Tuesday, December 09, 2008


so it goes and so it goes and so it goes.

Or, so it keeps coming. I'm so tired, but I need to count my blessings because around me there are those who are losing the things they treasure the most, and for the most part I still have the things I treasure the most.

Thats the lesson.
Count your blessings and don't EVER take anything for granted.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

One whole month....

...since I blogged.

Since then I.... quit my job, got another. Went to Wanaka for 4 days and didn't wear shoes once. Had my prayers answered about leadership of the country I lived in for three years. Watched the first few episodes of season 9 of CSI. Missed Caleb, especially pertinent since its his first birthday today. Didn't send Caleb's birthday present. Did a bunch of teacher's college assignments. Was driven insane by both my social studies tutor and my replacement profs tutor. Tried to fix the tiny sick roses on the property in Wanaka. Thought about my friends in North America.

Didn't really think much about blogging though!!!!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

So what, I'm still a rock star

So, after Lord-knows how many weeks of forgetting and then remembering late at night then forgetting again by the morning, I have finally got the wireless router to work.
Which means..... I has the internets in my room. And in the bathroom (both of them!!), and in the dining room and in the kitchen and in the living room and possibly even in the garage.

Now I have no more excuses for being a blogging slacker.

So, here we go.

Question time: what is the nicest compliment you have ever received? Possibly this could be answered in several categories, i.e. compliments about your appearance, about your abilities, about your character etc.

Recently I was told that there was nothing about me that was not absolutely beautiful, which got me thinking about the whole thing (aside from the fact that there are, in fact, several things about me that are not beautiful).

Answers in the box.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Ruby, don't take your love to town

So busy busy busy...... and also slack......

Working at the restaurant, finishing up the section at school, thinking about my teacher's college stuff, trying not to think about my PhD, trying my damndest to get the last of my university job done. 

I'm frightfully tired all the time, so I've started taking my vitamins again. I'm also considering taking days off and doing some relaxing. I'm also considering a meal of steak and spinach, I hear thats good for one's energy levels. 
Last week I had a dry week, as in a week off drinking. No glass of wine with dinner!!!! It was thoroughly awesome, and of course I had loads of energy and felt completely virtuous and spent the week polishing my halo. However, right now I am sitting here with a glass of lovely buttery chardonnay because today I earned it, working 9 hours in the restaurant. Tomorrow... a day off!!! 
Perhaps I will go for another bike ride, perhaps I will clean... who knows. 

Its a mystery. 

I love a good mystery. 

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Now they'll sleep all night

Yes, I am being out-blogged by Ben!!!
This is me hanging my head in shame.

But just quickly, cos I have some Year 9s to teach.....

First: the Hadron collider is up and running. There is a good chance we are all going to be sucked into a black hole. Cross your fingers and toes that we don't.

However, should we get sucked into a black hole of our own making, judgement day is going to arrive a little sooner than we though. Which goes to show that I really shouldn't be publishing this picture the delightful fishboy sent me via googlechat the other day.
But I am going to. Cos Jesus loves me and my sense of humour.
I hope.

Monday, September 01, 2008

I do believe its true that there are roads left in both of our shoes

Hello, blogland.

I am still alive. I am still in NZ.
I'm currently on teaching practice, where I have managed to mostly behave myself, despite the best efforts of others.

Unfortunately I haven't had much time to see people, what with being super busy and all, but happily I am managing to establish some friendships with new people, and see my old friends for a little bit as well.

Um.... this update sucks.
I've been out of "blogging" headspace for so long that its hard to get back into it.
I'll get to work on that.
Back soon.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

My Mum

Context:I went to the loo, and on my way back into the living room, jumped on the bathroom scales and weighed myself.

Me: "Hey Mum. I've lost about 4 kilos"
Mum: *starts giggling*
Me: "Umm.... wtf?"
Mum: "No dear that's great, I just thought.....*laugh laugh laugh*..... that perhaps you had a really successful trip to the loo there"

Context: I have to get up mega early to get to the bus by about 7.20 am to get to school by 8am.

Me: *sneaking around the house all quiet like, while the wind and rain batter the house*
Mum : *in sleepy voice* "Claire? I will drive you to the bus stop cos its cold and raining"
Me: "Awwww.........that's sweet but you should stay in bed. Its horrible out there."
Mum: *ends up driving me not only to the bus stop, but the bus stop 3 stops further down the road, the one that has a proper shelter so I don't get wet while waiting for my bus*

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I do not like it Sam I am

No, not Teacher's College, I like that well enough, what I am currently waffling on about is the news that my beloved Grissom is leaving CSI.
Le sigh.....

In other news, Teacher's College is fine, not too challenging intellectually, but it just takes up loads of time, which means that I haven't done much work on my proposal or my work-that-I-get-paid-for which is kind of stink but really, whats to be done? The routine is coming together so it won't be long until I've got a handle on it, and have my days planned out.
The lack of easily-accessible internet is a double edged sword, because while there are a bajillion things I haven't caught up with online, there are also a bunch of other things I have done because I haven't been wasting time online catching up with things that aren't really that important in the grand scheme.

Teacher's College is weird in a way because we are constantly asked to think about our time at high school and the teachers we had, and it almost feels like now-me is visiting then-me.
If only I could, oh the things I would say to myself.

Right, back to the salt mines.....

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Steady as she goes

This whole 'absence of immediate and fast internet' thing is certainly proving harmful for blogging. As soon as I have some money I am buying a wireless router so I can has the internets in my room, and therefore will never have to get out of bed again. Schwing!!!!

I've been watching "Weeds". Admittedly I have only-just-last-night finished the first season, but I can safely say that I love it and have a big girl crush on Nancy Botwin.
Watching it prompted a big thought the other night, about suburbia and the popular culture representations thereof, and I was going to speechify in defence of suburbia but right now I have a belly full of tikka masala and an absence of motivation so I think its time to crawl into the recliner with a cup of tea and watch the Food Channel.

I miss Maggie.

Friday, June 27, 2008

In Dreams

Do you ever have those moments where you think things are okay in your mind, and you are just fine with the way they are and think that maybe if one had more time one would sit down and really think things out but its really not urgent or pressing or whatever?
Then one night you will be just chilling out about stuff and things and not worried at all about anything in particular, and then you go to bed and have a dream in which things happen and people appear and there are events and sequences and interactions and then you wake up in the morning and it all just makes sense? All this stuff that you thought might take some serious figuring out eventually just turns out to be so simple and you are kicking yourself for not realising it earlier, even though its not even the time for it now, let alone earlier and may only be the half promise half possible time for it more-than-one years down the track from now, but at now at least you know and somehow that makes it all a bit better.

Yeah, me too.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Yes its great to be home. 
Yes I miss my friends in the US.
No, I don't miss the heat. 
No, I haven't finished my dissertation. 
Yes, I am going to be a teacher. 
No, I haven't recovered from the jet-lag.
Yes, I miss my wireless internet access.
No, I don't miss the crap food. 
No, I haven't uploaded my photos to Flickr yet cos I can't get my laptop to work on my mum's internet connection. 
Yes, I am excited about getting on with my life. 

Strange, I have been feeling short of breath. It's almost like I can't really breathe until I get back here, so what is normal breathing anywhere else feels like being short of breath here. 

Gotta love that clean green nuclear free New Zealand air.....

On the phone to ISP tomorrow about installing a second plug for the internet in my room. There is a good chance I will be residing at Chateau Mum for some time.... at least until she gets tired of me and kicks me out, then I'm off to Chateau Dad. I have become so spoilt with internet access and I'm really not so ready to give it up. 
Is that sad?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Angry angry flight gods

I don't know what I did to piss them off, but it must have been something good.

The most recent examples: Last week, flying from Syracuse to Memphis, via Charlotte, North Carolina.
The flight left Syracuse on time (miracle!!!) but by the time we got to Charlotte the bad weather had caused many delays. So, we sat there on our poky wee plane for half an hour until we could get a gate. Fun times.
I was supposed to wait in Charlotte for maybe an hour and a half, but the delays meant that I had to hot-foot it to the gate to catch the flight to Memphis. Luckily I checked the boards for the times, and because of the weather, my next flight was delayed for an hour and a half. Time for a wee feed.
Finally, after a second delay of another 40 minutes (yes, that's two hours and ten minutes) I get on the plane to Memphis, where dear Sunshine and Van-Nasty were waiting for me and the other members of our party, wee Sethie and HKD.

We then proceeded to rock Bonnaroo, but that's a story for another day.

From Memphis, I took off for LA, via Phoenix, for a 9.30pm flight from LA to Auckland. The flight to Phoenix was fairly uneventful, except for the 45 degree heat that blasted me as I got off the plane onto the airbridge.

In Phoenix I got on my plane headed to LA, and we taxied out to the runway, at which point the captain informed us that we had to head back to the gate cos the plane was broken.
Mechanics ensued. Plane was allegedly put back together. We taxied out to the runway again.

Rinse and repeat.
Clearly the duct tape they used to fix the plane was no match for the Arizona heat, and we had to get off the plane and find a new one.

At this point I realised that the chances of me making the 9.30 from LA were rapidly shrinking. Off to the US Airways desk!!!
The pretty lady there informed me that we were going to get a plane soon and that I could get on the 10.30 from LA to Auckland, and she would call them to arrange it all while I got on the new un-broken plane to get the hell out of Phoenix.
I finally make it to LA at 9.25pm. Wait in line practically eating the luggage trolley while waiting for my bags, so I could load them up, take them to Terminal 2 and check in with Air New Zealand. Check in completed at 9.45pm. Continue to security.

Happily the usually insane security at LAX was fairly quiet, which was good because I was foul and tired and smelly and ready to crack some skulls.
I arrive at the gate just as they announce the boarding, simultaneously singing the praises of the nice people at Air NZ who are so accommodating and didn't charge me the $150 to change my ticket; and wondering what I did to anger the flight gods to the extent that I clearly have.

The occasions upon which I get on a plane that takes off and lands on time and meets all proper connections are considerably fewer than situations like the above.

I suppose I should consider myself lucky that my bad-flight-luck extends only as far as delays and missed connections, rather than the exploding-planes alternative.

But anyway, now I'm in Auckland airport waiting for my flight to Christchurch so I can see my mum and have a shower and wash all my clothes and get on with my life.
Boarding in half an hour...... fingers crossed.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Leaving, on a jet plane; don't know when I'll be back again.....

Its D-Day.
I'm leaving.
It's weird. Doesn't quite feel real.... which makes sense because that's how it was when I left to come here.

It's been fun.
Fun, brutal, lonely, fascinating, enriching, isolating, lively, gruelling, exhausting and one hell of a learning curve.

More adjectives to follow. I have to negotiate the DMV now. Urgh.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Hot Hot Hot Hot McHotter

Damn. Its hot.
And its not just hot. Its humid. Thankfully I have a spray bottle of cold water, a large glass of sprite with ice, and a fan directed right at me.

So..... I'm leaving this town on Wednesday. Gone baby gone.
All moved out of my flat, with zero thanks to my Most Considerate (/end sarcastic font) flatmate, who not only claimed to clean the bathroom and didn't, left a whole bunch of stuff, including about 40 books, for me to get rid of. No phone calls or emails to ask if it was ok that she left them, just a note. So I moved all the stuff, cleaned the entire place from arsehole to breakfast, took care of all the final bills, then emailed her to say that her stunt was a bit average.

Now I am ensconced at the Smith's house, which means Caleb and Maggie the Mega Dog 24-7. Caleb gets progressively cuter and happier everyday, and has now mastered the art of crawling forwards. Because Matt and I have been taking Caleb out and about so much, people presume that he is my baby, so when they ask me how old he is, and I say "ummm.... I dunno..... Matt? Is Caleb 7 months?" they think I am a terrible parent.

I've reached the stage where I am thinking about all the things (ok, people) that I am going to miss once I've gone. Its a bit sad, but then I realise that all the ones that really count will still be my friends, and are all coming to visit me in NZ.

But before then..... Bonnaroo!!!!! This time next week we will be rocking out, although its entirely likely that I will be collapsed in a heap on the ground due to the heat.
Seriously. My people are not equipped for anything above 25 C. I come from a long line of blue eyed freckled people from cold rainy places. Heat + me = messy.
You have been warned.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

AOL Radio: only mildly sucky

On winamp there is a Brit Pop station, which I tend to listen to quite a lot because the radio stations in this town suck gigantic turds. Most of the time its pretty cool, as in right now they are playing the mighty Stone Roses "I am the Resurrection" which seriously shizzles my nizzle.

One problem however, actually two problems.
One is called Coldplay: Yes they are British, but they really need to be played on the "whiny annoying fuck-off-and-leave-me-alone" station.
The second is called Radiohead: Come on. If I wanted to listen to music made by suicidal squirrels that features random noises and a whiny voice that makes Chris Martin look like Captain HappyPants, then I would listen to the "Pretentious Art School Wanker" station.

Get off my Brit Pop you bastards!!!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

You know you've been in America too long......

....when you see a Mustang GT and your first thought is WANT!!!!!
(and your second thought is PHWOAR!)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My life in a triptych

Everything I own here must be put into one of three categories:

1) stuff that is coming home with me via Tennessee, and therefore must fit into 2 suitcases, 1 backpack and a handbag.

2) stuff that is going to be shipped home, and therefore that I will have to do without until October.

3) stuff that must be either sold, given away or put in the rubbish.

The problem with the first category is that it is summer now, and in Tennessee it is going to be even hotter and so I need several summer-type outfits and sandals and the like.
HOWEVER!!! When I get home it will be late June, which as everybody in the Southern Hemisphere knows, is smack bang in the depths of winter. So I also have to pack a jacket and some woolly socks and a hat. Plus the absolute minimum of five (ok, six) books, my laptop, my external hard drive and all associated cords, camera, sleeping bag, towel, toiletries to last from Sunday to the 19th of June, hats and sunscreen and sarongs because I am the whitest person in the world, various essentials such as can't-live-without dvds, summer jammies and one or two reasonably respectable outfits for when I get home and for Memphis, because you can't turn up at the home of The King looking like you've been dragged backwards through a bush. Did I mention this all has to fit in TWO SUITCASES!!!

Unfortunately my suitcases lack Tardis capabilities, so this is proving problematic.

There's really no problem with the second category, because I've filled 2 medium sized boxes and 2 small boxes and its mostly done.

The problem with the third category is that I hate throwing stuff out. Wastage drives me around the bend, so thus far I just have a large pile of things to give away to people.

Half used bottle of handcream, anyone?

Saturday, May 24, 2008


This will be brief because I am horrendously hungover.

I am Nic-Less as he headed off to NYC today for 48 hours, then off to Spain to walk across it. As you do.

I have (finally, one year later) updated my Flickr account. More to come.

Sophie is still delightful.

I finally watched the CSI finale, and all I have to say is WTF?!?!?! I did not see that coming.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The future of the future

You know how sometimes even though life is still being life-ish and throwing big steaming turds at the people you love, and things are stressful and occasionally disappointing despite the presence of some of the best people you know both physically and digitally, you get these brief little moments when you get a glimpse of your planned future and you get a little skip of joy in your heart and you think that despite all the crap that just keeps coming everything might just be ok?

I had one today.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

'smy birfday today.


Saturday, May 17, 2008

Crikey McDickster

I have returned from my East Coast adventure... relatively unscathed, unless you count absolutely shagged from driving 1300 miles in 7 days..... ten hours driving on Thursday.
We did the National Mall, including the Lincoln Memorial, the Viet Nam memorial, two Smithsonians (air and space and natural history) and the WW2 Memorial; camping on Cape Cod; dipping our toes in the Atlantic; snacks at Plymouth Rock; dinner and Boston Lager in a Boston Irish bar; a stroll through Boston Common, and a drive what felt like the entire length of Beacon Street. Since Sunday I have driven in or through New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and back to New York again.

Because a picture is worth a thousand words and because I am utterly shagged (see above) here is photographic evidence for your perusal while I drink my gin and tonic and pass out from utter wrecked-ness.
Travel: awesome and exhausting.

Monday, May 12, 2008


I'm here in Maryland, after a rather harrowing drive last night through verging-on-driving-underwater type rain and arse-loads of wanker drivers. In an attempt to be all conscientious-like, I get up nice and early so I can get to the World Bank early and get extra nerd points..... and the fucking archives aren't open until 10am!!!

I see a leisurely breakfast in my immediate future.....

ps its still raining like a mofo. Last time I was here it was warm and sunny and now I am officially disappointed.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Me name's Gough and I'm off!!!

Going to DC soon.... well to Maryland, from whence I will go to DC in the morning to hang out at the World Bank with all the cool kids.
Tuesday I will pick Nic up from whichever airport he decides to land in, do some DC touristy things, then drive north for a Massachusetts camping adventure. I have been supplied with a map of Cape Cod and given some advice from people who know it well, so it should be a good time.

Apparently I am unlikely to get eaten by a bear in New England. Happiness abounds.

Back in a week.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Happy birthday Sunshine!!!

I have just sent out invites to the "fuck off Claire" party.... at final count we were nearly at 50 people. Shit. Am tempted to send them to my blogger friends as well.... you know, just in case they were in the area..... because people from Colorado and Arkansas and Vancouver and Toronto often stop by Shitsville, New York for a weekend.

Foolishly I went and said I was going to make pavlova. Hens? Get laying!!! I am going to need a bajillion eggs!

In other news, Operation Arse Shrink has been going well. I am eating larger lunches and smaller dinners, walking loads and I even have sore stomach muscles from doing sit ups.

The upside to walking lots is spending time with my one true love, Maggie the Mega Dog.

Things I like about walking with Maggie include:
- she stops and gives me kisses whenever I want them
- she doesn't want to talk about her feelings
- she doesn't talk about psycho-babble bullshit and only cares about the important stuff in life
- occasionally she will be struck by these attacks of utmost joy and will spontaneously frolick and gambol like a happy little lamb, and I find these moments refreshing
- when there is freshly cut grass she declares damn the torpedoes and rolls around in it, turning all her white hair green like some late-to-the-party St Paddy's Day drinker, all the while knowing that the rest of us are a little jealous because the smell of freshly cut grass is so appealing that we secretly want to roll around in it too.
- I get to look at this face. This picture belongs in the dictionary, next to 'happy', and cross-referenced with 'have you ever seen a more beautiful dog?'

Oh Maggie..... however am I going to steal you away and sneak you through customs when I go back to New Zealand?

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Language crime-stoppers: our work is never done

Dear CNN

Please be advised that the plural form of 'roof' is not 'roofs', as I recently witnessed on a broadcast. It is, and has always been, 'rooves'. I don't care what your second rate online dictionaries or my own mother tell me. Honestly, this is the kind of thing I expect from Fox.

Yours grammatically, in defence of the English language,

Claire the pedant.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

In which I am a tasty snack.....

...for this guy.

I went to the zoo on Saturday (and I know its probably not PC but I love zoos.... but only the ones with happy healthy animals who have the appropriate space to run around and do animaly things) and came across my new best friend here.
He was staring right at me through the glass, so I said to Matt "hey, that lion is staring right at me. Its kind of freaking me out" at which point I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP the lion LICKED HIS LIPS!!!!!
Apparently I am the kind of tasty treat lions go for these days.

Thursday, May 01, 2008


Because we are poor and adventurous (which makes for an interesting combination, to be sure), I am taking ex-blogger Nic on a camping adventure! In Massachusetts!!! Which I can spell!!!

The original plan was to go to Boston, but then the accommodation fell through, and the backpackers were too expensive (and did I mention that we are poor?) I am borrowing some camping gear for a few days and we are going to have an adventure. I want to visit Cape Cod and Salem and Boston and Walden Pond so it may well be an action packed few days.

Do they have bears in Massachusetts?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Umm, yeah, sooo............

I think I might have recovered from the wrecking, although 3 hours sleep on Sunday night didn't help. I have no explanation. I was tired, I went to bed, and lay awake for hours. Boooring!!!!!

Its party central here, last night it was lights out at 8.20pm. Rock on, Jimmy.

Because people have asked, and because I am kind of proud of it, here is the wedding cake I made. For my sister. For her wedding.

Srsly, if one person did, 20 people came up to me and said "OMFG girl! That cake was teh awsum!!"*
5 cakes (although I actually made 7, which didn't last much longer than the 5 I used) of chocolate and chocolate-vanilla marbled, it stood about 40cm high and the bottom layer was about 35cm diameter.
The penguins were on the Chilean wedding cake as well, I made Carlos bring them over for my cake. Continuity, they call that.
This is the topper I bought and put on the practice ensure-that-the-bride-and-groom-actually-like-it cake I made a couple of days previously.
Emma wanted that on the real cake, but Dad wasn't entirely sold on the idea, if you get my drift.

And now I shall return to despairing of the state of this country's education system as reflected in the writing abilities of its first year university students. Head, meet desk. *THUNK*

*it is entirely possible that I somewhat elaborated on the language.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

How to completely wreck yourself in 10 easy steps

1- Spend your last night in your home country sitting up late with your bff drinking wine. Continue the last 12 days trend of waking up at 7 am.

2- Arrive at airport at 1.30 to check in for international flights. Wait in airport for 1 & 1/2 hours.

3- Fly to Auckland at 3pm. Wait in Auckland airport for 3 & 1/2 hours. Drink 2 pints of Speights.

4- Fly to LA. Manage approximately 4 hours sleep. Read Ramsay's autobiography from cover to cover and watch 2 & 1/2 episodes of Top Gear.

5- Due to poor planning on ticket-booker's part, miss connecting flight from LA to Chicago. Wait in LAX for 10 hours. During that time, attempt sleep. Due to screaming children and stupid airport security announcements, manage about 1 & 1/2 hours sleep.

6- Fly from LA to Chicago at 11pm. Manage zero hours of sleep.

7- Wait in Chicago airport for 1 & 1/2 hours. Achieve zero sleep.

8- Fly from Chicago to Syracuse. Manage 1 hour's sleep. Arrive in Syracuse 9am.

9- Arrive at house in time to have cup of tea with Tyra, shower, and find half clean clothes.

10- Go to school, teach 2 classes.

Total travel time: nearly 40 hours
Total sleep: 6 & 1/2 hours
Total distance covered: approximately 15,ooo kms
Total wrecked-ness: unprecedented.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Home Home Home

I'm home.
It's awesome.

Doing some sightseeing with the Chilean in-laws today, meeting a couple of my boys for a Ginger Tom, drinks at my sister's place, dinner at Dad's, then off to Mount Cook tomorrow with parents and the bride and groom and The Peanut. Wanaka the next day, then worky work for a few days to get all ready for the nuptials.
I am making a wee speech, in English and Spanish. Note: I don't speak Spanish.

Updates likely erratic.

In conclusion: being here is the shizzle.
Ok bye.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go......

I'm off tomorrow.
Off home for 12 whole days (which is 12 days NZ time, even though I'm gone for a fortnight....so confusing)

Blogging may be erratic, but I'm sure you'll cope. Its not like you'll miss much!!!
For those of you so inclined you may rest assured that I shall be making plans to secure arrangements for your inevitable immigration.

In 41 hours I can hug my favourite people in the whole world.
That makes me happier than a whole room full of puppies.

Also, I just watched the first episode of season 4 of Doctor Who...... I tell you, I DID NOT see that coming!!!

Monday, April 07, 2008

I've had my fun and now its time to send my conscience overseas

I am sensing a pattern here.
A couple of days before I go home, I have weird moods and am indescribably tired.

About half an hour ago I was in the shower and nearly burst into tears (and no I'm not PMSing, that was my first thought) and I don't really cry that much. Then I found myself singing.
(I'm not so much a crier, more a furniture thrower and glass smasher)

This afternoon I came home and landed face down on my bed and was a hair's breadth away from abandoning the idea of dinner and work and just climbing into my bed and starting again tomorrow.

And then earlier still a couple of things went really right, and I had one of those moments where you believe that there may yet be a day in the foreseeable future where you *aren't* focusing on just getting through this one day so you can get through the next.
In those moments you realise the volume of things that make it better and that perhaps the universe possesses slightly *more* joy than a sucking chest wound, and you get a glimpse of a future where its all ok and you realise that this too shall pass.

And of course for the previous several weeks I have been my usual grouchy unsympathetic impatient self, civil only to tyratae, members of the Smith Family and about 1 in 10 of my students.

Perhaps its the imminent reprieve, because one can never underestimate the sheer exhaustion that comes from being a stranger in a strange land on one's own.
It doesn't really matter what it is, because its nearly over.
I don't understand how people can do this permanently.

Thank the gods for $7.99 bottles of wine, aye?

Sunday, April 06, 2008

You damn dirty apes

Ok, is it wrong that I don't feel any sadness at the passing of Charlton Heston?
Yes, he made some good movies, but this was the guy who publicly supported Nixon and Reagan, accepted a medal from George "Right now a village in Texas is missing its idiot" W. Bush, was the head of the NRA and in that position made a statement only days after the Columbine shootings that the government could pry his gun from "his cold dead hands".

Does this make me:
a) a tree hugging granola eating wildlife loving gun hating freaky liberal
b) a heartless bitch

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Warning, fan-girl level dangerously high....spoilers ahead.

t-minus 10 minutes until the first CSI of the year..... I have been waiting since December for my fix!!!
Curse you, writer's strike!

Let the live blogging commence....

8.56 pm: 4 minutes to go. Am wondering if its wrong that I am skipping a day in my tooth-whitening regimen. Focus, woman!!!!

8.59 pm: Fucking commercials.

9.00 pm: Hello Grissom. I adore you.

9.01 pm: Hello Brass. You're pretty awesome too.

9.02 pm: Hank!!! The drooliest boxer on telly. Yes, drooliest is a real word. Grissom is wearing his jammies, making himself chicken soup and coughing up a lung. He has to make it himself because SARA IS GONE!!!!

9.06 pm: I see that Catherine has taken the time off during the writer's strike to get some more work done on her face. Leave it alone woman! You are a beautiful woman, stop plasticifying your face.

9.07 pm: Hello Greg. Poor baby is sick too.

9.08 pm: NICKY!!!! Le sigh.

9.14 pm: The whole team has got the lurgy. Poor Nicky..... and all the others of course.

9.20 pm: More of Grissom's house. This is rare, but sadly, NO SARA!!! Brass cries. Nicky looks hot. Happily Warrick has turned up for this week's performance instead of sending in a cardboard cut out of himself, as he did for the last few episodes. Perhaps there was an upside to the writer's strike after all, you know, aside from the better deal for writers and all....

9.27 pm: BOOM!!!

9.32 pm: Grissom references MacGyver. I die a little bit. Too. Much. Awesome.

9.34 pm: Flatmate tells me that she has a "really bad flu" and that I should be careful and take my vitamins so I don't get it. Note that flatmate is up and walking and talking and eating and therefore doesn't have the flu.

9.35 pm: Nicky looks fine, disses Hodges. I smile.

9.41 pm: Where is the dog? I want more Hank. Consider that perhaps Vegas might not be the safest place in the world to live. Remember this isn't a documentary. Have another sip of wine. Experience moment of sadness because CSI is over halfway done.

9.45 pm: Ben pings me online and gives me shit about being a fangirl.

9.53 pm: Grissom mentions Dave Eggers. See 9.32 pm. There is some complicated story about a bad-arse gang guy and Dante's Inferno and piss (really) and a burnt out car. Thankfully, iTunes will download the episode tomorrow so I can actually pay attention to the story instead of geeking about.

9.57 pm: Grissom receives a phone call from Sara. Sigh. Episode ends. "Coming up, scenes from our next episode....."

10.00 pm: Next week looks grim. Next week I will be home. Yin, meet yang. Happily, the one outweighs the other.

10.01 pm: Ooooh look! Without A Trace!!!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

M.I A. rocks my world

- by 7.15 on Monday morning I had already walked 2 dogs.
- I'm going home in a week.
- I need to find a summer sublet for my flat.
- I fit my jeans again.
- My cow slippers are falling apart.
- I have accumulated far too much stuff in the nearly-three-years I have lived here.
- I'm going south a week before Bonnaroo to do fun southern stuff and get shown around the place by a proper Southern son-of-a-preacher-man boy.
- The top step onto the porch and into my building is missing, replaced by a hole.
- I'm going to make bacon vodka.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I know what I *said*.....

But for serious, I challenge anyone to sit down to a medium rare sirloin on a mozzarella crusted polenta cake topped with garlic, pinenuts, spinach and green beans without requiring a glass of cabernet sauvignon to wash it down with....

In other news, I got a dress for my sister's wedding. I think its appropriately pretty and respectable, as well as being appropriately understated and not-as-pretty-as-the-bride's dress.
At least I hope I have the balance right.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I'll take you all on

Today it was Not Freezing (7 in normal, 44 in American) which makes a rather significant change from the last few months, so to celebrate I borrowed Maggie the Mega Dog and together we felt the wind in our hair and got mud on our feet and ran through the park and chased the blackbirds and breathed the air and smelled the first beginnings of spring and we were happy.

Monday, March 24, 2008

First night of your life, curled up on your own

I heard this song ages ago and really liked it, but recently I listened to it again and actually listened to the lyrics...... and fuck me its an intense tune. I challenge anyone to listen to this song and pay attention to the actual lyrics and not at least get goosebumps.
After a couple of listens I googled it, and it turns out its actually about what I thought it was about, which makes it even more intense.
Anyway its late and I'm kind of tipsy, so just listen to the song ok? Cheers.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Mr Obama I like you, but don't be such an arrogant fucker

One thing that really rips my knickers about this country is this myth that lives in the popular consciousness that somehow it is so unique and free and that the rest of the world sits around and goes "Gosh, that America is a bit fantastic isn't it?"
Yeah, its a pretty cool place, in so many ways. It does my fucking head in as well, in so many ways, but every country I've lived in, including my own, does that as well.

Obama, generally a pretty cool guy, does this amazing speech about race and justice and history and legacies and whoever writes his speeches should well be giving themselves a pat on the back right about now. But I couldn't let this one bit pass without comment.

In talking about the fact that he is the son of a white American woman and a black Kenyan man, that he has family of all colours all over the world, that he went to some of the best schools in America and is now running for office he says, and I quote "for as long as I live, I will never forget that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible"

You're kidding, right? Does he really believe that?
The implications of that phrase just do my fucking loaf, you know? That there is no other country in which the child of an immigrant can run for office, that nowhere else can a person of untraditional parentage can attend good schools and make a success of themselves, that the rest of the world lives in this time warp in which if one is born a chambermaid, one may never rise above the station of chambermaid no matter one's abilities.
That we still judge a person's suitability for office on the occupations of their parents and the residency of their grandparents. That one's success depends more on their parent's lineage than any other factor?
Sure, there are aspects of that the world over, and there might always be. Sure, where you are in life has a lot to do with your family, where you were born, the opportunities available to you because of your parent's wealth and your country's condition. I am living proof of that and won't dispute the fact that a significant proportion of my successes are due to the family I was born into.

But to imply that America is the only place in the world where it is possible for a man to overcome the conditions of his birth (if 'overcome' is even the right word, which I am not convinced it is) and run for public office (yes I know its a pretty significant office in the scheme of things, but its not like he's going to be president of the world) smacks of arrogance and insularity of the worst US-centric kind, and is exactly the kind of thing that, given the record of the last seven years, the US should be doing its utmost to avoid.

Mr Obama, please pull your head out of your arse, take a look around and get a realistic perspective on the world in which you are likely to become a very important part of.
Thank you, that will be all.

Normal inanity to resume presently.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Holy crap I am a blogging machine

Three things.....

Number one: I know there are rumours that he was a dirty pervert and while he was found innocent of all related kiddy-fiddling charges, as Ben reminds me, so was creepy Michael Jackson. HOWEVER!!! As a bit of a geek it would be remiss of me not to mention the passing of one of the twentieth century's greatest brains, Sir Arthur C. Clarke.

Number two: I am way too excited about this.

Number three: I had no water in my building for about 4 hours this evening and while that doesn't sound much like an ordeal in the global scheme of things, and really it wasn't, it just happened to coincide with me wanting to do all sorts of watery things such as wash the dishes, flush the loo and have a leisurely hair-washing leg-shaving shower. I had to wait, and I am really not very good at waiting.
Its probably character building.... most things that suck are.

OK cos I can't count, number four: In a very brief conversation with the delightful Sunshine this evening, the following phrase was uttered: "You say potato, I say fucking bitch".
Not complaining, merely observing...

The thing about living in a different time zone is that days last so much longer.
Say, hypothetically speaking, that Tuesday was a Significant Day for one's family.
One's family is at home, which is currently 17 hours ahead. To participate in Significant Day therefore, Tuesday essentially begins on Monday afternoon because I am here and they are there.
However, because I am here, Tuesday goes until the end of Tuesday in my time zone, thus making it a day and a half long.
Which is all well and good for the most part, but when said Significant Day is not so much a cause for celebration as the end of all the firsts and the beginning of a whole other thing that involves redefining normal life and there being no more surprises in this new world and generally a day characterised by terrible fucking sadness then really 24 hours is just about enough.

Monday, March 17, 2008

One Year

We miss you

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Not exactly Cancun....

This is what I did on my Spring Break.
How was yours?

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Given the time and the moon, you look a lot like her

I say this quite a lot I know, but how on earth did we manage ANYTHING without the internets?
I've just spent the last 10 minutes comparing flights on priceline.com for this June's Tennessee (and possibly the mythical pirate state of Arkansas) musical adventure.

I can sit here in my jammies and compare flights from Memphis to LA with flights from Little Rock to LA, and then compare a trip from here to Memphis and from Little Rock to LA with a trip from here to Little Rock and from Memphis to LA.
The verdict is that there is obviously something seriously spiffy about flying in and out of Memphis because its hella expansive compared to Little Rock. Perhaps Memphis airport is gold plated or something.

I still don't know if I am driving south or flying cos it looks like Paulie is going south a week early for a thing and I am yet to decide if I am better off driving with him early or hanging about here and flying south the day before Bonnaroo. Ideas?
He is going to be in one of the Carolinas, which according to the map in the back of my diary are both right next to Georgia, which is next to Alabama so I could go and stalk Harper Lee.
Surely between us we can find something to keep me amused for a week in the deep South (on the cheap, cos I am church-mousey in my poor-ness).

Viable suggestions welcomed.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Thanks, universe

Now, on top of the rib-shattering I-sound-like-a-character-in-a-tragic-opera-dying-of-the-consumption cough, and the snot, and the headache and all the other fun things that go with this lovely lung infection/cold double barrelled health bomb, I have a freaking toothache.
Of course, me being me, its never just a toothache is it. No. Its an ache that starts in my tooth and goes all the way to the roots and spreads right through the joint of my jaw. Basically half my face hurts.

Would someone please just put me out of my misery?

This blog brought to you by the Whinging Pom Brigade. I'm getting in touch with my ancestry....

Monday, March 03, 2008


The tinest of tiny sparks in the settling storm: went out with some fellow single friends on VDay.
Friend One there meets a friend of Friend Two.
Friend One emails me afterwards requesting information about Friend Two's friend. I pass on request to Friend Two, who passes it on to friend. Friend replies in the affirmative, so Friend Two and I gleefully pass on the appropriate information to the appropriate parties.

Friend One and Friend of Friend Two Go and Do Fun Stuff, and plan to Do More Fun Stuff again.

I sigh, safe in the knowledge that even if my life is a big pile of turds, romantically speaking, at least its not contagious.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

It's Alive!!!!!

Update from the front: I am still breathing and mostly alive.
Most excitingly, I was in fact hungry yesterday so instead of having to force half a cup of soup and a piece of toast down my throat I actually ate most of an omelette. This morning I really went to town and ate 2 pieces of toast with tomatoes on top and a banana with yoghurt, which I think is more than I have eaten in one sitting for a week. (Am currently ignoring the fact that I feel sick from eating so much.)

I can also sleep now, which is nice.

And now: time to catch up on all my work.

I can't remember the last time I was this sick. Possibly that week at the beginning of 7th form when I was off school for a week and lost 5kgs. That was 15 years ago. Hopefully it will be another 15 years until I am that sick again, this shit sucks.

Currently running on about 65% engine capacity. Estimate 75% by tomorrow.
(yeah.... spent a bit of my downtime watching Top Gear. Clarkson for PM!!!)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Bollocks Shit Arse Crap Crap Crap

- Pounding headache: check
- Urge to throw up: check
- Whole body aches and pains: check
- Simultaneously shivering cold and sweating hot: check
- Head full of snot: check
- Lungs filled with what appears to be molten lead: check
- Lightheadness and inability to walk in a straight line: check
- Missing my mum: check
- Going back to bed to throw a pity party: check

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Two Things....

1) When Sophie goes out walking in the snow she doesn't let the snow get in the way of her snuffling all the things that dogs sniff so she sticks her nose right in to the snow to smell stuff and then she gets these little mountains of snow on the end of her nose and she doesn't even seem to notice but there little nose-snow-mounts just kill me because they are so damn cute and yet another thing that Sophie does that makes her pretty much the cutest dog I know.

2) The other night I had this fantastically filthy (in the best possible way) dream about totally hot TV guy but I can't say who it was because I am ashamed to admit that I watch the programme that he stars in because I have a reputation to consider goddammit and while I freely admit that I love dumb things like movies-in-which-stuff-blows-up there are some things that I just can't admit out loud so my secret TV guy crush will have to remain secret.....

Thursday, February 21, 2008

(On Joan Collins)...She thought that the price of the meal would be on the house. I told her that the only thing on the house was the roof....

Sitting here basking in the glory of BBC America (we loves housesitting) and the unlimited gloriousness that is "Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares" I am inspired to write a list.

Reasons why I love Gordon Ramsay:

- He can cook like a motherfucker.
- He calls bullshit when he sees it.
- He has twelve Michelin stars yet confessed to a reporter that he bribes his kids with jelly beans to say that they like his cooking better than their mum's.
- Every third word is fuck.
- He is a chef who recognises that the key to a successful restaurant is far less about the actual food that is served than most chefs would like to think.

- He takes on the stroppiest, foulest, worst tempered people in his quest for quality food and won't let anyone out-shout him.
- He would be one of the dozen people I would invite to my fantasy dinner party. I would sit him between Anthony Bourdain and Billy Connolly.
- He takes it better than most when people call him a twat.
- He reminds me so much of a chef that I used to work with and truth be told that I still have a bit of a crush on twelve years later.
........Oh great..... now I am going to have to figure that last one out.... Thanks, blog!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


::squeals with delights, passes out, falls off chair::

Saturday, February 16, 2008

No you won't fool the children of the revolution

Oh the delights to be had, waking up without a hangover!!! I am officially too old to be crawling home at 4.30am on a Friday morning.
So because I was restrained last night when I woke up today I had all this energy so I tidied my room and swept the flat and did loads of washing and washed the dishes and now I have a pot of chilli on the stove bubbling away and I arranged a place to stay over Spring Break for some archive work in DC and I even got mine and Paul's Bonnaroo tickets organised and checked with the other members of Team Blogaroo that Tickets Were Acquired so now I think its time to settle in with my two friends Sauvignon Blanc and Bernard Black.
Hilarity shall ensue.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

VD is a big steaming pile of turds

The internet's saving grace for all things VD related

Way to rub people's noses in all the bitterness of the past year's storms.
Appropriately I woke up with a roaring headache which set the mood nicely for Day Four of "I Hate Everything And Everyone".
Of course its snowing again as well..... urgh.

10.04am. That's too early for a martini, isn't it?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Currently the temperature outside is -8C
The high predicted for today is -5C

When the "high" is below freezing, you know something is amiss.

Perhaps its a genetic quirk that makes us choose these crazy cold places.
Right now my sister is in Antarctica. On purpose.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Beyond a Joke

Things I hate about this town today include but are not limited to the following:
- the buildings
- the weather
- the locals
- the roads
- the post office
- the location
- the birds
- the laundromats
- the trees
- the mall
- the movie theatre
- the drivers
- the street signs
- the wind (yes I know it's technically classified as weather, but I have a special hatred for it so it merits a mention on its own)

Things I like about this town:
- the Chinese restaurant around the corner
- the cheap booze
- the presence of about 4 or 5 people who don't suck

Friday, February 08, 2008

Putting the South in SXSW

The lineup for SXSW is out, and while I remain secure in my decision to attend Bonnaroo instead, I am impressed at the Kiwi content of the former.

So, if you happen to be at SXSW, go see the following

Liam Finn
Die! Die! Die!
Gasoline Cowboy
Rodney Fisher
The Mint Chicks
Hollie Smith
The Ruby Suns

...and see how we rock out South Pacific styles.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

In 126 days....
Plus a bunch of other stuff.....
Music festivals are the dog's bollocks, to be sure.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

I watch the stars fall silent from your eyes

Gtalk message from Ben: "What happened to you Britney"
My response: "Ummmm....... crack.....fame.....being a mental case......."
We are glad that we are not famous.

Today was spent with the delightful Caleb, who is mysteriously way more well behaved for me than he is for his parents and apparently I am the only person in the entire universe who can get him to go to sleep in the rocking chair.

The election-where-they-choose-who-gets-to-run-for-President is on today, and its quite interesting watching it unfold. The American system is odd, I must say. From what I understand, they vote for their representative, who decides who is going to get the party nomination, and from there, the people vote again for their representative to again vote for who is going to be president, but as the 2000 election demonstrated, the popular vote and the electoral college vote are two different things.
The scary thing is that from what so many of my students say, they honestly believe that the rest of the world looks to the US as a model for democracy. Without wanting to offend the beliefs of my dear American friends, I remain unconvinced that there aren't seventy five better ways of doing it. Its a shame its so late and I am so sleepy otherwise I would list them all.*

This evening was spent with my peeps, for whom dear Shawn decided it would be a good Fat Tuesday thing to cook a whole bunch of proper Mardi Gras type feast, so we happily dined upon jambalaya and gumbo and etoufee and king cake and beignets and bananas foster (only one of which I had ever had before which was very exciting) and drank Hurricanes and Zombies and now its 11.05pm and I am full and a teensy bit tipsy so nighty night.

*yeah right

Sunday, February 03, 2008

So Us Is This

This afternoon I went to visit a friend in the hospital. She began her PhD the same time that I did, but is much further ahead than I am.

Four days ago she underwent a double mastectomy and reconstruction for breast cancer, and I believe she has chemo lined up in the near future, and I was so impressed at what good spirits she was in. I was trying to imagine what I would be like in that situation, and I couldn't even comprehend it.
She was sitting up, and yes she looked a little tired, but she was telling stories, and making people laugh, and taking an extra half a lap around the rooms on her walk to build up strength.
I always want to punch people who say that what doesn't kill us makes us stronger, but from what I know about this woman and the things she has been through, perhaps its true in some cases?

One thing I forgot to tell her is that on the way there, my all-knowing iPod played some very appropriate music, the most pertinent being just as I came around the corner and could see the hospital: "This Woman's Work" by Kate Bush.

I know you have a little life in you yet
I know you have a lot of strength left

The iPod knows.....

Saturday, January 26, 2008

What I do on a Saturday

The Plan: chill out here, have a leisurely shower, go for a drink later on with my friend Jesse.

The Reality: Fluffy McStinkbomb, aka Sophie the dog-I-am-looking-after takes a trip outside just prior to my going-out-for-a-drink. Goes mental barking at the porch. Scares a skunk, who in turn unleashes his special brand of stinkbomb onto Sophie. Claire dry retches at the smell.

My Saturday night:
Call Jesse to say "frightfully sorry and all that, but I'm going to have to stand you up".
Wash the dog (who is at least half collie or shepherd or something equally fluffy).
Wash the bedclothes that the dog jumped on after being freshly skunked.
Clean the bathtub that the dog was washed in.
Wash the floor that the stinky dog ran over, leaving a trail of skunk-scent.
Wash the sofa cushion covers the dog jumped on that now smell of skunk.
Wash the sheets from the spare room bed the dog leapt on.
Wash the towels used to dry the dog off.
Wash the other towels used to dry the bathroom floor.
Wash the clothes worn while washing the dog.
Have scalding hot shower in an attempt to burn the skunk smell from my nostrils, as well as skin, hair etc.
Rummage through cupboards in attempt to find suitably smelly things to boil on the stovetop to drown out the skunk smell (first pot: lavender spray and cinnamon, second pot: coffee. Third pot: anybody's guess. Am considering entrails of dog).
Spray radiator heaters with aforementioned lavender spray then place rosemary on all heaters in the hope the scent will travel.

It's olfactory overload here tonight!!!
Eau de skunk/wet dog/coffee/lavender/rosemary/bleach/shampoo/cinnamon/washing powder.
My nose is confused.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Horatio Caine is my Ginger Nemesis

So, how about this whole 2008 nonsense, aye?

The sum total of things I have achieved since this semester can be counted on the fingers of one hand, provided that hand belongs to a soldier who found himself in possession of a faulty hand-grenade that detonated 2 and a half seconds after he removed the pin, thus blowing the poor bastard's hand to smithereens, leaving him with stumps in place of his fingers and a six digit settlement from the grenade manufacturer.

Holland Chase has achieved something though. Apparently the Organised Seamstresses of America are planning a party.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Announcement o'clock

Please forward to your respective news desks the following:

The list of "Things That Are Completely Awesome" has been amended to include Cloverfield

That will be all.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I'm going to Graceland

We are go for Bonnaroo*, bloggers!!! Oooh, we're going to need t-shirts.
SXSW has been scrapped for being too soon, too pricey, and possibly too trade-showy for us.

I've just looked at prices for flights to get my fat arse there, and it turns out that I can fly to Little Rock (from where HC will be collecting myself and the divine Miss S and driving** us to Manchester, Tennessee via The King's final resting place) for a whopping $185.


In other news, the little nose pad (thank you, Ben) thingies on my glasses have snapped off and now my super cool styling glassies are sliding off my nose. Soldering iron, anyone?

*Sounds distinctly Australian. I hope its not filled with Aussies.
**I just decided on this plan, btw.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Fatty McLardarse

I'm back, and I'm fat!!!
Turns out that a month of eating and drinking like a champion has somehow made all my clothes a bit too small.....oops. Luckily I have a date with a treadmill this afternoon.
No photos until I'm skinny and sexy again.

Still jetlagged, compounded by the fact that I got up at 6.30 this morning after a most restless night to babysit the delightful young Master Smith.

Phonecalls are owed I know..... as soon as I can construct a decent sentence.
I would however, like to take a moment to complain about the fact that on Saturday morning I was in lovely sunny summery 35C degree NZ, and now I'm here and its snowing and its a whopping 1C degree. This is why Americans use fahrenheit, because 34F sounds so much better than 1C. Cheaters.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Hello 2008

Shoulders: sunburnt
Children: delightful
Weather: summery
Home: brilliant
Old Friends: a gift
Hair: blonde
Waistline: a little larger than a month ago
Liver: well and truly punished
Decisions: being made
Life: getting on with it