Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Just dashing off.

Okay people, off for a spot of sheep shearing, falcon spotting and shark swimming.

Back soon.

However if it all goes horribly wrong,no doubt my brother in law will let you know about the latest family joke.

You get yesterday's news here, tomorrow.

I know everybody dissected the Oscars, like, on Tuesday but the news you get here broke so long ago that it has already been glued back together again.

But that's not going to stop me. Here is my not-very-informed take on the Oscars.

Actor in a Leading Role: Sean Penn, Milk.
Can't comment on this this one, only to say that I can't bring myself to watch Benjamin Button cause it just seems too creepy. Oh and whenever I saw Micheal Sheen on Frost Nixon, all I could think of was him when he played Tony Blair in Queenie's film.

Actress in a Leading Role: Kate Winslet, The Reader
If only to stop everyone banging on about the fact that she had been nominated six times and still not taken a statue home. Martin Scorsese, anyone?

Actor in a Supporting Role: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
And not just because he's dead.

Actress in a Supporting Role: Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
I reckon if an alien landed on earth and was wanting to look up in 'The Handbook to the Earth' the definition of Batshit Insane Crazy Mentaller it would say 'See Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona.'

Earrings in a Supporting Role: Angelina Jolie
What are they? Where did they come from? How can I get my hands on them?

Everything else going to Slumdog. Oh yeah.
I reckon they deserved an Oscar for having the balls to actually shoot it in Mumbai. It reminded me of that quote that says that most of the greatest things man has achieved has been done by people not smart enough to realise quite how impossible what they were attempting to achieve actually was.
Pure class, that film.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Whose nest did the goose shit in?

'Have you seen the clicky thing?' I asked Numbers (the accounts guy) as I moved my fingers and thumb together in a clicky type fashion.

He looked at me, shook his head, 'You're such a fucking goose.'

And then it occurred to me, how come geese get such a bad rap?

See, I can understand people being called turkeys.

I mean, I'm not even going to start to describe them cause that's going to generate whole lot of traffic I don't care for.

I can understand being called a goat, because they eat stuff like rubbish and clothes. (Even though I am informed by a person of high goat authority that goats are, in fact, very intelligent and curious, not to mention good at climbing trees.) However I remain suspicious.

I was in the bowels of the museum yesterday surrounded by many many stuffed dead birds and I came across the toucan. I mean, seriously, who was on what type of acid when this bird was created ?

And how come nobody, when they're looking for the stapler and can't remember its name ever gets told, 'You're such a fucking toucan'?

Why is goose the euphemism for dipshit?

Monday, February 23, 2009

I love parties.

I went to my cousin's fortieth in the weekend. Now, my cousin knows how to throw a damn fine party and this one was no exception. It was held in the country, we all donned our finest, drank champagne and feasted on salmon and other gourmet delights under a marquee and pretended we were grown ups (which lasted a good, oh, about thirty-five minutes).

On the invitation, she stipulated no presents, but that was never going to happen. Amongst her goodies was a little book, I can't remember the name of it, but it was full of fashion and beauty tips for women once they were beyond forty (and its name was along those lines). It was a beautifully designed book, except I think they got the title wrong. I'm thinking a more appropriate title would have been,

It's All Downhill From Here, Honey.
Hints and tips on how to make you not look like you've been bashed by the ugly stick as you edge closer to the grave.

Yesterday I packed my hangover into my case and caught the train home. The train was jammed full and as I got to my seat I motioned half-apologetically to the (sixtyish,maybe seventyish) woman who was sitting in the aisle seat. She had the air of a governess from 1930 and looked at me like I was covered in cat shit.

'So you've got the window, then?'

Now, if we'd been on a plane on a trip that I had done before, I wouldn't have hesitated in giving up the window. But I knew the window seats come with more real estate than aisle seats, and I wasn't prepared to give that up. Besides, it wasn't as if I was going to block her view.

'Erm, yes, sorry.'

I got into my seat and set about working my way through the Sunday paper, Metro magazine and a book.

By three quarters of the way through the trip, and without saying a word to her, I knew this woman was: a New Zealander, wheat free, that she inherited a 'legacy' and went to Paris for ten days, she was doing another train trip today, she often does tours around New Zealand and she didn't care for the Australians and Canadians in the seats one over because they didn't stop talking.

She turned to me and said in a loud, condescending voice 'You must know this scenery well, because you have been buried in your books all trip.'

I didn't say, 'What's it to you, you miserable, opinionated old goat?' because I'm not rude, so instead I said, 'Yes I have done this trip a number of times, and I have done this same trip by road many, many, many times.'

She sniffed and looked at me, 'Are you a student?'

I was tempted to say, 'No, but I have the hangover of one.' But I didn't because, being the fickle person I really am, suddenly I wanted to like her.

Now I would stay and gloat about how delightful it is when old people mistake you for being way younger than you really are, but I'm off on an archaeological dig. You never know what we may dig up, personally I'm holding out for Lord Lucan.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Another reason to love Australians.

Jetstar hopped across the Tasman and opened doors for business in New Zealand this week.

(Literal translation: Jetstar hopped across the Tasman and opened doors for business this week, thoroughly pissing of Air New Zealand who have smugly being charging people far too much for flights for far too long).

The Australian reports, 'Air New Zealand responded quickly and vowed to compete vigorously against Jetstar, touting its own low-fare credentials and greater frequency on routes targeted by its competitors.'

(Literal translation: Air New Zealand will be to forced drop their fares if they want anyone to ever fly Air New Zealand again. And they are really hoping New Zealanders will forget all those years of fare abuse they have suffered in the hands of the airline).

Jetstar kicked off their 245 million dollar expansion into New Zealand by offering one dollar fares between Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown. The offer was Internet only and you had to book between 12 and 2 p.m.

Naturally wanting to get a piece of the $1 action I jumped on the Internet. Got about five minutes in to my booking and, crash!

Second attempt. Three minutes in. Crash.

Third attempt. New computer. Two minutes in. Crash.

You get the picture. Basically if you try and to jam the population of Tokyo into cars, and then send them down a dusty two lane road, you're going to get a traffic jam. But I'm suspecting Jetstar knew that already.

But they didn't count on little Miss Terrier Pants wanting to get her hands on a $1 fare. Hell no, too much traffic on the dusty road wasn't going to deter me.

I rang their toll free number. Disconnected.

I tried again. Disconnected.

I tried again. Busy.

I tried again. Busy.

About five calls later I got through. A recorded message talked to me and I was put on hold.

FOR TWENTY-ONE MINUTES. (Luckily, speakerphone has been invented).

So I managed to make my booking and the woman said, 'Now I'm sorry but there is a fee for a phone booking, so the full charge to your credit card will be $3.'

I told her I thought I could wear it.

A quick scan of the Internet tells me that if I wanted, I could pay Air New Zealand $434 for the very same flight, should I desire to part with the cash.

As I am writing this I've just heard that Air New Zealand has just announced $3 fares.

Jetstar, I think I love you.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Peter Jackson, eat your heart out.

I found this sensation when I was searching for the building (that I failed to find) I refer to in the previous comments. It is home to Nikolai Sutyagin, a former gangster, in Arkhangelsk, Russia. He had meant it only to be two stories but got a little more ambitious when he went to Norway and Japan and decided he hadn't used his roof space efficiently enough, so continued to build. He added three more floors, thought it looked like a mushroom so continued to build some more. As you do.

Unfortunately after some time in the slammer, the multimillionaire lost all his ill gotten gains and he now lives in the bottom floor with his wife while the rest of the house decays around him.

I wonder how they would have gone shooting Lord of the Rings in Arkhangelsk?
More fantastic houses here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Stories like this fill me with joy.

Wellington's new state-of-the-art hospital? $346 million.

Fact that twenty-eight rooms are too small to fit new beds?


People rock.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Please don't fall in with the giant eels.

Recently the Parents-of-Four-Boys-Six-and-Under were out of town for the weekend, so I volunteered to spend an afternoon in charge of three of the four. (The had wisely farmed out the Miniature Drunk to someone who knows out to look after infants).

Off we went to a wildlife park, which was very entertaining for me, except I think it was like going on an outing with the Fun Police for the boys.

'Can you lift up the (insert: big, fluffy, exotic) rabbit?'


'Why not?'

'I don't see any signs saying "Feel free to pick up and pat the rabbit"'.


I bent down and whispered, 'I don't think you're allowed to pick up the rabbit.'

' Dad does.'

A few animals later.

'Can we go down there?'

'No, it says staff only.'

'I'm staff!'

'You're four.'

Just before we were about to leave I text Mother-of. 'Had a lovely old time at the park, unfortunately I arrived with three boys and it appears I am leaving with two boys and a chocolate ice cream - formerly known as The Three Year Old.'

A few days later Mother-of said she heard this conversation go on in the car.

Three Year Old: ' I lub Katelastnamewithlisp.'

Four Year Old: 'Are you going to marry her?'

Three Year Old:'Yes.'

Four Year Old: 'Why?'

Three Year Old: 'Because I lub her.'

When you hear things like that, it just makes me wish they wouldn't ever grow up. However I think their mother would disagree, I would imagine that she is looking forward to the time when the Three Year Old no longer does stuff like swallow a fifty cent piece so his brother doesn't get his hands on it.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Nunc Acceptable Tempus

I have always felt it a blessing that I grew up with English as my native language, cause I sure as hell would have never been able to get my head around it. It has to be said that it's deeply flawed when it comes to logic.

Exhibit A. I before E, except after C.

Oh but, then there's all those exceptions.

Who had mixed their meds when they came up with that rule? They're letters for goodness sake, there's hardly extenuating circumstances, it's not like they have feelings or allergies to consider. (Yes I am talking to you; beige, cleidoic, codeine, conscience, deify, deity, deign,dreidel, eider, eight, either, feign, feint, feisty,foreign, forfeit, freight, gleization, gneiss, greige,greisen, heifer, heigh-ho, height, heinous, heir, heist,leitmotiv, neigh, neighbor, neither, peignoir, prescient,rein, science, seiche, seidel, seine, seismic, seize, sheik,society, sovereign, surfeit, teiid, veil, vein, weight,weir and weird)

I do think Latin gives English a run for its money (no surprises there). I took Latin for a year at school, which was a sensational waste of my Latin teacher's time. Sum, es, est, sumus, estis, sunt. Laudō, laudās, laudat, laudāmus, laudātis, laudant. And that's about the sum total of my Latin knowledge, I bet my teacher was really pleased she wasn't paid by the word.

Needless to say there's not much hope I will get my head around Mandarin anytime soon, either.
Or Russian.

But the thing is, chances are I will be able to get by without speaking fluent Russian or Mandarin, however if I was Russian or Chinese, I would be picking that English would be handy.

In the weekend I read a quote from Doug Larson who nailed it, 'If the English language made any sense, a catastrophe would be an apostrophe with fur.'

And an attitude.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

When you know the interweb is doing it's job right.


Someone in India googled 'I have a small brain' and ended up here.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Zimbabwe, we're hearing you.

I was listening to business news on CNN this morning and I heard, 'A trillion is the new billion.'

Crikey Charlie, a trillion is the new billion one day, and before you know it you'll be needing two wheelbarrows full of cash to whip down to the shop to pick up a bottle of milk.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Deeply shallow, flippant and offensive, this is me.

A friend of mine was telling me that she was about to leave a bar and was leaving behind a third of a glass of wine.

'Drink up!' Said the guy she was with, 'There are thousands of sober children in Africa.'

Thursday, February 12, 2009

You get the big news, here.

This is a zonkey. It is a cross between a zebra and a donkey. The genetic name is zebroid. But it is also known as a zebrass, zebronkey, zeasses, zeedonk, zedonk, zebadonk, zenkey, donbra, zebrinny, or a deebra.
I didn't know they existed until this morning.
I'd quite like a pet zonkey.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Have we really become that stupid?

At the risk of revealing myself as the miserable grinch that I really am, can the record please state what a complete load of marketing horseshit I think Valentine's Day has evolved into?

Don't get me wrong, I am not at all against people showing their love for each other. Hearing that my grandfather used to put a rose from the garden on my grandmother's breakfast tray on Valentine's Day, I think is beautiful. But I'm sorry, when the Chicago Tribune is saying stuff like, 'Maybe you're not ready for an engagement ring. And heart-shaped necklaces are so predictable. Why not tell her you'll love her till the end of time with a watch covered in flowers? Or maybe you just need to spell it out for her—in an arty way', it just makes me want to kill myself slowly.

A CBS 60 Minutes journalist discovered stuff saying, 'Say Valentine, be mine with a GE steam iron” … “Say it with pizza” … “Nothing says I love you like a new multi-cycle washer.” Another ad disagreed, claiming: “Nothing says I love you like our succulent veal parmigiana.” Not to mention: “Surprise your Valentine with Monroe shock absorbers.”

Underlying message.

We will commercialise any day on the calendar and say any shit whatsoever if it will move stock.
I remember a woman telling me very proudly that her husband gave her a convertible on Valentine's Day. I wanted to weep. And not because I was envious.

It seems we've strayed along way from the times when people used to celebrate it with cards, chocolate and wild flowers. There are loads of different stories around about how it evolved, I think one of my personal favourites is the one where Roman Emperor Claudius II allegedly ordered that all young men remain single cause he thought this would grow a good strong army, believing that married men made rubbish soldiers. The priest Valentine thought this idea sucked so went about secretly performing marriage ceremonies for young men. When I-Have-An-Army-Of-Horny-Stallions-Hear-Me-Roar-Claudius found out about this he decided it was 'off with his head' for poor old Valentine. The story goes that Valentine got the hots for the jailer's daughter and the evening before he was to be topped Valentine wrote the first valentine to the jailer's daughter. It was a note that read 'From your Valentine'.

Poor old headless Valentine, I wonder if he realised the can of worms he was opening.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Here she comes!

Myself and two other friends caught up with another friend for lunch the other day. We live in different cities and four months ago the friend we were catching up with had had her first baby. (Sound complicated? Three of us were in town on a job). Anyway, Now-With-Child-Friend had had a big, incredibly full-on job in the film industry until she had her baby.

'So what's life like these days?'

'It's incredibly different.' She giggled. 'No longer do we go out to swanky dinners on a whim! Nor can we be the most selfish couple on the planet.'

'How social are you?'

'You wouldn't believe it! We are so social! She -,' she said indicating to the bucket full of baby, 'is the hottest ticket in town. We're always getting asked out.'

I am absolutely fascinated about the birth story. (Don't worry, you don't have to stop reading now, I'm not going to go all icky on you.)

She was a few weeks overdue so she'd been scheduled to be induced at the hospital at six p.m. Unfortunately when they arrived they discovered there wasn't actually a spare bed at the hospital -something you would imagine was reasonably critical in matters like this- so they told her to go home and come back at seven the next morning.

They were cool with that, and during the night she started to have contractions. She put herself in the bath for a couple of hours around 2. a.m. I might be getting the story wrong here, but about five-ish her husband rang the midwife, while he was talking to her, the midwife heard
About-To-Blow-Mother have a contraction in the background and suggested that, erm, perhaps they should leg it to the hospital.

Long story short. Her husband dropped About-To-Blow at the front doors to the hospital. He parked the car and charged off to find his wife.

His carpark ticket said, 6.01 a.m.

Their daughter was born at 6.14 a.m.

My question is this, will their daughter always be in a hurry to get to places?

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Australia is burning.

Every once in a while we get shown just how sensationally powerless we can be against the force of Nature.

And arsonists.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

David Beckham suspended from soccer for two months for jaywalking.

So Michael Phelps got suspended for three months for smoking a bong.

Crikey, it's hardly performance enhancing.

Friday, February 06, 2009

I have a question.

Are poppy seeds some kind of catering in joke?

Thursday, February 05, 2009


Some years ago, when my mother took herself off to Malaysia for a holiday, my father decided to take himself off shopping.

He came and stayed with me and, when I went to pick him up from the airport, it was not my father who first caught my eye at the arrivals gate.

It was the racing car red pair of trainers that were wearing him as he walked into the building.

'Pop, what on earth are on the ends of your legs?'

'Oh, these are great. They're the most comfortable shoes I've ever bought. They're brilliant.'

'They'd be brilliant if you're shooting hoops with your homies in East L.A, but I don't think any self respecting arms dealer would be seen dead in them.'

'I don't give a stuff what you think. They're comfortable, I'm wearing them.'

I had blissfully forgotten all about these shoes until last night. I was sitting in an airport lounge, equidistant from three things dear to my heart, the bar, the food and the news when I spied a pair of iridescent cobalt blue trainers.

Now, these trainers were in a totally different league to the ones my father used to wear. These guys had the ability to out-glow the sun. They were truly sensational.

You can't get your hands on a mirror ball for your next party? No problem, string these puppies from the ceiling and you'll be away laughing.

After my mind stopped with the shoes jokes, I took in the person: muscular, tanned, with tucked in polo shirt. I was just coming to the conclusion that the overall look could be described as preppy when I realised that this man was staring at me staring at him. And he was vaguely amused by it. He smiled at me and then went back to filling up his plate.

I smiled at him and went back to my magazine, feeling like a schmuck.

About fifteen minutes later, I was coming back from the loo and he was coming in directly the opposite trajectory path. He smiled at me again, and adopting the Seinfeldian School of Thought I immediately thought he was thinking, 'I know you like my shoes, don't you?' And I promptly continued to have an entire shoe conversation in my head with him, all by myself, as you do.

When I got back to my seat, it was bugging me that this guy was vaguely familiar.

It wasn't till I was on the plane that I worked who he was.

I'd have never thought I could say my father and Steve Williams could go shoe shopping together.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

I expect this is common knowledge amongst people with blogspot accounts, but I've never claimed to be the sharpest tool in the drawer.

If you go to you land here.

But if you go to .... oh boy, you're opening up a whole new can of worms and you're welcomed into the arms of crazy religious website.

I particularly like what this site has to say on wine, swearing and taking drugs.

Heh, guess this website won't be promoting the Sevens anytime soon.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

If you are easily offended, I'd miss this one out. And please remember, if we care for someone in New Zealand, we tend to take the piss out of them.

'How is your beautiful mother? I haven't spoken to her in ages.' Asked my cousin.

'Glorious, as usual.'

'She still teaching driving for the blind?'

'And shouting for the deaf?' Asks my cousin's husband.

Confused? This conversation should make a little more sense when you understand that that my mother volunteers at riding for the disabled.

Monday, February 02, 2009

You know it's going to be a long day when....'s 6.50 a.m and you've already travelled over seven hundred kilometres.