Wednesday, 29 April 2009

CC

110010002

Two hundred posts!

Bloody hell.

When I started, I was there, and now I'm here.

This time last year my life was like that, and now my life's like this.

Two hundred. As we all know, this fine numeral is a natural number following 199 and preceding 201.

We also know that it appears in the Padovan sequence, and is the sum of Euler's totient function φ(x) over the first twenty-five integers.

And what fool wouldn't know that, in MeV, it is also the temperature of quark-gluon plasma phase transition.

Two hundred, of course, is also the smallest base 10 unprimeable number - it can not be turned into a prime number by changing just one of its digits to any other digit. It is also a Harshad number.

Never let it be said, then, that this fine number could ever represent anything as pedestrian as a humdrum, introspective life punctuated by bursts of melancholy, joy, insanity and the occasional toasted cheese sandwich while browsing Wiki.

It's been fun.


Monday, 27 April 2009

Like Life I Suppose

"grown ups are wots left when skool is finished"

The last time I missed the first day of term due to illness I was voted, in my absence, Form Captain, which my 15-year old peers found hilarious, and which I did not.

Tomorrow all I have to contend with is the vicious rumour I have been suffering from Swine Flu.

As any fule kno, the only good things about skool are the boys and girls who are noble, brave, fearless etc although you have various swots, bullies, cissies, milksops greedy guts and oiks with whom I am forced to mingle hem-hem. And that's just the tutors.

Today I have been consoling myself with Leunig and summoning up reserves of something - pragmatism? - to get me through the seven months ahead.


Sunday, 26 April 2009

Crap

nicked from married to the sea dot com

So I go and see my friends in Queenstown.

Just over twenty four hours after I arrive I am struck down by a virulent projectile-vomiting-and-raging-diarrhoea bug.

Coincidentally, my friends are recovering from a virulent projectile-vomiting-and raging diarrhoea bug, suffered en famille, one going down with it after another over the previous few days.

They didn't think to tell me this until I got to their house.

They are aghast I am ill, but assure me it couldn't possibly be related to their bug because a girl they work with didn't get it.

I spend Friday night on or near their toilet, and Saturday asleep.

Sunday, I do the three hour drive home, because I prefer to die in solitude.

I have never been so grateful to see Invercargill.

(I say my friends suffered this bug en famille but apparently the younger of their bubs - the four month old baby - didn't get it.

Puking; shitting; sleeping.

How could they tell?)

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Invercargill Blue



I miss my mum today.



I also miss my Lovely Brother and My Lovely Sis (that's them on the left).



I miss my magnificent nieces, including the two who weren't even embryos when this photo was taken.



I miss beautiful, civilised Wellington, and the life I had there.



I really really miss Flatmate...

And I miss all my friends too; I am even missing my fabulous classmates (the school holidays are lasting forever).

Invercargill can really make a Weasel feel sad sometimes.


Sunday, 19 April 2009

Wheelie Wather Good

urgh

My determination to bring Chateau Weasel up to habitable standard took me to Southland Hospital's A&E* department yesterday.

Only for a tetanus jab, don't worry.

There had been a swamp of stinking, festering MATTER living wild and free in the bottom of our household wheelie bin for a while, which weekly rubbish collections had failed to remove.

N, in his wisdom, jumped in the bin before he left to make room for more rubbish on top of the mouldy pillow he'd put in there.

The pillow, of course, got wedged in tight and only the stuff placed on top got taken away by the dustmen.

Weeks went by, and everything below the pillow started to transmogrify into something resembling the contents of a junk food lover's stomach laced with the contents of a Dyson, plus other ordure and articles of non-biodegradable food packaging.

As far as primordial ooze is concerned, the results were impressive.

Rather than wait for new life forms to emerge, I thought I would instead get in there and clean all the shit out, mainly because it was becoming apparent no other fucker was going to.

So I did, and you bet some clown had thrown broken glass in there unwrapped, and a shard went straight through my delicate Weasel thumb, and I bled a lot, and swore lovingly, and drove myself to hospital for a lovely injection.

Then I came home and finished cleaning out the bin.

(For this alone I know I will stand alongside Mother Teresa in heaven).

The good news is that three of the dirtier housemates will be moving out at the weekend. Huzzah! They are off to infest a cheaper property.

Once they've left I intend to take over the kitchen with bleach and anti-bacterial sprays and clean tea-towels and washing up liquid and eliminate the fruit flies that have taken up residence among the dirty plates and pans.

It will be beautiful, I know it.

And meanwhile I take comfort from not being the only Invercargillian suffering wheelie bin trauma this weekend.




*That's ER or even ED for all you foreign types

Friday, 17 April 2009

I Fuckin' Hate Pikeys

how respectful is that?

So I'm a little scruffy today.

Military-style cap to hide unwashed, frizzy hair.

The same T-shirt and jeans I had on yesterday, and my running shoes, because I couldn't be bothered lacing up the 'angry dyke' boots I usually wear.

The jeans are a little frayed, because when I bought them from the charity shop in Island Bay in January they were two inches too long, so I trimmed them, but couldn't be arsed to dig out my sewing kit to hem them.

They are also a bit loose: the Poverty Diet is working wonders.

Make up? Ha! Love me, love my shiny face.

Beauty, I tell myself, comes from within.

And anyway, I’m a student: I’m supposed to look like this.

I took myself and my studentesque inner beauty to the Stuff Emporium today - the New Zealand store that thinks it's Marks & Spencer - because I wanted to put my gift voucher towards some ‘girl’ boots.

Over Easter I helped out on a Southland Times project which involved visiting World War 2 veterans at home and recording them speaking about their wartime experiences.

My instructions were: ‘go to their homes, record them speaking about their wartime experiences. And wear respectful clothes’.

I looked in my wardrobe and discovered that while I could throw together a passable version of a respectful skirt and top, or respectful top and fairly deferential trousers, I was entirely without respectful shoes I could move around in without risking a broken ankle.

In the end I went with the most respectful yet practical shoes I had - flat pumps with flowers on - which weren’t very respectful but as it turned out the classmate who accompanied me wore a mini-dress and knee-length boots which, together with her tanned legs and long blonde hair, successfully drew the old boys’ attention away from anything my disrespectful feet could do.

Shamed by my lack of shoe, however, and with more work experience coming up in June, what better time, I told myself, to buy a pair of boots just like my classmate’s to make myself look like a real girl and also possibly like a journalist.

I decided to go to Cheap Plastic Shoes 'R' Us and spend as much as I could afford - about $40 - on these crowning glories of my wardrobe.

Then I remembered the gift voucher.

"With this, I could spend the same amount but buy a pair of $80 boots which may not fall apart within a fortnight and cause my feet to rot in their own sweat!" I told Downstairs Monkey, excited.

A fine idea, he agreed, so this afternoon there I was in the Stuff Emporium’s shoe department, and there they were: a perfectly pleasant pair of 'girl' boots in my size for exactly $80, and they were flattish so I could even walk in them.

I took them to the till with a proud smile.

The shop assistant glanced at me and did a double take, wrinkling his nose.

“Hello!” I said brightly.

“Hello,” he muttered, averting his eyes. “How are you today?”

“Good thanks,” I said. “Is it ok if I pay half with a gift voucher" – I brandished my prize for being absolutely brilliant at typing, filing, and answering phones – “and half cash?”

“Yes,” he said.

I watched as he printed out the receipt, put the boots in a bag.

Then I watched as he pushed the bag towards me, grabbed it back, drew a long piece of tape from the tape dispenser under the desk, and taped the bag closed.

‘So you don’t steal anything on the way out, you filthy pikey’, he might as well have said.

And speaking of pikeys...

Have a nice day!

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Weaselly Cheese Geyser

slap it on


As if Flatmate had been reading my mind, or my blog, we’ve now resumed ‘normality’.

‘Normality’ for ‘us’ is not, I expect, what your average person would consider normal, which is why I have placed it (and indeed the word ‘us’) in those little doodies that convey 'peculiarity'.

For example, we wouldn’t dream of phoning each other. It would just be… urgh, weird. We communicate by fond yet non-soppy text messaging and that’s fine.

Flatmate prides himself on his self-control. He keeps a distance, always. He is watchful and wary. He isn’t used to sharing his feelings. Displays of emotion are rare, which makes it all the more special when he tells me he loves me.

My natural tendency is to effuse. Wildly. Something isn’t just good, it’s WONDERFUL. I don’t just like things, I TOTALLY ADORE them. When I’m happy, there isn’t enough room on the planet for all the happiness I’ve got, and it slops about everywhere. ‘Love’ is a word that trips easily from my tongue.

Conversely, when things are bad, it is an Absolute Disaster, the whole world is shit and my wails can be heard in Outer Mongolia.

Now that I think about it, I realise Flatmate’s recent text reticence began soon after a couple of texts of mine.

In the first, sent the day after I was burgled, I informed him in heavy tones that the only thing holding me together in Invercargill was his continued presence on the other end of my phone.

The second, a few days later, was a hugely over-emotional reaction to receiving an unexpected parcel from him containing a bar of chocolate, a few gewgaws, love notes written on post-its, and a letter for me from the UK tax office sent to his address.

The point is, I should know by now that when I erupt like some rhapsodic cheese-geyser gushing overwrought sentiment, or mention expectations he is uncertain how to fill, he heads for the hills until I’ve calmed down a bit.

Just because he’s uttered the L word and has talked about the possibility of ‘a future’, I make assumptions about our ‘relationship’ that haven’t actually been tested in the real world. Just because I know without doubt he's The One (there I go effusing again), I keep thinking we're rock solid.

I keep forgetting no promises were made when I left; I keep forgetting how fragile and new it all is.

So deep breath, Weasel; slow down.

I’ve found a great chess local, he texted on Saturday.

It’s in that hotel down the road. I was just in the pool bit asking about prices for the spa etc and I got chatted up by the lady there, she asked me if I was a hairdresser! No, silly, she wasn’t up to your standard. I’m still celibate you know!

You’re sunshine, journo what I mean X


He also mentioned that the week before he'd been laid out for three days with a bug.

Sigh.

I'd love to see his new pants.


Friday, 10 April 2009

Don't Believe Everything You Read



I went for a drive yesterday, and saw this.

There were no monkeys.

Gutted.



Thursday, 9 April 2009

Pants

pink and black underpants: not all bad

Flatmate's texts have changed recently.

His daily effusive stream-of-consciousness ramblings have been replaced with subdued and sporadic messages that mostly just respond to mine and are starkly lacking in any lovey-dovey stuff.

Then on Tuesday he mentioned he'd bought some pink and black underpants.

All of which makes me suspect he's started his "whoring" campaign.

Naturally the thought of this cuts me up, and I had an extremely unpleasant weekend last weekend when he didn't text me for three days. Three whole days!

But then when I am wearing my Sensible Head I know it's a good thing. He exists in this strange little chess-bubble where women are those shiny things in videos and soft porn magazines who look pretty but don't have personalities or body hair.

I want him to get out there and have girlfriends because he needs the experience; although obviously he's not allowed to like them too much.

Fortunately what with the last week of term being so intense, with stories to do and essays to write and frequent stress-busting sessions in the pub with my fabulous classmates, I haven't had too much time to brood about it. In fact, I might not have texted him for three days.

And so yesterday morning I was heartened to receive this:

Enjoy your last day of term x i'm eating a dr oetker mmm mum's sold the house! finding it hard to motivate myself at work! love you though little one x

Phew.


Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Welcome To The Doubting Castle

Christian wading through the Slough of Girly Swotdom

Something very strange is happening.

It is reminding me of that one time in school when I was about fifteen when I decided (for reasons unknown) to make an effort, a real proper effort, and I worked really hard on reading and understanding The Pilgrim’s Progress for an RE test at school.

To the shock of the teacher, my classmates and myself I got 99%, gaining the top mark and beating the incumbent class swot by a whole whopping percent.

I did not enjoy being the focus of the gasps and enquiring gazes that day. The academic achievement was unprecedented, and did not happen again in RE or any other subject.

Now here I am back in school after twenty four years and my marks are, well, frightening me.

The Treaty of Waitangi essay?

‘A pleasure to read. A+, 95%’.

My first attempt at writing a story for the paper?

Marvellous – a great first piece.

My second?

Faultless. Well done.

My third?

Wow. Excellent work.

A+? Faultless? Wow? Flatmate suspects I am sleeping with the tutors. I can promise you I am not, even though one of the tutors has a pair of trousers that makes his arse look exceptionally tidy. He generally wears these trousers on a Thursday. Thursday is a great day for the class: we all cling to the edge of our seats during lectures hoping he will turn to write on the whiteboard. Even the lesbian chick thinks he looks hot in them. But I digress.

I am not used to being good at things, and these results are making me uncomfortable. I do not know why.

Perhaps it is because of the dire warnings from childhood which still lurk at the edge of my consciousness:

It's not nice to draw attention to oneself. Pride comes before a fall. The meek will inherit the earth. Children should be seen and not heard. I want never gets.

I keep thinking, 'Next time, what if I'm shit?’



Sunday, 5 April 2009

Beautiful Creatures

be afraid, be very afraid

Disturbed or lonely readers may recall that in December I wrote about Te Kuiti's annual Running of the Sheep, an event designed to put fear and awe into tourists and locals alike.

The event was held yesterday and I am happy to report it produced magnificent headlines in today's press, like 'Sheep go on rampage' and 'Safety reviewed after sheep run amok'.

As a trainee journalist, it is my dearest wish to one day use the words 'sheep run amok' in a story.