Things To Do IV

brioche

The last time I was without a job, I did a series of posts called Things To Do where I listed the stuff I’d been doing (part 1, part 2, part 3). 11 years later I’m in a similar position. My last job finished at the end of August, and since then I’ve been almost too busy with various things, so I figured it was time for part four.

Rediscover the lost pleasures of nailpolish

Nails
Creamy fuschia. The secret is good cuticle condition.

I noticed that my Tumblr feed kept featuring photos of elaborately decorated fingernails, and then I read in Vogue that nailpolish is the new lipstick. This excites me. Back in the late ’90s, I was rather fond of the world of nailpolish, so I relished the opportunity to put my skills back to use. While I’m not steady-handed enough to paint little flowers or complex tartans on my nails, I can at least give them a nice solid colour from a $2 shop. And remember, always work with a window open or you will think you can do freehand flower designs but end up with something that looks like crudely drawn genitalia.

Learn the Beyonce “Single Ladies” dance

I’m not sure how this is going. I’ve never had dancing lessons, so it’s whole new world. I’ve learned a few moves, but not everything put together. Some of the steps are really easy, but others are much more complex and I’m not sure I can actually get my body to do some of that stuff. The hand-waving move, though, that’s easy. A few days ago I noticed a bunch of people on Twitter talking about having felt a minor earthquake in Wellington. I wondered why I hadn’t felt it. Then I remembered – I’d been dancing. It’s like a protective bubble surrounds me.

Bake cupcakes

Yay! I baked cupcakes. And I iced them with buttercream icing and roses and glitter and when I ate it, it got all over my face! Actually, this is a lie. Robyn doesn’t bake. I just told you that to make it interesting. I have baked cupcakes twice in my life: once in 1980, and again in 2006. Cupcakes always look better than they taste, they are hard to eat and – OMG – they are sooo ’00s.

Hang out in a shipping container down by the waterfront

Pink face
A music video on my face.

It was a fancy shipping container. During the Rugby World Cup, the good people at NZ On Screen kitted out a couple of shipping containers down by the waterfront with a showcase of New Zealand film and television history. I worked as a volunteer, showing visitors how it all worked. The Goodnight Kiwi was a popular one, which led to parents explaining to their kids the outrageous concept of how TV used to end at night. It was a really fun experience, and I learned a valuable lesson: on a cold morning, there’s no better way to warm up than putting on a music video and having a dance.

Watch too many music videos

Oh hey, do you know about my other website 5000 Ways to Love You? I’ve set myself a mission to watch every NZ On Air-funded music video, or at least the ones I can track down. I’ve discovered many things about New Zealand’s history of music videos, including the ’90s trend for green-screen special effects, male shirtlessness and ladies in peasant blouses. Sometimes all three if you’re lucky.

And speaking of lucky, following on my 2010 Tumblr project to watch all 68 Madonna music videos, I’ve now moved on to the videographic oeuvre of Britney Spears for 2011. Some people are excited by this, but others – always guys with beards – have some half-arsed idea about Britney being a bit rubbish, which is just evidence that they’ve never been on a dancefloor with a girl when a Britney song has been played. It really is Britney, bitch.

Go to Melbourne

Brunch #3
The fried brioche with passionfruit curd had me plotting ways to teleport the cafe back to Wellington.

I went there for a week in early September, and caught up with my bro (incredible dumplings), my cousin (showbiz gossip) and a friend (amazing tapas). I also visited the Heide Museum of Modern Art, which involved a train and a bus out to a Pakuranga-like suburb, but had an amazing collection. I was especially thrilled to see Jeffrey Smart’s Cahill Expressway painting, one of my faves. I also visited the National Gallery of Victoria, but honestly, I had a much more enjoyable experience at the local IKEA. But, ok, Melbourne was full of good food. My favourite brunch spot was a cafe called Hardware Societé. And I came to the realisation that I now love the 86 tram more than the 96.

Watch the Twilight films

I didn’t really pay much attention to the “Twilight” films, other than vaguely away that the cool-dude film kids thought they were awful, but other people were truly, madly, deeply in love with the world of “Twilight”. But since becoming emeshed in one particular fandom, I have become interested in other fandoms, the things that people become totally obssesed with and structure their lives around. I could have picked Justin Bieber or Harry Potter, but I’ve decided to start with “Twilight”. I’m really looking forward to experiencing the world of the girl and the beautiful glitter vampire.

Look for work

It’s weird. I’ve never formally looked for work before. In the past I’ve just kind of got jobs without any great effort from me. You know, networking and all that. But things seem different now. It’s either that there’s nothing that suits me in Wellington, or I’m maybe looking in the wrong direction. Something to do with web content in a sweary office would be ideal, but does that even exist anymore? What kind of job do you think I should do? All suggestions, serious or loltastic, are welcome.

Things To Do III

It’s another year and I’m still only semi-employed. But using the spare time I have in such abundant supply, I managed to get some recent photos off my digital camera and am happy to present them to you as part three of the “Things To Do In Dorkland When You’re Semi-Employed” trilogy.

Adult Concepts

s-adultconcepts

One of my favourite phrases is “Adult Concepts”. As previously noted, realistically adult concepts would refer to things like dealing with putting your aging parents in a rest home or choosing a good accountant. However, adult concepts is just another name for porn. I was walking home one day and saw the local adult video shop had it’s front window painted up boldly proclaiming the aforementioned concepts, and I just had to take a picture.

More Bee

s-beeviolence

I was perplexed by the “Corporate Beeburger” graffiti. Things got even more intriguing when I was walking home along a different route and saw some graffiti on the side of a block of flats proclaiming “Bee violence, bee control”. Now, after I put up the photo of the beeburger graffiti, I received an email from a concerned citizen, who said they thought that the bee in question was a reference to the Beehive, i.e. the government. This kind of fits in with the second lot of bee graffiti, yet it is still perplexing.

Buddha

s-buddha

I have a little plastic Buddha. I’m not a Buddhist, but I think it looks pretty cool and sometimes I rub his head for good luck. The plastic flowers accompanying Mr Buddha have a bit of significance. The purple one is a remnant of a Hawaiian shirt Friday at my old job, and the yellow flower is from the Cancer Society’s Daffodil Day. The Buddha is sitting on a sushi rolling mat I bought from the Dollar 1 2 3 shop. I have never rolled sushi in it.

Delta

s-delta

There was this band called Delta and I knew their drummer. Delta broke up (and everyone cried) and had a final concert. I wasn’t on the guestlist, but I scammed my way in (“Yeah, I’m on the list. There. That name.”) and saw their very last concert at the King’s Arse tavern. I took a picture of the entry stamp on my hand for posterity.

James Bond

s-jamesbond

A slight detour from Dorkland, we shall momentarily head south to Hamiltron, to the classy suburb of Claudelands, to the corner of James and Bond street where you can see how the street signs read “James Bond”. I used to live just down the road from this sign on Argyle Street. We thought it was really cool to have James Bond so close by. Actually, that’s not true. I don’t think we gave much thought to it at all.

Kingsland

s-northwest

Back up to Dorkland, here is a picture of the suburb of Kingsland, featuring the Newton Road on-ramp to the North-Western motorway. Cool, huh? Well, the cool thing about this is before the motorway was put through all these streets came down the hill, then up the other side of the hill to Grey Lynn. When the motorway was put through it chopped all the streets in half.

Pure Massacre

s-puremassacre

And on the pedestrian over-bridge that goes over the motorway, more graffiti can be seen (possibly also by the author of the Bee graffiti). This time it’s the chorus from that rockin’ Silverchair song “Pure Massacre”. I’m particularly impressed by the presence of a hyphen to show that the word was so long it had to be carried on to the next line.

Well, those were a few recently highlights of my days as a semi-employed beegirl in Auckland.

Soon after uploading this page, I received this email from a concerned reader:

Your photos-of-stuff page sucked. Because Kingsland, Hamilton and Bee pictures suck.

So do Adult concepts.

You have been warned.

Jimmy Nuang

As per Mr Nuang’s comments, there will be no more Things To Do. A trilogy is quite enough.

Things To Do II

It’s been a while since I’ve updated this, but since then I’ve gone from being unemployed to semi-employed, or rather, I get to say I’m freelancing.

As a result I have to do things and don’t have as much time to spend dicking around doing nothing. Also, my digital camera and/or my computer has gone mental and as a result I can’t upload any recent amusing pictures I’ve taken.

So instead here is a collection of older pictures that have been sitting around on my computron 2000. In order to give them a bit of cohesion, I have used my creative skills and constructed a jolly fictional narrative. It shall be called “Things to do in Dorkland when you’re semi-employed”.

10 December 2000

So I was out walking one day when suddenly the futility and emptiness of modern life dawned upon me. “Oh!” I thought to myself. “It’s all rubbish!” I decided to turn to drugs to drown my sorrows.

Then as I strolled along Symonds Street a bright red poster caught my eye.

Hugs not drugs

Yes! That was the answer! Life might be a bunch of arse, but it’s nothing a good hug won’t solve. I grabbed the nearest person, a taxi driver going into the Chinese food place to get some lunch and hugged him. I don’t need no drugs, I’m high on life!

With this new-found highness, I strolled down the end of Mount Eden Road and noticed a sign advertising some land the city council was selling.

Comic sans

The use of red was pretty eye-catching, but what was even better was the use of the MS Comic Sans font and double spacing of “M a g n i f i c e n t ! !” If I happened to be looking for some land in scenic Mount Eden, I certainly would not hesitate to purchase it based on the savviness of that sign!

It was but a short stroll to Queen Elizabeth II Square where I noticed a sign outside the old post office crediting the “copywright” of a quote on it.

Copywright

Oh, ha ha ha. “Copywright”. Is that the copyright that a playwright holds on a work?

Still high on life and giggling merrily at the silly things that people put on signs, I journeyed over to Royal Oak where I noticed a sign for a stonemason that looked like the person who painted the sign hadn’t planned ahead and suddenly found themself running out of room mid-word.

Hyphen

But unlike all the other signs that had obviously been designed by professionals, this one had a certain naive charm. And y’know, I expect good signs from signwriters and good walls from stonemasons, not the other way around.

Back in the city centre, I noticed a sign taped to the window of a cafe down Queen Street, advising passers-by that “no change is given for parking metres”.

Parking metres

It’s just as well that I don’t have any metres that need to be parked, then.

I headed off to the Auckland Domain where I saw a food van selling hotdogs, ice cream and other treats parked right next to a couple of portaloos.

Portaloo food

Coincidence? Or is one necessary because of the other?

Tiring of the amusements of the city, I once again headed out into the suburbs, returning to Royal Oak. I saw a sign painted on the window of a bicycle shop suggesting that “[o]n a fine day why not “bicycle to work””.

Quotes

By putting “bicycle to work” in quotes could really mean anything. It might actually mean “On a fine day why not stay at home spending all day on the couch watching talk shows and soaps and eating five tubes of Pringles before you realise how meaningless your life is and start on that bottle of wine you were saving for Christmas.” But I think that a bicycle shop probably wouldn’t go for that line of advertising.

Well, time was getting on so I decided to end the day with a walk up Mount Victoria. Imagine my delight at seeing a woman with a huge bubble butt!

Mighty arse

Well, what an eventful day I had.

Things To Do

So I quit my job and now I am, technically, unemployed. This now means that I have a lot of free time (as opposed to before when my time was enslaved and beaten with whips and chains and sang spirituals about how it wasn’t going to let no one get it down?).

So what does one do with a lot of free time? I tried to remember back to 1993 and 1994 when I was on the dole. The only thing that really sticks out was for three Tuesdays running my friend Renee and I saw “Romper Stomper” at the movies, which consisted of eating a giant bag of M&Ms during the movie, then going to Metropolis Caffe for two mochaccinos, then going home and being still awake at 6.00 am writing bad poetry about the caffeine that was gripping my soul.

Not wanting to repeat this, I am having to come up with lots of choice fun stuff to do on my own. Unfortunately this time around everyone I know seems to be in gainful employment and doesn’t have the time to bum around with me during the day.

So this page is going to be all about stuff I’ve done to fill in the hours. Things to in Auckland when you’re unemployed.

Monday, 13 November – I went for a walk.

I walked over the pedestrian overbridge that goes over the North-Western motorway. It’s a very cool overbridge. Possibly my favourite way of crossing the motorway. Anyway, I noticed some interesting graffiti on the bridge:

Beeburger

Yeah, “Corporate Beeburger”. The common catchcry of the whole meat-is-murder, anti-fastfood chain people is “corporate death burger”. Now, you might get it a bit wrong and write “corporate beefburger” which still sort of gets the message of fast food of oppression. But where does “corporate beeburger” come from?

The only mention of a “beeburger” I found on the Internet was in the March 1994 “The Food Insects Newsletter”. It was about the viability of large-scale harvesting of insects for food. Hardly graffiti inspiring.

There’s that urban legend that [large evil burger chain] bulk up their beef patties with ground worms. Could this be a sign that maybe bees are being added in the mix?

So I continued on my journey. I’d been tipped off that there was something very savvy going on at the corner of Great North and Newton Roads. Right across the road from where I used to live, even. I investigated and saw that John Andrew Ford had cyberfied a logo so that “Enhance” became “Enh@nce”:

Enhance

Now, normally “Enhance” would be a really boring name for an automotive financing service, but stylising the letter a so it becomes an @ shows real savvy and know-how.

It’s tempting to get pedantic and say “Oh, but wouldn’t that mean it’s “Enhatnce”?”, or ask what exactly does a symbol most commonly seen in email address have to do with auto financing, but that’s the sort of Knowledge-Based-Economy-knocking that this country has seen far too much of.

Should I ever require financing to purchase a new car, I know where I will be getting it from.