Friday, June 29, 2007


The other night, in the ad breaks of another programme, I started watching a debate on Maori TV. It was in the Maori language, which I don't understand except for sporadic words, but it had subtitles, and I ended up jotting down some quotes because it was so what you would not see (or get away with) on any other TV channel!

The topic for debate was: A tribe's survival depends on a woman with balls.

Starting right there, I knew I was in for something special. And as the leader of the affirmative team (is that what you call it? I can't rememeber) said, confirming all my hopes: "I believe for a woman to be strong she must have balls. I can prove women have balls."

The other team, on the other hand, had a few gems up their sleeves:
"Women are the hair on men's legs."
"I know of matriarchs with balls, and they're crafty, crafty."
"If women stood on my marae*, my balls would drop."
"Women, there is a place for you, in the kitchen, looking after the tamariki."**
"A woman is a queen, a man is a god."
"Without balls, we wouldn't be here."

And my personal favourite insult directed towards the affirmative team - "You're all drunkards."

Persuasive, right?!

* A marae is a Maori meeting house. Certain tribes have quite strict etiquette restricting women from specific roles in a marae or in ceremonies.
** No points for guessing what tamariki means.
The other night, in the ad breaks of another programme, I started watching a debate on Maori TV. It was in the Maori language, which I don't understand except for sporadic words, but it had subtitles, and I ended up jotting down some quotes because it was so what you would not see (or get away with) on any other TV channel!

The topic for debate was: A tribe's survival depends on a woman with balls.

Starting right there, I knew I was in for something special. And as the leader of the affirmative team (is that what you call it? I can't rememeber) said, confirming all my hopes: "I believe for a woman to be strong she must have balls. I can prove women have balls."

The other team, on the other hand, had a few gems up their sleeves:

"Women are the hair on men's legs."

"I know of matriarchs with balls, and they're crafty, crafty."

"If women stood on my marae*, my balls would drop."

"Women, there is a place for you, in the kitchen, looking after the tamariki." No points for guessing what tamariki means.

"A woman is a queen, a man is a god."

"Without balls, we wouldn't be here."

And my personal favourite insult directed towards the affirmative team - "You're all drunkards."

Persuasive, right?!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

cleaning can be fun

So, my bedroom has always been a bit of a pigsty, but even if it appears slightly tidy on the surface, underneath it is a surging muckheap of bad writing. Because in less than three weeks I am moving to Australia for five months, and because while I am gone it is quite likely my father will accomodate family (siblings, nephews, nieces) in my room, and because my family can be quite nosy - I am expunging my room of all potentially embarrassing elements.

Mostly, I have kept exercise books and papers and drawings and folders full of terrible stories I wrote from about ages ten through sixteen. It has been a revealing few days, and I am extremely happy that I did not die at age sixteen, with a lifework left behind me of terrible romances involving characters based on myself and my current favourite rock star/actor, Babysitter's Club fanfiction, and thinly veiled copies of other people's writing.

Today, however, I found something that I thought I would share. They are two very short stories that I and two friends wrote at school when we were bored - you know those stories where you only get to see a line of what the last person wrote? or where you are given one first sentence and have to see where it goes from there? This is the result:

No. 1: written in Classics, 2004, by Allie, Rebecca and Katie - only allowed to see the last line of what the previous person wrote:

Once upon a time when Tommy the Toad was skipping joyfully through the forest, admiring the pretty flowers and the tall trees, he stopped short and froze, dazzled at the sight before him. Through the trees, a goddess-like figure stood, tall, blonde and with an incredible inner radiance that seemed to shine from her very skin. Suddenly, in ethereal, heavenly tones she spoke to him. And as she did so, her heart was thumping and she felt as if every blood cell in her body were having a giant race to her head.
And she blushed. She couldn't help it. His eyes were so warm, so loving... She lowered hers bashfully. He found her irresistible. But then, summoning all of his willpower, he turned away from her. "I'm sorry, but you know as well as I do that this can never be." And ignoring her doleful stare, he continued to walk on through the forest.
She was lost. There was no denying it. The heavy boughs of the trees leaned in on her imposingly and the wind played tricks with the leaves. She continued walking in circles. She began to run in circles, screaming abuses at the sky. "Why? Why?!! WHY?!?!" she shrieked. "How could he do this to me? I feel so alone." And she sank down to her knees, tears plopping onto the forest floor.
The sultry maiden knew, in that moment, why it could never be, and although it nearly destroyed her inside, she accepted it, and remembered her magical goddess powers. With these powers, she would be able to get free of this awful jungle! She closed her eyes, formed two identical circles with her thumbs and forefingers, and felt her body depart from the earth. She was rising; rising above the tree-tops. She could feel the hot sun on her face as she hovered inches above the forest.
And suddenly Colin Firth appeared. "YAY!" she cried. "Now I can marry you!"
"I'm sorry," he said. "I'm in love with Allie." And with that, he got on his horse, and rode off into the sunset.

No. 2: written in English class, 2004, by Allie, Rachel and Katie, with the first phrase, 'The crumpled paper fell to the floor'.

The crumpled paper fell to the floor. "It's terrible," said Joe, without a shadow of compassion. "Boring, average, lethargic, slow-moving... Don't even start again. Leave the paper on the floor, go home, ponder life if you must, but don't write anything else until you know how to write one mildly interesting sentence."
"I thought you'd be nice about it," said Matilda forlornly. "I was inspired to write that!"
"You asked me for my honest opinion, Matilda, and it sucks," said Joe, just as ruthlessly as before.
"Can you not even just show me a glimpse of hope for my future in writing? All you ever do, Joe, is run me down and it creates in me such a feeling of worthlessness," Matilda replied in between sobs.
"I'm sorry, but you have no future in writing."
"I do!" screamed Matilda, picking up the crumpled paper off the floor, and chucking it in his face.
Joe's temper, never good even at the best of times, snapped. In a complete rage, he picked up the closest thing to hand, a phone, and smashed it with alarming force onto Matilda's skull. She dropped like a dead weight, and Joe followed her, dropping to his knees.
"Oh crap. What have I done?" he moaned in anguish.
In that moment of rage Joe had done something he should have never. Anyway he was the teacher, the adult, the older one, and the more mature one he should have been. But no he had destroyed his reputation in that single incident. Matilda is dead. Joe is left unemployed and with a scar on his conscience which will never fade.

There were a few other stories my friend Sarah and I used to write in History in 2002, but they are just so dirty that I'm not particularly eager to share them with the world!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Just a quick note: I've put an urgent prayer request on my other blog, which you can find here, because I think it's more suited to my God blog than this one and I don't want to push prayer requests on non-Christian readers. But please, if you do pray and if you want to, have a look at it and lend it some of your time.

Friday, June 22, 2007

hooray for lots of things

Firstly, hooray for tags! Thanks, Lynette!

1 Where is your cell phone? hidden
2 Relationship? invisible
3 Your hair? dry
4 Work? absent
5 Your sisters? cool!
6 Your favorite things? music
7 Your dream last night? decongestant
8 Your favorite drink? milk
9 Your dream car? Mini
10 The room you're in? cold
11 Your shoes? muddy
12 Your fears? childcare
13 What do you want to be in 10 years? author
14 Who did you hang out with this weekend? Christians
15 What are you not good at? soccer
16 Muffins? savoury
17 Wish-list item? genius
18 Where you grew up? Aotearoa
19 The last thing you did? exam
20 What are you wearing? slippers
21 What are you not wearing? braces
22 Your pet? kaput
23 Your computer? slow
24 Your life? confusing
25 Your mood? sick
26 Missing? Mum
27 What are you thinking about? travelling
28 Your car? sluggish
29 Your kitchen? scented
30 Your summer? late
31 Your favorite color? green
32 Last time you laughed? movie
33 Last time you cried? movie
34 School? over!
35 Love? piano
36 Tag? anyone

Secondly, I sat my last exam this morning, and I have officially finished my BA! If I didn't have my horrendous triannual cold, I would be celebrating. Of course, I'm coming back for Honours. And I haven't got my marks or a certificate yet so of course, theoretically, I don't have my BA. But it seems like a bit of a milestone to finish all the work I'll ever have to do for my first degree :)

Thirdly, Sara has posted one of the coolest short stories I have ever read. Totally made my day.

Fourthly, we had roast lamb and roast vegetables for dinner. Mmmmm! That just makes the fact that it is the shortest day of the year (and freezing cold) so much more bearable.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


I write exaaaaaams with six 'a's because they seem like they are going on forever, whereas in reality I have only been studying for a week. I had my first exam today, on Twentieth Century Drama. It was open book, which isn't as much of a cop-out as it may sound, because the lecturer expected much better quality, and we didn't have much time to flick through our notes for ideas! I ended up planning a whole lot of possible essays and bringing them into the exam, which worked pretty well in the end. Or so I hope. I have one more exam on Friday, for history, which is scary. But, hopefully, do-able.

Just so you know how dedicated I am to academia and studying for exams, on Saturday I went to Hanmer Springs. I co-lead a small group within a Christian group at my university called the Navigators, and since I'm leaving soon, as well as two American exchange students in our group, we decided we had to have our annual Navs trip to Hanmer. Hanmer is like the little almost-mountain resort that Christchurch-dwellers flock to in the weekends, because it has some almost-natural hot springs there that are really rather nice. You would think it would be a lovely, relaxing day, then - but I spent it getting up altogether too early, driving for two hours, climbing a stupid hill because everyone else in the group is a fitness freak (see photo of the bottom of the hill, when I was still cheerful enough to take photos), getting soaking wet in the rain and freezing cold and mud, soaking in the pools which is always lovely, except when you decide to change pools and have to scurry round with barely anything on in a temperature that is some degrees below zero. Then I had to drive two hours back into Christchurch, except it took way longer because there was a crash on the northern motorway which meant we had to take a detour that lasted an extra 45 minutes. (I have learnt my lesson from Sara's recent post and I did not complain, because sadly a young man died - but I did wish it didn't have to happen because by then I was developing a migraine, and had to be at a 21st birthday barndance - which was very cool - ten minutes before the detour.)

- the pools
- the people
- trying a beer called Monteith's Radler at the pools cafe that I actually liked! Go me!

Anyway, I'm not too sure what I'm trying to say in this post. My brain has been slowly frying the last few weeks and it is high time for end of semester. I just feel like whinging.

Speaking of whinging, isn't J. K. Rowling's name for the Dursleys' burb fantastic? Little Whinging. That is one of the coolest made-up placenames ever. Has anyone else got some good 'uns?

Hooray for Harry Potter! Three years ago I was counting the days until the next one came out, which just about indicates my lessening obsession with it, but I could never not be excited about a new Harry Potter book. It must be about a month away now - by which time I will be living in Perth, Australia. Weird.

Friday, June 15, 2007

the perfect man

I've decided to write myself a list of attributes that I would want in a boyfriend, as a reference, just in case I meet someone who is totally unsuitable for the role and yet is tempting in some weird way (which tends to be the pattern so far). This seems like such a girly thing to do and I sometimes feel silly being girly but I have decided I need to overcome my fear and write me a list!

Crucials: (in no particular order)

- Communication. There is no way I can be with someone that I'm unable to talk about most things openly with.

- Similar tastes. This doesn't mean he has to love Jane Austen and classical music (or my other interests), but it does mean he has to be able to tolerate them, preferably to enjoy them, and perhaps, every now and then, to say something intelligent about them. We would also have to enjoy ourselves in compatible ways; for example, I hate dancing and I don't like alcohol so it's not like I would put up with going clubbing every weekend.

- Capable of considered thinking. No doubt this is an elitist and snobbish thing to say, but he does have to have some education, or at least a natural intelligence. I don't like people who don't have reasons for why they think something, or who can't articulate those reasons. It's also probably unfeminist to admit this, but it's true - I don't think I could have a long-term relationship with someone whose mind I didn't respect. I would actually like to go out with someone who is smarter than me. All the same, they must enjoy lowbrow things and not make me feel anti-intellectual for watching a chick flick or reading an Agatha Christie/Georgette Heyer novel.

- Sense of humour. This is important. They must laugh at similar things to me. Even if my sense of humour sucks, I would prefer to share it with someone whose humour equally sucks than a comedic giant.

- Nice. As Bridget Jones would say, no 'alcoholics, workaholics, commitment phobics, people with girlfriends or wives, misogynists, megalomaniacs, chauvinists, emotional f***wits or freeloaders, perverts'. That is a much more detailed list than the one in my head, but I would hope that a boy I would go out with would not be racist or sexist or just mean to certain people.

- Christian. Last year I met someone who seemed perfect... except that he wasn't a Christian (and he was moving back to the States in a few weeks so it couldn't have worked anyway). I thought then that perhaps a shared belief wasn't so important. I still think it's not exactly a black and white issue - but I think for me PERSONALLY (the crucial word) a shared belief would be very, very important. I've had a couple of Christian friends who started going out with non-Christians, which was fine at first, but then as it got more serious, there was all this agonising involved that I would really like to spare myself.

- Attractiveness. I purposefully avoided the word 'good-looking' here because there are some men who could actually be described as ugly but are totally attractive. All I require is to not feel repulsed at the thought of touching them. On the other hand, I don't want someone who looks like a demigod because that would make me totally insecure and neurotic.

- Liked by my family. I cannot imagine dating someone my siblings hated or couldn't get along with. Because we are all very close, it would just seem so weird.

Important but I'm willing to compromise:

- Height and build. Because I'm a tall girl, I really don't want to go out with someone noticeably shorter than me. It just seems awkward to me. Likewise, I don't want to go out with a stick insect or I will feel like an elephant.

- Not completely opposed to children. If I liked the guy enough, this would not be the be-all-and-end-all; after all, I've got lots of nieces and nephews. But I think I would like to have kids one day and it would be nice if he could feel the same way if it got serious.

- Not overly sporty but likes the outdoors. I love travelling around and going on walks in the country and stuff... but by that I don't mean hardcore stuff. And if someone wanted me to do that with them - it would be a major turn-off.

- Ambition. I think this is probably the same of any woman - I don't want to go out with someone who is happy to spend his life working at McDonalds. I don't mean he has to want to earn millions or be famous or something. I just want someone who challenges themselves. On the other hand, too much ambition is definitely a bad thing. A friend used to go out with someone who had a plan to be a millionaire by the time they were thirty, which leads me on to my next point...

- Awareness of social responsibility. I don't want to be with someone who wants to store themselves up a little cache of riches, or who lives by the principle of 'who dies with the most toys wins'. I think it's a selfish and wrong attitude. I want to be with someone who is compassionate to people who are less fortunate or in trouble, and who wants to do something about it, and who can't justify living in a bubble.

Not very important but if it can be managed:

- British accent. :)

So there you have it. Let me know if you fill the criteria.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

casting call

Well, Stacy was the only one to suggest any actors for the roles of Tamara, Bronson or Norm (see previous post), and I happen to agree with her - Orlando Bloom would make a fantastic Bronson. As long as he can do a really, really corny American accent, because, as we know, the good guys are always American. Doesn't he just look like the archetypal good-guy-activist/child of an alien abductee? My only concern is that he may not be able to muster up the strength to carry Tamara out of any caves that are about to explode.

I'm not too sure about the female lead yet, but Jennifer Connelly seems to visually suit the Tamara role. She'll have to speak in a British accent, of course, because all scientists who are about to do something potentially planet-threatening are British. It would be a plus if she could wear glasses, and have a hyphenated surname. And of course her hair will have to be back in a tight bun, until she falls in with Bronson. I'm thinking a traumatic experience in her past has made her dress severely and act unapproachable, but she is scrupulously fair to her goofy assistants. I was thinking Rachel Weisz for the role at first, but I actually quite like her, and I would not force her to star opposite Orlando Bloom for all the world.

I'm also pretty sure that Kris Marshall of Love Actually would make a fantastic Norm, the nerd assistant who in my alternate ending has always been in love with Tamara and sacrifices himself for her in the end. I mean, just look at him. How cute is he? Some glasses, stammering, a white lab coat, and some pimples wouldn't go astray onscreen, but Norm needs that little-English-boy vibe.

Now, I was also thinking we need a villain. Obviously, the ewillas are pretty villainous, but I think we need an evil cigar-smoking, vodka-swilling Russian scientist/millionaire (with KGB origins, of course) to play a part in it all. He could be the one who bankrolls the entire project, but with the original aim in mind of developing a species to help him take over the world. At some point, Tamara will slap him, after which his thugs will grab her, twisting her arms behind her back, and she will cry helplessly, "Bronson! Help me!" Bronson will respond by clenching his fists and shouting "You brute!" at the villain, who will then launch himself into a monologue. Any suggestions for the villain's name and the actor who should play him? And what of his obligatory vile little habit? (ie, drinking vodka from skulls, or having an eye that bleeds like the villain in Casino Royale?) And how can he be killed?

Monday, June 11, 2007

My Great Idea

I have had The Idea! (being the idea that makes me a few million dollars) Yesterday someone told me about this big scientific project on the French-Swiss border. Basically, a whole lot of scientists who have too much money to spend (it has cost eight billion so far) have built a huge underground circular track. When it is finished they are going to get two protons going in the opposite direction, speed them up as close as possible to the speed of light, and finally get them to crash. The idea is that this will cause a sort of mini Big Bang and they'll be able to study the effects of it to see what happened at the beginning of the world.

Okay, so that's in very unscientific language and it's probably better, if you're really interested in the actual science, to follow the link above and see how the Boston Globe puts it. But for my purposes, the basics are all that's important, because I have found the perfect concept for a sci-fi movie! My first thought was maybe that the mini Big Bang could turn out to be actually a very big Big Bang and destroy the planet, but that doesn't allow for much action, so instead, this is what will happen:

A very beautiful but independent female scientist called Tamara will be heading this operation, with the aid of a lot of goofy sidekicks in white coats. There will be a handsome activist called Bronson protesting that the experiment can only lead to catastrophe, but she will ignore him and forge ahead with the plan, buried in the mountains below, as the article says, "bucolic countryside of dairy farms and rustic villages set against the snow-capped Alps". Unfortunately, when the two protons collide, there will be an actual Big Bang as there was at the beginning of our world, and this will create life - but the life of an evil organism hostile to man and greedy for power. Say, a cross between Godzilla and ewoks in appearance. As the ewillas set about destroying the pretty little Swiss farms and killing milkmaids, Tamara will discover that only Bronson has the skills to turn back time and rid the world of ewillas (this is easily explained, his father was a mad scientist or an alien abductee or something) and they will join forces to fight back. Fighting back will involve several near death experiences in which Tamara's clothing will have to be soaked and Bronson will have to carry her out of a cave or something just as a bomb is going off. There will be some very inappropriate moment, ie just as the ewillas are about to blow Bronson up, when Bronson and Tamara's eyes will meet and they will fall in love. Finally, just as the ewillas are ten seconds away from destroying humanity, Tamara will have a brainwave, and reverse the 2nd Big Bang by throwing protons at the ewillas - but in doing so, she will sacrifice herself, leaving Bronson heartbroken, sobbing over her body.

Edit (12 June): Or, here's an alternative ending. One of the goofy sidekicks, Norm, will turn out to be in love with Tamara. He will grab the protons off her at the end and sacrifice himself instead of her, so Bronson and Tamara can get married and have lots of babies. But at the very end, as Bronson and Tamara walk happily down a Swiss village street holding an infant, and preferably walking a dog, the audience will see an ewilla who escaped Norm's attack following them with a nasty expression on its face (that is, if ewillas have faces) - thereby creating the possibility of a sequel!

Okay, so perhaps the ending needs some work by someone who actually knows something about science - but the basics are there!

So, please contact my agent for information about how you too can be a part of certain blockbuster success. I accept all major credit cards. Oh, and here's my question for you - who should play Tamara, Bronson and Norm???

Friday, June 08, 2007


Thank you, Stacy, for the latest meme/tag/interview/whatever they're called - although I understand she stole it off someone else!!

1. Go back to first or early post. How would you describe your voice back in those early days? Who were you writing to? What was your sense of audience (if any) back then?

My voice, back in the day (2004)? In one word: immature. I quote: "I finished school about a month ago FOREVER and my friends and I met up at a SERIOUS cafe today. I felt very grown-up." Ahhh, to think of the days when I capitalised everything. Now I am much more mature, I italicise things instead. I also listed all the presents I got for Christmas, and what I got for my family - definitely a mark of a younger Allie, I think.
Likewise, I was much more obsessed with U2 and Jane Austen than I am now!
And... sadly... I was rather preachy.
Although overall I wasn't terrible. Just a bit boring.

I'm not sure who exactly I was writing to. I used to talk a lot about The Spirit Of The Internet back then - basically because no one read my blog! I didn't tell anyone about it, I didn't know anyone who had a blog, and I was too lazy to search out other blogs. I had, basically, absolutely no sense of audience - but I don't think I minded too much at first, because it meant I could write whatever I wanted. But after a while, it began to really grate on me that no one read it... more on this next question.

2. Do you remember when you received your first comment?

My first ever comment was a junk one. Depressing. As I said before, I didn't mind too much at first - but then when I was going through the hardest time of my life, back in 2005, I would pour out my heart on my blog, and the only response I would get would be "Great blog! Come look at my cheap deals on Viagra" and that was super-depressing.

My first real comment (as far as I can remember) was when I started searching through random blogs, and I found this great photo blog. I left a comment saying he'd inspired me to start posting my own photos, and he came and left a really nice comment on my blog. Soon later, a visitor to his blog came to mine, and she became a regular for a long time (that's Patty of Green Tea Obsession).

3. Can you point to a stage where you began to feel that your blog might be part of a conversation? Where you might be part of a larger community of interacting writers?

Yes - this started when Stacy started blogging, funnily enough! (Thanks Stacy) Because I knew Stacy already, through our online critiquing group, it was natural to visit her blog a lot, and somehow, slowly, I got connected with a whole lot of people who visited her blog or whose blogs she visited.

Before this, I'd had a few people visiting my blog fairly regularly, such as Patty, or slskenyon, but these were nearly all isolated from each other, so it wasn't nearly so interesting. But now it is very very fun! And I feel like I have friends all over the world! I also love how this 'community' of bloggers passes around the same memes and we can all check out each others' answers. :)

4. Do you think that this sense of audience or community might have affected the way you began to write?

Definitely. Once I knew there were people actually reading my blog, I was much more careful about trying to write things that were actually interesting. Ie, I had to stop writing things like 'I'm bored and I can't think of anything to do so I'm writing on my blog'. Sometimes I still do that... but only once a month.

I was also a lot more careful about sharing religious opinions. As it happens, most of the people who read my blog are Christians, anyway. But I felt like this blog should be a neutral sort of place, although as you've probably noticed I don't necessarily hide my beliefs. So when I got sick of this, I created another blog, God is Nice, and I write on there whenever I feel the urge to splurge my current ideas on/experiences of God.

Stacy in her version of this meme mentioned that she didn't mind her family reading this but not other acquaintances. I feel the opposite, really. I've never given my blog address to mere acquaintances, but I don't mind giving it to close friends, whom I wouldn't feel the need to gripe about. Whereas I'm not so thrilled when I know that a member of my family has read it. I don't know why, but if I'm going through something that has ripped me apart, I'd rather I told them myself than they had to read it on here. Again, I don't usually do so, because - again - this blog feels, to me, like it should be neutral and relatively carefree. So to get away from this problem, I made another blog called Another Grief Observed, on which I could vent on a particular issue whenever I wanted to, and for a long time I didn't leave a link to it on this blog or on my profile.

It's definitely worked really well for me having a number of blogs. Even if I'm having a crappy day, I can come on here and make fun of it. But I can be as dieaway and miserable on another or as new agey on yet another as I want. Even when I'm really busy I love blogging; it really helps me to relax, for some reason.

Sunday, June 03, 2007


Jenkneebee worried that this was a vain thing to do... and yes, I do feel like I have reverted to age fourteen - but it does not massage ones vanity to be told that one looks 70-something percent like David Hasselhoff, or to be told on another attempt that there is only one woman in the world who you could pass for, compared to nine men! Luckily, they were only two of my attempts at this fun game. First up, my five-year-old self (and even if I, according to this, do look like George Clooney, at least he's a very sweet small boy):

And me, now! This is the most flattering of my attempts - imagine, only one man!