31 December 2007

2007 Finale

The last post for the last day of the year. It always seems quite insane when New Years comes around - another year over!

So, good-bye 2007.

This year was my first full year at my new job. I got a pay-rise (yay!) and a desk move (away from the top executive table... which is actually a good thing!!). Also, much travel - mainly local (I can only vaguly remember how many times but, CHCH x2, WNG x2, Napier x1, Whangarei x1, Hamilton x1, Tauranga x1), and Sydney.

My first year with a corporate company has had some other perks - awesome new blackberry phone (all calls, text etc have been free so far...), lunches, a spa treatment (my first ever pedicure was HEAVEN), parties, 3 day conference (my first ever ride in a Helicopter!), & much MUCH free booze :)

This year I moved again. Jan/Feb will mark one year in our lovely unit. I am hoping our agreement can be renewed(with no rent increases!!). I'm happy here and don't want to move.

Phoebe joined us. She is still as precious as ever... in fact she is MORE precious than ever.

My good friend Evette found herself "The One", moved into a wonderful hideaway on the Shore, & is now more than 7 months pregnant. 2007 brought with it my first attendance at a Baby Shower.

My good friend Dione got engaged - YAY (finally!!). I tried to find words to describe how happy I was/am for her. When that failed I just had a good cry with her :)

2007 brought with it 2 old new friends - to be back hanging out with Becs & Jo is great!

Friends in the UK have been keeping me jealous with their fantastic trips away - Egypt, Paris, Croatia... All have had their ups & downs in different ways - its been hard not to be close to them in their times of need.

I finally watched 'For Your Consideration' on DVD - it was pretty crap. What has happened to the genius of Christopher Guest?!

That's all I really want to say about 2007. I've missed a lot obviously (my brain is a sieve). I've been crap at posting here - that probably won't change in 2008.

26 November 2007

Collection of random

This is a collection of random things I've been saving to my desktop in order to share...





09 November 2007

Kiwiana Deathproof

What a fuckin hoot! Deathproof rocked!!

I tell ya, it is cheese-on-toast, yet fantastic. I laughed sooooo hard!! I loved the homage Quentin gave Kill Bill (including the pussywagon, the cellphone ring, Jasper...)

And the EXTREME homage he gave to Zoe Heller, our kiwi stunt woman extraordinaire - *That* was almost unbelieveable. I've never seen so much "kiwi-isms" in an American movie! I know as a New Zealander I appreciated it (right down to the "NZ vs Australia!!), but will other countries get it?? Who cares!!

Brilliant!

19 October 2007

Eastern Promises

On Wednesday night I went to a free-sneak-preview of the film 'Eastern Promises' (Viggo Mortensen, Naomi Watts, Vincent Cassel). Like 'History of Violence' (the other David Cronenburg & Viggo film) this has great actors, great characters... and bursts of extreme realistic violence. It also is so subtle where you expect overt action/romance etc, and MORE where you would rather LESS (I would have rather missed the blood-oozing-throat-sawing - this was no throat slit, trust me! My vote is still out on Viggo's naked knife fight...).
And, again like 'HoV' this film ends with a new beginning...
Viggo was awesome. Naomi was fine (her character didn't really have to do much, but speak in an English accent. So, it wasn't a stretch for her, especially when you think of her in '21 Grams').

Another movie tonight - its taken a while but I am finally going to see 'The Bourne Ultimatum'. First, there will be at least one glass of wine (its been a long week!) and a meal at my FAV 'Tanuki's Cave'.

This week I've watched a couple of DVDs too - 'The Reaping' (Hillary Swank) and 'Everything is Illuminated'. I adored the latter - such an underated film!! It's a real gem - very subtle/understated, laugh-out-loud-funny, tears-in-your-eyes-sad... also, adapted for the screen and directed by Naomi's current other half, actor Liev Schreiber. One of those films that makes you go: why didn't I see this years ago?!

21 September 2007

Roll on weekend

Music I am digging at the mo:
- The Black Keys
- Snow Patrol (reliving the joy of their concert!)
- Elvis Perkins
- YYYs (the new EP is coolness)

Waiting for:
- New 'Entourage' - miss that show! Come on Season 3, part 2!!
- Pay Day - $$$
- A haircut - should really tidy up my mop. Straightening it has become a mission
- The weather to settle - is that ever going to happen in Auckland?! One minute sunny & 20 degrees c, next windy & cold

19 September 2007

Walk the plank ye scurvy dog!

Yes, its that time of the year again. International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

To get you started:

Top ten pick-up lines for use on TLAPD

10 . Avast, me proud beauty! Wanna know why my Roger is so Jolly?
9. Have ya ever met a man with a real yardarm?
8. Come on up and see me urchins.
7. Yes, that is a hornpipe in my pocket and I am happy to see you.
6. I'd love to drop anchor in your lagoon.
5. Pardon me, but would ya mind if fired me cannon through your porthole?
4. How'd you like to scrape the barnacles off of me rudder?
3. Ya know, darlin’, I’m 97 percent chum free.
2. Well blow me down?

And the number one pickup line for use on International Talk Like a Pirate Day is …

1. Prepare to be boarded.

For more excitement and some tips see this Talk Like a Pirate website

05 September 2007

Phoebe

My gorgeous cat!

20 August 2007

Concerts

What a week last week was! The week that was involved: 2 days in Wellington, 2 concerts, drinks with a friend... and much sleeping!
After so much happening during the week, but the time the weekend arrived I was ready to crash.And crash I did! Early nights Fri and Sat; watched a couple of DVDs (not worth mentioning), heaps of cleaning/tidying; walked down K'road and did a wee bit o'shopping (plus traded some poxy DVDs in at RG and got 2 decent CDs in return!). Sunday out was rounded off with family dinner.
All in all, GREAT!!

Concert 1: Jose Gonzalez
We arrived at Hopetoun Alpha around 8pm - doors open at 7:30pm. It's a venue I'd never been to before - a fantastic, small, old church!The seating was GA (i.e. first in best served!). There was the ground floor (chairs laid out in rows) or upstairs (almost a U-shaped balcony looking down at the stage and the ground floor, complete with built in wooden pews). We choose upstairs - back row (it was tiered seating... and there were only 4 or so rows in front of us!).
The opening act was ok... cute I guess, but we were hanging out for Jose.
The man himself came out at 9:30pm, and by this time seats had filled, but not to max-capacity. I was pleasantly surprised how intimate it felt - a small group of people on the edge of their seats (or pews), sipping wine, and listening to Jose's mellow sound.
It was just him on the small stage, with a mic and guitar - that didn't stop it from sounding like he had a whole band up there for some songs. He played all the favourites, and wowed us with some covers - notably Heartbeats (on is album 'Veneer', by The Knife), Teardrops (Massive Attack), and Love Will Tear Us Apart (Joy Division).He was finished, complete with encore, by just after 10:30pm - 1 hour of playing. Honestly, it felt like longer - most of his songs aren't even 3 minutes... some only just over 1 minute, so it was an impressive and comprehensive set.
Our walk about down K'Road was full with buzz :)

Concert 2: Ryan Adams & the Cardinals
After a couple of hiccups (we caught a 7:30pm ferry in the end, not the planned 6pm!) and disgusting weather (which made for an "interesting" ferry ride), we ended up in Devonport wet BUT excited!
After a quick bite to eat it was off to the Bruce Mason Centre in Takapuna - I tell you, I was excited just to see the Cardinals symbol (the rose) and the drums on the stage!
Again with wine in hand we waited for the opening act - I had no idea who it was to be... and to my surprise Anika Moa walked out on stage! Not quite the kind of music I would've thought to open Ryan... but she was great! Just her and her guitar, accompanied by an electric guitarist for 2 tracks, she joked between songs and sang beautifully. By the time she was finished I couldn't think of anyone *better* to open for Ryan :)
Ryan came on at 9:30pm and I was in awe (couldn't keep the grin off my face!). They played 2 songs, before a 10 minute break due to technical problems. Before exiting Ryan promised to play a loooong concert, included 2 sets. And here I was worried that he'd throw some sort of rock'n'roll hissy-fit and only play for 1/2 hour.
When they came back on... *sigh*... incredible. New songs, older songs, awesome instrumentals - a 4 minute song suddenly became 8 or 9 minutes. BLISS!!!!All up they played for 2 hours... that high kept me smiling well into Friday at work :)
I knew he wouldn't play any of this solo work (I would love to hear him sing songs from Gold, Heartbreaker, Love is Hell etc), but what he did play made me love his music all over again.

08 August 2007

Bloc Party

Reviews:

- Stuff

- NZ Herald

Ok, can I just say: AWESOME!!! Wow wow wow! New songs, old songs, interaction with the audience... this concert was waaaaay up there! If you get the chance to see Bloc Party live, TAKE IT. I came out of the venue with the bass still throbbing in my head and the strob lights still pulsing behind my eyes. When I listen to their CDs now - whole new experience :)

Ah happy days

05 August 2007

Conference over and out

My first ever corporate conference - I lived through it and, surprisingly, had an absolute blast!

I was full of trepidation and nervousness about the whole thing. It would have been incredibly easy to just not go; RSVP with some bogus excuse. That way I wouldn't be pushed into 2 full days of company weirdness, including having to give a presentation myself.

As it turned out, I went to Taupo on Wednesday night. This was earlier than most as I said I'd help out with registration at the resort etc. Thursday lunchtime is when everything officially kicked off. By then I had already "chaired" an impromptu Q&A session (yikes! But it seemed to go ok).

After official welcome speeches, videos etc, it was off to our sessions, where I presented to my group. That also seemed to go well - I was so relieved when it was all over though, and I could just sit back and relax.

That night we had a scrummy buffet dinner (much better than I thought) and a guest speaker (also much better than I thought - really interesting and funny). Annnnnd too much wine! For me anyways! I drank steadily - I guess I didn't realise how much I had until I got back to my room around 1:30am and crashed out; completely zonked until the alarm went off Friday morning.

Friday was our "activity day". I had a few clues as to what it would be. It turned out to be an Amazing Race all around the area - we were in teams (22 altogether) competing against each other to solve clues, complete tasks, take photos etc.

I didn't know many of my team mates at the start (9 including me), but by the end of the day we were a real team! Some of the tasks we did included: rowing a life raft, kayaking, prawn fishing, riding in a jet boat, quad bikes, walking on stilts, and my highlight = helicopter ride!! (I'd never been in one before).

It was a looooog and tiring day (not helped by hangovers!). There was a couple hours reprieve, before a gala dinner - beautiful food, hilarious entertainment (courtesy of some outgoing staff members performing lip syncs in costume... highlight = all male Spice Girls in drag!), and more wine.

Then much booging ensued, more wine, before I crashed out around midnight. What can I say?! I was a light-weight!

If I had RSVPed 'no', I would've missed the whole experience! No networking, helicopter ride, no making friends or boozing up on free wine! The conference was just plain cool. To think I could've been stuck at normal work... *shudders*

And just to finish this post off: helicopter ride!! (Yes, I was very very excited about my helicopter ride!)

04 August 2007

20 July 2007

I know the feeling!

Sideswipe: Friday July 20, 2007
By Ana Samways
Snapped in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, last month.
A German man who hurled his computer out of the window in the middle of the night was let off a charge of disturbing the peace by police who sympathised with his technical frustrations. Police in Hanover said they would not press charges after responding to calls from residents in an apartment block who were woken by a loud crash in the early hours of Saturday. Officers found the street and pavement covered in electronic parts and discovered who the culprit was. Asked what had driven him to the night-time outburst, the 51-year-old said he had simply got annoyed with his computer. "Who hasn't felt like doing that?" said a police spokesman.
(NZ Herald)

10 July 2007

July 10th

July 10 is the 191st day of the year (192nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 174 days remaining.

48 BC - Battle of Dyrrhachium, Caesar barely avoids a catastrophic defeat to Pompey in Macedonia.
1871: Marcel Proust, French psychological novelist born.
1913 - Death Valley, California hits 134 °F (~56.7 °C), which is the highest temperature recorded in the United States (as of 2003).
1938 - Howard Hughes sets a new record by completing a 91 hour airplane flight around the world.
1967 - New Zealand adopts decimal currency.
1985 - Greenpeace vessel Rainbow Warrior is bombed and sunk in Auckland, New Zealand Harbor by French DGSE agents.
1976 - Adrian Grenier, American actor born (Yay for 'Entourage'!!).
1979 - Little Old Me born

09 July 2007

The Tiger Who Came to Tea

Concerts - I've not been to any lately, but I was absolutely stunned to see that Ryan Adams was coming... and I'm still stunned even though I've got tickets!! Completely excited. Can't wait!

As far as DVD watching goes, we've slashed our way through 3 seasons of The Sopranos. We're just waiting for a slacker to return Season 4 to the video shop, which is now more than a week overdue!
We've also just finished the first season of 'Dead Like Me' - really liked it.
Sitting at home waiting is 'Wonderfalls, 'Twin Peaks' season 2, part 1 (YAY!!) and season 2 of 'Dead Like Me'. We've also started watching 'Point Pleasant'... That's a lot of DVD hours!

Today was a great Monday... I was off work :) For the first time I am in a job that *gives* you your birthday off. Except I chose to not have my birthday off, but rather have a long weekend.
I visited the family homestead last night and stayed over, so that I could have an early birthday lunch with my mum & dad today (its the school holidays so all good boys and girls... and teachers have 2 weeks break). Our lunch was delicious - just at the local, 'Basalt'. Dad left mum and I to do a spot of shopping, where mum bought me 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea' by Judith Kerr. It might seem like a strange gift for a 28 year-old, but it was my favourite picture book as a child so it seemed fitting! All very nostalgic.

Tomorrow a get a year older. And I go to work. It's my first birthday at this job... it'll feel very different not spending it with my old co-workers (morning teas, presents, lunch!).

Another year...

01 July 2007

NZFF 2007

I missed last year due to international travel, but here are my choices for this year's NZFF!

International Film Festival

13 Jul: The Secret Life of Words
14 Jul: Conversations with Gardener
15 Jul: After the Wedding
21 Jul: Day Watch
27 Jul: Death at a Funeral
28 Jul: Perfume

13 June 2007

Tony Soprano kills everyone but the Hoff

I couldn't resist that headline. It's fantastic! Except of course its referring to TV ratings in America (read the article here).

Apparently The Hoff is now part of the judging panel on 'America's Got Talent'. I've never seen the show, but I'd watch an episode just to see the dynamics between him, Sharon Osbourne and Jerry Springer. How low can TV sink??!

In honour of The Hoff:

10 June 2007

Easy Tiger

If Auckland's rainy Sunday was getting you down (stranely I am bouncing off the walls with the energy of a group of 5 year olds hopped up on sugar and violent cartoons), then perhaps this will at least make you smile. I don't know how I missed this news!!

Easy Tiger is the new Ryan Adams album - his nineth solo album. Amazon have the release date at June 26th - so that means I get to celebrate a friends birthday (yes, you Mel) and the advent of 13 new Ryan Adams songs!!

Read all about it at Amazon and perhaps even pre-order.

05 June 2007

Astedwae ittlae ejaysdae

OMG! What a night! It's been a long weekend here - I didn't go away or actually do much at all. I spent mine mostly feeling crap, curled up on the sofa watching DVDs or in bed asleep. At least I didn't miss much - the sun showed itself now and then, but mostly there was rain and cold.
After *almost* not going, I was out the door and on my way to see The View by 8pm last night (which, was just a few hours ago... I soooo should be asleep but I'm too buzzed!). Jo & I wandered down to The Kings Arms (conveniently close to my house) in time to see all support acts. This included: a pretty good band I've never heard of and who weren't on the bill... International something-or-rather... honestly, I can't remember, but they were fun, The Sneaks, and some guy reading poetry to a saxophone... at one point he had a KFC container on his head like a hat... all very amusing and utterly random.
The View didn't appear until around 10:30pm I guess, and by that stage the place was getting packed - lots of pushing and squeezing. And when they started, they ROCKED!!! Yes, The View were on fire. They opened with Comin' Down - the crowd was jumping... and not always in a good way (I think I'm getting too old for gigs like this!).
An awesome time was had - they sounded fantastic live, and despite some audience problems (I was almost squashed in a fight between 2 large and sweaty guys, a small drunk guy decided to enjoy the concert by facing me and rubbing himself against me while brandishing a beer bottle that we were sure was going to hit someone on the head, and the general drunken post-teens trying to crowd surf etc... all and all a normal time I am sure!!) I couldn't stop smiling. I know they are young - they look even younger - but they can play and the voice on Kyle is darn-tootin! The only way is up, up, UP.
Go The View, and welcome me back to the small-gig world. I'll have a few bruises tomorrow to be sure, but as wise sage once said: I'll take a bruise for the music.
Ok, I'm losing my post-concert energy (my ears are still buzzing though) so time to turn out the lights.
And Alex, darling, thank you for the album!!

Read an article on The View by the NZ Herald Herald here (and they are totally right - it was impossible to understand anything they said when they talked between songs!).

Freaky Carnies

I am always one to enjoy the supernatural - a little fight between good and evil... Throw in carnivale freaks and how could HBO go wrong??! Well, I don't think you can, but unfortunately HBO did, and Carnivale was cancelled after 2 seasons, though the creator had mapped out an additional 4 seasons.

I don't watch TV - maybe a little music TV and the odd show if I can be bothered, but I do enjoy renting shows (Entourage, Deadwood, Kingdom Hospital...).

Over the long weekend we rented the first season of Carnivale - 12 episodes. I love it! Two separate plots slowly converging, freaky carnies (complete with the bearded lady, reptile man, and comatose psychic tarot card reader), an avatar for good and one for evil, mysterious pasts...
Ok, its subject matter can be rather disturbing - as can be some of the scenes themselves, but I am hooked regardless.
And if none of that sells you, then how about Nick Stahl and Clancy Brown - one is good and one is evil; both are great actors (I'll never forget Clancy Brown as The Kurgan in the Highlander movie).

I tell ya where would I be (or TV be) without shows like: Twin Peaks, American Gothic, Buffy, Angel, Highlander: the series, Wonderfalls, Eerie Indiana, Wolf Lake, The Kindred, Roar & Point Pleasant.
I tried watching the show actually called 'Supernatural' on TV the other night and it just didn't engage me *shrugs*.

Then there's the quirky fantastic: Picket Fences, Six Feet Under, Arrested Development, Spaced, & Northern Exposure. I've also caught a few episodes of Veronica Mars (a favourite of Joss Whedon, who actually had a small role in an episode I watched) & Joan of Arcadia - both shows were very good, which surprised me as I didn't think I'd like them!

Other supernatural or quirky-sounding shows that I've not seen but am keeping my eye out for: Dexter, The Dresden Files, Eureka, Lost Room, Profit, Miracles, Surface, Dead Like Me, & The Book of Daniel.

This weekend I am going to thoroughly enjoy watching the second season of Carnivale, though I have read that, due to its cancellation, not all the sub-plots are resolved (which is annoying!). I also have the first disc of Neverwhere, a BBC mini-series which I have read the book of (and loved!).

04 June 2007

Ooooohhh Yeaaaah

JOSE GONZALEZ - 14 August
(A solo performance preview of his new album 'In Our Nature', out September 2007)

Jose Gonzalez is a Swedish-born singer-songwriter of Argentinean descent whose debut album, 'Veneer' (Gold+ sales in New Zealand) is a stunning collection of subdued acoustic folk music stamped with his trademark sound of a solo classical guitar with soft melody.Gonzalez's sensual and sensitive vocals blend with his gifted classical guitar style to recall underground folk favorites such as Nick Drake, Elliott Smith, Hayden, and Mark Kozelek.The show is seated and standing, only 200 public tickets are available and they will be snapped up quickly.

Jo, Rich & I have tickets. My gig-drought is now a bubbling brook.

23 May 2007

Killing Words

I just watched a superb Spanish DVD called 'Killing Words' ('Palabras Encadenadas')- I was engrossed; all the twists and turns, and such intensity! It has a gruesome plot, but its more the themes and the *potential* of what could happen to the kidnapped girl as she sits tied to a chair and watches a video of what appears to be a serial killer, who plans to kill her next (long sentence!).
As the story unfolds, we learn who the girl is and who her captor is... add in a couple of detectives and the film is compelling!
If you like a smart psychological thriller (and this is no 'Saw' or 'Hostel' - there is implied gore, but thank fuck we don't have to see it... FYI: on that note, I read this fantastic article in a movie mag about movies like Saw; they named the genre torture porn... I must see if I can find it online), you will love this film.

Killing Words (IMDB)

17 May 2007

Lost Boys 2?

There have always been rumours of a sequel, but this time it looks real - there is even a link on IMDB. Oh, unfortunately it sounds like its going to be a poxy movie that will go straight to DVD.

Lost Boys 2 Preps In Canada
Moviehole reported a rumor that P.J. Pesce ( From Dusk Till Dawn 3) will helm the long-awaited direct-to-DVD sequel Lost Boys: The Tribe, which is slated to begin shooting in Vancouver, Canada, this summer.

Shock Till You Drop, meanwhile, reported a rumor that Hans Rodionoff (SCI FI Channel's Saint Sinner) is the film's writer.
Moviehole added that Corey Feldman, who starred in Joel Schumacher's 1987 original Lost Boys, was a part of the sequel's cast, but not anymore.

16 May 2007

The View

My first gig in ages!



The View
THE VIEW, THE VIEW, THE VIEW are on fire…..so goes the chant from their rabid fans at their chaotic sold out UK gigs. Seemingly from nowhere to an NME Best Track Of The Year (Wasted Little DJs), a Number 1 UK album and audiences in excess of 5000 in a matter of minutes…...there can be no doubt that THE VIEW, THE VIEW, THE VIEW are indeed, well and truly, on fire. It will be a bit like seeing the Sex Pistols, Oasis or The Arctic Monkeys in a tiny pub before anyone else knew about them. Get your tickets now coz this one’s going down in the history books. You what, you saw them where ? With an average age well under twenty, The View are fronted by the charismatic and truly original Kyle Falconer alongside school friends Kieren (bass), Peter (lead) and Steve (drums). A blast of fresh air, self-taught and spontaneous, they casually blew away other established bands at every gig they played and crazy scenes from demented fans only served to fuel a frenzied bidding war. This is a gig not to be missed!

15 May 2007

Snowcake

Last night I saw the film 'Snowcake' - I'd not seen any previews or read anything but a brief synopsis on the cinema website. I was initially attracted because of the stars - Sigourney Weaver & Alan Rickman. This film was brilliant! For a start the story was different - there have been elements of it told in previous movies, but never like this and never in this combination. It was sad - really tear-jerking. It was incredibly funny! It was thoughtful and sweet. What surprised me is the kind of "understanding" that you feel at the end of the film.

Honestly, one of my favourites so far this year! And such a surprise for me as I wasn't expecting to enjoy the film so much.

10 May 2007

08 May 2007

"v" is not a bad name

... for an energy drink as it turns out:

Cocaine energy drink pulled from shelves

NEW HAVEN, Connecticut (AP) -- An energy drink called Cocaine has been pulled from stores nationwide amid concerns about its name, the company that produces it said Monday.
Clegg Ivey, a partner in Redux Beverages LLC of Las Vegas, Nevada, said the company plans to sell the drink under a new name for now.
The Food and Drug Administration issued a warning letter last month that said Redux was illegally marketing the drink as a street drug alternative and a dietary supplement. May 4 was the deadline for the company to respond.
The FDA cited as evidence the drink's labeling and Web site, which included the statements "Speed in a Can," "Liquid Cocaine" and "Cocaine -- Instant Rush." The company says Cocaine contains no drugs and is marketed as an energy drink. It has been sold since last August in at least a dozen states.
"Of course, we intended for Cocaine energy drink to be a legal alternative the same way that celibacy is an alternative to premarital sex," Ivey said. "It's not the same thing and no one thinks it is. Our product doesn't have any cocaine in it. No one thinks that it does. We think it is most likely legal in the United States to ship our product."
Ivey said the FDA did not order the company to stop marketing the drink, but officials were concerned about possible legal action. They will announce a new name within a week and hope to have the product back on store shelves within a few weeks.
"What we would like to do is continue to fight to keep the name because it's clearly the name that's the problem," Ivey said. "What we can't do is distribute our product when regulators in the states and the FDA are saying that if you do this, you could go to jail."



(Read the article here )

04 May 2007

May the fourth by with you!

I apologise for the title. It's terrible I know. Something compelled me to go ahead and type it though. Apparently its the 30th anniversary of that particular phrase. Stupid and worthless trivia - now you can just forget I ever told you.

So, its Friday. Yay. The working week is almost over. I've had a busy week. A few things to mention, mainly to enable me to rave about them:

1. Evacuations. Obviously these are important and life-saving. And there do need to be drills. But I am going to complain anyway. Very inconveniently our alarm went off Tuesday morning when one has just settled in; docked your laptop and logged in, with much work to complete before an out of office training session. It doesn't help that we are situated on the 27th floor. Don't even ask me how many flights of stairs that equates to! Ok, so at least I was going down them, not up them, but still - I was pissed off!
Also, if there had been a real fire I probably would have either been trampled to death in the stairwell, or suffocated by smoke while stuck in the stairwell.

2. Busstops. I take no issue with busstops themselves. I take issue with trying to find a busstop (getting sweaty and ick in the process), locating it... only for it to be a sign that says: This busstop has temporarily moved all the fuck way back were you were sucker, so you had better run or you'll miss the bus. I did locate the new temp busstop and I did catch the bus I needed to, but I wasn't a happy camper.

3. "Urgent" jobs that actually aren't urgent. For example, I spent a lot of time working on something "urgent" for someone on 23rd April. That someone called me yesterday (3rd May) and said: "I've just looked at that work you did for me..." ((!#$%^&*(^$@)) "... and it needs to be different..." (this is why I email and confirm what people want before I spent my time doing the wrong thing!) "... and I need the changes now..." (its 4:55pm and I am training my student on his first day at work). I said I was busy etc... I actually had other work that was deemed urgent that I hadn't had time to get to. If this person had used their brain properly before confirming what they wanted (which is exactly what I provided them), and looked at the work on 23rd.... grrrr
As it is, I tried to re-do the work - it was rushed and not as good. I emailed it off before 5:30pm and I've not received ANY response back!!

4. When the Starmart across the road changes where they stock their Pascall Clinkers (yes, they brought back those yummy sweets from years ago). Ok, I just wanted to add that because it caused undue concern to those who love and wanted Clinkers (me). And I mean, they hadn't run out at least.

On a more positive non-rant side:

+ Dione's graduation dinner was lovely. I was so honoured to be invited as I was the only non-family member there. I was 40 minutes late (I was at work until 7pm), but it was a more casual dinner at a fab pizza place in Parnell, and I wasn't the last to arrive so hurrah! I'm so proud of D :)

+ My Mum & Dad celebrated 32 years of marriage - yay for them!

+ I watched the second season of "Deadwood" - it's really quite a strain to not walk around saying "cock-sucker", and "c*nt" every second word afterwards. Honestly, the language is a shocker... but you get dulled to it after watching hours and hours. It's only when someone who doesn't watch the show walks in the room, hears the TV, and reacts, that I remember.

Well, that's all for now. There is work to be done, and i'm going to try and look like I am doing it

03 May 2007

Icky Thump

Not just another weird title for a blog entry, but the ALL NEW WHITE STRIPES SINGLE! Hooray!
Fan-fare, dancing, balloons, joyous laughter, monkeys in tutus...

The track was leaked on the net, but didn't remain anywhere for very long.

Oh, and as for the oufits... hmmm... well, he's Jack White so he can get away with anything. I'd go as far as to say that in addition to "hearting" google, i also heart Jack White. Ok, enough of that. Listen to that icky thump! (I love saying that.... icky thump... two relatively ordinary words, but put together... priceless. Chew on that Mastercard.)

02 May 2007

i heart google

It's been a strange love affair - my slight obsession with google. Well, things just got serious. Honestly, google has just blown my mind!

Those of you with google accounts may know that you can personalise your google page - you log in and can have your google home page completely pimped out!
Google have now gone a little "mac" and renamed this page igoogle. People that know me (lucky people that you are) will know that addition to my many charms, I am a little against ipods. But this post isn't a diatribe about that (readers digest version: ipods had the best marketing team ever - the product is inferior to many other mp3 players out there, but grabbed approx 80% of the market).

This post is an ode to igoogle, because this morning, not only did igoogle display all the wonderful personalised features that I have set (my page shows me my gmail inbox, the weather/time/date in Auckland, headlines from e! ((very important stuff... all that breaking Britney news :P)), other world headlines, my horoscope, all my bookmarks... it goes on), it have me the option to give my page a THEME.
A theme? you ask. Yes, a theme. There appears to be a limited selection to start with, but knowing google the sky is the limit. I settled on "city scape", but I tried them all... My excitement lead me to save images and post them here... Oh, my life must be a sad on. The other option was to do work... so, I saved images

Teahouse


Seasons (I mean, come on - its a frog and a beetle doing karate?! Awesome skills!)


City


Busstop


If I've not convinced you to create your own igoogle then there is no hope for you...

Before I end this sad sad little post, let me just say - when I saved the city scape theme, a box appeared and told me to choose my city (the default was Wellington) because, GET THIS, because the city scape would change depending on sunset and rise!!!!?! Is that not just the coolest?! Couldn't you just die??!! Yes, well... I may just have to save those images too...

Welcome to my world. It can be scary place.

26 March 2007

Tomato Soup

Today has been a soup kind of day. Not actually cold or wet or wintery even, but I feel sick; the kind of sick that leads to thoughts of soup. Soup is all I wanted for dinner - I got off the bus and bought an over-priced can of tomato soup, which was actually really yummy.
I hardly slept a wink last night and woke this morning with a funny-throat; sore but not. Anyways, I survived the day, though my eyes are killing me now... its 7pm and I'm about ready to curl up and sleep (and, sadly, I plan to do that very shortly).
And it was a Monday that I survived - those are always horrid! Potentially even more horrid if the previous Friday night was a "corporate event" (booze up). Luckily for me, I didn't dance on any tables. My time on the door taking names wasn't as sad as I thought it would be. Plus free wine and food... in my case, too much free wine. I was home and crashed by 10pm - I woke up when my brother (and flatmate) came home at 2am with my ear-plugs still in my hand!
Saturday and Sunday whizzed by - I watched a spanish film 'What have I done to deserve this?' and a darling French film 'A Common Thread'.
Also, finished the book 'Pay it Forward' - I've not seen the movie, but man is the book good!! Very emotional though...
Ok, that's me done - boring but true. I'm going to tuck myself in now. But before I do:

Today's strangest homeless-person-asking-for-money-sign: Ninjis stole my family (as seen on Queen Street)

22 March 2007

March Music

High rotation at the moment:

Get Cape Wear Cape Fly
The Arcade Fire
The Fratellis
Maria Taylor
Modest Mouse
Hot Chip
The Kooks
Bloc Party
Razorlight
The Rapture

21 March 2007

Blast from the past

Well, its been one of those weeks - the past just comes blasting. In a good way.

Tuesday evening after work I met up with Jo for Japanese. I am 6 months older than Jo and have known her since then - our Mums are great friends (since teenagers), and our families hung out together all the time. At some point "growing up" happened, along with her parents getting divorced... and we didn't see each other so much.
It's strange but she always lived on the Shore and I always lived East. Yet the distance as kids didn't stop us writing letters and staying over every school holiday. I guess once we got over camping, sticker collecting, New Kids on the Block etc, the distance made a difference - we had new friends and growing up had taken us in different directions.
We've seen each other sporadically since 14/15 years old - a wedding, a funeral... And when we do talk we fall back into reasonably easy conversation - its not awkward.
Ok, enough with the back story. Since her Mum had a brain tumour Jo has been back in the country more (she was based in Australia and travelling a bit), and she has settled into a new job in Newmarket. She contacted me and voila, Japanese for dinner.
It was great to see her - we had some great laughs and some awesome food. I think we'll try and hand out some more (I don't think I freaked her out completely).

Yesterday I had lunch with 2 of my old work friends, Wendy and Jean. I took the Link to them and we had Thai at our regular haunt. And OMG the gossip - so much of it!! I was agog at most of it; they had to convince me some of it was true hehe. I sure miss those guys, though I know I did the right thing taking my new job ("new" being around 5 months old now).
Coincidently I also got an email from my old manager there asking me to come and train my replacement (being paid for the favour too of course). It's going to happen on a Saturday - a bit of a bummer but there isn't much choice. I am glad they finally replaced me as I was feeling sorry for my ex-coworkers being without a database person. Still, they took their time; I hope I remember stuff in order to train the new guy!

14 March 2007

The gentle ROAR of the wind

Have I mentioned how unpleasant it is to be on the 27th floor of a tall skinny building, when its really REALLY windy?! I feel decidedly queasy, slightly dizzy, and pretty much ready to curl into a little ball under my desk!

After hot, stuffy, sticky & humid weather today is chilly, windy, wet & grey. It's all rather depressing really. I suppose this means that the colder weather is on the way...

It also means that my choice of wearing a skirt and sandals sucks - cold legs and feet :(

Anyway, its Wednesday - this week is already half over. And so is March, which is almost unbelievable!

Work is CRAZY. Being the manager of a database is proving to be hard work - sometimes made harder by complete and utter fuckwits who can't do their job properly!
On the work plate so far:
+ Work my way through an excel spreadsheet that will end by being a mailing list. It contains around 4,000 names/addresses, and many of them aren't formatted correctly. And that means I have to look at the spreadsheet, then look at the database, then check the address on the Internet etc, update the database, then output the spreadsheet all over again... Of course while I am correctly addresses and postcodes I am finding all sorts of other shit to fix. The conclusion? I am going ever so slightly more insane.
+ Organising training sessions for another office for next week - some of the staff (I'm not sure who exactly) had the nerve to tell my boss that the database wasn't working as a tool for them!!??!! Only yesterday I spent an hour and a half with one of their staff training them. I answer emails, correct their fuck-ups, and the lazy bastards have the nerve to say it isn't working for them. Bull shit! I've emailed the 2 I suspect as the complainants and have asked for examples of this so-called-failure. I can't wait to see what they send me!
+ I have 2 students CVs to go through - I am supposed to phone them and "quiz" them about being my little database helper (i.e. I will hand them the fucking 4,000 contact spreadsheet and make THEM fix it all!!)
+ Get costings on a CRM database that my boss is interested in using.... Ok, what the fuck?! He wants me to investigate this second option for marketing reasons. The thing is, our current db is supposed to be where ALL data goes, and I *know* there are teams out there maintaining their own lists too. So, what the hell, lets throw in a whole new db and try and keep everything up-to-date. I can see that happening... NOT !

Ok, I've run out of steam - rest assured my list as a whole lot longer... *sigh*

(Building... rocking... side... to... side... *gulp*)

It's not all bad though - I did get to the movies on Monday: an advanced and FREE screening (for me anyway) of 'Ghost Rider'. Oh, wait, I said it wasn't all bad didn't I?!
Ghost Rider is cheddar; its brie... It was so cheesy!! I mean, I had a good laugh - it was completely mindless. There are some fun effects and stunts etc... Nicholas Cage looks incredible i.e. he seems to be getting younger and fitter as he gets older! Honestly, it was scary how much work he must have had done - and the lack of fat on his body - abs so defined I was sure they were fake until he breathed hehe.
It was also cool to see Wes Bentley back in a movie (can't remember seeing him in anything "big" since 'American Beauty').
It's not a bad film... but its not good either. Still, I got to chuckle, see a free film, and eat complimentary snacks (Snifters and coke).

Last night I watched 'The Exorcism of Emily Rose' on DVD. Yikes. Some creepy stuff there. One thing that does wig me out is exorcism/devil type stuff. When I saw 'The Exorcist' for the first time (granted, I was a young teenager, and babysitting alone in a house) I could hardly sleep!

Also on DVD I am utterly enjoying TV shows that I never watched on TV - this way I get to see the episodes back to back, with no ads! I'm currently watching 'Entourage' (just finished season 2), 'Grey's Anatomy' (season 3), and I just finished watching the complete seasons of the hilarious and brilliant 'Spaced' (Simon Pegg is a brilliant!).

Ok, this is where I would normally say I must get back to work, but just to be original: Ok, I must get out of this building before I puke. Hopefully, this will be the only time in my life I type that...

24 January 2007

Stars, friends react to Heath Ledger's death

Actress Julia Stiles: Ledger's 10 Things I Hate About You co-star spent last night at a bar, the Bowery, a few blocks from where he died. "I am drinking away my sorrows right now," she told the Independent.

Brokeback Mountain director Ang Lee: "Working with Heath was one of the purest joys of my life. He brought to the role of Ennis [Del Mar] more than any of us could have imagined."

Lee said Ledger had "a thirst for life, for love, and for truth, and a vulnerability that made everyone who knew him love him. His death is heartbreaking".

Talk show host Ellen Degeneres: The comedian took a moment at the end of her talk show on Wednesday to remember Heath Ledger in a touching and humorous tribute. Calling the actor an "amazing, amazing, talented young man," DeGeneres said: "He was a friend and we will miss him," before running a clip from his last appearance on her show, on February 13, 2006.

Model Helena Christensen: "He was such a special and genuine person, so extraordinarily talented because he was so raw and honest with his feelings," Christensen told Women's Wear Daily. "He was so full of life, so electric."
Ledger, she said, was "a sweet, smart and talented young man and had many friends. My heart goes out to his family. I am just beyond sad at this point, and shocked."
Christensen also said she was about to see the 28-year-old actor when she heard of his death. "I was on my way over to pay him a visit when I found out," she said.
"I had just left him a message and heard his voice on the machine."

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd: "It was with great sadness that I have learned of the passing of Heath Ledger.
"It is tragic that we have lost one of our nation's finest actors in the prime of his life.
"Heath Ledger's diverse and challenging roles will be remembered as some of the great performances by an Australian actor."

Actress Nicole Kidman: "What a tragedy. My heart goes out to his family."

Neil Armfield, who directed Ledger in the 2006 Australian drama Candy: "He was always a complex and complicated man to work with but ... just a master."

Scriptwriter Luke Davies, who wrote Candy: "This is just an awful, awful day and and awful awful loss."
"He was a very beautiful person. We got to know each other quite well on set - he just had an immediate connection with people."
"I feel so sad and just weirdly privileged to have been involved with him. What amazed me about Heath was his amazing tactile, emotional response to a script and other actors.
"He just brought a huge amount to a script - and it was just magnified on the big screen."

Actor John Travolta: "He's touched me deeply as a talent and it's a great loss. Losing him at any age would be a loss but it was pretty rough news. I was really shocked by it."

Alan Horn, President and CEO of Warner Bros, the producers of the upcoming Batman movie The Dark Knight, in which Ledger stars: "The studio is stunned and devastated by this tragic news. The entertainment community has lost an enormous talent. Heath was a brilliant actor and an exceptional person. Our hearts go out to his family and friends."

(NZ Herald 11:42AM Thursday January 24, 2008 here)

14 January 2007

Kings of Leon

We went, we saw... and sang and danced and had an awesome time! Kings of Leon were fantastic!! A great end to the first week back at work





01 January 2007

Books Read [2007]

63 books read for 2007

02 Jan: Blood Memory, by Greg Isles
04 Jan: Ancestor Stones, by Aminatta Forna
08 Jan: Dark Debts, by Karen Hall
22 Jan: Blood Work, by Michael Connelly
28 Jan: Julie/Julia Project, by Julie Powell
03 Feb: Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman
04 Feb: Death of a Darklord, by Laurell K Hamilton
14 Feb: Anansi Boys, by Neil Gaiman
02 Mar: Ordeal, by Deanie Francis Mills
04 Mar: Love in the Present Tense, by Catherine Ryan Hyde
04 Mar: Can You Keep a Secret?, by Sophie Kinsella
06 Mar: Dead Until Dark (Book 1), by Charlaine Harris
08 Mar: Living Dead in Dallas (Book 2), by Charlaine Harris
09 Mar: Club Dead (Book 3), by Charlaine Harris
10 Mar: Dead to the World (Book 4), by Charlaine Harris
11 Mar: Dead as a Doornail (Book 5), by Charlaine Harris
16 Mar: Definitely Dead (Book 6), by Charlaine Harris
17 Mar: Not a Star, by Nick Hornby
18 Mar: I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson
25 Mar: Pay It Forward, by Catherine Ryan Hyde
27 Mar: The Wages of Sin, by Jenna Maclaine
07 Apr: A Long Way Down, by Nick Hornby

Comics read (courtesy of Angela & Paul)
21 Apr: 300, by Frank Miller (images by Lynn Yarley), Volumes 1 - 5
22 Apr: 30 Days of Night, Steve Miles (images by Ben Templesmith), Complete collection.
22 Apr: Buffy, Season 8 by Joss Whedon, Volumes 1 & 2
22 Apr: A Dame to Kill For, by Frank Miller (Sin City), Complete collection.

26 Apr: Night Watch, by Sergei Lukyanenko
01 May: Notes on a Scandal, by Zoe Heller
12 May: Prior Bad Acts, by Tami Hoag
15 May: Happiness Sold Separately, by Lolly Winston
20 May: Shoot the Moon, by Billie Letts
28 May: The Mermaid Chair, by Sue Monk Kidd
10 Jun: Day Watch, by Sergei Lukyanenko
16 Jun: The Honk and Holler Opening Soon, by Billie Letts
17 Jun: Confessions of a Shopollolic, by Sophie Kinsella
20 Jun: Undead and Unwed, by Mary Janice Davidson (Book 1)
23 Jun: Undead and Unemployed, by Mary Janice Davidson (Book 2)
28 Jun: The Long Firm, by Jake Arnott
01 Jul: The Club, by Mandasue Heller (I should've stopped reading this book - the writing was really bad)
06 Jul: The Road, by Cormac McCarthy (Brilliant post-apocalypic tale of survival)
07 Jul: Undead & Unappreciated, by Mary Janice Davidson (Book 3)
07 Jul: Undead & Unreturnable, by Mary Janice Davidson (Book 4)
09 Jul: Undead & Unpopular, by Mary Janice Davidson (Book 5)
19 Jul: The Big Picture, by Douglas Kennedy
24 Jul: All Together Dead, by Charlaine Harris (Book 7)
26 Jul: The Witch of Portobello, by Paul Coelho
28 Jul: Derik's Bane, by Mary Janice Davidson
29 Jul: How to Marry a Ghost, by Hope McIntyre
29 Jul: Severed, by Simon Kendrick
09 Aug: After dark, by Haruki Murakami
13 Aug: Single White Vampire, by Lynsay Sands
18 Aug: Shopaholic takes Manhattan, by Sophie Kinsella
26 Aug: Dead and Loving it, by MaryJanice Davidson
26 Aug: Fragile Things, by Neil Gaiman
31 Aug: Perfume, by Patrick Suskind
09 Sep: Touch the Dark, by Karen Chance
23 Sep: Claimed by Shadow, by Karen Chance
07 Oct: Twilight Watch, by Sergei Lukyanenko
10 Oct: Stardust, by Neil Gaiman
12 Oct: Shopaholic Ties the Knot, by Sophie Kinsella
15 Oct: Undead and Unwed, by MaryJanice Davidson
03 Nov: The Post-Birthday World, by Lionel Shriver
06 Nov: The Hallequin, by Laurell K Hamilton (#14 or 15.. I've lost count!)

Concerts Rocked [2007]

19 Jan: The Big Day Out @ Ericsson Stadium [ link ]
Highlights: Kasabian, Lily Allen, My Chemical Romance, Muse, The Killers, Violent Femmes, Dimmer, Jet.. (And the fact that Richard and myself were again in the East Lounge, meant we mingled with NZ celebrities and had an awesome *air conditioned* area to hang out in!!!)

04 June: The View @ The Kings Arms

08 Aug: Bloc Party @ TelstraClear Pacific Events Centre [ link ]

14 Aug: Jose Gonzalez @ The Hopetoun Alpha

16 Aug: Ryan Adams (YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) [ link ]

14 Sep: Snow Patrol @ Vector Arena [ link ]
Can I just say big ups to Snow Patrol for a fucking awesome concert. When I wasn't singing along I was laughing at all Gary's jokes! Great night - better than I had imagined :)

23 Nov: Muse @ Waitakere Trust Centre
This concert was incredible! Almost non-stop energy, extreme-guitar-playing, for 1.5 hours, plus an encore. It's days later and I still have Muse ear-worms, but in the bestest possible way :)

Movies Seen [2007]

31 movies for 2007

03 Jan: Casino Royale
03 Feb: Volver
12 Mar: Ghost Rider
15 Mar: Miss Potter
17 Mar: The Pursuit of Happyness
17 Apr: 300
24 Apr: Hot Fuzz
15 May: Snowcake
20 June: Blades of Glory
04 Jul: Paris, Je T'aime
05 Jul: Shrek the Third

International Film Festival
13 Jul: The Secret Life of Words
14 Jul: Conversations with Gardener
15 Jul: After the Wedding
21 Jul: Day Watch
27 Jul: Death at a Funeral
28 Jul: Perfume

24 Jul: Pirates of the Carribean 3
06 Aug: No Reservations
23 Aug: The Simpsons Movie
25 Aug: Transformers
22 Sep: Stardust
30 Sep: Waitress
02 Oct: The Brave One
17 Oct: Eastern Promises
06 Nov: Away from Her
09-Nov: Deathproof
December-ish: Evening,and Atonement
29 Dec: Mr Magoriam's Wonder Emporiam
31 Dec: Hitman