, I appear to be watching Home and Away. Oh dear.
8)Inside my ears is really sore.
9)I haven't done nearly enough work on my thesis this weekend.
10)I have that icky punched in the stomach kind of nausea, the kind that comes when you know theres a real stinker of a cold on its way, and there ain't a damn thing you can do about it.

Also, er is not on tonight. Suck.

To counter: Things that are cool
1) As of tomorrow, I have the house to myself.
2)My slippers rule.
3)Going to the supermarket for lemonade in said slippers, dodgy trackies and 10 year old hoodie.
4)Useless movie quotes.

4-10. Not too bad, considering.

Friday, April 09, 2004

Julius Caesar has a blog.

And then...
A little revisionist history:
After personally landing his jet fighter on the USS Buck Passer, President Bush gave an earthshattering speech. "Admiral Kelly, Captain Card, officers and sailors of the USS Buck Passer, my fellow 'muricans: a major FUBAR in Iraq has just begun. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have really fucked things up. (Applause.) And now our campaign donors are engaged in securing contracts and pretending to reconstruct that country while not getting too shot up."

Anyway, I've been faffing about on this new-fangled internet thing, and found a cool blog. I like her style.

Sarah tried to join me up on NZ One of two things is happening here. Either, shes sick of hanging around with me all the time and wants me to get a boyfriend, or shes attempting to live vicariously through me. I'm hoping its #2 there, if so, I think I'll join her up. Might be good for shits and giggles. See who (or what!) they set her up with.

In other news, my thesis has had about 1 hours attention all day. I did manage to watch, with the assistance of the aforementioned Sarah, "Runaway Jury" (John Cusack is scrummy. And the perfect height for me, 6'4"), "Fatal Attraction" (Men have seen it, and continue to have affairs. What?) and "Scary Movie 2" (Moo!! Motherfucker!!). Much hilarity.
Speaking of movies, I went to see Monster the other day. I wrote a big rant about it, but couldn't post it, flatties on the dog&bone, so here it be.

What a….thing.
I have just come from watching “Monster”, am gradually beginning to recover from the initial stunned mullet phase, and am attempting to summon appropriate superlatives for descriptive purposes.
Its almost like you can’t talk about it properly.
Its not a movie you enjoy; like “Requiem for a Dream” and “Boys Don’t Cry”, it is something you rather experience, and appreciate.
There has been much talk about the film’s leading lady, and how the only way a woman can be taken seriously as an actress is to get all “uglied up”, but I am stunned at her performance. There is only so much that prosthetics can do to a face, but to turn such a beautiful woman into that character takes some significant….I don’t know what it is, but from looking at her face, you can see that she radiates ugliness, and not in a mean way, but an ugliness that is a reaction to the treatment she has received from the world. In repose, you can see glimpses of the actress you see in the magazines, all blonde and blue-eyed and beautiful, but as soon as she speaks, or even moves, all traces vanish, and she becomes this other thing.
It certainly raises many questions about the reason why people are the way they are, and whether should she have been granted a certain leniency given the life she was thrown into, but I don’t think I even want to go there, not yet anyway.
I do wonder though, if a similar treatment of a male character in the same situation would raise the same questions. Not that it’s a reverse type of misogyny, but do we believe that women are more bound by their circumstances than men?
Or perhaps the question is, is it possible for a man to live the same life as she did? Can a man be made such a victim of those around him?
Maybe that’s the difference between her and all the other poor sad women who live similar lives: she refused to become a victim.
I refuse to believe that we are not masters of our own destiny, but sometimes its hard to gauge what decision you are making. Sometimes the really small ones are the ones that change the course of your whole life.
And of course life throws all sorts of interesting things in our paths along the way.
This is all a bit too philosophical for this hour of the day really.
I’m going to bed now, hopefully by tomorrow I’ll have thought of some funny jokes, liven things up a bit.

Still can't seem to properly get my head around it.
That happens quite a lot, its a curse being a simple wee creature.

Its 1.25am, and The X Files is on. Oh, how the mighty have fallen!

Monday, April 05, 2004

On the Weekend That Was

Yes, I know its Tuesday, but as far as I'm concerned, I deserved another Sunday after that weekend, so I renamed Monday. It shall henceforth be known as "Sunday II: The Revenge of the Weekend". Or in my case, "Day for cleaning up house that got an industrial strength catering pack trashing on Friday night, followed by a decent additional messing up of on Sunday, compounded by an inability to clean up Friday's trashing on Saturday due to severe hangover". Not a very catchy title though.
After the much-hyped Bus Trip failed to materialise, c/o- The Texas Party Bus, who apparently now owe us a free bus trip, there was the aforementioned trashing of the Green Room, including the cracking of one flatmate's window, and the eating of another flatmates cheese (Not happy flatties!!). Ben did, however, reclaim his rightful place on the sofa. It was also a pretty cool party, well the bits that I remember were anyway.
Saturday consisted of some sleeping, a tiny bit of tidying, and a lot of hangover, followed by work, which was just buckets of fun.
Sample incident:
Old Lady: I'll have the scallops
Me: OK, one scallops then. I'll get you some scallops. Scallops it is then. Righty-ho, bring on the scallops.
Old Lady: Thank you, I'm very much looking forward to my scallops.
(upon arrival of meal)
Me: Here are your scallops then
Old Lady: No, I didn't want that, I ordered the calamari.
Me: Oh silly me, I thought that when you ordered the scallops you actually wanted to have scallops, and that when I repeated the order back to you, ie "scallops" and you said "Yes", I foolishly thought that it was scallops that you wanted for your dinner. How frightfully dim of me to assume that it was the scallops you wanted. I should have known that you wanted calamari. It should have been blindingly obvious that you wanted calamari when you ordered scallops, YOU STUPID OLD COW JUST EAT THE FUCKING SCALLOPS YOU WHINGING OLD BAT AND I HOPE YOU FUCKING CHOKE ON THEM AND FUCK OFF AND LEAVE ME ALONE DON'T YOU KNOW I HAVE A FUCKING HANGOVER FROM HELL FUCK OFF AND SHOVE YOUR FUCKING SCALLOPS UP YOUR WITHERED OLD ARSE YOU FUCKING PAIN IN MY FUCKING ARSE!!!!!
So that was nice.
After work it was the farewell of the Artist Formerly Known as Fishboy, I arrived and all were in varying stages of intoxication, but there was pizza, so I was happy.
Then Sunday came around, and Pols kicked some History arse (again, I mean, like you thought there was any hope?!). I did a pretty good impersonation of Adam's personal target, which was just jolly, and then Mark burnt some sausages.
All in all, it was a weekend of two days (that ended up being nearly four), and the liquor industry was the winner on the day.
I'm hoping you will all come to visit me in rehab.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Coolest name for a band I've heard all week: The Eagles of Death Metal. Definately up there with Imitation Crabmeat, and Tim's contribution, Nasal Enema.
So if the whole saving the world, one structural adjustment policy at a time thing falls through, I think I'll become a singer in a metal band called Nasal Enema. Or I could join my mate, old Josh, from the Eagles of Death Metal, who we met at Big Day Out 03. Nice bloke, for a ginga.
In other news, today is the day we have all been waiting for, yes, the mighty bus trip. I'm just hoping that it doesn't suck too badly. Given my tendancy to focus on the REALLY IMPORTANT stuff, I've spent many an hour making up a compilation cd, and now of course, I realise that without some Datsuns and Eminem its really not complete, so after picking up my laptop this afternoon, I'll be sure to make up another compilation album.
I'll get round to my thesis eventually. Maybe.
Stay tuned for the imminent arrival of Lettuce. Those concerned know what I'm talking about.