Friday morning

I kinda like starting late on a Friday. I can sleep in and get a bit of alone time. On Wednesday night I wrote some more book and a tiny more last night.

I like meeting my friends for lunch. It feels much more like I work a grown-up job than I have ever experienced before, of course as Regan said yesterday it would be much nicer if having lunch was *all* we had to do.

My Threadless tshirt order arrived on Tuesday and I’ve been wearing them all week. I really, really love ‘my turn’ which has strange creatures queuing up around the tshirt. They are queuing up for pie. I love it.

Last night I made another Threadless order because they have a $10 sale on right now. I am getting Emo Bear, In Case of Zombies and Cryptozoology for me, In Case of Emergency Break Dance and the one with the dead match for Lee. I suspect I may have to get rid of some of my other tshirts to make room.

I have been putting aside tshirts for a tshirt quilt, especially ones I am keeping for sentimental value like old play shirts and my supporters club one from school. I may have to sacrifice some more.
The house is still in need of a bit more cleaning and tidying and furniture evacuation before it is open home ready, but it is looking pretty darn good.

I am reading Wuthering Heights for the first time and am astounded to realise that the games I’ve been running of one-off Wuthering Heights madness aren’t OTT enough! Awesome. I like the weird old words they use to. My favourite so far is ‘penetralium’ meaning of course, the inside of a house. Love it.

I’ve been having a low level stress problem, tied into work and selling the house which is manifesting mostly as a jaw clenching at night. Every time I sleep on my side I wake up clenching my teeth together and my jaw is really stiff.
Any suggestions on how to stop doing this….in my sleep?

PoF: pjs
CO: jaw clenching makes my neck hurt a little too

Wacky Cake

Natalya’s Wacky Cake recipe.

2 cups of plain flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 Tablespoons of cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
mix dry ingrediants together, make three dents with a tablespoon and add into the dents:
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon of vinegar
125g of melted butter

Pour one cup of tepid water over the mixture and beat well. Optional Jenni addition: 1 cup of chocolate chips. Once it’s well blended put in a cake tin and bake in a moderate oven (350 F or 180 C) for 45 mins to an hour.

The above is my current go-to recipe for cake and cupcakes. In my oven it does a good balance of gooey chocolate centre and crispy top.
Steve can attest to the yumminess, and I enjoy making it because it’s super fast to put together. I’ve posted it on my blog because I made it for my workmates last week and two have asked for the recipe. This way I don’t have to remember to bring it…

PoF: owls
CO: weekend

open home ready

This whole ‘trying to get the house clean, tidy and uncluttered so that we can have prospective buyers’ through is stressing me out on a subliminal level. I know this because all last night I dreamed about packing and moving.

Just before I woke up I dreamed that Lee and I had gone on a holiday to New Plymouth and I had loved it so much I insisted that we leave our jobs and move to New Plymouth. I’m not sure why I loved New Plymouth so very much, since I’ve not been there that I can remember, but in my dream that was where our futures were. Weird dream.

This evening (in real life) Lee finished touching up the paintwork in the second bedroom and cleaned old paint splatters off the floor to ceiling windows that look into the lounge. I packed up all my scrapbooking stuff *sob* and moved all the books off the big black bookcase. We moved the big black bookcase into the second bedroom and I put all the prettiest books back on it.

Lee moved the other bookcases that were already in there around to look neater, and arranged his tech stuff on one of them. I dusted and Lee vacuumed and took out the rubbish. The table’s been moved into the far corner where the big black bookcase used to be and the space in the lounge has really opened up. It’s going to look amazing when we move the littlest couch into the second bedroom for open homes.

Cleaning wise, I’ve been working hard on the bathroom. Scrubbing at the shower with a brush and cleaning the grouting and all the fittings.

I still need to:

  • Finish tidying the laundry and clean the floor in there.
  • Move the monolith to the other side of the bedroom
  • Shift packed boxes to Lee’s parent’s house
  • Shift big bits of furniture that we aren’t using out (one desk to Lee’s parent’s place and one….who knows where?)
  • Then there’s just a bunch of surface cleaning, tidying and we’re good to go.

Once the little couch is in the second bedroom I can pretend like it’s my own private library. Bliss!
I have a cold. It’s better today than it’s been. It’s been low level distressing all week, sore throat on Monday, phlegm and stuffiness on Tuesday, brain o’fuzz on Wednesday and coughing and sneezing today. Hopefully sleeping in tomorrow will make it all better.

I am reading the last book in the Vicky Nelson series by Tanya Huff. It is called Blood Debt and is not the best in the series. I do want to know what happens in the end though, so I keep going.
I have also read a book called Happy Kid! that C lent me. It was pretty fun and strange and overall I enjoyed it. Not the best book I’ve ever read, but certainly not the worst.

I also saw the Simpsons Movie. It was alright.

PoF: exhaustion
CO: head space

Brunching wellingtonians

Some more random brunch reviews, since Lee and I seem to be addicted to brunching.

Felix: Lee had the big breakfast and it came with delish cranskys. I had poached eggs and they were fine, served on sourdough as is the current trend everywhere. Felix have T leaf tea so they get approval from me.

Lyall Bay Surf Club: So, it’s in Lyall Bay, which is something of a pain to get to, but it was for a family birthday thing. The cafe does a good line in surf/kiwiana kitsch and I quite like the tshirts they sell but the place was very crowded and it’s all wood and open and windows and it was very very loud. Lee had the big breakfast which was pretty good.
I had poached eggs which were made with vinegar like my mum used to do so I had a happy memory association there. On the other hand they were more like boiled eggs with hardly any runny yolk, so that was a bit disappointing. Nice hot blackcurrant but I was very put off by the fact we had to yell at our table mates to be heard, it felt like being in a pub or something, which is not what I want on a Sunday morning.

When we left there were all these people queuing to get in, which freaked me out. I mean it’s good there, but it’s not the only cafe in Wellington people!

Sweet Mother’s Kitchen: I know I’ve already mentioned them but I do like it there. On the last day of the film festival Lee and I both had the waffles and they were good. Big thick waffles with large squares pressed into them. I had them with berries and Lee had bacon/banana/maple syrup. Good stuff.
Sweet Mother’s Kitchen has strings of plastic vegetables that light up at night. Everyone who works there is terribly bohemian and cool. It’s neat, but it’s busy so you can’t always get a table.

Leuven: also does awesome waffles. I quite like it there too, because it’s all fancy inside.

Calzone: their bathrooms are scary with mirrors on both walls so that you are infinitely repeated. The breakfasts are fine. I had pancakes that were nice and thick and fluffy (I can’t stand those thin, stodgy buttermilk crepe things) and Lee had the big breakfast again I think. It was right before I saw Animation for Kids and I don’t remember very clearly. I ordered a cup of tea and the pot came out half filled. I think it’s mean when cafes are stingy on boiling water.
Now. Where to go today?

Generally we brunch on a Sunday but we have a family thing tomorrow so this week it’s Saturday.


On Sunday Lee and I and a bunch of other people saw King Lear performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company at the St James.

It was long, obviously the RSC are not big editors of the Bard’s prose, and it was depressing, because more than the other famous Tragedies Lear is about a lot of people just being awful to each other. There are very few purely good characters and of course the ending is all death all the time.

I’ve read that people were disappointed with Sir Ian’s performance, but I thought he was astounding – completely inhabiting the role of Lear with all the arrogance and flaws and regret and madness and fear. His delivery of “let me not be mad” nearly took my breath away.

The daughters were very good; Goneril was ice-queen extraordinarily cold and unreachable. Utterly majestic and sure of herself. Regan was rather terrifying; a lush always with a glass of wine in her hand who laughed at her husband’s cruelty, although she had a strange way of delivering the prose, unusual uses of pauses.

Cordelia was very beautiful and I nearly died with envy over her white dress at the start but I found her performance very wet. But then the character is very wet…also she seemed to throw herself on the floor a lot, or walk bent at the waist for some reason. Still I did cry when she died, but that was likely because of the force of the despair Sir Ian was projecting.

Overall the production was exceptionally beautiful, slick and perfect as you would expect and I enjoyed it greatly. The torture of Kent wasn’t as horrible to watch as it could have been, but they showed the hanging of the fool on stage and I didn’t like that at all.

(Although it was the last thing to happen before the intermission and the woman sitting behind us [who kept kicking Lee in the head when she shifted around] turned to her husband and said ‘it wasn’t very nice of them to hang him!’ and I had to laugh. I’m not sure what play she thought she was seeing?)

Edgar and Edmund were both fantastic, Edgar’s transformation from geeky brother to madman to triumphant hero was absolutely believable. Edmund was wonderfully charismatic, sly and evil and the best kind of Shakespearean villain.
I liked the fool too, although it was sometimes hard to make out what he was saying. He really got the dry ‘telling it like it is’ lines and made them cutting. He also played the spoons.

So yeah. I enjoyed the play and I’d see the RSC if they ever come back.

PoF: bear ear hoody
CO: weekend tomorrow

Imagine That

After all that time not buying things, I find that my strength of will is greatly increased in the Not Buying Things department. Case in point: Owl hoodie.

I saw it and didn’t buy it on impulse. I thought about it over night and checked it out again the day later, talking myself out of it because it was too thin. Two days more of desiring it and I gave in and bought it, but not before I did another clean out of my wardrobe and clothing-binned three bags of stuff.

So, I knew I really really wanted it before I bought it. The result has been that I really really appreciate my owl hoodie. Anyone who has seen me this week will have seen said owl hoodie and probably been shown the wee owls. I feel real joy in the owning of it, perhaps because I didn’t buy it on impulse.

My bank account is really enjoying my Not Buying Things ways, although I did buy Singstar 90s on Friday. Singstar 90s is awesome.

In other news I had my first ever professional massage and facial yesterday. They were nice and very relaxing. The massage was a but frustrating because I am used to Lee working on my knots until they are gone and this lady would sort of find a knot and then gently rub around it and move on to something else.

The facial was nice, very relaxing it is to have someone fondling your face and wrapping it in a hot towel. The amount of goo she put on me made me feel greasy as anything after it though, but I’m hoping it was good greasy and not break-out time greasy.

I felt almost drugged after the hour was up. She left me to get dressed and I had a massive stretch and several joints popped which was satisfying. I wandered back out to where the girls were in a sort of stupor.
Weird things I thought while I was being massaged:

  • Is it alright to make the face of a slack jawed yokel? because that thing she’s doing with her thumbs on either side of my spine is really good and my brain, it is gone.
  • Drooling with pleasure: Ok or not?
  • What would she do if I suddenly panicked and started yelling? Should I try it out just to see?
  • Should I make little moaning noises to show how much I am enjoying this, or would that be weird? It was weird for Monica and Phoebe on Friends, but then they already knew each other.
  • My heart beat seems really loud and violent when the rest of me is completely unmoving and relaxed into a puddle like this. Can the massage lady hear my heart beat?
  • That music is off an ad. Which ad was it?

Overall I think I would enjoy a therapeutic deep muscle massage more than the beautician stress relief massage but it was plenty relaxing all the same. I liked the facial, and I hope my skin is nicer now.

Having dinner out at Monsoon Poon was nice. I like Kingfisher beer, and then we went to see Harry Potter again yay yay. I really like this movie, and it definitely stood up to a second viewing. Luna is awesome. I am going to start talking like her from now on.

Coming soon: a blog about my hairdresser, whom I luff.

Last weekend of the fest

Saturday was a late start movie-wise, so we had a restful morning of frenzied cleaning and packing. We took another carload to Lee’s parents’ place and got rid of a heap of old clothes, shoes and books. (Donated them in a clothing bin).
My wardrobe is freakishly tidy now. Freakish I tell you.

After all that we went into town for The Bothersome Man, a Norwegian film that starts with the lead character committing suicide. He wakes up on a bus to…somewhere. He starts a new life in a new apartment with a new job. All anyone wants to talk about is interior decorating. Is he in Heaven? Hell? Purgatory?
It’s a film with a measured pace, but plenty of awesome moments. There was laughing out loud and cringing and all sorts of stuff. I liked it.

Then we powered up to Brooklyn where Lee tried to park on a bus stop. We saw Death at a Funeral, which is a British comedy of the best sort. It featured Wash from Firefly as a nervous man given LSD early on, so he acts crazy. It’s awesome. There’s heaps of plot lines and the story takes place over the course of a day, the day of the patriarch of the family’s funeral.

The whole audience was laughing its collective ass off. Go and see it when it comes out, that is an order.
Saturday night after that we went grocery shopping, because we are bad ass party animals.
Sunday, brunch at Sweet Mother’s Kitchen; yummy waffles.

Then I went to the Embassy to see The Last Picture Show and Lee went home and did some serious kitchen cleaning.

Last picture Show is a sad story about a teenager coming of age and a small town falling apart. Made in the seventies bu set in the fifties, it stars baby Jeff Bridges and baby Cybill Shepherd and was very good. I liked it a great deal.

Then I gave in and bought my owl hoodie. Yay owl hoodie! We spent a pleasant afternoon with Jase and Chelle and then headed back in to Te Papa for the last two movies of the festival.

Radiant City is a documentary about suburbs, the people who live in them and the design of them and the effect of suburban sprawl on society. It was fascinating and very well made and interesting and…yeah. There’s a thing about it that makes it even more fascinating. No spoilers, just a recommendation to go and see it.

Then we caught up with Zephfi and saw The Great Happiness Space, a doco about a Host Club in Osaka, and focussing in on the #1 selling Host, Issei. I expected this movie to be more light-hearted than it was. It was very good and I was amazed at the honesty of the interviews everyone gave to the camera.
In case you don’t know, Host clubs are pubs where women go and spend money to be attended to by a Host. The hosts are good looking men there to make them happy, and sell them the idea of romance. A lot of the girls fall in love with the hosts, and spend thousands of dollars every visit to drink with them.
It was well made, and very good but rather sad. All those lonely people…

So that’s it for another year. No more film festival for me. I am kind of relieved, it takes a lot out of me and especially when I am working full time as well. Plenty of great films this year though, so as ever it is a bittersweet ending.
On the up side this morning my plushie Totoro pencil holder came and it’s sitting on my desk being cute at me.

CO: stupid belly

When I was at the movies, it was a pretty good week

Monday was a rest night. I was extremely exhausted and out of it, so it was lucky that I didn’t have to go out to movies.
Tuesday was an awesome movie night. First I saw My Kid Could Paint That about four year old Marla Olmstead whose abstract paintings sell for thousands of dollars. It was an exceptionally well made documentary, mixing interviews with Marla (as much as you can get a four year old to interview), her parents, the gallery owner who first showed her work, modern art critics and face time with the film maker himself as it starts to become unclear if Marla is producing the paintings all on her own or if there is coaching from Daddy.

There are some fascinating discussions to be had about the nature of art and the art world based off this film, and the director was at the screening and we had a q&a afterwards with him that lasted nearly an hour. It was so so good.

After that I caught up with Svend and we went to Noise, an Australian drama about a cop with tinnitus who is put to work in a caravan to take witness accounts after a shooting in a train. There was a parallel story with the one survivor of the shooting, a girl who saw the killer. The movie was just very well made, slickly shot and with a very involving soundtrack. The characters were all real, no stereotypes (although some seemed to be at first). The lead was so blokey Aussie, but also deeply troubled and unafraid to confront people.

The story was tense and funny and well crafted and just….I will be buying it on DVD. Let’s leave it at that.
On Wednesday Lee and I met up for a light dinner at Kazu (yum yum takoyaki) and then went to see Manufacturing Dissent which, compared to My Kid Could Paint That, was a not so good doco. It was just kind of poorly put together, and we didn’t get enough information.

I’m a Michael Moore fan, as you know, but I came to this with an open mind because I realise that no one is perfect. The movie is meant to show you what a fraud Michael is, and how he alters the truth to make his movies more entertaining. I have to see I saw very little proof. Mostly they were picking holes in ‘Roger and Me’, and having interviews with people about Michael.

It does seem sus that Michael refused to talk to the filmmakers, but then they did approach him in the lead up to the election, when he was travelling around America trying to get people to vote and then again in the wake of Fahrenheit 9/11 when he was obviously, again, pretty busy.

Mostly I’m annoyed that this movie was meant to expose Moore, and I was distinctly unconvinced on that count.
Thursday was another rest from movie making. We ended up moving two carloads of stuff.

Friday night we saw Perfect Creature, a New Zealand film starring Dougray Scott and Saffron Burrows. It was a steampunk confection of alternate history. Vampires are the ruling class/heirophants; the Brotherhood, living in churches, where people go to worship and give blood. It was all Victorian slums and dirt and cops and coolness. I was impressed. Go see it if it comes back, k?

Now it is Saturday morning and I watched a TV show on the stage challenge and we’re seeing two more movies this afternoon/evening.

PoF: I want that owl hoodie
CO: pebbles for breakfast

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