The Amazing Wellington

Yes, I’m aware that it’s been a while. Here are the things I want to talk about, for my own reference as I write this over the course of the day:

1. The Amazing Race
2. The Newtown Fair
3. The building of a TV cabinet
4. The Oscars
5. Maori class, sort of
6. Political arguments with a friend that felt way too personal and made me cry on the bus
7. Installing broadband
8. Gig at Bodega
9. The reseting of my all my crushes to zero
10. The Phoenix Foundation and the goodness that is Waitangi Park

1. The Amazing Race


On Saturday 4 March, a southerly rolled into Wellington, and it was coooold. Therefore, it was of course ideal weather to run all around Wellington for Sarah’s Hens’ Party. I can’t find my camera cable, so I’m going to steal images from her flickr account, because that’s what friends do, right? Yes.

We met at 11am at Vista Cafe in Oriental Parade and had brunch.
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I was a little nervous at first because I didn’t know anyone, and they were all very pretty, and well dressed, and ordering skinny lattes, but then we had some champagne and I felt better. I felt better still when we were split into two groups and handed a large bag full of wine and snacks that we were ordered to finish before the end of the day, and given our first task. We answered ten questions about Sarah and Nick, and I felt very clever knowing who her famous second cousin is, even if I don’t really know who he is (something rugbyish, I presume). Certain letters in our answers led us to our next location – the indoor netball courts.

I handcuffed Sarah to the rubbish bin to leave her for the next team, we picked up our clue, drank a bottle of bubbly very quickly in the freezing wind cos we couldn’t drink it in the shuttle and headed out to the airport to pick up another friend with the next clue. I made friends with a girl who didn’t know many other people either, and we had another bottle at the freezing cold airport, so all was right in the world.

The next clue led us to an old flat of Sarah and Nick’s, and so we spent nearly an hour sitting on its steps trying to solve a sudoku puzzle as a group. It was okay though, because the organiser had arranged it with the new tenants (she organised all her part in the day from Dubai. That’s insane. And also very cool), and we had another bottle or two of wine to drink anyway. The other team took aaaaaaaages to show up, and we had to wait for them to retrieve Sarah, but then they solved their puzzle in like five minutes, and we all took off for The Grand, or Shooters, as I suppose it is now called.

More handcuffing awaited Sarah there.
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Apparently that’s just a New Zealand fan, not actually Hulk Hogan. Who knew? The wrestling was in town that night, as I’m sure Lisa Fur can tell you all about, and fans had booked out nearly all the accomodation in town. Anyways, we had some more bottles of wine, and some food, and played a game where every time Sarah answered a question that’d been asked to Nick wrongly, she had to put on another item. She ended up looking like this, which is just totally awesome.

I hope she doesn’t mind me putting these photos on my site. I’m not sure if she even knows of its existence, actually. If she does, holler at me and let me know, ‘kay? It’s the gentlemanly thing to do. And that goes for any other workmates reading. And as for ex-workmates – hey to my reader at Foodstuffs! You read me a LOT. I can’t believe that they’ve finally let you have internet access…

Anyways, we put together our puzzle pieces and did another sudoku on the back of it, which led us to Patel’s Superette on Oriental Parade. Me and Allison went via taxi, which I only mention because it’s going to come back in my summary of the following friday night, if I remember. Anyways, the final clue had us all digging in the sand for ages, in a manner highly reminiscent of my pirate tenth birthday party.
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We dug up a big chillybin full of wine and cheese and tasty treats and picniced on the band rotunda. When we were done, it was almost five pm, and so we decided to go back to the Orange Apartments where many of the girls were staying and chill out until dinner, which was booked for 7pm.

While we were there, I bought coffee from the Southern Cross/ex Zeebos, which was very tasty but took eeeeeeeeeeeven longer to make than the coffee at Ora, tried to take a powernap, but was unable to, because I can’t fall asleep on demand without a wank first and that would have been highly inappropriate. We also watched Top of the Pops, which was rad because it turns out that the girl who’d done the organising was the brother of the drummer in one of my very favouritist bands, and so I got to say to her “I did a phone interview with your brother once, and he was lovely, except I was shamed out because I thought he was the bassist cos I’m used to him being called Michael and the bassist being called Mike”. We also saw part of New Zealand’s Brainiest Kid and they showed a picture of some What Now presenter:
and asked who it was. The correct answer was ‘Tamiti’ and I was like ha, he looks kind of like my friend Tamiti from high school, but then I promptly forgot about it in the scramble to put on a little makeup and my shoes and all that sort of stuff.

We were walking to Kai in the City up Marjory Banks St when some guy sitting on his car yelled at me, and lo and behold, it was my friend Tamiti, who, as it turns out is actually hosting What Now now. Oooh spooooooooky, given that I haven’t seen him since 2000. He is in fact building an army, which is awesome, and when he makes it into parliament, he’s going to give me a job. It was great catching up with him, and he said he comes up from Chch every fortnight, so we ought to catch up shortly. Lovely.

Kai in the City was really choice. I was a bit skeptical when Sarah had said she wanted to go there because the owners walk around with a guitar singing, but it was so much fun. I probably wouldn’t want to do it every night, but hey, every couple of months it’s okay to break out the ‘Ten Guitars’, and ‘Tu teramai nga iwi’. Plus, the food was really yum, and the wine was really yum, and it was just good vibes. And another old workmate of mine was there, and so it was nice to catch up with her too and tell her how very lonely I am now. After that we went for a drink at the Cambridge, and then they were going to Boogie Wonderland, but it was 11pm, and so I’d been Hens’ Partying it for a solid twelve hours, and it was time to go home. But it was a fucking radass day.

The Newtown fair


Unsurprisingly, I was totally exhausted the next day, so what smarter thing to do is there than to head out somewhere to walk around for hours in masses of crowds? I picked up Karen and we drove around Newtown for ages trying to find a park because dude, public transport is for black people. That’s why the windows on buses are so big, so we can laugh at them (and there’s a little Oscar humour for you, just to tie in to later on in this entry. I am so fucking good at cohesion).

I decided that I wanted to eat everything, so I had a spring roll which was very average, and a coffee which was great and gave me a headspin, and some mini donuts, and then I bought a black bead necklace, and then there was a huge big pan of chicken with all kinds of colourful capsicums cooking outside Planet Spice and it looked so pretty I had to have some of that too, and then I got dizzy from the Indian food in my belly. I like Newtown.

The building of a television cabinet


I was still exhausted and sort of high on tastiness, but I decided to get the supermarket shopping out of the way since I had a lot of cooking and cleaning to do in order to prepare for my swanky Oscar Soiree the following night. I spied a TV cabinet that I’d seen in a mailer for $69, instead of the $100+ comparable cabinets are everywhere else, so I wrestled it into my trolley and got it home. Why did I need a tv cabinet? Cos I’m contemplating buying a 29 inch TV, so that I can put the one that’s in the lounge in my room, so that if the boys are watching crap and I need some private chill-out time (and for once, that’s not a wanking euphemism) I can watch it in there. So anyways. Mark was in the lounge when I got home, with the windows closed and the curtains not opened properly watching some crap (smelly boys) so I plonked myself down in the dining room and did some constructing. If I had an electric drill and four hands, I could have assembled the cabinet very quickly (except for maybe the doors), but I didn’t, so it took a while. Then the doors wouldn’t fit in, and they were all crooked once they did, and that took even longer, and I was dehydrated, and the floor was uncomfortable and oh oh oh the pain, but holy crap it was so satisfying and I felt so clever once it was all done. You should come over and marvel at my feat of engineering, and promise not to hold a level up to the doors. Girl power!

The Oscars


I had texted everyone I knew in Welly to invite them to my Oscar Soiree so that they could drool over Jon Stewart with me. In order to prepare for this, I made empanadas (beef with cocoa and flaked almonds and spices in savoury shortcrust pastry), pear and sour cream cupcakes, toasted turkish bread with creamcheese, sundried tomatos and fresh basil and two kinds of dipping sauces for samosas, spring rolls and dim sum that came frozen in a box – a party box, if you will. I also cleaned the house, of course, and put out bubbles in an icebucket, and glasses, and printed out lots of oscar nominee sheets for playing the ‘think will’ and ‘want to’ game on, and found some pens. When Anji and Karen arrived looking all glammed up, I decided to do the same. Also in attendence were KateB, Kartini & Mike and Ash, who gets special credit for being a person online (you will recall, of course, our “Oh, you’re that Joanna!” conversation) as well as a person from real life from the KKK crowd. Yes, that’s right, I hang out with white supremicists, not just people whose names all start or sound like K. Missing were Katy and Chrisana who piked due to the weather. Surprise surprise, it was windy in Wellington.

But yes, anyways. Everyone was very excited about the Oscars, and I was quite drunk by that stage, which is always a good thing. I laughed so hard that I nearly fell off my chair during Jon Stewart’s opening monologue (bless the wonders of the Internet that you can watch if if you missed it), especially during his address to Steven Spielberg (“I can’t wait to see what happens to our people next! Trilogy?”). And then I cried during George Clooney’s speech, cos I was very emotional, and damn he looked hot, and oh, even if it was a bit of a wanky speech, it was just so hilarious and beautiful at the same time, and I was still high thinking about the bedroom eyes he’d been giving Jon in the opening clip. And I kept on bringing out food, and everyone was witty and great and appreciative, and I just had a fantastic time, even though it did go on til 2am. Stupid Desperate Housewives rating so highly.

Maori Class, of sorts


I would MSN one of the web developers and ask him for the HTML tag for macrons, but I’m not talking to him or something today. So just believe it when I tell you that I’d like to put it in there.

Anyways, on Tuesday, I stayed home sick from work, and of course my KOL internet account had been allowed to lapse in preperation for the installation of broadband on thursday, so I couldn’t look up a map to see where Heriot Drive was in Porirua. Thus, after I had battled rush hour traffic all the way up to Kelburn to pick up Karen, I wasn’t sure exactly whereabouts we were going, but I figured we’d find it easy enough. The woman on the phone had muttered something about the roundabout near the mall. Heaven forbid that the wananga actually send me out a piece of paper confirming my enrolement and the class times and so forth, but nevermind that for now. We couldn’t find the street, so I pulled over by the covered bit of Porirua cos I saw an information stand sign, and thought there might be a map there. Instead, I saw a wananga sign, and was like “wahoo! I didn’t think that this was Heriot Drive, but nevermind…” and since we had half an hour to kill before 6pm, Karen and I went to get something to eat. We went in to the wananga office, and I tried to sign in on a list like the sign told me to, but my name wasn’t on the list (Karen wasn’t enrolled yet but i was hoping they could squeeze her in), so I was told to just add our names down the bottom. So we walked upstairs through a weird kitchen and back door and stuff, and came out into a big classroom full of new computers. We asked if this was the Maori class, and were told that was “on the campus”. Oh really? Well where the hell were we then? And where the hell was the campus? We were given some kind of weird garbled directions about how we had to head towards Bunnings, and when I said I didn’t know the area, and asked what road was Bunnings on, we were told to go to Bunnings, and turn. There was some arm waving too, but then we found ourselves out hte back of the building and had to walk in a large circle around the whole plaza to get back to my car, and so the incredibly vague directions rendered themselves pretty much useless. I thought that maybe Bunnings was in the industrial type area towards Tawa, so we headed in that direction, and, surprise surprise, ended up in Tawa. That’s when I decided that we’d go to my parents’ house instead and get Daddy to speak some te Reo to us. He, of course, was off in China, but at least we made Mum’s night.

And this week Karen and I have decided that really, five hours every Tuesday is an awfully large commitment to make for the next 36 weeks, and I’d have to drive and park my car in town every week in order to get there in time, and that’d be $10 a day, and so we’re postponing in favour of trying to find a place that does classes actually in town.

Political arguments with a friend that felt way too personal and made me cry on the bus


I met up with Anita-who-used-to-work here for a drink on Thursday at Ponderosa. She smokes, so we sat outside. Their stools are uncomfortable. When Dylan came out of work we waved him over so he could drink with us too. I was trying to tell a story about why I wasn’t particularly fond of someone using the punchline “and she votes National too!”, assuming that anyone I was friends with would just recognise that’s akin to eating puppies, but it kicked off a huge big very long argument which culminated in me getting very upset because I am very very heartily against smacking kids. Also, One Red Dog is ass and won’t serve food in their ‘bar’ area, which is pretty much exactly the same as the restaurant area. (*)

Installing broadband


On Friday night I went home straight after work and spent a while on the phone to Xtra who told me to reset our modem, and after finding a cunning comb with a parting spike in order to do so, I managed to get broadband up and running, although the cable’s a bit dodgy, given that I bought it for me and Bopha back at the Slab, and it had millions of Volcanic users trampling all over it, no doubt. Bart’s laptop is running Windows 98 and he didn’t have a network card, so he’s not so lucky. However, I did go over to my parents’ house last night to retrieve my old desktop that English Dave had reformatted so that in theory the boys can use that, but they didn’t seem too keen to go and get the monitor out of my boot, so they can suck it, queers.

The gig at Bodega


Later that night, after I had drunk a fair amount of vodka, Karen and I went to Bar Bodega for the Spiderplan/K1500/Rico Suave gig. It was loud. I mean it was LOUD. When we got there the halfway doors were shut, and we’d never seen that before so we asked the bartender what was going on, and he said it was just because of the loudness. We braved our ears (I wish I had thought to take earplugs) and went in, waved to Niall and sat at the back, where we occupied ourselves being hilarious making up sign language. In the breaks between bands, or songs, or what-have-you, I made funny jokes because I am happy and super-fun to be around, and carefree and oldskool gay(*). One of the jokes I made was so hilarious that I had to plug a reminder into my phone about it, so that I wouldn’t forget how Karen said “I see a small flaw in your plan” and I said “Is it a mezzanine?”. HAHAHAHA. Remembering that joke just makes me laugh and laugh.

The reseting of my all my crushes to zero


I’m not sure if you’re aware of this or not, but I’ve had an awful lot of crushes on an awful lot of people lately, and they’ve all turned out badly, well for me anyway. I think (hope) that 3/4 people remain ignorant of my crushes on them, with the fourth of course being that maple syrup-eating surrender monkey. Oh, and while we’re talking about a 3/4 ratio, if you ask me in conversation about my sexual orientation, I’ll usually say that I like people, and it’s about 70% boys and 30% girls, but if we look at the last four crushes, then we will make that figure 75%/25%. Not that it matters anymore, because they’re all over. Oh yes, that’s right, it’s that simple. My will shall be done. I am in control of my feelings, and the master of my own domain. And I suppose since I have now created another version of me, I am now the Master Beta. Ha ha ha.

The Phoenix Foundation and the goodness that is Waitangi Park


There is, however, no pain that liberal applications of the Phoenix Foundation cannot temporarily distract one from. Especially the Phoenix Foundation in a pretty pretty tent in the stunning Waitangi Park, preceeded by Lisa and I squeeing at sighting internet celebrities, and they played ‘Nest Egg’ and ‘Going Fishing’ sounded a little like ‘Sweet Child’o Mine’ and oh they were hilarious, and oh it was just so so rad. concert’o the year so far, although they may be topped by Bic Runga in two weeks’ time. Afterwards we wandered around in the freezing cold gazing at the insanely awesome Earth from Above outdoor exhibit, and I took off my shoes so I could run around on a world map and jump up and down on stupid Canadia, because why not? And then traffic crawled up Courtenay Place so we laughed at all the underdressed skanks (Lucifer_Sam would have been SO proud of us!) and watched Family Guy DVDs. Go see the exhibition if you’re in Welly, please. It’s like the nighttime equivilent of the pretty flags on top of this page. And of course, for more information, you should go to the very clever Wellurban for posts like this one.

I was going to write about other things, but I can’t be bothered now. I figure this will do, given that it’s taken me ALL DAY. I mean, apart from the work that I have also done. Naturally.

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