Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Oh yes, it's all about me.

A friend in England recently sent me this to read.

It's an article by Times columnist Carol Midgely and it starts like this, 'Sometimes I need only glance at the title of a book and immediately I hate the author. This is because it is such a brilliant idea that I wish I'd thought of it myself but didn't get round to it because I was too busy checking the Coronation Street website or wondering whether I should put another wash on.

It's the same now with Richard Wilson, whose new book Can't Be Arsed: 101 Things Not To Do Before You Die makes me want to kick my own backside around the room until it's black, blue and begging for mercy.

Why didn't I write this book?'

She then goes on to compile her own list of 'Can't Be Arsed - 29 Things That I Couldn't Give a Toss If I Never Did Again. Why 29? I couldn't be fagged thinking up 30.'

Mr T suggested I should compile my very own list which, naturally, filled me with glee. I am going to change the list a little to 'Can't be Arsed - Things I Can't be Arsed Doing - or Doing Again.'

So in no particular order, here we go.

1. GST returns. Help. Me. Someone. Every two months they drag around with monotonous regularity and it's only the thought of the fine that drags me to my desk to do it. Yes, I could pay someone to do this task for me (errm, possibly should pay someone), but it's a bit like eating your broccoli - I am sure it's good for me, somehow.

2. Eating chicken. I really can't see the point. I am mostly a fish and vege girl anyway but, if I have to, could you pass me the freshly dead lump of red meat. At least it tastes of something. Chicken - nup. I am sure this will be of absolutely no help to me whatsoever when I die and discover the afterlife is run by chickens.

'Please be nice to me, I didn't really eat you.'

'Yeah, only because you claimed we tasted like shite. You're spending eternity at Club Battery Farm.'

3. Being P.C about children's playgrounds. Why are schools insisting on wrapping playgrounds up in cotton wool so the wee darlings don't hurt themselves? Pur-lease. Let them learn how to fall. We did.

4. Being P.C about winning and losing for kids. If you come first, you win. Simple. If you didn't, you didn't win. Deal with it. My six year old niece recently came last at her cross country. She knows that if you're smallest in your class by at least three boat lengths, chances are you're not going to win the cross country. (She didn't care about coming last, the thing she was upset about was that she didn't win any points for her house, which I thought was beautiful.)

5.Bungy jumping. Never have, never will. Been offered free ones on many occasions but always gratefully declined. Call me crazy, but the thought of hurling myself of a bridge with an elastic band tied to my feet puts the fear of God into me. It just sort of goes against every natural instinct. And those screams you hear? The first screams are fear 'Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrggghhhhhhhh'.

Loose translation, 'IamgoingtodieIamgoingtodieIamgoingtodieIamgoingtodie!'

The second lot of screams after the bounce?


Loose translation, 'IamnotgoingtodieafterallIamnotgoingtodieafterall!Iamtheluckiestpersonontheplanet,Icheateddeath!'

I really don't need to put myself through that.

6. Going to do exercise. So can't be arsed going to do it. However the feeling after doing it regularly drags my sorry arse off the sofa and out the door.

7. Seeing Mamma Mia. I have talked about the horror associated with enduring twenty minutes of this film, before. And I don't want to talk about it again. Please go away, memory. Delete, delete, delete.

8. Sleeping in a tiny wee ger, on the ground in deepest Mongolia, in the middle of winter with eight Mongolians, four of us and two mismothered baby goats. Never before has goat stew seemed so appealing. Those goats owe me a night's ( baaaaaaaa-aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa-aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa ) sleep. It's lucky our hosts knew not a word of English and therefore had no idea what, 'I would like to wring those fucking goats' necks,' meant.

9. Eat/drink anything coffee flavoured unless it's hot and wet and just coffee. OtherwiseI don't get it.

10. Spend thirty-six hours flying (via three different countries) to a country because you have a deal with an airline, when there's a seven hour direct flight available with the competition. That is simply not fun.

11. Celebrate New Year's Eve. Admit it, the evening would be much more fun if it wasn't New Year's Bloody Eve.

12. Bored yet?

13. Saving the planet. Oh well, I will do my bit if I have to, but it's just kind of dreary.

14. Winter.

15. Suffer through the political campaign before our next general election. We're faced with months of politicians' election promises. Please understand that Wikipedia defines a promise 'whereby the first person undertakes in the future to render some service or gift'.

I think election promises should be defined as , 'saying shit to make you vote for them, but with absolutely no guarantee of actually carrying them out.'

Okay, I will stop there. I've just seen the time and if I don't stop now, I could be here for days.

Tootle-pip. Please feel free to add to my list.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Ol' Blue Eyes

'Paul Newman's died.'

'Why? What was wrong with him?'

'He had cancer and he was eighty-three. Apart from that, he was fine.'

No prizes for who I was in that conversation. (The person not in possession of all the relevant information).

For me, Paul Newman will always be the guy in 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.' I loved that film, but it's one of those ones I am a bit scared to see now as I suspect that I will feel a little disappointed. It's a bit like candy floss - tastes great if you're a kid, but as an adult you feel like you are eating a sugar steelo pad.

I was a big fan of 'Raindrops Keep Falling on Your Head' and an even bigger fan of the Manic Street Preachers' version of it.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday's revelation

Wondering what I was going to post today.

Then decided I could always share with you something you may not know.

I have pink arms.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It's no indicator that we think it's about to end.

'This Is Your Life' is a show that has been around for over fifty years. It first started in the States in 1952, then made the leap across the water to the UK in '57.

Even though television was available in New Zealand from 1960, the first time a New Zealand version was made was in 1984. Since then thirty-nine episodes have been made, featuring such luminaries such as Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Sir Peter Blake , Sir Edmund Hillary, Peter Snell and Charles Upham.

And then on Sunday it featured racing car driver Scott Dixon, who this year has taken out the Indianapolis 500 and the Indy Racing League in the US ( for the second time, the clever clogs).

But there's just one thing.

Scott Dixon is, um, twenty-eight years old.

Shouldn't it have been called 'This Is Your Life, So Far'?

If I was Scott Dixon I would be thinking that having a programme like 'This Is Your Life' made about you at twenty-eight would indicate that the programme makers have a feeling that you're not going to be around for much longer.

'We'd better knock him off now, cause chances aren't high that he'll still be here when he's sixty.'

But he's not the youngest victim of one of these shows. Brit model Twiggy had one made about her when she was twenty. 'And what about the time when you were fifteen that you grew a metre in a week, but stayed the same weight as when you were ten?'

I have a theory on why she featured on a show that generally featured people above the age of fifty.

One word.


Monday, September 22, 2008

I had to work in the weekend.

It was a four o'clock wake up.
The view was worth the early call.

I have to admit to feeling just a little bit twitchy and not entirely relaxed during the whole trip.

However, when it was pointed out to me that we were suspended in the air at five thousand feet in a wicker basket, I felt my anxiety was justifed.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The sharemarket for dummies.

I reckon you have to think about shares a bit like an inflatable dingy. Sometimes your dingy is fully inflated and you can blat around in it and have lots of fun.

Other times your dingy loses its air, and it's no longer seaworthy.

Right now I am the proud owner of a deflated piece of rubber.


Might have to take up flying.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Can someone please explain to me why Winston Peters, despite the amount of merde he appears to be in, still seems to be as smug as an American whose his money sitting snugly in a Swiss bank?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

China - that country that poisons babies, and then tries to pretend it didn't happen.

Right now I am feeling a little sorry for the dairy giant Fonterra.

I know people will say I talking a complete load of crock, but I reckon they've been done good and proper.

So of those of you who don't live in New Zealand and haven't heard this story on every news bulletin for the last three days - they're embroiled in a milk scandal in China.

I understand that the word 'milk' before 'scandal' doesn't actually pack that much of a punch but if you add 'baby' into the sentence you'll begin to understand where I am coming from.

Two babies in China have died so far from having contaminated milk and, as of yesterday, 1253 children had been diagnosed with illnesses linked to the milk powder - with 340 still in hospital.

This has all been blamed on infant milk made by the Sanlu Group in the Gansu Province of China. Where does a New Zealand dairy company come into all of this?

It owns forty-three percent of the company.

What exactly was wrong with the milk?

It appears a couple of farmers who were pissed off after their milk had been rejected several times by the Sanlu group decided they would get their own back on the company by poisoning other milk they sold to the group.

I'm sorry but what evil, stone hearted, twisted mofos seek revenge on a huge corporation by poisoning babies?

I'm trying really hard to think of a more heinous crime, but I don't think it comes worse than any type of abuse of babies.

I reckon even the Devil would draw the line at that.

But get this, it's not the first time this type of thing has happened in China.

Hell no, in 2004 at least thirteen babies died and more than one hundred were severely malnourished after being given fake milk formula. In some cases the milk formula had little more nutritional value than water.

Even worse, the formula was sold to impoverished farmers who then started to wonder why their babies all started to develop what became known as 'big head disease'. What these poor people didn't realise was that their babies had big heads because they were malnourished.

What went through these people's minds?

'Hmmm, how are we going to make some money?

Sell fake bags to stupid tourists?

Rob stupid tourists?

Steal cars?

I know! Strip nutrients out of baby formula and sell it to poor people who won't know any better. Genius.'

I realise that with a population of one point three billion, you are always going to get a few colossally poisoned apples but, let's face it, this mud is going to stick like cement.

After all, you shag one goat.....

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I didn't realise I wanted it - until we didn't get it.

So this weekend I went attended a fancy schmancy awards do.

I have discovered two things.

1. When people tell you that awards functions are really quite tedious - they aren't lying.

2. When people tell you that 'it doesn't matter about winning, getting nominated is all that matters', - they are lying.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My spooky Sept 11th story.

So right now it's September the eleventh. And for many countries around the world they are just waking up to September the eleventh.

This time seven years ago - to the day - I was in an edit suite cutting a story about the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur (they were the world's highest building until Taipei's 101 came along and relegated them to number two. It's a bit like the Olympics, really. How fast can you run? How high can you build? At the end of the day it's all going to come down to how small we can measure , isn't it?)
Anyway, we had been filming them seven years ago this time last week, we were allowed up as far as the bridge bit. It doesn't look that high from this picture, but it felt hellishly scary looking out the window. We all got a weird type of vertigo.
When we were there, base jumpers were jumping off them and one of the lines in my story said, 'Another thing that these towers are good for - jumping off.'
On September the twelfth I woke to the news of the NYC Twin Towers.
Needless to say, my story never went to air.

Here's a conversation starter for your next dinner party....

Did you know that apparently that the Chinese came up with the idea of toilet paper around the sixth century AD? Apparently it was available in two sizes, large squares for the Jo Averages (or the JO 平均数 ) and small delicate perfumed squares for the Imperial bottoms?

And around the early 14th century it was recorded that in the Zhejiang province alone there was an annual manufacturing of toilet paper amounting in ten million packages of 1,000 to 10,000 sheets of toilet paper each.

On to it, those Chinese.

And what you really don't want to do is now go and read about the history of toilet paper on Wikipedia, cause it will just make you realise how spectacularly peculiar some of those who have gone before us have been.

I will never be able to look at a corn husk again.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

I love being a grown up, I think.

So I spent time in the weekend with my cousin, her husband and their two small people.

My cousin's husband reckons that if I'd been born fifty years earlier than when I was actually born, that I would have been locked up in a lunatic asylum.

The first time he mooted this idea was in his wedding speech.

I took it as a compliment.

Anyway, we were walking into a shop and the three year old, clasping my hand, told me very solemnly that 'This is a no touching shop.'

'Oh really?' I say.

'Yes, you're not allowed to touch anything.'

Then she chased that statement up with, 'Only the adults are allowed to touch things.'

I was about to say, 'So that makes me a...?'

But I didn't.

Cause just sometimes - it's best to leave well enough, alone.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Ever received an email or text that wasn't meant for you?

I just got this email, (it was titled Urgent).

'Hi Kate

I have been trying your cell and been waiting for you to return my text ....Please advise me if there is any change in your cell number etc as otherwise you are likely to miss out on work! I have a casting for you tomorrow at 4.40pm if you are a available???It is for a show on Sat 20th Sept. Please get back to me URGENTLY (by phone to save time).


It was swiftly followed up by this email (titled Whoops).

'Hee hee I might have sent that to you by mistake (unless you want to model for a swimsuit show)??'

There are many different aspects to my job, and it can be described in a number of ways but, let me assure you, swimsuit model is not one of them.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

The person who invented postcards was a vindictive fecker.

So I sent a pixt of where I was working on Friday to torture my siblings. I would have been posting a photo to torture you lot, but at 1934 metres my camera battery decided to die on me. I could blame it on altitude, but we all know it's down to a stupid operator.

The photo was taken right at the very, very top of a ski field on a gloriously sunny crystal clear day. The caption read, 'Work is a bitch.'

Text back from my sister, 'I used to like you.'

I suppose it was the digital equivalent of a postcard.

And we all know a postcard is effectively saying, 'I'm having a good time. You're not.'

I hate postcards.

Except when I'm sending them.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Should be a blast.

Right then.

Tomorrow morning am off to seek out avalanches - or rather - set off avalanches.

Should be back Sunday - if I'm not - you'll know it's all gone horribly wrong (and please alert the authorities).

Heh. I just thought of what would be said.

'Excuse me Officer, but a New Zealand blogger has gone missing.'

'Could you please describe this person to me?'

'I believe she's rather short with a very short attention span.'

'Uh huh. Anything else?'

'She's pink. And has a flower on her dress.'

'So she is wearing a dress?'

'Yes, a triangle shaped dress.'


'And she has four fingers on each hand - and a crown.'

'Uh huuuuuh'.

'And unruly hair.'

'And the last time she was seen?'

'Oh, cyberspace.'

'Of course she was.Anything else you'd like to add?'

'Her grammar is horrendous, there are always typos - don't get me started on her apostrophes.'

'And you would like us to look for this woman?'

'Well, actually there is also a high probability that she isn't actually a short yappy type living in New Zealand as she claims, she could very easily be a fifty year old Scout Master living in the Yukon, I'm not sure, but that is who she claims she is. Anyway she's just gone missing.

'Oh well, that narrows it down.'

'Have there been any avalanches in New Zealand?'

'Couldn't say.'

'But could you help?'

'Her, mmm I'm thinking no, however your concern is rather sweet and I think we can help you. Do you see these people coming your way dressed in white coats? Don't you worry about a thing. Everything is going to be allllllright...'

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Do as I say!

At the risk of repeating myself, in January I crashed my brother Sunshine's family holiday in China. Below is the river we boated up, however we bailed at the turning around bit, and walked back.
Why did you abandon the boat? You ask, it was a perfectly good boat, wasn't it? Well, the Sunshines are just made like that, a couple of weeks ago I got a text from my brother that read, 'Just ran 28k over the Coromandel range and then paddled 14km to Whitianga. Now drinking a deliiiiiiiiiiiiiicious Heineken.'

I text back, 'Didn't you have one in the fridge?'

Anyway, at the end of our walk back we were sitting, enjoying a beer looking at this bridge when a little old lady, who must have been about 345 in the shade, came over to sell us something. This generally happened a lot, but if you weren't interested you said so and generally they would bugger off.

Except this 678 year old.

She came up to us and said (which I imagine a loose translation would have been), 'Hey honkies you want to buy some oranges?'

'No thank you,' says Sunshine.

'Hey honky lady you want to buy some oranges?'

'No thank you,' says Mrs Sunshine.

'Hey honky other lady you want to buy some oranges?'

'No thank you,' says I.

'Hey honky boy you want to buy some oranges?'

'No thank you,' says Master Sunshine.

'Hey cute honky girl, you want to buy some oranges?'

'No thank you, 'says Little Miss Sunshine.

Did she get the message?

Nuh uh.

She went in for round two - again, loosely translating -'Hey honky man, good orange, buy them.' And that was followed up by a gentle nudge on the arm.

'No thank you,' says Sunshine

Then, 'Hey honky lady, good orange, buy them.'

'No thank you,' says Mrs Sunshine.

Okay, you get the picture. This continued for a while longer until Sunshine looked up at her, with a huge smile on his dial and said, 'What part of FUCK OFF do you not understand?'

Cue torrential giggles.

From everyone.

Even the 789 year old orange seller. She didn't have a clue what had been said, but she joined in on the fun.

Sunshine turned to his children, jabbed the air with a finger, and said strongly, 'Do as I say, do not do as I do.'

Which I imagine is what Sarah Palin is thinking right now, or maybe it's more, 'Do as I say, do not do as my daughter does.'

Poor kid, bet really she's wishing that her mother had decided to opt for a career in real estate.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Swords are the new black.

I got told today, 'Kate, you're looking very swashbuckling.'

And it got me thinking about swords - they'd be one hell of an accessory, wouldn't they?