!!M

This is a sort of novelty post because I am composing it in a very belaboured manner on my Wii. Oui, I have a Wii and it is awesome. I spent over two hours today working up a sweat as I played one of the dancing (i.e. arm-flailing) games on Rayman Raving Rabbids,. My arms ache. What I like best about Wii is that it’s possible to either work up a sweat or just flick your wrists about depending on how lazy or active you feel.

10 cents for your thoughts

Getting the bus today was rather exciting. In fact, it was even more exciting than the time last week when I inadvertently got high from the paint fumes some dude was huffing a few seats away. (Crazy people: if you’re going to abuse solvents, please don’t do it on public transport, especially air-conditioned buses where the windows don’t open.)

The big news is that the bus fare has gone up another 10 cents to $1.60. This, my friends, is an absolute outrage, for it was only a few months ago when it went from $1.30 to $1.50.

I was quite happy for it to be $1.50, and I was looking forward for it being that much for at least a year. It was very convenient to fish out three fun-sized 50c pieces and give them to the driver. But now $1.60 is going to be annoying. I’m going to have to start finding 10c coins or mucking around with twenties. God, how inconvenient.

This morning when I got the bus, I forgot about the price increase. I plonked down three fifties and the bus driver looked at me like I had come through a wormhole from the 1940s was expecting change from a halfpenny.

“It’s a dollar sixty,” he grunted. “Oh! Ha ha! Yes!” I gracefully exclaimed, and managed to piss off both everyone on the bus and waiting in line behind me as I took far too long rooting around in my wallet for the 10c coin I knew was there.

Later, as I boarded the bus home, I gave the driver a $2 coin as I couldn’t be bothered making $1.60 in exact change. He stared at it and a slightly nervous look shot across his face. “Have you got a 10c coin, ma’am?” he asked. “Oh, sorry, no,” I replied, trying not to look like a lying liar. “Hmm,” he hmmed, as he reluctantly departed with one of his precious, precious 20c coins and two tens. See, that’s what happens when the price goes up.

MMVI

So that 2006, eh. It was a rather good year, yes?

I took a lot of photos.

I travelled a lot around the North Island, getting as far as Waitangi in the north, Napier in the east, New Plymouth in the west, and Wellington in the south. And Whangamomona. (I suppose this means next year I’ll have to go to Gore.)

I don’t want to pick favourites, but I had such a lovely time in Napier that I want to go back soon, and New Plymouth surprised me with its sophistication (even though the local cinema was sticky).

I survived the power cut that plunged Auckland into Third World poverty for a few hours. Boohoo, no latte, I’m an Aucklander, etc.

I had Lasik, which was a somewhat unpleasant experience, but being liberated from the need to wear bits of glass, metal and plastic on my face is just the best thing ever and has enhanced my everyday life in so many different ways.

I celebrated the 10th anniversary of my www cybertron web page thing. Actually, not celebrated. Maybe I’ll leave that for the 25th anniversary or the book launch.

I made another short film along with the talented and completely rad Fractured Radius team.

I cut a demo with my folk/industrial/grindcore band Protest Pyg, but it needs work.

I was part of an interesting discussion panel with Danah Boyd and others on the subject of MySpace and online communities. And later I shared what I learned with some people at work.

Ryan published some of my stuff in Craccum, and apparently someone complained that it was condoning date rape, which made me feel like it was 1998. I also told a story or two.

And some other stuff which I refuse to immortalise online.

Hey, that was fun. Let’s do it again in 2007.

MMVI

Chains

I was passing through the Domain today and stopped off at the Wintergarden. It’s recently been refurbished, but it didn’t look much different to me, which I suppose is a good thing.

I took a few close-up photos of flowers, but then I looked up, inspiration hit me, and I flicked my camera into black and white and took this one:

Wintergarden chains

Wii rule

My favourite conversational trick at the moment is to append “grandma” or “grandpa” to the end of any response to a question.

For example.

X: Did you get horribly drunk at the Christmas party?
Y: No way.
(Implication: Y is a sensible yet dull person.)

X: Did you get horribly drunk at the Christmas party?
Y: No way, grandma.
(Implication: X is out-of-touch with youth culture and is attempting to appear down with the kids, but is just demonstrating even more how hopelessly out of touch she is.)

Teh Matt has one of those newfangled Nintendo Wii things, so I went over to his bachelor pad to play with it. (“Hey, Matt, can I play with your Wii?” = lolz!!!!) It’s really really choice. It sounds like Nintendo have deliberately made it so it appeals to a broader audience than just teenage boys.

I like that’s it’s not just about finger and wrist movements. It makes you get off the couch and throw your arms about in all sorts of directions in order to play the games. It kind of seems like a response of all that obesity epidemic lifestyle stuff.

Already I’m rather good at the 10-pin bowling game, and I even got a silver medal for shooting. I’m not quite at the point of wanting to go out and buy one for myself (, grandpa), but I’m sure the price will eventually come down and then I’ll have yet another excuse to never leave the house.

iChoons Shop

Someone needs to implant some sort of device in my brain that will stop me buying music on iTunes. It hasn’t even been open for a week and already I’ve spent over $40.

Some purchases are essential, for example “Supermassive Black Hole” by Muse and “Tonight She Comes” by the Cars. And I bought the Killer’s Christmas song because, like, it was for charity.

But did I really need to pay $1.79 for Nsync singing “The First Noel” from their 1998 Christmas album? And even though I already have a Talking Heads CD with “Take me to the River” on it, was I really too lazy to get up off the couch and get the CD, instead paying $1.79 for a song I already own? Evidently yes on both accounts.

But while the New Zealand iTunes Store (or should that be iChoons Shop?) is a potential source of great musical joy, others have complained about it, and the truth is that iTunes New Zealand store does rather suck in its early days.

The range is rather limited. I want to buy the new Justin and the new Robbie albums, but iTunes have neither, just a pitiful collection of old singles and music videos.

My least favourite aspect of it is the “Local Sounds” page, featuring a really really awful design made up of a scenic South Island mountain range with a rippling New Zealand flag faded over the top.

itunes-nz

I secretly hope it was hastily designed at Apple HQ in Australia, based on a design brief by someone whose only experience of New Zealand is “Lord of the Rings” and a South Island ski holiday, and who doesn’t know anything about New Zealand’s music scene. I really hope it’s not anything to do with anyone directly involved with New Zealand music, because that would be so depressing.

But despite the room for improvement, it’s nice that the iTunes store has finally opened and that the simple act of buying music in digital form can be a part of my everyday life (but hopefully not every day). I just need to make sure I don’t go buying any more songs that I already own on CD.

Peter Dub Dot Dash asked around and has put together a list of people’s favourite local song of the year and music-related predictions for 2007. I contributed my part, but I refuse to reveal the awful truth behind my pick.

What goes on

It’s no secret that the work Christmas party ain’t nothin’ flash, so if you want to have a good time, you have to rely on yourself and your workmates.

So we ended up in the Morepork meeting room playing truth or dare with the “or dare” component conveniently removed.

It was concluded: LL Cool J.

And then:

Emo kid

Ride

On the way to the bus stop after work this evening, a slightly dishevelled gentleman holding a cellphone stopped me. He said:

“Excuse me, miss. I don’t know how to spell properly. Can you tell me how to spell ‘ride’?”

I gave him an R, I, D and E, and he thanked me and continued writing his text message.

Spin

The Herald on Sunday had an article today about the so-called man drought. You know, the bit where single gals complain about how there ain’t no single fellas around no more.

The man drought meme started last year with a report from KPMG that revealed that there were 24,000 more 30-something women than men in New Zealand.

The report also included the deliciously alarming fact that, “A 32-year old Kiwi woman in 2004 had as much chance of finding a male partner her own age as did an 82-year old woman.”

The blame was put on men leaving for overseas (not Australia – it too has a similar situation) and not returning, or returning having married a foreign lady. Tsk Tsk.

The Herald on Sunday’s covergirl is a 22-year-old make-up retailer who says, “There are just no guys around. There’s a definite drought.” She and her “gorgeous and smart” co-workers have all noticed this.

And, even more tragically, it appears that the single guys out there aren’t up to scratch: “They need to have good taste in music … and shoes. They have to have the whole package, and they rarely do.”

Oh no! If a pretty 22-year-old shopgirl can’t get a boyfriend, what hope do I have?

Then an older woman (40), who is dating a divorced man, offers up some advice to the younger generation: “If you find someone, go for it. Don’t muck about. Get in quick”.

She also notes that, “A lot of my single girlfriends are really beautiful, intelligent girls, nothing wrong with them. But they just can’t find a man. [The men are] all taken or else total geeks.”

Now, I know more than a few geeks. Some single, but many of whom are in long-term relationships with really lovely women. And funnily enough, many of these geek guys wouldn’t want to date one of these “beautiful and intelligent girls” simply because if you’re going to, say, curl up on the couch with your loved one and watch season two of Buffy, you want to do it with someone who doesn’t think it’s juvenile nonsense.

When I think about all the 30-something serious couples I know of, it’s mainly people who started going out when they when in their 20s. And talking to the single 30-something guys I know (and I know quite a few, and some fairly hot ones too, as it happens), none of them seem really all that desperate to get paired-up, and especially not with the sort of lady who is openly desperate and complains about there being a man drought, no good men available, and biological clocks, etc. Not many guys want to feel like a “oh, he’ll do” boyfriend or glorified sperm donor.

But with single women, I really think it all comes down to perspective. You can get all miserable about there being not enough blokes out there and, oh, what an awful, bleak, lonely life awaits, and how your barren womb will ache. But what if you don’t take that attitude? What if you accept the possibility of never marrying and of being single forever, and instead focus your life around all the positive aspects of that, rather than the negatives?

It’s a situation that looks like will be a reality for many New Zealand woman, but just because you end up single, doesn’t mean you have to be a miserable old maid with 12 cats. Get out there and enjoy things. Spinster 4 life, yo.

Holden on

I was down at the shops early today when I overhead a small boy and his mother who were waiting at the pedestrian crossing.

Boy: “That car’s been through the mud.”
Mum: “Which car?”
Boy: “That one.” (He points to a gleaming, spotless red car.)
Mum: “The shiny red one?”
Boy: “It’s a Holden.”

Oh, yes. One of those Holden fans. You can get Holden bed sheets, which I pray don’t come in any size bigger than single. But if NZDating is anything to do by, they probably do.

Yes, Holden lovers, for whatever reason, are all over NZ Dating. I once saw the profile of a nice young man who had been forced to put a warning on his profile that he would not respond to any lady who had “angel” or “Holden” in her profile.

A quick search reveals the following number of NZDating users have “Holden” somewhere in their profile:

Men: 230
Women: 140
Trans*: 0

* NZDating offers “trans” on the gender drop-down list, but I don’t know what it means. Transsexual? Transgender? Trans fatty acids? Oh, we can laugh, but if some Holden-loving trans fatty acids created a profile on NZDating, they’d have no shortage of replies.

I don’t suppose putting “public tranzport luvva” on your NZDating profile would do much.