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Monday, 15 September 2014

there is paint in my hairline, still

We have finally finished the dining room.  Well, when I say finished, I mean, we've moved the dining table back in and all the major works are done, as of Sunday evening.  We are still fighting about pendant lights and sideboards and the best arrangement of art and shelves and whatnot.  But, I ate a meal at the table last night for the first time in a long time and we congratulated ourselves mightily.  One room: took us thirteen and a half months to start, one month and three days to finish.  At this rate, our house will be renovated some time this century!

I must say, the painting part of the process was lengthy but fundamentally enjoyable for me, even though I got up and down the ladder approx. eleventy million times and I am really not that good a painter.  Can't pinpoint exactly why I like it but there you go.  Sanding: hate.  Filling: eh.  Being P's assistant to hold this or that or the other: not bad for me, but I suspect painful for P, given my propensity to inform him of a better way to do things (clearly!).  Also, who knew that renovating involved such endless tidying and cleaning?  I felt like I spent a good chunk of the time shuffling sandpaper and tools and ladders from one place to another, readjusting drop cloths, vacuuming, sweeping, picking up nails, cleaning brushes and rollers etc etc.  Safe to say I wasn't a big fan of that cleaning biz either. 

I will take a picture for you blog, one of these days! I might even have people over to eat in my room! My god, the options are endless!

Busy-ish at work too, the usual.  Spent two days in Wellington last week and am off to Christchurch again tomorrow.  The places I've travelled for work have are not what you might call exotic.  I could get behind a conference in the Seychelles or even Rarotonga (you know, if it has to be within a four hour flight) but as much as I like Wellington, it's not quite as glam as, say, Monaco.  Ah well, at least with the trip to Christchurch I should get home in time to stand in the doorway and admire my new room before bed.  Can't say that for Prague.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

why i'm unlikely to attend any revival of 'cats'

One of (my) life's little mysteries is why I don't like musical theatre as an adult, when I was completely enamoured of it as a child?

Here are my theories:

1) Bitterness and envy. 

My parents took me to the Founder's Theatre in Hamilton to see My Fair Lady (starring Max Cryer; I forget who played Eliza, but she was beautiful, I thought) when I was about 7 or 8.  My sister was deemed too young, or it was a treat for just me, I don't remember the details.  In any case, she was dropped at the neighbours while Mum and Dad took me to the show.  It was dinner theatre, I think, a late-80s small-town fancy-pants evening.  I was entranced and decided then and there, that's what I want to be.  The star.  Long story short, I am now a lawyer, not a musical theatre performer, worse luck.  Not cut out for it, sadly.  Maybe I'm just jealous, which means I avoid watching?

2) P's curmudgeonliness is rubbing off.

I can't believe it's true, but I married a man who has never watched the Sound of Music.  Or Grease.  He has shunned two mainstay films of my childhood (the other being Pippi Longstocking.  I haven't asked P to join the fan club for that one). 

One of Auckland's main theatres is on our commute.  As we pass, P mournfully intones things like, 'you're not going to make me take you to...Wicked, are you?'  I truly believe he thinks Annie or Mamma Mia would scar him for life.  He happily joins me for plays and has been the driving force behind visiting the opera and orchestral events, but he has drawn a very bright line at musical theatre.  I'm afraid I've never seen him chant a chorus or, you know, shimmy.  Perhaps it's catching?

3) Perversity and/or snobbery

I worry that something deep and dark in me doesn't want to enjoy musicals like many others do, simply because it's popular and not as 'high brow' as other pursuits.  I'd like to think I'm not always an asshole, however, and there's plenty of evidence that I do not give two shits about 'high brow' culture - I often switch the car's radio to deeply uncool top 40 stations, I read and enjoy all sorts of books from all over the scale (Diana Gabaldon to Margaret Atwood to Dickens to Regency to Marian Keyes -- never, ever sports autobiographies -- although, most of the time I suppose you don't catch me reviewing or admitting to the 'low brow' stuff) (BTW, is it 'annoying' how I keep putting 'high/low brow' in quotes? It's because every time I write them I feel like an asshole.  But then the quotes also make me feel assholey.  Net result = 'asshole'?).

Could be a combo of the three I suppose.  Or just a change of taste over time, much like discovering that olives are tasty, around the age of 17.  Who knows? 

(I really hope you didn't think this post was going anywhere, it totally wasn't and it didn't, I'm afraid.  Soz about that.)

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

piffle, neatly listed

Why hello blog, you look all LONELY and NEGLECTED.  Let me solve that for you!

OK, so.  Here's what's been happening in my life recently: about a quarter of Not Much. 

Oh no, wait, I have THRILLING updates:
  1. I cut more hair off.  It was a mistake.  You know how minature ponies/Shetlands have those shaggy little tails (so cute) that are a bit frizzy all the way down the edges?  My ponytail looks like that but more stunted and it sticks straight out the back of my head (not cute).  But, my drying time has dropped, so there's that.  My hairdresser is Irish and every single thing she says (that I understand) sounds impossibly fun, including getting all snippy on my mane.  Hence, three more inches and a boofhead. 
  2. We are still painting.  OF COURSE we are still painting.  How can ONE ROOM take so long?  (oh right, tea breaks, followed by booze breaks.  Liquid ingestibles (comestibles?) are my Achilles heel).  I do like the paint smell, so at least that's not an issue (I also like the smell of whiteboard markers.  Yes, I ate glue and playdoh as a child.)
  3. Spring! Is! Here!
  4. Lawyering and, you know, having to bring home the pinger to pay for paint by the boatload continues to be the bane of my existence.  I need to win Lotto, stat.  However, I don't have a ticket ever, so that's a problem.
  5. Speaking of Lotto tickets, I picked up two tickets plus some scratchies and cards at Whitcoulls today in advance of Fathers' Day.  One for my dad, one for my father-in-law.  M, who was with me at the time, asked whether one Dad would be mad if the other one won (too many ones/won, sorry).  I felt hellishly guilty because what I'd been worried about was whether either of them would share with me if they won.  I am a wonderful person. 
  6. AND THEN, GET THIS, one of the Fathers' Day cards cost $12!!!  I didn't realise until looking at my receipt after the fact and CHEEEEEESUS how can a greeting card cost that much money?! 
  7. Wow, this post is crap.  Never mind, will try again later.

Friday, 22 August 2014

nothing

FRIDAY.

FRIDAY.

(It bore repeating).

Thank goodness for that. 

HAVEN'T PINCHED A GOOD PIC FROM FUCK YEAH, BOOKS IN A WHILE.  THANKS MORRISSEY, THANKS FUCK YEAH, BOOKS

That is all.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

diy

I posted something terribly depressing, then I fled the scene of the crime for a solid two weeks.  Well done, self, you're a real peach. 

The break was prompted by my holiday from work...AKA the week in which I learned my deficiencies in the home improvement realm!

Here's how it actually went:

1) I paint swatches all over the dining room wall and melt down about the difference between Quarter Surrender and One Eighth Surrender, because it's clearly a big deal.  Much time spent staring at walls in different lights.

INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO/NAP TIME.  THIS IS ACTUALLY HOW AMATEUR WE ARE.
2) We have a cup of tea.

[50 SHADES OF GREY JOKE HERE]

3) P starts demolishing the linings.  It transpires they're hard board not gib (plasterboard) and there's a fuckload (official term) of wood behind them for bracing.  There is a technical term for this but it escapes me, or perhaps I never had it.

4) I cart loads of rubbish to our bin.

5) I cart loads of rubbish to the bin of the empty house next door, looking around to see if anyone's busting me.

6) More tea. 

7) Sparky comes to fix the outlets in the dining room and add a heated towel rail to the bathroom.  HOLY SMOKES a heated towel rail is a super luxury item! I mean, my towel is always dry now! AMAZING.  Yes, I have had an HTR (we're on close terms now) in my life previously but seriously, it's a minor improvement to an incredibly shabby bathroom and it makes me beyond happy. 

8) Tea while watching electrician and his apprentice (who seemed about 17 and named Silkie.  'Silk, get under the house.' 'Silk, get in the roof.' 'Silk, have you fixed that yet?' Endlessly entertaining).

9) Spend HOURS pulling superfluous nails out of the bracing.  HOURS.

SOMEWHERE IN ALL OF THIS WE WENT TO WAIHEKE ISLAND FOR A LONG LUNCH BECAUSE HOLIDAY.

10) Get dressed up in a disposable overall (something I hope never to do again) to install insulation.  Install insulation and only breathe a bit of fibreglass in the process.  Feel itchy.

11) More nail pulling.  It turns out they used approximately a million tacks to secure the hard wood lining, none of which came out when we ripped off the lining.

12) Freak out when P uses the drop saw. Convinced he will lose a finger, so instead of sensibly supervising with my finger on the dial to call 111, I go outside to paint a window hoping I'll somehow avoid the emergency.

13) P still intact, hammers things. 

14) Gib fixer and plasterer arrives.  Takes ages to dry.  Attempt poorly planned pathway around side of house as landscaping project in interim.  Present status: muddy.

THIS WINS THE PRIZE FOR MOST BORING PHOTO OF ALL TIME BUT WE HAVE WALLS!  ALSO, A SHIT VIEW FROM THIS ROOM. 

15) Sanding stuff.  Architraves, ceiling.  (OMG sanding the ceiling). 

16) Select paint.  Resene Quarter Surrender with white for ceilings, archs, skirts and scotia.  USe Dad's store card for discount and P nearly gives the game away asking me how I got it in front of the clerk.  Immediately have regret about colour choice. 

Aaaaand that's about as far as we got.  I didn't bother writing it in, but we made approximately 50 trips to Mitre 10, Placemakers, some fancy Villa timber store down the road, the booze store, the paint store and the supermarket during that time.  OMG, I bought building paper from Mitre 10 and nails and shit, all by myself.  They let me buy it all without some kind of licence.  (Not so much feminism's win as it is capitalism's, I expect).

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

day 1, again

In the most roundabout way, I came to the realisation on the weekend that I ought to do something about my weight.

About three months ago, P was gifted a Westfield voucher, to spend at any store in a Westfield mall.  At about the same time, he closed down an old credit card and used the last of his points to redeem a voucher.  He picked a Bendon voucher for me to spend on frivolous underwear, something which we'd both enjoy.  It was hosing down with rain on Sunday and the first voucher was nearly at the expiry date, so we decided to brave the mall.

I've written before that my boobs are not petite, or even mediumish.  I am fairly tall and have a long torso, so I can carry some chest weight and I certainly do.  I hated my boobs in my younger years because going braless (or even strapless bra'd) is not possible for me.  I've learned to like them more as time has passed (familarity, I suppose, which in this case has not bred contempt but rather resignation and acceptance).  I hemmed and hawed at Bendon over the bra selection, which was not extensive for those with a reasonably small band size but large cups.  I eventually picked out a lovely one, but as I was assessing the fit in the mirror, the damage I've been doing to my midsection over the past couple of years was brutally apparent.  We don't have a full length mirror at home, so I've only been looking at it from my own perspective, recently.  I shrugged it off - fluorescent lighting always makes you look horrific, I thought. 

Finished with the bra selection, we wandered to the electronics store to spend the other voucher.  P eventually settled on Apple TV.  We also bought an SD card converter thingee to get all our photographs from the camera to the iPad (P recently got one for work).  I got antsy with all the people in the store and in the mall, so we scarpered for home.

Back at the Lavender Loveshack, P asked me to model my new knickers and I felt oddly reluctant.  I shrugged him off.  He set up the Apple TV instead, then downloaded a whole lot of photographs from the camera.  Showing me how great the Apple TV is, he set up a slideshow of reasonably old photographs I haven't really seen before on our TV. 

I freaked.  Internally, I was berating myself that the photographs, none of which are particularly recent, were horrific.  In my eyes, I was huge.  I asked P to turn it off, snappily.  He asked why.  I wouldn't speak about it and he got cross.

I got up, and went for a run. 

I downloaded food tracking apps and started a plank a day challenge. 

I'm not going to be stupid about this.  I'm running a 10k in November anyway with my sister (not that far, but she's on the mend from surgery on her ACL), so training is necessary.  I could stand to cut back on the booze and treats.  I'm not obese; I have a healthy BMI presently, for what that's worth (albeit at the high end of the range).  I know that it is not realistic nor even desirable to expect that I'll lose over 10 kilograms.  Five kilos would, however, make a world of difference to my own self-image. 

By the by, P apologised for upsetting me.  He thinks I get stupid about my self-image which might well be true but he recognised that what's required is compassion, not ire.  In turn, I apologised for behaving petulantly. 

I could be setting myself up for failure by writing about this at the outset, but processing it, writing it, makes me accountable, I hope. 


Monday, 4 August 2014

day in the life, winter 2014

Hi! For those who are new, I am A.  I'm 32, f, married, no kids, 2 cats, from Auckland, New Zealand.  My interests include books, wine, eating things, travelling, making questionable choices, being nosy and writing things about myself on the internet.  I find that DiTL posts fit nicely with the latter of those two interests!

It's Friday 1 August 2014.  It's winter in NZ and a working day for me. 

*************************************

5.30am: wake up, but am NOT HAPPY.  Lie in the dark, mentally turning over the questionable choices I made last night.  We were sending off a colleague who is moving to London; predictably, one beer lead to many beers (the pub was going off! I was having a good time! meeting people! gossiping!), lead to Mickey Dees en route home (I am not proud), lead to furry mouth at 5.30am. 

6.15am: finally bring myself to get out of bed.  Shake some bikkies into the cats’ bowls and discover the mess I made filling up the biscuit container when a bit boozled last night.  Turn on the shower.  It’s warmer outside this morning thank god (about 10 degrees celcius) so the bathroom isn’t completely frigid and I can disrobe without squeaking.

6.25am: flick on the kettle, desperate for tea.

THIS IS FIRST-RATE COMPELLING PHOTOJOURNALISM, RIGHT HERE
6.26am: Tabitha hauls in her newest victim through the cat flap.  She has recently graduated to trapping earthworms, crickets being in short supply this time of year.  Not wanting to waste a good worm (or watch Tab torture a worm on my kitchen floor), I don a pair of jandals to deliver the worm to our compost bin outside.  Jandals, dressing gown and no knickers – good thing the neighbouring house is empty at the moment because I am a sight to behold.  I choose not to take a picture of that – count yourself lucky.
 
TABBY AND VICTIM AND THE TERRIBLE STATE OF THE FLOORING IN MY KITCHEN.  AT LEAST WORMS ON AN ALREADY DECREPIT FLOOR AREN'T REALLY A BIG DEAL 
6.30am: flick on the TV to catch some Commonwealth Games coverage while scoffing breakfast and drying my hair etc.  NZ has just won a bronze medal in the Men’s Floor (Gymnastics) and a Gold in the Women’s Time Trial (Cycling) – go Kiwis! The coverage is largely of lawn bowls this morning and it’s not quite as thrilling to follow as, say, 100m sprints or the swimming. 

6.40am: P emerges from the bedroom, grumbling.  As many bad life decisions as I made last night, he made a few more out on the town a bunch of graduates from his office, following a training session he ran for them.  He likes to think he can keep up with a bunch of 23 year olds, but looking at him this morning I have my doubts. 

7.15am: I have managed to dress and make myself mostly presentable.  I am wearing opaque tights, a red silk mullet dress fresh from the drycleaners, a black blazer with a sheer back (sounds very odd when written like that) . P however is struggling to get his stuff together and is yelling for help to find a grey cardigan.  I don’t know where he thinks I might have secretly stashed it, but if it’s not in the drawers or on the wardrobe rack, he’s well out of luck.
OF NOTE: (1) MY HAIR STAYED LIKE THIS UNTIL I WAS APPROX. 5 STEPS OUT MY FRONT DOOR INTO THE FOG.  REST OF DAY HAVE BEEN SHAGGY BEAST.
(2) THE STATE OF THE LIVING ROOM BEHIND ME. THIS IS REAL LIFE, PEOPLE. PEPPER GRINDERS AND ALL.
7.30am: the Great Man Cardi Hunt of 2014 has proved unfruitful and most unsympathetically I throw another sweater at P, telling him to put a sock in it.  We manage to depart the house for work.

7.30-8am: walk to work with P.  He’s on rare form today and, upon hearing about my DiTL post day, he announces ‘Well I’m looking hot today so you should definitely take a picture of me for the internet’.  He raced over to a wall nearby and struck a pose and I nearly died laughing – he thought he was taking the mickey out of magazine styling, but it is so completely fashion blogger I nearly wet my pants. 
I HOPE NONE OF YOU THINK THIS IS FOR SERIOUS. P'S TONGUE IS FIRMLY IN HIS CHEEK - THIS WAS DONE IN A HEARTBEAT AND WE RAN ON, LAUGHING TIL MY FACE HURT.  I'VE ONLY JUST NOW NOTICED ALLTHE CIGGIE BUTTS AT HIS FEET, WHICH MAKES IT EVEN BETTER
8am: arrive at work.  Debrief with my secretary, who was also a party to yesterday evening’s shenanigans.  She lasted longer than I did but is regretting it!

8-10.30: workity work work.  Nothing thrilling, believe you me: drafting, emailing, considering, reviewing. At about 9.45 I get up to go to the printer and realise I have a terrible static situation going on with my dress.  Slip or no slip, it’s a clinger which is just annoying because the colour is so nice (a change from my usual drab wardrobe choices). 


THIS PICTURE IS A FAIL AT ILLUSTRATING CLINGAGE, MOSTLY DEMONSTRATING INCREDIBLY WEIRD BODY SHAPE INSTEAD? IT'S THE ANGLE, I PROMISE! THAT'S NOT A GIANT BOOBSHELF!
10.30: weekly morning tea for the firm with speeches for colleague S, departing to the UK.  Stuff face with a scone, a cheerio (not the cereal, the sausage-y type!), carrot sticks and scarper and take a wee sammie & pie for the road (I don’t eat lunch on Fridays as I usually make a piggy of myself at morning tea).  Tell the firm’s chef I love his work. 

10.45-12.30: more work, until M calls me.  She wants to go for a wander and a smoothie.  We look briefly at cases for our cellphones.  Mine is new and if I don’t get a case, I’ll probably destroy it.  No dice making a purchase though, I want a pretty one!  I order a green smoothie, which I feel good about (if I don’t consider the quantities of frozen yoghurt in it).



WINTER. 
1-5ish: workity working.  Incredibly unproductive this afternoon, however.  Drink at least two cups of tea.
5.10pm: nip upstairs where Friday Night Drinks are happening.  Look at beersies and feel ill.  Say goodbye for the final time to S and depart to meet P to scarper up to Ponsonby Road.  Call my sister K on route, because we have to debrief about the amazing video someone from her hockey team posted on FB in which she is doing the Fat Amy Mermaid for her team's amusement.  So funny, but she's worried her students might see it (she's a high school teacher). 

6pm: Grand Central Bar, Ponsonby.  We're meeting R and PW for drinks pre-dinner.  R has recently been to Austria for work but also managed to spend time in the UK with friends en route so I squeeze her for gossip.  It's warm enough that we're able to sit outside under the heaters and enjoy some fresh air for a change.
A WEE SIGN ON THE EXTERIOR WALL OF THE BAR THAT MADE ME SMILE.
7ish: we get our call from Orphan’s Kitchen, which doesn’t take reservations.  We rush in and order wine and tasty treats.  Highlights included smoked porae with a celeriac and green apple slaw, YUM.  Hipster central - so many good beards and artfully mismatched water jugs.  I love it.  They also have a very tasty wine list, highly recommend. 

9ish: finished with dinner, we wander down the road to Chapel Bar and have another bottle of wine between four, because FRIDAY NIGHT.  PJ and his new girlfriend are supposed to be meeting us but they're still at dinner elsewhere, and are trying to scam us into going to the city for dancing.  We're not quite in that zone!

10.30ish: wave goodbye to R & PW and walk home arm-in-arm with P.  It's about a 15 minute walk, and while I don't remember the conversation, I do remember laughing most of the way home.

10.45: open the door to find Tabby and Cokes on the end of the bed, watching us mournfully.  They forgive me when I fill up their bowls. 

11pm: bed.