shake that cola drag

The office-block persecution affinity.

Saturday, December 28, 2002

Four things.

Joe Strummer died. Total fucking bummer.

Christmas was oddly excellent. No bitter recriminations, pleasant tipsiness all round, and gorgeous weather (along with marinated scallop kebabs). Huzzah.

Brent started a new blog here. He has a genius for finding hilarious photos.

Final, and weirdest thing: the night before last I had a dream that I was having sex with Halle Berry (odd, in itself, because if I was going to choose to have an experimental lesbian moment with a celebrity, it would *not* be her), and *she dissed my technique*. How demoralising!

Saturday, December 21, 2002

OK, so I didn't get the job. However, that may have been the nicest phone call rejection, well, ever. 'We were very impressed by your interview' (were they smoking *crack*?)! 'You did an excellent job on the writing exercises'. 'We're hiring two more writers in July, I would like to keep in contact with you'. 'You made the short short list of four, and we only appointed two'. It was like he was apologising to me for not hiring me! I didn't get the job because I don't know much about the nineteenth century (fair enough. I've always been a twentieth century cultural studies person masquerading as a historian, anyway). Generally, quite pleased. When you make the top one-ish percent of all applications, that's pretty nice. Plus, I don't have to move to Wellington! A great relief, frankly. I've only been home six months... I don't want to have to leave everybody again, even if it is for another city in the same country.

Thursday, December 19, 2002

Yay Sonnet! I mean, yay her generally, she rocks, but yay because she is with me on the Muppets-seriousness thing! I thought I was all alone... (Although Dan noted that he liked the Beachwood Sparks album, generally, he didn't agree with the Muppet comparison. Dan, just listen as if you've never heard the song before. I swear, Robin and Rolf are involved.) And now that I feel validated: how *great* is the way 'Mahna Mahna' has 'Lullaby of Birdland' in it?

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

For those of you who aren't utterly sick of doggie-love on my part (hang on, that sounded a little bit obscene), you can see two new pictures of Ellie braving the edge of the surf at Bethells Beach here.

The pohutukawa trees are out in time for Christmas. I haven't seen them bloom in person for five years. Whenever I pass one I turn into a silent movie actress from a particularly heart-tugging melodrama: the clasped hands, the shining eyes, the whole bit. It's starting to get a bit embarrassing. I mean, I'm bad enough when I occasionally see my dream car, the Karmann Ghia, but there are literally hundreds of these trees everywhere. They are the New Zealand Christmas tree, after all. I need to get a grip, as my mother would say. But there's nothing quite like a whole lot of these trees in full flower, at the edge of the water... sigh. I feel like an Englishman waxing eloquent about the voluptuousness of the moors, or something. I should own a whippet and a big walking-stick and go striding manfully about.

Sunday, December 15, 2002

I think this is one of the most 'funny because it's true' observations I've ever made, so I'm inflicting it on all of you even though you'll probably have no idea what I'm talking about. There's this band called Beachwood Sparks. Brent downloaded a couple of their songs - actually I'd never heard of them before. They're very post-hard-night-out, washed out, pretty alt-country, from what I can gather, you know: 'we've taken a lot of acid and we love Gram Parsons'. (Someone I was at LSU with once called this genre 'y'all-ternative', which I think is cute.) Anyway, they do a really appealing cover of that recent Sade song, 'By Your Side' (which is like a wee miracle in her oeuvre, I think - gorgeous). I was trying to work out why I like it so much, and it occurred to me: the band *totally* sounds like the serious Muppets. You know, when the Muppets did a really slow, meaningful song and you tried not to be moved by it, but you found yourself sort of touched anyway, and if you were me you might even get a bit teary? Like their versions of 'Time in a Bottle' when the old scientist-Muppet is drinking potions to make himself younger, or 'For What it's Worth' when all the hunters come in and the chorus of little animals tries to escape from the guns... or when Kermit sings 'It's Not Easy Being Green'. When I was a kid I thought that was the saddest thing...

I'm explaining this to Brent as I write and he's laughing hysterically because he thinks these scenes are more 'scary funny acid' than serious. Maybe I'm the only person who ever thought the Muppets were serious. At all.

Thursday, December 12, 2002

RIP, Mary from Stereolab. I saw you live three times, and you signed the poster I'm sitting under right now.

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Well, that interview was pretty much a nightmare. Thanks so much for starting with 'what do you think makes New Zealand unique?' and 'what kind of vision do you have for this project?', Jock Phillips. Two questions totally huge in scope and guaranteed to make me freeze and stammer. Then follow it up with asking me questions about biculturalism *in front of Claudia Fucking Orange*. She wrote The Treaty of Waitangi!!! (The book, not the treaty itself. Obviously.) What can I possibly say about biculturalism in front of her that doesn't sound retarded and banal? My brain just stopped working the second I got into the room. A panel of *four*, two of whom are these giant names in NZ history... impossible.

Two good things: a) the writing exercise, which took an hour and a half, went pretty well (I am much better writing than speaking under pressure - another reason not to be a teacher!); and b) they had over 300 applications and only interviewed 18 people. So, um, yay for me for getting that far, I suppose. But still, overall: nightmare.

One of the best things in the world: the way Dr. Dre bobs his head back and forth in the 'Batmobile' car in the video for 'Without Me'. (I do not speak as an Eminem fan.) It only happens for about three seconds, but I wish it would last for minutes and minutes!

Sunday, December 08, 2002

If any of you would like to see a bunch of drunk librarians you don't know (including a few pictures of me with some very fetching plastic strawberry earrings), please follow this link. Note to self: glimmery makeup just looks shiny on camera. Hrm.

Thursday, December 05, 2002

I am being flown to another city at the expense of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, for a job interview which includes 'a written component'. I am terrified. I have never been in the running for a job important enough to fly its candidates hither and yon before. If I don't get it, I am a big lame failure. If I *do* get it, I might have to move to Wellington. Having moved three times in the last year, once half way around the world, I'm not that keen on moving, well, *ever again*. But, you know, needs must.

I probably won't get it anyway.