shake that cola drag

The office-block persecution affinity.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Feeding cats brings disease and rabbis.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Last Saturday at Rach's partybus extravaganza, between charmingly understated drunken renditions of 'The Candyman' and 'The Power of Love', I had a moment of quiet reflection about how impressive Joel's transition from female to male has been. I know it was quite difficult at the beginning for a lot of people; I mean, despite trying to be totally supportive, my brain would automatically 'she/her' when I spoke and it was a real effort to retrain myself. (It shows you how brain-ingrained gender is as a social construct, too.) Now, though, Joel is really 'he/him' to me when I think, not just when I speak... which is great. All his efforts 'ain't been in vain fur nuthin'', as Lina Lamont would say. Yay Joel.

(That was the only halfway coherent thought I had that entire inebriated day, so obviously I had to share it.)

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

How had I reached 30 without taking part in a pub quiz? At Lawrence's behest (happy birthday!) we descended upon a local establishment, answered 80+ questions to the best of our ability, and were rewarded with a $50 bar tab for being the most trivial-minded folk there. Yay. It was no surprise that we got ten out of ten for the music and movies categories, but I think someone is going to have to brush up on their darts and snooker statistics...

Simon and others in nz-blog-land have been a bit iffy about our very first 100% New Zealand music radio station, Kiwi FM. Yes, there might be a ghettoising issue, yes, it's awfully commercial... but I'm still glad that it exists. (I do not, of course, denigrate the bnet stations by saying this, because they've been pro-local music from the year dot, but they do have a slightly different brief.) I remember the resistance to the NZ music quota suggestions in the early 90s and I also remember how 'weird' it was to like NZ bands (with a few Enz-and-Dobbyn-related exceptions) when I was a teenager on the Shore. I don't know if that crippling cultural cringe was less apparent in other times and other places, but it's nice to think that it might be ebbing away. (OTOH, there's a theory that as we become less ashamed of our own musical art and produce it primarily commercially, it becomes less identifiably 'Kiwi'; that's something that I'm still tossing around in my head.) But how much do I need to theorise after hearing 'All I Can Do' by the Dance Exponents for the first time in at least a decade this morning? Or DD Smash's wondrous and rarely-currently-played 80s cheesefest cover of Luther's 'She Loves Me Back'? More dorky songs of my youth, please, Kiwi!

Monday, February 21, 2005

Hunter S. Thompson and Sandra Dee: the similarities are striking.

Have you ever cleaned a room in your house so thoroughly that it counts as aerobic exercise?

The kitchen is my bitch.

On Saturday Rachael's exquisitely planned birthday party totally fucking rocked. I think having to stop the party bus half way through our hour's hireage in order to get the 20 of us more wine says a lot about us as people. Not all of it good. :) (I don't think we should mention the bowling alley bar refusing to serve us for an hour because we were too intoxicated, either. Ahem.) We sang karaoke on the bus very loudly, Brent won the bowling, I lost quite comprehensively (although my one strike won me a twirly sparkling baton!), there was a caramel cake of profound delight, and my final stop of the night was at a lovely pub on Lincoln Road where country and western songs were being sung lustily by the moustachioed of west Auckland. The others went on to Boogie Wonderland, but Brent and I, in the interests of economy, prevailed upon the kindness of strangers (well, my very pleasant uncle, actually) to wend our way home...

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Last night, Megan and Brent and I (the Auckland chapter of the Martin Scorsese Fan Club) went to see The Aviator. I don't know how this film could *get* bad reviews (I'm looking at you, Village Voice). This is, obviously, some of my favourite subject matter - the interwar period! Frocks! Music! Shoes! Handbags! Film! Hollywood! Modernist design! - but even if you didn't like this stuff, oh, the cinematography, oh, the sweeping Scorsese shots, oh, the acting, oh, the unnervingly awful depiction of OCD! Special mention must be made of the scenes with the flashbulbs (who else would show that crunching glass but Marty?) and the way in which the golf-playing scenes seemed colourised. Genius. And I was so mesmerised by Cate Blanchett as Katharine Hepburn that I could hardly breathe. She managed to get all the vocal mannerisms and gestures perfect without making her performance into a mere imitation. She seemed so real.

Poor Howard. He was rather awful, really. But I and women everywhere must thank him for the underwire bra.

Rock! Or, um, Well-Crafted Pop!

What does the square mean?

The Shins! The Shins! They played Auckland on Thursday night to a pretty rapturous response, and were supported by the Brunettes with Orchestrette. I am not fangirl enough to know any of their names, but that is easily solved by referring to them as Kevin Spacey, Pat Smear, The Critic's son, and cross between Neal from Freaks and Geeks/Dana Carvey. They seemed genuinely surprised by how big a crowd they drew and how much applause they got, and the clearly hangoutable-with and very funny Neal/Dana kept saying 'sweet as!' in an endearing attempt to be all Kiwi. (I desperately want an American to say 'sweet as buggery!' to me someday. I suppose I could just ask Brent to do it. But that's not the same as he lives here.) Anyway they played an excellent show (not that common, according to rumour?) and Pat Smear is a disturbingly accurate and angular guitarist/bassist. They tended to exactly replicate their recordings, which can be good or bad depending on the band; I was perfectly happy to hear a note for note 'Saint Simon', of course. I was also really impressed by the Brunettes' set, which benefited greatly from the addition of brass and pedal steel. Neal/Dana's reference to them as 'our new favourite band' was apparently not just hokey bullshit, as according to Lawrence they've been asked to support the Shins on their 30 date US tour. Go Brunettes! The Monsters of Twee shall rule the world! (Although I am a little worried about how the pop-Americanisms will play in America. Maybe that's a joke that only works in NZ.)

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Hi, I'm Jeff Wilson. I'm so athletically talented that I played with the All Blacks for twelve years and now I'm playing for the Black Caps as an all-rounder. And oh yeah, my wife is a Silver Fern.


Brent and I and a number of our crizzew will be attending the one-dayer against Australia next Saturday. I expect us to be embarrassingly pummelled, but at least Brent's first live cricket match will be watching NZ play a badass team. Sigh.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

... and here's Cromwell's giant stone fruit, which from this angle looks a bit dodgy... (Also, heheheh, I said 'stone'.)

Atlanta's burning! Atlanta's burning! I swear I didn't use Technicolor on this sunset in Fairlie.

In the same vein, Ashburton's (?) giant salmon...

In New Zealand, we like giant statues of things. This is in Taihape, home of the yearly gumboot-throwing contest...

Hey, it's the Arahura coming into the Marlborough Sounds! I expect all Kiwis of a certain age to start singing 'for today... I'll remember your smile...'

New Zealand: the retardedly pretty years.

(That's my mum at the bottom there.)

Friday, February 04, 2005

Several notes:

1. 'Lovely Rita' is the best song on Sgt Pepper. Yes it is. It's true.
2. A few days ago, I noticed that a recent Blender we have lying around the house had a big spread on U2's greatest albums in which the writer made the argument that The Joshua Tree was a recovery from their ill-advised foray into blues with Rattle and Hum. Now, I am not even a fan of U2 and I know that The Joshua Tree was the album *before* Rattle and Hum. How did this dude get into journalism and, more importantly, how did this get past his editor?
3. Fake iPod song count: 4099.
4. Number of Elvis Costello songs on the fake iPod: 350+ (number inexact as I believe a few tracks are labelled wrongly). Yikes. I think he needs to stop reissuing his albums. I'm running out of drive space.
5. Number of films listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die that I have actually seen: 306. I need to step it up!
5. I'm going to start a list of songs whose meanings have changed utterly for me due to being inextricably mentally associated with films or scenes from films. The first two are:

'Ooh La La' by the Faces, which is now and will always be the soundtrack to Max Fischer dancing with his teacher at his Vietnam play after-party. (Cue rewatching Rushmore for the 20th time...)

'Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta' by the Geto Boys, which should not be funny but is and always will be because it is the soundtrack to Samir, Michael Bolton and Peter beating the crap out of their office printer in the middle of a field. Oh, Office Space, you are flawed but I love you so, so much. (Another reason to love this movie: it has inspired a number of people to go up to the real Michael Bolton and call him a 'no talent ass-clown'. Yes!!)

Righto then.

Shitty Blender update: on the page following the U2 error, they get Kelly and Michelle of Destiny's Child mixed up. Yes, Kelly grew her hair. That does not make her Michelle. Sheesh.

Please be aware that I am off to Invercargill tomorrow for a week with my mother and aunt to visit Great Auntie Bet, armed solely with a mobile phone to keep me in contact with civilisation. I expect to make quite a lot of cups of tea.