beautiful monsters: June 2004 Archives

June 30, 2004


I got mail! I got a parcel even! From the UK! From Cathy! With strict instructions not to open it until Saturday, which is my birthday. (How did Cathy know when my birthday is? Where did I leave that lying around?)

I’m so excited. Since I can’t open it yet, I’m amusing myself eliminating the possibilities.
It’s not Big Ben unless he’s smaller than I thought.
It’s not a handsome prince cos it’s the wrong shape.
It’s not one of the guards from Buckingham Palace (see above re: shape).
It’s not a nice cuppa, cos the packaging ain’t soggy.
It’s not scones, cos they wouldn’t have made it past the sniffer dogs.
It’s not the obligatory birthday hanky, cos it’s too big and my nana already sent me that.
It’s not a soccer ball. Unless it’s deflated and neatly folded.
It’s not chocolates, unless they’re so well packed they don’t rattle.
I hope it’s not something that would break if you rattled it too hard.

There are still several possibilities under investigation. I’ll keep you posted.

Posted by Fionnaigh at 02:43 PM


It’s my birthday! And…
It’s my re-birthday too…
A year since I rediscovered the will to live
A year since I stopped cutting myself
A year since I was baptized
And what a year it’s been!
My first art exhibition
My first published poems
My first draft of my first book
My debut as a marae chef
And the usual assortment of poetry readings in pubs, tent confisactions on parliament lawn and hikois through the capital, creative adventures with my flock of Rainbow Room kids, some letterpress typesetting, a few trees planted, a few ancient waiata taken to heart, a few tears, but even more laughter, and, best of all, some wonderful new friends, and some beautiful moments with old ones.

I think all that is a good enough reason for a party, and I’d love you to help me celebrate. So, it’s potluck pudding, painting, poetry and performance night here on Saturday.

Email me if you’re in the right part of the world and you’re not a crazed stalker, and I’ll email back with details.

Posted by Fionnaigh at 02:41 PM

curry disappointment

I’m kinda disappointed cos I made yummy curry with coconut cream and lemongrass and everything good, and I even put in some DRIED BEAN CURD IN THE SHAPE OF INTESTINES, cos hey, that looked pretty yummy. And I had roti too, and all day I’ve been looking forward to soaking strips of roti in the curry. But then we had a Rainbow Room parents meeting (I’m not a parent, but because I’m the Rainbow Room coordinator I kinda have to go too). And there were four different kinds of nibbles and two kinds of wine and tea, and lots of laughter and we didn’t finish until after 11. So now, not only is it a bit late for dinner, but I’m stuffed way too full to eat curry with roti.

I think way too much about food. Maybe my weight problem has something to do with this?

Posted by Fionnaigh at 12:48 AM

Penguin Love Poems


I envy the sea
that licks your feet
tickles your belly
smoothes your feathers
washes your body
I envy the sea.


Sleek black
sea licked
slippery chick.


You leave a small
ripple in the ocean.
Your voice tears ribbons
from the inside of the night.

Posted by Fionnaigh at 12:42 AM

June 29, 2004


Note to self: Before staying up half the night to read 15 chapters of Willow/Spike fanfic, check for any disclaimers conveniently placed at the bottom of the page. You know, the kinds that say, “This story has not yet been completed.”

I even tried to write an ending. Be grateful I’m not posting it.

Posted by Fionnaigh at 02:59 AM

June 25, 2004

Beautiful Monsters on the Air

When I first received an email, purportedly written by someone from BBC Radio 4 in the UK, I almost dismissed it as really weird (and rather cruel) spam. But I wrote back, just in case. And I did some research. Yes, there really is a Radio 4, in fact, it’s mentioned in the book I’m reading, Martyn Pig. And yes, the programme she mentioned, Soul Music, really does seem to exist. Apparently R read about one of my poems, right here, or possibly here, or maybe even here, but somewhere on Beautiful Monsters anyway. She was working on a programme about Bach’s Concerto in D Minor for Two Violins, and she wanted to interview me about my poem. I still thought it was odd, and increasingly elaborate spam, but I gave her my number anyway, just in case. And then I got a phone call, from a real live person with a real life BBC accent... but even that didn’t entirely convince me. R sounded so close. She could have been phoning from just around the corner, somewhere in Wellington. It could still be some kind of practical joke. When she arranged a time for me to go into Radio NZ and record the interview I expected to be greeted with blank looks. “Who? Where? Radio What? I’m sorry, we’re going to have to call security...”

This afternoon my asthma got worse – it’s been playing up for about 6 weeks now. I went in to see my doctor, and since my inhalers weren’t doing much, she plugged me into a nebuliser. Haven’t needed one of those since I was three years old, and probably needed the little teddy bear demonstration. Then she gave me some new fangled drugs, and my old friend prednisone (I came off my last course about a week ago). I have no idea why I’m feeling this compulsion to link to the most boring things. Anyway, tonight was the night of my supposed radio interview, so I was listening to my wheezing breaths, wondering what they’d sound like over the airwaves. Scary raspy heavy breathing, not the impression I was going for.

I turned up at RNZ house a few minutes early, and someone was coming out the after hours exit, so I snuck past them and made my way to the lifts, keeping my eyes open just in case Kim Hill had decided to work on a Thursday evening for some reason. When I got to the reception I knocked on the glass doors, and a woman looked up with an accusing “what the hell are you doing here” sort of look. She came and opened the door a few millimetres. “Yes?” “I’m supposed to ask for C,” I said. “Oh, are you his daughter?” she asked, her expression softening. “No… er…” She looked suspicious again, but went off to find C. I caught the door as it swung shut again, and wondered if I was allowed to come in. I decided to wait in the doorway, but kept it open with my foot. C appeared, looking puzzled. “How did you get up here? It should be locked up downstairs. I’ll have to call security.” All my excitement sank back into my stomach with a big thwack... no, wait, that was just the door bumping into me as I drew back my foot. But C’s face was crinkling into a smile. “You’re a few minutes early, I wasn’t expecting you yet. Come on, I’ll show you around.” He was absolutely lovely, and chatted away, helping me to relax. He looked a bit worried when I sat down at the table and produced a bunch of inhalers, some pills, a bottle of cough syrup and some throat lozenges and proceeded to stuff them all into my mouth...

Somehow Kim Hill came up (can’t think how that happened) and he got me to recite my ode to Kim as a microphone test. I stumbled after a few lines and forgot the rest, but he said I should send it to her. “Nah, I dunno.” “Well, I’m going to tell her you wrote her a poem anyway.” “Aw... she’ll think I’m an obsessed fan!” He chuckled and told me about travelling around with Kim for the FM launches, and a woman who’d hung around for hours at the launch in one region, and then turned up in another region. Then she sent them hand knitted woolen gloves (for the techies they had holes at the fingertips so they could feel the buttons) cos she knew they were heading down to the South Island and they might get cold. Is a poem more or less obsessive than hand knitted gloves?

Then R came on the line, sounding as though she was still waking up (it was 7am over there) but still warm and friendly and enthusiastic. The interview went well, I think. Not that I have many other radio interview experiences to compare it to. My voice sounded slightly nasal and husky, but I don’t think I wheezed much, or said anything particularly stupid. I did realise afterwards that I kept referring to “my grandmother” and “my dad” etc, which felt a bit unnatural because I usually call them by their names, but I guess I needed to explain who they were to me... anyway, I think I only called my grandmother by her name once in the whole interview, which was strange. But other than that, it was lots of fun. C told me off afterwards for making him cry.

The programme will probably air in July, I’ll post details (when I get them) in case anyone over there wants to have a listen... or even from here, you can listen over the net. Hooray for modern technology. Without it I’d probably be dead. And less famous.

Heather and I were talking about my first asthma attack, and about my grandmother dying, and she went to check some dates in the diary, and found these gorgeous entries.

Gave Fiona a book about dying. Later she saw some brown autumn leaves on the ground, and she noticed that they were crunchy. “Is June crunchy?” she asked. I tried to explain that June would turn into dust. Then Fiona asked “When is Eric going to take June to the dump?”


Gave Fiona a book called How Babies are Made. She asked Merlin, if a woman wanted to have a baby, did she have to ask a man to help her, and he said yes. Fiona replied that she thought she’d feel a bit too shy to ask.

Also an entry about watching Merlin cycle off to work, and Heather telling me there was no point waving because he wasn’t looking at us. “He will look,” I said, and then “He did look.”

Posted by Fionnaigh at 12:28 AM

June 24, 2004

new year

The Matariki dinner was brilliant! Yeah, yeah, I know, I was just kissing arse to the ruling class, as a friend sweetly pointed out to me. But I had free reign over a big kitchen, a great bunch of helpers, and a huge budget to play with. How could I possibly say no? Unfortunately, due to exams, I didn’t have much time for planning or experimenting, so a lot of it was improvised on the night, but it seemed to go down well. Really well. I can’t tell you too many details, cos someone out there might steal my ideas before I have time to finish my recipe book!


Oh, and the little bits of what looks like fluff on the menu? That’s cos the last thing I scanned was a pikopiko head, which you can see on the right of the menu, and it shed some of its fluffy bits, and I haven’t cleaned the scanner since. Woops. Things to do list (that’s at about #873).

Posted by Fionnaigh at 01:58 AM

June 20, 2004

More mindlessness

Cos I can't sleep...

movies too.

01. Trainspotting
02. Shrek

03. M
04. Dogma
05. Strictly Ballroom
06. The Princess Bride
07. Love Actually
08. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
09. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
10. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

11. Reservoir Dogs
12. Desperado
13. Swordfish
14. Kill Bill Vol. 1
15. Donnie Darko
16. Spirited Away
17. Better Than Sex
18. Sleepy Hollow
19. Pirates of the Caribbean
20. The Eye
21. Requiem for a Dream
22. Dawn of the Dead - the original, George Romero-directed film, that is
23. The Pillow Book
24. The Italian Job
25. Goonies
26. Baseketball
27. The Spice Girls Movie
28. Army of Darkness
29. The Color Purple
30. The Safety of Objects
31. Can't Hardly Wait
32. Mystic Pizza
33. Finding Nemo
34. Monsters Inc.
35. Circle of Friends
36. Mary Poppins

37. The Bourne Identity
38. Forrest Gump
39. A Clockwork Orange
40. Kindergarten Cop
41. On The Line
42. My Big Fat Greek Wedding
43. Final Destination
44. Sorority Boys
45. Urban Legend
46. Cheaper by the Dozen
47. The Crow
48. The Princess and the Warrior
49. Seabiscuit
50. Hard Core Logo
51. Phantom of the Paradise
52. Zardoz
53. Lost in Translation
54. American Beauty
55. Big Fish
56. Starship Troopers
57. Starship Troopers 2
58. The Lost Boys
59. All About Eve
60. Showgirls
61. Swept Away - The remake with Madonna
62. Fight Club
63. Frida

64. Lucia y el sexo
65. The Negotiator
66. Usual Suspects
67. Ordinary Decent Criminal
68. Ringu
69. Nosferatu (the original silent film)
70. The Boondock Saints
71. Secretary
72. Legend
73. Repo Man
74. So I Married an Axe Murderer
75. Shrek II
76. The Day After Tomorrow (it sucked)
77. Behind the Green Door
78. Gaslight
79. Singing in the Rain
80. Jalla! Jalla!
81. Fucking Amal (aka Show Me Love)
82. Desperately Seeking Susan
83. Love and Other Catastrophies
84. Whale Rider
85. Sound and Fury

meme via China Shop Live

Posted by Fionnaigh at 11:59 PM

Words words words

...the rules are...steal it, post it on your site, bold the books you've read and add three of your let's go...

Words words words
...the rules are...steal it, post it on your site, bold the books you've read and add three of your let's go...

1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
4. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
8. 1984, George Orwell
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
19. Captain Corellis Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
22. Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone, JK Rowling
23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling
25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
26. Tess Of The DUrbervilles, Thomas Hardy
27. Middlemarch, George Eliot
28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
30. Alices Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez

33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
38. Persuasion, Jane Austen
39. Dune, Frank Herbert
40. Emma, Jane Austen
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
42. Watership Down, Richard Adams
43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
46. Animal Farm, George Orwell
47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher
51. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
52. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck
53. The Stand, Stephen King
54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough
65. Mort, Terry Pratchett
66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton
67. The Magus, John Fowles
68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett

70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding
71. Perfume, Patrick Susskind
72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
74. Matilda, Roald Dahl

75. Bridget Jones' Diary, Helen Fielding
76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
77. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins
78. Ulysses, James Joyce
79. Bleak House, Charles Dickens
80. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
81. The Twits, Roald Dahl
82. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith
83. Holes, Louis Sachar

84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson

87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
89. Magician, Raymond E Feist
90. On The Road, Jack Kerouac
91. The Godfather, Mario Puzo
92. The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel
93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett
94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
95. Katherine, Anya Seton
96. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer yes, I know, I'm sorry
97. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
100. Midnights Children, Salman Rushdie
101. Three Men In A Boat, Jerome K. Jerome
102. Small Gods, Terry Pratchett
103. The Beach, Alex Garland
104. Dracula, Bram Stoker
105. Point Blanc, Anthony Horowitz
106. The Pickwick Papers, Charles Dickens
107. Stormbreaker, Anthony Horowitz
108. The Wasp Factory, Iain Banks
109. The Day Of The Jackal, Frederick Forsyth
110. The Illustrated Mum, Jacqueline Wilson
111. Jude The Obscure, Thomas Hardy
112. The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole Aged 13 1/2, Sue Townsend
113. The Cruel Sea, Nicholas Monsarrat
114. Les Miserables, Victor Hugo
115. The Mayor Of Casterbridge, Thomas Hardy
116. The Dare Game, Jacqueline Wilson
117. Bad Girls, Jacqueline Wilson

118. The Picture Of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde
119. Shogun, James Clavell
120. The Day Of The Triffids, John Wyndham
121. Lola Rose, Jacqueline Wilson
122. Vanity Fair, William Makepeace Thackeray
123. The Forsyte Saga, John Galsworthy
124. House Of Leaves, Mark Z. Danielewski
125. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver
126. Reaper Man, Terry Pratchett
127. Angus, Thongs And Full-Frontal Snogging, Louise Rennison
128. The Hound Of The Baskervilles, Arthur Conan Doyle
129. Possession, A. S. Byatt
130. The Master And Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov
131. The Handmaids Tale, Margaret Atwood
132. Danny The Champion Of The World, Roald Dahl
133. East Of Eden, John Steinbeck
134. Georges Marvellous Medicine, Roald Dahl
135. Wyrd Sisters, Terry Pratchett
136. The Color Purple, Alice Walker
137. Hogfather, Terry Pratchett

138. The Thirty-Nine Steps, John Buchan
139. Girls In Tears, Jacqueline Wilson
140. Sleepovers, Jacqueline Wilson
141. All Quiet On The Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque
142. Behind The Scenes At The Museum, Kate Atkinson
143. High Fidelity, Nick Hornby
144. It, Stephen King
145. James And The Giant Peach, Roald Dahl
146. The Green Mile, Stephen King
147. Papillon, Henri Charriere
148. Men At Arms, Terry Pratchett
149. Master And Commander, Patrick OBrian
150. Skeleton Key, Anthony Horowitz
151. Soul Music, Terry Pratchett
152. Thief Of Time, Terry Pratchett
153. The Fifth Elephant, Terry Pratchett

154. Atonement, Ian McEwan
155. Secrets, Jacqueline Wilson
156. The Silver Sword, Ian Serraillier
157. One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest, Ken Kesey
158. Heart Of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
159. Kim, Rudyard Kipling
160. Cross Stitch, Diana Gabaldon
161. Moby Dick, Herman Melville
162. River God, Wilbur Smith
163. Sunset Song, Lewis Grassic Gibbon
164. The Shipping News, Annie Proulx
165. The World According To Garp, John Irving
166. Lorna Doone, R. D. Blackmore
167. Girls Out Late, Jacqueline Wilson
168. The Far Pavilions, M. M. Kaye
169. The Witches, Roald Dahl
170. Charlottes Web, E. B. White

171. Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
172. They Used To Play On Grass, Terry Venables and Gordon Williams
173. The Old Man And The Sea, Ernest Hemingway
174. The Name Of The Rose, Umberto Eco
175. Sophies World, Jostein Gaarder
176. Dustbin Baby, Jacqueline Wilson
177. Fantastic Mr. Fox, Roald Dahl
178. Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
179. Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, Richard Bach
180. The Little Prince, Antoine De Saint-Exupery
181. The Suitcase Kid, Jacqueline Wilson
182. Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens
183. The Power Of One, Bryce Courtenay
184. Silas Marner, George Eliot
185. American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis
186. The Diary Of A Nobody, George and Weedon Gross-mith
187. Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh
188. Goosebumps, R. L. Stine
189. Heidi, Johanna Spyri
190. Sons And Lovers, D. H. Lawrence
191. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera
192. Man And Boy, Tony Parsons
193. The Truth, Terry Pratchett
194. The War Of The Worlds, H. G. Wells
195. The Horse Whisperer, Nicholas Evans
196. A Fine Balance, Rohinton Mistry
197. Witches Abroad, Terry Pratchett
198. The Once And Future King, T. H. White
199. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle
200. Flowers In The Attic, Virginia Andrews
201. The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien
202. The Eye of the World, Robert Jordan
203. The Great Hunt, Robert Jordan
204. The Dragon Reborn, Robert Jordan
205. Fires of Heaven, Robert Jordan
206. Lord of Chaos, Robert Jordan
207. Winters Heart, Robert Jordan
208. A Crown of Swords, Robert Jordan
209. Crossroads of Twilight, Robert Jordan
210. A Path of Daggers, Robert Jordan
211. As Nature Made Him, John Colapinto
212. Microserfs, Douglas Coupland
213. The Married Man, Edmund White
214. Winters Tale, Mark Helprin
215. The History of Sexuality, Michel Foucault
216. Cry to Heaven, Anne Rice
217. Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe, John Boswell
218. Equus, Peter Shaffer
219. The Man Who Ate Everything, Jeffrey Steingarten
220. Letters To A Young Poet, Rainer Maria Rilke
221. Ella Minnow Pea, Mark Dunn
222. The Vampire Lestat, Anne Rice
223. Anthem, Ayn Rand
224. The Bridge To Terabithia, Katherine Paterson
225. Tartuffe, Moliere
226. The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka
227. The Crucible, Arthur Miller
228. The Trial, Franz Kafka
229. Oedipus Rex, Sophocles
230. Oedipus at Colonus, Sophocles
231. Death Be Not Proud, John Gunther
232. A Dolls House, Henrik Ibsen
233. Hedda Gabler, Henrik Ibsen
234. Ethan Frome, Edith Wharton
235. A Raisin In The Sun, Lorraine Hansberry
236. ALIVE!, Piers Paul Read
237. Grapefruit, Yoko Ono
238. Trickster Makes This World, Lewis Hyde
240. The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley
241. Chronicles of Thomas Convenant, Unbeliever, Stephen Donaldson
242. Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny
242. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon
243. Summerland, Michael Chabon
244. A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole
245. Candide, Voltaire
246. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More, Roald Dahl
247. Ringworld, Larry Niven
248. The King Must Die, Mary Renault
249. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert Heinlein
250. A Wrinkle in Time, Madeline LEngle
251. The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde
252. The House Of The Seven Gables, Nathaniel Hawthorne
253. The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne
254. The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan
255. The Great Gilly Hopkins, Katherine Paterson
256. Chocolate Fever, Robert Kimmel Smith
257. Xanth: The Quest for Magic, Piers Anthony
258. The Lost Princess of Oz, L. Frank Baum
259. Wonder Boys, Michael Chabon
260. Lost In A Good Book, Jasper Fforde
261. Well Of Lost Plots, Jasper Fforde
261. Life Of Pi, Yann Martel
263. The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver
264. A Yellow Rraft In Blue Water, Michael Dorris
265. Little House on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder
267. Where The Red Fern Grows, Wilson Rawls
268. Griffin & Sabine, Nick Bantock
269. Witch of Blackbird Pond, Joyce Friedland
270. Mrs. Frisby And The Rats Of NIMH, Robert C. OBrien
271. Tuck Everlasting, Natalie Babbitt
272. The Cay, Theodore Taylor
273. From The Mixed-Up Files Of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, E.L. Konigsburg
274. The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster
275. The Westing Game, Ellen Raskin
276. The Kitchen Gods Wife, Amy Tan
277. The Bone Setters Daughter, Amy Tan
278. Relic, Duglas Preston & Lincolon Child
279. Wicked, Gregory Maguire
280. American Gods, Neil Gaiman
281. Misty of Chincoteague, Marguerite Henry
282. The Girl Next Door, Jack Ketchum
283. Haunted, Judith St. George
284. Singularity, William Sleator
285. A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson
286. Different Seasons, Stephen King
287. Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk
288. About a Boy, Nick Hornby
289. The Bookmans Wake, John Dunning
290. The Church of Dead Girls, Stephen Dobyns
291. Illusions, Richard Bach
292. Magics Pawn, Mercedes Lackey
293. Magics Promise, Mercedes Lackey
294. Magics Price, Mercedes Lackey
295. The Dancing Wu Li Masters, Gary Zukav
296. Spirits of Flux and Anchor, Jack L. Chalker
297. Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice
298. The Encyclopedia of Unusual Sex Practices, Brenda Love
299. Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace.
300. The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison.
301. The Cider House Rules, John Irving.
302. Enders Game, Orson Scott Card
303. Girlfriend in a Coma, Douglas Coupland
304. The Lions Game, Nelson Demille
305. The Sun, The Moon, and the Stars, Stephen Brust
306. Cyteen, C. J. Cherryh
307. Foucaults Pendulum, Umberto Eco
308. Cryptonomicon, Neal Stephenson
309. Invisible Monsters, Chuck Palahniuk
310. Camber of Culdi, Kathryn Kurtz
311. The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand
312. War and Rememberance, Herman Wouk
313. The Art of War, Sun Tzu
314. The Giver, Lois Lowry
315. The Telling, Ursula Le Guin
316. Xenogenesis (or Liliths Brood), Octavia Butler
317. A Civil Campaign, Lois McMaster Bujold
318. The Curse of Chalion, Lois McMaster Bujold
319. The Aeneid, Publius Vergilius Maro (Vergil)
320. Hanta Yo, Ruth Beebe Hill
321. The Princess Bride, S. Morganstern (or William Goldman)
322. Beowulf, Anonymous
323. The Sparrow, Maria Doria Russell
324. Deerskin, Robin McKinley
325. Dragonsong, Anne McCaffrey
326. Passage, Connie Willis
327. Otherland, Tad Williams
328. Tigana, Guy Gavriel Kay
329. Number the Stars, Lois Lowry
330. Beloved, Toni Morrison
331. Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christs Childhood Pal, Christopher Moore
332. The mysterious disappearance of Leon, I mean Noel, Ellen Raskin
333. Summer Sisters, Judy Blume
334. The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Victor Hugo
335. The Island on Bird Street, Uri Orlev
336. Midnight in the Dollhouse, Marjorie Filley Stover
337. The Miracle Worker, William Gibson
338. The Genesis Code, John Case
339. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevensen
340. Paradise Lost, John Milton
341. Phantom, Susan Kay
342. The Mummy or Ramses the Damned, Anne Rice
343. Anno Dracula, Kim Newman
344: The Dresden Files: Grave Peril, Jim Butcher
345: Tokyo Suckerpunch, Issac Adamson
346: The Winter of Magics Return, Pamela Service
347: The Oddkins, Dean R. Koontz
348. My Name is Asher Lev, Chaim Potok
349. The Last Goodbye, Raymond Chandler
350. At Swim, Two Boys, Jaime ONeill
351. Othello, by William Shakespeare
352. The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas
353. The Collected Poems of William Butler Yeats
354. Sati, Christopher Pike
355. The Inferno, Dante
356. The Apology, Plato
357. The Small Rain, Madeline LEngle
358. The Man Who Tasted Shapes, Richard E Cytowick
359. 5 Novels, Daniel Pinkwater
360. The Sevenwaters Trilogy, Juliet Marillier
361. Girl with a Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier
362. To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf
363. Our Town, Thorton Wilder
364. Green Grass Running Water, Thomas King
335. The Interpreter, Suzanne Glass
336. The Moors Last Sigh, Salman Rushdie
337. The Mother Tongue, Bill Bryson
338. A Passage to India, E.M. Forster loved
339. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky
340. The Phantom of the Opera, Gaston Leroux
341. Pages for You, Sylvia Brownrigg
342. The Changeover, Margaret Mahy
343. Howls Moving Castle, Diana Wynne Jones

344. Angels and Demons, Dan Brown
345. Johnny Got His Gun, Dalton Trumbo
346. Shosha, Isaac Bashevis Singer
347. Travels With Charley, John Steinbeck
348. The Diving-bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby
349. The Lunatic at Large by J. Storer Clouston
350. Time for Bed by David Baddiel
351. Barrayar by Lois McMaster Bujold
352. Quite Ugly One Morning by Christopher Brookmyre
353. The Bloody Sun by Marion Zimmer Bradley
354. Sewer, Gas, and Eletric by Matt Ruff
355. Jhereg by Steven Brust
356. So You Want To Be A Wizard by Diane Duane
357. Perdido Street Station, China Mieville
358. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Anne Bronte
359. Road-side Dog, Czeslaw Milosz
360. The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje
361. Neuromancer, William Gibson
362. The Epistemology of the Closet, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick
363. A Canticle for Liebowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr
364. The Mask of Apollo, Mary Renault
365. The Gunslinger, Stephen King
366. Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare

367. Childhoods End, Arthur C. Clarke
368. A Season of Mists, Neil Gaiman
369. Ivanhoe, Walter Scott
370. The God Boy, Ian Cross
371. The Beekeepers Apprentice, Laurie R. King
372. Finn Family Moomintroll, Tove Jansson
373. Misery, Stephen King
374. Tipping the Velvet, Sarah Waters
375. Hood, Emma Donoghue
376. The Land of Spices, Kate OBrien
377. The Diary of Anne Frank
378. Regeneration, Pat Barker
379. Tender is the Night, F. Scott Fitzgerald
380. Dreaming in Cuban, Cristina Garcia
381. A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
382. The View from Saturday, E.L. Konigsburg
383. Dealing with Dragons, Patricia Wrede
384. Eats, Shoots & Leaves, Lynne Truss
385. A Severed Wasp - Madeleine LEngle
386. Here Be Dragons - Sharon Kay Penman
387. The Mabinogion (Ancient Welsh Tales) - translated by Lady Charlotte E. Guest
388. The DaVinci Code - Dan Brown
389. Desire of the Everlasting Hills - Thomas Cahill
390. The Cloister Walk - Kathleen Norris
391. The Things We Carried, Tim OBrien
392. I Know This Much Is True, Wally Lamb
393. Choke, Chuck Palahniuk
394. Enders Shadow, Orson Scott Card
395. The Memory of Earth, Orson Scott Card
396. The Iron Tower, Dennis L. McKiernen
397. Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand
398. A Ring of Endless Light, Madeline L'Engle
399. Lords of Discipline, Pat Conroy
400. Hyperion, Dan Simmons
401. If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things, Jon McGregor
402. The Bridge, Iain Banks
403. Practical Demonkeeping, Christopher Moore
404. Promethea, Alan Moore
405. the curious incident of the dog in the night-time, Mark Haddon
406. archangel - robert harris
407. vernon god little - dbc pierre
408. ultimate spiderman - brian michael bendis
409. Death of a Doxy/A Nero Wolfe Mystery - Rex Stout
410. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
411. Can't You Sleep Little Bear? - Martin Waddell & Barbara Firth
412. Bellweather by Connie Willis
413. The Penguin History of New Zealand by Michael King
414. Venetia by Georgette Heyer
415. Jackaroo by Cynthia Voight
416. Saint Joan by Bernard Shaw
147. Eva Luna by Isabel Allende

I feel slightly ashamed about some of the books that are not in bold, and I would like to point out that about a dozen of them are sitting on my shelves, right here, and I have every intention of reading them. I would also like to point out, most emphatically, that I am not a Jacqueline Wilson fan, it's just I've done a lot of babysitting of girls who are.

meme via China Shop Live

Posted by Fionnaigh at 11:50 PM


After you misjudge the width and depth of the river that rushes along the gutter, after you feel the cold seeping through your shoes and socks, creeping up your trouser legs, after you take your glasses off to smear them with the corner of your t-shirt that is slightly less damp than the others, there’s that moment when you say to hell with it, and you shake off your hood and let the drops of rain slide down each hair and caress the back of your neck, and the trees are all strung with droplets like glassblowers displaying their most delicate creations, and inside every droplet is a tiny street lamp gleaming amber.

And after that there’s the long trudge home with your jeans plastered to your legs and the rain dripping from the tip of your nose and the ache that goes beyond cold to a sort of bleak emptiness, and the sneezing fits, and the older ladies rolling their eyes as you snap “It’s viral! You can’t get a cold just from getting cold!”

Then, while you wait for the bath to run, there’s that pathetic excuse for a blog entry.

Posted by Fionnaigh at 09:32 PM

June 19, 2004

potions and stuff

Went to Harry Potter 3: Good clean fun.

That Hermione is... far to young for an almost 23 year old to find cute in anything other than the big eyed puppy dog sense of the word cute.

I got a bit confused though. Why were those two…? And did he mean to…? And what was with the…? When did she…? Would it help to have seen the second movie first?

This is kinda funny. Or maybe not.

Anyway, it was worth going to just to hear the double double toil and trouble Choir... and Emma Thompson was cool.


Also went to the food show yesterday. See, now that I am actually getting paid to cook for people going to food shows counts as research. I sampled everything from Sauvignon Blanc to ginger beer, liquorice allsorts to chili chocolates, a few soups, pastas and stirfries, and dozens of different olive oils, duccahs, pestos and aiolis. Left feeling as though I’d had a decent lunch, and with my pockets filled with enough little packets of breakfast cereal, chocolate and herbal teas to last me the next week. Yay free stuff. I bought stuff too though. I bought some tea which is a blend of lemon grass, kawakawa, calendula flowers and ginger. Mmmmm. And some tropical fruit and chili sauce.


It’s damn cold.

Exams are over but I still feel nervous.

My mum sent me a huge bag of dried home grown apples.

And Timmy, the gnome that a family friend made for me when I was small (apparently he was feeling lonely in the cupboard back home).

Posted by Fionnaigh at 02:15 PM

June 17, 2004


While I was out walking a piece of bread fell out of the sky. I looked around, but there was nowhere else it could have come from. No trees, no fences with children hiding behind them, no birds flying overhead. Just me, the blue sky, and a piece of stale white toast bread. I rest my case. I’m not sure what my case is, but it’s heavy, so that’s why I’m putting it down now.


Last night I went to hear my friends Airini and Dinah (along with another woman, Morgan) reading at the green parliamentary office as part of MP Mike Ward’s art and poetry in the workplace thing... the wine and food were delicious, the poets and poems were very sweet, and I ran into lots of beautiful people, some of whom I haven’t seen for ages.


Later I went to the national launch of the Christians for Civil Unions campaign. I thought there was a decent crowd until the choir got up to perform, reducing the audience by about a third. Ah well. There were speakers from the Catholic, Presbyterian, Baptist and Anglican churches. Some of them were in same sex relationships, some in opposite sex relationships. Some of them preferred to avoid marriage, some seeing it as an outdated religious institution that carried negative connotations. Others thought marriage should be available to same sex couples as a matter of simple human rights, but they were pragmatists and thought that same sex marriage wouldn’t make it far through the political process at this point, but civil unions stand a chance.

During the meeting someone raised the question – what will the verb be, what will the box say on forms? Civil Unionised? We decided we should hold a radio competition, listeners can suggest appropriate words. Civilised? United? CUed? Winner gets a free Civil Union at St Andrew’s on the Terrace!

Posted by Fionnaigh at 04:46 PM

June 15, 2004

alphabet soup

So while I was in Rotorua one of my flatmates, lets call her A, moved to Island Bay. When I got back on Saturday I walked into the kitchen and there was a half eaten apple pie on the bench. That’s strange, I thought. My flatmate (the one that still lives here, we’ll call her C1) doesn’t usually eat pie. And then I walked into the laundry, and it had been flooded, there were towels strewn on the floor to mop up the puddles. That’s very odd, I thought. C1 is usually so careful. Turns out, while we were both gone A had let herself in to do some washing, make pie, and watch Buffy. The dvd player isn’t set up yet in her new flat. Then when I got up on Sunday morning, I walked into the kitchen and thought, that’s odd, someone’s eaten the pie. But later I found scrawled in the loo book “I didn’t really move out, I was just kidding.” And C1 got a fright when she went down to the basement and A was sleeping naked on the couch... So really she hasn’t moved out she’s just stopped paying rent.


I finally managed to work up the courage to contact P2, who I’ve fancied for a while, but assumed she was straight. Anyway, on Sunday we went to Fun in Girls Shorts, a collection of queer grrl short films. All was going well. I was glad to be sitting next to C2, the only other person in our part of the theatre to be squealing with delight at the not so subtle Buffy references in one of the shorts. One of the other films had a cameo appearance from P1, who has been my idol since I was about 15, she’s practically the reason I became a queer girl... and she was looking spunky and it was a brilliant movie and very funny. Then, after the movie I bump into P1.

Me: Hi!
P1: Oh, hi.
Me: …
P1: Oh Hi P2!
P2: Hi! How’s it going?
P1: Great, great, yeah… hey, are you coming for drinks?
P2: Yeah, cool!
Me: ...
P2: Well it was so cool to hang out [Hugs me] We should catch up again soon.
[P1 & P2 disappear into the sunset]
Me: ...!

Posted by Fionnaigh at 11:17 AM

June 14, 2004

First Exam

That went surprisingly well I think. I managed to resist the overwhelming urge to scrawl “Wordsworth is a pompous git” on every page. I wrote a decent essay on Blake, a decent but very short essay on John Clare, and then argued that in This Lime Tree Bower Coleridge comes across as an arrogant prick, but Frost at Midnight is actually a damn fine poem. I managed to relate this argument, somewhat tenuously, to the exam question. It read more like a critique in a creative writing workshop, but hey, that’s what I’m good at.

Now it’s over, and I never have to have anything to do with any of them ever again. Though, once the resentment subsides I may occasionally have a bit of time for Blake and Clare. Decent enough blokes, the latter especially. “Where little pebbles wear as smooth | as hermits beads by gentle floods…” Gorgeous.

I got an A plus on my last essay for Australian lit, which I am going to post on BM cos I am damn proud of it. So there.

Posted by Fionnaigh at 06:51 PM

E. Fabulae

E. Fabulae
Name and Story in Murry Bail's Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is part modern Australian fairytale, and part botanical catalogue. At first it seems that the Eucalypts have been used simply for their Australianess. However in this essay I will argue that the trees are used as a tool to illustrate the power of naming and the importance of story telling. At its heart, Eucalyptus is a novel about the conflict between these two ancient impulses.

The book opens with the act of naming. “We could begin with desertorum, common name Hooked Mallee.” (P 1) But this turns out to be a false start, and after trying a series of names the narrator eventually switches into fairytale mode, and begins again with “Once upon a time...” (p 3). Throughout the narrative Bail draws much symbolism from traditional tales – the importance of naming, the impossible quest and the unattainable beauty, the pricking of a finger and the waking from sleep.

Eucalyptus is a story about stories, but it is also a story about naming. The premise of the book is Holland’s decision that “the man who correctly named every eucalypt on the property would win the hand of his daughter.” (p 56). Many Feminist theorists argue that naming is a male action, a way of gaining power and control over woman and nature. It is Adam who names all the creatures of the earth, and who names woman (Genesis 2:20-23). As Berman argues, “By naming other beings, objects and actions, male culture has excluded other ways of knowing through the creation of categories which serve as boundaries…” and “The distinctive feature of feminist analysis of language, thought and reality, is that women did not create these categories.” Naming is a way of dividing, binding, confining. This, Bail writes, is what draws men to the world of Eucalypts. They are diverse, chaotic, too loosely contained. They cry out for “a ‘system’ of some kind, where order could be imposed on nature’s unruly endlessness.” (p 35)

Bail writes that Holland wants to “know everything” and he begins with learning names (p 15). When Ellen is a child Holland tells her stories, but it is clear that this is not his natural inclination, and he shrugs off their significance. As Bail points out, when Holland numbers the shoes this anecdote underlines his need for classification and order (p 30). Holland seems most comfortable in the world of trees, and seems at a loss as to what to do with the daughter he has ended up with. He treats Ellen as though she is one of his rare specimens. When he moves her from the city to the country he thinks of ‘Acclimatising’ as though he is transplanting her. Although he knows her measurements (p 87) he does not know her feelings and desires. Ellen is described as having a speckled beauty (p 32), perhaps like the spotted gum which has an irregular mottled surface, she is slender, straight and pale, like E. Maidenii, but we know little else about her.

Classification and naming is also important to Mr Cave, and not being able to remember a name is the cause of distress. When conversing with Holland he forgets someone’s name, and begins “clicking his ballpoint – the frustration. ‘His name was, what’s his name? It was the name of an English town.’” Although he has forgotten the man’s name, he remembers it is related to another name.

Naming is a way of claiming, dominating and controlling, and Ellen reacts to the naming of the Eucalypts with growing panic. When she realises that Mr Cave has almost completed the task she goes limp “the way a woman is said to go limp on the verge of rape.” (p 161). And later, in her room, she feels hemmed in, “not by the painted walls, more by her father squatting over every eucalyptus name in the book, and Mr Cave, advancing with his reliable tread.” (p 208). While the two men go about naming the trees, “Ellen never wanted to hear the name of another Eucalypt again.” (p 165) But it is not the Eucalypts she is reacting against, it is the process of naming.

Holland warns Ellen against any man who “deliberately tells a story.” He advises her to ask, “Why is he telling it? What does he want?” (p 53). And when Ellen first meets the mysterious stranger, she does ask him, “‘What is it you want?’” But instead of answering, the stranger asks her “‘Who might you be?’ ‘That doesn’t matter!’” Ellen replies, refusing to let him name her (p 102). Instead of being distressed by the inability to name her, the stranger accepts this. Later, when she asks him “‘Do you know my name?’ he replies “‘Of course. But don’t ask me now.’”(p 128) He himself is never named, and so remains untamed and mysterious.

When Ellen first encounters the stranger he seems on the point of naming the tree he is sitting under, but decides against it. Instead, after some thought, he launches into a seemingly unrelated story. At first Ellen is confused by the disconnected stories, and wonders if he is making them up as he goes along. She tries “to decipher a shape to the stories... a hidden pattern.” (p 220). When, under E. exserta, common name messmate, the stranger tells a story about two soldiers who are friends, Ellen thinks his stories grow “from the names of the eucalypts, usually the less fancy common names”, and she notes that many of the stories are “based on the flimsiest foundations, or even a complete misreading of a name”, but this doesn’t matter to her (p. 146). In fact, it seems to win her over. She is enchanted by his stories, but she is also relieved that he doesn’t insist on naming everything. Later in the novel he notes that “‘we are not comfortable if a thing we have seen isn’t attached to a name” (p 251) and yet this doesn’t seem to be his own philosophy. But perhaps he is comfortable because he does in fact know the names – of Ellen, and of the eucalypts – even though he is not letting on.

Ellen never realises that the stranger is a former botanist, and knows the names of all of the eucalypts, not only their common names, but also the scientific names. The reader, also, is unaware of this, unless knowledgeable about Latin or the naming of Eucalypts. Ellen thinks that the stranger has made a flimsy connection between the name “messmate” and mates on a troopship. But the Latin name for the tree, Exserta, means protruding (Chippendale and Johnston 32) and one of the soldiers is in love with a girl with prominent teeth.

What the stranger is doing, in fact, is making a game out of the names. “Give me the name of a Eucalypt,” he seems to be saying, “and I will make you a story.” Microtheca means a small case or container (Chippendale and Johnston 61-62) and under this tree he tells a story involving a small enamelled tin (p 104-107). Foecunda means fruitful (Chippendale and Johnston 56), and under this tree he tells a story about an Italian who has a fruit shop (p 119).

As Sheehan notes, the eucalypt is dependent on fire. In drought, it “drapes incendiary streamers of tinder... the oil in its leaves is flammable... seeds rain down from the charred canopy... ash buries them in an environment of mineralised biochemicals... fire has swept competition away...” It seems strange, in a novel so focused on eucalypts, that fire does not play an important role. Holland’s Eucalypts, taken from their natural environments and contained in Holland’s property, are able to survive because he cares for them. When a species is struggling, he “…nursed the last remaining plant… forked the earth, and gave it a drink from a cup…” (p16). He has bought them as seedlings, or perhaps as treated seeds. But once Holland has gone, they won’t be able to continue growing in the controlled manner he has imposed upon them. In order to reproduce, and to survive, they will need the untamed energy of the bush fire. The only time that fire is mentioned, it is as a metaphor for stories spreading (p115). Perhaps, if Ellen is to be compared to a eucalypt, then she needs stories (fire) in order to survive. The novel is about Holland’s gradual realisation that it is not naming, order and containment that Ellen needs to survive, but freedom, spontaneity, and stories.

At the end of the book Holland seems to realise that it is stories that will win Ellen, not naming. Cave, who has won in the naming department, is defeated by the storytelling test. He tells a story, but it is in the first person, and appears to be a true story, not made up on the spot (pp 235-237). This is why, even though he tells a story, he fails to win Ellen. When the stranger sneaks into her room, Ellen realises that “The stories he had told for her over different parts of the property Ellen all along had assumed were made up on the spot for her benefit, which accounted for her curious possessive interest as she had listened. None of them relied on the usual ‘I this, I that’ which all adds up to ‘I am’, And now, when it was necessary to tell the story of all stories, a story specifically to save her... he was launching into personal reminiscence, just like everybody else.” (pp 246-247) But then the stranger seems to realise her disappointment, and quickly switches out of the first person.

The irony is, of course, that stories and names are aspects of the same impulse – language, the tool we use to understand and communicate about the world around us. Carl Linnaeus devised the system we still use for naming, ranking, and classifying organisms. His universal system gave each organism one Latin name, to indicate the genus, and another “shorthand” name for the species (UCMP). His classifications were determined by the number and arrangement of the reproductive organs of a plant; he disapproved of the use of locations, colour etc as names, but the system took on a life of its own. Some generic names describe the colours of the tree, others are simply the name of the place where the species is found, or the person who discovered it, or the aboriginal name, with a Latinised ending tacked on. E. Maidenii, for example, is named after Joseph Henry Maiden (Cole). Some names are taken at random from classical mythology.

Murray Bail has used scientific names to write a story about stories - but the origin of the scientific names is in language and language is that magic thing that humans invented to tell stories.

At the beginning of this essay I noted that it was Adam who began the process of naming the natural world. But Eve was not impressed by his names. Instead she listened to the persuasive, cunning language of the serpent, that told her a story of how the world could be different. She chose freedom, and all the joy and pain that comes with it, over the confinement and order of the garden. Like Ellen, she chose stories, over names. Perhaps it is not insignificant that, standing under E. Foecunda, the fruitful eucalypt, the nameless stranger offers Ellen an apple.


Works Cited

Bail, Murray. Eucalyptus. Melbourne: Text Publishing, 1998.

Berman, Tzeporah. The Rape Of Mother Nature?: Women in the Language of Environmental Discourse in Trumpeter1992. Internet resource at URL: (version current at 2 June 2004).

Chippendale and Johnston, in Kelly, Stan. Eucalypts. Melbourne: Thomas Nelson (Australia) Ltd, 1969.

Cole, Dr Creagh. Forest Flora of New South Wales: The Electronic Edition in LASIE Vol 31, No 3. Internet Resource at URL: (version current at 2 June 2004).

University of California Museum of Palaeontology (UCMP). Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778). Internet Resource at URL: (version current at 2 June 2004).

Sheehan, P. A nation hostage to the gum. Internet resource at URL: (version current at 2 June 2004).

Posted by Fionnaigh at 06:49 PM

June 09, 2004

study break

From the dining room window I can see eight plump trout in a shallow part of the stream. Well, actually, right at this moment I can’t see them, cos it’s dark. But I can hear them, occasionally they have little squabbles and splash around. I’ve been reading them poetry. They seem to like it. Anyway, they’re the only ones up here who don’t groan out loud when I start reading Wordsworth.

For my Australian course I’ve been watching some DVDs. Rabbit Proof Fence, again. The director seems to have some guilt issues, and it’s all very PC, but still good, especially if you don’t know much about indigenous issues in Australia. The special features are definitely worth a looksee... those kids are just so damned cute, and smart. Also watched Beneath Clouds, which is well done, beautiful at times, but f’ing depressing. And it’s been an f’ing long while since I’ve heard so many f’ing swearwords in one f’ing movie. Tonight it’s Ned Kelly, the 2003 movie, cos they don’t have the 1970 one with Mick Jagger at any of the video rental places in Rotorua.

Other than studying lots, I’ve been hanging out with the olds (parents and grandparents now all conveniently housed within ten minutes drive of each other). And doing some experimental cooking. Tonight we had crepes filled with a mixture of spinach, sour cream, nutmeg, lime zest and almonds, with tomato salsa and cheese on top. And capsicums and zucchini stuffed with mushrooms, sunflower seeds, olives and anchovies. And the other day we had a fab mesclun salad with roast pears, spicy hazelnuts and blue cheese dressing. Mmmmmm. Tomorrow I’m not sure, but it’s going to involve fennel bulbs and some kind of fish. Yay for not having to worry about how much the ingredients cost!

I've been eating less chocolate, and there has been no Buffy watching. Severe lack of cafes that do chai latte. I miss Wellington. I miss my flat. Which, by the way, has a spare room. Anyone looking for a flat?

Posted by Fionnaigh at 08:24 PM

June 06, 2004

It looks like my writing, but the words are so strange

Back in Rotorua, my mother has given me a box to sort through. It contains books, journals, little cards and bookmarks. The journals are written in my handwriting, but oh gawd, was it really my hand?

There are some interesting anecdotes about my friend D, who had a lot of visions and prophesies. In my journal it says he saw that I (yeah, me, Fionnaigh) was going to speak about faith in front of thousands, and be renounced for speaking about faith. Also, in the same journal I write that D prophesied that I should beware of chewing gum, but later on M, who was sitting beside me, found some chewing gum under his seat, and D realised that the prophesy was actually for M, not for me.

One day I'll write a book called "The Chewing Gum Prophesy."

There's also some really scary stuff.

Don't falter between two opinions. If God is God, go for God 100%. Or go 100% The other way. God hates lukewarm Christians.

Satan is on earth not hell.
Satan deceives the whole earth


Jesus spoke no words of his own, only those his father gave him. He did only what he saw his father doing. He alone reached this state of perfection.

I have to accept the fact that I am sinful.

Saying you have your own ideas about God is a quick way to hell.

My first impulse is to burn everything, but then... maybe I should keep some things. I mean, this was my life for most of my teenage years. I should keep the journals as a reminder that... what? That I wasn't immune to doing dumb and embarrassing things in my teens?

I even found a song, that, supposedly, I wrote. Again, my hand writing, but...

Urgh, ok, it's coming back now. Dim memories of singing it in front of the whole church... but it's WAY to embarrassing to repeat here.

That's one of the scary things about Christian youth groups. Everyone wants to be a Christian rock star, and no one can tell them how crap they are, cos maybe they really were inspired by God.

Maybe chewing gum comes from the Devil.



Posted by Fionnaigh at 05:40 PM

June 02, 2004


This is without a doubt one of the most beautiful things that I have ever seen.

You know the posters around town, the ones that say “It’s like blowing up Mars before we get there”? The URL at the bottom of the posters points towards the Greenpeace Deep Deep Trouble campaign.

And from there I dived in to explore the abyss and came across this and this.

Again I say “wow.” What a universe we live in.

And here’s some facts:

We know more about the moon than we know about the deep sea.

The oceans provide 99 percent of the Earth's living space- the largest space in our universe known to be inhabited by living organisms

One study of an area of deep sea half the size of a tennis court found that it contained 898 species, over half of which were unknown to scientists.

Orange Roughy can live for 150 years.

Giant sea spiders are 30cm across.

Giant squid grow to 12 metres long. No one has ever seen a giant squid in the wild. Oh, and apparently squid have 3 hearts.

The strike of a large Californian species of mantis shrimp is capable of breaking double layered safety glass.

Water pressure at the deepest point in the ocean is more than 8 tons per square inch, the equivalent of one person trying to hold 50 jumbo jets. And yet, there is life down there.

You remember that scary fish on Finding Nemo, the one with the glowing bulb dangling from its forehead? Well, they really exist.

The nets used to trawl the bottom of the sea for fish have openings as wide as the length of a rugby field and three storeys high. At the bottom they have steel rollers weighing hundreds of kilograms. They destroy everything in their path and leave deep gouges in the ocean floor.

Discarded nets drift through the sea and continue to kill fish on the ocean floor.

In 2001 12 countries took approximately 95% of the reported high sea bottom trawling catch. NZ was one of those 12 countries.

Posted by Fionnaigh at 02:55 AM