October 28, 2005

Just Very Quickly

I am so bereft of online news! The hours and hours of reading papers everyday are over for a while - 10 cents a minute for internet adds up fast.

I'm catching up with people slowly... taking Sock for walks. But I'm finding I feel quite weak recently. It must be more exercise because I'm eating more than I was.

Sickness is coming and going. I can't work out why some days I just wake up nauseous for no reason, spend the day feeling seedy and then vomit all evening - and then the next day be totally fine. It's quite frustrating.

Flat hunting starts in earnest this weekend... groan. So tired! Too bad...

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October 26, 2005

Well I Wish I Was In Wellington

I must have heard that song more often in the last week or two than ever before in my life. I've been humming it constantly.

So, yes, I am in Wellington. Haven't really got a place to live yet, just slumming it on various friend's floors (thanks guys!). Haven't got a phone line etc either, so my updates may be a little few and far between. I've always got my phone on me though, so feel free to call or text me.

The trip up went pretty well. Got a flat at one stage, and didn't enjoy the ferry much, but arrived all in one piece for a change. I actually got incredibly lucky with the crossing - it was dead calm the whole way. By the next morning the wind was sinking boats in the Bay of Islands so yay for fortuitous weather gods.

Sock is enjoying the change, although she seems to feel a bit unsettled by it all. Dogs are so much easier to move with than cats. I took her for a long walk off through the Makara hills the other day and she came back with her tongue hanging out and a grin on her chops.

So yeah, that's about all my news really. The money and the minutes are ticking away fast in this cyber cafe so I'd better go. As I say, please call or text, I'm always keen to catch up.


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October 18, 2005

So Very Boned

Today I shifted furniture. I dragged everything out on the driveway, then I went to Handy Rentals and hired a truck. It had an automatical transmission, which I've never driven before, and was an actual TRUCK - I mean, like with no rear view mirror and massive blindspots.

I managed to get the truck across town, and managed to steer it round the side of the house (just). Then I lifted 150 kilograms of bed, chair, wardrobe, chest of drawers, 2 bookcases, a stool, a table and 4 chairs a metre up off the driveway to load it into the back of said truck.

I then reversed the truck (using only the mirrors, since I didn't have a helper - that was scary) around the side of the house and drove the truck to the Recycling centre, who took a bookcase and told me the rest was crap. So I drove the truck to the tip and dumped the lot. (I managed to give the table and chairs to a guy at the tip, which was good). I returned the truck across town again, it only used $1.65 of diesel.

God I'm so extremely tired. I have bruises all over my legs from bashing 150kg of sharp edges into them. It's like, 3 times my bodyweight. All in all it must have been about 220kg of work I reckon. From now on, I'm only going to purchase furniture that comes apart into light, manageable pieces. Maybe blow-up furniture is the way to go.

The thing that I realised today is that I can't wait to come up to the North Island, where I know far more people that I could coerce into helping. Learn from my Christchurch mates, and claim a bad back. Bastards! I find it hard to believe that of the 3 males I know down here, all three simultaneously suffered back failure on the very day I needed to bribe them to move heavy furniture. And what sucked even more was, they wouldn't even lend me their SUV so I had to hire and drive an expensive, scary, scary scary TRUCK!

So... very... boned!

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More Truth In Advertising

Recently, I encountered two panhandlers sitting against a wall in Midtown, each holding a cardboard sign.

One sign said: "Why lie? I need a beer!"

Held next to it was his buddy's sign. On it was written: "Me, too!" - Elizabeth Kadin - from nytimes.com

Heh heh heh. I'd have to give them some money, if for no other reason than I enjoy street theatre.

Today I have to find a way to get rid of my furniture. The Sallies were going to take 10 days, which isn't very helpful. I'll ring the Supershed today and see if they will take it. I can't even lift half of it, so I hope they will pick up.

Mainichi had a section on Japanese Slang today. From the WaiWai section:

Weekly Playboy provides 100 examples of the latest jargon examples of which appear below.

An-pan -- not a roll filled with sweet bean jam, but an am-pm convenience store outlet. (Whose main rival is called "bun-bun," taken from SeBUN-ereBUN -- get it? Seven-Eleven.)

Chihuahua -- to borrow money from consumer finance company Aiful, whose TV commercials feature "Qu-chan," a cute miniature dog.

Daa -- short for "darling"

Getoru -- to obtain something. Combining "get" and "toru" (to take).

Haafu -- from the English "half." Means to stay out half the night, until 3 a.m.

Ikato -- a nerdy person who's out of it. Shortened from "ikanimo Todai-sei" ("he or she is really like a University of Tokyo student).

Isojin -- name of a well known brand of throat gargle, but in this case means a person (jin) who is exceptionally busy (isogashii).

Karako -- a color copy

Keiban -- a cell phone number. Shortened from "keitai bango."

M4 -- not a magnitude 4 earthquake, but an appointment to meet someone at 4 pm at McDonalds.

Maha-go! -- a command to get lost, beat it, scram. Composed from "maha" (mach, the speed of sound) and "go."

Marumera -- Marlboro Menthol Lights

Oniden -- Literally, "demon-electricity." To telephone a person persistently.

Pee-pee (pronounced peh-peh) -- to lie, or a liar.

Peki-peki -- short for "kanpeki," perfect.

Rochuu --- short for "rojo de chuu," to kiss on a public street.

Takakura Ken --- refers to a clumsy person. (The name of a famous macho actor.)

Wakame -- normally a sea vegetable, but in this case refers to straight, black hair. Probably because eating wakame is believed to promote healthy hair.

Yababa --- combined from "yabai obasan," an older woman capable of making trouble.

Yakui --- a hood, someone resembling a yakuza.

Yarahata --- a girl who reaches the age of 20 still a virgin. The word is made by combining "yaranai" (not to do it) and "hatachi" (age 20).

Yuusu --- a high school student. From the English "youth."

Zenbei ga naita --- literally, "the entire United States wept." Means nothing important.

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October 17, 2005

Restraining Rover

Sock loves the car. She travels with her head out the window, has room to lie down and can get into the rear footwells. But one thing she is never allowed to do is travel or stay in the car unrestrained.

Dogs are about the same weight as small children. They are light enough to be thrown around severely in an emergency stop or crash. But also, dogs are unpredictable. Sock is usually relaxed, but more than once she's tried to jump onto my lap mid-highway. That's a real good way to have a bad accident.

It's cheap and easy to restrain a dog in a car without having to fork out for those metal cage things. Buy a soft harness (about $30) and a caribena (about $15). Then take the usual lead you use and create a loop in it about 50cm from the clip. Attach the lead to the harness (or collar, in a pinch) and then slip the loop onto the caribena. Click the seatbelt across into lock position, and then attach the caribena to the strap.

Make sure, when buying the harness, that you get one that will adjust small enough for your dog. Don't let the shop assistant sell you the wrong size - make them fit it properly in-store.

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October 16, 2005

I Wish We Had A Guvvermunt

Damn it, how long can it possibly take to put together a convincing government? It's ridiculous. We voted on the 17th of September. It's hardly a convincing mandate when it takes a month to get a majority together.

I'm especially annoyed that oily Winston Peters is once again in a position of being "kingmaker". I think I'm allergic to him. Everything he says makes me break out in mutters.

The poor old Tauranga voters had to choose between Oily and Earthy. It was really a vote against Winston, surely, rather than a vote for Bob "My Crotch" Clarkson. I think National could have stood a bag of lettuce in that electorate and won it. At least that lettuce has principles!

On another topic tangentally related: Do male rugby players wear cups in games, or do they tape their eqipment back a little, or what? It must be pretty painful throwing yourself full-length onto the ground if you don't take some sort of precaution.

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In The Key Of D

Superstars is hilarious, although painfully off-key most of the time. I can't believe that there aren't some D-list celebrities out there that can sing in tune more than 50% of the time.

It's all made up for by Renee Brennan's appearance as a judge, 'cos she is a fox as well as a damn good musician.

Fact: I used to go to school with "Caro" - she was nauseating sweet all the time
even then. She was one of those pretty, popular people who also take the time to make sure that she's seen to be comforting the retards. You know? "Oh, don't laugh at X, they can't help it... "

And then she'd continue being pretty and popular and perfect. Damn her overly-sweet nature! Or, persona, at any rate.

I am...

I am the girl who kisses her girlfriend on the sidewalk and laughs at those who glare.

I am the guy who came out to the entire school in his senior speech and got a standing ovation for his courage.

We are the couple who planned and studied and got a damn good lawyer and BEAT the state that wanted to take our child away.

We are the ones who took martial arts classes and carry pepper spray and are just too dangerous to gay bash.

I am the transgender person who uses the bathroom that suits me, and demands that any complaining staff explain their complaint to my face in front of the entire restaurant - and shares with my other trans friends which restaurants don't raise a stink.

I am the mother who told her lesbian daughter to invite her girlfriend over for dinner.

I am the father who punished his son for calling you a fag.

I am the preacher who told my congregation that love, not hate, is the definition of a true follower of God.

I am the woman who argues (quite loudly and vehemently) with the bigots who insist that you do not have the right to marry or raise children.

We are the high school class who agrees, unanimously, along with our teacher, that love should be all that matters.

- stolen from Cantankerous Beet

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October 11, 2005

Anyone Want A Flatmate?

I am moving, but not to anywhere yet. I'm leaving the flat on or before 31 October. Insurance comes out on Friday and I have to go to the doctor, as well as pay off the money I owe him and my therapist and the Telecom bill. The car needs a WOF and probably new tyres on the 29th. Have to take the ferry and pay for a tank and a half of petrol at least. Arggh! Everything is going to be expensive all at once. How long does it take for bond to come back?

All the furniture can go back to the Salvation Army from whence it came. I will purchase more furniture from their Wellington branch.

So yeah. Does anyone need a flatmate, or have a spare room? I have a bar fridge and a small vaccuum cleaner, and an electric jug. I can do housework and like to garden, and I don't have a stereo and I read a lot. Sock can live in my room exclusively, and since she's a service dog she can't be (legally) discriminated against under the RTA.

Apart from those upsides, I'm also nuts, so you could tick it off against karma or righteousness if you took me in. I don't eat much. ;)

It feels bizarre to be moving again. God, I just want to live somewhere that isn't transitory. I've never really felt like I had a "home" since moving out of my parents' place. I'd love to move somewhere that felt a little more permanent. I really want to plant a vege garden. Even more, I want a working shower with actual hot water. Bliss. Only one out of four flats I've lived in had that. Oh, and a tv that doesn't need balletic intimacy with the aerial to receive an image.

... nah, that's going too far. I'd settle for a shower.

Posted by phreq at 06:47 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

October 10, 2005

Army Ads

You know the new Army ads on TV, with the computer-generated chick? I wonder what age group they are really aimed at. It seems to me that a challenge to do sit-ups during the break or download an Army game from the website is more likely to be taken up by a 14-15 yr old male than an adult.

The ads offer nothing in the way of encouragement to improve their life skills, education or career prospects, unlike the Navy ads. The Army seems to rely on instilling a sense of competition and being 'hard', rather than explaining the different roles of medics, engineers and so forth.

On a different topic, I have a business idea aimed at women, especially women business travelers. The Garment Junction works like this: Say you are in need of a ball dress but anything you want is too expensive. You go along to the GJ and you have a choice - hire any garment of your choice for $75/per 24 hours, OR - donate a piece of designer or heirloom clothing from your own closets.

For women travelling on business, knowing that they can get designer clothes easily and cheaply rather than having to pack 2 weeks' worth of clothes. For women who want a one-off piece for an event, or are looking for something way outside their actual budget, it'd be a great opportunity.

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October 09, 2005

Millie's Home

Man, it's been a crazy few days. One of Deb's dogs ran away on Wednesday and so we spent the next couple of days printing out posters, driving round and round the streets, and doing foot-searches of parks and river banks.

They finally got her on Friday evening, but as Keith tried to grab her, Mills took off again and got hit by a car. She was taken straight into theatre and she will be ok, but it cost $1,500 for the operation, so that's wiped out any profit from the next couple of litters.

I got a really neat birthday pressie of paint and chocolate :) mmm. But no-one in my family said happy birthday, not even my grandparents, who've never forgotten to write a card before. I guess that's because, after 25, women mysteriously stop having anymore birthdays...

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October 05, 2005

It's Nice Our Cows Eat Grass

Here's what they eat in the States: The new proposal would still allow animals to be fed material that some scientists consider potentially infectious, including the brains and spinal cords of young animals; the eyes, tonsils, intestines and nerves of old animals; chicken food and chicken dung swept up from the floors of poultry farms; scrapings from restaurant plates; and calf milk made from cow blood and fat. - nytimes.com


Well, I'm 25 today. No birthday card from mum or dad - I guess she forgot to put that on the letter she sent.

However I do have lovely friends who texted and emailed and a mate of mine is coming down from Wellington for tonight and Deb gave me $20 (which I unexcitingly but very gratefully spent on fruit, milk and dog food) - so I have had a good day, and that's about the best you can hope for when you're a quarter century old.

I can finally rent a rental car, but I can't think of anything else I can do today that I couldn't do yesterday. It might bring my insurance down a little or something, maybe.

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Is Your Sanity Worth $3000?

As part of a competition by the radio station The Edge, the group of six must endure the No 1 selling Crazy Frog song being played end on end for 72 hours. They also must endure each other.

The mother-and-child pair that are able to do this without breaking any rules will win $3000. Not surprisingly, one of the rules is not to smash up the video, stereo or TV.

The radio station has dubbed the competition "Desperate Housewives vs Crazy Frog". - Read the rest of the article in the Herald

Now, seriously. On Monday I got a letter from my mum. It started:

Dear phreq,

Have been wondering how you are. I guess I realise now that you have mental illness to deal with as well as all your other issues as well as addiction. I hadn't really figured that out before but I guess it is an obvious part of the whole scenario that seems to fit now that I think about it.

So. It only took her 19 years, since teachers at primary school suggested a psychologist at the age of 6, to the numerous suicide attempts during my teens, to the 5 years of psychotherapy, to the 9 months in a private mental hospital, to the 13 years of an eating disorder and years of drug use - legal and otherwise, to the 6 psychiatrists, 4 psychotherapists, GPs, psych nurses and periods in public mental wards...

for my mother to guess she realises that I have mental illness to deal with.

Then she offers that if things get too hard, you can always come home and we can try and sort things out with you. That would not be an easy option for you or us. But we will help you if you want us involved.

The rest of the letter was about shopping. Signed Love you. Mum.

I wonder if it would have killed her to say: if things get hard, you can always come home and we'll support you in any way we can. You always have a home with us, because you are family and because we love you.

I dunno. I don't know why she bothered writing. To upset me? It's not exactly the kind of letter I would send to a daughter or a friend that was so hurt by my behaviour she asked me not to contact her.

"Hey, I just realised that you're mentally ill as well as all these issues like addiction that you have brought upon yourself."

I really want to write back and say: It is the considered opinion of every mental health professional that I've ever met that your appalling parenting of me contribuited to my "issues". It's your bloody fault in so many ways that I would rather shoot myself in both feet than ever sleep under your roof again.

They would chalk that up to mental illness, I'm sure. It's such a nice blanket term that they can make it fit anything.

"Pay no attention. She's "mentally ill". Aren't we good and longsuffering parents not to have cut her off?"

You caused it, fuckers. You set me up for the idiots at church and at school and all the rest by robbing me off all self-esteem and hope by the age of 5. I can never remember a childhood moment that is not tainted by a deep undercurrent of fear and self-loathing.

Leaving the Hutt was the best thing I ever did.

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October 03, 2005


A fairytale ending for the little Puppet. The breeder whose stud dog we used has decided to take him and give him a chance on her farm. He will get 3 to 6 months and then she will decide whether he is going to be able to live or not.

I'm so pleased! The little boy wants to live so much, and now he's going to get a chance. I was so happy I cried. He looks so like Sock, I really didn't know if I was going to be able to handle the euthanising.

Huzzah! Sometimes if you wish hard enough, reality does bend a little.

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$600 Raspberry

An extraordinary appeal to Americans from the Bush administration for money to help pay for the reconstruction of Iraq has raised only $600 (337), The Observer has learnt. - guardian.co.uk

I could hardly believe it. Not $600 million, not $600 billion - $600 bucks. If a country-wide appeal by the Commander In Chief nets only chump change, I don't see how you could possibly put a good spin on it.

People are sick of giving their money to people in countries who hate the USA and who use the money to buy weapons and kill each other for fun. Donations for Katrina victims, on the other hand, are flooding in (excuse the pun).

Hey, this is my 400th entry!

A mate of my from Invers is coming up to stay with me this week. Yay! She is a really cool chick and I'm so looking forward to her coming. She should be here by Wednesday.

Posted by phreq at 07:31 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 02, 2005

Forget The Tamiflu

Dengue virus is sweeping the globe:

At least 127,000 people have been infected by dengue so far this year along an arc that stretches from eastern India through the Indonesian archipelago, with at least 990 deaths, the health authorities say.

If a mosquito bites a person with dengue, the mosquito can pass the virus to the next person it bites. If that person flies to another country with mosquitoes, he or she can unknowingly spread the virus even further. - nytimes

Avian flu has only killed 50-odd people across Asia since 2003. Normal influenza kills 100 people a people a year in New Zealand alone. Perhaps we should forego the Tamiflu at $75 a shot and start mosquito eradication programs instead.

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October 01, 2005

Poor Puppet

One of Sock's pups has a serious heart murmur and will be put to sleep on Monday. We are pretty sure it's due to premature birth rather than heriditerary at this stage. It's really sad, but we wanted to have him put to sleep before it started being a burden to him. He can still play and stuff at the moment, but before long his growing body will put too much pressure on his poor wee heart.

He is so like his mum, which makes it really hard. He is going to be named "Puppet" and I will get a wee tag for Sock's collar and put his name on it.

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