Thursday, December 24, 2009

defeating the grinch

Things that could steal all my Christmas cheer:

1) I have just moved house, and finally left behind me the most patronising, unhelpful, annoying, idiotic, unethical landlord known to man. I have not mentioned him all year on this blog, just in case he ever came across it, because it's probably not a good idea to antagonise him, and we've had to be polite to him and treat him like a respected elder while he tells us we're unintelligent, messy and bad tenants (which is so not true - I cannot WAIT for him to discover in 2010 that he had it extremely good with us). I had to open up the house the other day for him to show prospective new tenants around, therefore I had to put up with him for a couple of hours.
However, that morning I had noticed (I'm sorry, this is gross) a small squashed decomposing creature of some kind on our driveway, which I could not bring myself to move because it was so foul. After he left that day, though, my other flatmate and I noticed the creature had gone and were astounded he'd done something helpful for once.
WRONG! I got a text message from my flatmate a couple of hours later - he had put the small dead animal IN OUR RECYCLING BIN.
Who's unintelligent now?! It would be funny if we didn't have to burrow in there to get it out.

2) This morning I put out our rubbish and organics bins on the kerb for the truck to come past and empty them. Because I am in a new house I did not realise that you aren't supposed to put them close to a corner, which meant the truck driver just drove straight past with a scornful look, probably thinking to himself - "GIRLS." Because I am in a new house we have a huge amount of rubbish this week and the bin was packed to the top. Great. We have to wait another fortnight with a steadily mounting pile of rubbish.

3) This morning, also, I parked at the mall, not realising I was parking in front of a "Restricted Park". Bang! A $45 fine.

I could be very angry and annoyed right now. But it's Christmas Eve!!!! I'm not! I'm happy! I'm wrapping presents! I feel like dancing round the room singing "Merry Christmas, horrible landlord! Merry Christmas, rubbish disposal truck! Merry Christmas, parking wardens!"

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Friday, December 18, 2009

good advertising?

TV ads have got to be one of the most annoying things to sit through. In my opinion, the "mute" button can be a girl's best friend. However, occasionally, there are some ads for which I turn up the volume, and I feel happier after watching them. I've already shared some of my favourites with you, in this post in May. Here are some more!

My current favourite, this is Sky TV's take on the classically annoying song, "Que Sera Sera". Please be aware that the content may be objectionable to some people.

In this ad, Rhys Darby (of FotC) heads the advertising campaign for new mobile phone network 2 degrees.

This is a really snuggly ad. Watch it to understand. It is for Pink Batts, which is an insulating material for houses.

Here is another utterly random Instant Kiwi ad, featuring Doug and his imaginary friend.

Another ad in the series for L&P soft drink:

Finally, another ad that comes in a series - for energy drink Lift Plus:


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

the year in review

We don't have Thanksgiving in New Zealand - a real loss, I think - but it's still about this time of the year that I suddenly consider everything that's happened to me in the year that was, and wonder how on earth I got to be so lucky. I am thankful that:

1. At the beginning of the year I got to go on an amazing road trip with one of my best friends around a small part of this beautiful country. I don't know how I would have got through this year without that chance to take a deep breath and enjoy nature.

2. My sister and husband and tag-along children FINALLY moved back to New Zealand after too much time abroad, and better yet, they chose Christchurch. It has been so, so wonderful having two small nieces in close proximity to me, to play with, help look after, and adore. They are THE cutest three-year-old and one-and-a-half-year-old girls in existence. No competition.

3. I graduated! And it was more fun than I anticipated.

4. I have been allowed to spend a year of my life doing the most self-indulgent thing I have ever done: Choosing a topic that completely absorbs me, and spending all my time finding out more about it. It hasn't always been easy to do a MA, but it is the most rewarding thing I have ever attempted. I've also had brilliant supervisors, and brilliant co-thesis writers to moan and whinge to.

5. I got to meet the Prime Minister! Incredibly kind and generous people also gave me the means to do the following...
6. Going on a research trip to the UK. I can't describe what a thoroughly awesome experience this was, in every possible way. I fell in love with London. I was welcomed into the homes of two families who not only provided for me generously but also opened my eyes to new ideas, experiences. I saw history. I saw proof that Jane Austen existed. I was free to indulge all my geeky tourist desires. I got to stay long enough to feel like I was at home. Had what I could say is possibly the time of my life. I came back a different person.

7. I also got to visit continental Europe with the same friend I went on a road trip with earlier in the year. We got to see so much variety, so much beauty, and to experience so many things I had had no knowledge of before. Almost nothing went wrong; we finished in one piece; our money did not run out; we chose a good route. The worst part about it was saying goodbye at the end.

8. I went flatting for the first time. It was a very good decision. I have made what I am sure will be lifelong friendships among my flatmates. Where things have not gone quite to plan, or where personalities have clashed, I have learnt so much more about myself, and about how to deal with life. I am quite certain now in my adulthood - in fact, that has been the overwhelming development of the whole year. Obviously, technically I've been an adult for some time, but I've never felt like it. Now I am quite happy to say: I am Woman! Hear me roar!

Goodbye, 2009. Thanks for everything.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I think I need a holiday.

- stressed because we have to move house soon;
- anxious about the situation in our flat (we need someone to move into our new flat with us from 19 December and start paying rent; this Someone is still making up her mind and we don't know if we'll find anyone else in time if she says no);
- coming down with bugs/headaches every week;
- generally short on money;
- unable to summon up much motivation or enthusiasm to work hard on my thesis;
- supposed to finish its first chapter in less than two weeks (I've written one page);
- feeling completely unable to write anything creative and worried I'm not going to be able to keep up with HDtS;
- unable to take a holiday because I've taken too many already and I'll need time later when my family shows up for Christmas/New Year's;
- stressed out by a private situation which has been developing, and that's really all I can say;
Et cetera.

So this is my explanation for being the proprietor of a Very Boring Blog over the last little while. And this post doesn't make anything better. I'm sorry. I just don't feel like I can think about anything right now.

On the bright side, I have discovered Gilmore Girls for the first time in my life. My flatmate bought the complete seven seasons on DVD a while ago and we have been slowly making our way through them (we've almost finished the third season). I LOVE THEM. They make me happy. I can't explain the relief of getting home from a unproductive, depressing day and watching a couple of hours of pure pleasure. I think my flatmate must be extremely tired of me spouting my feelings; "Oh I love him so much!" whenever Kirk pops up.

But then I feel bad because I spent two hours on pure pleasure and should have spent it taking notes from long boring books or squeezing historical insight from my tired mind.