December 30, 2005

The Meaning of Life...

...according to Vogue:
Always be in fashion. Wear clothes that could bankrupt a small nation and will generally make you look absurdly under/over-dressed in the name of all things stylish and well-made.

...according to America:
Win.
Okay, play the game. But win.

...according to The Church:
Love God. Love others. But don't mingle with homosexuals, adulterers, pornographers, fascists, racists, murderers, liars, followers of "wrong" religions, secular musicians, abortionists, drinkers, junkies, those "living in sin", sinners in general, Marilyn Manson, Harry Potter, RPGers...

...according to society:
Make money, get married, have kids and a picket fence, drive an import car, invest in RRSPs, be as normal and successfully so as possible. Conform. Be one of the good folk.

The published meaning of this life depends on whose view you subscribe to. So as the new year approaches, don't make resolutions about gym memberships you'll never use and chocolate addictions you'll probably never beat. Instead, let me offer you one piece of advice. It's this: be true to yourself. The meaning of life is in your heart. Learn to trust that still, small voice. And don't allow anything to rob you of your joy.

The meaning of life according to me:
Live. Love. Dream. Nothing is so important that your joy must be forfeit. Just... be. And be glad you are.

December 26, 2005

I'm off to Auckland for a little post-Christmas vacation with my boy as I've been missing him over the holidays. Four days of Auckland sunshine and freedom from work. Woohooo!! I say a big fat "THBPPPBPTHHTPTT" to work and thumb my nose at it.

I hope each and every one of your Christmases was the merriest yet.

The future is bright and is yours to seize and do with what you will. Make the year matter. May adventure guide you and love keep you whatever you do.

Melin chen, mellynen. Hi a ui. Namarie.

December 22, 2005

It doesn't feel like Christmas.

At all.

*stares blankly at the wall*

But have a happy one wherever you are.

December 3, 2005

Craig Parker just finished starring in a play in London. This play.

*pause*

So... he should be available to come stir my coffee now. Right?

I'm accepting applications Monday through Friday, Craig. No prior assistant experience needed. Ability to stir an asset. Come in person. Elf-garb optional.

For those of you who have been living in a hole or just don't pay attention to every second one of my posts, Craig is the one in the pictures who looks like Haldir without the long blonde hair and robes. And who is not dead. (Curse you PJ for your wanton sacrifice of hot Elves!)

December 2, 2005

The thing about life is this...

You learn every day. You are never a set person and if you think you are, then you're dead in some way. We are, all of us, learning and growing and stretching and realizing and creating and becoming every hour of every day.

I miss people from home. A lot. A whole lot sometimes.

But this place, this situation, this world half-way around the globe... this is where I'm meant to be. This is where I'm set to learn a lot of necessary lessons. I am becoming a fuller person by being here.

I used to joke about settling in Middle-Earth and running Welly from the Embassy. Life is incredibly bizarre. Especially since when things actually do work out the way you plan, they still aren't the way you planned. I mean the plan worked but it's not at all what I imagined. In retrospect I realize that managing a business probably does entail more than sitting in a plush swivel chair while Craig Parker stirs my coffee and I have long conversations with international powers-that-be about world-wide release dates and "flying Marton in" for this or that gala.

Still. I also didn't expect 50 hour work weeks and manic stress over staffing levels and system glitches either.

The point is that I'm learning. I'm living. I'm daring. I've put myself, through the randomest set of situations I could never have dreamed up, on the very brink of ultimate achievement or bitter failure. And what I've discovered is that it doesn't matter. Because who I come home to each night is vastly more important than what I do to pay the bills. Hugging him is worth a thousand gala events.

Somehow that's so BASIC. But I couldn't see it until it was true for me. Now my favorite dream plan is quitting and running away to work in a cattery. Just me in a yard with a thousand cats day in and day out. I'd be just as happy. (He says happier, actually. Though mad.)

Is there a message? I guess so. It's along the lines of: Live. Love. Don't talk yourself out of either. Just... be. And be thankful, in the end, that you are.

November 24, 2005

When I lived with Homie in the Grotesque Golden Flat of NSync Joy, we had a shitload of fun. Those were good days. Not that these aren't, but those were like the lazy hazy days of summer.

In those days, everything had a name. There was me, Gabrielle the VampireNomad, of course. And Homie of the Beareth Clan. And then there was Poe (my cat), Lola (my car), Little Green Jellybean (his car), Ted (the house plant), Fat Angry Neighbor (the downstairs neighbor), Joe (my teddy bear), etc, and so on.

Did the tradition end when Homie and I embarked on our world journey? Have I "matured"? Do things now just live out their days with the ordinary labels they come with? "Table". "Cat". "Slippers".

God no. How dull. Don't you people know how to live?

The lazy hazy days of the Grotesque Golden Flat of NSync Joy may be over, but the glory days of being me in my world will never end. Homie, everyone, I'd like to introduce you to the newest additions to my travelling crypt.

Happy. My left slipper.
Stupid. My right slipper.
Kittypants. My stuffed cat.
Mini-Haldir. My gaming figurine.

It's good to know some things never change. Like my mental age. 12 has been good to me for a loooooooong time.

November 19, 2005

What do you believe in anyway?

November 16, 2005

I was recently reminded of my first full-time job. I was the receptionist for my home church in Vancouver. Yes, I said CHURCH. Yes, I said RECEPTIONIST. It was a really big city church. I got the job right after graduation. I had grown up in the church so I knew all the pastors and they all knew my family (even though there were over 2000 members) so I was quite stoked. At the time church was all I knew. Yes, you heard me. I was the receptionist for my church. It was great!

They fired me.

Yes, you heard me.

To be fair, they told me they were simply down-sizing. That my position (reception) was no longer required and was being dissolved. That I had contributed wonderfully and they were so saddened by my impending leaving. I sobbed.

Three weeks later they hired another receptionist.

I'm now thirty. They've had a full-time receptionist ever since.

All I ask is a little honesty here, people. Why can't they just admit they FIRED me? Is it because it's not becoming for a church to fire one of its own faithful goers? Oh wait, NO IT ISN'T! It's twisted and sort of sadist and definitely defeatist.

The only place I've ever been fired from is MY OWN CHURCH.

Which may explain why I now work in the cinema industry. When I worked at the church we were forbidden to go to movies. So it's sort of fitting that I now manage a movie theatre. Or, I guess, a "seething den of sin" depending on what perspective you adopt.

I love the irony of my life. Being fired from a church is almost an oxymoron. It takes a special kind of person to get fired from a place that is supposed to be a haven for lost souls from any walk of life. And I wasn't even a drunk then!

November 14, 2005

Marcus and Eliza are leaving.

Eliza is going to New York and Marcus is going on a cycle tour from L.A. to Florida. They won't be back until the end of January.

I'm excited for them. I am! I love New York. And Florida.

But in a way it's like my family is going away.

I suppose I've been working too much to truly appreciate having them here. Why are cliches always true? Why is humanity so dumb? Is it SO HARD to appreciate things while you have them? It's as though we are genetically engineered to only see the beauty of things in hindsight.

Good luck, Marcus. Cycle hard but don't forget to stop and write along the way.

Good luck, Eliza-pixie. Immerse in the museums and boutiques that only New York can offer but remember to bring it all home with you. I'll miss you. x

November 6, 2005

This just in, courtesy of CNN.com.

I quote:
"RENO, Nevada (AP) -- The mayor of Las Vegas has suggested that people who deface freeways with graffiti should have their thumbs cut off on television. 'In the old days in France, they had beheadings of people who commit heinous crimes,' Mayor Oscar Goodman said Wednesday on the TV show 'Nevada Newsmakers'. Goodman said the city has a beautiful highway landscaping project and 'these punks come along and deface it.'"

YEAH!! That's right!! Tough love, Oscar!! Oh wait... wait a second... it gets better... he goes on to say in the same interview that whippings should be brought back for children who get into trouble.

The thing I love most about America, especially American lawmakers, is their total and complete lack of ability to see their own hypocrisy. They invaded Iraq to "liberate the Iraqi people" from terrible dictators who did things like cut off people's body parts and inflict absolute justice for small crimes in the name of order and obedience, among other reasons (like "we can't find Osama" and "Bush is bored"). But now it's perfectly reasonable for Mayor Oscar Goodman to suggest, on public television, that highway graffiti artists should have their thumbs cut off on, of course, public television as a deterrent to other hooligans considering a life of "heinous crime". Like in the old days of France.

There are several things wrong with that theory.

First of all, when does America ever willingly attempt to model anything done in France, especially France circa Marie Antoinette?

Secondly, is "a beautiful highway landscaping project" not an oxymoron?

And thirdly, is defacing said quote-unquote "beautiful highway" actually a "heinous crime"? Maybe my history is fuzzy but as far as I know the period in France during which beheadings routinely happened led to a bloody revolution which resulted in all the aristocracy, INCLUDING the monarchy, being fed to their own guillotine by the fed-up French public.

There is some merit to the idea, though. I just don't think highway graffiti artists are who we necessarily want to target, MAYOR.

November 2, 2005

It's my birthday today.

I'm thirty.

My dad asked me how I felt about turning 30. Was I nervous? Angsty? I said I felt fine. Why shouldn't I? I look 21 and act 12. The only thing 30 about me is my birth certificate. *grin* It's going to be a good year! I'm a kid in a grown-up world. It's like playing dress-up with legal clout.

And tonight we're having a Vampire Ball to celebrate. Everybody has to come as a vampiric alter-ego and in costume. I'll be myself. Obviously. But everybody else has to abandon mortality for a night.

Don't fear mortality, pretty ones! For the way you live lends itself to immortality. The joys you find, adventures you embark on, and fearlessness with which you face all things determines the immortal qualities of your soul.

October 29, 2005

The concept of being overseas is apparently a hard one to grasp.

I, for reasons of bad debt and pointless payments, maintain a Canadian bank account even though I've been in New Zealand well over a year now. This Canadian bank account is with that *cough*MARVELOUS*cough* institution known as the Royal Bank. I've been a Royal Bank client since I was three or seven or something ridiculous and stuck with them through the whole "we're too cool to be Royal Bank so call us RBC, homies" phase and god knows what other nonsense they've put me through over the years.

Now, however, I am no longer a Royal Bank ... sorry, only their mother calls them that... an RBC client. And I'll tell you why. They deleted me. See, my account had all these bells and whistles on it like unlimited debit transactions for free and cheques and what-have-you. But as nothing free comes without cost (cue eye roll here), I was being charged these monthly fees to maintain all my free stuff. So I wrote to them and said "Hey RBC, I'm in New Zealand and don't want to pay these fees any more. Take them away! Just leave my account bare naked and open and I'll do what I want with it. In a non-abusive or invasive sort of way."

Here's how I imagine the next step happened:

RBC Tech Hooligan 1: *reading email to self* Righteous dudette! We can, like, totally erase your account! Stick it to the man, man! *takes a toke*
RBC Tech Hooligan 2: Did she say to erase it? Or, like, delete it? *takes a toke*
RBC Tech Hooligan 1: Let's do both, man! *cheer in unison*

Hence my accounts - yes, I had two and only requested for ONE to be tampered with, thus naturally resulting in BOTH being deleted - are now non-existent. Normally, being on the other side of the globe and nineteen hours ahead of all you North American mortals, I bank through my online banking. Suddenly I am cut off! I can't communicate with my bank. So my mother goes into the branch to find out what's wrong and is told that according to RBC she's delusional as surely her daughter does not exist in their files. *sigh* Now I must email through the general rbc.com mail forum.

"Dear RBC Mail Forum,
I asked you nicely to remove the extranneous fees from my account. Somehow your pot-smoking pea-brained techie support peons have translated that as 'delete all accounts immediately' and I, a lifetime client, am now suddenly bank-less. As I am overseas in New Zealand for an indefinite period of time and as I am fairly pissed off, I suggest you remedy this. Now.
Thank you very kindly,
Gabrielle the Angered Vampire"

RBC wrote back this:
"Dear Satisfied Client,
Thank you for contacting RBC through our online mail forum where we are happy to serve you! We are sorry to hear that you deleted your accounts in error but can assist you in re-opening an account. Simply call this number (555-RBC2) to make an appointment to visit your nearest branch. Don't forget to bring two pieces of ID with you. For a list of acceptable forms of ID, visit this site: www.pointlessRBCdrivel.ca.
Thank you for your contact!
RBC Drone 459832"

So I wrote back:
"RBC Drone 459832,
What part of 'overseas in New Zealand' gives you the most trouble? I didn't close my accounts, you did. It says on your website not to give account details in this mail forum so I can't tell you what my account number USED to be. It says to send that information via online banking but of course since you DELETED ME, I can't log on. I AM IN NEW ZEALAND. And you are an idiot. I can't come visit a branch for tea or even to throw a holy temper tantrum and demand penance. FIX MY PROBLEM!
Severely Disgruntled Vampire"

And they wrote back:
"Dear Satisfied Client,
Thank you again for contacting us via this totally unsecure and useless email forum! We're happy to waste your time in the name of service. Please phone this number (0800 SIT ONHOLD) and watch your life bleed away into nothingness while we do dick all to solve your problem. Or visit your nearest branch with two forms of ID.
Thank you!
RBC Drone 2975658"

So I dialled.

And I waited.

I waited FORTY-FIVE MINUTES for somebody who sounded twelve to tell me I don't have an account for them to re-open.

*cue bashing of my head into a brick wall*

The moral of the story is this:
Don't leave the country and entrust your worldly wealth to RBC. RBC YOU RATBASTARDS!! YOU'VE MADE OFF WITH MY $2.71 CDN AND I WANT IT BACK!! I WANT MY ACCOUNT BACK!! I WANT MY SOUL BACK!!! GOD YOU SUCK!!

I am finished. And, apparently, so is my time with RBC.

October 27, 2005

I sort of doubt that many other vampires wake up in the middle of the "night" in a cold sweat over work. It's a sign of a sick mind to pace the floor with insomnia due to concerns over whether or not you ordered that last bit of stock or replied to that email inquiry about the function next week.

*SIGH*

I'm living the life of the undead but the only problem is I'm not a vampire, I'm just a zombie.

Also over-worked.

Though, it must be said, I can handle it. I have always been good at kicking ass. Just pity the employee who crosses me right now. *cough*youknowwhoyouare*cough*

October 25, 2005

"Do you ever wonder why
this music gets you high
it takes you on a ride
Feel it when your body starts to rock
baby you can't stop
and the music's all you got
this must be pop"

My obsession with NSync knows no bounds. Distance can't dim it. Different cultures can't quash it. Much to everyone's chagrin I am about to become a thirty year old NSync fiend. It's especially odd considering they aren't even together any more. I have JC's album and it's alright. Nothing great, but okay. I have Justin's album and of course it's brilliant. But everybody thinks it's brilliant. It's now cool to like Justin Timberlake. Still, nothing equals NSync to me. Backstreet can't touch them (and why won't they just break up already?) and solo albums aren't a consolation. So probably the greatest modern-day irony (or karma, depending on how you look at it) is that the ONLY part of my vast CD collection that didn't get translated onto my MP3 player last year for the trip was... NSync. I had no NSync for the journey. So I have spent the last year and a bit re-collecting my NSync albums. And along the way I have had to confess to a whole new set of friends that yes, I am a twenty-nine year old NSync fiend.

At first my friends scoffed. Then they realized I was serious and were alarmed. They tried to reason with me. They refused to listen to NSync even remotely from other rooms. I persevered, though. There is no single song in the world that can lift a bad mood or erase a bad day for me as cleanly and thoroughly as "Bye Bye Bye" can. Eventually everybody just gave in. My boyfriend now voluntarily puts on NSync if I come home from work grumpy. My friend Eliza grooves to them with me on lazy mornings off. I like NSync. That's just the way it is. Homie knows this better than anyone. He lived the motto "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em" because hating NSync around me will only make you miserable given the number of times I play them. Isn't that right, Homie?

My collection is now nearly complete. Okay, that's a lie. I have the entire Japanese import CD of No Strings Attached, the Gone single, the Pop single, and Tearin Up My Heart from their first album. I'm still coming up alarmingly short in the NSync department. If anybody feels like gifting me with their first album (creatively titled "NSync") or their last album (perhaps even less creatively titled "Celebrity"), I wouldn't say no.

Also, if anybody knows a way to get them back together, I'm in! I'll sign anything to get them back together. The way I hear it, Justin's the one we need to work on. He's the one who's "too big for NSync" now. Lance didn't make it to space, Joey works Broadway sporadically, I've never heard of Chris' clothing line, have you?, and JC's solo debut was less than inspiring. So I figure they're in. We just need to work on Justin. At this rate I'm starting to believe Cameron Diaz is this decade's Yoko Ono.

"Sick and tired of hearing all these people talk about
what's the deal with this pop life
and when is it gonna fade out?
Thing you got to realize, what we're doin is not a trend
we got the gift of melody
we're gonna bring it till the end"

True that, Justin. True that.

October 17, 2005

This Just In...

When you use your credit card, the item being purchased isn't actually paid for, per se. It's sort of on loan. The credit card, as it turns out, isn't money. It tallies up all the things you "buy" with it and keeps track. It just sits around collecting debt for you and one day in the distant future a ginormous bill for all the things you "paid for" with the credit card will arrive. And if you don't pay that bill the credit card people get very very angry. Very angry.

True story.

*blank stare*

Seriously. Who knew?

October 9, 2005

I'm back into my beloved Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice after a lengthy absence due to the fact that I flat-out refused to finish The Vampire Armand because it was simply so good that ending it was unthinkable. I allowed myself to be briefly distracted by Cry to Heaven which contains no vampires but is brilliant nonetheless. But I have Blood Canticle sitting on my shelf just BEGGING to be read and Blackwood Farm at home in the same state and I can't dive into either until I finish the Vampire Chronicles journey properly. Thus I reluctantly finished Armand (may I say "genius" without sounding breathless and worshippy?) and started my latest. (Which, in typical Gabrielle format, actually takes place PRIOR to Armand but which I am reading AFTER. *sigh*) Order notwithstanding, Memnoch the Devil is everything I love about Lestat and everything I love about Anne Rice. Lush and impossibly elegant descriptive prose, utterly vain and adored vampire brat-hero, and ponderous examinations on the spiritual state of mortal and immortal alike. I figure I'll consume Memnoch (it's impossible to pace oneself when devouring something so absolutely divine), beg for a copy of Merrick whilst doing so, then hope that somebody from home takes pity on me and mails me my copy of Blood and Gold in time for the end of Merrick.

While I read (and beg and wait and enjoy), I ask you for your personal favorite vampire moments. After all, this blog started off being about vampires. Well, okay, vampires and tigers. And Elves. But vampires were first. So indulge me, pretty mortals, and offer me your favorite vampire moments (they don't have to be Anne Rice ones) to satiate my unending vampiric hunger.

Selkie has already offered me Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton. It is about a vampire HUNTER so naturally I deferred but, sorely tempted, I tiptoed in and found a MOST delicious novel full of the sort of luscious vampire seduction that I so adore. Kudos Selkie! I am making a slow feast of Guilty Pleasures while pacing through Memnoch. So speak up, the rest of you. What have you to offer?

September 25, 2005

When I lived in Baton Rouge, Louisiana for a couple of months (this is years ago), I made some friends down there that I suddenly was very worried about in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. My closest friend from the time, Alan, now lives in Baltimore and tracked down everybody I had met through him and let me know they were all alive. The friend we heard about last was James. Alan was starting to get quite worried because the area James lived in would be most at threat in the flooding and he hadn't heard from James for days following Katrina's outburst. When he finally located James (alive, thank GOD), he figured out why there had been no word for so long. James' story is only going to be one of thousands from the area. And his has a happy ending because he survived. But it is one of the most harrowing accounts I have ever read because it happened to somebody I know, somebody who toured me around those self-same areas of New Orleans that are now totally destroyed, somebody who was kind and fun to be with. This is James' story:

http://www.livejournal.com/users/tw1stedwh1spers/31555.html

And now with Rita threatening not only New Orleans AGAIN but Houston and outlying areas as well, I am faced with worrying about another friend. Liz, I'm sure you're alright. I'm sure you've just been evacuated and can't exactly stop to call New Zealand. But I'm worried, dammit! I'm worried. So please contact me somehow just to say you're alright. I've lost a lot of places that I loved and spent a lot of time in but places can be rebuilt. People can not. Please, please contact me.

If you pray, pray now. Pray for James as he rebuilds his life. Pray for Liz as she is surely evacuated right now. Pray that she survives. Pray that everybody not only survives but thrives in the days to come.

September 19, 2005

Praying Madness (also known as my brother-in-law Torch) just posted a list of "phrases heard in church yesterday that would make the world a better place if they were never uttered again" over at Thoughts From The Sugar Bowl (TFTSB link on the bloody sidebar, my pretty mortals). It included things like "Let's all give the Lord a hand" and "Turn and greet two or three around you".

Because I cut my teeth on church pews, this list was of particular amusement to me. But because I'm also me, I thought I should make a list of phrases heard in church that constantly give me the wrong impression. So here, in honor of Torch, is that list.

PHRASES HEARD IN CHURCH THAT CONSTANTLY GIVE ME THE WRONG IMPRESSION:
1. Let us fellowship together. (I always like hearing that. "The church is going to give me an Elf and Hobbits to go traveling with? HOT DAMN!" But sadly, no.)
2. We will now pass the collection plate. (So THEY can collect, not me.)
3. Let's give the Lord a hand! (He needs one? What the hell happened to omnipotence? Even once I realize its clapping, isn't that bound to get FUCKING IRRITATING every Sunday? We're not the only church doing it. And He can hear them all.)
4. Reach out and greet two or three around you. (Is this in conjunction with the "greet each other with a holy kiss" verse or not? Confusion...)
5. Let's be on fire for God! (Okay, this doesn't confuse me. It just annoys me. It reminds me of Petra. Anybody who is over the age of 25 and attended church youth group will know who Petra is. COME ON STAND UP AND BE COUNTED ALL YOU CLOSET PETRA FANS!)
6. The devil has all the good music. (I agree. So why are we not playing any of it? If we know what the problem is...)

September 10, 2005

Someone once asked me why I say I'm a recovering alcoholic instead of former alcoholic. "After all," they pointed out, "you don't drink now so that's all in the past." Non-alcoholics always say that. See, I'll always be an alcoholic. You can't change what you are. You can only change how you deal with it. I'll always want to drink. The difference between now and then is that then when a glass of rum sounded fucking good, I had twelve. Now when a glass of rum sounds fucking good, I have none. I choose not to drink. That's the only difference.

Well, that and the fact that now Friday and Saturday nights in town are frightful. I avoid the bar district as much as is humanly possible (considering I work in the heart of it) on the weekends. People get dumber by progression on Friday and Saturday nights. Or dumber by the glass, I guess. And the more slobberingly irritatingly drunk the masses get, the more humiliation I have to suffer by proxy. Walking home becomes a flame-cheeked "Oh god, did I walk like that? All slanted and swaying?" and "Oh MAN was I that LOUD?" and "Gross. Spew." exercise in reminiscence. I suppose the best way to stay sober is to constantly remind yourself of the alternative. Because when I was drinking I didn't see myself as a staggering half-dressed whorish idiot. But now... well... you know what they say: 20/20 hindsight. Yes, yes that was me. Trolling for equally-as-pissed boys with no sense of style and no brain cells to lose so we could both wake up the next morning sick as dogs and asking the age-old questions "Where are my clothes?" and "Who the HELL are you?"

Sobriety, though the hardest thing I've ever done on a daily basis, really is the only option. I can't stand drunks. That's either irony or hypocrisy. Or possibly both.

September 6, 2005

I say HEY - what?

That's pretty much the sum of it.

And before you ask, "tangerine". (Now scream.)


**Gabrielle: Keeping your day surreal since 2004.**

September 3, 2005

At present I manage a movie theatre. It's not a multi-plex, it's a single screen. But it's the largest single screen in the country and it is one of the most iconic and beloved buildings in the city. When my boss was away and I was the one in charge, I was on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. God bless the staff, they never called. But if, for example, they had failed to get the safe open in the morning, well, they would have called. And I would have run down to help. When the front window was smashed in I didn't leave as I was about to. I stayed. And when the computers crashed I worked on them for hours while on the phone to a tech assistant until they were back up and running. Why? Because managing a theatre is a big responsibility. The staff have to know that in a crisis situation there is someone they can call. My boss has to know that his theatre is in good hands when he's away. And the theatre needs to be managed or I wouldn't have a job. So I just ASSUMED that running a country would be a similar sort of situation. That in a crisis, like, for instance, a HURRICANE, one could call for the leader and he'd come running to help. Because my god, running a country is a big responsibility. There are a lot of people counting on you. If a natural disaster levels several cities and drowns another, killing people and ravaging the countryside as a matter of course, well by god if I was in charge I'd be on a plane that very hour. I mean call the National Guard, call the Red Cross, call Congress and pass a bill for some serious aid dollars, whatever you have to do. Right? Because if managing a theatre is a 24/7 deal, running a country can't be less. The people need somebody to DO something, by god. They need to be pulled off rooftops and fed and clothed and housed and told that it will be okay because the water will be forced back and the city will be rebuilt and the dead will be buried and mourned and they will all be kept safe and warm while this is happening regardless of societal status or skin color. That's what people need. So I just assumed that if that day ever came, the President of the United States of America would rise to the occasion and make things better, goddammit.

In a way it's good to know I was right about Dubya all along. Though admittedly this is one instance in which I'd be only to glad to concede I was in error and step aside to applaud the immediacy with which the leader of the self-proclaimed free world stepped in and took charge of caring for his suffering people. I'll take what comfort I can in knowing that Dubya will never make me eat my words about him. Fat lot of good that does for New Orleans, Biloxi, Mobile, and the rest of Katrina's discarded and broken playthings, though.

Maybe next time America should hire a manager instead of electing a president.

If you're the praying kind, get to it. Because those people need somebody BIG on their side and there's only one kind of power that will do in this instance.

September 1, 2005

PLAYTIME!

A couple weeks ago I went to see Bash by Neil LaBute at Circa Theatre.
Then last night I went to see Lashings of Whipped Cream: A Session With A Teenage Dominatrix by Fiona Samuel at Downstage Theatre.

Bash was great in that "oh my god these people are SICK SICK THEY'RE ALL SICK" sort of shock-you-move-you-shake-you-out-of-your-stupor kind of way. And Lashings of Whipped Cream was hysterical. Light and sort of frothy, not the mind-fuck that Bash was. But definitely highly entertaining and a great night out.

Bash starred your friend and mine Oliver Driver and the stunning Mia Blake. Lashings of Whipped Cream starred the marvelous and daring Sara Wiseman. Oh all right, he's not your friend or mine. Well maybe he's your friend. But I don't know him except that he was really good in Bash and is stupidly tall. Like crane-your-neck-and-get-vertigo tall. Also that he once did a play with Craig Parker. Just like Sara Wiseman once played a doctor on TV's Mercy Peak with Craig Parker. Not "played doctor", played a doctor. Though Craig's character Alistair sure wished they were playing doctor. But that's a whole other story.

What was my point? Right. New Zealand is a small place. The acting community is small but full of brilliantly talented people. Living in Wellington is a prime location because eventually every actor turns up here in a play or for an event of some sort and you get to see their brilliance live for yourself. It's great! It is. AND... no Hilary Duff. An important bonus.

August 21, 2005

Wind and earthquakes. At the same time!

If somebody asked me how they could make a windy night better for me, I'd definitely say "by adding an earthquake". Genius. Wind AND earthquakes. Together at last! Like peas and carrots. Or peanut butter and jelly. Or terror and witless paralysis.

In better news, I got a new bed. (About... damn... time. Single beds are so grade school, man.) And I hope its a magic bed. Like the one in Bedknobs and Broomsticks so when the house starts shaking I can fly to somewhere else. Like, um, a cartoon sea. Only without Angela Lansbury. (No offense, Ang, but I'd just rather fly around on a bed with Marton Csokas. You understand.)



Unrelated Addendum: Who the hell keeps drawing on my stress ball? IT'S STRESSING ME OUT!

August 16, 2005

A typical conversation about wind:

Me: God, its windy today! *shiver* I hate wind.
Them: Hate wind? Why?
Me: I don't know. I'm just scared to death of it.
Them: Oh, true? Scared of wind? Why?
Me: I don't know. It's a phobia of mine. You know?
Them: Yeah, I see. I have a phobia of (insert phobia here).
Me: Yeah. Wind and spiders for me.
Them: Spiders I totally get. But wind? Why wind?
Me: See, its a phobia. An unexplained and paralyzing random fear. So... I don't know why because its unexplained. You see?
Them: I know what a phobia is.
Me: Oh. Good.
Them: But why wind?

I.
DON'T.
KNOW.
WHY.

But let me tell you, Wellington is the wrong place for a wind-phobic person to live. I wonder what a phobia of wind is called? *looks it up* Anemophobia: fear of air drafts and Ancraophobia: fear of wind. I have to say, I've never had an irrational terror of air drafts. I mean, they're annoying but I can handle them. So I'd say I'm more ancraphobic than anemophobic. It's nice to have a name for things. Ancraphobia. Fear of wind. You know, there are a lot of phobias listed on The Phobia List page. Some of these I don't think can truly be called "irrational or unexplained fears". I mean it seems fairly rational to me to have a profound fear of cholera. Or of sexual abuse. Or of leprosy. I would think the fears that are less logical would be the more likely to be labeled phobias. Like the fear of sitting. Or of dinner conversation. Or of knees. Or, you know, of wind.

I'm hardly one to talk here. I live in Wellington. A city whose slogan could be "Wellington: We'll blow you away". And I'm afraid of wind to the point of hyperventilation and paralysis.

The moral of this story is that phobias can't be explained so stop asking me why I'm afraid of wind. And don't ridicule people who have phobias because by god when I find out you're an optophobic who also suffers from porphyrophobia I sure as hell will mock you in return. Especially since you have to open your eyes to see the color purple.

August 11, 2005

This is the poster I have on my wall. Except in my version Marton Csokas' face has been superimposed overtop of Orlando Bloom's and the name MARTON CSOKAS in bold-face type has been set overtop of ORLANDO BLOOM. Because... I can. Because Eliza is a photoshop genius. Because Orlando had all of two expressions through the movie but Marton was GENIUS GENIUS GENIUS. The part where he says "SPEEEEEEAK!" and sort of arrogantly tosses his goblet away after he becomes king is probably one of my favorite moments. You have to see it to understand.

The other day I was walking down the hill to work (everywhere in Wellington is either up a hill or down a hill and usually in gale-force winds) and I stopped and stared out over the distant sparkling waters of the ocean and looked at the towers of Lambton Quay glistening in the noonday sunlight and I thought "GODDAMN MY LIFE IS GREAT". Which has nothing whatsoever to do with either Orlando or Marton. Unless I make some Hallmark-esque analogy to me currently living in the kingdom of heaven that only a soul-deep content can evoke.

Which would be crap.

It's really windy out! Walking back up the hill isn't half as inspiring as walking down it. Down there is a view. And it's also downhill. Go figure. Up there is no view except the endless continually upward slope of the pavement.

I should get back to work.

*presses the button on Gollum's rock*
"Good Smeagol."

August 8, 2005

Am I supposed to be able to identify with one of the weird children in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? Are each of the kids meant to represent a specific, though admittedly exaggerated, stereotype of humanity? If so, I'm kind of offended. Because I've never been rich and wildly spoiled like Veruca though I am pretty demanding at times. And I've never been stupidly driven to succeed in everything like Violet though I am actually living exactly the dream I set out to live when I left home. I've never eaten to excess like Augustus but having an addicition isn't really that different from being a giant fat-ass kid with chocolate stains on his face when you get down to it. And I've never been a total video-game smartass know-it-all like Mike though of course I am pretty clever and did get obsessed with the LOTR:ROTK game once I discovered I could play as Leggy and level up to Faramir. I think everybody is supposed to want to be Charlie. Good-hearted, generous, unspoiled, pleasant-natured, polite, smart, sweet, perfect Charlie. *gags* But... I mean... there are maybe TWO adjectives in that list that could describe me MAYBE. Charlie is boring the way most heroes are boring. They're too good to be true. But the other kids are repulsive to the Nth degree. There are elements of all these kids in all of us but hopefully not to the appalling levels on display here. So really I guess the one I identify most with is Willy Wonka. He's weird. He lives entirely in a world of his own fancy and creation. He doesn't particularly like children. He's got style and wit. He could be construed as a villain without proper PR intervention. And one day he decides to leave it all to some precocious youngster because he's made his fortune and done his share of work and he'll be DAMNED if he's not gonna go reap some freakin benefits!

So I just answered my own question right there. I love that.

I'm apparently like Willy Wonka. Well, either that or an Oompa-Loompa. Which brings me to my next question, actually. Are Oompa-Loompas ancestors of Hobbits? You know, the last surviving link to the Shire miraculously saved by Willy Wonka (who is clearly a descendant of crazy-mad Denethor) and put to work making sweets and/or working a Longbottom Leaf grow-op on the side?

I need to get out more.

August 1, 2005

Mornings Are Evil.

You know what's difficult? Mornings. They're always ugly. They're bleary of eye and disastrous of hair and generally cold of shower. They're forced and unpleasant. I am forever bemoaning the fact that mornings exist at all. But the other day a stunning and unsettling fact occurred to me - if mornings didn't exist, afternoons would become the new morning. *gasp* The day has to start somewhere. If not in the morning, then at night. Or at 3pm. And I would come to loathe those times just like I loathe mornings.

Oh god.

The horror.

July 27, 2005

I bought a cigarette case with a picture of Marlene Dietrich on it. I feel very swank when I use it. Like an errant socialite or something. Or maybe like a failed actress whose aging but still fetching features can turn heads with a combination of icy confidence and vaguely bored heat.

Anyway, it's real cool.

And now a random picture of Poe:

One day I will fly home to my cat. I have these dreams where I burst through the arrivals door at the Seattle airport and run headlong through the baggage claim towards Poe who is running headlong towards me at full kitty-tilt. And we meet in a weeping mass of fur and limbs. Only sometimes it's Craig Parker instead of Poe. And then there's less fur.

I might go back to work now.

July 24, 2005

I'm in Eliza's room idly updating my blog while she tries on outfits. Somewhere on the other side of the door is a small child running pell-mell through our flat. We hate small children, especially ones invading our personal space. So we've holed up with clothes, cigarettes, and Eliza very kindly (and self-sacrificingly) playing NSync.

It's my only day off today. One day out of seventeen. I have watched a movie starring the luscious David Wenham. I have shopped. I have had far too much coffee. And now I'm listening to NSync.

Heaven.

Embassy? What's that? I only know happiness and freedom today. I only know this room, these millions of Eliza's clothes, the feel of caffeine coursing through my veins, and the prospect of a decadent dessert out later.

July 17, 2005

Do you ever have those days where all of your best intentions end up like ass? Where no matter what noble or good or right thoughts you had at the outset, things somehow manage to get horribly twisted into some ugly web of accusation and spite from which you can't disentangle yourself without a lot of yelling and angst?
Days where work just SUCKS ASS and there's not a damn thing you can do about it?

That was yesterday and this morning. Now I am in damage control mode. Where I bite back all the words I said in haste, believing myself to have been wronged and/or of righteous intent when really I was just an ass. Where I have to amend all the stupid accounting hoo-haa bullshit that went terribly askew at work. And where I have to stand up and say, humbly (but with a vaguely irritated undertone) "RIGHT. I was fucking wrong. I'm sorry, goddammit, I'm only human. I can't count, apparently. I get fucked off over stupid things. And I may have made things worse by confronting you without sleep. I'm sorry. I was fucking wrong and now I'm admitting it. Forgive me or I'll run away to... somewhere far. (I was going to say "the other side of the world" but that would be home.) Anyway, I was an ass. And now my day IS ass. So it all comes full circle in the end."

The list of people I have unwittingly fucked off through one means or another is:
My flatmate.
Andrew.
My co-workers (especially the one I fired 89 times though that was just a joke).
The guy who wanted a ticket to the show I said was sold out which turned out to have two tickets left in Row F.
Probably David (though he's far too sweet to admit it).
Mostly Andrew.
Liz.

The list of people I have yet to offend but ask forgiveness for in advance given how my days have been going is:
My other flatmates.
Eliza (though she's a doll and almost never takes my grumpy moods too seriously).
The rest of my co-workers (the ones who weren't rostered on yesterday).
Skotty and Shannie and Poe.
The G gang (hopefully).
Lucas.

Humanity is the balancing act between selfish passion and generous outbursts of misguided intent. It's the beauty of what happens despite yourself and because of how much you love others. Humanity is the miracle place between forgiveness and ambition, tempered by creativity and adoration. I have achieved humanity today by failing through attempting to succeed. There will be a thousand more days like this. And I'll embrace them all. Failing just means you're alive.

July 10, 2005

Blogger added an image upload feature.
So now I can upload my Embassy office computer wallpaper for all of you to share.
Why?
Because it's Marton Csokas. BECAUSE I CAN.

... god he's hot...

June 22, 2005

Marriage. What is it good for? In honor of my dear friend and bear Homie's impending nuptials to the lovely and of course bear-friendly Michelle, I shall now ruminate upon the subject of holy matrimony. Perhaps dedicating said rumination to Homie and Michelle isn't the best course of action given my own personal thoughts on the subject but Homie is a smart bear (and Michelle must be pretty savvy herself to have captured his interest) so I think he'll appreciate any thoughts from me being dedicated to him, no matter how obscurely unrelated said thoughts actually are to reality.

Marriage really works well for a lot of people. My parents, my sister and brother-in-law, lots of good friends at the G, my Elven parents, the aforementioned Homie and Michelle... the list is literally endless. I don't know if you've noticed, but a LOT of people out there are married these days. And I say good for them. Good for those couples who have found each other. Good for those couples whose souls find unity together and whose dreams come to fruition in each other's company. That isn't sarcasm, either. I applaud those who make marriage beautiful. *applauds* HOWEVER...

There are a lot of people for whom marriage isn't the answer and I strongly suspect that I am one of those people. Humans are, at their base core, animals. We are animals with souls and, depending on your theological bent, eternal destinies. Certainly we have opposable thumbs. But at our base, we live and breathe to perpetuate the species and stay alive long enough to do so. The idea of a monogamous relationship is more or less counterproductive to instinctive species perpetuation. Meaning as a genus we aren't designed for loyalty but for longevity. I know the Bible says otherwise but in case you missed my last post where I told you where to go and what to read on the way, the Bible Belt all-American family node of momdadtwokidsdog may not actually be God's ultimate plan. His own son was an unmarried stirrer-of-holy-shit. Think about that. Certainly the Bible says not to commit adultery but there are also plenty of examples of God's chosen men doing things in the name of love and divinity that society today would faint over. Jacob. Worked seven years to marry Rachel and had Leah pawned off on him on the marriage night. So he worked seven more to marry Rachel too. Only nowadays we preach about his love for Rachel and avoid using the word "polygamy" for fear of, um, learning something. Abraham. As Gotthammer Mike pointed out, his wife Sarah was seemingly barren so to avoid the sin of adultery he just slept with the maidservant to keep the young'uns in the "family". Only of course nowadays we only preach about Isaac. Lot. My favorite. The only holy man and family to be saved from the accursed Sodom and Gomorrah. His wife gets salted for her disobedience and he and his daughters end up hiding out in the wilderness so his daughters, fearing they'll never procreate (and perpetuate the species), "lay with" their father to avoid the curse of singledom. But "Incest: The Game The Whole Family Can Play" has still never caught on.

My point, besides grossly clever puns, is that marriage has been loosely defined and weirdly rebelled against for time immortal. Divorce is nearly as common as marriage. Single parents are nearly as common as married ones. Common law couples have the same rights as legally wed ones. And now gay ones do to. Humanity, as a rule, is more innately concerned with the pursuit of pleasure and the continuation of the species than about lofty ideals like undying loyalty and love beyond death. Unless said things are depicted aboard doomed ocean liners by people like James Cameron. *gags* Those who are married need not feel in err. Everyone must adhere to that which governs their own soul. You can't be what you aren't. But by that same rule, we single people should not be made to feel that our lives of independent, sex-riddled, childless adventure are somehow intrinsically wrong and going against everything the species stands for. I am not in a sole committed relationship. Nor am I likely to be in the near future. Aside from the fact that I'm wildly unskilled at navigating the nuances of them, I'm not interested in them. I like being single. And I resent the societal push towards marriage that increases with every candle that appears on my birthday cake. As though I somehow am less of a contributing member of the race because I insist on doing for myself what husbands do for other women. As though I somehow am a waste of time because my version of perpetuating the species involves an endless search for the most virile partner with whom I won't actually procreate because I hate children. Nonetheless, I am instinctively on the prowl for the best possible sexual mate. Marriage doesn't appeal to me. My parents' marriage appeals to me on the level of my admiration for the stable and supportive childhood I was given through it. My sister's marriage appeals to me because I've always wanted a brother and now I have one. Homie and Michelle's marriage appeals to me because I see joy, pure and unmanufactured, in the eyes of Homie when he speaks of Michelle and I know that some things are just meant to be. But marriage is not a God-given right and union is not the ultimate goal of life.

Of course, I could be wrong. I mean Lord knows if Marton Csokas proposed to me just to prove a point, I'd become the biggest hypocrite this side of the Pharisees. And I have always lauded the wisdom of the Baroness Von Schrader in The Sound of Music who, faced with daunting societal pressure to be properly wed and with a large family to care for, did the only sensible thing she could - seduced a stupidly wealthy man who already HAD seven children and then pawned them off on the curtain-wearing nanny so she could plan parties. These examples aside, however, I am most impressed by people who make up their own minds about things. If you fall in love and then, beyond that, realize you really do like your partner and want to be with them, get married. Thumb your nose at cynical single vampires like me and walk the aisle in triumph. But if you're single and, God forbid, ENJOYING IT, continue. There is no need to feel either guilty or like a failure because you aren't contributing to Vera Wang's retirement fund or overpopulating the world with precocious youngsters.

Feel free to disagree. Just for godsakes don't propose.

June 18, 2005

Go here and read this.

NOW.

June 17, 2005

Things I'm Not Cut Out For - Part One

1. Less than two hours of sleep
2. More than one job
3. Oh hang it, ONE job
4. Combinations of the above that include two jobs and no sleep (I'm LAZY, people!)
5. Being asked if I'm on the dessert menu
6. Making lattes
7. Drinking coffee without sugar
8. Not drinking coffee
9. Dating (and no, I'm not on the fucking dessert menu)
10. Taxes (and/or death - actually I'd take death over taxes)
11. The hill that leads home (it's really STEEP *whines*)

Things I'm Definitely Cut Out For But Never Get The Chance To Prove - Part One

1. Flying
2. Owning a hundred cats (I can hear Poe scoff from here)
3. Marton (oh I'm SO cut out for him! *growls*)
4. Ruling the world (TRUST ME)
5. Being stupidly and independently wealthy above and beyond all reason
6. Being infamous (like a member of the A-Team!)
7. Logic (what?)
8. Bling
9. Immortality

I like lists.

June 4, 2005

For all of you who have been dying to know what my new life in New Zealand is all about, I have the answer to your prayers. Or if not prayers then demands for contact of any kind. My dear friend and former flatmate Homie (of the Beareth Clan) did an interview with me for his blog. And you can check it out here. Or, if you don't like linky-poos, at www.homiebear.blogspot.com. Now go. This is not the blog you're looking for.

In other news, it's winter now. And let me tell you that I don't want to hear any whining from any of you about snow or minus temperatures because all I can say in response is "CENTRAL HEATING". You have it, we don't. Try to imagine going to bed in cold as dense as it is outside. Yes. It sucks. New Zealand, what the FUCK do you have against central heating? It's my endless beef. I'll never understand it.

May 21, 2005

Andrew got all huffy when I tossed his scarf to the ground today. His scarf had, prior to the tossing, been neatly hanging in his closet. ON ITS OWN HANGAR. Scarves do not need to be tidily hung up on hangars. The very idea is intrinsically absurd. So I tossed it derisively to the floor. Commence huff. I pointed out that the hanging makes Andrew gay but the huffing over the toss makes him gayer. He huffed that he wasn't huffing, he merely could not understand my aversion to tidiness and order. I'm not averse to order, I just don't have time for it.

This is why gay men will never rule the world. Because they hang scarves on hangars? No, stupid kid in the back. Shut up. Because they get distracted by minute details on the way to the throne room. See, gay men are plenty smart enough to rule the world. They're cagey and intelligent (most of them - let's not stereotype here) and can coordinate daily outfits and have drive and ambition and what-have-you. But on the way to being crowned King of All the Known Universe, they'd notice that some yahoo subject had carelessly tossed a scarf to the ground, thus allowing a hangar to go unused in the great closet of life and would immediately set the terrible wrong right and therefore miss their coronation. See, straight men don't catch ANY details and gay men catch TOO MANY. Somewhere there is a happy medium. And no, the idea of a meterosexual ruling the world doesn't comfort me either. I was aiming for the answer "woman". A woman will one day rule the world while her wars are fought by hot sweaty rugged men and her closets are re-arranged by huffy gay men.

Andrew is going to object to this entire post but he maligned me in his journal by saying that my incessant babble was fundamentally distracting so I'm exacting my revenge here.

This scarf belongs on the floor. *waves hand in a Jedi fashion*
This is not the hangar you're looking for.

May 20, 2005

I just read Andrew the last entry starring him. Of all the things he could have said, he chose to say, "But isn't it nice? The pillow scent? It is nice, isn't it?"

I worry about my femininity sometimes. Or maybe more to the point I worry about his masculinity. Luckily we don't find the same guys attractive. He's into slightly awkward-looking slender creatures of muscle tone and smooth skin and, aside from pretty pretty pretty Orlando Bloom and Craig Parker as Haldir, I'm into rugged manly men who could either break into a sweat or grunt at any given moment. Like Marton. Only he doesn't ACTUALLY sweat and grunt, he only ACTS like he's sweating and grunting. And looks all rugged and sexy doing so. MmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmMarton..... *fades away* Where the hell was I going with this?

Right, Andrew.

Anyhow, we like different guys. I also noted that he hasn't fragranced my pillow since that first night I moved in and he said, slightly huffily (he'll protest my usage of that particular word but I stand by my choice of adjective here), "I figured you knew where the spray was so you could get it if you wanted it."

I love this man! I do.

May 18, 2005

Sometimes I just have to say, "Fuck YES I rule!"

In a totally unrelated story, there is scent all over this room. Andrew is a better girl than I am, for godsakes. I told him that the first day I moved in. He fussed over changing the sheets (to a matching lavendar set), tucked in all the blankets, smoothed the top coverlet, and then sprayed fragrance on my pillow. I was agape. I said, "Dude, I would've just crashed on the floor. I mean I'm the intruder here." He replied, firmly and in a tone that left no room for argument, "You're not an intruder, you're my guest. And you will NOT sleep on the floor, you'll sleep in my bed. I'll sleep on the floor. And of COURSE you'll have clean sheets. And this scent is my own mixture. It's for vitality of complexion and also relaxation." I blinked. "Dude," I said again, eloquently, "you're making me feel so MASCULINE." Luckily he laughed. But seriously, PILLOW SCENT? In all my years of womanhood I have never voluntarily made my bed with lavendar sheets or considered the virtures of a relaxation spray for pillows.

Andrew also sleeps with the window open. Because he cannot abide staleness. Fresh air is the elixir of life or something like that. He also likes throwing the curtains open to receive light in the morning. As a vampire who likes to curl in the fetal position away from every possible ray of light and who never ever on pain of undeath opens a window because fresh air is like razor blades on the skin, this poses a problem. Hence we arrive at that other "c" word: compromise. I pull my Leggy blanket over my head and face the wall and he only opens the window part way and waits till after nine to part the curtains. Then as soon as he goes to work I shut everything up into crypt-like closeness again.

Did I mention I fucking RULE? *knocks on wood* Can't say too much, too much. Don't want to jinx it. More on my ability to kick life's ass later. Just know that I am, to quote the book Skotty and Shannie gave me, QUEEN OF FUCKING EVERYTHING right now.

Go me!

May 14, 2005

When one thing ends it inevitably brings about something better. But only if you can open your eyes and heart to see the beauty in the change. The pain of loss is as inevitable as the change that accompanies the ending. But the pain doesn't have to be the sum total of the event. One end transitions beautifully into a golden dawn if you let it.

Saying goodbye has unfortunately become natural here. New Zealand is as much about farewells and endings as it is about meetings and adventure. But even as the sorrow of losing Natalie makes me feel like I'm swirling down a drain somewhere, I am surrounded by friends in my beloved Wellington again. The tears dried as I climbed Mount Vic with Lucas and was embraced into Andrew's home.

The learning curve here is so steep. Sometimes I feel like I'm just floundering around not really taking anything in. I feel like so much has been handed to me that it's impossible for it all to soak in. And yet sometimes I feel that I've earned a lifetime of experience in only a handful of months. That all the struggles, goodbyes, greetings, challenges, and horizons have shaped me definitively beyond my wildest imaginings. I hope I can take this and make it something beautiful when I'm forced at last to return home. I hope I can remember, every time I have to say goodbye to someone I love, that I'll simply be stepping through a new door the very next instant.

And anyway, goodbye is never forever. There's always tomorrow.

February 20, 2005

Otorohanga is a funny word. It means "small town New Zealand where vampires can find work".

No it doesn't. I made that up. I have no idea what it means but it is, non-coincidentally, a small town in New Zealand where I'm moving to tomorrow for a new job. Nat will be there. And work is there. And, presumably, adventure will also find me there.

For now, though, I'm wasting precious time with Little M. Time that could be far better spent eating sushi and wandering Cuba Street dishing on everything from the hotness of Craig Parker in Mercy Peak to how much of a beautiful thing soul-friendship is. On that note, I leave you. Because for Lent I'm determined to give all of myself to my experiences here and to the people who make up the parts of my heart that I only discovered since arriving. To those people (Little M) I say "thank you". This means something because of you. To the people back home who are keeping the parts of my heart I left there safe and warm, I say "I love you".

February 8, 2005

Living in New Zealand is a lot like living anywhere else in the world except that people seem to think it's more exotic and therefore are baffled that I don't send out more mass emails full of daring and exciting exploits. I love New Zealand, don't get me wrong, but once you settle anywhere for a time life has a way of dropping you into a vague semblance of routine and ceases to be the "omigod this is the most amazing thing I've ever done" series of adventures that it once was. Case in point. I'm broke. Which is exactly what the status of my life was like back home in Canada. The difference now is that I'm broke in NEW ZEALAND. It only sounds better if you're buried in snow and -37 degree temperatures back home. The reality of it is actually precisely the same. No money here is like no money there. Not enough jobs here is like not enough jobs there. Not discernable way out of credit card debt here is like no discernable way out of credit card debt there.

Fine, you say. That's fine. We understand that. Life has a way of echoing itself after awhile. But still. You're in NEW ZEALAND. What are the ways in which it's DIFFERENT? Alright, I'll tell you. But I warn you, you asked for it.

Ways In Which Life In New Zealand Is Different From Canada

1. Cost. As everything here is imported from everywhere else, it costs ten times as much. CDs at home are $12 or $15 a pop. $20 is outrageous and should only be spent if, like me, you absolutely cannot exist without the Japanese export version of NSync's Celebrity album. CDs here are $30. $20 is an outrageously fantastic deal and you should buy no less than ten albums for such a low price. Insert "movies", "shoes", "clothes", "food", whatever in place of "CDs" and you have an idea of cost differential. Economics. I never took it but I imagine it sounds something like this: The farther away from the States you are geographically, the more things will cost to fly in FROM the States.

2. Peanut Butter. They don't do peanut butter right here. It seems so simple, so brainless, so totally unable to mess up. Smash the peanuts, add the sugar, cram it into a jar. But for whatever reason the process goes horribly awry here and peanut butter takes on a distinctly un-peanutty flavor totally unique to New Zealand. You do get used to it, though. I actually now think New Zealand peanut butter is superior to Canadian peanut butter which just goes to show that I'm losing touch with North American reality already.

3. Movies. Here's how New Zealand is far far superior to Hollywood and how Kiwis will one day rule the world side-by-side with artsy Korean filmmakers and Quentin Tarantino (without whom we'd never have learned that artsy Korean films are worth watching). New Zealand filmmakers understand that life does not always end happily, people are rarely flawless, tragic things don't always make you a better person but sometimes just make you bitter, and huge fireball explosions every five minutes isn't actually viable as an art form. New Zealand films have a raw, angsty, tragic bent to them that no amount of Hollywood influence can erase. No matter how much vaccuous shit Hollywood exports, New Zealand films insist on being real. A short list includes (but is hardly limited to): Once Were Warriors, Rain, In My Father's Den, Broken English, and a whole ream of brilliant shorts like A Game With No Rules and Accidents.

4. Actors. New Zealand actors are hot. As my brother-in-law would say, they have Teh Hott. Marton Csokas. *dies* Craig Parker. *dies* Karl Urban. *dies* I have a secret to surviving Hollywood movies. Go to any random Matt Damon or Vin Diesel film and watch the bad guy. xXx. Marton Csokas played Yorgi. Yes, the sexier-than-Vin bad guy. The Chronicles of Riddick. Karl Urban played Vaako. Yes, the sexier-than-Vin necromonger bad guy. The Bourne Supremacy. Marton Csokas played Jarda and Karl Urban played Kirill. Yes, the sexier-than-Matt bad guys. It's a daring ploy but it works. *thumbs nose at Hollywood* Only Tom Cruise has proved smarter than my theory. He knows that Karl and Marton are both taller and sexier (and by far have more talent in each of their pinky toes than he does all told) so he never acts with them. Coincidence? No. Because Tom Cruise, whatever else he may be, is SMART. Too smart to go up against New Zealand actors on film.

There are other ways in which life in New Zealand is different from Canada - more earthquakes, more wind, more sheep, etc - but I'm bored now and also out of money for a longer post so I'll call this list complete for now. Feel free to post comments in defense of Vin Diesel's sexiness if you like. I'll collect them and send them all to Marton Csokas' and Karl Urban's agents so they can have a good laugh. *giggles*

January 31, 2005

Earthquakes. What are they good for?

I've heard a lot about earthquakes in my lifetime being that I grew up in Vancouver "Omigod we're living on a fault" British Columbia. We blossomed secure in the knowledge that one day our Lower Mainland playground would come shaking down around us in a rumble of Armageddon-like proportions. But like with any sense of impending doom that remains a vague threat and not an imminent reality, we BC kids ran amock with our high-quality pot and our carefree rainy-day joie-de-vivre and didn't bother trembling in our beds at night wondering if the house would still be standing when we awoke. That was for LA people to do. And San Francisco people to do. Lord, we had other concerns! Like, um, were grow-ops technically or only theoretically illegal and would Whistler get a lot of snow this season?

Then, through the vagaries of modern unemployment and on various and sundry whims, I found myself living here. In Wellington. New Zealand. EARTHQUAKE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD. Okay, no, it's probably not. But it sure feels like it. I was shaken awake at 6:30ish this morning by a 5.4 on the Richter Scale. With accompanying aftershocks. On January 21 I was shaken awake by a 5.5 on the Richter Scale. With accompanying aftershocks. When your floor is doing the moonwalk and the walls are shivering in accompaniment, it gets a bit alarming. Especially when do-gooder friends then inform you that a 7.5 will level all of Wellington with that smug aura of informed alarm that people reveling in relaying bad news always have.

Earthquakes. What are they good for? Um, leveling out the earth's plates. Also thinning the surface population. Also blasting you out of that false sense of security that humanity spends most of it's fragile and brief life numbingly wrapped in. You just never know, do you? So by George, get out and live! Dammit.

And, in case you think this whole post is a load of bollux, go here to view a handy map and frequency scale of all the recent New Zealand earthquakes. Remember, kids, it's all fun and games till somebody's house falls down. Then it's life.

January 19, 2005

Main Entry: work
Function: noun
b : the labor, task, or duty that is one's accustomed means of livelihood c : a specific task, duty, function, or assignment often being a part or phase of some larger activity

Of course what Merriam-Webster doesn't tell you is that first you have to FIND work. Also known as a "job-hunt". Dictionary.com defines "job-hunt" thusly:

job-hunt
To look actively for suitable employment.

Looking for work requires something known as stamina. Which Merriam-Webster says "is a microsporophyll of a seed plant; specifically : the pollen-producing male organ of a flower that consists of an anther and a filament". That's because Merriam-Webster gave me the definition for "stamen" instead. This could be why I'm having trouble focussing on my job-hunt. Because what stamina actually means is "staying power" and "endurance". Of course once you employ the use of staying power in actively looking for suitable employment, you will come to the last and final stage of the job-hunt. Known as "lethargy".

leth-ar-gy (lthr-j)
n.
1. A state of sluggishness, inactivity, and apathy.
2. A state of unconsciousness resembling deep sleep.


Which is when you finally realize that just staying in bed all day removes the burning need for money and doesn't require "work". Thus bringing us tidily full circle to my main thesis. Which is, simply stated, "Work: What is it good for?"

January 14, 2005

What's really frightening is that William Shatner's latest album is... GOOD.

I'm not kidding.

Seriously.

January 13, 2005

*points out of the screen like an Uncle Sam recruitment poster*

Consider this an update, Soldier. NOW GET BACK TO WORK!

*clasps hands behind back and strides offscreen*





P.S. Hunter Season One is out on DVD now. Aarongorn sent me this all-important news update. So for those of you who miss me so much you can't stand it and just have to buy me presents to stave off the misery of facing February without me, you now know what to get. Have I mentioned that Stephen J. Cannell is a genius? I mean this ONE MAN made both The A-Team and Hunter, possibly the two greatest contributions to television of all time. I bow to your genius, Stephen J. Cannell. If I had my autographed picture of Stepfanie Kramer with me, I'd light a few candles around it in your honor.

January 1, 2005

2005. I saw it first. And let me tell you what I know: tinfoil jumpsuits are surprisingly breathable.

The future is a giddy time, my friends. One day we'll all look back on antique concepts like "walking" and "bathing" and laugh uproariously. But for now feel free to indulge recklessly in the latter. You know, while it's going out of style and all.

Happy new succession of 365 days. My resolution is to feed off more smart people so as to avoid the leg-hold trap of inanity that plagues the mortal coil. Oh yes, and to eat more chocolate. Why resolve things that will make me miserable? Life tends to be short enough already.