So we are international passengers and as such we can afford to bring some bags.

We are not packed.

Our hotel in LA is too posh for The Lonely Planet. I bought the book, and our hotel is not in it.

I'm worried about falling behind on Project Runway and Flight of the Conchords. We don't have the technology to record episodes.

I need to ask a neighbour to collect our newspapers and water our plants. I seem to be leaving it to the last minute. Which is tomorrow.

It is tempting to ask my doctor for a pill to help with my anxiety.



CHILD (after blowing out the candles on his cake): I wished that my candles would stay lit--FOREVER.

* * * * *

HUSBAND: Are you allergic to dogs?

CHILD: No, I aren’t.

HUSBAND: Maybe one day we could get a dog.

CHILD: And I would take really good love of it.


I want to bury my head in the sand.

Surprise, surprise. We received our bill from TelstraClear, and (wait for it) they charged us for the new remote control.

An old remote control is going out in a prepaid courier pack today.

Am I the only one who finds it funny, if I want to rent a car in Ameriky, I need an international driver licence. My U.S. driver licence expired about five years ago. And I’m not a U.S. resident.

And am I the only one who missed last year’s news, when the domestic airlines in Ameriky started charging for checked bags? Because of higher fuel costs?

So let me get this straight. I can’t carry on any liquids over 100mls, and I have to pay for the privilege of a checked bag.

We have a multi-stop ticket in the USA. Am I not an international traveller is the question I am just about to ask the good folks at American Airlines.

None of our bags are the right size. Our carry-on bags are too small, and our checked bags are too big.

In other news, there are a few more unconfirmed cases of whooping cough (pertussis) around the village. It’s starting to seem like an epidemic.


140 character bloggy bits.

I am too anxious and overwhelmed to blog. But I can still tweet.

And I'm still finding time to stop by Facebook. I don't understand why everyone is upset about the new design.

The new remote control is here. I found universal remotes at Dick Smith for half the price that TelstraClear wants to charge us.

Now I'm consumed with end-of-the-term chores at Playcentre. I am not going to finish the next level of course training by the end of the term.

I liked Sweet Juniper's post about travelling with kids.

I'm manic, getting ready for our trip to the USA. We have passports and tickets. And we are not going to Disneyland.

The child's birthday party was a success.

The weather was perfect and lots of people came.


Should we stay or should we go?

HUSBAND: I’m easy. I could go either way.

ME: I can’t intuit what you want to do.

HUSBAND: It’s up to you.

ME: I want to stay AND go.


Now's who you talk to.

ME: I’m ringing because I need a new remote for my telly.

TELSTRACLEAR: Is it broken?

ME: Yes, it’s being held together with tape.

TELSTRACLEAR: If it’s not faulty, then it will cost you $60 to replace it.

ME: Um, that seems expensive. Especially since we’ve had this remote for over four years.

TELSTRACLEAR: Someone has to pay for it.

ME: My husband might argue that the remote is faulty. Because the back is falling off.

TELSTRACLEAR: If it is broken, you need to pay for it.

ME: Look, I know that you don’t set the policy. I’m just saying, $60 seems expensive. We’ve been good customers for five years. If we moved house and took TelstraClear with us, we’d probably get a new remote.

TELSTRACLEAR: (non-committal throat-clearing)

ME: Maybe I’ll just write a letter about it to complain. . .

TELSTRACLEAR: You could go that way if you want.

ME: I guess so. Sometimes I’m the letter-writing sort. By the way, can you tell me if there’s an area fault right now? I have no internet and no cable.

TELSTRACLEAR: I’ll have to transfer you to faults. Hold on.


ME: Hello, I just talked to someone about a new remote for my telly.

TELSTRACLEAR: Yes, in my notes, it says your remote is being held together with cellotape. (laughs)

ME: Well, it’s actually thin black duct tape.


ME: You know, I spoke to someone else, and I had a little rant, because I thought $60 is a lot to pay for a new remote. But I just want a new remote. I’m not sure if one has been ordered, because I got transferred after I asked about a fault.

TELSTRACLEAR: Oh yes, I can see there’s a fault up the coast right now. I hope they get that fixed by the time I get home.

ME: The faults people said it will be back up in an hour. You know, last night I was watching telly, and I was like, I’m so over this old remote. It's been this way for A WHILE, you know?

TELSTRACLEAR: The other day, some guy dropped a COUCH on his remote and it broke. So I charged him. But I’m going to send you a new remote. I’m not going to charge you.

ME: After over four years, it’s like normal wear and tear?

TELSTRACLEAR: I’ll send a courier slip to pick up the old remote. But I won’t be here to make sure you don’t get charged for the new one. So I’ll just tell one of my co-workers to follow it through.

ME: (dumbfounded) Um, okay, thanks.



Five bargain NZ rieslings

Riesling is a misunderstood varietal. It has a reputation for being too sweet and too full of alcohol.

I prefer the traditional German style. Think light, floral rieslings with intense lemon and lime flavours. The New Zealand terroir, particularly around Waipara, is well suited to this kind of riesling.

Here are some very affordable rieslings that you might try with seafood or Asian food, or just as an aperatif:

• Matua Valley Shingle Peak Marlborough Riesling 2007 ($13 at Pak'n Save). Lemony, easy drinking.

• Mud House Waipara Riesling 2008 ($12 at Woolworth’s).

• Montana Reserve Waipara Riesling 2006 ($13 at Pak'n Save). Not great depth, but still very good.

• Stoneleigh Marlborough Riesling 2007 ($17 at Pak'n Save). Yummy!

• Vidal Marlborough Riesling 2008 ($10 at Pak'n Save). Crisp. Tight. Youthful.


We don’t know how lucky we are.

Sometimes you meet people who inspire you to live your life just a little bit better.

Lisa is one of those people.

She shares her amazing story here.

Go on, go have a look. You know you want to.


Notes from my Kiwi tossed salad.

I usually feel like an outsider. I am cursed with a need to assimilate. I want to be in the melting pot.

With a visit to the USA on the horizon, I suddenly feel more comfortable here in New Zealand.

When my critics chop me down to size, I say, “Like it or not, this is who I am.”

Preparation for reverse culture shock begins NOW.


Trip advising

My review for our hotel last weekend was finally published. It took three days for it to be reviewed, or whatever.

Have a look over at TripAdvisor.


Yeah, what she said.

LuLu and Moxley’s mom flies with her kids. And it's EXACTLY what I’m afraid of.

It's going to be hell.