Saturday, March 31, 2007

Fiction

They were moaning again about the Russian/Iranian forces that have invaded Auckland, and occupied the beds and wallets of the most eligible men.

One in particular (the Baltic Bride) was being mauled.

"She has a big reputation," said one.
"What does that mean?" I asked, knowing full well what it meant (this particularly unimaginative flavour of gossip is very common, and attaches itself to a surprising number of women in the public eye).
"Oh, big," someone laughed.
"She was a prostitute in Sydney," Ms V hissed in my ear.
I hate this kind of faux-morality. "The only difference between prostitutes and half the women in Auckland," I hissed back, "is that the prostitutes are smart enough to get paid for it."
"They had a dinner-party. She claimed to have done all the cooking herself. But someone saw the catering truck outside when they arrived."

Mr Smith and I were lying in bed later, and I repeated the catering truck story.
"I don’t think so," he said.
"Sorry?"
"It sounds like the kind of thing someone would have said as a joke. Now it's being re-told as the truth."

It seemed shamefully obvious - it was like the Emperor's New Clothes; with a few words, amusing certainty was revealed in its nakedness to be nothing more than a spiteful fiction. Not that I have anything against spiteful fiction; I enjoy Rachael Glucina’s column most weekends, but the Baltic Bride doesn’t deserve it.

Women are dangerous creatures. The POGs want her gone, and they won't let an insignificant thing like the truth get in their way. Slowly but surely, the Baltic Bride is being eroded away. One day, she will just disappear.

Unless I do something.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Crush

A friend's son – barely out of his teens - admitted he has a crush on me.

It was evening, and we were sitting outside, in the garden. The cicadas were maddeningly loud, and we could hardly hear ourselves talk, but as it is doubtful that either of us was saying anything of interest, it hardly mattered. My friend went inside to answer the phone, and I was alone with her son. He talked for a while about university, which bored me, and I started watching him, wondering if he was gay. A gross stereotype, I suppose, but there seemed a certain theatricality to the way he spoke, the dramatic expressions he pulled to emphasise a point, and how he waved his hands around like an Italian opera singer, so that I thought his gayness guaranteed.

"I have a crush on you," he said, then continued talking about his classes.
I opened and closed my mouth a few times in what was probably a very fair rendition of a goldfish. Thanks to the shouting cicadas and my lack of attention, I couldn’t be sure I had heard him correctly.
"I'm sorry – what did you say?"
He looked abashed. "Oh, never mind," he said, getting up, and disappeared into the darkening garden.

I was extremely flattered. I told Mrs S. "He was in an accident a few years ago," she said. "He had brain injuries." I thought this rather unkind to me, as the assumption was that only the mentally deficient would find me appealing.

I saw him again in the city yesterday. "Hello Deborah!" he called out, cheerily.
My name is not Deborah. I pointed this out to him. "Oh, I know," he said, with a secret smile.

I don’t feel flattered anymore.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Ha Ha

Why is it that no matter how many times one tells oneself, "I'm never going to get that drunk again," one bloody well does? Everyone knows you never mix drinks, but the problem is that when one is horridly drunk (at the point when one gives up on the arduous task of focussing one’s eyes), moving from champagne to cocktails seems a really good idea, which of course is sheer stupidity. The two-day hangover was regrettable, but in a way I am thankful, that as some point I was incapacitated.

We had heard some fabulous gossip (which I dare not pass on. Sorry), about how some very high and mighty type and fallen all too far from her lofty perch. She was so much a laughing stock, she could open her own comedy supermarket.

A couple of days later (when I could move without my head hurting), I looked in my handbag. There was a postcard, written in my own, drunk, yet perfectly legible hand, addressed to the Laughing Stock. I had written on it, the simple message, “Ha ha. Love, Mrs Smith.”

I have no memory of writing this, I have no idea where I got the postcard itself from (it had a picture of frolicking lambs on it). While it probably seemed terribly funny at the time, thank God I was apparently too drunk to make it to a letter-box.

So then. There are advantages to getting blind drunk. I have yet to justify repeatedly vomitting in a public garden, but I am working on it.

Rob and David

I have been gone for an entire week; I am sure there has been much crying, wailing, and rending of clothes. I did half wonder if it was worth keeping the blog going - I read over some of my entries and thought it an awful load of rubbish. But ego springs eternal, and I am back.

Last week, I was walking along Ponsonby Road, when I noticed that Mr Sparrow's lovely daub of Her Majesty had been mostly painted over. I thought this a shame, and was a little sad. However, I walked past the location on the weekend, and like a phoenix arising from the flames - the indomitable Rob Muldoon has sprung forth in her place. The remainder of the Queen peeks over the top.



Just to keep the Great Unwashed happy, an unknown artist presents an effigy from the Dark Side in a car-park on Symonds Street.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Tea With Helen Clark

By the way, I won a ticket to the Hustle for Russell Gig, at Blowfish Sushi in Parnell on Monday evening, courtesy of the erudite NZBC gentlemen.

We have sorted some great bands (a private The Clean gig, crossed with some SJD and mixed with some Chris Knox - where you gonna find that anywhere else?), some great drinks (like a special 42 below cocktail), and some great auction items (like accommodation at The Quadrant, an array of gaming fun, morning tea with Prime Minister Helen Clark, dinner at Blowfish, advertising packages and much more).

Why don’t all you lovely Auckland types trot along? It sounds an exciting evening… Maybe I will be there, maybe I won’t… If I do, I will be sure to get horribly drunk, and win the auction for the morning tea with Helen Clark. I’m sure she would love to meet me.

Every Woman Knows a Ms W

Ms W has a seriously competitive streak – if she applied this trait to physical endeavours, rather than the cut-and-parry of bitchiness, she would be a world-class athlete. When discussing her up-coming wedding, romantic notions were far from her mind. “I want all my friends to be jealous,” she said, with utmost seriousness, “and realise how cheap their own weddings were by comparison.”

I bet every woman knows a Ms W (I say every woman, because Ms W-types never try to pull their crap on men, whose approval they desperately seek).

Often, it's not what she says, but how she says it. I have seen strong women crumple under the nuance of a single syllable uttered from her mouth. Mrs S mentioned a house they had viewed for sale in St Mary’s Bay, and how beautiful she thought the house was. Ms W nodded. "Oh yeees," she said, breathing out the word like agreeing was an immense effort. "We went to look at that place, but weren't keen – the d├ęcor was soooo tired – five or six years out of date, at least." Mrs S went a bit red, and mumbled something about how she had thought so too, but had liked the house anyway.

Ms W knows not to pick on me; I find the best way to dismantle her verbal bombs is to agree with her. "Gosh, isn’t your nailpolish… bright," she observed, with a grimace. "Oh, yes, it is, isn’t it!" I replied, cheerily, "It's whore-chic, the latest thing in London." The women sniggered, and Ms W swept off to find prey more easily embarrassed.

She will be there tonight; what fun lies ahead!

Chi-Chi

What a trying day I have had! Still – nothing that lashings of alcohol can’t fix. We are going out later, so I have decided to do some warm-up drinking exercises first. We’re out of wine, so have rummaged around in the fridge, and found all I need to make... the Chi-Chi.

One cup vodka
Half a cup of light coconut cream
One cup pineapple juice.

Most cocktail books will tell you that there should be four times as much pineapple juice as vodka – this is nonsense. My recipe is far better. This quantity will pretty much fill the cocktail shaker, which doesn’t leave much room to give it all a shake, but do so anyway. No need to add ice; I keep all these ingredients in the fridge, so they are already chilled. I serve it in a martini glass.

I’m having my second one. I’m surprised I can still type.

Sunglasses

First my favourite handbag, then my sunglasses broke - they were quite old, I suppose, and well-abused. When we had builders over, I leaned forward to look at the work they were doing, and they fell off my head, and into wet cement. While doing the gardening, I managed to accidentally bury them once, too. Possibly, after a life of abject maltreatment, they committed suicide; while I was out walking last week, they fell off my head and one of the arms snapped.

Finding a suitable replacement was not as simple as I thought it would be. The Dior ones had ridiculously large logos. I am not averse to a bit of low-key logo action, but if the logo can be read from 100 metres away, you know you have taken up permanent residence in Vulgarity Lane. Wearing obvious logos makes me feel like a walking billboard; if the designers want to thus advertise their product, then they should be paying me. The one pair that looked slightly reasonable, had ‘Dior’ spelled out in diamantes on the arms. Yuck.

Additionally, almost all of the current sunglass ranges are the ubiquitous, over-sized, wrap-around types that remind one simultaneously of two common house-hold pests.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Talent

Mother tried awfully hard to make me a well-rounded individual, and failed miserably.

Every Saturday morning, my sister and I were sent off for lessons in something, despite our lack of discernable talent in any field (I always suspected they just wanted an opportunity to have sex, without the distracting noise of my sister and I screaming at each other).

I can’t remember the order, but there were piano lessons; I couldn’t co-ordinate my two hands to play their parts at the correct moment - my right hand was especially naughty. I used to bandage one of my hands on the way to my lesson, and claim a sprain, so would only have to play with one hand at a time. My teacher never mentioned this; she either had a very poor memory, and didn’t notice how often I was injured, or was thankful that my insults to her musical sensibilities were effectively halved.

The tennis lessons were spent eyeing up the boys in the club-room; badminton came to a dismal end after I came last in the club tournament, and refused to go back. With athletics, I ran looking behind me, hoping I wasn’t last. Perhaps if I had run looking straight ahead, coming last wouldn’t not have been such a certainty.

As a last resort, I was also packed off to Brownies. Working for my first badge - a sewing one - I had to hand-sew a pin cushion. I laboured over it, spending the entire Brownie class painstakingly stitching the item together. I was so pleased when it was completed - but my jubilation was short-lived. I had the sewn the pin-cushion to my uniform, and it had to be cut off (the pin-cushion, not the uniform).

Brownies also attempted to hone my empathy by having us take morning tea to the old people at a local home. I thought the old people quite frightening, and stood back, until I spotted one kindly-looking woman sitting alone. I approached, holding out my dish of cake. The sight of the cake fired up her diminishing neurons, and she lunged at me, teeth bared. I dropped the dish, and ran away. I never returned to Brownies again.

There was a point to this – I can’t remember what it was anymore. I think it had something to do with Girl Guide biscuits. Never mind. I suppose the moral to the story then can be that you don’t actually have to be very good at anything to have a fabulous life. I’m living proof.

Fake

Years ago, my mother gave me one of her old Chanel handbags – a quilted denim number, from the 1970s, I think. I called it my Tardis (a Doctor Who reference, for those of you who might be wondering). It looked small, but the quantity of stuff that could be crammed into it was astounding. I was quite certain, that if I should be marooned on a desert island, I could survive for months quite happily, with just the contents of this beloved handbag.

I loved my Tardis, indeed, I loved it to death. After years of abuse, it had started to look rather shabby, and while no longer fit for special occasions, I still used it almost daily. Then, last week, I had to accept the Tardis’s days were over. The handle broke. I removed its little Chanel zip-pull, and laid it tenderly to rest in the rubbish bin.

It occurred to me that Trade Me might have another Tardis. I happily started to search, but happiness wore thin very fast. Trade Me is infested with the most hideous array of fake designer products you could ever find outside of NY's infamous Canal Street.


Authentic Coach wallet? Perhaps if the Coach workshop fed their staff crack-cocaine.


A brand-new, 'genuine' Chanel dress for $37!

Another seller is taking orders for 'genuine' Chanel and Fendi handbags for around $420. These bags retail at over $1700 each (depending on the style). The seller also sells 'genuine' Miu Miu Coffer bags for $400. They state that "previous customers have had these bags authenticated by Miu Miu here in NZ." Perhaps I am wrong - correct me if I am - Miu Miu is sold at Workshop, but I do not know of a Miu Miu store in NZ.

I have started emailing Coach, Chanel, Chloe, and some of the other targeted labels. I hope they will put pressure on the website to remove these illegal items. They are an embarrassment not only to the fashion houses, but to those stupid enough to think they can buy genuine items at knock-off prices.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

AK07 Fireworks

Last night, the Auckland Festival, AK07, officially opened with a fireworks show at the Auckland Domain by acclaimed French fire artists, Groupe F. The Auckland Festival website promised that “this will be a night that lives on in your memory for many years to come,” which I think was pushing it a bit. Unless your life is tragically devoid of sensory stimulation, I don’t think a few fireworks makes for a lifetime’s memory.

Nonetheless, good fun. I recorded a tiny bit of it on my cell-phone. Please do turn the sound off on your computer if you watch this. For some reason, the appreciative noises from the crowd sound disturbingly like demonic screams of anguish. But then this is Auckland, so perhaps they are one and the same thing.



The fireworks were most artistically done - not the usual crass crash of colour and noise, but delicate, like lace made with light. They reminded me of the dancing water-fountains at the Las Vegas Bellagio.

Friday, March 09, 2007

A Dear Reader Asks

I have become an avid reader of your post, having been introduced via The Acid One, Cactus Kate.

Please, I need help on a matter of social etiquette. I was attending a winemaker degustation dinner this week; one I had organized but also had to attend as a guest. One of the female guests at my table had just been freshly Botoxed and lip-filled, in fact her lips reminded me of Jackie Stallone and they looked very, very painful.

I of course behaved as a good hostess should, and told as many funny stories as possible so I could watch the lack of facial movement when she attempted to laugh. I also suppressed the urge to inform her that her make-up was melting and the fresh red patches of eyebrow waxing were showing, as was a needle mark on her lip, though I did comment favourably on the glitter gel in her hair.

My dilemma is, is it socially acceptable to discuss and exchange info on appearance medicine practitioners at a social event?

Ms G,
Functions Manager


Dear Ms G,
How nice of you to write, it is a pleasant surprise to receive such an entertaining email, and I am sure my household appreciates the distraction this has provided.

Is it socially acceptable to discuss and exchange info on appearance medicine practitioners at a social event? Essentially, my response would have to be an emphatic no. As everyone pretends they have had no work done whatsoever (however improbable their cup or lip size), I can't imagine anyone admitting to who their surgeon is. This is unfortunate, as in the case of Ms Glitter-Gel, it would be good to know who to avoid.

It sounds like you did indeed, behave exactly as a good hostess should. After all, if one cannot mercilessly mock one's guests, there wouldn't be any fun in hosting such things.

Cheers,
Mrs Smith

P.S. I am fairly certain Mr Smith and I stayed at your hotel once, some years ago, when he was doing business in Wellington. You need to tell the kitchen staff that cornflakes do not qualify as 'innovative cuisine.'

Dreadful Mood

I have been in a dreadful mood this week.

I have been shouting extremely rude words at my cat, and in his terror to get away from me, has decided to spend most of his time outside. Mr Smith, likewise, is wisely spending more time working in his office, rather than from home.

I usually couch my criticisms in sly ways - it's an obtuse language women are so gifted at; to get a point across in the nicest yet most devastating way. But not this week.

"My God, Mrs So-and-so is so fucking common," I said, almost spitting with venom.
My companion looked shocked.
"She just had to drop into conversation that she was 'going to the polo in the helicopter,'" I said, mimicking Mrs So-and-so's high-pitched whine, "and when no-one responded by wetting their pants with envy, she repeated it about four more times."
"Oh, well. I suppose she was just making conversation," the companion said, no doubt wishing she was anywhere else but with me.
"Oh puh-lease. If she had taken a lesser mode of transport, would she have said, 'I'm going to the polo in the Honda Civic'? Anyway, 'the' helicopter implies it's theirs, and it's not. They share it with three other couples. Big. Fucking. Deal."

Further conversation was killed, but I didn't care. I felt great.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Apple

Mr Smith and I went overseas last year. I had someone house-sit while we were away, and I remember as I left the house there was one apple left in our fruit bowl. Evidently, the house-sitter was not fond of fruit - the apple was still there when we returned, two months later. Curiously, the apple looked no different from when we left.

I put the apple to one side, and decided to see how long it would last before demonstrating some signs of decay or age (You see - I just don't have the time to work, or to ring annoying friends - I am far too busy watching my fruit).

Unfortunately, I forgot about my experiment, and the apple either got eaten, or thrown in the juicer. So in January, I chose another apple, and this time (to prevent accidental consumption) wrote the date on it.

Here is the apple, two months later. It has been kept in the kitchen, so has been subject to the ambient temperatures and humidity of an Auckland summer, yet looks no worse for the experience.



My dear readers will no doubt be enthralled by my ageless apple - I will post more pictures of it throughout the year, if I remember, and don’t accidentally eat it.

Whatever preservative they use on these apples, I wonder if it comes in a skin cream? If it does, I want some.

Rubbish

I do have a site-meter on Idle Vice, but I hardly ever bother checking it. I write purely to amuse myself - whether people come by to read my idle thoughts is entirely up to them. However, I did have a look yesterday, and noticed a rather depressing search engine referral… My dear little site comes up number one in Google for interesting facts about rubbish in Auckland.

I'll try not to take it personally.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Sin at Soul

Cactus Kate is quite right. The cocktail menu at Soul is a cracker. I’m very fond of Sin, so indulged heartily, as always.



The Sin cocktail consists of Black Doris plums and strawberries, blended with Absolut raspberry vodka, and lime and passionfruit juice.

Bluff oysters, freshly shucked, too. Life is grand.

Pineapple

I came back from having a cigarette outside.
Mr B leaned back, with a look on his face I can only describe as wilfully destructive. "I never go down on women who smoke. Their cunts taste like an ash-tray," he said.

This may be true, but I don't think he should have used the present-tense in front of his wife. Although, despite being in a crowded bar, she was doing a crossword puzzle, so his interest in other women should be unsurprising to her.
"Mine tastes like pineapple," I said, elaborating no further.
He looked awestruck, and worse, intrigued.

There may be trouble ahead.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Unconditional Love

I have a friend, who stands by me, no matter what.

I admit I treat her very badly; I can’t really be bothered ringing her, so haven’t spoken to her in about four months. Still, she dutifully calls every so often, leaving a message on my machine, wondering how I am, and if I would like to catch up some time. Every time, I promise myself I will call, but then forget.

When I do eventually get around to seeing her again, I will apologise for my lack of contact, and claim, "I have just been so busy!" An absolute lie; no-one is that busy - not for four solid months, and when she rang yesterday, I was actually lying on the couch watching my Dallas DVDs. I paused the DVD, listened to her message, but couldn't be bothered answering the phone.

Still, when I do see her again, she will be delighted to see me, and there will be no accusations of rudeness. Some people think this kind of unwavering regard for another, is the ultimate goal of a relationship. Friends and lovers should be loved for who they are, not what they do. They call it unconditional love.

What rot. I call it low self-esteem.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Column-Fodder

The Blonde has finally made it into a Sunday newspaper's society column! She had become quietly desperate about it; verging on being a Gossip-Rapist, insistently asserting her attentions on the columnist. I guess in the end, Ms Saunders threw the beggar a bone of mercy. Frankly, The Blonde doesn’t quite have what it takes; her husband isn’t quite rich enough, and they aren’t quite good-looking and stylish enough to be column-fodder. If she made Mr Blonde over, and got him out of his rumpled work shirts, it might help, too.

Mrs S has been in Metro many times; which guaranteed much hilarity, as the Metro photographer’s forte is snapping people looking utterly foolish (usually eating). The best social barometer I know, is having a Metro Magazine photographer in the room. Those who don’t want/require an appearance in the mag, freeze in subdued poses at the photographer's appearance; the attention-whores start stuffing food in their mouths with a gay abandon and laughing like loons. I am neither rich enough nor interesting enough to be photographed on my own merit, and as I don’t tend to voluntarily eat in public, I have avoided any such indignities. I do, however, have a decade-old copy of Rip-It-Up magazine stashed somewhere, with a photo of me in an absurdly tiny fancy-dress outfit, dancing on a speaker at a night-club.

It’s not the best photo. I blame the copious quantities of drugs and booze for not only the speaker-top dancing, but also the outfit; one's bare skin could hardly be as tight or revealing. Thankfully, the photo was very small. And wasn’t one of the ones taken in the men’s toilets. Yet still, I maintained more dignity in such a state of semi-dressed abandon, than The Blonde did, fully-dressed, and smiling sweetly.