Recent demands

Every now and then I like to pretend I am an ’80s television programme and delve into the mailbag (aka the search-term referer logs) to answer some viewer correspondence.

Robyn Gallagher real name

Princess Roshonda Boutros Meow-Meow Taaniqua O’Gallagher. Which is also my security answer for online banking.

What can I say that can be expressed like the sunshine?

Like warm banana peels playfully slapping my shoulders.
Like fluorescent tubes from a happy office.
Like meteorological baguettes, feeding me with brightness.
Like a thousand yellow highlighter pens.
This is how you make me feel.

Wedding pens

Let me tell you one thing – you stick with a pencil. Because in a couple of years’ time, you’ll be back on my doorstep with a suitcase under one arm and a child under the other saying, “Mother, I made a terrible mistake. Oscar was not right for me!” Ink is not good enough for that rogue. Sign your name with a light pencil and keep an eraser in your pocket at all times.

Transvestite and Auckland and smoking and New Zealand

“Well, hello. You must be new around here. We don’t get many new faces these days.”

“I’m actually just visiting. I’m from Tasmania.”

“Well, you’re in the big smoke now, darling. And speaking of smoke – if you’re going to light up, you’d better do it out on the balcony.”

“But I thought you could smoke inside here. It said on the website…”

“Oh, that blasted website. Do you know, that has caused us nothing but trouble. Ralph put it up back in the ’90s but he forgot the password for it years ago. It has old prices, old photos and the claim that we are “Australasia’s only transvestite cigar bar.” Nothing but trouble.”

“But I came all the way here.”

“Sorry, darl. Rules are rules. Oh, look. You’ve got a nice face and you’re wearing those control-top tights well. We have a smoking room out the back for staff breaks. Just don’t tell the Ministry of Health!”

“Thank you. You’ve made me a very happy man.”

“I’ll show you the way.”

Team scarf

Team Edward!!!!

Sleep deprivation effects

Team Jacob!!!!!

Rap song on the dole

Every day I go to the office on WINZ
and this is where my fun begins.
I get the dole and buy some booze
and get into a drunken mood.

Don’t want no job. I’m on the dole.
I ain’t got no self-control.
I’m a figment of your imagination,
oh listener of a talkback station.

Rap, rap, rappy, rap-rapp.
Rap-rap, rappy, rappy.
Rappy, rappy, rap-rapp.

How did Hamilton Lake get its name?

There was a lake and it was in Hamilton and they looked at it and they said “there is a lake Hamilton so we shall call it Hamilton Lake”. And they did and it was good.

Turning 33 poem

Now you are 33: a poem

Many a notorious man or woman
has reached the age of 33:
Chubby funnymen John Belushi and Chris Farley;
wife of JKF Jr, Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy;
Richard II (blame his cousin Henry);
Evas Braun, Peron and Cassidy;
writer William S Burroughs Jr and rapper Pimp C;
soulman Sam Cooke; conceptual artist Leigh Bowery;
Jesus and Bon Scott (of AC/DC);
and writress Robin Hyde.
All these people were 33.
33 when they died.

Are you interesting?

No, not really.

A holiday with the Feelers

Mastercard recently sent me a pamphlet trying to entice me to sign up to their Applause online ticketing website.

They obviously know that I fear the internet, so they were cleverly running a competition to “win the ultimate music experience” if I signed up. “Awesome,” I mentally exclaimed. “If I win I’ll get to go back in time and see the Pixies play in London in 1987!”

But sadly, Mastercard’s definition of “the ultimate music package” is somewhat different to mine – the prize package in question involves Aotearoa New Zealand’s lite rock legends The Feelers.

The pamphlet explained that “this fantastic package”, would fly me to Rarotonga, give me seven nights at a beach resort, and I’ll get to “sing in the chorus of the new single”, “appear in the music video” and “hang out with the band while they record”. And there will also be “photo and memorabilia signing opportunities”.

Now, I like fantastic things as well as ultimate things, and people who know me well know that I’m a sucker for a memorabilia signing opportunity, so obviously I was dead keen to enter this competition and win it.

But I wanted to be sure that I was making the right choice, so I pulled out a guided meditation tape, popped it into my Walkman and went into a elevated state where I could channel forward in time, experiencing how a Rarotongan holiday with the Feelers would be. While I was in that state, I also wrote myself a postcard every day.

I’ve just arrived in beautiful Rarotonga! My hotel room appears to be a sort of fale, but with a modern design aesthetic more akin to what Westerners call a “broom cupboard”. Yeah, it’s a bit small but I don’t care! I’m in a tropical paradise with the guys who brought us “Venus”, “As Good as it Gets” and their 2006 hit song “Weapons of War”.

Have enquired at hotel reception where the Feelers are. Have been told they are “busy”. What rock gods! I am filling in the time listening to the Feelers’ 1998 debut tape “Supersystem” on my Walkman and/or watching the American Forces Network. Sometimes I watch the American Forces Network on mute and listen to “Supersystem” – it adds great depth.

I ran into one of the Feelers at the poolside bar! He was buying a Fanta (my new favourite drink!!!). I said, “Hello! I won the prize! When do I get to sing on the chorus of youse guysez’s new single?” And he said, “Um, maybe come over tomorrow?” I am so excited! This will probably be the best day of my life ever.

Turned up to the “studio”, which was actually the bathroom of the Feelers’ beachside suite. Keeping it real – I like that. None of the Feelers were there, but a man called Ron said, “Can you go ‘Ooh wah ooh’ a few times?” So I did, and I think I did really well because Ron said, “Yeah, thanks.” I noticed an empty Fanta can in the rubbish bin. I wonder which Feeler drank that?

Well, last night a tropical cyclone hit the island! All the beachside suites were destroyed, and I found one of the Feelers weeping over his guitar which had suffered severe water damage and scratching. “It’s OK, little Feeler,” I said soothingly. “There’s plenty of room for all of you in my fale. And I have Fanta.”

Can this holiday get any more awesome? I’ve just spent the day with all of the Feelers in my fale, and we engaged in a bit of memorabilia signing, literally, if you know what I mean! As well as signing my tapes, they signed all my items of clothing, including my socks, and also every page in my passport!

The Feelers have moved into a Red Cross emergency tent village, citing health concerns. Woteva. Nah, I’m OK. The contractually obligated “hanging with the band” session was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. I just wish there wasn’t such a risk of malaria from the stagnant water in my room.

Back home at long last! I was delayed at Customs for five hours due to the the unique and exquisite Feelers autographs in my passport being considered “defacement of Crown property”. But I finally got it back and will now be listing it on Trade Me. Fortune will be mine! Best holiday ever!

In light of this, I have decided not to sign up for the Mastercard Applause service.

Frequently Arksed Questions

People get to my website by googling questions they need answers for. As my blog currently can’t provide these answers, I have taken the liberty of answering some of the more popular ones.

What rhymes with Robyn?

Dave Dobbyn.

What to say as weeding MC?

Something about a ho.

What does Buffalo Stance mean?

Let’s start with Buffalo. The Face magazine described it as…

a look an attitude, a gang; a creative collection of photographers, designers, hair stylists, pop stars and models – Marc and James Lebon, Jamie Morgan, Nick and Barry Kamen, Judy Blame, Neneh Cherry, and Mitzi Lorenz, among others – working around the creative hub of superstylist Ray Petri.

Right, so Neneh Cherry’s boyfriend was Cameron McVey, and he was in a pop duo called Morgan-McVey with the above mentioned Jamie Morgan. They had a Stock-Atkin-Waterman produced single called “Looking Good Diving”.

It was released with a b-side remix called “Looking Good Diving with the Wild Bunch”. This involved the instrumental track from the song remixed by the Wild Bunch with Cameron’s girlfriend rapping over the top about the Buffalo scene, pimp, prostitutes, gigolos and how she ain’t going for that flashy shit and was in it for the long haul.

When Neneh Cherry came to release her solo album a year or so later, she rerecorded the song as “Buffalo Stance”, and gave it a bit more attitude. Uh. And a motherfucking breakbeat. Yeah. DJ. Tell it like it is.

What does it mean when they say a participle dangles?

If you see that your friends participle is dangling, you should discretely insert a subject or some punctuation to help clarify things.

What happened to Peter Urlich?

FluFFFy1: So, Peter Urlich of Th’ Dudes and Nice ‘n’ Urlich and TrueBliss fame.
Watkins2000: Who?
FluFFFy1: The lead singer of late ’80s pop/funk act B Cup?
Watkins2000: Oh, that guy.
FluFFFy1: So what’s he up to these days?
Watkins2000: Dunno. He doesn’t do breakfast on George FM any more.
FluFFFy1: He went through that swing singing phase last year. That was pretty choice.
Watkins2000: I liked that. I mean, I *really* like that. He kept it real.
FluFFFy1: Yeah, kia kaha, Peter Urlich.
Watkins2000: Kia kaha.

What to do you to paper mache if it starts to go mouldy?

Ok, first you need to tell it to stop going mouldy. If that doesn’t work you could try yelling at it or hitting it. If that still doesn’t work, tell it you are sorry and you love it and buy it a chocolate bar such as Cadbury Fruit and Nut. That should do the trick. If you have any further problems, put it in the hot water cupboard for a few days.

How many people went to beach last year?

OMG, there were so many people there I almost lost count! Muffy was there and Chad was there and Suzie was there and all the kids from the Bellevue came down and brought matching towels. And we all started to do the starfish dance. It’s so easy to do! Shake it like a starfish! There was soda pop and hotdogs and someone even brought cookies! You should have been there. It was ace! Twelve in total.

How do you pronounce Ngunguru?


Why do New Caledonia people speak French?

They originally learned it at high school and then went on an AFS exchange to Montreal when they were 17 and came home wearing a beret and swearing at their mum in French. Then when they were working in London on their OE, they went over to Paris for a few weeks and had such a good time that when they came back to New Caledonia they decided they’d just keep speaking French and it’s pretty much stuck ever since.

Who is the MC who use a straw to sing?

I don’t know, but he must really suck.

Why is Robyn wearing my shoes and why is Facebook not working?

Ok, first of all? They’re not your shoes. I mean, I know I took them from your bedroom but that was only because you spilt that jug full of margaritas in my shoes and I couldn’t go to work with wet shoes.

And Facebook is working. It’s just blocked for you because the internet doesn’t work for people who go around spilling drinks in people’s shoes.

Why’s the shed locked?

Look, if you want your combine harvester back, you should just ask. I’ll go and get it for you. I only locked the shed to keep it secure. I wasn’t trying to steal it or anything. What would I want with a combine harvester, any way. Oh, by the way, if you see someone selling a combine harvester on Trade Me and it looks a bit like yours, it’s not. It’s just a coincidence and the auction will probably get taken down soon anyway.

How does a dance card work?

  1. Go to a retailer and load a cash value onto your dance card (minimum $10; 25c loading fee).
  2. Go to dance, remembering to swipe your dance card at the door.
  3. Dance.
  4. When dance is complete, swipe your dance card on a card reader and dance amount will be deducted.
  5. Please note: GST not included.
  6. Also note: R&B slowjam incurs 2.5% service charge.
  7. I like it when your butt goes ba-donk-a-donk-donk.

Will the train leave at 5 on Fridays?

No, you’ll need to get there 10 to 15 minutes before or after. Also remember there are Super Saver Saturdays starting next month, so maybe you can postpone.

How come chimpanzees act like little kids?

Because apparently the chimpanzees don’t have the basic human right which says in law that they are allowed to use a firm smack as part of corrective punishment in good parenting, so they grow up undisciplined and watching trash television such as “Baywatch” and “The Dukes of Hazzard” and “The Shogun Miniseries” and so they act like little kids and don’t even go to university and just sit around all day eating carrots and throwing straw at each other. You can’t even dress them up as aristocrats any more and make them have tea parties because apparently it’s “politically incorrect” and “cruel” and “impairs their development”. And they call this progress.

What are the events that happended in the 10 years before I was born in 1989?

1979 – Mr Ed horse dies 🙁
1980 – Reagan’s president elect. Good-time dancin’ stopped.
1981 – Couples For Christ is established in the Philippines.
1982 – Little Prince William is born! A blonde manchild who one day will become king! Maybe I will be his queen!!!!!
1983 – The McNugget was born.
1984 – Muldoon got on the nyak and was like “YO WE IZ GOING 2 DA POLLZ”. Lost.
1985 – Bob Geldof runs a charity fund-raiser fair.
1986 – Aw shit – Space Shuttle Challenger blew up and everyone on it died 🙁
1987 – Stock market crashes; Prozac introduced; modern life declared rubbish.
1988 – Expo ’88 showcased the best of the world in Brisbane, QLD.

Does weed make you infertile?

Think about it, man. The good Lord put the herb on earth for man to smoke. And man and woman have been toking on the sweet sweet mary jane for centuries. And the man and the woman, they have babies. So does the weed make you infertile, the answer is no, brotherman. No, it ain’t.

What do you need to be a cruise ship captain?

  • A motivated self-starter with people skills.
  • Degree in cruise ship captaining from Southland Polytech.
  • One of those captain hats.
  • Teenage daughter who has cocaine problem.
  • Private cabin for captaining the sexy divorcees who come aboard.
  • Comedy eyepatch and plastic wooden leg kit.
  • Must have respect for colourful Irish underclasses singing gaily in steerage.
  • A boat.
  • Ye not be no landlubber.
  • Must like: buffet dining; shuffleboard; PINA COLADAS!!!!!
  • Must also like mermaids but not be averse to mermans. It can get lonely at sea.
  • Applications in “writing” plz.

What is dorky about yourself?

See above.

SS Good Times

In 1994, a rogue postie, known only as Warren C, was found to have been hoarding thousands of undelivered, unopened letters, some of which were so old they had been partially eaten by vermin.

Fortunately, most of the letters were able to be delivered to their intended recipients, but one particular package containing a manuscript of an apparent romantic novel, was so badly damaged that not only was the entire envelope destroyed, but most of the pages too.

What follows are the last remaining words from the few undamaged pages. It is hoped that the original author can be found.

Page 1:

“Here, I want you to have this,” Auntie Nola said, passing Veronica a small folder. “It’s a ticket for a week-long cruise on the SS Good Times. I won it at the church gala, of all places! I’m too old for a cruise ship, but you, my dear, well, it might be just what you need. Might finally find a fellow!”

Page 15:

“What do you mean it’s a virgin pina colada? What, pineapple juice and coconut cream? That’s not a cocktail – that’s a detox, and I didn’t come here to detox!” Veronica was outraged.

Isaiah the bartender shrugged and passed the yellow drink to her. “Sorry, ma’am – there is no alcohol onboard this ship – captain’s orders.”

Veronica took the drink and mooched over to a deck chair on the Lido deck. What sort of ship didn’t have rum? And would she ever find love aboard the increasingly bizarre SS Good Times?

Page 38:

“I’m sorry, miss. The buffet has been closed due to a norovirus outbreak. But we have some packets of chips if you’re hungry.”

Page 82:

“This is only a bikini! How is this offensive?! I demand to see the captain!” Veronica was furious.

Page 85:

“Ah, I think I see where the confusion has arisen,” said the captain. “This is actually the SS God Times. We are a floating mission ship, bringing the word of the Lord to the South Seas.”

“Oh, you’re kidding me.” Veronica was outraged and furious. “Well, what am I supposed to do for the rest of the week? Pray?”

“Perhaps you would like to visit our Christian bookstore,” the captain suggested. “It’s the largest floating bookstore in the southern hemisphere. We have a large section for Christian singles.”

“Oh, Captain,” Veronica purred. “My bikini seems to have come loose. Could you be a dear and tie me up?”

“Uh, no. I’m… happily… married…”

Page 257:

“I’m your captain now, you bad bad boy,” she screamed.

“Shiver me timbers,” the captain moaned.

Page 258:

“Look, uh, this is kind of awkward. I don’t even want to see you again, let alone marry you. I was just bored. I mean, stuck on a ship for a week with no booze, not even shuffleboard… I was just looking for some good times.”

Veronica couldn’t find her bra, but it didn’t matter. The gangplank had been lowered. The real world awaited.

“But I think I’m going to check out that Christian singles website you recommended. Bye, captain. Thanks for the rum.”


How to grow an effective Movember moustache

So, I was a week into Movember, when I realised that my moustache wasn’t growing. I was a bit concerned about this, but have since discovered that despite all the advances in sexual equality over the past 30 years, women in New Zealand still can’t grow facial hair.

I’m disappointed, but I have decided to make the most out of a bad situation and so I thought I’d share with you my special Movember moustache-growing tips.


  1. Do not shave your facial hairs.
  2. A healthy body makes a healthy moustache! Be sure to take a brisk walk every day and do a series of stout squat-thrust with hands on hips.
  3. Acquire a photographic image or daguerreotype of a gentleman with luxuriant moustaches, such as Mark Sainsbury or Peter Plumley Walker. Affix the image in a prominent position, such as below your mantelpiece portrait of the Queen.
  4. Every morning, after your daily glass of milk, focus on the image of the moustaches. Concentrate all your mental powers upon the moustaches. Imagine yourself with such luxuriant moustaches. Feel the hair in the photograph dancing through the air until it reaches your upper labial area.
  5. Repeat this visualisation exercise daily after your evening corned beef sandwich.
  6. Before retiring at night, massage a small quantity of goose fat into the moustache area.
  7. Ensure that non-moustaschial areas such as the chin, cheeks and neck are cleanly shorn to emphasise the moustaches. If you are a fan of the Phoenix Foundation pop group, do not listen to their music during the month of November as it has been known to trigger growth of full facial hair.
  8. Cleanse the moustache with coal tar soap and groom with a fine-tooth comb.
  9. Follow the above steps, and by November 31nd, you will have your own luxuriant moustaches, which will attract the attention of many townsfolk.
  10. Ensure that the moustaches are shorn by the yuletide season, as a mark of respect to the sweet Christ child.
Ginge mo
Pictured: The authoress in happier times.

The Shireless

I was over at the iTunes story searching for “Baby It’s You” by legendary 1960s girl group The Shirelles. Initially it didn’t seem to be there, but eventually iTunes found it, and I discovered that the search had been complicated because the group’s name had been incorrectly spelled The Shireless.

But this got me thinking. Like, wouldn’t it be totally awesome if there actually was a group called The Shireless?

The Shireless would be a group of aging British folk singers. Due to a run-in with the establishment in the ’60s, they have found themselves banned from residing permanently in any one shire, leaving them shireless.

So they band together, buy an old caravan and they drive from shire to shire, helping people in need, singing songs and – when they need petrol or cider money – painting houses at reasonable rates, before moving on to the next shire.

Of course, this would be an ideal premise for a TV show. Each episode would be set in a different shire, with The Shireless helping a different person (or people, because in today’s telly we like our multiple subplots). Each episode would also include The Shireless performing a classic 1960s girl group song in their unique folky style.

And The Shireless wouldn’t be restricted to England. In a two-part special, they visit the Ka’anapali Shire on Hawaii’s beautiful Maui island, where they swap their guitars for ukuleles and help some Hawaiians and tourists and perform a folky luau version of “Will you love me tomorrow?”, driving home the message about the importance of safe sex on vacation.

The Shireless would be an instant modern televisual cult classic, much like The Sopranos, Lost, Six Feet Under and Pop’s Ultimate Star.

Normally I’d charge thousands of dollars for my creative service fees to come up with such an idea for a TV show, but getting into the spirit of the interwebs 2.0, I am offering this idea to anyone under the spirit of creative commons.

I expect to see it remixed and on YouTube within a week.


So I’d been wanting to upload a video to YouTube – or YouChoob, as we say in Aotearoa New Zealand – but I didn’t have anything suitable.

But then I realised that among my bits and pieces, I had a short film dating from 2001. It was the result of Dylan and Ryan and me mucking around at a hippy festival in Basque Park. Dylz was on camera and Ryan was the roving reporter and I did some improv, and then later Dylan edited it together.

So here it is. (And, yes, the video is out of synch with the sound).

But obviously just posting a video to YouChoob isn’t nerdy enough. I had to up the nerd factor, so I decided to add some accessibility and used my day job skills by captioning it. So if you are deaf or hearing-impaired or just curious, you can watch it with captions here.

Rock on

It has been brought to my attention that Prime Devastation, Hamilton’s hardest working metal band, who also take time out for family/work/sporting commitments, are now on MySpace.

Fans of the ‘Dev have been asking for this for a long time, so it will be good news to both PD fans and the metaller community in general.

So come and join the Prime Devastation MySpace community. They’ve even newly posted the lyrics to their upcoming single Rock n Roll Terrorist:

Seven reasons

Because it is Saturday and there is nothing else to do.

People hassle Britney Spears and say she is dumb and a bad mother, but actually I think she is actually quite smart. She and I have a lot in common because I am actually only exactly three months older than her and I don’t think that is a coincidence because I believe in fate. Anyway, here is why Brtiney and I are soul sisters.

1. We were born *exactly* three months apart. Yes, that’s right Britney was born on 2 Demcember 1981 and I was born on 2 March 1982. This means we both grew up in the same cultural environment and had similar experiences as “chidren of the 80’s”. But I consider myself forunute that unlike Britney my birthday is not near Christmas lol

2. We both liked Mickey Mouse as children. Britney was Mouseketeer and on the Mickey Mouse Club. I had a Mickey Mouse soft toy that my uncle brought me back from Hong Kong and I still sleep with it on my bed to this day. I also have Mickey Mouse coffee mug that I have my coffee in!!!

3. We both went out with a guy called Justin when we were teens. Yes, this is true. When I was 15 I went out with this guy called Justin Watkins. Like with Britney and Justin Timberlak, this was also my first boyfriend, but sadly our relationship did not last and he was actually two-timing me with this girl called Carmel and so I dumped him.

4. We both like singing and dancing. I did jazz ballet and comtemporary tap lessons from age 6 to 13. I had to stop when I broke my foot in form two on a school camp bush walk 🙁 But Now I am thinking of starting again and doing salsa dancing because I heard that is good for weight loss. I also have been singing and I auditioned for the first NZ Idol but they told me I was too “theatrical”, whatever that means!!!

5. We are both proud mothers. I am a proud mother of Ceylla (4) and Jack (14 mths) and stepmum to Brydan (10). And Britney has one baby boy and another baby on the way and is stepmum to two gorgeous girls.

6. We both have had relationship issues. I broke up with Ceylla’s dad when I was pregnant with her, but then I met my current partner Simon (my soulmate) who is everything you could want in a man but hand’s off he’s mine lol. I met him on Trade Me and he did me the honour of marrying me this year and now Ceylla has a new dad and a little baby brother. Britney had trouble with Justin but now she has met her soulmate Kevin Ferderline.

7. We both like frappochino’s!!! Yes whenever I go to St Lukes or in town you will always see me with a frappachino just like Britney! I loooove strawberry’s and cream ones. Sooooo naughty but sooo good!!! And sometimes I walk down the street with my sunglasses on and I feel just like Britney.

So when people hassle her, well I just think they’re jealous and if you look at Britney you can see that she is really just an ordinary girl like you or me and is actually quite normal!. And she is my role model and heroin.

This was later published in Auckland Uni student mag Nexus. Some readers thought it was for real.


Pants on fire

Mon ami Ashura666 is in town and we’ve been having a jolly good time exploring Auckland and beyond. People have been asking how it was that I came to meet Ashura666, or Ashura-san as we call him sometimes. In fact, it wasn’t until today when Emma from Sydney, who was part of a hen’s party, asked that I realised I had never told the story of how I and Ashura-san had met.

See, it was long ago, 1998, when I was on holiday in Rotterdam. I’d always wanted to visit the Netherlands and had been fortunate enough to get some work on a commercial liner heading from San Francisco to Rotterdam. After overcoming severe seasickness, I had become a valued member of the Statandam’s crew, or krew, as we fondly called ourselves.

The boat eventually docked in Rotterdam and after I said goodbye to my new friends, I found myself alone and friendless in a strange land. One lonely afternoon, I found myself wandering the city, in search of something, someone.

I stumbled across a cirus, Het Grote Vrolijke Circus van Nederland. It was almost showtime, so I bought a ticket, and tried to find a seat. The circus was a popular family pastime for the people of Rotterdam, so it was pretty full. After much searching, I finally found a seat next to a miserable looking fellow.

Over my time on the Satandam, I hadn’t spoken any English, instead speaking a pidgin hybrid of Dutch, Portuguese and Polish, which seemed to be the best means of communication for the multinational krew members. So imagine my surprise when my miserable seat companion spoke English.

It turned out that Ashura-san was an English cultural attache from England on diplomatic business in Rotterdam. He was attending het circus in order to get a good idea of the local culture of Rotterdam. We started talking and then realised that neither of us really wanted to be at the circus and actually wanted to go to the pub, so we left and got pissed.

Since then, we have remained steadfast amigos, and we have visited each other in whatever country the other had been resident at the time. 2000’s surprise weekend in the United Arab Emirates was great, as was 2004’s vacation in Washington State, but it’s great to finally be able to show Ashura-san around my sweet home of Auckland.