Friday, December 29, 2006

I Spy With My Little Eye

Whose artistic young wife waits at home, while he regularly drinks alone in a popular Jervois Road bar? One hopes this is not the thin end of the marital wedge. His last marriage started well enough; when dating, she used to turn up at his house wearing nothing under her fur coat. It ended with the two of them taking turns hosing down the foyer of their palatial home, in the hopes that the other would slip and crack their head open. Oh dear.

Mahadeo's Spice & Produce

Mr Smith looked up from his computer. “What’s that nice smell?” he asked.
“Krack,” I replied.
He looked confused.
“You can smell my Krack,” I explained, perhaps unhelpfully.

I have found a wonderful Indian food warehouse (Mahadeo's Spice & Produce, 14 Virginia Ave, Eden Terrace, Ph 09-3774553). They sell a wonderful array of authentic ingredients (for those who can cook), and pre-made foods.

I am not one for cooking, so have become a big fan of the ‘Swad’ range of meals. Most of them are very low in fat. Although it sounds unpromising to say they come in a can, and all you have to do is ‘heat and eat,’ the meals really are as good as you will find in any Indian restaurant. Perhaps better, as most Indian food in New Zealand seems to be dulled down a great deal for the Kiwi palate, and these are extremely hot. My favourites are Dum Aloo, and the spinach and cottage cheese one (the name of which I can’t recall).

The warehouse also has an intriguing range of body care products, including Krack. It’s meant to be very good for one’s feet.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Mother’s Little Helper

or Why I Love Benzylpiperazine

Sign in a Ponsonby Road pub window

The sign (I assume) is meant as a joke, but these days, it’s so hard to tell. While Christmas shopping, I overheard two women talking; one wondered why she couldn’t find any candy-canes. “Who knows,” shrugged the other. “Perhaps they’ve been banned.”

Party pills are next on the nana hit list. It's foolish to want to ban party pills for so many reasons, but I am most concerned for myself. The debated ingredient, BZP, is also in my favourite daily vitamin supplement (read: appetite suppressant), Slimfast.

The combination of Slimfast and alcohol results in a hangover of magnificent proportions the next day, and as drinking absurd amounts of alcohol is my fondest seasonal tradition, it seemed a good idea not to take them for a week. Two boxes of chocolates later (I won’t dare mention what else, I am still in the process of trying to repress the memory), I now quake at the thought of life without Slimfast.

The thought of facing life with an unfettered appetite doesn’t bear thinking about. Without my beloved Slimfast I may have to start eating again, which means getting fat. I may as well buy myself some Holiday cigarettes and a Warehouse polar-fleece track-suit now.

If anything deemed mildly hazardous is to be made illegal, then this should be done consistently, and scientifically. Thus, with regards to the well-being of all New Zealanders, I therefore suggest a ban on all tall natural structures, and hot beverages. They are far more dangerous .

Party Pills: 0 deaths
Fall from cliff: 5 deaths
Contact with other hot fluids: 1 death

If the nanas continue to ban things at this rate, I may have to flee New Zealand, and go live somewhere less totalitarian. Like North Korea. Maybe even Saudi Arabia. I would have to wear a burqa, but at least it would cover up my polar-fleece track-suit and house-engulfing thighs.

Evil French Thigh-Expanders

For me, chocolate is not one of life’s optional extras, so when some cursed wretch bestowed upon me a box of France’s finest, I was dismayed. Chocolate is my gastronomical Achilles’ Heel; occasional indulgence is not possible. Once the visitors had left, I fell upon the box with all the grace and decorum that a horde of ravenous wild beasts would display when dining on fresh antelope. Chocolate wrappers were flying like bullets.

Filled with complete and utter self-loathing (and regularly pinching my thighs to make sure they hadn’t started to expand), I at least felt pleased that the chocolates were gone. This pleasure only lasted until the next wave of visitors had left... Leaving behind yet another box of evil French thigh-expanders. The ravenous horde/chocolate-wrapper bullet similes may be repeated.

That, combined with the embarrassing amount of champagne consumed (my recycling bins doth overflow), fills me with fear. I have been trying on different sets of clothes several times a day, to check if any seams are splitting or buttons popping. Not yet. However, my thighs are inexplicably wicked, and I am certain I shall wake up one morning to find that they have grown so large as to engulf the house.

My daily walking regime will be increased this week from ninety minutes to three hours.

Friday, December 22, 2006

A Shameful Lack Of Foresight

I wrote that I was going to have a special series this week, on ‘some of my favourite things that really cost very little.’ I didn’t think that idea through very well. I scoured the house for more cheap goodies, and came up with nothing of interest. Oh well. I can’t imagine I’ve ruined anyone’s Christmas with my lack of foresight.

Yet, advice is free, so to those Aucklanders planning on viewing Christmas lights on Franklin Road, please don’t. The streams of traffic are very annoying to those of us who want to drive along Ponsonby Road after dark. The best lit house in Auckland isn’t there, anyway. This one on Sarsfield Street in Herne Bay kicks Franklin Street’s arse single-handed. And no crowds.

Kicking Arse

St Mary’s Bay Piss-Up

or How To Have Fun With Foreigners

The Baltic Bride had her parents in tow. At least, I assume they are her parents. They were far too old and unattractive to be invited on their own merit, although they appeared human, in an aged, raisin-like way, and I had always assumed the Bride was raised by feral animals. The Bride quickly abandoned them for the Parnell Piss-Tanks she calls friends. They proceeded to drink too much and screech loudly, as usual.

The parents were standing alone, looking at a loss. Mother taught me that, at social events, one should initiate conversation with the shyer guests, so I approached them. Bah. Who am I kidding. They were standing between me and the nearest bottle of champagne, and I thought I might collect some good dirt on the Bride on the way, as an added incentive.

“Hello,” I said.
The parents looked around fearfully, flapping their hands, grunting something unintelligible.
A-ha. They don’t speak English.
I shook their hands. “Your daughter is a complete fat-head. Fo’ shizzle.”
They smiled nervously, nodding.
“In fact, if the fat-heads of the world had a revolution, she would be crowned Empress of the Fat-headia empire. Word up.”
They look alarmed. I wonder if fat-headia means something peculiar in… whatever language it is that Baltic people speak.
“I’m a potato,” I added, hopefully.

The mother started waving urgently at the Baltic Bride; but I was bored with the game, and the champagne bottle was winking at me, lasciviously.
“Good-bye,” I said, waving. “Titty-boom-boom.”
They smiled when I left them, relieved.

Who said foreigners are ruining this country? They can be a source of immeasurable fun.

When Mr X is pissed (and he is a winner of a gold in every category of the Piss-Tank Olympics), he says that he married the Baltic Bride because “she gives the best blow-jobs in town.”

This is utter rubbish.

He’s never had a blow-job from me.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A Few Of My Favourite Things (Part One)

I have finally started my Christmas shopping, and so far, have done very well. It is said that it is better to give than receive, so I have given myself a lovely pair of shoes from Scarpa, and some Dr Hauschka skin care products (Dr Hauschka products are made with organic plants, hand-picked at dawn by meditating German vegans. I’m sure this means bugger all, really, but the Rose Day Cream smells divine).

It is also said that the best things in life are free. This is patently wrong. The best things in life cost loads and loads of money. However, I will admit that there are some things that actually cost very little, but can still provide hours of pleasure. So, in a transparent attempt to curry favour with my readers, most of whom I imagine are so poor, they have to shop at Glassons, I shall have a special series this week, on some of my favourite things that really cost very little.

One of my pastimes is browsing second-hand book shops (there is a good one on Ponsonby Road, down by Three Lamps) for treasure. Here is one of my all-time favourites;

‘Beginners' Ancient History’
by J. B. Newman (1922)

What an absolute cracker of a book. Mr Newman, realising what a daunting task it would be to write the ancient history of the entire world, quickly (and quite sensibly) dispenses with all cultures but the European.

North America is disregarded on the grounds that it was only discovered quite recently (apparently, history doesn’t begin until a European stumbles across you). Australia is ignored as the aborigines demonstrated a “lack of culture.” I think that is still true of its current occupants.

Africa, South America, and the Pacific Islands are succinctly tossed aside in a single sentence;

Of this branch of mankind we shall say very little in this book, for so far the negro race has shown very little power of advance.

Well! That’s telling them! So far, fair enough. However, Mr Newman exhibits a grave lack of foresight. He goes on to write that the Asian cultures are not worth writing about as;
For though certain of the Mongolian family, such as the Chinese, have a very ancient civilisation, this did not spread over other regions of the world.

Doesn’t that sentence make one laugh! How quickly the world changes. Nowadays the little pests are everywhere.

Thus he concludes, in a playful, anti-Jewish fashion, about the superiority of the Aryan race;
It is the Caucasian race that has come to dominate most of the world; and among this family it is the Aryan group that has exercised the most profound influence on civilisation…. But remember that this classification of races must not be taken as definitely settled. There are, for instance, those scholars who would make the Semitic group a separate family.

What a shocking conclusion. Who would have thought such an educated man could write something so terribly wrong. Surely he knows one never starts a sentence with a conjunction! Ugh!

I think I paid less than ten dollars for this book. So there you go - In this festive season of mass-consumerism, one needn’t spend a lot of money to get something really special. Although, if someone bought me a cruddy second-hand book for Christmas, I’d clout them one.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Christmas In The City

Creepy Christmas Nativity scene outside the Baptist Tabernacle, on Queen Street.

Joseph is absent. Not so much a statement on solo parenthood, but rather that he was stolen.

Well. That's Auckland for you.


Friday evening; birthday (not mine) drinks at the viaduct.

It was a faultless summer evening. Warm, late afternoon sun bathed the city in an almost transcendental light. The restaurants and bars were full. People happy, laughing. Pretty girls in red bikinis and santa hats frolicking on the bow of a departing yacht.

I wished I had brought a bigger handbag - my Cavalli clutch accommodated only cigarettes, cell-phone, sunglasses, so the camera had been left behind. Not that it really mattered; photographs never capture the perfectness of such moments. The resulting collection of pixels capture everything, except what was really significant.

I was drinking Moet. Everything was wonderful, I should have felt happy. Yet, I am cursed with a fatal flaw. When everything is just right, I cannot help but think, is this it? I watched silently, and felt sad.

I drank more, and eventually felt better.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Observations at a Dinner Party

or You Can’t Believe Anything You Read On The Internet

Mrs S had a dinner party. Mrs S is very nice, but her friends are the most awful snobs; their snobbishness is so profound, they truly make me seem like Mahatma Ghandi by comparison.

Mrs J (3 husbands), while fairly harmless, is very animated when she talks, all flailing hands and wild, full-body gyrations. Far from being vivacious, as I imagine she thinks she is, the effect is very disturbing. She looks like an amateur tightrope walker. A drunk amateur tightrope walker. Mrs L, however, is the worst. When Wallis Simpson said “you can never be too thin or too rich,” she was right about being rich, but would have changed her mind about the thin part, if she had ever met Mrs L.

Mrs L (currently between husbands) has a pet magazine editor she keeps on a very short, very tight leash. She will trade him in once she finds someone marriageable, and he knows this. He, like the other husbands, remained almost entirely silent throughout the dinner. He did at one point venture something pleasant about the couscous. “It’s not couscous,” she hissed venomously, “it’s orzo.”

The pet put his tail between his legs and retreated back into silence.

Someone mentioned something they read on the internet. “Oh, the internet,” Mrs L scoffed, with the type of scorn usually reserved for paedophiles, “you can’t believe anything you read on the internet. If I want to know something, I go to the library.” Mr S rather bravely asked if she believed everything she read in the newspaper.

“That’s different,” she said. “Journalists have to be answerable for facts, not just opinion. On the internet, anyone can post whatever they like, without any research at all.”

I hazarded a comment that possibly, blogs were answerable for their facts, by having a comment facility where points may be debated and questioned by readers. I was rewarded with an ear-piercing screech. “Blogs? Blogs! What kinds of people write those!”


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Unfathomable Rage & Jeremy Wells's Penis

I have eaten half a bagel for breakfast everyday, for years, as they are very low in fat. NOW I discover they rate high on the G.I. index.

I am filled with an unfathomable rage.

Someone must pay for this.


I am feeling better now. As a big fan of Eating Media Lunch, the sight of Jeremy Wells's penis cheered me up immensely.

Very nice. The drawing isn't bad, either.

Find Farrar© Drinking Game

For several years now, I have observed a fascinating phenomenon. No matter what key words I put into Google, David Farrar’s Kiwiblog always appears in the search results. Hence, perhaps by sheer Google bludgeoning, his was the first blog I ever read (well, skimmed. I always ignore the political stuff).

Yesterday I was looking up something about handbags, and lo! There was Kiwiblog. I began to wonder; were there any search terms at all, which would not include his site. So I tried a few variations (to speed things up, I included ‘farrar’ as a search term - just because I don’t have to work, it doesn’t mean I have all bloody day for this).

I married a killer chihuahua

naked mud wrestling for infants

tax cuts for lesbian penguins

make your own tampon

Lion Red? I'd rather drink urine

whale industry by-products as sexual aids

I have a monkey in my underpants

poor people smell funny

pimp my bicycle

the world's biggest collection of dirty knickers

Astonishing. Thus I have invented the ‘Find Farrar© Drinking Game.’ Type words into Google. If Kiwiblog appears in the search results - drink. A good party game, as everyone is guaranteed to be swinging from the chandeliers within minutes.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Definition: POG

Mr or Ms Anonymous asks, "sorry... what exactly is a POG?" Well, dear Anonymous, do not feel foolish. It is something I made up myself.

Definition: POG (acronym: Parnell Old Girl); member of a tribe of middle-aged women, who hail from the highlands of Parnell. Favourite activities: torturing husbands, redecorating houses, going out for lunch. Can be easily recognised by their distinctive markings; Louis Vuitton handbags, forked tongues, and mysterious scars behind their ears. Favourite breeding places; The Viaduct, Ponsonby Road, large yachts.

I wouldn't advise keeping one as a pet. While they thrive in captivity, POGs are very expensive to keep. A rottweiler would be a suitable alternative.

Humans Suck

More graffiti art. While it lacks the technical prowess of Mr Sparrow’s work, I do like the sentiment. I saw versions of this all over central Auckland, including one on the side of the North-Western motorway, to which some young scallywag had added the word ‘cock.’

I’m thinking of having the image printed on my Christmas cards next year.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Gentle Art of Letter Writing

With the advent of email, and the abomination that is texting, the Gentle Art of Letter Writing has died an ignominious death. Gone are the days when a personal epistle was thoughtfully crafted and worded. However, while the graceful era of thank-you notes has receded into history for most of the plebeian masses, my mother taught me that one should always lead by example.

Thus, if any of you uncouth swine are actually capable of grasping a writing implement between your cloven hooves, or indeed, have acquaintances capable of deciphering the written word, here is the kind of letter one could write;

Dear Bride,

The memory of your wedding is receding into the depths of memory. I never received a thank-you note from you, but assume you liked the sterling-silver frame I bought for you and your chinless spouse. I also must assume you appreciated the hours I spent combing the shops for something that you would like.

Thank-you so much for inviting me to your wedding. The designer gown you wore was trés amusement, with its remarkable similarity to a mound of chewed toilet-paper. Serves you right for buying Trelise Cooper.

Yours Faithfully,

Mrs Smith
P.S. I hate you

Naturally, I will never send that note. Such unadulterated truth is not nice. We of Proper Society just seethe in a quiet, alcohol-fuelled rage instead.

Monday, December 04, 2006

La Cigale Farmers Market

I went to the La Cigale Farmers Market on the weekend (69 St Georges Bay Road, Parnell, 8am til 1pm, every Saturday). While there is the usual amount of cack one tends to find at these markets, some things there make a visit really worthwhile. Like eavesdropping on other people’s conversations. For example;

“To say I’m racist is absurd. One of my closest friends is a Tongan!”
“Really? I never knew you were on such good terms with your cleaner.”

Loads of lovely food, with samples to try. A freshly-made French crepe for brunch is nice.

However, in my opinion, one cannot pass the Wenvoe Fine Foods stall (tel. 09 818 9180). Traditionally made jam, marmalade, honey, chutney, etc, to die for.

My absolute favourites; Fig & Ginger Jam, and Vodka-Strawberry Jam (the strawberries are marinated in vodka for six months). A vodka-laced breakfast is always a good way to start one’s day (that may be my epitaph).

Friday, December 01, 2006

Franklin Road Christmas Lights

The famous Franklin Road Christmas lights get switched on this evening. Local newspaper, ‘Auckland City Harbour News,’ spoke to the organiser, Roscoe Thurby;

Roscoe says the lights range in style from elegant and traditional to retro and trash - reflecting the variety of people who live on Franklin Road.

Is it just me, or does that sound rather insulting?

Who would be the retro trash living on Franklin Road? The Housing New Zealand tenants? Hamish Keith? It's so hard to say.

Wayne Anderson & Sadistic Hairstylists

Ponsonby Road really should have a dress-code, or some kind of security system installed to keep the riff-raff out. Yesterday, in the space of one block, I saw a dishevelled man with a “I’m homeless blah blah please give money” sign (I couldn’t help but notice his sign was propped up by a mango, which I thought unnecessarily extravagant), Wayne Anderson sitting at a bus-stop, and a wild-eyed glue-sniffer shouting at cars. I was slightly frightened, as mentally-disturbed people can be so irrational, but then, to my relief, Wayne got on a bus, so all was well.

Hair-cut today, something I generally dread, as all hairstylists seem to be afflicted with a variant kind of Tourette Syndrome. Instead of blurting out obscenities (which might, at least, be mildly entertaining), they dribble on and on like a whore’s minge, all the dull minutiae of their dull hairstylist lives.

They cheerfully ignore your whimpers of pain and discomfort, and continue their verbal diarrhoea until you suffer a boredom-induced brain haemorrhage, or the cut is finished; whichever comes first.

The best you can hope for is that the babble will eventually cause your ears to bleed, and the ensuing clots will block out much of what they are saying into a quiet, mosquito-like buzzing.

At least I am not getting the colour done as well. My pain-threshold is low.

Anyone know of a deaf-mute hairdresser in the central Auckland area? Please send me their details at your earliest convenience.