Tuesday, March 31, 2009

And it wasn't even Revenge of My Little Pony

It was my big sister's birthday yesterday. Showing impeccable taste, the freshly-turned-seven year old and the four and eleven twelfths year old gave her the box set of Frontline. If you don't know it, it is an Australian comedy that satirised TV current affairs programs and reporting.

And fifteen years after it was made I reckon it remains one of the best pieces of tele on the planet. Especially if you've worked in a newsroom.

If you want to watch the Parts 2 and 3, they're on Youtube along with more Frontline.


I can see there's going to be a lot of time wasted in my day. I shall blame it on my neices.

Monday, March 30, 2009

The early bird slams the tequilla worm.

Yesterday I was working on a job that involved spending the day in an area where there are a whole bunch of bars. What we hadn't bargained on was one of those bars still doing a roaring trade at 8.30 a.m on a Sunday morning.

Drunk people are so much more offensive when you're sober and it's daylight.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

There's nought queer as folk.

Someone in Mexico Googled 'giraffes in high heels'.

I know this because they ended up here.

It's almost as scary as someone in Australia Googling 'wombat sphincter', but not quite.

People are weird.

Friday, March 27, 2009

When you get home this evening, go straight to your dunny and appreciate it....

....cause there's 660 million people in India who don't have the luxury of one. (And that's a conservative estimate, a quick surf around the net has put the number up around 720 million but, hey, whose going to quibble over a mere 80 million?)

Come on India, it doesn't seem like you have a cash flow problem: you have the third largest military force in the world, you invest Herculean amounts of cash into nuclear weapons and sending a rocket to the moon but you won't build dunnies for your people?

According to this morning's paper ( I would put in the link but can't find the article online) the situation has got so bad that families who are looking to marry off their daughters (don't get me started) are only considering men suitable if their assets include a toilet.

Hey India, I hate to state the obvious, but how about sharing the love and start building some loos for your people? At least it would make you stop scrapping with Pakistan for a while.

And on a completely unrelated topic I am going to share with you a photo I found yesterday when I was looking for a photo of Donatella for yesterday's post. It haunted me so much, I thought I should share.

I would say I was sorry for subjecting you to that, but there's not much point as we all know I'd be lying.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

One of the beauties of having a small brain is that you remain blissfully ignorant to how ridiculous your theories actually are.

I've been working with food for the last few days (hey, at least it doesn't talk back) and I've developed a new theory.

I've decided vegetables and humans are pretty similar. You cook a vegetable until it's at its nutritional best and that is when its colour the most vibrant it will ever be.

Exhibit A.

Doesn't that look like a colour you might want an item of clothing in?

'Yes I love this dress, but do you have it in just-blanched-broccoli?'

However if you insist on cooking broccoli beyond this point it doesn't cut the mustard any more and it looks as about appetising as its nutritional value.
Exhibit B.

I'm sorry, but only its mother could love that.

And humans are the same when it comes to suntans. I am talking white people here, generally a gentle dust of a tan enhances a person's look. How many times have you heard people talking about someone back from time away, looking good because they have a tan? A little bit of vitamin D is good for us.

Exhibit C.

I mean, what's wrong with that? A man with a tan, and I'd be putting my hand up and saying that his tan enhances his look.

But if, like vegetables, you take it a bridge too far and tan too much, the body bites back, seeks revenge and just makes you look plain old fugly.

Exhibit D.

It's like her body is shrieking, 'Hey Donatella, stop smearing me with the ugly paint oh and, could I have something to eat?'

Or maybe Donatella knows something we don't and just doesn't want anyone to eat her.

Anyway, that's my theory for the week, next I shall start work on Relativity, or has somebody already done that?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dead spy

So dashing old Xavier Maniguet has been killed in a plane crash in the French Alps.

Can't imagine the New Zealand Government is sending flowers.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What can you do in four hours?

When I lived in Tokyo, to get to one of my jobs it involved a one and a half hour commute each way and three trains. And the rail system being as efficient as it was, if you missed one train, you could catch the next one that would be running about forty seconds later.

And I thought that was a bit of a schlep, however it pales to utter insignificance to a commute I heard about last week. A woman I was working with, used to drive two hours each way work.

She started work at 8 a.m.

She finished at 6p.m.

I told her that I believed there should have been a statue built in honour of her dedication to her job.

And that was before she told me she did it for nine years - and that it was considered quite normal behaviour in England.

I think the only thing that would be normal for me to do for four hours a day would be breathing.
Hah, crazy poms, no longer shall I grumble about my twenty minute amble to work into the heart of the city during a howling southerly.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Listen to it first with your eyes closed, and then tell me if you agree.

I am really digging this track right now.

It's New Zealand band Smashproof featuring Gin Wigmore. It is on high rotate down here at the moment, and it does get annoying after a while, but I really like her voice.

And if you asked me whether she was a black or a white woman, I would have been so confident that she was black, that I would have offered to do the naked chicken walk down the main street if I was wrong.

Lucky nobody asked.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The chicken or the beef?

What a week that was, one minute I'm sitting calmly in the office, and the next I'm up to my neck in cows and not much Internet access (don't ask).

Anyway, in this ridiculous job that I have, I really love the fact that basically you get cart blanche to find out all about other people's lives.

Humans are so fascinating. Mental, but fascinating.

They can be fascinatingly dull or batshit crazy insane and everything in between. And even the dull are interesting (until you have to spend extended periods of time with them).

Last weekend I worked with a German guy and discovered that he used to work in Bourgainville. As soon as I heard that, it was sayonara to me talking to him about the stuff that I should have been be talking to him about and me whining for 'more scary stories about Bourgainville.'

Needless to say I am reasonably confident he thought I was an idiot by the end of our time with him, but I am completely at home with that.

He did say that, all things considered, his time was fairly mellow when he was there. ( I didn't bring up the time a travel journo happened to be at the airport when there was a gang shoot out, killing seven people and elevating Port Moresby to the top of the The World's Worst Airports' list). However he admitted to feeling rather twitchy when he opened the door at 3 a.m to a guy who was demanding matches - and holding a pump action shotgun.

He said his first thought was, 'Why does he need matches at this hour?' And swiftly followed that thought up with, 'He's got a pump action shotgun, why do I care?'

He also was trying to explain how completely different the way of life is and the accepted norms of how they live. I quote,'It's a payback society. Say, if you accidentally kill somebody from another tribe, then they will feel duty bound to kill one member of your family or your tribe. But if you accidentally kill an elder, then the payback is with three lives.'

I made a mental note not to accidentally kill people when in Bourgainville.

He and his wife were working on one of those projects that makes life better for the locals (it's one of those jobs that make me realise just how insignificant, indulgent and and frivolous my job really is). A builder who was a close colleague of his told him that when food was really tight during the civil war in the nineties, he would go hunting for people. To eat.

I made a mental note not to go to Bourgainville during civil war.

Oh and yes, of course I asked if we tasted like chicken.

But I can't tell you if we do or not because naturally this man had the good taste not to ask.

(Now you can refer back to paragraph #6).

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

D.I.Y Doctor

Conversation in office.

'How are you?'


'What's wrong?'

'You should never Google your symptoms.'

'What have you got?'

'Brain aneurysm.'




'That'd be great.'

Monday, March 16, 2009

And lashings of ginger beer.

Somebody pointed out yesterday in the office that the Millenium happened nearly ten years ago.


Where did that go? Have I spent half of it in a drug induced coma and everyone I know has neglected to tell me?

But what I can't quite understand is, as the first ten years of this century come screaming to an end, that nobody has come up with a better name for this decade than the 'Noughties.'

The Noughties.


It conjures up images of Uncle Quentin, Aunt Fanny and George's dog Timmy.

Giddy up.

To: People Who Name Decades.
Re: The Noughties

Could have tried harder.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sometimes work sucks...

...and sometimes it really doesn't.

Okay, so going in and out of quarantine forty-seven times started to get just a little bit tedious, and the seventeen-hour work day did begin to get a tiny bit long by the end of it, however when it involves coming here..

...and meeting these guys..

...you tend to suck it in and thank your lucky stars.

I have to say the Takahe were really cool. They were originally thought to be extinct, but were rediscovered in the 1940s. Today there are 225 of them surviving in New Zealand. They reckon numbers have slowly whittled away due to loss of habitat and introduced predators. But I reckon they only have themselves to blame for their demise - I mean look at them, they look so goddamned tasty.

There are twelve Takahe on the island, and we got to meet five of them. They would saunter over and say hi. Yesterday when I told my niece that I had met a blue bird with red lipstick and red stockings and shoes, I don't think she could decide whether I was telling the truth or mixing my meds.

While I had an enormous amount of time for the Takahe, I didn't find the brown frog quite so captivating. They were small, brown, nocturnal, looked like, well, bark and didn't actually appear to be that bright. 'FROG ON THE TRACK!'


'Just where you are about to put your left foot!'

'But that's just a piece of bark - oh.'

Walk, walk, wal-



'Just up to your right.'

'You'd think if they had any sense of self preservation, they'd leapfrog their little brown butts out of the way, if I can't see them, how can I know not to stand on them?'

And in one sentence I effectively alienated myself from all the frog lovers around me (but possibly not quite as badly as one of the bods on my team being overheard suggesting that a basil and pine nut stuffing would go really well with roast Takahe.)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

No birds or frogs were harmed in the making of this programme.We hope.

Right then, off to a predator-free island to go and get acquainted with native frog and some these guys.

Why is it that I am I really hoping that I don't step on something rare and endangered?

(That is a really stupid question, cause if someone is going to step on something rare and endangered - it will be me.)


Wish me luck. I may be some time.

A new study has revealed that if you don't eat, eventually you will die.

A new international study has revealed that women who think getting themselves thoroughly banjaxed makes them more attractive to blokes - are kidding themselves.

Ya reckon?

How could that possibly be?

Is it me, or has someone just thrown buckets of cash at a study to prove the bleedin' obvious?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Giraffes in high heels

Sometimes Madame Fashion has an evil, crazy-arse sense of humour.

These were in Nina Ricci's latest show in Paris.

They added an extra eleven centimetres to the models' height (and, I'm picking, six weeks sick leave to recover from the ankle reconstructions).

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Another hard hitting question.

Being sick this last week meant that my appetite pretty much went either on vacation or into hiding. I prefer to think of it going on vacation, so at least one of us was having a good time. I knew I was getting better when, on Sunday I craved tom yum. I got myself a pottle of and it was fantastic, I so enjoyed my sinuses being annihilated with its hot and sour goodness.

But my question is this, all lurgis aside, how come I can tuck into a filthy hot spicy curry, or a tom yum of an evening, but there's no way on earth I could face one first thing in the morning?

Are my taste buds as lazy as me?

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Come back boy racers, all is forgiven.

When I heard that the Nelson police and the council were considering a cunning scheme to keep the boy racers out of the centre of town by erecting loud speakers and blasting Barry Manilow from them, I thought 'Genius! Why hasn't anyone thought of that before?'

Well, it appears they have. Three years ago in Rockdale near Sydney, the local council tortured
the boy racers with numbers such as Copacabana, Mandy, I Write the Songs, Can’t Smile Without You and Looks Like We Made It. Fortunately, while it did manage to send the boy-racers with their roaring engines and loud car stereos scrambling, it also managed to drive the residents in the streets vaguely insane.
I'm not sure which I would prefer - nightmares of Bazzer in his white suit (complete with audio) or the 'unst- unst-unsting' of thudding stereos accompanied by that god awful gear changing that baby bogans employ. She'd be a close call. Cause think about it - three hours of Barry Manilo from 9p.m every Friday, Saturday and Saturday. It's a helluva way to ruin an evening.

They're considering introducing the Manilo Method in Christchurch and Whangarei. You'll be pleased to hear that Dame Kiri Te Kanawa has been keeping vandals out of Waitakere City. However she can't take all the credit, Officers Mozart, Vivaldi and Tchaikovsky have also been helpful in keeping the scallywags at bay.

I was wondering what who would keep me going into an area. Or (more likely) make me shift if my street suffered from a weekly boy racer plague. Just off the top of my head - Enya would do it. Michael Bolton. And if I was subjected to three hours of Celine Dion, I think I would burn my house down.
Whose music would make you leave the area ?

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Blogging from bed, diary of a lurgi.

Saturday night: On a job, staying in a shearers' cottage in the middle of nowhere.

Why am I coughing? Please don't tell me that's a sore throat making itself known.And if it is, could you kindly fuck off. Lots to do this week.

Sunday night: Phone call from friend.

'What's wrong with you? Have you been crying?'
'No, throat, bit of lurgi. I am fine.'
'You bloody better be fine by Tuesday.'
'I will be, even if I'm not, it's hardly going to kill me and they've invented Nurofen.'
'Great, what time does your flight get in ?'
'Not sure, about the same time as yours, doesn't it?'
'Something like that. Meet you at the luggage carousel.'

Monday morning.
Uh oh. Throat worse, cough developed. Body feeling like it's been run over a small elephant.I try and talk myself out of it. 'Ya big girl's blouse, it's just a Hollywood.Nothing wrong with you.GET OUT OF BED NOW.'
I do as I'm told, get out of bed for, oh, approximately five minutes, do a u-turn and sleep till 11. Go to work, come home at 4 and sleep till 6. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? I NEVER SLEEP DURING DAY.

Tuesday morning.
I sound like a man and body feels like it's been run over by larger elephant, drag it out of bed by ten. Firmly ignore all pains, hoover large amounts of painkillers and partake in day as planned. Bed closer to 3 than 2 a.m. (In my defence Your Honour, the others stayed out till 5. And I'm sorry but I'm not going to let some pesky snot-cold stop me from doing what I want to. Besides, it was a big night for a friend).

Coughing up new civilisations. Ears gone. Feeling spinnie and out-of-body like. Would like to crawl into a dark hole and emerge, say, around October.

The thought of getting from bed to loo is exhausting. Where is my mother? (Oh that's right I'm an adult and we live in different islands). Crawl out of bed to see doctor.
'You've got a raging temperature, a sinus infection, a blah de blah blah blah blah, a blah and pass the nuts, but not before you've gone home and confined yourself to bed.'
'Do you reckon I will be able to go out with the policeman and his police dog from 3 pm till 1 a.m tomorrow?'
She just looked at me.

Wake up with a steamer of a headache at 5 a.m. How does that work? Did I do some sleep-drinking? So far the most sneezes I've done consecutively has been twelve. Upper body hurts from coughing/sneezing. When I find the fucker driving the train who ran me over I will kill him. Secretly, still think I am a bit of a Hollywood and wonder if I could have done job with police dog handler. Have shower about 1 p.m. Go to work. Back by 3. Still think I could have done job. Oh, look there is my bed. Maybe a little lie down and a wee re-.
Wake up at 5.30 p.m.
Phone call from friends, 'Snap to it, we're coming round to pick you up and take you out for dinner. It'll be quick and we won't be late.'
I decline.
'You must be sick.'

Watching DVD, vision a bit fecked and decide that it would be really helpful would be if the remote had a button that you could push to make your television larger.

This is ridiculous. When will these sodding antibiotics work?
Being sick sucks.
That's all.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Is it good or bad things that occur in threes?

They say things happen in threes, and I'm really hoping I am done.

Exhibit #1.

Walking down to take my seat on a plane about two weeks ago. And guess who got there before me? None other than World's Fattest Man. Now, I know I am prone to exaggeration but HE REALLY WAS. This guy was so fat that he had the arm rest up to fit him into the seat. When he saw me approaching he w-r-e-n-c-h-e-d it back down.

Now, this man's stomach was so large that he could only just clasp his hands together across his tummy. This was okay except for the minor detail that when he dozed off the giant chubby arm would slide down BAM! onto me. This would wake him up and he would replace his arm back on top of Mount Stomach. This whole scenario was made even more unpleasant by the fact these mini naps were accompanied by THE.MOST.EARTH.SHATTERING.SNORING.YOU.HAVE.EVER.HEARD. It was a guttural GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA........GAAAAAAA.AAAAAAAAA.

Needless to say, I scampered to a new seat at the back of the plane as soon as was humanly possibly.

Exhibit #2

The following day I was on another plane, buried in the paper when I heard a booming voice say, 'Would you please excuse me while I manoeuvre my massive frame into the seat beside you.'

Well, as least he was polite about it.

Exhibit #3 (And after reading this, you will understand why I don't want 'things happen in threes to be superseded by 'things happen in nines', anytime soon - unless of course you're talking about winning the lottery).

Two days ago I was walking to my seat, 3F. However there was already somebody occupying 3F, as well as half of 3E. This wouldn't have been so much of a problem if her sister wasn't already sitting in the other half of 3E and all of 3D.

If possession is 7/8 of the law, the law was definitely on their side.

'Excuse me,' I said sheepishly, 'I'm in 3F.'

This aisle-seat-occupying sister gave me a filthy look as if it was my fault her arse was the size it was, and half heartedly did a shuffle to the right, (oh yeah, there was no way the arm rests were going to see any action on this flight, these women made World's Fattest Man seem like Kirsty Alley immediately after the Jenny Craig campaign) leaving me about thirty centimetres.

I wedged my butt into the slice of seat available and noted all the empty seats surrounding us and wondered whether they were silently either mocking or seducing me.

Thankfully a nice airline person came and rescued me from sardine seating situation. I am not sure if I was rescued because he took pity on me or because he knew there was no way I was going to get my selt belt on as it was buried somewhere, er, rather impossible to get to.

Having this occur three times in under two weeks did make me start to wonder if there is a note beside my name in the bookings that says ' not a huge surface area, make her share.' And if there is, I never want to have to pay for excess luggage again.

Yesterday I was flying home and bumped into a friend and was telling him about the fat sisters, and he remarked, 'Oh no, you were sitting beside a couple of two seaters.'

I most certainly was, and five into three doesn't go, especially when you're on a plane.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Mental note to self.

Fixing a broken nail with superglue is possibly not as good an idea as it seems.


Sometimes my pure genuis simply stuns me.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Next, I shall be pimping them out on the public speaking circuit.

While I was away I was lucky enough to coincide a lunch with my sister and my nieces.

'Hey you're going to FIVE next month!' I said when I had my arms full of the four year old.

'Yas, (and that isn't a typo. She says yas instead of yes, it's terminally cute) I am four and seven-eighths!'

'And..' said her sister gleefully, 'I am six and eleven-twelfths!'

Give it a year and guess whose going to be paying child labour rates to get her GST done?

Sunday, March 01, 2009

I went into the bush and I survived.

Okay, the shark swimming was fine - especially as I made it into a bit of a good story (I didn't have to get in with them, I was the one going, 'Could you do that once more but with feeling, please').

However I was just a little bit twitchy when all that was between me and the Izzie the (big, angry) crocodile were two people and a ledge that was about a metre out of the water with a metre high fence around it. However she mightn't have been hungry after she'd cleaned up the entree and main who went before me.

I'd have to say that Izzie could have done with a jolly good dentist, her teeth were so bucked she could have eaten a carrot through a tennis racket.
This is a shot of Cousin Delores on holiday in Palm Cove, Australia. (Bad teeth runs in Lizzie's family).

After my time away I have to say my absolute favourite new best friends are these guys.

They're morepork (New Zealand owl), I met them this morning and I was captivated.

I am not sure why I found them so cool, possibly it's the if-you-think-we're-looking-at-you-like-you're-a-weirdo-then-it's-because-we-think-you're-a-weirdo look they have about them. They also seem to have an unflappable charm.

Imagine how cool a couple of (house trained) owls would be? Just sitting in your wardrobe. Watching. Vaguely disapproving of every clothing choice you made.

It would be almost as cool as having a pet giraffe.

Or a zonkey.