Monday, June 21, 2010

Internet Life is always last.

Well here again but then not really here either.

I've struggled to find the right headspace and time to write blogs here for quite some time now and I can't see it getting easier.  Not sure if I want to put more effort into my internet life either...

One thing I have discovered recently is that even Soccer can appeal under the right conditions.

I know I digressed sharply then but I've been watching a bit of the Fifa World Cup and it's been interesting.  Not to mention that New Zealand qualified again, last chance was 28 years ago.

But I really don't like soccer.  I watched the first kiwi vs.slovaks game and was very bored.

Went to bed after half an hour even, and while the result was fantastic, I'm not sorry I missed it.  For a game that has 22 men running about for around 90 minutes non-stop, very little really happens.  There have been so many 0-0 or 1-1 draws so far in this tournament, I think I have finally discovered why soccer fans are considered the most annoying and aggressive of all sporting fans.  They're too bloody frustrated after sitting through all that action and finding themselves with a 0-0 draw!

Anyway, so not a big fan but then came last night and the kiwis vs. italians and I'm beginning to come around now.

7 minutes into the game and New Zealand scores a goal.  This is against the reigning world champions and apparently we're ranked 78th so not at all expected then.

The Italians counter by running around the field in a frenzied attack of the worst acting soccer has ever seen but luckily for them, the referee seems to have been paid off handsomely before-hand.  The amount of ludicrous hollywood dives these i-tais pulled and the amount of penalties that were rewarded was just ridiculous.

A wee shirt pull apparently had an italian boy diving for the grass clutching his head and claiming foul.  The silly ref gave him the penalty and they scored their only goal which left the game 1-1 and that's where it stayed.

I guess if the only way that the reigning champs can beat the 78th ranked team is to cheat and cry wolf then we can hold our heads up very high.  The Slovakians played a much better game and I hope they beat Italy and knock 'em out of the cup.

One thing's for sure, the world is now on the look-out for the faked injury dives that the italians love so much and hopefully they won't bedazzle the next referee and get their fair come-uppance.

I'll have my fingers crossed for that.

But, also quite proud that the most exciting match of the cup so far was a kiwi game.

As for those whining french...  don't get me started there.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Plate 'o Brown

We have a joke in my family that when my husband cooks for him and the girls, it usually ends up in a plate of brown.  On my book club nights he gets stuck into the kitchen making them homemade chips and either fried chicken or steak perhaps with a side of buttered mushrooms but normally only for him.

I don't mind, it doesn't happen very often and their plates are more colourful when I'm around, bu I had to laugh just now because Little Miss 11 has walked out of the kitchen holding her breakfast plate 'o brown - her daddy would be so proud of her.

She is like me in the way that we both find breakfast food so utterly uninspiring and dull and so this morning she is munching down crackers, pickled onions and roast chicken leftovers.

A well-balanced breakfast for a growing monkey I think.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Recession Losers and Winners.

I was surfing today, not something I normally do as a rule, but I stumbled across a link to a few interesting articles written by Rick Newman about what things Americans can't live without.

It makes fascinating reading but I'll give you his top ten list below of what they can't part from:

Portable Computers
High Speed InternetAccess
Smart Phones
Education
Movies
TV
Music Downloads
Pets
Booze
Coffee

Personally, I would amend the list slightly.  Perhaps it's the fact that I'm not american or maybe I am just odd but a few of those things I can easily live without.  Here is my list:

- Reading: books or magazines (where would we be without the ability to unleash our imaginations with novels.  I adore everything about books, the imagination and the education involved and it would be a very empty world without reading in my opinion.  I also know people who don't read books but they devour newspapers and magazines so the power of the word is still obviously strong even there.)

- $2-$5 per week spending money (there is nothing better when you're feeling low then to be able to buy an ice-cream or a chocolate bar or a slice of cake or whatever your treat of choice is; we can't restrict all guilty pleasures)

- Education (I agree with this one for kids, if they are willing and able to learn then we should encourage this and send them where they need to go to get where they want to be in life)

- Computer (I didn't really want to put this one in there but it is a fact of modern life now that most things are done by computer, not sure a portable one is essential though)

- High Speed Internet Access (again, didn't want to put this one in here but life is just too damn short to muck about with Dial-Up speed.  If computers are a necessity of today then this one goes hand in hand.)

- Creative Outlet (we all have one, it just depends on the person as to the nature of the creativity but to deny it or contain it is to ignore who we are and what makes us tick. This one will include things like writing, musical instruments, gardening, painting, sewing, doodling, carving, singing, cooking, solving puzzles, building, caring for pets, sports, designing software.. the list goes on.)

- Entertainment (again, we all have differing opinions on what we like but this will include movies, TV, games, and music.  Whatever we prefer to relax with and/or to get animated by.)

- Home-cooked food (is there really anything better than putting the effort in, even just once a week, and cooking or eating, hopefully both, a delicious home-cooked meal?)

- Loved Ones (this one means those people (or pets) that you would do anything for.  The ones that you often revolve your life around and couldn't imagine living without.  The ones who make you smile just by looking at them.)

- Mobile Phones (I thoroughly disagree with this one on so many levels but I also know that I am the only person I know that has a stationary mobile phone: it never leaves the house. I abhor the fact that this device means people can contact you at anytime they want and refuse to buy into the hype that it is.  However, I do understand the need for it in a work sense and more importantly, I see the usefulness of equipping your children with one when they go to walk the dog, or stay the night at a friends house, or go to the mall by themselves.  The worry that it saves is worth it.)

And the losers from the first list:
Smart Phones, perhaps essential for people in jobs who revolve around email communication and travel a lot (like my husband, and yes, he couldn't live without his) but other than that, not an essential I think.

Movies/TV/Music Downloads, sort of all come under entertainment in my list.  I don't think it's necessary to single them out as individual items, I barely ever go to the movies anymore and I've never downloaded a tune in my life, and all three could be easily lived without, especially if a good alternative can be found, like reading.

Pets come under creative outlet.  I know people who spend hours a day on breeding cats, birds, dogs and they get so much enjoyment from it.  Definitely important but classed differently.

Booze/Coffee, really not essential.  I recently gave up alcohol for 12 weeks and it was so easy.  I didn't really miss it and now that I'm back on it I find I barely drink anymore.  Just not an important part of life.  Coffee is one of my guilty pleasures but I think I could probably give that up easily as well.  I have already cut it back and I no longer buy coffee when I'm out.  I have two cups at home in the mornings and that is it for the day and it is definitely not considered an essential part of living.

Right then, what would you change on that list?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Strange things are afoot at the Circle K...

Yep, odd indeed.

To be exact, last weekend a mini storm hit, complete with bizarre tornado like winds, sheet rain and lightening.  We live at the top of a hill.  A house over the road and down the hill had a very dodgy and probably illegal pergola attached to the front of their property.  The winds obviously didn't approve.

They ripped it off the front of that house, threw it up into the air, over their roof, and then up the hill towards our house.  During mid-flight the damn thing wrapped itself around the power lines and dragged the wires out of their holdings, across the street and lying against our fence.  The pergola than landed all across our front lawn, shattering into a million small sharp pieces.

Power was immediately gone and this great live power cable was lying across the street looking pretty damn menacing.  It took Vector 5 hours to come out and a further 1 hour to rehook the cable back up.  Thankfully, it only took the fire department a few minutes to come out and remove the cable from the road so at least the area was a bit safer.

Here is a drawing that my dog did of the exciting day:

Friday, May 14, 2010

Yadeda.

Again, I am feeling at a loss as to what to say which is weird as the racket going on in my head is trying damn hard to prove that sentence wrong.

I think a lot, about a whole lot, and it loves to whirr about in there, driving me mad.  I always used to think I was pretty relaxed and chilled but I've started to think that on the contrast, I get wound up about all the little things and get anxious and worried about absolute tripe.

I have got to learn to relax once more.

Other than that I turned another year older recently and my daughters made me the best gifts ever.  I'm even tempted to figure out how to upload photos on this machine just to show them off - they are that good.  Little Miss 13 made me a clock, carved out of wood, shaped like a sea turtle, and finshed off with a perfect paint job.  It is awesome.

Little Miss 11 painted me four canvases with an orchid on each, painted in a different colour and framed by words that those colours evoke.  It was all very cool.  Also made up for the fact that they really dropped the ball on mothers day, got reminded at the last minute, made me a gorgeous pair of earrings each and then helped me do some housework.

I love them though, strange wee beasties.

I find myself staring at them recently, quite amazed by how big they are getting and that I was one of the culprits behind them.  They are full of gangles at the moment, gangly limbs sticking out everywhere I mean, and they love to mouth off and prove their intellect and arguing ability.  It does make for some interesting conversation.

The other thing I'm realising about them is there are actually facts out there that they know and I don't.  I hope that doesn't sound arrogant but I come from a very clever family and all of us seem to still enjoy the intellectual stimulation of books, current affairs and quizzes that we partake in often, so I am not used to not knowing things that my children know.  I now find myself in the situation, after buying myself the Trivial Pursuits game for XBox 360 recently, at a loss for an answer to some random fact and my daughters chiming in with the correct choice.

My babies are growing up.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I gave birth to an 8 pound trash magpie!

Yes, you heard me.  A trash magpie.



Let me explain.  I spent about 9 hours in Little Miss 13's bedroom yesterday giving it the biggest spring clean it has ever seen and the things I threw away, woah nelly!  Four bags of rubbish so far and I still haven't finished the job, and two bags of things for the Op-Shop donation bin and there will be more going there as well.

And what have I learnt about my teenager in the process other than that she is a master collector of shit?  Well, it appears she is trying to do an Icarus and escape the household chores because the place was covered in bundles of feathers from enormous peacock ones to tiny budgie ones.  Actually, note to self - go and check the budgies as there were way too many feathers from them and I'm thinking naked birds won't do well with winter coming along.

She also has a rock/crystal collection which is great, I've bought her many pieces myself and even a beautiful basket to keep them all in but were they there?  Of course not.  A third of them I found in her bed, under her pillow (along with half the sand from the beach), as apparently someone told her it was good karma to sleep with them under your pillow.  Thanks guy!

She also is the biggest slob around.  She moans that her bedroom is at the furthest end of the house to the laundry and this is her broken record excuse as to why her floor is always covered with dirty clothes.  I actually countered this last year and bought her a laundry bag that hangs on her door.  Is it used?  Nope, she has just hung more bags/wet towels/school projects over it and continued to use the floor.

What I have relished doing through all this is throwing away things I didn't like or found incredibly annoying.  That giant magenta feather duster that hangs on her wall? Just picked up by my weekly garbage man.  The fairy mobile she made five years ago?  In a bag destined for the local op-shop.  Hee hee, that bit has been quite fun and 100% guilt-free.

I did warn both daughters that if it got to the stage where I would have to go in there and sort their bedrooms out for them, then I would be getting rid of whatever I wanted, no questions.  Little Miss 11 doesn't mind at all, although amazingly, her bedroom isn't looking half-bad, but Miss 13, well now she should know not to doubt mummy when I say something.

So, I will finish the job today and she has been warned that if that room returns to a state of disrepair anytime in the next 5 years, then she will be getting a major hell breaking loose episode played out especially for her.  I even scrubbed the windows, sills, shelves and walls for crying out loud.  She owes me big-time.

I will tackle Little Miss 11's on friday I think.  Tomorrow is my day off everything and I am looking forward to it immensely.  I took this week off to chill-out and I have ended up spring cleaning the children's bedrooms.  Gawd, that's parenthood for ya.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

NZ Rally WRC, here I come.

I'm helping out at the special leg of the NZ Rally for the WRC championship this year and I am so super-excited.  I love cars, am one of the biggest Formula 1 fans around (I stay up to 3am to watch the races without fail), and ever since Kimi Raikonnen jumped ship from F1 to WRC, I've been following these races as well.

I don't know, there is just something about watching sport at the highest professional level that I really enjoy and when it comes to car racing, the strategy and the design, the driver skills and the educational calls needed on the fly to get the most from the race day conditions to me are completely fascinating.

Personally I am a MacLaren Mercedes fan, especially backing Lewis Hamilton, but there are so many drivers in the F1 league that I also like.  Kimi was one of my top 5 so naturally I'm finding his change to rally racing an intriguing prospect for a new sport to follow and then the chance to work at the rally just fell into my lap.

I think it is fate.  I am obviously going to really enjoy this season.

Funny then that my sister has just posted about how much she doesn't like cars.  We have a lot in common but motoring is not one of them.