Holiday, celebrate

I was sorting through some old emails and found this from 2006. It was a weird sales call that was trying to give me a “free” “holiday”, but hadn’t quite got it right.

Caller: Hello. Is that Eden?
Me: Uh, Mt Eden?
Caller: No, um, I’m calling from [company name] I have this phone number listed by someone who entered a competition.
Me: Ok, that wasn’t me.
Caller: Is this [my phone number]?
Me: Yes.
Caller: Well, someone with that phone number has won a holiday.
Me: Ok, it wasn’t me.
Caller: Look, we’ve got over 2000 holidays to give away. Would you like a holiday?
Me: Not especially. Why don’t you have it?
Caller: I get plenty of holidays through this job. Don’t you want a fantastic holiday?
Me: Um, it sounds like someone else has won this but wrote their phone number down incorrectly. Shouldn’t the prize go to them?
Caller: I have a holiday to give away to you.
Me: Why don’t you see if you can track down who this person is?
Caller: Is your address 298 Mt Eden Road?
Me: Er, no. So why not send a letter to that address and to let the person know they’ve won?
Caller: Ok, so you don’t want the holiday?
Me: No.
Caller: Ok, then. Goodbye.

Marmont, Vegemont

I saw Sophia Copolla’s new film “Somewhere”, about a slightly-past-his-peak film star who slowly reconnects with his 11-year-old daughter. (It’s pretty good – you should see it.)

Anyway, I saw it at the Penthouse in Brooklyn, with a wrinkly daytime audience. A couple of ladies in the audience seemed a bit bored by it and spent a lot of the time whispering to each other about the film.

The actor (played by Stephen Dorff) lives in the Chateau Marmont, and at one point in the film he’s slumped in his room, rather depressed. And one of the ladies loudly whispered, “It’s obvious he’s going to kill himself. They’re setting it up nicely – that hotel, that’s known as the place where stars go to commit suicide.”

Which makes it sound like the Chateau is a Hollywood elephant graveyard, where those who are being eaten alive by tinseltown can go to curl up and die.

But there have been no suicides at the Marmont. John Belushi accidentally overdosed and Helmut Newton crashed his car after a suspected heart attack, but no grand royale suicides.

And Stephen Dorff’s character didn’t kill himself in the hotel. Sophia Copolla is far too clever to be that obvious.

Grated ginger root

Donna swallowed hard, her mouthful of Special K and milk catching in her throat. Her eyes flicked back to the newspaper. Had she read that correctly? Had he really said…?

“Between 1985-1987, I would sleep with about three women a day, every day. I never said no.”

Donna remembered back to what had, only a few minutes earlier, been a fond memory. It was 1986 and the band was in town for their “Money’s Too Tight” world tour. Donna wasn’t even a fan, but a couple of her uni mates were going and dragged her along.

It had been a fun night – the band played their hits – and after the show the girls had staggered off to the Royal Arms for a wine cooler. Donna didn’t even recognise him at first. He was just a pale ginger guy who was asking to buy her a drink. But there was something about him – a strange sort of charisma.

The next morning her flatmates had mercilessly grilled her about her night of passion. “You could sell it the papers,” Nicky shrieked.

And so it had been her little happy memory. On those days when work was busy or Neil was working late or the kids were being demanding, she thought back to that one little moment where she had a night of sexy fun with a famous pop star in his fancy hotel room.

But now…

“I regret the philandering.”

Regret? Donna had never regretted it.

“Can I issue a public apology? I’m truly sorry.”

Sorry? What was there to apologise for? For the first time in 24 years, Donna felt cheap. She swallowed hard again, wiping away a tear.

“Mum, can you give me a ride today? Mum? Oh… are you crying?”

“Oh, just thinking about, um, Grandpa. It’s OK. Yeah, I’ll give you a ride.”

But before Donna left for work that morning, she removed one CD from the car stereo changer, never to play it again.

Minutes of the OGB AGM

Note: the Orcon Great Blend was a cool cultural shindig held in 2010. It was announced that tweets with #ogb would be projected on a wall at the event. I was stuck in Wellington and I thought OGB sounded a bit ’90s gangsta (ODB mixed with OG), so I formed a gang. This is what went down.

The following is a performance art presentation, a collaboration between @robyngallagher (ME!!!!) and #ogb

I’m calling to order the annual general meeting of my street gang, the notorious Original Gangsta Bytchyz. We will use the hashtag #ogb

Item 1: Fundraising sausage sizzle for Christchurch. The OGB is veggo – should we use veggie sausagez? What about food milez, yo? #ogb

Item 2: After the successful turf war with the Mt Eden 274, we need another suburban bus route to feud with. #ogb

Item 2 (cont): Suggested Wellington bus route to feud with – Miramar. Goes near Weta – has celeb potential. #ogb

Item 3: Motion to make the Original Gangsta Bull the official beverage of the Original Gangsta Bytchyz. #ogb

Item 3: Motion not passed. Official drink will remain as old school Diet Sprite. #ogb

Item 4: Props to the original OGB – Old Government Buildings, largest wooden structure in the Southern Hemisphere. #ogb

Item 4: Props to Todai-ji, the largest wooden building in the world. One day the Original Gangsta Bytchyz will pay respect 2 ur beams. #ogb

Item 5: Motion to get the Feelers to record a theme tune for the OGB, with a bangin’ remix, in time for the Rugby World Cup. #ogb

Item 5: Motion passed. Wait, what? That Feelers theme song thing was a joke! This is a disaster – not gangsta at all 🙁 #ogb

Item 6: Considering a team-building day to focus on maximising interpersonal synergies. I mean, N.O.T.O.R.I.O.U.S. synergies #ogb

Item 7: Let’s take a craft break and make things by cutting up the September issue of Metro and gluing together with sticky tape. #ogb

Item 7 [update]: Have subverted the dominant paradigm by gluing John Banks’ head to @ghetsum’s column. #ogb

Item 8: Concerned that the #nzntm entertainment television programme is drawing away potential members of the Original Gangsta Bytchyz. #ogb

Item 9: Considering fabricating a turf war between rival Wellington farmers’ markets, involving actual turf. Just to be controversial. #ogb

Item 10: Failure of pilot programme means the OGB will not go into drug dealing. Disastrous mixup between hash brownies and hash browns. #ogb

Attention: All 10 items on the agenda have been covered, and Original Gangsta Bytchyz has welcomed many new members tonight. #ogb

So therefore this concludes the Original Gangsta Bytchyz Annual General Meeting for this evening. Chur chur. #ogb


All the things we should of gotten

One of my Facebook friends suggested that I join the Facebook page for Lone Star, the popular restaurant chain. I’m not sure why she did this, but I gave her the benefit of the doubt and checked it out.

It didn’t appeal to me enough for me to click “like”, but there was something else that caught my eye – this comment from a diner who’d had a few issues:

We just got back from lonestar chch city tonight using grab a meal vocher, also disapointed with our order. We had the voucher for classic ribs and also order the regular rib meal. I got my order, and still 20 mins later my partner was still waiting for his classic ribs. By this time, i had nearly finish my meal with the help of my partner. After asking about my partner meal, we then was told we should of gotten a corona with the meal as well. We were not told this and had already order wine and beer. Got given the corona, which my partner couldnt drink as he had already had a couple of drinks waiting for his meal and didnt want to be over the limit. Once he got his meal it was only the reg ribs, which we wanted the classic as that is what we chose for grab a meal. In the end we didnt even get the right grab a meal.

I love the way she writes. I love the consistencies in spelling and grammar. She should of gotten a nice meal with her partner. Instead she got given late ribs and a useless corona.

This makes me want to read it aloud at a pretentious performance poetry evening.

Yo, Nightliners

Nightline – 20th Birthday Special
One of my strongest memories of the seventh form is being tired in class. The sort of tiredness that can be relieved by a walk around the block or, well, an interesting school lesson.

I was always tired because I used to stay up late (11pm!) watching Nightline, TV3’s late news. Back then it was hosted by the power duo of Joanna Paul and Belinda Todd. Belinda was utterly fierce and managed to offend people all the time.

I mean, there are the infamous moments of offence – the Russell Rooster pash, the “69 positions in 60 seconds” clip – but she also managed to offend a viewer by taking an elaborately carved watermelon and biffing it over her shoulder. Because, um, that’s disrespectful to the watermelon carver.

I also loved the digs Nightline took at “state television”. One time Belinda and Joanna donned dark bob wigs, the then universal TV One lady newsreader do. And TV One was running a feel-good promo featuring a shaggy dog and Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World”. Nightline did their own version – one of those yappy dog toys, set on fire, and with Primus’ stonking tune “Too Many Puppies” as the soundtrack.

The golden days of Nightline have come and gone. Television in New Zealand is a very strange place at the moment, and it will be very interesting to see what the state of things will be in the next decade.

But those late nights, the sleep deprivation, the half-arsed seventh form wasn’t for nothing.

Watch the Nightline 20th anniversary special.

The future is a wonderful place

If I had a time machine I’d visit Marilyn Monroe in her prime.

That’s a quote from Stephen Hawking in a Daily Mail column on the possibility of time travel.

It sounds like something out of Insignificance (in which Marilyn Monroe explains the theory of relativity to Albert Einstein). But it makes me wonder what such a visit would be like.

1957. Marilyn Monroe is relaxing at the poolside bar of the Beverley Hills Hotel. Suddenly there’s a whoosh and a flash of light and an elderly man in a strange wheelchair appears in front of her. She’s a little scared, but yet curious because she didn’t get where she is today without a sense of curiosity.

HELLO, MISS MONROE,” the man says. Only it’s not his voice. It’s coming out of a small box on his lap and the voice sounds more like the voice of a robot from a B-grade motion picture. The sort of film she hopes she’ll never end up having to make.


She looks around to see if anyone else has noticed them. There’s only a barman and he knows to look but never to see.

“Oh, really! Tell me, what is the future like? Are we all living in the sky? Do I have lots of grandchildren?”

The strange man looks at her. Even though his face is contorted, she thinks she sees a sad look flash across his features. He starts to type something into his talking box. He then stops typing, looks at Marilyn again, then types something new.


I’ll just stare and hope you’ll care: ’90s-style angst

She: Hey, do you like Dinosaur Jr?
He: Yeah.
She: Cool. Just because they’re playing in Auckland at the end of March, at the Auckland Town Hall, and I was thinking of going up there for it. I’ve been asking around but, like, no one else seems interested. I mean, they’re all like ‘”Get Me” is cool’, but no one wants to actually pay to see them live. So, um, I was wondering if…
He: “You’re Living All Over Me” is the greatest album ever made.
She: Yes! I love “Raisans”!
He: “Tarpit”.
She: So… do you want to…?
He: Sure.
She: Great!
He: And I’ll see if my girlfriend wants to come too.
She: Oh, ok.