Stories, thoughts, observations, rants and dribble. Just another of my attempts to keep the interested people informed ...
Monday, March 26, 2007
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 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
- 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
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
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
Saturday, March 10, 2007
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
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
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...
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
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!
http://www.maidment.auckland.ac.nz Tickets $27/$18 conc.
Shapeshifter and FriendsShapeshifter, 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 ...
Lantern FestivalThe 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!
Carnival Against CarmageddonReclaiming 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.
Shore Sounds RockfestNot 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!
AK07 - Auckland Festival 2007Opening 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.
Crunchie Comedy Gala OpeningThe 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.