Thursday, October 30, 2008

Holiday planned

Against all odds - laziness, forgetfulness and feared poverty, at least - it looks like we are going to have a wee holiday after all, over Christmas and New Year.

My first choice (after weeks of vagueness and indecision) was Tahuna Beach, in Nelson. It's a hugely popular family holiday camp, promising nice weather, safe beachplay and lots of playmates for TLM. Unfortunately it is booked out already. But anyway, the airfares would've cost almost a grand for the ten minute flight each way.

So we're driving an hour up the coast and staying in a resort for 6 days. There may not be loads of playmates for TLM in this price range, but she probably won't notice.

Hee hee...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I should have seen it coming, because last night I gave TLM some kiwifruit. You may not know this, especially if you have never fed a kid kiwifruit, but those furry little green ovals activate a child's bowels like nothing else on earth.

This morning's surprise output was so encompassing, that when I took off TLM's trousers some of it landed on my lap. The rest of it fell between my knees onto the long-suffering rug.
I screamed in horror. The wipes were just out of reach.
The boy, only just dressed to go to work, rushed into the lounge to see who was getting murdered.
I screamed some more and pointed at the box of wipes in the far corner.
The boy went in the opposite direction, perhaps thinking I was thirsty and in need of some elderflower cordial.
I screamed still more, this time with an edge of irritation and waving my pointy finger agressively.
Then I said "The wipes! The bloody wipes!".
The boy muttered something about mind-reading and fetched the wipes.
And we used them all up in the clean-up operation.

Now, I was going to post about TLM's toilet humour. But toilet horror is probably a bit less cliched, right?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Elderflower cordial

Elderflower cordial is a slightly herby, but otherwise very sweet syrup that you mix into a refreshing drink. The boy thinks it's healthy, though I have my doubts because it's still basically sugar water.

Over the last few days of her tummy bug, TLM has gotten accustomed to having a bottle of elderflower drink in her bed at night, with a pinch of salt added, to help her re-hydrate. But her tummy's all better now and I've put my foot down - only water in her bottle at night, because having one's teeth and gums awash with sugary liquid all night is a sure path down to the city of BlackTeeth.

TLM is not taking it very well. She starting throwing a tanty as soon as I confirmed that there was nothing in her bottle except tap water. It continued as she climbed into bed, and escalated into full-on screams and wails and tears after I left the room.

Geez, you'd think I was making her sleep in a bare bathtub or something.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Just now I'm really wishing we had separate family and living rooms - that, or at least warm enough weather to have all the doors and window open without freezing one's nipples off.

Because, with all the farting, spewing and bad-pooing that's going on around here, it's not a very nice atmosphere. I mean that literally.

Last post about the joys of this month's bout of gastroenteritis, I promise.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

bad luck, bad karma or bad building?

Before I left work at midday on Thursday to look after TLM (the boy were tag-teaming it), I cheerfully mentioned that she was actually quite happy; she just couldn't keep her food down. Four hours later, my own stomach felt like it was full of concrete and I knew that a night of puking was a 99% possibility.

That night, I got up about eight times to throw up. I was really glad that all I'd eaten was half a carton of wedges, because those wedges came out with a close resemblance to gruel which has been left on the burner too long so that all the moisture has evaporated from it.

But I had a deadline to meet. So the next morning I crawled into work, just in time to meet up with my SME (Subject Matter Expert). And left soon after I finished picking his brains.

Either I've had an extremely unfair and unfortunate run of luck on the health front, or I've inadvertantly enraged the gods of good health, or those little black mould-like patches on the bathroom wall really are that infamous black mould I've heard about.

Or, it's just a combination of being over 40, a parent of a young child, spring, and lack of fresh vegetables.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

It shouldn't have to be exciting

Rather than rant on about my work stress, or TLM's recent vomits and runny green poos, I'll just give you my 5 cents worth (equal in value to 2 cents, in olden times) about New Zealand's general election this year.

In short, they are boring. I'm as unpolitical as most people, only getting interested when there's a threat to a welfare service that applies to my life stage at the time (e.g. student loans and fees when I was a student, paid parental leave when I was pregnant, the possibility of taxing residential house values when I'm a home owner.)

The American elections are much more exciting. But I'm not jealous of the Americans, because the only reason for this is that they could end up with a president who has no experience of the world outside her own state, thinks that family planning is the devil's game of poker, and would only win because she's not bad looking for a working mother of five.

It's relatively dull to be faced with minute policy differences between political parties, which is what we've got at home. But it's far more sensible.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Bad double-whammy

Which is worse -

1. having a work deadline which is tighter than rat's bum, to complete a project for which I have only a smallish amount of experience, un-aided by a workmate who hates me, and for which the subject matter experts (SME's) are either ignorant, verbose or too geeky to communicate...


2. having to do one's GST (that's VAT for Brits, something else for the Yanks) return, deadline in one week, with potentially heaps of expenses I can claim for, but no experience in claiming for, un-aided by a man at Inland Revenue who won't answer my emails?

The correct answer is...both at the same bluddy time.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Stylish and brainy

I might well the only person on Earth who prefers a bit of copy to go with her fashion magazine photo spreads. For most people who like looking at nice clothes, it wouldn't matter if the words were in French, German or Icelandic.

So I'm really enjoying The Meaning of Sunglasses: And a Guide to Almost All Things Fashionable, by Hadley Freeman (it was one of the three books I ordered on the Internet - I'm still waiting for the Buffy book...). Freeman is a fashion writer for The Guardian, and this book is a collection of her columns for that paper. It's, like, literary.

What I like about the book is that it's well written, witty, and quite down to earth. She obviously has an interest in fashion, but she's not going to tell you that a trenchcoat - or any item of clothing or accessory - is a "must have", and has a healthy disrespect for fashion media. She also acknowledges that it's quite okay to spend a grand on a handbag, as long as your love of the handbag outweighs your guilt about spending so much money on it.

And there aren't even any pictures...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Quietly perfect

Despite the unsociable-ness of having no party today, I still enjoyed my birthday very much. I got to sleep in till about 8.30, because TLM has been sleeping in till then.

It was a beautiful day today, so sunny I even got out the sunscreen lotion for the first time since last summer. What a change from some years, when we've been hit by hurricane-strength spring winds and lashing rain.
My presents from the boy included Gok Wan's How to Look Good Naked - my choice - and an Angel comic onmibus. I've already read the former a couple of times today, but am saving the latter for when I'm in the mood for a concentrated spell of reading.
In the morning, we managed to also fit in a shopping and brunch trip into town (although only the boy actually ate anything because TLM and I had only just had breakfast just before leaving), which included me spending a birthday voucher (from my "employer") on a couple of trashy mind-candy fashion magazines.
TLM also experienced her very first bike-ride out on the footpath. She's getting better at steering but has yet to learn that it's not a good idea to looking downwards whilst moving..
The afternoon was a bit lazier - reading magazines in the sun while TLM got kitted out in a very girly sun dress (by her own insistence). The house across the road has builders in putting up a new fence, and she looked so cute with her red plastic hammer, doing her own impression of the lads as they sawed and hammered.
Then we had some pretty amazing chocolate-coated banana cake whilst watching Mary Poppins. Boy, but doesn't Dick van Dyke's fake Cockney accent sound terrible! He doesn't even sound English, much less Cockney...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Death times 2, or double-happiness halved - A pre-birthday ramble.

That's just a cryptic way of saying "44". Which, by the way, will be my age come Sunday. I'm not really looking forward to being 44 (though to be honest, I haven't looked forward to getting older since I was about 31).
Although I said in my meme that I'd love to celebrate my next birthday with a 2-hour afternoon party, like the kind toddlers have but with more alcohol and better music, this is probably not going to happen. Not unless the boy is planning a surprise party, and he isn't the planning-a-surprise-party type of guy. He's more the type of guy to order a fabulously expensive birthday gift for me, which appeals more to him than to me (unless it's a MacBook).
Actually, he recently gave me some money and told me to order whatever I wanted from Amazon, so that was probably his birthday present to me. Though it's a pity NZ Post is taking it's sweet time delivering them to me.
Okay, enough waffling. It's time to sign off and do some some research into mobile phones.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Getting back on the mobile phone bandwagon

The hideously expensive smartphone that the boy got me as a birthday present a couple of years ago, is apparently on it's last legs. Half the time I don't get notified of a text until about three hours after it was sent, and lately it's been telling me I'm out of range of the mobile network (in the middle of the CBD! In the middle of a telecommunications company office!). So I reckon it's time for a new one.

But I don't want another smartphone, because I wouldn't use most of the features. All I really want the phone to do is: make and receive calls; send and receive text messages; and take pictures that don't come out all blurry when you get them printed at a decent size. I don't want email or web browsing, because it's bloody expensive to use those from a mobile phone. And I don't listen to music much any more either.

What do you reckon I should shop for?

Monday, October 06, 2008

Cyberwomen, mind-reading and "nobbing fellas to death"

You could say that I turned a corner on Saturday. On that day, I started being able to breathe through my nose again, sometimes. On that day, the feeling that the back of my nostrils were harbouring slimy pipe-cleaners, started to go away. I could watch a DVD and actually concentrate on what was happening.

We've been enjoying Torchwood lately. At about 5 episodes in from the beginning, I feel that the characters are still not particularly well-drawn. Gorgeous Gwen, obviously, is the most developed, but that's to be expected since we're seeing the show from her point of view. But Tosh, the IT guru with the Japanese heritage, is a disappointingly boring woman so far. She's not endearingly geeky, nor even quirky - just lonely. It might take a few more episodes before I know them enough to like them. The stories are quite good though, even though one or two of the plotlines look like homages to episodes from Buffy or Angel.

It's also a whole lot more fun than Terminator: the Sarah Connor Files.

Friday, October 03, 2008

It's an age meme

At a certain age women should ... be confident about asking for a raise.

At a certain age men should grow up.

When I was a kid I thought I would grow to be taller.

Now that I'm older I wish I were taller and younger.

You know you are too old to go nightclubbing when you spend all night complaining about the loudness of the music and the messiness of the toilets.

You know you are too young to die when you can think of at least ten things you haven’t done yet.

When I was in high school I listened to rock music, because it was way cooler than disco music.

Nowadays I find I like the music
of the same bands, but also some jazz and opera.

On my last birthday I didn’t have a party.

On my next birthday I want to have a daytime party so TLM can be there too. In fact, have a party just like a kid’s one – with balloons, cakes, toys and a 2-hour time limit.

The best birthday present I ever got was my iMac.

The first time I felt grown up was when I moved out of home and was able to do everything myself, my way.

The last time I felt like a kid was the last time I played on the slide with TLM.

When I read the little blue line on the pregnancy test it changed my life.

Last year was the last one in which I was a stay-at-home mum.

Next year I hope we get sick a whole lot less often, the boy gets a nice new job and I get comfortable with my work.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Not all better, but not all sick either

I'm a little better today (and I should be, since it's day 2 of the doctor's antibiotics and 3 different kinds of painkillers). I must be because, despite the coughing and forgetting to eat lunch (that would never happen when I'm well), I managed to get 2 loads of washing on the line, deal with a bucketful of pooey stuff, and clean the toilet. Two days ago it was all I could do to get out of bed and put an Outrageous Fortune DVD on.

If the boy were to be home sick though, you would never catch him wasting energy on housework. He'd be recuperating with his computer game (don't ask me what he's playing though, those empire-building epics all look kinda the same to me).

I reckon he's got the right idea.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

My first rejection letter

Do you remember when I posted about sending a story to the NZ School Journal? It was my first ever (and still my only) story submission. And how excited I was when the editor sent me a letter saying they liked parts of my story and wanted to see it again when I'd improved it? Well, the editor who is filling in for the first editor, didn't like my rewrite (assuming that is what it means when they say they couldn't find a space for it, which I do).

I'm disappointed, and receiving the rejection today is a little bit like being kicked when I'm down ('cos I'm still sick). But I'm quite aware that even the most successful authors have had submissions rejected, possibly many times. So it's not that bad really.