Stories, thoughts, observations, rants and dribble. Just another of my attempts to keep the interested people informed ...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

2007 in short

This is the ''year in summary'' section of my annual Christmas email:

I started out the year on a beach just north of Auckland, having just returned home from Edinburgh.  The first few weeks at least found me in a bit of an emotional mess, but I was lucky enough to have some of my best friends in the city with me for a few months at least. 

I completed two temporary admin assignments (both employers wanted to keep me), and enrolled last-minute in the Cambridge English Teaching to Adults (CELTA) course for May.  Not having expended any academic energy in the past 7 years, and not knowing what my tolerance for teaching would be, I was vaguely apprehensive.  It was a gruelling full time, four week course for a group of twelve wannabes.  Sadly, we lost one on the way, but everyone else managed a passing grade (despite my ridiculous verbosity in classes).  I discovered that I actually enjoyed the teaching a lot more than I had anticipated, and my brain enjoyed being used for more than working out 24 hour time at the airport. 

Newly qualified, I had a cameo appearance at the last temp job, and attended both weddings of some good friends (Melbourne and then Aberdeen).  Oddly enough, this meant I was in Scotland for my fifth summer.  Who could have predicted another Festival for me?  After recovering from a fairly intense ordeal with UK immigration ("I'm going to a wedding, honest!"), I had another fantastic couple of months in Edinburgh and around. 

The nagging feeling that I should have been doing something about my future employment status merged with a chance business trip a friend was taking, and I found myself meeting her in Hong Kong.  After playing tourist for a while, I found myself in what was honestly the loneliest and most difficult few weeks I can remember.  Chances to meet people were slim, and feeble attempts on my part to find work and sponsorship returned little in the way of positive responses.  Not wanting to dwell on this, I decided to meet up with friends for a trip to Laos instead.  Three and a half weeks later, we're on our way back to Thailand, and the decision to break from Hong Kong is definitely not regretted.  We've had a fantastic trip, and in the meantime I've heard some encouraging (although not recruiting) feedback from some earlier applications. 

All in all, it's been an up and down year, with a vague direction which I'm still in the process of taking.  Next year I think I might get a job.  I guess I'm okay with that.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Something scary this way comes

I know that changing continents is as good a reason to update as any, but my slackness was brought to my attention by an about-to-be-married friend (congratulations, kids), and I apologise again for my uselessness in keeping non-Facebookers (boo, hiss) in the massive loop of my life.

Since the Festival finished, I have been languishing in Edinburgh, meeting new friends, relishing the company of old ones, and running into old faces on the street (funny what coincidences an international rugby game creates).  A quick trip to Inverness to say goodbye to some folks, a lot of parties, a lot of spending, and a farewell couple of days in London brought me almost to where I am now. 

My farewell party started off with bangers and mash, moved through a Sing Star competition, past a broken PSII, onward to the winner (congratulations, Allan of Wales), and through to 3 or 4am with Kath and myself battling it out with Belinda Carlisle, even though nobody else cared any more (we both got knocked out in the third round, which we had trouble dealing with).  6am brought visions of the pub, and Kirsha, Farkins and Bronson accompanied me (or I accompanied them) to the good old Scotsman's Lounge for a few hours.  I finally got out of another pub at 1pm, and managed to make my train two hours later.  Thanks to everyone who helped me get there!

I finally made it to Chantal's after getting no sleep on the train (I'm so glad I don't get hangovers); thankfully neither of us wanted a late night.  Getting my 20+kg backpack up the ladder to the attic where she sleeps wasn't an option either.  The next day I managed to meet Simon for (literally) five minutes at Queen's Park tube station.  I was going to accompany him to the train but foolishly had left my wallet in my other bag.  I don't know if I'm just getting older, or just more retarded.  I just had to accept the coffee he bought me and leave him to go to Paddington on his own.  Later on, wallet in hand, I found myself at London Zoo, listening to an excellent talk about the rainforest (and getting as much of a tour as my time restraints allowed) by the lovely Ben.  Since my comedian friend is useless as ever, I went straight from there to the Victoria and Albert Museum to meet Chantal and Rebecca for the late night Hallowe'en event.  We stood in several ridiculously-long queues for things that weren't worth it (how English), drank some overpriced but average wine, marvelled at the lovely rooms, listened to a storyteller, watched some short films and were totally confused by the 'grand finale' (gratuitous nudity, a terribly-acted vampire attack, and no discernible point). 

I got from London to Hong Kong via tube, bus, three-hour delay, 11 hour plane ride, and another bus.  I'd called the guesthouse I was booked at to tell them I was still coming.  They told me it was fine.  When I finally got there, I was told that they'd sold my bed, but they were 'kind enough' to let me sleep on a mattress on the floor.  In the hallway outside the bathroom.  I was tired and had already paid for a week, so was going to accept.  I had to wait around for an hour before anything happened, and then found out that he wouldn't refund me if I decided to move out the next day.  So I took my money back and left.  Luckily, Chungking Mansions are full of guesthouses and the kind of annoying hawkers that I hate.  A couple of guesthouses later and I have my own little room with en suite for a few days.  It's really what I needed (and though slightly more expensive, a bargain by world standards). 

I met up with Rhiannon, her boss, and his business associate for dinner.  We had 'traditional' Chinese food (I have never had cheese on anything in a Chinese restaurant before), which was great, and did a little bit of shopping.  Tomorrow I'll get on to looking for a more permanent place to stay, and try and make some work contacts.  No idea how it'll go, but I'm imagining great things.  I think I'll love this city!

I'm really looking forward to spending Hallowe'en here, and am excited (if a little petrified) to be doing something entirely new and scary!

[I have a new phone number.  Contact me for it if you don't have it already!]

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Wendel McWong's Pick of the Fringe

It's been another crazy August, culminating in (or spiralling down to) the last nights of the Fringe when I didn't get home before 5.30am. 
Some of my highlights have been:
  • visiting the Phat Cave most nights (technically mornings);
  • Jamie Kilstein giving standing-ovation-worthy performances;
  • Harley Breen doing a leotard-clad interpretive dance to 'When Doves Cry' by Prince;
  • visiting the 1/4 Gill pub for the first time at 6.15am on Monday morning (and leaving at 9 when normal people start work);
  • seeing a bunch of Aussie drag queens doing the Sound of Music;
  • spending time in the Spiegel Garden (although not enough), and having our bartender from last year remember me;
  • cheering for Italy during Eurobeat - Almost Eurovision;
  • seeing The Black Seeds in The Famous Spiegeltent;
  • seeing Kirk Fox and (If.comedy Award-winning) Brendon Burns have a 'tache-off;
  • watching Mickey D strip naked and later snort beer out of another guy's scrotum (is this a high or a lowlight?).
Needless to say, it's been a couple of days of recovery and trying to deal with the waking up pre-noon (although I have yet to do this on two consecutive days since getting back to the UK).  My liver will thank me (as will my friends, who don't appreciate my gloating about not getting hangovers).
Now it's back to 'normality' and trying to motivate myself to plan my next move...

Saturday, July 28, 2007

I would wait five hundred hours...

I'm writing from an internet cafe in Aberdeen, waiting for our accommodation to become available.  Weirdly (or not), I am the first person here.  Some dramas have occurred to Team Edinburgh and they won't be coming up until later.

Meanwhile, I can finally bring myself to describe my partially hellacious (not really) trip through Her Majesty's immigration service. 

Leaving Auckland was okay.  I didn't get to see a couple of important people, but I had a fabulous family dinner (in honour of my grandmother's 90th birthday) and got to see most of my relatives.  A couple of half-arsed going away things allowed me to see a bunch of friends, too, which is always nice.

My dad and brother took me to the airport, and then began the journey.  A 11.5 hour flight to Seoul (which involved reading half of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows and watching some random rom-com/coming of age movie starring Adam Brody and Meg Ryan), a stay at the Hyatt, and another 11 hour flight to London (no reading, but movies galore: Sione's Wedding, Ghost Rider, Children of Men, Shooter, Because I Said So, Disturbia.  I love plane films; I get to see all the movies I kind of wanted to see but didn't want to pay for). 

Upon arrival at Heathrow, I got in the surprising short queue and started talking to a grumpyish-looking man.  He asked me a LOT of questions.  I started to doubt my previously infallible ability to get people to believe anything I say.  He eventually 'detained' my passport, and I had to wait for someone else to come and see me.  I commenced waiting.  After everyone else seemed to have been called, I got a very nice girl who had to check my luggage (I've also since come to the conclusion that people who 'check' luggage never do it very well).  She took out some items that she thought might help my case (wedding invitation, certificates, diary).  Then I had to drag my backpack back upstairs and wait some more.  I was taken in to have a photo, and then an x-ray (?!).  Following that, I got checked in to a holding room, where I couldn't take my phone in, or anything besides the cash that was in my handbag.  After another long wait, I had my interview.  I pretty much had to recount my exact movements since I arrived in the UK in 2001.  Might as well have written my memoirs at the same time.  Luckily the woman interviewing me was cool and she believed my story and understood why I only had a one-way ticket (the reason they held me in the first place).  She just had to convince her boss to believe me too.  Back to the holding room.  Finally, about 5 hours after I arrived in London, I was allowed out.  I've now got a visa in my passport that probably screams 'DODGY', but no matter.  I'm back in.

Jasmin and Bodra kindly let me sleep on their couch for two nights, and after a nice dinner with Anna and Ryan and a 12 hour bus ride with all the derelicts of Scotland, I'm in Aberdeen.  The ceilidh is tomorrow, and then back down to Edinburgh for more festival madness.  I cannae wait!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I'm On My Way (and other Proclaimers songs)

I'm outta here again.  I'll do my best to keep in touch with people, but best intentions sometimes go awry.

Thinking of you all and so excited about impending parties!!!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

A few reasons to be happy about today

  • It was my sister's birthday today and I got to have Mexican for dinner with her.
  • I got to see some wicked short films as part of the 48 Hour filmmaking challenge.
  • I'm only at day 3 of my new job and already they can't bear for me to leave.  They also think I'm a database guru cause I've used their software before (and know more than their supposed specialist).
  • I got the results from my course in the post today.  I got the elusive A that hardly anyone gets!
  • I booked my flight to London for July!  I will be at the ceilidh in Aberdeen!  I will get to be in Edinburgh for the Festival!

All in all, I'm pretty stoked.  Feel free to siphon off some of my elation.  I'm too tired to use it anyway.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Nearly there!

I finished my last assessment today!

Over four weeks I've had to be in classes 9-5 every day, do four written assignments and plan and deliver 9 classes (with a combined time of 6 hours and 10 minutes). I somehow managed to volunteer myself for an extra 80 minutes of unassessed classes too (what a sucker).

In general, I've done pretty damn well (asides from a small glitch in one assignment where I focussed on the wrong thing and had to resubmit some of it - you can imagine how well I took that!), so I've only got to show up for the next two days and hopefully receive my A after Cambridge okays it. It's been just as much stress and work as they promised/forewarned us, and there has been one person drop out (hence my extra lessons) and more than a few tears shed by several of my peers. As always, with such a concentrated time frame and intense experience, we've all gotten to know each other quite well. I'm happy to say that I genuinely like everyone on the course (instead of that fake kind of like), and have really enjoyed doing it. It's so nice to feel like I'm learning something again, and applying myself academically. It's been interesting trying to translate the input into practice in the classroom. It helps that I've really liked most of my students as well.

I've had very little time for the other important things in my life though (family, friends, sleeping, Heroes, Guitar Hero, crochet, laundry, planning my life, booking flights, getting a job, general communication and Crackbook), so I apologise if this has inadvertently or directly affected you. I am much more available now!

In other moments of genius, I created a fabulous new (to me) cocktail upon my return home today. It consists of frozen raspberries muddled with Morgan's Spiced Rum, topped up with Sprite. I've called it 'See You In HELTA' (my course is called CELTA, see what I did there?). It is delicious, and I bet you're jealous.

I am also glad that I now have a legitimate scapegoat for my pedantry regarding the English language. I'm not perfect, but I am judgmental.

I've decided that I definitely can't take my June 6 flight to Hong Kong. I have no money to travel with, and it will be too hot there. I'm going to work for a few more weeks, go to the McDragovic wedding in Melbourne, and then I'm going over to the UK in late July (I haven't booked my flight, but that is my aim) for another summer in Scotland. Hopefully I will be able to find a full-time teaching job starting in September. Wish me luck! Maybe I'll see you soon, if I'm lucky!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Some random notes ...

  • JB HiFi has just opened in Auckland!  How much do I want to go in there and drop a few hundred dollars on some cheap CDs?!
  • My first assessed teaching class went really well.  Of course I impressed the tutors, but I'm probably irritating my classmates with my incessant questions and general knowing-it-all.  A few little things to work on, but I'm feeling really positive.  Learning is making me tired (as is staying up really late doing lesson plans), but it's only for a few weeks.  The people in my class are cool, as are the students, so ... yay.
  • I get to see Mickey on Friday!
  • I am being semi-successful at trying to keep away from Crackbook and email.  This means I'm crap at the communication, but it's probably better for my health. 
  • Auckland's public transport system still pretty much sucks.
  • Crappy uni cafeteria food still tastes exactly as bad as it did 7 years ago.
  • I still haven't changed my flights.  Somebody nominate some Scotland dates for me?!

Friday, April 20, 2007


I just got home from seeing the last gig in a 14 month Gomez tour, and it was completely refulgent (look it up, it's a good word).

The support band was a bit strange and not very good, and then the "special guest" (a late-life Elvis wannabe singing Tom Jones and the Monkees karaoke style) was totally random, not great, but still entertaining. The crowd booed him near the end, which I was disappointed about, since I thought a Gomez crowd would be, well, cooler than that. We danced and sang along with him and yelled out "We want Wayne!" cause it was fun. He was billed as "Mr Wayne Anderson", hilarious.

I don't remember being so completely happy this year. Not even the Peter Maccleganger (seriously, younger, but same hair, glasses, face), the girl who was filming the entire gig on her digital camera (how can you enjoy it when you're trying to hold your camera still? And does anyone else think it's just wrong for someone to do this?) and the tone deaf screamer behind me could spoil the bliss bubble that Gomez produced around me. One of the guitarist/vocalists is a bit of a Luke-alike too, and Luke has never made me unhappy, unless you count when we have to be apart. I haven't been as impressed by vocals since I last saw Harry with the Cat Empire, and since there are three of them, maybe I was more impressed! Multiple instruments (including some kind of keyboard kazoo that I'd never seen before) played by most of the band, a two hour set, a plethora of beautiful songs, huge energy and boundless talent. Perfect.

Afterwards, I managed to score a Gomez-branded guitar pick, which I loved. Past tense because I decided to give it to my sister, as she's a huge fan (which I am now too). I hope she appreciates it. I guess I can still love it from afar!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Quick update

I've only got two weeks of work left! I'd cut it down to one but I can really use the extra $800. I finally found a replacement, and hopefully she's not going to be too disappointing (although of course that will just elevate me in their memories when I am gone). She starts tomorrow so that means way less slacking for me but I guess I may actually get some work done.

I had my interview for the CELTA course (Cambridge English Language Teaching something) that starts in two weeks. It went really well, although I missed the misspelling of 'environment' in a test, which I was a little gutted about. He didn't seem to care when I proved that I could, indeed, spell it. So I was offered the last place on the course (thankfully, Miss Procrastination didn't miss the boat completely), and I accepted it. It will take an entire month of my time (seriously, they don't let you work part-time, have any hobbies, play sports etc. They also don't recommend it for anyone that has stress-related illness!) and I'm looking forward to the challenge. It's really difficult to get an A pass, so that's what I'm aiming for. Having not been a student for a LONG time, this is going to be interesting.

Oh yeah, the pre-course task document is thirty pages long. Uncool. And because of aforementioned procrastination and late enrolment, I only have two weeks to do this and not the 6+ that everyone else would have had. Bugger.

Anyway, that's what's happening right now. That, a lot of movies and a lot of crochet (yes, I'm obsessed again). If anyone needs a beanie/toque, scarf, MP3 player cover or whatever, let me know and we'll negotiate a deal. I'm developing new designs at the moment so am happy to practise them (the MP3 player covers are awesome).

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Official Notice

Congratulations are in order:

Maury (my beloved Corona) and I have recently produced a healthy baby speeding ticket, weighing in at $80.00 and 14km over the limit.

It is my first, after 10 years of trying, so I guess my time had come. The only annoying thing is that now I have to get off my high horse. I really enjoyed harassing my family about their infringements!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Hangovers, hot pools and humiliation

Well after writing the rather verbose last post (just to make Carol feel better, honest), hopefully this one will be a bit shorter ...
I left work at 3.45 on Monday to pick Colleen up at the airport.  I was a bit worried that she had gotten her 24 hour time wrong again (those who know her know this happens with alarming frequency for someone who travels as much as she does).  I was also worried that she was repeating the whole drug scandal of Dunedin 2005, but it turned out that due to some unforeseen accident (not to do with the plane), Coll's whole plane was late. 
Luckily we still had enough time to drive through the suburbs and make it to Rick's for a couple of deadly mojitos with him and Bjorn.  Lior started in The Famous Spiegeltent at 7pm, and Ben wasn't really that late.  Unfortunately Lior only played for about an hour, but Rick and Coll met him afterwards and probably scared him into playing longer sets in the future.
Cue some random wandering and drinking around downtown Auckland, hassling some poor one man covers band, playing some pool and taking lots of photos on Coll's miraculously returned camera (Rick posted a couple, I'm sure more will follow).
Enticed by promises of fun times with Rick and Coll the next day, I decided to pull a sickie.  Funnily enough, I woke up at 5am feeling really nauseous and I totally blame Rick and Bjorn.  May also have something to do with not eating or drinking any water.  Anyway ...
The next day was chock full of an awesome breakfast, a drive up Mt Eden, a cruise along the waterfront, a visit to the artisan patisserie in Matakana, an astounded look at the beautiful fish at Goat Island (almost teeming, right by the shoreline), a stroll along the desolate beach at Pakiri, a drink at the pub in Kaukapakapa, a swim at the thermal pools at Parakai (swimming pools this time, not streams), fish and chips from our local chippy and complete and utter humiliation at the trivia night at the local.  This was especially bad after I had promised Ben that I was smarter than Paul (which I stand by).  I will give that Paul probably would have done slightly better at this quiz, it seemed like everything was pretty much aimed at middle aged beer drinking men ... not my forte!  We didn't come last, but got something like 48 points when the winners got nearly 100.  And in a round where there was a 50/50 chance of getting it right, we got 2 out of 10!  Ouch.  Anyone who did quizzes with me at The Globe should be rightfully shocked and appalled ...
I got to work the next day and realised that nobody had been in my office at all the previous day, and I totally could have pulled off a giant scam and pretended I was there the whole time ... oh well ... damn conscience ...

The Waikato and Bay of Plenty Highlight Tour

I'm not sure why but I had a desperate need to get out of Auckland for the last weekend of the summer (last Wednesday was the Autumn Equinox and we finished Daylight Savings on the Sunday morning).   So despite the dodgy weather (correctly) predicted, Michelle and I decided to head down to Rotorua in search of natural hot springs and general out-of-Auckland entertainment.


We somehow managed to get on the road by about 8.30 on Saturday morning (w00t), and our first stop was Cambridge at about 10am .  Intrigued by the sign advertising the "Leamington School Duck Plunge", we pulled in to the tourist information centre to ask for directions.   The Duck Plunge was on the events blackboard, but when asked where the school was, the woman behind the desk replied "which school?".  Firstly, how many schools can such a small town have?   Secondly, why would we want to go to any other school when there was a Duck Plunge on?  During breakfast we pondered several scenarios that could be termed Duck Plunges, but still had no clue what it would involve.   Even better, the poster used inverted commas perfectly when it advertised a "Celebrity" Duck Plunge and entertainment from a top ten finalist in some series of New Zealand Idol (heh).  


When we got to the school, we found out that the Duck Plunge wasn't happening until 1.45.   Since there was no way we'd miss it, we decided to wander around and look at the entertainment – karaoke, mini jeeps, whatever you call hitting golf balls into upturned umbrellas, bouncy castle and wobbly train.   We also visited a local garage sale (nothing much there but I got an awesome old school teal leather suitcase for a dollar, and Michelle was very tempted by a $12 electric typewriter) and went shopping at the few clothes shops in town.   

When we got back to the school after ogling a really shiny really red Ford, there was a mob of people surrounding the fenced swimming pools.   One large pool, one small pool, some PTA women, an old man with a pool skimmer, a rather hot (looking) rugby player and a LOT of ducks.  Rubber ducks.   Actually, plastic ducks. 


For the grand purpose of a raffle drawing, poor (but beautiful) Liam Messam was forced to Plunge into the pools of Ducks (get it now?), drawing one from each pool to make up the winning ticket number.  There were several draws, each with a longwinded prize description, leaving Liam freezing in the pool with nothing but ducks to protect him from the gaze of a hundred primary school kids' mums.


We didn't win anything.


Fast forward (sigh of relief) to us driving down the road to the hot springs recommended by my sister.  Prior to that we had not been able to find the key to my friend's empty house (it wasn't "in the shed" as he'd said), looked at some very bubbling mud pools, gone to some garage sales and found a little cabin at a campground in Rotorua.  It wasn't until we were half an hour down the wrong State Highway that we realised that my sister had given us perfect directions asides from the correct highway number.  We decided to go to Taupo for dinner instead of driving all the way back, then all the way down another road to flounder around in the darkness.


After trying to find the least St Patricksy place in town, the highlight of the lakeside dinner ended up being (drumroll please) - a bearded midget, dressed as a leprechaun, running.  That's right.  Midget.  Beard.  Leprechaun.  Running.  He ran past several times, then got into a car and drove away.  It was awesome.  Michelle also went to the supermarket wearing her dressing gown as a coat.  Also awesome.


The next day we managed to make it to the swimming hole, a perfect little spot where a steaming hot stream and a colder river meet.  Such an amazing feeling and so nice to be able to move around and find the perfect temperature.  There was an old woman so ancient that she looked like a female ET in a matching mint green bikini and swim cap, complete with full mud mask.  I was a little startled when I turned around and she was just floating in the water behind me.  I became increasingly fascinated with her though, especially when she started doing t'ai chi in the river, and when she scolded and muttered at an obnoxious English woman who somehow thought it would be okay to use shampoo in the stream and that it would be okay for her husband to swim in white underwear (I won't get started or I will get angry all over again)!


The final highlight was totally beating a very frustrated Michelle at the 3D Maze (34 minutes, winner!) and meeting the grumpy old man that runs it.  We were having a chat and he completely berated this kid for cheating, it was great.  I don't think the kid really got the point, but the fact that Grumpy's response to "My granddad told me to crawl under the walls," was "Bollocks!" made it possibly the best $6 I think I spent that weekend.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

April 19 - put it in your diary

I think it should be International High Five Day, but nevermind.  But then again, the very nature of the High Five is that it's so America, and it's also so American to neglect to involve the rest of the world, officially.  I think we should tag along on this one anyway!!

Random thoughts of the day

  • Facebook is starting to scare me, for real.
  • "Are you on, like, crystal meth or something?  Cause this is really cracky behaviour."  I love Zach from Heroes and think "cracky behaviour" should be used more as a turn of phrase.
  • I don't know if I should, but I think Simon Pegg is hott.  And I am really excited about Hot Fuzz!
  • I don't get anything productive done when I know I'm unsupervised.
  • It hurts my back less when I know there's not going to be anyone looking over my shoulder.
  • There are a lot of movies coming up that I want to see (and before anyone comments, these are coming up in NZ, even though they have maybe been out forever in the rest of the civilised world): Ghostrider (haha, seriously?), Black Sheep, 300 (IMAX!), Shooter, Pirates of the Caribbean 3 (as long as it's not longer than the second one!), Shrek 3, Spiderman 3, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, the Transformers movie!  What's up with all the trilogies and comic book movies?  Do I not want to see anything serious?  Or are there no serious movies coming out this year?
  • Wild Hogs.  What the hell?!
  • I really should have remembered that my whole department was out of the office yesterday before I called in sick.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Scotland Photos

I've been meaning to post links to my photos from last Autumn but it was so much effort uploading them that I never got around to it.  So finally, here they are!
Scotland Autumn 2006 - Knockengorroch, Pirate Party, Toga Party, Letter Party, Skye, Hallowe'en.
Edinburgh November 2006 - Guy Fawkes, Quiz Nights, Farkins' Last Pub Crawl, Christmas Lights, Ceilidh, Box Wars Party, Wendy's Leaving Drinks.
You still have to sign in to see them.  Sorry!
I've linked these in my sidebar, and have also put a link to my Farcebook page in there as well.
Hooray for being (slightly more) up to date!

Sidebar Updates

I realised the other day that somehow I don't have a link to Michelle's Travelpod on my page.  As we're like, BFFs and all, it was weird.  Like, OMG. 
So I did a mini update on my sidebar and have added links to the following pages:
Michelle Bond - globetrotter, information management specialist, future international pyrotechnics consultant.
Carol Humber - Self-confessed geek extraordinaire!
Updated: Kathleen Broderick (soon to be Rogers) - USA Breast Cancer Research Fundraiser.
Kiwi FM - All Kiwi, all the time.
[Although the intentions are true, all acronyms in this post are said in a most sarcastic tone - although pronounced in a very accurate Valley Girl accent]

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Karma better get 'em

Those damn food colouring addicts.

Somebody stole my Irn Bru out of the fridge at work today!  And a box of liquid breakfast (eww, but it's neater than eating cornflakes in the car on the way to work) as well. 

I don't care so much about the Up and Go, but seriously, who would take my Irn Bru?  I had to go and buy that specially (I found a supplier of Irn Bru, Jaffa Cakes, and lots of other not necessarily orange British foods!), and was saving it for the inevitable day when coffee was just not enough.

The one Scottish guy I like thought I'd finally stopped teasing him and drunk it myself.  So unless he's a really good liar, he's clear.  That leaves ... several other Scots.  As I don't figure anyone else would know what it was and/or want it. 

The principle is important too I guess.  I thought I had left the stolen food issue along with the communal living ...

Monday, March 12, 2007

Wendy does not like Flixster!

And you can tell it's serious because the title is in the third person!
Recently I foolishly registered for (don't do it!) as a bit of a timewaster and although I thought I was careful enough to uncheck all my email addresses before completing the registration, it still sent out invites to everyone in my address book, which included a fair amount of business addresses and other one-time email addresses that GMail had stored automatically for me (one of the few features I don't really approve of).
Naturally when I realised this, I was fairly mortified.  Probably not a big deal for most people, but the fact that I'd bothered up to 500 people with something I didn't even write myself is pretty significant!  So of course I wrote something myself to apologise for the faux pas and sent it on to those same people.
A week later, however, lo and behold they have sent another email, pretending that it was from me and that I said it was okay in the first place.  This is not the case!  So I have completely deregistered and do not endorse them in any way. 

Saturday, March 10, 2007

I love the Famous Spiegeltent!

I just got home from dancing the night away in the newly erected Spiegeltent in downtown Auckland!

As if I couldn't love it any more than I already did (last times I was there were for La Clique and The Peatbog Faeries in Edinburgh), tonight it confirmed that that's possible.

I got in touch with Rick to tell him that Club Spiegel was on tonight and he happily came down to join in the groovin'. 

I thought THAT was great (and also there was a rather cute bartender on tonight), and then I turn around and who should be standing there but Janine, one of the girls currently residing at High Street.  She's only here for a week and we run into each other. 

I LOVE THE SPIEGELTENT!  Where else could I feel like I was back in Edinburgh when I am on the other side of the world?

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Too much excitement, not enough money!

Dylan Moran is coming for the Auckland Comedy Festival!
Ed Byrne too.  And Ardal O'Hanlon!
Why so many good acts?  Why are they all Irish?  Why don't I have enough money?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Long road ahead. Again.

So I really like the fact that you can actually tag people's faces in the photos on Crackbook.  That's great.  What's really annoying is that I have so many photos which need to be re-uploaded onto a different site. 

Also, I have so many that today's short attention span children will probably get distracted before they find the ones that they're interested in...

Le sigh.

Let's hope this one's not run by L. Ron Hubbard

I've conceded defeat and joined up with Facebook (henceforth known as Crackbook or otherwise, since I'm sure I will begrudgingly end up being as addicted as everyone else is).


I've decided to ignore the cognitive dissonance for now.  My innate aversion to these sorts of corporatised internet popularity contests has given way to my desperate need to increase contact with my hundreds of now essentially virtual (remote) friends and my desire to streamline and consolidate my online presence.


I'm encouraged by the fact that I can directly import my weblog by RSS feed so I don't need to change so much.   I'm still undecided about the status of my millions of photos …


For anyone that I have met through that den of iniquity in Edinburgh, join up the HSH group and we will be home again (if you're not still there!).

Friday, March 02, 2007

What's Going on in Auckland, Wendel?

So I know a lot of people find it difficult to keep up with the play on all the exciting things going on around Auckland at the moment (and this is said without a hint of sarcasm, honestly), so here are the things that I know of and can recommend in the next month or so.  I will definitely be at most if not all of them, so get in touch if you need a buhdee to hang out with!
Now til 10 March
Summer Shakespeare

Auckland University is presenting a modern take on The Merchant of Venice.  7.30pm-9.30pm every night near the Old Arts Building until March 10.  I'm going on Tuesday!  Tickets $27/$18 conc.

2 March
Shapeshifter and Friends
Shapeshifter, Hollie Smith,Concord Dawn, Opensouls, State of Mind, dDUB, Pacific, Bass Culture, Timmy Schumacher + more to be added.  St James, $49.90/$25.00 concession.
Still thinking about it but I have already spent so much money this week ...
2 - 4 March
Lantern Festival
The end of the Chinese New Year celebrations - food, lights, shopping and martial arts, what more could you want?!  Also, it's free!  5.30pm - 10pm, Albert Park, city.  Fireworks on Sunday at 10pm .  I'll be there!

3 March
Carnival Against Carmageddon
Reclaiming K Rd beetween Queen St to Pitt St from 3pm onwards!

There will be a countdown at 3pm and run out onto the street like
crazy people and stall holders and stuff can set up once we've
"reclaimed the street". Stalls will be down the Queen St
end of the block, outside Paper Bag Princess/Whitcoulls end. Verona
will have DJs from 3pm and we are having a flat bed
truck at the other end (Little Turkish Cafe) with the bands on it.
Somewhere in the middle of the street we're gonna have two tonnes of
snow dumped in a pile and have sled comps and a person dressed as a
polar bear
. Fun.

Bands playing include: Collapsing Cities, The
DHDFD's, Phony Bone, Teenwolf and Tegan.
3 March
Shore Sounds Rockfest
Not sure I'll make it to this since they will have snow in town!  But if you wanna have some fun on the dirty dirty shore, it sounds like it'll be rocking!  The Bleeders, Steriogram, 48May, Quarter 2, Kingston, Sons of Solomon, Shore Syndicate, Tourist, Where's Gary's Duvet? and The Rabble. 
If you're into the punk/ska scene, remember there's NOFX, MXPX, Reel Big Fish and loads loads more on in the next few weeks!
9 - 25 March
AK07 - Auckland Festival 2007
Opening fireworks on Saturday 10 March at the Domain from 7.30pm.  Loads and loads of events happening around the city, especially near Red Square at Britomart.  I can personally recommend The Famous Spiegeltent, which must be seen - for a show, a drink or just a walk through (I love it) and also La Clique, perfect as a Cirque du Soleil style circus with a more intimate and sometimes funny style.
4 May
Crunchie Comedy Gala Opening
The opening night of the Crunchie Comedy Fest.  Star-studded, red carpet, flashy and hilarious.  Hosted by Ardal O'Hanlon (Father Dougal from Father Ted) and featuring a truckload of great comedy including Ed Byrne (Ireland) and my actual friend Mickey D (Australia).  Tickets $60-65.
That's all I have time for for now, but enjoy the last of the summer! 

Monday, January 22, 2007

Hi ho, hi ho

Work, that is, not visiting a red light district.  And definitely not working in a red light district!

I had my first 8 (and a quarter!) hour day today since September 2005.  That's right. 

Supposedly the guys I'm working for are difficult and demanding and the job requires me to be "really switched on".  Oh yeah, the cutting and pasting is killing me.  Also, my combination of extremely high tolerance and having dealt with some very high maintenance people means I kinda like these guys and don't foresee myself having any problems.

It's only for two weeks and it's really far away (it's nearly out of Auckland!), but the pay is really good so I will suck it up and do the driving.

5 days til my birthday!

Oh yeah, Happy 2007 ... !!!  It's gonna be a good one.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

Well I was awake for midnight in New Zealand, all the Aussie time zones, all through Asia, part of Europe, the UK and all the Americas.   
I had a quiet new years with friends on the beach with a bonfire.  It was quiet, chilly and entirely lovely.  I got to commiserate with another sad person who was not at Rockin' Rockies New Year this year.  We talked all night and watched the sun rise from the top of Mt Eden.  Met some great randoms and realised what a crazy amount of trees there are in Auckland.
Why was the Edinburgh street party cancelled?
I've had 7 hours of sleep in the last 50 hours.  I think I'll go to bed soon.