28.11.09

A right turn in ghastly weather.

The weather was ghastly. I couldn’t see across the street. But I had an appointment with the hairdresser.

After the hairdresser's, I went to the supermarket (because people like to eat). Then I headed home.

To get back to the village from the supermarket, I needed to make a right turn* (from a give-way sign) onto State Highway 1 (a four-laned dual highway).

While I was waiting for a break in the traffic, the jerk behind me started honking his horn. HONK! HONK! HONK! HONK! Like I had fallen asleep, or like I was busy texting, and I had forgotten to turn. HONK! HONK! HONK! HONK!

I'm not going to put up with this, I said to myself. In the US, I would have been afraid to get out of my car. In NZ, not so much.

I put my car in park, opened my door, and marched over to the jerk's car. He rolled down his window. He was a 20-something, with tattoos all over his arm.

"The weather is ghastly. I can’t see a thing,” I said. “You'll just have to wait."

"You've had three chances to turn," the jerk said. He was clearly not expecting to be confronted by a weird American lady.

It’s my call!" I said.

Then I marched back to my car and texted Twitter. (Okay, not really. Texting while driving is illegal.)



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*Note: In NZ, we drive on the left side of the road.

26.11.09

I'm thankful I don't have to eat turkey.

This year I’m not celebrating Thanksgiving. It's practically summer in New Zealand, and I just don't feel like roasting a turkey.

But I might make a pumpkin pie. Kiwis are curious about pumpkin pie. Because in New Zealand, we don't eat pumpkin from a can.

I’m not sure why I celebrate Halloween, and I can’t be bothered with Thanksgiving. Maybe because at Thanksgiving, everyone in New Zealand is at work. Or because in New Zealand, Thanksgiving is a day early.

Am I supposed to celebrate Thanksgiving while my American family and friends are defrosting their turkeys? By the time New Zealand wakes up, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will be over. I'm not waking up early for a parade.

Plus, the American Thanksgiving is just too close to Christmas. At Thanksgiving, you have a preview of the same dinner you will eat again in a month.

We all know that celebrating the genocide of indigenous peoples is wrong. And at Thanksgiving you have to watch football (the boring game with the pointy ball).

On the up side, if you act thankful for just one day, you can make up for a year's worth of narcissism.

25.11.09

My NaNoWriMo.

I've been plugging away at my NaNoWriMo, writing my novel in just one month. By this, I mean I've written almost 50,000 words in November.

At first, writing was easy. With the help of my outline, I wrote, and I wrote some more. But last week, writing was more difficult. My outline didn’t make sense anymore.

I think I made a wrong turn. Then I lost the map. I might be in Nebraska.

Anyway, I'm almost finished with NaNoWriMo. 50,000 words isn't a novel (unless I just wrote The Great Gatsby). But it’s a start. For the truly interested, you can check my progress here.

18.11.09

DIY update.

Recently Last month, I mentioned some DIY projects that had not been completed at Wellington Road.

Well, I don’t want to brag, but my amazing husband Adam (who looks like Brad Pitt) wants me to give you an update. We now have:

a new bathtub and

a new washing machine.

But what will you nag me about? My amazing husband asked (sarcastically).

Don’t worry, pumpkin. I’m sure I’ll think of something.

12.11.09

Anarchy at the playcentre: another chronicle in mummy politics.

Our playcentre (the child's cooperative preschool) was unusual in the national organization. For a few years, we had no president. It was anarchy.

Having no president suited me well. I liked that nobody was in charge. The buck stopped with all of us.

During my three years at the centre, it grew from eight families to its current almost 30 families. We bucked the earlier trend of sending four-year-olds to kindy (Kiwi for traditional preschool).

Instead, we kept our four-year-olds at the playcentre, and we healed our centre from near death to a robust, healthy centre.

And Tuesday night, we "elected" our new officers. Thankfully, there was wine.

In a surprising coup, two of our members nominated themselves as co-presidents. Because last year, they didn't know what to do with the mail addressed to the president.

At the meeting, a couple of aristocratic members said that they wanted a president. The rest of the group blinked like a bunch of sheep, and said they didn’t know what they should do. I was the only dissenting voice.

According to our new co-presidents, the centre's "consensus" was in favour of their coup. My feathers are still ruffled. Why can't we all be presidents? A few people (who will be stuck at the centre longer than me) think they made a mistake. Um, yeah, ya think?

I feel like this:

Al Gore after losing the election to Dubya.
Photo credit:
Rolling Stone

Or possibly like this:

Helen Clark standing down as Labour leader.
Photo credit:
NZ Herald

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Edited to add: Okay, so maybe this post was a bit whingy. If you are here for sunshine and light, you are in the wrong place.

5.11.09

High school memories.

Forgive me, I've got high school on my brain. This month, I am participating in NaNoWriMo. And my story has some scenes from high school.

Here are some of my favourite embarrassing memories from high school:
  1. There were over 800 students in my ninth grade class. We were all housed in one building. On Halloween, I didn't know we were now too cool to dress up. I was the ONLY student in my class to wear a costume. I went as a French maid, a hand-me-down costume from my mother, who was a French teacher (not at my school). I didn't understand the greater implications of being a French maid. I don’t think anyone else did either. The embarrassing part was just showing up in my costume.
  2. In ninth grade, I ran for President of the Student Council. The candidates got to make speeches to the student body. The class clown was also running. So I made my speech, and I said that (unlike the class clown) I wasn’t running as a joke. I was going to enact social change and make the world a better place for all of us. I made the class clown cry, and I lost the election (The class clown didn’t win either. But people felt sorry for him, and I was that mean girl. My speech teacher said he would have voted for me. That would have been two votes).
  3. Trying out for cheerleader. I went through this traumatizing experience twice. It almost deserves two spots on my list. I could not remember the cheers or the routines (done to Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”). I could not do the jumps, or the required back-handspring. And my cheering voice was so weak. But I was still crushed when I didn’t make it. I didn’t give a shit about football (American for gridiron), but I really wanted to wear that cute uniform.
  4. My audition for the musical. I sang U2’s “MLK”. My brother accompanied me on his electric keyboard. I made the chorus (so did everyone else who tried out).
  5. Writing a poem about my unrequited high school love, and publishing it in the high school literary magazine. There were only 100 students in my senior class. Almost everyone knew who the poem was about.

What is your most embarrassing memory from high school? And don’t tell me you don’t remember. These memories are burned into our brains.

Photo credit: asunners

4.11.09

Delusions of grandeur.

In my last post, I wasn't trying to sound popular. You know, with my mentions of readers, comments, and emails. Believe me, I am self-aware enough to know my place in the blogging pecking order. DON’T CHOP ME DOWN. I'm a delicate tulip.

I didn’t even like that last post. I didn’t intend to portray my husband in a bad light. Next time, I will ask Adam if I can write about him on my blog, because then I will write a much better post. It’s a win-win! And when I said Adam was shitty, I was talking about rainbows. And unicorns.

Sometimes, blogging (and all the other social media) feels like going back to high school. I still have a fantasy about being Homecoming Queen, finally making cheerleader, or getting a part (with lines) in the musical.

Just like in high school, sometimes I have hopes of getting into the “in” crowd. However, it is much more likely that I will be standing at the prom by myself in stilettos that hurt my feet.

(On my blog, I’m still that weird girl who writes bad poetry and wears funny clothes. Oh, wait. That’s who I am in real life, too.)

Next time: My top five most embarrassing high school memories.

P.S. I don’t have single photo of myself from high school. There aren’t photos of me on Facebook either. I’m just not popular on Facebook.

Can we pretend this is me then? Yeah, I’m Jeannie Bueller.

Photo credit: I'm sure it's subject to copyright. If you own the rights to it, and you don't want it posted on my website, just let me know and I'll take it down. Email me! Please?

2.11.09

I did not get permission to write this post.

After my recent post about Adam and his DIY projects, I received some interesting emails and comments.

Women said, Too funny, my husband is like that too.

Guys said, You’re not complaining, are you? I wouldn’t put up with that from my wife.

Adam was shitty that I wrote the post (which he hasn’t read, by the way).

Me: I thought you said I was allowed to write it? (I am supposed to get permission to write about him on my blog,)

Adam: You were supposed to write about the van. Not those other things.

Me: But those other things are funny. And I said you look like Brad Pitt.

Adam: (grunt of disgust)

It’s like he doesn’t even want to look like Brad Pitt.

Me: Do you want me to take it down?

Adam (sulking): No.

Okay, so maybe it’s in poor taste to mock your husband on your blog. It’s like cyber mocking, or cyber nagging. Yeah, it seems nagging is a bad thing. Nagging has a bad reputation. Wives are supposed to just suck it up, and maybe brainstorm with their husbands about how to get things done.

When did we go back to the 1950s? And if we have gone back to the 50s, why am I still expected to work outside the home and earn money? As a post-feminist, I’m raising my hand in protest. Then I’m going to go burn my bra, because I never really liked this one, but it’s the only one that fits.

Australian feminist pioneer, Germaine Greer.
Photo credit: Wikipedia.

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Edited to add: Adam wants you to know that he WOULD read my blog, if he could get a turn on the computer. So, now I'm a nag who mocks her husband on her blog, AND I'm selfish. I rock.

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Edited again to add: I am still wearing my bra that I don't like. Is that too much information?