Thursday, December 10, 2009

Amanda Fucking Palmer on why she is not afraid to take your money!

Click the link below:

why i am not afraid to take your money by amanda fucking palmer

and a little bit of the lovely amanda as a treat for when you finish reading!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

kristmas knack!

And look! People's coffee! Live music! Arts and crafts!

Saturday 5th December
Berhampore School hall
Britomart Street (off Adelaide Road)

See you all there with your fat fat wallets - woop!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Reclaim the Night

Yesterday Sporty, Pipi and I were part of the Reclaim the Night march; we really only reclaimed the early evening but still, it felt good to be part of something important. We chanted and carried placards and banners and we took up a lot of space on the streets.

The speakers were great – my favourite line was from a member of the Women’s Refuge Collective. She said:
Rape is not an act of lust in the same way that family violence is not an act of love.
Right on! A woman is not raped because she is just so Hot! Hot! Hot! that the rapist can’t resist her…

Thursday, November 26, 2009


I'm just listening to National Radio interview with a guy about the planned new tax plans - Land tax, will be like a new rate at .5% or a new tax on rental properties - tax on equity and a flat top tax rate at 30% and possibly an increase in GST. WTF!!!!!!
The guy is killing me he just sounds so reasonable. Language is such a dangerous thing. It's a matter of balancing the concerns of efficiency and equity. WTF!!!! What do you think he's earning? Nothing about improving the lives of our poorest. Nothing about taxing the bads. It's all about keeping the tax take stable while reducing how much the rich pay.
Social and behavioural and environmental taxes aren't worth considering because you then have to spend them on fixing the problems. Scoped out.
There will be a public meeting at Vic tomorrow for people to have their say. I'm on a course in town but I want to go.
Rant over.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Just a quick blog to say:

I've done it!!!
(This is my happy face - check out the size of that script!!)

I'm off to Wellington to hand in my script, fingers crossed eh? Be great to get the chance to get it in front of a Producer but if it doesn't happen yet I just keep on writing....

Thanks so much to all you lovelies for your support, aroha and feedback over the past two years - I have the coolest bunch of friends in the world.



Monday, November 9, 2009

Thursday, November 5, 2009

hating the system

If I'd posted yesterday like I was going to it would have been all about the experience of being in the recording studio and having an awesome bunch of actors bring my characters to life. I may write that blog in the next few days but right now I'm at home alone while you lot are at a party (by choice - no dramas there) and I just got some very frustrating news I feel I need to vent so... apolgies in advance that there are no pretty pictures or videos to watch and that this is not a particularly upbeat post!


You all know about a certain 12 year old we had the pleasure of caring for earlier this year, and it really was a pleasure. If was fantastic to see this unsure kid incapable of vocalising her thoughts or feelings grow into this vibrant young thing prepared to take US on in a debate (was she dreaming?!?!) Anyway, during her time here we tried to give her the time and space to be herself, and be safe, and the groth in her was a special thing to experience.

Now the rules say that once she leaves that's it, we have no right to contact, get information or anything. Hard to swallow but ok, I understand the family need rights and that in some cases this is possibly a good thing (though it doesn't, IMHO, do much to help kids to understand there are different kinds of relationships and that there is someone outside of the family who is there and cares about them). We have, with a little hardship and a lot of wondering at times, obeyed those rules.

Tonight I've been chatting with said 12 year old on a social networking site, and it was fantastic to catch up. She approached me to be a friend, I thought long and hard about it, and agreed. So, the chat was about all sorts of things and it was good to hear from her, except for now I know what I had formerly only wondered at, and in this case ignorance was bliss.

It seems that in six weeks this great kid, and her 10 year half sister, will return to the home of a man who has been judged by a psycologist IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS to be unsafe. We had a discussion with the psychologist some months ago and were told what her recommendations would be for the judge on th case. Clearly that judge completely ignored the report THEY requested in the first place and has done what CYPS are so bloody minded about and sent the kids back to 'the family'.

I get it, I know why the focus is there and all that, but I can pretty much guarantee that this family will not be closely supervised, that there will be little or no support, and that there are two kids who will be shit scared of making any disclosures because over the past three years the systems incompetence and family's messiness have served to make them feel responsible for the nastiness in their worlds. The mother is in a controlling relationship with degrees of abuse and those kids are going back into that situation.

I don't know whether I'm more inclined to anger or tears (maybe both). I do know that the 12 yr old has asked me not to tell her family I've spoken to her and I really don't want to risk that I might be someone she can come to if she needs to. BUT everything in me is screaming to challenge this ruling and the situation bureaucrats have put these two young people in.

Honestly, I don't know what to do.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Yellow rage. Respect.

And another cause theyre so awesome

 And here's a glimmer of hope for my feminist utopia, cause it does (contrary to popular belief) include men. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sydney Mardi Gras Party

This is an interesting link don't you think? Pink flight to Sydney next year with entertainment... a special "themed" flight, and not too expensive. Group outing? PS, click on the title of this blog to go to the site...

Monday, November 2, 2009

Comments required

Tell me about your day...

Is anyone else pissed off

that there haven't been any updates to Queer Eye Candy in four weeks?

I feel ripped off. Whose photo shall we send in?

Friday, October 30, 2009

What's the definition of democracy?

Two wolves and a sheep deciding what to have for lunch!


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

At the risk of being insubstantial...

I haven't blogged for ages. So I thought I would. Please do not read this if you don't feel like reading random waffling thoughts. I'm going to keep it to 10. I promise.
  1. I am really looking forward to this weekend. Hanging with my homey chicks, having a laugh, maybe the odd deep-and-meaningful... You guys rock and I love ya almost as much as I love my iPhone.

  2. I am REALLY enjoying my art stuff at the moment. It makes me smile a lot (when I'm not frowning in concentration - yes, really, it IS my face), and occassionally laugh out loud. I often talk to myself. And I can smoke like a train "inside" and it's the workshop so that's OK.

  3. I need to get into the garden. Poor neglected garden. I am ashamed.

  4. Intense earnest white "Green" guys can be a pain in the arse. Why is it that I always attempt to look interested in the dribble that comes out of their mouths? What I really want to do is to tell them to stop looking at their navels, and go out and listen to some people. That really WOULD change the world.

  5. I've seen a few cute wee baby dykes lately. Funny. I haven't seen any in 5 years. It's like they all went inside, cut their hair, decided to go "punk" or "grunge", ripped up some clothes and then have been parading up and down the streets. It's good. I thought they were becoming extinct.

  6. Is it OK that I want to sell my art? Is that art? Or product? And why is it that everytime I create something that I think is cool, I then spend the next gazillion hours trying to work out how I can make something the same, but unique, in half the time and for half the cost? I might be a lost cause.

  7. Sometimes I think my heart might have a blanket over it. I look at people around me and despair about humanity and its cruelty and selfishness. Sometimes I think my heart might burst with love. My heart is confused at the moment, can't settle on either, and that is probably not good for a white chick, who's been on medication for so long, who smokes and is turning 40 soon.

  8. I'm sorry to the people who I love and who I am so bloody hopeless at keeping in touch with. Regularly anyway. I do think of them. Often in fact. I'm either lazy, inconsiderate, busy or all of these.

  9. Everytime I look out of my office window at the lush green grass of parliament, I think about the scabby pockmarked lawns that abound in NZ. It makes me think that grass is expensive.

  10. I'm off to do some jobs for Sue B - I'm sorry but I'm dropping you all immediately, because Sue needs me.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Who has the right to write...

One of my scripts for the Radio NZ competition has a Maori family as the central characters. This has once again opened up that good old can of worms of who has the right to tell a story...

The story I wrote is not about race but it is about people. I orignally had different main characters but the story morphed and it was this family that I was drawn towards. This brings into question the appropriateness of whether or not it is ok for me to have a Maori family to tell the story, and if so how do I need to represent them.

There is a part of me that thinks 'I'm gay yet I write straight characters, I'm female yet many males inhabit the world of my scripts, I'm 31 yet my characters are 5 and 65' BUT is this just another colonial piece of crap that allows me to think I have permission to represent a culture I'm not part of? Is it ok for me to assume that because I am writing about people I know, family's I have been amongst, and most of all that I write about PEOPLE, and that I am 'creating', that I can assert grounds to do what I please?

I realise that this argument is not about my script, it is much bigger than that. But what difference does it make if I change the characters to pakeha? Would I have had the same conversation if my characters were Asian, or South African?

Do I really have the right to write the stories that come to me?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

ACC cut postering

Bebe and i spent the morning (after having lovely breakfast and catch up with tank, fnessm and H2TB) postering Island bay and Lyall bay about cuts to sexual abuse funding. It was all going really well and we were quite happy with our progress. However in Lyal bay we ran into a little bit of conflict. A man stormed over to us demanding that we take down the posters or he'd take our photos (the camera was in his hand) and give it to police and city council. Fuck wad. He proceeded to say taggers like us werent welcome in his neighbourhood. I immediatly retaliated, put my hand up stretched out in front of my face towards his camera and walked towards him exclaiming we were standing up for the sexually abused and that he should just read the poster. Needless to say it got pretty heated. We refused to take down the posters and he went into his house just across the road- taking photos almost the whole time.

Bebe and i left and decided to return to his house with a little present.

A flower, some facts and a thank-you note in the form of chalk, right outside his whare.

We ended up having quite a good discussion and by the end of it, he reached out to give both of us a hug. I refused but Bebe was quite happy to receive cuddles.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Chuck the 'PC Police' on hold...

I haven't blogged for ages, I've made several starts but lack the followthrough. Anyway, most of my blog attempts have been too serious to indulge so I'm changing tack and delivering this.... a giggle for a thursday arvo.

New Words for 2009
* SALAD DODGER.An excellent phrase for an overweight person.*
* SWAMP-DONKEYA deeply unattractive person.
* TESTICULATING.Waving your arms around and talking bollocks.
* BLAMESTORMING.Sitting round in a group, discussing why a deadline was missed or aproject failed, and who was responsible.
* SEAGULL MANAGER.A manager who flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps on everything, and then leaves.
* SALMON DAY..The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream only to get screwed and die.
* CUBE FARM.An office filled with cubicles.
* PRAIRIE DOGGING. When someone yells or drops something loudly in a cube farm, and people's heads pop up over the walls to see what's going on.(This also applies to applause for a promotion because there may be cake.)
* SINBAD. Single working girls. Single income, no boyfriend and desperate.
* AEROPLANE BLONDE. One who has bleached/dyed her hair but still has a 'black box'.
* PERCUSSIVE MAINTENANCE.The fine art of whacking the crap out of an electronic device to get itto work again.
* OH - NO SECOND. That minuscule fraction of time in which you realize that you've just made a BIG mistake (e.g. you've hit 'reply all').
* GREYHOUND. A very short skirt, only an inch from the hare..
* JOHNNY-NO-STARS.A young man of substandard intelligence, the typical adolescent who works in a burger restaurant. The 'no-stars' comes from the badges displaying stars that staff at fast-food restaurants often wear to show their level of training.
* MILLENNIUM DOMES. The contents of a Wonderbra, i.e. extremely impressive when viewed from the outside, but there's actually naught in there worth seeing.
* MONKEY BATH . A bath so hot, that when lowering yourself in, you go: 'Oo! Oo! Oo!Aa! Aa! Aa!'.
* MYSTERY BUS.. The bus that arrives at the pub on Friday night while you're in thetoilet after your 10th pint, and whisks away all the unattractive people sothe pub is suddenly packed with stunners when you come back in.
* TART FUEL. Bottled premixed spirits, regularly consumed by young women.
* TRAMP STAMP Tattoo on a female
* PICASSO BUM. A woman whose knickers are too small for her, so she looks like she's got 4 buttocks

thank you very much.

Monday, October 5, 2009

ACC funding cuts to counselling

A meeting was held tonight at 128 to talk possible actions against ACC but more specifically towards Dr Peter Jansen, ACC Clinical Directorate and Minister of ACC, Nick Smith.

There is a march planned and we need as many people involved and aware as possible.

Date: Monday 19th Oct @ 12:30
Where: Rally at the Cenotaph then Parliament and onto ACC Headquarters on molesworth st

Here’s the petition if you’ve not already signed on AND if anyone has time there will be other meetings held
Sunday @ 11.45, 128 Abel Smith St
Monday @ 5:30, 128 Abel Smith St


If you’d like to help with distributing leaflets/making banners just drop in to 128 this thurs between 1 and 3.30

Email Nick or Peter with your concerns

Find more info here here here here and here


Thursday, October 1, 2009


I love mince, lamb, beef, pork, rat sheesh kebabs (that’s what I was told they were-yummy), duck noodle soup, goats cheese, kai moana, pate’ eggs omg eggs! and even that awful French stuff where you choke the bird to fill the liver of 'tasty goodness'. I think it’s pronounced like ‘farg gwah’

Awareness around my 'murder consumption' has been pretty shit and predominantly purposeful ignorance. But now the *busy lifestyle slash low income* yada just doesn't seem viable so, for this and various other reasons i've looked into politics around veganism.

Now i think i have slightly more educated defences to cover my shame and guilt for my carnivorous actions.

Here are some of my thoughts (and insecurities) around veganism

Will my friends and whanau reject me if I become a vegan
(esp my hangi loving whanau that already think i’ve become too white for my own good)
Is it really ‘white’ to be vegan when there are many vegans of colour?
Will my friends think I’m imposing my views on them ?
Will or am I imposing my views on them?

Who places value on what should or shouldn't be killed?
Will I include shellfish in my veganism, if not will I substitute that intake for something of the same calibre?
Can I make a vegan boil up??
Am I thinking about becoming a vegan because I care or because there’s that really hot girl that’s vegan? Is that so bad?
But I do care, i do (sigh). Sheeps, cows, pigs into mutton, beef, pork… bacon and eggs or brisket boil ups. I’m aware that the majority of animals I consume live short, caged , mutilated, druged lives deprived of their most basic freedoms. Even free range chickens are slaughtered once egg productivity lessons after two years.

I know that the environmental impacts of agriculture has devastating effects to our land and that food production causes pollution producing large carbon emmissions AND that agriculture is highly inefficient in the use of our resources.
So why the fuck did I eat mince on toast for breakfast this morning?
Because I’m selfish.. dominant.. powerful.. the norm.. it’s my privilege??


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Explosive Expression

Explosive Expression: Creative Resistance to the State Terror Raids of October 2007
Exhibition and Auction
Thistle Hall Gallery 13-18 October 2009

A week of events:

Tuesday, October 13, 6pm. Exhibition Opening with special guest Tame Iti. Media invited.

Wednesday evening, October 14, 7:30pm: A celebration of musical resistance featuring the works of Urs Signer, composer, clarinettist and Operation 8 defendant at the Adam Concert Rooms, Victoria University Wellington

Thursday evening, October 15, 7pm: Film Screening of 'Tuhoe: a history of resistance' and short films about the October 15th raids at the New Zealand Film Archive

Friday evening, October 16, 6pm: Meet the artists and hear about their creative resistance at Thistle Hall

Saturday (daytime), October 17, 12-4pm: Political screenprinting workshop for youth at the 128 Community House, 128 Abel Smith Street, sponsored by a Creative Communities grant. Admission is FREE - bring along your ideas for political screenprinted works.

Saturday (evening), October 17, 7pm: AUCTION NIGHT with food, drinks, and all of these amazing works for sale

Sunday (daytime), October 18, 1-5pm: Documenting our communities workshop with local filmmakers at Aro Valley Community Hall sponsored by a Creative Communities grant.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fat Feminism

one size does not fit all. Was sent this info and clip from weird hui organiser. I had to share. oooo chunky chunky plumpy...mmmn mmn

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Forget Shorter Showers: Why personal change does not equal political change

"WOULD ANY SANE PERSON think dumpster diving would have stopped Hitler, or that composting would have ended slavery or brought about the eight-hour workday, or that chopping wood and carrying water would have gotten people out of Tsarist prisons, or that dancing naked around a fire would have helped put in place the Voting Rights Act of 1957 or the Civil Rights Act of 1964? Then why now, with all the world at stake, do so many people retreat into these entirely personal “solutions”?"

Check out the whole article at Orion magazine

Friday, September 18, 2009

Rhocking the city! or Whanganui gets its H back…

Well, the Geographic board has said that Whanganui should be spelt with the H, and we just need to wait for Minister of Land Information, Maurice Williamson to sign off the decision.

(He’s thinking on it – happy thinking Maurice.)

Comments about the H are pretty much what you would expect – racist crap, with lot of comments about Maori not having a written language of their own before the English came.

Ha! I’m sure Maori would be more than happy to give back the written language in return for their land.

I reckon Willie Jackson has got it right when he says,

The racists there, and around the country, want to stop Maori having their language correctly spelt. Why? They don’t really know, but I suspect they think Maori are getting too big for their boots and that if they give way to the H, then Maori will probably want the whole country next.

Look out Mr Laws, the tangata whenua are höhä!

Biscuit threat!

After reading this, sent to me by Sporty this morning,
Research by Mindlab International shows more than half of all Britons have been injured by biscuits. An estimated 25 million adults had been injured while eating during a tea or coffee break – at least 500 had landed themselves in hospital, the survey revealed. The most dangerous biscuit in Briton is the much feared 'custard cream'.
I thought I would share with you my two worst food injuries…

1) A nasty burnt tongue after accidently eating a still-flaming marshmallow in a drunken state (me, not the marshmallow).
2) A bad Toblerone stab to the roof of the mouth. What idiot would design confectionery with hard pointy bits?!

And Sporty’s?
Hyperventilating after eating a pizza doused in Tabasco sauce.

Other tales of food harm welcome :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Bebe, H2TB and i are going

if we can get tickets. anyone else able/keen?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Maybe suckers for punishment

Just to let you know...

Chantelle is coming to stay for a short period of time with us from Monday... She's 15 and troubled. Apparently smart and sporty. No contact with the family necessary for us. However she may go missing for periods of time.

More soon...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

backroom troubles

Screening as part of the Vanguard Films 30 year retrospective at the NZ Film Archive, is Andrea Bosshard and Shane Loader’s' 1997 film 'BACKROOM TROUBLES'. This moving, shocking and frequently ironic documentary was the first to explore the taboo territory of illegal abortion in New Zealand. Highly Commended at the 1997 NZ Peace Awards, it was, however, "too hot for TV". Twelve years later controversy remains and abortion is still a divisive issue.

So don't miss this one-off public screening of 'BACKROOM TROUBLES' at the New Zealand Film Archive (cnr Taranaki and Ghuznee St) Friday 11 Sept. 7:00pm

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

There is some hope...

It's been a big old emotionally draining day for me and tankgrl, but with the visit of a psychologist arranged by a certain incompetent family organisation there is just the faintest glimmer of hope on the horizon.

Said psychologist sees red flags... and the report should hold some sway at the next court session. Fingers crossed an awesome 12 year old avoids ending up in an unsafe situation.

Monday, September 7, 2009

agitation castratulation

I have so much to do right now i REALLY shouldn't be posting.
but check this shit

"Shii, The Controversial Wii Game and Controller For Her" advertisement.

Did a little research, nintendo doesn't actually sell/manufacture this product.
I still want to chop these guys dicks off

i'm trying to focus my anger, i am

Friday, September 4, 2009

Hari huritau!!!!!

Yay... it's here... Kotiro's birthday... whooop whooooooooop!

Hope you are having a fantidddlytastic day and looking forward to our cocktails and sillyness tonight... xxxx

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Take that Mr Laws II

Like all bullies Mr Laws can dish it out but he can't take it.
I can't express how horrified I was to read that he was now bullying children.
What kind of man abuses children for expressing an opinion? What ever happened to nurturing and encouraging our children to engage in the world around us? It is scary to think an elected official would stoop to this. shame on you Mr Laws! I say go the children and freedom of speech!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I've had a few false starts...

Where I wrote a few words and then punked out of posting a blog for various reasons. I've just had a fullon day at course which included an afternoon with Paul Swadel of the NZ Film Commision which was interesting and it seems like exciting times ahead for emmerging writers as doors that were previously only opened by Producers/Directors may soon be accessed by the wordy ones. Anyway... this seems to have slunk through rather quietly, perhaps it's just a BrOtaki thing but check this out:

NZ's first Online Film Festival!!!

Ziln has launched - it's NZ's first online TV channel (odd I know) and they are getting up to all sorts of interesting things, I'm loving the NZ Archives clips and the film fest is way cool!

It's a chance to check out some of NZ's feature films of days past - classics like Goodbye Pork Pie, Utu, Ngati and Mr Wrong (love Gaylene Preston!). Ok, so it may have tankgrl wanting to self harm but I'm hoping that some of you spend the last few rainy days of winter curled up with your laptop watching a good ole Kiwi classic!

Take that Mr Laws!

So here's my gang patch - and when I get round to making the rest we can head to Whanganui...

Do you think we could hire scooters and actually be a biker gang? Cunts on bikes yee-ah!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Reminder screening tonight

The 10 conditions of love 8:30 MTV

Maori TV will be the “first broadcaster in the world” to screen “the documentary China doesn’t want the world to see”

I had never heard of the Uyghur until Maori tvs’ defiance against the Chinese embassy to screen this indigenous doco. Kudos MTV!!

We need more media like MTV who are fully aware of the price we (indigenous/ colonised) pay for so called ethnic unity and social stability.

Here's the trailor and heres the type of media coverage put out in China

The rat is dead. Long live the Rat!

Em's baby Ameera Bubba Gelling died yesterday afternoon.

She's devastated.

Just goes to show, love takes many forms.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

this is a comment to tankgrl re her experiment...

your experiment has been done before and there is even a movie about it, cant recall the name but it stared kevin spacey and was of course a real tear jerker...anyway I dont really see what is odd about being nice or kind. I love that you are doing these random acts of kindness or if you want oddness. I think you are great and I love that you have a super hero card. I would love one too, maybe we should all have one!

How come i can post but not comment?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Jessie goes Friday

Back to her family. If you'd like me to pass on any messages, email or text them. We are very subdued.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Today I returned to the scene of my previous Random Act of Oddness. I was greeted warmly and with enthusiasm (still with the slanty-eyed sideways look).

Apparently I "made the lady's day" yesterday, and she vowed as she left the cafe to "do something nice for someone else". Clair tells me that I am very kind and nice. And that there's quite a lot of niceness going around and she thinks it might have something to do with the recession. She hopes 'it' comes back to me tenfold. "Oddness?" I think to myself, "...can the world cope if it is multiplied by 10? Or does she mean 'to the power of ten'?!".

I found this conversation quite interesting really, mostly because I really wasn't intending to be kind. Rather I've approached this as an experiment. Really. How does the human mind respond to stimuli that is out of the ordinairy? What happens if a stranger is kind? Do we return that to the person or do we hug it to ourselves? Do we pass it on "tenfold"? Or do we just take it as our right? Does it REALLY make the world a better place? Or does it drop into the huge lake of our life and disappear beneath the surface, never to appear again? I've been told that one of my "problems" is that I am too generous. This also puzzles me. Does generosity result in meanness? And in what forms?

Today I asked Clair to give the next coffee to a bloke. And to wait until I had left (for some reason, paying for a coffee made me feel guilty. Almost as if I was swinging my wallet around, randomly asking "so do you come here often?" and leering suggestively at passers by. I think it's because the random recipient is also being given my superhero card. This doesn't seem rational, so I'm just going to go with the flow until I receive evidence otherwise).

Anyways, one thing I did notice was that despite the fact that I've been all in my head about this 'experiment', it made me smile when Clair said nice things. And I certainly had a jaunty walk as I left the cafe. Being kind and nice makes me feel good apparently.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Random act of oddness #1

People puzzle me a lot. And I mean, A LOT. Why is it that some people are just plain nasty? And just when I've lost the will to live and think about cancelling all people related charity donations, someone does something so bloody wonderful that I'm overwhelmed by "nice feelings".

You may know about my obsesssion with superheroes. You see, I have a theory (on a good day). When I sit on the train watching all of the bored looking people, I imagine that they are in fact superheroes in disguise. They might help old ladies across the road, be kind to strangers in need or simply make someone a cuppa tea when they're feeling low. All activities worthy of a superhero.

Which led me to watching people on the street in Lambton Quay. I am not a person who is comfortable in Lambton Quay amongst the "suits". So I watch and wonder if rather than being the stuffy uptight people that I assume they are, that maybe they too are superheroes in disguise. And now it is an obsession. In fact, everywhere that I go I wonder what feats of superheroism people may be plotting or even carrying out at that very moment.

Which OF COURSE led me to get myself some business cards made. They say simply my name, "Superhero in disguise", my cellphone and my gmail address. So this morning I started my social experiment. I went to Sweet Fanny Annes, gave Claire money for a coffee, asked for this to pay for the next person who came in and only in return to give them my superhero business card. She looked at me as if I'm a mong, which apparently I'm comfortable with. I was taken aback when she immediately turned around and gave my card to a woman who was waiting inside for her coffee. I took off, as I don't want anything about "me" to moderate anything that may happen.

I don't really have a motivation for this. I have no idea what is going to happen. I'd like for something to happen. Perhaps for my faith in humanity to be bolstered? I'm planning on doing this kinda randomly, and funding maybe 100 coffees in total. Just to see what happens. So I have to sell a few more eggs (come on Manky and Chickpea!), old bags and veges I guess.

So I don't have a "moral of the story" or anything of real meaning to share with you today. Except to give you a glimpse into my (slightly odd) mind. I wonder what will happen?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

So what are we doing for MNTM's birthday?

That's Miramar's Next Top Model for those of you wondering?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Seek happiness or avoid being pissed off?

I was watching one of the TED talks this morning about happiness. Apparently there is a formula for a successful relationship. It goes thus... 5 positive comments:1 negative comment. Yes, if you give 5 times as much positive feedback as you do critical or negative, you are more likely to have a successful relationship. Presumably, if you're having a particularly bad hair day and really put your foot in it, you should up the ratio to more like 6:1 or a crazy 7:1.

And why is it that we need such pandering and positive reinforcement that without a 5:1 ego stroke we're likely to pack the bags and leave? Because we are ancient(ish) beings, with a physiological system that is wired to either "seek pleasure/happiness" or "run like the clappers from danger" (fight or flight). And while our fight or flight system is very ancient and very few of us come across a saber-toothed tiger or warring tribesman, it is VERY well entrenched in our system, and very easily triggered to give us all the proper body things that we need. A racing heart rate, a burst of adrenaline, constriction of blood vessels (so blood is diverted to our hearts and away from potential bleeding extremity injuries). Full on. Useful a few thousand or more years ago. Not so great when having a scrap about how the towels should be pegged out.

Of course these useful physiological responses get re-directed to more noble pursuits in modern times. Such as depression (you don't want to know how many anti-depressants are prescribed), inappropriate touching (Uncle Lenny), bag packing and storming from home.

So, now that you know all of this, will you install a blackboard so that you can keep track of your good vs bad comments? Will you becalm your beating heart when observing illogical towel hanging? Or will you keep your handy hints to yourself? Me? I have the sinking feeling that a saber-toothed tiger cannot change it's 4.8:1 stripes.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Do you think I over-sold this?

List of favourite lists

  • To Do List. While this isn't an inspiring or particularly interesting list, it's the one I use most often and it helps me to at least feel like I've achieved something in my day. And I like that feeling. And like 80% of the general population that uses this list, I too am a cheat and will write things on my To Do list that I have already completed, ALL for the pleasure of crossing it out again or putting a big fat tick next to it. (Eg, write blog, tick, cross out, sigh of pleasure...).
  • Things that I want to do or achieve during my lifetime. I love this one. I like to dream big. Or really small (for example, invent a laptop that folds down into your pocket, BUT that unfolds out so that the keyboard is big enough that you don't get OOS, like our poor Mongy Bebe).
  • Things about my life that I like or love. This is really good no matter what your mood (or in fact life in general) is like. If you're all ecstatic and annoyingly cheerful, it's a nice feelgood that affirms why you're being such a wanker. And if you're really down and feeling like a loser, while the list may seem short, it will remind you that you at least like the tap that's in your bathroom. Maybe you just need to go and have a bath? Which is usually the conclusion that I come to if I'm feeling down in the dumps - but in a soothing way, not in an "I'm just taking the toaster into the bathroom for a bit" kinda way.
  • Things about my life that I dislike or hate. The funny thing about this list is that even if you're in a really good state, it doesn't take long before this list gets really out of hand. Because even if you live your life like we thought Mother Theresa lived hers, there are still OTHER PEOPLE IN THE WORLD. And quite frankly, they can be a piss off. The good thing about this though is that you can disconnect all forms of external communication and take to your lazyboy if you want to minimise this list. Except then you would probably write "no-one talks to me anymore" on your list.

Finding old lists is REALLY cool. Like the ad on tele (which I absolutely LOVE!), you can cross out things that you've done, even if you're late/wrong/now incapable.

Lists rock. And this is why my list blogs always get so many comments containing lists. You're all just as anal as I am, and despite the name-calling (which is number 54 on my 4th list) you all secretly want to be me (number 4 on my 3rd list). List off.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Emily's 21st

This has been on my mind all weekend. It bugs me that I wasn't "allowed" to go. It bugs me a lot. And I'm still struggling.

So I woke up this morning thinking about it (I went to sleep angsting over it, so no surprise I guess) and went out to the new workshop... I've started to make Em a 21st key, with help from my lovely assistant Noodle. So be prepared to write on the back of it on Saturday night.



Outdoor knit @ M.S.School

My class did these! They look especially cool at night as they look to be floating in the air because you can't see the wire.

Friday, August 14, 2009

What feminism means to me - today

I have a vivid memory of my nine year old self crying with that familiar helpless feeling of injustice and rage. My brother and I had all played our obligatory weekend sports. I had played a game of netball, my brothers a game of soccer. My father said that I should do the lunch dishes because the boys were tired from playing a “hard” game that morning.

That moment was an awakening for me and I recognise it now as the first step on this feminist road I travel.

My life is informed by feminism, the decisions I make, the things I do, the people I love and the projects I share my energy with.

I cannot thank enough the women in my life who have shown me that being a woman is awesome, that fighting injustice is fulfilling, that working for equity is a collective calling.

I find strength in the strength of other women, and I love that as I get older my feminism grows and changes.

I don’t mind when people laugh when I use the words patriarchy, hierarchy and oppression - I reckon, call it what it is.

I love that this is what a feminist looks like!

I'm sorry? Excuse me? WHAT did you just say!?

From Jane Bowron’s television review in the Dominion today:
The charity KidsCan, was not a feel-good cause. We are deeply embarrassed that children are going to school inadequately clothed and underfed. While we would have, say, a decade ago, been happy to fork out for a cause that was doing something about that gross injustice, there is a groundswell of people uncomfortable about giving subliminal encouragement to an underclass shameless about churning out children because it is an ‘earn’.
I am almost incoherent with WTF-ness! And really – WTFknF!?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

What an old bag!

I've been drilling and sewing and op-shopping (keep seated!) and planning and prancing around ALL DAY! What fun I have been having :-). Mum's old clunker sewing machine is waiting patiently for my next bout of frentic activity. The last bout an hour or two ago resulted in a god almighty tangle and broken needle...

So I'm making bags out of found and recycled materials. And I'm not exactly sure why, because I really only use bags when I go grocery shopping. I might have to start making an exception I guess. You may just see me swaggering up to Parliament next week with a styley (I think so) bag slung casually over my shoulder.

I'm going to keep on going while the inspiration strikes, and hang them somewhere out of the way. I could maybe sell them out of my boot at a market sometime? Or maybe I can convince Ness and Jan to do that bit for me? Apparently selling a bazillion dildos has destroyed my retail abilities...

Waiting for the voice

I have nothing to say…
Small germs of ideas occasionally flash like dying stars – and then that’s what they do.
I feel inchoate, rudimentary, as if I am still growing into something.
Perhaps it’s a time to hunker down and wait and see, and have some kind of faith that inspiration will strike eventually.
I imagine I will emerge, grown into my potential, pink and naked and shivering but with a hazy sparkle of pale intensity.
Then, I will have something to say.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Community Art work

I texted Maria and Liz about this but really how awesome is that.

Gender, knowledge, power and my favour

As some of you may have heard- I'm (myself and two other students) giving a presentation on cyberfeminism for gender studies. I would really like to give a mock presentation to you all so we can asess presentation etc... I'm extremely nervous but i'd appreciate your feedback, CONSTRUCTIVE criticisms and sisterly love.... :)

We will be delivering the presentation on the 18th of September so could give mock pres in the week beggining 7th-13th. I'm thinking friday or saturday would be pref?
It's really interesting stuff, i'm sure it'll be great fun- i'm not too sure about a venue at this point but i'll provide some treats and drinks
In fluidarity and cyberlove,


5 Mundane Things About Today

  1. I frown a lot when I'm staring at any computer - which makes me think that maybe I frown a lot because my face doesn't feel any different than it usually does. This is a photo of me trying not to frown at my laptop. Note strained look and telltale vertical lines on my brow.
  2. I think Spring is coming. The bulbs are up, there's a lightness about the air and I don't feel compelled to light the fire as soon as I get out of bed (which in this case was 6.15am this morning, in order to take Ms Vanoodle to meet her Mummy for carpooling activities).
  3. Bread smells really yummy when it is rising, but I bet it doesn't taste good right now.
  4. Betty Growler is feeling needy-graspy. I can tell this because I have a whole bunch of new little holes in my thighs from her accidentally putting her claws out while "stretching" nonchalantly against me.
  5. I have so many thoughts and ideas racing through my brain at the moment that it's amazing I can get anything completed. Why do I have to try new stuff all of the time? I'm sure it's not normal.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Alecia takes Maia to Childcare...

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Today’s morning routine was a little different than the usual. Mummy was on a First Aid course so Mama had to drop you off at WCCCA. We pulled up in the car and you excitedly pointed toward the centre making “look” noises. We went inside. Everything was still packed away and Rebecca was filling the paint pots. We went into the bathroom to put your bag in your locker and Rebecca came to check we were ok and I knew where everything went. While we were doing that Bridget and Blair had arrived. When you saw Blair you rushed over to him making those same “look” noises you had made earlier while pointing at me as if to tell him “Look Blair, Mama’s here this morning!” – You knew that this morning was different and you wanted to share that with him. When it was time for me to go, you gave me a kihi and said “bye bye” while waving, like you do all the time, but this time you seemed so grown up! I am constantly underestimating how much you are aware of and know. I forget that you are now 16 months old and are learning all the time. I really enjoyed seeing this part of you this morning – Thanks for reminding me why I think you are so amazing!

I'm a little pissed

As you may have noticed I've been a tad ambivalent about my little house. It's a great paint job, has good flow, but it can be damp, wont accomodate a sister in law on a permanent basis, and has seemingly endless problems with the water system not to mention the dodgey electrics. So I was a bit worried that I'd return from holiday to find it small, damp and frustrating.

I didn't. I returned to find it didn't smell damp, was indeed very cute, well located and suits me perfectly. So why am I pissy? Well coz some bastards gone and messed with that fagile equilibrium by trying to break in. grrrrrr .

Upstairs got broken into again yesterday, and I thought I'd escaped, and I have but Clare noticed this morning that the louvres had been removed from my bedroom. So now I know someone wants to break in. Grrrrrr.

A Hiss and a Fart

I notice that a certain Sporty figure no longer seems to be putting her thoughts and interesting links onto this site? It all started off with a hiss and a fart, and now nothing but vacant tepid airspace...

Which reminds me of how I approach a lot of stuff. My life is full of the artefacts of hiss and fart-ism. My golf clubs languish in the garage, a shed full of tools with no workable space in which to stave of H&F... A cupboard full of the remnants of once passionate pursuits...

But never fear, those activities to which we are fully bonded will always come back. Golf has suffered a definite lack of attention for me, but I've gone successfully through that cycle a half dozen times over the past decade. We will be reunited. The sewing machine is never far from my mind, and once the behemoth Kingi has gone, the garage will be transformed into workshop extraordinaire. I may have to install Winter heating. All welcome to come and play - because play is the best way to avoid the dreaded Hiss and Fart Virus.

Friday, August 7, 2009

I have an announcement....

announcement to follow in a few days.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The wonders of encouragement and reward...

Jess is having a great week. Consequently my week is so much nicer as well. When I eventually got home on Tuesday (because of the great train debarcle, which is another story entirely, but don't think that you've gotten out of hearing all about that one, because it is not out of my system yet! I need counselling, which is obvious, and why I am, but again, another story entirely) there were two certificates on my keyboard propped up so I couldn't fail to see them. Exhibit A.

I was so happy for her, because this is the first year that she has ever received a certificate at school - and this is now her third one (the bottom one is from her swimming instructor). I gave her a big hug and told her how proud I was, and then said that as a treat she could have an icecream after dinner. She then said that she wouldn't have one because she'd had a banana split that day already. Righto, I said, well how about you have a star on your chart then? Yay, she replies and rushes off to put said star onto chart.

No big deal.

But it IS! Like 99% of 12 year olds, Jess has a marked penchant for (a) treats, and (b) moulding the truth to suit. Option B has increasingly become an issue for us of late and there have been lengthy dinner-time conversations about the benefits of telling it like it is, and the consequences of truth-telling vs being a lying little rodent (or 12-year old age appropriate words to that effect). So what I omitted to reveal is that two seconds after turning down the ice cream and taking the delayed gratification star chart option, Jess threw herself again into my arms and demanded that I notice how she had "done honesty" even though now that she thought about it, she really would like another ice cream. A moment of grammar correction passed, and we were able to get on with the business of admiring the 12 year old, complete with lots of repeating of positive encouragement, and "I'm so proud(s)" and "you're so fabulous(es)" and "you made such a good decision(s)"...

And so has followed our week. Lots of willing homeworking has ensued, bed time reading, chicken feedings and swimming lessons. Much star charting, hugs, sofa cuddles and admiring comments follow. While I have been in disguise for much of the past month, I believe I am wearing my superhero care-Mum undies this week (and I have several more clean pairs in my drawer).

It's not okay...

I have a problem.

The news these past few days has me seething that not only does Paula Bennet abuse her power to extract information, but our media then support her in publishing the details of two woman that in my view should never be made public without their permission.

The Nats have sent a giant signal to anyone who has the courage to comment against them - we will do what we can to put you back in your place you irrelevant little plaything - and this has been supported by all in the party who fail to acknowledge how serious an abuse this is. It is also endorsed by a media hungry for sales that they allow this sort of abuse, and a public so subordinate that we mumble into our coffee and roll over and show our bellies.

This is debating 101 - attack the argument not the person - though I think many in the Nats missed that lecture. For Bennet to have gained herself from this allowance in the past is perhaps why she LACKS the ability to successfully argue the positives of the Government scrapping it.

What the argument is about feels irrelevant, the tactics are disgusting and she seems altogether too petty to hold a ministerial position. So my question is this - what the hell do I do about it?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Te Wiki o te Reo Māori

Test your Te Reo Māori knowledge

mathieu bastard-roar

Key accepted the apology and said it was time to move on. So a large portion of the nation did yet I still can’t seem to shake it off. Bitter and angry at the whole fiasco I choose to vent my frustrations through acknowledging and posting about a case which is picturesque of the systemic and institutionilised racism that continues to go unchallenged and unrecognised.

Media representation of lies told by Bastareaud were simple. He was brutally attacked by 5 Maori or Pacific Island men. Bastareaud (after being found out, not by 'choice') admitted this incident never took place and apologized to the New Zealand federation, to the city of Wellington, to the French players, the coaching staff, his team, his friends and all those involved for his lies.

I’m assuming Maori and Pacific men fall under the last part of the apology ‘all those involved’ yeah, maybe. It seems appropriate to me that when an apology is offered it should be just as accurate and precise as the accusations made i.e. I am sorry to the Maori and Pacific men of New Zealand, The New Zealand federation, the city of Wellington etc- simple

Steve Tew CEO of New Zealand rugby union spoke of how this issue has tarnished the reputation of Wellington and New Zealand-puh. It’s merely reflective of the normative reproduction of avoidable and unfair blame placed upon Maori and Pacific Peoples of Aotearoa.
The involvement of the French Prime Minister and his apology for the ‘unacceptable behavior’ of Bastareaud signaled a push of blame rather than any ownership or responsibility for the actions of the french rugby team.

Maori and Pacific men are at the butt end of the stick when it comes to the tarnishing of New Zealands reputation and as for Bastareaud who apparently acted all on his own accords, is he not also the victim of being a black man in the white mans game.

Here is a clip of young maori men just being cheeky little hoories

and one of Hato Paora Junior Boys College using the poi

Cause we deserve better and fairer representation.
Mean Maori Mean

Wedding dance

Check it out. Doesn't it just make you want to get married. Or maybe just dance:)
I hope I'm doing this right but if the link doesnt come up, check out the you tube video of the wedding party dancing down the aisle.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Bing Bong the Brainy Bean

Bing Bong woke up bright and early in the morning with a question burning in her head. What sort of bean am I?

She needed to know so she decided to go and ask some questions of her own.

First she went to see Monkey Mung. She knocked on his door and could hear him swinging on the rafters finishing his morning exercises. After a thump and tumble, the door opened and Monkey Mung stood beaming in front of her. "Morning Monkey Mung!" she began, "How would I know if I'm the same sort of bean as you?"

Monkey Mung pondered for a few minutes. And then a few minutes more. "Hmmmm. Let's go and look in the mirror together. I am small and green. Some of my relatives hang out in the water and sprout in the Summer. Hippies tell me I'm also pretty tasty in a curry. Are you the same as me?"

Bing Bong quickly realised that she is not a Mung Bean. They didn't look at all alike and they didn't like to do the same things. Where would she go next on her adventure?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Age of Stupid

I can't believe it. I'm very excited. The Age of Stupid is coming to NZ and will be filming as a Green fundraiser at the Paramount on 20 August. This looks like it will be really interesting - as in I will be attending because I WANT to, not because I feel obliged to. AND, I would make the effort to go and see it regardless of if it was a Green fundraiser.

So do you want to come with me? Give me the nod because I will order us some tickets. $20.

And if you want to know more about it, just follow this link and check out the trailer

A new discovery

This woman is hot!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

the danger of living inside my head...

Apart from the obvious lack of oxygen, and of space (I may have a pin head but there's a lot packed in there), there are other a few other health risks when I spend too much time inside my head.

* I am able to convince myself of a reality that in my saner moments I am fairly sure doesn't exist. Like a little boy picking at a scab I worry at things, wear them down, wear them out. And does this serve to do anything other than make me feel like I need to sit in the corner and rock? No, not really.

* Proportion has no relevance, all of a sudden someone splashing me in a puddle morphs into someone throwing me in the sea.

* "Up there for thinking, down there for..." I don't dance so much in my head.

* The more I live in my head the harder it is to live in the world.

* My head is selfish. Sometimes it hogs all the blood in my body like a greedy little monkey and throws my body into inaction and I just want to lie in bed and think.

* It's all so jolly cerebral. Where's the vitality, the verve in lying still with dribble coming out your mouth and a faraway look in your eyes?

* Translation can go so horribly wrong. What makes sense inside my noggin does not always relate to what makes sense in the world so beware - ask me what I'm thinking at your own peril.

* When I crack a joke nobody laughs but me.

My head is a good place to holiday, it's great to spend time looking around in there. But if I appear like I might've taken off for an extended visit, please give me a little shake and tell me my taxi's waiting.

Things I am going to do today:

  • Take my laptop to vodafone so they can get my vodem to work on it (it works on every other PC and laptop in the WORLD except mine). I made the mistake previously of ONLY taking in the vodem - which was supposed to have sorted the problem. How am I going to promote the virtues of technology and its blissful ability when it continues to taunt me in this way?!
  • Meet Liz and Princess for lunch. And probably Euan too. Do you know Euan? I swear he is a long lost brother of Kevin Rudd. Same gestures, EXACTLY the same mouth, same beautiful skin...
  • Meet my sister for coffee so we can discuss the latest of my family dramas. A cousin pregnant (OMIGOD, I thought they split up once his home detention was over?!), a mother who cannot seem to get off the grog (or men who are bad for her, for that matter), an interfering aunty (what's new there), a niece/daughter who has taken her first steps and seems destined to be the most amazingly gifted child ever...
  • Eat some organic avocados... YUM!
  • Make a facebook page for Rocket Science. Will you be my friend and ask your friends to be fans? Actually I'll probably do this tomorrow, but same same :-).
  • Attend the Provincial Greens meeting tonight.
  • Listen to cool music all day. On my playlist I have: David Bowie, Alison Moyet, Alanis Morrisette, Annie Lenox, Brazilian Girls, Fur Patrol, Joss Stone, Chicks on Speed and heaps more... I am so cool.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

60 Minutes SUX!

I am so disgusted at the 60 Minutes interview of Kirstin Dunne-Powell that I can hardly form a coherent sentence…

We should be ashamed that, as a country, we have pushed this survivor of violence to defend herself on national TV.

A deliberately stony-faced Paula Penfold started the interview by asking “Why are you speaking out now when that might only serve to aggravate the situation further.”

Excuse me!! WTF??

Right from the outset, Dunne-Powell is being accused of “aggravating the situation further”.

What follows are shots of Dunne-Powell’s property, of Veitch excusing himself (“we had a major disagreement… we argued for a very long time etc) and large words scrolling over the screen e.g. “I apologise”, “confidentiality agreement”, “$150000” etc.

She then asks Dunne-Powell, “This was already a broken man – why try to break him more?”

It doesn’t get any better after that, either.

Penfold confronts Dunne-Powell about the situation which “played out for 9 months before he [Veitch] got his day in court.”

To me that sounds a whole heap like blame.

Penfold then says, about the Police investigation, that it was partly to “question Kristin’s motives”.

And in relation to the payout, “Wasn’t it having your cake and eating it too – you had your money.”

I think there’s a difference between playing devil’s advocate and being a deliberately hurtful bully – this interview definitely crossed that line.

Who the hell are these apologists for violence? 60 Minutes and Paula Penfold have denied Dunne-Powell a voice, and they have used her pain to cast Veitch in a sympathetic light – again.

Weeds - Season 5 Trailer - I am sourcing it for us! I

I am sourcing it for us...might have to give Baz a hand job but that's all good!

Monday, July 13, 2009


Auckland Trip - we have an apartment and two shared facilities room here for the Saturday night and an ensuite and three shared facilities rooms for Tuesday night. It will be about $50 per person per night .

Monday, July 6, 2009

Back from old age!

Yes, here I am. Out of bed. No longer in my PJs. Sitting at the computer. Brain finally working, moderately. Eyeballs no longer burning so much that wearing contacts is out of the question. And the question on everyone's lips has been "was it swine flu'?!". And my answer to you of course is "how the hell should I know? Seemed kinda like any other flu', EXCEPT the whole world agreed with my spending as much time in bed recovering as possible. That is, time AWAY from them, NOT infecting them.

Which has made me think about being sick in general, and media motivation for whipping up this influenza frenzy.

I think that there is a conspiracy amongst journalists. Much like "road rage" is a media construct, I believe "swine flu'" is a construct designed to give us all a break. Journos in the northern hemisphere have just gotten to their Summer months, and I betcha they're feeling like they could do with a damn good holiday. But who wants to use up annual leave?! Why not give EVERYONE an excuse to take extended time off work SUPPORTED by paranoid bosses and workmates? The media all over the world has to be ecstatic about this - you've got to do something while lolling about in bed, and reading about your flu' excuse in the newspapers is as good as activity as any. Excellent. Good job well done.

Of course, I didn't have a holiday. I was really sick.

Eartha Kitt - I want to be evil

Saturday, July 4, 2009

What's on top?

I'm not joking when I say I've gone on to the blog page about 10 times thinking that I'm gonna add to the blog...each time I leave it though not knowing what to write. Today I'm determined...

What a week it's been.

I know I've always thought that friends are my family and after this week that this feeling is even stronger than ever. In being disconnected from from biological family I've always felt that my relationships with friends have given me that sense of family. It's so true. In every way I felt that our friends have been there for us this way. In ways that we didn't even realise we needed. You girls thought of everything. We have felt so loved. So cared for. So sustained by you all and it must be acknowledged. You girls are our family. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Next thing....

How proud I am of deb. She did so well this last week. She stands in her values and she demonstrates her values by her actions. I'm lucky.

Next thing...

How much I like smoking. I even had one before work yesterday. It's a slippery slope.

Another thing..

Yay for the holidays. I'm on holidays. Oh so lucky.

There it is. My first blog. God it makes me nervous. Too mushy?! I know it kind of is...but need to post it before I delete it.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Tai Aroha

Here's a waiata called Tai Aroha. It was composed by Te Wananga o Aotearoa in Rotorua and can be sung at any hui. Pretty choice if we all knew it and could tautoko our freinds or whanau with this song. It's about love being like the tide of the ocean, arohamai i can't find actual translation.

For anyone thats keen to belt out a tune, here the lyrics and Teri Maree Kopa with Tai Aroha

Ko te aroha ano he wai
E pupu ake ana
He awa e mapuna mai ana
I roto I te whatumanawa (Ano te katoa/Repeat)
Ko tona matapuna he hohonu
A ina ia ka rere ano
Ko tona matapuna he hohonu
A ina ia ka rere ano
He tai timu
He tai pari
He tai ope
He tai ora
He tai nui (x3)


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Refuge Appeal

Women’s Refuge Annual Appeal 2009
Wellington Women’s Refuge & Te Whare Rokiroki Maori Women’s Refuge
Need Collectors
24-25 July

In just one hour you can play a huge part in helping ensure Wellington has support and accommodation for women and children at risk of domestic violence.
There are lots of locations all over Wellington.

Contact me if you wanna help. or can strong arm anyone else into helping.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I'm gone a couple of days...

and a whopping amount of posts are made (including two cherry poppers, nice).

Anyways people, have just read your suggestions, noted with interest, will be spending the next few weeks mulling. I have to do a presentation tomorrow morning (probably at the same time as half of you are at working reading this blog) and I chose to focus on the read-through you fullas kindly did for me. I decided to post it for you to read if you want, hopefully it'll give you the chance to understand how freaking fantastic you all are, and what a big help it was to me. It's about two A4's long, just thought I should warn you before you begin.

BTW - our discussions and your feedback led to many changes - thanks guys!

At the start of the year I set myself a goal: to write two new drafts of my feature film Birth Control. Considering this was the first film I had written I really had no idea what I was getting in to. I finished last year with a 103 page first draft, and while I was pretty proud of the achievement I knew there was much to be done. The whole process has been new to me, and to be honest there has been far too much involved for me to be able to cover in ten minutes. So I’ve decided that today I’ll talk about a tool I used to understand a little more about my characters, and my film script.

A couple of weeks ago I gathered nine of my friends and had them do a read-through of Birth Control. The read-through was part of discovering my own process as a writer, and there were a couple of important outcomes that I hoped to achieve.

Firstly, by committing my friends to a date in advance I also committed myself to a deadline for producing a second draft. I know that I’m a person best motivated by pressure, and for me, there’s nothing like the potential to let people down to get me moving.

I had also been feeling a bit stale about my script. I began almost every writing session by reading from page one and making little changes here and there. I was no longer sure if what I had was any good. I had come in too close to my characters and their world, I’d lost the ability to see if there was humour in a line, or tension in a scene – I was pretty much over it.

I wanted to hear my characters in a voice that wasn’t my own, to see how someone else may interpret the line, to see if my dialogue was strong enough to convey what I intended. I was ready for the lines to rise off the page, to hear instead of see them, to get a different perspective.

The other reason I wanted a read through was that I have struggled a lot with the isolation of writing. I’m a people person and interaction with others is something that energises me. I’ve found that holing up in my corner of the house with my i-pod on and people who only exist because I put them there was not totally conducive to good mental health. It was time to share.

There are probably a bunch of ways I could’ve done this: assigned characters to each person, given the scripts beforehand so they could be read, given a description of characters and their stories… but I was pretty stoked my mates had agreed to give up their Sunday arvo and anything more seemed a bit much to ask. Besides, the reasons I had for the read-through were my own. At this point I wasn’t listening to check a line had been delivered perfectly, or that timing was bang on, I simply wanted to get at my script from another angle.

So Sunday rolls round. We were sat there with a beer in hand when somebody shoved the snacks aside, and it hit me. While I have shown my script to my tutor and classmates, and regularly had their feedback, these guys were different. This was my gang, my closest friends whose opinion I cared about, whose values and ideals I often shared. This was totally being judged by an audience of my peers.

What if they thought it was shit? Would they say it to my face? Would there be an awkward silence at the end. Part of me wanted to get up and run from the room, but I managed to override the urge. I felt my cheeks flush as we kicked into the first couple of pages.

About two minutes into the reading I was feeling pretty crappy, there was so much description and direction, it felt stilted. My friend reading the directions must've thought she was in for a hell of a long afternoon. In hindsight I was able to understand that this is the setup – this is where we first meet the characters, this is where I paint their world. So yeah, it’s a little wordy, but get four or five pages in and it all starts to happen.

At this point I want to let you know that my friends are not actors. Most of them had never seen a film script let alone read one, and their only qualification for the job was that I was pretty sure they could be honest with me. At least I hoped so.

As we read on something started to happen – my friends voices began to change, the dialogue gained momentum, the characters started to speak for themselves. I began to see how it might work, how each characters voice would play on the screen, how their relationships to each other would look. Without having seen the script before, my friends began to show the emotion and tension in a given scene, using nothing more than their voices.

It was valuable to be able to sit and listen, to hear the lines that hummed, the lines that clunked, and the lines that the group had a reaction to. I immediately knew what to cross out, the scenes I entered too late, the plots and sub-plots that I needed to develop further.

To have the opportunity to be an audience to my script let me experience it differently, and consider all the elements from another angle. And the round of applause they gave me at the end – well it felt pretty sweet.

After we refilled our drinks we asked questions of each other – it was interesting to see the storylines that resonated and the ones that needed more attention. It was great to hear the way a friend perceived a certain character, and to realise that as we continued the discussion they were referring to the characters by name, explaining things they had said or done, commenting on their situation.

So enough ego stroking, and back to my main reasons for setting up the read-through.

Deadlines – well, that worked. The days leading up the read-through I was focused on crafting a draft good enough to let me hold my head up as it was read aloud. After the read through I had a few days before I was due to hand it in to Graeme, which gave me the chance to right some of the wrongs that came up in the reading. I know it still needs work, but hey, it’s my second draft, and that’s what the next ten are for huh?

The read-through definitely helped freshen the script for me again. I was able to forget the fact that I knew the next line, and just listen. I could take whatever my friends bought to the character and see the film, rather than the letters on the page. And as for whether or not I was funny, I’m glad to announce I got a few laughs.

Did I get to hear my characters voice? It was fantastic to hear my friends voices change as they became a nineteen year old boy, a matriarch, or a plumber in his mid forties. Even without a rehearsal or prior discussion I got a sense of who my characters are, and how so much of their presence is tied up in the dialogue.

And my final reason for wanting a read-through, there’s nothing like baring your all to make you feel alive. It was great to share this with my friends, as much for that Sunday afternoon, as the discussions we’ve had since about the characters that inhabit my script.

As I mentioned at the start this is my first film, and the first time I am muddling my way through something of this complexity. The process is all new, and for this reason it is impossible for me to make mistakes, though I’m sure I’ll have my share of learning opportunities. To have the chance to do a read through, to hear my script rather than read it, well it’s just one step back from watching it on screen, and I say bring on that Sunday afternoon.

Thanks fullas, you rock.