Hubris.co.nz

An online journal since 1998

History, pre-me

Last year one of the teams I work in had their Xmas lunch at Siem Reap, and while I stared jealously at the people who’d opted for the set menu (I didn’t realise it meant all of the dishes, banquet-style, as opposed to one from each course), I got talking to one of my favouritest workmates about Europe, where she was about to travel. She has a Dutch background, so was really interested to know that I’m half Dutch (just don’t ask Mum where her accent is from), and quickly she started interrogating me about what Oma & Opa did during the war. I was able to say that Opa was a prisoner of war, but that he and some others had escaped by cutting a hole in the bottom of the train with a Swiss Army knife, and had lain on the tracks while the train passed over them. When I heard that story when I was about six, I thought it was the coolest thing in the world. A pocketknife! My grandfather was as cool as the super cool Macguyver.

It wasn’t until I was older that Mum told me that there was a guard standing on the back of the train, that most of the escapees were shot, and that my grandfather was recaptured and spent the war in a prisoner of war camp. Meanwhile, I know my Oma became a nurse, and that’s how they met eventually. But that wasn’t enough detail for my colleague, and as I’d had a glass of wine, I took her urging and started to text Mum more questions about it all. Sadly, I have deleted all my texts from Mum showing her how it worked on her new iPhone, but I was really interested to learn more about it, though there were gaps in her knowledge as well. Especially around the Milk Strikes! I use an exclamation mark because my colleague told me to study up on the milk strikes while on holiday, and has been reminding me about that ever since. Well, you know I did buttfucknothing over the holidays, which was great, but in honour of my colleague moving to the desk right next to mine a couple of days a week, I thought I would make her a little tribute. And since it’s 2015, of course there are animated gifs. I know a lot could be written about glibly summing up some really bad shit with pictures of cats, but

¯\_(?)_/¯.

Here now, I present to you a summary of the Milk Strikes, cribbed largely from The Verzetmuseum but also Wikipedia of course. Now I’d love to know more about your family’s history too…

The involvement of the Netherlands in World War II began with its invasion by Nazi Germany on 10 May 1940. The Netherlands had originally proclaimed neutrality when war broke out in 1939, but Germany invaded anyway. On 15 May 1940, one day after the bombing of Rotterdam, the Dutch forces surrendered. The Dutch government and the royal family escaped and went into exile in Britain.

On April 29, 1943, the Germans announced that 300,000 Dutch army soldiers, who had been captured and released in 1940, were to be recaptured and sent to German labor camps.

Spontaneous strikes broke out in the eastern region of Twente and spread like lightning across large parts of the country.

Femy Efftink, switchboard operator at the Stork machine factory in Hengelo, helped distribute the news about the strike:

‘At Smit Printers the rumour went round that the prisoners of war would be transported to Germany. We sent out a few messenger boys from Stork to make inquiries. ‘

‘After three years of occupation the time had come for us to resist. In less than half an hour the factory had emptied out. When people phoned us I asked them, “Will you go on strike with us?” And I called a number of other factories one after the other. That’s how it got started.’

‘As soon as this was announced, workers in the town of Hengelo walked off their jobs in a protest strike. Word of the strike spread throughout the provinces. In the city of Eindhoven, every Philips factory shut down.’

In the province of Limburg, over 10,000 miners went on strike, followed by 40,000 total miners striking the next day.Rural Dutch farmers supported the strike by refusing to deliver milk to dairy factories.

To combat these strikes, Nazi troops began shooting at the strikers throughout the country, and those strikers who were arrested were sentenced to death. This caused the strikes to be suppressed everywhere except in Limburg. To put down the strikes in Limburg, a German police force was sent to suppress the strikes with violence.

A housewife from Lemmer wrote in her diary:

‘That morning, strange things had happened in the area. The farmers had gone on strike — they refused to deliver the milk to the factories. So everybody went to the farms to get milk. You could have as much as you wanted. I had three two-litre canning jars full. People came lugging buckets and washtubs.There was tension in the air, because you thought: this is going to lead to violence.’

The strikes later become known as the April/May strikes, or the Milk strikes, because the strikes were mainly in the countryside and in many places farmers refused to deliver milk to the dairy factories.

Piet Stavast was a technical school student in Pekela

‘At the town hall work was still going on under pressure from the NSB mayor. The strikers didn’t agree. They said they’d wait until 11 o’clock.

‘The mayor didn’t want a strike and threatened to call in the Germans. We just looked at the clock and waited until 11. At that moment a huge group of strikers stormed in and drove the staff out.’

The occupiers responded with force. Eighty strikers were summarily executed.

Their names were printed on posters as a deterrence.

Shots were fired on groups of strikers. On May 3rd most of the strikers went back to work. After days of carnage, the strikes had resulted in over 180 deaths, 400 casualties, and 900 prisoners of war being sent to concentration camps.

The strikes marked a turning point. After Amsterdam in 1941, the rest of the Netherlands had now experienced the German terror. Support for the resistance increased sharply.

A pamphlet published by illegal newspaper Trouw stated:

‘Finally the enemy has fully stripped off his mask. The myth of the Führer’s magnanimity is at an end. Now the Germans recognise us for what we truly are: enemies, and not part of the pan-Germanic Community.’

2014 in review

Okay, I didn’t do a 2012 or a 2013. But you can find 2011’s here. This is for KateB who demanded it.

1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?

    • Paid a lawyer. And then another lawyer.
    • Paid for insurance.
    • Fucked in a royal box in the theatre
    • Went to my first body corporate meeting.
    • Called it off with S (yes, we’d been sort of toying with the idea of getting back togetherish kinda) because she couldn’t say that she was in love with me, no matter how much we loved each other.
    • Went to Maitu Somes Island. On a date even.
    • Dated a couple of pashfriends. Called time on one of them because I wasn’t over S.

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

My New Year’s resolutions were 1. To find an awesome new job (yup) 2. To finish reading The Lumineres (yup) 3. To only sleep with people aged 30 and over (5/7 and the two under were lovely and one was a girl which doesn’t count anyway) 4. To have an MMF (so close but no double cigar) 5. To get an invite to the WETA Xmas party. I was supposed to meet a guy from OKC who was a visual effects producer, I presume at Weta, which could have developed into a relationship that could have got me a ticket, except I googled him before then and all I could find was his reviews of Asian prostitutes, so I cancelled. 

This year my resolutions are 1. To keep Hubris up to date (look at me go!) 2. To stop playing Kardashian Hollywood (already deleted) 3. To organise a #BESTGIRLS reunion (flights booked) 4. To dance every week (currently have) and 5. To stop taking taxis to work. Which has been a dismal failure so far.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

No one particularly close to me, but I know a bunch of pregos ready to pop.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No.

5. What countries did you visit?

I went to Vanuatu with Karen and got an ear infection. But I also got ear infections in New Zealand too. Stupid ears.

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?

That ever-elusive MMF? Maybe? Perhaps I am getting closer to being able to have a proper functional primary relationship with someone, at some time. Maybe.

7. What date from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

No particular day. Can I say November 29 from 2013 instead cos that’s the day I moved into my house?

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Learning to let go and to put myself first sometimes. Also I am super proud that I have been able to help my refugees start to adjust to life here. When the translator told me that B said she loves my teammate Claire and I more than her sisters, that was pretty fucking special.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I still have a lot of anger about something that happened near the start of the year and it still gives me nightmares. Other people’s bigotry shouldn’t be my baggage, but I just can’t shake it.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Three ear infections. Uuuuuuuugh ear infections are the worst. Now I have ear plugs for when I go swimming.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

That trip to Vanuatu because I really needed the sunshine.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

The amazing Raena’s, who kept me calm during trip to emergency vet, fed me whisky and gin, and provided me with some extra cash during the time she lived with me.

Also my family, who are very good people.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Oh god, so many people. Right wing people mostly. Some drama llamas. The aforementioned bigotrists. The person I’d like to Phoenix Palm right now.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Sebastian’s vet bills, that Vanuatu holiday, house stuff, far too much on taxis to work as a way to combat floor lava.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

#BESTGIRLS REUNION at my house in May, although sadly Kini couldn’t make it after hurting her back. So also then KINI COMING TO STAY. Any time Jo came to stay.

16. What song will always remind you of 2014?

‘XO’ because though it came out in 2013, it came out while I was at #BESTGIRLS in Sydney, surprising Jo at Kini’s house for her birthday, and since then it always reminds me of those two and always always makes me smile.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

I am fatter, probably happier and poorer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Dancing. It is the best. Especially Witches’ Coven Dance on Mondays with the amazing Boganette and Rachel. I also wish I could have swum more but ear infections made me worry.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Drinking on an empty stomach / not enough water. Having nightmares about old job.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

As per tradition, I spent the morning with Tom and Karen and Keith, eating an amazing breakfast, drinking a lot of bubbly and gin, then watching Nevermind the Buzzcocks. Then we went out to BAMJI’s house in Petone for presents and dinner and fun times.

21. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?

Toplessly FaceTiming with Jo and trying to accidently flash her. Heh heh heh.

22. Did you fall in love in 2014?

Nope cos it had continued with S. She is very hard to get over when I think we work so well together.

23. How many one-night stands?

If we’re only defining it as at night, and for one night only, then only two – a douchebag in the last week of Mighty Mighty who I slept with because I was angry with S (awesome life decisions, Jo) who was just not a nice person, and then a nice boy from OKC who is actually the boyfriend of a friend of mine (she knew). Should I count someone if I saw them again many many times as a friend but we didn’t sex again? Three if yes then.

24. What was your favorite TV program?

Broad City, Bob’s Burgers, Scandal and of course and forever, Parks & Recreation. It is no coincidence all these shows feature strong female rolemodels.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No but my levels of loathing for white cis straight men’s opinions has grown and grown and grown.

26. What was the best book you read?

I read so many books while I was in Vanuatu! It felt really good. But then I didn’t really keep reading much after that. I did thoroughly enjoy Gone Girl though, it was perfect beach reading.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I got myself a Spotify subscription but I don’t know if i discovered anything new – more I revisited old friends.

28. What did you want and get?

A tropical holiday, good friends, a fantastic house (okay that was the end of 2013 but still)

29. What did you want and not get?

New tapware and chandeliers for my bathroom, a main relationship, an MMF. GODDAMMIT.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?

I don’t watch movies, don’t be ridiculous.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 34.  For friends-celebration, a bunch of us went to dinner at a BYO Italian place in Thorndon then came back to mine for more wine and AMAZING VULVA CAKE the amazing Demelza made for me. For Family Birthday we went to Charlie Bill’s, also in Thorndon, and had fantastic Silere Merino lamb ribs and other goodness.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Feeling like I achieved more at work (the public service can be quite slow).

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?

More Fatty Boom Clothing Swaps please! (Free is good!) Also, MOAR CLEAVAGE.

34. What kept you sane?

Jo always being on the other end of Facebook. Tom for keeping me in booze. Demelza for letting me cry on her shoulder. Raena. Upping my lexapro dosage. Getting benzos for the hardest moments. Fellow feminists on Twitter. The way Florence burrows under my blankets to snuggle up to me at night. The enthusiastic greeting of Trixie Doggie.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Ummmm I actually can’t think of anyone.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

Feminism as a whole, inequality in New Zealand and rape culture.

37. Who did you miss?

Jo and Kini because the #BESTGIRLS should be together all the time. Sometimes I miss Kate & Jason and Tim but, what can I do? And also S. Duh.

38. Who was the best new person you met?

I had met Raena back in 2009 at FullcodePress in Sydney, so I can’t say her, so maybe I’ll say her Shannon instead.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014:

Acceptance Commitment Therapy suggests that you decide what your values are and then deal with situations so that you’re meeting your values. For example, this pile of paperwork might seem like bullshit to you, but if your value is “getting things done”, then do it because doing things is important to you (not because someone else thinks the paperwork should be done). If a value is “helping people” then when you see the government is not commited to helping people, then you volunteer to do what you can yourself.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

“I’ve got my fingers laced together and I’ve made a little prison and I’m locking up everyone who’s ever laid a finger on me”

Fleshing out the silence

It seems more than ever that Twitter, the place where I now tell my stories instead of here, dolloping them out in 140 characters at a time instead of the long drunken screeds that Hubris used to be home to (though make no mistake, those tweets are pretty drunken too – moreso even because of the ease at which they can be posted. I am amazed that I used to be able to write in Notepad and then work an FTP programme) has become a place where the people who I love online no longer feel safe. And I hate that. It is exhausting being a female online. I learned this when I was 13 and first signed on to a bulletin board system at ASIJ because Beth was doing it, and Simon Darby, who I had a tremendous crush on, was doing it. I used the username Beelzebub, because everyone had demonic usernames, and then older boys on the board talked about how they could prove I was female if they took my clothes off. Yet the sysops only interupted my emails to Beth if I used bad words about teachers. You learn these things. And this is why I have returned to Hubris. Not because I am fleeing twitter. Oh no. But because I refuse to be shut down. I will always be here, fat, queer, loud, angry – and hopefully also just talking about boobs and cats and periods and all those other things that make me who I am as well. My voice is important too.

So the other day, as part of my New Year’s Resolution to keep Hubris up to date, I wrote a list of what I want to write about that, and talking about Twitter was top of that list. And now I have done that, I can move on to the next thing about being a woman on the internet – this comment that I got on my post about getting date raped. When I first read it, I wondered for a second – did I write that? The comment I mean. It was just too perfect a summation of every single cliche. Stop lying. You enjoyed it. You were asking for it. Why didn’t you do {x} differently? And that’s why I allowed the comment through moderation. It was horrible, and it made me feel all kinds of bad, but for anyone who ever doubts what it is like to be female, and be on the internet, there it is. I didn’t respond, although the amazing strong and wonderful QoT did. However, what I did do was look up the IP address of the commentator, and discover they were posting from a Telstra Clear account. That’s when I got in touch with Vodafone. Let me be lazy and cut and paste an email I sent to them afterwards.

I’d to thank Dylan from your Twitter team for his response to my complaint. He was absolutely amazing and went way above and beyond what I was expecting.

If you’ll allow me a little backstory, (because there’s always backstory!), a while ago I wrote on my blog about how I was raped. It wasn’t a fun thing to write, but it was important to me, and I thought it would be useful for other people to read too, because unfortunately it’s a thing that happens to a lot of people. I got a lot of great feedback about it, and it helped me, and I think it helped other people too. Of course, putting something like that out on the internet is always super risky, but people responded really well. Until they didn’t.

Last Wednesday I received a comment that told me I had clearly actually enjoyed being raped, and that it would happen to me again (http://t.co/SS95L7BYMN). I hope you can only imagine how horrible that feels. I could have not published that comment, it’s true, but it still existed, someone had still decided that they could say that to another human being, so I decided I would share it with the world. But that wasn’t an okay thing to say, so I looked up the IP of the commentator, and discovered it was on an ihug IP. This is where the backstory stops, and where Vodafone comes in.

I sent a tweet to the @vodafonenz to check if iHug IP addresses were all under the Vodafone banner now to see if that was how I could make a complaint. I was expecting a “yes they are” and maybe a link to a page on your site about how to make a complaint. Instead, when I replied with a link to the nasty comment, I got a call five minutes later from Dylan.

Not only did he check that now was an okay time to talk, but he also was very sensitive, sympathetic, and honest about how he didn’t know exactly what Vodafone would be able to do. He gave me a timeline for when he would have answers, and did indeed call me back the next afternoon after the complaints team meeting, and was absolutely lovely.

I really appreciate how seriously Vodafone has taken my complaint, and that you have been able to send a warning letter to the asshole who left that comment on my site. Hopefully this will make them think twice before saying such horrible things again, and if not, at least it has established a precedence that will make it easier for the next complainant.

I’m already a Vodafone customer, but if I wasn’t, this experience would be enough to make me switch over. Thank you for making a really horrible thing much better. And please let Dylan know just what a great job he did.

Last year after Amanda Billingsly was brave and courageous, this douchebag rightwing blogger wrote a piece about how wasn’t it just a strange coincidence that the victim of an attempted rape was also a feminist (huh?) and had worked with Rape Crisis or some such before (given that 1 in 4 women will experience assault, no, I don’t think that’s a strange coincidence at all) and I saw from the screenshot of that post (because I won’t give them the clicks) that there was a Vodafone ad alongside it. I sent them an email about this, citing my previous excellent experience, and then a couple of weeks later I got a phonecall telling me that behind the scenes, they had been reconfiguring their google ads so they wouldn’t appear on the Oily one’s site anymore, because their staff were equally disgusted. I felt pretty great about that.

Around the same time, there was a bunch of disgust at Cannon for sponsoring the award that went to Oily for best blog, and as my twitter account was protected at the time, I used my profeshish twitter to add my voice to the outcry. Then I got this email – sent, by the way, not to my profesh-ish address, but rather to one that had no actual association with that twitter account, so the person had clearly done some stalking on me, as a “I know who you are, you need to shut up now” message:

picture of an email from an anoymous dickhead

Strangely enough, I never got a reply from them, and google didn’t turn up anything either. That’s when I opened my Twitter up again, because I will not be silenced. No. Not this time. Not ever. Keyboard social justice warrior, that’s me. And you say that like it’s a bad thing? Oh, and let’s let XKCD have the last word on free speech here too .

This is the thing that happens when you don’t write in over a year. You have so many stories to tell. This post is going to be epically long, but you will take it and you will like it, just because.

I’m back in the public service again now. I am part of a large comms team. I work in an area I believe in. I like that when I take off my lanyard at night, I don’t have to think about work anymore so much.

A little over a year ago, I looked at my Kiwisaver account and did some calculations and realised I had over $20k in it if we were to include the $5k first home buyer subsidy, and I was paying $375 a week for my flat in Mt Victoria, so I talked to my parents. On a Tuesday they agreed to help me put together a deposit, and by the following Wednesday, I had put a conditional offer on a house and had it accepted. I now live in half a cottage in Thorndon. Yes, I know, Thorndon. It is gorgeous and lovely and I share my garden with a dog who greets me more enthusiastically than I have ever been greeted in my life, and the best part is she belongs to the neighbours so I have all the love and none of the responsibility. The cats have adjusted really well too, except a couple of months ago, Seb disappeared for two and a half horrible days and reappeared in severe pain with a wrenched leg. He’s still limping and is arthritic and on painkillers every day. That sucks. Luckily Tasman Street Vet are the greatest people ever since I am spending so much money with them.

Speaking of money, I get that I am exceptionally lucky to have parents to help me buy a house, and family to help me with unexpected vet bills. After the election I realised that I needed to do more to help the most vulnerable in our society (ie: I needed to do something with all my fucking priviledge) so I trained as a Refugee Volunteer Support Worker with the Red Cross. After a whole bunch of night classes, me and another lovely woman team mate filled a house with donated goods and now we’re working with an Afghan woman and her daughter , who I will refer to as B and N. Because Claire is available during the day, she goes to WINZ appointments and stuff like that with them, and I take them to the things that can be done outside of work hours, like supermarket shopping. It can be absolutely exhausting, and it can also be the most amazing thing ever when there are tiny victories like getting B’s phone to work so she could call family back in Afganistan, being able to tune in the Hindi TV channel for them, or even just how happy and determined tiny little B & N looked behind Justin’s enormous loud lawnmower. I am extremely grateful that my friends and family are supporting me in supporting them – like Raena helping me set up their house, heaps of people donating things, and even just being able to go over to Demelza’s after two long hours in the supermarket and stress-cry on her shoulder.

Xmas holidays are over and I did nothing but bingewatch How To Get Away With Murder and The Good Wife, take two naps a day, get some sunshine, make out with my pashfriend some and host really great Orphans’ Xmas Brunch and New Year’s Eve parties. Oh, and spend quite a bit of time out with the refugees of course. It was nice surrendering to doing nothing and mostly not feeling guilty about it. I resolved to keep Hubris updated though, along with stop playing Kardashian Hollywood (which I have deleted), organise a #BESTGIRLS reunion (i might talk about that in my next update) and to dance every week. I throw some mad shapes to ‘Yellow Flickr Beat’. You should dance with me some time, then you’ll see.

Because I refuse to be silenced

Things I’d like to talk about

  • What’s been happening on Twitter lately
  • That rape comment on Hubris
  • Vodafone’s response to it
  • Tweets about the cannon awards
  • Oh yes, I’m a public servant now
  • Did I mention that I’m also a home owner?
  • Oh and I work with refugees too. I’m basically Mother Theresa
  • And then maybe some nice things about the awesome people who are awesome to me.

(I’m going to update this list, but I just thought I’d give your RSS a tickle for now.

In which Good Friday is good

Kelly and I cleaned the house today – to the level of vacuuming UNDER the sofa pillows and rotating them, and while I was vacuuming I was dancing to Salt’n Pepa, so not only do I have the feeling of productivity, I also have the exhaustion of exercise, and I just feel so GOOD. This euphoria is similar to that of when your antidepressants first start kicking in and your showers and coffees feel like orgasms for a week, and it is pretty great. It has been a long time coming. I have not felt this good, well, all year maybe?

Last Friday I was at Emma’s birthday party when I got a text from the ex telling me that she was seeing someone – and it was her ex boyfriend. They got back together three weeks after we broke up. Suffice to say, I cried and cried and cried. I felt destroyed. It sucked. But Good Tom and Hilary held me and stroked my hair and that helped.

And work has been unbelievably busy and hard and I have not being doing my best, and that frustrates me, but the really busy time is over, and I know it will get better from here. Hopefully.

Kelly is back from Auckland now and just having her around is amazing. The cats love her. We talk shit, and make each other feel supported. It’s great.

The other night I went to a rally at parliament to counteract an anti-gay-marriage prayer vigil. There were sequins and rainbows and laughter, and I have never sung “Going to the chapel” so much. At one stage we were singing “Lean on me” and I’ve never really liked that song, but I was there with Emma and Simon who’ve been taking me swimming, and Kelly who always has my back, and Beth who is a new friend but who called me as soon as she saw my tweets about the ex angst, and I just felt so supported and lucky, and I got a little teary. There are still dreadful people saying dreadful things about the bill, but I am hopeful it will pass.  And that’s a great thing.

Last night I went out with Beth to Hummingbird and I wrote it up for the Wellingtonista, and for the first time this year, I felt like myself again. I wasn’t some broken girl, still in love with her ex girlfriend, crippled with doubt about how all her friends hate her now and a total failure at her job, I was just Jo Hubris, teller of filthy stories, wine drinker and vague flirt. And that felt amazing.

So I will share with you a ridiculous story, because I have many. The other week at Jo’s goodbye party, I got a little drunk (no, really?) and I saw a guy who I’ve had a mini crush on for a while, in that I see him around occasionally and have thought he might be a good person to get to know better, and so I texted him so see if maybe he wanted to go for a drink sometime. He said he was game, and so somehow, because it was 2am and because I was very drunk, and because well, work has been all consuming lately, I thought it might be a good idea to take him on an adventure. That’s right, without warning him, I took him to children’s theatre. I mean, yes, it was a really great play. But honestly, who promises someone margaritas and then does that? Hashtag #foreveralone. But that’s okay, because I have a clean house and some good friends, old and new.

In which the passive becomes aggressive

I imagine (in fact I know from experience) that if you are a close friend of mine and you break up with someone, I will be on your case day and night checking in on you, possibly to the point where you’ll be like “I get that you’re worried about me, but I will be okay by myself from here on in”. Well, yeah, that’s how I feel like I would be. Your mileage may vary, of course. Heather did once say to me though that I set my expectations way too high because I expect others to give me as much as I give them and that’s never going to happen.

I have always thought that it was a good idea to treat others the way you expect to be treated. Oh fuck all this passive aggressive stuff, I have really felt let down by a lot of people since S and I broke up.

Not all of them, obviously. A couple have really shone and have the dampened shoulders from me crying on them to prove it. I had lovely notes and chocolate from a workishmate I didn’t even realise was following me. I’ve had sorrow expressed by a number of twitter people who had delighted in seeing me so very happy while I was in a relationship. But from the people I count on from a day to day basis? Well, Good Tom (while I sobbed onto his crotch as he hugged me very awkwardly as I was i in a low Cape Cod chair and his lovely girlfriend Hilary looked on) was like “maybe people don’t know how destroyed you are? After all, your house doesn’t seem that untidy and I don’t feel like I have to confiscate all the painkillers in the house”. So yes, even two years ago (what was I even doing two years ago that he would have been more worried about me then?) I might have been more alarming. It makes me kind of angry now because I feel like I am falling to pieces, but I still have to pay rent, and I still have to get work done. Work is what gets me through the day and it is really hard right now.

And then there’s the motherfucking Herald on Sunday. Here is part one, here is part two, and now here’s a screenshot.

I hate the HoS

Seeing yourself like that is fucking horrific. Yes, the married man was a big thing, like four years ago, yes, getting raped was a lifechanger as well (much to the discomfort of people who don’t like it being mentioned, because OHMIGOD, icky), but “even tying someone up during sex” was, in context, part of how I got over being raped. It wasn’t a Big Deal any more than using a vibrator on someone, letting them come over your tits or sticking a finger in their ass is a headline. Kelly was like “I only skimread the article, but it seems like they left out the parts of your journal that make you fundamentally you, like the parties and the joy and I can only hope she was right. I wish I hadn’t agreed to be interviewed because I was hardly able to express myself at a drive-thru (in my pajamas, thanks!) let alone to someone in a five minute chat.

Although of course it is a Herald on Sunday headline, so what do you expect? Oh yeah, there was this fucking shit:

Fuck you, Herald on Sunday readers

I really fucking hope that it was someone looking for solace in a similar experience, but I suspect it was some cheap voyeur  in which case oh, just die in a fire.

We already know how this ends

We broke up. It seems inevitable now. Those naive discussions back in June about how maybe a casual something would be nice were incredibly naive. So was my inevitable thinking about the future and about whose sperm we could borrow if we wanted to have babies together. She doesn’t see herself with me in twenty years, and that’s that.

Of course, it’s not just like that, the clean break, the smooth cut, the shaking of hands and saying “jolly good show old chap, well cheerio”. It was three hours of wailing and bawling and crying and half a pack of serviettes used to wipe noses, snot everywhere, choking on tears, grasping at each other, trying to make bargains with the universe that there might not even be a twenty years from now anyway, and couldn’t we just be together now and let the future us deal with all this fucking pain?

It is a strange thing, breaking up as a grown up. You will know that my only other experiences were when Thomas left me for Jo, and all I could feel was rage, and emptiness, and I couldn’t stop throwing up and I couldn’t eat, and wanted to kill myself except that right when I wondered if I could hang myself from a tree with the threadbare cardigan I was wearing, a random cat showed up and cuddled up to me. That was all rage. And I suppose there was when the married man and I decided we would stop, once and for all, and so I surrounded myself with coverage of Obama’s inauguration, and I tried to focus on other things, but mostly I just hated myself for ever starting it in the first place. This is different. I would not trade the past six months for anything, not even the horror of yesterday and the long, long, long goodbye.

We didn’t fight. Our first disagreement was our breakup. I am not left in any doubt that she loved me, that I was desirable, that I was a significant part of her life, that I will be missed. It is really fucking hard, but I get it. I don’t hate her, or resent her or anything. I love her, and I miss her, and I wish her well. I know she’ll find happiness (hopefully not too soon though), and that I’ll find happiness (ditto), and one day we’ll be friends again and that will be awesome. But for now though, I will be really glad that work is crazy busy, and I will rely on my darling friends to keep my time occupied, and I will gulp sleeping pills before bedtime as if I’m premenstrual every day, and I’ll cuddle my cats, and I might cry. A lot. And be angry about stupid things like how I won’t get to see the underwear I bought her for Xmas, and how she won’t peel potatoes with the peeler she bought me and how we broke up six days before our six-month anniversary. And then I’ll cry some more. But I’ll be okay.

Living the smug life

I am going to catch you up on my life. But first, I am going to talk to you about Firmoo glasses, who emailed me waaay back in July offering me free glasses in exchange for blogging about them. Go ahead, click that link, because free glasses are awesome. What I like about Firmoo is that you can search by size, which is helpful if you have the BIGGEST HEAD IN THE WORLD, like I do. I particularly like the ones I got.

blurry picture of my new glasses

The picture is blurry because my skin is really really shit right now, and also because I am lazy. So yes, next time you go to an optometrist, make sure you get your prescription to go. Buying glasses online is fun especially if you upload a picture of yourself in zombie makeup to try the frames onto virtually.

Right, moving on from the world of corporate shilling. My life lately (apart from this week) has become the stuff of smug coupledom that I always used to hate about other people. We have emoji pictures for each other and there are few things I like as much as spending a Saturday morning in bed with her and Florence and Sebastian and coffee and the paper. #sogross. If you’re not already following me on Instagram, you should, because I’ve been eating some amazing things lately, like this Silere merino lamb degustation. I like that all the trillions of hours I have spent writing on the internet have meant that I’ve finally got a stage where I get invited to fun things and occasionally get stuff. My finances are so way out of control right now with stupid rent and car fixings and Xmas and still needing to save for Florence’s dental work, ugh.

Apart from that, what else? I have had a bad week this week, with a lot of work-related stress (I made what I think is a pretty big mistake that other people say is to be expected given that I’m new at this), and if I still got periods I would have mine right now, and also I ran out of lexapro in my handbag and consequently forgot to take any for a couple of days, and and and and. And with the work Xmas party coming up, I am excited, but it is making me remember what happened two years ago (tl:dr – party in my mouth no one was invited to), and also Timehop Abe has reminded me that four years ago today I embarked on a fucking stupid affair with the married man that kinda crushed me for a couple of years.  December, why you so dumb?

All that said though, I know my stresses and my triggers, and essentially, I love my job, I just need a holiday! I’m going away with Brendan and Craig and Kim and Laura and McQuilly and Sarah-Rose and Tim (Kate & Jason are going to be in Europe) at New Year’s to a house in the country with lots of bedrooms and an outdoor pizza oven and a spa pool and I cannot fricking wait. Sadly the girlfriend won’t be there (the perils of planning out your life before you meet someone) but I imagine there may be some disgusting emoji during that time period anyway. And much reading of Jillian Cooper books.

What else have I been up to lately? Watching crappy reality TV shows. Obsessing over the cheese scones at Nikau. Listening to ‘Wicked Game’ by The Weeknd pretty much non-stop. I’m going to Cat Power in February, because we could get seats, yay. I fell down the stairs at Sarah Rose’s a month or so ago and my ankle has been gammy ever since. I think that’s pretty much it, eh. I’m coming to terms with the fact that there are very unlikely to be any crazy adventures any time soon in my life. But there will be lots of quality time with the people I love the best, and that’s enough for me.

Pussies and so forth

I have a girlfriend. I say this not because I am bragging (although she is smokin’ hot and lovely), but more because last week a bill towards Marriage Equality passed its first reading in parliament 80 to 40. It was a tremendous day full of emotions that Sarah Rose has written about. I posted this on Facebook:

I am extremely lucky to be surrounded by amazing people who don’t judge me for anything, they just love and support me. I know not everyone is that lucky. I got to march today with some of the people I love the most, in a really lovely environment with some beautiful speeches, and then tonight I was so happy to see that New Zealand is moving towards marriage equality. I have a fuckload of privilege, and I will do my best to use it to help others.

To sit eating five kinds of ice cream (Laura is testing recipes for her cookbook) with ten other people all glued to a laptop watching parliament TV (hooked up to the stereo so we could still hear it over the names I was yelling at John Hayes saying he was voting against it “for his conservative electorate” – the same electorate that elected transgender Georgina Beyer for two terms) and getting tearful over the happy result was a very special experience indeed.

Frankly, my life has been full of special experiences lately. Keith tweeted yesterday ” I am really really liking Enjoying-Work-Jo. It’s nice to see her again!” and I replied that it’s really nice for me to see her too. Yes, I have a new job, and it’s really hard work and there is so much to learn, but it is glorious. My workmates are all super friendly people who love Parks & Recreation and who start at 9am or later, and they’re passionate about what they do, and I am a manager. Awww yeah. I’m even learning to make spreadsheets add up correctly.

It has been Wellington on a Plate season so I have eaten a lot. Reviews are posted over at The Wellingtonista.

I have been endevoring to touch every animal in Wellington. I had a cheetah encounter at the zoo and they purr very very loudly.

I was also invited to a meercat encounter which I will write up on the ‘ista soon. And a woman with the last name Minges sent me a lelo! Hurrah!

On the cat front, I had five foster cats who have all found homes now. And this cat started hanging out at my house and so I put ads up everywhere and talked to the SPCA a lot about bringing her in but they were reluctant to accept that there are stray cats in Mt Victoria, and she needed love so much, and was so hungry, and slept on my bed and fought less and less with Sebastian, so I have now adopted her. Her name is Florence.

picture of a snoozing cat

I suspect what you’re most interested in is the part where I said I had a girlfriend. She is a pretty private person (she’s not even on Twitter! What is this I don’t even), so I will just say we’ve been seeing each other for about a month and a half, officially, and I like her.

And here is a bonus video of the typical sort of carry-on my friends and I get up on drunken Saturdays.

I’ll try to update more frequently okay?

2011 in review

These are the questions that I answer every year. You can view last year’s here.

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?

  • Worked for a not-for-profit
  • Went to an Asian country that wasn’t Japan
  • A whole bunch of sex-related stuff that I won’t go into detail about here
  • Made bread by hand that rose!

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

According to last year’s post, my resolution was:

“As for my resolution this year, it’s pretty simple. I resolve not to sleep with any more workmates, married people or close friends. I think that’s pretty self-explanatory. I also stole Jason‘s resolution to read more books, and there are things I’d like to do, like walk to/from work at least half the time, and take lunch to work at least two times a week, and restrict buying coffee to twice a week at the maximum. But those aren’t such strict resolutions, if you know what I mean. Actually, I have set myself a 11 in ’11 challenge with a whole bunch of stuff I’d like to do.

I didn’t sleep with any more workmates! Congratulations to me! The results of my 11in11 are also tallied up on that page – I did pretty well at it.

For 2012, I set myself some 12in12 challenges. I also resolved to renew my driver’s license, like my job, only sleep with people who like me, and shoot a gun.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

No one particularly close to me, no.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No.

5. What countries did you visit?

I went to Thailand with Karen, and we also spent eight hours in Sydney.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?

Once again, exactly what I said last year: “I’ll say it again – a relationship with someone who shouts it from the rooftops that they are in love with me.”

7. What date from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

August 8 –  I started my amazing temporary job at the not-for-profit after being made redundant from SilverStripe. Also December 18, for the reasons detailed in this entry.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Getting through unemployment without losing my mind, and ending up doing a really great job for an organisation that I really cared about, where I felt like I made a difference.

Also, getting over the date rape. And fostering cats was really rewarding despite the heartaches.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I had finally started to not give the married man much thought at all, and was going on with my life and was able to hope that he had a happy life, when a bunch of stuff happened, and he sent me accusing emails, and fucked things up further with a friend of mine, and now I have the rage back. And I know that I’m not nearly as entitled to the rage as his wife is, but arrrgh. It bubbles up inside me and the fact that I am still so angry after three years, well, argh. It’s a failure on my part, because while he’s the pathological liar, I’m the crazy one.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I had a long-lingering cough that was pretty shit, and took a lot of sick days from my new job because it’s a sick building. I don’t have any STDs though, hurray!

11. What was the best thing you bought?

My iPhone, early in the year, which luckily was largely subsidised by my work.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Kim, who is always logical and calm and non-judgemental. My other princesses. The staff and volunteers at the Wellington SPCA. Everyone who adopted my foster cats. Kason for the Parks & Recreation birthday dinner they made me. Rosie for the amazing cleaning she does for me.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

My old boss who took away all my access rights and responsibilities because I made a spelling mistake. The people who voted in National again. All the people who made Slutwalk necessary. People who thought that others knowing I’d slept with them was OMG THE WORST THING IN THE WORLD EVER. Everyone who continues to hang out with anyone I don’t like, because I don’t understand why they’re not shunned and driven out of town.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Same as last year – booze, debt servicing, and living by myself. Also, Webstock ticket, unemployment, dentistry and a really expensive trip to Thailand.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

The trip to Thailand, #GGG (GossipGirl and Gin and Girls), our amazing New Year’s at Raumati, some really really amazing sex I had, cats, and ummm I think that’s about it.

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?

Two songs – ‘Friday’ by Rebecca Black, cos Kirsten and I played it every Friday at SilverStripe, as part of our “Bad Music Fridays” which were a lot of fun, and also, ‘Someone like you’ by Adele, because I used to come home drunk and play it over and over again and think that if my two exs would just listen to that song, they’d understand everything. But of course they wouldn’t.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

I am fatter, probably happier and poorer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

I wish I’d done more physical moving. I can feel my body atrophying. I do so love to dance, I wanna do that more.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Wasting even one second thinking about the married man. Letting my old boss get to me. Dry-retching thinking about the date rape. Spending money without realising I was going to be laid off.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

As per tradition, I spent the morning with Tom and Keith, eating croissants and drinking very boozy lemonade, and then I strolled down to BAMJI’s, for Family Xmas. I was rather drunk, and my mother told me to stop swearing, which made me swear more. We watched DVDs of our old super8 family movies, and it was lovely.

21. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?

I probably messaged Kim the most, and spent a lot of time online chatting to Jo. No phone calls.

22. Did you fall in love in 2011?

Nope. Had a good crush though.

23. How many one-night stands?

If we’re only defining it as at night, and for one night only, then two and a half. If we include nooners, then that’s another three, I guess. And some others who I saw more than once. I had a busy little beaver. I also went on dates (ACTUAL DATES!) with three people, two of whom I’d already slept with.

24. What was your favorite TV program?

PARKS AND RECREATION! So glad I got all my friends into it (to the point where Kate and Jason made me an amaaaaaaaaaaaaaazing Parks and Rec themed birthday dinner. It was so good I cried and they were like O_o). Also continued to love It’s Always Sunny, enjoyed Gossip Girl in the context of GGG, Revenge was the most perfect trash ever, and Homeland was like woah.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Yeah probably. Also disappointed in a number of people, but it’s been really freeing to just decide that oh yeah, they’re not actually worth bothering about.

26. What was the best book you read?

I’m going to say Rivals by Jilly Cooper, which was exquisite trash and perfect for #Raumatirumble. I loved having Laura quote lines of it at me about people’s bushes.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I have continued to be more about individual songs than actual whole albums, so I don’t think I can claim any discoveries.

28. What did you want and get?

An iPhone, some new jobs after I got laid off, and laid.

29. What did you want and not get?

To stay in a job for a year, to have a relationship and to get out of debt.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?

I saw one movie at the cinema, and that was Hanna, in Sydney. I fell asleep during a chase scene. But as far as movies I saw for the first time, I fucking LOVED Cabaret.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 31 and celebrated with a full-on birthday week. On my actual birthday, I drove to Martinborough with Tom and Heather, where I’d rented a nice house with a spa pool. Some of my workmates and Keith came up, and we got very very very drunk. I also had the amazing Parks & Rec meal cooked for me by Kate & Jason, and also a big dinner at Namastey, and afterwards I went to Mermaids with Tom and Rachel and got a lapdance. Awww yeah.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Not getting laid off – or getting to stay at the not-for-profit instead of it just being temporary.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?

I don’t think I had any style actually.

34. What kept you sane?

The Lovehawks, Princess Camp and Twitter. Also, Jo’s support during my career struggles. <3

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

James Deen (NSFW)

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

The general election. Ugh.

37. Who did you miss?

I got to a point where if I didn’t see my princesses at least twice a week I missed the fuck out of them.

38. Who was the best new person you met?

Laura, without a doubt. I also met some other awesome new people via Twitter.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011:

Fuck the haters. You don’t have to put up with that shit. Oh also: it’s really easy to find really good sex – as long as you don’t want good conversation as well.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! I’M A MOTHERFUCKING MONSTER!”

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